Max Myers and the Sucrose Initiative
Max Myers has been working with Arbor Skateboards for a long time now. Max was actually featured in Skate[Slate] Magazine Issue 4 back in 2011, in ‘Living the Dream’ with Eric Singer already working with Arbor then and it seems he is still living it. Max has been instrumental in helping bring you some of the best products and media over the years, paired with some of your favourite riders. Years later, he’s still behind the scenes and helping bring you the goods, this time with the Arbor Sucrose Initiative. We caught up with Max to find out more about the wheels and all the sick riders and videos coming out to support brand.
Hey Max, stoked to hear I was going to get to chat with you. You have been instrumental in Arbor Skateboards as I see it and we have featured you in Skate[Slate] magazine and on the blog in the past. How are you? Where you living? Whats good?
Thanks man! Doing all good here. I’m living in Venice, CA right now, actually right across the alley from Arbor HQ. Got married in June, did the honeymoon, and now it’s back to the real world! Just plugging away at work and cooking up some new limited release projects for Arbor Sucrose to get the children amped, because that’s what it’s all about after all. I’m glad I get to talk to you about Sucrose because it’s been my baby for a while now and it’s really cool to see it popping off like this.
How did you get on the Arbor Sucrose Initiative? Who else is working with you on it?
The Sucrose Initiative got put on my desk as a challenge to accomplish 2 things. First, develop a streamlined offering of wheels with high performance and alternative materials story, and second, to make sure this line of wheels completely fulfills all our of our needs on our complete skateboard front. The goal was always to look at big picture, we need something to go fast and grip on, something to go fast and slide on, and a couple smaller wheels for other types of set-ups. Josh Rolf was really instrumental in helping me put ideas on paper and in the computer in developing our proprietary Groovetube Core and Summit and Vice shapes. Tom Flinchbaugh has also become a really important part of the equation, and his creative contributions to the brand videos cannot be ignored.
When I first heard of the Arbor Sucrose Initiative, I wasn’t sure what was up and didn’t seem like much was happening with it, then it started blowing up. What’s the story? Is the Sugar Formula really made of sugar and can I really groove more with those Groovetube cores?
So yeah, that’s the thing, Arbor has been making wheels with the sucrose component for a long time. These old wheels were actually awesome, and the kids would fiend for them them these days, but the formula was very slidy, not very durable, thaned a ton, and this wasn’t what people wanted in a wheel in 2010/2011. The project became something else altogether when we revamped and launched it as the Sucrose Initiative. Beyond that, we got the opportunity to design our own core, which is something very very few people have done. This core is nice and wide to give excellent support to the wheel, while being smaller in diameter than nearly every core in the market, which means you get more urethane depth and more life out of your wheel. We invested some serious dollars in doing this right, and it worked!
I really dig the idea of looking for other materials. Just because it’s been done one way, doesn’t make it right. How do you see this continuing into the future? Are you exploring other materials?
When the product performs this well, then yeah, I see it continuing. At Arbor, we will always seek out alternative and more sustainable materials, but never at the cost of performance. Our formula includes about 10% of a natural sucrose material in it. Sure that sounds small, but it’s a REAL TANGIBLE step in the direction of sustainability without sacrificing anything in the way of performance like many “green” products. All that wheel we grind on to the road finds it way into our water tables, and for every 10 sets of wheels we shred, that’s one set we saved. Can you imagine if cars used 10% less petroleum across the board? It would be huge. When you pair our crazy durable formula with the Groovetube core, which as I noted gives you lots more wheel life compared to competitors, the sustainability story is as strong as I’ve seen in the market. We have a good relationship with our manufacturer and are open to other alternative materials, but we also won’t sacrifice performance for the sake of being green.
The videos have been great. Lots of personality and banging skating. Is that the team? Who is riding the wheels we should be watching out for?
The videos and marketing we’ve put behind it have been really fun so far. Arbor is very dialed in in its branding, and with Sucrose we have been able to do a lot of goofy and fun stuff that wouldn’t fit the brand otherwise. And of course the team is banging! A bunch of ripping dudes that are also just really good people. Cooper Darquea, Norm Plante, Danny Mac, Yung Bill Clay, Ian Mchserry, Jordan Crosby, LIttle Creek, Tom Flinchbaugh, Matt Deitch, Ryan Bishop, and our #1 spud Sam Hay. Definitely keep your eyes out for some of the other rippers we have riding the wheels too.. Caitlin Yong here in LA area, Garrett Gourley out in NC, Zion Miller in NM, Michal Cihlar up in Nor Cal, and big shout outs to our Texas boy Seth Mckinney. We got some international Sucrose fiends killing it out there as well.
Has the team helped develop the wheels or just stoked to ride them? There seems to be a solid line-up of shapes, sizes and durometers, what’s next?
We got most of the core line development out of the way before all the dudes came on. I wanted to sell these guys on joining up by having a stellar product to show them first. Since then, we’ve started testing shape and formula variations, and are planning lots of sweet ass limited release stuff that they’ve all be an integral part of. I don’t think there’s anyone better to design a product than the end-user, which is one of the things I take pride in with Arbor/Sucrose. All the design comes from a skater perspective. Our next product release are called Grillz, which is an all gold sparkly wheel in our new “schlub thane” formula, which is also sucrose based.
Well, I’m definitely stoked to actually get out and try some of the wheels. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me and enjoy em! They’re going to last you a long time..
Check out the Sucrose Initiative’s full lineup of wheels at: http://arborcollective.com/skateboards/products/wheels/
About the Sucrose Initiative: The Sucrose Initiative was developed to bring together rider based design, performance across a wide range of conditions, and an effort to start reducing our reliance on petroleum based materials. Our highly durable Sucrose urethane makes these wheels the best performing and most cost efficient lift ticket on the hill, and with 10% less petroleum content, you can feel good about making a conscious choice to reduce our impact on the environment.
About Arbor: The Arbor Collective was founded in 1995 and has stayed true to its pursuit of craftsmanship, commitment to the environment, and dedication to the good times that started it all. For Arbor, it’s been a non-stop journey into shape, material, art, and life lived in the pursuit of skateboarding and snowboarding; a direction defined by a two-decade long partnership with athletes and artists, who share Arbor’s vision for design.