I met Zak Furey at the 2016 King of Kona Contest. I was impressed by his artwork and decided at that moment we wanted to profile him at our website.
Who are you and what is background?
I am 30 years old and was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. I grew up skating at Kona and all the other skate parks that have come and gone in the past twenty years, but mostly in backyards and driveways. I played other sports growing up but, organized sports were never as appealing or convenient.
Since the first time I successfully dropped in on a quarter pipe at my neighbor’s house when I was ten, I knew that skateboarding would always stay with me. As I’m sure is the case for most skaters. You see it at parks and competitions. Everybody cheering everyone else on. It’s a sport where you only get out what you put into it. I also run a container garden company called Garden of Eating which I started in 2013. I build, deliver and plant edible container garden beds.
Where is your company located?
Vain boards is located in St. John’s Florida, on Lake Beluthahatchee, just outside Jackson
How did you get into this ?
It’s something that I had always dreamt of since I started skating. I was always decent at skating but definitely not sponsored material, so began thinking about starting my own company. The time just felt right my gardening co was doing well and I really wanted to turn something that I love into more of a job rather than hobby.
I’m not really sure how the name came to me but I guess I just liked the way it sounded and the more I thought about it the more fitting I found it for a skate brand. Once I decided on a name, I had to find someway to set Vain apart from other companies. So I decided that each board be unique and one of one directed toward the skater getting it.
What are some more of unusual request you had for art?
I’ve got some requests for some unusual looking video game characters, but I can understand someone wanting stuff like that. I’m just not a big gamer anymore; I’ll get down on some Skate or Mario kart every once in a while but that’s about it.
Why do you think art is important ?
I think art is a huge part of skateboarding! I consider it a performance art as well as a competitive sport. Skateboarding is also an outlet like other mediums of art to express yourself and create.
So what happens when you put art on the bottom of skateboards?
It makes it personal. You know, you pick the board you like just cause you like it or are a fan of a certain skater or team’s deck. What VAIN is trying to do is make it even more personal in having the skater say what they want their deck to look like.
What are some of your plans for 2016?
Growing! There’s a lot of plans locally here at the shop, like building more ramps here and setting up events. I’m really excited about expanding my company and getting t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and other stuff available. This is Vainboard’s first year still and I’m loving every minute of it! Follow me @vainboards on Instagram and watch it progress. One thing I’ve learned from skating is its all about progressing.
Today is my last day on the tour here in Israel. I am wrapped up my final workshop in a school located in Jerusalem called Hand in Hand.
As you can see from these photos, the kids were beyond stoked. The school has a vision of Arabs and Israelis living together harmoniously and that’s what I saw today.
Unfortunately, the school was firebombed in November 2014. I am pleased to report however that this has not diminished the spirits of the students and staff.
It is indeed an honor and a privilege to be able to teach skateboarding to children in a school like this. We reached almost 200 kids today and it was phenomenal.
I’m thoroughly exhausted. I just finished a falafel and I’m about to relax as I leave tomorrow.
I hope these photos give you a sense of what an experience today was like. Skateboarding has the power to change people’s minds and the smiles on their faces really give me hope for the future.
Our next vision is to ensure that the five schools in Israel get pump tracks. I just need one millionaire to write a check.
Hello everybody. I’m still doing workshops here in the Middle East. Today we are at a school with over 180 students. Arabs and Israeli’s learning to skate in peace.
It has come to my attention that there were some factual errors with an opinion piece that was written about the Maryhill She Ride. We sincerely regret these errors.
Dean Ozuna, Maryhill Ratz, and countless others have done and continue to do amazing things for downhill skateboarding. This piece was in no way a reflection of their contributions. Our sincere apologies to anyone who was upset by this editorial.
We are taking steps to ensure our work matches our motto. The ride is indeed the reward and we look forward to reporting on Maryhill for many years to come.
Greetings from Tel Aviv Israel. Yesterday we worked with the Peres Center for Peace. We spent an hour and a half with Arabs and Israelis skateboarding together in Jaffa.
I’m pleased to report that the experience was 100% positive and the group of 14 year olds is desperate to get back on the boards. In a land where there isn’t much peace, we found an oasis of peace and it was magical.
Last week we ran a piece on the Maryhill “she ride”. It was an opinion piece and I have received some feedback which I wanted to address.
Due to a 10 hour time difference, I’ve been unable to contact the writer of the piece. I know that Candy Dungan is passionate about longboarding and she always speaks from her heart.
I never want to stifle people’s passion for something and I knew when I read the piece that Candy had tapped into something.
Sometimes it is very difficult to let freedom of expression balance with the complex realities that happen with an event. The piece is Candy’s opinion so I felt it was very important to let her have an opportunity to speak her mind. But going forward I want to make sure that other people have an opportunity to be heard as well.
This type of piece is somewhat unusual for Concrete Wave. However, I feel it is vital that ideas that are somewhat controversial need to slowly percolate.
I am sorry that this piece has upset some people. I acknowledge the fact that the piece has a negative tone. Candy and many other women out there have a unique perspective on things and I really want to ensure that their voices heard. At the same time, I want to keep things positive and that’s always been the spirit of Concrete Wave. But sometimes things are controversial. There are some who would argue that it’s time for Concrete Wave to raise some of these issues that women face within skateboarding.
It is a delicate balancing act and even more delicate as I am six thousand miles away but I will be back very soon.
I have decided to the following; when I get back I want to engage in a follow-up piece about the piece. I also want to encourage others to give their perspective as well.
Please note that I take this matter very seriously and I will be working with a number of different people to ensure that all voices are heard and respected.
Meanwhile please take a moment to view some of these photos and know some incredible things can happen when it comes to rolling around on a plank of wood.