The inspiration behind Penny Skateboards came to life inside the imagination of Ben Mackay at age five, as he spent countless hours riding around on his very first skateboard—what he describes as “an old, beat-up second-hand clunker.”
“Skateboarding has always been and will always be a massive influence in my life,” says Mackay.
Not much has changed with Mackay since age five, besides a lot more experience and insight garnered from years working with his specific passions. For several years in the ’90s, Mackay dialed in his wood-working skills and appreciation for timber as a cabinet maker, and then in 1999, his career path took an all-together different turn. Operating out of his parents’ garage in Australia, the young entrepreneur began building his own presses and a glue machine, and importing supplies like Canadian Rock Maple from Besse Group in the Great Lakes region.
His own skateboard company rapidly took shape, as Mackay built his own boards and began pressing timber skateboards for local skate shops as well as a large Australian skateboard distributor, KWALA SKATEBOARDS, who he credits as giving him his “first break.”
“I would drive and sell to skate shops up and down the east coast of Australia every day, then head home and press skateboards by night,” says Mackay. “It was tough to say the least. When I ran out of money I would have to go concreting to pay for more timber supplies. It was super hard work!”
Photo: Ben Mackay, Penny Skateboards Founder
That hard work paid off for Mackay, and in 2011, after a little more than a decade building his own boards, he created Penny Skateboards, which is a throwback to that original board from his childhood. As a result, in a little less than a year, the brand has taken off—not just in his native Australia, but also Stateside.
WATCH THE VIDEO: BEN MACKAY – FOUNDER OF PENNY
Thanks to Kailee Bradstreet and business.transworld.net for the news.