FREE shipping for orders over $100 - Click to read more
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart

    Hopkin Skate Blog

    Blog Menu

    Hop Podcast #15 Talking community and the scene with Ryan Villa




    This conversation is with Ryan Villa from Subsonic Skateboards we discuss everything from making a deck, how to skate for 24 hours, but more importantly the state of the scene and community, what that means for businesses and future products. It is a good conversation, and one I hope will help people talk about more on how we grow the sport.

    Subsonic makes a board for East Side Longboards: the DK Drop Kick 


    If Subsonic make decks, how come the Shadow 37 is out of stock? It is getting modified so is taken out of stock until the new modifications are complete.

    Shadow 37 is the image below


    This is a podcast episode recommended to me by Ryan but we also discuss it on this episode: Zak Maytum interview on the Desolationist Podcast



    The amazing and now gone, Silverfish Longboarding forums


    Ryan tip: use Youtube to find old information - reviews etc

    flatspot - community work

    Nate from Motion Boardshop


    2018 Push in the Woods

    IDSA - International Distance Skating Association

    Miami 24 hour UltraSkate Marathon

    What is the UltraSkate record?
    The men's record is 313 miles

    Roe Racing decks was a brand of slalom decks that was popular when slalom racing came back in the early 2000s. Hop has a few Roe boards in his slalom collection. The deck on the left below is the S type deck with carbon fibre layer for stiffness, shaped in form of an S. The other deck is a carbon foam core tight slalom deck.

    The two local test riders mentioned are: Angel and Colby Cummings

    How to set up his Century deck? Bennett Vector 5.0 (125mm) truck front and a Randal 125 in the back dewedged to 20 degrees. Kegel wheels.  Caguama wheels will be replacing the Kegel. Ryan used the Caguama at Maryhill - the 80a orange ones - even though they have a rounded lip, had no issues with grip.

    Thank you Ryan for the awesome chat, and if you need a new deck, maybe get a customise Subsonic??? Start by contacting Ryan, tell him Hop sent you!




    Hop Podcast #14 Collecting skateboards with Andrew Maunsell

    First an apology for the audio. It was my first in person interview using new equipment. I spoke too close to the microphone and kept clipping my audio and popping my p's. It is only slightly annoying and I did my best to reduce the clipping in post production, the audio improves towards the end. It is only my voice that is clipped, so all the great replies are perfect. 




    I am talking to Australian skateboard collector Andrew Mausell. 

    How do I describe Andy? He is the Willy Wonka of skateboard collectors. A crazy artistic genius that has never grown up.  I met Andy about 5 years ago, when I was selling down the Hopshop skateboard collection. Andy was one of the collectors that beat a path to my door and went through my boards, asking questions, falling in love with various skateboards I had. Like me, his favourite collecting era is early to late 1970s Australian skateboards. It was an amazing time for skateboarding, recognized as the second wave, surf culture had a big influence on skateboarding. 

    The last five years Andy and I have stayed in touch. You might have seen me over the years promoting his skateboard projects, which are more art than skateboards. We talk about those and future projects he is working on. What makes Andy different to other collectors is his passion not for the skateboards but the manufacturing process. Not satisfied that he can’t find a perfect 1970s fiberglass board, he makes one. Consults original factory managers, uses the same surfboard factories, and rediscovers lost techniques and methods. That is what makes this an amazing interview. I love stories and I love telling stories and the best stories are about history and this episode is chock full of history. 

    The companion piece to this podcast is the show notes on the blog, all the skateboards we talk about are photographed and in order of appearance, so you can literally follow along and see what I see and we talk about. There are extra notes I have added. That give more detail. I hope you enjoy this episode, you get to live a morning in my life, one of the crazy characters I spend my time with, proving skateboarding is a wonderful life.

    The music playing in the background is Russkie Wig-out

    This is the suspected prototype Bahne. It is definitely pre first series. It is made  with hand laid fibreglass layers. 

    Rick Le Claire and his honeycomb Bahne. 



    Rick Le Claire and his racing Bahne

    Bahne 30 inch honeycomb board was custom made for Rick Le Claire in 1977. 

