Sk8Shades Shines In South African Skateboard Community

Sk8Shades is a skateboard sunglass company based out of South Africa. We know skateboard sunglasses are not a new trend, but Sk8Shades are taking them to the next level. Sk8Shades has honestly embraced the Reuse & Recycle aspect of skateboard made sunglasses. All Sk8Shades frames are made out of skateboards used by skaters in the South African skateboard community and beyond.


In South Africa, boards are highly valued, they are passed around and shared by riders until there is almost no deck left. Dave, the owner and creator of Sk8Shades has set up a system to encourage riders to bring him their used skateboards. The program is a point based system which exchanges used decks for new decks or sunglasses. Sk8shades is enabling riders, who may not of be able otherwise, to ride on new decks for the first time. While, sharing the importance of a renew & recycle lifestyle. We talked to Dave, the owner, about his brand.

What do you think makes Sk8Shades stand out from other skateboard sunglass brands?

I think it is the way we use the material, making sure we get as much out of one board as possible. The combination of the colorful layered and dirty materials as well as the 3-ply cross-layered frames makes them different from anything else out there. Dirty temples are standard on Sk8shades because we love to show the graphics and the boards previous history. The layered plywood frame shows the fresh wood hidden in each board with colours that came back to life once sanded and sealed. We also don’t use any CNC equipment and most of the machinery is at least second hand. The only automated process is the shaping of lenses, which is done with a Weco 1060 and a Weco 1066i, we would have a state of the art mini lab, if it was 1979.

Is Sk8Shades still a one man job?

Not anymore, I have fellow skater and former optical lab technician Dane Strike working for me full time. He has 4 years of lab experience in fitting lenses and I have been teaching him how to work with wood. While I still make the frames, Dane has learned most of the processing of the boards, breaking them down into useable pieces and has learned some finishing skills. He also does most of the work on the temples and takes care of sealing the frames.

What’s your favorite skate trick?

It’s a tie between a Layback grind and a Texas Plant at the moment.

You give out free new boards in exchange for the used ones. Has this inspired/enabled more people to start skateboarding in your community?

We trade new boards for used boards to motivate kids not to throw them away and to get them out from under their beds! Some kids come with boards that are completely destroyed and others give us boards that still have some life. We make sure these boards are traded again to someone with a totally beat down ride so that they can keep skating. There are a few kids around the park that borrow boards and don’t have their own, if we get any spare hardware we will assemble boards and make sure they go to a kid that doesn’t have one.

What have you made out of skateboards other than sunglasses?

My first project was the classic skateboard shelf, and then I made some light covers and some other random things, like vases and stuff. Using one of the last pieces of those boards I made my first pair of sunglasses. Since then, June 2012, I have made about 1000 pairs of sunglasses and have recently started going through the off-cuts to figure out other things to make. I have made skateboard racks, bottle openers, random Girl figures, a collapsable tripod for an iPhone, picture frames, dog tags, jewelry boxes, sunglass cases and a couple other things.

Are involved in any other community skateboard programs outside of the Sk8Shades exchange?

Not really at the moment but there are a couple of us working on a design for a new park in the city and we try to do a few DIY spots around town to keep the kids motivated.

Thank you, Dave.
For more information about Sk8Shades watch the video below or visit them online at

Sk8shades – Sunglasses from old skateboards. from Dave de Witt on Vimeo.


WIN a FREE pair of LOUD Headphones!

LOUD Headphones Give Away

Help us spread the word LOUD & CLEAR!

Our buds at LOUD headphones have been helping +swappow out, so we are returning the favor by spreading the word about their killer products. Please help us support LOUD by going to and check out their goods or by asking for them at your local shop.

So, how do win yourself a pair? It’s easy:

1) Tag 3 friends in the LOUD headphones +swappow post on social media
2) Re-post the LOUD image on social media
3) Tag +swappow in the image you posted

This will automatically enter you in the contest to win your very own headphones.
We will draw 3 winners THIS Friday, August 28, 2015!

