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Steve Cave

Get a Skateboarding Job

By January 8, 2010

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Photo by Adam Squared - Longboard Dancing - Advanced Longboarding TricksNot everyone grows up to be a pro skater, but there are piles of other jobs within the skateboarding industry. For example, ESPN is looking for a "Skateboarding Correspondent" right now!

Have you been wishing you could do something in the skateboarding world? Well, there are jobs out there - and I'm going to tell you about a few places to find them.

  • Boardsportjobs.com is a nifty website that I've looked at a few times over the years - they have job listings for skate, snow, surf, the works. However, right at the moment I'm writing this, the "skate" key word comes up blank when I search it... Lame. But give it a shot - you never know what might be listed later.

  • Skateboardworks.com has a selection of job listings, but not very many. Still, if you are looking, it doesn't hurt to see what you see.
  • Malakye.com has PILES of jobs listed. This is the best skate job search website that I know of. They're the same kind of deal as boardsportjobs, with skate, snow, surf, etc., but with more jobs listed. These guys have been around for a long while - I think I first ran across them at a trade show like 5 years ago. Malakye has a good selection of skateboarding jobs - check them out.

Of course, you can also check out your local skate shops and see if they'll hire you. Or check out individual skateboard brands' websites and see if they are hiring. If you know of another place to job search in the skateboarding world, post a comment!

Comments

January 1, 2009 at 11:46 pm
(1) Marc's Board Shop says:

I have skaters come in the shop and sending me emails on Myspace wanting me to sponsor them. I ask then what do they expect from me and why do they want sponsored? Every answer is very similar. They tell me they are low on money, their deck snapped, and they need a new skateboard deck. I have had very few skaters say they want me to sponsor them because they want to help promote skateboarding and promote the shop. If you want to get sponsored by your local skate shop or get a job in the skateboard industry, you have to go about it with the attitude of, “what can I do for a skateboard company” , instead of “what can they do for me?” This article at the bottom of the page was just published by the Herald Dispatch here in Huntington WV. It is a story about Bryan “the Ridge” Ridgeway from Huntington WV. It’s a great story that shows if you work hard, and keep promoting skateboarding, it is possible to land a good job with a big skateboard company. To be a success in the skateboard industry, it takes hard work. Just remember, “The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary”.

Marc

Marc’s Board Shop

http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_action=doc&p_docid=1256CF0557FE70D8&p_docnum=2&p_theme=gannett&s_site=herald-dispatch&p_product=HHDB

January 2, 2009 at 12:01 am
(2) Marc's Board Shop says:

Catching some air
HHS grad Ridgeway’s skateboarding career has taken him around the world

By DAVE LAVENDER The Herald-Dispatch

lavender@herald-dispatch.com

HUNTINGTON — In 1977, when Bryan Ridgeway was a kid growing up in Huntington, he checked Albert Cassorla’s iconic 1976-penned book, “The Skateboarder’s Bible” out of the Cabell County Public Library.

It’s fair to say “Ridge” got his burger’s worth.

By the time Cassorla inked the “The Ultimate Skateboard Book,” in 1988, “Ridge,” the once-skinny kid with asthma and glasses who was axed from a Huntington youth baseball team, had fearlessly skated himself into the pages of Cassorla’s book and into history.

A resident of Costa Mesa, Calif., Ridgeway, 45, is still on the board, carving and grinding his own skateboarding path that took him from the Falcon Skatepark and his hand-made half-pipe at Crestmont Drive to an influential skater and industry insider who has been Tony Hawk’s manager, a writer for the world’s best skate mags, a creative director (Neighborhood Skateboards and Orion Trucks) and a consultant whose Start to Finish Consulting firm has advised everyone from Hawk and Jason Lee (“My Name is Earl) to Rob Dyrdek, of MTV’s “Rob and Big.”

Ridgeway, who graduated from Huntington High School in 1981 and who attended several semesters at Marshall University before busting loose to skate and write full-time in California, has most recently been exploring the educational side of skateboarding.

Last year, he teamed up with Paul Schmidt (considered by many to be the “Godfather” of modern-day skateboard deck manufacturing) to start an innovative nationwide school program called CreateAskate, a hands-on educational program that aids in teaching math, science, chemistry, engineering and art through the relevance of finishing a skateboard deck in class.

Ridgeway, who helped get CreateAskate in 35 states, brought a free sample of the program to Huntington last year, doing a deck-sanding-and-building workshop at Fairfield East Community Center in the summer and then coming back at Christmas last year to drop off a sleigh-load of free skateboards and gear (more than $6,000 worth) for the pre-teens and teens.

This fall, Ridgeway, who has also been a guest speaker at business and management schools at Pepperdine, dropped into Marshall University’s Business School to share his unique business career with students.

