Based in Los Angeles, the concept of Da’Strap started with Ernie Harris and his son Jahi “I was becoming aware that there was an occasional difficulty with skateboarders carrying a skateboard” says Jahi. Their journey started in 1998 and together, they’ve worked many years to bring Da’Strap to its simplest, stylish, and most durable design.
Da’Strap aims to revolutionize the way people carry both skateboards and snowboards.
Ernie fondly recalls riding a board made from metal wheels of roller skates and a plank of wood back in the day. It is his son, Jahi, who has skated since he was a kid.
Ernie recognizes one of the best parts about skateboarding: “Skateboarding has no color lines! It gives respect and admiration based on your dedication and guts!” Speaking of guts, the pair has faced a number of difficulties in getting riders to understand Da’Strap. “Getting people to “BREAK THE HABIT” and change their natural way of holding their skateboard or snowboard is a challenge” explains Ernie.
It’s the positive reaction they’ve received keeps them motivated to stay persistent. “The acceptance from devoted skateboarders like Noel Korman (RIP) and Neil Wieland, and many others lets us know we have a product that
Da’Strap is a patented designed, but most importantly, it can be customized. This means if your skate team or company or shop wants to personalize the strap, it can be done no problem. “We have no minimum on orders” says Ernie. They work with Nichole Curl and Strap Works to provide a truly custom approach to the product.
The Women’s Longboard Camp will take place for the fifth time next year and the crew around Fee Bücheler and Christine Maier are pulling out all the stops to make it one to remember and celebrate in style. After a two-year residency in Stuttgart, the gang is off to explore new shores next spring and take over a beautifully sustainable venue near Lisbon.
Since its inception in 2012, the WLC collective have organized women’s-only skate events in three countries and taught women of more than fourteen different nationalities. The crew aim to create a relaxed, non-competitive and non-judgemental atmosphere, giving riders the opportunity to push their boundaries in a safe environment under competent, hands-on guidance. The instructor crew boasts a few household names including Bekks Gemperle and Bettina Luginbühl.
The complete package caters for anybody from novice to advanced skater and includes a daily mobility practice as well as all-inclusive catering and trips to explore the local area. As always, the main focus of the event lies on the technical and athletic aspects of the sport and participants can expect an action-packed week of full-on skating. To make the event accessible to as many women as possible, riders can choose from a five and a seven-day package.
No previous boarding experience necessary, total beginners are most welcome – test boards provided by Sector 9. The event will take place in Sintra, Portugal, a stone’s throw from the Atlantic coast from March 05 to 12, save the date! For further information and to register, please visit www.womenlongboardcamp.com.
When it comes to the traditional skate wheel, a lot of people wonder “why would you want to mess with something that has been rolling for centuries?” This was the first question I asked Zack Fleishman, CEO of Shark Wheels. Thankfully, Zack wasn’t taken aback by my direct question. “It’s perfectly understandable. The Shark Wheel was an accident of sorts. No one stayed up late at night trying to improve on the wheel over here. The shape was part of a bigger scientific discovery.”
Zack explains the shape is something hidden all throughout nature. “Nature uses alternating movements in its motion, from the shape of light waves and radio waves to how humans walk with an alternating gait. Alternating movements are actually more efficient in nature.”
A few years back, when the Shark Wheel was in development, an intern released an image of the wheel on Silverfishlongboarding.com. Zack concedes this was a mistake. “We still did not understand the science behind the technology and we prematurely released the idea without enough information to back up our claims.”
Zack explains that the company was still a full year away from manufacturing the product at that point. “Many people hated on the product because the claims made at that time were either unsupported or untrue. We had to do damage control and back track on some of the initial statements.” Some people thought it couldn’t even possibly roll, while some thought any new technology was great and gave thecompany the benefit of the doubt. “Readers on the discussion forum were itching to try it, but we were still so far away from launching it that the timing was simply all wrong.”
When Shark Wheels finally had finished product, they sent out 33 sets to the biggest haters online. This was truly a commendable move. “Nearly all of them wrote stunning reviews once they actually tried the wheel and went from ‘skeptic to believer’. At that point the reactions were starting to grow heavily in our favor” recalls Zack.
“We knew we had to pay our dues and let the public decide for themselves if the Shark Wheel was a gimmick or a great performing product. With many reviews still pouring in today, it is clear people love our wheel for cruising, going over rough terrain, and freeriding.”
Over the course of research, the Shark Wheel team started to realize that the shape they had developed literally kicks pebbles, water, and debris right and left as it rolls. “It’s the best wheel over any rough terrain period. We are eager to show people our downhill wheel, but it’s not out yet. Our current wheel translates much better to cruising/freeride.”
Shark Wheels started up a funding campaign and it became wildly successful. “I had no idea that we would get over 1 million views on Kickstarter in 30 days! We raised almost 8 times our funding goal and it even led to an appearance on the Discovery Channel.” Zack says that they had a killer wheel and that good technology finds a way. “Whether it was that campaign or a slower uphill grind, I knew we would be a real market player. Our team is a group of skaters and we know what we want in a wheel. It’s a matter of time before we could appeal to all styles of riders.”
From here, Shark Wheels found themselves on Shark Tank. “It was a wild experience. I love the show and was a student of the show for years before we applied.” Zack says that nothing can quite prepare you for the show. The company was rejected from getting on the show in season 5 which Zack says was a good thing upon reflection. “We had no sales and were still an idea at that point. I think we would have gotten roasted. For season 6 we went through a few months of video submissions, paperwork and interviews. I can’t believe we finally got on and then actually aired. Some companies film, but don’t air.”
Zack says he would highly recommend going on the show. “Not only do you learn a lot through the process, but it’s the best way to reach over 10 million people, especially when you have almost zero advertising budget.”
Shark Wheels says many things came from being on the show. “We about to release an awesome video with just made with FedEx. We are growing very quickly now and are in thousands of skate shops around the world.”
Make a product that skaters love to shred. Zack acknowledges, it takes time for new stuff to catch on. He readily admits that some people like to hate and some are the company’s biggest supporters. “We just keep our head down and try to create quality products and know that over time people will come around because of our performance.” Shark Wheels acknowledges that sometimes it can be tough to take a leap of faith on something different. “We’re in this for the long haul and we will keep innovating” says Zack.