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VOL.14 NO.2 FALL 2015







TO P M O U N T | R A C E C O N C AV E | D I R E C T I O N A L S H A P E

R : Tom Flinchbaugh

P : Dustin Damron

FALL 2015 REGULARS: 18 THE FINE PRINT Andre Castro creates a mesmerizing masterpiece. 24 EDITORIAL Keeping your eyes on the prize. 28 NOTEWORTHY New wheels, decks and a feature on a TV anchorman who longboards.. 78 ARTIST PROFILE All the way from Adelaide, Australia, comes Greg Turra, whose bold graphics adorn the latest Restless Longboards. 80 LONGBOARDING FOR PEACE Edward David Hernández is doing some incredible things in Mexico, and Pathways to Peace reminds the world about September 21 – Peace Day. 82 THE BRIDGE Vert legend Tony Magnusson’s contribution to street skateboarding is explored. 86 SLALOM REPORT Racers charge the burly Loretta Street in Oceanside, California, for the fifth year in a row.

FEATURES: 36 THE POWER OF PERSONAL CHOICES Leticia Bufoni posed naked with her skateboard for ESPN and all hell broke loose. Cindy Whitehead offers her take on things. 38 SUPER POOPER MAPLE SLIDE CLINIC One of Toronto’s premier longboard spots is the Poop Chute, located right near a water treatment facility. Mike “Smooth Chicken” McGown takes us inside a clinic. 42 SHRALPERS UNION UPDATE The legacy of Noel Korman and his infectious enthusiasm for skateboarding continues to reverberate. 46 A REBELLION OF PEACE There’s a lot happening in Cuba, and skateboarding is at the center of it. 52 SUNSET RIDERS A collection of golden moments. 62 RIDER SETUPS We feature riders from Brazil, Germany, Portugal and the USA. 70 THE ZEN OF FREESTYLE China’s Sheng Meng and Hungary’s Albert Kuncz spend hours perfecting their craft. This article explains why. 74 LEFT COAST LONGBOARDERS Born out of a breakup in South Central Los Angeles, the LCL is on a roll.

ON THE COVER: Eloy Diaz enjoys a golden moment. Photo: Christian Rosillo CONTENTS: Jennay Say Qua leaves her mark at the new Velosolutions track in Brooklyn, NY. Photo: Skateboard Supercross



photos: pilloni


dre Castro

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LITE DROP-THROUGH 36” x 9.5” | 27” Wheelbase

Dusters created the Lite Carbon Hollow core technology by combining an ultralight honeycomb core with carbon fiber, which has the strength of steel at a fraction of the weight. The core is created by sandwiching the honeycomb core with carbon fiber and placing within the die cut veneer stack. This construction results in a weight reduction of 15 percent compared to a board of the same shape. After combining the deck with the our 180 mm magnesium Slant reverse kingpin trucks, the Dusters Lite is one of the lightest completes on the market. You’ll be blown away the first time you grab it and even more stoked when you’re pushing through the streets.

/dusterscalifornia @dusterscalifornia DEALER INQUIRIES: | +1.800.500.5015 | +1.910.791.8240 | +1.321.777.9494 | +1.713.926.3295

EYE ON THE PRIZE This is Brad Edwards in what can only be described as a 20-foot metal capsule, secretly located in Southern California. The chances of you finding it are remote; the chances of you riding it are slim to none. However, since you’ve got your hands on a copy of CW, you can at least live vicariously through Mr. Edwards. Brad got himself into this specific position through a number of paths. His love of skateboarding and ability to push himself forward brought him to places like this capsule. How he managed to get into this position clearly shows how his efforts have paid off. What’s most intriguing about this photo is that it is a terrific metaphor for being centered and finding your path. In the middle of the capsule, there is a hole letting in light. When I am out skating, my body and my mind become centered and in balance. Riding can clear your mind of stress and darkness. It lets in a light that brings with it a sense of peace and harmony. We all take different paths on skateboards, but ultimately, we all enjoy the benefits of what the ride gives us. Taking a wider view, you can see that this photo looks like a giant eyeball. This can be interpreted in a number of ways. As skaters, we are always under scrutiny. The non-skating public seem to have an endless number of issues with where we skate, how fast we skate and sometimes even how old we are as skaters! Beyond this is the watchful eye of our fellow skaters. We’ve all had to deal with someone who seems to have a problem with the gear we’ve purchased, the pro rider we like or the clothing we’re wearing. Whether it’s online, at the skate shop or during a skate session, somebody has an opinion or issue – or both! Ironically, when it comes to being eyeballed, it’s skaters who can be the most judgmental of all. My response to all this? Go back to your roots. Go back to what brought you to riding a skateboard in the first place. Focus on the ride being the reward. This will center you and keep you balanced. I know this because I’ve experienced it personally. I remember when skateboarding hit my neighborhood in the mid-1970s. I was one of the first to embrace it and quickly five other kids started. Next, a skatepark was built near my house and dozens more joined in. Then, as quickly as it started, it all collapsed. Suddenly, it seemed like everyone had abandoned skateboarding and I became the only rider in my neighborhood. I wound up being somewhat ostracized, and people couldn’t understand why I remained with it. Rather than try to explain my reasoning, I kept my eye on the prize and charted my own damn course. Forty years later, the results speak for themselves and I see my path with 20/20 vision. Enjoy the issue!

Michael Brooke Publisher/Editor


Brad Edwards. Photo by Mike Scholl




CONTRIBUTORS Christian Rosillo, Andre Castro, Mike Scholl, Cindy Whitehead, Ian Logan, Peggy Sirota, Mike McGown, Scott Harrison, Tari Bonhert, Emma Park, Simone Mondino, Noelia Otegui, Balin Hewitt, Guigo Foggiatto, Paulo Rogério, Sergio Mezzino, Tibs Parise, Pablo Quiles, Todd Fuller, Monty Little, Daniel Dutkai, Heidi Lemmon, Daniel Månsson, Andrew Chen, Joe Hammeke, Lance Smith, Maria Carrasco, Brad Miller, Craig Jackman

HEAD OFFICE 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

CANADIAN DISTRIBUTION Inward Supply 514-996-7138 Landyachtz 778-785-6855

Concrete Wave is published by North of La Jolla Inc. Subscriptions (6 issues) are US$26 FIRST CLASS or CAN$26. Address change? Mag not arriving? Contact us - don’t go postal. We can sort it out. 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. Printed in the USA.





KOTA (which stands for ‘Knights of the Air’) is a veteran-owned business located in Denver, Colorado. They’ve introduced an innovation called “KOTA Clear Deck”, which modernizes the conventional longboard by eliminating truck holes and giving riders a completely smooth topsheet. This feature is the perfect complement to their “KOTA grip” finish, allowing riders show off the artwork on top of their board. The Tracers are the latest addition to the Hawgs wheels line. They are 67MM in diameter with 78A durometer and multi-colored to compliment your setup. The Tracers are buttery smooth and slide with ease.  Trace your every corner with thick thane lines on this center set freeride wheel.



Ruffboards was founded in January 2013 by Melanie Ruff, Simone Melda and Nikolaus Hutter. Based in Vienna, Austria, the company has unique vision of skateboard manufacturing, creating longboards from recycled snowboards. Even more unusual is the fact that the boards are created by young ex-offenders. The program has helped turned around the lives of many young people, and Ruffboards hopes to expand globally. It’s the only skateboard factory in Vienna and also the only one led by women.

This is no illusion, the new Kebbek wheels come with bearings and spacers and are under $50! The Libres and Takawans are 69mm and 72mm. Available through Eastern Skateboard Supply.


ROOT Founded in 2008, Root is a German company creating some truly beautiful decks. Teamrider Sebastian Hertler has a pro model out called “The Shark” which is just one of the 13 unique shapes of this years lineup. Each of Roots downhill/ freeride Boards comes with a vertical woodcore, several layers of fibreglass and carbon, along with a super rad finish. The graphics all manifest from the maniac mind of crew artist Boggie



Kodiak is Dusters first true downhill attacker. It has a solid directional shape with W-Concave and a slight rocker. The Kodiak features multiple truck mounting options giving riders the ability to switch the position of their wheelbase according to preference. This is the perfect choice for someone who’s looking to get the most stability while bombing at high speeds straight down the highway.

Measuring 9.5” x 48” the medium flex Hoedown is a dedicated dancing board, designed and shaped for ultimate stability and cruise control for riders looking to perfect the latest mind-bending moves. This made-in-America board features the same unique construction techniques and materials that have quickly accelerated Moonshine MFG to the forefront of the longboard industry. It features upgrades that add increased strength and flex control important for a board of this length.



The Keystone is a progressive downhill and freeride longboard that is constructed with a poplar core, triaxial fiberglass reinforcement and carbon fiber stringers. This board is speed stiff while remaining lightweight and nimble. Custom poured urethane is sandwiched into the layup of the board at the tip and tail to provide unparalleled shock absorption, protecting the core in cases of hard impact and preventing potential delamination. The graphic is fully sublimated and infused directly into the thermoplastic base for vibrant long lasting graphics.

