Magic & Skateboarding

Magic & Skateboarding

Editor’s Note: We are one day from Halloween. What a great opportunity to match two of my favorite things:

Enjoy this rather unique article and have a Happy Halloween!

When I was a child, I saw magicians vanish candles on TV with a handkerchief. I would grab my mother’s candle and try sliding it down my sleeve, drop it on the ground, or any method I could think of to duplicate the effect. I had this innocent belief that I could do anything. After many poor attempts to create something that actually looked magical, I purchased the effect, only to find that they used a trick candle. I felt cheated. But more importantly, I felt I was losing the belief that I could create my own magic! 

Around the same time, I would go out skateboarding and people would talk about a mythical trick called the ollie impossible. As a magician, it fascinated me,  this was before the internet, so there was no way to look it up and validate that it was humanly possible. No one I knew could actually do it, but they could describe it with enough detail so I could start trying to accomplish the impossible. I failed so many times, my ankles bruised to hell, until one day I landed it. It was the best feeling in my life. That was the day I discovered what magic really was –through a skateboard! 

 

Magicians disempower their potential through trickery, while skaters have limitless potential and will their desire into being, which is real magic. 

 

The art of magic is about using metaphor and moments of awe to plant seeds in your audience’s mind, to expand consciousness. But magic could grow if magicians expand their consciousness too – it is a transformative art, and it starts with the self. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m an artist and my medium is magic. 

 You can purchase Joe’s book here.

 

The passions I have combined to create art are animation, skateboarding and magic. The tools are the brush and pen, which conjure images on the page or screen; the skateboard, which places you in the moment, in the flow; and magic, which is my way of life. 

 

I studied animation at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I was the kind of kid who would stay up all night setting up dominoes for those few quick seconds of magical motion. I sort of see myself as an animator; finding hidden life inspires me. Animation is a huge theme in my work. I don’t just think of it as hand drawn cartoons. Animation is also puppetry; it is storytelling that moves and inspires you. I want my audience to “feel animated” when my magic show is over. Skateboards are interesting because although you manipulate them, they also animate you! 

 

Drawing has an energy and magic to it too. When you draw, the way your pencil moves across a page feels very similar to skateboarding. It skates across the page, leaving marks, while you lose yourself in it and act on feeling. When you do a wall ride on a skateboard, it leaves marks that are pure raw energy. As an animator, you draw fast and rough to produce motion. I have always seen a skateboard as being similar to a paint brush because it’s a simple tool of artistic expression. 

 

I have always thought artists were the closest thing to real magicians. Francis Bacon was like a ghostbuster; he would put his canvas out like a trap, trying to capture a moment of truth. Bacon was trying to paint a wave, so hethrew a bucket of water at the canvas to get as close as he could to a real one. He incorporated dust from his studio floor into the wool sweaters he painted. Ralph Bakshi, the wizard of animation, is the most real person I know on the planet. In his film Wizards, the character Avatar says the spell, “Krenkel Morrow Frazetta.” It might 

come across as some kind of mumbo jumbo, but each word is the last name of one of his favorite artists. Most magicians are not conscious of the meaning of their spells. Abracadabra actually means, “It is created as it is spoken.” Bakshi is a real wizard, and I have always admired people who are real magicians. Skaters have a similar authenticity to what they do. Magicians like Jeff McBride have it. Skaters like Rodney Mullen have it. 

 

Skateboarding has always seemed like a performance that we undersold. In old skate videos, bystanders would stop on the street and watch skaters. As a skater, you could put down your hat and busk and make money street skating. Skateboarders could elevate the art by adding new flourishes to their tricks to keep them mysterious. When Rodney Mullen invented the [ollie] kickflip, it was called a “magic flip” because people didn’t understand how it was done. Now that we know, it has become a stunt. How cool would it be to have skateboard tricks that were kept a secret, tricks that were mysterious? This is why I wrote The Magic of Skateboarding. If we can make regular sized skateboards look like they float without using any gimmicks, or vanish fingerboards, we might be able to fill a void and connect skateboarding with fingerboarding in a magical way! Skateboarders can now take the stage, not just in the skate demo sense with headphones on while staring at the ground, but as conscious performers. 

 

The fingerboard has so much potential to grow right now. I see it gaining respect. Just imagine DJs having them with LED lights, becoming a new prop in juggling culture, magicians using them with sleight of hand, and skaters combining the micro and macrocosm skateboarding with your hand down, trailing a smaller fingerboard behind you. I’m working on painting with fingerboards like palette knives, using skateboards that have actual marks from board slides as a canvas. The marks left by the fingerboards mimic those left by real skate moves, true to the art. The fingerboard has so much room to grow. Rodney Mullen talks about filling in voids, and I think combing small and large skateboards could make everything new again. In my promo video, I transform a fingerboard into a large skateboard and jump on to ride it away. If these tricks are not revealed to the masses, but instead are passed down between skaters, we could add mystery and magic to skateboarding – fingerboards could progress. 

 

Now I skateboard on stage to start my magic show and screen animated shorts I made between my magic tricks. I only perform in galleries, museums or private parties where you can host me as a guest artist to perform in your own home. I’m open to skate venues and giving artist talks. I don’t use gimmicks in my magic; I might just grab a silk handkerchief and see how many tricks I can flow out of it just like I’m skating. I tell stories as I do tricks with fingerboards, and I recently discovered how to make an object float in the air with no gimmicks. It’s a very pure levitation – no strings, no lies, just a search for real magic. Skateboarding taught me this. 

Thrive Vintage

Thrive Vintage

 

I started our company Thrive Vintage, with two friends of mine (John King, Tanner McGreevy) last summer, in the name of continuing what I felt like was a dying breed of skateboard. The actual long, surf inspired longboard skateboard I recalled seeing as a kid in old magazines and then later in movies seemed to no longer be in production and had not been for decades. The majority of larger boards I found seemed to be downhill or dancer boards mainly with a focus on one or the other, with “new school” hardware. We wanted to take it back, simple, stylish, and a smooth ride.

 

My passion with the classic “surf” style started long ago when watching movies like The Endless Summer and Big Wednesday with my dad and uncles and takingfamily surf trips to Southern California every year to see family.  All this really manifested in a major way at a thrift store with my mom when I was 15 in Oklahoma City.

It was 1999, and I found a classic surf style longboard about 52’’ tall from the 1970’s that I grew to love. I couldn’t believe I found it for $2.50 at a thrift store!  It almost looked petrified and others passed it by like an unusable antique water ski or something, but I would never do such a thing. This thing was beautiful!!!! It was longer than any board I’d seen, at this time in the nineties there were only a few companies mass-producing longboards most of which were between 32’’- 44’’ in length. I loved the size, it was only a few inches shorter than my snowboard, and my brothers and I always loved to snowboard but in Oklahoma we couldn’t so this longboard bridged that gap quite nicely for me year round.

 

After riding this board and only this board for some years I became very partial to the smooth ride and size. I was fortunate enough to get to travel and play with a band for years and we toured all over. I took this board with me everywhere that I was allowed to travel with it, and eventually rode it in all of the lower 48 U.S. states. I was constantly asked about the board, where someone could get one and where I got mine and so forth.

Finally, years later after being asked however too many times a light bulb went off so to speak and after extensive research I found that the company who made my antique board had gone under long ago in the mid-seventies.  As far as I could tell there weren’t many options as far as long, surf-style cruiser boards. I had always seen different types of boards, some similar in size and shape to mine, but nothing quite like it.

 

After conferring with my close two friends years later (2015), we decided to moveforward with starting our company. Our focus was to improve and revive the surf style shape and smooth feel of the longboards of old, hence our company name Thrive Vintage. We took what we liked with the older surf style boards we’d seen and improved on them when we designed our staple board, which is 58” long, and almost 10’’ wide. This board has a surfy ride similar to a snowboard in the sense that you mainly have your heel and toe sides to work with. In this way, our boards differ in how they control and feel from the “new school” style board/truck setups.

 

I  had a friend who saw one of my boards and commented on it being too pretty, or a novelty item. He was a pro rider in the circuit in SoCal and didn’t think the board was capable of performing due to its size, I was glad to cruise with him and show him otherwise. I enjoy riding my 58” everywhere I go, it still is the only board I ride, ever, downhill, cruising or whatever the case, I prefer it. I know I am partial because I’ve ridden this type board since 1999, and I am the owner of our company that makes these boards, but I say all that to say that as an avid longboarder and thrill seeking/surfer/snowboarder, I love and prefer riding the board I make to any other on earth. And that feels nice. That felt pompus typing, but I didn’t mean it that way, just happy that I am happy with the board we make and its performance.  

 

Thrive Vintage now offers our two long-board shapes (the 58” is standard, and the petite is the 52” version of that), a munchkin, (which is that same surf-style shape but a shorter/skinnier 26” version) and a vintage bowl cruiser with a kick tail that is a throwback to the 80’s Caballero decks. Our boards showcase the natural wood grain finish and we wood burn/brand our Thrive Vintage logo and OKC city stamp on each board. We will also be doing select runs of boards with custom artwork wood burned into the bottom of each deck. 

 

For now we mainly sell our boards through our website: ThriveVintageLLC.com

 

Shop Profile: AZ-HI-AZ-I-AM

Shop Profile: AZ-HI-AZ-I-AM

I met up with Mike Jones, owner of AZHIAZIAM Skate and Surf Shop when I visited the notorious Jonny Miller up in Morro Bay. As you will soon discover, Mike has parlayed a terrific name into a retailing success story.

You have a pretty cool background – a surfer who went into the Navy. You wind up in Japan as a biological warfare specialist. How do the two relate? 

Coming from a long line of veterans in our family, I decided I would like to serve also, so I figured the Navy would be the best choice, being a surfer and wanting to travel the World and catch waves. It was a four year surf trip, where I worked very hard for months at a time, then I would find myself in some far off land surfing obscure waves in the middle of now where. I was very lucky that I was able to bring my surf and skateboards everywhere we went.

Filled to the brim with AZHIAZIAM gear

 

How did your shop come about?

I never planned on having a shop, I started making AZHIAZIAM stickers, then people started asking for shirts and hats, so I made shirts and hats. After about a year of selling the stuff out of my van and bedroom (people would actually come to my house and shop in my bedroom, I had a couple racks of clothes that I screen printed all of the clothes in my bedroom also.)  Over time it started getting weird, people I didn’t know showing up asking to buy stuff, sometimes late at night and randomly during the day. I realized I needed an actual spot to sell the stuff so I could have my privacy back.

Anyone remember Eppic Boards?

We know that Moro Bay has an incredible skateboard museum and is the near the home of Jonny Miller. What else is cooking in your town?

The hills and the waves! We have a ton of good surf here and a couple of really fun hills the local guys like to bomb. Other than than, great skate parks all around, Los Osos, Cayucos and San Luis Obispo all have insane places to skate.

View out the front of the shop window.

 

Online shopping is continuously growing and its impacting many shops. What do you feel independent board shops need to get customers excited? 

Keep it fresh and original, if you are buying the same brands that everyone carries online, your piece of the pie is small. If you have a cool local brand in your area, try to snag it and pump it up!

Mike wonders if anyone get as high as he is...

Lost Girls Tribe – An Interview With Co-Founder Natalie Oaks

Lost Girls Tribe – An Interview With Co-Founder Natalie Oaks

I really enjoyed reading your manifesto and the founding of the Lost Girls Tribe. For those who haven’t read it, can you give us an synopsis?

Our story starts off in a freezing cold A-Frame in Government Camp, OR with me and the two other OG ladies who thought up Lost Girls. We decided that we didn’t fit the traditional description of women in Govy (or in general), and that we’d have some fun by calling ourselves “Lost Girls.” The name stuck, and we ended up forming a tribe, a movement of people who are pushing for a new kind of action sports community and a new way to see women under the larger umbrella of modern culture.

Here’s a quote from the Manifesto that sums it up pretty well: “We are quirky, dirty, weird, funny, wild, adventurous, athletic, and we ain’t no basic bitches. We are the warrior class; we take our scrapes, breaks, and bruises as a badge of honor. In a world where some pay thousands of dollars for cosmetic surgery, we are proud of the scars.”

 

When it comes to women and action sports, it seems to me a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, action sports are about individuality and freedom. On the other hand, females are woefully under reported in media and there is still very much an “old boys network.” What are your thoughts?

It’s a really interesting contradiction that stems from upbringing and culture. Boys are told, “go for it!” and when they fall, “you’re ok. Get up and do it again.” Girls are told “be careful,” “don’t get hurt,” and we are often influenced to be perfectionists.

 

A bunch of people seem to be seeing what’s going on, and that’s so important to change anything. At first, I thought I was mistaken or crazy, but then others were raising the same questions. Why don’t you see women featured on many ski and snowboard websites? Why are a lot of women’s clothes, skis, and snowboards so unappealing to us? Why is there a huge discrepancy between numbers of men and women in the park? Why doesn’t anyone make ski boots that fit small feet?

 

Fairly recently, gender equality has become a topic of many conversations in our country and the world. People don’t believe something is possible until someone does it. We’ve been told that women are never going to get there. That our bodies aren’t strong enough, there’s no market, that it’s too dangerous, that there’s no way the same number of people will want to watch a woman’s edit as a man. That “she’s good, for a girl.”

I can say that I’m not so sure about that based on the response I’ve gotten. Apparently there’s even a big, burly skater dude who rocks one of our trucker hats on the regular. I look forward to the moment when the “old boys” become our fans.

 

Tell us about your latest endeavour with the ladies longboard team.

I see an opportunity to support athletes, and create content in the downhill longboarding/skating world. I hope that watching the ladies on our team will encourage others to get into it!

 

We recently got a handful of us together for a day and shot footy for our first edit at a few locations in Colorado. It included the girls rocketing down Ute Pass and our filmer skating right behind them with his dslr. I was shooting with the drone. It was a group effort, and so cool to have the guys out there helping us!

I personally am a beginner to longboarding, and I felt like I progressed so much in just one day. I’ve found this to be true when you get a group of stoked people together with different ability levels. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the edit turns out and filming more with these badass ladies!

 

In a world where so many females are photoshopped mercilessly, one of the things that struck me about Lost Girls is that you’re not afraid to get dirty, get bruises and the fact that you’re proud of the scars. How does this message into your media collective?

Body shaming and body image issues are so important to address. I think fake images give the impression that we’re not real people, or that our outer appearance is so important that what we look like isn’t good enough. I don’t want to live in a society where the ultimate accomplishment for a woman is to have clear skin or a gap between her thighs. I do want to live in a world where women aren’t afraid to create, explore, make things, and play.

 

I wanted to portray this attitude in our recent photo shoot for our 16/17 lookbook. So, I asked our team to become “models.” Instead of makeup, we put charcoal war paint on our faces. For part of the shoot, we skated around an alley in Denver.

 

I think there needs to be an example of media out there that’s not influenced by societal pressures to show skin to get noticed. We value respect over likes on instagram. I want to show women of all ages and walks of life that strength is beautiful.

What specific things can the network of event promoters, shops and media do to cultivate more women in action sports?

The network that comprises our industry could do so much more. Everyone could begin by caring, asking more questions, and making less assumptions. Event promoters could bring on more women employees or contract ladies to help them see what will and won’t hit the target for their audience.

 

Shops can begin by seeking out more and higher quality options for women that don’t have the pink tag price. I custom designed our Lost Girls hoodies partly because I couldn’t find what I wanted on an existing clothing rack. The idea is to feel warm, comfy, and bad ass in what you’re wearing.

 

Media holds the key to creating the consumer base for event promoters and shops. With more quality movies, edits, articles, publicity, and the right outlets, more of the world will see what we do. The more the world sees it, the more people will get stoked and want to join! Maybe the “old boys” haven’t realized that they’re relying almost solely on half of the population!

Candy Dungan has just joined the crew.

