VOL.15 NO. NO. 2 2 FALL FALL 2016 2016 VOL.15
THE LARGEST PAVED WAVE HITS THE USA
CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 1
WATCH THE 2016 EURO TOUR VIDEOS AT MADRIDSKATEBOARDS.COM
FALL 2016 REGULARS: 16 THE FINE PRINT 20 EDITORIAL - THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES 22 NOTEWORTHY 42 MFG. PROFILE DANIEL ISELI OF ROCKET LONGBOARDS, SWITZERLAND. 58 LONGBOARDING FOR PEACE UPDATES FROM CANADA, BRAZIL, USA AND NICARAGUA. 60 SLALOM RACING SPOTLIGHT 2016 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN RIGA, LATVIA. 63 ARTIST PROFILE PASCAL HERBERT PUTS ON HIS “BIO SUIT.” 73 SKATERS OVER 50 CONFESSIONS OF ONE WHO CAN’T OLLIE
FEATURES: 28 30 34 38 44 46 54 62 64 76 78
BECAUSE HE CAN CHRIS KOCH EMBRACES THE RIDE AND SHARES IN THE STOKE. CUSTOMIZED BOARDS HAVE IT YOUR WAY SKATERCROSS UNVEILED A NEW ERA IN SKATEBOARD RACING IS UPON US. SUPPORTING SKATE EVENTS HOW AND WHY WOMEN NEED TO GET INVOLVED ASAP. PAVING NEW WAVES IN OKLAHOMA VELOSOLUTIONS MAKES ITS MARK IN THE MIDWEST USA. TOURISTS BUT NOT TRAPPED TRAVELING WITH YOUR SKATEBOARD GIVES YOU ADDITIONAL FREEDOM. THE FREESTYLE CHRONICLES – PART ONE RUSS HOWELL SHARES HIS CLARITY OF FOCUS. UNDER THE HOOD – PART ONE BEFORE YOU JUMP INTO THE WORLD OF ELECTRIC SKATEBOARDS, IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO CHECK WHAT’S REALLY IN THE COMPONENTS. BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE TWENTY YEARS AGO SEISMIC’S DAN GESMER WROTE A REPORT THAT PREDICTED SKATEBOARDING’S FUTURE. HE WAS REMARKABLY ACCURATE. THE SUCCESS OR DEMISE OF THE INDEPENDENT SKATE SHOP IT’S IN OUR HANDS AND IT’S TIME TO STEP UP. WOMEN’S GEAR GUIDE – THE DANCE/FREESTYLE EDITION
COVER 1: Three is not a crowd. From bottom: Skatercross riders Andy Macdonald, Jeromy Green and Josh Stafford. Photo: Chad Thomas 12 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
COVER 2: It’s definitely time for a road trip to Oklahoma to ride their new pumptrack. Photo Clayton Fike
Rain Daley and Emily Pross dodge the pine cones at the Giantâ€™s Head Freeride. Photo: Matt McDonald CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 13
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// FINE PRINT
The Fine Print Artwork by Nathan Bishop Ever since it was announced in August that skateboarding would be a featured sport at the 2020 Olympics in Japan, I have been thinking about how it would impact skaters worldwide. I’m not the only one. Some people think the Olympics will encourage more people to skate and will yield more money for skateparks and training facilities, which will help to create the next generation of Olympians. Others decry the move and worry about what it will do to the culture of skateboarding. Some point to the inclusion of snowboarding as a taste as to what is to come. No matter what happens, the inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics sets the sport/cultural experience on a new course. Make no mistake, the Olympics will change skateboarding. Likewise, the Olympics might be changed by skateboarding in ways they might not have predicted. For example, can you imagine what it’s going to be like if a skate team from North Korea meets up with their U.S. counterparts? But now that street and transition have a foot in the door for the 2020 Games, why not turn our attention to the 2024 or 2028 games and see what other genres can be brought in? Many people who enjoy the Olympics are fascinated by the speed that athletes reach. It makes sense to bring in downhill and slalom, which have plenty of speed and are very easy to measure. What about high jump and 360 spin-off? These are spectator-friendly and measurable events that I think would also help bolster participation. And if anyone reading is starting to snicker at the thought of a team of 360 specialists, might I remind you that 56 countries competed in table tennis at the Rio Olympics? No matter what your opinion about skateboarding and the Olympics, the fact is that they are now a reality. With billions of people watching the Olympics, it shines a spotlight on things that would normally never make international headlines. Even though it has been almost two decades since snowboarder Ross Rebagliati won gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, his drug test results still reverberate today. At this year’s Olympics in Rio, swimmer Ryan Lochte’s accomplishments inside the pool were overshadowed by his exploits at a gas station. As of this writing, he is still trying to deal with the mess – as are his lawyers! Back in the 1970s, NBC launched Saturday Night Live and featured a cast of comedians called the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players.” Ironically, many of these people wound up as icons of the comedy world and have been seen by hundreds of millions of people – including during prime time. So as the countdown to Japan begins and athletes start practicing, there is no doubt in my mind the inclusion of skateboarding will either be spectacular or a spectacle, or maybe a little bit of both. If you’ve read this far, you already know that skateboarding at its core is also a little bit of both!
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A well-deserved pause means time well spent. Riders: Will Stephan (USA), Sam Holding (UK), Aleix Gallimo (Spain), Nil Bellmunt (Spain), Petter Reinem (Norway), Andrei Churakov (Belgium). Photo: Axel Serrat
THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES A
lmost 90 years ago, a man named Archie Lee came up with a slogan for CocaCola: “The pause that refreshes.” I think it’s time for skateboarding to adopt it. It explains the true essence of riding. If people in the 1920s felt they were bombarded with information, can you imagine how they would react in today’s world? With the emergence of social media and the constant stream of video, there are times when you just need a break from the screen. There is no need for lift tickets or waves to immerse yourself in the “rolling pause that refreshes.” The experience of riding a skateboard is immediate freedom. You just open up the door and start skateboarding. It is a delightful pause from the continual bombardment that we all experience. And as an added bonus, rather than add calories, it actually burns them. But more than anything, skateboarding has incredible ability to simply clear our minds and allow us to become refreshed. Of course, after a rather intense skate session, there comes the time to completely let go and chill. This photo captures this experience perfectly. Those folks who have left skateboarding find themselves returning back to it. No matter what the time frame of their break from skateboarding, many of these people return with a zest and passion that reignites long forgotten memories. Sometimes, in years like the one we are living through, it feels like the entire planet could do with a pause. While that probably won’t happen, I encourage you all to take the time and get out and ride. Even if it’s only for a few short minutes, the pause will refresh you and the ride will be the reward. Enjoy the issue!
Michael Brooke Publisher
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- THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
The ultimate race wheel from Cloud Ride, Storm Chasers are fast, grippy and resilient. Their mystical Dark Matter urethane bestows smooth slides for pre-drifting and unparalleled control. Also fresh out of the Cloud Ride R&D lab is the supportive, ridged “Thunder Core,” which creates insane roll speed and is centerset for even wear. cloudridewheels.com
Uitto Boards is a small company dedicated to finding alternative ways to build boards. Their latest project is a biocomposite cruiser. Biocomposite doesn’t warp, delaminate or deform. It’s impervious to water, changing temperatures and humidity. The fibers come from fast-growing soft wood from Nordic forests, where the rate of growth outweighs the rate of forestry, so these decks don’t contribute to deforestation. To top it off, the material is 100% recyclable and can be reused to make new boards. uittoboards.com
The evolution of LEAN boards has finally arrived, and it’s engineered for power, control, stability and responsiveness to the rider. Equipped with 4¼” (108 mm) wheels, spring-loaded trucks and parallelogram-linkage steering mechanism – a LEAN board extensively made for carving and cruising. Go fast and easy over any terrain, and enjoy a smooth ride without compromising ground clearance. This rad board is ready to lean in action. pramash.com
ShredLights are USB-rechargeable headlights for skateboards that are installed, used and removed using patent-pending bracket technology. The brackets are mounted on either side of the truck using your current hardware. The LED lights are encased in a rigid silicon material to provide maximum durability. While skating with ShredLights, light is projected up to 12 feet in front of the user to illuminate upcoming terrain. shredlights.com
Kent Mar has created a highly unusual deck. It’s milled from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum and retails for $5,000. As Kent explains, “Creating isn’t just a passion for me, it’s an obsession. Learning how to skate unlocked the world to me because it gave me to access to every nook of New York City.” The prototype is what Kent calls his polymerization of art and skating. As to the question of whether to ride or put on a wall, he responds with an answer that covers both bases: “Those bold enough to ride it truly embrace its existence. However, those that choose to display it share a common love in innovation and design.” ariaboards.com
The Icarus is a compact (38.4” long, 8.6” wide, 28.25” wheelbase) and flexy drop-through carving board that falls between the Dervish Sama and Tan Tien in size while also introducing high-performance features like pronounced wheel well flares, variable concave and a vibration-damping cork bottom layer. loadedboards.com
Ollin Board Company is a New Mexico-based skateboard builder that manufactures quality electric longboards and electronic components. The decks they create feature long-lasting, high-capacity lithiumion batteries and electronics hidden inside a hollow-core deck. A focus on battery life and power has created a board with enough range and top speed to satisfy all but the most aggressive riders among us. Fully programmable and easily modified to suit any riding style. ollinboardcompany.com
This is the new DT V-Brake for drop-through decks. The V-Brake was invented not to change the way you ride but to give you the option to control your speed. You can’t slow down or stop by sliding in every situation, and not everyone knows how to stop on a dime. Skate Safe believes more people will ride if they can control their speed when they want to. It measures 4.5” x 2.5” and is as light as a cellphone, but because it’s made of T-6 aluminum and stainless steel hardware, it’s super lightweight and virtually indestructible. skatesafeproducts.com
NOW YOU KNOW -
VANS X MADRID
Shred monster Tibs Parise is introducing The Clayers to North America. It’s an organic green clay that helps to heal injuries. Tibs was born in France and now calls San Diego home. He has been using the green clay to help heal his wounds for a number of years. “I wasn’t able to find the clay as a ready-to-use paste in the USA, so I decided to bring it here,” he says. theclayers.com
BUREO You may never have heard of a term called “ghost fishing,” but it is what happens when fishing nets and gear get lost or wastefully dumped into the ocean. Its impact on oceans is severe, as the unattended nets capture fish and other aquatic life. Bureo Skateboards decided to do something about the problem and started up a 100% recycled fishing nets program off the coast of Chile. Recently Bureo teamed up with Carver Skateboards to create the Ahi. It features Carver?s CX truck, which allows the rider to pump and turn the board like a surfboard.. bureo.com
Originally launched in 1987, the Vans x Madrid Flypaper Sk8-Hi Pro joins an extended collection of Vans 50th Anniversary Pro Classics. Available in select retailers globally, the Vans x Madrid Sk8-Hi Pro is modernized with performance innovation exclusively designed for skateboarding. With the original reinforced ollie pad and Madrid Flypaper covering the side panels, the revamped Vans x Madrid Sk8-Hi Pro will feature Vans? supportive ULTRACUSH HD sockliners for resilient cushioning and advanced comfort, combined with exposed DURACAP toe bumpers in high-abrasion areas for premium durability. madridskateboards.com
Concrete Wave 1136 Centre Street Suite 293 Thornhill, ONTARIO L4J 3M8 416-807-0805 Concretewavemagazine.com
Publisher/Editor: Michael Brooke Copy Editor: Jonathan Harms Art Director/Designer: Stacy Lowery Associate Editors: Joseph Friedman, Daniel Fedkenheuer Web Development: Rick Tetz PRINTED IN THE USA CONTRIBUTORS Chad Thomas, Clayton Fike, Matt McDonald, Nathan Bishop, Axel Serrat, Anna Tenne, Candy Dungan, Andrea Scheck, Colin Buckley, Petra Moser, Simone Mondino, Noelia Otegui, Alexandre Brault, Christopher Vanderyajt, Russ Howell,Warren Bolster, Jim Goodrich, Justin Applegate, Catherine D’Avril, Liam Mckenzie, Richy and Maria Carrasco, John Gavin, Adam Gray, Jeffrey Collins-Harper, Maria Arndt and Clément Derrey
THE DAWN HELMET Inspired by the design of old-school helmets from skateboardingâ€™s halcyon days, the Dawn features a classic full-cut design. The hardshell comes in a single mold, with low cut earflaps, which suggest that distinctive retro look. TSG USA INC. email@example.com
Built from our tried-and-tested hardshell construction, with sturdy PP and shock-absorbing EPS foam the Dawn helmet is the first of its kind meeting all required safety standards. CPSC and CE EN 1078 certified. DISCOVER MORE AT ridetsg.com
BECAUSE HE CAN – CHRIS KOCH EMBRACES THE RIDE By Michael Brooke Photos: Anna Tenne
Chris Koch defines what it means to be a skater. I first learned about him when I read a story of his participation in the Calgary Marathon back in May. Born without arms and legs, you’d assume that skateboarding is something that would not be on his radar. But Chris wound up on my Facebook feed in July, and I knew I had to feature him in Concrete Wave. The photo feature in this issue is called “Tourists but Not Trapped.” It celebrates the idea of having freedom with your skateboard while being somewhat confined to a highly touristed area. But in the case of Chris Koch, freedom has no limits.
