77. Gnarly’s Kitchen

October 28, 2022
October 28, 2022 Will Mackie

Welcome back to another session of Comacan Questions, this week we are joined by someone that seeks to educate and stoke the younger generation of skateboarders. This kind of teaching can teach kids (and honestly anyone of all ages) so many valuable life lessons. We are proud to share this week’s interview with yet another outstanding member of the skateboard community, please enjoy this week’s interview with Gnarly’s Kitchen.

What is Gnarly’s kitchen?
Gnarly’s Kitchen is any place where stoke is the preferred dish, an institution of higher eduskation, and purveyor of skateboard culture/philosophy.

What inspired you to start Gnarly’s Kitchen?
That my friend is a complex answer. I started teaching for the municipalities in Waterloo Region almost 20 years ago now, more or less by fluke and lucky timing. Through that, opportunities presented themselves. After getting fed up with how the City’s attempted to run Skateboarding programs, I went out on my own in 2014. Gnarly’s Kitchen was supposed to be an indoor skatepark in Kitchener. Yet again apathetic indifference at City Hall ensured that wouldn’t happen, at 3 different locations over 5 years. We stuck with the lessons, haven’t looked back since.

Where do you operate?
We operate anywhere and everywhere Groms need the stoke, primarily within 100 km radius in Southwestern Ontario. That said, our Instructor pool continues to grow. New Instructors and students can always contact us at gnarlyskitchen@yahoo.ca.

What programs do you offer?
We offer multiple lesson packages and monthly memberships to the Academy. We also run regular mini competitions for the Groms, and have a comp squad that we roll out with to as many competitions as we can. We’ve had students place every year we went out, so rad! We’re also really pumped for our in house board brand, which we’re putting together with the good homies at The Local mfg.; Gnarly’s Kitchen Recreation Vehicles or GKRV for short. We just signed two riders from the Academy to the team, can’t freaking wait to get this next venture rolling full steam. 2K23 = GKRV, heard it here from me ;-).

What does skateboarding mean to you?
Skateboarding has given me everything, for better or worse. I am forever grateful to have all of the experiences skateboarding has afforded, not sure I could ever repay that debt. Sharing the never-ending gift of skateboarding, with as many as people possible, IS and ALWAYS WILL BE GK’s main objective. Skateboarding saves lives.

How can people get involved?
If you’d like to reach out to us hit our website gnarlyskitchen.com, @gnarlyskitchen, or gnarlyskitchen@yahoo.ca. We’re always interested in hearing from new students and Instructors. If anyone has a worthwhile organization/charity, we’ve got lessons AND boards (Donated by GK and our clients) for those in need. Finding a consistent pathway to recipients has been challenging. If there are any brands out there that would like to donate/send a box, as rewards for the Groms, we’ll definitely make sure we put it to good use (And tell everyone who it came from) ;-). You can always catch us out there at the parks too, the shred never stops in Gnarly’s Kitchen.

How do you get involved in the community?
I’m glad you asked this question, because the “He’s just making money off of skateboarding” is our favourite ridiculous criticism. I’ve hinted at a couple things above that we do regularly, but generally I don’t do things in my community for accolades or a pat on the back. At GK we feel community service is something everyone should do, as much as possible. Getting good at skateboarding is not enough. Besides helping as many new skateboarders get the proper start (And into Skateshop’s) everywhere, Gnarly’s Kitchen is proof positive if you work hard enough and stay dedicated, you can achieve anything. We’re happy and extremely grateful to be a successful small business, that not only employs and creates skateboarders, but is a non-traditional SK8 business model. If we can inspire others to start ANY type of SK8 business, and earn a living through dedication to skateboarding, that is the true value we hope bring to the community.

My favourite community initiative recently though, was donating some brand-new scooters for the “Scooter Toss” at this year’s Beasley comp. 😉

Anyone you’d like to thank?
Most definitely, gratitude is the right attitude. First off we have to say thank you to skateboarding itself. From the sheer enjoyment of doing it, to being blessed to feed my own kids through it, and everything in between. Extra large thank you to all our amazing clients and students, couldn’t do this without them. Our Instructors Dan, Pedro, Andrea & Tyler, appreciate you all. Big ups to Matt from The Ward, Ang & Jer from City Skate London, Anthony at The Killroom, Nick and the Zumiez Fairview homies. You know I gotta shout out Shmurda, Jay and the rest of The Local goonies. Shout out to all the Aud locs, Beaz locs, Waterdown locs, Kiwi locs, Maple locs, all the locals wherever we go who show us love. My friends, family, my lady, and of course YOU my man…. Will from Comacan, much respect for chopping it up with us. Many continued blessings with your business. BUY COMACAN SKATEBOARDS!!!