Matt Kass’s Hump Day

In Seaside he’s know as Crab Jesus. If you don’t know Matt Kass, you’re about to.

Matt Kass was a pro snowboarder before anyone had heard of Danny Kass, but you’re more likely to know him as the co-founder and long-time president of Grenade LLC. Matt helped start the brand and grow it into a multi-million dollar business, which employed most of his friends. My career at Grenade started shortly after I bought a house and was freaking out about how to pay for it. Matt offered me a job at Grenade, and I spent the next year of my life doing whatever needed to be done, and generally being part of something pretty cool. A lot has changed since then, and Matt Kass more or less disappeared from the public eye. Ousted from the brand he started, and considered dangerous by some and a joke by others, Matt moved to the Oregon Coast, where he lives with his fiance and son and works as a professional fisherman. But after a few years out of the limelight, Matt hit me up, ready to tell his side of the story.

Brooke: Do you think you’re crazy?

Matt: No, but I have had severe emotional damage done in my life as a child that causes me to act out.I sometimes lose control in given situations with anger. I have anger problems. Do you think I’m crazy?

Brooke: I know you’re crazy.

Matt: hahahha, thanks.

Brooke: What’s your biggest regret from your days running Grenade?

Matt: Starting it. Starting Grenade. I would never do it again. It was my Frankenstein. I sit around every day and miss my friends that I lost through it. Do you know why I’m breaking my silence?

Brooke: No. Do tell.

Matt: It’s kinda cheesy. I sit around and everyone has their story about this or that. I was there, I know what happened. Some things that happened I still don’t understand. Like I ask myself, “What the fuck happened? What could I have done differently?” Then I was reading Yobeat and Colin’s interview and it all came together for me. It wasn’t about me. It was about a group of guys and a time and place…like a movement…like a band! And when they break up it’s never the same!

Brooke: All right, let’s break it down to the undisputed facts real quick. Why did you move the company from Mammoth?

Matt: I kept the Mammoth operation, Danny and JC liquidated it, along with a lot of my friends. I kept my friends around so I wouldn’t quit. I never liked my brother, I just liked Levins and Cole, so once they let all my friends go, there was no point for me to be at Grenade.

Brooke: Where did JC come from? How did he get involved?

Matt Kass: He was hired to help with our networking as a consultant. When Danny asked me to resign, I did. I was the manager of Grenade LLC until resignation or death. Of course he stiffed me on the 75k. But what’s 75k among bros….right? Danny hired JC and made him the CEO and took over from VP to President.

Brooke: Right, but you’re skipping a lot. I mean, I worked there for a year and Danny apparently didn’t even know I did. So how did it go from you hiring Joseph to Danny ousting you?

Matt Kass: Danny paid me to resign per the operating AGREEMENT. He stiffed me on the 75k that I was to be paid as resignation. Danny took over as president and hired Joseph to replace me. So I was screwed in plain English. Next.

What about all the rumors of you flipping out when you left?

When I resigned, yes I broke my brother’s laptop over my knee. Yes, I spray-painted my resignation on the side of the building because it was my building and my spray paint. And yes I took a gun out of there and then they lied about it and I lost my second amendment right to bear arms for two years.

Brooke: What have you been doing since then?

Matt Kass: I was the international and domestic sales manager at Betty Rides until I got fired. I went back to Grenade after being fired from Betty. Grenade moved when my girlfriend gave birth and I got a unexplained extended vacation. When I went in to the new office JC said I stole money again (which is a lie) so I got upset (aka I fucking screamed at that lying turkey), quit and walked out. While I was waiting for the elevator JC tried to beat me up even though I was holding a 3-month-old baby. Since then, I have decided my brother is nothing more than a pony and that if he will let JC push me around while I’m holding my son, aka his nephew, that he is no friend, brother, or family to me. I really did not like working at either Betty Rides or Grenade, in ALL honesty.

How did you end up living in the former “Office” location on Burnside? How long were you there?

Matt Kass: When Nicole and Danny lied on a restraining order, I was given 20 minutes to pick up personal stuff. She sold the rest of my belongings. After that, I was living in a warehouse in Washington, then I got evicted, because I did not have money, because I was never actually paid to resign. My family disowned me, and yes, I was forced to live in a skateshop for over 6 months and sleep on the concrete floor in an asbestos-filled building. I did enjoy it though. Cole made it a point to help me through the hardest time in my life because although he is a failure at life, he is a TRUE friend no the less. How is that?

Brooke: That’s insane. Was Cole living there too?

