Makaha. Since 1963

Makaha

Since 1963… with a few blackouts here and there. This started out as just lame quickie because I wanted to post a picture of this wacky old plastic Makaha skateboard that I’ve always loved. In the beginning, just as with Nash, Makaha was a real company. Makaha was one of the first skateboard companies, and the first one to use clay wheels. Owner Larry Stevenson has an actual patent on the kicktail! Their web site claims to have made the first production longboard as well. Also like Nash, unfortunately, at some point in the 70′s Makaha started turning plastic toys. After the jump there are some more examples of Makaha’s past and present.

Check out this blast from the past below. The Makaha web site has a lot of history, but not enough if you ask me. Part of the problem is that it’s all done in flash and you can’t click to enlarge the pictures. High volumes of that kind of content is tedious to work into a flash presentation.

Makaha Skateboards

Back to the board that started this post, this picture of the underside shows how the wacky truck was mounted to the board. If you look at the top you see one bolt sticking through per truck. Basically, the top of the plastic skateboard is acting as the baseplate for the truck. The pivot point just rests inside a plastic housing. It’s an ingenious method for cutting costs. High performance? Not so much. This yellow board was probably the most distinct Makaha product from the era. It’s got an odd race car/rocket dynamic that would have appealed to any 11 year old boy. This is the skateboard they should be reissuing!

Makaha Skateboards

The web site is big on the 60′s history of the company but kind of mum on the 70′s and beyond. I didn’t even know they were around in the 80′s and 90′s. Occasionally you’d see it advertised in Poweredge magazine as Coming Soon! but the product and rebirth of the company never seemed to materialize, at least not to anyone outside of the immediate vicinity. It seemed like they were working on the idea but the capital fell through. Actually, I seem to remember Makaha being one of the backers of Poweredge, but I wouldn’t place any bets on it.

Makaha Skateboards

Although they are made out of plastic, they have heavy duty construction and a very solid aesthetic to them that is really noticeable in the black board below. So these were the highest quality of toy skateboards.

Makaha Skateboards

You can’t fault Larry for trying to cash in on the recent wave of collector hysteria. His name and company is firmly cemented in skateboarding’s past. He has to do it now because it won’t be too long before the guys that appreciate the brand name won’t be in a position or mind set to collect them anymore. They’ve gone back to the route of craftsmanship. These boards aren’t cheap by any means. Not just modified or tribute re-issues, they are almost more like museum quality recreations. Head on over to the Makaha web site to check it out.

Makaha Skateboards

Lastly, speaking of quality reissues, check out this glamor shot Larry’s beauty queen wife Helen from 1959.

45 Comments

  1. I have one of those yellow square ones at home as well as an orange one that is shaped like the black one in your article. It has an oval sticker in the middle that says Makaha though.

  2. I had this very board (the yellow one) in 4th grade.

  3. Yeah great. One of you had it , and one of you has it. That does me no good, since I don’t have one.

  4. Haha!

  5. Hey what a cool article. I used to ride a Makaha like the Black model in pictures. Do you think it is possible to get that model this days?
    new or used, doesnt matters

    • vasili on June 18, 2012 - Reply

      me to i traded a kid a skate a new skate deck for that deck and trucks but i need new bushings

  6. Garage sales or Good Will, I’ve got my eyes open.

  7. I had the Black Makaha Board pictured in this article when I was a kid. I miss having it. If anyone knows the Model # and if i could find one for sale i would love to buy it.

  8. Hey…I just bought a vintage Makaha like the green one here…I cant wait till delivery…it has red wheels and yellow board…. $59 bucks plus shipping to my country (Colombia)

  9. Hey, the black one is called Makaha Pro IV. I´m about to buy it….I found it

  10. I have many (125+) of these original NOS boards that I will be posting to eBay soon. I also have one of the black plastic ones shown above, as well as two different shades of blue that are all NOS. E-mail me at oldesouthmercantile@yahoo.com with any questions.