If suddenly $2 million fell into your lap, what would you do to promote The Lost Girls?

Oh man! I would go all out! Film equipment is extremely expensive, as well as travel, so that’s a no brainer. Sure, a RED camera and a helicopter would be awesome. An urban movie. Summer in Australia and winter in Japan.

We could set up a scholarship fund to get women filmers, photographers, and graphic designers the equipment they need. We could have contests and awards for athletes.

 

A TV documentary series about women going on adventures around the world, doing and teaching action sports, and helping the communities they visit. A good friend of mine and I have an idea in the works to do a long distance skate trip all the way across Cambodia. Being able to just go do it without trying to raise funds would be great.

 

Or what about a whole line of custom clothing with featured art from talented ladies? The possibilities are endless, and the current struggle is real. But even if I have to work full time as a busser to make Lost Girls successful, that’s what I’ll do. Ultimately, it’s not about the money because it gives life greater purpose.

 

Any final thoughts you’d like to add? Plans for the future?

I’m blown away by the amount of support we’ve had, and the amazing people who often work for nothing to make Lost Girls possible. With the new longboard team, and plenty of plans for skiing and snowboarding this winter season, I think this is going to be our best year yet.

 

I’m currently teaming up with artists to work on the 16/17 line. We’re going to have several runs of limited edition hoodies, and I’m also working on hats, pins, patches, long sleeve shirts, and more! Our kickoff party for the season is happening in November, and we’ll have more info on our website and social media soon.

Farther into the future, I see us creating a network of women all over the world who are getting together at their home mountains, beaches, or skate parks and progressing the sport. I also see us becoming a media outlet that utilizes retail sales to generate high quality content.

 

The most important thing, though, is to shred together and have fun, always.

Skogging (skating meets jogging)

Skogging (skating meets jogging)

Why Skogging?With all the styles of skating out there, why skogging? ” Isn’t it just pushing a board?” “What’s the big deal with using both legs?” “It can’t be that hard, right?”These all seem like great questions to ask. To be completely honest at first I wasn’t sure what the hype was all about when I first heard of skogging. Mr. Chris Yandall set his board down in front of me years ago and said, “Give it a try.” I pushed a few pushes and he said, “Now push with other leg”. I ate it. The feeling of “pedidexterious” as Chris coined it was so foreign to me. I skated regular footed for over 30 years. When I moved to SoCal I want to skate for the workout/exercise aspect of it. I have major medical issues that require me to workout my core. Chris showed me the footwork. Push regular foot then back foot (mongo) then repeat. Switch kick to other lead leg using one of many ways. (I use either foot slide back or cross step. All can be seen on the Skogging101 YouTube videos/channel.)So now the rider is pushing goofy foot then back foot (mongo) repeat then switch kick again. Skogging is all about the constant flow. It’s all about the movement. So why skogging? It’s actually an easy question to answer. Why not? If you are into long distance pushing it is the style that makes sense. Constant motion, constant flow all the while getting a killer core and full body workout. Miles upon miles tore up and your body is NOT tore up. Skogging takes time to get. It is a total retrain of muscle memory. It is better if you’re new to skateboarding, at least then you won’t be conditioned to push one leg. I offer the same advice that was offered to me by my mentor Mr. Chris Yandall. Practice on carpet then on a tennis court. Learn the footwork then rage! So give skogging a shot. If you need help in any shape or form, email me skogging.ca@gmail.com. Or find me on social media or just look out your car window, chances are I will pass you. Your Friendly Neighborhood SkoggerSteven MeketaContact: skogging.ca@gmail.com

Animal Chin Hits 30

Animal Chin Hits 30

 Hard to believe this ground breaking video is celebrating 30 years. You can download a free copy of the video right here. This past September, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Tommy Guerrero, Mike McGill, Rodney Mullen, Johnny Rad, Stacy Peralta, George Powell and a few friends gathered together to celebrate CHIN. This week the RIDE Channel will be posting four separate web edits celebrating that gathering and #30YearsOfChin. Fans can follow along at our Bones Brigade Facebook and Instagram pages. To view the film on YouTube, take a peek below:Fun bonus fact: The photo you see below is from the film. It’s an anchorwoman doing a newscast about the search of Animal Chin. The actress is Tony Hawk’s sister.  

Vans Am Combi Classic

Vans Am Combi Classic

Dan Bourqui continues to create videos that capture the energy of skate events.This particular video showcases the incredible talents of the current generation of amateur rippers.Take a peek below.   

16 & OVER RESULTS

Place Name Age Hometown Sponsors

1 – $2000 Iago Magalhaes 22 Curitiba, Brazil Sumatra Surf, 187 KillerPads, Vertual Skateboards, JohnBull

2 – $1400 Matt Wilcox 16 Simi Valley, CA moonshine skateboards Predator helmets vert jungle fatal clothing

3 – $800 Travis Rivera 16 Encinitas, CA Surfride, Sunbum, 187 Killer Pads, Alta wheels, Khiro, and Protec

4 – $600 Hericles Fagundes 19 Florianopolis, Brazil Santa Cruz Skateboards, Duelo Skate Shop, João Tinta, Enjoy Meias.

5 – $400 Bryson Farrill 16 San Diego, CA Sector 9, Gullwing, Active, Tortoise Pads, & Skeleton Key

 

 

15 & UNDER RESULTS

Place Name Age Hometown Sponsors

1 – $2000 Keegan Palmer 13 Currumbin, Australia Nike SB, Oakley, Flip Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Bones Wheels, 187 Pads, S1 Helmets

2 – $1400 Asher Bradshaw 12 Los Angeles, CA Element, Independent, Autobohn, Bones Swiss, Grizzly, Diamond, Puma, Woodward, Mogovera Ortho, S1 Helmets, 187 Killer Pads, Go Pro

3 – $800 Tate Carew 11 San Diego, CA Vans, Creature, Skeleton Key, Pro Tec, 187 Killer Pads, Sun Diego, Bones

4 – $600 Cash Money Kenton 12 Ojai, CA Osiris, Mc Gills Skate Shop, Ripetide Bushings, S1 Helmets & Randoms Hardware

5 – $400 Seth Sanders 13 Fresno, CA vans, volcom, pocket pistols, spank grip, ace trucks, viva board shop

 

 

Four Questions: Ron Barbagallo of Jersey Boards

Four Questions: Ron Barbagallo of Jersey Boards

I have had the pleasure of knowing Ron (aka “Fatboy”) for over a decade and a half. At one time he ran a company called Longboards By Fatboy. Ron and I caught up at Surf Expo this past January. Just recently he told me about a new venture he had cooking. An email led to an hour long conversation about the industry and I thought “time for an interview!”

 

Ron hits a ditch in New Mexico.

 

What do you have cooking Ron?

I’m currently working with a new longboard company called Jersey Boards. It’s a line of entry level price point longboards with real features that even a seasoned skater can appreciate. We have pintails, drop downs, drop throughs at a price that is competitive with mass market but with skate shop quality.

 

I worked very hard with the factory to make real boards, not just crap you pick out of a catalogue and slap a skull graphic on. The woods are good, they hold up to my fat butt – one of my requirements. The trucks turn, something 90% of the boards in this price range fail to do. I found a cool RKP design and we went back and forth DOZENS of times over the bushings. They kept fighting me that I was asking for too soft of a durometer, but I hate when I see people bailing when they should just be turning. And it’s especially important for girls and younger skaters who just don’t have the body mass to make most price point boards turn all that effectively. And for full figure folks such as myself, we can tighten the trucks.

And let’s not forget the wheels – big and soft, so they grip and roll over everything. That’s what new skaters want. They’re not pulling 50ft standies yet. Most of the time it’s transportation or getting the stoke of carving. I put a lot of sweat into these boards, I actually rode prototypes which most product managers at this level don’t/can’t do. You should see the faces on the factory reps when I’d grab a board and take off through the parking lot in a suit! I’m really proud of these boards, in fact I took a couple with me on a skate safari to Albuquerque. Jersey Boards have been ridden at Indian School!

