Skateboards break. And they break fairly often.
But one Dalton teen has developed a skateboard that not only promises to break less often than others but has more “pop,” the springiness that skateboarders value, than many other boards. It has already won plaudits from his fellow skateboarders.
Now, even as he makes plans to graduate from Morris Innovative High School, Victor Cervantes is meeting with manufacturers, retailers and others. He hopes he can turn his skateboard design into a small business right here in Dalton.
“A normal skateboard is all maple. This one has a layer of carbon fiber in the middle. That makes it stronger. It should last longer,” Cervantes said recently as he and friends tested the prototype at the Dalton skate park at James Brown Park.
The prototype began as a class project at school.
“We started with a gap. The gap was that skateboards break way too much,” Cervantes said.
He said an active skateboarder can break a board every two or three months.
“So I started looking at how technology could make stronger skateboards that last longer,” he said. “I did some research and came up with a carbon fiber and maple mix. I wanted to use maple because that is what traditionally is used for skateboards, and I wanted something that still looked and felt like a real skateboard.”
Cervantes says he believes the new skateboard could last a typical skateboarder six months, maybe longer. He says he also believes it can be produced at a price that’s competitive with traditional skateboards, which cost around $120.
After coming up with his design, he approached a company in Atlanta to build the prototype.
“They told me that someone else had tried this before and it hadn’t worked. This was the first one that turned out perfectly,” he said.
That led to Cervantes and his friends taking the prototype out to the skate park to put it through its paces.
“It felt smooth. The tricks flowed smoothly,” Cervantes said.
Javier Aviles said he was skeptical when Cervantes first told him his idea for a new skateboard.
“Then I saw the design, and I knew he was serious about it,” he said.
After riding the prototype, Aviles said he was impressed.
“When I first picked it up, it was really light,” he said. “And the first time I popped a trick, I got a lot higher than I normally do, higher than a normal board. It has a lot of pop, which is great.”
While the skate park was the obvious place to test the prototype, it may have been especially meaningful since Cervantes played a large part in its creation. Four years ago, when Cervantes was still a middle school student, he spoke to the City Council and convinced the members to build the park.
Preston Keck, a teacher at Morris Innovative, said Cervantes “really took ownership” of the skateboard project.
“I guided him, but I by no means put it together for him,” Keck said. “He’s the one who developed the concept. He’s the one who approached the companies. He’s the one who designed the plan of the business. He has done a phenomenal job.”