I love the look of old vintage skateboards and have always wanted one for myself. I particularly like the Roller Derby #10, the first skateboard ever to be sold. But these are hard to come by, expensive, and not really that rideable. So I figured why not recreate the Roller Derby #10 with modern trucks, wheels, and bearings so it has that vintage look but can still be ridden. So that's exactly what I did and you can too! So let's get to it...
Please know that if you're interested in purchasing one of these from me, check out the etsy listing here.
Step 1: Things You'll Need
Supplies You'll Need:
- a plank of wood
- white spray primer
- red spray paint
- spray clear coat
- a "Roller Derby #10 Skate Board" vinyl stencil (You'll need a vinyl cutter to make this stencil or contact me and I can probably make one and send it to you)
- Trucks (I used these 3" Penny trucks)
- Wheels (I used these wheels because they look like metal wheels which were used on the original Roller Derby #10)
- Bearings (Use whatever you prefer)
- Skateboard bolts and locknuts (can be found at most hardware stores)
Tools You'll Need:
- power sander
- sand paper
- drill with drill bit
Step 2: Cut Your Deck
The Roller Derby #10 has a deck size of about 19" long by 4 1/2" wide. The plank of wood I had is about 5 1/4" wide so I decided to leave it there because I though it would fit better with the size of my trucks and wheels. I also made it a few inches longer at 21".
Use a compass to mark off a semi circle for the nose of the board. I also rounded the corners on the tail.
After cutting, sand the entire board to your liking.
Step 3: Drill the Mounting Holes
Before you paint, you'll want to drill your mounting holes. I used this template here. Simply find the centerline of your board, line up the template, and drill your holes. Use the trucks to find the appropriate size drill bit.
I placed my holes fairly close to the nose and the tail because this is how the original Roller Derby looked.
You can then also counter sync your mounting holes so your screws fit flush with the board. Do do this you can use a counter sync drill bit. Or if you don't have one of those, a larger drill bit works great too. Simply drill down into each of the mounting holes about 1/4" with the larger drill bit.
Step 4: Priming Your Board
Ideally, you'll want to set up a place where you can spray your board from all angles and where it can hang and dry safely. I rigged up my board with a metal rod pushed through a mounting hole, tied to a string, suspended from a pole (check out the photos). It worked very well so I recommend something similar to this.
Spray a few light, even coats of your white primer over your entire board. Let this dry for at least 24 hours and then we can get to applying the stencil and spraying some color!
Step 5: Applying the Stencil
So you're gonna need a "Roller Derby #10 Skate Board" Stencil. I cut mine using a vinyl cutter which worked great. Call around to some local shops and they may be able to help or contact me and I can help you out.
Apply your stencil to your board (I used the mounting holes to help with the placement). Make sure all the edges are down and everything is flat so a nice finish is achieved with the paint.
Step 6: Spraying the Color on Your Board
Now for the fun part! Start spraying your red paint onto the board. Be sure to do light even coats so the stencil pulls off nicely. Do not rush this part, take your time and apply the red in many light coats until the board is completely covered.
Next is to take off your stencil, this part can be a bit tricky. Start removing your stencil right after you apply your last coat of red paint. I found that using tweezers was the easiest way to remove the vinyl from the board. Red on white is a difficult color combination but it can look beautiful with patience and planning.
After your stencil is off, feel free to go back and do any quick touch ups to the red or white paint on your board. Then you'll want to apply a few light coats of clear coat. This protects the paint a little bit more and adds a nice finish. I didn't want to put grip tape on mine because the original boards didn't have grip tape.
Let your board dry for at least 24 hours (I let mine sit for 48 hours to be safe) until you put on your trucks and wheels.
Step 7: Gawking at Your Awesome Vintage Skateboard
You're done! You now have a totally rad board that has that vintage look and vibe but also rides as well as a modern board. This thing is a blast to ride and is a nice (and cheaper) alternative to the plastic penny boards you see everywhere. I take mine to class and work all the time and it's easy to throw in my backpack or stash under a desk.
I get attention with this board everywhere I go; you're not gonna get that with your everyday penny board. Some have asked me if I think the paint will hold up to riding it everyday. My answer is that the paint will probably wear through eventually but I think it's part of the look. When you search for photos of these, most of them are all worn through with exposed wood and I think it's looks awesome! It just shows that this is a board to be ridden, not hung on a wall.
So I hope you enjoy my creation and feel the urge to create one yourself. I wish you the best of luck; it's a pretty simple and fun project.
If you're interested in purchasing one of these from me, check out the etsy listing here.