What is UnhappySk8?


Unhappy Sk8, or Unhappy Skate as it’s sometimes called, is a longboard brand started by myself and my good friend Kohei Urakami. The brand started when I had ripped my Loaded Slide gloves in a fall and knew I could make something better.

Founded October of 2011, we planted our roots in the heart of social networking: Facebook. We also quickly put up a corresponding Youtube channel. I even tied all of it together with a website to match.

My personal premise for the brand was to take the things I built for myself and my friends, and get them available to a wider audience. I thought it would be cool to have a business model that allowed me to acquire more funds to get into the realms of more and more advance creations. At our start, we would throw around the idea of doing an entirely aluminum board or a Carbon Fiber composite board with a foam core; but the shear materials alone were out of our grasp. I still have that intent and drive to take Unhappy Sk8 to the next tier, but we’re still striving to get there.

Collaboration

After several days of conversation with Zach Viele, the owner of The Pucks, a company that produces pucks for longboard slide gloves, we reached the conclusion that we could have a mutually beneficial business relationship. He needed gloves to put his pucks on, and my LDPE slide pucks still wear down faster than I’d like, and they’re a burdon for me to produce.

Trophy for the 2nd Anual Greenwich Slide Jam

Preemptively, I got excited by the idea of UnhappySk8 sponsoring the slide-jam event after the first one, last year, was such a success.

To start, I tore apart a perfectly good Trophy I urged my dad to buy me when I graduated Pre-School…

I put a hole in it for a button to sit in the base.

Then, I ran wires out of the base-

Now up the columns of the Trophy, I played around with keeping the gold piece at the top, but I ultimately tossed it.

To make this award shine, I soldered up one of my LED slide pucks, and casted it in polyester resin

I now had a Led infused resin puck at the top of my trophy!

Here it is all lit up:

I snuck a transparency of the UnhappySk8 logo in the resin as it dried.

And finally, here’s the trophy is at the Greenwich 2nd Annual Slide Jam!

Whiteout Gloves Packaging!

I just recently got packaging of the finished slide gloves setup, I just put them in a Zip-loc bag with a custom made label stapled over the top, but simplicity is never a bad thing!

And I have eight more pairs almost ready

Dipping Jig

In order to apply 2 coats of Plastic Dip to the fingers of my gloves to retain speed, repeatability, and cleanness, I devised a pretty efficient jig to hold all four fingers in place.





This makes the work go so much easier, and faster to boot!
See all of the process on Youtube here-
Making of the Slide Gloves

Testing puck materials

The past week I’ve been playing with different material for the slide pucks.
So far I’ve tested-

  • Delrin
    • Slid like butter, but too slippery to bother with
  • Corian (Acrylic)
    • These chip
    • They’re loud
    • Heavy
      • They’ll work for now.
  • Low Density Polyethylene
  • Cast Epoxy Resin

I’ve even go as far as to try Epoxy resin pucks with 3v Green LEDs embedded in them.

These are demanding to make, slide poorly, and seem to be prone to shattering. On the other hand though (HA!), these pucks make skating at night much safer, cars can see me signal from afar.