When We Was Rad:
Skateboard History from UK Vintage Magazine

David Slade’s first video plus loads of new skateboard products from May 1991

New skateboard products, May 1991Oh, this is one for skateboard gear fanatics. I do not know how Vernon found so much to say…
Tucked away at the end is a mention of David Slade’s first video, “Smart People in a Car Crash” which I think he made while still at college. Strangely enough, I came across my copy of that this very morning.

Shiner sent the biggest packages this page has ever seen, containing Vision, G&S, Blockhead, Powell and Santa Cruz stuff. Vision’s first — Mike Crum’s board crops up from Dallas, Texas. His board (and fellow Texan, Chris Gentry’s) come under the Vision “New Blood” label — how pleasantly patronising. Crum and Gentry are both known rippers of vert, rather than Cali street wizards snapping pro models left, right and centre, so these boards are much more of that genre in a “new age” style. Both have a good concave and ample tail and nose, with wood-stain finish and solid construction. Sizes: for Crum, 23.25″ by 10 with 6″ or 6.5″ of nose and 6.5″ of tail; for Gentry, 32.25″ by 10″, 5.5″ or 6″ of nose and 6.5″ tail.
Buck Smith has moved over from Sims to Vision and his new board has a more commercial shape. This board has V6 concave on its 14″ wheelbase, cartoon graphics and excellent finish. Overall specs: 32″ by 9.625″ with 6.125″ nose and 6.375″ tail. Don’t forget Vision rails if you’re looking to slide these boards: here we show Vision Type 2 Rails which are really chunky and good value at £3.99 — plenty of plastic for your cash. There are also Vision “Anti-vibe” rails with rubber backing to keep noise to a minimum for bust-free skating. What I like most about these rails is that they come with wood screws, but if you read the warranty that the boards carry you’ll discover you could be in breach of it: “To protect you warranty… mount all accessories with T bolts (sex-bolts) only.” If this does void the manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll see who’s really getting screwed when you also read the following advice: “Special T nuts and screws are available at your authorised Vision dealer…” But not as part of the price with these rails!!

Double-kick boards were something of a Vision-inspired idea — although other companies deserve equal credit. Respect is due. Anyway, they now come in three sizes according to the packing note from Shiner. In reality we got two sizes, the blue “snub” being smaller than the yellow & blue “side cut”. The small blue snub is 30.75″ with 6″ of nose & tail and a 13.5″ wheelbase. The two larger boards are more interesting, both are 33″ long with V6 concave. One is a side cut with 6.75″ of tail & nose and a 14.5″ wheelbase, while the yellow has 6.5″ of tail & nose and a 15″ wheelbase. Both are 9.5″ wide.
If you go through boards like a chocolate assortment, then you probably look at cheaper boards. From Vision we have the “Vision Basics” range of three boards in different shapes. Number one is the stand-out on the shape front. They all have double drilling and the finish is wood stain. Only one had a smooth, sanded finish and none had varnish to seal the wood against any water damage. So stay away from Rom’s concrete half-pipe. All three boards are 32.5″ long by 10.25″ wide with 6.75″ of tail. The nose on Number One is 5.25/5.75″, on Number Two 5/%.5″ and Number Three 5.25/5.75″.

