Recently, you might have noticed we changed our name to TNR Skateboards and we're getting rid of all of our old designs that say Thrash 'N Raid.
WHAT'S GOING ON?!
Unfortunately, we had an issue with another company that was also using the name raid. They had seniority using the name, because they started a year before us and we were hit with the cease and desist. We tried to work something out for several months to try do a coexist agreement, but they weren't having it.
While this was happening, false accusations were made by people, claiming "we copied other skate brands" and "stole their business model." Furthermore, a meme account called "trash n aids" was created to "expose me as a copycat." The person who created the account has yet to reveal who they are. Claims went as far as to falsely say we make "half our products" in China. It goes even further with personal attacks against me personally and my brand. Note: I am not claiming this page is an official page of Raid SB, nor was I sure if the owner of Raid SB was aware of this page. (*Edited Addition to the blog: Since this blog was posted, members of the Raid SB team have denied that they have any ties to this meme account.)
HOW THRASH 'N RAID STARTED
My brand (TNR) has grown rapidly in the past two years because we focused on our mission to help others rise above barriers. The assumption that we copied anyone, or have benefited from using the name "raid" is false. I chose that name, unknowing of their company's existence because I was a Marine Raider. At the time, I wasn't aware of any veteran owned skate brands. Like majority of small skate brands, if you aren't a local brand, sold in the skate shops or featured in Thrasher, etc. you're pretty much unheard of by most skaters. So I was under the impression that I would create one of the first veteran owned brands out there. Later, I discovered that there were actually a ton of brands, like Snake Farm, Tragic, Schlaudie, Skucci, and many more, thanks to the power of social media and the page @officialmilitaryskate.
When deciding what direction to go with my brand, I wanted it to include things that I loved: punk rock influence, goofiness, and ties to the military, primarily my time as a Marine Raider. I created two designs initially for the brand: one was a skull with a helmet and night vision, which was inspired by a design my Marine Special Operations company used, but replaced with a burger inside the skull. The other design was a parody of the In-N-Out logo using an MP5 (because I'm a California native that loves In N Out). Neither, looked like Raid SB's logo nor are they that creative to be honest. It's extremely cliche and cookie cutter for a veteran company to put a logo using a skull with night vision and any logo using a gun. Look up veteran owned companies on Instagram and you'll notice those two examples are saturated in the market.
We were a month into being a brand before I became aware of the brand Raid SB. I was actually disappointed that I didn't see them before I had named Thrash 'N Raid, because I don't think I would have chosen the name. After seeing them, I started to search for other veteran owned companies that use the name Raid and it turns out there were several. However, we had already gained a large following in a short timeframe I wasn't changing it. We spent the next nearly two years in relative harmony, before receiving the cease and desist. Which makes me wonder, "why now?" and "why not bring up the accusations back then?" In just under two years, we grew to over 22k followers organically on Instagram alone and have done skate events and built relationships with a several reputable skateboarding brands and people in the industry.
LOOKING FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
If I was them, would I be upset if another skate brand also included the name Raid? If I was a brand for a couple years and had relative success building a small community of followers and along comes another brand using my company name within their name and they start exploding at a faster rate, I'd be upset. Likewise, I would also feel threatened when my main target demographic of customers are veterans and service members and this other company is also doing the same.
Would I have waited two years before reaching out about it? No. I would have reached out immediately and tried to resolve the name issue. As far as focusing on helping veterans, the more people the better, because God knows our government isn't doing enough to help. And I hope that after this whole name change is over and done with, they continue to do what they say they claim to do, which is to help veterans through skateboarding.
OUR FUTURE IS GREAT
We have grown because of who we are, Not because of what we're named. And we'll continue to grow even bigger and make even more of difference because we focus on our mission. Whether we're called TNR or something else, we will rise above. We have a ton of new designs and new events coming in the next few months that I think people are going to really love!
This isn't the first barrier we've encountered and every barrier we face is another opportunity to grow and become better than we were before. Our Future Is Great. Thank you for the love and support.