Why be bored in school? Go to a Skateboard School!

This Toronto District School Board alternative school design program, where students earn high school credits by creating their own brand and running a skateboard business / professional design studio, now offers even more SK8 Entrepreneurship Opportunities & New Courses including SK8 & Art Co-ops, INDIGENOUS SK8 Studies, Physical Arts & Mindful Living...


*Drop-in Info Sessions are held every Wednesday at 9AM in the OSF Classroom (Room 3, 707 Dundas St. W.) during the school year...APPLY NOW!!! -----PLEASE NOTE, due to the COVID-19 School Site Closure, students interested in applying to start school in September should call Teacher Craig directly on his cell: 416-888-0640

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Days of the Dead

Hey, I’m 17 years old and I really enjoy what we’re doing at the Oasis Skateboard Factory. This is my first year at OSF and it’s a great school if you want to go into graphic designing or building your own skateboard/longboard. The theme I was trying to go for was a Days of the Dead skull, but with a nice stained background. We went to the Clay and Paper Theatre workshop to help out with the Night of Dread, and that’s what inspired me to do this deck like I did.

I had a basic design in my head that I wanted to do, so I found an image of a skull on the computer and took out a bunch of stuff and just made it a bit bigger. The first stencil layer was just for the white background and the second stencil layer was the face and the candle. To finish off my design I just filled the rest by hand with colour. I like the contrast of the white on top of the dark stained background.

I feel like I could have done better, but this was my first longboard. Next time hopefully it will turn out even better.

OSF students sharing their expertise...

Today students from the Ith Center (an alternative school in Cooperstown, New York) got insight into the stencil graffiti method of skateboard graphic application as part of their visit to Toronto.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pro-Build Day 3

Each student design team will be sanding and putting the finishing touches on our four new custom shapes created in the Roarockit studio before selling these prototypes to support four local, national and international charities of their choice: Kid's Help Phone, Youth Line, Boarding for Breast Cancer, and Skatistan.

On Guard...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Student Presentation at Literacy Day Conference

Students were invited to show their work and talk about "Skateboard Literacy" at a conference organized by the Alexandra Park Neighbourhood Learning Centre.

Portrait with Tree (Ghost Tree in Matte/Gloss Finish)

I’m seventeen years old now and I’ve been practicing visual art for as long as I can remember. This is my second year working with Craig and my first year at OSF. One responsibility I have here now is to prove myself as Student Representative. I value many things in life, one thing being love. So why not make a longboard with my own artistic interpretation of it? At first I just wanted to make a board that just looked visually appealing until I came across a simple (though accurate) stencil I made of my girlfriend recently. I decided I would use that stencil and incorporate another graphic that represents a common interest between the two of us. So that’s where the tree came in. We both love the fall season and I decided a bare tree silhouette would work well with my original stencil.

So I had my basic design and I liked that there weren’t too many layers of stencils, but I still had to come up with a background colour. I thought a fade would look great, but I wanted something that communicates the season I was meaning to express in a way that wasn’t cliché. Almost instantly I decided on a fade from grey to pink. I mapped it out and it looked great. I started with the fade and then stuck down the portrait stencil.

For the tree I used a painter’s tape technique where I layered the board with painter’s tape and cut out the shape (freehand) of the tree I wanted. I thought a matte finish would work because it would take less away from my design so I sprayed that on. Somehow it didn’t quite feel complete, so I threw on a gloss finish stencil of another similar shifted tree growing from the bottom and a branch peeking across the top right only visible where light hits it.

Over the years I have learned that sometimes it’s better to make an art piece that comes from one’s own experiences, values, ethics, opinions, or things that represent you or feelings around things that you would like to share or express. Because I used people/things that I value and care about, my design came to me much more organically as opposed to something that only looks impressive and conveys nothing more. I am absolutely satisfied with my longboard design and I am glad I had a chance to incorporate the stencil I made of my girlfriend into it.

I hope she likes it. It’s for her.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sweet Music

I myself have been skateboarding ever since I was young. About a year or so ago I really started to get into longboarding. That is why I chose to build a longboard. The inspiration behind the design of my longboard was my girlfriend. The design of my longboard includes my girlfriend blowing away a dandelion, which then turns into a music staff that houses the song “The Final Cut” by Coheed & Cambria, one of our favorite songs.

The way I made the design started by taking a picture of my girlfriend, then laying it out where I wanted it on my long board template. After that I hand drew the music staff and notes, as well as the drips coming off her sleeve. The music curving up the board gives the design a nice flowing rhythm. Having the drips at the bottom of the image gives the design a nice balanced look. After getting my design how I liked it, I then broke it down into separate sections and separate layers.

