Company Spotlight: Beyond The Ledge

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Joe Schaefer’s company Beyond The Ledge Skate Wax is definitely “Not Your Mother’s Candles”. Joe is a man with a game plan that is slowly unfolding before our very eyes. And to tell you the truth…it looks really good. I learned a lot about this NYC based company during this interview and I’m proud to share this Company Spotlight with all of you.

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Skater Owned means that Joe’s out there lacing tricks as well as showcasing his products.
SUAS: In an industry chock full of companies providing everything from Jeans, Hats, T-Shirts, Tank Tops, etc., you seemed to have found a void with much needed skate wax. What made you take this direction with the creation of your company?
BTL:
I would have to say it’s partially because at first there was no company agenda. To be honest; an actual “Company” was not my intention at all.

When I first started making wax it was really because this was something I could be creative with and have fun making. But I’ve always felt that bladers in general are faced with many obstacles in our sport. When I say obstacles I mean the sticky coping, aluminum & alloy rails, and of course the gritty ripped up ledges we all wish would slide better. That was the real inspiration to begin making wax.

I was only making small batches at first for me and my friends to use at local spots. When I started experimenting more with different formulas, high grade wax and additives to create a very unique wax specifically for bladers that’s when people really started talking about it.

It was my skate crew of close friends and their opinion of the wax that really gave me the direction to go further with it. So, I started making a lot more wax and passing it out to bladers all over NY. Word got out in the local scene quickly, but what happened next I never expected. People I didn’t know from all over even other states started contacting me on Facebook asking for the wax they’ve been hearing about. It was then I thought to myself, I think I just started a company..

SUAS: Is it safe to say that Beyond The Ledge is a wax company or do you have future plans to grow BTL into something more expandable?
BTL:
Up to now, Beyond The Ledge has been strictly a wax company, however, I have decided that I do want to expand the BTL product line to include additional items. Our next item to drop will be our custom made bearing speed lube. We have finished up the testing phases and are getting ready to release our new speed lube this September.

Next on deck; We are currently working on prototypes for 2 sets of new bearings that we’re hoping to release by mid Fall of this year. As we get closer to full production I’ll be posting up more of the details about each of the new bearings sets, so definitely keep your eyes out for those.

We do have some t-shirts, bags and other goodies on the way soon mainly for giveaways and promos. There will be a few other items to will be added to the BTL product line down the road as well.

Without giving too much away too soon, I’ve been looking into and experimenting with many different types of plastic fabrications materials, compounds and wax alternatives. That being said, you could say I definitely have short & long term goals for the company’s expansion.

SUAS: Running a company is a lot of responsibility, especially if you are the sole owner. With that being said, who is running things over at Beyond The Ledge?
BTL:
Yeah, being the sole owner has put an enormous amount of responsibility on me. For a long time this was all a one man show, from making all the wax, creating the packaging, handling orders, shipping etc, etc. Thankfully my fiancé (Bladie C Roller) stepped in and started lending a hand and became a huge help.

Growing the company name and getting the wax out there really was achieved from a ton of hard work, all the support from my skate crew of close friends spreading the word, members of the BTL blade team were a huge help in so many ways, all the vendors and shops that helped get things moving, and most importantly because of all bladers in the life for the incredible support they’ve all shown.

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SUAS: Having a team out there blading hard and showcasing the product is definitely a huge help. Who have you selected to be on the BTL roster?
BTL:
This is really an exciting question I’m proud to answer, as this will be the first time I will be releasing the official BTL team roster now that we are complete. Before I do I just want to go into the selecting of the team members. In a scene of so many talented bladers, it was very difficult to choose who would be on the team. I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to accomplish with the team and what would be needed. Because of what I wanted in a team I was very particular with what I was looking for. Of course talent was a huge part of it but It went way beyond just skating abilities. I was also looking at attitude toward the sport, progression, style, creativity & originality, and most importantly who had the capabilities to make a difference in a sport that is in need of much further growth. With that being said I asked myself who possesses all of these traits that I’m looking for? And the answers were,
• Chauncey Jenkins • Trevor Johnson • Sean Grossman • Michael Horbatiuk • Nick O’Leary • Pablo Munoz • Austin Croteau
Each of these bladers alone has so much to offer the sport in so many ways. All of these bladers teamed together gives me great faith in the future of the sport and where it can go.

You mentioned “showcasing the product” and I just want to say that is not the goal of this team. Of course they all help promote the brand and help out a lot, but they were all doing that way before I asked them to be part of the team. They all supported the brand and they all will be supported by the brand. I don’t believe in the typical sponsorship where bladers do all the promoting work for companies and don’t get the proper support in return. I want to do everything I can to help my team riders grow and reach their goals in the sport. I have lots of plans for the BTL team and look forward to accomplishing so much with a truly great team of bladers.

SUAS: The name of the company is a bit catchy. I can’t help but think of Eric B. & Rakim’s classic song “Juice” (Know The Ledge). Where did you draw inspiration for the name Beyond The Ledge?
BTL:
I really wanted a strong name with a lot meaning behind it as well as to send a message. Push your limits, Be innovative, Put all your heart into what you love and go beyond what others thought was never possible.

SUAS: Man, I tell you…upon opening the packages of wax that you sent over I literally wanted to jump into the shower with them. Those bricks smell good! I doubt I can get the secret recipe but is scent an important factor with the product as well?
BTL:
When I first started making the wax I was adding different scents in with the batches mainly because it was something extra that I could be creative with. At first the scented aspect was only a novelty. People did seem to like how they all smelled and really liked how they always smelled different.

