When we look at the concept of an influencer in skateboarding, it’s easy to associate the term with an individual. We all have that childhood hero whose video clip made you fall in love at first sight. It’s their signature trick or their iconic style that encouraged you to chop your hair a certain length or beat yourself up for hours trying how to look half as graceful as that figure on screen.
When we apply the term to a company however, the capacity of being an influencer in the skateboarding world carries a different connotation. One that is not as directly determined by particular tricks as it is determined by a holistic effort that generates critical industry infrastructure and keeps skateboarding culture alive as we know it. At a time when much of the industry is reeling from cheap Chinese knock-offs flooding the market and pop-up independent brands trying to steal a piece of the pie, perhaps the best thing to do is to take a step back.
Here, we take a moment to acknowledge the brands that have had stake in the game long before that new wheel company that surfaced on Instagram last week. These guys are the ones who have shaped the worlds of skateboarding and longboarding from the wood shop to the skate shop and have paid their dues to warrant a spot as some of the biggest influencers in skateboarding. Take notes, kids.
Loaded Boards is one of the most prominent longboarding conglomerates in today’s scene. Under the Loaded umbrella is Loaded Snow, Orangatang Wheels and the recently acquired, Paris Trucks. Emblematic of their diverse offering, the Loaded mission is rooted in the desire to see all side-stance board sports grow to their fullest potential.
Inspired by the industries that support skate, snow and surf culture, Loaded seeks to pay homage to this heritage by carving it’s own path in the world of riding through calculated product development, a worldwide network of talented ambassadors and overall commitment to a guiding ethos, designed to celebrate their cultural and creative processes.Loaded has cemented a place as one of the most influential brands in longboarding because of their comprehensive approach to providing the perfect setup across a variety of disciplines. If you wanted to ride, for example, a Loaded Icarus, paired with a set of Paris V2 Trucks and a set of Orangatang Kegel Wheels, you could rest assured that all components had been stamped with the Loaded seal of approval.
A company started in ski country, Landyachtz has done an exceptional job of making use of Vancouver’s back country mountains to pioneer downhill skateboarding and beyond. Central to their methodology is the premise that skateboarding makes life better by providing a way to to get outside, link up with friends and express oneself.
They pridefully employ these practices on the business end of things as their DIY-minded in house workforce works to stretch their influence to global lengths. In specific example, their devotion to sustainability has long been supported by their One Board One Tree campaign, which partners with organizations that plants trees all over the world for each of their boards sold.Board after board, Landyachtz' ability to turn ideas into action has undoubtedly made them one of the most influential brands in longboarding today. If you ever wanted to try out one of Landyachtz' most refined and playful models, you’d want to do it on something like a Landyachtz Dinghy, which has been in production since 2001.
There’s a reason why a yellow 9-Ball logo has been synonymous with the international growth of longboarding for 25 years. As a result of the savvy, business-minded decisions from a group of kids who grew the brand by experience, Sector 9 has become undoubtedly the most recognizable and mainstream brand in longboarding to date.Once a tiny operation defined by pintail and surf-style cruisers, the company has gone on to establish strong global distribution centers and has successfully remained competitive in the world of corporate ownership.Sector 9 is one of the most influential brands in longboarding because of the way they have tied a laid back approach to riding to an undeniably expansive corporation. Their numbers over the years have been superior across the board and they have since gained the global following to back that up. To those who have yet to try one of their decks, odds are, you probably know someone that has a Sector 9 for you to take a spin on. If not, however, something like a the Sector 9 Wedge would be a great choice to get started on.
Signified by one of the most iconic sets of branding in skateboarding’s history, Element Skateboards has grown to be responsible for significant contributions to skateboarding and the world around it through an emphasis on nature, art direction and some of the most talented team riders of all time.Under the feet of names ranging from Margera to Vallely to Muska to Huston and as of late, Tyson Peterson, Element boards have played an integral part of some of the biggest tricks that have ever gone down.For an incredible reputation and a sense of longevity that has been woven into the fabric of street skateboarding and creative expression, Element is certainly one of the most influential brands in skateboarding. Nowhere near slowing down, we recommend checking out their newest drop for a breath of fresh air.
Started in unison with Powell Peralta, Bones has become one of skateboarding’s most beloved and influential powerhouses in the wheel and bearing departments for longer than most companies would ever dream of staying in operation.Proudly made in America, Bones has made proper use of the past several decades to fundamentally redefine the possibilities of the urethane wheel in terms of durability and quality. Backed by the success of the past and primed to support the future of skateboarding, Bones has done their research and has evidently gotten it right, judging by the thousands of skateboards carried by their wheels across the globe.To get a chance on some of the most advanced wheels that modern skateboarding has to offer, ridden by one of vert skateboarding’s most experienced faces, have a gander at the latest Bones Bucky Lasek Pro Wheels.
To truly have a valid conversations over which skateboarding brands have been the most influential over the years, you have to start at the beginning. Deservedly so, Powell Peralta has long been the name synonymous with pioneering proper skateboard building technology and consistently refining the game over the years.Since the late 70’s, Powell Peralta has been there for nearly every step of skateboarding’s development. Whether it was sticking through the shift from backyard pool/ramp skating to street skating or filming the videos that documented the change, Powell Peralta’s team riders and decks have proved to be an integral part of skateboarding’s continued history. In addition to regularly celebrating their lineage, they have continued to push forth in the way of technological advancements in their offering.As a result of decades supporting skateboarding both in the workshop and in the streets, Powell Peralta is to considered one of skateboarding’s most significant influencers. To get a taste of their work for yourself, take a spin on the Powell-Peralta Flight Skateboard and feel the culmination of over four decades of product development.
How'd We Do?
We're stoked that you've made it this far but we still have to ask: Did we leave any of your favorite brands on this list? Maybe we hit the nail on the head in your opinion? Either way, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, feel free to drop them below or hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.