We PROUDLY and LOUDLY support all those who support doing good things for Action Sports and For Kids.
Thanks for doing the same!


5 Tips for Making Your Products Stand out on +Swappow

It’s easy to make your products stand out in a crowd on +swappow. Here are a few tips that might help make your goods stand out from the crowd and keep people coming back for more.

  1. Make An Impression

Thumbnails are the first thing consumers are going to see when looking for products. Quality photography not only makes your products look their best, but it also signals that you are a trusted and quality seller that cares about what you are presenting. Good lighting is the key to good photography. Choose a natural background to make your products pop. Iron and clean clothing to give them a new life. Use actual people wearing or displaying them too even sometimes.

  1. Tell a Story

Does your product have an interesting story or unique feature? Did you get it someplace cool, did you ride it somewhere people might be stoked to learn about. No rules here. Tell it all. Mention it in the description! Fellow riders might like to know the details that might make a product distinct.


  1. Get Social

Just put up a new product for sale on +Swappow? Tell your friends to go check it out. Share it on social media. Add a link to the social media outlet of your choice directing new people to your +Swappow product. Share The Ride.

  1. Be Unique

Trying to get your brand off the ground? +Swappow is a great place to start building some buzz and and interest and drive sales. Our users are looking for, not only name brand items, but unique products and brands that you can’t find other places. Do you have a product you know the ride community would love? Post it on +Swappow for free today.

  1. Be Responsive

Since customers can’t physically view products they may ask questions about your products. Quickly responding to customer questions helps to lead to higher customer satisfaction which will bring buyers back to your items and get you good ratings. Being direct about shipping cost and time will help you become a reliable seller and keep customers feeling good while waiting for their package.


+Swappow and SOS Outreach Program are Collaborating to Share the Ride with Underserved youth!

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We sat down with Seth the Interim Executive Director of SOS Outreach to chat and find out more about how they are sharing the ride. SOS Outreach is a youth development nonprofit that fosters self-confidence, leadership skills, and positive decision making in underserved youth. SOS programs are unique in their use of adventure sports to engage participants for future success. Keep your eye on SOS and  +swappow for future collaborations that get us closer to our goal of getting 10 million kids riding by 2018!


Tell us a bit about SOS, who you are, and what you do?

SOS is a 21 year old organization that uses skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, backpacking, and other outdoor adventure sports to engage and excite kids who are at risk and considered underserved youth. We have a program that pairs students with an adult mentor that encourages them to make positive and healthy decisions for a successful future. We use sports to excite, and expand opportunities for kids, as well as to build self-confidence.

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What’s your mission? Your goal?

Our mission is to inspire youth to make positive decisions for a healthy life so youth can be successful. We support and encourage kids to graduate high school using core values. We recruit at-risk kids who are not on track to graduate high school. We have partnered with 150 youth agencies and schools where we identify a teacher that refers the students. We look for students who have academic risks, behavioral risks, personal risks, come from low-income families, or come from single-parent households.

What inspired you to start this program?

SOS originally started when Vail was discussing banning snowboarding on the mountain. We started SOS to give a positive image to snowboarding and to get rid of the negative societal perception of snowboarders at the time. We wanted to show them how action sports can have a positive influence on kids and people in general. We organized snowboarding competitions, then we donated the money from comps to charities. 1995/96 started bringing 40 kids to a 1 day program from Denver up to Vail, and turns out it was successful. In 1997 and 1998 we started our 5 day Learn To Ride Program, in 2001 our program grew to serve over 600 youth, and we were able to start a 4 year SOS University Program which paired students with an adult mentor.

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Tell us how you have impacted kids?

We impact the kids by providing opportunities for them to succeed and set goals for future success. We help them to achieve their goals with adult mentors and a curriculum that gets them involved in the community. Our core values are courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom, compassion, and humility.

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What’s one of your favorite success stories you have seen?

A participant that started in the 5 day program and eventually graduated to the 4 year university is now a finalist for a 4 year scholarship to a great college. He is 1st generation in the US and had what seemed like no opportunities to begin with. He was considered an at risk youth when we first met him. SOS got him involved in the community and now he wants to be a teacher. I am extremely proud of him!

