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vol. 16 no. 2 | Fall 2017


$5.95 Skate for fun.




What We’re Riding

Table of






/The Fine Print








PM & Kebbek Skateboards Founder Ian Comishin Looks Back on 25 Years

Thank you all for supporting over 20 years of publishing. It has been a privilege to stoke you all out.



Small Company Profile: Page 8 |

1136 Centre Street Suite 293 Thornhill, Ontario L4J 3M8 (416) 807 • 0805 Cover Photo: Stephan Judge Rider: Jake Wooten Publisher: Michael Brooke Editor in Chief & Magazine Layout: #NinjaMasterLu Copy Editor: Jonathan Harms

Emmanuelle Catanyag throws down a Standup 720° through the hay. Photo Sequence | #NinjaMasterLu










/The Fine Print

The roots of this magazine go all the way back to 1975. That’s the year I started skateboarding. I must thank Frank Nasworthy for having the creativity and mental fortitude to release Cadillac Wheels in 1973. His idea launched skateboarding’s second boom and sowed the seeds for the magazine you hold in your hands. Frank exited skateboarding a few years later and wound up working on developing inkjet printers for HP. Leaving your mark on one industry is something most people would envy. Leaving your mark on two industries is nothing short of incredible. Thank you, Frank Nasworthy! Fast-forward two decades to 1995 and I am still skating. I get reacquainted with longboards thanks to Todd Huber’s Skate Trader magazine. I purchase a Sector 9 pintail at a Toronto distributor named S&J Sales. Thanks to a brand new technology called the World Wide Web, I find myself intrigued by the possibilities. With my brother’s help, I create the SkateGeezer Homepage. In 1996, I find myself at Xerox trying to sell photocopiers to book publishers. I happen to mention to Nick Pitt of Warwick Publishing that I have a website on skateboarding. He replies, “That’s interesting; we’re looking at doing a book.” My book The Concrete Wave hits in 1999 and spawns the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, a 52-part Concrete Wave TV series and eventually the magazine you are now reading. By 2003, I quit the day job to take care of CW full time. My hobby becomes my job (jobby) and I am able to travel around meeting skaters and sharing my vision of inclusion with the world. In December 2010, I wind up in Venice, California, with my friend Neil Carver. Without going into too much detail, I begin to view things differently. I see more than just the world of skateboarding. In March of 2011, Concrete Wave holds the world’s first Longboard Expo in New York City. It’s held at the Longboard Loft, and over 35

companies showcase their products. I meet up with Noel Korman, founder of Shralpers Union. His message of high fives and positive vibes leaves a lasting impression. Inspired by the Union, Skateistan and Surfing for Peace, I launch Longboarding for Peace in 2012. Our first mission is to the Middle East. Thanks to the generosity of a number of our advertisers, 30 boards and helmets are airfreighted to Tel Aviv and we begin the Search/ Spark/Stoke Tour in July. We visit a number of places including Jericho, Jaffa and East Jerusalem. Upon my return, Grant Shilling contacts me. He lives out on Vancouver Island and wants to bring the Longboarding for Peace program to Ahousaht. With the help of Landyachtz, things start to happen. The fairly isolated First Nations community falls in love with skateboarding. Five years later, a skatepark opens on the island. As things are starting to heat up in the longboard market, I launch an initiative called “Blood from Boarders.” Four years later, we are still working very closely with Canadian Blood Services to encourage all skaters over the age of 17 to blood bank their karma and donate blood. Huge kudos of Rick Tetz of Cal Streets/ Boarder Labs of spearheading the initiative in Vancouver. In 2013, I attend my first ISPO in Munich, Germany. If you think Agenda, Surf Expo or Outdoor Retailer are large shows, imagine an exposition with 14 buildings, each larger than a football field. ISPO gives me an amazing opportunity to meet up with some pretty incredible people. Alex Lenz of 40inch Longboard Magazin allows CW to be part of the Longboard Embassy. Thanks to Don Tashman of Loaded, I meet Jeremy Sochin of Number One skate shop in Lucerne, Switzerland. Through Jeremy, I meet Daniel Iseli of Rocket Longboards. By the way, if things get bad with North Korea, we’re moving CW to Switzerland!

Longboarding for Peace continues to roll, and thanks to the genius idea of Neil Carver, we begin our gun buyback program in San Pedro, California. Working with the police department, we encourage people to trade in their guns in exchange for skateboards. Harvey Hawks and Dennis Martinez become integral to the program, and it spreads to San Diego. Our next gun buyback is set for December 2017. In September 2016, I come face to face with the reality that time can play tricks on you. At Board Meeting in Toronto I run into Chris Barrett. Chris is a talented slalom skater whom I met when he was in high school. At the earlier part of the decade, I drove Chris, Adam Winston and Mike “Smooth Chicken” McGown to Top Challenge in Montreal. If you want to hear more about those times, be sure to visit Longboard Haven in Toronto. Be sure to say hi to Rob too. In 2014, I see my first portable pumptrack at ISPO. By July, 2015, I am with my family in Brooklyn testing out North America’s first Velosolutions pumptrack. I begin to realize that pumptracks combined with skateparks are the perfect combination. I decide if I ever win the lottery, I will build pumptracks everywhere I possibly can. In November 2016, my family embarks on a move. I decide to give Luis Bustamante my collection of skateboard magazines, books and other media. Luis comes on as designer for the magazine. As time progresses, we realize we are on the same wavelength. Plans are under way to create a brand new strategy for the magazine including Concrete Wave TV on YouTube. In July, I head out to Kona Skatepark for its 40th anniversary. Dan Levy, the editor of Juice magazine, joins me and we enjoy Jacksonville together. I managed to meet up again with Dan and publisher Terri Craft at their 75th-edition party in Venice in August.

In the summer of 2017, CW hires Don Fisher as our sales and marketing manager. Don and I spend a great deal of time together in Huntington Beach. We launch something called CW Live and Direct. Throughout the last four decades or so, skateboarding has remained my one true passion. I have made the decision that the next four decades (if I live to 90-something) will be dedicated to spreading a message of peace, balance and justice powered by skateboarding. The “magic of balance” isn’t just a program I developed for kids and adults, it is my entire worldview. The issue you’re holding now was greatly supported by Bud Stratford, who truly embodies the soul of skateboarding. Luke Ayata and Ray Korman of Shralpers Union have been there at every twist and turn, ensuring that things move forward. There are many more people I’d love to mention and thank in this editorial, but space doesn’t really allow it. I’ve already gone past 1,000 words, and I can visualize Luis preparing his bamboo stick to hit me. I have always maintained that inclusion, fun and freedom to ride what you want are important to skateboarding. I am the first one to admit that some of my ideas have not been met with enthusiasm, and some ideas didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned. I also admit that it has taken me quite some time to figure out a path for the future. No matter what happens, Concrete Wave will always be about taking you back and moving you forward. We invite you to join us on the ride. The next wave of this magazine is going to be quite a ride. Enjoy the issue! Michael Brooke Publisher

Yoni Ettinger and a student roll for peace together at the Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem. Photo | Yair Hasidof

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Thanks to the generosity of Restless Skateboards and Kebbek Skateboards, Longboarding for Peace is now working on two very important projects. First up is our mission to First Nations folks in Tyendinaga, Ontario. We are also working with Matthew House Refugee Reception Services and ensuring that new immigrants to Canada are learning how to skate.


