Torey Pudwill

Torey Pudwill, professional skateboarder based in the US, has a mission to create a movement to bring joy to other people that share the same passions of the skateboarding lifestyle that he has over the past decades. His company, Thank You Skateboards is raising money and donating skateboards to support the creation of Kingston, Jamaica's first skatepark and youth center!

We sat down with Torey to discuss his passion for skateboarding and what drives him today!

Your passion is skateboarding. What peaked your interest in the lifestyle/sport and what has been your greatest success so far?

I fell in love with the sport since day one. It opened my eyes to see the world differently. Skateboarding gave me confidence, motivation and a work ethic that all define who I am. Falling down and picking myself up to try again and again is something that I've gotten used to. Nothing feels better than landing a trick that you work hard for to succeed by rolling away from it. Knowing that the reward is much greater when you don't give up makes you appreciate the process seeing through your vision. The opportunity to do what I love and inspire people around the world is what I see as my greatest success. Skateboarding goes beyond being a fun activity for some people and symbolizes a meaning of life. The impact of the culture pushes me further into the lifestyle that transcends into fashion, music, art and business.

You became an entrepreneur at a very early age. What inspired you to create your business?

The inspiration started when I was 11. The idea came from a bear logo that I put on skateboard accessories and gave away to skaters that I looked up to. It was fun! Making something useful to give my friends and make a little bit of money on the side selling to a local skate shop. As my career in skateboarding progressed, I carried this idea in the back of my mind. After I established my name as a professional skateboarder, I wondered what the rest of the world would think about my little bear idea. Sure enough, it got noticed! A couple friends who were successful entrepreneurs and skateboard business owners supported my passion and got behind helping me out. Organically, I created a huge demand for Grizzly Griptape and my vision turned into a business overnight!

Tell us about your philanthropic efforts and why it’s so important to you?

When I started Talking about creating a skateboard company it was never about making money. I just wanted to have fun and make something everyone could enjoy. Initially, we were thinking how awesome it would be to get skateboards to those who couldn't afford them. That snowballed into Thank You Skateboards being all about giving back. I've been lucky enough to live a dream-come-true and now I'm in a place to help make that possible for others. That’s an even greater privilege really!

What do you love about Lacoste?

I love the feeling I get every time I see the Croc. The Lacoste Crocodile had a big impact influencing my personality, lifestyle and brands I've created within skateboarding. I've been a huge fan and supporter of Lacoste for 20 years since I was 10 years old. My personal collection is full of pieces from Izod Lacoste throwbacks to collaborations, art series , limited editions and even its competition. I'm Intrigued with the brands history being a staple in fashion for close to a century and the authentic marketing aesthetic that stays true to its original roots of sports. Lacoste for life!