Blind Skateboards: Flight Without Sight

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Some boards are so responsive, so intuitive, that the skater can trust their deck to be there on time no matter how many flips or Fakie are on the agenda for each ride up the quarter pipe. When you want to fly on pure Force like a Jedi, perhaps you’ll find that it’s time to fly Blind.
2 Blind Skateboards: Flight Without Sight

In many ways, the history of great skate companies is the story of personal disputes among the integral personalities who rose to become the first stars of the sport. It almost wouldn’t be right if cocky Blind Skateboard did not emerge from such divisive origins.
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Mark Gonzales founded Blind Skateboard Company after splitting with Vision Skateboards, choosing the moniker as a backhand slap to to his old label. Blind Skateboards has been a full-service skate company since 1989, manufacturing premium trucks, bearings, pads and helmets, wheels, decks, clothes and other accessories crucial to the lifestyle of the skater.

Like many successful independent skateboard ventures, Blind has since been acquired by industry giant Dwindle Distribution, who manages some of the most prominent brands in skating equipment.

Blind Skateboards, with the death-head logo adorning every board, is particularly favored by the dark skater contingent, especially punks and metalheads. The outfit boasts an impressive roster of both pro and amateur pipe-riders, featuring some of the hottest vert skaters on the circuit, such as Ronnie Creager and Jake Brown. Past riders have included such luminaries as Guy Mariano, Danny Way, and Jason Lee.

The company has a bizarre sense of humor that plays especially well in a trail from their popular DVD What If? This video features Blind team’s professional skaters escaping from a pair of Keystone Cops on their decks, evading the hapless flatfoots in a hilarious sequence that comes to a gut-busting climax when Jake Brown, receiving a quick payoff of folded cash from Ronnie Creager, tackles the official skateboard-riding cop and breaks off the hot pursuit.

All of these smirking adult delinquents have something to smile about: riding for the outlaw skater who knows that a board is more than just a way to amaze yourself and your friends with defiance of gravity and other laws of physics…it can also be a way to get moving down the road in case your skating offends the enforcers of more local ordinances.

The original 2005 release of What If? contained a treat for those who were on time to pick up the Blind Video: Video Days. Blind’s legendary indie production from back in the day features founder Gonzales, Guy Mariano, Rudy Johnson and Jason Lee, all captured by skate videographer extraordinaire Spike Jonze, co-creator of MTV’s popular show Jackass. The 1991 Video Days production is an essential piece of skating lore, bringing together these classic names for a truly magnificent parade of old-school talent and lighthearted madness.

Blind Skateboards is a nihilistic, streetwise label for the urban vert skater who doesn’t need to see where they’re going to know exactly where they want the board to take them.

Tony Owen is a web developer, skateboarder, designer, musician, traveler and blogger. Founder of Arkitecht and Skateboarding Magazine.

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