By House of Neil on January 14th, 2013
I just flew back from England (and boy are my arms tired!) where I spent Xmas with my family. I was amazed to see a skateboard store had popped up in Wallasey Village. Wallasey is across the river Mersey from Liverpool. It’s an old town (60,000 or so) that gets mentioned in book back to the 11th century. The Village always had very traditional old school stores: banks, bakeries, grocers, butchers etc. In recent years it seems to have changed to all hairdressers and fast food shops, but never in a billion years would I ever have expected to see a skateboard store in the village! So good luck Rampworx! I think you’ll need it though. There’s not a lot of foot traffic in the village anymore, unless you count the old dears going down to the post office to collect their pensions!
So welcome to the December 2012 edition of eBayWatch. Normally prices skyrocket in December as loved ones take to eBay to buy presents for their significant skater others, and in the past they haven’t really cared what they had to pay so long as they win that Xmas present! This year seemed a little different though. Sure there were some high-ticket items, but nothing was really out there, and across the board prices didn’t seem much higher than normal. But what I do think is that the rash of reissues going for insane amounts is part of this. Spouses/moms and dads won’t know detail. All they will know is that Johnny really likes that skateboard with the creepy grim reaper on it, and I can win it in new condition for $500! At this level details get lost. It’s just a skateboard with a picture on it. So I’m guessing that is what happened. Why do I think that? Well, a SC O’Brien Reaper reissue that was exactly the same as the one that went off last month for over $500 just went off for $80. So it can’t be that $500 is the going price. It was a case of mistaken identity. And I’m sticking with that theory to keep my sanity!
Now, I want to deal with something else too. I had some feedback last month asking me why I’d missed a Hawk and a McGill. Regular readers will know the reason why I don’t cover big name decks like that too often. But I might have new readers too so let’s touch on that. First off, it’s MY column. I cover decks that I find interesting and unusual. It was never meant to be a catalog of used skateboard values, so there is no agenda to cover everything. There are probably 25 Hawks and McGills going off every month. So every month my column could feature the same old decks, blah blah blah. Where’s the interest or fun in that? So it’s not that I “missed” those decks. I just choose not to cover them. If there’s an exceptional colorway, or an interesting complete setup, then maybe I would. Also, you all have to be able to see the deck otherwise this is just words. So auctions with tiny or blurry pictures, or auctions with watermarks across the images will never be featured here. I also have no ulterior motives. I don’t show certain decks to try and inflate pricing. That’s impossible anyway. EBay is such an inexact science and prices can fluctuate wildly from week to week.
There’s no music selection this month. Instead I’m gonna give you my take on the Powell Peralta “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography” documentary. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock then you know that Stacy Peralta has been working on this for years. And it finally came out a couple of months back, but he didn’t do the normal theatrical release. He had screenings in major cities, some put on by skaters themselves. Then he went straight to DVD, selling it direct from the Bones Brigade website. It also went straight to iTunes and Netflix. That was a ballsy move, and he is to be congratulated for creating an alternative to the traditional movie release method. They also released a series of reissue decks for the classic lineup of the Bones Brigade, as well as selling personal items etc. The pros and cons of the quality of the decks, or the way in which Powell handled the presale is a topic for another discussion. I want to touch on my gut reaction to the movie itself. First let me say that I enjoyed the quality of the movie. It was good to see those clips I remember from grainy videos in full quality. I also enjoyed SOME of the interviews and voiceovers, but I find Stacy’s over dramatic proclamations to be self-serving and irritating. He is just sooo sincere!!!! I’m also afraid to say that I find most pro skaters to be incredibly dull, so their interviews are too. Most have had pampered lives, so they have very little to say that is of any interest or depth. They have spent their lives living in perfect weather, being chauffeured from skatepark to skatepark with few of the challenges that the rest of us face. So I find myself zoning out when they complain that they almost had to get 9-5 jobs. Boo fucking hoo. The only person I did find compelling was Rodney Mullen. Now there is a kid who has been through so much shit and rose above all of it. He might be out there but most geniuses are. I needed more Rodney and less of the rest of them. Overall my main question was “who is Stacy making this movie for?” Who is the target audience? Skaters from the eighties will know pretty much everything in this video already. We know the major players and their stories. And does anybody else care? What I would have liked was some of the shit that we didn’t know. Like why didn’t Gelfand make it in with the other guys? Who else was on the team and why didn’t they make it? Stacy, if you’re gonna do a real documentary we have to see it all, warts and all. What happened with Grabke and Vallely for example? Otherwise it’s just slick propaganda. Or a long form commercial for the reissue decks…
First up this in the 70s section this month is this Sims Dave Andrecht from 1981. It comes complete with Gullwing Pro 9s and white Sims Snakes. The deck is super clean, and in fact it only looks like it was ridden once or twice! Seriously, they don’t get much cleaner than this. This sold for $750. I know it’s not the best graphic in the world, but this was from that difficult age, when the 70s were dying and the 80s boom hadn’t picked up yet. A whole generation of pros disappeared virtually overnight and new legends were about to be born. So decks like this one have a special place in my heart. Which brings us to…
Here we have a Variflex Billy Beauregard “Gator” from 1982. He was a Florida pro that rode for Variflex when they had one of the best pro teams in the world, along with Eddie Elguera, Alan Losi, Eric Grisham, Mike Hirsch and Lance Mountain. Billy is one of those pros that fell off the map completely and was never ever really heard from again. He had two decks on Variflex, and this is probably the best. This one is NOS, even though it has rails and has been gripped. It’s super rare, but because nobody remembers him these days it sold for only $437. Still, now more people know! It’s my job to educate!