The 74mm Rapture features the Cult Warp Core, a core of their own design and desire. Wider support provides ultimate response, smooth slide, long life and light weight. With a durometer of 73A , it has for more grip than you could ever dream of, but still maintains a smooth slide and a race-winning roll speed. It has become the go-to race enhancer for most of the Cult.




The One Wheel Co. is a slide wheel coming in at 65mm. It is available in a 83A or 85A. There are at total of four models to choose from. The wheels are constructed with top of the line urethane and a solid core, One wheels provide a smooth and consistent riding experience every time you hit the slopes.

Designed specifically for downhill skateboarding and made of 100% high quality cow leather, the Bomber suit is perfect for someone in need of a second skin but not quite ready to shell out the dough for a custom suit. The company added strategically placed kevlar, lycra and an accordion panel to allow for comfort and flex. The knees have a medium density foam pad and removable velcro leather patches that are compatible with hard Sector 9 replacement knee caps. The inner suit consists of nylon and polyester wicking mesh with an added spine protector pouch and inner chest pocket.



Carsharing to the Spot This is a website for carpooling to the spot or event. Everybody can share his or her ride. No matter what you do, go-shred is a great way to meet up with like-minded people who love to ride. Additionally go-shred offers a service to all those who like to find the best spot. They have a spot guide, where you can find the most popular resorts, best skate and snowboard shops and accommodation opportunities


Bolzen Trucks were created several years ago in Germany by skaters. The trucks are designed to last and have become a favorite in Europe. They are now available in the USA in 180mm both in 50 and 45 degree options and colorways. Contact for dealer information.

Open Source are a new skateboard project that promotes skateboarding and creative experimentation. The boards designs are all open source, meaning anyone can access their designs. The company does this in order that all skaters can better understand how the board features impact riding. The company states they will also help skaters experiment with the designs. Workshops from Open Source will be in schools soon.


WAIT, THEY LONGBOARD?! Alan Carter Evening Anchorman, Global News Toronto


Dave Hackett has just released the Rockit. Measuring in at 10” x 34” with a 17” wheelbase, this deck is truly an original. It has a one of a kind futuristic shape and design. The deck is made of “THICK BITCH®” construction, complete with wheelwells and contrasting middle red and black veneers.

LOADED The Loaded race ambassadors love the Truncated Tesseract, but a few wanted to see if a slightly stiffer board would get them going faster. Loaded has produced a very limited run of 300 modified boards and is offering them one-time-only on their site. Loaded is donating 20% of the proceeds from each board to the non-profit STOKED whose mission is to inspire low-income teens and help them succeed through action sports. Loaded also recently introduced a completely redesigned Freeride Glove. They feature a reduced profile and now cover a full range of three form-fitting sizes to better accommodate youth and female riders. The removable EVA foam palm padding insert has been replaced by a thinner, shock-absorbing Poron XRD® foam cushion.

PARIS The highly anticipated forged Paris Savant is finally here! The Savant features many upgrades and downhillspecific improvements from their previous V2 design. The 180mm hanger is forged, for superior strength and tighter tolerances. The split 8mm axles are dead straight, precision machined, and secured into the hanger with a patented captive axle lock system. A slightly tighter bushing seat provides the additional stability needed to take your skating to 60mph+, while still giving that deep and predictable Paris turn you expect from their trucks. The Savants also feature a race-inspired machined pivot, top hat bushing washers, machined speed rings, urethane pivot cups and slop-stoppers, and are available on both 43 and 50-degree baseplates.

Welcome to a new feature here in the Noteworthy Section. For those who live in the Greater Toronto Area, Alan Carter has made quite a name for himself in television news. Currently, Alan is the evening anchorman at Global News in Toronto. Alan has spent a number of years in broadcasting as a reporter, producer and manager. For the past 16 years he’s worked in Toronto. Over the years he’s been tear-gassed, Tasered and dunked in frozen Lake Ontario. He’s done a number of news segments on his longboard, so we thought we’d find out more about him. Do you recall your first skateboard as a kid? My first board was plastic. It had clay wheels. This was the 1970’s. I wasn’t really into things when the third wave of skating hit in the 1980’s. How did you get into longboarding? I come from a snowboarding background. I lived in Vancouver for eight years in the 1990’s. I have friends out west and they had longboards when I came to visit them. I fell in love with longboarding about ten years ago. With longboarding I realized I could snowboard on the streets. My first longboard was a Sector 9 and I still ride it. I put some new wheels on it – they are super soft. What are some of the comments from you’ve received over the years? I remember I was married at the time I got my first longboard. My wife thought it was ridiculous at first but then she soon realized I could get stuff in a flash from the grocery store. I used to get a lot of looks. Nowadays, a number of people who work behind the scenes in broadcasting can’t really figure it out. “Aren’t you super serious news guy? What are you doing on a longboard?” Two days after I got this job (and it’s a dream job to be the 5:30 and 6pm anchorman), I went out and celebrated with a huge skate session. I wiped out pretty badly and came down hard on my hip. I thought to myself “I just got this job, I hope I don’t land on my face.” It looks like your daughter is a natural born skater. Eva received a great report card, so we gave her a choice of gifts. She chose a longboard. Eva has the balance, she can push and she has no fear! What other activities do you do? I love Ultimate Frisbee and I compete in mountain bike marathons. The marathons are twenty-four hours and you are with a team to complete the most distance you can. Do you know anyone with a pretty cool job that longboards? Let us know and we might feature them in this column. Email

Photo: Ian Logan

By Cindy Whitehead


here has been a lot of commentary regarding pro skater Leticia Bufoni appearing in this year’s “Body Issue” of ESPN magazine. I have been a fashion stylist working with athletes for the past 18 years for brands like Nike, Gatorade, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Honda, etc. I have dressed (and seen) the bodies of everyone from top swimwear models, to golfer Tiger Woods and NBA star Kobe Bryant, to pro surfer Bethany Hamilton and soccer superstar Mia Hamm. Most likely due to my background in this industry, I am very open on what I feel is artistic imagery that celebrates the athletic body and what I feel is gratuitous sexual content. I also realize that not everyone feels the same on either end of the spectrum, so I am politely asking you to have an open mind. 36 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2015

In 1999 USA soccer player Brandi Chastain ripped off her jersey in celebration and elation after her gamewinning penalty kick against China at the Women’s World Cup. Many people in sports understood the gesture, as they had seen it many times before with pro male soccer players. But this was the first time the world had witnessed a female athlete doing something like that in front of a huge audience and on national television. The response was fast and furious – both good and bad. The famous image by sports photographer Robert Beck is embedded in our minds. It is an iconic image of a strong female athlete in pure elation. To others it is still deemed risqué because she is in her sports bra and shorts. And the world is still talking about it. Back in 2005, Dove Soap created a campaign called “Real Beauty.” The ads and videos featured women of all different sizes and shapes in basic white cotton bras and underwear. The goal was to get women to feel good about themselves and their bodies, no matter what their size or shape. The campaign still runs and is much discussed even today due to the women’s sizes, more than their lack of clothing. Had the models all been size 0-2, would the response from both men and women have been different?

In 2009 ESPN magazine launched a special edition called “The Body Issue.” It was created in direct response to the Sports Illustrated “Swimsuit” edition, which at the time featured only women in minuscule bikinis (or less) on beautiful beaches. ESPN decided to focus on both male and female Olympic and pro athletes, and to shoot with well-known and respected fashion photographers, to create images that celebrated the unique sizes and shapes that various athletes have. At that time there were six alternative covers released, featuring both male and female pro athletes – Serena Williams for tennis, Adrian Peterson for the NFL, Dwight Howard from the NBA, Gina Carano for MMA, Sarah Reinertsen for triathlon and Carl Edwards for NASCAR. It was less about “sex” and more about an amazing athletic body, the public seemed to say with their comments to ESPN. Interestingly enough, the highestselling cover that year featured Serena Williams, who is not a size 2 or tiny in stature like Gina Carano, but is majorly powerful and strong. In 2013 I worked on a big campaign featuring pro baseball player Bryce Harper (who is also one of ESPN’s 2015 Body Issue athletes). It was a beautiful shoot for Under Armour that was done in Las Vegas, high up in a penthouse suite, and it resulted in a stunning image

of Bryce. I posted this ad on my various social media outlets when it ran, and got nothing but positive response to the shots from both males and females.

and which came from a female athlete? “I’m proud of my body, I’m proud of my sport, I’m proud of being a professional athlete. Being naked is just another aspect of that.”

What if this had been a female athlete? How would the response have differed?

“I worked hard this off-season to get my body where I needed to get it because finally, I wasn’t hurt.”

In 2014 skateboarder Natalie Krishna Das thought up and executed a conceptual photo shoot where girls were shredding pools and a gorgeous man was scantily clad poolside holding grapes as they rode by. People loved it. Women “oohed” and “ahhed” over the guy, and both men and women in the skateboard industry thought it was very “tongue in cheek” and loved the photos – pure role reversal but without the discord. For many years, there have been ads in action sports magazines glorifying sex, and portraying women as objects rather than athletes. The funny thing is, I don’t see many people writing letters to the editors or companies, taking away skate or surf magazines from their kids, or saying publicly that such portrayals are wrong. The photo of Leticia Bufoni brought up a lot of discussion on this subject. I have heard everything from “I don’t want my kids seeing this on the Internet” and “What kind of role model is she?” to outright support, understanding, and congratulations to this amazing woman who is at the top of her sport.

