The 2011 Florida Skateboard Hall Of Fame Inductions!

By Cleo Coney Jr.

April 9th 2011 loomed like a pending meteor strike on the planet’s surface.
Some how the folks at the Florida Skateboard Hall of Fame had nominated and selected me to be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside my Florida skateboarding hero’s!
Nah, no way, this can’t be correct. This has to be a stunt, a set up on an episode of PUNK’D!

 Let me start from the beginning. Back in March I received a call from my skate brother down in Miami, Rob Weir. Rob and I go way back to my college days as a Miami Dade South campus freshman. Rob calls me and asked me if I was sitting down, he then proceeds to tell me that I was selected by current members, to the Florida Skateboard Hall Of Fame. 

What!  I’m in the Florida Skateboard Hall of Fame? I don’t believe that for a minute!

 Well, a few days later I get a phone call from a member of my old Saint Petersburg skate crew, our old ramp owner himself, John Grigley. John tells me I’m in the H.O.F. and that he was the key vote in selecting me to the H.O.F, and he wanted to personally tell me. Hmmm, I remember Rob telling me that Steve Marinak said his vote was key in my being selected too. Well, I know for sure this is a set up now! These guys are going to hit me in the face with a big whipped cream pie, pull the rug out from under me, then hose me down with reclaimed water, and video tape the whole thing and put it on YouTube! Yeah, something like that is brewing I’m sure.

I had planned on attending the Hall Of Fame Event up in Jacksonville Florida to cover it for Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine anyway. So, if they are going to play a trick on me, might as well write about it.

Now, in working out the details for this trip, it was decided that riding up part of the way with my old skate buddy Bill Procko would help save a few clams (for those not in the know, clams are equal to: Mula, Skrilla, Greenbacks, Scratch, Cheese, Dead Presidents, Ducketts, Dough, Coin, Cash etc.,) I keep forgetting that not everybody is as old as I am.

                                                       Demon Seed Ripper in the house!

                                                              Tampa crew in the house!

                                           Bill and Kim Procko deliver raffle deck to the winner.

                                               The Florida Skate Museum owner Kyle Sokol.

Anyway, once Bill’s home was reached I had to get a good look at the new Zip Line installed on his property. It’s over four hundred feet of cable stretched out through the forest from the upper deck of his beautiful home, which is built right next to the Suwannee River. The Zip experience ends down line with a bungee braking system. Bill Procko does Amazing Tarzan stuff regularly, so it’s always interesting to see what his next project is. I felt it best to just observe these happy go lucky types flying off his porch into the dense woods, and becoming all so very tiny as they quickly sped into the distance.

The next morning we head off to KONA Skate Park, the oldest, longest running skate park in existence in the U.S.A. today! I have so many great memories skating at KONA as a Block headed, skinny little teenager it has me very eager to skate! Once we arrive and depart Bill’s Van, my mind instantly replays images of years past, as if by magic the sun quietly reminds me of those, super heated sessions of long ago. Those killer sessions where Billy Beauregaurd was flapping Andrechts and Chris Baucom unleashed those scary front side foot plants!  Kona’s original concrete Bowls are still in the mix, the super fun snake run rules supreme these days, and on this day it was getting quite a lot of traffic from us older skaters. The snake run is just so fun!

                                              Donny Griffin eggplant reentry in Kona's pool.

I helped Bill set up his booth and then went for some food and ice cold water. Whew! It is so hot here today.  A quick look around KONA’s huge complex one realizes how much the park has actually grown since the old days. There’s an extended campground, a huge street course, a massive half-pipe, a sick pool to skate, and a whole lot more. Up above and behind the original KONA half-pipe sat the H.O.F. tent where the festivities would kick off later in the evening.

                                                        Lenny Byrd Grinding Kona's Pool

The coolest thing about a gathering like this is that many of the best show up. Great skaters from various skate eras make the pilgrimage to a new location every three or so years. This year wouldn’t be any different as several of the best ever were in the house. All around skaters like Kelly Lynn, George McClellan, and Chuck Dinkins, plus Buck Smith, Mark Lake, Binky Conklin, Peggy Turner, Dan Murray, Steve Marinak, Bruce Walker, Mike Rogers, Lenny Byrd, Todd Webb, Ed Womble, Paul Schmitt, Chris Baucom, John Grigley, Bill Procko, Lonnie Reiter, Walter Lewellen, Bruce Whiteside, Rob Weir, Karen Snyder, Donny Griffin, Marty Ramos, Steve Fisher, Ray Diez, Jimmy Plummer, Steve Workman, Reggie Barnes, the Pineiro Brothers and a host of other rad skaters. Celebrity notables brought out the Tampa crew from the S.P.O.T. both Ryan Clements and Brian Schaefer were seen in the mix, plus the Florida Skate Museums curator Kyle Sokol. There are just too many names to mention all of them, but what a great crowd filled with skateboarders from all over the country.

