15 Ukrainian skateboard brands
A list of active local brands that make decks
In this article, I decided to gather a bunch of Ukrainian skateboard brands that produce boards. To be honest, it was not easy to do. I was not interested just in collecting titles and Instagram pages. I wanted to find out who is behind the brand, a short story of creation, and ask about plans for the future. As a result, we have a list of 15 active Ukrainian skateboard brands that produce boards.

Let's start with brands that could be called Ukrainian for 100%. Today there are 4 brands that make boards in Ukraine: Around, SMSL, Eclipse, and Mint. It means that the boards of these brands are manufactured locally. Wood, molds, glue, shapes, and graphics – all these stages were done here in Ukraine to create the final product and present it to customers.
Around Skateboards
Brand Around was founded by two brothers from Kharkiv: Senia and Seva Ivanov, in winter-2015. Since then, the brothers have been releasing small collections of boards almost every month, updating their prints and improving production technology. The boards are handmade in Kharkiv. The last New Year's drop took place on December 28, 2021, with a print of fire. Brothers do everything together, but each of them has his own area of responsibility.
For example, Senia is responsible for the design and Seva is responsible for the video content.

There is no official team of riders yet, only guys. But “Around” plans to conduct full-fledged recruitment for sponsorship soon. As for the video content, it used to be short edits on Youtube, but now the brand's focus is more on Instagram. The new collection will be at the end of January 2022.

Around in Instagram
SMSL
As the founder of the SMSL brand, Ilya Pakhomov told us that the idea of making boards originated in him at the age of 17, and only 5 years later in 2018 the first experiments with boards began. He is currently working on boards in a workshop in Kyiv. The last collection was released in November 2021.
Graphics are made by silk-screen printing and at the same time, Ilya works on new technology for applying color prints. The brand does not have an official team of riders yet: there are just friends and like-minded people whom Ilya helps with boards. A new collection of decks is already in progress. The drop is scheduled for February 1, 2022.

SMSL in Instagram
Eclipse
The Eclipse board brand appeared a few years ago. Production is located in Ukraine, in Korosten, Zhytomyr region. We can say that now it is more a custom story than a stream production.

Eclipse in Instagram

MINT
MINT was founded in August 2021 by a skater from Kyiv Serhiy Shkvarnikov, founder of Fusion Project, as a side brand. Serhiy paid attention to one of the local productions, and he liked the quality of the boards. He saw this as a prospect and decided to launch a young brand. MINT boards are made in Kyiv. The brand has not yet had full-fledged collections, the boards were produced in small batches. We can say that the brand is now in its infancy. There is no team of riders yet, nor official pages.

The main idea of the brand is to support the young generation of riders, so the brand's attention will be focused on young and promising skaters. Unofficially, there are two riders on the team now: Ilya and Max. Drop boards with new graphics are scheduled for the end of winter 2022.

Fusion Project in Instagram


Then the list is continued with 6 brands that are founded by skaters in Ukraine and are manufactured abroad at various factories. This is usual world practice. The deck is made by manufacturers specifically by the brand order, and the brand is responsible for everything else: design decisions, style, management, team building, and brand strategy in general.
Workers
The history of Workers Skateboards began back in 2008 in Khmelnytsky. The brand was founded by two skaters Serhiy Hryshchyshen and Dmytro Haiduk. The first logo was a radiation sign with the capital letter "W" in the center.

Initially, the guys made their own boards in Khmelnytsky, and in 2012, decided to order decks at the factory in Canada, which produced boards for top brands, including Premium Skateboards and Death. After a break from 2015 to 2018, Workers returned to the industry and in 2019 brought the first batch of boards after a long break.
The last drop of boards is the Cosmos collection in August 2021, which was manufactured at a factory in Germany. The design features of the collection are that the boys engrave a drawing on the boards, which is then painted by hand. Anton Zlobin, Mykola Valchyshyn, Andriy Denisov, and Maksym Domansky have been making graphics on the boards throughout the brand's existence. Now the brand's team consists of four riders: Dmytro Haiduk, Vlad Gafinov, Leonid Buchkovsky, , and Bohdan Berdnichenko. A new release of the boards is scheduled for spring 2022.

