This year marks our 5th annual [Vissla + Surfrider Creators & Innovators Upcycle Contest](https://www.vissla.com/creatorscontest/), where the public was challenged to take something that might be considered waste and create something that can be used in the ocean. Friday evening, we gathered with the community at our dear partners' and friends', The Ecology Center, to celebrate the craftsmanship of our finalists' projects from all around the world.
The Ecology Center, newly remodeled to accommodate their farm stand, made for the perfect space to gather with the community. Greeted by the surf funk and soul music of [The Soul Beacons](https://www.instagram.com/thesoulbeacons/?hl=en), friends, family and community enjoyed drinks from and hors d'oeuvres from local chefs using local organic produce. While people mingled in the courtyard and kids upcycled skate decks into handplanes, the judges walked around taking note of all the projects on display.
Our judges for this years contest were Vissla's Vince De La Pena, master shaper / Vissla Creator & Innovator, [Donald Brink](https://www.vissla.com/creators-innovators/donald-brink/), and Surfrider's Chad Nelson. Paying close attention to the creativity, upcycling, functionality and details of each project, they deliberated the winners of this years contest.
In 1st place came Korey Nolan, who built a surfboard made from from 47 scavenged lobster buoys, recycled shipping crate lumber, reclaimed teak brightwork nose/tailblocks, scrapped aluminum from a local brewery�s sign, mahogany decking scraps, salvaged cork board, scrap MDF and a lexan sign panel from a defunct business.
In 2nd place came Ron Higgins, who crafted a stunningly beautiful stand-up paipo from over 200 year old wood he salvage from abandoned houses and barns. Inlays repair the nail holes, cracks, and insect markings, while a brass leash loop, brass pressure vent and entropy one epoxy resin complete the seaworthy vessel. It was created to last and will undoubtedly age beautifully.
In 3rd place was Yoshinari Noda with his alaia made from the waste material of a wooden Miso barrel that had matured a traditional Miso for more than 100 years.
Congratulations to all the finalists and winners, and thank you for taking part in the 2019 Creators & Innovators Upcycle Contest! We have been blown away by the level of craftsmanship this contest has brought forth and it just keeps getting better and better every year. Upcycling has meant a great deal to Vissla since our inception, so the opportunity to get people from all over the world engaged in participating feels incredibly special. While the above guys all took home Vissla shopping spree prizes, everyone who participated in the contest is truly a winner.
See you next year!