13-year-old entrepreneur reinvents the skateboard

Emerald Pellot
In The Know

This 13-year-old boy isn’t just recycling discarded skateboards, he’s upcycling them to create a new board design. 

Carson Kropfl started Locker Board in 2016 to solve a personal problem – his skateboard didn’t fit in his locker at school. One day he bought a used skateboard to remodel it to fit in the small space.

After several tries, Carson settled on a short rectangle as the ideal shape. It was both functional to ride and compact enough to fit in his locker. 

Things really got started when Carson’s parents told him he’d have to do chores to pay for surf lessons. He convinced them to let him launch the business instead.

“Kids at school started asking if they could buy one off me,” he told In The Know. “So I started selling them for like 20 bucks apiece, just the deck. I’d just stick five in my backpack every day at school and fan them out on the lunch table.” 

The San Clemente teen wanted to source the used boards from skate shops but most didn’t have enough for his business. So he went to Vans, which owns two massive skate parks in the area. The company was happy to provide the rubbish boards and the rest is history. 

“The first thing I do when I make my boards is pick out the right board,” Carson explained to In The Know. “Then I cut it down to get the right shape and size. Then I move over to my sander to sand the edges. To get it super smooth. Then I drill in new holes for the trucks. I spray paint the board to make it that glossy, new look. Then I put on the trucks and wheels. Then slap on a sticker.”

Locker Board received $65,000 in funding from Sir Richard Branson after appearing on “Shark Tank.” For every board sold, the company donates a dollar to Ocean Unite. Carson hopes to continue to expand the company and find new ways to make every part of the skateboard sustainable.

Locker Board is currently donating all profits of its $5 skateboard bearings to First Responder’s Children Foundation during the pandemic. 

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