Staring a business in skateboarding is a very complex task which is why every skateboarder should always take good care of their sponsors and since skate brands come and go, Retardo Skateboarding kept it real and has been in the skate scene for 2 decades. It started as a DIY clothing line to decks and skateboard wheels. They have fought many battles whether it's rolled ankle, bruises and even broke their bones - those will remain in their body but that will never hold them back to keep on pushing.
Please enjoy this Q and a
I interviewed you 8 years ago and I forgot how did you name your brand Retardo skateboarding. Can you please remind us?
Oh yeah, it's been 8 years right? time is passing so quickly, The brand name Retardo came from a free mind which means no worries and just be happy.
What do you look for in a skater for them to fit in the team?
Oh, the skater that I'm looking for is not really that gnarly, as long as the skater is just enjoying the skate life, friendly and has a dream.
"I DON'T MAKE PROMISES TO THE SKATERS WHO RIDE FOR THE BRAND AS LONG AS WE HAVE PRODUCTS THEY WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT."
Who is the graphic artist of Retardo and how do you know if the graphic artist did a great job?
The graphic that I pick is what suits in the eyes of the people, sometimes I'm the one doing it or if I have an idea I will just ask the artist to enhance it. I want something funny or something that is post-worthy [laughs].
Do your riders keep a good line of communication with you and do they ask a lot of products?
I don't make promises to the skaters who ride for the brand as long as we have products they won't have to worry about it. Everyone is doing good.
You had the pro boards before, are we going to expect signature boards in 2020?
Pro board? hmmm maybe soon because for now, we are just enjoying skateboarding. There's no talk yet about pro boards probably in the near future.
"I ALWAYS TELL THE KIDS TO STAY IN SCHOOL BECAUSE IN REALITY WE CAN'T SKATE FOREVER AND WE ALL NEED EDUCATION."
Since you have a day job, how do you manage your time running a business, skate with the homies and family?
Yeah, I have a day job, but there are a lot of homies that wants to grab the boards just like the skate shops in Davao and other parts of Metro manila and sometimes people just send messages on Facebook, meetups if it's weekend and shipping if it's really far.
If the kids are not doing well in school, do you still sponsor them?
In sponsorship, we don't have any condition with regards to school and skating with the team but I always tell the kids to stay in school because in reality we can't skate forever and we all need education.
What will be your advice to the kids who are constantly looking for sponsorships?
To the kids that are asking me if I can sponsor them, I usually just tell them to keep skating and maybe one day I will see a potential in them.
How about Inoj the zombie, how do you encourage him to do well in school and at the same time progress in skateboarding?
I always tell Inoj that I will keep supporting him whatever he wants in life and at the same time never neglect school even if he is skating a lot.
Running a business is really difficult, is your plan to also have your brand excel outside the country or just stay in the Philippines?
The branding is gonna stay in the Philippines, I'm all about local supporting local. Not bad if someone will recognize our brand outside the country.
Do you think that we should also have our own SOTY in the Philippines and how will it be possible?
Skater of the Year? yeah, why not? There are a lot of talented skaters in our country it's just some people don't see it.
Are you planning to collaborate with other brands?
If someone offers us, why not? It's a good idea.
How did the OG logo come about and why did you choose the head on a skateboard logo?
[laughs] because I look like the logo with only a few hairs left.
"WE STAY UNDERGROUND TO GAIN RESPECT."
The latest graphic of the board was the "Two face" how did you come up with the graphics?
Two face means two attitudes, sometimes you don't really know who they are even though you are in front of them so it symbolizes human attitude.
You work in marketing. However, For 20 years how come the brand didn't blow up yet? do you think that you have to put 100% of your time on the business or you are already happy with it?
We stay underground to keep our name simple. We are known already. Maybe in the new generation probably some of them not yet but we stay underground to gain respect.
If there will be an investor that wants to buy the name, would you sell it and let another company take full control?
Buying my idea? Nope!
"FOR ME, SKILLS ARE NOT THAT MUCH IMPORTANT, LOYALTY AND FRIENDSHIP IS THE KEY."
There are promo videos of Retardo skateboarding but how come there's no full-length video yet?
We are all busy with our lives. Maybe soon who knows.
I noticed that a lot of the skaters in the team are outside Manila, how do you manage the team if they are still dedicated to the brand?
We all stay connected, we just update each other via messenger and if there's a schedule to film they don't forget.
Do you have employees or is it a one-man army?
I don't have employees, it's just me and my son Inoj. Some homies and riders help me endorse the products.
Do you think that you have to hire people to help you out with the business?
We are just a small business for the love of skateboarding, probably soon if God gives us the time to be a big company [laughs] in my dreams.
You are investing with the rider's skills, is it really worth it?
For me, skills are not that much important, loyalty and friendship is the key.
Any shout outs?
First thank you, God, to all the skater homies that are continuing to support the Retardo skate team, to all the homies just skate! Thanks to Efron for this interview, let us all enjoy! Support local for us to be supported. LIVE RIDE SKATE TA LIFE!