The Living Variflex Museum (of Crap)

NOS Variflex Skateboards

A web site called Old School Skateboards (This one is in the U.K.) has a bunch of NOS (New, Old Stock) Variflex skateboards from the 80’s for sale. This guy must have raided a warehouse or possibly been an old distributor or something. For about $70 you can buy a complete board with trucks, wheels, copers and a lapper. The only thing missing are the rails. Sure, these are crap skateboards, but they are 20 year old mint condition crap skateboards! The site doesn’t have the large images presented for the public, so I’ve compiled them. Some are pretty funny.

Check it out. Front wheel wells on all these decks, some of them even have them on the back too. Old School Skateboards says these date from ’87 to ’89. I think Variflex made a late push to make a more serious skateboard. These things are selling today for close to the same price they probably sold for when they were made.

First up we have the Wiz, Dead End, Space Junk and Street Lite. It looks like they hired the Nash artist to come up with these graphics. Especially the Dead End. At first I thought the Street Lite showed pool lights, then I thought they were actual street lights as seen from below. Then I realized it was a traffic light. Duh. Click to enlarge. My favorite is easily the Space Junk.

NOS Variflex Boards

Next up is the Air Attack, Beyond Help, Howler, and Wired. I have a vague recollection of the Air Attack, at least that’s how I would picture one of those old 80’s Variflex boards in my head if I had to. It’s funny, because I can rattle off a bunch of specific Nash graphics like Fly Me, Executioner and Kamikazee. I could probably think of a few more if I gave it some time. Variflex boards? I draw a complete blank. The Beyond Help deck looks like a second rate rip off of a Brand-X inspired deck. Click to enlarge.

NOS Variflex Boards

85 Comments

  1. Did this company ever have it together or did they exist only to be the butt of skateboarding? I remember the “wiz”.

  2. I think they used to be better like in late 70’s early 80’s when Lance Mountain was riding for them.

    http://www.skateboardgraphics.com/prod.php?id=31&group=16

  3. enemy combatant on June 18, 2008 - Reply

    Variflex was originally a very innovative company.back in the 70’s. Lance Mountain, George Orton, Steve and Mike Hirsch, Al Losi, Eddie Elguera, and Eric Grisham all rode for Variflex.

    They also were one of the first companies to make urethane bushings (even before they came out with their trucks.)

  4. wow. Cool info. I wonder what happened to drive things down hill.

  5. Clouds ruled…

  6. enemy combatant on June 18, 2008 - Reply

    When skateboarding cooled off in the early eighties they (the Losi family) concentrated on in-line skates. The brand is owned by Bravo nowadays.

  7. Fun history. I skated a Losi skate designs (L.S.D.) in the later 80’s. It was a quality deck.

  8. I think the Losi’s do RC Car parts now.

    Yes, Variflex CLouds were cool.

  9. Brad aka handstandman!! on June 18, 2008 - Reply

    The Variflex trucks (70’s era) were different, they had the reverse kingpin.
    If you rode those back then, people would always tell you that your trucks were on backwards.
    Alan Losi still rips. He rides for Scum Skates.

  10. houseofneil on June 19, 2008 - Reply

    The Variflex team was the best team in skating at one point. they had pros like Eddie Elguera, Eric Grisham, Allan Losi, Billy Beauregard, and MIke Hirsch. They were trick based, unlike the slashers from Santa Cruz, so were known as the Varibots, but I still love old footage of those guys. The am team included Lance Mountain and John Lucero.

  11. the Howler is sick…I’d rock that today

  12. Prickly Pete on June 19, 2008 - Reply

    Aaahh, the Wired–30 pounds of crud urethane, aluminum, and balsa! The graphics had these unfinished edges that were hidden by the rails. Despite their super cool logo, Clouds split open in not much time at all.

  13. I think the Air Attack is hot.

  14. Swamp on June 19, 2008 - Reply

    Variflex rocked back in the day…They were one of the first (if not THE first) companies to offer concave decks…I had a concave El Gato then my next board was a flat Duane Peters, since Santa Cruz hadn’t jumped on the concave band wagon yet. That being said, that constructon paper crap that they put on the bottom of their decks back then sucked.

  15. For a while it seemed that “Clouds” were synonymous withthe word “bushing” like the words Kleenex and Xerox…

  16. “Space Junk?” Too funny!!! The artists put a lot of time into that one!

    I remember many of these boards were on sale at the local department store. They were sixty bucks or so. Pure, unadulterated garbage.

    My first “board” was a Variflex “Zig-Zag” with those horrible hard plastic wheels that were included on the thirty-five dollar models.

    I was eight years old, and I distinctly remember counting all of the change in my piggy bank to see if I could buy a set of the softer wheels which were included on the deluxe model POS’s listed above. For a birthday surprise, I got a real board (Vision “Punkskull” w/Indy’s and Shredders).

