Georgia on My Mind

Georgia on My Mind

Georgia is a country located in the Caucasus high mountains and it’s on the border of Europe and Asia. The population of the country is nearly 4.5 million people. Georgia has a high potential to be the longboarding spot in Eastern Europe, because all the roads go through the amazing mountain ranges and it’s a great pleasure to go longboarding on such places with such views. Want more proof? Take a peek at this:A longboarder's paradise.In previous years Georgia was under restrictions from the Soviet Union. Every kind of activity and every kind of new idea were prohibited and that’s the reason why this country is less developed in social affairs and activities. But things are changing.There's a lot of stoke in Georgia!Nowadays, Georgian people are oriented to development, to something new. They want to change conditions and want to think about evolution of  ideas and community.  Creating some kind of activities/sports events took part some years ago. People care about environment and charity.The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi.The organization ,”Step Up Georgia” is based on three main niches: Extreme Sports, Ecology and Charity. “Step Up” always tries to do more new events that are not created/held yet. They try to develop kind of sports without any profits. One of the goals of the organization is developing Longboarding Community in Georgia. “Step Up” has made two Longboarding Mass events, One Longboarding Festival and some longboarding riding tours in beautiful parts of Georgia.A small but growing scene.If we look back about 3 years ago, we can’t see the community. We can’t see even Longboarders in Georgia! But today they are highly developed. Georgia has Longboarding Lovers Community Group with 250 members in it and most of them are interested in that activity.  They try their best to get more people interested in it.So Georgia needs more interested youth people in youth affairs, in activities, in kind of extreme sports, they need some kind of goals, interest and support and after everything written up there, more and more events, Mass gathering events and even sliding tours will be managed and held in that amazingly beautiful small country of caucasian mountainous system.The next generation.For more information on Step Up Georgia, please email Giorgi here: 

New York Skate of Mind; Raise your glass for the Hosts !

New York Skate of Mind; Raise your glass for the Hosts !

What a summer!  Over here on the “beast coast” and the tri-skate area, the longboard scene is picking up steam and gaining speed. Although a couple of events were cancelled, the longboard community is growing and the talent is showing. As we roll on forward more and more events are on the rise.

   Anyone who takes the time and dedicates themselves to hosting an event should be revered in our community. The logistics to host a city approved event are mind numbing and, most certainly,  frustrating for the host. The same goes for the smaller outlaw events which are the bread and butter for most emerging longboarders and a place where the competitive spirit is mildly on hold, friendships are forged and talent improved.

   One of the areas legendary hosts, Adam Dabonka, is familiar with both roads. The founder and force behind Major Stokem and a wide range of outlaw events, Adam started the summer off on Skate Day in mid- june with “the 5 Bomber”.  What a great night ! Oh yes, I forgot to mention, it started at mid-night with a “ Dirty Start”. A push race through NYC streets from Central Park  to Washington Square Park. Even better was his “Roots Session” in Oakland N.J., another epic event with a lot more speed.   Around mid-July, Aaryn Scott Davis and Michael Avery Simmons hosted a largely attended event called The Dunston Avenue Slidejam in Queens N.Y. This event was lit from start to finish. When up to 70 longboarders attack a Queens hill all day long and no cops respond to that event, its not only a success, its miraculous. Aside from being of great talent themselves, Aaryn and Mike brought together many of the areas best. About a week later in Paramus, N.J. Carlo Domenico Castoro hosted the first “Diablo Sesh”, another big day of speed and sliding.    As many of us know, August starts with Central Mass. Sadly, I was unable to attend because of a responsibility to an unrelated convention in San Diego. This certainly balanced out missing Central Mass. Naturally, I packed my gear and pre-arranged a visit to ‘Blacks’ where i was met with locals, Anthony Pilpa and Richie lee Hernandez. As if the scenic beauty wasn’t enough, I had all I could do from picking my jaw from the floor watching Pilpas’ and Hernandez’ super lit and steazed out style. These guys scream SoCal and Pro. I really owe them and the other locals a debt of gratitude for their spirit and hospitality.   Back to New York, where August had no shortage of events in the tri-skate area. You could take your pick from the ‘Nitro-slide jam, the ’Newton- slide jam or the ‘Battle of the Boroughs’. If you were looking for an event, you would find one.    As the sun begins its slow creep south across the horizon each day at dusk we are reminded that we draw closer and closer to the end of another summer. The weather will get more frigid, the leaves will fall and snow will eventually cover the roads but in the tri-skate area, because of the few who make an event available, we will skate regardless.  So give thanks to all those cats   that take the time to make it happen. There is, most certainly, no financial gain in hosting an event but if you measure wealth in smiles and good vibes then you are rich beyond imagination. Thanks to all the Bro’s that make it happen.

