Vintage Skateboards – Have You Seen Them?
Mar 2012 01

The Search for Animal Chin (Bones Brigade Video III) is my favorite classic old school skate video that many of us remember from wayyy back in the day and the Chin Ramp was peacocking before it’s time. This brings back the nostalgia of my youth, being possessed to skate and the awesome times I had growing up skateboarding in my hometown and Love Park in Philly (RIP). 

Take a trip down memory lane: backyard half-pipes, quarter-pipes blocking traffic to get in a method-air, scabbed knees & elbows, Slime Balls, Tracker Trucks, acid drops, Vision Street Wear, Van’s Half Cab’s, Gleaming The Cube, neon, empty pools, power slides, Ollie Airwalk, Operation Ivy, Bad Religion, boomboxes, angry neighbors, angrier cops, long hair combed to one side, and the endless search for the next place to Sk8.

I’ve had this Springsteen-like urge to discuss my favorite boards from my glory days (when I was considered “cool”-I think)

Vision Skateboards had the most stylish graphics on their decks like Psycho Stick, Agressor and the Gator, while Powell Peralta’s focus was skulls, dragons, and bones.  To top it off,  Santa Cruz Skateboards had a killer variety of imaginative artwork.  One of my favorite stickers I had was the severed hand with a mouth on it.

I didn’t list any of Tony Hawk’s (a.k.a. the living legend) boards simply because he is a given. Does anyone remember Johnny Rad?

Below is a collection of some of my favorite and most memorable ‘old school’, ‘vintage’, ‘retro’ skateboards – some of which have been reissued and you can buy new!

Mark Gonzales by Vision

He could ollie higher than anyone else and that is how skaters in the 80’s judged someone. This board was pure Cali ‘street skating style’ at it’s best. The graphics were simple, but sooo very smooth and cool, just like Gonzo.


Gator by Vision

The design of Gator will be remembered forever and is symbolic of the resurgence of skateboaring in the mid-80’s. Vision had so many cool boards – the Aggressor (sexiest board award), Psycho Stick and Skulls. The sad part is, Mark ‘Gator’ Ragowski is in jail for murder – he is a loser but the board Vision created in his name lives on.


Caballero by Powell Peralta

This was my first pro board and I got it in fluorescent pink. I had to save up all of my money I made on my random odd jobs (mowing lawns, raking leaves, delivering newspapers) just to get one, then I tricked it out with Tracker Ultra-Lite trucks and Powell Peralta Rat Bone wheels. The trucks were blue but the wheels were fluorescent green to make a super stylish 80’s superdeck.

Stevie Caballero is also known for playing guitar in the punk band The Faction, check out Skate and Destroy.



Tommy Guerrero by Powell Peralta

Made for street skating, and that is what we did best. The Caballero was more for riding pools and huge vert ramps, which we sucked at (although we tried). With the help of this board, I learned many RAD tricks while listening to some skate punk, thanks Tommy!

Guerrero is also a guitarist (like his Bones Brigade pal Caballero) and was in the punk bank Free Beer. Even if the free beer is warm Milwaukee’s Best, that is a cool name for a band.


I never rode this board but everyone remembers the shape and Christian Hosoi busting his signature ‘christ’ and  ‘rocket’ airs 10+ feet above the lip of the ramp. He was way ahead of his time.


Neil Blender by G&S

Really loved this board and was surprised to see that you can’t find one for sale, no reissue here. I’d have to give this most underrated board award. I loved the graphics too, it is probably why I drink so much coffee these days. This was perfect for the mini-ramps we were building all over the place at the time (my grandmom’s back yard, etc.), but also was great for street skating. For me, it was the perfect board – street, mini-ramps and coffee.

Ripsaw by Schmitt Stix

My buddy Steveo (the original) had this board. Cool shape and had a picture of a circular saw blade. It fit him well because he was always borrowing his Dad’s circular saw and using it haphazardly while we cut our stolen wood to build some crazy ramps. I really don’t know how he made it through unscathed for the most part.

Executioner by Nash Redline

This board makes the list because it was my first board, back when I was a ‘poser’. I learned a lot on it, mostly that I had to get rid of it if I ever wanted to improve and get ‘rad’. This boards graphics are memorialized in the new Earthwing version of the quintessential 80’s poser board. Second only to the Valterra Splatter, memorialized by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future.

Rob Roskopp by Santa Cruz

This boards graphics say it all – go crazy, be aggressive, don’t worry about disfiguring yourself and go balls out. This was Santa Cruz’s style. I don’t even know if Rob Roskopp was a good skater, but I knew he had a great board designed in his honor. I went through many of these boards because it was perfect for the launch ramps we were building at the time. With this board – you went as fast as you could at that ramp and busted a huge method air so everyone could see the crazy face on the bottom or your board.


  • Damien Filiatrault

    I owned that deck!