There is no doubt we are all guilty of playing our part in the wasteful society we live in. Perhaps in some aspects, it’s the only way our society can function, however for many, this disposable society presents the ultimate opportunity for innovative intervention.
Inventor and passionate Lake Tahoe boarder, Bob Candler, is one these inspirational people. Bob spent over 15 years mastering and revolutionizing waste recycling, to conceive the first snowboard to be made of 100 percent recycled and recyclable material.
After years of being frustrated by the unsustainable fabrication of fibreglass boards and not getting the ride experience, Bob took it upon himself to shake up the industry, and release the Makboard.
I recently caught up with Bob to find out more about the Makboard.
The Makboard has two stories behind it, the sustainable board but also the unique riding experience. When did it all start?
I made the first prototype in 1993 because I wanted a snowboard to be more like a surfboard.
The Makboard is made of an almost indestructible polycarbonate, can you explain where the materials come from and how and where is it made?
Polycarbonate was invented by the Germans in the ’50’s. It is made by GE and Bayer Material Science. It is used for bullet-proof windows, fighter jet canopies, helmets and countless other applications. We use Bayer Makrolon for our boards that is produced in Texas.
Mak HQ seems to have thought of just about everything including a system to recycle the Makboard. How does the ‘return for recycling’ policy work for boarders who have already purchased the Makboard?
After you’ve ridden your board for years and beaten it up just send it back to the Makboard factory and Mak headquarters will give you a discount on your new Makboard. We’ll grind up the old board and re-use the material.
The deck has been very carefully crafted, can you elaborate on the reasons behind the grooves and openings in the board structure?
The grooves give the bottom of the board a tri-maran profile, like a sailboat, and adds stability when riding. They get deeper towards the back and funnel the snow through the holes. In the deep powder this allows the tail to sink and the nose to float as well as having less resistance making your turns feel more fluid and effortless. When you’re on the groomers the holes kick up a rooster tail. The whole design adds to the more ‘surflike’ feeling of the ride.
Apart from the aesthetics, and the substantial environmental advantages, does the board boast any other benefits over a standard laminate board, from a riders perspective?
Being made out of just polycarbonate allows the board to flex freely. Combined with the huge camber this gives the board rebound and spring out of your turns. The material, flex and design all contribute to the ‘surflike’ experience you get when riding a Makboard. The edges dig in deeper, the board bends into the arc of your turn and the one material makes you feel more connected to the snow. The biggest advantage of the Makboard is that it’s more fun to ride than stiff laminated boards.
Can the boards sustain the same amount of strain as a usual board?
Our boards are very durable and can handle everything you can give to a standard snowboard. If you find a way to break it, send it back to recycle it.
Are the boards designed for a particular snowboarder or terrain?
The board is for everyone that likes to surf the snow, carve turns and have a good time sliding on snow in all conditions except for ice. From beginner to expert. It’s the best for powder, a blast on groomers and awesome in the spring slush. Take it anywhere you want to go.
Do you have any Pro Boarders riding or associated with Makboards?
Not yet but we have a grassroots beginning of stoked Makboarders all over the world and hopefully more soon to come in Australia.
The future looks bright for Makboard, what can we expect in the future from Makboard?
I like your opinion! Thanks. The future is wide open and there will be more and more interesting things to come once we get this design and material accepted. The original will never go out of style.
Where can people purchase a Makboard? Any plans to push into the Australian market?
Boards are available on our website www.makboard.com for US$300. We don’t have any official presence in Australia yet but we’re looking for a distributor. We know there are a couple of Aussies that have Makboards. We definitely want to get into the Australian market and everywhere people ride snow. We appreciate your help in spreading the word.
How would you sum up the Makboard philosophy in one sentence?
It’s all about the turns, Surf the Snow!!
The Makboard is a sensational ride, aesthetically unique and best of all, will never end up in landfill like other used snowboards.
To find out more about Makboards contact Mak HQ at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out more pics and vids on their website makboard.com