  17. Does anyone remember Valterra? That awful company stole graphics from the real companies and put it on their Taiwan made, department store crap.

    I remember seeing what appeared to be a G&S Billy Ruff (with the Jack/Giant graphics) in an open faced box at the local Kmart. Ahh memories!

  18. solboy on June 20, 2008 - Reply

    The Howler shape looks acceptable, in an Alva/Sims pig rip off way… The rest, yuk.

  19. had a variflex board back in the day and i rode the heck out of it it was called an ERIK GRISHAM never seen another one like it have you ???? would like too find one for sale.

  20. I whiz on the Wiz

  21. Hi Guys, Its nice to see all my photos of the decks here, I now have considerably less stock, so am not offereing complete boards any longer as I cannot source all the parts.

    Regards and keep it oldschool

    Rob ( oldskaterdude of oldschoolskateboards.co.uk)

  22. This brings back memories of skating launch ramps and quarter pipes with pvc coping. My first board was a Variflex Street Light! – LINK HERE

  23. Great photo. Mind if I post it directly here?

  24. I have a few boards from Variflex. I like the mild kick tails and concave designs. They may be low-brow, but I like ‘em.
    (Kilwag rocks!)

  25. skaterhusseindave on January 24, 2009 - Reply

    The main reason I learned handplants was I saw Variflex am Patti Hoffman do them (if a girl can do it, why not me?). Freddie DeSoto was another am for them at that time. Freddie blew minds by grinding the three quarter pipe at Apple skatepark in 1980…

  26. skaterhusseindave on January 24, 2009 - Reply

    OK, it was really more like a two thirds pipe, but still, the top pros at the time weren’t doing it.

  27. I remember Jeff Jones and the Jones Brigade. I think he was actually the last pro on Variflex. He skated Tracker Trucks instead of the crappy variflex ones though.

  28. jeff jones rocked…i think that vari made two levels of boards back in the day, the shit ones and “pro” ones?

  29. Milo Janus on March 18, 2009 - Reply

    I remember Variflex being an acceptable alternative to Nash in the neighborhood. One year, I got a generic board called the “Snake Board” because I liked the shape (for some reason) but was embarrassed by it so I remember using a sharpie to write “Variflex” on the tail. I don’t think I fooled anybody though. Luckily, that board didn’t last long and I graduated to a Roskopp II. A friend and I traded boards for a while (he got the snake, I got the Rob) and during that time I started to learn how to actually skate. So when we traded back he was furious that I removed his tail and nose bones and most of the graphics were scratched away. He responded by smashing the Snake into many pieces. I felt awkward about how much I skated his board, but I remember thinking, “dude, you got a Roskopp and can barely even push on it… someone had to skate it.”

    Ahh, 6th grade drama. Those were the days.

    • AncientAtomic on April 21, 2010 - Reply

      dude right on,
      in my town this was better then a Nash too.
      you wouldn’t get the crap kick out of you.
      rock’n a Variflex and sporting a pair of checked Vans.

  30. Trik Rik on May 23, 2009 - Reply

    Allen is my best friend – he’s not skating but decks are available through Scum Skates – order yours up – if out of stock, contact Scum and demand decks.

    Allen and I have a band called ONE BIG ZERO coming to rock you very soon. check it out on myspace/onebigzero

  31. why is someone still impersonating me?

    brad, the real handstandman!!

  32. so i have a veriflex skateboard. does that mean its crap?

  33. “he’s not skating but decks are available.”

    what.
    the.
    fuck?

    lame.

  34. He’s not skating because he’s in jail.
    Losi still kills it.
    Good luck finding one of his decks.

  35. that makes a little more sense. i stand corrected. what’s he accused of? not some gator shit is it?

  36. creature on May 13, 2010 - Reply

    the pink xp series was my first board in 1987. i was in 5th grade. that board was fucking sick. launch ramps after school every day and it was always ready for more. i rode the crap out of it. dont be dissin’ variflex.

  37. Had the whiz, thought it was shiz skated it more than the hosoi rocket II that I had at the same time. the xp trucks were pretty light if memory serves correct.

  38. GenXer on June 14, 2010 - Reply

    I dug up my old Variflex Voodoo the other day. Still in excellent condition – It was my last board before I faded away. Gave it a rip and had too much fun. Wife warning me not to break any bones.

  39. question. I have a veriflex skateboard that has the image of a Tiger on it but there are no pictures for it on the internet. Anyone got any ideas to what it is?

  40. I have a vintage style Veriflex board thats yellow and has Tiger printed on it. how much would it be worth do you think?

