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Design Meets Function in The Swirl Skateboard

design meets functionality swirl skateboard theswirl
Image used with permission by copyright holder
As a wood maker Peter Duncan spends his days at his studio in Wilmington, North Carolina crafting gorgeous tables and more for The Wood Studio. Recently Duncan got into the art of carving skateboards from wood. His latest, the Swirl, uses carvings in lieu of grip tape, making for a skateboard that looks just as good as it works. The Manual recently caught up with Duncan to ask him how he came up up with the idea for the Swirl, skateboard making and of course, wood.

Why did Wood Studio enter the skateboard world?

Well, I’ve skated for more than 15 years, and living in a beach town (Wilmington, NC) it was almost a natural progression for the wood studio. It started as just a project for myself, so that I could get around on something that I made. When I took the board to get trucks and wheels put on, the skate shop really gave me some great feedback, which got my wheels turning (pun intended).

How did you figure that the carvings would make a good substitute for grip tape?

I’ve done some extensive carving for other projects in the past, It dawned on me during an engraving project that tight lines created a grip much like whats you’d find with grip tape.

How did testing go before you realized you had enough that was suitable to hold the skater?

I tested all the iterations myself by getting out there and really riding, it wasn’t long before I found a good balance between design and functionality.

 Why African mahogany?

Mahogany is known for a lot of things, two of which are its flexibility and it’s beauty. It has been used in boat building for hundreds of years for these two reasons. That’s what made it my first choice. I’ve now made boards out of many different woods, all of which have their good and bad attributes, it’s really about finding the right deck thickness for each wood and the rider’s aesthetic preference.

Will you make more if they sell out?

I really love making these and the design possibilities are limitless so I think I may be in this for the long haul. I’ve already made a few for local skate and surf shops to display and the feedback has been amazing!

The Swirl Skateboard, $200 at etsy.com.

Ann Binlot
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ann Binlot is a New York-based freelance writer who contributes to publications like The Economist, Wallpaper*, Monocle…
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