Argentine converts skateboards into electric guitars

Argentine converts skateboards into electric guitars
Argentine luthier Ezequiel Galasso shows a skate guitar and a double neck one, both made by him, at his workshop in Buenos Aires October 17, 2014.

Working a pedal-powered carpentry machine, Argentine luthier Ezequiel Galasso (right) gives beat-up skateboards a new - and completely different - lease of life.

He recycles them into electric guitars coveted by the likes of American rock band Pearl Jam.

In one corner of his workshop in Almagro, Buenos Aires, skateboard decks stripped of their black grip tape and wheels are piled high.

With his bushy beard and haze of long, dark hair standing on end, Mr Galasso, 32, looks every bit the inventor.

The idea to convert the boards into guitars, he said, came from a conversation four years ago with Spaniard Gianfranco de Gennaro, reported Reuters.

The professional skater had told Mr Galasso that he traded in his scratched and bashed boards, made of maple hardwood, every two weeks.

"He told me the board has a lot of energy within it, from when you take the sheet of wood, dye the layers, compact it," said Mr Galasso.

"There is also a designer, the graphics, and the skater leaves his or her mark on it."

He pairs together two boards, one for the guitar's body and the other for the neck.

"All of this energy ends up in the garbage can. So we saw this resistant material with colours and we thought, can we make a guitar from this?"

They could and they dubbed the result the "skate guitar". Buyers were often musicians looking for a guitar with a difference, and one that could take a knock.

ENTHUSIASTIC

Skaters, often nostalgic about what happened to their boards when no longer fit for use on skate ramps, were also enthusiastic.

American vertical skateboarding pioneer Tony Hawk is one of those to have donated boards to Galasso's project.

Mr Galasso is coy about the price of his guitars. He develops batches of 10 at a time and puts them up for sale by word-of-mouth or on social media.

Last year, his dream came alive when Pearl Jam trashed one of his guitars live on stage at a gig in the Argentine capital.

Pearl Jam dedicated "I Believe in Miracles" to "the guy who made a guitar from a skateboard".


This article was first published on Nov 6, 2014.
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