 

Why do you believe it’s so difficult to convince buyers to see act upon new trends in skateboarding?

After all, you knew about longboarding many years before retailers finally picked up on the idea

The problem with most buyers is that they have someone to answer to above them, and those people like to play it safe. They tend to buy RE-actively instead of PRO-actively. They will wait till they are sure that something is more than just trending before they commit.

 

 

Mass market buyers tend to be 1-2 years behind what may pop up on our radar. The buyers go to the trade shows to see what’s hot so they are at least exposed to what they may be looking to carry next year. They are becoming much more savvy these days – they actually know who Tony Hawk is. Regular skateboard sales are very flat and have been for the past 3 or 4 years. But longboards are trending, especially cruising and DH/Freeride. I don’t know that they will overtake regular skateboards anytime soon, but they are no longer the buck toothed red headed stepchild of the skate world. This mostly applies to the mass market, but even in the skate shop world I’m starting to see at least a few longboards in shops these days whereas a few years ago I would be laughed out of most skate shops by even mentioning the “L” word.

 

 

What are some of the other challenges facing cultivating new ideas within action sports?

Well I think with current media and the instantaneousness of life, people have kinda seen it all and are a little numb to traditional action sports – unless it’s a crazy extreme example. Oh, a backflip on a BMX bike….borrrrring. Back to back face high McTwists…………gee, what’s on Velocity? I see it on Facebook, friends that don’t do action sports only send me something when it’s waaaay over the top – like Roger Hickey breaking 100mph or some triple backflip on a motorcycle. Because they’ve seen the other stuff already and they’re no longer impressed. I mean, did you ever think a 900 would illicit yawns in our lifetime? 

 

We’ve witnessed SO many cutting edge action sports milestones, and yet they keep coming, that envelope gets pushed and pushed. Whew! I’m so glad I’m not 15 – I’m scared to death of a 10 step! I just about wet my pants when I looked down the drop in on the Mega Ramp at Camp Woodward – I don’t have the stones for that kind of commitment. And yet there’s little kids tearing them up.

 

 

I watched a documentary on freestyle motocross and it’s the same there – these guys are crippling themselves to be competitive. I work with a bunch of guys who race DH Mt bikes, their GoPro footage makes me lightheaded. Hey, I’ve ridden bikes down ski slopes for years, but the trails and drops these guys hit on the race circuit are insane. I’d be afraid to walk down some of them. And one of them does Urban DH which is racing down city streets – down rickety staircases, ramps that launch them 20 feet up a wall where they bounce off and continue down the course, huge gaps. They even race in shopping malls – down the escalators, over jumps that throw them 30 feet up, and they do backflips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you ran the skateboard world, what would you do?

Gee, THAT’S a loaded question! Well there’s always that conundrum – do you wanna make skateboarding popular and more mainstream and get everyone involved? Or do you wanna keep it underground and just play skateboards with the fun people? Obviously the former makes more sense financially – more skaters keeps me in hookers and blow. The latter makes me nostalgic and all warm and fuzzy, back when you cheered each other on to get better. The real essence of skateboarding, in my opinion.  

Then there’s the whole rivalry thing between the various disciplines under the skateboard header. Can’t we all just get along? Meh, it doesn’t work in real life, why would it work in the skate world? And as skating gets bigger, that divide will just get worse. Remember when you were a kid and the neighborhood kids would play whiffle ball or whatever? It was just for fun. Sure there was smack talking, but it was good natured and you would genuinely be happy for that kid that finally got a hit or made a good catch. Then you started playing Little League and fun wasn’t good enough.

 

The first mountain bike race I ever did was in the 80’s. It was a couple dozen people and the prizes were tires or gloves or whatever. I remember one guy got a flat and like 3 of us stopped in the middle of the race to help him fix it. Then we kinda staggered our restart afterwards to “make it fair”. These days there is doping in races at the amateur level.

 

 

If I could wave a magic wand, I’d make all skaters understand this silly progression and division crap and learn from it and instead go back to that stoke, that first time you landed a trick or went faster than you thought you could or even just went down the street and didn’t fall. That feeling and how cool it was. Now impart that upon all skaters regardless of discipline. Instead of hating, accept and support each other.

 

We’re skaters dammit, not everyone can say that. 90% of the world can’t push a board down the street and glide without ending up in the ER. It’s a pretty cool brother/sisterhood and we should treat it as such. I’ve met some amazing people through skateboarding, many became very close friends, and that is because we all have that fire inside and we all saw it in each other.

 

  

Triad – Surf/Skate/Snow

Triad – Surf/Skate/Snow

As we roll into a colder season, give a thought to those lucky folks who live in California (and other places) who can surf, skate and snowboard all in the course of one day.  Dusters California decided to get a team together and celebrate the three terrains. The crew consisted of Dusters riders Tom Ryen, Justin Burbage and Malachi Greene, Cinematographer Brent Black and Dusters Creative Director Nano Nobrega. Tom is best known for his appearance skating and snowboarding in the Fuel Tv show “The Adventures of Danny & the Dingo.” Justin was born and raised on the east shore of Oahu surfing and skating all day every day and Malachi is a downhill machine out of Santa Cruz, CA.  Starting off the day at 7am, they headed to Breakwall, Venice Beach for a quick dip. The ocean was flooded with Los Angeleans from Burbank to PV, the conditions were glassy, but it was still a fun time nonetheless. After surfing was checked off the list, they moved east to skate one of San Bernardino’s most attractive skateparks, Fergusson Park.  From there, they headed up the mountain towards their final destination, stopping briefly for Malachi to get a taste of the gravel on the brand new Keen Downhill board. The Keen board - brand newOnce they made it to Big Bear Lake, the sun was long gone, but the gang still had time to get in a night session in at Snow Summit, ending the day with some icy carves and fun park features.   

BoardUp – Portability for Urban Commuters

BoardUp – Portability for Urban Commuters

  Several weeks ago we received an email from Arnab Raychaudhuri of Board Up. He explained that his company had developed a folding longboard. As you can imagine, we were quite intrigued by this concept. It’s not the first time this has been tried, but there is no doubt this product looks promising.  What’s the history of this product how did it come to be?
Arnab: My partner Bin, saw his son struggling to carry around his long board. As a veteran engineer he went to work building a board that is portable and rides like a long board. 

Some would say mini cruisers have taken over the longboard market why the need for a fold-up longboard?
Cruisers are great, but they are still too large. BoardUp offer customers a true longboarding experience, allowing boarders to surf the streets, and folds it up under a desk, or in stows in backpacks.What kind of Interest have you been getting from consumers?
We’ve been getting a lot of interest from Urban commuters that want a better alternative than biking to work. We will launching our board on Kickstarter on October 25.

When the skateboard folds and is laid out are there any problems with things like stress fractures?
We built the folding hinge mechanism with aircraft grade aluminum, so it can handle over 400lbs. We’ve also tested the hinge and the weight capabilities over 18,000 times. We’ll post a video with Aaron Kyro and his two friends on the board at the same time!
  When the board is folded up how small is it?
The exact dimensions are coming soon.
 Visit the website here

What it Means to Belong

What it Means to Belong

Welcome to a new feature that gives you insights on what it truly means to be a skater. These are personal stories that we know will resonate with you. If you have a story you’d like to share, email us. We’d be happy to get it up on our site!

 

It’s something that everyone was yearned and hungered for at least once in their lifetime: belonging. It motivates us to become who we are, to pick up an identity and stick with it. Without it, we get lonely and we seem to lose track of both who we are and what goals we want to achieve in the long run. We lose sight of what’s important and we start to wander off into places that have no meaning.

I’m no stranger to this lack of belonging, having grown up as a slightly strange kid in the public school system; my first many years of school were filled with awkward conversations with my classmates and weird crushes on girls and some kind of strange social tension that I could never seem to relieve. My radically academic upbringing left me undeveloped (to put it nicely) in terms of social skills and I never really did discover the meaning of a close friend until I entered high school last year, at the ripe age of 16.

