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Mark Vanderboegh - Industry Unrevealed
Rollerblading defines about their names. A person that thinks about rolling always has names in mind like Aragon, Farmer or Haffey.
Just a few people think about the "behind the scene" guys. Who are those people? What drives them to invest everything they have to push rollerblading?
In our new category `Industry Unrevealed´ we want to introduce you to these hard working, committed and fairly underpaid people.
Mark Vanderboegh from Integrated Distribution is the first to answer our questions.
Check this out.
Find the german version right here: Vanderboegh german version
Mark Vanderboegh. What can I say about this guy? He's a pillar of rolling in the Midwest. Sixwonsix was the first- and in many ways, is still the only- company to bust out of the middle states into the national and international rolling scenes. Granted, it took years and years of hard work and dedication on Mark's part, and still does, but anyone who knows Mark knows that's just how he is: Down for rolling.
Lots of things in rolling are better for Mark's involvement. - Competitions, skate shops, skaters, you name it. Some things, like my own shop, and Night Hardware, wouldn't exist at all without Mark's hard work and / or generosity. I, and many others I'm sure, find myself relying on Mark's expertise, work ethic, and kindness more often than I probably realize.
And in the midst of doing all he does for our sport, despite being several years older than even me ( and I'm pretty old, in rolling years ), Mark still manages to show me right the hell up every time we get to skate together. I'm gonna take the easy way out and say it's that full-blown skatepark he's built in the SWS warehouse.... What a cheater.
Al Dolega - Octona Skateshop, CDS Detroit, Night Hardware
R2S: Everytime somebody is speaking about Michigan and the rolling scene there,
the companys or whatever, one single name gets the whole load of attention. - Who are you?
MV: Well, Iím Mark Vanderboegh and Iím a rollerblader. I mean, I do a lot of different things, but it all comes down to the fact that I love rollerblading, and do everything I can to help it grow and progress.
R2S: Where do you live exactly?
MV: I live in a small town called Coloma. Itís in the southwest corner of Michigan, pretty much smack dab in between Chicago and Detroit.
R2S: Are you living on your own? With friends or family?
MV: I was, but I just got married this summer, so now itís just me and my wife and our dog.
R2S: Your last name sounds pretty cool and not typical american , if something like this does
exist. What does it mean and where is it coming from?
MV: Actually, itís pretty interesting. My mom was born in Germany and came over with her family
after WWII. So Iím half German. My Dadís family has been here forever, at least in modern
America forever. Vanderboegh is Dutch, and one of our family members came over on the
Mayflower with the first British and Dutch settlers. Thatís about American as you can get.
R2S: That´s an awesome story. - What music you get hyped of and why?
MV: I listen to all kinds of music except for country. I would say hip-hop or rock gets me juiced to skate, but if Iím working or trying to relax I wonít hesitate to pop in some Bach or Handle. It just depends on my mood. Iím a big fan of Run DMC and other early hip-hop.
Brian Murphy - parallel that grab transfer over fence
R2S: How long have you been skating for and when did you decide to be part of the holy industry
and start SWS?
MV: I started skating in `94 and started Sixwonsix the very next year. It was just for fun at first, but it wasnít till about 97 when I took it serious and really tried to make something out of it.
R2S: What did rolling mean to you when you were younger or even when you started to roll?
Did something change?
MV: Rolling has always been about fun to me, and that has never changed. I wouldnít skate or do anything with skating if it wasnít fun. Itís also a great way to learn about myself. I can test my limits physically and mentally. Rolling is always a challenge, and that is what makes it fun for me.
R2S: SWS was founded by some others too, wasn´t it? Are they still in touch with you? Designing
or helping you to promote things and stuff?
MV: There were originally 5 guys in the crew when we started. Myself, Caine Krieger, Mike Moser, Shawn Hipskind, and Nick Stockton. Caine was the only one to go into the business with me. He started to do all the photo stuff, then realized that was what he really wanted to do, so left to go to school for photography. I still see him, and the other guys all the time, but only Mike still skates. Mike also worked for Integrated Distribution doing sales for awhile too.
R2S: What does the name Sixwonsix mean?
MV: Ah, the famous question. If I had a dollar for everytime I get asked that. Itís a long drawn out explanation, but basically itís just about a large area that has one common thread, in our case rollerblading.
R2S: Do you have a `real job´ beside working on your companys?
MV: No, that pretty much takes up most of my time. I do a lot of competitions, and some freelance webdesign to help keep things at a decent level, but my days are pretty much busy with the companies.
R2S: What´s the story behind Night - Hardware?
