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Issue 104 Free December 2009

Tens is the Magic Number

BLVD in SF Skipping Drama Issue 104 . December 2009

Brandon Del Bianco I









Windsor Hut S t e a d y P u s h i n g

Identity Jerry Jerry Hsu Hsu //// Five Five Spot Spot Keegan Keegan Sauder Sauder //// Sound Sound Check Check Sorcerers Sorcerers //// Shoe Shoe Vaults Vaults Koston Koston 1 1 Identity

Mike Anderson. 180 Switch Crooked Grind in the Edward. Photo: Bradford.




December 2009 // Issue 104

contents: Not only is Josh Kline an expert at skating within the virtual realm of the EA’s Skate 2, he’s also an expert at executing power moves in dirty corners of the real world. Case in point: this varial heelflip blaster over a trio of toxic waste barrels. If you need more proof, video evidence of Josh’s skating can be found in the recently released City Of New Lights [see the CONL review on p.92]. photo

Rich Odam


Scott Decenzo, frontside lipslide

[read “just another day” on P.10] photo


Mike Stanfield

Concrete skateboarding

16 18 22 84 92 94 96 98

Identity // Jerry Hsu Inventory Shutdown // TJ Rogers Young bloods Video Reviews Shoe Vaults // Koston 1 Sound Check // Sorcerers Five Spot // Keegan Sauder

28 36 44 56 68




PUBLISHER Kevin Harris

The Off-Season Way words

somewhere in the prairies

photo brian caissie

EDITOR / ART DIRECTOR Kelly Litzenberger

Nick Shinner

It’s the off-season in Canada, and you’re well-aware of the drill. It’s dark in the morning, and it’s dark by the time you’re done school or work for the day. It’s pouring cold rain if you’re on the west coast. It’s snowing if you’re anywhere else. You might even be resorting to stuffing your mitts and vulcs full of Hot Shots before desperately shoveling a clear patch of ‘crete for some frozen-bushing flatground glory. But Concrete #104 is no winter pity party, it’s a showcase of dudes gettin’ it done on the days we all miss and in places we’d like to visit. During a dry Vancouver visit, TJ Rogers banged off a triple play at a rough ‘n’ rugged spot for the hard-to-achieve Shutdown spread [p.22]. Dave Ehrenreich and Concrete contributor Ben Stoddard from Don’t Sleep Productions hid amongst machines during a solid month of fierce west coast rains in order to assemble TENS – their latest skate vid venture for all to enjoy freely [p.28]. BLVD – an independently run East Van skateshop – chose to stave off the winter witch by taking a team jaunt down to San Fran that was indirectly funded by disposable furniture giant, IKEA [p.36]. The lower east side of downtown TO is where you’ll find the warm creature-comforts of the Windsor Hut, a skate-dwelling first exposed by Hilliard Sulpher in his Concrete #102 interview. This time around, Hut Life is brought front-and-centre by its residents and an extensive supporting cast of lurkers [p.44]. Does your dad own a public indoor park so you can skate through the unforgiving Ontario off-season? Well Piero Del Bianco provides that perk, and his son Brandon brought some TF moves to the streets for a well-deserved feature interview spot [p.56]. In the Shoe Vaults, Dan Watson reminisces about the Koston 1 and its most recent rendition [p.94], while sometimes-Vancouverite and new Zero Pro Keegan Sauder fires up a bedroom motorcycle in his Five Spot [p.98]. Despite the fact that rain, sleet, snow and substandard temperatures will put the brakes on an easy-access outside sesh, the off-season only makes Canadian skaters more ravenous and resourceful. Enjoy these pages, and roll steady by any means necessary. We’ll catch up on the 2010 side with further fair weather content for you to flip through.

Just Another Day cover photo and caption

Mike Stanfield

Back when I used to live in Vancouver, SCOTT “SCOOTER” DECENZO and his older brother Ryan were just two little groms who shredded Delta, BC everyday. Scott was the quieter of the brothers, and let his skating do the talking. Fast-forward three years, and this particular day was no different. Scoot slashed through almost two layers of his board during this California LIPSLIDE down a gnarly curved and knobbed rail, while Plan B filmer Hoops yammered on about God knows what. And the fact that we had to sneak into this private gated condo community full of BMW-driving rich people only added to the anxiety. But for Scott, this was just another day where his skating did the talking. 10

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staff photographer / PHOTO EDITOR Brian Caissie associate EDITOR Frank Daniello Web / Prepress Dave Keras guest designer Randy Laybourne Marketing Director Richard Neuman Marketing Associate Kristin Lamont Administrator Dave Buhr Contributing Photographers Mike Stanfield, Rich odam Jonathan Mehring, Keith Henry Andrew Koronovich, Dylan Doubt, Dave Christian, Owen Woytowich Dan Zaslavsky, Shane Hutton Jeff Delong, Andrew Norton Geoff Clifford, Joel Dufresne Sam Fidlin, Kale JF, Benji Wagner contributing Writers frank daniello, Nick Shinner ben stoddard, Dave Ehrenreich Kevin Kelly, Nelson Conway Owen Woytowich, Ryan Blaxall Keith Henry, Wade Fyfe Craig Williams, dan watson jenny charlesworth Distribution Ultimate Skateboard Dist. east 705.749.2998 // west 604.279.8408

Subscriptions 1 Year subscription ($19.95) 7 issues including The Photo Annual subscribe online send cheque or money order to: Concrete Skateboarding Subscriptions 150 - 11780 River Rd. Richmond BC V6X 1Z7 NEXT ISSUE:

issue 105 February 19th, 2010

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jonathan mehring



Concrete skateboarding

Consider Jerry Hsu’s epic Enjoi Bag of Suck part in ’06; his “Guess Hsu?” induction onto the elite Emerica roster in ’08; his character in the EA Skate video game franchise, and his passion for random photography (which we featured in the 2008 Concrete Photo Annual). It’s safe to say that over the years Jerry has indirectly been in every Canadian skater’s home. Well, here he is again.






