a brief glance issue_57

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Year IX a brief glance skateboard mag / Fragments [ p. 16 ] / Underdog (Toddy) [ p. 30] Escaping Centrale (Levi’s in Milano) [ p. 40 ] / John Francomacaro [ p.62] A Phone Call From A Friend [ p.70]

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Yes, a brief glance skatebaoardmag will be (also) on paper and you will find it every two months at finest skateshops around Europe.

7 5 < Issue 57

" You can be taught what skateboarding is by your friends, by sessions where you don't land anything , by magazines, and by the streets and the people living them daily with you. You can be taught tricks, but not the essence of skateboarding.“ Toddy.

Mattia Todero, Ollie // Photo Davide Biondani.


Fragments {a brief glance Photo Gallery}

[p. 16]

Underdog {Toddy} [p. 30]

Escaping Centrale {Levi's In Milano}


Franco {John Francomacaro Rock'n'Roll} [p. 62]

A Phone Call From A Friend {Monty At The Ditch} [p.70] COVER

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Mattia Todero / Slappy grind up Photo: Davide Biondani [Canon] Brescia [Italy]


EDITOR & CONCEPT_ Davide Biondani. {davide@abriefglance.com} ASSOCIATE EDITOR_ Guido Bendotti. {guido@abriefglance.com} ASSISTANT EDITOR_ Andrew Zolin. TRANSLATIONS_ Jonathan Levin. PHOTOGRAPHERS_ Craig Dodds, Sebastiano Bartoloni, Leo Sharp, Jonathan Mehring, Jared Sherbert, Jonathan Levin Davide Biondani. CONTRIBUTORS_ Francesco Paolo, Chielli, Mario Torre, Mark Baines, Fabio Montagner. DESIGN_ M. Bod Ciceri {Question Mark, ink!#?} GET ALL THE INFO at: info@abriefglance.com

a brief glance skateboard mag is a bulletin published by Fake Donkey Skateboard asd. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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Thanks to Canon Italia for the support.



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Simon Perrottet

Switch heel flip

Geneva [ Switzerland ]


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Sebastiano Bartoloni


Harry Lintell

Noseblunt transfer

Manchester [ UK ]


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Leo Sharp



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Mike Manzoori


L.A. [ USA ]


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Leo Sharp



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Jacopo Carozzi

50-50 transfer

Recanati [ Italy ]


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Davide Biondani



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Peppe Romeo

Frontside crooks

London [ UK ]


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Jonathan Levin



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Tyler Surrey

Switch frontside kickflip

Milano [ Italy ]


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Davide Biondani


Words Guido Bendotti | photography Davide Biondani

Mattia is a man who knows no half measures and who possesses a no-compromise attitude. He's either white or black, pure or nothing. I've known him for over 15 years, also because we're from the same city, but I never truly got to know him until very recently, as he doesn't grant you his deep friendship unless he's completely in tune with you. White or black, all or nothing. He builds perfect skate parks, but prefers to skate the roughest spots around. You don't see him for months on end and then you happen to skate with him for six days in a row. We have trouble finding the time to hang out in the evening for a beer, but then I meet him in Naples (800km from our city) to skate together for two hours and chill in the evening (he took four trains in one day to get there).

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He's a person whose skateboarding era and inspiration for each session is the series of Eastern Exposure videos by Dan Wolfe, but whose idol is Chad Muska. He's an excellent skater who is appreciated and respected, who has never had a sponsor, but who has a small board company with which he supports some skaters. He's capable of getting bloody hands trying a trick for hours, driving himself mad from anger and frustration, and then the next day is the students' favorite teacher at the primary school where he works. He's a real wanderer, capable of sleeping anywhere just to skate, but who buys an isolated house surrounded by nature and takes


care of his garden obsessively... to then go live with his girlfriend 20 km away in the city. He's a man of funk who collects vinyl records and DJs at parties, but who has never been to a nightclub in all his life.The same person who after having gone crazy in order to land a trick, also laughs whole-heartedly at himself in seeing how insane he can go. He's a skater who is known for his really long, high-speed ollies, and who out of the blue, with nobody looking at him, grinds a 20-plus stair hubba just because he feels like it. Fortunately though, someone was able to take a quick photo with a phone. Mattia is one of the skaters with whom I have the most fun skating, and I would like more people like him, because he's one of the only ones who knows how to fire up a session, ready to sacrifice himself in order to create something long-lasting in skateboarding without expecting anything in return but the pure joy of skateboarding.

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And if he cannot find all of this close by, he'll just shrug his shoulders and travel somewhere to find someone who has his same determination. He's an underdog in the true sense of the term: pure, motivated, happy, pissed off, present, and standoffish. He's all or nothing, with a clear idea of what skateboarding means to him, and who, when necessary, has no qualms about expressing his strong opinions, and besides, he's also one of the best spot hunters around. Love you little furry mad man.


Frontside lipslide //

Generation change. Since you started skating, how many people have you seen come and go, and how did you adapt to friends who stop skating? (Toddy suffers particularly from this). That's a dilemma, because I place lots of passion in friends. At first you suffer, but as time passes you realize that people stop skating for the most diverse reasons. Those who keep skating are either the ones who really believe in it... or are so stupid they're unable to quit. But the coolest thing is, those who do keep skating despite not being pro and who have to pay for everything, both materially and with blood. They are the ones who remain.

Why do you say "no" to skate instructors? I'm against skate instructors who don't skate. If they don't skate or don't skate for the "right" reasons, they can't pass down anything. If you're not a true skater what are you going to pass down to your student? Only tricks? More than an exam on their tricks, they should give instructors an exam on attitude. You can't learn or fake attitude. You need to live skateboarding, it can't be taught. You can be taught how to do tricks, but not what it really means to be a skater. You can be taught what skateboarding is by your friends, by sessions where you don't land anything, by magazines, and by the streets and the people living them daily with you. You can be taught tricks, but not the essence of skateboarding.

Jake Phelps used to say that if you're not skating with your friends you're wasting your time. What's your take on attitude nowadays? The only thing that can teach you the right attitude is slamming on concrete, the people you skate with and the years spent "wasting time." The way you approach a new spot or how you behave at someone else's spot has changed. I remember the first time I arrived at CAB, Brescia's historic spot, the first thing I saw was a bicycle flying from the second floor of a building. I immediately realized where I had ended up... and it felt like the right place to be. That was my first impact with a famous spot. It could have intimidated me... but I immediately loved it from that first moment. a brief glance

Why do you say "no" to the Olympics? Because I don't want to see skateboarding on TV, and because I don't want to see people skating with numbers on their t-shirts... I don't know how it will end and to be honest, I don't care whether skateboarding is in the Olympics or not. For me and for many others skateboarding will not change. If you skate for real, you know how it goes, if you skate to win the world cup you've chosen to do the wrong activity.

In the end, what makes skateboarding what it is are the skaters who believe in it, the ones who after having worked 8 hours go out skating and who carry on this burning passion without any compromise whatsoever. For me it's important to surround myself with as many people as possible who have this fire burning inside of them, this virus. They remind you every minute of why you started skating in the first place.


And you're still here. It might also be thanks to the bicycle flying from the second floor, don't you think? Or maybe I'm still here because I keep looking for people who throw their bikes from the second floor of a skate spot, to come full circle. Ha ha ha! Now everybody's doing flip tricks with airpods in their ears, they don't say hello... and they don't throw bicycles either. Making sacrifices in skateboarding... For skateboarding I've sacrificed a promising football career, ha ha ha! I've had lots of misunderstandings with women... but you know? Reflecting on it, I think I've had more benefits. I've gained the best thing there is: nothing! Ha ha ha. Never for money, only for love. Why have you never had a sponsor? To be honest, Federico Tognoli has always supported me over the years together with other friends such as Andrea Pialorsi, Mario Torre, and Giovanni Grazzani. The truth of the matter is that I'm not capable of being part of the right situations. If I had to go to a spot for a photo session, I'd count how many skaters were going to be present... I'd calculate the time it would have taken me to get some material. And I'd realize that I wouldn't have skated that much that day.

