Skate Culture

The Great Dogtown Skateboard Deck and its Epic History

Why are Dogtown Skateboard Decks so Popular?

The greatness of the Dogtown Skateboard is easily recognizable, especially If you were born in the 70s and started skateboarding as a child of the 80s. In fact, you will likely agree that the Dogtown Skateboards made the skaters and artists the godfathers of skating as we have come to know it.

While many other iconic skateboards of the 1980s, it is next level if it’s a Dogtown skateboard. 

The Dogtown skaters and artists command our admiration, respect and undue gratitude. Without them, skateboarding as we know it may have never come to be.

Famous Dogtown Skateboard Skaters and Artists

Below I highlight some of the more famous Dogtown Skateboard Skaters and Artists, including:

Wes Humpston Dogtown Skateboard Decks

Wes Humpston needs no introduction, of course, as Co-founder & Artist of Dog Town Skates since 2000 doing Bulldog Skates

Consequently, he is the Dogtown skater and artist we’ve come to associate with the Dogtown art of the 1970s.

But, as my refrain always is, there is “o.g.” and then there is “O.G..” And Wes Humpston is the REAL O.G. of Dogtown Skateboards.

Wes Humpston Dogtown Skateboard Deck
Wes Humpston riding a Dogtown Skateboard

Wes Humpston Dogtown Skate Art History

The contribution of Wes Humpston in Dogtown Skate Art History can often be overlooked.

With this in mind, here is a short documentary by Walrus TV with Wes Humpston that illustrates some of his work. The video as described by Walrus TV:

I hope you enjoy this video as I have — which includes some lesser seen Dogtown footage. Amazing stuff.

Two Wes Humpston Dogtown Originals

As skate art goes, I am not certain you can find any more precious relics than Wes Humpston’s hand-drawn Dogtown boards that were created in the 1970s.

Those boards are not only of interest as icons of early skate art, they also have an important place in the history of skateboarding generally being connected with the entire Dogtown and Z-boys narrative.

I fear no contradiction in saying that such boards are worthy of being museum pieces, so important are they to the history and narrative of skateboarding and skate culture.

I wanted to share two such Dogtown boards that have recently caught my eye.

Both boards incorporate the D.T.S. monogram, the iconic Dogtown cross — an image which was borrowed from Craig Stecyk apparently — and the distinctive scripting which has come to characterize the Dogtown boards. They are truly beautiful specimens — treasures.

Wes Humpston Original Dogtown Skateboard Deck
Wes Humpston Original Dogtown Skateboard Deck

Jay Adams the Dogtown Legend

Similarly,  Jay Adams is a legend in the skateboarding community, one of the original Dogtowner’s. 

To illustrate his legendary status, I recently told a friend he’s one of the guys who put the “O” in “OG.”

Jay was born February 3, 1961, in Venice, California and was one of the original Z-Boys. Of him, Tony Alva said that while “some kids are born and raised on graham crackers and milk, he was born and raised on surfing and skateboarding.”

Unfortunately, the world lost a skating legend on August 15, 2014, when Jay Adams died of a heart attack while on a surfing trip.

Some skaters are such legends that they never die as far as I’m concerned. Furthermore, the legacy they left is worth seeing and seeing again and worth sharing and re-sharing in case anyone missed it the first time or if they are only now just coming back onto the skateboarding scene.

Here are some videos that show the legend that was Jay Adams:

Jay Adams talking about growing up in Dogtown

Jay Adams on the history of Venice:

Jay Adams skating in Empty Pools in his later years

Jim Muir: The one and only

Jim “Red Dog” Muir is another Dogtown skating legend, was born in 1958 and started skating in 1963.

Here are a few cool shots of him riding Dogtown Skateboards and a few Dogtown Skateboard Decks that he designed.

Jim Muir Dogtown Skateboard Deck
Jim Muir riding a Dogtown Skateboard
Jim Muir 80s Dogtown Skateboard Deck
Jim Muir riding 80s Dogtown Skateboard

The following photo showcases the “OG Rider custom fades with a small spoon nose mid-eighties style concave.” Jim Muir and Dogtown Skateboards took this photo right in the heart of Venice, California.

Take note of the iconic “Venice” hanging over the intersection of Pacific Ave. and Windward. If you want the deck and who wouldn’t? Head on over to their site.

Jim Muir Dogtown Skateboard Deck
Jim "Red Dog" Muir designed these cool Dogtown Skateboard Decks

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *