Your once slick and très hip skateboard now looks like it has become a mangled victim of the most drawn-out street fight in history. Devout skaters know that this inevitable reality comes with the territory, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to bid your board a final adieu. While it may not necessarily be safe to ride anymore, a worn-out board, which most commonly consists of multiple maple wood veneers bonded together, is teeming with repurposing possibilities. Of course, it would be just as easy to throw that chewed-up and spit-out deck far, far away. Just two years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that 6.4% of the 250 million tons of municipal solid waste generated across the country was wood based. While old skateboards likely comprise a relatively small portion of that overall figure (along with far more plentiful, higher volume wood-based refuse such as construction materials, disaster debris, tree harvesting residuals, etc.), there’s a far better, infinitely cooler end use for old decks.
Unlike irregularly shaped and often knotted raw wood, skateboards have already gone through the milling process, yielding a smooth surface that happens to be ideal for all sorts of creative recycling applications. Perhaps the easiest and most obvious thing to do with an old board is to mount it on the wall for a stylish yet dead-simple shelf, but that merely scratches the surface of its reincarnation possibilities:
- Comb your hair with repurposed skateboard grooming accessories while gazing at your reflection in a hand-held, recycled deck mirror. Don’t forget to accent your up-do with a few decorative hair sticks!
- Your personal fashion sense will gain extra pizzazz with colorful thread-wrapped bangles, earrings, rings, necklace pendants, cufflinks, belt buckles and rainbow-tinted heels, all made with recycled wooden deck material.
- What about wooden skateboard deck knuckles? No one will dare mess with your sustainable style statement!
- Make an easily movable, multi-tiered, solid-backed shelving unit.
- Rest your weary bones on a 100% recycled skateboard bench, an easy-to-duplicate boxy seating cube or a far more refined, reupholstered lounge chair.
- Make a functional clock that accents your household décor with artistic style. (For a nifty design variation, mark the hours of the day on your handmade clock using recycled polyurethane skateboard wheels!)
- Bestow your keys with eco-style by anchoring them together with a bit of deck-crafted “candy.”
- Emulate Reskate’s artistic repurposing concept by using your old deck as a creative canvas.
- Create a series of edgy, skull-inspired artworks.
- Slip your feet into summer-worthy, board-rescued flip-flops while stylishly shielding your eyes from intense rays with multi-hued wooden frames.
- Tote your necessities inside a hard-backed recycled deck purse with contrasting red leather detailing or a slightly sleeker clutch for more refined outings.
- Give your old duds a facelift with custom recycled skateboard buttons.
- Tuck your iPhone into a protective striped case gleaned from recrafted decking material.
- What else can an old board be transformed into? How about an illuminated lamp, a tealight candle holder, a durable notebook cover or an eye-catching birdhouse?