Skateboard decks are often highly treasured for the artwork on their underbellies, while their topsides are generally just coated in standard black grip tape. However, a company named STRGHT has come up with a unique alternative to this by using a process called sand-carving, which is done by hand down at their headquarters in Northern San Diego. I sent an email to one of the company’s founders, Gabe Willis, who I met at the AGENDA trade show in Long Beach about how the technique actually works.
“Basically it’s like giving a skateboard a tattoo. A hose is connected to a foot pedal that is connected to a pressure pot, which controls the sand shooting out of a little nozzle on that hose at a super high speed.”
Not only does the sand-carving give the topside of the board a sculptural look, but it also enables a rider to use it without the addition of grip tape. The designs they utilize then actually causes enough friction between one’s foot and the surface of the wood that you can easilly cruise on it without sliding off. Although, I think most people will find it hard to stand on objects as beautiful as these.
It will be interesting to see future designs released by STRGHT. Especially, since it gives artists a whole new way to think about their finished product. Now they can’t just get away with a simple graphic slapped into Photoshop and then heat set onto a plank of wood. They’ll have to think about where someone’s foot will land and how their design will functionally keep an individual on the board without ever ending up biting the sidewalk.