PumpTrack Progression

PumpTrack Progression

 

 

Several months ago, Concrete Wave editor, Michael Brooke and I visited the first permanent Velosolutions pump track in the United States. At the time, it was solely managed by Ride Brooklyn Bike Shop as the Brooklyn Bike Park. Since then, Joner Strauss’ Skateboarding Supercross (SBSX) has stepped in to implement a stage of rebranding as this organization has taken over the management of the park. 

 

To provide a bit of context, the idea of Skateboard Supercross came around six years ago as a byproduct of the International Distance Skateboarding Association. After partnering with Velosolutions, they are primed to take over the premier Brooklyn, USA location in an effort to sustain and deliver the experience of riding the pump track.

 

Enter new manager and professional competitive distance rider, Colby Cummings. The Portland, OR native is a self proclaimed “longboarder through and through,” here to get to know the community and build SBSX’s academy-style league with its members. 

 

In a virtual sense, Skateboard Supercross acts as a networking platform with the potential to become a worldwide phenomenon. While still in its developmental stages, its mobile application connects Velosolutions’ other two permanent US tracks (in Leavenworth, WA and Oklahoma City, OK) and letsriders compare the fastest times logged at each track. This close relationship will confirm who the top riders of each track are and will clarify the metrics and objectivity of what makes a rider victorious. 

 

Velosolutions Pumptrack Brooklyn operated by SBSX – the official video:

In a physical sense, the Cummings and Strauss are looking forward to programming a never before designed league with an A-Z path of progression for skateboarding. The league will be established from the bottom up and will provide the events needed to make use of the track’s prime location. This space is, as Strauss called it, “a community anchor that has yet to be showcased.” In the same way that Skateboard Supercross was influential in helping Velosolutions construct its pump tracks in a way more conducive to skateboarding, they seek to invest in the youth by creating a community that is conducive to learning how to ride and experience the magic of balance. 

 

Strauss hopes that SBSX will give skateboarding and more specifically, longboarding, the educational foundation it’s never had. Looking comparatively at other mainstream sports, most have a sustainable future because of the educational programs in place that breed its future participants. Similarly, SBSX plans to broaden their influence with the help of Velosolutions to construct more pump tracks across the nation. Through the interconnectedness of their app, Cummings and Strauss believe they can help overcome the cyclical pitfalls that skateboarding has fallen victim to. 

 

Above all, Cummings and Strauss advise that anyone wishing to experience the feeling of pure stoke, regardless of age or skill level, come to the track to try their hand at it.  

 

If you are looking to get involved in the movement, you can access the SBSX database they have created to help local skaters become local ambassadors. Visit their website here.

 

 

Velosolutions USA latest track in Oklahoma.If you would like a free info pack on how to get a pumptrack built in your city, email concrete.wave@velosolutions.com Have a peek at the new park below.  