                                                               Mark Lake and friend.

                                                      Lonnie throwing up some peace.

The pool session was heating up as the sun began to slide down in the horizon just as the band “Sadly Mistaken” was ripping things up on the lip of the Pool.  The band’s frenzied energy was being fed on by the skaters riding the pool. For those of us not skating at the time, a food line began to form near the rear of the H.O.F. tent, and Buddha bellies like mine were in it with the quickness. A catered southwestern buffet was in effect, thank you very much Mr. Ramos!

                                 Peggy Turner in the white top with friend.

                                     Paul Schmitt and Bruce Walker enjoying the festivities.

When the announcement was made that things were about to start, my eyes scanned nervously for the hidden camera’s that would record the biggest “PSYCH” trick played on a person ever. Everyone seemed calm, so I was relaxed too. Dan Murray launched the video of the skaters to be inducted and not enough can be said about the tedious amount of work both he and Steve Marinak put into these events! Not to mention the great video editing and sound mixing, plus, the creation of H.O.F. jackets and awards! I know there are probably others involved here but those two really shined.

      Florida's original Kryptonics Skate Team L to R, George McClellan, Dan Murray, Steven Fisher, and Ray Diaz.

    The original St. Pete skate crew from L to R, Bill Procko, John Brigley, Bruce Whiteside, Walter Lewellen, Paul Schmitt, and on the mic Cleo Coney.

It was great to see Ray Diez, and Steve Fisher, talk about those glory days of Skateboarding that most of us still remember. Just seeing those guys in Kryptonic Shirts and big smiles on their faces while taking photos with the balance of the Krypto team George McClellan was worth the drive. I can’t forget Steve Anderson’s speed in the half-pipe, or Ray Diez’s smooth flow on long board slides, or Steve Fisher rock n rolling the vertical extensions in Clearwater’s half-pipe! These were moments that I lived over and over again in my head as a very young skateboarder. Steve Anderson who was unable to attend the event because of his teaching gig in China, sent a thank you video that featured his young students repeating skateboarding trick names in English and promoting his favorite tricks from the past, instantly became a classic and crowd favorite, too funny!

 I’m still stoked. The video of Karen Snyder was evidence of her skills as a freestyle skater. I never got to skate with her back in the day but there’s still time to session with her. But not only did she get inducted, but her brother Craig Snyder as well for his photo contributions to the sport over the years. He was unable to attend but was there in spirit, as we all looked upon his great photographic work in his segment of the induction video.

 Listening to these skaters talk about family, the skateboarding family and how that bond helped them or pushed them to do better is exactly how I feel about the sport. Skateboarders are one big family. The sport that I began at age eight only by accident has embraced my efforts, and now my name is being called to come forward in front of my skate family, to be inducted into the Florida Skateboard Hall of Fame. I guess this isn’t a joke on me after all, these very talented skateboarders, these hero’s of mine, the people I continue to look up to from my wall posters as a kid, they have decided together to include me in their midst. Wow! Thirty-nine years after I picked up my first skateboard with clay wheels here I am. Today I’m humbled, and so grateful for skateboarding.

                                   The Hall Of Fame emblem on the rear of each inductee's jacket. 

The David Adams Interview in Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine!

David Adams chats with Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine!

                                David Adams carving coping at Dunedin's Stirling Skate Park.

Dave your name brings instant respect and appreciation when mentioned in any skateboarding related conversation around the state. You’ve been involved in skateboarding for some time, beginning in those glorious Clearwater Skateboard Park days of yore. You were also instrumental in getting the city of Dunedin to recognize a need for a quality skate park and helped to get Stirling Skateboard Park built, and everybody thanks you for that!

When did you first realize that skateboarding was in your blood for good?

Wow, that’s a big question.  I first rode a skateboard when I was around 8.  It was a Hoby Super Surfer with clay wheels.   I was hooked from the minute I rode down the driveway.     

