Making our handmade skateboards is honestly a lot of fun! The kick of taking a raw product then shaping and crafting it into what we think is a rideable piece of art is really rewarding. But when the chance comes along to take that experience and roll it into (pardon the pun!) a project for someone extra special it goes to a whole new level.
Meet Jack, a young man who has been through quite a bit during his life to date. He has suffered a stroke which resulted in loss of the use of his left arm and has significantly reduced his walking ability.
Jack’s Mum, Carol, contacted us in the hope of having a custom board made that in some way resembled our Gully Junior Cruiser, with one significant difference, Jack would be sitting on the board!
Having had a couple of discussions with Carol about exactly what would be best in terms of size, position of handles and safety considerations we finalised our brief and got to work on some sketches.
With Jack sitting on the board in place of standing, this would completely change the weight distribution required for the board as well as the positioning of trucks, wheels and handles. We figured a double axle set up would be appropriate to ensure the board was balanced and stable. After playing around with various skateboard truck options, we settled on using industrial castor wheels for the rear and a traditional skateboard truck for the front. This would allow for ample direction steering at the back along with the stability we required.
A bigger board (This board is nearly double the standard width of our Junior Cruiser) also meant more stress on our adult handle, so we thought, let’s double it! So we did! We made up a special ‘double’ handle to ensure controlling the direction of the board wouldn’t be comprised with the new weight distribution.
As for our standard kids handle, well that wouldn’t work at all in this instance, so we took the basic concept and placed it at the front of the board on the deck so Jack could hold on with his right hand, almost like a billy kart type of set up.
And finally, safety. With Jack sitting, and there not being any sides on the board, we needed a way to anchor his hips. So we added slots on either side of the deck and fitted a strap, like a seatbelt, through and over his hips to lock him in place.
The outcome, we think, is a pretty slick looking solution. But of course the ultimate feedback is with the customer, and chief tester Jack gave it a big tick! Well the smile on his face pretty much tells it all we think! Please have a quick look at the video his mum Carol sent us, it’s sure to put a smile on your face too.
A big thanks to Carol for reaching out and working with us closely on the design requirements that best suited Jack. We would have been shooting in the dark without your help.
If you’re looking for a custom made board or know someone who is, please get in touch. We’d love to be able to help getting another young board rider out on a board to follow their passion.