Jay, Founder of Rare Stone
Jay, Founder of Rare Stone Craftsman
Hey everyone, My name is Jay, founder of Rare Stone Craftsman. I started this company in the summer of 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a project that I’ve been working on since 2015 while attending Graphic Design school, and with the abundance of time during quarantine I decided now was the perfect time to launch! It has always been a dream of mine to own my own company and to create something that I could grow and scale. Rare Stone Craftsman is that company and my dream is to one day turn this into a global brand for all to enjoy.
A little about me. I was born and raised on Long Island, N.Y. and spent many of my summers at the beach. I’ve always had that spark for the water and had this attachment to the ocean which naturally made me gravitate to paddle boarding. Growing up, I was big into body boarding and remember having all the gear, complete with a spring suit and fins. Along with body boarding, Skim boarding was another big interest of mine. Really anything to get that beach time in caught my interest. When not at the beach, Bowling was my sport of choice, and I even had the opportunity to play competitively in high school. I don’t get to bowl all that often anymore, but I still enjoy the occasional bowl night with friends. As you can see I’m a pretty active person. Physical fitness and the outdoors are very important to me and I try my best to keep in shape. Weightlifting has been one of those things that has grown on me in the past few years and i’m continually learning new techniques for building strength. Along with my weightlifting regimen, I began to incorporate bike riding into my workouts for some good old cardio. I’ll talk about all the gear I use later in this post.
I was introduced to paddle boarding in a video with laird Hamilton and Rob Dyrdek. Rob was on a trip to see Laird in Hawaii at his home on a man trip, not sure exactly what Rob called it, but it was something along the lines of a Man retreat. During his trip, Laird introduce Rob and his cousin to paddle boarding. Just seeing them paddling through the water I knew that I had to get involved in this sport! Low on funds but with the strong desire to paddle board, I attempted to build my own board out of wood with the intentions of fiber glassing it when it was complete. Lets just say it didn’t end well and the idea was scrapped. I remember taking one fo my long boards one day and making a PVC paddle stick with a lacrosse ball attached to the end. This got me going for a few day’s but it just wasn’t the same. I finally caved and bought my first board in the winter of 2016. My first board wasn’t anything crazy but it’s the board I still use today and has held its own. I still remember going to pick it up from West Marine and driving it home on my FCS soft rack haha.
Photo by Michelle L.
My Paddle Board equipment is pretty basic. My board is made by Jimmy Styks Xtreme and its part of the Iron hide line of boards. My paddle is an adjustable aluminum shaft with plastic blade also made by Jimmy Styks. When on the water I use an O’Brien life jacket, I went with the sport kind that you’d use for wakeboarding or water skiing. For additional safety I keep a marine radio on hand which I clip to either my board shorts or the bungees on the front of my board. I usually also have either a dry bag or waterproof box to keep anything else I may need with me which gets strapped down on the front of the board as well. On the back of my board I built a detachable anchor for those day’s where I want to just chill a little or tie up with some friends for lunch. Thats my paddle gear. For weight lifting my gear consists of a Rogue Ohio bar 2.0, a squat rack I picked up at Dicks Sporting Goods with an adjustable bench. I also picked up a set of olympic plates as well. Some miscellaneous items for weight lifting include two 20lb adjustable dumbbells, two different tensioned bands, a cheaper olympic bar I use fo landmine exercises. For cardio I use a Schwinn ic3 spin bike and cross rope jump weighted jump rope. I recommend the Cross Rope jump rope for a few reasons. The quality is un matched and they sell a selection of weighted ropes, I personally use the 1/4lb and 1lb ropes. My road bike is a hand me down from my dad and I’m not sure of the brand but its an aluminum frame with front shock absorbed forks. I recently replaced the shifter and break levers with Shamino hardware.
Photo by Michelle L.
The gear isn’t as important as the memories that are made in the outdoors. I have so many great memories that it’s hard to share them all! One of my best memories was a race I did in the summer of 2019. It was a 9 mile race around the tip of Sands point. I had little to now training going into the race and my board was not up to par with the other racers. None the less I gave it my all and finished the race in about 2.5 hours. I learned a valuable lesson that day, plastic boards are not good for endurance races, but the experience was worth it. It became a mental game about half way into the race and at about mile 7 my legs started to shake. I constantly thought back to the book by David Goggins, Can’t Hurt Me, and kept telling myself one more mile, one more mile. That finish line looked so sweet when I reached it, and of course everyone wanted to see the glorious buoy turn, so I dipped the back of my board into the water and did a little spin. I hit the sand and ran through the finish line and finished the race, on my own two feet, not in first but to finish my first 9 miler was enough for me! I hope to compete in more races but with better equipment haha
Photo by Michelle L.
That’s all for my first blog post! I hope you enjoyed reading about the gear I use and invite you to check back for future blog posts. If you’d like to share your story, please feel free to send me a DM on my instagram page @rarestonecraftsman or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org !!