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Concrete Wave 1136 Centre Street Suite 293 Thornhill, ONTARIO L4J 3M8 416-807-0805

COVER: Emma Daigle enjoys a moment in the sun. Photo: Matt Kienzle

Publisher/Editor: Michael Brooke Copy Editor: Jonathan Harms Art Director/Designer: Stacy Lowery Associate Editors: Joseph Friedman, Daniel Fedkenheuer Web Development: Rick Tetz PRINTED IN THE USA

Malachi Greene - Big Bear Mtn. - CA


35” x 9.75” x 27.7”WB

Dusters introduces the new Keen Downhill. With an original downhill shape, paired with one of our classic Dusters designs that has been with us since day one. It features our new mold with W concave for more controlled turns, dropped rails creating contours and pockets to lock your feet, along with a beautiful V-Ply core that shows through its wheel wells. All that is paired with our unique metallic gold swirl 71mm/78A wheels, double barrel bushings in the 180mm 50° Slant reverse kingpin trucks and our Abec-7 bearings. A perfect choice for someone who’s looking to get the most stability while bombing at high speeds straight down the highway. DEALER INQUIRIES: +1.800.500.5015 | +1.910.791.8240 | +1.321.777.9494 | +1.713.926.3295

/dusterscalifornia @dusterscalifornia DUSTERSCALIFORNIA.COM


The Fine Print Artwork by Haroshi It’s rare that we feature the same artwork on the Fine Print as we do in the actual artist profile. However, for this issue, I wanted to make an exception. This unique artwork created by the Japanese artist Haroshi is made with numerous recycled decks expertly woven into another form. The idea that an artist can take something that most would consider disposable and create something so beautiful really resonates with me. I am sure you will find his artwork extremely compelling. The origins of the handshake go back a long way. We’re talking 5th century BC. People shook hands in ancient Greece to signify that both parties were equals, who felt sufficiently at ease in each other’s company that they didn’t need to have weapons in their hands. This particular piece shines a light on the ideas of friendship and peace. Or maybe for others, it’s just simply a bunch of recycled wood glued together to form a handshake. Whatever you get out of the piece is your business. That’s the beauty of art. There are multiple ways of responding to it. In this issue we also look at several major artists who came together to create a series of decks. Each of the artists brought his own unique style to the project. The concept of collaboration is one of the foundations of this magazine. I truly think that given today’s somewhat polarizing political environment, working together is an excellent way to keep things moving forward. All that is necessary is to find something that resonates with you and look for people/companies you can work with. As you will read in our Longboarding for Peace update, we worked with Loaded Boards, the top skate shop in Lucerne, Switzerland, and a local skater to create a truly great experience for recently arrived refugees. They are now confirmed skaters, and my hope is that word will spread. As we head into the fall season and winter starts its slow grip on much of North America, I often think about my friends who live in warmer climates and those who live in places like Australia and are now starting to experience summer. I enjoy the changing of the seasons but have to admit those in places like California seem to get the best of both worlds. No matter where your travels take you, we wish you all the very best as we head into 2017.


THE REVIVAL SERIES T h e R e v i v a l S er ie s is a b o u t fin d in g lo st a n d fo r g otten ti mbers

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a l oggi ng mecca duri ng the Late 1800s. D emand for C oas tal

a b o u t u s i n g d i sca r d e d m a te r ia l to cr e a te ska te b oards that are

w ood drove an i ndustry that fuel l ed B ri tai n’s i n dus tri al

b o t h b e a u t i f u l an d fu lly ska te - a b le . By so u r cin g uni que

revol uti on. For thi s seri es, w e’ ve sal vaged l ogs that w ere

m a t e r i a l s a n d p r e ssin g th e m in to b o a r d s a t o u r mi cro factory

harvested from the S unshi ne C oast regi on i n th e l ate 1800’s

i n t h e K o o t e n a y r e g io n o f BC, we a r e a b le to cr e ate boards

and pl aced i n R uby Lake for preservati on w hi l e the H ow ard

t h a t a r e p i e c e s o f h isto r y. In ste a d o f b e in g fo r g otten, R evi val

Loggi ng C ompany bui l t a rai l l i ne to thei r mi l l i n E arl s C ov e,

S e r i e s w o o d i s r e ju ve n a te d , r e cla im e d a n d r e p u r posed to l i ve

B.C . The company ul ti matel y fai l ed and the rai l l i ne w as nev er

a g a i n u n d e r t h e fe e t o f ska te r s.

compl eted. The l ogs eventual l y sank and remai ned under the surface of R uby Lake for over a century.

This limited edition board is available now at your local retailer landyachtz.coM




his photo shows an abandoned highway somewhere in the USA. You might be able to find it, but there is a good chance you won’t. Its location isn’t a secret; it’s more a mystery. If this photo inspires you to go on a search and hunt for skate spots, then I wish you the best of luck. As a skater, my curiosity compels me not only to explore new places to ride, but to go out and experience new things. I truly believe that’s one of the reasons skateboarding keeps you young.

Rider: Romulo Cortez Photo: Chad Hoffman


Andy Warhol famously said that in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. Thanks to things like YouTube and Instagram, his prediction seems to be coming true with each passing year. But the flip side is the idea that mystery is a scarce resource nowadays. The digital footprint we leave behind every moment on our cellphones demolishes mystery. It’s not so much that we’ll be famous for 15 minutes, but rather we’ll be unknown for 15 minutes. Generally, that’s all the time you need to find out about someone you’ve just met.

When you think back as to how you first discovered skateboarding, chances are it was a mixture of joy and puzzlement. It requires a little bit of support to navigate. For many of you, you might have learned about it through a family member. A brother or sister could have lent you their board. Perhaps your father or mother pulled a long-forgotten skateboard from the deepest recesses of the basement. Maybe a friend let you try his or her board. Or maybe a video grabbed your attention. Whatever drew you into the world of skateboarding, you didn’t have all the answers at first. There was undoubtedly a sense of mystery about where those four wheels would take you.

As your experiences with skateboarding unfold, you begin to understand that participation is very different than being a part of a soccer or hockey team. It’s not so much that skateboarding is a secret society; it’s the fact that if you stay with it long enough, you might be taken to a secret skate spot. This means fellow skaters trust you. It’s vital that you maintain that trust. So please, don’t blow out a spot, and keep things a mystery.





To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Madrid Skateboards has opened up the vault to reissue a series of iconic Madrid decks from throughout the decades. For the first time ever, they are offering these OG decks set up as cruisers so they are ready to rip right out of the box!


The Transformer Rail is the first rail to offer a bench, flat bar and round rail all in one, giving skaters the ability to create a versatile skate spot anywhere! Transformer Rails feature a patented hinge that allows the frame to rotate and lock into the bench, flat bar and round rail positions. Combined with extensive height and angle settings, this allows skaters to practice more tricks and progress faster than with traditional rails.



Eastside has been taking requests for this style of longboard for many years now since the release of their original single-kick DropKick in 2006 and the Carbon DropKick in 2012. By popular demand they’ve finally released the DK DropKick, featuring really useful double kicks with drop-thru mounting. It’s made from a new Eastside mold, creating a super-comfy concave with rocker, foot flares and slight W. The kicks are shaped perfectly to drop off curbs and pop over cracks at speed. The dimensions allow the ability to send it sideways with ease and get around town very quickly. The graphic features a topographical map of the hills surrounding the Portland Zoo and the city where Eastside is based.

UNIT P2 is a new brand from Jeff Yarrington, who has an extensive past in longboards, building custom motorcycles and cars. The completes are set up as a unit, some more performance-oriented with slowerturn rear trucks, softer rear wheels and bushings swapped out – the things that matter if you want to get a board, hop on it and not need to modify the setup after five minutes to make it work for the way you intend to use it. The same deck for pushing around the town is far from the deck used to bomb hills in setup. Riding experience and feedback are paramount. The Speed Division is in process with some fun stuff.



Based in Northern California, Side Up has been making retro custom longboards for a number of years. The Eddie and Woody are two of their newest boards that hit the street simultaneously. Eddie is a 15” x 48” board styled “Old School Cool” with ’70s-style natural wood painted red, white and blue. Woody follows their more traditional style; it is a 12” x 45” board with walnut inlays and a sleek design, adding that “go fast” look. All of their longboards sit on Revenge trucks and exclusive Side Up 72 mm 78A red wheels.


Founded on the belief that skating is inclusive and dynamic. Inspired by the world we live in and the people who inhabit it. Fueled by passion. Breezy Boards officially launched in May 2016, with an epic community celebration of the release of Adjective Dragon, the debut collection of Breezy Boards. The Adjective Dragon collection features original artwork from five Tampa Bay-area artists, and each winning design was produced on 20 of the 100-board collection.

AlumBoards believes in creating boards that live up to a skater’s personal style in performance and taste by breaking the barriers between graphic design and engineering. They specialize in using aircraft-grade aluminum, and customization can go beyond the capabilities of traditional wood boards. AlumBoards’ motto is “Functional Art,” and the company works with each owner to build a masterpiece that can go the distance.



Taco Trucks were designed with a gamut of riding styles in mind. Made with one of the beefiest hangers on the market paired with aircraft-grade aluminum construction, they were developed to be the all-around truck to add to your collection. Freeride, cruising, downhill and dancing – Taco Trucks are here and are ready to party!

Oak Belly Longboards started by making a longboard from leftover wine barrel staves. The concave shape as well as reverse camber provide natural grip and riding comfort. While OB Longboards are used for riding, over a third are used as decoration; custom laser-engraved logos have become popular for personal and business statements. Future plans include growing their brand name with various shapes and sizes of skateboards as well as breaking into other board sports.





Whatever Skateboards is proud to introduce the Skogger. The 9.5” x 45” board is great for both long-distance pushing and dancing. The Skogger has a year of R & D with mega miles of road testing under its wheels. It features bamboo with fiberglass inlays. The bamboo gives you flex and the fiberglass adds strength. The multiple wheelbase opinions allow for different setups for various riding styles. Wheel wells eliminate that pesky wheelbite. The flex gives the rider the experience of a topmount and a low-profile board.

