Yep, That Really Is a Gold-Plated Skateboard
Some kids get the opportunity to build a tree house in the backyard with their dad, or make a fort out of a cardboard box in the living room. Matt Willet and his father, Peter, were a bit more ambitious. Together they concocted the crazy idea of manufacturing a 99.99% pure electro-plated, $15,000 golden skateboard.
Everything went down at Epner Technologies in Brooklyn, where Peter works. When not providing the Midas touch to skateboards, Epner manufactures components for NASA, among other things.
Matt has been the manager of SHUT Skateboards, which has produced high-quality decks and gear for almost 30 years. The idea of the golden skateboard took off earlier this year, and the process behind the finished product was featured on dose., a weekly action sports and lifestyle roundup featuring interviews with top athletes and product designers.
“Gold is a medium you don’t really see plated that much,” says Willet. “You have urethane, wood and metal, which is common, but [to] put all that together at once is pretty amazing.”
The dose. show, hosted and produced by Tim Brodhagen, takes fans inside the science behind the skateboard. For starters, the deck has to be sanded to perfection before it begins a two-part coloring process. First, the deck spends time in a heated tank filled with electroless copper, giving the high-priced board its woodlike finish.
Now weighing in at over six pounds, the board is taken to an area where technicians polish the copper to a mirror-like finish. Following that process, the board is immersed in a nickel tank, in which the gold acquires its base, and from there comes the actual gold-plating process.
The trucks and wheels get the same finish except for the bearings and bushings, which were created with high-gloss black enamel. Alas, though the wheels roll the board is unrideable, which means any future owner will have to be content with its sitting in a trophy case—a board for ogling, not Ollie-ing
"Having Tim and the Network A crew come through to shoot an episode at the actual facilities where we manufactured the Golden Skateboard was amazing," says Willet. "Getting to go behind scenes with them gave viewers a much more in-depth description of the process and the trials and tribulations that went into making this project come to light.”
As for the company’s future growth, Michael Cohen, vice president of SHUT, believes this appearance on dose. can take the company to new heights. “The segment provided enormous visibility for the SHUT brand. It allowed SHUT to reach an audience way beyond its normal traffic,” says Cohen.
The SHUT brand also features shirts, hoodies, hats, belts and stickers to customize your look. The show dose. airs weekly on Network A, a Webby-nominated action sports destination for original video content.