Skateboard Museum: Variflex Joker

After the red plastic skateboard, I “graduated” to what was commonly known as a Turbo Two. These were larger, wider boards in the contemporary style, but cheap Far East versions. It was another step up, but I soon learned that the board wasn’t going to last long.

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Variflex Joker. Camera strap in view AGAIN.

My next skateboard was a slight step up again – a Variflex Joker. This was a complete board sold with higher grade components. Aluminium trucks, polyurethane wheels and the deck itself had a much nicer shape and feel.

The graphics were also a really good job and very much in the style of the time. A skull wearing a jester’s hat, with a playing card design. Not exactly Powell Peralta but still very cool. It actually looked like someone at Variflex had taken a sneak peak at VCJ’s sketchbook and stolen the idea. Powell must have been mad.

However Variflex were not in the best shape in the late 80’s – they’d fallen to being a purveyor of intro level complete boards and were not in the same league as Powell, Santa Cruz or Vision. A nice board for a starter, the Joker would also be superseded by a higher quality deck.

I kept the trucks and wheels though for a while, and put them on my next set up. This was a Zorlac deck which I rode for a while with the Variflex under carriage, until I was able to afford Indy’s and Santa Cruz wheels.

I don’t remember what happened to my original Variflex Joker. Around 2006 I found a website selling new Variflex skateboards – apparently old stock rather than re-issues – and picked this sample up for a very reasonable price. It was in perfect condition and came complete with all the plastics, everything. I’ve only ever ridden it a couple of times as this skateboard is really just a memento. It’s a great item to have in my Skateboard Museum.

Technical Specifications:

  • Length: 30.5″
  • Width: 10.25″
  • Wheelbase: 15.75″
  • Wooden deck with concave and kicktail (complete with griptape)
  • Metal Variflex trucks
  • Variflex Street Rage II wheels (polyurethane, estimated 90a)
  • Plastic rails, nose saver, tail saver, copers and lapper

Purchased from Skate Pool

Soundtrack: Metallica, Anthrax, The Stupids

 

4 thoughts on “Skateboard Museum: Variflex Joker

  1. Pingback: Happy First Birthday, Virtual Hot Tub! | Platinum Al's Virtual Hot Tub

  2. Pingback: The Best of 2016 | Platinum Al's Virtual Hot Tub

  3. yes, I had this board, I also had a solid plastic/nylon red one before the joker..This picture brings back so many memories. Cheers for sharing.

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