12-year-old Malibu skateboarder Brandon Burchard wins National Amateur Championship in San Diego 

Twelve-year-old Malibu skateboarder Brandon Burchard is shown in action. Photo by Dave Weems

Brandon Burchard spoke at Planning Commission meeting last November to support skatepark 

At age 3, Brandon Burchard knew he wanted to be a skater.

“I’ve been doing it for about eight years now and I love it — it’s my favorite thing in the world,” Burchard said. “I started skating because my mom got me into it, at first. It was kinda scary, but as I did a little bit more, I started to like it a lot more.” 

In addition to skating, Burchard loves surfing, basketball, and snowboarding. Burchard also looked up to his mom, who ran track, and his sister, who loves swimming. 

“I started skating, and I liked it my whole life and it’s part of my life now,” he said. 

Although Burchard is grateful for the current temporary skatepark at Malibu Bluffs Park, he is excited about the permanent skatepark coming to fruition. On Nov. 30, the Malibu Planning Commission approved the 12,500-square-foot permanent skatepark. The community has been utilizing the temporary skatepark since 2019. Burchard attended and spoke at the meeting and said he travels outside of Malibu to other skateparks to practice and to compete. 

“I’m really grateful for the park that we have right now, but I feel like we’ve outgrowing it,” he said at the meeting. “We need to skate bigger and better stuff.” 

Burchard mentioned a few skateparks he likes going to, such as the Skatepark in Venice Beach, The Cove Skatepark in Santa Monica, and Vans Off The Wall in Huntington Beach.

“I don’t go to that one often because it’s far [about an hour and a half from Malibu], but they’ve got some cool ramps,” he said of the Vans Off The Wall park.

Malibu resident and part-time skateboard coach Chris Rodgers said while the permanent skatepark in Malibu was being addressed at the Planning Commission, Burchard was training for the National Amateur Championships.

And when it came time to compete in the San Diego event, Burchard placed first in Vert/Bowl, first place in Park/Mini, and second place in Street in the 12-15 age division. 

“I’m so proud of this little Malibu national champion and how hard he worked to achieve this,” Rodgers said. “It really just backs up the importance of our Malibu community’s need for a high-quality permanent skatepark.”

Rodgers said, like Burchard, there are many talented people in Malibu that need to be recognized.

“I get emotional when I hear his name at a contest, ‘Brandon Burchard from Malibu, California!’ and I get so proud to hear that,” Rodgers said. “He competed with so many guys who fly out from all over the country, so he was a representative for Malibu for Malibu youth and a contingent of great skateboarders that we have here.” 

Rodgers also wanted to acknowledge Brandon’s mom, Tina Burchard, for supporting him and his love for skateboarding.

“Besides every man is a great man is a great woman and that’s his mom Tina Burchard, who put so much time and and effort and money and sacrifice for years bringing folks like me and all other instructors in to have him be able to spend so much time practicing his skills and craft,” Rodgers said. “It takes a village and his parents being completely behind him.” 

With skateboarding being in the Olympics and being accepted as a lifestyle and a sport, Rodgers hopes to see more Malibu champions.

“In a community like this with so much surfing and skateboarding, history and culture, I want people in our community to know that we have talented people like Brandon,” Rodgers said. “I’m just really proud of what he’s accomplished this past year and how hard he’s worked and I’m just grateful for the time I spent with him; skies the limit.”

Burchard gave some advice to those interested in skating for the first time. 

“I think it’s a really fun sport once you get to learn it; I think you’ll love it, and if you fall, just get back up and try it again,” Burchard said.