Here, I made it a goal to become outspoken, less awkward; to become someone that people could relate with and hang out with without feeling weird like many of my past acquaintances may have at many points of our shallow friendships. Well, it kind of worked, I developed some very fun friendships, went to my first parties, got my first kiss, and had my first late-night conversations in a circle-of-bros around a backyard fire. But that didn’t work out; I had a scuffle with some guys towards the end of the year and that all kind of turned into a burning pile of ash and smoke. This turned me into a licorice-flavored rotten Jello filled with little solid pieces of misery and loneliness and longing for a place to belong.

 

That summer, I was fresh out of things to do. Utterly bored. Unused. I didn’t have a girlfriend; I didn’t have any friends to hang out with. Slowly, people started departing and I was undecidedly left to myself for the coming two months of summer. My previous plans, my list of things that I wanted to do that required more than one person? Gone. Scrapped. And I was imaginatively, completely helpless and depressed about it.

And then I bought a skateboard. It was a very hot, sunny day, and my family decided to take my brother and me to the little homey town of Banff, where I bought a small Sector 9 Wedge skateboard for a small investment of $170 dollars (my whole life savings at that point). I then spent the next month learning to push, to carve, to stop and on the way to the final goal of the mastery of the cruiser skateboard, also had my first falls and injuries.

 

I had a few mentors along the way, but there wasn’t really anybody who was outstandingly amazing at the sport. They just invited me out to go cruising along the riverwalk or maybe come over for a round of video games and go out and push along the creek for a bit. You know, the really simple stuff. I never thought of this as anything beyond casual hanging out. Nothing to really poke the mind or emotions, nothing that would really invoke any feelings of being any more wanted than a bit of company here and there.

But I was still hooked. Not onto the cruising with other people notion, but to the feeling of rolling over paved ground. I felt free of the confines of any social expectations that I and other people had forced upon me for so many years; I was on a skateboard, and I was alone, enjoying rolling over the little bumps and bruises in the ground, and I was okay with that.

 

It felt blissful.

 

And this turned into an addiction for me; a way for me to relieve stress when I had it. I remember so many nights when I hopped out of bed, put on a jacket and jumped outside to skateboard at 2 o’clock in the morning because something was bugging me. I remember that I pushed myself to exhaustion and when I came back in, I could sleep soundly and forget about what was bothering me.

 

It’s strangely therapeutic, really. I’m sure other people have different reasons why they skate. Some people just find it fun, some people are just really good at it. I know people just like to skateboard because it’s something they can work on. But for me, skateboarding was always an obsession for me because it was the only respite I had in a schedule of heavy workload and emotional strain.

 

And this pushed me deeper and deeper into the sport. I started to experiment with different gear. I bought my first longboard; it was a Dusters Kosher Glow in the Dark; something that I went to my local store to buy because I decided after reading some articles and guides that I would indeed need something longer if I wanted to go faster. This was kind of the start of what would eventually lead me to the greatest thing about longboarding. But

 

I’ll get to that in a bit.

 

I got this longboard and I started to ride it instead of my little cruiser board. I rode it obsessively. To school, to the hospital, to the grocery store. I even rode it down my short little street just to get mail! I seriously think that I just didn’t walk anywhere for a while. That longboard became my legs. And I started to upgrade it. I went on these weird longboard sites and got all these different types of weird tips and tricks, stuff that would actually lead me on an extremely wrong path filled with really bad information and lots of wasted money, but fuel my passion it did, and I was okay with that. I got the wrong bushings, tweaked it around, got some new trucks (Caliber IIs, my first RKP trucks), and put those on. I got new wheels (Free Willies; I slide those to this day), and rode that for a while.

 

Then, I discovered some online communities, such as Silverfish and Reddit’s /r/longboarding, which is the one I go on the most. When I discovered this online community, I was like, “wow! There’s more of us! More people who love what I do!” and I was absolutely blown away. I spent hours and hours on the live chat, with people actually guiding me in the right direction. They told me to get the right bushings. They told me to get a new board, and new wheels that were much faster.

 

Funny thing about this forum is though, that I met one of my better skating buddies on there. He picked me up on the site and he pointed me to my local scene’s Facebook group, and that’s really where the juicy stuff starts.

 

When I entered this group, I was met with outstanding friendliness from all parties.

 

My pleas for help with sliding and downhill were met with people coming from all over telling me they could help out; that there were clinics here at this time, and that there was a race going on at this place. But most importantly, I was invited to this one weekly ride that we do every Saturday night, by one of the better skaters in the group. He messaged me personally and he told me that there was a nice, easygoing run every Saturday that he really wanted me to be at. He told me that people were friendly, that people were totally okay with me being there! And so go to the ride I did.

You know, in these many months that I’ve been skating, I’ve never really found anything more beautiful than what I felt that first night. For the first time in months, I felt supported. People were pushing me forward, propelling me constructively and building me back up from the mess that I was a few months ago, when I first bought that skateboard. I felt wanted again, that people were genuinely excited to have another person there that was skating. I finally felt that cohesiveness with a group of people that I’d been searching and yearning and working towards for years.

 

I felt like I belonged.

 

If I was to tell a prospective longboarder something about this community, it’s that this community has the power to make you feel amazing inside. In this community, you’ll find a passion that you can share with many other people, and through this shared passion, you’ll also find brotherhood; a scattered family that knows when to come together when it matters. An incredibly diverse group of people where not one person is left out and not one person is looked at for their flaws. Indeed, it’s a group of people where everyone has something to offer.

And I feel that I have something to offer every time I go skating on Saturday night.

 

And you can bet that I’ll be skating this Saturday too.

Jake Piasecki RIP

Jake Piasecki RIP

We have just learned of the passing of Jake Piasecki. We were honored to feature Jake on our Spring 2006 cover. Jake was a true ripper and had a huge amount of energy.Jake passed away on October 20th.  Authorities suspect it was suicide. If you or anyone you know are contemplating suicide, I urge you to seek help.  You can read about the details here: Here’s a great little clip from the Short Bus Chronicles from Sector 9 that features Jake riding and playing guitar. A Go Fund Me Campaign has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses. Our sincere condolences to Jake’s friends and family at this difficult time.   

Hey! Check Out That Neversummer!

Hey! Check Out That Neversummer!

Welcome to a new feature here on our website. Every now and then you will spy a skateboard in the background of a TV or film. It might only be there for a moment, but you can clearly see it!  If you’re watching Netfilx’s new show Easy, take a peek on their third episode “Brewery Brothers.” Spotted in the background is one of Neversummer Industries awesome longboards.Here is a zoomed in photo: You can find out more about the series here.And here’s a trailer for the series. Just a note, it’s recommended for mature audiences. If you spy skateboards and related imagery in a scene, let us know by emailing!  

Pedal to the Metal – Alum Boards Get Creative With Aluminum

Pedal to the Metal – Alum Boards Get Creative With Aluminum

 We met up with Trevor Dericks, founder of Alum Boards to find out more about his unique decks.

What is it about aluminium? What draws you to it?

AlumBoards started as a hobby around 10 years ago. My father and family run a sheet metal fabrication business and always practice high standards for their customers who are mostly pharmaceuticals and large production factories, with the occasional projects in custom home design. Metal was a resource I always had at my disposal to be creative for my personal projects. The first longboard that I built for myself was an Aluminum pintail based shaped similar to a Sector 9 cosmic 2. It weighed over 10lbs and was half an inch thick and all hand cut with a band saw. It was great for sliding in parking garages and one to run away from when torpedoing downhill. Since then my personal goal was to make a metal deck that I would legitimately pick over my favorite wooden boards when going out to board on a daily basis. Aluminum became the material of choice after trying a variety of metals because it is lighter, doesn’t rust, naturally grips to the foot, and actually has smooth dampening effect like softer woods to make for a comfortable ride.

