We’ve got a story in our November issue about products that allow you to be seen at night as you ride.
But as things draw closer to October 31st, we wanted to shine a light on Aluminati’s Skateboards latest tribute to Halloween. Aluminati has teamed up with Sunset Skateboards to offer three Halloween cruisers powered by Sunset Flare ™ LED wheels.
Aluminati’s cruisers are crafted from recycled aircraft-grade recyclable aluminum in Southern California and feature endless graphic options and clear grip.
The three Halloween designs, Ghostly, Grab Bag and Jack are now available exclusively on Aluminati’s website. They each feature self-powered Flare™ LED Wheels give over 100,000 hours of light without any batteries.
Hard to believe we’ve been publishing for 17 years. Every now and then, we’d like to showcase a story from our past. I am pleased to report that the person featured in this story is doing much better. But nine years ago, John Van Hazinga was in a very different place. John had his life shattered by a horrendous fall. We’ve reprinted our story from our Holidays 2007 edition. To learn more about John’s incredible ordeal, you can visit his blog. And if you find yourself in Burlington, Vermont be sure to check out his shop – Ridin’ High. Check out this interview with John. It’s great to see he’s made a full recovery.
Made In Venice is a documentary, directed and produced by Jonathan Penson. It features the inside story of the skateboarders of Venice, California, and their struggle to make the dream of a skatepark come true. The film is now being released nationally by award-winning indie distributor, Abramorama, following its sold out L.A. premiere. Watch a preview here: This feature-length documentary carries the viewer through the history of Venice to present day, as it tells the story of the decades it took a relentless crew of skateboarders, surfers and civic activists to convince the City of Los Angeles to build a skatepark in the area that gave birth to modern skateboarding. Made In Venice is not just a skate movie. It’s a tale of audacity, guts and hope filled with counterculture characters that overcame all obstacles to claim victory. Anyone that has fought for what they want can identify with this film. This is the story of visionaries that refused to give up the goal to build concrete terrain for future generations.The film captures the firsthand stories of 40-plus years of skateboarding in Venice that started with the Z-Boys, and continued with its legendary street skaters and the iconic Venice Skatepark. Never-before-seen Super-8 and early video footage, along with rare black and white stills, take you back to innovative demos on the Boardwalk and skating the walls of the Pavilion, as the Venice skaters pushed the boundaries of street skating and put it on the global map.As Dogtown and Z-Boys author and skateboarding’s resident historian, C.R. Stecyk III says, “Made In Venice is a step by step manifesto for skate/civic activism. It is a remarkable documentation of hard working visionary individuals transforming society.”Made In Venice features appearances by skateboarding legends, professionals, skatepark activists, skate icons and heroes: Jesse Martinez, Geri Lewis, Christian Hosoi, C.R. Stecyk III, Skip Engblom, Jay Adams, Jeff Ho, Aaron Murray, Scott Oster, Cesario “Block” Montano, Jim Muir, Tim Jackson, Ray Flores, Eddie Reategui, Eric Britton, Dave Duncan, David Hackett, Joey Tran, Pat Ngoho, Wally Hollyday, Jimbo Quaintance, Joff Drinkwater, Nathan Pratt, Solo Scott, Jamie Quaintance, Asher Bradshaw, Kiko Francisco and many more. madeinvenicemovie.com
For a number of Canadian skaters who grew up during the 1970’s, seeing a shot of a fellow countryman in SkateBoarder Magazine was a huge deal. Alan Harrison was one of the those skaters who excelled at both freestyle and vert. His ability got him the attention of the SkateBoarder staff on a number of occasions.
I had a chance to meet up with Alan back in May at the world freestyle championships at the Cloverdale Fair.
1. How did you wind up in SkateBoarder Mag back in the late 1970¹s
During the summer of the 1979 Canadian Championships, the late great Rick Ducommun of GNC skates (now Skull Skates ) brought up Tony Alva and Steve Olson to wow the Canadian audience and crank up the intensity at Seylynn Skatepark’s ” Expression Session”. I grew up in North Van and Seylynn was my 2nd home. There were a lot of awesome skaters, loud music and great energy there that day; especially with TA , Olson, and SkateBoarder Magazine’s photographer Jim Goodrich. Most of the intense energy was at the bowl where we had built a makeshift wooden extension also where Jim had set up his camera equipment.
2. What are some of your favorite moments from the Vancouver scene back then?
Back in the mid 70’s to early 80’s, we had to hunt out and find skate spots; any interesting incline was key. There was the Granville street bank, The Davie street ramp, the East Van Ramp which Corey Campbell ruled. In North Van there was Kilmer bowl a concrete kiddie pool. The weird indoor skatepark in Burnaby called the Skateboard Palace and of course Kevin Harris’s backyard ramp.
The short lived Nelson street ramp in Vancouver’s west end was a massive wooden half pipe painted with rubbery paint which ripped your skin off when you fell. Tom “Wally” Inouye skated there, and really ripped it up. We did have some awesome gnarly skaters from Cal come up and skate with us at the Palace. Shogu Kubo, Steve Olson and Jimmy Plumer.