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I would have sacrificed hours of skateboarding in order to produce footage or photos, which yes, might have satisfied me, but I would have sacrificed something to the detriment of real fun. So I would look for a spot nearby and skate it, not giving a damn about what it would have been better to do. Why do you build skate parks for free for the community? We started building because we had been granted a space and because there was nothing in our area.


I'd love to say that we did it for the community, but in reality we did it for ourselves. The credit of the Creedence Skatepark goes to Kendall, Seba, the kids at the park, and to all those who have believed in the project. You build something because you are missing

something. Using the word "DIY" has become trendy lately... but here we're not talking about a trend, it's about giving life to your ideas. Why search for spots in the remotest corners of every city, when other skaters tell you, "there's nothing to skate here"? I keep lurking everywhere in search of new spots, I always take different routes, I search near "famous spots"... and find so many things, usually very ugly ones too. But the sound of an ugly spot with a shitty ground is just priceless. Let's say that I was influenced a lot by my Roman skateboarding period with Jonathan Levin and Papik Rossi (two real Italian legends who still push skateboarding). They are specialized in finding the most unthinkable spots in a huge and rough city like Rome. The feeling of landing a trick on cobblestones, or on an unskateable ground... especially if all around you there is a magnificent city, is something not to be taken for granted. The rougher the spot is, the more fun it is to land a trick on it. And hey, if you don't land it, you can always blame the spot! Ha ha ha ha!!!

The only thing that can teach you the right attitude is falling on concrete, the people you skate with and the years spent "wasting time."

Ollie to banana slide //

I put myself among the million crappy brands out there in the world, that actually "steal" a little bit of business from the more serious companies doing things the right way. Create a company with two friends of yours and you've ruined any chances of making a profit, but it's so fun that it doesn't bother you.

Why don't you play football any longer? I've played in the most important Italian football clubs, with people who have since become professionals. I've played in important tournaments, but then I discovered skateboarding and from then on that's all I did. Then there was you who would break my balls every Sunday to go skating when I had to play against high end teams... ha ha ha.

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Oh, and they paid me too! So I went from being paid to play football to having to pay to play with a skateboard, ha ha. I remember this one game: it was the final of a semi-professional championship... on the day before I did "the last trick" and did a split worthy of Carla Fracci (a very famous Italian ballet star). The next day they kicked me off the team because I had gotten hurt skating just before a crucial game. I said "goodbye" and never looked back.


Why create a board company in this market? Don't create board brands, there are too many of them! If you make boards you know you're not doing it for the money, but to give some boards to some promising kids who maybe skate for the right reasons. If you want to make money, make t-shirts, but you can't skate on a t-shirt...

How and why be a school teacher? I'm a teacher at a primary school and have been for fifteen years. I got my high school diploma with a specialization in teaching, and got a university degree in education. My first day as a substitute I walked into the classroom with a baseball cap on, with no idea what I was going to do. As time passed, I realized that 7 or 8 hours fly by in a second, and I understood that it was the right place for me. It's a job I would never change for anything in the world. I love my job. Having to deal with children every day is a continuous discovery and learning experience. How stubborn and angry can you get? Oh well, I can explode in a second! Ha ha! The correct question should be: when is it that my head doesn't explode? Ha ha ha. No, c'mon, it rarely happens. When I insist on a trick, especially if I'm being filmed, I can completely lose my mind because I feel bad wasting people's time. But in the end it's a way to motivate myself. I insult and humiliate myself, I curse, but they're all mental excuses that are part of the process to land the trick I have in mind. Yeah, ok, at times I'm a bit crazy too, ha ha. If I don't bring home the trick, I end up thinking about it all night long and the next day I go back even more stubborn than the day before. I can't do anything about it. I'm a man of the South and if you're a man of the South you're stubborn to death. It's in our DNA... I don't see, I don't hear, and I don't speak.

