"Beautifully Illegal"

"Beautifully Illegal"

Nine years ago, Stacy Peralta was interviewed by Huck Magazine. He had a lot on his mind. The piece is great skate journalism and you can read it here  One particular part of the piece really strikes a nerve right now:  I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you are on…if you skate on the sidewalk, down a hill, at a school and generally anywhere else, chances are you BREAKING THE LAW. And if you are at a skatepark and you aren’t wearing pads, chances are you are BREAKING THE LAW. Maybe this graphic will put it in a better perspective.  

Your Skate Events

Your Skate Events

As things start to percolate into the new season, a number of events are starting to appear on the horizon. In order to promote events and ensure they get on your radar, Scott Lembach of Muir Skate has come up with the idea of Your Skate Events. You can find it on facebook and instagram . It even has a snazzy logo that was created by Marcus Bandy of Wheelbase Mag.I think spreading the word on events plays a key role in fostering skateboarding and we are proud to help promote any and all skate events. Just email me at mbrooke@interlog.com  In the spirit of getting info out there, we are happy to present three upcoming events. First up, something happening during Valentines Day in Washougal, Washington. Where is Washougal? It’s less than 1/2 hour drive from Portland, Oregon!Next up, New Zealand and the Bowlzilla in Wellington. If you happen to live in Auckland or Australia or are heading to the Pacific, it looks things are shaping out nicely. Visit bowzilla.net for more info. Finally, Ridersfly is presenting their first event in Spain (Xert). Xert is a little village filled with olive trees and is about 2 1/2 hours south of Barcelona.  The track is located in “Les moles de Xert” and consists of 2.5 km of distance with a lot of curves. It has fast hairpins and fast sections up to 45 mph. It is a technical circuit but at the same time a great deal of fun. You can see a short intro video here:Registration opens up on February 15 and it will cost 70 euros for you to join in the fun. Included in the fee are 2 days of freeriding, insurance, lunch, showers, bbq area and even an ambulance with a doctor!  Schedule:Saturday, March 259:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Freeride13:00 – 14:00 lunch stop14:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Freeride Sunday, March 269:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Freeride13:00 – 14:00 lunch stop14:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Freeride For more info, click here. 

Why Longboarding for Peace?

Why Longboarding for Peace?

 Dear family, friends, fellow skaters and supporters.. I write this message for all those who love the internet and for all those who hate it and those of you who both LOVE and HATE the web at the same time. I write this message for all those who love facebook, all those who hate it and all of you who both LOVE and HATE facebook at the same time. I write this message for you and to those on the left, those on the right and those who see merits in both sides of the political spectrum. I write this message for people who believe in God/higher power, for those who do not, for those who are spiritual but not religious and for those who have no spiritual or religious beliefs. I write this message in the name of peace, balance and justice. Longboarding for Peace was founded 2012. It is a global movement to foster peace, balance and justice powered by skateboarders. No matter what your beliefs, we can all agree that much has happened in these past five years. Heck, much has happened in the past week!   My message to you is as follows: If you jump on a skateboard/longboard/snowboard or even a bicycle and go only left, you will wind up in a circle. The same can be said if you only go right. In fact, the more extreme right or left you go, the more in a circle you will go. Whether you consider yourself right wing or left wing, most agree that fascism and communism are both extremely harmful to democracy. This message is particularly important right now. Many on the right who either publicly or privately are satisfied and pleased with the way the world is turning are running up against those who disagree with them. Many on the left who either publicly or privately are shocked and dismayed with way the world is turning are running up against those who disagree with them. In both cases, the extremism is leading to violence – violence with words and fists. They say that history repeats. It also rhymes. There are so many parallels with the past right now. Google “the fourth turning” and understand the terms like “crisis, high, awakening and unravelling.”    In 2012 I asked myself what I was doing to promote peace, balance and justice? Five years later, I can state that the movement is needed more than ever. Longboarding for Peace is not a charity or non-profit. It is a movement forward that measures all ideas and acts through the lens of peace, balance and justice. Over the past several years LFP gave away close to 40,000 pins, 100,000 stickers. Look for them…or better yet, take the logo and spread the message. We have been involved with over 150 initiatives to promote peace, balance and justice in over 30 countries world wide. You can read about some of them here (78 pages worth – thanks to some incredible people) You’ve taken the first crucial step – you ride! You stepped on, now it is time to step up. You want to promote peace, balance and justice? Longboarding for Peace needs your energy. Email me at mbrooke@interlog.com

Six Starz Keeps Their Eyes on the Prize

Six Starz Keeps Their Eyes on the Prize

 

We had a chance to interview Chad White of Six Starz Skate company. It’s obvious that Chad has a big heart – he donates 10% of what he makes from the company back to charity. I learned about his new Kickstarter campaign through my friend Al Garcia. Chad’s stoke for skateboarding is infectious and we definitely recommend you check out more about what he’s doing.

What motivated you to start up Six Starz and what does the name represent?

The concept of Six Starz, before it had a name, came up in 2009 just as the financial crisis was at its height of bad. It was initially going to be a just a simple surfing T-shirt brand. Myself and a friend absolutely hated our jobs in manufacturing, so we joked around with the idea of creating our own destiny by selling shirts. He had a history of working for O’neil as a regional sales rep, and I had a lengthy history of making tees for a previous brand of mine and helping other startup labels. We nailed down a macro view of the brand, the attitude we wanted to convey and the artist design types for graphics, but we struggled on what to name the brand.

 

One day I was watching the History Channel and they were showing a special on George Patton and discussing military generals who were as prestigious as him with one being George Washington. They spoke about George Washington being granted the highest ranking status in American history in 1976, and signed into law that no one else would be a “Six Star General”, the general of all armies. That was it, we had name! Being a Six Star(s) general meant pride, prestige, elite, and it had deep roots. A few more months went by and my partner was offered a new position out of town and he lost interest in the brand, being swamped with work at his new job. I was left with this name, this idea, and a tremendous amount of determination, so I went to where surfers practice on concrete; the skate park.

 

 

I saw some locals skating and hung out with them for a while explaining my ideas. One said, “It would be cool to do skating shirts for Kalamazoo skaters too..” Done.. Not only would this brand be here, but we had to incorporate giving back to our community from what we made. That conversation pulled everything together and deck designs followed and soon I had a brand ready to launch in 2011.

 

Tell us about the skate scene in Kalamazoo.

The skate scene in Kalamazoo is growing. There are a lot of young adults to preteens that are at the parks every clear day above 40 degrees! There are two parks in Kalamazoo, one privately owned and one public park. The Police love to crack down on skateboard anywhere outside of these parks, so longboarders are seen more frequently. Lonboarding is mostly utilized by the College students at WMU and Kalamazoo College since Kalamazoo has a lot of hills. There aren’t a lot of comps that happen here.

