Chris Rangel, UNDR, and Their Future

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December 30, 2017

How old are you?
33 years old.

When and where were you born?
July 14, 1984 in Clinton, Oklahoma

When was the first time you played Paîntball?
The first time I played was about 16/17 years ago.

And what was that first time like?
A friend had shown up with a tiger shark pump. I remember working to buy one from Walmart. I wasn’t old enough to buy one so my grandma had gotten one for me. Slowly but surely my friends upgraded their markers and so I did as well. We played in the woods behind my house with improvised bunkers and pallets. I was hooked and haven’t stopped playing since.

I like to think it’s the same energy and fun which is the reason we all still play. It was a good and competitive time with my friends.

Now it’s mostly used as a therapy for my PTSD and depression I battle daily.

When did you play your first event?
I played my first local 3 man team about 15 years ago. Nothing fancy, just getting beat up at our local Choctaw paintball.

What do you love about Paîntball?
For me I love paintball because it’s a creative outlet. It allows me personally to have something tangible to work with and on and continue to grow as a person and player.

When and how did you come up with UNDR Industries?
UNDR started as UNDRPRVLGD a team which saw its beginning back in 07/08. It was a team comprised of Marines and other military family members. We had all been tired of not playing on the various teams because of how the military was. Mind you by this time I had deployed to Iraq 3 times. So UNDR allowed us to fill the gaps and make a new family.

UNDR as a company started out of two things. One to help offset the costs of playing paintball on a E2/3 pay grade and 2 I wanted to make equipment. We started with goggle straps because at the time the flex craze was in full effect and I couldn’t afford $300 goggle straps. So I made my own. Same with pants. Was tired of my $150 pants ripping on the first use. It’s been that corner stone of doing better with less that has allowed us to grow.

UNDR as it is today was born on a beach in Washington around 2011/12. Overlooking the Seattle Bay Area. We had a shitty logo and appearance at that time and I wanted to make something that better represented the core values of what UNDR is. UNDR at its roots has been about, working to achieve your goals no matter the obstacles before you. It’s about you seeking out those aspirations and sacrificing if needed. We didn’t have a logo to represent that. Then it hit me, a Bear! That was what to me represented struggle and strife, power and honor and a relentless passion to survive against all odds. A lot of the time you’re alone as you seek out your goals and have to solely rely upon yourself to achieve them. The entire world as a whole is built to see you fail. However just like the bear you continue forward and survive. Becoming stronger.

Last year just as the previous years we had doubled our overall sales and revenue numbers. We’ve consistently grown since the beginning. The player and support base that we have is amazing. We wouldn’t be here without them. However that’s never been my goal. I don’t care about making money as that’s the by product of being successful and taking care of our customers. The humbling fact is that we’re allowed to be here and it is absolutely astonishing to me. I love waking up and getting the opportunity to serve and support players and teams alike every day.

What is your favorite moment for yourself in Paintball?
My favorite moment in paintball, that’s a little tough. I think my favorite moment is a collection of moments that are simply being with my friends, who turned into family, and getting to travel the country doing what we all enjoy.

What are some of the teams you have played with?
I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to play and guest with about 20 teams in my career thus far. Some of the more notable ones would be, 406’s Finest, Notorious, LA Collision, LA Platinum.

What was a big turning point for you and UNDR?
The turning point for UNDR would have to be retiring from the US. Marine Corps. As I was closing the gap to becoming a civi again, I took about 30k and started a whole soft good line from scratch. Invested heavily into a constant social media presence, and began to travel as a vendor to local and regional paintball events.

What are your plans for the future of UNDR and some goals you’re trying to reach in 2018?
Our future, that’s been the single most unanswerable question I have had. We started with 8 goggle straps in a barracks room 10 years ago. We just acquired Animal Customs and we’re looking to what that future holds for us. One of our short term goals to break into new markets for us, which is competitive shooting, fishing, and other sports that have a high demand for custom clothing.

What are some good pieces of advice that you would give players and Paîntball business owners in the sport?
My single most important advice I can express to anyone. You are the only one stoping you from you. Your dreams and the reality of them coming full circle are possible, it’s up to you to sack up and make them happen. People allow circumstances to dictate their lives, you own that bitch, or she owns you.

Where do you see Paîntball in 10 years?
Hard to say where pball as a whole will be in 10 years. It’s pretty cool watching what I grew up playing make a reemergence. Overall the sport is a luxury and has to be taken loosely as to how the future will lead. We impo should (business leadership) focus on giving players the best possible product and support we can.

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