Skating isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. Even though everyone who rides a skateboard won’t end up being the subject of their own console games or a have range of clothing named after them like Tony Hawk, they still want to skate.
Skateboarding isn’t about fame or fortune. It’s about enjoying the moments that you get to spend on your board. It’s about feeling the thrill of learning new tricks, the adrenaline rush that comes with hurtling down a hill, and just taking the time to enjoy riding your skateboard.
The one thing that all skaters have in common, is that in order to skate, they need a skateboard. It’s the commonality that ties the skateboarding community together, whatever their level of individual ability. All skaters need a skateboard. But like all highly competitive athletic pursuits, trying to find the right board can be like trying to tiptoe through a minefield while blindfolded.
You have to know what you’re looking for because you’re going to be putting your faith, and your life, in the hands of a skateboarding company. You want to enjoy skating, but you also want to be able to do so as safely as possible. That means trusting that your board will always do what you want it to do and keep moving no matter how much of a pounding it, and you, take.
That’s why you only want the best of the best when it comes to skateboards. And the best skateboards are made by the best skateboarding brands. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of five of the top skateboard companies.
So that you can safely choose the right board and be content in knowing that you can ride it all day and night and not have to worry about anything except mastering an ollie and a 360 flip.
You wanted the best, and here they are. Let’s skate…
Top 5 Best Skateboard Brands
OUR TOP PICK
The oldest, and arguably the best, skateboard brand to have made the cut is Powell Skateboards. Formerly known as Powell Peralta, they’re the company that gave the world the Bones Brigade, the first professional team, and skateboarding superstars, and gave Tony Hawk his big break. Powell is literally the brand that put skateboarding on the map.
Forged by more than four decades of skateboarding experience, their skateboards are the rides of champions. Their clothing and associated products helped generations of young skaters find their sense of identity and become who they were always meant to be.
Powell uses fiber reinforcement in the construction of their skateboards which makes them hard-wearing and strong, but flexible enough to provide a platform that’s tough enough to cope with any style of skating.
Forty-two years after they first hit the skateboarding scene, Powell is still making the kind of skating waves that most brands can only dream about. They’re the original’s and they’re still the best.
- They’ve been around since, near enough, day one. Powell has forgotten more about making skateboards than most brands will ever learn in a dozen lifetimes.
- Their skateboards have always been made tough enough to ride the streets and take more abuse than any professional could ever throw at them.
- Powell makes skateboards the Powell way and that’s why they’re still the kings of the skateboarding scene.
- The Powell name is skateboarding royalty. If you want to customize your skateboard the Powell way, it is going to cost you more than some other brands.
Another skateboard company formed by professional skaters, namely former world champion and original Bones Brigade member Rodney Mullen and jack of all trades Marc Johnson, Enjoi is the relatively new kid on the skateboarding block. A twenty-first-century brand, Enjoi has risen to its position of prominence in a comparatively short amount of time.
Known for creating extraordinary skateboards, both in terms of balance and strength, Enjoi has become a brand of choice with skateboarders the world over. While the fact that Rodney Mullen was directly involved with the company didn’t exactly hurt their reputation, they’ve since proven that their product completely justifies their place at the top of the skateboarding mountain.
Satire and humour play a large part in the graphics that Enjoi uses to decorate their boards and their Panda logo is ingrained in the collective psyche of the skate community. Just because they build serious skateboards for serious skaters, it doesn’t mean that Enjoi can’t do what their name suggests every skateboarder should. Enjoy life. And that’s what their skateboards are designed to do. To make sure that every skater who rides an Enjoi Skateboard enjoys life to its absolute fullest.
Because of the way Enjoi make their unusually strong skateboards, they’re very well suited to beginners who don’t have a whole lot of spare time but are looking to learn as many tricks, and how to pull off as many stunts, as possible.
- The stability that’s built into every Enjoi Skateboard means that newbies find them incredibly easy to ride and develop their own style with. That’s what happens when you give Rodney Mullen the keys to the workshop. You end up with something exceptional.
- Being a child of the new millennium, Enjoi has always had its finger on the pulse of modernity and are constantly looking to increase the strength and durability of their skateboards. That’s why their skateboards are among the toughest in the world. Enjoi makes them that way so that you don’t have to worry about inflicting all sorts of punishment on your skateboard.
