+ Buyer Beware: Seconds, Reproductions, Fakes, Frauds and a few collecting myths
Hosoi, Skull Skates and the Pink (and other color) Hammerheads
One of the most discussed decks as a possible fake is the pink and black Hosoi Hammerhead. Originally, the Hosoi "Hammerhead" was made by Skull Skates. Christian's dad, Ivan, came up with the graphic. Around 1986 or so, you can find ads in Thrasher and such for Hosoi "Hammerheads" by "Hosoi", ie. no Skull Skates. Also, you will see ads by Skull Skates that in effect read "if it doesn't say Skull Skates, it's not legit". So how did all this confusion come about? Based on postings to several forums, we found the following information:
....I have been told since the mid 90s that the pink and black hosoi's without the Skull Skates logo were manufactured on the west coast by a skateboard distributor. AWH distribution out of Ohio bought hundreds of them back in the day and upon receiveing them freaked out and sent them back.The same distributor was caught by World Industries making bootleg decks and t-shirts and selling them over seas.The same distributor was also caught buying stolen merchandise off of World Industries employees and caused a huge scandal in the skateworld....I have been offered this deck many times for as low as 65.00,I have never bought one. There is a more involved story about Hosoi hopping companys so often in the 80s that Ivan Hosoi had some manufactured and sold them.As well as skull skates supposedly making some without a skull skates logo. I got a lot of this info from Monty Nolder one drunken night,as well as talking to employees at trade shows over the last 7 or 8 years. Oh,this distributor is also the one responsible for the blind,world,plan b decks that have been showing up on ebay.These are new school decks with new school hole patterns with laser copies/left over slick graphics sublimated on to them. Remember these decks are not slicks like the old school boards.These bootlegs are sublimated. A process that didnt become popular untill 1998.Maybe 1997. Beware any Plan B-Sal Barbier Pollution, Plan b -Danny Way Lepercaun,Blind- Guy Mariano Accidental Gun Death ,Plan B-Danny Way Shotgun,101 - kris markovich Evil Kenivel , 101 - Gabriel Rodriguez Punisher/Penalizer , World-Jeremy Klein kid w/black eye world....and i think a couple more..
I might add that with Hosoi hopping from manufacturer to manufacturer in the '80s, saw many of these manufacturers stuck with decks that had been pressed prior to being informed they'd been dumped. For all intents and purposes, these decks were legitimate Hosoi decks. Of course, I'm sure some companies continued to press the decks on purpose. Also, feeding the confusion were the ads Skull Skates put out when they started making Hosoi's decks that claimed that "if it doesn't say Skull Skates on it, it's fake" -which is patently absurd! But despite the absurdidty, it worked. And the legend of the Hosoi fakes continues to mutate as it's passed on again and again.
What's up! I was going to trash your *fakes* page until I read it. Christian himself personnaly authenticated them. I friend of mine who bought a truck load of them about 10 years ago had Christian sign a number of them (these are usually the signed-ones on ebay) Christian said this guy made them for him and then kept on making them after he went to Skull Skates. Christian and PD tried to sue him, but as he explains in numerous interviews, the legal costs got to be to much in relation to the $2-$3 per deck royalty he hoped to receive from the law suit..
These boards were all produced by "Wee Willie Winkels" in Canada for this shady guy named Robert Rose while Christian Hosoi was under contract with Skull Skates....we ran the skull Skates' "real Hosoi" ad, and they started bootlegging the Skull Skates Hosoi's too! [I recently acquired one of these very Skull/Hosoi bootlegs directly from Winkels himself] Very unscrupulous to say the least! I guess in between Skull Skates and Santa Cruz is when they [Christian/Ivan] were selling boards out of the trunk of a car n'stuff,but I'm not sure. I was over it by that time. We paid Christian and Ivan royalties on every single Hammerhead we ever made in good faith even though neither of them seemed too interested in stopping the distribution of these bootlegs [it goes on until this day]. An east coast distributor was buying 5000 pcs. per order knowing they were not legit. We have heard rumours that the Hosoi's were getting paid royalties for the fakes but never knew for sure. These fakes are of terrible quality inside out and threatened our reputation for top quality construction because people thought we built that crap. I love Christian, and I had the privledge to skate with him many times during the course of his Skull Skates sponsership and beleive him to be one of the most gifted people I have ever seen skateboard [I first saw Christian in 1979 at Marina del Rey skatepark in the upper keyhole and knew then he was going to take skating to another level] but it's the most hassle I've ever had to go through in almost 25 years of making skateboards.
And as always, buyer beware! Check pictures on eBay very closely. Blemished decks or factory seconds are very difficult to spot. Before bidding, always check via the "Advanced Search" option, the seller's past history and feedback. Look for anything in the history that may look sketchy (i.e. using another user id to bid on their own items....yes, it happens....or listing the same deck every number of days). My best advice is to deal only with collectors you trust!