By House of Neil on June 9th, 2015
So welcome everybody to the new bay watch, covering the months of March-April 2015. Prices are on the rise again. Maybe it’s people spending tax refunds, maybe it’s the economy. But whatever it is, prices on everything seem to be going up. And the biggest jumps are on those mid-tier boards that probably wouldn’t have gone for much more $200 a few years ago. A NOS Tom Groholski? Joe Johnson? Eric Nash? Sure, that will be $700 please. As more and more collectors come into the hobby what was once common is not common anymore!
This month I’ve been listening to a myriad of things, both old and new. But two things that really stand out are the second album by The Vapors, and the debut album by Ima Robot. The Vapors are obviously most well known for their huge hit Turning Japanese which was on their outstanding first album “New Clear Days”. They received a lot of publicity and had three charting singles off that album. They were also helped by the mod revival going on in England at the time, leading to myriads of clean-cut, power pop bands being signed up. However, after a few months the bottom fell out of that craze, and talented bands like The Vapors were left without a pot to piss in. Or in their case, a record label. In 1979 they quietly released their second album, “Magnets”. There was nary a hit in sight anymore, despite the fact that Jimmy Jones, the first single from the album being most excellent. I recently got the album on vinyl, and I met admit that I’m blown away. It’s a far darker album than the first one, but it works as a cohesive album far better than the first one is, which is clearly a collection of the best of their early songs. “Magnets” is an amazing piece of work. Odd vocals, strange lyrical content, mysterious references. But the songs are far more adventurous than on the first record. It’s an amazing album, and the best part is that you can normally find it for under $5!
Kilwag turned me onto Ima Robot almost a decade ago. I was (still am) a huge Epoxies fan and he said I should try these guys out because they were similar in style. I bought the debut CD and listened to a few songs. It seemed OK but nothing special. Well when running recently i just happened to put the album on, and it is amazing. The album is from 2003 and is retro new wave, but with more comedy and a real world feel than the Epoxies and their outer space love songs. How to describe it? Imagine a modern version of Pete Shelley’s solo recordings but with Panic at the Disco as the backing band and Jello Biafra’s more mellow younger brother on vocals. Yeah that sums it up. The songs are well crafted and on point: no meandering nonsense. I love it. Now I have to find their otter 2 albums.
First up this month/quarter/period is this Flite “Flitewood” team model form 1978. It comes complete with split axle Gullwing HPG IV trucks and green Kryptonic wheels. But that’s not all! In this amazing package you also get all of his safety equipment from back in the day! You get Rector soft knee and elbow pads, Rector PalmPad gloves, a 70s helmet, vintage 360 taildome and 2 sets of ½ inch riserpads! The skateboard itself is in amazingly good used condition, and even though the safety equipment shows more wear (it was clearly used before he got this setup) it’s still in decent shape. The other stuff alone could have fetched 300, so for this whole collection to sell for $771 is a real bargain.
Next up we have your classic Z-Flex Jay Adams setup from 1974. But unlike most from this era it doesn’t have Tracker trucks. Like the board above, this one has split axle Gullwing HPG IV trucks, but this time in gold with original Gull Wing stickers still intact Note, not Gullwing, but Gull Wing. Talk about rare. And the wheels are original OJs. Let’s face iot, this thing is a freaking treasure trove. It sold for $1,692 on 36 bids.
And here we have another Z-Flex Jay Adams from 1974, although this was done in a super rare tie-dye mold. This one is so mint that it is undrilled, but I’m not sure about the Zephyr sticker though. It looks too clean to be original. And were there any that were dual branded like this? It’s been signed by Jay on the nose, but that is a fairly recent addition too.It sold for $800.
And here we have an original Variflex Lance Mountain “Knight” deck from 1982. In all my years of doing this I have never seen another Variflex Mountain in NOS condition like this. It still has the original die cut factory grip up-top, and the rails were factory mounted too. It’s an amazing deck, and even though the graphic isn’t great, the matte black dip is outstanding. This is truly the deck of the month. It sold for $2,200 on 3 very large bids.
