Vintage Voice: Gnarly Nash Boards and The Revolution of Skating

With their neon patterns and plastic parts, most would never guess that Nash skateboards were manufactured right here in the heart of the USA. The original manufacturer of these iconic boards were located in Fort Worth, Texas until late 2006 when the facility was unexpectedly and tragically burnt to the ground with no explanation to follow. With the blaze came the dissolve of the production of the boards.

Nash was the future in the skateboarding business in the late 70’s and 80’s, introducing things that many had never seen before in the street surf industry. The first being Nash’s use of built-in safety. All boards were printed with safety graphics on the bottom. The operators manual was usually hidden within the graphics in an appropriate, design-matching color. Although the cautions, warnings, and instructions were usually scraped off on rails or bowls, they were there if the owner ever suddenly needed.

Next was the introduction of new grip tape technologies. Although the later years were die cut designs, earlier years were actually screen printed right on the board. Early Nash boards, including the “Locals Only” and “Heat Zone” editions, were screen printed with a special colored glue and later dipped in grit. This technique had never been used before, and proved to be longer lasting and more durable.

Lastly, and most importantly, was the creation of the completely plastic truck. In the words of Skate and Annoy; “Sure, companies like Gullwing had production magnesium trucks, G&S had stamped and formed aluminum hangers and Tracker even went as far as to use nylon baseplates, but nobody had the balls to make a completely plastic truck (axle excluded) until Nash.” This feature remained unique to Nash for a record breaking 12 years until a Brazil company followed their lead with urethane.

So where is Nash now? After the destruction of their production hub, Nash went on permanent skateboard hiatus. No skateboards have been made, however the corporation has gone back to its roots and began to make various water sport equipment. Now one of the largest wakeboarding makers and the owner of the Hobie brand, Nash remains elusive.

Stop by the shop and check out the “Locals Only” and other Nash Boards right in Love Life Tattoo!

Sara Giarratano
Info courtesy of skateandannoy.com

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