Spotted this yesterday inside the letters section of Thrasher. George Orwell is probably rolling in his grave.
If you don’t want to read the entire letter, here are two wildly off base points:
“There wasn’t a real following for longboarding until about five years ago. It stemmed from the “hipster” approach to skate.”
Tell that to Alva, Sims, Economy, Stradlund and Edwards.
“Aside from a good sense of balance and hand/eye coordination there is really no talent needed to ride a longboard”
Really? Have a peek at this
“The passion and dedication is deeper, stronger and a lot more durable than the guy who mongo pushes to his Keva Juice part time job. It seems to me that the longboarders of today are doing it to look cool.”
This is seriously so fucking judgemental that I am not even going to dignify it with a response. Actually I will…just keep scrolling to the end. You’ll see a model of a response, Jeremiah.
I’ll put it this way. You are probably passionate skater Jeremiah, but you don’t know your roots.
As Donald would say “sad.” This is from 1995…and that bright yellow cover? That’s from 1981
It’s all skateboarding Jeremiah. You’re 11 years deep into this. Let’s see where you’re at in 2048.
And for the record…this:
SECTION A – Welcome To the Truth & Real Truth – Introductions Not Really Necessary, But Here They Are Anyway
I started up the Skategeezer Homepage in 1995.
A few of you reading this were there when the NCSDA started. A few others might recall when Silverfish started. I bet a lot of people reading this were there Skate Slate and Wheelbase started.
Hey…that’s Skate Slate!
I was and continue to be very happy to have a front row seat to it all. The last 22 years of my life in skateboarding were truly incredible. But in truth, things have been difficult. A lot of advertisers have decided to spend money on different marketing initiatives. This is code for “we’re spending most of our advertising money on Facebook, Google, You Tube and Instagram.” Btw, it’s not just skateboarding, many very small independent traditional magazine publishers like me are faced with similar issues.
Hey! That’s… Wheelbase!
The truth is that ever since we started this new website, I’ve wondered, will it help or harm? Are the forums going to resonate? What exactly will the experience be like? Am I complete digital imbecile lost in a time warp who never was able to make the damn website work?
But then, I think about how I came to find Sean. You see, Sean is my web guru and thanks to Steve Meketa we met up last summer and set plans in motion to make this website work.
Sean is working like a demon to make things happen Sean’s vision is on point. He knows how to work within the digital world and more than this, he freakin’ loves skateboarding. That’s a deadly combo.
The Truth? The only way to make these next 21 years go by with same amount of fun and passion as the last 21 is for me to truly find my flow again within skateboarding. I am proud to truthfully say – “all systems go”
The Real Truth? Concrete Wave finally has a website that it should have had almost 20 years ago – about freakin’ time! Now the fun begins!
SECTION B – DEMONS UNDER THE BOARDS – AKA WHO’S WHO?
I got a text from my friend Samson. Samson is unique. Samson is curious and truly loves skateboarding. Samon doesn’t just work like a demon, he’s a speed demon. He loves bombing hills. He’s also demon in the kitchen, whipping up fantastic skate grub every time we meet – thank you for your hospitality. He’s also a mind demon and he wrote something to me yesterday that stopped me in my tracks. Curse you Samson for getting into my brain…again!
He wrote have you seen this Vulture Magazine Quincy Jones interview?
Quincy set the internet on fire!
Many people reading this post probably don’t know of Quincy Jones. One thing is for sure, you’ve heard of all the major artists he’s produced. Read the damn article. It’s a jaw dropper.
Ironically enough, Jonathan Nuss (now living north of 60) was the one who spread this story on social media.
Jonathan Nuss loves Nunavut!
Like I said, it’s got more bombshells than a year’s worth of Maury
This guy makes serious coin from others misfortune.
But here was Samson’s take, and I am paraphrasing here – you gotta make a magazine that is as honest and raw like that interview. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth.
After sleeping on Samson’s words, I realized that I need to get writing. Samson unlodged something in my mind. It is time for a raw and honest assessment of the skate industry through the prism of Concrete Wave. It is truly time to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
The Truth? After 21 years, I know people who know people...who know things. And it’s time for some illumination on all the bullshit that’s out there. Plus, I know where the bodies are buried.
The Real Truth? Our tip hotline is open. You ready to help us point out about some truly outrageous hypocrisy within skateboarding? Operators are standing by. And if you don’t contact us, Samson or karma will find you.
A world without pros…11th anniversary of a gift that keeps on giving.
SECTION C – AKA THE “C” SECTION – WHERE WE CUT TO THE CHASE
God, it’s been a brutal week. The senseless deaths in Florida. This is why the USA needs to have an truthful conversation on making guns a little more difficult to obtain than Kinder Surprises were for the past few decades. If you can regulate printed porn, cigarettes and liquor, you can put the same amount of thought into regulating guns.
My social media feed is filled with “thoughts and prayers” and “parents, raise your kids right” and “2nd Amendment” and “abortion caused this” and more and more statistics.
The Truth? This was the week that I decided to finally stop posting on my personal page. I deleted a number of old posts and set my settings to private. I even removed it from as a shortcut on my phone. Personally, I am over Facebook. I hope a billionaire reads about our gun buy back and we put thousands of skateboards into people’s hands.
The Real Truth? Facebook makes me feel like shit most of the time. I see left/right battling it out. I see my skate heroes posting stuff that makes my headspin. Then I remember, it’s the skateboarding that unites us.
If you want to face our 3 questions…just email me.
Either Samson or I will be happy to put you in the hot seat.
The following song assisted in the production of this newsletter. This song is over 42 years old. Deal with it.
Still great 42 years later!
And if you find that track awesome, check out this cover by Phil Upchurch.
We had a chance to meet up with Edward Cordero, the head of Ahmyo Wheels.
Ahmyo Wheels…that is a unique name – what is the meaning of it?
