The Board Blazers Blog


14 Ultimate Gifts for Skateboarders

It's holiday season once again! Shopping for gifts can be stressful, from second-guessing your gift choices to outrageous lines to visiting multiple stores in search of that last elusive item, how about you just say, “No!” to that this year? Our team at Board Blazers has compiled an insane list of gifts that will satisfy skaters from novice to the most hard-core. Everything you see here can be ordered from the comfort of your couch cushion and shipped directly to you. We’ve done the work so that you don’t have to! Sit back, relax, and prepare to knock out your holiday shopping!


Hydroflask


Staying hydrated is essential, and the Hydro Flask will keep your thirst at bay in style. Its double wall technology keeps hot drinks hot for up to 6 hours, and chilled drinks stay cold for up to 24 hours! The classic gray color goes with everything, and the wide-mouth top ensures easy drinking on the go at the skatepark.


Rubber Gear Tie


This little gadget is one of the most ingenious things we’ve seen this year, and it comes at an incredibly accessible price point! This four pack of rubberized twist ties will keep anything snug, from the top of an open snack bag to your tangled earphone cords. Having a few on hand is always a good idea!


Wireless Earbuds


If that earphone cord is a continual struggle, why not level up to a set of wireless earbuds? This set is excellent quality and less than 1/3 the price of a pair of Apple Airpods. With their slick black charging case, you can keep your music pumping for hours of shredding!


Slim Howler Whistle


While we hope you never find yourself in a sketchy skate situation, we know that it’s bound to happen once in a while. Keep yourself ultra safe by carrying this slim whistle on your person as you shred. If disaster should strike and you find yourself in a place where help may not be able to see you, pull out this crazy-loud whistle, and someone is sure to come to your aid.


Board Blazers LED Skateboard Lights


If you want to stay safe and ride in style, a set or two of these LED underglow skateboarding lights is a must on your holiday gift list. With a rainbow of color options from Outrageous Orange to Boss Black Light (we’re digging Lightning Lime right now), you can’t go wrong. See and be seen with the raddest skateboard accessory out there.


All In One Skateboard Tool


Whenever our team discusses our favorite skate gear, this ALWAYS comes up. An all in one skate tool is essential for every skater’s bag. You have to keep your board up and running while you’re shredding, and this inexpensive and handy tool ensures just that. With attachments that fit nearly every single type of screw on every board, you’ll never find yourself broken down at the skatepark.


Thrasher Magazine Subscription


For those frozen winter months when skating is just a summer dream, a subscription to Thrasher magazine will keep the skate love alive. The ultimate in skateboarding news and trends, every skater should subscribe!


Spitfire Bearings


Finding yourself tabled from gear issues is the very worst. Have some extra of all your gear on hand, including bearings. These Spitfire ones are inexpensive, but top quality. They’re decently quiet and work for any board (plus a variety of other sporting accessories). Make sure you have a few spare sets in your arsenal!


Cutout Grip Tape


Everybody needs grip tape, and there are a million options out there. With so many choices, why have plain black or gray? Our favorite ones lately have small cutouts like this grizzly one. They’re not so big that you’ll lose your footing, but big enough to make a style statement. The smoke marbling on this one is extra fly!


Skateboard


It goes without saying (we hope) that every skater needs a skateboard and buying one online can feel intimidating. But this complete setup is a surefire win. With an ultra-high rating and over 200 positive reviews, you can’t go wrong adding this board to your rotation.


Skate Socks


Skates socks are synonymous with skate culture. These iconic mid-calf tube socks come in every color, design, and brand imaginable. You have a plethora of choices, but we’re digging this version from HUF as an alternative to the text-heavy socks repped by other brands.


HUF Hoodie


HUF is having a major moment in skate fashion right now. Brands come and go in popularity as we all know, and HUF is the brand of the moment. Keep your skate wardrobe current by investing in this classic HUF brand black hoodie. With excellent quality and a timeless design, you’ll keep this one in your wardrobe for a while to come.


Skate Shoes


Shoes are such a personal choice, but we don’t know a skater who doesn’t love this classic slip on by Van’s. Worn by everyone from pro skaters to the dreaded posers, these slides embody the sport of skateboarding. Any skater would be thrilled to find these in their gift pile!