“First and foremost, the longboard is my official mode of frequency of comments I get riding the longboard is a hundredtransportation,” Chris says. He used to skateboard when he was fold.” Chris says he gets a lot of positive comments from skaters a kid, and up until five years ago used to wear artificial legs. and from people who typically you’d think wouldn’t care. “It’s He recalls being down in Florida and really neat to see people’s reactions, and deciding to get back on a board just for my girlfriend says I have this innate ability the heck of it. “Within hours of when I to bring out the best in people.” “The first board I got was at Ron Jon’s in Fort Lauderdale. It was a Sector 9, and I quickly realized this was way easier than artificial legs.” It used to take Chris at least 15 minutes and a huge amount of energy to get his legs. Thanks to the longboard, he’s ready to go in a fraction of the time and with the greatest of ease. “I can go further, faster and more efficiently. If I encounter stairs or gravel, I can pick up the board and simply hop over the obstacle and be back on my way quickly.” Beyond the ease of transportation by skateboard is the reaction Chris gets from people. “When I was walking on my legs, I’d get a lot of comments,” he says. “People thought it was inspirational. But the 28 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
was born, my grandma was informed that my parents gave birth to a healthy baby boy. However, I was missing both arms and both legs. Without any hesitation whatsoever she simply pointed out the fact that “Bruce [my father] never did finish anything he started.”
After his first purchase, Chris began to look for ways to improve his ride. He’s gone through six boards, and for now has settled for an Arbor with 90 mm Abec 11 wheels. Chris originally purchased the larger wheels for a trip he was taking to Asia. “I didn’t know how smooth the terrain was going to be, so I went with bigger wheels,” he says. “I was able to move around on the packed sand on the beach in Thailand.” Chris says he’s comfortable whipping down to the corner store to get some groceries or going on a 40-mile trail. “I tried to do the L.A. Marathon with my girlfriend, and they wouldn’t let me use my longboard,” he says. “They would
not see it as a mobility issue. They just said, ‘We don’t allow skateboards on our course.’” He says he tried several times to explain to marathon officials the full story, but they weren’t really open. L.A.’s loss turned out to be Calgary’s gain, and Chris finished the 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 23 minutes. He also raised $4,000 for Inn from the Cold, a shelter to help homeless children and their families achieve independence. Fellow racers were moved by his actions, and one woman started crying when she spotted him. Chris spends quite a bit of time in Southern California in the Santa Monica/Venice area. “I just love cruising down the boardwalk,” he says. “But what’s really cool is that I get to ride my longboard where nobody gets to ride.” What Chris is referring to are some truly remarkable adventures. “I’ve ridden the Great Wall of China and Tiananmen Square,” he says. “I’ve been in churches and inside the Empire State Building.” In 2015 he also traveled to Nepal, where he says he sometimes had 75 people following him as he skated. “They’d take photos and were astonished at my abilities.”
are thought of only as beggars or as something to be hidden away. “My biggest hope is that without even saying anything, I am helping to change perceptions,” he says. “I would love to take used or new longboards to the places I visited in Asia and hand them out in orphanages. I am sure it would get people more mobile.” Skateboarding brings with it an immense feeling of freedom, but for many skaters it’s all too easy to let other things derail the stoke; we get bogged down in online drama, we can’t nail a certain trick, or a local spot gets blown out. In speaking with Chris, it’s obvious that he doesn’t expend much time or energy on such things. Instead he focuses on the joy of the simple act of just riding from point A to point B. Currently Chris works in the farming and ranching industries, but he is spending more and more time traveling as a motivational speaker. As Chris explains on his website, “Speaking allows me to fuel my passion for travel as well as share my story and my experiences in the hopes of encouraging others to live their lives to its greatest potential, because If I Can …” You can find out more about Chris by visiting his website ifican.ca.
As Chris explains, in certain countries, people with disabilities CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 29
HAVE IT YOUR WAY: CREATIVITY MEETS CUSTOMIZATION BY MICHAEL BROOKE
wenty years ago I picked up a book that was to have a profound impact on the world. The One to One Future, written by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, was published before companies like Google and Facebook were household names, but it predicted much of what would take place as it related to customization.
Graphics are a key component within skateboarding, and the world of customization is going through quite a revolution. Quality is at an all-time high level and turnaround times are extremely fast. Whether youâ€™re in the market for a custom deck for yourself, or you are a shop or team looking at doing something unique, there is an endless number of possibilities when it comes to creating the deck of your dreams. We had a chance to speak with a number of skate companies that are at the forefront of providing customized decks and get their take on whatâ€™s happening.
BOARD PUSHER Jason Atencio is a co-founder of BoardPusher.com, which came on the scene in July 2005. They were one of the first companies to do customized skateboards. The BoardPusher site offers six different shapes, and you can customize both the artwork and the grip tape. “We have had the privilege to handle a large number of really cool projects,” says Atencio. “From small team decks, to 50-deck wall displays for corporate companies, to decks for art classes, to birthday presents and prom invitations.” And if you don’t want to create your own custom graphics, BoardPusher has a number of other graphics to choose from.
BUSTIN Bustin Boards began offering their custom decks back in 2006. Their website now offers 15 unique models to choose from. From here, the customization process moves into high gear. You can choose from 22 different graphics. Once you have chosen the graphics, you can then choose from 22 different colors for the base. On top of this, for a $9 upgrade you can add an artist finish. It all adds up to a tremendous number of ways to truly personalize your deck. Decks can be customized in numerous ways. Heat transfer (essentially a large decal bonded to the board by heat) is generally the easiest way, but sublimated printing is now becoming more affordable. It offers eye-popping resolution.
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MYSK8DESIGN.COM Steve Farquhar of mysk8design.com has been making sublimated boards for over 10 years. “We use Micro Slick sublimation technology, which was developed by Troy Churchhill,” he says. “This is an epoxy polymer bonded to the veneer, then impregnated with a proprietary pigment. The result is a vibrant graphic that can only be removed with the wood substrate. Micro Slick reduces friction, improving slides and the durability of the bottom and tips of the board when contacting objects. The polymer has outdoor UV protection, slowing the natural aging coloration from sunlight.”
RESTLESS Founded over a decade ago, Restless Boards had the initial goal of being a custom longboard manufacturer. But as co-founder Frank Theberge explains, “In order to build our brand and follow market trends, customization had to be put on the back burner. Now technology has caught up and allowed us to provide a great deck customization tool available online.” Theberge says the customization program is actually inspired from wrestling video games. “We had so much fun creating and customizing our own wrestlers that we thought that experience could be transferred over to longboard customization,” he says. The Restless site offers 10 different board models, and the interface is easy to use. Restless also uses a sublimated process that creates a beautiful look. “Our finish has actually been tested against (and outlasted) other boards which use the silkscreening techniques,” Theberge says. “On top of everything else, to take customization to the next level, even our grip tape is customizable.”
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ALUMINATI Aluminum boards have been around skateboarding for over 40 years. Aluminati is a Southern California-based brand that was founded in 2013. Their decks are both scratch-resistant and weather-resistant. They will last much longer than plastic or wooden decks, without sacrificing the quality or color of the design. The flex also falls between a plastic deck and wooden deck. Aluminati offer recyclable cruisers that are made in the USA. “We use aircraft aluminum and integrated clear grip,” says company founder Scott Rapport. There are endless graphic options, and the vibrant graphics are a product of an innovative in-house manufacturing process. “Our sister company, Frontier Aluminum, is an industry leader and gives us superior resources to help develop the best aluminum skateboards and products,” says Rapport.
Sometimes people will want to customize a board because they have a favorite photo or they want to celebrate an event. Others use custom skateboards for trade shows or events. But sometimes the customer is faced with a conundrum: whether to ride it or hang it on a wall. Mysk8design.com will soon offer a novel way of resolving that dilemma: “We are planning on discounting the second board so customers will not have to make the choice,” Farquhar says. “It is easier to make the second board due to not having to set up the artwork [again].” Scott estimates 90% of Aluminati’s customers create boards for riding and fun while 10% create them to put on their wall as art. BoardPusher has a very diverse customer base, but they are currently seeing a spike in interest from core skaters. “We are seeing more and more orders from small teams and crews who want to be creative with their decks and grip tape,” says Atencio. “This holds true for all types of decks, including longboards and cruisers.” Aluminati’s presence in the skate market is growing quickly. “We also have exclusive licensing agreements with the NBA, NHL, European soccer leagues and over 68 colleges,” says Rapport. “Additionally, we have partnered with musicians, fraternities and artists to make any unique design we want. The opportunities are endless!”
Turnaround time on creating customized decks has decreased over the years, and now many companies can deliver you a finished product in less than a week. Mysk8design.com is working with select skate shops. “We give them a percentage of the sale, and the customer has an option of free shipping if they pick it up from the brick-and-mortar shop,” says Farquhar. He adds that Mysk8design.com plans on partnering with artists and letting them set the value of the board at their online store. BoardPusher also has a quick turnaround time on their decks, and they pride themselves on using the highest quality wood. “We are constantly adding and changing deck shapes, and our custom grip has been key to our success, allowing customers to get a fully customized deck” says Atencio. “At BoardPusher we believe that creativity and imagination are integral parts of skateboarding, and we offer a way to express that in your deck and grip designs. Skate your own graphics!” Echoing these sentiments is Frank Theberge of Restless, who sees a trend for consumers to differentiate themselves from the pack. “Customers these days are much more critical of what they purchase and are much more accustomed to purchasing things online,” he says. By giving customers a new platform on which they can be creative and express themselves, Restless believes they are providing a valuable service to potential customers. “Art is so subjective and everyone likes to show off their individuality,” Theberge says, “and our customizer offers them a chance to do just that.”
R C R E T A SK I E V UN
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ATEBOAR K S F O N IO T U L O V E AND THE
S S O R LED BY CHAD THOMAS
On June 25, 2016, in San Diego, an urban legend became skateboarding history with the debut of Skatercross. The first-of-its-kind event, spearheaded by style master Andy Macdonald, took place during the infamous Clash at Clairemont. This event brought together the most highly respected/skilled skaters of our generation, representing nearly every discipline of board riding. It was an incredible sight to behold; like a mashup of Mega Ramp, roller derby and downhill. Attendees included first-wave bowl rider/ slalom master Dave Hackett, vert legends Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi, street master Ryan Sheckler and third-generation ripper Greyson Fletcher, to name but a few. Sheckler and Fletcher both qualified for the main event. Let’s back up for a moment, though, before all the television crews, event staff and crowd of nearly 2,000 flowed through the gates. Nine days before the event, we had a closed session on the newly minted course. We linked up with “Mr. Consistent” Andy Mac and a couple of his 187 Killer Pads teammates, Sacrifice Skateboards’ Jeromy Green and Arbor’s own Josh Stafford, to take some runs, pull some frames and talk about the future. “This wasn’t necessarily ‘my idea,’” Andy said, “so much as an ongoing conversation I’ve been having with other riders since about 2003. When it first started, I was envisioning guys like Wade Speyer and Chris Senn being ideal for this type of event because of their high skill level and ability to transition from one type of terrain to another. … This project has been in the design phase ever since. We did go skate a wooden BMX course on the Eastern seaboard to get a general feel for how it could work. Following that trip, I sat down with the guys at Live Wire Construction and began the layout of banks/gaps/pump-rollers.” The result was a behemoth of a track. To eliminate human error there are no judges, just a wireless timing chip attached to each rider’s board.
The start deck measures 26 feet high, dropping into a 7½-foot kicker that launches riders over a 25-foot-long gap. This leads directly to a 7¾-foot roller measuring 19 feet from lip to landing. If you clear those, you find yourself looking at an 11’ 5” tall left-hand berm with 5 feet of vert. At this point, riders are approaching 30–35 miles per hour. We’re just getting started, but at this point it’s worth mentioning that all this is happening while two other riders are breathing down your neck (no pressure). Continuing through the course, you’re greeted by a double roller leading directly into a step-up double roller with a takeoff height of 5’ 9”, leading to a nearly 7’ high tabletop. Assuming you clear that tabletop, you’re immediately greeted by the second of three 11’ 5” berms featuring a 6’ 5” transition, this one being a righthand turn. Next up is a single roller into back-to-back tabletops, which both feature hurdles to clear (set between 2 and 4.5 feet) and have zero breathing room in between; then onto the third and final massive right-hand berm. Now you’re in the home stretch; the only thing between you and victory is a double roller followed immediately by a step-up double roller and on to the finish line, a 6’ 8” tabletop topped by a 5-foot-high hurdle – because
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From left: Jeromy Green, Josh Stafford and Andy Macdonald take the starting drop.
racing three-wide for 430 feet against some of the best riders on the planet wasn’t already hard enough. The idea of a full speed, head-to-head race across constantly varying terrain has been floating around the skating world for well over a decade. On May 2, 2016, construction began on a one-of-a-kind track at the YMCA’s Krause Family Skate & Bike Park a few miles off the beach in San Diego. After 20 days, 1260 man-hours and $200,000, the track was completed. This mega-project was brought to life
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Andy, Jeromy and Josh head into the berm.
through the tireless efforts of the YMCA, Live Wire Construction, Ron Roberts of the City of San Diego and the unwavering passion of one of our sport’s most consistent and progressive riders, Andy Macdonald. Andy was essentially the catalyst of this evolution in skateboard racing. Between his unparalleled passion for our community and his industry-wide reputation of being incredibly talented as well as a class act decade after decade, Mac is quite possibly the only one who could have pulled this together.
