Hellrose: Never Say Die



Words By DJ Chavez

This was intended to be an article about the “end” of board company that went by the name of Hellrose.  When asked to write this little beauty I found myself baffled. I mean, really, how do you write about the beginning of the end?  I came to the conclusion that I would just tell you all a little story of a family of friends tossed into an industry that that chews you up like a stick of gum and then disregards you with the trash.  Hellrose was started the way any great thing starts, at a pub in San Francisco, ‘dollar drink night’ to be exact.


Ragdoll, pop shove it. Photo: Broach

The Nuge, James, J-Roy, and I where tossing ‘em back and talking about James’ and my self’s move in to the apartment complex in Fullerton when an idea struck Nuge’s little brain.  He excitedly looked at us and said, “Hey! We all live around this pool, right?”  Me not having even been to the place was like, “Yeah, and?”  Nuge, stoked, began to explain himself.  “Well, It look’s a shit load like that old show ‘Melrose Place!’”  With a chipper little grin he finished his $1 Jack and Coke and said, “We should call it Hellrose!” With confirming cheers the storm was started.  It didn’t take long for the disease to spread. Nor did it take long for the empty apartments at the complex to fill themselves with more ‘boys of the board.’  People took notice, and how could they not?  Really, it’s not often you find a place where five fucking apartments are filled to the brim with Pro and Am skateboarders.

Everything started to roll and it seemed like everybody wanted to do something with these dirtbags that where trying to turn shit into gold.  I want to let you know that Hellrose was never intended to be a board company. Hell, it was never talked about being any type of company for that matter.  We were just happy doing what we where doing.  Ragin’, on and off the board.  Ya’ see, Hellrose is not just the people you saw in the ads.  Hellrose runs thick.  People like Jason Masse, Corey Sheppard, Ragdoll, Kris Markovich, Charlie Thomas, James Craig, Angel Ramirez, Tony Silva, and Phil Ladjanski are just a few of the many who where the stones for the foundation that Hellrose was built on.

Now let’s move on to the board company.  A certain distributor approached us.  They told us they wanted to do something “different” and they thought Hellrose was their answer.  I see now that they wanted a “hesh” style board company since that was a road they had not yet taken in their years of “different” board companies.  Now this whole skateboard thing isn’t at all like you kiddies out there think it is.  It’s a harsh fucking road of fake smile’s and handshakes.  People are really fucking good at lying to your face with a smile, round these parts.  The contracts flew.  The better part of us left our great family at Tum Yeto for the new venture.  It all seemed to be going fantastic on our side and the distributor’s side.   A productive tour of three weeks was taken and tons of footage and photos were brought back.  Talks with two new high profile riders were started and “finalized” with everything seeming to be rolling like a brand new set of wheels. The bomb that would drop would be much like the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.  It seems that while we where finally set into our new home, the suits that where the brand had gone behind our back’s and made other plans for the future that we were not a part of.  So then they hit us with it.  Actually they hit some of us with it.  What I mean by that is, the men in charge didn’t even have the courage to bring us in and drop us, face to face.  It would seem they thought us too fragile for an encounter of those sorts.  So, just like that, it ended.


Don “The Nuge” Nguyen, kickflip. Photo: Broach .


In my opinion, the whole thing was killed before it could even start.  The worst part about the situation was how it left the individuals involved with nothing.  The talent was left homeless, back to work at shitty 9 to 5’s, struggling, and hungry.  But I did not intend this to be a pity party story, because the conclusion to this story is a fantastic one.  What I’m trying to say is, the board company part of Hellrose was only that: a board company.  And, yes, that is gone.  But what Hellrose was, and always will be, is a family.  We are all brothers from all walks of the world that would die for each other at the drop of a dime.  That right there was something that the suits could never kill.  If anything, we should thank them for showing us the backstabbing world of this industry that my friend, Greg Carroll, warned me about when I started.

To all my Hellrose brothers out there, I want to thank you for the years past and years to come and for all you’ve done for me, and each other as well.  I love you dirty fucks with every drop of blood in my body.  For all of you out there wondering about what’s to come of the Hellrose clan, well, all I can say is that the seed was planted only a few short years ago and it takes time for trees to grow their branches.  Just give it time.  Hellrose por vida!


James Atkins, Backside flip. Photo: Broach .


Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message

Automatic Media © 2021 All Rights Reserved.

%d bloggers like this: