Hi Alex. You’re the team manager of Jart Skateboards so tell us what this actually means – what do you do every day and when you are on the road with the skaters?
Yeah, I take care of the international team, so I have to plan all the tours, videos and stuff like that. I also do social media and photos. I live in Barcelona and there are always some of the riders around so I wake up, work at home and then just meet with the boys to film. Tours are pretty sick and I love to travel with the boys, always funny things happen on tour.
Jart Skateboards has been around for quite a while now. When did everything begin for Jart, who started the whole thing and who are some of the main people involved in running the company?
Jart started in 2002 and the best thing is that we manufacture our boards. The main company is HLCDISTRIBUTION, which runs Jart and other brands. The mens behind Jart are Igor, Ander & Ibán Iraola. They are super sick, I feel like part of the family.
You have a really cool selection of skaters in the team. How do you go about picking new team members and what are the most important criteria for the riders to become a part of Jart?
That is not easy at all, belive me. Skateboarding is very important but is not the only thing to be part of the team, be cool, and fit with the others members of the team is also important for me.
Are we going to see a new Jart team video coming out in 2016?
Yeah, we are working really hard during 2015 to release a new video on early 2016. Also wanna do a video with the youngest riders on the team. 2016 is gonna be a dope year for JART.
Where are your decks and other products produced? What do you look for to make sure your products offer high quality to the people buying and using them?
We manufacture the boards in our headquarters in IRUN. We use only 100% hard rock maple, the best machines, and the best glue, so we offer two years warranty on all our boards, that´s why we know how to manufacture really good boards.
Tell us please a bit about the design process for your new product line and who are the designers and graphic artists who created them.
The designer manager is Ivan Jambrina so everything passes through his hands. Also we do a lot of collabs with really good designers in every collection like Marcos Cabrera. We have to made khe desings like six months before they came out.
Being a team manager, you’re almost like the dad or a parent figure for some of the team. What makes it special and/or really difficult to do this job?
It´s funny, you see how they grow and now I know what everyone likes or hate and how to speak to every one…. Sometimes it is not easy but at the end a good trick allows me to forget about that!! hahaha
Skateboarding in Spain: how have you seen it grow in the past 15 years and how can one decribe the skateboarding scene to those of us not living in Spain?
Spain has a big scene, we have Barcelona you know. But also in Madrid there is a solid crew. The good thing here is the good weather so we can skate the whole year.
What are some of the most special spots to skate in Spain?
Every spot in Barcelona, you can find spots everywhere. In Madrid you have plenty of spots, also Malaga, Alicante and the Canary Islands. The most influencial spots in Spain are MACBA, Sants, and Colon back in the days.
How hard is it for a company in Spain/Europe to survive against the major labels coming from the USA? Is it a “fight” for market share or does Jart Skateboards have a slightly different “target group”?
I always says like a LORZ video name “they don´t give a fuck about us” and they only want theirs brands or his homies, like there is no place for others. We try to do our best, take care of our riders and our scene, that´s it, don´t think about this like there is a war…
What do you have planned for us and Jart in 2016 and the future?
Now I’m focusing on the next video, filming everyday!!
Thanks to Alex for this interview with Europeskate – looking forward to what Jart Skateboards has waiting for us in 2016.
Make sure you visit the Jart Skateboards online shop and website!