The newest member of the Rainskates family is a larger, 63 mm version of the Black Rain. Keeping the dimensions similar to the 60 mm wheel, the big BR comes in at 63 mm x 41 mm, with a 27 mm contact patch. Made from the legendary “Black Death” formula, these dub-con wheels are hard, fast and smooth, with excellent flat-spotting resistance. Available now, directly from Rainskates or your favorite retailer


CALSTREETS Legendary skater and original Dogtown artist Wes Humpston joined forces with Cindy Whitehead, pro skateboarder and founder of Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word, to create a badass board aimed at the female market. “I couldn’t have been more stoked and honored when I heard that Wes Humpston agreed to design the artwork for the Gypsy Queen board we are doing with Dusters California,” Whitehead said. The deck has a sea-foam green base and comes pre-gripped with clear broadcast grip tape to flaunt the tattoo-reminiscent graphic. Gypsy Queen is the perfect fit for a women’s foot at 8.75” wide. It’s also 35” long and features a 24.75” wheelbase. Alan Harrison is a Canadian skate legend who excelled in both freestyle and vert skating during the 1970s and early ’80s. Alan was a member of the Ripping Squad and once did a halfpipe demo in front of 25,000 people. Alan worked with Rick Tetz of Cal Streets to create this custom deck.



A PUMPTRACK WITH HEART The city of Leavenworth, Washington, had a hole in its heart. A 2014 avalanche in Canada took the life of resident Ellie Pryor Booher, leaving behind her husband, Chris, and two sons, 7-year-old Jackson and 4-year-old Conrad. Ellie was known for her kind spirit and love of the outdoors. So Chris and close friend Angie Harrison created the Blue Lotus Foundation to continue her legacy and called upon Velosolutions USA to build a pumptrack in her honor. Raising the money through grants and donations, the Blue Lotus Foundation was able to realize its dreams. Angie and Chris sent a letter to the city and Leavenworth, attended city council and parks department meetings and pushed the project along until it became a reality. The city granted them space in Enchantment Park, and detailed planning began. “When I got the call and heard the story of their loss and what they accomplished. I knew we had to add something special,” said Alon Karpman of Velosolutions. “I presented the idea of having a heart shape at the center of the track, and Claudio Caluori came through with an amazing design.” With input from Skateboard Supercross and Jonathan Strauss, the design is not only beautiful but functional. The track is symmetrical, allowing not only for many transitions of the two sides but also the ability to race head-to-head. It even has wiring embedded under the asphalt to allow for timed races. Opening day was an amazing experience, with tons of kids and residents coming out to ride the track right after Chris, Angie, Conrad and Jackson laid out the final strips of grass to fill the heart of the track. If you would like a pumptrack in your neighborhood, please email for information.


Nefarious, an “all-girl, pizza-based skate crew” from London, England, has 25 members and is only getting bigger.

Just three of an ever-growing crew. From left: Aimée, Laura, Esther

Words and Photos by Carmen Speth



irls’ skateboarding is not very popular yet, so the main focus of the crew is to get more girls to skate with them. I remember myself when I started skating and I felt lonely in front of all the boys and did not go out to skate alone. Since we have Nefarious it has changed. I am more open, way happier because I found girls like me, with the same humor, similar character and the same interests. They vary from person to person, but we have our main passion in common, which is skating. It binds us together and has made us become really good friends. We help each other out in skating and every life situation we are in, therefore we

progress together and push and motivate each other to do new tricks. During the breaks we hang out as friends, talk about everything that’s happened in our lives, give good advice and believe in each other. We joke around a lot, so sometimes there is no sense in what we are talking, but you need to have that as a balance to all the seriousness of everyday life. We are all from different backgrounds, different countries and cultures, even difficult family situations, or we have other problems. We are all different ages as well; our youngest member is 14 and our oldest 31.

The good thing is since Nefarious exists, we are all way happier and stronger to go through ruff life situations. And it’s not only because of the crew, it’s because of skateboarding as well. It brings challenges where you need to stop thinking and just risk something. Most of the times you are really proud of yourself that you did, and got a new trick or find yourself in a better position in life. Through the different cultures we get to know how people in other countries live, which is really amazing to get to know. We are all really creative and dream of our own brand with T-shirts, stickers, magazine and loads of films about Nefarious, and it’s already going well. Nefarious wants to motivate girls to come skate with us, to let the girls’ skate scene grow and make it more popular. We are there to help them.

“(Skateboarding) brings challenges where you need to stop thinking and just risk something.” How everything started: In the summer I met a girl called Celine. She is French, and she was skating while I was taking pictures of the skatepark. I was really fascinated about her skating skills and started talking to her. I only had my longboard, but since I saw how much fun she had, I wanted to start skating. We met up a few times and became friends. I bought a skateboard and then I decided to make a photography project about her. With time we found more and more girls skating and we became a little group, meeting up, having fun and going skating. Somehow more and more girls joined us, and we decided to become a new skate crew. We found a name, created a logo, Facebook page and Instagram. More and more girls are still joining the crew. This moment of transition, finding more and more girls skating and having fun and helping each other out, is what my project became about. Through all the girls I can show that skateboarding can help in different life situations, to overcome fear, to gain more self-confidence and to break out of the everyday life routines.

Another side of the story from Aimee Lee: Since joining Nefarious my skating and nerve has become better and stronger, I’m learning new tricks (relearning them too), and I can say in all honesty and truth that my life is generally better now that I have them in it. Skateboarding has given me Nefarious and Nefarious has given me skateboarding, and I am forever thankful for the opportunities both continue to afford me. Where we’re going from here I’m not completely sure. People seem to be taking more notice of female skaters now, attitudes are really starting to shift, and the ones who already knew better all along can feel smug for having a lot more sense a lot earlier. As for us, I guess we’ll just carry on doing what we’ve always done: skateboarding and eating pizza.


, N O E M O C “ ” ! G E L R E H USE THE OT

By Steven and Megan Meketa


is a particular style of skateboarding invented in the ’70s by world champion slalom skateboarding pro Chris Yandall. Sadly, Chris passed away in April 2014, but his contribution to skateboarding lives on. He combined two forms of exercise, skateboarding and jogging, and created a fresh, new way to skate. Skateboarding + jogging = skogging. Yandall coined the phrase “pedidexterity” to easily express how skogging is done: switch-kick pushing with both legs. There have been many testimonies shared about how the pedidexterity of skogging has greatly enriched and improved riders’ ability with other board sports like surfing, snowboarding and street skating. When the idea to do this article came up, we wanted to include some words by those who held both skogging and Chris Yandall close to their hearts. It seemed only natural to ask his three children if they would like to contribute in honor of their father.

Chris Yandall shows his “pedidexterity” on a nighttime ride. Photo: Mike Scholl

Mari, Chris’ oldest daughter: “My father was quandary wrapped in a conundrum. I spent years struggling to understand him. The usual trials of life often clouded my ability to see him as he saw himself. I am truly jealous of all of you who knew him in his early skating days. Luckily, skateboarding, and skogging in particular, offered a place where I could truly see his spirit free from the struggle. I am incredibly grateful because not all children are afforded the opportunity to see their parent(s) in this way. To watch my father move on a skateboard was to watch a genius at work and play simultaneously. His sureness of switch-foot as he danced, spun and rocked the board and concrete in impossible ways with the fluidity and grace of a dancer … on the board he was flawless. I yearn for the hours spent skating beside or behind him, watching him groove to the rhythm of life. Whenever I felt lost in our relationship, I could always find him and make sense of him there on the board. And now in his absence I know where I can find him. With the wind in my face and the wheels at my feet I go searching, searching for the Skogmaster.”

Justin Yandall: “Come on, use the other leg!” That was the phrase of my childhood, all throughout school, and beyond. I hear it in the back of my head whenever I hit that boardwalk stretch between the Grand Ave. lifeguard tower and World Famous [need further ID], or anywhere I skate, for that matter. He is alive every time I see someone smile on a skateboard. The stoke was as real as it gets for him, and I don’t think he ever lost it or had any intention of letting it go. That crazy Samoan guy really believed in skateboarding, and he always wanted to share that belief with anyone who showed any sign of interest. He always wanted to have fun with skating and made sure that newcomers felt welcome. Right now I like to picture him skating an epic boardwalk in the cosmos, or hitting some galactic snake run with some of the greats. He really knew how to have fun skating, and needed it like medicine. No words can express how much I miss him. Chris Yandall was my hero, my father, my teacher, and most of all, my friend. Rip In Peace!”

Shannon, Chris’ youngest daughter: “He was an awesome dad. Not because he was a skateboarding king, the guy who created skogging, the 1975 World Slalom Champion, the inventor of the Samoan Squat or because he helped pioneer Tracker Trucks. Sure, all those things are incredibly cool facts about my dad, but it was the way he lived his life that I will forever cherish and model my own after. You see, while some people go to dinner to catch up with

their dad, I caught up with my dad while skating next to him. Sure, we did traditional things too, but for quality time, all of us kids were happiest joining our dad on one of his beloved skogs through Pacific Beach. Hanging with my dad was like hanging with a dear friend who was always appreciating the here and now, never missing the opportunity to get outside and enjoy life. He always marched to the beat of his own drum. He is proof that you can grow up and become a responsible contributor to society while living life whichever way you feel is most fulfilling, without losing your unique flair. He never did, and neither will I! Skog on!” The love and compassion that Chris’ children express is truly a testimony to the legacy that Chris has left. The increase in interest of local skog teams and branches across the world has shown that skogging is not only a style of skateboarding, but also a community. The skogging website ( receives emails from around the globe. People are skogging in the Philippines, Russia, China, Japan, Germany, the Middle East, South America, Canada and across the United States. We receive emails with photos, videos and inquiries on how to further the skogging movement. In the past several years there has been a growing recognition of the skogging style: Board manufacturers are branching out and including skogging in their target markets. Some have even asked for design input and are seeking skoggers to sponsor. Skogging has gained popularity because it is not only a fullbody workout but also a great way to commute around town. Skogging also eliminates the probability of injury or strain that could result from constantly pushing with one favored leg. In the near future there will be instructional videos that will incorporate training and core workouts. These videos will be useful for fitness enthusiasts, as well as for long-distance riders and marathon participants looking for that extra leg up on the competition. As Chris would say, “Cut the jive and skog!” Special thanks to the Yandall Family and

The author in perfect skogging form. Photo: Jon Robershaw



number of companies have done collaborations with artists. What is striking about the Dusters Loco Artist Collaboration is that it involved not just one but five artists. I had a chance to meet up with Nano Nรณbrega, creative director and co-founder of Dusters California, to ask him in detail about this unique collaboration.



