The DIY Longboard
There’s a lot of really great… well… a couple of really decent longboards out there on the market right now. Trouble is, unless you live by a beach or college town, you’re local skate/surf shop probably doesn’t carry too many, if any. We all could use a cruiser to get us from A to B at times, especially when you don’t wanna push all that hard – like say on your way to and from the liquor store. So here’s the deal, I’m saying if you can’t find one you’re down with in your area and/or don’t wanna spend a bunch of money buying one online and having it shipped, I suggest doing a little customization to make something unique that you’re gonna dig because it’s your own personal flavor and you’ll have poured some sweat equity into it.
You’re gonna need a deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, grip and hardware, and maybe riser pads depending on wheel clearance. When it comes to your wood, it’s all about what shape you’re into and what you can find laying around or on the cheap. I had this swalllow-tail deck laying around for a while – ot’s nothing super special and was previsouly screen printed on for a promo. For a cruiser, the quality of the wood isn’t terribly dire – you’re probably not gonna be ollying it unless it’s a real shortie and even then, so what. Truck and wheel combos are fully up to you as well, just all has to work together. Wheel-bite sucks.
On to customizing. I started out by giving mine a flat coat of black as a base.
Took a little while to figure out what I wanted my art to be and after mentally running the gamut between everything from super basic to overly detailed and hand-done I decided on some real clean, simple but bold stripes. I’ve been on a black and bright-ass green kick so that’s the color combo. It’s easy to do stripes, all you need is two colors of spray paint and some masking tape.
After a couple black coats dried (for a day or so..) it’s set for a second color. Just drop some tape lines on there and spray away. The areas in between tape lines got smaller for me as I went up the board.
You can pull the tape while the paint is still drying – sometimes you get cleaner lines that way. The green I used is called Green Apple from Montana. They have some blazing colors. Dries retardedly fast too. Was able to do 3 coats in under an hour.
To match up with the black and green stripes on the board I liked the idea of green wheels with black stripes.
I had some blank green 63mm wheels laying around, so with a standard Sharpie I added my black stripes. The ink dries almost immediately. Though, drawing straight lines on a curved surface proves to be more challenging than it seems.
After everything’s dry it’s time to slug it all together. The inverted trucks you see on these are OEM by “SLANT”. They’re loose as f*ck and in my opinion are pretty rad. I know by way of word that they’re gonna be sold in pairs by Globe in the near future, so keep an eye out if you think you’ll be into ‘em. Hardware was donated by Nano from Speed Demons, Thanks Nano!
For grip I’m trying out some EVA samples that I can use with shoes or barefoot if I’m down on the Strand, pushing from bar to bar on the weekend. The soft EVA cuts like butter with an Exacto knife.
That’s it. Not a terribly difficult project, most of the stuff you can source from used boards or throw a couple bucks at here and there. So there you have it, a custom longboard that you can be proud of, using recycled parts and done cheap. Now off to the beach for a beer..