There’s a certain scene of riders here in the UK that have done a lot of this introduction for us. If you follow the likes of Fraz Hill, Mike Hullock, Brandon Steele and Ben Towle on Instagram, you will have seen them mention Hippie Turtle Herbal Co – this is what we’ve been noticing anyway.
Sleek packaging, well reviewed products and a strong link to BMX.
We wondered how this CBD brand fit into UK BMX and so we hit up the main man, Ash Heeley, to ask a few questions about it.
Photos by Tom Peters
Q&A with Ash Heeley
– Hippie Turtle isn’t a BMX brand but it’s very associated with BMX. Can you tell us why that is? What’s your connection to BMX?
Sure, we’re a CBD brand but the UK BMX scene has been incredibly supportive of us, which we’re super grateful for! We were working alongside local riders for quite a while before our official launch so I think the association was already there before we really set up.
I’ve been riding BMX most of my life and have been heavily influenced by BMX and action sports culture. I think this comes through with Hippie Turtle Herbal Co as a brand.
We’ve attended a number of jams and BMX events over the past few years as well, providing products for giveaways and supporting the UK scene, which I think has further strengthened our association with BMX.
“If there’s one thing that’s universal in BMX, it’s injury”
– You’ve got a number of UK riders that you support. Who’s on that list and how did you choose those guys?
Currently the list looks like this:
Storm, Brandon Steele, Fraiser Hill, Tom Kilcoyne, Lee Wilson aka Wee Lilson, Cam Peake, Ben Towle, Joe Ferguson, Mike Hullock and Dylan Foster
Some of the guys on the list are local riders that were happy in helping out during the testing phase of the products before we launched, it seemed only right that we give back and help keep them shredding. As Hippie Turtle has grown it has allowed us to meet some awesome people in BMX, both incredible riders and personalities which has helped our team grow organically with the brand.
– Do you have any plans to develop some projects with the ‘team’?
Our team is pretty small right now but it’s a great group of people. It’s always a laugh getting everyone together, plus the riding is insanely good! As the brand grows this year we’re hoping to expand the team and really give back to the riders.
Some projects that we have in mind would be a riding trip to film a Hippie Turtle edit. I know a few of the guys are keen to get on this, so I think this will definitely be on once the lockdown restrictions begin to lift.
We’d really like to put on an old school jam in the summer too, get people together from across the UK for the love of BMX. We’d have to give this some real planning and make a good event out of it but it’s definitely on the cards.
– Tell us about the brand. What is Hippie Turtle Herbal Co all about, how did it start, how did you name it, etc?
Hippie Turtle Herbal Co is a predominately CBD based health and wellness company. Our products are all natural, organic and an eco friendly approach to pain relief, injury recovery and stress/anxiety management.
“Beyond the pain relieving and injury recovery benefits of CBD, it can have a real calming effect on the mind and anxiety”
I started Hippie Turtle due to my own health issues, several years back I was diagnosed with AS which is essentially rheumatoid arthritis in the lower spine. I went from riding all the time and being super active to having trouble just walking around the house and very simple movements. I decided that a lifelong dependancy on immune suppressing drugs wasn’t the path I wanted to take (much to the frustration of the doctors). So I began a long road to recovery, determined to learn as much about natural pain relief options as possible. CBD played a huge part in my recovery process and I began to experiment with different ways to use CBD, such as making bath bombs and muscle rubs. Not only did the resulting products really help but the learning process was a great mental stimulation too, which helped distract from the pain.
As many of my friends are riders they were naturally interested in trying these out and went on to become the official testers. It was then I realised this could be something bigger than myself and Hippie Turtle was born.
When I came up with the name I’d been playing around with Hippie and herbal combinations, at the time I had really long dreads so being called a Hippie was a regular occurrence, haha. By the end of what was a pretty crazy day I was sat on the floor watching my tortoise Sheldon walking around and something just clicked. When I initially said it out loud I kept getting tongue twisted, which made me laugh but also made me certain that was the name. Thankfully I can say it now!
– How do those products help BMX riders?
CBD when applied both topically or ingested can have really powerful anti inflammatory effects, meaning it can help with reduced pain and speeding up recovery from injuries. If there’s one thing that’s universal in BMX, it’s injury.
I know how frustrating it can be to have injuries that can prevent or affect your riding, CBD products have helped me so much. It made complete sense to try and help riders keep doing what they love, for as long as possible, with minimal time off.
Even beyond the pain relieving and injury recovery benefits of CBD, it can have a real calming effect on the mind and anxiety. Whilst it’s not always talked about, mental health affects everyone and we’ve had a number of riders contact us looking to reduce anxiety. It can also help make riding more relaxed and enjoyable, which ultimately is what it’s all about.
– What kind of feedback have you had from riders?
Overall the feedback from riders has been incredible and the products have been a real hit with those that have tried them. Here’s a few quotes of the feedback we’ve had so far:
“I’ve been using the muscle rub and it works a treat for bruising, helping the swelling go down quicker and making it more bearable to ride with an injury”
“I’ve found the muscle rub useful when I’ve had sprained ankles or problems with my elbow, the bath bombs are fire too!”
“I take the oil every day and it gives me a very clear head and after a few active days on the run the cooling muscle rub works wonders for aches and pains”
“The bath bombs are what I use most after a long day riding, soaking for 30-45 minutes helps me with recovery for aching muscles and makes me feel like butter. Also the muscle rubs help if you’ve taken a bad slam, I noticed the bruising from rolled ankles disappear much faster”
– What’s coming up for the brand this year?
We’re going to be working on some more products that may not be CBD based but definitely athlete orientated. As well as working on expanding our existing CBD bath bomb range. It’d be really cool to do a limited edition collab with a BMX company in some way, that’s definitely something we’d like to explore further down the line.
Once things settle back down, we’re hoping to attend and possibly host more BMX events this year, meeting more rad people and doing our bit to support the industry and the riders.
We’d like to take the opportunity to give a big thank you to all the riders who’ve got involved, everyone down at Onboard Skatepark and Waller BMX for their support with Hippie Turtle. Big shoutout to Storm who always goes above and beyond for the brand, even down to helping with the packing/unpacking of stock.
I’d like to give special thank you to my partner Kirsty who’s helped to make the Hippie Turtle Herbal Co vision a reality and thanks to Ride UK for giving us the chance to showcase the brand.
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