SPECIAL ISSUU EDITION Just a taste of the full mag!
JAMES KELLY $4.95
SPEEDBOARDER OF THE YEAR
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EDITORIAL LONGBOARDISM NOTEWORTHY GOT STEEZ? LONGBOARD GIRLS CREW A QUESTION OF BALANCE SPEEDBOARDER OF THE YEAR – JAMES KELLY CONFESSIONS OF SKATER MOM WHY I DO WHAT I DO – JASON SALFI/COMET SHOP TEAM PROFILES THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTITUDE TO SKATE OR NOT TO SKATE LONGBOARD THERAPY ETHAN LAU PROFILE ISSA REPORT TRAVELS WITH THE HUMBLE HIPPIE OSCAR LORETO LONGBOARDING INDONESIA LONGBOARDING FOR PEACE UPDATE ISPO ARTIST SHOWCASE ROCKIT TALK
16 CONCRETE WAVE SPRING 2013
Victor Kerr. Photo: Rafael Fazano
Vol. 11 No. 5 SPRING 2013 SEARCH/SPARK/STOKE
PUBLISHER/EDITOR ART DIRECTOR CORRESPONDENT I.T. DEPT. HEAD COPY EDITOR PROBLEM SOLVER HEAD OFFICE
Michael Brooke | firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Tzerelshtein | MarkintoshDesign.com Jim Kuiack Rick Tetz of CalStreets.com Jonathan Harms Bud Stratford | email@example.com 1136-3 Center Street, Suite 293 Thornhill, Ontario L4J 3M8 ph: 905.738.0804
SKATESHOP DISTRIBUTION Buddy Carr Designs PO Box 1895, Carlsbad, CA 92018 firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 760.722.4111 CONTRIBUTORS (In order of appearance): Olivier Séguin-Leduc, Rafael Fazano, Andrew Yeung, Pierre Gamby, Bianca Kersten, Linda Kemperink, Monty Little, Felipe Francisco, Kurt Hurley, Valeria Kechichian, Ishtar Bäcklund, Brendan Hope, Noelia Otegui, Sharna Florence, Jeff Budro, Yahav Trudler, Mikey Seibert, Andrea Wallace, Karen Krivit, Bob Weinrieb, Jason Salfi, Bryce Kanights, Joey Bidner, Noe Fernandez, Blake Smith, Colton Killoran, Kyle Smith, Clint Cherepa, Isaac Farin, Joner Strauss, Danielle Sade, Jon Caften, Matt Kienzle, Yvonne Langner, Andreas Hesse, Sean Hueber, Ryan Smith, Raphael Lucena, Chad Shine, Robert Brink, Mike Scholl, Chris Sanchez, Devin Loreto, Shandy Aditya. concretewavemagazine.com Concrete Wave is published by North of La Jolla Inc. Subscriptions (5 issues) are US$26 FIRST CLASS or CAN$26. Address change? Mag not arriving? Email us... don’t go postal. We can sort it out. email@example.com. We will notify you when your subscription expires. Publisher’s permission is required before reproducing any part of this magazine. The views and opinions expressed in Concrete Wave are not necessarily those of the publisher. We happily accept articles and photos. Please contact the publisher directly at firstname.lastname@example.org before you submit anything. We are looking for a variety of stories and images as long as they are skate-related. COVER: James Kelly is chased by Louis Pillioni. Photo: Olivier Séguin-Leduc OPENING SPREAD: Tibs Parise launches large. Photo: Jon Steele FINE PRINT. Putting together the April issue is always a turbulent, yet ultimately satisfying experience. It comes on the heels of the Buyer’s Guide, so work begins early in the year. Coordinating all the stories is always a challenge, but keeping the secret of Speedboarder of the Year from the recipient is especially difficult. As we crawl our way out of another winter and into spring, it always feels like we’re helping to remove the cobwebs in people’s minds. Of course, I can’t speak for those who live in warmer climates. I know it’s an endless summer. But trust me when I say that the return of spring signals the end of the endless bummer of not being able to skate outside! It’s not all print. I’ve also been working hard on getting the Vans Warped Tour Passport Program together. I am delighted to let you know that we are back on the tour. For those who are regular readers of The Fine Print, you know that I occasionally reference people who have made an impact. I met a number of terrific people in Munich at the ISPO trade show. Jeremy Sochin hails from Los Angeles but now makes his home in Switzerland. He runs a skate and snowboard shop called Number.One. It was extraordinary how well we hit it off. Jeremy, I will take you up on your offer to go snowboarding! Another remarkable person I met at the show was Coco Tâche-Berther. Coco publishes 7sky Magazine, and I was completely knocked out by the quality and vision of the publication. Coco takes the idea of action sports and doing good very seriously. She inspired me to think bigger. Coco also lives in Switzerland. So now I can officially announce that whenever I do decide to retire, I’ll be running between California, Switzerland and Toronto. Not sure how I’ll pay for that, but hey, that’s why I call it the Fine Print!
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Cesar Leite Photo: Rafael Fazano
I was looking for a photo that I felt would best capture the feeling of pure skate stoke. I wanted a photo that would inspire all those people who have been cooped up and are just getting over a bad dose of cabin fever. Finally, spring has arrived and it’s time to get out and ride! I didn’t have to look too far to find the shot I wanted. Our Brazilian connection Rafael Fazano provided a treasure trove of brilliant photographs. We chose this one because it just oozes soul.
I am pleased to report that we’ve received an extraordinary response to our Longboarding for Peace initiative. In this issue you learn about our programs in Watts, Houston and San Diego. If these stories and photos inspire you, we invite you to step up and contact us. The only thing better than enjoying the stoke of longboarding is sharing it with others who might otherwise never get the opportunity.
Last May I had the distinct pleasure to meet Oscar Loreto Jr. Oscar was born with a congenital birth defect that prevented development of his hands and left leg. Despite these challenges, Oscar took up skateboarding at the age of 14. I know that his story will resonate deeply with you, and we are proud to publish it.
I am also pleased to introduce some brand new columns that I know you’ll find intriguing. Among the new contributors are Longboard Girls Crew and Andrew Yeung from longboardism.com. We’ve got some other surprises, too. Enjoy the issue! Michael Brooke, Publisher
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PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
Swedish longboard company Slipstream has just introduced the Platypus. It is a responsive and really versatile board designed for the multi-discipline rider. Its drop-through design makes the board light and easy to push. The functional tail and nose kicks make tricks easier. The Platypus is available in two different flex options: hard (7-ply hard maple) and soft (6-ply hard maple). Both options have a 2-ply sandwich glass fiber construction. slipstreamlongboards.com
SAUCY The StingRay KT36 is a more compact version of its bigger brother with all of the same performance. Wheel flares in front with W-concave and a cereal bowl transition in back create a great standing platform for freeride or downhill, while the full-sized kick is awesome for more technical tricks. nelsonlongboards.com Saucy Skateboards’ first official board has finally arrived. The Ketchup is a delicious directional topmount skateboard that optimizes your freeride/downhill experience. It’s 38” long, and a 10” width with big standing platforms helps allow this board to be comfortable for almost every riding style. Gas pedals on both platforms make sure your toes and heels have a nice place to dig into. saucyskateboards.com
Bombsquad Longboarding is proud to introduce Anchor Wheel Co. The first two wheels available will be a 70mm, 80A race wheel and a 70mm, 81A freeride wheel. They will be featuring these on Bombsquad completes as well. bombsquadlongboarding.com
Sweet Spot Wheels is a company based out of the Mitten (Michigan), focused on delivering high-quality wheels to boarders around the world, while also helping those in need in Africa gain access to fresh drinking water. Since establishing the company just under a year ago, SSW owners Jared DeMeester and Alex Bolen have aimed at making a difference in the world by fusing their passion for longboarding with a love for philanthropy. Ten percent of all profits, in addition to all money made from their organized races and events, go to their “Wheels for Wells Fund.” SSW is now in the stages of developing a downhill wheel to add to their arsenal of slippery sidekicks. sweetspotwheels.com
In Vigo, on the northwest coast of Spain, just over the border from Portugal, there exists a remarkable longboard company that is quickly gaining a cult following. IXO was created by Pedro Sanchez, who has an extensive background in engineering. Vigo boasts a number of very important metal- and partsmanufacturing facilities, to serve the Peugeot-Citroen car factory located here. The industrial engineers are very well known and respected in the whole of Spain for their technical capacity and love for quality. “I love luxury items, and carbon fiber,” explains Pedro. “I admit there is a very limited niche market for this, but I also know there are customers who want the most exclusive and technologically advanced decks available.” If you want to know the price, you probably can’t afford it! email@example.com
REY Trucks is the first longboard truck manufacturer to release a custom bushing seat to accommodate Riptide’s new cubed bushings. The special-order seat is now available as an option on all REY hanger models. REY Trucks are made in America from 6061T6 aluminum billet and offer riders an interchangeable mix of axle widths and baseplate angles in a variety of colors and design styles. See why REY Trucks are affordable precision at reytrucks.com.
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Wildboar-d specializes in the design and manufacturing of quality accessories for the sport of longboarding. Now they present their flagship product, the Crash Pack. It is the first universal noseguard on the market. wildboardlongboard.com
MARYHILL COLABORATION WITH BUSTIN RoeRacing Performance Boards has been manufacturing boards for more than 12 years, with deep roots in the slalom racing world. Now, in a collaborative effort involving Dave Price of Predator Helmets, they are excited to introduce their newest model, the “Katabatic.” This deck combines Dave’s ideal downhill/freeride shapes and concaves with RoeRacing’s proprietary construction materials and techniques. The boards are handcrafted using vertically laminated maple cores, aerospace-grade carbon fiber, fiberglass, UHMW and specially formulated laminating epoxy resin to achieve a board that rides like no other. fb.com/roeracingskateboards
Volcanic Promotions and Bustin Boards are proud to announce a new Special Edition deck collaboration created to support the 2013 Maryhill Festival of Speed. One hundred decks will be created, signed, numbered and distributed online, with proceeds going directly toward supporting the event. “This has been one of our favorite events for years, and we really wanted to come up with something special this year to support everyone involved in it on a new level,” says Bustin founder Ryan Daughtridge. bustinboards.com/maryhill
RESTLESS Bustin Five-O wheels are pure thane – no added flavors or coloring. These wheels provide a little more grip through corners than your average colored slide wheel, but once they release, they are consistent and dependable on just about any surface. The centerset 64mm wheels (available in 80A and 85A) were designed with our Yoface doublekick series in mind, while the 72mm sidesets (available in 77A and 80A) are ideal for high-speed freeride. The Bustin Labs have also created a family of decks based off of the popular original Yoface 35, applying the same shred-magical concepts into 32” and 39” models. bustinboards.com
The new Thug Life Six-Fours are here. Big enough to roll smoothly over cracks and rocks, light enough to ollie and stone-ground for a smooth slide. Now available in a new 80A duro from fullcircledistribution.com.
The Chop Suey is an aggressive multi-discipline freerider comfortable in any skating environment. Composite construction of maple, fiberglass and carbon fiber inlay makes it stiff and stable for downhill racing and light for tricks and tranny off the twin kicks. And its omnidirectional concave, drop and flare wheel wells give you all the control you’d ever want in even the most creative of slides. jatiboards.com
The Restless Mantis is a mean, fast freeride machine. This longboard comes from the input of several of our riders. We wanted to make a board that would be both fast and agile. We started with a stiff deck made out of nine plies of hard Canadian maple, a deep concave and a micro-drop to lock your feet in perfectly. We then cut a twin-tip aggressive shape, added some gas pedals and deep wheel wells. We also decided to include two wheelbases to let you decide how reactive it gets. The deck is also extended on both ends to give a little nose and tail. restlessboards.com
ORANGATANG Orangatang is thrilled to present the Moronga, the newest morsel in their freeride wheel lineup. Featuring stiff and beefy lips, the Moronga offers smooth slides, reliable traction and excellent wear characteristics for the discerning downhill freerider. With a 72.5mm centerset and symmetrical shape, the Moronga is poured in our delectable Euphorethane formula for exceptional durability and a bloody long slide. loadedboards.com
SPRING 2013 CONCRETE WAVE 45
PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
EARTHWING The Hoopty is a 34” x 9.75” short-wheelbase topmount that can charge through tight tree-lined courses, urban hills and intersections with nimble simplicity. Featuring a 26” wheelbase, a .625” elliptical multi-radius concave and handy gas pedals in back, high speeds can be handled with steeze. This 7-ply core deck is laminated with a precured monofilament thermoplastic base layer to add rigidity and provide dampening for that rough life in the streets. The BIG Hoopty (36.75” x 10”) will be available by the time you read this. earthwingskates.com
PSD / RIPTIDE
Pritchard Skate Designs (PSD) and RipTide Sports have collaborated to produce a range of footstops molded using RipTide’s world-famous urethanes. The two most popular PSD footstop designs have been chosen for production and have been renamed the OUT-Side and the IN-Side. Many urethanes were tested, but the final choice is quite stiff, allowing just enough flex to take the shape of any deck. Both models are available in six colors and all are the same hardness. skatepsd.com or riptidebushings.com
Jungle Jim Kuiack (right) receives the Unsung Hero Award at the 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards event held on March 15 at the future home of Longboard Labs in Vancouver.
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CRASH ’N’ FREEZE RACE CUP By Pierre Gamby For the second year, the two French associations Lyon Longskate Crew and La Familia, led by Brice Bombardier and Vincent Jordana, ran a winter championship called the Crash ’n’ Freeze Race Cup. The idea is very simple: four races throughout the winter, on easy and short downhill slopes with two hairpins. Races are run as outlaw; registration is only 3 euros, and the winner takes all the money. At the end of the four races, a series champion is rewarded. This year, the winter Challenge has been a blast! Fifty-four riders came from all over France and Switzerland to race and have fun. The Crash ’n’ Freeze is always a good opportunity to meet friends and welcome newbies to the longboarding world. The first stop of the Crash ’n’ Freeze Cup started in mid-November in Parilly Park (Lyon). Cold rain, a tight track and mud on the road gave a special taste to this race. Two-person heats were run all day, with “winpool” in the morning and finals during the afternoon. Vincent Jordana from La Familia won this first Challenge. In mid-December we once again met at Champ-Sur-Drac (Grenoble area). Weather was freezing cold, but nothing could stop the riders. To add some extra fun, a fancy dressing contest, the Fulkit Trophy, was held on top of the racing. We saw penguins, pirates, panthers, Scottish folks, Pokemon, hooligans and others shredding! All day long we ran four-person heats, drinking mulled wine between the runs. Vincent Jordana won the race for the second time in a row, followed by Philippe Dupuy and Vincent Bombastic. As soon as the finals were over, cops came to kick us out. We just smiled, as the event was just over! The third stop of the series was in Mont Brouilly, in the middle of the Beaujolais vineyards. The road was fast, steep, wet and muddy. The second left-hand corner was a massive “carnage corner,” with more crashes than clean runs! The biggest challenge was to brake enough and choose a good line to stay on the board. Many challengers were out early in the race. Young rider Yanis Markarian took his first win, followed by Cedric Menez and Jean-Sebastien Dennebouy. The last race of the Challenge was held in mid-February in Nantes-en-Ratier (Grenoble area). Conditions were very special, as there was a huge amount of fresh snow all around the place, making the landscape breathtaking. The sun was shining, the road was dry and the riders were more motivated than ever! The Swiss crew came in force. We all had many warm-up runs in the morning, racing friends for fun in a pure Crash ’n’ Freeze friendly spirit. Again runs were held in a four-person heat format with winpool qualifications. Nicolas Robert from Switzerland and Team 9.81/DTC made the best of the conditions to win the race, closely followed by Vincent Bombastic and Bruno Fuch. The Crash ’n’ Freeze was a huge success this year. These easy-to-set races are an excellent way to promote longboarding: Chosen tracks are fun for every skill level; registration is cheap; it keeps riders entertained during the winter times; and it’s a perfect excuse to catch up with friends. A big thank you goes to Vincent Jordana and Brice Bombardier, the two men behind the project. Thank you also to the sponsors: Fluide Longskates, Decent Hardware, Fulkit-skateboards.com and all the people who helped run the events. And congratulations to the Crash ’n’ Freeze Series winner, Vincent Jordana. See you next year for another fun and relaxed Winter Challenge! CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM
PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN LONGBOARD DANCE? By Bianca Kersten | Photo: Linda Kemperink Longboard dance was honored in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on February 17, 2013, during the first edition of “So You Think You Can Longboard Dance?” an event organized by Spots and Locals (part of Flow Provider). Dancers from all over Europe came to participate. Multiple disciplines were represented, including dance, trick and hippie jump – all of them held under the light show of a concert hall that is usually used for high-voltage ambience. Another big hall had a bright area for people of all levels to freely ride and meet. In the Hippie Jump contest, Steffen Kstr from Germany and Donkey Town custom longboards had never ridden a skateboard before. The bar was set at 1.50m (4.92 ), and after multiple attempts he was not able to land it. As the host was announcing the end of the event, the crowd started to scream. Without telling anyone, Steffen made one last attempt – and made it! During the preparation for the Dancing final, the Nose Manual contest was won by Luutse Brouwer from The Netherlands, riding for Simple and The Boardfather. During the final of the Dancing contest, eventually
only the three best riders remained, all from different countries: Andrei Churakov from Belgium; Lotfi Lamaali from France; and Luutse Brouwer, the Dutch favorite. These three are not used to competing with each other,
WOMEN’S LONGBOARD CAMP
so that made the final extra exciting. After two 90second rounds, everyone was wondering who was going to be on the highest step on the podium. The judges had a difficult job because each style is really different and technically all three longboarders were impressive. The final results of the Dancing contest were: 1. Lotfi Lamaali (FR) – Loaded, Orangatang 2. Andrei Churakov (BE) – Original 3. Luutse Brouwer (NL) – Simple, The Boardfather When the results of all the events were combined, the Netherlands and France were tied for the country title. So both countries had to select one rider for one best trick. It was not surprising these riders were Lotfi and Luutse. Lotfi Lamaali convincingly claimed the victory with his trick, and thereby France won the country contest – and the golden exchange trophy board! The event was sponsored and made possible by Olson & Hekmati, DTC Wheels, Loaded Boards, Sickboards, Hackbrett, Quiksilver, Soma Longboards, Xtensionboards, Simple Longboards, Longboard Girls Crew, Trudo, Samplism and 040 BMX Park. The contest was co-organized with The Boardfather.
ROAROCKIT SWAP MEET More than 300 people turned out for sixth annual Swap Meet in Toronto on March 24.
