Saturday, March 24, 2012


A course like this is only possible with the support of SO many individuals.  I would like to give shout-outs  to:

Wayne Gallipoli (Surf-Rodz)

The AMAZING Marcelo (Uncommon Boards)

Andrew (GreenStreet)

Surf_Rodz for the Trucks/ bearings/ Wheels & necessary hardware
NYC Longboards for the shock pads, skate tool and helmet gift certificate
Helmet-In-Hands for the S-One Mellon Protectors!

Dave Holloway (Industrial Tech Guru)

And all of the students who brought amazing energy to the course!

Enjoy the ride!!!



Day Two:
Today I arrived to school looking forward to another great day of the Longboard March Intensive!  I was able to sand down my board, but I sanded off my center line - whoops.  I had to redraw it again and then I was ready to line up trucks with my center line.  Next I was shown how to drill my truck holes by Mr. Holloway and Wayne Gallipoli .  This is where one of my bad and old habits kicked in, I kept pulling out the drill bit after I had stopped drilling my hole and this was endangering Dave Holloway's expensive drill ($250+ wow). Thankfully nothing happened and I moved on to doing a white base coat on the back of my board for my awesome british flag design.  But before this happened, I had to use masking tape to protect the parts of the board that I didn’t want the white paint to get on.  It was such a hassle.  While I was painting my white base coat, I put the paint down along with my longboard on a piece of “supported” newspaper. But to my surprise, both fell immediately and apparently so did. Thankfully I managed to catch both the longboard and the paint at the cost of getting paint all over myself (great …).  
Anyway, once my white base coat had dried, I had Meg (art assistant) help me out with drawing my design/ using masking tape to  outline it.  Then I painted my board.  By the end of the day my board was drying and I was wondering what designs I should draw/paint on my helmet for the contest (still a secret/ has to do with a fish).  I also considered what I should do with the grip tape (another secret idea).  So after another great day, my love for hands on woodworking was reinforced once again.

Day Three:
Today, I arrived to school looking forward to yet another great day of the Longboard March Intensive! During last night I was able to finish my helmet design (a fish), this also took much planning and time because I chose to use sharpies instead of painting it on.  Anyway, after I arrived I was able to finish my british flag graphics, and I carefully took of the scotch tape that I had placed on the board the day earlier because I didn’t want the red and blue paint to get on to some of the white parts of my base coat.  After I finished my graphics, I decided to do three clear coats on the back of my board and one clear coat on the top.  This took much longer than I had originally anticipated and I spent about 3 hours sealing my board (so much fun, but worth every bit of it).  
Then I decided that I wanted to do a hexagon/ grip tape design on the front of my board, but I wasn’t able to do this right away because Marcelo had to leave and catch a bus so Mr. Lavigne and Wayne wanted to get him lunch (1hr).  After this hour was over, I began with my grip tape design and it took much longer than I had previously anticipated because I had to cut out 36 hexagons (1hr).  
After I had cut out my hexagons Mr. Lavigne decided that he would teach us how to use the hardware (trucks, etc.).  I became a little worried that I wouldn’t get my grip tape design done before I had to leave, but I had about an hour left after Wayne, and Lavigne finished showing us how to assemble our wheels.  So I quickly made up my mind on how I wanted the hexagons on my board and then I put them on,  I ended up having about 20 minutes to assemble my trucks because I had been working on my grip tape when Mr. Lavigne was breaking kids up into groups and assembling their own trucks.  But it all worked out in the end and I am looking forward to another great day tomorrow!

Day Four:
I arrived early at school today anxious to finish my longboard.  After the first three days, all we had left to do was to mount our hardware/trucks.  But first, last night after voting on the helmets I was surprised to see how many votes there had been (100+).  Mr. Lavigne said that the blog was being viewed by people all over the world (how cool).  Firstly, Wayne showed me how to mount my trucks and the main rule was to make sure the previous screw holes were straight, then I found out that you had to put one screw in first, and then do the one diagonally from it to save time and get a straight seam.  Anyway, after I put my trucks on, I was able to stand my board for the first time (what an experience).
The second thing that I did today was to help create our posters for the march intensive activity fair (coming up soon?).  I made sure that the photos were high quality and I also made sure that the really encompassed what we had done during the past four days.  After this was finished, Wayne and Andrew had to leave :( because they had long rides ahead of them (thank you guys for all the great advice/help). Next, we listened to a great presentation on concussions by a woman from Dartmouth Hitchcock.  This presentation really helped me to understand the seriousness of concussions and how they are nothing to be taken lightly because if serious they can result in serious brain damage and even death
Finally, and best of all I got to ride my board.  It is so smooth and fluid in the turns and it had a lot of flex.  I was also really happy that I put spacers in to give it another ½ an inch off the ground.  I did end up taking a few spills as we rode from Hanover High School to Occom Pond and back.  Anyway I had a great time taking this March Intensive and would try to get into it again any day.  I also just wanted to say thanks to the class and teachers for making it such an enjoyable experience/memory.



Day #2: Wednesday, March 21:

Today we focused mostly on sanding our boards and working on graphics. While I was busy helping other kids with their designs, I did manage to drill holes into my board for the trucks and wheels that I hope to attach tomorrow. I also FINALLY figured out what I want to do for my own graphics and helmet design. I definitely picked up some tips from watching and helping the other kids out with the wood stains and spray paints that I hope to use tomorrow on my board.