AHMYO is a vibration, like Om. And it means Absolute and Complete Trust In Self
There is a great deal of spiritual signs and meanings in the wheels – what is your message as you combine skateboard wheels with spirituality?
Yes, we definitely focus and inspire our designs and wheels with it in mind. We wouldn’t really define it as message though. I’d say it is more of a tool. Combining both we have a tool that helps create awareness, opens minds to new ideas , cultures, feelings and maybe even experiences. Connection is what it’s all about.
Where are you based and where can people find the wheels?
We are based out of EARTH! Distribution is currently in N.C. USA with shipping manager, Madison Crum.
Tana Rohrer, head of design and Europe manager is in Madrid, Spain. And Co-founder Iñaki G. and I manage everything else from Mexico City at the moment.
You can find our wheels at www.ahmyowheels.com or email us to get your local shop to get some!
What type of riding do you do?
I’ve been loving to bomb hills on any kind of board since I can remember. But It’s been almost 8 years of mainly downhill skateboarding. Lately been learning a lot of street and transition too and it’s a lot of fun. That’s what I usually skate but I’m down for any kind of skateboarding. The challenge is infinite.
Who else is part of the team?
Well, a side from the already described. We have an incredibly talented and amazing family of rippers that keeps expanding all over the world. And thanks to them we are still here helping each other grow. You can check them out on our Insta: @ahmyowheels.
Any final thoughts?
We thank those who open their minds and trust us with their ride. We hope more than one feels in tune and connected with our work and we’ll keep at it to bring more.
By Daniel Fedkenheuer
Every time the skateboarding world sees a new video clip of Aaron “Jaws” Homoki plummeting off another mind-numbingly high roof or of Shane O’Neill effortlessly throwing down a video game-like NBD, the generally accepted boundary for human possibility on a skateboard is notched ever upward. As such, those who look on from below are forced to try to make sense of their place in a community where the accolades for “biggest” and “most technical” seem to already be taken. While some take it upon themselves to challenge the giants and capture the biggest drops, most technical combinations and highest amounts of prize money, there exists another important end of the spectrum.
On this end, through the guise of Instagram usernames and minute-long video clips, we have come to know a growing collective of skateboarders that are making fantastic strides in the way of creativity and are furthering their own sets of boundaries for innovation and technicality. Although their unique skills may not lead them to the bright lights of the next stop on the Street League tour, they have led many of today’s most talented skateboarders to a garbage-filled loading dock somewhere in Los Angeles for the inaugural season of Xtreme Videos’ popular new web series, Trashin. Debuting in late 2017, Trashin saw overnight success as it’s first season received over one and a half million collective views on Facebook. To catch up with some of the folks behind the madness, we got a hold of Director & Editor, Sean Marin along with viral sensations William Spencer and Eric Cummins for their take on how it all went down.
When asked of the show’s beginnings, Marin explained how “The concept of the show was really a brain child of the team work from XTreme Video, a reputable leader in the action sports industry, and Richie Jackson. It came together when Facebook was on the hunt for Action Sports content to air on their Facebook Watch pages and they saw Xtreme Video’s production slate, which had Trashin, and Facebook jumped on it. After that, it was Richie and XTreme’s amazing in house producers Heather Garrow and Nathalie D’Haucourt, who really helped dial in the Trashin series concept.” After this, Marin was recruited to use his background in sports films and skateboarding to put the concept into action and add some design flare along the way. “We really wanted the whole series not only to be focused on the skater’s, giving them the best chance to create and land stuff, but we wanted the feel of everything to be “retro” 80’s and an homage to the 1986 film Thrashin. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say that I was deeply influenced by the Stranger Things series I had just binged watched on Netflix” Marin added.
From there, the people’s champ, Richie Jackson, took over as the show’s host and explained to viewers the method behind the madness they were about to see unfold. His concept was simple: skate the Trash on set in the most creative way possible in two round contest, consisting of Best Trick and Best Line. This way, Jackson’s voice as the modern day godfather of creative skateboarding could be exercised to name the winner of Best Line while the Facebook audience was able to stay engaged through choosing the winner of Best Trick each week. To the tune of $800, a hand-picked cast of some of the world’s best underground skaters were invited to rearrange the elements of their surrounds in any way they thought would compliment their unique styles of skating best. After a few parting words of inspiration, “the skateboarder’s skate competition” as it was dubbed, was underway.
Over the course of five episodes, each thoroughly filled with hammers, the Facebook audience got to witness nonconventional skateboarding performed by those who know the terrain best. Though Concrete Wave will not drop the names of the big winners here, we assure you that the shredding that went down is a sight to me marveled at firsthand. You can check out the first season on Facebook here
Amongst the notable standouts selected to partake, William Spencer and Eric Cummins were both selected to the finale episode and both had great things to say about the experience. First and foremost, the pair each claimed that the freedom of the contest was one of the defining aspects that made the experience more enjoyable than any other contest that had been a part of in the past. To Cummins, he noted how “Other contests I’ve skated have the obstacles already set and in place. You can’t move anything around, they all have had time limits and you only get a few chances or runs and that’s it. During Trashin you could move and build stuff and try as many times as you like!”
At the same time, Williams told us “I think Trashin, from it’s very inception by Mr. Jackson, has been a cry for something different, something new, and most of all, something as creative at it could possibly be, for being a contest that is. Competing as it were in this “contest” has been nothing like what you might expect when people throw the word around. It is in fact best case scenario in my opinion.” As Williams went on, he praised the way that the Trashin crew placed little constraint on the time and space needed for him to work his magic. In the process of building his features, he delighted in getting the choice to select what type of obstacles he would be judged on and the crew’s leniency on how exactly his entries for Best Trick and Best Line were considered. As such, Williams also hailed the filmers’ realistic approach to operating the cameras just as if they were filming a video in the streets and the ensuing collaboration with backup filmers to get the right mix of action and storytelling shots.
Another standout component that both mentioned was the inspiring, yet laid-back atmosphere of skating amongst some of the most creative minds in skateboarding today. They agreed that time granted to figure their approaches out combined with the hype that came with skating amongst new friends led to a happy medium of both comfort and high energy. To comment on skating in the presence of his competitors, Williams claimed, “I was so happy to meet those guys and to put personalities to such skillful skating and remarkable drive to create newness in skating. They rule. I was beside myself in awe of how many fantastic tricks they came up with and got done in so short a time.”
In the end, both Cummins and Spencer both thanked “The Featch” himself for selecting them to take part in the first season. In Cummins’ own words he said, “I really am just so grateful to have been a part of Trashin, met Richie Jackson, and skated alongside so many amazing skateboarders.” As for Williams he said, “I am so flattered and grateful to Richie for asking me to be a part of it. I can’t thank the filmer’s enough for their patience, time, energy and just generalized encouraging words they always gave along the way in the filming process. You know who you are Mike, Holden, Garrett, Troy and Hunter.”
As for the future of the series, Sean Marin chimed back in to tell us that he is unable to confirm nor deny the possibility for a reboot. However, he was quick to add that with the continued watching and sharing of Trashin, the possibility of another season of one of the most engaging contests in skateboarding today is open.
Long time readers of CW Mag will recall our Noteworthy column. Now that we’ve slightly changed the format of the magazine, we no longer have this feature. The truth is that we welcome your products to be showcased here on our site. But, we will let the court of public opinion have their say. If you’re intrigued by a product, be sure to connect with the people behind it.
We are not endorsing any product – but we encourage you to keep an open mind. You just never know what will inspire you.
The Clayers is a brand developed by professional skateboarder Tibs Parise. Tibs has graced our cover a few times. Everything started in Europe, when Tibs discovered the benefits and mineral rich properties of French Green Clay from other professional athletes. He started to use the product to assist in healing his injuries and skin irritations.
Another happy camper courtesy The Clayers
In 2013, Tibs arrived to the USA to pursue his career as a Professional Skateboarder. Tibs enjoyed success as a skater, but was dismayed that he could not find any French Green Clay that was “ready-to-use”. After years of frustration, Tibs decided to develop the highest quality “ready-to-use” French Green Clay paste. He offered samples to Professional Athletes in his sports network , they tried Clayer, and all the athletes noticed that their injuries were getting better after the first application!
Backed by medical research, Clayer’s ingredient is scientifically proven and also certified Non Toxic and 100% natural. It isnow available in a convenient 5.8 oz tube of “ready-to-use” paste for pain relief & first aid.
A number of skaters endorse this green clay including: Jake Brown, Louis Pilloni, Brandon Turner, Josh Baldwin, Alan Young, Jimmy Riha, Peter Smolik, Shaun Ross, Bryson Farrill, Cory Juneau, Chris Gentry, Daymein Hertenstein, Oscar Gutierrez, Max Ballesteros, Pam Diaz, Jordyn Barratt and Jesse Parker. Click here for more info
GIRL IS NOT A 4 LETTER WORD
Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word collaborates with Dusters California and artist Priscilla Witte to bring you a feminism-powered cruiser skateboard. This is the 7th deck in a long line of Dusters and GN4LW collaborations where a portion of the sales benefit a 501c3 non-profit. This year’s recipient is Bridge to Skate: a nonprofit that uses skateboarding to transform the lives of youth by creating dynamic new paths to self-confidence, personal empowerment, and responsibility for each other and their communities. For more info click here.
Girl Power Skateboard
I know what you are thinking – butt boarding?! Well, hold your tongue for a minute. Firstly, we will probably have luge stories in the mag and at our website? Why, because luge has a rich history within skateboarding. As for butt boarding – what great way to enjoy skateboarding!
So many times we’ve seen kids gravitate to butt boarding when they start out. Why? Because it’s FUN. If you can’t deal with this, move on.
So take a peek at the Street Sledge. Hailing from the UK, this product offers newbies an awesome way to jump on board.
Here’s what it looks like when you’re riding it. I dig the bevelled bottom. For more info, click here
With millions of people watching luge at the Olympics, this product might inspire a future generation of rippers.
Then again, what about if we reversed things?
Akwasi Frimpong of Ghana – Getty images
Holy freakin crap! SCAMS AND MORE SCAMS!
I am getting inundated with emails from people who want me to spend thousands of dollars registering my concrete wave magazine in China.
Here’s the thing – it is a TOTAL SCAM. And here’s another – f**k those guys!
Web domains? It’s probably a scam!
As for these robo calls saying I am under arrest from Revenue Canada? Scam!
It’s a total scam – honest!
Yes..just another scam
As for skateboarding. Well, this is a scam…don’t be fooled. These folks DO NOT HAVE YOUR BEST INTEREST at heart. There’s a place for beginner skateboards – visit your local independent skateshop to learn more. Don’t know who to contact? Email me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scams hurt. Scams are cruel. Scams should be taken out to the shed and shot.
If you spot a scam, let us know.
Phil Smage takes flight!
Today’s forecast in Toronto is SNOW…followed by more SNOW. The question what the hell are you going to do about it?
Four years ago I published this magazine.
Published in the winter of 2014, this magazine was ahead of its time. The time to get out there and ride is NOW!
The truth is that sometimes it takes a while for the future to catch up with the present. I am delighted to see that progressive snow resorts like Lakeridge are allowing snowskaters. Tonight a gang from my local skate shop, Longboard Haven are heading out to the hills. As with longboarding back in the day, it’s always rad to hit double digits of riders. This time, I expect dozens of snow skaters to hit the slopes and the stoke level will be at level 5. Kudos to Rob and Chicken for making things happen.