The board sports enthusiasts at WLC have carved out a niche organizing events specifically for women. Last year saw the first event of this kind, a five-day longboarding event in sunny Slovenia, dedicated to the practice of skateboarding, from downhill to sliding to dancing. The camp was a tremendous success and sparked interest all around the world – a sign that there are plenty of women keen to get on board out there. The WLC crew aim to create a relaxed, noncompetitive and nonjudgmental atmosphere, giving participants the opportunity to explore their limits in a safe environment under experienced, hands-on guidance. The complete package caters to anybody from total beginner to the more seasoned rider and includes a daily yoga practice to round off a well-designed event schedule. Due to high demand, two camps will take place in 2013, this time in the beautiful surroundings of Alsace, France. The events will take place from May 12-17 and May 19-24, respectively. For further information and to sign up, please visit womenlongboardcamp.com.
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PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
FREESTYLE: NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE
by Monty Little
I recently went to see the movie OZ the Great and Powerful and was momentarily stepped back in time, singing along with Munchkins and skipping down the yellow brick road. During the beginning B&W sequence, set in the dusty flatlands of Kansas, I remembered I had once lived in a small town in Arkansas called Pine Bluff, where the only hill in town was the delivery ramp at the post office. The world is full of similar cities that are as flat as a pancake, not offering much in the way of skating terrain, and yet one form of skateboarding is thriving: flatland freestyle. No, we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore, as freestyle has gone global. It’s alive and well in São Paulo, Brazil, and Schweinfurt, Germany, and it’s gaining popularity from Shizuoka, Japan, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from Skokloster, Sweden, to Vancouver, Canada, and beyond. Gone are the days of tic-tacs, end-overs and walking the dog. The sport of freestyle has evolved over the past 30 years, and Spain’s Kilian Martin and other like-minded skaters are moving freestyle into the future. Just visit YouTube and type in Kilian Martin’s name and prepare to be wowed. At last year’s World Freestyle Round-Up, independent filmmaker Brett Novak premiered his short film entitled Altered Route featuring Martin skating an abandoned water park; to date that video alone has been viewed more than 1.25 million times. Another skater who sleeps and breathes skating is Günter Mokulys from Berlin, Germany. Just log onto his website (skateboardbusiness.de) and see what I mean. Talk about German precision! Günter has won the World Freestyle Championships nine times,
Günter Mokulys, tuck-knee spacewalk. Photo: Starsky
and like Kilian he is always Rene Shigueto. creating new, innovative Photo: Felipe Francisco moves. Then there’s Darryl Grogan from L.A. with his English handstands and a quiver full of rolling tricks, including lots of “impossible” variations that blow the mind. An up-and-coming amateur is Takashi Suzuki from Japan, whose smooth skating style makes every move look effortless. His talent of linking one trick to another is something most other skaters only dream about. Now let’s head south of the equator to one of the hotbeds of freestyle skateboarding, São Paulo, Brazil. I have always had a special interest in Brazilian skaters; and in 1986, when I organized the Transworld Skateboard Championships at EXPO 86 in Vancouver, the Brazilian team camped out in my backyard. To be stuck on a plane for 14 hours and travel more than 6,800 miles on your own dime seems crazy, and yet Rene Shigueto (who finished third at last year’s World RoundUp) and the rest of the gang from Brazil are once again heading to Cloverdale, British Columbia, Canada, to compete in the 2nd Annual World Freestyle Round-Up. That’s right, it’s official: We are once again Rounding-Up the top pro and amateur freestyle skateboarders from around the globe to compete at the World Freestyle Round-Up. There’s $10,000 in prize money to be won, plus prizes for the amateur skaters and lots of trophies to be taken home as well. The four-day event will be held at the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair, a few miles east of Vancouver, from May 1720, 2013. More than 77,000 people attended the annual Rodeo and Fair last year, making it an ideal high-profile location for this contest. If you missed all the action last year, be sure to be in attendance this year to watch Kilian, Günter, Darryl, Takashi, Rene and 30-plus other freestyle skaters. Where else on earth can you find the top skaters all under one roof but at the World Freestyle Round-Up! Visit theworldroundup.com.
EVOLVE Evolve is a skateboard summer day camp located in the Toronto Area. It is a fully instructional day camp environment and includes bus transportation to a different Toronto skate park every day of the week. During the day campers 7 to 17 years old are in groups based on their age, gender and skill. EvolveSkateCamp.com
CORRECTIONS • The photo of Carmen Shafer in the January issue was taken by Andrew Jimenez. • Gordon Timpen took the photo of Martin Kunst in the Buyer’s Guide opening spread. • Kristy Jones photos were published in the Australia report.
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SKATEBOARD SHOPS LIST ARIZONA Sidewalk Surfer 2602 N. Scottsdale Road Scottsdale 480.994.1017 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.sidewalksurfer.com CALIFORNIA IFYI Inc 1083 Bedmar Street Carson Board Gallery 3333 Newport Boulevard Newport Beach 714.902.3769 Cellular Skate 6787 Carnelian Street Alta Loma 909.941.1004 Mike McGills Skate Shop 335 First Street Suite #S Encinitas 760.943.7730 Ollie Angel 235 Palm Avenue, Imperial Beach 619.628.8489 Mike’s Bike Shop 5507 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles 323.935.4338 Viva Skateboards 1709 Howard Road Madera 559.664.8997 Bill’s Wheels Skateshop 1240 Soquel Avenue Santa Cruz 831.469.0904 Purple Skunk Purpleskunk.com 5820 Geary Blvd. San Francisco 415.668.7905 CCMF/Toyland 1260 Palm Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805-801-6653 email@example.com The Trading Post 622 Upham Street San Luis Obispo 805.801.6653 firstname.lastname@example.org Sonoma Old School Skate and Surf 1001 Broadway Sonoma 707.938.5500 skatesos.com Cellular Skate 287 Mountain Ave Upland Tel: 909.981.8856 email@example.com Maui and Sons 1415 Ocean Front Walk Venice Beach mauiandsons.com COLORADO All Board Sports 1750 30th Street Boulder 303.415.1600 Diabolical Boardshop 4255 S.Broadway, Englewood CONNECTICUT Skate Pusher 57 McIntosh Drive Bristol 860.593.4550 Skate Valencia 68 Leonard Street, Bristol 203.524.4675 GEORGIA Feral 190 Park Avenue, Athens 706.369.1084 Skate Madness 13800 Hwy. 9 N., Ste. D 145 Alpharetta 770.410.3456 skatemadness.com Woody’s Halfpipe 6135 Peachtree Parkway Suite # 603 Norcross LOUSIANA Board Lords Mall of Louisiana, 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd. Suite # 2044, Baton Rouge, 225.769.1222 MASSACHUSETTS Boardroom 6 Armory Street Northhampton 413.586.8857 MICHIGAN Ollies Skate Shop 120 ½ E Maumee Adrian 517.265.2031 Dubz Bikes and Boards 14 North Washington,Suite A, Oxford, MI 48371
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Want to know where to find Concrete Wave мagazine? Would you like to find all the amazing skate gear you see in these pages? Look no further than our shop list. If you’d like to have your shop listed here, it’s easy. Simply send a check for $115 to Indaba Group PO Box 1895 Carlsbad California 92018 or PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 760-722-4111. You’ll get 10 copies of 5 issues mailed out along with this complete listing. For international rates, please email us. Yes, shipping is included. If you think your local shop or park should be carrying Concrete Wave, email email@example.com. MINNESOTA Old School Skaters 1119 NW 2nd Street Faribault 612.578.3326 www.oldschoolskaters.net MISSOURI Genesis Skateboarding 13 NW Barry Rd. #147 Kansas City 816.456.1307 genesisskateboarding.com MONTANA Wheaton’s 214 1st Avenue West Kalispell 406.257.5808 wheatonscycle.com BlackTop Surfshop 176 5th Avenue West North Kalispell 406-752-6006 NEW JERSEY Black Diamond Skatepark 400 Route 38 Unit 1610 Moorestown NEW MEXICO Koa Nalu Surf Shop 8254 Menaul Blvd NE Albuquerque 505-332-SURF koanalu.com Timeship Raicing 825 Early Street Suite H Sante Fe 505.474.0074 timeshipracing.com NORTH CAROLINA Soul Ride Skatepark 6049 Victory Lane Concord 704.454.7433 soulrideskates.com We’re Board Inc Skatepark and Shop 1423 North Church Street, Ste 104 Burlington NC 27217 OHIO Old Skool Skateboards 19E College Avenue, Westerville firstname.lastname@example.org OREGON The Uprise 1110 NW Van Buren Ave, Corvallis 541.754.4257 541.480.4254 thelongboardstore.com The Longboard Store 1238 SW Wheeler Place Bend 541.480.4254 thelongboardstore.com Daddies Board Shop 7126 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland 503.281.5123 daddiesboardshop.com Gorge Performance 7400 Southwest Macadam Avenue Portland 503.246.6646 The Mountain Shop 628 NE Broadway Portland Rip City Skate 1510 NE 37th Ave. Portland PENNSYLVANIA Rayzor Tattoos 4 South Front Street Steeltown RHODE ISLAND Seven.Ply 3 Canal Street Westerly 401.348.0656 TENNESSEE Planet Sk8 7024 East Church Street Suite 2 Brentwood 615.377.1947 Sk8sations Skate Shop 3032 N.John B.Dennis Hwy. Kingsport 423.245.0994 email@example.com VIRGINIA EastCoast Boardco. 10358 Fairfax Blvd. Fairfax 703.352.4600 x:8 213 25th Street Va Beach Black Cat Skateshop 1325 A West Main Street, Charlottesville 434.244.0014
