Here is a beautiful interview with the Marc Uebelhart , swiss skater and one of the founders of Reach Skateboards. A skateboard workshop with everything from board press, screen printing machine, painting slot and a lot of passion for skateboarding 😉 . A hobby that now has become a swiss manufactory with an inspired and creative team behind it. Read the interview below!
First of all , tell us when and how did you first get into skateboarding?
I don’t know exactly but I guess the first time I skated was around the age of 8 when my younger brother got a skateboard to his birthday.
What is your favorite skateboard set-up and favorite skate discipline?
My current favourite set-up is the Reach Deck, with Venture trucks, Bones wheels and Swissbones bearings. I don’t really have a favourite discipline. For myself i prefer skating on street, miniramp or bowl but I also do like watching big air and vert.
Who’s your “favorite” skater of the 90’s and the “favorite” nowadays?
In the 90s it was surely Eric Koston and Rodney Mullen. Nowadays I would say Cory Kennedy and Bob Burnquist.
The liberty to go skate whereever and whenever I want. Of course meeting friends while skating also belongs to it.
Tell us a bit about how this adventure was born…How did the idea of starting this company come about? Explain what inspired you to start this company.
It all started with a spraycan in my basement when my cousin and I were about 12 years old. At the outset we started to overpaint our shredded boards with graphics. By and by we made progress in pressing boards, printing and screen printing so that we could produce our on decks. Meanwhile I started programming homepages. With the improvement our ressources of manpower gained so that four more friends of us decided to help producing. This was pretty much when we started the company and named it Reachskateboards. At this point we also moved from my basement into a bigger workshop where we installed a board press, a screen printing machine, a painting slot and a bureau. What started as hobby now has become a swiss manufactory with an inspired and creative team behind it.
Why is it called Reach ?
We pretty much want to reach the people out there in Switzerland, or in this case in all of europe, and show that the skateboard industry doesn’t always need to be american or chinese. Sensibilizeing the costumer to may buy his next deck from a local skate brand, this is the goal we want to reach!
When you and your friends started the company, did you envision it being the way it is now? And how is it different than what you imagined?
No, not at all, it was way harder than i imagened! 🙂 It really took us very much time and a ton of patience to get there where we are now. And we are not fully developed yet, there is definitely still a lot to improve.
It’s one of your ideas to widen even more your brand in other European countries or USA?
At this point of developement we concentrate on the domestic market, but yes expanding to abroad is worth a thought.
Who’s been designing the skateboard and t-shirts graphics and logos?
I did a couple of desings but in the future we try to involve motivated artists like we did in our last »fighter series«. There it was the talented graphic artist Roger Zürcher from vaudevillestudios that designed the boards. In our eyes a skateboard is not simply a wooden plank, it also literally offers a platform for art.
About the team…What qualities will you be looking for in a skater when it comes to sponsorships?
Diffrent as in bigger companies we set much value on how the rider machtches to the team. Of course he/she should bring skills with one or ride contests etc. but the fact that we are still a local brand shows us the importance of being an extended family. The connection and friendship to the rest of the team is very important.
Do you have any new products releasing in the near future (wheels, hoodies…)?
We are goingt to release hoddies and some other stuff i can’t tell you about yet…
The skate scene has changed a lot over the last few years not only because of fashion style and wider boards. I would say the »skateboardlifestyle« is back in mainstream. In zurich you see a lot people walking around with Era Vans or Obey baseballcaps for exemple. The anti-social skater stereotype that destroyes architectural constructions and produces a bunch bullshit has disapeard and has become an athletic and urban contemporary. Also big swiss insurance and telecommunication companys seem to jump on the bandwagon and have started advertising with skaters. The »skaterlifestyle« seems to have the finger on the pulse of time. On the other hand I observed how lots of formerly well known swiss skateshops were forced to close its doors because of onlineshops. The few left ones focus on selling hardware.
What are your plans for the future .. tour? a video for the next year?
We are planning a trip to BNC, a new video should come out in autumn. Of course we are working on new products.
Do you have any advice for the young ones who would like to start a skate company of their own?
Do it because of skateboarding and not because of money!
What virtue would you say is very important in getting into the skate business?
Be creative and dinamic and make sure to enter in your local skate scene. Love your sport, love skateboarding!
Nowadays the attitude of the skateboarders, the public, and even major corporations towards the skate culture are constantly changing. Where do you think skateboarding is headed?
It will surely change from time to time because every generation has it’s influence on skateboarding. So it will change with the generation it grows up with. Tricks are certainly going to be even more technical than nowadays
thanks for the interview, if you want to add anything go ahead
Keep on shreddin’. Thank you a lot