We met up with Nicholas Smith founder of a new local business, South Wedge Boards. He has been making awesome custom long boards for two years now and has grown from making boards for friends to creating a career. We met up to talk about the evolution of skateboarding, push culture, and what’s coming up with South Wedge Boards.
How long have you been skating for?
Skating just came naturally with living in this city. Rochester is a very skateboarding based community. I got into it when I was younger, then got into long boarding about three years ago.
I was always a bigger guy so a normal sized board never worked out for me. I wanted transportation more than anything, so I got into long boarding.
Have you seen the progression in skating as more people get into long boarding?
I’ve seen more long boards now more than ever, especially in New York City. New York City has a big push culture there that is more focused on always using your board as a means to get around. The trick board aspects are still there, but that isn’t the overall goal anymore.
How did you start making your own boards?
After realizing it is really expensive to keep buying boards. I originally got a pintail, but then started buying all of these different styles of boards. I realized it was actually cheaper for me to make my own boards than it was to keep going out and buying all of these boards.
How long does it take to make a board?
It takes a day to press the board, then two or three more days for the board to dry. Finishing is another day, then depending on the graphic a few hours to paint and assemble.
When did you decide to turn it into a business?
I started pressing my own boards which lead me to pressing boards for my friends. It got to the point where I was pressing so many boards at one time, staring a business was the next logical step. I have been approached by so many people to make custom style boards just because they can’t find what they want anywhere else.
What makes your boards unique?
We just created a U lock board that has a spot for a bike lock and a kick up on the back. It’s perfect for someone going to college that wants to lock their board up at the bike rack instead of dragging it into class.
We have a few different ideas in the works. This month we are coming out with a board that I don’t think anyone else is doing. It’s going to be a drop deck, concave, drop through, pintail.
People are moving away from the classic pintail once they see more aggressive looking boards. My goal was to bridge the gap between the old school pintail with the modern flairs that everyone enjoys. Eventually that will be our classic go to board.
Do you do your own graphic design?
I do all of the graphics myself. I want to keep everything in house. Eventually want to buy the equipment to produce the trucks in house, so we don’t have to buy trucks from an out of town source.
Any plans for a store front in mind?
We are looking for a moving into a shop. Everything is done in my garage now and with all of the presses and everything else, there isn’t much workspace.
Krudco has been in this city for so long, they have become a standing point of skateboarding in Rochester. We don’t want to try and take that away from that at all. I would like to eventually open a storefront, but I want to do it the right way.
Where can you get a board now?
Contact us on Facebook. We are getting a website together that will be up soon. Honestly, I am terrible with technology so it is a slow process.