Deck, Barret - USA

Slalom Skateboard Racer Profiles

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Adam Trahan
Phoenix, AZ, USA
Phoenix, AZ, USA
Posts: 795
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2002 2:00 am

Deck, Barret - USA

Post by Adam Trahan » Tue Jan 14, 2003 5:31 pm

Barret "Chicken" Deck


Adam: Barret, why are you affectionately known as "Chicken?"

Barret: Well it's no secret I have a large beak. A long time ago I used to have a red Mohawk. You should be able to figure out the rest of the story. For some reason it just stuck.

Adam: How long have you been skateboarding slalom?

Barret: I've been skating for around 30 years now but I was never really into slalom until recently. I remember working at Vision back in the late eighties and coming across a pallet of new old stock boards. There was mostly Sims taper kicks and wood kicks. Hidden in the stack we came across a vein of Sims Turner team boards some screened some blank. Eventually I set one up, we would go skate this banked hip at this carwash. Then ride the Turners in this parking garage next door. We did it a few times but not a lot the only other time the Turner came out would be in front of the house where we would set up beer cans. Jeff Grosso, John Lucero, Ricky Barns, Duane Peters, some others, and myself would sit around and ride the slalom board and laugh at each other. Then in 2001 Eric Groff told me he was going to Morro Bay and I should come check it out he said he was going to enter. I thought it sounded like fun so about two weeks before Morro Bay I dug through my collection and got out all the weird slalom boards and tried to set up something I could ride. I skated with Eric Groff, Beau, Marc Du Paul, Chaput, and some others trying to get it down before Morro Bay. It was the first time I actually really tried to slalom. I was hooked after Morro Bay. I'd say I've been at it for about a year and a half now.

Adam: I've heard that you have a great timing system, can you tell us about it?

Barret: I have a Brower timing system that consist, of light beams for each the start and finish. The times are recorded on a hand held receiver. It requires that you maintain line of site between the start and finish otherwise it won't pick up the times. It's really easy to set up and easy to use.

Adam: Do you always practice with your timing system?

Barret: We used to practice with it all the time over at the OG SSS spot it worked great there. We started riding other spots and I just wanted to skate and couldn't be bothered with setting it up so I just stopped bringing it. I haven't used it since before the FCR series started. I actually just set it up for the first time in months yesterday and it was a blast.

Adam: How did Pocket Pistols Skateboards come to fruition?

Barret: I have a large collection of skateboards so before Morro Bay I tried out all the different slalom boards. I had to see what worked best for me. I ended up riding a NOS Ick cutaway and I loved it. Four cones into my first qualifying run it snapped I was done and so was my one and only killer Ick. After Morro I road an old Santa Cruz graphite loaded board. On one of my last practice runs before the Golden Gate park race it split in half. Gary Cross let me use one of his Comets and I got 4th on it so I started riding Comets then two days before the first La Costa I switched to a Roe. After La Costa not a lot was happening slalom wise. I ran into an old friend who builds world cup sailboats. I started talking to him about making boards and told him my ideas. He told me what I needed to do so I made a mold and we started making prototypes. Some of the people I ride with were stoked on the boards so we started a little team. The original team was Richy Carrasco, Duane Peters, and myself. Recently some other heads that have started riding Pocket Pistols are Eric Groff, John Lucero, Dave Hackett, Kenny Mollica, Tom "Wally" Inouye, Ed Economy, and Rene Carrasco.

Adam: I am familiar with the construction techniques used in Turner and "sandwich" type boards such as G&S and Santa Cruz models. The construction of Pocket Pistols looks similar to Ick Sticks and Roe Racing boards. Can you tell us a little bit about the composite construction that differs Pocket Pistols with the previous two companies? (Wood layer etc.)

Barret: Ick sticks are basically hand laid up with fiberglass foam and resin for the most part unchanged for 25 years or more. Rick makes one of the best boards out there he inspired me to make my own boards. If he had started up making boards sooner Pocket Pistols might not of ever happened. Roe's are vacuum bagged with high-density foam, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and epoxy. Pocket Pistols are similar to the Roe's as they are vacuum bagged and share some of the same materials. Although they share some of the same materials the lay up is completely different. The Pocket Pistols use a veneer of hard rock maple on top that seems to add just the right amount of dampening. It also gives you more strength and a solid area for your mounting hardware.

Adam: Tell us about your favorite model.

Barret: My favorite board right now would be the 36" Super G. It rides so good it feels like a guided missile going through the cones. I ride it more than any other slalom board I have.

Adam: I've ordered a Super G for myself. I am excited about the prospect of carving a course at speed. Longer slalom boards are a "niche" category even in the world of specialized slalom equipment. Can you tell us about this models history? Who has placed where with it? How was it developed?

Barret: The 36" Super G was basically designed after the GS board just bigger. I initially made the board in hopes of selling some before the long board world championships at Folly Beach. I had them done about a week and a half before the race. I didn't get the word out so I didn't sell any. I set one up and started riding it at our big hill that we had a hybrid course bleeding into a big GS on the faster part of the hill and I couldn't believe how fast and stable it was. It worked great right from the start. The board has had great success racing. So far I've placed 2nd in both the Bob Turner Memorial and the Vision La Costa open as well as 1st in the first Stink Hill GS race. Kenny Mollica placed 1st on his at the Vision La Costa open and Dave Hackett placed 1st on his at the second Stink Hill GS race.

Adam: I would personally like to thank you for offering the slalom skateboarding community your services as a custom board builder. Can you tell us what drives you to make boards available to such a small community? It is obvious to me that you are not doing this to make money.

Barret: I guess the satisfaction of riding something I made with my own hands, or to see someone else riding one of my boards. Hearing them say how good it works for them or how it's improved their skating. Being able to give a complete set up to one of my friends kids and seeing how stoked he is and watching him ride it for the first time.

Adam: I enjoy running a course that I or one of my friends has set. Just a couple of friends on a good surface running the cones, walking back up, talking about slalom skateboarding. Challenging yourself and if there is a stopwatch, it's even better. I haven't been to a big race yet, but I am sure that it will not eclipse the more personal pursuit of riding with just a few friends. Can you tell us what you like about running a course?

Barret: I enjoy the challenge of any course. If I don't like a certain course I still like to figure it out there's always a good line you just have to find it. I like to race, I like to try and improve my times. I like that all the people I ride with constantly are pushing each other and talking smack. I just like to ride skateboards period.

Adam: Thanks a lot Barret. I appreciate your time and effort. Good luck with your company, Pocket Pistol Skateboards.

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