Danny Way: “I was attracted to the darkness, as you see it from the graphic”

Back in 1991 in Blagnac, France, the H Street team came and did a demo. We all got really perplexed when we saw that Danny Way didn’t bring a vert board. Instead what he carried was one of these straight-railed, round-tailed, mini-wheeled (and no riser pads ! The heresy…) setups that hadn’t really reached France yet. “He just switched to street skating,” we thought, right before D.Way dropped on the monstrous vert ramp and killed it like nobody before –two tricks from that day even ended up in Questionable.
With a 20-plus-year-long career , Danny still remembers that board. “I’ve been looking for it for ever,” he regrets, “It’s the one that has the Volkswagen-like “DW” logo on the nose. That shape right there revolutionized all street shapes. There were other people playing with the idea at the time, Tony Hawk had a twin tip board but it looked retarded, it was such a bad shape. But the DW one, I remember shortly after Salman Agah copied my shape, Jeremy Klein copied my shape…” Having said that, Danny still has quite a bunch to pick up from -either from an aunaccessible attic he has to struggle with, or from the various displays on his walls. Here are the five decks he had time to discuss between two exploits.

H-Street Giant Holding Giant (1989)

“I quit Powell cause I never felt they had that big of an agenda for me. I knew what my potential was, and I knew where I was. I was ready to go. I got my first pro-model on H Street six months after I got on, and it was this one. On some boards in these days, you had a say in your graphics.

A local friend from Vista drew this graphic, and there’s another one I drew, it was so bad, it was the stupidest graphic ever, it had a big H Street and a question mark. It took me five minutes to do it. Even though I wanted it to look elementary and that it looked almost like a kid did it.

Anyway, my friend drew this giant holding a giant holding a giant for my board. There was no particular meaning I think, besides maybe that everybody looked like a giant to me then. Or that I was a little kid but I had a giant ego, I saw myself as one of the bigger guys. But I wasn’t. ”

Blind OC Bladerunners (1991)
Art by Marc McKee

“I rode for Blind for like a year and a half and this one was one of my two boards, the other one was the Nuke Baby one, the fake Nash board. H Street was going down the tubes, Mike Ternasky and Rocco were buddies and this was a strategic plan, this was just to buy time so we can get Plan B started basically. Eventually I got back on H Street for a few months until we started Plan B.

Anyway, this Bladerunners graphic was going on at the time when mini-trucks were popular, everybody seemed to own a lowered truck like that, and they wore the Oakley blades and that stuff. And in skateboarding we didn’t really think it was that cool so this is kind of a joke. I like this board because Mark Gonzales, Jason Jesse, Ron Chatman, Todd Congeliere and Jason Lee are on it too. It wasn’t just an OC thing, but all these guys are from the OC.”

Plan B 12-gauge (1993)
Art by Spike Jonze

“That’s Sheffey on the board there, that’s in Fallbrook by my old house. We used to go out in the middle of this hill and blow stuff up. Spike Jonze shot this, he had the mannequin head, that was his idea. It’s hard to remember exactly cause at this time period there was always some kind of obscure, crazy thing happening.

He probably just brought the head over and said, ‘we’re gonna shoot a sequence for a board graphic’, and that was it. This is back before naked chicks on boards got really crazy, so this at the time wasn’t really crazy but if you look at it now, you might be like, ‘wow, what is this about?’ with the kid and the shotgun blowing the mannequin’s head away.

I don’t really go out shoot guns that much anymore. I mean, I  like them, I think they’re cool. But I don’t really have the passion anymore, and I don’t have time.”

Plan B Silence Of The Lambs (1994)
Art by Sean Coons

“One of my favorite artists, Sean Coons, drew this water colors graphic at the time The Silence Of The Lambs came out, it was my favorite movie. This board was part of whole series but it was my favorite anyway.

What prompted me to have Hannibal Lecter was, I don’t know, back then I was just kind of in the dark states I think, I was attracted  to things like this, I don’t know why, I mean I ‘m not these days, but when I was a kid it was just personal  things that were going on in my life. I was attracted to the darkness, as you see it from the graphic. It’s not where the Slayer thing came from, I like Slayer and have always enjoyed their music when I skate.”

Alien Workshop Mega (2002)
Art by Mike Hill

“I skated this one for two weeks, everyday. I filmed the whole Mega section in the DC video on it, so I saved the board complete, I never switched the board out, every trick on that video part is on this board. Plus it’s the only mega board I had that looked almost like a regular street board, I was pretty psyched about that too. That board got a lot of action.

I never really changed shapes before or after that one. The Mega shape is something I came out with when I invented the Mega. Paul Schmitt makes my boards, so everybody rides Schmitt boards except Jake I think. Everybody rides my shape, they just go to Schmitt,  ‘I need Danny’s mega boards.’ Nobody is trying to reinvent the Mega board, I got it all figured out, and now everybody has that board.

It’s longer but only 8,8″ wide cause it gotta be relative, the width of a board doesn’t change its stability at all, it’s more about the wheelbase and the trucks’ width. It took a few shapes but I got it all figured out since.”

6 Responses to “Danny Way: “I was attracted to the darkness, as you see it from the graphic””


  1. 1 Matt Bass January 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    It’s hard to imagine skateboarding without Danny. He has always pushed the limits of whats possible and his fearless passion has inspired generations of skaters to just drop in and challenge their potential. He’s not only mastered mind of matter but hes a a living legend because of it!

  2. 3 Adam F January 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    i can’t wait to see this doc! Danny will always be a personal hero of mine..
    He changed skateboarding forever for the better!

  3. 4 Matt Wright March 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I have the Giant Holding Giant deck in Mint in my living room right now, baby.


  1. 1 coffee drink Trackback on September 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm

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Le boardnographe du phonographe

This is an archive for my eponymous monthly page in Skateboarder mag. Plus a few extras few and far between, whenever I get a chance...
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