GoPro HERO 7


A weighty investment, the Go Pro HERO 7 will revolutionize the way you document your skateboarding adventures. The hyper smooth video stabilization makes your clips as smooth as butter. And the Time Warp video feature creates sick time-lapse videos you’ll want to watch again and again. We know it’s pricey, but it’s a sure-fire win for any gift giver! If you’re hesitant to drop that much cash, pop over here to enter our giveaway – you could win one just in time for Christmas!

Gift giving shouldn’t be stressful, we’ve done the work for you! If you haven't found exactly what you're searching for, check out our previous gift guides here and here. With all the items on these lists, you should find your shopping list checked off perfectly. Now settle into your comfiest chair and finish that shopping, one click at a time!


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How to Clean Your Skateboard's Grip Tape  

How to clean your skateboard's grip tape

 

What’s one of the best feelings ever? Stepping onto sticky, sturdy, fresh skateboard grip tape.

 

What lasts maybe two seconds? Sticky, sturdy, fresh skateboard grip tape.

 

You know the feeling—you step in sand or mud, your grip tape gets slick, and your tricks are doomed. But instead of straight-up peeling off and replacing your grip tape (a fussy and costly process), why not just clean it?

 

These simple steps will help you get your skateboard or longboard back in shape, and ready for skating within the same day.

 

What You’ll Need

New grip tape costs about $5 to $10 per board, but removing the old tape and applying new tape can be tedious.

Instead, if your grip tape has gotten a little slippery, start by purchasing:

  1. A piece of natural rubber
  2. A soft wire brush
  3. A microfiber cloth.

In my opinion, these three inexpensive items should be kept in every rider's board bag. They’ll cost about the same as fully replacing the grip tape, and will help extend the life of your skateboard—and your sweet tricks.

 

What to Expect

This isn’t a magic process—cleaning your grip tape with these methods won’t make it look brand-new. But it WILL:

  • Make your grip tape feel sticky again
  • Keep your grip tape and skateboard (or longboard) intact without causing any harm
  • Save you from the task of replacing the grip tape entirely
  • Make your grip tape last longer

If you do want your board to look brand-new again, consider replacing your grip tape if it's peeling, worn through or very slippery in some areas.

 

How To Clean Traditional Skateboard Grip Tape (Shortboards)

 

Step 1. Use Rubber to Remove Surface Crud

Most skate shops sell a piece of rubber known as "Grip Gum," which is an effective way to get surface grime off your grip tape.

Little-known secret--you can get this same type of rubber, but cheaper, at an art supply store. It’s a similar product, usually used to remove rubber cement. Go into a store like Blick Art Materials, ask for "rubber cement pickup," and a store attendant should be able to help you find what you need for no more than a few dollars.

If you need a visual, this is what you're looking for:

 

Rubber cement pickup helps you cheaply clean your skateboard's grip tape! This little guy is around $2.

(Image from Blick Art Materials

Once you’ve got the piece of rubber in hand, firmly wipe it across all of your grip tape. It should do its job and get rid of dust, dirt, and other unwanted grip tape invaders.

 

Step 2. Clean Deeper with a Soft Wire Brush

On some websites, you’ll see bad “cleaning advice” where people will tell you to clean your grip tape with window cleaning solution and a toothbrush. DON’T DO THIS. It’s a bad idea for two reasons:

 

Reason #1: The window cleaning solution will soak through the tape and into your board, making it soft and eventually ruining it.

 

Reason #2: Most toothbrushes aren’t actually coarse enough to remove deep grime, so the method isn’t even effective.

 

Don't clean your skateboard's grip tape with window cleaner and a toothbrush! Skateboard grip tape is porous, and it'll soak through into your board.

 

Instead, what you’ll want to do is hit up your local hardware store and get a soft wire brush—again, for not much more than a few bucks.

Scrub the grip tape in sections with the wire brush (and no cleaning solution!) to bring deeper, below-the-surface grime to the top. Then, get out your trusty piece of rubber again, use it to remove the surface grime, and you're ready to ride.

 

How To Clean Coarse Longboard Grip Tape

Longboard skateboards are usually outfitted with a thicker, coarse grip tape that is not permeable. This means you can use a window cleaning substance or water to remove the grime—no problem.

