Skateboarding is popular worldwide. But when skateboards get worn out, they become unsafe and have to be scrapped by their riders. In the hands of woodworker Anakubo, these old decks are reborn. Making the most of their multi-colored plywood layers, he shapes them into cool new accessories. And since Anakubo is a skater himself, he always keeps in mind how important those old decks were to their former riders as he does his work.
Since ancient times, the Japanese have believed that a life force resides in all creations.
Valuing and caring for the things we use, a "Zero Waste Life."
Pointing the way to better living for a new era.
Nothing is ever really trash.
Depending on who's using it,
it can be completely transformed.
That's what makes it beautiful.
A major Japanese port city, Hachinohe in Aomori.
Anakubo Yu, skateboarder, well...not exactly.
He's actually a woodworker by trade.
His workshop is surrounded by nature.
But the material he works with is rather different.
Used skateboard decks, to be specific.
Skateboarding puts a lot of stress on the wood.
And once a deck is damaged, it can no longer be ridden.
But, because the wood is of such high quality, Anakubo says it still has a lot to give.
The wood is mostly Canadian maple.
It's excellent material, ideal for carpentry
so, yes, I put it to good use.
Today, another shipment of used decks from skaters all over Japan arrives at his studio.
Each one is composed of up to 7 layers in several colors.
Making use of these colors is what sets Anakubo's creations apart.
Sometimes they have interesting patterns.
Like from the middle, one half is orange,
and the other half is green.
Yeah, I think I'll use this one.
He removes the grip tape from the surface, stripping them down to bare wood.
With that, they're ready for use.
I sand the sections as flat as possible.
The colors really are great.
The skateboard deck is reborn as some very smart-looking ballpoint pens.
Anakubo has used old skateboards to make a variety of distinctive accessories.
I had an image of what I wanted to do
with these worn-out old decks.
Having people like them and buy them
is something that makes me so happy.
Born in Hachinohe in 1990, Anakubo was an inquisitive child.
His favorite thing of all was playing with the toys that his father made.
He still treasures them to this day.
This is a toy dad made for me in preschool.
There's a picture of me at that age inside,
he put my face on the pilot.
A spaceship made by his father.
Nearly all the parts used were from the trash.
The cylinders are probably cardboard tubes
from plastic wrap or toilet paper rolls.
On the inside where the paint is coming off
you can see drinking straws.
And I just see now
that he probably used thumbtacks too.
Also a woodworker, Anakubo's father.
Between busy periods at work, he used scrap to make toys for his son.
It's hard to believe thinking about it now,
but I'd often stay up all night after work.
I love making things so much
that the time would just fly by.
You can always buy new materials
to make something if you want.
But I think it's more interesting
to figure out how to use waste.
Inspired by his father, Anakubo also followed the path of the woodworker.
And he chose the skateboard, something he also loved, as his source of material.
I guess I was unconsciously doing
just what my father did.
If you start with good material,
you get good results.
But using something that would've
gone to waste makes it even better.
I never thought he'd be a woodworker.
I don't say it much, but
I'm a big fan of what he's doing.
I really hope he keeps on succeeding.
Anakubo recently took on an unusual job.
It came from some local skaters.
They pooled their money to build a skate park.
The walls are lined with worn-out old decks they'd used for daily practice.
They were like old friends,
so we put them up on the wall.
So many memories in them:
the first time you did that trick.
You can't just throw them away.
But, what to do with them?
They were at a loss when they discovered the work of Anakubo, who also lives in Hachinohe.
It was just amazing, and so cool!
Old decks become cute accessories.
He turns them into something wonderful.
They asked Anakubo to use the old decks to make a signboard commemorating the one-year anniversary of the skate park in autumn.
It's a hard place to find,
so I thought a sign would be useful.
I'm happy the decks will be our new sign.
-They were pretty much shredded.
-But I'm glad that we kept them.
Anakubo's design incorporates the feelings of the clients.
Every piece is from decks they actually used.
Skaters really care about their decks,
so I care just as much as I use them.
He's finally settled on a design.
Gluing the strips together, he forms a large slab.
It's probably the most layers
I've ever used in a project.
It's pretty big, isn't it?
He uses a laser engraver to add the skate park's logo.
Scraps from making the board form the letters.
Nothing goes to waste.
I hope they like it. I'm excited!
Anakubo delivers the completed sign himself.
- Hello there!
How's it going?
The sign is finished.
Wow! Just, wow!
It's so cool!
- It's standing.
- Yes, standing style.
- Amazing. All that scrap reborn.
- It really was just scrap, right?
That "A" used to be my deck.
Yeah, I hoped you'd recognize it.
And the "N" was mine maybe?
It's just wonderful.
All our old beat-up decks as one sign,
a work of art.
It's really moving.
- Why not try and jump it?
- Give it a try!
It'll be cool!
You can do it!
Call it trash, but to me it's priceless.
Even broken things can be treasure.
For me, using such things is worthwhile.
It makes me truly happy.