Still on a cheap note: you can’t fail to remember Hard Times from Blockhead. I’ve mentioned 1 and 2 enough times, well, now 3 and 4 are here. The shapes themselves don’t have the same kind of appeal 1 and 2 did when they came out, as 3 and 4 look a bit dated, not cheap equivalents of today’s boards. To my mind 3 is the better of the two, though looking a bit like the 6 Cent board, while 4 looks like a mellow Cunningham. Check ’em out: you might find they’re just what your budget is looking for. The 3 is 32.5″ by 10″ with 6″ nose. The 4 is 32.5″ by 9.75″ with a 6.25″ nose.
G & S looked to be in a bit of a slump after a large bunch of their guys turned out to be aliens, but they’ve filled the gaps in their pro line-up with some new faces, some of which will not be familiar. Shannon May is new to me, and I guess he’s a So Cal ripper of street. His board has that steep concave look of G & S with solid and hefty construction, although nothing particularly exciting. Size-wise it’s 33.25″ with 5.75″ or 6″.5″ of nose, 6.75″ tail and 10″ wide.
Mike Taylor has a far more appealing, though no more interesting, shape. Nice bright money spinning art, with the same build and finish. It’s 32.75″ long by 10″ wide with 6.25″ or 6.75″ of nose and a 6.5″ tail. Mark Heintzman gets on the twin-kick deal with his Shuffle Heintz. He’s one of the few riders I could imagine utilising this board to the max. Not much else to say, other than this bottle contains 32″ of length and 6.25″ tail & nose. Atomic slugs are the new G&S wheel in 54.5mm and 95a. Well understated graphics make these a winner.
G & S Clothing is some of the best (and hardest stuff to get hold of. G & S ‘Sand Pants” are in that vein, with quality double stitching and overlocking throughout and made in thick cotton. G & S are at their best when simple and understated, rather than brash and bold, so the long-sleeve mock turtle sent to us fits this mould to the tee. A small Gordon and Smith bar logo makes this a popular winner here.
Jeff Kendall has been a Santa Cruz heavy-weight for a good many years, tearing apart all terrain with a vengeance. His boards have found favour with street and vert skaters alike and the “Elephant Guy” should put him right back up in the popularity stakes. This model has the Cruz Control concave which his last model pioneered. The usual Cruz construction with a 32.25″ length by 10″ wide, with 5.5″ or 6″ of nose and a 6.5″ tail.
If you’re a Speed Wheels fan with largish tendencies, check out OJ II Skitz in 57mm and 95a. Different colours denote different reverse graphics with a series of street obstacles.
I’ve never heard of TNA Raiders so their Air Bolts and risers mean nothing as yet in the bias/payola hype scheme. Air Bolts look like Bridge Bolts and the eighth inch risers look OK. Try them.
Cameron Martin has a new classical freestyle model out on Powell. It looks OK to me, but what do I know? I just write this stuff.
Exile Decks are another new company to hit these shores via Hotshot, and two prototype boards came this way, the Nimbly and the Crossroads boards. These boards have the “EX5″ concave. This basically transpires to be the New Deal/Schmitt style concave construction. With this in mind, you know these boards are good, and the shapes aren’t at all bad either. Sizes are: Nimbly 32″ long, 9.75″ wide, 6.25″ nose and 6.5″ tail. Crossroad 32.25″ long by 10″ wide. 6.5″ tail and 6.5″ nose.
The Syndicate has nothing to do with Ice T. What it has to do with, I know not. This board is un-faultable on visual inspection with another functional shape. Can’t say fairer than that. Size: 32″ long, 5.5/6″ nose, 6.5″ tail and 9.75” wide.
Summer-time is officially upon us, so it seems highly apt that Hotshot should send us four pairs of shorts. Three came from Gouge Thrashwear and one from Cockroach. The Gouge are all 100% heavy-weight cotton with plenty of detailing; all have Velcro fly and drawstring waist; all with three pockets. Cockroach shorts are almost identical, except for no fly, but thankfully these are a cool grey with a subtle print, rather than rash brash trash — probably the best bit of Cockroach clothing yet seen.
On the T shirt front we have Liberty “Hippo” screen on Hanes, Small Room “Box” on Oneita and, out of Florida, Get-o Wear “Crime Scene” on Screen Stars. All are 100% cotton except the Get-o Wear which is a 50/50.
Still on the clothes line, the latest Limpies gear came in via New Deal UK in Harrow. Two styles of shorts, trousers and shirts. The shorts are, as you’d expect, full thick 100% cotton with original design features including a third pocket on the rear of the left leg. There’s a semi-elasticated waist with a zip fly and nice finishing details and subtle warm colours.
The flowery shorts are of a more traditional, basic, design. They have a full elasticated waist with drawstring and rear pocket. There’s a zip fly though, and three pockets. The trousers are basically elongated versions of the shorts — there are two designs, one basic (traditional), one complicated, more original. Both are very stylish. The Limpies shirt is no cop-out T, rather a groovy expression of screen printing to make someone’s day. I’ve just read the label spiel for more: they’re 100% cotton. Look out for Limpies.
From The New Deal (USA) comes a celebration of 1991 with a New Deal logo on a hooded sweat (50/50 Jerzees). Head-wear comes in the form of baseball caps with solid and colour mixes. Woollen texture and one size fits all. If you’re still cool, woolly hats with embroidered corporate logos.
Last from New Deal comes the new Danny Sargent model. The shape of this is pretty much his own — not just a clone. The graphics on this are completely unlike any other New Deal board, and they’re the worst. All the same, the shape makes up for this by far, and should turn people onto this quality board. 32.5″ long by 10″ wide with 6.25″ nose and 6.625″ tail.
Bench Clothing sent one of their latest embroidered designs, the “Benchman”. This novel idea is available in XL and L on red, black or white long sleeve tees. This is only a small part of their range which also includes sweats, shorts and trousers. We have pics of their “Benchman Pants”, “Skate for Money” “Screened Tee” and “Face”. Anyway, they’re available through Sheep, Unit 28, Afflecks Arcade, Oldham Street, Manchester.
SS20 shipped us their latest long-sleeve mock turtle. On the front of the 100% cotton long-sleeve tee is a heart, while the original SS20 logo is on the back.
Insane have new shirts out, too. It seems like only yesterday that the great man was laying these designs down on paper. Insane “Sherbet Fountain”, “Penguin Spring”and “Water Pistol” designs are the shirts from the video “Mouse is Pulling the Key” and stock up the armoury of T shirt art.
On a linked theme, David Slade’s video “Dead People in a Car Crash” (which includes the worst slam you’ll ever want to see) is out at last. It’s available for £12 + £1 postage and packing from David Slade, nnnnn Road, Whirlow, SHEFFIELD.

One response to “David Slade’s first video plus loads of new skateboard products from May 1991”

  1. Im 31 and still love skating as much as I did 17 years ago when I started, I live in Northampton so had the pleasure of skating Wicksteed park, mini ramps in kettering, St Albans, South Bank Etc, Radlands (rip) for many years as well as tonnes of other parks and street spots all over the country and abroad, met loads of skaters and have had so many good times, keep skating and enjoying it I say it doesn’t matter how old you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Liking the site by the way, so much stuff written above that I remember!!!!!!!!

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