The People That Make This Place Tick: John Hamblett

Part of our series about the characters that make up our crew, family, and community.

The People That Make This Place Tick: John Hamblett

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John has a steadfast commitment to doing what he loves. After spending 12 years in Colorado getting in as much time on the mountain as possible, John moved back to the community where he grew up to start a family. Since joining the Grain crew back in 2007, John has been living the proverbial dream. He has the job that everyone thinks of when they think of working at Grain... He builds just about all of our custom boards start to finish.

Spend an hour with John and it’s readily apparent why we love him. He’s the guy who’ll make a point to wish you a good morning when you arrive and a good evening when you leave. During the day he’ll entertain us with stories of current family happenings — he’s the sturdy epicenter of a traveling wife, two adolescent boys, and a dopey golden retriever named Chester. Perhaps he'll dive into one of the countless sagas from his past involving epic snow, a jam-band concert, the cops, or all three. Or, depending on the season, a play-by-play account of the youth sports game he coached the night before.

During all his narration, you’d think he might be overlooking the details of what he’s working on, but everything is spot on. A master of details, John is well versed in the complicated and precise process that is building a Grain surfboard. Years of woodworking experience coupled with the ability to handle the hectic make Johnny the master board builder. He's even begun carrying a notebook in his backpocket, jotting down process thoughts, epoxy quantities for installing a leash cup and other daily shop observations.

Finally, Johnny often serves as the shops token "devil’s advocate" during group discussions. Frustratingly frugal, wary of technology, and a lover of tradition, he’ll provide key insight when we talk of “changing things around here”. After all, he spends the most time in the shop and knows how it runs best. He also likes to keep our nature-loving ways in check “nobody throws things away anymore!” making sure we keep it realistic. But, at the end of the day, after he gives everyone a personal "good evening", he’s the one hopping on his bicycle to commute home.

If you've been to Grain to visit, likely you've been treated to one of his "nickel tours" which has been known to go on for an hour or more. But Johnny puts his heart into this place and we're thankful that he decided to come along for the ride all those years ago.

Our best QC guy, John is the top choice to have double check your work.

John puts a final resin coat on his personal 10'6" Pintail.

John's personal 10'6" Northern Pintail, crafted with red and white cedar.

The first of our every-so-often series where we talk about the people that make this place what it is.

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By Nolan