14 Good, Bad and Controversial Skate Decks Inspired by Your Favourite Bands

From Joy Division to Metallica (via Lisa Stansfield)

Skateboarding and music go hand in hand. They’re closer bedfellows than turkey and stuffing, skateparks and dickheads on scooters, former political leaders and pigs.

Music and skateboarding are basically Bert and Ernie, but with more swellbows. As such it’s no surprise that so many skate decks over the years have given more than just a nod to some of our favourite bands. That’s why we’ve drawn together some of our all time favourites.

But, not content with just the deck, we’ve doubled up and given you some of the music that inspired it as well, so next time it’s too wet to skate, you’ll know what to listen too.

1) Nirvana Skatedeck by Skate Mental

There isn’t a shortage of pretty rubbish looking Nirvana skateboard decks out there, but this Jack Curtain pro-model, featuring a mashup of the skater and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain from the bands Unplugged In New York performance is a belter. Fingers crossed that one day there will be a graphic featuring drummer Dave Grohl in a turtle-neck jumper as well.

2) Dinosaur Jr Skatedeck by TANK

Staying with grunge, we find this TANK skate deck with a Dinosaur Jr graphic. The band, and J Masics in particular are skateboard nuts, and the deck was released to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Dinosaur Jr forming.

3) Karen O Skatedeck by Girl

In a change from their iconic restroom-like design, Girl released this deck featuring Yeah Yeah Yeah’s frontwoman, and thinking-hipsters favourite Karen O. The picture itself was shot by renowned music video and film director Spike Jonez, who’s not afraid of a skate himself.

4) John Lennon skatedeck by Enjoi

For their Missing Hand Signs series Enjoi put out this Ben Raemers pro model featuring a post-Beatles looking John Lennon. Apparently, if you tip a can of energy drink over this graphic, Lennon washes away revealing a picture of fellow Beatle Paul McCartney. It’s one of the few occasions when Red Bull will literally give you Wings.

5) Lisa Stansfield skatedeck by Landscape

For those of you fortunate enough to be too young to recognise the lady on this graphic, it’s serial child misplacer Lisa Stansfield who, back in the early 1990’s, sang about traveling the globe looking for her missing baby. Did this inspire the graphic? No. It’s nothing other than the fact she shares a name with Mancunian skater Nick Stansfield, who’s pro model this is.

6) Morrissey / The Smiths skatedeck by Enjoi

Enjoi and their Missing Hand Signs series again, but on this particular Louie Barletta pro model they’ve gone for a musician from England’s North West who it’s alright to like, one Steven Patrick Morrissey.  It’s believed that Morrissey is a big fan of skateboarding, and can be regularly spotted trying rock-fakies at Platts park or the Pump Cage in Manchester.

7) Joy Division skatedeck by Cliche x Note

While still in Manchester, it would frankly be rum not to include this stunning colab between Cliche skateboards and Manchester’s very own Note Skate shop. The graphic takes it’s inspiration from the cover of Joy Divisions seminal album Unknown Pleasures – a piece of work that deserves a place in every record collection.

8) Pink Floyd skatedecks by Habitat

Habitat put out a series of decks that celebrated four Pink Floyd Albums: Dark Side of The Moon, Animals, Statue Thingy, and Man Without A Face In A Suit. Err, We’re not big Pink Floyd fans and kind of still want to listen to Joy Division to be honest. Still, let’s continue.

9) Queen skatedeck by Almost

We’re certain that this Chris Haslam pr model for Almost is a nod to Queens famous celebration of female cycling, Fat Bottom Girls. Now, we know this is a song that may offend some people, but it’s not as if Queen were a band with a track record of making poor decisions about, oh I don’t know, places where it’s not alright to play gigs.

Oh, hang on a second…

Anyway, the graphic’s a banger.

10) Metallica skatedeck by Zorlac

Many moons ago, back when Metallica were a band, and not a bunch of sweaty old blokes who moan about Napster (do they still moan about Napster? We’ve stopped listening) they collaborated with Zorlac for these suitable cock-rock looking spider/skull affairs.

Few bands divide the Mpora office more than Metallica. We regularly argue about who among us likes them the least. Despite all of this, Enter Sandman remains a stone-cold HAMMER.

11) Michael Jackson skatedeck by Skate Mental

Now, there’s a lot that could be said about this deck, but we’ve had quite enough controversy for one afternoon, so we’ll assume that this Donny Miller pro model by Skate Mental is nothing more than a tribute to the now late King of Pop Michael Jackson.


Alien Vs Predator you say?

12) Rocksteady skatedeck by Element

This board by Element is a clear throwback to the Rocksteady sound that followed Ska but proceeded reggae. It looks better than the Metallica boards, and the music is beyond comparison. Step forward Prince Buster:

13) The Clash skatdeck by Enjoi

This is one of a pair of London themed pro-models that Ben Raemers had on Enjoi. Is it strictly a graphic inspired by The Clash? Maybe. Maybe not. But what we do know is that it would be foolish to exclude them for the sake of certainty.

14) Spandau Ballet skatedeck by Primitive

After leaving Plan-B, Paul Rodriguez quietly went about starting his own skateboard company, and before long, Primitive was born, and these gold boards were starting to crop up all over the place. But are the rumours true that the signature gold decks are a tribute to Spandau Ballets very own soft-rock love letter to Marxist propaganda? No, of course not.

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