Corey Sholes, a self-described skateboard fanatic, was 18 years old when he cut his first skateboard. Eventually, he started pressing his own boards using a vacuum press system, and making handcrafted boards became his full-time job and his business, Legend Skateboards, in 1994.
“Every skateboard company at the time were making boards the exact same way, and you couldn’t tell the difference from one to the other,” he says. “(I) wanted to try something different with different pressing methods and different materials — carbon fiber, epoxy, bamboo.”
Now 50 years old, Sholes makes 200-300 skateboard decks a month. Making a board, which takes him about 20 minutes, involves stacking the template on the new board and using a band saw to cut the shape, drilling, laminating, hand-sanding and several other steps.
He works inside the woodshop at his home in Vacaville, which has an adjacent half-pipe where he can take a break from work to enjoy his favorite pastime.
Sholes is primarily a manufacturer of boards for other brands, with clients across the United States. “It’s primarily from Instagram,” he says. “People find custom boards, and they look me up, and I make boards for them.” Besides experimenting with new shape designs, his favorite part of the job is interacting with customers who are like him — skateboard fanatics.