 

You have to go north to Grand Rapids or east to the Detroit/Ann Arbor area for big skate competitions. In 2016, we hosted our inaugural Skate Jam competition, bringing out pro skater Ruben Najera and Amateur Skater Mike Francis. This was the first skate event ever at the public skate park in downtown. 

 

You have a Kickstarter campaign that aims to fight prejudice – what motivated you to start this up?

Everyone at sometime in their life has been a victim of being stereotyped, or prejudice. Some of us more often than others! We are witnessing a challenging time in our country right now…. People don’t know who they can trust, and social ignorance is at an all time high. Too often groups of people are being wrongfully judged and discriminated against because of the actions of a few. I am a firm believer of the words from Dr. Martin Luther King, that we should judge someone by their content of character and not by their skin color. Racial relationship issues are only part of the battle we hope to bring awareness to.

 

This country was built on being free to think, free speak, and free to choose a religion. These fundamental rights are being used against people. The only way to get change is to first bring awareness to the problem, discuss the issues, and come to a solution. This is step one. We want people to write down stereotypes they have encountered in life that they want to see eradicated. I believe we can be the generation that changes this before it gets worse.

What are your future plans and goals?

The sky is the limit for us!! My goals for this brand are to inspire and to create change. Our plans are to grow by earning the respect and trust of people as a high quality brand based on solid morals. I work very hard to maintain a level of quality with every Six Starz product we make. We have plans of opening a facility for designed for skaters and surfers to practice and to compete. I would also like to implement afterschool skateboarding and surfing programs here in Michigan to deter kids from crime and for some to step out of their comfort zones by trying something new! I can see us taking this concept around the world to places not normally associated with Skateboarding and Surfing. We are only beginning our journey, and everyday is truly a blessing to be in a position to work with the youth and know that you have done something that will help them with the road ahead.

 

First Ever CW Photo Contest

First Ever CW Photo Contest

 

Concrete Wave is proud to announce our Amateur Photo Contest 2017. This will be the contest of the year for all you amateur skate photographers out there, so listen up and pay attention.

 

If you are selected as one of our finalists, you will have the opportunity to see your photo, in print, in the magazine. We have slated the entirety of the November Issue (deadline, September 1st) to showcasing your work. The contest is open to any and all amateur photographers.

 

 

The rules are simple: send in your photo; your name; where the photo was shot; and the subject… and, that’s it! Photo requirements are 300 dpi or better, submitted via e-mail, to Michael Brooke. We’ll handle it from there.

 

Photo submissions must be original works that have never been published before. That includes photos that have been previously “published” on the internet. Do not send us your Instagram portfolio. Do not send us your Facebook Files. Only original, unpublished works will be considered for publication in the magazine.

 

Consider yourselves advised.

 

We encourage all types of skaters from all over the world to submit work. We love all y’all, and we love all kinds of skateboarding.

 

Besides the opportunity to be immortalized on the pages of the magazine, the 1st place winner will win a cool $750 second place will fetch $375 and third will score $150. Finalists and winners will be announced in the November issue.

 

Deadline for photo submissions is September 1st.

 

Don’t be late…!

 

Remember, send photos to mbrooke@interlog.com

 

Looking for Clues

Looking for Clues

Sometimes it takes quite some time to gain a whole new perspective. But there are clues left along the way. The previous bog post refers to the Back to the Future scene where Michael J. Fox is chased by Bif’s Gang. He borrows a kid’s scooter and promptly rips the handle off. Hilarity and chaos ensue and the bad guys wind up covered in crap!Off comes the top! I believe this scene (and film) was a key factor in skateboarding’s rebirth in the mid 1980’s. There is no doubt the filmmaker’s kids were probably skaters and thought it would be a great fit for the day’s audiences. After all, the last time Hollywood had actual skateboarding in a “big budget” film in was back in 1978. Anyone remember Skateboard?  If only the film lived up to the promise of the poster (1978) Thanks to Michael J. Fox, a new generation was about to get hooked on skateboarding. All it took was 3 and half minutes and things exploded. Bif and his gang of bullies.We all want to take on the bullies and bad guys. We all want the skills to deal with them.  Some are willing to put in the work and some just want all want the adulation. We all want to be the hero. And if we can’t be Michael J. Fox the movie star, at least we can ride a skateboard and be as cool as he is – and be the hero he represents. It’s simple psychology. In order to grow skateboarding, we need to cultivate that feeling of being a hero one rider at a time.   “Welcome to the club, kid.”  

Back to the XXX Future?

Back to the XXX Future?

 It was reported yesterday that XXX – The Return of Xander Cage is the the number one film in the world at the moment. If you haven’t seen it yet, chances are you’ve probably seen the trailer. A new trailer featuring the downhill stunts just came out.  I for one am glad Vin Diesel is back to save the world and possibly the skate world! One of the stunt doubles Brandon Desjarlais of Moonshine and Abec 11 is a personal friend. On behalf of skaters everywhere Brandon, we are stoked for you.These days, films last about 10 days at most theaters. Unlike back in the 1980’s when Back to the Future played for months and helped propel skateboarding forward into 1985 and beyond! Time will tell if Xander Cage was able to help save skateboarding but at this point, anything is possible.  Who could forget the scene in Part 2 of Back to the Future? Sales of hoverboards exploded after this!  The truth is that no one really knows what will capture the imaginations of the public. Perhaps the millions who have seen XXX clip online or on their phones might be interested in riding down a hill at speed (along with ollieing onto buses). At this point in skateboarding, anything is possible. Just for the record, Mr. Diesel took home over 45 million dollars in 2015 and didn’t do too badly in 2016. 

TORONTO BOARD MEETING 2016

TORONTO BOARD MEETING 2016

TORONTO BOARD MEETING – SEPT 10th 

 

The 14th Annual Toronto Board Meeting took place last Saturday.

Rain had threatened the event, but by late afternoon, things were in full swing.

Over 800 skaters took to the streets and the mood, as always, was indeed festive.

 

The photos don’t fully capture the experience – but they give you a taste. The range of participants is from 1 year up to 50-something.

The initial rush starts with a quick push to the intersection of Yonge and St. Clair.

 

A ten minute sit-down in the intersection boggles most on-lookers minds and allows everyone to gather.

Cries of “BOOARRRDDD MEETING” can be heard every few moments.

 

Sit-down at Yonge and St. Clair.

The second part of Board Meeting is a quick skate down a moderate hill on Canada’s most well known street – Yonge Street.

 

Despite the fact that the meeting has been going on for almost a decade and a half, most spectators don’t really know what they are seeing.

