I have a confession to make. I suck at skateboarding. I never did it growing up and the first time I actually got on a skateboard was 6 months ago. My balance is terrible and I can barely go down a ramp without worrying that I am going to tear my ACL again.

So why in the hell would I start Chivaz, a brand that targets skateboarders?

To put it simply, I respect it. Here is an activity that 99.99% of people are doing because they love it. There is no money in skateboarding (except for the very top pros) and there are very few organized leagues. Through its ups and downs since the 70’s, skateboarding has never turned into something that the mainstream understood. Parents will never drop their kids off for skateboarding practice. Skateboarding has managed to stay on society’s fringe as it continues to innovate and impress. It is something that people do out a pure love of the sport, and that is something that all of us can appreciate.

Chivaz is my skateboarding. It is my self expression, it is my style, it is my attitude. And yeah, there might not be any money in it, but I don’t really care because it is just something I am driven to do.

Do something you love. Do it with style and make sure that everything you do not only has a purpose, but is done on purpose.

So there, I said it and I will say it again: I suck at skateboarding. But one thing I know is that everyday I am on my board I am getting better at it and everyday I work on Chivaz the brand is getting bigger.

So whether you skateboard, roller skate, ride a bike, run 10k’s, take photographs, build legos, write code or whatever, Chivaz could be for you. Assuming that whatever you do, you do with such a passion that the world can’t help but change as you rip through it.

—Matt Gilman

Owner, Chivaz Wear

Be a model for Chivaz?

From time to time we try to set up photo shoots in the Bay Area. We are always looking for people that can help us make the brand look cool. If you are available to do this from time to time, then you should make sure to get on our call list. Simply submit your name and contact information to with the subject: model.

What if I don’t live in the Bay Area? 

Since most of you don’t live around here and can’t be here on short notice, you might be wondering what you can do…

Well, it is really quite simple. We like making stars out of all of you. If you submit a cool pic of you in Chivaz, chances are that we will use it on our Facebook page and maybe even our website. 

We are still a small company at this point, so we can’t afford to give away too much free swag, but we can definitely give out some single use serious discount codes to those of you that make the grade. 

So what we are saying is that you are all models! Just take some pics and who knows, maybe you will be famous someday! 

BTW, we aren’t paying for models with anything but Chivaz, but if you are looking for cash, we suggest you go somewhere else! 

Stand Tall. Stand out,


What I learned at the Chili Bowl this past Saturday

One surely can learn a lot about skateboarding by attending two of NorCal’s biggest skate events in back to back weekends. 

Though the events featured a lot of the same skaters, they were about as different from one another as you can imagine. 

Here is a list of a few things that I learned: 

1. A very well organized event might have some of the best skating, but not necessarily the most excitement. The scene at Lake Cunningham was tame compared to the Chili Bowl event. 

2. Free Chili goes quickly - if you make it, they will come. If you want to get Chili at the Chili Bowl, you have to time it right. Make sure that you get in line right after the judges have gone through each station.

3. You might break and ankle, leg, or your face. No major injuries at Cunningham (pads & helmets required) turned quickly into several people being brought out on stretchers at the Chili Bowl.

4. Skating with 5 other people in a bowl causes some serious problems…and tons of excitement. This event is a true skater’s event. The amount of board slapping and hollering by the participants around the competition bowl was deafening. 

5. I would rather watch the Chili Bowl event than the Nike Street League Series any day. I happened to watch the stream of the SLS online the night before Chili, I found it incredibly bland. Chili Bowl on the other hand captures the “vibe” of skateboarding better than any event I have attended so far (full disclaimer - i haven’t been to a lot). 

6. Skater’s might not buy $22 socks, but they will definitely accept free cookies and stickers. I didn’t try to sell Chivaz at the event, instead I just gave out free water bottles and cookies. I think that was probably a smart idea.

7. You never know who might turn up at the skatepark. The women’s field was stacked: Julz Lynn, Allysha Bergado, Lizzie Armanto, Amelia Brodka, Hunter Long were just a few of the participants. For a relatively “local” event, that is a really competitive group of skaters.  

