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Riding Phat

Phat Scooters takes its coveted custom rides—and A-list celebrity clientele—to the screen with upcoming reality show

Race car drivers, PGA pros, NBA Hall of Famers, country music stars, and at least one Academy Award-winning actor can be seen riding these coveted luxury scooters, proudly showing them off on their social media feeds.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray famously gave each of his offensive linemen one as gifts for protecting him in the pocket.

Naturally, this set the foundation for interesting reality TV that promises to turn heads with less head-spinning drama and more of a smooth ride.

Phenom electric scooter company Phat Scooters will take their jaunt into people’s homes early next year with the new docu-series Riding Phat. The show will follow the day-to-day challenges of the Phat Scooters team, from their revolutionary vehicles customized to clients’ wildest and seemingly unimaginable dreams to the expected entrepreneurial challenges facing a small business’ meteoric growth and rise to the radars of high-profile brands and A-list clientele.

The company has a five-year distribution agreement with Sony Entertainment/Chicken Soup for the Soul for the streaming platform Crackle. It is expected to reach an audience of over 25 million monthly viewers when it debuts February or March 2021.

“It will show us custom-building a product, everything that’s involved with that, and then hand-delivering it to the client and getting that big smile at the end of the show,” says Phat Scooters President Derrick Mains of the program’s format.

Former NBA player and Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins is among the high-profile clientele that viewers will see go through this process. Wilkins sought a custom scooter as an auction item for his charity KultureCity. Mains, a huge personal fan, proposed that if Wilkins beat him in a one-on-one hoops matchup for the show, Wilkins would get the scooter for free.

Naturally, the 6-foot, 8-inch superstar known as “The Human Highlight Film,” emerged with a win and a tricked-out luxury scooter for his cause. Mains admitted he had a feeling that would happen, and was thrilled to hand it over without an invoice.

Other celebrities to make appearances this season are former NFL player Tedy Bruschi; former stock race car driver Michael Waltrip; and tattoo and graffiti artist Mr. Cartoon, aka Mark Machado.

Do an Instagram search and you’ll see a solid list of Who’s Who across all fame levels posing with their Phat Scooter. Actually, that’s how Mains first realized how huge its presence was—cast members from the reality show Orange County Choppers posted a video with their scooters. The well-viewed and well-liked posts picked up from there.

Other celebs in the Phat Scooter family include Dak Prescott, Marcus Allen, and the Bella Twins. Blake Shelton and the members of Rascal Flatts use theirs to get around while on tour or give them as gifts to opening acts. Oscar winner Bill Murray tools around on his, too.

“It’s gone a little bit viral, but there’s nothing we’ve particularly done to make it viral. It’s an incredibly high-quality product with unlimited customization options,” Mains says. “It was more of a surprise than anything else. We’ve never paid influencers to get our product. Sometimes we know when celebrities are buying one, but most of the time, we are blind to it.”

But the eye-catching, head-turning attention the fat-tired scooter drew wasn’t missed by founders Peter Johnson, Beau Ralphs, and Dan Hankins—and passersby who first laid eyes on them.

Johnson was riding around with a friend through Arcadia on scooters purchased from an outdoors store. The hefty tires and design that allowed them to stand up or sit down created a perfect “wow” storm, as strangers kept stopping the guys and asking about their cool big boy toy.

They knew the seed for a huge entrepreneurial venture was there. But the options—including those on that initial ride—weren’t up to par, let alone anything they’d want to put their names on. So the trio set out to build something that did.

Since Phat Scooters (PhatScooters.com) launched in 2017, it has grown exponentially, with demand always exceeding supply. Mains says that the company is up 250% over last year, and is gearing up to meet 2021 orders that are expected to equal 10 times that of this year.

The lineup of seven models fits the needs of young riders and experienced adult riders alike. It includes one designed specifically for the golf course—a personal favorite of PGA golfer Pat Perez—and the latest Sidecar version that allows a passenger to go along for the ride and exudes sleek European auto racing vibes.

All can be customized with colors, designs, themes, logos, speakers, and more. Design, engineering, sound systems, and other customization is done in their new Phoenix headquarters while partnerships with fellow Arizona businesses like Dixxon Flannel, BlueMedia and Rockford Fosgate keep the product as locally-made as possible.

Not all Phat Scooter owners helm lofty bank accounts. Mains estimates 39% of customers own more than one, some buying them for multiple family members, with price tags in the $2,000-range.

“It’s cool that we do the high-end, one-off pieces. But the coolest part is that it’s super attainable. You can just ride and it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive,” Mains says.

But what Riding Phat audiences can expect to see is the start-to-finish products of unique haute pieces that will never be duplicated. Many incorporate just about anything to kick their piece a notch above their buddy’s.

“They’re looking for something nobody else has,” Mains says, referring to a well-known  corporate CEO. “He got our number from a friend who has one, and he saw it at a barbecue. He said, ‘But I want mine to be better than his.’ It becomes a show piece. Like a really cool Corvette.”

A similar request was from a client in Atlanta, who wanted his scooter to match his boat. The Phat Scooters team contacted the manufacturer of the boat to find out the decking material so they could order and custom cut it for the scooter.

“He’s got to be the first with yacht decking on his scooter,” Mains excitedly determined.

High-profile music producer DJ Khaled owns one with a wakeboard speaker stack—the company’s first really outrageous job. Another client’s scooter will be featured on the show that tipped the scales at $20,000.

There’s a request from a well-known CEO who wants one done in collaboration with his wife’s favorite European designer. The ambitious piece promises to be so impressive that, if they can pull it off, Mains hopes it will make season two.

While everyone is grateful for the skyrocketing success and loyal patronage from A-list patrons, no one lets it get to their heads. And at events where they are within mingling space of celebrities, they get top-notch treatment—as a client.  

“We’ve always taken the opinion that they’re regular folks. We treat everyone like a VIP,” Mains says. “We tell our crew, let’s act like you’ve been there. If you ogle then you become a fan… they are fans of us.”

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