Can a skateboard offer a smooth ride and be good for the planet? Bill Erickson thinks so, handcrafting his handsome longboard skateboards out of sustainably-sourced wood and recycling the leftover scraps into other gorgeous products.
His Seattle-based company, Erickson Longboards, is currently selling two types of skateboards on its website: a $299 46-48 inch board made from eco-friendly United States walnut or a $399 46-inch board made of madrone wood from Washington and Oregon forests.
What makes the lumber sustainable? Both the walnut and madrone trees were already fallen or dead when they were harvested.
Erickson’s longboards are truly unique pieces of art: Each one is custom-milled and handmade, and, because of the natural variations in the wood, every skateboard is different.
But just because these longboards look great displayed in your home doesn’t mean they’re not also fun to ride.
“Riding an Erickson Longboard is a sweet, smooth ride with big, stable wheels,” Erickson writes on his website. “Think snowboarding in fresh powder, waterskiing on mirrored glass, dropping in on the perfect wave.”
Once the skateboards are made, Erickson takes any remaining pieces of wood and creates stunning cutting boards and butcher blocks, also available for sale on his website. The pieces range from a $29 board of leftover walnut and maple that is 5 inches wide, 7 inches long and 1.5 inches thick to a $279 13-by-26-by-1.75 inch board of walnut, maple, madrone, cherry and chestnut. Contact the company for a full inventory and price list or to inquire about custom sizes.
But Erickson’s conservation ethic doesn’t stop there. He has also started making jewelry and rings from the cutting boards’ scraps, making sure no piece of wood goes to waste.
Check out Erickson Longboards’ website if you’re interested in learning more about any of their products. Or if you’re in the Seattle area, you can visit Erickson at Pike Place Market most Sundays and Mondays or make an appointment to stop by his shop in the Ballard neighborhood.