Dan MacFarlane’s Latest Video

Dan MacFarlane’s Latest Video

I’ve known Dan MacFarlane for a number of years and frankly, he’s one of the most gifted skaters I’ve ever encountered.
Besides having an incredible style and creativity, Dan’s “gift” to skateboarding is his extra-ordinary ability to teach others how to skate. His instructional videos have been seen by hundreds of thousands of skaters and have had a tremendous impact.
Using video to teach skaters is a powerful way to engage people.

Behold, Dan’s latest masterpiece.
Source: CW from MyStyle

Roots vs the Future

Roots vs the Future

We are on official holidays starting today and coming soon you will encounter a whole new website. Meanwhile, I wanted to give you an update on things. I have just returned from the United Kingdom. It was an epic trip. More on that later.

Oddballs – a great little skateshop (and more) in the heart of Camden Town, UK
For over 2 decades I’ve written about skateboarding from a different perspective. I am not sure why I was compelled to do this, I just to it. Some of this resonates with people, some of it doesn’t.

The shop is well-stocked!
All I know is that my stated goal in life is to create more skateboarders and to keep them riding forever. Why? Because of all the things that I’ve encountered, nothing comes close to blending immediate freedom, with glorious speed and soulful carving. Sure, I can to technical tricks, but for me, the flow of skateboarding is what keeps me passionate. The two things I really dig are James Bond movies and ska music.

The cover of our latest issue.
As I mentioned, last week I found myself in Great Britain – the land of my birth. I left when I was 8. I was 10 when I spotted someone skateboarding for the first time. It was 1974 on a return trip to the UK and my family and I were walking around the Brighton pier.

Amy Winehouse art located in Camden Town.
Going back to your roots is something that I find deeply satisfying. How funny is that I see skateboarding for the first time in the country of my birth, I love James Bond an English fictional character and the skat music coming from Coventry (thank you, The Specials) and Birmingham (thank you English Beat). I could probably throw in Bruce Lee there too. When I went to Camden Town, I ran into a shop filled to the brim with ska/rude boy/skin head/punk nostalgia. It’s called the Oi Oi Shop. They even had original copies of Sniffin Glue fanzine.

The English Beat logo.
Our roots shape who we are or were but they don’t always define us. People change over time.
Why the hell am I telling you all this? Because like people, magazines also change.

And some of you will notice a difference to CW magazine. CWis moving towards being a program combined with memento rather than a straightforward magazine. It is keepsake from a time and a place.

The wave of buttons at the Oi Oi Store.
This current issue, scheduled to hit at three tradeshows is precisely what I mean by this. The stories from the 3 trade shows (Shred Expo, Agenda and ISPO) will be amazing. It’s always great when our industry gathers. CW becomes a memento of this experience.

James Bond underwater car from “The Spy Who Loved Me.”
The next few years of Concrete Wave and Longboarding for Peace are going to be remarkable. How do I know this? Because, I am fired up, ready for the next piece of the puzzle to slowly take shape. The power of knowing the good, bad and ugly about your roots ensures that your future is different. Your roots have the power to guide you and that’s precisely why I am so excited. So that’s it. 2018 is a pivotal year for myself and I sense many others.

Bond, James Bond – a huge Part of my roots.
On behalf of everyone involved with CW Mag, we wish you all happy holidays. And if they aren’t so happy, believe me when I say, start to get to the root of what’s causing you the unhappiness. If you determine the pain is coming from specific family members, you need to start to ask questions. The only way to get to the root of a problem is to probe deeply. Then, go out and skate (or snowboard or put on some music…or a James Bond film).

Walt Jabsko – the official mascot of The Specials. I think James Bond would approve.
Special thanks to the Oi Oi Shop

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Source: CW from MyStyle

American Ramp Co. Hits NJ

American Ramp Co. Hits NJ

As you may recall, we ran a piece on our website earlier this year featuring the crew over at American Ramp Co. and their latest project to hit the skateparks of the world: the “Pro Ops.” signature ramp series. This collection of ramps, rails and boxes appear noticeably different from any of their other prefabricated park obstacles and were designed in part by an illustrious team of pro skaters. The series of ramps notably includes a colorful spine ramp with a parking block sitting atop bearing Willy Santos’ name, a Y-shaped round rail bearing Shaun Hover’s name and a wavy recliner shaped quarter pipe bearing Jud Heald’s name among others.

Granted, American Ramp Co. has received their fair share of hate for their prefabricated parks on the grounds of durability issues over the years. However, for their efforts to create something innovate and different for people to skate, I commend them. To those familiar with my neck of the woods, the North Jersey skateboarding scene has been grateful to see new parks opening in up in towns like Maplewood, Fanwood and Roselle in recent years. However, these three parks are nearly nothing more than carbon copies of each other. With same-sized ledges, euro gaps and quarter pipes, I found myself indifferent to the announcements of these parks because of how repetitive all of their designs were. Thus, when I heard that a couple of the Pro Ops pieces were headed to a newly constructed park in West Orange, NJ I was immediately intrigued by the allure of being able to skate something different for a change. With this in mind, I was happy to see the variety of tricks being thrown down in my visit to the grand opening of the park, thanks to American Ramp Co.

Skateboard Shaped Ramp from American Ramp Co

At the park, Dan MacFarlane’s signature “Snap!” ramp is the first feature that skaters were struck by when they entered. With several different levels to skate, the ramp provided a stage for kick turns, 180s and frontside no complys for skaters looking to flow back into the park. In doing so, many went on to hit Sierra Fellers’ signature “Crete Planter” ledge. This piece challenged skaters to pop out of their boardslides and ollie over the ends of it to grind the inside angles of the ledge.  In the background, Joe Moore’s striped “Kick Tail” box led some skaters to grind up the angle and back down again while others hopped onto the box from the low end and launched off the other side.

Seeing the level of stoke that these new obstacles brought to the grand opening, I reached out to Fellers, Moore and MacFarlane to get their take on seeing their ramps go from ideas in the warehouse to physical creations being skated:

Skateboard Shaped Ramp

First off, Sierra Fellers described the feeling of having a ramp with his name on it by saying “It’s so awesome to have a signature obstacle. The idea didn’t start in my own head though. ARC came to me with a few different options to choose from and I got to help adjust and modify the ones I chose. As a skateboarder, being a part of creating something you’re gonna be skating and seeing the changes made to make a dream spot is a dream come true.” To truly make this dream scenario complete though, Fellers told us “I’d be hyped to see a board slide around the whole thing!”

american-ramp-co-ramp

Next up, Joe Moore, summed up his satisfaction by stating “Having a signature obstacle based on a style of skating I’m known for and being one of the first people to be part of a skatepark project like this is truly an honour. To see them now being put into public skateparks around the world is so cool and quite funny as well; my name on skate ramp, somewhere in the world I’ve never been. Each of my obstacles in each skatepark will have its own story and each one will be experienced differently by many skaters. It’s interesting to think how they will adapt their trick selection, lines and how their creativity may evolve from skating these unique skatepark pieces.” When asked what sort of a dream trick he would like to see go down on “The KickTail” Moore replied, “I would like to see an ollie over the back of the obstacle to bluntslide down the bank to fakie manual the rest of the manny pad.

 

 

American Ramp Co

Finally, in Dan MacFarlane’s mind, “It is a great feeling anytime you have an idea that you haven’t seen done before, and for it to come to fruition in physical world. Nathan Bemo, the owner of ARC, and I developed the Pro Ops line together in February 2017. Our minds and our lifetime of skateboarding experience combined and it was an amazing experience. Later, the other pros were signed on then assigned obstacles based on their unique skills. We were all flown out to the ARC headquarters in April and skated the prototypes then gave feedback so they could be fine tuned. The final products look amazing and I’m glad to see both beginner and advanced skateboarders enjoying them at skateparks.” As far as what tricks he would dream of seeing go down he told us “I wouldn’t say there is one dream trick: my dream is to see every part of them skated really well, and for many people to invent new tricks and combos on them. I’ve already seen so many NBD’s done on the Pro Ops during our prototype session in April and I just want to see that continue. If you’re reading this and invent any new tricks or combos on the Pro Ops, tag us with #ProOps and our names.