In honor of the International Day of Peace (Sept. 21), JJ Hulsey created this Roll for Peace poster (along with a new LFP design). Dozens of cities rolled for peace during the annual event, which took place this year on September 16, five days before the Day of Peace. Our sincere thanks to Shralpers Union, Oust Bearings, Shark Wheels, Seismic and Whatever Skateboards for their support.

The 2017 board meeting marked the 15th anniversary of this unique event. Special thanks to Jonathan Nuss who’s spent countless hours organizing and ensuring that everyone has a great time. See you all next year!



Hailing from Barcelona, Spain, Unlimited has developed a completely modular and powerpacked electric skateboard kit. Their kits are loaded with features like cruise control, regenerative braking, and custom mounting. The unit is capable of hitting 22 mph and has a range of 15 miles. Unlimited provides the freedom to build your board the way you want it.

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Aaron Gordy from Felton, Delaware, has always dominated the hippy jump contest at all the Faceplant Boardriders events since 2012. Gordy would max out the hippy jump bar at 52” every time. This past winter, the people at Faceplant scoured the internet to find what the current record was. They found that Anthony Montreuil had been the record holder at 57” since 2014. Gordy said, “That’s only five more inches. I can beat that!” So Faceplant built an addition to the hippy jump bar to reach 58” and unveiled it at their first event of 2017, the fourth annual Bethlehem Longboard Jam. Gordy quickly worked his way up the bar, getting more comfortable on his Shradical Surfer Faceplant longboard. The crowd at the event cheered him on as he got closer to the top. His trademark cross-legged jumping style allows him to really suck up his legs for the 4’ 10” jump. In the end, Gordy landed the 58” hippy jump not just once but three times! Congrats!


Meticulously developed during seven years of prototyping and testing, the new line of Seismic boards offers something for everyone – from good-time cruisers, cross-campus commuters and longboard freestylers to competitive racers and fearless freeriders. Constructed with varying blends of maple, bamboo, black walnut, oak, fiberglass, and carbon, and bonded with the most advanced epoxy. Most models pre-gripped with unique and highly-functional laser-cut patterns. Completes assembled with components featuring the most innovative engineering in their class: Seismic wheels with unmatched speed, grip and slide characteristics; Tekton bearings with world-record speed and patented self-alignment system; and Aeon trucks with patented internal cylindrical bearing for smoother, truer turning through a deeper range of lean.

JOHNNY BE WOOD Johnny Be Wood was founded in 2013 in a small courtyard in Turin, Italy, by a group of passionate longboarders, skateboarders and artisans. Their latest release is called the Cakewalk. The deck weighs less than four pounds and features top-quality materials including bamboo, Italian ash and quadraxial fiberglass. All decks are handcrafted with the graphics digitally printed on the wood.



From March 10–13, 2017, something magical went down in the Bahamas – something that hadn’t happened in nearly 30 years: The original H-Street skate crew got together in the same place at the same time. It was the skate equivalent of the legendary band the Eagles reuniting – as if hell froze over. Let’s back up a moment for the readers who weren’t old enough to have experienced what this iconic group created for the rest of the skating world.

In 1986, pro skater Tony Magnusson (Mag) and his friend Mike Ternasky created H-Street Skateboards In 1986, pro skater Tony Magnusson (Mag) and his friend Mike Ternasky created H-Street Skateboards, one of skateboarding’s first truly riderowned companies. In 2013, Tony decided to relaunch the brand slowly and organically. Mike and Tony built what would become one of the most respected, stylish and progressive teams skateboarding has ever seen. With riders like Magnusson, Matt Hensley, Ron Allen, John Schultes, Art Godoy and Eddie “El Gato” Elguera, as well as a 14-year-old Danny Way, the team was so stacked it became known as “The Magnificent 7.

During those early years, Tony and Mike began experimenting with filming and editing videos. But because they didn’t have the budget of huge companies like Powell-Peralta or Vision, they did things themselves. From this act of DIY ingenuity and creativity (which Tony fully credits Mike for thinking of and inspiring), a new style of video was born – a style that is still emulated today. Pick a skate video, any video, and you’ll see the H-Street signature follow-cam/rider’s-eye approach pioneered by this group. Sadly, on May 17, 1994, Tony’s friend and co-conspirator Mike Ternasky was killed in an auto accident when an elderly

woman failed to stop at a stop sign. He was only 28 years old. Mike’s sudden death had a heavy impact on the riders, who considered him a friend and a mentor. When I asked Matt Hensley to talk about Mike T., he simply said, “There wouldn’t have been a ‘team’ if it wasn’t for him. He was always motivating, always around to talk, inspire, give rides – whatever we needed, he took care of us.” Mike’s passing also effectively brought an end to H-Street as a company. Without his presence to hold things together, the riders all eventually went their separate ways.

Ron Allen aka DJ Intelligence ripping the lip on the high seas.

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Matt Hensley overseeing the assembly of the one-off Skatepark of Tampa built halfpipe while at sea.

El Gato slips the lip aboard the Salty Dog cruise.

A first-of-its-kind halfpipe was built aboard a cruise ship – while at sea!

But in March 2017, Hensley and Mag wrangled this elusive group of nomads into a mid-Atlantic adventure. The team agreed that they were all in, as were notable H-Street alumni Sal Barbier and Steve Ortega. The reunion on the high seas was a go! With the help of Skatepark of Tampa, a first-of-its-kind halfpipe was built aboard a cruise ship – while at sea! It created a unique scenario for this legendary crew to rip, ride and slash while catching up and listening to live music from bands like Flogging Molly (for whom Hensley plays accordion), NOFX, English Beat and The Fuckin Godoys – to name just a few.

Fat Mike and NOFX playing directly across the pool from the halfpipe.

Favorite memory from the “old days” (mid-’80s)?

The Dynamic Duo Art & Steve Godoy... Art of course is part of the M7 team, brother Steve (in black) was a contributing artist to the H-Street graphics team and is a ripping skater in his own right.

Ron: Going through Norway and driving through the fjords! Spent a lot of time in Europe. Plus traveling around America with Matt. It was a blast! Eddie: Traveling with the team was always fun. I remember doing the El Gato Summer Tour over 13 weeks in a motor home with me, Dawna [Eddie’s wife] and two of my kids (that were toddlers). We started off with Danny and Alf [Alfonzo Rawls] when they were still ams. Then we traded off with Brian Lotti and Mike Carroll, then Anthony Vincent, I believe, and Chad Minton. Great memories to see where everyone is at in life now. Steve O.: H-Street Tour Midwest doing tricks no one had seen or done before.

Sun, sand, an open bar and three of the most iconic riders to ever mount a skateboard, what more could you want!? D. Way, Schultes & Mag roaming the private island of Coco Cay, Bahamas.

