Two months ago, at the DK Contest in Dayton, Ohio, Alex and I decided to add Mark Kuhlmann to Team Pralex, and had the announcement made by Catfish at the beginning of Mark's run.
I've known Mark for years. I think we met back in the early days of the Ham Jams (the annual/triannual jams held in Hamilton, Ontario around the 2001-2005 era), as he lived in the Hamilton area, and I was persistent enough to make the 5-6h trip up to three times a year.
We were both little dudes back then, although Mark was a little heftier than I, and adorably went by the nickname "Beefy" back then (which has somehow managed to stick around for several years, despite him slimming down considerably this past year). Our riding had always been at a similar level, but I always found myself extra motivated to ride after getting to ride with Mark, as I felt I had to go back home and try to catch up to him.
A couple years later, Mark went on a roadtrip, driving up to Ottawa by himself, and then joining me to Montreal for a King of Quebec contest. This trip sticks out in my mind for various reasons. It wasn't necessarily about the tricks we were doing, but everything that weekend was just about fun. The contest ended up taking place in a crowded skatepark, so the riding area was where ever we could find space. During the contest, Beefy and I both started a few of our lines from the half pipe, dropping 4-6" while rolling a hitchhiker, then trying to continue on from there. I won't bother mentioning the embarrassing story about Mark chugging Molson cold shots, and then vomiting in a plastic bag as I drove to Montreal the next morning haha.
After a while, Mark faded out from flatland for a little bit. We kept in touch loosely, but with both of us busy with school, contact was scarce. Recently, Mark has come back to riding, and is as passionate as ever about it, despite being quite busy between his job, his new wife, and his even newer pet dog.
I feel really proud to introduce Mark to the team, as he continues to ride and progress himself, it inspires and motivates me to ride harder to keep up with his progress. Welcome to the team, Mark.