Interview: Dave Lang about SSM, Megaramp and more

Dave Lang (shot by Jeremy Condamine)

Dave Lang is the first ever person to drop an Megaramp blading edit, he is working at Woodward West, he is the newest member of the SSM Second Blood team and he filmed and edited the SSM Video “Since Now”. All sounds interesting? Last weekend he was shooting at the Coachella festival and was “hanging” with Snoop Dogg. What? We are proud to introduce you to Dave Lang. A young man from Long Hill who’s got something to say…
Full Name: Dave Lang
Age: 23
Hometown: Long Hill, NJ
Currently living in: Tehachapi, CA
Blading since: 1999
Sponsors: SSM
Setup: SSM Marc Moreno’s, Create Originals Frames, King Crow Precision Bearings and Shredweiser Wheels.
Hey Dave, thanks for doing this with us. Where are you right now?
Currently posted up at the Coachella music festival in Indio, California. It’s 106 degrees, there’s babes being watered like plants, everyone’s twisted up on drugs, Tupac is fucking back and I’m attempting finish this interview before my iPhone decides to overheat again.
Sounds perfect. Are you just visiting the festival or are you working there? In one of the pics you posted it seemed like you were standing on (or behind) the stage?
As cool as it would be to say I was just attending the festival, I am here to work. I’m shooting multimedia at Coachella. My assignment is shooting all interview, backstage and performance content. Thus far I’ve encountered artists like The Black Keys, A$AP Rocky, Snoop Dogg and Thom York of Radiohead to name a few. It’s definitely been a unique experience, but in reality I’d prefer to be partying than filming it.
As far as I understand you are working at Woodward West. Is it a full time job, what’s the job title and how would you describe your typical work day?
Yes, it’s definitely a full time job. My title there is “Digital Media Director” which not only entails teaching the kids at Woodward, but also generating original video, photo and web content specific to Woodward West and Woodward U (Woodward West’s Boarding School).
Day to day I follow the same schedule. I get in around 9:30, I have my sleeve of Hostess powdered donuts and coffee while I log, convert and edit all of the footage from the previous day. I try to create a new edit daily. Around 1 PM, I take a break for lunch and then teach a class for the Woodward U students at 2 o’clock. Around 5 or so, depending on how much we get done in class, I get back into my office, update the websites, pack up and then blade for the rest of the evening. I mean, when it comes down to it, it doesn’t feel like work at the end of the day. Yes, there are the stresses that come along with it, but that’s inevitable wherever you go. Overall, I couldn’t be happier to be able to live, work and skate at one of the best skateparks in the world.

In your WRS edit it looks like you’re pretty comfortable on a mega ramp. Next to the few clips of Haffey and B Smith there isn’t any other edit from that ramp (in blading). Is it even allowed for everybody to skate it, or are you having sessions on your own?
Okay, so the story of the Mega Ramp is kind of a long one. When it comes down to it, DC and the Mega Ramp Franchise wanted to have the ultimatum as to who could ride the ramp. Something along the lines of copyrights/ brand misrepresentation and the fact that rollerblading isn’t a part of either of those images; set the initial limitation on bladers hitting the ramp.
Somewhere along the line, a few loop holes opened up and allowing us to gain access to the ramp, but no filming of rollerbladers could take place; going back to the whole branding nonsense. Yes, it is still difficult to get permission to ride the ramp and no not everyone can ride it. So it’s basically solo sessions all the time.
When I first started hitting the ramp, I was very hesitant about putting clips online for public access for fear of being sued by DC and Mega Ramp for more money than the rollerblading industry is even worth. But at a certain point I just was like “Fuck it.” and told myself that for my WRS Submission I was going to make the first Mega Ramp edit on blades, doing something that only a rollerblader would do. And the gap to rail idea popped into my head. Ironically, when skateboarders like Jake Brown (Monster Energy and DC Athlete) see that edit; they have nothing but respect for it. But, that doesn’t mean his corporate sponsor would take me off the radar for a lawsuit.
Any chance there will be a longer Mega Ramp edit of you anytime soon?
Absolutely. I have a lot of things planned for that ramp. I’m going to try and skate it at least 3 times a week throughout the course of summer and come fall, I’ll hopefully have a full part with a whole new bag of tricks. So be on the lookout.
You just got announced as the new SSM “Second Blood” member. How does it feel to be a part of that now and how did it happen?
Honestly, it’s really an incredible feeling. From the moment Brian and Joey approached me at the NYC Invitational after party telling me to “join the dark side” I immediately felt like I was a part of something; and nothing was even set in stone. It’s really important to me to be a part of a team, something that doesn’t exist much nowadays in blading. I really believe in and what SSM stands for, is doing right now, and has planned for the future. It’s the direction I’d like to keep pushing in. Not only is the team comprised of some of the most talented people in the world, but also some of the most passionate skaters that I’ve ever encountered.
They put a lot of heart into what they do and that’s not limited to the realm of skating; but to everything that they apply themselves to. And that’s who I choose to surround myself with, learn from and draw inspiration from all of these guys know how to have a good time, but they are also dedicated to getting out there and putting in work daily. I am really proud to say that I am officially a part of SSM.

