Company brings out composite constructed deck.
“Actually the first board we ever made under the Lib Tech name was a skateboard,” says Mike Olson, vice president and head of Mervin Manufacturing’s research and development department. Now, a decade later, the folks at Mervin (the factory that makes Lib and Gnu branded snowboards) have finally carried through with the original intention.
The company has brought out what it calls a revolutionary skateboard. Unlike standard skate decks that feature seven plys of maple or other types of wood, the Lib Tech skateboard utilizes a unique 62-piece multi-wood laminate with fiberglass and graphite fiber reinforcements, sandwiched in a plastic skin with integrated polyethylene nose and tail skids.
What else would you expect from the company that brought such innovations as Teflon Titanium bases, Rib Tech Air Cores, and Correct Cap Construction to the snowboarding world?
Of course, there are other reasons why the snowboard company has moved into skateboarding. “We like to skate and we’ve been doing it since we were kids,” says Pete Saari, head of marketing for Mervin. “We don’t wakeboard, so we’d never build one. But we felt we had something to offer in skateboarding. Mike Olson has come up with what we think is a stronger, lighter skateboard. If we’re bringing innovation to the market, then we might have a place.”
Mervin has no illusions about taking over the skateboard industry. “We’d like to be number 32 in the market,” Saari says. And if the market doesn’t want the product, the company will bag it.
There were also financial reasons for Mervin moving into the new venture. Saari says the loss of OEM business the factory experienced last year also contributed. “We’re the snowboard company seasonal. We’ve got a crew we like and want to keep them employed. Plus it’s more efficient then firing everyone at the end of the season and re-hiring them the next season.”
Saari also cites a more personal reason to build skateboards: “One of our goals has been to build a cement skatepark at our Port Angeles factory. This will get us a little closer.”
So far, the reception to the new skateboards has been fantastic, Saari adds, and the company is sold out of inventory and having trouble keeping up with back orders going into the December holiday rush.
According to the folks at Stormriders in Mammoth, California, the Lib Tech skateboards were catching people’s attention, and snow-halfpipe pro Ross Powers had already bought one.
If a recent contest result is any indication, the company might get that skatepark sooner than they think: Scott Stamness won the vert competition at the Warp tour stop in Seattle, Washington, riding a Lib.
For more information on Lib Technologies skateboards, contact Angelina Saez: (206) 270-9792.