Provo resident and BYU-Idaho student Mark Mann is fighting pollution one skateboard at a time with Swell Boards, sustainable rides made from recycled water bottles, medical equipment and bottle caps.
Mann and his brother-in-law Wyatt Remington began making skateboards out of plastic a year and a half ago. Mann wants to show people that recycled materials does not mean bad quality.
“I feel like the stigma for recycled plastic is it’s lower quality, it’s reused, it just has kinda like a trashy vibe,” Mann said. “But for us we wanted to show people, hey you can do tray flips on this, you can kickflip this.”
Mann and Remington gather materials from all over the world, with their most recent contributor being the beaches in Hawaii.
“This board specifically is made from plastic in Malaekahana Beach on the North Shore, Oahu. This plastic was collected there, and then about 30% of this plastic was also recycled medical equipment,” Mann said. “Obviously, syringes can’t be reused, all that stuff gets sanitized, shredded up, and we use it to make skateboards.”
Each board stops over three pounds of plastic from polluting the earth. Local skaters say they think sustainable boards could be a good idea. Mann believes that making products like skateboards and surf fins will help people get outside more and appreciate the earth.
“We don’t have a solution for stopping all single use plastics, but we are taking that trash and getting people outside, where hopefully they can learn to appreciate a little bit more of the outdoors, and maybe get more bought in to the cleaning up of the earth,” Mann said.
Check out The Backcountry Swell to shred sustainably with a recycled skateboard.