Photo by Greg Maxwell
The Kryptonics Meltdown Continue reading “Kryptonics Meltdown 7s Invitational Photos”
Kryptonics Wheels Chooses Jerome Bevilacqua as First Global Brand Activist
Long time skateboarder and Kryptonics Wheels supporter, Jerome Bevilacqua has been chosen as the first Global Brand Activist. Bevilacqua, 46, is a skateboarder, longboarder and creator of the popular skateboarding website Sakaroulé. When not skateboarding he is a financial auditor, or as the French like to say a “commissaire aux comptes”. Jerome resides in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, in the heart of the Caribbean.
Jerome started skateboarding in 1976, after watching a documentary on television showing the latest California trend, skateboarding. His first skateboard was a blue banana board. From the beginning he skated everything; slalom, high jump, barrel jump and quarter pipe. In 1995 Jerome began longboarding and soon become one of its greatest proponents.
Known by followers of his website and Facebook as a fetishist of urethane, Jerome describes the new Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels as only he can, “I love the consistent shape, and the comfort of the three colours : red is like velvet, blue is silk, green is like African wax. Each duro has its specific sensation. I love the 75mm: it is a great addition to the traditional sizes.”
In addition to representing Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels at skateboarding events, Jerome will also be promoting the brand through social media and via his website Sakaroulé.
In announcing Bevilacqua as the first Kryptonics Global Brand Activist, Kryptonics Wheels Brand Director Steve Douglas commented, “We could not have found a more ardent and loyal supporter of Kryptonics wheels to help us spread the word about the new Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels.”
The new line of Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels are now available from Revolution and other fine skate stores.
When did you begin skateboarding?
Back in 1976 I remember watching a documentary on TV showing a new trend in California: we could see people riding flat boards on wheels, picking up food at the grocery, then riding down the pavement. A few month later I saw my first skateboard – and got it for my 10th birthday.
Where were you living then?
I was born and raised in Lille, North of France, in the Flanders, close to the Belgium border and across the Channel, England.
Did you play other sports as kid?
Skateboard, Rollerskates, BMX (I rode a Raleigh Rampart in 1979). I started wind-surfing with my elder brothers in 1980.
What type of skateboarding did you do when you began? Slalom? Freestyle? Vert?
In the 70’s one had to try everything: hippie jump and barrel jumps over my friends! I loved slalom too – I lived in a flat land. We had a steep quarter pipe to learn “3 wheels out” and “aerials”. I had two set ups at that time: a solid Logan on Mid-Tracks then Gull Wings, and a G&S Fibreflex on ACS 651. And two sets of Kryptonics: blues and reds 65. I used to change and mix them all the time.
When did you first ride Kryptonics?
1977 – I had a stiff oak board (Logan) upgraded with Road Riders. I borrowed a board from a friend, a Sims Quicksilver set up with red Kryptonics. I felt like I was riding a magic flying carpet. I was hooked.
What color wheels/size did you ride?
I switched from reds and blues, then ended mixing front blues and reds back. In those days 65mm was comfortable, 70mm was considered huge. Later I turned to 70mm reds – they are still my favourite wheel nowadays. I have it stuck in my mind now: red wheels are faster!
How much better were they than the competition?
Above all challengers: they gave you the edge. Faster, firmer, smarter. They determined how you would skate: grippy carve for reds or slash and slide for greens (and everything in between for blues). Moreover they gave you style!
What was your favorite Kryptonics ad from back in the day?
So many! There was no internet then. Actually we’d wait for the next issue of the Skate Board Magazine to discover new adds, or sneak in USA imported mags shared as priceless relics! I think “We blue it” was among my favourites.
What is your favorite memory from skateboarding in the 70’s and early 80’s?
There was a wide lane, good tarmac, ending in a sharp L turn. When I was riding down that road I always felt like a “california dream”. Reading both fright and pleasure in your partner’s eyes while doing catamarans is always a good memory.
What is your favorite memory in skateboarding?
Meeting buddies and trying to share that strange inner feeling you get when carving the perfect line.
When and why did you become so passionate Kryptonics wheels?
I had had good times on Kryptonics and felt crossed when they were underrated or looked down upon for wrong reasons. They were not the hype they were not supported by any kind of advertising and a whole generation still had to discover them!
