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This solid-wood sidewalk surfer will get you on your way in no time

As I note in my book The Handmade Skateboard (Spring House Press), the skateboard was born in the 1950s in Southern California, when some teenagers fooling around in a garage nailed a set of roller-skate wheels to a plank of wood. The universally-awesome concept quickly caught on around the world and, as the popularity of the skateboard evolved, so did its design. By 1970 the kick tail was added for leverage to hop up curbs. In the 1980s, skateboard makers added a concave bend for extra strength and maneuverability. Today, skateboard decks are laminated from seven layers of hard maple veneer to create a precision deck with complex bends and curves.

Still, a vintage pin stripe hardwood cruiser like this is fun to ride and easy to make, even with limited shop space and tools. It’s great for first-time riders, urban commuters, or for just getting around the neighborhood. And you’ll have a good time mixing and matching wood species to create your own unique design that will turn heads wherever you take it.

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