2 6 # !  # / - s 4 ) - % " / - " 4 2 ! $ ) . '  # / 34)#+%23



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Brian Caissie


Frank daniello

Nollie 360

Nollie big spin

Switch heelflip


Concrete skateboarding

One spot. One session. Three serious moves with sequential evidence as proof. The standards are high, which is why this stands as only the second and final Shutdown installment of Concrete’s 2009 publishing season. Back in our February issue [#98] we ran a trio of quality moves that Paul Trep pulled together at East Vancouver’s Post Office rail. This time around, an inspired TJ ROGERS was hell bent on solving the Shutdown challenge. During a late-summer left coast visit, TJ chose this rough and tiring bank-to-bike rack at a Burnaby, BC school to bang off his triple threat.

“You have to run as fast as you can to pop over the bike rack, so you’re usually happy getting one trick at this spot, let alone three. Prior to this I don’t think many nollie or switch tricks have gone down here,” explains Brian Caissie, who memory carded these sequences during an afternoon session. “TJ has some funny routines while skating. Every try, in order, he would touch a wheel, whisper something to himself, give pounds to the filmer, kiss his necklace, say ‘You guys ready?’, and then go for it.”











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keith henry ben stoddard [left] and dave ehrenreich [right]



Frank daniello

Ben Stoddard and Dave Ehrenreich from Vancouver’s Don’t Sleep Productions [] were ready for a new challenge after already tackling the more traditional approach to skate videos with 2006’s Bigger And Better Things and 2008’s Sophomore Jinx. In May 2009 they loosely tossed around an idea that grew into TENS – a free form (and free) video concept that showcases ten tricks from an abundant selection of Canadian skaters. “It was supposed to be a bro video from the start, but I was surprised at how many people embraced the idea,” Ehrenreich mentions. “The concept was something we were throwing around as a joke, and it ended up making sense.” Since widely accessible technology has opened the skate video floodgates in recent years, the bar has certainly been raised when it comes to making a project stand out in today’s quantity-driven environment. The TENS format offers both quality and quantity by presenting 42 Canadian skaters in their preferred terrain-element, making an entertaining and diverse array of clips inevitable. “There’s an unwritten rule when it comes to skate videos for some reason: you have to film all street and tricks that have never been done at spots. We’ve already done that in the last two videos,” says Don’t Sleep’s Ben Stoddard, who also writes video reviews for Concrete and works as a VFX artist for the EA Skate franchise. 28

Concrete skateboarding

When the TENS concept was first pitched to numerous skaters, filmers and sponsors, it quickly gained momentum and support. Adding to the filming efforts of Stoddard and Ehrenreich, Toronto’s Chris Quick along with Vancouver’s Dane Collison, Kurt Filippone, Liam Mitchell and many more copiously pressed record for the cause. “We would call a skater, who would in turn introduce us to his filmer, who would introduce us to another skater,” says Ehrenreich. “Almost everyone in the video is a friend, or a friend of a friend.” Since the Don’t Sleep camp ended up with a vast external hard drive queue of corralled contributions, the seemingly nightmarish task of managing and editing that many clips from across the map ensued. “Benny is the supreme chancellor of organization, so he monitored the footage monster until we could beat out our top picks,” Ehrenreich explains. “We had the footage so memorized that we’d be debating the pros and cons of clips through texts while at work. The further into the project we got, the more attracted we became to making a fast, no bullshit picture – where Benny and I always end up.” The TENS DVD will be available for free at finer Canadian skateshops in January 2010, and will subsequently be released online. The project is proudly sponsored by C1RCA, Momentum, Element, OGIO, MOB, Independent, Red Bull, Antisocial, and


“In TENS, the distinction between a trick and pure transportation or board setup is at the discretion of the editors. Some trick counts have been fudged for necessary flow and feel. If your count is different, do not despair – it is just skateboarding. Trick count disagreements are welcomed, in fact, encouraged. Enjoy.”

dylan doubt

—don’t sleep productions

Derek Swaim switch 360 flip

dylan doubt


“I like the idea of short, plague-ridden parts. I think my main goal obviously was to keep it as true to the Barrier Kult aesthetic and concrete rituals as possible, as well as to finally film a ‘line of ages’ for the first time in BA.KU history. My next part will be a complete BA.KU blood ritual obsession – one trick long.” Deer Man Of Dark Woods tailblock backside 180 out


Concrete skateboarding

dave christian

“When it comes to a full video part, sometimes you’re forced to use some brutal shit to make your part long enough. But ten tricks is solid. Trim the fat and use the bangers – I’m down with this concept. Everything takes me a hundred tries so I ate shit a lot for these tricks.” Colin Lambert

keith henry


owen woytowich

“Whenever you watch a montage in other videos you always see a few people that you like to watch skate, but they only have one or two tricks in it. TENS is pretty much a huge montage where you’re gonna get a good taste of everyone’s skating.” Nathan Roline

brian caissie

crooked grind nollie 180 flip out

Magnus Hanson

switch crooked grind pop-over



1 things about tens by

Ben Stoddard and Dave Ehrenreich

1. Dan “Alien” Nelson wanted to film his whole part in the rain, but we didn’t want to do it. Filming a whole night part for Bigger And Better Things with him was challenging enough.



2. Most of the Deer Man Of Dark Woods clips are slowed down to 66.6 percent to keep with the Barrier Kult’s plague spreading mentality. 3. Colin Lambert is wearing a chain wallet in every trick he filmed. 4. We were secretly shooting Lee Saunders while he was filming for City Of New Lights, but then he broke his foot so we didn’t end up getting 10.



5. There isn’t a song past 1975 in the movie other than some BA.KU black metal. 6. TENS is the first real look at footage from Jamie Mayley, Mike “Hashbrown” Schultze, Sean Lowe, and Desmond Hoostie.



7. The original concept was to shoot 10 tricks from 10 skaters and have it 10 minutes long but it turned into having 42 skaters in it. That equals 420 tricks total for all you tokers out there. 8. 10 people who are in the video wanted to film all their 10 tricks in one line, but none of them ended up panning out. 9. Matt Berger had three times the footage to go through compared to everyone else.


10. Kellan Chillibeck filmed 10 tricks during his off-time as a geophysicist who works in the biofuel industry.

brian caissie


Bryan Wherry kickflip backside tailslide

Concrete skateboarding


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TICKET TO RIDE BLVD takes SF by Transit intro

Kevin Kelly photos Andrew Koronovich Kevin Kelly and Nelson Conway


With congested roadways and parking issues becoming more commonplace in our cities, it seems that people are finally looking to public transportation systems as an effective way to get around. This was carefully taken into consideration when the time came to pick an appropriate destination for the first BLVD Skateshop [] team trip. The need for good skate spots goes without saying, but being able to get to those spots without rentals was also a priority since we’d be rolling 12 deep. The excursion was bandied about for a few months, and initial budget concerns quickly evaporated after a brief run-in with a certain Swedish furniture mogul. In a nutshell, IKEA left us with a small windfall of compensation loot after their outsourced “guerrilla” advertising campaign’s painted stencil haphazardly adorned the front of BLVD’s East Vancouver storefront during the summer. So the trip was on, and San Francisco – the birthplace of street skating – seemed like the perfect fit. And with its network of buses, cable cars, streetcars and the BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit], it’s also a really easy city to get around on a shoestring budget. A good chunk of the BLVD team was down to go shred the City by the Bay. Nelson Conway, Desmond Hoostie, Mark Johnson, Corey Klim, Cory Wilson, Chris Connolly, Jeff Falconer, Nate Lacoste, Kyle Desaulniers, AJ McCallister, shutterbug Andrew Koronovich and myself made for a perfect dirty dozen.


Concrete skateboarding

Flights were booked out of Seattle (which by the way is mega cheaper than flying from Vancouver International), so the first order of transport was to get our asses down there. Late in the game I realized that not many of the guys have cars, or licenses. Luckily though, we played human Tetris and creatively crammed into the three available autos before setting sail to the US border. As cub leader, I gave specific instructions that the guys roll through the border behind me. AJ’s car took a “faster” lane, and ended up with the full meal deal search. Apparently, the border guard sniffed some essence of Jamaica on their passports. But no harm, no foul. 40 minutes later we were on our way.   The rain sent us straight to Marginal – Seattle’s version of a DIY under-bridge spot. Klim and Connolly put on a show for about an hour until it was time to hit Sea-Tac. This may sound a bit silly, but headcounts became a regular thing before takeoff after we nearly left Seattle without Falconer.   Upon landing in San Francisco we hopped on a shuttle bus, boarded the BART, caught a city bus and then bombed a hill to our new home away from home – the Travelodge! Late night beers were bought, heads were once again counted, rooms were assigned, and thus the adventure began…

As much as we were the re to get shit done, sigh tseeing was an added bonus. On this day we went from Chinatown over to Downtown, the Haight Street, all over n to Golden Gate Park, Wa llenberg, and onward. noticed this monster gap We whilst picking up som e frosty beers. In betwee visiting music festivals n and making new friends , NATE LACOSTE laboured over this hug e-ass OLLIE that had us all shaking with glee .

top: SF’s Ch inatown is pretty cool. Imagine Va except with Ch ncouver’s inese people ev erywhere and no pee smells. It’s zombies or one of the main areas in SF to and check thing walk around s out, for sure. There’s also so spots in the zo me sick ne, like this ep ic curb cut. CO personality and RY WILSON’s skills make it ea sy to ignore the always makes fact that he a farty sound wh en he KICKFL blrrrrrp. IPs things –

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Concrete skateboarding

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Last day in to wn, and NELS ON CONWAY in the can. So had nothing he downed a few tall bros an this cunning KI d dedicated CKFLIP to on e-legged ladies worldwide. Th en he was jus of the night t a bus, a BA plane, anothe RT, a shuttle, r shuttle and a a three-hour ‘Couver. Easy car ride back peasy. to

Concrete skateboarding




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Concrete skateboarding

main photo kelly litzenberger

inset photos bow digga and woytowich

t u H e r h T o s d g n n i i W dy Push a e St

the he nto, st Toro y yield may n l w e at o t k h i Wo or to wn .T hl en f do e, whic ywhere ny visit e Ow o by d s a to an ut st th ous t en pho eas kate h oarders it is, b ven ju amily and r e rds e s o f e w w fter pos the ateb e lo que n th s a uni ly of sk h I sup ehalf a about i d b i it ic ti tle Nes sor Hu tive fam im, wh fy on its a little b i la d c t s c n u i s i d e e e t W r hug t pro k to . He mos d like a e quic t there b n n l e u l wi so sp Hut ime the est of t 11. f brie room 2 from ich

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geoff clifford


Although countless call it a home, or a home away from home, only four people are technically permanent rent-paying residents at the Hut. There’s Bow Digga –­ the wise father figure who kills it with a VX; Chris Quick – the happy brother who also runs game with a camera; Jesse Tessier – the mellow metal-loving uncle who never slouches, and Hilliard Sulpher – the lady’s man and Concrete #102 cover boy. These four transplants to Toronto have turned their bachelor loft suite into a tree-fort looking apparatus complete with four rooms, including a big common area.


