It’s not unusual to see an 11-year old practicing skateboard tricks in the neighborhood. What is unusual (in the best sense of the word) is to see an 11-year skater turn his passion for boards into a lucrative business. That’s exactly what Carson Kropfl has accomplished with his brand Locker Board. The mission of this San Clemente, CA-based company is two-fold: To adapt the traditional skateboard design to suit a young student’s needs, and help the environment in the process.
The Locker Board story began with Streetubez, Kropfl’s first entrepreneurial endeavor. Launched in 2016, this skateboarding accessory is designed to simulate an ocean wave, giving the rider the feeling that they are surfing on the pavement. Streetubez are easy to set up and use, and are much safer than the unforgiving ocean.
From there, Kropfl expanded with Locker Board. He was looking for a skateboard that could easily fit into his middle school locker and backpack, but found that unless he bought a folding board, options just didn’t exist in the marketplace. He decided to make his own and began by cutting 17-in. boards by hand, and selling them to friends and through social media.
The young company gained momentum quickly, and Locker Board now sells their upcycled, refinished mini-skateboards through their website. Many of the used skateboards that are the raw material for Locker Boards are provided by skateboard retailers, obtained from donations of local skaters. Other boards are taken right from manufacturing warehouses, from throwaway boards that companies have decided are too blemished to sell. Even a scratch or dent can deem a brand new board unsellable, and these damaged-out boards are usually sent to landfills where they add to environmental waste.
Locker Board focuses on creating sustainable products that serve Carson Kropfl’s original purpose—to be uber-easy to use and store. The current Dream Hard Trickster model comes in at just 17 inches, and is assembled with new USA-made wheels and Destructo Trucks, along with new steel bearings.
The short rectangular design gives the Trickster the perfect amount of foot space for smooth riding on pavement, while the rear tail design makes executing turns and tricks easy and comfortable. Plus, of course, it’s now the only skateboard on the market that’s compact enough to fit in a backpack without being folded.
The Trickster features one-of-a-kind artwork that makes it even more unique. Every upcycled board gets a new lease on life in the Locker Board manufacturing process. The board’s deck is sanded to a new finish, reshaped and given a fresh, street art inspired facelift. Users even get a peek of the board’s original design, bringing home the fact that every board has been repurposed and saved from a landfill.
Since bringing Locker Board to life, Carson Kropfl has had the opportunity to partner with big names including Nike and the Tony Hawk Foundation. He’s put his success to good use by partnering with Let It Flow, a nonprofit organization that is on a mission to make clean water accessible to everyone worldwide. For every Locker Board, $1 is donated to the cause. As well as making it on Shark Tank, Kropfl and his products have also been featured on GrindTV, in the Orange County Register, and on Eyewitness News, among other outlets.