Kouta Asaumi of Hovland Snowskates
There are of course a number of hotspots for snow skating. Lake Tahoe has had a raging scene for quite some time. But for many skaters, the idea of snowskating is still fairly new. The fact is that snowskating turns a molehill into a mountain. Summer is coming soon, but before that time, we’ve got at least another few months of snow. So get out there and ride!
Firstly of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to visit the new CW website. No matter what type of skateboarding you do, we welcome you!
We have a lot more surprises in store. If you are dreading the drama Facebook with the passing of each day, we hope that you’ll consider spending time on our forums.
So, without further waiting, I present some of the highlights of my trip to Germany and the Netherlands.
Sebastian Mühlbauer with Bastl Coffee – all the way from Uganda
Sebastian and I first met at ISPO back in 2012. Since that time, we’ve kept in touch. It was his idea to start something up in Leipzig.That’s how Shred Expo was born. My sincere thanks to him and Andy Ngo for creating such an epic event.
Yogi Marz is a German snowboard and longboard legend. He has done so much for the scene over the past 35 years, it is hard to put into words. Yogi with his beast of a car!
The Shred Expo event was an informal gathering of a number of different brands. It was a very cool vibe and my sense is that it will spawn a lot more great things. I was most impressed with the quality of product. A special shout out to Timber Boards from the Netherlands and Alternative Longboards from Poland.
Martin Ehrenberger is the founder of Blackriver Fingerboards. His company make some unreal fingerboards that bring joy to skaters worldwide.
James Kelly of Skate United and Lisa Karina, co-founder and owner of Sickboards having fun in The Haag.
Yes, that is a half pipe on the beach at Den Haag. The North Sea is a fierce monster in the winter. But kids were out surfing. Our plan is to be back in the summer for an event on the beach.
The 2018 ISPO show was filled with a number of unique folks. There was a sense that things are starting to move forward in our part of the industry. My sincere thanks to Alex Lenz who put the Longboard Embassy together.
Martin is a mastercraftsman based in the mountains of France in Annecy. His Legende longboards sell for over $1900.
The Netherlands has an overall vibe of tolerance. Rather than fight graffiti, the authorities set up “graffiti zones.” Here I catch someone in the act!
Welcome to the new website.
Pardon the dust. We hope you like the new website and enjoy it! But, it’s far from done. In fact, it will never be done, because we will always be working on improving it to keep up with it’s own natural purpose to be an extension of the skateboarding world that has shaped us. The site will continue to improve in this regard with a mission to evolve forever with skateboarding rather than focus on resisting change or why things aren’t “the same” anymore. How can we ensure supporting and keeping up with the evolution of skateboarding? Simple. By being by skateboarders, for skateboarders, always, and never losing touch with the real world of skateboarding. That’s exactly where you come in. We want to see your images and clips and read your stories. Please, FILL this site with the real world of skateboarding and help us make it about the roots while we at the same time find new and cool ways to connect and evolve with the people that make skateboarding awesome. With this mission in mind, to connect real skaters everywhere of all styles and skill levels, this site isn’t just for you as a skater:
This time, it’s by you.
What do we mean? How can you help build our community and the skateboard industry? Well, it’s not just about reading awesome editorials by Michael and Bud & and others (they have done a fantastic job over the years so hats off to them). We will always have that side of the mag and we hope to support it in new ways through the new site. But, this time when we do it’s about the community, about the skaters creating content and getting out there on the web with us, to share in the stoke. So, we want to read YOUR posts and articles. We want to let YOU be the publishers, too, right along with us. We will be in forums with you and we hope to generate an actual two way dialogue within the industry and skate community that helps us do our best to craft the site’s evolution according to what YOU want out of it and what the skateboarding world really wants. No corporate agendas. Real skaters. How can you specifically get involved?
Well, so many easy ways:
- Sign up and show your support by completing your profile and putting a face to the name. Put a cover photo and profile photo up and you’ll show up in our community page. Feel free to use your real name or a pseudonym, it’s up to you!
- Post in the forums. Share your skate pics, your skate instagram posts, your skate clips, your stories, your skateboards, your designs, your opinions, and your passions. But, most of all, share the stoke and spread high fives and positive vibes. Haters and negatrons will be banned! Try to have fun.
- Read our past issues and watch our vids! They’re up on the site and we’ll be adding more and more media to enjoy.
- Design custom finger boards and skateboards in the shop. This feature is being rolled out to certain members only in the first week, and it will go public to everyone. So, sign up soon to be part of the early release! If you don’t see it yet, just check back in a day or two.
- Share us on social media. Read a cool article or see a cool post? Share it on FB, IG, Pinterest, or wherever you like to share!
- Check Back Often! We’re posting frequently now that we’re up and running, and we’re releasing more really awesome sections soon so don’t be a stranger!
- Go Skate! Don’t forget why we do this! Skateboarding isn’t broken and never was. It’s still is and always was one of the purest forms of freedom and self expression by just having fun. You just have to do it to find out. Get out there. Get on your board. And, go sk8. Do it your way! Don’t conform. Do what you want! And, if you do document it, then when you get back…. post and share your stoke here with us and forever be immortalized in our new forums that will one day be considered the new archives by the skaters, for the skaters. We, for starters, are eagerly waiting to read all of your stories and comments see all of your awesome clips and pics just like you’ve been reading ours over the years.
We’re excited to see what the skateboard community can be here on the new wave. But, don’t worry, the old wave will always live on as well as we also pay tribute with awesome throwbacks and past issues. Hopefully both can come together in one space, and we can share the stoke old and new, as we transition into the next wave here in 2018.
Thanks for reading and being a part of this movement. We have a LOT more than this coming thru the site and all of the great sponsors and groups we’re working with right now to connect networks all over the world through skateboarding. Stay tuned, we’re just getting going!
Now let’s go skate.