Concrete skateboarding


Similar to any skate house, the Hut has its share of extended residents – the lurkers. Some reside for weeks on end, and others are just there on day trips. For the duration of a Hut-stay, not much is required to lurk with the exception of a few things. “You need to come with a case of beer and some TP, then everything’s gravy,” says Bow Digga. Quick adds: “You gotta be down with the homies, down with cleaning up your mess, and down with getting clips. Well, you don’t NEED to get clips, but it’d be nice.” It’s never a surprise to come to the Hut at any time on any given day and see half-a-dozen or so lurkers sitting around. Some might be crowded around the computer to watch the latest clips, and others might be focused on an intense game of chess. Usually somebody’s battling on the Nintendo, and everybody’s drinking PBRs.

Mitch Barrette is one of the outof-town lurkers that the Hut is down for. His passion for skating and his desire to party earns him two thumbs up all around. Mitch has an open invite to crash on any mattress, chair, or floor space available when he comes to Toronto. // Backside Nosebluntslide.

Uncle Jesse Tessier is the quietest resident of the Hut vocally, but on-board his skating rages to the metal playing on his iPod. Rain or shine, he’ll be out handling business, guaranteed. // Hardflip in the rain.

It can get a bit insane at times with how many people are lurking the Hut for the night. “The going record is 14.” says Quick. “People sleeping on chairs, all over mattresses, sprawled on the floor...” Lots of people have been frequent Hut-lurkers over the last few years. “Too many to name them all.” Hill says, “Off the top of my head there’s Chris Kendall, Geoff Strelow, Joe C, Dallas Ives, Licks Barron, Tyler O’Grady, Glencoe Hogle, Lee Yankou, and JS Lapierre. There’s Mitch Barrette, Mike McCourt, Mikey Plantus, Josh Burley, Beaster, and Joe Buffalo.” “Ashrock was a guy that Mikey Plantus met at the skatepark,” Quick counts as his top pick for most random lurker. “He was from Winnipeg and only in Toronto for a few days – sort of homeless, too. He would go busk on the streets with his flute everyday, and also had this crazy method of magnetic healing – he’d rub magnets around your ankles and wrists so they’d get all relaxed and stuff if you were hurt.”

“It’s like the Lost Boys Hut in Peter Pan – where he lives on his home planet with all of his homies.” —Glencoe Hogle, hut lurker

Glencoe Hogle’s visits are always a delight around the Hut. You know that he’ll be there with a smile on his face, a case of beer under his arm, a blunt in his hand, and he’ll be copping the smoothest clip of the day. // Frontside Flip.

“Despite being next to the King Street train line, the preferred mode of transport is steady pushing.” —Bow Digga, resident vx


Bow Digga describes a typical daily routine at the Hut: “If you don’t have to work, you wake up and rip to the store for coffee or tea. Hit the bakery for a $1.25 croissant, then rip home to figure out the spot.” From there, it usually turns into the regular warm-up game of SKATE out front, which generally detours all traffic on the street in the process. After the legs are warmed up, the rest of day is fully dedicated to skating the streets. In a city as massive as Toronto, being central is the most convenient scenario for meeting up and getting at more spots in less time. The Hut conveniently reaps all of these benefits thanks to its location, which offers them a huge spot-buffet with every sort of option. And because their skatedwelling is situated in the older part of downtown, a lot of the nearby spots have that rugged east coast feel to them. Head a bit further west and you’re at the newest of marble masterpieces. There’s always somewhere to go because the Hut’s residents have every inch combed and mapped out. Orangeville, ON’s Tyler O’Grady frequents the Hut as often as possible to take advantage of the skate program these boys are always on. // Frontside Shuv.


Concrete skateboarding

Another option, and satellite extension to the Hut, is their training facility down the street. It’s an abandoned building foundation they’ve refurbished that comes complete with marble, flat-ground holes in the floors, and some shanty ramps.

Bred in Windsor, ON, Dallas Ives is a senior member of the Hut. Although he’s transplanted to Vancouver yet again, his insane talent on a skateboard and the motivation it creates is highly anticipated whenever he comes home to the Hut. // Frontside 180 into the deep.

dan zaslavsky

Mikey Plantus is a perfect example of what the Hut produces: guys who can skate absolutely anything. Mikey’s right up in that mix feeling most comfortable on whatever terrain is the roughest. That’s probably why he can sleep so well on whatever space is left open on the Hut’s floor. // Ollie into the bank.


When you’re chilling at the Hut, it’s quite the atmosphere. Aside from the living quarters, there’s plenty to see inside, most notably “The Wall.” As Hill explains: “Anything that’s good gets put on The Wall,” while Quick adds: “My favourite thing on The Wall is either ‘Saskatoon Blades For The Win’ or else ‘North Side Heads – Down With The Hut’. Beaster had a good contribution, too. He was wasted one night, standing on the fridge, writing ‘GET AT ME WOLF!’ in huge letters with a sharpie while almost falling from leaning over too far.” Hill also tells us about the centerpiece: “We have the sickest chandelier, and we get pretty stoked every time something gets added to it. Now it’s made out of skateboards, a pirate flag, a crown, an Indy truck, and a Pilsner can.” “It’s when we leave the Hut that the real shit happens,” Hill adds. “When the Hut travels in packs, we usually hit the ditch hole bar of 751. It’s not a good night when you end up at Jilly’s [ghetto gentlemen’s club] – it’s so dirty in there. One time this stripper didn’t notice that she had toilet paper on her ass, which ended up falling onto the stage. Some big bouncer dude had to come take it off.” 50

Concrete skateboarding

Lee Yankou is the perfect example of a favourite lurker at the Hut. He lives relatively close, and his presence is always marked with tons of good vibes. That’s only one of a million reasons why everybody at the Hut loves him, not to mention how gifted he is on a skateboard. // Wallride Nollie Out.

As an official Hut resident, Hilliard Sulpher has been able to pump out a few video parts, tons of photos, and met a lot of people in the skateboard world. But where could he possibly take a lady after the bar when there’s 30 people raging at home? That’s probably the only Hut-complaint Hill has. // Backside Kickflip.

