Thrasher Journal – 25 Years of 303: David Reyes Interviews Sam Schuman
execs like David Reyes, Windsor James and Angel Ramirez all popped out of Denver, regardless of having no connection to the coasts. The scene punched above its weight, garnering respect exterior the Southwest, thanks largely to 303 Boards. With 25 years in enterprise beneath his belt, Sam Schuman has realized a number of issues about operating a retailer, propping up the children and the significance of placing out native vids. After a yr of recent releases, David Reyes calls up his previous pal to speak store.
From store grom to skilled heavyweight, David joins his fellow 303 teammates to raise their superb new full-length
Images by Nate Rowland
First query: The place did you develop up?
I grew up on the border of Denver and Westminster, Colorado. I lived on 69th and Lowell, so type of Northside. I used to be in a middle-class neighborhood. Undoubtedly did not develop up with a bunch of cash, however I did not develop up poor both.
So that you’re fairly near the primary store?
Yeah, the primary skateparks had been in Arvada, Wheatridge and all these zones. We ended up opening the store over there ‘trigger that made essentially the most sense at that time.
Colorado’s son David Reyes dips a again Smith down 14
And when did you begin skating?
I do not even know the yr, however I used to be 15 years previous. I began late.
So within the Forties? Simply kidding.
Yeah, I used to be just about a video-game nerd and straight-A pupil. I wasn’t very socialized or something rising up after which skateboarding opened up a complete new world—you make tons of buddies, you get launched to completely different ethnicities and cultures and stuff that you haven’t any fucking clue about till that time. So I used to be a late bloomer. I did not actually come into myself till these years, due to skating.
Mike Colon goes again blunt over the mini demise
What was your native skateshop rising up and the way did it make you’re feeling?
We had a pair, they usually had been truly fairly cool. There was Shoreline and Wave Rave. Every thing again then was like a surf/skateshop regardless that there was no surf stuff in it. Every thing seemed like a surfshop. However there was this man Adam; I imagine he was at Shoreline and he was all the time tremendous cool with us. We finally had mall chains like BC Surf and Sport, however they might all the time vibe us out. They’d a few cool children in there and regardless that it was a mall retailer, you did not actually really feel welcome. That was a giant cause for me to start out a skateshop—I wished to embrace the tradition and the people who got here in. If a child like me, that begins late and would not know something, can are available and really feel welcome and really feel like he is gonna study and grow to be a part of this larger household, that’s what I wished.
Certainly one of Denver’s rising stars, Trevor Theriault hops blocks with a lofty tré
That is proper. Yeah, that was my subsequent query: What made you need to begin the store?
It was me and Joe Gordon—relaxation in peace. We simply wished that. We each skated and it did not really feel like we belonged to any sure skateshop or tradition. It appeared like there have been solely 15 skate boarders in Colorado on the time, so it wasn’t the most effective enterprise concept. However we did not actually consider it like that. We had been pondering of it as a spot to only domesticate all of these items. The primary outlets had a mini ramp within the again. We moved round Arvada a bit bit. We had video video games in there. We had pinball and there have been all the time folks simply chillin’, watching movies. It isn’t fairly like that today, however it’s stil a hub. With the Web and Instagram, it is a bit completely different, however folks nonetheless need to come and discuss it.
The brand new store undoubtedly has the clubhouse really feel—the Annex.
Yeah, it undoubtedly is like an homage to the start, however now extra elevated. We’ve got a venue, a bar and a bit skate course, plus a store inside there. It goes again to the roots and helps remind us why we do all these things. As a result of in skateboarding, it by no means actually is about cash. You need to deal with enterprise, however it’s all the time been about doing it since you adore it.
Elijah Riley admires the general public artwork with a pull in on their Chicago journey
What’s one thing you’ll be able to share with us to encourage different start-up store homeowners?
I believe the most important factor is simply to go in it with that thoughts body—that you just’re not going to get wealthy off this. Each on occasion, somebody does. Nevertheless it’s extra about that you really want a job you’ll be able to love whilst you’re cultivating and making an attempt to do cool issues for the scene—occasions, movies, good content material and different good issues that hold children skating. That is actually what it is all about.
Undoubtedly. And it is not only for the store, both—you are doing extra for the neighborhood as nicely.
