Based in San Diego and deeply rooted in skateboarding, these guys make, test and ride their own products day in and day out. They keep pushing to make the best wheels out there and over the years, have formed quite an impressive team. With guys like Mark Appleyard, Joey Brezinski , Lucas Puig and Chico Brenes riding these wheels, Autobahn must be doing something right.
We caught up with Doug Johnson recently to get some background info and see what the Autobahn crew has coming up next…
Tell us about your personal background with skateboarding.
Autobahn’s 2 principals are myself, Doug Johnson, and Jason Rogers. I have been skateboarding since 1983 (a Vison Gator was my first real board)and have been involved in the industry since 1997 when I moved to San Diego from New Jersey. Jason is an ex pro skater (H-Street) that has been skating for at least as long, and always much much better then me. He’s out there everyday still, now more then ever, skating with the team and filming and handling the media side of things.
What made you want to start a wheel company? Background on Autobahn?
Jason and myself started Arcade Skateboards in 1997, and when things were pretty solid we decided to branch out into wheels, probably around 2000. Our flagship wheel, the dual durometer, fell into our laps one day while looking at samples, and we knew we could base a company around that design. Its still one of the best looking wheels out there, and in terms of functionality, its unmatched. That design, as well as several others, continue to get copied to this day by the bigger companies, but we know kids know whats up.
What makes Autobahn Wheels so awesome?
We test and re-test everything before we ever put our name on it to begin with. This involves trying all the new formulas from several factories, different hardness, shapes, etc. Then, we give them to the team to test, take to the streets and parks, put them through the wringer. From there, we kick around the graphics, and there you go. We stand behind everything we make 100%, and I have addressed every issue with every kid that has ever contacted me with a problem. When you make a great product, the complaints are few, and its easy to fix.
Any exciting team news? What have the guys been up to?
Having Mark Appleyard join the team last year was probably our biggest move to date, when it comes to the pro team. On the am side, there’s a couple of guys that are blowing up, guys like Sebo Walker, Oscar Meza, and Carlos Ribiero. The team is always traveling and filming, and we should be dropping some more video clips soon. Check out our www.youtube.com/autobahnwheelco for the latest videos from the team.
Anything new and exciting coming up that you might want to share with the readers?
We’ve been working on some new softer wheels in a functional shape for rough terrain, which is not as easy to develop as you would think. We’re also working on some new accessories like bearings and griptape, and doing more limited releases on the hat and clothing side of things. We’re super stoked on our new snapbacks and 5 panel hats we just dropped.
We’re also always working on new wheel formulas and designs, and we always want Autobahn to stand for quality. We know there is some very tough competition in the wheel game, but we also know our wheels can stand up against anyone’s. Don’t just ride a wheel because of an ad campaign, ride a wheel because it’s the best it can be.
Big Thanks to Doug for taking the time to chat with us. You can find some great wheels from Autobahn right here at Windward and you can keep up with the crew on their Youtube channel listed above or their blog http://autobahnwheelshop.com/blogs/news