Skateboard Creations repurposes old skateboards to make colorful upcycled coffee gear.
BY TANYA NANETTI
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Skateboard Creations
In a consumer world often producing unnecessary waste, there is a consumer and producer who seeks to reuse, reduce, and recycle by turning old, shattered skateboards into intricate coffee tools.
Seriously, how cool is that?
After stumbling upon Skateboard Creations while wandering on Instagram, I followed some of the coolest specialty-coffee-related pages and spotted a bright, colorful tamper—and an even more colorful Comandante grinder knob.
But from the page alone you cannot get much info about the mastermind behind Skateboard Creations, so I reached out to the creator of this small business to learn more.
Meet Skateboard Creations’ Jens Reuter
Based in Germany, Jens Reuter is a 39-year-old with two “serious” jobs— an engineer of chemistry and material science, plus a dad of two amazing little girls. Jens has a passion for skateboarding and, of course, coffee. Jens tells us how everything started.
“My wife asked me to put away all those skateboards I still had from the early days,“ he explains. “I just couldn’t throw them away—but they also did take a lot of space. Back in those days, approximately six years ago, I used to share a small wood shop with a bunch of friends in Munich just for fun, because I used to work as a carpenter before going to university and I still loved to work with wood. So here we go, I took all of my old skateboards and upcycled them.”
That’s how the first tamper was born—a small coffee tool to use at his own home. But it took just a picture posted on Instagram to become instantly “recognizable.”
Skateboard Creations’ Growth
And from that point on, the project started to grow faster. Jens experienced an overwhelming amount of help from everyone who decided to contribute by sending him dozens of old boards. People from skate shops, skate parks, old and new friends … together they helped to create a real “community” that Jens truly appreciates.
“That is actually one of the best things about my project,” he says. “Being able to re- or upcycle products. It just feels good to be a small part of a movement going on right now in our world—a movement that needs to get bigger and bigger. It is so important to use the resources we have in a sustainable way and turn them into high-quality products that mean something to people, compared to just consuming with no end and (dumping) it when not needed anymore.”
His current line of products, all made-to-order, includes coffee tampers and distributors of different sizes, knobs for hand grinders by Comandante, and much more.
Collaborations with Comandante
So what’s behind this collaboration with Comandante? “Raphael (Braune), CEO from Comandante and Supremo Kaffee, is just such a super nice guy and his whole team behind him is just amazing as well,“ says Jens.
“We got in touch by chance and knew right away that we could come up with something pretty cool when we got a chance to work with each other. It’s not a secret that he also loves skateboarding. Since we got those two things in common—skateboarding and coffee love—we started out with a special and limited ’Santa Cruz’ edition of the Comandante Grinder. It turned out absolutely amazing! It was so productive and fun to work with each other that we kept on doing it until now.”
What about the future? Jens assures us that he’s got a couple of new ideas, but he won’t spoil them. Not yet. The only thing to do to learn more is follow him and his art at Skateboard Creations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the coffee machine (or visiting some hidden corner of the world), she’s busy writing for Coffee Insurrection, a website about specialty coffee that she’s creating along with her boyfriend.