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Long Live the Skatar

A skatar, ladies and gents, is a guitar skateboard.

This is a musician called Dave Flood. He's playing a skatar. Legend has it that in the early 80s, Drew Steele from the Surf Punks rode his skateboard onto the stage of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. He picked up his skateboard, which was fully equipped with a strung up neck and pickup, and rocked out a skatar. That’s not to say Drew invented the instrument—his entrance just made it well known (and his stellar ability not to crash while riding on its strings).


The skatar (which means "scouts" in Icelandic) is an obvious representation of West Coast punk from the 80s, but also a hybrid of joy for skateboarding guitar players. It was also the subject of a Santa Cruz museum exhibition.

Testing out a skatar by Skate Guitars in Argentina.

Like a regular guitar but better—more fun to play, for sure—but also more raw. Warning: there is a model of the skatar where the board isn’t cut, so actually getting high notes on the fretboard is not that easy. Depends on the design and the cut of the board, but generally, the body of the skatars are smaller than your typical Strat and potentially lighter. Some pitches are higher, but all in all, it’s a skatar. It’s more about the feeling of playing a skateboard in your arms.

Riding a skatar and breaking it.


Is inevitable. Most skatars are recycled masterpieces which you can no longer ride (wheels are accessories).

skatar punk as a doornail

Punk as a Doornail
This always comes up when talking about the skatar. Tied quite closely with the history of the skatar, Punk as a Doornail was an experimental punk band from Orange County with a bassist named Keith Irish. His skatar had two separate pickups for two sets of strings—bass and guitar. His trick: he played the skatar with a Hennessey gin bottle. Cool.

skatar galasso
Tym guitars skatar

Galasso Skate Guitars
Ezequiel Galasso and Gianfranco De Gennaro run Galasso Skate Guitars in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and they recycle shredded boards into skatars. Sold for roughly $1,000 plus shipping, they say the 14 layers of pressed maple that make up a skateboard are enough for the hardest of rockers. They only release small series every so often, so there is a limited supply. Everything is handcrafted with love.

Tym Guitars
Tym from Tym Guitars in Brisbane, Australia, built a skatar for an art exhibit about skateboarding in 2009. He built a neck onto a deck and sold it for around $700. Even down to the volume and tone knobs made from wheels, as well as the bridge made from a truck to keep it true to the board. He says he’ll be making another few from the 1939 decks he has coming, stay tuned in the New Year. Nadja lives in Berlin and writes about weird and wonderful gear all the time. She's on Twitter - @NadjaSayej.