Cirus Skateboards are a skateboard manufacturer in Hungary, where they are made carefully, with bamboo. They offer a great warantee program, and are doing big business with UK, German and Romanian skate brands. Source has spoken with founder Dániel Bolvári, to find out more about this sustainable skateboard operation he is running. Bamboo plantations renew in 3-4 years, whereas maple takes anywhere between 50-70 years to regenerate…
Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Dániel Bolvári. I was about 13-14 years old, when I bought my first second hand, very used Acme deck with slick layer on the bottom. At that time it took roughly one year to find enough money to buy a complete new Powell deck. The most interesting fact is, at that time I paid the same amount of money as I would do nowdays. Meaning, skateboarding was 3-4 times more expensive at that time than today.
This inspired me to start producing quality skateboard decks for the local market.
How is the Hungarian skateboard market?
The Hungarian skateboard market is very little comparing to other European countries, but I think it is developing, meaning the number of users, such as longboards and cruisers is increasing as well as the number of street skaters.
The skateboard shops are selling almost the same street decks brands everywhere, and mostly made from maple. For this we are offering alternative solutions, but the riders have to be open for new solutions as well.
What are the biggest challenges in the skateboard market in Eastern Europe?
To be well known as a quality deck producer with new solutions. To my mind there are already so many brands available in the market, that you need to make your brand known with whatever marketing tools (advertising, sponsorship, fairs…) you have at your disposal.
Tell us about your Skateboard factory.
I would say we are a skateboard manufacturer, with well equipped conditions. We have a double cylinder hydraulic press of 20 mount pressure capacity with heat press molds for street, freestyle decks, and cold press molds for cruisers and longboards.
We have a heat transfer press machine for multiple printed graphics, but we can even print individual graphics directly onto the boards.
Please give us the history of your skateboard factory.
I am a carpenter by trade, and I have always loved working with wood. I decided to start producing my own skateboards because of the above mentioned high deck prices to make it available for more teenagers at a reasonable price.
Around eight years ago I made my first decks from maple. I soon realized that if I order blank decks from other manufacturers, and sell them under my own brand name, I wasn’t able to guarantee quality products. In addition I wanted to come up with my own shape and design. Any of these reasons would have been enough for me to consider starting my own production of skateboards. As for the maple, I went as far as to choose the type of maple (Acer Pseodoplatanus as a local species, similar to Acer Saccharum – sugar/hard/rock mapple) logs myself here in Hungary.
Of course there were some promising results, but because I hadn’t started this due to business reasons, it took me two more testing series before I could tell I was going in the right direction.
It was also noticeable that during production there were some very good series, but that high quality could not be provided continuously in Hungary, because renewal of the wood was extremely slow and inhomogeneous. I had to choose whether I lower my professional drive and make medium quality boards, or to find another way.
The new direction was the usage of bamboo.
What’s special about your technology?
The bamboo itself brings something very special to our decks. We chose bamboo for our raw material, because bamboo renews in 3-4 years after harvest, compared to maple forests that need about 50-70 years to recover after harvesting. Thanks to bamboo’s fibre structure, it is really flexible and able to resist strong impact too. To prolong the liftime of the decks, we are offering different solutions for reinforcement by carbonfibre. Each deck is carried by one person from the lamination process to the packaging, meaning each deck is treated very carefully.
What are the benefits to brands and the final consumer?
We offer a high quality deck for a very competitive price, and we guarantee to replace the deck if any quality problem occurs due to production.
Who do you currently have as clients?
We are focusing on direct sales for end users in Europe. In the last couple of months our number of clients from UK, Germany and Romania went through a boom, thanks to our freestyle and procarbon line.
Which markets do you hope you move into in the future?
We would like to build up a solid European market for our skateboards, so we see our future in Europe.