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Hop Podcast #11 - Calvin Skinner and how to build a skate brand


Why interview Calvin? In my opinion he is a longboard influencer. He might not have the mega subscribers or the million view videos, but he has a loyal following, and he is respected in the community. Part of that is he is trusted, so when he recommends a product, it carries more influence. An example of this is the review he did for the Hopkin Youtube channel on Optimo wheels. Although that video is now has 5000+ views, when we released it, there was less than 500 views in the first 30 days, but it was enough to sell out the wheel in our shop and at the distributor! You can go to our longboard wheel page, and it is sorted by best selling wheels, and the Optimo is (as of writing this) number 2! If you listen to the podcast we talk about what wheels Calvin is currently recommending, the Byron Esserts, and that wheel is sold out and creeping up our best seller list.

This is a fun interview, we talk a lot about how Calvin has been building his brand Beggars Supply Co.  

This blog post is a companion to the podcast - it is the show notes!

If you want to visit the websites we mention or watch the videos we talk about or unsure of the person or skater that is talked about, the link should be here. If not please message or DM me and I will get it added. Any mistakes, let me know.

First skateboard stormtrooper skateboard. First longboard a Tan Tien bought from the old Hopkin website, set up with Paris trucks and yellow Stimulus wheels.

Flowed helmets from S1
Flowed trucks by Paris Trucks
Flowed work and miscellaneous skate items by Boardstore

US trip in July
California -> Seattle -> Vancouver

Motion Boardshop - stocks Beggars boards

The East Coop

Calvin's video from his 2018 tour

One of Calvin's biggest influences, and he aims to mimic that Wes Anderson framing

Wes Anderson // Centered from kogonada on Vimeo.


The amazing Mr Linus Marsh

Kavon Zamanian - Red Dirt Motion ( I mispronounce the name - sorry Kavon)

Longboarding video game video <- watch the series here or my favourite below


 Music found on Spotify Discover weekly

The East Coop facebook page, the page where taken down videos go to live

What are Calvin's different media channels? He uses Youtube for a Calvin Skinner film or bigger edits. The East Co-operative is now Facebook video only now. Beggers does only Facebook and Instagram video

Longer content goes on Youtube - minimum 8 minute videos. Facebook is videos anywhere from 30 seconds to 6 minutes.

Beggars Supply Company

Boardlife in Colorado

Drang Boards

Backbone longboard deck

Beggars team:
Brady Faithful
Korey Kamp 
Luke Smith   
Jeremy Shroom

What is Beggars drop 3 looking like? It is available end of November or December.
First board: Downhill single kick around 39 inches long 
Second board: a symmetrical downhill top mount board 35.5 inches long
Third board: a big double kick that is 38.5 inches long!

Shops that are stocking Drop 2:

Cre8ive Sk8
Motion Boardshop
Boardworks Tech Shop 
AND right here at Hopkin Skate

Skull Skates

Small indy board builders we talk about:

Pantheon longboards
Da Silva
FS Board Co

Dylan Hepworth's DH Boards

Chroma Skateboards (now closed)

Les from Flatspot - SkateSlate

Highway Jam X Paris Trucks - best skate event Calvin has been too. 


Monkeypig Midnight Madness

What wheels? 
Essert freeride wheels - slide so perfectly

How does Calvin pick his team? Individuality is the biggest factor.

Can a skater get sponsored without racing or doing events? Calvin and I discuss this, other than himself as an example Brandon DesJarlais is another example of skaters building a following and using that to get sponsored.





Hop Podcast #10 - Ghetto tips with Matteo


This is a short quick tip podcast. Something to chew on until the main meal (another big interview) gets released.

Matteo came in to pick up a new board and I convince him to share how he was setting up his board. In particular how he uses a yoga mat and rubber offcuts to replace Poron and a torque block. 

Products we talk about are the Loaded Poron Pushin Cushion and Venom Torque block.

Thanks for listening, like, share and subscribe. Can be a bit hard to search for Hop Podcast in your favourite Podcast player - try searching for James Hopkin. That usually brings it up faster.


Hop Podcast #9 - Mitch Thompson interview


I have wanted to interview Mitch for a long time, I think it was at the Shedemite summer series I suggested an interview, but it has always been a bit hard to coordinate.

