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Omen Longboards started with the Carbon Matrix, which was the collaboration between a bunch of local Seattle skaters including Nate Blackburn and Trevor Preston. Omen didn’t have a physical location at the time, so the Matrix was outsourced to a local company. Due to the relatively low price tag (compared to other carbon boards) Omen gained some notoriety pretty quickly. After a little under a year, Omen procured space in a north Seattle garage and started producing the first Pike prototypes.

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Home » Vintage Skate History

What Was the First Commercially Produced Skateboard?

Submitted by on November 25, 2011 – 4:13 PM
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The answer is: We may never know. Many inventors and corporations are quick to stake a claim, but finding that first commercially produced skateboard may be a futile search. In the first edition of the Quarterly Skateboarder, a full-page ad by Skee Skate of California makes a heavy claim: “This is it!!!! The skateboard that started it all.” Others begs to differ. Many historians and collectors believe the eponymous skateboard launched by the Roller Derby Skate Corporation was the first mass-produced skateboard. It well may be, although no one is certain when it was launched.
Humco Surfer
The Roller Derby was a wooden plank with a rounded tip at one end and modified roller-skate steel wheels  attached. It boasted no concave or even kicktail, no mention grip tape, but it did have a snazzy bright-red paint scheme. Many believe the Roller Derby made its debut in 1959. But the company itself claims it introduced the board in 1963.

David Kennedy, Roller Derby’s current vice  president and CFO in  Litchfield, Illinois, responded to this important query by producing a nine-page Roller Derby skateboard  promotional brochure—first published in 1964. Jim Scheller was Roller Derby vice president at the time. He began working for the company in 1957: “I don’t recall any skateboards in 1959. I believe that the first skateboard production for Roller Derby was in late 1963 and the beginning of 1964. The idea came from California, where we had a warehouse managed by a guy named Sloniger. We did a little retooling at the plant in Litchfield but not much, and it turned out to be a good business. Very good.” While the Roller Derby may not have been the first commercially produced skateboard, it was likely the first massproduced board, as many of them survive today.The answer is: We may never know.

Many inventors and corporations are quick to stake a claim, but finding that first commercially produced skateboard may be a futile search. In the first edition of the Quarterly Skateboarder, a full-page ad by Skee Skate of California makes a heavy claim: “This is it!!!! The skateboard that started it all.” Others begs to differ. Many historians and collectors believe the eponymous skateboard launched by the Roller Derby Skate Corporation was the first mass-produced skateboard. It well may be, although no one is certain when it was launched. The Roller Derby was a wooden plank with a rounded tip at one end and modified roller-skate steel wheels attached. It boasted no concave or even kicktail, no mention grip tape, but it did have a snazzy bright-red paint scheme. Many believe the Roller Derby made its debut in 1959. But the company itself claims it introduced the board in 1963. David Kennedy, Roller Derby’s current vice president and CFO in Bottoms up views of the Humco Surfer which got all high tech with a spring loaded suspension. Humco courtesy G&S. Litchfield, Illinois, responded to this important query by producing a nine-page Roller Derby skateboard promotional brochure—first published in 1964.
Humco Surfer
Jim Scheller was Roller Derby vice president at the time. He began working for the company in 1957: “I don’t recall any skateboards in 1959. I believe that the first skateboard production for Roller Derby was in late 1963 and the beginning of 1964. The idea came from California, where we had a warehouse managed by a guy named  Sloniger. We did a little retooling at the plant in Litchfield but not much, and it turned out to be a good  business. Very good.” While the Roller Derby may not have been the first commercially produced skateboard, it was likely the first massproduced board, as many of them survive today.

Written By Ben Marcus
The Good The Rad and the Gnarly

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