After the finals, the first-ever Skatercross champion, 15-year-old Trey Wood, was asked, “What did it take to win this?” His answer: “Stay in your lane and go fast.” Sounds simple enough. About a week after the inaugural event, Andy Mac and I spoke again to get his impressions of the first running. I asked how he felt about seeing such a diverse group of highly skilled riders show up to take part. Andy’s answer was short and to the point: “Lucky.” When asked about
Andy Mac, Beaver Fleming and Evan Doherty take flight!
RESULTS: the future of Skatercross and where he sees it going from here, he responded, “I see it being fully self-supported, possibly building another track on the East Coast to create a series. Also, a mobile track would be great. We’ve already been in contact with NASCAR organizers to run our races [think opening act] on the infield prior to the car races. That would be huge, providing exposure on a much larger scale.” You can check out the build, more photos, additional interviews and videos on their Instagram @skatercrossevents. Huge thanks to Scott Flanders for being an invaluable resource.
1. 2. 3.
Willis Kimbel Matt Boyster Cory Juneau
32.54 DNF (eliminated) DNF (eliminated)
1. 2. 3.
Trey Wood Willis Kimbel Beaver Fleming
30.85 31.39 32.73
HEAT 2 POS.
1. 2. 3.
Trey Wood Tom Schaar Jeromy Green
30.56 32.03 (eliminated) 37.05 (eliminated)
HEAT 3 POS.
1. 2. 3.
Beaver Fleming Evan Doherty Andy Macdonald
31.81 32.30 (eliminated) DNF (eliminated)
For all individual rider times and series standings visit skatercrossevents.com Men’s podium. From left: Beaver Fleming (3rd), Trey Wood (1st) and Willis Kimbel (2nd).
SUPPORTING SKATE EVENTS: How and Why Women Need to Get Involved ASAP! By Candy Dungan
he longboarding scene is taking a step back from the gnar and a step forward toward inclusivity. More and more events are including classes for women and amateurs, so that everyone can enjoy the fun and camaraderie that longboarding events can offer. As women, it’s our job to thank the organizers by representing at these events. That means showing up, trying your best and having the most fun doing it. That’s what you, as a woman, can do for the skate community and other women.
Here’s what attending events can do for you: >> Introduce you to female skaters. There are girls EVERYWHERE throwing down! When you attend an event, you meet girls from all walks of life who share the same passion as you do. And the best part: They are just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them. >> Improve your skating. At events, you live, eat and breathe skateboarding. You’re surrounded by people who have more knowledge than you. Take full advantage of this. This means asking a lot of questions and studying everyone’s skating. When the event comes to an end, you’ll be stoked on your progress. 38 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
>> Create opportunities. It may sound weird, but attending an event will make it easier for you to attend more events. As you assimilate into the traveling skate community, you will hear about more events and how to attend them on a tight budget. Traveling skaters are the most versed group of people when it comes to traveling cheaply, so pick their brains. >> Expand your skate family. It’s inevitable – you’re going to make lifelong friends from all over the world. These people get you, they love you, and they don’t judge you. Why? Because they’re skateboarders, you’re a skateboarder, and we’re all in this together. >> HAVE THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE. How could you not? You’re on a skate-cation!
But what if you can’t skate? What if you’re injured, low on funds or still learning the basics? That’s OK! There are plenty of ways you can get involved and support an event. Here are a few: >> Volunteering your time. By helping to stack hay bales, spot corners or direct traffic, you’re making the event safe and fun for all those attending and spectating. Most events are understaffed, so your help is greatly appreciated and
you’ll most likely get paid in sponsor swag – or at least an event T-shirt. >> Capturing media. The more media an event can produce; the more hype it can build for the next event. Riders also greatly appreciate photos and videos because they’re something tangible they can leave the event with. The skate community is diligent in giving photo credit, so you will get lots of media hype for your time and effort. >> Sponsorship, donations and sales. Whether you run a huge, corporate business or only have a few bucks to spare, your dollars and resources can help. You can sponsor a podium to help reward winning racers, or you can donate a U-Haul for the day. If all you can afford is a hot dog from the food vendor, then you’re supporting the event by adding funds to the local community and showing them that skateboard events are valuable. Now for the fun part: choosing what events to attend. Many factors play a role, most of them personal, but here are a few things all women should look for when picking events: >> Female subcategory. How often do you get to skate with only women? If you’re at a women-oriented event or a race with a women’s subcategory, then you get that option. Skating with guys is fun, but women skating with women is liberating. >> How many women attend. Skating in a female subcategory is obsolete if other women don’t attend. Choose events with a history of strong female attendance. You can look at past event media for a rough idea of how many women are likely to attend. >> Reasonable registration costs. Most freerides are reasonable, but races can get a bit pricey. Imagine spending hundreds of dollars on registration, winning your category and then finding out there’s no prize purse. Avoid these events, because they aren’t organized with you in mind. Women’s podium photos from previous years can help you predict the prize purse. If you can’t find women’s podium photos, then that’s another red flag that the event is not women-friendly.
If you’re still struggling to choose an event, then here are a few tried and true, women-friendly events you’re guaranteed to enjoy:
Central Mass Located in the heart of Massachusetts, Cen Mass is a must when it comes to NorAm East Coast events. Female participation is strong, registration costs are very reasonable, and event organizer Mike Girard always has the women in mind when planning and executing his events: “Central Mass tends to field one of the largest groups of women riders. Last year we had 16 women compete in downhill, and several also ripped up the mini ramp and the slide jam. Central Mass offers an unintimidating platform for women of all skill levels to compete, progress and motivate each other. With a cash prize purse for all women’s divisions, we aim to encourage women to compete and reward them for their achievements.” – Mike Girard, Team MIDS “Dad” and Central Mass event organizer Bring your most ridiculous skins, and prepare for a weekend of hilarious fun! Organizer Mike Girard kicks off the Central Mass women’s race.
Micaela Wilson lays thane at Central Mass.
Bayou Battle When it comes to garage racing, the Bayou Battle is the crème de la crème, the best of the best. With an inclusive atmosphere, plentiful prize purse for the women’s class and multiple events – including ditch skating and seshing the infamous North Houston Skate Park – the Bayou Battle is a must-hit event for women of all disciplines. “The Bayou Battle tradition started by Rachael Jordahl of supporting and focusing on the women of the scene will continue at next year’s event. With Rachael’s guidance and stoke the Bayou Battle was groundbreaking for the women in so many ways, from attendance and camaraderie to amenities and podium prizes. It is our belief that having the event be as inclusive as humanly possible for both the groms and the women secures the ongoing success and growth of not only our event but the future of our sport.” – Greg Noble, Team NoBull founder and Bayou Battle event organizer Make sure to ask Carve Skate Shop’s Scotty Sheridan for a skate tour of Houston’s garages while you’re there!
Colleen Daugherty (white helmet) at the 2016 Bayou Battle. Photo: Andrea Scheck
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Danger Bay/Jake’s Rash This 2-for-1 race paved the way for women’s specific classes, and it shows. The race continually brings out more women than any other NorAm race. The courses are easy enough for a beginner racer but fun enough for the most advanced rider. The female competition varies from beginner to advanced, so no matter your skill level, you will have a blast, skate with an army of girls and improve your riding and race skills. “Danger Bay was the first race to pay out cash to the women dating back to Danger Bay 3 [and] raising the bar and forcing other organizers to do the same. Danger Bay has always attracted a huge pile of ladies. Danger Bay paid the ladies when nobody else even put them in their own race class. The ladies race Open and Ladies class [at Danger Bay].” – Bricin “Striker” Lyons, Coast Longboarding: Danger Bay and Jake’s Rash event organizer Oh – and did I mention it’s a HUGE party?
Rachel “Bagels” Bruskoff leads Kaylene Beatty, Yashira Santiago and Bhakti James through Carnage Corner at Danger Bay. Photo: Colin Buckley
Women’s Longboard Camp Not all events are for everyone. WLC is ladies only, and we love it! Christine Maier, Fee Bücheler and Daniela Bily hold multiple week-long, women-only camps across Europe to help support and advance women in longboarding and skateboarding. “WLC is about empowering women and providing a relaxed and nonjudgmental space to safely explore your limits and push your boundaries. The dynamics and the willingness to step outside your comfort zone really change within an all-female environment, especially in an action sport that for the most part continues to be heavily male-dominated. We believe in small but mighty, in giving back to the community by striving to be sustainable. Whether that’s in terms of cultivating an ethos of skill sharing and passing on knowledge at the camps and beyond, or by trying to do our bit to preserve our planet.” – Christine Maier WLC is run by women, for women and designed for all disciplines. Coaches are available to help you progress in transition skating, carving, dancing, sliding, downhill and slalom. At the very affordable price of 470 Euros, you can guarantee a good time spent with women of all nationalities!
Here’s what some of those women have to say: What influenced you to attend the Women’s Longboard Camp? Susanne “Susi” Muller: I wanted to learn how to slide. I could teach myself, but I thought it would be better to have somebody with more experience teach me how to slide, freeride and dance. And I really wanted to know more girls who also ride longboards! What was your favorite thing about the camp? Anna: My favorite at the WLC? The spirit! No, the girls! No, the patient instructors! No, the chatting and chilling evening events! No, that I signed in as a complete beginner and left as a beginner, but with way more beginning skills and the knowledge how to exercise. I cannot decide! Most of all the supporting, friendly, respectful spirit at the camp with all the lovely girls from all over the world. What did you learn from the camp? Marthe: I learned that everybody needs his or her own speed and way of learning new things or moves. Personally, I improved my self-confidence toward safety issues while skating. Footbraking and training quick reaction helped me to lose some fear I had in the beginning. How did the camp encourage you and your longboarding? Tanja: WLC got me so stoked on skateboarding that I just
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couldn’t help but to go out and skate whenever there was time. I wouldn’t have dared to go skating by myself before – afraid that I might fall down and look like a fool. All the stupid things adults think about kept me from skating alone. WLC changed that! Since the camp, I just go out and don’t think about anything anymore. I’m just having fun instead! What would you tell women to encourage them to attend the camp? Anna: I would encourage EVERY girl or woman who is interested in longboarding to join the camp because of some different aspects: >> It is a great way to learn longboarding or to improve skills surrounded by instructors and more advanced attendees who think and feel like you – a woman. There is no need to feel embarrassed, and it is totally OK to be scared and to communicate that! That will just cause even more support during the sessions. >> Once in a lifetime EVERY woman should join such a spirit as you have at WLC. Supporting, friendly, freaky, funny, lovely, interesting … Girls from all over the world, all ages, with different jobs, from beginner to absolutely advanced rider are all there for the same reason: having fun on the board! >> The event itself: the instructors and leaders of the event are making everything as convenient as possible. The vegan and organic food is AWESOME, the spots are BRILLIANTLY situated and the fun you will have is OUTSTANDING! For more info about WLC, check them out at womenlongboardcamp.com. Susi Mueller (left) and Christine Maier share in the joy of the moment. Photo: Petra Moser
Kate Krasadaki steps out. Photo: Petra Moser
“WLC got me so stoked on skateboarding that I just couldn’t help but to go out and skate,” says Tanja Lirgg. Photo: Petra Moser
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// MFG PROFILE
ROCKET MAN Daniel Iseli of ROCKET Longboards, Switzerland
hat drew you to longboarding in the first place? It was a continuous process. It all started 1996 when I was 16 years old. I started slalom boarding. Two years later I began to ride street too. Around 2001 I got introduced to downhill longboarding by some friends. We rode in a group of three to five people mostly for ourselves. Since it was before the time of YouTube we developed our own style. Later I rode some freerides like Gioasteka and Bukolik here in Switzerland every year. These events still exist and I only missed one Gioasteka, because of my marriage. What prompted you to start ROCKET? In 2009 I got introduced in board building by a German longboard forum (longboardz.de) and Silverfish. There were some really good board builders 42 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
who showed their boards. I saw them and I needed to try that too. Instead of just clamping some plywood together I wanted to try the real stuff. So my first board was made of birch with a light poplar core, glass and carbon fiber. Building this board got me absolutely hooked. I wanted build more and try some new things. The boards got lighter and more complex. Some were foam cores without any wood – only foam, carbon and polycarbonate bumpers, with a weight of less than 2.2 lbs. After I felt a certain demand for the boards I’m building I worked around 1.5 years on the first official ROCKET line up. Doing this next to my “real” job was pretty intense but the result was great. With the new presses I developed I was able to bend the wood in some crazy concaves that didn’t exist at that time. Together with my knowledge about composite materials the boards came
out light and stiff. At the end of 2013 I officially introduced ROCKET as a brand and started selling the boards. What’s the market like in Switzerland? Where else have you been able to sell your gear? Switzerland had a big hype in longboarding in the last two years. Unfortunately some companies started flooding the market with cheap, lowquality boards. You could see that happening in whole Europe in the last few years. Fortunately there are always people who are willing to pay a bit more for a quality product. I’ve been able to sell my boards around the globe since the beginning. Thanks to the internet, the world has become a lot smaller and easier to reach as a small company. At the moment Germany and South Korea are my biggest markets outside of Switzerland.