A Taste Of The Brazilian Skate Scene

A Taste Of The Brazilian Skate Scene

 Skateboarding is absolutely everywhere in Brazil. I went there two months ago and I spent a couple of weeks in Rio de Janeiro, just before the Olympic fever. In the center of the city I came across a very nice longboard community called Guanabara Boards. The two owners, Alex Batista and Teresa Madeline Geer Batista, have an ‘escola de skate’ (longboarding freestyle, dancing school). The school is for everyone who wants to learn or develop their board skills.  All the equipment is provided, including a variety of boards and safety gear. The two have more than 30 years of skateboarding experience to share with their students. They are expert teachers, who can certainly be considered as pro-longboarders, teach in both Portuguese and English. Guanabara Boards is made up of ten amazing Brazilians and one sweet British girl (Teresa), who ride almost every day. For them, longboarding means passion, fun, freedom, happiness – it’s a way to live. They are passionate about sharing longboarding through their classes. They want to stop people being scared about riding and to learn in the safest way possible, whether you are a child, a woman, a man, a parent, old or young – you can start learning this sport at anytime in yourlife. They show their students that it is totally normal sometimes to fall down after trying new tricks and they teach how to fall down in the safest way and that the most important thing is getting up and trying again, to keep pushing yourself. Julie struts her stuff!I first discovered Alex and Teresa on a YouTube video called “Dancing, Freestyle, Freeride, Downhill’, when I was at home last summer, in Mont-Tremblant, Québec, Canada. I soon got addicted to their videos where I also discovered Ana Maria Suzano, one of the Guanabara Boards team and student of Alex, freestyling barefoot by the beach. When I saw her dancing on her board, all I could think to myself was – I really want to do that! I was hungry to find that freedom and share that happiness. Ana Maria Suzano was like spark of genius in every move that she perfectly executed. She was inviting me to try dancing too. The Brazileira has gained millions of views on her Youtube videos since 2013. She’s globally appreciated for her talent, style and control of the board. Since I was 12 years old I’ve always had a board under my feet, but here, in North America we don’t see a lot of longboard dancing tricks, because we have so many places to downhill and practice freestyle. So for me, it was a new challenge to try dancing and I decided to contact the Guanabara Boards team to help me with my new mission. I booked my flight ticket to Rio, a city that everybody told me was a paradise for riders. I can tell you personally, that this totally true. When I arrived I was stoked to ride by Ipanema beach, the incredible view of the ocean and the rocky mountains, Dois Irmãos (the two brothers), marking the landscape. The city’s cycle paths are perfect to ride on, and there are also skateparks in almost every corner you roll. On Sunday, the main roads right next to the beaches of Ipanema, Copacabana and Flamengo are closed so you can enjoy car-free concrete with your bike, rollerskates, board or even just jogging or walking. In all of my travels, I’ve never seen so many people riding a board – kids, families,workers, surfers and even tourists – everyone is riding. Another amazing place to hang out on weekdays is Lagoa. It has kilometers of perfect bicycle patharound a lagoon with that exceptional view of the surrounding mountains andCristo do Redenter. The father of Guanabara Boards, Alex Batista, born in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, rode a street skateboard since a young age. Unfortunately, a few years ago he had a very bad back injury which prevented him from riding. At that time, his skateboard was a huge part of his life and was riding at a professional level so it was a huge blow to have to stop. He put his head down and built a chain of IT businesses, and although he was becoming very successful, something wasn’t right in his heart. He decided to sell the business to search for something with more meaning. Afterseeing some longboard videos, he realized that he could apply his street and classic freestyle skateboard skills to a longboard, which would be more stable for his back. He started doing his tricks with a longboard and began to develop the longboard dancing freestyle scene in Rio. He soon started giving lessons to share his passion with everyone who wanted to learn too and the Guanabara Boards Escola de Skate was born. One day, Alex was teaching in one of the most beautiful places to ride in Rio, Aterro do Flamengo, and he saw a pretty woman, Teresa, about to ride down a hill with her Penny board. She, of course, fell and bumped her cute face on the concrete on the way down. Alex saw her falling, came to her and got her to the hospital. She told me of the romantic moment, her savior came to her, and I can believe it, because last year they went to Teresa’s brother in Australia and got married while longboarding by the amazing beaches of Queensland. It’s the kind of love story, we usually only see in the movies, but this awesome story isreal. Teresa is a professional photographer and video-maker. She is the producer of many Guanabara Boards videos. She is also the creator of Boardettes in her homeland London. She has also now brought Boardettes to Brazil. Boardette’s mission is to initiate women and girls to learn boardsports or to deepen their skills andchallenge themselves. It’s a digital and real-life community of powerful female riders. They now run Guanabara Boards together with it’s escola de skate. Alex and Teresa are excellent teachers, together unifying the perfect match of technique and fun. I learned very quickly with them and I am still practicing a lot here in my town. Guanabara’s vision is about challenging yourself, being free and finding your balance. They run workshops all over Brazil, including in Sao Paulo, Fortaleza and Brasilia. Beyond skate classes, the team are currentlyworking on making their very own Guanabara’s longboards in Brazil.When the crew aren’t teaching skateboarding to their students they can be found at the square outside of MAM (Museu do Arte Moderna). Here, I learned dancing with the local skateboard community who meet up regularly to encourage riders to keep pushing, and remind everyone that, first and foremost, is the fun. The four year company has grown up very fast. If you are a rider or if you plan to travel in Brazil, just take your backpack and go to explore the breathtaking country. Head to Rio de Janeiro, the cidade maravilhosa, and meet the awesome Guanabara team and learn to live the Guanabara Boards lifestyle. PHOTOS: Teresa Madeline Geer Batista 

