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Couple turning barrels into skateboards

A couple based in Marlborough, New Zealand, have found an innovative use for old wine barrels – turning them into skateboards.

As reported by the Marlborough Express, Indigo Greenlaw and Wills Rowe of The Paper Rain Project make their longboards from disused French oak barrels.

The pair use crushed glass from recycled wine bottles for grip on the top of the boards, which boast bespoke designs.

“My favourite thing about the boards is the depth of story and the breadth of it. Take the Seresin barrel for example, it’s been grown for a number of years on a certain lot in France. Then it’s been milled and aged for a certain amount of time.

“Then there’s the winemaking process – how many vintages it’s been through and what type of wine. Before we even get it, it has this amazing story,” Greenlaw told the Marlborough Express.

When its life as a board is over, the wood can be reused or left to break down naturally. Working sustainably is core to The Paper Rain Project’s ethos.

A number of local wineries have supported the couple both by supplying the barrels and buying the boards, which are made in a workshop at Rowe’s parents’ cherry orchard.

Rowe crafts the boards from the barrels while Greenlaw creates the artwork, including moth, paintbrush and chisel motifs that are laser-etched onto the wood.

The pair founded The Paper Rain Project three years ago and have been making their barrel boards for the last three months. In addition to skateboards, they also sell T-shirts made from Fair Trade organic cotton.

This is not the first time disused wine barrels have enjoyed a second life. In 2013, Robert Mondavi Winery collaborated with Californian sunglasses maker Woodzee on a range of shades crafted from old Mondavi barrels.

Priced at US$120 a pair, the glasses come in four lens colors: bronze, grey, reflective blue and reflective green. Each pair is etched with a tiny barrel logo on the left arm in a nod to their winemaking past.

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