Vol.10 No.5 SPRING 2012 • $4.95
ATTACK OF THE GROMS FREESTYLE WORLD ROUND-UP LONGBOARDING & SPIRITUALITY PART 2
Brad Edwards with a layback shark attack. Photo: Dan Bourqui
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SPRING 2012 28
THE GREENE REPORT
DON’T JUDGE A BOOK
SPEEDBOARDER OF THE YEAR
STARVING ARTIST GUIDE
IT ONLY GETS FASTER FROM HERE
LONGBOARDING & SPIRITUALITY
NO ORDINARY JOE
FREESTYLE WORLD ROUND-UP
IAN COMISHIN – TRAVEL PORTFOLIO
PUBLISHER/EDITOR SENIOR EDITOR ART DIRECTOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR DOWNHILL EDITOR PHOTO EDITORS IGSA WORLD CUP EDITOR SLALOM/FREESTYLE EDITORS CONTRIBUTING EDITORS ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER CORRESPONDENT I.T. DEPT. HEAD COPY EDITOR PROBLEM SOLVER HEAD OFFICE
Vol. 10 No. 5 SPRING 2012 Michael Brooke | firstname.lastname@example.org Blair Watson Mark Tzerelshtein | MarkintoshDesign.com Buddy Carr Jon Caften Jon Huey | Dan Bourqui Marcus Rietema Richy and Maria Carrasco Erik Basil Malakai Kingston Karl Bornstein Jim Kuiack Rick Tetz of CalStreets.com Jonathan Harms Bud Stratford | email@example.com 1136-3 Center Street Suite 293 Thornhill, Ontario L4J 3M8 ph: 905.738.0804 Buddy Carr Designs PO Box 1895, Carlsbad, CA 92018 firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 760.722.4111
CONTRIBUTORS (In order of appearance): Albert Miller, Xavi, Dan Bourqui, Mark Golter, Michael Ray, Joe Onorato, Giuliano Berarducci, Jared Greene, Eric Wagner, Erin La Grassa, Dave Kessler, Heidi Lemmon, Rodgon, Nadine Fontaine, Taylor Bissett, Neil Carver, Lance Dalgart, Ben Young, Dusty Ray, Jon Wallace, Mike McLaren, Gary Loeffler, Monty Little, Kai Dunkel, Dennis Grunow and Aria Pramesi. Special shout out to Matthew of ExploreCorps.org. concretewavemagazine.com Concrete Wave is published by North of La Jolla Inc. Subscriptions (5 issues) are US$26 FIRST CLASS or CAN$26 (US$44 outside North America). Address change? Mag not arriving? Email us... don’t go postal. We can sort it out. email@example.com. We will notify you when your subscription expires. Publisher’s permission is required before reproducing any part of this magazine. The views and opinions expressed in Concrete Wave are not necessarily those of the publisher. We happily accept articles and photos. Please contact the publisher directly at firstname.lastname@example.org before you submit anything. We are looking for a variety of stories and images as long as they are skate related. COVER 1: Natalie Das, Desert West Skatepark, Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Albert Miller COVER 2: Artwork by Xavi
OPENING SPREAD: Rider: Sergio Yuppie. Photo: Dan Bourqui WELCOME TO THE FINE PRINT AND WELCOME TO 2012! As I write this Fine Print, the skate world has just learned of the passing of Larry Stevenson. Who was Larry Stevenson? Simply stated, he was a visionary. He was the man who took the magic of surfing and merged it with what at the time was considered a mere toy. He instinctively knew that if he created and developed the world’s first real skateboard, amazing things could happen. He marketed a product that was a lot more functional than the toy skateboards, and an explosion of customers followed. By his efforts Larry spawned a movement that has allowed millions to enjoy concrete waves. Through his company, Makaha, he wasn’t just the first to produce a professional skateboard. He was the first to put on skate demos and contests and to sign pro riders. As publisher of Surf Guide, he was able to infuse surf culture with “the magic rolling board.” But Larry didn’t stop there. He developed the kicktail and founded Poweredge magazine with his son Curt. I was fortunate enough to interview Larry twice. He was a humble guy who helped create a multibillion-dollar industry. He truly is the godfather of skateboarding, and the world is a better place because of his remarkable efforts. On behalf of skaters past, present and future: THANK YOU, LARRY STEVENSON!
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GROMSBri&dgGEEZERS ing the gap I
only have one really clear memory of being 5 years old. I was staring at a new color television set that had been delivered to our house. The year was 1969 and the Apollo moon landing was all over the news. So, other than hearing Beatles songs on the radio, the original moonwalk from Buzz Aldrin is all I seem to recall. Skateboarding wasn’t going to be a part of my life until six years later. So you can imagine how I felt when I saw this pic of 5-year-old Jude Young. He’s been skating since the age of 3. He’s learned to skate fast, stop fast and of course do stylish Coleman slides. As you’ll soon discover in this issue, there is a gang of groms down in Laguna Beach, California, and they are truly a force to be reckoned with. If Jude sticks with longboarding until he’s 65, this means six full decades of rolling. But why would he want to stop at 65? After all, that’s just an
arbitrary number. By the time Jude hits his golden years, medical advancements will probably mean he’ll continue to skate well into his 90s … or beyond. In fact, kids Jude’s age could find themselves skating for a century. Talk about the fountain of youth! On the flipside of the groms, we’ve got a tremendous number of adults who are finding joy in either discovering longboarding or getting back into it after a long hiatus. It’s a phenomenon that is starting to resonate widely. As I was preparing this issue, the New York Times contacted me about a story on folks over age 40 who find themselves addicted to skateboarding. Skategeezers of the world, unite! So if longboarding has the ability to bridge the generations, where does this take us? One idea that I am sharing with readers is the concept of
“search/spark/stoke.” The fact is that if you search for something that provides you with a deep sense of fulfillment, creating a spark of energy, you want to share this with others. This leads to spreading the stoke – which is precisely why I created Concrete Wave. In the spirit of this message, I am pleased to announce a new regular feature entitled “Search/Spark/Stoke” that details the ways people are sharing their passion within the world of skateboarding. No matter what generation you’re from, we know these stories will inspire you. Enjoy the issue! Michael Brooke, Publisher
Golter Photo: Mark Jude Young.
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LETTERS >> THE TRIBAL VIBE Just wanted to say the article on longboarding and spirituality was excellent reading. I don’t think personally that longboarding/ skateboarding and spirituality should be a touchy subject; I think from personal experience they meld together nicely. Mainstream religion on the other hand is another story. In my view too many people think you have to be religious to be spiritual. I like to strip the dogma and baggage and go to the source. Longboarding/skateboarding do that for me personally, as do gardening and growing your own food. Also the movie The Drifter with Rob Machado has that deep surfer spiritual/tribal vibe to it too. One of my favorite things to do in summer is finish up work in the gardens and then take the 44 Dogtown to the river nearby and cruise a few miles of concrete bike paths, especially near sunset. Great view, and I can connect with the rhythms and cycles of nature; nice sun meditation also. I see it as a way to tap into my spiritual side. Same with short boards too. It may be a little stronger with longboarding, but I also like to skate our bowl at the skatepark at sunset – there’s something special about that. I see longboarding and skateboarding as having a tribal/spiritual vibe. It’s up to the individual to tap that. One example is the All Nations Skate Jam in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An annual event in April, it’s geared for the Native American culture there, but all are welcome. They have tribal dancing, and a smudge ceremony to start things off for those who want to take part. I would love to see CW do an article on that event; it’s 2-3 days long, so it has lots of action and fun. Hope to go there someday and check it out. The video can be found on Vimeo. I am starting my 34th year skating, so as you know when you have done it that long, there is something a lot deeper that becomes a part of you – skating in the blood/spirit … call it what you like. Hope the next part is good reading also. And the Tom Sims article was great too – lots of interesting reading in this issue. Thanks. Steve Ford Casper, Wyoming
ODE TO THE ETERNAL BOND OF FRIENDSHIP Almost 40 years old and still we are best friends. Now ever since 30 years! Riding our five-and-ten pool skateboards during the ’80s, we felt free! Followed by a period of being busy with education, family and work and – unfortunately – without a skateboard. Whenever I am riding my longboards nowadays I feel it again: an incredible sense of independence and ease! Long periods of training various sportive disciplines, having programs, pursuing goals and sustaining efforts are behind me! Jeff Tatum Everything is different today, because now Ph oto : Michael Ray I indulge my passion of riding my longboard – light as a feather! And I feel perfectly happy! Even though it´s only for a few minutes. The most wonderful moments we are having together – rocking the asphalt and sharing our common fascination. Or at least let the mind wander to these moments. As much as the amazing impressive pictures and the fantastic descriptions of the varicolored world of boards in CW, we are also immortal. Our friendship will last forever – no matter what happens! Thank you, Thomas – I am so glad that you exist! You infected me with the “longboard virus.” Now both of us are seriously and irreversibly diseased. Thank god! I am looking forward to each session with you and also to each CW-issue! Andreas Kiel, Germany
COMFORT ZONE I was writing to you guys to tell you how longboarding saved me. I started skating about a year and a half ago. I have diabetes, so sometimes it is tough to feel at home with something. I like a lot of things but sometimes doing them is hard or has restrictions. This is why sometimes I felt like I didn’t fit in. While I’m on my board, I am totally comfortable. Longboarding has really changed my life in many ways. Now I’m on YouTube at night searching for videos on how to do a new trick or waiting for the next video in a series to come out. It has given me a whole new mindset, and half of the music that is on my iPod is on videos. Longboarding has also introduced me to a whole new breed of people. When I go snowboarding, I notice that most of the people are mean or unforgiving. But in longboarding, everyone has a smile on their face and will push toward learning that new trick. I just wanted to thank you for bringing notice to this beautiful sport, and I hope you will be around for a while. Maybe in a few years longboarding will bigger than it is and you will be more popular. I hope to see that day. Trevor J. Massachusetts
NEVER MISS! You can now read ® Concrete Wave on your iPad
It’s only $1.99! And you can enjoy the full edition plus extras. For $3.99 you can get a full year – 6 issues.
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NOTEWORTHY >> PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS SECTOR 9 The new Apex Glove by Sector 9 will make you so much better that your girlfriend’s friend will probably try to hit on you. Now if that happens you’re just going to have to figure out what to do – maybe let them know you have two gloves, one for each hand. Aside from possibly causing girl problems, this new glove will glide you through corners and high-speed drifters. The Apex has a reinforced cuff, more padding in the palm, and a soft, easyaccess, sweat-absorbing nose-wiping patch has been added the top. sector9.com RIDER APPROVED DESIGNS Formed through riders looking to improve the skateboard experience, Rider Approved Designs (R. A .Designs) is a skater-driven company where all products are designed by the riders to maximize performance and the riding experience. There are no generic or house molds used, as all products are designed from the core out. The day of blaming your equipment is a day of the past. For all the info check out RADesigns.com. PHATBLOX
PhatBlox™ is a revolutionary product created to take a longboarding experience to the next stage of overall performance. Whether the rider is carving and in need of satin-smooth turns is after speed and in need of a solid ride, PhatBlox™ strengthens the board for control, agility and weight capacity. PhatBlox™ installs in minutes on any longboard and is designed to provide variable fortification to any brand of skateboard depending on the rider’s desired level of performance. phatblox.com
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one up at a skate shop near you! And stay tuned for the RPC composite race decks; Jon Butler is at it again – innovative dreaminess from our shop to your feet! Check out smokinmadlove.com. SKULL SKATES
weight and breathable, utilizing D3O VIPER Stealth back-protection technology. Removable, adjustable kidney/lower back belt will keep your insides together while the beaded silicone bands on the inside keep the Vest X in place. Also includes air-foam side rib protection. Perfect for wearing under your shirt or suit. demonunited.com SIXXA
Corpse Corps Boards is a New York Citybased skateboard company cranking out coffin-shaped cruiser decks and raw apparel. From humble beginnings as a skateable art project, Corpse Corps Boards has evolved to now produce a full 2012 line of dual-tailed coffin decks (9.25” or 10” wide), as well as graphic-heavy apparel. Through collaboration with illustrators and graffiti artists, city-based punk bands and other rad brands, Corpse Corps Boards is a fresh brand harkening an ’80s pool-rat mentality with fully thrashable American maple coffin sleds. email@example.com TUNNEL Tunnel Products is proud to announce the Tunnel Stokers, a 59mm cruiser wheel that combines Tunnel’s famous old-school style with modern performance. Tunnel Stokers are made from the highestquality urethane, poured in Huntington Beach, California. That’s California, USA, where skateboarding was born and where the world’s best skateboard products are still made! The Tunnel Stokers are 59mm tall and 43mm wide, with a 41mm running surface. They have an offset bearing core to maximize speed and grip. tunnelskateboards.com SMOKIN MAD LOVE Coming to a hood near you: the Electric Mayhem, a 1” double-drop topmount freeride; the remixed Musello, our double-kick freeride drop-through; the A.M. Bus, a topmount downhill speedboard; plus your favorites the 5150, Chello and Muse. And the Poolie! Empty out your neighbor’s swim hole and tear it up, or test its awesome tech slide abilities. Pick
Skull Skates Flat Top mounting hardware are custom machine screws that feature a larger-diameter flat top, sometimes known as a pancake head. Unlike roundhead screws, which stick up above your deck surface, the Flat Top sits flush with the top of your board. And unlike countersink-head screws, which can create stress cracks and weaken your deck, Flat Top hardware actually reduces stress by spreading the force over a wider surface area. Each set includes flat washers to protect your topmount decks from getting chewed up by the nylocks. Available in 1”, 1.25” and 1.5” sizes. skullskates.com CHURCHILL Churchill believes they have to give props to the plastic cruiser trend that has dominated the retail stores in SoCal. Yet they feel there is just something missing: wood! The solution to soggy plastic decks is this brand new 23” x 6” pressed 6-ply bamboo and maple micro skate. It has a small nose and big tail. They even threw in a little concave for good measure. Super sexy little skates. churchillmfg.com DEMON Demon has released the sickest piece of protective gear so far. Ultra-light-
SIXXA, the Austrian streetwear brand for women and crew, presents a week of skateboarding in a relaxed, all-female environment. The camp is organized with the intention to pass on longboarding skills to beginners and advanced female riders. Participants will be able to improve their skills, whether beginners’ basics such as footbraking or more advanced maneuvers such as sliding, cornering, pack riding and drafting. The sessions will be tailored in regard to the participants’ level of ability. August 5-10, Osilnica, Slovenia. womenlongboardcamp.com SKATEPHX
skatePHX is a website dedicated to showcasing all things skateboarding in Arizona. In addition to their website, skatePHX also has a house that acts as a hub for traveling skaters and visitors worldwide. The skatePHX house is located in Chandler, Ariz., just a few blocks from Tempe Skate Park and 15 minutes from the winding roads of South Mountain. Shout out to SkateHouseMedia.com for their help with getting the website up to speed. skatephx.com
NOTEWORTHY >> PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS ORANGATANG
Orangatang is wallowing in amniotic excitement to present the Balut, our new freestyle slide wheel. At 72.5mm tall (35mm contact) and sporting a centerset core, the Balut is quick, light and slippery – an optimal choice for long slides, rapidfire spins and freestyle trickery. The Balut features our new Euphorethane formula. For this wheel shape and size, it’s a magic thane: smooth, predictable slides, exceptional durability and flat-spot resistance and reliable speed control. What more could you ask for from such a flavorfully fertilized feast? orangatangwheels.com PRITCHARD
The latest breakthrough design to come out of the PSD workshop: The Twin. It gives the required support regardless of stance so boards can easily be shared. It is also the solution for ambidextrous skaters not wanting to limit themselves to a goofy- or regular-specific footstop. The unique shape, bombproof durability and proven PSD grip surface allows multiple foot-placement angles while still giving great traction. PSD: sliding, racing, pumping and pushing the boundaries of footstop design. You can take a look at the CAD image and another photo on the website: pritchardskatedesigns.com METHOD Method Skateboards’ truck design features a modified pivot position that forces the rider’s center of gravity as close to the ground as possible. While a traditional skateboard truck’s pivot
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position exists between two bushings, the pivot position of Method’s NC and ZC trucks sits just under a hardened steel hanger cap at the end of the kingpin. This pivot position increases the pivot angle, or roll axis, of the truck, which in turn allows the truck to make tighter, harder turns. methodskateboards.com POGO The POGO Freeride slide gloves have removable palm pucks, finger and thumb pads. They are perfect for warm temperatures so they don’t make you sweat. The gloves come in three sizes and all pucks are available for exchange. longboardshop.eu The POGO RoadKill is now available in custom designs. The guys at the POGO manufactory will build your RoadKill or any other POGO longboard in the customized design you want. Just like the Zebra-Look. pogo.biz EARTH
Africa to the U.S., we have hit the ground running and are ready to turn dreams into reality. earthskateboardco.com VAPUR The new Vapur® Element and the integrated SuperCap™ were designed from the ground up to meet the performance needs of outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. Our patented flexible design is lighter and easier to hold than rigid bottles – and folds flat when empty to go virtually anywhere. Available in two high-capacity sizes, the Vapur Element will keep you hydrated no matter the terrain. This foldable, reusable water bottle is ready for anything. vapur.us SK8POLE The Elite Carbon Fiber sk8pole is the ultimate in a light, high-performance design, which sets this product in a class by itself. This product sends sk8poling into a new generation. The proprietary technology includes the new ADS (Activity Damping System), which dampens energy, allowing for more power to the ground and less fatigue. Optimized flexibility allows for maximum power. sk8pole.com REVENGE OF THE DEVIL’S TOYS Revenge of the Devil’s Toys is a new longboarding film unlike anything you’ve seen before. We caught up with Fabio Palmieri of NotWorkingFilms and Giancarlo Percopo of the Montestella Crew to discuss things.