Ollie //

Why Chad Muska and Eastern Exposure? Because when I saw him skating with the backpack and the ghetto blaster my adolescent brain literally exploded, ha ha; blond hair, the Muska flip, and shitty music...

Ha ha ha... well, we're less intelligent. How would you like to end it? Skateboarding is the perfect metaphor for life. Shout out to my beautiful Robi and to the friends I share my days with. Keep skating.

I was small and impressionable. But in the end if I look at today's skateboarding and think of Chad Muska, I believe that despite his crazy outfits, The Muska was more coherent and less of a clown than many of the people around nowadays. But Eastern Exposure... all I have to do is press play on Ricky Oyola's part to fall in love with that video and that type of raw, pure skateboarding every time. You've practically never skated hubbas or rails... so why did you jump onto that twenty-stair hubba that day in Sicily without anybody watching or filming you? I have skated some hubbas, but on that day in particular my brain just blacked out, I could feel the trick, that I had to do it. I still don't know why I did it, but it was as if I couldn't do anything about it. I just had to do that grind. Why "yes" to skateboarding? Because I haven't found anything more fun to do in my life. I still ask myself what I'll be doing that is this fun when I'm "old." Skateboarding completes you. Every time I throw down my board and start pushing, and hear that sound, I think it's the most satisfying thing I've ever done. The sound of skateboarding is what hypes me the most, tricks are a only a consequence of pushing... The sound of the first pushes of a session is the most exciting thing ever... do you want me to remind you of like... Gino's pushing?

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It's the best sound in the world! The best ugly sound in the world. When others are with their girlfriends they turn around secretly to look at other women's asses... we turn around suddenly the moment we hear the sound of a board rolling on the asphalt.


Skateboarding is the perfect metaphor for life.


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180 switch 5-0 //

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Photography & interviews Davide Biondani



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Lilian Fev // Backside 360


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Frontside smith grind



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Backside nosegrind // How was seeing the guys of the team skating your spots in Milan? In general it was cool, particularly seeing them skate spots that people don't usually really take into consideration. Being very imaginative skaters, the possibilities multiplied. In the end you had four actual days of skateboarding... Yes, it wasn't that much time, but the days were definitely productive. It was all well-organized, and by knowing the skaters and the types of spots they might like, we made the best of our time, moving around the city on our boards and by public transport. ClĂŠment always organizes things really well. Having a group of ten people to bring around and making everything work is not at all easy, and can even be tiring at times. A good organization can make the difference. By the way, the local guide of a skate tour is usually the one who has the least fun... I had a good time, I was a bit under pressure, but basically it was you and I who decided where to go, so it was a bit easier. It's kind of stressful but you do it with pleasure because you want to bring home good material and have a good time all together. Would you like to be a team manager? I noticed that you're good at coordinating and making things work out. Yes, I would like to, and have actually been asked other times by other sponsors, maybe because I have more experience than my younger team mates regarding how a skate tour works... I've always liked making things work in order to achieve a good result by the end of the tour. I'd be really hyped to be a team manager. In fact the mission ended up being more productive than we had expected... Yes, it went really well and we produced lots of material, beyond any rosy expectations. This is the first time that Levi's has organized anything in Italy. I was a bit stressed because I really wanted everybody to be happy.

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Which tricks did you enjoy the most? Val's ollie out of the kicker over the street gap and Fev's backside 360 into the bank.



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Polejam nosegrind backside out //