 

Many stand there in disbelief while others, enjoying the spirit of the moment, take photos or give high fives.

A number of taxi cab drivers are stunned and regular motorists generally go with the flow.

 City TV came out to cover the festivities.

A quick fifteen to twenty minute skate to Queen’s Park marks roughly the half way point and allows the group to enjoy the moment.

 

It’s then on to City Hall for an impromptu slide jam. 

 

This year Board Meeting happened to have the good fortune of coinciding with a walk to raise money for cancer.

The music blaring from the speakers blended perfectly with the day. Towards the end of the event, thirsty skaters were generously given free soft drinks courtesy of the sponsors of the walk.

 

As the first part of Board Meeting ended, the rain started to come. The timing was almost too perfect!

 

Huge thanks to all the sponsors who make this event such a blast.

  

Moroccan Longboarding Part 2

Moroccan Longboarding Part 2

Loaded has just releases a new video that features Yassine Boundouq. What is unusual about the piece is that it delightfully mixes up longboarding and the local culture of Morocco. It’s not a typical video and kudos to the Loaded Team for really coming up with such a creative piece.We’ve already done a small feature on Yassine on this blog and we’ve got plans to do a full story in our June issue. Folks like Yassine aren’t just ambassadors for a skate company…they are truly ambassadors for peace and understanding. Like many of you, I’ve never visited Morocco and yet, this alluring video pulls me in both as a skater and a traveller. In times like this with so much xenophobia spreading,  we need all the bridges we can find. Take a few minutes and enjoy this brief glimpse into a world you know (skateboarding) and one that you probably have never encountered.  

Van's Girls Pool Party – AKA Girls Combi Classic

Van's Girls Pool Party – AKA Girls Combi Classic

There were some great lines, tricks and slams from some of the best bowl skaters in the world. Click the above image to see highlights of all the action. Kudos to all who skated and congrats to the following who placed. 

Pro Girls

1. Jordy Barratt

2. Nicole Hause

3. Poppy Starr

4. Brighton Zeuner

 

Ams 15 & over
1. Dora Varella

 

Ams 14 & under

1. Zoe Safanda

  

The Future is Unwritten

The Future is Unwritten

Many years ago (before YouTube) Concrete Wave created a series of DVD’s called Evolutions. They were generally 2 hours (or more in length) and we printed up 15,000 of each title. Evolutions was given away for free and I know of numerous skateshops that played the DVD endlessly. Today I received a nice email from someone who was part of the DVD through his Olliepop video part. His name is Ruben NajeraI. He told me that ever since he was young, it was a dream to someday possibly have the cover of Concrete Wave.Ruben’s story really defines the expression “the future is unwritten.” When I produced that series of DVD’s, I really had no idea of what their affect would be. All I wanted to do was spread a message through video. While I knew that folks would enjoy Evolutions, I never really thought they’d have the power all these years later. Email’s like Rubens bring home the reality that when you publish something (no matter what platform) it can truly resonate with people in a deep way. So here’s to the future and here’s Ruben’s amazing story taken from his website – and here’s hoping it inspires the next generation of skaters. Some You Tube links of Evolutions:      

New NYC Skate Spaces

New NYC Skate Spaces

Sweet terrain at the new Golconda Playground.

 

Though the true essence of New York City skateboarding is rooted in the push down crowded streets and the hunt for spots scattered around them. The parks and shops that the city houses are top notch. To that end, Brooklyn has seen not only an expansive new public plaza, but also a new hole-in-the-wall skate space and full service shop open up over the past few months. To get a break from the dreaded crust of the East Coast, Concrete Wave set out for some smoother terrain at the new Golconda Playground in Dumbo and at SKATEYOGI in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

An amazing park under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

 

Breaking ground in January of 2015, the effort to rejuvenate Golconda Playground was largely headed by NYC’s unofficial “Mayor of Skateboarding,” Steve Rodriguez. Now, the spot once dubbed “Fat Kid Spot” boasts 18,000 square feet of elements for skateboarders of all skill levels and disciplines. Two large pockets of different sized quarterpipes flank the park while a row of ledges runs along the side. A multitude of other features fill the center including hubbas, euro gaps, ledges, wall rides, stairs, a set of brick banks and even a pool. The best part is that its location under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway keeps most of the water from stormy weather out of the park.

SKATEYOGI is teaching the next generation.

 

Next, as school ended and the park began fulling up with kids, CW travelled over to revisit Kevin Banahan of SKATEYOGI to see the new space he can now call his own. Banahan’s “dream come true” features a miniature skate shop housing an assortment of NYC-based brands. In the back, there is a long corridor of modular ramps where SKATEYOGI’s after-school programs, group classes and private lessons go down. In an effort to fulfill his mission to spread the love of skateboarding to all ages in a fun and creative environment, Banahan’s new space gives skateboarding’s next wave of up and comers the perfect training facility. SKATEYOGI also hosts open skate sessions from 3-7PM on Saturdays, from 2-5PM on Sundays and from 6-7 during the week.

Ambassador of Stoke

Ambassador of Stoke

At the beginning of this month I had an opportunity to meet up with Steve Meketa. Steve is originally from back east but he wound up in Vista, California. To say that Steve is enthusiastic about skogging (skateboarding meets jogging) would be an understatement. He’s completely bonkers for it. His mission is simple: he wants as many skaters to embrace this type of riding. Will they? My sense is that skogging is worthy of trying at least once. Only then can you determine if it’s worth pursuing.But there is a bigger story here. Steve was inspired by a guy called Chris Yandall. Chris was the inventor of skogging and the stoke he had for skateboarding was simply incredible. I often recall meeting him and being amazed at his passion. We lost Chris a few years back. He was a young guy and his passing affected many in the skate community.One of the greatest things I love about skateboarding is how one skater affects another. In the case of Chris Yandall, his infectious love of skogging certainly impressed my friend Steve. Steve is running clinics, printing up business cards and handing out flyers. He is an ambassador of stoke and we salute him!  If you know someone that qualifies as an ambassador of stoke, let us know. Just email.

Nothing is Impossible: Longboarding in Morocco

Nothing is Impossible: Longboarding in Morocco

I’m Yassine Boundouq and I have been riding a longboard for 3 years. I am now the ambassador of Loaded boards and Orangatang wheels here in Morocco.

The red background on the Moroccan flag represents hardiness, bravery, strength and valour, while the green represents love, joy, and hope. Definitely the kinds of things that skateboarding represents too!

When I started longboarding I searched on riders I found small community most of them are surfers so they ride just for fun, the Summer of 2015 I did a longboard tour from the north to the south of Morocco I crossed 3000km pushing on my longboard.

