Mason Paddison and Privy Boards
Mason Paddison is just one of those kids who excels at anything he tries to do. Not even 16, he has been working with two other friends on a start-up company called Privy Boards. This interview explores more about this impressive young man and their innovative new boards…
Me: So, Mason, thanks for sitting down to do the interview. Are you from Savannah?
Mason: Yes, born and raised here.
Me: How old are you?
Mason: I’m 15 years old, but about to turn 16 September 11th.
Me: Awesome! So, a sophomore now?
Mason: Yes, a sophomore at Savannah Arts Academy.
Me: Cool! So, when did you start making boards-before or after you started there?
Mason: Well, I’ve been into making longboards since I was 12, but they weren’t very good and broke a lot. I just started getting into serious board making this past March 2012.
Me: Is that when you started Privy Boards?
Me: Can you tell me a little bit about how the company got started?
Mason: Well, there is a club in Savannah called SCAD longboarding. Every weekend, a group of around 30 skaters get together and skate all around downtown. I met my co-workers Jake Galloway and Eddie Kihm at these meets and we became good friends. We decided we wanted to make out own boards just for fun, so we started researching how everything was done. After we spent a week or so talking about it, we got a vacuum press and some wood for our first board. We realized we loved what we were doing and wanted to grow it into a company.
Me: So, what is everyone’s role in the company?
Mason: Jake Galloway considers his role Arts and Crafts, but he really does a little bit of everything. Eddie Kihm is the brains in the business. You could call him a longboard engineer. He shapes the boards, shapes the moulds for the
press, and draws the graphics. I am the head fabricator. We all help press the board, then we take the blank out when it is dry and I shape it with assistance from Jake. I also spray the Polyurethane onto the boards.
Me: How many models do you have so far?
Mason: The Ischium and the Talus are the only ones in production at the moment, but we used to make the Trapezius.
Me: Can you explain the differences between the boards?
Mason: The Ischium is a top mount longboard meaning your feet are very close to the trucks and the trucks are under the board like a traditional skateboard. It’s rather hard to explain without me having a board in my hand showing you. The Talus is a top mount kicktail board. You can free ride the Talus as well as street style skate it.
They are modern designs that cater to today’s downhill freeride skater…smarter building, more care, and more thoughts than many other decks. We are exploring new concave patterns…fueling progression through comfort and innovative engineering.
Me: So what type of rider would get the Ischium or Talus?
Mason: For those looking to go fast and keep it simple on the hill, there’s the Ischium…no kicktails or anything, but a concave you trust your skin to flying down a hill and throwing a slide or sticking a line.
For those that want to get a little more exploratory, there’s the Talus. It has the same thoughtful features, but in a more compact and versatile package that lets you go straight from the hill to the unpredictable terrain of city streets and everywhere in between.
Me: That’s great! Sounds like the two boards in your line can give a little something to everyone. So, what is in the future for Privy? Any plans for 2013?
Mason: We are planning on designing a process that caters to our production needs. Right now, we have one press. So, although we can sell boards, we have a lot of people waiting. We plan on building a few more hydraulic presses to really step up production.
Me: Does your company sell direct to the customer or can we find any of your boards in stores?
Mason: Our company sells direct to the customer, but we are also going to be getting our boards out to shops across the east coast and hopefully beyond.
Me: I have to ask, can you give me some insight into the graphics on the bottom of the boards?
Mason: Eddie Kihm, our graphic designer, is an artist at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). In his free time, he loved to draw horses with hands as heads. A few days before we were going to press our first board, I broke my pinkey. We wanted to take Eddie’s “handimal” idea and make one with a broken
pinkey in it for our first board. The idea grew from there and we had have a great time thinking up new ideas for new handimals.
You can find all of our graphics on our facebook page.
Me: Do you guys have a website set up yet?
Mason: We are working on that actually, it is probably going to be put up once production picks up.
Me: I understand your company recently went to Atlanta to compete and show off your boards, can you tell me what the event was all about and how it went?
Mason: Indeed. Jake, Eddie and I went to Atlanta, Georgia, for Skateday Bloody Skateday #3 Slide Jam. It was hosted by Mason McNay on behalf of the Confederate Skateboard Army. It was a very well organized slide jam and we had tons of fun.
Since the event is now in its third year, it was bigger and better than ever-with plenty of sponsors and an appearance by Skanunu brands. Taking the boards to the event was a great way for us to make the brand more known and to get people excited for the release.
We definitely turned some heads.
Me: Did you compete while you were there?
Mason: Yes, it was my first slide jam.
I made it to the finals in the first timers division. This division was for everyone who was at a slide jam for the first time like me. Brandon Waller got the better of me in the finals and won. He is an extraordinary skater!
Me: Well, congratulations for making it as far as you did!
Mason: Thank you. I won a prize for the longest blunt slide.
Me: You’ll have to explain to me what a blunt slide is!
Mason: I was on the Talus when I did this. It is a slide where your foot is on the tail of the board and you life the nose of the board off the ground and do a power slide with the two black wheels instead of all four.
Me: That is really impressive!
Mason: Not many people do them because you must have a kicktail to pull it off. The Talus is great for these slides.
Me: So, what is in the future for you…as a skater, fabricator with Privy and just a normal guy?
Mason: Right now, my main focus is on the start of school, but I will, of course, still work at Privy after school hours and maybe even before. My future as a skater is just to have fun and get the word of Privy out to my fellow skaters.
Me: What are some of your interests when you’re not skating or working with Privy?
Mason: I’ve been toying around with kiteboarding for the past year or so. Other than that, my time is consumed with skating and Privy, not a bad deal at all.
Me: Sounds like you have a lot of fun! Well, I think that wraps it up Mason. Thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk about your boards!