No, that's not a typo, long time Profile riders Jake Seeley and Grant Castelluzzo are now riding for Profile's sister company Madera. With both brands being under the same roof, the core support is the same, but now Jake and Grant, two prominent street riders, will be riding for the more street focused brand Madera. And the timing couldn't be more perfect, because from the sounds of it, Madera has a lot in the works for 2018…
Sounds like there are some changes in store for you guys in 2018. That edit you dropped in December may have been a hint. Let’s start there… How was it taking a trip for your long time sponsor Profile and adding part of the Madera team into the mix?
Grant: It was an awesome trip. I know all of the Madera dudes and have been friends with them forever and traveling with your friends is one of the best things in the world. Profile is definitely a diverse team and riding with the Madera guys just seems natural since we like to ride the same kind of stuff.
Jake: We did a Profile trip to Houston a year or so ago around the same time with Grant, Jeff K. and a couple others people, so right off the bat the trip felt similar and the déjà vu instantly set in. The trip shared very similar vibes, objectives, and nightly routines that brought a similar feel that Profile trips have brought in the past. Although, there were a couple riders I wasn’t used to on the trip, everyone's mind state seemed to be on the same track to accomplishing the goals and good times that needed to be met and I even made some new friends from our journeys together on this trip.
Did you know you were going to be making the switch over to Madera in 2018 and joining those dudes in the future?
Grant: I wouldn’t say I knew it was going to happen but I hoped. Mike [Hinkens] and myself had talked about it a little, but just like brainstorming, nothing serious. On the trip is kind of when it all panned out and really started to make sense. Being super close for years we sort of joked around with each other about it on and off for years, but it never really happened until this trip.
Jake: I knew something was up, but not exactly what. During the recent Houston trip Mike pulled me aside and asked me if I was interested in repping Madera as of 2018… He mentioned that he needed to talk to the rest of the team and make sure everyone was also down. Seemed I made a good impression on everyone because a couple days after the trip Mike hit me up and said it’s a go.
So what’s up with the switch anyway? Why are you doing it, aren’t they pretty much the same company?
Grant: Yeah, so Madera and Profile are owned by the same company and make quality parts out of the same factory down in St Pete, Florida, but the direction of each brand is definitely different. Madera is a more streamlined product for the most part. Focused on the same quality, but with less frills and options—which keeps the cost down. Basically offering an amazing quality American made product for the cost of a Taiwanese made one. As for the direction of the brands, riding wise, Madera is more street focused. Obviously [Dan] Foley kills everything he puts his bike on, but the majority of the team is in the streets wanting to film and put together videos—which is right up my alley. Profile is incredibly diverse as far as the team goes. From park riders, dirt riders, and flatlanders—it's all represented and it was great being the street representation of the brand, but it just makes more sense for myself to be a part of Madera since their focus is more aligned with mine. As an older rider I just want to focus on what I like and focus on making myself happy, if that makes any sense
Jake: Profile has a strong following in the race, dirt, ramp world where as Madera has a different following focused more on the street demographic side of things. Me and Grant switching to Madera being “core” street riders just makes sense. It will be more relatable to the where we focus our energy in BMX. Going into the new year, Madera has a lot of team/ video projects planned, so I’m super excited to be part of a team that has the same drive and passion I do.
Grant, it seems as if Profile and Madera function a bit differently when it comes to trips, marketing, etc., How did that play out with you being on Profile, yet so closely tied with Madera on trips and filming?
Yeah, the marketing side is definitely different. Profile is a legacy brand. People who want high-quality American made stuff know that Profile is what they are looking for and they search it out. Being on trips with them was awesome. I had some amazing times with all of the guys and Matt Coplon is a great friend of mine who I have nothing but the utmost respect for. We would ride a little bit of everything to make everyone on the trip stoked—which was cool to see everyone thrive in their element. Madera trips are usually street based with the main goal being to film as much as possible. Being on those trips as a filmer has always been great. Those dudes are all super good friends of mine and watching them do awesome things on their bikes is always a good time. I do get hyped up and want to take part of the fun, but since I wasn’t on the team I would just sit it out and focus on the filming side of things.