My last trip to Bathurst, I scheduled meetings first thing in the morning, and left enough time to meet up with Mitch and have a long conversation.

First some apologises on the quality. Am I always apologising for the podcast sound? Podcasting is a new medium I am learning. I do all the production and recording, so it is at amateur status. I think the quality of the interviews makes up for the poor sound. I am using a new recording device with directional microphones. I don't think I had the microphones close enough. The interview I did after this I held my recorder and put the microphones closer to the subject, the quality was a lot better. As the microphones were a bit too far away, I picked up a lot of the background noise, and in particular the sound of supermarket beeping (I interviewed Mitch at his work, which is in a shopping mall!). In post production I removed a lot of those sounds but in the process changed the recording tones. 

This interview has everything, we go through how Mitch sets up his Rayne board, his new mini Ronins, griptape, bearings, why he does not clean his bearings, how his designed his own wheels, and so much more. 

All the big races he has been in over the years we go through in detail. What happened in that Newtons 2017 final and the split second decision that cost him any chance of winning. Why Taylor Cook was so happy beating Mitch at Kaikoura, why Mitch missed Kaikoura this year, how did the Arirang Hill 2017 race go down, and that GoPro footage of the final. Why he tries to GoPro'd all his races, even the finals at the expense of aero.

I have been a bit lazy on this episode, I have not listed all the links and products we talk about. We might go back and add them later. If you want to contribute to teh podcast, and send me what you think the links should be, hit me up on my email (use the contact us page).

Thank you for listening. Like subscribe and share.

James Hopkin
September 2018



Hop Podcast #8 - Concrete Wave and the fine print


I got a phone call from Michael Brooke in July, to tell me, it was not public yet but he was going to announce he was stepping down from Concrete Wave magazine, handing the magazine to some new owners, and he was taking a new direction. 

He was not quitting skateboarding.

My first reaction was this is something I want to document on the podcast, I need to interview Michael. For me, that is a daunting task, I have known Michael for a long time, we are friends, there is a lot of history there, we have shared so much together. I will interview Michael, but I wanted to do something immediately to celebrate the Michael Brooke era at Concrete Wave. So this is it. Podcast number 8 is my favourite story from all those magazines. It is about Trif-dog (I dont know who that is) and his late night bomb down a hill in Newport Beach. Even if this episode does not sound like something you want to listen too, you have to hear the story, it is a classic. 

The "fine print" was a small section at the start of each Concrete wave where Michael was just...Michael. It was the first thing I always read. The best fine print was Vol 1 2006 the Trif-Dog story.

I have always remembered the Trif-Dog story, I have retold it many times, and it is classic Michael Brooke. If you have never had a beer with Michael, or a long phone call, Michael some how manages to find these characters and collect the funniest stories, that are real life and hilarious. So I have spent this week going through all my Concrete Wave magazines (I have most of them) and searching for this story. I have magazines piled up everywhere, and I start reading old issues, enjoying them all over again, and so many of the stories and articles are still gold. It was a fun week! 

So I have the first issue, I'm sharing a few things from that first issue, and then tell the Trif-Dog story. This podcast is a slightly different format. It is shorter (under 30 minutes) and it is not an interview. Just something I'm playing with, smaller episodes that I can be more consistent with. 

Enjoy my Concrete Wave ramblings. Michael if you read this, thank you. You are one of a kind, I love you brother.

Find Concrete Wave on facebook

Michael's announcement on Facebook

Concrete Wave website

Subscribe to Concrete Wave!!!!


Hop Podcast #7 Harry Clarke - living the chopstar lifestyle

This Podcast number 7 Harry Clarke aka Harry Potter aka Chopstar

I started following Harry on the international downhill scene when he appeared out of nowhere representing Australia in Europe about 3 or 4 years ago.

He is an Aussie, battling the world's best in downhill racing, and consistently doing well. In his own words, he is just on the cusp of breaking into that downhill elite with a big race win. This might be the year, he has been on the podium for a few big races this year already (3rd at Arirang Hill, and 3rd at Transylvania DH).

These are the show notes. Basically anything worth linking to that explains people and products we talk about. 

