Prototype Shapes Releases First Board // Daniel Engel’s Trident

Max Capps and I have had a special relationship for a number of years now. Max was really the first one to call me Papa, and while I now have my own kid and have shaken off a lot of the Papa-life for the time being, Max remains a good friend. For years he has tinkered with his gear, created his own custom setups, and chopped down factory made stuff to fit his needs. You can read up more on the history in a Skate Slate feature on Max and his Choplord ways here. Not everyone has understood his ways and most of the time he barely shares any details about his ideas. We might only see 10% of what he is truly creating and testing. His bag is deep. Now after all these years, Max has decided to actually put some of the ideas to task and work to develop unique, custom, rider-centric designs in a new brand he’s developing and calling Prototype Shapes.

Tyler Topping photo from their recent trip to Canada.

While the releases will be few and possibly far between, the first board release from Prototype Shapes, Daniel Engel’s Trident, is dropping now. Get to know more about the new brand and the new board and be sure to act fast if you think you want one, because once they are gone, they are gone… because it’s just a prototype…

More from Prototype Shapes:

Prototype Shapes is a project I have had in my back pocket for many years. This company will be a way for me to bring my ideas and shapes to life for people in the skateboard community. Quality over quantity, each deck is made in limited runs, both to keep things new but more importantly to be able to push the boundaries with creative decks and fresh ideas.

Back in 2010, I worked for Ladera and I had a pretty good grasp of what I liked, but the DH game was starting to change at the same time. I started to make tons of one-off shapes and ideas for the DH and cruiser line, mostly for aesthetic purposes. It all changed when I made my first unique asymmetrical shape. This shape would spark the idea behind this company and would be the start of making boards that were intended to be much more specific for how I wanted to ride. While employed with Ladera, I was restricted to how much and how quickly board lines could change. Since then, I have saved the idea of Prototype Shapes for a time when being sponsored wasn’t my focus anymore.

After completing my Sector9 years, my next venture ‘Chop Lord’ was born. Little Boards and narrow trucks are taking over, and the need for race specific setups is in more demand than ever before. The concept started as changing your current board into something new/better and grew into making boards that are for specific setups and hills. I was constantly making new race decks for myself with different components to address my own specific needs and demands. New ideas were taking shape almost as quickly as the decks were being finished.

The initial plan was to use my shapes paired with homies graphics to put out new cool products on a consistent basis. But after I made Daniel Engel a shape to race on, the focus shifted to making pro model boards that would work well for the people who shared a body size or style with the featured skater. Skateboard Racing is changing very dramatically right now, and these decks are designed to be on the cutting edge of modern design and theory. If you are passionate about dialled in skating, having a board that is made specifically for you can be a huge advantage.


A key difference for Prototype Shapes will be that deck models will only be produced in small batches (around 10 – 20 decks), and not made again. As riders skills and ideas progress, so too will the shapes they ride. I hope that each run is in turn treated as art, as well as quality performance goods, with each board filling a specific gap in the board selection available at that time.

My projects have resulted in many stacks of boards with a different goal in mind. Papa Fred always asked me if every new board was going to be the final one, and my response remains the same: ‘It’s just a proto’. I feel that we are always learning and gaining new perspectives on what needs to happen with our skateboards and setups to be faster, Prototype Shapes is my way to enhance the board performance options available to each wave of growth.

You can expect classic inspiration, wild shapes, quality construction, niche decks, and race tested rigs being made available to the public in limited production. Additionally, these decks will be inspired by some of my favorite skaters that California has had over the years. The first deck to drop is Daniel Engel’s pro board, the Trident. This board is designed for someone 5’10”, 165lbs, 9.5 shoe size on narrow hangers and large wheels. Overall wheelbase options are 23″ or 24″.

For purchase info, head over to the @protoshapes Instagram page to lock yours in before they are gone.