By Yesenia Benavides
HAVOC Skate Company is a student-operated skateboard business based out of Yampah Mountain High School. The company got its start in 2017, and is still going strong.
Back when he was a Yampah student himself, Jono Moreau, the founder of HAVOC, looked out for his fellow skaters.
In 2006, the skatepark in Glenwood Springs was very deficient, according to Moreau. It had cheap metal and the overall structure had been affected by weather over the years. This led Moreau and his friends, and really any skateboarders, to skate in places where they were not allowed — like outside local businesses — which then led to them getting into trouble.
Moreau knew there was a need for an updated skatepark and decided to bring it up to his adviser at Yampah. He later presented a proposal to the Glenwood Springs City Council, and was backed by tons of people who showed up at the meeting in support. The request was approved and $60,000 was allocated for the project. They got the new skatepark built within the next few years, and before Moreau graduated.
Eventually, Moreau became a chaperon on some Yampah trips, as a side job. Later on, he started working at the school as a faculty member. HAVOC started when Moreau and Michael Lowe, another Yampah faculty member and currently a member of EPIC’s (Educational Pathways to Innovative Careers) core planning team, wanted to create a practical business class, and one that would be appealing to the students.
At first it was a pretty small class. But, once everything got worked out, it became the popular class to go to. It took some time to come up with a name for the skateboard business, but they liked the idea of using an acronym. The team decided on HAVOC, which stands for Handmade Art Valley’s Only Custom Skateboard. The name stuck.
The class helps students learn everything from marketing to business management. It helps them build their resumes and gives them experience with sales.
The team creates custom designs, unique from other skateboard companies. And, all for a fair price.
For $30 someone can get a deck and grip tape, each with customized graphics. People can place an order through HAVOC’s Instagram account (its handle is HAVOC_skate_co). The skateboard company also sells shirts, hats and hoodies designed by students. Plus, the young entrepreneurs are starting to use a three-dimensional printer to create things like miniature skateboards, HAVOC dog tags and more.
HAVOC has gained traction and people from across the continent are asking about it. In fact, one of Moreau’s friends sent him a picture of a HAVOC sticker on a poll in Buga, Colombia. As Moreau likes to say, “As much as it is a skateboard business, it’s also a movement.”
Moreau has a lot of passion for skateboarding and supporting young people who share in that passion. This allows him to connect with the students and be a role model.
HAVOC is open to sponsoring local events, and, as a matter-of-fact, is one of the sponsors of the 2023 Rollin’ Rendezvous Skate, Scooter and BMX Competition to be held at the Rifle Skatepark on May 6, starting at 9am.