American Ramp Co

The Power of Venice

The Power of Venice

You may have heard of a new documentary called “Made In Venice.” Jesse Martinez is the man behind this project. Jesse has been a be driving force within skateboarding for decades. Through his actions, along with a number of extraordinarily passionate people, the Venice skatepark came into reality. It has not been an easy journey. This films shows the power of focus and perseverance. I had a chance to catch up with Jesse a little while back. If you’re wondering what to get yourself (or someone else) for the holidays, this is a great gift. It’s an important piece of history. We’ve known each other for a number years. We talked the day after the Venice skatepark marked its 8th year anniversary. Jesse says the day was a double-edge sword for him. “For the last three years I’ve been fighting for a contract with the City of Los Angeles. Sadly, it’s been a complete failure. On one hand I’m skating with Eric Dressen, Christian Hosoi and Pat Ngoho. We’re all together young and old skaters – it’s generational.” But, as Jesse explains, “I’ve spent thousands of dollars to keep the park clean and safe for children.”A number of key players in the saga of Venice. I wondered what the City’s problem was. What was so contentious about a public skatepark that had already been built? “Honestly, it’s gotten way too personal” says Jesse. “It goes all the way back to the 1980’s until now. They wanted to put an ice skating rink there. We stopped it. They have tried to work with me, but there is so much resentment.” As example of just how seemingly out of touch the City of Los Angeles is, the sanitation department showed up on 8th anniversary of the park right in the middle of the day when there dozens of skaters having fun. What was so urgent? Power washing the park.  Jesse explains that the fault is not with the front line workers. “They have told me to my face they appreciate everything I do.” The problems seem to rest with management.  We’ll have more on Jesse and this film in our next issue.

Socking it to You! Two Stories on Socks

Socking it to You! Two Stories on Socks

Skateboarding and socks. Ever since Stance hit, it’s been a skate sock world.

So, here are two stories on skateboarding and socks.

 

 

Pride Socks, an apparel brand empowering individuals to take pride in who they are, has teamed up with the youngest pro skateboarder, Sky Brown, to release a limited edition sock. Part of the proceeds of the sock go to help kids in Cambodia.  We had a chance to interview Sky and find out what the deal was.

 

Sky – what originally brought you to Cambodia?

It’s a big dream of mine to use my skateboarding to help children in poor or tough places. Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. So the chance to go there and  to play, and skate with the kids over there was really special.

 

What does skateboarding mean to you?

My Skateboard has always been a way for me to express myself I like singing but I’m not very good but skateboarding is a dance for me also it’s is my favorite Toy, I love it. I think people sometimes forget this is one of the funnest toys in the world. And it’s taught me a lot. I can be anywhere and have a good time if I have my Skateboard, that’s why I think it’s really awesome to let young people try this. 

The video is very sweet…what are some of your favorite memories of creating it?

Playing in the Sock factory, we had too much fun. The whole journey has been super special and super real, it feels like we can do something amazing. Playing and hanging out with Rachel was super awesome especially because we have  a mission. A mission to save the world.

 

What do you say to people (especially kids) who feel they can’t make a difference?

You can always make a difference, and any difference however small you think it is, is worth it because lots of smalls make something big.

What has been the best part of working with Pride Socks?

Pride socks is just a small company but Rachel the CEO has put so much into this it’s amazing and selfless. I couldn’t be more proud than to call Rachel my friend. She’s my best friend.

 

SOCK STORY PART #2

 

MERGE4 is pleased to announce the addition of Spidey De Montrond to its growing stable of artist-athlete collaborators.

 

Rick De Montrond – better know as “Spidey” – started out as a sponsored amateur skateboarder and turned pro at The Capitola Street Style contest in 1985. He’s been a contributing writer for Thrasher Magazine and Freestylin BMX; Spidey studied music formally; while he was in college he was signed to Capitol Records to a record deal as a singer/songwriter.

 

Spidey has always been fashion-forward – leaning toward eccentric preferences in everything he does from head to toe: “I am a sucker for a good looking sock. I LOVE SOCKS!!”

 

MERGE4 founder Cindi Ferreira Busenhart loves that Spidey loves socks: “Spidey cares about the planet and wanted something that was a soft eco yarn. Luckily we were already developing the Bamboo Blend which is 80% mechanical bamboo.”

 

  

Thrash the Patriarchy: Women’s Skateboarding Finds Its Foothold in the Mainstream

Thrash the Patriarchy: Women’s Skateboarding Finds Its Foothold in the Mainstream

On November 29th, Enjoi Skateboards officially announced that Samarria Brevard would be joining their ranks as a professional team rider. Generally speaking, a skateboard team taking on a new rider is hardly newsworthy, or at most it’s noteworthy enough to warrant a sentence or two in Thrasher or Transworld, and some obligatory social media posts. This announcement was far from generic, however, by the ironic virtue of the fact that women have been making a lot of news in skateboarding this year.Samarria Brevard joins Enjoi  Brevard becoming the first female rider on Enjoi is but the latest in what has been a banner year for women’s skateboarding that saw Lizzie Armanto, Nora Vasconcellos, and Leticia Bufoni rise into the professional ranks for Birdhouse, Welcome, and Plan B skateboards, respectively. Prior to 2017, only two women in the history of skateboarding were given pro models while riding for companies whose teams were predominantly male: Elissa Steamer (Zero Skateboards, 1998), and Vanessa Torres (Element Skateboards, 2004). In the span of less than a single year, mainstream skateboarding has doubled the number of female professionals present over the course of the last two decades. One has a hard time not taking notice.Leticia Bufoni pro announcement Photo: Paulo Macedo So, what happened? Why now? Historically women in skating have been treated as novelties at best, and second-class citizens at worst. Peggy Oki recounted being criticized for “skating like a guy” in the seminal documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. Diane Desiderio, despite being a talented competitive freestyler in her own right, is best known for the novelty freestyle routines she and her husband Primo would perform at Sea World. Several girl-centric brands, from Hoopla to Meow to Silly Girl and more have cultivated quiet followings over the years, existing out of a sheer necessity to offer girls and women gear not directly marketed toward men or boys.  “Because of social media women’s skateboarding has become more mainstream.” Alishia Stevens explains. The Toronto native, who rides for Volcom flow and 970co Headwear, made the move to Southern California two years ago to immerse herself in the ever-growing women’s skate scene. “I didn’t even know about so many girls before social media…just Vanessa Torres and Elissa Steamer. YouTube channels like Girls Skate Network were basically an introduction to women’s skateboarding.” The YouTube channel, currently with just under 59,000 subscribed viewers, has been featuring Brevard, Vasconcellos, Armanto, Bufoni, and dozens of other professional and amateur female skaters for nearly six years now, uploading their first video in February of 2012. As for the mainstream taking notice, Stevens points to footwear as the gateway, specifically Nike. “They were the first ones to have a skateboarding shoe geared [toward] and designed for women skateboarders.” The iconic shoe company gave Bufoni her own signature model in 2014, three years before she was signed to Plan B skateboards as their first female rider, and soon after their first female pro. Alishia Stevens 50-50 Photo: Erik Sandoval While we certainly have come a long way from the borderline misogynistic days when the majority of women presented in skate media were the scantly-clad models in Hubba Wheels ads, there is still miles yet to go before we see real equality. In an April 5th article for Vice, Trina Calderón offered up some hard numbers: “While the X Games have been hip to equal pay since 2008, it’s not standard everywhere. This year, [pro skater Poppy] Olsen won $500 at the Australian Bowl Riding Championships… The men’s winner, by contrast, pocketed $5,000. The Bowl-a-Rama this year had a $15,000 prize for men and $2,000 for women.” (Calderón, sports.vice.com) Stevens agrees that public opinion still needs to change. “I just saw a comment about Samarria being on Enjoi yesterday…[the commenter] thought it was sexist that she got on, that there’s other skaters that work harder than her. Women have to work ten times harder just to get noticed!” Still, she remains optimistic. “I think the skate industry is finally beginning to change…there’s women out there that work just as hard as [men] do, and they deserve to be riding for [mainstream] companies.” It would appear as though this year has been evidence to that fact, and one can hope that the trend only continues into 2018 and beyond.

