Earthwing Skateboards started in the mid 90's while I worked at PSNY Skateshop in 6th and west 4th in NYC. Like most of you, I was a fan of skateboarding, defender of skateboarding, and devoted majority of my life, and identity to being a proud skater from day one. At the time this was just a hobby for a curious tinkerer that loved skateboarding. The idea started by shaping broken shop snowboards into little slalom, sprinting, and carving decks. Man, these things could haul, and had a totally unique feel. They had a way of dissipating vibration, and had a forgiving snappy torsional flex that made carving very smooth and predictable. When you find yourself having so much fun with something you made, it gets addictive, so you get curious enough to see how far you can go. You start chasing the thrill by trying new things, and exploring new ideas. When I ran out of snowboards to butcher, I started researching constructions, core and composite materials, processes, presses...the list goes on. What is the best possible way to make a skateboard? Just Look at a tennis racket, a kayak, a golf club, skis / snowboards. Wood has it's place in skateboarding for good. I grew up on wood, there is nothing wrong with a quality 7 ply, but there are so many possibilities with advanced composites too. I felt it then, and I feel it now - YOU DESERVE MORE.
So my war was on. My first Earthwing was made in April of 1998. It was a carver wrapped in s-glass, Baltic birch top and bottom veneers, v-lam balsa core, and even some thin woven stainless steel fabric of all things. It wasn't my best, and it took forever, but it was so worth it. It fed my addiction. I pushed around for weeks feeling invincible, showing this new sprinting deck to every skater in Manhattan. I competed with cars, and buses through the streets from light to light to see who could have a quicker pick up. Being able to sprint that fast on a skateboard was amazing. Sometimes I found myself silently wizzing through traffic, and pedestrians laughing at how much fun I was having, and how fast I was going. Bearings went from swiss, to ceramic swiss with spacers, wheels went from Kryptos to Powerpaw Alluminators, decks got thinner, lighter, and more responsive...Through the years, I researched, executed, refined, built, and collected more tools, designed tools and presses etc... I ended up turning my tiny Brooklyn apartment into a small working factory. I wish I had photos of all of that, but digital cameras were about $1000 at the time, and I didn’t have a computer anyway. I spent all my money on skateboard production. I had boards in vacuum presses, tools everywhere, a silk screening operation, carbon fiber stuck in my sheets, and epoxy all over the place. I made a steam box over my stove with 4 kettles billowing skin melting steam up to the waiting cores. It was bananas in there. D.I.Y If you want it bad enough, you will figure it out. Whatever works. I wasn't willing to sit back and complain waiting for the industry to get off it's wooden ass to make what I felt skateboarding deserved. They were busy doing what it seems like they were stuck doing for years, selling toys to kids. I wanted to make machines for men, and women who had the grapes to go there.
In 2003, The first Kevlar / carbon/ birch Supercharger prototype propelled by Ian Nichols won the infamous "Broadway Bomb" race. That deck was unlike anything anyone had seen at the time. You did not see many production drop through decks, especially any with a detailed thought out construction like that. Since then, Kaspar Spurgeon Heinrici has won it about 15,000 times, and continues his threat as the one to beat in NYC. To this day, I don't think anyone has won that race who does not live in the boroughs. After that first win, Earthwing was in demand, but the boards were so time consuming, and expensive, it was hard to take the next step to mass production. I really didn’t care either, I just wanted to make them for myself. We now have our act together, and the boards are better than ever, and available to everyone at a reasonable price. Our products have value. What you get from Earthwing is greater than the price we set. We have expanded into wheels designed specifically for different disciplines - from slide, to speed, to smooth drifty goodness, we have you covered. Earthwing is tiny, and I like it that way. I have no investors to answer to, and I can do what I want. I run this company like you would want to see me run it. This is all just for fun. The day I stop having fun is the day we close the doors.
You deserve more.