We are proud to officially announce our partnership with The Orca Conservancy (www.orcaconservancy.org) an organization committed to the recovery of the Southern Resident killer whale population and protecting the wild places on which it depends. A portion of sales from every single Travis Rice Orca snowboard sold goes to support their important work.
The story behind the Travis Rice x Lib Tech x Orca Conservancy partnership
The Lib Tech Orca was designed to be like its namesake, the apex predator of snowboards. Or as Travis Rice would say; “this ain’t no gutless fish, it eats fish!”. As the board gained popularity the word Orca inside the snowboard community started becoming synonymous with a rad snowboard and not with the living and breathing animal that inspired it. Meanwhile these amazing creatures are facing a triple threat of a changing climate, depleting Salmon stocks and busy shipping canals disrupting them. For Lib Tech and Travis Rice making snowboards is never just about one thing, it’s a piece of a bigger tapestry that makes up the lifestyle we want to participate in and the world we want to live in, it’s dream boards. And part of our dream boards philosophy is doing the very best we can not only for our costumers, team riders and employees but also for the environment and ecosystems we depend on. Focus of the Orca needed to be on the orca! A couple quick conversations later and we had a plan; we must do something with the popularity of this board to help these animals. Our sales manager Maxx VonMarbod introduced us to snowboarder and friend, Tamara Kelley who had was do work with the highly respected Orca Conservancy non profit. Tamara was already a fan of Mervin Mfg. and a natural bond was formed. A year ago today we signed on to support their work and have every Lib Tech Orca board sold across the globe raise money and awareness to their cause. We want to thank Travis Rice for personally donating money from his pro model board showing his commitment to community and environmental stewardship.
The Travis Rice x Lib Tech x Orca Conservancy video
A year after setting the wheels in motion we still wanted to tell the story of this great organization. Orca boards were already shipping but the pandemic had put a damper on multiple meet up opportunities. Unperturbed we put together a quick visit with Travis, Tamara and an awesome whale watching operation Outer Island Excursions who was operating with Covid-19 safety procedures. It wasn’t until we were at the factory and on the boat listening to Tamara talk about the whale’s needs that the whole story came together of just how important it is to be protecting the water that protect the salmon that the Orca’s feed on. Although it is only a small part of the picture we (Mervin Mfg.) are proud to be a zero hazardous waste facility that does not silk screen our graphics. Most every other winter sports factory in the world uses silk screening which creates toxic run off that either immediately or eventually works its way back in to the oceans. We don’t do that! We have a proprietary Eco-Sublimation process that creates popping graphics and ZERO HAZARDOUS WASTE. That coupled with our recycling program including turning our sawdust to soil and building our boards in Washington State where the sea lion’s share of our electricity comes from renewable resources like wind and water makes us feel even better about being cheerleaders for our whale brethren. Getting together on the boat, checking out whales and aquatic life and generally celebrating this partnership was the perfect way to enter winter and a good reminder of the world outside of snowboarding and our positive and negative effects on it. Sean Lucey, Tim Stanford and Tim Zimmerman were on hand documenting it all and Lucey stitched together the piece which illustrates the important work of The Orca Conservancy and hopefully inspires support or similar participation in your own region.
Photos: Tim Zimmerman
Learn more at www.orcaconservancy.org