Here we have another rare one. This is a G&S Frank Blood from 1981. It comes complete with Trackers and red Kryptonics. Frank was the skateboarding brother of vertical roller-skater Fred Blood. Earlier he skated for the Sims team, but signed up with G&S to finish up his pro career. G&S used this same deck design for a lot of their pros, simply changing the name in the inlay. It later became the generic ProLine deck. This sold for $552.
And here we have a Sims Mike Folmer S-Ply 10” Stinger from 1979. It’s absolutely NOS, not a ding or blemish anywhere on it. The griptape is as clean as the day it rolled off the production line. The graphic style is obviously similar to the Andrecht and Lamar with the name vertically down the middle, but this doesn’t have the routed section down the sides where the Sims type is. It sold for $1,000.
And here we have the obligatory Z-Flex Jay Adams from 1974. It comes complete with Trackers and original OJ wheels. Even though it’s used and you see mint Jay Adams decks every month, I really liked the angles of the photos the seller took, and I also think that the wear gives this deck a lot more character than the mint ones. This looks like it’s experienced some fun in some pools! The bushings are shot and the front truck is rusted up. But what would you expect from a 40-year-old skateboard? It sold for $1,000.
And here’s a Kanoa Bobby Valdez Tri-Beam from 1979. You seldom see Kanoa decks come up on eBay, so you knew this was going to go big despite the wear on the deck. Actually it’s not that bad. Sure there are a lot of goofy stickers, but there are a lot of cool ones too, and they do give this board an authenticity that wouldn’t be there if it was too clean. It comes complete with Indy Stage I’s and Kanoa Rollout wheels, both of which give this deck even more cache! Clean up some of the crappy stickers and you’d have a real winner here, but like I said, this wasn’t cheap: it sold for $1,325 on 29 bids.
And finally from the 60s and 70s this month we have this Nash “Rat Fink” skateboard from the early 60s. It’s actually in NOS condition believe it or not, the deck is clean and the “trucks” and steel wheels both look like they haven’t touched pavement. The graphic is obviously by Ed ‘Big daddy” Roth, making this old beast HIGHLY collectible. It sold for $695 on 32 bids.
So first up in the 80s section this month we have this G&S Neil Blender “Jumper” complete from 1982. Most folks think the “Snake and Lattice” was Neil’s first model, but not true. It was his first good graphic, but he had a couple of other G&S models before that. This is the second one, and it is very unusual to see it on eBay at all. SO what happens? Two show up in the same month. The other is in the quick hitters section. The poorly drawn graphic was Neil’s representation of the Stiff Little Fingers “Go For It” album cover. The kind of doodle that we all did on our notebooks in school. But for some reason G&S decided to put it on his pro model! It comes complete with Trackers and Powell Cubics. It’s in good used condition, and like I said is a very rare deck, but would you put this on the wall? I’m guessing no. It sold for $1,028 on 19 bids.