The amount of layers you have in your design is how many stencils you have to cut. To get a layer ready to cut you use a sheet of acetate to trace out your layer. Once you have your layer traced onto your acetate, you are then ready to cut it out using an X-acto blade. After all your layers are cut, you’re ready to spray.

This longboard being my first ever made, I have to say I’m super happy with how it finally turned out. I can’t wait to take it down a nice big hill. After I’m done riding my custom-built and custom-designed longboard, I might be hanging it on my wall. I might even give it to my girlfriend, but shhh, it’s a secret!

Gifts from the Pacific

My board was created as a gift for my Mother’s birthday, so it was designed in a way that I felt would be pleasing to her. As a 16 year old with a Pacific background and a taste for the arts, what better gift could I have come up with? My deck design includes a turtle, lizards, and hibiscus flowers in the background on a blonde board. The turtle represents family, a sense of direction, new beginnings, strength, adaptability and protection. The lizards on my board are symbols of good luck, happiness, serenity, elegance, beauty, wealth and prosperity. The hibiscus flowers represent delicate and fragile beauty.

All images on the board were produced by cutting them out of acetate then spraying them onto the board with spray paint. The hibiscus flowers create a pattern of repetition using tints of blue and pink. The images are all balanced along the board, with the turtle in the middle and a lizard on each side.

Personally, I’m quite happy with the way my board turned out. I love that it has a nice island feel to it. I spent quite a bit of time working on this board, (this being the first board I’ve ever created) and I think I can say I did a pretty damn good job. =D


I’m the seventeen year old Studio Assistant in this wonderful program. I got into this program last year when I was at the Brant Street location of Oasis. When I was there I was introduced to the skateboard factory class and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to get into this new expanded program. Now I am in this new program in the Scadding Court Community Center and loving it. I’ve made 4 decks so far; the latest addition to my decks is my butterfly deck.

I decided to use a drawing I had in my sketch book and put it on my board, so I did. I was able to turn my drawing into a stencil for my board. For my design I used several layers of stencils because I didn’t want any breaks in my stencil. I ended up using six layers of stencils for my board.

I signed this deck with “Elixir” because I decided to put my brand that I want to start on my decks. This is the first one I have put my logo on. I am looking forward to putting my Elixir logo on all the future skateboards I will build at the Oasis Skateboard Factory!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Job Interview

The original idea behind my board is that the character I created is waiting in the call room for a job interview; the eyes in the background represent the paranoia that my character feels in this situation. All eyes are on him.

I am sixteen years old. I like to skateboard and pretty much everything that goes along with skateboarding, including making skateboards. The inspiration behind my board is a Zoo York memorial board for Harold Hunter, a dead pro skater and NYC legend. I used spray paint and stencils that are made by cutting out acetate. I tried to create contrast with the colours I used; the eyes in the background are supposed to create repetition and patterning. I wasn’t really trying to communicate with anybody other than myself; I just freehanded a character that really caught my interest and wanted to expand on that sketch.

After looking at the end result, I feel good about what I created. It turned out a lot better than I expected. This board took me over two months to make. I put a lot of my creative energy into it and I am stoked! I guess that’s all I can ask for.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I grew up in the Chinatown/ Little India part of the East End of Toronto. I have been skateboarding and drawing graffiti art since growing up in that area. I would say the theme of my skateboard graphic is a sort of Wu Tang clan approach to Asian art; an example would be is how I try to combine Asian figures with a more urban style art. I guess the main point I’m trying to make is that even in the midst of such an urban environment there’s still things that are around us every day that people don’t know about or care to recognize. Ancient things still haven’t been discovered, which kind of reminds me that the world isn’t fully commercialized.

I chose a street style deck instead of a long board to make as my first board. I have been using street decks for over 6 years, so it made more sense to do that. Since then I have made a long board version of the same design. The materials I used to paint them are regular Montana and Krylon spray paint through an acetate stencil with a clear coat spray over the finished decks. I like how the colour scheme has a fade, how the gold Buddha looks like a statue, and how I balanced out the flow of the deck at the nose and the tail with the use of pagodas and Asian calligraphy.

I’ve learned from making this design that you can’t always rush things; if you take things slowly what ever it is will turn out a lot better than if you rush through it. I also learned that if one has an idea and sets his mind to it any thing is possible, and you don’t have to have money to be rich. It’s all about a good state of mind to be happy. Overall, I like how the deck turned out and can’t wait to work on other designs.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Visit from Jesse Watson, founder of Homegrown Skateboards

Before his flight back to LaHave, Nova Scotia after the opening of an exhibition of Homegrown Skateboards at Harbourfront Centre, Jesse dropped in to check out the skateboards our students are producing in class and to encourage students in their future career goals. (3 Homegrown skateboards shown here are part of the display on to January 3)


Hey, I’m 17 years old and go to Oasis Skateboard Factory. I’ve been skateboarding for a couple years now and I really like it, so I came to this school where pretty much it’s all about skateboarding and art. Since I’ve been skateboarding for a while, I decided to make a longboard of The Beatles. I got the idea from a friend because it’s his favourite band, so I made it for him but I’ll ride it a bit before I give it away.