Have you always ridden them?
Yes. And I still do! Actually I ride many wheels and consider Kryptonics as my milestone. Some may be more grippy bigger brighter driftier or else they stand the comparison. Their ‘buttery slide’ is incomparable.
Were you in touch with the original Kryptonics company back in the 1970s and 1980s?
Not during that era. One central figure at the end of the 90’s was Tom Peterson. He was an outstanding rollerskater and a visionnaire. He turned Kryptonics towards the in line market, abandoned development for the skateboarding market but helped develop new compounds with AEND and Neil Piper. Perhaps today’s best chemist for urethanes.
Who are some of the people you have known over the years from Kryptonics?
So many. Each rider has his own memories and I often started the exploration simply by evoking the name Kryptonics.
How long has your website Sakaroule been around? What was the inspiration for starting it?
Around 2000 I started checking for wheels on the Internet and I was surprised to find few things about skateboarding. I met a famous French longboarder and blogger Pappy Boyington from Longboard in Paris and started writing to him, then blogging what I had not found elsewhere. Kryptonics raises so many fond memories and good times for several generations of skaters that I thought it was necessary to share some feedback to spread these goodies.
You recently had a Kryptonics conceptual ad contest on Sakaroule, how was the response?
Brilliant. French riders instantly found good messages appealing to several generations. Those who had seen the original ads by Jim Ford as well as those who were about to discover its special savour.
What were some of your favorite entries?
I was surprised every day when I discovered the entries. So talented, so nice, so new. I have a sweet spot for “Houston?” as it makes me smile, “We’re back” is so simple and strong, and “Back from the Dead” is in the mood of horror movies or zombies series. “Hot core” is fantastic, and I love red Kryptonics! If I had only one thing to say to any rider, it would be “get a set of Kryptonics and ride!”
What type of work do you do?
I am a financial auditor, a French “commissaire aux comptes”.
You’ve been riding the new Kryptos for a couple of months now; can you share your thoughts on the wheels?
Great! You know some people consider me as a fetishist of urethane. I love the consistent shape, and the comfort of the three colours: red is like velvet, blue is silk, green is like African wax. Each duro has its specific sensation. I love the 75mm: it is a great addition to the traditional sizes.
How does it feel to be the first Kryptonics Wheels Global Brand Activist?
Ask Dave! As for being an activist: I feel committed to share and suggest, and blame if need be.
Tell us a bit about where you live.
In 1990 I moved to Guadeloupe, in the heart of the Caribbean. Imagine a group of tiny tropical islands around a volcano, green forests, waterfalls, black and white sand, surrounded by the sea. It’s been more than 20 years now, and guess what? I love it.
What’s 2014 look like for you?
2013 was a transition year in many aspects. 2014 is already a great year, and we have almost 340 days left to celebrate it! I‘d like to make friends, and get involved in new ventures in Long Distance Pumping. I will share my “coups de Coeur“ on Sakaroulé!
Photo: Pierre van der Spuy
Highly respected South African skateboarder/longboarder, Kent Lingeveldt, has been named Kryptonics First International Brand Ambassador. Lingeveldt, 33, is a skateboarder, photographer and the owner of Cape Town skateboard company, Alpha Longboards. Kent started as a street skater, at the age of 14. In 1999, he entered the world of downhill longboard racing, taking part in the first Red Bull Downhill Extreme in Cape Town down the infamous “Glen Road”. From 2004 to 2006, he competed at races in Europe and South America and in 2009. He returned to racing in 2011, after a two-year break and still races locally and abroad when the time allows.
Kent regularly does informal work with local kids in and around the poorer communities in Cape Town and together with an older generation of longboarders he works to nurture skateboarding as a life-skill for kids that opens up their minds to a world of an extended skate family worldwide.
Kent started Alpha Longboards in 2001 and in the past 12 years, has handmade over 500 boards. His boards are ridden across the world in 13 countries on five continents. He has collaborated with artists Atang Tshikare, Toni Stuart, Khaya Witbooi, Nardstar, Rico Swanepoel, Motel7 and Mr. Fuzzy Slippers to create Alpha art boards. His Local Legends series honours South African greats such as Nelson Mandela and in April 2012, he met Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and presented him with his own Tutu Alpha art board. He regularly exhibits the Alpha Longboards art boards in his home of South Africa as well as in Germany.
