NS Longboards creates a product that is home-grown by craftsmen who pay special attention to detail and take pride in their work.
Big thanks to Paul Theodoroff for filming and producing this fantastic video! Paul has been very easy to work with and expressed his willingness to help us throughout this entire process. We appreciate him generously sharing his talents with us to create this video. Please check out Paul's other work here, http://www.youtube.com/user/FreeFlo8.
I would also like to thank my sister and her husband for initially investing in us with our small first batch of wood. Thanks for all of your support guys!
How It All Started
By: Co-Owner, Tim Scharrer
First, I want to thank my dad for supporting my business. Since I am 17 years old, it has been tough to expand my business with sites like Kickstarter, but my dad was willing to make a Kickstarter account so that I can try to make the funds necessary for production. However, don’t let my young age deter you from considering this project because we have a lot of big things in the works! My dad has been there for me since day one of this whole operation with the willingness to allow me the building space in the garage. He has also helped me think of every factor that needs to be taken into account when starting a business. Even if I don't reach my goal, it has been such a great experience, and I have been forced to question my company's existence.
When I created my first ever longboard, my friend, Paul, was there to see it snap the instant I tried to ride it. He saw how disappointed I was that it had failed, but he helped me to realize that a lot of things don't work out the first few times. Other friends saw that board and thought it wasn't even worth trying to build another one. I got a lot of those, "Why don't you just buy a board?" questions. But Paul and my family gave me the support needed to make that second board, and the odd thing was, it didn't snap! I knew that I had a long way to go until I would be able to produce a solid and comfortable longboard, but this gave me motivation to succeed.
After I had created the first two or three boards, a few friends and I started to make the next few boards for fun. Nathan Posewitz, Joe Ullmer, and I became excited about all of the different boards we could make. We learned more about the wood required for strength and experimented with new presses. We had a great time making boards for ourselves to cruise around on. But of course, all of the dream boards we had thought about creating were still beyond our reach. Once we had a few friends ask for boards, we started to get a little bit more serious and test more concaves.
I was always skeptical about starting a company because I had all of the voices in my head from friends saying that these boards aren't even close to professional quality. But I finally put those pessimistic views aside and let my passion for wood-working give birth to a company, NS Longboards.
What Does NS Stand for?
To be honest, the credit for our company name should be given entirely to my mom. After countless hours of brainstorming for a company name, my mom came up to me with a big smile on her face and said, "Why don't you name it Naturally Sheboygan Longboards?" Before I turned it down because I thought it sounded somewhat cliche, I thought about it and asked for my friends' opinions. It was the perfect name. Naturally, because all of our boards have preserved natural wood grain graphics from day one, and Sheboygan, because we are Sheboygan, Wisconsin's first longboard skateboard company. I guess the name just stuck, and eventually evolved into NS Longboards, and more recently, Nashe (NASH-EE) Boards.
Starting a Company
One thing that we did differently than most new companies do at first was keep it small. Some companies start selling their product right out of the gate and worry about improving prototypes throughout the production process. We, however, started small with a Facebook page to track our progress instead of promoting the boards. We took prototyping very seriously, and still do, because we believe that it is important to have a solid product before you start selling. This is for many reasons including functionality, performance, and most importantly, liability. Why show the public something you are not totally proud of, and quite frankly, can't be accountable for? For this reason, we make sure that the board we are about to promote is worthy for its public debut. When we finally have a board ready after extensive testing, we open up sales to a small local friend group, and finally, everyone. It is crazy to think how long it takes to prototype even the simplest of concaves.
What Are We All About?
It is always our first priority to prototype and test a new board until we are completely satisfied with the feeling, performance, durability, and quality of it. After we approve it, we use the expertise of our team riders to tell us what should be adjusted. Respect for our team riders and friends that test ride our boards is always granted because we understand the need for feedback from multiple styles of riders. We know that we can't please every rider with a board that meets their expectations, but we strive to make a variety of boards for all different rider and skating styles.