MV: Night basically came about from Al Dolega telling me about all these ideas he had to make parts for skates. I had seen a lot of his custom work he had been doing for years, and knew his background with CDS Detroit, so I thought we should give it a shot. It was a great fit for the newly started Integrated Distribution, so Al and I started things up.
R2S: We were really stoked when we heard night hardwares´s stuff were sold out
immediately after it got released. What is the reason for your success?
MV: Well, the stuff is doing pretty well. We werenít really sure how the stuff was going to do at first, being a new brand and all with little exposer, so we did some smaller runs, and they sold out right away. So,
we started making more and more, and we are still having trouble keeping stuff in stock.
I think there has been a lot of sub-par products put out by a lot of companies, and people
are just sick of it. We make the best products we can, and I think people realize that and word
spreads fast in our small community of rollers.
Derek McLain - Royale the curve to Misfit : SWS
R2S: What do you dislike on `built in´ parts of skates? Why do you mean skaters needs or wants
to change them?
MV: I look at skates like I look at cars. You can buy a car from the dealer and itís a good car, but
add some aftermarket parts to it, and you can have something that looks and performs much
better. Manufacturers have to focus on the overall product. They donít have the resources to
focus on every single little part. So, they do the best they can, but nowhere near what a company
just making wheels can do. Night only makes grind parts. So we can focus on making parts that
perform better. Itís not that stock parts are bad, itís just that we can make something better.
Our parts not only last longer, but they allow you skate more terrain, and help your skates
perform better. It doesnít hurt that we have all been skating for a long time, so we know what
we want, and how we want our skates to perform.
R2S: Do you guys choose simple nylon materials for the night stuff or have you tried to invent
some own mixes of "plastic"?
MV: Right now we only use virgin black UHMW. We use black because the carbon added to it that makes it black also makes it a bit faster on metal. We have been testing some other types of UHMW with different additives to it, and should be coming out with some of that later this year.
R2S: You were also involved in 9MM. What was special on them?
MV: I helped with the production and distribution of 9MM, but the company was all Spencer Salemidaís. What made 9MM different was that most of the wheels use urethane cores, which meant they never decored, which I think is one of the biggest problems with most wheels out there.
R2S: Does urethane-urethane match also cause more speed and durability?
MV: It definitely is much stronger. Since itís a solid urethane wheel, not a glass core bonded chemically to a urethane tire, you have much stronger wheel.
R2S: Who´s idea was it to produce asymmetrical wheels?
MV: All the 9MM products are Spencerís creations. He wanted to do something different, and since itís easier to stick on cess slides or ontop of ledges, the asymmetrical design made it less likely to happen.
R2S: Why did spencer stop doing wheels and is there a new company in the making to replace 9MM?
MV: I don't know fully what happend, but I know Spencer was going through a tough time. He had just closed his shop, Mainframe, and just finished with school. I think he had taken a lot of the money from 9MM to keep the shop open, and just wasn't able to keep financing 9MM after that.
Chris Fleener - backside royale : SWS
R2S: What are Palm Sliders?
MV: Palm sliders are comfortable wristband like products that help you do hand slide tricks. The allow you to actually slide across a launch box without your hand sticking or getting torn up.
R2S: Have you tried to work together with other companys, maybe to start some bigger
distribution to bring your stuff to europe?
MV: I have been working very hard on that for some time, and it looks like this year you will be seeing a lot more of our products in all of Europe.
R2S: Introduce us to some skaters that are riding in your teams and why you decided to let them
represent your companys.
MV: Well, all the guys on all the teams, Iíve known for awhile. There is so much more to being
sponsored, that Iím very careful about the guys that I pick to represent my companies. All
of the guys are just great guys in general, as well as being amazing skaters. The core of
Sixwonsix has been the same for years. Brian Murphy, Derek McClain, Mike French, Jeff
Stockwell, Mike Radebaugh and Chris Fleener have all been my boys for a long time, and
have done a lot to help spread Sixwonsix. Weíve had a few guys drift away from skating
recently, but now we are bringing up some younger guys who will continue on with things,
like Mikey Blair. This kid has some of the best style Iíve seen in a long time. Remember that
name. Night right now is Brian Murphy, Dre Powell, Jeff Stockwell and we recently added
Chaz Sands. We are trying to find guys that really believe in the products and
will stand behind them. This is also where we are trying to reach out to skaters all over, not just
here in the US.
R2S: Tell us something about the last addition to the Night Hardware team.
MV: Well, Chris Haffey had been riding the plates for awhile now, and he really liked them, so I talked to him about being on the team. I thought it was a great fit with the guys we already have, and he did too, so that was that.
R2S: Did anybody tell Chris Fleener that tattoos lasts forever when he headed to the red –
MV: Yeah, I think somebody forgot to mention that to him. I remember the first time I saw him after he got his first tat, it was this small spider, then the next time I see him, he's got stuff everywhere.
