We are one of the leading furnishing carpentry companies in Finland with over 75 years of experience in the marine industry. With a passion for solid craft and requirements of high quality and precision, we make luxurious furnishings for yachts, motorboats, ships, and public buildings.
Rurik Riska (1925-2016)
Our success lies within our company’s history and values, which we carefully implemented in our operation. We have always invested in our personnel because they are the most valuable resource of the carpentry business. Thanks to their years of work experience and skills, we never compromise on the quality or design of the furnishings. As our customer, be assured that we always meet your requirements and that we make everything with care and precision.
Our story is about following your passion, even if that means starting a business in a hen house or dropping out of school. It all began about 100 years ago, through an inheritance from both Bernt Riska’s (CEO and founder) father and Thomas Kulla’s (co-owner) father and grandfather’s interest in boats. Are you interested in reading the whole story? Follow us on a journey through time, to 20th century post-war Finland.
The foundation for Riska's carpentry is laid
In 1947 Rurik Riska – the father of Bernt Riska – starts his carpentry shop in a hen house on his family farm. The standard of the business was not that high at first: the first employer started his days by chasing out the hens from the space.
The carpentry business Rurik founded was called “Riskas Snickeri”, but was not the same business as Bernt established thirty years later. In the beginning, Riskas Snickeri mostly made doors and window frames. But after a couple of years in the industry, the Finnish boat manufacturing company Finnmark came into the picture. Fast forward another couple of years: Riskas Snickeri started making boat furnishings for a new company called Nautor. This was a result of Rurisk Riska getting in touch with Nautor’s founder, Pekka Koskenkylä.
Rurik Riska was an expert in surface treatment and the boat furnishings made for Nautor were loved by the wealthy clientele. In fall 1967, Riskas Snickeri was bought by Nautor and Rurik Riska worked as the head of carpentry and later the technical manager until his retirement.
Bäckas in Kronoby, The hen house to the left is expanded and built to a carpentry shop.
”This is tri gang lacka” – Rurik Riska
Important guests in the carpentry shop, 1980. In the middle: president Kekkonen and Rurik Riska. The man on the left is Wilh.Schuman Ab’s CEO Gay Ehrnrooth and to his left, King Olav V of Norway. Krister Cygnell is showing the incredible finishing. “This is tri gang lacka” (meaning “this is varnished three times”) are the famous words by Rurisk Riska to president Kekkonen. These words are used in the company today.
Bernt Riska carries on the legacy
It is time to travel to the 1980s when Riskas Snickeri as we know it today was established. Bernt Riska got his interest in boats from his father Rurisk Riska, the man mentioned earlier. But why did Bernt start making furnishing for boats himself? And why did he found Riskas Snickeri?
At the age of 19 (fall of 1979), Bern Riska studied civil engineering in Vaasa. He did not enjoy school as much as he hoped, and dreamed about dropping out, in exchange for a more hands-on job. With the support of his father, Bernt made his dreams come true. Three months into his studies, he dropped out and founded Bernt Riskas Snickeri Kb in 1980.
“Without my father as my mentor, I would never have had the courage” – Bernt Riska
After quitting his studies, everything started to unfold swiftly. A year later the first warehouse was built and Bernt hired his first employee. Tage Sandstedt was one of the very first employees and 38 years later he is still working at Riskas Snickeri as the master carpenter and pillar of the company.
Bernt Riska and Tage Sandstedt
Kulla’s boat manufacturing company in Oravais. Birger Kulla in action, installing the windshield on a Kulla boat in the late 60s.
What happened then?
During the last 40 years, we have manufactured over 4000 furnishings for motorboats and over 1500 furnishings for sailboats. Together with other subcontractors within the marine industry, we founded Ocean Quality Systems in 2010. Under the name Ocean Explorer, Ocean Quality Systems manufactures luxury catamarans that are 50 feet or larger.
In 2018 Thomas Kulla became a co-owner of Riskas Snickeri, through his company LTK Products. Thomas saw potential in the company and was done working with fiberglass.
“The furnishing and wood were appealing”- Thomas Kulla
The interest in boats can be traced back a hundred years in Thomas’ family, to when his grandfather at the beginning of the 20th century made wooden boats as a hobby. Thomas’ father then inherited the passion and started producing wooden and fiberglass boats for a living. Thomas and his brother later continued the same path. At first, their focus was mainly on smaller fiberglass boats, but today the company only invests in manufacturing bigger boats.
“By way of anecdote, I bought a Kulla boat a long time ago, made by Thomas Kulla’s father in the 60s. In a sense, it feels like closing the loop” – Bernt Riska.