The skate industry sucks today, I am sure most would agree. Companies worried about image, board graphics simply are horrid, and well I feel very little magic when I set up a new board as I did when I was 10. There are still skateshops that are out there though that still have the love of skateboarding in it. Probably the best movement of the last decade is the D.I.Y. movement and creation of some unbelievable spots to ride. Even this though has been bit by the corporate bug as many companies have D.I.Y. contests as if that makes them more hesh while their products are still be made overseas. Even energy drinks like www.Redbull.com have jumped on the band wagon of something that should be so sacred for a skateboarder and marketed it to death. Redbull D.I.Y. Supply.
To sum up the current state of the industry
“Excuse me, are you guys hiring?”
“Do you have a mustache?”
“I do not.”
“Then we are not.”
This brings us to the question of what board companies should I really support these days? Boards made in America are about as rare as a perfect empty kidney pool in Antarctica.
There is no specific order to this list, but these companies all seem to have the magic and love for skateboarding in their products, graphics, teams, etc, even if they might be made overseas by 5 year olds.
Welcome Skateboards – www.welcomeskateboards.com Boards seriously cut from a different hand and the only ones to support a dude who rocks a crud flap. Sick Graphics, shapes, boards that are fun, because isn’t that why we get on these things and roll on a daily basis? The other day at the skatepark, a kid was riding a welcome board he has just set up and trying to learn 50-50s on vert, each failure resulted in a fall, the urge to get up, do it again, and well the kid was just hyped the whole time. The days of screaming and throwing your board with your hands in the air seem to be on the way out thanks to moments like this that I watched.
Lifeblood – http://lifebloodskateboards.com/ Byrce Kanight’s brain child with a team that is full of pure shred. If you ever watched Sick Boys, then you will know why to support this company.
PocketPistols – http://pocketpistols.com/ Hand Screened graphics even today, good boards, shapes etc. Chicken has kept it going with quality.
Santa Cruz – http://www.santacruzskateboards.com/ How can one argue against Santa Cruz, still keeping it going solid, even though some may say they have sold out. The art is still good, boards are still good, and that is that. Streets of Fire, Wheels of Fire.
Roger Skateboards – http://www.rogerskateboards.com/ Watch Second Hand Stoke.
SCUM Skates – http://www.scumskateboards.com/ Cholo has always been down to help anybody out getting a deck, team’s full of rippers, and the Hamm’s Bear, can’t go wrong.
Consolidated – http://www.consolidatedskateboard.com/ Infamous for its “Don’t do it” campaign and rigorous support of skateboard shops, consolidated has never sold out and always remained true to it’s origins. Since 1992 this company founded by Steve Guisinger and Steve Keenan with the goal to promote legalizing skateboarding and building skateparks. If that is not a reason to support them, I really can not think of why you should even be reading this weak attempt at an article right now.
Black Label – http://blacklabelskates.com/ 25 years old, it takes something to survive in the skateboard world for so long and stay afloat. Wade Speyer, Mumma, Greeker, Omar Hassan all ride these boards for a reason, and John Lucero still rules the curbs.
Krooked – http://krook3d.com/ Gonzales inspires simply riding down a sidewalk.
Antihero – http://www.antiheroskateboards.com/ Not much more to say except John Cardiel
Honorable Mention – GrindforLife.org Not really a board company, but they do often have boards to bid on or sale all to put an end to cancer. Too rad not to give a shout out.