Why Lance Mountain Passed on Partnering With World Industries in the ‘90s

The feud between World Industries and Powell-Peralta in the ‘90s is legendary, and set the precedence for the David and Goliath dynamic between big and small brands that still exists in skateboarding today. When World had Powell on the ropes, it attempted to put a nail in its coffin by bringing Lance Mountain on as the head of his own company at a time when Powell was planning on starting a new brand with him. Lance explains why his morality and opposition to some of World’s antics, which were well-documented in the pages of Big Brother Magazine, forced him to pass on the deal. He breaks it down starting at the 2:27:16 mark of the latest episode of The Nine Club.

Then, I get a call from [Steve] Rocco. Actually, it might have been through Natas [Kaupas]. Natas and I were hanging out at that point. [Rocco says], “Hey, we want to take you on a boat to Catalina.” I already know the deal. At this point, Mark Gonzales calls me and says, “I’m going to leave Blind; why don’t you take over the team.”

So we’re going to Catalina. Rodney [Mullen], Per Welinder, Natas, and Rocco are there. I thought Per worked for Powell. So we went and played the whole time. Anyone that’s rode for World knows the whole gig. Come play with the toys. See how much better it is here. We’ll talk later.

Rocco and Rodney are like, “What are you going to do? We know everyone is leaving Powell. You’re going to get a company? Why don’t you bring the company here. If you don’t, we’ll just take the guys anyway.” Then, it turned into the conversation of where my heart really was.

I want to be with the best. I want to be around the best. I want to have influence on the best. And I want to keep doing what I love doing. But I don’t know how I can do it here… I have a belief system in my life where I can or can’t go; or I don’t even want to.

Then, I had a long conversation with Rodney about how there is no right and wrong. It’s all relative. But I know there is a right and wrong for me. I struggled with it. But I just couldn’t see me being there.

Needless to say, had this deal gone down, it would have had a major impact on skateboarding’s history.

Image Via Nike SB

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