Surfboard fence in Hamakuapoko Ahupua’a, Paia, Hawaii
As we’ll see, almost any old type of sports equipment – from skis to hockey sticks (along with a few more surprising items!) – can be used and repurposed in a creative way.
Bowling ball fence in Nowata, Oklahoma
Yes, here we’d like to share seven different pieces of sports gear that make for unusual and innovative fences. We guarantee that no one will pass these by without a second glance!
Fittingly, this skateboard fence can be found in Dartmouth, Mass. outside Xtremely Board, a specialty shop for skateboards, wakeboards and surfboards. The store also sells used boards and, as we can see, the ones that really have no other purpose seem to have been used to create this fence. As beaten up as the boards look, we imagine they were donated by happy customers who got maximum use out of them first. As for the fence itself: totally gnarly!
According to photographer Jane Wagner, there’s an interesting history behind this fence. She recalls: “The owner started by putting up the frame for a fence and asking for donations of skis and snowboards. He said that he was amazed how many were dropped off.” Generous indeed, although perhaps not so surprising in a ski area like Washington State’s Stevens Pass Highway, where this image was taken. As we can see, some of the boards even have their bindings still attached. Off the trail and onto the recycling pile – that’s the spirit!
Skis really lend themselves to being repurposed as a fence, given that they are quite bar-like to begin with. Some of the skis used in this fence still have their bindings on; one pair, even the boots! While we’re not 100% convinced by the aesthetics of this, let alone the practical aspect of how the structure would fare in wind, rain and snow, we certainly disagree with the photographer who thinks the fence looks ugly. Overall, we think it rocks! (Note: Make sure you check out the conversation below the picture for some more cool ideas for ski repurposing.)
What’s not to love about this ski fence, spotted in the Ukraine, close to a ski shop? The skis have been stacked so that they alternate between bent-end-up and straight-end-up – which gives the fence a quirky texture, and prevents it from looking too uniform. The colors also blend quite well, with reds and blues dominating, at least on the right side. Meanwhile, the snow heaped on the ground and on top gives the fence the perfect setting. Add to that the snowflakes circling around it and you’ve got a perfect winter wonderland.
It’s amazing how unique ski fences can be. The skis in this one, a garden fence somewhere in the Argo Mill in Idaho Springs, Colorado, were spaced wide enough apart that the creepers have had a chance to integrate themselves into it, too. Neat!
‘I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…’ The creator of this fence may have had that Queen tune in mind, reluctant to let go of the many vehicles associated with memories of two-wheeled fun. And this comes close to the truth behind this unusual fence. It belongs to Recycle Ithaca’s Bicycles, or RIBs, the community bike program in Ithaca, New York. Around for the last 20 years, it facilitates the donation of old, unwanted bicycles from community members, who can also contribute their time to refurbish and redistribute them to other community members in need.
The beauty of RIBS is that it connects people of all ages and income groups while teaching them useful skills. After all, who wouldn’t want to know how to repair his or her own bicycle? Since 1991, more than 2,000 bikes have been restored and thus kept out of landfills. After a renovation period, RIBS is set to reopen on March 31st of this year. The Repair Clinic will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 8 pm. We salute this project!
If ski fences look great in cold climates, then surfboard fences are a must for those lovely spots in the world where the surf’s up. Such is the case with this totally tubular fence found in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. It may not be surprising to hear that surfing (along with eco-tourism) is one of the locale’s main attractions.
As we can see in this awesome example from Maui, Hawaii, the vegetation is doing its very best to make this one a truly vibrant fence. They say: ‘High fences make good neighbors.’ This fence could certainly keep out lookyloos and pests, but it may not be high enough to block the local swell, which has been known to get up to 70 feet.
In this wider shot, we can see how surfboards, half hidden by lush vegetation, seem like colorful guards standing sentry to keep unwanted intruders out. This is no ordinary surfboard fence, mind you; it is, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the World’s Longest Surfboard Fence! Made of more than 400 surfboards, the fence circles over half of Ka’ohu Farms in Pe’ahi, in the northern part of the island. The collection belongs to surfer DJ Detloff, who used many of them himself but got others from neighbors, as anonymous donations or from the Makawao landfill. An impressive bit of adaptive re-use for sure!
2. Hockey Sticks
As we can see here, hockey sticks – lined up like attentive soldiers – make for a great garden fence. Being so thin, they might not actually do much in terms of keeping cats and other strays out, but they certainly present a nice alternative to the traditional white picket fence. This arrangement was spotted at last year’s Chicago Flower and Garden Show. Though we’re not sure what happened to the hockey sticks after the show, we’re sure they must have inspired some creative re-use.
1. Bowling Balls
This bowling ball fence is certainly the heaviest fence portrayed here. And, like many of the others, it comes with a good story. A touching one in this case, too. The fence belongs to Chris and Amy’s Bowling Ball Yard Art, a property dedicated to all things bowling on Road E021 in Nowata, Oklahoma. It all started when Chris Barbee’s wife Amy passed away in 1997. She had placed a few bowling balls in her garden as decoration, and a few years later, Chris thought of expanding the idea by building a bowling ball fence.
Barbee’s next step was to begin hunting down more bowling balls of all weights and sizes. Soon, he was swamped with them. He remembers: “It took off like wildfire. I’ve had people drop off bowling balls, call me and tell me they’ve got some and I’ll go get them, I get them at yard sales, flea markets, estate sales, bowling alleys give them to me, I had one guy drop off 54 one day!”
Now, the collection includes more than 800 bowling balls, and Barbee has added an entire alphabet to his fence, as well as a small house, a peace sign, a cross, and even a set of (extremely heavy) rosary beads. When it comes to spelling out love, the example Barbee has set has some real weight behind it.