 

One of my goals was to spreading the longboard culture in my country. So I took this challenge and I organized 7 longboard events and cleanliness campaigns across the big cities. It was a successful trip because the longboard community grew up and I got the invitation to be the ambassador of Docksession in Morocco. Before that I was doing free longboard sessions in my town with my longboards. I called them LongB session. The success of those sessions led Docksession to invite me to work with them. As a result 4 cities in morocco now hold weekly sessions.

 

It’s really hard to grow  longboarding in Morocco because we don’t have longboard shops, but I’m doing my best. Hopefully I can see more people in the streets. Nothing is impossible. Below is my video about longboarding in Morocco. Enjoy!

 

  

Alum Boards – A Deeper Look

Alum Boards – A Deeper Look

A few months back, we ran a piece on AlumBoards and how owner Trevor Dericks took his intricately designed aluminum longboards from figments of the imagination to street-approved creations. While this piece scratched the surface on what exactly goes into producing these functional works of art, we decided that a trip to Dericks Sheet Metal  Works [DSMW] in Totowa, New Jersey was necessary to reveal how this process actually goes down.

 Trevor Dericks with one of his masterpieces.

 

Starting off with the backstory to the men behind the operation himself, DSMW, a metal fabrication shop was opened back in 1936 with his great grandfather and grandfather. All the while a family run business, Dericks has been surrounded by custom metal work his whole life, reminded by his father that “If you can’t find what you want, make it.” As time progressed, Dericks future at the shop rested on a coin flip between working at the business or pursuing a teaching career. Thankfully for the longboarding world, the coin kept Dericks working with sheet metal.

 

From there, Dericks self taught himself Auto CAD and intertwines this knowledge with the use of 5 other programs when drafting and designing each deck. As his personal favorite part of the operation, Dericks says he strives to hide engineering necessities, like strong horizontals to hold the deck’s concave, when drawing out the cuts. Similarly, features like organic-looking hand and finger holds are intentionally included but come across as coincidental when embedded in the intricacies of the rest of the deck’s design. As Dericks describes it, he “likes there to be design purpose while not being blunt about it.”

CNC handles the aluminum beautifully.

 

 

After the drawing stage, Dericks starts the magic into turning an unassuming 4’ x 10’ sheet of 100% recycled, aircraft-grade aluminum into a practical deck fit to take on the Broadway Bomb. As pictured, Dericks loads the sheet onto the bed of a water jet cutting table and raises it up slightly to keep the excess cuts from tripping the machine path. Then, after calibrating its starting point, Derick puts the machine to work. At 60,000 PSI, water and garnet fuse together to blast Dericks’ design into the metal. The water within the table is used to keep the material cool as it gets cut and keep the machine quiet enough to operate near. The garnet, in turn, is used as a form of sand/abrasive with the water to provide accurate cuts to thousandths of an inch. Generally keeping designs under 48”, the cutting of the board Dericks put together during our visit took just over a half hour from first cut to the last.

Next comes a brief stint of polishing before giving the board its concave. This step is key since most Alum Boards are preferred to ride without grip tape. In the same roller that Dericks once rolled one of his fingers at age 12, he fine tunes the decks to give them the desired amount of concave for appropriate flex and comfort. By dialing the custom concave in just right, riders are able to enjoy the sensation that aluminum grants, a smooth ride that dampens road vibrations unlike any other board out there. Finally, Dericks channels his unparalleled his attention to detail one final time as he polishes the edges of finished decks until he can see himself in the reflection.

In the grand scheme of AlumBoards, Trevor Dericks keeps the customer at the forefront of all the decisions made throughout the building process. His efforts to keep the production as a hands on, boutique-type experience are supported by the craftsmanship seen in the remarkable final products. Therefore, as AlumBoards are set to hit the road in 2017 for new collaborations, new events and new builds, the meticulous handiwork that we saw on our visit will not be going anywhere.

IDF  – Interviews With the Candidates

IDF – Interviews With the Candidates

Candidates for the IDF Board Tell AllNote: Zak Maytum, Max Capps, and Tamara Prader were unable to provide their answers The International Downhill Federation (IDF) is the governing body for the World Cup Tour in downhill skateboard and luge racing. To a skateboard or luge racer, winning the World Tour is the highest achievement one can reach. The IDF Board Members are the most influential people to this tour. They have the ability to grow participation, funding, and events. On a global level, their work can make or break the experience of skateboard and luge racers, as well as the experience of their fans. Here’s where you come in; The IDF Board Member elections are upon us! There are 13* candidates running for 7 positions on the board, and elections are this weekend (Friday, Jan.13 – Sunday, Jan.15).  All IDF members are eligible to vote through internationaldownhillfederation.com. Please actively participate in the future of skateboard and luge racing by voting for the most qualified candidates. We’ve made it easy for you by asking each candidate to share their platforms on some of the most telling topics. Below are our questions and their responses. MEMBERS: Vote here now! What are your top accomplishments that qualify you for the IDF Board? Maga McWhinnie: Current IDF Board Member and one of only two candidates with previous experience on the IDF Board. 

  1. Learning to solo run an IDF WQS event and work the Timing System at Laguna Downhill. This is extremely important as no other IDF Board candidate has experience working the Timing System.
  2. Helped with communication and organization of South America and Asia IDF events (including NZ and Australia). Focus on broadcasting up-to-date race info at these events to help grow our sports, media, and sponsorships.
  3. Focused on creating media exposure and networking for the female racing community that didn’t previously exist. Women should be equally promoted and recognized because women are inspired by more women, and IDF needs to support this. Would also love to work in projects that financially supported skilled riders from poor countries.
  4. Contributed to the creation of the ‘Masters’ Category in IDF racing, which is a huge achievement that needed to happen.