An early prototype. Your boards are visually impressive – how are they created?AlumBoards before it went public had a few years of serious research and design testing with 3 very important personal goals; Needed to have various flex levels, have concave, and be “Functionally Artistic”. I have taught myself AutoCad, other design and drafting programs and also how to operate a water jet cutting machine. The water jet is essentially a water gun that works along an x and y axis and uses water mixed with garnet a sand like abrasive to cut  with 60,000psi through any material besides tempered glass. All boards are drawn and machined by me. I have become so in-tuned with the water jet that I can hand draw to scale with machine accuracy tolerances in mind. After a board is cut out, it is then given shape with a rounded concave and bends for kicktails and other shapes. The last step is finish, by using grinders to polish the board with different textures and custom paint designs. AlumBoards is a designer board company that makes the building of the board a personal journey for each customer. No two AlumBoards leave the shop identical. Alum can create unique designs for any type of design a customer desires. Tell us a little bit about your skate background?Skating is life! Since I was 8 and given my first Element fire ant deck I was hooked. Bike racing was a big part of my life and would go out for hours all over on them. The problem with a bike was that it wasn’t as easily transportable when used for commuting. You had to lock it up places and always worry about if it was going to be stolen. Skateboards were much better since you could take them with you everywhere. I saw my first longboard sophomore year of high school and I was instantly sold. I loved longboards because the bigger platform and wheels allowed you to travel over different terrain much easier and make for a smoother faster ride. Throughout college I hung out at a very cool skate shop called Rid’n High in Burlington Vermont that had a weekly late night longboard outings called Thrashing Thursdays. This continued till after I graduated and was a teacher at different schools. Students always had fun guessing which board I would arrive on each day. Boards for Breast Cancer Awareness MonthWhat prompted you to team up with the Cruise for Boobs and Breast Cancer Awareness month?When I moved back to New Jersey to start my career in metal fabrication I didn’t know anyone so I started focusing on building AlumBoards. I ran into Brett Erb who worked at a local longboard shop and seemed to know every brand and event happening throughout the tri-state area. One being the “Staten Island 40” hosted by Joey Curry. I loved the idea of meeting up with a whole group of riders to tour a new place that we all were not familiar with and getting lost bringing a true sense of adventure. During the trip Joey mentioned that in a couple months he was doing a 150 mile event from Boston to Portland Maine. I thought he was bluffing and wasn’t serious and I said skeptically “If you are really going to do this trip I will not back out from doing it”. He totally one-upped me and not only was it a skate trip from Boston to Portland but it was “Cruise for Boobs” an interactive skate fundraiser for B4BC. This was around the time I was starting to make boards for customers. As promotion for the event I cut out all the donors names on the board I traveled on and on the bus ride back from Maine the crew drew names and played rock papers scissors to see which donor would receive the board. The other board I designed looked like a female wearing a corset. This board was silently auctioned at the Benefit bash concert and won by Alex who also did the Cruise for Boobs. I have to thank Joey and all the longboarders I have met these past few years for pushing me to be an active contributor to the skating community. AlumBoards team will continue to support any future Cruise for Boobs events and are very excited for this years push from Philly to Manhattan! Brand new modelsWhat are some of your future plans?AlumBoards future is really starting to take off! Once was just an ongoing shop experiment to build a board that I would choose to ride to now a whole line of custom boards and products. We have an incredible team that are equally as motivated to promote an active and fun skating community. Chiaka, Alex, Tyson, Peri, and Carlo I have to thank for all their support in making AlumBoards what it is today. The team lives by the motto  P.A.C.T. which stands for Performance, Art, Community, and Travel. We plan to start skate groups and clinics in NJ and NY area, while continuing to support other events all over the country. We will continue to make designer boards, while also starting to branch out and collaborate with other skate companies and artists to make some really cool projects. Stay Tuned!           

309.5 Miles on a Skateboard in 24 Hours? Four Questions for Andy Andras

309.5 Miles on a Skateboard in 24 Hours? Four Questions for Andy Andras

What is it about long distance skateboarding that gets you fired up?I grew up street skating in the 80’s and 90’s as a kid. I always felt a personal connection with my skateboard, whether I was pushing around town to skate spots or shredding in a skate park with friends. I always got this unexplainable feeling of freedom on the skateboard. As I got older the short board was put away and I stopped skating. I joined the Military and after that became a firefighter. Then all of a sudden in my mid 30s I discovered the Longboard and instantly fell in love with it. The nostalgia and feeling I use to get as a kid riding my skateboard all returned to me.Pushing hard on the Chief Lagida Trail. I used my longboard every day to commute around Miami Beach and was approached one day by another longboarder who told me they where hosting the first every outlaw push race “South Beach Bomb”. I entered that event and won it. I was hooked! I looked for other races and found the Skate IDSA was the sanctioning body for legit organized races and started competing. Competition and love for riding got me in shape but I realized that distance skating was bringing so much more to my life that just that.  There was mental and spiritual aspect to it all and it came in my life at the right time. I found that skating distance gave me time to think, disconnect and meditate. It was the perfect recipe for getting the stress out of my life in a healthy way. The last thing that really gets me fired up is the friendships and people I have met doing this sport. I away said that the recipe that makes up a Distance Skater is 1 part Skater, 1 part Athlete and 1 part free spirit hippy. So the pusher you meet out there are very cool and influential to say the least. Video from CNN profile:Andy in his CNN interview. What is some of your advice for those skaters intrigued by what you do but are a little overwhelmed?So first off I would tell them to just come out to the event and have fun. Experience it, take it all in and ride to your hearts content. The only pressure at 24 Hour Ultra Skate is the pressure you put on your self. Pick an easy goal like making 100 Mile Club or the 150 Mile Club and grow from your experience. NEVER BE AFRAID TO FAIL! The best lessons in life are from the ones you did not accomplish. Its makes it that much sweeter when your get determined and come back stronger next year.  It shows you that you worked hard and eared it. How the hell did you skate over 300 miles in 24 hours? I mean that’s not human, is it?!My peers starting calling me “La Maquina” The Machine, due to my uncanny ability to hold the same pace from start to finish in a 24-hour event.  But I hurt, tire and cry like any human during this endeavor. It’s all just happening on the inside. I truly thought that the 300-mile barrier would not be broken for a few more years. I have set the 24-hour record for the last 4 years and I felt I was reaching my limits at 285 miles. I was sure that one of the “Youngblood’s” as I call the next generation of Distance Skaters, would reach it in a few years because they are growing and pushing this sport by leaps and bounds. But to my astonishment this year we did the unthinkable and 3 riders surpassed the 300-mile mark. Eric “Danger” Palmer hit 305.1 in Miami Ultra. Rick “The Dutch Destroyer” Pronk completed 307.3 at the Dutch Ultra this summer and I currently hold the World record at 309.5 in 24 hours.To put it in perspective, you have to skate at 13 miles an hour non-stop for 24 hours to hit those distances. And some how we pull it off. If anyone is interested in checking out the world rankings for all the 24 hour ultras that happen around the world head over to Pavedwave.org and check it out. We call Pavedwave the bible of Distance Skating and if you hit the 200-mile club in a sanctioned Ultra you get ranked. Tell us the craziest experience you’ve had while pushing in an ultra marathon.Truthfully the craziest stuff in Ultra goes on between you ears. Its just as much a mental endeavor as it is a physical one.  Somewhere around the 18th hour when it’s the darkest and hardest part of the night you mind will start to mess with you. The skeletons come out of the closet in the forms of self-doubt, questions of why, and the thoughts of just quitting. Your mind will tell you anything it can to try and convince you to stop. So battling your mind along with exhaustion and sleep deprived hallucinations can really bring you to tears. But if you stay the course, dig deep within yourself and find the resolve to make it to sunrise the next day, the Sun rays peeking over the horizon will melt all those emotions away and you’ll realize nothing but glory awaits when the clock strikes 24 hours and you have eared your passage as an Ultra Skater! Next up: the 2017 Ultraskate in Miami.      

Laps for Louisiana – November 19th

Laps for Louisiana – November 19th

With weather on everyone’s mind, we felt it important to let you know about an event that’s coming up in November. It’s called Laps for Louisiana. 

