Hello Eric, you are the founder and owner of one of the first skateshops in France. HawaiiSurf has a huge selection of skateboards, longboards and other boards and this is a place you can’t ignore if you are looking to ride a board. We have four questions for you.
1 and 2 Why a skate and surf shop in Paris and how did it all start?
It started in summer 1976. I had missed my graduation. I was 17, I was on vacation in Biarritz where I rode my skateboard. I had to find something to do after the holidays. Studying was not for me. Meanwhile, I got more and more addicted to skateboarding!
Going back to Paris, I met up with an architect who worked with my father and it was here I decided to start my skateboard shop.
In the beginning it was called the Skateboarder’s House. In Paris and in all of France, it was at the heart of the skate scene. People rode for fun.
I preferred to offer more advanced products coming directly from the United States. These include mythical boards from Gordon & Smith or Ampul for example. We also manufactured our own skateboards.
And then, one day, I left my surf board at the shop. The customers liked it, so I decided to diversify products by offering surfboards, and even Speed Sail and snowboards! This is how the Skateboard’s House became HawaiiSurf. And it worked!
Paris is a hub and there is a very large community of all kind of riders: surfers, skaters and snowboarders. Hawaiisurf was the only shop to offer their toys for their passion! The only difficulty was to be located on the outskirts of Paris. We have invested a lot in advertising, leaflets and press. We were everywhere when it was about gliding and riding a board!
3- How does Hawaiisurf differ from other shops?
Passion – without hesitation! This is the kerosene of Hawaiisurf! In the shop everyone rides: surf, snow, skate, longboard and rollerskates. We’re bad brats and welcome bad brats! This is what makes us strong! The difference between us and the other shops is that we created the trend and instilled it in France! We always were there vanguard! We were the first shop to import boards to France and to manufacture them. We were the first to market Burton in France
We rummage around the world to find the pearls. These include trucks with a brake that are from Australia, or the Rio skates in England. The products come from all over and come to us before the trend starts. Our guideline is boarding makes you sweat. This is carried by human energy and external elements: nature and the street! We made our choices based on that and the passion that drives us.
4- What is your best memory at the store?
Undoubtedly, the visit of Tony Alva! He is part of the guys who inspired me throughout my youth. In 2009, Ray Barbee and Paul Van Doren went down to the “cellar Momo.” This is the place in the basement of the shop where I store my collection of skateboards and surf.
They were like children! Their eyes shined from all the product I had collected. They found a Dogtown board I customized myself and they signed it. A unique space and a good time with brats!
I view Concrete Wave as a worldwide community made up of a variety of different type of skaters. Sure, there maybe some on the right, and some on the left. Some are new to this, some are skategeezers. Some are freestylers others only do slalom or just ride longboards. What unites us all is a love of skateboarding. This camaraderie is a cornerstone of the philosophy of Concrete Wave. I strive to foster a climate of inclusiveness within skateboarding and I will never waiver from this message. With that in mind, our latest edition features a female rider – Emma Daigle of Kebbek Skateboards. We’re proud to have her on the cover. Going forward, females will be on 50% of all future covers. There are some who will question this decision. They’ll wonder, “why put so much attention on a market that makes up less than 15% of all skaters?” My answer is simple – skateboarding is TOO good to be kept as mostly a male enterprise. Back in the mid to late 70’s, when females were encouraged to be a part of skateboarding, it had over 20 million participants in the USA. This is over THREE times what we currently have. Purely from an economic perspective, adding an additional 10 million female skaters worldwide would boost things tremendously.
YNWH: Skateboarding’s four most self-defeating words There’s this guy I know. Pretty well, actually. He runs a small microbrew skateboard company out of his garage. He personally hand-builds, hand-shapes,and hand-silkscreens every single skateboard that comes out of his ever-expanding workshop. He’s a true craftsman, an artist in every sense of the word. Strange thing is, he’s not a particularly popular guy. At least, not insofar as his local skateboard community is concerned. Listening to him tell it, he’s practically hated. Or he thinks he is, at least. Apparently, he has been “blacklisted” and “86’ed” from more places than he can even keep track of. The local DIY… 86’ed. The local mini ramp… blacklisted. Special events, demos, and contests all over the region… banned. Intimidated out of his local coffee shop, even. There are a great many places where, apparently, he is just not welcome. In rare instances, he’s even been physically threatened and/or assaulted, just to insure that he would go well away, and never return. Why is this…? Well, it’s not because he’s a mean guy or anything; he’s actually one of the coolest chaps you could ever hope to meet. Pretty good skater, too. If I had to speculate, it’s more than likely because he’s a threat to the status quo. He’s a throwback to a time when skateboards were made with pride, by hand, and made to last. That’s a verboten paradigm in today’s world of disposable toothpicks. Shops won’t sell his boards, simply because they last too long. But kids keep on buying them anyway, directly from the craftsman himself, over and over again… which is a threat to the area businesses and brands that only peddle status quo. And, he talks. A lot. About deep stuff.Important stuff that the status quo definitely doesn’t want to hear, and absolutely does not want discussed or disseminated. In short: he’s hated, because he’s a threatening outlier to their gravy train. A threat that has to be either entirely stopped, or at least effectively subdued.This case is not an isolated incident. Far from it, actually. For being as “forward-thinking”, “libertine”, “enlightened”, and “inclusionary” as we’d like to think we are as a lifestyle and a “culture”, the skateboarding world can still be a whole wide world of impenetrable andexclusive cliques, far too much of the time. Anything that steps outside of the accepted status quo does tend to get shunned, ostracized, belittled, or bullied. I’ve seen it happen, firsthand. Far too often, actually. Tony Hawk, of all people, comes immediately to mind. Hard as it may be for millenials to believe, Tony Hawk was not always the beloved skate superstar that he is today. In the early 1980’s, he was widely condemned for the highcrime of ollieing into his airs. Something that is so commonplace and accepted today that we take it completely for granted as an absolutely normal way toskate. But at the time? It was tantamount to high treason. It didn’t make him particularly popular with most of the “status quo”, that’s for sure; Duane even famously spit on him one time at Colton Skatepark, if I recall the story correctly. He got ridiculed and made fun of a lot for “cheating” at skateboarding. It must’ve really sucked. Duane’s spit is probably some pretty gnarly shit. Nowadays, Tony gets the last laugh. He’s a skateboard superstar zillionaire that every kid (and many adults) love, respect, and admire. And the detractors learned a tough lesson there: never make fun of the future. Unfortunately, skaters can’t remember tough lessons for a damn sometimes. Women in skateboarding have had it pretty rough over the years. It’s true. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a female get “shamed” by guys for skateboarding, I’d probably be able to put the keyboard down, retire to Fiji, and drink Mai-Tais forever. Sometimes, it’s outright bullying. Other times, it’s a bit more subtle and understated. Nyjah Huston once opined, quite publicly, that skateboarding is not for girls at all. In many ways, our “culture” has been telling girls and women for decades that they’re just not welcome here. That they don’t measure up, that they don’t have what it takes. That this is a boys club, and a boys club only. Thankfully, that perception is starting to change. But it’s been a very slow, and very painful process. It certainly hasn’t been particularly easy for anyone. Especially the girls.Maybe this is just perception at work. Maybe it’s not as bad as it all seems. But when we, as an industry, actually have to produce and market a product that says “Girl Is Not A Four Letter Word”, then we certainly have a very real problem on our hands, not just a perception problem. A problem that, unfortunately, does not begin and end with the likes of Nyjah Huston. If there wasn’t a very real problem at work, then why would we ever need such a product, or such a statement, in the first place…? There are other examples. Listening to a lot of uneducated imbeciles telling me that I’m too tall and far too fat to ride skateboards has been a constant throughout my life. It’s true: I’m ridiculously towering, and a lot bigger-boned than I probably should be. Thankfully though, I’m not predispositioned to acquiesce to the perceptions of uber-ignorant and over-opinionated assholes trying to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do. That’s a nice way of saying “Get Bent”, by the way. My stance has always been that if I wanna take my 300-lb ass out to go for a roll, well buddy, I’d like to see you try to stop me from doing so. Dumb dudes aren’t inclined to take me up on that, because they’re at least intelligent enough to realize that saying “no” to a hugely sarcastic steamroller probably isn’t the wisest of propositions. Being a giant of a fat skateboarder, then, definitely has its benefits. Yeah, my tre flips might be mob as hell, and getting my ass and my belly to properly stand up on a 5-0 isn’t quite as simple or easy as it used to be. But at least nobody picks on me for sucking at skating. Probably because at the end of the day, I can still knock you on your ass. And there’s not a damn thing that you’re gonna do about it, either. But my question is, who’s gonna stand up for everyone else? My buddy ain’t exactly a burly buffster that can drive over his detractors and knock ’em on their asses. He’s only about 5’5”, maybe 150 lbs wet, and half of that is probably tied up in his beard alone. He’s not the sarcastic steamroller that I am. And neither are most girls. Or the Tony Hawk geeklings of the world. And for that matter, neither is 99.999% of the population at large. I suppose that, given my giant-sized proportions, I could easily and happily play The Jerk, assume a fascist philosophy, and exclude anybody and everybody that I didn’t personally like (or even agree with) from my favorite spots and scenes. I could even enforce that fairly effectively, if I reallywanted to. I’d probably make a pretty brilliant bully, if I was inclined to be one. It might be nice to have spots all to myself and my crew once in a while without a zillion flailers, newbies, ego trippers, and skate-hipsters stinking the place up. Problem is, that mindset fundamentally goes against everything that I think skateboarding should be about. In my world, skateboarding should be better than that. And being a guy with a lot of personal pride, I’m also a lot better than that. I don’t like everybody in the skateboard world. And I certainly don’t agree with everybody, either. But, I’ll tell ya this: everybody and anybody is always welcome to come skate with me, anytime they want. Because that’s the spirit of the whole thing. That’s what skateboarding should be all about. Anyone that doesn’t agree with that, in my world, isn’t really a skateboarder at all. They’re just being dicks. The cool thing about being as cool as I am, is that I get a lot of genuine love in return from everybody. Even though I can’t skate for a damn, I still get invited to all sorts of swanky spots and scenes to skate, hang out, take it all in, and live it up. That’s kind of sweet, isn’t it…? Well, I think it is. If and when I actually stop and think about it for a few minutes, I’m forced to admit that my entire life has been the net sum of being invited, with open arms and smiling mugs, to all sorts of neat places for all kinds of cool stuff. I doubt that I would have ever had it so good, if I’d been a ginormous dick to everybody that I’d ever met. “Cool is a universal language”, that’s my mantra. And if you play the role, and play it well, then you’ll get to go really far in life. Kinda like I have, I guess. My buddy pointed something out today that I thought deserved to be noted. Encouragement is actually pretty damn easy to do. Hate, division, and exclusion, by comparison, seem like they would require an awful lot of time and energy to pull off. Being a walking bummer seems like it would be a lot of work. So, why in the hell do people do it…? Is it to protect their vested interests in being King Catcrap or something…? Maintaining an air of “legitimacy” among other hateful, divisive, and exclusionary jugheads? Maybe selling a few more units of product to a hopelessly jaded and cynical marketplace? I guess I just don’t get it. It all seems rather pointless to me. Lame never really got anybody anywhere, did it…? Not long-term, at least. Thankfully, The Industry has taken a few steps to combat this sort of horseshit. We do, after all, have those “Girl is not a four letter word” completes all over the place. They do promote girls contests and jams (finally), and there is (thankfully) a lot of ethnic and age diversityamongst our pro and sponsored amateur ranks as well. The Industry realizes that being less welcoming and inclusive usually means less hardgoods and softgoods sales to their target lifestyle market. The Industry, quite smartly, won’t tolerate sacrificing perfectly profitable sales to subsidize ingrained cultural idiocy. I’d like to see it taken a step further. Why can’t we have “Bullies are just dicks” ads, stickers, and completes…? That might be a swell seller. If anybody ever has the cajones to produce and market such a campaign, I’d get right behind it. I’m sure Mike would, too. Maybe if we could get Tony to wear a “Bullies are just dicks” shirt everywhere he went, then maybe somebody would start paying attention to the problem. I mean, who’s gonna argue with Tony…? Besides Duane..?Regardless of what The Industry does or doesn’t do, at the end of the day, when I die… and given my penchant for unhealthy livin’, that death probably isn’t all that far off… I’d really like the nine (or so) people that are actually gonna remember me, to remember me as a really swell guy that was always pretty cool to everybody. But especially to my fellow skaters. Skateboarding has given me so much, and filled my life story with so many epic memories, that I figure it’s the very least I could do in return. Skateboarding would probably be in a way better place if more skaters actually thought and felt the same way I do, and stood their ground on it. Bud Stratford is probably the only moron on the planet that’s actually made a “career” out of writing highly principled essays about skateboarding. If you wanna tell this quack what a jerk he is, feel free to flog him on Facebook.
Bustin’s west coast tour video just dropped today. Take 4 minutes and take a peek. Have a peek below:
The Broadway Bomb is almost upon us and if you’re planning on visiting the City to ride, here are some tips that will definitely make your experience that much better. Use the bike lanesWhile the streets are ours to roam, the cars that dominate them will not stop for you. Thats where the bike lanes come in. Giving you a space free from cars from the street and free from the crowds from the sidewalk, skating the bike lanes keep you as close to the rush of the city’s streets in the safest way possible. Note: Bike lanes will save you from cars, but not from bikers. Don’t think that a Citi Bike rider will show you the same level of caution that a cab driver would.
Keep your eyes downThe streets in New York are crusty in the best of times. Add pot holes, metal plates and other trash and debris and you’ll get thrown if you cannot carve around these obstacles in time. Big, soft wheels can save you from some of the smaller bumps and cracks in the road but if you’re running hard, small wheels, you especially need your eyes down.