As some of you may know, there is a GIGANTIC sports trade show in Germany coming up very soon. It’s called ISPO. How big is it? Well, it’s 14 buildings. To put that into perspective, the Agenda Show is ONE building. It is a worldwide show and because it’s based on the continent, there is a lot potential for connections. Over the course of 6 years, I have begun to develop friendships with these Europeans. We only see each other once a year and the fact is that what goes on in Munich, generally is forgotten by the time the next ISPO hits. And sometimes forgiven! This is my tribute to what I know will be an inspiring series of days.
ISPO & The Longboard Embassy
Thanks to ISPO, I have had the honour to meet folks who I normally never meet. These are folks who have a deep love for skateboarding. They know how much joy it represents. I sense an immense connection with these people and I am going to tell you about them.
There’s Alex Lenz. the creator and driving force behind the Longboard Embassy. Alex has done an incredible job of putting together the Longboard Embassy. Alex is supremely focused and he just gets shit done. His efforts and determination to keep the stoke alive are from the heart.
He’s a contrarian (like me) and also like me, he will ride for life.
A big shout out to Natasha, Alex’s partner and mother of their 2 children. She is an absolutely amazing person. Warm, kind and always supportive.
Alex and his team have put together a really solid floorplan. This time, ISPO is going into the history books. My gut feeling that the ISPO Longboard Embassy will spark some great ideas.
(Heiko and Ritchie – you can read the fine print)
Of course, before we go any further, we have to talk about the Swiss contingent. I dig Switzerland. I will vacation there one day. But only in the winter when I can fully enjoy the seniors discount at the slopes.
So, yes, the Swiss in skateboarding are a fascinating bunch. Those Swiss born in Los Angeles and were transplanted at a young age to Switzerland might even more so. Paging a Jeremy…Jeremy Sochin… We were introduced I think at ISPO #1 thanks to Don Tashman of Loaded Boards. We immediately hit it off.
Jeremy is the owner and operator of Number 1 Skate Shop
in Luzern. If I ever come back to life, I’d run my skate shop like Jeremy. He’s dedicated, he’s passionate and most of all, he’s got the knowledge and experience to back it up.
I’ve stayed with Jeremy and his family at their home in Luzern.Their kindness and hospitality is astounding. Some great memories were also formed with Chris and Alex who are part of the Swiss Posse. Alex works at a large company and is about to get married. Chis works at Jeremy’s shop. He’s done some great work with Longboarding for Peace too. Shout out to Rocket
At my first ISPO, I ran across a magazine that was something like Surfers Journal on steroids. I was stunned at the quality and enthralled by the focus on giving back. I met the publisher – Coco Tache and connected immediately with her vision. I am happy and proud to promote her website 7sky.life
Coco ran the first Women in Boardsports meetup at ISPO. The seeds she helped plant are bearing fruit. Thanks to efforts of a number of extremely talented people, the luncheon has expanded and is one of the key networking events of ISPO.
SHRED EXPO – A TIME TO MEET UP WITH THE SHREDDERI
There are number of unique German board manufacturers that display at ISPO. One of the most hospitable is Sebastian Mühlbauer. Each year, he’d bring caseloads of epic Leipzig brew. Each year we’d talk about the industry and he always struck me as a “doer” just like Alex gets shit done.
He invited me to Leipzig and through a series of stars aligning, Shred Expo is hitting on Thursday. Special mention to Andy Ngo, the show manager who has been working his butt off making the magic happen. Like ISPO, I sense the show will be a catalyst for other great things.
I will most likely wind up spending my remaining days getting to know the Netherlands better. Lisa and Martijn run Sick Boards
and like all those I’ve previously mentioned, their stoke is truly infectious. The Dutch are a nation of traders and I know that Lisa, Martijn andI will have much to discuss.
There are a lot more folks I wish I could have included. Rest assured, we’ll try and capture as much as we can over the next two weeks. Be sure to come back to the site on February 1st. A lot of changes…
Source: CW from MyStyle
Sergio, known as “El Padrino” by the Spanish, can be found hand-making Ridersfly and Crema products at his home in Castellon, hosting freerides in Espana through Ridersfly
Events, or traveling in the Ridersfly van to satisfy his own need-for-speed.
I had the pleasure of meeting and skating with Sergio during the 2017 Eurotour, and I was beyond impressed by his passion for skateboarding, Ridersfly and Crema products, and safely growing the skate scene. But don’t take my word for it, see what “The Godfather” has to say for himself.
How long have you been skating?
I’m a disaster for the dates, but I started small with aggressive inline skating until I was 20 years old. In 2005, I bought a longboard from an American friend (at that time, there wasn’t a store in Spain that sold longboards). I tried it, and I liked the sensations so much that I haven’t stopped skating since. I became more serious with longboarding and downhill in 2007, which was when we created Ridersfly.
What is it about skating that keeps you coming back?
Downhill gives me a feeling of freedom. It’s you, your board, the sensations, and the bond you create with others while you’re skating. Even if you do not know the other person, it’s very special and usually relaxes me. I consider myself addicted to this feeling! After everything that happened (with my injury), I tried to stop skating. However, the sensations, and what I feel about skating, would not let me stop.
When did Ridersfly start and why?
The idea to create Ridersfly was born one morning when we were skating. In one of the rides up the hill, my partner, Alex D’Elia, said “We could make a website.” That same night, I sketched what would soon become the Ridersfly logo. Together with Alex, we finished creating the logo and Ridersfly website: a dynamic portal in which to show everyone our passion, experiences, videos, and share knowledge with other skaters at an international level.
What differentiates Ridersfly from other brands?
Mainly, the quality of the products and the R&D. It’s by skaters, for skaters. It’s important to us that we create and manufacture functional products. We were born by a need, unlike many commercial brands that were born with the sole intention of profiting during the most glorious time for the skate industry. I had to search for compounds and formulas to find a special rubber for braking, which was both durable and precise. It should be noted that an important difference in the manufacturing of Ridersfly products is they are all made in Spain; prepared and packaged by us and with a lot of love.
How did you meet Maria Giner?
A friend introduced us one night, but I had already seen her at a skate demo. One day, I used the excuse of teaching her to skate. This is when I realized she was my life partner, and I haven’t left her side since.
When did Maria get involved with Ridersfly?
Unconsciously, she was involved from the beginning. However, it wasn’t until 2012/2013 that she got more fully involved with Ridersfly. Today, we manage Ridersfly and RidersflyEvents together.
Tell me more about Ridersfly Events and what you do for the scene:
Ridersfly Events, like the products, are born from the need to be able to skate in safe spaces, closed to traffic. After having the most serious accident of my life, I saw that we had to organize events to help the scene grow as safely as possible. Furthermore, as a brand, we believe it’s our duty to encourage growth
of downhill skateboarding by providing these safe environments.
What would you like to see in the future for Ridersfly?
I want to see the brand expanded internationally, create more products, have a broader calendar of
events… In short, I want to keep seeing Ridersfly grow.
Source: CW from MyStyle
My name is Sirus Gahan and I’m a skateboarder, filmmaker and cinematographer.
For one of my birthdays I was gifted with a small MiniDV video camera, a perfectly sized handycam that I kept in my bag. As most of my summer days were spent skateboarding, this became my main focus, with many sessions being captured on tape. Behind the camera quickly became where I felt most comfortable, and through my passion for filming skateboarding I became interested in other areas of filmmaking.
I arrived in Tel Aviv as the summer war of 2014 was coming to an end. Newly formed charity SkatePAL were looking for skate volunteers to fly to Palestine to help with the project they had set up there. SkatePAL had established a youth project in the West Bank to help teach kids to skateboard and they needed volunteers to run sessions with the kids, assist in the building of skateparks and to bring in skateboarding equipment for the use of the children. There are no skate shops in the country and unfortunately, few citizens have the privilege of being able to cross the border to Israel. I saw the early potential SkatePAL had and realised that there was the chance to tell an incredible story, from a lesser-seen region of the world. I immediately booked my ticket.
Before crossing the checkpoints into Ramallah, the explosions from not-so-distant missiles could be heard and a siren warning us of such dangers emanated abruptly through the warm air. Having travelled pretty extensively, I thought I was ready for anything. However, this introduction was a shock to the system, and my first taste of what everyday life was like here. My mornings in Palestine were spent exploring the streets and markets, absorbing the smells of fresh falafel and sage tea that seemed to trail through the air, enticing me around every corner. When the afternoon came around and the kids finished school, the other volunteers and I would run skate sessions at the local youth club. Here we had built a wooden mini-ramp and a multitude of other obstacles for the participants to use as they learned. Teaching skateboarding in late summer in the Middle East was something my body was not ready for. In addition to the climate, trying to teach children who only spoke Arabic (of which I know about 3 words) meant a lot of instructions were misunderstood. Thankfully, skateboarding is a language in itself, and being able to physically demonstrate how to do something is often the easiest way to teach techniques that are so reliant on body and movement, particularly when your students are so intrigued and energetic.
Skateboarding was entirely new to Palestine and the excitement it created among the kids we encountered was almost palpable. A task that should have been simple, like fetching the pads from the lock-up at the youth centre, was a marathon effort, as 30 grasping hands would fly up into the air around you, trying desperately to snatch at the limited equipment, and thus securing their turn on one of the boards we had brought into the country. In the evenings, after our sessions teaching the children had ended, the other volunteers and I would wander into the centre of whichever town we were situated in and find ourselves a shawarma to re-energise. From here, we’d scour the dusty streets, hunting for smooth surfaces and skateable, marble obstacles. The heat of the day was debilitating and although we’d try to skate, we would end up dehydrated and sunburnt which in turn would leave us too fried to complete the rest of the days’ tasks. As a result, we generally stuck to skating in the evenings.
Skateboarding was so new to the country, that going out to film tricks in the streets was often a surreal experience. In the West, skateboarding is often shunned and seen as a nuisance, but in the West Bank we would often draw crowds of 30 to 40 wide-eyed civilians, cheering and showing their support. Locals were happy to perform for the camera and would often show me a magic trick or a dance move, all of which feature in the films made during my travels. Of all the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit, Palestine is certainly the most memorable. During my time there, the nation was politically volatile, the atmosphere on the streets was tense. Yet, the experience I had was nothing but open arms and pure good will. Seeing these kids experience the thrill of rolling just a few feet allowed me to relive the same excitement of first discovering skateboarding. What I witnessed gave me a great sense of hope for the future of the Palestinian youth.
Skateboarding is so significant to me. It has taken me to destinations all over the globe and provided me with a physical, mental and creative outlet. Being part of something that’s allowed me to work all over the world is very special. Traveling is something that I’d always longed to do, I felt like it was an inherent part of me. Skateboarding is my vessel to new worlds where I’m able to experience different places, people and cultures. I believe that it’s vital to have a wide and varied experience of the world. Collect stories and learn about global differences. Develop your understanding of the world you live in, and those that inhabit it. I believe that doing these things today are more important than ever before.
Sirus Gahan is a skateboarder, filmmaker and cinematographer.
Source: CW from MyStyle
We have a new website coming on February 1st
Along with some other surprises.
More updates to come.
Source: CW from MyStyle
This post is being written on the morning of what was to have been the final day of Agenda. But sometimes things don’t always work out. A lot of people who booked space at Agenda booked it because there were three days originally. But, that plan was cancelled and vendors were told there would be no refunds or discounts based on skipping out on that last day.
Just a quick update…If you have come to this link via my friend Jeff Harbrough, we welcome you. Perhaps this is your first time at the CW site. Feel free to poke around.
I am not sure where your head is at with Agenda. Maybe you had a great show. But a lot of folks I talked to did not find it a positive experience. It is definitely time for something new within skateboarding. I was there 22 years ago screaming to everyone that it was about to change. It’s about to change again
Cancelling the third day might have been the correct decision financially, but it wasn’t a kind decision. In a time of so many independent brands and retailers having so many challenges, every marketing dollar counts. Let’s say this was a two million dollar hit for Agenda. This amount, while significant, is not a huge number compared to the revenues of Agendas corporate owners.
A few million keeps dozens of small companies a float for quite some time.
How many fucking times do I have to keep repeating it:
When it comes to surf/skate/snow business, not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted, counts.
Money is important. Making a profit is important. But the bottom line isn’t always the bottom line. You have to reinvest in the roots while cultivating the crop.
You can ask my friend Corpo Man about the nuances of this business transaction. If you don’t know who Corpo Man is, just ask Tal over at Sector 9. He’s the last soldier left.
I could go on and on…but I won’t. Suffice to say if you regulate a show to the point where some of the hard goods folks have to fight to get into a show it’s a recipe for disaster. Some skate companies I know found themselves not CORE ENOUGH to get into a high priced show. I sense skateboarding will have the last laugh…it always does.
Time for a NEW Agenda?
More like time for a new AGE, but I won’t make you sign an NDA!
See you at Shred Expo
and ISPO or the next skate session.
We are giving away Vol. #1 No. #1
NOTE: this contest is only open to 150 people!
Source: CW from MyStyle
Today is a day of new beginnings. For me it is both a new year and a time to reflect. The past year has been rather turbulent for many in the skate industry (myself included). And yet, it has also been a tremendous year for many as well (myself included).
I wanted to take a moment to highlight ONCE AGAIN that Concrete Wave is there to take you back and move you forward. We are in transition from a magazine to something else. I am confident that the power of community and connection will benefit everyone. The magazine will continue, but it is morphing and changing with the times, just like the independent skate shop.
Our philosophy of inclusion and reflection stems from our belief that you can learn from the past. For the past 6 decades, skateboarding has gone in and out of fashion. Despite these waves of interest and disinterest, it has always attracted creative people willing to add their take and move the needle forward.
One of these people is Mike Moore. A gifted artist, Mike was the very first person I collaborated with on the web. He came up with the original Skategeezer Homepage Logo. That was 23 years ago.
The ideas, debates and concerns featured in this piece still resonate almost a quarter century later. To those who wonder what happens next, look to what happened. A year AFTER this meeting, the Extreme Games hit, and skateboarding rebounded something fierce. May I remind everyone involved that the Olympics are two years away and for the first time, they will feature skateboarding.
Read it and don’t weep – because the future is just around the corner. Happy new year to you all.
This meeting took place in Poway, California on the trade show weekend in San Diego Saturday 29th Jan 1994. It was prompted by a discussion about the increasing sales of blank boards and blanks wheels. A group of us met to consider the long term effects on skateboarding and the health of the skateboarding industry.
Attendance was limited to a handful of people for one simple reason- nobody was sure how this first meeting would unfold. Would it be a big yelling and finger pointing session, or would some serious discussion take place?
As it turned out after a few minutes at the beginning things calmed down and the items covered in this report were discussed.Let’s stress again; it was not an intentional move to restrict this meeting, or exclude any parties. It was just a starting point of what we hope will be more Cooperation between companies to help the sport grow and tackle some of the problems that are keeping skateboarding from moving forward.
In 1980 there were 175 pros at the Gold Cup series. Six months later there were only 15 left. Think back to the early eighties and remember how small skating can get. Our whole aim is to avoid that happening again.Everyone present at the meeting supports pro skateboarding. Many have been professional skateboarders themselves. But the relationships between pro skateboarding and their companies is supposed to be a 2 way street, and in today’s industry environment things have gone astray. We have gone from the Mid eighties when everything was so strict as in having to do well in am contests to turn pro, having to wear this shirt at a contest, having to go on tour etc etc to today when being a professional skateboarder you don’t have to travel, enter contests, do demos, take photos wear company or ride company products. We have to find the happy medium. Something has to change for everyone to succeed. There is presently an abundance of pro’s and models, but not enough buyers.The way the industry is going looks bleak and things could get a lot worse before they get any better. If the blank war progresses any further we could find the industry regressing back to a handful of pro’s. The intention of this meeting was to avoid such a collapse.
Present at this meeting in alphabetical order: Chris Carter- Alien Workshop, Bob Denike- NHS, Steve Douglas- Giant/411, Jeff Klindt- Deluxe/Real, Steve Rocco- W.I./Big Brother, Paul Schmitt- PS Stix/Giant, Todd Swank- Foundation, Mike Ternasky- Plan B, Jim Thiebaud- Deluxe/Real.Notes on the ProceedingsPlease read the items which follow.
All the people listed made a gentleman’s agreement to keep to these points. We hope that other company owners who read this will support what we are trying to do. Many conclusions can be drawn from these notes, and if you need more clarification, please call someone who was there. Don’t just read between the lines. We’d all be pleased to discuss this with anyone.
Overall it was a very positive meeting.
1) The need to rebuild Confidence
The overall theme of the meeting was to strive toward more stability in the industry. More Consistency among companies, riders, teams and products will help rebuild confidence among distributors and retailers.
2) The state of the Industry
Everyone present agreed (to varying degrees) that the industry was shaky and that we had a lot to blame on ourselves for creating some of these problems. It has gotten to the point where sales are weak and the companies have less money to use for promotion and in turn less money to take care of the riders.
ACTION: We need to cooperate together to turn this trend around and head back in a positive direction.
3) Skateboarding doesn’t seem like fun anymore
Media and companies tend to concentrate on the negative side of skateboarding. At present skateboarding is not fun: Videos portray the impossible, product is not designed for fun- this all targets the hardcore market, and is not accessible to the “fun only” skater or the new skater.
