Over the last 20 years or so I have watched skateboarding change. In 1996, you could barely get anyone to pay slightest bit of attention to longboarding let alone slalom or freestyle. Skateboarding media was very much like the scene in the Blues Brothers movie where someone says “we got both kinds of music: country AND western.”
Niche events did take place but they were truly off the radar. Thanks to the hard work of a lot of people and the power of the web skateboarding now covers a wide range of niches.
The truth is however is that these niches haven’t really received the type of attention or sponsorship that street skateboarding garnishes. Most longboarders (and all the groups that are lumped together in the “OTHER” category) are realists. Sure, it would be nice to have a big fat sponsor like Ford or Pepsi throw in some major money to the IDF or other types of skate events, but it’s going to take time. We have to accept that we are a niche.
Numerous skaters spend a huge amount of their own money to attend races. Downhill, by its very nature poses some risks while every precaution is taken at races, accidents happen. The reward comes in the camaraderie – for the most part, the prizes are secondary.
The worldwide tribe that doesn’t generally follow the going’s-on of traditional skateboarding is sometime given an occasional nod by the mainstream media. The tragic passing of 70 year old Victor Earhart is one of those times. If your attention is to the more mainstream side of skating, someone like Victor isn’t going to get onto your radar. For those who do explore outside what is presented in most of the skate media, the experiences are truly exceptional.
One of those rewards is the chance to compete against world-class skaters. If you go race Danger Bay or ahead out to Oceanside for the National Slalom Races, you will be up against the very best in the world. Not only will you be able to skate with your hero’s, you’ll be able to hang with them too. It’s quite a bit harder to do this at the Maloof Money Cup or Dew Tour.
THIS IS FROM 2011…wow, time flies!
If the other categories in skateboarding are classified as niches and are getting a paltry amount in the way of sponsorships, can you imagine what it’s like to be a pro wrestler in Combat Zone Wrestling. Most of us know of the WWF but trust me when I say you won’t see Doritos, KFC or even Band Aid jumping to sponsor this niche part of wrestling any time soon.
The CZW documentary profiling this way out there niche within wrestling is a 42 minute orgy of violence the likes of which will leave mental scars. We’ll all know that Vice covers it all – from drug abuse to bestiality but nothing can prepare you for this niche within wrestling.
The level of brutality is so beyond anything that you can imagine, it’s frankly hard to comprehend. Sure, it’s all done for the fans…but holy shit, it’s insane. These guys literally drive spikes into each others heads
Don’t believe me?
Take a look at the documentary below: Warning – once you see this, you will not be able to UNSEE it.
If you get past the violence, you will see there is camaraderie here between the wrestlers and yes there is an incredible bond between the wrestlers and the audience. It is so over the top and so incredibly intense that even the refs are seen clenching their teeth. Chances are this waaaay out there niche within wrestling will garner a few fans via the documentary. The CZW seem be garnering some money via on demand video – not sure how much money it generates – but full marks for trying!
From what I understand, Delaware is one of the few places left in the USA that you can actually do a tournament of death. Not sure about Canada. I would say it’s doubtful.
For those who worry about the future of niches within our amazing skateboard world I say, fear not. Niches within skateboarding will expand and contract, just like the rest of skateboarding. Sure, we may never get the big dollars like our street skating counterparts. But that’s ok. No matter what happens, chances are you’ll never find yourself picking glass out of your body. Unlike our counterparts over at CZW.
With the rush of the biggest city in the world right next to the New Jersey border, it sometimes goes without a second thought to take a look into the Garden State’s skateboarding scene. That’s exactly why I made a trip out to the placid corner of Northwestern Jersey to check out the headquarters of Original Skateboards.
Upon arrival, I was relieved to even find my way to the doors of an otherwise unassuming warehouse. Inside, a foyer plastered in skate stickers and action shots almost lead me to believe I was about to enter a full skate shop, rather than a production HQ. Instead, President, Joel Penkala welcomed me into a command central bustling with the operations of one of the East Coast’s top longboarding brands.
We took a tour to find Mark Imbrie, father to founders Scott and Brad Imbrie working in a much more evolved space than his garage, where the company started. In another room, a pair of graphic designers were reviewing the finishing touches on some ads to be run and a revamped website to be launched. Finally, in a warehouse that would make any longboarder swoon at the sight of stacks of decks and bins of wheels, a team of assemblers were working together to fill an order from one of the the company’s largest retailers.
From wall to board-covered wall, the Original Skateboards headquarters echoes Penkala’s description of the company’s mantra: “Be original and be yourself.” Also noting that the allure of riding so innately universal, the folks at Original seek to bust down the categories and labels that tend to shade the skateboarding world with gray areas. From traveling the world with friends in search of beautiful destinations and smooth concrete to stoking locals by bringing the best of the best professionals to local events, OS seeks to spread this passion with board riders on any terrain at any age.
With this, Penkala explained to me how from the early stages in the child’s life, the search for adrenaline embedded in human nature draws them towards wheeled objects. In a world where the range of options across the bike, scooter and skateboard markets are ever expanding, the President hopes that children stick with the latter of the three and sees Original as a gateway to an inclusive skating community. After all, Penkala delights in the fact to say that his proudest contribution to the skateboarding scene is to hear someone say that OS was the reason they got into skateboarding. “Longboarding is what brings us together” he added with a smile.
With one of Original’s new Arbiter KT’s under my arm, I left the headquarters and headed back into the quiet North Jersey suburbs. This time, however, I felt a particularly burning desire to get out and ride knowing that a local East Coast heavyweight was right in NJ’s backyard; cranking out boards and showing riders everywhere what it’s like to get out and experience the world with an Original Skateboard under their feet.
With the International Downhill Federation (IDF) having its blockbuster world cups like Kozakov in July the usual time for freerides and open road sessions is August. Team AOB’s (Ry Swanton, Bodhi Keen, Aaron Skippings Ben Stainer along with myself ) plan included Insul World cup, Giaosteka Freeride and Bela Joyride leaving as much free time as possible to skate the Alps. We set off from the UK for the second time this summer on August the 9th and proceeded to drive onto Insul World cup via Cologne.
Cologne proved to be especially beautiful with a historic cathedral and river. For AOB Cologne is our birthplace. Our boards are 100 percent made from veneer to finished product by the On the Grind crew for skaters in a workshop in downtown Cologne. The On the Grind crew are a bunch of hardworking skaters making top of the line boards for a few brands supported by Fun4u. We spent a day exploring the city centre on our Dancers and then helped out in the Workshop. Its pretty awesome to race someone at Insul on the weekend and then see them laying up a board in the factory on Monday.