Watch out for bystanders and passerby’sAt the same time, you need to spend an equal amount of time keeping your eyes up. To the tourists, you’re a street performer. To the locals, you’re a nuisance. Either way, most people will not get out of your way. Avoid the hassle of the Parks departmentThe parks department makes skating most of the city’s parks unskatable. At most of the city’s most popular parks, they are known to issue to summons to unwelcome riders. It’s best not to take the risk and to find a spot where skateboarding is either ignored or, even better, encouraged. Be aware that the skateparks turn into mob scenes at peak hoursThe skateparks in NYC are some of the most well constructed and well laid out parks in the world. However, from the late morning until there is no more light to see, these parks get insanely crowded.Steer clear of Times Square at all costsEverything that makes Times Square magical for tourists is everything that makes skateboarders dread riding in this area. Scores of people, the most congested traffic in the entire city and a lack of skatable street spots are far from a skater’s ideal NYC skateboarding trip to the city. Definitely best not to waste time here if you have a board with you.Skitch at your own riskThough skating through the city’s streets may feel like a video game, skitching through them like a character in a Tony Hawk game is extremely risky. Jeff Gaites, owner of Uncle Funky’s Boards, once told me a story of how he was left clinging to the side of a delivery truck after being lifted off his board while skitching downtown. Since then, that story sticks in my head as all the reason I’ll ever need to not give it a try.Know your surroundingsGetting lost could be a good thing. You’re never too far from public transportation that can get you back to a familiar area and you never know what spots lie around the corner. To that end, though, some areas are rough and not meant for the exploratory skater. If you go in with a plan and feel out the areas as you go, you’ll do fine. However, remain cautious of where you end up and who’s near. Travel lightly, take caution putting your belongings downWhile it’s also more comfortable to skate without a pack weighing down your back, it is best to travel lightly in a city where there really are no good places to drop your things while you skate. There have been countless stories of stolen bags and cameras gone missing. It would be wise to only carry the absolute essentials on your person to avoid becoming the next one of those stories.Don’t get intimidated by your fellow skaters but respect themIn a city this grand, expect there to be the best of the best. Expect the skaters that are “too cool” for you. Most of all, don’t be too put off by their skills to skip out on practicing your own. If you stay clear of their lines and respect their area as they respect yours, you’ll rarely have any issues with fellow skaters. If you have a board under your feet, you’re just as entitled to skate the greatest city in the world as they are. BONUS: If you have never seen this 2013 video of the Broadway Bomb, you’re in for a treat.
(Versus the two things that I really want to write about.)
by Bud Stratford
A skateboarder is anybody that rides a skateboard. And we all know what a “skateboard” is, because we ain’t stewpid…
Skateboarding is supposed to be fun,
Skateboarding is for everybody and anybody (whether everybody and anybody agrees with that or not, is an altogether different matter… but, more on that in a bit). And,
Skateboarding is all about whatever you want it to be. You have a brain and a body of your own. So, use ’em. And don’t let anybody tell you any damned differently.
So, there you go. “The Ten Things You Need To Know”, edited down to a grand total of four completely obvious, self-evident, and unarguable truths. Essay, complete…! Well, almost…
What I do have in front of me today, though, are two things that are bumming me… and, a lot of my skateboarding allies and cohorts… out. Those two things are “The Rules”, and “The (Increasingly Frequent) Discrimination”.
Skateboarding… for better, or for worse (mostly worse, as we’ll soon see)… is now completely and fully “mainstreamed”. Of course, the “mainstreaming” of skateboarding probably makes The Industry pretty darn happy, overall. The more people that skate, the more skateboards that The Industry sells. And that’s probably pretty cool for The Industry. But not so much, for our skateboarding culture.
Yes. There was a day when we had “a culture”. We’ve always had our own culture. At least, we used to have our own culture. Back in the day… God, I feel old now… our culture was a pretty positive and accepting set of rules and ethics. “The Four Rules” that I just listed a few paragraphs ago were pretty much it… the total, comprehensive, and complete set of “the rules” that all skateboarders… or, maybe more accurately, all skateboarders that were worth a shit… lived by, and accepted as unalienable fact.
Every other rule that could be imagined, extolled, espoused, articulated, agreed upon, and decreed to be “law”, pretty much existed to be broken. Because that’s what skaters did. We broke rules. Except “The Four”. Because those were sacred.
Skateboarding, almost exclusively, was that thing that “freaky kids” did. That thing that moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, guidance councellors, teachers, and principals really didn’t understand all that well, and didn’t really want to care all that much about. And that was perfectly a-ok with us, actually. The great thing about being uncared for and misunderstood was that it allowed us a huge amount of unfettered freedom to write our own rules, and create our own parallel worlds, well outside “the rules” of mainstream mediocrity. Which is exactly what we did: we created an entire ethos, and a set of “rules”, that rebelled against the “mainstream” of “popular culture”. And when I refer to “popular culture”, please keep in mind that I use the word “culture” very, very loosely. In my world, “Popular Culture” should really be renamed “Chronic Catcrap”. But that’s just my personal interpretation of it. Of course.
Twenty years ago, there was no ageism in skateboarding. The reason, of course, was stupidly simple: old people simply didn’t skate. “Old” people would never even consider taking up skating… too dangerous to life and limb, they thought… and even skateboarders themselves never really skated much after, say, the ripe old age of 25 or so. At that age, most skaters simply quit skating, and moved on with their lives. They got girlfriends, cars, jobs, perhaps a post-secondary education, careers, wives, kids of their own… mistresses, vices, habits, ulcers, and whatever misery that mainstream mediocrity has in store for us as we become old and broken shells of our former, idealistic and exuberant, fun-filled selves. Skateboarding was thus relegated to “that fun thing that I used to do”, before life caught up with us and got in the way of the good times.
There was also no racism or sexism in skateboarding, back in my time. Mostly because skateboarding was the exclusive pastime of white, suburban (or urban), lower-to-middle-class boys. Of course, there were exceptions to the rule… and there have always been exceptions to that rule… but, not that many. And of course, we wholeheartedly supported those few exceptions. Because troublemakers just love breaking rules, right..?
There weren’t that many “types” of skateboarding to enjoy, either. Many forms of skateboarding… slalom, barrel jumping, longboarding, and to a great extent, freestyle… had melted away from their former heydays of the 1970’s. My generation had vert, street, mini-ramp (which was a common middle-ground compromise between vert and street)… and, in the darker corners of the peripheries, the backyard pool scene. “Skateparks”, as we know them today, didn’t exist; those were another anachronism that had died off like the dinosaurs in the early 1980’s.
But, my generation was the first (and perhaps, the last) of “The Great Skateboarding Idealists”. We were, in a great many ways, “The Greatest Generation” of skateboarders. I’ll fight that with anybody, and win, hands down.
First of all, my generation was the first generation that didn’t quit skating, en masse, at the ripe old age of 25. For whatever reason… probably because we were, by nature, punk rule breakers and chronic troublemakers… we just didn’t see the point of giving up something that we beloved so immensely, to conform to somebody else’s definition of chronic catcrap.
We were also the first generation to wrestle control of The Industry away from “The Old Guard”, and start fully independent companies. This made for a much more directly skater-run-and-influenced industry than skateboarding had ever seen in its (rather short) history. And the number of companies (today, known as “brands”) that we breathed life into was stunningly staggering. Realizing that, my generation of skateboarders was the first generation that made serious and effectual efforts to take skateboarding “mainstream”, as we realized (subconsciously, at least) that the existing “pie” was only so big, and therefore would only support so many companies/brands.
And lastly, my generation was the first generation to take a hard, long look back in time, and start digging up some of the treasures that our predecessors had long left in the dust. Forms of skateboarding that had been long considered extinct were brought out of the literal woodwork, and renewed with an enthusiastic vigor.
