Honey Skateboards, Grand Junction, CO, has developed a thriving business producing longboard skateboards of exotic and domestic hardwoods.
Owner Mike Mahoney says he launched his woodworking career when he built his first skateboard in high school shop class, then sold it for $25. In 1994, Mahoney created a longboard skateboard in an effort to mimic the carving sensation he experienced in snowboarding. The finely crafted, classically designed longboard skateboards are reminiscent of surfboards of the 1960’s.
In 2005, Mahoney says he decided to seriously address building longboard skateboards. Using hardwoods and a laminated construction, Mahoney developed an advanced laminating process that creates exact alignment of the top and bottom stringer patterns. This gives his boards the look of a solid wood board, but the flexible characteristics and ride qualities of a laminated board. Mahoney's boards, which he markets under the Honey Skateboards brand, have developed a reputation for top performance and quality. They are also visually beautiful.
Mahoney's growing reputation for skateboards lead to an increase in demand. Demand – especially from baby boomers and and Gen-Xers – rapidly outpaced production capabilities. So he set about finding a way to slash the number of steps required to create the graphics-free, highly prized retro inlayed stringer styled longboards.
At the AWFS woodworking show in Las Vegas last summer, Mahoney saw the Laguna Tools Swift CNC Machine.
“As a craftsman, I immediately appreciated its solid one-piece, tubular welded frame construction," Mahoney says. Using the Swift CNC machine eliminated five to eight steps, depending on the model, from his company’s existing production processes.
This has allowed him to boost capacity to 2,000 longboards a year, while cutting other associated costs.
“That’s huge for us," Mahoney says. "It keeps our growth goals firmly on track, while meeting the demand of people who appreciate craftsmanship, performance, and tons of fun."
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