As a young skateboarder in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Greg Lutzka had to be creative to track his improvements on his deck. He often tried impromptu tricks and stacked skateboards to ollie over, using each new board as a measure of progress.
Over the past 17 years, Lutzka has become a skater known for his work ethic, tactical skills, and professional success. He’s a two-time X Games gold medalist and the only person to win the Tampa Pro competition three times.
And he has finally found a reliable way to measure what he does on his board.
Blast Motion’s recently released Action Replay sensor gives skaters — kid and adult, professional and amateur — immediate feedback on such metrics as hang time, rotation, and height.
Lutzka has joined Blast Motion as a brand ambassador and has incorporated the sensor into his practices and touring skate competitions.
“You can be a kid and use it [for fun] or you can be a pro and use it to perfect your skateboarding skills,” Lutzka says. “But it’s unbelievable how advanced and accurate the technology is when it comes to the live readings.”
Here’s how it works: You attach the sensor to your clothes, set your smartphone in a place where the camera can record what you do, and ride the way you normally would. The sensor sends data back to your device, and the Blast Motion app pulls it all together. It also curates the video footage it captured to allow skaters to share their tricks and progress on social media.
The Action Replay sensor also works for BMX and motocross.
Lutzka uploads highlights for his fans, but also uses it as a way to keep improving. The veteran pays close attention to details — like how clean or sloppy his landings are.
“I work a lot on consistency when I’m at the skate parks so that when I go to competition I’m able to land them pretty quickly,” Lutzka says. “I’ve been doing this for 17 years now, but every day I’m still trying to push myself to the next level and this technology actually made me want to push myself even more.”
He also studies his style and rhythm, things he’s always loved most about skateboarding.
Lutza grew up playing ice hockey. But he grew bored with the routines and quickly became fascinated with skating.
“It’s almost like art when you look at a photo or video after you’ve shot it,” he says. “With skateboarding, it’s really up to you. It’s a piece of artwork and everyone has his or her own unique style. It’s a very cool thing.”
Lutzka still works just as hard as he did about a decade ago, when he uprooted from the Midwest and moved to Southern California to follow his professional skating dreams. And as one of the only locations in the U.S. where residents can surf, snowboard, and skate all in one day, there were endless career opportunities.
When he makes trips back home — as he did in early July for the re-opening of Cream City Skate Park in his hometown — he enjoys holding competitions or giving prizes away.
But mostly he loves sharing what he’s learned with the young kids who watch him skate.
“Skating is about having fun with your friends when you skate down the street,” he says. “Definitely push yourself, but have fun. When you enjoy it, success will come, but never forget why you started and what it’s all about.”
Find out more about the Action Replay sensor on the Blast Motion website.
Photos: Blast Motion