“I came from nothing. I grew up hungry. I wanted more to life.”
At a time when skating was not nearly as mainstream, a young 15 year-old Jereme Rogers dropped out of school in Boston, MA to move to Los Angeles, CA. Though the move seemed “unrealistic because of where the whole skateboarding movement was,” Rogers committed himself to skateboarding with a wicked vengeance. “I used to skate every day for 12 hours a day. Sometimes I slept in the city just so I could get up and skate again.” It was tough for a while, but Rogers states, “I survived! Not making it work was NOT an option! By the time I was 18, I had already been a well traveled man [and] had already filled a passport. My success would have not been the same if I had not made sacrifice for gain.”
Nicknamed “Switch King” for his ability to skate his opposite stance as comfortably as his regular, this kid has a bag full of tricks and an arsenal that can do damage on the streets and competitions. In 2005, he became a professional and won the TransWorld Skateboarding Rookie of the Year Award. Rogers also won Goofy vs. Regular in 2005 and 2006. Rogers cleared the board in contests and became the #1 ranked street skater of the year. Unstoppable, he became a regular with the Dew Tours and X Games.
As quickly as Rogers rose to stardom, he withdrew. In June 2009, the skater, as most believed, prematurely retired. “Sometimes you have something in your gut. You can’t always explain it, but you know it’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Rogers explains: “It was never about money. Retiring brought me to a level of strength that I never had before. I went from clearing 600k a year to close to nothing. Ultimately, something told me this was the course of action and sacrifice needed to manifest my new dream. I would have never learned the value of a penny or to love myself as completely as I do now, which became deeper when stripped down from materials than when showered in them.”
Returning with a different sense of self and purpose, the skater had never been happier in his life. He came to perform because he loved riding and not for any other obligation. It was a time, Rogers says, “to step forward, do something fresh and new for me as opposed to just riding for more brands. Money is not my motivator or I would have never retired when making plenty of it. As well, I’ve already rode for the best brands in the world and what interests me now is being the creator of the brands.”
Today, Rogers, the entrepreneur, has his own brand – SELFISH SKATEBOARDS. It’s the fastest growing brand in skateboarding and is now distributed in 25 countries. SELFISH SKATEBOARDS only uses East Coast “hard rock” Canadian Maple from Canada so your board “won’t snap like a twig.”
*Photos and Videos courtesy of Jereme Rogers