We talk to the co-creator of the Bureo recycled fishing net skateboards

The Ahi skateboard is made of recycled fishing nets and its creators at Bureo Inc. are working hard to protect our oceans.

Since 2013, the founders of skateboard makers Bureo Inc. have been working with Chilean fisherman to find ways to make use of discarded nets. They founded the Net+Positiva programme, where fisherman could swap in worn-out fishing nets for cash, and began experimenting with using the fishing nets to make skateboard decks. 

The Ahi skateboard, the product of a collaboration between Bureo Inc. and pioneering surf-skateboard creators Carver Skateboards, is an upcycled, recyclable and well-made board.

We asked Ben Kneppers, the Ahi’s co-creator and co-founder of Bureo Inc., a few question about their latest creation: 

What makes the Ahi different from other skateboards?

The Ahi is the first-ever performance skateboard made from recycled fishing nets. We set out on this concept over a year ago – to make a skateboard that has the closest feeling to surfing in the ocean, made from materials that are literally keeping our oceans cleaner. 

Does the Ahi have the same-build quality as wooden skateboards?

Yes. We have been working on this board for the last 18 months because we wanted it to meet these standards. Working closely with the team at Carver allowed us to gain their comprehensive experience in skateboard design to pair this board perfectly with their CX Mini Trucks.

Why make recycled skateboards?

The direct answer is that we can actually make a positive impact instead of a negative one by producing our skateboard from recycled materials. The life cycle of virgin materials like plastic and wood can be very ugly. Our process prevents a harmful waste through employing low-income workers in coastal areas while using a fraction of energy to produce our final product. In addition, if our boards ever meet their end of life, we reward our customers for returning them back to us so we can recycle them again for a truly circular economy.

Why should people, and skateboarders, care about discarded fishing nets in the ocean?

Discarded fishing nets have been found to be the most harmful form of plastic pollution in the ocean towards marine life, which makes up 10 per cent of the world's ocean plastic. Through Net+Positiva, we found a really feasible way to solve this problem, by giving people the resources to take care of this harmful waste. In addition to feeling good about keeping the oceans cleaner, supporting products like this pushes all of industry to make products in a more responsible way.

Why did Bureo Inc. decide to partner with Carver Skateboards?

Carver actually first reached out to us right after we launched our first skateboard, the Minnow, to share their appreciation for what we were setting out to do. We were really amazed by this since Carver was a company that we always looked up to and we loved their boards. As we have become more surfers than skateboarders later in life (especially my two partners), Carver’s surfskate technology and high standards for quality made the perfect fit for us with this concept for our second board. 

What does surf-skate mean?

The surfskate is the closest thing you are going to get on a skateboard to surfing a wave in the ocean. Carver pioneered this type of skateboard and has continued to lead the way in this space. Ridden by the US Surf Team for training, this type of board allows the rider to pump the board like a surfboard, bridging the gap between skating and surfing and offering a cross-trainer for land.