Main Street- A new skateboard model designed by the Grain NY crew and their community

Skateboarding began from a desire to keep the feeling of surfing going during flat spells. Waves are nature's creation, and the urge to ride those waves is an endless journey for surfers. We began our skateboarding journey with the same desire--to ride the pavement when we can’t get in the water. Bringing the same approach we do to surfboards, our skateboards are built to last, to carve to one’s heart's content, and to be beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces to take pride in.

Though skateboarding grew out of surfing--and the core of our skateboard program grew out of our own surfers’ roots--primarily making longboards and retro cruisers to emulate that feeling of carving down the face of a wave, there is no denying that skating has evolved into something all on its own--even an olympic sport! In the years since we began building skateboards we’ve opened up our program into build-your-own classes at our Amagansett, NY location as well as DIY kits available for folks to work on at home across the country and globe.

 

Drawing from the deep roots of modern skateboarding in New York, the crew in Amagansett spearheaded the effort to bring a new deck into the lineup--the Main Street. Inspired by modern street skateboarding, and the fact that nearly every town on the east end of Long Island has its own skatepark, the Main Street is a street/park style deck that is truly unique. With our signature bookmatching patterns on the exterior of the decks, and special attention to strength on the core maple veneer layers, the Main Street is as beautiful as it is strong, and with a variety of veneers and stringer arrangements each deck is one of a kind.

While developing the Main Street model we identified a unique set of challenges in the kicktails and concaves of the deck and thus the mold. Given this, and looking at the entire process of building and pressing decks, we made the decision to develop stronger, lighter, and more uniform moulds using the CNC we operate to make the frames for our surfboards. Using the same scanning and imaging technology we use when developing surfboards, we were able to make a 3D rendering of the deck. Using these renderings to make negatives and slices out of medium density fiberboard, we glued and blended each piece of the mold together. This resulted in a much lighter and more controlled mold for our decks than our previous concrete versions.

 

This is not the end however, but just the beginning. With the help of our crew here in Maine running the CNC to make the molds, the Amagansett gang were ready to start making test decks; identifying ideal pressure points, core patterns, and bottlenecks or challenges in the building process for both workshops and kits. Having tested some rounds of presses, the boards were ready to hit the streets and we worked with the Avenues school students to shape some decks to go with a skatepark they were building for the Shinnecock Youth Clubhouse on Native land on Long Island. Needless to say, everyone was pretty stoked with the project. The kids had a great time building and putting the decks through the paces and we were happy to donate the decks to the Shinnecock Youth Clubhouse where they’ll serve as a great case study in maximum usage.

We continue to refine the process of building and teaching folks how to build their own skateboards. The Main Street is our latest step in making boards for every rider that wants to have a skateboard that is not only unique to them, but unique in and of itself. The pride of our workshop participants, kit builders, and anyone who buys our handmade retail decks is what keeps the stoke alive and well, and we will continue to search for new ways to spread that to friends old and new!

Blog by Theo Papademetriou

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