Does it matter? Not really. Both are athletes at the peak of their sport and working like hell to be in the best shape possible. Both also have a great self/ body image and are proud of how their bodies look – which is what I hope every girl out there feels as well.

Leticia Bufoni and the photo that started a major controversy. Photo: Peggy Sirota

I think it would have been very interesting to run another photo next to Leticia’s – of USA track and field hammer thrower Amanda Bingson, who talks about her weight and why she’s built for her sport and proud of her body. Would the comments have been the same? Is it perhaps more about Leticia being the “ideal” size/weight so her photo is more “sexual” to some people? Here are two statements made by athletes featured in the Body Issue. Can you tell which came from a male athlete

Yet when these statements were placed under each athlete’s photo, can you guess who got more flack? Yep, USA Women’s World Cup soccer player Ali Krieger, whose quote is the first one. Why is it OK for our male counterparts to be seen as Adonises, yet when our female athletes train hard, eat right, win championships and do photo shoots with the same photographers, they risk being labeled sexual beings and not good role models? Isn’t that a double standard? I wonder how many parents forbid their sons from looking at Bryce Harper and all the other guys in the 2015 ESPN Body Issue? Probably not many (if any), versus how many parents are agonizing about their daughters seeing the Body Issue image of Leticia that we posted on our Instagram feed this morning. This crazy double standard we are creating for our girls is not right. Isn’t it also up to us (or you as a parent if your child is under a certain age) to decide who is a female role model you’d like to have? You can simply choose not to have that person be your role model, but I don’t think vilifying these women is the answer. If you are going to put Leticia or any of these other female athletes on a cross, you had better race to turn off the TV, stop going to movies, and take away your kids’ Internet and cellphones because there are a lot more images out there that are really offensive and degrading to women that we need to be worrying about.

An effortless multi-stair ollie. This is why Leticia is one of the top female street skaters. Photo Courtesy Nike

SUPER POOPER MAPLE SLIDE CLINIC By Mike “Smooth Chicken” McGown Photos by Scott Harrison

A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other’s lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves. –Wendell Berry The soul of skateboarding will never die. These are words that have lived with me since the day I saw them enshrined on a Wes Humpston cover of Concrete Wave. (That would be Vol. 1 No. 3, Fall 2002 – Ed.) Then, I believed them only to mean that skaters were brash, disorderly and anarchists for life. I was fuelled by the imagery of graffiti, drugs, money and alcohol. I believed this was how the best had fuelled their passion for skateboarding. In the image, the character is sporting a bandana reminiscent of those worn by Japanese Kamikaze pilots, and instead of holding a hand out in a show of friendship, the hand is clenched right over his junk. This whole time, I had been entirely missing that this character was also built around the idea of the Hindu god Shiva, in his Lord of Dance pose. Now you might be throwing this down thinking, What? Dancing? I’m into freeriding, dude. Skateboarding has evolved a lot over its relatively short life, and every step of the way has incorporated some stylish body positions. In essence, we’re dancing with our board, or with the road, depending on how you want to look at it. This “Dogtown Shiva” has shown me just how transient and complicated skateboarders are. We don’t come from one place looking for the same thing via the same means. We come from different walks of life, riding all kinds of boards, and looking for that spark that makes each of us smile. Whether it’s slashing pool coping, kickflipping a 10-set, breaking 80 mph, sliding endlessly on tiny wheels or pushing along the beach in the sun, as long as you’re skateboarding, you’re one of us. This same feeling of changing is exactly what I and others experienced at the Super Pooper Maple Slide Clinic in Toronto.

We had some people come in at the beginning and throw all their cards down on the table: “Here’s all the badassery I can accomplish. I’m going to go hang out with Pat Switzer in the advanced section.” When asked if they could footbrake with both feet, the answer was not yes or no, but “I can do like 30-foot standies. I don’t need to know that other stuff.” Just like me with the image I previously had of skateboarders, they were convinced that they knew best, but had yet to see the forest from the trees. So we made everyone start in the “beginner” section. Here they had to do some simple tasks like reviewing hand signals for safety, pushing uphill with both feet and buttboarding. These were followed by slow races, where the slowest rider wins. Although the activities were initially met with some stubbornness, slow races were the key to making the seemingly simple and mundane fun and challenging. Over the course of the day, people came and went from the different skill level areas on the hill. Some who thought they were ready for more tried to move up, and would then come back down the hill so they could learn some more of the basics. Others spent all day learning the basics over and over and over again. The day wasn’t about making everyone feel inferior about their level of skill – in fact, quite the contrary. It was to instill a sense of belonging, capability and safety, so that overall, we can effect change in the communities that each of us lives in. The ability for us to use skateboarding to change people’s minds about skateboarders. By far for me, the best part of the day was our post-skate wrap-up and discussion. We all gathered in a circle with water and freezies, and Pat began asking questions to the circle: What

In a moment of pure stoke, Ben Jones hugs Eric Mroz

do you think makes your community tick? How do you feel about the community? What is the community based off of? What makes a good ambassador? At first there was little said, but as we went around the circle, there was a very noticeable shift in people’s mindset. They spoke about themselves, their friends and how they like to play. They spoke about the events that make them happy, and then some of the things that make them sad: skaters not being safe or respectful; people not leaving the hill cleaner than they found it; and bad attitudes that ruin skate spots. These were things they had all thought about but never discussed with each other. It was incredible to see everyone recognize that we all just want to have a good time, and that being an “ambassador” doesn’t make you a kook, it makes you an avid skateboarder. In the end, modesty, community growth, safety, creativity and inclusiveness ruled the day. We discussed how opinions can vary on the same thing, by asking questions like: • How much is an expensive lunch? • How tall is tall? • When is it too cold to skate? (NEVER) We asked these questions to get people’s mental juices flowing, to create discussion around seemingly pointless questions, to display how different we can all be. After this discussion, we asked another rhetorical question: What do we ask of you? Our answers included: • To do the “ambassador” thing • Actively help the longboard community grow in a positive way

Up and coming rider, Matthew Noseworthy.

• Be creative • Be self-motivated • Pay attention to ambassadors’ personalities • Be patient to build a good local community • Be a modest mentor • Lead by example (don’t be preachy) • Again, do the “ambassador” thing We ended the day with one last exercise, one that turned out to be the most prolific: self-reflection. Only when people can examine themselves against others and the community can true change come about. Although the questions were somewhat personal and not easy to answer, we had just learned all about proper communication and respect, and the words just poured out. • Think of five things that would make someone want to have you on their team • Think of three things that would make someone not want to have you on their team, or would make it a challenge for them • Think of one thing you (personally) believe people think that is not true about you None of what we did on this day was easy, except Pat signing people’s faces. But I feel that what we got out of it was another generation of skaters who will grow up respecting their surroundings, being conscious of the community, teaching the new up-and-comers how to act safely and responsibly, and most of all assuring them that if what they really want is to be a pro, there’s a lot of work that must go in first – and sometimes footbraking with both feet is required.



n July, Concrete Wave headed to New York City to meet up with Ray Korman and Luke Ayata. Ray’s son, Noel Korman, was the founder of the Union and Luke was one of his closest friends. Both Concrete Wave and Longboarding for Peace have decided to join forces with the Union and you will see more things unfold over the next few months. In the interim, we wanted to give readers an update on what is happening.

It’s been over six months since Noel passed away. What are some of your thoughts and the Shralpers Union’s thoughts? Ray: I still think of him every day, and I still believe in what the Shralpers Union stands for. It’s very difficult to get acclimated to the situation that we have to deal with. I’ve always backed Noel with his passion for board sports, and now with the help of the Union we will see his dream come true. Noel’s Facebook page gets regular uploads. People seem to connect through that page. What are your thoughts? We were all surprised by the amount of people that showed up at the funeral home. We had no idea he had connected with so many people from so many different walks of life. And the fact that people are still posting on his page confirms that those connections were actually real and he touched their lives in very a personal way. What are some of the key goals of the Shralpers Union? We have already established bringing together a group of international like-minded and dedicated people who are passionately into board sports. The idea is to spread the message through our chapters in order to grow Shralpers Union and make Noel’s dream come to life. His motto was “High fives and positive vibes,” and we are moving forward in that same fashion. Together we all play a part of the intricate plan.


