Intro and Captions: Colin Lambert Photos: Brian Caissie Cameras: Hasselblad 500CM / Nikon F3 / Nikon D3
his year marks the 25th anniversary of Winnipeg’s Sk8 Skates. It’s crazy to think that I was three years old when Steve Harnish and Klaus Hoffman first opened the shop’s doors in 1987. Six years later my mom brought me to Sk8 Skates for the first time and I never left. That was when I first met Jai Pereira. As annoying as I was, he always treated me great. Jai made Sk8 into something that you just needed to be a part of. I spent the majority of my youth and teenage years hanging out in the shop, annoying everyone who worked there. I’ve seen all the aspects of Sk8 from so many perspectives: as a shop rat, team rider, employee, manager and now, maybe my favourite of all, being the owner. My original intention for this was to write a full article about the history of the shop for our anniversary, and have Brian Caissie come out to Winnipeg and road trip with us to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to shoot photos of the team. Brian flew out for seven days, most of which were plagued with issues. Not only did it rain constantly, Sk8 rider Kyle Nickoshie got put in the hospital while we were in Minneapolis and everyone, myself included, seemed to be suffering from some kind of injury.
Even with the odds against us, I’ve never seen the team put forth so much effort. After the first day we had nine photos, and as the week went on they kept adding up. Jamie Mospanchuk got the majority of his photos in the pouring rain if you can believe that. By the end of the week, after a ton of hard work, we had 36 photos and an article that needed to be written. After careful consideration it occurred to me that it would be damn near impossible to cover the history in 12 pages. Sk8 Skates has a history that needs a full-length documentary just to scratch the surface. There’s 25 years of staff members, team members, community, good times, bad times, love, hate, ups, downs and everything in between. I have spent the greater portion of my life hanging out at Sk8 Skates. My most cherished memories involve everything that surrounds our shop, and I know there are so many people out there who feel the same. That being said, I decided to let our skateboarding do the talking here. Sk8 Skates has always been, and always will be, completely about skateboarding. I present to you the Sk8 Skates team. No gimmicks, just 100% pure skateboarding.
Tyler Geurts - Noseslide
Josh Thorvaldson - Ollie to Fakie
Tyler does this weird mental block thing where he constantly underestimates his talent. He’s the only guy I’ve ever met that ollies on flat ground before skating a rail to see if his ollies are working that day. They obviously work; he’s been skating for 15 years. Tyler is the sickest skateboarder and I just wish he knew that.
We found these full pipes on the side of the highway on our way to Minneapolis, so we got out of the car to skate. It was Josh’s first time to the States, and I swear he averaged about four questions a minute the whole drive there. We love Josh, but after seven hours of his questions we needed a break.
Russell Staats - Backside 50-50 This spot has a death drop that you canâ€™t see in the photo. The hubba is about two feet wide and on the other side thereâ€™s a 20-foot drop onto stairs. Apparently, there were a few close calls, with him almost tripping over his board running down it. Lucky for him he got the trick and photo without falling to his death.
Jamie Mospanchuk Soggy Noseslide 360 Shuv We only had two days in Minneapolis and one of them was completely rained out. So Jamie made the best of it by finding spots with a covered run-up or landing. Although his griptape hated him for it, he walked away with three sick photos in the rain that day because motivation and a good attitude prevail every time.
Jared Arnason - Tailslide
Evan Sinclair - Frontside 5-0
Jared’s shoulder joint must be stripped because it seems like he dislocates it every couple times he skates. It’s gotten to the point where no one even cares anymore. Much like every other tailslide Jared does, he dislocated his shoulder on this one when he went back to film it.
I considered making up a story for this caption about Evan almost falling to his death because I don’t really have anything interesting to say. He handled this 5-0 like a champ and never once came close to falling over; he just nailed it no problem. That’s how he rolls.
Cain Lambert - Switch Backside Flip
Kyle Nickoshie - Backside Noseblunt
It seems like out of nowhere Cain has the biggest bag of tricks and confidence that I rarely see in skateboarders. This downtown Winnipeg spot is an instant boot, but he’s somehow gone there to land this trick twice this year. I’m so stoked to be able watch him progress from not even being able to ollie to where he is today.
Kyle rolled away from this countless times but he’d hit the same crack and fall. It was a make for the photo but the clip was a little suspect, so he kept trying. During one attempt he tried to jump away only to land back on his board, knocking himself unconscious. When he woke up the first thing he said was: “Bitch, I’m a stunna.”
Austin Thomas - Lipslide Fakie
Colin Lambert - Frontside Hurricane
Most skateboarders get in routines, or do little OCD-type things while skating scary spots. But not Austin. He skates every handrail like he’s screwing around on a flatbar. His brain works differently and he has a total disregard for his own personal safety. Ask him to try and nose grab any giant set and he’ll do it just to make you laugh.
It’s kind of bunk talking about how motivated someone is, but when Caissie first arrived in Winnipeg, Colin could barely walk due to an injured back. Days later we were in Minneapolis watching his decrepit carcass get tossed down the stairs of the infamous Cairo rail. This hurricane may not be a neck-high handrail, but injury or not, Colin is getting a fucking photo. —Cain Lambert