Lewis College of Business instructor Dick Drass said the buzz lingered from the October visit by Ridgeway, who has spoken to several of his classes.

“I think what I like best about Bryan is that he demonstrates that anybody, even without the college degrees, can make good if they have the right attitude,” Drass said. “And it is not always about what you know but what you do.”

Ridgeway was mentored by industry greats such as Craig Stecyk, Stacy Peralta, Larry Balma and Peggy Cozens. He said anytime he is home he tries to support the scene, which, although there are now more than 22 million skateboarders worldwide, still seems like an underground side-scene in Huntington.

“Everytime I come back, there is pockets of things to do,” Ridgeway said. “I will always try to do that — go to the skate shop and see what is going on and help if I can with events or products from out here and make it happen. Chris (Carter, Barboursville native who started the world famous Dayton-based board-maker Alien Workshop) is a big proponent of that too. We always try to help the local scene because we know what it takes to keep it alive. It seems like it is never going to be the establishment of Huntington trying to keep it alive.”

Craig Stecyk III, the world-renowned artist, photographer and writer perhaps best known for his award-winning documentary, “Dogtown and Z Boys” about the birth of the skateboarding industry, said Ridgeway has worn just about every hat in the biz and worn it well.

“Bryan Ridgeway came out of the relative obscurity of a backyard ramp in Huntington, West Virginia and went on to have a profound impact upon the sport of skateboarding,” Stecyk said in an e-mail. “From those modest beginnings volunteering labor on the construction and maintenance of a country ramp, Ridge went on to a solid career in journalism, innovative skate business management and philanthropic organization. Throughout all, Ridgeway never lost track of that essential DIY activism which he first learned back in West Virginia. That basic skate citizenry ended up changing the world at large.”

Over a plate of spaghetti at Jim’s this fall, Ridgeway said he vividly remembers seeing a skateboard for the first time. It was in the summer of 1976 when a classmate, John Kelly, did some tic tac maneuvers on his board at Steve Diniaco’s last day of school party in seventh grade.

Ridge was hooked.

He called his cousin Chris Kennedy, who had some boards from the 1960s, and Ridge rode them until he saved $12 from cutting grass (his mom loaned him the other $3) so he could get a $15 board at Hills.

Then he rode and rode and rode six to eight hours a day.

“I didn’t know that you could make something move just from gyrating,” Ridgeway said. “I was used to seeing a bike go down the street with two straight tires rolling forward. This blew my mind to be on two wheels and to roll like that. It was like a car in a wheelie position going from side to side like a snake. My mind was blown and I remember it like it was yesterday.”

In 1978, Cecil and Elaine Cline had leased some land from the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District to build the Falcon Skatepark across from Safetytown.

Only open officially for a couple of years, it was here Ridgeway met and made life-long friends such as Tim Cline, of Huntington, and Chris Carter. All are part of a group of fortysomethings from here (Rick Summerfield who now lives in St. Louis, David Jones, who lives in Huntington and John Wittpenn, who now lives in Northern California) who still gets together to skate.

It was at Falcon where they all learned first-hand the magnetic freedom that boils in the bowl of a skatepark.

“It was great because it brought people we had never seen from Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee and Virginia and Charleston,” Ridgeway said. “There were pockets of skaters that we had no clue about and never would have had a chance to know if it wasn’t for this Huntington Mecca. It was the hardest place to skate, but we didn’t know any better. We just learned to adapt, but from having gone through that rough place to skate, we learned when we got something good how good it was. It was like skiing on ice and then getting some powder. I was there every chance I got and was among all of these people with a common interest and we just had a blast no matter what.”

By 1980, Apple, a big indoor skate park with 12-to-14-foot-deep curved walls opened in Columbus drawing in the regional skate scene.

But by 81, Apple, Falcon and most of the skate parks in the country were closing. Then by 1982, the media had declared skateboarding — deemed to be too dangerous by many — as dead.

Already drawing attention and support from California skater, Stacy Peralta, Ridge would go back to Falcon and toss snakes out of the concrete half-pipe to skate alone. At Peralta’s suggestions he saved up his Heiner’s Bakery summer job money and along with Wittpenn build a wooden halfpipe structure near John’s home on Crestmont Drive.

Blessed with an amazing recall, and some serious writing game, Ridgeway began chronicling the scene in 1982 with his own Xeroxed Skate Zine that listed all the places to skate as well as contests.

Ridgeway and his fellow co-conspirators crushed boredom and kept the edgy sport alive around the region. They had contests at their Crestmont Drive ramp where skaters came from as far away as Wisconsin to compete.