WASHINGTON Gravity Sports 126 Rainier Ave South Renton 425.255.1874 Mountain Goat Outfitters 12 W. Sprague Avenue Spokane Motion Boardshop 8316 Aurora Ave N., Seattle, 206.372.5268 motionboardshop.com ALBERTA Avenue Skateparks 9030.118 Avenue NW Edmonton 780.477.2149 Easy Rider 4211.106 St., #153 Edmonton 780.413.4554 Pipeline Surf Co 780.421.1575 Comasports 10B-200 Barclay Parade SW 403.233.8841 powerinmotion.ca Royal Board Shop, 814 Edmonton Trail N.E., Calgary, Alberta 403-277-3601 Royalboardshop.com BRITISH COLUMBIA Area 51 191 Station Street Duncan 250.746.8869 a51.ca Raven Skate Shop 411 Campbell Street Tofino 250.725.1280 ravenskateshop.ca Salton Rides Saltholidays Island, BC 250.537.4984 firstname.lastname@example.org Switchback Longboards 4385B Boban Dr. Nanaimo 250.751. 7625 ONTARIO Hammer Skate Shop 2225 Queen Street East Toronto, 416.698.0005 Hogtown 401 King Street West, Toronto 416.598.4192 McPhails 98 King Street North, Waterloo 519.886.4340 QUEBEC DLX/Deluxe 2480, chemin Ste.Foy Ste.Foy 418.653.0783 dlxdeluxe.com OVERSEAS AUSTRALIA Boardshop Australia — boardshop.com.au 04 15883371 — email@example.com Cre8ive Sk8 — 95 Anne Street Aitkenvale, Queensland, 4814 Australia BRAZIL Ultra Series Skate Shop Tel.:55(41)3023-2480 — ultraseriesskate.blogspot.com FRANCE hawaiisurf.com GERMANY seasondistribution.com, concretewave.de Hackbrett Longskates Im Wechselfeld — 12 St. Peter firstname.lastname@example.org longboarders.de — Gustavstrasse 49 90762 Furth email@example.com — Tel: 0911 9772500
JAPAN Y & T Fussa Fussa — 2348 Fussa Fussa City — Tokyo — 1970011 Clover Skateboard Shop — 1-21-3-1201 Befu Jyounan Fukuoka 8140104 — Japan ITALY The Skateshop via A. Grossich 11, 20131 Milano Italy firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 0039 (02) 706 019 71 Turtle Surf Shop via Mazzini,1 , 17051 Andora (SV), ITALY NETHERLANDS Sickboards Marcelisstraat 80b, 2586RX Scheveningen, The Netherlands, 31-70-7533548. Sickboards.nl NEW ZEALAND Serenity Island Surf & Skate Café 202a Wainui Road — Gisborne — serenityisland.com Ultimate Boards 7 Wagener Place, St. Lukes, Auckland, 1025, New Zealand ultimateboards.co.nz UK octanesport.com skateboardsofchoice.co.uk Bath, United Kingdom — Tel: + 44 1249 715811 Sk8s Go — General Juan Cano 40 — Colony San Miguel Chapultepec — Mexico, D.F 52-55-58132448 Soul dh Alameda Picaflores — 245 San Borja — Lima 41 — Peru Skate of the Nation — Unit 6 GYY Building # 1 Tomas Morato 1100 — Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines Indiana Sports GmbH — Elbestrasse 14 — Wald, 8636 Switzerland — Contact: Christof Peller ON.LINE RETAILERS allboardsports.com daddiesboardshop.com ffashop.com genesisskateboarding.com longboardskater.com longboardshop.de longboardstore.com longboardskater.com motionboardshop.com muirskate.com oldschoolskates.net pressuredroplongboards.com sickboards.nl sidewalksurfer.com sk8supply.com socalskateshop.com tactissk8.com tailtap.com vslboardshop.com
LGC is growing worldwide, as shown by Kara Marbe Urbiztondo in the Philippines. Photo: Ishtar Bäcklund
GIRLS CREW By VALERIA KECHICHIAN
Female riders are also ripping in South America. Here Pauli Rulli slashes a stylish slide in Libano, Argentina. Photo: Brendan Hope
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WE’RE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THAT from now on Longboard Girls Crew will have its own section in Concrete Wave. We will use this space to share what’s going on not only in the female longboard world but in the sports, arts and music world from our personal point of view. We may occasionally use it to make fun of things, mostly ourselves. Before making fun of anyone, we want to take a minute to talk about the project we’re proudest to be involved in: Skateistan. For those of you who don’t know it, Skateistan is a
nonprofit organization that provides education think that? Katie Neilson recovered from her to children in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Cam- injury and killed it in the first race she attended bodia through skateboarding since 2007. in Puerto Rico some weeks ago. She’s a beast. Skateistan is nonpolitical, independent and inclusive of all ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds. They provide access to education, focusing specially on girls and working children. The documentary film Skateistan The Movie follows Skateistan and its founders through the year 2009, documenting their daily struggle to break down social, gender and ethnic barriers between the children of a war-torn country. We feel honored to be able Afghan girls in Skateistan The Movie. to put together the premiere for Skateistan The Movie in Spain. The event will be on May 18, 2013, in Madrid. The chosen place is CaixaForum, a modern art gallery in the center of Madrid that was constructed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron from 2001 to 2007. It’s one of Madrid’s iconic art spaces. The sports website Loving Sports is covering most of the event expenses along with the CaixaForum Foundation. The event is also sponsored by Longboarding For Peace and co-hosted with Asiplanchaba, the Spanish female board sports association. We always say that there is nothing bigger for us than having encouraged so many girls around the world to start skating. Now we can honestly say that being able to help or contribute in projects like this or Longboarding for Peace, where you actually know you’re contributing in making a change, is ridiculously rewarding. Nothing of all this would make any sense without it, without being able to encourage someone to do Fee Bücheler is doing again the amazing something great, or at least try. Women’s Longboard Camp in Slovenia. Last So, what’s new with Longboard Girls around year was a big success, and Fee and others are the world? working hard to make this year’s camp even Female stoke spreaders are all over. Ishtar better. Some of the European DH ladies are also Bäcklund is currently road trippin’ in Asia along getting together for the Downhill Women Tour, with the LGC Philippines crew. They are a project that will have Marie “Spoky” shooting their adventures and releasing them Bougourd, Tamara Prader, Sonso Masiá, Glori in three episodes. They recently hosted “Push to Kupsch and Jacky Madenfrost traveling Feed” in Cebu, a massive cruise held to deliver together through Europe and going to every food to street children. Hell, yes! race and freeride event. They want to bring Amanda Powell is skating every existing hill in awareness to organizers to restructure the California and hosting every rider that goes to the racing formats in order to get equal exposure for area. She’s also working on her own pro-model the ladies. They are currently looking for finanRiviera deck … how awesome is that? Marisa cial support, so peeps to all the brands out there Nuñez keeps chasing races all over the world. No, that want to support the female scene. Besides no one is jealous of her life … why would you even all of the above, Longboard Girls Crew France,
Portugal and Dominican Republic are holding beginners’ clinics for girls. And me, well, I’m writing this in the plane on my way from Spain to Argentina. I’ll be there for a month, helping to put together the first LGC South America Meeting, gathering girls from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Spain. We’re getting together and hosting a longboarding clinic for girls. (Of course boys are welcome!) We’re having music, picnics, skate contests and loads of fun. Loaded Boards was kind enough to get their Uruguayan riders to Buenos Aires to make the South American girl stoke even bigger. There are so many stoke spreaders out there! If you’re one of them, let us know what you’re up to! Write to us at info@LongboardGirlsCrew.com. We’re also working on a new audiovisual project. We can’t say much else (yet), except that it’s very ambitious! And now let’s make a classic closure by making fun of ourselves:
The new LGC T-shirts are made with fun in mind. Photo: Noelia Otegui
Have you seen our new T-shirts? Rad rider Daisy Johannes came up with this awesome quote and our friend Álvaro Yuste designed the graphics. We have the boy, the girl and the gay version. No trans version yet, but coming! We’re distributing them all over the world in selected stores — from Argentina to the States, from Europe to Asia. Get on our website to find out what store near you is selling them and get lucky while wearing one! (There is no fail option with that on, trust us.) CW Until next issue! You can follow us daily at LongboardGirlsCrew.com Facebook.com/LongboardGC Twitter.com/LongboardGirls Instagram: Longboard_Girls_Crew
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SPEEDBOARDER OF THE YEAR:
JAMES KELLY By JON CAFTEN AND MATT KIENZLE | Photos by OLIVIER SÉGUIN-LEDUC
“I don’t want to do an interview with you.” — James Kelly Matt Kienzle: I wrote out a list of questions for my roommate, James Kelly. That’s the response I received. The interview was disguised as an online article for skatehousemedia.com, a website all of my roommates help run, including James. I don’t know why he declined the interview. If you know James, you know he is not particularly known for his work ethic. When I was living at Skatehouse, a big day for James was getting all of his laundry done and getting a shave and shower in. Don’t get me wrong, James is a good kid, but he gets paid to skate and does a damn good job at that. I’ve spent the past couple years skating downhill all over the world with him. That means he is doing his job, right? Jon Caften: When we set out to do this article, Matt, my fellow staff writer at Concrete Wave, was supposed to conduct the interview incognito. It made the most sense, right? They are roommates, after all. The
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thing is, Matt has been traveling extensively and is currently in Japan doing a CW article on Ben Dub, Amané Kishida and Gabe Gwynne, and before that he was in New Zealand for the Intense D-Cents tour. James, on the other hand, has been winning races and traveling on his own, so he had not been answering Matt’s questions in a timely manner. Matt and I were later to find out, as you read above, that James doesn’t necessarily give a s--- what Matt wants. Roommates for sure. Matt K: James does well at events, places well at races and stays up late at the party. He is always a top contender no matter what the course is. Bricin “Striker” Lyons gave him the nickname “The American Dream.” Jon C: A big endorsement, too! The Coast Longboarding local scene has so much talent in its pool that it has been possible for Canada to ignore the existence of downhill skaters from anywhere else in the world for virtually the entire 2000s.
