The Board Blazers Blog


7 Skateboard Brands About to Break Out!

In an industry as saturated as skateboarding, it can be hard to get your product or brand noticed. There are thousands (maybe millions!) of choices when you skate. From your selection of board and wheels to helmets accessories and clothing, it can be hard to set yourself apart from the crowd with gear that’s quality but also unique enough to express your individual style. We’re breaking down some up-and-coming skateboarding companies and brands that you’ll definitely want to watch. And why not pick up some gear while you’re at it?


First up is a company we’ve admired for some time. Not only do they produce the best skateboarding wheels around, but they also have an apparel line that puts all that mainstream skate junk to shame. With unique designs that go way beyond their logo (although that’s pretty rad too), BDubz has something for every skater. And seriously, don’t skip their wheels, we dare you not to fall in love with them on your first ride (try Gambler’s Blades – they look sick at night next to Board Blazers!). They’re the only company which secured a patent on their lightweight alloy skateboard rims, so you know it’s going to be legit. Hit up their website or give them a follow on Instagram @bdubzwheels – you won’t regret it!

 


Speaking of all things RAD, you’ve got to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of pro skater Sierra Prescott. This skater girl has everything going for her! Not only is she in possession of some mad skills when it comes to skateboarding, but she’s also a budding professional photographer, model, and last year she launched her brand, “Life is Rad” as a collaboration with Street Plant Brand. As longtime believers in the power of positivity and the love of all things skate, we can totally get behind the motto! Pick up some of her gear, which includes boards, stickers, and apparel before it’s gone! And if you aren’t already following her, head over to her Instagram page at @sierra_prescott – we dare you not to be inspired!




When we first heard about BoardUp, we could barely believe what they promised us: a FOLDABLE longboard that doesn’t sacrifice performance or style. For as long as skateboarding has existed, it’s been a challenge to travel with your board. And for almost just as long, inventors have been trying to come up with a way to make a more compact version of a skate deck. Just look at the popularity of Penny boards! But for those of us who prefer longboarding and cruising, we’ve resigned ourselves to our larger skate decks. No more!! BoardUp offers an incredible skateboard that folds in the middle to fit into a standard size backpack! Their 100% unique design is totally genius and is changing the game of longboarding. If you check out nothing else, make sure to give them a look – they’re revolutionizing an industry! Follow them on IG @goboardup for more.

 

 


If you’re looking for a little more girl power in your life, look no further than GirlShredClips on Instagram. Their goal is to share videos and photos of female skaters regardless of their level of experience. From newbies to old pros, they’re all about fostering the female skate community, and that’s a mission we fully support. Their account will bring you laughs, feels, and skate inspiration galore. If you’re a shredder chick, start tagging them in your vids, you might get some awesome exposure! For anyone who loves this sport and the community that surrounds it, @girlsshredclips is a must follow.

 

Raise your hand if you’d like to be better at skateboard tricks! Now that everyone’s hands are in the air, we’re here to bring you the solution: Skate Trainers. Nope, that’s not a fancy service that comes out and teaches you private lessons. Skate Trainers are rubber slips for your wheels that are small enough to fit into your pocket but deliver big time. Simply slip them over your wheels while trying to perfect your jumping motions, and you eliminate the board’s ability to slide away from you. Spend a while perfecting your major moves, then remove the Skate Trainers and focus on keeping your board underneath you. Believe us when we say they work! You can learn skate tricks in a fraction of the time it would typically take. Pick up a pair and then follow them @skatertrainer for more tips and tricks!

 


It’s the dream we all hope for: a group of friends gets together to skate, and after a while, they’re all so legendary that they start their own brand and inspire skaters all over the world! Our friends TXLongboarders are living that very dream. And while they were already excellent skaters when they began this journey, now they’re incredible skaters with a rad following and some killer merch. If you’re looking for some of the freshest longboarding videos around, then look no further. From hill bombs to garage night shreds, you could watch their content for hours – and you should! Give them a follow @txlongboarders and grab some of their dope gear!

