Joel Meinholz

Joel Meinholz

How long have you been sponsored for?

For about a year now by Stereo.

How did you hook up with Stereo?

Josh Stewart sent a video in for me. Basically, they called me. I don’t know exactly how it happened.

You were just filming with Josh?

I really wasn’t even looking to get sponsored; I was skating, I met some people here and there, and it just kind of happened.

Tell me who your sponsors are.

Stereo, Mercury, Spitfire, Elwood, FKD, and uh, I think that’s it. Converse. Did I say Converse?

Being from the East Coast, is it harder to deal with the skate industry and to be a part of it?

I think it’s radder to be on the East Coast, because you don’t have to deal with the skate industry. You just do what you want to do, and if you do get coverage, you’re psyched, you know? I mean, I wanna get coverage and all, and it’s a lot harder for me here, but at the same time it’s real mellow and chill, and I can have fun.

Do people have less expectations of you?

I don’t know about less expectations, but I can skate spots that no one has really seen before.

How’s the Miami skate scene right now?

Oh, I’m psyched. A lot of people are coming down, and I’m having a real good time, but in the summer it’s way too hot. Sometimes it’s frustrating to skate, because there’s so much sweat and heat.

Do you travel up and down the coast much?

I’m starting to. Last year I went up to Boston¿that was my first real skateboard trip ever. We did it just to do it, you know? No article was supposed to be made out of it, it was just to have fun.

Do you think being sponsored has helped your skateboarding?

It supplies my habit. Yeah, it has helped my skateboarding, because it makes me push myself a little bit harder. I want to help these companies out who are helping me out, you know?

Is there a down side to being sponsored?

My own expectations¿if I can’t do something I want to do, asking myself why am I at where I’m at.

Is your ultimate goal to be a pro?

No, that’s what’s crazy. I just wanna have fun, and travel, and live my lifestyle. And if this is offering me a way to do it, I’m gonna do it, you know? I hold it at such a crazy level. I don’t know if I’d ever consider myself to be pro.

What do you think somebody has to do to earn being pro?

It’s just something people either have or don’t. You see somebody skating, and you’re like, “Wow!” I mean, the first pro I ever saw was Paul Zitzer when he came back to Florida to visit. I didn’t really know anything about pro skateboarding or anything like that, and when I saw him skate I was like, “This person is amazing.” The presence he gave off, you know? Just watching the way he does his tricks. I think that is one thing that makes a pro skateboarder.

Do you have a job outside of skateboarding?

No, I mean, I’ll flyer for clubs and stuff like that, I don’t have any money, I don’t have anything really, but I try and just skate all the time.

How do you make it month to month?

I have my girlfriend, who I live with, and I just go day by day. I make a couple dollars every day. I do that to support myself.

It’d be nice to get your sponsors to pay you a little bit.

Whatever. They’re helping me out enough. They’re putting me in magazines, and they’re giving me free stuff. I can’t ask for too much more. If that happened I’d be psyched, but I’m not going to push an issue. I’m psyched.

Do you have any advice for kids who are obsessed with getting sponsored?

Let it happen. You’ve gotta make your windows of opportunity, but it comes to whether or not you deserve it. It’s also who you are that makes it happen. That’s how I feel about it. People ask me, “Can you get me this? Can you get me that? Can you get me sponsored?” and I don’t see them working, you know? You gotta work for what you want, and you gotta work hard. That’s the only thing I can say.