Fundraising Campaign

Fundraising Campaign

Tibs Parise, originally from Nice, France. Growing up as a skater he and his fellow riders would apply a French green clay paste on their road rash and bruises.

  

 

Tibs is now based in San Diego, California and couldn’t find a similar green clay product here. So Tibs decided to create something by himself.

He started the company in January 2016 with his partner, and built the first ready-to-use French Green Clay paste in North America.

With 100% organic, chemical free, high quality ingredients, and clinically proven formula, the product assists in the healing most of injuries. These include from road rashes to inflammation, and more.

With his network in the skateboarding industry and action sports, he decided to produce samples to give away to X-Games athletes and other riders to see their reaction. All the feedback came back positive. Concrete Wave also had the opportunity to try one of the samples, and they found it to very beneficial.

So in conjunction with Concrete Wave, Tibs is launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise $4,000.

 

Click here to go to the  fundraiser page:  http://www.concretewavemagazine.com/funding

 

CLAYER website:

www.TheClayers.com

 

 

  

The Magic Of Balance

The Magic Of Balance

 Concrete Wave presented the program “The Magic of Balance” at the 2016 Toronto Buskerfest. The main reason we were there was to spread the stoke and encourage the next generation to grab a board. We had over 2,000 people visit our booth and I personally presented to over 550 kids and adults.  The photos tell the story – everyone had a blast and the four days whipped by. In introducing the program to Toronto audience, we encouraged people (of all ages) to try all types of balance boards. Judging by how much time they spent on the various products, there was indeed a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. We are very thankful for the support of Restless, Laavva and Kebbek Skateboards who helped sponsor the event.   

The Road Trip Starts NOW

The Road Trip Starts NOW

BOARD MEETING – THE ROAD TRIP STARTS NOWIt’s Board Meeting Weekend. If you live in Buffalo, Kingston, Ottawa, Detroit, Rochester or Montreal you are less than a five hour drive from Toronto. There are thousands of skaters in these towns that would absolutely be amazed at the pure stoke that this incredible event generates. If you’ve never experienced the Toronto Board Meeting, now is your chance!The fun starts with a premier of Lost In Havana on Thursday night at the Tranzac Club. The club is located at 292 Brunswick Avenue and the film screens at 9pm. On Friday there is a meetup with Billy Bones and Steve Vera at Longboard Haven down at 189 Queen Street. On Saturday the actual Board Meeting takes place. Get down to Yonge and St. Clair before 4pm and follow the skaters to the nearby David Balfour Park.Then, get ready to experience something truly unique in the world of skateboarding.The Toronto Board Meeting is NOT a race. It’s simply a great way to share the joy of riding with hundreds of like-minded people. It never fails to put smiles on people’s faces – both riders AND crowds who stare in disbelief at the site of Yonge Street taken over. The afterparty takes place at 9pm back at the Tranzac Club and Sunday is always followed by a slide session at the Poop Chute.What the heck is the Poop Chute? It’s a nice piece of road located near a waste treatment facility.It’s easy to get to – just park your car at 11 Redway Road (next to the Loblaws) and you’ll find the hill   

Concrete Coast Give-Away

Concrete Coast Give-Away

 Concrete Coast is launching a contest and ready to give away :

  • Concrete Coast Abstract Board Tee
  • 1 Year Subscription to Concrete Wave Magazine
  • Concrete Coast Mountain Grid Tee
  • Caliber Trucks 44 degree Midnight Red Satin (1 Pair)
  • Blood Orange Alpine Series Wheels
  • Blood Orange Abec 7 Bearings

