Is Deathwish A Good Skateboard Brand?
I had been rocking a Santa Cruz skateboard for about 2 years and I needed a change. A few months back I spoke with a couple of folks and they advised me to check out the deathwish skateboard brand.
Deathwish Skateboards was founded by Baker Boys Distribution in 2007. The skateboard brand also distributes Baker, Heroin, ShakeJunt, and Birdhouse skateboards.
I have used a Baker skateboard in the past and I found myself wondering whether Deathwish is a good skateboard brand. I did some research, contacted and interviewed some fellow skateboarders who owned Deathwish boards.
The deathwish skateboard brand was created to be a sister brand of the Baker skateboard brand. They are both constructed with 7 ply maple wood from Canada. This means that their properties are very similar. The deathwish skateboard differs slightly from the baker boards in its shape and durability. From my experience of using the deathwish skateboard brand for a while now, it is reliable, it has great pop and it doesn't chip fast when performing tricks. Let's take a closer look at the brand.
Is Deathwish owned by Baker Skateboards?
In 1999 Andrew Reynolds pitched the idea of starting the Baker skateboard brand to Tony Hawk and Per Welinder. The trio formed a partnership, and in 2007 Baker skateboards partnered with Blitz, a distribution company founded by Tony Hawk and Per Welinder that at the time was distributing skateboards for brands like Birdhouse (owned by Tony Hawk), Fury, and Hook-Ups.
The Baker skateboard brand was the fastest growing brand distributed by Blitz, so Andrew Reynolds (a.k.a The Boss) decided to set up his own distribution company in 2007, called the baker boys distribution together with Jim Greco and Erik Ellington to distribute a new skateboard brand called the Deathwish Skateboard.
The idea was to start the brand with a new distribution, then bring in the baker skateboard brand later on when its contract with Blitz had expired.
The Deathwish skateboard brand was officially launched in April of 2008. By 2011 all Baker skateboards were fully distributed by the Baker boys distribution. In July 2014, the Palace skateboard brand which won the "Brand of the Year" award in Brighton Trade show held in Europe in January 2012, announced that they had signed a deal with Baker boys to facilitate the distribution of their skateboards.
Today the Baker boys distribute skateboards for many brands in addition to the Baker and Deathwish Skateboard such as Palace Skateboards, Shake Junt, Volume 4, Happy Hour Shades, Heroin Skateboards, Hammers, Death Lens, Illegal Civilization, Ashbury, ABC Hat Co. Birdhouse Skateboards, Call me 917 and Gnarhunters from their large warehouse located in the area of North Hollywood.
Deathwish pro squad consists of Jon Dickson, Neen Williams, Taylor Kirby, Jamie Foy, Jake Hayes, Pedro Delfino, and Julian Davidson with Victoria Ruesga being the only girl in the amateur squad. Also, new riders such as Julian Felix, Furby, Slash Hanson, and Lizard King also joined the Deathwish squad.
The Lizard King (Mike Plumb) eventually left the Deathwish skateboard brand in 2020 after being with the brand for 12 years. In an Instagram post which he published on his Instagram account, he said that the company had meant the world to him for a long time, but he had learned that in life if you feel you need to change something even if it's scary, you have to do what feels right for you. With that being said, the time had come for him to leave and pursue the next chapter of his life.
What does the logo in Deathwish mean?
People have used images or symbols to label items they've created or owned for a long time. The logo is a point of identification to grab people's attention, distinguish a brand from the competition, foster brand loyalty, and show the brand values without pages of copy and a team of copywriters. The right logo says the right thing without saying a word.
The logo for the Deathwish skateboard brand was derived from a movie. In fact, the 70s and 80s Vigilante cult movie series called Death Wish starring Charles Bronson as well as from the kitsch magazine cover artwork at the time. The Deathwish skateboard brand logo (the crooked cross symbol) is the same as the logo used by the Street Punk Gang in the movie Death Wish 3.
In 2016, the Deathwish skateboard brand paid tribute to the movie Death Wish, by featuring the gun used by Charles Bronson in the movie on the 7 decks which they launched and called VHS Wasteland.
The art style adopted by the Deathwish skateboard brand hovers around graffiti style writing and unconventional graphics such as Lizard Kings Fos style decks and Antwuan Dixon's cuffs deck.
Is Deathwish a good skateboard?
I own a dozen boards from different manufacturers and so I decided to give the deathwish skateboard a shot after doing my research, consulting with some experts, and using the board for a couple of months. Here is what I think about the board.
The deathwish skateboard is a pretty rad deck with short pointy kicks that is definitely the lightest of all the skateboard decks I own. The deck is quite thick, and unlike some of the boards which I own, the graphics on the deathwish skateboard stayed pretty much intact with little to no signs of skid marks or wear even after performing rail slides. It absorbs friction really well.
One of the things that I need to point out is that the deck is not as curved as my other boards, the front nose and back tail are quite curved which makes it quite easy to perform tricks. The deathwish skateboard deck is quite rigid and does not flex easily.
After riding the board for a couple of weeks, I began to notice a razor tail which was quite uncommon compared to the other boards I own. The boards which I have used in the past tended to razor tail in the second to the third-month mark. So it was quite surprising to me when the deathwish skateboard started to razor tail after using it for about 2 weeks.
Also, I don't know if this is an issue with all deathwish skateboards, but I noticed that the boreholes for the trucks started to sink in after a while. Borehole sink-in tends to occur when the lumber wood used for the skateboard is weak, it can also occur due to fatigue that is initiated in the lumber wood due to constantly tightening and removing the skateboard trucks. I think this was the reason why it happened to me because I have so many boards and I regularly switch their trucks.
Performing tricks on the deathwish board is pretty cool. Even after doing a lot of nose grinds, the board stayed pretty much intact with no chips or pressure cracks.
The short pointy kicks are quite good because they make tricks such as 360 heelflips, frontside flips, hard flips, and backside tailslides quite easy. There just isn't a lot of material to get in the way, which is pretty neat.
Generally, I really liked this deathwish skateboard deck. The team behind it, the baker boys really did a great job on the board. I can absolutely see myself getting another one of their boards in the future.