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In your own words, describe any plans you have to work with +swappow?

We are excited because of the passion +swappow has to expand the opportunities for people who wouldn’t be able to get on the hill. We can’t wait to partner with them in the future to further the mission of Sharing the Ride!

“Organizations like SOS inspired us to start Swappow so we are proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with them. We even share the same big vision of helping 10 million kids. We are going about it in two unique ways and they lineup really well with each other. “ Joe Dunnigan,Swappow Founder

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Family plans terminally ill son’s 9th birthday, hopes strangers can help grant his only wish

Check out this touching article about 9 year old Bubby Anderson, a terminally ill child who only has one simple wish for his birthday. He loves mail, specifically stickers. He puts stickers all over his house every chance he gets. We sent him a little care package complete with +swappow stickers to hopefully brighten up his 9th bday. We know that skaters, snowboarders, and surfers always end up with stickers in their hands.If you have any extras send them Bubbys way! Please check out this link and video for more information.

If you would like to send a mail, cards, or stickers to Bubby for his birthday please consider sending them to the following address:

Bubby Everson
PO BOX 1142
Graham, Washington 98338

The family is also trying to raise money for a special sensory room for Bubby, for more information on that visit their online fundraising


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GRAHAM, Washington — Birthdays are a big deal when you are young.

Usually kids dream big, hoping for a new bike or new video game system.

But one Washington State boy has a much simpler wish for his upcoming 9th birthday.

Bubby Everson just wants a little mail.

“He loves mail,” Bubby’s mom Brandi McNerney-Everson told Seattle television station Q13 FOX News. “Even if it`s junk mail we give it to him and we say here Bubby here’s your mail.”

A simple card can make his day.

A card with stickers?

“If there are stickers in it he loves,” says Bubby’s dad Thomas Everson. “He’ll play with the stickers. He’ll put stickers all over the place.”

Bubby’s parents let him put those stickers anywhere he wants, on the walls, on the floors on the windows because it is a reminder for them that each day he…

View original post 407 more words


Skate After School is making a difference by changing after school programs forever

It’s a known fact that after school activities keep kids out of trouble, sustain learning, and provide a safe environment for students. After school programs give students entertainment provide hope for kids, especially those in underserved areas where resources may be strained. The typical list of after school programs include sports, chess, drama club ect. But what if an after school program could teach dedication, perseverance,and creativity; all while keeping students active? This is exactly what Skate After School is doing, and  it is changing the after school experience for many kids, while helping them discover a new passion.

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Skate After School matches talented and enthusiastic volunteers with Phoenix area schools to provide skateboard instruction to under served youth. With donated skateboard equipment, SaS is able to engage students in a challenging and exciting extracurricular activity. Using the acronym G.R.I.P. that stands for Generosity, Respect, Innovation and Perseverance, the program leaders work to use skateboarding as a platform to teach valuable character building and life lessons through the program.

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In 2014, Skate After School (SaS) raised over $13,000 with the help of a successful IndiGoGo Crowdfunding campaign which was sponsored in part by +swappow using +swappow’s credits as incentive for all donors and the +swappow mobile/web sharing and exchange marketplace. As you may know, +swappow is a newly launched marketplace where consumers, charities and the industry can swap, sell and share pre-owned action sports equipment for cash or credits.

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Skateboarding is a passion. It can be described as a sport, an art, a pastime. But what it really is a a way to learn about  life. You fall, you get up, you keep trying. You use obstacles in your environment and you navigate and manipulate them to your advantage. You learn how to be an accepting team player, while also being an individual whose success is only accountable to oneself. All of these lessons are valuable, and can be used throughout life and interactions with other people. The non-profit, Skate After School program offers kids a fun way to learn generosity, respect, innovation, and perseverance. In the past 3 years this program has been successful in igniting passion within these kids, and teaching them life lessons that extend far beyond the classroom all while having fun and staying active. To find out more follow this link:

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Congratulations and much respect and appreciation to:

Bobby Green

Tim Ward

and Ryan Lay, their growing army of volunteers and to the skateboarding community for making this great program possible.


