‘I’m never going to make the same board twice’: Algoma man starts longboarding business in his workshop

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

ALGOMA, Wis. (WFRV) – A birthday present for an Algoma man’s son’s 8th birthday quickly turned into a new hobby and new beginning.

Josh Schwader of Algoma was never into riding skateboards growing up. It was his son who received a penny board for his 8th birthday that Schwader grew interest in it. So at 40-years-old, he went and bought himself a skateboard to ride with his son.

“At my age, I’m not going to be pulling off an ollie or any tricks because my ankles are important to me”, says Schwader laughing.

After riding a skateboard for a little bit, Schwader tried longboards. The first time riding one, Schwader described it as ‘epiphany’.

“Bigger, softer wheels ride smooth and much more forgiving on bumpy streets and cracked sidewalks.  Longboards make skating more accessible to the casual rider.  You don’t have to do tricks, you can just cruise.  It is absolutely zen”, says Schwader.

Schwader grew up around wood work all of his life and it was a friend of his that talked him into combining his love for wood work and latest hobby of longboarding.

“I told her ‘if we are going to do this, we’re going to do it and come up with a business’. So, we came up with a name and I started cranking out longboards”, says Schwader.

That’s when ‘Sweet Roll Longboards’ started.

The process of creating a longboard starts with finding the right piece of wood. The thickness is important because having something with a little ‘flex’ and ‘feel’ is crucial.

The next step is the mock up that includes different shapes, sizes, designs, and more. The uniqueness comes from this process because each longboard is different.

“This is the unique part of the challenge. I’m never going to make the same board twice. It would be impossible since we’re working with solid wood here”, Schwader says.

Something really cool about the longboards is there is no grip tape on the top of the boards like a regular skateboard. Instead Schwader and Sweet Roll Longboards display the design on top of the board so you can see it while riding.

Sweet Roll Longboards has been in business since November of 2020 and seeing the customer’s reaction when they see their longboard has been one of the coolest things for Schwader so far.

“Once you take that board, turn it into something that looks like this, finish it up, and put wheels on it, you post a picture or hang it up in the booth and people are like reacting to it really super positive. That’s my favorite part”, Schwader tells Local 5.

To order a longboard from Sweet Roll Longboards, you can reach out to them on Instagram at @Sweet_roll_longboards or visit their booth at Wonderland Vintage Market in Green Bay that has select longboards for sale.

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