Headwaters Inspired Profile: John Gibson


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What time is it? It’s skateboarding time!

Many of us dream of turning a passion into a business, and John Gibson did exactly that when he founded 2nd Shot. The company was born from Gibson’s lifelong love of skateboarding and skateboard culture. Gibson uses old broken skateboards that people donate as raw material to manufacture watch faces, knife handles and artwork.

Virtually all skateboards are made from seven layers of cross-laminated maple plywood, with some of the layers dyed different colours depending on the brand. It’s those laminations and colours that stand out on the watches, knifes and artwork.

From Grand Valley to the world

Working out of his shop in Grand Valley, Gibson manufactures every piece personally. He sells directly to customers all over the globe through his e-commerce website and Etsy. A map on the shop wall, dotted with hundreds of pins, shows customer locations. There are few countries left without pins.

2nd Shot has had some interesting buyers. “I got an email from a Wall Street banker, a Vice President of his company, who wanted a 2nd Shot watch to remind him of his skateboarding days,” said Gibson. “He could probably afford any watch in the world, but he’s wearing mine.”

Gibson stands behind his watches. “We buy the finest movements on the market and that’s how we can guarantee them for life.”

Skateboard culture is universal

Even as his shop keeps him busy fulfilling orders, Gibson finds time to ride. “I still love skateboarding, I still ride my board, and stay in tune with skateboard culture. I still read skateboard magazines and websites and feel lucky to be part of the culture.”

Gibson continues, “Skateboarding and skateboard culture is global and universal. It knows no borders or boundaries. Even in countries where they’re using very primitive boards, it’s still popular.”

Popular gift items

Gibson sees 70% of sales before the holiday season. “I make a selection of products at various price points,” said Gibson. “Basically, I’m busy during the whole year making stock for Christmas. I love the work.”