 Carl Sambrano:  Earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce with a major in Marketing and Advertising. Creator of Luzon Skateboard Racing; includes 18 races in two years with a minimum of four divisions per race. Organized the first IDF race to be held in the Philippines; Karena Sa Lumban, 2016 WQS. Travis Davenport: Organized the 2014 Push Culture Cup by combining 7 US races into one points’ series tour. Co-organized a few of the PC Cup races from the ground up. Produced Push Culture News for several years and developed relationships with most NorAm event organizers; also has experience working and participating in many NorAm races. Marco Vidales:  Worked with IDF the past three years as an IDF representative in several races and attended board meetings. World Cup organizer, Festival de la Bajada. Created the Colombian Longboarding Cup with five Colombian races in a year. Has a Business Management degree and a Master’s in Risk Management. Max Vickers: Interned for IDF in 2016; attending weekly meetings and gaining understanding of the organization and managing the World Cup circuit. Raced IDF in eight different countries; gaining understanding of what comprises a well run event both for the racer and organizer. Currently Studying Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation with a co-major in Technology Management; gaining understanding of how to strategically grow an organization and utilize it’s technology. Billy Meiners:  Downhill racer for over 10 years. Organized two sanctioned skateboard events spanning seven years. Currently working in the longboard industry for Landyachtz longboards. Mike Girard:  Founded, organized, and funded Central Mass Skate Festival for seven years; included 4 venues, 400 competitors, 20 sponsors, and 35 staff members in 2017. Founded and organized the Burke Mountain Freeride; 100% funded through registration and crowdfunding, where riders safely ran 37 runs in two days on one of the most challenging tracks. Only 2017 NorAm IDF World Cup event organizer, with the 2017 Killington WC; previously spent multiple years co-producing Killington Downhill Throwdown. Federico Barboni: Federazione Italiana Sport Rotellisti (FISR) Italian Championship Coordinator and National Representative for Downhill Skateboarding since 2012. Race organizer since 2007; organized Verdicchio WQS, Poggio-Q, and Marche on Speed. Streetluger since 2000, downhill skateboarder since 2007, 2012 Italian Downhill Skateboard Champion. Matheus Felicio: Race organizer for seven years; Organized Mega Grand Prix WC spanning four years. Four years experience running businesses in the skateboard industry. Has a large team of employees, consultants, mentors, and partners who will be advising and helping if elected to the IDF Board. Rachel Bruskoff: Downhill Skateboard racer for three years; earning a top ranking the past two years. Gained a giant network of contacts from all over the globe; that network will forever expand with my travels, stoke, and perseverance. Gained insight on the many ways events have been run and what works and what needs improvement through travels. What will you do to grow IDF racer participation in both in open and subcategories: Travis Davenport: Well that’s a catch 22 because what we need is outside industry sponsorships. In order to get that, we need big numbers of spectators, participants, and following; and in order to get that, we need big outside industry sponsorships. At the moment, and for the most part, the burden of financing events falls on the racers via entry fees. The main barrier for IDF participation is money for travel, gear, and entry fees. The best thing that could be done to increase participation is to alleviate this through gaining corporate sponsorships. It’s a slow process, but we are honestly still a very young sport and an even younger organization – but we’re growing, and we have strong leadership and will get there. I believe we will figure this out and have generation after generation of new downhill racers with access to safe, closed-road races. Marco Vidales:

  1. Dividing riders in Professional Class and Amateur Class. We had this experience in Colombia when we divided the riders in Professional and Amateur Class: many riders don’t have the expertise to level up to professional riders and are demotivated by this because their advancement in the race is practically null. Professional riders will race against true competitors and the risk if[1]  getting taken out by a rider without the best skills will be reduced.
  2. Freeriding in events is also a way, not everyone wants to compete, some people just want to skate and we must provide that too.

