The Process: Skateboards
Each skateboard made at Makai Project is handmade and
hand-hewed, starting with the presses down to the veneers, plywood
We start with planks of wood of various species, cut down into strips in order to make the outer veneers used for the deck and bottom of each board. Using a laminating grade epoxy from the boating industry, we glue these wood strips together—some as thin as an eight of an inch to as wide as six inches, depending on the design. Clamped and left to cure, we then plane down the solid mass of alternating woods to get everything flat and level. These are then cut into thick veneers, roughly an eighth of an inch or thicker. This process does two things for the board: 1) Gives them that awesome aesthetic; and 2) Gives them strength—the individual pieces of wood act as stringers (much like a surfboard), giving the board linear strength and a little pop.
Once the veneers are cut, its time for the press. We use two different core material, bamboo and a proprietary plywood developed in our shop. Using the same epoxy recipe (a taste of cabosil to give it super-strength), we hand apply each coat to the wood, then place everything in the press. Using a special technique, we can assure the veneer on top matches the veneer below for a continuous flow from top to bottom.
We then apply pressure to the press, letting it sit over night to let the epoxy cure, giving the board its shape. Everything is cold-pressed to maintain the integrity of the wood grain and fiber—no steam here folks.
cured, we pop the blank from the mold. After some care, using
surf-style design as a guide, we hand shape each deck, finishing them
off with a waterproof coating and beach sand for grip from one of our
favorite home breaks, which allows the rider to stay on their feet
without covering the wood with tape.
The result is a pretty fly look with shapes and curves to kill, not to mention top performance, a comfortable feel and strength to boot.