Take a tour of Moonshine MFG’s Distillery

Polyboards writer and skate fanatic Gabriel Shin toured Mooshine’s North Bonneville, Washington factory on a trip through the northwest on his way to the famous Maryhill Festival of Speed. Here’s a great write-up about his stop, and about the many details that make Moonshine MFG so special.


 

Factory Tour: Moonshine MFG’s Distillery

While I was in OR/WA for the Maryhill F.O.S, the people over at Moonshine MFG were kind and gracious enough to invite me to their factory, the “Distillery” where every single one of their boards is created and is also where Moonshine was born.

My guide through the tour was Greg Kish, Moonshine and Slingshot’s marketing and sales director.

Right through the front door of the factory, you’ll walk into the creative offices where Moonshine/Slingshot sports prototypes and designs all their new products. I got to see some upcoming boards I think that many of you pushers out there will really love…

The Distillery was not originally a longboard factory, Slingshot Sports (MS’s sister company) made wakeboards and kiteboards before they thought up the idea to make skateboards. As a result, a lot of the workspace is shared with wake/kiteboard production, but is slowly leaning more and more towards skateboards, with them being cheaper and easier to produce than wake/kiteboards.

Besides being naturally loud because of the factory environment (lots of active machines), there was a speaker in the middle of the pressing section blasting Gorillaz while everyone was working, it didn’t feel like it was factory where boards were simply made, it felt more like an art house, or a shack with bunch of dudes building stuff with really expensive equipment. The passion and love of the sport really flows and shows in the end product from these guys.

Something that really surprised me is that every single MS deck the Distillery produces is all made and laid on a single table and pressed in 6 presses. If you own a MS deck, it was made on that little table on the left of the longboard press bays. Some other companies might be able to say “made in the USA”, but MS really means that they design and manufacture all under the same roof. Even the wood they use is sustainably harvested locally.

On the tail of every Moonshine deck, there’s a serial number that has various miscellaneous information attached, such as which press bay it was pressed in, how much pressure, and when. All this information is used to quality control and helps MS to quickly find problems in their production flow and figure out warranties faster.

The warehouse for Moonshine and Slingshot is literally right next to the Distillery, housing all of the soon-to-be shredded decks. In the picture above, Greg is holding a Moonshine X Ronin Tucker, something that’s been in the works since January. The Tucker is the latest commercial incarnation of Ronin’s GMR tucker, which various models have been made, but never sold at the scale of shops. The Tucker will feature rocker, mild radial, and full urethane truck mounds for extra vibration dampening. The Tucker will also come in a carbon fiber version; more expensive, but sexier, stiffer, and stronger.

The standard wood tuckers will be sold as completes from Moonshine with cast ronin trucks and the carbon versions with 174mm 40/40 pro-lite ronin precision trucks in a limited orange hanger/black baseplate colorway.

All the work and care that goes into Moonshine as a company is really stunning and awesome to see that the new kid isn’t all hype and the quality really transfers to tough, versatile, and fantastic decks for all kinds of skating. I’m stoked for the future of Moonshine MFG, what will they make next? Maybe I’ll make another visit to the Distillery soon!

Thanks to Greg for the tour of the Distillery and for letting me lurk the Moonshine tent + free water at the Festival of Speed, really saved my butt from the over-100 degree temps. Eternally grateful, much love, skate well! ❖

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