This is short for "blemish". It typically notes a cosmetic or aesthetic problem with a deck and not a structural problem. A "blem" can range from paint smears to misaligned screen-printing to fingerprints within the graphic paint to overly thick/thin black ink and so forth. This is most often caught at production before a deck leaves the warehouse. Many times a company will sale "blems" at a discounted price or offer them as "free prizes" and demo giveaways. They also use them to replace "faulty" decks that were sent in as cracked, broken or delaminations. Powell Peralta is known for marking "blem" decks with a "C" stamp within the front truck area to note a "cosmetic defect". There are several blem stamped Powells floating around the collecting market even today. For some collectors, this does not devalue the deck. Santa Cruz also stamped there decks, but within the back truck area. Other stamps include "D" (defect?), "Y", "W" (warp? this would be considered a "second" if so) or the more current "BLEM". (*see also SECOND below)
This refers to the combination of all colors on a deck graphic and the deck itself. For instance, a Mark "Gator" Rogowski might be a "two tone, pink-blue stain with black swirl" or it could be a "blue and white swirl with orange text" combination. Often, collectors will seek out particularly rare color combinations as many times the most rare were produced in limited quantities.
A deck sold ready to be skated without the need to purchase any additional components. Most often, this will be a deck that has been griptaped, has trucks mounted to it, and has wheels and bearings on the trucks. It may also include plastics (nose guard, tail guard, rails, etc.). Many collectors consider these to be very good bargains because of the additional components they may acquire.
These are plastic devices that fit over the hanger of a truck. Most often they would simply "snap" into place over the truck's hanger for a tight fit. Copers protected the truck from wear while also making grinds easier.(*see PLASTICS)
This refers to the process of delamination. This occurs when the layers that compose a skateboard begin to separate. This can be for any number of reasons including poor glue, over cured(heated), under cured, etc. and most often, trapped moisture that expands (this is why decks left in the rain begin to delaminate....remember good old "Boneite" from Powell that absorbed water like a sponge?) Newer decks should never fall victim to this, and most all companies will replace a delam deck within a reasonable time after purchase. This is many times caught before a deck ever leaves the factory. However, older decks that have been stored for years and years even under the best conditions may begin to exhibit signs of delamination. At that point, it becomes the collector's opinion as to how much is tolerable. Some do not mind a little delamination since the deck will most likely be displayed and never skated anyways.
Most often this refers to an impact impression or indention made into the wood of a deck. It most commonly occurs along the edges (or "rails") of a deck when it accidentally comes into contact with a harder item. This does not normally damage the paint or graphic of a deck but does create an imperfection in the overall appearance of a deck.
This refers to decks that have had griptape placed on them at the factory after production and before being shipped out to shops, distributors, etc. This was a popular practice in the 1980's as decks would be completed in the factory and sent out to department stores, toy stores, sporting goods stores and such that may or may not stock all the individual components needed to build a complete skateboard.
This refers to decks that have had griptape placed on them. The decks may or may not have been actually used, however, griptape was applied with the thought that it would be needed eventually.
This is a plastic device that attaches to the base of of a truck and provides an angled, protective, plastic shield in front of the truck. It is attached on on kingpin side of the truck(ie. facing inward towards the deck's graphic area). A lapper protected the trucks mounting base and hardware as well as making "hanging up" on coping near impossible because of it's slanted, plastic surface.(*see PLASTICS)
This refers to an item that is in the SAME condition as when it was first shipped from the manufacturer. In the case of decks, this means UNGRIPPED and NEVER MOUNTED. Furthermore, it should have no stickers placed on it or any other modifications of ANY kind.
This refers to decks which have had trucks attached to them. The decks may or may not have been actually used, however, trucks were applied with the thought that it would be needed eventually or simply to get a feel for the deck.
This acronym stands for "NEW OLD STOCK". This means that it is older, discontinued stock items that have been stored away and maintain their condition as if new. This does NOT stand for "New Old School" or "Never Opened Sealed" or "New Off the Shelf" or any number of other bastardizations that appear on such sites as eBay.
This refers to decks which have never had trucks attached to them. Therefore, the truck mounting holes should be free from any and all wear.
This refers to decks made after about 1992 in which the shapes changed to the more uniformed POPSICLE standard around today.
This refers to decks and items from about 1978-1992. During this time, decks in particular went through a variety of shapes.
This term refers to a shape of decks most popular from about 1979-1984. The name comes from one of the original companies, Z-boys (one of it's many names), who produced a model called "Z-Pig". A Walker Nightmare should NEVER be described as a "Pig deck"!
This typically refers to any "protective", plastic accessories that are placed on a board. This was common during the 1980's and includes rails, nose bone, tail bone, rib bone (short ribs), etc. that could be combined in any number of ways to protect certain areas of a deck from wear. In addition to being protective, they were often times functional as well. For example, rails allowed for easier grabbing (for airs) and sliding. If carried out to the extreme, a deck could have a complete circle of plastic around it's bottom edges (nose bone connected to the rib bones, rib bones connected to the rails, rails connected to rib bones, rib bones connected to tail bone. Not only did this add a good bit of weight to a deck, but it also required drilling holes through the deck to mount the plastic pieces to the deck (except in some cases where adhesives were used such as rails in the late 1980's and early 1990's). The term "bone" was actually in reference to Powell Peralta's product line of plastics, however, the term eventually became common regardless of brand/company. Decks were not alone in having "plastics". Trucks also had protection in the form of copers and lappers (*see COPERS and LAPPERS). Copers protected the truck from wear while also making grinds easier. Lappers also protected the trucks mounting base and hardware as well as making "hanging up" on coping near impossible.