We received this message from event organizer, Urban Boards:

 

There was really bad flooding not too long ago in Louisiana and we live in the nearby area. A lot of people lost their homes and belongings so we are trying to raise funds to donate to charity that will go towards helping those flood victims. We will have a live dj, food and drinks, raffles, and some skate competitions with different prizes. A few different length flat land push races, hippy jump competitions, and games of S.K.A.T.E.

 

To find out more about the event, visit here:

 

Empowering Skaters Through Education

Empowering Skaters Through Education

 

The Collegiate Skate Tour is truly making a difference

Every year, Collegiate Skate Tour Founder Keegan Guizard makes it out to New York City for one of four different events in the tour’s annual circuit. This year’s stop in Astoria, Queens was more inclement than expected, but served its purpose nonetheless: to encourage higher education for skateboarding youths.

Before the event, Guizard and I were able to chat before the rain to learn a bit more about how the tour started and where it is going. After a college career at North Carolina State, Guizard started a successful skateboarding club. It was praised for its support to the local community and Guizard sought to expand this positivity. As a result, the Collegiate Skate Tour was born as the first national contest circuit aimed at promoting college and skateboarding.

As an alumni himself and a full-time employee in the skateboarding industry, Guizard has seen that the opportunity for skateboarders to be successful in the professional workforce is present. With that end goal of success in mind, the Collegiate Skate Tour helps promote the idea that college is not only accessible but achievable. From there, the tour helps youths in pursuit of higher education realize the potential for college to propel and to conquer their life goals.

By the same token, Guizard is also aware of the financial hurdle posed by higher education and seeks to use the tour as an answer for that as well. Plans for the immediate future include a non-profit scholarship offered to dedicated, college-bound skateboarders.

 

Under an ominous looking sky, hundreds of skaters in both student and non student divisions descended upon a slick park to put on a show. With NYC local Billy Rohan on the mic, skaters hailing from Oakland University to UMass Amherst to all across New York, made the best of the wet conditions.

Over the course of the afternoon, skateboarding’s potential college proteges tore up several heats of jam sessions and a best trick contest, greeted in the end by product tosses and prize packages. On top of that, all left with the message that higher education is both attainable and achievable through skateboarding on the Collegiate Skate Tour.

 

A video recap of the event:

 Next up is Carlsbad on November 12

 

 

 

 

 

Memories from the 2016 Broadway Bomb

Memories from the 2016 Broadway Bomb

We met up at 116th Street this morning with simple rules: Don’t get arrested and don’t go down.

With that, hundreds of us skateboarders descended upon Broadway and shut the streets down.

After 8 miles of surprised tourists, police barricades and close calls, we made it through the maze of traffic and touched the Charging Bill in triumph. Broadway Bomb 2016 was undoubtedly a success. 

 The finish line down at the Wall Street Bull was a mass of longboarders enjoying the wonder of the day!  

Company Profile: Breezy Boards

Company Profile: Breezy Boards

What are some of the reasons you started Breezy Boards?

Brianna (Breezy) Enders: Skating has always been something that I’ve felt deeply connected to, a passion that was sparked the moment I first stepped on a board at the age of 10 and was fueled by the encouragement and support from my parents throughout my life.

Longboarding is everything to me; a creative outlet to express yourself with physical determination and unique style, a personal release to free yourself from the troubles and worries of daily life, a way to bond with others and bring people together and, for a few fun years, my main mode of transportation. The dynamic nature of longboarding – ranging from a truly personal, meditative experience, to a way to get around town without fighting for a parking space – is something that I’ve always felt compelled to share with my friends, family and colleagues. Breezy Boards is how I hope to tap into the minds and hearts of people on a larger scale, while submersing myself in my life-long passion to produce and distribute badass, shred-able boards. My focus for Breezy Boards is as simple as this:

 

1. Longboarding is good for the soul. I strive to provide personal insight, approachable knowledge and unique, quality boards to present people with the opportunity to fall in love with skating.

 

2. People are wonderfully talented, creative, passionate and driven. Since longboarding is such a versatile and inclusive activity, I believe that Breezy Boards is the perfect platform to promote the wealth of human capacity, with a focus on the local St. Pete, Tampa Bay and Florida communities.

 

3. Ventures, ideas and individuals thrive with human interaction. Establishing connections, developing relationships and sharing experiences is valuable and rewarding beyond measure. Breezy Boards fosters the importance of shared experiences and successes.

Breezy enjoying the fruits of her labor.

What have been some of the biggest challenges?

I’ve faced a few challenges in the startup phase that were off-putting, sometimes even debilitating, but taught myself to channel them into positive reactions and efforts. Initially, Breezy Boards was an incredibly exciting concept, with expansive possibility for growth and seemingly endless potential (and still is!) which was incredibly overwhelming for someone who was working full time through college and buried under a never-ending course load. The idea was ultimately put on the backburner, twice, before utilizing my studies in mass communications,

journalism and entrepreneurship to develop a solid foundation for the company. This invaluable tug of war of “What Breezy Boards could be” and “What’s the next step for Breezy Boards” taught me that it’s okay to dream big and have grandiose plans, but that I need to hone my focus on the execution of the next immediate task at hand, in order to be successful.

 

Another challenge has been a bit of a female complex. Although I am utterly confident in my industry knowledge and physical abilities, it always seems as if I have to answer 20 questions to prove that I’m worthy of owning a skateboard company and am capable of speaking intelligently on the subject. Honestly, it makes me love what I do even more, breaking into both the skateboard and business worlds as a headstrong, determined female presence, and fuels me to keep “kicking ass and taking names,” a favorite idiom of encouragement I often receive from Corey, my loving stepdad.

 

Launching Breezy Boards as a young female entrepreneur, fresh out of college, was a daunting task in itself and there have been some obstacles along the way, but the way I look at it, all of the taxing, draining or difficult tasks that I have to push through or find ways to overcome are all just part of the process. Breezy Boards is my conceptual child, a product of my personal passion, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to foster its growth and development, to see my vision through to its fullest potential.

 

What are some of the things you are most proud of as it relates to the company?

First off, I just want to say that I’m damn proud of the fact that I took the leap into business ownership, after years of toying with the idea for Breezy Boards. It’s incredibly humbling to have friends from grade school say “I remember back in middle school when you talked about having your own longboard company, and now you do!” I feel it was just a matter of time before I turned this dream into a reality.. and I couldn’t be happier with the steps I’ve taken to launch Breezy Boards successfully and the response it’s received from the local community.

The three things I’m most proud of, in relation to Breezy Boards: The Street Team, the Launch Party and the Adjective Dragon board collection.

 

The Breezy Boards Street Team is comprised of a group of genuine, respectable and selfless individuals who support Breezy Boards and its vision. Levels of participation and engagement vary, but that’s the beauty of the Street Team! It’s a platform that allows people to be involved with Breezy Boards and its on-going projects in whatever capacity they choose. Members have helped coordinate and run events, design graphics and event flyers, skate and model for the Breezy Boards Lookbook (which is currently in production,) and even helped grip and assemble the debut board collection in preparation for the Launch Party. I believe that the DIY and grassroots approach is the best way to appropriately convey the ideals and principles that are at the heart of Breezy Boards. Establishing and developing a team of like-minded individuals who are eager to contribute to the success of Breezy Boards has been truly humbling throughout the startup phase and I look forward to expanding the Street Team in the future.

Kate & Shaggy Davidson are part of the street team.

 

With the help of the Street Team, Breezy Boards hosted an insanely successful and epic Launch Party on Friday the 13th at the local World of Beer in May, 2016. We partied into the night, celebrating the official launch of Breezy Boards with four local bands, a killer merch booth set up, local beers on draft, a logo-splattered photo op backdrop, locally-themed raffle prizes and pizza served from a freaking fire truck! It was the result of 8 months of planning and promoting, concurrently with senior classes, projects, finals and graduation, paired with a slew of “holy shit, is this going to happen?” moments, most notably just barely having the boards arrive in time for the event.. but it all came together for one of the most amazing, memorable nights of my life and am grateful for

everyone who played a part in its success. Oh yeah, and it was my birthday, too!