Workers in Instagram
Play Skate Co
The idea of creating his own boards, according to the words of the brand owner Taras Romashchenko, arose spontaneously. The official launch date of the brand can be considered as of May 16, 2018. Playboards are made in Canada at the Control MFG factory, which was founded by skater Carl Savard, has been making boards for more than 25 years and is one of the top-10 factories in the world.
The brand presented the latest collection in the summer of 2021. These are four different designs, one of which is dedicated to the third anniversary of the brand. The graphics on the boards are made by illustrator Yulia Zolotova.
TodayPlay team has 5 riders: Taras Romashchenko, Volodya Vasylkiv, Yan Kamyshnikov, Yegor Garmash and Denis Verkhovetsky. There are also about 10 riders on flow. The release of the promo video is scheduled for 2022, and for now, you can watch the profile of the team rider Volodya Vasylkiv, shot on the streets of Odesa in 2021. The release of new boards is scheduled for spring 2022.

Website - playskateco.com
Play in Instagram
Play on Youtube
Zeit.Zu
The Zeit.Zu brand appeared during the lockdown in 2020. The founder of the brand is Semyon Bezhenov. According to Semen, he and Vlados already had an online store, had some experience in sales, and wanted to move on. The main goal was to dilute the market a bit with more affordable decks with an interesting design. The first collection of the brand was called "Virus".

Zeit.Zu boards are made at the Maya factory (China). The latest collection of the brand was released in September 2021. As for the designs, we can note the design with an illustration of the city of Kyiv by Katya Kozina. In general, most Zeit.Zu designs are created by Semen.
According to Semen, in the fall he began recruiting a team of riders who would share his views and represent the brand. Serhiy Bordilov has been riding for Zeit.Zu for a year now. It was also decided to support the following young riders: Dmytro Tutkevych, Vlad Solomko, Andriy Mendus and Oleksandr Potapenko. The next release of the boards is scheduled for the end of March.

Zeit.Zu in Instagram
First Skate Co
First was founded by skater Mykhailo Tevkun in February 2020. The last release of the boards was in September 2021 in two designs: Green Camo and Pink Camo. First decks are made at the Maya factory in China. Designs for the brand were developed by  Victor Lysenko and Sasha Alaska.
Now Yura Korotun and Mykhailo Tevkun are riding for the brand. The next release of the deck is scheduled for 2022. Two versions of the boards are promised: premium decks, which will be made at a factory in Cyprus, and boards made in Ukraine.

First in Instagram
TikTok - @firstskate
Papa Power
The official start of Papa Power can be considered 2018. The founder of the brand, skater Maksym Pavlenko, conceived the brand in 2012 and confidently worked on the realization of the idea.

Maksym designs the graphic by himself. The latest collection of the brand was made in a factory in China and is called Super Future. I think it is correct to say that the Papa Power brand currently has the strongest team of riders.
The team now includes 16 riders including Maksym: Kostya Okrugin, Sasha Burchak, Anton Kuksenok, Viktor Skripnichenko, Sasha Protsenko, Vlad Shinkoryov, Artem Yarosh, Maxim Senderov, Korotenko Artem, Toma Kozina, Ostap Yushkovsky, Makar Yushkovsky, Lukyan Yushkovsky, Yegor Malyi and Danya Vlasov. The latest video of the brand is called "Besprizornik" (2021).

Papa Power in Instagram
Werush
Sasha Konev and Dmytro Kyrylets founded the Werush brand in 2011. According to the guys, it was a dream - to create a team that would ride on their own boards. During the existence of the brand, the boards were manufactured at various plants, including Generator Distribution (USA) and HLC (Spain). The last activity of the brand was the release of boards in collaboration with the skateboard clothing brand Low Blow at the end of 2021. These were two board designs called ABSTRACT and COWBOY.
In spring 2022, 2 more collaborations are planned, one of which will be with RISIN SABOTAGE. The team of riders now includes 10 skaters: Kolya Kravchenko, Vlad Denisenko, Yegor Tunik, Danilo Kravchuk, Maxim Karandashev, Artur Kovalchuk, Andriy Fedorov, Pavlo Kyrda, Sasha Konev and Dmytro Kyrylets.