COLLABORATION by Michael Brooke


or Nóbrega, the key idea is the ability to tell strong stories through the brand. “This creates a solid foundation,” he says. “At Dusters, I’ve found that through our collaborations we can not only tell such stories but we can also talk about history, teaching our kids about the foundations of art, surf, skate and music culture through something that they relate to so well – the skateboards.” This specific collaboration started with Nóbrega chasing Chaz Bojorquez, who is known as the king of cholo writing and the precursor of stencil art. While on a meeting

with John Van Hamersveld (JVH) about JVH’s previous collaboration with Dusters’ for his iconic design from the classic surf movie The Endless Summer, Nóbrega noticed him carrying a book. “It was matte black with graffiti letters on it,” Nóbrega says. “The title was California Locos and the ‘California’ was written with bright orange, very surfy-style letters. ‘Locos’ was written in this street, cholo, graffiti style, very similar to Chaz’s work. That was a recent project he was part of and the man I was looking for, Chaz Bojorquez, was part of it.”

It turned out three additional artists were involved with the book: Gary Wong, Norton Wisdom and Dave Tourjé. Each of these Southern California-based artists has had a tremendous impact not only in the USA but worldwide. All are true pioneers whose visions and ideas have resonated with the counterculture and beyond. I wanted to know why Nóbrega chose this specific group of artists, and he was very forthright in his answer. “These specific artists were part of the group The California CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 29

The Dusters Collaboration featured the following artists (left to right) John Van Hamersveld, Norman Wisdom, Chaz Bojórquez,Dave Tourjé and Gary Wong

Locos. I didn’t really choose the group; we met along the way and just connected really well.” Nóbrega said he feels a direct connection with the group: “We share similar passions in life, surf, skate, art and music.” Beyond this, the group is truly connected with art. “I realized they could bring a such a huge amount of history and knowledge to Dusters,” Nóbrega says. “The goal here really is to transcend all these things to the new generation out there through their art and our boards. The collaboration intertwines all these concepts.”

JVH suggested Nóbrega speak with Dave Tourjé, the curator of the Locos, to see the possibilities of working with Bojorquez. After a long talk with Bojorquez over the phone, Nóbrega started to understand the potential of the project.

too. “I began by showing him all the other collabs I have directed including the ones with The Doors and Jimi Hendrix,” Nóbrega says. “I explained all the fit and finishes of our boards, and he was so impressed with the attention to detail.”

“I listened as to how they got together,” Nóbrega says. “He told me about the things they have built and their whole philosophy behind their work. It was an instant connection! Instead of just working with Chaz, I was lucky to work with the entire crew, the California Locos!”

Tourjé gave Nóbrega all the freedom he needed to manage the design of all the boards. “He gave me full access to a ton of artwork from their archives, and, interestingly enough, never questioned the pieces I was developing,” Nóbrega says. “He wanted to share the designs with all the Locos only when I was done with all of them. The connection we had since day

Nóbrega soon got to work with Tourjé

one just made everything flow so smooth and easy.” Nóbrega was able to dive into the Locos’ archives and had a tremendous range of material to choose from. “Dave gave me all freedom I could have wished for to pick and choose what I thought was better fitted for the brand,” he says. “It turns out every piece I picked had so many stories behind them, and coincidentally or not, they just made so much sense for all of us.”

showed the artists the designs when they were all done. “This was Dave Tourjé’s idea, and it could have not worked out better,” he says. “The impact of all the board designs being delivered at once was perhaps a little too overwhelmingly good for them to even analyze it that well. They were way too hyped on it all!”

Nóbrega says all of these stories are quite long and could easily take up a whole article on their own. “The most important thing is that once they saw all the designs together, they were all way too stoked on it!” he says. “I [only] had to do very minor changes from the original designs. This is what I like to call synergy.”

Nóbrega says except for Tourjé, the group of artists only saw the computer compositions first, not the physical samples. The first time all the Locos got to see their boards in person was when Nóbrega was shooting the promo video with them. He wanted to make sure their reaction was as real as possible, so what you see in the video is as good as it gets. “They look like kids getting their favorite toy at Christmas day! It was really magical,” he says.

Collaborations can be a tricky process when expectations are not in line with what is delivered. In the case of the California Locos project, Nóbrega only

Nóbrega is pleased with the way the project worked out. “This project happened so organically, so it’s hard to think of a better way this could have happened. There are

certain things on the business/marketing side that could have maybe been better. For example, maybe creating more of a hype before product came out, or be able to have taken the launch events to other places around the globe. But as far as the actual boards we designed together and the chemistry we share through the process – no, I would not change anything.” It took the team a year from the first day they spoke to when the boards were being launched in Venice, California. Nóbrega says the best part of the experience was having all the people who got involved with the project and seeing how much fun they had together. “At the end of the day, what really makes us a happy human being is not really the goals we accomplish or the financial status we achieve, but the relationships we were able to build along the way,” Nóbrega says. “That is priceless – and I can’t wait to jump into the next collaboration.”


By Lynn Kramer, 12-Time World Slalom Champion Decks are gender-neutral. Guy, girl or however you define yourself – it doesn’t matter. What matters for slalom decks is your shoe size, your height and the course. It is common not only for myself, but for most upper-level racers to bring between two and four boards to a race.

Board width is a balancing act. Your board should be slightly narrower than your toe and heel at race stance. This gives the right amount of leverage on the board. I am happy with a halfinch of overhang on each side. The narrower a board is, the steeper you can angle your feet to get closer to the cones. Some people like this. The wider the board is, the more leverage you get on the trucks, but you need to draw a wider line through the course. The debate is out on what is better. You will have to try both and make that decision for yourself!

Board length is more straightforward. I think a racer’s first board should be a shorter board, 32 | CONCRETE WAVE - HOLIDAYS 2016

maybe 19” wheelbase – but longer if you have long legs, and shorter if you have short legs. Learning to pump is easiest if your hips allow your feet to stand at a comfortable width. For the longest time, I could pump an 18” or 19” wheelbase up my street, but when the wheelbase got longer, I lost all power. The Sk8Kings Lynn Kramer pro model has both 18.75” and 19.75” wheelbases. People shorter than about 5’5” can get out their drill and move the back holes forward another 3/4” for a super-maneuverable 18” wheelbase. After learning to pump, a racer can invest in longer wheelbases. As a general rule, the longer the wheelbase, the faster the board will get down the hill, so try to make the course on the longest wheelbase you can.

Bushings are probably the most overlooked but important part of your slalom setup. If you are under 150 lbs., your front bushings will probably never be harder than 77A. I start out

Lynn on her way to winning the hybrid slalom in Riga, Latvia. Setup: Joe McLaren Ultimate deck, 70 mm Turbo wheels, 115 mm Radikal trucks. Photo: Brad Jackman

lightweights with either Khiro white 73A or Reflex green 74A bushings or a combination of the two, with a barrel underneath and a tall cone on top. Larger, more powerful women may like the rebound of a slightly harder bushing in front. Reflex lime 80A’s have a great feeling to them, and I’m around 165 lbs. of steel. Rear bushings can and should be harder, like a pair of Reflex red 92A barrels, or harder.

Wheels are their own article altogether. The heavier you are, the harder your wheels should be. Someone 200 lbs. or more could ride nothing softer than 82A and be happy. Besides that, the temperature of the road, the surface and the course should dictate your wheel hardness. Find that balance between pumping hard and sliding out. Sliding is slow! Turbo wheels have taken the tall aluminum or composite core to its max, which allow for riding a softer durometer for grip, but keeping the roundness for speed. Other manufacturers such as Abec 11, Orangatang, Seismic and Venom have also begun to use a larger plastic core to keep the roundness of the wheel even when riding a sticky durometer. When starting out, smaller

For this banked slalom run at Highvalley Skateworld in Stockholm, Lynn chose an Axe 3 Ultimate deck and 70 mm Turbo wheels and set her Radikal trucks at 120 mm. Photo: Brad Jackman.

How much should trucks cost?

wheels, such as lemon and orange 66 mm Zig Zags, will allow for quicker maneuverability, though with a slower top speed. However, I actually rode 66 mm wheels when breaking the 100-cone world record, so don’t think that smaller is always slower through a course. The added maneuverability will show itself in cleanliness.

This is a big question with no answer. I ride Radikal trucks, which are priceless because they are discontinued. The feeling of the truck is so ingrained in my brain, it would take a year to change over. I have tried both the Sk8Kings 2x and the Fyre trucks for Super G, as these trucks offer more stability than the twitchy Radikal. They are in the $150 to $250 range. The 2x has an advantage that it actually has 4 geometries in one truck, and may be used on any Randalcompatible baseplate. This, with the choice of spherical hanger bearing or stable hanger bushing, gives the rider freedom to play with their optimal geometry for both front and rear truck. If you just want to try out slalom but don’t want to drop $300 to $500 on a set of trucks, a Tracker RTX in front and RTS in back will do for under $50 per pair. Khiro wedges can change the geometry until you find that happy place.

Trucks for slalom, like boards, should be wider to fit the course. As the downhill audience knows, the wider the truck, the easier those standies are, but again, sliding is slow. Trucks for slalom should match the board. For instance, if you are riding your tight slalom 18” wheelbase, you would probably do well with a truck that’s 90 mm wide (inside bearing to inside bearing). Anything over 130 mm or so, even on a giant slalom board makes you draw a longer line around the cones and also opens you up to sliding out. Universal long axles sold by Sk8Kings fit many trucks with removable axles, and they will allow the rider to widen or narrow the truck easily by moving the spacers in or out. The axles have proven to be stable and fast.

The toughest part about dialing in your setup is as soon as you do, something newer and faster comes out! Lynn’s newest model from Sk8Kings



Simone Mondino

Riders Pictured: Alex “Geims” Luciano Augusto Fasano Andrea d’Angelo

We are always looking for a great spot. We are lucky because we live pretty close to the Alps. Our journey to this spot started with a positive weather forecast. Although they said we’d experience a light shower in the afternoon, it was going to be mostly sunny and hot for the entire day.



It takes about two hours to drive from Italy to France. Within two hours, we have found our spot. It is truly incredible and filled with lakes and trees. Thankfully, the asphalt is quite good and Alex, Andrea and Augusto are really sick riders. With them I can always organize my shooting in peace with little stress. At the top of Col d’Izoard it starts to rain, so we decide to wait things out. The descent becomes more difficult because there are different conditions. Thankfully Geims knows the spot and things run smoothly.


After 8–10 hours of riding we decide to return home. Unfortunately, near the Italian border the heavy rains have caused a big landslide and we are obliged to take a 120-mile detour – but we’ll save the details of that experience for another time. Finally at 3:00 a.m. we arrive home. I’m incredibly tired, but realize it’s been an incredible day. A few hours later and we are ready again to organize a new day of shooting.