 Concrete Coast is a lifestyle longboard brand based out of Denver, CO and run by professional photographer, Connor Walberg.  His vision is to create a board/clothing company that ties the long boarding community together and represents the boarders who spend every moment they can skating, and who are always thinking about riding when they are stuck doing anything else.  Concrete Coast is built for people who love to get outside and truly grow/push their limits while having fun with their friends.       To enter the contest:  www.concretecoast.com/pages/concrete-wave-concrete-coast Website: www.concretecoast.com @ConcreteCoast   

Lost in Havana Premiers in Holland & Canada

Lost in Havana Premiers in Holland & Canada

 In our March 2016 Buyer’s Guide we showcased a story about Kebbek Skateboards bringing 100 completes to Cuba. This was no easy feat and a new documentary about this extra-ordinary experience is premiering early next month in Toronto and Den Haag. We had an opportunity to chat with the founder of Kebbek, Ian Comishin and get some more background on the documentary. This is actually the second major film on skateboarding that Ian has been involved with. For a truly mesmerizing look at the world of a skate tour, you must take a look at “Hicks on Sticks. The trailer for that 2012 film can be found here. Lost in Havana was produced by Warren Lane Films (the same company who produced (Hicks on Sticks). The film was written, filmed and edited by Soren Johnstone. It is narrated by Mike Carter and features Juergen Gritzner, Betty Esperanza, Kalie Racine and Yojani Perez. “No company in history has ever tried to bring 100 complete boards to Cuba as a donation” says Ian. “Soren wanted to capture this historical moment and to try and get inside the experience of those involved in the donation.” I asked Ian if there was a particular message in the film that will resonate with viewers. “Skateboarding and bureaucracy don’t tend to tangle too well. Good intentions and vanity can sometimes be a blurry line. Cuba is freakishly amazing.”

The film was first shown in Slovenia and met with very positive reviews. “The audience was both stunned and inspired” says Ian. They were also stoked and saddened.  Initially, the documentary will be spread though international film festivals and premiers like the ones in Canada and the Netherlands.   

Bustin Boards and Brett Novak

Bustin Boards and Brett Novak

 Bustin Boards is proud to present a premier video collaboration between legendary filmmaker Brett Novak and the skate everything talents of Bustin Boards rider William Royce. Shot this summer in some of the most unique and diverse terrain Southern California has to offer, this video is a friendly reminder that skateboarding has no rules or limitations.    

Thane Store

Thane Store

When we received an email from Sam Wolff of the Thane Store, we had no idea that it would kick off a whole other discussion about how small brands can market their wares.
If you have a small skate company, or you are thinking about starting one, you might want to look at Direct PB.
 

What kind of role can Direct PB play for up and coming skate companies?

Sam Wolff: Thane Store, and our parent company Direct Premium Buys, put a lot of focus on new and small companies. We look for opportunities that others haven’t noticed, and we try to help them get noticed through our site and social media. Phil and I noticed early on as skaters that there is an endless sea of gear out there, and more brands coming out all the time. Despite that, all our friends were riding stuff from the same 4 or 5 brands. That’s not necessarily bad, those top American brands make great stuff, but eventually we saw many of the new companies going under before we got to try the gear. We saw an opportunity to make an impact and provide some resources to those skaters brave enough to act on their ideas and innovate.

Some of the resources that Direct Premium Buys can provide include wholesale, distribution, and fulfillment so that they can get onto even more shelves. Our idea is to create a market for the product in the US first, and then get it into the hands of retail stores around the country. We use our background in eCommerce and logistics to offer consulting, product photography, and marketing strategy services to these companies as well. 

 

 

Many people have great ideas for companies but find it challenging to get their product into shops – do you see your company as an incubator?

Getting into shops these days gets harder and harder as more people flock towards what’s popular. You have to have everything in place… trademarks, patents, shipping, branding, word-of-mouth exposure, consistent manufacturing. If anything is lacking, a shop that may see less than a hundred visitors a day couldn’t justify the risk of the initial investment. That’s where we come in. If you have a good product, we’ll store it, mail it, promote it, try it, review it, and show you what we know works for getting it into more skater’s hands. Granted, not every egg in the incubator hatches. But when a baby bird leaves the nest, it’s a great feeling.

 

What are some of your success stories?

I think our biggest accomplishments so far is our line up of international brands. Before, if a customer wanted to try a product from say, the UK, they would need to pay expensive shipping costs to get that product into the US. Needless to say, this discourages a lot of would-be customers. We’re giving these companies the ability to sell directly to the US market, without incurring high costs of shipping on their end, and to the customer as well. We’ve got wheels from places like Malaysia, South Africa, the UK, and Israel all under one roof, and to us, that’s a huge accomplishment. 

 

How do you determine what brands to carry? 

As much as we want to pick up every new brand we find and have a massive selection, it’s challenging logistically. Some brands have unreasonable expectations. We have to balance our safe bets with our risks like every other company, but we know our fan base is different and they’re down to try something out. So we look for what people are saying about the product. If we can get our hands on it, we try it out. If not, we assess what we can find out online, make an order and give a set to the team to pass around. Importing a box of wheels from across the world is expensive, and it doesn’t always sell right away, but we feel that it’s worth it if we can get our scene riding on new, underrated stuff and finding new ways to have fun skating.

 

 

What’s your current take on the overall skate market?

The skate market isn’t like other markets, as DPB has definitely learned. The same principles don’t apply, you have to think like a skater to sell to skaters. The market right now, as we’ve all noticed, it’s sort of plateauing after the explosion of downhill in the last 5 years. I think dramatic shifts like S9 changing hands and the whole Arbor thing have people a little nervous, but from what I can see, stoke is still high. It’s easier said than done, but the American scene especially needs more accessible events, safe places to skate like Kamloops, and riders that won’t judge you for riding a certain way or not being good enough. We need more skating for the sake of it, and less fiending for sponsorships and status. The companies that put their efforts into these areas while producing consistently great gear will make it through to the next huge wave of hype. It will come. Stay stoked.

An interview with founder Bently Anderson

An interview with founder Bently Anderson

 Bently contacted CW back in the fall of 2015 to let us know about Entitlement Urethane. A few weeks ago Entitlement brought out a new wheel called the Marina and we were interested to find out more. 

Why did you decide to start up a wheel company?

It has been a lifelong dream to start a wheel company. I have been a riding a Freebord for nearly ten years. Over this period of time I have tried several different types of wheels. Roughly 7 or 8 years ago Freebord the company decided to develop a custom mold and shape. After having the chance to prototype several different formulas, I became somewhat obsessed with urethane. ​

When I took on the identity of a team rider and videographer I slowly began to loose interest in the sport. My lack of interest was a combination of less than desirable politics and close friends who stopped riding. Around this time I met a local freeride oriented guy name Byron Essert. I was genuinely stoked to see a downhill skater ride something steep entirely stand up. Fast forward a number of years and Entitlement Urethane was born..

What have you been doing to try and have entitlement urethane stand out?

To fully enjoy the process of social media. I don’t want the ego of the company to outgrow the riders who represent Entitlement Urethane. I believe that a rider owned and operated company should be transparent via social media. 

I believe that the purpose of social media is ultimately for branding. It provides a platform for our riders to gain recognition among other companies and demonstrates the function of our products. No one would ever believe that a wheel used by freeborders would also perform on a longboard.

 

What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to deal with?

The current market. After talking with a number of sponsored riders and shop owners, it seems that the downhill skate industry is experiencing low tide. Beyond that we cater to a very niche market. Our products are designed to fit the needs of those who are interested in downhill freeride. It seems nearly impossible to compete with large corporations who can pay for subscribers, pay for events, and pay their riders but f**k it.. 

 

How has social media helped you?

I believe that the purpose of social media is ultimately for branding. It provides a platform for our riders to gain recognition among other companies and demonstrates the function of our products. No one would ever believe that a wheel used by freeborders would also perform on a longboard. 

I am assuming it increased the interest of the product ….but has this lead to sales?

 Honestly…. no. There is great amount of brand loyalty among downhill skaters. It could be driven by an individual’s hope to become sponsored by a specific brand, an individual looking to emulate a professional rider, or a specific wheel’s performance on a local hill.  I believe there is currently a big split between people looking for a wheel with the longest slide or a wheel that provides the most grip. Entitlement Urethane wheels are universal and will cater to the needs of a rider looking to progress his or her skills.