The latest video of the brand is the profile of rider Kolya Kravchenko, shot in the summer of 2021 by Ruslan Emelyanov.

Werush in Instagram

Our list is completed by 5 brands, which are backed by online or offline skate shops. The principle of the brand is the same as described above: the boards are made in factories abroad. The only important difference is that for the skate shop it's easier to do because it has a certain margin of safety and customer base.
Simple
The Simple brand was founded in 2020 by the owner of the skate shop Radius Dmytro Kaplan in Odesa. The first collection of boards went on sale in the summer of 2021. According to Dmytro, the main goal of the brand was to make high-quality boards at an affordable price. The decks are made in China, as Simple openly states. Material: Canadian maple of the highest grade and epoxy glue.
For today the brand has released a collection of boards, designed by Misha Polivanov. Now all riders of the Radius shop ride for the the Simple: Sasha Bogush, Zhenya Zenchenko, Valik Khutnyak, David Zukher and Oleksiy Vyrodov. Video of the brand can be watched on the brand's IG page. The release of a new collection of boards was scheduled for summer 2022, but changes are possible.

Simple in Instagram
Slim
Slim brand was founded in December 2019 by a skater from Zaporizhia Ilya Petryshchak. There were no skate shops in the city at that time, and Ilya decided to create his own under the Slim brand. Subsequently, he decided not only to sell products of other brands but also to go further and produce a skate staff under the name Slim.
The latest collection of Minimalism Logo boards was released in October 2021 and manufactured at the Woodchuck plant in Canada. In addition to boards, under the Slim brand, you can buy wheels and grip tape with the slogan "Go Skate". Stas Sapronov helps with deck designs. At the moment there is no team of riders. The release of a new collection is scheduled for spring 2022.

Slim in Instagram
Born
The history of Born began in 2013. Varya Dolinina, the brand's founder, was a professional wakeboarder and snowboarder. It all started when Varya and her sister started making covers and bags for snowboards and wakeboards under the Born brand. In 2015, they opened their own skate park in the old warehouse. At first, it was a place for a small group of friends skaters, but then the concept was changed.

Later it was decided to make skateboards. Initially, these were cruisers, the decks for which were made in Ukraine, and all the rest was ordered in China. 
There were attempts to make skate decks but failed to make a quality board, so they decided to order decks at a factory in China.
Born decks are now manufactured at the Koston factory (China). Kateryna Machneva is responsible for the graphic. The drop of new boards with graphics on the theme of the Olympic Games is scheduled for February 2022. Born team of riders now: Vlados, Eric Kiporenko and Khati.

Website Born-shop.com
Revol
The brand was founded in 2005 as a separate project from the Stuff shop. Revol decks are made in a factory in China. The last collection of boards was released in the spring of 2021. Among the designs is Anton Shkurko's pro-model, whose graphics he developed himself.

There is no official team of the Revol brand. There are riders who ride for the Stuff shop. In addition to Anton Shkurko, who is a pro-rider, the AM team includes Dmytro Matryz and Valentyn Svistak. Tima Velychko, Danylo Maly, and Nikita Krukovsky are currently on flow. A new release of Revol boards is scheduled for summer 2022.

Stuff shop in Instagram

Manual
Manual brand was founded on July 15, 2020, by Bogdan Vozniuk. Initially, it was an online skate shop selling goods of various brands. Later, Bohdan decided to create boards under the brand of the store. Manual boards are made in China (Shanghai). The last drop of boards was in the fall of 2021. Bohdan develops the designs for the decks by himself. The team of riders is now Ivan and Roma.

Manual in Instagram

In conclusion, I can say that this number of local brands is a positive trend. Maybe even more than the market needs for now. Competitive processes are always good, and just making decks is not enough. It's important how you develop the brand, stand out from others, gather strong teams, and work on graphics and style in general. Some brands are already doing it, some are just starting out. I just want to wish everyone success and be happy to follow the development of each of the brands. And most importantly: support local brands, they are one of those who move Ukrainian skateboarding forward.

by Andriy Boyar