Matt K: He is living it, though – the dream, that is. Flights are paid for and everything is lined up; James is there to knock ’em down. He is a paid skater, paid to skate. He’s comfortable. He’s got it made. Jon C: Here is the thing, though: Matt has only been recently hired on at Concrete Wave, and he told James, of course. They are roommates after all. And the first words that came out of James’ mouth were, “Matt, you should tell Brooke to make me Speedboarder of the Year.” OK, James, here it is. You’re Speedboarder of the Year – but only because you asked for it. Congratulations. Matt K: “Speedboarder of the Year: James Kelly.” Has a weird ring to it. I laughed my ass off for a minute, because he had been doing next to nothing around the house because of a dislocated shoulder. I figured someone else had already been lined up before Caften even told me he was inked for the spot. I don’t know who else could deserve it, if we’re counting points; Switzer and Dalua already won so they’re out. But
Dubbed “The American Dream” by Bricin “Striker” Lyons, James Kelly is now living the dream of being a professional downhill skateboarder.
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“James seems far more comfortable than anyone else on the hill.” – Jon Caften
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f--- points. Good for James, He did pretty damn good on the racing circuit this year. More importantly, he’s been pushing what kids have been calling freeriding for years now. “Freeriding,” that’s where the fun is at. I’m glad a racer didn’t take the title this year. I’ll keep James in the non-racer class until I’ve taken more runs with him on closed roads instead of open ones. Jon C: In April 2008 an innocuous thread started on the Silverfish Longboarding forum that made sense to virtually nobody: “James Kelly: A Longboarding Phenom??? or a washed up hack.” For the next three years this thread was one of the most bizarre public displays of how a bunch of Internet trolls can build up and chew apart a skater’s meteoric career ... and then all of a sudden in 2011 it just stopped and went dead. The display became anything but innocuous. Of course we know that over the 12 months that followed James really did prove to the world of downhill skateboarding that he is a “phenom,” with multiple climbs to the top of the podium in racing, incredible video parts and a barrage of photos from all over the place that could be used in a textbook on style. Controversial racing etiquette aside, anyone who studies the flow and lines racers take realizes that James is in a world of his own. He seems far more comfortable than virtually everyone else on the hill. Matt K: I’d put him in the longboard phenomenon category for sure. He’s a really competitive kid; you may have noticed from the several racing incidents he has had in the past couple years. He may seem very nonchalant, but he takes things seriously. His recent history is pretty well known. James moved down to Los Angeles from Petaluma (Northern California) to work for Loaded/Orangatang. After a couple months of him working there, he and Louis Pilloni were put on payroll to skate. Since then, James has been a professional downhill skateboarder. The old Skatehouse was a small two-bedroom apartment where Louis, James and Brent “Dubes” Dubendorff all lived. When that lease ended, that same small space was inhabited by James, Louis, Max Dubler, Brian Peck, myself, Kody Noble and Pat Schep. Jon C: These articles are best when we can turn back the clock and find out about skaters’ lives before they are flying around the planet and signing autographs to kids who won’t even remember their name in five
The kid from Petaluma has done pretty darn well for himself.
years. Since James never answered Matt, we have selected some quotes from the more than 300 comments from fans and haters on the infamous Silverfish thread that basically introduced James to the world. The thread was started by user Capone, who has received his own fair share of hate. It seems that all things Petaluma, California, on the ’Fish tend to get chewed out pretty hard, and
I am sure James personally knows this guy who had this axe to grind with him, but it never came out in the three years the banter went on. Supergildo brings the thread to life by answering first: Why does it matter? he looks like he has fun. People act like this is a fawking quilting circle.
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April 9, 2008, king edward says: Met him. Good skater. Cool guy. Down to earth considering his age. He’ll do just in life. April 9, 2008, justgodown (James Kelly himself, although most readers didn’t realize it) says: hahaha who the fu*k is James Kelly. I heard he was really really sexy and good in bed.
February 10, 2009, SpeedFiend says: saw a video of him drifting on some mountain road with tons of trees, best stinkbug grab I’ve seen. He looks young too. The video is maybe four minutes long. Totally made me believe that if it feels right, just do it. May 20, 2009, pennypusher says: 4th at Danger Bay
June 14, 2008, WyleKeaton says: Mosty popular James Kelly Facts 1. If you have five dollars and James Kelly has five dollars, James Kelly has more money than you. 2. There is no ‘ctrl’ button on James Kelly’s computer. James Kelly is always in control. 3. Apple pays James Kelly 99 cents every time he listens to a song. 4. James Kelly can sneeze with his eyes open. 5. James Kelly can eat just one Lay’s potato chip. 6. James Kelly is suing Myspace for taking the name of what he calls everything around you. 7. James Kelly destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise. 8. James Kelly can kill two stones with one bird. and the top fact about James Kelly... When the Chuck Norris goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for James Kelly.
September 10, 2009 BiggDaddy@TactisSkates says: James is a Phenom bitches! 3rd in the rain at MHFOS and an all around badd ass! James I am truly proud of you bro... NOR-CAL For ever! The Grom squad sends respect!
September 26, 2008, K-Rimes (Kevin Reimer) says: Washed up hack, for sure.
Jon C: At the 2010 Buffalo Bill race, James is filmed stiff-arming Joel Putrah into the hay bales. This sets off numerous threads and of course the viral SkateHouseMedia video entitled “James Regulating,” which also includes footage of James from the Britannia Classic a few weeks later, taking Matt Rae’s board after a dustup and chucking it over a cliff. For the next year dozens of threads pop up all over the place on dozens of forums worldwide. The Silverfish “Phenom/hack” thread was not spared the debate either:
September 26, 2008, Tomahawk (Georges Siddiqi) says: I’ma go with washed up phenom, who’s about to get SPANKED at the outlaw tomorrow. November 19 2008, yoshnh says: definitely washed up Hack. he didn’t win Bonneli, some American dream he is. November 21, 2008, charlietidd (Charlie Tidd) says: I let him use my shower once, out of pity... definitely washed up. Decently hack. January 22, 2009, spikedfro10 says: earlier this week he called me on my cell phone, but I missed the call. I called him back but he called the wrong kevin. January 22, 2009, K-Rimes says: James Kelly called, didn’t leave a message, and didn’t call again.
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tance, end up in the semifinals and then have a guy run into you and take you out? I think James took it pretty easy on July 5, 2011, zlessley says: Having chatted and skated with him several times now, he’s a stand up dude with a bit of a short temper for douchebags. Honestly, I would have done the same things in his position and felt completely fine about it. He rides a board like everyone wishes they could: with pure steez. It’s like the damn thing’s part of his body! Longboard phenom, no question about it.
September 11, 2009, justgodown (James Kelly) says: This is ridiculous, but fun to read. I am 19 and washed up, BaDager is the new phenom. Not really washed up, I am going to be pushing the limits of this sport for a long time, not always in the limelight. ,and I got nothing on Chuck Norris
July 19, 2011, dkeller33 says: Since when did James get thrust into the position of being the ambassador of the sport? The man rips and has done a lot, just by standing on his board, to progress the sport. If he’s competitive and gets pissed now and then so be it. He’s human and he’s permitted and he certainly deserves better than getting bashed on a public forum. Nothing but mad respect from this fat old guy.
December 31, 2009, ScottyJ says: I just watched that video 2X. James Kelly is a PRO in my book. A genuine badass.
July 20, 2011, Bookworm says: I find it really funny that a thread started as a joke years ago is now a serious discussion about the same topic.
July 5, 2010, Arcadium says: may not be winning every race, but he definitely has the sickest style and flow.