Here we have a Logan Earth Ski “Geometrics” team deck from 1980. It comes complete with rails, tail and nsoe guard, and is in NOS condition. Let’s face it, that graphics are a catastrophe, but also very cool because who knew that Logan Earth Ski were even still making decks in the early80s? Never mind a large pig shaped deck? It’s an oddity alright! It sold for $290 on 5 bids.
And from a similar time period we have this Walker Skateboards Jim McCall “Pro Series” deck from 1981. Like Sims decks of the time it has routed out insets on the sides for grabs, but Walker put some kind of grippy material in there instead of the rider’s name. It has totally simplistic graphics: little more than the company logo and some lines really, but the yellow dip and the cutaway shape do make this deck rise above the mundane. Jim McCall continued to ride and put out freestyle and regular sized decks on Walker for much of the rest of the decade. This sold for $399.
And finally from the 70s this month we have this Sims Lonnie Toft “Outrageous 8-Wheeler” from 1978. Obviously the deck is totally iconic, but it must have been a bitch to ride. This one has a few period sticker on it, and is in very good used condition. There must still be a lot of 8-wheeler fans out there, because it sold for a large $1,200. And now somebody has almost a perfect one!
So first up in the fabulous 80s section is this Powell Peralta Ray Barbee “Rag Doll” from 1989. It’s in a delicious bright red stain and is mint but not in shrink. This is a really great colorway, and I think it’s the 3rd version of the Barbee graphic. It sold for $575 on 12 bids.
Next up we this G&S Neil Blender “Faces” deck from 1987. It’s NOS, never mounted or gripped, but does have some storage scuffs. It’s warped too, but who really cares because this should never ever be ridden. It’s a work of art mate. Skating it would be like buying a Picasso to reuse the canvas. It sold for $1,030 on 16 bids.
Here we have a G&S Florian Bohm “Falling” full size deck. It’s in a magnificent split stain: the tail end natural, the nose end a deep shiny black dip. The funny thing is, the main graphic is actually only one color: lavender, but it works amazingly well on the two different base colors. This is a striking, beautiful looking deck. It is NOS, but does have some surface marks, especially on the shiny black. It’s a beautiful deck and it sold for $445 on 6 bids.
Here we have a graphic that I’ve never seen before. I thought I’d seen all of the early Brand X graphics, but this one is new to me, and I don’t think that I’ve seen it on eBay before!? It is NOS, never gripped or mounted. It has a simply fish shape and some very gentle concave. The split color is amazingly clean and bright, and the graphic is simple and effective. It’s not one of the classic Brand X graphics though, and that shows because it sold for $160 on 6 bids.
Here we have a Zorlac “Gargoyle” team deck from 1987. This one is mint, not in shrink. It was the year of really funky shapes, and this one is among the funkiest. This one falls in the “penis-shaped” mold. It doesn’t look particularly functional either: the hips are too narrow for the jump ramp and street skating that was prevalent of the time, and I don’t really know why it has that enormous “head”. It almost looks like they shaped the board around the graphic! Whatever the shape it is very popular with collectors. It sold for $1,575 on 41 bids.
Now here we have a Vision Mark “Gator” Rogowski “Gator II –Shapes” from 1988. This is the mini version, and is NOS< never gripped or mounted. It’s in an amazing sparkly silver dip with pink and black graphic. This thing really does look outstanding and special. Look at the way those colors vibrate towards the nose, even in this photograph. Imagine how great it looks in person! It sold for $650.
Here we have a Zorlac John Gibson “Cow Skull” from 1985. The deck is NOS, never mounted or gripped, but I’m not sure that this one really deserves that designation: It has some really nasty storage marks, especially on the top-side. But still, this is a very rare deck, and one of my favorites from back in the day. I had a blue dip one with yellow skull, much like this. I’d love another, and with prices like this, maybe I’ll own one again some day, because I swear this went for far more a few years ago. It sold for $930 on 40 bids.