A Profile of Carson Schiefner – Pro Scooter Rider

A Profile of Carson Schiefner – Pro Scooter Rider

TRIGGER WARNING – this article is about SCOOTERS.  If you’re a skater and can’t handle this subject matter, stop reading immediately. If however, you have an open mind,continue reading. And, if you’re a skateshop who seems to be on the decline and can’t figure out how to turn it around – then you definitely want to read this.  
As you can see, there is another skater who helped me develop this blog post. This skater has spent over 30 years in the skate business and has worked with a number of brands, including Powell Peralta, Sector 9 and World Industries. But before he made skateboarding part of his business life, he first made skateboarding part of his life. His name is Kevin Harris.
 Back in the 80’s, Kevin went from amateur to pro on the biggest skateboard team on the planet.  Kevin has invested millions into skateboarding over the years. He’s run magazines (Concrete Powder), skateparks (Richmond Skate Ranch), funded and supported skateboarders, books and countless events. His insights on the current state of things with skateboarding resonate with me on a very high level. We know things are in a weird state. So rather than complain, Kevin gets pro-active. Kevin went on a mission to understand where a lot of the money has flown from skateboarding. It wasn’t difficult to trace. Scooters are taking huge swaths of money from the skate world. Kevin sat down with pro scooter rider Carson Schiefner to find out more. The truth is that scooters are not skateboarding’s enemies. A ton of scooter kids are intrigued by skateboarding or would love to try it. There is so much potential and yet we’ve gotten to a point where lashing out a scooter kids is just a regular occurrence from skaters. Except, this lashing out and making other riders feel like crap hasn’t stopped or slowed the rise of scooters. In fact, the scooter kids outnumber the skater kids. And some scooter kids are skaters – or former skaters. With so much dissent in our society, maybe it’s time to reconsider things from a different perspective. This post aims to give you a different perspective. Should you wish NOT to read it, that’s your prerogative. However, in my experience, opening your mind to alternative ideas is not always a bad thing. You have been warned:  “Skateboarders may not like the little scooter kids at the skatepark, but if you are nice to them, they could potentially be great skateboarders one day. Those little kids look up to older skaters. Skateboarders have to understand that scooters are not going anywhere – deal with it and accept it.”– KEVIN HARRIS  Some thoughts from Carson Schiefner – Pro Scooter Rider  BACKGROUND“I originally started out skateboarding. I was 10 years old. I grew up with skateparks.  I started scootering when I was around 13. I went to the skatepark and started messing around trying to land tricks. I didn’t think it would turn into anything. But it did and now I compete.
THE STATISTIC THAT FEELS TRUE  
There are probably twice as many scooter participants in North America as there are skateboarders. But even if there aren’t, it sure feels like it! MAKING A LIVINGI ride for Lucky Pro Scooters and the Scooter Farm. My sponsors fly me out to competitions. I can alsoget money for videos.   WHERE SOME OF THE HATE MIGHT COME FROMI know that it’s a lot easier to pick up scootering than skateboarding. Maybe this is where skateboarders pick up some of their hate from. I learned a lot more tricks on a scooter and it was much easier to learn these tricks than skateboard tricks. I think a big factor in the hate is the young kids riding around who don’t know park etiquette and happen to get in everyones way. THE CULTUREIt’s getting there. It started out with some small companies – like a family thing. There are companies that make clothing specifically for this market. Scooter brands for helmets. But just wait – in a few more years there will be a lot more available. THE BUSINESSWorldwide there are a few very big scooter shops. The best stuff can be hard to find locally. most people, including myself get it through the online shops. It would be amazing to have a high end local shop here in Vancouver I DON’T OWN A SKATEBOARDCurrently I don’t own a skateboard but I will pick one up and ride if there is one around. WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE RIDICULED BY SKATEBOARDERS AT A SKATEPARKMost of the time I didn’t give a shit. I’d just ignore them. If I was with a group of scooter kids it would be easier. Then again, there would always be more scooters than skateboarders. Hearing skaters remarks didn’t change anything for me.COMPANIES HAVE TRIED TO MAKE A PROPER SCOOTER SHOE At one time I rode for a company trying to market to the scooter demographic. Honestly, it wasn’t anything special – pretty much like a regular skate shoe. But down the road, I am sure they’ll be someone creating something.   SKATEBOARDING HAS A HAWK AND SCOOTERING HAS A FOX – TANNER FOXTanner Fox’s video’s on YouTube. He’s got over 6.3 MILLION subscribers on YouTube. INJURIESI’ve seen some pretty horrific injuries in scootering. When you hit your shin on a tail whip it f**king hurts! I think scooters are more dangerous – it’s mostly metal and there are parts than can cut you. GROMS ON SCOOTERSI can’t stand them either and I ride a scooter! They get in the way. But at the same time, if you’re a skater and you’re nice to that kid, you never know – he might eventually turn into the next Tony Hawk. IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS…As much as skateboarders don’t like the little scooter kids, they are not going anywhere. You’ll have to deal with it and accept. Scootering is growing.  Some other insights from Kevin:   WHAT’S IN A NAME?If scooter kids, BMX’ers and skateboarders are all using the park, is it still reasonable to call it a skatepark? Maybe the better term is “all wheel park.” THE LEARNING CURVEIt’s way easy to learn how to scooter when compared to skateboarding. It’s easy to pick up some basic tricks. This is why young kids gravitate to scooters. Skateboarding is much harder and generally requires way more dedication and practice. FIVE YEAR GRAVITATIONAL PULLIn the next five years, scooter kids who are supporting skate brands like Vans will gravitate towards their own brands – those scooter brands that support scootering. PRO RIDERSThere is now an established pro circuit within scooters. Young kids look up to these pros. The kids that start now at age 8 will probably still do it at age 25 to 30. MARKET TRENDS FOR SHOPSLongboarding is about 60% down. The regular street skate business is anywhere from 30 to 40% down. We have close to 400 skateshops in Canada that we sell to. Most of them are struggling. The one’s that aren’t struggling are bringing in scooters. THE REALITY FOR SOME SKATE SHOPS The shops that don’t want anything to do with scooters, it’s hard for them to bridge the gap. We worked with a skate shop on Vancouver Island. A decision was made to bring in scooters. Sales tripled. The only reason why the shop (and the adjacent skate park) are still around is due to scooters.  THE REALITY FOR SOME SKATEPARKSWhere I live in British Columbia, a retailer opened up a skatepark at the local mall. It costs quite a bit of money to operate this park. There were signs stating “no scooters.” The pressure came down from parents to allow scooters, so they changed the rules. They allow scooters in two days a week – which I was in full agreement with. One time I was there, there was no one at the park. Five scooter kids came in. They turned those kids away just because it wasn’t scooter day. It was insane.  THE EXPERIMENTI did an experiment at a number of skateparks that I visited. I’d ride and a lot of kids would start to stare. When I finished, both skate kids and scooter kids gathered around. The skaters would ask me about skateboarding and then I’d go to the scooter kids and ask them about scootering. I’d ask them how much they paid, what kind of bearings – those kinds of things. Some kids paid $500, others paid $800. I noticed the higher the price, the cooler the kid. I find the opposite is true in skateboarding. LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!I think scooters are:  More controversy here:  and here:     

Who is Sammy Jackson – Part 1

Who is Sammy Jackson – Part 1

Ever heard of Sammy Jackson? Well, if you’re involved with longboarding, you should be. He is, without a shadow of any doubt, THE BEST PASSIONATE PERSON OF LONGBOARDING ON EARTH! Don’t believe me? It says so right at his site: The funny thing is, I can’t find anything about this guy. I’ve never heard of him. My friend Scott Lembach over at Muir Skate wondered about him too: Sammy runs a website that promises to give consumers great insight into their purchasing of a longboard. They are an Amazon affiliate which means they make money on all the sales they generate through their reviews and promotion of various brands at their site. On the surface, this seems quite ordinary. But there’s something not 100% cool here. The boards Sammy reviews are generally for big box stores. I’ve seen the Atom and Quest boards in Costco. There’s nothing wrong with that – but claiming somehow these boards are the best of 2017 seems to be a little hyperbolic.  For those of you unaccustomed to reading between the lines, I’ll go out on a limb here and say there is something rather odd about the whole site. There are grammar errors and a sense that nothing on the site really feels legitimate. In my opinion, the majority of these decks are basic, beginner decks that may or may not be awesome for someone. But claiming these decks are the best of 2017 seems to be way off base. Of course, I could be completely mistaken. Maybe Sammy is the kind of guy I can go out for a ride with. Maybe have a beer with…Who knows? But one thing is for sure – I’ve sent some questions over to Sammy and we’ll see what he delivers. Meanwhile, Orwell spins in his grave. And for those of you still reading- go visit MuirSkate.com, and drop a few bucks. And if you’d prefer to spend money at your local skate shop, well, that’s cool too. Trust me when I say they need the money more than Amazon. PS – I’ll just call this exhibit B – lawn mowers and longboards…who’d have thought?   

