Skateboarders are envied by people because they just glide so free. Anytime something moves like water, they’ll just make a dam. Every time something moves in nature, they want to stop it - Mark Gonzales
Blind Skateboards, like their founding father Mark Gonzales, embody the spirit of insurgence and revolution and cherish their place at the forefront of skateboarding counter-culture. They don’t believe in doing things the easy way or in following the collective zeitgeist, they do everything the way they’ve always done it. Their own way. Their skateboards are made to the beat of their own drum, they don’t imitate what other brands are doing or pay attention to what the current demands of skateboarding market forces are. Pioneers who encapsulate the ethos of their ancestors, Blind is constantly moving forward and driven by innovation, they don’t believe in looking back, because as another voice of the underground once sang, whatever is behind you is there for a reason.
Gonzales founded Blind in the closing year of the nineteen-eighties and named his new company in “honor” of his previous sponsors, Vision. A trailblazer of the modern street-skating scene and often referred to as “the most influential skateboarder of all time”, Mark Gonzales began his professional skating career at the age of fifteen, was featured on the cover of skateboarding bible Thrasher shortly after his sixteenth birthday and has continued to tear his way through the skateboarding world ever since. Like Gonzales, Blind, since their inception, have effortlessly drawn people to their cause. The second, after Gonzales, Blind sponsored rider and skateboard team member was former professional skater and universally acclaimed actor Jason Lee. From the moment they built their first skateboard, Blind established themselves as a brand to be reckoned with. They were, and continue to be, an unchecked force of nature who don’t know the meaning of the word “quit”.
Even though Gonzales has stepped away from the company he founded to pursue a career as a critically applauded artist (is there nothing that this man can’t do? Oh, what we would give for even a fraction of his talent), Blind has continued to do what they’ve always done. Make forward-thinking skateboards that are designed to propel their team to victory and that are made to encourage skaters everywhere to continue to push the envelope of what was, and is, possible. Innovation is synonymous with Blind Skateboards, they go together like Starsky and Hutch, apple pie and ice cream and Beauty and the Beast, and while they haven’t always been the most comfortable of bedfellows, they’ll always be joined at the skateboarding hip.
That said, what it is that makes Blind’s skateboard’s so sought after? What makes them so beloved and prized by skaters around the world? There has to be more to Blind’s position in the skate scene than name recognition. We get the whole Mark Gonzales thing, we really do and if hadn’t been for him, we’d have never learned how to do a bean plant, but surely there has to be more to Blind Skateboard’s acclaim than their architect’s reputation? With those question buzzing around inside our brains like a nest of angry hornets and in an attempt to silence them once and for all, we figured the best thing we could do was to take a closer look at some of Blind’s best selling boards in order to find out what it was, and is, that makes them one of the leaders of the skateboarding pack.
Top Blind Skateboards Review
OUR TOP PICK
It’s always better to start, we think, with a ready to skate straight out of the box board and the Blind Random Placement is one of the more popular models that Blind ships and sells fully assembled. As decks go, this is a sturdy beast, made from seven-ply Canadain maple wood, which is a modern skateboarding standard, that’s held together by Blind’s all-purpose, stronger than BA Baracus on his strongest day water-based epoxy.
All of the due diligence given to the construction of the deck makes it incredibly easy to skate. While it’s tougher than a punch drunk former heavyweight champion looking for a second shot at glory, it’s also flexible enough to absorb all the bumps and street scree obstacles that the concrete will throw your way. And it has enough inbuilt spring to spare your knees form the worst of the impacts you’re going to take while skating it at the park.
We kind of like the graphics as well, they make the Random Placement pop and stand out from all of the other sticks that the herd insist on skating. It’s cool to wear your individuality like a badge of distinction that you can be eternally proud of, and the Random Placement makes sure you do that. While it’s far from being a solitary, lone board, there’s something indefinable about it that just screams unique.
Fitted with Blind’s signature wheels that are lodged firmly in the middle ground between too soft and too hard and are larger than the average (which means they can take bumps, weird street lumps, and other detritus in their stride without pausing or slowing down) skate wheel, the Random Placement glides as easily on the street as it does while hitting the ramps and bowls of your local skatepark.