Where are you located? How does a chapter form? Home of Shralpers Union is in Clifton, New Jersey, at the 973 Chapter. We have over a dozen chapters in the U.S. and several others across the globe. As the word spreads, more and more members are interested in forming chapters. What do the chapters do? Our chapters are the key to running our organization. A chapter is responsible for making sure that SU is represented correctly in the relative communities. A chapter has three departments: Events; Charities and Fundraisers; and Products and Services. A local “mom and pop shop” is used as the main hub for the chapter, which allows for the community to come together under one common roof. These shops will be carrying SU merchandise as well as limited collaborations made exclusively for SU. Local clinics/events/fundraisers will be highlighted on our website, [along with] social media directing traffic to the local shops.

well as a database of shops, events, chapters and members – and a few surprises. How can people contact you? Best way to get involved or in touch with the SU is to register at What do you think about teaming up with Concrete Wave and Longboarding for Peace? Teaming up with CW and LFP was a godsend for us, as all the three entities have a similar vision. All three fit together like pieces of a puzzle to form the perfect package. We are looking forward to spreading the word through our coalition in this changing new world.

What are your future goals for the Union? Our ultimate goal is to unite the people that share the same vision and to make SU become a household name through the community work we do. Utilizing our chapters and members, we want to further our causes. We have events, fundraisers, clinics, after-school programs, park clean-ups and charity work planned out in our relative chapters. We realize that different areas have different needs, and we take the time identify those needs and set up our local chapters accordingly. Our website allows members to track our progress as well as contribute to the cause in many ways. We also have amazing amenities for our members, including discounts on new products and services as CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 43



Ryan Ricker is a team rider and crew member at MuirSkate. when he isn’t attending skate events and races, he’s packaging your orders!



a b : u C E d e m C or f e A R y E t i l i P b OF eedom of Mo How the Fr

nert By Tari Boh

I’m not a skateboarder, but I somehow have become immersed into its culture

of people,

and especially taken in by the skateboarding scene in Cuba. The skaters’ attitudes and lifestyle inspire me. It sounds ludicrous when I tell people about my experience, but I am convinced it’s the simple life of the skateboarders that is revolutionizing an island filled with so many barriers and vulnerabilities. I truly believe that it’s these kids and the global supporters within the skateboard community over the past few years that have contributed to the sudden interest in the country and opening minds and borders. As someone said to me, the one thing the government can’t take away from you is the freedom of mobility. CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 47

^ The Havana DIY Skate Park project is still a work in progress. Photo: Rene Lecour > Blood, sweat and beers. Jakub “The Cheq” Panker creator the DIY Skate Park build with some of the Amigo local crew. Photo:Rene Lecour < A lack of skateboards doesn’t mean a lack of imagination for these local boys. Photo: Rene Lecour


here’s a movement going on in Cuba, and it’s not being dictated by new relations with the United States or led by young guerrilla rebels, but by a wooden board with four wheels and the lifestyle of its occupants. There’s an energy in the streets that you feel is about to burst. It screams to you all around. Attitudes have changed with a newer generation. Tito, an ambitious 25-year-old skateboarder in Havana, no longer believes in the walls that have surrounded the island. He tells me, if you have the dream, we will make it happen. The skateboard culture, with the help of global support organizations, has evolved into a culture of mentors and leaders on the island. They encompass the bubbling energy that fills the incandescent Cuban air. One person who has a played a critical 48 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2015

role in abetting the movement and creating these big dreams is Rene Lecour, who owns a skateboarding shop and manages a skatepark in Miami. Almost six years ago Rene’s then 15-year-old son Kaya Rain showed him a documentary on the impoverished Cuban skateboarding scene. Rene and his family reached out to their local community for donations. Soon they had arranged a trip to Cuba’s capital city of Havana, with bags full of used boards and gear. Before entering Cuba, Rene was unsure how to reach the skateboarding community there. But he need not have worried; they found him. While unpacking his suitcase an hour after his arrival, Rene heard an assemblage of skateboards approaching

the hotel. Upon hearing the boards, Kaya urged him to come downstairs. Standing before them, in front of the blue fountains that sit along the Malećon, was a man Rene had learned of while researching Cuban skating: Che Alejandro Paydo Napoles, one of the early adopters of skateboarding in the country. And standing behind Che was every skater in Havana. Rene looked him up and down in disbelief. “Che?” he asked. “Amigo!” Che responded with a handshake, and from there Amigo Skate was born. As people say, things like this only happen in Cuba. Che says his first recollection of seeing

The History of Skateboarding in Cuba a skateboard in Cuba was in 1981, when revolutionaries traveling back and forth to Russia, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria would bring back skateboards as gifts for their kids. Little did they know they were seeding a brand new lifestyle, and eventually a new revolution. Che says he started skating when he was about 9 or 10, after seeing groups of guys skating in Acapulco Park. One of the people Che skated with, also about his same age, was Canek Sanchez Guevara, the eldest grandson of the iconic revolutionary leader Che Guevara. Though Canek revered his grandfather, he later strongly opposed the regime, disappointed by what the elder Guevara’s revolution had turned into. The scene eventually grew inside the park at 23rd and G Streets. There a group of about 30 long-haired kids, inspired by movies like Kids and Thrashin’, would spend their days listening to rock ’n’ roll, riding downhill, trying new tricks and hanging out. They’d meet up at the park every morning and then again in the evening. “Doesn’t matter if you skate good or bad in the ’80s,” says Che, now 42 years old. “It was just about having fun with your friends.”

“The skateboard culture with the help of global support organizations has evolved into a culture of mentors and leaders on the island.” Before donations, Cuban skaters had to make their own boards out of pieces of plywood and steel wheels taken from1940s roller skates. Eventually Che built a machine that helped shape their homemade boards. Today they completely depend on donations. In Cuba, a skater lasts as long as his or her board. Once you break the board, you have to wait for the next shipment to come in. After years of skating only streets and hills, Cuban skaters got to ride their first skate ramp in 2005, with the entrance of Red Bull. Soon after, they began building

and carrying around rickety ramps that they could set up as mobile skateparks. They would inhabit an area for as long as they could, but eventually they would always get kicked out. Today, though, a DIY park exists in an old drainage ditch outside of Havana’s Sports City, with concrete ramps that were just completed this past summer. But the streets of the city are Cuban skaters’ real park. In a place where the landscape is of a time that has stood still, the island of Cuba sets the most beautiful scene for a skating playground. Riders grab the back bumpers of old 1960s cars and the sides of Tuk Tuks (auto rickshaws) in between traffic, or jump and perform tricks along the structures of the Malećon. This will always be a constant even throughout the evolution of skating on the island.

An Evolution Once looked at as punks, misfits and rebels, today skaters are seen as the new Cuban thought leaders. But it was rebellion that got them here, and it’s still rebellion that continues to create change. vOn June 21, 2015 Amigo Skate pioneered Go Skateboarding Day on the island. Like a scene out of Braveheart, 100 skateboarders brought liberation to Cuba for the first time in almost 60 years. They made an 11-mile loop around the city, riding together while waving high CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 49

The day also ended like a scene out of a movie, and yet as perfectly simple as life in Cuba, with riders sharing beers on the edge of the Malećon. But in the air was change. The afternoon had given empowerment to the impossible. And it was skateboarders who had raised the American flag for the first time again in Cuba, two months before the flag was lifted in front of the new U.S. Embassy. Rene Lecour said it was the best day of his entire life. He may soon have a few more of those. As a gift back to the people, Amigo Skate is producing the first-of-its-kind action sports, music, and arts festival in Havana, bringing in artists from both the U.S. and Canada. They are also in negotiation with the government, collaborating on the plans for a new skatepark that will overlook the Malećon. In five years Amigo Skate has spread globally, allowing them to make mission trips every couple of months. A part of the lifestyle is street art, on which Amigo Skate has also had a major influence and found ways to bring in supplies. Abstrk, a Miami-based graffiti artist, has adopted the Amigo name for his project, Amigo Paint. He goes into parks and elementary schools, working on collaborations with the kids, reaching communities the government has yet to reach. Back in May, Tito and a bunch of other local Havana skateboarders were asked to help a Parisian artist named Steeve Bauras build an exhibition called 3K Project for the Havana Biennial Art Exhibition. They built an indoor skate ramp, which they then painted black, along with the ramps, the walls and the 50 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2015

> A jeep full of soldiers passing by our Amigos as they skate into the sunset. Photo: Emmy Park < Rene Lecour Founder of Amigo Skate Cuba; about to lead the charge at the beginning of Go Skateboarding Day Havana 2015. Photo: Emmy Park <

Local Amigo Yojani Perez showing his surf style during the 1 st ever downhill longboard contest in Havana. Photo: Emmy Park An amazing turnout for an illegal street contest hosted by Amigo Skate in May. Photo: Emmy Park


both a Cuban flag and an American flag. Cubans rushed out of their homes to watch, cheering them on, following them down the streets, taking photos and shedding tears of joy and freedom. For the first 15 minutes the skaters rode as fast as they could, awaiting their inevitable arrest for illegally flying the flags. But the arrest never came; the police just looked the other way and quietly celebrated. As the skaters finally slowed down, one of the youngest riders in the group, around 10 years old, began yelling out, “It’s happening! It’s happening!”

speakers. Then shadows of all colors each took turns riding up and down the ramps. When I chatted with Bauras about 3K and the reason for the black setting, the darkness in his words and the racial and controversial film clip he chose to use in the background, he said it represents a movement. The black and white is a canvas. He says people might see it as only black and white, but he sees color. And I asked, why skateboarders? He said because it’s a culture that has brought so many different types of people together – a culture that has broken the segregated barriers. It’s a movement. An icon of revolution is stamped all over Cuba. The face of “Heroic Guerrilla Fighter” of Che Guevara still appears on virtually every block. You are constantly reminded of a historical movement that brought so much upheaval to a country in the 1960s. But more than 60 years later, another

symbol has dominated the island. This symbol is tattooed to the bodies of the youth, tagged on walls and spray-painted on almost every skateboard that glides down the street. The symbol consists of two skateboards forming the shape of a heart holding hands, beneath which it reads “Amigo Skate.” This symbol represents a very different kind of movement and lifestyle. It represents freedom, friendship, and, for me, a blank canvas for the future, just like Bauras was talking about. My first night in Cuba, an overwhelming sensation of tranquility came over me. I found myself walking down a street in Vedado at 3:00 in the morning heading toward the Malećon. I stood next to a skater named Rodney, where music was playing from his boombox. Innocence filled the air, the sky perfectly lit by the stars. Skateboarders rolled by, trying out new tricks, while some of us walked in silence in our own thoughts, and others quietly conversed. Although the group was scattered along the street, our bodies

moved together slowly as one peaceful force. The next day I called Rene and said, “I get it.” Amigo Skate extends a huge thanks to the following companies for their generous support: Madrid, Fender, Havana Air, Cadillac Wheels, Arbor, Caliber Trucks, Generator Skateboards, Huff, S-One Helmets, The Hundreds, Homage Skateshop, Shut Skateboards and Churchills Pub For more information on the Amigo Skate mission, visit


Julie Westfall. Photo: Heidi Lemmon


Continuing with our exploration of different times of the day to ride, we bring you some of the most sumptuous images we could find. There is something truly magical about a sunset. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll let these photos tell the story.

It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream. -Bern Williams

Alex Luciano Photo: Simone Modino

A sunrise or sunset can be ablaze with brilliance and arouse all the passion, all the yearning, in the soul of the beholder. -Mary BaloghÂ


Palaxa Golden Photo: Noelia Otegui

You watched the sunset today? You are rich! You missed it? You are poor! -Mehmet Murat Iildan


Sergi Rudolboy. Photo: Christian Rosillo

At the end of the world the sunset is like a child smashing a pack of crayons into Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face. -Craig Stone


Aaron Gomez, melon fakie Photo: Andrew Jiminez

There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them. -Jo Walton  


Photo: Balin Hewitt

Lost - yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever. -Horace Mann


Agus Mica Photo: Guigo Foggiatto

Every sunset is an opportunity to reset. -Richie Norton CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 59


REINE OLIVERIA I’m a Brazilian rider who loves downhill sliding, freeriding and speed boarding. My downhill slide board is my favorite setup. It is part of my roots, has the most style, and is what I have the most fun on. PHOTO: PAULO ROGÉRIO

The Abec 11 Sublime Power Slides 100a are perfect for long slides. The Gullwing Pro III 155mm trucks are really secure and the Sector Nine Jeff Budro 36” is one of the best decks I have ever had. The concave is perfect. My favorite wheels for racing are the Zig Zag’s and the Big Zig’s. They are not only fast but have excellent grip. I use them with Gullwing Precision trucks and the Sector Nine Javelin board. CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 63


ESTHER SAUVE The board I’m riding is from my sponsor Bastl Board. It is the handcrafted “Bolero” in Flex 1. It’s incredibly lightweight, and water and shock resistant. For my dancing and freestyle tricks, it supports  all movements with a subtle flex and an incredible pop. My trucks are Paris v2 with Riptide Bushings 93a. For wheels, I ride the 70mm Seismic Bootlegs in 80A with the Elixier formula that gives me a great grip on my road trips under every condition; dancing rapidly, you never break out. Slides are steezy, always under control but smooth. You can easily turn the wheels because they are centerset if you manage to waste the durable urethane. The setup together harmonizes well and also works as longdistance pushing setup. I ride every day and in Germany where the sun doesn’t always shine. I trust Tekton Bearings that are sealed so that they last a long time.




When I designed the Budro 36”, I wanted to make a board that you can almost any terrain on. This board has what I call a late 90s shape to it. With wheelbase, it’s great for thrashing down city streets and hills but also great for parks. If I could only take one board on a trip around the world, this would I ride on 61mm Sector 9 Shredthane Marshmallows bearings and spacers. I’m grinding on 9” Gullwing Venom barrel on the bottom and a Bones medium board is 36.25” long by 9.25”wide and is pressed

skate a 17” skate be it.

equipped with ceramic Shadows with a green cone on the top. This in my personal mold.



I have been riding the Lush Burner for a while now on the shortest wheelbase (23.35”). This works best for how I like to skate: fast and no paws down. The board responds better this way and I find to get more control during the slide. A short WB compromises the stability of the ride. I compensate for this with a 46° baseplate, and harder bushings. I’ve been riding the same sets of Aera for three years. I have been using Venom for a long time and am quite satisfied with the Barrels or Eliminator. Recently, I started to use only barrel bushings. I feel I can get a better lean and dive into the corners or just drift it all. I use Sabre Bearings because they fit perfectly and I find them to be very resistant and durable. This is perfect for me because I normally kill bearings quickly!




The Silly Girl/Pink Widow board is light, which is good for airs. The Theeve trucks turn easily (this is especially good for me as I am small) and the Bones wheels (Kevin Staab 60 MM) are great for skating the huge combi and Mega Ramp! My 187 Killer Pads stick well to my body and don’t slide off. My XS x GN4LW helmet has super soft padding inside and fits my head snugly.


The Zen of Freestyle Interviews by Monty Little


t’s after 1:00 a.m. in Southern

practicing their chosen discipline



of skateboarding: the often lonely



silence is

world of freestyle skating. What

suddenly broken with the hum

exactly makes these guys tick?

of fluorescent tubes, bathing the

Where is the zone that they mentally

concrete floor below with light. A

drift into as they practice highly

lone figure turns on his iPod and

technical tricks for hours on end?



starts skateboarding to the music, practicing flips, pogos, rail slides, spins and flatground ollies – a move he introduced to the world. The skater is none other than

For Mullen and his followers, freestyle of






form peace

they achieve while skating is sometimes





Rodney Mullen, who has adhered

freestyle. This is the first in a series

to this practice regimen for years,

of articles in which we’ll take an

skating privately in the dead of

intimate look into the lives of six

night. Like-minded skaters around

of the world’s top freestyle skaters.

the world also seek solitude when

Photo: Monty Little

p.m., I have a cup of coffee to wake me up, then I go to a quite park near and practice skateboarding for three to four hours.

Shen “Dominic” Meng, 37, China

What is so special about freestyle that drives you to put in these long hours of practice? When I’m skating, it’s like I’m creating art, perfecting each trick and making it flow beautifully, such as spinning 14 consecutive nose 360s. I hope that

people will not only enjoy watching my skating but that it will inspire young skaters to take up freestyle. Are you a practicing Buddhist? I’m not an actual Buddhist, but I do believe in Buddhism. I’m not a Christian, but I believe in God. One of the things that I’ve learned from Buddhism is meditation, which I do often. The peace I find when I meditate is similar to what I feel when I am skating; it’s very calming. Photo: Monty Little

Dominic lives in Beijing, China’s capital, where he was a designer for the Kempinski Hotel until 2013, when he quit to devote all his time to freestyle skating. In March 2014, Dominic emailed me asking for help in obtaining his Canadian visa so he could travel here and compete at the World Freestyle Round-Up. What transpired in the following months is nothing short of a miracle. Monty: Beijing’s population is over 11 million. Are there many freestyle skaters in China? Dominic: No, I think I’m the only one, so it was very frustrating because there was no one to learn from. After five years of skating alone, I finally dropped it and took up trail bike riding. How did you make the transition from skateboarding to trail bike riding? I’d been riding a bike since I was little, so it came to me very naturally. In fact, I became number one in China, competing in many X Games, but after about six years of competing, I decided to return to skateboarding, which was my real love. I’ve watched a video of you performing tricks on your bike. How did learning skateboard tricks compare to this? Every freestyle trick that I know I learned from watching videos on websites. My day is like this: I wake up at 6 a.m. and head off to work. When work ends at 6

Photo: Monty Little

Last year, you asked me to write a letter to the Canadian Consulate in Beijing, hoping that this would help you receive a Canadian visa. Please tell us what happened. I printed your letter and took it to the visa office that very day but was denied my visa a second time. I was very depressed. Rodney Mullen heard about what had happened and emailed me. He is my idol, so I was very humbled to hear from him. He told me that the single event that changed his life was the Oasis Pro freestyle contest in San Diego, California [in 1980]. He was only 14 at the time, lived in Florida, had neither the money for a plane ticket nor permission from his parents to go, but he still found the means to get there. The rest of his life changed from winning that single contest. He encouraged me to do everything I could to get to Canada because he wanted me to achieve my dreams after devoting so much of my life to them. His email must have inspired you because the next thing you did was write a letter to Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if that was a good, bad or stupid idea (laughing). But I sent it anyway, and you sent a letter too, which resulted in my Canadian visa being approved on April 18, 2014, a day Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never forget. Not only did my dream come true of being able to compete at the 2014 World Round-Up, my very first contest, I also got to meet and skate with the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best freestyle skaters, and was able to go back and do it again in 2015.

