What skater has not dreamt about doing their own board graphic? With the shop past the 2 year mark it was time for our own shop deck. Like everything else we do we heavily researched out where we wanted to have our decks done. We settled on Chapman Wood both due to their quality reputation and because we like the idea of them being made right here in Maine. Here's how:
We also wanted a full size run since i skate 7.75 and some of our team riders skate as big as 8.6 and we really liked that Chapman does the whole spread. We are happy to be able to offer everyone the size they prefer, since us skaters are not picky at all about such things (sarcastic font). But then came the graphic.
When you hear "shop board" we all have some preconceived notion that pops into our head. Usually simple one color graphics, variations on shop logos, etc, etc. But this just isn't a business we started, this a dream i had and a dream that i'm living. i have to always consider the business side of things but first and foremost i have to stay true to my dream and to my beliefs. Every aspect of what we do at Long's Board Shop should have some aspect of that vision to it. So the ideas flooded out like creative diarrhea until Sarah finally had to reign it in with the mastermind inspiration: what about Phuc?
Phuc Tran is the incredible artist who owns Tsunami Tattoo. His artwork and tattoo skills need no more an introduction to represent his talent then trying to get an appointment with him. Being booked over a year out speaks for itself. But there is more to this request than there seems. You see, like me Phuc is also a teacher. He had been a huge inspiration to me in starting the shop. Seeing that he could teach and run a successful business showed me that it was possible to pull off such a feat of intestinal fortitude. Thinking i was starting to catch up to his work ethic he then decided to have not one but two children and then, as if just to rub it all in he took on a project bike. Fuck it. i'm just going to go take a nap.
Our two wives conspired and somehow Phuc ended up on the hook for doing a shop graphic. Another thing that deepens the plot is that on top of it all Phuc is the only person who has ever beaten me at Star Wars Trivia. We're talking a whole new level of Star Wars fan boy-hood. One day while Sarah was getting a tattoo, Phuc throws an idea out for the graphic. i jumped on that idea right away. He seemed surprised at first that we were cool with it but the best of deck graphics should have some edge to it. There is a long line of skateboarding tradition that we had to carry the torch for.
As a believer in the Beat movement's idea of first though best thought, Phuc sent us a first draft and it far surpassed our expectations. The drawing - incredible! The background - totally unexpected! A Nude Hope - inspired! Also, seeing the Tsunami logo and our shop logo side by side feels good. i'm sooo proud to call that our shop deck.
For quite a while we have gone back and forth with James about doing an event with him at the Thirsty Pig. A deck release just finally seemed like the perfect event for it. With full run of the deck (what better a place to have a deck release) and drink specials the event was scheduled. We have such gratitude for all of you that came out to help us celebrate this and for all the lot of you have done partaking in this crazy dream of ours. Big thanks to James and the Thirsty Pig. Huge thanks to Phuc (and his whole fam) for going above and beyond, as always.