Exactly one year ago today, one of my projects that would change my life and my daily routine was published by me. I’ve spent countless hours planning, writing, making, and working on it beforehand. I knew that this would take lots of time in the future, too but I loved (almost) every second of it. The project I am talking about is obviously SkatePunk. You know, the website that you are currently on.
When I tell people that I run a website, they usually ask some questions of which most of them are the same. I can answer all of the questions thrown at me, except for one.
„Why are you doing this?“ I don’t know, it makes me feel good, it makes me feel accomplished, but I don’t know why I spend so much time on something like this. Is it the combination of writing, journalism, and skateboarding? Partially probably. All I can say is, without SkatePunk, I wouldn’t be where I am right now, I wouldn’t have made the type of friends I’ve made, and I would feel incomplete at this point. A typical article from me can take up to multiple hours. I have spent so much time making the „History of Skateboarding“-Article and when I tell people how much time I’ve spent my „day off work“ working on my website, they tend to look at me weird and ask if I make money off of it. No, I don’t (because no one is buying our shirts and caps lol). The fact is, I don’t even feel like I want money. I spend money on it. Maintaining the domain, sending out shirts, etc. I don’t know why I do it, I don’t know what it’s about (skateboarding duuuuh), but what I do know is, that it’s not and never was about the money.
How did SkatePunk come together?
Out of all the guys who are involved in the making of SkatePunk, Ferdi (Designer) is the person I’ve been knowing for the longest amount of time. We first met when we were around 6 or 7 years old.
Marty is the first guy I got into contact with once my YouTube channel started to become a thing. I still remember watching their „Skateandthrash“-Channel and thinking something along these following lines: „Wow they surely have a lot of subscribers! The videos are funny too! Hmm, let me write them an E-Mail maybe we can do some collaboration.“ Little did I know what this would lead me to two years later.
My sexy lad Ivar just came into my life at one point. I think that I can roughly remember noticing him through the skateboard „Amino“-App and then subscribing to his YouTube channel. Somehow this ended up being one of my sexiest non-sexual long distance relationships (#Bromance).
Once I announced the website on YouTube, someone called „Julio“ commented that he liked the page and had a review written out and asked if he could send it in to help us with content on the website. I was happy that my site was so well received towards my YouTube audience. Speaking of YouTube, months before SkatePunk became a thing, Julio actually „won“ a shirt in one of my videos, but he commented that I don’t need to send one and a simple press on the „Follow“-Button would be enough for him. Sorry, I got a bit off track here. After I released his review on the website, I was surprised with how smooth things went and asked him to do some work together, and a little later, he became an essential part of the website.
Then came a time where I thought I had everything I need. At the same time, I felt like something is missing. A couple of days later, someone who I’ve been following for a while now on YouTube uploaded a new video. Astounded by the progression he made in just the last couple of months, I knew what the missing piece of the puzzle was. A team rider like him. I am of course talking about Paul Taylor here and asking him to get on board with us maniacs felt a bit weird. He agreed though. (And hopefully, doesn’t regret it haha)
In this part of this article, I want to thank all of the people mentioned above. You guys mean so much to me! If I had the financial resources, I would spam you with SkatePunk shirts and other free goodies. You guys rock and this section was 100% dedicated to you!
What I Did During That First Year
If you told me two years ago, what happened these past 365 days in my life, I would’ve laughed and said that it’s a fantasy that wouldn’t come true. In this following section, I tell you everything I did that was at least somewhat SkatePunk related.
I invested in computer/office equipment to boost the level of productivity. I never had great computer stuff; it was always „okay“-stuff. Okay isn’t good enough for me, to be able to provide you the best I have I at least feel like I need to invest in the best I can get. That lead to me spending around three grand in computers and such. (Also I am a huge nerd, but that’s another story)
I made fucking awesome friends! I’ve known all of the guys on SkatePunk before but making the website made us close friends! Sure I haven’t met most of these people, but I know that if I met them, I would have instant trust and would be in for one hell of a time!
I skated at a contest repping SkatePunk Gear! I don’t know why, but it makes me feel happy, and the thought alone of my „brand“ being pushed at a skateboard contest is beyond my comprehension.
I went on a four-day long trip to the Netherlands to meet up with SkatePunk team rider Martijn. Aside from the fact that it was an extraordinary journey, I remember one specific moment very intensely. My (kinda) drunk self at someone’s house on a Friday night (or a Saturday morning) doing drunk talk with the guys there, I said: „I never thought that the E-Mail that I sent to Marty two years ago would lead to THIS!“ It still is kind of surreal how things took place and developed.
Probably the coolest part about the Skatepunk website, in my opinion, is how non-biassed we make things. I’m tired of pro skaters reviewing stuff made by their sponsors and saying “yeah it’s sick go buy some” because that’s what they’re paid to do. What’s cool about Skatepunk is that we aren’t paid to say any of this (although I’m not saying we shouldn’t (sponsor us plz)) so we actually say what we think. I’ve read some reviews on the site that actually say the flaws in a product, which is cool and actually helpful to the reader. Another cool thing about Skatepunk is how international we are. I’m currently in France writing this, but I unboxed a Skatepunk shirt sent to me back home in the USA, Ivar’s from Sweden for example, and then tons of the guys are in Germany! International teams are always so sick to me. So if those aren’t already two good reasons to spend all your time on the Skatepunk website, I don’t know what is! – Paul Taylor