Over the last decade I've watched scootering explode from nothing into a full blown industry. While it's crazy to see where we've gotten in this short amount of time it kind of bums me out when all the kids talk about is "sponsorship." It's rare to see riders who are truly dedicated to the sport and don't give up once they get past their teenage years. A lot of kids seem to think if you don't make the sponsorship "cut" or you get hurt, your riding days are over. My buddy Chase is a solid example of a true scooter rider. Chase lives in Portland, Oregon and works for Phoenix. He doesn't give a shit about sponsors, he's recovering from a broken leg, but he still lives to ride. Here's a conversation we had the other night.
Hey man, lazy Saturday?
Yessir, rains keepin me inside.
Oh damn it's already that bad? Is it gonna be raining a lot from now on?
Yeah probably, it'll be wet for a week at a time sometimes so when it's dry you gotta be on the ball to get some riding in.
Haha thats insane, I'd freak out if it just didnt dry up. So is your leg fully functioning again?
Yeah finally, feels so good to have that stupid boot off. I’ve been riding at full steam again the past week or so.
Hell yeah man, was that your first broken bone?
Yep, broke the outside metatarsal. I've been pretty lucky this far i suppose. After this long it was bound to happen sooner or later.
Yeah man I still havent broken a bone yet, my days are numbered.
No kidding? Better count those blessings man.
I know, knock on wood right? So when did you start riding? and where you originally from?
Well I got my first scooter in like 2001 or something when it was first blowin up but it wasn't till 2007 that I started going to parks and stuff. I was into mountain biking then but I'd always break parts, so at some point I couldn't ride my bike and grabbed my old b model out of the garage and tried some tailwhips. I started watching some videos online and found SR and got hooked after that. Im from Bend Oregon and It was only my buddy Nick Toigo and i at the start, everyone else kinda thought it was a joke, they were more into snowboarding and mountain biking.
Hahah it's funny how things turn out, how does it feel to come from riding a B-model in your garage to work in a full blown scooter scene?
Its super rad to have watched it all happen. If you would have asked me then what i thought id be doing, working for a scooter company would have been the last thing. I feel lucky to be where im at for sure.
So when you got into riding did you ever want to pursue sponsorships? or were you more down to put some labor in?
It was in the back of my mind when i was starting out but it seemed like I was miles away from these dudes who lived for it. I figured id be able to carve my own path whether or not I was sponsored, I just wanted to keep riding.
That's rad dude I respect that a lot, so what kind of work you doin at phoenix?
Im workin with steel day in day out. I do most of the work on the bars and our steel forks before our welder puts em together. I help Evan and Cooper ship stuff out sometimes too. Its pretty gnarly sometimes but i like it, i couldn't handle sitting at a desk 8 hours a day ya know.
Yeah man fuck those cubicle sheep jobs, so do you have any plans to start your own world dominating scooter company down the road?
Haha nah no plans, maybe a dream but its just scattered ideas in my head right now. I've always wanted to work for myself though and that seems like the best way to do it. I guess time will tell.
Word up man, well im gonna wrap this up with what's the craziest thing you've witnessed in portland? hobo wars? hipster dramas?
I saw these two fat homeless chicks get in a fight outside this church across the street from my apartment. They started yelling and one of em shoved the other one down and started wailin on her pretty heavy. They got up and shook hands right after though. I couldn't help but laugh at the whole thing.
There you have it, you don't need to be a sponsored rider to live the scoot life. If you truly care about scooter riding, try harder to get yourself involved in the industry. We need a scene that is run by the riders, that's the only way to secure a safe path for the future.