The new custom deck from Hecs Decks arrived (as ever, thank you Hector), with its very unusual and beautiful fish-scale wood pattern. I have called it King Louis.
Not sorted some trucks and wheels for it, but will probably go with some 70cm+ cruising wheels in dark blue, as the top and bottom wood has a slight blue tint to it, something like the Liam Morgan Blood Oranges may work well with it.
As usual, the issue with really nice wood on the top of the deck is to grip it or not. Since trying clear grip-tape on the Hecs Fish, and hating it, I am left with spray-grip if I want to show off the wood pattern or some intricate cut-out grip-pattern; however, I don’t think a grip pattern aesthetically would work with the King Louis.
After ripping the (hated) clear grip-tape off the Hec’s Fish, I got up early with an idea and found our Christmas cookie-cutters, including a star-shaped one. I am actually pleased with how it all turned out, given it was an early morning JFDI – plenty of practical grip and it still shows off the wood and my tree design.
The cookie-cutter was not sharp enough to go through cleanly the grip-tape, but it was easy enough to make an indent and then cut the shapes out. The tricky bit is then measuring out lines and putting the shapes in a regular pattern.
Finally got some real black grip-tape to use on the Zenit and, importantly, mirror the carbon-fibre underside. I say “real black” because most of the grip-tape I have found to date has actually been various shades of grey; which is annoying when it is universally sold as “black”.
Finally fond real black sold by the ever-excellent and helpful Skate Deluxe (Monster Grip Tape Heavy). It is heavy grip which a little too rough for my liking, but as ever is if form over function. Also being heavy grip it is more difficult to cut and trim, but the end result is not bad and confirms the single mirrored top and bottom design works well.
I will stay on the lookout for ‘real black’ lighter or medium grip-tape, but for now, it works.
Put on some new slightly shorter 9″ Gullwing trucks on the Hecs Fish, alongside my favourite cruising wheels, Hawg Mini Monsters, and Oust Moc7 bearings. Shorter, for purely aesthetic reasons, given the deck is slightly narrower. The 50º Gullwings are well made and feel very similar to my usual Paris V2s.
The standard Gullwing bushings (90a) were too soft for my liking, so am trying out some Mindless 94a barrels (the blue ones) matched with some Bones Medium 91a hardcore cones (white/yellow).
So I decided to try my hand at wood burning patterns, using an electric wood burner/engraver and am really pleased with how it, the tree, turned out – the “HD” was already there, I added the tree,
I used a basic stencil for the outline of the tree, matching the starting trunk width with the HD logo, and one of the leaf-shaped wood burner bits to do the leafs.
The deck was then covered with clear grip-tape; which, although sold as ‘clear’ is really just opaque and lessens the impact of the burnt wood design. Less than ideal, but the small board needs grip, especially when it is wet out. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for practicality.
UPDATE 29/10/17: I hated the clear grip so much, I have taken it back off. It showed up foot dirt, and gave very little benefit in terms of showing the wood and pattern, that it seemed pointless. The board needs grip, so will think of a creative way to use black grip, without hiding completely the design.
Not particularly hard, but worth taking the time over as there is no erasing option.
The underside before being varnish sprayed.