Your trip to the Winterclash in the Netherlands was your first time in Europe? If so, what were your first impressions and what you think is the biggest difference to the US?
It wasn’t my first time in Europe; I’ve actually traveled there several times. I’ve studied abroad in Italy, experienced Portugal and Spain and also attended the Gladiator contest in Nantes, France.
However this was my first Winterclash experience and from what I can tell, Europe’s blading scene is alive and thriving. From the moment I stepped into the skatepark, there was a different energy about the place. It was like going to BCSD for the first time all over again.
Much like the American scene, everything is really tight knit and everyone knows each other. Everyone embraced and supported one another and really got behind everyone that was skating. But I think the main difference between America and Europe in terms of blading is the fact that park skating really has a prominent stance in the scene out there and seems to be more widely accepted, where as America is really driven by street skating.
That’s a nice way of putting it. How you feel about the whole debate around the street / park styles? Do you feel a guy who can throw a Flatspin 1080° but never had a proper street section or pictures in magazines can call his self pro? Because obviously this person is in the top 15 of the W.R.S. world ranking.
It’s hard to try and throw everyone into the same category, period. Street and park are both difficult in their own respects. On one hand, the street skater who gets buck on some raw spots might not even have the ability to 360 a launch box. Where as the park skater who can flat 10 that same launch box may not be able to carry himself the same way on the street.
I don’t think sections, magazines or anything should have anything to do with it. Because, and a lot of people are going to hate this answer, when it comes to getting a section in a video or article in a magazine; it comes down to who your buddy buddy with in the industry. Plain and simple. Rollerblading is such a small community nowadays that there are the same groups, or dare I say “cliques”, that stick together and control that whole media outlet. It’s not necessarily a bad thing because people with the same views/ideas on blading are coming together and creating their own forms of skating and we need that. It’s really important that people find their direction. But, it also limits new talent from being exposed to the general populous.
Not only this, but the companies have a vice grip in terms of deciding a skaters stature in the industry. I think a lot of what we’re facing right now is sort of an “AM for life” syndrome. There are so many new and old bladers out there that are/have killing it, but will never grow from their flow/AM position on the team. Now, people will argue and say “Well, they haven’t paid their dues!” and they’re right! They haven’t been given the chance to! How can someone expect to live up to the body of work (sections) that a lot of our pro’s have under their belt? Or how can they expect to get filmed if they can’t “hang” with the people putting out the magazines and videos?
Just look at history, the same names have been dominating the industry since 2000. Not to say that a lot of them shouldn’t be there nowadays, but new names haven’t come into the forefront in a long time and personally I think it limits our industry. Not because that the dude on the flow team won’t ever make pro, but the fact that there is simply no room for growth for ANYONE. And I’m not saying that the financial state of the industry has room for new faces to emerge. Even the younger generation has acknowledged that. At a certain point in time, whenever that is, that has to change. Eventually kids are going to become discouraged from pursuing that dream when they realize that it’s unattainable unless you play the cards right and find loop holes in the politics of things. And really, the only thing that keeps any “action sport” alive is the drive to continue and strive for that dream.
What it all boils down to is, rollerbladers need to respect one another for individual style and discipline. It’s sad to say, but the only “action sport” that doesn’t seem to understand and respect all of the aspects of their sport is rollerblading. Take it from a guy who works around all of the other sports. From what I’ve drawn from it, BMX’ers and Skateboarders have mutual respect for street, park and vert. Nothing goes undermined but is respected for what it is and what it takes to do it. This mentality needs to start translating over to what we do. We all know how difficult it is to finesse park, we all know how difficult it is dropping hammers on the streets; so, why can’t we stop shutting out those aspects of blading and start embracing them? Maybe even encourage them because the truth is, we need both to grow as a sport.
Top Acid (shot by Jeremy Condamine)

You filmed and edited “Since Now”. Was it a one timer, or are you also in charge of the SSM video coming later on?
I’ll hopefully be making some more contributions on the video end of things for SSM. But as far as the SSM video goes, that project is still up in the air.
What’s up for 2012? Any tours planned already? Maybe going back to Europe? What’s on the schedule so far?
The immediate goal is to get to FISE in Montpellier. I heard that there’s some large scale slopestyle course that I’m dying to get busy on. Europe is definitely on the radar. As for the rest of 2012, it’s a blank canvas. I’ve never been invited on tour before. The extent of my traveling for blading has come out of my own pocket and quite frankly that’s the best thing I spend my money on. I’m just going to see what pop’s up and roll with it. But if you got something in mind, get at me!
Thanks for the interview Dave. We are looking forward seeing more from you soon.
Gap over fence (shot by Brian Shima)