Thank you, Dominic, for sharing your story with us. It is an inspiration to other skaters who also want to achieve their dreams.

Photo: Monty Little

Albert Kuncz, 29, Hungary Albert recently bought an apartment in the town of Veszprém, about 90 minutes outside of Budapest. He graduated as an IT administrator and works as a cybersecurity guard.

Monty: Seeing you skate in person at the Round-Up, I could tell that freestyle is something very special to you. Albert: It’s a way to express myself, almost an art form, in which there are no rules or teachers to enforce them. You could ask five skaters to all do the same trick. Technically, they’re all going to look the same, but each skater is going to feel something different inside, which translates into their own unique style, and style is one of the most important things in freestyle skateboarding. When putting a routine together, I’m really conscious of style. I try to make it unique by mixing up my tricks, with footwork, rail tricks and flips, all in one long line without stopping. Mentally, where do you go when you’re skating? When I’m practicing a new trick, I’m totally focusing on what I have to do to land it. But when I’m just skating for fun, I just open my mind and see what’s going to come from my body. My feet just seem to know where to go next, bang-bang-bang, one trick after another. Sometimes I don’t even know what the next trick will be, it just happens. Your flowing skating style reminds me of Henry Candioti. I can only imagine how many hours you have must put into practicing those tricks. Honestly, I do it because of the challenge,

to show myself that I can do it. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes, but making mistakes often shows you the way to complete new tricks. I stick with it until I can land it. I hope I’m never one of those weak people who give up and tell themselves they can’t do it. You live in Hungary, but at the World Round-Up in 2013 you represented Slovakia. Why? I want you to imagine that you live in a country that gives over 90% of all sports funding to one sport and that is football (soccer). We have so many talented athletes in swimming (Katinka Hosszú), canoe, handball, water polo,

BMZ (Benjamin Shenker), freestyle BMX (Adam Kun), snowboarding, and so on, but they don’t receive any support from the Hungarian government. This is one of the reasons that so many good athletes are leaving the country or perform for other countries. That’s why I represented Slovakia when I came to Canada. I care more about the sport than which flag I am holding. The World Round-Up is billed as a world-class skateboard contest, but what is it that really draws skaters

like you to travel so far at your own expense? I’ve been to several international

Photo: Daniel Dutkai

Photo: Daniel Dutkai

contests, but I don’t go there because of the competition. I go there to spend time with my friends who influence each other with our skating styles and exchange what’s on our minds. I remember the first time I went to Paderborn; I just sat there for hours watching these famous skaters I’d seen on YouTube. When I finally went out to skate, they came up to me because they recognized me from YouTube. We became friends instantly. That’s what makes it so different from other sports. Take the X Games: Just try going up to one of the pros to talk with them – it just isn’t going to happen. Yet at any freestyle skateboard contest, the world’s best

amateurs and pros will gladly chat and even skate with you. You mentioned that you weren’t able to afford to go to the Round-Up this year because you were going to take your parents to see the ocean near Fiesa, Slovenia. My mother is a cashier and my dad works for the military in the small village of Öskü, about five hours from the ocean. They’ve lived there most of their lives and had never seen the ocean, so I wanted to treat them to a vacation by the sea.

Having their priorities in check is something that has always impressed me about the freestyle community. Albert, be sure to send us a photo of your parents wading in the ocean, and we hope to see you next year!

Left Coast Longboarders – Born Out of a Breakup

Words and photos: Heidi Lemmon


’ve been working with street skaters in South Central Los Angeles for 15 years but until recently had never seen even one longboarder. I was doing a photo shoot with longboarder Neil Weiland in Venice. One of his sponsors, “Da Strap,” mentioned that there was a crew of longboarders in South Central that bomb hills and parking garages on Friday nights. What a story behind this crew: jail, broken hearts, injuries and salvation through skateboarding. Several years ago, Jay McGowan was working for a bus company. He was cleaning out the lost-and-found box and discovered four longboards. At the time, Jay didn’t skate, but he had a cousin, Kristian, who he knew did skate, so after the boards remained unclaimed, Jay scooped them up. Kristian was in jail but would be out soon, so Jay promised to hold them for him. Eventually, Jay and Kristian hooked up and started skating. Then, one Valentine’s Day, in a cruel twist, Jay and Kristian were both dumped by their girlfriends. Jay was working the night shift when his neighbor CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 75

Kristian Gomez LCL co-founder Kristian Gomez grew up in South Central L.A.’s tough streets and had few positive outlets. “I was not a nice guy. I was in and out of prison and feeling like I would go right back there again when I met up with Jay.” Kris’s brother, Oscar Gomez, is also a skater. Kris knew how to roll around the neighborhood, but street-style skating did not interest him. Kris designed the LCL logo and made their first skate gloves. He thrives on the speed and danger of bombing hills. From prison to community leader, Kris is making positive changes in his neighborhood through skateboarding. Kris runs free clinics for kids, hosts club activities for the older skaters and is a leader within the club as a co-founder.

Jay McGowan Jay McGowan, also from South Central, is the original instigator and finder of lost skateboards. Like Kristian Gomez, Jay also spent some time in jail – obviously not where he wanted to be. He enjoyed working and his toys, especially his soon-to-be-hijacked TV, and was stoked to get some free boards. Jay is a natural organizer with strong ties to his community. A freestyler at heart, Jay is equally at home cross-stepping as he is teaching a beginner to push or tuck. He believes change can happen through skateboarding.

Issa Hassan (aka Seven) Seven started out racing bikes, but when his brother gave him a longboard, he started skating. He ran into Jay, who invited him to the Loaded cross-town push from downtown L.A. to Venice Beach. He was late, starting about the same time that everyone else had already arrived at the beach. But Seven persevered, pushing across town by himself, eager to get to the beach. Soon after this event, Seven started to ride with the crew. He was a quick learner, putting his heart and soul into riding, and he’s been with LCL ever since. Seven is an outstanding endurance athlete and a welcome addition to the club.

called to let him know that there was a moving truck at Jay’s house and that his large flat-screen TV was being loaded up! He was left with just some light bulbs, his clothes and skateboards. But instead of wallowing in self-pity, Jay and Kristian began skating hard and used skateboarding to ease the pain, loneliness and stress of their breakups. They created Left Coast Longboarders (LCL), and transformed it into a real club with a president and club rules. LCL meetings were held Friday nights in parking garage bomb sessions. During one session, Kristian shattered his kneecap on a curb, but was later able to get a partial replacement. The injury slowed him down for two months, but the setback only emboldened him to skate even harder. Kris’ brother Oscar is a skater who began to research longboarding. He found some videos from Loaded Skateboards and showed Adam Colton’s clips to Kris. “Whoa! I want to do this!” was Kris’ response. Kris and Oscar contacted Herman at Loaded Skateboards. Herman gave them gloves, and gave Kris his first real longboard deck. They started riding with some of the Loaded crew. LCL has since grown to 20 members, including five women, and has started to organize chapters in other cities and states. LCL is a group of skateboarders who are addicted to the speed and danger of bombing a hill at night, and to the fancy footwork, but who never forget to have fun

Bryant Boyd (aka Dyo) Dyo, short for Bryant Boyd, is the president of LCL. “It’s a mystery to me how I got to be president,” Dyo says. “The best part is belonging to something where everyone is welcome; we’re like a family with a purpose.” Dyo started out skating alone; his first deck was a Sector 9 with Gullwing trucks. He was mostly pushing just to get around but could always beat the bus on his board. After moving from Hollywood to South Central L.A., he experienced culture shock when he ran into a longboarder who was friends with Kristian. When Dyo saw the tricks Kristian was doing, he knew right away that he wanted to join their movement and get his hands on a pair of skate gloves. Being able to get right back on his board even after an injury was exactly the kind of spirit and loyalty the club was looking for. Dyo quickly became an important part of LCL and was eventually elected president!




ucked away in a windy valley in the Adelaide hills, stuck in a continuous loop of frustration and triumph, I strive to meet a level of quality in my work that my critical self assessments just won’t allow. But hey, I enjoy what I do. Any time I’m laughing while I’m drawing I know I’m on a good thing, and job satisfaction is always high on my list of priorities! It takes support to be able to follow your own path, and I couldn’t do it without my fiancé Carly. Thanks love!


for more information: | | | instagram - @gtuz

LONG BOARDING FOR PEACE Mexico Report– Edward David Hernández We’re getting close to the ninth month of activities and the kids are developing their skills just fine. I am learning so much about them and their communities too. We have developed a great bond with each other. A couple of months ago we had the annual Monterreal Longboard Fest event sanctioned by the IDF. We had some visits from skaters around the globe and we had a blast racing. After the competition, some of the skaters stayed in town for a while. I invited a group of friends to come over to visit the kids and skate with them: Fabián Gutierrez, the Sector 9 rider from Mexico City; Brian Sandoval, a Gravity Skateboards team rider from Costa Rica; and Juan Van Dusen, owner of a small gloves company here in Monterrey. The kids were excited about the visits, mostly because they have never known people from outside the country. They enjoyed their time to the fullest, learning new tricks and watching these advanced riders skate. The skaters were amazed at the quantity of kids in the program, but they managed just fine.

