Catch a wave and you'll be sitting on top of the world. That's what Mike LaVecchia and Brad Anderson did with Grain Surfboards. The duo handcrafts wooden surfboards from Maine-grown cedar in their York workshop. The boards they build aren't only functional, they're also works of art.
"There's a long heritage of wooden boat-building in Maine," Anderson says, and Grain is building upon it. "Maine is a big part of who we are," LaVecchia adds. "The tradition of craftsmanship and boatbuilding speaks to who we are."
That quality, that reputation, that heritage draws surfers from all over the world to York. They come to build surfboards here because it's the only place offering the opportunity to build functional works of art like these.
Grain offers group surfboard-building workshops as well as Fantasy Camp, a one-on-one, weeklong program with a personal board builder to craft the perfect board: That's any board, any time, a dedicated builder.
While building a board draws them to York, while here they discover many of the other plusses the region offers. They explore coastal fishing villages such as Ogunquit and the Kennebunks; immerse themselves in Colonial history at Old York; hike the eco-trails at Laudholm Farm and the Rachael Carson National Wildlife Preserve; go berry picking at inland farms; and, of course, feast on lobster.
More than a few have contemplated moving here after discovering not only the region's perks, but also experiencing a secret that Anderson and LaVecchia have long known: The surfing is great. "If I had a day free," Anderson says, "I wouldn't go anywhere else. I'd stay here and surf."