Skatebow: Turning Old Skateboards Into Bows

Skatebow: Turning Old Skateboards Into Bows
Michael showing off the very first skatebow
Michael showing off the very first skatebow

Do skateboards, deep down inside, really wish they were bows? I have no way of knowing. And they have no choice in the matter.

These are the words of Mike OReilly. In case you hadn’t gathered yet, he turns skateboards into bows. He’s still working on the perfect method of doing this conversion, but what he has created so far looks like a pretty good start.

I spent all winter working on a bow design that made use of the curves on a skateboard deck. My first prototype was so-so, and it broke. But like all bowyers say, “if you ain’t breakin’ bows you ain’t MAKIN’ bows.”

After struggling through some early prototypes, Mike heard of a contest in Rochester Michigan called Deck Art 2014. He really wanted to get his Skatebow involved, so he went through two sweat filled days and a new riser design to produce the bow that you see in the picture above. The blue limb came from one board, the green limb and riser from another. He says it should “shoot like a dream” when he gets a chance to add some strength to it.

Since then he’s been refining the design a bit, he sent in a quick picture of his latest progress which includes fiberglass reinforcement. These additions should make it sturdy enough for Mike to go out hunting deer with his creation.


I love this idea of reusing old materials. Not only are skateboards aesthetically pleasing, they have physical properties that can actually be useful after their life as a transportation device is over. Seeing them reused as an actual tool, and not just a work of art or a throne of skateboards is very neat. Michael deserves some credit for seeing the raw potential here.

If you would like to follow along with Michael as he explores this idea further, you can find him on He says that he would ultimately like to sell them, but it appears as though he has a little more work to do before he’s ready to start taking orders.

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at

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