Since the age of 12, Johnny Umana has been fascinated with the lowrider culture. His love of the Chicano lifestyle continued to grow as he read magazines like LOWRIDER and Teen Angels, while also being mesmerized by the loud-colored cars he saw on the boulevard. As time passed, Johnny began to notice a gap within the culture and wanted to provide the youth with something to continue the lowrider tradition. As a result, Lowrider Decals and Lowrider Skateboards were brought into the world for a much greater cause than just new merchandise.
Nearly seven years ago, the ideas behind Lowrider Decals began with the help of Armando Avila who designed the stickers. Johnny then started negotiations with LOWRIDER in 2012 and reached an agreement in mid 2013. The brand officially launched that October, making its first event appearance at the annual Las Vegas Super Show. Following the debut of Lowrider Decals, Johnny felt there was still a void to be filled within the lowrider community. Publication of Lowrider Bicycle Magazine had stopped and Johnny wanted to give the younger generation another outlet enriched with street culture to enjoy. Johnny explains, “My wife, Sandra, had always talked about how our culture is so diverse with such deep roots and that I should reflect that in the boards.”
As a teenager, Johnny recalls growing up during a time where there was a mini-truck phase. “My first lowriders consisted of a mini-truck, a 1958 Impala hardtop, and a ’58 convertible that I never finished. At the time, a lot of my friends owned mini-trucks, but I always wanted a classic lowrider. What better than a ’58 since it was an original and the very first year Chevy introduced the Impala. Even though it wasn’t cool to have a ’58 at the time, I was captivated by the car’s lines and uniqueness.” From the get go, Johnny liked to stand out on his own while doing what he loved and also share the same interests as his peers around him.
He eventually became further involved in the lowrider community by joining Rollerz Only before transitioning over to his family of 19 years (and counting) at Lifestyle C.C. “When you’re young, you’re influenced greatly by what’s in at the time. As you get older and gain experience, you understand that it’s not just the wheels, interior, and a paintjob that makes a lowrider, it’s the camaraderie you have with one another that’s built upon the art, passion, and lifestyle you love, no matter what club you’re from.”
For the last three years, Johnny, Sandra, and their immediate family have been designing one-of-a-kind skateboard decks, grip tape, and wheels dedicated to their love of the lowriding culture and its history. Their custom-built skateboards are handmade of quality material with a lot going into each design. Lowrider Skateboards come in the form of a C-shaped street deck and can vary from 7.75 to 8.5 inches in width depending on the rider. Each board consists of seven-ply Canadian maple wood, while designs, mainly done by Johnny and his brother, aren’t completed until they reach approval from kids. Longboards are also available and all merchandise can be found online at LowriderDecals.net.
Lowrider Skateboards can also be found at The Garage Board Shop in East Los Angeles. With the same goals in mind, Johnny has linked up with this L.A. local spot to further help the cause of creating an active and promising lifestyle for today’s youth. Just as the case goes for skaters who would like to use the facilities provided by The Garage Board Shop, team riders who are sponsored by Lowrider Skateboards must carry and maintain a 3.5 grade point average or at least be actively goal oriented. In addition, those riders who reach a 4.0 in their studies will receive a free board. Although he openly admits to not making a large profit, Johnny insists that his skateboards are produced more for the impact he makes on future generations and not for the money.
Eventually, Lowrider Skateboards would like to feature at least one car from every club on their boards with the car owner and club’s permission. Currently, the company has scheduled non-profit events with The Garage Board Shop where children will have the opportunity to create their own graphics. Also, be on the lookout for some new designs to be featured at this year’s Las Vegas Super Show.
Johnny would like to thank The Garage Board Shop for all their support and love they have shown to Lowrider Skateboards. He would also like to thank Armando Avila for his great decal designs. Furthermore, he would like to extend his gratitude to the LRM staff for giving him the opportunity, while also providing their continued support, ideas, and suggestions.
Most importantly, Johnny and his family would like to thank the kids of the lowriding culture for giving Lowrider Skateboards the honor in riding on their boards.
8136 E. Rosecrans Ave.
Paramount, CA 90723
The Garage Board Shop
759 S Atlantic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90022 (323) 266-5782