It all started back in 2013 when Tim Shore’s wife, Jen, mentioned she was interested in getting a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP). A few years and thousands of hours of research and making later, Tim’s passion project has morphed in Shore Boards, a SUP company unlike any other. Through Shore Boards, Tim Shore has a mission is to provide a high quality, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind wooden SUP that is timeless in design, and built to last you a lifetime. Tim accomplishes this mission while being environmentally conscious in his source materials and through a program with the Minnesota DNR in which Shore Boards donates a portion of every board sold to the planting of new tree seedlings. To meet Tim and learn more about Shore Boards in person, be sure to stop by the upcoming Rummage event at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at the new West End Market! Read our full Rummage event preview story full more details!
Talk about the beginnings of Shore Boards. What inspired you to make that first board as opposed to simply buying one?
Back in 2013 my wife, Jen, wanted a paddleboard, and throughout researching the different options I stumbled across some guys on both coasts building wooden surfboards, and absolutely fell in love with them. The look, the environmental benefits, and lastly, the fact I could make it my own. Something at that time triggered in me to want to build her one. I mentioned that to her, and she was like, yeah right?!? At that moment it became a challenge for which I accepted! I couldn't blame her for her reaction because to that point I had absolutely no woodworking experience.
It's crazy to think back to that moment because at that time I didn't realize that those next 2 years (the time it took to build that first board) were going to completely transform our lives.
What did you learn about yourself and your creative process in making that first board? Has your process changed since?
The most important thing I learned over the stretch of the first build is "where there's a will, there's a way!" There were so many times that I needed to figure out a process on my own. As you can imagine there isn't really a blueprint on how to build these SUPs, so for most of the build I was in the garage with only my thoughts. Some things worked, some things didn't, but the importance of knowing that failure isn't a bad thing allowed me to continue on. I'm glad I did!!
The processes have significantly changed from the first build, and what took me 200 hours on the first build, is now down to under 20 hours.
It sounds like you found a great deal of fulfillment in making that first board. Do you feel like the process changed your path in life or perhaps flipped the 'on' switch to unleashing your creativity?
What started out as a passion project, turned very quickly into an obsession, then a full-blown lifestyle. It has absolutely changed my path in life. I was in the financial world in my previous professional life, and probably would've continued down that path if this project would've never came to fruition.
I'm so glad it did! It's unlocked a creative side of me that I honestly never knew existed.
Can you talk about the inaugural paddle with your first board? Do you hope that your customers have a similar feeling on the water when they buy a board from you?
The first paddle session was surreal. I remember paddling, all while looking down at the board, and a huge sense of accomplishment overtook me. I remember the beginning stages where I went to FedEx to get the plans printed, then the long nights that followed in the garage figuring it all out, and now I'm out enjoying a creation that came from an idea. It was an experience that I'll never forget.
One of my favorite days of a customer build is delivery day because it's the day most customers see their own creations for the first time. Yes, Shore Boards has its own classic designs, but we do offer to customers the option to unlock their creativity, and design their very own SUP! I think this is a distinct benefit, and one of the reasons it separates us from the mainstream SUP world. This option allows the customer to connect, and experience a very personal ride on their very own board. It definitely personalizes it. They may not have been there during the cutting, glueing, etc, but they designed it. It's their board! Very similar to my maiden voyage.
In terms of living and making in Minnesota, do you feel connected to this place?
Absolutely! Having the last name Shore, and living in a state where we have a lake around every corner it seems. Coincidence? I think not!
In all seriousness, Minnesota supports their own! I've made some amazing partnerships along the way with inspiring businesses that I'm in total awe of. We all want to help one another get better. It's pretty cool.
What do you find special about working with wood and other materials to make your boards?
Wood has its own personality. Each board we produce is different, and unique. It's pretty cool to know that everyday you're going to produce something different. Not many businesses can say, or experience that.
We also give new life to the wood. It's an heirloom piece that generations after will be able to enjoy.
Definitely. Every day we're producing boards that are providing enjoyment to people across the USA.
Not only that, but more importantly, Shore Boards is constantly looking for ways to contribute and give back to the communities we live and work in. This year we donated a Shore Board and raised some funds for the Lindsey Vonn Foundation which focuses on building young women's confidence in all facets of their life. It's a great organization, and we were so happy to be able to contribute.
These are just a couple examples of how the business has a much broader reach, and how it can be used to positively affect people's lives.