Hana Builds! in Maui

Ma Ka Hana Ka ‘Ike

They work, they learn… to build stuff. Like their own skateboard park.

And their own skateboards!


Students doing the cement work at the park and in their shop building lots of boards

On the island of Maui, the local park in the remote town of Hana was really only used as a late-­night hang-­out. But since the skate park was completed, it is filled daily with skaters, many riding their own handmade Roarockit boards! Families and friends are spread out on the grass, picnicking and enjoying the scene.

Under the leadership of founders Rick Rutiz and his wife Kirsten, high school and graduate students do hands-­on building projects as part of the Ma Ka Hana Ka ‘Ike Building Program. They’ve done many ambitious builds such as a shelter for their school buses, a thrift shop for the Home Dialysis group, cottages for their local kapuna (elders), a solar‐powered home for a family who’s house burned down and have even outfitted their work truck with solar panels to provide power for on-­the-­job energy.


The Roarockit truck parked by the student-built bamboo framed wood storage and office building


Ted enjoying the community built skatepark in Hana

When the skate park was nearly completed, Rick contacted us at Roarockit to bring in our technology to his classes. He wanted the boards they built to be of the best quality to match the level of skating now possible at the park. He offered a summer program to the local school and the response was overwhelming! In this very small community, over 100 students signed up literally overnight, to build boards! 

Ted and I went on location to visit the build sessions and to meet Rick and especially his 3 graduate students who lead the skateboard build sessions. Russell, James and Lyman are skaters themselves and are the shop foremen in the workshop and on the jobsites. In a few short weeks these friendly, smart, inventive and very cool dudes had figured out how to use the Roarockit Thin Air Press technology, taught more than 80 young builders in class then taken it further by modifying and creating new molds for their own custom designed boards. Awesome!


Ted with Russell, James and Lyman, discussing advanced Roarockit build techniques


The kids with their custom built and painted Street Decks!

The town of Hana is a community that helps each other in true Hawaiian spirit. We were awed and amazed by the experience of being there. The scenery is breathtaking and the community is supportive of each other, what a wonderful place and a great way to live!



To see other projects built by these Ma Ka Hana Ka 'Ike students, visit hanabuild.org