What are some of the key things that make ROCKET different? I would say there are three things: the materials, the concaves and the philosophy. Materials: All of my boards are made of SFI certified hard rock maple sandwiched between carbon, glass or flax fibers. The kind of fibers, their weave and the grammage [weight] are precisely adapted to the particular purpose of the board. Concaves: With my self-developed pneumatic presses and the CNCmachined molds I’m able to realize some of the most unique 3D concaves on the market. Philosophy: ROCKET Longboards isn’t just another company trying to jump on the hype train. It slowly developed into what it is right now. I started to build boards because I love longboarding. It’s
still a one-man company, just with better machines now. All the influences come directly from longboarders like my team riders and friends. In fact it’s the best example for “from longboarders – for longboarders.”
What gives you the most satisfaction when it comes to creating these decks? That’s easy – seeing people riding my boards and loving them. If my customers are happy I’m happy too. The feedback I’m getting is really great, and I’m giving my best to make it even better.
Right now the market seems to be awash in low-cost product, yet there will always be those who would like higher quality. What is your take? As I said before, I’m glad that there are always people who are willing to pay a bit more for a quality product. Since I produce all the boards myself here in Switzerland I can’t (and I don’t want to) compete with the low-price brands. My goal will always be to produce innovative, high-quality boards that people love to ride. I said many times that my boards are more a piece of sports equipment than only a good-looking accessory.
What’s one misconception about the Swiss that you’d like to address? Switzerland and Sweden are two different countries. Being Swiss is not the same as being Swedish. No, seriously. Some people think Swiss people are boring and narrow-minded. If they would come here and skate with us, I bet they would change their minds. Any final comments? I would like to thank all the people who supported ROCKET Longboards and me, especially my parents and my wife, who made this possible. CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 43
THE OKLAHOMA BOATHOUSE DISTRICT PAVES NEW WAVES Velosolutions Makes Its Mark in the Midwest USA Photos: Defining Moment Sports Media
Riversport Adventure Park in Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District will open a new world-class pumptrack with a bang this September. Velosolutions, the world leader in paved pumptrack design and construction, has installed the track and it is the largest in the USA. The pumptrack is located north of the Riversport Rapids whitewater rafting and kayaking center. Boasting over 15,000 square feet of seamless paved waves, the state-of-the-art pumptrack will be a recreational hub for the bike, skateboard and skate communities.
Mylaps integrated timing system will connect OKC’s track with other Velosolutions pump tracks nationwide for virtual competition. A portion of the funding for the track was provided as a grant from the Recreational Trails Program of the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. “The Recreational Trails grant made the track possible, so we are very appreciative of their support,” said Mike
Knopp, executive director of the OKC Boathouse Foundation, the nonprofit that oversees Riversport Adventure Parks. “Having this track will elevate the sport in Oklahoma City and provides a great opportunity for kids and adults to ride on a world-class track.” The track is open to all ages; riders may bring their own bikes or rent one from Riversport Adventures. Day passes for
Kevin Graver experiences the flow.
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Velosolutions crew member Ben Horan with a stylish ollie.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET A PUMPTRACK IN YOUR HOMETOWN? Follow these important steps:
»» Contact your local elected officials with an email asking for a pumptrack as a proud resident of your town and community. »» Contact Velosolutions at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you’ve already initiated contact with your local officials. »» Start posting social media pics and share them with the hashtag #velosolutionsconcretewave #[cityname]
Skateboard Supercross co-founder and Velosolutions USA representative Alon Karpman takes an early run.
riders with their own equipment are $10 for adults, $5 for youth under age 8. Access to the pumptrack is also included in Riversport day and season passes. Later this fall, Riversport will launch the Skateboard Supercross Academy, which will provide a progressive 18-week curriculum for individuals interested in
learning to skateboard and willing to get involved in a racing league. Oklahoma City plans to host the first Skateboard Supercross World Championships in the fall of 2017.
»» Recruit as many people as possible in your town to support the idea. »» We will do the rest by putting you in touch with other passionate individuals who will help make you a legend in your town.
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As skaters, the desire to explore seems written into our DNA. While we find ourselves looking for new places to ride locally, a desire to travel beyond our own local geographical area fuels many skaters. The web has opened up huge amounts of opportunity for exploration. Thereâ€™s nothing like arriving in an unfamiliar city and riding with locals. The joyous combination of being a tourist with the insider knowledge of a local (a lourist?) is truly magical feeling. When you find yourself in a very touristy area, it can be rather overwhelming. I recall being in Ocean Beach, California, and seeing a massive line outside an extremely popular burger joint. Though I was tempted to visit, the crowd was just too much, so I kept rolling past. A skateboard can be the perfect antidote to feeling trapped. Sometimes the experience can be quite challenging as you navigate immense amounts of crowds or uneven terrain. So join us as we celebrate the freedom of travel and the freedom of riding.
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Eiffel Tower â€“ Paris, France Photo: Simone Mondino Rider: Gavin Woop
Constructed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is 1,063 feet tall, and almost 7 million people ascended it in 2015. It is the symbol for Paris. If you do plan to visit, a word of caution: The area surrounding the Tower is renowned for pickpockets, along with the equally notorious three-card monte.
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Gran Via – Madrid, Spain Rider: Daniel Sam Photo: Noelia Otegui
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Gran Via or “Great Way” is an upscale shopping street in central Madrid. It’s known as the “Spanish Broadway” and the street that never sleeps. The street features truly spectacular architecture. Over 6 million tourists visited Madrid last year. As in the case with Paris, pickpockets seem to have a wonderful time with unsuspecting tourists.
The Seattle Center (EMP Museum, Monorail and Space Needle) - Washington, US Rider: Matt McDonald Photographer: Blake Gillies
Hard to believe that both Jimi Hendrix and Kenny G both hail from Seattle, but it’s true. The Experience Music Project Museum will tell you all you need to know about pop culture. Here’s another fun fact: When the Space Needle was built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.
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Saint Joseph’s Oratory – Montreal, Canada Rider: Tom Wilson Photo: Alexandre Brault
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Montreal’s history spans over 400 years. Most skaters hit the Big O stadium (and it’s definitely worth a visit), and tourists are fascinated by Old Montreal. But Saint Joseph’s Oratory is located at the city’s highest point. The dome is over 300 feet high and the grounds are usually covered with tourists. This is what makes this photo so special. Acquiring this shot meant a little bit of luck and great timing before security arrived.
St. Peter’s Square – Rome, Italy Riders: Marco Melino, Lorenzo Richetti and Ric Meynardi Photo: Simone Mondino
Created in the 17th century and known locally as Piazza San Pietro, St. Peter’s Square is located in Vatican City. Vatican City is the smallest state in the world, covering just 110 acres (.17 square miles), with a population of 842. Over 5 million people visit St. Peter’s Square every year. If you decide to climb right up to the top of the dome, be advised that the staircase is extremely claustrophobic and could lead to panic attacks.
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Puerto Rico Rider: Tom Weiss Photo: Christopher Vanderyajt
Americans donâ€™t need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico, and the island attracts over 4 million visitors per year. Public transportation is severely limited and taxis are very expensive, so bringing a skateboard makes sense for short trips.
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THE FREESTYLE CHRONICLES – PART ONE Photo: Warren Bolster
Freestyle plays a major role in the history of skateboarding, starting with the first wave and continuing through today’s game of S-K-A-T-E. Rodney Mullen developed tricks that are the foundation of street skateboarding. Concrete Wave is one of few very skate magazine that cover freestyle and only a small number of freestylers have had an opportunity to share their stories and philosophies. This is part one in a series of articles that aim to give readers a unique insight into freestylers and their philosophies.
It seems highly appropriate to start the series with Russ Howell, who has been riding for close to six decades. I met Russ several years ago in Vancouver at the World Round-Up at the Cloverdale Fair. His boundless enthusiasm and energy were infectious. Russ can still spin a huge number of 360s and perform fancy footwork and, of course, handstands. As you will soon discover, Russ’s skate abilities are matched only by his passion for skateboarding.
A CLARITY OF FOCUS By Russ Howell
olling through life on a skateboard for 58 years has changed my life. What began as an activity shared with childhood friends has evolved into a personal philosophy dedicated to serving the sport. My decisions and actions have always been a reflection of my beliefs. Consider the following two questions; although they sound similar, they are completely different.
1. Do you love to skateboard? 2. Do you love skateboarding?
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The first question asks, “Do you like what skateboarding does for you and how it makes you feel?” The second question asks, “What are you willing to do for skateboarding?” Are we involved with skateboarding based only upon selfish motivations, or are we willing to serve the needs of the sport and its participants? My parents never had to tell me their thoughts; they lived their lives according to what they believed to be right.
They gave me consistent testimony to the importance of life through their daily examples. They taught me that relationships are the most important priority any of us can have. My parents always encouraged my brothers and me to embrace the three characteristics of life: “being a child”; “being an adult”; and “being a parent.” A child enjoys play, an adult helps others, and a parent gives of himself or herself for another person’s growth. Too many have forgotten their inner child and forgotten the simple rewards of play.
The Bahne Team performs at a Beach Boys concert in Anaheim, California, July 1976. Photo: Warren Bolster
My ability to enjoy good health is directly related to the sports I have been involved with. Surfing and skateboarding are enjoyable activities that promote lifelong habits that are directly related to lifelong health. I first stepped onto a skateboard in 1958. It was a home-made 2” x 4” board with metal roller skate wheels. Our family was very poor, and I learned how to make my own skateboards and surfboards. We rode skateboards when we weren’t surfing, and skateboarding was given the nicknames of “surfing’s little brother” and “sidewalk surfing.” Surfing was my main passion in the 1960s, and I moved to a small apartment in Hawaii with a dozen other surfers in 1968. The Vietnam War prompted my enlistment into the Air Force in 1969. I returned to college after serving in the military and graduated with a mathematics degree.
A summer job of working with a YMCA camp derailed my life, and I went back to college and graduated with a degree in physical education, a teaching credential and a master’s degree in computer education. One of my assignments as a physical education student was to develop a sports-related class to benefit the community. I taught a skateboarding class in 1974–1975 at the same public park where I had first stepped onto a skateboard in 1958 – Bixby Park in Long Beach. The urethane wheel was just being introduced into skateboarding and was making skating tremendously popular. So the park director was eager to have a skateboard safety class, and the students were quick to learn. One day a group of the skate class came up to poster advertising the Del Festival, which was about Bahne/Cadillac National
kids in my me with a Mar Ocean to host the Skateboard
Championships on April 26–27, 1975. I wasn’t interested in competing, but one of the kids from my skate class wanted to attend. We drove down to Del Mar that weekend and were greeted by 500 skaters who had come from all over the nation. Most of the skaters were young and had only been skating a short time. The Senior Men’s division was packed with skaters who had many years of experience, such as Skitch Hitchcock, Bob Mohr and Bruce Logan. Most of them skated with a surf style at the beach, as did I, but Del Mar focused on the same events as the 1965 Anaheim Nationals: freestyle and slalom. You had to skate according to the rules of the contest if you wanted to win, and our surf/skate styles were not what the judges were looking for that weekend. Although I hadn’t planned to skate in the contest, the mood of competition soon took over, and I entered the arena with visions of what it CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 55
Russ wows the Anaheim crowd with one of his many “red-faced” maneuvers. Photo: Warren Bolster
would be like to compete and do well at the Nationals. My visions paled to the comparison of the reality of what happened: I won the Senior Men’s freestyle event. As I drove home in a trance, I realized the world had just been turned upside down and my life would be changed forever. Winning the Nationals elevated my confidence to believe that I could finally be a voice for the sport I had loved for so many years. I’d always felt nervous about speaking confidently in front of a crowd, but that had to give way to the needs of the sport. Luckily, a speech teacher had once told me you only need two things to be an effective speaker: Know more about your subject than the audience does, and love what you’re talking about. Winning a skate event was never about being better than other skaters; it was about gaining the opportunity to become a voice to elevate, encourage and inspire others to skate. Winning the Del Mar Nationals gave me the opportunity to speak on behalf of the sport. Until the introduction of the urethane wheel in 1973–74, skateboarding had been dormant for nearly a decade, largely due to negative publicity. For example, the cover of the May 14, 1965 issue of Life magazine (which was hugely influential at the time), read “The Craze and the Menace of Skateboards,” and its multipage article featured headlines like “It’s easier to get bloody than fancy.”
