(smow) blog compact: Woody Skateboards

No sooner had we published our post on the innovative high-tech world of silbærg snowboards, than we received information on a fascinating project producing older than old skool skateboards.

Initiated by Royal Academy of Art, The Hague graduate Bastiaan van Druten, Woody skateboards are created from elm trees which had to be felled in Amsterdam and Utrecht “…because of disease or because they were in the way of capitalism”

Which is a turn of phrase almost as exquisite as the skateboards Bastiaan creates from these innocent victims of gentrification.

Deliberately choosing “retro” inspired deck shapes to remind us all of skateboarding’s innocent, hedonistic yet idealistic and close-to-nature origins – and so distance Woody boards from the modern commercial, capitalist, reality – what we particularly like is the site specific nature of the project.

Really, really, really old readers will remember Eindhoven based Portuguese designer Bruno Carvalho and his research into site specific furniture, as represented, for example, by his Tempelhof Lamp at DMY Berlin 2011. Essentially Bruno’s project involved transmuting a feature of a building into a piece of furniture for that building. The Tempelhof Lamp being modelled on a window sill.

More recently we had the story from Unter Zwischen im Ampelhaus of how Jürgen Bey took the fallen trees in the grounds of Schloß Oranienbaum as inspiration for his deliciously decadent Tree Trunk Bench project, and of course there is Niek Wagemans’ nachBAR for the Dutch Embassy in Berlin which was created from waste materials found in the near vicinity of the Embassy.

Recycling and re-use needn’t be site specific, but has lot more charm when it is.

As Woody skateboards perfectly demonstrate.

Quite aside from the fact that all boards are genuinely unique works of craft, according to the press information – and as ever we have no way of verifying this information, but also absolutely no reason to doubt it – Bastiaan van Druten has created a board from “the oldest Elm in the Netherlands”, a tree dating back to 1790 and which stood on Catharijnesingel in central Utrecht.

That is a board that you have to, indeed can only, ride through the streets of Utrecht.

And regardless of the age of the tree from which your deck is crafted, should you find yourself being berated for your gall in skateboarding: relax – you have the social and environmental high ground.

Rebelling has never been so responsible.

As a concept Woody skateboards is of course perfectly applicable to any town or city plagued by members of the fungal genus Ophiostoma, property speculators or other destructive forces. As such we’re looking forward to seeing where the ride takes them next; or should any design festivals be looking for an idea for a site specific recycling/upcycling workshop, we’re sure Bastiaan van Druten would be more than happy to help out.

Full details on Woody skateboards, including purchase information, can be found at www.woodyskateboards.nl

Woody Skateboards Familiy

The Woody skateboard familiy

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