Why is surfboard art so crappy and lame?

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Roadkill started the topic in Friday, 8 Oct 2021 at 4:27pm

I collect skateboard decks, mainly from the 90's and a few 80's and 2000-2010. I have over 150. Skateboard graphics are pretty cool overall. Surfboards on the other hand have zero thought put into the deck are and are generrally as harmless and boring as a vanilla gelato.

Are shapers and companies just too stingy to care?

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udo Thursday, 9 Dec 2021 at 3:43pm
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velocityjohnno Thursday, 9 Dec 2021 at 6:19pm

Martyn Worthington airbrushes on HB Rainbow boards. Those are absolutely epic.

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blindboy Thursday, 9 Dec 2021 at 6:42pm

Second that.....and a bloody good bloke!

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mattlock Thursday, 9 Dec 2021 at 7:00pm

It must be accepted that the canvas of a surfboard is way larger than the skaetboard which may have some influence re. the question posed by Rk.
That one posted by udo is godawful in my biased humble perception.

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indo-dreaming Thursday, 9 Dec 2021 at 7:48pm

It's all about the money.

Skateboards are printed graphics that can be replicated thousands of times very easily, id expect the company pays the artist for the artwork once and the art work often sells the board and gives the board a point of difference from other boards.

It's harder to do that with surfboards, each board needs to be painted individually and not many surfers are willing to pay an extra few hundred dollars more for a really good artwork/spray, even things like pin lines take time.

So the result is any colour on a board today is the type of design that can be done very quickly and cheaply.

BTW. Basic sprays and artworks can also be a negative when trying to sell a second hand board, what you might think looks great someone else might think looks crap.

Personally i love board sprays especially the 80s period.

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Constance B Gibson Thursday, 9 Dec 2021 at 7:49pm

"Why is surfboard art so crappy and lame?"

Because surfers, on land especially, are so crappy and lame?

And that includes Julian Schnabel and Damien Hirst in the art department.

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 7:15am

How do I upload pics here? Any how to guide?

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gsco Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 7:49am
Roadkill wrote:

How do I upload pics here? Any how to guide?

Go to https://imgbb.com/

Upload your pic or screenshot etc by pressing START UPLOADING

Select BBCode full linked

Then copy the link they provide and paste it in here

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 11:19am
indo-dreaming wrote:

It's all about the money.

Skateboards are printed graphics that can be replicated thousands of times very easily, id expect the company pays the artist for the artwork once and the art work often sells the board and gives the board a point of difference from other boards.

It's harder to do that with surfboards, each board needs to be painted individually and not many surfers are willing to pay an extra few hundred dollars more for a really good artwork/spray, even things like pin lines take time.

So the result is any colour on a board today is the type of design that can be done very quickly and cheaply.

BTW. Basic sprays and artworks can also be a negative when trying to sell a second hand board, what you might think looks great someone else might think looks crap.

Personally i love board sprays especially the 80s period.

Not really. Lots of skateboard are was / is screened using multiple colour overlays.

Surfers are a pretty conservative bunch really...pro surfers especially. Skaters push boundaries far more than surfers...this comes through in artwork imo.

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Constance B Gibson Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 11:19am

Gonna upload some of your collection RK? Do it!

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 11:25am
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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 11:31am
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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 11:34am
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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 11:36am
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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 11:40am
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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 11:42am
Constance B Gibson wrote:

Gonna upload some of your collection RK? Do it!

Not a good question to ask a nerdy collector of anything...they will eventually bore you to death.

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velocityjohnno Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 11:52am

Roadkill those look great! They make for a very interesting display, it's like a cool museum!

We have about 9 hung in the garage. They had some pretty cool prints - Where the Wild Things Are, a hilarious North Park one - but after young one was finished with them, they've been grinded to hardly able to see a thing on them. In some ways though, this has its own appeal.

Blindboy, I'm seriously tempted to order one of those HB's. We already have a 6'5" and 6'1" original ones with no spray/single colour spray - in might be nice to go the full tilt. The boards also feel like home.

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indo-dreaming Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 12:32pm

There out there, it just cost you good money if you want one because your paying for a surfboard + an original artwork

A skate board is more just a generic pop out + a print, it's irrelevant if it has multiple colours it's much easier and cheaper to print out multiple colours than do one original surfboard artwork, id expect a lot of is all done by some computer type printing these days, they a rarely a one off artwork, if it is the price will reflect this, even some boards with limited runs are more expensive.

This guy does amazing artwork on boards, but imagine the time it takes to do one of these, the artwork most likely cost as much as the board itself, you would expect you would be paying upwards of $2K for one of these.

https://drewbrophy.com/portfolio/surfboard-art/




Very Rick griffin inspired

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udo Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 12:33pm
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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 12:52pm
indo-dreaming wrote:

There out there, it just cost you good money if you want one because your paying for a surfboard + an original artwork

A skate board is more just a generic pop out + a print, it's irrelevant if it has multiple colours it's much easier and cheaper to print out multiple colours than do one original surfboard artwork, id expect a lot of is all done by some computer type printing these days, they a rarely a one off artwork, if it is the price will reflect this, even some boards with limited runs are more expensive.