Here we have a Vision Mark Gonzales “Color My Friends” deck from 1988. The deck is in used but good condition with some graphic smears and scratches but nothing much really. It’s a rad colorway too: red stain with green and yellow graphic. The Gonz names looks hand colored with pink and purple marker. That’s a nice looking deck. It sold for $1,095 on 35 bids.
Now here’s one that you NEVER see! It’s a Titus Skates Claus Grabke “Clock” deck from 1984. Claus is German, and this is from Titus, the company he rode for in Germany. It’s in poor condition as you can see. The paint is well chipped and the nose and tail are chewed up. The green and yellow is nothing to write home about, but is one of the first uses of the clock that was to be his motif. It’s made with some kind of fiberglass and wood combination. It sold for $450 which seems amazingly cheap.
And here we have the most well known Claus Grabke graphic of all. It’s the Santa Cruz Claus Grabke “Exploding Clock” from 1987. This one is mint in shrink with the warranty card, which you never see! It’s in the classic pink dip colorway too, with purple yellow and blue graphic. This deck has really exploded (ha ha) in value recently, but to see a mint one is a real rarity and I thought this would have gone HUGE, but I guess most folks didn’t see it because of the Buy It Now. It sold for $900 on a Buy It Now after about 90 minutes.
Here we have the legendary Santa Cruz Jeff Grosso “Alice” deck from 1988. It is in decent used condition: the graphic is all there and was well protected by the bright pink rails. But those would be the first thing to go after purchase I reckon. They’ve done their job, now they are too distracting on a display board. The colorway isn’t the best; I much prefer the red or the white dip, but these decks don’t come around that often sooo… It sold for $1,464 on 31 bids.
Now here we have a G&S Nicky Guerrero “Alien Moon” from 1989. It’s NOS, never gripped or mounted. The colorway is amazing here. The deep purple stain is luxurious, and the other colors really pop off of it. It’s a lovely looking deck that goes far beyond the rather mundane graphical content. The super pointy nose on this one always interested me too. It sold for $500.
Now this Haro “Flight Deck” from 1985 was the classic bargain basement team deck. Haro was (is?) a BMX company that tried to grab a piece of the skate action in the mid 80s. They produced a woeful series of decks (the Flight Deck being one, and the Circuit Board” being the other one, get it?!) that were clearly just cash grabs. They also produced some horrific knee and elbow pads that looked good, but apparently would shatter on impact. This deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted. The black dip version is much nice than this one because at least you can read all of the dials etc. But I guess even the crappy things from our childhood have kitsch value because this sold for $300.
So I tell you what. Let’s take a look at the first Powell Peralta Tony Hawk “Chicken Skull” that I’ve shown in ages. This one is the tits: seven play, full sized, mint in shrink, rare yellow colorway. So basically it’s the top end as far as this deck goes. It sold for $1,525 on 23 bids. The Hawk “Chicken Skull” is like the gold standard of decks. And by the look of this price, it’s going up again after some declines in recent years.
Here we have a Concrete Jungle Jay Adams “Concrete Surfer” from 1986. Jay was largely forgotten through most of the 80s and actually had very few pro decks out. This was one of the few, and a better drawn version of this graphic was later also produced by a company called X-Caliber. Apparently Jay gave this deck to Kele Rosecrans in 1994, and it is signed on the tail saying just that. The deck is NOS obviously and it sold for $1,700.
Now here we have a Santa Cruz Jason Jessee “Neptune—Mermaid tail” from 1988. The deck is gripped but never ridden, and judging by the look of it somebody bought this in the last 10 years and gripped it ready to ride before they realized that eBay existed and those old skateboards were worth a lot of money. How do I know that? That is Edger griptape, which is relatively new: you can tell by the size of it. I’m glad they didn’t ride it though because the colorway on this one is sick. The orange stain is a thing of beauty, and the graphic colors are breathtaking. It’s truly a gorgeous deck, and it sold for $1,099.