 


Do you ever find it hard to stow your board safely? Sure, you can toss it on a shelf or into a corner, but it’s designed to be mobile, and if you’re like us, you find your board rolling around without you more than you would like. The Parking Block is here to solve all of your skateboard storage problems! It can safely store and display both vert and street boards, as well as most longboards. You’ll be glad to stop scratching and smudging your walls while still keeping your board safe and not tripping over it in the middle of the night (not that we’ve ever had that happen ;)). The molded plastic sits flat on the floor while its rubberized base safely supports your board in an upright position. And with the low price, there’s no reason not to give this a try! Learn more by following them @parkingblock.company.

If you were looking for inspiration, we hope you’ve found it here! From motivational content to revolutionary design to helpful gadgets, there’s enough here to keep you busy for ages! So get out there and try out something new – let us know how it goes! Reach out on Instagram @boardblazers and let us know what you think of our picks!


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10 Sick Skate Spots Without A Skatepark Nearby

It's easy to rock at something with the best equipment, tons of time to practice, and every resource at your fingertips. But it can be frustrating to be so passionate about boarding and feel like you don't have a place to really practice. But that's not what skating is about: working with what you have, hanging with friends, trying that ollie until you've got it perfect, making do with a park bench – that's what makes skating unique! The team here at Board Blazers is passionate about working with what we've got, and that's why we're so pumped to bring you this list of the 10 best places to skate when "there's no skate park near me!"

1. Community college/University campus
Most every city has a community college or even a university nearby. These are killer places to skate because they typically have large paved or concrete areas, tons of benches, parking lots with curbs, big staircases with rails, and loads of other awesome skateboarding opportunities. As a bonus, the campus is usually less busy on nights and weekends so you can really go big! Campus security can be a bust, but be cool to them, and they'll be cool to you. Click here to find a community college in your hood!

2. Malls with large parking lots
Similar to community colleges, malls and corner shopping centers with large parking lots have a ton of opportunities for skaters: lots of curbing, handicap ramps, rails, and open expanses for cruising. Plus, they're usually well lit at night. As always, be safe and look out for cars (and pedestrians) since parking lots can be busy places at any time of day.

3. Parking garage
Take the elevator to the top floor and bomb the ramp all the way to the bottom. The possibilities here are pretty much endless: get some serious downhill speed, curbing, long stretches of sloped concrete, stairs, railing, the occasional bench or garbage can-get creative! However, be EXTREMELY cautious and careful while skating a garage. Cars will not be expecting you. It's best to try for a time at night when the garage near you is less busy.

4. The back of warehouse stores
Make sure you hit these places up after hours, but with multiple loading docks for trucks, plenty of handrails for workers' safety, dumpsters, pallets, and who knows what else on any given night, these places are like Disneyland for skaters. With huge expanses of wide open concrete, and little traffic after the store's closing time, this is a great place to meet up with your friends, bump some tracks, and get to work perfecting your latest trick.

Need to find the perfect spot to skate?

5. Community park
Stuck in suburbia? Don't be too down about it. Almost every community has parks that can be awesome for skateboarding. Every park is different, but most of them have lots of paved paths, benches & railings, playground equipment, shady ramadas with picnic tables, basketball courts and tons of other killer skating opportunities.

4. Large suburban neighborhoods
Are long cruises your jam? Most housing areas provide lengthy stretches of pavement or sidewalk. Use these to take a sweet night ride either alone or with your skate crew. Big neighborhoods provide a sweet cruising spot without having to cross major street traffic. Don't get stuck in the same rut, try different routes through your hood, and take a swing down some new streets!

6. Local attractions
Live near the beach? Cruise the boardwalk and grind on those retaining walls. Got a large sports arena nearby? Go check it out on day where there isn't a game, and you have it all to yourself. Is there a local museum in your city? Might be a killer spot after hours! Anything and anywhere that is paved is your playground! See what kind of awesome local haunts you can find.

7. Bike or pedestrian paths
Loads of cities are becoming more bike-friendly, and while our feelings are a little hurt that they don't always include skaters in their plans, we can forgive them. Especially since those super long (often MILES long) stretches of concrete or paved pathway provide us with ample spots to cruise, practice tricks, meet up with our crew, or whatever that day holds. Look for spots where paths cross under major streets - underpasses can be killer for tricks & jumps. Major bonus if you can find large drainage pipes! Look out for hilly places on pedestrian paths – you're likely to find some stairs and handrails there that would be perfect for grinding! Click here to find a list of bike paths near you!

