My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

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My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby JohnnyLeeds » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:07 pm

Hi folks!

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Here is another piccie, this time its one of my first semi-decent skateboard, it was purchased as a complete (pile of crap?) board, and boy was it complete, it came with deck / griptape + trucks, wheels / bearings, rails, tail saver, nose saver, truck lapper (i think thats what it was called?) and truck savers! What a lot of plastic! Although Variflex boards werent the worst boards around (they did beat the cheapo chinese crappy 'Turbo' graphics and plastic wheels affairs) the kicktail was pathetic and the deck was hardly concaved at all. Also it weighed a ton. This Variflex 'Egyptian' cost £39.95 from Watson & Cairns, this was a cycle and motorcycle accessories shop on Lower Briggate in Leeds city centre. The shop was one of the only places in Leeds that you could buy skateboards and equipment until a dedicated Skateboard shop called 'Air' opened in the Leeds Corn Exchange. I tell you it is a shame that kids start out riding crappy boards because they do nothing for helping you learn how to skate. When I progressed from this board to buying my Alva 'Bill Danforth' mini my skills improved dramatically. It is very difficult to skate well on a crappy skateboard.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby ben g » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:24 pm

Sweet baby Jeebus !
That tail saver is a beaut !!
Us posh kids used to laugh at the variflex owners.
Sometimes we ran over their cheap decks in our Rolls Royces.
Time for an internet trawl to see if I can find the complete range.
* edit * I'm sure there are too many out there to comprehend or catalogue from the " popular eighties ", collection.
The " Howler " has to be one of the most aptly named decks ever...I nearly pissed myself laughing.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby JohnnyLeeds » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:12 pm

Wow the complete Variflex series! Where did you nick them pics from? Like I said Variflex werent the worst budget boards you could get, there was also Pacer - heh heh heh! Sadly people dont understand when they first buy their kids a skateboard that buying a cheap crappy board is more likely to put them off skating than it will encourage them.
Incredibly you can still buy look-a-likey skateboards in most toy shops / tesco's etc that are a total pile of shite! Generally they have rock hard wheels that arent even made from polyurethane and the trucks are so cheap and loose that any attempt to ride on one of these pieces of crap will be sure to result in injury either from getting speed wobbles at speeds exceeding 1mph or when the wheels roll onto a tiny piece of grit the whole board stops and throws the would-be skater face first into the road. It beggars belief that to make a bit of extra profit the manufacturers knock out these deathtraps, and its a complete and utter detriment to Skateboarding that this is going on cos as I've said its what discourages a lot of nippers from ever progressing into taking up skateboarding as a sport / hobby etc. Something should be done about it, I mean you dont see shops selling kiddies bikes with no brakes or wheels that provide a bumpy uncomfortable ride, or that arent properly put together etc and that is pretty much the equivalent thing that is happening with these cheap crap skateboards. I mean if they are going to produce skateboards at all why even bother doing this? Surely it cant cost too much more to provide semi-decent components? I can understand that parents wont want to fork out £100+ for a pro set up as a first skateboard for their young uns but I have seen fairly decent complete skateboards going for around the £25 brand new price range. Anyway I am babbling now so I will shut up!
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby longboard gav » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:34 am

fuck sake did you stop to breathe when you typed that up ?
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Dom1 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:52 am

It has to be a better start than the good old 'Skate Flyer'....
DSCN0192.JPG

This must have lead to many a disappointing crimbo for those of us who were lads in the 70's.

At least the 'Deluxe' had rubber wheels instead of the old clay ones.... :roll:
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My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby HarryR » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:03 pm

Dom1 wrote:It has to be a better start than the good old 'Skate Flyer'....

This must have lead to many a disappointing crimbo for those of us who were lads in the 70's.

At least the 'Deluxe' had rubber wheels instead of the old clay ones.... :roll:

Ah, my first board too, although I could have sworn it was called a Surf Flyer. Either there were different versions or my memory is faulty.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby JohnnyLeeds » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:27 pm

Yep I have seen a few of these 'skate flyer' boards at car boot sales, I never touch them unless its to flog on eBay, they werent much better than a plank with a roller skate nailed to the bottom. On the subject of roller skates I remember in the mid 80's we used to go to a Saturday roller disco at Morley leisure centre to pinch the wheels off the roller skates and stick them on our skateboards for riding downhill. They were quite wide, soft, bluey green wheels called 'American Flyers', anyone ever come across them?
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Baldy » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:47 pm

JohnnyLeeds wrote:Here is another piccie.