Earth Skateboard Company was formed with the expressed intent of pure enjoyment for passing on the stoke, coupled with the goal to produce the ultimate fusion of green innovation and technology for unmatched quality for DH and freeride rigs in the longboarding industry. After successfully making our transition from South
CW: Who are you guys? And why is there a talking skull in your video? Fabio: It’s a good question, and I’d like to reply that Grandpa Abrahams will be angry for your definition, he’s a really bad-ass, but I don’t know exactly why this has happened. Our story is our background. Gianka (Giancarlo) is a longboarder, besides a musician and a longtime friend of mine. I’m a director with contemporary art roots. We grew up together in the difficult reality of Naples, and since two years we make videos with other skaters from Milan, the place where we actually live. With these guys we started the “Montestella Crew.” That is not a professional sporting team, just friends sick for longboarding who meet at the Montestella Park in Milan. Our aim is to make videos with a different approach to the skateboarding, not really focused on the technical side but on the emotional and ecstatic experience. We always loved metal music, horror movies, all things weird and creepy and of course the skateboard, so Revenge of the Devil’s Toys connects all these interests. CW: The trailer is longboarding meets Quentin Tarantino. I assume he’s been a huge influence. Your thoughts? Fabio: The video is clearly a tribute to Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’ Grindhouse and to all B movies in general. At the beginning my challenge was just to mix these various genres with the longboard, but we had so much fun that the project overflowed, and it became something closer to a real feature film. Long time before YouTube and this massification of the media, we dreamed for hours on a single magazine stolen from a friend, on a single picture as the graphic of our board, until that image became the landscape of our imagination and our ride. I think this evocative aspect is strictly connected to the skateboard, and I always try to communicate it in my work. Giancarlo: A special mention to the Santa Cruz Claus Grabke “Clock” model (1988, by Jim Phillips) that stunned us for years. CW: Where do you guys like to ride? Is Milan really that flat? Giancarlo: We like to skate in every downhill spot that allows a good drift. We
NOTEWORTHY >> PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS like freeride and slide, but also downhill and slalom. We are satisfied with flat spots, too, ’cause Milan is a damned plain city – except the Montestella Park, which is a little artificial hill made by the rubble of the World War II; this is something interesting and poetic at the same time. CW: So who’s the guy with the mad editing skills? Fabio: As a director, I found in longboard the perfect stylization to tell the relationship between strength (adrenaline, downhill) and grace (freeride, dancing), as the ski jumping was the ideal stylization for Werner Herzog to tell the ecstatic moment in his Die Grosse Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner. Unlike the street skate, I think longboard embodies the most primal feelings of the board sports, where the sensation of a simple carving becomes more important than the trick itself – where the fun and the quest for feeling free remain the main goal. CW: The first Devil’s Toy took place in Montreal, Quebec, more than 45 years ago. How
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did it get onto your radar, and what are your thoughts on Claude Jutra, the director? Fabio and Giancarlo: Internet is a magical thing. The Devil’s Toy is one of those rare films that really left a great impression on you. Up to 1980, independent and low-budget productions were creative and radical, and they talked about a rising sub-cultural phenomenon. Today it seems that the appearance dominates, forgetting these experimental roots – luckily with some exceptions as [Stacy] Peralta’s work, the Z-Boys documentaries, Sector 9’s Second Nature (absolutely breathtaking) or some Loaded videos. But we’re also in the middle of a global social revolution, with such an advanced and accessible technology never had before, and skate culture is exploiting a newfound popularity. We believe that something good must come out from this. At the same time, it’s sad to notice that “mainstream filmography” [has] used skateboarding just as an excuse to justify trivial stories or as an appeal for young audiences.
LONGBOARD4KIDS Longboard4kids is back for its second year this June. The event is a 10-km longboard and skateboard push along the Toronto Waterfront in support of Coast to Coast Against Cancer, to help children living with cancer. Last year more than 100 riders participated and we raised more than $15,000 for the cause! This year we have teamed up with NXNE Music Festival to put on a concert after the ride. The event takes place at noon on June 16, 2012. longboard4kids.com I LOVE DH Make sure you head out to New York State on June 23 for this exciting event.
More than 400 people showed up at the annual Roarockit Swap Meet on March 25 in Toronto. A huge thanks to Ted Hunter and Norah Jackson for their generous hospitality. For more on the Ontario longboarding scene, visit ontariolongboarding.com. CORRECTIONS • The Triple 8 Glove was incorrectly shown in Vol. 10 No. 4. • By mistake, the Sk8Kings bag was not reproduced in the 2012 • Buyer’s Guide and the Cadillac Wheels entry was not correct for the Buyer’s Guide.
SKATEBOARD SHOPS LIST ARIZONA Sidewalk Surfer 2602 N. Scottsdale Road Scottsdale 480.994.1017 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.sidewalksurfer.com CALIFORNIA IFYI Inc 1083 Bedmar Street Carson Board Gallery 3333 Newport Boulevard Newport Beach 714.902.3769 Cellular Skate 6787 Carnelian Street Alta Loma 909.941.1004 Mike McGills Skate Shop 335 First Street Suite #S Encinitas 760.943.7730 Ollie Angel 235 Palm Avenue, Imperial Beach 619.575.7357 Mike’s Bike Shop 5507 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles 323.935.4338 Viva Skateboards 1709 Howard Road Madera 559.664.8997 Bill’s Wheels Skateshop 1240 Soquel Avenue Santa Cruz 831.469.0904 Purple Skunk Purpleskunk.com 5820 Geary Blvd. San Francisco 415.668.7905 CCMF/Toyland 1260 Palm Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805-801-6653 email@example.com The Trading Post 622 Upham Street San Luis Obispo 805.801.6653 firstname.lastname@example.org Sonoma Old School Skate and Surf 1001 Broadway Sonoma 707.938.5500 skatesos.com Cellular Skate 287 Mountain Ave Upland Tel: 909.981.8856 email@example.com Maui and Sons 1415 Ocean Front Walk Venice Beach mauiandsons.com COLORADO All Board Sports 1750 30th Street Boulder 303.415.1600 Diabolical Boardshop 4255 S.Broadway, Englewood CONNECTICUT Skate Pusher 57 McIntosh Drive Bristol 860.593.4550 Skate Valencia 68 Leonard Street, Bristol 203.524.4675 GEORGIA Feral 190 Park Avenue, Athens 706.369.1084 Skate Madness 13800 Hwy. 9 N., Ste. D 145 Alpharetta 770.410.3456 skatemadness.com Woody’s Halfpipe 6135 Peachtree Parkway Suite # 603 Norcross LOUSIANA Board Lords Mall of Louisiana, 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd. Suite # 2044, Baton Rouge, 225.769.1222 MASSACHUSETTS Boardroom 6 Armory Street Northhampton 413.586.8857 MICHIGAN Ollies Skate Shop 120 ½ E Maumee Adrian 517.265.2031 Dubz Bikes and Boards 14 North Washington,Suite A, Oxford, MI 48371
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Want to know where to find Concrete Wave мagazine? Would you like to find all the amazing skate gear you see in these pages? Look no further than our shop list. If you’d like to have your shop listed here, it’s easy. Simply send a check for $115 to Indaba Group PO Box 1895 Carlsbad California 92018 or PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 760-722-4111. You’ll get 10 copies of 5 issues mailed out along with this complete listing. For international rates, please email us. Yes, shipping is included. If you think your local shop or park should be carrying Concrete Wave, email email@example.com. MINNESOTA Old School Skaters 1119 NW 2nd Street Faribault 612.578.3326 www.oldschoolskaters.net MISSOURI Genesis Skateboarding 13 NW Barry Rd. #147 Kansas City 816.456.1307 genesisskateboarding.com MONTANA Wheaton’s 214 1st Avenue West Kalispell 406.257.5808 wheatonscycle.com BlackTop Surfshop 176 5th Avenue West North Kalispell 406-752-6006 NEW JERSEY Black Diamond Skatepark 400 Route 38 Unit 1610 Moorestown NEW MEXICO Koa Nalu Surf Shop 8254 Menaul Blvd NE Albuquerque 505-332-SURF koanalu.com Timeship Raicing 825 Early Street Suite H Sante Fe 505.474.0074 timeshipracing.com NORTH CAROLINA Soul Ride Skatepark 6049 Victory Lane Concord 704.454.7433 soulrideskates.com We’re Board Inc Skatepark and Shop 1423 North Church Street, Ste 104 Burlington NC 27217 OHIO Old Skool Skateboards 19E College Avenue, Westerville firstname.lastname@example.org OREGON The Uprise 1110 NW Van Buren Ave, Corvallis 541.754.4257 541.480.4254 thelongboardstore.com The Longboard Store 1238 SW Wheeler Place Bend 541.480.4254 thelongboardstore.com Daddies Board Shop 7126 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland 503.281.5123 daddiesboardshop.com Gorge Performance 7400 Southwest Macadam Avenue Portland 503.246.6646 The Mountain Shop 628 NE Broadway Portland Rip City Skate 1510 NE 37th Ave. Portland PENNSYLVANIA Rayzor Tattoos 4 South Front Street Steeltown RHODE ISLAND Seven.Ply 3 Canal Street Westerly 401.348.0656 TENNESSEE Planet Sk8 7024 East Church Street Suite 2 Brentwood 615.377.1947 Sk8sations Skate Shop 3032 N.John B.Dennis Hwy. Kingsport 423.245.0994 email@example.com VIRGINIA EastCoast Boardco. 10358 Fairfax Blvd. Fairfax 703.352.4600 x:8 213 25th Street Va Beach Black Cat Skateshop 1325 A West Main Street, Charlottesville 434.244.0014 WASHINGTON Gravity Sports 126 Rainier Ave South Renton 425.255.1874
Mountain Goat Outfitters 12 W. Sprague Avenue Spokane Motion Boardshop 8316 Aurora Ave N., Seattle, 206.372.5268 motionboardshop.com ALBERTA Avenue Skateparks 9030.118 Avenue NW Edmonton 780.477.2149 Easy Rider 4211.106 St., #153 Edmonton 780.413.4554 Pipeline Surf Co 780.421.1575 Comasports 10B-200 Barclay Parade SW 403.233.8841 powerinmotion.ca Royal Board Shop, 814 Edmonton Trail N.E., Calgary, Alberta 403-277-3601 Royalboardshop.com BRITISH COLUMBIA Area 51 191 Station Street Duncan 250.746.8869 a51.ca Raven Skate Shop 411 Campbell Street Tofino 250.725.1280 ravenskateshop.ca Salton Rides Saltholidays Island, BC 250.537.4984 firstname.lastname@example.org Switchback Longboards 4385B Boban Dr. Nanaimo 250.751. 7625 ONTARIO Hammer Skate Shop 2225 Queen Street East Toronto, 416.698.0005 Hogtown 401 King Street West, Toronto 416.598.4192 McPhails 98 King Street North, Waterloo 519.886.4340 QUEBEC DLX/Deluxe 2480, chemin Ste.Foy Ste.Foy 418.653.0783 dlxdeluxe.com OVERSEAS AUSTRALIA Boardshop Australia — boardshop.com.au 04 15883371 — email@example.com Cre8ive Sk8 — 5/244 Ross River Road Aitkenvale — Queensland 4814 Australia BRAZIL Ultra Series Skate Shop Tel.:55(41)3023-2480 — ultraseriesskate.blogspot.com FRANCE hawaiisurf.com GERMANY seasondistribution.com, concretewave.de Hackbrett Longskates Im Wechselfeld — 12 St. Peter firstname.lastname@example.org longboarders.de — Gustavstrasse 49 90762 Furth email@example.com — Tel: 0911 9772500 JAPAN Y & T Fussa Fussa — 2348 Fussa Fussa City — Tokyo — 1970011 Clover Skateboard Shop — 1-21-3-1201 Befu Jyounan Fukuoka 8140104 — Japan ITALY The Skateshop via A. Grossich 11, 20131 Milano Italy firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 0039 (02) 706 019 71
NETHERLANDS Sickboards Marcelisstraat 80b, 2586RX Scheveningen, The Netherlands, 31-70-7533548. Sickboards.nl NEW ZEALAND Serenity Island Surf & Skate Café 202a Wainui Road — Gisborne — serenityisland.com Ultimate Boards 3/1043 Great North Road Point — Chevalier — Auckland 1022 New Zealand — ultimateboards.co.nz UK octanesport.com skateboardsofchoice.co.uk Bath, United Kingdom — Tel: + 44 1249 715811 Sk8s Go — General Juan Cano 40 — Colony San Miguel Chapultepec — Mexico, D.F 52-55-58132448 Soul dh Alameda Picaflores — 245 San Borja — Lima 41 — Peru Skate of the Nation — Unit 6 GYY Building # 1 Tomas Morato 1100 — Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines Indiana Sports GmbH — Elbestrasse 14 — Wald, 8636 Switzerland — Contact: Christof Peller ON.LINE RETAILERS allboardsports.com blackholeboards.com covertskates.com coldwarskateboards.com daddiesboardshop.com denverskateshop.com ffashop.com genesisskateboarding.com longboardskater.com longboardshop.de longboardstore.com longboardskater.com milehighskates.com motionboardshop.com muirskate.com oldschoolskates.net pressuredroplongboards.com sickboards.nl sidewalksurfer.com sk8supply.com socalskateshop.com tactissk8.com tailtap.com vslboardshop.com
LONGBOARD MILANO ITALY 2012 BY JOE ONORATO My name is Joe Onorato. I have been a street skater for more than 30 years now. About 10 years ago I created my own skateboard brand called MC Skateboards. I design my decks here in my hometown of Milan and have them produced in California, and I have my team of skaters. Some time ago I read an article in Concrete Wave about small/medium companies that still produce decks in the U.S. Well, I represent one of those really unusual things here in Europe. I love skateboard decks. I consider myself a true old-school skater, besides being a collector of both decks and completes of every kind from slalom to downhill, whether skateboard or longboard. About six years ago I opened my own skate Cristian Cannella takes flight. Photo: Giuliano Berarducci shop (The Skateshop) in Milan. As a passionate supporter of true hardcore skateboarding, I created my shop as the only real authentic skateboard shop in probably the whole country. I love spreading skateboard culture 360 degrees and selling highquality stuff and collector pieces to real skaters and longboarders no matter their age or sex. Over the last two years I have also become really addicted to longboarding. Thanks to Concrete Wave, I get the chance to follow the news in the longboard scene worldwide and keep myself updated. I really hope to meet you guys someday and talk about the skateboard scene here in Italy and of the emerging longboard scene. I hope you like this article. Please donâ€™t hesitate to get back to me for any info or details. Thank you.
Mustafa Dchoughi and Victor Gallo enjoy the cones. Photo: Giuliano Berarducci
Giuliano Berarducci, frontside boneless. Photo: Joe Onorato
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Welcome to Italy: a country that spreads out vertically a bit like the state of California, made of big cities but kissed by the Mediterranean Sea on both sides. Here we are in the north, in my city, Milan – an old yet modern town full of concrete spots! Here too just like in California, there is a small percentage of oldschool skaters who contributed to make the history of skateboarding over the last 30 years and never dropped their love and passion for the deck. I am one of those. And since my love for skateboarding is so strong and I am a fan of details such as how the deck is made, I couldn’t help but fall in love with longboarding and its wide-ranging world of decks.
