Locker Board entered the Shark Tank with 17-inch-long skateboards that are designed with kids in mind by fitting into a lockers and backpacks. They are not only upcycled, which means they reuse unwanted boards, but philanthropic. A dollar from each board’s sale benefits the Tony Hawk Foundation, which develops public skateboard parks in low-income communities nationwide.
We interviewed their inventor, 12-year-old Carson Kropfl. His parents asked him to do chores to pay for his surf lessons and he decided to sell Locker Boards instead. Since starting the company in October of last year, he’s sold 300 units. The boards have been shipped to as far as Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan.
The middle schooler told us that on his last month of 6th grade he not only made 50 skateboards, but prepared for his June filming of Shark Tank and also took final exams. On the night he makes his Tank debut, which happens to be the one-year anniversary of his company, he will be launching a clothing line.
Here’s what else he told us about…
How the Idea Came About
The first time I had a locker was in middle school. I wanted to ride my skateboard to school, but it couldn’t fit in the locker. None of my boards would fit, so I decided to make one! You can’t ride skateboards on the school campus, so it was important that I could slip it into my backpack and then put it in my locker. Now I’ve designed the only non-folding skateboard on the market that can fit inside a backpack.
Who Helps Him Run the Business
My mom is the main person helping me run the day to day business. My dad comes home from working all day and jumps right in to help. They have worked so hard to help me get it to this point. There’s no way I could do it without them. The rad thing is, now we have these great partners that have rallied around us. It’s hard to believe that all companies and people that I look up to are involved like Nike, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, the Tony Hawk Foundation, Jessup Grip Tape, Destructo, Aend Industries, PS Stix and Vans. It totally blows my mind!
Sending Boards to Notable Names, Including Barron Trump
We’ve sent boards to several celebrities including Tony Hawk, Harry Connick Jr., Josh Holloway and YouTuber Aaron Kyro, but I think it would be cool to give one to Maddox Jolie Pitt, Jaden Smith, Cruz Beckham, Lil Yachty, Jake Paul, Nyjah Houston and so many more, I haven’t heard back from Barron. I hope that kids all over the country can skate on a Locker Board, and also know that they are giving back to some really great causes!
Nerves Inside the ‘Tank’
I wasn’t as nervous as my mom who was with me during the taping of the show. I love talking to people, so that didn’t bother me. I was nervous about facing the Sharks, but had fun showing them the Locker Boards. It’s wild to be standing in front of them after watching them on TV. On the day of filming we found out that Sir Richard Branson was going to be a guest Shark. We were in shock and I had butterflies in my stomach. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. The Shark Tank crew is super nice and made me feel so comfortable. I’m glad I got to bring one of my best friends, Sierra, with me to demonstrate my products. It’s cool to have friends involved. It makes it more fun.
How He Prepared for the ‘Tank’
Shark Tank is one of my favorite shows, so I’ve watched a lot of episodes. When I found out I was going to be on the show, we actually stopped watching it because it got me so nervous! We came up with what we thought the investors might ask and practiced answers. We wanted to enjoy the experience and be in the moment, rather than sounding scripted.
Locker Boards’ Sustainability
Locker Board focuses on upcycling and reusing of old boards. We have reduced the volume of manufactured waste that would normally go into local landfills by recycling old skateboard decks. To upcycle the blemished decks, we sand out the blemishes, reshape the deck to fit into backpacks and lockers, and apply new art. Manufacturers have thousands of these blemished boards that we can rescue from landfills.
Other Shark Tank products :