Retro-styled skateboards inspired by sidewalk surfing
As always, what's old is new again. Conjuring up memories of butt-bombing hills and weaving cones like in the days of Dog Town, many companies are remaking retro-styled banana boards that combine the concept of yesteryear with the superior materials of today. The low-tech, high-performance cruisers are quick, stout and a hell of a lot more fun than that monstrous longboard you don't ride anyway. Plus they come in a bevy of bright colors and who doesn't love that?
Best known for making skateboard shoes, Globe has recently ventured into the hardgoods market with the highlight being the Bantam Cruiser. This wicked little board grips and rips due to a shortened wheel base and big, soft 62mm wheels. Plus the slolam-inspired shape tapers toward the tail for a zippy feel bound to make you ride like you're surfing. Like its 1970s forefathers, the Bantam Cruiser is available in multiple color combinations. Find it directly from Globe for $100.
Dedicated solely to reproducing traditional plastic banana boards, Australia's Penny Skateboards makes the ideal knock-around cruiser in heaps of different colorways. Essentially a hunk of plastic, the 22" long 6" wide deck doesn't differ much from that which Penny founder Ben Mackay learned to skate on at age five. The wheels, trucks and hardware, on the other hand, are all made with high-performance materials up to date with modern tech. If you're in Oz, pick one up directly from Penny, otherwise Tactics has an assortment of colors available from around $100.
Girl + Crailtap
While this cruiser may not officially be a banana board, it firmly adheres to the less-is-more mantra, and has one painted on the bottom. Made by Girl skateboards for Crailtap, one of the industry's most entertaining blogs, this pared-down skateboard features slight concave, real grip tape and a more elongated shape, meaning it can be shredded like a real skateboard or kept for a cruiser like a traditional banana. Available only in limited numbers in one colorway, the Crailboard can be found on Skate Warehouse online for $100.