November 2009

Page 1

Louis Taubertfs Photo: Hendrik Herzmann.



EDITORIAL ........................................................22

PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES .............................. 46

TORONTO BOARD MEETING 2009 ........................73

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ....................................24

POSTCARD FROM AUSTRALIA ............................50

STREET MISSILE RACING ..................................76

NOTEWORTHY .................................................. 26

THERE WILL BE BLOOD ...................................... 52

IGSA 2009 WORLD CUP OVERVIEW .................... 82

BOOK EXCERPT – DOG TACOS ............................ 40

AND THE ROAD GOES ON .................................. 58

PORTFOLIO – PEP WILLIAMS ............................ 86

LIFE ABOARD THE LOCO EXPRESS ......................41

THE AMBASSADORS OF SKATE .......................... 70

NEXT WAVE ......................................................94




8 No. 3



Michael Brooke • Blair Watson Mark Tzerelshtein • Mike Moore | Buddy Carr Jon Caften Jon Huey Dave Hackett Richy and Maria Carrasco Marcus Bandy Jim Kuiack | Mark Kessenich | Kilwag Matt Livingston Diana Gracida | Pablo Castro David Pang | William Fonseca | Nick Sable Rick Tetz of


Jonathan Harms


1136-3 Center Street Suite 293 Thornhill, Ontario L4J 3M8 ph: 905.738.0804


Indaba Group PO Box 1895, Carlsbad, CA 92018 ph: 760.722.4111

CONTRIBUTORS (In order of appearance): Leonardo Barreto, Dan Bourqui, Randy Frison, Manuel Kopp, Rick DeVoe, Fred Ferand, Lee Cation, Kim Cook, Steve Potwin, Alexander Frischauf, Deb Gordon, Ben Marcus, Mike Dallas, Terry McChesney, Matt “Hoodie” Shaw, Jeff “Woody” Woodfine, Sydney Goldberg, Garret Shigenaka, Dave Flanagan, Shin Shikuma, Reine Olivera, T. Ruxpin, Gargamel, Mumm-Ra, Bud Stratford, Monya De, Daniel Osadtsuk, Jonathan Nuss, Dean McNeil, Bob Ozman, Pep Williams, Kirk Juneau, Donald Allison and Jeff Wilkins. This issue is dedicated to Daphne B…long may you skate! Concrete Wave is published by North of La Jolla Inc.

Subscriptions (5 issues) are US$26 FIRST CLASS or CAN$26 (US$38 outside North America). Address change? Mag not arriving? Email us... don’t go postal. We can sort it out. 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 before you submit anything. We are looking for a variety of stories and images as long as they are skate related. COVER: The insanely great Sergio Yuppie somewhere in Brazil. Photo: Leonardo Barreto OPENING SPREAD Karen Jones Photo: Dan Bourqui Distributed by ph: 416.754.3900 f: 416.754.4900 Printed in Canada ISSN 1708-3338 Canada Post Publication. Agreement number 40671108

WELCOME TO THE FINE PRINT: This is a photo of a very secret spot. It’s somewhere in the USA. You have no idea how much I wanted to publish a large photo complete with a story about this spot. I decided against it. I figured rather than help blow out a spot, I’d keep the secret. This allows folks to savor the idea that there are still some truly epic spots out there that have yet to be discovered. The funny thing about the Internet is that a number of secrets get spilled. Information that you’d normally never find out about somehow winds up everywhere, and the massive amount of info that hits the Web can get overwhelming. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s the speed at which the information hits. As a teenager in the ’70s, I’d wait up to a month to find out what was happening in skateboarding via SkateBoarder magazine. With news about 16 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2009

events now happening in real time, I wonder just how much faster things will speed up. I suppose this is why I find myself happy to be in both the world of print and the Web. Like many of you, I truly enjoy the impact the Web has had — not just on skateboarding but on almost every subject I’m interested in. At the same time, I like the idea of producing a tangible document filled with gorgeous photos. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: CW exists as a memento. Thirty years from now, you’ll find a collection of these magazines and bask in the warm memories that your time in skateboarding has provided. While I spend a huge amount of time on the Web, it can be truly difficult to read a 7,000-word story online. This is why we intend to keep pushing things forward and providing you with stories that only print can do best. You’ll notice we’re making subtle changes here and there. I intend to keep tweaking and improving the


magazine until someone else takes over or until I expire and can tweak no more. As I write these words, the news that Eric Stricker passed away has hit the Web. Eric was the editor of Transworld Skateboarding. We spent a number of hours discussing the state of skateboarding and on more than one occasion hoisted a few beers together at the Action Sports Retailer show. Eric was truly a friendly guy. He was very approachable, and while we didn’t agree on everything, he always took the time to hear me out. For this, I am truly grateful. He will be missed. In September I managed to finally attend my first Board Meeting in Toronto. You’ll learn more about what went down a little later on in this issue. It was one of the most incredible skate experiences I have ever had. The feeling of bombing down Yonge Street (the longest street in the world) with 316

fellow skaters was exhilarating. Actually, it was beyond that; it was something that combined exhilaration with an immense feeling of pride. We were a friendly swarm of skaters, focused on the act of skateboarding. People stopped to take photos of us. Cops just stood there, jaws agape. It was truly an astonishing sight to see us lie down in the street across from the Citytv/MuchMusic building. Someone asked a member of the group what we were protesting. “Nothing,” came the reply. “We’re just skateboarding.” Board Meeting takes place at the same time as the Toronto International Film Festival. The city rolls out the red carpet and celebrities fill downtown. During our session, we happened to pass what looked like some major shindig/VIP/red carpet extravaganza. As we passed, I thought to myself, “I wouldn’t trade places with anyone at that event!” I guess the only way to ex-

plain is simply to say that Board Meeting makes you feel like a million bucks. As we wind our way down from 2009 and head into 2010, I am grateful to all of you for supporting CW and spreading the skate stoke. If you can’t actually be a millionaire, at least it’s somewhat comforting to know that skateboarding can make you feel like one.


Somewhere over the rainbow. Photo: Randy Frison



ur senior editor, Blair Watson, happened to be at a Chinese restaurant when he received this amusing message inside his fortune cookie. Of course, this message can be interpreted a number of different ways. Perhaps Blair will soon purchase a car that he intends to refurbish and sell later at an inflated price. I guess that’s one way to look at a “fun investment that has four wheels.” But knowing Blair, I sense this is not in his future. There are numerous reasons why people get into skateboarding and stay with it. After spending almost three and a half decades riding a skateboard, I sense that it transcends merely the idea of “fun.” Sure, skateboarding is fun for me, but it represents so much more. When you first begin skating, you really have no idea where it will take you. A number of folks try skateboarding and promptly move on to something else. Like everything out there, it’s only when you invest time with a skateboard that you begin to sense its true potential. Concrete Wave presents a wide variety of skateboarding because we want skaters to have the opportunity to see the big picture and experience everything that is out there. The truth is that by investing the time and energy into skateboarding, you are really investing time in


yourself. This is why a skater’s passion runs so deep; it’s about more than just a plank of wood with aluminum and some urethane. I credit skateboarding for more than just transportation. It’s given me a different perspective on life. It’s challenged me and made me think about all sorts of things. Has it been always smooth sailing? Hardly. Problems arise when your expectations get hit with a hard dose of reality. Hard truths can sometimes eat away at our enjoyment of skateboarding. Despite a huge amount of pro skaters, not every skater is going to wind up a pro; a number of skaters that deserve to be pro unfortunately languish in obscurity; a number of high-profile skaters receive what can only be described as a lavish amount of hype because they “look the part.” News flash: This has been going on for years. Like many skaters, I have just learned to deal with it and enjoy the time I spend with skateboarding. I’ve also found my voice and a way to publish my ideas and spread a unique message within skateboarding. It is for these reasons that I will be eternally grateful to skateboarding. The “dividends” received from “investing” in skateboarding have paid off a thousand fold. Ironically, I never thought that starting up a skate magazine would be a way to actually turn it into a full-

time job. When it comes to the idea of an “investment” that relates to money within skateboarding, a number of skaters can get somewhat weirded out. The argument of “art vs. commerce” seems to raise its head. While we like to think that skateboarding breaks rules, questions authority and rebels, the truth is that some of the biggest skateboard companies are owned by huge corporations. We can’t forget that “something on four wheels” can pay big financial dividends. Over the course of 50-odd years, numerous skateboard companies and those harnessing the magic of skateboarding have made a substantial amount of money. And there are, of course, a vast number of companies that have lost their shirts. As we approach 2010, the actual business of selling skateboards is a lot more complicated than at any other time. The competition is not just fierce; it’s everywhere. Despite this very challenging environment, new companies are springing up and new ideas and products are flourishing. The Web has shrunk the world and millions of skaters are connected worldwide. What a great time to face the future! Enjoy the issue, Michael Brooke, Publisher/Editor CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM

Letter of the month receives a prize pack from Original Skateboards doesn’t need religious dogma to defile it. I think a real good way to ruin skateboarding and relationships between skaters is to bring in religion. Don’t ruin the stoke by infusing religion into skating or using skating to promote it. Both Stacy Peralta and Chris Pastras credit skateboarding for saving their lives — proof you don’t need to infuse religion into skateboarding. l Kopp

Rodney Mullen at the SkateHalle in Berlin. Photo: Manue

Steve F. Casper, Wyoming

LIFE IS GOOD I just received my first copy of Concrete Wave last Friday. I am really impressed with the content of your magazine. I especially like the variety of skateboard disciplines that you cover. I am 42 years old and have recently returned to skateboarding after an 18-year absence. It has been an amazing experience of getting back on a board. I thought I might remember how to boardslide to fakie…yeah, right! I could barely push my board in a straight line the first time back at the park. I have also met a whole crew of new skate friends that have been extremely supportive to my return. We try to get together between commitments with wives and kids. A good friend of mine has a halfpipe at his house, which I ride as much as possible. This time around, however, a trip to a friend’s halfpipe doesn’t have to be coordinated with my mom to drop me off. I also hit the local city ramp and skatepark before work (6:00 a.m.), long before the kids and bikes show up. There is nothing quite like starting the day off, watching the sun come up over the Boise foothills while at the skatepark. Once at the office I think back on my morning, my scraped-up knee and/or elbow, and smile to myself. Life is good. Keep up the good work. Greg M. Boise, Idaho

SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING In the Summer 2009 issue you did an article on Jay Vonesh. I can respect his skateboarding, but it stops there. I don’t think Concrete Wave is the place to promote religion. I happen to be Pagan and work with skaters on occasion, [but] I don’t push my beliefs on them; I don’t even mention it unless they ask. I believe skateboarding is spiritual in itself and


I deliberated for quite some time on this letter. Diversity exists in skateboarding just as it does in the world at large. One of the main reasons CW exists is to show that diversity, both of skating itself and of the people who do it. We don’t expect our readers to agree with everything an interview subject (or interviewer) says; we do hope they are occasionally challenged by the articles we run; and we give them credit for being able to read between the lines. Bottom line: We ran the Vonesh interview because Jay is a skateboarder, one of many who help stretch and refresh our ideas of what skating can mean in our lives. It is my hope that people enjoy skateboarding for a number of different reasons — this includes the physical and spiritual aspects. — Ed.

for advice because your magazine is part of the problem. Just when my flames of infatuation die down a little, the Concrete Wave rolls in. I see all the skaters with their own sweet things, smiling ear to ear, and it stokes my passion to be with mine on a wild ride all the more. It is wicked scary. Who would have thought a longboard could cause so much trouble? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for what you do for us hopeless or hopeful souls out there on the pavement. Steve T. Rochester, N.Y.

DIFFERENT EYES We e-mailed a while ago. You told me if I wanna check out downhill longboarding, I should to go to Vancouver. You also told me I would have the time of my life. Well, I did the trip, and you were right. It was freaking GREAT! Coast Longboarding is awesome! The people are amazing! I can’t believe how fast those guys go on their boards. I will never forget my experience over there, and I can’t wait for my next trip to BC. I see skateboarding with different eyes now. Thanks very much! Tim from Germany

TRUE CONFESSIONS — Letter of the Month Dear Father Mike, I have a confession to make. I am in the middle of a midlife crisis, and I may have strayed down a path from which there is no return. You see, I am blessed to be a happily married man — been so for almost 20 years. But awhile ago my son introduced me to a sweet little thing, and it was lust at first sight. She is all of 35’’, maybe more, yet has such sensuous curves and moves like a cat — so spirited, yet so smooth. It is all a guy approaching 50 could ever dream of; spending every warm summer evening swinging and swaying in a dance of delight with her. My wife knows about my not-so-secret new love, and she is quite worried. I wish I could get the two of them together. It would be my fantasy come true. Alas, it is not to be. I think my wife is afraid of getting hurt or getting hooked on the feeling of it all — the thrill, the energy, the freedom. I need help. How do I go on [with] this new passion I feel, against my true devotion to my wife and family? There just is not enough time in the day to do it all the way it should be done. I wrote to you

HYBRID I’m a long time boarder as well as a reader of Concrete Wave. I like Concrete Wave and really enjoy the 100% Skateboarding aspect of it; however, I have noticed that you have never (in my reading history) reviewed a hybrid-type board such as Freebord or Flowboard. I feel it would be more representative of your 100% Skateboarding slogan if you were to do so. Also, as an owner of a few of these boards, it would also be neat to have a review to share with people who are curious of these types of boards. Thanks, Andrew M. I seem to recall a Flowboard shot in Vol. 1 No. 4. I understand where you are coming from. Some of these hybrids are indeed fun to ride. But we are limited in terms of space and our focus has always been on skateboarding and not hybrid skateboards. — Ed.



TIMESHIP RACING Freerider gloves are for skating at speeds up to 30 mph, then are easily folded up and stuffed into a pocket for the walk back up the hill. These gloves are lightweight yet durable and offer enough protection to keep your skin off the pavement. They are part of TimeShip’s limitededition line with no finger pucks for more dexterity. (505) 474-0074 or SK8KINGS SK8KINGS kicks its AXE Ultimate Series into high gear with the release of three more carbon fiber deck models. These new weapons for the Axe Army were proven at the 2009 Slalom World Championships at Hood River, Oregon, with Axe racers taking nearly 40% of the podiums at this event. The Ultimate Brown Bomber, Lynn Kramer and Skully in all new colorways are available at FLY PAPER GRIP TAPE Fly Paper grip tape is proud to announce its newest addition to the Fly Paper family: Thumbcutter grip tape. Thumbcutter was born out of the demand for a super-rough, extracoarse grip tape. This tape will keep your feet glued to your board and prevent you from slipping off. It comes in 11” x 10” sheets and four sheets to a pack. Also, if you’re not careful, it will leave you with a raw thumb! RAYNE Two new boards have just been introduced by Rayne. The Killswitch is the brainchild of Kevin “K-Rimes” Reimer. With years of experience riding downhill and a sharp mind, Kevin has taken the time to think about each and every movement you make when riding downhill, and how a board could make those maneuvers easier through being positively “locked in.” Brianne Davies is the leading women’s longboarder


in the world; she is simply unstoppable. She has dominated women’s speedboard racing three years in a row. Now she has a board to call her own. The Isis is a combination of Brianne’s favorite boards and groundbreaking new features. LVBC

Las Vegas Boarding Company introduces their LVBC logo skateboard decks in five eye-popping neon colors: Available in sizes from 7.5” to 8.5”, and for a limited time they are including free matching neon grip tape to really get your “Bling” on! All LVBC skateboard decks are proudly made in the USA. CINDRICH

available in clear vintage red, clear orange, clear blue and clear purple. The 75mm Avila is also now available in three new color/duro combinations featuring “Black Ops” urethane: 77A translucent blue (replacing the 77A white), 81A translucent purple and 85A translucent black “smoke.” GRIP TAPE TUTOR The GripTapeTutor™ shows foot placement for five foundational flip tricks. Immediate knowledge for that beginner, while our reference lines refine the foot placement of an intermediate skater, enabling each rider to land tricks more frequently. Skaters get their feet into a spot that works best for them. KHIRO The new Khiro Skateboard Products poster measures 12" x 19". Hang one in your room, in your car, at the shop, or wherever you may need to cover up a hole you punched in the wall at Mom and Dad's


Cindrich Boards is a company devoted to designing and building aluminum longboards. The owner, Dave Cindrich, has tried to incorporate the engineering lessons he’s learned from the automotive racing and the aerospace industry into the skate industry. Call 801-369-5588 or go to SEISMIC

In planning for nearly two years, the Rippler is a 59mm x 43mm wheel molded using Seismic’s elite race-performance “Black Ops” urethane. It’s available in harder duros than their other shapes because of its small footprint. The Rippler is a great filmer wheel or all-around wheel for mini cruisers and retro pool/park boards. They’ve also taken their three classic 3DM-brand shapes and given them a uniform palette of beautiful clear colors. The 62mm Cambria, 68mm Avalon and 75mm Avila are now all

ELEVEN LONGBOARDS Eleven Longboards presents the flexible, fully engineered clear Freebird 31 longboard. The board is flexible, giving back energy into and out of carves for a feel so smooth you might never return to wood decks. MIRAMAR On August 20, 2009 at the Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida, Miramar Longboards launched their new Spectrum board series and unveiled their unique skateboard printing process. The Miramar



Spectrum series contains four new deck shapes hand crafted by Honey Skateboards’ own Mike Mahoney. Mike has developed a reputation in the industry for the quality and craftsmanship that goes into each board he creates. The four original mixedmedia designs were created by San Francisco artist Nick Brown and two graphic media designs by his brother Vince Brown. Miramar would also like to announce the addition of Venice, California skateboarder and photographer Pep Williams to the Miramar family. Pep and Miramar came together to create the new Pep Williams model skate deck, which is 33.5” x 9” with a perfect kick in the nose and tail.

METROBOARD Metroboard continues to innovate its highly praised super-light electric skateboard, proudly made in Portland, Oregon. They now offer a super compact 27” Mini, making the Metroboard more portable than ever! In 2010, they will begin offering an all-terrain model using 110mm monster rubber wheels. SNAKE HEAD KNIVES There has never been a knife made for skateboarders – that is, until now. Introducing the Dogtown Skateboard Knife, produced by Snake Head Knives, in cooperation with the legendary Dogtown Skateboards. The knives are exact reproductions of some of Dogtown’s more popular skateboard designs. A safe alternative to using razor blades when it comes to cutting grip tape.

FIBRETEC S-FLEX DADDIES LOGO BOARD Swiss-made Fibretec Longboards are available online at Daddies Board Shop. In addition to their SFlex, DH and DH Drop, Daddies also has custom-printed S-Flex boards with the new Daddies logo. All available online at NATIONS HILLS Nations Hills is a site that was created for longboarders, by longboarders, to help riders anywhere in the U.S. and Canada find and submit the best hills in their area. Submitting hills is a great way to help spread the stoke and help out your fellow longboarder. The first 500 people that post get entered to

win a set of Orangatang Wheels.

LONGBOARD LARRY Whether you’re headed across campus to class or off to the hills, the Salamander delivers a fun, flexy ride that can be pumped all the way there for a no-footdown trip, or speedchecked and slid around for steezing out the slopestyle. She’s just as easy to flick around for shuvits, fingerflips and bigspins as she is to carry around when you can’t skate (the horror!).

