It has been a little while, but when I started thinking about picking up the hobby of longboarding I was lost. Reddit and Facebook gave me all kinds of new words -all kinds of new expressions- that I did not know.
I for one did not know what a board was built from and what you called the fancy metal parts. Trucks were a mystery, wheels were weird. Luckily someone came to my rescue. A Reddit user later identified as Douwe directed me to his website, Dodoboards.eu. He had a page explaining all the little parts and naming them.
Since then I have of course surpassed the level of beginner and over time I redirected more and more people to his website. A webshop started with love. From a skater with a passion to all people who are looking into getting serious.
In my opinion an interview with the boss-man himself was not out of place.
Of course! A link to the webshop: clickity-click (opens a new tab, don’t be shy)
Douwe, you are the owner of Dodoboards. What made you think one day: “Let’s start a boardshop!”
I had bought a cruiser around 3 months ago and wanted an upgrade. I was a lurker on a fairly popular longboarding community were they all recommended me to buy a deck from Churchill MFG, because it are cheap but quality beginner decks.
So I began my search online and found out that they don’t sell Churchill here in the Netherlands. The only shop that sold it was Bournland Longboards in the UK. Which is overseas, which means high shipping costs).
I told my brother the story and he adviced me to just send them an e-mail about changes to be their dealer here in The Netherlands. I did that, they answered positive. After that I began to search for more brands like Churchill. Smaller companies that aren’t sold here yet. I discovered Phat Deanz, send an email to Dean and got the same response as Churchill.
That’s when I contacted a friend to make me a webshop. After a few months there was still nothing done. So I decided to do it myself. And a tip: building a website when you don’t know anything about building websites is a bitch. I spend a lot of my free time behind my laptop figuring out why some page wouldn’t load, text wouldn’t be a different color et cetera. But after a few weeks / months I finished my shop. Got in online in November 2014, now I’m here.
Why do you do it? Is it a main source of income or just a hobby?
Dodoboards is a hobby. A big hobby. At the moment I’m in college. For the next couple of months I’m doing an internship, which is basically a full time job. So I don’t even have the time to make it an main source of income at the moment.
Because I’m so busy it’s hard to ship order sometimes, but I always manage to get them out the same or next day. Plus the season has come to its end here, so I’m not like getting a lot of orders lately.
I read that you focus on small(er) or less-known brands. Why is that? And how did it start?
You already asked how it all started in the first question. So I’m not going to answer that again, but I can explain why I focus on lesser-known brands.
It’s not like I’m in to this for the money. It is just a hobby. I like to work with smaller brands because they’re actually happy that I’m going to sell their products here, that I’m going to expand their market. It’s like a win win win situation. I get to sell new products. Their products are available here in The Netherlands. The skaters here can get some unique products.
The name. Dodoboards. What’s the story behind that?
There isn’t really a story behind Dodoboards. The Dodo is dead, because of the Dutch (they say). So you can say it’s because I’m Dutch or something. But that’s not the story.
My brother came up with Dodo. Because it’s short, easy to remember and cool to wrap a brand around it. So no exciting story, sorry!
What makes the concept of the Dodo unique?
There are a lot of big shops here in The Netherlands. They are big organizations with full time employees, they sell all the big brands.
I’m not saying that what they do is bad. Because without them there wouldn’t be a skate scene around here. But I’m like the opposite. I started this as a 19 year old who was still in college. I’m not making any money out of Dodoboards, because I use all the income to buy new products. And last but not least, my focus is on the smaller brands. Not the big ones.
Are there plans for a physical shop besides the webshop?
Maybe. I’m still 1.5 year in college, so if you see something it will be around 2 years. I don’t even know what I want to do in the future. I mean I’m 20 years old, I want to see more of the world. You can’t do that when you have physical shop which you have to watch.
Even if I want it now it’s not possible, just because I do not sell enough products for that.
Now that you have teamriders and are “putting yourself out there” some more, what are your plans?
My plans, uhm… Just doing what I do know. I built my webshop on my own, without any knowledge of website building whatsoever. So I want to see a new webshop, but that means that I can’t buy new brands.
I don’t really have a plan. Just getting more brands and make my shop bigger.
Do you deliver outside of the Netherlands? (This is for the international readers, of course.)
Yep, here’s the page with my shipping rates: http://www.dodoboards.eu/shippingrates/
International shipping is expensive, I know. But I’m not in the position to get these prices lower at the moment.
Now that we know about the dodo, let us talk about the Douwe.
Known on Reddit and Facebook as one who knows about everything, but even more as one to be sincere enough to not lie and not oversell your products. What is your story? Where did you come from. Tell us about yourself.
To start of: I don’t know everything. You can’t ask me hard questions about bushings, split angle setups or something.
I’m just always happy to answer questions people have. Most of the time it are beginners, I can answer their questions.
A bit about myself? I’m an 20 years old college student, living in Den Bosch in a little room. My hobbies are longboarding and snowboarding. People often say I’m an extravert, but I love some alone time. In which I browse the web for new shops, or make some photos for my shop.
Is there something you would like to say to the readers of SkateFurther?
If you have any cool brands I have to see, send me a message! (Douwe@Dodoboards.nl). Also if you see any cool products in my shop that are sold out, send me a message. I’m always willing to help.
Also, don’t forget to give the smaller brands a chance. A lot of people don’t buy smaller brands because they don’t the products. I get that but hey, give them a shot!
As a final note I want to say thanks to Douwe for freeing some time in his busy schedule to do this interview for us! Thanks Douwe!