Ah, the dirtbag lifestyle is a wonderful thing. The freedom and rewards are boundless, especially when you’re tough enough and smart enough, to make it work to your advantage like Taylor Lane and Ben Judkins. This duo, of course, turned one of the most yucky aspects of human existence into something rather beautiful: they used cigarette butts found on their local beach (combined with recycled Marko Foam) to create a fish that was actually really fun to ride.
Just ask Jack Johnson, who the boys got in touch with and who then laid feet to wax on the tobacco-ridden creation on his beloved North Shore. And man, did he make the thing look good. But this is definitely a passion project for Ben and Taylor – who periodically finds himself living in his van when he’s not at home in Venice. “Our own personal paychecks have made this thing go,” Taylor told me.
We hosted Ben and Taylor at our EVOLVE Summit in August as they spoke about their cigarette surfboard project and laboring to get a film on the project finished in the next year (working name: The Ciggy Board Boys). The only problem has been getting the film paid for. Well, last weekend certainly helped. The board ridden by Jack sold for $21,000 during an auction at the Oceana SeaChange Summer Party, half of which went to paying off the boys credit card debt and other expenditures on the project. The other half went to SeaChange, which to date has raised over $8 million for ocean conservation. Ben’s and Lane’s board was recommended for the auction by a mutual connection.