ORANGATANG Orangatang is proud to announce that harder Freerides have landed. 86A and pale yellow, it’s time to slide to your heart’s content. Still dependably grippy, these wheels are available in three flavors: Durian (75mm x 45mm), Stimulus (70mm x 42mm) and Fat Free (65mm x 37mm). All are pre-broken in for buttery slides outta the box. W.R.O.N.G. World Riders Of the Next Generation, a.k.a. W.R.O.N.G., is starting to take notice around the globe. Based out of Camarillo, California, the clothing/deck brand is focusing on the youth of skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing globally. W.R.O.N.G. has a solid amateur skate team that consists of kids like Zane Timpson, who was just featured on Fuel’s “New Pollution” and was one of the stars of the Fuel reality

show “Camp Woodward.” W.R.O.N.G. rippers Fisher DeVoe, Tavin Way, Ryder DeVoe, Ryden Way, Fallen Warehouse, September 2009. Photo by Rick DeVoe TRACKER/PURE After 35 years of skateboard innovations, from the first wide modern truck utilizing aircraft technology to Rockit, the first stiff contoured deck lamination, Larry Balma has brought a lot to skateboarding. In October, Larry an-

nounced he had merged Tracker Trucks with Pure Distribution. “I have been working on this for a while to find the right partner, as I was concerned about keeping the essence of Tracker alive. I believe I have found that in Pure,” Balma said. Pure Distribution will oversee the management, sales and production of Tracker Trucks. Larry will concentrate on what he loves to do, which is to envision and create the next evolution of skateboard trucks. or SPORTING-SAILS Sporting-Sails are quite simple and easy to use as an effective way to manage speed, increase stability, inspire new thought and elevate visibility to traffic. As the company suggests, the sails will not make you a better skateboarder, but they will make you a more well-rounded skateboarder by enabling you to use smaller, more responsive set-ups down steeper hills. CONSPIRACY After two skate/filming tours of Colorado and Utah this summer, the Conspiracy Skateboards crew met up with Aliens who brought them fresh wheels and boards from unknown worlds! First we have new white “Secret Formula” Alien Shot wheels. If you order them on the website you get a free Pushead “Alien Shot” T-shirt while supplies last. Next are the new “ARRGGHH!” 8.25” deck and the “Flying Switchblade” 8.5” and James Hedrick decks. James is a rippin’ pool skater, park designer and builder for Team Pain. DK LONGBOARDS Dmitri Komarov of DK Longboards (his self-titled board business) is an engineering student and speedboarder in Montreal. He’ll take any of your crazy ideas and make them happen for a reasonable price. He’s made all types of boards, from minis to dancers, has worked with a wide variety of materials including bamboo and fiberglass, and cooperates with Canadian artists for custom graphics. LOADED Loaded’s got some brand new Race Gloves. High-quality goat leather, breathable mesh and re-



flective lining combine with carbon knuckle protectors and UHMW pucks for durable, race-oriented slide gloves. SUNRISE Sunrise wheels were designed in Germany, produced in the USA and are getting great reviews abroad. The Eifel wheel is poured in what Sunrise calls their “luxury urethane” and works great for cruising and slalom. A super, all-around solid wheel that keeps speed, wears well and is designed right with a lot of grip. Dealer inquires welcome. In the USA please contact, and in Europe DAN DENGLER New favorites from Dan Dengler Longboards include 70” pintail guns and 30” old-school feather shapes. There are also hundreds of other new-one- of- akind unique rideable art pieces all made from salvaged wood. Coming soon: a skate deck that’s also a skimboard. or call 970401-0412. PALISADES Born on the streets of Southern California, Palisades Longboards represent a new era in longboard style and design. The decks are made in America from the finest FSC certified U.S. hard rock maple and feature the dynamic artwork of local Southern California artists. The current line includes a variety of deck shapes and sizes featuring exclusive art by acclaimed surf artist Rick Rietveld.

AIRFLOW The Speedwing foam-core board is basically the stiff brother of Airflow’s successful wooden 39” Speedwing. It features the same shape and a bit more concave. The double-layer foam core makes for a very stiff yet incredibly light board. Steering is super-


direct and extremely precise. Cutouts in the bottom foam layer enable the use of bigger wheels, so riser pads aren’t necessary with most trucks. The board has fluorescent green ABS edges and is available with a rough 4K carbon or Texalium bottom sheet. It comes drilled for standard trucks; however, it can be ordered with the Magun hole pattern, too. MADRID The Dream is one of many boards under the new Performance Line from Madrid. This board measures 9.75” wide by 39” long with a 31” wheelbase. This twin-tip board was designed for slow- to medium-speed freeriding and has “no wheelbite” cutouts that allow you to do circles around everything in your path. This board also has a medium flex and has Madrid’s famous “W” concave. GREENWOODY Greenwoody Skateboards is a small company just breaking into the skateboard world. The boards are made of Canadian maple from the Great Lakes region and are pressed in the USA. Greenwoody also offers an animated online episode, to keep fans connected to what’s going on with Greenwoody and his friends.

boards. HOLESOM BOARDS From the hills of Laguna Beach, California, with shapes by LBL, and made from the freshest hemp, bamboo and holes on the planet. twitter: @holesom or go to

TUNNEL Adding to their ever-expanding wheel line, Tunnel is proud to release the Tunnel Gel-E-Fish wheels, a 57mm softie wheel perfect for rough roads, filming or simply cruising around town. The Gel-E-Fish feature a soft and fast 78A urethane and sick graphics from artist Jason Cooper. LUV YO MUTHA Earth-friendly soybean-based urethane comes in three sizes: 66mm, 70mm and 76mm. Tested by the TimeShip Team at several races and at high speeds, they have amazing traction, great roll speed and smooth, consistent sliding to the core. and GALAC LAND SURFING

NOLA NOLA Longboards is a small skate company based out of New Orleans, Louisiana. The decks are all designed, pressed and shaped by Daniel McDonald and select riders, with specialized speedboard, freeride, mini and other models. NOLA Longboards was started out of love for skateboarding and craftsmanship and has grown with the demand for the

These are handmade skateboards from San Diego. They are dedicated to pumping, slalom, long-distance pumping (LDP), boardwalking and skogging. They’re now offering a “Galacized” Bennett truck, which is a modified Bennett 4.3 for LDP and slalom. Their 37” GTCPLDP deck is designed by John Galac and James Peters to excel at LDP and has become a staple in the long-distance pumping world. They recently released the 22” POD Micro Pumper, a compact, functional mini that rides like a bigger board. or



SKATEBOARD DELI The Purple Skunk board shop, in collaboration with Somos Skateboards, will be opening the custom Skateboard Deli to add to their already extensive line of skateboard products. Here, a customer will be able to hand-select the size, style, shape and lines of their newest skateboard, have it personally shaped in one week and then be able to set it up with the freshest components available. This unique opportunity will offer the customer a truly custom board built from the mind of the rider and manifested as a reality by the Purple Skunk crew.

designs, new shapes and a new direction, you can expect to see a lot of good things out of these two companies. Bareback’s direction heads under classy graphics, primarily featuring pinup and tattoo-related styles, whereas Freeride goes the more artistic, earthy route. With this being just the preview, BBS Distribution has a lot more to offer. Eric Debruyne at French Old School Skate Jam.

JACKASS – THE LOST TAPES This is a compilation of material that was deemed either too outrageous or just not entertaining enough for broadcast. Either way, if you’re a fan of this show, you really can’t go wrong. It’s twisted, sick and most of the time just plain moronic, but it can be pretty hilarious, too. Warning: Watch the “vomelette” part at your own risk. ROB DYRDEK’S FANTASY FACTORY Following the success of “Rob and Big,” Rob decided to start up another reality show. It features quite a bit of skateboarding footage, and Dyrdek wields his power with an amusing mix of humiliation and humor. While there are parts where you might find yourself wincing, the show redeems itself when Danny Way teams up with Rob to break the standup speed record.

SLIDE CLINIC The Purple Skunk will also be hosting downhill sliding lessons to those in the San Francisco Bay Area. All are welcome to enjoy this series. They will start with the basics of sliding, such as pendulums and 360s, and progress through time until everyone is a bona fide slide master. Focusing on style and fun, this class will provide an excellent opportunity to learn how to be a slippery slider or improve the skills you already have. Contact Dave Tannaci at (408)660-0532 or POWELL

while. Suitable for folks who miss “Jackass,” those who love to watch “train wrecks” and anyone who just enjoys mindless fun.


Photo: Fred Ferand

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE LIGAMENT™ technology consists of inlaying three long strips of high-strength polymeric strap into the middle of each deck. These reinforcing straps are strong and flexible, like the ligaments that connect your muscles to your bones. Even when you break the board, the ligament straps will hold your deck together, allowing you to ride out of it instead of doing the groin-tearing splits. LIGAMENT™ decks weigh the same as a 7-ply maple deck, but have more pop, stay stiff longer than ordinary boards and prevent the deck from ever breaking into two pieces. BAREBACK/FREERIDE Bareback and Freeride Skateboards are back and

are now housed under BBS Distribution. With new


There is certainly a huge amount of fantastic skate product out there, but we wanted to shine a spotlight on some items that you can only watch or read. However, we still urge you to get out and skate! THE DISPOSABLE SKATEBOARD BIBLE This second book from skater and artist Sean Cliver is a monumental achievement and in some ways surpasses his first book, “Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art.” Cliver has jammed a huge amount of material into this book. Suitable for budding artists, skate or wanna-be collectors or anyone who just wants to own a super-cool book. NITRO CIRCUS For those not in the know, Nitro Circus is a show that airs on MTV, showing Travis Pastrana and his friends traveling around the world riding dirt bikes, BASE jumping and performing reckless stunts. There’s very little skateboarding shown, but the hijinks at Bob Burnquist’s backyard ramp make this two-disc set worth-

For many folks, the arrival of colder temperatures can severely curtail or end time on a skateboard. But you can still keep in shape and improve your balance with a balance board. We were very impressed with the Lotus Balance board. The board is available in either maple or bamboo (both sustainably harvested), and the tube it rests on is made up of 100% post-consumer product. We found the 4” diameter tube to be just the right size. The Lotus Balance board is easy enough to somewhat master, but dangerous enough to be fun. BANSHEE BUNGEE I met up with these guys at the Surf Expo trade show a few years ago. The product is something out of Wile E. Coyote’s Acme Corporation catalog. Essentially, it’s a giant rubber band that can propel skaters like mad. Places you thought too tight to skate suddenly open up because you now have the opportunity to gain speed quickly. The Banshee Bungee also works great with skimboards and snowboards. Just be sure to secure the device when you use it.




Nanaimo, British Columbia. They recently moved to a new location six times the size of their previous shop!

On October 16, Earthwing, Woody’s Halfpipe and the

Georgia Bowlriders got together for a skate event/cleanup called “Help the Hooch.” The event started with a five-mile push, then a visit to a skatepark and finally removing trash from the river. Photo: Lee Cation

Texas Longboards’ second annual “Dallas BoARd hop” was held on Sunday, September 6, 2009. This was a free push tour of Dallas, for riders of legal drinking age. It was a responsible day of bar hopping via longboards. Participants passed through some of Dallas’s most scenic areas, stopping at favorite “watering holes” along the 13-mile ride. Congratulations to Switchback Longboards of

means, and for most of the participants, this was their first downhill race. The organizers were happy with the turnout. This outlaw was a great way to gain popularity for downhill in Michigan. Future races are being planned with the hope of a larger field of racers. The King of the Forest is a grueling 10-mile longboard

race held in British Columbia that severely tests a rider's stamina. Pictured are the top three finishers: Paul Kent, 1st place (middle), Graeme Hystad, 2nd (left) and David Mitchell, 3rd (right).

KÖNIG DER BERGE CUP HIGHLIGHTS Words and Photo: Alexander Frischauf Run to the Hills Race Sebastian Hertler was the winner in downhill skateboarding at the Run to the Hills race September 56, 2009 in Oberwang, Austria. The event was Round #4 of the 2009 “König der Berge Cup” (King of the Hills Cup) and was also an IGSA Regional race. After a stormy Friday night, practice started Sat-

TIM BRAUCH MEMORIAL CONTEST Words: Kim Cook Photo: Steve Potwin Imagine showing up to a contest to compete against

MICHIGAN’S FIRST DOWNHILL OUTLAW By Matt Livingston Fourteen racers took to the streets in Waterford, Sebastian Hertler (in black) and Patrick Aldlinger battle it out in Austria.

Michigan on Aug.12, 2009 for Michigan’s first downhill outlaw race. The race was scheduled to get under way at 11 a.m. The course was great for beginners, with lots of turns and slower speeds. This allowed everyone to race the course to its full potential, creating tight pack skating and a lot of close finishes. The race started with heats of three racers, with the top two from each heat moving on. Just as the first set of heats was completed, the police made an unexpected visit. After some negotiating, the officers agreed to “unofficially” let the racing continue. After some close finishes in the semifinals, the final heat took to the course. Out of the last turn, all four racers were neck and neck. The final results were: Peter Croce Carlos Danel Dave Blanchard The Michigan downhill scene is not large by any


other skateboarders only to find out everyone in your division is less than half your age. That’s how it is for female skaters in contests; all are lumped in one category despite age, experience and skill level. For Jean Rusen, rider for the Vets Division of Old Man Army, competing against skaters the same age as her daughters wasn’t exactly her idea of a fair and healthy competition. At the 11th Annual Tim Brauch contest in San Jose on September 27, 2009, Jean made history by being the first woman to skate against the men in the Grandmasters Division. She made a huge statement as the movement takes shape by female skateboarding organizations to make competitions more representative of the female skateboarding population as it grows in numbers and diversity. ON BOARD SHOW The On Board art and lifestyle show will be at 3811 Ray St. in North Park in San Diego on Saturday, January 10, 2010. There will be pictures for sale and films playing from the old days of skating. Collectors and old pros will also be showing up, and Soul Ride will be letting folks use their mini ramp in the back. For more info, e-mail HELP THE HOOCH

urday at 10 a.m. on a dry road. The slippery surface of the track made it really hard for the riders to find the perfect line on the 80 km/h speed section that is followed by four tight hairpins. German young gun Patrick Aldlinger dominated downhill skateboard qualifying. In classic luge, Dr. Michael Serek demonstrated his abilities by posting the fastest qualifying time without taking a single practice run. After qualifying, another freeriding session was held. The first day ended with a traditional “Brettljause” (cold dinner) that was included in the entry fee, followed by a wild party with locals in the event tent. In the two-man final, Patrick Aldlinger faced his mentor Sebastian Hertler in a head-to-head match. Hertler led the youngster down the entire course to earn his third win of the 2009 series. The consolation final was a fight between the two Hackbrett teammates, Max Stamler (AUT) and Tom Damman (GER). Damman ended up crashing out, effectively handing the heat race victory to Stamler, who earned the third place. Jochpass Freeride With the help of the Allgaeuer Longboard Verein and, the Jochpass Freeride was held on October 9-11, 2009. The course, in southern Germany, is a longboarders’ paradise, with a seven-kilometer closed road featuring 104 turns.



Left to right: Doro Zweimueller - co-promoter and secretary of Gravity Sports Austria, Patrick Aldinger (top qualifier), Sebastian Hertler and Max Stamler.

Saturday started like Friday ended — rainy — so we were only allowed to ride the 800-meter long finishing straight to show the spectators some slide action, and for the speed competition, which was won by Max Stamler (Austria) with 65.69 km/h (standup) and Alex Frischauf (Austria) with 74.44 km/h (luge). After a big dinner (included in the entry fee), the wildest party of the year started with the prize-giving for the speed race and for the complete “König der Berge” Cup series. Then, as the name says, it was SUNday, and we got another three runs down this beautiful piece of tarmac. What a weekend and race season! Hope to see everyone again next year at the König der Berge Cup Series. FINAL RESULTS Downhill Skateboard International: Sebastian Hertler GER Max Stamler AUT Dr. Michael Serek AUT Downhill Skateboard Austria: Max Stamler AUT Dr. Michael Serek AUT Robert Richter AUT Downhill Skateboard Female: Nicola Reinthaler AUT Rebekka Gemperle SUI Maike Westerich GER

By Deb Gordon Photos: Ben Marcus On Saturday, October 3, 2009, all 50 years of Gordon and Smith were on display at Wave House San Diego, as thousands of surfers, skaters, shapers and surf culture/history buffs came from all over the world to celebrate Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith and all they have done for surfing and sidewalk surfing. The people whose “first board was a Gordon & Smith” were just as much a part of the celebration as the legendary surf and skate personalities that came. Wave House San Diego was the perfect venue for

cial raffle of a collector surfboard signed and numbered by Larry Gordon, which was won by ’70s surf teamrider Reed Mayne. It all finished off with a free concert by roots/Hawaiian/reggae band Pau Hana while old black & white surf movies were projected onto the big screen above the standing wave pool – including rare footage from the 1965 Tom Morey noseriding contest at C Street. This was one night when no one wanted to go home. On October 17, a helmet safety awareness event was

held in Lee's Summit, Missouri by the organization Helmets In Hands. More than 180 Triple Eight helmets were given out. Visit to learn more.

Skip Frye and Floyd Smith. Floyd Smith and Larry Gordon

BROADWAY BOMB 2009 RECAP By Mike Dallas New York City’s “Broadway Bomb” exploded again

PURPLE SKUNK 7TH ANNUAL ALL SKATE JAM October 11, 2009 We don’t say “cheese,” we say “Purple Skunk” for

our group pic in San Francisco’s historic Golden Gate Park. The day kicked off at 10 a.m. with a Continental breakfast followed by sandwiches, snacks and drinks. There was endless skating, including slalom, longboarding, freestyle and new-school grinds and flips. We even had skateboard hockey on the sidelines for the Jaks. A BIG thank you to all of our vendors for their unconditional generosity. Without Arbor, Black Label, Burton, Climax, Concrete Wave, Creation Skateboards, Deluxe, Earthwing, Frito-Lay, Hosoi, Gravity, Hurley, Ladera, Landyachtz, Loaded, Never Summer, NHS, Plank Skateboards, Scum Skateboards, Sector9, Sk8Trip, Skate One, S-One Helmets, Vans, Volcom and Zoo York, the day would not have been as perfect as it was. G & S 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

the event. There were nearly 100 vintage surfboards and skateboards representing all the eras of G & S, from Hynson Red Fins to modern tri-fins. Along that wall were many famous faces who had gone on to great things in the world of surfing and skating. The timeline was a tribute to G & S history, but that history came to life that day, as Mike Hynson, Skip Frye, Henry Hester, Doug Saladino, Ellen Oneal, Jim Gray, Chris Miller, Billy Ruff, Chris Yandall, Jim Hogan, Charlie Kuhn, Stacy Peralta, Rusty Preisendorfer and many others made it to Mission Beach to accept certificates of appreciation from G & S, and express their appreciation for all G & S had done for them. The day was amazing, with legends from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s all rubbing elbows while Tom Morey played requests on his ukulele, and the Surfboard Factory guys had a ’70s classic-rock jam session on the big concert stage. The day included an exhibition of Wave House pros on the FlowBarrel wave, the appreciation and presentation of awards by Larry Gordon and a spe-

this year with nearly 300 outlaw push skaters and a police escort. The race started at noon by organizer Ian Nichols at the intersection of 116th St. and Riverside Drive on Manhattan’s upper west side. Skaters were feeling anxious before the race as police cruisers circled the starting line while flipping their lights and sirens. Cops engaged as skaters raced up the 116th St. hill to Broadway Ave for the eight-mile chaos race. 1st Mark Schaperow 2nd Colin Guinn 3rd Theseus Williams & James Soladay (tie) CORRECTIONS • Adam Colton and Kevin Reimer took the photos in the article "Lefts and Rights" in the Fall 2009 issue. • Katie Neilson was incorrectly named in a photo caption in the Paskapoo article.




38 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2009 Abec11 Bennett Black Label Cadillac Gordon & Smith Gravity H Street Independent Jessup Grip Tape Kebbek Khiro Loaded Madrid Orangatang Paris Truck Co. Pimp Grip Randal Trucks Retro Riveria Santa Cruz Shut Triple 8 Tunnel Venom Tracker Trucks Bennett trucks Tunnel products

S&J Sales Co. Ltd. Skateboard Distribution since 1985. 905-420-5001 east 604-244-2361 west HOLIDAYS 2009 CONCRETE WAVE 39




light brown scorpion scurried across the burning sand. Its tail was arched upward as if to keep from being singed. Nearby, unknown to all living creatures, a rattlesnake slithered silently through the tall dry grass that grew around a gas meter in an alley. Its movements looked punch drunk as the morning heat took its toll. The snake was also looking for a cool place to spend the day. It was a hot, dry May morning that would be followed by an even hotter afternoon. The day would easily reach one hundred degrees but would feel like one hundred and twenty. There hadn’t been a single cloud in the sky for weeks and predictions of an impending drought had begun appearing on the news. The previous year had seen plenty of rain and everything had been green by desert standards. It had been a very rare year for El Paso. This year, normally vibrant plants were lying brown in the scorched earth, desperately hoping the skies or some kind soul with a hose would provide the liquid nourishment they needed. The Franklin Mountains, the tail end of the majestic Rockies that forcefully divided the town, looked weak, dull and brown, providing testament to the power of the desert heat. Mike was jolted awake as his alarm clock began its incessant call to arms. He hated the sound it made and slammed his hand down on the snooze button. It was only sixthirty but it was already over eighty degrees outside. Mike laid his head, damp with sweat, back on his pillow and drifted off to sleep. A light breeze floated through an open window and cooled him for a very welcome moment. Ten minutes later the call to arms began again. Sitting up he felt a burning, stinging pain along the left side of his body. He stifled a scream and fell back on his bed in agony. He lay there, focusing on a poster hanging on the wall, the repetitive sounds becoming distant. The skateboarder was boardsliding a steep handrail. Mike could


tell you volumes about the legendary Rob “Robocop” Kaupf. Rob was a professional skater who rode for Reptile Skateboards in San Diego. Mike had seen him skate in a demo a couple of years earlier at a local shop and had been a fan ever since. Last night, Mike tried to 50/50 down a handrail as steep as the one in the poster. He had ollied onto it perfectly and locked his bare trucks onto the metal rail, grinding down it fast and smooth. But he wasn’t prepared for the G forces that sucked him into the pavement as he landed. Instead of rolling away smoothly, his knees buckled underneath him. He plowed into the cement with the entire left side of his body, head and shoulders first. Today, Mike was reaping the “glory” of his injuries, hefty doses of pain and humility. He slowly pulled himself out of bed. He had an appointment at the Social Security Administration office downtown and didn’t want to be late. Mike walked into the bathroom and peeled off his T-shirt, inspecting himself in the mirror. Admiring the scratches and bruises that ran from the left side of his head to his calf, he pulled up the side of his shorts to get a better look. He hadn’t cleaned up last night, so dried blood was caked everywhere, even in his hair. His shoulder, collarbone and arm felt the sorest because they had taken most of the impact. His hip had a big, purpleblack bruise as big as a softball. Battle scars, a gory scene; one Mike was extremely proud of. The brutality of last night’s session was typical of his hard-edge skating style and reflected the aggressive manner in which he exorcised his inner demons. Mike wasn’t unique; most of the skaters he knew were fighting their own wars. It seemed a prerequisite for the sport. He looked away from the mirror as his mind wandered back to his upcoming appointment. “What is it they want with me this time?” he wondered, limping to the shower. “Last time they wanted to know if I still lived with my grandmother. They could’ve just called. What a waste of time!”

He turned on the shower and set a timer for five minutes. As Mike stepped in, steam was already rising. The hot water shotgunned his cuts and scrapes, immediately increasing the intensity of his suffering. Cringing, he knew the stinging would subside as soon as the layers of dried blood were stripped and his cuts numbed. As the pain disappeared, he turned up the heat and felt it melt away the stiffness in his bones. He slowly twisted from side to side, massaging his left shoulder and collarbone with the steaming spray. It felt incredibly soothing. He wished his therapy could last forever but his grandmother had a steadfast rule: “No more than five minutes.” When the buzzer rang he obediently stopped the shower, just as it was helping the most. “Gotta keep the costs down,” Mike thought as he toweled off. He was more than happy to comply with his grandmother’s wishes, even if it meant sacrificing his relief. He adored her and did anything she asked of him. Mike’s parents died in a tragic automobile accident when he was nine. He had lived with his paternal grandmother and uncle since. His grandmother had immigrated to the United States from Mexico with her family when she was an infant. Her father provided for the family modestly at best, but they never went hungry or wanted for basic necessities. She married Mike’s grandfather and had two sons. Like her father, her husband was a humble provider. Before he died from an accident while working in Smelter Town, he was able to pay for the small house in which they lived. The proceeds from his nominal retirement fund and life insurance policy helped cover their daily costs. ¶


Life Aboard the Loco Express


he dream seemed easy enough! Get a cool bus, travel to races and have support from advertisers and sponsors. The Loco Express is a 1965 Dodge Travco. I received it for free, but free really means a big, fat, expensive bill. With a great amount of help from Stumanchu, friends and the guys at Auto Friends, the Loco Express was given the ability to go and stop safely. The interior was put together over three days, with everyone coming together to help get us on the road for our USA tour. The Loco Express would never have left the garage without the financial support and labor of friends and sponsors. A huge thanx goes out to Stumanchu, Luke, Tim Loh, Julie Lapointe, Ryan Ricker, Landyachtz, Concrete Wave, Coast Longboarding, Bear Trucks, Hawgs Wheels, TimeShip Racing, Unkle Lee Cation, Phil, Off Axis,


By Matt “Hoodie” Shaw Bonus Interviews by Jeff “Woody” Woodfine

The Clit, Murf with Pilsner, Hugh “Kibbling” Johnston, Dave “Guff” Leslie with his camera, Jonnie Walker with Walker Custom Painting, Hayato Tanaka, Jeff “Woody” Woodfine, Patrick Switzer, Joey Pryde, Mom and Dad. As a driver I should have had a license. I never did…but I can fix stuff. The Loco Express was intended to be an advertisement space and a way to get sponsors to help provide racers with free transportation for a season of skating and competing. This didn’t happen exactly to plan; instead, passengers were charged a ticket price and had to be subjected to whatever I chose to do. Besides managing a small space with 8-12 skaters, the other big obstacle was dealing with breakdowns and the phantom bottle cap in the gas tank. Every trip was in jeopardy of not leaving Vancouver. When things break down

on the Loco, it is never a quick fix. Parts are hard to come by. They cost more, they must be specially ordered, and something is always broken. I was always able to find a way; it just depended on how many toes it would cost. Once things were rolling, the parties would start up and a dance party would get under way. Before arriving at a destination, a breakdown of some sort was inevitable. This would affect the schedule, and the passengers did not like it when they missed chances to skate. We made it to many of the events we planned on attending and missed a few. The stress I went through trying to balance a schedule, 8-12 passengers, partying and operating a bus definitely took a toll on my sanity. I definitely snapped a few times. On the flip side of the bad times, there were the good times. We skated Malibu’s Tuna


free transportation to events. Did it happen? NO! Not even close! Will it happen again? Who knows? I have more insight on what needs to be done and how to get sponsors. Next year will be a new chapter in the Loco Express log. I may have failed in reaching my goal, but on the other hand, we made it, and we all have the experiences that will be with us for life. Now I must come back, attack sponsors and get advertisers on board for 2010! Interviews by


Who was the craziest hitchhiker you picked up in the Loco? Guff: Definitely the dude who got shot in the face — by his cousin. He had, like, two faces, and he put my fingers in the holes where the bullets had gone in and out of his face. He was even drinking the same booze that we had going in our paper bags: two-liter Glacier Berry Cooler! How long did you spend wearing the bird costume? Guff: Counting sleeping, maybe a few days. Is Hoodie a good driver? Guff: Yeah, he’s a good driver — a bit crazy.

Trying to get some sleep while on the road.

Canyon, GMR, Albuquerque ditches, Colorado mountains, BC mountains, Alberta hills and skateparks along the way. The Loco traveled to nine races and logged more than 7,777 miles. We were always meeting interesting people along the way while broken down, at gas stations, on the hills, out partying, picking up hitchhikers and skating. While in Portland, the Loco was greeted by Wookie; in Avon, Colo., it was Rob McKendry; plus Earthships in Taos, Mama Strike in Williams Lake, Aaron Christensen in Calgary and many more. Everywhere the Loco went, people gathered, asked questions and jumped in, some for longer durations and some very briefly. The memories and stories will be shared for years to come and will never be forgotten! We went through a gauntlet to make the trips happen, and it was all worth it! I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to light a match and give in now and then. That being said, I could never bring myself to part with the Loco after so many wild trips and great times with friends on the road. My goal was to provide racers with

What has Hoodie done to piss you off? Guff: What didn’t he do? He makes you obey his rules. Anything Hoodie wants to do, you’re gonna end up doing it.

Matt “Hoodie” Shaw

Woody The Loco is the greatest way to travel — when you’re actually traveling. The time broken down was most often amusing. Among my memories: shooting each other with fireworks, Sh*t Show Shadow, drunk hitchhikers with their pants undone and much more. My favorite moment would have been at the car show in Williams Lake. We won a kick-ass trophy for the “Hard Luck Award.” The Loco crew also got fed lunch. We were all entered into a pizza eating contest. Later, when people came to see the Loco Express, they also got to watch the Loco crew puking up their lunch. First on the phone, the cameraman and the only passenger to go on every Loco Express trip: Dave “Guff” Leslie. So, Guff, what did you do to piss Hoodie off? Guff: When Hoodie would be getting all pissy, I would make wise, smart-ass comments to piss him off more, then sit back and watch!

My next phone call was to Louis Pilloni. He was at a bar and may have been intoxicated. I’m pretty sure he thought it was Hoodie giving him a call. He kept asking when it was his turn to ask a question, so I hung up on him. What did Hoodie do to piss you off? Louis: He’s not a bad guy. You just have to bite the bullet sometimes. What was your most unforgettable moment in the Loco Express? Louis: The whole trip is something I will never forget. Crossing the border was pretty crazy when Hoodie was wearing the bird costume and we were all dragged in and accused of being stoned on marijuana. What was the worst moment on the Loco? Louis: It was when we were broken down. But then, while being broken down we met great people, and we even stayed at their earthship home. Did you ever get frisky on the Loco? Louis: Well, it was home to, like, 15 people. But of course you gotta get some at some point. So is that a yes?


Louis: Yes. After talking to Louis, I thought I would give Christin Gregersen a call. She is a fast hill bomber and aggressive slider. Christin was on her way to buy some Value Village furniture when I stole a few minutes of her life that she can never have back. What was your most unforgettable moment in the Loco? Christin: There were a lot of them. I remember when James Kelly threw up on Kibbling and me. I thought I was going to puke! Did you ever get frisky in the Loco? Christin: Yes, lots! Who was the best dancer during the Loco dance parties? Christin: Definitely King Brian from Chilliwack. How long did you spend broken down in the Loco? Christin: Well, it took us three days to get to Portland from Vancouver. Is there anything you would like to

add? Christin: It was the most amazing trip I have ever done!

leaving us on the side of the road, grabbing a bag of beer and taking off like Rambo in “First Blood.”

Moving right along, I then made the call to the big man, Bricin “Striker” Lyons. Hoodie always told me that whenever Striker calls, it’s from the bathroom. This time was no different. What did Hoodie do to piss you off? Striker: Piss me off, or wreck our friendship? He hurt us when he said he was over with us. What did you do to piss off Hoodie? Striker: I got in the way of his woman.

Have you ever defaced, pissed or puked in the Loco? Striker: Is that a trick question? Does this end up with me owing Hoodie money?

Did you help with any repairs on the Loco? Striker: With the Loco, no, but I did have to do a lot of repairs on my heart.

Phil “Green Like Limes” was my next subject. He was making dinner at home and said he didn’t give interviews, but he quickly gave in when he was told it was for the Loco Express Concrete Wave article. What did you do to piss off Hoodie? Phil: I crashed the Loco.

Would you go on the Loco again? Striker: It depends: Where are we going? To the bar, maybe. What was your most unforgettable moment in the Loco? Striker: That would have been Hoodie

How long did you spend broken down in the Loco? Striker: A day and a half just trying to get out of Vancouver, and a few days not broken down, waiting for Hoodie to get laid.

How many Loco trips did you go on? Phil: Just the maiden trip through the States, so one. Would you go on the Loco again?

This is the Loco B-Boy stance after a food find in the dumpsters. Talk about road tripping!


Unloading for a bomb at Sandia Crest in New Mexico.

Phil: Uh…yeah. It was a learning experience. What was your most unforgettable moment in the Loco? Phil: Picking up the hitchhiker that was fresh outta jail. He was a scary mofo named Leaf, with a tattoo of Hitler on his arm that he did himself. What was the worst moment? Phil: We were going through a snowstorm down a narrow road with cliffs on the side of the road. Joshua from the Czech Republic was driving us through Yellowstone Park. I thought I was going to die! I was staying close to the window, and I was prepared to jump through. I’ve never told anyone this. I ran into Cody “Sh*t Show Shadow” Tisdale up in Whistler and interviewed him as he was hanging from the rafters of the hotel. How many hours did you spend broken down in the Loco? Shadow: Enough time to write an emo song: “So Whatcha Thinking About?” Who was the best dancer in the Loco? Shadow: It was definitely me; that’s why


I was the judge. Stef was pretty good, ’til she ended upside down in the doorway after Woody braked for a corner. Is Hoodie a good driver? Shadow: He’s a great driver when he’s not angry — much better than Woody. Would you go on another trip in the Loco? Shadow: Yes, especially if it was to Point Roberts, cuz Hoodie was rad and not being a dick. I called the laid-back Nick Breton of Edmonton, Local 124 team rider. I caught him brewing some coffee. Did you ever help with repairs on the Loco? Nick: No, I just sat back and laughed. What was your most unforgettable moment on the Loco? Nick: Dumpster diving in Montana! We saw some dumpster outside of the market getting loaded with shopping carts of food! We started to go crazy, pulling boxes of food from the bins and dancing all around the food. Then this really large woman came out and told us they pour chemicals into those bins. King Brian was still feasting on his wa-

termelon as they pleaded with us to return the food and said they had called the police. Sure enough, cops came, but by that time we had returned the food and bought groceries. Who was the gnarliest hitchhiker you picked up in the Loco? Nick: The guy on the way to Santa Fe — dude had crazy tats all over his body and Hitler on his head. The first 10 or so minutes was scary, but then [we] offered him a beer and gave him a phone to call his mom. What would you change or add to the Loco? Nick: A gas gauge! Anything you would like to add? Nick: Get on board if you can. I made a call to Maui and got ahold of the Maui Wowie, aka Josh Weisfeld, as he was chilling at his home in Hawaii. What did you do to piss Hoodie off? Josh: I told the little girls that Hoodie just wanted to bang them. Would you go on another trip in the Loco? Josh: (long pause)…Possibly.


What was your most unforgettable moment in the Loco? Josh: When Hoodie launched the Loco off the highway, through a ditch and came to a fishtail stop in a farmer’s field. This was when he found out the front windshield was busted up. Hoodie kicked us to the side of the highway, took the keys and walked off with the rest of the beer. What was the worst moment in the Loco? Josh: That quickly turned into the worst moment, not knowing what we were going to do in the middle of nowhere, hitchhiking with eight people. Who was the best dancer in the Loco? Josh: I would have to go with Sh*t Show Shadow. What would you change about the Loco? Josh: Nothing but the driver! Just kidding…but some lockers or shelves would be good. My next call was to Hayato Tanaka, also known as Dragon. He was busy working. I asked if I could call at a better time, but he insisted that work was the best time to call. What did Hoodie do to piss you off? Dragon: He thinks about the girls too much and forgets about the rest of us. Would you go on another trip? Dragon: Oh, hell, yeah! I would live on it.

getting to spend the night in an earthship home under the stars. Did you ever get frisky in the Loco Express? King Brian: Uuummm…nope. (We call bullsh*t) Is Hoodie a good driver? King Brian: Yeah, a great driver. How many hours did you spend broken down? King Brian: Oh, sh*t! I would say around 50 or 60 hours. Anything you would like to add? King Brian: Hell, yeah. That was the best three weeks of my life. Now, last but not least, the man behind the show — the guy sleeping on my couch, the man with a million ideas, big dreams and five bucks in his pocket. I introduce to you…Matt “Hoodie” Shaw. What was the nastiest thing you found in the Loco? Hoodie: The nasty things left in the fridge by Joshua the Czech, the bubble wand used as something it probably should not have been used for*, old shoes, a random bra and old scabby underwear, to list a few.

released back to Canada, the guard asked, “What’s up with the bird?” I responded, “Haven’t you heard? The bird is the word!” And we were on the way back to Landyachtz! Why did you call your bus the Loco Express? Hoodie: It seems pretty obvious — maybe not the Express part — but Loco is Mexican for crazy. But what do I know? I don’t speak Mexican! What did you learn this summer from the Loco Express? Hoodie: I did learn stuff. Like “serenity now” is a load of sh*t, counting to 10 doesn’t work, yelling at drunk skaters is pointless, 1965 was a great year for mechanics, and I have plenty of new rules to add to the list of thousands. Anything to add?

Did you try anything new? Hoodie: Of course! The whole trip was new for me. Then there were the new hills, the New Mexico green chili and a bunch of us hit up the salvia. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things.

Have you ever defaced, puked or pissed in the Loco? Dragon: No, but James Kelly puked, and I think a chunk landed on my shoulder.

What was the gnarliest moment? Hoodie: The trip back from Williams Lake included fireworks, sage picking and near-death experiences. However, the Loco Whistler party with broken limbs and bubble wands was pretty crazy, too.

What does “King Brian” Elderkin do when he is at his home in Chilliwack? Nothing. I asked Brian what he was doing when I called; he said he was watching wood burn. What was your most unforgettable moment in the Loco? King Brian: Breaking down in the high desert, talking about chupacabras and

So what actually happened at the border? Hoodie: I was wearing the bird suit, James Kelly was wanted and so was Louis. The Loco had already ready been cleaned out at the previous stop. The crew was slightly foggy when it came to releasing details, and we were all brought in for a search. Once being

They've got heart: (L to R) King Brian, Matt "Hoodie" Shaw and Josh Channel

Hoodie: Huge thanks to my family, friends and sponsors for believing in me. I never would have made it this far without their help and support. I’m looking forward to making the 2010 season even better! On another note, mess with me or the Loco and I will destroy you! To view the complete interviews and other Loco chaos, check out ¶ *censored by CW




Julie Kindstrand “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.” 46 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2009

Words by Sydney Goldberg | Photo by Garret Shigenaka

Roller skates and a bottle of Gatorade are responsible for Julie Kindstrand’s skateboarding career. When Julie was 11 her father, “Santa Ana Dave,” used to take her roller skating at a rink near his plumbing and tile job in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. Then he heard about the opening of Laguna Niguel Skatepark, so he decided to give it a go. Julie brought her Britney

Spears roller skates to the park but was captivated by the many skateboarders there that day, including her very own father. “I’m gonna be cool like my dad,” she thought. Mr. Kindstrand never thought his “little princess” would stick with skateboarding, beyond her first drop-in on a ramp. But her fellow skateboarders were willing to sacrifice a hydrating Gatorade if she

successfully landed her trick, and by the third try she did. At just 17 years of age, Julie has already placed 5th at the 2009 X Games and 1st in the 2009 Vans Pro-tec Pool Party, along with numerous other high placings. Despite her father’s deep history with skateboarding, Julie wasn’t really immersed into riding during her childhood. On the other hand, she made it clear that her father was always a part of the community. “Whether it was at a contest or a session, he would introduce himself and share his charm with the world,” Julie recalls. Julie’s first introduction to female riding was when her father took her to the Basic Bowl in Huntington Beach. While that bowl’s eclectic scene can be intimidating, Julie painted a more peaceful picture. As Julie and her father sat on the rooftop, female skateboarder Jules Burn was doing a frontside grind below them, with her crazy hair all over the place and fists clenched. Julie says she can still picture it now. Hailing from Santa Ana, Julie assured me that growing up there wasn’t always peachy

keen. Gang members and tagging inhabited the vicinity, just one block away from her SoCal home. She recalled an incident in which someone threw a piece of wood at her glass window, and her mother was sprawled out on their floor in hiding. “My Santa Ana is a gnarly place,” she said. I was enlightened when I came across the YouTube video of Julie skating in her 8-footdeep clover bowl located in her backyard. Julie’s father always had the goal of having a bowl. The bowl was finished in December 2005, with a hot tub (as promised to Julie’s mother) still in the works. As I watched Julie honing her crailstall transfer and backside air skills, I wondered where she originally developed these maneuvers. It turns out that the Vans Combi Bowl at the Vans Skatepark, in Orange County, Calif. was her training ground. I asked Julie about the level of female skateboarding: Why isn’t female skateboarding up to par? “They can’t blame it on anyone else except themselves,” Julie said about her peers. “There aren’t many women like Cara-Beth

Burnside who are pushing the boundaries of what is expected of them. The higher the skill level, the more money, and the further recognition women will receive for their athletic achievements.” She suggests that girls need to have more of their own sponsors like the brand Roxy, rather than just unisex sponsors; otherwise male athletes seem to get most of the promotion, while female riders are placed on the back burner. Aside from skateboarding, Julie is an avid snowboarder, dirt biker and lyrical diva. When asked what celebrity she would want to meet, she chose Marilyn Monroe, saying she admires her because Monroe took pleasure in setting herself apart from others. The Hollywood glamour queen didn’t let other people’s judgments affect her self-esteem. Like Monroe, Julie Kindstrand refuses to let anyone hold her back. With 13 contest wins in a row, and many more to come in the near future, Julie lives up to Marilyn’s faithful words: “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.” Words and photo by Dave Flanagan

Laura Hatwell

The First Female “Ultra Skater”

Three years ago, Laura Hatwell looked like she had it all. Fresh out of university, she’d landed a dream job in television and was heading off along a well-paid career path that was the envy of many. But the young Englishwoman wasn’t entirely happy. Stuck day after day in a windowless broadcast news production suite in Glasgow, surrounded by computer monitors and under continual pressure, she desperately wanted to regain some sense of freedom. What Laura needed was stoke — but back then she had no idea what that was. Searching for something that might fill the void, Laura came across a story on the Web about English long-distance skater Dave Cornthwaite. At the time he was trying to become the first person to push a board 900 miles down the length of the mainland U.K. — between John O’ Groats and Lands End — raising money for the charities supported by his BoardFree initiative. The idea of getting around under your own power sparked something within Laura. Intrigued, she sought Dave’s advice on longboarding and ended up ordering herself a Lush deck. After a couple of drinks to celebrate its arrival, and the start of a new chapter in her life, she took it for a roll through a Glasgow park, stacking spectacularly in front of a bunch of laughing teenagers. Undeterred, she began traveling to and from work on her board and skating whenever the fickle Scottish HOLIDAYS 2009 CONCRETE WAVE 47

weather allowed. Eventually she organized her own 26-mile charity push between Glasgow and the shores of Loch Lomond, raising cash for a few of BoardFree’s good causes. That effort caught Dave Cornthwaite’s attention. He invited Laura to come join the support team for his record-breaking 3,618-mile skate across Australia in 2006. Stoked to be asked, Laura approached her boss at the BBC in Glasgow and arranged the time off she’d need for the trip. But then a few days later her employer had a change of heart, telling her she couldn’t go. She quit her job the next day and was Down Under the following month, helping keep the epic trans-Australian show on the road. Some people thought she was nuts to quit her television job, but Laura knew she just had to go with the skateboarding flow and see where it took her. Fast-forward to July 2009 and a ferry plowing through the North Sea, en route to the Shetland Islands — the windswept archipelago that’s the most northerly extremity of the U,K. Laura’s aim: to skate the entire length of these remote islands, sail south for six hours on another pitching ferry, push around the Orkney Islands, then travel by boat again to the Scottish mainland. Once she hits that, her plan is to roll all the way down to the English border. Along the way she hopes to meet a few Scottish longboarders and raise some money for charity, too. It’s a journey that could easily hit 600 miles, and all of it will be unsupported. She’ll be facing weather that can change, even in summer, in the blink of an eye. There’ll be mountains, long periods with no human contact, bursts of potentially gnarly urban skating and some crazy drivers to contend with. And she’s got no real idea of how long it’ll all take, opting instead just to see how it pans out. This massive step into the unknown represents Laura Hatwell’s coming of age as a distance skater. In the years since she quit her television job in Scotland and headed to Australia, she’s moved back home to Plymouth, on England’s south coast, and become an active figure on her local longboarding scene. And she’s been officially named by Paved Wave as the first female “ultra skater” after pushing 102 miles in 24 hours — her first attempt at any significant mileage. And the charity element isn’t just something she’s bolted on for the hell of it, either. She’s trying to raise money for Help for Heroes, a charity that aids wounded service personnel. Earlier in the year a friend’s boyfriend, serving with the Royal Marines, was killed in action in Afghanistan; seeing the public outpouring of


grief for the young man in her hometown made supporting Help for Heroes an easy choice for Laura. Also, because Laura’s grandfather had served with the Royal Marines in World War II and been stationed up in the Orkney Islands, Laura was keen to retrace some of his footsteps and see what he’d seen through her own eyes. So, using a sketchy tourist map donated by that same grandfather, Laura stepped off a ferry in the Shetland Islands on July 3 and hit the road with no idea of how things would evolve. But what unfolded during the four weeks of her journey down to England far exceeded anything she had dared to dream of. Although she was self-supported, carrying all her food, clothing and camping equipment in a small 33-liter backpack, Laura found herself being offered free accommodation and meals in many of the places she stopped for the night. In the north of Scotland she became a somewhat reluctant media celebrity, with television, radio and newspapers reporting on her journey. She didn’t go looking for all this attention, but given she was raising money for charity, it all helped bring in the cash. People recognized her out in the middle of nowhere as “that skateboarding girl,” and her story captured a lot of imaginations. She skated in sweltering heat, rolled through rainstorms, battled against howling winds, slogged up Highland mountain roads and bombed down a few, too. One day she pushed for almost 50 miles without stopping and raced a herd of curious cows. Another day, exhausted and frustrated, she could only manage 18 miles. Laura got a fighter jet fly-by from the Royal Air Force to say thanks for her fundraising efforts and was chased by confused security guards after skating across the runway at an island airport. She hooked up with a couple of skaters in some unexpected places and was handed donations and food by complete strangers. There were several near misses with inattentive and shocked drivers, and she also took some verbal abuse from people who just didn’t understand what the hell she was doing. She picked up a few blisters and destroyed several pairs of shoes footbraking down a lot of rough Scottish roads. But, displaying indomitable spirit, Laura just kept on going and going and going. Exactly a month after she started, she reached the border with England, running into the North Sea in celebration at the town of Berwick upon Tweed. Total distance skated? Something like 540 miles, she thinks, but Laura wasn’t particularly bothered about the final figure. “It was more a silent satisfaction of knowing I’d done the job and exceeded my own and other people’s expectations of what I could do,”

she says, reflecting on her epic journey. “I’d taken myself from somewhere on the same latitude as Greenland and transported myself by skateboard down to England. Travel opens so many doors, anyway, but when you’re self-propelled, it blows your mind.” One number she was pretty stoked about, though, was the £2300 she raised for charity — far beyond her original £500 target. “I had the perfect blend of meeting people and having time to myself to think, really just taking in what I was doing and where I was going,” Laura says. “I fought hard to make sure there were no people governing what I was doing. It was down to me. I decided where I went each day and decided where I stopped.” When she did stop, Laura was staggered at the help she got from local people, most of whom had no experience of skateboarding in any shape or form. “I’d always known that people in Scotland were very kind, especially in the smaller areas, but I’d no idea of just how kind,” she says. “It restored my faith in humanity.” What was also cool was discovering a longboard scene — usually just one person — in the smallest of communities. Laura’s been pretty busy since she got back home, preparing for her teacher training, supporting U.K. riders at the IGSA downhill event at Eastbourne and trying out a new slalom deck. She’s therefore not had much time to sit back and reflect on how her Scotland trip has changed her, but there’s no doubt it’s had a lasting impact. “I think I’m much less afraid of things now,” she reveals. “I’ve really mellowed, and I can really stop and appreciate things. That might frustrate a lot of people in this stressed-out world, but I’m looking at life now, not looking through it.” Photo by Shin Shikuma

Reine Oliveira South America’s Sliding Champion Skateboarding has changed my life. It has brought me new friends, opportunities to know new places and new countries, and also professional fulfillment, since I work with skateboards. I own a skate shop in São Paulo.


I’ve always been very hyperactive and always liked radical sports. After meeting my husband, Juliano Cassemiro, who’s a professional skateboarder, I started going with him to skate contests and fell in love with skateboarding and started practicing it. But at that time I used to work as an events promoter, and had to avoid broken bones and scars, something very common in skating. Therefore I couldn’t skate too frequently or radically. After that I got pregnant and had to stay away from skating for a long time. Anyway, these incidents haven’t made me quit skateboarding. As soon as my doctor permitted, I started skating again, and racing contests as well. After starting to race in contests, my evolution happened naturally. Some skate mags and sports programs interviewed me; I started going skating on different hills around Brazil and started breathing skateboarding all the time and got completely involved in it. In 2007, my skater friend Bel Aranha and I organized a skate contest, Downhill for Real Skaters, intended mainly for girls. It has been the first contest to valorize the female category, including female beginners and amateurs. Since the contest was a success, we repeated it in 2008, and included the male category as well. Skaters from all over Brazil came to compete, and once again the contest was a show of maneuvers and full of vibe. Last year I was crowned Brazilian champion of Longboard Skateboarding. This motivated me into going to Canada and racing at Danger Bay. Danger Bay was an unforgettable and fascinating experience that made my passion to skate increase even more. I got back to Brazil really excited about improving each time and looking forward to taking part in other international contests. Until new contests come, I live my life day by day in Brazil. It is filled with skateboarding in many different ways, from personal to professional. During the week I work at my skate shop, and on weekends I go skating with my husband and son. We also travel a lot to the beach on weekends. My dream is organizing a skate trip with my family! Besides skateboarding I also enjoy traveling to the beach, going surfing, going out with friends to have some drinks, going dancing and having fun. Positive vibrations and good sessions to everybody! SLIDE OR DIE!!! ¶ HOLIDAYS 2009 CONCRETE WAVE 49

Brad Sterritt, tight carve, Ainslie Drains, Canberra.

Henry, old-school kickturn on a classic stinger board, Weston Creek, Canberra.

The days of our lives. A visual presentation by Dave Pang. A raw mix of sun, sweat, urethane, beer, grip tape, friendship, rad terrain, travel, comps, insane moves, visiting pros, outlaw bombing, pool barges, cone dodging, huge airs, noisy berts and knowing smiles. This is Australia 2009. Will you visit in 2010? See ya soon…….Nick Sable

October 10, 2009 Karl Eastaway (SHR), tail tap, Knox, Victoria and at Ainslie Drains slalom, Canberra (right).

Boomer, stylin’ for OMA at Ainslie Drains.

Joel Webb, backside ollie, Weston Creek.

Owen, longboard cone shooting, Ainslie Drains. Josh Stanley, rainbow-doused backside ollie, Weston Creek, Canberra.

The Ainslie Drains crew at the ASRA (Australian Skateboard Racing Association) Conehead Cup Race #4.

Barry Strachan, layback grind, Bondi, Sydney.

Billy Harrison, frontside air hip transfer, Jindabyne skatepark, NSW. Renton Millar, frontside ollie, Bondi, Sydney.

NACCOS Posse: Nick “Boomer” Sable, Paul “PC” Carey and Brad Sterritt.

Ross Scutts and the fullpipe cleanup crew. Luke Greenwood, tombstone footplant, Bungendore skatepark, NSW.

Ben Hay, airflowing at Ainslie Drains.

Steve Kelly, tailgrab frontside air, Weston Creek, Canberra.

Billy Davenport, kinker grind. Photo: T. Ruxpin

THERE WILL BE BLOOD By MARCUS BANDY had to drive myself to the hospital after my ankle seized up. Six hours of continuously excruciating pain later, the doctor informs me that over the course of two and a half decades of skateboarding, my ankle has been broken at least four times. Seriously? I’d always thought it was a sprain. The reality, though, is that my ankle has sustained some serious damage over the years, and there are some major arthritic changes occurring in and around the joint. “In 10 to 15 years this is going to catch up with you, Marcus,” the doc tells me, with a perceived smugness one detects in people that make a lot more cheese than you do, and are in a position to tell you that you’re weaker than you originally thought. Thanks, Doc! While I’m waiting for discharge, and a huge bill for my non-insured ass, I think a lot about what I’ve done to my body: how I’ve been damaged; how I’ve damaged myself. I think about the worth of it all and wonder: Did I go too far? I know I’ll have to answer these questions sometime, but right now I’m just happy to be getting out of the hospital and headed back home.



A number of perfect days for skateboarding cruise on by. I’m still stuck inside with an ankle that hates my face. Skateboarding is very much on my mind, though. I know that the actual act of skateboarding is out of the question for a while, so I turn my attention to that selfinquiry of some days ago: Was it worth all this – the damage, the pain? I think about pushing one’s self mentally, spiritually and physically: how skateboarding does that for me; how it has pushed a lot of people I know further than if they would not have had the chance to experience bombing a parking garage at midnight with the bros, or skating to school when it’s so cold that your wet hair half freezes in the wind, or seeing your best friend land his first-ever launch straight off the back of that janky banked ramp you two spent all day building; or those lucky few who experience that strange, excited toomuchness of having their name called out on a loudspeaker, telling them it’s their time to take a turn riding their heart out in front of a thousand spectators. I’m starting to feel that any one of these things is worth the pain – each one worth no more or less than the others – golden memories of a life spent riding a skateboard. I think about living in general, about how it hurts you sometimes and it ain’t even your fault. The nature of physical labor, without which mankind cannot



Nick, slappin’ the lip at Channel Street. Photo: Gargamel

Jordan Hoffart, Speedy ollie. Photo: Mumm-Ra

survive, taxes the body dearly. I think this is why the smart people think they’re better off letting the stupid people do the dirty work: avoidance. But I don’t believe anyone can escape pain and damage; at least I’ve never met anyone who has. Living is a painful bliss, I’m thinkin’. The more you live, the more it hurts – and feels good, too. A few more perfect days for skateboarding roll on past me. I’m walking now, though, riding my bicycle more and writing sh*t like this as much as I can. The ankle feels stiff, but it’s progressing; the range of motion is increasing. On my way over to Hollywood Video tonight, to rent the film “There Will Be Blood,” I see a group of young homies skating a strip of sidewalk in an adjacent parking lot. I stop in the distance and watch them skate. They are having an awesome time filming each other with their little pointand-shoot digi-camera, each one taking turns filming while the rest of them have a go at the manual pad. They don’t really land much, but every once in a while they manage to pull something. One of the boys approaches the sidewalk, kickflips up, lands on his back wheels, manuals across the five-foot sidewalk, then kickflips


back onto the asphalt and rides away smoothly. The boys go wild! All of their eyes light up. Their growing eagerness to try their luck at the obstacle is apparent in their bouncing around everywhere, and their calling out to each other to “do that sh*t!” I walk into the video store sporting a grin from ear to ear. I find the film I’m looking for, pay and leave. Back outside, the kids are huddled in close around each other, reviewing their future memories on a small LCD screen. One of the boys pulls up his pant leg and examines a bloodied scrape on his shin. I smile again, get back on my bike and ride home. On the ride back I start thinking back to all the years I’ve dedicated to riding my skateboard, to the many friendships and adventures experienced along the way. I think about all the gnarly slams I’ve taken and seen others take. I think about that one saying – how does it go? That which does not kill me only makes me stronger. Yeah, that’s it. When I sit down a few moments later to watch “There Will Be Blood,” foot elevated on a rickety old dinner tray, I know I’ll be skating again by Saturday. ¶




AND THE ROAD GOES ON My Summer of Spontaneous (Mis)adventures THE ESTABLISHING SHOT Sunday, April 12, 2009 I’ve lived in Indiana now for almost six years. In that time, I’ve had ample chances to explore the world around me, at great length. However, that has left strikingly little time for exploring my own back yard. So last summer, I decided to do just that — via skateboarding. Originally, the whole point of my series of summertime adventures was to just get out, hit the road and embark on a lonely little weekend-warrior skateboard tour of the Midwest — a uniquely solitary pursuit of skateboarding, just for skateboarding’s sake, without all the pomp and hype that typically surround most skateboard tours (or skateboard tour articles, for that matter). Just me, my car, my skateboards, my camera, my tape recorder, a few bucks and a tank full of gas — getting back to my roots, while at the same time taking some much-needed “me time” to just get the hell away from “it.” Well, like so many other things that “just kinda happen” in my life, it didn’t really turn out the way I’d planned it. As the cliché goes, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Either way, it was still time well spent, and that’s all that matters. Every great story begins with an “establishing shot.” It sets the scene for the beginning


The future of our pastime.

and represents the starting point for everything that transpires thereafter. My story begins exactly where I’m at right now: in my office, pecking away at my laptop. Back in the spring of 2008, I was sitting here, carefully planning my upcoming trips. I was woefully short on disposable time and even shorter on disposable income, so I figured that some careful planning would be crucial to me getting out, getting to wherever I wanted to go and getting my ass back home in one piece, while getting it all done on the barest of threadbare budgets.

PLACES TO GO, PEOPLE TO SEE AND THINGS TO DO Unfortunately, there exists no website that specifically caters to the travel-minded, adventure-seeking skateboarder on a broke-ass budget. The closest thing I came across was the Concrete Disciples (from here on out, “CD’s”) skatepark finder. It’s a very handy resource; that much is for certain. However, I’m not entirely sure I would call it a comprehensive and/or complete reference guide. It’s not their fault at


all; they rely heavily on the local skaters of the world to flow info to them on a regular and recurring basis. Well, we all know what usually happens when you rely on other slacker skateboarders to make a tangible contribution toward actually helping to get something useful done — nothing. So the first call I remember making was to Mr. Jeff Greenwood at CD, offering just a little bit of help in getting that list current. Jeff was very stoked on my offer — so stoked, in fact, that he even offered to send me a little bit of gas money here and there to help me along. Score!

This is what happens when sleeping in the Econobubble becomes too much to bear. Insomniac camera-play; Saturday morning, 3:23 a.m., Arcola, Illinois.

a couple of keystrokes at Google Maps. How handy is that?! In my world, that’s pretty f***ing handy. I can only assume that they’ve gained this insightful, at-the-shakeof-a-sleeve knowledge via repeated calls to the park to break up drama and tend to injuries. Whatever, man: I’m not the kind of guy who’s afraid of turning someone else’s losses into my researching shortcut.

A LIFE WELL LIVED DESERVES TO BE DOCUMENTED Besides my camera, the handiest thing I toted around with me all summer was this great little voice recorder that I picked up at Wal-Mart for about 20 bucks or so. It’s about as big as a brick and fits perfectly snugly into the centerpiece console of my Econobubble car. That meant I could dictate stories pretty much as they happened, even if I happened to be driving at the moment. It also saved me hella writer’s and typer’s cramp, and for that, I am ever thankful.


So now I was a traveling, article-writing and skatepark-documenting skateboarder. But it didn’t end there. Oh, no! Within a few weeks, I had a whole bunch of other people writing to me that needed stuff done — mostly various skateboard companies wanting to employ me as an outside sales/service representative. What follows are randomly selected memories of my life on the road. They’re in no particular order. But they do represent the solid 5% or so of the tour that I can actually recall at the moment.

Let’s talk about our local scenes for just a second. My local scene probably isn’t too far removed from yours. In my case, my local scene is Indianapolis, Indiana. And, like most “local scenes” these days, it can seem a little bit stale at times. I mean, I skate the same skatepark, every day. With the same kids, every day. Who are sitting around in front of the same obstacles (read: in my way) every day. Or skating the same little piece of flatground, playing their silly little games of SKATE, every day. You get the point, right? Boring. Stale. Restless. That’s definitely not what skateboarding is supposed to be about. Skateboarding is all about freedom, movement and discovery. Things that I usually take for granted — things like hot meals, air conditioning or comfortable beds; virtually every creature comfort of

“Crazy Gary" from TOC Skate shop in Terre Haute, Indiana,, blunting his way through the BBQ get-together at the Marshall, Illinois skatepark.

THE BOYS IN BLUE: FAR MORE HELPFUL THAN YOU’D EVER GUESS So, as I was saying earlier: One of the biggest difficulties in planning my skatepark-finding tour for CD was actually finding the skateparks to tour. Thankfully, luck and quick thinking were on my side, because it only took me a week or so to figure out the most sure-fire way to find almost any skatepark in the country: Call the local police department! For some oddball reason, they always seem to know exactly where the local skatepark is. Many times, they even have a specific address that you can find within


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

home — got axed real fast from my schedule. Instead, I lived on cold sandwiches, warm Cokes and cigarettes, while I spent quite a few sleepless nights “sleeping” in the Econobubble. In order to experience true freedom, you have to willingly give up certain comforts. And you have to learn to get comfortable with that: comfortable with sleeping in a sleeping bag on the side of the road somewhere; comfortable with living on McDoubles and Cokes; comfortable with the inherent risks of roadside hazards and sketchy drivers; and maybe most importantly, comfortable with being all by yourself out there in the world with no “safety net” to speak of. It’s scary, and it’s lonely. But it’s also the closest you’ll ever get to pure freedom from everything: freedom from other people’s attitudes; from people’s preconceptions; from everything your parents ever told you; freedom from your boss, or your teachers, or your schoolbooks, and everything else that everyone tries to ram into your head all through your life. Here’s what it boils down to: You get out on the road, and you suddenly realize that it’s all bullsh*t — all that stuff. At the end of the day, there’s just no better way to learn life’s lessons than to get off your ass, get out there, live it and experience it all for yourself. You can’t learn about the world from a textbook. You can’t sit on your ass in front of the Internet and learn about the world. The only way to learn about the world around you is to get out there and go experience it for yourself. The one thing that really struck me in my travels is that, when you get out there on the road, you really start to get an appreciation for other people. You spend enough time alone out there, and running into people becomes something you begin to actually enjoy, rather than something that you learn to dread, or som thing that you’d normally be taught to be pretty wary of. When you reach that point, you realize that people, all in all, are pretty good. There are a lot of genuinely nice people out there in the world, contrary to what others might lead you to believe. A lot of people helped me out, whether by helping me find my way,

This is what happens when you bring a camera to a crowded skatepark, and "look important". Kids freak the hell out. Goshen, Indiana.


The author, with the World's Biggest Rocking Chair. Somewhere on the lonely road between Franklin and North Vernon, Indiana

or giving me directions to somewhere or another, or offering me a couch to sleep on, or helping me find a good restaurant, or taking the time to have a conversation...or just whatever. Those little gestures mean a lot, and I’d pretty much like to thank everyone I met along the way.

SKATEBOARDING, VERSION 1.0 Most of the skateparks I visited this year fall into the “prefab” category. You know the ones: They’re the readybuilt steel and Skatelite ramps that are plopped down on a flat piece of concrete in the middle of your local city park. The Midwest is literally littered with these things; they’re everywhere you go. You might think it’s pretty lame, to have so many prefab parks so close to each other. You might say that the kids would be far better served to have a big ol’ Dreamland park in their town instead. And you might be right. Maybe they would. On the other hand, the kids that I met and skated with? They’re just happy to have a skatepark at all. Also, there’s another thing that can’t be overlooked: These skateparks, ultimately, represent what I’ll call “Skateboarding Version 1.0” to a lot of these little towns out here in Middle America. Sure, us “hardcore skaters” (I’ll use “experienced skaters” instead, as it’s probably a little more accurate) might look down our noses at these types of skateparks. But for the little kids skating them — the kids that are just discovering skateboarding for the very first time? These parks suit them well. They’re simple and small, and they’re clearly not overly intimidating. For what they are — a stepping-stone to learning the very basics of skateboarding — they’re fine, maybe even ideally suited to the purpose. Would I want to give up my local concrete skatepark and


skate one of these on a regular basis? No. But on the other hand, skating one from time to time isn’t so bad. I skated a bunch of ’em on this tour, and I actually had a lot of fun. You just learn to deal with what’s handed to you, and you make the best of it. We could probably learn a lot from these kids. They don’t complain very much, and they skateboard for all the right reasons. So when they grow up and begin demanding more challenging terrain — what I’ll call “Skateboarding, Version 2.0” — they’ll have a solid foundation to build that on. Seen through that light, I’d have to say the future definitely looks bright. The present doesn’t even look half bad. It’s just a matter of perspective, that’s all.

THE SLOW, SAD DEATH OF THE AMERICAN DREAM Marion, Indiana represented my foray back into Indiana’s “Industrial Urban Landscape.” After a couple of days wandering around the wide-open countryside, I was getting pretty excited to get back into some bigger towns. But once I got there, I quickly realized that Marion wasn’t exactly what I’d had in mind. The first impression I got of Marion was one of a modern-day ghost town. As I pulled into the city limits, a very large factory complex greeted me. But it wasn’t a running, productive factory at all. Instead, it had literally fallen into piles of rubble — huge piles of rubble that indicated a sprawling, massive complex that looked like it might have once employed hundreds, maybe even a couple thousand blue-collar workers. A mile or so down the road, I predictably arrived at the inevitable “town square.” Many small Midwestern towns have elaborate, Greek-revivalist central city halls, which in turn are circled by an equally common Greek-revivalist, main-street style retail district. But again, this wasn’t a thriving bustle of retail activity, either, as each and every storefront (minus, exactly two) was completely boarded up and glaringly vacant. As I continued to drive through town, looking around and around for the skatepark (I got lost again — this time, twice), scenes of depression and decay eventually began to overwhelm my senses. Everything, everywhere, seemed to have come to some kind of slow, painful death. There was no discernible sign of economic activity — or much activity of any other sort, for that matter — anywhere in sight. The only activity I actually saw was a middle-aged man shining up his Harley streetside, as if he was secretly planning a midnight ride out of town, destined for some New Beginning somewhere, or maybe just taking off in search of the Easy Rider dream. When I finally did find the skatepark, I was all kinds of relieved. Finally, some evidence of activity and a social order. Once again, it didn’t take long for the locals to begin inquiring why the hell I was taking so many photos of a simple Skatewave skateboard park. But this time, I had hella questions of my own, beginning with: What in the good grace of God happened to this town? Thankfully, one of those locals was an articulate, dapper young college

student who had lived in Marion for most of his life. The problem, he said, was pretty simple: The entire local economy was slowly being outsourced. Every major employer that had once bankrolled this town’s very existence — including mega-corporations such as RCA, Thomson Electronics, General Motors and Anheuser-Busch — had packed up and moved their jobs to Mexico, while others had simply decided not to bring any new plants to Marion to replace the former employers. Even a major military contract had fallen through, after arsonists inexplicably burned the old Thomson factory complex — that is, the complex that the U.S. Navy was supposed to take over — straight to the ground. And with that, he said, all hope of an economic turnaround went right out the window. Well, I’ll be damned. So everything is basically gone? I asked. “Yeah, pretty much,” he said. “The college is the only thing left — unless you want to work at Home Depot or something.”

Amish Country mass transportation, Topeka, Indiana. (Yes, there was a skatepark in this town. Unbelievable!)

“But those jobs don’t pay anywhere near what those old factory jobs used to,” I noted. “Oh, no way. Those jobs paid 24…27 dollars an hour. Great benefits, too, and all the overtime they could work. Now, the best-paying job in the area is at the Wal-Mart distribution center, and that’s all the way over in Gas City. They top out at about 16 dollars an hour, and Home Depot managers make even less than that.”

MR. THRIFTY AND THE TORNADO ADVENTURE Now, don’t ask me why I thought this was a good idea. In hindsight, it was probably the dumbest plan I had all weekend. My plan was simple: Save some hotel money by sleeping my 6’5”, 350-pound frame in the tight confines of my trusty Toyota Econobubble at a fuel oasis on the I80/I-90 toll road between Michigan City and South Bend. If it’s good enough for our nation’s truckers, I figured, then it’d probably be more than good enough for me. The


Hanging out at the Nappanee skatepark, talking to the locals, another obscure little factoid unexpectedly came to light.

weather report was predicting thunderstorms and some speedy straight-line winds. I always sleep well in that sort of weather, tight confines or otherwise. Straight-line winds don’t bother me one bit; I can pretty much sleep through a train wreck. At first, I didn’t suspect just how dumb a plan this really was. It all seemed so nice and relaxing at first. I got to the oasis around 10:00 p.m. — no worries there. I walked over to a grassy knoll with my trusty cooler and had a nice picnic dinner, watching the traffic whiz by a hundred or so feet below. It was cooling off quickly, and the wind was picking up fast, both of which were perfectly A-OK with me. It meant that the tight confines of the Econobubble would be, at the very least, refreshingly chilly. So with that, I turned in for the night and fell asleep. Not even three hours later, I was violently shaken awake by that train wreck I thought I’d be able to sleep through. I bolted upright and wiped the sleep from my eyes, only to find all sorts of debris — tree limbs, foam cups, cheeseburger wrappers, small animals — whizzing past my front window, as softball-sized raindrops beat the living crap out of the Econobubble’s rooftop. “Oh, sh*t!”, I mumbled to myself. “What the hell is that?!” I turned on the car, quickly drove across the lot and re-parked in between a couple of 18-wheeled dry vans, where I could at least escape the winds while I scanned the weather radio to see what I’d gotten my ass into. Well, the answer was pretty simple. Those “straightline winds” they had been talking about? Tornados. At this point, I cursed myself for not dropping the 50 bucks on a warm and cozy room. Suffice to say, I didn’t sleep well, and I spent my restless night cursing the hell out of certain meteorologists. But at least I survived the night relatively unscathed, I guess.

MY ADVENTURES IN AMISHVILLE Every skatepark that followed for the next two days conformed to the same rough template. First, they continued to be prefab skateparks, built by Skatewave, Rhino Ramps or Woodward, on a concrete slab. All of them were in increasingly out-of-the-way towns, farther and farther into the middle of nowhere. All of them had just a few, very friendly locals skating them. All of them — the locals, the parks and the towns they were in — had a story to tell. And as far as the parks went, I had the distinct, inescapable impression that really, by rights, none of them should be there. But due to some glitch in skateboarding’s current popularity, not only were they there, but they were thriving, and sprouting healthy little skate scenes in places where you’d never imagine in a million years that skateboarding would even exist. Pulling into Nappanee, Indiana, I began to notice something strange. Industry does exist out there in Amish country. But all of that industry, oddly enough, seems to revolve around the manufacturing of recreational vehicles, mobile homes or some other form of “traveling homesteading” — sleeper boxes for trucks, things like that. How obscure, I thought.


One of the few truly cool skaters I met last summer. His name is Seth and he has his own (extremely small and underground) brand going, called Ban Skateboards. Bedford, Indiana.

Now, it’s not so strange that there’s industry out there. I expected that. After all, everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, has to work somewhere. It’s just that it all revolved around the same general theme. That’s what I found just a little strange. Hanging out at the Nappanee skatepark, talking to the locals, another obscure little factoid unexpectedly came to light. When I asked the local kids where they bought their skateboards, they replied in unison: “At the hardware store up the street.” I’m sorry, but did you just say the hardware store? “Yeah! Martin Hardware. Right up the street.” “No way. Seriously? Like, a garden-rake, lawnmower and nuts-and-bolts kind of hardware store?!” They looked at me like I was the freak of the moment. “Yeah.” I could almost hear them thinking to themselves, “What’s so weird about that, gooberbrain?!” So I jumped in my car and drove up the street to the hardware store. It was closed; after all, it was getting just a little late. But in there, I could definitely make out the shadow of a Plan B Sheckler model, hanging on the wall. And if you think that’s weird, get this: In the next three towns that I stopped in, their local skate-supply store was their hardware store, too. That was definitely a little bit unexpected, to say the least. As I continued into the very heart of Amish country, the scenery began to change even more. Cars began to get more and more scarce; plain, black horse-drawn buggies began to take over. Clumps of mud in the road became clumps of horse sh*t, so instead of swerving to splatter them for fun, it became swerving to avoid them


like the plague, or else pay the price in miles and miles of horse stink coming in through the vents. Parking lots began to get smaller, and tie-down bars for the horses became more common. The sun was beginning to set, the towns were becoming increasingly more manicured and well-kept, and signs of excellent Amish artistry and craftsmanship abounded everywhere. It’s a simple way of life they have out there, and it left me thinking that, on the Last Day of the Planet, when the ice caps have long since melted, the globe has warmed to oven-like temperatures and life as we know it has nearly snuffed itself out with rampant resource mismanagement and decades of wanton pollution and destruction, the only people (in this country, at least) that will be able to stand up proudly and say “Hey, we had absolutely nothing at all to do with this mess!” will be…the Amish. And they’ll be right. Horses don’t produce greenhouse gases (well, not as many as cars do), and candles don’t require any coal-fired power plants. We’ll be the ones to blame. We may laugh at them, but I suspect that, at the end of the day, they’ll be the last ones laughing.

THE SKATEPARK, THE SLEEPYHEAD AND THE SILENT SOUNDS OF MR. THRIFTY SAVING FOUR BUCKS South Bend was a lot of fun — which was great; I needed some fun in my diet. I had to wake the hell up and shake off the cobwebs. And I had to not get lost for a change. And, lucky me, my next two stops were right across the street from each other and totally easy to find: Kelley’s Board Shop and the O’Brien Skatepark. Kelley’s was closed when I rolled into the parking lot, so I decided to hit up the skatepark first. This was so totally worth gettin’ up early for... The South Bend skatepark, also known as O’Brien Park, is an aberration when it comes to municipal skateparks. It has a front gate and a front office, with a check-in area where you’re supposed to fill out your waiver, rent your helmet (or put your own helmet on) and pay the user fee before you go skate. Totally bunk, right? Well, as I approached the check-in window, I noticed that the attendant — in this case, the “inattendant” — who appeared to be a 16- or 17-year-old skater, was fast asleep on his desk. I started to knock on the window to wake him up, but then I quickly stopped in my tracks, as I realized that waking this dude up was gonna probably cost me four bucks and a quick sentence to helmet-wearing hell. Nope, that was definitely not the best of ideas. Instead, I realized that it’d be in my far better interests to leave him right where he was, and save myself a couple of huge pains in my ass. The park was great! The first thing I did, of course, was walk around for a few minutes, snapping pictures of everything for Disciple Jeff. There was a tight, but fun-looking street course — snap, snap! Then we had what looked like a little mini-bowl with banks in it — snap, snap! Then, we had the Holy Grail, a three-bowled amoeba bowl that was shaped roughly like Mickey Mouse’s head — snap, snap! It

looked very Grindline-ish, with short, nearly vert transitions everywhere. It looked like fun. And I was gonna go helmetless and barge it for free! I snuck out the gate, past Mr. Sleepyhead, grabbed my board and commenced drawing lines all over the Mickey bowl, having the time of my life on only four hours of sleep. At first I tried to skate as “quietly” as possible, trying to be very stealth, because the last thing I wanted was Sleepyhead waking up and spoiling my good time. But as I got more and more tired, and more and more content with myself, I decided to get more and more loud. Every so often, I’d check in on Sleepyhead, to see if he’d moved or shifted at all. He never did. I was starting to think that our boy there might just be dead. Whatever was cool with me; at least I dodged the Brain Bucket and saved myself some lunch money. Finally, after about an hour of this, I decided it was time to go see Jeff at Kelley’s. They must surely be open by now, I thought to myself. So I made my way to the gate window and gave it a quick knock, to wake Ol’ Sleepyhead up from his slumber. “Huh?! Ohhh…hey. Hi! Y’wanna skate? That’ll be four dollars. And you need a helmet to skate the park.” Sleepyhead hadn’t exactly died. But, he wasn’t exactly “with it,” either. “Dude, I’m all done. I’m heading out. The park was fun, though! Thanks for opening the place up.” Sleepyhead looked at me incredulously. “How long have you been here?!” he asked. “Oh, I dunno. About an hour or so? Maybe, a little less.” “And you’ve been skating all this time?!” He looked shocked, as if there’s no way he could have slept through that. I hated to tell him, but he had. And I had.

THE TRIP BACK FROM PAXTON As I was heading up to Paxton, Illinois to document yet another skatepark for the guys at Concrete Disciples, I kept seeing these little signs for an aviation museum in Rantoul, just off the Interstate. As I was heading back to Champaign,

This kid's name is Miles, but everyone calls him "Marshall Law." Laying it down smitty-style, Marhsall, Illinois.


First and foremost, I spent most of my time visiting skate shops and skateparks.

I decided to make a quick detour to go check that out, just because, being such a nerd and all, an air museum is just something I simply cannot pass up. Every time I do manage to pass one by, I invariably end up kicking myself in the ass for about three weeks after the fact. So I don’t make that mistake much these days. As soon as I walked in, I started to realize that this may not have been the best of ideas. The place was dimly lit, and the receptionist must have been about 95 years old. She was a nice lady, though. Apparently, this was once Octave Chanute Air Force Base, one of the first air bases in the entire country. Lots of history here. The main job of this particular air base was to train new recruits on the technical aspects of aircraft maintenance. Or rather, it had been at one time, until it was decommissioned in the early 1990s in the first round of base closings. I asked the lady what was planned for the base in the future, since many of these old military bases were slated to be recycled into business parks, et cetera. She looked a little forlorn and said that although it had been planned to be reused for some other purpose, things hadn’t gone quite as planned. I think my face must have had that “Well, why the hell haven’t they?!” look, because she went on to explain that the base was so polluted with asbestos and hazardous wastes, that merely reusing the place as-is was quite outside the realm of possibility. So now it wasn’t only depressing, it was hazardous as well. And I learned all of this immediately after I’d paid my admission fee. Just my luck. Once inside, I spent a great deal of time marveling over ICBM training silos, and lots of airplanes in various states

Bringing up the next generation of skaters right. Skateboard clinic tutor with student at the Major Taylor Skatepark, Indiananpolis, Indiana.


of disrepair and decay. To one side, there was one of the honest-to-goodness, pre-production prototypes of the F15 Eagle — a rare sight to see, even if it was in the process of being disassembled (presumably to be restored sometime later) and flaking paint off everywhere. Outside, there were more airplanes, big and small, baking away in the mid-morning sun, all waiting in line for their turn at recovery, refurbishment and retirement into the vast hangars of the indoor museum. It dawned on me, as I stood in the shadows of this massive aircraft graveyard, just how many of these machines had been built over the span of a few short decades, at hugely impressive amounts of taxpayers’ expense; just how many of these sorts of sprawling air bases had once been manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year; just how many people were required to keep the tools of war operating reliably and efficiently, year in and year out. I wondered just how many millions of tax dollars were currently sitting outside that museum, literally rotting and wasting away, and how many of those tax dollars had been mine at one time or another. All gone for naught. At the end of the day, the most impressive thing about the museum wasn’t how the United States ruled the world through our vast military reserves. Ultimately, those things are temporary at best; the rusting machines around me were proof positive of at least that much. No, the most impressive thing, I realized, was just how fast we could be defeated economically — by things like painfully ridiculous energy prices, or the gluttonous rush to outsource our nation’s high-wage, benefits-rich and tax-generating jobs to foreign lands all over the globe in the insatiable quest for even more gluttonous corporate profits. I realized that the enemy is not some hypothetical, overseas superpower somewhere, against whom we had to build up whole armies, navies and air forces to keep it at arm’s length. Nope. The enemy, in all too many cases, is us.

WHY CORPORATE MALL STORES SUCK, REASON #196: THEY’LL NEVER REPLACE YOUR FRIENDLY, KNOWLEDGEABLE SKATE SHOP (THEY’LL JUST SQUASH IT INSTEAD) One of the first things I did when I got up north was take a couple of hours to stop in and see a couple of skate shop friends I’d made earlier in the year: Warped Sportz in Schererville and Bad Boyz Toyz in Merrillville. These two shops have a lot in common. One: They’re both good, solid, local shops. Two: They both have outstanding employees (and managers) who will bend over backwards to help out a skater in need. Three: Oddly enough, they both sell paintball supplies as well as skateboards. And finally: They’re both really close to a Zumiez fashion-mall “skate shop.” Warped got the better end of that deal; Zumiez is about five miles away from them. But Zumiez is straight across the damned highway from BBT. In my book, that’s a little too close for comfort. I swung in at Warped Sportz a little too early; I’d forgotten there’s a time-zone change as you approach northwestern Indiana. So I decided to stop in at Bad Boyz Toyz


first and chat with Matt for a bit. Of course, since it was a Friday, Matt wasn’t there. But Amanda from the Lansing store was, and that was a very, very pleasant surprise. Amanda’s not a skater; her background is in psychology, not tre flips. But she has a natural enthusiasm for all things skateboarding that I found refreshing. I ended up staying for a couple of hours, just shooting the bull, before making the five-minute drive to Warped to do the same with Lars. As time goes on, I’m really starting to enjoy stopping in at these local shops and checking out their scenes. I seriously began wondering just how long shops like Warped and BBT would be able to survive in a sluggish economy. While I was at Warped, Lars took a few minutes to help me re-plan the next few stops of my trip, via his Googlemap equipped laptop. Hobart, Valparaiso and Portage were all close to each other; that much I knew. The question was: Which order should I do them in? This is why we need local shops to stick around; only local shops (that actually care) have the know-how to steer road-trippin’ skaters (like me) the right way. Lars recommended that I do Hobart first, Valpo second and Portage third, and then continue on to Chesterton and Michigan City. That would save me some much-needed time, and a few miles of backtracking, to boot. He gave me really good, detailed directions while he was at it; so if I somehow managed to get lost along the way (which I did), it’d only be because of my own stupidity (which it was). I double-checked his directions, said my über-grateful thanks to Lars and started on my way.

INDIANA SKATEBOARD HISTORY BEGINS HERE Jeff Kelley is a great guy. Kelley’s Skate Shop, in South Bend, Ind., is a great shop. Both were immediately obvious as soon as I walked in the front door. One thing I’ve been doing out on the road is dropping off stickers at the shops I visit. That’s one of the things they’ve been asking me for: stickers — lots and lots of stickers. Well, since every shop I’ve been to has asked for stickers, I just assumed that every shop I’d be going to would be asking for stickers as well. So I called up all of my tour sponsors and had them send piles of stickers for the shops, and they all happily obliged. Thus, when I walked into Kelley’s, I did two things right off the bat. First, I put down a huge envelope full of stickers on the bar. Second, I made a mental note to buy the Salba Bevel re-ish hanging right in front of me on the wall. If I’m gonna sleep in the car to save hotel money, I figured, what better thing to spend my hard-earned savings on, than a big, wide, yellow pig? Jeff was just finishing up with a customer, and he was eyeing me — and my big-ass envelope — a little suspiciously from across the shop. “Okay. What is that?” he asked, as soon as the customer left. “Stickers — for you,” I said. He opened up the envelope and saw all the stickers in there. “Yeeeee-ahhhhhh!” he squealed. “You must be the guy from Indy!” (Note: the city, not the truck company.) Yup, that’s me, all right. “Nice to meet ya!” he bellowed, as he grabbed my hand

The Board Room, Columbus, Indiana. RIP

and damn near shook it right out of my shoulder socket. “What a great guy!” I thought to myself. So, for the next two hours, we pulled up a couple of chairs, hung out, shot the bull and yabbered about skateboarding’s past, present and future. I was amazed at how much he knew and the endless stories he had about various industry bigwigs of yesterday and today. Some of those stories were really funny, and he told them with an enthusiasm I rarely see among skaters, let alone people in the business. Jeff Kelley has been in the business for something approaching 25 years now. That would make him, in a very real sense, one of the true godfathers of Indiana skateboarding. The whole two-hour layover at Kelley’s was pretty refreshing, and definitely a great way to wake up and get my day started. I left with a brand-new Bevel; a limited-edition, Jeremy Fish-designed Kelley’s tee; clearly, a new friend; and a much, much brighter outlook. But still, the time had come to make that long-anticipated foray into Indiana’s Amish Country (see above) and see what was out there to find. I reluctantly left Kelley’s and South Bend behind and wallowed into a time warp straight back to the 1800s, all the while looking for — and finding — skateparks and skate adventures in the unlikeliest of strange places.

WHERE’D ALL THE SKATERS GO?! One thing you won’t find in this article is many stories (or photos) about “all those skaters that I met on tour.” And why not, you ask? Because, I simply didn’t meet too many skaters while I was on tour. First and foremost, I spent most of my time visiting skate shops and skateparks. Also, I tended to visit most of the skateparks fairly early in the morning, so I could photograph and skate them without having to avoid 10,000 other skaters (or rollerbladers, or Razor scooterers, or BMXers) the whole time. So, in a sense, I suppose my schedule was pretty much designed to avoid bumping into too many skaters. Besides, most skaters aren’t early risers, anyway. I’m pretty much the only freak you’ll ever find skating a park right at daybreak (i.e. at six or seven in the morning).


There’s concrete being poured all over the place, and skateparks are popping up faster than I can keep track of ’em.

Still, I was amazed at how few skaters I ran into during my travels. The other reason for that could be that skateboarding seems to be suffering another “death” cycle these days. At first, I thought I was just getting really good at avoiding them. But as the summer continued into fall and I began seeing sales numbers out of The Industry, it became clear that it wasn’t just me. Things were looking down — waaaaaayyy down. Depressing down. Damn near dead. I got a lot of questions from the Industry Dudes, wondering why things are looking so bleak, despite there being probably more sh*t out there to skate than at any other time in skateboarding’s history. My skatepark travels certainly confirmed that much in a mighty big hurry. There’s concrete being poured all over the place, and skateparks are popping up faster than I can keep track of ’em. Well, the problem is that skateboarding doesn’t necessarily thrive on skatepark construction and skatepark construction alone. It does help a little; but what skateboarding really thrives on is “inspiration.” And by all accounts, it’s the “inspiration” that’s falling a little short these days. True, there’s a general economic slowdown going on out there…but we have no control over that. The “inspiration” deal, however, we do have some control over. So let’s focus on that for a second. The Midwest isn’t exactly a “destination” point for major skateboard tours. Those are pretty few and far between ’round these parts. The last tour that anyone can really remember was when Crimson came through about a year and a half ago. The last major pro contests the Midwest saw were the Chicago and Dayton contests back in the old NSA days, more than 20 years ago. Overall, industry investment out here is pretty much zilch. And the only real media exposure we get is via Stuck magazine, which is a very much a “regional” mag. But as for the major mags? Those are the mags we read — not the mags that cover our scenes (or even come through). Most of the shops I visited had never even had a sales rep come through. For many of those shops, I was the only sales rep they’d ever had stop in. And I’m not really a “real” sales rep. I’m just sort of temporarily helping out here and there. That’s a pretty sad series of insights and observations, and it probably goes a long way to explaining why the “inspiration” is lacking these days. We’re pretty much forgotten, and no one seems to care one whiff about that. What a bummer.

THE HOTTIE BEHIND THE BAR So I’m at a local skateboard shop that I visit on occasion, making a friendly sales call regarding longboards and stuff. I’m taking a break from chatting with the owner for a bit, about a whole spectrum of topics, when I notice that one of his employees, an extraordinarily attractive young lady that the other guys keep referring to as “Hottie” — happens to be looking my way. “Now, that’s odd,” I think to myself. “I don’t usually attract totally hot girls like her — especially ones actually named ‘Hottie.’” So I take a look around to see what in the good grace of gawd she’s checking out over here. Finally I notice that what she’s staring so hard at must be the army of longboards that I’d brought in. Ahhhh!


“That must be it!” I figure. So I sauntered on over to her. “Hey there,” I said. “I noticed ya checking out my longboards over there...” “Yeaaaahhh,” she forlornly admitted. Awesome! At least I was once again totally right in my assumptions — although, in this case, I really would have preferred to have been totally wrong. Oh, well. “Y’wanna take one out for a spin?” I asked. “Oh, no way!” she replied. “I have no coordination whatsoever; I’d kill myself on one of those!” This is where Mr. Smooth kicked right in. “Naaahhhhh, it’s no worries. They’re not “regular skateboards” — they’re longboards! See? They’re big, they’re stable and they’re really, really fast...” When I said “really, really fast,” she almost fell right off her chair. It probably wasn’t the wisest angle to pursue. Like I said: Mr. Smooth. Yeah, right. “No, really. It’s OK,” I persisted. “You can totally do this! No joke, I’ve seriously taught thousands — like, literally, thousands — of people how to skate. C’mon, let’s give it a whirl! It’ll be awesome! You’ll see.” Now, here’s the gig: Experience has shown me that, when Mr. Smooth steps in his own poop, just like this, well, Mr. Persistent generally kicks in and saves the day. And, lucky for me, he totally saved my butt this time, too. She smiled, looked me over one more time and said, “OK! Let’s go!” Now, here’s a girl with some gusto. I like that. So, we go out to the local paveway — which is right outside the door of the skate shop. I get her on the board, give her a little bit of basic instruction on how to turn and we’re off like a herd of turtles — very, very slowly, with me holding her hand the whole time, just like I said I would. We probably rolled about a hundred yards or so, with her holding onto me pretty snugly. “Y’doin’ okay over there?”, I asked. “Yup!” (Didn’t sound real convincing, though.) “Any time you wanna go back, just let me know...” She smiled. “No, I think I wanna keep going a little longer!” (Hey, that’s fine by me!) So, we keep rolling down the trail, just having a casual chat about ordinary things. There’s about a zillion people out on the trail, jogging, cycling, walking, etc. I don’t notice any of them, though, because this gal has got 110% of my attention. She would’ve had to have 100% of it anyway, because I was petrified of her falling off and killing herself, of course. But, the extra 10% was just bonus, because she not only looked killer, she also had some really cool stuff to chat about, and that’s pretty damned rare these days. So as we’re cruising along, she’s getting more and more comfortable with this whole longboarding gig until, about halfway through the trip, she just decided to just let go and wing it. And she did a great job of it, I might add. Very confident woman. We were probably out for a good hour and a half or so, and honestly, it was probably the best hour and a half I’ve spent in quite some time. And she had a good time, too. Three hours later, I’m at another shop across town, talking to some kids about my day. “Yeah, I went to this shop here, then had lunch, then went to another shop, went CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM

skateboarding with this awesome girl, put air in the tires of my car, got a Coke, blah blah blah...” The kids were all, “Wait! Wait, wait, wait just a second there, bubbo. You went skateboarding with a girl?!” “Yup!” I beamed. “A very attractive one, at that!” (You jealous people, you...) “No way!” they cried. “An old, fat, balding jackass like you?! What gives?!?!” (Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys.) So they start asking me how I managed to pull off this wholly impossible feat. Comedians. “It’s really pretty simple,” I told them. “Just get her on the longboard, and you’re all set. No worries at all.” “That’s it?!” they protested. “Hey, man, what can I say?! It worked for me! And, I am the fat, old, balding jackass, remember?!” Well, they were all pretty bowled over by this inspiration — so bowled over, in fact, that they rushed right out the door- with my longboards, mind you — and waited for the first girls (read: victims) to go strolling by…which was only a few seconds, actually. In the meantime, I got out of the way. I didn’t wanna cramp their style, you know. Kids usually put on a pretty good show, and I figured this one would be a really fun train wreck to watch. So the girls approach the shop — three of them, with three longboard-armed guys standing right in their path. “Hey, babes! Wanna take a ride on my big wood here?!” I actually managed to cough up some cig smoke and blow Coke out of my nose at the same time. “NO!” the girls replied. And they kept right on walking. The guys all looked at me, shrugging their shoulders, in a “what the hell gives?!” sort of manner. I looked back with a “‘Big Wood’? What the hell were you even thinking?!” sort of retort. That’s what separates the men from the boys, I guess.

Now, THIS is the kind of discovery that makes road trips worthwhile! Just Ride Skatepark (now, Solution Skatepark), Muncie, Indiana.

Muncie is, by most accounts, a fairly good example of a Midwest industrial town that’s probably seen better days. Again, most of the manufacturing jobs have either gone or are in the process of going. Thankfully, it’s also a college town, so that does tend to keep things moving and interesting. Otherwise, it’s a very droll place to live. I remembered that much from my time there. But as Brian gave me the tour royale of his newest creation and dropped miles and miles of very enthusiastic and very ambitious “future plans” into my ear, I got the sense that things might just be a little bit better and brighter than I previously would’ve thought. Maybe I’d been just a bit too hasty in moving to Indy, I almost had to confess to myself. If I would’ve known this place was gonna end up being right next door to my crash pad, that surely might have provided me some ample incentive to stay put just a little while longer.

MUNCIE, BABY, YOU’VE NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD The answer to most of life’s harshest questions is a simple enough premise: When everything around you seems to suck, well, just keep on looking around for something else. “Suck” can only go so far. If you just keep moving forward and keep searching good stuff out, you’re sure to stumble into something great eventually. So I had this address for a skatepark up in Muncie, called Just Ride. Weird thing was, I lived in Muncie for a couple of years, right when I moved to Indiana. My old address was just a few numbers away from where this “Just Ride” place was supposed to be. Problem was, I didn’t remember having a neighbor at that address. My only neighbor was a cornfield, and I seriously doubted that you’d ever put a skatepark in one of those. Well, turns out, you wouldn’t. But, what you would do is build a huge new building, then put the skatepark in there. And that’s exactly what Brian Knopp did. What a genius! I loved this guy before I even met him. I’d had a pretty crappy weekend, and here, all of a sudden, we had a brand spanking new wood-and-Skatelite skate oasis, laid out right in front of my eyes. The biggest problem I had was trying to get all 25,000 square feet of glorious skate mutations to fit into the frame of my little 19mm lens. The place is just ridiculously huge, with entirely too much cool stuff in it to skate.

EPILOGUE In its own way, everything in my life tends to always come full circle. It is now the fall of 2009. And here I am, yet again, at my laptop, pecking away my stories of travels past for the final edit of my article. It’s an odd feeling going through the stories and photos of memories captured, documented, and preserved for posterity’s sake. I am trying to make sure that it all measures up to the reality of my life and times. Through the miles of roads less traveled, the far too many sleepless nights spent in the Econobubble and the countless aches, pains, and sprains, with never quite enough Aleve on hand to rid myself of these burdens… and, getting my ass into the weirdest of unlikely situations that I routinely find myself in… even with all of that said, I still do find myself from time to time dreaming of that next road trip to places unknown. Even as I’m sitting here, finishing my article, there’s still a substantial stack of papers stacked up over in the corner, pointing the way to the inevitable adventures of tomorrow. The calendar is clear, the car just got its routine servicing, and the gas tank is topped off. It’s just a matter of time now until it all begins anew. Even though I say that I never will do such a thing ever again, I know myself far better than that. It never fails. I’m as good as gone already. And the road goes on. ¶ HOLIDAYS 2009 CONCRETE WAVE 67

One of North America’s LARGEST Indoor Skateparks

C.J. Skateboard Park & School A division of Canadian Skateboard Park & School Association A NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION

60 Horner Avenue, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada







a.m. Giggles. Highpitched voices call out, “Scott-ie… Scott-ie… Can we use the ramp?” Scott Brennan’s eyes blink open. He takes a few groggy steps to the door. On the other side a dozen pairs of eyes shine up at him, the stocky American surfer with a shaggy blond mane and worksinewed hands. He grins and thinks, It’s time to skate in Fiji. The Fijian kids ch Scott Brennan and his brother, a fun day of skateill out after boarding. Patrick, started the Global Youth Foundation to spread skateboarding as a way of life across the globe. timism. Until Scott’s chance arrival on the island, Patrick is a lithe California surfer boy scrawny, chocolate-skinned Fijian 8-year-olds with kind, earnest eyes. Scott is more deeply careened up and down a beachside ramp on tanned, his frame muscular. He has the relaxed skateboards only in their dreams. The kids demeanor of a career islander, with longish watched Tony Hawk win competitions on tele- dark-blond hair framing his sunburned face. vision, but without the chance to try this most They have in common a dusting of golden American of sports. But now, thanks to stubble, easy smiles and dimples. Their story is Brennan’s vision for uplifting an impoverished one of parallel self-discovery — and paths that community through access to skateboarding and finally met. skate ramps, local kids are staying out of trouble, Scott Brennan has never been one to follow gaining confidence and physical fitness and the crowd. A gifted team sports athlete and dreaming bigger than they ever have before. skateboarder, he defected from football and For all its allure as a scuba and honeymoon baseball to surfing in his early teen years, after a destination, Fiji has its share of poverty. After- move to Dana Point, California. “It was to free school vandalism and petty theft by the local chil- myself,” he said. “I didn’t want to depend on dren is common, and exacerbated by a lack of teammates and schedules and coaches. It allowed constructive activities. There isn’t a variety of me to have that release. I could be with my sports and after-school activities, just the occa- friends, but [surfing] is really just you doing it.” sional rugby game, and hardly any sports for girls. Scott’s love for surf culture soon became apScott saw this immediately when he arrived. parent, as he scheduled his high school classes When he called home, his older brother Patrick to end earlier to allow for sessions and hung out could hear the disenchantment in his voice. with pros and owners of surf shops. His “PB,” he said, “these kids don’t even have shoes.” brothers, meanwhile, followed more traditional Suddenly, America, with its malls and luxu- high school paths and worked after-school jobs. ries, seemed very far away. But, Scott acknowledges, he didn’t have the

FIJI, LAND OF THE FIRST LIGHT It was on his first return visit to the United States, over Christmas 2008, that I spotted Scott proudly taking telephoto pictures of his older brother surfing. Soon, Scott, Patrick and I had piled into Patrick’s beach apartment for an interview. The Brennan brothers radiate health and op-


drive to become a pro surfer, so he enrolled at Hawaii Pacific University. The decision both worried and excited his parents, an aerospace engineer and a librarian. “They knew I was really going there for the surf,” he said. Hawaii was everything he could have imagined. “Everything went into hyper drive with big-wave surfing. I surfed on the North Shore

of Oahu...I surfed Pipeline,” he said. Serendipitously, skate culture was experiencing a renaissance when he arrived. New skateparks were being built in Hawaii, and local surfers were also avid skateboarders. Scott witnessed the influence that a skatepark has on a community. “At a skatepark it doesn’t matter what color you are, what race, what gender. You have a common interest.” A culture sprang up around the skateparks, which saw large gatherings for competitions, concerts and barbecues. Being hundreds of miles away from California’s coast didn’t dampen his wanderlust. At age 21, with an advertising degree nearly completed, Scott pooled his money with two college friends and bought a 50-foot sailboat. Patrick came to Hawaii for a visit shortly after, and the boat inspired discussions about travel and about starting a business related to beach culture. Scott knew that surfing and skating were a huge part of his life, but he didn’t know how to make them a career. The next several years figured significantly in a young social entrepreneur’s journey of selfdiscovery. He spent several weeks surfing Indonesia’s waters. A whirlwind romance took him to Arrezo, Italy, where he found kindred spirits in Tuscan skateboarders. Back in Southern California, his parents nudged him to acquire a real-estate license and get his first real job, at Marcus and Millchap of Newport Beach. Unfortunately, the glory days of house-flipping were gone, and Scott struggled, doubly disenchanted because his boat-buying buddies were sailing to Tahiti. The next year found him in a series of finance jobs, where he felt that he was chasing happiness just as much as money. Finally, “I hit a wall,” Scott said. “My life was just all over the place. I was depressed, and


couldn’t tell my parents. I talked to friends, who didn’t understand because they were in the 9 to 5 track.” He left his desk and the daily Excel spreadsheets in the early summer of 2008, flew to Tahiti and joined his friends on a 2000-mile sail to Fiji — the surfing trip of a lifetime. This time, “lifetime” wasn’t a euphemism. Scott fell in love with a beautiful young Fijian named Lucia, a reporter for the local paper. They married, and life was grand. He rented an apartment by the water and feasted on papayas daily. But there was something else. There was a skateboard on the sailboat. “It was looking at me, as if to say, are you going to use me?” laughed Scott. But there was nowhere to skate. Finally, in late August, he asked a local friend, “Hey, why don’t we build a ramp?”

A young executive walks away from it all Like his brother, Patrick Brennan tumbled around a handful of states as a child before the family’s final relocation to California. Skateboarding was the common ground they found with new neighborhood kids after each move, and the brothers relished summertime visits to Oceanside, near San Diego, where they crammed in as many surf sessions as possible. Patrick, now 35, attended the University of Utah (to ski, he says), where he studied economics and Third World development. He shot up the corporate ladder to a six-figure income. But the end of a long-term relationship, in 2003, found him traveling to Southeast Asia for a little soul-searching. His frame backpack had seen hostels in Europe, but it was his first time experiencing countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. “Asia exposed me to how poor the world really is and how it affects the youth,” Patrick said. “I saw widowed amputees with four kids. Those kids have no chance. There’s no foster care. They are street children. I wanted to do what Angelina Jolie does and take all those kids home — what she does is amazing!” With an endless view of the sea, Scott and Patrick Brennan hammer and shape a simple wooden ramp into existence.


proved focus, their reduced participation in illegal activities and their new competitive drive. Parents are thrilled, and Scott talks to them individually when they have concerns about skateboarding. The majority of the time, it ends in a handshake and a smile. A second ramp, in Pacific Harbor, followed, with the help of Scott’s

t have s of local kids tha Some of the dozento skate. w ho t been taugh

Scott enjoys the fruits of his labor.

The trip changed Patrick’s priorities in life. “My appreciation for life went through the roof,” he said. “I cut way back on shopping...I was more conscious of the value of things. I was never a big donor before, but I started donating money to Southeast Asia and SurfAid. I gave away half my things.” While his peers were driving nice cars and living in big houses, Patrick was taking a ribbing from his friends: “Bro, no one wants to come to your house. You don’t even have cable.” Patrick explains it this way: “My contemporaries, what they felt to be important, I thought was the least important, and vice versa. I was confused...I didn’t know what my goal was. That’s why I was traveling around the world. I knew I couldn’t be at a desk working for a finance company.” In the beginning of 2008, with his company suffering from the ravages of a splintered economy, Patrick took a buyout and a new lease on life. Hungering for a better understanding of foreign cultures, he traveled through Japan, Taiwan, Peru, Morocco and El Salvador. He surfed in three continents. In Morocco, he saw kids throwing rocks at windows and getting into gangs and drugs, the result of a small, wealthy community surrounded by a large, poor underclass with little direction or supervision for its children. That’s why when Scott called him with an idea for creating a youth foundation, he signed on immediately, without ever having set foot in Fiji.

The first ramp Scott and his friend Koa built their first ramp from wood. It didn’t take long for local kids to discover that there was a big, blond stranger doing seriously cool stunts on wheels down by the beach. Scott personally taught dozens of kids to skate, and has seen firsthand their im-


friends who flew in to build. Scott began to envision a new skate economy for Fiji — one with skate shops and coaching opportunities that would mean potential careers for “his” kids. Then came another vision: a professionallevel skatepark, where young skaters could learn the fun tricks they saw on television and wow passers-by. Scott is currently scouting land for the park in the city of Suva, and has friends and pro skateboarders already signed on for the building. In the future, the brothers hope to raise enough money through the Global Youth Foundation to build skate structures in Papua New Guinea, Asia and Africa. Patrick said, “We wanted to give the kids an option for something to do. Here in America, we have paved roads to skate and bike on, even in Watts, even if you’re poor. But there there’s nothing, and the kids are looking up to kids who are robbing and selling drugs. “We want the kids to feel the ‘stoke.’ It’s just a really, really cool thing. Skating was never an option to them. [But] not only is it healthy because they are doing exercise, it’s a possible career and keeps them out of trouble. But more important than anything is that they feel the stoke.” Scott smiles contentedly as he describes a dream life on an island: waking up to lapping

waves on Laucala Beach; meals of tropical fruit, and fish caught during a sail on his dinghy; then surfing or working with the kids. Of those sunny days at the ramp, he says, “It’s amazing to have the kids smiling, excited, wondering when I’m going to come back. I motivate them, then they look to me to see if the trick was cool, if they are doing it right. “It’s a great place for parents to watch kids get into something. I saw kids go from holding a skateboard, not knowing what to do with it, to being better than me in a few months.” He notes proudly that just as many girls as boys show up to tear up the ramp on a daily basis. Patrick, back in Southern California, gets up around 8 a.m. to surf, and makes phone calls and does company research in the afternoons. The brothers have pounded the pavement in search of donations to the foundation, soliciting help from skate and surf shops and individual patrons. Scott’s bags are loaded with skates, pads and helmets from Hermosa Beach outfits like ET Surf. Soon, the foundation will have non-profit status. During our interview, Scott mentions that we might be getting some visitors. Toward the end of the evening, there is a knock at the door. Lucia’s relatives pour in; they are two aunts and an uncle who relocated to Los Angeles. Raucously euphoric and oozing island sunshine, they embrace Scott and Patrick. “We’re Fijian, we don’t wait for an invitation!” one exults. Scott is obviously delighted, grinning as his speech slides into singsong Fijian cadences. One of Lucia’s aunts, Vorokanaca Vusonimasei, said, “I think [skateboarding] is something that is recreational for the children, to stop them from doing their little crimes. It’s something new. They see skating on TV. but now they really get to do it!” With a huge laugh, she said, “On behalf of the Fijian government, I thank my son-in-law!” The Brennan brothers’ meandering paths have led them to something far bigger than themselves. “I didn’t go to college to make a whole bunch of money,” said Scott. “Helping others makes tomorrow that much more rich.” ¶




BOARD MEETING A Sea of Ties, Skateboards and Smiles

Photo: Daniel Osadtsuk

2009 By MATT LIVINGSTON As I rolled into David A. Balfour Park in downtown Toronto, shirt and tie on, longboard firmly planted beneath my feet, I was unsure of what to expect. The park was packed full of longboarders dressed just like me, some skating around, others crammed under the trees trying to take refuge from the hot midday sun. It was September 12, 2009 and time for the eighth annual Board Meeting. The minute I saw 300 other longboarders, my excitement level began to rise. We were about to embark on a journey through the crowded streets of downtown Toronto. As one of the organizers yelled out the call to begin,


Just some of the of 317 skaters who charged down Yonge Street.

Photos: Jonathan Nuss

Stand up and be counted! 74 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2009

everyone excitedly ran to the street. We began pushing to Yonge Street, and as we rounded the corner, I looked back as I crested the hill. Traffic had stopped, and a sea of ties, skateboards and smiles now filled the street. By the bottom of the hill, I could already feel my voice becoming hoarse from the incessant yelling of “Board Meeting!” to the puzzled onlookers on every sidewalk. Everyone was trying to get a glimpse, a photo or a video of what was happening. They weren’t without entertainment, as only a few minutes into the adventure there had already been several falls resulting in large pileups, akin to something you would expect on a freeway on a foggy morning. We continued on our trip, winding through the downtown core, stopping only occasionally to let some of the slower skaters catch up. After a brief stop in another park, we set course for our main stop, Toronto City Hall. Once we got there, we formed a massive circle and began to sound off with numbers until we reached the final count. “Three-seventeen!” screamed the last skater at the top of his lungs, and the huge crowd erupted in an earshattering cheer. After a few group photos, we were off to MuchMusic (Canada’s version of MTV) to see what trouble we could cause there. On the way we skated past the red carpet for the Toronto Film Festival. I’m sure they were delighted to hear the chanting of “Board Meeting!” as skaters went past in a seemingly endless train. When we arrived outside MuchMusic, the garage doors were up and cameras were on. To any normal group of people, this might be time to keep the volume levels down. To us this was a sign it was time to sit down in the middle of the intersection and start a chant so long and so loud they would be unable to continue filming. After we had our fun at MuchMusic, we were on the home stretch to our final destination. We snaked through Chinatown until we reached the final park. The crowd roared up again as the organizers said the Board Meeting had concluded. After such an amazing afternoon there could only be one thing left to do: Party! ¶

Adam Winston expression says it all: Board Meeting just stokes the hell out of you!

Heading up Spadina Avenue to the final destination — Kensington Market.

The sit-down on Queen Street West right outside MuchMusic. The security folks didn’t know what to think.

It’s Board Meeting — you gotta wear a white shirt and tie!


STREET MISSILE RACING ome of the articles this magazine assigns me can take a long time to write. The Mischo Erban interview took five months to prepare. Getting Rob McKendry to answer all his questions took almost a year. But this Freddy Desjardins piece has been in the works for two years now. We started it when the news broke that Montreal’s most renowned skateboard event, Top Challenge, was going to be canceled after a six-year run. It may have come as a shock to the outside world of downhill skaters who loved the excuse to travel to one of the world’s greatest cities, but to the locals it seemed like something inevitable. Why didn’t the locals care too much? In spite of the death of this major event, the grass-roots race scene in Montreal has actually been booming, and it is thanks to the years of dedication of one of skateboarding’s most notorious characters: Fast Freddy D. The scene has been building through Freddy’s multifaceted Street Missile empire, which is largely based in his backyard tool shed in the mountain town of Prevost Quebec, a little bit north of Montreal. We have put the likes of Bricin Lyons and Jody Willcock on a pedestal because every year they hold their races

Ben Dubreuil drifts into the wet while Simon Benoit tries to hold as much traction as he can on a tight Shak Attack corner.



Freddy surely enjoying one of the rare moments he gets to lead Niko Desmarais at the aptly named Zig-Zag Attack in St. Jerome.


and are now up to their 8th annuals in their respective events. But Freddy puts on upwards of a mind-boggling seven downhill races every year. They don’t come with the grandeur that the coveted B.C. races do, because the model is very different. Street Missile racing is about the spirit of the race and not about the hype of the event, but they still require an intense amount of organization. We should start by getting a bit of history from Fred. Before he came back to his homeland of Quebec in 2002, he lived in Whistler, B.C. for quite a while and was an integral member of the original Coast Longboarding crew, which has since reached iconic status. “Living in B.C. was a pretty adventurous time for me, I guess; I lived in my beat-up old van and worked the Pipe Dragon in the halfpipe up on the mountain at night, shredding all the time and plenty of partying! During the summer, I ran machinery on construction sites and skated all those great B.C. spots. My favorite spot was the Whistler skatepark that has a sick snake bowl. That’s what I miss the most; there are no good parks in Quebec. Those were good times. That’s when I started downhill skateboarding with Bricin Lyons and the Vancouver boys. It was the early days of Coast Longboarding, well before the big longboard blowup…

Kalie Racine represents the growing throng of Quebecoise women to get the speed bug.

hell, even before freakin’ Concrete Wave! Downhill skateboarding like we were doing was very new in Canada, and not really doing so well in the United States, either. So it was pretty rare to have many people out to ride. Thankfully, the sport was Fast Fred D. about to be reborn from its ashes. I remember the first Danger Bay race at Pender Harbour: 16 racers, and no one had a clue what they were doing! Tom Edstrand couldn’t even make it around Crash Corner! We all ate s**t hard. Luckily, there were a few gurus like Rob McKendry, Rob Leblanc and Jody Willcock to show us up.” When Freddy came back to Quebec about eight years ago he started up by pressing boards and welding luges under the Street Missile brand he founded in B.C. He eventually put some of the world’s best downhill skateboarders on his team, like Jeff “Woody” Woodfine, Jesse Tynan, Rick Kludy and Rob McKendry, to name a few. He released pro-model speedboards for the latter two as well as a Fast Fred D. model for himself. However, at some point the economics of a shed-based skate brand caught up to him, and his big-name team riders drifted away to bigger companies. When asked about the demise of Street Missile decks, Fred

was not deterred at all. “Street Missile is still alive and well! I still make kick-ass street luges when I can, and I organize races. The only thing I quit making is the skateboards, because there are so many companies on the market who just jumped into what we love, for our money; it isn’t worthwhile any more if you’re a small player. Also, I got tired of wood dust! Street Missile isn’t my bread & butter, anyway; it’s only a way for me to share my passion with others. Actually, when I built my first luge back in 1995, I’d never even heard of it before; I really thought I had just invented a new sport! I obviously realized later that I had not, but I was stoked! It has come a long way since back then. I’ve initiated probably hundreds of people to gravity sports. I’ve always run an underground downhill school for whoever wanted to learn. I think safety is probably the most important aspect of our sport, since it involves going down roads on an unstable platform with no brakes…often at speeds in excess of 100 kph.” On a Concrete Wave assignment that sent me to Washington, D.C. a number of years back, I got to chatting with DC Downhill Club advocate and racer Anthony Smallwood about filming a documentary about the life of a speedboarder and the constant and usually impoverished quest to get to the next race, even if it’s on the other side of the ocean. We agreed that the funniest subjects for the film would be none other than Rob McKendry and Freddy Desjardins. Those two seem to sacrifice everything to meet up with the next race crew, and for some reason, the worst things always happen to them. Only a little while ago, the whole planet only offered a few races per year, and Freddy needed to get to them all. He has always been vigorous at getting sponsorship from all sorts of weird companies. He once convinced a naturopathic body-gel company to fly him to Germany; while he was there, he proceeded to get himself thrown in jail for a few very scary days during which nobody would speak anything but German to him. (For reasons of this somewhat family value-oriented publication, we won’t print why he was arrested.) At any rate, the lifestyle of the starving downhiller led Freddy to come up with a more homegrown solution. (Unfortunately, though, Smallwood still hasn’t


are still the same. Depending on the track, we run 2008 Points champion Simon Benoit leads Cyril Schroeder through a wet corner at Shak Attack.

about having fun and actually riding lots of runs above all.” In the last year of Top Challenge, only about 70 people, mostly from out of town, showed up to race, in its sixth year of growth. About three weeks after that, Freddy put on the Zig-Zag Attack in St. Jerome, about an hour north of Montreal. The inaugural year of this event drew a crowd of 45 racers, almost all of them locals. Freddy should be a role model to all the other grass-roots scenes out there who want to put their local speedboard community on the map. At his “Attack” races, the entry fee is less than the cost of a six-pack, and all the proceeds go to paying for the riders’ pizza, or water or insurance. On top of that, Freddy typically goes Flavien Vidal (front) and Keith Rebhorn at St.-Sau Attack

started filming McKendry or Yann Lhermitte took his first race ever at this Freddy yet!) year’s Shak Attack in Blainville. Freddy started to put his attention into getting more kids into racing, by designing a race circuit that was meant to be more inclusive and less intimidating than what he saw going on at the huge events. Freddy is now a father of two boys and juggles crazy working hours as a machine operator. He’s mostly running an excavator, which allows him to tour all over the Laurentian Mountains. So he gets to scope out all sorts of new race locations. His favorite type of race courses are the really narrow bike paths that wind through forests and parks: highly technical races that don’t really heats of two to four pose much danger, since the speeds never get racers, and there are above the 60 kph level and the people usually on average 10 to 15 just crash out onto lawns. Despite having a runs to complete. I young family, Freddy somehow gets the hall compile the points to passes from his very loving partner Lou-Lou to figure out the finals. dedicate so much time to putting together Niko Desmarais and Yann Lhermitte fight The whole thing is run races. it out for the Source Attack Final. in jam format, which “The races I throw down are held on very mellow means the racers choose hills. It gives a chance to the newcomers to gain some who they race against, with experience by riding with the local pros, so they gain the only rule that they can’t race more confidence and ability while having fun on a the same person twice. This style makes closed road or path. If you try to chase the veterans for a very laid-back atmosphere, and the race pretty [while] freeriding in open traffic, you’ll never see much runs itself! I’ve raced with many other organwhat they do. [But] this gets everyone together. Even izations, and I don’t really like being told who I have if the hills are easy, it is no less of a challenge, because to race against or waiting around for my heat to come all those skilled East Coast riders are still battling to up. I think that downhill skateboarding should be the finish. Even if it’s at a mellower pace, the skills




Overall Top 10 Champ: Runner-up: 3rd Place: 4th: 5th: 6th: 7th: 8th: 9th: 10th:

Niko Desmarais Yann Lhermitte Ben "Trente" Dubreuil Tim Koch Emile Castonguay John Barnet A.J. Powell Francois Gonthier Cyril Schroeder Pascal "Rookie" Jean

Classic Street Missile Trailer Podium: (L to R) Fast Fred D., Cyril Schroeder, Yann Lhermitte, Flavien Vidal, Ben Dubreuil, Dimitri Komarov, Niko Desmarais, Keith Rebhorn, Anthony Flis.

around to his well-oiled group of happy sponsors and is able to give out really nice prizes, all the way down to 25th place at times. Once in a while he’ll do a reverse podium and give the prizes out from dead last up to the middle of the pack. What does Freddy think makes his events draw such big crowds of locals? “Surely there is a definite niche of speed freaks looking for a rush. East Coast racing is going through tough times right now with the cancellation of a few major events like Munnsville; I try to fill that need with my smaller ones – although they don’t seem that small any more. Furthermore, very generous people like Performance Boardshop up here in the Laurentides always back me up with tons of giveaway prizes for everyone. I have lots of help from the local convenience stores, Montreal board stores and board companies…also the Internet

Freddy had to go to high-def frame by frame to determine that Niko won Source Attack by about a centimeter.


only racing newbies throughout the day. He does one-push staggered starts on paths that are dreadfully slow to start with, and the staggering is sometimes based on how early you get to the site to register or on a points scheme left over from the year before. Fred knows he has his work cut out to keep the growing throng of riders happy, but he gives it all he’s got, and he’s open to listening to people, no matter how much they whine to him. At the last Shak Attack he was getting yelled at by

the crowd, so he just held an election on the spot, and then everyone was happy. If you came from elsewhere and attended a Street Missile race, you would probably think of them more as outlaw events. Freddy is very adamant that his events are legitimate and that outlaws may not be the best thing for the sport. Granted, all of the races Freddy has put on were indeed given the go-ahead from the local municipalities, but Fred’s technique is brilliant, if not short of deceptive, as he goes about getting their permission. He’ll call up the city council and tell them that his store is putting on a staff

John Barnet holds off Yann Lhermitte and Cam Brickenden at Source Attack.

