To cruise or not cruise: that is the question. With the ongoing saga of bike lanes plaguing the harmony of our neighbourhood, Would Boards remind us all that there are other way to simply enjoy the ride by cruisin’ in style.
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with an incredible couple that have chosen to cruise the city with what they’ve built with their own hands. It’s a new line of cruiser boards that “sole” purpose is to ride from point A to point B. Josh and Sherafat started crafting their Would Boards in their apartment earlier this year as a hobby. With hard work, dedication and an exhausting amount of sanding, they’ve managed to create a perfect representation of our beloved neighbourhood. After only a few moments in the room with these two (laid back and sippin’ on some tea), I could sense I was watching history in the making. Through their tireless efforts to create a quality product, they have managed to emulate the style, craftsmanship and the spirit of our Kits founders. Through their hand-crafted and stylish Would Boards, they have been able to encourage exercise and connectivity within their own community. I soon started to realize that these two innovators had begun to create a movement, not just a skateboard. These boards are not only a handmade product, but a symbol of Kitsilano that represents a revival of it’s roots.
As some of you may know, Kitsilano was named after an aboriginal chief named August Jack Khatsalano, who’s favourite pastime happen to be carving totem poles. As the neighbourhood evolved from a “home and native land,” it became a stomping ground for the ’60’s hippy counterculture movement. During that time, “sidewalk surfing” was a hip way to travel (or cruise around), as many would try to emulate their “gnarly” surfing moves during the off season.
By paying homage to our historic community, founders Josh and Sherafat have inadvertently embodied the same spirit that made this neighbourhood so attractive in the first place. Combining the historic carving of August Jack with the ’60’s hippy short board cruiser, the Would Board provides so much more than just a skateboard. It helps tell a story of a community that continually promotes positivity and healthy living. Having their product start with the trees of British Columbia, shaped and sanded in their East Van shop, and stamped with a brand that represents the mountains of Vancouver, which makes this company so undeniably special. Josh and Sherafat both spend hours making each board, and they are the life blood of the company. Josh has grown such an attachment to his creations that Sherafat reported he often hugs them when he thinks nobody’s looking.
An additional feature that allows these boards to be born and raised in Kitsilano is their radiant colour scheme, with an added shake of hometown flavour. The vibrant paint used to make these boards shine is supplied by Montana Spray Paints, and then given a shake of the Kits beach sand. That’s right, you get a shake of our very own sand on each board, making a true piece of our community.
A Cruisin’ Community
Would Boards are an old favourite made new again. By taking local “would” and shaping it into short boards, Josh and Sherafat have started a community of cruisers. Each Would Board is given a vehicle identification number (VIN) that’s branded into the board. When I had asked why they stamp each board, Sherafat explained that each board means so much to her and Josh that they keep track of where they end up, and who the owners are. Josh went on further to report that they often customize each board to make them a little bit different from their “sisters and brothers.” During this past summer, the two proud parents of Would Boards toured the festival circuit and introduced their “children” to tourists. It was at this time that the Board buzz ignited. The boards were being sold to many people (of all ages) from all over North America. Josh and Sherafat kept records of who “adopted” their babies and through social media, continue to connect with their cruisin’ community. One cruiser in particular has taken their Would all the way to Australia.
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.”
Enjoy the ride
WOULD BOARDS ONLINE SOCIAL COMMUNITY: