Our Custom Graphics Process, Explained
Custom skateboard graphics and unique board art are at the core of what we offer. They have been since our inception. That's because of our roots in surf, where boards are laid up with custom art all the time. We translated the approach from surf over to our process for designing surfskates. And we continue to engineer new and creative ways to bring unique visuals to life on Shred skate decks, whether it’s for a creative surfer who wants a one-of-one surfskate, or a podcast host who wants a piece of functional art for their studio.
This article explains how we put custom graphics on our boards (there are multiple ways), what kinds of graphics we can put on a Shred skateboard (practically anything), and how you can design your own graphics to put on a custom Shred surfskate.
What Kinds of Graphics Can You Put On A Shred Skateboard?
There are no limits to the graphics we can apply. As long as we have a high quality image file, we can have anything printed in HD and put on a board. And we're not just limited to image files, design files, and logos. We can airbrush something by hand, use custom stencils, or dye fiberglass, too.
Logos are a common theme for customs – we've put logos on boards for non-profit organizations, podcasts, and destination retreats. Another common request is to match a determined surfboard aesthetic. That might mean a color combo or even a carbon fiber lay up. Some surfers want their surfboard / surfskate combo to share a visual style, which makes for a pretty sweet on-water / off-water quiver.
How Do You Actually Get the Designs On To the Deck?
One method is through printing with a company called Boardlams. Using either rice paper printouts or a machine that prints directly onto fiberglass, we can print any digital image or graphic and integrate it into a skate deck.
Another way is to paint or dye fiberglass. This allows a ton of different looks, often drawing inspiration from designs that started in the surfboard industry. For surfers who want a surfskate aesthetic that looks and feels like it could be in the ocean, this is a great option.
A third way is to airbrush our honeycomb material. This allows for a solid color or a fade, leaving the rails (outer edges of the board) as a frame for the painted honeycomb interior. This looks great once it's finished – as seen on a handful of our flagship boards, like the Electrical Ninja, and on many of the customs we've showcased on Instagram, like the one shown below that we made for Plastic Free Fridays.
How Similar Is This Process To How Surfboard Art Is Applied?
Process-wise, it is exactly the same. Like our approach to shaping deck molds, our approach to adding graphics can trace a direct line back to the surf industry. Just like with the best high-performance surfboards, we print images on fiberglass which then gets inlaid into the board and laminated with resin.
Do You Have Any Favorite Custom Designs You've Put on a Board?
The Tinker board we built was a special one for sure! Tinker Hatfield is an absolute legend, and the custom art we put on his surfskate is one we'll never forget. There's been a lot, though. People can check out a few of the custom deck designs in a gallery on our Custom Boards page.
How Does LucidGrip Play a Role?
Lucid Grip is how we put grip on the decks without obscuring the board's graphics. It's made from recycled glass bottles, granulated then used as grip! It's a sustainable material, which we love. And because it's made with clear glass, it keeps the deck of the board visually accessible. Using traditional grip tape this is obviously not possible, since it covers the deck of the skateboard with opaque tape.
If I Want a Custom-Designed Shred Skateboard, How Do I Go About Making That Happen?
Simple: Head to the Custom Boards page on our website where you'll find a form that will allow you to explain your vision, and printable deck blanks that you can draw directly on. If you have a picture of a surfboard you want recreated, or a company logo, there's a file attachment field where you can drop those pieces of visual inspiration. From there, a Shred Builder will contact you to fully develop this idea in to a Shred skateboard.
If you don't want to draw out your vision, you can also just get on the phone with us and explain it. Most of the time we're able to create mockups and samples, to guarantee accuracy, before moving forward with a build.
Get Creative and Hit Us Up!
Every custom board we do is a treat – they are always so unique and one-of-a-kind that they each take on a life of their own by the time they're finished. It's awesome to see someone's vision become a reality.
Just remember: Be creative. Don't limit yourself. And don't hesitate to reach out if you have a question or idea. We're always available to help point you in the right direction.
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