ODSL is a small custom presser based in Edinburgh and is comprised of Odious Bloke, some tools and various stacks of timber.
Where did the name come from?
Optional Death Stare, an odd name who's origins lye in a tale of two friends not crossing the road. The rest I'll leave to your imagination for heightened mystique.
The Optional Death Stare ‘brand’ name started of as the name I was producing horrific noises under. Unfortunately, due to failing technology, there's only so much vodka and coke you can pour on an electronic device before it will cease to be useful.
By that point The Too Much Fun Club, (an artist collective based in Edinburgh) was kicking off. We each gave ourselves pseudonyms back in the day such as Alfie Dextrous, Matt Sloe, Tommy Dutch and I became Odious Bloke. This is what I sign the decks under, my alias.
How did it start?
I lost two longboards in one year due to being excessively drunk so my logic told me if I spent some time and crafted my own deck then I was certain to care for it.
First you cut up a headboard and you're like ‘Yeah this is cool but you know, where's the concave’?
Next you cut a stack of wood and make a mold with a sweet concave and clamp it together and you're like ‘Yeah this is better, feels like a skateboard now, but if only I could get some flares and sweet dub concave’.
Then you cut more molds but the clamps can’t hack it, they're not strong enough.
Now the brain ticks a few times ‘More pressure, hmm. Well there's the jacks for the van, 4 tonne things, much better.’
To cut this long story short, there's now a 50” x 35” frame sitting in my room and a variety of molds lying around.
What makes an ODSL special?
I like the idea of having something made bespoke, there's the wholesome feeling about it. It’s the only one in the world that exists and then the ability to let people feel like they’ve influenced the final product. My drive has been how to tune the size and shape of a deck along with providing custom artwork. Either it's a beautiful cruiser with hand painted graphics or a tuned and flared hill muncher encased in tri-axial fibreglass.
The tuning is where it gets to be fun, each half of the molds are strung together on brass tubes allowing the ribs to be slid around, then I place spacers in between to lock it down so the foot platform can be set to the rider’s stance and features can be removed or swapped around, one mold fits all.
Check out Optional Death Stare on Facebook for pictures or writings that are mildly interesting. Instagram should be back on the go by the time you read this. I destroyed my smart phone on Thrill Hill last year and been using a Nokia 220 steez since. Have fun and I'll hopefully see you on a hill sometime soon.
The Skate to Escape distance decks
After deciding to do another distance trip, we thought it would be a great idea to get our own Skate to Escape distance boards made by Optional Death Stare Longboards.
Measuring at 38"x10" and weighing in at 4.5kg with Cronins and Kegals. The decks are light and nimble, which is good for making evasive manoeuvres in the towns and cities.
We wanted them strong, low, and fairly light. They have a 1 and a half inch drop platform and are drop through decks, plenty low enough (maybe too low at some points). The added weight of 9 plys plus fibreglass coating made them quite weighty. David had a great idea which involved routing out sections along the flat bottom and filling it with foam. This dropped the weight by quite a lot, while keeping the boards rigidity. Cutting the nose and tail right back to the truck saved weight but also made them great for pulling along when the dirt tracks just aren't quite skate-able.
Each one of our boards is the same apart from our custom finishes, Lewis has a lovely dark wood veneer finish. Hermione has leopard print cloth and I have red, yellow and green sprayed on. We also got our preferred Skate to Escape logo, and ODSL logo on each board, I also went for an extra silhouette of a penguin.