What makes Revive so successful?
I think that ReVive’s “success” can be accredited to the fact that I documented the entire thing from the ground up. My YouTube viewers got to see the whole adventure and I openly communicated to them as we have done things and grown the brand. I also, from the very beginning, decided to focus on the personality of our skateboarders and not just our skating. I think that makes the brand more relatable and family oriented than simply just showing the best tricks the team can do. I love the idea that we’re an open book simply trying to celebrate the pure fun of skateboarding.
While your boards are sold fairly cheap at U$40, you still manufacture in the US by Pennswood Skateboard Manufacturing in Pennsylvania. How do you do it?
We actually haven’t used Pennswood for about 9 years and our skateboards currently cost $43 plus shipping, which typically ends up around $53ish for a deck. We have been slowly increasing the price over the last few years due to materials becoming more expensive. So hopefully we are able to keep as low of a price as we can. But when I originally set the price, I put myself in a 16- year-old’s shoes. I got a job at Taco Bell when I was 16 years old, as soon as I was able to work. I worked 20 to 30 hours a week during high school just to be able to pay for my skateboards. I was always pushing myself to do bigger gaps, more technical flip tricks and when you’re learning, you’re going to break a lot of decks. I wasn’t experienced enough to always land bolts and when I had my chance to skate, I was pushing myself hard. I was breaking decks and when you’re buying a deck- sometimes two- a week at $50+ a deck, it sucks. I wanted that teenager out there, whoever they may be, to be able to get a ReVive deck for around $50 shipped to their door (Because at that point no shop was going to carry my new skateboard company from some weird “youtuber”). I’ve always tried to have that in mind when coming up with ReVive’s pricing.
‘Because at that point no shop was going to carry my new skateboard company from some weird “youtuber”.’
How do you think Revive is viewed from the hardcore skaters and their brands?
We used to see more “hate” and trash talk years back when we were first starting to really move some boards and get exposure. These days we see much less. That being said, seeing negative comments on the internet is one thing, experiencing it in real life is another. Who knows where most of the negativity has ever come from? It could be from a “hardcore skater” or a skate brand, or someone that doesn’t even skate and has nothing better to do than try to create negativity online. Most people I’ve talked to in the skate industry and that I meet out there skating on the streets, I’ve had nothing but great interactions with. I like to think that is some sort of reflection on the average person’s view of us.
What is your response to them?
ReVive, day in day out, proves across all of our social medias that we love skateboarding and have fun doing it. We prove that we’ve always skated and always had fun doing it and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I don’t have time to focus on anything that would create a negative feeling or thought in my life. I have a lot of fantastic things in my life including the beautiful thing that is skateboarding. I try my best to only focus on the good things. If you are someone who loves skating and appreciates others who share that love, then that rules, I love you. If you’re someone who has a problem with me, or anyone in my awesome little bubble of skateboarding, then I’m sorry to hear that. I don’t have time for you. I hope you can find joy in focusing on the aspects of skating that DO make you happy and not worry about the aspects that don’t. Either way, just go skate.
‘We used to see more “hate” and trash talk years back when we were first starting to really move some boards and get exposure. These days we see much less.’
Andrew Cannon, brand manager of Santa Cruz Skateboards, said the following about you in an interview with gooddaytoskateboards.com: ‘You have all the brands that are all fighting for those eyes on Thrasher, but then you’ve got Braille, you’ve got Andy Schrock, they are over here, and they have a ton of eyes. And they’re not fighting for those eyes on Thrasher, they’re fighting for all the eyes on YouTube and that’s a larger consumer base, not a different consumer because there’s skateboarders there too.’
Would you agree with his statement?
I would agree with that. Andrew Cannon is a wonderful human being! We took some ads in Thrasher early on but these days I’m totally happy just staying in our little YouTube bubble (laughing). Anyone who wants to skate/hang/enjoy the good times, we’re happy to have you here with us. That being said, even outside YouTube, I’m all about bringing skateboarders together in any positive manner.
I started skating in an era here we were looked down upon and sometimes hated simply because we skateboarded. When you saw another person skateboarding there was an immediate understanding that we were like family in a way. So, I’m totally happy to just stay in my YouTube bubble. However, any entity outside of that, if they want to bring skateboarders together in a positive way, I fully support it and if I am capable of helping, I would love to.
