History

Wakeboarding Hall of Fame – Chuck Morrow

    CHUCK MORROW

12/12/1964 – 09/01/2017

Wakeboarding had existed for a few years before Chuck Morrow founded Ambush Board Co. and Buywake.com, but it was still a small, burgeoning industry.  The products were being improved at a rapid clip with major innovations taking place in design, function, and construction for both boards and bindings.  But, how wakeboards were being sold at retail was stuck in the dark ages.

Boat dealerships were the primary source of distribution for wakeboards until Chuck established Ambush Board Co. (https://www.ambushboardco.com) in the summer of 1997.  Most boat dealers would relegate an unused corner of the sales floor to a few of mid-grade wakeboards and call it a “pro shop.”  Enthusiasm for wakeboarding was rising, but the dealers at the time were more focused on selling boats than boards, and their knowledge of the products and of the sport itself were minimal at best.  If wakeboarding were going to grow, it needed a focused, passionate advocate at the retail level. Read More >

Dusting off the VCR: Bloody Chicken Boots at 16

Bloody Chicken Boots Title Screen

 

My first viewing of Bloody Chicken Boots

Rarely do I remember the exact moment I watched a skate video for the first time.  That is unless I attended the video premiere, or the video made some sort of immediate impression on me.  The impression doesn’t necessarily have to be good either, it can be bad too.  With that, I do distinctly remember the first time I watched Ambush’s first skate video, Bloody Chicken Boots, and it wasn’t because the video was particularly spectacular.

I remember rolling up to the shop with some friends on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon sometime in 2001.  This was Ambush’s old location, the one with the infamous three stair.  Anyway, I was posted up on the couch, which sat across from on of those antiquated big screen televisions.  You know the type…the old projection ones that have the VCR’s timecode burned into the screen.  Admittedly, I was a little hungover from the prior night’s endeavors.  Still, I had no idea a skate video contained the power to augment my hangover.  Was it was the filming or the odd techno songs that caused my stomach to churn.  Who knows?  What I do know is that my first viewing of Bloody Chicken Boots was nauseating.  This made the viewing permanently burned into my brain, just like the timecode burned into the big screen it played on. Read More >

Fun All the Time

We’re all getting older and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it.  The passing of time is a hard thing to come to grips with.  It’s something that cannot be escaped or outran…and, apparently, it also flies when you’re having fun.  I’m calling BS on the latter!  In short, I believe, having fun is a vital component to staying young…at heart at least.  Admittedly having fun all the time is easier said than done, but it’s worth a shot.  What’s more fun than skateboarding?  Nothing.  This probably explains why we’re watching our favorite pros skateboarding for longer and longer.  In no particular order, here is a look at some of my favorite “aging” skateboarders. Read More >

Nerding Out: Thrasher Magazine Covers over the Years Pt. 1

Bi-weekly, we get together for a marketing meeting.  During these powwows, we lay out our marketing schedule and agenda, and discuss content.  A LOT of times during these meetings we sit around figuratively throwing shit at a wall and hoping some of it sticks.  A few months ago, sitting around the conference table discussing our marketing plans, it hit me.  That little voice in my head said, “Hey, Ben!  I don’t think anyone has ever analyzed every Thrasher Magazine cover.”  And…without thinking, I immediately blurted this out to the group.  Little did I know that this idea would stick and I’d be the one to undertake this endeavor.

Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew?  Ever taken a bite so large you instantly regret it?  We’ve all done it, and after nearly asphyxiating, we say, “Never again!  From now on, I’m only taking small bites.,” but…if you’re like me, your eyes are always bigger than your stomach, and after surviving that first enormous bite, all you know to do is settle in for the feast. Read More >

Credit Where Credit Is Due

The full-length skate video has gone the way of the dodo more or less and without beating a dead horse I’d like to delve ever so lightly into one aspect I miss about full feature videos: the credits or after credits sections.  Obviously, the intent of the credits is to acknowledge everyone who made the video possible, but they often serve as a platform for great B-roll footage and music.  So, I’d like to take some time and give credit where credit is due for my favorite skate video outros.

Coliseum’s PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life (2002)

Every skateboarder has that one video they’ll attribute to making the biggest impression on them.  From what they skate, where they skate and even down to what skate shoes they skate.  For us old enough, more than likely you’ll remember that one video specifically because you wore the tape down from rewinding it constantly, eventually killing the tape.  I believe it’s safe to say for the majority of my peers and I that video was Coliseum Skateshop’s PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life.  I challenge anyone to name a shop video that has had near the impact of this video.  Think about it, breakout parts from future pros; PJ Ladd, Ryan Gallant, and our introduction to the infamous Jereme Rogers.  Plain and simple, this video is my generation’s Mouse. This video made me want to skate nothing but éS Accels. Read More >

Daily Bread vs. Rhett Whatley

Rhett Whatley has been mixing music for years.

