Flip, Grind, Recycle

Art of Board turns broken skateboards into eye-catching installations.

Photos courtesy of Art of Board

A trio of western Pennsylvania natives has found a unique way to make something out of nothing, and it all started with a pile of broken skateboards. See, if a board’s deck breaks, it has to be replaced; there’s nothing to do with the old hunk of wood but throw it in a garage or send it to a landfill. Since skateboarding has become a billion-dollar industry, that’s a lot of useless lumber (the decks can’t be traditionally recycled because of materials used in manufacturing). What can be done with all those discarded boards?

They can be turned into one-of-a-kind art, of course. Art of Board (AoB)—a company founded by Rich Morehead along with his partner, Bruce Boul—investigated the fate of discarded decks.

“We would go to skate shops and ask them what they did with [them], and every single one said they threw them away,” says Boul.

So, the AoB team returned to those shops and set up donation bins, which can be found at 100-plus locations across the United States and Canada. The debris are converted into beautiful decorations—from mirrors to wall mountings for retailers. The process saves the decks from being wasted, and AoB helps to support a half-dozen skate-related charities while they’re at it.

Skaters can donate their broken decks at One Up Skate Shop (1409 E. Carson St., South Side; 412/432-7007), where one of AoB’s largest installations is on display (pictured above). And those looking for smaller pieces check out the online store at artofboard.com.

Categories: Community Feature