The Evolution of a Longboard Deck: Machine 3D X-Tuff

28Feb

All our longboard decks are a product of many miles of skating, redrawing, pressing and cutting, experimenting with different constructions, and then more skating, until we have things exactly as we want them.

Our search for the best shapes and profiles started way back in 1999, and has been ongoing ever since. We’ll never stop finding things to change and improve as long as we’re shaping.

The latest board in our lineup, the Machine 3D X-Tuff, is a great example of this constant development.

The Machine 3D, itself a development of the Lush “Machine” deck, has been around since early 2016. However, we actually started development of it two years before that in Spring 2014, with the completion of our 3D rocker concave.

Left to Right:

  1. Initial protoype.
  2. “The Machine 3D wasn’t the first 3D board in production, but it was the shape that we had in mind when we did the 3D Rocker Mould, and it was the first protoype cut from the initial blanks. If you like 3D rocker, I think this is the best shape in the lineup that makes the most out of the 3D Concave.” – Jooz

    The first blank shaped from the then newly-developed 3D rocker mould, this was really Jooz’s idea as a development of his favourite “Machine” deck he was skating at the time. Check out this blog post from 2015 for more info on that…

    It used elements from the Chopper 3D, Grifter and original Machine shapes to make a “speedboard with a tail.” It’s just 9ply maple, so it’s a big, heavy beast!

     

  3. First Re-Shape
  4. “We wanted to make a fast freeride style machine, that pops fast and works anywhere. I also wanted to keep it under a meter long, so it will fit in most bags and stays within airline luggage regulations,” – Jooz

    We got very close to the the final shape quite quickly with the Machine 3D. Based on the original Machine, it’s a simple “downhill bazoooka” shape, pointy at the front, with a street-influenced steep tail. 

    Keeping it short enough was a big deal for Jooz, like all of us here at Lush, he travels a lot!

    This prototype was 8ply maple, which is the same as the first production run. A little lighter than the original monster, it flies a bit easier!
     

  5. First Production Run
  6. We asked our buddy Jethro Haynes to do a graphic for us, and hey-presto, the Machine 3D was born.


    This deck has definitely seen some action! After a few months of skate trips, Jooz had inflicted some heavy damage to the nose and tail of this deck, and it had started to loose its pop.
     

  7. Dabbling with Fibreglass
  8. Once we had the first version of the Machine 3D shipping to skaters, we started to look for ways to improve it.

    As a lot of you were using the deck for faster freeride and downhill, we wanted to stiffen the deck up and make it a bit more damage resistant. Enter X-Tuff…

    By pressing the deck with two  layers of fibreglass and soaking everything with epoxy resin prior to pressing, we can make the deck way stiffer and tougher. This prototype didn’t have the same layup as the final version on the right, but we knew we were onto something as soon as we skated it.
     

  9. Jooz’s current ride
  10. Jooz has been skating this deck from midsummer 2016. It’s the same as the final production version.

    It’s been to several freerides and trips across Europe, and shows very little of the damage that is evident in his earlier all-wood protoypes.


    This deck has taken some serious abuse, and so far it’s holding up way better than the first production board that saw Jooz through the start of last summer.


    Jooz testing on the “mean” streets of Bristol…


    …and Tenerife! Kai Menneken Photo.

    We tried a different colourway for this graphic, but we didn’t like it as much. If you dig it, let us know in the comments below!
     

  11. Machine 3D X-Tuff – Final Production
  12. We finalised the graphic at the start of 2017, and we’re stoked how it came out.

    Thanks to all the input we’ve had from Jooz and customers of the first production run, the Machine 3D X-tuff is way stronger, significantly stiffer, holds its pop for longer,  and is over 200g lighter and 3.5mm thinner than the original prototype.


    Re-worked graphic from Jethro – check out his stuff at jethrohaynes.com.

     

    Every one of our decks goes through a process like this, and it’s never ending. We are and always will be constantly updating our decks based on feedback from our own feet, feedback and reviews from you, and our team riders.

    If you have one of our decks, please find it here and leave us a review!!

    You can check out more info on the Lush Machine 3D X-Tuff right here.