With the Ripping Squad with did all sorts of demonstrations and skating shows with our portable half pipe. One of my top ten moments would have to be when our team would do the half time entertainment at the Vancouver Whitecaps games. 25,000 people, lots of screams. Our half pipe was on top of a flat bed trailer. Sometimes we would run out of time and end up skating the half pipe on the truck while driving around the perimeter. I remember the truck suddenly stopping and Simon Addington got a lot more air than he bargained for.
I was very tight with the entire Ripping Squad. Niko Weiss, and Paul Addington were closest in age to me. Also on the squad was Rob Leshgold, Mike and Rich Lien, Kevin Harris, Mike Blake, Simon Addington, and Dave Crabb. Corey Campbell was also an incredible skater back in the day who liked to snake our Ripper demos. On rainy days (which never happens in Vancouver) I would bus out to Richmond and do freestyle with Kevin, Mike and Lyle Chippeway. In the later years, I skated with the late Don Hartley. Don was known to most people as the mad carver, He had a beautiful fluid style. I really miss him.
3. Did you ever think about pursuing a career in skateboarding after things died down?
After breaking my left leg two years in a row, at the Richmond Skate Ranch, I slowed right down and changed my career path. I got into doing computer graphics in a big way. I always was into drawing and had a fine arts background but lost interest until I took a computer art course at Emily Carr in 1986. That course changed everything. I was hooked and became a Computer graphics artist and have been in the film/tv/games industry ever since. Things went full circle when I was working at Electronic Arts and got to work on the amazing game SKATE.
4. You’ve got yourself a pro model board. How did things come together for this?
I met Rick Tetz in Cranbrook BC while I was with the CPASA ( The Canadian Pro Am Skateboard Association ) helping Monty Little run the regional championships. During the freestyle event, there was this guy using nunchucks, and swords; and skating. He had mad skills. This guy was combining martial arts with skateboarding. Who knew? That was Rick! After Rick moved to North Van, he and I would hang out and do freestyle in his underground parkade.
In the beginning of August this year, Rick connected with me on Facebook and pops the question: “Hey Al are you interested in designing your own board?” I was blown away. Very stoked, and honoured. I ‘m now riding again. Thanks Rick!
By now, some of our readership is waking up to the fact that we’ve published two covers for this fall issue. Mea culpa. I have to admit, I couldn’t make up my damn mind.I really dig the Chad Thomas photo of three skaters at the Clairemont Skatepark engaging in a pretty intense race. Andy MacDonald definitely has his game face on! I’d like to thank our art director Stacy Lowery for ingeniously creating a different look for our masthead logo. Smaller is better in this case and it allows readers to see more. At the same time, I really love pumptracks and I felt that the largest (to date in the USA) merited a cover.Who wouldn’t want this in their hometown! It’s a fantastic shot taken by a drone. With the sun setting, the place looks even more alluring. Subscribers will wind up with of the two covers and most shops will get a mix too. Collectors will be furious with me. But fair warning…this is not the first time we’ve done two covers and it probably won’t be the last. We’ll never repeat what we did a few years ago with MULTIPLE different covers. Promise.
Loaded’s Icarus is a work of art and definitely a thing of beauty. This video explains in the most unusual way possible how they make them – or more specifically, how they birth them.It’s like you’re watching something from National Geographic. Take five minutes and experience the birth of the Loaded Icarus.
An essay on Brian Anderson, gay skateboarders, our inclusive culture, and mainstream ignorance.
This week, I caught wind through my Facebook news feed that Brian Anderson had “come out” as skateboarding’s first openly gay, professional skateboarder. This news flash was immediately picked up worldwide… no joke… by “the mainstream media”. The New York Times covered it.
Rolling Stone covered it. The Independent covered it. The Guardian UK covered it. A whole host of LGBT media sites covered it, as might be expected. And then, I had those thirty or so Facebook flashes, reminding me of it (just in case I lived in a cave, and I somehow managed to forget all about it for a few brief seconds). Brian immediately became a beloved bellweather for the movement, as he well deserves I suppose. He is, by all accounts, a really great guy and an incredible skater. Regardless of whatever his sexual orientation might be.
Which led me immediately to this question: Why in the world is this even news…? What’s the story here…? Is this really, “new” news? Or, is it just “new” to everybody that’s not actually a skateboarder…?
First of all, I was kind of surprised that the story line was that he “finally came out”. I was only surprised by this because I had either taken for granted, or dumbly assumed, that he had actually “come out” eons ago. I mean, I knew he was gay. Most people I know, knew he was gay. I’m pretty sure that most of the industry knew he was gay. But just to be sure, I made a few calls and conducted a quickie survey.
“Hey, did you know Brian Anderson was gay…?”
“When did you find out…?”
“Oh, I don’t remember. Maybe, 2009 or so…?” (By the way: most of my respondees all found out Brian was gay around the same time, which I found peculiarly interesting.)
“Oh, okay. Just checking. Thanks.”
If the fact that Brian Anderson was gay was some sort of “closely guarded secret”, well then, I guess it has to rank up there as one of the worst-kept secrets in all of skateboarding. Because it really wasn’t much of a secret to anybody. Anybody that I know, at least.
