We received an email yesterday from the Pirate Surf Club who are based in Puerto Rico. As many of you know, the island has been rocked by not only a financial crisis, but the Zika virus. Challenging times indeed. Although the organization will not be involved with the world-famous Guajataca Downhill, it will be hosting several events next year. These include:
* The FK Cancer Surf and Skate Festival December 17-18
* The Guajataca Beach Clean-Up in March 2017.
* The Guajataca Lifeguard Corps Training for Summer 2017.
* An Oceans-of-Hope Foundation event for the Summer of 2017, to help their handicapped citizens and disabled veterans share in the joy of surfing.
Concrete Wave has been covering Carver’s unique trucks since 1999. Their appeal isn’t just for skaters, they are firmly rooted in surfing. It was this connection to the ocean that led to an inspired collaboration with Bureo. NET
Who is Bureo you might ask? They are a company that makes skateboards out of recycled fishing nets. I sat down with David Stover one of its founding members, along with Carver’s head of marketing, Peter Shu to find out more.
Carver has collaborated in the past with Loaded to create the Poke. But this collaboration was different for a number of reasons. “This is one of the first philanthropic partnerships we’ve done” says Peter. “We are using sustainable materials and we know it’s truly a unique collaboration.”
“The initial idea of the two companies working together came about by Greg Falk and Neil Carver (founders and partners of Carver) who contacted me via email” explains David. “Greg was quite impressed with the idea and had heard about through an artist friend.” Fishnets to skateboards is definitely an idea that grabs your attention but it quite a bit of time to develop. The problem of fishnets polluting the world’s oceans is absolutely massive. There are thousands of tons of fishnets that get lost at sea. These nets trap fish and attract scavengers like sharks that also get trapped. By reclaiming these nets Bureo hopes to inspire people to think about what kind of ecological footprint they are leaving. Just Google “ghost fishing” to get an idea of how devastating the problem of lost nets is for the world’s oceans.
Bureo launched their first model – The Minnow in 2014. The collaboration builds on the fish theme with the introduction of the AHI. The deck features the same “gill-like” traction top as the Minnow, but there are now three areas that users can apply custom griptape. “The AHI is actually modelled after one of Carver’s best-selling templates” says Peter. “We didn’t just take something we already had – we customized things and added things like concave.” Both Peter and David were quick to point out that the key element in creating the AHI was performance. The plastic is as rigid as any wooden deck you’d ride and the kicktail and slightly upturned nose keep your feet firmly in place.
While the fishing nets are recycled from Chile, the decks are made in America. The same goes with the wheels, trucks and all the other components. The key thing about Carver is their attention to detail and how much they focus on top-quality components. This was born out by the trip I took to their El Segundo offices. “The nuts on the trucks are highest grade you can find” Peter proudly tells me.
Over the past several years, plastic skateboards have taken a huge part of the market share from traditional wood companies. And yet plastic cruisers have also brought in a brand new set of customers. David feels the functionality and performance of the AHI separates from the typical plastic decks on offer. “You can set up cones and work on your moves and get better” says David. “The sustainability component also helps to differentiate the AHI.”
As anyone who has braved the traffic of the greater Los Angeles area will tell you, traffic can be a nightmare. Mercifully, the Carver and Bureo offices are located within five miles of each other. The teams spent a lot of time testing prototypes and discussing ways to improve the offering.
“We really enjoyed testing the prototypes with the Carver team and having such a solid and knowledgeable sounding board throughout the development of the AHI” says David. “It’s always fun to know how much went into the project and then see the response from the riders and watch them rip through a few turns!
Bureo started the recycling program with one fishing community in Chile and this has since expanded to 15 locations. To date, Bureo has recycled about 100 tons of material which translates in over 200,000 pounds of fishing nets. “As we get traction we are aiming to set up similar partnerships with communities” says David. “We are also hoping to work with the automotive, building and furniture industries.”
In honor of the release of the AHI, Concrete Wave is giving away one complete set up.
In 100 words or less, we’d like to read your thoughts about ghost fishing. The best answer (as judged by Carver and Bureo) will be awarded a complete.
Please submit your entry by September 30 to firstname.lastname@example.org