The Gun Buy Back

The Gun Buy Back

 Former pro skater Harvey Hawks spent 27 years in jail for 2nd degree murder. As he states – “the best atonement is a life well served.” This child has gone from non-skater to skater in one small trade. It was Neil Carver, of Carver Skateboards who first approached Longboarding for Peace about the idea of trading guns in for skateboards. That was 4 years ago and since that time, there have been a number of gun buy backs. Carver has stepped up big time with this program and has donated tens of thousands worth of product over the years. A number of other companies have also been involved. These include Loaded, Orangatang, Abec 11, Landyachz, Bustin and Rainskates. Just this year, Kebbek sent 89 completes which is an incredible gift. To all the companies who have provided gear – THANK YOU! We are so appreciative of your generosity.Guns are tagged, bagged and eventually melted down. Although the first gun buy back was held in San Pedro, the gun buyback now take places in San Diego. We work with former pro Dennis Martinez and his Off the Streets volunteers. One particular volunteer who has been essential in making the program work is Harvey Hawks. Harvey also works with CW and we are proud to have him as part of the team. Below is a video of part of his remarkable story. My sincere thanks to Carver for making this video and to you for taking the time to watch it. The 9th Annual Gun Buyback in association with Longboarding for Peace and the San Diego Police Department on December 16, 2017 from 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM at 6020 Akins Ave, San Diego, CA 92114. 

YES TO Skateboarders BUT No Sex Offenders Part 2 – UPDATE – SKATERS WELCOME!

YES TO Skateboarders BUT No Sex Offenders Part 2 – UPDATE – SKATERS WELCOME!

We reached out to the folks in Douglas, Georgia to get their take on things. UPDATE – as of November 29th SKATERS ARE WELCOME!    Dear Mr. Brooke: The following answers relate to your questions within this email:Question #1 If skateboarders are banned, are scooters, roller bladers and bicyclists also banned?Please see the attached brochure for a full listing of the rules for the parade  Question #2 Given that it is easy to spot a skateboarder with a skateboard, how do you intend to enforce sex offenders not being at the parade? – who might be a bit more difficult to spot when compared to skateboarders.Through our application process, we have set up a process, through our police department, to verify sex offenders.  Question #3 Have you had calls from skateboarders and/or sex offenders to be in the parade? We have not had any calls from any verified sex offenders to participate in the parade this year.  My office has received only one phone call from a mother of a skateboarder, who expressed an interest to find a comprise for the skaters to be in the parade. I hope these answers provide you with the information you have requested.  Sincerely,Georgia Henderson  Georgia Henderson, DirectorPublic Information Department

No Skateboarders/No Sex Offenders Part #1

No Skateboarders/No Sex Offenders Part #1

Douglas, Georgia is about 3 1/2 hours south of Atlanta. For the past 54 years, the town has put on a Christmas Parade. Nothing odd about that – many cities across North America do this. What I found most unusual about the City of Douglas was their rules and regulations with respect to this parade. Have a peek here. If you are not inclined to take a look at their rules, here’s a screen shot:  And here it is blown up: Yes, you read that correctly – NO SKATEBOARDERS & NO SEX OFFENDERS. I was puzzled by these rules and so I decided to email the City and get their take. Here’s what I asked: Question #1If skateboarders are banned, are scooters, roller bladers and bicyclists also banned? Question #2Given that it is easy to spot a skateboarder with a skateboard, how do you intend to enforce sex offenders not being at the parade – who might be a bit more difficult to spot? Question #3Have you had calls from skateboarders or sex offenders to be in the parade?  It will be interesting to see if the town gets back to me.  Meanwhile, if you wish to contact the Mayor, Tony Paulk, you can email him directly here.     

Artist Profile – Cory Scroggins

Artist Profile – Cory Scroggins

In the Winter of 2016, I fell in love with parking blocks in the depths of an unassuming New Jersey parking garage. Rows and rows of them. Always in pursuit of the best low impact skateboarding I can find, I would spend nearly every night from January through April realizing how much potential these mini concrete flatbars had packed in them. As skateboarders, curbs and parking blocks are up there among the most appealing found pieces of architecture to mash our trucks into and slide our decks across. From those seemingly perfectly polished California red curbs to the crustier east coast hexagons that chip away to exposed rebar, few skaters can say they have gone without hitting a parking block one time or another.

 

In the midst of this developing love affair, I came across the work of Cory Scroggins, (aka @CoryTheCreative on Instagram) and found another skater out there who seemed to share this affinity for the blocks. In his work, Scroggins has painted blocks of all shapes, sizes and colors, to compose his neon and pastel-heavy aesthetic. Whether busting out his favorites, either lipslides or front/back blunt slides, or having a casual session, Scroggins told us, “to me the parking block is one of the more fun things to skate, especially with your mates. With a fresh waxed block and sesh with your friends, there’s nothing better haha.”

 

Beyond the blocks though, Scroggins’ art catches the eye through the variety of non-conventional mediums he uses. Random slabs of wood, broken boards, cassette cases and beer cans are all subject to be taken by Scroggins’ brush and reimagined in a colorful second life. Speaking on his choice of canvas, Scroggins says, “I honestly enjoy painting on all different types of objects and items. No real preference as long as it’s not something brand new. There’s just something to an old item or object that tells a story all in itself before I even paint on it.” For example, if you see some of his work on that pint bottle that would have otherwise been trashed, you might see that it’s actually an IPA from that local brewery up the street from his studio called Upland Brewing Co.

 

 

 As for the other bottles and scraps that Scroggins salvages, you might find them at a pop up art show, of which he has had plenty. When asked about the process and intent behind his shows, he told us, “When I had my first couple of shows years and years ago, I didn’t really know what to expect. Some folks where taken back by my style while other loved what I was doing. When I have these shows I try to have a theme or a message I want to say, instead of just making all about me or my name. In the end I just want to inspire others to be creative and to be comfortable as the kooks they are.”

 

As for some of these other kooks Scroggins has worked with, his work was notably shown at the Quiet Life’s “The Art of Table Tennis” show alongside the likes of Chris Pastras,  Henry Jones and one of his best friends, Lucas Beaufort.

 

The ping pong paddles he designed helped benefit Long Beach’s homeless community. With impactful goals in mind for shows like this one, it is important for Scroggins to dive right into the creative process when an idea arrives. This way, he can avoid, ideas “sitting in your mind floating around [and] not being put to use. Wasting away.  When I get an idea that I’m really excited about, I try to draw it right away so I don’t forget it” he asserts.  

 

Not only is Scroggins dedicated to keeping his ideas from going to waste, he is committed to fostering environments where up and coming creatives can let their ideas out as well. To speak more about his vision, he announced, “I’m working a project to give back to skateboarding and the youth. I’m currently planning out 10 stops at skate shops to have shows and bring art supplies and skateboards to create unique experiences and donate all proceeds back directly to each shop I stop at, in hopes to build up creativity and spark positive change. While this announcement leaves us to question whether or not his tour will breed the next generation of parking block painters, there is one thing for certain: with the eclectic collection of work that Cory Scroggins has produced thus far, those participating will have all the inspiration they need to emulate both his creativity and his humanitarian endeavors.