- It’s a little thing, but apparently the graphics that Enjoi use on their skateboards fade with usage. That’s it, that’s the only negative in the overwhelmingly positive world of Enjoi Skateboards. The Panda disappears with time. Which, given the satirical nature of the company, we can’t help but feel is maybe deliberate and meant to mirror the fate of their real-world counterpart.
Blind Skateboards was the brainchild of Mark Gonzales, a man who Transworld Skateboarding Magazine once called “the most influential skateboarder of all time”. Gonzales, wildly recognized as the father of modern street skateboarding, wanted to make his own skateboards, which led him to establish Blind Skateboards in 1989.
Name recognition, and knowing that if Gonzales was going to lend his name to anything then it was going to have to be worthy of that accolade, led to Blind becoming a favorite brand of the more devoted skater. But just because the faithful pray at their altar, it doesn’t mean that Blind don’t acknowledge the rest of the skateboarding congregation, They absolutely do, which is why they make skateboards that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Every Blind Skatebaod comes with its own Grim Reaper etched somewhere into it’s eight layered deck construction. Why eight layers? Blind use eight layers to make sure that their decks can take the kind of punishment that their founding father used to routinely deliver to every skateboard he ever rode. They make their skateboards resilient and adaptable because that’s what Mark Gonzales demanded of his skateboards.
Featuring an incredible variety of graphics, Blind Skateboards always look as sharp as they perform. After all, there’s no harm in looking good whether you’re flying through the air or just riding down the street.
- Blind Skateboards are known for their ability to absorb the wear and tear of everyday riding without complaint. If you want a board that’s going to outlast its competition, then a Blind Skateboard may just be the ride for you.
- Their skateboards are extraordinarily light. Gonzales always demanded one thing from his skateboards - that they were light enough to enable him to pull off every trick in his rather substantial bag. It was a demand that became part of Blind’s core ethos and one that they still adhere to.
- They’re no slouches in the looks department. The vast array of graphics in Blind Skateboards arsenal means that every single one of their skateboards is a work of art.
- Most skateboard company’s boards are fully customizable and Blind are no exception. You can make your board look any way you want it too, and use any graphics or imagery that you can imagine. If you can think it up, Blind can put it on your board. But creativity isn’t cheap. At least it isn’t as far as Blind Skateboards are concerned. Yes, you can make your Blind Skateboard look any way that you want it too, but it’ll cost you a hefty sum to make your skateboard dream come true.
Alien Workshop exploded on to the skateboard scene thirty years ago. Founded in Ohio in 1990, their individual vision and passion have helped to shape skate culture for three decades. Based in an old, decommissioned nuclear bunker near their hometown of Dayton, this individual, and quirky company imbues every skateboard they make with their unique ideology and singular brand philosophy.
Specializing in fully assembled skateboards, Alien Workshop build their product to benefit every level of skater. They don’t discriminate against grommets or fawn over old school rippers with false praise, Alien Workshop just make amazing skateboards that are also amazingly affordable.
Making it a priority to keep up with the ever-advancing march of progress, Alien Workshop is never content to rest on its laurels and let their past victories define who they are. They adapt to, and incorporate, new ideas into the design of their skateboards, such as vertical lamination and ingrained graphics
As well as looking like a million dollars, their skateboards also use multiple layers of wood in the construction of their boards that make them incredibly light, super shock-absorbent, and perfect for developing your skill, and trick, set on.
Even though they excel at making pre-built skateboards, Alien Workshop also produces a whole line of skate accessories so you can customize your board whenever you feel the need to. Oh, and they also have their own clothing line. Individuality is a twenty-four hour a day thing and shouldn’t begin and end with a skate session.
- Alien Workshop are masters of the art of pre-assembly and deliver boards that continue to shock and amaze their continually expanding fanbase.
- And they do it, the whole pre-assembled skateboard ball of wax that is, for ridiculously low amounts of money. Seriously, looking at the prices that they charge makes us wonder how on Earth they’ve stayed in business as long as they have. It must be an alien thing because we just don’t understand how it’s possible.