Maybe the real story was just how quick Brian’s “sudden announcement” was embraced by the rest of the skateboarding world. But then, I wasn’t really surprised by that either. Skateboarders are well-known to be a subculture that pretty much openly accepts everybody, regardless of race, age, gender, orientation, economic standing, or any other divide that you could possibly conjure up. Skateboarders pretty much see the world in terms of either skaters, or non-skaters… and that’s it. Why they would pick this week to suddenly ostracize some poor skater for some wholly insignificant reason, is just a little bit beyond my imagination. Now if Brian rollerbladed, that would be a different story. That, my frenemies, would be the end of the entire world. But, gay…? Meh.
It’s not like Brian is the first openly gay skateboarder, either. Maybe that’s why this isn’t really “news”. I clearly remember Jarret Berry, who graced the cover of Big Brother’s “Gay Issue” in the mid ’90s… which was, of course, a “taboo” that was charcteristically approached in Big Brother’s nonsensical, over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek (no pun intended) manner. Big Brother even crossed out the “g” so that it read “Bi Brother”, which made them all apparently gay by association. And then we have their subsequent project, Dickhouse Productions, which uses the gay-pride rainbow as their corporate logo. But I don’t remember any skate movement to go burn down Big Brother’s offices in a fit of homophobic rage, or any skate-related movement to boycott Jackass The Movie. Maybe Jarret remembers it differently. But as far as I could tell, most skaters were pretty supportive of the whole shebang. It wasn’t even really “news” then, either. It was just another issue of the usual Big Bro hijinks.
I guessed the mainstream media also conveniently missed the Mike Carroll “NAMBLA” board non-controversy, while they were at it. I never really understood the whole point of that one… maybe Mike’s been trying to tell us something… but in any rate, nobody really seemed to make much of a ruckus about that one, either. If that wasn’t your vibe, well, there was always the Randy Colvin “Censorship” model that you could rock, just to prove to everyone just how hetero you were. Unless you were a girl buying that board, of course. But I’m clearly overthinking this stuff. Because to most skaters’ credit, nobody really thought much about any of this in the first place. They just bought boards, and skated them. Because that’s what skaters do. They don’t think. They just skate.
The Mainstream Media might be surprised to hear that there are not only gay skaters, but there are lesbian skaters too. And transgender skaters. Skaters don’t fear any of these things. Skaters, really, don’t fear much of anything at all. Any group of nutbags that will happily slide down a 30-stair handrail on their gonads, and not think twice about how much that might actually hurt, probably isn’t gonna give two tiny craps about your wee little homophobias.
There were gay skateboarders even before Jarret, naturally enough. Jarret wasn’t the “first”. He may have been the “first” to get on the cover of a major skateboard magazine in assless chaps, but that certainly doesn’t make him the very first gay skateboarder ever. They’ve always been here. I knew some personally, in fact. Great fellows. Funny guys. Great skaters. I don’t remember a single instance of anybody (besides ignorant non-skaters) ever giving them any grief at all. Shit, I don’t even remember it being a significant point of conversation. We were too busy talking about skating to worry too much about unrelated trivialities.
Maybe it’s all because I’m a by-product of the ’80s. In the ’80s, of course, we were all gay. And Satanists. And freaks. I’m not lying, that’s the God-honest truth. Any skater that grew up in the ’80s will surely remember some jackwagon driving by, yelling “Skater Fag!” at the top of their lungs. That happened pretty regularly, actually. Virtually every day. Skaters… all skaters… regardless of whatever our actual sexual orientations might have been… were seen, and labeled, by the “public at large” (ie,”the mainstream”) as being gay as hell. So when an actual, bona-fide, true-blue, gay skater came along… it was like, “Oh really, you’re gay? Big damn deal. So are the rest of us, bubbo. Join the club.”
So, yeah. Brian came out last week, and spilled the beans on a secret that everybody basically knew, anyway. And he got a lot of genuine love and sincere support from his fellow skaters for having done so, as we all knew he would long before the fact. Commendable? Sure, I suppose.
But, newsworthy…? Not really. What justifies a big headline for the rest of the non-skating world is just another ho-hum, run-of-the-mill day in the life for us.
Maybe that’s “the story” that the mainstream media should be spinning. And maybe the rest of the mainstream world could learn a few things along the way about tolerance, acceptance, solidarity, and community from us lowly “gay skateboarders”.
For additional reading, check out this story from HUCK Magazine circa 2012.
