A new skate team is hitting Clemson’s streets — creating a positive environment for young up-and-coming skaters
By Victoria Witte
Office of Creative Services
A group of ambitious skate-lovers has joined forces to bring a new crew to Clemson — Frayd Skateboarding. Chances are you’ve probably seen a Frayd team member zooming across campus, with an entourage of skaters and a team of photographers fit for the paparazzi. Their tricks amaze and impress passersby who stop to gawk at complicated tricks with names like “nollie tre flip” and “fakie inward heel.”
But this group is about more than ollies and turning heads; they’re a team dedicated to bringing change to the skateboarding world and to their critics’ misinformed perceptions.
Frayd Skateboarding is the brainchild of Clemson University student Matthew Anderson and his best friend, Konrad Pfeiffer. The two make quite the pair. Pfeiffer — the more seasoned skater of the two — is the man on the board. He wears a white button-down shirt with prideful grass stains and wrinkled, rolled up sleeves — his business shirt, he explains as he points at the pocket where the Frayd logo sits emblazoned by a Sharpie. Anderson, a junior English major, is the man behind the camera. He uses his artful eye to direct Pfeiffer through their concrete playground, daring him to take this jump or that jump, egging him on with a boyish charm.
On a recent Sunday, the two took a break from their skating to catch their breath and explain why they decided to start Frayd. Pfeiffer, who began skating in middle school, said young kids can feel the pressure to compromise their own morals to fit in.
“Usually if you want to get in on a team, you really have to fit in with a certain type of people,” he said.
So, Anderson and Pfeiffer decided to create their own team — one parents wouldn’t feel nervous letting their kids be a part of.
Frayd Skateboarding was born, a team that would boost morale by creating a positive environment for young, up-and-coming skaters. As Clemson natives, Anderson and Pfefiffer couldn’t imagine a better place to begin their business.
While Frayd is a business, selling boards and accessories, it’s also a concept with a strong focus on mutual promotion. “People discover us, like it and spread the word. Then we do the same for them,” Anderson said. In the end, a business like Frayd is exposed to a wider audience, and as they grow they’ll be able to give back more support to companies that also started out small.
“It’s basically good karma,” he said.
The team hopes to become a forum for not only skateboarders, but also photographers looking to build their portfolios, musicians who want to gain exposure for their work, filmmakers longing for the perfect shot.
“When people are riding a Frayd skateboard and see someone else riding a Frayd skateboard, they automatically have more in common than just skateboarding,” Pfeiffer said. They’re part of an even wider network of artists, collaborating together to work toward “a chance to be truly good at something that is unique to them, while standing for what’s right.”
Frayd is currently working with the city of Westminster to build a skatepark. When Pfeiffer or Anderson comes across used skate equipment, they purchase it to help furnish new parks. They also organize demos and help mentor young skaters. In the future, the guys hope to be able to put aside the profits from certain products and donate it to worthy organizations.
Both men credit a lot of their growth to their hometown. Pfeiffer said Clemson’s close-knit community is “one of the healthiest skateboarding environments with some of the most quality people.”
But the city of Clemson is also a unique and oftentimes challenging place to skate. What makes it more difficult to skate in a place like Clemson also makes it more rewarding. The way bricks are laid, the proximity to different buildings and businesses, the texture of pavement and odd rail placements all call for a heightened sense of creativity when skating. Skaters must look for new angles and must be able to see their environment as a challenge, rather than a setback.
Anderson and Pfeiffer are well aware of how skateboarding is normally seen as a pest on college campuses and city streets. Anderson said they hope to change others’ attitudes toward the sport by “showing Clemson, the University and the city that skateboarding can pull in the same cultural significance as any other art form.”
Understanding that it’s a relatively new idea for a city to embrace the skating culture, the Frayd team wants to reciprocate by giving back to the community. They believe the growth of Frayd Skateboarding would bring in demonstrations and contests that could mean serious revenue and attention for both the city of Clemson and the University. In the future, the team hopes to create an integral relationship with Clemson University, whether it be showing their future full-length film in the McKissick Theatre or by joining forces with other University groups.
“Being seen as one of the first college campuses that — rather than hates — supports and boosts trick boarders will bring some serious credibility to Clemson in the eyes of the skate world,” Anderson said.
Whoever you are, Frayd welcomes you to their team.