Putting wheels on a deck made of odd materials is no longer unique. But Australia-born company Penny Skateboards takes riders down the road to a better future, both with the “I Ride I Recycle” collection of boards as well as work they’re doing around the world. Penny for a Purpose turns the sale of inspired plastic-decked models – such as the Ethiopia Skate X BB 22” – into educational and recreational projects for disadvantaged youth.
Any other reasons to keep reading? How about sweet boards in every configuration with 22” and 27” sizes to commute, cruise and test your skills as we did here at Active Junky. Now grab on to what founder Ben Mackay brought to Active Junky in a recent, energized exchange.
What about skating inspires youth, no matter their cultural or economic situations?
Since its infancy, skateboarding has always been about inclusion of people from all walks of life and has always embraced diversity. No matter where you live in the world or your economic background, skateboarding has a place for you to express your creativity, have a community, and just have fun. The reason we started Penny was to spread the fun of skateboarding and make it accessible to as many people around the globe as we can.
How do you select the extremely-singular designs for your special project boards?
With Penny for a Purpose, we choose partners that know the positive impact skateboarding can have on communities and that are passionate about giving back through skateboarding. Skateboarding has given so much to so many of us that it is really our duty to pay it back. We have been very fortunate to partner with some amazingly talented artists, including B.B. Bastidas for the Ethiopia Skate project, that share our passion and vision for making positive change through skateboarding
If you had personal deck graphics on a Penny board, what would they be and say to communicate who you are?
I’ve actually been lucky enough to design heaps of boards over the years, but I always go back to the classic yellow plastic deck. It really just takes me back to finding that first board in the garage at 5 years old, and the utter enjoyment of those first few pushes.