16/04/2014 | by Nina Zietman
When it comes to the history of Z-Flex skateboards you can only really turn to one place to begin, and that’s with the legend that is Dogtown and Z-Boys.
For this we have to skip back to 1975 when Jay Adams was competing for the famous Zephyr skate team. Jeff Ho, Skip Engblom and Craig Stecyk approach Kent Sherwood (Jay Adams’ step father) to create a Zephyr skateboard to continue their progression into the sport of skateboarding. As he owned a fibreglass shop, the combination was a no-brainer.
This coincided with the creation of urethane wheels allowing for the guys to create a skateboard that suited the direction of skateboarding at the time.
In 1976 Kent Sherwood broke away from Zephyr and kick started the EZ-RYDER team using half of the original Zephyr skaters to fill the team roster including Jay Adams, Tony Alva and Jim Muir. 6 months after forming EZ-RYDER, the name was changed to Z-Flex and still remains to this day.
Z-Flex still continues to be an industry leader when it comes to thinking outside the box. They were the first people to utilise a concave on the board’s topside and created a smoother wheel with a formula which most of today’s wheels are based upon.
Even today Jay Adams continues to make his signature classic pool and cruiser boards. It’s down to this determination and dedication to skateboarding that has allowed Z-Flex to re-issue 4 decks:
THE ORIGINAL Z-FLEX – 27″ x 6 1/2″
The original low centre of gravity board developed on the banks of Dogtown and proven a “get down” winner by the radical “Z” BOYS. There have been many copies of the natural rocker in wood, but the controlled flex and durability has not been equalled.
THE WARPTAIL ZFLEX – 27″ x 6 1/2″
A radical Kick tail for positive back foot placement and control along with the low centre of gravity rocker.
THE JIMMY PLUMER DESIGN ZFLEX – 28″ x 7 1/2″
Jimmy Plumer has a fast and radical style like no other. He has designed this board for that to give extra stability to handle higher speeds and tight vertical transitions. This board includes wider top deck, slight rocker to lower centre of gravity, moulded wheel wells and easy kick tail with 3/4″ fibreglass skid.
THE JAY ADAMS DESIGN ZFLEX – 30″ x 7 3/8″
Jay Adams Knows EXACTLY what he wants and will Not settle for less. He designed this board for vertical situations and through extensive testing by the Z-BOYZ has been proven to be the ultimate in bank and pool riding. This board includes slight rocker to lower the centre of gravity, moulded in wheel wells, easy kick tail with 3/4″ fibreglass skid and slightly tail heavy tail for kick turns in radical situations.
Recently, Z-Flex shot a video with the purpose of getting the original team and skaters from that era to talk about skateboard and skateboarding in the 70’s and where it is today. Alongside that they were also celebrating the re-issue of the Z-Flex Fiberglass boards. Check out part 1 below featuring:
Z-Flex – Jay Adams, Jimmy Plumer, Marty Grimes, Mitch Kaufmann, Jim Davies, George Wilson, Solo Scott, Jimmy Acosta, Eddie Gomez, Aaron Scott, Butch Sterbins, Eric ‘Tuma’ Britton and Jesse Martinez.
Guests – Steve Olson (mediator), Dave Hackett (ex pro-skater), Duane Peters (pro for Pocket Pistols), Wentzle Ruml (original Zephyr team rider), Jim Muir (owner of Dogtown) and Peter Hewitt (pro for Anti Hero – Z-Flex was his first sponsor).
Watch the second part below: