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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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A skate boarder using ShredLights. A skate boarder using ShredLights.

A Saving Grace for Skaters

A team of SDSU entrepreneurs came up with an idea to help keep skateboarders safe when the sun goes down.
By SDSU News Team

ShredLights — headlights for your skateboard that are easily installed, used and removed — is the creation of students from the Zahn Innovation Center at San Diego State University.

The ShredLights team consists of:

  • Eric Birkemeier, a junior television, film and new media major
  • Drew Page, a business administration alumnus with an emphasis in entrepreneurship
  • Kyle Kitzmiller, a masters degree in mechanical engineering
  • Nicolette Shasky, a graphic design alumnus
  • Sam Gordon, a business administration alumnus

After several rounds of prototyping, the ShredLights team created sleek and functional prototypes using 3-D printing in the Zahn Innovation Center. While ShredLights help skaters to see better, they do not interfere with the functionality of skateboards.

“Being skateboarders ourselves, we knew the lights had to be removable during the day, and stay completely out of the way for grinds at night,"
said Drew Page, the founder of ShredLights. The success of the prototype inspired the team to create a KickStarter campaign to fund the operation.

1) How did you get this idea? Where did the inspiration come from?

After falling because of countless cracks in the sidewalk, Page's fall finally knocked the idea loose while skating home one night. Once back on his feet a car’s headlights illuminated the street from behind and Page realized the need for functional headlights on skateboards.

2) What does your company do?

ShredLights offer skateboarders enhanced visualization of cracks, rocks, and other obstacles at night. ShredLights also enhance the visualization of skateboarders by motorists and pedestrians, greatly reducing the chances of accidents.

3) How has SDSU helped you be successful?

Studying entrepreneurship at SDSU was an influential experience for Page. Starting the company while still in school gave him the resources to pull from. SDSU brought The Zahn Innovation Center, influential professors like Tita Gray and Kim King, and the talented student body to build a team.  

4) What has your biggest challenge been and how have you overcome it?

Our biggest challenge has been building a flashlight strong enough to withstand the abuse of skateboarding. No other flashlight in the world has to be beat this much, so we had to build ShredLights from scratch. This has taken a long time to develop a design that is functional, but does not interfere with the use of the skateboard.

5) What are the next steps and goals for the future?

We are currently raising money on Kickstarter to deliver our first mass produced version of ShredLights. Once we have validated demand and proven execution, we will seek angel investment to hit scale. Our goal is to have ShredLights available in most major U.S. skate shops by this time next year. 

6) How has your involvement with the Zahn Innovation Center helped your business grow?

Thinking back to before working in the Zahn Innovation Center, it was almost humorous to call what we had a company. We had nothing but an idea. After being accepted to the center, we were able to prototype our ideas and build the brand around that initial idea.

Related media

San Diego State skaters file for patent on headlights for skateboards — ABC 10 San Diego