Davide Castro finds his own concrete wave. Photo: Giuliano Berarducci
The longboard scene in Milan started also thanks to CW, in recent years. The curiosity for this new concept of moving around first, and later discovering new ways of using this new deck, has been growing steadily and touching longboarders of every age, sex and culture. The great thing about longboarding is that it’s really getting together people who are otherwise so different; if it weren’t for longboarding, they would probably never even meet each other! Longboarding is invading the city more and more and creating atmospheres rich in enthusiasm and vitality. There are also a few skilled craftsmen who hand-shape decks, cutting new shapes from old decks or changing dimensions and colors of existing decks, reinterpreting their own vision of what a longboard can be. The weather here is mild enough and we can ride our longboard for most of the year, both in summer and in winter. Also, since this is a totally flat city and it’s still growing and enlarging, traffic is increasing and more and more people find it cool to ride their deck as a transport through the city. The streets of concrete are perfect to ride with any decks, from the weirdest cruiser to pintail decks or freeride completes of any dimension. This wide variety of choice is attracting people who can more easily find a deck for their own needs and taste. It’s getting more and more common to spot longboarders around in the city or even skaters moving around with a bigger cruiser deck as transportation. Sometimes on Sundays the traffic is stopped for the whole day and we get the chance to organize some meetings at the Castle in the center of the city. Lots of people meet with all sorts of decks and cruise around even with red lights and on the wrong side of the road and spend a great day out with everyone who wants to join just for fun and sharing the adrenaline of longboarding.
It’s a bit harder to meet during the week since the crowd is so varied – some people still go to school, some others work or have families and kids, and so on. So that’s why we established one official day for longboarders from around Milan to meet: our Longboard Wednesday, which happens every Wednesday throughout the year (we only quit if it’s raining hard) in the evening until 2:00 in the morning. We meet on an artificial hill that was built after World War II and is now a park with flat spots and downhill paths. The name of the spot is Montestella and we meet at the public parking. There we usually use both spots: the flat one for slalom and freeride and the steep one for sliding and downhill craze. The use of a helmet and safety gear is strongly recommended, which also gives the right feeling of freedom and of competition – although actually in the crowd there is no competition at all. We are always helping each other to improve our movements and tricks, which results in lots of personal satisfaction when you can make some technical trick and create some positive adrenaline to get rid of that metropolitan stress. In Milan I founded my exclusive and very radical hardcore shop named The Skateshop. There I carry all types of products for real longboard and skateboard fans. It’s also a place where real skaters meet and where we talk about technical things or news on the scene. I have customers from everywhere in the world, and I just love the feeling I get when some tourist or foreigner visiting Milan enters my shop with his own deck and looks around fascinated by our little museum. They tell me their story, and this really shows that we skaters and longboarders are one of a kind and understand each other no matter where we are from! So if you’re passing through Milan, please come and visit us! Or contact us at email@example.com. I’ll be glad to inform you on everything you need to know about longboarding and the city scene and spots. Here you’ll see some mixed pics of people cruising the city – random shots taken in city areas just to show you how this city is ideal for whoever wants to start riding a deck. And also some shots taken at the Montestella hill! I would like to thank all of the people who do not appear in the pics, as it is not possible to mention everyone who usually rides with us. I hope I was able to talk well enough on behalf of all Italian longboarders and express the enthusiasm of the longboard scene in Milan. CW
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ENEApe for THE GREGoing REPORT Green Banana BY JARED I. GREENE
Frontside ollie on a Green Banana. Rider: Eric Wagner
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nderground, in the corner of a dimly lit basement with a hazardously low ceiling, is a green banana – or rather, many green bananas. This basement corner is where James Giberson manufactures and presses boards for his company, Green Banana Skateboards. But what makes Green Banana different from any other skateboard manufacturer is that its boards are made from 100% recycled plastics. In such a small working space is a manufacturing revolution. Some people recycle boards to make things like furniture, but where else have we seen boards made of recycled goods? I wasn’t sure what to expect when meeting James; I knew very little about him and was referred to him by a guy I’ve never actually met in person. For all I knew he could have wanted to kill me and my camera guy in his basement and made a jacket out of our skin. But that wasn’t the case. Instead he was very excited to see us and show off his banana boards. To understand James Giberson’s motives, just think about the products he sells. Other than his boards, he enjoys recycling what many would call useless crap and making it into art. He frequents farmers’ markets to
procure old TVs, sheet metal and whatever else he can get his hands on to use as media for paintings. There are hundreds of vinyl records throughout the entire house, many of which are jazz albums. But James doesn’t stop there. He also produces his own tunes with a compact music lab in another corner of his basement, which houses many of his vinyls and some of his paintings – several of which are jazz-inspired. James is a true DIY guy; at the end of his interview he let us play around with some musical instruments he made and painted himself. James is committed to being green and living an organic lifestyle. He has an organic vegetable garden in his backyard with a considerable variety of plants, and he even served us some of his freshly brewed “life tea.” I think it’s safe to say that James Giberson is the embodiment of his green company ideals. Green Banana Skateboards claims to be the first and only skateboard company to sell 100% post-consumer recycled boards made from American recycled plastics. The company currently has four plastic board shapes: the Lil’ Nanner Eco deck, the Eco Cruiser, the Eco Longboard and the Flat Eco board. The Eco Cruiser comes with nose and tail kicks; the Lil’ Nanner comes with just a kicktail; the Eco Longboard and the Flat Eco are both flat. Green Banana also offers two wooden deck models: a seven-ply Canadian maple street skateboard design and the 11-ply Baltic birch Spearhead, which uses no inks or dyes. What’s even more outstanding is that board prices range from $28 to $50. To finish the green cycle, completes are sold with Satori wheels that are made with recycled wheel cores and a cornbased “bio-urethane.” Now, it’s all well and nice to have a company that makes green boards, but the most important question is: How do they ride? The boards are super-durable and will last through years of shredding. Regardless of your style, these boards hold strong after all the abuse you can throw at them, much more than any wood deck could ever handle. They carve quickly because of their small design (excluding the longboard model) but can be prone to wheelbite. They show no signs of a loss in structural integrity after months of grinding, so it’s safe to say that these boards can handle as many curbs as you can crash into. Not only that, but you can drive over them with a truck and they’ll still skate away from it.
Eddie Coleman up the Jersey barrier.
Eric with a backside noseslide.
After the interview, we left the basement and headed out for a skate. With ominous storm clouds lingering above, we set out on the Green Banana boards. As we rode, lightning flashed across the entire sky. Just three minutes away from our destination, a parking garage, it started raining like a monsoon. By the time we got all the camera gear set up, it was raining so hard that the area started flash flooding, including in the parking garage. But this was of little concern, you see, for the Green Banana boards are completely waterproof. In fact, they will even float on water if you skate through a big enough puddle – or if you find yourself spontaneously falling into a sewer manhole while cruising down the road. The massive puddles that formed in the parking garage made for great filming, as did the strange geyser-like water projection from a small drainage grate. James pulled out a gnarly nose manual through one of the puddles, leaving a wake behind him. Despite the lousy weather, we still managed to get some very interesting footage of the Green Banana boards in action, which will be available on the Interwebs. Green Banana boards are perfect for campus cruising because of their agility and size. They’re also good for riding in parks and bowls because of their strength. That they’re made of 100% recycled plastics just makes them all the better; you can sleep easily knowing that you helped out the environment just that much more. CW
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BY ERIN LA GRASSA | PHOTOS: ALBERT MILLER
Erin La Grassa
ruth. What a concept to ponder. I don’t mean by definition exactly, but rather in regard to a lifestyle. When Michael asked Paul and me (Paul is my business partner and husband) to write about how the “oh-so-controversial” female cover shot from last issue’s Buyer’s Guide came about, we knew the answer had to come from me – because I am an owner of Deville Skateboards, and I am female. The truth of the matter is that Paul is the visionary of Deville Skateboards and Navigator Trucks. He grew up in Ventura, California, surfing, skating and tinkering with old-school cars. I grew up in Arizona dancing and watching my brother play football. Big difference when it comes to our backgrounds and what we bring to the table for Deville and Navigator; yet both of us equally navigate the male-dominated skate industry, and I’ve been blessed to simultaneously work in the action sports industry as a business owner and in the NFL as a cheerleader. Cheerleading in general and owning a longboard business as a female obviously elicit sexist reactions from some individuals.
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I’m accustomed to men that won’t look me in the eye when they meet me, or men who won’t address questions to me in a business meeting; after I ask a question, they look past me and directly at Paul. I also know that some men perceive me as a ditzy cheerleader who likes to shake pom-poms for a living. Or perhaps they think of me as a mere “piece of ass.” The truth is, I’m not too concerned about how others perceive me anymore … though I wasn’t always that way. I tried out four years in a row and was told I had a weight issue before finally making it onto the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleading Team. My first season I was benched the very first game for weight, and was on “weight probation” the entire rest of the season. If that’s not sexist in some way, I don’t know what is. However, the issue wasn’t really about what the male population wanted to see on the field; it lay within me. I didn’t have enough confidence to get over it. I’ve always been a pretty confident person, but my coach found a way to bring out my biggest insecurities and broke me down. Still, after three seasons of cheering
We don’t have an ulterior motive on how to gain exposure by the use of females. I have experienced plenty of sexism in my two career paths to know that it’s my choice whether to give in to such ignorance.
Deville Pin-up "Hazel" Erin La Grassa and Deville Pin-up "Hazel"
and enjoying my final one as a captain of the team, I thank her. She pushed me to grow a tremendous amount, and I am a better person because of it. Her lessons helped me in business as well, as I am better able to accept the men who can’t handle a successful woman. I am also able to appreciate the girls who may have a different opinion of our cover shot. You see, when I thought about adding a Deville Pin-up Girl Team, I didn’t foresee it as an offensive gesture to lady riders or any industry supporters. The era of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s is part of our image, and we find the women of that era to be extremely classy and adventuresome. It was an era when women started to have a voice and started being proud to be women. Similar to what Jeremy McCandless said on longboardism.com in regard to our cover, “The female on the cover is not some do-good girl who is offended by what anyone thinks of her; those types of girls were wearing skirts back then, with poodles on them. The females who stole away with their boys to the races wearing make-up, heels, and tight jeans were living on the edge … Much like a skater.” Jeremy understood the entire concept. We don’t have an ulterior motive on how to gain exposure by the use of females. I have experienced plenty of sexism in my two career paths to know that it’s my choice whether to give in to such ignorance. I personally liked Melody Monet’s comment about the cover: “I don’t know if this denotes a swing in attitude towards female racers but I think if women are involved, they will always be partially judged by their looks. Even when it doesn’t seem that it is happening.” Wow. What a true statement. Just like racism. It’s absolutely obscene to be racist, but it’s still out there. As a female (or simply as a person, for that matter), the difference is how you react to it. That’s the only choice we have, isn’t it? Our reaction? Regardless, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’ve experienced enough and am confident enough in myself that criticism doesn’t affect my forward progression – it helps me. The biggest lessons I’ve learned thus far in life are from failing. So, I see it as giving women more position in the industry. My hope is that all
people will refuse to allow ignorance in our society to deter their true purpose in life … or in the industry. Though I am not a professional longboarder, I love to longboard. I respect what it takes to be a longboarder/skater, I love being a part of this industry, and I am especially stoked on what last issue’s cover has “created” for the females of the sport. Last issue’s lady of the hour, Deville Pin-Up “Hazel,” can also longboard. I will mention that it’s not smart to judge a book by its cover. Yeah, she looks hot, but that doesn’t define her. Put simply, that shot resulted in another female on this issue’s cover. We will continue to stay true to our core values and visions as a business and the experiences that advance them. It’s important to know what the people think, but even more so to stay true to ourselves. CW
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SPEEDBOARDER OF THE YEAR:
Photo: Dave Kessler
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SWITZER BY JON CAFTEN
ownhill skateboarding has without a doubt reinvented itself in the last 24-36 months. The sheer number of players in the game has exploded; kids are annihilating asphalt on all corners of the planet. Organized races are in such multitude that on any given summer weekend these days you can probably choose between 10 to 20 closed roads anywhere in world; freeriders now make up the mass of DH skaters out there. We’ve gone from one pro freerider for every 10 pro racers a few years ago to virtually the reverse. The limit to who’s sessioning and what’s being sessioned on any given day is now virtually indefinable. With an amazing video coming out every few days from the residents of the apartment that houses SkateHouse Media, plus the steady supply of images and video clips loaded onto Facebook and other forms of Internet addiction, it’s really hard for a downhill skater to stand out anymore. Standing out is not only what sponsors hope for from their team riders; it’s also actually a conditional demand that sponsors can put on a rider if he doesn’t want to get the boot. Podiums aren’t enough, but they are still not ignored – not yet, anyway. Within this melee, Patrick Switzer still continues to inspire and impress upon the global DH skateboard movement, and his contribution has been undeniable to the advancement of the sport, lifestyle or whatever else you want to call it. Sometimes known as P-Swiss (which will be the last time you see me use that name in this article, as I find such NASCAR-type nicknames lamer than skating with flat-spotted wheels on polished Greek marble), Pat was originally called the Fur-trapper – a nickname that few of us know from back before Patrick was roaming the world in a set of leathers paid for by BCIT. Prior to being known for blowing by people at 80km/h hour, Pat was a worldclass slalom skater – imagine that! This niche of skateboarding is still largely overlooked by the greater skateboard world. It is truly an art form that needs to be seen in real life to realize how integral its core skills are to the heart of skating. The Fur-trapper is not alone, either; the slalom world has produced some of today’s best downhill skaters, including Zak Maytum, Pascal “Rookie” Jean, Aki Von Glasow and Ramón Königshausen, and the reason is simple: They can charge on loose trucks. They can avoid the carnage of
falling riders, deal with crappy asphalt and, most importantly, find traction when their bodies are really far away from their boards. Anyone who was paying attention to the world of DH skating in 2011 couldn’t conceive of anyone who merits Speedboarder of the Year more than Pat Switzer. His merged skill in freeriding and racing were unchallenged, save for a few runs at him by the other big guys like Kevin Reimer and James Kelly, whom we fully expect to be making runs at Pat anyway. I always try really hard to keep the announcement of Speedboarder of the Year a secret, usually employing diversionary tactics to get secret interviews out of the selection without them realizing they are getting interviewed for this article. This year we tried using the ploy that Concrete Wave was doing an article on the Greener Pastures video series with Patrick so CW readers could get to know him. But he never really bit into it, so we were left with almost no choice but to make this whole thing an opinion piece. I have known Pat since the early 2000s, when slalom was his world and he began his foray into the DH world while acting as Toronto’s source for product with Longboard Haven, his bedroom-operated longboard retail store. Back then, if you wanted a decent DH board you had to drive two hours to McPhail’s in Waterloo, where Jamie Merrifield had the foresight to get his bike shop to stock the longboards all the Toronto core skate shops turned up their noses at. Pat’s little business was really a break-even operation, as any profits he made went to keeping himself supplied with the newest rides and paying for trips to as many races as he could get to. Fortunately a good friend of mine, Rob Sydia, has started a management company to represent DH skaters when negotiating sponsorship deals so the terms are equally beneficial to the rider and the company. I say fortunately because Rob has been working with Pat to help him get his salaries and travel funds sorted out. Rob also helps me pressure Pat to finally answer his damn questions! In the interests of keeping this piece short on words and big on pictures, we have pared our conversation a lot; my questions are for the most part omitted, or I made up new ones that Pat hasn’t even seen just to keep it flowing!
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JC: Pat, give us some background. PS: I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Hanover in Southwestern Ontario. Since we lived a kilometer from town, I used whatever means needed to travel independently: my bike, rollerblades, an ATV, eventually a car, and finally, of course, a longboard. Questioning my parents about my roots usually results in some sarcastic answers like “Remember that time you killed a groundhog with my nine-iron?” from my dad and “Like when I got called at work because a client said you were snowboarding off the roof?” from my mom. I guess I was convinced as a child that my antics would somehow get me in trouble. Word got around town fast. [But] knowing it could end badly didn’t seem to stop me from acting out. Since Grade 6 I worked many part-time jobs enthusiastically, often with people much older than myself. It was good learning to work hard, manage money as much as you can as a kid, and learn some business sense from my parents. I was taught at a young age to “work with my mind, not my back.” JC: What about skateboarding? PS: I was introduced to longboarding in 2002. In my town I was an outsider with a weird-looking skateboard. Regardless, the stoke and experience of doing something different than the crowd intrigued me. Days after graduating from high school, I moved away from home to the big city of Toronto, where I was by then actually already living fairly independently for my senior year. JC note: For those who have met Patrick, you’ll already know he is a very industrious individual. He once told me a story of how he managed to convince a local bigbox hardware store to replace his cordless drill every month as he kept trying new models, never being quite
JOHN BARNET INTERLUDE PST = P-Swiss Time. For someone so fast, it’s amazing how often he is late. About the only thing Pat can do fast is skateboard down a hill. The Swiss, who are always on time, had some issues with Pat’s ability to be places on time; so they decided to figure out exactly what P-Swiss Time was. They concluded that PST means exactly 1½ hours late. Pat has always been the first down the hill and the last in the car. Pat got hungry one year at Top Challenge; he looked at the time and decided to get a hot dog – and missed his heats. Luckily for him, P-Swiss time doesn’t occur when he’s rolling downhill.
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MATT ARDERNE INTERLUDE Pat’s task as producer [of Greener Pastures] was never going to be easy, although I don’t think he really anticipated how hard it was going to be. Trying to get eight skaters ready to skate at the same time is like herding cats, and someone always needed to quickly change something or eat something justwhen things had finally started running smoothly. And if someone wasn’t blowing it, the Swiss “summer” weather was always there to end the day’s filming – rain at 3 p.m., almost every day! satisfied with the next machine on the list. He needed the drill for a construction job he had for the summer and by the end of the season he traded the last drill back in to the store for a cash refund. I have always admired and been appalled by this analogy, but it certainly demonstrates Pat’s ability to survive and not waste a penny if it can be avoided. As an adult he genuinely knows how to give his sponsors the most bang for their buck. Wastefulness is just not in his lexicon – that is, except in relation to time. Take it away, John! (See John Barnet Interlude at left.) JC: Let’s get back to his rise to fame, wealth and scores of admirers in Ontario. PS: It didn’t take long before finding and immersing myself in the “Ontario Longboarding” community. I soon after started Longboard Haven, a downstairs skate shop for the core community, and began reaching out to the industry. At this time our crew thought we were the few ones bombing hills, learning skills slowly as a group. I remember when learning to tuck with your back knee
behind the front leg set you apart from the crowd, and when getting close and bump drafting was the scariest, most intense thing that could happen! I had a near-fatal car accident in late 2007, which gave me a new insight to life, and to live it! In early 2008 I moved to Vancouver, aiming to go back to school at BCIT and follow the West Coast longboard movement. During the flight I stared wide-eyed out the window all night, looking at the lights of little communities all across the country. Focusing on the hard stuff kept me going, I was not the type to take it easy. Moving to Vancouver put me closer to the West Coast skaters, and they were always there to look up to. I was exposed to their superior skill set at Top Challenge in Montreal in 2006, back when it was my first race with no chance to qualify. JC: In the past few years Pat has traveled immensely, done battle for the podiums, and on many occasions stood right at the very top on awards night. Last year he took the IGSA World Cup Series title, which some people
Patrick channels his inner Paul Simon: "I am a rock." Self-portrait at Machu Picchu, Peru.
believe makes him the world champion. But his greatest contribution this year was to stick a gang of the world’s best riders in a bus, tour through southeastern Europe and the Alps and film five amazing episodes of Greener Pastures. The result was a stunning array of shots, well edited and well diversified both in styles of riders and the various terrains each one excelled in. (See Ramón Königshausen Interlude at right.) Pat took on the role of negotiating travel funds not only for himself but also for all the skaters he invited on his Greener Pastures project. My own sponsor got into lengthy debates with Pat on how he was going to guarantee viewership for the investment, and without ever putting a number on paper, Pat was able to squeeze the amount of cash he needed for my teammate and many other companies’ riders to be there. Pulling the best from all over the world was Pat’s main goal, and his promises came true; having that much talent all together has made his movies worth watching over and over again. (See Matt Arderne Interlude on opposite page.) JC: Pat is no doubt redefining what it means to be a pro DH skater. NOS energy drink plans to support him as he tackles new roads and new racing environFullbag had his loyalty for quite some time, but as we went to press, word got out that he has moved to Rayne Longboards; and BCIT can rest assured that thousands of kids worldwide who would have never had reason to ever type that acronym into Google are now considering getting their postsecondary education on Patrick’s path, which includes some of the world’s best skateboard runs in the Greater Vancouver mountains. PS: Since skating is my passion, not my life, the first goal in skating has been not to go into debt because of it. For the summer of 2008 I lived off prize money and worked odd jobs on the road. In NYC I bargained at fruit stands to eat for $3 a day just so I could keep skating all summer. The second goal, which is more of a life goal, has been to always be upgrading my skills – to not become stagnant. I’ve learned as much as I can from everyone I could.
RAMÓN KÖNIGSHAUSEN INTERLUDE Greener Pastures? Ha ha! We all know Patrick needs his time at the bottom or top of the hill, but makes up for it in between the two! Still, I think Pat has taken a lot from his time in Switzerland, such as a watch and a Swiss lady! You’re never late when you’re meeting up with Patrick. However, sometimes it’s reviving to take it as easy as he does. I was positively surprised how well we got along living together in such a small space; we both like to sleep in on the morning, and we both share a big interest in eating healthily. He had to get used to Swiss stores not being open on Sundays, so sometimes we had to drive out to a gas station for food! Once the rental car was gone, he was using my train pass. We went to skate one of the hills that has a gondola to the top and took a different train so we could cheat with the pass. I was expecting him to take the train 30 minutes later, but instead he only showed up at the end of the day. I thought he’d gotten on the wrong train or something, but instead he just spent the day P-Swissing and left super late. He sleeps in the basement when you have lady friends over. Oh, and one more thing: I keep getting FedEx bills for stuff that he had ordered to my house. Traveling and meeting new people with different styles gives me the best opportunity to develop my own style and learn problem-solving skills when out on the road at speed. Now I’m riding switch because I like the challenge, and I started the 2011 season riding my Elise backwards because it was harder, and maybe a little to mess with people! I tend to involve myself with as many mini and large projects as possible. Some great opportunities have come out of the last few years for the simple reason that either a question was asked or help was offered. Thanks to everyone. JC: We could have gone on a lot longer here, but Mister Brooke has his deadlines and Pat can talk with quite a bit of detail and articulation. We spoke at length about the need for a riders’ union, his upcoming trip to Malaysia, his aspirations of completing his engineering studies and much more. Maybe we’ll do a coffee-table book on Pat in the future, but for now he’s CW’s Speedboarder of the Year. Congrats, Pat! Keep up the great work! CW
"Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night shall stay Patrick from the swift completion of his appointed rounds." SPRING 2012 CONCRETE WAVE 61
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E K O T S / K R A P S SEARCH/ #1
Three children at Door of Faith Orphanage, La Mision, Mexico.
Editor’s Note: Welcome to a new feature here at Concrete Wave. As some of you are aware, the original slogan for CW was “100% Skateboarding.” In both editorial and ad content, this should have been obvious – we’ve never run an ad for hair gel or beef jerky. And last year, we decided to really get to the heart and soul of what this magazine stands for. This is where SEARCH/SPARK/STOKE came from. There are many different layers to SEARCH/SPARK/STOKE – it just depends on who you are and what drives your passion. For some, it’s a soccer ball or a chessboard. But if you’re reading Concrete Wave, we know that as a skater, you’re continually searching for new places to ride and meeting up with new people to ride with. As you discover new environments, you begin to really understand how longboarding sparks your passion. Finally, you realize that spreading the stoke of riding is the essence of longboarding. The process keeps repeating as one part feeds off the other. After all, it can be as enjoyable to watch others learn the joy of rolling around on four wheels as it is to actually skateboard yourself. Of course, where things go really depends on you. Which leads us to our first column. I have known Heidi Lemmon for a number of years. As the executive director of SPAUSA (Skate Park Association of the United States of America), Heidi has tirelessly promoted skateboarding and worked in several different areas including insurance, contests and skatepark advocacy. When Heidi told me she was headed down to Mexico to introduce skateboarding to an orphanage, I knew that her story would be perfect to kick off this column. If you’ve got a story of SEARCH/SPARK/STOKE, we encourage you to send it in.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY HEIDI SEARCH/SPARK/STOKE? Darn you, Michael ... easy, but then again not so easy to write about for someone who is dedicated to fun. So I have to think deeper and go deeper into what drives the search for fun and what it is we consider to be fun and ultimately rewarding.
Kilian gives two boys their first skateboard ride at La Mision.
Daniel Cuervo, impromptu demo and lesson on the beach in La Mision. 64 CONCRETE WAVE SPRING 2012
SEARCH We are always searching for opportunities to have fun, whether it’s a bootleg competition, a photo shoot at 6 a.m. on a Sunday, a demo or contest in a foreign country or a teaching opportunity. This year I had a booth at Surf Expo and met Wesley Stewart from a community service organization called Urban Surf 4 . He said he wanted to bring skateboarding to his surf programs in Mexican orphanages and asked if that would be something we could do with him. There was no pay – in fact, it would cost to participate. Still, it sounded like a lot of fun to me. While still at Surf Expo, I talked to Daniel Cuervo, a Spanish-speaking pro skater from the Dominican Republic who rides for Maui and Sons and Jimmy’Z, and he said for sure to count on him. Next, I texted Kilian Martin, the innovative freestyler from Spain, who speaks Spanish (of course) and rides for Vision and Powell. Within minutes he texted me back a very excited YES! Kilian also asked if we had room for Shane Hidalgo, who rides for Gravity Skateboards, Tracker Trucks and Skateboard Socks – and just like that, our search was complete. Three amazing pro skaters and an adventure.
SPARK These pros have what it takes to create a “spark” or ignite a special feeling in someone watching them skate. Our goal was to create a spark within these – to generate a feeling that they too could belong to a bigger family, one that lived outside the orphanage. STOKE To keep the fire burning. This is always the challenge. To go and do one demo might search and spark, but stoke is the key. To keep that fire or feeling alive and burning. Shane, Daniel and Kilian were all aware that for us to go just one time and not return would be to abandon these all over again. To give them a taste and then take it away is not our style. Going into this adventure, the skaters knew it was a commitment that was going to require many trips to these orphanages, and ultimately the success of the program would lie within our teaching and creating teachers within the orphanages. We would have to do this for free, as volunteers, and also raise funds for the trips and equipment. Still, it was a no-brainer – we were in. Why? Because this is what we do: search, spark, stoke. Or as we like to say: have fun. After a lot of going back and forth to pick up forgotten passports and directions, we finally crossed into Mexico on a Friday and headed south to meet up with Wesley in La Mision, a small town about 45 miles south of Tijuana. Of the town’s 920 residents, 110 of them are children living at Door of Faith
Shane Hidalgo, frontside power slide. Town square, La Mision.
Shane, boneless at Niños de la Promesa orphanage, Tijuana. Kilian ollies a bench during his demo at Door of Faith.
orphanage. We got there in the afternoon and checked into our rented house, which to our surprise was very nice. Once we dropped things off, our next stop was a small diner with some of the local , who quickly adopted us and stuck by us the entire trip. We had a freestyle demo and clinic planned at a spot in town, but no one really knew we were coming because the fliers had been stolen along with a computer a few days before we got there. Still, in a small town like La Mision, word travels fast. We started with a handful of , but within an hour we’d attracted a sizable crowd nearing 100 or so, and most of the jumped right on our boards and blasted around the court. On Saturday morning, Daniel, Shane and Wesley took the local surfing and Kilian and I headed to the Door of Faith Orphanage (DOFO). Neither of us had ever been to an orphanage before and we were not sure what to expect; I have worked with inner-city and in foster care for years, but this was a first. We entered the orphanage through big gates and found it to resemble a nice summer camp: small bungalows , all painted bright colors, and lots of play areas. The were excited to see us and could not have been sweeter. I did not see one crying child or one child who looked uncared for. And though we only had six demo skateboards, there was no fighting over the sharing of the boards. Kilian wowed the with his demo and in no time he had them skating, doing
handstands and even taught a couple to ollie. One of the boys was ollieing over boards and down two stairs within an hour! That afternoon we went to our next stop: Niños de la Promesa orphanage in Tijuana. Most of the children at DOFO had been abandoned because of poverty; at Niños de la Promesa, most of the children had been rescued from the Tijuana red-light district. Their mothers are working girls and many are addicted to drugs. There are about 80 children at Niños de la Promesa, and many are siblings. The orphanage overlooks the beach – through a steel fence. Again, the were well cared for and very excited to see us. Many of them were teenage girls who fell instantly in love with the handsome skater boys. For the most part, these wanted the company more than the skating. They wanted to be seen and talked to. It made me wonder about all the teens and men who go to Tijuana to drink and have a good time. I bet they never think about what they might be creating and leaving behind. On Sunday morning, we packed up and headed home but could not resist stopping at the beach, where we managed to get another little demo going and spark a few more . Many thanks to Powell-Peralta and Doogood for the completes we were able to leave at the orphanages. We will be going back next month to keep the fires stoked! For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. CW
(L-R) Shane, Daniel and Kilian.
Shane and Kilian with children at Niños de la Promesa with their new Steve Caballero deck from Powell via the Doogood Conservatory. SPRING 2012 CONCRETE WAVE 65
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BY NADINE FONTAINE | PHOTOS: TAYLOR BISSETT
ow, this was harder than I thought! Putting myself out there like this and writing an article with the intent of spreading the stoke and awareness of longboarding, while entertaining a community of riders and readers that I admire. But hey! Here I am. My name is Nadine Fontaine. I’m 34, a born and raised Island girl, mother, artist and business owner who resides in Kelowna, British Columbia, with my beautiful daughter, Jordan Roberts, a.k.a. Jordo. And of course why else would I be in this rad magazine if I wasn’t a stoked longboarder for life who should have been ripping 15 years ago. If you’re wondering what sparks a new passion like this so late in life, then I say, “It’s better late than never” – or “It’s an early midlife crisis.” Of course I’m not having such a crisis, but longboarding was a lifechanging activity for me. Because of past insecurities and lack of self-confidence always holding me back, there’s no way I could have done this in the past, or without my Jordo. I love being able to show her my confidence in this sport and I always emphasize to her the importance of trying new things, because you never know what you might be missing out on. I say life-changing because before longboarding, my daughter was what kept me on my toes. I spent four years working crazy hours as a freelance designer, with most days ending around 3 a.m. My thought process was, “Stay up and get the job done and have less to do tomorrow.” But the reality was, “It never ends.” It wasn’t long before these working habits caught up with me, physically and mentally. I slowly went
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downhill, and not the kind I enjoy today! The isolation and stress I experienced from running a home business started showing itself through social anxiety, depression, insomnia and poor nutrition. I spent a year living with daily pain caused by kidney stones and a staph infection, and by the end of that year I was admitted to the hospital for acute liver failure. Two weeks later I felt better than ever, and after wasting a year like that, it was definitely time for a change! Talk about my body trying to tell me something! The first move I made, and what I think helped me find longboarding, was hiring a business coach/hypnotherapist. I’ll spare you the details, as I know some might think it’s a strange method of counseling, but it worked for me! This professional taught me about realistic goal writing, time management skills, relaxation techniques, coping skills and realizing that I had to start looking after myself by eating properly, getting enough sleep and exercising daily. I learned that you can’t be good to anyone or anything if you’re not good to yourself. One of my goals was to find an activity that would get me exercising and get me outside every day;
something inexpensive that didn’t require much traveling, not a team sport (I need flexibility with my work). And I also wanted to excel in whatever this activity was. Having my goals reinforced with hypnosis and relaxation techniques made a strong impact on longboarding becoming a part of my life. Even though I included a timeline for completing this goal, I walked away thinking I had to make it all happen. I tried and researched many different sports, but could never find anything that appealed to me or excited me. Eventually I became frustrated and gave up the search, and honestly never thought about it again – until this article. Currently, I’ve been longboarding for one year, and it’s been six months since that timeline expired. Today, I’m sliding, freeriding,
was sleeping. I found that night riding worked best for me because days and evenings were reserved for work and time with my daughter. To be honest, I actually grew to love the solitude of riding alone at night. But please, ladies, realize when riding alone at night you’re putting yourself into a high-risk situation. One night I was skating a place that I had ridden several times before. Since I felt comfortable and aware of my surroundings, I didn’t bother stopping my music or removing my headphones when I was taking breaks or changing the position of my video camera. When I got home and watched the video clips with sound, I could just faintly hear two men talking in the background. Yikes! After months of solo riding, I started to feel the need
bombing hills and getting prepped for my first race: the K-Kountry Outlaw Race, happening this March. I think I can now say, “Goal completed!” Because this process came together when I stopped searching for it, it reminded me of the saying, “If you’re looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right, you’re probably not going to find them.” I remember the moment I fell in love with longboarding. It was actually a few weeks before the timeline expired on the goal, but I did not realize it at the moment. I was browsing YouTube one night, and whatever I searched pulled up two of the first longboarding videos I’d ever watched: Let Go, with rider Kyle Chin (this one still gives me goose bumps) and Go Longboard 2009 by Original. These videos are iconic to me, as they stoked my fire and made me a longboarder for life. The next day I did some research on the sport and then headed down to a local board shop, “Freeride,” where I fell for what I think is the sexiest board around, the Addict by Sayshun Longboards. Finding and having the right setup was important, and I think I lucked out with mine – from the deck name to the graphics, board shape and ride and, of course, the people behind it. When I first started longboarding the most logical time to get out was around 8:30 p.m. when my daughter
to meet other longboarders. I felt ready to step it up a notch and start learning from real people and not just YouTube tutorials. Near the end of the season I came across a local longboarding group on Facebook: the Kelowna Longboard Alliance, which was started by Josh Boehlke and Danny Carlson. I was definitely nervous on the first few group rides I attended, knowing I was probably the only girl and the oldest person there. I had no idea what to expect, but when it came time to ride with them, I was glad that I felt confident enough as a skater to join them. After months of riding with these guys, I’d say I’ve finally met some good people and found my place among a rad group. Although we’ve noticed a quickly growing number of Facebook group members, I still have yet to meet them all. I definitely would like to give a shout-out to the regular shredders of the group and say thanks for welcoming me in and pushing me out of my comfort zone and being regulars. Group riders sponsored by Bucsu Boards: Josh Bushke, Danny Carlson, Ave Tron and Tristan Kodors. Other group riders: Mason Peters, Spencer Elliott, Adrien Howard, Zack Thiboutot, Victor Farkas, Jess Tinling and Taylor Bissett (also a photographer). I wanted to encourage everyone, especially the ladies out there, not to be shy or insecure about learning to
longboard or getting out with people you don’t know. I can tell you from experience that letting those insecurities hold me back made me miss out on a lot of good stuff. We are all good, nonjudgmental people who love our sport, and if you’re willing to learn, put in the time and want to spread the awareness of longboarding … then we want you with us! The Kelowna Longboard Alliance is developing a strong group of devoted and stoked shredders, and by summer we’ll have a website, weekly organized group rides, T-shirts and sponsored local events. As a business owner, I see a growing potential for my business within longboarding. Lately I’ve been focusing on the longboarding market and growing a reputation for my work within the industry. I believe in making sacri-
Photo: Andrew Barker
fices in order to get your foot in the door, and I am finally starting to see some contracts coming in and relationships building. My business, iconicdesigngroup.com, offers graphic and web design, marketing, writing and multimedia custom art. I will be content and feel satisfied with the outcome of this article if it makes an impact on any of the following: increasing awareness within the community; helping spread the stoke; encouraging safety; promoting the group; and of course, getting more girls out there. C’mon, ladies! I’ve never had better legs or abs than since I started longboarding! It only gets faster from here! CW YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/nadeenf7/videos Online portfolio: iconicdesigngroup.com Email: email@example.com
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Old Venice studio: A life spent in the garage.
