When it comes to big brands there is Zumiez skateboards, which offers a ton of skate apparel, as well. You likely know this brand from your local mall, but we did a deep dive to explain everything about this brand for you.
Unlike Vans and other brands, Zumiez is not a producer of anything. They simply sell products from other companies - making them a unique company, in the world of skateboarding.
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Best Zumiez Gear
Santa Cruz Skateboard
- Why it's rad: Sick board from Santa Cruz - old school, but still awesome. 🤙 🛹
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Carhartt Men's Knit Cuffed Beanie
- Why it's rad: Stylish beanie, with a ton of great reviews.
- Buy at Amazon
DC Men's Stag Low Top Skate Shoe
- Why it's rad: These sick skate shoes are super padded for ollies, and they're also super comfy.
- Buy at Amazon
What Is Zumiez?
Zumiez was founded in 1978, and slowly morphed into the world’s largest seller of both hard and soft skateboarding goods. Around 2000, they moved to online shopping, and then got a serious investment from a venture capital firm.
Zumiez then rapidly expanded, existing in basically every major mall in America. They can make or break your brand, and it’s usually in your best interest to work with them, if you’re a smaller skateboard brand.
However, in the classic ‘big companies crush small companies’ scenario, Zumiez can end up crushing tiny companies. They get merchandise for less money, and sure they’ll blast your goods out everywhere - but you’ll have to ramp up your production.
At a certain point, Zumiez might even knock off your product - leaving you high and dry. Zumiez also takes business from smaller skate shops, potentially putting them out of business.
However, the experience at Zumiez is much different than what you’ll get from your local skate shop. You’ll get a general skate experience at Zumiez, but you might not get custom tweaks to your board.
Interestingly, Zumiez does not sponsor skaters, which is unusual for a skate company. There is also a unique design to the individual stores - they have an organized chaos aesthetic.
In terms of what they sell, Zumiez carries anything that may be seen on the X Games. Swim gear, skate gear, snowboard gear, BMX biking gear - tons of inventory.
Just like Target and Costco though, if they can’t sell merchandise, they won’t buy more. Therefore, being in Zumiez can be a make or break move for smaller brands.
Zumiez also has an advantage compared to brands like Vans. If Vans as a brand goes down in popularity, all of their revenue will go down.
However, Zumiez has a huge variety of brands, so if sales go down for one brand, they can just lose that inventory, and not lose any money. It’s a pretty smart business model, and one that has proven very profitable.
The list of Zumiez competitors includes Billabong, Vans, O’Neill, Hurley, and others. In the future, they may move beyond being in malls, into other spheres.
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What Was Zumiez Called Before It Was Zumiez?
Zumiez was originally named Above The Belt, and opened in the Northgate Mall in Seattle. The year was 1978, and it couldn’t have been more different than the way Zumiez stores are now.
The company swiftly grew in the Washington state area. During the 1990s and 2000s, the brand really take off, growing to 600+ stores - in just the United States alone.
What Kind Of Style Is Zumiez?
Zumiez would be classified as carrying streetwear, as well as sports apparel. They have a heavy leaning towards extreme sports, like X Games activities.
Stoked Ride Shop Complete
- Why it's rad: Hand built in CA. Dragon BUILT Bearings are a premium bearing and the tool + wax are a rad bonus to round out this great deal.
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Can You Shop Online At Zumiez?
Yes, Zumiez was fairly early to the online space. You can order online, and even pick up your merchandise in your preferred store.
You will actually get free shipping to your local store, if you order online. While this may take a little longer, the free shipping is possibly worth it - it really depends on your perspective.
Are Tillys And Zumiez The Same?
These companies are similar, but not the same. Tillys is smaller than Zumiez, operating fewer stores, but in terms of inventory the two brands are quite similar.
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Do You Have To Skate To Work At Zumiez?
No, you do not have to skate to work at Zumiez. They largely hire based on your personality, as well as your selling ability.
If you want to work on the corporate side, you’ll need to have a solid educational background. This means a bachelor’s degree, or possibly a master’s degree - ideally in a business category.
What Size Skateboard Should A 12 Year Old Get?
For a 12 year old, there are no hard and fast rules for skateboard size. However, we recommend a 7.25” - 7.375" size board - this should make it very easy for them to stay balanced on, as well as to learn on.
Is A 8.0 Skateboard Good For Beginners?
Yes, this is an excellent size for beginner skateboarders. You can even go slightly smaller, and choose 7.75”.
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What Is The Cheapest Price For A Skateboard?
While you can spend as little at $25 for a skateboard, we wouldn’t really recommend it. Spending at least $50 (if not more) for your first board is a wise idea - as you’ll get better trucks, a better quality deck, and more.
What's The Best Type Of Skateboard For Beginners?
This really depends on what exactly you want to do. If you want to cruise around, try a longboard.
If you want to do tricks, a short board will instead be best. A popsicle board will have a curved nose and tail, making it easier to pop your board for ollies and tricks.
What Is The Best Skateboard Brand?
We don’t think there is just one skateboard brand that is best. Rather, we think there are many different brands who make excellent skate gear.
Any of the picks on our list will be from reputable companies. Generally, the older the company is, the better their boards will be.
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What Are The Different Types Of Skateboards?
