Last year Chris Maxa found himself taking a jog along the Ocean City Boardwalk in the cool fall air, like many OC Locals enjoy doing after a long day at work. However this jog ended in more than just a few calories burned, an idea was born!
While jogging past the newly laid planks at the beginning of the Boardwalk, Chris noticed the seemingly endless piles of old boards from the Boardwalk. The wheels in his head started turning and ideas were flowing. He came up with a brilliant, one of a kind idea: “Boardwalked”. Chris asked permission from the city to take some of the old boardwalk planks, that were obviously of no use anymore. After several truckloads he began focusing in on his project. As he likes to describe it, ”Old boards, showing cool photos.” Simple, yet amazing!
The first few dozen he made were tested out on the family for Christmas presents. He cut the boardwalk planks into approximately the sizes of 5″x8″ and then somehow “magically” figured out a way to transpose a photo of his daughter onto the blocks of wood. We don’t want to give away his secrets, so they stay one of a kind!
The rest is history, because ever since that day he has made over 400 blocks of art! It takes a considerable amount of time to make each piece, but he gets better at the process with each piece created. He’s had a little help from family and friends along the way as well. It seems that everyone is excited to see his project Boardwalked succeed!
The Boardwalked souvenir comes with endless options. Some of your options include photographs of The Kite Loft, Trimpers Amusement Rides, The Pier, Ocean Gallery, Endless Summer Cruisin’, Ocean City Lifesaving Museum and the Ocean City Boardwalk at night, just to name a few. If you would prefer a more custom piece, he even has that covered for you as well. Chris has it set up on his website so that you can order a custom Boardwalked piece by sending him an email with your own personal photo!
The reaction to his project has been overwhelmingly positive and of course everyone says, “Why didn’t I think of that!” I asked Chris what kind of reactions he had gotten so far from his project and he said, “Everyone thinks that it is such a cool idea and a great way to preserve the memories and nostalgia of Ocean City. People really connect with their good memories, and the photos are a way to bring back smiles to people. The custom pieces that I have already done have been especially positive, I actually had one nice lady start to cry and give me a big hug when I did a board for her of her grandmother who passed away. It’s been really great!”
On the back of each of his Boardwalked pieces Chris transfers his logo and it signifies that the wood is “100% Authentic Ocean City Boardwalk Wood.” Chris explained that he “tries quite hard however to preserve the character of each board by leaving the screws, nails, or other markings in tact just to retain the genuine feel of the Boardwalk.” He is also working on acquiring a letter from The Town of Ocean City, MD to signify that the boards are indeed exactly what they say they are.
If you’re looking to purchase your own Boardwalked piece you can find it sold at The Kite Loft on 5th Street and the Boardwalk, Bungalow Love in Berlin, MD and on his Etsy Shop. He can also be found at Springfest this weekend May 3-6 at the Ocean City Inlet!!! He will be pairing up with his friend Jimmy who has created an idea for Adirondack chairs and benches out of the old Boardwalk wood.
Thanks to Chris for a great idea to help preserve great Ocean City, MD memories!