Downhill From Here | Podcast Examining the Shifting Landscape of the Longboard Industry & Community
I was recently sent a link to a new podcast by Eric Chernushenko called Downhill From Here. Ed has apparently reached out to some industry egg heads to get their opinion on what he see’s [many see] as a shifting landscape in downhill. Much of the about section sounds kind of dark and to be perfectly honest not very cut and dry as an ‘industry’ or ‘community in my opinion [I write my opinion in the Letter from the Editor each issue of Skate[Slate] Magazine *shameless self promotion*]. In the first episode Eric speaks with Kebbek’s Joey Bidner, then Mike Girard of Killington/ Central Mass and more. Check out the details below, the website and definitely listen to the podcasts for yourself.
Currently in his 4th year in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Eric has been longboarding since 2009 and racing since 2012.
He rides for Top of the World Skateshop.
About Downhill From Here:
It’s no secret that 2016 has been an interesting year for the longboard community, with a shifting industry landscape and multiple big name events no longer happening, while others saw declining attendance.
For a lot of us, this came as a bit of a surprise, considering that for at least the past five years it felt like the sport was growing constantly in every way possible. New companies were springing up like wildfire, bringing with them all sorts of innovation in board, truck, and wheel design/construction. New events were happening everywhere, and existing ones had been improving steadily with growing attendance and better organization.
The 2016 world series saw a few major changes in North American events, with the Maryhill Festival of Speed being cancelled in what was supposed to be its 10th year (thankfully, Showdown At The Loops was put on in time to ensure everyone would still get to race the legendary road). Munnsville Gravity fest, after 10 wildly successful years, decided not to return for an 11th. Whistler Longboard Festival saw its last run, not to return for the 2017 season. The 2017 world cup is only slated to have ONE North American leg, after seven in 2015 and four in 2016.
In addition to this dramatic change in events, the market seemed to take a large hit as well, with many companies seeming to struggle to stay above water, and dropping sponsored riders left and right, further amplifying the already declining attendance at many events.
With all this in mind, I set out to create a podcast exploring what might have caused these dramatic changes, and find out what we can do to change course by interviewing some people who are deeply involved in both of these aspects of the industry.
Although this is by no means a definitive assessment of the problems and solutions I hope you will enjoy listening to it, and come up with some ideas of your own to make a positive change in our community!
Listen to Episode 1 – Guest: JOEY BIDNER – Brand Manager at Kebbek Skateboards
Listen to Episode 2 – Guest: MIKE GIRARD – Sales rep for Loaded Boards, Orangatang Wheels, Jones Snowboards, Now Bindings, Yes Snowboards, Pro-Tec, and SpyOptic.