Doug McKee of Bellingham, WA carves skateboards that look like birds, insects, and sea creatures.
The process of carving a skateboard takes a bit of time. The piece is carved out of green wood. Which is to say wet, freshly cut wood. Ideally the wood spits its water at you as you carve. I use western red cedar because it is ideal in so many ways. Its light, strong and becomes harder as it ages. It splits easily facilitating carving–but also renders the piece fragile. First it is carved green and carefully hollowed out, then put away to dry. It shrinks radially along the growth rings as it dries. Some material must be left to “true up” or eliminate the distortions caused during drying. When it is dry enough it is finish carved.
Doug says the boards are strong enough to stand up to actual use, as long as you’re careful and are okay making occasional repairs.