In the 1990s Chad Muska was the skateboarder handed down by God to the skateboarding world. Every kid went nuts for Chad. And rightfully so. In the early 1990s skateboarding was mostly slow, flat ground flip tricks. Very few people went big. It wasn’t until Jamie Thomas and Chad Muska came around made “Going Big” become popular. There were some people like Kris Markovich and Putt Duffy that were going big way back but for some reason it just didn’t have the same impression that Chad Muska and Jamie Thomas left behind.
The origins of this Muska / Thomas powerhouse started at Toy Machine Skateboards. The 1990s godfather of skateboarding, Ed Templeton put both Thomas and Muska on Toy Machine. This was a total help towards improving the popularity of Toy Machine (The funny thing is they had Bam Margera on Toy, but this way before anyone knew about him).
Soon Chad Muska became the main skater for Shorty’s Skateboards. This when things got really interesting. For about a four year run, Shorty’s was probably the most popular skateboard brand out there. I would gauge this “Shorty’s Era” to be from 1998 to 2002. And unlike the punk/heavy metal images of Toy Machine, Shorty’s was more urban and hip hop. This was definitely attributed to Chad Muska’s style. Shorty’s released Fulfill the Dream, chronicling the Shorty’s team back then: Steve Olson, Brandon Turner, Peter Smolik, Toan Nguyen, and a cast of little grommet skaters. The team was lovable and it looked like they had a blast skating together.
The Chad Muska Article
There was an article written about Chad Muska that really helped his popularity. I remember my friend reading it and it really helped people identify with him. Note – this story is most likely not entirely correct: Chad grew up in Arizona. In order to skate he would save his lunch money to buy skateboard decks. And in order to eat, he would scrounge up all the change from the couches and seats where his dad’s buddy’s would sit and get drunk watching sports. I guess they would get a little sloppy and change would fall out of their pockets. He used this change to buy whatever food he could afford. The article portrayed how much skateboarding ran threw his veins and why he pushed himself so hard to make it as a professional skateboarder. It was a very inspiring story for young skateboarders around the world and helped his overall popularity.
The Chad Muska Silhouette Skateboard Deck
A lot of skate shop owners will tell you that their number one selling deck of all time was the Muska Silhouette deck. Like the Osiris D3s, every kid around the world wanted this skateboard deck. It was simply a black silhouette of Muska sitting on a curb with the Shorty’s logo running down the side of the board. The board came in three sizes: 7.5″, 7.75″ and 8.0″. We had customer coming in years later asking for this deck because they became so use to riding it, they didn’t want to switch to another board.
As Shorty’s popularity started to fizzle (there was actually a backlash against Shorty’s for a while), Chad went into producing music. He release an album called “Muska Beats” and apparently went around the country working with other hip hop artists such as Jeru the Damager.
In the mid 2000s Chad seemed to disappear from skateboarding. There was a little news about him hear and there, but skateboarding had moved on to Baker and Flip. Chad was seen wearing a glove on one hand similar to Michael Jackson, which only lead to more strange rumors and gossip (but hey any publicity is better than no publicity). Recently he has joined Element Skateboards and Supra Footwear and is starting to become a recognizable name in skateboarding once again.