Kent with Desmond Tutu
Lingeveldt has been involved as a test rider for the new Kryptonics Star Trac wheels over the last few months, putting the wheels through their paces on the varied terrain of South Africa.
In addition to representing Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels at skateboarding events, Kent will also be promoting the brand through social media and self-produced skateboarding videos.
In announcing Lingeveldt’s joining the ambassador program, Kryptonics Wheels Brand Director Steve Douglas commented, “We are stoked to have a skater of Kent’s abilities, and just as importantly his involvement with South African youth, representing Kryptonics Wheels”.
Tell us a bit about where you live.
I live in Cape Town, South Africa, born and bred. It’s a port city at the southernmost tip of Africa. Because it’s a port city, Cape Town is quite diverse and cosmopolitan with many different nationalities and cultures making it a rad melting pot of people.
When did you start skateboarding?
I started skating in 1994, the same year South Africa became a democracy.
Did you play other sports as kid?
I come from a very sporty family and my Father played professional and national soccer in his prime, but I could never get the hang of playing the game, and ended up doing cross-country running at school.
Kent on the podium at Hot Heels
When you started skating, was it on a longboard? Or did you skate street or vert to begin with?
I started skating street. Where I grew up and spent most of my time in the city centre was very urban, and a perfect playground for street skating. I remember street skating being one of the most racially integrated pastimes at the time, especially for the times and changes our country was going through, from Apartheid to a democracy.
What attracted you to longboarding?
The need to go faster downhill. My first two years of downhill racing was on the widest street decks I could find at the time. So I knew the bigger the board the better for downhill skating. Also in 1994 when I started skating, we lived on a hill, and I got shown how to slide by a guy called Wayne Moses who lived on the same hill, and sliding was so much easier on a longboard when going fast.
When did you start racing?
I started racing in 1999 at the inaugural Red Bull Downhill Extreme down Klooofnek Road/The Glen in Cape Town. Between 1999 and I think 2002 we only had that race each year and we would have international riders from America, Europe, South America and Australia come to compete. In 2004 I made my first trip abroad to race in Europe and then in following years South America and Australia.
What do enjoy about racing?
The coming together of the community to hang out, go fast, and inspire each other to do better. With the boom in the downhill racing equipment industry, racing is also a way to keep abreast of what’s new and out there and what’s doing good and what’s not.
How did Alpha Longboards come about?
Alpha Longboards started out in 2000/2001 out of a realization that I need a longer deck than my street deck to go faster down hills. Coming from a family with not too much extra cash to import a European or American brand back then, I just got a piece of commercial ply from a hardware store and cut out my first longboard. Mates saw the boards I was cutting out and shaping and started buying them from me, and BOOM, I was a small board shaping company.
Photo: Zwelibanze Sitole
What was your inspiration for the Desmond Tutu and Ghandi decks?
They form part of a stencil-art series of boards called the LOCAL LEGENDS series. Images include that of Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Miriam Makeba, and Imam Haron. It’s intention is to inspire South Africans to pay homage and be inspired by our own local legends rather than heroes outside our borders. Especially the youth. Also to make them aware of these heroes of our country that maybe our school textbooks do not teach them about.
It must have been very cool to meet Desmond Tutu, can you share that experience with us?
I am also a documentary photographer and a friend of mine is making a documentary on a young anti-apartheid activist who was killed in the late 1980’s by the police for his work. Ashley Kriel’s funeral was the first political funeral Desmond Tutu officiated as the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Cape Town, so we interviewed him about the funeral for the documentary. And I thought here is my chance to give him a deck with his image on it and possibly have him sign one for me. He loved it and has his own deck hung up on his office wall.
We’ve heard that you do quite a bit of work with the underprivileged kids in your area. What kind of programs/activities are involved?
I studied Child and Youth Development in the early 2000’s and also worked in childrens’ homes while studying, but stopped because it took too much time away from skateboarding. So I have always had a want to work with kids, mainly because many of them come from similar home backgrounds as myself and therefore it was awesome for them to chat to someone who can relate. Currently I have a group of kids in the area where my Alpha Longboards workshop is in that get support from me with skate gear and I also work with them in showing them the life skill that is skateboarding. The ability to get up and try again when you down. It’s a very informal arrangement, which I prefer, because it also allows me to be myself and not force myself to be somewhere when I do not actually want to.
