Author Topic: Who made the first seven-ply skateboard?  (Read 190 times)

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cricketclub

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Who made the first seven-ply skateboard?
« on: November 26, 2019, 09:01:25 AM »
I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere on slap but the search function didn't turn anything up for me.

Who made the first seven-ply skateboard? When?

Shalom.


p.s. I got to thinking about this because Eames Demetrios came to my town for a lecture on the furniture of his grandparents, Ray and Charles Eames. They developed technology for molding plywood before and during WWII. They designed wood splints for the US military during the war.




After the war they became world-famous for their modernist furniture design.

e.g. The Eames Lounge Chair




The reason I bring this up is that they made this stuff in Venice, California and were making furniture with seven plies of Canadian maple.

My skater buddies and I were super intrigued by the implications of this and asked Mr. Demetrios about this. He smiled and claimed that at some point in the 70's, before they moved production to Michigan, one of their large machines was stolen, apparently by some skaters who started up a skateboard wood shop.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 09:15:33 AM by cricketclub »
In the beginning there was Jack and Jack had a groove. And from this groove came the groove of all grooves. And while one day viciously throwing down on his box Jack boldly declared: Let there be house!... and house music was born.

8.375 X 32 WB:14.25 *chef kiss

fftc

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Re: Who made the first seven-ply skateboard?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2019, 11:36:02 AM »
Think it was Sims. I seem to remember something about taking skiing technology and applying it to skateboards.
Not sure Tom Sims was a machinery stealing kind of guy though!
Find one in every car. You'll see!

stets

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Re: Who made the first seven-ply skateboard?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 02:39:35 PM »
While I LOVE the concept of the Eames influencing skateboarding (as a furniture and skateboard nerd), I can't seem to find any documentation of any crossover.

I do recall from reading this corny yet informative skateboard book when I was a kid in 1999/2000, "The Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding" that the first person/company to make laminated 7 ply maple skateboard decks was Willi Winkle and his Wee Willi Winkle woodshop in 1976. Later that same year he had connected with Lonnie Toft and Tom Sims and started producing boards for Sims. By 1977 Alva and others were also using this same construction method. Obviously back then they weren't doing concave, just a simple kick-tail.

Willi was a super interesting guy. His dad ran some sort of woodshop (making doors or something) and was the one who suggested trying out this construction method (thanks Papa Winkle!). Willi Winkle also went on to pioneer snowboarding with a variety of whacky prototypes, and even coined the name "snowboarding".

I'll try to find excerpts from that book online.

EDIT: no dice on the book excerpts, but did find this article about Wee Willi Winkels
https://www.mountainlifemedia.ca/2014/07/wee-wonder-the-legend-of-wee-willi-winkels/
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 02:42:48 PM by stets »

Chavo

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Re: Who made the first seven-ply skateboard?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 11:16:56 PM »
While I LOVE the concept of the Eames influencing skateboarding (as a furniture and skateboard nerd), I can't seem to find any documentation of any crossover.

I do recall from reading this corny yet informative skateboard book when I was a kid in 1999/2000, "The Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding" that the first person/company to make laminated 7 ply maple skateboard decks was Willi Winkle and his Wee Willi Winkle woodshop in 1976. Later that same year he had connected with Lonnie Toft and Tom Sims and started producing boards for Sims. By 1977 Alva and others were also using this same construction method. Obviously back then they weren't doing concave, just a simple kick-tail.

Willi was a super interesting guy. His dad ran some sort of woodshop (making doors or something) and was the one who suggested trying out this construction method (thanks Papa Winkle!). Willi Winkle also went on to pioneer snowboarding with a variety of whacky prototypes, and even coined the name "snowboarding".

I'll try to find excerpts from that book online.

EDIT: no dice on the book excerpts, but did find this article about Wee Willi Winkels
https://www.mountainlifemedia.ca/2014/07/wee-wonder-the-legend-of-wee-willi-winkels/

George Powell claims to have invented the standard 7-ply laminate layout with the 3rd and 5th plies grain facing the short side and the rest glued lengthwise. Adding to the Venice/Eames origin, Dogtown is generally credited with introducing concave and pressing decks into curved molds (although others had already experimented with pressing kicktails, also from the Santa Monica/Venice area).