Here we have a Powell Peralta Steve Caballero “Dragon” pig from 1982. It’s in good used condition and comes complete with Trackers and Bones Threes. But that isn’t all it comes with, oh no! Think “maximum plastic”! It has what looks like an inch of riser pads, the thick Tracker copers, nose bone, tailbone, rails, mini rails on the tail, and not one but two lappers! The two lappers are what does it for me. There is no reason at all for that. The nose is so small on this pig that there really is no way to ride this board backwards, so I’m not sure what the lapper on the front truck ever does. Apart from make the board weigh a metric ton of course. It sold for $454 on 12 bids.
And here we have an Alva Chris Cook “Jester” from 1986. The deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted, and it comes in the classic Alva fade. This one goes from black to purple, and it makes an otherwise mundane deck truly special. The fades are the most collectible colorways for the mid 80s Alva pro decks, but that being said I’m surprised that this one went so cheap. It sold for $230 on 8 bids.
Here we have a Dogtown “Born Again” team deck from 1985. This was the first mid 80s deck for the recently reborn Dogtown. With the success of Suicidal Tendencies, Mike Muir, the younger brother of Jim Muir worked with his brother to resurrect the brand. There was this deck, then the Stonefish and then the Possessed to Skate model, all in close succession. This one is NOS and comes with a bunch of vintage stickers too. It sold for $600 on a Buy It Now after 12 hours.
This is one of those auctions where the overall package is greater than the sum of its parts. There is just so much going on here! The deck is a Vision “Street Ghost” team deck from 1985 from the Old Ghosts series. The graphic was by John Grigley, and if it looks janked it’s because he drew it left handed, having just broken his right arm on a launch ramp. The deck is in very good used condition, and the colorway is brill: baby blue dip with tons of bright colors. And the bright colors don’t stop there! The Gullwings are bright red and black, the copers are purple and blue, the lapper is red, the Vision Blurr wheels are bright green as are the rails, the tailbone is pink and the nosebone is blue. Overall it might be the loudest board that I have ever seen. It sold for $450.
Ohhhh, you don’t see this everyday! A Tracker GSD “eyeball” with original GSD promo poster. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this particular version of the deck before, because it has both front and rear wheelwells. The rear wheelwells were removed almost immediately from this deck for strength, so this is probably one of the only NOS GSD decks like this in the world. It’s the first pro street model. This sold for $380 on 6 bids.
Here we have a really nice Santa Cruz Tom Knox “Firepit” from 1989. This is a deck that is finally beginning to climb in value, because it’s been selling relatively cheaply for too long. For the last few years you could normally get one in the $300 range, and for that reason it is a staple of many collections. However, that appears to be changing, as this NOS model sold for $797. The dark stain is nice, allowing the blues, yellows and reds to really pop. It’s an impressive looking deck and might be a watershed for Knox decks in the future.
Now here’s one for all you freestyle collectors out there. Have you ever seen this one before? No? Neither had I! It’s a Kryptonics Stuart Singer “Cobra” freestyle deck from, well, I don’t know really! I can’t find any info out about this deck! From the crazy wheelwells and the finger flip cutouts by the nose I’d say it is 1980 vintage maybe? It comes complete with yellow Trackers and Sims “Rocco” wheels. It sold for $400. Interestingly enough, Variflex re-released the same deck in 1981, but with smaller wheelwells.
Here we have an Uncle Wiggley Tony Magnusson “Masks” deck from 1983. It is Tony’s first pro model, and came in two versions: foam/Kevlar or epoxy/glass. This is the rarer foam/Kevlar model. It’s in used condition as you can see, but to see this deck in any condition at all is a rarity. As with all UWS decks it came with sex bolts in the nose (and tail here) to keep the thing from totally splitting apart after nose bonks. You get a fine collection of stickers on this deck too, but most are on the topside. This deck was part of the same series as the original UWS argyle team models. It sold for $375.
Damn! Here we have a really nice Powell Peralta Mike McGill “Skull and Snake” from 1984. It’s in NOS condition, never ridden, but it does have the factory grip that was applied to all PP decks back then. It’s in the classic white pearl dip, and the green and red graphic is perfect on that background. The newly reissued Hawk is also on the white pearl interestingly enough. I knew this deck was from Europe as soon as I saw it. Know hoe? Yes, the eyes of the skull. The batch that was sent to the UK all had no eyeballs. I’m not sure if they were seconds or a mistake, but the ones in the States had the eyeballs. Not that it matters. That’s a sharp looking deck and it sold for $2,650 on 19 bids.
