L.A. is rotten with longboard riders carving down the streets, but few can boast boards as beautiful as those of Loyal Dean. Made of 40% reclaimed hardwood and wholly crafted in L.A., the boards are the product of a longtime friendship between Greg "Loyal" Perry and Dino "Dean" Pierone .
The two have 25 years of woodworking experience between them. But they didn't set out to make skateboards; they just had a lot of excess wood on their hands, thanks to a custom door company they ran together. "I was throwing out three dumpsters' worth of premium wood that I couldn’t use in a month," says Perry. The spare wood came in handy when Pierone thought of giving his daughter a skateboard as a present. "I thought it’d be a cool thing she could have," Pierone tells Co.Design. The two whipped up a prototype on a whim, using the same technique and distinct patterning evident in their custom doors.
The boards are made of the door company's remnants.
"When we made it, a lot of people said, ‘Wow! You’ve got something there!'" Pierone says. Bolstered by that feedback, Pierone and Perry went back and focused on developing something hardy and more rider-friendly. After frequent and brutal road tests from their skater employees, Loyal Dean was born. In all, the company sells four models; each of them varies from one production to the next, because they're made out of whatever wood the door company happens to be using at the moment. The most popular style is the Bottlenose, a board meant for two-directional switch stance riding which sells for $375.
Pierone and Perry aren't willing to give away too much about how they achieve the boards' flowing, inlaid curves. But they do offer some hints. Pierone first plans out the pattern using AutoCAD. It's then made using a hush-hush bending process. "It's like spin art at the county fair. Somebody’s not placing the paint on the paper, they’re dropping it in there, and it’s spinning. It’s more about the process," Perry says. "The patterning can be anything we want it to be." The curves of wood actually serve a purpose: Rather than plywood, these decks are made of two layers of laminated hardwood, whose grains all run in the same direction, lending both flexibility and strength. Randal trucks and wheels weighing more than a half-pound each make for a cushier ride suited for long-haul trips.