The Ryde is an art driven clothing line born in Laguna Beach circa 2002. When the rest of the action sports industry was mired in logo based designs The Ryde set out to create a brand built around engaging, artistic designs. Their clothing is an outward expression of the way they view the world around them. The ideas that make them laugh and smile manifest themselves in their designs. The Ryde’s clothing caters to good-humored, laid-back individuals.
The Ryde was imagined and conceived by Mike Figueroa and Matthew Allen. Mike and Matt met the last day of design class at Saddleback Junior College circa 2000. Mike asked Matt to help him with some design projects that had been floating around in his head. They brainstormed logo designs for the short lived Surf Shops International website. Then Matt headed off to college in San Luis Obispo . Later in 2001 Mike came calling again and they began to work on Laguna Surf Company. Mike pitched Matt with the idea to create artwork of Laguna Beach surf spots. They soon realized that 12 color t-shirt designs were ridiculously expensive to produce. Their focus shifted to one color line art. As Laguna Surf Company found its niche the two friends decided to expand their horizons beyond Laguna Beach and they changed the name of their company to The Ride. When they sought to trademark their name they were encouraged to change the spelling to its current incarnation and The Ryde was officially in business.
Mike Figueroa was brought up in San Diego County. His first surfboard was a 6’2” thruster that he purchased for $25 at a garage sale and it was missing one of its side fins. With great enthusiasm he took his unwaxed surfboard out on a chilly December morning in San Luis Obispo. He was wearing his uncle’s oversized wetsuit that took on more water then the titanic and nearly drowned him. After that cold and scary experience it wasn’t until four years later that Mike was reintroduced to surfing through a group of Oceanside surfers. Since then he has been very much inspired by the surf culture. His adventure in the surf industry first began at the age of 17 while working for Rip Curl. From there he moved on to buying and managing for Toes on the Nose surf shop, now known as Thalia Street Surf Shop, for nine years. It was during this time that Mike decided that he wanted to dedicate himself to working in the area he loved most, the surf industry. He taught surf lessons for seven years at Doheny State Beach in order to raise money to start his own company. His buying experience and role in surf culture provided him with an insight for concept and design and he soon applied this to the creation of the Ryde. Mike now resides in Dana Point were he lives with his wife and beautiful daughter Macie.
Matthew Allen was raised in Mission Viejo, California. He grew up with a passion for baseball and a tendency to stay up late drawing pictures of his favorite players. When his baseball dreams ended in high school, he found solace in surfing. Matt taught himself to surf in the waves off Dana Point and San Clemente . As his love for surfing grew, so did his interest in art. Matt did a stint at Saddleback Community College before heading north to major in Art & Design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Matt divided his time between searching for surf amongst the hidden line-ups of the central coast and creating art for his diverse range of classes. After graduating he worked his way south and found a job at Surfer Magazine where he is now the Art Director.
The art for The Ryde has been a blend of Mike’s concepts and Matt’s execution with cameos by a few other artists. Many of the thematic designs begin as ideas in Mike’s head and are brought to life through Matt’s hands. Others come straight from Matt’s sketchbook. In addition to his duties at Surfer and with The Ryde Matt does freelance design for the music industry and fine art. He has worked on merchandise for Elton John, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sherwood, and Something Corporate. Matt has designed albums for Sherwood and Lovelite. Matt has shown his artwork throughout California.
For more information or to place orders checkout the following sites;
http://www.theryde.com/ and the blog http://www.blogtheryde.com/