Not only do we want to create a board for everyone, but we want to make it a special board for them as well. If you haven't realized already, we like to pay special attention to every detail in a board. Everything from pressing to finishing a board is handcrafted and home-grown right here in Sheboygan, WI. You ask, "Well, what makes a handcrafted board different from a manufactured board?" When a robot makes your longboard, or if it is made in an assembly line style work environment, you lose the aspect in a board that makes it valuable. Any machine can print on a graphic on the bottom of a board, but not every person can paint it on paying extreme attention to detail. Also, manufactured boards are more prone to having defects because when you are sorting through thousands of boards a day, it is easy to miss a lopsided concave or a slight delamination. But when you make a single board from start to finish with your own two hands, it is hard to miss blemishes or errors. Finally, another advantage of going with a smaller handcrafted longboard company is that you will most likely have more customization on your board. What makes a board special if it's not what you want? That is why we collaborate with amazing artists like Chapin Mathews. Chapin, a well known artist in the Richmond, VA area recently moved out to Boulder,CO to explore a new creative chapter in his life. You will see some of his artwork on our Grand Reward longboard, but if you would like to see more of his beautiful paintings, check out his site here, http://chapinmathews.blogspot.com/. We will be working with Chapin during this next year to create new masterpieces with his artwork on them!
If you haven't seen any of our work yet, I will tell you right now that it most likely has some sort of a beautiful grain enhancing stain, an authentic logo, and a durable, yet beautiful, finish over everything. What can I say? We like to keep it natural! Your board might even have our special clear grip tape on it if it is one of our carver/cruiser boards. This formulated grip is designed to increase durability without covering up the natural beauty of the wood. Plus, I promise that it is a sprinkled grip rather than actual tape that wears quicker.
Why Do We Need Your Help?
Naturally Sheboygan Longboards is on the verge of entering production. But as you may guess, we don't have the funds to purchase larger quantities of materials needed for production. Production will only occur if we can efficiently buy materials in bulk so that we can sell boards for less and send them out to you quicker. If we have to order small amounts of materials at a time and use the profits from those few boards to buy more, it will take forever for us to get the boards to you! Not to mention, we will fall behind with back orders. The funds from Kickstarter will also go to purchasing more equipment to increase board production efficiency. Some of this new equipment will include new saws, materials for presses, lumber for making a lot more board racks, and other tool replacements. We also realize that we will not be able to run a full operation much longer in our small shop that we have now. Sometime in the near future, we will need to invest in a larger, more efficient shop. The funds we raise on Kickstarter will go partly to that as well. However, we want you to know that we have decided to keep every board handcrafted no matter what it takes. The new equipment and shop will not do the board building for us, it will just allow us to build more efficiently. Finally, a portion of the funds raised on Kickstarter will go directly to becoming a legitimate company, and purchasing our seller’s permit. Thank you very much for considering us!
We also have a plan for maximizing efficiency during production so that we don't waste our time or yours. For the last year, we have run practice production scenarios in order to see where our weak spots are. Some of the things that we have practiced are the way we receive orders, keep track of each board, and most importantly, the process of completing the boards. I am not able to explain our refined processes in detail because secrets are secrets, but I will say that we have increased our production rate by nearly 80% over the last few months. This plan also includes a budget for the percentages of each sale that will fund certain sectors of the operation. This budget will allow us to forward some money to benefit the advancement of our technologies. We have big plans in the works with new ideas, but we need funding to bring these ideas to life. We figure that if we can fund the first batch of materials and equipment for production, we will be able to use a fraction of the revenue from board sales to initiate the "Innovation Fund." We are aware that we are entering a race to launch the next best longboard, and that's why we won't stop innovating until we win that race.
My team and I would like to thank you and tell you that we truly appreciate your generosity and support. All it takes is an ounce of support in order to give someone an enormous amount of motivation and determination. All of you that have been helping this company get to where it is today, I thank you immensely on behalf of Naturally Sheboygan Longboards. You have inspired us to stay in this business and strive to create the next revolutionary line of longboard skateboards. Rest assured, you are supporting 100% handcrafted products that can only be created by paying special attention to every detail. Thanks again, and stay tuned for our new website launching soon!
