Friday, March 10, 2017

The SKATE MATE Platen: Don't Be Fooled by Imitations

DISCLAIMER: Boring rant about people stealing our Skate Mate platen concept and video of them stealing our artwork (by Don Will) to promote it.


When we set out to design the SKATE MATE platen for screen-printers interested in printing skateboards I had spent years researching the internet to see if there were any solutions like the Skate Mate available. I spent years pouring over the Skate and Annoy website, the Skull and Bones Forum and other sites like them and no one was making any commercially available solutions like our Skate Mate platen.

Months after our Skate Mate was finally released to the public, out of nowhere another company, Never The Less Screen Printing Supplies, popped up that had taken our design, slightly changed it and was offering a knock off "press" for sale on ebay. At the time I tried to look up all of their info online (facebook, youtube, etc) to see how I could have possibly missed these guys because I would not have put as much time and effort into developing the idea if someone else had a viable solution. It turned out that all of their online accounts were created at least a few months after our platen was made public on youtube and there was not one indication that these guys ever printed on skateboards or even skated for that matter. As a skateboarder and screen-printer of decks you tend to get to know everyone else out there that is doing innovative or impressive work in the field of screen-printing decks via the internet. And somehow these guys never popped up anywhere, not printing a deck in a garage or skating at a skatepark. How could I have never heard of any of these guys? Some of their terminology they used to describe their press on there site was identical to terminology that can be found in our earlier Skate Mate videos. And according to their info they had the same "we are just skateboarders that came up with this idea" story as us. That really didn't make sense because they were obviously more of an upstart screen-printing distributor than mere skateboarders that actually came up with an original idea like they claim.

Luckily Deaf Brian over at Deaf Skateboards is like a screen-printing museum curator. He has every possible piece of screen-printing equipment that I can think of if it pertains to printing on skateboards. And as luck would have it he managed to haggle Never The Less Screen Printing Supplies down on ebay to buy one of their presses. I have seen it first hand and will be the first to say that it is nothing like our platen. It's not even close in capability and quality. Their claim that their press has the "ability to print on nearly any wheelbase size" is bogus. If you want to start printing your own skateboards and you don't care about printing wider wheelbases by all means look into the toy presses that are sold on ebay. But if you want a solid piece of equipment that will likely never break, that was designed by actual skateboarders, I would suggest that you consider the real deal, the Skate Mate platen. You can pick up either the original Skate Mate platen or the tabletop version right > HERE. Or better yet, start scouring the internet for info on how to make your own jig and save yourself a couple hundred dollars.

I don't mind competition and I wouldn't care if there were 10 other huge corporations selling their own version of a skateboard printing platen but when someone else is just out there claiming that your idea is their own creation, copying and pasting your online info, claiming to be something they are not, that just seems a bit shady to me. The moral of the story is not to be fooled by imitations and everyone is out to cash in on an original idea that can be sold in the "extreme" sports market.

The only reason this is even worth posting about is because I just ran across a video of them even using our Jolly Roger artwork (by Don Will). Jesus Christ, if you can't even design your own platen from scratch at least use some original artwork!





P.S. If you think their video that shows them printing our t-shirt graphics on decks is impressive, check out some of the designs that you can print with our platen:












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