You’re also a photographer, how did you get into that, and how long have you been shooting?
I bought my first camera when I was 17, straight out of high school. It was an old Russian camera called a Zenith and it had the insignia from the 1980 Olympics. I had to buy it because I was born in 1980! As a skateboarder, we see the world differently from non-skaters, and it was the ‘other side” that I wanted to capture and show the world. Also documenting my close skate crew from back then got me to shooting lots back then.
How’s the South African longboard and racing scene?
It is growing really fast. The amount of groms at races and sliding events sometimes overwhelms me and definitely shows that there are no signs of slowing down. Everyone is fast too, so this makes for tight competition at races between all ages. I am hoping to see some more local product manufacturers come out of South Africa in the near future.
Photo: Zwelibanze Sitole
You recently placed third in the Master’s Class at this year’s Hot Heels event. What was your setup? How did the Kryptonics wheels perform?
Yeah, the old man’s class, lol. I was riding an Alpha Longboards topmount racing deck with Navigator precision trucks and the 75mm 78a red Star Tracs. Their acceleration was awesome and they maintained a good rolling speed. They were definitely up to challenge the other wheels out there right now, I should just become a better race, haha. Where they really impressed me was the grip. The sharpish edge really bit and gripped when I needed them to and this really gave me the confidence to go as fast as I could around corners.
You’ve been riding the new Kryptos for a couple of months now, can you share your thoughts on the wheels?
Each duro performs exactly as one would expect from a 78a, 82a and a 86a wheel. I am the kind of skater who looks for any excuse to put a wheel sideways and what’s really stood out for me was how long they last and keep their shape. I do lots of sliding and still on my first set of green 70mm from three or so months ago, and they probably only down to 60mm. Because I also like to hook into my slides at speeds, I enjoy a wheel that’s not uncontrollable and that whips back from a slide when I lift my weight off it, and this is where I enjoy skating the new Star Tracs. Their minimal sidewall movement means that they keep their shape nicely and acceleration out of corners are really top. I am really looking forward to a full year of racing and free riding on them next year to gauge their consistency throughout the year.
How does it feel to be Kryptonics Wheels first international Ambassador?
I am still just a kid stoked to be riding a wheel that can tell you the story of his journey on a longboard man! I have been skating Kryptonics since 2000 when racers like Eric Lee, George Orton and Waldo Autry came over to race the Red Bull Downhill Extreme and gave us locals some Kryptonics Classics, 70mm and 76mm to race with when they saw the sketchy wheels we were riding. It feels like a childhood dream to be part of something that has shaped skateboarding since its formative years. Guys could not believe that I was still racing with Kryptonics Classics three years ago. I was at Newton’s Playground in Australia for the World Championships in 2009 and some grom came up to me and asked what new wheel on the market I was skating, referring to the Kryptos I was skating.
Did you know much about the heritage of Kryptonics Wheels before becoming an Ambassador?
A little bit chatting to the riders from America who came to race in Cape Town in the early 2000’s. The information and images on the Star Tracs Facebook page has been amazing in really letting me know what I am actually part of. It really blows me away.
What’s 2014 look like for you?
I am lucky enough at this point of my skateboarding to be picking up fresh sponsors and this really makes committing more time to skating easier as I love fully representing brands I am connected to. So because of this, I would really want to see how much travelling I can do internationally for racing, which will in turn also mean loads more freeriding with downhill family members around the globe. Also this year was spent establishing relationships with the group of kids I mentor through skateboarding and really want to work with them in getting them race ready and competing. So all in all, skating, shaping boards, and taking pics along the way to get people glimpse into our world.
The new line of Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels will be available soon from a Revolution store near you.
Photo: Matthew Wareley
Photo: Pierre van der Spuy
BRINGING BACK KRYPTONICS Episode 8: The Ads
BRINGING BACK KRYPTONICS Episode 9: The Fast Relief Ad
Click here to see the Concrete Wave Kryptonics article.
Coming soon to a Revolution store near you!
Dave Hackett, Kryptonics first brand ambassador, wants to hear your story.
