Today was the day we finally got to hear about Shane O'Neill's board company, April Skateboards. He had originally announced his departure from Primitive Skateboarding way back in June, 2018 and has been riding blank decks in the meantime. So after almost a year the time has come.
I had been waiting anxiously and even mentioned it on the podcast. We were all waiting to find out what was next from the tech wizard, but he seemed to have his eyes set on May, 2019 for his launch.
I was so excited to finally see some footage of the new crew. Congrats to Yuto as well -- it's about time damn it. However, my excitement was short-lived. Something dawned on me.
Do we have too many board companies now?
Are there too many options these days?
Or does it just seem that way?
How can the little guys survive?
In the past few years we've had Roller Horror, Dugout, All I Need, Street Plant, New Deal (back from the dead), Visit, Brainchild and now April launch board companies. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm having more and more trouble deciding who to go with these days?
I have been riding Element boards for the longest time and recently switched to Street Plant. I wanted to break away from the standard popsicle shape for a change. It's been a fun ride so far. Nevertheless, I was almost overwhelmed with the decision. And I'm not on any flow or anything so I pay full price and my decision has to be a wise one.
Oh, and notice how I am only talking about skateboards. There are so many damn gear and clothing options out there that's a whole other blog post in itself. It's almost getting out of hand.
Maybe it just feels like there are too many board companies these days as social media seems to be more in-your-face than having to wait weeks or months to READ about a launch in Thrasher or Transworld (RIP print edition). Or maybe the industry is right where it needs to be?
These riders work hard to make a name for themselves and have the right to spinoff and launch their own brand. This, in turn, helps keep the big brands in check too with the threat of one of their well-known riders leaving for the latest and greatest brand. In a way there does seem to be enough talent to go around. And not just locally. I'm talking global talent is in full force. So there is that.
I guess what I am trying to say is at what point will it be oversaturated? Are we already there? Or will it never happen?
Curious to hear your thoughts.