Losing Skateboards | Around | + Interview With Ben Larson

Around is a Midwest skateboard video bookended with full parts from freshly pro Steven Bailey-Murray and David Gackstetter. Also featured are team riders Cody Chanthalangsy, Matt Poulisse, Thom Ping, and Zack LeClaire. Filmed by Bryan Nambo and Ben Larson. Edited by Ben Larson


Ben recently held a premiere for the new Losing Skateboards video, "Around" to celebrate new boards for Steven Bailey-Murray and David Gackstetter. Ben, in his Rockford-based screen printing shop, prints all the boards and apparel for Losing Skateboards. It's always so dope to see someone making it happen by hand. I wanted pick his brain a little bit just to share some gems about running a skate company in the midwest / filming videos. . . as if I've ever asked anyone about that before. 

It's a well known fact that the Midwest is not always ideal for skateboarding, but it's videos like this that show us that there is a way to evolve and skate what's in front of you. If you feel like a spot is sick, you are more likely to get a skate it or get clip there, even if it's hard to skate. There is always potential for tons of spots, but it takes effort to put them on the map. 

Personally, I'm pretty stoked on this video. I already have a soft place in my heart for crusty midwest spots, and there are a few ledge spots in this video that I worked on in Rockford and Dekalb that make it particularly satisfying to watch. So that's my perspective. Let's see what owner Ben Larson has to say about all this.

When did losing skateboards start?


The first batch of boards showed up to my apartment in November of 2017.

What made you want to go all in and screen print your boards?

At first it was an easier way to sell boards. A minimum order when I started was 50 boards and selling that many boards all with the same graphic out of 1 shop was rough. After the first run I just started ordering blanks and printing a few graphics per run.

Now it would be way easier to get boards already printed but I'd rather be as involved as I can with everything. Plus it just looks and feels so much better.

Its so refreshing to see a proper skate edit come from a local company in Illinois, how hard was it to get this edit together from filming to editing?

It's a lot of time for sure! Lots of hours after work and on weekends out there but honestly I would be out there most of that time anyway and the guys have all put together parts before.

- I think the hardest part is keeping motivated (myself and the guys) over about a year and a half and knowing that a proper video is worth working on. -

You are lucky to be working with two of the best skaters Rockford has to offer, David and Steven, how did they get on losing?

I've known Steven for a long time just growing up skating in Rockford and when I was finally at a place to start hooking people up with boards he was a no-brainer. Absolutely ripping and someone I already enjoyed skating with.

I knew David was from Rockford and pretty much was living and always bouncing around about an hour's drive from town. I hit him up just to try to support him however I could. Now he lives in town and is probably the nicest person I know.

After putting out this video, is there anything you would do differently for the next one?

I'm not sure! I've been thinking a lot about different kinds of edits after this one. I would love to put a few day tour together and make a video out of that. It also sounds like a lot of fun to fix up or make a few spots to base a video around. I like just filming hard tricks at cool spots for a year or 2 but fitting in quicker and more narrative videos sounds fun.

What would you say to local skate company owners who are on the fence about making a serious skate video?

I feel like you really have to if you're trying to be a proper skate company.

- Anyone can slap a logo on some shirts or boards and film some tricks at the local park. -

Getting out to skate your actual city, spot hunt and figure out how to make stuff happen is what separates proper skate culture from everything else. Getting out there and filming enough to put a video together lets people know you're doing something real and at the very least cements your place in the community for people to look back on for years to come.



With Groundfloor closed, are you thinking about fulfilling the skateboard need in Rockford? We all know thats a huge plate to step to.

I'm working towards that now, even just small scale. I just got a couple of accounts with some distibutors and will start having a small run of stuff on hand so it's still possible to put together a board in town. I have a screen printing shop that Losing runs out of so I wont have to quit a dayjob or get a storefont just for a skateshop. Hopefully this summer I can move to a new location that could be set up more properly as a skate shop front end and print shop back end instead of all one room like it is now.

Anything on the horizon we should look out for from losing?

So far theres a couple of new graphics and hopefully those different videos coming together this spring and summer! 

Last but not least drop us some shout outs!

Huge shout of to Bryan Nambo. Bryan filmed a ton of clips for Around and I couldn't have put it together without his help.

Ah one more i forgot.

Lets hear it

We saw a lot of Rockford and Dekalb footage in this video, how do you feel about the local spots?

I love the Dekalb spots! The DIY has some very fun stuff and the school out rail is a top tier spot! 

Thank a ton Corey! Very stoked you and Ariel came out to the premire and that we could do this.

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