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Snack Skateboards

Exploring San Francisco

The name is well-known from corner stores, the logo from a cigarette brand – Snack Skateboards instantly feels like a day in the streets. We spent plenty of these with Adam Egre aka Bonesaw (no, there’s no funny story. His roommate just randomly named him after a wrestler from Spider-Man) and his boys in San Francisco. Kick-out spots in the middle of downtown, chop suey and tea in Chinatown, angry as well as fascinated passersby, blunts, beers, and this layer of sidewalk patina over everything. Welcome to the world of Snack.

Snack Bonesaw

Adam Egre

Bonesaw, when did you start Snack? 

Actually, I started it about ten years ago when I was living in Chicago. But I moved out here after one year of doing it when it was still really small. I was doing, like, fifty boards every two years or something. When I moved out here, things kinda clicked. We made a video and then it started getting some momentum. So for the last five years, it’s been a little more active.

What was the initial thought behind starting a board company?

It was 2007/2008 and a lot of the companies that I grew up with were getting really corny to me, they were kinda played out. I just wanted to make a company that reflects what I want to see in skateboarding.

Are all the team riders based in San Francisco?

Pretty much, but we have some family back in Chicago as well. I think that’s kinda unique that we have this connection to the Midwest. Actually, most of these guys are from the Midwest originally. Roger [Krebs] is from Cleveland, I’m from Wisconsin.

What was your reason to move to San Francisco?

I came up here for a vacation and I found out that I could get a job as a teacher and an apartment, and I pretty much just stayed here and worked my way up. I didn’t have any plans with Snack, it just kinda happened. I quit being a full-time teacher, so I have more time for skating and working on Snack.

So is Snack on a level now that it’s paying you some money?

A little bit, yeah. But most of the money we invested in the company. I’m trying to pay these guys a little bit and we try to take a lot of trips. I think we take more trips than a lot of big companies just because we love to travel. I figured out that it would be cool that everyone gets their passports and we think of places to go. We take two or three international trips each year. We went to Japan a couple of times, we just got back from Jamaica a month ago. It was so sick. And nobody has ever done a skate trip to Jamaica before. I’ve been trying to take these guys to some new places. We don’t want to go to Barcelona, you know? There’s nothing against that, but I think we are looking for more unique places. Dangerous and edgy maybe. Where it’s cheap and you can go crazy.

How much of San Francisco is in the brand?

I think it’s a big part of our brand, but… It’s hard to explain. I guess it’s a San Francisco company but not exclusively. Especially because it started in Chicago and we still have the connection.

Adrian Williams - Boardslide Pop-over

Snack Adrian

Adrian Williams - Boardslide Pop-over

How is the scene in general in San Francisco?

It’s really good right now. About five years ago, rent prices started getting crazy out here. It was really hard to survive as a skateboarder and a lot of our friends who skate or are artists moved away. It was really dead a couple of years ago. But now we kinda have a renaissance with these guys here and the GX1000 guys. There’s a lot of new kids moving here and somehow they’re getting by. It’s a really cool place at the moment. I’ve been here for ten years and I feel like it’s the strongest it has ever been right now.

Who is doing the graphics for Snack?

We work with a lot of guest artists, underground artists from San Francisco. And we have two artists who are kind of on staff. Casey Jones and this guy named Beavis. They do a lot of our graphics. A lot of them are inside jokes for the crew, just funny stuff. I think I mostly make graphics that I want to see and I think are funny. 

""I always just did it as something that I love and wasn’t expecting to get anything out of it""

In the Snack logo, there’s kind of a upside-down swoosh. Is that intended?

Well, it’s actually a logo from Newport cigarettes. The connection is that a snack is something you buy at a corner store and you also buy Newports there. It’s funny because people always think it’s about Nike, but it’s not.

A lot of people start brands and some don’t succeed at all and it just stays at a low level. What do you have to do to get a company going and growing?

Right now, Snack is bigger than I ever imagined it to be. So I always just did it as something that I love and wasn’t expecting to get anything out of it or make money from it or anything. That helped me doing it because I was passionate about it. It’s like my kid, I want to see it grow and like to do more things with it. I really care about it and don’t try to make a quick buck. But I also work really hard and try to be as clever as possible. Thinking about doing things or collaborations that are unique. And also knowing people and staying in contact with them. I don’t know if there’s a secret, but you should always be genuine about it. People can sense if something is contrived or from the heart.

What is planned for the future?

We’ve been working on a full-length video for a while… It’s a major headache for me, but I don’t know. Till then we’re just gonna do some more tours and projects and parties.

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