Sunglasses crafted from old skateboards? It's true. And it all started with a couple guys just chillin' on their couch after a day of (what else?) skateboarding around ATL. “I said something like, wouldn’t it be cool to make glasses or something out of old boards?” said Luke, one of the Deck Specks founders. “We totally shrugged the idea off at first.” After realizing it was actually kind of awesome, though, they decided to make it happen.
And make it happen they did. Now, a couple years after the inception of the idea, the Atlanta skate rats with a talent for woodworking and an eye for business opportunity are cranking out hundreds of rad-looking sunglasses made from old skateboards for ladies and gents alike in their shop in Inman Park.
But the burning question we really want to know: How the heck do you turn an old skateboard into an awesome pair of shades? It’s actually fairly simple (and pretty genius, if we say so ourselves). The frames are cut out of the non-curved center of the board (that'd be the "deck"), and the stems are cut from the ends of the board—which just so happen to be perfectly curved to fit the shape of a head. “The only part done mechanically now is cutting out the shape of the glasses from the boards,” Luke said. They do the rest by hand, and it takes about an hour to finish one pair of glasses. They don't let much go to waste, either. “We use 90% of a board for glasses and usually figure out something to do with the leftover wood,” he said. “We also never use brand-new boards. They’re always donated, or we get old boards from skate shops.”
Since getting started, they’ve had skaters from all over the region stop in to drop off old boards. In the eyes of the Deck Specks crew, it's a perfect way to preserve a board that meant a lot to a skater but is no longer useable. And for those of us non-skaters? Well, we can get in on the action, too. Because, let's be honest: they’re really freakin’ cool-looking sunglasses.
The shop has had some pretty VIP guests, both pro-skaters and celebs, pass through and leave with a pair of Deck Specks (including one Mr. Andre Benjamin, a.k.a. Andre 3000 a.k.a. the soon-to-be-biopic star ). Now they’re ready to get them on the faces of more local-lovin’ Atlantans. Right now the glasses are sold primarily online and at a few skate shops in the southeast. They go for around $120 a pair—about the same price as the fancy-schmancy brands (but with a way radder backstory). Polarized and prescription lenses from eye doctors can even be popped into these babies. And since each pair is completely unique, there’s never any worry that someone else is going to be rockin’ the same specks.
Check out their online store, stay on the lookout for new products coming from them soon.
Photos courtesy of Deck Specks.