  11. Wow!! I had this black model.My dad bought 2 in 1977 or 1978. He and I were pictured in a newspaper riding down a steep hill in Germany.I rode that thing everywhere. Now my son is a total skater and I’m always bragging about my board.They were near indestructable unlike todays boards.

  12. DUDE! That is AWESOME! That green plastic Makaha is my first skateboard! I’ve been looking for photos of that thing on the Internet forever and could never find any.

    The shape of the green one is exactly what I had. Except mine was blue and had the Makaha logo stamped on top (like the black version). Awesome. So cool to see that someone has pictures of those.

  13. DaddyYo on December 8, 2008 - Reply

    Totaly Rad!

    Too bad skateboarders today are too concerned about conforming to the skateboarding status quo to ever accept any design experimentation.

    In skatepark boards it is either an old school pool board or a popcicle stick – that’s it. Don’t vary, don’t experiment, don’t inovate or you are a kook.

    I guess the time when just anyone could ride a skateboard have past. Now skateboard riding is about the same as being any kind of gang member.

    The first skateboard I owned was 1964 Roller Derby Mustang. I was 11.

  14. Thanks for the trip through memory lane. I skated from the days of steel wheels (roller skate conversions), clay wheels and remember the first time I smelled and viewed urethane wheels, roadriders, cadillac, remember Gyro wheels? About 15 years ago I found a Makaha like the blue one, but with a smooth rail, no cutouts. It has Makaha trucks with metal baseplate and an adjustable/sliding wheelbase. The surfer sticker is still visible and red Makaha wheels similar to roadriders of the time. It sits in my living room with my World Ind. Bomber longboard next to an original Asteroids arcade machine. Thanks again for sharing.

  15. someone please tell me where to find the green one

  16. Hey …I have the green one in yellow, I just bought the black one (through ebay, I have too the Kamikazee model (from 80 s) and another old 70 s fiber glass white model which have cool red waves paint on top….if you want the yellow just e-mail me at chernandezg@email.com

  17. Frank on April 4, 2009 - Reply

    I have that yellow board in my room right now.
    Where can i find out more about it?
    Like, where to buy new wheels and if i can replace the rusted bearings.

  18. I`ve got the yellow one from the top of the page with the race car/rocket design!
    Could anyone tell me how old it could be an maybe the name of this awesome board!
    I got since i was a boy, nearly 6! So it has to be right before 1980!
    Thankx a lot,
    Please mail to
    salon-erika@gmx.de

    • andy-man on January 22, 2011 - Reply

      I rode the yellow board when I was kid. I’ve got the board in 1978 and I have it still in my collection. It was my very first skateboard. Now, 33 years later I’m still skateboarding and even work in a skatepark! Check http://www.worldskatecenter.com

  19. tblasing on July 8, 2009 - Reply

    I used to ride the Makaha III around 1977-78 when I was 12-years old. A couple friends rode the Makaha Pro IV. After that was a Free Former, Duraflex Super-Woody, then came the more serious Brewer, Bonzai aluminum, G&S Warptail II, Dog Town – Jim Miur, Alva, Sims LeMar & Sims Lester.

    Finally retired around 1990.

  20. My granpa just bought me the green plastic model at an auction for $10. It’s in pretty good shape too!!

  21. Asher B-L on July 15, 2009 - Reply

    how much is the green one worth?

  22. S. Laffin on October 6, 2009 - Reply

    Hey I have an original 1963 Makaha Commander, I am talking one made in 1963 not a remake, it is in good condition for being over 45 years old. Does anyone have any idea how much it might be worth?

  23. Tom Hardeman on December 29, 2009 - Reply

    I used to ride hobie in late 60s and early 70s.Now i want a makaha.I love the Chicago clay wheels!they are the true love of original skate surfing!pure fun all around!who cares of the traction compared to Eurothane
    wheels.I used to challenge the side slide with the clay wheels,it was a kick –s feeling to do around the corners
    on cement to stay up on the deck for recovery.Now thats skate surfing!!

