Skateboard is a competitive niche, and there are hundreds of brands out there. Which one is to choose and which one to avoid? Deciding the brand for buying a skateboard can be on challenging task.
However, if you analyze the market carefully, you will find the best skateboard brand easily. However, do skateboard brands matter? This is one question that has been asked by skateboard lovers for a long time. The answer is yes; skateboard brands do matter, as they use high quality deck material, wheels, bearings, grip tape, and graphics to manufacture the best skateboards.
Let’s explore the reality of skateboard brands and why you should select popular brands.
Do Skateboard Manufacturers Matter? The Truth about Decks, bearings, wheels and trucks
Skateboard brand matters, but it depends on your skill level. For instance, if you are a pro and looking to enjoy complicated skills, you need a high quality skateboard manufactured by a well known brand.
Skateboards are manufactured for different riders, and therefore, the material used in these skateboards is different from each other. Therefore, skateboard brands are different for beginners and experts. Let’s explore and find why do skateboard brands matter and what is different between skateboard brands, materials, and prices.
Best Skateboard brands for Professionals
Most professional skateboarders use best skateboard decks with their desired brands. The most popular brands for professionals include Zero, Girl, Deathwish, Plan B, and baker. All these Pro skateboard brands are popular for their high quality construction and durability.
Professionals also prefer certain skateboard brands due to their style and appearance. For instance, Girl skateboard decks are known for street skating and interesting graphics. Pro Skateboarders use high quality skateboards with durable decks to shred the streets and parks.
Does Skateboard Deck material matter?
In fact, it’s the skateboard deck material that ensures the durability, performance, and safety of a rider. In search of the most popular skateboard deck materials, I found these four best woods for skateboarding used by popular brands.
- Canadian Maple
One of the most used woods for skateboard decks, bamboo has been in the market for its strength and flexibility. A bamboo skateboard is lightweight compared to maple boards. You will find bamboo decks with 5 ply to 9-ply construction. Due to the flex of bamboo skateboards, they can conveniently withstand bumps and rough terrains.
Bamboo skateboard decks are durable and commonly used by high quality skateboard brands. The best part is their inexpensive price. Also, these boards are 100 recyclable which cuts down on waste.
A popular choice by best skateboard brands for its lightweight, flexible, soft, and strength, Canadian Maple decks last long and won’t break or crack if stretched or bent. Famous skateboards manufactured from Canadian maple include Plan B, Element, and Blind Skateboards.
With maple wood, you enjoy a decent blend of flex and hardness. Such flexibility makes it an excellent option for beginners to learn and master skateboarding tricks. Canadian maple decks are manufactured from 6-8 layers which are laminated together and then glued to perfection.
Plywood is a thin piece of wood glued together to create a skateboard deck. It is an inexpensive yet strong material for cheap skateboards. The plywood used to manufacture decks comes in different varieties, types, multiple grades, and thicknesses.
Whether you prefer bamboo, Canadian maple, or Birchwood, all skateboard decks require plywood. Baltic birch is the best plywood you can purchase. Typically, top skateboard brands use 1/8 inches Russian birch plywood as it is one of the strongest and extremely durable materials available for decks.
Plywood is a sheet material created of various thin wood layers glued together. The veneers are then stacked and glued to create a single sheet of board. You will find three sheets mostly but four or five sheets are best.
An affordable wood used by skateboard brands, Birchwood is the most commonly used wood. Beginner skateboarders prefer this type of wood due to their inexpensive price. If you are starting your skateboarding journey or are an average rider, Birchwood is an ideal option for you.
A skateboard deck created from Birchwood ranges from 9 ply to 12 ply. However, they are not strong like maple decks. An excellent feature of Birchwood is its flexibility which allows new riders to polish their skateboarding skills.
If you are a heavy skateboarder, Birchwood is not a good option for you.
Does Skateboard bearings material matter?
Skateboard bearing rating
Before probing into Bearings Ocean, you need to understand the ABEC rating system. It is used to measure the physical limits and tolerances of ball bearings utilized in fast spinning machinery. You will find ABEC ratings on almost all skateboard bearings.
However, a higher ABEC rating doesn’t mean it is best for skateboarding. There are several things that are not included in the ABEC rating system, like lateral stress handling, impact handling, noise, materials, vibration, and lubricant.
A bearing with a higher rating means it has the capacity to handle greater speeds.
What material do top brands use for manufacturing bearings?
The speed of your skateboard depends on the bearing quality. Not all brands use superior quality materials in bearing manufacturing. Here are the three best materials for skateboard bearings used by top skateboard brands.