Being all the way from Calgary, AB, Geoff Strelow’s visits to the Hut are never long enough. When in town, Geoff always has the most contagious smile on his face, and somehow gets endless amounts of footy despite being “too baked” around the clock. // Frontside Feeble.


“After a day of skating, hopefully you’ll hit the beer store on the way home to celebrate the trick landed and watch the footy,” says Quick. “People are always getting clips.” The Hut has been extremely productive in the video department. For the past few seasons, Quick was busy filming every day and capturing every night as he diligently worked on Change Skateboards’ latest video, Midnight Lumberjacks (which features Hut-residents, Hill Sulpher and Jesse Tessier). Bow Digga was doing the same thing in order to create the recently released homie video, ECW vs. NWO. Aside from those two major productions, there’s always Hut-related web clips being made, footage being stockpiled, and photos being shot for magazine interviews and articles.


Like any skate house, the Hut has naturally grown to the point where it’s more of a family now, rather than just a pile of skate buddies. It’s really obvious to see the whole positive, productive and fun atmosphere. Joe C, who is a seasoned vet lurker at the Hut, is addicted: “I don’t leave this place because I’m cursed with the spell of not being able to leave. I just keep coming back. I’d be lost without these people and this place, and alot of people are the same way.” One thing is certain: if you end up in Toronto and need somewhere to go shred and someone to show you a few hidden gems, stopping by the Windsor Hut is a good route to take. “Expect the unexpected,” Quick says. “It’s not what you’d think, but it’s dope. I don’t know if there is a ‘best’ skate house, but I love this one. It’s the only skate house I’ve ever known.” Concrete skateboarding



ski p p i n g the drama brandon del b ianc o interview by

F r a n k D a n i e llo


When Lorne Park, Mississauga’s BRANDON DEL BIANCO is not out reinterpreting the urban environment of the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, he’s skating The Rail – his father’s indoor – or having a mellow session at the Port Credit skatepark near his family’s home. Speaking of credit, Brandon is getting more of it these days for his shralpery, but needs a couple more of them to shore up that high school diploma. “I’m doing online arts courses because I failed Drama twice,” the 18 year old says over the phone, trying not to laugh. “I had it last period for two years in a row so I’d always just go skate instead and miss the Drama [laughs]. My parents just really want me to get my high school done, and then continue with skateboarding. They’re really supportive as long as I’m happy and staying out of trouble. It’s good.” Over the years, Element Canada has also been really supportive of Brandon’s skating by hooking him up with one-stop sponsorship – Element wood, wheels, bearings, shoes and apparel – while Venture provides him with steel direct from SF’s Street Corner Distribution. Canadian skateboarding’s young amico is just heating up, and his first Concrete interview is a totally drama-free sampler of what’s to come.

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It’s pretty amazing that your dad owns an indoor. What’s the deal with The Rail []? It’s been in Downsview for about three years now, and it’s pretty big – 7,500 square feet. My dad retired in his early 50s, and was just staying at home. He was running this antique shop for a while, selling furniture and stuff, then I asked him, “Would you ever wanna open up a skatepark?” It was something he thought about before, and a couple years later he actually did it. In TJ Rogers’ Concrete interview [#99, april ‘09] he told a story about being banned from The Rail. Has your dad banned many of your friends? No, not really. My friends don’t really mess around there. The TJ incident was him clowning around and being kinda foolish. He was banned for the last year. It’s got nothing to do with me, I love TJ and he knows that, it was between him and my dad. I didn’t even ask about it – I didn’t want to get involved.


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In September ’09 you were on the west coast for the Vancouver Damn AM. You got fourth place and the “Zumiez Destroyer Award” – a Sawzall to remove architectural warts. Did you try and bring that thing on the plane ride home? I thought it was gonna be sketchy to bring on the plane, and I already had a lot of luggage with me, like three bags. I didn’t want to deal with bringing the saw, so I actually left it in Vancouver. It’s at Brandon Alton’s house, so I’ll just use it for spots when I go out there. There’s quite a few spots in Vancouver that are knobbed. Did you take the Sawzall for a test run when you got it? Yeah, we tried using it the first night I got it [laughs]. I turned it on, and it kinda scared me, so I handed it to TJ and said, “You try it first.” TJ went to go try it, and he actually broke the blade in half [laughs]. You have to go slowly at it, and I guess he was pushing too hard at the rail. We were trying to cut down this tall guardrail at the old wedge-over-flat spot in Richmond that everyone used to skate.


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all photos shane hutton

“…I basically told my coach that I didn’t think I’d be playing anymore. I just kept with skating.” I was looking at your profile on the Element team page, and it mentioned you used to play hockey? That profile’s like three years old [laughs]. Yeah, I played hockey until I was about 13 or 14. I was in a league, which was Triple A – I guess that’s the highest league we could play in for our age category. I played centre and left wing for the Mississauga Terriers, and a year for the Westin Hawks. Were you skating at the same time? When you’re a kid, well I’m still a kid, you’re hyper and always want to do something. I was always playing hockey and skateboarding throughout my childhood, but I always thought skateboarding was a lot more fun – I started when I was 10. I’d be playing hockey in the summer league and it was getting in the way of my skateboarding becauase I was starting to travel a bit. So when I hit 14 I basically told my coach that I didn’t think I’d be playing anymore [laughs]. I just kept with skating. Who do you usually film with? We actually have a lot of filmers out here in Toronto, but I usually film with Devin Guiney. He’s actually working on a video for Spring 2010 called Social Withdrawal with Alex Neary, Morgan Smith, Paul Liliani, Koty Brown, Matt Sullivan, Jacob Williams, Will Marshall, Pat O’Rourke and Donovan Jones. Since we all had a bunch of footage, Devin just took whatever we didn’t want to use in the video and made 2-minute parts with that footy for the promo. It’s almost like its own video [search The Prodrome on YouTube]. I’m also going to have some tricks in the Element Sole video, I heard that’s coming out next Spring as well. Apparently they’re dropping another Element video after that, so I’ve got a lot of filming to do. Have you ever had a full part come out yet? I haven’t really had a full part in a video yet. I’ve had tricks in the friend sections of videos or in people’s parts, but the only full part I’ve had went online in early ’08 [], and it’s footage from two years before that. It’s kind of funny that a web part is my only part so far, but I’m stoked it went up on the Element site. They do a lot for me. 60

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frontside bigspin


“For me to feel good about myself and be stoked, I have to learn a trick or land a trick.�

nollie flip crooked grind

Both Morgan Smith and Brian Caissie told me you have a super high level of determination when you’re trying tricks. What can you say about that? When I’ve already started trying a trick, I just really feel like I could do it. That feeling you get from riding away is awesome, and that’s what I really want to achieve. I just want to get it done, and I want to have that feeling again. For me to feel good about myself and be stoked, I have to learn a trick or land a trick.

Do you ever O.C.D. before trying a trick? I used to have that problem [laughs]. I could never say “four” before a trick. I’d have to say, “One, two, three – and one for good luck”, then I’d tap my board or some weird shit. One time I hit my head at a skatepark when I did that, so I stopped. Now, I don’t have any routines like that.

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Which two spots would you pick as your favourites? One for a mellow session and one to get gnarly... The downtown Toronto scene at night is fun. You can just cruise and hit up spots. There’s the Mustard Ledges downtown – two perfect marble ledges in a row, which are really sick. For a gnarly spot, I’d say the Mel Lastman 12-stair in North York. The rail is pretty perfect, and the stairs are good. What’s the story behind your first published photo in Concrete ? It was for a Young Bloods [#88, july ‘07] – a frontside bigspin heel down a ninestair at the University of Toronto. I had that trick down the double-set at my dad’s skatepark, so I decided to call Andrew Norton. He stopped by to shoot it just before he had to go to his class, and I was pretty psyched to ride away from it. They ended up tearing that spot down at the time, but recently rebuilt it. The only problem now is that the run-up has harsh cracks. I’ve heard that your car, MILFs, and L.P. are high on your list of priorities. Can you explain? Skateboarding should be somewhere in there, for sure. But yeah, I definitely admire those three things. I’ve always had a passion to get with a MILF. I don’t know, I’m just stoked on them [laughs]. My car is a 2006 Honda Civic that my grandmother – my nonna in Italian – bought me. Basically, all I have to pay for is gas and insurance, and I’m set. It’s easy access to go wherever, so I definitely get to skate a lot more. I can’t complain. L.P. is Lorne Park, where I live. It’s home and it’s comfortable. Who would you put on your V.I.P. list? I’d like to thank my mom, dad, sister, grandma, and all my cousins for so many reasons. Also, a big thanks to Chad Albert for all the things he does for the Element Canada team – without him I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d also like to throw a big thanks to Ryan Dewitt and Ryan Kingman who work with Element in the States. Thanks a lot to Mike Imposimato, everyone at S&J Sales, also Ross Jinkens and Tony Vitello at Street Corner for hooking me up with Venture. Big thanks to all the photographers and filmers I’ve shot with – you’re awesome dudes. Thanks to Brian Caissie and Frank Daniello for taking their time to make this Concrete interview happen. To all of my homies: skating wouldn’t be as much fun without you. Keep shreddin’. 64

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“...I’ve got a lot of filming to do.”

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Age: 18 Lives: London, ON Sponsors: DVS and Girl flow (through Supra Dist.), United Riders, Dialogue Headwear, Legacy Skateshop

Colin is the type of kid you want to hate, but you just can’t. He’s much better at skateboarding than you and I, or other mere mortals, and never seems to have a bad day. Despite the fact that he makes it look so damn easy to be better than us, you just can’t get upset about it because he’s an energetic kid who’s always having fun. —Ryan Blaxall


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Heelflip boardslide



Age: 17 Lives: Edmonton, AB Sponsors: Rumor Skateshop, Alien Workshop (flow)

Every time I see Mitch, I can’t help but smile. When he’s not out skating, he’s drinking, smoking, slaying, and trying to graduate high school. He pretty much kills it in every aspect of life, and I can safely say he’s one of the best skateboarders Edmonton has. I’m sure most would agree. He’s steezy as fuck, so keep your eyes peeled for this little demon around your neighbourhood. —Keith Henry


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Age: 21 Lives: East Vancouver, BC Sponsors: United Riders, Adidas Canada (flow), Push Wheels, BLVD Skateshop

Desmond is my good Vancouver plaza buddy that always beats me in SKATE. This dark knight is light on his feet, like a smooth criminal stalking the concrete – MJ would be proud. Don’t get me wrong, Dez will make you cry home to your momma once you see him skate, but he’ll be your friendemy for life. He’s a full-on skate man-rat now, and although he was brought up in East Van, I believe Desmond will be one of the greatest humans to live on Earth. —Wade Fyfe 88

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Videoreviews Not only is CRAIG WILLIAMS a proud new father, he’s the in-house master of BC Sales/Purchasing at Ultimate Distribution and also a veteran ripper who recently got a well-deserved Pro model with Skull Skates. Since his first Skull ad features a classic Craigers fly-out at Vancouver’s skater-built Leeside, he decided to keep that DIY theme alive by guest reviewing Thrasher’s Under The Bridge.

