Skimboard or wall hanger?

This is a question I face after finishing any board in which I have devoted an ample amount of time into. The main argument for making a board into a wall hanger is that the wax will cover up the graphics, thus hindering full appreciation of its beauty. The main argument for waxing a new board is that I feel a skimboard isn’t truly a skimboard until it’s been ridden. In the past this question has been a no-brainer, but the most recent board I made almost pushed me into making a board destined for the wall. Introducing “The Winds of Savary” skimboard:

The board is comprised of a Birch backbone and finished with an inlayed top-sheet consisting of island grown Red Cedar (top), Arbutus (middle) and Douglas Fir (bottom). The centerpiece of this is the Arbutus wood which was salvaged from wind-felled branch. After machining it to a usable thickness it happened to naturally take the shape of the eastern half of our favorite island. The grain of the Cedar and Fir by chance corresponded to the directions of the prevailing wind patterns. Cedar representing the northwesterly winds and Fir representing the southeasterly winds. Hence the “Winds of Savary” skimboard was created.

Yeah it’s that good.

The “Hanging Tree” Arbutus

What pushed my direction towards wall hanger was the properties of the Arbutus wood. For those who do not know: Arbutus menziesii (shown above) is a hardwood tree native to the west coast of North America from southern BC to northern California. It tends to grow in a twisted nature that makes it unusable for normal construction purposes. After gluing this skimboard: the Arbutus twisted and exerted soo much force that it tweaked the board to a point in which I felt it may no longer be usable. This was starting to look like a prime example of a beautiful piece that realistically could spend it’s life on the wall. Yet curiosity got the best of me and I had to try it out at least once before conceding defeat. Against all of my predictions this board performed better than I could have ever hoped for. Despite having an enormous deformation, it exhibits stability, pop and all the other aspects that make a great board (if not my best performing board).

So where does this leave me? Slightly confused as to how it works so well and also motivated to try to understand why it works so that i can exploit this effect in future projects.



One Response to “Skimboard or wall hanger?”

  1. emo February 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    id gladly have that wood in my face anytime

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