Back in those awesome skate days at Clearwater Skateboard Park whom did you skate with?

I skated with the Team a lot, which included GBM, Womble, Pat Parker, Jeff France, Todd Sondegrath, JBM, Fisher, Schumaker and all those rippers.  Oh, and the younger guys on the team like Tony Simotes, Mike Coccia, and Jimmy Marcus, those kids were awesome.  I skated a lot with my surfing friends too, like Shane James, Donny Staley, Kevin O’Connor, and that crowd.  I can’t remember everyone I skated with right now, because I skated a lot, just about every night.    

                                      David flying frontside on an ancient ramp back in the day.

What are some of your most memorable times you have of Clearwater Skateboard Park?

I have so many really good memories from that time in my life.  It felt like my second family there, and I needed that at the time.  One of the best times for me was the grand opening of the park.  It was like a dream come true to have that much concrete available to be creative on.   The weeknight sessions were always hot, and skateboarding was progressing at such a rapid pace in 77/78, that from one week to the next, the level would just go up and up.  That fueled my fire for sure.    

When you skate Dave, your style flows like water, did surfing create your style or
were you always smooth like butter on your skateboard? 

Whoa, thanks for your assessment.  I would like to think that surfing and skateboarding together have influenced my style, but back then skating was always about trying to emulate surfing, so that approach probably influenced my style.  I was trying to be like Jerry Lopez at Pipeline man.   

                                             Wheeling some coping block back in the day!

Looking at the finished product that Team Pain delivered at Stirling Skateboard Park, and after skating in countless sessions at the park, is there any design changes you would make, or park extensions that you’d like to see?

I really do think Tito and the Concrete Crew for Team Pain did such a fantastic job designing and constructing the Sterling Skatepark in Dunedin.  And I enjoyed being a part of that process.   As for design changes, no, I don’t have anything on that.  However, I believe a true street plaza designed for competition on the area where the basketball courts are would be a great addition to the park.  We’re going to work on that with the City in the coming months, so stay tuned.  

Just how long did it take in the process of working with the City of Dunedin to get Stirling Skateboard Park approved for building?

Well, I was invited to participate as a member of their origin Task Force back in 1998, and the Grand Opening of the park was in September 2007, so around nine years.  I’ll be honest and say there were periods where I would get frustrated and just give up.  But I would regroup and go back and talk to the leaders in our community, and promote the concept of a poured in place concrete park.  I learned a lot along the way, made many mistakes, and probably ruffled a few feathers, too.  But in the end, it worked out for the best.  Had I convinced the other members of the Task Force to support a concrete park back in 1998, we would not have what we have now, because skateparks have progressed so much.     

What would you suggest other skaters in other communities do to help move the process along and to help win approval of such?

Get to know your community leaders on a more personal level.  Get involved with the process by requesting meetings with your recreation leaders. Go in prepared with photos of other projects and educate them on how important a skatepark is to their community.  Recruit your support from outside the skate community, like business owners and law enforcement.  You’ll be surprised how much you can get done.        

Dave you’ve seen some radical skateboarding over the years by various skateboarders, whom are your all-time favorite Florida skaters past and present? 

Man, there are so many really good ones I’ve enjoyed skating with or just watching, but I will say from my personal perspective, Monty Nolder, Mark Lake, Mike Daly, Tullie Carlton, John Grigley, and Chris West all skated the way I thought it should be done.   In the present, I am a big fan of Jimmy the Greek and Mike Frazier.  Oh yeah, and Buck Smith is the man!  He destroyed the pool when he came to Dunedin. 

Do you think skateboard parks should develop team riders like they had back in the late 1970’s to compete against other skateboard parks?  The Team Pain Series - Teams from Dunedin, Cocoa Beach, Oviedo, New Smyrna, etc. competing for the title at a neutral site. 

Well I haven’t really thought about that.  It sounds cool though

How has skateboarding enhanced your life?

Skateboarding probably saved my life. It took me to the edge in other less risky ways.  Yeah, my lifestyle has always had skateboarding in it, and I am forever grateful for the friends I have made because I am a skateboarder.      
You had the opportunity to go west and skate in some big New Mexico Ditches, what was that experience like?

