A custom shape, an opportunity to draw flora (one of my favourite subjects), a powerful statement and a personal meaning. All these elements are present in Te Mana Whakaora, meaning 'the power to heal' in Maori.
The client, Andrew , wanted a deck that is suitable for both downhill and cruising. We settled on a 40" x 10" longboard with a deep concave and a 5" kicktail. Horizontal and vertical fibre glass stringers make it super stiff and wheel wells are cut deep enough to accommodate Venom Magnum Mach 1 wheels (78mm).
The design was to incorporate a kowhai - the national flower of New Zealand - which triggers fond memories for Andrew (it grows around his house in New Zealand and his children enjoy picking the distinctive seed pods).
Andrew also wanted the maori phrase 'Te Mana Whakaora' (which translates to 'The power to heal') to reflect the importance of longboarding in restoring and maintaining his wellbeing after a difficult time in his life.
The flower is stunning and doesn't really need any embellishment. To maximise the impact, I used a simple dark wood stain on the deck.
I found this board and Andrew's story truly inspiring. I hope he enjoys riding it as much as I enjoyed making it.