Jon C: Oddly enough, the kids seemed to have missed that James was not OK with his own actions ... more than a year before this thread came to an end, in another thread he posted this statement:
June 7, 2011, MtnManMike says: Way to be an ambassador of the sport dude. Now granted I don’t know the context of that douche move there... but anything short of him running your dog over and standing you mom for a date qualifies that as a class A-hole move dude. June 7, 2011, cadenc says: James seems cool, I don’t think it’s bad what he did. What that guy behind him did was way worse. What would you do if you pay a big entry fee, travel a long dis-
James Kelly: For the record racing like this is NOT alright... No one should ever push a competitor into the bails, it’s never alright. If it happens they should be DQed. The race organizer did not want to get involved so I took myself out of the race. This is so none of you groms think it’s ok when you start racing. I got excited and made a bad move, but it was really fun. Jon C: A lot of downhill skateboarding has fallen in line with the old convention that skaters are properties of their sponsors. Some of the sponsors listed in the threads above do not represent who is supporting James these days. If you want to know this, it is easily found on the SkateHouseMedia website. Matt K: Close calls and good times on first descents all over the world. Good kid and an even better skateboarder. James isn’t washed up; he’ll be in the game for years to come! 2013 Speedboarder of the Year ... get used to the ring of it! CW
“There is no ‘ctrl’ button on James Kelly’s computer. James Kelly is always in control.” – Wyle Keaton
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THERAPY By ISAAC FARIN
IT ALL BEGAN ONE NIGHT IN 2012 at the Soho Beach House hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. I was at a gathering for a friend’s engagement when I overheard Joner Strauss talking with a bunch of our mutual friends about his most recent project. I initially tuned out the conversation because I assumed he was talking about another Board-Up Wakeboarding event, which I had attended in the past. But a particular word drew my attention back: “longboarding.” Hearing how passionate Joner was about longboarding made me even more intrigued. After overhearing him respond to someone’s inquiry about what a longboard is, I immediately remembered skateboarding as a kid and thought about how much I would like to do it again. I recalled how I had given up on skateboarding when I was young because I couldn’t do all the tricks my friends could do; so I was glad to hear Joner mention that longboarding is more accessible than typical short-board skateboarding, since it is less focused on doing tricks and is more geared toward transport, cruising and exercise. After asking Joner 101 questions about longboarding, I purchased a board, a Kryptonics pintail, at a local sporting goods store. I
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was immediately intrigued with my first longboarding experience. At first I had to adjust to riding again, but I got the hang of it relatively quickly and began riding a few times a week after work and on the weekends. The more I rode, the more I began to notice some positive changes. • I noticed an increase in my overall athletic abilities, which was reflected in the improvement of my skills as the quarterback for a competitive flag football team. • I started to see longboarding as a way to spend more time outdoors and be present with the environment. • I felt more joyous, energized, confident and centered. • I felt more relaxed in both mind and body. • I was able to challenge myself each time I rode — so I felt accomplished after every ride. • And when I wasn’t longboarding, I was always thinking about it and wanting to be back on my board. I started to wonder why all these changes were happening. Was this yet another new venture that I would begin but not finish? Or was this something that would stay in my life? To give you some background about my occupation, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (CCH). I own a private practice in North Miami Beach, where I work with individuals, couples and families of various ages. Clients come to me for support with the hope of discovering solutions to problems with anxiety, stress, depression, terminal illness, grief and loss, pain management, substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, insomnia, phobias, eating disorders, confidence, focus, relationships and more. As you can imagine, I have considerable responsibility in
my day-to-day work with clients. My job is extremely rewarding and humbling, but it can also be tiring and stressful at times. I began riding at night to calm my mind and release any stress I had taken on throughout the workday. Once I realized how successful this was for me, I wanted to share with others what longboarding has to offer. I became curious about who else might have similar experiences. After searching the Internet and reading different forums and articles, I realized that tons of people had discovered how therapeutic and helpful longboarding could be. I arranged to meet with Joner for lunch to discuss my discovery and hypothesis on longboarding and therapy. When I told him I thought there was something healing about longboarding, he agreed without hesitation. He explained that longboarding involves a “flow” and “stoke” that are absolutely healing, and he told me he had no doubt that others would love to share their healing experiences with me. We then spent an hour brainstorming ideas about the next step we would take, finally deciding to work together on developing something called “Longboard Therapy.” Joner and I developed two components of Longboard Therapy: I searched for a way to include the action-oriented sport of longboarding as an intervention in my work with clients, and Joner continued to grow and expand the International Distance Skateboarding Association (IDSA). According to Joner, “The goal of the IDSA is to make sure that people see skateboarding as organized, safe and as a viable source of transportation, via events, clinics and races, with hopes of spreading the stoke to the community at large — to position longboarding as one of the most accessible sports around.”
Together, Joner and I are spreading the word that there is a healing aspect in longboarding and that the growing longboard community is entirely inclusive and welcoming. Joner suggested that we conduct a series of interviews with people who could assist us in our endeavor. He set up our first interview phone conference with Don Tashman from Loaded Boards. Don was generous and cooperative, sharing his appreciation of both components of Longboard Therapy and what they have to offer. He related to many of my therapeutic views on change and agreed with me about the importance of using both mind and body to create change. He also thanked Joner for all the hard work he had put into the community, calling him an innovator. Don shared many interesting perspectives and insights on flow, stoke, the expanding of stoke, the breaking down of fear and the long-term potential of the longboarding community. I was particularly enlightened when he shared his view on stoke, linking it to an idea he read in social psychologist Erich Fromm’s 1956 book The Art of Loving. Don explained, “Stoke is a feeling of a pure sensation that you want to share — because it is natural to want the best for another person without condition.” He said, “Stoke is a spark of infinity, and we all have the potential to be infinite. Stoke is challenging yourself in your own way while gaining a sense of control and pushing its boundary. It is very personal, so find your own flow.” Although Don's personal story is a great one, this was clearly more than just an interview with a man who makes longboards. This was a conversation with someone who truly believes that longboarding has infinite healing properties and who is extremely passionate about sharing this belief with others. This conversation was exactly what I needed to begin formulating my ideas about the relationship between psychotherapy and longboarding. Don’s ideas about the mind and body concepts of stoke and flow were very consistent with my therapeutic approach, which I call Solution Informed Mindful Therapy (SIMT). This approach adheres to the belief that clients have resources to discover solutions to their problems within themselves. It is based on the notion that the present moment has a great deal of healing to offer, and that linking both the conscious and unconscious mind can lead to holistic change. After talking to Don and reflecting some more on my ideas, I created a plan to incorpo-
rate longboarding as an intervention with particular clients. In learning how to longboard, I came to understand that it involves developing balance, focusing intently on the task at hand in the present moment, learning to let go in order to become one with the board, learning to get back up after falling, and taking on new challenges that arise in the environment. This seemed to me like a parallel process to life, which requires learning how to balance different emotions, developing a relationship with the present moment, learning how to let go of things that are no longer relevant, taking cal-
Isaac Farin shares the stoke of longboarding with numerous people.
culated risks toward making change and facing fears and challenges. I hypothesized that if these concepts were understood and practiced through a combination of longboarding and traditional talk therapy, it would lead my clients to improve in some of the following areas: • confidence • focus • a sense of physical and mental balance • resilience • patience • joy • the ability to address fears and challenges • the ability to deal with anger, stress and problematic behaviors.
My first Longboard Therapy client was Antonio*, a 47-year-old man who first sought counseling when his wife passed away after a yearlong struggle with cancer. My work with Antonio started with a few sessions in the office setting. We spoke about how he could examine the pain from his loss and — when he was ready — make one small change at a time in order to become more hopeful. When I described Longboard Therapy to Antonio, he let me know he wanted to try it out, since it would allow us to have our sessions outdoors. He had no prior experience with skateboarding, but he was eager to explore how the exercise of longboarding could help him move through his grief. Antonio and I worked together for seven sessions, which I conducted in both the office and outdoor settings. In our last session together, Antonio shared with me that Longboard Therapy had helped him manage his emotions, release stress, focus on the present, accept his pain and sadness, begin the healing process and rediscover his love of sporting activities. Since working with Antonio, I have conducted Longboard Therapy with several other clients of various ages, levels of longboarding experience and therapeutic issues. I typically begin Longboard Therapy sessions by leading the client through a mindfulness breathing meditation while we both stand on our boards on the grass. The intention behind this exercise is to help the client become one with the board and the surrounding environment. Once I’ve taught the client the fundamentals of longboarding, we take a series of silent rides, after which we sit together and discuss the experience. We talk about the small changes they notice in each of their rides and discuss how they can notice small changes in other areas of their lives. After more challenging rides, I lead the client in a discussion about facing fears and overcoming obstacles. The combination of traditional talk therapy with longboarding — a sport that involves getting centered, becoming focused and establishing a mind-body connection — helps clients experience and enact solutions in dynamic new ways. CW * The name of the client has been changed to maintain confidentiality.
Isaac Farin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (CCH) who owns and operates Isaac Farin Therapy LLC in North Miami Beach, Florida. Jonathan “Joner” Strauss is the founder of the International Distance Skateboarding Association (IDSA).
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Oscar Loreto. Photos: Mike Scholl
Beyond Boarders By ROBERT BRINK
“MY 10TH-GRADE GEOGRAPHY TEACHER WAS a d---,” says 26-year-old Oscar Loreto. “I don’t remember what he said verbatim, but it was something like, ‘What happened to you? What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be somewhere else?’ “He was referring to the special ed. class,” Oscar continues. “He didn’t even try to talk to me or anything. I didn’t expect that from an adult, much less a teacher. I’m not sure what my hands have to do with my brain, but sometimes people just get weirded out, I guess.” The doctors call Oscar’s “condition” a congenital birth defect. When he was still in his mother’s womb, the amniotic bands wrapped around his limbs, preventing their development. The result: Oscar was born with no fingers on his left hand and half a thumb on his right. He was also born with no left leg from the knee down. He uses a specially designed prosthetic to walk, run, skate and everything in between. “They started me off with a foot that was made for everyday walking,” Oscar says. “Even running wasn’t a problem, but once I started skating and learning tricks and jumping off stuff, I broke tons of prosthetic
feet. The one I have now is finally perfect and doesn’t snap on tricks. I was gonna try to make a custom one, but by the time I met with SCOPe, the prosthetic company who sponsors me, they already designed one and I was the guinea pig. There’s a spring inside – basically like bushings that mimic ankle movements. But it took years to figure that out.” But how does someone who’s missing 9 ½ fingers and a foot discover and excel at skateboarding; obtain a bachelor’s degree in film; get sponsored by Element, Swiftwick and SCOPe Orthotics and Prosthetics; skate in the X Games multiple times; and become special projects manager for Adaptive Action Sports, a nonprofit organization that aims to spread awareness and get people with permanent physical disabilities involved in action sports? “I was pretty much an average kid,” Oscar says. “I’d always watch soccer games with my pops, and I played for a little bit as a kid. But when skateboarding randomly fell into my lap was one of those pivotal moments for me. My cousin was doing it, so I tried it and eventually kept going.