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. GBM was such a great host, and very good race organizer.  Hanging with Kelly Lynn, Chuck Dinkins, Garr Poe, Farid, Jimmy Marcus and Heidi was just so fluid.  I helped set up the course for the Indian School race, and worked the finish line with Gregg Stubbs, one of crew from Texas.  The qualifier was held the next morning and I ran in that one.  I was so stoked to do that.  We went to a lot of the ditches around Albuquerque, including Kate’s Nips and the Bear, which can only be appreciated in person.  We hit up a few pools, partied at Palmers house, and just raged for a few days.  I came away feeling like I had been to the Mecca of the skateboarding world.  The whole scene out there is just so full of energy, and I loved it.  I want to go back in the future.       

                                     David Adams hauling azz in the New Mexican Desert.

Select one of the following complete setups:

A)    Original G&S Fiberflex with Bennett’s and Alligator Wheels
B)     Original Logan Earth Ski with Trackers and Road Rider 4’s
C)    Original Sims Taper Kick with Gullwings and Sims Bowl Riders
D)    Original Hobie Mike Weed Rocker Kick with Lazer Trucks and OJ’s

Oh, the Taper Kick for sure!   I had a couple of them back in the day and loved those boards. 
 I’d change the wheels to white Powerflex 5s though, trying to be era correct and all. 

Did you ever have a Tony Alva poster on any of your bedroom walls back in the day?

No, my posters were usually surfing posters or that black light poster of the hot chick with the Afro.  It was the 70s man!  Just kidding on that one.  Surfing posters were it.  I think I remember having a poster of Mt. Baldy at one time. Waldo Autrey over vert, I think.  It’s all kind of fuzzy.  

                                            Evening grind on an original BURG BOWL deck.

Dave your kids skateboard a little, what is it that you would like them to take away from skateboarding and apply it to their lives?

The individual creativity that each of us has inside.  We all need some form of canvas to lay it down.  So if they can explore that aspect of their lives through skating, surfing, or some other avenue, I’ll be satisfied with that.  I just want them to enjoy the experience.  

Dave you have been blessed with a great skate history, a beautiful family, and you’ve set a positive example as a concerned parent and citizen.  Thanks for taking time out of your busy life to talk to Coping Block.

Thanks Cleo, you’re right about that.  My wife and kids are a blessing for sure, and have made my life beautiful.  That, and all the good friends I have, like you my man.  Stay cool. 

Push, Carve, Grind!

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The Walter Lewellen Interview in Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine!

By Cleo Coney Jr.

           Walter Lewellen wheeling a disturbingly kinked early version of the Saint Petersburg Ramp.

Walter let's get right into it, where and when did you first start skateboarding?

 I first started skateboarding in 1976 when wide world of skateboarding magazine started appearing in the news rack at Lil General store in St.Petersburg, Florida. I went to church camp that year and some surfer skaters Nick Kurz and Dale Allen let me ride their "Banzai aluminum" board. 

What was your first set up?

My first "real" board was a Bahne watermelon with Chicago trucks and Weber performer wheels. It was used and had duct tape on the nose. 

You have always had an aggro skate style and philosophy to your skateboarding, who were your earliest influences?

 My earliest influences would be seeing Matt Davies at a Toys r Us demo and skaters at Earthin Surfin like Chris Moriarity, Michael Daly, and Jay Hamilton. 

You were able to skate many of the earliest concrete skate parks in the state of Florida, did you have a favorite and if so what did you like about it?

 I liked Earthin Surfin since I went there the most. I liked the snake runs. I have skated I believe every park in the Tampa area including Surferdrome, the place next to Oil can Henry's in Bradenton, Coquina, Skate Wave, Clearwater, McGill’s, Rollin, Sensation, and Lately New Tampa. 

           Notice the early PVC home made version of copers! Walter Lewellen stinky frontside Air.

You spent time skating with the St.Petersburg, Crew at both the Nacho Ramp and the Grigley Vert ramp, how did those sessions influence your desire to create your own line of skateboards?

I started building them because of my interest in them and I couldn’t afford to buy more than a board or two a year. I started building boards at home then at Gibbs High School in 1977. Later I tried to do some of the great ideas developed during cracking sessions and slurpee runs. 

Where and when did you start building skateboards?

At home, and then Gibbs High School Woodshop. The school had a press that was perfect, and made a rocker kick, which was cool. I then put Formica on the bottom, which looked good and was slick

When did you come up with "MSD" Manual Skate Device?

 During a your momma cracking session at Bruce Whiteside's house. 

What were the decks dimensions what combinations of wood did you experiment with?