We had some parents visiting also that day. They were able to speak with us and clarify any doubts about longboarding. They got to know more about the people teaching their children. All the parents were really happy about the program in their community. They were quite supportive and encouraged the kids to keep up practicing in the classes. Future plans include visits to other municipalities so they can have the chance to actually skate in an open environment.

TRAVELS IN ONTARIO Over the past several years, we have done a number of workshops at Amesbury Middle School in northwest Toronto. In May, we gave a Never Summer setup to Grade 7 student and he was extremely stoked. So far we have given away more than 30 completes to the school. Also in May, LFP went out to do a workshop in Guelph, Ontario, and worked with Wyndham House, a nonprofit that works with at-risk youth. The response was excellent, and we plan to return very soon. In July LFP visited the town of Bancroft to spread our message at the Wheels, Water and Wings festival. There’s a pretty cool skate scene in Bancroft and the skatepark is a lot of fun. We are working with the town to bring LFP to local schools in the fall.

Workshop in Guelph, Ontario.


COLLABORATIONS Longboarding for Peace is now working with two unique nonprofits: Skatetofight and Pathways to Peace.

working to create a Culture of Peace by understanding that peace is an expression of humanity and therefore will take many forms. The eight pathways they envisioned all lead to a more harmonious experience for all. Ultimately it is in the understanding that we are all pathways to peace.

SKATETOFIGHT Skatetofight is an organization created by two friends who struggle with mental illness and use skateboarding as a form of therapy. Their idea is to help others who struggle with the same or similar problems. The main goals of Skatetofight are to prevent suicide and create a skating community where those who struggle with mental illness can feel safe to share their feelings and receive help from their fellow skaters. They want to create a nonjudgmental, positive skateboarding family where everyone helps everyone with their problems and helps to create long-lasting friendships and save lives.

PATHWAYS TO PEACE Pathways to Peace is a U.N. Peace Messenger Organization that helped to launch Peace Day in 1981. LFP has teamed up with this organization and we invite you create an event of your own, or just commit to riding for peace on September 21. This year’s theme is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All.” We asked Sheva Carr and Erin Toppenberg of Pathways to Peace to contribute to Concrete Wave in honor of this special date. How will YOU contribute to the International Day of Peace on September 21? By following your inner flow, of course. Did you know that whether you are cruising on a longboard, quietly meditating or joyfully dancing to music, you may be contributing to world peace? What is Peace anyway? There are sweet and syrupy definitions that we may conjure up in our head of the world all singing “Kum ba yah” while holding hands in a big circle. Or we may define Peace as Webster does: a state of tranquility and quiet, and freedom from oppressing thoughts or emotions. And the wise man known as Martin Luther King once said, “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

Peace is our intrinsic nature. It is a surrendered flow into being at one with the dance of creation. It is harmonious rhythm that is tapped. It is coherence of the heart. For when we are in touch with our hearts’ truest desires, we are in flow; we become living peace. That peace that one finds can serve as an energetic resonance for more to access and find this flow. A beating heart emits an electromagnetic field that can be detected many feet away from the body This field affects those around you profoundly. The Institute of HeartMath has done many studies on emotions and how they affect the heartbeat rhythm, and in turn what is being projected out into the space/field around you. When we access a positive emotion, whether a calm, tranquil feeling, a feeling of appreciation or a feeling of stoke for whatever activity we are embarking on, we are literally contributing to world peace through accessing our own inner peace. The International Day of Peace (Peace Day) is observed around the world each year on September 21. It was established in 1981 by U.N. Resolution 36/37, in which the United Nations General Assembly declared it a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples. Furthering the day’s mission, the General Assembly voted unanimously in 2001 to adopt resolution 55/282 establishing September 21 as an annual day of nonviolence and ceasefire. Pathways to Peace is a peace messenger organization that was key in establishing this Day of Peace more than 30 years ago. Its people have been

Avon Mattison, the co-founder of Pathways to Peace, worked to create this day, along with the adoption of the noon minute of silence/moment of peace. It is a practice that is acknowledged daily, not just on Sept. 21, but by many groups of people 365 days a year around the planet. Avon realized as one of the first Peacebuilders that Peace is much more than merely ending war. Our personal and planetary Peace are inseparable. Our individual and collective thoughts, words and actions – on a daily basis – contribute to building a culture of Peace. The modern peace movement is not about anger and outrage and marching in the streets. The peace movement today is doing the work of quietly transforming the culture from the inside. As we grow and become more and more aware of ourselves as energetic systems, and learn more of the way we interact and affect one another, we realize the impact we have on each other. When we are in appreciation for self, we can access appreciation for another more readily. When we can be a bit more compassionate with ourselves and our family and friends, we are more able to access compassion for those around the world whom we don’t know. When we are more peaceful within, even for a minute a day, we are absolutely contributing to world peace. Peace is not simply the absence of war. It is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; it is confidence. It is about finding the flow, and mindfully, heartfully experiencing it full-out. On September 21, what will you do? Whom will you do it with? And what will be your state of being that you contribute to the collective – even if only for a moment? Minutes turn into days, turn into weeks, turn into movements. Let’s roll! CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 81


by Kurt Hurley In the mid to late ’80s the skateboarding world experienced another paradigm shift in consciousness. Just as the ramp revolution had lifted the ceiling on what could be done on a skateboard, this next shift brought skating back down to earth. It also made skateboarding much more accessible to a whole lot more people, as well as to the mainstream media. The leaders of this revolution became some of the most legendary names of the future.

H-Street and Tony Magnusson How DIY gave birth to street skating The last thing Tony Magnusson ever thought he would do is help change the direction of skateboarding. But that is exactly what his company H-Street and a few other “skater owned” companies like World Industries, Blind and New Deal did. These companies were previously unknown, as the majority of skate companies were owned by bigmoney guys that didn’t skate. This most influential movement of all time included the building of quarterpipes, and implementing the skateeverything mentality that took precedence over the ramps. This DIY, shut up and skate, “you’ve got a street in front of your house” movement changed made the skating experience available to everyone. Now, you didn’t need a park or thousands of dollars to build a ramp. Here is how it all went down from the H-Street perspective.


Tony at the old Osiris office

everything – all you needed was a board to ride. This

Interview by Kurt Hurley KH: Tony, you weren’t very well known when you came to the U.S. How did you start skating, and who was your biggest influence? T-Mag: I came from Stockholm, Sweden, where the skate scene started shortly after the American scene and we were following it closely. Everyone there was watching the Dogtown guys and what they were doing, and in the spring of ’76 I got my first board. In Sweden skating grew really fast, and as a result they built a super modern indoor skate park, New Sport House. On the weekends they did demos and I got pretty good, pretty fast – at least I thought. Mostly because of this guy named Per Viking, one of the most talented skaters I have ever seen … [He] really influenced me. Even though most people didn’t like him, I wouldn’t have been a pro and moved to California if it wasn’t for him. We were rivals, and we had a kind of love/hate relationship. Unfortunately he passed in the ’90s of a drug overdose, and man, do I miss him! So what actually brought you to California? The skate scene died in Sweden the same time as the U.S., sorta early ’80s, even though I really didn’t know it was happening. When I came to the States, I expected to stay because I didn’t exactly have any other life plans, other than going to college. It was either go to So Cal or go to college – a fairly easy choice, but not popular at home. How was the transition to living here? In Sweden we skated ramps, and I had a really hard time getting used to riding the big California pools. I also didn’t speak very much English. I had no sponsors, and I was living in my car. I hooked up with some beach bums in Mission Beach, who taught me how to drive that car and where to get cheap or free food, like the Hare Krishna temple in Pacific Beach. It was rough, but at the same time, kind of the time of my life. I’ve probably never been as free as that time: no responsibilities, just skate and figure how to survive and where the party is. Who then sponsored you? At first, Dennis Martinez saw me skate Del Mar and hooked me up with Variflex, which was one the cool companies for about a hot little minute there. I was

Gothenburg fastplant, 77 or so.

