After university, I was suddenly a carpenter… just one without any woodworking skills whatsoever.
In lieu of law school, I followed a girl to Houston and got a job working for her parents. It was a bold move that ended up being the best decision I ever made. Despite the odds, I quickly bonded with my new boss/woodworking mentor/future father-in-law, Hugh. It turned out we had a lot in common, not the least of which was our mutual love for skateboarding.
So while he was teaching me how to work wood, Hugh also shared stories of what it was like to skate around Houston back in the 60’s before skateboarding was even a thing. Back then, kids would take their roller skates into the garage, borrow their dad’s power tools, harvest those crappy steel wheels, and slap them onto a piece of wood. That was that.
I was immediately inspired by the beauty and simplicity of it all, so I decided to use my new skills to craft my own take on those original boards. I used scrap wood from around the workshop, looked at some super cool old polaroids, bit my lip and took the leap.
It worked. And it was beautiful—so much so that I was hesitant to ride it for fear of defacing it. But after five minutes and a good hearty “fuck it,” I took it out back and put some scratches on it.
It took several weeks of coercion from friends, family and perfect strangers, but I came around and finally decided to make more handmade skateboards to sell. I launched Side Project Skateboards in October of 2013 and can’t believe I’m still riding this thing.
Looking back (and moving forward), I hope that Side Project Skateboards inspires others to take the leap and see where an idea can take them. You’d be amazed.