The boards I built at school I used ash with a 1/4" bottom ply and then combos of thin ply's above, and Formica. 

                                               An original MSD deck, Manual Skate Device.

Let's get into your skate relationship with Paul Schmitt; did you ever discuss with him glue strengths, lamination combinations, or construction techniques in the distant past?

All of the above I used to pick his brain when I would visit him in the 80's and 90's. He took me around to different woodshops, Upland etc. 

Were you at the ramp the day Paul rode straight through the quarter pipe transition and ended up having a ramp around his upper chest?

Yes and I have a knot on my head still from Paul's board, that flew out like 50' in the air one day and hit me in the head. 

                                               The knot now gone from the head of Walter.

I know that you worked with both Bruce Whiteside and John Grigley in developing board graphics, what was their input?

They are both artistically savvy and can translate ideas into reality without much explaining. 

When did you first come up with the concept of "SANITATION" Skateboards and Clothing?

 I thought that it was alternative realm and was clean. I was trying to do something different than skulls. Growing up in the Burg I was inspired by the Sanitation dept.

What were some of the T-Shirts that "SANITATION" produced?

"Solid Waste”, “Janitor" "Garbage Girl” designed by Anthony Foronda and John Grigley.

Will we see any new stuff from Sanitation in the near future?


                                                                Another MSD design.

You have one of the most creative minds in skateboarding, but you never really exploited your talents to the masses. You are the quintessential idea guy, why hold back?

 I am into consistency over time so I take my time... 

Elaborate on 100% Rocks and Easter Island heads as graphics.

 Hanging out with Cleo in the 80's and Paul Sneed. 

For the following one-word questions, please answer with the first word that comes to mind. 

1.  Nellie? Dirt
2.  Flips? Snead
3.  Cardboard? Yes
4.  Charlie? Charlieeee
5.  Fiberglass? It itches without duct tape (Hey! That’s more than one word!)
6.  Monty? When he blew away Fausto   (That’s five words! LOL!)
7.  Fire? 24yrs
8.  Henry? He was def at that Rockin Chair Theater b-boy contest
9.  Cheese? Davis
10.  Yellow? Drew Crepeau
11.  Ice? Arlank
12.  Cactus? Nagasaki

Micro companies are one of the best things about Skateboarding. Idea's translated into reality and sometimes into mega companies. What future plans do you have for skateboarding?

 I plan to keep riding and potentially produce some products later in this decade.

                                    Walter Lewellen enjoying some edge play for the fun of it.

If you could design your own skate park what would it be like?

 I like the new parks, but they should have snake runs or gravity runs and be a little less cluttered. These parks need a consistent concrete half pipe with long even sides. 

What single skateboarder do you respect the most out of all others?

 Don’t have a single one have many that I respect.  Seeing Matt Davies blow away the California Free Former team at Toys R Us. Growing up Mike Folmer gave me like a large quantity of Sims stickers. Bruce Whiteside, John Grigley, Cleo Coney, Thom Nickelson, Paul Schmitt, Bill Procko. 

Have you ever thought about how the crew of skaters you grew up skating with have influenced the sport over the years?

Constantly yes, Much respect and good times for Bruce Whiteside, John Grigley, Cleo Coney, Thom Nickelson, Paul Schmitt, Bill Procko for the great times we had skating, building ramps, going to 7-11 and crackin "your momma" jokes...Etc 

Will you ever consider producing snowboards or snowboard related gear?

I thought of making Solid Waste bright urange (orange) mitts.

What's your opinion of the new skate parks?

They try to pack too much stuff in, the concrete is so smooth and they are well built. The wood parks are too slippery for me.

What was your participation in getting the New Tampa Park built?

My neighbor was the number 2 guy in the City of Tampa parks dept and I constantly told him about Team Pain concrete parks, after about 3 years he was able to pass it on and we got lucky. 

                                                            Walter axle sliding to fakie.

As a young skater what was your dream set up?

Castor IPS 6 ply with BSC trucks and White Gyros and Sims gold bearings.

What do you like most about Skateboarding?

You can always do it and you meet some exceptional friends. When I showed up at Tyrone mall Champs sports and Barry Zaritsky's voice was gone so I MC'd for Rodney Mullen and he was surprised I could do it.

Any last words?

When I skate I think about war, when I fall I am not dead. Also, I would like to thank Mrs. Grigley and Mrs. Whiteside for letting us build and skate ramps in their backyards. 

