9 Of The Best Skateboard Brands [2019 Approved]
Vans is revered as the original skateboard shoe since 1966. Their waffle grip will continue to be skated forever, especially with recent innovations. Vans does a lot for skateboarding outside of just having one of the best, if not the best, skate shoes on the market.
They have advanced their skate line in recent years with upgrades like tougher canvas or suede, better insoles, and different patterns of materials designed specifically for skateboarding.
Vans Authentics and Classic Slip-Ons were traditionally made of canvas and were known to get destroyed after only a few days of skating. Some skaters made due by super gluing the sides of their shoes before the rips got too bad. Other skaters got creative with their custom duct tape job on the side of their shoe to help prevent their foot from getting torn up when they ollie. Using thick suede or other durable materials instead of canvas was the best upgrade for the classic Vans shoe line. Not only does suede protect better, but it grips the board better for ollies and tricks.
Vans came through for skateboarders by solving the problem of skaters getting heel bruises due to the Vans insoles being too thin and not padded enough. They invented the Ultra Kush insole which is comfortable and is amazing to skate. The Ultra Kush insole is available on any shoe in the Vans Pro Series which includes classic shoes like Slip Ons and High Tops, as well as pro rider shoes like the Rowley or Walker.
The waffle sole was recently changed, with a lot of research and development going into the innovations. It is now made to have different patterns in different areas of the shoe. The waffle pattern is also made smaller on some shoes for more technical grip. Some shoes have reverse waffle grip which skates great but is featured more on their All-Weather MTE line.
Vans does a lot for skateboarding.
Vans has built some of the best indoor skateparks known to skateboarding. In Southern California, the Block at Orange was home to the Pro Tec Pool Party until it closed last year. It has since closed down in favor of its successor, the Vans “Off The Wall” Skatepark in Huntington Beach.
Baker has been heavy f*#king with street skateboarding since Baker Bootleg, Baker 2G, Baker 3, Baker Has a Deathwish, and their most recent video parts like Dee’s part on the Ride Channel. Baker and Deathwish has a rad team of big names like Andrew Reynolds, Kevin Spanky Long, Erik Ellington, and Dustin Dollin. They also recently put Riley Hawk on the team.
Santa Cruz is another iconic company that is doing it for skateboarding. They have sought after apparel in addition to boards of all shapes and sizes. Their board graphics are top notch. Santa Cruz also appeals to people who don’t skate, which is cool to get outsiders supporting skateboarding.
Thrasher skateboard magazine is rad. They have been holding it down with other media like Skateline NBD and King of the Road. Their apparel line is up there with the best selling brands in any skate shop thanks to their iconic designs and posers who don’t even skate.
As was said earlier, it’s okay to sell skate stuff to non-skaters because then the company has more money to support skateboarding. Also, some of the fashionistas probably bought boards just because. Regardless, they are up there with the best brands in skateboarding.
Their YouTube channel features pro videos in a section they call “Classics” and is a good resource to find good skateboard videos.
Independent trucks are the most popular skateboard truck and always has been. They have innovated trucks as we know them by lightening their weight with hollow axles and kingpins. Some Independent Trucks also have titanium axles which are the lightest and strongest axles on the market. They have tons of pro riders and painted graphics trucks. Vans recently collaborated with Indy to make shoes. Independent is one of the best skateboard brands.
Spitfire has made wheels since the late 80s and continues to be one of the most popular brands today. The logo is iconic to skaters and non-skaters alike. Their wheels got an upgrade in recent years with their Formula Four wheels, made to compete with Bones SPF. Spitfire also came out with a bunch of different wheel shapes and pro graphics. Vans just made a collaboration with Spitfire. Also, Lance Mountain rides for Spitfire now.
Welcome Skateboards is an up and coming brand established in 2010. They have built a following thanks to their eye-catching shapes and graphics. These boards are colorful and have interesting abstract graphics. They deserve their status among the best brands out there. Only time will tell if they can keep it up to someday become an iconic skateboard brand.
Powell Peralta is the most iconic old school skateboard hard goods brand. Hard goods are skateboard parts, not apparel. Boards ridden back in the day are now made into re-issues, popular with people like your Dad and Uncle who used to skate. They have also recently innovated deck strength technology with their Flight Decks that can get ran over by a car and not break. Powell also makes Bones bearings, which are the most popular bearings in skateboarding. Bones Swiss precision is the standard measurement that all other bearings are measured against to determine their quality.
Nike had some trouble starting up its SB line. Some skaters weren’t down with a large sports company coming in and trying to make money off of skaters. This perception was curbed by big names getting on the team like P Rod, Nyjah Huston, and Luan Oliveira. The Nike Janoski is one of the most popular skateboard shoes on the market today despite it being fairly expensive compared to other skate shoes. This says something.