Anyone who knows Dan knows he rips on a skateboard. But sometimes when guys are really good at skateboarding, they act like jerks for some reason.
Well, Dan is the opposite of that. He’s genuinely a really nice guy. As a Calgary-based sales rep for Vans in Alberta, he has a pretty sweet job. Do we even need to mention he’s a multi-talented musician that is always in demand by several bands at a time? Read on to learn more about Dan.
Where are you from?
I was born and lived in Saskatchewan until I was 9. Then we moved to BC (Lumby, Vernon). Did all my growing up, skating and trouble making there.
How long have you been skating?
I started skating when I was 6-7 or so? My older step brother had a skateboard in the house growing up, and the second I saw it, I knew exactly what to do with it. Been obsessed ever since.
Where do you usually skate? Any favourite spots or parks?
You will usually find me at Huntington Hills park. That bowl is one of my favourites ever. I live super close to Southwood, and its growing on me. I go there when I want to pretend I can still skate street.. Favourite parks? Polson, and Coldstream in Vernon. I’ve put in some serious hours at those places.
Who do you skate with?
I grew up in the time when skating wasn’t really cool. So I skated mostly alone for like 10-12 years almost? Even now I usually just go to the spot, or park and I will just skate with who ever happens to be there. But I actually really enjoy skating alone, as weird as that may seem. Just always done it on my time, and my terms. Don’t get it twisted though, I still love skating with and running into the homies at all the parks! Riley Boland, Jesse Ingrilli, and Ben Renton and I seem to skate a lot together these days. Its pretty rad!
What brought you to Calgary?
That is a funny/long story.. But here is the shorter version. I had a pretty crippling addiction issue in my late teens that I am pretty open about. But I had been clean for a year and a bit, and needed a nice change.. I packed up my 93 Toyota Tercel with all my earthly belongings, and I had two choices. First was Vancouver with a place to stay in a packed party house, with no work or stability but lots of friends. Second was Calgary, where I had a room to rent and a job, but I had one friend in the entire city… So I flipped a quarter in my driveway. Heads=Calgary, Tails= Vancouver.. The rest is history. I made the right choice.
You work as a sales rep for Vans. How did you end up with a job like that? How long have you been doing that for?
I got extremely lucky.. I worked at skate shops for close to 8-9 years or so? Give or take.. The old sales rep (Stefan G) started giving me sample shoes every once in a while. To help push the shoes at the shop, and sort of ignite that fire, you know? It helped me out, more than he could possibly know.. So when Stefan left, the new guy (my now Boss) grandfathered me onto his sample flow program, and was super cool about me grabbing stuff when I needed it. Eventually I had left the shops, and was repping for another company at the time, and had called Dan (my Boss) about something. I happened to call him on the day that his sub-rep quit for another company. So we talked about it, decided we should do lunch the next day. By the end of that day I got an offer I couldn’t refuse.
A lot of people don’t know that it’s possible to make a living with skateboarding in some way in Calgary. What advice would you give to people that want to work in the skate industry?
Its totally possible. It just may look different to everyone. Wether thats working at a shop, starting up your own company, or what ever. Just don’t expect skateboarding to pay the bills. There are some people who skate around with a chip on their shoulder, giving the vibe they deserve a sponsorship or something. Skateboarding doesn’t owe you (anyone) anything. I believe that if you put your head down, work as hard as you can, on what ever you are passionate about, things will happen. Those things may not happen over night, and it may seem defeating at some points, but its all worth it. I owe everything I have, to skateboarding, and hard work.
You must get asked about sponsorship a lot. Why do you think so many kids just want to be sponsored? How many will actually make it? Any advice for kids who want to get hooked up?
Yeah, the sponsorship thing. This one is a tough one. If I had it my way, I would hook everyone up. Unfortunately, thats not possible. However, these are the things that I personally look for if a spot on the team opens up. A good attitude, is first and foremost for me. I don’t really want some one who’s focusing boards, or screaming at kids at the skate park to be representing my team. Gotta be approachable, friendly, and respectful. Second, style. Good style, weird style, but mostly I want to see YOUR style. I can go watch a million youtube videos of carbon copy skaters that all look/push/skate the same. Thats boring though, I want to see what YOU can do, and how YOU do it different. Third, skill of course. Push the limits, push yourself harder, get out of your comfort zone.
I think sponsorship to some is like a status symbol maybe? Im not sure. I don’t want to give some one something, when they aren’t grateful for it, or use it to put others down, if that makes sense? I want it to go to someone that needs it, and deserves it. Someone who has been grinding, and working for it.
As for who, and how many will make it.. Thats all up to them. I want them all to make it! I want my house to be littered with pro boards from kids who made it from Calgary. The caliber of skateboarding talent in this city, is astronomical. Everyday I am left scratching my head watching some young one annihilate the skate park. But Canadians gotta make here first, then they have to win over the states. Its not an easy task, but you can do it!! I believe in you! haha. Filming is huge. Get as many clips as you can. And photos too. Seems to be a dying art form unfortunately, but they are so important. And do your best to not post everything immediately to the internet!
Some advice to those looking to get hooked up(as if this answer wasn’t long enough). Like I said before. Attitude, goes a long way. Be nice to each other. Be supportive of our community. Be respectful of our parks, and spots. Skate as hard, and as often as possible. Film/shoot as much as you can. And mostly, have FUN! Thats what its really all about.