Introducing Mellow. The ďŹ rst electric drive that ďŹ ts any skateboard. Made in Germany.

@mellow_boards #theendlessride



Chad Sandiford created a unique lighting system that is mounted underneath the front truck. The battery powers a lighted track that gives a colorful glow.

As skaters, it’s imperative that we be cautious when riding in the street. The road is filled with drivers who have limited attention spans, along with a few maniacs who refuse to share the road. But things get even trickier when the sun goes down. Riding at night can be downright treacherous. Despite 60% less traffic on the roads, more than 40% of all fatal car accidents happen in the evening. Drunk drivers and drowsy drivers appear much more frequently compared to the daylight hours. Concrete Wave recently met up with several manufacturers who are creating products that illuminate your ride. If you’re planning to skate at night, we highly recommend you invest in this gear. It could wind up saving your life. Eric Birkemeier– Kevin Seele – Patrick McDowell – Ken Perkins – What products have you designed specifically for riding in the dark? Eric Birkemeier: We make USB-rechargeable headlights and taillights for any skateboard. Kevin Seele: The GoBLOCK Mounted Light is a high-efficiency headlight add-on to our BettyBOX riser system. Patrick McDowell: Skate Safe Products: The Skate Late and the Skate Late Pro LED. Ken Perkins: All of our Sunset Flare wheel sets are intended for

nighttime riding. They offer a great ride during the day but truly shine when the elements get dark. What makes your products unique? Eric: We have designed the only lights that project light forward, allowing the user to see oncoming terrain. ShredLights are also the only skateboard lights that can be attached and removed in seconds without any tools. Kevin: The Mounted Light is perfect as a board-mounted headlight or taillight and easily affixes to your helmet or GoPro mount. It contains three lighting modes: hi, low and flash. The battery is removable and rechargeable, and also compatible with a GoPro Hero 3. Patrick: The lightweight T6 aluminum mount is easy to put on and take off any board and has a nonmarking clamp design for your board. Ken: Our patented illumination technology truly sets us apart from any wheel currently available. Each Sunset Flare wheel has a “magic” core with LED lights that are powered only when

Clockwise from top left: Shredlights, Block risers, Sunset Flare wheels and Skate Safe’s Skate Late. A Shredlights rider enjoys an evening session.

distance, as our wheels emit a powerful LED light that shines through the urethane. Our wheels can also help the skater have a better sense of the road during nighttime riding and help them be seen by others. Are the lights durable? Waterproof? Eric: Our lights are the most durable skateboard lights on the market. They are made with shock-resistant rubber and reinforced with industrial-grade silicone – truly built to shred. They are only water-resistant right now, but look out for waterproof lights soon. Kevin: Solid construction to handle unexpected impacts. Waterproof up to 40 meters maximum – perfect for your rain setup or going for a swim. Patrick: The LED lights are durable and water-resistant. Ken: Just like most other skateboard wheels and bearing sets, our wheels ride best in normal dry skateboarding conditions.

Photo courtesy Sunset Wheels.

in motion with every push – no batteries required. We are the original LED skate wheel company. How visible are they – both in front and in the back? Eric: ShredLights allow users to see up to 12 feet ahead with the headlights during use. ShredLights can also be seen up to 100 yards out by oncoming cars. Kevin: Very bright: 300 lumens max (5500K–6000K). Patrick: The LED lights are so bright, people and cars will see you coming from blocks away, and if a car is approaching from behind, they will see the Skate Late back light before they can see you. Ken: Sunset Flare wheels can be visibly seen from a long

Any final comments or thoughts? Eric: The ShredLights team is comprised entirely of skaters that worked for over two years to perfect this product. While they come in at a higher price point of $39.99, the superior quality is clear. Kevin: GoBLOCK Mounted Light is the first light release from BLOCK Risers with a lot more to come! Patrick: The lights are great for campus, to and from your car, camping, bombing hills, walking your dog – and in some cities and most campuses you will get a ticket for not having a light on your ride. Ken: Sunset offers a selection of wheel styles, sizes, colors and light combinations that can give a perfect upgrade to any skateboard or longboard. Sunset is working hard on new board developments and wheel technology to ensure that you can “Own the night, ride the light!”

The Uncommon Path By Emma Daigle Photos: Matt Kienzle

I haven’t signed a lease or owned a phone for more than three years now. Why? Simply because I never know where I will be in a couple of weeks.


Surrounded by joy in Monument Valley, Utah.

ABOVE - “Traveling really feeds this appetite for expanding myself.” Spruce Pine, North Carolina ABOVE LEFT - Hitting the rolling hills of Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina. LEFT - “What is reality but a personal perception?” Making art in Los Angeles.

and insights to create. Traveling really feeds this appetite for expanding myself. I am proud to say that I’ve followed this uncommon path and for four years now have been living on the road and out of my board bag – which contains more boards and art supplies than clothing.

Call it marginal – I’ve been going against the grain before I even knew my path and choices were uncommon. It wasn’t a conscious “rebellion.” I was actually very reserved and shy as a child. I remember being in art class and the teacher asking us to paint a Laurentian forest surrounded by water that was in front of us. To me, it looked like the trees were isolated, like on an island. At the end of the course, I had a tropical island filled with palm trees and a raging sea. I recollect not even thinking twice while painting this and just letting my imagination tweak the “reality” in front of me … and this would happen in almost everything I did. Teachers would tell my parents that the world inside my head 48 | CONCRETE WAVE - HOLIDAYS 2016

seemed more appealing to me than the “reality” and what was going on. What is reality but a personal perception? I personally have never been able to do the same thing every day, or simply the same things as most, for that matter. And why should I? There’s so much pleasure in feeling like you are the first person to have a thought or an idea … or a way of life. Conforming to a 9-to-five job isn’t a size that fits all. I’m constantly oozing with ideas, places I want to experience, things I want to see come to life. Passion. My being thrives on birthing newness, and I find that by seeing and experiencing, I get deeper knowledge

This lifestyle started after I graduated from college. I was eager to see everything – the good and the notso-good. I wanted to go everywhere to see how it would feel and what I would learn- and boy, did I learn. I fractured my back that summer and gave up hope of starting my session at university … and still haven’t gone. Since then I have learned to trust the process and let things happen. For example, this injury brought me to my yoga practice, which I now teach and is one of the things I can’t live without – a few of the reasons being that it keeps my back/body happy and helps support this rambling lifestyle. I’ve been open to the unknown, open to everything thrown my way. I let my curiosity and passions guide me, and I

“I wanted to go everywhere to see how it would feel and what I would learn – and boy, did I learn.”

now live a whirlwind of a life that takes me to all corners of the world. It sure is beautiful to take life one day at a time. But let’s face it; life on the road is sometimes hard. For instance, not having a home. It is a blessing for a “free soul,” but a curse on some days. How? Well, I know I get the comment, “I wish I could do what you are doing” pretty often, so I’ll give you a glimpse of the behind-thescenes life to prove that “You too can do it.” The recipe is as simple as this, starting with the most common question: work. I teach yoga and do art. That’s my thing,

and it so happens that those are two “jobs” I can do wherever and whenever. I’ve taken on a load of odd jobs to accompany the two, all depending on where I am. As for the living situation, I’ve been sleeping on a camping mat for four years now. Depending on the time and season, I’ll be sleeping in my truck bed, a tent, straight under the stars or on a floor – no matter the weather or the health condition. Intimacy is a rare thing. No place to recollect, be alone and spread your things around. Yes, leaving your “stuff” lying on the ground for a day or two becomes a pleasure.

Now let’s talk cooking. Fine cuisine is hard to come by when you live out of a bag. Usually that means no access to a stove, but that doesn’t mean eating bad. Raw everything, fruits, veggies, and a can opener becomes your best friend. And finally, I address the living-out-of-abag situation. You gotta pack light as hell to get all that skateboard gear, camping gear (sleeping mat, sleeping bag), clothing for all seasons and art supplies to fit in a 50-pound bag. Who wants to pay that extra luggage fee every time?

With all that said, being on the road has taught me a lot. Here’s a little traveler’s insight for y’all. •

• • •

Pack light. You’ll only end up wearing a third of what you bring or what’s easily accessible on top of your bag. Warm clothing or extra clothing? You can always thrift store mission it. The perks? You’ll end up with a killer selection. Flying? Bring the heaviest articles in your carry-on, aka wheels. Take apart your boards and carry the planks strapped together in your hands. Wear your biggest clothing articles. Voila! You won’t have to pay for an overweight bag. Simplicity is key. In everything. Don’t overthink things. What is meant for you will never miss you. Be ready for the unexpected. It will happen.

I guess what I am trying to say is find what makes your heart beat faster – whether it’s a life filled with surprises and discoveries or a 9-to-5 job you love. Find just that and live it full speed till your body falls to pieces. I wouldn’t change this crazy way of life for the world. Happy trails. CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 49