Here’s a classic! It’s the Powell Peralta Lance Mountain “Future Primitive” version 1.5 from 1985, and I much prefer this version to the more commonly seen one. Version 1 had the main character doing the layback air, but underneath him was a skater doing a finger flip. This version has the skater doing the invert, making in version 1.5. The layback air character was replaced by the two hunters running with dog on the “final” version. This particular deck is in silver dip, and comes complete with black Trackers and red Kryptonics. The deck is in good used condition. It sold for $975 on 22 bids.
And here’s another classic early Powell Peralta deck. This is the Rodney Mullen “mutt” from 1981. I have never seen this interesting colorway before, and it seems most unusual for a Powell. The black dip with ice blue graphic and yellow highlights is hot. At least I think so! It comes complete with the rare Independent freestyle trucks and Powell freestyle wheels. I love this thing! It sold for $399, which seems low…
OK, you kids want classic? Well feat your eyes on this. Yes it looks like it’s been a wood chipper, but let me tell you, this is the real fucking deal. It’s an SMA Natas Kaupas “Panther” Mark 1 from 1985: the very first Natas pro deck. It came in one colorway: the yellow dip with pink triangle, green banner and red type. I’ve seen some with a clear banner, but that’s the only color variation I know of. I had one of these, as did Kilwag (Several! – k.ed). It does my heart good to see one in any condition. This one is really messed up through skating (look at the flat nose from wall jams!) and being left out in the rain. The topside is even worse than the bottom. But as destroyed as this is it still sold for $104 on 9 bids.
Now here we have another super rare early G&S pro deck, much like the Blender deck that started the 80s section. It’s a Billy Ruff pro model from 1980, and his first pro deck, despite what it says on AOS. It was a ProLine team deck, which was screened, in blue dip with the simplest of graphics just to get a Ruff deck out there, probably so he could enter a pro contest. It is in NOS condition, and comes complete with Indy Stage 1s and Yoyo double conicals. The thing is super clean and sold for $585 on 13 bids.
And here we have a Santa Cruz team deck from 1987. AOS calls it the “Logo deck” but that’s not working for me at all. I’m gonna call it the “Space-age Logo” because it looks like a logo hey might have used on a rocket in the 50s! It’s been gripped and lightly ridden, but looks like NOS from a distance! The colorway is bright and the graphic is interesting enough. I like it! This sold for $163 putting it in everybody’s price range.
And here’s another Santa Cruz team deck. This is a very early R/SC (Ramp/Street Concave) “Classic Dot” model from 1983. The “Street Skate” came out about 6 months later, which was basically the same deck with a more street oriented graphic. You normally see this in a teal/white colorway, but the red dip with yellow is far more eye-catching. It comes complete with Indys and red Sims Streets. This sold for $325 on 5 bids. Start rant: Some anal prick decided to bust the seller’s balls by saying the letters had been touched up so it was misleading. For fucks sake! It’s a used skateboard deck. It’s got scratches and dings. They are all in the photos. Stop always looking for shit to complain about! If you wanted a mint deck you weren’t gonna buy this anyway you miserable prick! OK, rant over.
And here’s a beauty! It’s a Madrid Mike Smith “Duck” from 1985. It’s NOS, never gripped or mounted. Yes, that’s Mike’s signature under the graphic. The bright blue dip is amazing, and the white and yellow graphic really screams off of it. This graphic has been reissued a few times, but you rarely see the original, especially not in NOS condition! It’s a rare beauty and it sold for $677 on 13 bids. It’s one of my favorite decks of the month.
And here’s another one of my favorites! It’s a Skull Skates Steve Olson “Checkered” from 1985. It’s been gripped and lightly ridden, but there’s been no major damage to the graphic at all. It also hasn’t been drilled for rails, which is nice. The top has clear griptape, which hasn’t yellowed with age like a lot of clear grip, so the top graphic looks fine too. The graphic is simple but classic, but the best part of this deck is the colorway. The red and silver looks amazing and I would LOVE to own this deck in this colorway. It sold for $349 on 12 bids.
Here we have a Powell Peralta Ray Underhill “Cross” from 1989. It’s the full size, seven ply model in an awesome purple stain. The beauty of the wood really shows in this deck, and the silvers and blue graphic is subtle and sophisticated. It’s mint in shrink and sold for $411 on 10 bids, which is incredible if you remember that OSS couldn’t give these away about 5 years ago.