I must say that our intentions were noble enough. My generation, being “The Great Idealists”, held lofty ambitions of invading the mainstream, and re-making it in skateboarding’s image. There were ample precedents for this; we had actually been doing it, with some success, for decades. It’s a well-known and well-documented fact that skateboarders have influenced the artistic realms of music, photography, graphic design, writing, publishing, architecture, and film (among a whole host of other creative pursuits); if we can launch a full-scale invasion of the art world and prevail, why couldn’t we do the same thing to the greater society at large…? Again, I think this was a very subconscious effort on most of our parts… but, there were a small handful of extreme forward-thinkers that did consciously realize the immense potential, and actively pursued that potential quite deliberately.
Of course, things don’t always go quite as we plan. And there are always unintended consequences that could never be predicted, nor accounted for. I don’t think that any of us really thought about what might happen if skateboarding was invaded by the mainstream, instead of vice-versa. And only once the Pandora’s box of “mainstreaming” was cracked open did we realize… much to our own horror and dismay… that there was no do-over, turning around, or going back. We really thought that companies like Airwalk, Vans, Vision Street Wear, Limpies, Eight Ball (later Droors Clothing, later still DC), Etnies (and Emerica, and eS…), et cetera, would take over the fashion world, and put the rest of the world to shame. It never really dawned on us that The Mainstream Corporate Hegemony might either kill these companies outright… or, conversely, actually buy up these brands with their bottomless corporate capital reserves, strip them of their founders, their teams, their visions, their souls, their ethos, and the rest of their defining characteristics… and toss them into some Payless Shoe Bargain Bin somewhere. Vans, for some reason, has been allowed the freedom to buck the trend, stay somewhat true to its roots, and continue relatively unobstructed and unfettered. But the rest are either long gone, or are mere shadows of their fomer greatness. Even relatively recent upstarts like Fallen (gone) and Lakai (struggling) are not immune to the cycle of death and destruction under the mainstream bulldozer blade. But Nike, Converse, and Adidas are thriving in the skate shoe market. Unintended consequences. Damn them all.
Thankfully, the skate hardgoods brands are still ours. Mostly. But even they have been more than happy to compromise their ideals, jump onto “mainstream mores”, and increasingly outsource their production to third-world sweatshops in the name of increased profitability and market share. So much for “quality products”, “honest business ethics”, and “human dignity”, I guess…
The same has happened to us culturally, of course. While we do shed a tear or two over the demises of skate brands, the demise of skate culture has been far more damaging and depressing. With the Mainstream Invasion, we’ve also been inundated with Mainstream Mores on a cultural level absolutely unprecedented in our history. With the influx of females into our culture (an astoundingly good thing for both our culture, and our industry), we’ve also seen a wave of sexism infiltrate our collective ethos… probably best represented by “skate superstar” Nyjah Huston, and his epicly ill-advised “girls shouldn’t be allowed to skate”diatribe.
With more minorities skating than ever (another astounding sign of progress for our culture and our industry), we’ve also inherited the likes of Corey Duffel, and his epicly ill-advised “trashy n**ger” monologue.
With more “old” skaters skating than ever, we’ve also seen a huge wave of agism washing over our social, online, and print media, openly questioning why these geezers (“Barneys”, in the skate vernacular) really have to take up so much open space at our skateparks… the free, public skateparks that our “old geezer” generation fought tooth and nail for (and prevailed in successfully securing) for the benefit of future generations of skateboarders everywhere, mind you.
Of course, with the invasion of new and diverse forms of skateboarding that have (thankfully) been brought back from the dead, such as slalom, freestyle, and longboarding… we have also allowed “skate-ism” to run rampant throughout our “culture”. That is, of course, active discrimination against other skaters based on what kind of skateboarding they might (or might not) enjoy.
And I might add… just because, this is the one that I personally witness the most often of all… “Able-ism”, which I would define as “discrimination based on one’s ability to skate ‘good’ or not”.
I never really thought I’d ever see the day where I’d be sitting at my laptop, and writing about so many types of skater-versus-skater discrimination, and how much of it is currently running through or scenes and our culture.
Skaters are supposed to be fighting the world, and winning. Not, fighting each other and losing. Which makes me wonder, and wonder often, what in the hell are we coming to…?
STAND BY FOR PART 2…
Along with all the “-isms” that we’ve inherited from The Mainstreaming, we also have a shit-ton of new “rules” to follow, as well… as dictated by The Controlling Cliques, The Elitist Element, and The Mainstream Media (which includes every Tom, Dick, and ignorant, uneducated, and unenlightened Harry these days)… which only serve to pander to everybody’s desire to make a quick buck, and to massage everybody’s over-inflated egos and latent insecurities. “This is a skateboard. This is not a skateboard. This is a skateboarder. This guy is not a skateboarder. Skateboarding can only be done this way. You can’t skate that way. You have to skate this kind of board. You suck if you have that kind of board. You have to buy it at this shop. You can’t buy it at that shop. You have to do these tricks. You can’t do those tricks. You have to wear these shoes, shirts, and pants to be cool. If you wear those shoes, shirts, and pants, then you’re lame. You have to listen to this kind of music. You suck if you listen to that kind of music. You can only skate these spots. You can’t skate that skatepark. You can’t have that style. You can’t push mongo. You have to think like a clone. You cannot, under any circumstance, think for yourself…” And on and on and on it goes. So much for “unfettered freedom and colorful diversity”, huh…?
The problem with skateboarding is that it is, on a very foundational and fundamental level, a uniquely self-defining, self-determining pastime that ends up being an excellent… too excellent, perhaps… conduit for self-exploration, self-empowerment, and self-discovery.
Now, note how many times “self” appears in that sentence. Not, your parents. Not, your buddies. Not, your enemies. Not, your peers. Not, your aunts and uncles. Not, your teachers, principals, and guidance counselors. Not, your boss. Not, your girlfriend (or boyfriend). Not, the skateboard industry. Not, the skate shop down the street. Not, your skateboard hero. You. Yourself. Your self. You make these rules regarding when, where, and how you are going to engage with, and enjoy skateboarding. Not, somebody else. This used to be skateboarding’s common-culture core. Apparently, not so anymore.
As far as the “traditional media” of skate magazines and skate websites go… some are far too busy pandering to the unimaginative public with an endless cavalcade of NBDs and stair counts, to say anything of much meaning or merit. As such, we have the unprecedented situation where all mainstream skate media… and even, most “independent” media… and obviously, the vast majority of “social media”… are all utterly useless in terms of either education, or enlightenment. Skateboarding has inherited and embraced the greater society’s version of “mass media”, a paradigm that even greater society now considers largely untrustworthy, and in any rate, absolutely worthless. We’ve happily joined the Moron March to Mass Media Mediocrity. Yay for us.
