An Interview with Mark Wojda
Not long ago you spent time in Boston while attending school. Was it Boston College? I can’t remember for sure. What did you think about your time in Boston, and did you enjoy living there?
I attended Boston University for three years and after that I transferred to an in-state Kentucky University called Bellarmine which is where I got my degree from. Living in Boston was one of the best things I’ve had happen to me. Everyone in Boston is cool and the time I spent there definitely helped my skating because I was finally around a lot of rollerbladers who I’d always wanted to shred with. It was also really humbling because when I first moved there for school I thought the sun shined out of my ass… and people really busted my balls about that for a while.
Correct me if we’re wrong, but you’re from a generation that spent a lot of their own money getting to events and stuff, right? Like we said, you grew up in Louisville. Do you think that’s changed now that so much exposure comes from the internet? And if so, what kind of impact has that had on the current (and recent past) classes of am skaters?
In this regard, the internet has not helped rollerblading. So many people are able to self-produce content these days. There isn’t much incentive for companies to sponsor AM skaters if there are tons of people out there that are more than willing to self-produce at no cost. Also, some companies have really grown accustomed to taking advantage of people who can self-produce rather than judging the actual quality of the production. Consequently, this not only devalues the status of what it means to be AM, but PRO as well, because everyone “appears” to be on the same platform.
How many different companies have sponsored you? Which one was the most disappointing?
I skate for Denial, Create Originals, Hedonskate, and Print Brigade… I’ve skated for Salomon, Remz, and USD. Salomon stopping everything they were doing was disappointing. Leaving Remz was hard because Kato is the man and I was homies with everyone on the team. USD was definitely the most disappointing of sponsors though because it started off really well, but within just a short amount of time I learned I wasn’t down with what they were about and how they went about things. Also, a lot of things were discussed that simply never came to fruition and when it was clear that it wasn’t mutually beneficial we decided to part ways.
More and more bladers are working to organize their own events. If you had your own event, who would be your top five picks for judges?
That’s a tricky question but I’d have a few judges nobody could argue with: Sagona, Feinberg , Zamora, Killgore. If I could throw it anywhere, I’d definitely throw it at the Louisville skate park.
If you could choose any company in the world as a sponsor, what company would that be? Tell us why.
I’ve been skating Valo Lights since after BCSD and they are one of my favorite pairs of skates to date. I also like how Valo goes about promoting everything, and the company’s productions are always on point. SSM is tight too, I like what they are doing.
All right, trying to wrap this up… You’re in Georgia now, but you told me you’re moving in a couple months. Where to next?
In two weeks I will be back up in Boston and the North East, then I’m looking for a more permanent place to settle. Could be the West coast.
And last but not least, take a second to let your fans know where they can see you blading later in 2012.
Hopefully healthy and skating as much as I can on the East coast with all my friends. That’s really what I will be focusing on to wrap up 2012. Expect some goodness.
Well we look forward to seeing how it pans out. Thanks again, Mark, for sharing everything with us. Good luck!
Photos by Earl M Bryan
Leave A Comment
I love those pictures!
Mark wodhydssffja is extremely talented, no one can deny that. But it is clear to anyone whom has met him that he is a narcissistic self absorbed piece of dirt. I hope one day mark will come off his high horse and realize that he is doing the exact same shit in blading he was doing years ago. He can be really nice to other talented bladers who will put up with his constant negative attitude. But if you are a local grim in any sport or just a standard fan of blading and you meet mark you will realize very fast that he is nothing short of a complete ass hole! Oh and by the way just to be clear there are a shit ton of Kentucky bladers who came before him and after him. Clearly stated, mark is one of the worst things to ever happen to Kentucky blading!
You must be one of the guys from Southern Scum. Still butt hurt he wouldn’t make edits for your grimey company or stoop low enough to be associated with something like “scum?” Anyone who actually knows the dude personally likes him, and if he was an ass to you, perhaps there is a very good reason, something along the lines of how you communicate in let’s say, even your comment. Let it go man.
Hmmm… This was an interesting one to read. I met Mark sitting at the bottom of a 14(?) stair set one day with some skates on, asked him if he could do anything and he did one of the ugliest 540′s I’d ever scene, although for a kid of about 12 years old, it was pretty big…started skating with him a bunch, and traveled with him a lot in the beginning (in fact, probably his first ever tour his dad insisted on driving and the ownership that man took in Chicago was amazing, ask Mark about his African-American brothers sometime.) Was also there for quite possibly his first sip of hard liquor… (You’re right, that’s not just Sprite, don’t finish that.)
To whoever the “Kentucky bladers” is, well, perhaps you have an issue with the kid, but lets remember, he’s still just that, a kid. Albeit one that’s grown up a ton in the last 12 years. There have been times when he’s been full of himself and self absorbed, but he’s also gone through things that no other person ever will experience (everyone does) and after meeting back up with Mark randomly over the years, he’s grown quite a bit, and become a remarkable human being that isn’t only concerned with himself but with his friends, the state of the industry, politics, and most importantly his family (not just the kids he grew up skating with that were his “family” but his blood relatives). I think his travels and times in various cities has been a blessing for him, and I’ve definitely noticed a lot of maturation on his part. Sure, he’s still got somewhat of a temper, and he’s definitely a perfectionist, but he’s also not that same shit kid doing sit down makio’s letting his left leg drag so close to the ground that it’s practically rolling while his right leg is grinding on a handrail. Bottom line, even though he’s a perfectionist with his skating and other aspects of life (perhaps the reason some filmers have a difficult time with him) the kid is growing up and concerned with a lot more than just himself. I’ve picked this up from 3/4 across the country, so it shouldn’t be that difficult to see for someone that still lives in Kentucky.
Kb, while I agree there were a lot of KY bladers to come before and after him, he’s not “one of the worst things ever to happen to Kentucky blading”, he’s like…one of the fourth worst, and for that, I’m proud of Mark. For making a dent in the industry, for being smart enough to actually focus on school, for making friends the world over, for impressing industry heads left and right with his skating, and for growing up not a complete douche. He’s not perfect, and at times he still desires for attention and acceptance, but he’s not nearly as bad as you’ve described him to be. Plus, his dad’s a doctor, so he can probably score you some prescription drugs to snort if you were to be nice him.
Well, that’s enough for now, I gotta go finish my beer.
Mark, I know you’re checking this board every ten minutes because you’re totally self-absorbed so you’ll get this message, “Hi, come out some time. Branstetter’s getting some frames and wheels any minute (possibly CO’s) so there’d totally be a crew to roll with, not just me.”
Hope everyone has a good time at the KYB!!! Hollar!
That was a good interview on Mark. It is good to see he has worked so hard all together in his life. He has been extremely consistant. “Don’t hate on the skate, just get around on the sound.”