 

Step 1. Scrub the Grip Tape

Start by filling a measuring cup with ½ cup of window cleaner or water. Dip your soft wire brush (from the last section) into the solution, and begin scrubbing the grip tape. Start at one end of the board and work your way to the other end, brushing in small sections to make sure you get rid of all the dirt.

 

Step 2. Thoroughly Dry The Surface

Use a large microfiber cloth (or several smaller microfiber cloths) to dry the grip tape thoroughly before continuing.

For best drying results, lay the cloth on top of the deck and pat it until it sticks to the grip tape. Don’t try to wipe the cloth along the tape to dry it. Let the cloth sit on the grip tape for three to four hours, or until the tape feels completely, absolutely, 100% dry.

 

Step 3. Wipe it Clean with Rubber

Really really make sure your board is dry before you give it a once-over with your rubber piece--your Grip Gum or rubber cement remover won't work properly if the grip tape is even a little bit damp. Wait until the grip is entirely dry, and wipe the piece of rubber over the whole thing until all of the grime is cleared away.

  

Have you successfully restored your grip tape’s solid grip with household cleverness? Let us know in the comments!

 

Author Bio:

Carmen Fiordirosa works as the marketing director for CleanTools, a manufacturer of household drying and cleaning products. CleanTools’ highly acclaimed drying cloth, “The Absorber,” has been used to dry a variety of home items, along with autos and boats. To date, The Absorber has garnered over 700 5-star reviews on Amazon.

 

Photo credit: RACINGMIX

 


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Win a FREE GoPro® HERO7 White action camera!

Enter the Shots & Socks Giveaway now to win a GoPro® HERO7 White action camera or Stance® performance skate socks, totally free! Just enter your email and stay tuned to win big this holiday season. No purchase necessary. Yeah, we're cool like that. 

Shots & Socks Giveaway

Enter here --> https://mailchi.mp/boardblazers/gopro

 

Contest ends 01/11/2019. Terms and conditions apply.


Let's hang out!

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Got the write stuff?

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Skateparks: Do's & Don'ts (feat. Tech Na$ty!)

Headed to the skatepark? Like any social setting, the skatepark comes with its own set of spoken and unspoken rules and social codes. If you aren’t in the know, you could land yourself in some hot water. But never fear! Board Blazers has enlisted the help of our favorite pro skater, Tech Na$ty, to unlock the mystery of the skatepark social scene. Read on to find out what to do and what NOT to do at the skatepark!

DO go to the skatepark. This tip might seem like a no-brainer, but cities and municipalities don’t want to waste care and upkeep on a park that no one is using. The more demand there is for the parks, the more likely the city is to keep your park in good repair. Show up, skatefam!

DON’T over-wax the ledges. Over-waxing leads to super slick surfaces, and that leads to dangerous falls. You can apply some to the coping to smooth out the run (after all, rain and weather can cause rust & cracks), but only if you need to. If you’re worried about a smooth grind, just up your confidence and make your approach faster – it’ll result in a slicker ride. Or consider applying the wax to your board instead of the spots at the park.

DO respect people’s stuff. Another no-brainer, but lots of people at skateparks and guilty of this one. Don’t take things that aren’t yours; respect other people’s property. If someone’s gear is in your way, politely ask them to move it. Being courteous is a sure fire way to make sure your day stays rad.

 


DON’T snake/tailgate people! Snaking and tailgating is crazy annoying and can also be dangerous. In case you need a little refresher, snaking means cutting another skater (yes, just like cutting in line) and taking your run in the bowl or on the ramp before them. Be courteous and take turns; try to be aware of the order and your place in line for each obstacle. Wait and be patient. Tailgating is the same at a skatepark as it is in your car. Riding too closely behind another skater isn’t just a major eye roll. When you don’t leave appropriate distance between skaters, you’re just asking for an accident. All it takes is one stumble, and both skaters are down. Snaking and tailgating waste people’s turns and cause accidents. You might do it unintentionally, but it’s still rude. Ultimately, always be aware of who and what’s around you.

DO pick up your own trash. If everyone left their trash on the ground, we’d all be drowning in litter. Do your part and pick up after yourself. If your skatepark has no trash can, or you’re not skating at a skatepark, pack out what you pack in. At the very least, make one pile of trash so that litter services doesn’t have to run around chasing your garbage. Being kind to the places where you skate ensures that they last!

