Factory workers moonlight to create cutting-edge longboard brand
Dreamed up by a group of employees at factory in the sleepy Pacific Northwest town of North Bonneville, Moonshine MFG is a product of imagination, collaboration and grass-roots innovation.
While building high-tech wood-core wake and kiteboards for Slingshot Sports, workers at the factory – many of whom were passionate skateboarders – realized they could apply the same materials, machinery and manufacturing techniques to produce skateboards unlike anything else on the market.
“We had all of these great tools for making boards and we thought ‘hey, we need to make a skateboard with these materials we have,” said Brian Trullinger, Distillery factory president. Our guys are into every board that we make for all the different sports, but all of them skate, so they really put a lot of passion, time and energy into the project.”
Employees were given the resources and creative freedom to experiment and build their own boards on their own time, and before long their passion and creativity fused into something special. As prototypes took shape, high-level skaters were enlisted to test the best designs, and their feedback was loud and clear: The boards were amazing!
“Our factory guys got into it,” said Slingshot CEO Jeff Logosz. “They’re all passionate, they’re all into what we build, and they recognized very quickly that the technology on the floor would be really good for longboards. They literally started moonlighting and building their own skateboards.
“As it got put together and they started building a pretty good product, we recognized that. They said hey, can we sell them, and we said sure. So we’ve lent them the support they needed and buckled our seatbelts for the ride.”
In the spring of 2014 the decision was made to start commercially producing these innovative new longboards. The factory gave up its name, Moonshine, to the new skate brand and assumed a new identity, The Distillery, under which it would produce the Moonshine skateboards along with Slingshot’s renowned kite and wakeboards.
Reflecting the demand for longboards of this caliber, Moonshine MFG has gone from grass roots inception to international acclaim in one action-packed year. Moonshine now have six distinct boards on its lineup and in skate shops across the globe, as well as its own line of White Lightning grip and slip wheels.
With materials and manufacturing processes totally unique in the industry, Moonshine boards are unrivaled by anything else on the market.
“With anything that we make in our factory, it’s always the top end,” Logosz said. “We always focus on the best user experience. We care about our intellectual property and how much work goes into every board. Boards are a piece of art, whether it’s a wakeboard or a skateboard, and that user experience, to us, is number-one.”