High Voltage Woodwork:Holz Longboards

An Interview with Marlon Ammann, Founder of Holz Longboards

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Introducing Holz Longboard Co, a Miami-based independently owned longboard shop featuring handmade longboards made with pressed Baltic Birch wood and utilizing high voltage wood burning art to create unique custom pieces.

We spoke with owner Marlon Ammann about the business and his vision:

Tell us about the inception of the company and your motivation behind it.

Growing up in a three mountain town in Austria I spent a lot of my childhood running around in the woods by my grandparents’ house and helping my grandpa out in his wood shop making barrels and shingles. That is also where the name Holz comes from which is the German term for wood. I love to surround myself with wood, in any shape and form I’m drawn to the depth of this material, the grain, the feel, even the smell of it. It’s magic.

I really fostered my interest for wood working when a friend and I started building a wooden dinghy last year to cross the Venetian Causeway as long there is construction going on. After getting a sense for how malleable wood is and adding experience with the shaping, bending and pressing of wood I wanted to build a longboard. As often in life when you put your heart into something, things start to happen, dots connect, people step up and before I knew it I had a wood shop, a self-made longboard press, all the basic tools I needed and my 9-5 job was long gone and over the hills.
How does Holz differ from other longboard brands available in Miami?

I am building multilayer Baltic Birch cruiser longboards with a fiberglass core and with high-voltage wood burning deck art. All my boards are handmade and every deck comes out unique with a different wood burning design on the bottom. The perfect concave and camber for a nice flex and great control have been tested over the course of this summer and based on feedback from riders and my own experience, the recipe tastes good.

I also don’t really know of any other local longboard company in Miami and the decks that are available in the skate shops around town are just your big-brand manufacturers and no small batch handmade longboards.

Tell about your craftsmanship and what makes it unique.

The handmade movement has never died in the small town where I come from but here in the US and especially in Miami I’ve been sensing a renaissance of craftsmanship and artisan production. It is beautiful to see how people’s idea of value is shifting to more quality products that are durable, sustainable and got the soul of their makers (manufacturers) in it.

I always loved the process of creating and crafting something from scratch. Whatever it is you build, it moves through you and has a part of you in it when it’s done. For the longboards, I choice the wood, read the grain, I built the press, I handshape every board, I do the wood burning art, I hand print my own T-shirts. (It’s pretty much one big hand-job, haha)

How does the Miami community and art scene influence your business?

It’s all about the people. I would be nowhere if it wouldn’t be for friends and people in this town who have stepped up and supported me in so many ways. Beyond Ocean Drive and Wynwood Walls, Miami is home to real people who have a lot to offer and I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by great artists, thinkers and entrepreneurs who want to grow individually and as a community. For example my signature deck art the high-voltage wood burning is inspired by local artist Cory Hunter, who is a master of Lichtenberg figure art.
What can Miami residents expect when making a visit to Holz Longboard Co?

Something new is happening every day at the wood shop. My work space is located in an art complex near Wynwood called The Bridge. You will hear local bands rehearsing through the thin walls of this former church, artists putting on a new murals on the outside façade, fun workshops taking place in the main auditorium and me chipping it away in the wood shop.

You will find me there any day of the week, either working on boards, developing new designs with experienced skaters, printing merchandise with friends or collaborating with artists. With the wood shop as an extension of my brand, I want to bring people together and facilitate the same feeling that wood gives me, the magic.

That being said, the doors to my wood shop are always open to you.

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