Yeah, precisely. We do plenty of charity occasions. We give and donate plenty of completes. We have donated a couple-hundred completes this yr to all these skate packages. As soon as once more, we’re not doing it as a result of we’re wealthy and we get a bunch of write-offs, we’re simply doing it as a result of we’re gonna do it regardless.
Lest we neglect, David made it to the entrance with a kickflip wallride on our November 2008 concern
I used to be an at-risk youth and I discovered a house full of love on the store. I all the time felt I wasn’t particular and I used to be lacking one thing. I discovered that at 303 the day I walked in—a spot of acceptance, a spot I might name dwelling. I am not the one one y’all have taken beneath your wings. How have you learnt which children might use that further little enhance of encouragement and love?
Yeah, the minute you begin speaking to a child, if not immediately, then inside weeks, you just about know the children which might be going to be skate boarders—possibly not for all times, however for a very long time. They’ve the proper mindset. You need to assist them as a lot as you’ll be able to, which will get difficult, as a result of it’s a enterprise. We all the time gave used stuff out to children and did what we might to get children rolling, however then finally we see the children such as you which have potential and also you need to actually assist them. Perhaps you begin making an attempt to present them some boards right here and there, or possibly there’s some work they’ll do for a board. We don’t actually need you to do this work, per se. It is identical to, Do one thing for this apart from simply being an excellent skateboarder. These days, I believe it is a bit completely different. With Windsor, we simply noticed potential. You may see he was good and he had the motivation. We had been like, We bought to get this child and if we begin hooking him up and taking him out, he is in all probability going to do some stuff. And he did—identical with you, identical with Angel Ramirez. I believe all of us want one another to do nice issues. We’re not as sturdy solo.
Already a mile excessive with a number of further toes for good measure, Gage Rubio hops the fence
That was the opposite factor 303 taught me, was that if you happen to labored exhausting, you’ll be compensated in a way. A variety of children have no parental steerage. Whenever you go right into a skateshop and also you assist throw the trash out, you’re feeling like you’ve got a spot. It looks like, Alright, I am contributing to one thing that I do love and that is educating me tasks to maintain my zone clear. After which on the finish of the day, you get to go skate.
Precisely. And if you happen to’re being rewarded, you get within the van, you get tips and possibly you get extra boards. The store tries to get you a shoe sponsor or a clothes sponsor. Subsequent factor you understand, you are getting product and getting all the things you want for skating since you adore it and also you’re working for it.
The native skateshop is so essential, not solely to get firms’ merchandise in there, however and not using a store, there isn’t as sturdy of a skate neighborhood. You possibly can clearly promote straight to customers. On the finish of the day, a skateshop is the skateboard world’s neighborhood hub. It’s our financial heart, in a way.
Yeah, precisely. The video premiere the opposite evening was proof—we had in all probability 400 folks present up in that spot to return see the video. The quantity of messages we have gotten this week and the quantity of response, it simply reveals that individuals need to be a part of this larger factor. Everybody’s proud and everybody’s glad. Everybody likes to see their buddies, friends or somebody step it up and do one thing good.
Within the streets and the ‘crete, Michael Matlock pushes a picture-perfect bottom NBS
I bear in mind going to Who Cares and I had a trick within the buddies part. And that simply motivated me a lot to need to be part of the entire video subsequent time round. Do you suppose children felt like that in this video?
Oh, for positive. They are going, I undoubtedly have to step it up and movie part of my very own or do extra. Everybody loves that feeling of seeing your self on the massive display or in entrance of your friends.
Each time I’ve walked into the store, everybody’s simply overestimated and appears to know the ins and outs of skating. It makes you’re feeling like they’re execs.
Yeah, you need to both know your product very well or skateboarding—or each. That’s not less than a part of it otherwise you’re not gonna need to be there.
Barely a bump, however TJ Macconchie nonetheless clears the bar swap
What number of movies has 303 made?
There’s plenty of them. We’re importing plenty of stuff to YouTube and making an attempt to work on a docu-series for subsequent yr simply to carry consciousness to all of the previous stuff. I do know not everybody’s gonna care to go watch a complete previous video, however there’s lots of people that do.
That is how I discovered all of the spots that I’ve skated.
We return to the early days and there is Chris Haven, De, Jehr, Davie and extra.
