Skateboards, other than cruisers and low-end boards, generally do no come complete. The ones that are sold complete are called--you guessed it--completes. The vast majority of skateboards, though, are sold with the deck and the hardware separate to allow for customization. I have deeply-rooted brand preferences regarding trucks and bearings following two days of intensive skateboard research so going the custom route is the obvious choice for me. So when I went to skatewarehouse.com to build my board, I immediately selected my Independent Stage 10 Standard Trucks and Bones Super Reds Bearings (because that's what I use on all my boards) and only then began shopping for a deck. That's where the difficulty began.
Skateboarding is a young person's activity, you see. Skateboard companies, quite appropriately, design graphics for their boards which tend to appeal to young users rather than older users. I don't really know what things interest young people today, but based on the hundreds of skateboard decks I've viewed in the last two days, I'd say skulls, cheap beer, and Rastafarian pandas top the list. I'm not interested in any of these things. Still, with over 500 decks available at Skate Warehouse, there ought to be one that would appeal to a low-key, sensible forty-something like me, right? Fortunately, the web site displays brand icons for each of the 61--Yes, 61!--brands of skateboard deck which allowed me to instantly rule out at least half of them. Half of them had skulls! There were some promising brands: Think, Habitat, Element, and Loser Machine appealed to me because of the names themselves and Sims had a very simple logo that moved me. I clicked on all of them and found nothing. Element had some cool global warming graphics that I liked but they used an expensive, hollow core construction which is probably the shiznit if you're a hundred-pound teenager. I am not a hundred-pound teenager.
My skateboarding whim nearly died right there. I took a break, ate some chili dogs, and reflected on my life. Is skateboarding really the right hobby for me? Is any hobby the right hobby for me? Is it wrong to have hobbies which I know deep-down are not right for me? Is it wrong to have hobbies at all? Do my hobbies really add meaning to my life or only the illusion of meaning? Is it immoral to expend limited resources on hobbies while obligations go unmet? Without the escape of hobbies, would my psychological state become so severely damaged that I would be unable to meet my obligations regardless of the limited resources available to me? Is skateboarding really the right hobby for me?
The break restored me and I was ready to continue shopping. One by one, I clicked on every brand icon and scrolled through every board. I clicked on Dark Star. I clicked on Deathwish. I clicked on Blood Wizard, Bullet, and Threat. Then, without thought to the name at all, by mechanical repetition, expecting nothing, I made one of the most wonderful clicks I've ever made! It was one of those rare clicks that takes you from This, to That, and I was in another world! I was in the forty-year-old skateboarding world!
The brand was Mini Logo. Mini Logo, I learned, is a product line offered by Skate One which is a manufacturer supplying raw skateboard decks to many of the 61 or so other skateboard companies who put skull, cheap beer, and Rastafarian panda graphics on them and sell them as their own. Blue, for me, was an arbitrary choice made from several equally good options:
I don't think I need to explain any more the joy that the whole Mini Logo concept brings to my soul. Just the existence of such a brand, of such a brand concept, gives me hope. It gives me faith in man. And most importantly, it convinces me that skateboarding absolutely is the right hobby for me!