Jahmal Williams came from the hoods of Boston to become one of the most innovative and stylish skaters of the 1990s – his part in Underachievers from 1996 still stands up to modern standards. However, it is as the boss of skateboarding company Hopps that he is now better known.
He founded Hopps in 2007, and began by doing everything himself – including taking on responsibilities as varied as designing graphics, coming up with colour schemes, doing the budgets and filming – but he soon learnt to ask for help from others. Six years on, his dedication and persistence has led to Hopps becoming one of the East Coast’s most creative skateboard brands.
Jahmal followed in the footsteps of his contemporaries Ed Templeton and Mike Vallely by starting his own company, but his art background gave Hopps products, featuring designs such as African sculptures, a distinctive look and feel. Hopps boasts that it is ‘100% skater owned and operated’ and all of its high quality products, including boards, wheels, hats, T-shirts, and accessories are made in the USA.
Hopps is famous for its innovative online commercials and for videos welcoming new riders to its company crew. Mindbender from 2011 introduced Joel Meinholz, who also featured in 2013’s Red Light Green Light. The Hopps spring 2013 commercial, directed by Marcus Manoogian, featured Jahmal and Joel, along with Jerry Fowler and Steve Brandi, while autumn’s The Three announced new riders Keith Denley, Brian Clarke and Dustin Eggeling.