Could you introduce yourself? Who are you? Where do you live? Where are you from? We wanna know everything!
Hey, I’m Mishari Aleisa! I’m a student at the University of San Francisco studying chemistry and business. I’m living in the Inner Richmond district of San Francisco, a few blocks from Waller skate park. For the first half of my life I grew up in the US (Miami, Houston, and LA) and the second half I lived in Europe (Spain and Switzerland). Currently, I’ve been teaching skateboarding to middle schoolers, making music, skating as much as possible, and of course, making Rip Balm!
How did Rip Balm come to life?
My friends and I were bummed to carry around wax in our backpacks and pockets. The wax would melt and make a mess unless it was in a plastic bag, and even then it was a fuss to deal with. I was sick of it, so I made the first Rip Balm! My friends then asked me to make some Rip Balm for them, and I realized I needed to share this with the world! We just want everyone to grind, slide, and shred faster and longer!
Who’s on the team?
All my close friends and Rip Balm family are on the team. Zachary Lamson, Riley Browne, Andy Woodhull, Sonia Kolner, and I are usually the ones getting hands on. Zachary Lamson films and edits all of our videos and edits photos. Some team riders are Mark Villero from LA, Neil Norgren, and James Neveils from San Francisco, Jimmy Van Genabith, Stephan Willi, and David Chirico from Switzerland, and Callum Donohue from Melbourne.
Where does the name come from?
When most people (including me) see Rip Balm, they instantly felt the need to put it on their lips or armpits. We just thought it makes sense to call it something close to lip balm!
Your packaging is just pure dope. We fell in love. Tell us the story behind, where did the idea come from?
Thank you! We wanted Rip Balm to be convenient and easy, and the packaging was the perfect match for our needs. Our artist, Sonia Kolner, designed all the art we use. She’s a childhood friend of mine from Zurich, and she actually moved to Oakland (across the Bay Bridge from SF) about the same time as I did! Some things just work out perfectly. She’s the best to work with, she’s incredibly talented, and we’re grateful to work with her.
Did you see Chris Chann when he opened his box? He literally put some wax on his lips haha! Do first time homies use you as a lipstick or what?
Yeah! Mark Villero told me about that, and we thought it was hilarious. Although we don’t recommend it, we’ve used Rip Balm for a bunch of stuff other than skating. The use that really stood out was our guy Andy put it on a piece of toast and ate it for breakfast. Dedication!
What’s so special between San Francisco & skateboarding for you?
Honestly, university was just an excuse for me to live here. In Switzerland, hill-bombing was the greatest way to get around. It only made sense to move to San Francisco and experience the hills here. They are nuts. The city has such a good community, rich history, amazing spots, and a bunch of skate parks. Since I’ve moved here five years ago, there have been four new skate parks built. I could go on about the city, but I would just recommend visiting for anyone who hasn’t already.
You sent me few of your homies videos… you’re pretty active with the local scene. Is it something very important for you? To always stay close to the community and help as much as possible? Why?
Yeah the local scene is amazing here! Skateboarding is important to me, and the community around it is just as important. For a community that does so much for me and others, giving back and contributing is a no brainer!
If peeps need to re-stock, give us everything we’d need to know where to find some Rip Balm somewhere. And how to find you and your homies online too.
You can always go to our website to order online. If not, you can pick some up at skate shops like Handplant in Laguna Beach, Street City in Zurich, or Rukus in Lafayette. Ask your local skate shop if they carry Rip Balm!
What’s your plan for 2017? And your future dreams?
First on the list, skate more and make wax. Also, next month we’re going to have some contests and premiere our full-length skate video, SFC 2. Future dreams? I would love to build a skatepark in my backyard with a fully stocked bar! That’s the life.
Shout out to Tommy’s Joynt, Joe Walsh, Hairlords, Gabe, John Cena, DZR and Gardens from Salinas, the Bay Area, the Bitter End, Bodacious Ancients, Soma, drive-through bars in Louisiana, Lowcard Mag, Stinky, the Liquor, and anyone who’s down for Rip Balm!
Cover image: Mishari, b/s boneless. Photo: Mark Harpur