My longboard has a high contrast. It has a black fade so you can see the wood through the black. It looks almost like an antique deck. The board came out better than I expected it to. I was really pleased; it couldn’t have come out any better. On my next decks I want to use a little bit more colour.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pro-Build Day 1

In a series of workshops, students are being mentored by Ted Hunter to learn the skills needed to custom shape skateboards and make their "dream deck". Today our four OSF teams conceptualized, measured, cut, sanded and realized four new foam molds (L-R: a drop-through longboard, "the rockit", old-school pool & a drop-deck longboard).

Art Entrepreneurs

- Visit to Show & Tell Gallery and talk with owner Simon Cole about the economics of art. Students working on cutting their own multi-layer skateboard stencils were inspired by seeing the different techniques used by international stencil artists Logan Hicks and C215.
-Talk about the local poster scene and business of being an artist with Michael Comeau, who will be collaborating with an OSF student on an upcoming limited edition series of boards.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I’m seventeen years old. This is the first deck I have ever made.
The theme had a lot to do with drug abuse which is why there are syringes in the background and also a well known alcoholic, Amy Winehouse. I was actually going to make a deck with the Andy Warhol cow on it, but I had a dream about making this deck and so I changed my mind. I think the message I’m trying to communicate is an anti-drug statement, which is why I made Amy Winehouse look dead and like a zombie. “Crack kills” is the main idea of my longboard.

I used a one-layer stencil on my background and a two-layer stencil graphic on top. The two main principles of design I used were pattern and contrast. I used a pattern on the background to create a wallpaper effect of syringes and I used dark colours in my main graphic against the light colours of my background to create contrast.

I really like my first board and although cutting stencils was tedious, the end result was amazing and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I think I will definitely use the skills I learned here again in my life for other projects.


I’m 16 and kind of new to the whole skateboard program. My deck is based more on colour than picture, pulling the eyes to the center of the board (focal point). I think I was trying to communicate how youth spell in text messages and on Msn or Facebook.

I taped up the whole board except some single parts where I would be spraying. Then I took off all the tape, let it dry, the put more tape on and sprayed it again. Then I cut out a stencil for three triangles on each side of the X in black. I finished it up with white triangles in the black ones and a D: face in the middle creating a very balanced design.

I felt very satisfied with the board in the end. The design was something that wasn’t over done and it was more than enough. I look forward to making more boards and seeing what I am capable of.

Submission to TDSB Olympics Art Show

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Incoming Meteor

Hey, I’m 17 years old and I’m just a normal kid homegrown in Toronto. I just love to skate and draw so this program (or “home away from home” as I think of it now) is perfect for me. I guess my theme or inspiration is space because you never know what’s out there, just like life. The stars are people; there’s so many but you never see them all.

After I got all my thoughts down on paper, I had to put them on my board. Instead of spray painting, I used a method called sponge-dabbing with acrylic paint. I used analogous colours in my meteor by going from yellow through orange into red. The logo in the meteor is my brand logo called “Cosmic Dragon” which I hope to continue later in life.

Being a skater and always buying my boards from stores, making one was so much better! You can make your own skateboard however you want… colours, patterns, styles, anything you want can happen. The one thing I can say is I love my board and Oasis Skateboard Factory is awesome! Also, thanks to our community partners Roarockit Skateboard Company!!!!!!


I’m from Ottawa and moved here like 3 months ago or something. I found out about this program before I moved here and thought it would be pretty sick. The theme for my graphic, as you can see, is Del The Funkee Homosapien because he is too ill.

The colours in the background are to bring out his image. I used rolled on acrylic paint for the background and then sponged acrylic for the image of Del and his name. I used patterned lines and bright colours that I think flow nicely with the deck.

What I am trying to communicate through this longboard design is that Del is awesome and that’s about it. I think my first skateboard is ok. That’s all I have to say about that.

Outreach: Supporting the Dundas Living Centre

This skateboard is being donated to an auction in support of young adults with cognitive and/or physical disabilities and is part of this student's series promoting female skateboarding.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Coffee Vacuum Experiment with Sam James

Students got a hands-on demo grinding beans, brewing siphon coffee and a tasting with award-winning barista Sam James today. Sam talked about his experiences skateboarding, starting an entrepreneurial business, latte art and compared the science of the vacuum pot to our vacuum bags that we use in the skateboard shaping process. We are really excited (or caffeinated?!!) to build him a custom designed skateboard as one of our first sponsors of the school year. Visit Sam James Coffee Bar at 297 Harbord St.