    He was a Bahne team rider. Used mainly for downhill racing events between 1978 and 1979. Notably in 1978 at Magic Mountain.  

    Bahne - one of only 50 were made - they were customs, every 30 inch Bahne was custom made, there were no production models you could buy off the shelf. The aluminium is extruded and then impregnated with polyester black plastic to seal up the holes, then sandwiched top and bottom with white fibreglass.
    Hop notes: The honeycomb model was developed from Bahne waterski technology. Stan Strocher spoke to Bill Bahne and was told that a total of 50 honeycombs were made.

    This Bahne had sandpaper on the top - brown and black mixture, one of the earliest griptapes used.

    Two types of logo - on the griptape and on the bottom

    Once had Cadillac DK51 stickers on his deck, Andy has 30 of those original stickers.

    The nose shows the honeycomb structure 

    The board has naturally cut wheel wells from use! In the photo below you can just see those cut outs at the top of the image

    The little Nipper, made from an old wooden water ski from the 60s, the flat section of a water ski.

    The inlays are hand done and look incredible. It is in the shape of a Midget Farrelly - not an exact Mark 2 Midget Farrelly but in honour of that deck. The Little Nipper logo has been changed from a baby getting towed on a ski to a baby riding a skateboard. This was just a private project, to make a beautiful skateboard. Hop note: I have spoke to OG skaters who have made skateboards from old water skis. 

    Andy originally was a graphic designer, then a toy designer and has merged all those skills into making replicate skateboards such as the Bennett, McGrigor and Shane Skateboards.

    These are some of Andy's reproduction projects 

    Shane Stedman with the shane skateboard
    Legendary Shane Stedman, from Shane Surfboards, holding the Shane fibreglass skateboard reproduction.

    This is the original Shane Skateboard from the Hopshop collection, that gave Andy the inspiration to make the Shane fibreglass Skateboard.

    Designed Destroy All Robots: Australia's first non-sport bubble gum cards. They were all original paintings. Inspired by Japan's tin robots.

    Gordon and Smith double eagle logo - is not perfectly symmetrical which a lot of fakes or reproductions do not get right. Below is Andy's reproduction and the white deck is an original.

    Scanlen skateboard bubble gum cards

    Classic retro skater that maybe was inspiration to Sector 9 skater logo? (see comparison below)

    Russ Howell? Hill bomb

    The weirdest skate card of the set

    Skateboards by Skip of Australia

    Surfer Sam logo

    Golden Breed Hawaiian fibreglass skateboard

    The original Golden Breed template

    The board no one knew existed, the fibreglass Nirvana

    What is Andy's grail?

    Bahne 27 inch prototype layered construction,  
    There is a 30 inch rarer version. 

    How Bennett Surfboards worked there Saturday morning skateshop in the 70s. 

    An example of the superior manufacturing Bennett techniques, the designed into the mould a drill pattern for truck holes.


    Forgotten history, Greg Bennett using locals to assemble skateboards and the rubber thimble they used to count out 8 ball bearings. 

    Australian Skateboarding Bible a book Andy is working on. There will be an American Bahne section, because no book on Bahne has been done. Andy wants to highlight the two fake Australian Bahnes that were made.

    How to tell the difference between a real Bahne and a fake Bahne 

    First fake Bahne was the Bahne Super Flex. The other type is the second series Bahne logo printed on old Lightening Bolt and Golden Breed stock left over in the Bennett factory. 

    There is a fake Bahne in the Disposable Skateboard Bible Book in the Bahne section! 

    This is the Disposable skateboard bible page with the fake Australian Bahne! There it is in the middle, set up with stoker Slicks and Sure Grip trucks. Note to Disposible, Bahnes never shipped with Sure Grip trucks. 
    Note the Honeycomb deck at the top left, it has the Honeycomb logo, which I think Andy is still bitter his honeycomb deck does not have the Honeycomb logo, though I'm sure it is on his list of things to do, create a sticker for his deck! 

    Midget Farrelly junior signed my Midget himself - was on ebay at the time of this podcast, and sold for $443

    Midget Farrelly skateboards were made in a small factory in Brookvale. 

