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urban cruisers

August 3, 2016



Ryan Akin grew up skateboarding and still enjoys the sport. But now he also designs and builds one-of-a-kind skateboards from reclaimed wood in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward.

The company: Atlanta-based Lightboards started in the spring of 2014. It manufactures skateboard decks and sells them as complete skateboards with quality parts chosen to match their design and colors. Akin wanted to invest in his community in a practical way and started the small company to provide part-time employment and mentorship to young men in the neighborhood.

Founder & designer: Akin graduated from the University of Florida and earned a master’s degree from Georgia Tech in mechanical engineering. He is employed as an information technology consultant routinely works on Lightboards at night and on the weekends in a space at Studioplex.

What’s popular: The long-boards ($250 to $300). They are equipped with large wheels, wide trucks, and cut-out designs for a smooth ride.

Other favorites: Laminated skateboard decks made from local hardwoods, especially the ones with a kick-tail on the back and a hand-painted city skyline design. They sell around $250.

Materials: Wood from forest-free trees that came down in the Atlanta area or wood from reclaimed sources, such as a discarded kitchen table.

Fun request: Sold a skateboard to a woman who planned to give it to her husband for his 59th birthday.

Where to buy:




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