YNWH: Skateboarding’s four most self-defeating words There’s this guy I know. Pretty well, actually. He runs a small microbrew skateboard company out of his garage. He personally hand-builds, hand-shapes,and hand-silkscreens every single skateboard that comes out of his ever-expanding workshop. He’s a true craftsman, an artist in every sense of the word. Strange thing is, he’s not a particularly popular guy. At least, not insofar as his local skateboard community is concerned. Listening to him tell it, he’s practically hated. Or he thinks he is, at least. Apparently, he has been “blacklisted” and “86’ed” from more places than he can even keep track of. The local DIY… 86’ed. The local mini ramp… blacklisted. Special events, demos, and contests all over the region… banned. Intimidated out of his local coffee shop, even. There are a great many places where, apparently, he is just not welcome. In rare instances, he’s even been physically threatened and/or assaulted, just to insure that he would go well away, and never return. Why is this…? Well, it’s not because he’s a mean guy or anything; he’s actually one of the coolest chaps you could ever hope to meet. Pretty good skater, too. If I had to speculate, it’s more than likely because he’s a threat to the status quo. He’s a throwback to a time when skateboards were made with pride, by hand, and made to last. That’s a verboten paradigm in today’s world of disposable toothpicks. Shops won’t sell his boards, simply because they last too long. But kids keep on buying them anyway, directly from the craftsman himself, over and over again… which is a threat to the area businesses and brands that only peddle status quo. And, he talks. A lot. About deep stuff.Important stuff that the status quo definitely doesn’t want to hear, and absolutely does not want discussed or disseminated. In short: he’s hated, because he’s a threatening outlier to their gravy train. A threat that has to be either entirely stopped, or at least effectively subdued.This case is not an isolated incident. Far from it, actually. For being as “forward-thinking”, “libertine”, “enlightened”, and “inclusionary” as we’d like to think we are as a lifestyle and a “culture”, the skateboarding world can still be a whole wide world of impenetrable andexclusive cliques, far too much of the time. Anything that steps outside of the accepted status quo does tend to get shunned, ostracized, belittled, or bullied. I’ve seen it happen, firsthand. Far too often, actually. Tony Hawk, of all people, comes immediately to mind. Hard as it may be for millenials to believe, Tony Hawk was not always the beloved skate superstar that he is today. In the early 1980’s, he was widely condemned for the highcrime of ollieing into his airs. Something that is so commonplace and accepted today that we take it completely for granted as an absolutely normal way toskate. But at the time? It was tantamount to high treason. It didn’t make him particularly popular with most of the “status quo”, that’s for sure; Duane even famously spit on him one time at Colton Skatepark, if I recall the story correctly. He got ridiculed and made fun of a lot for “cheating” at skateboarding. It must’ve really sucked. Duane’s spit is probably some pretty gnarly shit. Nowadays, Tony gets the last laugh. He’s a skateboard superstar zillionaire that every kid (and many adults) love, respect, and admire. And the detractors learned a tough lesson there: never make fun of the future. Unfortunately, skaters can’t remember tough lessons for a damn sometimes. Women in skateboarding have had it pretty rough over the years. It’s true. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a female get “shamed” by guys for skateboarding, I’d probably be able to put the keyboard down, retire to Fiji, and drink Mai-Tais forever. Sometimes, it’s outright bullying. Other times, it’s a bit more subtle and understated. Nyjah Huston once opined, quite publicly, that skateboarding is not for girls at all. In many ways, our “culture” has been telling girls and women for decades that they’re just not welcome here. That they don’t measure up, that they don’t have what it takes. That this is a boys club, and a boys club only. Thankfully, that perception is starting to change. But it’s been a very slow, and very painful process. It certainly hasn’t been particularly easy for anyone. Especially the girls.Maybe this is just perception at work. Maybe it’s not as bad as it all seems. But when we, as an industry, actually have to produce and market a product that says “Girl Is Not A Four Letter Word”, then we certainly have a very real problem on our hands, not just a perception problem. A problem that, unfortunately, does not begin and end with the likes of Nyjah Huston. If there wasn’t a very real problem at work, then why would we ever need such a product, or such a statement, in the first place…? There are other examples. Listening to a lot of uneducated imbeciles telling me that I’m too tall and far too fat to ride skateboards has been a constant throughout my life. It’s true: I’m ridiculously towering, and a lot bigger-boned than I probably should be. Thankfully though, I’m not predispositioned to acquiesce to the perceptions of uber-ignorant and over-opinionated assholes trying to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do. That’s a nice way of saying “Get Bent”, by the way. My stance has always been that if I wanna take my 300-lb ass out to go for a roll, well buddy, I’d like to see you try to stop me from doing so. Dumb dudes aren’t inclined to take me up on that, because they’re at least intelligent enough to realize that saying “no” to a hugely sarcastic steamroller probably isn’t the wisest of propositions. Being a giant of a fat skateboarder, then, definitely has its benefits. Yeah, my tre flips might be mob as hell, and getting my ass and my belly to properly stand up on a 5-0 isn’t quite as simple or easy as it used to be. But at least nobody picks on me for sucking at skating. Probably because at the end of the day, I can still knock you on your ass. And there’s not a damn thing that you’re gonna do about it, either. But my question is, who’s gonna stand up for everyone else? My buddy ain’t exactly a burly buffster that can drive over his detractors and knock ’em on their asses. He’s only about 5’5”, maybe 150 lbs wet, and half of that is probably tied up in his beard alone. He’s not the sarcastic steamroller that I am. And neither are most girls. Or the Tony Hawk geeklings of the world. And for that matter, neither is 99.999% of the population at large. I suppose