Wes Humpston Bio
Combining two art forms
I started drawing as far back as I can remember at John Muir elementary school in Santa Monica copying from books and things that I liked. Then I would copy from magazines like Surfer, Hot Rod, and Creepy. I loved Creepy Mag. I started skateboarding with Craig Hollingsworth, his brother Dean, and Kevin Kaiser. I rode down the driveways and streets in front of Craig's house on one of their Hobies with white chalky wheels that left white tracks where we had turned on the driveways.
I started body surfing around age 13 and soon got into bellyboards. Craig, Dean, Kevin and I started making them at Craig's garage first and we would draw and paint them like something we saw in a surf mag or movie. We drew Stony caricatures we picked up from Zap Comics or an album cover or something like that.
Paul Revere=Sunset Beach?
Around 1974 I started making wooden skateboards out of any kind of wood I could find. Some I made out of flexible ply wood: I tied a brick to it to put rocker in it, then fiberglassed both sides of it with sand stuck to the top for grip. The trucks were held in with wood screws and I had Cadillac wheels with loose bearings (this board was a health hazard!). We would skate the local bank, St. Clement's, everyday and then heard about a bigger bank at a school named Paul Revere. We were told it's like" Sunset Beach."
Then we heard about some pool (I think Tony Alva told Kevin and I) so we went and checked it out. I was so blown away by pool riding! Watching TA doing Upside Down Burt's on vert was unreal. I had never seen anything like it and till this day pools are my favorite skating to watch!
Dogtown and Wide Boards
I kept making bellyboards and skateboards and hooked up with Jim Muir and we started up this little company call Dog Town Skates. We came up with the first wide boards anyone had ever seen: 8", 9", 10", 11", and 12" boards. We would go buy warped planks of hard wood and cut the first concave boards out of them. It seemed like the better board I had, the better I would skate and was always making new boards with new drawings and paintings!
In 1979 and 1980, skateboarding went bust and I got into the graphic arts biz, A.K.A. printing. I free-lanced doing art for friends. I did a bunch for Jim Muir and the 80's DT crew. I did art for Natas Kaupas's Santa Monica Airlines board and his skate shoe with Etnes. In the 90's I did art for Burt Lamar's snowboard company and for many surfboard companies, but missed making my own skates.
The Rest is History
In the mid 90's Ray Flores came by my house and I showed him a board I had made for him. He flipped, saying that nobody was making old school skates, and wanted me to start making them so he could sell them in his shop.
I started Bulldog Skates, designing the boards and doing the art. I hooked up with my business partner Rich Fozmire, who was a collector and wanted to do a high quality product line of boards and wheels, and I have some friends riding their models, too. So that is how we got to this point today.