But I digress. On a business/consumer base, I’m completely fine staying on YouTube. I honestly don’t think of markets and consumer base sort of ideals as much as I probably should, though. I simply try to create fun content that I want to make and I think will entertain. Hopefully that will attract the right people to what I’m doing and if they support us, awesome. If they don’t, then that’s also cool.
Which skate brand(s) do you look up to and why?
I grew up worshipping ZERO and Toy Machine! So, they will always have a soft spot in my heart. These days, there are too many just insanely talented teams out there- but as far as brands go, I love Santa Cruz and REAL. Andrew Cannon and Jim Thiebaud are the greatest.
‘We took some ads in Thrasher early on but these days I’m totally happy just staying in our little YouTube bubble.’
If you could pick one pro-skater to ride for Revie, who would it be and why?
Oh jeez, that’s a tough one! We already have amassed a small army that is ReVive (laughing). He isn’t pro just yet but I love Kanaan Dern. He skates exactly how I used to dream of skating (laughing). I believe he is still on Zero, as he should be, and I would be shocked if one day soon his name isn’t on one of their skateboards. But in a dream world, having him pro for ReVive would rule!
Are Revive skateboards also sold in skate shops?
We have always also been sold in skate shops. Also, for years now, in every single one of my skating-oriented YouTube videos, I’ve told people to not buy from us, if they have a local shop. They should simply ask their local shop to carry us for them.
If there is an opportunity to sell your decks through Walmart, would you consider it?
Absolutely not. We have been approached by entities that seemed a little too much like a chain and we have passed on deals like that multiple times.
Revive is all about having fun. What sort of things are not that much fun running the company?
I’m lucky enough to have the amazing Brian Ambs by my side to help with running the company, so that takes a lot of stress off my plate in general. But currently, production times have been the devil. Anytime there’s a wrench in our gears, it often has me in a meeting for some of my end of day time that I would otherwise use to skate. While running a brand, you’re absolutely going to have those wrenches- whether it be pandemic production times or having to completely book a skate trip for a handful of team members. Running a business is time consuming!
What is the biggest challenge as the owner of Revive at the moment?
As the co-owner of ReVive, a husband and father of 3, and running 4 different YouTube channels, there are two things that constantly make me disappointed in myself: I feel like I need more time to communicate and take care of all of our riders, and I wish that every day I had more time to interact with all of the amazing positive emails and messages I receive from people who watch my videos as well. Running the company and even the challenges it takes to physically run the operation don’t bother me anywhere close to those two things. One day I’ll be better at those!
‘But in a dream world, having him pro for ReVive would rule!’
What is still on your wish list? Skate shoes, maybe?
Like Andy Schrock skate shoes? (Laughing) No way! I don’t need any “Andy Schrock” branded anything. I’m not pro, never have been, never will be. I’m not against the possibility of using my name for a good cause but as far as slapping my name on something for monetary gain, not interested. I don’t have some childhood “go pro” milestone that I feel that I need to reach either. I’m lucky as hell that I’m still on a skateboard in general, even luckier that I somehow managed to make it part of my job. I just want to put together one more street part I can be proud of and spend the rest of my skate days taking skate trips with my skate family, cherishing every stupid bow-legged trick I can still do!
I came across a rumour that you were considered to star in a science- fiction movie called ‘Garrison 7: The Fallen’. Did that ever happen?
I’ve filmed for a few movies over the last few years. I was absolutely set to be in Garrison 7: The Fallen, but the pandemic threw everything up in the air. The book the movie will be based on is out, though. If you’re a sci-fi buff or like Star Wars or the Marvel movies, you’d like it. It’s a really fantastic story. And my character “Shrock” (My name is spelled Schrock, mind you, ha) is in the book! I was (possibly am, if the production gets underway again) supposed to be an alien bartender. I was going to have so much fun with it. (Laughing).
Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
Oh, that’s tough! I’d love to interview the late Stan Lee. I’m a huge nerd of course, but the amount of positivity his work has put into this world for so many years, is something I have a deep respect for. Since I clearly cannot interview him, I’ll throw Kevin Smith’s name out there too. He is a guy who has a great outlook on life and is passionate and rolled up his sleeves to create everything he has in his life, whether people agreed or not. I love his attitude and personality.
‘I don’t have some childhood “go pro” milestone that I feel that I need to reach either. I’m lucky as hell that I’m still on a skateboard in general, even luckier that I somehow managed to make it part of my job.’