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Art: The whole heyday was a fond memory. From the start: Schultes’ mom finds us a duplex with kidney pool in backyard; skating Andy’s

ramp; plane tickets, contests, demos; doing graphics and watching ’em come to life from paper to film positives to Rubylith to silkscreens to boards, shirts, stickers … Living in Cardiff: surf in the morning, McGill’s park in the afternoon, surf glass, then chicks at night. Cruising in our Monte Carlo, tattooing friends, gangsters – whoever wanted work. The whole time was super creative. The best part was that if we had an idea, we’d tell Mike and Tony and it would come to life. There was always something happening. The support and backup we had with our ideas and having them channeled into the company and allocated to areas where they’d explode into something real. What was it like filming back then? Ron: I fired the first filmer cuz he wanted to do follow shots in a wheelchair. He couldn’t keep up. Eddie: For me it was just like another session; just skating and having fun.

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Who inspired and drove you (from the team)? Tell us about the most memorable feat you witnessed.

gears in a car. It wouldn’t function the same with any missing gears. That was the inspiration.

Ron: When on tour with Hensley, s---’s gonna go down. We drove hella long, like 16 hours, and Matt just kept saying he was thinking about a trick. Right when we get to wherever it was, he jumps out of the car, shoes untied, in a bomber jacket, grabs his board and skates hella fast at a bank with a quarterpipe. He does a tre flip tailgrab first try – after a 16-hour drive! Then he says, “I was thinking about that the whole drive.”

What did it mean to spend three days with your H-Street brothers in the Bahamas after all these years?

Eddie: I was always inspired by Danny for vert and Matt for street. Me and T-Mag would always push each other whenever we skated – friendly competition. Steve O.: Ron, first guy I ever saw ollie up a full-size picnic table – whoa! And Eddie, he has so many tricks in the bag it would be a disservice to mention a specific trick. That would limit him. Art: I don’t know if there was one specific person that inspired me from the team. I think the whole team in general was an inspiration. Not everyone was “known” – not household names – yet look what they done! Everyone was inspired and fueled by what was happening with the company. Everyone felt like their contribution was valued, and you could really feel it in the way things evolved. We were all like

his nose and completely hurts himself. I walk up and pull the clipon off. Hella funny! Hensley had numerous stories of his touring days with Mr. Allen – most notably traveling over the Alps in the back of a van being driven by some “coked-up cowboy” doing 90 mph through the snow. “We thought we were going to die,” he says while laughing.

Spent late night talking with Sal and [Marc] Hostetter. They blew my mind. Plus all that music! Also, the homies of Skatepark of Tampa coming and building the ramp aboard the ship; hanging out with those guys was epic as well. It was great to see all of them. Eddie: It was the best! Skating on a mini ramp on a cruise ship was epic, bucket list material. Steve O.: Indescribable. Three days with friends that had a huge influence in shaping one’s character. Art: It was unreal. So much time had passed so quickly that until that night it was hard to stop and realize what we had all accomplished as a whole. The changes that really made skateboarding what it is today. Some of us became obsolete, but in the end sometimes there are sacrifices for the greater good. It was a great night. Seeing everyone there was really cool. Ron Allen, Matt, Danny, Alfonzo, Tony, Eddie … Steve Ortega, Michael Crum (f---in’ champions). We didn’t all hang out all the time back in the day; we did our own things. Yet somehow there was a real sense of pride and unity then, but at the reunion it felt magnified. I think everyone felt the same. The Magnificent 7 release party, the Salty Dog Cruise, all of us there … it was f---in’ great! It felt new again.

Ron: In the ’80s, it was Matt and I roaming around America. We used to play jokes on each other. One time I clipped a girl’s earring to my nose and told him I pierced my s---! He couldn’t believe it didn’t hurt. I told him it was easy. [Note: At this point of the interview, Ron is laughing hysterically.] So he grabs some other earring and proceeds to put a hole in

The Magnificent 7 plus Steve Godoy and Steve Ortega. To many late-’80s skaters, this pioneering group has done more for real-world skaters than any group in history – save for the obvious Z-Boys.

During that same conversation with Matt, I asked about Danny Way back in the day. Here’s what he had to say: “Danny was determined as f---! I’ve known him since he was 9 years old, maybe longer. He was at least five years younger than most of us and would slam harder than anyone. He’d then get back up and try harder t han everyone to nail whatever trick 1it was.” A couple of weeks after the unforgettable trip I sat down with Mag at H-Street Skateboards HQ in Carlsbad, California, to catch up and get his now-digested thoughts on the experience. Here’s some of what the ringleader had to say: Tell us about Schultes and Allen’s influence back in the day. Mag: [Schultes was] highly impactful. He was an antagonist (in

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Our halfway point on the trip: Nassau, Bahamas

Ron: It was awesome to see all those guys! Especially Schultes; I don’t remember him being so funny! He had me busting up! Great guy. Plus, really got to hang and drink with Ortega. That was epic!

[To Ron] Matt mentioned you guys spent most of the ’80s touring together. Can you talk about that experience? How did you guys push each other? Craziest s--- you saw him pull?

Ron Allen and Danny Way getting reacquainted.

“That’s all I’ve got” - Tony Mag after 3 days at sea, 26 hours of skating, music and filming with virtually no sleep.

Skating on a mini ramp on a cruise ship was epic.

I was always inspired by Danny for vert and Matt for street. fun) and it really got the crowds into the mix. He was the first H-Street pro rider. [Allen] was the first H-Street street skater. Essentially, he was the ambassador of street for us. We liked taking him to contests (even vert) because he was good for morale, always making us laugh. … He was the first pro skater who was also an actual artist. What did it mean to you to have the whole crew together again after so many years had passed? Mag: It was rad. I don’t know that all of us have been at the same place – ever. Maybe at the video premier of Hokus Pokus in 1989. Impossible to ignore the magic! (When I asked Matt, he echoed Mag’s impression, saying, “I just couldn’t believe it. I was standing rampside watching all of my friends. Then, from across the pool NOFX starts playing! I felt like I was about to be arrested or something. It was perfect!”) So did the reunion bring about reissues or … ? Mag: Actually, it was the other way around. About a year or so ago, Danny, Matt and I wanted to do reissues of all of the Magnificent 7 decks – original artwork, every detail … . This led to talking about trying to get everyone together … somehow we pulled it off.” Lastly, logistically, how difficult was it to actually put this trip together? Mag: Honestly, it was pretty easy for me. All I had to do was make a few calls and make sure you and I made our flight to Miami. Matt did all the heavy lifting in terms of setup, cabins and passes for everyone, as well as coordinating the ramp with Skatepark of Tampa and scheduling “show times.” He worked his ass off.

In closing

I’d just like to say thank you to Mag, Hensley, Flogging Molly and the entire H-Street crew for making this an experience I will never forget! We couldn’t possibly fit the entire thing into these pages, so take a peek at for additional photos and videos of the skating and music from this epic adventure.

This piece is in loving memory of Mike Ternasky: director, photographer, skateboarder and friend. Ride In Peace.