Matt Kass: Yes, then when I saved up enough money to get a place, he lived in my van outside my house for 6 months. Curt Johnson also lived in the shop when he got kicked out of Flood’s house. I also let homeless people sleep in there when it was cold.

Brooke: Here’s a big one I have. Why didn’t you sell Grenade when the opportunity arose? Quiksilver wanted to buy it, right?

Matt Kass: Yes, actually we were almost sold to Oakley. Danny was always trying to sell Grenade to his sponsors. He always wanted to sell out. I was the hold out. I always rode for small independent companies like Joyride and Mission 6. Danny rides for Oakley and Nike. I would NEVER ride for Nike or Quiksilver, or Gnu (because it’s still Quiksilver.) I’m trying to make a comeback.

Will Matt recapture his pro glory of 2001? More importantly, does anyone still have that hella big Bjorn Leines poster?

Brooke: I want to know all about your comeback, but it seems like it would have made sense to take the cash and start something else, ya know?

Matt Kass: Do you know any bands looking to sponsor a crappy halfpipe rider? I have been working on another company since 2007. The new brand I’m working on is Called ENMY.

Brooke: Ok, I’ll bite. Tell me about ENMY

Matt Kass: It’s a outdoor lifestyle brand. I’m also helping out the guys at Sasquatch Skateboards. I was just hired a couple days ago, I’m really stoked. The kids involved are really talented. I’m in the process of forming a Distribution Company and our first 2 brands are “ENMY” and “Sasquatch Skateboards.” I also started my own fishing business as well as being a dad. I’m busy.

Brooke: I’m confused. I thought you said started Grenade was the worst decision you ever made. Why would you start a new brand?

Matt Kass: I really feel like the industry is getting dry and needs a kick in the ass and I’m just the asshole to do it. I’m starting over without partners and because I feel like it is time to make a comeback. I want to bring my band to trade shows so we can play our awful music. I hired a coach to train me and everything. For real!

Brooke: Wait, what are you talking about? Now you’re in a band with a coach? I thought you were making a snowboarding comeback. Are you drunk?

Matt Kass: No, I just got one of my wisdom teeth pulled. I have a coach so I can make a comeback. I have a band called “The Bent Screws” and when next SIA comes you will see the band and the brand. Hopefully I can start shredding soon, fishing season opens 2/1 though, so I’m going out on the water then.

Brooke: So let me get this straight. You’re going to “train” for like 3 days and then launch a new snowboard career, and by next SIA you will have started a Poler ripoff and distribution company?

Matt Kass: I have been training since October of last year. I skate at least 3 hours a day and I’m in the best shape of my life, I’m not fat like the Dingo. I’ll tell people who think I’m not gonna make a comeback, hey, I did one kassrole, why can’t I do two? When I’m doing 540s below the lip I’ll laugh too. I’ve told Gretchen (Bleiler) she won the X games with my run that I used to do. Sometimes my nollie backside 5 would go above the lip, and sometimes it wouldn’t.

That reminds me of the number one snowboard joke of all time: you know where the best place to pick up snowboard chicks?

Me: Yeah, below the lip.

Matt: Hey, How am I ripping off Poler? You haven’t seen one of my designs.

Me: You said outdoor lifestyle… which is what Poler is doing, but you’re right, I haven’t seen it.

Matt Kass: It’s more of a utilitarian style, fishing gear. I know about Poler, I like those guys, I even modeled for them for free. We’re making fishing gear and outdoor lifestyle type stuff. If a kid wants to wear it snowboarding, that’s his business. And I’m trying to start a distro company, but when I say that I’m trying to do it, I’m not trying to jump out over night like Vanilla Ice. The name of the company is called Ammo distribution– ENMY, Survival and Garden State grip tape. It’s been a pet project of mine for a long time. When I started Grenade I wanted to turn it into a skateboard company. When Danny started he wanted to turn it into a TV show. That’s the truth. When we ultimately fought it was because I didn’t want to be on his TV show and wanted nothing to do with it. Dingo and Danny wanted to do it, they made they pilot and it looked like shit. I didn’t even want to release the project. Danny’s the one who wanted to be on TV.

Boat enthusiast.

Brooke: So, when Grenade ousted you, how many boats did you have in the warehouse?

Matt Kass: 2 or 3. I took one with me

Brooke: Did you buy them with Grenade money?

Matt Kass: Nope with my paycheck. My brother spends Grenade money on weed, all the time. I have proof.

Brooke: What proof?

Matt Kass: Receipts.

Brooke: Who gets a receipts for weed?

Matt Kass: I do. Danny took 80k from Grenade to start that awful TV show.

Brooke: Don’t you think that TV show was marketing?