And here we have a Santa Cruz Jeff Kendall ‘Graffiti” from 1986. It’s in amazing mint condition, although not in shrink. The natural wood is still light so it has not seen the sun in 30 years! The colors here are really spectacular: the fluorescent greens and yellows are amazing and the other colors are complimentary. This is a deck that has clearly exploded in popularity and value over the last few years. It sold for $2,000 on a Buy It Now after about 8 hours. Nice find somebody!
Here we have a Powell Peralta Rodney Mullen “Chess” deck from 1984. The deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted, but it does have a lot of storage marks, especially on the top side. Any of the early Powell Mullens are super collectible and they never really lose their value. This one sold for $1,250 on 18 bids.
Here we have a deck that has gone up in value a lot over the past 5 years. It’s a Sims Eric Nash “Bandito” from 1987. The deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted. It’s in a superb purple woodstain with an amazing gradation in the Sims type from light blue to fluorescent green. It’s truly outstanding, and even though it’s not the first version of the graphic, it’s still an amazing looking deck. It sold for $522 on 23 bids.
Much like last months Baywatch, there were some awesome Jeff Phillips decks that went during this period, and this is the best of the lot. It’s the 1987 Sims Jeff Phillips “Tie-Dye demon”. The deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted, but it does have some minor storage marks and stress cracks. I love the purple demon on this one, and how that pops off the loud tie-dye pattern in the background. And finally you have the red dip base. Very nice. It sold for $1,040 on 3 bids.
Now here we have a deck that you very rarely see! It’s a Skull Skates Jonny Ray “Skate Fast” deck from 1986. The deck is in very good used condition. It literally looks like it was ridden about 2 times, with the slightest bit of wear to the tail. The graphics are amazingly bright on the black dip, and even the blue griptape up top looks great! The deck features the “bat tail” shape that both Alva and Skull were producing around this time. This sold for $500, which seems really cheap for a deck as cool as this.
Here we have a classic Kryptonics “Ripstik 1” team deck from 1984. This was the classic gory “blood and guts” graphic that Stacy makes fun of at the beginning of Future Primitive. It’s in NOS condition, never gripped or mounted. The shape is pretty rad actually, and suggests that this was a second version of that classic graphic, so let’s call it a “Ripstik 1.5”. The first was on a straight pig shape, but this has a blunt nose and it has rear and front wheel wells. And it has concave! It says so on the tail… This sold for $450.
Now here we have a G&S Billy Ruff “Clown Puppet” model from 1987. The deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted, but does have a number of storage marks. The colorway isn’t great: there is no way that the clowns face should be the same color as the background, as it makes the whole thing look drained of color. I don’t know why they didn’t make use of the lime green and the pink. It almost makes the use of those screens seem a total waste. But anyway, I digress. I featured one last time that went for almost $1200, but this one slightly beats that! It sold for a large $1,259 on a huge 59 bids.
Here we have a Blockhead Sam Cunningham “Evil Eye” from 1988! The deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted, and looks to be in amazing condition. This deck doesn’t not have a top graphic, which is a real shame. I always thought that was a total rip-off to be honest. I mean you have done an amazing job screening the main graphic on the bottom. You can’t even take 5 minutes to do a one-color screen on the topside? It’s basic branding actually, because that’s where you see the companies name all alone. I mean from a distance your average kid might not know what brand of deck you have. Why miss that advertising chance? Dogtown were the worst for that! I’ve always loved this graphic. And Blockhead was a very cool company. This sold for $851 on 2 bids and is worth every penny.
Now here we have a Skull Skates deck that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. It’s a Skull “Double Diehard” model from 1988. Similar to the Vision “Double Vision” the deck was had no nose or tail: it was completely bi functional. Is that even a word? I’m not sure, but you all know what I mean. This might have been the first? Ahead of its time? I’m not sure. The purple stain looks poorly applied, and even though the deck is NOS it looks like the tail has drop-in marks? Maybe it’s just rubbed off. It’s not the best looking deck but it’s a real interesting one. It sold for $371 on 25 bids.