Steel bearings are economical, durable, and commonly used in skateboard bearings. However, the steel quality can vary. Top skateboard brands like Sakar, Gonex, SANTA CRUZ, Osprey, and MEKETEC use high grade steel in their premium bearings to make them faster and more durable.
The dark side of steel bearings is that they rust easily when exposed to wet conditions. To keep steel bearings in the best condition, make sure to keep them oiled and prevent skating in the rain or rolling through puddles.
One of the most durable, lightweight, and highly rust resistant bearing materials used by the best skateboard brands, titanium is found in the best skateboards for the fastest speed. Titanium bearings are similar to steel bearings, but they last longer due to their strength and corrosion resistance features. However, it is essential to keep titanium bearings properly lubricated to decrease excess friction.
Ceramic bearings are stronger and harder than steel bearings. They also deform less when you apply pressure on them. These skateboard bearings are heat resistant and expand less while creating less friction at faster speeds.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of ceramic bearings is that they don’t rust when you expose them to moisture which makes them the best bearings for cruiser and rain boards.
Ceramic is a brittle substance, and it is susceptible to breaking when skated under high impact. These bearings are best for commuting and low impact skating, but it is not recommended for skating big gaps and stair sets. Best bearings manufacturers include Bones, Generic, Yellow jacket, Mini Logo, and KEVNI.
Do Skateboard wheels matter?
Skateboard wheels are made from polyurethane. There are three types of skateboard wheels used by skateboard manufacturers for different riding styles.
Park or Steel Wheels
- Duro-meter 95-101a
- Diameter 50-60mm
Skateboard wheels with such durometer and diameter are used in boards that are made for park and street skating. Park wheels are lightweight with fast rolling ability on smooth surfaces. They also slide easily, which makes them an ideal option for Ollies, power slides, flip tricks, and other technical tricks.
Cruiser or Soft Wheels
- Duro-meter 78-90a
- Diameter 54-60mm
Slightly softer and bigger than street wheels, cruiser wheels are made to fit any skateboard deck with fast rolling on different terrains. Cruiser wheels are commonly used by average riders to enjoy fun around the town. They are also known as filmer wheels as they roll smoother and easily handle rough pavement better, offering a steadier shot.
- Duro-meter 75-85a
- Diameter 60-75mm
The softest and biggest wheels available on the market, longboard wheels are specially designed to power through uneven terrains and keep their perfect grip through corners. You can find a variety of options for different riding styles, including carving, sliding, downhill racing, and cruising.
Do Skateboard trucks matter?
Skateboard trucks have a significant impact on your board performance and feel. In fact, trucks are one of the most important parts of your skateboard. They are durable and last the longest amount of skateboard parts. Skateboard trucks are available in two different types.
Skateboard trucks (Standard Kingpin)
These trucks are the most versatile trucks and can be used for any kind of skateboarding. Standard kingpin trucks are easily adjustable; by loosening or tightening, you can conveniently customize the way your skateboard turns.
Used by average to best skateboard brands, standard kingpin trucks are ideal for street skating, skateparks, and bowls.
Longboard trucks (Reverse Kingpin)
Best skateboard trucks for cruising, carving, or skating fast down hills, reverse kingpin trucks are taller and wider than standard kingpin trucks. However, they are highly customizable for different types of riding.
What are the three types of skateboards?
There are there skateboard types available on the market, including standard sized cruisers, mini cruisers, and cruisers. A standard sized cruiser is best for flat roads and street skating. A mini cruiser is ideal for downhill part and bowl, whereas cruiser skateboards are perfect for adults.
Which is the best deck material for professional skateboarding?
Pro skaters prefer maple skateboards to perform tricks and flips, as maple decks are highly durable and strong and offer great flexibility.
Do wheels make any difference in skating?
Skateboard wheels play a significant role in board performance. Wheels featuring a 99a durometer rating and up are ideal for street skating. On the other hand, harder wheels are more responsive, convenient to slide, and hold speed better on even surfaces. Such wheels absorb less energy compared to their softer counterpart, making them perfect for popping and flipping tricks.
Skateboard brands aren’t a minor thing to avoid. You have to select one brand to buy a skateboard. That’s why you should consider the difference between high quality and low quality skateboard brands.
A good skateboard by a top brand comes with durable quality, but these boards are expensive. On the other hand, low quality brands offer decent build quality, but these brands are suitable for beginners.
Hi, I am Mian. I am the Owner and Founder Of Skateboard First. I am such a huge fan of skateboarding, and I am here to enhance your experience in skateboarding.