Words and photos by Dunk
I love things which are hand made. And I really love working with wood. So when I saw that a couple of old friends from back home were doing their own cool thing making something by hand, I had to find out more. In fact this whole article was just an excuse to spend an afternoon in another man's workshop - always time well spent. Cam and Ty Hardy have been busy immersing themselves in the 70s skate culture to produce some damn fine looking skateboards, each lovingly hand crafted and unique from one to the next. Hardy boards capture the spirit of hanging loose, chilling with your friends, traveling and making those awesome memories. See what the boys have to say about what they do, and be sure to give them a follow.
– Tell us a bit about what you get up to in that workshop.
"Our workshop is a hand build shack in the backyard of our family home in Hampshire. It’s a conveniently located creative outlet where we can escape the distractions of the house to go hang, drink beer, and chuck ideas around."
– What's the inspiration behind what you guys make and where do you get your ideas from?
"We’ve always been inspired by travelling. We found ourselves drawn towards beachy towns with a laid back feel. Our product reflects the aesthetic we associate with that and we hope like-minded people feel inspired to explore and have fun by what we create. Travelling gives us an incentive to create a portable object that allows you to cruise around with ease and style. We love being outdoors and taking photos so you will notice that our colour palettes and pattern choices reflect that. Water, sunsets, lots of pastels."
– How long have you been making for and what was your first creation?
"The first board we made was in summer, 2013. It’s just a big chunky piece of wood with some grip…still hanging up in the shack! We didn’t think much of it and kind of put it on the back burner for a few years. We just recently got back into and have been pushing out new decks for the past couple months."
– How did it all come about to begin with, and how do you feel about what you guys are doing now?
"We love the fact that skateboarding brings people together. Some of our best childhood memories stem from hanging out with friends at the skate park. We’re always eager to create things and are very much inspired by how skateboarding came to be. Our style relates heavily to the 70s era and the way a skateboard was just a piece of wood with wheels. We’re stoked with the response we’re getting on our products and we plan to continue creating and growing our company."
– Some might think it's odd that you are BMX riders making skateboards, so what's your angle on that?
"Just because we ride BMX doesn’t mean we can’t skate! Confining ourselves to one thing only limits the possibilities of doing other things. We really enjoy cruising around and bombing hills with friends and it sparked the idea of building our own."
– Tell us about the setup you have at home? You must have a production line going right?
"Our workshop is just a tiny little shed! We have been saving a bit of money to buy the tools we need to create our decks. We are slowly but surely building a solid collection of the right tools and supplies. Theres a general order in which we do things – mark up, cut out, shape and finish it off sanding by hand until we’re satisfied with the feel of the board. After that it's ready to be lacquered and gripped, time to shred!"
– Each of your boards is a bit different to the last – how do you come up with new ideas for techniques or materials?
"We never go into the shop with a specific idea or layout in mind. Its more fun to make it up as we go along! Part of the appeal with our brand is that every board is different. It may have a similar shape to another board but because they are hand made, they all have their own flare. Even if we make a mistake, instead of starting over, the mistake could spiral into a whole new idea for a shape or detailed edge."
– When you start making something do you go in with a plan or just make whatever feels good at the time?
"Sometimes we will have a general idea of a shape or design but we mostly just dive in and see what happens. It's more fun just going with the flow."
– Now you've been making for a while what aspect of the process have you found most difficult, and what are you most proud of?
"Being self taught, the most difficult part of the process was learning how to use all the tools in the correct way. I wouldn’t use the word difficult though, it has been challenging and that’s what makes the final product so rewarding. Everything has been a learning process and we’re proud of every stage and obstacle that we have come across so far."
– Up until very recently you've been known by the name Yardy Boards, but are changing that to Hardy Boards. What's the thinking behind the change. Are you rebranding?
"We felt that ‘Hardy Boards’ was more relevant to the company as we are a brother made brand. Obviously ‘Yardy Boards" was the original name, sprouted from using our back yard shed as our base, but it was just a decision that felt right."
– What are your future plans for Hardy Boards? Will you be making limited collections or anything like that?
"We are working with some of our pals who design and create things. Collaborations are definitely on the horizon. As much as we want to promote ourselves, if we are able to give other local artists some exposure, that’s what we’re all about. Supporting like-minded people, creating solid products that will last and having fun. We plan to keep doing what we’re doing and more. Keep checking back with us on social media because we always have something in the works."
– Where can we see more of what you're getting up to?