My generation may have been the generation that actively pursued… and, largely prevailed in… “the mainstreaming of skateboarding”. But today, my generation is also the one that regrets this “progression” the most. We’re realizing that we’ve lost far more than we have gained in the exchange. I was just talking to Mark Noland (of Rancheros fame) about this, just this week… and of course, he totally agreed that this is a very real problem. But Mark and I are in no way alone in this assessment. Almost any skater of my generation… I dare say, virtually every skater of my generation… would, and surely will, say the same exact thing. As a generation of activist skateboarders, we got exactly what we wanted, and we achieved exactly what we set out to accomplish: we “mainstreamed” the shit out of skateboarding. But as a generation of hopeless idealists, we’re also now realizing that we have epicly screwed this pooch up. This thing that started out as ours, and ours alone, has now become “theirs”. Which makes it, by definition, not ours anymore.
But, y’know… we’re a smart, crafty, and inventive generation of skateboarders. We’re still the naive, idealistic, punk rule breakers and troublemakers that we’ve always been. Thankfully, we do still venture out into “the mainstream” from time to time, and leave our marks on “The World At Large”. Even I spend most of my time these days managing non-skate-related businesses… but true to form, much more in the spirit and the ethos of a well-run skateboard team, than traditional venture capitalist enterprises. Businesses that are “structured” around individual creativity, initiative, and self-determination… just like skateboarding used to be. Businesses that break the rules, and change the game for the better. Other skaters of my generation have also started non-skate-related businesses, and have even taken on the challenge of public service (and largely won, because that’s what skaters do). Skaters of my generation, as well as successive generations, do still leave lasting marks on the art world, as we always have (and always will). Skaters will continue to challenge the “outside” world to be more ethical, more progressive, more idealistic, and more accepting of colorful diversity than the world would otherwise be, if we weren’t here to carry the torch, and kick the ball forward. That is the lasting legacy of my generation of skateboarders. Hopefully, we’ll get it right this time around.
It’s really too bad that we unwittingly sacrificed the ethos and ethics of skateboarding itself, in order to make a positive difference in and, contribution to… the greater world at large. But even within the world of skateboarding, my generation is still keeping the embers of forward-thinking positivity, universal acceptance, colorful diversity, and enthusiastic encouragement afloat. Especially in the form and function of all these”old-guy skate clubs” that we’ve seen popping up all over the place… a few of which I’m a tee-wearing member and enthusiastic supporter of, myself. Groups of overly-idealistic skaters that are more than happy to let you run whatever you brung, be whatever you want to be, and enthusiastically encourage the diversity of thought and action that results from absolute and unfettered freedom. It may not exist everywhere within skateboarding just yet. But at least it still exists somewhere within skateboarding.
We’ve also spawned a shadow skate industry… completely of our own design and execution, as always. That one’s pretty exciting. While the corporate-owned skate brands (formerly, skater-owned skate brands) are firing American craftsmen, mothballing American woodshops, and sending our jobs, production, mores, and values overseas in the name of short-term profitability and long-term commonality and stagnation (the hallmarks of anything “mainstream”)… a few idealists of my generation have taken matters into their own hands, and independently started their own woodshops to make the quality, authentic-performance-and-individual-creativity-inspired skateboards that Our Industry used to make, in quantity, decades ago.
Authentic aged hardwoods, bulletproof glues, and real-deal, hand pulled silkscreened graphics (printed directly onto wood, not onto the cost-cutting mass-market efficiency of “heat transfers”) still exist out there for a discriminating, niche market of idealist skaters that demand nothing but the best, skate it with individual style, and refuse to accept the compromised catcrap that “The Industry” forces down the throats of otherwise unenlightened kids (that, unfortunately, have never known, or experienced, anything better). I’m sure that uncompromised-quality trucks, wheels, and bearings with true ABEC ratings (instead of outright lies and marketing hogwash) are sure to follow. Maybe someday, skaters will even resolve to support skater-owned shoe companies again. One can still daydream, I suppose…
So while the rest of the skateboarding world wallows in the oceans of mundane mediocrity, restrictive “rules”, and a whole host of hateful “-isms” that hold them back from true freedom and fulfilled happiness… skateboarding, as we originally intended it to be, is still quite alive and well, in our parallel world out on the peripheries of “popular culture”.
You’re welcome to join us, of course. Just as you’ve always been.
But please leave your restrictive rules, popular pandering, harsh hate, and mass-mainstream cultural catcrap at home.
They’re not welcome here.
Bud Stratford is a freelance writer and long-winded jackass that types exceptionally wordy essays about stuff that nobody really cares about anymore. If you’re one of his three or four fans, feel free to look him up on Facebook sometime.
Be sure to visit BonesBearings.com and enter the contest!
If you are anywhere near San Diego on Saturday, October 15th, make sure you check out Road Rage III. The fun begins at noon and goes all the way to 5pm. It’s power lies in the local skate community. This is an all-day slide session, ramp jam, barbeque, and gravity pursuit of speed-crazed mayhem! Road Rager III is a downhill skateboarding event welcoming all skaters, all ages, all skill levels. Presented by MuirSkate.com and Bustin Boards, Road Rager III is the first in a series of three local collaborative Southern California community skate events. For more info, visit their Facebook page.
Hello Jim. You have been shooting from the beginning of the second boom of skateboarding starting in the 1970’s.
1- Why do you love to shoot skateboarding ?
I love to photograph skateboarding because I love to skateboard. As a skater myself, nothing is more fun than capturing the energy and vibe that makes skateboarding so special. And as an artist, photographing skating is a natural expression of my passion for skateboarding.
2- How did you get into it ?
I started out as a skater, but after breaking my arm in a skate accident I took up photographing it while I was recovering. Over time, I skated less and shot photos more, which eventually developed into a career.
3- Did you ever stop shooting ?
I had to cut back on my skate photography after going to work as the general manager and team coach at Gullwing, and again during my time as managing editor at TransWorld Skateboarding magazine. After leaving the skateboarding scene in 1986, I continued as a photographer but didn’t start shooting skating again until decades later.
4- What is your best skateboarding memory?
There were so many over the years. Traveling and experiencing the worldwide skate scene while shooting for SkateBoarder magazine was amazing, and creating and managing the Gullwing team was really special for me since we became such a close family. But the most memorable times were with my early skate buddies while discovering and skating all the great skate spots, and trying to stay one step ahead of the cops in pursuit of our passion.
Photo by Olivier Dezeque
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In what can only be the year’s greatest irony, China, the official country of hoverboard production has now banned the devices. Don’t believe me? Check this article out.New York City also decided they wanted no part of the hoverboard experience and officially banned them earlier this year.While the world currently contends with exploding batteries in phones, last years hoverboard explosions seem like a distant memory. But not too distant… Although hoverboard riders will now get a taste of what skaters have been dealing with for decades there are a few major differences. Firstly, can you imagine a skateboard that was advertised like this?Next up is the concept of exercise and the fact skateboarding can actually burn a significant amount of calories. You can visit this website and do the math. Sure, hoverboards do provide a workout for your calves but not much else. So yeah, It’s pretty easy to rag on hoverboards. But I have never publicly commented. Until now. They are an easy target and truthfully, I tend to focus on the positive. But something caught my eye at my local mall the other day and I felt it necessary to get it off my chest. Have a peek at this: Can you imagine a skate shop CHARGING to try out a skateboard? Maybe this is reverse psychology but I cannot for the life of me understand how you can charge a customer to DEMO a freakin’ hoverboard.If anyone in the hoverboard world can explain this to me, I am all ears. Meanwhile, I am going on YouTube and enjoying the hoverboard experience from the safety of my home: More shenanigans below: Please, hoverboard prospects. Save your money and your health and go purchase a skateboard.
