Gold Coast Skateboards Co-Founders Brock Harris and Dustin Ortiz Discuss The Brand And New Film Project

The story of GoldCoast skateboards starts back in 2009  when Brock Harris and Dustin Ortiz, alongside partners Nate Coan and Chris Brunstetter, started scheming to create a line of skateboards, which today has morphed into the timeless, clean designs that have become synonymous with the brand. Ortiz, who works out of Encinitas, California, and Harris, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, came together with a shared passion for skateboarding to build a solid brand that reflects the Southern California and Mountain culture.

It wasn’t long before the GoldCoast brand story caught the eye of friend and film producer Bill “BK” Keller, founder of Hidden Notice, who also recently created the short biographical look at surf shaper Tim Stamps, The Sound of Dust.” 

After the initial conversation with BK I was hooked,” says Harris. “I didn’t know what we were doing or what we were going to do the movie on but I was so stoked on him that I knew that whatever we did together was going to be rad. I think the common thread for both our companies was being passionate in the thing you do. After that it just kind of came together.”

The film began to take shape, with the premise centering around the merging of Ortiz’s world in Encinitas and Harris’ home in SLC to create a diverse look and feel for the brand.

"Working with the crew at GoldCoast is a privilege and a no brainer for us--they represent the entrepreneurial spirit of taking your passion and turning that into your career," Keller says. "They are authentic, honest, innovative, and unique in their approach to this segment of the skate market. GoldCoast is doing what they do for all the right reasons, and to be able to team up with them on this project was both fun, inspiring, and one more reason why we love what we get to do!"

To learn more about the project, the brand, and where GoldCoast is headed, we checked in with Harris and Ortiz. Here’s what they had to say.

What were your favorite parts about filming this?

BH: For me the best thing was taking Jonathan (Director Of Photography) deep up into the mountains, in to my element and seeing his reactions to how big of a change it was from what he was most used to. They filmed all Dustin’s stuff first so I knew what kinds of elements his portion was going to have. My goal was to show the vast differences between California and the Utah that I know. I think we did a pretty good job in illustrating that point. Warm Sunshine and Serene Oceans meet Cold Blizzards and Unforgiving Mountains. A perfect combo if you ask me.

 DO: I know for me, I was really excited that they were shooting with a couple RED cameras, I've always been a big fan of what that camera could do so it was great to work with Jonathan and Brian and seeing them in action. Everyone that's apart of Hidden Notice are just really good people and really fun to be around. The dynamic between all of them is all time and to hang out with them all for a day was overall a great experience. Lots of laughs...

Why did they see this as a necessary story to be told for the brand?

BH: I honestly don’t know why they thought my story was so important to tell. As much as I am a small gear in a large machine it's still hard for me to be objective when it comes to the things I’m involved with. I really didn’t see anything particularly special about me, or why anyone would be interested in seeing the things I get in to, but I’m also my own worst critic when it comes to this stuff. I try to stay out of the spot light as much as I can. Maybe that's why they wanted to do this piece. They could see that it was a little uncomfortable for me to be put in front of a camera and explain why and how I do things. I guess they could see the things I couldn’t and thought that those things would be fun to shed a little light on. I realized that as much as they were looking at me the focus wasn’t about me it was on GoldCoast and how GoldCoast works. I think they did an incredible job in showing that GoldCoast is comprised of so many different parts and pieces and I think that in retrospect the story of how all these different parts and pieces fit together is actually a really great thing to see.

DO: Having us rooted in both California and Utah is a big part of our brand. I think what makes GoldCoast stand out from everyone else is our visual aesthetic and that's all because of how we work. Brock and I come from two completely different worlds and we are so different on so many levels but yet we envision the same thing when it comes to the boards. They wanted to show who we are as individuals and why we are doing this. Brock has been involved in skateboarding and snowboarding his whole life, from being a professional snowboarder to owning one of Utah’s best indoor skateparks, and I’ve been designing in this industry my whole life. We saw a huge gap in skateboarding, visually speaking, and wanted to talk to the largest audience possible.

Are you working with Hidden Notice on any other upcoming projects?

BH: I would love to keep working on projects with these guys. They’re a group of incredibly talented people. They all have a knack of finding out what drives you and somehow make you feel comfortable enough to tell that story. It is super fun working with them and I think if we put our heads together we could come up with a ton of projects to keep us all busy.

 DO: We’ve definitely started the conversation with them about some future projects. Nothing has been finalized yet, but I know we would be super hyped to keep working with them.

Take a gander at Goldcoast’s 2013 Lookbook:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working long distance between the two of you?

BH: The disadvantages are of course our communication is limited and not being able to collaborate in close proximity with each other. The advantages are that when we do get together and run through all of our new ideas, all of those ideas are coming from all the places we’ve just come from. A lot of the times the ideas we unload on one another are so completely different they breed new ideas and from that collaboration comes something totally new. It’s a really fun thing to have un-fold. It’s allows us to foster new ideas from unchartered ends of the spectrum.

DO: I think both of us are really effected by our surroundings and work best when we’re happy. So for me to be in California again it’s been really good on my creative process and Brock loves being in Utah, being able to skate everyday in the non winter months and then has the best snow in North America in the winters. So the advantages are that we both stay stoked when we are where we want to be, even if that means we have to be on Skype most of the day. We try to chat as much as we can, and send each other lots of ideas back in forth and at the final stage of the design process were both on Skype and madly sending files back and forth. There are definitely lots of disadvantages from not working out of the same office, but we make it work. I try to go out there every couple months and in the winters I’m out there a bunch.

What opportunities do you see on the horizon for GoldCoast?

DO: Our goal for the next couple years is to just get the brand out there more. We really want it to get in front of as many people as possible. As much as I love niche products, if we can get everyday people stoked on our boards and get them thinking about skateboarding and well-designed products I will be hyped. We’ve been able to work with lots of talented illustrators and photographers thus far and I don’t see that ever stopping. We have some epic trips penciled in right now for the next year so hopefully we can make those happen and share them with everybody.

Anything else you’d like to add?

BH: Thanks to all those that have given us support and helping us build the company we have today.

 DO: I’m just happy people have been supportive of what were doing. It’s a category that people have very strong feelings about, whether for it or against it, but people have been able to set those feelings aside and say to us, that board looks really clean. That keeps me going.