High Gear: Samurai series from Colorado Skateboards of Vail | SummitDaily.com

High Gear: Samurai series from Colorado Skateboards of Vail

Z Griff
Special to the Daily

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What is my favorite kind of art? It is skateboard art. From iconic graphics and timeless images to flat-out satire, the world of skateboard graphics is something dear to the hearts of all who ride. It's a timeline, a catalogue of people and events; these are the images and mental landscapes that go along with the actual landscapes of skate history.

There are too many famous ones to list: a moment or character, an insight or joke preserved in time that you scrape away steadily until it is almost unrecognizable to anyone but you. It still means something because it meant something at one point, just like a memory. Some memories are worth preserving and the same goes with skate graphics. These are dubbed "wall hangers."

I have been skating the 8.5-inch samurai deck from Colorado Skateboards since the skate season began and I love it. Each deck is made with layered maple and given the seal of approval by Rob Bak, the company founder and president of the Ravinos in Vail.

Colorado Skateboards Samurai series

Together, the samurai series creates one painting. On the Eagle-based manufacturer's website, artist Lane Whiteside describes the warriors that grace each board:

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"When I had the opportunity to create the Colorado Skateboards graphic, kung fu was definitely the focus. Remember 'Kung Fu Theater?' I grew up on that. All of the disciplines were awesome! From drunken foo fighting to samurai swordplay, flips and rad moves.

"I look at skateboarding in the same way. Everyone has their own style or discipline. So much variation exists in skateboarding, more than any sport out there. Here's to kung fu — flips and rad moves!"

The decks

7.75 inches: The old man is the drunken foo fighter. The snake represents his ability to fool the eye. Nothing is as it seems.

8.0 inches: The fighter with the two swords represents agility and speed. The water resembles the fluid motion and beauty of danger to all who confronts him.

8.25 inches: The meaning of the samurai warrior wielding the spear is that of, "None shall pass." The dragon in the background represents the guard as the ultimate protector.

8.5 inches: In the samurai warrior graphic I wanted to depict power and poise, along with the serious nature of the samurai, with his sword ready for battle. The koi fish in the background shows his relationship with nature.

Samurai series, $49.95

Sizes: 7.75, 8.0, 8.25, 8.50 inches wide

Construction: Layered maple with deep concave, made in Eagle

Graphic: Custom heat transfer from artist Lane Whiteside

Grip tape: Not included

Find it: Lumberyard Snow and Skate in Breckenridge, online at http://www.coloradoskateboards.com.