I was an Ambassador with the Float House in Vancouver. Once a week I would do a 90 minute float in one of their sensory depravation tanks. It became my weekly meditation and a great reason to float in tons of Epsom salts. I'm a very A Type personality so my floats were always very active and I would end up getting a lot of business ideas in the tank!
It was January of 2017 and I was floating and thinking about my name, and all the nicknames I've had over the years. I never felt like a Chris so I always had nicknames that my friends/ family would call me. My brother called me "Bubs", my sister called me "Godersin" ( I actually can't remember where that came from? )
I was "Bandit" when I played basketball in University, "Dr.D" when I wanted to be a rapper ( Don't ask ), Man Of, Dugeman, Duge, and Doogie.
When I moved to Whistler in '92 I met a Pro Snowboarder named Risto Scott. I thought what an original name, so I asked him where it came from, thinking it was Scandinavian or something...... And he said Christopher.
My chin hit the ground, and I thought that's it!!
But I couldn't just change my name there because he was one of the top Pros at the time in the village, and I couldn't say, "I'm Risto too now!"..... So I kept it in the back of my brain.
While I'm floating Risto Alan Duggan comes back in my brain, and the initials RAD popped into my head!
Christopher Alan Duggan's initials "CAD" stands for "thief".... Not such a great brand name.
But RAD really kinda fits with everything I have gone through. Even though my background is very "snowboarder/ surfer"..... I never really used the word RAD.... I guess I was just waiting for Yoga to enter my life..... To make it "RAD"!!
As this epiphany is washing over me, I'm thinking that it's time to commit to Risto.
I knew it was going to be weird for a few years, but then it's the norm.
So then the wheels started turning and I needed a logo to get the ball rolling. My friend Andrew Skuja for my high school basketball team was a graphic artist in Ontario. Skoojay.com designed my logo and I was off.
I started with T-Sirts/ Tanks under the name RAD Yoga Gear and added the Yoga Bags that I was handcrafting myself. It felt great to add my take on what was available for the yoga practitioner.
My next step was shorts! For men in yoga you kind of have one option.... Lululemon.
Because I had some sewing experience I would bring home my new Lululemon pants, and immediately turn them into 3/4 length shorts that were tight below the knee.
I look ridiculous in shorty shorts with my long legs and boney knees!
I also couldn't understand why brands wouldn't make 3/4 shorts, that stayed tight to your knees, so you had fabric there when you are arm balancing?!
So I would do that to all my pants!
I used to get dudes asking me where I got my shorts all the time..... Because they had the same issues.
My good friend Paul Gazso used to own a high end Skate Shop called Paul's Boutique. He was also my Snowboard Sponser when I lived in Whistler. He asked me about my shorts one day... When I told him I altered the shorts myself, he said "Why don't you produce them yourself?' I told him "I have no idea how I would even start that."..... He said, "I do!"
So he found Precision Patterns in Richmond for Production and Kendor Fabrics in Richmond for supplies and RAD Rocket Shorts were created.
I actually designed a pair of 3/4 shorts and a tank top for the Lululemon Lab when they were on Broadway & Cambie. The shorts sold out in a week, so I knew I had something there.
They also had a product called the "Long John" that I really liked.
RAD Rocket Shorts are a combo of those two shorts with a couple other tweaks.
They stay tight below the knees to help with arm balancing, fitted so they don't get in the way when you're floating, the 4-way stretch moisture wicking fabric is incredible, and I have even added long pockets off to the side so you can have your phone in your pocket while in the gym!
I even did a short run of Rocket Shorty Shorts to follow the trend. ( Seen below on Klay.. First dude )
They initially were loosely fitted with a drop crotch. Every time I did another run I would tweak them, making them more fitted, adding different colour gussets, and even shortening them a bit. I absolutely love what they have turned into, and feel they are fully tweaked!
I have done tons of RAD T-Shirts/ Tanks/ Sweaters, and really love coming up with new designs. Tattoo artists Steve Moore www.getmooretattoos.com , Nicki Lochmatter www.liquidambertattoo.com/nicki , and Arden "Kid Marow" Ross have all contributed to my designs.
I started with 100% cotton and shifted to a Tri-Blend fabric which I love so much more than even the moisture wicking technical fabrics. For T's and Tanks.... Tri-Blend is the way to go! It holds it's shape way better and doesn't get heavy when you sweat.
I live in these sweaters! They are so perfect for pre and post practice.... I have friends saying, "Is it normal that I wear your sweaters, for weeks at a time?'..... Hahah.... Yep!
I have just recently collaborated with Supported Soul for a cork yoga mat. I have been an Ambassador with Nicole at www.supportedsoul.com for a few years now. Her yoga mats are amazing and keeping things local is awesome. I asked her if she would be interested in adding a Cork mat to her line.... She was totally down, so we got together an created a new Cork/ Recycled Rubber mat.
"Risto's Rocket Cork Mat" is 4mm thick, 26" x 70"... Comes with a carrying strap.
Of course you can upgrade to a Custom Handcrafted RAD Yoga Bag to carry all your gear!
Environmentally safe/ friendly, sustainable, non-toxic, bio-degradable, no glues or harsh chemicals added, cork and natural rubber bonded with water based eco adhesives.
"The more you sweat, the more you grip!"
I'm excited to add more designs and eventually Track Pants and Touques for the cooler days! www.ristoduggan.com
Keep an eye out for new designs and also upcoming RAD Yoga Surf Retreats in Mexico, Tofino, and Nicaragua.
Keep practicing and stay RAD!