Skateboard and longboard decks are typically made out of maple wood that takes 40 to 60 years to mature so it can become a desk we love and shread. Considering how many decks are made per year, there is no denying that the skateboard industry is one of the largest causes of maple deforestation.
In the past, the one of the answers to this problem was incorporating bamboo wood in the deck construction, as it grows faster and more abundantly compared to maple.
Although it’s true that bamboo decks are more sustainable, but if you ever stepped on one, you know that they are more flexible and not really DH appropriate.
The development of more sustainable skate decks continues and currently hemp is the new big deal. It is one of the strongest natural fibres, it’s recyclable and it holds numerous options of its application.
Some longboard brands like Holesome and Clutch already incorporate hemp laminates into their longboard decks, Gravity Skateboards use an eco-friendly hemp replacement for fibreglass and Arbor Collective use hemp in some of their textile products. These are only some longboard brands that follow the hemp glory and try to make skateboarding more sustainable.
So far, I haven’t seen a 100% hemp longboard, but there are some smaller cruising and skateboard decks emerging on the market.
One of these are hemp skateboards by Rolkaz Collective currently campaigning on Kickstarter with two cruising decks made from 100 % eco-friendly materials.
Hemp Skateboards by Rolkaz Collective
Rolkaz Collective was created to raise awareness that more sustainable materials and responsible processes can result in a unique and fun skateboard for daily street nomads.
Their two decks are made from a combination of hemp and flax seed glued together with a high performance plant based resin. All of the three components are locally grown and processed in Europe.
Drifter is a 28 inch all-round cruiser deck for city shenanigans, skateparks and daily commuters. With a mellow concave and a kicktails it can offer a pleasant pop and an enjoyable ride.
The Drifter’s mini sister is the Mala. This mini cruiser features a shorter wheelbase that is also suitable for kids.
Both decks come in four colourways; purple, lime, blue and raw. As mentioned above, they are currently available only on Kickstarter as a complete, which includes Paris Street Trucks and 60 mm 78a stoneground wheels.
UPDATE, January 14th, 2018: Rolkaz Collective’s Kickstarter campaign failed. Only 2,332 USD was pledged of 25,000 USD goal.