Matt Kass: No, it’s embarrassing Danny stole money from Grenade and blamed me. JC stole money from Danny and convinced him I took it, I put 600k into Grenade and real estate and all I got back was 175k and I feel like they stole 10 yrs of my life. They never gave me a letter of recommendation even though they said they would.

Brooke: Well, at least you’re not bitter. What have you been up to the last few years… how did you get back on your feet?

Matt Kass: Well do you want the truth? It was a hard climb. I was waiting for the 75k from my resignation agreement and it never came. I was counting on the money, so it really screwed me up. I started living in the shop because I had nowhere to go and Joseph told my friends at Grenade that they would be fired if they talked to me.

We got in trouble at the shop for selling graffiti supplies, got a 5k ticket, had to stop selling paint with was a giant piece of our sales. It was a dead horse. I closed the shop, got a house 6 blocks up the street and started working at Betty Rides. Which, sucked too.

Matt, Elliot and one hell of a flounder.

Brooke: Tell me more about ENMY. What specifically are you gonna make?

Matt Kass: You will see. ENMY is “bottom secret.” There are a couple designs on facebook, but they are old. The new stuff is being made right now. I never really stopped designing T-shirts. I just stopped showing people. It was therapy for me. I’ve done T-shirts for small guys and menus for a pizza place. I just do shit on my computer to get by cause I got a kid and diapers ain’t cheap. I’m no Pinski, I’m not gonna cut off my dick and put it in my ear and then call myself an artist — I lost him when he went bo-mo. That’s Bohemian Modern.

Brooke: How are you funding the brand?

Matt Kass: By myself, I don’t want partners. What I’m trying to get across to all these little brands is, don’t fucking be me. Money does bad things to good people. You want my business advice? Here’s three lessons I’ve learned.

1. Don’t take a partner when you need a loan.
2. Be careful who you get into bed with.
3. Lying can get you into problems and through problems, but only the truth will get you out. You can’t lie a fact. Be careful what you say or do, this is the info age and everything is recorded or on video somewhere.

I explained to my father yesterday, sometimes lying is a part of business. Have I ever told people lies? Yeah, I used to all the time. When I didn’t know the answer to something, I would just say two weeks – it’s from the movie the Money Pit – the contractor would always say “two weeks.” Instead of saying I don’t know I would always say two weeks, because it was embarrassing to say I don’t know.

Brooke: Let’s wrap this up. What else?

Matt Kass: Grenade could have been a lot more and should have been. When I think back of what I started, I think of it as something that that was great. When you used to buy a Grenade T you used to support people like you and Dave and Jesse and Tom and me; it used to be a family people. Now when you buy a Grenade T at Pacsun you’re enabling Joseph to abuse snowboarding and snowboarders and you keep my brother drunk and on drugs. I know we all didn’t do it right. I was never the best boss, and one of the worst things I ever did you caught the brunt of. If you ever asked for a recommendation from me you were a great employee in an environment a lot of people would have failed. I’ve had everyone’s back, every day in that company.


  1. Grammar

    “It’s funny how every article gets reduced to people battling each other in the comments.”

    – $$$

    @ Dan Jaffe-Suggs

    “…always tipped good”

    Tip well, tip well.

  2. Sounds like a Dan Mac & Bond Outerwear story.

  3. or not

    It would have been infinitely cooler if grenade had just fizzled out and went under. Then it would have been remembered something legendary – something to help define that era of snowboarding. It was cool because it was core – it was about an image; an idea.

    But now……well, just read the comments. They might as well sponsor shaun white and make extreme scootering gloves.

  4. Torrey Cook

    Jared Slater… can you stop posting on these stupid walls and come visit us already?? drive a convertible mustang rental if you have to.

  5. karnkarn

    Joe Eddy and Lane Knack killed it. Grenade died when they started making outerwear. Fishing is zen.

  6. free burberry

    I really miss the shops: The Office in Mammoth and the immortal Propaganda shop in June. I loved how the Propaganda shop in June was always closed during peak riding hours, most of the inventory was still in boxes on the ground, and you could skate a mini and drink a beer even if you were too broke to buy anything. Also, the 2006 Grenade Games in Mammoth was the best shit ever. Grenade obviously has had quite the impact on the snowboarding world made evident by the passion of these comments and the fact that so many people still care to get the full story. Drink a beer.

  7. free burberry

    *Sorry, I meant the ’06 Grenade Games in June, not Mammoth.

  8. Shitforbrains

    I wonder if all this drama started over Dingos weight problem!? Danny put on some pounds too?! Could this be the reason that it all fell apart!?


