The first time I put the order in for a shipping container full of skates to be sent to my home in Darkinjung Country, I had a huge freak-out in the middle of the night. I thought it wasn’t going to come; that the shipping agent was going to steal all the skates. I had no idea what I was doing. I demanded photos of the shipment via WhatsApp, and because he’s a very nice person, the shipping agent sent them to me.
When they arrived, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening and I was now living in a cardboard fort surrounded by all these skates—they literally filled every room of my small house. Everything to do with building Chuffed has been such a learning curve, but every time I do something it gets easier. Maybe if I’d known all the anxieties it would cause at the beginning, I may never have launched Chuffed. So I guess it’s good I didn’t know.
Fast-forward to the end of 2021, and I’m overwhelmed by the support roller skaters (like you) from all around the world have shown us. I started Chuffed because I wanted to see the kind of skate community that I was part of represented, and I wanted to support those people, as well as creating skates that would improve people’s skating, make them happy, and last for a long time.
Now we have five different crew skates. Each is designed by a different Chuffed Crew member, who is paid a royalty every time a pair gets sold, and who also chooses a non-profit to receive a portion of the sales. It means that we’ve not only been able to funnel money back to some of the skaters who are shaping roller skating in Australia, but we’ve also been able to support The Asylum Seeker Centre, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Orange Sky Australia, Black Rainbow, and the National Homeless Collective’s ‘Period Project’.
We have three Wanderer colours too, and a portion of these sales fund an outreach programme that allows community organisations to apply for discounted skates. Some of the groups who we’ve supported are the Queer Sporting Alliance, We Roll Hub, The Concrete Club, Skate Mate Newy, Hobart Social Skates, Surf Coast Roller Skaters, Headspace Murray Bridge. We also recently sent some skates to the first international organisation to be part of this program, Skate Without Borders Bali, who we wrote about in our last blog post. One of the skaters inspired to pick up skates thanks to SWB became part of our Asian Skate Team, which we launched this year. The team also features rad skaters from Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Brunei, and Malaysia, and we’re so excited to watch them continue to rep their scenes, and shred their local bowls and streets.
Chuffed is so much bigger than one person. I started things rolling back in 2020, with a lot of encouragement from friends, but I really can’t take credit for everything that’s been happening. From the awesome designs by Cath, to the work that’s been put into branding and marketing by Sugu, to the beautiful words written by our new staff writer Jess, to the amazing ambassadorship of our whole crew, to the skaters who’ve taken photos for us, unloaded containers for us, answered emails for us, and most importantly, those who’ve bought our skates! I’m really proud of the family that’s been built around the brand.
More recently, I’m so grateful for our collaboration with Garry Manfroid from Brunny Hardcore, and their whole crew. We were so excited to start shipping Brunny Hardcore sliders with our skates this year, and we couldn’t be more psyched to be releasing a grind truck designed by Garry based on our collective dreams and schemes. The ChuffedCore trucks are a little wider than standard trucks, but narrower than Penny-style ones. We think they’re perfect for both grinding and carving, and we can’t wait until the rest of you get to give them a try.
There’s a lot that’s been going on, from a new ice-coffee-coloured boot made with female-owned swimsuit company Camp Cove (with a donation from each sale going to Seed Mob) to moving into a new warehouse on Awabakal Country complete with the dream miniramp; so it’s hard to even start thinking about 2022. I’d love to travel again, meet more skaters, and spread the word about Chuffed on the ground. There’s also so much I want to do at home. My heart starts racing a little bit, just thinking about everything that’s coming next, but as always, we’ll figure it out as we go.
Until then, thank you all for being part of this very strange, very challenging, but still very Chuffed year. I can’t express my gratitude enough.—Sam Trayhurn