“The future of skateboarding rests in the decisions and actions of those who skate.”
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I sought to erase the stigma of skateboarding as “a dangerous activity” and instead show it as a healthy alternative to traditional sports. Appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “Good Morning America,” “To Tell the Truth,” “Tomorrow with Tom Snyder” and countless other television shows, along with commercials and personal appearances, helped popularize skateboarding. A six-month tour to Australia resulted in opening a public concrete snake run in a town called Albany in February 1976. (That run survives and is still skated to this day – the world’s oldest existing skatepark.) Stories of how several young high school students worked with the Albany city council to build the snake run spread worldwide, and the concept of skateparks was born.
My return to America after touring Australia for six months came at the beginning of the USA competitive season. California Free Former was planning a huge World Skateboarding Championship at the Long Beach Arena. To promote the contest, Don E. Branker arranged skate demos at summer concerts for popular
questioning my purpose within the sport again. The popularity of skateboarding grew, and with it came the opportunity to make huge profits from related products. Division within the sport soon emerged, and people (skaters and manufacturers)
forms: freestyle, slalom, downhill, pool riding, streetstyle and more. It fell dormant for nearly a decade beginning in 1966 due to safety concerns. The urethane wheel helped diminish the safety concerns, but the sport went dormant again in the early 1980s due to its alignment with being a socially rebellious activity. Skateparks have been established all over the world, and yet we now face another possible decline within the industry. Why are these companies surprised at low product sales when they have not embraced the full dimension of the sport? Broadening the demographic to which you market any product will increase sales. I believe a collective unity among the various forms of skateboarding would have produced greater appeal and a stronger foundation for the expansion and benefit of the sport. Computer pioneer Alan Kay famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” The future of skateboarding rests in the decisions and actions of those who skate. It remains my hope that more riders will embrace the calling to serve the sport and everyone within it.
Russ is always an inspiring Master of Ceremonies at the World Freestyle Round-Up in British Columbia. Photo: Jim Goodrich
music acts such as Peter Frampton, Jethro Tull, Foghat and Santana. The first demo was at Anaheim Stadium during a Beach Boys concert with 55,000 spectators. A raised stage was built in the center of the stadium, and many top skaters were asked to perform. Before the show, a group of the younger skaters came over to me and told me I had been out of the country too long and my skating career was over. They went on to tell me that they were going to take over and become the new stars of the sport. I didn’t comment, but just went back to practicing. The skate show began and I was the last one to skate. The quiet response of the crowd changed as the energy of 55,000 screaming people gave me a standing ovation. Afterward, the same group of skaters that had confronted me before the demo came up and asked to join my team. It was as if America welcomed me home again. That crowd’s reaction gave me clarity on my focus of serving the sport of skateboarding, and I would never again allow other skaters to distract me by
had a choice of serving the sport or their own greed for fame and fortune. Skateboard competitions were frequently corrupted by skateboard companies wanting their riders to win so they could gain advertising leverage to increase product sales. The editor of a major skate magazine threatened to blacklist me and others from appearing in his magazine if we ever appeared in any of the other skate magazines. A meeting with several skateboard manufacturers was held and decisions on how to promote the sport were discussed. I suggested that we had a responsibility to promote skateboarding in a way that would be acceptable to parents, city officials and potential corporate sponsors. Many industry representatives rejected my recommendations and went for shortterm profits by catering their advertising to rebellious youth. Skateboarding lost the support of city councils, and signs banning skateboarding went up everywhere. In its early days, skateboarding became popular as an alternative activity to surfing by offering an array of various expressive
Still smiling after six decades of skating. Photo: Justin Applegate
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LONGBOARDING FOR PEACE DING FO AR
CANADA - LONGBOARD4US, QUEBEC By Catherine Dâ€™Avril
The idea of starting a longboarding school for girls in here in Montreal came to me when I was in Australia. Living there was an amazing experience that changed my life forever! I totally fell in love with the lifestyle, as I was surfing, paddleboarding and longboarding daily. When I moved back to Montreal from Australia, I started Longboard4us as a pilot project, not really knowing what would happen. After a few blog reviews, from Montreal to California, and some radio time, the response was so much bigger and better than I could have ever expected. I was lucky enough to even get support from Restless Longboards and Rollin Boardshop. Both companies helped me, which was huge in getting Longboard4us up and running! Some great stuff is coming out for L4US: a brand new website, intermediate classes, a division in Quebec city, an e-boutique and a new sponsor for the helmets, Triple 8. The best thing about being a teacher is to see girls with not a lot of confidence at the beginning of class ending up longboarding fearlessly by the end! Giving the girls a chance to improve their self-esteem by doing a sport they would never imagine to try is something really special for me. longboard4us.com
AHOUSAHT SKATEPARK, BRITISH COLUMBIA By Liam McKenzie The Ahousaht project is moving forward. On June 6th Landyachtz, Newline and Get On Board hopped a water taxi from Tofino to the remote community of Ahousaht to present them with the plans for their new skatepark. The project was born from our love of skateboarding, what it teaches us and our desire to share that with the world. We will be breaking ground on the new park in the fall and canâ€™t wait to turn wheels with the whole community.
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ORDEM E P RO
DING FO AR
This past spring, Julie Quenneville found herself traveling to Brazil, and she decided to bring the spirit of Longboarding for Peace with her. “It took me about one week to appreciate my new environment,” Julie says, “because living in a favela meant being in a very noisy environment. At night kids are playing outside till very late and you can listen to your neighbor singing.”
Julie began venturing out at night with Bruno (the manager of the hostel) to find out more about the local kids, taking three boards with her. “There was a bunch of little kids, mostly around 5 to 11 years old, and they were kind of shy first,” she says. Within about five minutes of her starting to ride one of the boards, the kids were asking her help to find balance and learn new tricks. The kids and Julie skated all night together, and she saw firsthand the spark of happiness in their eyes. “I introduced some stretching and balance exercises to do before longboarding to help them,” she says. “They were really thankful, attentive and taking the advice seriously.” One night when Julie came back home after riding with the Guanabara Board team, a group of kids descended and started screaming her name. “They invited me to join them for a session and gave me big hugs,” she says. “The love that I received was awesome. The kids were shining.” Julie says the experience gave her the desire to keep teaching.
DING FO AR
USA/NICARAGUA - PROJECT LUMINA
S T AT
For the past six years, Project Lumina has been cultivating tomorrow’s feminine rebels and leaders of bad-assery (aka “Luministas”) by subverting the dominant feminine culture of judgment, need for perfection and fear. Project Lumina is a global community of women and girls focused on encouraging each other to shine in their hearts and be brave. They do this through the experience of travel and community service.
Project Lumina has been focused mainly on surfing in Nicaragua as the catalyst for change and growth. However, thanks to a generous donation by Never Summer Industries, the girls are now rolling on concrete waves. Six completes were donated to the kids at the Los Quinchos orphanage in Nicaragua in June 2016 in order to share the joy of longboarding with them. projectlumina.org
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SLALOM RACING SPOTLIGHT: 2016 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS By Maria Carrasco
By Richy and Maria Carrasco
he highlight of the 2016 slalom racing season – the World Championships – was held in Riga, Latvia, an 800-year-old city in Europe’s Baltic region. It’s always exciting to travel to a new place for racing, and Riga did not disappoint. These events are like a class reunion of the top racers from around the world who come to test their skills among the best. The organizing team headed by Janis Kuzmins and Lienite Skaraine did a super job coordinating a three days of racing, with dedicated announcers, excellent timing systems and live streaming web/ TV coverage throughout the weekend. They wisely planned to hold the junior, teen and kids’ events simultaneously at a separate course nearby, which helped keep things manageable with the large number of racers present – 102 in all. 60 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
Friday, day one started with a two-hour bus ride into the Priekuli forest to the legendary hill found by Gints Gailitis. It was one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever raced at, with gigantic tall trees lining the single-lane giant slalom course. The course was challenging, striking a nice balance of a true GS, pushing racers to cut through big turns at speed while holding their line and keeping it clean.
tornado touching down on Saturday’s hybrid race course, demolishing the scaffolding tower and sending everyone running for cover. Fortunately, some epic elimination matchups had just concluded in the women’s and men’s pro final rounds, but the masters and amateur classes had to be decided on the qualifying results. Unfortunately, the rain was back on Sunday – cutting the tight slalom race day short again.
Saturday and Sunday brought us back to Riga central for two days of head to head racing with large start ramps. The race course was set in Lucavsala Park in conjunction with a major music festival that brought plenty of spectators courseside. The threat of rain was looming both days, however, and we actually experienced what seemed like a mini-
Despite the weather, it was great to see the growing enthusiasm of racing groups from all over Europe traveling together and representing – Czech Republic, Russia, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Britain and a healthy group of local Latvians, plus the Brazilians and, of course, our American contingent. There were many new pros, both men and
RIGHT: Mikael Hadestrand of Sweden launches into the Masters giant slalom. He took second in GS but blazed his way to the overall Masters world championship. Photo: Maria Carrasco FAR RIGHT: Janis Kuzmins of Latvia charges the giant slalom in the Priekuli forest. Kuzmins stepped away from his race organizer duties long enough to finish second in the GS and third overall. Photo: Jani Soderhall OPPOSITE PAGE: Joe McLaren (left) outran Viking Hadestrand for first in the pro hybrid slalom. McLaren also claimed the overall world championship for the seventh year in a row. Photo: Brad Jackman BOTTOM: Enthusiastic Riga racers. Photo: Maria Carrasco
women, making strides for the podium this year, and two major achievements were realized – Joe McLaren won his seventh consecutive overall men’s pro world title, and Lynn Kramer swept the pro women’s events, bringing her overall world title record to 12. As an interesting side note, after the Worlds, many of the racing entourage headed on to Stockholm, Sweden the very next weekend for the Banked Slalom World Championships at Highvalley Skateworld. Besides the slalom specialists, even legends such as Steve Caballero showed up to compete, and the genres of vert and slalom were bridged at least a bit. With skateboarding coming to the Olympics in 2020, slalom skateboard racing should really be recognized and considered for inclusion.
Overall World Champions 2016: Pro: Joe McLaren, USA Women: Lynn Kramer, USA AM: Arturs Liskovs, LAT Masters: Mikael Hadestrand, SWE Junior 17: Max Thiele, GER Junior 14: Erika Marie Belta, LAT Kids 11: Karolina Machová, CZE
Even with this Worlds now in the record books, 2016 still has some major races on the radar – namely the equally ISSA-ranked Sk8Kings U.S. Nationals in Oceanside, California, on October 1–2 and the Main-status Cone Fest in Ashland, Kentucky, on September 16–18. For more info on those and other races, go to slalomskateboarder.com. CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 61
HOOD PART 1
By Michael Brooke
what is really taking place. Mellow has done just that, Green says. They’ve gotten their hands on one of the copycats and put it through its paces in their testing lab, where Green says they can measure speed, torque, currents, voltages, temperatures and efficiencies on test rigs built up exactly like those used in the automotive industry for development and analysis.
“On the first look it became shockingly clear how bad the quality of the knockoff product was and how dangerous the whole setup could be,” Green says. “From the connectors inside the system to the RF-module and all the way to the remote control, the components were all premade for other products – mainly RF models and toys. They were obviously not made for skating and the heavyMellow Board co-founder Kilian Green with the true Mellow Drive (right, with green LEDs) and an impostor. duty requirements that skating brings. Electronics are deceiving because most hile the “hoverboard” craze seems to have run of the people do not understand them too well.” into a few issues, there is no question that electric skateboards are gaining in popularity. But electric Luckily, while developing their products, the Mellow team did skateboards are significantly more complex than traditional their homework on getting design protection for Europe. They skateboards. They present unprecedented challenges for both have since extended that protection by obtaining a worldwide the mechanical components and the electronics that make them design patent. work. Before you spend your money on a highly technical piece of equipment, it’s important to make sure everything works well. “With this in mind we could stop worrying too much about the copycat, since anyone selling the product will be violating our With close to six years in development, the Mellow Board is patents and therefore will be getting love letters from us rather a new concept in the electric skateboard market. The actual sooner than later,” Green says with a grin. company was founded in 2015 by Johannes Schewe and Kilian Green. In June of that year, the company went on Kickstarter Mellow’s extended patents mean Mellow can even demand that and met with a great deal of success. “We received 310% of copycat products be confiscated and destroyed when found in funding and in December we celebrated with a design release customs. party in Hamburg,” Green says. However, such enforcement efforts are not foolproof, and Green I met the Mellow team in late January 2016 at the ISPO show says he’s concerned about the possible effects if any knockoff in Munich and was impressed with their unique product, the products slip through and are sold – especially if the cheap Mellow Drive. Just a few months later, however, I was shocked to copycats start blowing up like some self-balancing “hoverboard” discover that another company was offering a virtually identical scooters did last winter. Such incidents might seriously damage copy of the Mellow Drive online, and at a considerable discount. the reputation of the entire electric skateboard industry.