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What We’re Riding

The Carver CI Flyer By Bud Stratford

I’ve been aware of Carver’s existence as a design and manufacturing entity for quite some time now. But as strange as it may seem, I had never seen any of their products in person. That changed just a few weeks ago, when I swung by Action Rideshop in Mesa, Arizona, for a quick window-shopping expedition. Amongst their wide selection of snowboards stood a solitary skateboard rack, stacked tall with Carver completes. As I stood there a bit surprised, a super-friendly sales chap materialized out of the shadows and asked me if I needed any help. “Could you tell me more about these boards?” I inquired. “Oh, I can do even better than that! I can let you try one for yourself!” With that, he walked us right up to the front of the shop, handed us each a board and encouraged us to go knock ourselves out for a while. This guy was one smooth operator. I liked him immediately. Carvers are the types of skateboards that really need to be experienced to be believed. They are insanely and immediately enjoyable; I was totally in love with them within the first few swivels. With this sort of setup, it’s entirely possible to pump yourself up to a pretty brisk pace, right from a standing start, and to keep propelling yourself forward almost infinitely with remarkable ease. The only limitations are the endurance limits of your thighs and calves. Be warned, it is a real workout on the ol’ muscle bubbles. That aside, this is “sidewalk surfing” perfected into its pinnacle paradigm. This is what ’60s-era skateboarders dreamed about; this is how skateboards were supposed to feel. It just took 50 years or so to figure it all out, and to get the geometry just right. The secret is in the front truck. Whether you choose the C7 or the CX, the net result is the same: a destabilized front truck that turns sharper than anything else on the market, past or present. It’s similar to what slalom racers go after with wedged riser pads – making the front truck turn sharper than the back truck – but on steroids. Carver’s front-truck geometry adds an extra twist or dive that increases pump efficiency and forward speed, with far less physical effort.

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The rear truck is basically a tall, “standard” truck that matches the ride height of whichever front truck you choose. The CX achieves this effect with an aggressive geometry that’s not quite a standard truck, and not quite a reverse kingpin truck... but really, a hybrid of the two. Many skaters who see a CX mounted on a deck insist that it’s mounted backwards, but that’s not the case at all. What it really is is a reverse-kingpin truck where the kingpin is mounted at almost 90 degrees. It might look a bit strange, but it turns really fast. In short, it works. The C7 option adds another mechanical dimension to solve the tight-turning truck problem, in a slightly different way. Here, there are two kingpins: one where you would expect the “usual” kingpin to be, and another at the front of the baseplate that connects to a swivel arm, which carries the hanger. The swivel arm is free-castering, with an internal spring that creates adjustable resistance, much like a

bushing would in a standard truck. When you lean into a turn, the truck pivots in two dimensions: it turns about the pivot axis, but it also casters from side to side. The result is quick-carving nirvana, enabling a tiny turning radius that can’t be matched by any other truck on the market. The wheels are also technically innovative. They have a slightly “bottlenecked” shape; the outside edges of the wheels are slightly taller than the centers. This forces the wheel to deform as it rolls, creating more grip. This is to keep the wheels from breaking free and sliding out during those sharpcarving turns, while the rebound propels you forward out of the pump. Again, it’s not an entirely new concept. The slalom guys have been using tapered or coned wheels for years, and for the same exact reasons. But here, the concept has been perfected for a far more pedestrian pastime, fine-tuned for the everyday recreational surf-skater. This board is not only an addictively fun engineering marvel; it’s also quite a looker.

It’s beautiful in its elegant simplicity. The fact that it’s designed to look just like an Al Merrick squashtail (or swallowtail, depending on which model you choose) is absolutely brilliant. “Sidewalk surfing” has been taken to its literal limits with this board, and it’s f’n fantastic. It has become the prize of my quiver virtually overnight and made me the envy of my entire neighborhood. That’s not the end of the innovation, either. Carver also offers financing for their new boards, via their website. Yes, financing. Twenty-something bucks a month nabs you anything from their wide selection of sizes, shapes and options, delivered right to your doorstep, paid for in easy-to-afford installments. That’s totally unheard of, an “industry first” to be sure. What else will these guys think of next? I can’t wait to find out.

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Artist Profile

I am the owner/designer of Taffy Boards, Apparel and Art. I’m an illustrator and graphic designer originally from California. But I currently live and have grown up in Chandler, Arizona, where a lot has contributed to my influences in art and design. Things like skateboard graphics, street art, cartoons and music have always surrounded me and they have definitely worked their way into the artwork I create for Taffy! I’ve always thought skateboarding is about enjoying the ride and having fun. So, I try to contribute a wacky, fun and lighthearted side to skateboard culture. Website: Personal social media: Taffy Brand social media:

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What drew you to longboarding? Meghan: I saw a rider on a longboard for the first time in 2009. When I asked the rider about his longboard, he explained its increased stability, higher speed capability, convenience for longdistance travel and more. I was intrigued. In 2011, my partner Alexandre Veillette and I discussed our past experiences and struggles while skateboarding during our childhood. He mentioned his interest to try a longboard because of his 6-foot 7-inch height and his style of riding. I felt that longboarding might be fun and right for us. The following year, the opportunity came along which transformed our lives and brought us to a whole new world. A friend, John Poff, the spark who lit the fire in our hearts, decided to sell his longboard; a complete 2008 Sector 9 Goddess pintail. I bought it for $40.00 and a pint of beer. The longboard was a Valentine’s Day gift for Alex. During that mild and bone-dry February, Alex and I used his longboard together and became hooked on the drug that is longboarding.



ith a population of just under 600,000 people, Hamilton, Ontario is located just west of Toronto. It has a vibrant music and art scene, but just as important is its thriving skateboarding scene. Hamilton’s Beasley Skate Park is one of the oldest skateparks in North America where many competitive skateboarding events take place each year. And, thanks to folks like Rob DeFreitas and many more, the longboarding

community has been starting to make waves. During our visit, we had a chance to meet for a gathering at the Bombora Farm and experience the Bombora Brotherhood’s hospitality. It was there that we met one of the guests present at the gathering; Meghan Guevarra, founder of the Hamilton Bayfront Cruise.

What drove you to create the Hamilton Bayfront Cruise? In 2013, we met Steve Leibold. Along with Steve, we established a longboarding crew called the All-Star Pavement Pounders. Our crew is made of diverse friends with a bond like family. Together, we regularly brought our longboards along a circuit at Hamilton’s Bayfront Park, moving from the entryway to cruise along the waterfront trail, to Longwood Hill for downhill fun, and then finally to Kay Drage Park for freeride and slalom. This is the circuit of the Hamilton Bayfront Cruise. Hamilton’s longboarding community was fragmented. With many riders expressing their interest to meet new people, learn together, and share adventures throughout the city, the timing

Alexandre (aka. Entman, Skinny, Tree Frog, Clifford) Veillette Meghan (aka. Bruiser, Mongo Bean, Bébé Belle) Guevarra. Photo | Jonathan Nuss

to create an all-inclusive monthly event for unity was perfect!

to create an all-inclusive monthly event for unity was perfect! With the helpful insight of Kyle “Stoke Machine” Salmon (aka Draco) and “Punksy” Phil Sadiwnyk, as well as inspiration drawn from the many community members and events within Ontario, HBFC was born in 2016.