LONGBOARD THERAPY: A Relational Utilization of the Mind-Body Connection By Isaac Farin, Ph.D., LMFT


few years ago I developed a therapeutic intervention called Longboard Therapy. Since first coming up with the approach, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and speaking with many amazing, dynamic individuals in the longboarding world. Their passion for the sport is real, genuine, welcoming and full of stoke! But it isn’t just the physical aspect of the sport they’re passionate about; everyone I’ve spoken to has shared enlightening perspectives on the importance of the mind-body connection in the sport of longboarding. In other words, they fully relate to the metaphor of longboarding that first inspired me to create Longboard Therapy. Here are a few examples: Joner Strauss, founder of SkateIDSA, shared with me that “longboarding allows for the mindful flow we are all looking for in our lives.” Don Tashman, CEO of Loaded Longboards, told me he sees the mind-body connection and relational approach of longboarding “as a transcendental experience (at least potentially). Full engagement in movement, flow, grace and heightened senses extracts you from your current mindset and everyday challenges.” Tashman went on to say, “My personal belief is that the act of harnessing G-forces to overcome pedestrian experiences of gravity expands the mind and one’s relationship with the physical world.” Andy Andras, the Guinness World Record holder for distance traveled on a skateboard in 24 hours, said, “I skate long distance because my longboard has become the friend I really know and speaks to me in a language I understand. The act of pushing my longboard has made me aware of my deeper thoughts, ideas and feelings, as well as the sensations and joys of the movement of my body.” He added, “The farther I skate, the more time I have to make this amazing connection with myself.” All of those people are dedicated skaters who love the sport and the community. Though each of them participates in the industry in unique ways, they all agree that when it comes to 50 | CONCRETE WAVE - HOLIDAYS 2016

longboarding, there’s much more to it than meets the eye. There’s great metaphorical value in the sport of longboarding. I came up with the idea of incorporating longboarding into some of my psychotherapy sessions with clients when I could no longer deny that longboarding was my biggest stress reliever after long hours of work at my practice. I felt compelled to share the stoke and flow I was personally experiencing with my clients. And I was confident that longboarding would add depth to the therapeutic experience, giving each client a unique experience of those incredible feelings. Since first creating Longboard Therapy, I’ve used it with over 50 clients ranging in age from 8 to 50. As varied as their ages have been, so too have been their therapeutic symptoms and goals. They’ve included anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, phobias, occupational transitions, life transitions, anger issues, ADD and ADHD, relational issues, family issues, addictions and academic issues. Through longboard therapy, I’ve helped my clients cultivate mindfulness and awareness, generate mind and body healing, boost confidence, achieve sportsrelated goals and develop overall life balance. The results have been rather spectacular, and I’ve received many testimonials from my clients, some of which you can see on my website, or Although each of my clients sets unique goals for Longboard Therapy, they all share in common the ability to utilize what they experienced when learning to longboard and apply it to achieving particular goals in their lives. The metaphor of Longboard Therapy is very apparent to them, and they can clearly see how they can apply it to their lives, in both intrapersonal and interpersonal ways. Most recently, I’ve been working with a 14-year-old boy named Evan,* who took it upon himself to participate in Longboard Therapy once a week. His goals for therapy were to find a better balance among his academics, social relationships and

sports while increasing his overall focus and energy. When he first came to me, his lack of balance was straining his communication with his parents and causing him to waste long stretches of time zoned out with his electronic devices. Evan recently shared some awesome insights from his experience with Longboard Therapy: “Longboarding helps me both physically and mentally.” “I feel better while exercising and sweating – I feel in the flow.”

When you fall, keep getting “back up. Nobody can learn to

longboard without falling, and same thing in life; it teaches you to always get back up.

“When we talk while we skate, it helps me relate my life to longboarding – for example, living a more balanced life.” “The metaphor is balance: school, sports, social life.” “I am receiving outlooks for how to make my daily life better, so I can live a happier life.” “When you fall, keep getting back up. Nobody can learn to longboard without falling, and same thing in life; it teaches you to always get back up.” “Falling and almost falling also teaches me that I would have made this mistake another time in the future, so I am able to correct some things now to correct that: future learning.” “In longboarding, you can take it at your own level. You can skate for fun, use it for transport, use it for tricks or just discover your own way.” “I prefer this method, because I can do a sport that I love while resolving life problems.” Evan has made some fantastic strides toward his initial goals. He is much more open, focused and balanced, and his parents have recently attested to this as well. They’re all grateful that Evan has the opportunity to work on his mindbody connection and relational goals in such a dynamic and experiential psychotherapeutic atmosphere . . . such is Longboard Therapy. The connections we tap into through longboarding are powerful and universal. We can all extract unique metaphors from our experiences while also recognizing common themes and perspectives that unite our experiences. This is what makes longboarding so special. Who knew that experiencing the world on a piece of wood with four wheels could be so deep!

*Client’s name has been replaced with a pseudonym to protect his privacy. “Longboard Therapy” is a registered trademark of Isaac Farin Therapy, LLC.




Words and Photos by Michael Brooke The genesis of this story starts with the Skaters Over 50 Facebook group. Former pro freestyler Ellen Berryman came up with idea of gathering a whole bunch of skaters over the age of 50 to ride together. Originally slated to be held in Lake Tahoe, things took an unexpected turn and the event was relocated to Denver, Colorado. This wound up being quite beneficial for me, since Denver is a direct flight from Toronto and is much easier to get to than Lake Tahoe. The event was a first, and getting an appropriate title for the meet-up was crucial. The group came up with the name “Geezer Grindfest,” and over the course of several months, plans took shape, with Colorado skate guru Ric Widenor stepping up and pulling things together for Sept. 23–25, 2016. The three-day event proved to be quite an experience for all participants. Skaters came from all over, including Vermont, Florida and California. 52 | CONCRETE WAVE - HOLIDAYS 2016

Friday night’s festivities started with a bang, including a performance by Agent Orange. Skating got underway at the Arvada skatepark on Saturday morning. The group enjoyed all aspects of this phenomenal park, including the bowls and the incredible snake run.

Part of the impressive snake run at the Arvada skatepark.

Riders also had the chance to mingle with several skate legends. Patti McGee, who graced the cover of the May 1965 edition of LIFE magazine, was meeting fans and signing autographs. Di Dootson, publisher of the groundbreaking ’70s newsletter National Skateboard Review, came out from California. Former Badlander Curt Kimbel stopped by to say hello. (No doubt Curt would have skated if he didn’t have his left arm in a cast – a skating injury, no less.) Lindsey Kuhn, the founder of Conspiracy Skateboards, also showed up to ride, and graciously hosted a party at his house.

After the Arvada session, I wound up going to a backyard pool with Jason Mitchell and a few others. The rest of the group descended on the magnificent Roxborough Skatepark in Littleton. The evening wrapped up with a BBQ, and the weekend concluded with even more skate sessions on Sunday.

of longboards and snowboards. It all runs like clockwork. Never Summer is currently celebrating 25 years in business, and 2017 will mark its 10th anniversary of building longboards. Denver is also home to BOARDLife, a shop that offers a huge amount of product, along with the ability to customize your own deck. The shop will soon be moving to bigger premises with a number of upgrades.

Amanda McCormick (left) with Patti McGee and Dave Riordon.

There was a real sense of camaraderie amongst the group, and everyone was truly supportive of each other. This extended even to several “non-geezer” skaters who joined the crew, including Zak Maytum, founder of Venom Bushings. Zak is well-known as a formidable downhill and slalom skater, but he tore up the Arvada park with an impressive bag of tricks, clearly demonstrating he is an excellent transition skater.

BOARDLife’s wall of wheels. Laying down the glue on another Never Summer longboard.

Everyone seemed to feel the Geezer Grindfest was an exceptional experience, and plans are under way to make next year’s event bigger and better. Colorado is home to a number of skate companies. In Denver I had a chance to visit the Never Summer factory, a very impressive operation where more than 70 people are involved in the manufacturing

In Boulder I met up with Dan Gesmer of Seismic. Dan has lived in Boulder since the late ’90s and really enjoys the town’s laid-back attitude. Hard to believe Seismic will also celebrate its 25th anniversary in just a couple of years. I also visited freshly minted Coloradoans Jeff Vyain of Pantheon Longboards, his wife, Maribeth, and their son, Torus. Jeff and I met for an early morning session at Lookout Mountain. Overlooking the town of Golden, the run is truly awesome. I overheard a pair of bike riders commenting on Jeff’s appearance on the hill. They were startled, but noted he looked like he knew what he was doing. Longboarding for Peace is starting to gain some traction in Colorado due to our association with artist Rachel Tribble and her efforts to get behind native communities. Thanks also to Loaded, Shark Wheels, Spooner and Never Summer for their generous donations of product.

Joel Lonky (left) and all-around ripper Jason Mitchell joined the fun.

Jeff Vyain of Pantheon Longboards.




Photo: Warren Bolster


by Michael Brooke Forty years ago, Warren Bolster nicknamed Ty Page “Mr. Incredible.” Back in May of this year, Ty was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. It was indeed an auspicious moment and long overdue. Ty’s contribution to skateboarding has been something of a semi-secret. In fact, if you ask anyone from today’s generation of skaters about the tricks Ty Page developed, you might get blank stares. But as you will soon discover, Ty created some of the key tricks that skaters worldwide perform every day. Ty grew up in Southern California and gained quite a reputation as a competitive surfer, placing well in a number of major surf contests. This was due in part to his father purchasing a house in Hermosa Beach. “If the waves got over 10 feet high, I was allowed to call in sick and skip school,” he recalls with a smile. But Ty’s roots in skateboarding run equally deep. He started riding skateboards in 1962 at the age of 4. Eventually, skateboarding took over. His first major skate contest was at the Bahne/Cadillac Championships in Del Mar in April 1975. Ty admits that he was extremely nervous before the contest. “I hadn’t eaten in two days, and anytime I was around food I would practically throw up; that’s how anxious I was,” he says. Despite this inner turmoil, Ty did well at the contest, placing second in the Junior Men’s division – just behind Steve Picciolo and just ahead of Jay Adams. A month later, Ty took first in the Santa Barbara City Championship, beating both Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta. He would go on to win dozens of skate contests during his career.

Thanks to his amazing skate abilities, Ty traveled the world. He was immensely popular in Japan and Europe. In Paris, 10,000 people were waiting to see him skate. It remains his favorite demo. “The French were hugely supportive and would applaud wildly,” he says. “If you did something death-defying, they would let you know it. All of it was so much fun, and the crowd constantly cheered us on.” Ty excelled in all areas of skateboarding – freestyle, bank riding, vert, high jump, barrel jump, slalom and downhill, to name a few – and represented the pure essence of just getting out there and riding. He was truly a pioneer in the concept of “skate everything.”


Pirouette circa 1977. Photo: Warren Bolster

“Back in the day, Henry Hester would set a slalom course at La Costa and it was 35 miles per hour. It was full on – and I even beat Henry one race!” he recalls. He excelled in vert as well. At the height of his fame, 350,000 people showed up for the Cal Jam II to watch the California Free Former team perform in the Firestone portable Plexiglas halfpipe. Ty skated while Santana performed “Black Magic Woman.” One of the key tricks Ty invented is the foundation of modern day freeriding: the Ty Slide. If you’ve ever done a standup slide at speed, you can trace the history of this move all the way back to four decades ago.

