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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2
   

Entrepreneur's Corner:
Gravity Goes Green

Michael Bream, Marshall ’94

   
     

Gravity Skateboards was launched by Michael Bream, Marshall ’94, and a few friends in (where else!) a small garage in the North County in 1994. Fifteen years later, the company, now located in San Marcos, produces 32 skateboard models, has 12 employees and found itself doing $2 million in sales last year. Bream, who graduated with a B.A. in computer science and engineering, says that he and his friends began by handcrafting high-quality streetboards from recycled wood scraps. That recycling impetus is still a major part of their manufacturing philosophy. The company produces a number of earth-friendly boards under the name Happy Green Feet and uses sustainable materials in about 30 percent of its models. Some of their boards are built with an all-natural fiberglass called Earth-Fibe, made from natural jute and hemp fibers, which doesn’t release toxins or particles during production. Gravity claims that its Earth-Fibe is as durable as any other standard fiberglass, but will break down much more easily over time after it has been recycled. Other earth-friendly materials include Enviro-Grip, which is a grip tape made from recycled glass bottles and glued to the boards using nontoxic, water-based urethane. They also recycle scraps of birch wood from their regular production line, employing a technology known as V-lam, which turns the birch scraps into resilient
and stylish 27-inch and 42-inch skateboards.

In skateboarding slang, Vert is the act of skateboarding on or in a skatepark. It is also the French word for green. Go figure.

Radical, dude!


 

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