Yeah, the Tetrahedrons.
All these guys had been a giant a part of the primary movies, they usually all nonetheless skate. That is 25 years in the past. Then you definitely go into Spencer R and his entire crew. All of the Semantic Blockage children, all of them rode for a store known as Boardroom earlier than us. Then they moved on to do their factor with us, as a result of we had been cultivating and doing issues that they wished to be part of. I am gonna miss stuff in right here, however you go into the period that basically began doing nice issues. Ryan Millard is a giant a part of getting everybody out—Mark Spencer and Ryan Millard. That is when folks actually began changing into conscious of Colorado and 303. Lots of people such as you, Angel, Windsor, The Twins and all of the folks from again within the day began to really get sponsors. The place folks like Tetrahedron guys, D, Chris and even Eric Shelley did not actually get any type of love as a result of it was too early. However you then guys all began getting sponsors, firms truly flowed you stuff and took a few of you on the highway. A few of you guys went professional! It was nice to see Angel go professional. He was out on all these Vans journeys and all the things else he was doing. And you then, clearly. Early on, we noticed Windsor changing into one thing large. Even seeing The Frederickson Twins in one of many Toy Machine movies was large.
Michael locks in on a entrance Smith
Yeah, in Undergo the Pleasure they’d a component within the Easter egg. So did Jared Stoots; we had the Kansas Metropolis connection, Robin Harper.
We had been all buddies with The Escapist folks and Malto and all them. Then all of the Moist Boys stuff, which was Micah Hollinger, Aaron Wheat, Jerrod Saba and extra names I am unable to suppose proper now. Gordie Cousino was a giant one and he truly bought observed for a minute. Then we went on to Travis La, who was a giant factor again then. Then Travis went on to movie Land Race, one in every of our movies. He filmed and edited that, which was good as a result of it was type of a time after we weren’t actually on the video factor. We did not have filmers; did not have something we might get achieved. We have gone by plenty of filmers clearly.
Yeah, the opposite cool factor was Mike Gilbert, when he was there. Simply the dudes that laid the muse to have the ability to get sponsored had been essential, like Mark Spencer and Ryan Millard—the previous movies, Divided, Semantic Blockage, Contemplate the Odds. All these movies had been actually getting Colorado recognition and on the map, and at the moment whenever you needed to wait years to see a video.
Yeah, one of many first ones we noticed go viral, like larger in Japan, Europe and all the things was Let the Good Instances Roll. With that one, hastily we’re like, Holy shit, you’ll be able to actually attain folks with these. As a result of again you then did not get to achieve folks. It wasn’t as straightforward as it’s with Instagram. And there wasn’t the Thrasher web site to its extent at that time. Again then we noticed that the video was getting purchased like loopy in Japan, Europe and far and wide. So, I believe Let the Good Instances Roll was the one that basically put us on an even bigger scale on the map in Colorado.
Double stack assault, Kyle Eggen soars a swap O
Yep. Bucky O’Connell. That was our squad.
These had been nice movies. Queen Metropolis was one other one which got here out after Let the Good Instances Roll that was tremendous good. Debo made that one. We’re looking for it proper now to add it on YouTube. It is exhausting to discover a copy.
Perhaps Debo has the uncooked file.
Then you definitely go on to love Mike Marks. He is among the finest skate boarders in that period. He is nonetheless top-of-the-line, simply dwelling the household life now.
Michael Matlock holds on and takes the bottom grind for a stroll
I really feel like everybody’s type of misplaced contact with the significance of creating store movies. How do you suppose that impacts the neighborhood?
We noticed it the opposite evening with all the children. They’re all seeing that they usually need to be a part of it as a result of they see not only a skateboarding half, however they see a household of skate boarders hanging out within the van and going out and filming. You understand you’ll be able to have your crew and do one thing larger than you might with your personal solo half.
You are serving to not solely your self by representing your self within the skate video, however you are additionally serving to facilitate one another by complementing one another’s components. As an example, somebody like Trevor Theriault opens the half with one thing technical after which you’ve got Alex Gould with a special strategy. The video simply turns into well-rounded.
Yeah, everybody skates in a different way, however they’re all nonetheless a crew, getting stuff achieved collectively. It simply makes it higher.