Luckily, one or more persons who supported Mellow Board’s initial Kickstarter campaign also saw the copied design offered at a trade show and alerted the company.
“There will be people who would doubt about our integrity and the realness of the data presented, and this is understandable; we are also a manufacturer,” Green says.
“As you can imagine, we were shocked out of our minds,” says Green .“This was just ridiculous! No one on the team could understand how anyone could copy this shamelessly. We had put so much love and effort into making the Mellow Drive what it is today, and now someone just stole it – and didn’t even do a good job at it.”
But Green says the biggest reason Mellow is coming forward with their test data is to protect customers from getting hurt and wasting their money. “This is our contribution to the community of board sports,” he says, “and we see it also as our duty since no one else seems to have the means of doing this.”
From the outside, the two products look quite identical. It’s only when you look under the hood that you begin to understand
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In our next column, we’ll take you under the hood to see just how dangerous this knockoff is. – Ed.
// ARTIST PROFILE
Pascal Herbert Photos: Jordan Langdon
you stare into the graphics from the new Kebbek Bio-Suit series long enough, you might notice a faint recollection of somebody familiar. Hidden in the unique works of Pascal Herbert are the faces of the Kebbek pro team, meshed with the motif of Kebbekâ€™s iconic and longstanding board-themed animals. It was an interesting challenge for Pascal to blend the faces of people he had never met before, only having a few photos of each, with a theme given to him to work with. This pursuit of pushing his artistic boundaries through collaboration is an aspiration Pascal hopes to continue in his long career as a fulltime tattoo artist. kebbek.com @kebbekskateboards
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BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE An Interview with Daniel Gesmer By Michael Brooke
Twenty years ago, a remarkable report on the skateboard industry was written by Dan Gesmer, owner of Seismic. What made it remarkable is that it predicted much of what has taken place within skateboarding over the last two decades.
count myself very fortunate because I had an opportunity to read this report almost 20 years ago. They say hindsight is 20/20, but in the case of this report, it really was a blueprint for the future. The report spanned over 10,000 words and was filled with facts, along with opportunities for those who had the guts to take action. At the time, Gesmer was talking with several large ski and snowboard manufacturers. “We were looking at the possibility of collaborating on the development of advanced longboard decks, using materials and processes already familiar to the snow-sports industry,” Gesmer says. Among those companies 64 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
was Salomon, which at the time had a design center in Boulder, Colorado, where Seismic was (and still is) based. During Gesmer’s talks with Salomon, the head of the company asked him to do a big write-up on the skateboard industry, focused on the potential for the longboard category to emerge as a significant factor in the global skateboard market. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of this document, we wanted to present it to our readership as a way to spark conversations and ideas.
Before Gesmer discussed the future, he gave a detailed perspective as to what happened to skateboarding and why it fell on hard times. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the California-based skateboard industry shifted virtually all its attention to aggressive, highimpact styles practiced primarily by teenage males. These styles were becoming extremely popular and were arguably the most photogenic. However, the dominant manufacturers may also have coolly calculated that a narrower market – one more concerned with the equipment’s graphic adornments, image, and durability than with finer performance characteristics – would be easier to control compared to a market diversified along demographic status and equipment performance requirements. In particular, continued support of slalom & downhill racing, which in the mid-1970s [were] the subject of lucrative competitions televised on the major networks, threatened to draw high-tech manufacturers from other sports industries. As equipment suited for more earthbound skating styles became less available and less visible, skaters who were less
“There has been an overemphasizing [of] the most spectacular disciplines for the sake of media impact.” aggressive, older, and/or female lost their niche. What had been a primary market segment became the sole market segment. The skateboard industry, for better or worse, cast its lot entirely with the changing currents of teenage male counterculture.
sprouted a branch that found its way back to the fundamentals of rolling and turning. “Now we have to do it again,” he says. “Longboarding has grown myopically focused on sliding and speeding, and in the process has alienated those who’re most comfortable with gentle carving and cruising. That population is very broad and has always been the industry’s bread and butter.” Back in the mid-’90s, a number of the leading skate brands opposed the types of diversification that might have threatened their market share. “In an important sense, I was merely predicting that skateboarding could, should and naturally would circle back to the diversification seen in the 1960s and 1970s.” As Gesmer points out, in recent years the longboard industry has made many of the same mistakes that the shortboard industry did in previous decades. “There has been an overemphasizing [of] the most spectacular disciplines for the sake of media impact,” he says, “thereby alienating folks who lack the athletic talent or disposition for advanced daredevilry but who might otherwise be good customers. … ‘Joe Campus’ and ‘Sidewalk Sally’ do not need competition downhill or freeride setups to do their thing. They need functional cruiser shapes with good, modern trucks and wheels, and more brands need to market to their lifestyles and needs. “Is it too late for the longboard industry to regroup and recapture the large potential audience for garden-variety, low-speed carving and cruising? Time will tell.” When Gesmer wrote his original report in 1996, the internet was still very much in its infancy. He admits he was skeptical about e-commerce in the years when it was more of an idea than a fact. “I recall a certain rat race to register web domains with very basic skateboard-related names, and feeling cynical about the apparent greed of those racing to own those domains,” he says. Gesmer also says he never imagined that web video would play such a central role in skateboard marketing until that reality began to emerge. “But the impact of the internet on the world, including our tiny corner of it, is probably too vast and complex for me to attempt a summation here and now,” he says. “Obviously some is good and some is not.” Online video has vastly accelerated the dissemination of information (visual examples) on riding technique, Gesmer says, and has thus contributed to the sport/art becoming much more global and less centralized to the American West Coast.
Between the late 1970s and mid-1980s, vertical skating, focused on high-flying aerial acrobatics, was king. Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, however, skateboarding turned its attention almost entirely towards streetstyle. Its rapid evolution brought about a striking transformation in skateboard design, but at the cost of further alienating less aggressive audiences.
“That much I believe is good,” he says. “On the other side of things, the rise of e-commerce has made it easier for those in remote areas to buy gear, but it has also contributed to the consolidation of sales channels and put a big hurt on mom-andpop brick-and-mortar shops. That’s a more mixed result.”
As Gesmer points out, an industry that focused myopically on flipping and flying for much of the ’80s and ’90s has now
When it came to understanding skate media landscape, Gesmer pulled no punches. CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 65
At present the mainstream skateboard industry is effectively monopolized by three large California-based conglomerates, which combine print, manufacturing, clothing, and promotional operations. In each case, it’s as if a single company owned Sports Illustrated, the Chicago Bulls, and Nike, and also paid Michael Jordan to appear in the magazine, play for the Bulls, and endorse the shoes. The mainstream skateboard industry, led by the three conglomerates, has artificially suppressed the diversification of skateboard consumer tastes and has, ironically, worked to block market expansion. In the sport’s mid-1970s Golden Era, multiple skating forms evolved which appealed to a wide spectrum of people, and manufacturers created specialized equipment for each approach. Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, the leading manufacturers and their publications have largely ignored the existence of many of these skating styles and equipment types, choosing instead to concentrate exclusively on one or two aggressive skating forms. In so doing they have artificially narrowed the choices of skateboarders and the potential scope of their own customer base. Since foreign markets depend on American-made products and take their cues from U.S. magazines, the situation abroad echoes that in America. Twenty years on, much has changed within skate media. But back in 1993, when Gesmer introduced his spring-based Seismic trucks, he faced silence and hostility from the industry. “At that
carving truck was “not a real skateboard product” and had “no place in the market.” Ultimately Gesmer was able to persuade the editor to run a fair article. “There is no question, however, that sometimes the shortboard world still bends over backwards to pretend that longboarding doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter,” he says. As we all know, in recent years the cruiser market has become extraordinarily popular. The question is why. As Gesmer recalls, back in the middle 1990s most longboards were very long – sometimes even up to 60 inches. “Based on my own experience building and riding boards of various lengths, it simply seemed logical to me that boards with more of an ‘inbetween’ wheelbase would provide a better balance for the bulk of recreational riders,” he says, “some of the maneuverability of a shortboard with some of the stability of a longboard.” One of the key subjects Gesmer’s report covers is growth from other demographics. Gesmer believed this was a crucial opportunity that was being overlooked. Untold millions of less aggressive, older, and/or female outdoor sports participants might purchase skateboards if their potential for safe, low-impact, carving-oriented enjoyment were demonstrably comparable to that of skis, snowboards, inline skates, etc. “Like the Western world in general,” Gesmer says, “the skateboard community is now clearly more accepting than it once was of women and minorities, including non-Caucasians and those who are gay or transgendered. (Though there’s still plenty of work to do!)” Gesmer admits he’s not sure if there was ever a real prejudice toward older riders. “We see more of them now and they’re regarded less as freakish anomalies,” he says. “At the same time, the longboard industry is still aiming a majority of its products and marketing at young males who specialize in downhill and freeride.” In the 20 years since Gesmer’s original report, we’ve seen several – pardon the pun – seismic shifts in the skateboard world: the rise of new categories; the steady decline of independent skate shops and growth of chain stores; and an entirely new media landscape, among others. And we’re about to hit another milestone with the inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics. Not surprisingly, Gesmer has given that issue a lot of thought.
A Seismic truck prototype from1989.
time technical street skating ruled the sport; the longboard renaissance had not yet fully taken root,” he says. “Being a pioneer of the longboard renaissance meant being an outcast and a heretic – someone for the shortboard world to ridicule and ostracize. That’s usually the way it is for innovators and pathfinders. Those who’re afraid of change do their best to sideline the change-agents.” That dynamic played out with the leading skateboard trade journal of the era, whose staff argued that the original Seismic 66 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
“To me, the inclusion of skateboarding in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is a very mixed bag,” he says. “In my opinion, skateboarding should have been in the Olympics decades ago, so this is a long-overdue correction. However, I’m not comfortable with the apparent collusion of big-money corporate media and politics in shaping the way that skateboarding will end up being presented in Tokyo. For starters, at least one form of racing really ought to be included, but that appears to be a long shot at this stage. Those who want to lobby for this cause need to organize ASAP and apply extreme pressure to the folks who’re positioned, for better and worse, to make the decisions.”
Twenty years ago Dan Gesmer wrote that female skaters were being overlooked. Nowadays, women riders are one of the fastest-growing segments within skateboarding. Rider: Katrina Vogel. Photo David Uhlenkott
If the next 20 years are anything like the past 20, the landscape of skateboarding will continue to change. So I asked Gesmer where he sees things in 2036. Envisioning that future is a tall order, he said, but he offered several predictions. »» The pace of change in our world keeps accelerating Possibly we’ll see electric or solar-powered boards, in vastly improved forms, used more widely for short-distance transportation. However, I don’t foresee them ever becoming as popular as, say, bicycles. »» Decks will get lighter and tougher, with smarter flex characteristics. Deck shapes and contours will also evolve or at least change, as disciplines evolve and hybridize, tastes in riding styles shift and fashions lurch around. »» Trucks will get lighter and tougher, with straighter and more precise axles, and their turning characteristics will get smarter and smarter. »» Until radically new materials are developed, evolution in urethane formulations will be about nuance, not breakthrough. But we’ll at least see advances in wheel hub constructions and edge profiles, as long as the industry invests in solid research
and rigorous testing. Eventually bearing standards may even change. »» We may also see advances in the materials used to surface our roads, sidewalks and skateparks. And that may have consequences for the types of wheels that are engineered. »» We’ll see continued innovations in mixed riding styles and event formats. Skatercross and LDP are recent examples »» Hopefully the leading magazines and websites will commit to more in-depth coverage of meaty issues, including objective, in-depth analysis of product performance based on materials, design and construction. This would form a positive feedback loop with the efforts of leading innovators in the industry. »» We’ll also see ever more efficient means of shopping digitally. Holography may play a role by 2036, such that we can view rotating three-dimensional projections of products that catch our interest, at home or wherever, without necessarily going to a store. (By then most of us probably won’t be driving cars that we personally own anyway.) Shipping may be mediated more and more by drones, though swarms of delivery drones will present significant air traffic control issues. However, I believe there will always be a place for brick-and-mortar shops where we can touch, feel and test the real goods before buying.
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‘Back To Nature’
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Euro Tour 2016
For safety the track needed to be shortened to around a third of its original length and the event team did as best as they could in the circumstances they faced. Temperatures were just two degrees on the track and thus marshals had to freeze as riders sneaked in runs braving the conditions. With the weather Loser Mountain, the peak Almabtrieb track is built upon, threw at us Almabtrieb became a prime worldwide longboard social and party event. Notable was a game of international Monopoly which lasted a afternoon and evening and soon became a pitched battle between whole af the UK (Joe Baldwin mainly) and the Belgian team which ended in a draw at around 9 in the evening. With the track settled high in the Alps the beauty of the area was staggering, it was hard to keep your eyes on the track when bombing down. Qualification threw some odd weather out for the riders with one run in the wet and the second run patchy.
