By Alicia Rivera on July 3, 2018
“If we had it our way, everyone would have a board,” says skateboarder and owner of Bonzing Skateboards, Austin Graziano. With a true joy and excitement for skateboarding, Graziano found a creative path that led to a successful business. “The more I got into skateboarding and rode all sorts of different shapes, I wasn’t finding the right board to always get me there. That is when I started shaping skateboards myself,” he says.
“Skateboarding is unlike anything else and it is my escape. The feeling you get from skating is hard to describe, the fun, euphoria and excitement of bombing Twin Peaks, landing a new trick or grinding a coping is unlike anything else. After running out of metaphors to describe this feeling, I realized I needed a new word to describe this feeling - it is Bonzing!”
In 2006, Graziano registered Bonzing as a company and released its first skateboard in 2009, releasing a new board every year. In 2012, Bonzing experienced a major spike in sales, doubling the number of skateboards they had sold in previous years. Since then, Austin and the team have never looked back.
“Our boards are sold in stores and online and we don’t always get to see our customers interact with our boards. Being at Oakland First Fridays we see people first-hand checking out our boards and their reactions to what they love or questions they have. Some people know exactly what they are looking for; but there are others who are not really sure what they want and it is nice to be able set them up for what they are looking for.” Austin and his team will be setting up shop at Oakland First Fridays on Friday, July 6th. Event-goers will get a taste of the art, ride and style of Bonzing when they visit the fellas at their booth, located on this map.
FROM WOOD TO RIDE
Event-goers will get to see the finished product of what is a careful, dedicated process of art. As a new Bonzing skateboard is shaped, a rider’s artistic and physical style help define the concave of the board. “After seeing and feeling the concave we can start to put some lines down and the exploration process begins. We cut, sand, skate and repeat until we have a shape that rings the tuning fork inside, performs supremely and is fun as heck!”
All graphics are created by Bonzing’s team of skateboarders. “It is not until we have a board that we love and want to share with the world that we then start the manufacturing process. The manufacturing process ensures you get exactly what we have created and you get a board that will last you a lifetime. Quality is not an ingredient you add in the middle or at the end. It is built into our process.”
SUMMER OF BONZING
With a growth mindset, Austin has exciting plans for Bonzing this summer, releasing new skateboards and putting on their first skate school. “If you, your child or anyone you know wants to learn how to skateboard we are putting on a two-day skate class for beginners. Everyone is welcome and you can visit BonzingSkateboards.com to sign up!” Further plans include a Bonzing Factory, where the organization can foster more opportunities for skateboarders’ lifestyle, skills and talents. “We have a great place to grow from in Oakland and a kick-a** team of rippers shaping street, transition and downhill skateboards. We could not be more excited about where we are and what we are doing!”’
Be sure to come say “Hi” and check out some Bonzing boards at the Oakland First Fridays “Art Of D.I.Y.” event on Friday, July 6th, 5 to 9PM at West Grand and Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.