Using video to teach skaters is a powerful way to engage people.
Behold, Dan’s latest masterpiece.
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.
Source: CW from MyStyle
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.
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.”
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.