Thoughts on switching parts? Anything you guys are gonna miss? Looking forward to running any specific Madera parts?
Grant: It is going to be weird looking down and not seeing a “Push” stem on my bike. I have had a black Push stem on my bike for as long as I can remember, so that is going to look weird, but I am hyped to get the Madera stuff on. Knowing it is of the same quality doesn’t make me worried about missing anything. I am definitely hyped to put on everything and see how it all looks. They have super clean parts and I am definitely hyped to ride them!
Jake: I don’t think I’ll miss anything in particular parts wise, only because the Madera parts I’ll be riding are basically the same as the Profile ones with different etchings/ engravings. I’m also already riding a Madera Signet guard sprocket and Madera hub guards, so I’m definitely no stranger to Madera parts. It gonna be nice having all matching components on my bikes again.
What does this mean for each brand heading into 2018?
Grant: Profile is going to keep pushing in its own direction focused on making the shops happy and getting out and meeting with the customers and fans of the brand like they have been doing for years. Madera is going to keep traveling and filming with the addition of Jake and myself. It's hard to talk about since we are so early in the process, but there is going to be a longer-term project of some kind in the works. I can’t wait to really dive into that soon. The whole crew is hyped and I am hyped to be a part of it on the riding side as well as the filming side.
Jake: I know Profile been hooking up a pretty badass friend of mine for a while, so maybe we will see more of him in 2018—fingers crossed. As for Madera… There is talk of a big project and a Madera house, I know I’m gonna have a lot of good times with good people!
Grant, sounds like you may be doing some double duty. How do you feel about being a Pro rider and a filmer for the same team? Will that be a challenge?
It will be a challenge, but I am no stranger to double duty on trips. I usually filmed on Profile trips and it hasn’t really held me back, it just made me more particular about what I decide to put the effort into—which is never a bad thing. I am definitely up for the challenge and I'm hyped to be a part of the brand on both sides of the lens.
Grant, you're also Dan Kruk‘s TM for WTP? Being teammates for Madera, that could be strange…
[Laughs] I don’t think it will be strange at all. I am already around Dan all the time and he is dialed, so I don’t really have to manage him in the first place. Dan is on it and knows what he is doing so I kind of just let him do his thing and it always works out. If anything its more beneficial because I will be around him more frequently!
Jake, what are your thoughts about joining a new team after being part of one for so many years? And what about being part of another team with dudes you already are teammates with, i.e. Erik Elstran and Sunday?
There are definitely gonna be people missed with the switch, but the amount of time I got to see them or go on trips with them was slim to non anyways. I felt I saw them more randomly then on planned trips or events. It seemed the Profile team was a bit scattered and diverse leaving most people doing more solo projects rather then getting together on team trips. The Houston trip was a great introductory to riders I didn’t know so well on Madera like Mike Hinkens, Dan Kruk, and Dan Foley. I learned quickly that the switch was gonna be perfect for me because I’m gonna be part of a active group of cool ass dudes who are striving for a similar outcome in BMX as I am. That being said, I’m really looking forward to spending more time with Elstran in particular, honestly you can't get enough of that kid. We feed off each other really well with basically everything we do.
Any thing else you would like to talk about that we missed? Any thanks?
Grant: I want to thank Matt Coplon for being my first sponsor and for hooking me up way back when. He has done so much for me and I will forever be grateful. Luckily, I will still get to see and talk to him regularly. I also want to thank Mike Hinkens for wanting me to be a part of the brand and for being an awesome TM and an even better friend. I'm hyped for the future. Thanks to Ride for doing this little piece and taking some time to make this more clear for people. Lastly, I want to thank the whole Madera team for being accepting and allowing me to be a part of the family. You guys are all the best! Love you all.
Jake: On the real I want to give a big shout out to Matt Coplon for being one of the raddest TMs I’ve ever had—I’ve never known someone so on top of it! Thanks for the continuous support and giving me the chance to be part of such a rad company for so long. Best wishes to Matt and Profile! I'll forever have a piece of the company in my heart. But as they say, one door closes and another opens up! I can't wait for new adventures with my new family—stay tuned for a heavy year from Madera. Lets get it!