A road trip can change your life forever -- writing about one turned Jack Kerouac into one of the leading lights of his generation, and going on one led to the first night in a generation that DJ Qualls didn't have to Kerouac himself off. What DJ'll clearly argue is the second-coolest thing ever to come from a road trip, Erickson Longboards.
Expertly crafted using reclaimed hardwoods sourced from downed trees, salvage operations, and even an old stable in Tennessee, these decks from EL were conceived on a road trip its Seattle-based creator took after getting laid off; basically, he got so many compliments on his personal board (which he built using skills gleaned from years of woodworking classes) that he ultimately decided to put the daily grind behind him -- a wise move, since you really shouldn't do rail slides on a longboard anyway. Made primarily from walnut (though also from cherry and the incredibly dense Osage orange) ELs are approx 46in long, and come in two styles: a classic teardrop shape, and a brand-new blunt tail version with a slightly longer wheel base, both of which provide an ultra-stable ride, also what petting zoos call the most expensive type of pony excursion they've got. Variations in the wood make each board unique, but you can further customize your deck via grip tape patterns (dual strips, or front & back discs), wheel color, or with various trucks, including the Bear Grizzly by Landyachtz, as opposed to landyachts by Bear Grylls, which are entirely constructed using his parachute, and various Cuisinart parts he just happens to find laying around.
If that type of board ain't your thing, EL also makes sweet cutting boards, "intentionally" rough-hewn cheese knives, and various signet-style rings, all using the same hardwood, which, along with his bravura performance in The New Guy, also explains why DJ's career hasn't missed a