    We get our boards mixed up a bit in the podcast, I thought Andy was saying that the Farrelly factory also did a Nat Young pro model. It was Dr Leo who owned Surfa Sam made a Nat Young model to compete with the Midget Farrelly board which was taking his business. Side note: the backstory here is a small bit of information I got from Leo during a phone conversation many years ago. I was looking for information on my first skateboard, and wanted to know if Leo licensed his images out or if there were any unknown Surfa Sam boards, he said towards the end of Surfa Sam he made a Nat Young Pro model, but he did not think any were released commercially. I told this information to Andy and we both have spent five years looking for a Nat Young. And yes, we found one, actually Andy found it. A non descript board was unearthed, the worn out label was restored and found out to be a Nat Young! A few boards have since been found, and I want to tell that story one day in a video or podcast. Any aspiring film makers out there that want to collaborate on a short film, let me know, I'll write the screenplay.   

    The Nat Young Surfa Sam!!!! They were the same construction as a Surfa Sam, thin lamination on top of a solid wooden board. They had a aluminium foil sticker on the bottom, like all Surfa Sam's. Made under the name of Landsurfa. 

    Hop's first skateboard was a Surfa Sam. It was a knock off, or made to look like it. This was early 70's and after Surfa Sam had closed down. It was green with a white Surfa Sam logo on top. Black composite, tar like wheels. These wheels chipped! I later replaced it with urethane wheels I bought at Eastwood.

    We are in the garage!!

    Ultimate Skateboards - Burwood skateshop board that was bought just to photograph for the book.

    Mahaka XL10 - foam core with a fibreglass wrap - it is a skateboard deck shaped after a dragster bike seat! You are guaranteed to do 360s today with the XL10. 



    How to make a good fibreglass skateboard, Andy has rediscovered old manufacturing techniques. One id sanding each layer. To get a good transition on a multi colour fibreglass board, you sand the layer, put down a clear layer and then the second colour. A lot of these techniques are getting lost because surfboards are not being handmade anymore in Australia due to mass produced imports. Surfboard making is not a dying artform, but there is less people doing it and a new appreciation of vintage surfboards. 

    Fake Bahne with black outline (see image below)
    The image below are the three types of fake fibreglass boards made in Australia. All of them are on old Lightening Bolt stock. 

    Fred William Kanga water ski's they make a perfect vintage skateboard

    Why is Andy obsessed with Golden Breed skateboards? There are not many skateboards made under license with a surfboard logo in Australia. There is something special about them. 

    So rare to find an original Golden Breed skateboard that has not been skated.

    This is the Golden Breed board we talk about in the garage, the one I thought was too good to be true, it must be a reproduction. It has a psychedelic swirl, and extra $5 at the time of purchase!

    The Col Crawford Golden Breed skateboard. A one of a kind black golden breed with a black logo. What made it special was a silver or gold meta fleck through the black resin. The legend goes that Col walked into the Bennett factory and wanted to buy the one of a kind skateboard that hung on the wall for his kid (Stephen or Sharyn). It was not for sale...but everything is for sale at a price and Col left with the black Golden Breed skateboard. It has never surfaced again, it could still be out there?

    Bonus item for Jack Meyn

    In Andy's garage I found this 70's fibreglass Hawaiian skateboard. It has the logo of the notorious Da Hui surf gang from Hawaii's North Shore. They were the original suf gang, feared in the 70s and policed local's surf rights and harassed Australian surfers...and a few South Africans :-)
    What is the history of this board? Made for one of the local kids? A tribute deck by a local shaper? 


    Hop Podcast #13 Thiago Lessa part two ... and he drops the mic




    This is part two of my conversation with Thiago Lessa, if you have not listened to part one it is here

    Straight up in the middle of my conversation with Thiago (half way through) he drops the "I'm not racing in 2019". Literally dropping the mic. You can almost hear me thinking, did he just say "I'm not racing next year"? I think the lack of my response surprised Thiago, he mentions it a few times, without a reaction from me. However, you have to remember I went into this interview thinking that he would ignore some of my questions or give me general answers, when you work so hard to be the best, you are not going to give away all your secrets...right?. But Thiago tells me everything, so I'm thinking why? And then it dawns on me, he has reached the top of the mountain, and no one is there, it is lonely at the top. We even talk about how he had no close finishes this year, he was there at the finish line, by himself. Thiago is a racer, a competitor, he loves downhill, loves hard work, he has a brand and business tied into the sport, so he wants it to grow, he wants racers to be faster and more competitive, more entertaining. He also wants another challenge, and I think having a year off, letting someone else be champion, then he can come back and beat them!

