I've known Adam Arsenault for a while and I can safely say that he is one smart dude. A web-programmer/designer by trade and a true skater at heart, Adam decided to use those smarts for the good of the shred and years ago started up the infamous Snowboard.com. A social-network before the term even existed, Snowboard.com became a super-popular way for snowboarders to communicate and share hype on the still-developing web. It eventually spawned a host of sister sites like Skateboard Village and others, before eventually closing up shop about five years ago.
Since then Adam has been up to lots of good stuff, including a small side-project called Skatematic which is basically a web-video aggregator that collects all the fresh videos out each day and presents them in a one-top-shop for all your web video viewer needs. It's a website, which then became a smartphone app as well, and it's frickin' awesome. Of course one thing again led to another and just recently Adam launched Snowboard.ly, an app for iOS and Android what basically does the same thing for snowboarding.
Never one to leave a good thing alone, I thought I'd check in with Adam and see what he had to say about how this all came about.
The Skatematic site is slick and easy to navigate (clicking image will open the site in a new window)
33MAG: How did the idea for Skatematic come about?
Adam: Skatematic used to be a site I built for myself to feed my need for skateboard news and videos. There aren't enough hours in the day to be searching all over for skate news, so I made a tool that would do it for me. It has progressed since then from just a website to a free iPhone, iPad and Android app as well.
Was it received as well as you hoped?
Yeah for sure, even to this day I'm blown away by the number of downloads the Skatematic app gets. At the beginning I shared it with my friends only and they liked it so much, I decided to make it public on the Internet. Since then we've had a lot of fun collab projects and industry support from peeps like C1rca, Sitka, KNOW?SHOW, Concrete Skateboarding and Color magazine and others. It's amazing to see kids all over the world showing support. I've seen a lot of good videos coming out of places like France, South Africa and Panama, stuff that you don't really get to see so much when you're based in North America.
What made you want to branch out into a snowboarding app?
Growing up in BC, you can't really skate in the winter unless you have access to an indoor facility. We didn't have one close by, so in the winter we would go snowboarding instead. After university, I moved to Whistler and built the Snowboard.com and Skateboard Village websites. I lived there for almost 10 years, snowboarded and skated as much as I could, and worked on a bunch of other actions sports websites as well. Starting the Snowboard.ly app was a no-brainer since snowboarding has always been a big part of my life.
Where there any challenges involved in this venture that you didn't anticipate?
The biggest challenges are finding enough time to work on and evolve the project. So many ideas, so little time. That, and sending stickers to the skaters in Morocco, the addresses are impossible!
You're a busy guy and have a full-time job to deal with, what's the motivation for doing this in your spare time? Is it just a money thing or is there more?
Pure and simple, the motivation is love for skateboarding and snowboarding. Both sports have had such a huge impact on my life and I want a way to give back and be involved.
You can check out the Snowboard.ly website by clicking the image above and access the iTunes page to download the apps for free by clicking the icons below.