There are a number of different skateboards, and with the rise of technology, there will only be more to come. There are electric skateboards, longboards, downhill longboards, carve skateboards, the mini-cruiser, and the classic double-kick popsicle board.
What Is The Best Size Skateboard For 10 Year Olds?
A width of 7.5” to 8” is generally best for 10 year olds. Of course, there are no real hard and fast rules, this is just generally what works best.
What Is A Good Price To Pay For A Skateboard?
$60 to $150 is good for beginners. However, expert skaters will want to spend substantially more, as they will need hardware upgrades, as well as stronger boards.
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10 Best Products From Zumiez
1. Thrasher Flame Short Sleeve T-Shirt
We love Thrasher magazine - always have, always will. This awesome flame shirt shows exactly why.
It screams that you love skateboarding, without being ostentatious. It also has a classic and timeless look, making it one of our absolute favorites, when it comes to skate gear.
2. Santa Cruz Wave Dot T-Shirt
Santa Cruz is one of the oldest skateboard brands out there. This great t-shirt shows just why.
It’s stylish, durable, and looks good on anyone. We like the yellow color option best, but your mileage may vary.
3. Spitfire Formula Four 99D Wheels
These awesome wheels come in a wide variety of colors, and are very affordable. They’ll also last forever, which we love.
There’s no shortage of love for Spitfire wheels, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re a serious skater, these are highly recommended - you just need to pair them with a 7-ply deck, and ABEC bearings.
4. Riot Society Men's T-Shirt
With a million designs to choose from, this is a great t-shirt for skating. You can also wear it lounging, as well as in other locations.
We don’t think you’ll ever have an issue fitting in, as it is a perfect way to tell people you’re a little alternative. Highly recommended, and we’ve got 3 different styles of this shirt already.
5. Dickies Men's Sanded Duck Carpenter Jean
This awesome carpenter jean is great for skating, as well as numerous other activities. We also love all the five star reviews, as well as how cool we looked in them.
Our girlfriends liked them too, which is always a good sign. We highly recommend these indestructible jeans - they’ll last forever, plus they’re very stylish.
6. Powell Peralta Ripper One Off Complete Skateboard
We love Powell as a company, and the design on this complete board is truly awesome. You’ll turn a ton of heads and make a lot of friends with this one.
With mini logo trucks, along with birch construction, this is a very solid board. Add in the great reviews, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
7. DC Men's Cap
DC has long been known for making high quality skateboarding gear. This cap is no exception, and will look great with a backpack, while you ride your board.
While brands like Adidas and Vans are great, we have a soft spot for brand like DC and Etnies. A must buy, and a great accessory for any outfit.
8. Krown Snowskate
This awesome snowskate is a stellar way to have fun on the mountain. ☃️🏂 We love the price, as well as all the killer ratings.
When it comes to snow sports, there are tons of options out there. This super fun snowskate will make things easy, and you’ll love hitting the fresh powder every morning.
9. WDIRARA Active Track Shorts
These awesome track shorts are perfect for many different activities. Whether it’s skating, lounging, or hitting the beach - they’ll be a perfect match.
They’re also very affordable, which we love. And if that isn’t enough - they’re backed by a ton of five star reviews.
10. Carhartt Men's Knit Cuffed Beanie
This beanie has a ton of great reviews, and it’s very affordable. We love the simple, minimalist style, as well.
While you can certainly spend more, and get a bigger name brand - we don’t think it’s worth it. This beanie will go perfect with your favorite skateboard deck and flip tricks, so grab one at your leisure.
[Should you buy a complete or custom skateboard?]
Other Factors To Consider
Zumiez has been around forever - and they carry brands like Enjoi, Santa Cruz, Krooked Primitive, Diamond Supply company, and even beginners skateboards. If you’re buying your first skateboard, Zumiez may be a good option, but you may not be able to customize your board at a Zumiez location, as your skills grow.
The best skateboards offer durability, and your local skate shop will know how to tweak and adjust your board for maximum turning, longevity, and much more. A skateboard complete is a good first option, but for a pro skateboard you may not want to go to Zumiez - instead, you may want to go to a local, specialized skateboard shop.
If you need to make adjustments to your skateboard trucks, your skateboard wheels, or other parts of your board, a local skateshop may be a better option. They will also likely have better choices when it comes to backpacks, grip tape, t-shirts, and other items.
Brands like Thrasher have long maintained that local skateparks and skate shops provide the best experience - plus they’re great for the community. If you’re a beginner, a Zumiez is probably fine - but experts will probably want to head to a local skate shop, instead.
The Bottom Line On Zumiez
Zumiez accelerated from a tiny, niche company - into a global behemoth. With stores in practically every mall in America, they’ve completely taken over the skate market, as well as the alternative apparel market.
It’s pretty impressive that they made such an impact, in such a short amount of time. Expert skaters may be better served by going to local, specialized skate shops, but for the general skater - Zumiez is a great choice.
If you’re buying your first skateboard, they offer a huge selection of longboards and short boards. You can also grab skate shoes, hoodies, and so much more - all in one place.
Zumiez offers a one-stop shop for all things skating - and they’re probably within 20 minutes of your house. And if you liked this article, be sure to check out some of our other comprehensive guides.