The newly-released 2019 Madrid downhill boards all feature graphics by the unbelievably talented Tanner Leaser, a hot rod painter and pinstriper out of Texas. A skater himself, Tanner is behind many of the most beautiful and complex helmet paint jobs in downhill skateboarding, including this one on my Ironhead DR-1 aerolid.
The helmet shell was designed and hand-made by Zak Maytum, a legendary skateboard racer and product designer. Inspired by the Fasttrack speed skiing helmet that was popular among downhill skateboard racers in the late 90s X-Games/Gravity Games era, Zak built the DR-1 with additional interior space to accommodate an EPS foam inner helmet that provides considerably more impact protection, as well as thicker cheek pads to prevent facial injury—Zak suffered a nasty broken nose when he went face-first through some haybales in his Fasttrack—all the while maintaining proportions and styling that keep the helmet looking sleek and aggressive.
The name DR-1 is a reference to “Drenelum,” the Colorado high country creole version of “adrenaline” that was Zak’s helmet brand before he settled on Ironhead. Zak continued innovating in the aerohelmet space with the angular, aggressive DR-2 helmet that came out in 2014; the 2015 Ibex longtail, a trend-setting helmet without shoulder fairings; and the 2018 DR-3, a hybrid longtail with short fairings.
Tanner’s paint job is a tour de force of different techniques, from leafing and airbrushing to special wet-look candy effects and pinstriping. By far the coolest thing I own, this piece of art is like a tiny hot rod that lives on my shelf.
For more aerolids and fancy downhill helmets, check out the Aerolid and Fullface facebook group.