Scot Cameron bought his first skateboard 40 years ago at a garage sale. Living in California at the time he had been inspired by surf culture, which is where skateboarding first began.
Going back to the future even before Scot’s time takes us to the early 1950’s, where surfers were installing roller skate wheels on makeshift boards—determined to find a way to surf the streets at times when the ocean swell was too gentle.
Since then the sport of skateboarding has evolved amidst a sometime rebellious counter culture meanwhile firmly embedding itself into the collective psyche.
Scot was born in Kitchener-Waterloo. The family moved to Saskatchewan during his first year, and while he was growing up spent a year in California. They ultimately ended up back in Kitchener via Saskatoon.
“The spark really ignited for me in the mid-eighties,” says Scot. “It was in grade 7 or 8 when my friends and I kind of looked up to this group called the Bones Brigade with Tony Hawk being the most mainstream name. We all started skateboarding, and emulating what they were doing.”
With no dedicated infrastructure available at the time, the boys were street skating, teaching themselves tricks on parking curbs or bombing a hill. “We were lucky we had a spot in Kitchener which was a vacant lot where they allowed us to set up some ramps,” says Scot.
In high school Scot found himself spending a lot of time in the shop classes, and he vividly remembers his teacher Thomas Schmidt, who recently passed away.
He wasn’t just any teacher; he was always there at the right moment. He set me up with my job that became my career, and later helped with the body work on my (1967 Ford) Fairlane when I was getting it on the road.SCOT CAMERON
Scot also became an assembly leader, developing a talent for organizing school events, making short films, and performing on stage.
Going on to study radio and television broadcasting at Centennial College, Scot says, “I had to scratch that itch; I didn’t want to just automatically do what I was most comfortable with at the time.”
But after a year Scot found that he wasn’t happy with the state of the industry. “While it has has changed to the point where I would probably fit in now, it was pretty rigid in 1994.”
Changing lanes, Scot completed his apprenticeship and was a full-time automotive technician at Gord Kaster Automotive for more than 25 years.
More recently, Scot has teamed up with Jason Marshall to found Commonwealth Chassis Works, the grassroots custom fabrication, installation, and auto service shop.
World of Wheels
Putting his media arts background to good use, Scot found a natural creative outlet in his work as a freelance automotive journalist and photographer.
His writing credits include feature stories and a column, rounding them out with photographic assignments shooting races, car shows, and automotive celebrities.
With print media in decline, Scot found the time to start a new project with the intent of increasing his engagement with the skateboarding community.
In 2017 he partnered with fellow skater Will Mackie to found Comacan Skateboards.
“It’s a skateboard brand which started in the U.S. as the Colorado Massachusetts skateboard collective, or Coma for short,” Scot says. “Will had the opportunity to bring the company to Canada so we bought up the existing stock and accounts, and launched as Comacan Skateboards.”
With the proliferation of public skate parks the space is free, so cost of entry is essentially the equipment. As skaters progress, the boards become a consumable, eventually wearing out or breaking.
The philosophy of the company is to supply top quality skateboard decks at low prices, to keep the sport fun and accessible. Comacan offers standard popsicle decks, along with classic old school and smaller boards for a great variety of nose and tail shapes.
The Local Skate Shop in Hamilton, ON recently debuted Comacan’s latest, the Reverse series. During the current state of emergency, boards are available directly through the @thelocalskateshop.ca drive-thru program.
“We appreciate the support through these tough times and we look forward to skating with you on the other side of this,” says Scot.
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