We Heart ThisSurf-Inspired Skateboards
Woodworking is one of my hobbies—I just love doing stuff with my hands. I've taught myself how to do built-ins, cabinets, trim work and stuff like that; I've always made stuff for my kids. As someone who worked in finance for 35 years, it was an outlet after sitting at a desk all day. When COVID hit, I had already left Wall Street for a few years and my wife Christina and I started a small company called ARK, Acts of Random Kindness. We did projects for our friends, everything from a pool-house bar to a vegetable garden to a pergola—just for fun, just to keep distracted during a challenging time. One of those projects was building skateboards for my kids. Then my friends wanted them for their kids, I sold a few to a local coffee shop… and it took off.
Are you a skateboarder yourself?
When I was a kid living in London, I became a skateboard freak. Someone gave me a skateboard and it changed my life. I spent every day out on the hill cruising around, learning how to do handstands… It was a vehicle to get away from home and explore.
What sets your designs apart from the rest?
There are so many skateboards out there; I didn’t want to make another fancy trick board. I wanted to bring in my woodworking skills and have each one be one of a kind, and really focus on and elevate the process of building a board. Most skateboards are made of thin layers of wood or composite materials, either glued or laminated together horizontally. I take pieces of longer, thicker hardwood and laminate them vertically. You can see the beautiful patterns and grains in my skateboards. They look a lot like traditional surfboards, which was my inspiration. I want them to give you the same feeling of the beach and freedom—emphasis on freedom.
I love that…
Surf culture is about more than just surfing. It’s about an easy way of looking at life and not being constrained. I want my skateboards to represent that.
What’s the process?
They take a long time to make and are really handcrafted. We source all kinds of hardwoods—from birch, maple and walnut to African bubinga and purpleheart wood. We get the grains to match. The finishing takes a few days. A lot of man hours go into them! A lot of my boards are custom, too. It’s important for me to have a connection with the end user.
Cnick—where does the name come from?
My name is Cary Nicholas Potter, which is my dad's name as well. I go by Cary, he goes by Nick. I also like how it’s a nice play on the word scenic. I hope subliminally that’s something people think about when they hear it, too.
The Making Of
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