There’s a lot of talk in the industry regarding whether a board made in China is really a good board. You have to face reality; the vast majority of skateboards sold in the US, and worldwide, is made in China. But some artisans have rediscovered the art of hand crafting skateboards, just like the surfboards used to be made. Erik Maki is one of them: he makes skateboards with a spin: the hard rock maple and red oak he uses to make the boards get custom paint jobs.
He was a senior at the University of California, San Diego, just months away from graduating with a double major in linguistics and international studies. But Maki had always wanted to learn how to work with wood, so he set aside a few hours a week for the course off-campus.
Now, four years later, the 26-year-old El Segundo resident has found a way to combine his newfound passion for woodworking with two hobbies: skating and surfing.
The end product is Maki Longboards, a business he launched late last year that sells custom hardwood skateboards that are supposed to simulate the feel of riding a wave. Recognizable by their "vintage" surfboard look and soft colors copied from classic cars, the boards have started showing up in stores from San Francisco to San Diego, including a couple in the South Bay and the Westside.
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