One of the best things that I ever get to see when it comes to being a Veteran is being able to watch my fellow brothers and sisters do something with their lives that they are able to share with the rest of the world. I love to sit there and really learn about what makes them do what they do after their time in service and what drives them to make the life-changing decisions that they make that brings such a positive impact to the rest of the world.
I say it all the time when it comes to my Social Media postings that when it comes to skateboarding it is a hobby that I hold close to my heart. I found peace in it when I started and I have done it for many years. I did take a break when it came to skateboarding and now after a good bit of time, I am back in the swing of things and I have been searching for different companies that I could bring to light through my writing.
I have researched a company for a good period of time through Social Media, and I have followed them watching their progress. I have done this to a different company before them and I always like to make sure that when it comes to this company, I need to know what they are doing has got the right stuff for me to follow up on.
Enter Raid Skateboards, this company is something that I have to say has brought to light a few different things that I haven’t realized when it comes to the Skateboarding and Veteran Communities. I have realized that when it comes to both they are so tightly intertwined with one another that it has become more a Movement than a hobby for individuals.
I recently had gotten in touch with the owner of Raid Skateboards and I was able to get some more information on what he and Raid are all about. I had asked him questions that pertained to him and his background when it comes to skateboarding and what he hopes to bring to the table with the company. I will say the questions that we went over will not only give you an accurate depiction of the company that we see but it helped me gain some great insight as well.
Me: “What got you into skateboarding and how long have you been doing it?”
Chuck: “ I’m from Southern California, specifically San Diego. I think when you’re born here you get a skateboard with a birth certificate. I can’t remember a time I did skate to some degree. So I guess you could say I’ve been skating over 30 years.”
Me: “ What made you get involved with the Industry in the way that you have?”
Chuck: “Raid was an accident. Like an unplanned pregnancy. It was an absolute blessing in disguise. We never intended to make a skateboard company but we ended up with one. We wanted to do more than just put out cool decks and sweet videos. I’ve always wanted to work with non-profits and help/give back in some kind of way. I know what skateboarding means to me and to others I’ve had conversations with. After a conversation with my homie Prov, the idea that we can use skating as an alternative to prescription drugs or other non-helpful procedures. We just want to help.”
Me: “What do you hope to get out of all of this; on a non-monetary level?”
Chuck: “ Initially I wanted to find a non-profit to work hand in hand with forever. Then we came to the realization that we need to start our own. That’s down the road long term, but think Woodward meets The Fantasy Factory meets Thunder Ranch.”
Me: “What’s the story behind the name? How’d you come up with the sweet name? ( For those who don’t understand what a Raid is?)
Chuck: “We wanted something that spoke to the military roots and could be applicable to the skateboarding lifestyle. “Skate and Raid”, “Raid the Streets”. Just go out and get after it, dominate and take over. That’s where we come from. Forgiveness >Permission and all that.”
Me: “ What Pro inspired you most to step on a skateboard? For me, it was Rodney Mullen.”
Chuck: “ I was and am such a fan of Rodney Mullen, but for me, Chad Muska was my hero. All my friends loved Misfits, Rancid, NOFX and all that. I liked it also but I was a hip hop head first. He made ok for a skater to be into rap and just adopted the hip hop culture into the skating lifestyle.”
Me: “Any advice to give to those who want to step back on a board or get on one for the first time?”
Chuck: “We get a lot of messages from people saying that they’ve just started skating or haven’t skated in years. Some ask about parts other just want to let us know. It’s kind of surreal when we get these messages. We never expected comments like that. But whether you never stopped, never road or just got back into it there’s only one thing to do. Get out and get after it.”
Seeing the connection between two different lifestyles is something that I believe can make a world of difference for individuals in our society. To me, skateboarding has and always was a sort of an escape. I was able to control wherever I wanted to go when I stepped on that skateboard. I believe that even now when you see this company do the things that they are doing for both communities, individuals are more than able to find that freedom once more for many individuals around the world; even if it is for a few hours.