From skirt­ing boards to skate­boards


Mak­ing skate­boards and surf­boards out of quake-dam­aged houses might sound like a pipe dream, but it’s hap­pen­ing.

Home­own­ers do­ing ren­o­va­tion work in Kaiko¯ura are be­ing en­cour­aged to think ‘‘de­con­struc­tion not de­mo­li­tion’’ and do­nate any spare tim­ber to the coun­cil’s lat­est re­cy­cling ef­fort.

The plan is for young­sters in Kaiko¯ura to trans­form the bro­ken bits of wood, whether it be door trims, tongue and groove floor­ing, sark­ing or fram­ing, into skate and surf­boards over Earth­quake Me­mo­rial Week in Novem­ber.

Kaik­oura District Coun­cil waste min­imi­sa­tion case man­ager Natalie Ab­sa­lom said cedar was their first choice, but pine, rimu and oak was also wel­come.

The coun­cil had teamed up with Kaiko¯ura surf­board builder Aaron Surgenor, as well as Waikato’s Goose Boards, Billabong, Rip Curl, Em­pire Skate, Ma¯tau­ranga Menz Shed and lo­cal schools for the ini­tia­tive, Ab­sa­lom said.

‘‘If a house can’t be a house any­more, let’s turn it into some­thing amaz­ing,’’ she said. ‘‘Peo­ple need to think de­con­struc­tion not de­mo­li­tion. It’s about tak­ing some­thing dam­aged and des­tined for the rub­bish dump and giv­ing it a sec­ond life.

‘‘Right now we’re ask­ing for dona­tions of wood ... The longer the bet­ter, but any­thing will be con­sid­ered.’’

It was about get­ting peo­ple to think dif­fer­ently about earth­quake-dam­aged homes, Ab­sa­lom said.

Ryan Thorpe, of Goose Boards, said he and his team would be trav­el­ling to Kaiko¯ura for the Earth­quake Me­mo­rial Week, from Novem­ber 13 - 19, to teach chil­dren how to make their own skate­boards from re­cy­cled wood.

‘‘Peo­ple are amazed when they see us turn rub­bish into skate­boards,’’ Thorpe said. ‘‘This is all about mak­ing the best of a bad sit­u­a­tion and show­ing the kids how to be cre­ative and re­source­ful.’’

Ab­sa­lom said the idea of run­ning youth work­shops came from re­search­ing other wastere­duc­tion ini­tia­tives.

‘‘I came across all th­ese beau­ti­ful, prac­ti­cal and artis­tic uses for bits of de­mol­ished build­ings,’’ she said. ‘‘Then I thought, if they can do it, so can we.’’

De­tails about the project, or how to do­nate wood, can be found on the Kaiko¯ura District Coun­cil web­site.

The Kaik­oura District Coun­cil has hatched a plan to turn scrap tim­ber into skate­boards.

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