Bamboo | Janka Hardness: 1410lbf

A grass and not a hardwood, Bamboo (of the Bambusa genra) is one of the greenest products we use in the Makai Project shop. Comparatively, bamboo removes four times the amount of CO2 from the air then an equal mount of hardwoods. When bamboo is harvested, there is no need to replant—where one shoot is cut, up to five can grow in its place.

When it comes to look, two different colors are available: natural and carbonized (also called caramelized or smoked). Natural is a pale, blondish color, that finishes a honey to gold color. The carbonized color comes in a medium brown that finishes a chocolate hue. Not die, the smoked color comes from heating the bamboo, which augments the color while maintaining the integrity of the bamboo.

In terms of strength, bamboo is almost on par with steel, let alone other hardwood species. All of this, paired with some sweet looks, bamboo makes an ideal wood for skateboards. Its strength, matched with flexion makes for a great core material as well as a decking veneer. Since bamboo is a grass and rather fibrous, it is processed differently then other woods.

Stripped and cut into inch by quarter-inch strips, these strips are processed by boiling and bug proofing and then laid up into boards, with two main methods dubbed Vertical and Horizontal (also called flat). 

Vertical Grain Bamboo - sustainable wood skateboards

Vertical Bamboo

The vertical layup stacks and glues the strips on its side, making for more individual strips per panel. This process gives the panel extra rigidity, with four times the amount of glue lines then the horizontal process, making it stiffer but also adding some variation to the look. The bamboo nodes—growth rings—create small figures, almost like eyes, almost like birds' eye maple.

Horizontal Bamboo - Wood used in Makai Project Skateboards

Horizontal Bamboo

The horizontal process glues strips of wood flat, side by side, creating inch wide exposed faces. These strips are ripped from the bamboo and planed down, and unlike the vertical strips, lay with the natural flexion of the bamboo. This gives this paneling a little more flex and less rigidity, while the look not only varies from strip to strip, but also includes the segments (nodes) throughout, giving it an added dimension in terms of decking veneers.

Wood description home, click here.