How to Set up a board drive for your community – 7 Simple Steps

Have you ever wondered how to give back to your community and to the action sports community? Do you feel the need to help others as well as shred every chance you get? Do you want to inspire people and keep them riding? Are you just bored and need an idea for a school project? Start a board drive on +swappow!

A board drive is simple. Just gather used boards (and any related gear – shoes, clothes, accessories, promo goods, etc..) and sell them on +swappow for real cash to donate to a charity of your choice! You can use the +swappow marketplace to make a difference in the lives of kids and keep everyone rolling/riding/sliding. Plus, by recycling old product, you are helping the environment by reducing solid waste!

So check out the easy steps below and get rolling today! Show us how much you raise and we will even match every dollar you raise in +swappow credits for you just for Sharing The Ride.

Starting a Board Drive is super easy, just follow these steps…

STEP 1: Choose a charity to support. This could be something action sports related, Like boarding for Breast Cancer, Skate After School or the Tony Hawk Foundation. Or, you could raise funds for the local homeless shelter in your community, your school, or any worthy cause you are interested in helping. No organization is too big or too small, so if you want to help out, choose your charity and let them know what you’re doing to help!Featured image

STEP 2: Promote it. People need to know what you’re in order to donate, so if you start a board drive your are going to want to tell EVERYONE about it. Start small, tell all your friends and maybe even enlist their help. Make fliers! Fliers are a great way to spread information. Hang them up at your local skate park, ski lift, everyone’s favorite burger joint, school, ect. The more people that know about your project, the more people will donate!

Featured imageSTEP 3: Designate drop off points or schedule pick ups. If you want people to donate, your best bet is to set up a drop off box somewhere. It could be at your local boardshop, your school, the skatepark, or anywhere where you think people would go to donate. Just make sure you get permission from the owner, or whoever is in charge of the establishment before you go ahead and set up a box. Make sure you mark your box, and label it so everyone knows it is for your Board Drive. You can put stickers on it, draw on it, and make it look as cool as you want! Make sure you check your box regularly so you can stay on top off the donations your getting, and regularly pick up boards that accumulate  in your box!  Also, if you know someone who wants to donate but can’t make it to one of your boxes, go pick up the donations from them yourself!

STEP 4: Gather and list all donated items on +swappow. First, you will need a +swappow account, which we hope you have by now. If not, sign up for a free account on, it’s super easy! Next, you are going to want to list the boards, this means you have to take pictures of all the boards you get, upload the pictures onto the site, and chose a fair price to sell your boards. Once you list the boards, let the site do it’s work. People will start buying up the boards in no time, and you will see your donation dollars rise!

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Step 5: Sell them on swappow and complete your transaction: When you sell your boards on you will need to make sure you complete the transactions in order to get the money for your charity. This means you need to make sure the buyers revcieve their boards. You may have to ship boards to buyers, meet them somewhere, or have the buyer pick the board up. This step is crucial to the success of your board drive. Remember, you’re also helping a board get in the hands of another rider, you’re helping people alot more than you think!

Step 6: Raise money for your charity, and donate it! This is the last real step of your board drive. In order to complete your project, you must make sure all the funds you raised gets into the hands of the charity you chose! You may need to contact the charity if you have not already. They will be stoked that you are helping out! Prepare to get alot of thanks for all your hard efforts, people appreciate your kindness.

Step 7: Know you’ve made a difference. No matter how much money you raise from your board drive, whether it be a huge amount or just a couple bucks, know that you have made a difference! By completing a board drive, you have helped out a charity, gotten a board in another kids hands for less money, and you’ve successfully recycled and helped the environment by reducing solid waste. Know that you have done good, and feel proud of your efforts!

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We’ll match whatever you raise in +swappow credits – eveyone wins

Want help setting up your board drive – email to get help!

Thanks for Sharing the Ride!