It’s no secret that cardboard is among one of the most effective materials for building prototypes, yet the material rarely ever moves past prototyping stage for obvious reasons.

Ernest Packaging, a nationwide custom packaging solution company that was started out of a Los Angeles garage in 1946, has been spending the past year pushing the limits of what’s possible with cardboard as a part of their Cardboard Chaos series.

To date, the company has teamed up with fabrication experts including Signal Snowboards to develop a functional surfboard, a functional snowboard and pushbikes for children. While all of the designs have certainly tested the limits of what’s possible with the packaging material, it is perhaps their latest endeavor that has proven to be their most impressive.


Along with legendary skateboard builder Paul Schmitt, the design team at Ernest Packaging set about building a number of cardboard skateboard prototypes that would then be tested by none other than the king of skateboarding himself, Tony Hawk.



Among other challenges the design team faced included figuring out how to apply the resin in a way that would insure good penetration into the fibers of the paper.


“We settled on rolling the resin in layers and using the vacuum system to make sure that the resin would be forced into the fibers of the paper,” said Ernest’s Creative Director Mike Martinez. “That ended up working very well.”

Needless to say, this is a case where the design and fabrication process is just as interesting as the end result:

YouTube video

While the company’s Cardboard Chaos videos are certainly entertaining and informative from a material science standpoint, the goal is to push the limits of literally “thinking outside of the box” to make innovative products and package designs that are sustainable and eco-friendly.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.