It hit me the other day that I've yet to see a comprehensive account of
Wes' unique design development of the wide board for vertical.
We've all heard about the chance discovery that as Wes started making decks,
the decks got wider simply cause he was using a fat marker to trace existing
deck shapes onto new. Of course what followed afterwards was not by "chance",
but rather the artist/designer facing the struggles of design development, testing
and marketing. The various skatemags have never done a great job of telling
the history of the sport; "style" and "fashion" dominates. I know the latter are
also important to skating culture, but I think many of us here are more interested
in the design history of skating, especially Wes' singular achievements.
(Some of you know by now that I'm married to an academic, so I apologize
if some of this sounds pedantic.)
I'm interested in whether the designs were mostly driven by the DT surf-style
of skating, or if other influences came into play. Like one can see where the
whole street skating thing has shaped board design toward a lighter, smaller and
bi-directional board. Its suited to a type of skating that values highly technical
"tricks" over flowing carves, for instance. But on the other hand, I'm wondering if there was a point where you, Wes, had to let go of the surf-style as
the main influence on your designs, like you discovered you were on to something else beyond that?
And on a personal note, as a furnituremaker and designer, I'm interested in
whether there were any up-hill battles or struggles you had to overcome
Wes, to make the whole thing viable. The public doesn't always see the value
in a new design and I imagine there was still that prejudice when you were
starting out, like "Why are you still playing with these toys?"
Thanks for listening, and I apologize if any of this is an imposition.
Dan Marciano aka judahman