For adventure seekers and longtime friends Cole McIlvaine and Will Dimaio, who love the surf and sand, a rainy summer day in 2020 could have meant endless hours of boredom. Instead, while the bad weather raged outside (and the pandemic was in full force), the local teens hatched a business inside Dimaio’s family garage.
“We were scrolling on TikTok and saw this guy making a skimboard,” recalls North Palm Beach resident Dimaio, 18. “We figured we had nothing else to do, so why not?” They headed to Lowe’s, picked up plywood, epoxy, glue, and brushes, and got to work. “We had never used tools before,” Dimaio says with a laugh. After a quick tutorial from Dimaio’s dad on the use of power tools, they spent the day sawing, sanding, and sculpting their first board.
On a whim, McIlvaine grabbed a piece of charcoal from the Dimaios’ outdoor grill and sketched a few letters on the board. “When we finished and looked at the board, we thought it looked kind of primitive,” says McIlvaine, 18, who lives in Tequesta. “So we named the board ‘Caveman.’” In August 2020, they officially launched the namesake Caveman Board Company.
Today, Caveman has expanded to sell not only skimboards but also skateboard decks and branded apparel via the company website, and Dimaio and McIlvaine have sold their boards to customers as far away as New Zealand and Australia. But their business plans don’t end there—the duo, who have been best friends since the seventh grade, are looking to expand into local surf shops and also plan to design Caveman NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Their goal is to introduce at least 25-30 NFTs this year, and buyers of these one-of-a-kind digital art pieces will receive future discounts on Caveman products.
They are also constantly crafting new and improved skimboards. “We’ve been experimenting with different kinds of wood and focusing on making the boards as light as possible,” says McIlvaine. Their boards—which range in price from $65 to $100—are made with natural wood, and the business partners are keen on helping the environment. “For every product sold, we plant a tree through One Tree Planted,” says McIlvaine. “I love the idea of giving back.”