Ty sliding at La Costa. Photo: Warren Bolster

“I was on a 5 ¾” x 28” board with these massively wide wheels,” Ty says. “So, it was a pretty skilled trick for those days.” Ty recalls the exact moment when he invented it. “I was at the California Free Former factory, and we’d constantly skate around the factory. We had started to do a trick called a rock walk (sliding the board on vert), and I was going really fast and I tried to do the trick. The board slid by accident and I slid sideways.” A few weeks later, SkateBoarder magazine’s photographer/editor Warren Bolster used a $3,000 high-speed camera to capture Ty performing the Ty Slide at speed. When SkateBoarder magazine published the photos, it floored the readership. It’s thanks to Warren that Ty got his nickname: Mr. Incredible. The roots of modern street skateboarding can also be traced right back to Ty. He developed two tricks that are done by


Ty (right) and teammates Mark Bowden (left) and Bryan Beardsley. Photo: Jim Goodrich

millions of skaters every day: the Pay Hop and the Ty Hop. You know them as the 180 and 360 shove-it. Ty was featured in a number of ads for MG sports cars, along with his teammates Mark Bowden and Bryan Beardsley. I asked Ty what it felt like to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and he replied that he felt he was really loved at that event. As a competitive skater, Ty definitely wanted to place well in contests, but he was not one to be selfish with his tricks. “I was at a skate contest and I knew that I was going to win at least third place,” Ty recalls. “There was a specific trick that I was going to do: a pirouette in a pool. I called it the aerial rock walk and it was such a freakin’ hard trick!” Ty wound up showing the trick to a fellow skater and this skater wound up learning it and beating Ty in the contest. At the height of skate boom in the 1970s, Ty was earning $100,000 per year from endorsements – the equivalent of about $400,000 today. Pretty incredible for someone not even 20 years old. Ty’s pro skate career ended as a result of an injury. “I had broken my arm and couldn’t enter a pool contest. I was bummed about this, but at the time I was totally fearless. So I decided to build this 14’ halfpipe. It was pretty wobbly and I

had just taken the cast off the day before.” A crowd of young kids had gathered near ramp and egged Ty on. “I was pretty nervous about the ramp, but I realized I had to take a run.” Ty did indeed take a run and promptly fell twelve feet off the ramp into the sand. “I landed on my back and had a couple of compound fractures. I was in agony. But more than the pain, I realized that skateboarding had not given me enough to keep doing this.” Ty went into a three-month depression after the injury. It took teammate Mark Bowden to get him out of his funk. Ty Page represents a unique time in the history of skateboarding. He is one of a very few number of skaters who bridges all genres. Not only was he featured in all the skate magazines in editorial, the companies he rode for ensured that there were plenty of ads inside. I wondered if he ever had people do a double take when he presented his credit card. Ty told me that in Park City, where he runs a house-painting business, there was a competitor who didn’t really like him. “I’m not sure what the guy’s problem was, but he obviously didn’t like to have competition. He came up to me to talk and he repeated my name several times.” Eventually the guy told Ty how much he was into skateboarding growing up and the two have since become friends.

A few years ago, Ty was diagnosed with brain cancer. As you can imagine, it was a harrowing ordeal. But as you can imagine, Ty has taken on the illness like a true fighter. His progress was followed by his family and friends on Facebook. Thankfully, Ty has made a remarkable recovery. Ty’s ability to skate everything four decades ago still resonates with today’s generation. His contributions to freestyle, street, vert, bank riding and downhill will never be forgotten.

Summer 2016, Carlsbad, California. Photo: Michael Brooke



Cat Plant, 2012


aroshi is a self-taught Japanese artist, born in 1978, currently based in Tokyo. He creates full-scale, three-dimensional wooden sculptures with discarded and recycled skateboard decks. A passionate skater since his early teens, Haroshi possesses a thorough knowledge of the anatomy of a skateboard and all of its parts including the deck, trucks and wheels. He often scavenges, collecting broken skateboards to recycle the parts and use in his work. With no formal art training, Haroshi has adapted the determined perseverance and DIY ethos of skate culture into creating works of art. Haroshi’s relationship with his artwork is the same as with his skateboards - they are his life, his vehicle for communication and expression. He has been commissioned to create the trophy for Battle at the Berrics, which is the most-watched event on the most-watched site in skateboarding for the last three years. He opened his third solo exhibition, “Still Pushing Despite the Odds,” at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in February 2015 in New York.

Shaka Hand, 2016

Agony Into Beauty, 2013

“Never Rust” Buddy Lee Doll, 2015

Still Pushing Despite the Odds 2, 2015


FROM THE PEDAL TO THE METAL How Skateworks is Transforming Ethiopia

Elshadi (red helmet) and her two friends are from Wochelemi and run regular skate classes for the children of the town. Photo: Jon Burns

Interview by Michael Brooke


on Burns is someone who I connected with via Heidi Lemon of the Skatepark Association of the

USA (SPAUSA). Heidi seems to have a knack for finding the most inspiring people in skateboarding. Jon is based in Australia and once we began chatting, I realized his work in Ethiopia was absolutely astounding. Thus far, his organization Skateworks has impacted the lives of over 800 youth in Ethiopia. His dedication is truly inspiring.


How did you wind up in Ethiopia? In 1999 I departed Australia to take the position of regional Creative Director for McCann Erickson advertising stationed in Jeddah. My region was from Yemen to Poland and the horn of Africa and it included Ethiopia. It was on one of my trips to Ethiopia while scouting for television commercial locations I found myself on the Lake Langano track. It is a very arid and semi-lunar landscape. While traveling through the heat, haze, sand and gnarled trees I could see children running towards our four wheel drive as we made our way along this desolate track. This is where I met a child called Mele. As the car came to a stop and the children

huddled around the passenger window, I realized that at this moment in time, the glass of the car window was as much a division from reality as the glass on our TV sets are at home back in the west. Can you explain what you were feeling? As hard as we tried, when making charity appeal commercials with dramatic images and dialogue, it never seemed completely real. As I wound down the window, it was like winding down the screen of the television set. Standing before me were children barely dressed in much more than rags. They had little hand made cars for us to buy. The cars were crafted from scraps of wire, sticks and the like. I reached out and cupped my hand around the back of this little girls head and “bang!” It all became real in an instant. The lack of any kind of shoes and the exploding joy they exuded through their unquestioning sales pitch for their little hand made cars, really affected me profoundly. So what happened next? With the help of our fixer for that trip, I chatted to little Mele for about her home, her family and her reality. It is through many trips to Ethiopia over that time and the next three years that I learnt Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia. The country became my home. Over subsequent years I helped families, children in any way I could. In 2013 after much thought and experienced insight I founded Skateworks and have made it my life’s work ever since. What are the key goals of Skateworks? To safely return as many street children to their homes out of harms way with a life time tool for prosperity and a life long motivator like skateboarding. Your tag line is “the little wooden bridge from the street to the classroom.” Can you explain what this means? Skateworks uses skateboarding as the hook that connects children to education. “The little wooden bridge” is the name of our up and coming feature film for this reason. I asked myself, “What is it about skateboarding and the way a skateboarder learns when married with trade education that creates stickiness? The bridge is tied up intrinsically with the learning process of a skateboarder. All through my years as a skateboarder there were three things I learnt.

1.  The connectivity that skaters all share. There is a bond that creates, stickiness or glueyness. Skateboarding breaks down barriers. 2.  The goal setting instinct that it imparts upon its disciples. 3.     That falling is a part of learning.

Approximately 50,000 street children are sleeping in dangerous conditions despite the country as a whole doing well and growing at a fast rate with a solidifying middle class and comparatively strong financial base when referenced against other African countries. When visiting and working in Ethiopia the prosperity was self evident and the Industrial growth is exponential. I asked

How does this tie into your vision? The skateboard bridges gaps. The intent to succeed and to go beyond is what skateboarding is all about. When tied to education it enhances the journey and diminishes the fear of loss fo r at t e m p t i n g is where the success lies and the digging deep that is required when serving in a third world level of unemployment, marginalization and hopelessness. Skateworks primary creates a pathway from the streets to stable life through skateboarding. You work with street children – wh at i s t h e situation like for them in Ethiopia? 100,000 street Dawit Legesse, the Skateworks trade and events manager, helping a young grom in Addis Ababa. The portable ramps are used in outreach projects. children live on Photo: Wossene Haile the streets of Ethiopia. Both boys and girls between the ages of 7 myself the obvious question – why are and 15 years of age sleep in drains and there so many street children around subterraneous temporary havens in the caught up in fighting, street crime, alcohol, urban landscape. There are large numbers theft, prostitution and in danger of abuse of children who were in government with no pathway up to a new life? There schools, whose families cannot grow is no bridge back to education and the enough food due to land being sold off arms of parents and loved ones. No hope to International investors. These children of a departure from this perilous life when can no longer go to school due to this lack Ethiopia is doing so well. of food. CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 63

How were you able to get things rolling? I had been doing a lot of skateboarding around the city and found that every time I did this, a huge number of kids would flock around to see this new thing. It was obvious that this was the perfect tool to get kids to come so that we could interview them. So we built some portable ramps and took them with us to get the kids involved and with the buzz of skateboarding, find out why the children were travelling so far and putting themselves at so much risk. Wonderful things started to happen.

families and of course themselves. The tool of trade chosen by the children was a shoeshine box. A shoeshine box? The shoeshine box is cheap and portable. The problem is there are numerous kids who are shining shoes and they only get 10 cents per shine for their work. What we also learned was that whenever we brought a skateboard out children, youth and adults in the hundreds would come out of nowhere. This was when I had a light bulb moment. If skateboarding was such a successful draw card, it would be a incredible waste not to do something with it. I realized if we used the connectivity of skateboarding that I had seen all my life, attach it to education in a short time frame learning curve then we can facilitate change.