 

To follow the upcoming events, drop Cory a follow on Instagram here

    

Thank You, Marc Johnson

Thank You, Marc Johnson

As we just reported, Lucas Beaufort created an exceptional documentary called Devoted. He has just released a 19 minute extended video of his interview with legendary skater Marc Johnson.   https://vimeo.com/242846999“Did you ever see anyone take a laptop to a bathroom?” Marc asks. He is unabashedly a devotee of print. THANK YOU, MARC, for your support! Below, the full video.      

Instagram/Magazine/Website Update

Instagram/Magazine/Website Update

 

First up, apologies to anyone who read my first post on Instagram yesterday. As my good friend Sean said, “it’s not fully cooked.” Actually, Sean didn’t really say that, but it was the basic idea.

 

There are so many things changing with Concrete Wave. A new team is coming in. You don’t know most of them but each of them are doing a tremendous job. As we roll things out, you’ll learn more about them with each passing issue.

 

And speaking of issues, the next issue is almost at press. It’s VERY different than what you have seen before. Visually, you’ll be in for a shock. But have no fear. We are bringing the magazine out at three key events: Shred Expo, Agenda and ISPO. We want to make take notice of what’s cooking here.

 

Now it’s time for an explanation, confession and apology….and not necessarily in that order.

 

A confession: A few days ago, our Instagram page turned into a sh*tshow. A Thrasher logo turned into the word POSER placed with an image of a core downhill rider started the ball rolling. Comments quickly turned ugly from one particular individual. This led to outrage…and more outrage and then, well…barf.

 

From my perspective what started out as fairly odd quickly turned into a cesspool. The comments definitely rubbed some people the wrong way. It was so out of line for Concrete Wave….which I think what made it so viral, awkward and irritating/amusing…and not necessarily in that order!

 

You start out with this….

  

 

 

And then in 18 years… this!

 

And then in your 40’s….THIS! 

 

Concrete Wave has always stood for inclusion. Some Instagram comments were truly the antithesis of this philosophy.  And skaters got riled up. And so they should have.

 

The truth is that Concrete Wave doesn’t care what your riding as long as you’re riding. And the kinds of people associated with Concrete Wave feel the same way. Sometimes these people have very different ways of spreading their ideas.

 

Skateboarding contains a spectrum of behaviours and beliefs. Concrete Wave works with convicts, ex cons,, former heroin addicts, alcoholics and former alcoholics. Vert, freestyle, street, slalom…pools, freeriding, skateparks, downhill…commuter…it’s a community. 

 

The fact is that Concrete Wave offers a very unique perspective within skateboarding.  I sincerely believe we need the full spectrum of skateboarding to make it work. Our apologies to those who were angered and/or confused.

 

If you questioned Concrete Wave and the posts, you did the right thing. Moving forward, we will aim to move things forward!

 

 

 

Devoted – A Documentary About Skateboard Media

Devoted – A Documentary About Skateboard Media

 

Those familiar with the name Lucas Beaufort may remember the piece we ran on his wildly popular artwork earlier this year. Behind the colorful characters he paints on top of magazine covers, ads and other skate photos, Beaufort told CW, “My goal is to bring something special to the world. I don’t want to come out with something that you see everyday.”

 

In the time since that last piece ran, Beaufort has again caught the attention of the skateboarding world in different way: his documentary on the legacy and future of print media, “Devoted.” In the hour long feature, some of skateboarding’s top professionals, photographers, writers and videographers chronicle their feelings on a variety of different issues currently facing print media today.

 

Speaking about the how’s and why’s of this project in an interview with Jenkem, Beaufort mentioned that his intent is “more about showing the new generation how important print was before the internet era. But I think it would be interesting to know what they think about the documentary.” With that being said, I logged into Gmail and shot Beaufort an message to venture some questions and share some thoughts I had on “Devoted” based on my “internet era” mindset.

 

To explain a bit further, I should express the predicament I find myself in regarding the subject. I became immersed the skateboard world well after the explosion of digital media, HD video and internet-based content, yet I write for a print magazine. I very often interact with people who lived through an all-print era and continue to fight to prove the value of print today. I look up to those who pushed skateboarding through the work of printed publications and I’m every bit intrigued by the stories of yesteryear, where the industry’s greatest surprises and announcements warranted sanctity in the pages of a monthly magazine. These are moments that Beaufort recalls by stating “back in the days you could (before Internet) you could surprise people with projects, now it’s almost impossible. You always have somebody to spoil it through Instagram.”

 

At the same time though, I wake up every morning scrolling through an Instagram feed to see how many dream tricks have come to life over the past couple hours.

 

 

This is something that Beaufort dually expressed support of by saying “Social media is also a super good tool to promote whatever you want and if you don’t have the big media to support you.”

 

However, as I find myself writing for this print publication’s digital website, I remind myself that embracing my overall position of neutrality is probably the best way to continue being able to relate to both sides of the coin. Featuring people dealing with similar iterations of this juxtaposition is, by far, the defining element that makes “Devoted” as special as it is.

 

In regards to the divisions between print and digital, Beaufort himself told me, “To be honest with you I like both. I like to dream with a print photo in my hands as I like to connect super fast with people around the world through social media.” On one hand, he is supported in the documentary by the likes of Steve Berra and Jaime Owens, who support the potential of print magazines, if executed in a sustainable way. On the other hand, his dreams are perhaps more passionately supported by the likes of Skin Phillips stammering with “I don’t know’s” and Marc Johnson nearly in tears over the possibility of a future without print media.

 

 

Former editor of Transworld Skateboarding and the Skateboard Mag – Dave Swift

 

These are critical firsthand accounts of the future of skateboarding’s media landscape as volunteered by some of the foremost players involved. In the end though, the ultimate question of “Where do we go now?” is left to interpretation and subject to the progression of whatever the future may hold. Speaking on this, Beaufort told me “With Devoted I’m not here to tell skateboard magazines who they have to talk with or how do they have to run it. Being that there is a crucial element of the right mixture of people needed to blend together though, Beaufort continued “It’s a team effort. Print has to do the best to get more readers, it sounds cheezy but it’s true. It’s the same with everything, if you want to survive you have to be extremly good, especially today.”

Pro Marc Johnson is devoted to skate mags.

 

With that being said, I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who wonders where those magazines that used to come to their door have gone to take a look at Lucas Beaufort’s “Devoted” for a comprehensive look into where they came from, where they have gone and when they’ll be delivered next.

 

Check out “Devoted” in it’s entirety here

An Article Worth Recycling

An Article Worth Recycling

It’s been over 7 years since James sent Concrete Wave this piece on Skateboarding and Taoism. Take the time to read it. It’s unique to CW…you won’t find material like this in Transworld!  You can see the issue on line here:        

From SkateBoarder to Action Now

From SkateBoarder to Action Now

 For most young skaters, the idea of a skateboard magazine including music, surfing, snowboarding and BMX doesn’t seem like the craziest idea. But in 1980, readers of SkateBoarder Mag opened up the July issue to see this message inside:  The cover gave a hint of the new direction…July 1990 – and luge is on the cover!  At the time, the skate industry was going through convulsions. Things had changed and the mania that people once had for skateboarding had subsided. There were a lot of companies, lots of product and very little interest. A perfect recipe for disaster. Have a look at what they were trying to do. The Glendora Mountain Road Race gave readers a sense of what was happening in downhill. The racers were doing illegal things – just like their pool crashing counterparts. But the addition of BMX was a curveball that many skaters probably really weren’t interesting in catching. Then again, I’m just speculating here. I dug BMX but not enough to ride or purchase one.As for soft boogie boards – sure there’s a connection but for most land-locked subscribers like myself, it was only a dream.For those of you interested, back in 2002, I interviewed Dave Dash, the publisher of SkateBoarder and got his take on things.     

Calleigh Little Keeps on Pushing

Calleigh Little Keeps on Pushing

Calleigh Little is doing something quite incredible in the world of skateboarding. She is going across the USA via longboard solo. We caught up with her in Wyoming. Before we get into the interview, here are some of Calleigh’s impressive contest results:

Adrenalina 2016 – 2nd Place Women’s
215 miles – Miami Ultraskate 2017 (Second Place Women’s)
188 miles – Chief Ladiga Sk8 Challenge (Second Place Women’s)
Central Mass Skate Festival 8 – Women’s First Place

 Somewhere in Nebraska

 

 

Why do you find long distance and downhill skateboarding so enjoyable?