He got a little crazy on the ink there for a bit, but he's settled down some now.
Mikey Blair - farside makio : SWS
R2S: How´s it to work with Stockrock and Drew on THE CAUSE since they´re that excentric...
- And living hundreds of miles away from you? How´s the work splitted?
MV: Yeah, working with Jeff and Drew Bachrach on THE CAUSE is pretty interesting.
Both those guys are very original. So, basically I try to stay out of the way, and
just let them do there thing. I just try to co-ordinate things, and make sure stuff gets done
when itís supposed to, the rest is up to them, and I think it really shows in the clothing, the ads,
and even the website. Itís just very different stuff.
R2S: You say you´re doing some freelance webdesign. Please tell me you have nothing to do with designing rollerbladings weirdest website downforthecause.com.
MV: Yeah, I can take no credit for downforthecause.com that is all Drew Bachrach.
R2S: Are you upset that people left SWS to skate for `bigger´ companys when they got famous?
Like Don Bambrick who got onto Franco Shade lately?
MV: Well, Donís an interesting story. He is the first person to every quit SWS that didnít stop skating.
I put Don on long before anybody knew his name. I think that really shows how close all our
riders are. It really is more like a family. Unfortunately Don thought that Franco could do more
for him, so he left. I was pretty bitter about it for awhile, kinda like I got stabbed in the back, but
now I realize it was going to happened sooner or later, so you live and you learn. Things are
cool between us now too.
R2S: I know that you´re also a gifted filmer so what do you think was the best skate video of all times?
MV: I think the best skate video is probably VG4. It was just so much new stuff and so many
names that would be a big part in rolling.
However, I think that Hoax 2 is the best skate movie. I say movie, because it was so much
more than just a skate video. It really showed the whole life behind rollerblading. I think you
should have to watch Hoax 2 to be a rollerblader.
R2S: Yap, everybody should thank B - Love. - Which video is the most representative of all?
Which can you show to people to let them know: "Look, that´s rolling! That´s fun, that´s challenge,
that´s friendship, that´s one of the best parts of my life!"
MV: That would be Hoax 2. Like I said itís so much more than just skating. But, if I was going to
show somebody what rollerblading was, like to a skateboarder, I would show them the 4x4
video, cause that is just some of the hardest rollerblading ever put down.
R2S: Wasn´t INCODE the first rollerblading video on DVD?
MV: Well, it was supposed to be the first. We ended up coming out a bit late, and VG put 19 out
a few weeks before us. It was definitly the first video made to be on a DVD. We had no plans to do
a VHS copy even, but because the menus and extras were taking so long we wanted to get
something out, so we dropped the VHS first, which is something I wish we hadn't done, but what
can you do.
R2S: What do you think will rollerblading be like in 2 years? More oriented in the athletic
720 kindgrind way or more creative skating? Somethig complete different?
MV: I think you will see it becoming more diverse, and growing in all directions. You will have the
guys treating it more like a true sport, and training and making it very athletic and working towards
the Olympics, and you will have the guys going more towards creative skating with rolls and hand
plant tricks. I think you will see a lot more diversity in skaters than you do now.
R2S: How are things going in the states? - We have some difficulties on rolling here in Germany
like less attention, less money, less skaters, less fun... No, wait... - It´s your´s...
MV: There are always going to be highs and lows, and right now we are on a low. I think you just
have to remember why you started skating, and keep having fun. If we can weather the storm,
things will come back up. We just have to keep things alive among ourselves. No X-games,
who cares, have a local comp. Tell all your friends how fun rollerblading is. Teach the local
groms at the skatepark a new trick, or just talk to them and keep them juiced on rolling.
Itís up to us to now to keep things growing.
Mike Radebaugh - misfit : SWS
R2S: What´s going on in Michigan? Who is setting the standards in skating and who is pleased to
help the scene into the right direction?
MV: Right now in Michigan things are pretty good. There are a few big crews in Kalamazoo,
Grand Rapids and Mux ( Muskegon ) that just keep progressing and growing things.
Then of course thereís always Detroit. Now that Airborne is gone, I think Detroit wonít
get as much exposer, but guys are still ripping there. There are a lot of parks popping up
all over, so that helps for the winter months. Adam Khuel did a video on Michigan last fall
called Penniless. I think that really showed a lot of the different places and people in the
Michigan scene. Weíve got a lot of great skaters like Brian Murphy, Don Bambrick,
Derek McClain, Josh Jones, Gary Murphy, Mikey Blair, Chris Coture and so many others.
