Makai Project is of no consequence but rather born of a philosophy. Meaning seaward in Polynesian, the push behind Makai Project is to head to sea by the implements of our own making.
Born and raised in Palm Beach County, the shop is the brainchild of two friends, Steve Brown and Scott Tesoriere, who found that the means of enjoying the sea has become increasingly commercialized, plastic and modular. Makai Project is the attempt the break the trend and return to what's natural.
Using domestic and exotic wood species, and clean surf-inspired lines, Makai Project returns to timeless craftsmanship techniques while utilizing state-of-the-art technologies in the construction of each skateboard and handplane. Based in Jupiter, Florida, each board design has been rigorously tested along A1A and our favorite breaks between Carlin Park and Double Roads.
Our process for skateboards begins with individual pieces of wood stock, from three inches wide down to an eighth of inch thick, each meticulously chosen for look and strength. Laminated together, these layups are cut into thick veneers, which in turn make up the decking and bottom of each skateboard. To make the decks, we press the veneers along with a proprietary plywood recipe, in handmade molds of our own design, using a laminating epoxy—hand-applied—known for its strength and resiliency. The boards are then hand-shaped and finished using an industrial-grade polyurethane to give them a high gloss shine and superior protection.
The handplanes use a similar process, with each stick of wood chosen for its water-resistant properties, aesthetic beauty and strength. Using a jig made in-shop, the wood is laminated together to give each a sever camber the length of the board. For the strapped version, stainless steel hardware is laminated into the layup, acting as anchors for the strap. The blanks are then hand-hewed and shaped, finished with tung oil which is environmentally friendly and accessible for riders to reapply at home when needed. The camber, a 21-degree curve, runs from nose to tail, allowing for superior control when carving the wave while body-surfing.
The graphics on our boards are original designs from local artists Diana Ramirez and Jorge Marquez of Rainy Sun Design. The graphics are applied by a silk screen process directly on the raw wood, and hand-painted with oils and watercolors when additional colors are desired. Everything is sealed, ensuring the integrity of the art and wood, making it as permanent and original as the board itself.
The impetus behind Makai Project is a desire to reconnect with the sea. The implements we make are to bring the rider closer, through riding some waves, or doing a little sidewalk surfing when the swell is flat. The sea plays a huge part in our lives. When not in the shop, you’ll usually find us on the beach surfing or lounging, on the boat sailing or cruising, or on the reef diving and fishing. We firmly believe that the means of making the most of the natural beauty and bounty of the big blue should not be commercialized and plastic, but original and hand-hewed.
It’s not a concept if it’s a lifestyle, we fully believe in that. We’re striking our own path, making some pretty rad things along the way, all in an endless pursuit of making it back to the sea. Join us for the ride—endless, perpetual and ever-evolving.
Jorge E. Márquez Jaramillo
Diana Coco Ramb