  41. I can tell the trucks on mine are rare cuz it has two prints of the words “Veriflex”.

  42. I rocked a Wiz board back in the day. I agree with the concave board being sweet for the time and one of the first. I could tick-tack like nobody else we use to have races. Remember how coned your wheels would get after a summer of tick tacking? The Clouds got really soft and wobbly too. I had the green stained Wiz with yellow trucks white wheels, rails, skid pad, and nose guard. Don’t forget the white snap-on truck guards(the back guard even protected the Cloud bushing from the front. As a poor kid growing up I was super happy when I got this board for a birthday present. Probably because it wasn’t a Nash (those plastic wheeled POS’s).

  43. lurchpop on January 23, 2011 - Reply

    Those tailbones are hella newschool. Mine looked like a giant shiny stick of Irish Spring

  44. I had a variflex Grisham from when I stopped skating in 1980 or so. I pulled it out of my parents garage twenty years later along with (all very badly beaten up) a Sims Superply 9″, an 8.5″ Dog Town (graphics long gone, possibly a Red Dog) and a Caster Chris Strople. All of the other decks were basically the same as they had been 20 years earlier, but on the Grisham the bottom two plys (the ones with the routed channels) just peeled off as if it was made of cardboard

  45. I rode my Wired til it snapped in half. Never had a skateboard before or after that.

  46. I have just found an almost complete (ie: all plastics included, except the lapper) Variflex Voodoo II.
    Great great great !
    1989 again !

  47. garza Texas on December 24, 2011 - Reply

    my kid got a wood board that says 2 fast 2 know better for 5 bucks its a variflex withhockey tours274 wheels was that a good price?

  48. I found my old Vari XP series cleaning stuff at my mom’s house the other week. Still intact, everything original, but missing wheels/bearings. Was thinking about putting some 64mm cubic style wheels on it, but can’t find much info to see what would fit on that thing. I remember hating the stock wheels that came with it back in ’90 or ’91. Suggestions? The body style looks more like the Dead End above with the concave shape.

  49. i found a 1987 veraflex its called BREAKER its got a title wave with two eyes in the wave compleate with both rails nose bone and tail bone bran new un touched every thing never been skated i found it compleate in old fogotten store here in south carolina i bought it compleate for $35 i want to find out what it is worth

  50. Bringing back some serious memories!!!I I had the Variflex Wired and rode the hell out of it back in ’85-87. I got it for my birthday and couldn’t have been happier…only skateboard I ever had. I was cleaning out my Mother’s garage a couple of months ago and found it. Front truck is toast and I don’t remember adding custom stickers…but it’s still around. One of my buddies had the Valterra “Splatter”…think Back To The Future.

  51. Jake Aka.Uni-one on January 29, 2012 - Reply

    Those boards are all great but I hav a board called Skate Zombie that ive had since I was a kid, does anyone know about it an if so shoot me an e-mail and let me know what you know.

  52. is anybody selling a decent variflex skateboard in good shape i am willing to pay 80 dollars for it ?

  53. I had a Variflex Ramp Rat back in the late 80s. Most of My friends had Nash Executioners and some of my rich friends had the Peraltas. I was not a good skaetboarder at all and the thing got pretty beat up. Most who tried it complained that the trucks were loose and required more balance skills than a Nash. I have no idea what it cost and I’m actually a little embarrassed that I got caught up in the whole fake skater craze, I should have just gone back to playing with my legos or in my sandbox in my backyard.

  54. Yeah, Geoff, I had the Ramp Rat as well. My mom and I found one at Fred Meyer up there in Oregon. They all had a $70 dollar price tag except one, which was mismarked at $30. We scored that one. Turned out that it had excellent quality bearings in the wheels. I learned to ollie on that thing, then built a real street ramp and did stuff that friends couldn’t do on their Powell boards. The Ramp Rat was great until a few years later, it slipped out from under me (at a Fred Meyer parking lot) and some asshole ran over it and broke it in half, though amazingly it was still hanging together by a layer or three. I started off on an orange plastic Variflex banana board in the 70’s when I was six. That was rad. Check out the album cover of this bootleg my band just released: http://archive.org/details/EasyValleyJams_576
    That’s me now, using a friend’s fucked up board to pass the time… Rock on!

  55. Shawn beauCHAMP on January 7, 2013 - Reply

    Just found a super old all original hot dog model neone kno nething about it

  56. Criscobath on January 13, 2013 - Reply

    Respect the Flex. I was a broke kid with broke parents and a Veriflex hit the spot.

  57. Drew Poole on May 1, 2013 - Reply

    Has everyone forgot about the XPS signature series completes. The Aussie skaters tony Hallam and Valentine. + a few more models the spittal street etc. the decks are awesome, great wood good concave slightly higher tail . I have 5 NOS completes hanging on my roof! A High-Tail with vertex trucks and street rage wheels. XP Space Junk. Valentine street XPS. A Tony Hallam . Outer limits . And one of them Zinger urban sleds. Google it. On the instructions it says variflex inc 2004.

