Ethan Cochard, Longboard Athlete and Loaded Boards Brand Manager, answered your questions.
Could you briefly introduce yourself to us? Where were you born and what are you doing as a profession?
Ethan: My name is Ethan Cochard, born in Hawaii but spent the majority of my early childhood growing up in Plano, Texas where I first fell in love with longboarding. I went to high school in Lima, Peru where I was introduced to Loaded Boards Inc as well as the disciplines of downhill and freeriding. I am currently Brand Manager at Loaded Boards Inc and am expecting my first kid in August.
What influenced you to start longboard sport?
Ethan: Well growing up in Plano, Texas is incredibly bland and boring. It was a stable place to have a childhood, but it was an unfathomable expanse of concrete and houses lined neatly in long rows as far as the eye could see. Ever watch that movie "Vivarium"? It was kind of like that but without aliens (or maybe with aliens idk).
Getting around the neighborhood required a bike since the distance between things was so far. I personally didn't like bikes very much, and when I was 9 years old, I ended up stealing my older brother's longboard when he went away to college. He was a big surfer, which I really admired. I tried to get as good at him at surfing but always enjoyed hard-ground much more. Once I stole his board, that was it. I was hooked. That board took me absolutely everywhere. It wasn't abnormal to start skating at 8am, push as far as I could go in one direction to see what I could find, then turn around and skate home. Most days, my mom wouldn't see me until I returned sweaty, scraped, and bruised after the sun had gone down.
How did your loaded boards story begin?
Ethan: After graduating high school, I moved to Oregon in 2010 where I was lucky enough to get sponsored by Loaded Boards and Orangatang Wheels. It was actually by accident since I made a video with the intention to just get the local skateshop to sponsor me. I sent the video to someone at Loaded I had talked to through customer service, thinking he would think my video was neat and maybe share it with the other guys. He ended up being the Team Manager and offered me a spot on the team within an hour of sending it. I spent the next 3 years as a rider for Loaded and Orangatang, hosting local slide-jams with my skate crew "Boomtown", participating in as many events as I could make it to, shooting as many videos as I could with my friends cameras, and skating all day every day. I eventually made my way up to one of the top riders of the Loaded team where I got the opportunity to join a special documentary project.
In February of 2013, I hit a guardrail while participating in the longboard documentary series Greener Pastures: Offshore. Thankfully the injury wasn't too serious, but it was bad enough to put me off the board and on the couch for about 6 months. I spent much of that time contemplating what my next move should be because I wasn't sure if I would ever get to skate at the same level again. In April of 2013, I was invited to partake in an internship program with Loaded and Orangatang for the summer. I moved to Los Angeles in May and helped manage much of the ambassador and marketing projects throughout the summer. At the end of my internship I was invited to stay on as Assistant Team Manager. By the end of 2014 I had become the Loaded Team Manager, helping coordinate projects for many of my fellow riders and friends that I had spent the past 4 years skating alongside. In 2016, I assumed the role of Marketing Curator, taking on additional responsibilities for the Loaded and Orangatang brands. Now in 2023, I am Brand Manager where I oversee and coordinate our product launches and various campaigns throughout the year. I still enjoy being part of the longboarding world and try to skate as much as I can but I always end up behind the camera at one point or another.
What are your opinions on loaded boards new season boards, which board do you recommend?
Ethan: I've been lucky enough to be involved in just about every modern Loaded board that has come out in the past 10 years. My personal favorite at the moment is the Loaded Icarus for going back to my roots of pushing around and carving. It never gets old and handles most situations I encounter on my daily rides. My other two favorite boards at the moment are the Mata Hari for dancing and mild freeriding, and the Cantellated Tesseract for fast freeriding and downhill. I've never been one who enjoys chasing new tricks, I always preferred spending as much time rolling in a never-ending adrenaline rush as possible.
Who are your favorite longboard riders?
Ethan: This is a tough one, especially now. There are tons of riders who shock me with how good they are. I've always been a fan of flow and smooth styles. That being said I would have to say that Aboubakry Seck is probably my favorite dancer to watch. In the freeriding world, pretty sure Antonion Madariaga is my favorite person to see steezing down a hill. The most impressive skater I know who can do everything with so much style is my good buddy Camilo Cespedes. I've seen him invent tricks based off of jokes we were making. Dude is unreal with his talent.
Will you shoot new longboard videos, what awaits us?
Ethan: Most of my job revolves around Brand and Team management these days. That being said, I am always heavily involved with any campaign we launch during the year which typically includes shooting videos. I've been wanting to relaunch a tutorial series again because I always enjoyed teaching people how to skate when I was just a rider. However, we have a new product launch coming out that is a little different than anything we've done before. This new project will allow for a greater degree of creativity than previous projects, which always gets me excited.
What advice do you have for newcomers to longboarding?
Ethan: Do every style of skating. If you are a dancer, that's awesome but you need to learn how to ride faster and slide. If you are a downhill dude, then learn how to do some peter pans and cross steps. If you only commit to one style of riding, you are missing out on a whole world of skills that will make you a better rider over all. Learn as many different styles as you can and mix it altogether. Skate it all and you will love it all.
What are your favorite longboard spots to skate?
Ethan: I currently live in Los Angeles, not too far from Malibu. It feels a little cliché but Tuna is my favorite skate spot ever. One-way, downhill, 4.20 miles long of pure adrenaline. It never gets old and hopefully it will never go away.
What is your favorite Longboard move?
Ethan:The Peter Pan is my favorite longboard move when it comes to dancing. I particularly love doing a "Chop the wood" into a Peter Pan into a backwards Peter Pan. There is just something so satisfying about it. You're barely moving, but the board is going crazy. Never fails to get people turning their heads. Other than that, a long toe-side check is one of the greatest feelings you can experience on a longboard. Perfect mix of balance and danger.
What other sports do you do besides longboarding?
Ethan: I used to really enjoy surfing until I almost drowned and saw a couple of sharks. You know where you never drown or see sharks? On the ground. You know what's also on the ground? Rocks. Rocks are perfectly neutral entities that have been sitting around for millions of years, waiting for me to climb them. I spend my free time split evenly between skating and rock climbing these days. My lower body feels pretty strong thanks to skating, but after 7 years of rock climbing I finally feel like my upper body has caught up. Give it a try, I am a firm believer that longboards are naturally good at rock climbing because we have strong legs and good balance.
Which Longboard move was the most challenging for you?
Ethan: The kick flip. It still is. I hate the kick flip with a passion. The amount of times I've had the board go crazy and hit me in between the legs or land on my foot or I roll an ankle is way too many to count. I now do not even attempt kickflips. My wheels like staying on the ground, where they are meant to be.
What is the biggest longboard project that you have ever dreamed of?
Ethan: I've always wanted to produce a longboarding short film. Not something where it is purely skating. I've always wanted to create a short film that tells a relatable story of what happens in the longboarding scene. I've been around for quite some time and been part of over a dozen skate crews. There has been so many good times that I will never forget, but there have been several dangerous times that were turning points in my life and career that shaped my view on life and longboarding. I don't know which story I want to tell, but I do know that there are plenty that are worth telling and at least a few that others have experienced as well.
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