Kryptonics are back! Coming soon to a Revolution store near you, and to Revolution Online.
Kryptonics Wheels Chooses Legendary Skateboarder David Hackett as Brand Ambassador
November 8th, 2013
Legendary skateboarder David Hackett has been chosen by Dusters California as the first Brand Ambassador for Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels. Hackett is recognized as one of skateboarding’s greatest all-around skateboarders. He is best known for his pool riding, and for originating his patented “Hackett Slash” maneuver. In 2003 he was chosen by Juice magazine as one of the 50 Most Influential Skateboarders in the World. Hackett also excels in ditch riding, slalom racing, downhill racing and now at over fifty years of age is still skateboarding at a world class level.
Hackett first rode Kryptonics Star Trac wheels in the mid-1970s, having been attracted to the wheels for their ability to handle the various terrains and disciplines he rode.
When asked how he feels about being named the first Kryptonics Wheels Brand Ambassador, Hackett commented, “I’m SO Stoked to be chosen as Kryptonics Wheels first brand Ambassador! I feel like Johnny Appleseed- spreading goodness throughout the land!”
In addition to promoting Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels at skateboarding events and through social media, Hackett is featured in a series of videos about the rebirth of Kryptonics Star Trac wheels.
Bonus: an interview with David Hackett about his role as the first Kryptonics Brand Ambassador.
Congrats being the first Brand Ambassador how did you feel when you were asked?
Very Honored, Humbled and STOKED!!
What things will you be doing for the brand?
Lots of Social Media, some Design and Consulting, and of course Riding the Wheels and Spreading the STOKE!
Have you been surprised by the love older skaters are showing towards the rebirth of Kryptonics Star Trac wheels?
Yes and No- Yes because I am surprised at how many “older” skateboarders are still Charging it- and No, because some things that are Classic in Design and Popularity in the Marketplace you can never get tired of-Like a Vintage Ferrari, Kryptonic Wheels had the look and the ride that far surpassed all other wheels at the time and that never gets old.
What is the message you will share with younger skaters about the wheels?
Kryptonic Wheels are Fast, Durable, and can be used on any set up for Multiple Disciplines of Riding including Banks, Pools, Bowls, Parks, Schools, Downhill, Slalom, Sliding, Freeriding, Cruising and More! GET SOME!!
Tell us about the skateboards you have set up with Kryptonics wheels.
Well, so far I’ve only received three sets of wheels But of the sets I do have, I put my 60mm Blue 82’s on my 11X40″ “SuperSurfSkate” BankRider, set up with Carver Trucks and it is SICK! – I put the Green 60mm’s on my Vert/Pool Deck and it’s like being Born Again! Not only do they Bring Back lot’s of Great Memories, but I’m making new ones and new History right now!! I’m going to put the Red 78mm’s on my Longboard and can’t wait to Ride it!!
Will you be competing in any events soon?
Maybe… I LOVE competing, but the last two events I competed in were run VERY poorly and Judged even worse! So I think I will start taking more of an Organizing Events role, than Competing in them. I like to do events that are “Objective” rather than “Subjective”- Like “Highest Wall Ride” or “Fastest thru the DEATHRACE Course”… Where it’s clear who won… Judges SUCK!
Lastly Will you be running the IASC hall of fame again next year?
Just to be clear, I never have “Run” the Skateboarding Hall of Fame Awards Banquet and Induction ceremony- That almost impossible task is done by IASC President Josh Friedberg, who does an AMAZING Job. I have been honored to be the EMCEE of the event the last two years and I’m not sure if I will be chosen to do it again in 2014….But I’m open to it! In closing, I look forward to Ripping All Terrain on All the new Kryptonic Wheels and Hope to see everyone experience the same Magic that I feel when Riding these Amazing and Classic Wheels!!
Kryptonics are back! Coming soon to a Revolution store near you, and to Revolution Online.
Received my first sets of the Kryptonics Star Trac’s yesterday and took some time out on my local slide hill in Woodstock,Cape Town, South Africa to see what they can do. This is a result of a short 20 minute session in between board shaping. Acceleration, controlled slide, and lightweight and I am happy with the wheel! Good job people at Kryptonics with the successful re-issue of a classic! – Kent
Kent Lingeveldt tests out the 70mm Green Kryptonics Star Trac wheels. He is the first international rider to test them out.
