Last summer a friend had given me his old skateboard, and I had spent a lot of time converting it into what is called a "shlongboard", a combination of a short board's size and a long board's handling characteristics. It worked well for a long time, but soon I began to notice cracks.
I decided to make what is known as a "mini", a board perfectly adapted for getting me to class on days where I'm not sure if it's going to rain or not. Instead of being undecided and playing it safe and leaving my board home, this mini is so small and unobtrusive that I can just carry it with me wherever I go!
It had long been a project idea, and now this cracking board was presenting itself to me. So, as I have done so many times before, I did a ton of planning and research, and went all out on this little guy. Cracks? Delamination? Nothing that aluminum, epoxy, and clamps can't handle.
I also found an interesting way to apply grip to the top of the board deck through my research. You can buy a little back of what is called "Tread-Tex" at the hardware store, which is supposed to act as a paint additive to give a rough surface. Longboarders online swore by putting this sand-like material in their polyurethane before coating the top of the board, so this was another experiment for me.
A lot of people ask me about the "brass knuckles" in the deck, but it really just acts as an artistic way to comfortably hold onto the board. People have tried it and love it, although it does lend some weakness to the board itself.
Finally, the board sort of became fish-shaped after cutting it out on the bandsaw, so I ran with it. The see-through tread-tex grip lets you see the sharpied scales on the top of the deck, and the rear "kick tail" of the board has a swallow-tail cutout in it, lending to the fishy appearance.
After experimenting with bushing hardness and sanding in some wheel wells, "wheel bite", or having the wheel hit the deck when you turn, was basically eliminated. From my preliminary testing, I really like the feel of this board and I think it came out fantastic.