Chris Ng. Photo | Jonathan Nuss

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Riders of the Hamilton Bayfront Cruise gathered at Bayfront Park’s waterfront trail entrance. Photo | Perry Mason

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Top row: left to right: Paul James, Thomas Bossert, Jave ‘Jabbs’ Pingul, Spensir Knight, Fabio Herrera - Middle row: Nelson ‘Skaterade’ Knight, Phil Sadiwnyk, Meghan Guevarra, Alexandre Veillette - Bottom row: Holli-Anne Houser, Riley Fox Mills, ‘Steezy G’ (Gordon) Houser, Andrew Fox. Photo | Michael Brooke

Left to right: Meghan Guevarra, Joseph Booth-Watson, Kyle ‘Stoke Machine’ Salmon (aka. Draco) Steve ‘Skooba/Crash’ Leibold, Alexandre Veillette, ‘Punksy Phil/Perogie Pig’ Sadiwnyk.

What do you hear from people about what you’ve created here in Hamilton? Incredibly, HBFC is enjoyed by people of every sort, from 6 years of age to 60. As an event designed originally for longboarders, it’s drawn the interest of riders using all types of recreational rolling devices who are happily welcomed to participate in all aspects of the event. Often members express gratitude for the opportunity to find and share love of all kinds and to share memorable moments together. It’s apparent that Hamilton’s longboarding community wanted and needed unity, and that this event benefits us as individuals and as a collective, while spreading positivity beyond ourselves.

Each monthly event is filled with memorable moments which fill Alex and I with joy beyond any dream we could’ve imagined before. We can agree that our favorite memories are the moments when we can see the entire event in motion; witnessing the happiness, love, growth and diversity surrounding us, which validates the event’s existence and the challenging efforts of hosting HBFC. This community’s people are so bright and beautiful!

Each m on memora thly event is bl fil and I w e moments wh led with ich fill ith joy Al could’v beyond e imag any dre ex ined be am we fore.

What are your plans for the future?

Also, as many of us enjoy the magic of the night, we will host our first ever experimental glow-in-the-dark

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event called “Nocturnal De Lux” at an all-new location in July. With a rapidly growing community comes the demand for accessibility to affordable new and used equipment in our area. In August, we’d like to work with members of our community to host an annual Buy/Sell/Trade market and other festivities at Kay Drage Park.

By Meghan Guevarra Alex, Steve, Draco and Phil were the helping hands guiding and supporting me over the years with their wisdom and love. These are the people who came together with me to form the spark igniting the longboarding explosion in Hamilton. Through their many inspiring examples as skilled individuals (artists, musicians, parents, and of course, longboarders), I was led to create HBFC. Alex and I would like to express many thanks to Gordon Houser, Spensir and Nelson Knight, Phil Sadiwnyk, Andrew Fox, Kyle Salmon, Hailey Riddell, Shane Lannen, Luis Bustamante, Aaron Gordon (Beefer’s Skate Shop), John McAteer (Geared To Win Sports), Jason and Brad Dworsky (The Local Skateshop), Jason and his late father David Greenidge (S&J Sales), Samson Simpson (Zero Fucks Bolt Company), Jonathan Nuss (Skate Invaders), Rob DeFreitas (Bombora Boards) and countless other community members for their support, efforts and other contributions in preparation for and during HBFC events. Hamilton’s longboarding community is extremely grateful. Miss S. ‘Fish’ Piche Photo | Perry Mason

Left to right: Hailey ‘Mama Bear’ Riddell, Nelson ‘Skaterade’ Knight, Thomas Miller (N’Yeah!). Photo | Michael Brooke

In the past, the Bombora Brotherhood combined their efforts with our own to co-host a special edition of HBFC: The NOOBeginnings Edition. (NOOBeginnings is a touring project founded by Luis Bustamante and Rob DeFreitas, which brought additional tools needed to multiple all-inclusive events throughout the Golden Horseshoe, encouraging community growth in Ontario while forming new riders who are equipped with Bombora’s beautifully crafted gear to this day). The success of that particular collaborative event brought HBFC to an entirely new level of hype. We’re [inspired] by Bombora’s leadership. Therefore, at this time, we anticipate the upcoming event hosted in collaboration with Bombora once again, with a whole new beach environment to be revealed to many HBFC members in August.

Miz “Send It” Molly Vaclav. Photo | Perry Mason

What is your favorite memory so far?


Otherwise, we’ll simply go with the flow, doing our best to incorporate new ideas as they come, which we feel will enhance the atmosphere positively and represent the all-inclusive spirit of HBFC and its associated events. Each member of our community offers special elements to HBFC which make each event unique. As we have been inspired by so many all over the world, we hope to inspire others to spread the peace, love and stoke as well. Riders cruise the path between Bayfront Park to Princess Point toward Longwood Hill. Photo | Jonathan Nuss

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Small Company Profile:

IVY Lifestyle

Minneapolis, Minnesota By Bud Stratford

IVY exists to inspire, encourage, and motivate people. And in turn, we find ourselves constantly inspired by the community we have cultivated. First up: What’s your position at the company? Steve Weigel: Well, I guess I’m the founder and the CEO, but we don’t really speak in those terms. I guess I’d just say I’m the designated dreamer/doer here at IVY. How’d you get into skating? How long have you been doing it? What kind of stuff do you like to rip? When I was a kid, I always wanted to skateboard. But to be honest, I was terrible! If I tried any tricks at all, I couldn’t keep the damn board under my feet! Finally, longboards came to the Midwest when I was (about) 16 years old. I wanted one so bad, but didn’t have any money. So [my buddy] Jeremy and I went around town asking people for loose change! Within a few days, we had enough money to each buy a longboard! That’s what started this whole crazy adventure!

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Panhandling! Who woulda thunk it? How long has the company been around? What year was it started? I started building boards in 2014, but I really wasn’t trying to start a company. I had just gotten out of a band I was in for eight years, and was not trying to commit to anything. I built a board for fun and gave it to a friend. I posted a photo online, and within a week I had 20 orders! I didn’t think it would stick or continue to go that way, but over the summer of 2014, I built 125 boards, and every single one was a custom; every single one had a story. After the summer,

“I wanted to create a brand around the idea of ‘living more’, saying ‘yes’ to the things that scare you: travel, adventure, and the unknown.” I bailed. I went sailing all over, went to Hawaii for a while, did a road trip across the country. Summer 2015 came around, and all of a sudden the orders started coming in again! I only built boards for about three months that year, because I moved to Thailand in July. When I came back in March of 2016, that’s when we formally launched IVY as more of a lifestyle brand. We actually got a real logo, had shirts, hats and other merch made and finally built a website. So I started building boards in 2014, but IVY really didn’t get going till 2016. Sorry for the mile-long answer.