    Let me tell you something kid; Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes, Its about time Matt, my clothes are goin’ out of style.

  10. Charles Highcrest

    Of course i fucked up, I admitted i made “major” mistakes when i ran Grenade. The “point” is that the company was not just about “me” or the “company” itself…it was like a Band…and when you take away band members aka Me(matt) and all the other scrubs aka “riders that worked at grenade”…it didn’t feel the same. I did this interview to help shed some light on what happened because i get asked almost every day. Snowboarding is About FUN and ask anybody who worked at grenade at was defianately fun at times. I cared about every person that worked @ Grenade. I know some people got shitty deals, i just wanted some of those guys to know i got a raw deal too. I think about skating stormriders when i first moved to mammoth and Met Bobby, Shawn, Brian, and Voich. Those guys went on to be some of grenade all star enmployees and riders. Wan Chow went to high scool with me. Aj O was of of the most talented artists i every met!

  11. Chill Berry

    Poler is sold in Zumiez now…..BOOO!!!!!!!!!!

  12. cheyeanne and bryli

    investigative g string hahaha

  13. Blacky

    We had some good times, that was for sure. Everything doesn’t work out the way we want it. That’s life.

  14. Matt,
    Let me know when you want to get the Band back together I will Hold So Cal together for you!

  15. Lane knaack

    I MISS EVERYBODY. Those were the times of our lives. Just shredding and family. One glove

  16. The HighWizard

    Chris on February 23rd, 2012 at 12:00 pm:

    Sounds like a Dan Mac & Bond Outerwear story.

    How so?

  17. Totally like DMac and Bond.

    Cause Grenade was started by a couple of Forum ex pats who had a solid network on both ends and some equity in their lives along with a few investors, used that to start a brand during the short lived eco trend and had their dreams squashed by the worlds worst financial crises since the depression and were forced to hang up their hats and find work with larger companies that could pay them enough to sustain their families and survive.

    The parallels are uncanny…

  18. Peril

    A sad tale – not for business so much but for family and the ‘family’ – Yobeat this is not making fun of snowboarding it’s just raw family business!!

  19. Markos


    They had the best stencles in the biz back in 1999

  20. Markos

    The parties at The Mansion in Mammoth back in 2000 were the best times, from what I remember. The crew was all time and the vibes were insane. Grenade was the coolest shit ever at that time. the snowboard business just has its own way of sucking the radness out of soulful brands.

  21. the dirt

    typical industry clowns name dropping like anyone gives a shit

  22. allfullofit

    Look at all these comments, as if anyone really gives a fuck, Danny Kass is a drug fucked tool, that fat fuck Dingo is a goddamn oxygen thief, and JC is a typical con artist! Asiantony thinks he is some sort of messiah and understand this, money makes people fucked, family means nothing when there is cash and drugs involved, they both warp dudes minds! So grenade is probably an appropriate name, pull the pin and watch it explode, lets hope that they kill that fucking tv show with it!

  23. IndustryDude


    DMac fucked over his friends, suppliers and customers. DKass only fucked his brother.

  24. FWP

    Dey Tuk his Jerb!!!

  25. ben dover

    get dannys side!

  26. JackofNone

    Go get Nicole Jackson’s story. She’ll give you a clear insight to what really went down.

  27. Butt Pipes

    I know he reads this. And it never had anything to do with him or danny. It was the rest of the team that made the brand cool. Made the brand money. The team that never got paid.

    fuck those jersey shore whores.

    The firs time i met danny was 8 years ago. We went to hit 4 oclock rail in breckenridge. We would hit this a few times a week. Its a really long down rail and you can see the clip from smell the glove. We went there and they said we couldnt hit it. Since they were filming. They were dicks…we even offered to smoke them out…they “had their own”. And ignored us until we just left. Truly the start of the decline of snowboarding. Its not cool….never has been. The only thing snowboarding is…….is fun

  28. RV

    Matt I’m with Capko.. I left the business once JC cut us all form the sales team, but I am fully down to jump back in and dust off my sales pitch.. Besides the bar and nightclub business is soul less, thank god I have good business partners and staff..

    I have seriously given up on any hope of snowboarding meaning anything even remotely close to what it used to for me.. I could really give half a shit about it now.. Some one really needs to breath some core values back into it and call out the motherfuckers turning it into mainstream Target shit.

    Core is poor, but soul is priceless.

