‘I Never Leave OB’ skateboard decks available at OB Hardware

Josh Utley - I Never Leave OB

There is a stocking stuffer of a different sort for Christmas this year in Ocean Beach.

The “I Never Leave OB” skateboard deck and hardware come in black and white and are now available at OB Hardware, 4871 Newport Ave. The unorthodox gift comes just in time for the holidays, thanks to Josh Utley of RMOB Revoked Skateboards & Co.

It occurred to Utley while skateboarding by the hardware store, “How cool it would be for OB Hardware to offer its hardware to local skateboarders and skateboard shops in Ocean Beach.”

Hardware is what skateboarders refer to as the nuts and bolts that hold together the skateboard deck to the trucks and wheels, explained Utley. He added the term is “a play on words and an opportunity for local businesses to support each other for the holidays and beyond.” Utley added he thought the little bags of eight nuts and bolts “would make great Christmas stocking stuffers.”

Pointing out that, since skateboarding consists of a lot of DIY (do it yourself) projects, Utley realized OB Hardware was the perfect spot to launch the “I Never Leave OB” skateboard package since it “is a local business a lot of skateboarders shop at.”

Utley himself visits the store frequently with his wife for gardening supplies and other hardware needs as they arise, and has subsequently gotten to know their staff over time, which led him to discover that “some of them are skateboarders.”

The relationship between Utley and the hardware store has gotten so close that he has co-opted the phrase, “I Never Leave OB,” that the hardware store first coined a few years ago. Utley just loves that saying noting, “It really cracks me up because a lot of residents almost never leave OB. With the idea for skateboard hardware, it made perfect sense to do a collaboration with OB Hardware and produce a skateboard deck with that saying.”

After discussing his idea with fellow skateboarders and Obecians, Utley became convinced the proposed collaboration would be well received. So Utley then pitched his collaboration idea to OB Hardware owners Jenae and Joe Kuchman during the summer. After some discussion, Utley received their blessing and began working on the product packaging and skateboard graphic which is now available at OB Hardware.

A cornerstone of Ocean Beach for the past 103 years, OB Hardware has been under new ownership since 2019. “OB Hardware is now in a state of transformation,” said Utley adding the new owners “have restored its 1919 feel while implementing touches of today, with new inventory being added each week as they work to make OB Hardware the place you want to shop for all your hardware needs.”

Utley, who has been skateboarding since age 9, has been captivated by the sport ever since first witnessing a man performing on a skateboard. “It just blew my mind. That excited me, and I spent all summer learning how to do what I saw that guy do by holding onto a fence, just trying and trying until I got it,” he said.

Regarding the origin of RMOB Revoked Skateboards & Co., Utley said: “The group gravitated together and skateboarding was an activity we did along with riding BMX bikes. As we progressed and became better, and with the movement to get the (OB) skate park in the late ’80s, early ’90s, it just became a thing (to do).”

Utley noted it “took about 14 years for us” (skateboarders and supporters) to get the Robb Field Skateboard Park. The park opened in 2000, thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers including local business owners, iconic skaters, residents, and then-San Diego Councilman Byron Wear and his staff. They all worked together to ensure the fundraising and development of the beach community’s first skatepark. The donations and corporate sponsorships for it were also put together with the help of Kanten Russell and Andy MacDonald, local pro-skateboarders.

“A lot of us who put in that effort (Robb Field Skateboard Park) are the original founders of the company (RMOB) which was at first a clothing company because we had access to screen printing and stickers at Point Loma High,” noted Utley adding, “There is a lot I want to do with helping people in the community: That’s what we’ve always aimed to do.”

The prospect of skateboarding in the future has never looked better. And the answer why is simple, according to Utley. “It’s affordable, it’s efficient and it’s environmentally friendly,” he concluded.

by Dave Schwab December 13, 2022 in Features, Peninsula Beacon, Top Stories