Let’s finish off the 80s section with a bang. The Alva Fred Smith “Loud One” model has exploded in value over the last decade. Fred Smith was always one of the most approachable of the Alva crew, and is still a total cult hero on the east coast. So many of these decks were produced that they were everywhere in 1987. Hell, I even had one for about 5 minutes that Fatz sold to me super cheap because he had so many and they weren’t selling! It was red. I sold it onto Randy because I couldn’t get used to the steep tail. He immediately snapped it on a launch ramp. So I bought a SMA Natas panther 2 instead. But I digress. Most of those Smiths were plain colors, but here we have a black to yellow horizontal fade! That’s very unusual and quite lovely. The deck is NOS, and quite frankly it’s killer. It’s definitely one of the best Smiths that I’ve ever seen. It sold for $650.
First up in the 90s section this month we have this H-Street Sal Barbier “Raiders” from 1991. It’s gently used in a really cool tri-colored split stain: natural to burgundy to green. It has a very simple graphic, but the colorway of the deck elevates it out of the mundane. It sold for $500 but only had 1 bid.
From a year earlier we have this Powell Peralta Frankie Hill “Bulldog” mini. The deck was gripped and setup but hardly ever ridden, and the grip has been subsequently removed. The natural stain isn’t the best, but still, it’s a Bulldog! It sold for $579 on 24 bids which seems very cheap to me. Maybe because it’s a Mini?
Now here we have a Santa Cruz Jason Jessee “Guadalupe” deck from 1991. This is actually a real beauty. The deck is in a rich dark olive stain, and tat really helps the colors in the graphic to pop here. It has bright yellows, and intricate dark blues and golds in her gown. It really is a lovely graphic, but has been done to death with reissues and rip-offs galore. It’s NOS, never mounted or gripped and it sold for $766 on 8 bids.
Now here we have a 101 Kris Markovich “Looney Toons Martian” model from 1991. The deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted, and is rare as can be. It would appear that the Looney Tunes character library would have prime pickings for a full set, but I don’t think this was the case here. Gabriel Rodriguez had the “Gremlin” deck, but I think that was it. Maybe it just wasn’t worth the hassle? This lovely deck sold for $1,750 on 12 bids.
Now here we have a deck that I have NEVER seen before. It’s a BBC Bryan Pennington “Jesus” model from 1990. The deck is mint. AOS has this as prototype only, but by the looks of these one it did have an official release. With a graphic like this it’s always tough to tell if the skater is a devout Christian trying to show his faith, or if he’s a blatant atheist trying to show how silly religion is! Or maybe Bryan is the one that has been “crucified” by the skate industry? Who knows. Anyway, the grey stain is unusual and very nice, and the shape is really interesting: it has an enormous shovel nose and looks to be almost a longboard. This sold for $541 on 58 bids. It also might be the first BBC deck that I actually like! Well there had to be one I guess!
And here we have a Powell Peralta Chris Senn “Assassinations” slick deck from 1992. The deck is mint in shrink. Like most slicks the color is faded and just awful, but it is very interesting subject matter. Who did assassinate JFK and Malcolm X? Were the police or the government involved? Interesting stuff and a far cry from the childish “big tits and gangster chic” lots of other companies were pumping out at the time. It sold for $595 on 17 bids.
Here we have an Alva Fred Smith “Loud One” model from 1990. The deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted. It reprises the same face off of the earlier Fred Smith Loud One model, just blown up and used as the main graphic here. The colorway is incredible: the fluorescent inks in the main graphic SCREAM off of the dark stain. It sold for $500 on a BIN after just a few hours.
Now here we have a Powell Peralta Wade Speyer “Plaid” from 1992. It’s mint in shrink. It’s an interesting graphic idea, and I assume was inspired by the Uncle Wiggley “Argyle” deck from the early 80s. Having a full bleed graphic is always a nice touch, and the colors here are classic. They could have actually done a whole series here of different plaids and tartans. That would have been an easy and cheap series, but I guess that was not an option. This sold for $588 on 6 bids.
