Madrid’s Justin Rouleau Goes Pro: Trapstar Dreams
Justin Rouleau has been at the game now for more than a minute and has earned himself a spot on the Madrid Skateboard’s Pro Team with his new board, the Trapstar. It’s no surprise Justin went pro, he’s living in Colorado, crushing big mountains, brand managing for Venom, Rogue and Gangster Grip and generally killing it at life. Despite being injured, Justin sucked it up, headed to the Euro tour and sent it, taking his licks and waiting for some surgery. Get to know more about Justin and the new Trapstar, then hit him up a Pike’s Peak coming up to try it person for yourself.
Hey Justin, stoked we could connect. Can we start with basics for readers? where you from, where you living? How old are you and how long have you been skating?
Yo Les! Absolutely, I’m from Boulder, Colorado. Living across from the University, base of the foothills at the BSM skatehouse. I’m 21 years old, skating hills for about 5 years now.
How’s the knee? Sometimes I think I can only reach riders with injuries, ha… hopefully a fast recovery?
The knee… Well it’s pretty shitty if we’re honest. Broke the outside of my patella in half in the worst crash of my career just before Maryhill. Raced the Festival of Speed, Lillyhammer, attempted Kosakov, and skated in the alps. Handicapped, but made it happen I guess.
Surgery is scheduled for the day after Pikes Peak, figured I might as well rage my local World Cup injured or not. I’m looking at a 3-4 month recovery time after that.
That’s the bad news this season, but seems like you’ll be on the mend fast. The good news this season is the Trapstar is out! How long has that been in the works?
Super hyped on the deck, and Madrid’s support during the design process. First prototype came out of a this insane adjustable-ribbed mold that Jerry Madrid had Macgyvered back in the day to play with rocker. Nothing more special then designing my own concave, with the man who invented downhill-concave in the first place. That was Summer 2012 I believe.
Boards (like anything) come with some personal preference, especially when they are built to riders specifically, what makes your board special for you?
I come from a scene where directional stances, slalom, and going fast as fuck is cool. I designed the Trapstar to force your front truck into being extremely responsive, while keeping you low enough to the ground to keep you stable and comfortable. Standing platform and wheelbase large enough to send it on the biggest roads in North America.
“Started from the bottom”, the Trapstar is a directional topmount speedboard designed for maximum control at high speeds. At 37.5” long by 10” wide, with wheelbase options ranging from 27.5” to 29”, this deck can handle anything from big mountain passes to tight windy sidewalk paths. The front foot Money Pocket keeps you locked in, lowers your center of gravity, and drives the steering from the front of the board by wedging the front truck. Paired with a wide W-concave in the rear, the Trapstar keeps it real in the streets. -Justin Rouleau
L:37.5″ W:10″ WB: 27.5″, 28″, 28.5″, 29″
Formica/Maple Layup, Money Pocket, W-Concave, CNC Wheel Wells
More details here: http://madridskateboards.com/boards/downhill/trapstar-375
Seems while Madrid likes to bring the ghetto to design. High class smarts when it comes to design and engineering, but so thug life in approach and delivery. Have you always been a fan of gangsta wedging, truck degree splitting, techy stuff? When you shoot a gun, do you aim with the sight or just turn to the side and let the hammer drop?
Totally, I’ve always thought super-directional boards were interesting. The old Deity boards with directional-spoon rocker, the first Landyachtz Chinook with super heavy forward rake, the Nick Breton board with Sayshun, etc. Colorado OG’s had me hooked on split angles since day one. If you showed up to the session on symmetrical angles, you were the kook, and you were not welcome there.
Funny story actually.. Altitude Sickness tour last year, had a misfire with an old rifle. Haven’t touched a gun since.
Ghetto fabulous is a definitely still fabulous. Love the idea of the Money Pocket. What’s the difference between wedging/truck splitting and the Money Pocket?
Split degree trucks are setup so that your steering comes from the front, like a car. Giving you more grip, stability, and a snappier slide. Your board naturally wants to ride nose-first.
The money pocket was designed to get your front foot’s center of gravity lower than your back foot’s. Forcing the deck to sort of ‘pivot’ around your front foot when predrifting and sliding. While simultaneously wedging your front truck about 7*, forcing your board to turn directionally regardless of symmetrical baseplate angles. It really just changes the way the board handles as a whole. I’m into it.
I hear you saying, I like to go fast on big mountains. Is that your jam?
Oh shitchea. Huge buttery mountain passes, where you’re holding 60mph+ for miles. Or the crazy steep, powerfully chunderous and difficult canyon rips in my backyard. No easy shit.
So now you’ve got your board, you’re riding Rogue too right? And Venom?
Yep, when I’m not skating, I’m working as the Brand Manager at Venom, Rogue, and Gangster Grip. I’m doing the social media, ads, customer service, videos, etc. It’s definitely rad to work with companies who support me, and make products I can truly get behind.
Can you dish some secrets? When’s the new Cobra Core venom wheel coming?
Hopefully very soon, we had a few unforseen production setbacks that’s pushed the release date back a few times. But it shouldn’t be long. Rogue’s got some sick shit in the works as well… But I can’t spill those to the public yet.
Nice to know Venom has the right idea. Don’t release if it’s not right. Would suck a bag of dicks to drop in on a big ass mountain road and get wobbled to shit by your wheels. What else is coming up for Venom? I am a big fan of the videos – Meet the Team is hilarious and Shreducation is informative, any new video series coming?
We’ve got several video parts dropping in the next couple weeks. But, most of our media production right now is in preparation for the DVD. The World isn’t ready for ‘Eat Shit’, but it’s coming…. Eventually.
And for you, injury is a setback, but I assume you’re filming a part?
The knee-thing is definitely a setback, but I’ve got a month before I go under the knife. So you’re fuckin’ right I’m filming a part!
What else is coming up for you? Just focus on recovery? i am sure we’ll see you at some events anyway?
Recovery is essential, during the Spring and Fall I go to school full time studying Economics and Advertising. I still get out and skate nearly every day though. Trying to make a come back for Rumble at the Ranch after surgery, then probably King of Kona.
Are you MIDS for life?
Thanks for taking some time to chat with me. Open mic time, what do you have on your mind? Shout outs? Call outs… ?
Shout out to 2 Chainz for dropping that hot new mixtape. Madrid, Venom, and the Colorado OG’s for keeping me real and keeping me rolling. BSM room mates for keeping the dream alive. And thanks to Pete and Calvin at Foothills Pedorthics for keeping my foot game strong.’ Fully wouldn’t be able to skate with my broken knee, if they weren’t helping me out.
Call outs? Anyone and everyone bitching about reckless unsafe skating by pros on video. Bombing hills is stupid and dangerous as hell, doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. It’s not a pro’s job to represent the sport in a certain way, it’s not a pro’s job to skate flawlessly and only under perfect conditions either. Shit happens, and when you ride away, it’s fuckin’ awesome. Downhill needs a slam section.
Thanks Justin, appreciate the chat and for keeping it real!
Find out more about the Trapstar on Madrid or check out your favourite retailer!