    I have so much fun getting Thiago to relive his racing this year, fresh in his mind, we get into racing lines he took and his rules for successful racing.  

    He answers Bassi's question, in the Newtons final did he change lines on purpose, what was he doing?

    The fear and cold of that wet South Korean final, and Dalua's reaction to waking up to rain on finals day (hint: "Dalua dont do rain" the one line he muttered to me at Newtons in 2010 when it rained) 

    Is Thiago unbeatable at Kozakov?

    Is Adam Persson one of the craziest racers on tour? 

    How Thiago uses sound, and that Bassi has a distinct sound.

    No crashing this year - because he pays attention - he knows what others are thinking 

    We talk about small racers - with Thiago and Pepe dominating racing, is it a new age for smaller riders?

    "My tuck is the most special thing I have in downhill"

    Thiago has 2 to 3 tucks. The Kozakov tuck is different to Killington tuck. His grab tuck is faster, B-tuck = hands open - he did this at Killington.

    Why did Thiago fail at Kilington = becasue at qualifying he was going for record. He skated so much he cramped his leg, so the finals was a relax tuck.

    We talk Power tuck vs Relax tuck.

    Thiago wants to break speed record

    How to get a good tuck

    He is always improving his tuck

    "A lot details makes a big difference"

    He has a book - his bible - things that are important goes into the book - his list of items he needs to travel <- this is important  = No wasting time.

    Music Thiago plays on race day to get him in the mood

    Biggie Smalls - it was all a dream


    If Thiago does not race in 2019 who will win the world champion? Pepe? Josh? 

    How does a Brazilian become a great skater? 

    What makes Pepe stand out? Very few skaters have the will to keep going - it is constancy that is most important

    How did Cuel find Nick Broms? 


    Two sponsors are: Cuei wheels and Hondar

    The other brands support him with flow: Ronin trucks, Tacna Skate, Marley Skateboards, New Orders helmets

    New helmet with Neworders - his model the Blackbird V2

    Deck is Black Mamba - the Carlos pro model!

    Why design and make your own wheels but not have a pro model board? He believes wheels is science but board design is art. This parallels my interview with Calvin Skinner where is says he is an artist, board design is art. 

    How does set up his deck? torque block and puts a layer of carbon to stiffin it up and a custom footstop.

    Custom footstop: bar and a hook, made by Marley Skateboards

    Lugi Maggi pro deck


    Skaters talked about in this episode



    Goal of breaking the speed record at 

    L'Ultime Descente - Top Speed Challenge

    Max and Thiago raw run at Top Speed

    Hop Podcast #12 - Thiago Gomes Lessa: to be the best in the world


    Number 12: my conversation with Thiago Lessa, two time current IDF Downhill World Champion, and owner of Cuei wheels.

    The show notes are a bit sparse at this time, because I usually write notes as I edit the podcast. This time, I got lost listening to the conversation, and didn't write notes. As each episode goes 2 hours, it would take days to redo, so I'm releasing the episode and will try to catch up on show notes later. 

    As I have said on a previous podcast, this conversation lasted over 4 hours. Thiago surprised me on how much he was willing to share and talk about. Every question was answered, and in more detail than I could have imagined, and breaking that sterotype of the ultra competitive and elusive Brazilian racer. Thiago was also the opposite of everything I expected, and there is a reason, but you’l have to wait until part two (coming soon).

    I have broken this interview into two parts. Pretty much clean in the middle. Thiago and I discussed editing it into separate topics but the sheer size of the interview it would take too long. I think there is a flow in the conversation that is worth keeping. In part one we talk a lot about Cuei wheels and future products, plus start at the beginning of his racing and work our way to becoming World Champion. 

