From the field to the streets, slopes and surf
Corn stover is showing its usefulness
By KRISS NELSON
Whether you are hitting the slopes, riding waves or the asphalt – did you know you could be doing it using a product developed from a corn stalk?
Surfboards, skis, snowboards and skateboards are made using a “wood” which is made of Corn Board, a green alternative for wood that is made of corn stover, otherwise known as the leaves and stalks from a corn harvest.
Stalk It, a brand subsidiary of Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc. which offers other “green” wood products, was developed, according to CEO Lane Segerstrom, as a way to test and develop the product Corn Board.
“We wanted to make it better and stronger,” he said. “We really just pushed it to the limit in the longboard skate boards and then started to develop skis and snowboards. We partnered with Never Summer out of Denver to do our finish-outs. We provide the core – that is our technology and then someone that understands the snowboards and skis manufacture them for us.”
Segerstrom said they have also partnered with Kazuma to help manufacture surfboards.
Stalk It’s reputation of quality and durability began in the early years of longboarding. Segerstrom said he began designing and building longboards in 2010.
“I thought how can I put Corn Board in something that shows it is a strong material? So, I built a skate board and went out and broke a Guinness Book of World Record for the fasted speed on a towed skateboard of 78.1 mph to really show its strength,” said Segerstrom. “When people saw that, they could see that you could make a chair or a piece of furniture.”
That particular skateboard is now in the Smithsonian American History Museum.
Segerstrom said for close to 10 years they have building skateboards and decided to branch out and utilize the Corn Board technology into the world of surfing, skiing and snowboarding.
According to the Stalk It website, the end result of using the Corn Board technology makes them stand out in those industries with durable, high performance boards.
The skis, snowboards and surfboards are available in different locations – mainly smaller retail stores or can also be found online.
Benefits of using corn stover
“Obviously we are environmentally making a friendlier product and our position is if you don’t have to cut down a tree, let’s not cut one down,” said Segerstrom. “I think we can engineer and make really competitive products in the marketplace and we have proved that. That is really what the Stalk It brand is about, making a really quality product.”
It has definitely been competitive.
Segerstrom said the Stalk It brand of longboards, skis, snowboards and surfboards have helped bring competitors at all levels to the podium.
“I think that says an awful lot,” he said. “When we started to make a ski – we made a park ski and within 55 days of introducing that, we were on the podium in the first and second position with some junior skiers and then our snowboard, for the first year, our Big Mountain snowboard got seventh Junior Worlds in Europe. We went right into the competitive side right out of the box.”
Segerstrom said users are surprised and thrilled to be using a product that derives from corn.
“It has been something we have been excited about. It’s fun to see a kid’s face when they realize what’s in that material and they can go out and ski on it and skateboard on it,” he said. “They feel like they are doing something for the environment by consuming less and yet still having a great product.”
Corn Board has recently announced the construction of a pallet manufacturing facility in Sac County. Segerstrom feels the possibilities for the use of Corn Board is endless.
“It is an alternative to wood, it is competitive to wood and has some of the characteristics wood has, but brings features to materials – whether it be in sports equipment like skis, snowboards, skateboards, pallets and ultimately in building materials,” he said.
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