The Deck Collection
As a longboarder, a deck isn’t just a deck. With so many options for length, width, shape and construction experimenting is part of the experience of riding and changes how you interact with your surroundings. The style of the first skateboard you own generally matters very little, unless you grew up on an extreme shape like the Evo. Even then, your first setup gets you into the sport and once your hooked the second, third and many more decks and setups come. Having a “quiver” gives the rider the opportunity to choose the right setup for the terrain. One skateboard alone cannot give best sensation when you use a skateboard for transportation, street, a bowl or snake run, a parkade, dancing, freestyle, freeriding or downhill. For these many facets of the sport you could choose to have multiple setups for each as no setup is perfect for every person, yet having one setup for each style will allow you to enjoy each to the fullest.
Over my years in longboarding since 2003 I have had a LOT of setups. Having a skate shop early on in Toronto named “Longboard Haven” helped aid my addiction of trying new gear, and made it possible to take this pastime to a profession.
Sector 9 / Flexdex / Exuberance / Kebbek / Landyachtz / Fatboy / Loaded / Rayne / Kebbek / Rayne
From left to right, is my first board, the second and so forth. You can’t hold onto every board, yet the ones that meant the most are hard to pass on.
Early on I had two board sponsors, Exuberance Sports and Skurf Skates. The Exuberance “dh” boards were a fun idea and help me gain confidence to push myself, yet the boards were as far from useful as possible. On the other hand, Skurf Skates slalom boards by Chris Barrett & Aviv Zimmerman opened a realm of opportunity and experimentation for the Toronto skate community. Slalom was a big thing for a while, and just as the garage built company was about to take flight it was canned. It was about fun, not business. Lastly one of the nicest shaped slalom boards I’ve enjoyed was made by Justin Readings on a home built press and painted in Canadian honour by Lisa Farrows for the Longboard Haven store.
Fullbag Skateboards made the “Elise” my pro model after trying to help them make a better DH board. Rayne and Fullbag offered sponsorships at the same time, and I’m happy to have chosen to support Miguel Marco & the rest of the Québécois crew before eventually making the move to Rayne. The two boards on the right were what I rode to be 2011 IGSA World Series Championship, winning four world cup races consecutively + two world qualifying.
In joining the Rayne team, a pro model was to be designed in my first year of riding. The Vandal was a sad compromise from the Elise, and once prototyping began for the Fortune my feet were again much happier! Here I have the Ke$ha Vandal, three early prototypes of the Fortune in wood & foam construction, two production Fortune’s, one with foam, & a #2/30 Greener Pastures Fortune. Tamara Prader the graphic designer holds onto #1.
Fullbag / Loaded / Skurf / Consolidated / Agacê / Rayne / Airflow / Earthwing / Omen
Kebbek / Longboard Larry / Rogers Bros. / DB
PSB (South Africa) / TD (Germany) / Fibretec (Swiss) / Airflow (Swiss) / Blackkross (France)
Over the years of traveling, and getting to see some really cool boards hit the industry, I’ve held onto these favourite boards. Some are about the graphic, some for what change they made on the industry and the mindset of riders, others are pro models of friends, and a few are unique and limited.
Landyachtz / Sector 9 / Hackbrett / Subsonic / Peregrine / Rayne / Sector 9 / Gravity
There is also the prize boards. My most coveted being on the right, the Gravity Hypercarve. Key Dougherty decided before they discontinued the board to hold a “stock race” down a favourite road in southern California. A ridiculous way to put riders out of their element riding a setup that would be more similar to a race setup from the last 90’s. It was unstable, flexy, the wheels wore significantly even without sliding them leaving red lines through turns. Racers were making moves they were used to on their normal setup, blowing it and axing themselves out of the race! I can only hope that this style of event continues in future! Happy to take home the setup signed by everyone as my prize!
And if your wondering what my current setup is. Rayne Fortune
Bottom line is, a lot of cool cats make fun and interesting skateboards. It’s not about who’s makes the best, which one lasts longer, if you’ll get a date with that chic girl from French class if you have the latest model. Mix it up, try everything, and don’t treat it like a van Gogh it’s a skateboard.
This being the incomplete collection, if your a traveler you’ll understand, not everything can fit in the suitcase. The rest will come in time! I didn’t list the names of most the decks. If your interested, leave a question below.