Continuing my ambition to document all of my skateboard decks, here’s my latest set up for 2021. My Death “Script” in red got worn out through a load of skating (or attempted skating, ha!), so I needed a replacement.
To take over as my day to day skateboard, I ordered another Death deck, the Benson Devil Woman from good ol’ Native Skate Store. It’s 8.5″ wide, great concave and a spectacular graphic from the legendary Liane Plant.
So amazing is this graphic, that I had second thoughts about skating it.
I already had a Death Patrick Melcher deck that I had bought and was planning to hang on the wall. Fantastic mermaid graphic (by L. Plant again, of course) which I’ve shared before on the Virtual Hot Tub, and I thought it would be great as a display piece.
I was in a pickle: do I set up and skate the Benson as intended, or switch to the Melcher? Both great graphics, great shapes and great boobs – but as classic as they are, I needed something to ride.
As the Melcher Mermaid is 8.25″ wide, that was the final deciding factor. Slightly less wide than the Devil Woman, I felt that this would suit me better. I’ve been right so far – the mermaid feels slightly more “me” than my previous 8.5″ Script deck.
The Patrick Melcher is set up with my Independent trucks and Death wheels – and I love it.
Which means that the Benson Devil Woman will go on the wall as an art piece. At least for now…
Well, that was a mad old year, wasn’t it? 2020 was more like a bizarre disaster movie than the regular fun ride that we’re used to. A pandemic made hermits of us all; working from home became the new normal for many and travel and events ceased to exist. A year from hell for most of us, though it’s far from over yet.
Here at Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub, we’ve aimed to soldier on and bring you the very best in blogging entertainment. Be it music, skateboards, toys or tat, whatever nonsense I could investigate was delivered with all the expected wit and style.
As is customary at this time, let’s take a look back at the top ten most popular blog posts of last year. Calling it “The Best of 2020” seems somewhat incongruous, but let’s roll with it for traditions sake.
There was a distinct lack of live music in 2020 (Obviously), but quite a few album reviews for my old pals at Ever Metal. This review of Swedish doom metal band Firebreather’s album was the most read at the Virtual Hot Tub.
Yes, the most popular was this food blog, which benefitted from a genuine traditional recipe, and an idea to recreate a Greek holiday vibe with ingredients from the local supermarket.
As travel wasn’t happening this year for most of us, perhaps it’s no surprise that the Greek recipe blog came out on top. It was written as an ode to holidays and Mediterranean sunshine, something that wasn’t a possibility for many last year. I hope you found some nostalgic comfort from this post.
Usually my annual Top 10 has featured a load of comic con events – or similar – at the top of the list. Those events didn’t happen this year, so the Top 10 has a very different flavour. Who knows what 2021 will bring us?
Whatever the strange pan-dimensional cross flux of crazy brings us next, I’d like to thank you all for reading my blog. Please remember to pop by Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub as soon as you can!
Rather than just write a post about my latest set up – as I have done in the past – I decided it was time to shake things up a bit. You see, I’ve inadvertently become a collector of skate art. I don’t have a lot, but I have a few pieces. Though I’m destroying this art on a regular basis, so who knows how my collection will develop – if at all.
Regular readers will already know that I’ve been partial to equipment from Death Skateboards for a long time. UK based company, great ethos, cool and durable products. You may have also seen my previous blog about my Richie Jackson pro-model. That was where the addiction started.
The art for the Richie Jackson deck was drawn by an artist called Liane Plant. I loved it’s detailed, clear and defined lines – a realistic portrait of Richie the master, done in an art nouveau* style. Very clever and quite beautiful. At least it was, till I skated it and shined the graphics off.
Liane has also produced other graphics for Death (along with other skate companies, bands etc). Last year when I needed a new deck, I picked up the Patrick Melcher model, which has a fantastic mermaid graphic. I was all set to stick the trucks and wheels on, then shred it – when I decided not to. This amazing creation will go on the wall instead.
I’m not a deck collector – they’re too expensive – and to be frank, in a house already cluttered with vinyl, toys and other collections, I just don’t have room. The only deck I have on the wall is a reissue of the classic Santa Cruz Rob Roskopp face, drawn by Jim Phillips. If I had the space and the cash, I’d have loads of skateboards on my walls. But for now the Melcher mermaid remains something of an anomaly.
Then this year, I bought another Liane Plant graphic – Eddie Belvedere‘s iron maiden model. Again, another intricately detailed work. It’s bold and grim, a very heavy metal deck graphic melding hot chicks and medieval torture. Totally in your face. But like the other graphics, I love it because of the realism that Liane has created in the characters.
I set up the Eddie Belvedere deck with my Indy trucks and Death wheels, and I’ve been skating it for a while. Great deck, lots of pop, now with a messed up graphic. Never mind, that’s what skateboards are for.
I am slightly regretting shining the graphics on this one though. Let’s see what my next deck will be. I’ll need something to skate, but will I be vulgar and unrefined enough to defile another work of art like this??!
Time for another new deck. I got this Death Skateboards Richie Jackson deck a while ago, thought I’d share some pics of it for posterity.
I bought the deck from Native Skate Store, who provided a really good online service. I requested that it was gripped (as I’m crap at gripping decks) and it arrived all done and looking pristine. It was very affordable and delivered quickly, no pain at all.
Regular readers will already know that I’m a big fan of Death Skateboards. I’ve had several Death decks and I’ve loved ’em all. A very cool company with a rad, individual approach to skating and a great aesthetic – their products are tough and reliable, always up to the job.
This time around I opted for the Richie Jackson pro model. Richie is an inspirational skater who constantly evolves and develops new ideas. His innovative style is just ridiculously creative and constantly forging new ground. Google him now!
The extraordinarily detailed Art Nouveau graphic is breath-takingly detailed, I probably should’ve just kept the deck to put on the wall. I’ve skated it and the graphics are shined from rock’n’rolls on curbs. Should’ve bought two, I guess. Such is the transient nature of skateboard graphics…
This phenomenal art is by Liane Plant, and I think her work is incredible. Some of the best art I’ve seen on a skateboard since the eighties classics. I apologise whole heartedly to Liane for destroying the graphic. It may well be a crime for a skater as bad as me to defile something so beautiful.
So anyway, the deck is 8.25″ wide and I set it up with my trusted Independent trucks and Death wheels. So far, it’s been a blast.
Thanks to all the above, long may you roll!
The Death Skateboards website is here. Go take a look.
Richie Jackson is all over social media, just search – you won’t regret it. There’s some stuff on the above Death website, too.
The amazing art of Liane Plant can be seen here. I need some T-shirts and stickers.
You can visit Native Skate Store for all your needs by clicking here.
And finally, here’s a picture of me being a total dork, trying to ape Richie Jackson’s style, rocking an old paisley shirt. Just thought some of his psychedelic magic might rub off. I bought that shirt back in 1990, knew it was worth keeping hold of… And no, I didn’t really wear the shirt to skate in, I chickened out. As great as Richie is, even I am a little old for hero worship on that level…!