And finally from the 80s this month we have another favorite of mine. It’s a Tracker Dan Wilkes “Dino Channel Air” from 1986. This is his first pro model and is rarely seen in any condition, but this one is mint in shrink. It’s also one of the best colorways I’ve seen for this graphic. The green stain and mustard and lavender was an inspired choice. It looks outstanding, and it sold for $599 on 11 bids. I love the graphic, love the colorway, and love that Dan Wilkes allowed us to interview him for Skate and Annoy in 1987! Nice one!
First up in the 90s section this month we have this Plan B Pat Duffy “Boba Fett” slick from 1993. It’s supposedly one of “The 50 Greatest Skateboards of the 90s.” but to me it’s just blah. Obvious too. How much originality does it take to put a movie screen grab on a generic skateboard? Not much, but then the 90s were like that weren’t they? It sold for $612 on 22 bids.
So here’s a more interesting one. It’s a Birdhouse Tony Hawk “Titanic” from 1994. It was supposed to be his retirement deck, but then the X-Games started and Tony’s career took off all over again, making him the mega start that he is today. So he probably has had as many pro decks after this retirement as he had before it! It sold for $450 on 15 bids.
Here we have a C&D (Cease and Desist) Rudy Johnson “Sylvester” from, well last year or something I guess. Why am I showing it here? Because the buyer must not have read the description and thought that it was an original Blind deck. There can be no other reason why they would have paid $580 for a deck that is less than 3 years old. Right? I mean other C&D decks normally go off in the $100 range.
At least the seller of the C&D deck admitted what it was and wasn’t trying to deceive. The seller of this Santa Cruz Keith Meek “Slasher”? Not so much. It’s clearly a reissue, as shown by the new school truck holes and the bar code inside the shrink. But the seller lists it as “1986 vintage original skateboard” and says nonsense like “You will not find a NOS Meek Slasher deck ever again!” Indeed, and you’re not selling one here either. Boardstr8, you should be ashamed. You conned some poor sap out of $550.
And then you have sellers like this one. The auction is for a Powell Peralta Mike Vallely “Elephant” deck. It is clearly a reissue: it says New Issue in small letters by the back truck. But the seller doesn’t mention the word “reissue” anywhere in his description. However, in his defense he never says original or vintage either, so I don’t know if he’s really trying to fool anybody. He says words like “pristine” and “no paint voids or scrapes”. The deck is new but not in shrink and has been signed by Mike. The Elephant decks have been reissued numerous times in may colorways, so I can’t believe that this would have gone for $405 if the buyer didn’t think it was the real deal.
OK, along with the Bones Brigade documentary they reissued a bunch of decks and sold a bunch of personal collectibles. The stuff started showing up on eBay almost immediately at vastly inflated prices (of course)! Here was one of the first. It is a reissued Skull and Sword in black dip that has been signed in silver sharpie by all of the original members of the Bones Brigade plus Stacey and George. It sold for $2,045 on 19 bids. I think the deck cost $699 when the flipper bought it? Yes, congratulations. You made somebody who really wanted this deck pay 3 times more than they had to. Fuck you.
Now here somebody decided to cash in on the Bones popularity by selling their vintage t-shirt collection. You get a vintage Cab Dragon on bearing, McGill Skull and Snake, Cab dragon and bats and Skull and Sword. All are size medium and have holes and some wear marks etc. The blue cab dragon shirt looks much smaller, like a baby shirt! And of course an 80s medium would be like a xs today. Because we are all fat assess! They sold for $497 with 17 bids.
So you want to flaunt your “old school cred”? What better way than to buy this collection of 39 issues of the original Skateboarder Magazine from June 1976 through July 1980. Skateboarder was the best skateboard magazine of all time, and I always love looking through the few issues that I still have. It’s also great to see how tricks and skating have evolved, and the equipment that was cutting edge back then. So I hope whoever bought this collection is enjoying it for the history in there and not just as a way to pretend they were there back in the day. It sold for $425.
So remember looking at Thrasher back in the mid 80s and seeing the bad ass Zorlac pros on the deck of the ramp, all in their custom t-shirts etc.? You wanted one really badly didn’t you? But instead you had to settle for the “Skate Rat” t-shirt from JC Penney. Well fast forward 25 years and you can buy one of them on eBay! This came from either Craig Johnson or the Abrooks, and has been in England for the past 20 years. Of course, wearing this today won’t have the same effect as it did 25 years ago. Most of the kids who thought it was cool then will probably have you arrested if you show up at their house wearing this shirt and your Life’s a Beach shorts. It sold for $800.
See ya next month.
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