BY NEIL CARVER PHOTOS: LANCE DALGART
n 1969, when I was 8 years old, my family moved to Hawaii from upstate New York. My father worked for Pan Am airlines, so we moved every year or so, and this was just another of the brief stops along our circuit. Home was a little bungalow in Kailua Bay, on the windward side of Oahu. The single garage out front was a dark and musty shack full of junk and a workbench with some old tools, and it was there that I found the parts to make my first skateboard. Amidst the Bustello coffee cans full of rusted nuts and bolts and screws and the cobweb-covered boxes of old junk, I found a stenciled wooden NO TRESSPASSING sign and a steel-wheeled roller skate. With an awl and a flathead screwdriver I attached the rusty trucks to the sign with wood screws from the coffee cans. The trucks barely turned, though, so I tried to loosen the kingpin. It had a super-wide, shallow flathead screw head at the top that threaded directly into the baseplate. In perhaps a foreshadowing of what would later become my life’s work, I wrestled with the adjustment of that kingpin in an attempt to improve performance, and while I held the board down with one hand and twisted on the screwdriver with the other, the screwdriver slipped off the shallow slot and I stabbed myself in the hand.
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We often hear about gifted people starting their craft as children, in a way that almost seems predestined. They seem to just know from the start that they were meant to do that thing. But is that looking at it backwards? What if it’s just that if you stick with something long enough, you have the time to attain true expertise? Author Malcolm Gladwell says it takes about 10,000 hours of diligent practice to attain real mastery at something. His research shows that “masters” are often just people who hit the 10K hour mark early in life. But what of the rest of us, who’ve not been so stupendous? Maybe we did know better as kids, unencumbered with too much logic and flush with enthusiasm, but we took a few turns along the way. I wonder if any of those hours are still transferable later in life … I n 1 9 7 2 my family moved to Rio de Janeiro, a vast beachside city surrounded by low-lying mountains, providing perfect beaches and lots of hills to skate. We lived near the base of Corcovado Mountain, so a skateboard was the perfect way to cruise down the hill to the bus stop half a mile down. It took several crowded buses to get to my best friend Angus’s house so we could meet up with another friend, Richard, and skate around the hills of Larangeiras. I rode a garage-made,
solid mahogany wedge-tail deck that had AC/DC burned on the bottom with a soldering iron, mounted with a pair of Bennett Pros and blue Kryptonics. We’d “catch cars” by lurking on the corner at the bottom of the hill and grabbing on to a bumper, a door handle or whatever and stealing a ride up the hill. Sometimes people would speed up to see if we’d let go, which made it more fun, but pretty stupid too, and then we’d carve back down and do it again. I think back to how dangerous it was and I shudder; when we “caught buses” the driver would often try to shake us off like we were flies on his back, swerving his way up the hill and nearly grazing parked cars. It got super-sketchy as the bus drivers escalated their maneuvers, so we started “catching blind,” where we rode directly behind the bus so they couldn’t see us. One day Richard’s skateboard fell into in a new sinkhole in the middle of the road while we were hitching a ride up for our first run of the day. It happened so fast he just hung on to the bumper for a few seconds, literally sliding on the bottoms of his shoes. They got hot really fast, so he kind of rolled onto his back, still holding on to the bumper, and now sliding on the back pockets of his Wranglers. I shouted for him to let go, but he just stubbornly hung on, and stared at me until his ass got so scorched he finally did let go. He slid to a stop, jumped up and grabbed at his ass like he was a cartoon character trying to outrun the heat. Searching for the answer to why we do something is like pulling a loose thread at the edge of our philosophical fabric, slowly unraveling it until there is only a pile of threads with no decipherable meaning. Deconstructing our reason for acting digs at the core of our
humanity. We act for both selfish and altruistic reasons, for survival and enjoyment, for challenge and reward. What’s so difficult is that no one reason answers the question fully. I n 1 9 9 2 I was an industrial designer living and working in a small converted storefront on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice. It was a tiny place, but it was cheap and near the Breakwater, a dirty little surf spot of occasional quality. My best friend Greg was an accomplished artist and surfer, which meant he also had the freedom to pursue crazy ideas and the skills to make them happen. He had just bought a cheap foreclosed house 200 yards from mine. It stayed empty for several years while he worked on it, so we played ping-pong in the living room and skated to the kitchen and back. Like living a second childhood, we surfed and skated and got a heavy game of pong going. But mostly we wanted to surf our skateboards, and we thought we could do better than what we could find at skate shops, so our central pursuit became making the perfect surfskate. B y 1 9 9 7 we were manufacturing a really solid truck, the first dual-axis model, and taking full advantage of that fact by surfing all over the streets of Venice, Santa Monica and Mar Vista. Our local favorite was always Marine Street in SM, though. It was the steepest hill nearby, and it had great banks lining both sides for two blocks. And if you hang around a place long enough you begin to notice things. One of those things was the “gate tube.” We were waiting at the top of the hill one afternoon, catching our breath and waiting for the car cycle to clear, when we noticed the automatic parking gate for the corner apartment building open slowly, arching out
“Why, or why not; that is the question.”
over the sidewalk as it hinged upward. After the car drove out, the gate stayed open for about 8 seconds and then started to pivot back down, and as it did it made a wave-like tube of steel. If you timed it just right you could drop in from the top and cut into the driveway just as the gate started closing. And if you hung back a little more at first, it would close overhead so you had to crouch super-low to make it out. The bottom turn into the sidewalk was tight too, due to a tree right at the corner, so if you made it through you were rewarded with a 20-foot bank to carve up, take a snap at the top and spit out at the bottom. It’s 2 0 1 2 , and I’ve been thinking a lot about my history with skateboarding in the search for this answer to Why, and the idea of an Evolution of Why begins to emerge. Doesn’t our motivation evolve from day to day, year to year? If it might have started as a fun way to live, has it now grown to include other reasons, like a sense of responsibility for the lives of our crew, our distributors, our riders? These days I’m lucky to do what I love, every day, with cool collaborators, and spread good fun to riders worldwide. The letters of stoke we get every week truly spur me on. I am satisfied, and it feels ungracious to demand an answer to a question that ultimately would not change any of it one bit. So, instead of trying to pin down this ever-evolving, context-dependent, multifaceted answer to Why, I choose a much simpler question: Why Not? What could possibly be the legitimate purpose of strapping a skateboard to a surfboard and taking it down a hill? How can one justify such an action with a straight face? So after all is said and done, maybe a short answer to the deceptively simple three-letter question “Why” might be found in another equally small, equally mysterious three-letter word: Fun. All of this pondering has made me hungry, and I can’t stop thinking about the ceviche truck on Rose Avenue. The tart, limey juice and chopped fish with Cholula on a tostada sound like just the right thing to eat on this spring day. I grab a board with my new favorite CX truck set and head out the door. I push down the sidewalk, dip down a curb cut to the street and around the corner to the alley, where there’s a 200-footlong little bank providing the perfect incline for a fast pumping line complete with a few roundhouses. The air feels cool on my forehead as I session it a few more times. Then I take a left down a two-block-long stretch of brand new asphalt, and the hiss of urethane underfoot feels like velvet. I push harder to get some speed coming into a series of driveway banks connected by a narrow sidewalk. I pump up each one, snap at the top, ride down the incline and bottom turn into the sidewalk, pumping into the next bank. Everywhere I look the streets are perfect for surfskating, and I plan the ride back while I sit on my board, eating in the sun. CW Neil Carver is a trucksmith living in Venice, California. He and his neighbor Greg Falk are partners in Carver Skateboards.
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Front row: Jude Young and Skyler Golter 2nd row: Chance Gaul, Matt McClements, Ethan Vinograd, Judson and Hunter Vandertoll, Sam Daneshek, Danny Ronson, Jesse French Back row: James Adams, Roger Jones and Ryan Marx
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ATTACK OF THE
MICRO-GROMS G BY BEN YOUN ER & MARK GOLT
aguna Beach, California, is, and always has been, at the forefront of all things surf and skate, so it’s no surprise that a new generation of “micro-groms” is rising there. These tiny young skaters share something our generation and the generation before us also shared: a brotherhood. An ideal, a philosophy, a way of life – call it what you wish, but it’s all about the shared experience and passion for what you love. These little guys have it ingrained into their psyche. It’s who they are. This is a good thing. These kids are too young to know or understand that there are stereotypes, obstacles or even injuries in their future. Their future is pure – something that, if we dig deep enough, we too will remember was the essence of what drove us to do what we loved and still love: expressing ourselves. It is the embodiment of downhill skateboarding and of board-riding, period. Allow me to present you with profiles of two of these microgroms, virtually one and the same – with different parents…
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With moves like this, Skyler could easily be renamed Styler.
Skyler Golter The son of acclaimed downhill pioneer and super-legit dude Mark Golter and his wife, Kelly, 6-year-old Skyler is a product of his environment. He grew up riding, watching the sport online and going to races as his father stayed involved in the sport after a decorated career. Fearless from the start, Skyler loved skating fast. So Mark dialed in specialized equipment to accommodate him. When Skyler was about 3 years old, Jerry Madrid, owner of Madrid Skateboards, helped out by making him some custom boards. Once Skyler became comfortable riding longer topmounts, Mark converted some to drop-through mounting, with shorter wheelbases. Their extra control and stability helped Skyler’s confidence go through the roof. One of the first things Mark taught Skyler was effective braking. Learning several techniques with both feet and hands helped him stay in control, also leading to more confidence. Riding safe hills was another important lesson Mark taught Skyler. “Skating the right hill is key to having fun,” Mark says. “The perfect hill must match your talent level while creating a challenge.” Skyler’s riding progressed as they constantly rode different terrain. Mark, Kelly and Skyler searched and drove countless hours for the right places to ride. Mark likes to note that “Skyler has never been injured, while consistently pushing his limits and trusting my judgment and coaching.” One thing that sets Skyler apart is his belief in his own ability and his willingness to go for it. This tenacity drove him to become, at age 4, one of the youngest known drifters. Now at age 6, he is switch sliding and comfortable in the 25 mph range. He is competitive, loves to race and knows his equipment. The entire Golter family supports his progression in the sport, as long as he is having fun. Skyler enjoys skating anything and loves making friends. Meeting many other groms and experiencing their support during the last three years has given him great self-esteem and something to feel stoked about.
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Skyler swings through a Laguna hairpin.
We can’t progress our future without understanding our past, so we asked Mark Golter to give us his version. Here’s how it looked through his eyes …
Mark Golter lays it down in Laguna.
“I was born and raised into a third-generation Laguna family, I grew up on Hidden Valley Lane (Park Avenue S-Turn) and began skateboarding in the mid-1970s. My first influences were the local skaters like Charlie Ripley and Jack Deny who bombed hills barefoot wearing no gear. Park Avenue attracted the best riders, and many pros rode it regularly. In 1980 I met Roger Hickey and Dave Perry, who came every weekend riding luge and standup. These guys were the real deal and inspired me to get serious about downhill. I began considering safety, as they rode in helmet and leathers and used equipment like drop-downs and wedged trucks. “Our current form of freeriding exploded in Laguna around 1985 after the release of the Bones Brigade video Future Primitive, introducing predrifting. Many Laguna skaters began Coleman sliding with thick Frisbees used also in air braking. Others like myself focused on speed and tuck. “As downhill gave way to street through the 1990s, Laguna skaters remained true to riding fast. We carried our own pride and held our own events such as Skyline Downhill and 3rd Street Bomb. Toward the mid-1990s, FIGR (Federation of International Gravity Racers) and EDI (Extreme Downhill International) downhill races grew in popularity. Most Laguna skaters refused to leave town and make commitments toward racing, so I branched out alone, eventually putting our town on the World Champ map. “After countless podiums and international accolades, there was and is a next chapter. In 2003 I went down hard, receiving my fifth concussion. I decided it was time to leave the sport. EDI and the Gravity Games had folded and the sport was not thriving. I had no regrets and transitioned these passions into family life. Shortly after Skyler was born in 2005, the sport began to show life again. IGSA continued running events and younger riders began competing. YouTube videos became popular, drawing more skaters and fans and adding to the sport’s growth. Riders began making custom product, accelerating the sport’s progression. Eventually it came back to Laguna as Evren Ozan, Bryn Jones and the LBDR crew (Laguna Beach Danger Riders) began pushing the boundaries and creating followers.” Fast-forward years and careers ... The issue of validating and preserving our sport is seemingly always “on the docket” somewhere, and Laguna Beach is no stranger to this. For the past year or so, Laguna locals and brand owners alike have come to Laguna Beach City Council meetings many times to fight the good fight and preserve the hills for the future generations. So far only eight hills have been banned, and the council has become increasingly understanding of the skaters and their rights. Many of the groms have spoken very eloquently at these meetings. Even Jude and Skyler got up (lifted up) and spoke to defend their sport! Finally we are being heard – not for us, but for our micro-groms and all of the generations to come! Go out and protect the future, micro-groms everywhere! Skateboarding is threatened in many places around the U.S., Canada and the world, so it is imperative to become active and save our local hills so the micro-groms can continue to have the sport they love!
Jude Young gets a gentle nudge from his brother Sam.
Ben Young takes things toeside.
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Another successful event in SoCal.
Jude may be dwarfed by the board, but his talent is not.
