Skateboards have been with us since the 1950’s, a simple and inexpensive piece of sports and recreation equipment that has grown into a professional sport. Skateboards are used for fun and transport as well as a full time job for professional skaters. I haven’t been able to find out where the idea first came from for skateboards although their genesis was as surfboards on land in the United States. The first boards resembled the shape and styling of surfboards and were manufactured in Los Angeles California by Bill Richard in 1963. They were initially touted to surfers and promoted through surfing programs and magazine ad Sunshine Coast as something that could be fun when the waves weren’t up as well as being a great way to train physically and mentally on land.
Only later did skating come into its own as a sport in its own right, as late as the 1970’s. The Z-Boys a team of professional surfers turned skaters revolutionised the sport in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s with their aggressive surfing style and aerial tricks; moves that have become the signature of the sport today.
Early skateboards and modern boards are usually made of laminated wood. That is wood that has been thicknessed and compressed together in layers to give it flexibility with strength. The most common timber used is maple wood. Penny Skateboards have bucked this trend with their original plastic designs and distinctive colours and patterns. The advantages of plastic are obvious. They have the potential to be long lasting, unaffected by weather conditions, particularly rain and they offer most of the performance features of a more traditional board and experience one of the most beautiful locations. Although there are imitators around, Penny has become synonymous with quality plastic boards, even being used by pro skaters.
Looking at their website, the first thing that catches the eye is the wide range of colours and designs in the range. It is customary for the upper and underside of the skateboard deck to have some design, paintwork or stickers to reflect the personal taste and style of the skater. These can be applied by the manufacturer, such as sublimated graphics which are tattooed to the underside of the deck and coated in fibreglass.
Other designs are added such as stickers or computer cut graphics. Grip tape which is used on the uppers side of the deck to provide added traction for the skater can be purchased in computer cut designs and a range of colours. Penny Skateboards offer grip tape, which is like sandpaper, in various designs and colours but it is the deck colour and design that grabs attention. The plastic format enables the whole board to be coloured in everything and anything from pastels to rainbow designs and hand-painted finishes inspired by traditional surf board art and beach culture.