It’s not so much that I find long distance or downhill enjoyable- I truly feel like both disciplines ask things of me I dont normally do. They enable me to extend myself in ways I never would in any other part of life. Long distance requires a mental focus, extensive planning, and full body commitment. I find that when I am in a situation where my entire being is used, I have an opportunity to see how far I can take it. And then I take it further.

Downhill, on the other hand, is a streamline of panic, fear, focus, and commitment. I absolutely adore the moments where I have no idea whats coming up after a turn. How will I react? Do I fully tuck or do I have to prepare for a predrift? When I’m going fast, no other questions matter. I dont worry about student loan bills. Who cares what that guy said to me last night? All that matters is that I make it down safely. I love that.

What made you decide to go solo across the USA?

When I first came out as a transgender woman, the world hadn’t even begun to bring it into the mainstream news. I didn’t have all kinds of acceptance, and I certainly didn’t have the friends I do now. That was 3 years ago. The world wants to make it seem like it’s being shoved down their throats, but its just a new thing the media is okay with talking about.

Now, three years later, I didn’t want to run away from anything. I had friends all over the globe from competing. I wanted to do it solo for me. I came to a point where I wasnt learning anything anymore from the people I interacted with. I knew there had to be more to learn. If I did it with someone else, the experience could have been about our experience together, and not my experience with the world.

Where do you think your competitive spirit comes from?

After a long life of being beaten down and coming up short, I found that my competitive edge was a product of me wanting to rise above. People tend to think that I have always been on top- its simply not the case. I experienced enough life to a point where I had to fight back, I had to be myself, and I had to win. I have been so sick and tired of sitting in the back of the class. I trained and fought and trained a bit more. And when I sat down at the end of the day, I thought about training again.

What has been your best experience so far within skateboarding?

I think the best experience within skateboarding has been the vast amount of friends I made. Every event I attend has people I look forward to meeting, whether it is downhill or long distance. I learned of a world where people encouraged me and pushed me, and made me work for everything I had.

If I had to narrow it down to just one experience, my absolute favorite was winning the Central Mass 8 women’s division. It was a race I attended for years, and I picked up everything I could to figure out how to win it. It was neck and neck all the way to the end and a true photo finish. My friends dumped champagne on me at the podium and for once in my skate life I had earned my title.

What has been the worst experience and how did you deal with it?

Worst experience…they are few and far between. The world is a good place. The absolute worst, though, was when I had just kicked off for the 24 hour Ultraskate in 2017. My biggest competitor had turned around and said, “If you’re going to race as a woman, you need to pee like a woman.” I could have taken it a million ways. I could have dwelled on it for 24 consecutive hours of skating around in a circle. I could have quit. Instead, I appeased the proposal- given that I only urinated once in 24 hours anyways, I retired to the bathroom and peed. The guys usually just drop their shorts and pee as they skate. I did go on to lose to her by only 10 miles that year, but it burned a fire in me to fight harder.

Adrenalina Marathon

You mentioned at the Longboard Girls Crew website you are lost between jobs and are questioning the meaning of everything. The fact that some stole your intellectual property must have been devastating. Is this trip helping you deal with that loss?

It totally hurt that the company I was working for used me for my creative work, forced me out, and then didn’t pay me. Legally I have all of the rights to everything I created as an independent contractor without a signed contract. I didnt have the means to hire a lawyer. I was flat broke. I began selling my collection of boards and gear to make end’s meat and often went days without eating. It hurt a lot.

I learned, once again, to fight back. Even if I did sue for my rightful property it could have been years of litigation. I wasnt going to see a dime that could have helped me at that moment. I looked for a new career for two months, struggling along, doing 2 or 3 interviews a day and ended up with a job at a burger place. I knew I was worth more than a job at a burger place, so I formulated my plans to follow my dreams. I could only struggle for so long.  I sold my motorcycle, stopped paying rent, threw away everything I couldn’t sell, and fit my life in a backpack. With the help of my friends, the companies who support me, and the money I earned from selling my belongings, my dream didnt seem so far off. So I made it happen. No longer was I going to slave away at a job I hated putting money in someone else’s pocket. I realized this life is mine and it is what I make it.

What do you plan to do once this feat is accomplished?

Honestly, I have no idea. I’d love to expand on my blogs and sell them as a book. I’d also love to turn around and go back the other way. Mostly, I plan to take my experience and use it to be the number 1 female distance skater in the ultraskate. As for where I’ll live or what ill do for money, who knows? I still have a tent and a skateboard- the world is my oyster.

 

Harsh question to ask – but I would like to ask what do you say to people who feel this whole “transgender thing” is all about seeking attention? Instead of seeing your bravery, they just question your entire reason.

Haha. I get these comments all the time. It’s hard for me to take them seriously. Its not about being transgender, and it certainly isn’t for attention. I planned and left for this ride in a month’s time. I’ve been trans for as long as I can remember. I race with the girls as any other girl would. There was an article written about me on Gay Star News that wanted to highlight my identity as a transgender woman because of the relevance to their audience and people saw it as a big slap in the face, like I purposefully slathered my identity around. Trust me, if I could be seen and accepted as any other girl is, I would kill for the chance.

But I think the use of telling people of my transgender identity is more for other trans people in the world. I want them to know I am trans. I want them to see that we dont have to hide in our bedrooms. We can go to the corner store as ourselves and we can be a part of society. As I skate I see all different kinds of people, and the grand majority have accepted me and spoken of my bravery. I think it gets a little twisted when you read it in an article versus witnessing it in real life.

Imagine seeing someone skateboarding past your house with a 30 lb expedition backpack and saying, “You just want attention!” Its a little ridiculous. At the end of the day, I’m out here making my dreams come true, tethered to nothing, while others somehow find a reason to feel taller than me. I’ve never felt taller for making someone else feel small.

What’s been the reaction from the various articles you’ve had written about you?

I spoke about this in the last question a bit, but its really a mixed bag. I can with 100% certainty say that it has been all straight white men who have a problem with me. I am a woman, I have lived as a woman, I have endured the horrible society women live in every day, and their opinions don’t change that. Whether they want to fall back on some pseudo-scientific argument to denounce my gender or just speak out of bigotry, it doesn’t change anything. I have never sought respect from anyone who didn’t have mine.

 You can donate to Calleigh here. Find out more here:Instagram: @supergirls_pantiesFacebook: /supergirlLDPTumblr: trans-america.Tumblr.comSkatecrosscountry.com

