I first met Mark at Skate the Cape 2019. He has a positive vibe that is contagious to anyone around him. I could see his dedication to the longboard community and passion for riding. On Sunday morning at Skate the Cape we did a beach cleanup and Mark was one of the few non - FB riders to wake up early, get out there and lend a hand. That really showed me the type of person Mark is and I was stoked to hear he wanted to become a Faceplant Boardrider this year.
How did you start skateboarding/longboarding?
I grew up in a town called "Long Hill" and my parent's house is still at the top most point of the, quite literal, long hill. My brother and I had a goal to be the house of everything with wheels. We sent everything we could think of down that hill. We loved skating, mainly from watching Jackass and Viva la bam, but when we got tired of busting up our ankles, we dusted off the longboard our uncle had gotten us and started luging down the hill. It took a whole year until we got the confidence to stand on it. THAT, was the turning point. Fast forward through 5 years of many miles skated and hills bombed, I moved to Virginia Beach. In 2018, I met The Dolphin Team. They told me it was possible to slide with the board. I nailed my first slides on Wheelerz wheels. As they say, its been all downhill from there! What are other passions in your life? What motivates you?
Freedom is my motivation, and Adventures with friends are my greatest passion. I love new experiences, and exploring new places. But in the end, It's all about the people you spend that freedom and time with.
What do you do for work? How do you balance work and play?
I work at a company called Green Forest Cabinetry. I have been involved with wood working and cabinetry my entire professional career. When I first moved here as the general manager, it was a rough go at getting this start up off its feet. I learned what it meant to be "in charge" and had a lot of difficult executive decisions to make as a 25 year old. For 7 months, I didn't touch my board. Until I realized, skating was my escape from the hole that was work. I have an amazing girlfriend that understands skating is like medicine, and a down to earth group of friends to chase the hobby with. Being flexible helps, and being motivated in both worlds keeps the blood flowing. Where do you want to see longboarding in the future?
I would like to see longboarding more accepted in general. From the outside, its just another hobby that "pot-smoking wastoid kids" do. On the inside, its the counter culture to the skate counter culture. Longboarders have no interest in the bench outside someone's storefront, or the curb on their driveway. They have a sole vested interest in safely traveling down the road in the most stylish way possible.
What is your favorite longboard event and why?
I have only been to about 5 or 6 "events." For now, I could say my favorite events are where the focus is "expression sessions" where we all hit the hill in the most stylish way possible. Put it this way, any event with the words "slide jam" in it, IS my jam. Tell us about that session or moment that made you want to really pursue longboarding as more than just a hobby?
Meeting the Dolphin Team after the first session on December 21st 2018, I had finally achieved something I never had, which was a support system. Someone telling me to try one more time, or convince me to go on that trip to do that hill. It made me wish more people had access to what took me 5 years to find. And that was when it hit me. My mission was, and still is, to bring that support system to others so they can feel the same passion I do towards skating. Coffee, tea or energy drink? What wakes you up in the morning?
Oh gosh, what kind of day are we having? Honestly, stoke by itself wakes me up and gets me going on trips and days off. But if Monday at work is dragging along, some black coffee will definitely get me to where I need to be
What would be your superpower and why?
To become a master with any musical instrument, just by touching it. There is always a symphony in my head, and my channels to release those sounds are limited to what I can do with my body. If I only had a nickel for the amount of times I've had this thought... If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live? Why?
I would live nowhere :) I dream of a nomadic lifestyle in a van, where my environmental impact on the world is minimal, and the opportunity to chase whatever interest I have that day is optimal. What is your dream job? What's stopping you? To be a stand up comedian. I never understood how to organize comedy, it just seems so natural. Maybe one day!
Follow Mark on Instagram @mark.anthony.skates