31/05/2013 | by Arthur Derrien
You used to get boards from Cliché right? Can you explain what happened with them? How did you end up on Blueprint?
Nothing really happened, that’s the whole problem. I mean everything with Cliché was sweet, they were cool and I’ve liked Cliché ever since I was a kid. I was pretty stoked to ride for them for a while but, to be honest, I wanted a bit more. They put me on the team and gave me boards but that was pretty much it. The team is so huge and awesome that I felt like there was no room for me, or at least not as much as I would have liked to have. Then out of nowhere the guys from Blueprint asked me to ride for them. It’s probably because I also ride for Orion truck which is from the same distributor. They exlained the situation, but the way they came to me with the offer was so good… I could feel that they really wanted me on the team, that I would be involved in a lot of stuff, and that’s all I want from a sponsor.
Ok. Did you know anything about Blueprint before getting on the company?
Aren’t the new owners Canadian?
Oh yeah, you’re right. Haha…
Can you tell us what you’ve understood of the controversy behind the new Blueprint?
What I know, or rather what I’ve heard or read, is that Blueprint was sold to these Canadians in 2010 because the owner didn’t want to keep it. The new owners kept the team and the marketing for a few years but at one point the brand wasn’t making enough money to survive. That’s when the new owners tried to make some changes for the better of the brand (I don`t want to discuss the details, if it was about payment or people on the team…)
What came next is that Paul Shier decided to quit and the entire team left with him.
At first I thought it was a bit weird that the whole team had quit but after thinking about it I realized that if you sell the company and then quit, you really have no right to say it’s your company anymore or be sad about it…
For a bit I thought about the old team… I asked myself: “Will this bother them? Will they think I’m a prick?”
But right now I’m stoked on the deal I’m getting and hopefully they’ll be cool with me because I don’t have a problem with any of them. I’m just trying to make the most of this opportunity.
I just hope that they are happy with what the new owners are doing with the company and don’t care too much about what I’m doing.
Don’t you find it a little weird that they kept the company alive after whole team had quit? If they were going to do something so radically different to what Blueprint had always embodied wouldn’t it have made more sense to let it die and start something new?
I’ve actually heard a lot of people ask “Why didn’t they let the company die?”. Comments like these make me laugh. If they wanted to start a new company they would have done it in the first place. Once you buy a company, you don’t want to throw your money away, neither do you want to waste all the work you’ve put into it.
Finding a name and a logo is the hardest part of building a company, that’s why they chose to buy Blueprint rather than start a new one…
Isn’t there a little more to buying a skateboard company (especially one like Blueprint) than getting its name and logo? What’s about its legacy, its whole aesthetic? You can’t possibly stay true these without the involvement the riders that made it what it was, so why bother?
Yeah I guess you are right about that. They are fucked because the team is gone and along with it went the brand’s image and legacy… It’s just not the same any more.
We will have to create our own thing whilst making the most of the fact that the company already has a fan base. Hopefully the new team will help us appeal to some different people as well. It’s just a little step forward.
Plus to ride for a company that 100% wants you to ride for them is great. I’ve heard and read so many things that I don’t know what to think anymore… Generally I tend to go by the Spanish saying “Todos son buenos hasta que no lo son”, so I won’t let what I hear about them influence what I think of them.
Here it’s not so much about what you think of them as people though… Have you ever watched any of the Blueprint videos?
Yeah, I watched them quite recently, I thought they were sick. It’s a shame I just got into the old Blueprint stuff now that it’s gone…
What about the new Blueprint team edit? What did you think of that?
In the edit it looks like they are having fun and that’s what it’s all about. It obviously wasn’t going to be similar to the old Blueprint stuff, it’s a different team…
They all seem like good guys though and I can’t wait to go to the States to meet them.
Thanks answering these few questions. One last thing, can you tell us how old you are and who your current sponsors are?
I’m 27 and I skate for Vans, Drift Innovation, Blueprint, Orion, Souljah Griptape and Quiksilver (well at least until October haha…) I’m not sure I want to put that last one in the list though…
Check out my website www.na7skateboarding.com