ACTION: We as an industry, must concentrate on a more positive future. We have narrowed down skateboarding to a very small market. Bring the fun back and get the negative out. Target beyond the hardcore market: new buyers, cruisers, recreational skaters. New kids who are not aware of all this vibing crap. We want the media to show more variety of types of skating out there. The companies will promote more accessible skating and more positive images, produce products that are more fun to ride. We need to make a wider board, bigger softer wheels etc as well as the hardcore products. Tours, demo contests have to portray skateboarding in a better light. Emphasize consistency, positive attitudes, company support and promotion of the sport. Don’t send out riders who do not agree with this, otherwise we risk doing more harm than good.
4) Blank Boards
We have been promoting sales of blank boards by allowing our riders to ride them. It was agreed that companies will only hand out with graphics or logos. We will encourage the media not to show boards without graphics and photographers will not shoot photos of team riders unless they are supporting their sponsor by riding a board with company graphics and wearing company T’s, hats etc. No more blank boards, blank T’s, Gap jeans etc etc. As one distributor said, “How can we sell the products if the pro’s don’t ride them?”.
ACTION: This will require a process of education. We need to demonstrate to the riders how supporting their companies will help the companies support the riders. The riders who help their companies in this way are the ones who should benefit themselves through increased sales, trips to contests, tours, etc.If this takes place we hope to see increased sales, increased payment to riders and more funds to promote skateboarding. Blank products only supports an industry which is doing nothing for skateboarding’s future.
ACTION: Everyone agreed to talk to the vendors and suppliers who are selling the blank products. In the long term, sales of blank product will destroy the market by eliminating the funds available for promotion. It’s a case of a small short term profit versus the long term health of the Industry. We will also put more logo boards on the market and stabilize product changes to re-establish the strong company identification that has been lost through blank board sales.
5) The new Graphic problem
Slowing down graphic changes was discussed briefly. It was accepted that this was killing deck sales. A distributor will only take 10 of a board, a shop will only take one, both then expect a new graphic next time. Reducing the rate of change across the whole industry was brought up but no final solution was agreed. Some in the room said that they have been slowing down already or are about to do so, others said that it was impossible to slow now.
ACTION: We all agreed it was a serious situation which needs further discussion.
6) Rider Guarantees
It was agreed that rider’s deck guarantees no longer reflected the reality of the size of the market.
ACTION: $500-1000 (for 1994) is more realistic for new pro’s or under fresh agreements and when a pro moves to a new company $2 per deck was fine. (If a company has an existing agreement with a pro at $2000 for example, obviously it is up to that company to keep that agreement.)
7) Team Jumping
We need to protect the retailers, distributors and manufactures, and to stabilize the market by reducing the harm caused by team jumping.
ACTION: If a rider leaves a company, the most that anyone can expect from a new company is $1000 a month. Also communication will take place between the 2 companies and the old company will have 90 days to clear the rider’s inventory. During this period the new company can pay the rider but they can’t release a model for him. The media will take an active role in not covering the team jumping, riders quitting or other info that will make inventory on a shelf or company or distributor warehouse obsolete.
8) Too many Identical Models
There are too many pro models available on the market. Distributors and shops dare not order every different one in quantity.
ACTION: Don’t turn riders pro so easily. It means nothing to be a pro today and the credibility and status of the pros suffer as a result. Have a rider know what is expected of him and what he can expect in return. Make sure they appreciate that is a two way deal. This is not a new concept, think what sponsorship and being professional means. If the two way deal isn’t working out, companies should discuss the problem with the riders, but if it doesn’t work, they should let them go.
9) New Companies
We discussed how easy it is to enter the skateboard Industry. That it shouldn’t be a problem if someone wants to start a company. But when a company is started to destroy another company, or make the stock on everyone’s floor obsolete, it only contributes to the instability of the industry and erodes customer confidence in buying product.
ACTION: We should stop shooting ourselves in the foot by helping a company get set up and running, especially companies who are coming in for a quick buck, or do not support the industry and magazines, or do not have long term plans.
This is a recap of what was discussed; it is no way complete, but it covers the main points. Another meeting is loosely planned for the beginning of May which other will be invited to. This was a positive move toward a more unified and stable industry. So far all the points that were discussed have been put into action, and the “we can trust these guys” thinking has been shown to be an unnecessary fear. Some remarkable cooperation has already taken place among people you would not have expected it from.
Other Ideas and Topics discussed
Skateboarding Promo Video- Maybe by Stacy Peralta. A video aimed at the general market, suitable for sale in every video store in the world. NOT made for the hardcore market. Showing skateboarding as a positive and fun thing to do. ESPN “Max Out” is interested in footage if you have anything to send in to her. Her is her name and number: Karin Jacoby 212-586-6104.
Drug Abuse and Paying Ams
Make Skateboarding more accessible to potential skaters- Right now the general public can’t understand skating. It’s too technical and too inconsistent. Name another sport in which the pro’s are so inconsistent. Everyone must have heard non-skaters at pro contests ask when the pro’s skate. We must make them go “Wow! Look at that” if we want them to get their attention.
Right now skating does not look fun. The kid could quite possibly pass by the skateshop and go buy a mountain bike or a basketball instead.We must encourage some changes. Modern street skating is rad but we must add to it. Just think if we could have the street scene of today PLUS the mini ramp scene from 89 PLUS the vert scene from 86 PLUS the street scene from 85 PLUS the freestyle scene of 81 PLUS the pools and park scene from the 70’s etc etc .
With skateboarding ten times a big, pros could earn ten times as much money and companies make money. If we want those days back we need to open our minds and not limit skateboarding. That’s what skateboarding was all about when we started. There were no rules, it just mattered that you were doing it and having fun.
Source: CW from MyStyle
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
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.
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:
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?
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.
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
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.