Trevor sends a kickflip from the delivery heart
And everybody will get to say these guys are professional degree, and that is an excellent feeling. Every particular person’s clips elevate and complement the others, even simply the tips within the group montage. That makes you’re feeling good, ‘trigger you’re placing plenty of work into it. And clearly you do hope one thing would occur with skating in some unspecified time in the future. So it is good in your development to be acknowledged.
Properly, and it is grateful to Thrasher that they are serving to curate these items today, as a result of that is given our stuff and your guys’ movies extra eyes.
And that is the opposite factor—303 has all the time made the most effective movies.
Yeah. Rising up, Tony Mellick and the Denver Store had been an excellent factor for us too, as a result of they might make good movies additionally. It was an excellent backwards and forwards the place they put out a video after which we might all type of need to step it up and put out one other video. Wholesome competitors is nice like that.
Scottsdale is thought for lovely winters, spring-training video games and folks dropping their minds in public. You resolve what Jaz Astudillo got here right here for, drop to 50-50
Yeah, as a result of it is bringing enterprise to each outlets. It is also constructing recognition across the up-and-coming children within the Colorado skate scene. Yeah, it is undoubtedly essential to do issues in your native store, and to maintain making native movies and pushing the restrict for the neighborhood. I really feel like we did an excellent job doing Gold Star. Coburn Huff clearly did an incredible job.
We have additionally been going out and doing these highway journey edits, which is superior. It was our 25-year anniversary so we wished to do one each quarter this yr. We solely bought by three of them, after which centered on this video Gold Star for the fourth factor. Our purpose subsequent yr is to maintain doing one 1 / 4 as a crew. After all, it prices cash and it is costly, however it’s price it. We’re getting all of our new children out they usually’re seeing the world. A variety of these children have by no means been out of the state till they go on the highway journeys. A few of them by no means would have gone to Chicago or to Phoenix or LA.
The brand new crew stayed within the coronary heart of Chicago and got here again with a killer edit
For positive. We bought to get some extra endorsements to sponsor these journeys.
Yeah. Let’s discover these please.
And corporations will fly you and Chris and whoever else out for an adidas get together, Vans occasion or with Sole Tech.
Which is superior. Me happening plenty of these journeys with shoe manufacturers type of sparked me into going, I need to take our group and our youngsters out on these items, as a result of they should see this and I am unable to skate like them. I’ll all these spots and I am like, Rattling, I do know these children can do stuff right here. On that notice, we must always in all probability discuss in regards to the new children. I imply, Alex Gould, you already talked about, he is top-of-the-line proper now. Michael Matlock’s developing. We simply did a Thunder truck and he is filming a component for that. That’ll be a spring factor. There’s Spencer Semien, who’s clearly professional for Powell now. He moved out to California, however he is a Colorado dude. Trevor is among the finest, interval. Yeah, he actually must go someplace. A great instance is Julian Christiansen. He wins plenty of contests and he is an incredible skateboarder, however by no means actually bought his place. For those who keep in Colorado, typically you do not get the sponsors. That is how I consider Trevor—he is on the level now the place I really feel like somebody has to get him and do one thing with him, as a result of he is top-of-the-line, actually.
Eli’s stepping up by going flat down in Chi-City
He actually is. And I really feel like he stepped it up a notch too.
Yeah. After which there’s little Elijah Riley and Jarod Penny. These are children I really like getting within the van. Each time we get to a spot, they will go for it—identical factor with Kyle Eggen. You bought Jaz. I am positive everybody is aware of Jaz by now from partying or killing it on a skateboard. I believe having everybody collectively additionally simply helps all of them push one another on these highway journeys, and hopefully for video initiatives going ahead.
You possibly can’t hold Jaz off the sketchy out ledges, frontside nosegrind
Would you agree that skateboarding teaches you tips on how to take care of the true world?
Yeah, for positive.
You undoubtedly need to know tips on how to use what you realized by skateboarding and apply it to actual life. It is a nonstop conveyor belt of failing and success, failing and success. It undoubtedly teaches you tips on how to not quit. I believe that could be very particular. I realized that at 303.
Mike Colon makes use of the time-tested cruiser and the kicker technique to bottom flip a planter
Anybody that hung out at their native store will really feel that.