 

The Launch Party, in all of its festive glory, was not just a community event celebrating the initiation of Breezy Boards, it was also the first public display of the debut Breezy Boards collection, Adjective Dragon! This collection of boards is more than just your average run of longboards. Its shape was designed specifically for the local terrain, the city streets of downtown St. Pete, and features five original pieces of deck art created by individuals within the Tampa Bay area. The artists, sourced through word of mouth and social media campaigns, participated in an art contest that I hosted in October and November, 2015, for the chance to have their artwork printed on 20 of the 100-board collection. The results were astounding and I meticulously selected the top five entries to represent the debut line of Breezy Boards. The entire process and integration of local artists was a unique, fresh idea that I hadn’t seen before.

A nicely balanced christie. Photo by Casey Nelson.

 

Tell me about one of your most memorable longboard experiences.

I have more memories associated with longboarding than could fill a pensieve (sorry, I had to get at least one Harry Potter reference in there) from skating the Island of Venice – where I’d skate through the open-air high school to get to and from my classes, cruise to the beach in between school and drumline or newspaper or whatever I had that day and hit up the little hospital parking garage or the north bridge with friends after dark – taking a stack of boards on the public busses up to Sarasota to hit the gnarlier spots with my skateboarder friends on the weekends, to exploring the city of St. Pete after relocating for college.

 

I did lots of dumb stuff, like try to street luge a crazy hill in a bathing suit, getting the wheel tangled in my hair and sliding bare-back down the pavement with my board attached at the roots. I’d skate through parks, kicking my board under a picnic table, length-wise and jumping up and running across the table top to land back on the board as it came out on the other side… Skating in dresses and tights to my fancy hostess jobs through college (eating shit once and working the full shift with a torn up knee, bleeding through the hole in my stockings without anyone noticing) and anger skating home from a shit serving shift, power sliding too hard and slamming my head on the curb, lying there concussed for a bit and then slowly skating my way back home.

The most pivotal moment was that first time Jeff Yarrington put me on one of his boards at the annual family 4th of July picnic in Maryland in 2002. With the nod of approval from my parents, he gave me a quick rundown of how to position myself on the board and sent me racing down the parking lot. I’ve been hooked ever since, truly and utterly consumed by my love of longboarding.

 

Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with?

Endorsing the talent and vision of local artists is an extremely important aspect of Breezy Boards and I make an effort to team up with and promote area artists for every project possible. This was the driving concept for the Adjective Dragon collection, which features original artwork from five Tampa Bay area artists. The lineup of artists, along with their winning board designs, are:

 

● Kelly Owen – Basic Dragon

● Dylan Haught – Fat Dragon

● Deanna Marinello – Mystical Dragon

● Jessica (Bam Bam) Sarlis – Nom Nom Dragon

● Cameron Miller – Unborn Dragon

 

Breezy Boards has also worked with local artists to create graphics and flyers, including Street Team members Dylan Carney and Kayla O’Brien , as well as local photographers Laia Gore , Casey Nelson and Alison Rosoff . I worked with my cousin, Darren Simons , to design and create the Breezy Boards logo in 2014 and have plans to continue working together on some exciting projects.

 

Website – www.ridebreezyboards.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/breezyboards

Instagram – @ridebreezyboards

Twitter – @SkateBreezyDTSP

That's A Tripp – Cruise for Boobs

That's A Tripp – Cruise for Boobs

 

That’s a Tripp is a small skate organization that a buddy of mine and I started about 6 years ago while doing skateboard delivery for a restaurant in Soho, New York. It has turned into a long distance skateboarding adventure group dedicated to Long Distance Pushing. We typically do smaller “Tripps” during the summer months anywhere between 15-50 miles in and around NYC culminating in the end of season event Cruise for Boobs.

 

Cruise for Boobs is a Breast Cancer Fundraising event run during October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month). The last couple years we’ve worked with Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC, based out of SoCal) as our beneficiary. So they set us up with a donation page and a we do a facebook event and we promote the whole thing as an “Interactive” fundraiser.

Joey Curry and Jack Staley.

After people donate and join the FB event we constantly are live posting via social media during the push. Folks really get to feel they are a part of it, instead of just “donate and done”. We also throw the “Trippers Benefit Bash”. This is essentially a party with bands, giveaways, food and a raffle. 

 

All the proceeds from the entire event, skate and party, are donated directly to B4BC. 

This year the  4th Annual Cruise for Boobs ‘”Philly Cheese Skate 100 – Philly to NYC” will take place on Saturday, Oct 22nd. We will take the first bus out to Philly, super early and immediately start skating back. We will skate halfway and sleep somewhere tbd. Sunday we complete the push, skating into the Trippers Benefit Bash.

 

 For more information, please visit our facebook page.

 

Evening Music Break – GUAS

Evening Music Break – GUAS

This week’s spotlight shines on Grown Up Avenger Stuff (GUAS), a four-piece out of Charlotte, North Carolina. The band consists of veteran guitarist John Thomsen and his two sons, Hunter on Bass & percussionist Tyler. Rounding out the band is their new edition, ripping lead vocalist Ray Stern who’s deep, round tones reminds me of Florence (Florence and the machine) mixed with Debbie harry (Blonde). “Pins” video above Founding member John puts it like this “What you get from us live is pure fun rock and roll. The connection and chemistry between us is so strong, especially between Hunter and Tyler, and Ray has proven to be a perfect fit, as though she was created to be the perfect front person for GUAS.” GUAS’ latest single “A.I.M.”, released just this year, is a great example of the depth of this well-round group of musicians. If you enjoy Grace Potter and/or the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s we think you’ll really dig GUAS. Have a listen here Ultimately, you are the best judge of what you like. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

Evening Music Break

Evening Music Break

 The Psyatics are a Las Vegas based trio who’s latest release “Famous Monster” reminds me of a Replacements/Cramps mash-up -super cool! Featuring one of the tightest rhythm sections I’ve come across in some time and the guitar parts are on point, these fellas rip. With a refreshingly original sound; vintage instruments lend to a familiar feel without sounding like a cover-band. With that said, there are some influences found here, aside from the previously mentioned Cramps & Replacements there’s a bit of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in there mixed with some Fishbone -all legit in my mind. I think I have a new favorite band; The Psyatics “Famous Monster” is a killer ride through truly inspired/talented musicianship and artistry.

Evening Music Break

Evening Music Break

Reid the Martian is a one-man band, songwriter, producer and rapper from Kansas City, Mo. His second album “Excuses Not To Sleep” dropped June 10th of this year. ‘ENTS’ is a fun, flowing romp through the red-light district; gritty and organic without an overblown ego or hollering ‘ bitches’ every third line. 

 In addition to a smooth flow and skilled musician, it’s worth mentioning Reid wrote and produced all the tracks on ‘Excuses’. I would loosely compare his sound to 2 Chainz and Chance The Rapper mixed with Atmosphere. Track 5 “The Other Side” is a great example of this man’s talent both lyrically and musically..

If you dig “Reasons Not To Sleep” by Reid the Martian, be sure to check out his first EP “Hardball” from  2015.

 

Ultimately you are the best judge of what you like. We encourage our readers to give a listen and leave a comment letting us know what you think.

 

Thanks for reading (& listening), see you here next time.

 

 

 

 

 

Evening Music Break

Evening Music Break

Chameleon Technology “Blank Canvas”

 

 

Chameleon Technology (Cham Tech) is actually just one man (a very talented man) by the name of Max Histrionic, out of Costa Mesa, Ca. His latest Ep “Blank Canvas” is a fun ride all the way through. The first track “No Safe Word” has some chunky bass lines while the second “Serin’s Vending” is reminiscent of Dead Kennedys and Fugazi while still retaining an original feel.

 

The bass guitar work alone on “Blank Canvas” is enough for me to give Cham Tech the two thumbs up. Additionally, the guitars, vocals and production quality are all on point. The issue with this EP is it’s over too soon; I had to spin it again.

 

 Ultimately you are the best judge of what you like. We encourage our readers to give a listen and leave a comment letting us know what you think. Thanks for reading (& listening), see you here next time.