I’ve owned a half dozen skateboards throughout my life. Was never very ripping on any of them. But despite the healthy wariness of skateboarding that comes with advancing time-on-ground, I’m actually riding harder on my latest board — a handmade longboard from Colorado, which is proving to be the easiest to ride and smoothest of any board I’ve ever owned — and with me well past the prime age for severe wipeouts and chance-taking. This is the best dry-land shredding I’ve done in years.

I was always jealous of the kids ripping the rec path from Copper Mountain down to Frisco where I lived, watching them in shock and awe as they sped along without helmets or pads, sometimes laying on their backs or other positions, wondering what would drive someone to take such chances, and how could I get involved.

And now I’ve got a taste of their drug. These new longboards from Colorado’s KOTA are as stable as they are beautiful. They are quite maneuverable for such a long skate deck and absorb bumps with graceful flex (decks are concave with extreme camber front-to-back). Each one is handcrafted in-state from hard rock maple (the hardwood is from Wisconsin). They are finished with a proprietary staining process that enhances and protects the natural wood grains — grains which also dictate the shape and character of each board.

One of the best new (to me, anyway) features of KOTA boards is a unique, confidence-inspiring clear stick grip finish – eliminating the need for deck tape and allowing illustrious and inspiring graphics to go unfettered on the deck as well as the under deck. WomenLongboard

KOTA also recently launched a women’s line as well, indicating not only growth in the sport of long boarding but a growing demographic encouraged by these boards’ forgiving nature. (Note: crashing on a longboard is still not forgiving at all.)

The founder and CEO of the home-grown company is a former F14 Navy fighter pilot, no big deal, and he designs custom boards for military units and gives discounts to his ilk. And I’m sure you were wondering: the name KOTA is born of aviation history from the famous “Knights Of The Air,” a moniker given to early air combat pilots in WWI.

As I always say, it’s never too late to have a happy childhood, so surf over to kotalongboards.com to begin reliving your sidewalk shredding dreams.

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