NS Longboards would like to thank our outstanding backers for their incredible support. We are happy that you have chosen to support 100% hand craftsmanship, and hope that we can influence other riders to look into home-grown and handcrafted longboards. Thanks again, and we owe you guys big time! That's why we are rewarding you with the following rewards.
Who doesn't love stickers? You can place these slick looking stickers on anything from your board to your car!
These silicone wristbands are the perfect accessory to any outfit that not only adds style, but gets our company name out there wherever you go!
You will definitely be cruisin' in style with a Naturally Sheboygan Longboards mesh trucker hat! Snap-back style.
Authentic NS Graphic T
The NS "Brewzer"
The name says it all! Use this carver/ cruiser style board to cruise around town, or as a mode of transportation for running errands. The board is 38" long and has moderate flex, mellow concave, and rear kicktail. Note: The graphic and colors will vary from board to board. Either way, we will surprise you with a natural looking masterpiece!
The NS Freeride longboard
Most of our time is put into the creation and innovation of our freeride longboards. We are constantly trying to improve the boards' feel and performance. The board you are going to receive features a 39" platform, lock-in concave, and double kick tails. It is also extremely light, but still stiff enough for stability and great power transfer while sliding and doing tricks. Concave is more on the aggressive side. Kick tails are prominent so that popping the board up takes little effort. Large tails also help with executing manuals. One of our board testers said, "You can do toe side stand-up slides with no effort whatsoever." Team rider, Cavan Faucett also gave us some feedback saying, "This board is perfectly balanced, making it extremely easy to nose manual for longer periods of time." This freeride board is the same board our team rider is riding in our Kickstarter video!
Original artwork By: Chapin Mathews
This will give you an idea of the style of Chapin's art. When you receive a board with his artwork on the bottom, you can expect very detailed work similar to this painting.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Finding a Place to Operate
Finding a larger space to operate and produce out of is always a huge challenge for any start up company. This will be one of the biggest road blocks we will have to work our way around in the coming year. The hardest part is that it is too hard to predict when the move from the small shop to the big shop will need to occur. We won't find this out until we are in production. But, we have been keeping an eye out for potential inexpensive buildings that could house NS Longboards in the near future. Our constantly changing budget will also include this investment once we get a feel for what kind of funds we have to work with.
Getting Rewards to You
What is the point of backing a project if you don't at least receive a sincere thank you? We can assure you that you will receive a sincere thank you card from the NS Crew when you back us starting at $5. We believe that the impression you make is always more important than what you benefit from. That is why we will be shipping out to our backers rewards ranging from stickers to complete longboard decks! It's no fun when someone promises something and they never come around. That's why we assure you that we will work the fastest we can to get your rewards out to you as quickly as possible. In order to do so, we have come up with spreadsheets organizing all of the shipping of products so that you will get yours on time! Thanks again for your amazing support!