IDF number 1832

Alpen-Rauschen freeride - the best in the world? Organised by Big Mountain

Harry's first skateboard: Original Apex 37

Nine Two Five...rain or shine video 

Robert Burns

Pierre van Remoortere: a young Pierre skating


Get spicy with a sicktail

Avoiding cows (video below)

 First race in Philippines: VLT 2013 (click on young Harry below to see him at his first race) Full 2013 VLT video here

Getting stoked on Downhill with Greener pastures videos

Harry's rich slamin history at Kozakov
2014 as a junior making the B bracket final and moving through to the A bracket

 2014 was also the year Connor Ferguson, as a junior, made the open final

Met all the Aussie crew at Mt Keira 2016 

16th in 2015 at Shortakov (short version of Kozakov). Riders mentioned:
Max Wipperman
Hertler = Sebastian Hertler
Luna = Daniel Luna
Alex Charleston and other guy = Filippo Salerni
Byron = Byron Essert 
Nico = Nicola Nuehrig



In 2015 Harry finished 43rd in the world, he is still at school! 

Veggie High 2016 wins consi final

2015 Yuping Cup at Heaven's Gate mountains  (2nd in opens)
Yuping Cup Final: Adam Yates, Harry Clarke, Billy Bones, Max Ballesteros

14th in the world in 2016

Mt Keira 2016 was Harry's first Australian race, he came with Rob = Robert Burns 

Veggie High 2016 race
Yuping Cup in China

11th at Lilyhammer

6th at Teolo - the sick video of quarter final of Harry, Mitch Thompson and Alex Dehmel and Čvančara Vašek 

Second at Insul 2016 - I did not make that clear in the interview. 
Final was Mitch Thompson, Harry Clarke, Sebastian Hertler and Max Balesteros
On the podium in his thongs REPRESENT!
Korea 2018
We talk about the internet memes that followed the Korean final. It was started by Federico with this video 
Skaters mentioned: Standy Andy = Andrew Atchison
Robert Burns 2015 Arirang Hill Korea crash - Harry rates it as one of the scariest he has seen, and it was caught on video!! See below
Robert Burn's Ahmyo video part above

Racing Set Ups

This is current as of the time of the interview which was mid 2018. We are not maintaining or updating this list.

Riding on Venom wheels

He was on Orangatang or is one or...[watch this space]
Officially now rides for Madrid boards
Skater mentioned: Max Dubler
Harry's new deck, he is riding some new designs, more than just a chopped Trapster...maybe...a new production deck in the future?
Current trucks are 160mm Rogues
15 degree back baseplate with a 50 degree front [link to where you can buy rogue precisions]
Venom Tall Barrel bushings in HPF (High performance Formula)
Front bushings 78a roadside and 81a boardside 
Back bushings are both 97a
An original Chopstar is a chopped Trapstar
The downhill small stance
Bearings: Hondar or Seismic
We are flowing a Boa bearing hook up for this year's Euro tour
Racing wheels? Magnum Mach 1 78mm
Footbrake soles: Freebrake
Re: Deck spikes, you are on your own to DIY it, it is a great idea. Skaters in the 80's did a similar thing. 
Photo by Dean Tirkot: Mick Mulhall Judo Air
Skater mentioned: Mick Mulhall doing a judo air 2016 (photo by  Dean Tirkot)
Deck mods: torque block
Bam Bam gloves
Harry's secret rain wheels...sorry secret family business, no links.
The story I mention at the end, is at the Shredemite Summer Outlaw series in Turramurra, Harry told me he enjoyed the podcast, and wanted to know who would be next. To which I replied, you. I thought Harry was going to have another big year (2018), and a podcast episode could document that! 
Thanks for listening to the podcast. Can I ask a favour? Please subscribe and share. Really share it. I do these episodes to promote the sport of downhill skateboard racing, longboarding and skateboarding. I'm hoping they will encourage young people to get into the sport. Parents encourage their children to do more. And that anyone can become a fan, follow the skaters, go to events, enjoy the sport without having to participate, it truely is a global sport that can connect with everyone. 
Corrects, comments or extra questions, please leave a comment below
Hop out.