Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Weekend with Madd

Madd Gear is a household name in the sport of Scootering. Whether you are an OG or brand new in the sport, you most likely know about Madd. They have had some of the best riders in the world ride for them, and currently still have some of the top guys and girls in the sport representing them. They’re sold all over the world, go on numerous tours across the globe, and set the standard when it came to complete scooters out of the box. However, even after all of that, they find themselves lacking the respect they should be getting. For what reasons, I don’t know. Is it because they have money? Because they can do what your company can’t? Because their riders ride park? Maybe all of the above. Recently Madd Gear invited me out to Las Vegas for their 2014 Product Launch. Below is my experience during this past weekend.

 

When I first got the invite from Madd Gear, I was thinking, regardless of how the product launch is, at least my family and I will have a good time. We made the drive out to Vegas, and I settled into the hotel room that MGP got for us, a damn nice room I must say. I woke up Saturday morning to head down to the meeting room where the product launch/meeting would be taking place. I have to admit I expected to sit there and quietly mock the people behind MGP as they stood in front of the other shop owners and invited guests and babbled on about their new scooters which they probably in fact knew nothing about, except for what was on their flash cards that they had rehearsed before. Some of the MGP Team was there, and Twan was there snapping shots the entire time. Along with a gang of other shop owners, including the owners from Inward Scooters, Barking Spyder, The Vault, and Scooter Zone, and plenty of other people as well. It was a full house. After meeting some of the guys I have worked with from MGP, I settled in towards the back as the meeting was about to begin. I had no idea that by the end of the day my opinion on a company I thought I had all figured out would be significantly different.

 
Now I’ll be honest, my problem with Madd Gear was probably the same as a lot of you. Only I’ll actually admit it. I was in a way, envious. They seemed to have endless resources, and flew their riders all over the world. Who wouldn’t want that? I’ll also admit I never touched their scooters. I just wasn’t down for the look of them. Graphics all over the place, the deck design, etc. It all turned me off, and I know it kept a lot of other older riders from ever riding them. My problem was never about the whole “They’re too corporate” or not rider owned or whatever. I guess some people still have a problem accepting the fact that the sport is bigger than them and their street crew, and is in fact fueled by kids, not by themselves.


 

I learned a lot about the company, it’s roots, and the owner and founder Mike Horne was present and it was great to hear from him as well. I started realizing more and more as these people spoke that they weren’t these corporate robots focused on one thing and one thing only, Money, but in fact had a passion for what they did for the company, and that was pretty eye opening. They truly wanted to help each and every business owner in there, and do whatever they could to make things easier for them and their businesses. Not to mention always being focused on helping kids get into the sport through demos and shows. R Willy, and James Foster stopped by the meeting for a bit as well, and we got to check out Ryan’s signature Gold MFX deck, which unfortunately won’t be available to the public. Madd actually auctioned one of the decks off at the meeting, and the proceeds went to a charity of the buyers choice. Ryan also signed the deck. The winner was someone from NY, owner of  a shop I never heard of. But I thought that was pretty cool. Eventually it was time to actually hear about the new VX4 Line. The new scooters are the VX4 Pro, VX4 Team, VX4 Nitro, VX4 Extreme, and the MFX 4.8 Deck. One thing to note about all of these, is that they ALL have flat sides and flat bottoms. I was under the impression at first that only the MFX deck would have flat sides and flat bottom. But it looks like they are doing it with all of their new scooters, a smart choice on their part.

Starting us off was the VX4 Pro. The VX4 Pro is their complete scooter aimed at the younger market. One of the things I liked about this is that all of those graphics you see all over the deck and bars are completely optional. (See below) As they come in a sticker pack, and you are free to design your scooter as you see fit. Kids will definitely dig that. Another thing to note about the VX4 Pro, and all of the other scooters I mention, is that all the forks are now threadless, and use HIC compression with an FSA threadless headset.



Next up was the VX4 Team. Again, with the flat sided and integrated deck. Along with some other cool features as well. Wasn’t sure if it needed the graphics all over the bars, but it’s all good. They also have their new TPR grips on here, which were pretty comfortable and feel very similar to ODI’s. The other thing that had my attention was their new Blitz Brake. The Brake is composed of what looks like a black plastic material, and has an internal steel backbone that prevents the material from deteriorating or melting. R Willy has been running this same brake for over 6 months with no issues, I was sold at that. A solid complete scooter, for what will be a killer price.

Moving on to the VX4 Nitro, which might possibly be my favorite of the group. The first thing you’ll notice is probably the two toning they did with the colors of each scooter. I know it’s not for everyone, but some of the color combos look really good together. I was especially feeling the Black/White, Black/Red, and Gray/Black. Deck will be coming in at 4.5 wide, full integrated, TPR grips, new Filth wheels, and the Blitz Brake. There are a lot of colors to choose from, maybe even too many as I have a feeling some of these colors might not sell too well.

The VX4 Extreme is their new top of the line complete, and it’s exactly that. One of the things you’ll notice on the Nitro and Extreme, is that there is no skulls logo that we are so used to seeing on an MGP scooter. Instead you will see their new sleeker, cleaner logo. Madd wants to differentiate the VX4 Pro and VX4 Team, from the VX4 Nitro, and Extreme. The Nitro and Extreme shed themselves of all of the flashy graphics, and instead sport the new logo on the front of the headtube. I was really feeling this decision. The Extreme screams high quality. The chromo bars were an excellent touch, and the new Vicious wheels looked sick. If you need a solid, reliable, complete scooter, this should be it.





Finally, what I had been waiting for… The MFX 4.8 Deck. That’s right, it is 4.8 wide, and it is a beauty. Coming in at 21 long it is going to be a serious contender in the deck game. I mean the main thing to note is that Madd is actually releasing just a DECK for sale. You no longer need to buy a full on complete scooter just to get an MGP deck. Another thing I was stoked on was the 84 degree headtube, I was always hoping to see more companies use 84 degree headtubes, so this was a plus. The colors look great, and the deck is going to come in at 3.28lbs. I can already say right now, I will be getting one of these decks, and seeing exactly how it rides. But then again, when you’re sending it off the Megaramp night after night for Nitro Circus, and it’s still holding up fine? I’m guessing it will be good, haha.

 




After the meeting, I continued to speak more in depth with some of the people behind Madd Gear. I even admitted to them that I had serious doubts about the whole meeting, and the company as a whole. But I also told them that that had changed. We ended the night in the VIP section at Nitro Circus watching R Willy, James Foster, and the rest of the Nitro Circus athletes throw down. It was a good weekend for sure, and I look forward to the official release of the VX4 line. I know that some people are always gonna hate on other companies, the funny thing is it is usually the same riders who say, “Just ride your scooter, who cares what other companies or what other riders say”. I think some people need to take their own advice. Just ride. Don’t support a company? Then don’t. Want to support a company? Then do it, and don’t let other people’s opinion sway you in any direction. MGP deserves respect, and so do the riders that ride for them, and from here on out, they definitely have mine.

6 comments:

  1. I'm still not convinced.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Steven, you're the man.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sell out, just give them a hotel room and a couple tickets and wow what a write up!

    ReplyDelete

If you're going to bother to comment anonymously, think about what you're saying and what credibility you'll have without a name. Besides that, please keep the comments constructive, thanks!