Push, Carve, Grind!

Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine looks into Micro Skateboard Companies

Micro Skate Companies vs. the Giants

The growth of the Skateboarding Industry can sometimes be measured by the success or failure of the many micro skateboarding related companies that make up the industry.
Many of today's industry giants were once garage operations.

By Cleo Coney Jr.

Murder Ride / Charles Crank

Murder Ride, what was your inspiration to kick it off?

It was easy, I had been watching so many horror films as a kid and with my babies momma and thought a Murder themed skateboard company would be a hit. Wes Humpston and Skip Engblom are the guys that inspired me the most to start a skateboard company though. I wanted to have my very own Zepher Team and bring some riders up by putting the illest custom painted boards under there feet just like Dogtown Skates did.  I thought if I custom painted my own boards and picked up some diversified riders that I could kickstart my own revolution based on the Dogtown Chronicles.

Micro Skate companies seem to generate more grassroots buzz than the larger entities, how has Murder Ride been accepted in your area?
The local shops have been real supportive in the growth of the company, people in the Bay Area are really into what we are doing, the parents like it as much as the kids do. Many locals tell me that Murder Ride boards look better than any other boards on the racks in the skate shops.
What's your biggest obstacle in the growth of Murder Ride?

I’ll say troubleshooting with the many different types of paints and other secret products that we use has been the biggest obstacle so far. I can’t count the hours we spend trying to perfect the recipe.

How quickly can you make graphic changes?
On the fly we can put a hot new five board series together in one day and produce prototypes within 3 days.

What's been your most proud moment so far in the development of Murder Ride?

Seeing the faces of these kids light up when I offer them a spot on the team is the best, It instantly builds their confidence and opens more doors to get them more sponsors and support.

Demon Seed / Wade Ulrich

How did Demon Seed come about?
Demon Seed was started in 2009 with a vision to product the highest quality boards with the sickest graphics on the market and sponsor some of the best skaters out there.

Collectively who decides what the graphics are going to look like?

 Myself and the artists, I try and let each artist design graphics with their own style while keeping with the brand image for Demon Seed. My Brewery riders did have input on their models though, especially Steve Workman with his model.

Skateboarding Micro companies are all the rage, how big do you want Demon Seed to grow?

Don’t plan on taking over the world…hahaha, but you never know.

 What do you think is the coolest thing about having input into your own skateboard company?

  Not having to settle for second best and having creative freedom.

 What has been the biggest challenge so far?

  The biggest challenge was to find a manufacturer that could produce boards that met my high quality standards. I'm a little OCD when it comes to quality and the Demon Seed brand.

What part of Florida is Demon Seed in?

 Demon Seed is from Cocoa Florida.

 What's the fastest way a person can get their hands on one of your decks?

 At their local skate shop or online at

 When I think of micro skate companies Paul, some of the first ones that come to mind are from back in the day, Markel, Flite, Schmitt Stix, Little, etc., all.
Why is this industry filled with so many micro skate companies?

 Don’t forget products like the Clyde Slide and Fish Stix. Skateboarding has always had a very do it yourself attitude, that means a lot of people want to try their hand at being a skateboard company. Now days it usually means having someone else make it for you and your company designs the graphics and images and sometimes the shape.

 You used to be a micro company back in the day, what was your biggest obstacle back then?

 Things were very different back then, as the skateboard had not been accepted by society yet. For me as a young company the obstacle was potential market.  That means I did things to promote skateboarding like build ramps, run contest, document them etc. Now days its the fact that a skateboard is a commodity product that sells price and not the merits of the product.

Creatively, do you think micro companies have a better handle on what's going on at the grassroots level?

 Young companies have the advantage of understanding their local marketplace. The problem is, to be successful you have to sell everywhere and that means you need to market well enough to get the consumers attention and create excitement about the product.

What advice do you have for all those start up and current micro skateboard companies on the scene today?

 When I was young the skateboard was unrefined. I was able to refine it and that is how I got people to pay attention to what I was doing. As a new company how are you going to get the consumers attention? Start your brand as a hobby and see if you can get someone’s attention locally and far away. If you can, then you need to figure out design, marketing, production, distribution & finance. If you do not have those 5 areas of your business in place, it’s going to be hard to compete in today's marketplace where the skateboard has become a commodity.

Find out what Paul Schmitt is up to @

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