Here we have the classic Santa Monica Airlines Julien Stranger “Lowrider” deck from 1991. The deck is NOS, never gripped or mounted. This is an awesome colorway for this graphic: the burgundy stain and the bronze car really work well together. It’s always a favorite with collectors, and this one was no different, selling for $1,000 on a BIN after a few hours.
And finally from the 90s this period we have this Tuff Skates Christian Hosoi “Cross” from 1991. It comes complete with C4 trucks and Powell Peralta Ratbones. The trucks are interesting here. They look to be a close cousin of G&S Chromolly trucks, just repackaged. They certainly have plastic baseplates. Does anybody know anything about them? It sold for $246 on 20 bids.
Now a few episodes ago I featured an original Valterra “Back to The Future” complete which went for big $ if I remember. Well they made 3 Back to the Future movies, and I guess Valterra made at least two versions of a Back to the Future skateboard, because here is a “Back to the Future II” model! The funny thing is, it’s probably far more rare than the first one, and this oen comes in the original box too! So it really is “mint in box”. But much like the crappy second movie, it sold for a very modest $143.
So, remember Cockroach skateboard wheels? From Australia? 1989? No? Well you may remember them as the wheels that were even screened on the running surface? It was a novel concept, but after one session those surface logos would be a thing of memory, much like Crowded House or Midnight Oil. The online skateshops with dead stock used to have tone of theses, but I guess stick must be out, because these sold for $183 on 8 bids. They will sure display nicely though…
Ok let’s get in the time machine and head back to the mid 70s. Skateboards were coming of age with new materials. The sport was changing every day. And so was the safety equipment as a whole, but some things still looked like they wouldn’t be out of place on the Game of Thrones set. Such is the case with these Cooper “downhill” gloves. It’s almost like every pair of safety gloves had to have rainbows on back then: Rector, Hobie and apparently Cooper all sued the rainbow elastic. And just look at the metal studs on the palms and the thick fingers. It’s like you took your dad’s gardening gloves into the garden shed and performed a science experiment on them. They sold for $35 on a Buy It Now believe it or not.
And let’s stay in the mid 70s for a second. The problem with that center parted mop of frizz on your head was that it would fall in your eyes, obstructing your view of the slushy machine at the 7-11 and the bitchin’ Camaro outside. So what was a skater to do? Headbands of course! And here are three of your favorites: Sims Pure Juice, Powell Bones and Skateboarder! Actually these are pretty awesome. Still in bags, never worn. And they sold for $35 too. That’s a steal.
Oh the 70’s, you keep on giving! Here we have a set of gorgeous Hobie park wheels. They are NOS, huge and translucent. Damn these take me back. The wheels were so wide that you didn’t need wide trucks to make the setup match the width of the deck! They sold for $140.
Now this, this is awesome. I don’t know too much about this, but clearly it’s a Santa Cruz Rob Roskopp “Face” reissue made into a guitar by SRS Guitars! The guitar is fully functional and features a tune-o-matic bridge and tail piece, Ernie Ball strings and Grover tuning hardware. They also offer a Vision Hippie Stick, Powell Ripper, Sims Hosoi, Vision Psycho Stick, and Powell Cab “Dragon and Bats”. They will even make you a custom if you supply the deck!
http://srsskateguitars.com/products/guitars For a video of it action, go here. What a freakin’ awesome idea! We have seen skate deck guitars over the years, but never as well done as this! This sold for $489.
And lastly in the session of the unusual and weird this month we have this original Shut Skates t-shirt from 1989. It’s well worn and trashed but apparently it’s just been washed so you can wear it. Wrong! It’s been dipped in resin for some reason, to make a one of a kind skate art sculpture! Interesting idea, but I wish the shirt had more historical value. But still, nice idea! It sold for $20.
See ya next time
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