Three weeks ago, we told you about Ryan Lovelace, a Santa Barbara-based surfboard shaper who initiated a Kickstarter campaign to raise $18,000 to build a line of environmentally friendlier surf craft. The boards would go up for auction with the proceeds donated to the Save Naples Coalition, an group of concerned citizens hell-bent on protecting one of the few areas of privately owned coastline on the Gaviota Coast from being exploited by developers.
Making surfboards produces a bit of enviromentally harmful fallout. "Polyester resins are chocked full of volatile organic compounds, which everyone knows to be the airborne version of the devil," he said when I first spoke to Lovelace. But making boards out of recycled foam and plant-based resins costs twice as much to make.
"To me the cost isn't outrageous because it's a great product," he said. "But profit margins are about 10 to 15 percent on a finished surfboard, so when you throw a wrench like that into the system, all of a sudden a smaller, one-off type operation like me is almost making the surfboards for free." Hence, the Kickstarter campaign.
I checked in with Lovelace a little more than a week ago, and he told me he wasn't too worried: "Once Kickstarter projects pass 30 percent the likelihood they get to 100 percent goes way up."
There are now four days remaining on the Kickstarter campaign. and 90 backers have donated $6,786. As a result Lovelace seems to be suspended in an odd mental state--some place between pure elation and utter panic.
"Kickstarter projects are a mental trip for sure," he said a few days ago.
"The last week is always a crazy rally because there's motive to donate. People see '27 days left' and say, 'Oh, I'll donate later.' Now there's seven days so we're getting there on the motivation factor; if it doesn't happen I'll be surprised and disappointed because I won't be able to follow through on a project and help Save Naples. The next seven days are going to be really exciting."
- Pursuing an Eco-Friendly Surfboard
- Is This the Future of Surfboards
- Sheckler and Friends Skate for a Cause