Pro Choices April 1998

As a regular feature in SKATEboarding Business, each issue we will bring you the thoughts and preferences of top professionals regarding the equipment they ride. This time we asked five pros what they want in a deck, and this is what they had to say.

Geoff Rowley


“I don’t like a steep tail, the nose always has to be steeper. Eight-inches wide is about right. I’ve been riding that size for about four years now. I always ride my own board. I can go through boards every couple of days, but if I like the board I’ll ride it until it doesn’t work anymore.”

First board: “A Toxic team model. It had Gullwing Pro IIIs or Pro IVs, one blue and one yellow, and OJs Team Rider wheels. I had no griptape on the board for two weeks. I bought a whole new setup and didn’t get any griptape for some reason.’

Paul Zitzer

Far East

“I like thin boards, thin wood as opposed to a thick log. I want them kind of flimsy but with a good ‘pop.’ I ride about an eight-inch-wide board. I make them last. I ride them until they’re horrible, and then I’m stoked when I set up a new one. I set a board up once a month or something. I ride them until they’re spongy.”

First board: “A used Kryptonics with a crazy P-tex bottom¿a foam-filled board with bumpers on it. Dumbest board you’ve ever seen. My trucks were too small for the board, so I had to get super-wide wheels. They were puke-orange color.”

Jamie Thomas


“Six-and-seven-eighths-inch nose, 14 1/4-inch wheelbase, 8 1/4-inch-wide and 6 5/8-inch tail. I like a mellower tail and a more kicked nose, but I ride Mercurys. The geometry of the truck makes the wheelbase 1/8-inch less than Thunder trucks. Concave … I can get used to anything. The concave we have now I like the most. I guess you’d call it medium¿it’s not World, and it’s not Santa Cruz.

“I’ve ridden the same setup for three or four years. A board probably lasts a week.”

First board: “A Vision Agent Orange with really old Independents. I painted it pink because I didn’t like the graphics. All we had was pink house paint, so I used that.”

Brian Howard

Planet Earth

“I ride a board with 14 3/4-inch wheelbase, 8 1/4-inches wide. I don’t know about the nose and tail. I’ve been riding this shape for a year and a half. It was a Rhythm board before, and Felix Arguelles and I made the wheelbase a little longer and the board wider.

“If I’m skating vert, my board can last two or three weeks before it gets flexy. If I go street skating, it’ll get torn up faster.”

First board: “A Vision Mark Gonzales with Gullwings and Vision Shredder wheels. I rode it for a long time, and then cut the tail down so it was square again¿not like a knife. I rode it some more after that. It ended up being really short.”

Chet Thomas


“I like a nice two-inch pocket in the tail space between rear bolts and bend of the tail, not too steep, and the nose has to be definitely steeper than the tail. A fourteen-inch wheelbase exactly, 7 7/8 wide. I can feel a 1/8 inch difference. I’ve been riding the same shape for around one year. Once you skate every day, you don’t want to get used to something else.

“If I skate stairs or something, the board is shot in one day. Ledges and all that, two weeks at the most. You know how it is.”