Why did you decide to start The Vacation, and who is involved?
Long story short, I really wanted to see a David Clark pro model and Jason was really interested in doing his own art and wanted some more freedom with his graphics. After lots of texting and phone calls it all worked out. The team is David Clark, Jason Spivey, Jonathan Ettman and Brian Powderly. From the start I’ve worked very closely with Matt Creasy of the Threads Idea Vacuum. Matt does most of the art and video and we work together on the direction. We have a really good dynamic and which makes this whole process really fun.
How did the collaboration with Threads Idea Vacuum come about?
Since Matt is a big part of the Vacation it was a no brainer to do the collab. I really wanted the brand to be pro-model heavy so any team board should have some meaning to the brand. During the filming of the Headcleaner video I got to know Matt and the Threads guys and I knew right away they were my dudes. They put skating before the money and weren’t trying to market to anyone. They just did what they wanted. Which is what I wanted with The Vacation, no stress if we make it or not.
David Clark, Wallie. Photo: Morico
What inspired the Dance series, and how did you decide on the look of the brand?
The Dance Series was a lucky find on my part. I’m a librarian, so I spend far too much time in front of a computer and google can keep you very busy. While trying to find inspiration for The Vacation, I came upon the Dance Series images from an old shirt company advert. I have no talent in the art department so I had to reach out to John Vitale, who does The Killing Floor, to do all the computer stuff for that one. The two of us hashed out how we thought they should look. I was really stoked on how they came out. The plan is to keep things simple and fun. I also want to get people thinking again about how important professional skateboarders are. People should try and buy a pro model to support their favorite dude. It’s a pretty simple idea but it’s been lost in the sea of team boards.
Does the focus on pro models mean that you are less keen on doing team boards and repeated company logo boards in each size?
Yes in a way that is true. Our pro’s are what make the brand, so it makes sense to focus on them. I’m not saying we wont make a team board here and there to fit into a series. But we don’t plan on just having our name looking all fancy on a board. Nothing wrong with a logo board but with us being so new we need to stand out more than just our name. But hey, if anyone makes something and it’s rad send it over and maybe we will run it!
I agree with supporting pros by buying their board, but what do you say to the argument that supporting skaters is the role of shoe companies, as there is less money in board sales?
Yeah there’s way less money, but not all skaters get paid, and most don’t get paid from shoe sponsors. We try and support our dudes in the best way we can. Sure it would be rad if shoe sponsors helped our dudes it might ease the burden on us a little, but getting paid from a shoe brand is like seeing a unicorn.
Jason Spivey, Back D. Photo: Ishie
Who has backed the brand so far, and has the initial reaction been good?
So far everyone has been very supportive of the brand especially shops who know and love David and Jason. It’s been a long time coming for David to have a board and a lot of people and shops have been supportive of that. Having our little edit in Threadcleaner helped push Brian and Jonathan too. I think the combination of everything has really helped.
Why do you think it has been a long time coming for David?
Honestly its hard to say, I’m not David. To me he’s been pro for years. David is very soft spoken and reserved so maybe that had something to do with it. He just sort of got skipped over. I was co-owner of a shop for 5 years and I would always tell our DLX rep I was going to steal David for Politic… Funny how that kind of worked out.