141: Mark Munson/Carpe Diem

Mark Munson, December 2020. Photo: Owen

This week’s guest Mark Munson is one of UK skateboarding’s true greats. It’s that simple. In his 30-odd years of board riding, he’s been there, seen it, done it and helped set standards that define the scene to this day thanks to an uncompromising dedication to skateboarding and a personality that defines the phrase ‘force of nature’. ⁣

Photo: Tozer

As I discovered during our chat, he’s also taken the lessons learned from a life of skating and translated them into a career of brilliant creativity, influence and diversity. He was also, of course, a key mentor to the much-loved and missed Ben Raemers, one of the greatest Brit skaters to ever do it. 

Photo: Tozer

I’ve been looking forward to having Mark on the show for a while now. He’s smart, funny and could talk the hind legs off a donkey. He’s also got a hard-earned perspective on everything beautiful and occasionally tragic about our little corner of the world. Which pretty much makes him the dream guest in my book. There is so much good stuff to take on board in this one, and some brilliant insights from a man who attacks life in the best way possible.⁣

Don’t miss this one. Listen below:

Connect with Mark

Show Notes

  • Snowy Essex
  • The big renovation and the concept of the art farm.
  • A Roman river runs through it
  • Psycho Dynamic Counselling
  • Land life
  • MOD training in the woods
  • Elle’s Garden
  • Being part of creating a community
  • Growing up fishing
  • Getting back into fishing during injury recovery
  • Branching out into fishing brands
  • Starting Diem
  • Carp fishing in the UK
  • Building a brand based on the skate industry model
  • Baptism by fire and learning from mistakes
  • The skate mentality: ‘trying something and failing isn’t failing’
  • Selling Diem and it’s subsequent purchase by Mike Ashley
  • Starting a new brand from scratch
  • Sponsorship exclusivity in fishing
  • Building Navitas and getting it in stores inside 11 months
  • Fishing as the biggest participation sport in the UK
  • Introducing better product to the market
  • Selling up and focusing on sourcing product
  • Sourcing quality and ethical products for clients
  • Essex Unofficial
  • Collaborating with Jon Horner and Ben Raemers
  • Creating We Are Vermin with Jon
  • Being part owner of the London Girls Surf Club with Kylie Griffiths
  • Juggling multiple tasks, working to your strengths and knowing when to delegate
  • It’s uncomfortable to cruise, preferring to drive forward
  • “Done is better than perfect”
  • What Mark learned from skating
  • The Pig Shed
  • Being against snowboarding
  • Learning to snowboard at Alvoriaz
  • The dryslope circuit
  • Doing eight seasons back to back
  • The legendary mini vert ramp in Borge
  • Snowboard every day, skating every night
  • ‘Marseille changed my mentality towards skateboarding’
  • Not having mentors at the beginning and being a mentor for new generations
  • Mark’s view on the selfishness of mentorship.
  • Airwalk TM
  • Discovering Ben Raemers
  • Turning Ben Raemers ‘into a beast’
  • Being so good you don’t know what you’re doing
  • Skateboarding as an escape and how you can lose that as a pro
  • Feeling privileged to have been involved with Ben.
  • Ben’s Kingpin interview
  • The shark story
  • The sugar rush story

People Mentioned

  • Kate Dent
  • Elle Munson
  • Gareth Fareham
  • Phil Young
  • Mike Ashley
  • Jon Horner
  • Ben Raemers
  • Kylie Griffiths
  • Carl Wilson
  • Jagger
  • Justin Allison
  • John Cardiel
  • Noah Salasnek
  • Danny Way
  • Chris Roach
  • Steve Bailey
  • Jamie Mason
  • Dave Spurdens
  • Mark ‘Kenty’ Kent
  • Jamie Dring
  • Barry Dring
  • Dave Cracknell
  • Carl Blackwell
  • Johnny Weeks
  • Tony Hawk
  • Rune Glifberg
  • Steve Berra
  • Geoff Rowley
  • Tony Trujillo
  • Andy Scott
  • Tom Penny
  • Nelson Pratt
  • Richie Hopson
  • Pete King

Places Mentioned

  • Essex
  • Brighton
  • London
  • France
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Margate
  • Colchester
  • Harlow
  • Cambridge
  • Avoriaz
  • Chamonix
  • Ipswich
  • Borge
  • Morzine
  • Leigh-on-sea
  • Marseille
  • Walton-on-the-Naze
  • Clacton-on-sea
  • Weymouth

Brands/Companies Mentioned

  • Facebook
  • Diem
  • Sports Direct
  • Vans
  • Carhartt
  • Animal
  • Nash
  • Duffs
  • Argos
  • Navitas
  • Go Outdoors
  • Fox
  • Nash
  • Ethica Source Ltd
  • Skate Farm
  • Tripple Sword
  • Essex Unofficial Ltd
  • London Girls Surf Club
  • Airwalk
  • Deluxe
  • Kingpin Magazine
  • Sidewalk