In 1983, TransWorld magazine, issue No. 1 had a feature on Ridgeway. He and Carter soon teamed up to be a part of the regional Mid-Eastern Skate Series or (MESS) that had contests in Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and here.

By this time, skaters from 13 different states came to compete in Carter’s backyard while neighbors watched the high-flying competition from rooftops.

Ridgeway, whose folks Ray and Sylvia, put up a bunch of skaters for the contests, said he still shakes his head at those days, riding his bike with bags of two liters after getting donations from a soft drink company.

“What is amazing is not only were they coming from so many states but all of our ages,” Ridgeway said. “Who is letting their 16-year-old kids drive from four or five states away? We had skaters from Wisconsin. I look back on it and it seemed like we were adults right then. We were doing our thing.”

Doing his thing of skating, promoting and chronicling the scene Gonzo journalist style, Ridge found himself back out in California with Larry Balma and Peggy Cozens (Tracker Trucks owner as well as founders of TransWorld Skateboarding magazine) writing on the mag and soaking in the just-developing skate team and contest scene.

After the Del-Mar contest, the skating legends of Stecyk and Peralta got together and Peralta asked Ridge to stay in California and help out with the skating business.

Ridge, who dropped out of Marshall, said he ended up learning everything he needed to know on the job working with that crew.

At TransWorld, whose circulation grew to more than 200,000 making it the largest skate magazine in the world, he was a writer, photographer, managing editor, advertising coordinator, promotions and PR manager.

For Tracker Trucks, he did team management, brand development, R&D, was creative director, worked with manufacturing as well as produced, filmed and edited videos.

“I basically learned the entrepreneur spirit from Larry and was able to take full advantage by being put in charge of building and managing five or six brands over my career in working with him,” Ridgeway said. “He believed in me because I was somewhat of a product of the combination of all the above influences and there was hard-core respect amongst this group.”

When Ridge stayed in California, he didn’t leave home behind.

Summerfield and Carter would come out and visit. He and Carter teamed up in 1989 to brig the first top pros to Huntington, Lester Kasai and Adrain Demain.

Carter would go on in 1992 to start Dayton-based Alien Workshop (sold this past year to Burton), and turn local resident John Drake pro for Alien.

In writing, Ridge, knowing all of the talent that was located all over the East, advocated hard-core for more coverage of skaters from outside of California.

“Ninety-nine percent of skate companies were located in California, and Ridgeway was our eyes and ears in helping discover talent in the Midwest and along the East Coast,” Cozens said in an e-mail. “Of course, he never knew how important he was to us.”

Cline, 47, who lived in Virginia, and who is now back in Huntington, said Ridgeway and Carter, are in the sport for the passion.

“It was a crapshoot to pull that off,” Cline said. “Both of those guys were out there eating Ramen noodles when there definitely wasn’t no money in it at the time they decided to do something with it. It was all them, they were passionate about it. They just wanted to make that career move. The cool thing was it was the kids. I mean I don’t think anybody outside of Tony Hawk’s parents, were pushing for them to be skateboarders. It was not a sport so much as it was maybe a lifestyle.”

Ridge conducted Hawk’s first interview. He went on to work with Hawk, the world’s most famous skater, and quite possibly one of the world’s most famous athletes, for 15 years as a team manager among other jobs.

“Tony, from the time he was a little rat, has been the most influential skateboarder in the world. He’s not the Michael Jordan of skateboarding. Michael Jordan is the Tony Hawk of basketball,” Ridge was quoted as saying in the Jim Fitzpatrick book, “Tony Hawk: World’s Greatest Athletes.”

Ridgeway, who worked as his manager and then General Manager of Blitz Distribution (Flip/Baker/Fury/Birdhouse) for Hawk, now does consulting with him.

Hawk said Ridge knows skating and the biz from all angles.

“He has been involved since the early days of skaters riding empty swimming pools and is now an integral part of the blossoming industry,” Hawk said. “I trust his judgment on anything to do with skateboarding, business and especially the design and construction of skateparks.”

Ridgeway said that not unlike a schoolteacher, it’s way cool getting props from the skaters that they coached and mentored along the way. He figures, he and Carter have worked with more than 2,000 pro and amateur skaters including a sponsorship of a top amateur skater, Nate McGlone, who was from the Ceredo and Kenova areas, and who went on to be featured in Thrasher magazine.

“For many decades, Bryan Ridgeway and Chris Carter have both given so much to the skateboarding industry and just for the love of skateboarding itself,” said 42-year-old legendary pro skater, Lester Kasai in an e-mail. “I had the chance to visit their hometown back in the 80s and was surprised to see what little they had to skate. However, it was enough to inspire Bryan and Chris to work hard to become outstanding members of today’s skateboarding community. I think both truly understand what it means to give back support to a community for growth and success. They have given me so much support throughout my skateboarding career and their friendships have helped mold me into the person I am today.”

