Three Cooper Grads Launch Longboard Business
Tony Hyser, Alex Mier and Will Harper created LTY Boards, a company that makes handmade longboards.
Robbinsdale Cooper High School graduate Will Harper got hooked on skateboarding during his senior year of high school. Little did he know that a hobby with friends would turn into a business.
Patch caught up with Harper to learn more about the company, which is now based in Winona.
When did you start skateboarding?
I have been skating since my senior year in high school. A couple of my friends were really into it, one of them being Alex, so I decided to try it out.
How did you get into making longboards?
Once I started riding, I started looking for a board of my own. I bought what I would consider to be one of the top-of-the-line boards. It cost me a good half my paycheck, so I figured it would be the best board in the world. Turns out, I hated the way it rode, the board just wasn't my style. So I started looking into pressing boards.
How did you come up with a method for pressing boards?
I looked into different press methods online and watched a ton of videos on how to laminate wood. I found a press method using foam to put the concave in my boards, so I ran with it. After I got the general idea of how to press, I called my partner, Alex, and asked him if he wanted to start making some boards down in Winona. Seeing how he was the one who introduced me to boarding and is quite the artist, I figured he'd be the one for the job. After a couple weeks of fooling around testing boards, Alex came up with one of our first designs, the Timelapse.
How is the business going today?
Since we moved to Winona, business has picked up. With college students being our target market, a college campus is a the perfect place to start.
What would you say to someone who wants to trying longboarding?
LTY tries to encourage everyone to come test a board, because we provide boards to cure boredom. All you need is the courage to step on a board, we can help you with the rest.