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Loving this new Street Plant guest board coordinated between NJ skateboarding pioneers/royalty – Mike Vallely and Derek Rinaldi. It features an amusement park map style graphic of New Jersey spots in the 80’s by Tony Squindo and has a Vision/Gonz inspired shape customized by Paul Schmitt. Below is a little back story from Derek regarding what went into his graphic/shape concept for his board. 

“When Mike first presented me with the idea of the board, we both knew we wanted it to represent our history skating in New Jersey. We wanted it to be more than just art, but wanted it to tell a story.

The shape was a no brainer. I wanted a modern take on Mark Gonzales’ original Vision board. It was a board that was almost standard issue back then.

As far as the graphics, I wanted them to document a point in time but still be fun. There were no skate parks back then and yet there was always somewhere to skate. We didn’t recognize boundaries of pool skaters, or ramp skaters, or street skaters. For us, we just wanted to skate and wherever skating brought us, we’d skate it.

In a way, the state of New Jersey was our skate park. We’d get on the phone on the weekends, coordinate our crew, our rides and hit the Parkway.

I thought the idea of a theme park concept for the graphics would be great. I immediately knew I wanted Tony Squindo, to do the graphics. I have always admired his art and his unique characters have been showcased with Metallica.

I imagined combining one of those “not to scale” maps you’d get at amusement parks (for us it was Six Flags Great Adventure) and the art of Squindo.

The rides are replaced by our most frequented skate spots complete with key legend at the bottom.

This board, to me, represents a point in time that everyone can relate to. As kids, we didn’t have many worries. Wake up, make some calls, and meet at the first skate spot of the day. For us it could be street skating in the morning, a pool mid-afternoon, and then a vert session before dinner. I was lucky to be surrounded by some very energetic skaters. Even though there were no skateparks in our area, we always had a variety of places to skate.”

Derek Rinaldi
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It’s been an amazing week connecting with old friends and meeting new ones ( if only through social media). This board is incredibly important to me on so many levels. It represents that brief part of time when all we had to do was wake up, get in the car and find or create a skate spot. Most days seemed like we were living in a cartoon version of life. From the day we linked up with Mike and his crew, it always an adventure. Whether we were dodging tourists on the boardwalk, skating through the Woodbridge Mall, through the streets of New Brunswick, or getting chased by actual ninjas in Va. Beach, skating with Mike was never boring. . . I’m grateful for this opportunity to design a board that showcases the Great State of New Jersey and the spots that were special to me and my friends. . . Huge thank you to Tony Squindo for bringing these characters to life, to Paul Schmitt for shaping the board and, of course, to Mike for his friendship and inspiration over the years.

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The Derek Rinaldi “State of Adventure” guest board is now available on the streetplantbrand.com for $60.