Written by Noah Johnson (@noahvjohnson)
There are ups and downs in skateboarding—from the glory days of the 1980s when Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi achieved rock star status for their vert ramp prowess, to the dark ages of the 1990s when huge pants and bowl cuts relegated skaters to lo-fi degeneracy.
In its current iteration, skateboarding is alive and thriving. What makes it great is how disparate it is in style and character. There is no one model for a skate company to be viable. Big brands like Nike and adidas have skate programs that exist alongside small, independent brands like Magenta and Palace. Some are in it to cash in on a highly consumable sector of youth culture, others are in it simply because skateboarding is their life. There are new brands that appear seemingly out of nowhere and suddenly become cooler than cool, and there are brands that have been steadily holding court as industry leaders for the better part of three decades.
This list isn't about power or money, it's about commitment to skateboarding. The brands here tend to be skater-owned and relentlessly uncompromising in that position. Some make hardgoods, some make apparel. There are no sneaker brands—they should have their own list. Other than that, the criteria was just that they all make products for skateboarders today. Some you may be reading about for the first time, others you've known for years. Click on to see The 25 Best Skate Brands Right Now.