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Small Company Profile: IVY Lifestyle Here’s the most important question right here: Why did you guys decide to start a small company? What was missing in the marketplace that made you ultimately say to yourselves, “Damn, man! We need to get up, get our asses going and do this ourselves!”? I really didn’t know much about the market when I started IVY – and to be honest, I still don’t. I don’t really pay attention to what everyone else is doing, but right off the bat, I knew that I couldn’t compete with the big dogs, so I decided to do something completely different. For me, I started this brand out of my passion for people. When I was in a band touring the country, music was never enough to keep me on the road and away from my family for months at a time, but

“I have this idea that I want IVY to be so much more than a board or a shirt or a hat. I want IVY to be a feeling.” people were! This company was birthed out of my passion for building and creating quality and connecting with people. Throughout the time I’ve been building and IVY has been evolving, I became aware of how intimidating the skate industry can be. I want to take all of that intimidation out of the sport, and shape a culture of belonging through my brand. I don’t see that very much in businesses, and I think it’s so important for people. I think people respond to what is personal and what is real. And for me, it’s the only way I know.

Who’s on the team (if you have one), and why did you pick those guys to represent your product/brand? The team, as of now, is just me and my business partner Corey. Corey came on board about a year ago. He just totally understood what I was trying to do, and he was on board with my vision! He didn’t want to change it at all; he just wanted to help it reach its full potential. He’s a legend, a super-good dude. He basically handles all the boring business-y stuff that I’m horrible at, so I can focus on vision, building, connecting with people and the day-to-day creativity. The team is going to be growing quite a bit this year, but I have a hard time knowing what that will look like. I do know that I can’t do any of this alone, and I need people that can see the vision and add to it. Let’s talk “product” for a minute. Do you, or would you, sell direct-toconsumer? If so, do you have an MSRP pricing structure in place to protect the retailers? All we do is sell directly to the consumer. Maybe that will change one day, but not in a hurry. When I first started, all I had was an Instagram and an email address. If someone wanted a board, they had to contact me directly. Now it’s a bit more streamlined with signature boards and a website, but before, when everyone had to contact me directly, a lot of stories came out of that. In 2014, I sold a girl in California a board. In 2015, I met up with her on my road trip across the country. We had dinner and got matching tattoos. In 2016, we met up in Bangkok, Thailand, for a drink and some apps. I think there’s a lot more stories like this waiting to be brought to life. Right now we control the culture around IVY, and we’re not quite ready to give that up just yet. How crappy were my questions? Is there anything that I forgot to ask, that you’d like to talk about? Famous last words, perhaps? “How crappy were my answers?” is the real question. Thanks, Steve. This was a lot of fun. Cheers, Bud! These fellas can be found on Facebook under “IVY Lifestyle.” If you have better questions than I can think up, send ’em to

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for just doing that. I find it rather curious. This joy, passion, the deep, deep stoke ... is off the charts. Why do they blow up so over some small carves? I try to think of a time where my friends and I were ever this excited about something as specific as what amounts to “beginner” carves. Maybe back in ’76, ’77, while seeking out our first backyard pools. Maybe 15, 16 years old.

On the surface, the session looks like any of a hundred other sessions I’ve seen before over these past several decades. This may be the first “all-female” session encountered, tho I can’t recall – and much about it feels different.

Imagine one of them times when you light a match in a pitch-black room. It explodes in my mind, but in a slow, deliberate way, revealing what I am actually witnessing as not very different than the same paths on which my old friends and I had scored our skate epiphanies. Those series of firsts. First push down the sidewalk without falling. First drop off a curb. First tic-tac. First scum-line carves, then tiles, then grinds, then double-edgers … and so it grows. Indeed, it becomes more of a beautiful thing for these old eyes, which have had the good fortune to see certain humble beginnings 40-odd years ago, and recognize much of that same stoke, passion, daring in the spirit, of these hard-charging females. It’s as if I were seeing what we must have looked like back in the mid-’70s. It becomes glaringly apparent that the reason I didn’t grasp the source of the stoke in the female skateboarding movement prior to this is that I have no point of reference to compare it to. But now, it makes perfect sense. It’s like staring into the past. A good way to begin to grasp and appreciate female skateboarding is by seeing it from the eyes of the past. To not see it with seasoned eyes, but to step out of the shoes of what’s familiar, and see in new ways. A new familiar perhaps. If I were told to summarize female skateboarding into a few words, they would be: Skateboarding Like No One Is Looking.

My attention is drawn to their facial expressions, the intensity in their eyes translating down into the corners of their mouths; lips strained, eyes narrowed as pupils dart, fixing along invisible “paths-to-assault” as created in the depths of their minds, tracing routes they’d soon take to traverse the horizontal, toward transitional environs, up, up and up, and onto the vertical. Sometimes caressing past the tiles, grinding both trucks hard and loud, sometimes not so high, but just as majestic, and so graceful. Incredibly stylish. In the shallow end, the enthusiasm is the same for every run. High. Very high. All levels, ALL skills, are embraced and celebrated somewhat equally. Almost every incremental increase in the ability is celebrated. The degree of stoke is incredible, with a mutual support I’ve seen only in the more close-knit of core community tribes of skateboarders. Here, this day, I do not see any of the shallow, selfish doucheyness that prevails at so many of the public skateparks. Surely an anomaly, as skaters are a “bitchy-bunch” by nature – infantile at times. Thus its absence standing out, and noticeable like this.

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Loudly, they exclaim when one of their lot shoots into the deep end – low and slow scum-line carves. It is surprising, how loudly they yell, cheer, shout, praise each other

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PM & Kebbek Skateboards Founder Ian Comishin Looks Back on 25 Years

Ian has definitely been there, done that... Publisher’s Note: Some of you might be curious about this piece’s title. It refers to one of Ian’s favorite books – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In that book, “42” is author Douglas Adams’ answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. It also happens to be Ian’s age at the time of this interview, as well as the number of years I myself have been skateboarding. Of course, the number 42 has greater significance than both these attributes; because Ian is even more cryptic than I am, we’ll dispense with the pleasantries and get rolling. Ian has been involved in the skateboard industry in many different ways. From skate tours to CNC production to creating downhill associations, Ian has definitely been there, done that and made the T-shirts. Many things that people take for granted in the world of longboarding have their roots in the mind of Ian. We’ll get to those in due course, but for now, allow me to take you into the countryside just outside Montreal. You can’t beat where Ian and his family live – a truly tranquil spot that doesn’t set you up with



“I have a friend named Toshi Ogawa in Japan who he felt was getting ripped off by his suppliers who were making T-shirts for him,” he said. “I decided that I would make those T-shirts.” Toshi’s company, Powder Milk, had been very generous to Ian. They had sponsored him and taken care of him when he was an exchange student in Japan. “Another great friend Christian Head was an artist in Kimberley and we got started on the project. It wasn’t as much the fact that I wanted to start a business as I really wanted to help a friend out.” Soon after, Ian began producing decks, and poured blood, sweat and tears into growing PM Skateboards. He had a team of rippers, and while he wasn’t able to get much publicity for the brand in magazines, he definitely stoked the heck out

a mortgage into the stratosphere. It’s a perfect balance. The house is quietly situated near a beautiful lake, and there’s plenty of land to build a mini ramp or pumptrack. Property like this in or near Toronto or Vancouver would set you back millions. Here, just on the outskirts of Montreal, it’s an affordable paradise. Once you get an understanding of Ian’s mind, the idyllic cottage is a perfect example of how he combines creativity with thriftiness. This mixture of passion and skills is how Ian has kept the lights on (if not always the heat) for a quarter-century.

of a bunch of small cities in Canada. Seven years later his “Hicks on Sticks” tour wound up being a defining moment in his life. The brand had be slowly building up until he acted on this crazy idea to tow a portable skatepark into small towns left Ian destitute. “Unfortunately, the tour did not recover its costs, and myself and a number of investors lost a large amount of money,” he said. But the insanity of the tour brought home to Ian the idea of just how important community is within skateboarding. “I have a friend named Toshi Ogawa in Japan who he felt was getting ripped off by his suppliers who were making T-shirts for him,” he said.