This guy does amazing artwork on boards, but imagine the time it takes to do one of these, the artwork most likely cost as much as the board itself, you would expect you would be paying upwards of $2K for one of these.

https://drewbrophy.com/portfolio/surfboard-art/




Very Rick griffin inspired

Anything, skateboards "these days" holds zero interest to me.

Price does reflect on skateboards. The most expensive board I own is worth us$8000+. Us$500 - us$1000..is pretty standard for 90's decks. 80's decks are us$1000+ any day of the week and change hands all the time.

Most of my 90's decks cost me less than $100. My 80's decks cost me less than $300. My 8k+ deck cost me $50. The market in the last year is whackO...and full of speculators sadly.

Based off your comments, I would go as far as saying you don't understand the market for decks.

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Constance B Gibson Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 12:54pm

RK, do you collect whatever tickles your own artistic bone, or certain skaters, or companies, or series, or even artists?

I'm sure you've got the Cliver book/s.

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 12:56pm

Town & coutry did some sick and cool designs.

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 1:13pm

Does anyone in here have T&C boards?

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 1:25pm
Constance B Gibson wrote:

RK, do you collect whatever tickles your own artistic bone, or certain skaters, or companies, or series, or even artists?

I'm sure you've got the Cliver book/s.

Yep..I got all the books.

I mainly just go for what I like. I don't go for anything with dark theme or anything that treats females poorly. (And there is tons of this). If I can hang it in my daughters room, I am happy to have.
I do like Stereo, early Birdhouse, Sonic and SMA.
Artist wise...I love Moish Brenman...100% a fan boy over his stuff.
Bright and colourful graphics are mostly my thing.

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stunet Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 2:00pm

Aren't the majority of skate decks just printed?

Bit hard to compare to surfboards which require individual art.

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indo-dreaming Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 2:30pm
Roadkill wrote:
indo-dreaming wrote:

There out there, it just cost you good money if you want one because your paying for a surfboard + an original artwork

A skate board is more just a generic pop out + a print, it's irrelevant if it has multiple colours it's much easier and cheaper to print out multiple colours than do one original surfboard artwork, id expect a lot of is all done by some computer type printing these days, they a rarely a one off artwork, if it is the price will reflect this, even some boards with limited runs are more expensive.

This guy does amazing artwork on boards, but imagine the time it takes to do one of these, the artwork most likely cost as much as the board itself, you would expect you would be paying upwards of $2K for one of these.

https://drewbrophy.com/portfolio/surfboard-art/

Very Rick griffin inspired

Anything, skateboards "these days" holds zero interest to me.

Price does reflect on skateboards. The most expensive board I own is worth us$8000+. Us$500 - us$1000..is pretty standard for 90's decks. 80's decks are us$1000+ any day of the week and change hands all the time.

Most of my 90's decks cost me less than $100. My 80's decks cost me less than $300. My 8k+ deck cost me $50. The market in the last year is whackO...and full of speculators sadly.

Based off your comments, I would go as far as saying you don't understand the market for decks.

You are talking vintage decks and set ups, they are still generic printed out decks not one off artworks, the values have risen heaps just due to their being a limited amount around especially in good condition, those kids have grown up and want the boards they either had or wanted to have, its more about the nostalgia aspect just like Vintage surfboards.

But yeah skateboards have also become almost like an art collecting thing too, guys even buy all the old reissues that often come out in limited runs to either hang on the wall or hold onto to resale at a higher price, i totally get it.

You also get niche runs of decks now like companies doing limited runs of decks with bands graphics like Sonic Youth or Dinosaur Jr etc

Thats all something different though.

I bought myself the board and set up i always wanted years ago but could never afford as a grommet, one of my fav skateboard graphic designs, Santa Cruz Jason Jesse 80s Neptune.

like this

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indo-dreaming Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 2:34pm
Roadkill wrote:

Town & coutry did some sick and cool designs.

They are doing them again too, dont have one but have mates that have vintage ones and the new ones like this https://www.boardcave.com.au/the-saint?utm_source=googleshopping&utm_med...

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 2:43pm
stunet wrote:

Aren't the majority of skate decks just printed?

Bit hard to compare to surfboards which require individual art.

New decks are printed, older stuff is screened.

My comment is not really about individual artists using a surboard as the medium.
Plenty of well known artists have used a skatedeck as a medium.

The surboards seen at surfshops are mostly boring...most shapers produce visually boring, same old same old boards.

Chris Garrett does some nice stuff but not many others do.

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stunet Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 2:55pm

Screened or printed, it's mass-produced, and like I say, hard to compare.

Not just for the cost disparity, but also for surfboards the design - i.e the 'art' - is how it's shaped not what's coloured on the foam.

I've seen a few labels using colour to make up for design shortcomings.

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 3:20pm
stunet wrote:

Screened or printed, it's mass-produced, and like I say, hard to compare.

Not just for the cost disparity, but also for surfboards the design - i.e the 'art' - is how it's shaped not what's coloured on the foam.