Jude is the son of (comparatively) unacclaimed but world-traveled surf explorer and skater Ben Young and his wife, Kimberly. At only 5 years old, Jude is another rising “mini-star” of the freeride world. By growing up in an epicenter like Laguna Beach, downhill skating and freeriding have significantly shaped Jude’s young life as well. Like Skyler, Jude was taught safely and at his own pace, beginning with mellow hills and fire roads. With mentors like Mark and Skyler Golter, Kevin Reimer and brothers Chance and Sam, it’s no wonder Jude is progressing at such an accelerated pace. Since Jude was 4, he has been nurtured and coached by his dad, brothers and most of Laguna’s top skaters. Jude began sliding on a trick skate when he was 4, then moved on to a mini board with proper wheels. Chris Chaput and Brad Teschner of Jet Skateboards then stepped in with a custom mini version of their “Machine” model just for Jude. This really motivated him and made him very proud, which in turn upped his game. Now he’s doing Colemans with the bigger boys and loving it. Another factor that has helped him greatly was the creation of mini-slide gloves that Timeship Racing made for him and Skyler. Jude loves to slide, has a mean tuck and seems to have a great understanding for drawing good lines, taking the inside line whenever he can. He is now progressing to bigger hills and new turns around town. Earlier this year Jude even entered an SDDRL (San Diego Downhill Race League) event, making him the youngest competitor they’ve ever had. Jude’s passion for the sport is tangible. When he’s not outside skating his hill, he’s inside watching videos or drawing downhill races. He even sets up mini hay bales and races Tech Decks throughout his house. On weekends he and Skyler get together for skate sessions. On Sundays the Youngs and Golters often hit their “secret” parking garage and watch the groms go wild! Both Skyler and Jude are blessed with strong parental support and the support of their peers. Add the support of brands like TimeShip Racing, Madrid, Abec 11 and ADX and it is clear that our sport has not only progressed, but is guaranteed to progress for many, many years. Great role models are important, and both Skyler and Jude’s parents are very involved with the boys and they take them to as many races and slide jams as possible. Jude’s 12-year-old brother Sam has even won a few slide jam “Best Grom” awards, setting the bar for Jude. Sam has been an incredible, positive influence on Jude’s life, as well as his confidence and respect for the sport. Chance, an action-sports phenom, has also dedicated countless hours to Jude and Skyler’s progress and confidence. Credit to the younger generation should be given where credit is due. Watching the big boys take time to really help Jude, Skyler and countless other groms speaks volumes about the camaraderie and kindness in the next generations of our sport. Mark Golter, Roger Hickey and Laguna Beach locals have done their fair share to help put our sport on the map. San Diego had its crew as well, with names like Bob Skoldberg, Henry Hester, Todd Lehr, Biker Sherlock and many others playing an essential part. All over the planet, like-minded souls have been doing “what we do” for what seems like forever. The bottom line is … there is a resurgence, a pulse of life, a call to arms happening now. What started as “sidewalk surfing” is back and more fun and technical than ever; so “the mainstream public” had better take note: We are here to stay, and the micro-groms are the proof! CW
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BY WRITTEN BY DUSTY RAY | ILLUSTRATED BY JON WALLACE his board, then takes two giant pushes, giving him a turbo boost down the hill. He is in classic hero-style stance as he bombs the hill, passing a car as he cruises down. Chance is headed to a buddy’s house across town. He’s going over to hang and waste another day sitting at Nick’s house smoking weed and getting wasted, playing video games and letting another beautiful day pass, because in Chance’s mind there will be another beautiful day tomorrow. As he gets closer and closer, though, Chance is having feelings of regret for deciding to go over today. Every street he comes to, he looks back toward the other direction and thinks of turning around.
e comes carving down the hill like a pinball being shot out of the firing pin, taking up the road like he’s riding a concrete wave of destruction. The ocean wind blows across his face and hair, painting a smile from ear to ear because he knows he owns this road. It’s his foundation; it always takes him to his next destination. He slows to an easy climb as he drifts up the next hill. He kicks his longboard out ahead of him as he begins to walk. It swerves over the white line of the bike lane. A passing driver honks his horn and yells, “Look out!” Chance throws his hands in the air and gives them a shrug of stick-it-up-your-ass attitude. Chance rides this route two or three times a day; he is as common as the stop sign on this street. He reaches the peak of the hill and makes a running start to jump on
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He gets to the top of Tamarack Hill and stops to look back down the way he just came. He thinks, I should just turn back, but something will not let him. He looks for a good two to three minutes but decides he has come halfway and will just keep heading over to Nick’s. He drops his board into motion and jumps into action. He says out loud, “Get busy living or get busy dying,” puts his headphones in one ear and gets in the mood. At the last intersection he has to cross, Chance
stands waiting for the crosswalk sign to change. He is thinking about an argument he had with his mom and dad about his attitude. The night before, Chance had flipped out on his parents; he’d punched a few holes in his bedroom wall and screamed how much he hated it there and couldn’t wait to move out. The light clicks to green. Chance throws his board out and jumps on it. He looks around as if he is waiting for something to happen. He pushes once, twice and coasts across the street. As he is crossing the last lane he hears an engine revving. He turns to look and BAM!!! He jumps into a moving windshield with his shoulder. The top of the van clips his chin and mouth. Teeth explode out of his mouth like popcorn; blood splatters and paints the
– you are my best friend and I love you.” Chance’s parents are both crying and holding his hand. “Thank you, son,” they tell him. “We are so glad to hear you say those things and want to do better too.” His dad continues, “It is amazing you never lost consciousness, son. If you had, you might not have lived.” Chance looks his dad in the eyes and says, “I have been unconscious for a long time, Dad. I am in a higher level of consciousness now.” Chance’s dad pulls himself together and tells Chance how he himself was almost killed as a boy and how Chance’s grandfather has also cheated death. Chance scoots up in his bed a little and asks his father, “What do you think this means, Dad?” Chance’s dad kisses him on the forehead and says, “I believe we are of superhero blood, son, and we have a bigger reason to be on this planet. We have all been given a second chance at life, and we should not waste this gift. You are living in your new life, your new skin, seeing the world with new eyes. Be the second Chance. Teach others how to see clearly, how to open their eyes, and show them the way to a new life. Take off the blindfold – now is your time. I hope you see clearly now, son.”
street as he flips over the top of the vehicle. His 6-foot, 5-inch frame turns like a fan blade as he lands behind the van on his feet. He takes a calm look around with his chin to his chest and jaw torn from his face as he walks over to the curb and takes a seat. Chance is looking around, playing it back in his head. A jogger stops and tells Chance that he is an off-duty rescue firefighter, just as a cop who’d been parked around the corner calmly pulls up to direct traffic. The whole scene looks like a movie set, with everyone in place waiting for Chance to show up so this scene could be played out.
Chance is wide-awake now; he sees that things are not what they seem. The sound and feel of a helicopter comes into the picture, as a hospital flight for life lands right in the middle of the street. Chance is laid out on the sidewalk looking up at the helicopter. He closes his eyes for a second and the firefighter shakes him, saying, “Stay with us, buddy – don’t go to sleep.” Chance answers, “I have been asleep for years – I am finally awake.” Just then they put him on an army cot and load him into the helicopter. Chance’s mom and dad are standing in the hospital room by Chance’s bed. Chance’s face looks like he has a football in his mouth; his chin is sitting on his chest and almost all of his teeth are missing or shoved up into his skull. Chance tells his parents he is sorry for treating them with so much hate and anger. His dad tries to hush him, but Chance asks his dad to please let him talk. Chance tells his mom, “Thank you for all you do,” and says, “I love you, Dad
Second Chances only come once. With superhero blood running through his veins, he knows he has been given a second Chance. He knows the concrete wave he loves to ride will take him in the right direction. Life is short. Make every minute count. Search, spark and stoke your desire to become a positive, empowering person. Longboarding changed Chance’s life; now he will use the power of the long board to change others’ lives. CW
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BY MICHAEL BROOKE | ARTWORK BY XAVI Welcome to the second part of our look at the connections between longboarding and spirituality. We know that some folks find this topic a little bit uncomfortable, but we invite you to dive in and explore. There are many paths and no right or wrong answers. The feedback we received on the first part was overwhelmingly positive. We hope you find this part equally meaningful.
RELATIONSHIPS & WORLDVIEWS In Part One we took an overview of things. For this part, we tried to dig a little deeper. Specifically, I wanted to examine the relationship between religious beliefs and spirituality and where this leads to. This is a very sensitive subject, but the responses we received were heartfelt, and filled with respect and thoughtfulness. “As cliché as it sounds, I like to think I’m spiritual but not religious,” remarked Peter. Adam said he is not a religious person in general but that he does believe in God. Samuel said he felt there was no difference between religion and spirituality. And Juha said he prays before he rides and gives thanks after a good session: “While I climb hills, it gives me good moments to think and pray … and also to enjoy nature.” Devon was a bit more introspective. “I was never raised to believe in one religion that leads to spiritual enlightenment,” he says. “I was blessed in a Sufi temple; I go to Christian church on Easter and Christmas. I have Jewish and Catholic inheritance. I believe that all religions are the correct path to spiritual enlightenment, but choosing just one can lead to misunderstandings and problems throughout life. Without having one defined religious belief, I find it hard to connect directly to the defined spirituality of a certain religion, though I can connect spirituality to certain elements of various religious beliefs I have.” “I like that longboarding is devoid of dogma and shortcuts,” says B. Lane, “and that it mitigates self-aggrandizement. You know exactly where you are at each time out. For me the spiritual has got to be in the present – or not at all.” For Mitch, spirituality is the state of his being relative to others and to the Universe. “In this way we are all connected to each other and to the universe,” he says.
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David speaks of the conflict between individual and collective belief. “The quest for religious belief has been a battle of tradition, philosophical thought and the personal searching of inherent spiritual feelings,” he says. “I long for a true connection with organized religion, but my intellect fights to keep me apart from blindly accepting a mass belief.” He feels that skateboarding has been deemed an outsider art, and that the outsider position that led the misfit to skateboarding encouraged the misfit to continue thinking outside of the norms of society. “Despite the branding of ‘teams’ in skateboarding, true skateboarding/longboarding is one person pushing their individual limitations on a skateboard. It is an individual act of free thought in conjunction with individual ability,” he says. Micha says she is not very religious and goes by the idea that we were all created by someone, but she’s not sure who that someone is. “Some people call that creator God; others call it Allah,” she says. “There are so many perspectives that I feel incapable of saying that one religion is the true religion. I think of life more in terms of spirituality and nature. That is why spirituality is important to me; it takes the place of religion.” Micha says she becomes spiritual when longboarding because it puts her in nature. “Not to sound corny, but I do feel a sense of collective comfort, like I am one with everything and everyone in that moment,” she says. “It’s almost as if I am meditating when I do it. I am in a state of concentration comparable to the kind seen while meditating. I’m achieving the calmness that accompanies meditation as well.” Al was raised a Roman Catholic but discovered Buddhism in college. “I have had a semiformal practice ever since,” he says. “Formal meditation is not daily – but it does pop up in cycles. To me beliefs are very personal, no matter how formal you declare yourself to be. When someone says ‘I am born again,’ they may think they have something in common with someone else who says that, but chances are there are more differences than commonalities.” Longboarding can be viewed as part of a spiritual practice, he continues, “but – and this is the big BUT – it depends on the intentions that you bring to it,” he says. “So if I bring greed to the practice – i.e. I want, I desire more, better, fame, praise, whatever – then that’s not it. But if I bring peace, or more specifically a ‘letting go’ … if I take it as an act of discovery [and] accept what comes without prejudice … if I ‘offer it up’ … then yes, [it is] most definitely a spiritual practice.” Owen believes that taking care of the body is an important aspect of his spirituality. “Longboarding has given me a creative venue and motivation to do that,” he says. “Lifting weights for lifting weights’ sake is
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boring, so having something to motivate me to take care of myself has been huge. One of the biggest ways has been giving me time to slow down from all the busyness of the world and take time to focus on my relationship with God. I believe that my longboard is a tool, an external control, that helps me spend time in reflection/meditation. I don’t think it’s some sort of magical, mystical, rainbows-and-unicorns amulet kind of tool, but more a practical construct that gives time and space for me to spend developing my relationship with God.” Pierre has spent time in India and says the experience has given him some unique perspectives. While there, he says, he saw that people were accepted beyond religious boundaries. “One’s spirituality and religion can be conjoined or apart but never disparate,” he continues. “How can one be spiritual and have a religious belief which would promote a hatred toward others not of the same beliefs, ergo they could never be disparate.” And not all religious beliefs promote spirituality, he says: “You do not need to have a religious belief to be a spiritual person.”
OUTSIDERS LOOKING IN I was curious to find out how other people felt about our interview subject as it related to their spirituality. A few said that longboarding had been a catalyst to get others involved, but most felt was a private matter. Some, like Sam, said most of his friends couldn’t relate to the spiritual aspects, but accepted that if he did, it was something for him and him alone. Adam says his parents were unhappy with the scratches on his body, but that’s not what he focused on. “People do appreciate my advice or help and actually get brightened up by my company,” he says. “This is what I’d always try and achieve throughout my life, and it all started with me longboarding.” B. Lane took a slightly curmudgeonly approach. “Now that I’ve crossed the half-century mark, I try to not care too much about the opinions of others,” he said. “If anything, I’d hope the sight of an older dude ripping would be inspirational. But that kind of effect is not really much of a motive for me to keep at it.” Skate or die, indeed! Israel said a lot of folks were amazed that he was into longboarding and that he was good at it. “My passion for it, and the satisfaction my spirit gains from it, shows through,” he said. “My friends that know me on a spiritual level see this and are inspired.” David echoed these sentiments: “Skaters can sense the peace you might have and either gravitate toward it or shrink away from it.” Al recalled reading a humorous line about relating to others: “My
father hates the fact that I am a Buddhist, but loves when I am a Buddha.” “For me it’s all about the resulting action,” he continued. “You can say that you are kind and still kick your dog. “My wife and daughter know when I am skating consistently; they can see it in my personality, how I carry myself at home. If it’s been raining for a few days, and the sun comes out the next day, my wife will say, ‘You are going to skate after work today, right?’” But I thought Pierre gave the most insightful answer to the question of how others felt about his longboarding. “Many of my friends think I’m crazy and should hang up my boards,” he said, “to which I often tell them to ‘eff off’ with a smile. Usually, these same people are consumed by their pursuit of the almighty dollar or some other form of ‘perfection.’ When they see that I am committed, their position and comments change. It’s hard to explain to them the feeling one gets from longboarding. The stoke is hard to put into words. Most of the time I just smile and change subjects.” I was intrigued to find out if longboarding had led people to other areas of exploration such as yoga or meditation. Peter said that longboarding “has made me a lot less lazy and more active, which is nice. I’ve been meaning to try yoga for a while now and have just never gotten around to it. It has convinced me that I’m active enough to go running, though, which is really helpful.” “Longboarding got me out of my comfort zone to bomb hills every weekend,” said Adam. He now often finds himself traveling an hour or more in a cramped up car with a group of people whom he’d never meet
otherwise, simply to bomb that one spot in the wilderness. He feels challenged and enriched by “meeting these new characters every time we drive out to sessions ... somehow [we] slowly grow into one extended family, connected by a common cause.” Sam also related to this idea of getting more involved with things. “Around my area I feel I have kind of made a name for myself in some parts. I feel like an important part of the community,” he said. Devon said longboarding hasn’t really directly motivated him toward exploration of spirituality, but has developed an understanding of the reasons for spiritual exploration. The idea that longboarding and spirituality would lead to other areas of exploration was something that B. Lane couldn’t really relate to. The reasons became to clear to me as I read his response to the question. “If anything it’s the other way around,” he said. “I’ve been able to bring insights from tai chi, aikido, art and other kinds of epiphanies, and having them in the mix makes a rich fuel for the vehicle of longboarding. If I would focus this question beyond myself personally envisioning a connection between spirit and dreaming, it’s easy for me to imagine longboarding as a powerful medicine for the planet, energizing us and restoring a human-scaled mode of motion. Fusing the spiritual and the mundane – priceless.” Mitch says longboarding can be challenging if one desires it to be, and it can be a sport if one wants it to be, requiring cross-training of all kinds – including other mind-body activities such as yoga. “Yoga is a super way of cross-training for many activities and sports, as it aligns
not just the spirit but the body and brain as well, putting us in a place where we can be better at anything we put our minds to,” he says. Mitch also believes that mysticism can be found in any activity: “It is all in our desire and openness to learn about things previously unexplored by most individuals. I will always look for ways to relate physical activity to spiritual awakening and further development.” Kiry says that longboarding has further connected her with nature. “Since I’ve already practiced yoga in the past, it has re-entered my life since I began longboarding.” Micha seemed to be content on the path she is on currently. “I don’t think longboarding has led to other areas of spiritual exploration,” she says. “I feel like it has satisfied me enough that I am content and in no need of further exploration.”
MINDFULNESS AND STOKE Al explained that meditation has two components: concentration and mindfulness. “In the act of longboarding, the degree of concentration is in a sense your degree of ‘success,’” he says. “If you are not paying very close attention then you are going to fall a lot. That’s not good.” Mindfulness comes into play in terms of your body and surroundings – and to a certain extent your mind. “I must be mindful of my body – to know when I am done for the day – or I will get hurt,” Al continued. “I must be mindful of my body to understand how to unweight it to pull a heelside standy. I must be mindful of my surroundings not to get hit by a car or not to hit a pedestrian. So I must turn my attention both outward and inward at the same time. This yields a level of concentration that is very similar to certain states in meditation. This attention, combined with the chemicals released from the aerobic exercise (endorphins) is what we all call Stoke.