  24. steve mc cann on February 5, 2010 - Reply

    in 1966 my dad bought me the heavy makaha red plastic coated skateboard (approx. 30″ long) with the black wheels for christmas. cost $20.00. it had a partical board inner material. i hav’nt seen this model anywhere. i was pretty good and able to do: handstand, headstand, side and foward frogstand, front and rear wheelies, coffin, switch ends, bar jump, 360′s, etc..

  25. Ian wagenmakers on May 8, 2010 - Reply

    I’ve got A 31 years old Makaha III Only need new wheels , and bushings :P

  26. oldschool on May 17, 2010 - Reply

    i have found the black makaha pro iv the hardware is rusty and the blue bushings are rotten but the trucks wheels bearings and deck is good i’m wondering if i should restore it or just leave it as it is

    OS BC Canada

  27. Morice from Paris on September 20, 2010 - Reply

    Hey, I’ve got one of the yellow spaceship !
    thanks for the info, didn’t find any about it anywhere.

    if you would like this yellow thing to be yours, you can make me an offer at moricejones@hotmail.fr

  28. is the plastic supposed to bend in the middle or did i buy one that is way too worn out?

  29. Ponyta on May 16, 2011 - Reply

    Howdy oldschool – I, for one, am in favour of swapping out old rusty hardware in favour of new and creating shiny new hotrods! Ponyta :-)

  30. I have a original commander, anyone interested?

    • Jessec on March 16, 2012 - Reply

      I know its been almost a year since your post on the makaha commander, but do you still have it because if you do I would love to buy it. you can email me at jessecatanzano@ymail.com

      Thanks

  31. tengo varios board makaha de mas de 40 años y las vendo
    si le interresa vande un mensaje a el facebook jorge andres carranza

  32. reciently i bought the black one, but i did’nt know about its history, i feel proud to have it!, cause it looks so old…

  33. aloha ,
    I still have my 2 Makaha skateboards for the 70s that i would bomb Kimo drive. hill just above my home ……I wanted to know if they are collectibles and how much are they worth……………..let me know thanks kimo 808 283-0088

  34. Just happened on to this site. I have a original Makaha plus on of the ones Rick Dowden made. I also have a story about my company Trip Stix and the connection we had with Makaha Team riders back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I still keep in touch with some of the original team.

    http://wavetreksurf.com/History/WTHistory.html

  35. mr_loki_jr on January 13, 2013 - Reply

    i got oneof the black ones. does anyone know if and where i can the original bushings for this beautie?

  36. niinnjjaa on August 19, 2013 - Reply

    i have the yellow one in my hand is it worth anything? lol

  37. I have a black pro IV with pink trucks all original parts on it including wheeels and bearings. Anyone intrested in buying it?

  38. Yvonne Davis on June 17, 2014 - Reply

    I have that EXACT yellow skateboard! I loved it! I almost gave it away until I googled it and it came back with a nice price on it, but not sure if it was accurate. Think I’ll keep it for a while…hang it on the wall. How much do you think it is really worth? I got it for my birthday back in 1977?

  39. Kendall Seitz on July 8, 2014 - Reply

    I have an all wood vintage Mahaka Originator 29 that was my moms bak in the day that I would really like to put new trucks and wheels on because it still rides great and is in good condition.

Leave a Reply

Want an avatar? Upload a Globally Recognized Avatar for free at gravatar.com Note: Avatars are tied to a single email address, including comments left before the system was activated.

  SOTW  
 eBay Watch 
   GVK   
  Kid  

Shot of the Week
December 2nd

American GI

April/May, 2014 - 65 items

eBay Action

Grover's Video Korner #92
Unheard Invitational Pt. 1

Grover's Video Korner

Annoying Kid of the Month

Annoying Kid of the Month

Categories and Archives





Search and Annoy

Search Skate and Annoy - Daily

Search in Features, Ebay Watch, GVK...

Search in Galleries

This is none of your business