It’s funny how you meet people. Day #2 of The Boardroom Surfboard Show and I was trying to drive into the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The entrance I used the day before was blocked off. As I start to bust a U this big, white, Ford Econoline van, with Baja racks rolls in and sees the same thing. Dude jumps out of his van picks up the road closed sign, moves it, starts driving thru. Ok, I’m in. Start following him then once we are both in he jumps out of his van and starts yelling to security – “Hey, this guys moved your road closed sign!” Jumps in his van laughing and rolls up to the show. My introduction to Pete Hamborg of Hamboard Skateboards.
So what exactly is a Hamboard Skateboard? I guess it depends what model you get but it all started back in the late 1990’s with a longboard skateboard. Pete was looking for a way to skate when the waves were flat and he wanted to take his kids with him too. Pete has 5 boys – most could skate on their own but for sure he needed a board long enough to put the little guy on the front.
In his tinkering Pete made all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some worked better than others and he’d try just about anything then there was that fateful day when mom backed the car over one of his skateboards. “SNAP” also known around the Hamborg household as “Innovation Day”. See the car didn’t send the board to the grave – there are 5 boys looking for things to do. So they stitched it back together but noticed something very different – it turned better, way better. Now it only turned to the right better and we typically don’t skate NASCAR style so back to the garage for more tinkering.
Fast forward a couple years and a couple big innovations in skateboard materials (trucks/wheels) and we enter the modern era of Hamboards. Each one of the 5 boys was old enough to skate, they all had boards that were shaped a little differently, and they had Dad’s tinkering spirit. So they were constantly messing with the design. The neighbors started to notice…you would to if you saw 5 groms surfing the asphalt on your street. So one by one the surfers in the neighborhood would head over to the Hamborg house and ask Pete to make them one of his longboard skateboards. It’s kind of crazy because he was making about a board a week and still working his day job as a fireman in HB.
When you start buying a set of wheels and trucks every week your local shop is going to notice. You send in 5 blond boys on oversized longboard skateboards to make the purchase and people start talking. Talking so much that Chris Chaput from Abec 11 (maker of the best skate wheels in the world) agreed to meet with Pete. The goal of the meeting was for Chris to tell Pete how stupid an enormous longboard skateboard was. Pete was getting tired of making them and Chris was a skeptic. After a quick intro Gus (Pete’s oldest boy) dropped the board then started skating in the parking lot. He’d walk up, hang 5, hang 10, step back, set the edge, carve, pump down the line – just like surfing.
Chris was so impressed they sat down right there in the parking lot and started on a product name – Hamborg + Skateboard = Hamboard. Chris volunteered to start R&D on a new wheel that was bigger and would bring a longboard more control and a more classic feel. Ultimately Chris became a mentor to Pete and a good friend of the Hamborg family.
Over the last 6 years the company has grown a bunch, but they still keep it real and are continually searching for stoke. We love it and are happy to have a new toy when the waves go flat.
Check out the site http://www.hamboards.com for more details and videos of the crew skating HB.
Almost forgot – right now they are running a $100 off coupon on the boards. If you are looking for a way to spend some holiday cash this is a solid choice. Tell’em Solspot sent ya!