Before there was a social media marketing team here at Ambush there was the lone wolf of the web, Rhett Whatley, who handled it all himself.  Rhett graduated Kennesaw State University with a degree in Marketing while working at the shop (Ambush Board Co.) and our ecommerce companies (BuyWake.com/BuySkateShoes.com/BuySnow.com/CheapSk8Shoes.com).  He helped our business establish an online persona and we continue to carry forward that mantle today.  We are grateful for all the support and we promise to continue to support him and his music!

Daily Bread

In his humble beginnings of sampling and layering beats he was good…I remember thinking, “Dude this is your third track you’ve ever made?”  Fast forward and observing from a far, Rhett would lace me up with every mp3 he was making.  At one point, I looked in my iTunes library under the folder I made for him and there was over 100 songs equaling 5 hours worth of tracks.  Rhett has an extensive background in wakeboarding and competed on The Pro Wake Tour for a few years.  I can’t remember the year, but back in the day he won the PWT in Portland.  Immersed in wakeboarding his early music could be heard on such wake projects as “The Way” DVD.  It’s pretty solid to be a rider in a legit wake video, but to have also done the soundtrack is literally unheard of. Read More >

The Origin of Ambush: From Shoppers to Shop Owners by way of Punk Rock – Part 4 of 4

Punk rock has always run through my veins.  My brother and I grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles where bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Descendents, The Minutemen, Redd Kross, and Pennywise were born.  It was normal to hear loud, crusty chords screaming from a neighborhood garage.  Instances of punk bands duping unsuspecting bar, bowling alley, and coffee shop owners into booking their acts (and subsequently wrecking the place) were frequent.  As a kid, I loved the sound and speed of punk rock, but it really didn’t totally envelope my soul until I began to understand the art form in its entirety.  It wasn’t until my teen years that I would figure that out.  And, by then, I would live in another bastion of punk rock, the East Bay. Read More >

The Origin of Ambush: Meeting your Maker or your Soulmate – Part 3 of 4

The first time I ever saw a dead seal was at the mouth of San Pedro Creek right where it empties into the Pacific Ocean at Linda Mar State Beach in Pacifica, California.  The seal had gotten its head ripped off, undoubtedly by a great white shark, and was decomposing in about four inches of water.  My brother, some buddies, and I had just come in from a surf when we spotted it.  Of course we were rattled by what we saw.  A large, deadly predator had displayed its position in the food chain for us to see.  So, we did what teenage boys always do in that situation: we poked and prodded it with the noses of our surfboards and made jokes about it.  Oddly enough, that was the second most notable thing I saw that day.  The first, of course, being boobies. Read More >

The Origin of Ambush: Celebrating History – Part 2 of 4

 

The Law of Attraction centers around the belief that like attracts like.  When you surround yourself with positive people and positive thoughts, great things happen.  The Manhattan Beach Surf Club in the 1950s was prime example of the phenomenon, as it attracted two of the most legendary figures in the history of surfing.  It was in this club that Dale Velzy met Greg Noll and taught him how to shape surfboards.  Noll then passed his craft (and surf shop) on to Eddie Talbot in 1972.  Eddie and his partners picked up where Noll left off and changed the name to E.T. Surfboards.

 

E.T. Surfboards c. 1972

E.T. Surfboards c. 1972

 

I don’t remember exactly when my twin brother, Eric, and I first went in to E.T. Surfboards, I just know we were young.  We didn’t surf yet, but were hypnotized by the smell of freshly glassed surfboards, Neoprene, Sex Wax, and the salty air of nearby Hermosa Beach.  The colors were intoxicating (this would have been the early 1980s in the height of the neon era).  Our eyes would dart from Slime Balls wheels to Body Glove wetsuits to the airbrush jobs on custom Pat Ryan or Ronnie Williamson boards.  We knew we couldn’t afford anything in that store, but we were determined to be a part of it. Read More >

The Origin of Ambush: A Tribute to the Shops that Inspired Us – Part 1 of 4

Honus Wagner is widely recognized as one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game. Wagner was one of the first five members inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and his face adorns the rarest and most valuable baseball card of all time.  His dramatic influence on the sport of baseball can still be seen today.  But, did you know that Honus Wagner was also one of the key influences on Ambush Board Co.?

One of the things about Ambush Board Co. that I am most proud of is our history.  The past 17+ years has written an intriguing story that most of the loyal Ambush Union are at least peripherally aware of.  But, many don’t know the back story of how Ambush became Ambush long before there was such a thing as Ambush.  Nature and nurture ensures that humans carry a piece of their parents on with them as they grow up.  Similarly, Ambush was built on the legacies of all the shops that we identified with as kids, as adolescents, and onto adulthood.  Each shop was an influencer in their own way and all left an indelible mark on what would become Ambush Board Co.  In an effort to promote the soul of the core shop moving forward, I want to pay tribute to those shops that played a major role in the founding of Ambush Board Co.  As the Winston Churchill (or Edmund Burke or George Santayana) quote says, “those who don’t know their history are destined to repeat it.”  In my estimation, those who do know their history are destined to build on it. Read More >

Last updated by at .