I have always imagined myself as an urban snowboarder – navigating mountainsides, riding with friends, taking the time to appreciate my surroundings… The design of this board reflects just that - a freeride style of skateboarding.
This shape is unique and provides a combination of control, comfort, and function through 3 essential elements:
Enough surface area underfoot to ride with confidence
A tapered midsection to cut down on weight and size
A fully functional nose and tail
All together, this board shreds… at 35” it’s the perfect length for all around skateboarding and lots of fun.
The graphic is symbolic of wood, trees, and source material. A chainsaw is the first tool used in creating a skateboard, and felling a tree is the first step of the process. This initial harvest is important to understand, appreciate, and celebrate with each ollie, slide, and carve… My signature is written by hand to represent artistry and craftsmanship, and my Japanese name is stamped to honor lineage and history – Sakamoto meaning “base of the mountain”.
From idea to fruition – this skateboard was created through a true collaborative and creative process. Each step was hand over hand as expertise and input suggested something new and different. As the evolution of this skateboard reached its’ final design, it became clear that the teamwork involved is what lead this project to success. Working with Comet as an artist and skateboarder has been an open minded and genuine experience.
Comet Skateboard - Noah Guest Model
159 Independent Trucks
Bones Hard Bushing
These Wheels 66mm 80a
6 Ball Swiss Bearing
Interview with Noah Sakamoto by Blake Smith:
BLAKE: It’s been a few years since we saw you in Second Nature, what have you been up to since then?
NOAH: How many years has it been, maybe since 2009? Something like that, crazy!
Since Second Nature, I briefly stepped away from the skateboard industry to pursue some other interests. I became a certified arborist and now I’m currently studying to become a credential art teacher. Although I stepped away from the industry it didn’t affect skateboarding in my life. Right now I’m pushing 20 years on a skateboard!
B: This is Comet’s first “Guest Model” board, can you tell us what inspired the design?
N: I have always looked at skateboarding as an urban style of snowboarding. Freeriding is definitely my pleasure on the mountain. It is neither park nor downhill but rather being able to flow the mountain freely and being able to go in and out of different terrains that I enjoy. The board was designed with that in mind. It’s more or less a mix of downhill and street.
B: You were a sponsored snowboarder back in the day too, what’s up with that?
N: Yeah! in 2003 I had a shop sponsor, Destination 1440. At that time Burton Snowboards had a showroom in Emeryville which was tight. The shop manager would take me over there and I’d get all the Burton gear I wanted. The same thing, it wasn’t a park sponsorship, it wasn’t a racing sponsorship, it was a free ride all around support that I was getting.
B: Many locals compare the Oakland hills as more of a ski resort for downhill skateboarding. Growing up here, do you feel the landscape has influence both your riding and now your skateboard?
N: Yes definitely! Growing up in the Oakland hills influences that style of riding. When I was in 5th grade, I would see people riding old Cabalero boards with Krypto’s carving down neighborhoods runs. Starting about then I was skating to school which was always downhill so naturally I picked up on that. To me, the longboard is a bit of an inconvenience for the day in the life and a street board never felt very safe going down the hills.
B: You designed the graphics also, is that a chainsaw?
N: Yeah so the original medium is a paper collage. The image being a chainsaw suited the subject of skateboarding really well. I went back and forth with Comet transforming the collage into a silkscreen. For me a chainsaw represents the first step in creating a skateboard during the industrial process. The wood comes from a tree, a chainsaw is the first tool involved in creating a skateboard. There is an appreciation for the tree itself that we are riding. It’s a way to represent source material.
My signature is obviously there too, written as I write it to show the artistry and craftsmanship. The Japanese symbol is the character of my Japanese last name which translates to “base of the mountain”. In a way it links back to lineage - the skateboard being the product of the forest, the stamp of my last name representing my own lineage.
B: I remember you took a nice slam filming this video, what happened?
N: (Laughs) Yeah I was trying to do a backside 180 gap. I landed the first two and was going for the third but landed a bit twisted. I was falling backwards and had to do a sort of cat flip so not to land on my head. Well, as I was falling down the incline of the opposing driveway caught my face, splitting my chin open and bruising my sides.
B: Did you have to get stitches?
N: Yeah 2 stitches and ironically the first trip to the hospital for a skateboarding accident ever!
B: Wow after 20 years on a board?
N: I know, pretty crazy!
B: Coming up on 2013, do you have any big plans for this next year?
N: Generally the plans would be to take advantage of the winter season. I’d like to snowboard and skateboard as much as possible, but snowboard really haha! Do that for as much time as I can and then come back to school in the spring. As summer rolls around I’ll be a free man so I’ll definitely be taking some more skateboard trips. I’ve been working with all the boys around here and with These wheels so I’d like to continue to search out new roads and skate! Enjoy as much of it and make new friends.
B: Before I let you go, do you have any parting words of wisdom?
N: In arboriculture there is a term for pruning; “Coarse to fine”. You always prune coarse to fine. I try and read it as big picture to little picture, and that’s the way I like to go about my life. I try and not get caught up in the small nitty gritty but rather take in the big picture before worrying about the little. Enjoy every day, support the next generation, and don’t take life too seriously.