Tongue’s sponsor Stalk It is a subsidiary of Corn Board Manufacturing Inc., a company that received a unique patent from Mississippi State University to create pressboard planks out of discarded corn stalks.
Over 40 percent of the corn plant is often thrown away by producers. This new process makes use of that material and turns it into a strong pressboard that could easily replace wood as production material.
CBMI claims that the growth of a single acre of corn can help to remove over eight tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. They also encourage the ending of clear-cutting and want to see more production of corn, both as a food source and as a valid replacement for wooden boards. It is also much easier to grow a cornfield, and can be produced at a much faster rate than regular wood can.
They only have a handful of corn presses as of now, but they plan to expand nationally and begin much higher production within the coming years.
While their parent company is busy making homes and alternative fuel out of the stuff, Stalk It focuses on board sports like longboarding, skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding.
“I was a little hesitant at first,” Tongue admitted. “I mean, boards made out of corn?” He knew that they were going to have to be able to hold up to speeds as high as 70 mph. “But I was actually pretty surprised. It was as strong as any other board that I have seen.”
For the past three years Tongue has been receiving gear and a salary to compete for the brand, and not once has he looked back.