DON’T graffiti. It might sound fun to tag your park, but it creates a major headache for you and anyone else who uses the park. Cities typically have a zero-tolerance graffiti policy. This means that as soon as it’s reported, the city has to come to sandblast the graffiti off the surfaces. Then the park has to close for a day (lame!), and the residual sand makes the ledges lose their wax, plus the grit gets in everyone’s bearings. Don’t tag, guys – it hurts us all.

 


DO vibe it out. Every park is a different community. Just because you know your park’s unspoken rules doesn’t mean it’s the same at the park 5 miles down the road. When you arrive at the skatepark (especially if it’s a new haunt for you), vibe it out - get a feel for the place and don’t rush people. Once you’ve got a read on the situation, find an opening in a run or wait in line at an obstacle to join in the fun.

DON’T Bondo or change a non-skatepark skate spot. While this isn’t specifically skatepark related, it bears mentioning. When you permanently change a surface (like when you use Bondo) people are more likely to notice the presence of skaters. Lots of rad skate spots don’t really want us around, you feel? The more attention you attract, the more you ruin it for the rest of us. Don’t give them a reason to hate. Skate it, love it, and then move on. Don’t mark it permanently and ruin it for everybody.

DO use a spotter – be safe, bros. When attempting crazy stunts, you put yourself, pedestrians, and vehicles around you at risk. Not only can you take a good stumble, but your board can shoot out and cause an accident with other people or a vehicle. Skating is risky and fun - definitely try the crazy rad tricks! But don’t do it without another skater spotting you and your board – just in case.

 


DON’T sit on ledges. DUDES, this is the worst. The right place to relax at the skatepark is on a bench. People come to skate the obstacles, so don’t park yourself on them. Sitting on rails & ledges is the ultimate in very lame. If you’re waiting for your turn, don’t sit on a ledge, bro.

DO play it safe. Come to the skatepark fully prepared (see our article on what to bring to the skatepark!). At the very least, bring your helmet & safety gear, snacks, and your Board Blazers!

DON’T play S.K.A.T.E. at a small skatepark. While it’s a rad game (see our article full of tips and tricks for S.K.A.T.E.!), it takes up a ton of space, and you’ll want to leave yourself some room. Either choose a park with enough flat skate space that you aren’t taking over all of it or find a parking lot - someplace with enough space for you and your homies. If your park is super crowded, consider heading to a different spot.

While there are lots of unspoken social codes in the skater world, Tech Na$ty’s above rules should help you win friends and respect at any skatepark. Now that you’ve got all this new knowledge, grab your board, your Board Blazers, and a few friends – get out there and shred!


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14 Skater Girls You Should Know

From Avril Lavigne's timeless "Sk8r Boi" to Tony Hawk being everyone's immediate go-to image of a professional skateboarder, it can feel like ladies get left out of the game entirely...until now! (And I'll be real with you--it was pretty difficult to write this entire blog article without completely overusing exclamation marks.)

Here are 14 skater girls you should know--some that paved the way, and some that keep on paving.

1. Patti McGee

 

Any list of killer female skateboarders starts with (or should start with) Patti McGee. Hailed as the first female professional skateboarder, she first started skateboarding on a board her brother built in wood shop. Then, in 1964, she set the world record for the fastest girl on a skateboard during Dick Clark's World Teen Fair. In 1965, she was the first female national skateboard champion, and was featured (doing a handstand!) on Life Magazine.

And if that weren't enough, she was also the first female to ever be inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. But, you know--all in a day's work.

2. Cara Beth Burnside

Cara Beth Burnside is one of the classics, and she's got plenty of firsts under her name, too--first woman to have a signature skate shoe, and first president of the Action Sports Alliance. In 2004, World Cup Skating named her Female Vert Skater of the Year, and she has won more than 16 titles to date.

Also, fun fact--nobody seems to know if her name is Cara Beth, Carabeth, or Cara-Beth, and yet she's on so many lists when people talk about their childhood inspirations.

3. Jen O’Brien

Self-described as a teen into skateboarding and punk music, O'Brien moved to Daytona immediately after high school and got her first job at the local skatepark there...and then moved on to California with fellow female skater Jodi McDonald.

