We’re proud to host again this year a creative duo’s unique ability to take their creativity… and roll with it. Nuno Vitorino and Ricardo Martins areBeards on Boards, and they manufacture longboard skateboards with original and unique designs.
Each board is custom made to requirements and in partnership with several illustrators. What’s most unique about each Beards on Boards longboard is that the design defines the shape of the board instead of being merely painted on a common shape.
In their own words: “As we were ramping up we created friendships with a number of top portuguese illustrators and we’re always looking for more partners. We believe that skates are a great vehicle for them to show off their work by providing a purpose.”
Why did you create Beards on Boards?
Nuno: “It started off as a lark. It was actually Ricardo who wanted to persuade me to start riding longboards and buy one to join him, but with a little research I realized that I could build my own, and since making two was just as easy, I built another for him. Then we ended up doing the first set of Beards on Boards longboards with the remainders and a bunch of ideas.”
What are your main challenges?
“The biggest challenges in this project will always be marketing-related. The niche we’re working in has steady demand in Portugal but is much more interesting abroad. Out there, custom made items are in higher demand and people value uniqueness. As such, most of our work is sold abroad.”
“Another challenge we have is sourcing the raw materials. Whereas in countries where handcrafts are still popular the industry has survived, in Portugal a lot of know-how and suppliers is dying, and since supply will only last while demand does, there’s a downward spiral.”
How do you see those challenges in the context of the Maker community?
“We’re sure that these challenges are not unique to Beards on Boards. Many Makers have faced/are facing them while trying to create something, but we’re confident that as the Maker community grows in numbers and reach, new industries and opportunities will be right around the corner.”