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Soap Team Captain, Promoter, SolidGrind Founder
|» Derek is the Soap Team captain and creator of Solid Grind along with all the sites that built up to it.
The first site Derek built in 1999 was called "Derek's Freestyle Walking Webpage." It was a supper crappy site built for his first computer science class in college. It seriously sucked, but the very first line on the site said, "Alright this site will get cooler." ...which is exactly what has happened over the years.
In the winter of 2000, Derek met Chris Morris, the former CEO of Soap Shoes. Chris hooked Derek up PHAT and gave him a job doing demos and promotion. Derek was basically sponsored by Soap and started to know the shoes and the company like the back of his hand.
With this new found knowledge Derek redesigned his site twice and changed the name to BrooksFSW. Each site got better and better. They began using web portal systems to let peeps actually contribute to the sites. BrooksFSW had a GREAT community with tons of features like daily news, comments, tutorials, feature pics, videos, polls, reviews, shirts, etc. It got so big that Derek started hiring new authors to help manage the site. It even got recognized by big names like the BBC (British Broadcasting Company), several newspapers, local radio stations, etc.
In October 2001 BrooksFSW was closed and evolved into Broox Extreme. While open though, BrooksFSW received over 618,000 hits and had 800 registered users. There were over 441 articles written with over 6,000 comments replying to these stories. It was obviously a huge success. At this point Derek wanted to try to conquer something bigger, so he incorporated BrooksFSW with several other extreme sports. The original authors for Broox Extreme were Derek, Alexei Tajzler, Duncan Kenning, Sam Christiansen, Tanner Gergory, Greg Morris, Louis Selby, Marc Weaver, Aaron MacDonald, David Martin, Dave Conger, and Jim Kurtis.
The site was a great idea and started out really nice with another new portal system, however it went downhill really fast. Soap wasn't doing good, the site got super buggy, etc. Eventually it got to the point where the site needed a complete overhaul. It needed to be rewritten from scratch. This is when the SolidGrind idea was born. The name came from what Derek loves most about extreme sports - grinding. And there's nothing more beautiful than sticking a truly solid grind.
Broox Extreme did really well with nearly a million hits, 794 users, 434 articles published and over 4,500 comments. The forum also had nearly 4,000 posts and one day we reached a record of 6007 hits!
SolidGrind became another extreme sports site that did fairly well. It had a decent design, was 100% custom programmed, and had a decent user base. However, after a couple years Derek decided that there so many other sites dedicated to those extreme sports and no sites dedicated to Soap. So SolidGrind went back to it's roots in March 2006. It's now a dedicated grind shoe web site.
Besides the internet impacts Derek has had with Soap, he's organized several Soap demos, put together lots of videos, and continues to Soap with buddies everytime they come into town. He is also doing demos and promotion on Team Heelys.
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