Charlie Crank turned his passion for skateboards into Murder Ride, a skateboard design company based in Largo that's created over 500 uniquely designed skateboards shipped across the country.
The 38-year-old originally from Ohio moved to Clearwater more than 26 years ago. He said living in Florida was a culture change because year round the weather is worm and it doesn’t snow. For Crank living near the beaches gave him the opportunity to emerge himself in the Orange States way of living of surfing, skim boarding and skating.
“I started skating because that’s what everybody was doing, it’s part of this state’s culture,” Crank said.
In 2004, Crank said he made a trip to L.A to go to a festival known as “Dog Town Festival”. Once he got there, he realized the event was cancelled but found himself hanging out with today’s most well known skater likes Jeff Ho and people from Dog Town.
“I went with them to a party and for the first time got to witness pool skating, they told me it will change the way people skate in Florida,” Crank explains.
Upon his return, Crank found himself more inspired that even to start the pool skating movement where he lived. According to Crank, within a few days after his arrival, he drained two pools and skated it.
As a veteran skater, Crank wanted to enterprise his passion into something tangible. He launched his skateboard sales business on his birthday, Nov, 18, in 2008. The name of his boards, Murder Ride, was inspired for his love of horror movies and dark plots.
“I wanted something that everyone likes, we all like horror movies and enjoy a good scare sometimes,” laughs Crank.
Three years ago, he started with a few designs and now he has more than 70. He gets his design ideas from his inspiration, artists, kids, and friends and is always willing to hear about new ideas. Not only has Murder Ride Boards been able to expand rapidly, but this modest warehouse located across from Largo High School has sold more than 500 boards. His boards have even been sold to skateboard enthusiasts in other countries.
“What makes my boards different are the themes and the use of everyday things, converted into something different,” Crank said.
Murder Ride can be found: (Note: no boards are sold from Largo warehouse location)
- Largo's First Friday, 80 Clearwater Largo Rd and 1st Ave
- Nekton Surfboards, 1313 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Rocks Beach
- Westside Skate Shop, 18370 US 19 N in Clearwater
- Gulf Coast Skate Shop, 1576 Main St. in Dunedin
For the complete list of shops that currently carry Murder Ride boards contact 1(831)704-6801 or go to their website.