Show Us Your Quiver – Stanton Otero
Stanton Otero and his 4-year-old daughter Oona are regular readers of the “Show Us Your Quiver” column, and Oona once asked her dad, “Daddy, where are their skateboards? Don’t surfers ride skateboards? You do, and you have a lot of boards.”
Stanton does, in fact, have a lot of skateboards. Dozens of them, and from across all eras of the sport’s history, especially from the 1960s and ’70s. He has found his boards at garage sales and movie sets, and even assembles them himself after patiently gathering the original parts online. He decorates the decks with skate stickers that he’s kept from when he was a kid. While he acknowledges that some of is boards are so rare that they belong in a museum, he doesn’t relate to the mentality in skating. “When you turn skateboarding into a collectors-only club, it ruins the inclusivity of it. Skateboarding is so great because anyone can do it — girls, boys, kids, adults, anyone.”
Stanton grew up in a rough neighborhood in Hawaii, and turned to surfing and skating at age 7 instead of joining some of his friends in going to pick on tourists in Waikiki. “Skateboarding is a positive thing I can do with friends, or on my own. I can let off a lot of steam, and keep myself in shape.”
He moved to the mainland when he joined the Army, and then made his way to Seattle for college and grad school. A social worker by trade, Stanton now stays home to watch Oona while his wife works. Skateboarding is truly a family affair for them: Stanton’s wife is a former sponsored skater, and Oona already has her own board. The family moved to the Outer Sunset about 16 months ago, which has allowed Stanton to get back into surfing, but his heart will always be with skating. He often heads to the parks in Pacifica and Portrero Hill, and is glad to live on a fairly flat street so that Oona can learn to skate, too. “As a father, I’m so happy to have something to share with my daughter to make her what I believe will be a better person. Skating will help her to be healthy and happy, both physically and emotionally. And it’s so creative that it will bring that out in her, and even develop her analytical side.”
As soon as Stanton finished saying this, Oona reached up to her dad, squeezed his nose and started laughing.
The Ocean Beach Bulletin met with Stanton in his driveway, and while he showed us his surfboards, we were mostly interested in hearing about his favorite skateboards. Here’s what he had to say, in his own words:
Crescent Down Works skateboard from Seattle
This board has been through almost everything. I got this board in the mid ’90s, and it’s been through three sets of trucks, and two sets of wheels, and the board still rides. It’s been with me through Seattle, Portland, Canada, the Midwest, the Dakotas. … It’s probably skated the most places. It’s a very well-traveled board.
It’s got these old first-generation Venture trucks. This is a pair of generic wheels. It’s fun downhill, street skating, but it’s kind of wonky doing vert because it’s asymmetrical. But it’s been a great board. I’ve wiped out on it some pretty good ones, but I’ve also pulled off some really nice maneuvers. I was able to do cool kick flips without killing myself. It’s a great board to do bonelesses with, which I know is an old ’80s trick, but it’s still awesome.
It’s a generic, local, small skateboard-shop board, and I haven’t busted it. It’s really held out.
Original Rincon Skateboards
This is an old Rincon Skateboards, which used to be a shop out of Anaheim, California. This is probably the only board I have that I won’t ride. It’s an old fiberglass skateboard, which were popular in the ’70s. It’s got a diamond tail. The trucks screw in directly into the board, so there’s no bolt on them. The trucks are first-generation Chicago trucks. The wheels are Metaflex Surfer wheels. It’s as if someone picked it up in 1973 and hasn’t changed, the wheels still spin perfectly.
I believe that if you have a board, you need to ride it. This it the one board where I make the exception. It should be in a museum. These fiberglass boards were so awesome when I was a kid, and I was kind of like, “I can get one as an adult.”
I got this board off eBay, but it was only $40. The person selling it had no idea how valuable it is. I’ve seen a similar board from this company, in much worse condition, and I saw it sell for over $200. It’s a very hard-to-find skateboard.
If anything, this is my mid-life-crisis skateboard. I always wanted this as a kid, and never had it. The deck itself is a re-issue Bahne, but over time I’ve been able to collect as much original stuff as possible. The trucks are first-generation Tracker trucks, half-tracks with first-generation coping, with Powerflex 5 wheels. I met Richy Carrrasco at a skate clinic this summer, and he was a sponsored skater in the ’70s, and he saw this board and was flipping out about the original parts. The Power Pivots are from the ’70s as well.
All the stickers except the Da Fins sticker are from the ’70s. I went with Poweflex, Banhe. I’m going to take this out for the first time at the park this weekend.
My wife was so happy that I didn’t want a Porsche for mid-life, and just a skateboard. It’s a really fun board. It’s a great cruiser. It’s not a board for kickflips, but it definitely books. The size of the wheels really makes a difference. It’s a good hill bomber.
Custom-made Lonnie Toft copy
Lonnie Toft was a skateboarder in the ’70s, and he and his brother skated for Sims, and he made a lot of innovations to skateboarding in the ’70s and even into the ’80s. One of the more bizarre inventions he and his brother came up with was this eight-wheeled board. I don’t know what inspired it. There’s some cool footage online of him riding this type of board.
Mine is a custom re-make. All the stickers are original, just like on my other boards.
Riding it is a challenge. I haven’t taken it on vert yet, so it’s all flatland, but you really have to be mindful of how it works. You kind of have to let the board take you, because if you try to adjust while the board is going one way, you’re gonna get hurt. You have to remember to walk along each rail to get it to turn. It’s sort of like a surfing longboard, but a really wide longboard.
It’s hard to get the trucks loosened up correctly so that it rides well. It’s yet another board I was curious about as a kid, and since they don’t make them anymore, you have to ask someone to make them for you.
Garage sale original style board
This is my favorite of my old-school styles. I got this at a garage sale back in Hawaii, and the guy said his son made it in the early ’60s. The trucks and wheels are unreal, so old-school.
It’s got a second set of wheels on the back, but they serve no function! When you place the board down, the small red wheels barely touch the ground! The wheels are clay wheels, so they don’t ride very smoothly, but the aesthetics of riding a board like this are unreal. I try to only ride it on really smooth cement. The trucks still sound pretty good on it. But the aesthetics of it are hard to beat. It’s the same type of board that I learned to ride on, although the one I rode was smaller.
We are always on the hunt for interesting people who love interesting boards, so if you know of someone who might be a good fit for the next installment of “Show Us Your Quiver,” let us know by sending an email to email@example.com