Faceplant Boardriders was created by a group of friends that snowboarded together every weekend. Long road trips from Middletown, DE up to the Pocono Mountains (aka hills) stimulated lots of funny shenanigans like Jimmy D. mooning an entire line of cars in traffic! Once we got to the mountain we were there all day. We pushed each other to progress our riding in the terrain park, filming each other and making little movies out of the footage, heavily influenced by the show "Jackass" at the time.
On one of those road trips Ricky Wheeler came up with a name for our crew and the motto "Faceplant, pain for progression" because we we're doing a lot of falling and faceplanting. Soon after the group agreed we were the "Faceplant Boardriders" because we all loved to snowboard, surf and skate. Our friend Kyle C. drew up the FB spike and the FB Oval logo that we still use today!
After Winter was over we craved the feeling that snowboarding gave us and couldn't wait until next Winter. Our friends showed us a Sector 9 longboard and once we hopped on we were hooked! Ricky and I started making our own longboards in the Spring of 2003, in our parents basement. What an awesome time! Constant R&D, broken boards, road rash, new building techniques and a whole new sport for us! We did not have any contact with the longboard community because we didn't know there was such a thing back then. We built longboards that gave us that sensation of surfing a wave or carving a high speed turn on the snow. We had no idea how to slide! We just bombed hills and the only way to stop was to make it to the bottom flats. I miss those times, nothing beat the excitement and adrenaline.
Ricky and I can be quite obsessive when it comes to boardsports. Over the years we continued to make longboards, perfecting the craft. Then we met Eric "Oreginal" Hinton, a young High School kid from Middletown, DE. He was a wild man with so much charisma and so much style on a longboard. We all rode this "big" hill in Newark called Academy, we were all starting from the middle of the hill taking the turns. When Reggy showed up he was like "you got to hit it from the top!" That really inspired me at the time because we could do it but we just needed someone to show us we could. I have so many awesome memories of sneaking out of my house in the middle of the night, picking up Reg in my mini van, blaring Bloc Party, Passion Pit or Matisyahu and hitting all these epic sketchy spots like the Chesapeake Bridge or a private driveway that was pitch black. It was all about the feeling we got from longboarding and freedom to create our own style.
In 2009, we went to Puerto Rico to surf and compete in the Gujataca Downhill (a downhill skateboard festival). That event had a huge impact on us. It was a 3-day event with live music each night, downhill racing, slalom racing and a slide jam. The event had riders from all over the world and the Puerto Rican people and culture is so welcoming. We were drinking coconut water straight from coconuts as we watched the downhill racing. We did compete in the downhill and got absolutely smoked! But when it came to Slalom Racing and the Slide Jam we held our own. I was riding the cambered Oreginal Shorty in the Slalom Race and lost to Zak Maytum from Venom in the finals to take 2nd place. In the slide jam, Ricky Wheeler made it to the finals on the Double Blunt with hands-down 360 slides (it was a different era of sliding back them). He got 3rd place behind Louis Pilloni and James Kelly! The last night at the concert/award ceremony, Jesse Wipf was feeling it and had a dance off with numerous Puerto Ricans and got hit on by a bunch of underage girls...classic!
When we came back home we were riding high from the stoke of the trip. We proved to ourselves we could compete with the top riders in the World while riding boards that we built. So we made our business plan and started Faceplant Boardriders LLC on Janruary 1st, 2010 and never looked back!
Follow your passions and dreams. I have not struck it rich by doing this but the friendships, memories and experience make it all worth it. I know I will be skating, surfing and snowboarding for the rest of my life. Ride the lifestyle with us and support the stoke!