At LNV, we like and appreciate smaller board companies who are always innovating. Because they are smaller, small-time boardmakers have more wiggle room, being away from the prying eyes of critics and consumer bases. Instead, they have a clean slate to test their creations and work towards something unique that works.
Many starter companies however, begin producing boards without a strong base and footing in skateboarding and skateboard technologies. These companies never take off, as their constructions aren’t strong and they run into problems while operating the board. Shawn is an exception- a skateboarder for 7 years, Shawn at Voxel Boards knows how important it is to have a strong, tested construction and core before you can experiment with concaves and shapes.
We paired up with Shawn over the weekend and did a little interview with him to really get into the mind of a amateur-turning-professional boardmaker! Check it out below.
LNV: What prompted you to start making boards?
Voxel: The things that prompted me to make boards were all very personal. I had lots of experience growing up around tools, and I knew how to make things. I first wanted to make boards when I was about 14. It took me till I was 20 to realize “Okay, now I actually have the ways and means to do this. I’m not in school, my job sucks…Let’s do this.”
LNV: What do you think is your greatest selling point?
Voxel: I think our greatest selling point is that at our current size, doing limited releases and small batches let’s us improve quickly, and let’s us do weird and niche things that other companies can’t cater to. We have some really cool ideas for limited releases in the future, and the idea is to make sure that something stands out to you in every single one.
LNV: What sets you apart from other boardmakers in the industry?
Voxel: I think what really sets us apart is how we handle our graphics. We have more artists than we have board makers or business people in the company. So, when you go to order a board from our site, we prompt you with options for selecting your board. You’ll be able to choose “Custom Graphic” from those options, and actually work with our artists to commission something that goes onto your board. We also give people the option to upload their own image for use, but I haven’t seen anyone else approach it quite the way we have yet.
LNV: What are your plans for the future? Do you plan to upscale production?
Voxel: Well I recently got a job, and so far, it’s changed my life for the better. It’s also shifted my career to be more around woodworking, and craftsmanship. You’re going to see me trying a lot of new things within the coming months. Lots of unique materials and new construction. In terms of production, we currently only stock the 3310 on the site, so we’re going to be doing re-releases of a few of the old boards pretty soon. Lots of redesigns! I’m also going to be implementing a lot of changes to the manufacturing process, so we’re going to get higher quality, and hopefully try to get more recognition in the community.
LNV: What was your greatest inspiration for the 3310 and its shape?
Voxel: The inspiration for the 3310 came a lot from my desire to do better. I was on the like, 5th mould revision on another deck, and I knew that if I didn’t switch projects, I would get burnt out. I had a lot going on in the company at the time too, so I spent time sorting through that, and working on the new design. It took me a few days to design the mould, then I designed a shape. I spent a whole week just making the mould, and when I was done with it I slapped on the veneers a few layers at a time. Finally after two weeks, we had this giant, rectangular double-kick blank. It felt a lot like holding a certain, indestructible phone in my hands.
The Voxel 3310, as the name suggests, is one tank of a board. It’s been curbed, slapped, hopped and smashed, and yet the rails stay pristine as ever. The slightly square-ish, rounded off figure is utilitarian- maximizing the effective foot platform and increasing the amount of kicktail that has an effect on flip tricks.
The 3310 has a hefty tub concave which flattens out near the street-inspired kicktails for a high pop and ollie-able capability. The back comes with a minimalist, stylish wood-grain graphic with a stain to keep it clean and stickers an absolute possibility!
Pre-order on Voxelboards.com now!