Photo: Chris Sanchez
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No matter what the terrain, Oscar is down to skate. Photos: Mike Scholl
“Then one time I saw an ad of Jon Comer [professional skateboarder also missing a leg from the knee down] doing a kickflip in a magazine and his leg was coming off. That was the first time I’d ever seen anybody with one leg do anything that I really liked. I mean, I would go to the doctor’s office and see posters of a runner with one leg on the walls, so that kind of always inspired me, but seeing Comer in that ad was pretty tight.” From there Oscar was hooked. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he figured out ways to learn tricks and skate by watching and asking other kids for help. He would apply their techniques but adjust them to meet his needs through years of trial and error. “Skateboarding helped me feel more normal,” Oscar explains. “I found a new group of friends who accepted me because I was a skater. They didn’t care that I only had one leg or whatever. All along, though, my biggest struggle was always sharing how I was with the world. I would only wear pants and keep my hands in my pockets. For the most part it was a personal battle within myself to open up more and be able to deal with all the people staring or pointing at me at the mall. I realized that in order to be happy I needed to do what I do the best I can, accept that this is what God gave me and just roll with it. It wasn’t until I was about 16 or 17 that I realized I should just be open about it. It was liberating for sure.” In 2005 Oscar met Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale, the cofounders of Adaptive Action Sports, at a prosthetics trade show. The three chatted and exchanged info, and Purdy and Gale invited Oscar to go on the AAS skate tour in 2007. He
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was the first skater they recruited, and he competed as an AAS team skater for a few years. As AAS grew, Oscar realized how swamped Purdy and Gale were and offered to step in and help out. “I really wanted to see the skate side of AAS grow,” Oscar says. “I asked them to delegate work to me. I started off just making their videos of their events and promos, then in 2009 was voted onto the board of directors, and in 2011 became the special projects manager, where I oversee the skate programs and events and create new video marketing plans and shows for their website.” “Oscar has been with AAS almost from day one,” says Gale, who now serves as executive director of AAS. “We met him at the first-ever Extremity Games, and from the first minute it was obvious he had an extra spark … the kind that most people just chase their whole lives. He has a charisma that you want to be around. Not only is he a kickass skater, videographer, friend and father, but he’s also an extremely selfless and giving person. He’s dedicated to helping others and had that drive long before he came on with AAS. This made him an obvious choice. His positive attitude is infectious, and when you skate with him it just makes you skate better. He’s dedicated to his sport, art and family. He’s a true friend and I love the guy. Plus, after his mom had the entire AAS team over and cooked us the best carne asada of our lives I knew we had to have him as part of the AAS family! We hope he sticks with AAS for many years to come.” 2012 was a great year for AAS and Oscar. Both gained more industry support than ever before thanks to help from
professional skaters, events like the Agenda trade show and organizations like IASC. They were able to raise some money, the skate team has grown, and collaborations with I Ride I Recycle, Long Beach Autism and a few other nonprofits are on the horizon. “It’s not only amputees we should be addressing and helping and working with,” says Oscar, “but kids with cognitive disabilities as well. I feel that we should all unite and work together to grow outreach and awareness, not compete against each other for the same dollars.” Oscar is also currently filming and editing the first fulllength adaptive skate video for AAS, and he and his friend Steven Ban are working on “Maps VM,” a new skate video magazine project. Given the general disdain a good portion of the skateboarding community has for longboarders these days, how does a hardcore, lifelong street skater like Oscar (except for when he’s on his cruiser heading to the liquor store) end up with a cover and feature in Concrete Wave, and how does he feel about it? “I’ve never really viewed longboarders as uncool or anything like that,” Oscar says. “I usually use a longboard to cruise to the store, and it’s a must to have my Element cruiser when I’m filming. This whole thing was actually pretty challenging because I don’t really consider myself a longboarder. The photographer asked me to pick some spots, and I drew a blank. All I could think of was the riverbank to cruise on. I also never thought to take a longboard to the skatepark and try to ollie stairs or boardslide a rail until I checked out some of the longboarding magazines and saw they were skating street spots. So that was different, but fun.” “I didn’t know that in longboarding,” he continues, “if you aren’t wearing a helmet people think you are the dumb one, whereas in street skating it’s considered uncool to wear a helmet. I actually had to reshoot photos because the first time I wasn’t wearing one, and then Concrete Wave decided they wanted me on the cover so we had to reshoot with a helmet. “Also, longboards are great for adaptive athletes because they are bigger, and people who don’t know how to skate so well feel safer and more comfortable on them. Or take someone like Greg Shaw, who has no legs … a cruiser or longboard is beneficial for him because it’s so wide and has better wheels and bearings and rolls better. So longboarding is actually a really good way for adaptive individuals to get introduced to skateboarding or an organization like AAS.” You can help AAS by visiting www.adacs.org and donating or emailing them for ways you or your business can get involved. “We apply for grants, but they are hard to get,” explains Oscar, “so it’s usually easier for us to get donations from
people or businesses. People tend to donate more when they realize there are veterans involved with AAS too. Sometimes prosthetic companies will hook up a kid who needs one and doesn’t have insurance because they are in it for the love of helping people. Others are more strict and go by the books and they’ll deny the kid. “Having a professional skater endorse AAS would be a huge help to us growing our organization and spreading the word as well. That’s something we are still working on. I’d also love to see more companies helping out because I don’t think they know too much about this realm yet. But those who know us, they know that we’re just real skaters doing what we love, and it spreads in a very positive way.” And positive Oscar is. “Throughout my whole life, whatever negative thought I have, I’d always try to convert it to a positive and use it to motivate me,” he says. “Skateboarding, regardless of what kind, has showed me that I can overcome challenges and achieve the goals I set for myself. My dad bounced when I was a kid, so I only knew him for a little bit, but it was my family just telling me, ‘Yeah, you’re different, but it doesn’t mean you still can’t do things and excel in life. Since you are different, make it a good different.’ With that instilled in me pretty young, it just helped me and always made me think of the dopeness that can come out of any situation.” CW Oscar with his daughter Alicia. Photo: Devin Loreto
AAS Summer 2013 Calendar of Events April 20: Baton Rouge, La. – AAS fundraiser May 3-5: New Braunfels, Tex. – AAS fundraiser/skate demo June 14-15: New Braunfels, Tex. – AAS fundraiser/8th Annual Extremity Games July 20: Venice, Calif. – AAS fundraiser/Life Rolls On contest August 8-11: Telluride, Colo. – AAS skateboard clinic/No Barriers Summit
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Longboarding for Peace:
A lot of things have happened since we last reported on Longboarding for Peace in British Columbia and Peru in the January issue. The following are some updates. We want to thank all our sponsors who generously provide product. We are especially grateful to all the volunteers who step up and lend a hand. If you want to help spread the stoke, just email email@example.com. Whether it’s helping to build peace between enemies, forge peace in neighborhoods or just bring someone some peace of mind, we’re interested in hearing from you. Read, get inspired and then step up!
SAN DIEGO A Hawaiian Pig Roast Appreciation Luncheon was held at the San Diego Police Department Southeastern Division on March 20, 2013. Pastor Dennis Martinez and the Training Center sponsored the event to thank the officers for their service in the community and their dedication to youth diversion through the Off The Street Program. Longboarding for Peace has joined the OTS collaboration by making its first donation of five skateboards and helmets to OTS, a community service for after-school skateboarding clinics aimed at reducing truancy and juvenile delinquency in Southeast San Diego. Special thanks to Riviera, Sector 9, Deville, Buddy Carr Skateboards, Churchill and S-One Helmet Company for their contributions, and to the San Diego Police Department for their daily community service. Photo: Dennis Martinez (in red shirt) and Harvey Hawks with Officers Chad Crenshaw, Scott Smith, Tyler Deyling and Captain Tony McElroy of the SDPD Southeastern Division.
OASIS The students from Oasis School in Toronto were inspired so much by L4P that they created this one-of-a-kind deck. oasisskateboardfactory. blogspot.ca
SECTOR 9 Harvey Hawks (left) stands with Sector 9’s EG Fratantaro. Sector 9 has been very generous and donated quite a bit of product to our movement. Photo: Jeff Budro
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AARON’S APPLE L4P teamed up with Restless Boards to create this unique charity deck for the children’s charity Aaron’s Apple. The charity’s primary goal is to help families cope with overwhelming medical costs. Aaron’s Apple helps families pay for expensive medication and treatments. aaronsapple.com
THE HUMBLE HIPPIE – AKA SOLE MAN
PEEDS WHEEL PROGRAM Gage is 3 years old and has been battling leukemia (a blood cancer) for the past three years. While he has been in the hospital, his parents have been exposed to the reality of how many kiddos are suffering and fighting cancers and diseases. The one thing that pulled them through was a reward at the end of a harsh treatment procedure. So Gage’s parents decided to create the PEEDS wheel. It’s a new bright orange 70mm race wheel that will be used to generate funds that will directly purchase toys for kids. The toys will be given to them by their doctors and nurses during children’s hospital visits. The PEEDS wheel is teamed up with Longboarding for Peace and will be sold through churchillmfg.com.
Joy and happiness are not just words we say; I practice what I preach. We decided to have a shoe drive to collect shoes for people in San Diego who needed them. The mission statement of Longboarding for Peace gave us our start: search, spark, stoke. We searched for a way to create some peace, joy and a little happiness in a few people’s lives. An idea sparked for a shoe drive, and then we just kept stoking it until we had 200 pairs of shoes to help those who need them. When we started this I was only concerned with creating some joy and happiness in some strangers’ lives with some new kicks. What I did not realize was how much the people involved, including myself, would get from helping others. The joy and happiness that was created with this simple small shoe drive affected everyone involved in ways we never imagined. It’s hard to tell who is helping whom. Ask yourself this one question: What would happen if everyone did what you do? Help us spread some good vibe by doing something nice for someone who could use it. To everyone who donated shoes, thank you for helping us kick evil’s ass. When we help others we help ourselves. Mike Barringer at The Shoe Bank in Texas, you are an inspiration to all of us; thank you for shoeing us the way. Keep it real, everyone. Be the change you want to see. Dusty Ray, aka the Humble Hippie.