What'd she do once she got there? Oh, you know, not much...just negotiated with the X Games about getting girls involved, became the first girl to skate at the X Games (and won a silver her first time out!), formed The Alliance so that the women of the X Games could communicate as a singular voice and negotiated first-place prize money for women from $2,500 up to $15,000.

She's also been a long-time environmental activist, and has an organic garden and a daughter named Lotus.

4. Leticia Bufoni

Born in Sao Paolo, this Brazilian-American skateboarder came to SoCal for the X Games when she was just fourteen. During that trip, her dad watched her while she practiced an inward heel flip, and said if she landed the trick, she could stay in California--and the rest is history.

She landed it on the next try and went on to be sponsored, get ranked the #1 Women's Street Skateboarder by World Cup Skate four years in a row, and become the only female athlete to win 3 X Games gold medals in the same year.

5. Elissa Steamer

Elissa also started skateboarding at 14, and became a professional at age 20 when she was sponsored by Ed Templeton's brand Toy Machine. In 2004, the first year the Women's Street event was introduced at the X Games, Elissa took home the gold--and then she took home the gold again 2005, 2006, and 2008.

She also became the first-ever playable female character in the Tony Hawk video game series, no doubt inspiring swathes of other young skater girls.

6. Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins

Lyn-Z has plenty of cred apart from her cool name--she was the first female skater to skate the DC Mega Ramp, AND the first female to land a 540 McTwist during the Quiksilver Tony Hawk Show in Paris, France (which sounds both highly specific and incredibly cool.)

She's also an X Games gold-medal winner--twice for Women's Vert. She was the second playable female skater in the Tony Hawk video game series.

7. Peggy Oki

 

Peggy Oki is right up there with the original way-pavers as the only female skater on the original Zephyr Competition Team (the Z-Boys) in the 1970s. For years, she's been an environmental activist, and in 2012, she was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.

8. Vanessa Torres

Vanessa Torres is a skater girl of Mexican descent, and another female skater to make it into the hallowed halls of the Tony Hawk video game series, popping up on screen right after Lyn-Z. But in 2003, she also, like, became the first-ever female skateboarder to win a gold medal at the X Games, or something--eh, not really a big deal, amiright? (She won the street course, specifically.)

9. Lucy Adams

Lucy Adams took first in UK Skateboard Champs FIVE YEARS IN A ROW, and now coaches skateboarding, so she can fill the world with other young, plucky skaters. She's also involved with She-shredders, an organization that helps build a community of female skaters in Brighton, and is being considered for the 2020 Olympics!

10. Hillary Thompson

Hillary Thompson is famous as the first openly transgender skater--or, at least, the first openly transgender skater who's getting media attention. She's not a professional skater, but her story continues to help diversify the world of skateboarding.

11. Lizzie Armanto

Lizzie Armanto has won over 30 skateboarding awards in her young life. She started skating at age 14 (why is that the age for everyone?) in 2007, and placed first overall in the World Cup of Skateboarding points race from 2010-2012. She also took home the gold at the first-ever Women’s Skateboard Park event at the X Games in Barcelona, Spain.

12. Nora Vasconcellos

A young lover of the TV show Rocket Power and an admirer of Lyn-Z, Massachusetts-native Vasconcellos was destined to skate. She actually became a competitive surfer in middle school, and started skating bowls to cross train...until her focus shifted. She competed it the X Games in 2010.

13. Alexis Sablone

Start the applause for Alexis Sablone RIGHT NOW and don't stop until you're finished reading this paragraph. She's an Ivy League graduate from Columbia University, and just got her Master's in Architecture from MIT in January 2016. She's also the defending XG gold medalist, and won 2 gold and silver medals consecutively from 2009 and 2012. and has 2 gold and silver consecutively from 2009 and 2012.

She also took 2nd at the Kimberly Cup in October 2014, and 2nd on the 2015 World Cup Skateboarding Tour.

14. Candy Jacobs

A skater girl from the Netherlands, Candy Jacobs has a very particular origin story. When she was 13, she got a skateboard for Christmas. Her mom dropped her off at the skate park, said, "I'll be back in 2 hours," and Candy's been hooked ever since.

In 2009, she competed in the European skateboarding championships and took home 1st place. In 2011, she placed 6th in the LA X Games, and in 2014, she placed 1st in the Barcelona Extreme.

Who are your favorite skater girls? Let us know in the comments!


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