That skateboard mag sticker on the tail brings back some fond memories of my first board!
:)
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby JohnnyLeeds » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:13 pm

yer there looks to be a sticker from each of the skateboard magazines of the time, Rad, Skateboard! and another magazine called Skate something or other I cant remember, Skate Action or some other bollocks!
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby hankmarvinsguts » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:25 pm

Has anyone come across pics of the "pacer" collection Ive hunted around a bit but never found anything.........probably for good reason but y'know it would be nice.............
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby JohnnyLeeds » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:52 pm

yer, i did a basic image search for pacer skateboards yesterday on google and found an advert from one of the skateboard mags for two 1980s Pacer complete boards - actually they were posted in one of MAS's forums so have a look and you should find...
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby hankmarvinsguts » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:53 pm

Thx Johnny..............Id really like to see the earlier decks "dominator" (which was fucking absolute unrideable shite which was returned too all sports for being urideable shite) and "pharohs revenge" also owned sold as deck only a really gnarly purple stain natural finish with a skull graphic with a deep concave which i believe was also pacer interested too know what it was . all this stuff seems too have dissapeared without trace I have no memory of what I did with the skull deck but i still have nightmares about applying the grip and drilling the rails it was a bad business :(
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby SimonB » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:01 pm

Its easy to forget that once upon a time (up to the early 80's I think) Variflex used to make top quality boards and had a top flight pro team ~ Lance Mountain, Alan Losi, Eddie Elguera, Eric Grisham etc.

Where did it all go wrong ???????

I still have my Variflex Steve Hirsch deck, which was my last one before I stopped skating 1st time around
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My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby HarryR » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:17 am

SimonB wrote:Its easy to forget that once upon a time (up to the early 80's I think) Variflex used to make top quality boards and had a top flight pro team ~ Lance Mountain, Alan Losi, Eddie Elguera, Eric Grisham etc.

Where did it all go wrong ???????

I still have my Variflex Steve Hirsch deck, which was my last one before I stopped skating 1st time around

Yeah that's right. My mate had an Eddie Elguerra "El Gato" deck, 79/80 I think. Excellent bit of kit. Shame they went all Toy Story after that.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby JohnnyLeeds » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:55 am

yep thats a shame for sure, I like any skateboard company that uses 'flex' in its name - ala z-flex, variflex etc... er...
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Dom1 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:29 pm

And what ever happened to Powerflex ? Remember running multicoloured set of 5's back in the day.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby JohnnyLeeds » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:38 pm

and of course there is G+S Fibreflex, also I just discovered another one called Taperflex (?!), any more for any more?
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Dom1 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:05 pm

Still got my Fibreflex !
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Bit tired though....
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby JohnnyLeeds » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:33 pm

Are Fibreflex decks made out of some kind of fibreglass material or something? I've got an aluminium skateboard that I was gonna sell on eBay quite soon, check it out:

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These are quite nasty after you have bumped the edge of the tail / nose etc as the 'soft' aluminium tends to create sharp burrs that are lovely to grab with your fingers! I am a bit hesitant about selling this on eBay as it might lead to me getting sued! Does anyone have any idea what make this board might be? There are no identifying marks / stickers...
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby bigbassett » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:26 pm

I loved my Variflex Street Lite................I think I just admitted that!!!

Would love another one just to skate the local park with it and reminisce.

Waiting for abuse................and expecting it I guess.
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Re: Sv: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby micke » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:38 am

longboard gav wrote:fuck sake did you stop to breathe when you typed that up ?

Hilarious.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby parker_knoll » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:59 pm

JohnnyLeeds wrote:Hi folks!

