About

HOW IT ALL STARTED

allen key

As an inline skater and roller hockey player, Cliff Chi got tired of bruising his knuckles rotating wheels. The allen key that came in the skate box was small and difficult to grip. There had to be a better way to tune up skates. Cliff went to work combining his passion for skating and experience as an Air Force engineer…the result was the award-winning Gripz Inline Skate Tool. As a 3-way tool, the Gripz name originated from the tool’s multiple ways to hold or multiple grips.

GRIPZ TO SONIC®

Cliff had ideas for new skate products but felt that the Gripz name was better suited to tools. After weeks of brainstorming, Sonic was chosen as the new brand name since it represented speed and flight…tune up skates faster, fly by the cyclists, skate faster, skate better. George Yu, architect and hockey player, was hired to design the first Sonic logo. The iconic flying skater is still depicted on Sonic packaging today.

Original Sonic LogoOriginal Sonic Logo

Leonidov Sonic ArtworkOriginal Art: Commissariat for Heavy Industry by Ivan Leonidov (1902-1959) – Sonic rendering by George Yu (1964-2007)

Following the Gripz Inline Skate Tool, Sonic launched a complete line of innovative and thoughtfully designed products. Since the early days, the company’s singular focus has been to make skating better.

A WORK OF ART

Museum of Modern Art entrance

If you own our Gripz Inline Skate Tool, you also own a work of art. The tool is in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York City, part of the Permanent Collection in MoMA’s Design and Architecture Department.

FLIGHT WORTHY

NASA Space Shuttle

NASA tested and approved our axles and bearing spacers to fly on the Space Shuttle. After rigorous testing, NASA engineers found them to be exceptionally smooth & quiet. The axles and bearing spacers were installed on anti-gravity treadmills enabling astronauts to stay fit in orbit.

INNOVATION

united states patent

Sonic’s design team has been first-to-market with many skate products:

Citrus Cleaner – citrus-based bearing cleaning solution
Extender Axle Kit – universal axle kit
Grip Juice – wheel cleaner
Pro Tool – tool with both bearing pusher and extractor
Turbo Wash – bearing cleaning system
Pack N Roll* – skater’s ankle pack
RollerTote* – versatile 2-way skate carrying strap (Chief Designer: Josh Canova)
Speed Tool* – folding skate tool
WheelRax* – wheel and bearing carrier (Chief Designer: Frank Fedel)

We’ve been awarded patents/patents pending for the following products:

Gripz Inline Skate Tool
Pro Tool
Turbo Wash
Speed Tool*
Skate Repair Stand*
Super Gel Twist Tip Syringe*

*Sold out and no longer part of the current product assortment

IN THE PRESS

As a pioneering designer of  inline skate products, we’ve been featured in many skating, fitness, lifestyle and sports industry publications.

Inline Magazine

INLINE
Gripz Skate Tool – awarded Recreational Product of the Year
Grip Juice
Pro Tool
SK8 Wax
Speed Tool*
Super Oil
Turbo Wash

Inline Skater Magazine

INLINE SKATER
Grip Juice
Gripz Skate Tool
SkateStand II*

GQ Magazine

GQ
Gripz Skate Inline Puck
Speed Kit*
Pack N Roll*

Shape Magazine

SHAPE
Pack N Roll*

Mens Health Magazine

MEN’S HEALTH
Inline Puck

Fitness Magazine

FITNESS
Pack N Roll*

Sporting Goods Business magazine

SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS
Pack N Roll* – awarded Top 10 New Product

California Active Magazine

CALIFORNIA ACTIVE
Gripz Skate Tool
Gripz Socketz Skate Tool*

No Magazine Cover

INLINE INFORMATION
Gripz Skate Tool (rated 9.95 of 10)

No Magazine Cover

INLINE HOCKEY NEWS
Grip Juice
Inline Puck

*Sold out and no longer part of the current product assortment