Chris Chaput competing in slalom - Photo:

Chris Chaput

Name? Chris Chaput. But I was given the nickname The Wonderboy by my manager, Bill Reardon, who was better known as the manager for tennis players like Jimmy Connors and Vitas Gerulaitis.

The beginnings…? I was born in Long Beach, California on April 11, 1961 and started competing in skateboarding in 1975 at the age of 14.

Famous for? I was famous for winning freestyle contests and being good at red-faced or inverted maneuvers – headstands, handstands, and combinations of inverted tricks, parallel board hand stands, English hand stands, Handstand kickflips, headstand spinners.
When on Team Tunnel? I joined relatively shortly after I became the World Freestyle champion at Long Beach on September 22, 1976. I was in the Tunnel uniform for the first time during the World Championships in Carlsbad a month or two after. I think I came in 3rd although you’re really testing my memory here.

Set-up for Team Tunnel? I think I rode the basic Tunnel deck with a beam in the middle. They had a pointed nose and diamond tail.

How did you get on Team Tunnel? Steve Rocco and Doug Schneider of Tunnel got me on. I was on Logan Earth Ski which was a big team – Tony Alva, Bruce, Brad, Brian and Robin Logan, Torger Johnson and Laura Thornhill. But I didn’t like any of the boards that they produced. I was more enamored with some of the stuff that Tunnel was starting to do, working with composites and high-quality wheels.

Old School memories….? One competition in ‘80 or ‘81, Rocco called me to compete against him at the Oasis skatepark. We thought we would go 1-2 somehow, but that’s when we got a glimpse of 14 year-old Rodney Mullen who neither of us had seen him before. He was an absolute machine. Steve got 2nd and I got 3rd. Rodney Mullen was an incredible skater. He didn’t miss. I thought, I can’t complete with that. I became the crotchety old guy at the age of 20.

Still skating? Definitely. I had focused mostly on downhill, street luge, and butt boarding in 2001-2002 to get an idea about racing in general. Downhill seems to command the most respect because it’s crazy and you’re standing up. Racing was exciting for me because it was a competition that didn’t involve judges.

How I currently make a buck? ABEC 11. And my wife has been very successful to provide the amenities at home. It allows me to focus on what I enjoy – designing, producing, testing and competing on skateboards and teaching about my findings and sharing with other people.

Kids, Wives, Cats, Dogs, Other Hangers on? Wife Mary Lou, 7 year-old daughter Kendall Nicole who goes by the name Nikki, and two golden retrievers Henry and Casey. We live a couple blocks from the beach in Huntington Beach. And a couple miles up the road is my office and warehouse and shop. I’m pretty entrenched in Huntington Beach.