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Kozakov, run by the Czech Gravity Sports Association, is known maybe as the best event in the world. Nestled in the Czech mountains about an hour north of Prague it features 2 days of freeride with fast uplifts and 3 days of racing and qualification. The course is fast, technical and extremely safe with really good hay bales. Cheap food and cheap beer means it costs little to live the high life except a serious lack of sleep. Glorious sunshine adorned the event leaving behind the depressing rain in the mountains of Austria. Team AOB saw Aaron Skippings flying on the track and qualifying well while UKDH riders Pearse D’arcy and Pete Connolly both looked amazingly fast. As race day swung around Pete had managed to qualify 36th and was ready to draft and fight hard. Pete ended up knocking out Sebastian Hertler and Patrick Switzer in an ultra-competitive second round of A bracket race and finished in the top 16. Racing seems to be getting more competitive every year at international level with the qualification times tighter. Increasingly riders are becoming closer and packs in heats tigh adopting Swiss foot-breaking as their prime race slowing technique which is always interesting when it comes to watching them interact with sliders.
What Kozakov is often remembered for is its party. With music only stopping between 6am and 8am every morning the rest of the time is seen as designated party time for riders and spectators. This year’s party seemed quieter than previous years but still had the usual bustle of the thousands of locals who show up to join in the party. Again we found ourselves packing up the AOB van in the heavy rain and then begun the 10 hour journey down to the border of Slovenia for KNK longboard Camp.
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The atmosphere atmosphe is chilled and the weather was 80% sunshine with the occasional wet skate hour or so. The track dries very quickly and so nearly all the runs taken were dry runs. Packs with countless riders appear as faster riders get stuck behind slower riders and every run is completely hectic. I found myself a few times boxed between heavy downhillers and freeriders and crashes become imminent. Kebbek this year ran a contest known as the “Wheel of Mis-fortune” in which riders span the wheel and had some sort of drink related punishment thrown at them. The ultimate forfeit came when an Italian rider had their head shaved in exchange for a 2017 KNK ticket. The drink of choice for most at KNK is “Slivo” which is produced locally by a farmer on his copper still. Ben Stainer of Team AOB still holds the record of necking 27 Slivo’s in one night. Because Slivo is entirely unregulated you never really know what you are going to get.
The Red Bull no paws down contest was the real show stopper with around half a million people tuning into the live-stream on their Facebook page. With downhill riders going behind and live-streaming the heats there was lots of excitement to watch as riders battled it out for the 1000 euro main prize. Patrick Lombardi of Italy ended up stealing the prize closely followed by Ryka Mohammadian and Ian Freire. Once Joey from Kebbek finished up with his cruel wheel of Misfortune in the evening we set off on our return journey to the UK for 8 days of rest before returning for AOB’s second European adventure. Be sure to follow AOB for their second trip to IDF Insul world cup, Giaosteka Freeride and Bela Joyride! Words by Tom Campbell Photos by Bodhi Keen
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ON THE GRIND the ‘Made in Germany’ board factory On the Grind- the ‘Made in Germany’ board factory When we started quinboards back in 2011 we did not really have a master plan worked out. We had already been enjoying building longboards for ourselves and people we knew since 2010, while taking master classes in Sports Engineering at the German Sport University Cologne, using what we learned within our early board design and construction. The story of our quinboards is well known and has been told multiple times but is not so important to this article other than to help identify ourselves. What is important is that we have been building decks for more than 6 years and have not stopped, during this time we have got to know a lot of great people | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL in the72scene, partying and2016
working with them and learned tons along the way. We have witnessed the rise and fall of the longboard market over the last few years with the sudden decline in sales hitting us hard like everyone else in the business. By the end of 2015 we were down but not out, and we were not willing to give up and then the unexpected happen. Earlier that year during ISPO 2015 we got to know Fun4U Sportproduction, a big sporting goods distributor that has been in the skate business for years, successfully manufacturing boards in China since the early `00s whose headquarters were close to our workshop. It turned out that Fun4U also had a dream to have their top end board brand AOB – Area One Boards ‘Made in Germany’ for some time so we had
much to talk about. After a few months of planning we all decided to work together and build a new workshop in Cologne with modern machinery and a lot of space to build boards. The prime goal for us was to be able to stay independent with our own brand
quinboards while benefiting from the support and financial guidance from the team at Fun4U. Secondly, for healthy growth we had to expand our business area. This is where we are today. On the Grind (our workshop business name) is now fully up and running and open for
business. We would now like to offer our service, experience and production simply based on moderate minimum order quantities and fair prices to all those awesome existing or new rider owned or independent brands out there looking to take the next step. Of course, everything we produce stays 100% ‘Made in Germany‘. Building boards is the most important thing for us and we are still deeply passionate about it. It would be great to help others in any way we can. We are still convinced that having a large variety of brands on the market will help in keeping our sport interesting for the riders. Narrowing it down to 3 – 4 large brands would be the worst thing to happen. Whatever the next years might bring, we will stay On the Grind!
Slide Perfect Wheels Bodhi Keen, Rider Owned Dream
Slide Perfect Wheels known throughout Europe as SP is a creation of UK rider Bodhi Keen born out of a passion for the sport of longboarding and the need for a more affordable performance wheel. After several months of testing different sizes, shapes, duros and compounds and with a little help from fellow riders he finally developed a range of wheels fitting the various needs and styles riders wanted. encouragement and amazing support from the dedicated longboard Now nearly 2 years on and with the encou riders around Bodhi, Slide Perfect has formed into a comprehensive range of wheels, blooming in popularity to become the choice wheel brand of many across Europe. Bodhi says â€˜I have been lucky enough to have ridden my wheels with the SP Team on the slopes of the Islands of Africa, had thrilling runs down some of the highest roads of the Alps and have been at the biggest longboard across Europe. As a rider first - being able events ac to ride wheels I believe in is the best feeling a rider could haveâ€™.
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by John Gavin Photos: Adam Gray
ne summer morning in ’78 as I was headed up to Winchester Skatepark in San Jose, California, I was thinking hard about some moves I wanted to go for. I started on the Washboard, a set of moguls you pumped through that propelled you up this huge beautiful wall; it was like skating toward the sky. After that I hit the halfpipe, where I pushed myself to go higher and higher until I reached that spooky weightless feeling at the top. Then I headed to the pool. Back in the day it was all about pools and aerials. I had yet to do an aerial – but I dreamed of them over and over. When I rolled into the pool at Winchester I decided that would be the day I caught air. I started pushing myself harder and harder, pumping the board for the momentum I’d need to leave the pool and shoot up past the lip. And on one particular run, when I knew I had the speed I’d need, I arced up and over the coping – just like I dreamed I would – and floated back toward the pool to touch back down. But a truck on my big Powell deck caught the lip as I re-entered. As I left my board up on the coping and fell 74 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
backward toward the bottom of the pool, I stretched out my right arm to break my fall. My fall is not what broke. When I looked down my right forearm was bent into a shape that’s hard to describe. After surgery to straighten it back out, and a week in the hospital, and months in a cast (all spent not skating), I started to drift from skateboarding. Pretty soon I was working as much as I could to save and buy a car – and then girls came into the picture in a pretty big way and skateboarding started to seem like a kid thing to me. And at that age I was trying to be anything but a kid. Eventually I finished high school and joined the Service. Then I went to college, started a family, found a career and got a mortgage – pretty much in that order. Life was busy, a little too busy to skate. But whenever I saw a kid on a board I’d stop and watch for a minute, you know? In 2000, when my son Charlie turned 8, I bought him a skateboard for his birthday – and something rad happened: Once I had that board together and stepped on
it to “show him how,” I didn’t want to get off the thing. It was like part of me – a part I’d put away – came back. That part of me that lived to skate rolled over from his long-ass nap and said, “Hey, where’s my board?” So I bought a new-old-stock Bahne Rocker, onto which I mounted Indys and OJs (just like I coveted back in the day), and Charlie and I started skating parks together. But things were different now. Skateparks were different. The first thing I noticed at the parks? There was no one my age, at least not that I ever saw. And there were few, if any, pools. The parks instead featured odd structures like rails, and steps, and, well, more rails. Gone were the days of big, wide decks and sweet, soft urethane. Gone also were the days of pools and halfpipes. But now it’s 2016 and things are better, at least to this old skate rat. Parks have pools again, and popsicle decks are now occasionally seen with big soft wheels on them. I’m even noticing board shapes evolving (devolving?) back to what they looked like in decades past. But here’s something else I’ve noticed: There’s a
board is up a foot or two (or even a few inches!) off the ground? That wasn’t happening. Now, Naren is a nice kid, and the whole time he kept a great attitude, saying things like, “Good job!” and “You almost had it that time!” But a John Gavin ollie was turning out to be like the Loch Ness Monster – nowhere to be found.
sort of rift between old school and new school, between “vert skaters” and “street skaters.” And I don’t like it. You know, if you want you can get all hung up that “skateboard” now means a popsicle deck, and that “longboard” refers to just about everything else (even if it’s 27”) … OR … you can remember that it’s all skateboarding – and age, or skating style, isn’t really a divisive element. Why is it people think the way they do things is the way things should be done? Is that human nature? Maybe – or maybe it’s just one of those ideas that grow from distrust or fear. Well, the best way to erase a fear is to face a fear – and I faced one recently. Okay, maybe not a genuine fear, maybe more of a shortcoming – a hole in my skating repertoire, so to speak. You see, I don’t ollie. It’s not that I don’t want to – it’s just that I don’t know how. Really. No one ever showed me, and I never tried to learn. I left skateboarding the year ollies came on the scene, and was away for over two decades. That trick was a rite of passage for a different generation of skaters. I think my own prejudice made me see it as somehow “not really skating,” and, I hate to admit, the symbol of a change skateboarding had undergone that I didn’t like.
But one of the cool things about being my age is that life’s become easier to figure out. I mean, hell, at this age there’s very little I haven’t already done, so how hard could fixing an old prejudice be? Maybe not as easy as I thought. I figured I’d need instruction, so I went to my local skate shop, Lighthouse Skates, down by the beach here in Santa Barbara, and enlisted the help of Naren PorterKasbati, a street skater who runs the place. Naren agreed to help, so we met up at the skatepark a few days later. His offer was if I could learn to ollie, he’d also teach me to kickflip. I had high hopes – I really did. I thought, “How hard could it be, right?” Naren said just pop the tail with one foot and push the board with the other. Really? A two-step process and that’s it? Dude, I thought, I’ll be rockin’ these things in no time. I mean, sure, I’m getting older, but I’m still athletic. Just last week I rolled my longboard 27 miles in under three hours. So I’m going to pop a board into the air and land on it? Big whoop. An hour – and gawd knows how many pop/push combos – later, I still hadn’t done what you would call an honestto-goodness ollie. I could get the front wheels off the ground, and I’m pretty sure a back wheel even came up a time or two, but a real ollie, where the whole
So what did we do? Moved on to the kickflip! Which, by the way, you have to be able to do an ollie to even attempt. But you know what? It wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was fun just trying. Soon Naren and I were trying to do them side by side - and by “trying” I mean he was actually doing them and I was actually not (though one time my board did rotate half way ’round and land on its top – and I’m calling that a win). Here’s the truth: It was a blast giving those tricks a go – and I laughed my ass off more than once, even while landing on my ass. Am I any good at them? Well, no. But you know what? I was skating. At a skatepark. With other skaters. And I freaking love that! We’re all skaters, right? Yes – yes were are. We do this thing because we love rolling a board along, and the feeling it gives us. For me, that means pushing a longboard a long way and careening down the occasional hill. For others, it means trying and mastering crazy new tricks. But it’s all skateboarding. All of it. So get out there and get your skate on. If you’re older and a kid ollies past you, show some camaraderie and say “Hey.” And if you’re younger and some geezer like me is in your way? Remember that, if you’re lucky, someday you too will be where I am: just enjoying the stoke (even if it sometimes comes with the aroma of Icy-Hot these days). Next, I think I’ll give downhill/sliding a try – I mean, how hard could it be, right?
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The Success or Demise of the Small Business Skate Shop: It’s in Our Hands By Jeffrey Collins-Harper If you’ve been a part of skateboard or longboard culture for any length of time, you have probably come across an article or post about the demise of the independently owned skate shop. You have probably also seen a couple of such businesses come and go. Lately, many people are again predicting the demise of our favorite local skate shops, those mom-and-pop shops that we all like to frequent and hang out.