We received an email yesterday from the Pirate Surf Club who are based in Puerto Rico. As many of you know, the island has been rocked by not only a financial crisis, but the Zika virus. Challenging times indeed. Although the organization will not be involved with the world-famous Guajataca Downhill, it will be hosting several events next year. These include:
* The FK Cancer Surf and Skate Festival December 17-18
* The Guajataca Beach Clean-Up in March 2017.
* The Guajataca Lifeguard Corps Training for Summer 2017.
* An Oceans-of-Hope Foundation event for the Summer of 2017, to help their handicapped citizens and disabled veterans share in the joy of surfing.
Renato Anjos is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. It’s been few years now he is enjoying the good life in San Diego.Priority Longboard followed him in the neighborhood. The size of your board doesn’t matter, just ride and enjoy !
We have been following you for a long time now and we have always loved your style and bag of tricks. It’s been 5 years since you got on the cover of CW and we have 4 questions for you:
1- Why did you start skateboarding ?
My older brother and I both did BMX and he wanted to get out of it and start skateboard so naturally little brother tagged along.
2- How do you feel before a run in a competition?
I try not to over think anyone one trick, just clear my head and let it happen.
3- How do you keep yourself focus ?
You’ve got to just love skateboarding itself, then you don’t have to worry about focus to much, things will happen when the time is right.
4- What is your best skateboarding memory?
There is no stand out moment for me or prize yet that has a defining impact, it’s just everything about skateboarding, its my escape and some of my best times have just been small sessions with friends.
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Georgia is a country located in the Caucasus high mountains and it’s on the border of Europe and Asia. The population of the country is nearly 4.5 million people. Georgia has a high potential to be the longboarding spot in Eastern Europe, because all the roads go through the amazing mountain ranges and it’s a great pleasure to go longboarding on such places with such views. Want more proof? Take a peek at this:In previous years Georgia was under restrictions from the Soviet Union. Every kind of activity and every kind of new idea were prohibited and that’s the reason why this country is less developed in social affairs and activities. But things are changing.Nowadays, Georgian people are oriented to development, to something new. They want to change conditions and want to think about evolution of ideas and community. Creating some kind of activities/sports events took part some years ago. People care about environment and charity.The organization ,”Step Up Georgia” is based on three main niches: Extreme Sports, Ecology and Charity. “Step Up” always tries to do more new events that are not created/held yet. They try to develop kind of sports without any profits. One of the goals of the organization is developing Longboarding Community in Georgia. “Step Up” has made two Longboarding Mass events, One Longboarding Festival and some longboarding riding tours in beautiful parts of Georgia.If we look back about 3 years ago, we can’t see the community. We can’t see even Longboarders in Georgia! But today they are highly developed. Georgia has Longboarding Lovers Community Group with 250 members in it and most of them are interested in that activity. They try their best to get more people interested in it.So Georgia needs more interested youth people in youth affairs, in activities, in kind of extreme sports, they need some kind of goals, interest and support and after everything written up there, more and more events, Mass gathering events and even sliding tours will be managed and held in that amazingly beautiful small country of caucasian mountainous system.For more information on Step Up Georgia, please email Giorgi here:
Beercan boards….not a lot of love for Mr. T in Europe. What an incredible show in Munich! I will have much to say about my experiences there. Meanwhile, here are some shots to give you a taste!The Surf Skate Embassy was made up of Carver, YOW, CURFBOARD and WAKGS. Carver is the originator and we were delighted to see so many people enjoying the Whitezu Ramp You can drive very fast in Germany. Here is my good buddy Jeremy hitting 200 km. Some of the wonderful people from Graveyard Longboards from Lake Constance, Germany. Awesome products and even more awesome memories. We’re working on getting these longboards here in North America. The Whitezu ramp. Yes, those are people on roller skates. This is Germany and beer is a religion here. Happy to be a disciple of this particular brand (I buy it in Canada too!) Bastl Boards are from Liepzig. Truly a great crew…we will be back to see them personally! Alex Lenz of the Ministry of Stoke runs the whole Longboard Embassy at ISPO. He works really hard alongside his wife Natasha. Huge thanks to them!Dan Gesmer of Seismic has been coming to ISPO for many years. Folks were stoked on his new shapes and Lokton Grip.
Editor’s Note: We are delighted to bring back Bud Stratford to our editorial lineup. Bud has a very unique take on skateboarding and he we know you’ll enjoy his stories.
Whenever Adam Richards plans a big day out, it’s always a day worth remembering.
Adam’s an incredibly motivated guy. He started out as the chief organizer of The Gray Beard Crew, the Phoenix area’s “old-guy skate club”. About a year (or so) into the Grey Beard program, there was some internal drama and dissent with the various Grey Beard founders. Of course, I had no idea at all that there were other Grey Beard founders; I’d always just assumed that Adam was the sole founder of the Grey Beards (probably because of his highly visible and infectiously energizing profile in the local skate scene)… but apparently I was mistaken on that one. In any rate, Adam left The Gray Beard Drama to start a parallel crew called “Prevent This Tragedy”.
It was around that time that he confided in me that he was organizing a “Skatercon” event for the following spring; the resulting Phoenix Skatercon was nothing short of a smashingly successful funfest for everyone involved. Making the short leap to local punk rock show organizer was probably the next logical step in Adam’s ambitions.
When most people think of a punk-rock show, they probably think of exactly that: a punk-rock show. Where you go and watch bands play music. Adam doesn’t think like most people; when he plans a punk-rock show, it’s an all-day adventure. My day started promptly at 7:00 am with a loud alarm, a shave (my head, not my face), a shower, and a big breakfast, so that I could be at Union Hills Skatepark in Glendale at 8:30 am sharp. That’s where the pre-show skate session was going to be, and I wasn’t going to miss the pre-show skate session for the whole damn world. Why more skaters don’t think to put together a pre-show skate session before the show is way beyond me, because it only makes perfect sense!
Union Hills is one of Phoenix’s many wonderfully free, concrete utopia skateparks. There has to be about ten of these skateparks spread around the valley; living here does kind of spoil me, I have to admit. There’s a “street” course that resembles a broken-up mini-bowl with obstacles; a very expansive mid-height bowl (about 6′ deep) with hips and corners everywhere; and a deeper, “Offset 8” shaped bowl that’s probably a solid 9′ feet deep, with about a foot (or so) of vert. This bowl is where the heavy action was going down under Ryan Swick’s fearless leadership, with an assortment of bullish grinds (stand-up frontsides and Smiths), lipslides, and sweepers. Lanny Kearns was stunning the bystanders with burly backside and frontside inverts.
Chuck Treece (of McRad) came along to ride, and laid down lines all over the midsize bowl. The energy level was pretty high, and positively charged; it seemed like everybody was trying new stuff, and having a blast going for it. It was a photographer’s dream day, really.
Phoenix routinely clocks in high temps of well over 100 degrees, even in early September. Because of that, we had a bit of a siesta scheduled between noon and 7pm, when the doors were scheduled to open at the Yucca.
Helene (my date for the evening) and I got to the Yucca promptly at 7:00. Strangely, everybody else in charge got there promptly at 7:00, too. How refreshingly odd for skaters to actually show up, on time, and as scheduled.
