With his rakish pompadour, tattoos and playfully sardonic manner, Ryan Clements may not look the part of the sober financial advisor. But for many of today's top professional skateboarders, that is precisely what he is.
It was while serving as general manager of the Skatepark Of Tampa (SPOT) for a decade and a half that Clements saw firsthand how little in the way of sound fiscal advice young professional skaters were receiving. By sheer happenstance, he soon found himself engaged in the rudiments of contract negotiation with major corporations and becoming a point man for select skaters awash in newfound prosperity -- economic circumstances heretofore unheard of in skateboarding, the major action sport that can still have a small-town feel.
Eventually, in 2010, this turned into the founding of a boutique financial-services firm, Excel, which Clements ran out of the SPOT offices. Clements' clients now include marquee names such as Shane O' Neill, Paul Rodriguez and Torey Pudwill.
Thus it came as little surprise when Clements announced a few weeks ago that he would, with partner Heath Brinkley, be amicably departing from SPOT in order to devote himself to Excel full time. (Clements also works with the X Games on event production, via its new partnership with CA Productions.)
Whether it's 1099 forms, property management or outstanding cable bills, Clements is the skateboard industry's go-to guy for all the mundane stuff that goes with being a richly remunerated superstar skateboarder. That such services are not just necessary, but vital, certainly says something about skateboarding's zeitgeist.
If you can nollie Cab flip down 17 stairs but you're not sure what qualifies as a deductible expenditure on a DC Europe demo tour, at least you now know who to call.
After all, April 15 is right around the corner. (If you don't know the significance of that date, you might want to make that call sooner rather than later.)