March 3, 2021



Feds charge popular skateboard company over Instagram videos shot in Death Valley

A skateboarding company that advertises its products as the Ferrari of electric skateboards is in trouble over promotional videos partially shot in Death Valley National Park, according to court records filed by federal prosecutors in Sacramento.

Prosecutors charged Evolve Skateboards USA, the company’s LLC, and four alleged creators of the videos with federal offenses that include use of skateboards in prohibited areas, damaging a mineral resource or cave formation, operating an unmanned aircraft, and commercial filming without a permit, court records show. The company did not respond to requests for comment on the charges made through its website.

The charges, all misdemeanors, carry a maximum of six months in jail and fines totaling $ 15,000, court records show.

The criminal complaint says that the 2019 promotional videos were filmed in an area of ​​Death Valley that have special protections intended to preserve boron-bearing materials in the Furnace Creek formation. Rangers reviewed the area and found tread marks that appeared consistent with the company’s unique skateboard wheels.

One video, shot along California Highway 190, was interrupted when a ranger told the group they couldn’t film in the area, the complaint says. Another relates to the use of a drone during one of the Death Valley videos, according to the complaint.

The first court hearing has been set for Feb. 2, according to court records.