A Kochi-based Brand Creating Premium, Handpainted Skateboards

A Kochi-based Brand Creating Premium, Handpainted Skateboards
Image Courtesy: Navaf Sharafudheen (L) Merkabah Boards (R)

Merkabah Boards is a Kochi-based premium skateboard brand that’s creating a one-of-a-kind artist-oriented collection of physical skateboards and digital NFTs. ‘Mer’ refers to Light, ‘Ka’ means Spirit and ‘Ba’ stands for the Body; Mer-Ka-Ba is the spirit surrounded by counter-rotating fields of light.

Image Courtesy: Merkabah Boards

Since there weren’t — still aren’t — a lot of manufacturers making skateboards exclusively in India, the founder Francis Kurien Elenjikka, an artist himself learned the carpentry behind the boards. The brand kicked off in 2019 with hand-drawn 3-D engraved decks produced in collaboration with local artists.

The company is working towards putting money back into the community to help not just skaters but also local artists. The boards come in a range of hand-painted, hydro-dipped, stickered and heat-pressed boards in funky caricatures taking from its Indian roots. In a city with no dedicated skating parks, these custom products bring together not just locally-sourced materials but also uplift local artists along the way to manufacture boards best suited for surfing Indian roads.

Image Courtesy: Merkabah Boards

As a brand, they’re working towards building a community of collectors driven by art. The founder is committed to empowering young skateboarders and artists and believes skateboarding to be a divine experience, “We learn how to control microseconds, unique muscle memory, not giving up and most importantly it teaches us a lot about healing and rising up.”

Today, Merkabah is perhaps one of the first skateboard brands in India to merge its physical and digital assets by collaborating with more than 500 NFT artists across the metaverse. Currently, the brand is working towards launching the ‘SKATEJANZ’ NFT collection to support India’s youngest skater, 6-year-old Janaki Anand’s journey to the Olympics.

Image Courtesy: Merkabah Boards

Check out the brand here.

Follow Janki Anand’s Journey here.

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