We started testing the first moulded 50/50 frames in 1998. They were poured in California, available only in “medium” size, and were solid black with UHMW baseplates.
After testing for a few weeks we knew the moulded frames were going to be good. Jon Julio was featured in the first ad highlighting the technical benefits of the frame and the Juice System.
Interestingly, the ad for the international market focused more on the skating. This might also be the first time "Feeling the Juice" was used.
This shot of Jon Julio was taken a few months after the original 50/50 frame ad and features a black juice system with his pro model grindplate. This was very close to what his USD Throne ended up as.
The first pro model skate with 50/50 frames was the Jon Julio USD Throne, shown here in 1998. The final production looked a bit different, and it was only available in the US thanks to Scott Walker, but it was an incredible skate.
In 1999 we moved the frame molds to China to get better pricing and faster production. The first run had silver paint in the logo and a hang tag with Jon Julio and Josh Petty. If you have a pair of frames without paint, they were made in the USA!
The inside of the hang tag explained some of the features of the 50/50 frame.
The outside of the hang tag had pictures of Jon Julio and Joshua Petty.
This is what the frame packaging looked like fully flattened. The box was designed in Huntington Beach, we provided the artwork. The skater in the silouette is Champion Baumstimler. (pro tip: If you lined up multiple boxes on a shelf, the FIFTY50 and the red stripes would match up)
Frames, baseplates and axles were sold aftermarket as a replacement or for customization. We sold the baseplates in sets of two rather than sets of four, assuming people would wear down the soul on one side faster than the other.
Jon Elliott was the first rider to test the 50/50 Razors adapter plates and provided a ton of feedback on how they could be improved. This ad with Jon ran in Daily Bread issue 33 around Winter 1999.
The Razors adapter plates were made out of aluminum and required the skater to drill into their boots to mount.
This is the front Razors adapter. The cutout was notched so it would fit over the end of the Razors soul.
This is the back adapter. It was really thin, maybe 4mm at the most, which was enough to hold the frames securely.