M & M: Retro Tread

M&M Skateboards: Retro Tread Crusier

8″ x 31.25″
14.25″ Wheelbase

Chances are you might have heard of M and M Skateboards from Portland Oregon if only from the brief spotlight in the Buddy Nichols & Rick Charnoski Film Northwest. In any case, M and M is a small operation (getting bigger!) that started as a DIY project in the late 90’s. They have quickly built up a rep for quality wood in the Northwest and beyond, with riders such as Dreamland’s Mark Scott and Sage Bolyard as well as other characters including Ben Krahn, Josh Falk.

Unless you’ve been living in an industry cave, you’ve probably noticed the recent trend of retro styles and shapes that are on the scene. Not 80’s retro, but 70’s. M and M’s Retro Tread fall into a time warp/alternate reality black hole because it takes a modern concave with upturned nose and tail and mixes it with a shape that would have been flat when originally released. The end result is a mostly functional deck by today’s standards that looks like an old board. I say mostly functional because it’s a little smaller than what I usually ride, so I’d probably be uncomfortable on it as my main stick, especially on larger vert. If you ride a deck that is similar in size it would probably do you just fine. The thing that most kids don’t realize these days is that you don’t need to have a popsicle stick to do all the popsicle stick flippy stuff in the magazines. Hell, if you’re that good you could probably do it on just about any board, and if a shaped deck is what is holding you back then you need more practice anyway

mm-retro-tread2

When I picked this deck up I figured I’d ride it a round for a couple of days, write a review and then it would probably gather dust for the most part, but a funny thing happened. It’s fun. Subconsciously I think it reminds me of the first time I got on a plastic banana board. That was a more innocent time, pure skateboarding joy at it’s finest, uninformed and unencumbered by the baggage of magazine and video coverage or the styles and attitudes of your peers. When friends come over and see it propped up next to the front door for the first time they always take it outside and gave it a spin before entering the house fully. It has become my go to deck when I need to make a short trip somewhere in my neighborhood. In short, this deck is a lot of fun. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it groovy, but radical? Sure. M and M has lots of conventional decks that you should check out too.

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