8. Smoking weed is very common among skaters. Now I am all for people chilling out, smoking a bowl and having fun together, but if Skateboarding and competing can create such a high themselves, why not wait until after the competition to blaze? Am I missing something? Do people actually skate better stoned? If so, maybe I need to try it, but I doubt it. I would really like to see what some of these younger guys could do if they had a clear head. 

Help us with some Community Management!

We are looking for someone that is super into Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram to help out with some community management. 

You need to be very in-touch with Street Wear culture (skateboarding, music, fashion) and have a lot of friends and followers on Twitter. 

This person will be willing to put in no less than 2 hours everyday for very little pay (there will be some money and some Chivaz)

If you are interested let us know:


THE 815: Video and Guest Blog Post by Bryan Nambo from Curbsharks of Rockford, Ill.

   Being a skateboarder in a larger city, we have all at one point or another been at the park and seen a familiar face or heard a name of a fellow skater, but have never really had the chance to skate with them or get to know them. Stories such as “Oh, did you hear [insert name of gnarly local] did the [insert gnarly local spot] gap?!”, or “Yeah, that kid is pretty young, but he shreds so hard, he’s going to be so good if he keeps going”. Well, my goal with The 815 series is to film with as many locals from the Rockford area in order to highlight skaters who put in the work yet never seek out the recognition,(both groms and OGs alike), show the variety of both new and old local spots, and to give a story to go along with those familiar (and/or unfamiliar) faces. The point is to create a sense of unity within our local scene by combining footage and creating shared parts by skaters who would not normally session together. There are so many people I see skate on a regular basis who deserve recognition for the work they put in, and ever more skaters who deserve recognition for the passion and fun they have skateboarding. I hope to shed a little light on these individuals and highlight the diverse styles within our city.

      Whether it is simply cruising downtown at night, learning how to ollie up a sidewalk for the first time, or throwing tricks down a set for the hundredth time, we all have the same fire that drives our almost-maddening passion to progress, have fun, and express ourselves as we see fit. We all know the feeling of slamming our bodies into the ground and getting back up again, where a normal person would have given up after the first time. We are all driven by a sense purpose to push ourselves every day and live in that moment of freedom we feel while skateboarding.

      As hard as it may be to believe, everyone skates with purpose. Each and every time you step onto your board, it’s up to you to find out what that purpose is with every push you take.

Bryan Nambo– Curbsharks

Skateland of Norman, Oklahoma was not only a place that I fell in love, but I also fell in love with skating. 

While I understand that not everyone in the world grew up middle class in the suburbs of the Mid-West, I hope that everyone can appreciate that memory of the first time you actually discovered what a crush was. 

Ever since 5th grade, roller skating has had a romantic slant to it. Maybe it was because of the I felt like I was gliding on the floor and my oneness with the flow of life, or maybe it was because our school parties there, thus the opportunity to be near a girl outside of the classroom.

We were but 10 years old, but the lights would turn low for the “couples skate” (which I never skated in) and also for “The Snowball,” in which all the boys would line up under the rainbow at the far end of the rink and the girls would line up along the carpeted wall near the entrance. 

With the disco light spinning, one couple would skate together until the first whistle blew. After that, the couple had to split and find a new partner. Sure there many times that I was left standing on the wall, but on a couple occasions I was picked. 

I remember being 3rd (maybe it was 6th) on Kristen Costello’s list of boys she “liked,” and hoping that she would pick me in the Snowball. When she finally did (after skating with at least 2 others before me) I felt like the luckiest guy in the world. I might have even held her hand. 

Spending Friday nights at an old roller rink these days to watch Roller Derby sure brings back some nostalgic feelings. The concession stand you can skate right up to. The wet bathroom floor that you don’t worry about because you are in rented skates. The video games that you never have enough quarters for. But most of all the fact that you are in a place with a bunch of other people that would rather no place else in the world. 

Here’s to skating, here’s to derby and here’s to a lot of new memories created with each day we live our lives.