Liam McCabe visits PS Stix

Z-Flex team rider Liam McCabe recently paid a visit to legendary craftsman Professor Paul Schmitt at his laboratory  to learn about skateboard construction and design and the pair set about working on making a shape that is tailored to Liam’s specific style of skating.


Master and Apprentice with smiles all round.


Stacks upon stacks of uncut boards.  Paul Schmitt www.createaskate.org has been designing and constructing the best skateboards for over 30 years.


First order of business is to see how tall Liam is.  He’s a bit over 6 feet tall and therefore requires a 15 inch or longer wheelbase.


Sidewalk surfing at its finest: some of the more interesting boards Professor Schmitt has experimented with.


Professor Schmitt points out the differences between a skateboard he designed and rode in the 80’s and how it compares to one of the boards he designs and crafts for the Current Z-Flex range. 


Next step is to measure the board that Liam has been riding and see what changes need to be made.


The wheel size you choose can greatly affect the angle of where the tail hits and affects the boards pop.  You wanna ollie higher?  Get bigger wheels or add a riser pad.


Based on Liam’s wheel size, the type of terrain he skates and where he likes his board to pop;  Professor Schmitt and Liam decide on two fingers of flat behind the rear bolts is ideal.


Liam’s old board is traced and some minor reshaping is done to make a the nose a bit wider and the tail taper a little.  This will help Liam know which is the nose and tail when looking down at the board.  It also gives him options for a longer nose/tail for certain tricks so he can ride the board backwards if he needs more leverage.


Then it’s time to cut out the new shape.



Long sleeves and a band saw, don’t tell the safety supervisor



Here is the rough cut out ready to be drilled for the trucks



Professor Schmitt’s laboratory has all the tools needed to make a board in a matter of minutes.



The belt sander is used to shave down the rough cut out to the exact shape traced to the board a few steps earlier.  At the factory the saws are computer controlled and cut all the boards perfectly every time.



A thorough visual inspection.



“Here you go.  It’s your shape.”



Put it on a pedestal. The new deck ready for a fresh coat of paint


Liam likes bright colors, so the same purple that Jay Adams chose for his Master-Crafted deck  seems like an obvious choice.



A bright Z-Flex stencil and the prototype graphic is complete.



Some flat ground testing in the alleyway behind the laboratory confirms this is the ideal board for Liam to skate. 

Stay tuned for new footage of Liam shredding on his new shape in the near future, and in the mean time if you haven’t already seen it, make sure you watch Liam owning his local D.I.Y spot in the “Define Your Line” clip.