that, given my giant-sized proportions, I could easily and happily play The Jerk, assume a fascist philosophy, and exclude anybody and everybody that I didn’t personally like (or even agree with) from my favorite spots and scenes. I could even enforce that fairly effectively, if I reallywanted to. I’d probably make a pretty brilliant bully, if I was inclined to be one. It might be nice to have spots all to myself and my crew once in a while without a zillion flailers, newbies, ego trippers, and skate-hipsters stinking the place up. Problem is, that mindset fundamentally goes against everything that I think skateboarding should be about. In my world, skateboarding should be better than that. And being a guy with a lot of personal pride, I’m also a lot better than that. I don’t like everybody in the skateboard world. And I certainly don’t agree with everybody, either. But, I’ll tell ya this: everybody and anybody is always welcome to come skate with me, anytime they want. Because that’s the spirit of the whole thing. That’s what skateboarding should be all about. Anyone that doesn’t agree with that, in my world, isn’t really a skateboarder at all. They’re just being dicks. The cool thing about being as cool as I am, is that I get a lot of genuine love in return from everybody. Even though I can’t skate for a damn, I still get invited to all sorts of swanky spots and scenes to skate, hang out, take it all in, and live it up. That’s kind of sweet, isn’t it…? Well, I think it is. If and when I actually stop and think about it for a few minutes, I’m forced to admit that my entire life has been the net sum of being invited, with open arms and smiling mugs, to all sorts of neat places for all kinds of cool stuff. I doubt that I would have ever had it so good, if I’d been a ginormous dick to everybody that I’d ever met. “Cool is a universal language”, that’s my mantra. And if you play the role, and play it well, then you’ll get to go really far in life. Kinda like I have, I guess. My buddy pointed something out today that I thought deserved to be noted. Encouragement is actually pretty damn easy to do. Hate, division, and exclusion, by comparison, seem like they would require an awful lot of time and energy to pull off. Being a walking bummer seems like it would be a lot of work. So, why in the hell do people do it…? Is it to protect their vested interests in being King Catcrap or something…? Maintaining an air of “legitimacy” among other hateful, divisive, and exclusionary jugheads? Maybe selling a few more units of product to a hopelessly jaded and cynical marketplace? I guess I just don’t get it. It all seems rather pointless to me. Lame never really got anybody anywhere, did it…? Not long-term, at least. Thankfully, The Industry has taken a few steps to combat this sort of horseshit. We do, after all, have those “Girl is not a four letter word” completes all over the place. They do promote girls contests and jams (finally), and there is (thankfully) a lot of ethnic and age diversityamongst our pro and sponsored amateur ranks as well. The Industry realizes that being less welcoming and inclusive usually means less hardgoods and softgoods sales to their target lifestyle market. The Industry, quite smartly, won’t tolerate sacrificing perfectly profitable sales to subsidize ingrained cultural idiocy. I’d like to see it taken a step further. Why can’t we have “Bullies are just dicks” ads, stickers, and completes…? That might be a swell seller. If anybody ever has the cajones to produce and market such a campaign, I’d get right behind it. I’m sure Mike would, too. Maybe if we could get Tony to wear a “Bullies are just dicks” shirt everywhere he went, then maybe somebody would start paying attention to the problem. I mean, who’s gonna argue with Tony…? Besides Duane..?Regardless of what The Industry does or doesn’t do, at the end of the day, when I die… and given my penchant for unhealthy livin’, that death probably isn’t all that far off… I’d really like the nine (or so) people that are actually gonna remember me, to remember me as a really swell guy that was always pretty cool to everybody. But especially to my fellow skaters. Skateboarding has given me so much, and filled my life story with so many epic memories, that I figure it’s the very least I could do in return. Skateboarding would probably be in a way better place if more skaters actually thought and felt the same way I do, and stood their ground on it. Bud Stratford is probably the only moron on the planet that’s actually made a “career” out of writing highly principled essays about skateboarding. If you wanna tell this quack what a jerk he is, feel free to flog him on Facebook.
I view Concrete Wave as a worldwide community made up of a variety of different type of skaters. Sure, there maybe some on the right, and some on the left. Some are new to this, some are skategeezers. Some are freestylers others only do slalom or just ride longboards. What unites us all is a love of skateboarding. This camaraderie is a cornerstone of the philosophy of Concrete Wave. I strive to foster a climate of inclusiveness within skateboarding and I will never waiver from this message. With that in mind, our latest edition features a female rider – Emma Daigle of Kebbek Skateboards. We’re proud to have her on the cover. Going forward, females will be on 50% of all future covers. There are some who will question this decision. They’ll wonder, “why put so much attention on a market that makes up less than 15% of all skaters?” My answer is simple – skateboarding is TOO good to be kept as mostly a male enterprise. Back in the mid to late 70’s, when females were encouraged to be a part of skateboarding, it had over 20 million participants in the USA. This is over THREE times what we currently have. Purely from an economic perspective, adding an additional 10 million female skaters worldwide would boost things tremendously.
The Broadway Bomb is almost upon us and if you’re planning on visiting the City to ride, here are some tips that will definitely make your experience that much better. Use the bike lanesWhile the streets are ours to roam, the cars that dominate them will not stop for you. Thats where the bike lanes come in. Giving you a space free from cars from the street and free from the crowds from the sidewalk, skating the bike lanes keep you as close to the rush of the city’s streets in the safest way possible. Note: Bike lanes will save you from cars, but not from bikers. Don’t think that a Citi Bike rider will show you the same level of caution that a cab driver would.