  58. Entropy on August 13, 2013 - Reply

    I rode the absolute *fuck* out of an early Variflex concave board back in the early 80’s. It was a pretty good board, though I did upgrade the wheels to Kryptonics eventually

  59. The wired was the biggest piece of toys’r’us crap ever, they all delaminated on the shelf…

  60. Diane Losi Coletti on December 19, 2013 - Reply

    O K children ,lets set the record straight . My Dad Ray Losi and my brother Jay Losi started Variflex in the 1970’s. They WERE innovators , please give them some credit . My uncle Gil Losi worked with them , left the company to start , with my cousin Gil “Junior” , the very successful RC company Team Losi . My cousin Allen was an amazing , again innovative skater . A sweet , kind soul . Loved him since the day he was born. My family did indeed quit the pro line and go mass market . It simply made sense . As “Chrisobath” said , broke ass kid , Variflex hit the spot. I’m proud of my family . BTW , Al is NOT in jail! Quit the hatin’. That goes for you too , my sweet cousin. In the end my family made a lot of kids happy . Good Karma . Guess that’s why they made 30 something million dollars when they sold it to Bravo. Have a nice day !

    • Thanks for the update old lady!

      • Diane Losi Coletti on December 19, 2013 - Reply

        Thanks Kilwag , BTW I am a lady ,however I could still stick one of your fine collection of skateboards up your
        ass .

    • Diane, I used to live near your dad Ray in Reseda in the early 80’s. He used to hook all the neighborhood kids up with Variflex boards. My first was a Lance Mountain. He was a cool guy. Good times!!

  61. Diane Losi Coletti on December 20, 2013 - Reply

    You betcha Kilwag , when exactly did you rob my family’s factory ? Yes sir , I am a very classy Lady. Goodnight and Happy Holidays. Just stickin’ by my family , whilst you trash it .

    • You’re funny. You should learn how to read. I haven’t trashed your family at all, but you’re doing a good job of it.

  62. talentlessquitter on December 20, 2013 - Reply

    The hatred …

  63. Russ Coletti on December 20, 2013 - Reply

    Let me tell you how fucked up Variflex was. They sat down one day and asked each other, do we want to make $30,000 a year making skateboards, or do we want to make $30,000,000?”..Ummm..quite a dilema huh? Tony Hawk used to come to them for business advice..Tony sucks too huh?

  64. its business. Just Do It!

  65. Diane Losi Coletti on December 20, 2013 - Reply

    Finally Kilwag , “The Museum of Crap” isn’t very insulting at all. Thanks for the clouds comment , that was nice.
    I know how to read . Graduated from UCLA before you were born .I guess I assumed you owned the boards. You just compiled them. Trashing my family ? Don’t get that.
    Love,
    The Old Lady

    • Variflex made some quality gear at one time, but the items in these pictures are toy-store quality. Those are the facts. Plenty of companies mass produced boards that weren’t crap. These boards are crap. Ask your cousin.

  66. Nice save, Randy. For the record, Diane, “old lady” would
    be a cheap shot comeback if he thought you ever skated – and I’m sure he wouldn’t call any of the early female skaters that, except affectionately – but I’m sure he’d call any non-skater male as old as himself or older who took more out than he ever put in an “old man”. And we’re not talkin’ people like Powell or Van Doren.

    • Oh wait, I guess it was just in response to your “children” remark (in which case it bit you in the ass like a pair of dentures).

  67. Krammetje on January 23, 2014 - Reply

    I had a variflex board back in the 90’s

    i left it outside in the rain one day and the whole board just delaminated. Utter rubbish!

    The trucks were graet tho.

  68. T Aremember Cole on June 17, 2014 - Reply

    Ray Losi Jr was my hero growing up in Reseda Ca. He lived in my condos and used to give me free boards,posters,stickers and anything else Veriflex made. I remember he had Bill Bougart, Eric Greshem and lance mountain out to the condo complex and they hung out with all the skate kids from the neighborhood messing around in the alley behind his garage. I remember Ray had this really crazy speed boat with a monster engine in it and he would fire that thing up and wake up the whole town of Reseda. Ray Losi is the reason why I own, live and breath fast boats. Not to forget the fact that I am a true old school skater at heart because of his influence.I hope Ray is well. Peace T. Cole

    • I lived in those condos on Vanalden Street. Ray used to hook us up with EVERYTHING!! I remember hanging out by the garage and skating all alleys and curbs. Quite a crew of kids in that complex. I’ll bet we skated together.

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