 Max Vickers: I believe there are two primary parts to growing the racer participation for IDF sanctioned events. Having better promotion of the events across our channels and working with organizers to better the promotion across their own networks are both important in spreading the word on these events and increasing attendance. Billy Meiners: Accessibility (I think) is the main thing to focus on if we want to keep participation high. There is a pretty awesome World Tour lined up for this year, but many people can’t afford to travel to all those destinations. Having smaller race circuits (North America, Europe, Asia, etc…) will give people more motivation to travel within their region to participate in events. I think it’d be good to focus on developing those smaller circuits to help bolster the World Tour. Mike Girard: I believe the key to growing participation is to offer a higher quality, better value event. For a few years, organizers have charged excessively high entry fees while offering little additional value to their cookie-cutter formats at events that were often run slowly, with insufficient staff, and roughshod organization. I think the IDF is in a position to encourage more accessible entry fees with more robust, enjoyable, tightly- and safely-organized events that leave all racers satisfied. Although they are not “organizers,” the IDF can predicate certain expectations from every World Cup event. This would also involve a commitment to running reliable timing equipment. Over 7 years running and growing Central Mass Skate Festival, I’ve learned a lot of methods and networks to reach out to as many people as possible, all ages, talent levels, and genders, and I have managed to pull attendees from 25 different U.S. states, 4 different Canadian provinces and countries around the world. I would use these same marketing skills to reach as many potential racers as possible. Federico Barboni: I would like the races to become more fair for the different kinds of riders that attend IDF events; as we still don’t have proper structure in each nation that could filter the top athletes by national leagues. The problem of having an “all-together-solution” includes two sides:1. Pro riders2. Riders not completely or not at all supported by sponsorsFrom this scenario comes the idea of grouping the riders by rankings to make the competition more fair throughout the different levels. The growth of a proper structure on each nation would do this grouping even before the race, but as we still are not organized enough in each nation it’s nearly impossible to make it happen right now. Adding to this topic, I see that there’s still a lot of work to do in each nation for the recognition of downhill skateboarding, and I hope that other people around (old) like me will “wake up,” and understand that there’s the need of doing something on their own nation too grow the scene; Just like someone did in the past to let us grow worldwide. It’s a “give something back” in which I always trust. Matheus Felicio: Every business, profit or nonprofit, has to be aligned with the customer; in our case the riders. One of my main goals is to bring the riders closer to IDF through communication. I want to talk to each and every one of them and get to know their opinion about everything. When the customer is heard, he will be much more involved with the organization. After that’s done I’ll get all their answers organized and check what is relevant. Once that work is done, IDF will have riders that really stand for the organization. That way, the number of riders in our rankings will grow organically. Rachel Bruskoff: I feel strongly that the IDF needs to step up their reach with media and sponsors. We need to expand to a more vast audience and encourage them to come out to events. We can do this through videos, live feeds, social media, and word of mouth. There is also a chance to grow participation by offering more options for riding; including freerides and clinics. These kinds of events can become apart of the scene to help get newer people on the hills and feeling confident to race down them. Maga McWhinnie: That would happen with more exposure from events (live broadcast, constant media), making events with no issues (organization, safety, and technical), better prices and more recognition to racers who are putting their lives on the line for these races, and that could only happen with bigger sponsors. Skateboard companies are not enough. To chase bigger sponsorships, you need to reach bigger masses. Racing needs to develop into a more exciting spectator sport; not just one day or a half day of excitement for spectators online and on-site. It needs to be at least two… so, how do we create that? Something needs to evolve in our old racing system…. Maybe a different format? pro/amateur categories? Also, we need to keep on focusing on the Continental circuits; the best timing, the best events, the best order, searching for more venues and events, and hopefully reaching a point where each continental champion can also receive a prize and/or more recognition. Carl Sambrano: One of the hype that surrounds a race, both for riders and supporters, is knowing who will be racing. With the current scenario, majority of the races have riders registering during the event. Some form of incentive should be given to those registering before a given date. This will be the additional hype that will move riders to register early. It also helps the organizers have a good idea of the number of riders. Also for registration rates, a group registration of five racers should be given an incentive. What will you do to grow IDF public awareness and increase the number of race spectators? Mike Girard: I would take advantage of my social media and general marketing experience to expand the IDF’s voice and maximize the audience of any IDF-sanctioned event. As a 6-year Ambassador for Loaded Boards & Orangatang Wheels, I have substantial experience producing and sharing media to increase public awareness; I think the IDF would benefit from a dedicated social media campaign. This would include a grassroots strategy for local outreach (to community centers, local businesses, universities, etc.) to increase spectatorship. Billy Meiners: There’s numerous ways to accomplish this and my guess is that the current IDF board is probably brainstorming a few different ideas. I’d be curious to see what they are working on. Media is a pretty easy way to increase public awareness. If the IDF had a plan of action for creating/promoting consistently throughout the year, then I think that would help the public awareness a lot. For increasing the number of spectators, this goes back to accessibility. If people have to drive three hours into the mountains to watch a race, then you can’t expect a lot of people showing up to watch the event. Frederico Barbezio: Since we have different kinds of spectators, we have to market to both the people at the event and on the internet. Because we live in a “social media” age, with a focus on online spectators, there’s many scenarios that can increase viewership. Obviously, the tools are out there and need to be both used, and used properly, but I’m sure some surprises will come out in the next few years with the new team. It’s one of the goals on the wish list. Concerning awareness, I think IDF did a good job in being recognized as the body that sanctions gravity games worldwide, and I hope we will be able to keep and spread more of this status every day. Matheus Felicio: I will continue to work with Mega Grand Prix, aiming for the main television network in Brazil; We made some pretty good advances in 2015 and 2016… Hopefully this year we’ll have many thousands of people watching our race. Rachel Bruskoff: One of my goals is to extend the reach of our exposure. We need to publicize more to local communities where races are being held. We need to get the support of the local communities as well. Some of the largest turnouts I have seen at events, were in the smallest towns, but the event was locally advertised and became an event the locals could not miss. We need to extend our events to more than just skaters. Some places in the world this is easier than others, but I think we need to look into the neighboring communities to help boost the events and spread the word. Also through social media; more race videos, more rider videos, more sharing of media! The more something is out there, the more people have the chance to see it. Maga McWhinnie: See my answer to question number two Carl Sambrano: We should include an IDF guide on how to create hype before a race like placing posters in local establishments, as well as public spaces or community boards. We should also include a letter from the IDF addressed to the local media endorsing the WQS or WC. Once we get new people as spectators, we should service them with stoke. I strongly feel we need a finish line announcer who will let spectators know what’s going on and create hype for the race heats all the way to the finals. It would also be beneficial to spectators if spectator area is suitable for a day of racing and is safe; Maintain hype maximizing potential of the IDF website. Travis Davenport: At all the races I have been a part of, the main thing that can help create an audience is to congregate them in one place. This naturally happens at each hill as the weekends progress. Having foresight to pick that location and install grandstands is key; it keeps people off hay, gives a sense of community, and creates better points of view. You may also think that you need streams and big screens; I’ve produced live streams with multiple camera crews and big screens on courses and while these do obviously do the most for spectator’s experience, and an at home audience, they are so expensive that they are not an option for the most part; certainly not if the event is financed strictly by entree fees. However, That is the goal; Once we get out of that catch 22 I’ve mentioned. For now it’s important to have flyers up in local markets and schools and civic places to simply spread the word. Most people in a town don’t even know that a race is happening. So canvasing is important and simply takes weeks of advanced planning, a printer, and boots on the ground.  I’ve always been surprised at how enthusiastic parents of young kids are to come spectate, not involved in racing at all, just excited to have something new in town to take their kids to on the weekend. That demographic is key. We are not going to increase participation by preaching to the choir, so to speak, we need the people who don’t know us, the citizens of the communities that don’t follow our sport. Our best spectator at this point is the first time spectator! Marco Vidales: IDF is a huge content generator and we have only been generating content through the IDF representatives, like me, that travel and report on each race – in a very personal manner with no professional visual support, basically just asking local photographers to share their photos with us, with only giving credit for the photo as a retribution. A whole plan is being actually set up to do this professionally by one person with a clear goal in mind, to grow our awareness and increase or number of riders and spectators. Max Vickers: Through my current volunteer work with the IDF, I have been primarily focusing on establishing a communication plan and working with outside contributors that have knowledgeable communication backgrounds to better define this. Currently, we have a well established strategic plan that will help promote the IDF through various types of networks and media sharing. In addition, we plan to work with organizers to do local press releases with media sources in their area, prior to events, in order to grow downhill skating profile in those areas and hopefully draw more of the public to spectating races when suitable. What will you do to increase the value of IDF and help gain sponsors for IDF races?
Billy Meiners: Hard to say. Until we get participation and viewership up, I think it’ll be difficult to approach large companies (Red Bull, GoPro, etc…) for sponsorship. Best thing we can do is work within the industry and also help event organizers seek out local sponsors.
 
Matheus Felicio: My marketing team is already working on a project to gain global IDF sponsorships year round. Once we have it all organized and ready to present, I’ll knock from door to door in the multinationals companies and try to sell it. Meanwhile my team will be aiming for the skateboarding companies around the world. Right now we have people to support us in this matter in Brazil, Canada, USA, Austrália, Italy, France, Japan, and Colombia. Rachel Bruskoff: The goal is to think big and to go outside the general sport. We need to contact companies that can properly support the IDF and get more stoke for the communities, local and worldwide. We need to put out positivity and a good image so that anyone we contact will be nothing but excited to join forces. We need hype, and we can do this by spreading the word about what we do and about each event. This can create a backing that will get more sponsors on board and stoked to support us and continue to provide support. Marco Vidales: My job in Festival de la Bajada was mainly this, for example despite out efforts it was impossible for us to obtain sponsorship from the longboard industry and we had to go to mass consumption brands for support; every country will have its own particular challenges because they are different markets. I think this is a job for the event organizers and not the IDF, I think IDF’s only source of funds has to remain membership fees and race fees, they are the only ones that we have to be accountable to; anything else will compromise our independence and might give way to controversy, corruption and forced decisions like in other international federations like FIFA and FIA.

