Mark Heineken On Starting Prime8, The Functional & Durable Skate Tool Brand
Prime8 is a premium line of skate tools launching in September. We spoke to skate industry legend Mark Heineken about the gap in the market and the need for an easy to use long-last skate tool. With his dedication to skateboarding and years of experience, he has come up with what might just be the best skate tool on the market.
What was the thinking behind launching Prime8?
I have been working on skateboard development for 30+ years and used (and lost) pretty much every tool in the market. Some of these tools have some great features, but most just aren’t very functional. I wanted a tool that did what I needed to do, without unnecessary bolt-ons that would actually last …
Over the years I have spent a lot of time in different skateboard factories, and realised that the people working there, never use skate tools. There was an obvious problem here waiting to be fixed, regular skate tools just do not last!
From the start, we always wanted to create the best skate tools in the industry. It didn’t matter what the cost was or if they were “cool”. They had to work for the Industry Professionals, and I’m not talking riders here, but people who actually put skateboards together. If we could make a tool that a skate shop employee will choose to use, we have a great tool for every skater. We are committed to help grow skateboarding globally.
Who are the key people behind the brand?
Just me, Mark Heineken. I worked for many years at Rodolfo’s in Amsterdam and have been in the industry all my life. With many different brands and distribution channels, I have learned everything NOT to do in this industry. We also have an amazing team of very talented people involved in creating and building our tools, without them none of this would have been possible.
What sets Prime8 tools aside from other skate tools on the market?
We only use premium materials and innovative designs which we hold patents on. We offer a lifetime warranty on our product and our global give-away program is what makes us stand out.
Can you walk us through the design process for the skate tools and materials you use?
We believe in the build-test-repeat mentality. Producing a high number of samples and testing them gives us an opportunity to attend to every little detail. We spend a lot of time on making those small changes so we can create the best end product possible. We rely heavily on the feedback, it is much more valuable to have the mistakes pointed out than being praised overall. There is a solution to every problem! Using high quality materials is more important to us than the low costs, and that’s why we can offer a lifetime warranty on all our tools. We use high impact glass filled nylon blend that is cold resistant (I may live in Southern Cali, but being from the Netherlands, I know that freezing cold brakes skate tools).
Our tools have all-steel ratchet system and a balance between strength and weight.
What are the key products in the line and why?
We have our patent #1 Skate tool that comes with a multi directional Mounting hardware socket. It is light-weight, well balanced and super easy to use.
Another key product in the line is the #1 Ratchet tool made out of a heavy-duty stainless steel frame. This all steel tool is probably the easiest to use ratchet system out there. It is ergonomically correctly shaped and well balanced.
The patented Universal Bearing press and Universal Axle thread refresh fit on any skate tool. The Universal Bearing press will position the bearings correctly without damaging the shield and the Universal Axle will refresh the thread on truck axles, without having to take the trucks off.
How will you be marketing the brand in Europe?
For B2B in the Source Magazine and in the UK, we will be advertising B2C in Skateboard Companion, we will offer our ads to all our global partners.
How will the distribution work in Europe?
We already have a list of distributors we work with, for UK nineteen76, in Italy Blast, Portugal Marteleria, Holland Hardcore, Hungary Gargae Store and the rest of Europe will be looked after by Centrano distribution. For outside Europe enquiries please contact https://rollingthundersupply.com/
Why should retailers’ stock Prime8?
We make the best tools, the tools that last and we are dedicated to always improving. I feel that this category has been neglected and somewhat gone to sleep, my plan is to shake it and wake it up.
I am dedicated to helping grow skateboarding globally by giving away free tools. We are proud to partner with the Heart Supply “just giving program”. Starting Holiday 21 all Heart Supply completes will come with a Prime8 skate tool. Giving back to and growing skateboarding is as important as making the best tools. As someone who used to work in a skate shop, I want to make a tool that YOU want to use.
Professional endorsed new tools (new design). I wanted to launch the line based on quality, but professional skateboarding is the driver and always will be. I want to support the top pro’s past and present that make skateboarding what it is today.
For any feedback please email: [email protected]