We have a mad crush on Hunt Skateboards. There, we said it. Just look at ’em; all colourful and slick and pretty, how can you NOT?! And the more we get to know about the brand behind those pretty decks, the more 😍 we become!
The man behind the brand, Mr Alex Hunt, is one of the most genuinely nice dudes you’ll ever meet. And if you live in Australia you just might meet him and his lovely partner in crime, Caitlin Jostlear, as they travel around this Great South Land in their adventure mobile, Sandy the Van. They saved their 💸 for 2 long years and quit their sensible Melbourne jobs to hit the road, creating beautiful custom boards for people to ride, and see what adventures they find along the way.
DSM had the pleasure of sharing delicious vegetarian nachos and double-strength cider with them as they travelled up the NSW East Coast this week, and watched as Alex created the Do Shit Magazine + Hunt Skateboards Custom before our very eyes!
DSM: Hunt skateboards are beautiful! That shape and style is truly unique, which isn’t an easy thing to achieve in the world of board design. They look deceptively simple, but making a good board that looks sexy and rides well is pretty darn tricky. How did you develop the signature Hunt board design?
AH: Well it all started about 12 year ago when I was a little kid. I was always making skateboards from old pieces of timber dad had lying around and I used to cut out all kinds of shapes and sizes. That grew into a passion for making boards, but it wasn’t until 2014 I started taking it seriously. Originally, a mate and I worked together on all types of boards, from hardwood boards to fully laminated designs that we pressed, but mostly to no avail. I branched off to do my own thing.
“I guess I was always really inspired by the early 1950’s style skateboards; simple, hard, durable and built for speed.”
So with about 8 months of playing around with the right size and ratio for balance and turning circle, I had some custom trucks manufactured to create the ideal balance. It wasn’t easy, there was a lot of trial and error. But in the end I came up with something that, in my opinion, felt the best under my feet – and in the end, we should all trust our own opinion right?
DSM: Explain your mantra, “Ride local, ride free”
AH: I’ve always been heavily invested in local brands, local shops, local organisations or anything that supports anything in Australia. I don’t ship internationally as I want my brand to become something that supports and defines Australian culture, as the saying “support your local” seems to becoming quite popular here.
“I want the people of oz to feel like they are riding some genuine, not something from a large, mass-produced company from overseas.”
And I want them to feel good about it, that they too are supporting local – and the ride free part, well that’s self explanatory.
DSM: What do you like about making shit with your hands, and why is it that people still value things that are hand crafted you reckon?
AH: As I said I’ve always made boards since I was a little kid.
“There’s no better feeling than creating something by hand and then using it yourself, knowing you made it. And it’s an even better feeling seeing strangers on the street using your product too, because the fact that I am making someone feel a sense of clarity and happiness is priceless.”
“I think all things made by hand are special because, whatever it is, it has been made with dedication, love and passion by someone for someone else’s pleasure. You just don’t get that with the big corporations and mass producers.”
DSM: How would you describe the ride of a Hunt board as opposed to other boards out there?
AH: Well, I was after something that I couldn’t find anywhere, hence why I made my boards. I was after something in between a penny skateboard and a longboard, poppy and highly responsive, but super stable and cruisy.
“You can go pretty damn quick and you won’t get speed wobbles. Well I hit about 45km and didn’t!”
But if you just want to cruise, you will genuinely love it. The other reason is, I wanted to create something that looked cool with all attires, characters and individuals – it’s pretty minimal so it doesn’t stand out too much.
DSM: It doesn’t seem like an easy feat to learn a craft, hone it, and then build your own business, quit your job and take it on the road. What keeps you driven to create the Hunt brand through all the challenges?
“The key in life is to find your passion.”
Before I quit the rat race to take my business around Oz I worked full time in an architecture office, but my passion has always been to make a skateboard company. It’s hard to explain, but I genuinely have a love for it.
“Whatever the challenge is, I see it as beneficial for me to learn and take the next leap, my next step.”
It has been pretty smooth so far – this trip will be a challenge but I think worth it.