Red Rum Skates Interview

Red Rum Skates Interview

Red Rum is based in San Diego, California and was founded by a man who goes by the name of Jerm. He’s got some great perspective on the skate industry. Jerm, why did you start Red Rum Skates?I started Red Rum Skates as an outlet to my art to bring back the old days of doing my own art on blank skateboard decks that I did as a kid . My wife used to do the same as a kid so I had come up with the name as a nod to The Shining and my love of Horror and did a few decks. Then after starting to paint on all surfaces I could find, My wife, Vee says “why dont you just paint skateboard decks instead?” That’s when the idea really came into reality.  Jerm’s shirt says it all. I had came up with the concept in 2007 and did just a few until I got real serious a few years later. We had researched enough to be confident in a quality product. We started promoting on social sites in 2012. With over 600 hand painted decks later and a sister company Witch Boards, we are starting to get serious. I see 2018 as the year to break the stigma and division in skateboarding. What is your take on the skate industry?The industry needs the people, but the people don’t need the industry’s politics. I see skateboarding becoming what it has always been: the most fun anyone young or old can have for an affordable investment. Jerm charges the mini-ramp in his backyard. As the money goes to the “professional riders” for their overseas trips and over priced products, the DIY community, smaller family/skater owned companies and the purists will strive even harder to protect a lifestyle that is enjoyed by people worldwide. It has come a long way since I started riding in 1971 and I find it quite repulsive the way that much of the industry is divided. What are your thoughts on the Olympics?I believe that there is plenty of room for the Olympics and corporate skateboarding, but for the rest of us, we need to take it back and we will.  Skateboarding doesn’t discriminate. Thats a human behavior and it can be changed, so get your spouse, kids, neighbors, parents and grandparents and get some skateboards and go skate! It doesn’t matter what shape, size or brand, just skate. More skate, less hate . that I see is the future.  What’s the best and worst thing about running an independent skate company?I’d say best thing about owning an independent company is the artistic expression. Your vision, your art, your passion, that being said – “How much money do I want to throw down on a dream that is going against big money and an industry that regulates itself and doesn’t take kindly to new innovations or dreamers?” The thing is, in my opinion, skateboarding started with gals and guys cruising around and surfing the asphalt and concrete waves of neighborhoods and schools, shopping malls and parks. There is the natural progression of refining the toys we ride and innovators produce and manufacture and become iconic. The pioneers get stuck in the balance of preserving their brand and their investment and lose contact with the spirit that created their brand. The consumer will follow what is prominent in the media of what is best and human behavior lead us to follow the fastest and easiest path which in turn is the very wall that separates the smaller company from the community that they are so passionate about. When a small company is spending their last dollar on quality rather than mass production, their interest as well as investment becomes a hinderance. I am obsessed with skateboarding and if I wanted to be rich , I’d still ride skateboards but I would NEVER sell out and abuse the lifestyle I have chosen to create and share my art with.  I think think the difference between a smaller company and the bigger companies differs between each company but when your passion becomes your main source of income, you have to walk that line very carefully. Some pretty unique shapes from Witch Boards. In which direction would you like to see skateboarding go?I’d like to see skateboarding get back in the hands of the people that can see past the money, politics and get rich opportunity and lets as a community embrace the culture as a whole and make it family friendly. I grew up when you were literally chased down and beat up for riding a skateboard and punk rock met that mentality and frustration and I used skateboarding as an extension to my art and lifestyle choices.  It would be great that we as a community can stand up against the hate and embrace the future instead of repeating the past. We can roll up to anyone in the world on a wooden piece of wood with urethane wheels and hardware to hold it together. Without any words needed, we can have something in common and can enjoy a smile together. It shouldn’t matter what size deck you have or what brand , etc etc etc…. as long as you ride a skateboard, I have something in common with you and its time we all embrace the good and set aside the hate . More skate , Less hate. just skate ! 

Thank You Sally Ann Miller

Thank You Sally Ann Miller

Most people who skate nowadays probably have no idea just how close the US government came to shutting it down during the 1970’s. Thanks to Sally Ann Miller, you still have the freedom to roll in the USA. And thanks to Jim Gray of the mighty Powerflex Wheels and Inkjenda, you can learn about this incredible woman through his incredible Facebook Post. A On behalf of skaters everywhere, THANK YOU SALLY ANN MILLER! FROM JIM GRAY 

Met another one of my Hero’s of the Skateboarding Culture the other night, and she should be your hero too!

This is Sally Anne Sheridan. I’d always heard about Sally Anne Miller (pre marriage to Don Sheridan) in the 1970’s in her skateboard industry days, but had never met her. She built the world’s first City Owned Municipal/Public Skatepark in Irvine California. Whether you love it or not, they are the future of accessible skateboarding for all and she started it in 1976.

 

She did much more for and with skateboarding like running the ISA International Skateboard Association out of Costa Mesa no less, but let’s start with the story of the Irvine Run.

 

It was a very fun snake run leading to a banked semi bowl area at the bottom. I rode this place many times, loved it a lot, and sadly was there the day they came, asked us to stop and started Jackhammering it. That was not a fun day. (Pics of me skating it on two polaroids next to the pic of her and I). She told me she was with the City of Irvine Parks and Recreation department and local skaters and Hobie Teamriders like Steve Shipp said they wanted somewhere to skate, she asked what they want, and the snake run is what they came up with. If only it was that easy today, we’d have even more skateparks than we do.

 

She said they had no idea what they were getting into and that once the skate world got word of this free public skatepark skaters from a hundred miles around all converged and there were hundreds of skaters there everyday. They had built condos right next door which you can see in my skate pics. They got complaints about noise etc. They first built that big wall to quiet it down but still got too many complaints and eventually promised the residents it would be removed.

David Paul Lacey hits the first ever municipal skatepark in Irvine, California.

 

Several years later at the typical pace of a city the item came up in the Irvine city’s public works list of things to do, and even though it was now much calmer now and usually 10 people or so would be skating anytime we skated, it was still scheduled to be removed and couldn’t be stopped. One day I believe in 1982, we were asked to stop skating, they pulled the trucks up and started Jackhammering, that was a sad day. I am beyond stoked to have gotten to spend lots of time in the world’s first public skatepark and will forever be grateful to Sally Anne and crew for making that happen.

 

Sally Anne did so much more for skateboarding, including making sure skateboarding continued to exist, because there was a point when the Consumer Products Safety Commission was considering banning skateboard deeming them too dangerous of an item to be sold.

 

Here’s a post from Dave McIntyre

Sally was an Ivy League graduate and was asked to help head up what became the ISA. She had to help sell skateboarding as safe, and standards were set to get people wearing safety equipment and sell the sport as safe before it was made illegal to manufacture skateboards, and believe me they can do that.

 

Luckily that battle was won and we are all here today to tell these stories. It could be a different world today had that happened and it might have been a footnote in history and all the joy we have enjoyed on our boards may not have existed. Such a crazy thought, thanks again for helping us get through that one Sally and crew.

The ISA or International Skateboard Association also ran pro contests, set the standards etc.

 

After meeting Sally, I called Glenn Miyoda, an old friend who went to the same high school as me and was friends with my sister. I knew he’d have some insights and knowledge. He was a Photographer for Hobie in the early days, and come to find out he also ended up working with Sally Anne for the ISA. He shared story after story from how she sought to find the right people to set standards for contests, like how to measure the height of an air as airs started coming into play in contest, how she collected money, and a good one about her putting Mr. Bennett in his place once during a meeting.

 

 

Basically he told me she was kind, smart, hard working and a hell of a bad ass when she needed to be 100% thumbs up from Glenn Miyoda who I have 100% faith in sharing skate history with.

 

I don’t have all day to keep writing but I will end with the funniest story she told me all night. She said among her jobs was to make the riders wear their safety gear, and one she always got a lot of grief about it from was Tony Alva. She told me a story of walking up to him once, and him thinking he would get a rise out of her, dropped his pants. She told me she just calmly looked down at his exposed private parts, told him on a scale of 1-10 I’ll give it a 2, and then everyone started laughing including Tony.

 

That cracked me up. Ironically, she is now married to Don Sheridan, who worked with Zephyr back then and asked Tony Alva “who is that cute lady” when they were at some TV filming or something like that. Well that was the start of something and now Don and Sally Anne Sheridan live in Laguna Beach and have been married for 39 years.

 

Sally is 82 now and I look forward to going and spending some more time with her and Don and learning more of the untold stories of the skateboard world.

 

I am a very fortunate guy to have gotten to participate in so much in skateboarding for the last 40 years.

 

 

Editors Note:

 

Amazing story on Tony Alva from 1978 from People Magazine.

