Small Area Factory Makes Skateboards for Celebrities
I do not know a lot about Justin Bieber. But, I do know something that a lot of his fans probably do not know.
I know where he gets his skateboards.
It’s Penn's Wood Manufacturing near Oil City. The small factory makes some of the best quality skateboards in the world. Joe McDonald founded the company in 1995. Joe was a skateboarder and he decided to make some boards on his own.
"I always just built things. They're just made of wood and glue. Why not just make it ourselves? It took a little while to figure it out but the first board we made actually turned out pretty good,” says Joe.
Joe buys sheets of hard maple veneer from Wisconsin. Several sheets of the veneer are glued together and put in a press. They then are cured for three hours. Holes are drilled. The sheets are then separated. It takes only seven layers to make one skateboard.
A CNC machine is used to shape the board. The edges are smoothed out and the surface is sanded. Finally, the board's art work is applied with heat…just like a screen printed tee shirt.
The finished boards are sold to various skateboard companies for retail sales. Some skateboards are ordered by celebrities for promotions.
Justin Bieber is a big fan of Penn's Wood skateboards. He's made several orders for his fashion clothing company called "Drew House."
“He would order a thousand boards and sell them when they put out new clothing,” says Joe.
The heavy metal band "Metallica" orders specially designed skateboards to sell online and at tour stops. Comic Book Legend Stan Lee buys special boards that he autographs and sells at Comic Con events. But, it's the professional and amateur skateboarders that really love the product made at the little shop near Oil City. One board helped a skater win an Olympic Gold Medal in Tokyo. It made Joe proud.
"We see our boards on TV and different contests and things. But the Olympics is the pinnacle of skateboard contests,” he said.
Penn's Wood Manufacturing averages about 200 high quality skateboards a day. Joe says most skateboards are mass-produced in China. However, when COVID hit and shipments from China were delayed, his company was asked to make 100,000 boards a month to fill the void. Joe had to turn down the order.