Keep your eyes downThe streets in New York are crusty in the best of times. Add pot holes, metal plates and other trash and debris and you’ll get thrown if you cannot carve around these obstacles in time. Big, soft wheels can save you from some of the smaller bumps and cracks in the road but if you’re running hard, small wheels, you especially need your eyes down.
Watch out for bystanders and passerby’sAt the same time, you need to spend an equal amount of time keeping your eyes up. To the tourists, you’re a street performer. To the locals, you’re a nuisance. Either way, most people will not get out of your way. Avoid the hassle of the Parks departmentThe parks department makes skating most of the city’s parks unskatable. At most of the city’s most popular parks, they are known to issue to summons to unwelcome riders. It’s best not to take the risk and to find a spot where skateboarding is either ignored or, even better, encouraged. Be aware that the skateparks turn into mob scenes at peak hoursThe skateparks in NYC are some of the most well constructed and well laid out parks in the world. However, from the late morning until there is no more light to see, these parks get insanely crowded.Steer clear of Times Square at all costsEverything that makes Times Square magical for tourists is everything that makes skateboarders dread riding in this area. Scores of people, the most congested traffic in the entire city and a lack of skatable street spots are far from a skater’s ideal NYC skateboarding trip to the city. Definitely best not to waste time here if you have a board with you.Skitch at your own riskThough skating through the city’s streets may feel like a video game, skitching through them like a character in a Tony Hawk game is extremely risky. Jeff Gaites, owner of Uncle Funky’s Boards, once told me a story of how he was left clinging to the side of a delivery truck after being lifted off his board while skitching downtown. Since then, that story sticks in my head as all the reason I’ll ever need to not give it a try.Know your surroundingsGetting lost could be a good thing. You’re never too far from public transportation that can get you back to a familiar area and you never know what spots lie around the corner. To that end, though, some areas are rough and not meant for the exploratory skater. If you go in with a plan and feel out the areas as you go, you’ll do fine. However, remain cautious of where you end up and who’s near. Travel lightly, take caution putting your belongings downWhile it’s also more comfortable to skate without a pack weighing down your back, it is best to travel lightly in a city where there really are no good places to drop your things while you skate. There have been countless stories of stolen bags and cameras gone missing. It would be wise to only carry the absolute essentials on your person to avoid becoming the next one of those stories.Don’t get intimidated by your fellow skaters but respect themIn a city this grand, expect there to be the best of the best. Expect the skaters that are “too cool” for you. Most of all, don’t be too put off by their skills to skip out on practicing your own. If you stay clear of their lines and respect their area as they respect yours, you’ll rarely have any issues with fellow skaters. If you have a board under your feet, you’re just as entitled to skate the greatest city in the world as they are. BONUS: If you have never seen this 2013 video of the Broadway Bomb, you’re in for a treat.
Hello Jim. You have been shooting from the beginning of the second boom of skateboarding starting in the 1970’s.
1- Why do you love to shoot skateboarding ?
I love to photograph skateboarding because I love to skateboard. As a skater myself, nothing is more fun than capturing the energy and vibe that makes skateboarding so special. And as an artist, photographing skating is a natural expression of my passion for skateboarding.
2- How did you get into it ?
I started out as a skater, but after breaking my arm in a skate accident I took up photographing it while I was recovering. Over time, I skated less and shot photos more, which eventually developed into a career.
3- Did you ever stop shooting ?
I had to cut back on my skate photography after going to work as the general manager and team coach at Gullwing, and again during my time as managing editor at TransWorld Skateboarding magazine. After leaving the skateboarding scene in 1986, I continued as a photographer but didn’t start shooting skating again until decades later.
4- What is your best skateboarding memory?
There were so many over the years. Traveling and experiencing the worldwide skate scene while shooting for SkateBoarder magazine was amazing, and creating and managing the Gullwing team was really special for me since we became such a close family. But the most memorable times were with my early skate buddies while discovering and skating all the great skate spots, and trying to stay one step ahead of the cops in pursuit of our passion.
Photo by Olivier Dezeque
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We received an email yesterday from the Pirate Surf Club who are based in Puerto Rico. As many of you know, the island has been rocked by not only a financial crisis, but the Zika virus. Challenging times indeed. Although the organization will not be involved with the world-famous Guajataca Downhill, it will be hosting several events next year. These include:
* 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.
Editor’s Note: We are delighted to bring back Bud Stratford to our editorial lineup. Bud has a very unique take on skateboarding and he we know you’ll enjoy his stories.
Whenever Adam Richards plans a big day out, it’s always a day worth remembering.
Adam’s an incredibly motivated guy. He started out as the chief organizer of The Gray Beard Crew, the Phoenix area’s “old-guy skate club”. About a year (or so) into the Grey Beard program, there was some internal drama and dissent with the various Grey Beard founders. Of course, I had no idea at all that there were other Grey Beard founders; I’d always just assumed that Adam was the sole founder of the Grey Beards (probably because of his highly visible and infectiously energizing profile in the local skate scene)… but apparently I was mistaken on that one. In any rate, Adam left The Gray Beard Drama to start a parallel crew called “Prevent This Tragedy”.