So what did you do to replace the shoeshine box? Traditional education takes so long. All the building materials that are normally wood in a western home are predominantly metal in Ethiopia in low-income homes. Door frames, window frames, security For the past two years, Skateworks has been a central engagement in “A Day for Street Children” in Addis Ababa. doors for those Photo: Tom Noonan windows, gates Connectivity, confidence, motivation, and the security spikes on the fences leadership and inner strength. The spirit to keep thieves out. Metal fabrication of skateboarding was alive and well in is without doubt the dominant trade in Ethiopia! We started to interview the Ethiopia. The equipment is relatively small kids and find out why they were falling but expensive and repairs are needed when through the cracks. From the interviews it breaks down. we had with the children, we found out the answer. Children were coming into Skateworks developed a solution. The the central city by foot, some 200 hundred Skateworks home made welder was kilometers to earn money to feed their developed through R&D with the Central 64 | CONCRETE WAVE - HOLIDAYS 2016

Australian College in Melbourne. It is a welder that is made from readily available components; emergency shut off safety switches and prefabricated commercial componentry. This allowed the youth from 13 years and above to be able to build their own welding unit in the first week. From here they learn how to repair it in the second week and therefore have a tool for life. There is no Walmart in rural Ethiopia and home repairs are crucial and compared to what a homemade equipment was currently being used. The welder is not only light years ahead, it was light and replaced the shoe shine box with a tool that could really create an income sufficient to allow the youth to return home and in only six weeks whereas traditional education takes years. Yo u h av e k i d s g o f r o m b e i n g a skateboarder to welder in six weeks? Absolutely. In weeks three, four, five and six, welding, finishing and grinding core units are covered in unison with skateboarding skills workshops. At the end of the six weeks the student makes their own steel kicker which allows us to assess their skills and return them to their village with their kicker, skateboard and all their welding gear. What happens next? An assessment is done of the home environment to make sure all is safe for the child to return. Moving forward as we get multiple students being returned home to the same village. We check what previous students have made and rather than a kicker, the next student makes a corner transition that bolts onto the previous child’s kicker. This way tiny metal skateparks pop up all over Ethiopia and the stock of Skateboardinghums through the villages connecting children with a stable future. What does all this achieve? A six week course in metal fabrication does not make you an expert but it gets you off the streets and that our goal. It gives you a basic income for you and your family and the ability to do more training in Trade education and Traditional education. It creates a functional Ethiopian youth who has a skill and the tools to create an income stream for himself and his family as well as his a pride and a life and a future. For more information, please visit

NO SHOES? NO PROBLEM! Gearing up in Ethiopia’s First Public Skatepark By David Kobrosky


’m writing this from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at its first public skateboard park. I am the founder of Skate 4 Africa. I traveled from Boston, Massachusetts, to research firsthand along with a volunteer and documentary producer Ahmed Badr, how the development of a single skatepark shaped an entire community.

So why Africa? The answer is one billion. By 2050, Africa will have close to a billion children under the age of 18. This poses a number of potential issues, but also an opportunity. Children of all ages from an array of backgrounds should have the right to a positive outlet that can teach life skills and build a community.

It’s all about putting smiles on people’s faces. Nahom enjoys the moment. Photo: Ahmed Badr


Falling down and getting back up is not simply a part of skating – it is skating. What goes into perfection is your time and drive to reach that level of the sport. It’s progress that pushes you along your journey. Imagine what skating has done for you and know that it also can be done for children around the world. Getting up with bruised arms or blood running down legs, skaters in Ethiopia had this unparalleled ability to hop back on their board and finish a run or stomp their new trick. OPPOSITE Babu hits the park with sandals. Just after this shot was taken, he was given actual skate shoes. Photo: Ahmed Badr

The skating family is one of local change-makers who created what would have been simply impossible five years prior. I experienced a tightly knit community like none other. In skateparks across America, dozens of children learn how to skate alone. Here in Ethiopia, however, no one walks, skates or even falls alone. A sense of support rings throughout the rusting grind rails and the bearings of a recently donated board under a child’s foot.

RIGHT Hamid takes flight at the park in Addis Ababa. Photo: Ahmed Badr BELOW Left to right: Ahmed Badr, head photographer, local skater Ki Ru, David Kobrosky. Photo: Ahmed Badr

Age has no significance. Have you ever seen that dad with a board in one hand and his son’s or daughter’s board in the other? Meanwhile the child trots alongside, wearing a helmet that’s slightly too large and covers their eyebrows. In the dozens of times I’ve been in the Addis park, not once have I failed to see this type of love in action. For nations pursuing development like Ethiopia, the construction sector plays a big role in socio-economic progress. Building skateparks, and funding local companies to support one of Ethiopia’s largest sources of employment, will directly lead to a more developed society and grow the country’s GDP. Furthermore, the newly formed attraction to local youth centers can increase the funding of these education incubators and once again lead toward progress. Educating the youth of developing countries will lead to a progressive future and hope for those in dire circumstances. Therefore, we will build skateboard parks in the neighborhoods of and inside the vicinity of youth centers. The park in Addis Ababa, built by Make Life Skate Life and Ethiopia Skate, is a perfect example of how effective this concept can be; children who go to the park are exposed 66 | CONCRETE WAVE - HOLIDAYS 2016

to a safe environment that encourages a strong education. Riders in the Addis Ababa community take pride in skating barefoot if shoes are inaccessible. If you can drop into a halfpipe without shoes on and kickflip with 4-year-old sandals, what can’t you do? What can’t you set your mind on, be resilient and create?

In Addis, working with what you have and creating something new out of your surroundings is essential. A rock becomes a file for your grip tape; boxcutter razor blades take priority over scissors; you can change a tire with a skate tool; and that park bench becomes your playground.

Think of all the things skating can get you interested in. While in Ethiopia, I had the privilege to engage in conversations about graphic design, woodworking, photography, filmmaking and engineering with the local skaters. These are just a few of the interests skating leads to. To name some more: sales, retail marketing, painting, team management, welding and entrepreneurship. “Hey, Yared, how does Babu skate that well without shoes on?” I ask the founder of Ethiopia Skate and soon-to-be business partner with a curious crank of my neck. “Well, he’s never had a pair, but he’s been skating for about 6 years now,” Yared replies. His voice carries a note of pride, as if anyone who can skate that long without shoes is considered a paragon in Addis Ababa. Watching 13-year-old Babu conquer the rails and halfpipes of Ethiopia’s first skateboard park gives an indescribable feeling that solid, tangible proof of my passion exists. The piece of wood under Babu’s feet was once a prototype of our now mass-produced longboard. The pavement upon which the Palindrome

rolls was built from the combined efforts of 55 volunteers across Massachusetts running fundraisers for Skate 4 Africa. Babu drops into the halfpipe again; my jaw drops just as quickly. Harnessing every last drop of momentum, he flies through the air. He approaches with a genuine grin revealing two missing teeth, but twice the charisma of a typical “youngster,” as Yared would say. I physically look down at Babu, but the partisan in me looks up. Following the customary two-bump handshake, and hearing a brief thank you for Babu’s new board, I take his concrete-powdered hand and he leads me to the nearest shoe store. Skateboarding has always been an outlet for me. It’s an outlet that I can plug into and recharge. It allows my consciousness to travel along the wires of my inner thoughts and arrive at a new state of being. Subsequently, I began looking for ways to connect the wires of skateboard decks with the potential energy of riders waiting to be plugged in. This is how Skate 4 Africa was born.

events and mentors, I discovered how to distribute boards through programs of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). With stacks of boards, schools of funders, volunteers to contribute toward study groups and an expanding lexicon to define our path ahead, I knew I could eventually write the design and publish the library of skating: a skateboard park. If you’re a skater, chances are you have a few extra boards in your quiver. Perhaps you go to your local hill for weekly events and even bring home a few prizes from time to time. Whatever your situation is, if you have the resources to join our movement, we ask you to do so. Check out our website at skate4africa. org or email me at david@skate4africa. com to find out how you can contribute. Currently we’re fundraising for the first public skateboard park in Zambia. We would love your help creating a chapter, running an event or even supporting us by grabbing a T-shirt on our website, with all proceeds going to the new park. We look forward to implementing similar programs and revolutionary skateboard parks in multiple developing African countries to come.

Educating myself through networking CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 67

By Michael Brooke

Dan Colburn shows he’s still got some pop with a hip ollie at Huntington Beach. Photo: Lansing Pope

At 50, Dan Colburn’s got a tremendous number of tricks under his belt. On top of this he’s spent decades in the music business and enjoyed success with the Adolescents, D.I. and Mind Over Four. Dan and I met up at the Oceanside, California, skatepark this past summer. He was with another skater over 50, John Pope. Although Dan took a fairly lengthy hiatus from skateboarding, he never let the flame completely extinguish.

together perfectly. They are very similar in approach, attitude and originality. I love and play a wide range of music now; I also appreciate all forms of skateboarding. It’s an attitude that you can do whatever you want.

You’ve been able to fuse punk rock and skateboarding for many years now. What is it about the combination of these two that has captivated you? Rock and roll and skateboarding were my first loves in life, so you never forget that. Punk and skateboarding were the coolest, most exciting things coming out of the late 1970s, and they fit

What led to your hiatus from skateboarding? When skateboarding crashed in 1982, all the parks closed. I really didn’t have any friends that still skated. I had started playing guitar in bands already, and I turned my full attention to that. I only skated occasionally until 2000.


What specifically drew you back into skateboarding in 2000? My nephew actually told me about Tony Hawk landing the 900. My other nephew had a quarterpipe ramp, and I skated that with him on my old ’80s board and I had a blast. The Vans skatepark in Orange [California] had the Combi replica, and I had skated the original. I said, “I gotta try this.” Then the buzz started building around the Dogtown movie, and I was hooked. You’ve managed to place well at a number of events. To what do you attribute this success? Unfortunately, I’m not the kind of skater that can just show up first time at a new spot and skate real well, so I practice a lot and try to perfect one or two lines that I can do consistently. What I lack in spontaneity, I make up for in predictability – ha ha. Are there some places you are burning to skate but haven’t? The Kona skatepark in Florida, just for the history there. I would love to skate Hawaii again.

You’ve spent many years on the road. Of all the stories about life on the road, is there just ONE you can share with our readers? I was on tour with D.I. in Europe in 1990. We played a place in Switzerland that had an amazing wooden skatepark. I remember the whole band was skating it. It was a blast. I took a slam but shook it off and kept skating. Good times. In the morning, I was in agonizing pain. They took me to a hospital and found I had broken both arms in several places. I had casts on both arms. The band left me with some Swiss friends and continued the tour with one guitarist. After a few days, I began to travel to catch up with the band. No phone, no internet, two broken arms, little money, foreign languages, an unforgettable train ride, football hooligans, many others. The people, places and things I encountered could make a movie. I finally arrived at the gig in Amsterdam. Boy, was I glad to see them. We cut off one cast completely and modified the other so I could play. I played the gig and finished the tour. Rock and roll. How does your family support your efforts with respect to skateboarding? My dad died last year. He and my mom were at my 2014 finals where I won first place overall for that bowl riding series. My mom was there again when I won it again in 2015. Those were super-proud moments for me.