 

And a post from Mofo (ex Thrasher photographer and CW contributor) about Sally

  

Collegiate Skate Tour – Astoria, Queens 2017 Recap

Collegiate Skate Tour – Astoria, Queens 2017 Recap

PHOTOS: AMY TORRES In my previous ventures out to cover some of the events that the Collegiate Skate Tour puts on, I have been lucky to cover them from ground level to get up close and personal to the shredding. This time however, sidelined by injury, I was fortunate enough to have watched this contest go down from a completely different vantage point: behind the judge’s table. Alongside a couple Astoria locals, we got to experience this stop of the tour from a unparalled point of view that overlooked the sprawling water-side park. From this spot, we got the experience of watching guys like Helaman “Hela” Campos go from signing up, to throwing crook nollie flips and absolutely ripping the course to retuning back to the podium to collect their hook ups. In my first experience judging a skateboarding contest, I might argue to say I had the toughest job out there in trying to make sure my papers would not fly away with the intense wind that descended on the course that day. Just kidding. All credit on this day goes to the student and non-student crops of skaters that came out and threw down regardless of the blustery conditions. This year’s stop of the Collegiate Skate Tour saw a bunch of new faces, along with a handful of familiar rippers who braved the rainy conditions last year. Bryant HS student, Brian Pascuaal seemed to use the wind to his advantage, flying around the course in his iconic durag. Meanwhile, internet-famous Humzea Deas showed up pulling clean front tailslide 270s to the tune of his name being called for the start of Heat 3. DC rider Derek Holmes also returned this year, making easy work of throwing back tailslides off the park’s shootout ledge. Lastly, coming back for more after his first place run last year, Andrew Valencia showed how familiar he was with the Astoria park by linking effortless lines together left and right. Perhaps most notably, Valencia even managed to hop to another board that got in his way, mid-grind. As if that weren’t enough, Valencia finished by shutting down the the best trick contest with a massive ghetto bird on the centerpiece gap. In the end, however, Heat 5’s Nico Ramos stepped up and put down an amazing set of runs to not only advance from his heat but to make it through to the semifinal and final heats. From what we saw behind the judge’s table, we had to give the win in the non-student division to him. From his blunt backside flips to his kickflip 50-50 body varials to his back 360 grabs off the platform gap, Ramos’ tech showing had it all. Unfortunately, the only hiccup on an otherwise easygoing contest was Joel Jones’ unfortunate injury in the middle of Heat 4. After an absent-minded bicyclist wandered onto the course, Jones hit the concrete and was rushed to the hospital to receive a handful of staples in his head. Though the contest resumed to close out an incredible afternoon of skateboarding, we would be remiss not to have kept Joel, who has come out to each and every stop of the tour since Fall 2013, in our thoughts. Since the event, a GoFundMe has been started to help cover some of the unexpected ambulance and hospital costs for Joel and his young family.  We welcome and encourage any donations to be made here.  After Saturday’s event wrapped up, Keegan Guizard led another installment of a College Readiness Workshop with the folks at the Harold Hunter Foundation which was actually the first to take place during the same week as the contest.Speaking on the experience, Guizard said, “The Harold Hunter Foundation is always helpful in making that happen and really brings the skateboarding community together for good.This workshop was a great opportunity to connect with young New York City skateboarders off the board after a great event in Queens.” Check out the action that went down here:    

50 Miles on a Single Charge!

50 Miles on a Single Charge!

 Squishy 654 just completed a 50 Mile Electric Skateboard Ride, on one charge. You can see his previous video for more details on the electric skateboard he used. (below)   Squishy is going for 100 miles next. And as Mr. Squishy writes: “If you have any beer to donate to the project email me at squishy654@gmail.com”   

Loaded

Loaded

 

The Loaded Tarab is designed to push the boundaries of modern longboard dancing. Rocker, concave, symmetrical shape, kicktails, grab rails, and purposeful griptape and cork top combine to form an elegantly ergonomic platform for flowy footwork and the most frenetic freestyle dancing. Bamboo and basalt construction keeps the Tarab lightweight, lively, and durable. A cork top layer complements the griptape design, providing secure yet non-abrasive traction across the standing platform while also damping vibration. Urethane-reinforced kicktails and unique UHMWPE rails enhance durability, protecting against a wide array of freestyle-inflicted damage. Two truck-mounting options accommodate a variety of riding preferences. loadedboards.com

Toys R Skateboarding

Toys R Skateboarding

 

Over the weekend we hit up the local skatepark in my hometown area.  The same old prefab ramps, still standing like a decrepit stonehenge, the ancient ruins of teenage years.  Decades of harsh New England white-outs had left the blacktop a cratered moonscape.  The blazing summers suns had faded the offensive and misspelled graffiti into nearly unrecognizable spray paint smudges.  Overall, the skatepark was in one piece, just as i remembered it, except for one thing… 

 

I love visiting skateparks, at home or abroad, not for the inventive array of obstacles, but for the culture.  The petri dish that is the local scene, the faces, the names and the energy of the locals.  Appreciating the power of the community that they have constructed.  I am always fascinated by the drastically varying subcultures with the subculture.  The microcosms contained within 60 square feet of tar and chain link fence. 

 

I was welcomed with nods and smiles from the locals, as me, my brother and my childhood friends entered the park.  I inquired of a friendly, smiling local, Jimmy, about the new wooden ramps and DIY ‘crete that speckled and encrusted the park.  He happily obliged and told me that he was responsible for the ramps’ construction.  I thanked him for provided them.  

 

Within moments, my crew and theirs were skating together, bumping quintessential 90s hip hop anthems, bumping fists and cheering for each other.  Everybody was boppin’ and basking in the warm autumn sunlight.  

 

While cruising around in euphoric figure 8s, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, that Jimmy the friendly local, had deserted his skateboard, had turned his back and was excitedly fiddling with something.  Figuring Jimmy was frantically rolling a blunt I was bewildered to find that instead of a gutted backwoods wrap, Jimmy was tousling around a wooden ball bound by a string to a wooden dowel.

 

In his right hand, Jimmy clutched what appeared to be a wooden double-sided hammer, although strangley the face of each hammer head was inverted, concaved, resembling a miniature cup or bowl. Above the dual hammers was a small cone that gently tapered into a blunted tip. A white string, anchored to the base of the handle, flailed wildly in the air attached to a red ball.  This red ball, the size of a beer pong ball, had a small hole that tunneled through the entire diameter of the wooden sphere.  

 

A boy on a BMX appeared, and joined Jimmy, and expelling a wooden ball hammer from his pocket.  Within moments, the two were fully engaged, shouting and giggling as they spun and casted their balls on a strings, attempting to catch it with either of their hammer cups or to spear it throughout the hole with the tips of their wooden cones.   

 

After observing for a bit, this mutated form of cup-and-ball, I asked Jimmy what the hell was up with that thing.  He told me it was called “Kendama” a game originally played by drunken Japanese sailors to pass the time on long sea voyages.  Now, according to Jimmy, Kendama-mania has swept the states from coast to coast. 

 

Jimmy elaborated, comparing the cup-ball game to skateboarding.  He said that you master certain tricks and then try to do your tricks consecutively in a row, like a line.  

 

This game reminded me much of the hacky sack or even devil sticks sessions of my youth.  Flinging an object through the air and trying to catch it, stall it, and then return it to flight.  It also reminded me of a string-based perpetual-volley toys like the yo-yo or paddle ball.  Even the strange design of the Kendama toy shocked and intrigued me like my first eye witness accounts of fidget spinners.  

I’ve seen many fads come and go, toys that were just as fickly picked up as were easily discarded- only to be rediscovered on the dusty shelves of Goodwill.  What intrigued me about this new bizarre low-tech gadget was that, it did indeed, remind me of skating.  Not only was Kendama a strange looking simple-machine, but to play, you simply needed time and patience. Fine-tuning your motor skills and battling the constraints of gravity were the shared struggle of both Kendama and skateboarding.

 

Not only was this an light-hearted, nonsensical escape from the mundane pressures of modern living, this game, clearly, had no coach, no team and no opponents.  You were free to practice and create maneuvers as you so chose.  Not only could you choose how to play but you could also choose to share the play with others, whoever you wanted.  

 

I watched these two young men play for vigorous 20 minute stints, taking breaks to skate and BMX and then returning to their ball string hammers.  They practiced their extreme sports in tandem with their string contraption disciple in even increments.  

 

This not only was like skateboarding, it was an intrinsic part of Jimmy’s skateboarding experience. 

Kendama was just about enough of a part of Jimmy’s sesh as other peoples’ weed-smoking, shit-talking or dead-eyed staring into their smart phone.  

 

My hometown friends scoffed at the ball string hammer game of the locals, and remarked that they avoided coming to this very park because of the pervasive Kendama culture.  I disagreed and said that I enjoyed the locals using the space however they pleased.  I felt confident that these young men were outcasts, just as we skaters are, and that they should be cherished just the same. 

 

When I found Jimmy and his BMX counterpart, brought together in Kendama bliss, now filming each other with a GoPro, I was certain that this game, like many other bizarre rituals, are in fact skateboarding.  Having fun, expressing yourself and progressing a skill, by means of offbeat physical rhythm, doing what you want, where you want, solitarily or socially, that is what skateboarding means.  

 

The world is a skatepark and you can play whatever you want in it.