Off the rails: a skater’s life

A casual browse through a second-hand store 15 years ago was the start of Perth skater-guy Joe’s vintage skateboard collection.

1.  How did you get into collecting skateboards?

“I used to skate years and years ago back in high school in the 1980s. A few of us would get together and skate around – it was all we really did in our spare time. Weekends were spent in the Coles car park. It was a great era for classic skateboards and influential skaters.

“About 15 years ago I was went into my local Cashies – I used to wander in every now and then to look at the instruments – and I found a skateboard that was pretty cool. I’ve still got it. It cost me around $70 and it’s now worth around $600. It’s in good condition, which is why it’s worth a bit because boards tend to get really thrashed – you didn’t buy boards back then to collect them, you bought them to use them.

“A few years after that I bought another, more modern one, but then I headed off overseas for work and travelling. When I moved back to Australia about a year ago I had somewhere safe to store them, so I started getting more into my skateboards.”

2. How many have you got now?

“I’ve got about 40. I only had around three or four when I first moved back to Oz, but in the last 12 months I’ve gone a bit nuts. In one of the rooms in my house three of the walls are covered in skateboards.”

3. Where do you buy them?

“I buy a lot of my skateboards online from eBay, Gumtree and the Cashies webshop. I tend to look for vintage collectibles, which are not as easy to find unless someone is selling something they don’t realise the value of. I’ve got searches saved online and I check these regularly.

“I’ve learned a lot about what I like, what I don’t like, and what a board is actually worth. There are global skateboard hubs, Facebook pages and forums that I visit. I buy a fair few from the States. If it’s a good board, you are rarely going to lose money on it.

“The most I’ve spent on a board is around $1500. That was a few weeks ago. I don’t know what the collection is worth all up – to be honest I don’t want to know.”

4. What now?

“Well, I’ve spent 12 months acquiring boards, so I think now I’ll spend about six months letting them go – some of them, at least. I’ll probably sell about half, as I just can’t display them all. There are a few that are just for collecting – I hardly touch these as don’t want to wreck them – and there are a couple that I still ride. And I’ll be keeping that very first board that I bought.”

Looking for your next ride? Check out Cash Converters great range of boards and equipment.


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