I started to look deeper into scented oils and how they were made as well as the ingredients. The certain types of scented oils I started to use had a great effect when mixed with other additives in formula and made my recipe that much better. I still change up the different scents and colors all the time, and on custom orders I will mix scents and colors together on request.

Now the scented part of the wax has become very important factor as well as part of the brands signature. To this day I still smile when I see people rush to open up the wax case just to see how this one smells.

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SUAS: Onto this speed lube that you’re working on. I absolutely love the fact that you are taking this on. My memories of speed lube are horrible. WD-40 was decent but after one session my bearings ended up worse. Is there anything we can know about yours that will make it a necessity amongst us speed freaks?
BTL:
This is a speed lube like no other. I’ve been working very hard to create just the right formula and it is extremely fast.

What makes this so different is that it is made with a unique silicone base formula. It is designed to dry quick and leaves a protective & non-sticky film on the bearings that doesn’t attract dirt. This also will make the bearings/hardware water resistant and protected.

This formula is made to penetrate also, so if you don’t have the time to open your bearings to lube them up, you can always just squirt some through the bearing shells and you’ll see a big difference. I’ve given samples to bladers that had wheels that barley spun, with a few drops of the speed lube they were flying. Never even took the wheels off.

I’ll be announcing the official release of the BTL speed lube very soon this Summer. Keep an eye out for it.

SUAS: What is your own personal story with rollerblading. How did you first get into it and who were some of your earliest influences?
BTL:
I first got into blading way back in the day when the sport was just getting started. My boy’s Mike & Matt really got me into blading.

One day in the early 90’s when I was 10 yrs old, my best friend (Mike Kircheim) called me up and told me to come to his house and bring my rollerblades. At the time I’ve probably only used them a hand full of times. When I got there I saw this big grey ramp he built in the middle of his street that him and his older brother (Matt – Sk8r4Life) were jumping off of. At the time I never even thought of doing any type of tricks on blades. Watching them hit that ramp and do 360’s over garbage cans was like the coolest thing in the world to me back then. That same day Me, Mike and Matt watched a VHS copy of “The Hoax” & “Mad Beef” and after watching that, I was completely hooked. Mike and Matt really helped me learn all the basic tricks and I started skating at all their home sessions.

Over the years our passion for the sport kept growing as well as the size of our crew. I remember times where there were 20 to 30 of us blading at their house on ramps, rails, we even built a mini ramp. We skated almost every day and had such a great time. Huge Thank You to Mr. & Miss Kircheim for being such cool parents and letting us all build ramps and skate there all the time. It was there that I developed one of my biggest passions of my life.

RIP, Mike Kircheim, You were truly a great friend and an incredible blader.

Some of my earliest and first influences I’d have to say would be Chris Edwards, Jon Julio, & Arlo Eisenberg. In the late 90’s some of my biggest influences were Aaron Feinberg, Randy Spizer & Matt Salerno.

SUAS: Are there different waxes for different terrain? Such as a wax specifically created for ledges or for handrails?
BTL:
Yes, we do offer different types of wax blends. Our 2 main wax blends are both equally fast and smooth however one is a little softer than the other. This gives the rider an option of using a more buttery type of wax on a concrete ledge and the harder blend on handrails.

This doesn’t in anyway restrict the different wax blends to particular terrains; they both will work well on any obstacle. But I must say on a gritty dried up ledge or even when breaking in a new spot, the softer blend really gets in there and leaves a nice smooth coat to grind on. The softer blend is also great to use outdoors in very cold weather as the wax will stick to the ledges well and won’t flake off.

Now on the flipside, the harder wax blend has a higher melting temperature point of over 170°; so on extremely hot Summer days this is a big plus as it will not melt when using it. I’ve had many bladers from areas in Texas; to all the way down to parts of South America tell me that the harder wax sessions survived on some of hottest days there.

Other than the 2 main waxes, we also offer our “Mini Speed Cubes”.
I’m gonna quote Dave Lang here with this.. “Use these speed cubes sparingly… Shit is fast!”

This is our special blend and also the fastest wax we make. We made these for when bladers want to throw a light coat of wax onto something that they want to really fly on. These are great for extremely long handrails, coping or already waxed ledges that need to be sped up.

Going forward, We are planning on releasing even more types of waxes so definitely keep an eye out for them.

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SUAS: Any last words or shout-outs?
BTL:
Before I finish up I just wanna say thanks a lot for interviewing me and helping to spread the word of what I’m trying to do with my company.

I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me and my company. Starting up a new company can be a very difficult task and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without all the support got from everyone in the blade life.

Special Thanks to:
Sk8r4Life, Big Apple Blade, IRollNY, 9to5 DigiMedia, Blader Gang, OakCity Inline Shop, Be-Mag, Swank Rolling, Blader Geeks, Michael Horbatiuk Photography, Just Live Productions, DaxsLIde Productions, and Empire Blade. Huge thank you to the BTL team for all your support, you guys are the best!!

Shout-outs to;
Erick Rodriguez, Franky Morales, Dave Lang, Montre Livingston, Sean Kelso, Bobby Reichel, Junyur Fernandez, Christie Toledo, Bladie “C” Roller, Franco Herrera, Danny Figgz, All the NYC Rollers, KORE SKATE, Hector HappyFeet Rodriguez, Thomas LiPani, My crew and My blade family.

New York Keep Rising!!

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