Although some of the World cup races in Europe have been plagued by rain Insul ,nestled in North Western Germany, happened to be blessed with eternal sunshine. The track looked like a simple 5 hairpins and one 90 degree right but turned out to include 3 kinks. The advantage of Kinked corners is that everyone can choose their strongest breaking method but this in turn makes racing interesting and hectic. With the rise of Swiss foot breaking Insul made for an interesting race. Notably Pete Connolly (of the UK crew) ended up taking 7th place in the Open’s and winning the masters yet again. Pete looks like he could end up winning the Masters world tour and being crowned Champion and we are all excited to see him make it. Insul as a skate festival has a super relaxed vibe.
Berry Plasman and Olivier Gires from the IDF were absolutely on form and made sure the race ran smoothly while Stephan Kolpatzik oversaw the whole show. An impromptu football game was organized by a group of keen German skaters (who happened to be both skilled and armed with football boots and shin pads) and we all left with more scars from football than skating. Free food came with event entry; a Dinner and 2 breakfasts were included which made sure unprepared skaters managed to stay alive. Quin Boards (a core German brand also from Cologne) built a mini-ramp for the event with a whole load of comfy barrel seating for a super strong Lurk game. It turns out that when they are not designing top quality boards they spend their time making lurk equipment from board benches to the Quin table and chair set.
After Insul we then continued along on our skate adventure down to Switzerland. We had a few days free so we decided to head to a few of the classic swiss descents. There are only a few roads in Switzerland you can skate without trouble from the police and the locals who want only to protect the few spots that are still not blown. Skating is thus limited to a handful of quiet spots which the locals are happy to share.
The Entire Swiss scene meets for Giaosteka Freeride just outside of San Bernadino. Organized by a small professional crew and with camping beside a beautiful lake Giaosteka proved to be a laid back 4 days riding with friends. The course was relaxed which enabled us to ride in tight packs on our Fussion’s. The Wheel of choice for all of us was the 78a Mommentum. With just enough grip to keep up with any wheel the team spent the long weekend charging down the hill and playing drafting games on the straight. With the event starting at 1pm every day mornings were relaxed featuring games of Tennis and Mini Golf. Unfortunately Tom and Bodhi managed to end up getting injured on the penultimate run at Giaosteka. They were forced to stop by another crash in front and tumbled leaving them both with a load of road rash making the drive to Bela Joyride pretty uncomfortable.
Once we had left Giaosteka Freeride we drove north to one of Switzerlands best spots hidden amongst Boulders and Dairy Cows. Endless Freeride runs were taken on the Slide Perfect Supremacy with all three editions in use on different setup’s. We camped at the top by a small lake which Ben quickly swam in and found it to be around 12 degrees. Switzerland in general was stunningly beautiful and would be a downhill skate paradise if it were not for the police issues.
We set off from Switzerland on Tuesday beginning a long drive to the Austrian-Slovenian Border for Bela Joyride once again run by Bigmountain skate. Setup down a 10 minute long run from the border the track featured 18 corners and steep gradients. The bottom section consisted of endless hairpins you can rally around on freeride wheels while the top section had 4 interesting corners including a chicace you could go through at around 70kph.
A huge UK crew joined us there as well as friends from as far as New Zealand and Australia. Pack runs were plenty with as many as 8 runs a day efficiently achieved by Big Mountain Skate. Bodhi got out his luge and filmed for a whole day as the team just had fun. With Aaron’s ongoing knee injury from Kozakov World Cup he was limited to a little bit of skating and then a heavy icepack session. The Fussion was a perfect match for Bela Joyride and the team excelled on their boards. With locked in concave and a little drop the board made easy work of the kinks and challenging pavement Bela Joyride presented us. Evenings at Bela Featured Mini Ramp sessions and (as usual) Someone’s homemade local schnapps which proved to be blindingly strong. After a short war between Team AOB and the Dutch GUCCISQUAD we set off for Innsbruck in Western Austria to stay with Quirin Illmer.
Quirin Illmer (or Qui to his friends) is the 2015 IDF European Champion. His style features a mix of perfect technical ability and clever race decisions which have always made him one of the most heavy hitting European Skaters. After Bela Joyride Qui offered to have us stay and explore the roads around him. One of the first roads we hit was a Glacier access road which turned out to feature 25 minute long runs and have 29 corners. Straights featured speeds close to 100 KPH and on our first full descent we were all pretty shaken but excited about the run. Personally I don’t think I have skated a road as enjoyable as that. With such crazy corners and views from 3000 metres up I look forward to returning in the future. After a few full runs of what was a dream hill bad weather rolled onto the mountain and we were forced to drive onwards to an Alpine Coaster.
Alpine Coasters are gravity powered rollercoasters which have starred in many viral videos in the last few years. We were all desperate to try one and decided to go to the biggest in Austria. With Go-Pro’s attached to our helmets we flew down the track in a pack bumping each other down the mountain.
Although we were only allowed one run I would encourage anyone doing a Eurotour to check out an Alpine Coaster as the thrill is pretty close to skating downhill on a longboard. Thanks to Qui for showing us around his local downhill paradise for a few days and putting us up in Hotel Illmer.
With a short amount of time left we set off on our long drive back to Calais with a stop on the way to rest for a night. By this point in the trip we were all pretty sleep deprived and looked forward to resting in our own beds at last. However with a National UK race planned for the weekend by Brianne Collective we would only get 3 days away from each other before we were re-united to race.
Special thanks to AOB Longboards.
I started our company Thrive Vintage, with two friends of mine (John King, Tanner McGreevy) last summer, in the name of continuing what I felt like was a dying breed of skateboard. The actual long, surf inspired longboard skateboard I recalled seeing as a kid in old magazines and then later in movies seemed to no longer be in production and had not been for decades. The majority of larger boards I found seemed to be downhill or dancer boards mainly with a focus on one or the other, with “new school” hardware. We wanted to take it back, simple, stylish, and a smooth ride.
My passion with the classic “surf” style started long ago when watching movies like The Endless Summer and Big Wednesday with my dad and uncles and takingfamily surf trips to Southern California every year to see family. All this really manifested in a major way at a thrift store with my mom when I was 15 in Oklahoma City.
It was 1999, and I found a classic surf style longboard about 52’’ tall from the 1970’s that I grew to love. I couldn’t believe I found it for $2.50 at a thrift store! It almost looked petrified and others passed it by like an unusable antique water ski or something, but I would never do such a thing. This thing was beautiful!!!! It was longer than any board I’d seen, at this time in the nineties there were only a few companies mass-producing longboards most of which were between 32’’- 44’’ in length. I loved the size, it was only a few inches shorter than my snowboard, and my brothers and I always loved to snowboard but in Oklahoma we couldn’t so this longboard bridged that gap quite nicely for me year round.
After riding this board and only this board for some years I became very partial to the smooth ride and size. I was fortunate enough to get to travel and play with a band for years and we toured all over. I took this board with me everywhere that I was allowed to travel with it, and eventually rode it in all of the lower 48 U.S. states. I was constantly asked about the board, where someone could get one and where I got mine and so forth.
Finally, years later after being asked however too many times a light bulb went off so to speak and after extensive research I found that the company who made my antique board had gone under long ago in the mid-seventies. As far as I could tell there weren’t many options as far as long, surf-style cruiser boards. I had always seen different types of boards, some similar in size and shape to mine, but nothing quite like it.
After conferring with my close two friends years later (2015), we decided to moveforward with starting our company. Our focus was to improve and revive the surf style shape and smooth feel of the longboards of old, hence our company name Thrive Vintage. We took what we liked with the older surf style boards we’d seen and improved on them when we designed our staple board, which is 58” long, and almost 10’’ wide. This board has a surfy ride similar to a snowboard in the sense that you mainly have your heel and toe sides to work with. In this way, our boards differ in how they control and feel from the “new school” style board/truck setups.
I had a friend who saw one of my boards and commented on it being too pretty, or a novelty item. He was a pro rider in the circuit in SoCal and didn’t think the board was capable of performing due to its size, I was glad to cruise with him and show him otherwise. I enjoy riding my 58” everywhere I go, it still is the only board I ride, ever, downhill, cruising or whatever the case, I prefer it. I know I am partial because I’ve ridden this type board since 1999, and I am the owner of our company that makes these boards, but I say all that to say that as an avid longboarder and thrill seeking/surfer/snowboarder, I love and prefer riding the board I make to any other on earth. And that feels nice. That felt pompus typing, but I didn’t mean it that way, just happy that I am happy with the board we make and its performance.
Thrive Vintage now offers our two long-board shapes (the 58” is standard, and the petite is the 52” version of that), a munchkin, (which is that same surf-style shape but a shorter/skinnier 26” version) and a vintage bowl cruiser with a kick tail that is a throwback to the 80’s Caballero decks. Our boards showcase the natural wood grain finish and we wood burn/brand our Thrive Vintage logo and OKC city stamp on each board. We will also be doing select runs of boards with custom artwork wood burned into the bottom of each deck.
For now we mainly sell our boards through our website: ThriveVintageLLC.com
Our story starts off in a freezing cold A-Frame in Government Camp, OR with me and the two other OG ladies who thought up Lost Girls. We decided that we didn’t fit the traditional description of women in Govy (or in general), and that we’d have some fun by calling ourselves “Lost Girls.” The name stuck, and we ended up forming a tribe, a movement of people who are pushing for a new kind of action sports community and a new way to see women under the larger umbrella of modern culture.
Here’s a quote from the Manifesto that sums it up pretty well: “We are quirky, dirty, weird, funny, wild, adventurous, athletic, and we ain’t no basic bitches. We are the warrior class; we take our scrapes, breaks, and bruises as a badge of honor. In a world where some pay thousands of dollars for cosmetic surgery, we are proud of the scars.”
When it comes to women and action sports, it seems to me a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, action sports are about individuality and freedom. On the other hand, females are woefully under reported in media and there is still very much an “old boys network.” What are your thoughts?
It’s a really interesting contradiction that stems from upbringing and culture. Boys are told, “go for it!” and when they fall, “you’re ok. Get up and do it again.” Girls are told “be careful,” “don’t get hurt,” and we are often influenced to be perfectionists.
A bunch of people seem to be seeing what’s going on, and that’s so important to change anything. At first, I thought I was mistaken or crazy, but then others were raising the same questions. Why don’t you see women featured on many ski and snowboard websites? Why are a lot of women’s clothes, skis, and snowboards so unappealing to us? Why is there a huge discrepancy between numbers of men and women in the park? Why doesn’t anyone make ski boots that fit small feet?
Fairly recently, gender equality has become a topic of many conversations in our country and the world. People don’t believe something is possible until someone does it. We’ve been told that women are never going to get there. That our bodies aren’t strong enough, there’s no market, that it’s too dangerous, that there’s no way the same number of people will want to watch a woman’s edit as a man. That “she’s good, for a girl.”
I can say that I’m not so sure about that based on the response I’ve gotten. Apparently there’s even a big, burly skater dude who rocks one of our trucker hats on the regular. I look forward to the moment when the “old boys” become our fans.
Tell us about your latest endeavour with the ladies longboard team.
I see an opportunity to support athletes, and create content in the downhill longboarding/skating world. I hope that watching the ladies on our team will encourage others to get into it!
We recently got a handful of us together for a day and shot footy for our first edit at a few locations in Colorado. It included the girls rocketing down Ute Pass and our filmer skating right behind them with his dslr. I was shooting with the drone. It was a group effort, and so cool to have the guys out there helping us!
I personally am a beginner to longboarding, and I felt like I progressed so much in just one day. I’ve found this to be true when you get a group of stoked people together with different ability levels. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the edit turns out and filming more with these badass ladies!
In a world where so many females are photoshopped mercilessly, one of the things that struck me about Lost Girls is that you’re not afraid to get dirty, get bruises and the fact that you’re proud of the scars. How does this message into your media collective?
Body shaming and body image issues are so important to address. I think fake images give the impression that we’re not real people, or that our outer appearance is so important that what we look like isn’t good enough. I don’t want to live in a society where the ultimate accomplishment for a woman is to have clear skin or a gap between her thighs. I do want to live in a world where women aren’t afraid to create, explore, make things, and play.
I wanted to portray this attitude in our recent photo shoot for our 16/17 lookbook. So, I asked our team to become “models.” Instead of makeup, we put charcoal war paint on our faces. For part of the shoot, we skated around an alley in Denver.
I think there needs to be an example of media out there that’s not influenced by societal pressures to show skin to get noticed. We value respect over likes on instagram. I want to show women of all ages and walks of life that strength is beautiful.
What specific things can the network of event promoters, shops and media do to cultivate more women in action sports?
The network that comprises our industry could do so much more. Everyone could begin by caring, asking more questions, and making less assumptions. Event promoters could bring on more women employees or contract ladies to help them see what will and won’t hit the target for their audience.
Shops can begin by seeking out more and higher quality options for women that don’t have the pink tag price. I custom designed our Lost Girls hoodies partly because I couldn’t find what I wanted on an existing clothing rack. The idea is to feel warm, comfy, and bad ass in what you’re wearing.
Media holds the key to creating the consumer base for event promoters and shops. With more quality movies, edits, articles, publicity, and the right outlets, more of the world will see what we do. The more the world sees it, the more people will get stoked and want to join! Maybe the “old boys” haven’t realized that they’re relying almost solely on half of the population!
If suddenly $2 million fell into your lap, what would you do to promote The Lost Girls?
Oh man! I would go all out! Film equipment is extremely expensive, as well as travel, so that’s a no brainer. Sure, a RED camera and a helicopter would be awesome. An urban movie. Summer in Australia and winter in Japan.
We could set up a scholarship fund to get women filmers, photographers, and graphic designers the equipment they need. We could have contests and awards for athletes.
A TV documentary series about women going on adventures around the world, doing and teaching action sports, and helping the communities they visit. A good friend of mine and I have an idea in the works to do a long distance skate trip all the way across Cambodia. Being able to just go do it without trying to raise funds would be great.
Or what about a whole line of custom clothing with featured art from talented ladies? The possibilities are endless, and the current struggle is real. But even if I have to work full time as a busser to make Lost Girls successful, that’s what I’ll do. Ultimately, it’s not about the money because it gives life greater purpose.
Any final thoughts you’d like to add? Plans for the future?
I’m blown away by the amount of support we’ve had, and the amazing people who often work for nothing to make Lost Girls possible. With the new longboard team, and plenty of plans for skiing and snowboarding this winter season, I think this is going to be our best year yet.
I’m currently teaming up with artists to work on the 16/17 line. We’re going to have several runs of limited edition hoodies, and I’m also working on hats, pins, patches, long sleeve shirts, and more! Our kickoff party for the season is happening in November, and we’ll have more info on our website and social media soon.
Farther into the future, I see us creating a network of women all over the world who are getting together at their home mountains, beaches, or skate parks and progressing the sport. I also see us becoming a media outlet that utilizes retail sales to generate high quality content.
The most important thing, though, is to shred together and have fun, always.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Ron (aka “Fatboy”) for over a decade and a half. At one time he ran a company called Longboards By Fatboy. Ron and I caught up at Surf Expo this past January. Just recently he told me about a new venture he had cooking. An email led to an hour long conversation about the industry and I thought “time for an interview!”
What do you have cooking Ron?
I’m currently working with a new longboard company called Jersey Boards. It’s a line of entry level price point longboards with real features that even a seasoned skater can appreciate. We have pintails, drop downs, drop throughs at a price that is competitive with mass market but with skate shop quality.
I worked very hard with the factory to make real boards, not just crap you pick out of a catalogue and slap a skull graphic on. The woods are good, they hold up to my fat butt – one of my requirements. The trucks turn, something 90% of the boards in this price range fail to do. I found a cool RKP design and we went back and forth DOZENS of times over the bushings. They kept fighting me that I was asking for too soft of a durometer, but I hate when I see people bailing when they should just be turning. And it’s especially important for girls and younger skaters who just don’t have the body mass to make most price point boards turn all that effectively. And for full figure folks such as myself, we can tighten the trucks.
And let’s not forget the wheels – big and soft, so they grip and roll over everything. That’s what new skaters want. They’re not pulling 50ft standies yet. Most of the time it’s transportation or getting the stoke of carving. I put a lot of sweat into these boards, I actually rode prototypes which most product managers at this level don’t/can’t do. You should see the faces on the factory reps when I’d grab a board and take off through the parking lot in a suit! I’m really proud of these boards, in fact I took a couple with me on a skate safari to Albuquerque. Jersey Boards have been ridden at Indian School!
Why do you believe it’s so difficult to convince buyers to see act upon new trends in skateboarding?
After all, you knew about longboarding many years before retailers finally picked up on the idea
The problem with most buyers is that they have someone to answer to above them, and those people like to play it safe. They tend to buy RE-actively instead of PRO-actively. They will wait till they are sure that something is more than just trending before they commit.
Mass market buyers tend to be 1-2 years behind what may pop up on our radar. The buyers go to the trade shows to see what’s hot so they are at least exposed to what they may be looking to carry next year. They are becoming much more savvy these days – they actually know who Tony Hawk is. Regular skateboard sales are very flat and have been for the past 3 or 4 years. But longboards are trending, especially cruising and DH/Freeride. I don’t know that they will overtake regular skateboards anytime soon, but they are no longer the buck toothed red headed stepchild of the skate world. This mostly applies to the mass market, but even in the skate shop world I’m starting to see at least a few longboards in shops these days whereas a few years ago I would be laughed out of most skate shops by even mentioning the “L” word.
What are some of the other challenges facing cultivating new ideas within action sports?
Well I think with current media and the instantaneousness of life, people have kinda seen it all and are a little numb to traditional action sports – unless it’s a crazy extreme example. Oh, a backflip on a BMX bike….borrrrring. Back to back face high McTwists…………gee, what’s on Velocity? I see it on Facebook, friends that don’t do action sports only send me something when it’s waaaay over the top – like Roger Hickey breaking 100mph or some triple backflip on a motorcycle. Because they’ve seen the other stuff already and they’re no longer impressed. I mean, did you ever think a 900 would illicit yawns in our lifetime?
We’ve witnessed SO many cutting edge action sports milestones, and yet they keep coming, that envelope gets pushed and pushed. Whew! I’m so glad I’m not 15 – I’m scared to death of a 10 step! I just about wet my pants when I looked down the drop in on the Mega Ramp at Camp Woodward – I don’t have the stones for that kind of commitment. And yet there’s little kids tearing them up.
I watched a documentary on freestyle motocross and it’s the same there – these guys are crippling themselves to be competitive. I work with a bunch of guys who race DH Mt bikes, their GoPro footage makes me lightheaded. Hey, I’ve ridden bikes down ski slopes for years, but the trails and drops these guys hit on the race circuit are insane. I’d be afraid to walk down some of them. And one of them does Urban DH which is racing down city streets – down rickety staircases, ramps that launch them 20 feet up a wall where they bounce off and continue down the course, huge gaps. They even race in shopping malls – down the escalators, over jumps that throw them 30 feet up, and they do backflips.
If you ran the skateboard world, what would you do?
Gee, THAT’S a loaded question! Well there’s always that conundrum – do you wanna make skateboarding popular and more mainstream and get everyone involved? Or do you wanna keep it underground and just play skateboards with the fun people? Obviously the former makes more sense financially – more skaters keeps me in hookers and blow. The latter makes me nostalgic and all warm and fuzzy, back when you cheered each other on to get better. The real essence of skateboarding, in my opinion.
Then there’s the whole rivalry thing between the various disciplines under the skateboard header. Can’t we all just get along? Meh, it doesn’t work in real life, why would it work in the skate world? And as skating gets bigger, that divide will just get worse. Remember when you were a kid and the neighborhood kids would play whiffle ball or whatever? It was just for fun. Sure there was smack talking, but it was good natured and you would genuinely be happy for that kid that finally got a hit or made a good catch. Then you started playing Little League and fun wasn’t good enough.
The first mountain bike race I ever did was in the 80’s. It was a couple dozen people and the prizes were tires or gloves or whatever. I remember one guy got a flat and like 3 of us stopped in the middle of the race to help him fix it. Then we kinda staggered our restart afterwards to “make it fair”. These days there is doping in races at the amateur level.
If I could wave a magic wand, I’d make all skaters understand this silly progression and division crap and learn from it and instead go back to that stoke, that first time you landed a trick or went faster than you thought you could or even just went down the street and didn’t fall. That feeling and how cool it was. Now impart that upon all skaters regardless of discipline. Instead of hating, accept and support each other.
We’re skaters dammit, not everyone can say that. 90% of the world can’t push a board down the street and glide without ending up in the ER. It’s a pretty cool brother/sisterhood and we should treat it as such. I’ve met some amazing people through skateboarding, many became very close friends, and that is because we all have that fire inside and we all saw it in each other.
Welcome to a new feature that gives you insights on what it truly means to be a skater. These are personal stories that we know will resonate with you. If you have a story you’d like to share, email us. We’d be happy to get it up on our site!
It’s something that everyone was yearned and hungered for at least once in their lifetime: belonging. It motivates us to become who we are, to pick up an identity and stick with it. Without it, we get lonely and we seem to lose track of both who we are and what goals we want to achieve in the long run. We lose sight of what’s important and we start to wander off into places that have no meaning.
I’m no stranger to this lack of belonging, having grown up as a slightly strange kid in the public school system; my first many years of school were filled with awkward conversations with my classmates and weird crushes on girls and some kind of strange social tension that I could never seem to relieve. My radically academic upbringing left me undeveloped (to put it nicely) in terms of social skills and I never really did discover the meaning of a close friend until I entered high school last year, at the ripe age of 16.
Here, I made it a goal to become outspoken, less awkward; to become someone that people could relate with and hang out with without feeling weird like many of my past acquaintances may have at many points of our shallow friendships. Well, it kind of worked, I developed some very fun friendships, went to my first parties, got my first kiss, and had my first late-night conversations in a circle-of-bros around a backyard fire. But that didn’t work out; I had a scuffle with some guys towards the end of the year and that all kind of turned into a burning pile of ash and smoke. This turned me into a licorice-flavored rotten Jello filled with little solid pieces of misery and loneliness and longing for a place to belong.
That summer, I was fresh out of things to do. Utterly bored. Unused. I didn’t have a girlfriend; I didn’t have any friends to hang out with. Slowly, people started departing and I was undecidedly left to myself for the coming two months of summer. My previous plans, my list of things that I wanted to do that required more than one person? Gone. Scrapped. And I was imaginatively, completely helpless and depressed about it.
And then I bought a skateboard. It was a very hot, sunny day, and my family decided to take my brother and me to the little homey town of Banff, where I bought a small Sector 9 Wedge skateboard for a small investment of $170 dollars (my whole life savings at that point). I then spent the next month learning to push, to carve, to stop and on the way to the final goal of the mastery of the cruiser skateboard, also had my first falls and injuries.
I had a few mentors along the way, but there wasn’t really anybody who was outstandingly amazing at the sport. They just invited me out to go cruising along the riverwalk or maybe come over for a round of video games and go out and push along the creek for a bit. You know, the really simple stuff. I never thought of this as anything beyond casual hanging out. Nothing to really poke the mind or emotions, nothing that would really invoke any feelings of being any more wanted than a bit of company here and there.
But I was still hooked. Not onto the cruising with other people notion, but to the feeling of rolling over paved ground. I felt free of the confines of any social expectations that I and other people had forced upon me for so many years; I was on a skateboard, and I was alone, enjoying rolling over the little bumps and bruises in the ground, and I was okay with that.
It felt blissful.
And this turned into an addiction for me; a way for me to relieve stress when I had it. I remember so many nights when I hopped out of bed, put on a jacket and jumped outside to skateboard at 2 o’clock in the morning because something was bugging me. I remember that I pushed myself to exhaustion and when I came back in, I could sleep soundly and forget about what was bothering me.
It’s strangely therapeutic, really. I’m sure other people have different reasons why they skate. Some people just find it fun, some people are just really good at it. I know people just like to skateboard because it’s something they can work on. But for me, skateboarding was always an obsession for me because it was the only respite I had in a schedule of heavy workload and emotional strain.
And this pushed me deeper and deeper into the sport. I started to experiment with different gear. I bought my first longboard; it was a Dusters Kosher Glow in the Dark; something that I went to my local store to buy because I decided after reading some articles and guides that I would indeed need something longer if I wanted to go faster. This was kind of the start of what would eventually lead me to the greatest thing about longboarding. But
I’ll get to that in a bit.
I got this longboard and I started to ride it instead of my little cruiser board. I rode it obsessively. To school, to the hospital, to the grocery store. I even rode it down my short little street just to get mail! I seriously think that I just didn’t walk anywhere for a while. That longboard became my legs. And I started to upgrade it. I went on these weird longboard sites and got all these different types of weird tips and tricks, stuff that would actually lead me on an extremely wrong path filled with really bad information and lots of wasted money, but fuel my passion it did, and I was okay with that. I got the wrong bushings, tweaked it around, got some new trucks (Caliber IIs, my first RKP trucks), and put those on. I got new wheels (Free Willies; I slide those to this day), and rode that for a while.
Then, I discovered some online communities, such as Silverfish and Reddit’s /r/longboarding, which is the one I go on the most. When I discovered this online community, I was like, “wow! There’s more of us! More people who love what I do!” and I was absolutely blown away. I spent hours and hours on the live chat, with people actually guiding me in the right direction. They told me to get the right bushings. They told me to get a new board, and new wheels that were much faster.
Funny thing about this forum is though, that I met one of my better skating buddies on there. He picked me up on the site and he pointed me to my local scene’s Facebook group, and that’s really where the juicy stuff starts.
When I entered this group, I was met with outstanding friendliness from all parties.
My pleas for help with sliding and downhill were met with people coming from all over telling me they could help out; that there were clinics here at this time, and that there was a race going on at this place. But most importantly, I was invited to this one weekly ride that we do every Saturday night, by one of the better skaters in the group. He messaged me personally and he told me that there was a nice, easygoing run every Saturday that he really wanted me to be at. He told me that people were friendly, that people were totally okay with me being there! And so go to the ride I did.
You know, in these many months that I’ve been skating, I’ve never really found anything more beautiful than what I felt that first night. For the first time in months, I felt supported. People were pushing me forward, propelling me constructively and building me back up from the mess that I was a few months ago, when I first bought that skateboard. I felt wanted again, that people were genuinely excited to have another person there that was skating. I finally felt that cohesiveness with a group of people that I’d been searching and yearning and working towards for years.
I felt like I belonged.
If I was to tell a prospective longboarder something about this community, it’s that this community has the power to make you feel amazing inside. In this community, you’ll find a passion that you can share with many other people, and through this shared passion, you’ll also find brotherhood; a scattered family that knows when to come together when it matters. An incredibly diverse group of people where not one person is left out and not one person is looked at for their flaws. Indeed, it’s a group of people where everyone has something to offer.
And I feel that I have something to offer every time I go skating on Saturday night.
And you can bet that I’ll be skating this Saturday too.
What is it about aluminium? What draws you to it?
AlumBoards started as a hobby around 10 years ago. My father and family run a sheet metal fabrication business and always practice high standards for their customers who are mostly pharmaceuticals and large production factories, with the occasional projects in custom home design. Metal was a resource I always had at my disposal to be creative for my personal projects. The first longboard that I built for myself was an Aluminum pintail based shaped similar to a Sector 9 cosmic 2. It weighed over 10lbs and was half an inch thick and all hand cut with a band saw. It was great for sliding in parking garages and one to run away from when torpedoing downhill. Since then my personal goal was to make a metal deck that I would legitimately pick over my favorite wooden boards when going out to board on a daily basis. Aluminum became the material of choice after trying a variety of metals because it is lighter, doesn’t rust, naturally grips to the foot, and actually has smooth dampening effect like softer woods to make for a comfortable ride.
We met up at 116th Street this morning with simple rules: Don’t get arrested and don’t go down.
With that, hundreds of us skateboarders descended upon Broadway and shut the streets down.
After 8 miles of surprised tourists, police barricades and close calls, we made it through the maze of traffic and touched the Charging Bill in triumph. Broadway Bomb 2016 was undoubtedly a success.
What are some of the reasons you started Breezy Boards?
Brianna (Breezy) Enders: Skating has always been something that I’ve felt deeply connected to, a passion that was sparked the moment I first stepped on a board at the age of 10 and was fueled by the encouragement and support from my parents throughout my life.
Longboarding is everything to me; a creative outlet to express yourself with physical determination and unique style, a personal release to free yourself from the troubles and worries of daily life, a way to bond with others and bring people together and, for a few fun years, my main mode of transportation. The dynamic nature of longboarding – ranging from a truly personal, meditative experience, to a way to get around town without fighting for a parking space – is something that I’ve always felt compelled to share with my friends, family and colleagues. Breezy Boards is how I hope to tap into the minds and hearts of people on a larger scale, while submersing myself in my life-long passion to produce and distribute badass, shred-able boards. My focus for Breezy Boards is as simple as this:
1. Longboarding is good for the soul. I strive to provide personal insight, approachable knowledge and unique, quality boards to present people with the opportunity to fall in love with skating.
2. People are wonderfully talented, creative, passionate and driven. Since longboarding is such a versatile and inclusive activity, I believe that Breezy Boards is the perfect platform to promote the wealth of human capacity, with a focus on the local St. Pete, Tampa Bay and Florida communities.
3. Ventures, ideas and individuals thrive with human interaction. Establishing connections, developing relationships and sharing experiences is valuable and rewarding beyond measure. Breezy Boards fosters the importance of shared experiences and successes.
What have been some of the biggest challenges?
I’ve faced a few challenges in the startup phase that were off-putting, sometimes even debilitating, but taught myself to channel them into positive reactions and efforts. Initially, Breezy Boards was an incredibly exciting concept, with expansive possibility for growth and seemingly endless potential (and still is!) which was incredibly overwhelming for someone who was working full time through college and buried under a never-ending course load. The idea was ultimately put on the backburner, twice, before utilizing my studies in mass communications,
journalism and entrepreneurship to develop a solid foundation for the company. This invaluable tug of war of “What Breezy Boards could be” and “What’s the next step for Breezy Boards” taught me that it’s okay to dream big and have grandiose plans, but that I need to hone my focus on the execution of the next immediate task at hand, in order to be successful.
Another challenge has been a bit of a female complex. Although I am utterly confident in my industry knowledge and physical abilities, it always seems as if I have to answer 20 questions to prove that I’m worthy of owning a skateboard company and am capable of speaking intelligently on the subject. Honestly, it makes me love what I do even more, breaking into both the skateboard and business worlds as a headstrong, determined female presence, and fuels me to keep “kicking ass and taking names,” a favorite idiom of encouragement I often receive from Corey, my loving stepdad.
Launching Breezy Boards as a young female entrepreneur, fresh out of college, was a daunting task in itself and there have been some obstacles along the way, but the way I look at it, all of the taxing, draining or difficult tasks that I have to push through or find ways to overcome are all just part of the process. Breezy Boards is my conceptual child, a product of my personal passion, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to foster its growth and development, to see my vision through to its fullest potential.
What are some of the things you are most proud of as it relates to the company?
First off, I just want to say that I’m damn proud of the fact that I took the leap into business ownership, after years of toying with the idea for Breezy Boards. It’s incredibly humbling to have friends from grade school say “I remember back in middle school when you talked about having your own longboard company, and now you do!” I feel it was just a matter of time before I turned this dream into a reality.. and I couldn’t be happier with the steps I’ve taken to launch Breezy Boards successfully and the response it’s received from the local community.
The three things I’m most proud of, in relation to Breezy Boards: The Street Team, the Launch Party and the Adjective Dragon board collection.
The Breezy Boards Street Team is comprised of a group of genuine, respectable and selfless individuals who support Breezy Boards and its vision. Levels of participation and engagement vary, but that’s the beauty of the Street Team! It’s a platform that allows people to be involved with Breezy Boards and its on-going projects in whatever capacity they choose. Members have helped coordinate and run events, design graphics and event flyers, skate and model for the Breezy Boards Lookbook (which is currently in production,) and even helped grip and assemble the debut board collection in preparation for the Launch Party. I believe that the DIY and grassroots approach is the best way to appropriately convey the ideals and principles that are at the heart of Breezy Boards. Establishing and developing a team of like-minded individuals who are eager to contribute to the success of Breezy Boards has been truly humbling throughout the startup phase and I look forward to expanding the Street Team in the future.
With the help of the Street Team, Breezy Boards hosted an insanely successful and epic Launch Party on Friday the 13th at the local World of Beer in May, 2016. We partied into the night, celebrating the official launch of Breezy Boards with four local bands, a killer merch booth set up, local beers on draft, a logo-splattered photo op backdrop, locally-themed raffle prizes and pizza served from a freaking fire truck! It was the result of 8 months of planning and promoting, concurrently with senior classes, projects, finals and graduation, paired with a slew of “holy shit, is this going to happen?” moments, most notably just barely having the boards arrive in time for the event.. but it all came together for one of the most amazing, memorable nights of my life and am grateful for
everyone who played a part in its success. Oh yeah, and it was my birthday, too!
The Launch Party, in all of its festive glory, was not just a community event celebrating the initiation of Breezy Boards, it was also the first public display of the debut Breezy Boards collection, Adjective Dragon! This collection of boards is more than just your average run of longboards. Its shape was designed specifically for the local terrain, the city streets of downtown St. Pete, and features five original pieces of deck art created by individuals within the Tampa Bay area. The artists, sourced through word of mouth and social media campaigns, participated in an art contest that I hosted in October and November, 2015, for the chance to have their artwork printed on 20 of the 100-board collection. The results were astounding and I meticulously selected the top five entries to represent the debut line of Breezy Boards. The entire process and integration of local artists was a unique, fresh idea that I hadn’t seen before.
Tell me about one of your most memorable longboard experiences.
I have more memories associated with longboarding than could fill a pensieve (sorry, I had to get at least one Harry Potter reference in there) from skating the Island of Venice – where I’d skate through the open-air high school to get to and from my classes, cruise to the beach in between school and drumline or newspaper or whatever I had that day and hit up the little hospital parking garage or the north bridge with friends after dark – taking a stack of boards on the public busses up to Sarasota to hit the gnarlier spots with my skateboarder friends on the weekends, to exploring the city of St. Pete after relocating for college.
I did lots of dumb stuff, like try to street luge a crazy hill in a bathing suit, getting the wheel tangled in my hair and sliding bare-back down the pavement with my board attached at the roots. I’d skate through parks, kicking my board under a picnic table, length-wise and jumping up and running across the table top to land back on the board as it came out on the other side… Skating in dresses and tights to my fancy hostess jobs through college (eating shit once and working the full shift with a torn up knee, bleeding through the hole in my stockings without anyone noticing) and anger skating home from a shit serving shift, power sliding too hard and slamming my head on the curb, lying there concussed for a bit and then slowly skating my way back home.
The most pivotal moment was that first time Jeff Yarrington put me on one of his boards at the annual family 4th of July picnic in Maryland in 2002. With the nod of approval from my parents, he gave me a quick rundown of how to position myself on the board and sent me racing down the parking lot. I’ve been hooked ever since, truly and utterly consumed by my love of longboarding.
Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with?
Endorsing the talent and vision of local artists is an extremely important aspect of Breezy Boards and I make an effort to team up with and promote area artists for every project possible. This was the driving concept for the Adjective Dragon collection, which features original artwork from five Tampa Bay area artists. The lineup of artists, along with their winning board designs, are:
● Kelly Owen – Basic Dragon
● Dylan Haught – Fat Dragon
● Deanna Marinello – Mystical Dragon
● Jessica (Bam Bam) Sarlis – Nom Nom Dragon
● Cameron Miller – Unborn Dragon
Breezy Boards has also worked with local artists to create graphics and flyers, including Street Team members Dylan Carney and Kayla O’Brien , as well as local photographers Laia Gore , Casey Nelson and Alison Rosoff . I worked with my cousin, Darren Simons , to design and create the Breezy Boards logo in 2014 and have plans to continue working together on some exciting projects.
Website – www.ridebreezyboards.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/breezyboards
Instagram – @ridebreezyboards
Twitter – @SkateBreezyDTSP
It’s Saturday morning, 11.00 am, the morning after a Friday night out in the town celebrating the beginning of the weekend. Newquay is a town in Cornwall, England. This is the town where memories are made; the reckless ones, the wild ones, and the ones that leave you beaten and bruised by the power of the hill.
Gathered today at the bottom of our favorite hill, located just off the main street in town, are the fellow longboarders living amongst the concrete waves of Newquay. As hills go, the one looming over us could be described as more of a gentle bimble; lush terrain, a sloping decline leading into a sweeping car park, a hill accommodating for all abilities.
Newquay is simply an incredible venue to hold a skate event. The sun shines at least once in the 2 months of our ‘supposed’ summer and today, is the chosen day for some ‘half decent’ weather! With the lack of breeze, speed wobbles will be simply carried out without the wind helping to throw us aboard and thane lines appear easily with the heated concrete. Sweat builds and the heat of the event rises.
As we reach midday, the adrenalin begins to bubble and the rise of the longboarders slowly takes place. To my right, is one of my closest friends and to my left, is the designated camera man of the day, complete with bubble wrap from head to toe and a hip flask of JD to calm his nerves as he watches us zoom down the hill. He’s also got a helmet of his own to protect his livelihood from us fellow adrenalin junkies flying off our boards and straight at him. Dotted here and there, are the many skaters in their personal domains, giving themselves individual pep talks, some clutching their boards, most likely giving them a one to one, asking for their wood to look after them and some distracting themselves by laughing off the nerves in the pits of their stomachs, man’ing up nicely!
With all the usual accompaniments that follow a downhill skating event; at least 30 cans of Monster Energy, 6 packs of cookies from the local Londis and various other necessities, we’re finally ready to begin the downhill spiral. Slide gloves, leathers and pads fitted securely, complete set ups at the ready, numerous skate tools lying at the side of the hill and spare wheels rolling around in the boots of cars.
Skaters are shredding in their very own individual way demonstrating their own styles. The down low, soulful, floor touching Zephyr wanna’be’s, the sketchy, quick speed freaks simply attacking the road and the calm collected, wary skaters obtaining levels of control as oppose to the few adrenalin junkies creating havoc on the hill. Ryan Beer, one of Newquay most talented boarders, begins to set the pace as his board violates the hill, speed ever increasing. Ryan throws in a stand up pendulum, thane lines appearing behind him, a trace of pure remaining stoke. ‘The outlines of adrenalin, the remainders of a successful shred!’ Shortly behind Ryan is Alf Underwood, another of Newquay’s talented downhill skaters.
Alf has his own unique style and his aggressive pumping and his striking skate stance sends him souring around the bottom corner, with an incorporated sit down slide to end his shred. Matt Houlton, fellow conformed short boarder to long boarder, a changed man as we say, tears up the tarmac shortly behind; leaving little, if any time at all for the camera man to switch from preview image, to take a shot. Matt simply cares about the road ahead, the free ride, the pure gnar and simply rides for the freedom. Matt skates a Hybrid board, combining short and long board into one. Matt adds a whole new element to the event.
All downhill events aren’t complete without their very own complimentary blood bath and you’re sure to leave with a few souvenirs! Plenty of scars, bruises and grazes left on your skin for you to brag about your battle damage to the ladies later on. Road rash smeared like crunchy peanut butter from head to toe, leathers holy and torn, wheels beginning to bite popped bearings and sweat dripping. It may all sound rather gory and unappetizing, yet that is what longboarding events are all about. They’re a breed of their own. They’re not glorified, they’re real!
As the day sweeps subtly to an end, all skaters gather at the foot of the hill, some beaten and bruised by concrete kisses and some just so simply full of stoke, all memories of road rash are erased and replaced with pure gnar. The sun is slowly setting and the tummies of fellow tarmac temptress’s rumble, so it’s a call to the local pizza joint, order placed, beers chilling in the fridge and boards safely tucked away in the boots of our cars.
We all know the drills, prizes are awarded and the trophies are handed out. Some more amusingly labeled than others and the faces of sweaty skaters show the pure enjoyment and adrenalin that was endured throughout the day.
‘Until next time…’
Got something to share about your scene? Send it up and we’ll happily spread the word.
I’ve known EG Fratantaro for close to 20 years. He was one of the founding folks at Sector 9. A while back he opened up Hand Plant in Laguna Beach. This kicks off a new feature here on our website.
What makes Laguna Beach so special in your eyes?
Laguna has strong roots in surfing and skateboarding along with its deep ties in art. Laguna Beach has always had a different feeling from the rest of Orange County. Its beautiful hills, incredible beaches and community vibe make it one of the best places to live on earth. We have nice hills to skate but no park yet, nut we are going too change that.
What were some of the reasons for you starting up a shop? Handplant was founded out of a need to have a truly hardcore skate shop here in Laguna Beach. There was nothing like it, still isn’t, and we wanted a shop that had a boutique feeling without being to fruity.
You were one of the pioneers of marketing and promoting longboards. What are some of your favorite memories of the times when most shops said NO, we won’t carry longboards.
Oh man there are so many of those stories. We literally paved the way and it wasn’t easy. Still to this day the hard core skate crew are still questioning it. But if you have the right product and family of friends to back it then you can make it happen.
If you ran the world, what are one or two things you would do in skateboarding to change things.
Shit I’ve been skateboarding for over 35 years now and I’ve watched it change and changed it as well. So as far as change, we’ll we did that when I worked at Sector 9. Only other change I would really want is for the companies to stay true, don’t sell out, it’s a lifestyle so deal with it or kick rocks. Oh and take it out of the Olympics, that’s shits whack!
Hello Eric, you are the founder and owner of one of the first skateshops in France. HawaiiSurf has a huge selection of skateboards, longboards and other boards and this is a place you can’t ignore if you are looking to ride a board. We have four questions for you.
1 and 2 Why a skate and surf shop in Paris and how did it all start?
It started in summer 1976. I had missed my graduation. I was 17, I was on vacation in Biarritz where I rode my skateboard. I had to find something to do after the holidays. Studying was not for me. Meanwhile, I got more and more addicted to skateboarding!
Going back to Paris, I met up with an architect who worked with my father and it was here I decided to start my skateboard shop.
In the beginning it was called the Skateboarder’s House. In Paris and in all of France, it was at the heart of the skate scene. People rode for fun.
I preferred to offer more advanced products coming directly from the United States. These include mythical boards from Gordon & Smith or Ampul for example. We also manufactured our own skateboards.
And then, one day, I left my surf board at the shop. The customers liked it, so I decided to diversify products by offering surfboards, and even Speed Sail and snowboards! This is how the Skateboard’s House became HawaiiSurf. And it worked!
Paris is a hub and there is a very large community of all kind of riders: surfers, skaters and snowboarders. Hawaiisurf was the only shop to offer their toys for their passion! The only difficulty was to be located on the outskirts of Paris. We have invested a lot in advertising, leaflets and press. We were everywhere when it was about gliding and riding a board!
3- How does Hawaiisurf differ from other shops?
Passion – without hesitation! This is the kerosene of Hawaiisurf! In the shop everyone rides: surf, snow, skate, longboard and rollerskates. We’re bad brats and welcome bad brats! This is what makes us strong! The difference between us and the other shops is that we created the trend and instilled it in France! We always were there vanguard! We were the first shop to import boards to France and to manufacture them. We were the first to market Burton in France
We rummage around the world to find the pearls. These include trucks with a brake that are from Australia, or the Rio skates in England. The products come from all over and come to us before the trend starts. Our guideline is boarding makes you sweat. This is carried by human energy and external elements: nature and the street! We made our choices based on that and the passion that drives us.
4- What is your best memory at the store?
Undoubtedly, the visit of Tony Alva! He is part of the guys who inspired me throughout my youth. In 2009, Ray Barbee and Paul Van Doren went down to the “cellar Momo.” This is the place in the basement of the shop where I store my collection of skateboards and surf.
They were like children! Their eyes shined from all the product I had collected. They found a Dogtown board I customized myself and they signed it. A unique space and a good time with brats!
* The FK Cancer Surf and Skate Festival December 17-18
* The Guajataca Beach Clean-Up in March 2017.
* The Guajataca Lifeguard Corps Training for Summer 2017.
* An Oceans-of-Hope Foundation event for the Summer of 2017, to help their handicapped citizens and disabled veterans share in the joy of surfing.