    One last comment before we continue, this episode is a bit more raw than the usual episodes. I do a lot of ego editing, getting rid of my umms and "so", but this one I have taken very little out, basically only major edit was Thiago’s sisters dog trying to eat him, I even kept the small conversation we have discussing if the conversation is too long. 


    Brazilian skaters mentioned in this podcast

    Dalua = Douglas Dalua

    Pepe = Pepe Laporte

    Guto = Carlos Augusto Correia Paixão

    Max B = Max D Ballesteros

    Luri Maggi

    Other skaters mentioned

    Nick Broms

    What other links would you like to see here or should we list? Comment below



    Hop Podcast #11 - Calvin Skinner and how to build a skate brand


    Why interview Calvin? In my opinion he is a longboard influencer. He might not have the mega subscribers or the million view videos, but he has a loyal following, and he is respected in the community. Part of that is he is trusted, so when he recommends a product, it carries more influence. An example of this is the review he did for the Hopkin Youtube channel on Optimo wheels. Although that video is now has 5000+ views, when we released it, there was less than 500 views in the first 30 days, but it was enough to sell out the wheel in our shop and at the distributor! You can go to our longboard wheel page, and it is sorted by best selling wheels, and the Optimo is (as of writing this) number 2! If you listen to the podcast we talk about what wheels Calvin is currently recommending, the Byron Esserts, and that wheel is sold out and creeping up our best seller list.

    This is a fun interview, we talk a lot about how Calvin has been building his brand Beggars Supply Co.  

    This blog post is a companion to the podcast - it is the show notes!

    If you want to visit the websites we mention or watch the videos we talk about or unsure of the person or skater that is talked about, the link should be here. If not please message or DM me and I will get it added. Any mistakes, let me know.

    First skateboard stormtrooper skateboard. First longboard a Tan Tien bought from the old Hopkin website, set up with Paris trucks and yellow Stimulus wheels.

    Flowed helmets from S1
    Flowed trucks by Paris Trucks
    Flowed work and miscellaneous skate items by Boardstore

    US trip in July
    California -> Seattle -> Vancouver

    Motion Boardshop - stocks Beggars boards

    The East Coop

    Calvin's video from his 2018 tour

    One of Calvin's biggest influences, and he aims to mimic that Wes Anderson framing

    Wes Anderson // Centered from kogonada on Vimeo.


    The amazing Mr Linus Marsh

    Kavon Zamanian - Red Dirt Motion ( I mispronounce the name - sorry Kavon)

    Longboarding video game video <- watch the series here or my favourite below


     Music found on Spotify Discover weekly

    The East Coop facebook page, the page where taken down videos go to live

    What are Calvin's different media channels? He uses Youtube for a Calvin Skinner film or bigger edits. The East Co-operative is now Facebook video only now. Beggers does only Facebook and Instagram video

    Longer content goes on Youtube - minimum 8 minute videos. Facebook is videos anywhere from 30 seconds to 6 minutes.

    Beggars Supply Company

    Boardlife in Colorado

    Drang Boards

    Backbone longboard deck

    Beggars team:
    Brady Faithful
    Korey Kamp 
    Luke Smith   
    Jeremy Shroom

    What is Beggars drop 3 looking like? It is available end of November or December.
    First board: Downhill single kick around 39 inches long 
    Second board: a symmetrical downhill top mount board 35.5 inches long
    Third board: a big double kick that is 38.5 inches long!

    Shops that are stocking Drop 2:

    Cre8ive Sk8
    Motion Boardshop
    Boardworks Tech Shop 
    AND right here at Hopkin Skate

    Skull Skates

    Small indy board builders we talk about:

    Pantheon longboards
    Da Silva
    FS Board Co

    Dylan Hepworth's DH Boards

    Chroma Skateboards (now closed)

    Les from Flatspot - SkateSlate

    Highway Jam X Paris Trucks - best skate event Calvin has been too. 


    Monkeypig Midnight Madness

    What wheels? 
    Essert freeride wheels - slide so perfectly

    How does Calvin pick his team? Individuality is the biggest factor.

    Can a skater get sponsored without racing or doing events? Calvin and I discuss this, other than himself as an example Brandon DesJarlais is another example of skaters building a following and using that to get sponsored.