Under The Bridge: A d.i.y. skateboard video – Thrasher To the concrete craving gnarler, Thrasher magazine is pretty much a bible. We anxiously await their videos so we can look at those hidden Gonz, Julien Stranger and Wade Speyer clips while sitting there in jealous amazement at the amount of pools we don’t get to shralp. And who can forget their gnarly slam montages? Well, the boys took a different direction this time. Under The Bridge comes at us from the documentary angle, chronicling the new wave of DIY parks springing up across North America. The flick starts off at Philly’s FDR, which is a man-made park of monolithic proportions. Next in is a brief but heavy-hitting section from San Pedro’s Channel Street. Bordertown is the new DIY park in Oakland, and this section really dives deep into the news media coverage that highlighted the Skaters vs. City battle for the land – a battle ultimately won by the skaters! Former Pro Joe Pino gives us a breakdown on the evolution of San Diego’s Washington Street, and for the ender Thrasher takes us down the long road to ultimate DIY supremacy at Portland’s Burnside. The skating in this part is the best, and it doesn’t take long to realize that Neil Heddings and Peter Hewitt are pretty much Gods. By the time I made it through the feature and bonus footy, I was left with a need to grind some crudely poured concrete. But a burning question sizzling in my brain: Why no Leeside? —Craig Williams

Extremely sorry – Flip This is not going to be another one of these reviews that picks apart everything about this video. Sure some of the DJ Baron-produced music was strange, we had no Arto, and there were too many little kid parts throughout. But this video is an instant piece of skateboard history. At the Vancouver premiere, I had chills after watching Shane Cross’ long-awaited posthumous part, followed by Geoff Rowley skating to Baron’s cover of “Stand By Me” featuring Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilminster and Slayer’s Dave Lombardo. The chills returned as soon as Bob Burnquist stepped onto the mega ramp and when Mark Appleyard nollie bigspinned the world in his sleep. But my favourite part by far would have to be Lance Mountain’s retrospective swan song tribute and epic backyard pool session. Who knows how much Nike money it cost to get that section filmed, but it was definitely worth it. After watching this Collector’s Edition DVD it seems like the last Sorry chapter is finally complete. It’ll be interesting to see where Flip will go with guys like Willow, Ben Nordberg and Luan Oliveira all coming into their prime. My suggestion would be to give French Fred buckets of money and some random film stocks to come up with something fresh…just please kill the Sorry title already. —Ben Stoddard

City Of New Lights After 2007’s Yesterday’s Future, Jarvis Nigelsky opted for a more classic soundtrack and trimmed down approach in his latest offering – a very watchable City Of New Lights. Young guns Micky Papa and Arte Lew share the opener to a foreshadowing “I’m A Man” by the Spencer Davis Group. While Micky continues to show progress, his best bud Arte skates switch impressively. Ryan Bonnell chimes in with clean style and some fresh bank-lip combos to one of my favourite tracks, “The Letter” – a pop-rock ditty by The Box Tops. The good times keep rollin’ with Lee Saunders and his creative street lines that are coupled with a few solid Josh Kline cameo clips. New Brunswick native Josh Clark comes out with his first feature part and applies real east perspective to some dangerous international architecture. Then there’s Spencer Hamilton, and you’re well aware of what he brings to the table – kush-infused ripping. Related, The Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Running” plays alongside Dustin Montie’s part, which offers some pleasantly surprising ledge combos. And then there’s Chad Dickson. He stepped into 2009 broken after being mauled by a Dodge Durango, but refused to let the accident shut him down. After a multi-month recovery, he went all-out and got his first-ever cover photo published – a huge switch ollie for Concrete #101 in August. Then he wrapped up his ’09 print onslaught with a hefty switch heel down Vancouver’s notorious black double for the winter cover of Color. So Dickson’s CONL ender part – alongside the sturdy efforts from the other dudes – definitely creates a “must watch” situation. —Frank Daniello


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Shoe vaultsTHE Koston 1 Dan Watson

all photos courtesy of sole tech


The éS ONE takes obvious inspiration from the Koston 1.

Since we all know that Eric Koston, not Tony Hawk, is the real Michael Jordan of skateboarding, would that make his first model on éS the Jordan 1 of the skateboard world? Well, judging by the insanely high prices that the KOSTON 1 has been fetching on eBay lately, the answer to that question would be yes. Whatever the case, this is one of the most important and loved skate shoes of all time, and so it gets an overdue nod in the Shoe Vaults series. Released in 1997, two years after the inception of éS Footwear itself, the Koston 1 came at a time when only the best of the best were receiving Pro shoes. And after Koston’s amazing part in 1996’s Mouse, there was no doubt that his shoe was well deserved. The Koston 1 was an instant hit because of its classic look, groundbreaking design, and its unique construction elements that would really set a standard for other skate shoes to follow. The twopiece sole separated by a shock absorbing foam midsole was not only the first of its kind, but also made it possible for the shoe to feature many interesting colourways. The first three were nice and simple solid colours – white, black, and navy – all featuring the gum sole. The navy version was the very first skate shoe to feature an air pocket incorporated into the sole itself (a previous éS model named the “Aura” had an air pocket hidden underneath the heel of the insole). Because of the success of the navy model, the air sole became a regular feature in all of the Koston 1s released from then on. Despite all of the technological advances the shoe brought forward, one thing that didn’t suffer as a result was its skateability. Another sign of the Koston 1’s importance is the fact that its loyal following hasn’t allowed it to fade into obscurity. The model has 94

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definitely been through several incarnations throughout the years in order to keep the shoe available to the public. The first change came in late 2003 when éS altered the construction of it, and changed the model’s name to the “EK-01”. This update eliminated the air pocket, which was becoming an obsolete feature in skate shoes, and also changed the sole of the shoe to feature a foam midsole that was thinner. Unfortunately, the seemingly minor changes actually altered the shape of the shoe quite a bit, and the EK-01 didn’t last long before it was eliminated from the line. However, this only temporarily ended the legacy of the Koston 1. After Koston made the move to Lakai in 2006, the company decided to take a crack at the Koston 1. Their version, simply called the “Koston”, was released in 2008. Although the Lakai model created a buzz, it failed to appeal to many skaters due to the overall construction and shape of the shoe. It just wasn’t the same. The Lakai Koston lasted a few seasons, and a high-top version was left dead in the water because Koston ended up signing with Nike SB in early summer ’09. But for those of you out there who thought the Lakai model was your last chance to skate in the legendary Koston 1s, don’t despair. éS [] will soon be releasing a fourth version of the shoe – this time called the “éS One” – with the production of the model back in the hands of Sole Technology. This version has been slimmed down and placed on a vulcanized sole, making it more relevant to today’s skate shoe trends. Although the success of this Koston 1 incarnation over its predecessors remains to be seen, the fact that this classic shoe has once again been brought back from the dead will have skaters worldwide ready to slip their feet back in for a session.


