Meelis Erm, frontside air at Krulli, photo by Nicolas Bouvy.
One man’s vision: skate and create. Enter Nightwood's savage project—whipping up decks from home sweet home. Yeah, deck crafting in Estonia! The standard Nightwood decks? Pressed together by the mystical hands of Local’s Poland finest. We're sticking with them for all the classic popsicles and old-school shapes.
But here's the kicker: Nico’s fixated on those elusive 10 to 11-inch wide decks. Talk about a quest! The spark came from a German pal, Dietsches, who passed him this holy grail 10 wide OMSA pool service deck ages back. Social media flooded his brain with ideas too.
The Gabba Gabba 11'wide plank ready to ride.
Winter 2022, UK’s Gabba Gabba Skates—their skate sorcery lured him in, offering uncut, undrilled 12-inch planks. A mould was the game plan before riding. Varnished it to defy water and concrete havoc. Worked like a charm. Became his go-to pool/bowl rider. Oh, and that dude sculpted some sick concave!
Concrete time !
The mould hunt was a saga, but come summer, the main design was locked. Finally stumbled upon a sweet, cheap, and easy press setup after many world wide web voyages.
Building the press? Time hog. Used every bit of leftover wood to keep costs low. The barn's a spatial conundrum.
Practicality ain't its forte, but it gets the job done. Laid hands on Canadian Maple sheets wide enough for 10-inch wonders, plus Titebond III wood glue. Cue the first 2 deck presses: a low-pressure one and a sweat-drenched, muscle-fueled counterpart.
The final results of the two first decks out of the press
Divergent results. First one? Subtle concave, cushy bounce—like your average longboard. The other? A beast. Bold concave—courtesy of an 80s Santa Cruz, Steve Alba’s bevel model, a deep triangular masterpiece.
Post-color makeover, it was test time. Anxiety: will they snap after 2 tricks, 5 minutes, or suffer catastrophic failure?
Meelis Setting up the prototype.
Enter Nightwood’s crash test dummy, Meelis Erm. His skating? Tailor-made for this. He ripped at Krulli with that deck.
Meelis Erm, 5-0
To sum up, DIY's a wild ride. You end up with a rock-solid deck, but devil’s in the details. Truck holes aren't all spot-on, since concave's intense, and wheel wells need relocating. But Meelis vibed with that concave—pulled off street tricks with a wide beat. Think 360 flips (yeah, it's straight 80s shape, no tre-flips here…).
Meelis Erm 360 filp
With Nightwood HQ's barn in hibernation—no heating—wood gluing waits till spring.
Meelis Erm, Boneless
If you're reading, it's not a guide, just a nudge to pave your own path. No barriers here. Our wood's not hitting shelves yet, just for our own kicks.
Meelis Erm, blunt slide
And wide wood sheets? Rare gems. Got a lead on 12-inchers in Europe? Holler at us.
Meelis go high on the wild wall rider
Here's to the rad DIY brands that lit our fire: Gabba Gabba Skates, Pop O Matic Skateboards, Karate Woodchop, Old Man Skateboard Association, JMK Skate Art, and the Napalm Custom for the Pros.