Attics always have that mysterious treasure hunt feel to them. You’ll find only two things in there, usually: either the complete 1961 National Geographic collection (cool), or a former tenant’s lover’s skeleton that will allow you to be charged for premeditated murder and finish this dull existence of yours in jail (not cool). Fortunately, John Cardiel’s parents’, in Grass Valley, bare none of the above but more interestingly a collection of Cards’ past pro-models, from Black Label to Antihero. Some old Lamar snowboards, too, for those who care. After stacking them all up on the deck, outside, John finally picked a bunch in his trunk, and finished his editing at home. Here’s what he has to say about his own five favorite pro-models.
Black Label Copenhagen board
“This is the first of my boards that was actually made. I’m saying this because I was supposed to get a board on Dogtown, and they came up with my board graphic and everything in a skate ad, and what happened was that the company Dogtown stopped doing production in San Francisco, Jim Muir just took everything back to LA and it didn’t restart for a while. Basically they shut down, so I had to transfer and got picked up by John Lucero, he offered me a home on Black Label.
At the time, I was into chewing tobacco, my favorite brand was Copehnagen, so John proposed to do a Copenhagen-style board for my wood board, and back then there was a slick too, and the other one had graphics with candy on it. Anyway, the wood board came first, and all the different boards had different colored stripes. John is a really good artist so he pulled this one easily.”
Black Label Dogtown board
Art by Nate Carrico
“This board came out a while after my first board, maybe a year or so. I really wanted the Dogtown graphics to come out, so John [Lucero] was like : “Fuck it, why don’t we do it?” So he called up the dude who did it, an artist who was living in Santa Cruz and doing graphics for Santa Cruz at the time. So we got the graphics from him and, boom, John did the board. We added a Black label logo but we left the Dogtown one, we just ran it like whatever, you know. It wouldn’t catch no flack, we just did a short run. I don’t think the Dogtown guys even cared even though John did get permission from Jim Muir. At the time he was going through his own struggle.”
Black Label La Cumbre board
Art by Daniel Dunphy
“These graphics come from La Cumbre, it was my favorite burrito spot in San Francisco, on 16th and Valencia. There’s even that old song about this place: “Take me back to La Cumbre / I want another steak burrito”. The song was by Skatemaster Tate, and was used in some old Powell video. It was one of the best burrito spots in SF until they got bought out and changed some of the ingredients. But it was my favorite spot then, and that’s why I love that board so much. Inside, they have a big mural painting that we used for this graphic. I sent John a t-shirt and they just re-did it.”
Black Label Gonz board
“I was so stoked that Gonz did this board for me. I didn’t know Mark back then, but John Lucero did.
So one day he asked me what kind of graphic I wanted and I just said jokingly: ‘I want a Gonz graphic, man!’ And then next thing you know he calls me up and says: ‘Hey John, I got something for you, would that work you think?’
I was like what? Gonz painted this on a plank at John’s place, just for this board. (…) I was so super stoked on it.”
Antihero Hawaiian dog board
“Yeah, there are a lot of Black label boards in this selection, but there’s a bunch of boards that mean a lot to me on Antihero as well. This board is really special, though. It’s a fairly new board, but still… I was on a trip with a bunch of friends and I took a picture of that dog on the side of a fence, and I just thought of this graphic in my head.
I was with some really good friends at the time, I also like that you wouldn’t be able to tell by just looking at it that it means so much to me. I shot the photo maybe a year ago, when I got sent to Hawaii, just to visit. Steve Van Doren sent me and Julien to the Pipeline surfing contest, just out of love. Steve’s just the best. He’s the most down-ass fucking dude, straight up. I can’t say enough about him, cause it’s real, you know what I mean?”