You’re about to hit 50. Any tricks you’d like to master that you haven’t yet? I turned 50 last June. Inverts, Andrechts, frontside inverts, Miller flips, Caballerials, huge airs … A lot of skaters stay in skateboarding because they ride it all. Do you subscribe to the same theory? Absolutely. I mainly ride skateparks, but also ditches, ramps, banks, fullpipes, mini ramps, street, pools, parking structures, whatever. I like to ride my vintage boards

TOP LEFT Tony Sabala with Dan at the Big O Skatepark in 1978. Photo: Helen Colburn TOP RIGHT Dan wheels it on his Old Bro at Encinitas. Photo: Bill Billing ABOVE Backside grabber in the deep end at HB. Photo: Lansing Pope

for street. It’s like a time machine. I have some longboards too – all good. One of my favorite spots is the Old Bro ramp in Carlsbad. I hope to do some downhill and slalom also. I even did some freestyle in Oceanside with you – ha ha. I’m not even close to done yet. CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 69

// LFP






On August 7, 2016, we had a really awesome day with the youth from the local refugee camp. The kids come from a number of different countries including Eritrea, Mali and Afghanistan. SW D ITZERLAN Thanks to the generosity of Loaded Boards, we were able to ensure each rider had their own complete. We brought 11 kids to cruise our local track. It’s four kilometers of pure asphalt surfing through our public traffic system.


We combined both LFP and a new program called The Magic of Balance to present to attendees of Buskerfest in Toronto. Over 3,000 people visited our booth over the Labor Day weekend. The youngest participant was 3 and the oldest was in their 70s. We showcased both longboards and a number of balance products. A huge thanks to Restless, Loaded and LAAVVA, which all helped sponsor the event.








I would like to thank Kilian, Aaron, Michael and Jeremy of Number.One skate shop in Lucerne for being the best peace and longboard ambassadors I could imagine. Big thanks to our cook, Philip, who served tasty wraps for lunch at the local pumptrack. Also big thanks to Connie, Christophé and Manuel for capturing it all on camera. The entire experience was truly magical and we are continuing to ride.


As most people know, LFP works to promote peace, balance and justice. Over the past several years, LFP has worked with Innocence Canada, an organization dedicated to helping free the wrongfully convicted. On October 5, Durham College co-hosted Ron Dalton to mark Wrongful Conviction Day. In 1989 Dalton had been convicted of second-degree murder of his wife and spent nearly nine years in prison. However, in 2000 he received a second trial, in which the court determined his wife had accidentally choked on a bowl of cereal, and Dalton was fully exonerated. More than 60 students attended Dalton’s presentation and were truly moved by his alarming tale.




By Kilian Green

Editor’s Note: This is our second installment of Under the Hood. Our aim is to expose some of the issues that consumers are facing with electric skateboards, which are vastly more complex than regular skateboards. Under examination, people are finding a number of troublesome shortcuts in some units that could have serious repercussions for consumers. As always, we encourage you to do your homework and remember, “buyer beware.”


our last issue we talked about the cheap Chinese copies of the high-end Mellow Drive that are entering the market – even before the original item. This is scary, and not only for companies like Mellow that are being ripped off. It should also get the skate community thinking. There must be consequences for counterfeiting a product and bringing it to the market within a timeframe of as short as six months, in a world where normal development cycles for such products take several years. When Mellow got the chance to analyze one of the rip-offs in their lab in Germany, plenty of dangerous facts about the product surfaced. By looking very similar to the original, the copy is obviously trying to suggest that it’s a quality product. But looks can be deceiving.

The problem wasn’t the batteries themselves; it was the way they were used. Even the best cells will give up quickly if you run them out of their specs. Besides overburdening the batteries, the rip-off product also lacked a fuse that could shut off the battery when things get out of hand – again, a combination that could result in a fire. On the mechanical side, the counterfeit product had no cell holders in the pack. Cell holders mechanically keep the single cells in position to avoid damage if the pack is dropped. Especially in skating, one should expect plenty of slams and vibration, making this a “must have.” Without a cell holder, you’re practically asking for problems to flare up.

Battery Bungles In late 2015, so-called hoverboards became notorious after hundreds of units caught fire in their owners’ homes. This left consumers in shock at best, and with damaged or destroyed homes in some cases. Over 500,000 hoverboards were recalled in the USA. The reason for these dramatic events revolved around the use of lithium batteries inside the boards. What most people don’t know is that lithium batteries have a higher energy density than dynamite. This makes them an extremely bad thing to mess with. Several different safety systems are needed to make a battery pack safe, ranging from temperature and current sensors to voltage measurements in order to avoid overcharging and deep discharge. There is no room for error, as mistakes and shortcuts can lead to alarming problems such as overheating or fire. In the model Mellow tested, some of these crucial safety features are missing. There are no temperature sensors within the battery pack that would allow for a shutoff in case the battery overheats. This could also reduce the lifetime of the battery, since a lithium battery should not be exposed to temperatures over 60°C. Above this temperature, the battery becomes permanently damaged. When developing a skateboard battery, one must choose a cell that is able to handle the needed currents. Every cell manufacturer gives a specification for their cells, which normally makes the process of choosing the right cells very straightforward. However, in the rip-off product, the designers seemed to have ignored or disregarded the proper specs. The Samsung cells they used were rated for a maximum discharge current of 20A, but under full load, the board drew up to 37A from the pack – a serious discrepancy.

Braking Bad Another much-discussed topic in electric skateboards are the brakes. Everyone knows that a car without reliable brakes is nothing but dangerous – but with some electric skateboards, reliability still seems to be sort of optional. Like most cars, e-skates offer what is called “regenerative braking.” During braking, electricity is generated by the motors and charged back into the battery, extending the range. That’s normally a great feature. But when the battery is fully charged, it can’t accept that excess energy; it has to go somewhere else or the brakes will be switched off. For this reason, Mellow has an integrated braking resistor that turns excess energy into heat and dissipates it over a heat sink. The Chinese copycat also looks like it has a heat sink – but it’s actually a fake. When the battery is full, the brakes are simply switched off, leaving the user in a potentially lethal situation.

Underwhelming Undercarriage Since wear and tear is inevitable in skating, reputable companies strive to make trucks and boards as solid as possible. Here again, the copycat demonstrated a flawed design. First, the axle does not go through the hanger. Rather, the motors are attached to the hanger via two round flanges plus three screws. And second, those three screws are not what you’d call over-dimensioned. As a result, the hanger/ motor assembly soon starts to bend under the rider’s weight. Imagine jumping off a curb and having to trust your health to a 4 mm screw?! So, as we mentioned at the top of this article, electric skateboards pose their own set of issues. It’s vital that you don’t just explore what you see on the surface but take the time to look under the hood.



U.S. NATIONALS By Richy and Maria Carrasco By Maria Carrasco

Paul Price blazing the tight slalom course to a second-place finish. The U.S. Nationals was one of 11 slalom races in eight different countries Price attended this year – which has to be a new record in itself. Photo: Maria Carrasco

The sixth annual Sk8Kings U.S. National Championships of Slalom came to Oceanside, California, on October 1–2, 2016 in great sunny SoCal weather with zero rain. Not only does this annual event carry on the tradition of the legendary 1970s La Costa races, but the Loretta Street venue is also the same hill where Henry “Bad H” Hester tested his downhill skatecar “White Lightning” in preparation for the classic Signal Hill races in the late ’70s.

slalom, with a pro-level course featuring cone 5.5-foot cone spacing at the top, finishing with a looser 7-foot spacing toward the bottom, where the highest speeds were reached. There was also a second, less challenging course set at 8-foot spacing, with S-curves to add some additional fun to the course. Day two featured giant slalom. While the hybrid and tight courses had been set halfway down the steepest part of the hill,

If you haven’t been to Loretta, it’s a blocked off street that is more like a roller-coaster run than a road. The top is very fast, with a steep downhill drop ending in a still-pitched bottom section that holds the speed. Through the years, there has been no official maintenance on the road (except the So Cal Racing crew’s patch repair efforts), so the surface is pretty gnarly, and soft, grippy wheels were a must for the weekend. The ISSA Major ranking sanction offered top world ranking points along with national titles to attract legends, world and national champions, and a growing group of inspired racers from the local area to as far away as Berlin, Germany. The first day began with head-to-head hybrid slalom, which is a combination of giant and tight slalom courses. After qualifying, the racers were divided into A and B classes, pitting racers of similar speeds against each other regardless of age or gender. Later in the day, the racing finished up with single-lane tight 72 | CONCRETE WAVE - HOLIDAYS 2016

Joe McLaren (left) and Richy Carrasco finished first and second in Saturday’s hybrid slalom event. McLaren went on to earn the U.S. National pro gold with a sweep of the hybrid, tight and giant events claiming the “Lord of Loretta” title to boot. Photo: Maria Carrasco

the single-lane GS course started at the top for maximum speed. As usual, this course offered cone placing for good rhythm while driving to the finish line without scrubbing speed – a fast and fun thrill ride. After the GS was concluded, the crew showed their appreciation for the young volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 271 (who worked hard all weekend cone marshaling) by holding a special beginners’ race just for them. This event is not only one we show up to race at, but because our company Sk8Kings is the organizing title sponsor, we also had to help make sure things ran smoothly before, during and after. As always, lots of teamwork went into putting on this racer-run event. So huge thanks to race director Lynn Kramer, the racers and spouses of our So Cal Racing crew, San Diego Ski Club, MC John Gilmour and all of our very generous sponsors such as Di Dootson of National Skateboard Review for funding a $1,000 women’s prize purse. The special Lord of Loretta award went to the fastest guy on the hill, Joe McLaren, who swept the pro division to win the overall.

Headlights for any skateboard Get yours at: (U.S.) & (U.K. & Europe)

The queen of the 1970s La Costa races, Di Dootson (center), with the queens of today’s slalom scene, Lynn Kramer and Judi Oyama. Photo: Maria Carrasco

Congrats to the top finishers listed below. Full results, pics and videos available at



1. 2. 3.

1. 2. 3.

Joe McLaren Richy Carrasco Ethan White

Karl Floitgraf Dylan Greenbaker Brad Burnell



1. 2.


Lynn Kramer Judi Oyama

MASTERS MEN 1. 2. 3.

David Hackett Scott Hostert Brad Jackman

1. 2.

Orion Lehrmann Oshean Lehrmann


owner/founder- Buddy Carr

Metro Wheel Company | PO BOX 1895 | Carlsbad California 92018

25 years of product design ahead of promotion design 25 years of quality skateboards versus quantifiable skate-sales 25 years of finding spots rather than filming spots 25 years of building a big team, not imitating the big scene 25 years of friends’ events before federation events 25 years of valued moments instead of viral moments

25 more years of focus? Of course.

Concrete Wave Winter 2017  

We jammed a ton of very cool stories into this issue.

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