Winning the "Innovation Race"
Trust us, there is nothing that we would rather do more than create the next best longboard. But we will face the challenges of other companies beating us to it. This is where we will have to take risks. We may have to risk investing some of our revenue into a new material or a new process, but it will pay off in the end. We understand that the only thing standing in our way is the lack of determination, but know that persistence always pays off.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
At this reward level you will receive a sincere Thank You card from the NS Crew. Every bit will help us achieve our goal of entering production. Thank you for supporting NS Longboards!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
At this level, you will be rewarded with a few NS Longboards stickers! Place the stickers on anything from your board to your car. Thank you for supporting hand craftsmanship!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
When you pledge $30 or more, you will receive an NS Longboards wristband! Along with the wristband, we will throw in a few NS Boards stickers as well! Thank you for supporting hand craftsmanship!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Have you ever wanted to rock a cool snap-back style hat? Well, here is your chance! When you back our company with $50 or more, you will receive an NS Boards mesh trucker snap-back along with a few stickers! Thanks for your support!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Get your very own authentic NS Longboards graphic t-shirt (sizes XS-XXL) when you generously back our project with $75. We will also accompany the t-shirt with a few slick looking stickers! Thanks for supporting our company!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
At this level of rewards, you will receive an authentic NS Longboards graphic t-shirt (sizes XS-XXL), a wristband, and a few stickers. Your support of our handcrafted longboards is greatly appreciated, and we thank you!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
At this level of rewards, we will be giving our backers a combo pack of items. You will be rocking an authentic NS Longboards graphic t-shirt (sizes XS-XXL), an NS mesh trucker hat, a wristband, and you will receive a handful of stickers to place where ever you would like! Thanks for backing us!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $270 or moreYou selected
When you back our project with $270, you will receive one of our longboard skateboards. The board you will be receiving is a carver/cruiser named "The Brewzer." The category of riding, carving/cruising, explains what type of riding the board is meant for. However, this does not mean it can't be used as a beautiful wall decoration. We named this board after one of Wisconsin's favorite pastimes, brewing, along with its intended use as a cruiser. Thank you for your support! NOTE: This longboard deck does not include trucks, wheels, or hardware. Reward price already includes shipping. Estimated delivery date is on the extreme end. Your rewards will most likely arrive sooner than expected. Contact us about international shipping.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $370 or moreYou selected
At the $370 reward level, you will receive the same "Brewzer" cruiser longboard as the reward at $270. However, we are going to include an authentic NS Longboards graphic t-shirt, and a few stickers. Thank you for helping us out! NOTE: This longboard deck does not include trucks, wheels, or hardware. Estimated delivery date is on the extreme end. Your rewards will most likely arrive sooner than expected. Contact us about international shipping.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $580 or moreYou selected
When you generously back our project with $580, we will reward you with one of our higher performance freeride longboard decks. We are also going to include an authentic NS graphic t-shirt, a mesh trucker hat, a wristband, and some stickers that scream "COOL." You will be ridin' with style in no time.Once again, you will have the option of purchasing trucks and wheels for the board from your local shop to ride it, or use it as a beautiful natural looking wall decoration. Thank you for choosing to back our handcrafted longboards! NOTE: Board does not include trucks, wheels, or hardware. Shipping is already included in reward price. Estimated delivery date is on the extreme end. Your rewards will most likely arrive sooner than expected. Contact us about international shipping.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $1,050 or moreYou selected
At this reward level, we are going to send our supporting backers the same freeride longboard as the $580 reward. However we are going to include a set of Paris 180 mm Trucks, Abec 11 Flashback wheels, Bones Reds bearings, and hardware. This complete setup will allow you to skate hard and have fun while doing it! Just because we appreciate your help so much, we will throw in an NS Boards t-shirt! Thank you for your amazing support! You guys rock! NOTE: Shipping is included in reward price. Estimated delivery date is on the extreme end. Your rewards will most likely arrive sooner than expected. Contact us about international shipping.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $2,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
GRAND REWARD. If you are so generous and kind to back us with $2000, we will hook you up with everything you need to skate in style, and a limited addition freeride longboard deck featuring beautiful artwork by one of Richmond, Virginia's most well-known artists, Chapin Mathews. Check out the link to his website in our longer description to view his work! The artwork that will be on the board is 100% custom and going to be a surprise for our backers. We guarantee that the graphic on the board will be amazing because he has never failed to impress us. The board will be shipped to you ready to ride with a pair of Paris 180 mm trucks, Abec 11 Flashback wheels, bearings, and hardware. But of course, you still have the option of using this work of art as a masterpiece for your wall. Along with the freeride longboard, we will throw in an extra carver/cruiser board! These two boards will allow you to do almost anything from carving and cruising to tricks and bombing hills! The trucks and wheels you are receiving will be sufficient for use on both boards. You will also receive a graphic t-shirt, a mesh trucker hat, and a few stickers. Thank you, your support is greatly appreciated! Estimated delivery date is on the extreme end. Your rewards will most likely arrive sooner than expected. Contact us about international shipping.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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