Pizi Boards taking off

By: Josh Fernandez The Press Tribune
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Where some teens might see a chance to complain, one Adelante High School senior sees a business opportunity. Jo-lyn Campisi, 17, grew up wondering why there weren’t many skate shops where she lived in the Granite Bay area. But she didn’t wonder for long. Instead, she began making her own boards, which eventually led to the creation of her own company. And, her company, Pizi Boards is starting to take off. Campisi makes longboards, which are like regular skateboards, but longer (as the name might suggest). Their extended length offers a smoother, faster ride that some say is comparable to being on a surfboard. Campisi’s boards can be as long as 60 inches, she said, which is about twice the length of the average deck. “If you want to do tricks, you can use a skateboard,” she said. “But if you want to have the wind in your face and go really fast, longboarding is your type.” Pizi Boards is a concerted effort between family and outside labor. Campisi designs and draws the graphics in an urban graffiti style, while a contracted woodworker cuts and shapes the decks. Her father helps with sanding and lacquering. Her mother, Norma Campisi – thoroughly impressed by her daughter’s business savvy and work ethic – remembered a time years ago when her daughter made a skateboard, and then sold it for lunch money. “She did it again and we’re like, ‘OK,’” she said, realizing that her daughter might be able to turn a profit from her lifelong hobby. “And it just kind of took off after that.” It turns out Campisi is also an award-winning artist. In April, she earned a first place award for a ceramic piece that she entered at the Blue Line Gallery’s 2010 High School Student Show. The show’s curator Beth Rohlfes – unaware of Campisi’s business venture – was impressed to learn that she started a business. “Wow, that’s exciting – that kind of entrepreneurial thought going on,” she said. “Maybe we should get her contact to have some sort of skateboard show.” Pizi Boards, which range from around $100 to $300, can be purchased on Campisi’s website. So far, Campisi has taken about 20 orders for custom longboards, but she’s expecting quite a few more. And for skaters who are short on cash, she offers a layaway plan. “I wanted a skate shop where I could make skateboards for the skaters who don’t have that much money,” she said. As for the future of Pizi Boards, it’s all about expansion. Campisi’s ultimate goal is to open a storefront skateboard shop in Granite Bay. “If you’re out here you can just skate to the location,” she said. “It’s closer, especially for skaters that don’t have transportation.” Josh Fernandez can be reached at ---------- For information on how to purchase a longboard, visit Pizi Boards on the Web at