You’re involved in the music scene too. How long have you been playing?
Music has always gone hand in hand with skateboarding for me. I started playing guitar when I was 10, and I’ve been obsessed with it as well for most my life. I just have one band going at the moment, we go by Monolith A.B. Its a doom metal project I have been working on for 4 years or so. We are almost ready to record our first full-length album. We already did it once, and it was lost due to a computer error (another story, for another time). But we are excited to get down to it, and get it out finally.
What else are you into besides skating and music?
Motorcycles have been a huge part of my life since I was a kid. Fixing them, or riding them, I just love being around them. I also do a bit of Fly Fishing when I get the chance.
Any thanks/shout outs?
Thanks to my fiance Jess Doyle, Mama bear, and my sisters Jacklyn and Jenny for putting up with me. Those are the strongest women I have ever met, and they amaze me everyday.
Shoutouts to Mike Sharp, Nick Tempel, Dan Anderson, Stefan Goulet, Vans Canada, Arlen Smith, The Palomino, Blue Montgomery, Ben Renton, Riley Boland, Jesse Ingrilli, all the Huntington Hills locals, every one who has ever said whats up at the skate park, and anyone who has even been able to come to one of our shows. If we are friends, or acquaintances I am glad you are in my life.
On behalf of the CASE board, I’d like to invite you to our Annual General Meeting. This year it will take place on Wednesday, May 10 at Festival Hall, 1215 10 Ave SE at 7:00 PM.
It’s important that you join us for the meeting. This past year was an important one for Calgary skateboarding and the coming year will no doubt be important too. We want feedback from you.
Where do you see CASE going? What would you like to see from CASE? How did we do over the past year?
Come out to hear about new skateparks planned for 2017, events, and a few other things we have in mind for the future.
Paul Derksen, Chair
The design concept for the new park will be on display at the Genesis Centre, 7555 Falconridge Blvd NE from April 24-29. There will also be an open house info session on April 26 from 6pm-9pm at the Genesis Centre, with city staff on site to answer any questions.
You’ve probably seen the slam section from the Toy Machine video “Welcome to Hell”. The D.R.I. song “Do the Dream” was featured:
It’s free to use the parks and both helmets and waivers are required. There are three indoor locations this year, which is great for rainy days.
|April 18 – May 11||Murray Copot Arena (6727 Centre St NW) INDOOR PARK|
|June 2 – July 13||Shouldice Arena (1515 Home Rd NW) INDOOR PARK|
|June 15 – July 2||Richmond Knob Hill Community Association (2433 26 Ave SW – outdoor rink)|
|June 17 – July 3||Sandstone MacEwan Community Association (300 8120 Beddington Blvd NW – outdoor rink)|
|June 30 – Aug 31||Repsol Sports Centre (2225 Macleod Trail S – parking lot)|
|July 5 – 16||Genesis Centre of Community Wellness (7555 Falconridge Blvd NE – parking lot)|
|July 4 – 24||Optimist Arena (5020 26 Ave SW) INDOOR PARK|
|July 6 – 19||Millrise Community Association (14808 Millrise Hill SW – outdoor rink)|
|July 8 – 23||Braeside Community Association (11024 Braeside Dr SW – outdoor rink)|
|July 18 – 20||Vivo for Healthier Generations (11950 Country Village Link NE – east side parking lot)|
|July 15 – 26||Applewood Community Association (66 Applestone Park SE – outdoor rink)|
|July 21 – Aug 3||McKenzie Lake Community Association (16198 McKenzie Lake Way SE – outdoor rink)|
|July 25 – Aug 10||Canyon Meadows Community Association (844 Cantabrian Dr SW – outdoor rink)|
|July 26 – Aug 7||Valleyridge Community Association (61 Valley Woods Way NW – outdoor rink)|
|July 28 – Aug 9||Falconridge/Castleridge Community Association (95 Falshire Dr. NE – outdoor rink)|
|Aug 1 – 28||Hidden Valley Community Association(10504 Hidden Valley Drive NW – outdoor rink)|
|Aug 5 – 17||Cranston Residents Association (11 Cranarch Rd SE – outdoor rink)|
|Aug 9 – 22||Bowness Community Association (7904 43 Ave NW – parking lot)|
|Aug 11 – 23||Winston Heights Community Association (520 27 Ave NE – parking lot)|
|Aug 12 – 24||North Glenmore Park Community Association (2231 Longridge Dr SW – parking lot)|
|Aug 19 – 30||Douglas Quarry Community Association (#160 11520 24th St SE – outdoor rink)|
|Aug 24 – Sept 5||Inglewood Community Association (1740 24 Ave SE – outdoor rink)|
|Aug 26 – Sept 7||Tuxedo Community Association (202 29th Ave NE – parking lot)|
|Sept 1 – 14||Willowridge Community Association (680 Acadia Dr SE – outdoor rink)|
|Sept 2 – 14||Westgate Community Association (4943 8th Ave SW – outdoor rink)|
CASE Co-chair, Zev Klymochko, and Ward 8 City councillor Evan Woolley are presenting “Skate the City” a Jane’s Walk tour that will take attendees through downtown Calgary from both a skateboarding and a municipal perspective.
Jane’s Walks are guided free guided tours that are held all over the world to honour Jane Jacobs, the urbanist famous for her work in New York and Toronto.
Click the image below for event info: