As legalised medical and recreational cannabis is on the rise, so too is the return of its sturdy and versatile variant: industrial hemp. Hemp is one of the most versatile plants in the world, and a new Kickstarter is aiming to turn that usefulness into a new kind of skateboard.
The Rolkaz Collective, a new startup founded by Janko Mandic, has plans to design and construct a line of skateboard made entirely from hemp. The decks are “made solely of natural hemp and flax fibers bound together with high-performance plant-based resin.” Using these sustainable materials, Mandic tells Inverse, “is [their] way to fight climate change.”
“Trees take around 60 years to mature before they can be cut down to make skateboards. Growing hemp only takes 12-14 weeks,” says the startup, which naturally, is on Kickstarter. Using hemp instead of wood for the decks means eliminating fewer trees for resources.
Mandic assures that the boards are quite sturdy, despite the fact that they’re constructed from plant fibers. A promotional video shows the hemp boards being used for street surfing and some (admittedly light) stunt riding.
Rolkaz Collective seems to have picked a good time to enter the market. Other innovative skateboard designs are also currently making the rounds on Kickstarter, like the electric-powered, carbon fiber skateboard from Swiss startup SoFlow. Rolkaz Collective’s hemp boards are still powered manually, but could nevertheless prove to be a statement-making purchase for anyone in the market for a new board.