Visual Brain Gravity (VBG), a design studio based in the tiny country of Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, and specialising in web, graphic and identity design, has collaborated with Slovenian colleagues to create Dimension Two longboard skateboards.

It’s probably fair to say that, in most people’s minds, Slovenia and the sport of skateboarding aren’t obvious bedfellows. Since it became the first formerly communist country to join the Eurozone in 2007, however, Slovenia – which occupies a landmass smaller than the state of New Jersey, and has a population of just 2 million – is quickly developing into a cultural and creative hub.

VBG, managed by the three Žakelj family members, Boštjan, Gregor and Viktor, has a strong slant towards street-style graphics and illustration, but alongside its core roster of clients from the worlds of electronic music and sports (snowboarding and freeskiing), the studio also works on briefs for clients as varied as the country’s Intellectual Property Institute and an internet bank.

VBG’s latest project is a collaboration with inventor of custom skis Drago Debeljak and Matej Božicnik an industrial designer and is named Dimension Two, which marks the studio’s foray into a different sport – longboarding. Again, it’s probably not what you think.

Longboard skateboards – as opposed to surfboards – are a larger version of a traditional skateboard, typically measuring 84 to 150cm in length. Rather than using the boards to perform the conventional skateboarder’s repertoire of tricks, longboarders aim for distance and speed. The current land speed record for a longboard stands at 130km/hr.

VBG’s hand in the design, production and marketing has lent a sleek, slightly tribal feel to the Dimension Two longboards, which are crafted from layers of tough, wear-resistant beech, which they describes as “the mother of Slovenian woods”. Though small, the country features some spectacularly contrasting scenery – a coastline on the Adriatic, two sets of Alps (regular and Dinaric), deep valleys and grassy plains, all mostly untouched by urbanisation. As they explain on the Dimension Two website, “We, a nation of tree-huggers, are living in the heart of the most green place in Europe”.

It’s Slovenia’s ‘beautiful backyard’ that was the inspiration behind the boards, which, as well as being a green mode of transport, have become part of an alternative culture of urban adventure seekers. And, given that the current record for distance travelled on a longboard is over 12,000km (by New Zealand’s Rob Thomas), perhaps that’s not a bad way of seeing the country …

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