SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — Carson Kropfl, 11, of San Clemente has a marketing idea that he thinks will resonate with young skateboarders like himself nationwide.
What if you could buy a mode of transportation that you could fit in your backpack and inside your locker at school?
What if you could even do tricks on it?
Meet the Locker Board.
With the blessing of his mother, Carrie, and his father, Keith, Carson has begun recycling old skateboard decks into smaller new skateboards, which he refined by trial and error into 14-inch-long, ridable rounded cubes.
With practice, a young skater can cruise on Locker Board with ease — even do kick flips, Carson said. See a video at lockerboard.net.
He is offering reshaped decks, with a repainted bottom, for $20. As a member of a family of entrepreneurs, Carson is taking a cue from his mother, creator of a tarp surfing kit called Streetubez.
“He has big dreams,” she said. “He wants to set up an online store. I think it’s going to be a hit. All the kids at Shorecliffs (Middle School) want one. I think it could really spiral.”
“My mom said I had to pay for all my surf contests and surf lessons,” Carson said. “She said I have to do chores around the house to earn money, and I hate doing chores. So I thought of making a brand like my mom has with Streetubez.”
His website invites startup donations — not money, just used decks — to help Carson meet a goal of creating and selling 200 decks by year’s end.
Skate shop Republik of Kalifornia has donated 20 decks.
Vans Shoes’ Steve Van Doren took notice after seeing Carson’s video. He offered to tap some of his industry connections to donate some used decks.
“That is an awesome design,” Van Doren said. “How innovative he is. There’s always new things in skateboarding.”
If it’s a mystery why no one thought of doing this before, Carson’s mother said maybe it’s because no one thought a skater could ride a board this small.
“When he measured his locker, he said ‘it’s small, I don’t know how this is going to work,’” she said. “It has become such a fun ride.”
It took experimenting to come up with a size and shape that worked.
“At first, we had the boards kind of like a normal skateboard with the round edges and the tail,” Carson said. “The tail would make it wiggly and it wouldn’t really work, so I cut off the tail but kept the round shape. It still didn’t really work. It was too small to fit your feet on. So I thought to just cut the board into a block and round the edges.”
He said he has taken Locker Board to school without hassle. “You just can’t ride them during school,” he said. But that’s okay.
“It’s mainly for cruising around after school and everywhere,” he said. “You can really have fun with it. You can take it to the beach.”
He said he already has a backlog of orders. “Everybody’s saying these are amazing, when can we get them?” he said.
“Everybody’s saying these are amazing, when can we get them?” — Carson Kropfl, creator of Locker Board