That's All Folks!
Thank you for all your support during this amazing adventure. So many people to thank. I'm truly humbled by what we managed to achieve with almost nothing but skill, mental horsepower and drive to make a difference. Thank you all.
I'll be able to devote a lot more time to actually skating now, so it's not all bad. I'm going to keep the domain and site up, but revamp it a little to take out the business aspects and hopefully put things up from time to time that may be useful and / or informative. Half Dead may not be a business anymore, but it's an ides that will never die.
Half Dead to be Fully Dead December 31st 2016
Back in 2012 when I dreamt up Half Dead, my book survey told me there was an overwhelming need for skaters of a certain age to have a forum for communication, and have a company that was dedicated specifically to their needs. We did both of those, setting up the community forum and establishing a product line of boards and accessories which were well received, but never sold in the quantities we needed to remain viable. We had shop accounts in both the US and UK, and we thank them so much for taking a chance on our tiny little brand that could. We even exported boards to the UK for sale, and slowly introduced the brand to that isle. We had a stellar team of riders. Initially Lucian Hendricks and Neil Danns from the UK, then Hans "Puttis" Jacobson, Patric Backlund and Tony Jansson from Sweden, Josh Bridgewater from California (our adaptive team rider) and guest riders also such as Justin Lynch riding in the Vans Pool Party to a giddy 8th on the Chart Attack board.
Fast forward to 2016, and the need for communication has been well and truly served. When we started, there were very few venues for older skaters to meet and chat about everything in the world of mature skating. Now there are multiple groups on Facebook with the largest (Skaters over 50) having north of 16000 members! Clearly, the original reason for Half Dead to exist was well taken care of in other venues.
Add on to this changes in my own personal and professional life which sapped my own energy and time to devote to the brand, and I have had to make a difficult decision. I can't carry on with Half Dead any longer - I just don't have the time or energy to devote to it to make it the success it deserves to be. I have to pay bills, a mortgage, raise a daughter and keep alive and I now have the means to do that, but it leaves almost no time or energy for anything else. Given all of this, I am announcing the closure of Half Dead Skateboards LLC on December 31st 2016.
Not all of this is bad news though! We still have some stock to sell, and it will be offered in the online shop at crazy blowout prices. Decks for $35, for instance. Take a look there and buy them, because there aren't going to be any more. At the time of writing, I have about 25 woodenhead boards and a couple of retro fish boards and that's it. Move fast if you want to procure one of these beasts.
THANK YOU everyone for an amazing ride and all the support and love you've given me and the brand. I'll still be skating - more than ever in fact - and i'm active in the Facebook forums so you'll always be able to find me. Hopefully see you on some concrete soon.
Ladies and Gentlemen - I give you - The Woodenhead Pool Board from Half Dead Skateboards!
Welcome to our newest riders, Patric Backlund, Hans Puttis Jacobsson and Tony Jansson!
Sweden has always been a powerhouse of skateboarding. Right from the early 80's when American pros would be hired to be coaches at the Eurocana summer camps, Swedish riders would blow their minds and come back with tales of incredible skating from totally unknown (outside of the USA) riders equal to the best in California. I was fortunate enough to skate with these guys quite a bit, and formed friendships that have lasted decades. Now - I am so proud to announce that three of these Scandinavian rippers have agreed to ride for Half Dead Skateboards!
Watch for them in the Vert Attack 9 contest happening this Saturday 14th March!
Welcome to the Half Dead Family - Native Skate Shop, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK!!
The Newcastle Upon Tyne based Native Skate Store first opened it's doors in February 2003 to cater to the thriving North East UK skate scene. It's the only specialist 'skater owned' Skate Store in the Newcastle and surrounding areas, and does its best to promote skateboarding by sponsoring local skaters, organizing skate jams and hosting skateboarding video premiere's.
In 2005 they setup their first online shop. With a lot of hard work and dedication they are now the UK's leading Independent Skate Store and service skaters all over the UK and Europe daily.
Half Dead loves Native for several reasons, not least of which is Lee used to live there! For 7 years the North East skate scene was life for him, and roots run deep.
So a HUGE Half Dead welcome goes out to our brothers at Native!
Half Dead UK riders ripping!
I'm psyched to announce that in addition to ex Dogtown pro Lucian Hendricks, Half Dead now has UK legend Neil Danns riding for us! Neil (or DanZ as he was known back in the day) was a competition machine. Unbelievably consistent and stylish. We are stoked he is back on a board, and even more stoked that it's one of ours. Neil and Lucian have both opted for the Chart Attack board to handle their ongoing vert needs, although Lucian has been ripping it up on the Retrofish lately also. We are looking forward to sharing pics and video of these rippers as they blaze their way onto the Masters scenes.
