Skateboards were once associated with counterculture kids who would rather grind a rail than comb their hair. Today, skateboards are as common as basketballs and baseball bats in the lineup of toys almost every kid owns. As my own fascination with skateboarding demonstrates, few kids carry their passion for kick flips and ollies past adolescence. This sends a lot of well-loved skateboards to the landfill.
At their core, skateboards are simply carefully shaped pieces of wood, and Portland-based MapleXO decided it was a shame to let all that durable material go to waste. The company recently teamed up with Grove, another of our favorite Portland-based companies, to debut the SkateBack: a delightful iPhone accessory made from recycled skateboards.
Although skateboards are hewn thick so they can support the weight and impact of riders’ tricks, the SkateBack is barely 1/16th of an inch. Still, it’s sturdy enough to protect the back of your phone from bumps and dings without adding a lot of unnecessary weight. The SkateBack is attached to your iPhone 4/4S with a peel-and-stick 3M adhesive.
“Each week, enough waste material is discarded from one skateboard factory to fill a city bus! SkateBacks are 100% post-industrial sweetness for your iPhone,” reads the product page on the Grove website.
True to the mission of both MapleXO and Grove, each SkateBack is made by happy, healthy employees in a Portland workshop using a combination of high-tech machinery and good old-fashioned handiwork. And because each is made from a different combination of skateboard, no two covers are identical. Learn more about how SkateBack’s are made in this video.