But it isn’t just the wheels and the deck that make this board a pleasure to skate, the Tensor Trucks that it comes with mean that you can go as nuts as you want to and not worry about snapping them or having them throw a wheel in the middle of your session.
If you’re unfamiliar with Tensor, that’s a mistake that you’re going to want to correct as soon as possible. They’re the only truck manufacturer that frightens Independent and makes them wake up screaming in the middle of the night, terrified that they’re going to lose their place at the top of the skateboarding mountain.
The man behind Tensor, Rodney Mullen isn’t exactly a skating slouch (go and look him up, we can wait) and he was granted an engineering patent while designing and developing his trucks. And when you’re riding the Random Placement, you’ll be able to feel the patent that Mullen earned in the mind-blowing amount of maneuverability and control that the Tensors allow you to have over the board.
While our trick set is somewhat limited these days, mainly because we’re old and fast approaching our inevitable hip-replacement appointment, we threw everything that we had in our arsenal at the Random Placement and it lapped them all up and begged for more.
It far exceeded our already high expectations which hammered home the fact that Blind don’t owe their reputation to their prime-movers name, they earned it by making boards like the Random Placement.
Blind is one of the biggest players in the skate industry to take their foot off the complete skateboard gas pedals and shift the emphasis of what they do toward deck and accessory manufacture. They theorized and were right to do so as there’s method to their skating madness, that most skaters would rather build their own skateboards that used the wheels, trucks, and decks that were more suited to their individual skating style than buy a complete skateboard that they’d have to learn to work with.
That’s why they dedicated their efforts to designing and creating decks that fitted in with and helped to channel the flow of, their team. While we hadn’t skated a Blind board before getting to grips with the Random Placement, we were well aware of who Kevin Romar is. He’s a first-class, old school ripper and an airborne warrior who has forgotten more about skating than we could ever hope to learn in a hundred lifetimes.
Leading the professional skateboarding charge form the front lines, Kevin makes all the tricks that we never able to master look easy and it’s not that we’re jealous of his sickening amount of natural talent and ability or anything like that, but watching him skateboard makes us realize that we are but humble mortals who just happen to share the air they breathe with a skating deity.
Blind’s Landscape deck is a signature Kevin Romar model that features a front and rear kick tail and is built the Blind way using Blind blueprints. In other words, it’s made from seven-ply Canadian maple wood that’s bonded and put together with Blind’s Amazing Water-Based Skate Epoxy. It’s made to be pushed to the limits of what any skater can do and to bring them back from the edge of disaster when they’re attempting to do all of the things that no human being should ever attempt to do.
If we set out to build a skateboard and had to choose a deck for it, in all likelihood, we’d put our money down for this Kevin Romar signature model and we’d be happy to do so. It’ll run as smoothly on the street as it’ll fly through the air and it won’t matter how many spills you take or how hard you thrash it, it’ll just keep on getting up, time and time again until you’re ready to quit. Because it never will. It’s like we said, Blind doesn’t know the meaning of that word.
We set out to answer a bunch of questions that were bugging us about Blind and their ascension to the pinnacle of the skateboarding food chain. After riding and testing the Random Placement to its delight and our destruction, we finally found the answers to the buzzing hornet’s nest of queries about Blind that was slowly devouring our minds from the inside out.
Did they earn their skating stripes by trading on their creator Mark Gonzales’s name? No, they absolutely did not. They earned their rock-solid, cast-iron reputation the only way that any skate brand should. By making the sort of skateboards that you can believe, and put your faith, in.
Would we recommend that you buy a Blind skateboard? Yes, yes and a thousand other yes’ on top of both of those yes’ we would. In fact, if you can’t find a Blind complete skateboard, we’d suggest that maybe you should invest in a Blind deck, some Blind wheels, a couple of Tensor Trucks, and all of the hardware you’ll need to build your own board. That’s the way Mark Gonzales would do it. And that’s the way that Blind still does it.