- They really do build skateboards for everyone. The Alien Workshop catalog includes all sizes, styles, and in some cases even shapes of skateboard. If you need a certain skateboard that you can’t find anywhere else, then the chances are, Alien Workshop makes it.
- The ratings on their boards don’t fare as well as some of their competitor’s ratings do. Their construction means that the decks tend to wear thin, which makes them weak and more prone to breaking than other models. But you know what they say, you can’t make an omelet with breaking a few decks.
Hailing from the spiritual home of skateboarding, California, Element Skateboards has been making highly regarded skateboards, skate footwear, and clothing since 1992. Founded by Johnny Schilleref, Element also has it’s own chain of brand skate stores and sponsors its own skate team that includes well known four-wheel warriors like Bam Margera, Mark Appleyard, and Kieran Shaw.
With their complete skateboards retailing at under a hundred dollars, Element has carved a name for itself by producing affordable, competitive skateboards. All of their boards are made from maple which means that they’re not only tough, they’re also flexible so they’re just as comfortable grinding pools as they are curbs and the street,
As everything is handled in house, Elements boards are made to be customized and adapt to your skating style as it evolves over time. They’ll weather any storm and adapt to any element.
Element also has its own brand of clothing, so while you’re grabbing air and showing off your best vertical moves, you’ll also look good doing it. As we’ve already said, skateboarding is a lifestyle and Element is an all-purpose skateboard brand that has every element of skating covered.
- The price-tag is not only incredibly appealing, but you also get an incredible amount of skateboard for your money. Ideal boards for beginners and intermediary skaters alike, Element provides the tools you need to learn everything you need to at a surprisingly affordable price.
- They make everything you need to change and adapt your deck to the way you skate. No matter how hard, or how fluid your style is, Element makes the wheels and trucks that ensure your board feels like you were born to ride it.
- Everything you want, it’s all right here. Element is a one-stop-shop when it comes to the skate lifestyle. From your board to your shoes, and your shoes to your clothes, Element makes it all and they’ve got all the skating bases covered.
- Some of the trucks that they make have a tendency to wear out a little faster than we’d like, but as they’re easily replaceable it isn’t so much a reliability issue as it is about cost. Trucks cost money and those costs can slowly mount up over time.
- While their decks are hard-wearing and dependable, they do chip. It won’t affect the way your board rides, but it does have an impact on its aesthetics. We all like to look good and dings and chips can take some of the shine out of rolling in style.
A brief history of skateboarding
Skateboarding is thought to have begun in the late nineteen fifties when Californian surfers who were bored of being held in check by tidal patterns, sought to replicate the thrill of surfing on land. Using wheels to replicate the motion of the sea and a wooden deck or board instead of a surfboard, the modern idea of the skateboard was born.
Skateboarding retained its cult pastime status until the nineteen seventies when it suddenly became a worldwide phenomenon thanks in no small part to teams like the Bones Brigade and magazines like Thrasher finding favor with a mainstream audience. The once simple sport of riding the streets on a skateboard was suddenly inundated with a plethora of tricks as new teams and skaters tried to push the boundaries of what it was possible to do on a skateboard to their absolute limits,
More than half a century after the first skateboard appeared on a California street, skating has become a global pastime of the young and old alike. The only thing you need to become a part of the skateboarding world is a skateboard and the will, nerve and passion to ride it.
What is a skateboard?
While it isn’t an absolutely conclusive description, the Oxford Dictionary defines a skateboard as “a short narrow board with two small wheels fixed to the bottom of either end, on which a person can ride in a standing or crouching position, propelling themselves by occasionally pushing one foot against the ground”
Frequently asked Questions
What sort of Skateboard Do I Need?
Are you an experienced skater? Or are you looking for a board to start skating? Do you want to use your skateboard for street skating, to learn how to do tricks or to skate ramps, parks, and pools? Whatever style of skating appeals to you, there’s a skateboard on our list that’ll help you to achieve all of your skating dreams
There’s a reason these five companies are the very best skateboarding brands in the world. It’s because they make skateboards that are designed to deliver optimal performance in every sort of skateboarding endeavor and environment. Personally, we’d always recommend a Powell skateboard, but you won’t put a foot wrong with any of the brands on the list.
So grab a skateboard, and we’ll see you on the street. It’s skating time...