SKATE OR DIE - AT LEE VALLEY?

SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2011
So recently I had a chance to teach a seminar at the Ottawa Lee Valley store on making skateboards. The class was attended by eight eager skate builders and in the case of some younger makers, they where joined by a 'helper' to give them a hand. This was the first time that the course was offered and it was a hit.

We started on Friday night with a two-hour glue-up session to make sure that everybody had a deck pressed up for the next day for shaping. We were using kits from Roarockit including a hand pump vacuum press system, forms and pre cut lams. I discovered these kits about a year ago and love them. The kits are a great way to get into vacuum bagging and into making skate decks at a reasonable price. Roarockit is a Canadian company operating out of Toronto, Ontario and is owned by two awesome folks - Ted and Norah. They are deep in the Canadian skate scene and have been teaching kids all around the world how build skateboards. Despite having eight glue-ups to do, we got through it without any problems...not a single swear word was uttered.

Saturday was a full day of deck shaping. Armed with block planes, rasps, files and sandpaper, the makers and their helpers worked hard to get all of their lams evened up and the bottoms preped for art and/or finish. We took a break from all the hard work to talk hardware. We looked at different types of trucks and wheels as well as bearings and different set ups for different types of skating.

Once everyone had their decks shaped, we moved on to grip tape. The makers really challenged my gripping skills by coming up with some cool designs for me to grip their decks with. I hate to brag but not one grip job needed to get redone…I'm not sayin'…I'm just sayin'.

The makers with their newly made decks - sorry for the shaky photo

All in all we all had a great time learning how to do bent laminations. It's always a lot of fun teaching a challenging technique like vacuum pressing bent lams by doing a cool project like a skateboard deck. It was also a great chance to meet some great folks, young and old, and to spread the stoke in the nations capital.

BTW ~ I composed this whole bog entry on the tiny keyboard on my HTC Desire...and boy do my thumbs hurt. The pics were done on my phone too...sorry for the shake. I also shot some video but my galoot skill set is slowing down the posting process (read - don't know how yet)

V