Maga McWhinnie: It’s not up to us to increase event sponsors, it’s up to the organizers to do it, but we can advise them on how to chase them. I would not just chase Skateboard companies; I would also chase other companies that can benefit from the location, crowd, or anything else related from the event. Enough media before, during, and after the events, creating ways to attract more spectators, and organizing all these with a lot of time ahead.
Max Vickers: Gaining event sponsors falls towards the organizers, as the organizers of the events are responsible for gaining the proper funding (often driven from sponsors) in order to support the event. However, I hope to focus on better promoting the event from when the event is announced, during the event, then after the event through the IDF’s social media platforms in order to better promote the events. This will better publicize the event and in turn hopefully allow the organizers to receive a better response from industry sponsors.
 
Carl Sambrano: I would discuss adding more spots for the sponsors with the board. A top 10 interview during qualifier is one spot, and an interview with the Champion is another. A weekly or twice a month online show will create additional spots as well as have a stage to do product highlights. The focus would be capitalizing on the wide reach the IDF has; our events happen in a lot of countries, but (at the same time) on the online platform we’ll remain worldwide.

Frederico Barbezio: I would focus on giving the public an image of a solid and populated structure of racer’s categories, with stable and remarkable competitions around the world. I think without it, IDF could hardly become very desirable for a long term relationship with sponsors. But I feel positive about, it’s just a matter of working more on it. Travis Davenport: We have to continue developing this package of racing, the concept or our sport, into an asset that a company values and wants as a vehicle for their advertising and community involvement. Skateboard brands do not need events for advertisement; there is very little return on investment there. If we expect to grow exponentially, we cannot expect it to happen through the checkbooks of our own hard good brands. It will take time and leadership, both of which we have plenty of, and there will be speed bumps. The last two years we have seen a lull all across the board, but these are just growing pains; we are learning, and our sport has a bright future! It is also my intention to use my company, Push Culture, in a way that will help us achieve the traction we need to grow. My experience building this brand has taught me a lot and aligns with the same goals we have as the IDF. A lifestyle brand growing out of our sport will be key in spreading the word and idea to the masses, generating more awareness, excitement, spectatorship and participation, which will create the numbers to attract something like, KIA, Trojan, Spy, Red Bull, a local bank branch, ski mountain, or grocery chain to sponsor our events, because to them our budgets are chump change. Mike Girard:  I would leverage my substantial network within the action sports industry, from existing Central Mass Skate Festival sponsors to all of the brands and representatives that I have gotten to know as a snowboard sales rep. I would also be able to share the methods that I have used successfully to attain and retain sponsorship by providing high-value marketing to companies with a nose for the action sports demographic.   In the event of a surplus, where would you allocate the extra funds: Rachel Bruskoff: I think the extra funds can be spread out in multiple ways. Of course, I think it should be brought down to a general and shared thought, over simply my own; as in a vote among the board and/ or within the members. I think funds can be utilized to make sure that event organizers host races up to high standards; safety, sponsorships, media, and proper administration. The funds can also be used to make sure that each event has at least 2 representatives from the IDF to oversee it and make sure that everything runs smoothly; the timing system works, the organization stays strong, and that media is covered well and in the most up-to-date timing. The funds could go towards making the media stronger, offering more coverage on social media outlets, as well as live feeds and making sure every event has coverage of some sort.  Maga McWhinnie: More media for all IDF events and/or hiring someone dedicated to it with professional experience. If there was more, I would also invest it on improving/upgrading our hardware and software for our website and events: Timing system, cameras, web developers… If there was still more, I would search for one event to make The Event and use multiple resources to create a massive exposure around the world.. These are just my ideas. but I would debate and search for more ideas and ask the riders and the board to make the best decision. Carl Sambrano: Promotion seems to be the strongest contender – or is the beast that is most hungry. Portable speakers that are loud enough for the starting line gun, and satellite internet connection so the IDF can go live on social media on any given race day. Marco Vidales: The word of the people is law, this question was raised to the members and they decided it should be invested in marketing and communications and it is what has to be done.

Federico Barboni I think, like what happened last year, the inclusion of the members in this decision with a poll will help us understand everybody better, and where to allocate an eventual surplus, because the poll can give us great feedback from the season experiences of the racers.Where I would allocate it: I think it will depend first on the amount of the surplus itself, but I would definitely put it on something that could improve the experience of the riders at the competitions and the sport visibility. Billy Meiners: I think that it should go back to the race organizers to help fund future events. Without races, there’s no race circuit. Mike Girard: The aforementioned marketing and media initiatives would take a moderate budget to execute successfully and push to a broad audience. A surplus would help fund this type of marketing effort and promotion. I think a substantial budget surplus could also be spread to event organizers to help reduce entry fees, as well as providing a fair (but not excessive) season podium purse for the overall top performers. Matheus Felicio:

  1. Extra equipment for the IDF, so we have zero chance to get caught by a bad surprise in a race
  2. Training for the race organizers
  3. A better website
  4. Social programs
  5. Champions

 Max Vickers: With the IDF being a democratic organization that is run by its members, it is up to the membership base to vote on where the allocated funds should go. As stated, I hope to focus on the long-term growth of the IDF, and if at the end of the year we find that more support is needed towards event organizers, marketing, prize support, etc. It will be a collaboration between board members to come up with a few viable options, but members will also have the option of choosing their own vote.
 
Travis Davenport: Marketing for the IDF as a whole. As with any business, a surplus has to go back into building the brand. Unforeseen opportunities or setbacks should have a rainy day fund if needed, but we haven’t and won’t see any significant amount of surplus beyond what could be allocated to promotion of the organization itself. We can take out adds in local magazines or newspapers to raise awareness for a race that has great audience potential, and maybe financing media coverage at a race that has infrastructure to broadcast successfully. IDF is about more than individual races, but its backbone is those races. I would like to see some support of certain events when they pose exceptional opportunities for the pursuit of the goals we share as a whole. There are many ideas for where to spend money, and there will be disagreements, but I think if we have goals that see well past a single year, then the ideas of surplus isn’t quite so controversial because budgets aren’t just for single year operations – they have to be for the long term.        

IDF – Your Chance to VOTE!

IDF – Your Chance to VOTE!

The International Downhill Federation – IDF is excited to announce the details for the 2017 ELECTION. The IDF the worldwide organization dedicated to downhill skateboarding and luge racing.

 

 

The IDF is currently undergoing elections to nominate 7 new board members to lead the organization for the coming two-years. The 13 globally-recognized candidates and their statements were released on January 5.

 

You can find out all about these highly qualified candidates here:

Voting is open through January 13-15 and all IDF members are eligible to vote. For more info, please visit the IDF website.

