A usable surfboard, apparently.

Taylor Lane, a 24-year-old from Santa Cruz, spent the summer with friend Ben Judkin plucking discarded butts from the sand and beach parking lots and pathways near his hometown, and then used the trash to create a surfboard that can actually be used in the water. The surfboard impressed this year’s judges who named it the winner of the third annual “Creators & Innovators Upcycle Contest,” hosted by surfbrand Vissla and the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation.

Photography by: Hanna Yamamoto

Vissla founder Paul Naude is no stranger to promoting upcycling, with products such as boardshorts made from coconut husks. He said he started the contest as a way to get people to think creatively about sustainability.
“I started playing around with broken boards and turning them into something you can ride waves with,” he said. “Why don’t we do something that encourages people to find trash or something unusable, and use their imagination and creativity and upcycle it … take something and make it better.”
Photography by Matt Masin

“This is the most polluted item picked up on the beach,” Taylor Lane said. “And no one thinks twice that you can do anything with it.”
Judkins, who helped Lane film the creation of the board, said the project was a way to connect surfing with a statement.
“People see this board and they are visually drawn to it, it’s visually disgusting — but awesome in how gross it is,” he said. “It just ties together surfing and something we care about — the environment, the ocean, and the health of the ocean.”

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