Seb Leger tries not to look through the bales at the potential carnage that awaits.

is of great help in promoting the events and bringing the skate community together. I like to believe that my format and the way everything goes smoothly has to do with it, too. What we do is racing for racers by racers!” Sure, there are dissenters who find that Fred’s races are a bit on the low-quality side. He’s had start ramps fall apart and nearly break a rider’s leg; his hay bale collection is the leftovers of a Halloween display; and sometimes the course is pretty dangerous for lack of protection. It’s pretty easy to sandbag-race and propel yourself into the final by conveniently

Yann Triponez (in red helmet) and Dimitri Komarov have a healthy lead on Keith Rebhorn at St. Sau Attack.

Matt Kienzle got his start racing at the first Zig-Zag Attack. Three years later he’s one of Quebec’s best riders and is hosting his own races in the Laurentian Mountains.

family barbeque. He asks for a permit to gather and play some sports like Frisbee, lawn bowling and maybe some roller-boarding. His optimistic, smooth-talking skills don’t seem to raise the alarm bells that scare the politicians away. The cops show up and are happy, they watch and then they leave. Thanks to this, many of the skaters in Quebec have more than 20 races under their belt. And to the future? “I think that the future of downhill skateboarding is on a roll and it will continue to grow, but will always remain a true underground sport. The need for speed will never die! It’s the best way for a quick cheap thrill. Speedboarding is what I would say is efficient for getting the adrenaline level in your blood, and [it’s] very affordable. How could you go wrong? When you can see that they sell longboards at crappy department stores, you know it’s here to stay! I would like to thank everyone who ever helped me with the races, everybody I ride with, the sponsors and especially my family, who let me do what I love. I love you all!” ¶

Simon Benoit and Yann Lhermitte scrub through the Source Attack forest.





EASTBOURNE SPEED DAYS The IGSA World Cup Series left the European continent and moved to Eastbourne, England for Round #4 August 20-22, 2009. The first three rounds of the Series had produced three different winners with Louis Pilloni in Peyragudes, Scoot Smith in Argonay and Martin Siegrist in Padova. Mischo Erban was sitting on top of the point standings due to his consistently high finishes. Coming into Eastbourne he was really feeling the pressure to earn his first win of the season. Erban showed that he came to win on the first day of qualifying when he laid down a time that was four seconds faster than anyone else! Mischo was fastest once again in Saturday’s final qualifying session. He was followed by defending champion Scoot Smith in second and veteran racer William Brunson, who qualified third. Rounding out the top five were Patrick Switzer in fourth and Jackson Shapiera in fifth. A total of 123 downhill skateboarders made qualifying attempts, with only the top 64 making it into Sunday’s elimination rounds.

Patrick Switzer earned his second podium finish in a row. Photo: Dean McNeill

Sunday’s race was a battle of attrition. After four rounds of elimination heats it came down to Erban, Smith, Switzer and Christoffer Sanne who lined up for the Downhill Skateboarding final. Sanne


Christoffer Sanne had the early lead in the final but dropped to 4th at the line. Photo: Dean McNeill

took the early lead, followed by Smith in second, Switzer third and Erban hanging back in fourth. Coming through the first corner of the “S-Bend” complex it was Scoot in hot pursuit of Sanne, Switzer picking up Scoot’s draft and Mischo railing the corners and gaining a massive amount of speed on the three riders in front of him. Scoot made it around Sanne in the second part of the “S-Bend,” and Mischo did the same to Switzer. As they entered the long left curve at the top of the straightaway, Mischo blew by Sanne and then Scoot to take the lead. Switzer also moved around Sanne and took off with his sights set on Scoot. Coming down the straightaway, Mischo pulled away from the other three skaters. Switzer inched forward on Scoot until they were virtually in a dead heat at the line. Video analysis determined that Scoot had crossed the line first. Finishing in fourth place The "S-Bend" created plenty was Sanne from of action. Photo: Dean McNeill Sweden.

Mischo Erban completely dominated Eastbourne 2009. Photo: Marcus Rietema

Eastbourne marked the halfway point in the 2009 season. The win strengthened Erban’s hold on the points lead, but the podium finishes by both Scoot and Switzer brought them closer to the top. Next up is Maryhill, where Scoot is the two-time defending champion. The battle for the 2009 IGSA World Cup Series Championship is still wide open. EASTBOURNE SPEED DAYS RESULTS 1. Mischo Erban Canada 2. Scoot Smith Canada 3. Patrick Switzer Canada 4. Christoffer Sanne Sweden 5. Oliver Nielsen Denmark 6. Jackson Shapiera Australia 7. Alexander D’Elia Martin Spain 8. Philippe Albiz Sweden




(L-R) Luke Melo, Nate Lang, Kevin Reimer, James Kelly, Zak Maytum and Scoot Smith charge into a practice run. Photo: Bob Ozman

TThe IGSA World Cup Series returned to North America September 2-6, 2009 for the Maryhill Festival of Speed. In just three years this race has grown into the premier downhill skateboarding event in North America. The event is spread over five days with open practice on Wednesday and Thursday, practice and qualifying run #1 on Friday, qualifying run #2 and a Last Chance Qualifying race on Saturday and the finals on Sunday. Many of the competitors stay together at the campground, and each evening there are activities ranging from autograph sessions to din-

ners put on by the local community to parties featuring live bands. For many, it’s the highlight of their entire racing season. A record 166 downhill skateboarders made qualifying attempts for this year’s event. Of these, no less than 50 were under the age of 18. During Friday’s first qualifying session, World Cup Series points leader Mischo Erban was the first skater down the Maryhill course and laid down a time that no one else could

Louis Pilloni's 7th-place finish moved him into 4th place in World Cup points. Photo: Marcus Rietema


2009 IGSA WORLD CUP OVERVIEW touch. In second place was Switzer, Lang, Kelly and Erban during pre-race rider introductions. Brazilian Douglas “Dalua” Photo: John Ozman Silva, making his first-ever appearance at Maryhill. James Kelly qualified third, followed by Kevin Reimer in fourth and Nathan Lang in fifth. Two-time defending Maryhill Champion Scoot Smith wound up in eighth. Saturday’s weather forecast called for an 80% chance of rain, so it didn’t look like the second qualifying run would be run under dry conditions. Fortunately, the rain held off, and an intense final qualifying session ensued. The riders ran in reverse order of their first-run qualifying times. This meant that the session would finish with Friday’s #1 qualifier Erban going last. There was a strong tailwind blowing, and most of the riders were improving their times. By the time the race reached the semifinals, Erban broke Martin Siegrist’s it came down to the veterans versus a few of year-old qualifying record of the young lions. In Semi-Final #1 it was Erban, 3:08.442 when he turned in a time Smith, Switzer, Alex Tongue, Frank Uhlmann of 3:07.139 to earn the #1 qualiand Tim Del Rosario. Shortly after the start, fying position. James Kelly finished Scoot was in the lead but crashed and fell to in the #2 position, followed by fourth. He quickly picked himself up and began Nathan Lang in 3rd. Patrick pushing like crazy. Erban, Switzer and Switzer finished in the #4 position, Uhlmann had passed him, so he put his head and rounding out the top five was Nick Jean, who finished only 1/1000th of a second behind A record 50 riders under the age of 18 competed at Maryhill. Switzer. Jean’s performance also Photo: Art Sanchez made him the #1 under-18 qualifier. In the end nine riders beat Siegrist’s year-old qualifying record. On Sunday morning, it had rained off and on during the morning racing classes, but the weather forecast predicted improving weather conditions for the afternoon. The sun was out and the track was drying during the introduction of the Top 12 qualifiers. While the riders were at the top awaiting the first-round heats, a strong wind blew in, followed immediately by a heavy rain shower. The first round of racing was held under very wet conditions. Then the rain stopped, the sun came out and the track dried again. This ended up being a cycle that Several top riders rode small slalom boards before the rains came. Joel Putrah (black leathers) would continue throughout the afternoon. and James Kelly show the long and the short of it. Photo: Marcus Rietema



2009 IGSA WORLD CUP OVERVIEW down and took off in pursuit. First he was able to get past Uhlmann. As he exited Cowzer Corner he had Switzer in his sights and was gaining fast. They rounded the last corner and he somehow managed to make the pass. At the line it was Mischo, Scoot and Switzer who were going to the finals. Uhlmann, Tongue and Del Rosario finished in 4th-6th, respectively.

The final lined up with Erban, Smith, Switzer, Silva, Kelly and Lang. Mischo and Scoot took off in the lead and looked set to battle it out for the win – until they both crashed at the halfway point; there would be no victory for the #1 qualifier and current points leader or the two-time defending champion. Silva was now in the lead, with Switzer and Kelly in hot pursuit. As they made their way down the straightaway headed for the final corner, Switzer passed Silva. Kelly was also on his tail but couldn’t find dry enough pavement to make a pass. That was how Brazilian Douglas "Dalua" Silva raced for the first time in the rain and finished an impressive 2nd. Photo: Marcus Rietema they finished, with Switzer earning his first World Cup victory. Silva finished an amazing second in his first-ever rain race, and Kelly took third. Nathan Lang finished in fourth, with a dejected Erban in fifth. Defending champion Smith finished sixth. Switzer’s victory capped off an amazing run of consistency in his last Switzer, Jackson Shapiera and Scoot at the popular four World Cup Goldendale autograph session. Photo: Marcus Rietema races. With finishes of fourth in France, second in Italy, third in England and the win at Maryhill, Switzer now finds himself leading the World second place, Kelly third and Lang moved up to Cup Series points with three races to go. Erban, fourth. In Cowzer Corner, Maytum crashed and Smith and Siegrist are still within striking diswas passed by everyone. At the line it was Silva, tance. Next up is ultra-fast Teutônia, Brazil. Kelly and Lang going to the final. Switzer will be staying home to focus on his engineering school studies, while his three Switzer's Maryhill win vaulted him into the World Cup points lead. main rivals will all be there and looking to Photo: John Ozman make up some ground. It’s going to be interesting… ¶

Scoot and K-Rimes running tight through Cowzer Corner. Photo: Marcus Rietema

In semifinal #2 it was Lang, Kelly, Silva, Kevin Reimer, Louis Pilloni and Zak Maytum. Silva pulled out in the lead with Reimer close behind. Reimer had him in his sights but then crashed hard at about the halfway distance, dropping to sixth. Maytum then inherited

MARYHILL FESTIVAL OF SPEED 1. Patrick Switzer Canada 2. Douglas Silva Brazil 3. James Kelly United States 4. Nathan Lang Canada 5. Mischo Erban Canada 6. Scoot Smith Canada 7. Louis Pilloni United States 8. Zak Maytum United States




Pep Williams started skating as a kid in 1975 on the streets of Los Angeles. In 1984 he started skating in Venice and skated every day with all of the legends from Venice at the time, including Christian Hosoi, Eric Dressen, Jesse Martinez and the rest of the Dogtown family. Pep himself has become a well-known Venice/Dogtown street skater for the past 23 years all over the world. He has also spoken at schools all over the country for the past 11 years, talking about skateboarding and how it changed his life, and has toured all over as well, promoting skateboarding and his sponsors all over the world. Along the way Pep picked up a camera. He started shooting photos in 1998 and has since worked for companies such as Grind King, Darkstar Wheels, SRH and countless other skateboard companies and bands. His photos have appeared in just about every skateboard magazine, plus fashion magazines and countless ad campaigns. He also tours with bands such as Suicidal Tendencies as the band’s personal photographer. Pep’s images tend to have a mellow calmness to them yet are raw at the same time. To see more, go to



My bro Nilton Neves from Brazil soaring at a skatepark in Oceanside, California. Nilton is one of the sickest and coolest cats around.


Sly Vicious. It’s always fun shooting my bro Sly. We had a killer time in Apple Valley doing this. Another shot of Sly. It was 112 degrees in the desert, and we were roasting. The biggest ants I had ever seen were all over the place. We spray-painted them.



Bennett Harada, frontside G-turn. When Bennett said, “OK, Pep, I’m gonna do a G-turn on this thing,” I already knew the photo would be an instant classic.


Suicidal Tendencies in Vegas. This shot was a tough one to get. Just imagine shooting from the crowd in the pit at a punk show. My toes and ribs were sore, but I got the shot.



Neil Heddings at Sea World with a 5-0 grind. It was pretty cool the way we sneaked across the parking lot without being noticed to get this shot.





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With a style reminiscent of legendary skateboarder Steve Caballero, 10-year-old Andre Young has embraced different genres of skateboarding, including bowl riding, halfpipe, mini ramp and street. Andre has been skateboarding for more than five years now. Entering competitions where he is one of the younger participants, he often places in the top three and has recently earned several first places. His small, stocky frame enables him to powerfully negotiate tight bowl corners, yet his ability to pump generates high airs above the 12-foot coping on a vert ramp. Andre’s love of skateboarding has taken him to such places as Encinitas and Kona and a host of skateboarding facilities in Eastern Canada. His fierce, tenacious desire to land a trick has made him well known locally for such tricks as the back flip. He dreams of being a pro skateboarder and skateboard instructor. Andre trains at the new CJ Skateboard Park & School in Toronto, which has world-class facilities to move him to the next level. Andre is grateful for the support and encouragement that park owner Jay Mandarino and the CJ team have shown him. Andre’s sponsors include Hustler Boardshop, Etnies (flow) and CJ Skateboard Park & School.


WORDS: KIRK JUNEAU PHOTO: DAN BOURQUI San Diego’s Cory Juneau has been skateboarding for two and a half years and skating in CASL and other competitions for almost as long, taking the gold in street and vert at the California State Games in his first year of skating. Cory skates street, vert and bowl. Although the trend seems to be street, Cory has been moving more toward bowl and vert, with concrete pools being his favorite. Cory is very fortunate to have both YMCAs in San Diego County and the new Combi Pool at Carmel Valley that he skates nearly every day. Cory’s home skate shop is Muir Skate in Pacific Beach. He has also ridden for Revolution and now rides for Santa Monica Airlines. He is hoping to get more involved with bigger events and to eventually become a pro bowl rider with SMA. Cory has been trying to qualify for the Free Flow Gatorade Tour finals the last couple of summers. He has placed 5th, 4th and most recently 3rd at Clairemont. Cory said he is “inching his way up,” hoping next year to get at least 2nd and maybe score a wild card.


WORDS: MICHAEL BROOKE PHOTO: DONALD ALLISON Justyce started skateboarding in 2004 and competed in her first contest in 2006. She was the only girl to compete, and she took first place on the halfpipe. Hailing from Seaside, Oregon, Justyce has begun to get noticed. Last year she was ranked 6th overall in Girls Bowl by World Cup Skateboarding and was the Ladies Champion of the Concrete Rodeo national contest series. Justyce is so committed that she actually bakes brownies to sell in order to raise money for her skate trips. They are for sale at her local skate shop. When she is not at the skatepark (eight to 10 hours a day!), Justyce can be found on her driveway, riding her halfpipe. Justyce is sponsored locally by Cleanline Surf Shop and gets flow from Santa Cruz, Bones Wheels, Volcom, Dakine, Analog and Burton. She even has a sponsorship with Skater Socks. To say that Justyce is very dedicated to skateboarding would be a huge understatement!


Bringing innovative new ideas as well as old-school skate tricks and style to longboarding has brought Jeff to the forefront of longboard footwork. His biweekly trick tips that he posts online help new riders figure out the tricks they see and have made Jeff respected throughout the longboard community. His work to grow the sport and spread the stoke has earned him sponsorships by Sayshun Longboards, Plasma wheels and Royal Boardshop. Along with his footwork skills, Jeff is a quickly evolving downhill racer. Based out of Calgary, Alberta, Jeff’s influence is becoming global due to his growing presence in many viral media streams. Check him out on Vimeo and YouTube at the Sayshun and Royal Boardshop sites.




SKATEBOARD SHOPS LIST ARIZONA Sidewalk Surfer 2602 N. Scottsdale Road Scottsdale 480.994.1017 • CALIFORNIA 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 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 5820 Geary Blvd. San Francisco 415.668.7905 CCMF/Toyland 1260 Palm Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805-801-6653 The Trading Post 622 Upham Street San Luis Obispo 805.801.6653 Sonoma Old School Skate and Surf 1001 Broadway Sonoma 707.938.5500 Cellular Skate 287 Mountain Ave Upland Tel: 909.981.8856 Maui and Sons 1415 Ocean Front Walk Venice Beach COLORADO All Board Sports 1750 30th Street Boulder 303.415.1600 Board Lords Foothills Mall 215 East Foothills Parkway Suite (J-4) Fort Collins 970.225.1109 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 Madness1344 Stonefield court, Alpharetta 770.777.0336 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


Want to know where to find Concrete Wave Magazine? 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 pay pal, 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 MINNESOTA Old School Skaters 1119 NW 2nd Street Faribault 612.578.3326 MISSOURI Genesis Skateboarding 13 NW Barry Rd. #147 Kansas City 816.456.1307 MONTANA Wheaton’s 214 1st Avenue West Kalispell 406.257.5808 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 Timeship Raicing 825 Early Street Suite H Sante Fe 505.474.0074 NORTH CAROLINA Soul Ride Skatepark 6049 Victory Lane Concord 704.454.7433 We’re Board Inc Skatepark and Shop 1423 North Church Street, Ste 104 Burlington NC 27217 OHIO Old Skool Skateboards 19E College Avenue, Westerville OREGON The Uprise 1110 NW Van Buren Ave, Corvallis 541.754.4257 541.480.4254 The Longboard Store 1238 SW Wheeler Place Bend 541.480.4254 Daddies Board Shop 7126 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland 503.281.5123 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 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 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 BRITISH COLUMBIA Area 51 191 Station Street Duncan 250.746.8869 Raven Skate Shop 411 Campbell Street Tofino 250.725.1280 Salton Rides Saltsummer Island, BC 250.537.4984 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 OVERSEAS New Zealand — Serenity Island Surf & Skate Café 202a Wainui road Gisborne Boardshop Australia 04 15883371 Cre8ive Sk8 5/244 Ross river Road Aitkenvale Queensland 4814 Australia UK — Bath, United Kingdom. Tel: + 44 1249 715811 Germany —, Hackbrett Longskates Im Wechselfeld 12 St. Peter Gustavstrasse 49 90762 Furth Tel: 0911 9772500 France:

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