There is no second place, there is only losing - Rodney Mullen
Few skateboard companies can rival the flair, flamboyance, and sardonic sense of humor that Enjoi Skateboards built their brand around. Founded by professional skateboarders Marc Johnson and Rodney Mullen at the beginning of the millennium, Enjoi has always had a distinctive approach to the way they do things. They don’t compete with other brands, they raise the stakes and push the boundaries and leave everyone else floundering in their wake, desperately trying to keep pace with Enjoi. Innovation and invention are like oxygen and water to Enjoi, they’re just part of their everyday existence.
While the face of the company has changed drastically over the last two decades, and the original duo of visionaries responsible for its creation have long since departed and gone their separate ways, Enjoi’s core mission remains the same. To make unique, contemporary skateboards that people actually want to ride, skating accessories that they want to use, and clothing that they want to wear. It’s what they’ve always done and what they’ll always continue to do. They have to do it, they can’t help themselves. It’s who they are and all they know. They do what they do because they’re Enjoi. And they do it because don’t know how to do anything else.
Slaves to their passion, Enjoi makes all of their skateboards to take the sort of punishment that they, as skaters, would want to hand out to them and need them to endure. Their boards are made to skated hard and they’ve clung rigidly to the primary belief that has always driven their founding father Rodney Mullen throughout his career. That there is no such thing as second place, there’s only winning and losing. Enjoi came to win, and that’s what they’ve been doing for twenty years; winning.
With their distinctive Panda logo featuring heavily in the design of most of their products, Enjoi skateboards are instantly recognizable. Enjoi is still the primary choice of skateboard for many a hard-nosed veteran who cut their teeth and learned to skate while watching the Bone Brigade videos that made Enjoi’s former president Rodney Mullen a household skating name. Why do so many skaters, old-timers, and newcomers alike, choose to ride Enjoi skateboards? What is it about the brand that makes them so iconic? The only way to answer that question is to take a much closer look at three of Enjoi’s best skateboards to try and find out what it is that makes them tick.
Top 3 Enjoi Skateboards Review
OUR TOP PICK
Enjoi’s signature skateboard, the Whitey Panda wears their infamous logo on its sleeve and serves as the yardstick by which all of their other boards are measured. Made from seven-ply Canadian maple hardwood that’s bonded using water-based epoxy resin, because Enjoi are forward-thinking and actually care about tomorrow, the deck generates a beautiful amount of flex that makes it easy to pop and grab air with. It’ll bounce, but it’s also rigid enough to keep you firmly planted on the ground when you just want to ride the concrete.
At just over two and a half feet long and a little under eight inches wide, the Whitey Panda is a perfect way to mix up all the tricks and stunts that Mullen made his own and raised a generation of parented by television skaters on. Rodney may have left Enjoi behind, but his presence is still felt in everything that they do and this deck could have been made for Mullen to ride.
It’s strong, not too long and it will just keep on going all day long. We worship at the altar of the godfather of street skating, and this board channels his energy straight through to you. Whitey’s face might be on the deck, but don’t let that fool you. It’s Rodney’s heart that beats in every atom of this skateboard.
The firm, but poppy ride is idle for street skating, which is where the Whitey Panda belongs. The smaller, slightly softer than we’re used to wheels allow you to feel every bump and every crack in the concrete without spilling whenever you hit either, which adds to the level of stability and makes this board easier to control.
The signature aluminum trucks that Enjoi uses means that this board can, and will turn on a dime, which is a big help when you want to get airborne and even more beneficial when you just want to cruise the streets.
And let’s not even get started on how well this board carves and craves and just keeps on carving. Do you know those street cruising rides that you dream about on long, drawn-out summer mornings? This is ours. This is the board we dream about and it’s our daily skate of choice.
Some party-pooping, spoilsport once told us, while we were skating the town square, that life isn’t all about sunshine, rainbows, unicorns, and marshmallow breakfast cereal and that one day we’d have to grow up, get a real job and leave our skateboards behind.
