When old skateboards are recycled

Posted on 31 January 2019.

Skateboarding pro Dave Bachinsky has an environmental conscience and fairy fingers. He recovers broken skateboards and transforms them into elegant decorative objects.

The life of a skateboard is short. On average, an experienced skateboarder changes it every month.

Photo frames, vases, mirrors, cutting boards and small shelving units... Hard to imagine that once upon a time these everyday objects covered the asphalt at several tens of kilometers an hour. But although the life of a skateboard is very short, the wood used to make it, it isn’t. So, recycle it!

A skateboard consists of a deck - a board made of several layers of wood (often Canadian maple) - laminated and covered with griptape (non-slip adhesive sheet), under which two axles (the trucks) are fixed which support the urethane wheels.

Wood, metal, plastic... Manufacturing a skateboard requires a lot of resources, but a skateboard is perishable: on average, an experienced skateboarder - intensively using the board on the street and in skateparks – changes it every month. Once broken, the board can’t be repaired and usually ends up in the trash.


A pro skateboarder with the soul of artist-handyman

The American Dave Bachinsky has broken hundreds of skateboards during his career as a professional skateboarder. Unhappy at seeing these beautiful maple wood planks gathering dust in his garage, he decided to give them a new lease of life.

A skateboard deck tends to break at one of the axles, leaving a satisfactory surface for those who would like to recycle it. To make his decorative objects, Dave Bachinsky first makes a tour of the skateparks in Los Angeles to recover the boards abandoned by their owners. He then takes them to the carpentry workshop he has set up in the backyard of his house.

Then begins the long process of transformation: he removes the griptape from the boards, sands them, assembles them, sands them again... And then comes the creative part.

The skateboarder, who started off making photo frames for his friends, is today at the head of a small business, ShapeThree, which allows him to sell his creations. For every item bought, Dave Bachinsky gives a percentage to the skateboarding scene in the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, where he completed his very first ollies.