This was your first time in Milano, right? What did you expect before this trip? I was a bit afraid we would spend the whole trip in Centrale, but in the end we found really nice spots around the city, it’s been a very productive mission and the food was amazing, so I really enjoyed the days Why did you move to Paris? The skate scene in Paris is very exciting, there are so spent there. many spots and a lot of things happening, plus all of my friends from Cinquième Terrace had already moved to Was this your first trip with Levi’s? This was the second one. I went on another trip to BerParis before me so I wanted to join them. lin last year. You just skate there? The first year I worked as a pastry chef, but now I’m I’ve seen you riding a PACCBET board. How just skating. I attended a three-year school in Annecy did you start skating for them? Yes, it's something new, I've been skating for PACto be a pastry and baker chef. CBET since last month. Before that I used to skate for ABS skate shop that is still supporting me. Basically beHow is Annecy as a city to live in? It's a really nice place to live, very peaceful and beauti- cause Val Bauer knows Tolia and Gosha. I met Gosha ful, there are many things to do and the skate scene is last year in L.A. The feeling was good and it happened. very strong. Do you have any other sponsors apart from Levi’s? So you know Sebastiano Bartoloni? Yes, he runs ABS Skateshop and he’s the best guy ever. I skate for Vans. Hi Lilian, can you introduce yourself briefly? My name is Lilian Fev, I’m 21 years old, and I’m from Annecy, France, but I’ve been living in Paris for two years.

What are your plans for the next few months? I’ll try to escape the cold winter trying to travel as much as I can with Cinquème Terrace, Levi’s and Octagon. I’m filming a part with Romain Batard that should be out soon. a brief glance

So Cinquième Terrace is basically your crew? Yes, they're all guys from Annecy plus two other guys from other places in France, we all live in Paris right now, we skate together and make edits, we’re a group of friends.


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Boardslide up //



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Hi Marius, how was this past week in Milano? It was great! Love me some pizza, pasta, and skateboarding with a good crew. This was not your first time in Milano, what did you expect before leaving? This was my third time in Milano. The first time was with Habitat Skateboards in 2009 for an indoor demo, I forget the name of the skate park but I remember the news station was there. The second time was with New Balance Numeric a few summers ago on a Euro tour we were doing, and now this 4-day trip with Levi's skateboarding. Central Station is still alive and well! You haven’t skated much in the last two months because you got hurt, right? But in the end you got something on this quick mission. How was skating the bank in the business district with security guards running after you on the last try? Ha ha ha! Yeah, I’ve had a foot injury since the beginning of July that is slowly but surely healing. That security guard was so bummed but I had to get this ollie in cause it looked so fun but it was definitely a strange angle, that’s why it wasn’t too comfortable and took a good amount of tries. It was one of those "this has to be it" attempts, I'm stoked!

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You’re part American and part Finnish. How are these two different cultures mixed within you? I was born and raised in Helsinki, Finland until I was 4 and then moved to San Diego, California with my family due to my father's work at the time. San Diego has skate-weather all year round and Finland's skate weather usually only lasts for the summer, or about 4 months or so. So it’s quite different. The ground is a lot more rugged in Finland compared to anywhere in San Diego. But I still like to consider myself a Finn, even though I’ve lived in California almost my whole life. Kippis!


Thank you Davide and A Brief Glance, much love!

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50-50 grind //



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[ VAL BAUER ] Hi Val, how was this trip to Milano? Short! Ha ha! At first it didn’t seem like there were a lot of spots, but in the end we skated really good stuff and I’m very happy about how the trip went. The crew was cool, the vibe was positive, and every time you are in Italy the food is a big part of the trip. When you sleep and eat well, things are way easier, it's part of the recipe. You live in Paris, but you’re not originally from there, right? I’m from Lille, which is a cool place to grow up in, it’s a student city, but if you skate when you are in your 20s you want to see more, and want to live in a bigger city where things move faster. Paris has the biggest skate scene in France and I couldn’t see myself living anywhere but Paris at the moment, also because I have my girlfriend there of course, and also a really, really solid crew of friends. We skate together every day, two close friends of the crew are filming skating and others are photographers; that makes things way easier to get some stuff done. When I’m at home, when I’m not on trips, I want to be out to get something almost every day, otherwise I’m not happy.

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My happiness really depends on this, or at least 50% of it. I need to get some stuff done, to be happy with my skating, to be happy with my mind. That’s what I’m living for, otherwise I should be doing something else.


