101 REISSUE BOARDS:
101 Skateboards is a brand that started in the early 90s and is the love child of street skating pioneer Natas Kaupas and Industry tycoon Steve Rocco. Natas Kaupas was one of the biggest pros out at the time and left SMA skateboards to pursue a project that would showcase not only his skating, but his artistic and graphic design talents as well. The brand was originally supposed to be called 101 Dalmatians, but got dropped last minute to just 101. 101 skateboards were famous like many of Rocco’s startups, for being excessively edgy. They had a lot of famous offensive board graphics and lots of graphics done by skateboard graphic legend Marc Mckee. It’s kind of like the polar opposite of the squeaky clean image that Powell Peralta had at the time.
Lots of younger kids today have never heard of 101 because it went out of business long before they started skating, but the brand was very huge and influential at the time. 101’s team had some pretty heavy hitting riders over the years, obviously Natas Kaupas and Gabriel Rodriguez (who’s boards are shown here), but also guys like Eric Koston, Clyde Singleton, Gino Iannuci, Kris Markovich, Marcus McBride & Jason Dill, and the now movie star Jason Lee (you might recognize him from My Name Is Earl, Mall Rats, The Incredibles & Almost Famous).
We coined this series the “Good & Evil” series because they are perfect polar opposites. The Gabriel Rodruiguez reissue board is a picture of Jesus wearing the crown of thorns that is copied off of a Jesus piece Gabriel’s mother had hanging on their mantle in his childhood home. It’s a vibrant colorful piece that has that classic Marc Mckee styling to it.
The second board in this series is the Natas Kaupas “Devil Worship” Deck. This deck is the most evil skateboard graphic I have ever seen and that’s saying something considering all the crazy deck graphics over the years. The graphic was originally supposed to be a Jason Lee pro deck but he wouldn’t approve putting his name on it. The board features a massive portrait of Satan with a pentagram logo underneath, up top there’s a slew of hanging religious characters. Just when you think it couldn’t get any gnarlier, they decided to screen the entire board upside down. This graphic was intended to “critique superstition” says artist Marc Mckee, but it ended up only adding to it as Natas had a career-ending injury by shattering his ankle after it’s release. Natas went on to say that he wasn’t riding this graphic at the time, but this board certainly has a lot of folklore surrounding it. These reissues are also rad because they come in a hand-screened version, which is how they originally put graphics on decks before the current heat press graphics of today’s boards. It’s more intricate and gives a little more artistic feel to the graphics. These boards obviously got banned in tons of places and got 101 a ton of bad press. We’ll see how people handle these re-issues coming out over a quarter of a century later.