Because we were so prompt, Helene and I scored the best seat in the house; an extremely plush and comfortable corner booth, where we could max and relax in style. The Yucca is a fairly old-school, historic venue (having been established in 1974, which was the beginning of time by Phoenix standards).
The Earlygrabs (the local favorites) and Since We Were Kids (a solid skate band hailing from Southern California) both put together slashing, punk-infused sets of overwhelming amplitude. Since We Were Kids were also peddling some mighty fine Grosso-shaped pool cues that you might wanna check out (they probably have an online merch store somewhere, like most bands do these days).
DFL was probably the most aggro of the bunch; their lead singer decided to screw the stage altogether, and sing straight from the pit…! How incredibly ballsy! Helene and I got a great gut laugh out of that one; you definitely don’t see that kind of gumption every day. The crowd, of course, ate it all up. It was quite a party in the pit, and everyone seemed to have a blast.
McRad was the headliner of the show. If you haven’t heard of McRad… well, you should have heard of McRad. They were Skate Rock staples on all those Thrasher comps we remember as kids; Chuck Treece also contributed a lot of tracks to the early Bones Brigade videos, most famously to Ray Barbee’s part in Ban This (ahh, it’s all coming back to you now!). Chuck’s still an extremely talented and energetic performer; watching him shred on stage, you’d be hard-pressed to imagine Chuck as a guy pushing his 50’s. He still looks (and plays) like somebody half his age. And all the guys in all the bands were just the nicest, coolest, most down-to-earth bunch of folks you could ever dream to meet. Hats off to them all.
What a summer! Over here on the “beast coast” and the tri-skate area, the longboard scene is picking up steam and gaining speed. Although a couple of events were cancelled, the longboard community is growing and the talent is showing. As we roll on forward more and more events are on the rise.
Anyone who takes the time and dedicates themselves to hosting an event should be revered in our community. The logistics to host a city approved event are mind numbing and, most certainly, frustrating for the host. The same goes for the smaller outlaw events which are the bread and butter for most emerging longboarders and a place where the competitive spirit is mildly on hold, friendships are forged and talent improved.
One of the areas legendary hosts, Adam Dabonka, is familiar with both roads. The founder and force behind Major Stokem and a wide range of outlaw events, Adam started the summer off on Skate Day in mid- june with “the 5 Bomber”. What a great night ! Oh yes, I forgot to mention, it started at mid-night with a “ Dirty Start”. A push race through NYC streets from Central Park to Washington Square Park. Even better was his “Roots Session” in Oakland N.J., another epic event with a lot more speed. Around mid-July, Aaryn Scott Davis and Michael Avery Simmons hosted a largely attended event called The Dunston Avenue Slidejam in Queens N.Y. This event was lit from start to finish. When up to 70 longboarders attack a Queens hill all day long and no cops respond to that event, its not only a success, its miraculous. Aside from being of great talent themselves, Aaryn and Mike brought together many of the areas best. About a week later in Paramus, N.J. Carlo Domenico Castoro hosted the first “Diablo Sesh”, another big day of speed and sliding. As many of us know, August starts with Central Mass. Sadly, I was unable to attend because of a responsibility to an unrelated convention in San Diego. This certainly balanced out missing Central Mass. Naturally, I packed my gear and pre-arranged a visit to ‘Blacks’ where i was met with locals, Anthony Pilpa and Richie lee Hernandez. As if the scenic beauty wasn’t enough, I had all I could do from picking my jaw from the floor watching Pilpas’ and Hernandez’ super lit and steazed out style. These guys scream SoCal and Pro. I really owe them and the other locals a debt of gratitude for their spirit and hospitality. Back to New York, where August had no shortage of events in the tri-skate area. You could take your pick from the ‘Nitro-slide jam, the ’Newton- slide jam or the ‘Battle of the Boroughs’. If you were looking for an event, you would find one. As the sun begins its slow creep south across the horizon each day at dusk we are reminded that we draw closer and closer to the end of another summer. The weather will get more frigid, the leaves will fall and snow will eventually cover the roads but in the tri-skate area, because of the few who make an event available, we will skate regardless. So give thanks to all those cats that take the time to make it happen. There is, most certainly, no financial gain in hosting an event but if you measure wealth in smiles and good vibes then you are rich beyond imagination. Thanks to all the Bro’s that make it happen.
Skateboarding at night can be tricky. A new company, Ekick Technologies based in NYC is introducing a unique lighting system that is already getting some pretty loyal fans. Pro downhill rider Patrick Switzer worked with the company to develop the lighting system.
Torpedo Lights Mark IV are bright – intensely bright in fact. We’ve had an opportunity to test them out and find them extremely effective.
Their kickstarter campaign is over on September 22, so there is still time to get your lights at a major discount. The Ekick crew actually put together a fun little video of riding at the Velosolutions Brooklyn Pumptrack. You can view it here:
We got an email about this incredible merging of skate and snow and frankly, we couldn’t resist.
Mountain Dew has come out with the ultimate cutting-edge super park – SuperSnake – the most insane hybrid skateboard (and snowboard) dream course with over 1,000 ft of skatelite and 14 skate features on-snow
Watch the official Mountain Dew SuperSnake trailer below:
Several months ago, Concrete Wave editor, Michael Brooke and I visited the first permanent Velosolutions pump track in the United States. At the time, it was solely managed by Ride Brooklyn Bike Shop as the Brooklyn Bike Park. Since then, Joner Strauss’ Skateboarding Supercross (SBSX) has stepped in to implement a stage of rebranding as this organization has taken over the management of the park.
To provide a bit of context, the idea of Skateboard Supercross came around six years ago as a byproduct of the International Distance Skateboarding Association. After partnering with Velosolutions, they are primed to take over the premier Brooklyn, USA location in an effort to sustain and deliver the experience of riding the pump track.
Enter new manager and professional competitive distance rider, Colby Cummings. The Portland, OR native is a self proclaimed “longboarder through and through,” here to get to know the community and build SBSX’s academy-style league with its members.
In a virtual sense, Skateboard Supercross acts as a networking platform with the potential to become a worldwide phenomenon. While still in its developmental stages, its mobile application connects Velosolutions’ other two permanent US tracks (in Leavenworth, WA and Oklahoma City, OK) and letsriders compare the fastest times logged at each track. This close relationship will confirm who the top riders of each track are and will clarify the metrics and objectivity of what makes a rider victorious.
Velosolutions Pumptrack Brooklyn operated by SBSX – the official video:
In a physical sense, the Cummings and Strauss are looking forward to programming a never before designed league with an A-Z path of progression for skateboarding. The league will be established from the bottom up and will provide the events needed to make use of the track’s prime location. This space is, as Strauss called it, “a community anchor that has yet to be showcased.” In the same way that Skateboard Supercross was influential in helping Velosolutions construct its pump tracks in a way more conducive to skateboarding, they seek to invest in the youth by creating a community that is conducive to learning how to ride and experience the magic of balance.
Strauss hopes that SBSX will give skateboarding and more specifically, longboarding, the educational foundation it’s never had. Looking comparatively at other mainstream sports, most have a sustainable future because of the educational programs in place that breed its future participants. Similarly, SBSX plans to broaden their influence with the help of Velosolutions to construct more pump tracks across the nation. Through the interconnectedness of their app, Cummings and Strauss believe they can help overcome the cyclical pitfalls that skateboarding has fallen victim to.