Sound Check


Jenny Charlesworth


Kale JF

If there was ever an obvious choice for a frontman, Jonny Paulsen is it. It takes a certain type of guy to rock tie-dye as casually as Jerry Garcia or give an impromptu reggae concert on the way to Vancouver’s famed Wreck Beach. The fact that Paulsen has done both was more than enough to convince Sorcerers bassist Shane Baron that his close friend should take the reigns of the East Vancouver quartet. “We’d go see Lee Scratch Perry and Jonny would be dancing and causing more of a ruckus in the audience than Scratch was on stage. I was like, ‘This should be reversed, Jonny should be on stage’,” laughs Baron, lounging on the patio of a Commercial Drive café with bandmate Paulsen. “He’s born natural for it – he just didn’t know it until someone told him.” Thanks to a steady diet of reggae and punk in his teenage years, Paulsen brings more to the project than a killer stage presence. “I grew up with a good friend from Toronto who was always speaking patois to me and taught me all about reggae and dub,” he says. Armed with a solid appreciation for the genre that informs Sorcerers’ Bad Brains-indebted sound, Paulsen found himself collaborating like a seasoned Pro on the outfit’s Skull Skates Recordings debut. “I like to write live


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so all of my compositions are based on what I feel live coming from the rest of the band,” says Paulsen. “The [other] fellows are really technical and I just come in super random.” It seems to be a formula that works. With the bass work of Baron, the spacey guitar and hardcore punk riffs of Erin McSavaney, and drummer Mike Campitelli’s heavy backbeat rhythm, Sorcerers have the market cornered when it comes to ingenuity in the skate rock camp. “We like to keep it fresh and try to surprise ourselves with our compositions so it’s interesting to play and listen to,” offers Baron. “We get lots of different takes and try to mix them all in a way that will tickle the ears and get people happy.” By all reports, their eponymous LP – which has been making the rounds since June ‘09 – is doing just that. It’s fast becoming requisite listening material for sessions at the bowl and the beer-fueled festivities that tend to follow. Baron is quick to attribute much of the buzz to PD – Skull Skates’ founder. “He was actually the guy who turned me on to dub reggae, so when we started playing I was like, ‘Hey dude, check out my band’,” says Baron. “PD has always been encouraging us and eventually he was like, ‘Okay, so now we want to put out a record’.”

With hometown momentum quickly building, the heavily bearded bros hint that it’s only a matter of time before they take the project on the road – and the guys aren’t talking about a measly day trip. “We want to go to Japan, man,” exclaims Paulsen. “PD promotes some other bands that are in the same sort of musical genre as us in Japan, like this one band called the Cokehead Hipsters [ cokeheadhipsters], so we want to go over and play with them.” “We’d love to go to Japan,” concurs Baron. “Right now we’re focused on touring East Van, and we might even venture over into downtown.” Paulsen smirks: “Downtown! I don’t know, man. I haven’t been there for awhile.” Downtown or not, it’s clear that Sorcerers are headed somewhere. While most of the band has played in other groups before, this is the first project with real staying power. “It’s all been really magnetic,” says Baron thoughtfully, to which Paulsen adds: “We’ve never once had to go looking for a show. Everything has just come to us without us having to do anything about it – it’s a beautiful chemistry.”

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2 0 0 9 A D S _ CSMI C O P Y R I G H T


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benji wagner


After wrapping up his part for Zero’s Strange World, Keegan Sauder didn’t learn about his subsequent rookie Pro status by word of The Chief himself. Instead, he read the news the same way everyone else did: “I was at a friend’s house in Encinitas and picked up a TransWorld that I hadn’t seen,” Keegan explains. “I saw that I had an ad for Zero, and when I looked closer it said, ‘Pro Model Out Now’. That’s how I knew it was official.”

Pro Benefits


Former Jobs

Tour Purchases

1. I 2. Am 3. Living 4. The 5. Dream

1. Dish Pig 2. Waiter 3. Valet 4. Landscaper 5. Policeman

1. On Any Sunday 2. Weird Science 3. Purple Rain 4. Werewolves On Wheels 5. Badlands

1. Water 2. Condoms 3. Sandpaper 4. Americanos 5. Yoga Classes


1. Water 2. Piper’s Pale Ale (Vancouver Island Brewery) 3. Horchata 4. Coffee 5. Fresh Juice


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

BC Skateparks 1. Hastings 2. Seylynn 3. Leeside 4. Little Strathcona 5. Vic fuckin’ West

Motorcycle Purchases

1. 1973 Honda CB350 Twin: The model that got me stoked on bikes in general 2. Yamaha SR500 bastard racer noise machine: One of my favourites in the history of machines 3. 1967 Harley Davidson Shovelhead: Got it from a man that looked like William Wallace from Braveheart 4. Suzuki DRZ400: Thought I’d go off-road lots with my bros, but I mostly skate so I’m not around to use it 5. Triumph Bonneville Project: First roared to life in my bedroom

Destinations 1. Vancouver 2. Vancouver Island 3. Nelson, BC 4. San Francisco 5. Baja, Mexico

Motorcycle Bros

1. Chainer 2. Beardo 3. Zipperlips 4. Copper Mouth 5. Almost anyone as long as my bike starts


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Concrete Skateboarding Issue 104  

Concrete Skateboarding Issue 104 - Dec 2009 Scott Decenzo, Frontside Lipslide Skipping Drama Brandon Del Bianco Tens is the Magic Number B...

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