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Fingerboarding is booming and after having experienced several waves of ephemeral fashions in the 2000's, today the discipline is settling in for the long haul and is developing more than ever. The proof ? Hundreds of manufacturers are emerging all over the world and are no longer waiting for the historical market leaders to innovate !

Among these craftsmen many focus on developing the performance of the smallest of components such as bushings, to the most complicated to produce such as trucks. But some of them also have other motivations ! Like eco-responsibility ! This is the case of our guest of the day, a French deck-maker, who since 2018 shares his passion for the small board with his know-how in woodworking, and his love of nature. Interview with @cactus_fingerboard !

Fingerboardz : Hi ! It's a real pleasure to have the opportunity to do this little interview together. For me, Cactus represents perfectly what's going on in France nowadays on the Fb scene ! I mean that the scene is evolving a lot since a few years. And several young brands are emerging with serious and well thought projects. Both in terms of products and communication. Cactus is one of these brands, and even goes a little further with an eco-responsible approach, but we'll come back to that later. Before getting to the heart of the matter, can you introduce yourself a little ?

Cactus : Hi, my name is Basile, I am 19 years old, passionate about crafts, handmade and wood. Wanting to live only from the creation. In love with nature. And finally deck-maker !

FBZ : I have several decks that you have made in my hands and I confirm, it transpires the passion. Especially in the choice of wood species, or in the finishing touches, we feel that the work is meticulous. Is wood your profession or it's in addition to another profession/studies ?

CACTUS : Thank you, it's a pleasure that you pay attention to this kind of details, it's one of the parts of everything I want to transmit through Cactus. The beauty of the wood "valued" to the maximum, unique decks because shaped by hand so necessarily never identical. All this is done with respect for the material, I try to avoid scraps and failures as much as possible (even though there are quite a few in the end).

I've always been a tinkerer, making things. This year I'm training to be a cabinetmaker, after having stopped a diploma in object design, to get closer to the craft and physical creation.

FBZ : We clearly perceive your passion for wood with the role you give to the different visual aspects of the species you select. Your paintings come to rest on the patterns of the wood, sometimes even discreetly completing a grain for example. It's really harmonious.

CACTUS : You definitely don't miss a single detail ! Yes indeed I try to minimize the distortion of the essences when I add my designs, hence their minimalist and discreet aspects.

FBZ : How did you get into fingerskate in the first place ? Was it first the craft aspect of the object that attracted you or were you a practitioner ?

CACTUS : I discovered Fb like many I think... in math class, at school ahah. It started with Tech Deck. At the time, I was very passionate about the world of skateboarding and riding in general. I had a period where I was making "real" skateboards. In short, at that time I was quite hooked on fingerskate. First because it kept my mind and hands busy. Then I started to discover the universe little by little, from Youtube to Instagram and it spoke to me a lot.

To answer clearly, because I'm getting a bit lost, I first started practicing and the idea, the desire to make them, to design a universe around them and to ride my own decks came quite quickly. It took me a long time, but it was worth it and I'm really happy that I still have this interest in fingerskate. My fingers can't get enough of it.

FBZ : You said it in your presentation, you are close to nature and it goes further than that since it is something that is part of the DNA of Cactus ! Can you tell us a little about your approach to this ?

CACTUS : Yes, we are at a time when it seems essential to me to redirect our objectives (whatever they are) towards a way that respects the living, the nature.

"I'm moving Cactus as far as possible toward zero impact, it takes time, but it's doable. "

FBZ : Absolutely, it's essential nowadays, and every project should be designed with this in mind ! At Cactus, what levels of eco-responsibility are present ?

CACTUS : My approach is done during the whole production process of the decks and what is around. I use a minimum of petroleum-based products, glue and varnish were the two petroleum-based elements I used during production.

Among the elements that come with your deck, the grip and stickers are made of plastic... inevitably. The packaging is entirely handmade from recycled and recyclable materials, the envelopes are also made from recycled cardboard, padded with paper. The decks are made from wood from a local supplier.

As you will have understood, I am steering Cactus as far as possible towards a zero impact approach, it takes time, but it is feasible. Since Cactus is back, we have been able to do without the aerosol varnish, which was previously indispensable, for a varnish that has received an ecolabel and is applied with a brush, which is slower to apply. It allows me to be really attentive to this last finishing operation of a deck.

FBZ : Excellent ! And we see it more and more today, an eco-responsible fingerboard production can even be done with skateboard recycling. The fingerboard has everything in common with its big brother in terms of materials used ! I think for example of Goo LTD for the recycling of used skateboards, or Sadood FB for the wheels.

CACTUS : Yes I have no doubt that the Fb scene will invent, discover alternatives to the foam grip for example although hyper effective, or to the trucks, made of real trucks remade then reforged. As it's already done with some brands that use old skate wheels to shape them for our small trucks.

FBZ : It was a pleasure to talk with you and learn more about Cactus. And I'm sure that the ecological aspect of the project, in addition to its great quality, will find an echo in the community ! Thanks to you, I leave you the last word !

CACTUS : Thank you very much for your time and your work. Cactus is a project that I see evolving over the long term, with more or less productive periods. Thank you to all those who support the project, don't hesitate to share your feelings, your opinions on the brand, I always read this with great pleasure. Thanks to all of you ! Nature always



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