I am also really blown away by the level of creativity and dedication everyone is putting into their boards. Despite the fact that many claimed to not be artistic, they have definitely done incredibly well with their designs. Everyone has such unique and different concepts/ideas that it has created a cool atmosphere where we are all building off of everyone else’s creativity.

I hope tomorrow I actually complete my own graphics and helmet, so I can attach my trucks/wheels and finally learn how to ride! I’m pretty excited...

Day #3: Thursday, March 22:

This morning I was extremely focused on getting my board graphics done, finishing silk-screening course t-shirts with Erin, and working on my helmet. I managed to do all of that! For my board, I chose to use painter’s tape to make crisp, clean lines, and then chose to use a high-gloss (primer) black spray-paint. I really loved how sharp the black looked contrasted against the natural wood. Then, we sprayed it with polyurethane to seal the paint and keep its shine. Then came the hard part: silk-screening my graphic onto the board. Because the board is curved, it was a two-person job to print the graphic as we had to roll the screen as we squeegeed paint across it. It was challenging, but we managed to do it with only a few blemishes and messy spots! I then used black acrylic paint and cleaned up the bad spots by hand. Then, we sprayed it with polyurethane again, and voila! A SWEET, striped and printed board. Erin’s will hopefully end up looking as good--we are planning to screen it tomorrow so fingers crossed!

Today I also picked out my wheels and trucks, and assembled them with help from Wayne and Mr. Lavigne. I chose black wheels and purple trucks. The purple should really stand out against all the black on my board. Tomorrow I have to do my grip tape and then actually attach my wheels. Then, I hope I will be able to ride my creation!

Day #4: Friday, March 23:

Today was a fantastic day. Not only did we have gorgeous weather, but I actually finished my board and my helmet! The board looks awesome--the paint job is clean and the black wheels and hardware with the purple accents is sweet. It is almost too pretty to use!

I even got the chance to try out some of my longboarding skills (of which, in reality, I have NONE). Erin gave me some lessons though--she’s a great teacher--and soon I was gliding down some hills (some very, very, very SMALL hills). Regardless, I can happily report that I am a new lover of longboarding, which is something I never thought I would be! This March Intensive has introduced me to an entirely new world of art and sports, given me a few cuts and bruises (battle wounds, really), and has educated me in carpentry (by building the boards) and healthcare (from the seriously affecting lecture we had today on concussions). So, I’d say it was a week pretty well spent, and feel incredibly lucky to have been apart of this!



Day 2
This afternoon we worked on our graphics for our boards. My original plan was to stain the bottom of the board black and then splatter paint it with bright colors. I became very indecisive when I saw what other people were doing for their graphics, and seeing a different range of things I would be able to do. I did not have a lot of time to make a stencil so I thought of an easy one that wouldn’t take long to cut out. The design I decided on was to have a path of small handprints along my board. To do so I first stained the bottom of the board red, then covered it in masking tape. After the tape was placed on, I traced the small path of handprints and used an exacto knife to cut the tracings out. I then had to take all the tape off the board expect the cut outs of the small handprints. The was the hardest task to do so far. From there my board looked red with a path of blue (from the masking tape) handprints. It was then time to stain over the board with black. By the end of the day today my board turned out to be a dark-woodish color, and tomorrow I plan on taking the masking tape off to reveal the red handprints. 
While letting our boards sit out to dry, we all took turns using each others boards which were already made to skate around in the parking lot behind the school. This was my first time to try riding out. For me, I really enjoy watching the instructors and the other students in the collective skate. Many of them already know how to, and can do some pretty cool tricks. Of course our safety came first so all of us made sure to wear our helmets that we got the first day of the collective. I’m still thinking of what I could do to design my helmet.

Day 3
The first thing I did today was take the tape of the handprints off my board. They turned out really well, and I am happy with the design. The red handprints really stand out against the black bottom. Peeling the tape off was difficult and had to make sure to take my time. After this task was done I sprayed and layered sealant to the front and the back of the board. It took a while for the sealant to dry. During the down time people worked on designing their helmets. I spray painted mine black, and am still thinking of what else I could ask. I had to cover up the holes with tape in order to block the paint from getting inside the helmet. Once my board was dry, we went on to gripping it. Gripping took a lot of time and thanks to Wayne, Andrew, and Mr. Lavigne most of us got it done a lot quicker. Some people cut out designs for their grip, while others like myself covered the whole front side of the board with it. 

There was a lot of down time today while other people were getting help. It’s still very nice to have this because we were able to use the extra longboards people had brought to go outside and skate around. At the end of the day we learned about wheels and trucks. It’s not a good thing if your wheels are able to move around a lot on the trucks. We then assembled ours that would be placed on our boards tomorrow. I’m excited that we are almost done with our longboards and can skate!



All of the students produced some amazing boards!


Congrats to Eleanor

The helmet design contest winner!  She won a gift certificate from NYC Longboards!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

NYC Longboards

Thanks for the skate tools NYC Longboards!


Vote for your favorite helmets on the right...