If you’re bored taking the Canada Line to school, why not cruise, carve and slide the way there—on a longboard.
In the fall of 1997, two University of Victoria students started making longboards together. Sixteen years later, Michael Perreten and Tom Edstrand own the second largest longboarding company in the world, Landyachtz. Producing in excess of 30,000 boards a year, the East Vancouver company employs over 50 people and is growing with the popularity of the sport.
“We’re the industry leader as far as innovation and drive. The direction the industry takes is the direction we’re pointed at,” said international sales representative Blake Startup.
The 2013 models come out Friday with design improvements.
Different styles of riding dictate different styles of board.
With longboards being used for everything from commuting to downhill racing, Landyachtz staff are confident their new line will be successful.
The most highly anticipated downhill, or freeride board, is the Wolf Shark, aptly named after the team rider who designed it, Wolf Coleman.
In the commuting line, the hugely successful Switch will now come in three different sizes to accommodate different riding styles.
The company hopes its brand-new downhill board, Top Speed, will live up to its name.
Landyachtz’ maple boards made in Canada
High-end boards are made of maple wood because of the material’s strength and ability to hold its shape. Boards are milled in eastern Canada where the wood is grown and then shipped to Vancouver. Here the boards are trimmed to highly technical specifications, allowing the smallest details of the board’s shape to control its overall handling.
The boards are trimmed, sanded and painted. Artists from around the world contribute to the art work which adorns the bottom of the boards. The art is printed onto a thin plastic film, which is heat pressed onto the board.
After this stage, grip tape is stuck to the top of the board and the chassis, known as the trucks, and wheels are added.
Vancouverite Max McLaughlin has been riding longboards for six years and currently rides a Landyachtz.
“Absolutely an excellent board company. In terms of shape and contour they are impeccable,” said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin described longboarding as more like surfing. He said skateboarding is all about tricks, but long boarding is “all about flow.”
Report and photos by Ben Bulmer