Name: Greg Lutzka
D.O.B.: April 20, 1984
Age Started Skating: 9 years old
Nickname(s): THE LUTZKA
Sponsors: K-Swiss, Darkstar, Oakley, Mob Grip, Ricta Wheels, Independent Trucks, FKD Bearings, Rockstar Energy
Krush: You’re known as one of the most consistent contest skaters in the game. How do you remain so consistent over the years?
Greg: Just skateboarding a lot. You know, when you do something a lot you just get comfortable doing it. It’s kind of in your mind that you’re going to land your tricks. Also, skating parks a lot helps. Growing up in Milwaukee it’s winter half the year so we skated a lot of parks. You’d just get down your tricks really well. When it comes down to contests I just bring those skills out.
I’ve got to ask, you signed to K-Swiss in 2009, which at the time wasn’t really known as a player in the skate industry. How did you get hooked up with them?
K-Swiss came about because it was a great opportunity for me at the time. They were opening up into action sports and they wanted to bring on a skateboarder. They wanted to create a team and develop shoes and really get into action sports. Their competitors were Nike, Converse and adidas and they were all doing the same thing so they brought me along and signed me. Right now my shoes are in production, I’ve approved the samples and we are just waiting for those to hit the market. I know a lot of kids are stoked to see what they look like. There’s a lot of anticipation about them to come out. We are just waiting from them to pull the trigger and release those shoes.
What sets K-Swiss apart from other players in the market today?
For me it was an opportunity to do something different. Go outside of the box a little bit. They have really big distribution channels and they create really great quality footwear. And I think that some of the designs they use in running and other things to co-op into skateboarding to make it just a comfortable good shoe. And when you’re dropping down stairs it really absorbs the impact.
What’s your role in designing your signature shoes at K-Swiss?
We brought in a custom designer from Globe. He was actually the guy who designed my signature shoe at Globe, Marty. And basically we sat down, I told him what I wanted in a shoe and we pretty much went through it. We ended up doing a volcanized sole, which is a super grippy sole. Then we made the top of it more beefy so it stays strong when kids are skating with them. So, they don’t need to go out and by a new pair of shoes ever week. And we made them very lifestyle so you can actually wear it outside of skateboarding.
You’re pro-skating career kicked off around 2003 with your Globe World Championships Gold. In your eyes how has the industry changed and evolved since then?
I mean the industry has changed quite a bit. It’s much bigger, you know. Skateboarding now touches such a broad audience. Now you have people that don’t even skateboard that are wearing skating shoes, wearing skateboarding clothing and watching the skate comps. Skateboarding has just grown so much over the years. It’s almost like a trend.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve traveled to through your skate career?
Traveling wise I’ve been a lot of places. I’ve been to China; I’ve been to Japan, Australia, and Europe. But, my favorite place out of everywhere, I’d have to say is Barcelona. Just because it’s so laid back. Everything is so smooth. It’s all marble. Plus you can take the train everywhere and you get to skate all these different Plazas. It’s just a way different, laidback lifestyle than it is here in America.
What’s it like riding for the Darkstar team? Any wild team stories?
I made the move from Almost because it was all my really close friends on the team. You know, you’ve got Ryan Decenzo, Tyson Bowerbank (a new am), PLG and (Adam) Dyet. And it’s nice, I get to travel with all of them everywhere. To all of the contests, and we do team trips and stuff. Through that we just released a new video called Forward Slash, which is doing really great. And we’ve just been traveling a lot. It’s just a great group of people. And to me, being on a skateboarding team it’s all about the people.
Anything cooking in the Darkstar workshop that you’ve been developing and testing that will be dropping soon? Signature line, video drops?
Yeah, we actually just dropped a new board, the Armor Light 3. And we’ve been working on the video, Forward Slash. We’ve also been working on some cool stuff with Thrasher. We did this Skate Park Roundup, which was really cool. I’m constantly working on little projects along the way.
What does your set up look like these days?
I’m riding the new Armor Light, Independent trucks, Mob grip, Ricta wheels, FKD Bearings. And that’s pretty much my board.
(Signature Question) Krush’s slogan is “lead the crowd.” How do you think you are leading the snowboard crowd?
I don’t feel like I’m leading the crowd. I guess the way I’m leading the crowd is through innovation. Doing like the 270 noseblunts and frontside 360 flips. Just doing a lot of tricks people don’t do. Trying to innovate my skateboarding and pushing myself to that next level.
(Signature Question) What (to this point) has been your most “Krushable” (epic) moment?
I don’t know if there have been any true epic moments but there certainly have been some career highlights. I think when people think Lutzka they think he won the Maloof Money Cup or he won the Tampa Pro three times. Or maybe he came out with video parts with Oakley, Almost, Globe, Darkstar and all these other companies. Haha. But I don’t know though. I just love to skateboard. I love working with my brands to create great products for people to ride and wear. That’s kind of what I’m about, you know?
What’s next for you? Working on any projects, traveling, video parts, signature lines?
Yeah, I’m working on a few things right now. I’m definitely coming out with a new video part next year. I’m working on some interviews with Transworld. Doing some collaborations with several companies. Traveling, pushing my skateboarding. I’m looking forward to next year. The contest season is always super fun. Getting to travel the world and hang out with all the guys on the circuit. Working with my brands to create great products. Just pushing my skateboarding skills to that next level.
Got a question you’d like to ask Greg? Post it in the comments below and we’ll get the man to answer it himself.