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Started by Steve Keenan through NHS. in 1989. Keenan used to run SMA. He’s the ‘K’ in Krux. Keenan + trucks = Krux. Tim Piumarta designed the geometry. Ron Whaley was Team Manager in 2000, while still being pro for Santa Cruz and Krux. He took over as Brand and Team Manager in 2002, with Matt Sharkey later taking over the brand end.
Krux Trucks has always been about the humor and ability to make fun of itself. The riders always seem to fit that mould. Fun/funny first, then the wild graphics and colors later. No pressure to be a cool guy, just have fun.
Krux is one of the only brands with a logical system of naming their trucks. Maybe it’s obvious, but can you explain why you went against the industry convention of just assigning random-ass numbers to each size?
Ron Whaley: Whenever there's design changes or new moulds getting made there's a chance to update those numbers under the hanger. I always thought it was confusing and somewhat arbitrary. Like, is a Venture 5.0 a 5-inch hanger width not including axles? Does every Indy number mean the width in millimeters? Shoot, I don't even know those off the top of my head. Also, Krux was really close to Venture's numeral system with 3.5s, 4.0s and 5.'s. A 3.5 was 7.6" axle, 4.0 8" axle and 5.0 9 inch axle.
The simple number of your deck width is right there. Why not use it?
Other than opening bottles and branding, is there any utility to the signature hole? Weight?
It does shed some weight - just a little, but it’s mainly the look. Once upon a time when we changed manufacturers, possibly that same time we updated the numbers, there was talk about changing the hole. Somewhere I have a couple of hanger samples with odd-shaped holes. One was triangular, I was strongly opposed to that one. Instead, the old hole which was a bit pill-shaped and not always perfectly uniform became the beautiful oval that it is now.
What's the biggest myth about trucks in general?
Maybe the lightness of some trucks? It doesn't really help that much.
Who are some of the legendary Krux riders that people may not know rode for the brand? I was thinking about Alan Peterson, Eman, Kareem Campbell, Steve Caballero.
Yes! Also, Ricky Oyola, Karl Watson, Dan Murphy, Anthony Mosley, Winsdor James, Pat Washington... oh man, I feel like I'm forgetting people and they’re going to pop in my head later.
Funny story, my friend Myche Howe used to call me and always say it was Chad Muska or whoever. I get a call and it's from Kareem Campbell, I'm laughing when I pick it up, but it actually was him! He wanted to try some of the Diamond pattern trucks. I was happy to send him some but I don't think he was ever really on. I wish! After we talked I called Myche and yelled at him.
Defining moments for the brand?
Icy Lou and the Ice (Diamond) truck in general. That, right after a Polka Dot truck release, gave us better numbers than Indy one month - never forget.
Our commercials were doing good so add Eric Noren to the mix of that era. We made ‘Blown Out’ and ‘Feelin’ It.’ There weren’t too many truck brand videos at the time, let alone ones that wild. Colt (Cannon), Louie (Barletta) and Caswell (Berry) were already down for whatever skit shenanigans, then Cairo (Foster) got on and was running around Brooklyn in his boxers and hanging from wires shortly after.
Yeah, but that commercial era - embracing the silliness but with amazing skaters not afraid to be knuckleheads. One weekend, filming for ‘Feeling It’, we filmed Cairo and Louie's ‘Covers Baby’ wire commercial. Sunday, we constructed and filmed the mini mega ramp intro and Monday we flew to China to finish up filming the video.
However, maybe the truly defining moment happened when I was still just a Krux team rider. Matt Sharkey became brand manager and presented a new direction for Krux. Prior to that, Krux had a serious, technical vibe to it. Overnight Matt changed the image to one of self-deprecating humor. It wasn't about the tricks anymore as much as it was about rider personality. He put on Colt and Caswell and promoted their love of skateboarding.
It wasn't just about skate tricks, it was about the laughter with your friends while skateboarding.
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