Local Artist Puts His Work to Wood on Skate Decks

David Broughton’s Work Can Be Found All Over LBI
By JON COEN | May 15, 2019
Courtesy of: Broughton

Beach Haven — It may seem an odd shape at first, that oblong oval hanging at the new Russo’s Italian Restaurant, The Shack board shop, the Black Whale Bar and Fish House and the Chicken or the Egg in Beach Haven. But it actually makes perfect sense. A skateboard deck is a functional piece of art, especially in an area where skating is such a part of life. The decks have been adorned with artwork reflecting these restaurants, done by local artist David L. Broughton, who has been laying down all sorts of creativity on skateboard decks for years.

“I had been into art since I was 9 and started skateboarding at age 13,” explained Broughton. “I skated through my teen years, going to skate parks in the area and meeting with the pros. I was getting inspired from the skate videos. Doing artwork on canvas made me wonder how I could put two and two together.”

His earliest influence was Home Brewed Skate Shop in Beach Haven, which shuttered in the early 2000s. He was watching videos from Girl Skateboards and Toy Machine, skating the old Ocean Acres park and, like most skate kids, getting kicked out of many spots on the Island. In his travels, he met Ben Margera, who would later become the focal point of MTV’s “Jackass” and “Viva La Bam,” as well as pro skater Brian Wenning of Habitat Skateboards.

But it was a video in the 411 Video Magazine series that first inspired the deck art on Ed Templeton. Templeton was the owner of Toy Machine Skateboards, and the video featured his artistic endeavors.

“I knew that’s what I wanted to do from then on,” said Broughton, “so one day I bought a blank board and sanded it down and started to attempt to paint on it. I was mostly self-taught. My medium of choice was acrylics, but I draw, too. I’ve been doing art on skateboards for over 10 years and selling them for over five. I have art all over LBI and Atlantic City.”

Most of the boards he gets are old, worn-out decks from Donny Miller at The Shack. They get sanded and prepped for art. People come to Broughton with ideas, much as they would go to a tattoo artist. In addition to the themes of local businesses, he has iconic images from the area and nautical art.

“I ask the clients what they want. Some know of an image they want; others need ideas. I get ideas online and we go from there.”

There are actually two of Broughton’s boards at the Chicken or the Egg.

“I knew Torr from back in the day. We used to skate together. And now we have some mutual friends that work at the Chegg. They talked to the owner, Mark, and he said he would like a skateboard deck for the restaurant.”

The Chegg has always had skateboard decks on the wall, a reflection of its youthful spirit. But this was something more customized.

“After seeing the one skateboard, he wanted another,” Broughton said. “You can see my boards as soon has you walk into the restaurant, above the front register.

“Designing skateboards all over LBI makes me feel proud of being part of the community and being recognized for the work that I do,” he added.

Much of his work can be seen on Instagram at @DavidLeeBoughton.

— Jon Coen

joncoen@thesandpaper.net

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