Thursday, July 31, 2014
A Grown-Up Skateboard
Growing up, almost all my friends skated. Kids built half-pipes in the garage, watched skate videos on VHS over and over again, and their skateboards became like an extension of their body. The skateboards themselves were flashy and graphic. Skateboards these days have changed a bit in shape, but the decks are still just as loud. So, when I saw these skateboards last year, I was a bit blown away by the design. It's like the skateboard that grew up, got a job, and acquired a bit of a sophisticated palette. Much like those same friends I grew up with.
Side Project Skateboards, run by Procured Design blogger Jake Eshelman, makes 18 of these limited edition, vintage-inspired skateboards by hand in Houston, TX. Crafted from choice American-made components and materials, each deck marries the DIY spirit of the nascent skate culture in the early 60’s with a refined, modern sensibility.
Though the entire collection is based on a single shape and profile, there are minor idiosyncrasies between boards that stem from the handcrafted nature of Side Project Skateboards. Everything is cut, shaped, and finished by hand – including the wheel wells. No CNC routing, no laser cutting, just patience, dedication, and top-notch execution.
The boards proudly feature high performance components including Bennett Vector 4.3” trucks, Seismic 3dm Cambria wheels (62 mm // 80a), and Tekton six-ball bearings. With the exception of the bearings, all components are produced in the United States.
Additionally, every board features hand cut risers from a single hide of renowned Chromexcel leather from Horween Tannery in Chicago. Though an unorthodox choice in materials, these leather risers offer an incredibly smooth and shock-absorbent ride that far surpasses that of plastic alternatives.
Side Project Skateboards also has had a couple of collaborations, including these SPS x Jamboree skateboards (shown above).
All available exclusively online at www.sideprojectskateboards.com.
(Photos and info courtesy of Side Project Skateboards.)