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Why did he start PM Skateboards at such a young age (17)? Or better yet, why start at all?

“I decided to pack up my Vancouver life and move to Montreal.”

“I decided that I would make those T-shirts.” Toshi’s company, Powder Milk, had been very generous to Ian. They had sponsored him and taken care of him when he was an exchange student in Japan. “Another great friend Christian Head was an artist in Kimberley and we got started on the project. It wasn’t as much the fact that I wanted to start a business as I really wanted to help a friend out.”

Of all the things that Ian is proud of with respect to Kebbek, the biggest is that they’ve kept their story the same. “It was always about the actual act of riding,” he said. “The vision of what we presented wasn’t always what was the most popular or what the current trend was, but we never shifted our view. Kebbek focused on the experience; if it was something that appealed to us and our team riders, it would appeal to others. The stories we heard or read online that were supporting our view – that’s all that really mattered.”

Soon after, Ian began producing decks, and poured blood, sweat and tears into growing PM Skateboards. He had a team of rippers, and while he wasn’t able to get much publicity for the brand in magazines, he definitely stoked the heck out of a bunch of small cities in Canada. Seven years later his “Hicks on Sticks” tour wound up being a defining moment in his life. The brand had be slowly building up until he acted on this crazy idea to tow a portable skatepark into small towns left Ian destitute. “Unfortunately, the tour did not recover its costs, and myself and a number of investors lost a large amount of money,” he said. But the insanity of the tour brought home to Ian the idea of just how mportant community is within skateboarding. In the early 1990s, Ian met up with fellow skater Kerry Mcall. “Kerry helped orchestrate the brand identity of PM,” Ian said. “He tried in vain to help us get out of debt from the tour, but he was stuck in British Columbia and I had left for Montreal.” As things transitioned from street to downhill, Kerry was there keeping things afloat, but eventually he launched his own company called Black Russian with one my best friends and PM pro-rider Josh Evin and exited stage left. I asked Ian about the perilous financial situation he found himself in as a result of the tour. I wondered if he regretted it. Would he have changed anything? “I did it for the whole well-being of skateboarding,” he said. “I always felt that I was battling agendas of those based in Southern California.

I felt that the world of skateboarding needed to hear a different voice.” Ian mentioned that at one point he did have an opportunity to go down to California and be part of the world he’d been working so tirelessly to connect with. “I was invited by Fausto Vitello (co-founder of Thrasher and Independent Trucks) to join the Deluxe crew in San Francisco,” he said. “Initially I wanted Fausto to take on the PM brand and its Canadian persona but Fausto said if it was going to make it, it would have already made it by now. He offered me a job instead. I’d however already given my word to someone else that I would work with them on a non-skate related business. I decided to pack up my Vancouver life and move to Montreal.”

Ian began producing decks, and poured blood, sweat and tears into growing PM Skateboards. Page 42 |

Canada is a vast place, with two official languages: English and French. I took 10 years of French classes in school, plus a stint in French immersion – yet due to his 17 years in Montreal, Ian ended up speaking French better than I do. As a tribute to La Belle Province, Ian introduced Kebbek Skateboards, the downhill skateboard division meant to be a side project that would eventually crush the PM street skate business into virtual obscurity. I’d like to think he enjoys that “Kebbek” is both a pun and a palindrome. Ian’s roots are in the Kootenays of British Columbia, a mythical place of phenomenal mountain ranges boasting some of world’s greatest terrain and conditions for snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.

It’s tempting to speculate where things would be now had Ian decided to head south. But instead he moved against the general flow of inner country migration in Canada and found himself in the east, in “La Belle Province,” aka Quebec.

“I come from a very rich part of the world,” he said. “It’s outdoorsy and very open. People have a passion for whitewater rafting, snowboarding, hiking, and of course skateboarding. Even the activity of snowshoeing to go get your Christmas tree is a big part of where I’m from.”

To help get him out of debt from the tour, Ian started an aquarium business. Going from skateboards to fish tanks may sound like a huge leap, but it’s a testament to Ian’s resourcefulness. Somehow or other, the aquarium business became a roaring success, and Ian found himself with the time, energy and capital to put his heart and soul back into skateboarding just as Kerry was stepping away.

So why skateboarding? “Skateboarding isn’t really a unique vessel,” Ian said after some thought. “It just happened to be the one that I chose. It’s the one that I excelled at for whatever reasons. I love it, how it feels to ride so close to catastrophe where confidence is the only thing really keeping you from self-destruction”

Ian told me he didn’t set out to change skateboarding. He just went out and rode hills with his friends. “Over time, people began to realize that the kinds of fun we were having was something they could get into as well.” As our conversation drifted into the roots of skateboarding, Ian felt it was time be blunt. “Michael, I gotta be honest,” he said. I looked at him waiting for the hammer to drop. “I think we put too much stock in the roots. Yes, I’m proud of the 25 years we’ve committed to this. But this is because at the age of 13 or 14, skateboarding gave me something that was a greater gift than anything I’ve ever received before.” “That gift was the gift of self-esteem. It’s not the kind of gift you get from participation trophies telling you how special everyone is. It’s the self-esteem of knowing that when you skate and inevitably bail, eventually by persisting you’ll stop falling and master the trick.” “When you try to accomplish something on a skateboard, there’s really just yourself,” he continued. “There is nothing to hold you back. You don’t rely on the approval or support of anyone else for whatever you want

to accomplish. You have to make it for yourself, and when you finally accomplish something, the awards you receive are immeasurable.” As our interview progressed, Ian became more circumspect and reflective on the pain he’s faced both physically and financially from skateboarding. “I used to joke that skateboarding was a form of masochism,” he said. “I guess it’s a lot easier to beat yourself up, especially if you’re skating a set of stairs. It really does punish you physically. It’s almost lunacy to keep going with it, and yet we persist.” “People will tell you starting a skateboard business is complete madness. Yet, to try to go against so many insurmountable odds comes from a place of perseverance that you get from skateboarding itself. You don’t give up. You stick with it, but lots of other people give up. I wouldn’t say that I have tortured myself over the years, but staying in the skateboard industry for this long has been a form of selfpunishment.” “People will tell you starting a skateboard business is complete madness. Yet, to try to go against so many insurmountable odds comes from a place of perseverance that you get from skateboarding itself. You don’t give up. You stick with it, but lots of other people give up. I wouldn’t say that I have tortured myself over the years, but staying in the skateboard industry for this long has been a form of

