The Truth & Real Truth Newsletter #1

The Truth & Real Truth Newsletter #1

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.

 

 

 

 

Be aware. There are scams out there!

Be aware. There are scams out there!

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. mbrooke@interlog.com.

Scams hurt. Scams are cruel. Scams should be taken out to the shed and shot.

If you spot a scam, let us know.

Calleigh Little Keeps on Pushing

Calleigh Little Keeps on Pushing

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

 

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

 

 Somewhere in Nebraska

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

What made you decide to go solo across the USA?

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

 

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

 

 

Where do you think your competitive spirit comes from?

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

 

What has been your best experience so far within skateboarding?

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Adrenalina Marathon

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

50 Miles on a Single Charge!

50 Miles on a Single Charge!

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

Skateboarding and Politics Part One

Skateboarding and Politics Part One

Oh, this is going to be a touchy post. Somehow, someway, somebody is going to feel slighted. But I am not here to talk about political issues. I am here to talk what happens when politics and skateboarding collide. As this such a difficult subject, I want to hear from you. Email me your thoughts – if you dare. Believe it or not, chances are, if you are a skateboarder, you’re involved in some sort of politics. Let’s break it down like this: 1.  POLITICS WITH SKATEBOARDING PART 1There are SOME self-proclaimed “skate arbiters of cool” that have some extremely harsh words for those who don’t ride “the right type of skateboard.” Here’s a taste. A skate troll that shamefully hides his name, this guy (or gal, but I sense it’s a guy) wants to make skateboarding political. Or maybe it’s “satire.” For those of you who just want a brief glimpse, here are a few screen shots.                      Obviously, who ever wrote this is in severe need of an education on the history of skateboarding.   2. POLITICS AMONG SKATERS PART DEUX – SOCIAL MEDIAForget the extreme games…we’re talking extreme opinions. Without getting into who said what, take a meander over to Facebook and within just a few brief moments, you’ll be taken to the land of “extreme.” So much for skateboarding being a grounding force.  There are gun lovers on one side and those who want most guns banned. There are Trump supporters on one side and those who want him impeached. Then there are a whole bunch of people in the middle who are just trying to enjoy themselves without too much drama. This is why I cut my personal time spent with FB to 15 minutes per week. LIBERATING!  If you have racist friend…Thank you Special AKA   3. POLITICS FROM PEOPLE WHO YOU THINK WOULD KNOW BETTER Gee, thanks Vice Magazine For those of you who think Vice is coolest f**king place in the world and it’d be AWESOME to work there, head over to Glassdoor.  Of course, your experience might be different. But then again, if I read stuff like this, I’d question everything about what I thought Vice is/was/could be. Actual screen shots:                                 4. GEOGRAPHICAL/ECONOMIC POLITICSOh, this is a touchy one. Distribution can play a significant role in how skate products are perceived. If you find one of your favorite brands at a big box retailer, it can feel a little disconcerting. That’s because some people actually CARE where products are sold. And some skaters feel very protective of the mom and pop skate shops. Then again, shop or die. Adding to this is the internet which has allowed a marketers/manufacturers to communicate DIRECTLY with consumers. That’s you. For those skate shops who spend hours, weeks and years building their local scene and shop by providing excellent service and selection, the rewards can be deeply satisfying. The rewards can also include having your livelihood put at risk by companies wishing to cut out the middleman (ie: the retailer). Don’t even get me started about the LOCAL politics between some shops.  That’s enough politics for one post. Ready to read your political rants…email me.      

New Tom Sims Documentary – Pure Juice

New Tom Sims Documentary – Pure Juice

 

There’s a new Sims documentary coming out soon and we had a chance to chat with Scott Clum who has been working on it for some time. For more info on Tom, see this issue: 

 

 

 

 

Concrete Wave: You worked with Tom – what was your role and what was it like working for him?

Scott Clum: My role working with Tom was two things:, 
As design director I worked on Milpas St in Santa Barbara at the SIMS offices with Tom on a daily basis. We talked a lot about skateboarding and snowboarding and how we could engage with the current audience. This was in 1985. Tom was really concerned with keeping up with the times, as he didnt want to have people look at SIMS as not being involved in the scene. Tom never ran out of ideas, he was super creative. 

 

As a team rider, I was always skating ramps and banks with local guys and the team. You had to stay current on your style and tricks for the pipe and racing. SIMS was all about this progression and it was a priority for Tom.

SNOW VALLEY – VERMONT 1983{Left to right}  Keith Kimmel, Unknown, Unknown, Eric Moynier, Tom Sims, Scott Clum, Allen Arnbruster. Photo: George Potter

 

Of all the stories you have about Tom, what specific tale really shows what he was like?
Well, thats a hard one. This one has to be my fave for many reasons…

We were outside the SIMS offices in Santa Barbara and Tom said to me one afternoon, “Hey do you want to go skate? I was like yeah sure, where do you want to go…? He was all ” I know a place, We get into his BMW 2112 and drove up to the TEA BOWLS. We walked up to the edge and got our gear ready. I had never been, It was unbelievable. huge place. The initial roll down was crazy, a commitment for sure. Tom got set up and never even hesitated, not a second. I was blown away as he hauled ass down the huge wall and made these killer carves and turns in the other side. Tom had his longboard of course and I had my pool board. It was killer, I still remember the feeling and how big this place was and how fast you went. We skated for about an hour and then went back to the office.. It was unreal.

 

I have a lot of memories with Tom but for everything Tom stood for that session was straight to the core of who he was both in skateboarding and snowboarding. No hesitation, attacked with style. That was what Tom is all about. A great day for sure and a fond memory.
 

Tom at Tahoe in 1982. Photo: Jim Cassimus 

Describe some of the surprises you encountered in making the documentary?
I don’t know about surprises, but I will say our initial hurdle was to come together on the vision. My partners Eric Jeffcoat and Erich Lyttle had different views than I did. We all wanted the same thing, just different approaches. Its always tough creatively to create a team direction. We all put egos aside and came together on strategy and a common vision. Both of these guys are super talented so together we have a solid direction and a strong commitment to the film.

 

Most young snowboarders and skaters might not know about Sims contribution to action sports. Why do you feel his name is not as well known as other pioneers?
Right. The new riders link up with what  they know and what’s current. I dont think its intentional at all. It is really easy to distance yourself from initial history mainly because you focus on now. Its not until someone turns you on to new thing that you become aware of it. Everything is association and your personal circles. My circle grew up with the initial pioneers because it was actually happening in real time! I think there are riders who educate themselves and want to know about the history of snowboarding and skateboarding so they know from a certain distance. This story will be amazing both inspirationally and educationally, people will see where things started and why snowboarding and skateboarding are the way they are. Tom played a major part in where we all came from.

Scott Clum at Dreamland’s Donlad Bowl, Donlad, Oregon. Photo: Bud Fawcett

What do you want viewers to come away with after viewing this documentary?
I want viewers to appreciate Tom. Tom was super dedicated to all riders. He was dedicated to his company more than anyone could know. He loved skating and snowboarding so he would do whatever he could to help you either directly or with the equipment. If you ride, you have a responsibility to yourself to know what he did for you and what he did for the evolution of all riding. I guarantee,  after seeing this movie you will dig Tom and youll want to work on your riding.. [ ha ha.. ] really, after watching, youll want to watch it again. You will definitely have a better appropriation for your own riding and boarding overall. Thanks Tom…

What has been the one key challenge (other than financial) with respect to this project?
A key challenge is, as a group to get the story right and to give the viewer the best experience we can. For me directly, its memory [ and time, ha ha.. ]. There is so much to tell and so many people to involve to do it right. I really want to pay respects to as many people in the story as we can. A lot of these guys are legends both in snowboarding and skateboarding. Tom was an amazing pioneer and innovator, we want to show all that in the film so we can educate the perspective as well as honor the guys on this journey.
 

What would your life been like had you not worked for Tom?
I met Tom in 1981. I called him about the yellow skiboard deck and it took off from there. I was making my own boards at the time and I also had a yellow roundtail Winterstick. Tom was interested in my riding and immediately tried to convince me to ride a SIMS snowboard. He was super nice about it though. That was the beginning of it all. I still remember the call like it was yesterday.

If I hadn’t worked for Tom, I would probably be in Manhattan at an agency doing the creative thing. Id still be skating and snowboarding but on a different level I guess. I am an artist and designer at heart. I have had my own design studio since 1987. I have worked in agencies all over the world in design, graphics, directing and editing. Being creative is like riding. Its expression.

 

Skateboarding and snowboarding have always been a priority so I have worked in the industry from day one. I am grateful for having the opportunity to have worked together with Tom. We battled, we created and we rode together. I loved his competitiveness, It reminds me to go for it, to be prepared and do your best. I miss our conversations and our ideas for new projects. He’s there, whether its a backyarder or lines down the mountain, his spirit is always with me.

 

 

Check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe In the Future Everyone Will Use Facebook for 15 Minutes…Per Day, Week, Month or Year

Maybe In the Future Everyone Will Use Facebook for 15 Minutes…Per Day, Week, Month or Year

 It seems like there’s more skate drama on Facebook this week. How utterly NOT surprising.  Last week I started an experiment with Facebook. I wanted to see if I could limit the amount of time I spent on the site to about 15 minutes for the entire week. I also wanted to limit my personal page to one post per week. Of course, if someone directs me to something that I absolutely MUST see, then I won’t rule that out. I will continue to use the site for research – but I will limit that time as well. This decision grew out of a post on Facebook I wrote last week. I am beginning to feel that while the site definitely is a great communications tool (and I love the instant messenger and Facebook Live), sometimes Facebook just completely de-stokes me.  I’ll admit I love the fact that I can put a post on my Concrete Wave FB page and try and drive folks to my site. But the reality is that the algorithms on FB seem to have the upper hand. Posts about Tony Hawk or dogs that skate seem to suck all the oxygen out of the algorithms. FB could give two shits about Concrete Wave. On Facebook, I am the product.  Without going into too much detail, we have skate folks de-friending each other over politics – something that you are passionate about combined with politics is always a tricky combo. Facebook just makes it a combustible mix, leaving total carnage. And oh yeah, it can warp election results. Then again, that last item could just be fake news. You see where this goes? Brutal. How ironic. The vast majority of time spent with social media is making us anti-social. Then we have folks who post FB screeds that some might feel are justified and some utterly loathe. The only thing I can add to this is that much of the beefs on FB nowadays would have in a previous era been dealt with  off line and dealt with in a vastly different manner. I realize that there is no turning back. Make no mistake, FB is a great way to publicly shame a malicious and uncaring company but I am not convinced it’s the best way to deal with individuals who have issues with someone they feel has wronged them.  Here’s a prediction you can run with immediately. I bet if you ditch this column and go on FB right now, you will find at least one rather odd rant, outrageous comment or link. Now that you’ve returned, are you impressed as how telepathic I am! You know there are trolls out there. You know there is clickbait, and like me, you are feeding your addiction with every minute you spend flipping your screen.  I began to ask myself several questions after last weeks column. Is social media making me feel like going out and skate? Is it adding to my enjoyment of life? The answer, in most cases is no. I dearly love finding out about my 150 or so friends that are truly a part of my life at any given moment. We talk on the phone, write emails and see each other at events. I also have to run a magazine, work on Longboarding for Peace, plan the next skate event and oh yeah, spend time with my family. Moving from 1 or 2 hours a day (yes, I confess to TWO HOURS a day writing pithy comments on FB) to 15 minutes per week is an incredibly liberating experience. Recently, I decluttered and got rid of a whole bunch of stuff. Collecting things for 5 decades and then either throwing it out or giving most of it away was all about finding a freedom through the idea of minimalism. It may not work for everyone and clearly, it depends on your stage in life, but I am here to tell you that when you minimize your time on social media, it feels just as liberating as disposing of an old pair of shoes you will never use. I am NOT saying don’t go on FB. I am merely suggesting that if you want to contact me I am now more available than I was last week. I challenge you to build real relationships, not just Facebook Friends. I furthermore challenge you to go on FB for 15 minutes per week. See where it takes you.  More on Dunbar’s Number:  

Kannibal Skateboards Rises From the Crypt

Kannibal Skateboards Rises From the Crypt

The roots of this article go way back to the 1990’s. We’ll explain more in a moment. But if for some reason you think that longboarding is only about bombing hills or cruising – prepare to have your brain eaten by cannibals. Actually, make that Kannibal Skateboards. This company, hailing from some remote Florida swamp (a notorious breeding ground for Kannibals) has put together an insane team of rippers who destroy street spots on longboards. WARNING: This is not about throwing shakas and cruising. It’s about mayhem on four wheels.  The roots of Kannibal go back to a skate company called TVS. Terminal Velocity Streetboards were doing things in the early 2000’s that many skaters to this day can’t seem to get their heads around. Some of those legendary skaters have joined up with Kannibal to unleash their vision of skateboarding on a new crop of riders. To get a taste of what TVS was about have a peek below: Founder Jon Milstadio is originally from Virginia and as we mentioned, he has very different take on skateboarding.  “I tried the t-ball thing – tried the soccer thing. It lasted maybe a week” he says wryly. “I was interested in skating – I got my first board from my grandma. It was a Tony Hawk.” Jon moved down to Florida when he was eight.   “We didn’t have much to skate. There were no hills and maybe one backyard ramp.” Jon recalls seeing a new company called Zion Longboards. Jon tried out a board and found it addictive. “I always felt he needed a bigger board and the longboard fulfilled this need.Kannibal founder – Jon Milstadio Over the next few years, Jon would modify longboards and attempt kickflips on pintails. “There was a set of stairs nearby and we’d take our 46″ boards and ride. It was fun and no one else was doing this in our area.”Jon Milstadio launches on his Envy Longboard in 1999. Keith was interested in starting his own company. He created a shape very reminiscent of snowboards – they were flat and they’d break pretty quickly. Eventually they went back to Zion to get some boards made. “We called it the Scooby Snack” recalls Jon.  Jon recalls that Keith spotted a local on a Bareback board with the same shape as the Scooby Snack. It was from a company called Bareback. They were amazed that the kid could do 180 backside ollies with it. “We wound up getting boards from Grant at Bareback” recalls Jon.Teamrider Jarpy  “I went down to Surf Expo in the late 90’s and went up to the folks from Envy Longboards. I thought it was a cool board. They were stunned that I wanted to drop in the on the ramp.” Jon dropped in and the crowd was amazed. He wound up skating for Envy and eventually he made his way to the Kona Nationals in 2000. “That event blew my mind” recalls Jon. “I broke three toes but to be there and see so many longboarders was amazing.” He had his toes iced the night before the contest and wound up getting third place in the AM division. Tibs Parise strikes a pose. Jon would eventually wind up riding with a number of longboard rippers including Jeff Budro, Brad Edwards (RIP), Jimmy Riha, Yancey Meyer and Jesse Parker. “I thought I was on one level and I thought I’d dominate as a pro at the next Kona contest” says Jon. “But these guys were just so far advanced. It was still amazing to be with all these guys.” When TVS released their video Unleashed in the Middle East, featuring Yancey and Jesse it took longboarding to a whole new level. “The video was so inspiring and I tried to duplicate the tricks I saw in it.” Jon eventually realized that riding on larger boards was all that he wanted to do within skateboarding. He wound up getting sponsored by Flexdex but things didn’t really mushroom the way he thought they would.  Jon witnessed firsthand how TVS just completely blew up. The story of TVS is one that very few folks know about but one day I am sure they’ll do a movie. To keep this article within digestible size, let’s just say that TVS was way ahead of its time and it definitely inspired a totally different way to view longboarding. That spirit is infused within Kannibal. I can feel it.  Jesse Parker with his pro model. Over the last decade or so, Jon’s path in skateboarding took some twists and turns. He never lost touch with Jesse and over time, he began plotting a way to return to the roots of a more hardcore approach to boards over 36″. “I never lost touch with Jesse and he thought my idea about starting up a new company would be cool.” This is how Kannibal Skateboards was unleashed. Joining Jon are Yancey, Jesse and Tibs Parise. It is truly an unbelievable talented team. Yancey Meyer with appropriate attire for the season. “It is not just about downhill” explains Jon. “There’s a whole f**king side to this that no one knows about. This thing can be way bigger than any of us.” Jon sees the fusion of longboarding and street skating as the future. “Nobody wants to take that chance – but we’ve already proven that it works – it was sick!” Vert, bowl, street, park – Kannibal aims to destroy it all on longboards.    MINI INTERVIEW with Jon Milstadio CW Mag: What would you say to the current crop of street skaters who still have prejudice towards longboarding?Jon: Hate all you want, but longboarding isn’t going away. It is only going to get bigger. You guys are doing things that are radically different. Has any other media picked up on this?Nobody. Where would you like to be in a year from now?We would like to be touring the east and west coast, having our boards in most core skateboard shops across the globe. We would also like to have a rad AM team. Shout outs to:Shout out to the Kannibal Skateboards team, Brian at Barefoot Designs for the art and printing, Brian Davis and Jeff King for taking killer shots, and my grandma for buying me my first Powell skateboard deck!  For more info visit: kannibalskateboards.com

Rock Island Rip – Lincoln, Nebraska

Rock Island Rip – Lincoln, Nebraska

We are super stoked to announce the first known Longboard/Skateboard push race in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Oct. 29th! After a pair of stoke-filled-downhill-longboard races (the Pioneer Premiere and Pioneer Smear), the Midwest is answering the call and hosting a push race, The Rock Island Rip. The best part, besides a trail that offers a bit of downhill and plenty of terrain to pump, is free registration and $200.00 in cash prizes up for grabs! The event will be held at 10 a.m. on the Rock Island Trail behind Arbys on south 27th street. The open division will race up and back on the trail for a grand total of 8 miles. Our grom division (ages 15 and under) will push four miles. Cash will be divided amongst podium winners.  While it will be a competitive race in both divisions, the host Eric Rineer emphasizes that the primary goal of the event is to “form a community and bring awareness of a new type of boarding to this part of the country.”  And Lincoln is doing just that with riders flocking from surrounding areas like Missouri and Kansas to compete in prior events. More information can be found by searching for the event “Rock Island Rip” on Facebook. Ages 18 and under are asked to bring a parental-consent form before participating.  Come out, bring your board, bring a friend, and have some fun while competing in a free-entry-cash-prize game.   

Guns and Skateboards

Guns and Skateboards

Like all of you, I am deeply shocked and saddened by the events that unfolded on Sunday night in Las Vegas. I was actually in Las Vegas on August 11th with my family and of course, we were right on the strip.  After the Sandy Hook massacre (2012), Neil Carver of Carver Skateboards was called to take action. His idea was simple. Let’s trade guns in that no one wants in their house for skateboards. He worked with the San Pedro police department and spawned four additional gun buy backs in San Diego. Collectively, the “Guns for Skateboards” initiative has traded hundreds of guns. In case you are wondering, the guns are taken with no questions asked and are promptly destroyed by law enforcement. We get fully automatic weapons like Uzi’s and M16’s. We also get an assortment of guns from the 1800’s, mini guns and hollow point bullets.Gun buy back in San Pedro – 2013 Please note that NO ONE is forcing these folks to trade in their guns. In fact, we even have gun shops stand outside with signs saying they’ll offer more than what a skateboard is worth. I know what you’re thinking. A few thousand guns is nothing compared to the 300+ million guns that are in the USA. My answer is this: replacing a skateboard with an unwanted gun does more than what you think it does. You see, in San Diego (according to the Police Chief I spoke with) a number of guns are stolen from homes and used to commit violent crimes. Unfortunately, these guns are not under lock and key. They are not fully secured and they get taken in home robberies/invasions. These guns are then used in armed robbery or other gun related crimes.   All sensible gun owners will tell you that it is imperative that guns are stored safely. When guns are not stored safely, you can run into some big trouble.  Rather than argue about gun rights or gun bans, this gun buyback program does one thing – it removes an unwanted gun and replaces it with something else entirely. Right now, the USA is reeling and both sides – those who want to ban guns and those who say it is their right to have firearms are screaming at at each other. You either go in circles, or you step up and take a different approach. The gun buy back can be supported by both sides. You can read more about it here (thank you Huck Magazine) I firmly believe you need to build bridges on the issue of gun violence. The only way to do this to address the millions of gun owners who believe a safely secured firearm is of paramount concern. Anything else is recklessness. But for those folks who for whatever reason are not able to secure their gun safely, a gun buy back is a start. From here, you can begin a dialogue about what to do next. If you are interested in getting involved in our next gun buy back in San Diego, please email me. It’s happening in December.