9. Your own house/street
It's not as fun or exotic as a beach boardwalk or an amazing skate park, but there's nothing like being familiar with a spot to help you improve your consistency, especially when you're trying to master a new skill. If you're short on time or freedom to wander, you can enjoy a great skate on your home turf. Crank some tunes and hit the pavement – you'll be glad you did.

10. Keep your eyes open and look around!
Your new favorite skating spot could be literally just around the corner. Get out there with your friends and go find a great spot! Keep your eyes open while you're driving around town; you might see the perfect place. Get creative – you'll be surprised what you might find. Take a cruise on your board to some new spots and just take it all in. You might just find a sick secret place to grind. Want to share your spot with your crew? Check out these tips for how to best use skateboarding forums online.

As always, remember to be safe while you skate. Always wear a helmet, be careful to obey local laws and look out for vehicles. And, if you're skating at night, Board Blazers are always a good idea. Don't skate in places that are restricted or fenced off. If you're asked by security to leave, just move on and remember that the next best skating spot could be right around the corner.

Image sources: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.


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ESK8: An Obsession

ESK8 (short for electric skateboarding) is everywhere. Whether you’re beachside, walking through a park, or down the sidewalk of a college campus, we can pretty much guarantee you’ll see someone riding an electric skateboard within moments. This fun activity and reliable mode of transportation has rocketed in popularity in the last few years, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. Brands like Meepo and Boosted Boards were virtually unknown until the past few years, and now they possess a significant amount of the skateboarding market share. Where did these boards come from? How do they work? Are they safe and reliable? Today we’re telling you everything you need to know about the worldwide trend sweeping skateboarding: ESK8!

Electric Skateboards aren’t necessarily a new concept. In fact, as skateboarding itself was coming of age in the 1970s, a student at Berkely patented the first motor-powered skateboard. If you know anything about the sleek and well designed electric skateboards of today, imagine the exact opposite, and you’ll get a perfect vision of the MotoBoard. A gasoline-powered outboard motor pushed the board forward, and control wasn’t exactly straightforward. It’s unsurprising that California later banned the skateboard for environmental and safety reasons. We can’t blame them. Riding around crowded cities on a flammable deck powered by gasoline and a weed-trimmer motor sounds less than safe. But the idea had been hatched, and as with most great ideas, it wouldn’t lay dormant for long.


The idea resurfaced in the early 2000s as battery technology improved. These models were the first to utilize wireless technology, allowing their control to remain literally in the hands of the rider by way of a remote. And while powering a skateboard with electricity was far safer and greener than the previous gasoline models, batteries and micro-motor technology was still a new and developing field. One of the first electric skateboards would have set you back over $1500 in 2001 – yikes! But as lithium battery technology improved, and the world became accustomed to all things wireless, skateboarding manufacturers were finally able to create an electric skateboard with enough torque to produce a decent speed at a low enough price point to be tempting to the general skateboarding populace. From 2012 through 2015 tons of ESK8 companies raced to bring their products to market and get in front of consumers. And by 2016 electric skateboarding was a full-blown trend!


Electric skateboards are powered by lithium batteries, and they create their movement in two main ways. Some models have batteries that power a motor that uses a pulley to move the wheels, and others have motors within the wheels themselves! You’ll notice a speed and consequently a price difference between the two types. Motors within each wheel are less complex (hence the lower price tag), but produce less power and therefore a slightly slower board. Pulley motors create higher speed, but are more mechanically complex and therefore more expensive than their wheel motor counterparts. As for control, you also have two options: a handheld remote, or a system that allows you to shift your weight to control speed and direction, much like a Segway scooter.

While they’ve always been entertaining as a sporting toy, these boards are quickly becoming a primary mode of transportation for a large swath of people. Students to urban businesspeople are quickly seeing the draw of the electric skateboard for commuting. While you won’t get much (or any) exercise using one of these boards, with top speeds of 20-30mph you can reasonably commute short to medium distances on and ESK8 board, as long as you have a paved surface from your home to your place of business or study. In many cases where population and traffic density is a huge issue, electric skateboarding to work or school could actually be faster than driving your car! As with any fast-moving vehicle, safety is of the essence, which is why we recommend skaters of ANY type always wear a helmet, remain aware of their surroundings for theirs and other’s safety, and ride with Board Blazers to make themselves more visible in the evening hours. Skateboarding safety is even more essential when you’re eskateing - traveling at speeds that rival those of an automobile.


