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Kickstarting in the Name of Naples

Surfboard Shaper Ryan Lovelace Launches Eco-Minded Art Effort


Friday, May 18, 2012

Individually speaking, art, surfboards, eco-consciousness, and the fight to protect Naples are things near and dear to the hearts of many a Santa Barbaran. Now, with his eyes on giving a little something back to his community, surfboard shaper Ryan Lovelace is looking to combine all four passions into one big and potentially mega-helpful effort — he just needs a little assistance along the way. “Really, all I need is 725 people to donate $25 each. When you look at it that way, it's not that bad. … And the potential for real results is awesome,” summed up the soft-spoken 25-year-old recently.

In short, what Lovelace is looking to do via the online fundraising mecca kickstarter.com is to rally up roughly $18,000 by May 25, invest it in the most progressive and green surfboard building materials on the planet, and then get to work building 15 to 20 fine art-flavored surf-sliding machines. Once the boards are finished, Lovelace intends to feature them in an upcoming art show that he is curating with all of the proceeds going straight to the Naples Coalition, the nonprofit group that has been leading the charge against McMansion development dreams at the historic seaside Gaviota property. “Not only does the project support my business and help me make healthier boards for myself and the environment, but it also helps me give back to a place that has given me so much,” said Lovelace about his motivation for such an undertaking.

Another key outcome of the effort would be the potential for one heck of a State of the Union on what exactly is currently available in the way of “green” surfboard building materials. Historically a rather toxic pursuit, surfboard construction has certainly benefited in recent years by the proliferation of more earth-friendly products but the use of some stuff — like recyclable or recycled foam blanks, hemp cloth, and plant-based resins — remains far from commonplace. One reason for this is the fact that such alternative materials are often markedly more expensive than their more Mother Nature damning counterparts.

But another major reason — and one that Lovelace has the real potential to help mitigate — is that most people in the never easy line of work that is surfboard shaping are not aware of all the options currently available to them, let alone the benefits. More to the point, given the aforementioned high cost situation, folks are less likely to try and take a risk on some unknown product. “My goal is to make [the boards] look and work pretty much exactly the same as the stuff I am doing already,” said Lovelace. “If I can do that, I think it will really blow some people's minds.”

As of press time, the project has already had more than $6,000 pledged to it, roughly 30 percent of what Lovelace needs to make the magic happen. And, as an added bonus, depending on your level of donation, there are all sorts of rewards ranging from T-shirts and good karma to custom surfboards and fins.

For more info and to help out with the cause go to rlovelace.com.

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