Just a couple weeks ago, pro skater Fred Gall, who is sponsored by Carter, gave Ridge a shout-out in a major magazine article for getting him signed with Tracker early in his career.

“It’s just one of many, but the skaters are now understanding the sacrifices Carter and myself made by enabling, babysitting, and coaching these guys from the age of 13 when their parents didn’t really know how to do it themselves,” Ridgeway said. “We just kept people active and positive and they got their shot to become someone just like we did. Stacy, Balma and Stecyk reached down to me, I lended a hand to Carter, he and I both helped skaters for eons to come.”

——————————————————————————–
Copyright (c) 2008 The Herald-Dispatch. All rights reserved.

January 6, 2009 at 12:54 am
(3) kim says:

you couldn’t have given me this page at a better time, all i’ve wanted to do was to work somewhere in skateboarding, at least to get my start, i really would love to work for transworld as a writer, but any skate job will do. so thank you steve for posting this!

January 6, 2009 at 2:35 am
(4) Emily says:

I’m in the same situation as kim. It’s really ironic you wrote this now, because I’m about to send some resumes out to companies tomorrow.

I’m really hoping one company will take me as an intern this summer, but that seems harder to come by for skateboarding companies.

January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm
(5) Randall says:

Keep at it Kim. Follow your dreams and do whatever you can to keep those dreams alive. Take one step at a time.

Write down what you need to do next and then do that before anything else tomorrow.

April 23, 2009 at 3:57 pm
(6) Salih's Dad says:

Great comment Marc. My son, who has a few sponsors, undertands that his primary job is to promote skateboarding and promote his sponsors. You always have to prove your value to your sponsors and skateboarding. The sponsors have to know that their connection to you increases their profile in your community.

January 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm
(7) Bill says:

Here at TheField, we have all kinds of jobs for various sports, Skateboarding included: http://thefieldjobs.com/search/skateboard

Its much easier than search all the other sites individually

January 19, 2010 at 11:43 am
(8) ZODCORE says:

Marc’s Board Shop couldn’t have said it any better. Basically one most learn to ‘lift while they climb’, so if you want positive in your life, bring positive into others.

June 5, 2010 at 3:20 am
(9) Adam Witcraft says:

I REALLY want to work as a skateboard filmer, unfortunately I have no omney, and a very crappy digital camera. E-mail me at sk8rboy829@yahoo.com if you think you know someone in Iowa who needs a filmer who will pay a small amount maybe $10 a week.

January 6, 2011 at 7:29 am
(10) Lean Manufacturing Techniques says:

Iíve been skating for over 20 years and I would be doing this regardless. I love the travel, seeing different cultures, keeping fit, being able to influence people in my travels, its unreal.

January 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm
(11) Rob says:

GoSkate.com is a good place to go if you are looking for a job. They hire skateboard instructors, nationwide…

http://www.goskate.com

May 1, 2012 at 8:36 pm
(12) Sebastian says:

Hey im 15 yr old in looking for a sponsor if u sponsor me i will do what u want me to ? ring me if u get this
0221603593 Later broo:)

May 30, 2012 at 9:22 pm
(13) carl bills says:

I love skating it has helped me a lot. Drugs have been in most of my life .when i started skating it got me new friends, its helped me quit my habit, and brought me and my family together thank u to all skateboard companys especially. Zero y’all are my heros , My new drug addiction. Thanks guys …Carl bills
214 607 7996

August 28, 2012 at 10:22 am
(14) swarmrerttiPs says:

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(15) ENGINGLINDMIC says:

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September 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm
(16) swarmrerttiPs says:

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September 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm
(17) josfe says:

Professional with over 10 years experience..

Where are the best places to post resumes online? Careerbuilder? Monster? The Ladders?

Are paid services like the Ladders really worth the money?

Any experience w/ local services in your area?

http://www.careerbuilder.com/employerprofile/companydetails.aspx?companydid=CHM6W578WKYDTLK5D89

http://www.indeed.com/cmp/American-Search-Partners

http://www.indeed.com/q-American-Search-Partners-jobs.html

June 9, 2013 at 3:56 am
(18) Jesse Heaberlin says:

I am from Ceredo-Kenova and reading that article in the comments is amazing to me because 40 years later there is still nothing to skate haha but ill keep riding up and down the sidewalk until they give me something to skate or i just cant skate anymore

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(20) Mold Inspection Milwaukee says:

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April 10, 2014 at 11:33 pm
(22) Mr Barney says:

Getting job in a skateboarding industries is like my big dream and o love to work as a part of them,

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