You also got Al and Ryan with their shop Octona doing a lot for the scene and even hosting
Friday night skates in Detroit. Right now things are good in Michigan.
R2S: Is Michigan maybe a bit underrated because everyone´s focused on the west coast?
MV: Absolutely. Don is a perfect example. He had to go to Cali to get known. Unfortunately, thatís
just the way it is. Weíll just keep on doing our thing here, and not really worry about it. That is
one of the great things about guys here. They just skate to skate, and donít really care about
being known, or famous. They just love to rollerblade.
R2S: What´s up with Derek McClain? He is skating on a pretty high level for years now, got his own
style and tricks; what is he doing from 9 till 5?
MV: Derek is exactly what I was talking about in the last question. He just does his thing, and if
people recognize, then great, if not oh well, but heís still rolling no matter what. He does the
9-5 factory thing to pay the bills, but still skates harder and more often than most paid pros.
Same with Brian Murphy. He does landscaping, but can go to any big comp and throw down
with anyone. Thatís what skating in Michigan is all about.
R2S: Why was Mike French riding a S4 in his USD Am ad?
MV: Haha... Thatís a good questions. I guess youíll have to ask USD, but Mike just kinda stopped
getting stuff from Razors, so USD picked him up. That must have been the only shot they had
R2S: Do you have any people you look up to? Not only industry peeps but individuals that
influenced your life and decisions?
MV: Yeah, of course. I have a lot of people that have influenced me in and out of skating. The biggest would problaby by my parents. They helped me out a lot when I was trying to get Sixwonsix going, and are always supportive. Of course my wife Heather has always been a big help. Also one of my roommates from college, Casey Turner has been a major influence on my life in general. As far as in the industry I would say Lawrence Ingraham was the biggest influence for me. He was doing what I wanted to do, and really helped me get into the industry by just meeting people and finding out who things worked.
R2S: What are the All-Michigan-Sessions?
MV: AMS is a just that a big session with people from all over Michigan. We even get some guys
from out of state, but the sessions are always in Michigan. We usually start at a public
skatepark and just hang out and grill up some hot dogs and have a big olí session.
Then weíll either do a little best trick comp or go out street skating and do the
comp there. Itís really laid back and just a lot of fun hanging out with guys you donít get to
see all the time. These are some of the best events Iíve been to, because so many people
come and just have a great time.
R2S: You just mentioned, that the motor city is in MI. So what happened to CDS Detroit? Did you
Know some guys of them back in the day? Weren´t they one of the first skater owned companys?
MV: You might be thinking of Scribe, which was from Minnesota, but CDS was just this guy Charlie
who knew a lot about platics, but he didnít skate. Al Dolega actually worked for him for awhile,
and that helped him gain a lot of knowledge about different plastics.
R2S: What do you think or know about the european scene?
MV: I donít know a whole lot about it, other than what I see in the Euro vidís like Clip, and the
mags like yours, but it seems like the scene there is pretty strong. A lot of good skaters and a lot
of good spots. It seems like there are a ton of great spots over there. I always see stuff online
about events and comps going on, so it seems like things are strong there.
R2S: Ever been here?
MV: I went once when I was young with my family, and we visited all our relatives in Germany,
and then I went for a month to France and the UK for school when I was in college. I skated
in Paris all by myself, but hooked up with some guys a couple days. It was a lot of fun. I would
love to go back and visit family and just travel around and skate. I really want to go to
Barcelona bad. I keep telling the guys we are going to film for the new SWS video there.
R2S: Every skate company and a bunch of apparel and clothing are coming from europe as you
may know. What is your opinion on that?
MV: I think itís great. I think you guys should have your own thing, and not have to rely on what is
going on or what is coming out of the US. Not to say that you shouldnít want anything from us,
but I think having your own stuff will just help grow the community there even stronger. Just like here in the states, I think we need to keep up on what is going on in Europe, Russia,
Australia, Japan, or where ever. Itís important to see what is going on in the rest of the world,
and not just what is happening around you.
R2S: Hmmm... On what would you focus business ways if you never started Integrated - Dist or if you never start rollerblading? Do you still have some dreams?
MV: I'd probably have a custom car shop. I'm really into cars and trucks, and used to work at a shop installing stereos and alarms. I've been working on my own cars for years now, and doing a lot more custom work on them. I would love to open a shop up some day.
R2S: What do you guys have in store for this upcoming year?
MV: A whole lot. New lines from all the companies. Night will have a number of new parts and some
new riders too. SWS has a entire new line with some new accessories that will be very
interesting. The Cause will just keep coming with stuff on the edge. It should be a big year for us.
Roll2Soul Magazine would like to thank Mark Vanderboegh for taking time and answering these questions.