Half Dead at the House of Vans LONDON 12-7-14!
I'd been looking forward to this session for a long time. At the tail end of a week long trip to more northern parts, hitting the concrete with some old friends (really old in most cases) was going to be a ton of fun. I was excited to see what the House of Vans park looked and rode like in person. I'd seen it a lot through webcasts, so knew the layout, but the scale of the place still surprised me. It's pretty small. Tight even. It also appears to have been designed with much more difficulty factor in mind than would be strictly necessary. The two holes in the side walls don't really work for much except to allow radsters to say "yeah - I can carve over them". Then they lead into the high bowl section, which is higher then the rest so you need to get massive speed to get anywhere. I just don't like that design of bowl (and yes I'm old so I'm entitled to whinge). Still, we had a stack of fun in there.
Many old faces showed, including Brian Shaw and Stewart Savage (Half Dead UK people), Rob Ashby, Dave Boyle, Lucian Hendricks (Half Dead UK flow team rider), Mike Stride of Octane Sport and many others. A fantastic session.
Big thanks to Dave Boyle for the pics!
Half Dead Invades the UK!!
After many months of figuring out how to get this done, we're about to embark on getting Half Dead into our first non USA country! Given the roots of the brand it should be no surprise that this is going to be the UK. We have a very limited quantity of decks and clothing heading over there right now and they will be available after December 9th 2014 through local skateshops. If your local skateshop doesn't have them, get them to call here at Half Dead HQ and I'll put them in touch with the two UK agents handling distribution so we can set up supply.
We're setting up a couple of riders there to promote Half Dead generally as they do their thing. One of these is ex Dogtown pro and card carrying ripper Lucian Hendricks! I've known Lucian since we were competing on the circuit together back in the 80's and his style and radness are something to behold.
This is a very exciting development for us, and I can't wait to report back on how our unique boards and style are received there!
Half Dead at Newport Shred Fest August 8th 2014
Newport VT is a town in the boonies. It's so far north it's damned nearly in Canada, but it's incredibly beautiful and worth a visit for the vista alone. Despite it having all kinds of unemployment and the associated social problems that brings, the authorities decided to invest in something positive for the youth of the town and build a darned fine CONCRETE skatepark! They then put together the first annual "Newport Shredfest" on August 8th to promote skating and the positive benefits of it to the local community. Little did they know just what an impact it was going to have. Half Dead was asked to participate with a booth, and we were very happy to do that to be a presence and support this great little skate community right in our own backyard. This is just some of what happened.
Half Dead at the Vans Pool Party - 2014!
The Vans Pool Party is widely regarded in the vertical skateboard community as the best bowl contest of the year.
It's held in the giant Combi Pool in the vans skatepark at the Block Mall in Orange CA in May every year. I run a Facebook webcast site that gathers people from all over the world to watch it (and other contests - the World Wide Sk8 Webcast). It's a really big deal in the skateboard world and I never dreamed Half Dead would be able to be a part of it for a few years. It just didn't fit into the plans for the business.
The pool party has grown every year from the relatively informal event to full on production. With that growth has come restrictions, for instance, this year the new "Legends" category was invitation only with no qualifiers (effectively making it a showcase competition). The "Masters" division (over 40) was also by invitation, but they would face qualifying rounds to make it into the final. The Pros could enter as they wished. Clearly Half Dead is more interested in the Masters and Legends division as they're more our era and style of skating.
I'm browsing the web one morning catching up on industry news when I come across a piece about a midwest rider called Justin Lynch who has an invitation to the contest, but is having some trouble getting everything together to allow him to go compete. He ran a GoFundMe campaign selling various things to raise the cash to go, and one of those things was the board rights for the contest and practice sessions! The amount was a stretch, but I jumped on it like a horny German Shepherd and bagged those rights. We had a rider in the Pool Party!!!!!
Turns out Justin is quite the ripper. He has a deep bag of tricks and a super smooth yet burly style that catches the eye. We were super stoked to have him represent Half Dead in the contest. Here's a couple of videos that show him doing his thing.
You can see he's riding the Chart Attack board, which proved itself in the heat of the baddest bowl contest in the world!
Justin got a huge 7th place in the Masters division - his best result yet in the contest. We couldn't be more proud of his skating and representing Half Dead in the contest. Thanks Justin!