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Andrew Guan

Rob Meronek Exclusively Interview by KickerClub.com

26 September 2013, 05.49 | Posted in Action Industry | No comments »

Rob is the man behind the digital empire of Skatepark of Tampa. I meet him in Shanghai last month during the Nike City Jam Final (A.K.A. Tampa Damn Am China) and asked him a couple of questions about the reason he quite SPOT and his plan in the future.

1, Some basic personal information please? (how old, where r u from? What r u doing now?)
I’m 42 and I was born in the Philippines. After leaving Skatepark of Tampa, I got straight to work on building my own new company after partnering up with Ryan Clements who parted ways with Skatepark of Tampa earlier this year. This week, we are ready to put our company out there. It’s called The Boardr and we sum it up like this:

The Boardr is a professional services firm specializing in what we have loved since first sight: skateboarding.

Find out more about us and what The Boardr does at http://theboardr.com/about

2, When and how did you start skate?
I always had a toy skateboard since I was a kid, but when I was about 15, I saw a kid do an invert and was blown away that you could actually do tricks with your skateboard. After that, I never stopped loving skateboarding and everything about it from the clothes to the music to the culture to the friends you make and traveling around the world.
3, When and how did you start work for Tampa skatepark?
I’ve helped out since the early days when it started. I had just graduated college in Tampa for accounting so I helped with the bookkeeping every month so I could skate for free. Then I started doing the website on the side while I worked at as a software engineer. That led to a full time job at SPoT starting in 2001.

4, What makes you a skater programmer? for the tampa digital system, do you coding by yourself or do you have a team?
I have loved all that computer programming and database stuff since I was a kid. I wrote just about all our apps and systems myself: the point of sale system, the inventory management back end, the content management system for the website, the store on the site, the back end on the iPhone app, etc. The only help I hired was someone to write the front end on the iPhone and Android apps. I haven’t been able to find the time to become an expert in Java and Objective-C, so I had to hire out those two jobs.

5, What’s a normal day of yours like?
The past month since quitting SPoT has turned out to be more busy than I could have imagined. I’m flattered by the opportunities coming my way after people found out that I left. I’ve spent the last month helping people as usual with running their events and building everything with The Boardr, the branding, the site, the back end, and writing our new event administration and scoring app called The Boardr Live. Find out more about The Boardr Live and how it can help you execute a great event at a professional level here: http://theboardr.com/live

These two questions blow if you feel not comfortable just skip it.
6, Why you made the decision to quit Tampa?
A year ago, if you told me I was going to quit Skatepark of Tampa, I would not have believed you, but in that time, a lot of things changed, the biggest one being the team at the top there running everything for the past several years. I worked closely with Ryan Clements and Jorge Angel (Porpe) to build everything at SPoT from the retail to the general daily operations to social media to growing Tampa Am and Tampa Pro along with all our other events like Copenhagen Pro and Damn Am. I was blindsided by the owner, Brian Schaefer, when he decided he could no longer work with Ryan and Porpe on January 2, 2013. Despite his decision, I stayed committed and gave myself a six month time period of remaining committed so I could make the most informed and correct decision for myself and my career. At the end of six months, I decided it was best for me to move on. I could not be happier now that I’m working with Ryan and Porpe again on my new venture, The Boardr. I’m excited about all the plans we have for the future which includes everything from creating and producing our own events to helping others get theirs on point. Overall, through everything we’re doing, we are trying to push skateboarding to be better, fun, and more organized, similar to how we always have.

7, What’s your plan for the future? CA production? start your own company?
Yep, explained in the other questions. I started The Boardr with Ryan Clements that will be public this week. TheBoardr.com

8, Is this the second time you come to China? (You must have been here last year city jam, right?) How do you feel?
I’ve been to China a few times. My first time was Beijing on a trip with Woodward and it was amazing. I’ve been to Shanghai twice now for the Damn Ams there. My entire experience was so good. From the great skate spots to the nice people to the good food to the hospitality from everyone, you guys make coming to China really nice.
9, Which skater gave you the deepest impression during the cityjam in Shanghai?
I’m the biggest fan of Johnny Tang, especially after going street skating with him for a day on this most recent trip. I can’t believe how good he is, and very humble about it. I like skaters with a lot of personality, too. Johnny Bananas is tight!

10, what do you think about Grind Media shot down skateboarder mag? what’s the future of skateboarding media in your opinion?
Yeah that’s a very interesting series of events. When they shut down print and give it a damn good try with digital, I was impressed with the first couple of digital issues, but felt there was still something missing to make it special. I’m not quite sure what that is, but after they shut that down after the third issue, I’m sure they realized it was missing something, too. In the big picture, you can easily see how brands and the skaters themselves are doing a much better job of reaching kids than much of the media is. Of course that’s due to how many easy social media tools that we have at our disposal these days. If you’re a kid who wants to see what Lizard King is up to, you no longer need to get that spoon fed to you from a media company. You can go and directly talk to, follow, and watch what Lizard King is up to on Twitter, Facebook, Intstagram, etc. Interesting times for sure.

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New KickerClub.com Launched

26 April 2012, 19.19 | Posted in Action Industry | No comments »

Started from 2001, Kickerclub.com is an independent skateboard media that still remains active among the earliest skateboarding website in China. After 2 months hard work, the brand new KickerClub.com launched yesterday with tons of fresh exclusive contents: PROD5 review video, skullcandy china team rider Xu Ying’s interview, 3 China action sports VIP’s column and more…
Reporting China skateboarding every day!


30 January 2012, 12.33 | Posted in Action Industry | No comments »

有幸第三次前来慕尼黑参观全球最大的体育用品展-ISPO winter.今年的展览规模庞大是ISPO73年历史上最大的一届,一共16个展馆, 来自100多个国家的2000多家展商云集慕尼黑展示他们最新的产品.展出面积185000平方米,相当于25块标准足球场地!!!昨天开展第一天我走到腰酸背痛腿抽筋也没有转完一半…今年展览的一大特点是把Action Sports提到了很高的位置, 参展运动分三大类,Action Sports位列第一,位置最好的A1,A2.A3三个展馆全部给了Action Sports!可见重视程度.这三个场馆基本可以见到目前市面上的所有极限品牌(偏滑雪),当我徜徉在无边的极限品牌新品的海洋中感觉像在做梦.接下来几天我会陆续发回最新的有关展览的报道,请大家关注.
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