Photo: Adam Dorobiala:
I met Mark Judd informally a long time ago, maybe it just seems like a long time, but it was back in the day of Connections. I saw him skating in a competition there (I wouldn’t remember for the life of me which one, but if you were there you know what I am talking about) and he was throwing bangers on the rails and shredding the park harder than anyone I had ever seen. He was pure energy. “I got like fifth place, but I thought I should have gotten better,” Judd recalled. I agree he should have. After that contest was over I knew he was a lifetime ripper.
It would seem as if he fell off the map for a little bit, but he didn’t—he was just under the radar making shit happen. He grew up, fell in love with a girl (which definitely can take time away from skateboarding as we all know), got a job and went on his way, but it never seemed to encroach on his time for his first love: skating. It is really hard to put into words the drive that makes him who he is. Recently married and with another new baby in the basket, Judd works full time so his wife, Madison, can stay at home and tend to the two children. Somehow he still finds time to skate. And when he does skate, he has that smooth style and a plethora of tricks at his fingertips, all while remaining sincere and genuinely fun to skate with. Most people overlook the fact that the dude is skating whenever he has free time, and when he does get to skate, he will tear shit up. I have seen him land a trick or line more than three times just to make sure it looks and feels proper to him. He is a Purist. Not only is he working for someone to pay the bills, he is also working on a personal project of getting his board company, SKULL, into the mix here in Salt Lake. “I’m working on the company so I work on that a lot, but it’s not paying anything right now. It may take a lot to make it 100%, but I should be making boards by this year,” Judd says. I believe him. Anyone that can take care of themself, support a wife and two kids, work and work on a side project, all while still taking time to skate, is basically on point with their life.
He currently lives in a sweet little set-up with his wife and two kids, Hannah Gracie Judd and Ada Lynn Judd (Hannah is almost two and Ada is 8 weeks old). It would seem as if he is a “grown-up” now, with all the grown-up things he is doing with himself.
Mark grew up in West Jordan skating with the A.D.101 crew (R.I.P. Jacob Allison), which included (but is not limited to) Kendall Johnson, Caleb Orton and Eric Hess. The people around him speak so highly of him and his way of life. “He was always a bit maniacal…” Johnson said about Judd. “Once he was arrested in a robot suit made of cardboard and tinfoil for destroying various Christmas lawn decorations.” Johnson continued, “When the police got the call that there were two robots running around smashing things, they were surprised to find out that was indeed the case.” Things have changed since then, but Mark still rips, even more so now than ever. Growing up skateboarding, Judd, Johnson, and Hess held it down in Weast Infection, Erik Jensen’s last cut, which re-premiered at The Manhattan earlier this year. Keep in mind, he filmed this on his time free from family life and work. It’s really a stand-out part in the video— Judd, Johnson and Hess kill it. I don’t think it is online anywhere but hopefully the hard copies of Weast Infection will drop soon.
I would like to mention at this point that Mark Judd is the real deal. This guy doesn’t let the drudgery of modern life get to him. He handles his biz whatever it may be. Whether it be tending to his children or wife, or taking care of his sponsors (D.C. Shoe Co., Salty Peaks and SKULL) by continuing to skate harder everyday. He is out there, on the grind, 24/7. Like Master P says in the song he skates to in Weast Infection, “It ain’t where you from boy. It’s where you at.” And where Judd’s at, is where it’s at.