“...I personally didn’t think companies should be run by people that didn’t skate.”


stoked because Eddie “El Gato” Elguera was their main rider, and he was like the Tony Hawk of that time. Then I became the first pro rider for Uncle Wiggley Skateboards. Tracker Trucks was my first “real”sponsor that actually paid me. I think I might have ridden for Caster and Tom Inouye for a month or so at that time too. Tell me about Uncle Wiggley. It was really this engineering student Doug Ring and a couple of his buddies. Doug was the original Paul Schmitt, and I think Paul might have been quite inspired by Doug’s work. He also taught me, and paid me to skate for him. I

learned a lot about wood, building and high-tech manufacturing. It was there that I created the first Hell Concave boards to be used later. What year was this, and what happened next? In 1984/85 Tracker paid for me to go to the Vancouver contest. It was the first big contest of the second half of the ’80s. Skate was really growing again, and we were doing demos in front of thousands of people. There was so much interest because of the classic rivalries between guys like Hawk, Hosoi and Cabby. These guys were super charismatic and so many of the riders in the later ’80s were such individuals that really typified what skateboarding was all about: individual expression and highly technical riding! Being from Sweden, it was tough for me to keep up and super inspirational to have skated with the absolute best skateboarders ever at that time. How was Uncle Wiggley doing as a company? As skateboarding grew, Uncle Wiggley CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 83

couldn’t support me. The boards were handmade and they simply couldn’t keep up with the demand. I really wanted to build it up and create a team around it. And to be honest, I never really liked the name Uncle Wiggley. Did you feel like you wanted to go somewhere else? I ended up riding for a company (SureGrip) that wanted to start a board company called Magnusson Designs. Like I said before, I had already created the “Hell Concave,” and I really wanted to create a really good team around more progressive art and designs and my ideas of what a company should look like. How were you going to find the riders for the team? I went to the very first Visalia skate camp. One day I was sessioning a curb that I wasn’t supposed to skate and I met Mike Ternasky. We had a really long talk, and I told him what I thought skating and a skate company should look like. I personally didn’t think companies should be run by people that didn’t skate. It would eliminate any business greed, and everyone would understand the basics about skating. Mike liked the idea and agreed with me as well as offering up some great ideas of his own. We became friends after that and created a partnership. A couple of months later we met at the ASR trade show to put the plan into effect. Was Sure-Grip going to be involved? No, they didn’t want to hear anything about building a great team. It was like we were speaking a different language. So we started knocking on a lot of doors. Is this the start of H-Street? Yes. We talked to George Hamad and he understood our ideas, and helped us launch H-Street. He had the money and manufacturing part down, and what he didn’t know Mike and I were good at. Another person who helped a lot was Dave Andrecht. He handled the sales and the office. He was very approachable, a great sales guy and an incredible skater. Where did the name H-Street come from? It came from a curb, and it was actually the name of the street we skated in Chula Vista (San Diego). I thought it was a fun and powerful name. It had a lot of 84 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2015

marketing potential as a name and it was also important because it represented what every kid in every town had: a local skate spot. Every kid has a curb in front of their house. It was synonymous with the ability to skate anywhere without having a ramp to build or a skate park nearby. How is the birth of H-Street synonymous with the birth of street? First of all, skating was getting bigger because of the big backyard ramp jams. It was super DIY already. So, you have normal guys building big ramps – not rich people trying to make money, just regular skaters. Ramps were expensive, so kids were building quarterpipes that

were cheaper. They were just riding curbs and of course the streets for free. I thought this was the best thing for skateboarding because you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create something to skate or pay to go skate somewhere. That meant access for everyone. Believe me, a lot of skaters looked at me and H-Street and said, “If he can do it, I can do it.” It was a real DIY time. This includes writers, photographers and other skaters who cared about skating, who’ve in later years told me how inspired they were by the fact that two essentially unknown dipsticks could create something so impactful, and how H-Street was the source of them making TMag, lein air, 85 or so.

street and the birth of street skating. Matt had such a unique style. He was technical, but didn’t do super big stuff. I hadn’t seen that before, so I didn’t at first know what to think of it. But Matt was so smooth that there was no way you could not like watching him. He also had a kind of a mystical persona about him that I think a lot of people just gravitated toward. How about Danny Way? Danny rode anything and everything. He truly is the ATV of skateboarding and continues to push the limits of what you can do on a skateboard today! Probably the most innovative skateboarder of all time. Who were other H-Street riders? Originally it was John Schultes and John Sonner, then Ron Allen, Danny Way and Matt Hensley. Other second-generation riders were Sal Barbier, Mike Carroll, Jason Rogers, Alphonzo Rawls, Colby Carter, Eric Koston and Chad Vogt and a lot of other really great skaters.

Backside air. Photo: Hammeke

a decision to F the establishment and go after something they were passionate about, in and around of skateboarding. To me, that’s also been one of the most humbling and meaningful parts of the H-Street experience. This was a real shift in the skateboard world. Yeah, and I would say that 1985 to 1992 is arguably the most progressive and meaningful time skating ever had. Even Europe and Australia [were] developing an incredible scene. I think some of the most fundamental shifts happened during this time. Street skating is still the most commercially successful type of skating, and park skating is getting huge and longboarding and downhill is equally huge. How did you put together the incredible H-Street team? We decided to use the Visalia skate camp as our big marketing push for the year, as Mike was good friends with Bobby

Goodsby, who started the whole camp thing in the U.S. before Woodward came around. It gave us the ability to see new kids skate who had talent before anyone else got to see them. We were there before any other company. So, H-Street was essentially born out of skate camp. Vista (northeast of San Diego) was another hot spot for H-Street because of all the talent there. Both Matt Hensley and Danny Way came from Vista, along with a bunch of other great skaters. When would you say was the official beginning of the street skating movement? I feel like a lot of people did some form of early street skating at different places, but maybe it was the Oceanside contest of 1986 that kicked things off in a more serious way. You could look at that contest as the beginning of the movement.

Shackle Me Not and Hokus Pokus are videos that everyone remembers changing the face of skateboarding. Yea, I always thought Shackle Me Not was the beginning of the street skating movement in some ways. Ironically, those videos might never have been made. So I have to thank one guy I almost went into business with who had a lot of money and wanted to do a highend skate company with me. I pitched him the ideas of H-Street and the name H-Street. He didn’t like the name at all. I guess I dodged a bullet there. In the end, I would never have imagined that people would still care about videos and riders that were around more than 20 years ago, as skateboarding has always been such a progressive and forward-looking movement. When the Dogtown documentary came around, it was like all of a sudden everyone took a collective look backwards and had a lot of appreciation for what happened in the ’70s and ’80s, which I think is super healthy for skateboarding in general. Not that we were trying to create that effect, it just organically happened that way and I’m super stoked and humbled that I was able to contribute that.

A lot of people will mention Matt Hensley when they start talking about CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 85



he legend of La Costa lives on with the 2015 Sk8Kings U.S. National Championships of Slalom Skateboard Racing. So Cal Racing and La Costa Boys united again to promote regional racing and foster up-andcoming talent in the original hotbed of slalom. This fifth annual event, held July 11-12 in Oceanside, California, brought some of the world’s top racing talent to compete in head-to-head drag racingstyle hybrid, high-speed giant slalom and technical tight slalom at the fast and furious Loretta Street hill venue. Carrying a Main ISSA ranking and offering U.S. National Champion titles to winners, racers competed in Pro, Masters and Amateur classes for cash, prizes and titles. The list of competitors was stacked with world and U.S. champions past and present, including Joe McLaren, Richy Carrasco, Lynn Kramer, Mike Maysey, Brad Jackman, Scott Hostert, Kevin Delaney, Judi Oyama, Joseph Kyle Smith and more. In fact, even Gary Cross, the first world champion (2001) of the rebirth of slalom, was back at it charging in the Masters division this year.

Mike Maysey and Joe McLaren – racing head to head – McLaren wins 1st Overall with a sweep – Maysey finishes 2nd Overall. Photo: Brad T. Miller

This race is put on by racers for racers, with Lynn Kramer not only competing in the pro division but also heading up the collective and acting as race director. Loretta Street has a steep pitch and challenging surface that makes for one of the gnarliest racing weekends of the season. Judi Oyama – charging the giant slalom – claims the master women’s national title. Photo: Maria Carrasco


Richy Carrasco and Jonathan Harms battle for the podium spot in Saturday’s pro hybrid. Carrasco claims it finishing 3rd Overall. Photo: Craig Jackman

Richy Carrasco and Jonathan Harms battle for the podium spot in Saturday’s pro hybrid. Carrasco claims it finishing 3rd Overall. Photo: Craig Jackman

When the dust settled after three events over two days of racing, Joe McLaren was crowned “Lord of Loretta” for the fifth straight year. Joe swept the men’s pro division, claiming all three national titles, too. Overall podiums in each division are:

RACE RESULTS: Pro Men 1st Joe McLaren 2nd Mike Maysey 3rd Richy Carrasco

Amateur Men 1st Patrick Lehrmann 2nd Josh Harvey 3rd Erik Tokle

Pro Women 1st Lynn Kramer

Junior (Under 17) 1st Oshean Lehrmann 2nd Orion Lehrmann

Master Men 1st John Ravitch 2nd Brad Jackman 3rd Rick Floyd

Full results and more coverage available at

Master Women 1st Judi Oyama


74mm x 66mm Featuring.

WARPCORE Technology





PSYCHATHANE . @BeercanBoards

Profile for Concrete Wave Magazine

Fall 2015  

Cuba, sunsets and profiles and stories you won't find anywhere else.

Fall 2015  

Cuba, sunsets and profiles and stories you won't find anywhere else.