Loyal Dean Longboards Blur the Border Between Art and Transportation

Regardless of your views on skateboarding, it's difficult to discount the beauty of these boards. Loyal and Dean are two friends with 25 years of woodworking experience between them and a penchant for art, sustainability, and longboarding.

When most people think of skateboarding, they think of punk kids taking videos of each other injuring themselves in an attempt to become the next Bam Margera. Longboarding has quite the different following. Think of it as skateboarding's older, more mature cousin.

You might only know of longboarding through those death-defying hill runs that pop up on Vimeo from time to time—while these videos give the impression that it's some extreme sport limited to snowboarders looking for a speed fix in the off season, it's actually a very efficient means of getting around town, with or without hills. Compared to normal skateboards, longboards have a longer, more flexible deck; larger, softer wheels; and wider axles. All this adds up to excellent cruising capability comparable to that of a bicycle. It's these characteristics that make it a popular way of getting around pretty much any Californian suburb for everyone from tweens to adults.

Loyal Dean's artisan longboard decks are designed and handcrafted in California using reclaimed hardwood. Given that different woods have different grains, flex profiles, and colorations, each board is custom-engineered to work with the wood on hand. Rather than take the traditional route of plying multiple sheets of wood together, Loyal Dean uses two layers laterally laminated strips of solid wood—a common technique in the field of wood art. The end result is a truly unique board that rides unlike any other but would fit in just as well in an art gallery. [Loyal Dean via Inhabitat]