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“Stoke is a thing – but if we are greedy about it, then it’s just chasing a high. That’s not a spiritual pursuit. Think of Stoke like Grace. You don’t try to be graceful – it just happens. Same with Stoke; just get out there, and if and when it comes, so be it. Let go. Let it be.”
PATHWAYS TO INNER PEACE For the last part of this discussion I was interested to find out if longboarding had helped people attain inner peace. This is something we’re all striving for daily. It’s amazing how effortlessly some folks seem to glide through life, while others struggle daily with even the smallest problems. “I don’t think skateboarding on its own has, but it has contributed,” said Peter. “It has definitely boosted my self-confidence and has given me an avenue to help others and help myself, which definitely has added to my inner peace. But knowledge and growth in general are what contribute to my inner peace.” Sam felt longboarding really had led to a sense of inner peace. “It’s a good reason that I’m still around,” he said. “I’m too devoted to longboarding. I never want to quit riding or give up. At first giving up to me was giving up at life, but now I feel just so inspired to thrive and progress.” Sam aims to maybe join a team one day. “I have a peace of mind I’m going to make it. Life gets better.” Adam said he learned to appreciate different places and scenes. “I now appreciate my life and try to live my life in modesty,” he said. “Longboarding made me much more conscious of how many people out there are less fortunate.” He cited his experience with a friend who was interested in longboarding but didn’t have much money. His friend was extremely talented and very able in learning tricks, but the gear prices in Malaysia, where they lived, were very high because of shipping and taxes. Hence his friend was unable to longboard. Adam then realized that many people couldn’t get into the sport because of monetary problems. The examples were all around him. “It made me realize some people have only enough cash to feed themselves but not to do leisure activities. Ever since I comprehended this, I started living life modestly,” he said. “I try to help people to cope with life as a whole, which made me into the empathic altruist I am today.” Devon feels he has developed a level of inner peace through longboarding, but adds, “This development of inner peace is not the same as what could be obtained though total religious enlightenment. I consider the inner peace that comes from longboarding to be physical and emotional rather than spiritual and religious.” Devon doesn’t think he will ever be able to obtain the level of internal peace from longboarding that he would through exploration of religious practices. His plans are to the devote the majority of his time to finding true inner peace. B. Lane told me about a certain hill nearby that is smooth and fast. “It was once too much for me, but now it has gotten so I can drop without fear,” he said. “With each run I can taste more stillness and inner quiet, or focus on the smallest of adjustments. If this isn’t inner peace, however fleeting, I don’t know what is.” He says sometimes this feeling lingers long after he leaves the hill. “My inner peace is affected by my actions,” explains Mitch. “Longboarding has, through my physical action, improved my health and well-being.” Israel says longboarding has helped him attain a huge amount of inner peace. “I am tortured in times of boredom and idleness,” he says. “I want to always be doing something. I need to progress in something. In life, most people will disappoint you and let you down, so you have to
be able to have your own conquests and challenges.” David rides a longboard for all his skating. For two years a snake run was his church, he says: “Every Sunday, I would roll in on the smallest section of the park, pump up and down a steep bank and enter the snake run. The first movement into the snake required a short frontside carve, low on the transition, which was followed by a much higher, looping backside that would briefly grind. The next wall, flatter than the previous two, I would hit with a quick slash grind. The bowl end loop would shoot me onto the lip. From the lip I would hit each wall back through the run. Then, just at the exit was another wall with only the slightest transition. The centrifugal force that catapulted me around the snake run was better for my soul than anything that a preacher could say. Although the action took aggression, it left me peaceful at the end of the session, with a calmness that only a spiritual experience can offer. This is one experience that the uninitiated will not and cannot understand. Inner peace can be short-lived, but is available.” Owen believes that longboarding in and of itself is neutral. “I don’t believe that it has the ability to bring inner peace. I don’t think it ever will because for me inner peace (again) comes through my relationship with Jesus.” Micha was somewhat circumspect when it came to answering the question of finding inner peace. “I don’t know that I will ever find inner peace, but I feel closest to finding it when longboarding,” she said. “The most important thing it has done for me was give me a hobby to focus on. I used to like playing other sports, but they never left me feeling fulfilled like longboarding does.” Micha says she went through a period in life where she had no hobbies: “I just went to school and work. I’m not exaggerating when I say I felt dead inside. People need an active, creative outlet for their emotions, and I found that in longboarding.” Pierre says that while he always strives to follow a path toward inner peace, in many ways longboarding has helped him closer on this path. “I will always continue to strive for this – and as I mentioned in my other responses, the peace I get when in the moment is, well, just plain awesome.”
FINAL THOUGHTS Israel: I have found longboarding, and longboarding has found me. I will never live life to its fullest unless I have a deck under my feet as often as possible. It is what has been missing in my life. I know that I will never grow tired of it nor it of me. Kiry: Longboarding keeps my peace. As I keep pushing, the peace continues to flow. My spirit is revived through skating each night. David: Longboarding has helped enhance my spiritual journey and has given me insight into those aspects that I would already explore. Like so many others, I have fought an inner battle with spirituality and religion since high school. The rebel nature of skateboarding in general invites the skater to look into the social, political, spiritual and religious with a skeptic’s eye. The soulful carve of a longboard offers a peace it may have been difficult to find otherwise. I have been able to take that peace (and the ability to recognize it) and I’ve been able to find it in other aspects of life. Pierre: Age is a number, and how you choose to act is entirely up to you. I realized this as I got older. You have to continue to explore and discover new things in your life that will ботч тах you physically and expand you mentally. In so doing, you will stay forever young. CW
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NO ORDINARY JOE THE INCREDIBLE SLALOM CAREER OF JOE MCLAREN Interview by Maria Carrasco Joe shredding his home park in Longmont, Colorado. Photo: Mike McLaren
How did you first get started in skateboarding? My dad always had some skateboards in the garage. He never really skated as a kid but he had some from when he was in college to get around campus. When I was about 6, Kyle and I started just fooling around on them and we both got hooked. It’s been great to see your parents being involved in the scene through the years. How has that helped your racing? My parents have been super-cool and supportive throughout the whole time I have been skating. When I was younger they would drive me all over the place to different skateparks and hills. My dad actually got into skating to spend more time with me and Kyle. He would come out to the parks and ride with us and practice slalom and would actually come to all the races and compete too. In 2005 at the world championships, he got second place in the open men’s division in the Super G, which was super-rad. And my mom has been at almost every one of my races. She is for sure my biggest fan. I’m so lucky to have such supportive parents and I would not be where I am right now without them.
Clan McLaren early days - Kyle Photo: Gary Loeffler
Nineteen-year-old Joe McLaren from Longmont, Colorado, finished up the 2011 slalom racing season by winning his second consecutive overall pro world championship and setting a new world record by running 100 cones clean in 20.687 seconds – the icing on the cake of an unprecedented string of top racing results. Joe, his younger brother Kyle and his parents have been a force in the slalom world since the early days of this new era in racing.
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, Mike and Joe in 2004.
Yeah, you guys are a tight group, and you had to really pull together to support your mom in return. How is she doing now? My mom is recuperating amazingly. She is now done with all of her treatments. She was so strong in her whole fight with cancer and we are so blessed that she made it through all that. What was it like being a youngster riding with the COSS crew? When I first started skating, I only skated skateparks. Jason Mitchell mentored me (before either of us rode slalom) and helped me out a lot in the skateparks. Ric
Widenor had a skate program at the Boulder YMCA. We would meet at the park every week and on the weekends go on mini skate trips. He would help us all out and not only teach us how to be better skaters but how to be better people. One day my dad, Kyle and I were at the skatepark and we met Chris Barker. He told my dad about a group of guys who skated slalom in Longmont and to come check it out. We did and we were all hooked. Chris took me under his wing and has been the biggest influence in my slalom career. Jason Mitchell, Gary Fluitt, David Pirnack and the rest of the original COSS guys were big influences too when I was first starting out. Worlds 2004 giant slalom, Turri Road in Morro Bay, California: Junior racer Joe McLaren has the fastest time after the first round. How did you do it? I was 11 years old. That was the first year we raced on Turri Road. The tailwinds that day were crazy so people were FLYING down the hill. The majority of the field couldn’t even stay in the course. I don’t know whether it was because I was so light or what it was, but for some reason I pulled it off. When they announced that I was in first place in front of the whole pro field, I couldn’t believe it. I was racing against all the people I looked up to so much, and to be ahead of them was amazing. The next run everyone ended up passing me, but it was an amazing feeling while it lasted. I ended up 17th that day, which I was still super-stoked about. Amazingly, you could have entered the 2010 Worlds as a Junior. How many Junior world titles have you won? The first world championship I went to was 2003. I didn’t win anything that year, but I did podium. Then in 2004 I won my first Junior world championship, and in 2005 I won my second. How was it going to the Czech Republic in 2010 for your first world championships outside the U.S.? That was my first time ever being in Europe, and it was crazy to think skateboarding took me halfway around the world. We were out there for two weeks, and we spent some time in Prague before and after the race and finished our trip with a visit to Ireland. There were so many great racers out there, and the competition was amazing. They put on a great race, and everyone there was super-friendly. To top off the whole trip, I ended up winning my first pro world championship, which was one of the greatest feelings in the world. How about your superhuman winning streak of 13 pro races in a row – sweeping the Dixie Cup, Texas Sizzler and Colorado U.S. Open and winning the first two days at the Worlds in Czech 2010? That was in 2010, the first year I went over to Sk8Kings. It was such an amazing feeling to win so many races in a row. I was training so hard that year and it paid off.
Tell us about your pro racing model. My model is super-rad. It’s the perfect board for me. I have huge feet and my stance is very straight across from growing up in the skateparks. A lot of the boards out right now are very skinny, especially in the tail, and boards like that don’t work well for me. So my board is super-wide in the nose and tail. My family is superstoked on it, too, because my graphic is our family crest from Scotland. What are some of the most memorable races you’ve had in your career? I have had so many good duels. I always love racing my friends. I really love super-close races, so when I get a chance to race someone who runs about the same times as me, that’s always a blast. One really good recent duel was with Winning the overall on Loretta St. at the 2011 Janis [Kuzmins] in Oceanside Open. Photo: Maria Carrasco Czech 2010. It came down to thousandths of at Oust has been helping me with beara second for the final. ings. Last year at Texas I met “Wild Bill” That was a super-fun from Pro-Designed Pads and I have race. There are so many been riding in his pads ever since. I just Sweeping the 2011 Texas Sizzler on his justmore over the years, it starting working with Chris Hickey released pro model with proud mom Casey and brother Kyle. Photo: Maria Carrasco could go on and on. from a new clothing line, Sprai Apparel, so look out for their stuff. Zak Maytum has been a good What motivates you in racing? friend since before either of us started racing, and when More than anything I just love skating and progressing. he started pouring Venom bushings and wheels in his I like to see myself get better, and looking at the timer garage I was on board. Zak’s urethane is the best on the and seeing you went a little faster than the run before market right now in my mind, and I’m super-stoked on is a great feeling. his stuff. And finally Richy and Maria Carrasco from Sk8Kings. They have been good friends of mine since I What other types of skating do you like to do? first started racing. I went over to their team in 2010, and I skate everything. I skate bowls, vert, street, ditches, it’s one of the best choices I could have made. Their new pretty much everything. One thing I have only done a Ultimate line of boards is amazing and perfect for me. little bit of is downhill, but that’s something I want to They also have a great online store. start skating more. Can you share some insights on the racing scene? What’s it like being in college now, and what are some Everyone who skates slalom is super-cool, and I have of the things you are shooting for? met so many great people. I have met some legends of This is my first year in college, and right now I’m just skateboarding that I have looked up to since I was a trying to get my general credits done at a community little kid. Meeting people like the Carrasco brothers, college. Once I get some of my generals out of the way, Dave Hackett, Steve Olson, Duane Peters, Christian I would like to transfer to a university and start working Hosoi, Wentzle Ruml, Henry Hester, Chris Yandall and toward a sports-training degree or something along so many more was such a great feeling. To meet them those lines. and have camaraderie with them is so crazy to me. Growing up, I never thought I would ever even meet Besides your parents, what sponsors have been suppeople like that. porting you through these years of racing? I have been so blessed to have so many people help me What advice can you give to the newbs getting into the sport? out over the years. Chicken at Pocket Pistols Skates Try out new things. Try different bushings, wheels, helped me out for many years with boards and wheels. truck angles, etc. to make sure your setup is right for Jonathan Reese from Comet helped me for a long time you. Find a group of guys who ride slalom around you with some slalom boards, park boards and downhill to help you and push you. If you can’t find people around boards. Keith Hollien and Mark McCree at Radikal you who already ride slalom, try to get some of your Trucks have been there for me since the beginning and friends to start up with slalom too. And most of all, have been helping me with trucks for many years. Carl always wear all your safety gear! CW
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Kai Dunkel, Germany – Truckstand. Photo: Dennis Grunow
Freestyle BY MONTY LITTLE AND KAI DUNKEL
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he last time I (Monty) heard of a “round-up” was while watching Mel Brooks’ movie Blazing Saddles, a story of teamwork and camaraderie along the dusty trail. I’m betting that Mel knew his movie would become a classic, one that fans would watch year after year. As the organizers of the World Round-Up freestyle skateboarding contest, our goal is to create an event that will also be a classic, one that competitors will look forward to competing in each year.
We’re rounding up the top pro and amateur freestyle skaters from around the globe in Vancouver, British Columbia, to compete at the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair from May 18-21, 2012. With $10,000 in prize money to be won, it’s no wonder skaters like Spain’s Kilian Martin, U.S. riders Darryl Grogan and Terry Synnott, Canada’s own Kevin Harris and ninetime world champion Guenter Mokulys from Germany have confirmed their participation. The impressive roster of skaters is still growing, with 40 contestants registered so far, representing 10 countries. You will also want to keep your eyes open for talents like Mike Osterman from the U.S., Brazilian champions Rene Shigueto and Per Canguru, Albert Kuncz and Stefan Albert from Europe and women’s world champion Mic Murayama from Japan.
Albert Kuncz, representing Slovakia – Crossfoot 50/50
Why hold a skateboard contest at a rodeo, you ask? Well, this is not just a rodeo; it’s the second-largest in Canada next to the Calgary Stampede, with an annual attendance of more than 80,000. That’s a lot of potential spectators to skate for and to highlight flatland freestyle skateboarding. Under the three inches of ice at the Cloverdale Curling Rink, the contest venue, is a flawless concrete floor. Kai has skated it and says, “Skaters are gonna love it. It’s guaranteed to give us some outstanding performances.” Over the past 30 years, freestyle has seen many great skaters emerge and evolve. Likewise the sport has evolved. One of the most significant changes is the powerful and creative skating style of one skater who is taking the world by storm: Kilian Martin. He comes from Madrid, Spain, and just like his name, his skating
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style is well known in the skateboarding world. With millions of clicks on YouTube plus interviews on TV and in major skateboard magazines, Kilian is moving freestyle out of the ’80s into the future. He has an entourage of young upcoming skaters following in his footsteps, many of whom will be competing at the World Round-Up. What the X Games did for vert and Slam City Jam did for street, we hope the World Round-Up will do for freestyle. This high-discipline sector of skateboarding has been in the shadows far too long, not receiving the attention it deserves from other skateboarding disciplines and the media. As the contest promoters, Kai and Monty, joined by Kevin Harris, have one goal in mind: to create a fun, energy-packed annual event that will help put freestyle skating back where it belongs and move the level of competition up a notch or two. We envision something new and unique to give freestyle a chance to be back on TV, back in major magazines and back in the forefront of the sports world. One new twist that Kai and several other skaters want to introduce is a new style of competition using a “battle” format that has been very popular with breakdancing. Based on the “jam” concept, skaters will be put into groups and will compete together, each taking turns performing their best tricks; if they blow one, they must step back and wait until their turn comes back around. These 20-minute Battle Format Sessions will not only be real crowd-pleasers, with an MC and DJ keeping the tunes and crowd pumped up, but the skaters will have more fun as well. Speaking of MCs, Russ Howell will be performing those duties at the World Round-Up. Russ has MC’d several World Championships and is one of the founding fathers of freestyle. Many of his signature handstand tricks are staples even today. And if that weren’t enough great news, Jim Goodrich will be the contest’s official photographer. Jim was a staff photographer at SkateBoarder magazine, an experience that took him around the world covering the skate scene, and later the managing editor of TransWorld Skateboarding magazine.