Above all, Cummings and Strauss advise that anyone wishing to experience the feeling of pure stoke, regardless of age or skill level, come to the track to try their hand at it.
If you are looking to get involved in the movement, you can access the SBSX database they have created to help local skaters become local ambassadors. Visit their website here.
If you would like a free info pack on how to get a pumptrack built in your city, email firstname.lastname@example.org Have a peek at the new park below.
Skateboarding is absolutely everywhere in Brazil. I went there two months ago and I spent a couple of weeks in Rio de Janeiro, just before the Olympic fever. In the center of the city I came across a very nice longboard community called Guanabara Boards. The two owners, Alex Batista and Teresa Madeline Geer Batista, have an ‘escola de skate’ (longboarding freestyle, dancing school). The school is for everyone who wants to learn or develop their board skills. All the equipment is provided, including a variety of boards and safety gear. The two have more than 30 years of skateboarding experience to share with their students. They are expert teachers, who can certainly be considered as pro-longboarders, teach in both Portuguese and English. Guanabara Boards is made up of ten amazing Brazilians and one sweet British girl (Teresa), who ride almost every day. For them, longboarding means passion, fun, freedom, happiness – it’s a way to live. They are passionate about sharing longboarding through their classes. They want to stop people being scared about riding and to learn in the safest way possible, whether you are a child, a woman, a man, a parent, old or young – you can start learning this sport at anytime in yourlife. They show their students that it is totally normal sometimes to fall down after trying new tricks and they teach how to fall down in the safest way and that the most important thing is getting up and trying again, to keep pushing yourself. I first discovered Alex and Teresa on a YouTube video called “Dancing, Freestyle, Freeride, Downhill’, when I was at home last summer, in Mont-Tremblant, Québec, Canada. I soon got addicted to their videos where I also discovered Ana Maria Suzano, one of the Guanabara Boards team and student of Alex, freestyling barefoot by the beach. When I saw her dancing on her board, all I could think to myself was – I really want to do that! I was hungry to find that freedom and share that happiness. Ana Maria Suzano was like spark of genius in every move that she perfectly executed. She was inviting me to try dancing too. The Brazileira has gained millions of views on her Youtube videos since 2013. She’s globally appreciated for her talent, style and control of the board. Since I was 12 years old I’ve always had a board under my feet, but here, in North America we don’t see a lot of longboard dancing tricks, because we have so many places to downhill and practice freestyle. So for me, it was a new challenge to try dancing and I decided to contact the Guanabara Boards team to help me with my new mission. I booked my flight ticket to Rio, a city that everybody told me was a paradise for riders. I can tell you personally, that this totally true. When I arrived I was stoked to ride by Ipanema beach, the incredible view of the ocean and the rocky mountains, Dois Irmãos (the two brothers), marking the landscape. The city’s cycle paths are perfect to ride on, and there are also skateparks in almost every corner you roll. On Sunday, the main roads right next to the beaches of Ipanema, Copacabana and Flamengo are closed so you can enjoy car-free concrete with your bike, rollerskates, board or even just jogging or walking. In all of my travels, I’ve never seen so many people riding a board – kids, families,workers, surfers and even tourists – everyone is riding. Another amazing place to hang out on weekdays is Lagoa. It has kilometers of perfect bicycle patharound a lagoon with that exceptional view of the surrounding mountains andCristo do Redenter. The father of Guanabara Boards, Alex Batista, born in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, rode a street skateboard since a young age. Unfortunately, a few years ago he had a very bad back injury which prevented him from riding. At that time, his skateboard was a huge part of his life and was riding at a professional level so it was a huge blow to have to stop. He put his head down and built a chain of IT businesses, and although he was becoming very successful, something wasn’t right in his heart. He decided to sell the business to search for something with more meaning. Afterseeing some longboard videos, he realized that he could apply his street and classic freestyle skateboard skills to a longboard, which would be more stable for his back. He started doing his tricks with a longboard and began to develop the longboard dancing freestyle scene in Rio. He soon started giving lessons to share his passion with everyone who wanted to learn too and the Guanabara Boards Escola de Skate was born. One day, Alex was teaching in one of the most beautiful places to ride in Rio, Aterro do Flamengo, and he saw a pretty woman, Teresa, about to ride down a hill with her Penny board. She, of course, fell and bumped her cute face on the concrete on the way down. Alex saw her falling, came to her and got her to the hospital. She told me of the romantic moment, her savior came to her, and I can believe it, because last year they went to Teresa’s brother in Australia and got married while longboarding by the amazing beaches of Queensland. It’s the kind of love story, we usually only see in the movies, but this awesome story isreal. Teresa is a professional photographer and video-maker. She is the producer of many Guanabara Boards videos. She is also the creator of Boardettes in her homeland London. She has also now brought Boardettes to Brazil. Boardette’s mission is to initiate women and girls to learn boardsports or to deepen their skills andchallenge themselves. It’s a digital and real-life community of powerful female riders. They now run Guanabara Boards together with it’s escola de skate. Alex and Teresa are excellent teachers, together unifying the perfect match of technique and fun. I learned very quickly with them and I am still practicing a lot here in my town. Guanabara’s vision is about challenging yourself, being free and finding your balance. They run workshops all over Brazil, including in Sao Paulo, Fortaleza and Brasilia. Beyond skate classes, the team are currentlyworking on making their very own Guanabara’s longboards in Brazil.When the crew aren’t teaching skateboarding to their students they can be found at the square outside of MAM (Museu do Arte Moderna). Here, I learned dancing with the local skateboard community who meet up regularly to encourage riders to keep pushing, and remind everyone that, first and foremost, is the fun. The four year company has grown up very fast. If you are a rider or if you plan to travel in Brazil, just take your backpack and go to explore the breathtaking country. Head to Rio de Janeiro, the cidade maravilhosa, and meet the awesome Guanabara team and learn to live the Guanabara Boards lifestyle. PHOTOS: Teresa Madeline Geer Batista
Your work is almost, actually not almost, but everywhere. You started painting those characters on the covers of magazines, ads along with collaborations with bunch of brands. You are French and you got a huge amount of exposure in skateboarding in only few years. We don’t know how you did that, but we have 4 questions for you:
1- Why combine skateboarding and painting?
Skateboarding is the best thing ever ! I can’t see my life without it. To be honest with you, skateboarding gave me this need to paint. I remember when I was a kid, I wasn’t interested by the brand but more about the graphic.
2- How do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from everywhere, from where I eat to how I make love. If you open your eyes and you take the time to see what is around you, you will feel me.
3- What is your goal ?
My goal is to bring something special to the world. I don’t want to come out with something that you see everyday. It’s weird to say but come on, what’s the point to be transparent with no goals in life? I’m currently traveling the world, I need it so much, I can’t stay to one place more than 2 months.
4- What do you dream about?
I would love to paint a plane or a building, I have big dreams and want to achieve them.
Follow Lucas Beaufort on:
Facebook : Beaufort.lucas
Instagram : @lucas_beaufort
website : www.lucasbeaufort.com
Portrait by Francois Marclay