I see you very motivated, something that is not always obvious among skateboarders. I consider myself lucky to be in this position, and I try to do my best first for myself and also for the people that support me. You cannot be motivated all the time, you know there are ups and downs, it’s a circle, but I try to make the most of it, also because you have to remember that it won’t last forever. And if you keep getting stuff done there are more chances that it's gonna last a bit longer. I want it to last as long as possible. How old are you now? I’m 27. Paris has an amazingly solid scene at the moment. Barcelona had a crazy good shine years ago that lasted a really long time, I felt like Berlin had a really good shine after that, and people started going there a lot during the summer; Paris just had that shine for like three or four years also because of this Plaza (Republique). They took down one of the main roundabouts in the city and made a crazy big square which is a really good skate spot, it’s in the heart of the city so it’s a really good meeting point, there are a lot of people skating there. With Instagram everything goes so quickly, everybody wants to go because of these clips of Paris. It’s cool but at the same time the city is kind of blown up, the spots, so it makes it a little bit harder for us to find new spots, but we have more time to live there and explore.

It’s the best thing ever for a skater to live in a magical city like Paris and have a solid crew like yours… Yes, it’s a good crew, there is also a kind of healthy competition going, because everybody wants to do more, there is a good energy coming out of this, everybody does cool stuff and you want to do more. That’s pretty cool, everybody pushes each other in a way. You skate for PACCBET. Yes, the right pronunciation is “rassvet” which means “sunrise.” I started skating for them maybe 2 years and a half ago. I met Tolia in Berlin at the skate awards and we stayed in touch, we had common interests, clothes, music, skating, visions, we became friends and it went like this. It's a young company that’s still growing, they also do clothing and we can submit ideas, also for the board graphics. That’s kind of cool. It’s cool to be part of a small company that’s also supported by a big company such as Comme des Garçons, that gives you the means to do cool things you want to do. I feel in the right place.

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I’ve seen that you are into music a lot, you had old Italian music playing in your speaker at the spot the other day, was it for the trip? No no, I have these songs in my playlist, I got a lot of Italian music from Jacopo, I like different kinds of music, I like playing and listening, also on skate trips at a spot while trying a trick or chilling, I love to have some music playing to keep the mood positive.



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Ollie off the bump to the sidewalk //

FRANCO [ John Francomacaro ] I remember that in the spring of 2017, a few hours before my flight back from New York, I went to see the famous Brooklyn Banks. It was a Sunday afternoon and skaters had recently started skating them again after a long hiatus. There were lots of people there that day: Alex Olson, Sage, Ben Kadow, Hjalte, Osky, Eli Reed... and everybody was skating really fast. My attention was captured by a guy I did not know and had never seen before, who was trying a frontside 180 over the rail of the stairs. After some attempts he snapped his board, but someone lent him one and he managed to land it. Then he went back up the stairs... so I asked myself what trick he was going to try since a frontside ollie was already a heavy trick, and in no time he was trying a frontside heelflip over the rail. In the end he didn't land it that time. What had most impressed me about him weren't the tricks, but his rock 'n' roll attitude. Months later I saw him in various New York clips and 917 videos. That guy was John Francomacaro and we decided we wanted him in the mag.

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“John Franco is a guitar solo on wheels. His 1980s high school jock/coolguy demeanor mixed with his confusingly obscure trick/ spot selection makes him one of my favorite skateboarders. Funky as hell. Franco is the man.�


Ben Kadow.


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Switch drop in // Photo Mehring


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Roll off // Photo Sherbert

“Every spot he skates you’d never think of skating, and even if you did, you definitely wouldn’t skate it the way he sees it. Franco is the definition of Rock n’ Roll”.

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Jared Sherbert



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Photography & words Davide Biondani

Receiving a phone call from a friend informing you he has a spot to skate is always good news. If the spot is exceptional and he’s down to shoot some photos too, then you have no other option but to grab your board and photo bag, jump in the car and get to the place. The spot in question was a perfect, empty ditch, skateable only for a few days once a year, and

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not even every year. It ended up being a good day, thanks for the call, my friend.


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[ Fabio Montagner at the ditch ]


Monty | Bigger flip |


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Monty | Frontside wallride |



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Issue 57

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