Growing up, I lived at the top of a hill. At the bottom was my high school, with a mile of perfectly paved sidewalk in between.
Each morning, I’d grab my skateboard—a battered thing I stole from a friend’s backyard—and point the nose downhill, carving every driveway like it was the face of a wave. The early-morning wind blowing through my hair was the only reason I made it to class.
Handcrafted in Denver, the Kota SPAD XIII ($314) is much slicker than my old board, but the feeling is the same. The cambered deck is cut from Wisconsin maple, and the textured finish on top means no grip tape covering up Old Glory. After all, these colors don’t run—they fly.