Dusters California is (from left to right) Eric Sentianin (product and R&D) Nano Nobrega (Creative Director) and Steve Douglas.
To see what Dusters cruisers and longboards we have in stock, click here.
In a day and age when just about every brand has added longboards and/or cruisers to its catalog, it can be hard to stand out from the pack. For every new line, there comes a littany of shadow products that would make Xerox proud. But Dwindle Distribution’s brand of heritage cruisers, Dusters California, is bringing a fresh look and vibe to the table. Taking its name from the legendary ‘70s muscle car, the Plymouth Duster, skate legend and Dwindle’s Don of Business Development Steve Douglas sums up the brand in five words: “skateboarding, California, heritage, lifestyle, and fun.”
“I grew up in pools and ramps and was fortunate to turn pro back in the late ‘80s,” Douglas says. “During that time I had to progress doing some tricks that were not fun, but it was about getting that sequence for that ad. What I like about our Dusters program is it gets me back to the roots of why I fell in love with skating in the first place—fun. Just pushing, turning, grinding, and going fast.”
When talking with the Dusters team of Douglas, Eric Sentianin, and Nano Nobrega; the recurring theme is fun. Inclusive fun in a time when the pool of active skaters is shrinking. We caught up with the trio to learn more about Dusters and how they’re seeking to stand apart.
What sets these apart in the ballooning crop of cruisers?
Dusters is built by a core skate team that understands, in and out, the functionality of these boards with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. Throughout all these years of skateboarding and manufacturing we learned the importance of the fit and finishes of a skateboard and you can see that by analyzing every single details on Dusters boards. Besides the core functionality, meticulous fit and finishes and the incredible price point compared to our competitors, Dusters California brings to all our riders out there the true heritage and lifestyle of skateboarding by portraying in its art direction, the same vintage looks and vibes as the beginning stages of skateboarding in Venice Beach, California, back in late ’60s and ’70s.
So you guys are building these in house, Where’s your factory?
We design Dusters in El Segundo, California and manufacture in our overseas factory. You can get a real sense of the factory and how we manufacture skateboards from this video that we produced shortly after the factory was completed.
How does building your own boards help from a cost, delivery, and quality standpoint? What can you do to detail these that OEM’ers can’t?
The main advantage of manufacturing our own boards is the ability to control the quality at every step. Not just from the point at pressing veneers, but from the arrival of the logs. Wood is an organic material and needs to be stored in very specific temperature and humidity controlled environments. By eliminating a middle man in the supply chain we have the ability to offer competitive prices at a higher quality and higher margin. This higher quality comes in terms of material choices, cosmetic treatments, and finishes.
Who is your target consumer for Dusters?
Skateboarders. It’s a short answer… But we make great product for people who want to skate, whether it’s to bomb a hill of simply cruise to the corner store. The line has a wide variety of boards to fit everyone’s needs from short board that fit in a school locker to medium size ripable cruisers to longboards, drop-throughs and drop downs. The product offering was developed to cater to every level of skater.
I’m stoked to see you guys are focusing on the ladies. I’ve been surprised that more skate companies aren’t making an effort there with cruisers and longboards. Do you see this as a strong spot for growth?
Most definitely! Women have always been part of the industry in and out of the skate parks and Dusters is just making sure they share the same spotlight as men do!
The fact that this is sort of an unexplored market in skateboarding, it opens up huge doors increasing the amount of skaters, followers and fans. That increase in the demand will just benefit the industry as a whole and will most likely make skate parks look a lot better with beautiful ladies skating instead of solely a bunch of sweaty guys!
Why did you decide to partner with GRO and how do you see this getting more girls on board?
We are always looking out for ways to help skateboarding grow bigger and more accessible, and with the latest collaboration Dusters did with old school pro rider Cindy Whitehead, we figure we could aim straight to the ladies. So we looked for all sorts of nonprofit organizations that are somehow helping women and their rights and we found GRO, a nonprofit that works to inspire, educate and support girls through action sports. It couldn’t be a better fit for this colab.
Tell us a little about the vibe and construction of this line.
Dusters’ focus is on creating great looking product using premium components at a fair price. We can do this by having our own factory and cutting out cost and passing on the savings to them.
