Meeting… Jason Singer!

Photos: Alan Maag
Interview: Benjamin Deberdt

We might easily forget, but our little world does not only consist of the ripping sponsored ones and… all the others. Our scenes live off every single contribution, no matter how humble, and do not only feed off tricks.
Ask any skateboarder from a remote area far off any city what he really misses, and quickly the sentence “a real skateshop…” will pop in the conversation. Because a shop is the meeting point, part Youth Club part DIY store, and without hem, many things get more complicated, not just the act of buying griptape.
This is why, to go along the showing online of his recent That’s Us part, we thought we would catch up with Jason, a Switzerland fixture for quite a while now, a scene inside which he wears many hats. Including the one of ripping sponsored dude!

 Alan Maag

Let’s start with a touchy subject; how old are you now, and how long have you been skateboarding?
I am 35 years old, if I count well. I must have been skating for twenty-three years.

Tell us about your professional occupation…
I am associated to Basile Amacher. Together, we have one shop in Geneva, and another one in Lausanne. But I mostly work at the Geneva one, myself. My activity is to be at the shop, and make sure everything runs smoothly. 242 is a small company, so we have to work hard to do our own thing. I also run the site. Have a look, it’ll give you a good idea of what we do.

You’re speaking about the shop, but you guys also run a board company. Can you tell us more about that?
I’m usually referring to the shop because this is the main activity for 242. We wanted to do our own decks, so we started 242 skateboards. Only a few shops sell them. We mostly sell them in our own stores. But this is something we would like to develop.

What is the point of a national board brand, nowadays?
It keeps the scene shaking, and gives you the opportunity to be productive.

How did you develop the team? What do you look for in a skater?
Originally, we are all buddies. Until now, everything has been based on that feeling. You got to be a good dude skating well…

How does all this translate in terms of schedule?
The shop is open Monday to Saturday. Usually, I have one full skateboarding day, plus two evenings, every week. In the morning, I’m home, and on Sunday, it’s family time. I’m married, and we have two children.

 Alan Maag

Switch wallie

After all those years eating, sleeping and dreaming skateboarding, what are the things or people that have been keeping the sparks in your eyes, lately?
A new skatepark opened hundred meters away from the shop, so that’s the motivation of the moment. It re-motivated many people, actually!

Between us, what is the worst part of working in skateboarding? Something we wouldn’t really think about?
There is no real negative side. The shop is a meeting point, so, it’s true that it a bit sucky when people leave to go to a spot, and I have to stay in till 18h30…

How would you describe the Switzerland scene nowadays, compared to say ten years ago?
I don’t really know how to compare… There was a good scene ten years ago, and there is a good scene now!

How about you? How do you see yourself fitting in there?
I’m not the best, but I think my experience makes up for it…

At one point, Geneva, Lausanne, Lyon, Annecy seemed to be quite connected, but, to me, it seems the skaters have kind of sheltered themselves home. Am I wrong?
My family life makes that I don’t really leave Switzerland to skate anymore. A lot of French skaters come to Geneva, but it seems to me they don’t really chill with the locals. They come, skate and then leave…

What projects to do you have for 242?
A video one, with Redline Films. The team is filming with Manuel Muller and Clément Tréboux. They are the ones that produced That’s Us for Nike SB Switzerland. Check out their site and their Vimeo account!

How about your own projects?
I don’t see myself doing anything else for now!

To learn more about 242, head over here.

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