It was around that time that he confided in me that he was organizing a “Skatercon” event for the following spring; the resulting Phoenix Skatercon was nothing short of a smashingly successful funfest for everyone involved. Making the short leap to local punk rock show organizer was probably the next logical step in Adam’s ambitions.
When most people think of a punk-rock show, they probably think of exactly that: a punk-rock show. Where you go and watch bands play music. Adam doesn’t think like most people; when he plans a punk-rock show, it’s an all-day adventure. My day started promptly at 7:00 am with a loud alarm, a shave (my head, not my face), a shower, and a big breakfast, so that I could be at Union Hills Skatepark in Glendale at 8:30 am sharp. That’s where the pre-show skate session was going to be, and I wasn’t going to miss the pre-show skate session for the whole damn world. Why more skaters don’t think to put together a pre-show skate session before the show is way beyond me, because it only makes perfect sense!
Union Hills is one of Phoenix’s many wonderfully free, concrete utopia skateparks. There has to be about ten of these skateparks spread around the valley; living here does kind of spoil me, I have to admit. There’s a “street” course that resembles a broken-up mini-bowl with obstacles; a very expansive mid-height bowl (about 6′ deep) with hips and corners everywhere; and a deeper, “Offset 8” shaped bowl that’s probably a solid 9′ feet deep, with about a foot (or so) of vert. This bowl is where the heavy action was going down under Ryan Swick’s fearless leadership, with an assortment of bullish grinds (stand-up frontsides and Smiths), lipslides, and sweepers. Lanny Kearns was stunning the bystanders with burly backside and frontside inverts.
Chuck Treece (of McRad) came along to ride, and laid down lines all over the midsize bowl. The energy level was pretty high, and positively charged; it seemed like everybody was trying new stuff, and having a blast going for it. It was a photographer’s dream day, really.
Phoenix routinely clocks in high temps of well over 100 degrees, even in early September. Because of that, we had a bit of a siesta scheduled between noon and 7pm, when the doors were scheduled to open at the Yucca.
Helene (my date for the evening) and I got to the Yucca promptly at 7:00. Strangely, everybody else in charge got there promptly at 7:00, too. How refreshingly odd for skaters to actually show up, on time, and as scheduled.
Because we were so prompt, Helene and I scored the best seat in the house; an extremely plush and comfortable corner booth, where we could max and relax in style. The Yucca is a fairly old-school, historic venue (having been established in 1974, which was the beginning of time by Phoenix standards).
The Earlygrabs (the local favorites) and Since We Were Kids (a solid skate band hailing from Southern California) both put together slashing, punk-infused sets of overwhelming amplitude. Since We Were Kids were also peddling some mighty fine Grosso-shaped pool cues that you might wanna check out (they probably have an online merch store somewhere, like most bands do these days).
DFL was probably the most aggro of the bunch; their lead singer decided to screw the stage altogether, and sing straight from the pit…! How incredibly ballsy! Helene and I got a great gut laugh out of that one; you definitely don’t see that kind of gumption every day. The crowd, of course, ate it all up. It was quite a party in the pit, and everyone seemed to have a blast.
McRad was the headliner of the show. If you haven’t heard of McRad… well, you should have heard of McRad. They were Skate Rock staples on all those Thrasher comps we remember as kids; Chuck Treece also contributed a lot of tracks to the early Bones Brigade videos, most famously to Ray Barbee’s part in Ban This (ahh, it’s all coming back to you now!). Chuck’s still an extremely talented and energetic performer; watching him shred on stage, you’d be hard-pressed to imagine Chuck as a guy pushing his 50’s. He still looks (and plays) like somebody half his age. And all the guys in all the bands were just the nicest, coolest, most down-to-earth bunch of folks you could ever dream to meet. Hats off to them all.
We got an email about this incredible merging of skate and snow and frankly, we couldn’t resist.
Mountain Dew has come out with the ultimate cutting-edge super park – SuperSnake – the most insane hybrid skateboard (and snowboard) dream course with over 1,000 ft of skatelite and 14 skate features on-snow
Watch the official Mountain Dew SuperSnake trailer below:
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.
If you would like a free info pack on how to get a pumptrack built in your city, email email@example.com Have a peek at the new park below.
Your work is almost, actually not almost, but everywhere. You started painting those characters on the covers of magazines, ads along with collaborations with bunch of brands. You are French and you got a huge amount of exposure in skateboarding in only few years. We don’t know how you did that, but we have 4 questions for you:
1- Why combine skateboarding and painting?
Skateboarding is the best thing ever ! I can’t see my life without it. To be honest with you, skateboarding gave me this need to paint. I remember when I was a kid, I wasn’t interested by the brand but more about the graphic.
2- How do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from everywhere, from where I eat to how I make love. If you open your eyes and you take the time to see what is around you, you will feel me.
3- What is your goal ?
