Kevin Cunningham finally figured out how to make surfboard fins out of the garbage that he finds lying around the beach. And like any good surf entrepreneur, he’s now making a business out of that skill. Yew! To help him with the cost of running that business, he’s applied for a Chase Main Street grant and to win, he needs 250 votes by Oct. 17. You vote here: https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/6277, but to increase your understanding of the company and why it needs your help, we asked Cunningham a few questions.
How did you get into making fins out of recycled marine materials?
I got interested in making fins out of recycled marine debris material from constantly seeing the amount of ‘junk/trash’ that washes up on shore. There was an appeal to the tangle of nets and ropes with bright colored plastic mixed in. I knew there was an aesthetic quality to it and wanted to give it a second life.
Did it take a while to figure out how to make them?
There was a lot of trial and error in making fins. The first few attempts were not too successful; there was a lot of breakage. Also finding the best way to make the panels in which to cut and foil the fins from was tricky. After awhile I figured out a method that worked well though. I am always refining how I make things too, whether it be reclaimed marine debris fins or surfboards.
How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been making the fins since 2011. Its been off and on though. It can be hard finding time to make fins between board orders so typically I make them when I slow down a bit in the winter.
What will you do with the money if you win the Main Street grant?
The hope with winning the grant is that I will be able to further develop the Reclaimed Marine Debris designs. The material has such great potential and aesthetic beauty that I don’t think it should be limited to just fins. The funding would also help expand things on the surfboard side as well, maybe open a retail/showroom space to compliment the workshop. I love the concept of the old surf shops that were showroom in the front, factory in the back.
LEARN MORE HERE: http://spiraresurfboards.com/FIN-e-Art-Reclaimed-Marine-Debris