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Creativity should be taken seriously.

Words & Photography: Ryan & Jared, Goose Boards

How it all started

Goose Boards was started in 2016 by a couple of dreamers – Ryan Thorpe, a designer and photographer, and Jared Diprose, an artisan and maker of almost all things. These two creative friends were inspired by the potential they saw in each other and wanted to develop their creative potential as a duo. They landed on creating upcycled, handmade cruiser skateboards – Goose Boards.


We met these two amazing humans when we first landed at our new Auckland home. We were new in town and wanted to connect with like-minded people in our new community, so we gave the Goose Boards guys a call and asked them over for coffee. Well – they had us at hello. Their creativity, craftsmanship, sustainable mindset and general attitude to life blew us away. After a few yarns we made friends, set a mutual goal to collab on some sweet projects together and KKKAAAAbaamm! We’re pretty pumped to report that we have successfully created an epic Ozone x Goose Boards portable Pump Track! Launched at Westmoreland in November, the Pump Track will be travelling around the country this summer, so get ready to #pumpthejam New Zealand!

Goose it

For us, Goose Boards is a way to keep feeling inspired and hopeful that life can be playful, work can be fun, and people can get amongst it wherever their journey leads them. We’re trying to create something beautiful and useful from something seemingly throw-away-able – waste wood. It’s a kind of “phoenix from the trashes”. We want to engage and inspire others, activate spaces, and explore the inklings of our hearts.


Our mission is not complicated: We just wanted to create one-off, unique cruiser boards that feel silky smooth to cruise round on. Just a beautiful solid wooden board, with invisible grip (so you can see the wood) and great skate components. We spent ages making sure our wheels were nice and soft…We wanted them to roll like butter!


Our boards sit between performance and fun – they’re not designed for sliding/ downhill/ tricks (even though people have tried). They’re designed as functional pieces of art that really suit being used as a way of getting around on a daily basis, at the same time as giving you a feeling of ‘being free’, soaking in the fresh air or the sounds of the city.

In a nutshell, we make our boards from rubbish – you’d be surprised how often amazing wood is thrown away in New Zealand. We’ve started incorporating recycled plastic into the board designs and are looking at using other ‘waste’ materials too. The most common wood we use is native New Zealand Kauri and Matai and other species like Oregon, Pine, Oak, Ash, Kwilia and Teak.

The design and production process that our upcycled longboards go through is a bit of an organic one. Generally, we find some wood and start to work it to check out its tone and its integrity. From there, we decide whether or not to join it to other pieces, or leave it to roll solo. We have a small handful of board shapes we’re happy with and have refined these – but we also produce some fun shapes which sometimes come about from the different shape of the wood we find, or just from how we’re feeling on the day. From there, we play with tonal combinations and finishes, and then get to work shaping them up. Each board is totally unique and then gets laser-cut or branded, and finished off with our top-secret invisible grip! Yeoowww!


If you’re wanting to learn how to skate,​ ​generally the rule is that the larger the board, the easier – but this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn on smaller boards. Our ‘Phat Goose’ is currently our biggest board with wide 10 inch trucks. Down from that, we have what we call the ‘Goose Neck’ which is a banana board of epic proportions! It’s surprisingly easy and smooth to skate. Our smallest board is the ‘Thrifty’. It’s wild and quite tiny, but definitely makes you smile! Our most popular shape is probably the ‘Gosling’, it’s compact but cruisy enough to be a good time anywhere.

When we set out on our Goose journey, we wanted to create something together that would challenge the norm, be fun and be freeing for people. I think that so far, our main impact with Goose Boards has been in inspiring and educating people. There have been so many people who come away from our conversations or workshops saying things like ‘I never thought that you could achieve a premium product out of waste!’, and ‘I wonder what other things I could make’. We are pretty pumped that our brand has empowered people to rethink what they can create. Through our upcycling of wood, there has been a bunch of waste diverted from landfill too – but in the scheme of things, this is very small. To us, it’s the change we can effect in people’s minds that will be able to multiply the positive effects of the upcycling benefits.


Goose began as a collaboration between two good mates. Doing business together has been fun, and it’s pretty awesome to have your buddy to bounce ideas around with. We’re pretty good at collaborating together now, and are starting to collaborate outside of ourselves too. To us, collaboration is a mutually beneficial exchange where everyone can show up with their strengths and create something great, challenge thinking and express creativity. As Goose grows and our network expands, we’re requiring different forms of energy. Some of the most important work comes from that creative and futuristic space where you have the chance to dream, imagine and create. Collaboration helps you access this space. The challenge is staying in this sweet spot and building on it to find that creative edge.


For us at Goose Boards, we reckon it’s a pretty exciting time to be alive. Social enterprises are on the rise – where people still want to make money, but not at the expense of the environment, people, excess, commercial gain. This development of a social conscience will inevitably mean a shift in values over time, and a shift in the products and markets that exist. People are awakening to a whole plethora of new ways to exist and do business, and are generally exhibiting a desire to be good too. It’s pretty great.


To us, imagination is key. Imagination should be taken seriously. We want to see people explore those creative inklings that stir inside them; just like we did, and slowly (or quickly) act on them and make things happen. We explored our imaginations and creativity, and now the Goose Boards brand seems to be taking us places, moreso than us trying to take it somewhere! It’s so beautiful to have a business and a brand that works its own magic. It’s great to let the Goose Boards brand be its own thing, and for it to allow us to do good things in return.