My goal is to bring something special to the world. I don’t want to come out with something that you see everyday. It’s weird to say but come on, what’s the point to be transparent with no goals in life? I’m currently traveling the world, I need it so much, I can’t stay to one place more than 2 months.
4- What do you dream about?
I would love to paint a plane or a building, I have big dreams and want to achieve them.
Follow Lucas Beaufort on:
Facebook : Beaufort.lucas
Instagram : @lucas_beaufort
website : www.lucasbeaufort.com
Portrait by Francois Marclay
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
Hello Bill, I remember to meet you years ago, you were for me just an “old” guy riding a skateboard. But seeing you riding and enjoying it, I learned, you were not an “old” skateboarder, you are a truly inspiring skateboarder and an “old” bro. Skateboarding is like something you share with love with every skateboarders.
It has been now 10 years since we talked about the OldBro on Concrete Wave, so let me ask you 4 questions:
1- Why do you love skateboarding ?
I love skateboarding for so many reasons. Mostly because of the friends and relationships I’ve made along the way. There have been so many experiences and amazing good times that skateboarding has given to me that I feel I could never repay the debt! I have tried by giving back in every way I can. I started a skate program in Egypt that has got hundreds of kids on skateboards for the first time that would have never had the chance before. We built the first and only skate park in Egypt and I am very proud of that and the guys who helped make that happen. I’ve never skated in a single skateboard contest because I never felt the need to prove anything to anybody when it comes to skateboarding. I’ve always only ever done it for one reason, because I love it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it. I honestly feel like I could never give back enough to make up for what skateboarding has given me.
2- How did you start skateboarding ?
I started skateboarding for real in 1972 when I was 13 years old. I had ridden around on one either on my knee or my butt for as long as I can remember but when I was 13, I started surfing. I lived about a half hour inland in Arcadia CA. but my mom would take us to the beach every weekend and then every day in the summer, my mom loved the beach. I started surfing and knee boarding and just couldn’t get it out of my head, so when I was stuck in Arcadia I just always wanted to get that feeling of surfing! So we would “sidewalk surf” it was driveways and hills, then ditches and reservoirs then empty pools and finely in 1976, it was skate parks! I skated everything and kept surfing too. I got a job at Skatopia in 197, in Buena Park and moved to Newport Beach, then in 1978 I moved down to San Diego’s North county and helped build and worked at the Del Mar Skate Ranch until 1980. I’ve been fortunate to have made friends early on with the Dog Town guys, the San Gabriel Valley crew, the IE crew and the Down South crews. And we are still friends today, forty years later.
3- What does Old Bro mean ?
Old Bro comes from the Old Bro bowl that was built by a group of Old Guys in 2006. I went to a Skatopia 30th reunion and was talking to a bunch of guys, some I had known for thirty plus years and some I had just met, and we said how we should build a skate spot that we could all enjoy. I had a big backyard just blocks from the beach and the Old Bro was borne. That day people who I had just met, wrote me checks or committed to funds or materials and we started building. My wife Pat was always on board with the whole idea. We built a really fun bowled in mini ramp that was featured in CW that year but we were soon forced to sell the house, so we had to cut the ramp up and move it to our new house. Once again my wife was adamant that any home we bought, had to have room for the Old Bro. So we moved the ramp and soon people from all over the country and the world came to skate “the Old Bro” soon those became “Old Bro sessions” and the “Old Bro Crew” started growing and people started referring to sessions all over S.D.’s North county as “Old Bro Sessions” no matter where they went down.
I soon realized that Old Bro was more of a feeling, a vibe or a way that you referred to your long time friends and acquaintances and stopped being about the ramp. It is now a brand and sort of a movement. a way that we all just connect with one another. I talk to guys all over the country and the world and we instantly connect because, we are Old Bro’s.
4- Do we have to be old to be old bro ?
Ha! no. you don’t have to be old. I often say that everybody has an Old Bro, or is one, or knows one. If you are a 14 year old kid but you have a buddy that you’ve known since you were 6, well he’s your Old Bro! or you are a 30 something dude and you’ve got a friend form collage or you have this friend that was a friend of your old man’s, or that 14 year old looks up to you, you either are, have, or know an Old Bro, and you are an Old Bro to someone. And this goes for any type of activity, not just skating because it can be so many things that bring us together and make us appreciate our Old Bro’s.
Thank you my friend Tibs for asking me these questions, you are truly an Old Bro.
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Facebook: the Old Bro Group page
On Saturday 16th July Mile End skate park in UK’s capital, London, has experienced the 4th annual edition of the Unicorn Girls Skate Jam. What began as a small project initiated by a couple of Polish friends ended up evolving into UK’s most renowned female orientated skateboard event. This year was no different. Apart from mad skills presented by all riders, the guests were treated with homemade BBQ, great music and commentary as well as Unicorn Art Station, where female skate artists presented their zines and crafts such as the guest book built from recycled skateboards. The day was wrapped up by the after party joined with the launch of week – Long exhibition organised by The Unicorn Jam and curated by Girl Skate UK – Fellowship; an insight into skateboard communities and collectives presented by female skate photographers from Spain, France, Sweden, Netherlands and the UK. What a day! facebook.com/unigirlzuk@unicornjamlondon