WARNING: LONG post, but if your not interested in reading it, I'm not particularly interested in busting my ass for you ;)
As I wrap up my college career here at the Ohio State University, I've found myself in an interesting position. I'm dead broke, and between whats left of my classes and my internship, I'm working all the time, with zero financial reimbursement. along with that, is my personal goal to never take a shitty job again, and hopefully, to only be working for other people a few more years at most. Since I'm not currently looking to settle into a real job here in Columbus at the moment, the question arises, what to do for some money?
Well, first, i think its important to quickly go into my background, and where i want to go with myself. I am an industrial designer, and have considered myself an artist since birth. I've always been fascinated by anything mechanical, and have always done things my own way.
At 15 I wanted to start surfing in the offseason, but in Ohio, thats just about an impossibility. Thinking what to do, I snapped back to a bright yellow sector 9 that I had briefly seen in a Pac'Sun window. With that in mind, I grabbed a hunk of oak from my Grandpa, and hand carved my first deck, with no real preconception of what it was supposed to be, or do. Since then, I've built at least 11 boards, with the goal of signifigantly improving my technique and board performance each time. I have reached a level where I am confident in the quality of my work, and feel it is worthy of being sold.
I have sold two one-off boards up to this point, and feel the next level of progression is to enter the realm of production. What I am looking to do, is build a run of 5 boards from my last one-off, specifically using that mold and template. The actual construction of each board will be unique, in which woods and composites are used, and how they are laid up. Additionally, I would like to treat the graphics as individually as the construction. I want to do 2-3 myself (a few painted/stained decks, a few incorporating something unique laminated to them, say leather, hide, pokemon cards?), and pass out the others to other artists. The goal would be to incorporate the personality of the new owner into the graphics, and make it YOUR board. However, being as that the complexity of the different graphic schemes is so variable in costs, I will be talking to people specifically about that after I figure out who they are.
Two boards are already somewhat spoken for, however I have not received any money, so those slots may open up. I would like to provide the first opportunity for the remaining 3 slots to NS, and possibly the other two if they open up. If there is not enough interest here, Silverfish is my next stop.
I am asking for 100 dollars up front to lock in the deal, and cover my manufacturing cost. I am paying myself $100 per board, and the cost of graphics will be individually handled. I will be charging a base price of $25 + $5 per color for stenciled graphics similar to the ones seen below. Outside artist and unique materials will be affect the final price separately.
That brings the price to $225-$250 for a wood/glass painted deck. Stronger lighter composites will increase that price if you are interested in them. Hardware will be handled separately, however, you can figure 50-120 for good enough to excellent components. I am not a wholesaler, and will be taking zero profit for these, just passing on the best deals i can find. That puts the actual, rolling cost to right about 350, or about the same ballpark as something like a Dervish.
So now, about the boards I build. I typically work with hard maple as my primary ingredient cause it grows locally, and is durable and snappy. Other species can be used in conjunction to drop the weight or change the flex. I build V lams, and don't typically work with veneers. What will be used on these boards is a two layer V-lam core heat pressed over the mold. They are lighter, last longer, and in my opinion, ride signifigantly better than ply constructions.
This is the deck I most recently finished, and will be the shape of this batch. it is 48" X 11.5" with approx 2.3-3/8 of concave. nice big mellow kick tail, stubby nose kick. theres a whole build album here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2593300&id=12435958&l=275a27a47b however, my camera got stolen right as i was finishing it, so i dont have as many pics as I'd like.
This board belongs to Unicorn on NS, and is one of my favs.
Theres a whole build album here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2451296&id=12435958&l=9c231d4cca
Here you can see the construction of the two layer core:
This board was one of my first to successfully utilize vacuum pressing and composites. the graphic is a layer of faux gator skin. It was built 5.5 years ago, and has been getting beaten to shit for years. it still rides great though, and gets ridden just about daily.
hand shaped bowl concave from a solid V-lam blank
This is it nowadays, next to the deck ive been working on for myself.
The deck above is something I've been working on on and off for over a year, for myself. its all hand carved maple and aspen, and will be laminated with a whole bunch of new composite ideas, and will basically be a snowboard designed for wheels. the spine down the middle was influenced by the salomon ERA boards, and is designed to reduce torsional stiffness between the riders feet, while maintaining a consistant longitudinal flex and high outwards [foot to truck] torsional stiffness. Theres a build album here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2419018&id=12435958&l=e6f32f67a9
note: this board is not done, and I still need to tweak out the dimensions to get everything perfectly symmetrical.
So wow, that was a very long post, but hopefully some of you are interested, and we can move forward on this!
Thanks NS, and just a heads up, skis are eventually coming down the line. I've had big ideas brewin for a while...