WE LOVE SKATEBOARDING
2018 Recap for Pantheon Longboards
How’s everybody feeling after one month into the new year? Have you abandoned your weight loss program yet? We got a quick one here today. Just wanted to check in from the mountains and connect with a few bullet points. First thing’s first. We had an awesome year! Between skateboarding, living in Colorado, still working a full time day job, raising a five-year-old, and having this awesome company to work on, I am a busy but extremely fulfilled dude. It seems there is never enough time in the day to do what you feel you need, let alone want, to do. And YET! We did do some stuff. So here’s a quick recap of 2018 and some of the goodness that went down from the bidniss.
Here are some accomplishments and things we worked on this year:
- Started paying our pro rider, Chase Hiller. After all, that’s what professional means. It’s one thing to say it, and it’s another thing to do it. For the first time ever, we were able to set aside some monies for pro model sales. This is something we really wanted to do for years for our riders, but we had always felt we were stuck in a hole that we were slowly digging out of. This past year, we built it into the business model, and each board sale produced 10 whole dollars that went straight to a rider (Chase). It wasn’t that much, but the thought counts, right? And it may be only one deck for now, but we hope to do more in the future, as I feel this was a total success and something we are only going to do better in 2019. I’m really excited for Chase to go after the World Championship this year. He is certainly capable. His deck is moving to a production level that will allow us to sell to shops. This is really where it should shine in 2019 and help support his racing, because it only takes a second of standing in this shape to realize how amazing it feels. Plus Chase just did a stand up toeside pendy…yep.
- Started paying our artist, per deck built. Again, this was something I had always dreamed of and believed in. Back when I was designing boards for other companies, I really wanted to be paid on a per-board basis. It was important to me, because I knew that I was creating something that had lasting value, and I felt like that value should last for me as well, even if it was less up front. It just felt right. Eddie Kihm has been our artist for Pantheon since day one, and this year we worked a deal with him to start paying him per board produced. It means a lot to me that we can value his art appropriately. And I believe it worked out, too, because I’m pretty sure we divvied out more in royalties than it would’ve been up-front, and then going into 2019, anything that gets reused will just adding to that value. And because the art is so timeless, I expect it will get used plenty!
- Started paying my wife Maribeth per package shipped. This is the first time we have defined specific monies for our family as opposed to just pulling out here and there when we really needed it. It was a big step in turning this into a company and not just a skate brand. I still don’t pay myself, but hey, maybe this year 🙂 All of the previous bullets have been about paying people. Ultimately, skateboarding is something you have to do for passion, but the green energy in powering the engine, and it was time we started accounting for the fuel to make this all happen, because we really hadn’t before, and it was clearly hurting us. Time to grow up.
- We defined a downhill team! Not to take away from the #pantheontribe, because I still deep down believe we are all the same. Like actually. But I feel like a team helps set the stage for what Pantheon is about, to everybody, so that people who don’t know can see specifically what it is about these specific people that helps define what Pantheon is. Thoughtful people, community organizers, driven people, and of course a little bit of living on the edge. We’ll put a team page up here pretty soon and spread the news. I am stoked on SO many people and there is no heavy line drawn in the sand for me personally. I try to see “myself” in even the cop that kicks me off the hill, but knowing that we are all here physically and living individual perspectives, it’s important to create a beacon for what it is that we care about, and I believe a team helps do that.
- Sponsored our biggest local downhill event, Devil’s Peak Downhill! It was another huge year for Devil’s Peak, and Rolo really killed it with the organization. We are proud and stoked that Devil’s Peak continues to be an almost universally local-brand ran event. Pretty rad that Colorado can perform at such a high level with both skating and the best North American downhill event of the year. Biased? Nah.
- Helped hold and organize the 2nd Annual “NoName Outlaw” distance skate. Topping out at almost 10,000 feet elevation, the 31 mile skate from Breckenridge to Copper Mountain and back is one hell of a skate challenge. It’s an outlaw race with no sponsors, and I think it’s important we keep it that way until we can get it properly sanctioned. It’s community created by the “Colorado Distance Skateboarding” facebook group, and we got about 25-30 people to show up and actually skate the entire 31 mile course this year, which we were SO stoked on, because that’s a big ask. Downhill and distance guys alike came in support of the event and threw down. It was a good time!
- Grew our business. Yeehaw! Sure, we’re still a small company and we keep it super lean and tight, but our foray into new production manufacturing allowed us to actually keep supply of boards for most of the year, which made a big difference. We got a lot of help from the community, too, in that people are recommending our boards to friends. At the end of the day, it all comes down to rider experience, and we have made strong efforts to define and design what it is that we are doing, and then to explain it reasonably well. Thanks to all who had any part in that!
- People started skating up Lookout Mountain with me. Yes, this happened multiple times this year, and it was a big deal. Asking someone to skate up a hill with you for 4 1/2 miles at altitude so that you can skate down it together is kind of a big ask when people have four wheeled vehicles with engines that will ask you if you want a ride up. The fact that people are getting stoked on this really gets me stoked too. Earning the hill is a foreign concept to some, but personally, for me it’s an adventure and a challenge that I look forward to taking on. Plus I want to be able to skateboard forever. Being healthy, active, and capable is a big part of that. Up and down skating FTW.
- We brought our commuter / distance longboard decks, the Ember and Trip to market at a production capacity. After a year of producing the Ember and not being able to keep up production, and almost a year of developing the Trip shape, but not being able to produce it without cracking, we did it! Both decks did really well this year and were really our ONLY “production,” aka not made to order, offerings. But what stoked me out the most was how well they were received. Check out the reviews on their respective pages to see what we are talking about, or do a google search and you will find people raving about them. Or you can take our word for it and read why the Ember is the best mini cruiser / commuter longboard out there. They really did live up to the hype and performed exactly how we designed them to. It pays off to take your time, be specific, and not settle for anything less than your best. We’ve got more in store for 2019 for sure, with four new models on the way at full capacity.
- We started blogging again. And I’ll leave you with that 🙂 Thanks for supporting Pantheon Longboards, our riders and our family!