Sustainable Surf Craft Project on Kickstarter.com
If you’ve not heard of Kickstarter, it’s a site that uses crowdsourcing to get funding – getting little bits of funding from a lot of people to get projects off the ground. Often they are asking for money to overcome some barrier to scalability or are contributing to a good cause; other times they’re not.
Spirare is using Kickstarter to launch a project to make 100 first-run boards in part from trash collected on the beach near his house (in theory, the ‘good cause’ option).
- The boards are beautiful
- It’s a cool idea, and it’s great that he’s planning to showcase the boards in art shows to spread the message
- He uses recycled wood and foam for the boards
- Kickstarter backers will get ‘priority status” for orders (good to reward people who are giving you $$)
- I don’t see much surfboard foam on the beach these days, so I’m guessing most of the trash will be going toward the auxiliary parts – fins, foam coatings, etc – which means the main cost to make the board is still there (foam and shaping time)
- The more you pledge, the more you get (shirts, stickers, etc), but it takes a lot to actually get a board. If you pledge $1,500, for example, you only get 75% off of a board purchase. You have to commit $2k before you get a free board. Not surprisingly, there are no backers at the $1-2k level, and the majority of backers are in the $30-50 level
- Not really sure what ‘barrier’ the funding will go toward overcoming, as it seems like he’s already creating the boards with recycled materials and selling them. I guess this funding just goes toward….making more boards?
Final (likely uninspiring) thoughts:
- It’s a cool idea, and he’s an excellent shaper who is making sustainable boards (which is ultimately the reason we wanted to write about him). You should buy a board from him.
- In terms of his trying to raise money on Kickstarter, however, it feels a little odd. Maybe I’d like to see a little bit of the ‘Tom’s Shoes’ angle on it — like 10% of the proceeds from board sales will go toward cleaning up the beaches in Bangladesh. Doesn’t feel like there’s enough ecological benefit being created for people to give money (100 fins and plastic board wraps = …a few hundred bottles?), so might be good to at least put a portion of proceeds toward something larger.
What do you think?