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riding is cool. It's really exciting stuff," says Williams. "Right now, there's this trend of hip hop artists like Lupe Fiasco and Pharell, who are bringing (skateboarding) back. I think we were on it before the industry, but it's cool to see the move towards it."

According to Salfi, the company is currently working with scientists at Cornell University to use soy based resins in their products.

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Local skateboard company aims to save the planet

"The park is going to take shape based on what the community wants," says Salfi. "We're hoping to take this dilapidated area and turn it into a lot of green open space for kids to play basketball, skate and enjoy the outdoors in their community."

Williams adds: "There are so many talented skateboarders in our community and the X Games are so far out there for them. We wanted to bring something to their backyard."

CAN SKATEBOARDS save the planet?

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Salfi's hope is that Comet Skateboards serves as a business model that proves companies can protect the environment, enhance the quality of life and promote conscious consumerism, while still being successful.

"I think that's a really important message, to be energy self sufficient. I think that's a great philosophy to have," he says.

Essentially, Williams' students are the force behind the Hood Games, which allows them the opportunity to showcase their art skills in a forum that reaches the whole community. It is exactly that sort of community interaction that Salfi hopes to foster and maintain with Comet Skateboards.

to make a difference from a policy standpoint, but he eventually found business to be a better forum.

Comet has been a "godsend" for the Hood Games and the development of the skate park, says Williams. Prada Sunglasses For Sale He, along with Salfi, hope the fifth Hood Games shines light on the plans for the park, but more importantly, shows that the attention of Oakland youth can be captivated without incidence of violence.

"It's all about leading by example and making positive choices," says Williams. "When kids see you work together and make environmentally conscious choices they'll follow suit."

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Jason Salfi doesn't see why not. And, well, he's sort of on a mission to prove it, one skateboard at a time.

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In addition to the skate park, Comet is an integral sponsor of the Hood Games, an Oakland skate event developed and designed by youth that includes an art exhibition, fashion show, spoken word and music program. The fifth installment of the Hood Games is Saturday in downtown Oakland.

"In the'hood, we're losing all these kids too fast to negative influences, and we thought we should bring this event to the'hood. You know, so kids can be influenced to pick up a skateboard and not a gun," says Watson, who grew up in Oakland and now lives in San Francisco.

For Calvin Beltran, 17, of Oakland, the event is more than just an art show; it's a chance to show that "skateboarding isn't only for one race."

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The idea of the Hood Games arose from a discussion between Oakland High School visual arts teacher Keith "K Dub" Williams and pro skater Karl Watson. The two were at the X Games in Los Angeles a few years ago and started talking about how they wanted to do a similar event in their community.

"Seeing kids of color Prada Double Bag

Salfi, 34, of San Francisco, is the co founder of Comet Skateboards in Oakland, which distributes a line of stylish skateboards made from bio friendly materials such as carbon fiber and sustainably harvested Prada Tote Bag Men

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bamboo and maple that are manufactured in a solar powered facility based in Chico.

The idea for the eco friendly skateboard company came about in 1998 when Salfi and fellow founder Jonathan Reese began to experiment with the premise of building a high performance skateboard with sustainable materials. The solar powered facility in Chico reduces carbon emissions by about 25,000 pounds each year, which translates into around $12,000 saved in energy costs.

Initially, Salfi, who studied natural resources management at Cornell, wanted Prada Bag New Collection

"I wanted to create a business I was passionate about and that I could make fun, while being a vehicle for change. I didn't want to be some absentee philosopher just preaching to a large group about environmental concerns. I wanted to be creating a community based effort where I could see change happening right in front of me," he says.

Although the nature of the soy based endeavor is top secret stuff, Salfi says they won't be stingy when it comes to making it available. He hopes other skateboard companies will follow suit and use bio friendly materials and solar powered facilities to make their products.

Comet rolled into the Hood Games picture when Williams discovered that the company was local. He approached Salfi about collaborating with his art students on a project, and soon after, Williams' students were designing artwork for Comet skateboards, which were sold at Oakland High School and the Hood Games.

A large part of Comet's success, Salfi says, is that the company has dedicated itself to investing in the local community. Comet is currently raising funds for a sustainably designed skateboard park at Jefferson Square in Oakland.

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