I have great memories of this Reese Forbes F500 Element deck.
It was the last skateboard I bought from Skate Shack in Bahrain in blistering 45C heat, before moving back to the (considerably) cooler climes of Nottingham, England. Yup – Element skateboards even made it out to the Middle East!
It was produced in 1996, so it’s now nearly 20 years old, which I’d say would qualify it (and me) as vintage in skate terms.
This particular deck is signed by Reese himself and according to the guy I bought it from, was one of Reese Forbes most popular graphics.
The top ply is a deep blue and has the classic Element Tree logo embossed in it. The thing that is really noticeable though, is how thin the board is. Skateboards in the mid 90’s tended to be skinny while people rode big 58 – 60mm wheels. Kind of an ungainly set-up by today’s standards but it didn’t seem to worry anyone back then.
I’ll be honest, there was an ulterior motive to this post, the history behind the board itself, whilst interesting, is not the main Reese for the post. It is, however, an excellent excuse to showcase some of Mr Forbes’ classically powerful street skating, with well-selected tricks, executed super cleanly and with huge pop. What he gave to the east coast scene in the late 90s often gets overlooked, in our opinion, so we felt we should highlight the contribution.
Hailing form the East coast, Reese blew up along with guys like Mike Maldonado, Tim O Conner, Donny Barley and Ricky Oyola in Dan Wolfe’s game-changing Eastern Exposure 3.
All these guys have legendary status now and EE3 marked the end of the early 90s pressure flip / Casper flip / late flip horrors and ushered in fast, clean street skating which still holds up 20 years later.
This video, whilst in reality a raw east coast scene video started a whole new movement in style, and propelled many of those involved to follow professional skateboarding careers.
To round out the decade, Element dropped a tour video in 1999 in which Reese played a major part.
Next, was another push forwards as Nike SB emerged in the early 00s, Reese had parts in both their early productions and those for Quiksilver. Of course, huge ollies and textbook 360 flips were also major features here.
After the Nike SB Nothing but the truth part, in 2007 Reese seemed to drop out of mainstream skate media, so it was nice to see this Berrics off-the-grid part that came out recently. Seems he’s lost none of his pop despite being 39!