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Natas Kaupas

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Natas Kaupas

It’s hard to describe the feeling of seeing this guy skate for the first time. I must have been around 13 and it would have probably been at Johan’s house when we got Santa Cruz’s “Streets on Fire” movie. His part of the movie still stands out as one of my top five skateboard parts of all time. He instantly became a hero of mine and still remains so to this day. I owned a couple versions of the board above – even that exact colorway.

“Natas Kaupas (born 1969) is a semi-retired professional skateboarder of Lithuanian descent. He is often referred to as one of the first true professional street skateboarders. His career began in 1984 when he was discovered by Skip Engblom, who ran the skate company Santa Monica Airlines. SMA became his sponsor and soon thereafter, he appeared on the cover of Thrasher magazine doing a wall ride. In addition to creating the wall ride, Natas got a lot of attention for taking the flatground, street ollie to new heights; he was the first to ollie a standing trash can on flat ground. In 1985 Natas turned professional and he became one of the more popular figures in skateboarding. Natas was among the first to incorporate handrails into street skating.

Such was Natas’s popularity and impact on street skating that in 1990, he became the first skateboarder to have a professional model shoe with Etnies. In 1991 Natas left SMA to start 101 skateboards. At the time it was a popular company but after a few years Natas moved on and the company died.

In 2004, Natas started a new own board company, Designarium under the manufacturing and distribution of NHS. Natas’ art background led him to focus Designarium on artists rather than pro skaters. He has commissioned artists to interpret his original Santa Monica Airlines Panther graphic (originally drawn by Kevin Ancell) into their own vision. Each board is produced in limited edition runs.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natas_Kaupas

Watch the 4 part Natas Bio on YouTube


8 responses to “Natas Kaupas”

  1. johan Avatar

    That was so much fun to watch. It’s been so long since I have watched that part. :-)

    The ‘related videos are cool, I found Ray Barbees part from ‘Ban This’. …sick

    Will check out the Bio as soon as I get a chance.

  2. Dan Avatar

    Ya, that was super fun to watch again! I remember my Natas board as being one of the first where I could ollie fairly high. (Also remember our dad fiberglassing the tail, which made it slightly heavier, but added crazy pop!)

  3. J Avatar

    natas was always one of my favourites. he influenced me in skating curbs and street. i liked him so much that i bought that firehose album that ‘brave captain’ is playing during his part in streets on fire. and close to your heart i bought it in hampton beach on a trip down there with some footloose lads when we went down to skate there and in boston.
    sean sheffey and natas were the kings of the backside ollie.
    remember the natas mini? i had one of those. purple. i snapped it.
    thanks for that steve it was a good stroll down a fond lane.

  4. qua Avatar

    dam you just brought me back when i got my first kitty board i was skating really big man there was nothing i didnt try to ollie over my friends said my style and skate power was up when i got that board pound for pound natas and tommy G oh i was a beast on the board also but in nj is was hard to find places to skate so me and my friends made the grind station we alot of people skating that place oh it was in plaindfield nj

  5. lee Avatar

    Does any one no how much the above pictured bord is worth as i have an original, had it for years and never used it.
    If any one can help or is interested please mail me!!

  6. prophit Avatar

    “CANT BELIVE” i still have my natas from when i was about 12.its on my wall now”that shit cant stay in a loft”Gullwings,SantaCruze speed deamons,dem where da dayz.Well liked Franky Hill as well tho just a tad later!

  7. chris garrison Avatar
    chris garrison

    i just got a 1988 natas kaupas panther 3 deck its pritty shreded but still fun to ride an old school board.