  29. Honest Snowboarding

    Matt is a Genius, he instinctively knew what was cool and what direction the company needed to go in. What other companies have started from nothing and had such a huge success. Look at apple, if you have read anything about steve jobs, he was a dick. He ‘stole ideas’ and made them his own because his final idea of perfecting other people’s crap was the most important. Steve didn’t invent the mp3 player or the smart phone but he raised the bar and changed the game. And that was all after he was sacked and then came back. I’ve got high hopes for matt in the future. His instinctual direction of where to take snowboarding is way more important than his sanity.

  30. g nasty

    That old cover shot is my home mt. sick…
    Matt holding it down for Mt. Shasta

  31. Word is Bond

    Danny Kass=Sellout. Fuck Nike. All they want from Snow & Skateboarders is Money. Sweatshop scumbags…

    Damn even a chemtrailed sky on the cover back in 2001!

  32. i think the kass brothers should go home to the small ass mountains/hills where they grew so they can remember why they started riding. GO BACK TO BOLTS! get over this shit! so annoying to think the raddest happening in snowboarding is weak due to fuckin bills!?!. i never talked with matt, saw him with an army helmet on once. received a “sorry dude” from dan after he ran into me before the battleship rail on khyber. looking back i can tell the dude was overwhelmed by the mass of people on his dick coming down the trail. squash the smelly tird. i’ve heard that matt was super rough on dan growing up, so fuckin be it. since this is personal and all. you both gotta get the fuck over what has happened and remember why you dudes started ripping in the first place. grenade isn’t dead. never will be in my heart because i looked up to the caliber of riding which was being pumped out by you and your friends. like friends who have passed, some things have had to happen. don’t be shmucks forever. pick the tird up where you dudes left off and get with what is real. From the backside of Hidden Valley (HL) (peace sign from johnny got his gun) later

  33. Matt and Danny are Badass. All you pussies who are scared to do anything and have not had the rise and fall should shut the fuck up. It’s really hard to put yourself out there…. especially in this industry…….. Hats off to you both for at least shaking things up! Much respect.
    not you dingo… zero respect! hahahahahahahahahahhah

  34. Double Planker

    Fucking sad article. Although I would like to see the other side of the story, We can all agree Danny Kass is probably the biggest piece of shit, asshole prick in all of snow sports and thats coming from a skier. I really can’t fathom someone fucking over their sibling let alone their family disowning one of their members for such a silly thing.


    Danny’s unnecessary hate on skiers is fucking hilarious and the only people who take him seriously are his poser 12 year old fans. Dude’s just bitter its freeskiings in the olympics and he missed his chance in 2010 by being a drunken idiot.

  35. Wesley Snipes

    Double Planker, get your 12 year old ass out of here. No one needs your fucking shit you pink taco faggot.

  36. Troy mccall

    WHAt The fuck !! Those where some of the funniest times of my life ! Wish you guys the best on realizing that your bro s and you can’t put any$ between blood . What’s up to all the rad people I never see anymore miss you fuckers! Matt and Danny figure it out don’t be haters life’s to short and that’s coming from me the biggest hater

  37. troy! whats UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its Matty K! Freshman POsse 4 LIFE!

  38. F***YOUPAYME!

    Look, as a semi insider for awhile. This brand was poised to KILL IT on their own terms. However Matt never should have been running it. He couldn’t get goods produced on time, he never paid his reps in the field on time (the company still owes me large sums for the ton of product I sold for them), and Nicole was the best thing about the company. Matt was always a lying, loose cannon. I was told the bullshit-2 weeks and we’ll pay you. Lying piece of shit. As for Danny he was always cool, but a pothead for sure, but who cares he was an extremely talented snowboarder. So what if he wanted to do TV, go make money! Lastly, JC is just a NYC douche bag who doesn’t get it! Yes in its hey day it was a family of cool kids bucking the system but couldn’t handle the shine!

  39. Dan (Danimal) Downing

    I like Cole and Levins too… that Zelahoski kid is alright too. Those were good portland days. Congrats to Matt for starting the raddest company ever, and knowing when to bail. People of sheer genuineness should be rewarded, the day will come.

  40. TheRealStory

    The real story my ass, Matt Kass put the company into near bankruptcy. He lied, stole, and cheated anyone he could. There was a million great reason why Nicole left his junky insane ass and hopefully she is in a much better place. Matt rode Danny’s coat tails as long as he could and spent every nickel grenade had at hooters and strip clubs. Matt Kass is a joke and everything he said in this interview is once again completely selfishly motivated by money. If he really cared about anything other then himself he would get a job and try to provide for his son rather then blow what little money he had on over priced hookers and drugs to feed his insanity.

  41. Matt was a friend he was family and I miss the guy. He had so much enthusiasm and I loved going to grenade events in the day.

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