 

   

David Greenidge – Oct 31, 1932 – January 6, 2017

David Greenidge – Oct 31, 1932 – January 6, 2017

Chances are you’ve never heard of David Greenidge but if you live in Canada and you skateboard, you’ve been affected his work. David got his start in the skate business working as rep for Vans here in Canada. In 1985, David set up S & J Sales with his two sons – Steven and Jason.  Over three decades of work in action sports produces an incredible amount of stories. S & J Sales worked with dozens of companies. They were the first distributors to carry Sector 9 and Loaded in Canada.  S & J sponsored hundreds of events and helped grow the diverse skate scene here in Canada. Many people in action sports got their start at S & J Sales. I am one these people. While I didn’t work for the company, they were gracious enough to let me into their warehouse to search for an elusive “fibreflex type skateboard” back in 1996. I wound up purchasing a Sector 9 along with a copy of Big Brother. That Sector 9 deck propelled me so deep into skateboarding, I am still dealing with it! Eighteen months later, I began working on the book “The Concrete Wave.” Eventually, S & J Sales would distribute International Longboarder and then Concrete Wave  – the magazine. This support was so incredibly valuable and it was also very enjoyable seeing the S & J gang every two months. David was always interested in what I had seen down in California. Our conversations ran from skateboarding to politics to the politics found within skateboarding. I think the best word to describe David Greenidge would be gregarious. He was full of energy and was never bashful about giving you his thoughts on any subject. Yesterday evening, friends and family gathered to remember David and today is the funeral. I was fortunate to be there yesterday and had a chance to see both Steven and Jason. As I conveyed Steven, for me, it all began with a board I picked up at S & J. David left a huge mark on skateboarding. On behalf of skaters everywhere, I extend my sincere condolences to the entire Greenidge family.   

Pushed – Four Guys Inspired by a Wooden Toy

Pushed – Four Guys Inspired by a Wooden Toy

Flo Schneider spent two years filming skaters Bobby Puleo, Pontus Alv, Stefan Marx and Adam Sello. The documentary is a must-watch for anyone who loves skateboarding. It truly captures what it means to ride. 

There are a number of locations featured in the documentary along with some extraordinary skate spots. One that caught my eye was the TBS – Train Bank Spot. Adding to the skateboarding is a variety of very cool art.

 

Pushed is already getting rave reviews and luckily, you can watch it for free here:

 

  

A Needle In a Haystack – Life as an Australian Freestyler

A Needle In a Haystack – Life as an Australian Freestyler

Being a freestyler in Australia is like being a needle in a haystack. It’s very secluded and hard to find many people who skate freestyle dominantly. I can name about 4 skaters from Australia that purely skate freestyle that I personally know of who are big inspirations to me. These include, Liam France, Shaun Gladwell, Michael Malyszko and Ricky Glaser. I’ve been skating for 5 years now mostly freestyle and mostly by myself.

I feel skating by myself helps my creation flow a lot easier. I’ve been able to invent tricks such as the rail/primo Nollie Laser flip. I am getting different variations of that such as landing cross foot, body varial or turning it into a big flip.

 

 

Skating started on the road In front of my house when I was 14. It started as a hobby which stemmed into a passion which branched into a lifestyle and almost leading to a future career. Freestyle in particular drew me in because of the beauty and creative control.

 

Watching guys like Kilian Martin really made me appreciate the artistic value of freestyle. Another big inspiration comes from someone who’s not a skater, in fact it comes from music, specifically electric violin composed by Lindsey Stirling. I don’t know why but something about the way violin flows helps me with my footwork in freestyle forming it into almost a dance.

 

I never knew many freestylers until I flew to Canada in May 2016 to compete in my first ever freestyle contest at the World Round Up. I placed 7th in the world in the amateur division. It really set me on a path to success and gave me the opportunity to make lifelong friends and freestylers who inspired me and motivate me. These are guys like Mike Osterman, Jordan Sterling, Connor Burke, Dan Garb, Tony Gale, Danielle Trujillo, Marcio Torres and Andy Anderson. From those friends I was able to network with legends like Kevin Harris who got me in contact with Glen Billwiller, a freestyle legend and now great friend and also sponsor. Glen runs a skate shop in Perth called Aikenheads Skateshop and he supplies me with Chance Skateboards, Fury trucks and Momentum wheels.

 

 

After my success in Canada I’ve also been able to pick up a watch sponsor called Toro Luna Watches which make world class watches perfect for skating and Proteus Clothing. The road to sponsorship however hasn’t been an easy path. In middle school I was expelled for leaving class and just skating. It’s all I wanted to do and all I loved.

 

My principle called me delusional and crazy in front of my own mother and said it was a one in a million shot at making it in skating. Ironically he said I’d never make it into a magazine. I look back and laugh at the whole situation now. I don’t regret what I did. I just regret putting my mum through that pain of me being expelled and almost being a disappointment.

 

My plan for the future is to go to the Round Up every year and set up a skate shop in Melbourne. I want to expand freestyle around the world and show the beauty and art that is what we do, hopefully in the next 3-4 years I want to be able to set up an Australian Freestyle contest and have freestylers all over the world compete and experience this beautiful country and it’s four seasons in one day. I wish to see more people skating freestyle and loving it. I want to see the freestyle family expand and grow, break away from the norm and create something weird and goofy.

 

Thanks to my sponsors:

Aikenheads skateshop, Fury trucks, Momentum wheels, Chance skateboards, Toro Luna Watches, Proteus Clothing.

You Should Have Been There…

You Should Have Been There…

Thursday of this week will mark my 20th year of visiting trade shows in California. Back in 1997, the skate universe was a vastly different place. As I recall, when it came to longboard companies, there were only Sector 9 and Gravity at the Action Sports Retailer Show (aka ASR). The show was busy and intense. I was like a kid in a candy store. I clearly remember meeting up with some of my skate heroes. Twenty years ago, the skate industry was a big part of the ASR Show and over the next few years, it morphed into a nuclear arms race for many companies Many skate companies competed fiercely for the attention of retailers and at one point, booths took on the size of condo’s. It was a surreal experience walking around such enormous structures. At one point, I heard a certain shoe company dropped over $750,000 on their booth. Eventually, the ASR show unraveled due to a number of circumstances. It’s hard to pin-point anything specific. A start-up show called Agenda hired limos and ferreted customers to an alternate universe of small tables and a more grassroots vibe. Adding to the mix was another skate show called Crossroads that disrupted things to a level that few could have predicted. The sense was that ASR was too big to fail…but it failed it did. Over the past 19 or so years I have always looked forward to the trade show in January. For one thing, it gets me well away from the misery of the poor weather here in Toronto. But more importantly, it is the opportunity to reconnect with friends and strategize for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much of a documented history to the ASR show. There might be a photo or two out there but it’s pretty slim pickens. Here’s a memory that might freak you out!