January 05, 2023 3 min read

From @tsiscooters instagram:

This last year was the hardest year I've ever had in the scooter business. I have tried as hard as I could to save the business. It has caused allot of tension in my home and a great deal of stress. With the pandemic, supply chain issues, labor shortages, and Inflation. We have suffered a significant loss. We tried to make a new scooter deck this year a 6 wide. Our aluminum supplier told us they would need to raise our cost. It was more than double the price. I got quotes from other companies. I was told they could not get 6061 aluminum. We tried our best to get by on making bars and forks. the cost was basically the same as what we could sell them for wholesale. We tried making forks over seas in China. When they were finished the quality was so poor we demanded a refund. The sample they send looked good. but the actual product was not good enough to sell under the TSI brand. I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for supporting TSI for the last 14 years. It truly was a joy to use my skills to provide scooter riders with products made in my shop. And it breaks my heart to utter these words. With a great deal of grieve and sadness I will be closing the business, We will be selling off the inventory we have, and it would be my only hope to find some one to buy the TSI Brand. Thanks for the last 14 years, I will be retiring and enjoying my senior years.

Matt Thom

We hope Matt enjoys his retirement !!  

On the other hand, we are extremely sad to see TSI, the last of 5 brands rooted in the Pacific NW, close its manufacturing down.  Let's take a quick look at the brands that started manufacturing in our corner of the United States.

TRICK SCOOT INT. (TSI) - 2009 - 2022
Portland, OR - Closed
Made in USA


RIDE AND DESTROY (RAD) - 2009 - 2020
Snohomish / Seattle, WA - Closed
Made in USA - Rider Owned + Manufactured

LUCKY PRO SCOOTERS - 2009 - Current
Redmond / Seattle, WA - Outsourced to China 2013
(still 'designed' in Redmond)

PHOENIX - 2010 - 2022
Portland, OR - Outsourced to China 2014, closed 2022

ZERO GRAVITY - 2010 - 2016
Everett, WA - Closed
Made in USA

 

There were plenty of other brands that started and deserve recognition outside of the great Pacific North West, many got traction but were never able to get international success like the others noted above, but some did!
Most notable stateside brands are:

PROTO - 2009 - Current
California - Made in USA - Rider Owned

TILT - 2009 - Current
Michigan - Rider Owned - Outsourced to Taiwan 2016, despite still saying American made.

RIVER - 2014 - Current
California - Made in USA - Rider Owned

AFFINITY - 2015 - Current
California - Made in USA - owned, operated, and manufactured by riders.

Most customers buying decisions are determined by the latest releases and flashy colorways.  But as I always state to customers when asked 'which would you buy', I say run with the little guy!  Why?  Think about who you pay to support and what contributions that company makes to scootering.  These well established mega brands are essentially businessmen with connections to toy manufacturers in China, that have zero connection to the actual sport and are predatorily lining their pockets with your funds.  Actual rider investment/involvement in mega brands is practically non-existent and the power to keep these companies alive or not is exclusively in your hands. 

Know your community and why you purchase the brands you do, know who you are paying and supporting.  Try to localize!  NW customers, stop sending your money to the big Cali shops and special order with us instead, or we may soon suffer the fate of the rest of the NW companies.