Brandon DesJarlais and Vibe Ride LA

From professional skateboarder to community leader, Brandon shares his learnings on how to grow

Brandon DesJarlais’ journey to become the Leader of Vibe Ride LA and Founder of Beyond the Board all started with his passion for skateboarding. His first board at age 14 was more than just a toy; it was a source of independence, escape, and freedom. Skating taught Brandon discipline and perseverance, laying the groundwork to become a professional skateboarder and now top skate leader and influencer in the world.

Coming into 2019, Brandon was at the top of his game. But it felt like he was hitting a wall. Professional events were getting repetitive, and the sport lost it’s spark.

He learned that he found so much more passion and fulfillment from teaching. He moved to Los Angeles and started a skate community to reinvent what a skate community looks like. He is now bringing thousands of skaters together, and it has made such a bigger impact on Brandon’s life. It feels more rewarding.

Here are some of Brandon’s leadership insights:

- Just get started. Brandon began his leadership journey by hosting free workshops, with half of the attendees being first-time skaters.

- Celebrate newcomers. This should be ingrained in your culture, not just stated in your Instagram bio or website. Vibe Ride celebrates those landing a trick for the first time, not the coolest trick.

- Facilitate introductions. Leaders should engage with new members, find shared interests, and introduce them to other members.

- Connections lead to retention. The quality and quantity of connections can be measured by the number and depth of conversations.

- Word of mouth is the #1 growth channel. Members who have positive experiences tend to share with their friends, both in person and on social media, leading to conversions.

- Just ask. Encouraging members to promote growth can be as simple as asking. Brandon often asks attendees at the end of events to spread the word on social media and among friends, and they do.

To get more tips from Brandon, check out his article about community building on Beyond the Board.