I've seen a few labels using colour to make up for design shortcomings.

Hence why the title is not, the art of surfboard design...but about what is coloured on the foam...or lack there of.

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stunet Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 3:51pm

OK, well I guess the reason surfboard art is so crappy and lame is because most people care more
about how they ride not what they look like.

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 3:54pm
stunet wrote:

OK, well I guess the reason surfboard art is so crappy and lame is because most people care more
about how they ride not what they look like.

Possibly..

It's just a discussion Stu..if it's not of interest to you..no big deal.

You are free to have a thread on the art of surboard design, which obviously interests you.

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stunet Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 4:15pm

??

I know it's just a discussion but including a question mark in the title and opening question promotes inquiry, no?

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velocityjohnno Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 4:15pm

The old Lazor Zaps had some pretty out-there airbrushes that would have taken a lot of taping and patience to do - worked well for the colourful era.

For me the 'writing on the board with a black texta' era was like going from High Art to a low point; but maybe for others it showed some individual expression?

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Roadkill Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 4:40pm
velocityjohnno wrote:

The old Lazor Zaps had some pretty out-there airbrushes that would have taken a lot of taping and patience to do - worked well for the colourful era.

For me the 'writing on the board with a black texta' era was like going from High Art to a low point; but maybe for others it showed some individual expression?

Zaps are so good. Very distinct.

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velocityjohnno Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 6:19pm

Ours are white spray with blue decals (boring!) But did I mention the durability and quality of the finish (gloss)?

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zenagain Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 6:31pm

Some good snowboard art out there.

I actually bought a board quite a few years back not because of function, but cause it looked like a beast.

Learnt the error of my ways and now I ride an amazing board but very very plain looking (snowboard that is) .

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indo-dreaming Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 7:25pm
stunet wrote:

Screened or printed, it's mass-produced, and like I say, hard to compare.

Not just for the cost disparity, but also for surfboards the design - i.e the 'art' - is how it's shaped not what's coloured on the foam.

I've seen a few labels using colour to make up for design shortcomings.

stunet wrote:

OK, well I guess the reason surfboard art is so crappy and lame is because most people care more about how they ride not what they look like.

100%

Surfboards are different to skateboards the variables in design are so much greater, and you can't just add a decent artwork to a surfboard without a decent increase in price to cover it.

Plus an art work on a surfboard has as much chance of putting someone off buying it as it does encouraging someone to buy it, and those that are encouraged to buy a board based on the artwork in most cases wouldn't be buying the board for the right reasons like shape and ideal dims.

Dont know about others, but with second hand boards ive come across boards I've thought dims/shape etc look nice but ive been put off by a crappy artwork.

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groundswell Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 7:50pm

Josh Dowling did some pretty epic sprays when he was shaping compsands etc.

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velocityjohnno Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 8:22pm

We also have a very late 70's 6' G&S single which doesn't have artwork per se, but has a completely beautiful green/yellow spray combo complete with fades and pinlines and results in a board that is a work of art and very distinct. I think Stu's posted pics of it I sent here in one article before.

I like Simon's early Energy thrusters for their blue sprays/fades/pinlines too, very distinct, you knew you were getting something special.

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groundswell Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 8:39pm
Roadkill wrote:
indo-dreaming wrote:

There out there, it just cost you good money if you want one because your paying for a surfboard + an original artwork

A skate board is more just a generic pop out + a print, it's irrelevant if it has multiple colours it's much easier and cheaper to print out multiple colours than do one original surfboard artwork, id expect a lot of is all done by some computer type printing these days, they a rarely a one off artwork, if it is the price will reflect this, even some boards with limited runs are more expensive.

This guy does amazing artwork on boards, but imagine the time it takes to do one of these, the artwork most likely cost as much as the board itself, you would expect you would be paying upwards of $2K for one of these.

https://drewbrophy.com/portfolio/surfboard-art/




Very Rick griffin inspired

Anything, skateboards "these days" holds zero interest to me.

Price does reflect on skateboards. The most expensive board I own is worth us$8000+. Us$500 - us$1000..is pretty standard for 90's decks. 80's decks are us$1000+ any day of the week and change hands all the time.

Most of my 90's decks cost me less than $100. My 80's decks cost me less than $300. My 8k+ deck cost me $50. The market in the last year is whackO...and full of speculators sadly.

Based off your comments, I would go as far as saying you don't understand the market for decks.

I asked for a full spray of the idian ocaen indoneseian sea godess(on my new Gary Mcneil 6'3 that would have shooted through tubes at dessert, supersuck and nokandui, maybe edeserts too. as you probably know steals good looking surfers wearing green and bali green and will take the back to there cavern to be the womens sex slax, yet one thing she will never let you back to you old life..sound find to me

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GuySmiley Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 9:23pm

I prefer boards with a single muted colour as I really don't want any distraction from the prue outline especially on rounded pins but I reckon the old hippy trip designs can look really good if not overdone ..... https://www.rainbowsurfboards.com/artists.htm

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mattlock Friday, 10 Dec 2021 at 10:00pm

White boards are best for those whom like to drop in.