About Lonnie Toft
|Lonnie Toft is unarguably the Father of the Eight
Wheeled skateboard and is an inspiration to all eight wheeled skaters. A
professional skater for the Sims team since approx 1976, Lonnis is known for
his inventive creativity both on and off the board. Lonnie would tell others to
"expand your skateboarding by experimenting with different designs and
riding techniques". Both of these aspirations become apparently
obvious when one considers the eight wheeled deck.
Sometime in approx. 1972, Toft and his brother concieved the idea for the first 8 wheeled skateboard. The first one was made from unfinished plywood, clay wheels and roller skate trucks. By 1976 the design had progressed to a 20" x 28" deck, Sims wheels and Bennet trucks. The deck was finished with shag carpetting, outragoues engraving and hand-painted Lonnie Toft trademarks.When Sims finally released the Lonnie Toft model 8-wheeler, the first production 8 wheeler ever, it was 13.4" x 29", .425" thick made from Canadian rock maple laminate with graphite. The width at the tail was 12.9", the kick lift 1.05" and it weighed 4.5 lbs.
Lonnie's contributions to the skateboarding world were numerous. In an interview with Brad Bowman about the Cherry Hill skatepark in New Jersey, Brad says of Lonnie, "He is truly one of the most important innovators of his generation in skateboarding and had numerous impacts on the sport, riders and public. he did demo's religiously, often staying longer than his contract called for talking to fans and educating parents, etc... He defined the term 'ambassador of sport.'"
Lonnie's influence went beyond skateboarding as well. Toft, along with Willi Winkels and Tom Sims, is credited with being one of the inventors of snowboarding. In fact, the first production snowboard was from Sims, and it was the Lonnie Toft model.
For more information about Lonnie Toft, both past and present, visit Lonnie's website at www.junglelandskates/toftdesigns.