In the skateboarding industry, brands tend to come and go with ease. It’s rare for them to stay in the spotlight for any substantial amount of time. But the constant reshuffling of the deck (pun not intended) allows for a rotation of new brands to make a name for themselves. Whether they’re known primarily for their skateboarding parts essential to the craft (like decks, trucks, wheels, and shoes) or for their apparel and accessories, the skateboarding universe has been expanding ever since the sport caught the attention of the mainstream in the late ‘90s. Everyone may remember exactly where they were when Tony Hawk landed the 900° on national television, but the world of skateboarding brands is much larger than just that and more expansive than you may realize.
Skateboarding has also become a major source of inspiration for high-end fashion brands, as they design their own interpretations of the skate culture and style from graphic T-shirts, five-panel hats, cropped, wide-leg pants, and skateboarding sneakers from the brands like Vans. But there’s no faking the original, and the brands that do it best are the ones that have a long-time heritage in the sport of the board, unlike the luxury labels simply trying to capitalize on the look.
While no two brands are exactly the same and it’s difficult to compare them, the brands on this list are among those that offer their own unique spin on the skateboarding experience, which often comes from their own personal stories and love of skateboards that they discovered in their childhood. In a saturated market that now spans from the technical side of skating to streetwear-centered style brands, these are the ones that stand out the most. From the young upstarts to those with a long legacy to their name, these are the best skateboard brands out there, so get familiar—and at least learn to kickflip, man.