October 6, 2022
  • October 6, 2022

Ballona board | Business | argonautnews.com

By on July 28, 2022 0

Culver City company brings sea to land with latest innovation

Los Angeles native Don Tashman brought Earth’s tallest creature to earth with the fusion of skateboarding and art when he recently launched the nimble Ballona skateboard.

The Ballona skateboard is the latest innovation from Loaded Boards, a West Los Angeles-based skateboard company that was founded by Tashman. The 27.5 inch board design mimics the belly of a sperm whale and its sculpted curvatures create a mini “longboard”.

The nimble board and rib design creates a “humorous” juxtaposition meant to showcase the board’s capabilities.

“It’s a really small board but it uses a rib, which adds to the fun,” said Tashman, CEO of Loaded Boards. “Despite this small size, you have a bit of stability.”

The Ballona board offers a stable platform, tuned steering and responsive handling. The width of the board allows the rider to have leverage and control while performing tricks. The board was named after the Ballona Creek, which runs behind the Loaded Boards office and is a testing site for the company’s boards. The name of the painting is also a play on the word “ballena”, the Spanish translation for whale.

The Ballona board features two different graphic styles, the Moby and the Willy, which were designed by artist Tomás Güereña. Both graphics depict abstract aquatic themes that further incorporate the whale element into the painting.

Tashman said the advice is suitable for a range of people. He said the board’s agility is suited for advanced riders or people with experience with skateboarding. The size of the board is also beneficial for teaching children to skateboard.

“My kids learned on this board,” he said. “It’s easy for them to spin and it’s small.”

Tashman decided to start a skateboard business in 2000 after a series of events. Tashman grew up in a skateboarding environment and skated until the late 80s. Although he was a skateboarder, he fell in love with a different type of board.

“I fell in love with snowboarding when I first saw it in 1989 in the local mountains,” Tashman said. “I did everything I could to snowboard as much as possible in those days.”

He continued to emulate the experience of snowboarding on the streets of New York when he studied literature and astronomy at Columbia University. Tashman spent his college years building skateboards out of old snowboards and racing down city hills with his friends.

After college, Tashman found employment in several dot com jobs before returning to Los Angeles and working for her father’s clothing company. For a few months, Tashman designed skateboarding clothes until he had an “epiphany”.

“I had been building skateboards for myself as a hobby for seven or eight years,” he said. “At that moment, I thought to myself, this is what I should do. I like materials, I like to be practical and I like to create things.

Two years later, Loaded Boards launched its first skateboard, the Vanguard. Besides boards, the company also offers wheels and decks. Its products are available in 250 stores in the United States and in more than 40 countries internationally.

The skateboard company is committed to creating environmentally friendly designs and production. Tashman said the company is exploring different bio-based alternatives and recyclable options. Most of their boards are made from bamboo, which is “renewable and fast growing”.

“To be frank, manufacturing is inherently not environmentally sustainable,” he said. “So it’s a working process. It has always been part of our philosophy as a company, above all, to reduce and eliminate any toxicity in the working environment.

Tashman said Loaded Boards uses a water-based finish for its boards and all materials contain non-toxic glue.

Through Loaded Boards, Tashman continues to merge snowboarding and skateboarding while now bringing the ocean to land.

“Our goal is and always has been to expand what a skatepark can be,” he said. “We took snowboarding technology and applied it to skateboarding originally, then used it as a platform to explore all kinds of new constructions, new riding styles and new technologies.”

Tashman said Loaded Boards continues to push the boundaries of skateboarding by pushing the boundaries of a skateboard. He said the company is built on a “virtuous pyramid scheme” designed to spread love.

“The main mission of charged boards is to spread energy; it is to spread love and joy in an inclusive and creative way,” he said.