This term refers to a shape of decks that typifies the NEW SCHOOL era. The shape itself is a mutation of the OLD SCHOOL freestyle deck's shape with the dimensions of a regular OLD SCHOOL deck, i.e. a freestyle deck made longer. Over the years, the shape has changed a bit in that the width has become smaller. The name itself comes from the shape's similarity to a popsicle stick.
These are small square blocks typically made of hard plastic or rubber (during the early 1990's some were metal) that are attached between the truck and the deck. This has the effect of lifting the truck slightly higher away from the deck. It makes it easier for a rider to use larger diameter wheels by reducing the possibility of "wheel bite" (*see WHEEL BITE). They can also act as a bit of shock absorption (which is the main purpose of the rubber versions) to reduce to occurrence of stress cracks. (*see STRESS CRACKS)
This refers to a graphic/image that was screen printed as opposed to other processes. Screen-printing involves layering "screens" of colors to build the finished image. In most cases, each screen will complete one color of a graphic. This is a time consuming, labor intensive practice (for example, producing each screen as well as coloring and layering each screen properly during which any error could ruin the entire process). Many consider screen printed graphics to be the highest quality as they denote a higher level of artistic talent. Also, screen printed graphics tend to last much longer than heat transfer or sublimated graphics.
A "second" refers to a "factory second". This is a deck that exhibits some production problem related to the structure of the deck. This can be delamination or cracking or more commonly, warp. As the name suggests, these type of problems are caught at the factory during production as part of quality control. As with "blem" decks noted above, these types of decks are typical stamped with some identifier as being a "faulty" deck. Many decks may be stamped with a "2" or stamped "2nd" either within the front or back truck area to note the problem. Some decks may exhibit both "blem" and "second" problems. It has been speculated that older Powell Peralta decks stamped "C2" are an example of the combination of such problems. Most all of the Powell Peralta decks with a hole drilled in the center are actually "seconds". These decks were typically made into clocks. Some joke that they were called "Timewarps" since most all of them were in fact warped decks. It should be common sense that there are a lot of mint Powell Peralta seconds floating around since they would be practically unskateable as it was (for example, a warped deck). As far as value to collectors, again this is not as much a factor since these decks will be displayed and not skated.
This refers to the clear, protective wrapping around a deck.
As the name implies, this refers to small, straight-line cracks that appear in the surface of a deck caused by undue stress on the wood from riding or exposure to elements. These most commonly appear around the mounting holes for the trucks on the deck. Most often, they will be merely minor surface imperfections running into the first layer (or through the graphic only) of the deck. However, large numbers of stress cracks can be a sign of weakened wood that might soon chip or break.
Sublimation / Sublimated
This is a cheaper alternative to the traditional screen-printing process. First an image or graphic is created via computer or scanned into a computer. This image is then printed onto standard coated media using a set of special heat-activated inks. This is called a dye sub transfer. It is then transferred to the final product (skateboard, coaster, mouse pad, name badge, etc) using a combination of heat and pressure. When heat is applied to the printed coated sheet, the ink sublimates (is absorbed) into the surface of the final product (skateboard, coaster, mouse pad, name badge, etc). This procedure can be likened to a tattoo, where the final image is not affixed to the receiving surface (as with silk-screening, hot-stamping, and printing), but rather is absorbed into it; in effect becoming part of the material. (Run your finger across the surface of sublimation and you should feel nothing. ) This makes sublimated products extremely durable and very attractive WHEN DONE CORRECTLY. Because multiple layers do not have to be applied which requires lots of additional labor and specialized machinery as with traditional screen-printing, it is also more cost effective for a company as well. keep in mind that a skate company produces decks to be skated, not collected for years and years. They are only concerned that the graphic look good and last at least until the first boardslide. After all, a skateboard is made to be destroyed by it's very nature. For collectors, this has been a nightmare. Poorly sublimated decks may begin to crack or completely peel shortly after purchase. There have been tales of an entire graphic peeling right off a deck after about 6 months in storage....out of sunlight and everything! Only recently have companies began improving the quality of sublimated (also known as "heat transfer") decks. The real danger to collectors with sublimation is that it has made it very easy to take an existing, rare graphic, scan it into a computer and produce sublimated fakes of the original deck. It no longer requires having each layer of screens available to prodce the overall graphic as well as the elaborate facilities to produce such decks. It merely takes a scanner, a computer, a sublimation shop and a few cheap decks. See the area devoted to "fakes and frauds" within this Price Guide section for more information and examples of sublimated fake decks floating around even now.
This refers to decks that have never had griptape placed on them. This does not refer to decks in which griptape was placed on and later removed.
This refers to decks and items from the late seventies and down to the beginnings of skateboarding. This generally covers the first and the beginning of the second waves of skateboarding's popularity.
This is a term used to describe what happens when a spinning wheel comes in contact with a deck. This occurs usually when a rider is turning at a sharp angle. The trucks turn to such an extent that the wheels on the inside edge have no more clearance and will touch the deck. This can often times bring a rider to an abrupt halt. It also has the effect of producing small "burn" markings on the deck directly under the wheel. During the 1980's, many decks were produced with "wheel wells" (*see WHEEL WELLS) to reduce the chance of wheel bite since wheels were commonly much larger at that time. The use of risers also helped reduce the chance of this happening.(*see RISERS)
This is a term used to describe routed out areas on a deck which provide more clearance for the wheels attached to the trucks. During the 1980's, many decks were produced with "wheel wells" to reduce the chance of wheel bite (*see WHEEL BITE. This was due largely to the fact that wheels were commonly much larger at that time and thus needed more room between the wheel and deck surfaces. Wheel Wells began to disappear not only because wheels got smaller but also because they required an additional step in the production of decks which in turn translated into a higher production cost.