I personally have been a part of the scene since 1977. I’ve witnessed the ebb and flow of an industry that has been perceived by outsiders as a fleeting trend or passing fad, and by insiders as a lifestyle infringed upon by corporate giants, chain stores and hipsters. Both views have a certain amount of validity. But does that mean the small skate shop is doomed? Not necessarily. The local skate shop’s viability, like that of any business, depends on several factors: the strength of retail sales and the overall economy; a sound business model and proper management; and the loyalty of its customer base. I will leave the discussion of economics and entrepreneurship to others, but I want to address our personal treatment of our local skate shops and the reality of their economics. In recent years, small businesses have been an increasingly risky venture because of competition from nationwide retailers and corporate chain stores. Even more so for the skate shop. What we as consumers fail to realize is that there is very little profit in a skate shop. Ask any skate shop owner (and I am sure 76 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
everyone reading this knows at least one) why they got into this business and they will tell you: it was a dream, they wanted to spread the stoke, and they are passionate about it. None will tell you it was for the money. At first this may sound unlikely. When you walk into a skate shop, you see a hundred decks by everyone from Earthwing to Loaded, Longboard Larry to Pantheon. They are selling for anywhere from $100 to $300 each, with completes going for even more. You marvel at the $10,000-plus stock hanging on the walls and think the shop must be making money. What you may not realize is that the markup the retailer puts on the various products is not as great as you think. Even though the price of almost everything else you buy keeps rising, the retail price of skateboards has barely changed at all. “In 1984, the average deck sold for $49. In 2014, the average deck sells for $49,” wrote Anthony Pappalardo in a Ride Channel article called “Is This the End of the Skateshop?”
As with other skate decks, longboards have hardly responded to the rising costs of inflation. As a result, the products being sold are not paying the bills the way they did when overhead costs were lower. That’s great for you as a customer, but not so great for the people you’re buying from. Then there are all the other expenses. Rent alone costs an average of $3,000 to $6,000 a month, depending on the market. Depending upon the size of the store, utilities can typically run $500 to $1,000 a month. And let’s not fail to take into account other costs such as insurance, marketing and payroll. Expenses like that take a huge chunk out of all that money you assume the shop must be making. According to an article on Chron, the online presence of the Houston Chronicle, a skate shop owner operating a store that sold $475,000 worth of goods might only net about $30,000 in profit. In fact, friends of mine who own skate shops have recently told me that in most cases their employee(s) make more per hour than they do.
OPPOSITE PAGE LEFT: Kristen Howard and Jeff Gaites of NYC’s Uncle Funkys skate shop. FAR RIGHT: Harley Waggoner and Jake Shelton of Core Extreme Sports with Shralpers Union head Luke Ayata
Now let’s talk about our skate shops. For lack of a better analogy, I am going to equate them to a church. Like a church, they are a center of a community – the hub for the resources of our passion, but also a place to congregate, to find out what’s going on in the community. We develop relationships with the owners and employees. We meet other people. We compare, we share, and we feel a part of something. It’s a family.
Friendships and relationships are not paying the bills. If you want their continued existence, you have to patronize them. You have to pay. But the success of our “church,” this business, depends on one thing and one thing alone: sales. While we may turn up our noses at what we have termed as “hipsters” and “posers,” people for whom skating is a cool thing to do at the
moment (and I am guilty of that disdain), these people have the disposable income our skate shops need to survive. As for us, the skaters for whom this is in our blood, many of us are taking advantage of our relationships with our skate shops. Some have the attitude that because they have a close relationship with the owner, they shouldn’t have to pay full price. (I won’t even broach the conversation about shops with teams and riders they sponsor and how some would-be riders expect to have their skate life bankrolled by a shop. Let’s leave that subject for another time.) I’ve even seen skaters with the chutzpah to try to “borrow” a board from a shop. Turn the tables around: would you expect your skate shop owner to come to your business and not pay full price for your goods or service? Friendships and relationships are not paying the bills. If you want their continued existence, you have to patronize them. You have to pay. The corporate store may have a better deal on something because they are able to buy in bulk and spread their costs over a number of outlets, but, as most
complain, those corporate chains do not offer what our independent skate shops do: community and personalized service from people who really know what they are talking about, people you can trust. By patronizing our local skate shops, helping spread the word about them and introducing people to them, we are helping to spread the stoke and keep our community alive. If we want our skate shops to survive, we need to promote them, we need to spend money with them, and we should not take advantage of them. We’ve all lamented the closing of a favorite shop. We’ve all complained about the “corporate” store. But the solution is in our hands. The skate shop is the hub of our skate communities, and communities are living things. So, like all living things, they need to be fed and nourished. That responsibility is ours. Their success depends on our business and spreading the word about them. Share the stoke. Support your local privately owned skate shop if you want to see it, and by extension our community, survive.
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WOMEN’S GEAR GUIDE: WHY YOUR DECK MAY NOT FIT YOU DANCE / FREESTYLE EDITION By Maria Arndt from S*pin Magazine
ecks are gender-neutral. Guy, girl or however you define yourself – it doesn’t matter. What matters for dance and freestyle decks are your shoe size, height, weight and preferences. Many components of your setup influence your skating and security when dancing and freestyle skating. There is no fixed setup that fits everyone perfectly, so take the challenge: Find the deck that fits you best. Once you’ve found it, it’s like skating in paradise. If you’re short with small feet, then you don’t need a super-long, planklike deck. A common size for a dance deck is between 1.10 m and 1.25 m (43.3”–49.2”) in length and 20 cm to 24 cm (7.87”– 9.45”) in width – there should always be space to move up and down the board. A longer wheelbase is good for beginners because it’s more stable, but a shorter wheelbase is better for advanced moves because it’s more agile. As long as there’s enough space on your board to comfortably cross-step (and it isn’t too narrow), then it fits your feet. 78 | CONCRETE WAVE - FALL 2016
Personally, I like a symmetrical shape with wide kicks and wheel flares (instead of cutouts) because I can use more space and feel more in control without being afraid of stepping on the wheels. I also prefer a constant width that offers me enough space for all my steps and moves. I prefer rocker over camber because it provides more security, orientation and a better foothold. I like concave because it helps me feel my deck, and stay on it, while dancing fast with flow and quick carves. Specifically, I prefer a mild, smooth concave – although intense concaves can give you more stability and agility. Most brands offer decks in different flexes, from stiff to super flexy. Some flex can be nice for dancing, but it’s not necessary. For me, it’s always a great feeling when a light flex (which is stiff for my weight) responds to carves and I become one with the flow. If you want to combine dance moves and tricks, then a stiffer board may be best for you because
Cassandre Lemon, Lise DDC, Stéphanie Ance, Pauline Dilosquer and Cecile Lahaie Photo: Clément Derrey
it’s easier to control. Remember, the right flex is dependent on your weight and style. A wobbly board that touches the floor isn’t fun – not for dancing or freestyle. When it comes to a more freestyle and trick-based riding style, you should choose a board with kicks and a sweet pop that offers enough space for your feet. I recommend a topmount, so you don’t have to maneuver around your trucks and wheels when doing tricks. A lighter board will also be helpful because you’ll have an easier time picking up, flipping and tossing your board for tricks. In the end, longboards are all different. That’s what makes them so special and gives you more options to choose from. So find your perfect fit: Try different decks, know what you want to accomplish with your board, and feel comfortable skating on it. I promise, once you’ve dialed in your perfect setup, you’ll love it and won’t want to skate anything else!
DaSilva Boards (Israel) – The Jeffrey Team rider Yuna Kang from South Korea: “I like the Jeffrey for longboard dancing/ freestyle. I don’t need a very long deck for dancing because I’m a small rider and have small feet. I like to make my carving short and quick, so Jeffrey’s length is perfect for me. Jeffrey is light weight for spinning the board and doing skate tricks. It also has a low platform that is comfortable for pushing. It’s kind of an all-around board.” Specs: Length: 42.5” (107.95 cm). Width: 9.5” (24.1 cm). Wheelbase: 28” (71.1 cm). Topmount, birch core wrapped in aero-grade multiaxial fiberglass/carbon fiber. MSRP: 199 €
Crownboards (Belgium) – Royal Tribe Ebony Dew from Australia:
LUCA longboards (Poland) – Luca Ballar Team rider Anita Rabazo from Spain:
“The length and width allow me ultimate freedom to dance around the board with flow! Though I’m not a pro in traditionalstyle skating, the wide twin-tip kicks make room for learning new tricks and incorporating them into my longboard dancing vibes!”
“I love skating with the Luca because of its stability and lightweight construction, which makes it perfect for hand tricks. Another advantage is the symmetrical shape, which allows me to feel comfortable while throwing tricks because I can control each kicktail equally. The kicktails are perfect – I am able to pop the board very easily and without problems.”
Length: 118 cm (46.5”). Width: 22.5 cm (8.9”). Wheelbase: 80 cm (31.5”). Kicks: 12.5 cm (4.9”). Weight: 2.2 kg (4.85 lbs.). Graphics on both sides. Available in three different flexes. MSRP: 199 €
Length: 121.5 cm (47.6”). Width: 24 cm (9.45”). Wheelbase: 80 cm, 81.5 cm, 83 cm (31.5”, 32.1”, 32.7”). Concave: 1.1 cm (0.43”). Weight: 1.85 kg (4.1 lbs.). MSRP: 199.75 €
Majutsu (France) – Butò Team rider Cécile Lahaie from France: “I’ve been longboarding for four years, and I think I’ve found THE board. I prefer doing tricks, but I like dancing too, so the Butò is just perfect for me (I am 180 cm): lightweight, symmetric, wide tails (good for G-turns and launch tricks), very reactive in dancing with the concave, and comfortable for steps thanks to its 120 cm length.”
Length: 47.25” (120 cm). Wasp waist width: 9” (22.9 cm); maximum width: 9.85” (25 cm). Wheelbase: 33” (83.8 cm). Topmount with wheel wells. Flat cave: highest 0.5” (1.27 cm); lowest 0.3” (0.76 cm). Large tails: 6.7” (17 cm). Gripped with two sizes of grains. Bamboo core, carbon finishing. Two different flexes. Weight: 2.2 kg (4.85 lbs.) for Flex 2 and 2.4 kg (5.3 lbs.) for Flex 1. MSRP: 230 € CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM | 79
Timber Boards (Netherlands) – The Timber Tortuga Team rider Nadya Doerga from the Netherlands: “The Timber Tortuga is a really great board for me because the length and width are perfect for dancing and the kicks are perfect for freestyling. I am 158 cm. The Timber Tortuga is really light for its size, and it has an insane durability. That’s why I think the Tortuga is perfect for me!”
Quin Boards (Germany) – Dancing Green Caroline Kaes from Germany: “For me, and my height of 1.67 m, the Dancing Green strikes a perfect balance between size, weight and shape. It has enough length for smooth dancing, yet it is still light enough for grab tricks. After riding the Loaded Tan Tien, the symmetrical shape of the Green feels comfortably familiar; it’s like I always have my own mini stage with me wherever I go.”
DID YOU ? KNOW Grip tape: In dancing, more and more skaters aren’t using grip tape because it grips when you don’t want it to. For example, if you want to walk faster, then turn or pirouette. If you don’t want to miss out on grip tape completely, then you can rub a stone on the grip to make it smoother, or only place grip tape where you need it. Shoes: Make sure you’re wearing comfortable and fitting shoes that allow you to feel your board. Giulia Alfeo, 2015 So You Can Dance champion, shares a tip she learned from figure skating: “Tighten up the laces, especially around the ankle, for more support and control.” Trucks: 50-degree trucks fit best for nice flow and carves.
Length: 115 cm (45.27”). Width: 22.5 cm (8.85”). Weight: 2.0 kg (4.41 lbs.). Wheelbase (inner bolts) 70.4 cm–76.4 cm (27.7”–30.07”). Midboard concave: 0.7 cm (0.275”). Stance concave 0.9 cm (0.354”). Bolt concave: 0.6 cm (0.236”). Rocker: 0.6 cm (0.236”). Bamboo-fortified kicks, wheel wells, lots of wheelbase options. MSRP: 184.95 €
Bushings: The bushings you ride make a big difference. They should fit your weight and type of tricks and moves you want to do. A nice rebound is necessary for smooth carves – if your bushings are too hard, they won’t respond or allow you to skate smoothly.
Length: 118 cm (46.5”). Width: 25 cm (9.8”). Wheelbase: 77 cm (30.3”). Symmetrical design, topmount, rocker, wheel wells, kicktails, carbon fiber, glass fiber. MSRP: 199.90 €
Maria Arndt is the creator and editor of S*pin magazine – a magazine that emphasizes women in longboarding. spin-skate. com “It is important for us to provide images that will properly represent women in sport; to give them a platform or showroom to present and represent themselves, we want to provide a magazine with real role models and real action-packed photos
Kingpin: Don’t tighten your kingpin too much. You should tighten it until the bushings are fixed but the hanger still moves smoothly.
and sports images to help inspire whoever may read it. We want the content to push ourselves as skaters and expand our knowledge about the skating world. We also want to provide content that is interesting to every skater, regardless of gender, skill level, background, age, etc. We want to represent the sport properly with a female and male reach, not letting any specific sex role dictate anything but to showcase that anybody can do anything.” – S*pin editorial team
photo | MAIK GIERSCH
owner/founder- Buddy Carr
Metro Wheel Company | PO BOX 1895 | Carlsbad California 92018