The Line Break: Penny And Art Of Board Limited Edition Organic Skateboard
Art of Board (AOB), a company known for its hard surface tiles made from recycled skateboard decks, and Penny Skateboards have teamed up to produce a limited edition organic skateboard. The board includes an enzyme that allows the plastic to decompose at a faster rate than normal when it’s buried—something both companies say line up with their belief in environmental stewardship.
"We're excited about this collaboration on many levels," said Bruce Boul, co-founder of Art of Board. "Penny is introducing skateboarding to kids all over the globe, so it's a great way for us to reach that demographic and turn them onto our brand and recycling movement. Together, we've designed a beautiful skateboard that will help us promote sustainability and giving back to the skateboard community."
Inspired by AOB's signature allover skate tile pattern, the collaboration board is meant to further spread I Ride I Recycle’s message, which calls upon skateshops and riders to recycle their used boards. Proceeds from the limited edition skateboard will help fuel the movement, ensuring that used or broken skateboard decks are kept out of landfills.
The Art of Board X Penny Skateboard, which retail for $140, will US skateboard shops that currently participate in the iRide iRecycle (IRIR) movement on July 21.
We caught up with Absolute Board Co.’s US Marketing Manager Brad Hooker and Art of Board Co-founder and VP Bruce Boul to hear more details on how this partnership came together and what it means for the future.
Here’s a closer look at the AOB X Penny Organic limited edition board:
How did IRide IRecycle and Penny first connect? What led to the idea of creating a collaboration board together?
Brad: The two brands connected at Agenda a few seasons ago and briefly talked about the potential of the collaboration and from there the wheels kept rolling.
Bruce: We had just started printing our original recycled skate tile patterns and saw a great opportunity with Penny's new organic boards to create a truly authentic looking AND sustainable board (something that had never been done before) using imagery of actual recycled boards collected through the first ever skateboard recycling movement, I Ride I Recycle.
What led to the idea of creating a collaboration board together?
Brad: Our brand is founded in putting the fun back into skateboarding and growing the skate industry in a variety of ways. We really identified with the Art of Board message and in particular with the I Ride I Recycle vision and thought bringing the two companies together to join both parties for a greater goal was a really good idea to grow on.
Tell me more about how this board is made? You mentioned the deck is made of organic material that is biodegradable – how does that work?
Brad: All plastic decomposes at a certain rate, we worked with a lab to create an enzyme that decomposes at a faster rate, so when the board is buried in soil, having this enzyme in it will help it to decompose and return to the earth at a faster rate than normal. It doesn't change the skate-ability of the board or the quality of the board. Some consumers ask if it gets wet will it disappear? No. Definitely not. Just when buried and returned to the earth it will decompose quicker.
On the design side, how did IRIR decide on what images and designs to use? Will each board be a little different based on the different recycled textiles you were drawing inspiration from?
Bruce: This particular board is the first series in what we hope to be more designs we'll do for Penny. It is AOB's signature original allover pattern and made of local "shop" decks as a homage to all the shops who work with IRIR. You'll see that we keep all scratches, scuffs and scrapes in tact so that it captures and tells the true story of skateboarding and the passion and creativity that goes into skateboarding. Any type you see on this board is from a particular skateshop's own board graphics (skateshop names and not big brand names).
What are some of the key retailers carrying the collection so far? How did you decide on which retailers will receive the limited run of boards?
Brad: Given it's a limited run, we wanted to make sure that the supporters of the I Ride I Recycle message had a chance to carry this product, so we reached out to the 350+ accounts that support iRiR already and then from there offered it to our key accounts.
How does a collaboration like this help IRIR’s efforts?
Bruce: Penny is doing such an amazing job introducing skateboarding to kids all over the world, that we felt it would also be a great way to spread our recycling message, grow the IRIR movement and grow brand awareness for the AOB brand with Penny's global reach and getting our message out there. Also, proceeds from the sale of the board will help AOB continue its IRIR movement and continue to help AOB with our giving back throughout the year to organizations like Grind For Life, Stand Up for Skateparks and more.
From Penny’s perspective, why is this type of initiative important for the brand? What message do you hope it sends to consumers and retailers?
Brad: We look into various types of philanthropic collaborations and partnerships as they come up to show the diversity of the brand and the personality and values we stand for. We also want consumers and retailers to know that we support skateboarding as well as the environment. Proceeds from each board sold of this collaboration go back to Art of Board to help further I Ride I Recycle and we want consumers and retailers to know that it's important to us to support companies like Art of Board and the mission to protect the environment and support skateboarding.
What are some of IRIR’s major initiatives for the rest of this year?
Bruce: AOB is continuing to grow and expand our Tile and Home collections. We just launched a ceramic FLOOR tile that Google included in their Irvine, CA office. We've also expanded into apparel and have some collections dropping very soon, as well as some other exciting new products and collabs. Our movement, IRIR, is about 400 participating skateshops strong nationwide and now adding shops in Australia and New Zealand. We plan to continue growing the movement, expanding beyond the U.S. and Australia and into other countries, getting more skateboard recycling bins into more doors and encouraging riders, skateshops and manufacturers to join the movement.
Are there additional collaboration projects for the two companies in the near future? Anything in the works that you can share?
We hope that this is just the first design. We would love to create many more and hopefully the next one launches at an international level. The board aside, we also look forward to having Absolute Board Company as one of skateboarding's big manufacturers as an active participator of IRIR by recycling their blemished, damaged, and broken wood (ZFlex) boards and looking to IRIR as a solution for their waste. We're excited about the fact that Absolute Board Co. is one of the few skate brands out there who are answering IRIR's call to action and committing to working with us to put in place more sustainable practices and becoming active in IRIR and not just putting this board out. We actually just received a full pallet of recycled wood on our loading dock last week from them. That's exciting to us when a major skate brand like that steps up! It shows that they are not just talk. They are an active participant of IRIR.