Electric skateboarding isn’t going anywhere. These companies have staked out their market, and skaters are fiercely loyal to different brands like Boosted, Meepo, and InBoard. And as with any new industry, the boundaries are being pushed even further. Lately, off-road electric skateboard models are en vogue, able to easily traverse grass, gravel, and even compact sand! With wheels that look like those of a fat tire bike, soon skateboarders will be all over the beach itself, not just the boardwalk!

We’re digging this new ESK8 trend, and we’re glad it’s here to stay! What about you – love it? Hate it? Reach out on Instagram @BoardBlazers and tell us what you think!


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How To Learn To Skateboard By Yourself

So you want to learn to skateboard, but you’re not so keen on the idea of paying for lessons. And it’s helpful to know exactly where to start, especially if you’re trying to make the transition from “Total Beginner” to “Won’t Make A Complete Fool Of Myself At The Skate Park.”

Assuming you already have your skateboard and safety gear, here are the steps to learn to skateboard by yourself.

1. Practice your stance first

Find a soft place, like a patch of grass or a floor of carpet. This is the time to get comfortable with your stance and the feel of the board. 

Figure out if you’re regular- or goofy-footed; that is, if you’re more comfortable with your left foot forward or your right foot forward. 

Once you’re in position, bounce a little bit, feeling how the board moves and flexes. Practice getting on and off the board and finding your balance.

2. Fall

Or rather, practice falling properly. Think of it this way--you’re going to fall, so get the anxiety about when out of the way. You also want to practice your form to help minimize injuries.

Stay loose, and try and roll out of every fall to minimize the damage.

3. Start skateboarding on a level surface

First, practice pushing off with your rear foot, and bringing it back onto the board in the stance you practiced in step 1. Then, try a wide turn, leaning your weight in the direction you want to turn and feeling the board slowly carry you around. 

Once you’re comfortable with the wide turn, and you’ve done it successfully a few times, try a sharp turn. To do this, gently put some pressure on the back of the board and lift the nose off the ground just a smidge, then swing the board in the direction you want to turn.

You’ll also want to practice stopping, which consists of you gently putting your back foot on the ground and dragging it along until you come to a stop.

4. Watch skaters to learn tricks

Once you’re at a place where you can pretty comfortably stay on your board and turn without falling off, it’s time to take things up a notch.

This means hanging out at skate parks and watching more experienced skaters land some sweet moves. Pay close attention to what they’re doing, and think about how you can practice it at home. 

You’ll also want to find some good skate videos, for the same reason. Chances are, you’re bound to find experienced skaters doing something awesome that you hadn’t even considered!

5. Use SkaterTrainers to practice your tricks

Isn’t it a bummer when you know the parts of a trick, but you can’t practice them individually?

Well, with SkaterTrainers, you actually can. These are nifty little wheel-stoppers that hold your board in place and allow you to try tricks in slow motion, practicing your moves without fear of the board sliding out of control.

SkaterTrainers

 

Another possibility is to return to that starter patch of grass and practice there.

6. Go skate!

You can stand on a board, push off, turn, and land a couple basic tricks. Now, you’re ready to start really learning--but to get to the next level, you’ll need to find some friends at the skate park.

Scope out intermediate-to-advanced skaters, ask if they’ll show you how to do that thing they just did, and BAM--skater friends!

Conclusion

Learning to skateboard by yourself can be a process of trial and error--but by taking it slow and practicing these basic steps, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the board.

Experienced skaters--what are your tips for beginners? Let us know on Instagram @boardblazers!