Image



shit, i had the exact same deck!
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby bazza5070 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:10 pm

Jeeeeezzzzzzz! You guys that started in the 80s were spoilt rotten with fantastic boards like Variflex :grin:
Us 70s kids had to put up with as mentioned before the Surf Flyer, Scuda, Gekko (which became Pacer I believe), clay wheels with loose bearings!!!!
Bloody youngsters dont know their born :lol::lol:

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Re: Sv: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby micke » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:05 pm

bazza5070 wrote:Jeeeeezzzzzzz! You guys that started in the 80s were spoilt rotten with fantastic boards like Variflex :grin:
Us 70s kids had to put up with as mentioned before the Surf Flyer, Scuda, Gekko (which became Pacer I believe), clay wheels with loose bearings!!!!
Bloody youngsters dont know their born :lol::lol:

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I had a Grentec Coyote with unsealed bearings. The sealed version costed 30 percent more (129 crownes vs 179 crownes). We bought (stripes of) griptape at the hardware store. We made our own sky hooks from metal we found and hockey pucks under the tail. Didn't slide that well...

We skated kick-turn ramps on those things. I learned to mongo push But never to do a front side kick turn.

Shit back then. Shit today. Enjoyed it then, enjoying it now. This time I will learn front-side turns however.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Piers C » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:25 am

During the 'Second coming' of skating in the mid 80's Variflex completes were pretty much the first cheap completes you could get in the 'new; 30 x 10" size and small 'Polyprops' were still being sold and bought.
My Dad had a skateshop and these boards got a lot of people into skating, admittedly some just came and went with the craze but it lead others to better boards.
In fairness the 'pro boards' of the time had no kicktail or concave so they weren't that bad, the things that probably let them down more were the wheels and trucks.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby bazza5070 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:06 pm

To be fair once you reach a certain standard the board becomes secondary unless you are a pro rider. Back in around 1978 I saw some older guys about 18 or so sodding about with a double kick plastic Scuda and pulling frontside airs in the pool at Mad Dog Bowl!!! :shock:
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Vinnielopez » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:19 am

My second board what can I say we were dirt poor. I will say I spent many hours on the board as crappy as it was I learned quite a bit. Sadly we had no access to pools or ramps etc so it was all street skating.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Vinnielopez » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:49 am

This is what my first board was probably 1978. This is not the exact one but this I bought because it was exactly like mine
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My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby micke » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:07 pm

Vinnielopez wrote:This is what my first board was probably 1978. This is not the exact one but this I bought because it was exactly like mine

Fast looking!

An the king pin right through the deck. Ingeneous.


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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Nut » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:37 pm

I recognize that one VinnieL, Variflex Splash was my first board.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Vinnielopez » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:49 pm

Yes Variflex splash is correct. The yellow on is a California free former board.
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby richard phillips » Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:28 pm

after a few turbo-2s my first halfway descent set-up was a VARIFLEX- NATIONS, same parts with different graphics (world flags) and two R.A.D stickers 8). one was a "get a clue smiley" and the other was just a R.A.D read and destroy, in very 80s pink and blue super day glow neon :D :D :D :D
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Kick You » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:04 am

Allen Losi's uncle was the guy that made Variflex a shitty brand. He covers how it went down in Jeff's vid:

http://offthewall.tv/video/jeff_grosso_loveletters_to_skateboarding_losi
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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby TimWalker » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:41 pm

I had (still have) the same Variflex, but I painted it black because I was a bit goth. Hated all that 80's day-glo pink shit. :lol:

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Re: My first crappy skateboard... Variflex Egyptian!

Postby Dav » Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:09 pm

You what?!?!

My first board came out of a home shopping catalogue in the late 80s, plastic wheels, big bubble tailbone, and trucks that I ended up snapping just from dropping off a kerb, my mum went out and bought me the Variflex Air Attack as a replacement setup and I was absolutely over the moon with it, proper urethane wheels and trucks that were somewhat stronger than my previous setup.

I used to love my Variflex, but then I started to improve and realized that it wasn't anywhere near as nice as a custom setup, so I ended up with a white Corey O'Brien Reaper after the Air Attack, but yeah, those Variflex boards weren't amazing, but they were a much better skateboard to learn on that those cheap ass catalogue boards.
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