An Inteview With Lane Segerstrom Of Stalk It Longboards
Last week I learned about a line of eco-friendly longboards that are manufactured by a company called Stalk It Longboards. Unlike other eco-friendly boards, Stalk It Longboards are partially made from corn husks, leaves and stalks. That whole concept intrigued me, so I looked into the matter further. The company was founded by 46 year old Lane Segerstrom, who made it into the Guinness World Records with his skateboarding. He also recently made a longboard for pro skater Christian Hosoi and has more in the works. I contacted him for an interview to learn more about his business and his experience with longboarding. This is what he had to say:
Gonzalez: How long have you been longboarding?
Segerstrom: I have been longboarding for less than three years. My son at the time was eight years old and had loved skating from the time he was five years old. He had always wanted me to take him to the Allen Skate Park, which is located about 10 minutes from our house. I really wanted to support him and purchased a longboard to ride with him. After a couple months of riding my longboard my son wanted to drop in a bowl but was hesitant. I didn’t want him to be fearful. I knew he had the skills. So as smart old dad I stepped up despite having never dropped in a bowl. I said, “let me show you how it’s done,” and set my 46 inch longboard on the edge and dropped in. The next thing I was doing was calling 911. I broke my humerus in five places. It was not the smartest thing I have done but I wasn’t going to let skateboarding leave me broken at the bottom of the pool. So I set out to break it back and I did, a little over a year later. I broke Danny Way’s record and showed my son that you can do whatever you want if you are willing to work hard enough for it.
Gonzalez: That is a great story. What is your favorite longboard set-up?
Segerstrom: We are about to release two more longboards in the coming weeks and the 28Five is my favorite. It is 36 inches long with Randall Trucks and Seismic Bootleg wheels. It is an all around longboard and so fun to ride.
Gonzalez: How often do you skate and what are some of your favorite skate spots?
Segerstrom: I skate about every week. I would go everyday if I could but right now I am so committed to launching our complete line of longboards. Once it launches I will go skating more. I really like going to the Katy Trail in Dallas. It is a great place to go with a group.
Gonzalez: What is the skate community like in your area?
Segerstrom: I live in a very residential area. I see longboarders everywhere and the age group is expanding.
Gonzalez: I read that you set the Guinness World Record for speed on a towed skateboard in December 2010. What did you do to prepare and how difficult was it to get the record on the books? Do you have plans to set any additional skateboarding related records in the future?
Segerstrom: I watched a lot of YouTube videos and tested a lot of set-ups. In some of the test runs I was running 60-70 mph with no problem but when we went to set the record things changed once I got over 70 mph. It was more difficult than I thought it would be and was not sure if I would get much over 70 mph. We just keep trying and I hit my stride and went 80 mph. I knew the record was mine. A few people have made comments about being towed and not beating Mischo Erban’s gravity record. For the record, “I am no Mischo Erban and never will be; my hat is off to him.” But I will make one more attempt in the next month or so to beat my record because I think I can.
Gonzalez: What inspired you to found Stalk It Longboards ? Please share with us a bit of history about the company including how you came up with the idea to use CornBoard.
Segerstrom: As I was developing the CornBoard patented technology from the University of Illinois, I wanted to do something that showed the CornBoard off. I decided to put it in a skateboard. I thought it would help make people realize that if it could be used in skateboards, it could also be used to make cabinets, furniture, floors and even houses. The longboard was the perfect product to do that and the timing was perfect.
Gonzalez: What has been the longboarding industry’s reaction to your products and has it been what you had hoped?
Segerstrom: I think the longboard industry has been very positive towards us but we have a lot to prove before we are considered a top brand.
Gonzalez: Other than Christian Hosoi, what other pro skateboarders are you working with now or hope to work with in the future?
Segerstrom: We have been working on a downhill race longboard with a young new talent. That is all I want to say for now about that.
Gonzalez: What other longboards do you have releasing before the 2011 Holiday Season?
Segerstrom: We will be releasing the 38Five and the 28Five before the end of October.
Gonzalez: What has been the greatest challenge and greatest reward of founding Stalk It Longboards?
Segerstrom: I have done a few start-ups over the years so that part is easy. The challenge was coming out the box with new technology (CornBoard) and pushing it to its limit. That is also the greatest reward, knowing you pushed yourself to reach for more.
Gonzalez: What other social causes are you passionate about and why?
Segerstrom: I am passionate about being a good steward of our resources and helping people get a hand up.
Gonzalez: If you could only be remembered for one thing, what would you want that to be?
Segerstrom: Loving my children’s mother!
Written By Killeen Gonzalez