 

Photo credit: Erich Ferdinand//flu,


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Best SoCal Skate Shops

Southern California: from San Diego to Ventura, Carlsbad to Orange County this is the epicenter of everything skateboarding! With a sports culture birthed from surfers in the ’70s and ’80s, it makes sense that the largest concentration of skaters is located near the beach where the weather is perfect nearly all year long. While there are plenty of other places that foster a strong love for the sport (we see you, Texas, New York, Florida & lots of other rad places!), nowhere is skate culture more prominent and defined than the mecca of all things skate: SoCal. With such a densely populated area and a huge skateboarding following, you have lots of choices when you shop, but it’s tough to sort through the heavy competition for your spending cash. Today we’re bringing you the ultimate list of the best skateboard shops in SoCal. You could spend hours in each one chatting with knowledgeable staff and fellow skaters. Whether you live in the area or are planning a trip to the epicenter of skate, plan to stop in at each of these rad stores!!


Programme Skate & Sound
2495 E. Chapman Ave
Fullerton, CA 92831

This rad mix of skate shop and underground music haven will have you wanting to stay for hours. Pop in to get expert advice from the knowledgeable staff, and stay a while talking to other local skaters exchanging war stories. While you’re here, you’ll get a taste of some of the best up-and-coming musicians anywhere in LA. Always repping new sick bands and staying true to their genre, you’ll get something new and awesome every time you stop in, so make this place one of your frequent hangouts! And it just so happens that our all-time favorite skater, Tech Na$ty rides for them. You might catch him there some afternoon!

NonFactory Skateshop
110 San Pedro St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

A sick spot in the middle of Little Tokyo, NonFactory is full of ultra-legit and devoted staff. They know everything about anything skateboarding, even competing in and often winning many local skate competitions as a team. They have every part you could possibly need, and if they don’t, they’ll order it for you. You can have your foot and board sized to fit, and their staff is fantastic at providing great advice for any level of skater from novice to pro. Make sure you hit this spot up on your trip to LA and then grab some delicious Japanese food after!


District Skates
10221 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

District skates is all about preserving the hand-crafted artistry that made skateboarding what it is today. You won’t find any mass-produced boards here; everything is made in shop by one of their uber-talented team of skateboard artisans. Every step of the process of board production happens on site, and they take pride in the uniqueness of each skateboard. They aim to stay connected to the sport and the culture by creating each piece themselves. These are some of the most high-quality and downright beautiful skateboards you’ll ever see. If you’re a local, you need one of these in your arsenal. If you’re making a skate pilgrimage to SoCal, then make sure to take one of these boards back home as the best souvenir in history.

LA Skate Co
5401 Santa Monica Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90029

The oldest and certainly the most revered SoCal skate shop, LA Skate Co should be on any skater’s bucket list. They’ve been around since 1979 and “by the grace of the Universe,” they’re still open! If you’re a beginner, you don’t need to feel intimidated here, despite its history and the slew of locals who hang out. Their whole goal is to foster skateboarding and the culture surrounding it, which means teaching new skaters is just part of the fun! You can walk in totally green and leave well on your way to becoming a legit skater! With an insane selection of gear, you could and should kill an hour or two here on your next SoCal trip!

5 Points Skate Shop
2787 E. Main St.
Ventura, CA 93003

Further north in LA county you will find the very best place to live out both your skate and snowboarding dreams! With legendary customer service, you’ll get the low down on local skateboarding haunts and expert advice whether you’re surfing the streets or the slopes. The owner has been skating since the 1970s and is passionate about all things skate. When you’re in north county make sure to swing by and check it out!


The Skatelab
TBD

Anyone who knows anything about skating has heard of The Skatelab. A legendary indoor park and associated store in Simi Valley, it was the stuff of skateboarding legend. Anyone who could make a pilgrimage would and no one left disappointed. But in the saddest news in recent skateboarding history, the shop and skatepark abruptly announced it would be closing its doors in early 2019. So why would we tease you and include it in this list? Well friends, just last month Skatelab announced that a NEW location in Simi will open in 2019!! As they say, it was the end of an era, but not the end of Skatelab. Stay tuned to their website and Instagram to get details as soon as they’re available!

There are hundreds of reasons to visit southern California: beaches, weather, Hollywood, and Disneyland just to name a few. But if you're a true skateboard lover at heart, that's the only reason you need to explore the motherland of skate. If you’re local, branch out to one of these rad stores (unless you’re already so cool you knew all of this – props!) and see what you learn. If you’ve been dying for a reason to visit the golden state, now you have all the ammunition you need. Pack your backpack, book a plane ticket and come dive deep into skateboarding culture – you might never want to go home!


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