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RETURN TO JAFFA, ISRAEL By Michael Brooke | Photos: Yahav Trudler After the ISPO trade show wrapped up in Munich, I traveled back to Tel Aviv, Israel, to meet up with workers at the Peres Center for Peace. It was a follow-up to the tour we had done in July 2012. On February 11, 2013, we organized a longboard session of about 30 Arab and Israeli children. Although these kids live close by each other, they never really get to hang out. Longboarding for Peace is there to forge these relationships.
You canâ€™t get any more perfect than waves, concrete and peace combined in one location. A huge thanks to Tami Hay-Sagiv and Sivan Hendel from the Peres Center for their hard work.
A local girl from Jaffa enjoys her first moments of gliding on a longboard.
Yoni Ettinger and Michael Brooke say it all with longboards at the Peres Center.
Well, thatâ€™s one way to do an ollie! Yoni Ettinger lends a hand (and a foot).
Everyone enjoyed pizza at the conclusion of the event. It definitely helped bring people together through the magic of sharing slices. Photo: Xavier Ethuin 102 CONCRETE WAVE SPRING 2013
LONGBOARD LOFT’S NEW FULL CIRCLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM
LONGBOARDING FOR PEACE DECK Nathan Bishop proudly shows off his incredible grip tape work on the Longboarding for Peace Deck. The deck will be on permanent display at Longboard Labs in Vancouver, BC. Artist Haley Herrington worked extremely hard on creating the bottom of the deck. Look for an artist profile on Haley in an upcoming issue.
As the sport grows and skate tech turns over faster and faster, one of the most profound results is the massive quivers of old equipment stashed in closets or piled in cars of skaters around the world. New York City’s Longboard Loft is looking for new ways to translate what would otherwise be waste into stoke for skaters who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to skate. In conjunction with Longboarding for Peace, the Longboard Loft has just rolled out its new Full Circle Exchange Program. “I think Longboarding for Peace is challenging everyone to think outside the box and outside of themselves,” says Loft owner Ryan Daughtridge. “We wanted to be a part of the movement here in New York City, and we’re stoked to roll out this new program that will benefit our customers and our community.” The new program is simple: Customers can exchange old equipment for a 10% discount on comparably priced new equipment. Looking for a new set of the hottest new thane? Turn in your old wheels and get them under someone who will appreciate them so much more than your bedroom closet. It’s not a new concept and it’s not rocket science, but it’s powerful when a highly visible, award-winning skate shop goes out of its way to actively and creatively support a cause. “We are delighted to be working with the Longboard Loft,” said Concrete Wave publisher Michael Brooke. “We encourage other shops to step up and copy this idea and spread the joy of longboarding to those who may not get an opportunity.” So next time you start jonesing for that new setup, take a page from the Loft Crew and think about how your old equipment could change the life of a skater in need. And if you’re headed to New York City, make sure to take all of your old gear and swing by the Longboard Loft at 132 Allen Street in Manhattan to experience one of the world’s most epic longboard stores. CW
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Longboarding for Peace:
HOUSTON, TEXAS Our core group of skaters loves every minute of the session!
ouston, Texas, has the highest number of millionaires per capita of any city in the USA. Yet 17% of the population lives below the poverty line. Those people mostly live in poorer neighborhoods, often called ghettos. Houston’s main ghettos are broken up into wards. The Fifth Ward is where world-renowned rappers the Geto Boys are from. It also happens to be where I grew up. Surrounded by drugs, prostitutes and gangs, we didn’t really have a lot of options. My best friend Andy and I got involved in drugs and gangs at an early age. We made all the wrong decisions and took all the wrong paths, all of which were leading to prison or death. The skateboard gave us an opportunity to escape our horrible surroundings. We could hop on a metro bus and go anywhere. We chose downtown. Downtown Houston was like Disney World for skateboarders in the early ’90s. The police did not bother us, there were no gangsters, and the bad in our daily lives did not exist anymore. It was great! I started skating in 1987 at the ripe old age of 10. My father was a surfer, and being in Houston without surf, he
By MIKEY SEIBERT Photos: ANDREA WALLACE
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THE PIECE OF WOOD WITH FOUR WHEELS WAS MY TICKET OUT OF HELL. IT TOOK ME ACROSS THE COUNTRY, MADE ME SOME OF MY GREATEST FRIENDS AND LED ME TO A DECENT LIFE. was like a fish out of water. In his mind, skateboarding was the next best thing. He got me my first skateboard and taught me to jump off launch ramps, and my mother would tote me to the Skatepark of Houston any chance she had. We would sometimes go without other things in life, yet I never went without a board. My father would wear shoes with holes in the sole because he spent his shoe money to get me a board. So when I decided I was going to dedicate my life to the board, my parents were as supportive as if I told them I was going to Yale. When you grow up poor, the simple things in life can make all the difference. The piece of wood with four wheels was my ticket out of hell. It took me across the country, made me some of my greatest friends and led me to a decent life. A few years ago I injured my back skating a rail. Not wanting to quit skating, but knowing I couldn’t jump down stairs anymore, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Then a friend introduced me to longboards. I chose the wrong style board and wheels, and in turn I did not have that much fun doing it. It did, however, keep me rolling. I was down for life. After moving away from Houston for more than a decade, I moved back. I wanted to support the city that had given me so much. Needing a local shop, and being the kind of guy that only supports core shops, I got turned on to Carve Skate Shop. The guys running the shop were Neal Roberts and Sean Cook, two amazingly knowledgeable longboarders. Neal helped me pick a board that suited my riding and what I wanted to do. It made a world of difference, and I fell in love with the longboard. At first it was just cruising and carving, then pumping and racing garages. Powersliding was natural to me since it was a fun trick we did in the late ’80s. Having such a great time, I immersed myself in the longboard culture.
Slevin is 5 and a pure natural.
Greg Nobles helping the kids learn to skate.
Passing out the gear to the kids. They are so appreciative of receiving it.
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Sharing the stoke in Houston.
THESE KIDS WHO HAD NO REAL PROSPECTS AND WERE BASICALLY WRITTEN OFF BY SOCIETY AT LARGE NOW HAVE A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND CREATIVITY. THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THEY CAN BE THEMSELVES.
One day as I was reading Concrete Wave, I came across an article on Longboarding for Peace. It was showing the great things they were doing and the stoke they were building. I knew I had to be a part of such a great movement. Several emails and phone calls later, I was in. I was now part of L4P. And I knew the direction I wanted to go: Because I was from Houston and got started skating in Houston, and because Houston had poor kids in gangs, why not set up a branch of L4P here? Now L4P Houston is a reality. I hooked up with the guys at Carve to see if they wanted to help. They were so down.
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Street kids turned into longboarders.
I also got in touch with Esteven Azcona at Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA), an arts center for underserved and underprivileged children. They were more than excited to have us. My intent was to take longboarding to kids who were poor — I mean really poor; kids from neighborhoods rife with gangs and drugs — and give them something fun and creative to do. Something to take their minds off the troubles they faced in everyday life. I mean, a board with four wheels got me out, so maybe it could do the same for them. I estimated that we might get 10 to 15 kids to sign up and try it, and figured maybe six to 10 of those would really dig it and keep coming back on a weekly basis. I was wrong. Twenty-two kids, aged 2-16, came to the first session. Some of them were actual gang members – one of whom was 16 and covered in tattoos and already had a 2-year-old son. Well, they enjoyed it so much that they kept coming back. We are up to 38 kids now, and it grows by at least two to five kids each week. I have been told they are doing better in school and respecting authority due solely to the fact that they don’t want to get in trouble and have to miss our sessions. What a great response! Companies like Loaded, Klever, Landyachtz and Restless donated more boards than I ever expected. These companies really believe in the cause and deserve our support and respect. Without them and others like Churchill Mfg., Crossroads, Big Myth, Sweet Spot, these Wheels and Abec 11, none of this would be possible. These kids who had no real prospects and were basically written off by society at large now have a sense of purpose and creativity. They understand that they can be themselves. Even though we are longboarders, how we choose to ride is up to us and no one will judge us for it. It’s a good mirror for life. We are all humans, and how we choose to live and dress is our choice and no one should judge us for it – whether it be emo, punk, prep or anything else. These are the values I am trying to teach with L4P Houston. At L4P Houston we have had a wonderful outpouring of support, locals have come to teach, Carve has helped with helmets and time and MECA has given us a facility. The program is growing every day and has a 100% retention rate. Not one single kid has dropped out or stopped coming. By the time you read this, we should be close to 50 strong. We have been doing slide clinics, board dancing and fundamentals like pumping, carving and stopping. The kids have grown not only as riders but also as people. It’s been absolutely fantastic and will continue to be – all thanks to the longboard and the longboard community. I would like to thank all those involved, and I am sure I will forget some. But I am asking you to support these companies. Let them know you are supporting them because they support us. Thanks to Restless, Pablo and Loaded Boards, Klever Skateboards, Landyachtz, Carve Skate Shop, Churchill Mfg., Abec11, these Wheels, Riviera and Divine, Koastal, LongboardLarry, Navigator Trucks, Bombsquad Longboarding, S-One Helmets, Crossroads, Big Myth, Bustin, Phat Deanz and Concrete Wave magazine. Search, Spark, Stoke. L4P for Life! CW
MECA Houston: The steps to change for the kids.
Georgiah picks it up quickly.
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