We felt sorry for him, as that guy had obviously never felt the wind in his hair while carving downhill or just cruising around his neighborhood, and we kinda wished that we’d got his address. If we had, we’d have sent him a Drinking Buddie, because this board would have changed his life for the better and turned his frown upside down.
It’s a thirty-two-inch cruiser that’s made the Enjoi way, from seven-ply Canadian maple hardwood that’s infused with, and by, the stronger than strong epoxy resin that holds it together. The board is stiff but has enough flex to get you out of trouble in an instant and is easier to kick and flip, pop an ollie on and hop, than a usual cruiser. We’re fans of the trucks too, as the softer bushings they use makes this board zig and zag like you’re riding on air.
All that maneuverability comes in handy when you’re carving and cruising too, as the wheels are fitted with high carbon speed bearings that don’t feel like they ever want to stop or slow down. Riding this board is pure escapist fun and when you’re out on it, you can practically taste freedom in the air. It isn’t a board for beginners though, so newbies beware, this cruiser will eat you alive and spit you out the other side. But hey, what’s life without a little danger?
And finally, it’s time to share the cream of the Enjoi crop, Jackson Pilz’s signature board, the King of the Road. We know, we’ve already said that we’re suckers for the Whitey Panda (which we are) and that we love getting some serious hill time on the Drinking Buddie, which we do, but this board really is something else. Designed and made to be skated by Enjoi team member Jackson Pilz, the King of the Road was named in honor of Pilz being voted MVP in the 2016 season of Viceland’s skateboarding show ‘King of the Road’.
Built to Pilz’s, whose other accolades include being named Slam Magazine’s ‘Skater of the Year’, exacting skate standards, the King of the Road is just as happy ripping up the streets as it is grinding the bowls and getting some serious air time at skateparks. We’ve tried it out and this board just flies wherever it is. The deck is tough enough to cope with whatever you want it to do, and it’s both rigid and supple enough to absorb all the bumps and hits that it’ll take while you’re putting it through its paces.
If we had to guess, and it’s more of an informed conclusion than an actual guess, we’d say that it was down to the way that the deck is put together - which, as you’ve probably worked out by now, is the usual Enjoi way. With seven-ply Canadian maple hardwood that’s bound together with their super-secret water-based epoxy. But if it works, it works and if it isn’t broken, you don’t need to fix it.
The things that make the King of the Road stand out from the rest of the Enjoi pack though, they’re all under the deck. The heavy-duty, lightweight aluminum trucks that Pilz favors, and his board uses, help the deck to take the kind of beatings that he, we, and you love to hand out to our boards, and the harder you push, the more responsive the trucks are.
But there’s more, as the King of the Road also uses TGM 99A wheels which, just like Koi Carp, can deal with any environment and all of the adversity that’s hurled their way. Mainly we suspect because they’re powered by Amphetamine Bearings, which put the capital “S” in the face-melting speeds that this board can generate. When you hear old-timers talking about ‘Rippers’, the folks that they’re talking about, they’d feel right at home on the King of the Road.
Like a lot of new, professional model skateboards, the King of the Road will arrive at your door unassembled, but it’s an easy board to put together and while you’re doing that, you can set it up to suit your riding style. You’ll be able to make the King of the Road as individual as you are and when you hit the streets on it, you’ll feel just like Jackson Pilz. Which means that you’ll be the new King of the Road.
That’s about it folks. Three of the best boards from one of the best skateboarding companies, bar none, to have ever fitted a pair of trucks to a deck. If you want to follow in the skate-prints of legends like Rodney Mullen, Marc Johnson, and Jackson Pilz, you’ll want to ride one of the Panda’s finest.
To do anything else would be settling for less and accepting second place. And you know what Mullen said, and how he feels, about not being out in front and being all that you can be, don’t you? So don’t do that to yourself, don’t settle for something that isn’t the best. Rodney Mullen wouldn’t. And neither should you. After all, life is meant to be Enjoied…