One other factor about getting all these folks within the store collectively, within the van or at these occasions collectively, is you get lots of people that would not essentially all the time hang around. And now they’re, which is nice, as a result of skateboarding could be cliquey. There could be little completely different teams and issues like that. However after they all get collectively, normally they’re like, Oh, all of us are type of the identical. You understand, not everybody’s gonna get alongside on a regular basis, however I believe whenever you get everybody in the identical van, or identical room, you understand, We’re all skate boarders and most of us need to be buddies with one another.
Yeah. We’re all the identical and we adore it. I believe it is such an exquisite factor. And like I mentioned, with out the skateshop, with out 303, with out Escapist, with none of the native institutions, I would not have any of my buddies. I’ve met everybody by 303.
Yeah, precisely. It is undoubtedly the identical for me. I’ve met so many individuals, I am unable to even rely.
Stretchin’ his legs, Michael makes strikes in LA, too—heelflip
Yeah, nicely, you do not know tips on how to rely. That is why Bob’s there.
My brother doing accounting.
Ought to point out firms working with skateshops?
I believe it is vital for firms to maintain working with skateshops. And never simply that, however realizing they need to make a particular effort to attempt to sponsor or not less than hook up a few of these children, as a result of typically they’re type of falling away. The native child wants product in the event that they’re making an attempt to do one thing with skating. I really feel like plenty of occasions now, that is rather a lot more durable. Which looks as if it must be simpler today. Perhaps it is as a result of we’re in Colorado. I am unsure.
Yeah. California is so oversaturated that it is easy to seek out new children right here.
Or get the prospect to be nose to nose with them and discuss to them. It is a bit completely different. However with Instagram, you’ll be able to see when a child has expertise. If a store is saying a child has expertise, it is best to in all probability attempt to do one thing for them—even when it is on a decrease degree. However it may be like pulling tooth simply to get them their move sneakers typically. We do what we will to help and get children on the group with no matter they should hold skating, however it may possibly get pricey as a store. I do not know if any firms have cash both, however I really feel like they’ve a bit greater than we do, possibly.
Do the soles match the stucco? That is not a saying, however Jude Pullol’s do. Coloration-coordinated entrance nosegrind
303 all the time reaches out to the reps and would discuss to them in regards to the new guys. You’d get on rep move, you then bought your rep providing you with a pair pairs of sneakers a month. Clearly, you begin to progress they usually began to take you a bit extra severely and you will get in-house move. Is it nonetheless like that?
It nonetheless is, however it appears more durable to get in-house move from Colorado. It is even exhausting to get rep move typically. I really feel like firms will hopefully determine that out as they go. Since you bought to maintain your ear to the streets and you bought to maintain all this direct to client and all the things happening. However you need to do not forget that you continue to need to be within the streets. I do not know tips on how to phrase that. However that is skateshops—ear to the streets, like we’re there. We see what is going on on. We’re proper on the bottom degree, nose to nose with all the shoppers in a approach these firms aren’t actually.
With out the outlets, we’d be fucked. What are your greatest inspirations now?
The most important factor I might thank is, actually, simply everyone that is helped the store or supported the store—customer-wise, employee-wise, partner-wise, team-wise, company-wise. All of us want one another. So just about thanks to anybody that is been a component at any time. I need to thank Thrasher for simply letting us get our voice on the market on an even bigger scale, as a result of it is truly actually wonderful to see it.
Again on the stacks, Kyle tosses a giant kickflip for Colfax
For positive. I attempted to not butcher this. I’ve to do not forget that I am the interviewer and never the interviewee. However I have been 303 for rattling close to 20 years. So I’ve seen the adjustments. I’ve seen the children which have come and go, and each single time, you have all the time been supportive of all of them equally and you’ve got all the time tried to assist them facilitate no matter it’s they’re making an attempt to do. And I simply need to thanks since you maintain it down so exhausting and also you frequently impress me.
Yeah, I respect that. It is rather a lot, however I’ve chosen it at this level. That is my life.
Yeah, you maintain it down. Serving to all the children that skate, the Colorado neighborhood, all that stuff—it ain’t straightforward.
I need to thanks as nicely.
Earlier than you see ’em throughout the US this yr, be sure to watch how they dealt with their fellow Southwest metropolis. Thanks for a quarter-century within the recreation, 303! This is to hitting that fiftieth