It’s really about the finishing details of the board; using wood branding for the Dusters logo, incorporating v-ply veneers into the construction, or using unconventional wood inlays. The graphics are 70s retro inspired infusing the beach and surf lifestyle. While the artwork and feel of the brand is throwback, the constructions and shapes of the Dusters line remain authentic as well as progressive, especially when it comes to the drop-through and drop-down constructions. These types of longboards are made for bombing down hills.
The completes feature ABEC-7 bearings with Slant trucks or Slant Inverted trucks. The slant inverted trucks are reversible. They can be used in either a 50-degree or a 54-degree configuration to adjust your turning radius depending on wheel base or preferred turning geometry .
What trucks and wheels are you using on these and what do price points for completes look like?
We use our proprietary truck brand Slant. Slant have developed a unique Reversible truck with a special hanger that offers 2 angles for different riding styles. We will be re-introducing Kryptonics wheels (the original ‘Star Trac’ styles) on some models stating in Fall which we are really excited about I rode these wheel in the 70’s and they were a game changer, currently we use our own Dusters formula urethane. We use Dusters Abec 7 Ultimate Cruising High Performance bearing for all our Dusters models. Our compact cruisers (Ace) start retailing at $100, with most of our best-selling cruisers (Keen, Cazh, Flashback & Kosher) retailing around $110 – $120. We have great price points for our longboards, Demo & Summer models starting at $130 with our premium longboards retailing between $160 and $230 for our top end models. One comment we repeatedly hear is how great our build quality, fit & finish is compared to some other brands, it really helps when you have your own factory. We live eat and breath skateboarding and our Customers notice and appreciate all the extra details.
We’re digging the Hendrix and Doors models. How difficult was it to set partner with those guys from a rights standpoint?
Definitely working through lawyers to get all the contractual items can be a lot of back and forth, however once the legalese was behind us I would have to say it’s been great working with these groups. They have both been excited about the opportunity and our ability to really work with their assets in different ways to make some really great looking boards! Going into this I’m not sure they really understood what we are capable of producing now days as they were pretty excited when we were able to show them samples. I must also say that the Doors management have been especially open and proactive in supporting the marketing efforts to promote this product.
Any concerns on eroding Dwindle’s brand equity with core street skaters by adding the Dusters brand?
If we had started Dusters in the dark days of 1992 I would say yes, but today not at all, most brands have cruisers and long boards so a brand focusing on that can live right beside a core brand, at the end of the day its about having a healthy diverse business that focuses on Skateboarding. In a recent retail run to core skate stores on the east coast—95% of all shops I went to had longboards and cruisers. That’s great, we need healthy skate shops.
What’s your take on the cruiser market? You think it’s a fad or here to stay?
I think it’s healthy for everyone, its definitely not a fad, people love skateboarding for what it is—fun. Some people just like to roll and others like to learn tricks and others just like to go fast etc. What is so great about skateboarding today is that whatever you are into as far as skateboarding its all going on at the same time. From downhill, to slalom to street skating, to the mega ramp, and everything in between—people love to roll. I believe the act of skateboarding is the healthiest it has ever been.
How have orders been on these and what types of shops are they mostly going in?
Our Dusters sales have continued to grow rapidly, and are now one of our top brands at Dwindle. Our Jimi Hendrix and The Doors collabs that are being released now have helped open people’s eyes to the brand. We have also expanded our longboard range as this is where we see most of the current demand. Dusters is carried by our core customers – the ones that are open to cruiser/longboard sales. We also do very well with Zumiez, CCS, and Vans stores and we are opening up new stores all the time. The shops that have Dusters in stock are selling them well above class average so we know when they get on the shelves, in our dusters rack, that they sell and sell well.
Best session you’ve had on a Duster: (answered by Steve Douglas) I grew up in pools & ramps and was fortunate to turn pro back in the late 80’s, during that time I had to progress my skating doing some tricks that were not fun but it was about progressing and getting that sequence for that add. What I like about our Dusters program is gets me back to the roots of why I fell in love skating in the first place in the70’s, FUN. Just pushing, turning, grinding and going fast, so my best session is every session I step on my board.
To view the Summer / Fall line of Dusters cruisers and longboards, click here.
Dusters California Interview courtesy of Transworld Business.