Mike Osterman, USA – Nose G-turn
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Brandon Pretty, Canada – Pogo Handstand
Kilian Martin, Spain – Signature Trick
Albert Kuncz, representing Slovakia – Crossfoot Pogo
Besides a great venue for the contest with a superb skating surface and huge crowds to perform to, we are also changing up the judging system. The new system combines the scores from the judges with those of the contestants themselves and the audience as well. A few people have asked, “Where’s Cloverdale?” Well, it’s about 25 miles east of Vancouver, home to many a movie set and several TV series such as Smallville, which based its small-town charm on Cloverdale’s Main Street. For many years there were even large signs at each end of town that read, “Destination Cloverdale – Home of SMALLVILLE.” For those of you who make the journey to watch or compete in the World Round-Up Freestyle Skateboarding Contest, you’re gonna love this town almost as much as you’ll enjoy the contest! For more details, visit our contest website at theworldroundup.com. Monty Little is considered to be an icon in the Canadian skateboarding scene. He co-founded the Canadian Amateur Skateboarding Association (CASA), has run hundreds of skateboard safety clinics and contests across Canada, including the Transworld Skateboard Championships for EXPO 86, and has designed several Canadian skateparks. Kai Dunkel is the world’s top-ranked amateur freestyle skater two years running. He has extensively traveled the world promoting freestyle and is currently in Europe helping to organize and promote the World Round-Up in that market. CW
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SIZZLING SLALOM By JONATHAN HARMS
has started off HOT with the Texas Cold Fusion Sizzler, held on March 31-April 1 in Hockley, Texas. After seven previous years at various locations in the Rio Grande Valley and Austin, the Sizzler has found a home the last two years in Hockley, a tiny town about an hour’s drive northwest of Houston. The soap box derby track at Hockley Park is one of the most perfectly suited slalom hills in the world, with a long, straight, perfectly surfaced asphalt track and plenty of other amenities for holding races. Add in the friendly attitude of the track manager, the soon-to-beinstalled lights that will allow both day and night racing and the almost constant tailwinds that push racers above 30 mph as they weave through the cones, and you’ve got a truly world-class facility.
Joe McLaren leads Louis Ricard in the hybrid slalom. Photo: Aria Pramesi
Keith Hollien won all three Masters events. Photo: Aria Pramesi
Zak Maytum showed he can still tear up a slalom course by taking second overall. Photo: Aria Pramesi
(L to R) Viktor, Viking and Mika Hadestrand celebrate after sweeping the tight slalom. Photo: Jonathan Harms
Almost every year, the Sizzler has grown in both size and prestige, and has recently begun to attract top riders from all over the world. Last year Germany’s Dominik Kowalski traveled to the U.S. just to race in the Sizzler, and this year’s event attracted some serious overseas muscle – literally – in the form of a trio of top Swedish racers: Mikael “Mika” Hadestrand and his sons Viking and Viktor. Canada’s Louis Ricard also made the trip and was a strong contender to win any or all of the events. Even Zak Maytum, who travels outside his native Colorado so often he practically can be called an overseas rider, came down and raced. In all, five of the 10 top-ranked racers in the world showed up to duke it out in Hockley. Despite the efforts of the other travelers, Colorado phenom Joe McLaren (profiled elsewhere in this issue) picked up right where he left off last year by winning both the giant slalom and hybrid slalom. Maytum 106 CONCRETE WAVE SPRING 2012
charged into second place in both of those events. McLaren was also a good bet to win the tight slalom, but an equipment malfunction in his round of 8 race with Viktor Hadestrand knocked Joe out of the running, so he had to settle for fifth place in TS. “Team Swedish Meat” took advantage of McLaren’s unusual early exit to snag all three podium spots in the TS. The finals pitted afather against son: ageless wonder Mika versus his 21-year-old son Viking. After two incredibly competitive runs, Viking emerged victorious by .12 seconds. His brother, 19-year-old Viktor, beat Maytum in the consolation round to take third place. McLaren’s two wins were enough to gain him the overall title – his third overall win in a row at the Sizzler.
Maytum’s runner-up finishes in giant and hybrid and his fourth place in hybrid earned him second place overall, and Viking’s two podium finishes landed him in third overall. In the absence of a specific women’s division, umpteen-time women’s world champion Lynn Kramer mixed it up with the guys, finishing 12th or better in all three races. In the Masters division, Florida’s Keith Hollien skated better than he has in years. “The Machine” swept first place in all three events – but not without spirited competition from Washington’s Brad “Jackhammer” Jackman and John Stryker, who took second and third in each event, respectively. The rest of the 2012 racing season is looking very exciting, with more than 60 races currently planned in the U.S. and Europe and likely many more in South America and Australia. For more information on these races or anything else slalom-related, check out slalomskateboarder.com.
KINGS OF THE CONES
Photo: Karl Floitgraf
Photo: Jonathan Harms
Photo: Andrejs Zavadskis
TOP SLALOM COMPETITORS
JANIS KUZMINS, Latvia
VIKING HADESTRAND, Sweden
The two-time tight slalom world champ (2007 and 2011) is coming back from off-season shoulder surgery, so he may get off to a slow start in 2012.
The 2010 hybrid slalom world champ looks ready to make a run at one or more titles this year.
Photo: Dennis Blevins
Photo: Maria Carrasco
Photo: Marcos Soulsby-Monroy
JOE MCLAREN, USA Joe Mac is off to another blistering start but is battling a couple of nagging injuries. Can he stay healthy enough to dominate again in 2012?
MIKAEL HADESTRAND, Sweden
RICHY CARRASCO, USA
LOUIS RICARD, Canada
Incredibly fit and focused, and overdue for a big win. Unless Dominik Kowalski and George Pappas come back strong this year, look for Mika to muscle his way into the top five in the world.
The Brown Bomber has been at or near the top of the slalom heap for the last 10 years and shows no signs of fading.
The king of style, Louis won his first world championship in hybrid slalom in 2011 and is off to a good start this year.
JAROSLAV KNETTIG, Czech Republic Though technically still a Junior racer, this tall 16-yearold beat all the pros in the hybrid at the European Indoor Championships last November. Raw power on the rise.
Latvia Currently ranked 14th in the world, a good season could help Gustavs join his Fullbag teammate Ricard in the top 10.
Brazil Brazil’s most successful slalom racer has plenty of talent but may need to travel more to make up for the relative lack of sanctioned South American races.
Photo courtesy of Bruno Silva de Oliveira
Photo courtesy of Louis Selby
Photo: Steve Pederson
Photo: Steve Pederson
Photo: Eskate Board Sport
RACERS ON THE RISE
LOUIS SELBY, Great Britain Injuries scuttled most of Louis’s 2011 season. Look for this Pavel rider to contend for some wins in Europe in 2012.
BRUNO SILVA DE OLIVEIRA, Great Britain This Brazilian native hopes to join his teammate Selby on a podium or two in 2012.
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IGSA REPORT >> By MARCUS RIETEMA
2012 IGSA WORLD CUP
Series Preview T
he IGSA Downhill Skateboarding World Cup Series took another giant leap forward in 2011. Participation was up for the seventh year in a row, with 1,105 competitors racing in the IGSA Downhill Skateboarding class. This was a 29% increase over 2010, in spite of no IGSA races being held in Australia. As more and more new skaters enter competitions, we are seeing the talent pool continue to rise. After dominating the 2010 World Cup Series with four victories, Kevin Reimer suffered a severe leg injury that left him on the sidelines for most of 2011. Patrick Switzer stepped up and won four in a row, equaling Reimer’s single-season World Cup win total. With both Reimer and Switzer competing at full strength, 2012 could go down as the most competitive in history. It will be very interesting to see who will gain the upper hand as the season progresses. The IGSA has been very busy over the off-season developing new software and policies to handle the great influx of new riders and events. 2012 will be the final season of a single “Open” class. Beginning in 2013 riders will be split into separate Novice, Sport (Intermediate) and Pro/Expert classes. Racers of varying abilities will be able to race with others who are at a similar level. The top racers will have their own Pro/Expert division to showcase their amazing skills. As we look forward to those changes, the 2012 season will be looked upon as the end of an era in future years.
MARYHILL FESTIVAL OF SPEED
April 20-22 Wollongong, Australia Course Length: 1.8 km (1.1 mi) Top Speed: 80 km/h (50 mph) Defending Champion: None
April 27-29 Bathurst, Australia Course Length: 1.3 km (.8 mi) Top Speed: 105 km/h (65 mph) Defending Champion: Kevin Reimer – Canada
June 27-July 1 Goldendale, Washington, USA Course Length: 3.5 km (2.2 mi) Top Speed: 80 km/h (50 mph) Defending Champion: Ramón Königshausen – Switzerland
Newton’s Nation is part of a three-day music and action sports festival featuring many of Australia’s biggest bands. A whopping $20,000 prize purse will make Newton’s the richest race in downhill skateboarding history. Held at legendary Mount Panorama Raceway, it’s a daunting and difficult race course that pushes even the best riders to their limits. The event will be streamed live on IGSAworldcup.com.
Held on the iconic Maryhill Loops Road overlooking the Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington, Maryhill is America’s premier downhill race. Competitors battle it out in six-person heats down the 22-turn road course. Maryhill is quite possibly the hardest race to win of the entire IGSA World Cup Series. The event will once again feature one of downhill skateboarding’s largest prize purses. Live HD Webcasting of qualifying and the racing heats will be streamed on IGSAworldcup.com.
MT. KEIRA CHALLENGE
Mt. Keira is the birthplace and ancestral home of downhill skateboarding in Australia. Many of today’s top Aussie riders got their start on Mt. Keira. It’s a twisty course with fast, sweeping corners and enough gradient and natural obstacles to keep it interesting for everyone. Mt. Keira is located near Wollongong, a beautiful coastal city about a 1.5-hour drive south of Sydney. The event is being organized by the Australian Skateboard Racing Association (ASRA) and features a $10,000 prize purse.
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PADOVA GRAND PRIX
PEYRAGUDES NEVER DIES
July 25-28 Semily, Czech Republic Course Length: 3.4 km (2.1 mi) Top Speed: 100 km/h (62 mph) Defending Champion: Patrick Switzer – Canada
August 3-5 Teolo, Italy Course Length: 1.6 km (1.0 mi) Top Speed: 80 km/h (50 mph) Defending Champion: Patrick Switzer – Canada
August 9-12 Peyragudes, France Course Length: 2.7 km (1.7 mi) Top Speed: 110 km/h (68 mph) Defending Champion: Louis Pilloni – United States
THE TOP CONTENDERS
In the three years of Kozakov’s existence, the event has grown to become the most popular in Europe. The track is amazing, with a nice blend of high-speed straightaways, sweepers and tight hairpin corners. It’s known for pushing the racers to their limits. Kozakov has also achieved legendary status for its huge riders’ tent and the epic parties that go on inside it each night. With plentiful amounts of great ethnic food and famous Czech beer, Kozakov is Europe’s can’t-miss event.
Teolo’s course features two distinctly different sections: the steep, straight upper section where riders reach top speed and the tight, twisty lower section where being able to pump the board “slalom style” out of the corners is a huge advantage. Saturday evening is highlighted by a huge, Olympics-style opening ceremony with live entertainment and the athletes brought in by country carrying their national flags. The event will be streamed live on IGSAworldcup.com.
After a two-year hiatus, Peyragudes returns on a brand new road. Situated on the other side of the mountain from the previous course, it features more technical corners and the highest speeds this side of Teutônia. The course starts in the center of town, surrounded by posh condominiums and restaurants serving the best meals in the Pyrenees. The opening scene from the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies” was filmed in Peyragudes.
PATRICK SWITZER 3-1
KEVIN REIMER 4-1
DOUGLAS SILVA 5-1
“P-Swiss” was almost unstoppable in 2011. Most of the 2012 tracks will suit his technique perfectly. Look for Switzer to repeat as champion.
“K-Rimes” dominated 2010 and then missed nearly the entire 2011 season with an injury. He came back strong in Teutônia. If he is on form, he’ll push Switzer to the limit.
“Dalua” missed the Euro Tour but came on strong at the end of the season. He’s becoming more consistent and has the best shot at beating Switzer and Reimer to the title.
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IGSA REPORT >> By MARCUS RIETEMA
WINSPORT CANADA CUP/ IGSA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS August 31-September 2 Calgary, Alberta, Canada Course Length: 1.5 km (.9 mi) Top Speed: 90 km/h (56 mph) Defending Champion: Patrick Switzer – Canada
FESTIVAL DE LA BAJADA
SNAKE SKELETON DOWNHILL
October 13-15 Bogota, Colombia Course Length: 1.4 km (.9 mi) Top Speed: 85 km/h (53 mph) Defending Champion: Juliano Cassemiro – Brazil
October 19-21 San Luis, Argentina Course Length: 2.2 km (1.4 mi) Top Speed: 85 km/h (53 mph) Defending Champion: Douglas Silva – Brazil
T AR ST
THE TOP CONTENDERS
Canada Olympic Park, site of the 1988 Winter Olympics, is the host of the 11th IGSA World Championships. The highspeed, technical road produces incredible racing. Spectator areas have a lively party atmosphere with live bands, beer gardens, food concessions and jumbo video screens, enabling fans to follow the action nonstop from top to bottom. The World Championships are downhill skateboarding’s biggest and most important event. Make plans to be in Calgary at the end of the summer. If you can’t, you can catch all the action via live streaming at IGSAworldcup.com.
Parque Nacional Olaya Herrera in the center of Bogota is the location of the Festival de la Bajada (Festival of the Slope). It’s Colombia’s oldest national park, dating back to 1937 and featuring an urban forest and roads that wind around to places of interest. The 1.4-km course is both fast and technical, providing the competitors with a serious challenge. With the world’s top downhill racers and the spectator-friendly location in the heart of the city, the Festival de la Bajada will be a three-day skateboarding festival of epic proportions.
The Snake Skeleton Downhill takes place in San Luis near the center of Argentina. At 2.2 km, the Snake Skeleton course is the longest the IGSA competes on in South America. The track has a good mix of straights, sweepers and hairpins. Spectators came out in droves last year, with Sunday estimates of more than 2,000. This race receives a great deal of community support, with the citizens of San Luis very excited to have the world’s best downhill skateboarders coming to the region.
ALEX TONGUE 6-1
MISCHO ERBAN 6-1
JAMES KELLY 8-1
Alex had a strong season in his first year out of the junior ranks. He’ll win a race or two in 2012 and if he gets on a roll could threaten for the championship.
Mischo ended a two-year winless streak by winning the 2011 World Championship. He always seems to come on strong at the end of the season. He needs early-season results to win the Series.
James is an amazing freerider who also races. If he ever got really serious about wanting to win, he would be the Series champion. Could 2012 be the year he gets his first win?
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MALARRARA PRO TEUTÔNIA
HOT HEELS AFRICA
November 15-18 Teutônia, Brazil Course Length: 2.0 km (1.2 mi) Top Speed: 115 km/h (73 mph) Defending Champion: Mischo Erban – Canada
December 7-9 Kogelberg, South Africa Course Length: 2.2 km (1.4 mi) Top Speed: 85 km/h (53 mph) Defending Champion: Douglas Silva – Brazil
FELIPE MALAGA 9-1 Felipe was a factor in numerous South American races in 2011. His experience will make him a bigger threat in 2012.
Witnessing the speeds of Teutônia with your own eyes is an experience you’ll never forget. Each year the crowds lining the course are among the largest seen at any IGSA event. Add in a healthy dose of Brazilian culture, music, food and drinks, and you have one of the most amazing events on the planet. The Teutônia World Cup winners list is comprised of the sport’s high-speed flyers, including Mischo Erban (2009, 2011), Kevin Reimer (2010) and Douglas Silva (2008). You can catch all the action via live streaming at IGSAworldcup.com.
2012 marks the 10th anniversary of Hot Heels Africa, the longest-running event of the IGSA World Cup Series. The event takes place in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. As the annual World Cup Series finale, many IGSA championships have been decided in Kogelberg. The South African summer is just beginning in December, making Hot Heels a great destination for fans and riders alike. There is abundant wildlife in the area, with baboons coming out to observe the race on a regular basis!
TORBJORN SUNDE 10-1 Torbjorn his grown progressively faster over the past few seasons. Expect several podium finishes and even a win if the cards fall his way.
JACKSON SHAPIERA 10-1
RAMÓN KÖNIGSHAUSEN 8-1
CHRISTOPH BATT 7-1
“Jacko” would have much better odds if he hadn’t suffered a serious leg injury in the off-season. Look for him to come back late in the season.
Ramón is a great technical skater who earned his breakthrough win at Maryhill in 2011. If he can keep his emotions in check, he’ll be a contender.
Christoph missed most of 2011 with a shoulder injury. He came back at the end of the year to make the finals in Africa. He is a guy who could get on a streak and win it all.
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