Snowboards? That’s right! We create our wallets out of recycled snowboards. How did this come about? Where did we get the snowboards? So many questions…Well let’s talk about it.
Back before the summer 0f 2016 we’d been creating our line of products exclusively out of recycled skateboards. Out of the blue one of our largest suppliers of broken skateboard decks happen to ask if we had any use for snowboards… We said, to be honest we didn’t know. They then told us that these boards had to be moved out to make room and were going to the landfill…Crazy right! But that is the case for a lot of snowboards and skateboards. So without a second thought we told them to ship what they had. This turned out to be a full skid with over 200 snowboards on it. Now it was time to figure out what we where going to do with them.
This R&D stage was not as drawn out as you might think. Yes we worked through a few different items: bottle openers, coasters, etc. But in reality right off the bat there was a product that we wanted to try. We had been somewhat successfully creating a line of minimal wallet credit card holders out of skateboards. They were really cool to look at, but the problem was that we could not control the warp in the wood. This of course is a problem due to that fact that these skateboards have been through a lot already, they’re cracked, dried out, water logged, whatever. So you could cut out and sand a perfect looking wallet and it would be ruined with a warp within ten minutes, an hour or days later. So we’d make a pile of these wallets, leave them for a few days to wait and see what would happen and would usually lose about half the pile. So this was not a good use of our time and a very large waste of material.
Along came the snowboards. Typically snowboards are made of laminated fiberglass around a soft wooden core. This is just about perfect for what we wanted. First the core. Because it’s wood it looks great and it’s a nice smooth surface for your credit cards to rest on. Second, the exterior is fiberglass. This is simply perfect for a wallet as it’s super durable so your cards are protected. Plus of course each snowboard has great graphics which makes every wallet totally unique!
It wasn’t smooth sailing mind you. We ran into issues along the way. For instances how do we cut them out. We decided the best way to cut them out would be on the CNC machine. This certainly makes the job quicker, but we had to be careful not to hit any of the metal around the edges and binding inserts. This was eventually managed by sorting the snowboards into roughly the same length piles, cutting off the tail at one end of each board so each had the same starting point and creating very precise drawings based on the lengths/widths of the boards that navigated around any problem areas. Now that we have all the drawings we can simply sort the boards into the right piles.
Once the wallet shapes are cut out we put all the pieces onto one of the laser machines to engrave the logo. This was easier said then done. Fiberglass does not like the heat. So when we would try and engrave the logo it would turn to mush. It took a lot of trials with different speeds/powers to finally land on the one that worked.
Next we cut each new wallet down the centre of the wood core with a bandsaw and carefully sand the inside down on each half, so that you are left with two thin pieces.
Finally we cut and hand sew each strap made from 3/4″ natural braided cotton elastic.
We’re super happy with this product and more importantly, since we started selling our snowboard wallets we’ve teamed up with large and small snowboard distributors, manufactures, shops and large ski hills across Canada and the US to build recycle programs to keep as many snowboards out of the landfill as we can! We recently went over the 500 snowboards recycled and have no intention of slowing down! Check out the shop to get one of your own!