self-punishment.” I asked Ian if there was ever a moment where he thought he would give up. “I think about that every day,” he said. “But it’s not give up in the sense of ‘I have to quit and move on,’ but just give up out of sheer exhaustion.” Thankfully, Ian has never given up. As things evolved with the establishment of Kebbek, Ian brought in two friends from British Columbia, Jody Willcock and Jim Ziemlanski. Jody carved out an incredible reputation as a master craftsman and (I say this with firsthand experience) a certifiable s--- disturber. Jim was also one the true downhill pioneers, and his designs for racing trucks are still emulated to this day. “Jim, Jody and I had some ideas that were outside of the box of skateboarding,” Ian said. “We got together as a team to find the resources to get to the point where we were able to fill the demand. Jim probably came to me and my life when I needed it the most, and what he brought to me was pragmatism. I’ve known Jim since I was 18, [but] we only started working together seriously when he moved to Montreal in 2001.”

So why skateboarding?

The first year Kebbek set up shop in Montreal, they had heating in their garage. By year two, it had disappeared for delinquent payment to the utility.

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For those of you not familiar with Montreal, heat in the garage is crucial. La Belle Province gets freakin’ cold in the winter. But Ian and his crew were adept at handling challenges, so the heating crisis was partially solved by installing an illegal wood-stove and burning shipping pallets scoured from the alleys near the shop and of course they burned the skateboard cut-offs.

As our interview progressed, Ian became more circumspect and reflective on the pain he’s faced both physically and financially from skateboarding.

However, that wasn’t the last time they had heating issues. The team struggled with it for over a decade. Besides the cold, it also snows like crazy in Montreal, which led to another unexpected difficulty. “My downhill racing career ended because of a nasty fungal infection that covered almost a third of the bottom of both of my feet, basically an open bleeding wound that would last for months” Ian said. “I spent the winter sanding skateboards in the shop with wet boots.” Wet boots meant wet socks and which led a still-persistent infection. “Its 10 years later and I still have the residual damage from the infection on my feet,” Ian said. “Just last year I could not walk again because of it. Even this morning I was wrapping my foot with cortisone and antifungal cream. My feet are shot.” Despite the hardships, Ian stepped up his game, aided by Jody’s creativity and Jim’s practicality and full-fledged commitment to future technology. Jody brought a huge client to the table who was also a direct competitor of Kebbek. “I learned from both of those guys how to really make skateboards,” Ian said. “They showed me a side of skateboarding that was steeped in technology.” Approximately a five years later, Kebbek was hit with the news that Jody’s customers would be seeking to make most of its decks somewhere else. Jody only lasted in Montreal

with Kebbek for a few months. “They were a pretty huge client, and they just informed us one day that we were going to have to stop making skateboards for them.” Kebbek immediately downsized and moved into an old building in a downtrodden part of the city. “We built ourselves an 1,800-square-foot shop on two floors in an old jewelry store in a dead part of the city” Ian said. “It was a very tight space and very tough to work in.” Yet Kebbek made a great many decks in such a small space. They also decided that the time had come to stop making boards for other companies. “Our focus ws really growing the industry as a whole, we had to step back and focus on our own brand.” One day shortly thereafter a man named Steve Waldorf knocked on the door of the Kebbek premises in Ville Emard, looking for a job. He got one, and he is a true jack of all trades. Steve easily learned everything about the business and manufacturing processes to work longer than anyone else at Kebbek – but again, not without a few hard knocks.

Thankfully, Ian has never given up. Page 44 |

If you wonder about that last sentence, welcome to the wonderful world of Ian. He could probably have been owed hundreds of thousands in royalties, but he just takes it all in stride. Ian’s never been a slave to money. Rather, he’s mastered the concept that money is just another vehicle (or tool). For those who grew up in a small town, coming to a big city like Vancouver or Montreal can make you feel like an outsider. “It’s hard being the odd man out in skateboarding too,” Ian said. Back in the 1990s, PM Skateboards was trying to follow pretty much what the big boys were doing

“By some miracle, Tim was able to get the CNC machine running,” Ian said. “Unfortunately, the two years that we weren’t at full capacity meant that other companies stepped in to the market as downhill started to explode in popularity. The lack of resources hampered our efforts and Kebbek wasn’t there to capitalize on all of our previous efforts.” Many people had encouraged Ian to take his production overseas, but he was determined to stay in North America. “Our focus was on the quality of the riding experience, not how much cheaper we could manufacture a deck for,” Ian said. “We had a level of arrogance about what we wanted to do, despite what the market dictated.” Rest assured, as interest begins to return to the longboard market, Kebbek will be ready. Ironically, it was Ian’s background in CNC that helped land him part-time work at a friend’s automation company focused on the wind turbine industry. “I had a background in CNC, and they used these machines to create parts for wind turbine blade moulds.” Eventually, this sent Ian down the path of co-founding a company called PH Windsolutions and help stabilize his finances. His friend Marc Robitaille

“The truth is that the company was going through a lot of issues financially and we weren’t always able to pay Steve,” Ian said. “Sometimes he’d go six to eight weeks without pay.” When things got really challenging, Steve decided go west to the oil patch in Calgary. (A couple years later after he saved up enough money he returned to Montreal to continue working at Kebbek despite knowing it may not have been able to pay him unless he made it. That’s dedication!) As with all good things in skateboarding, it wasn’t long before people started to take notice of Kebbek. Many of the company’s designs and ideas soon found their way to other workshops in faraway places.

I asked Ian if there was ever a moment where he thought he would give up. Ian takes a level-headed approach to the copying of his designs. “I know I’ll never be compensated by all the overseas factories who have cranked out thousands of rip-off decks, but I am at peace knowing that our ideas have spread,” he said. “After all, when a whole bunch of companies run off overseas and go mass-market, it’s still kind of cool because there’s that many more kids skateboarding. You’re giving kids an experience on a skateboard that at one point was just your own pure thought and despite how they get that ride, you know you participated silently in their experience. When it comes to financial compensation, most of us waste whatever we make anyhow.”

The first year Kebbek set up shop in Montreal, they had heating in their garage. By year two, it had disappeared for delinquent payment to the utility.

with in skateboarding. “We wanted to be the Canadian equivalent of Zoo York or Flip, to be a brand that had a regional community behind it. But we were always on the outside. We didn’t have any real connections. We just went out and did our thing and we mostly got ignored, we were obviously pretty small-town-lame about how we did it because we stayed nobodies to the big guys.” Montreal local A.J. Powell joined Kebbek to build decks. Soon after, he came face to face with one of the biggest challenges that the company would have to deal with: The CNC machine went kaput. At the time, the company was so strapped financially they didn’t have the money to fix it. “It was very difficult to try and get it up and running,” Ian said. “A.J. struggled for over a year and was forced to build boards without it.” “It was very difficult to try and get it up and running,” Ian said. “A.J. struggled for over a year and was forced to build boards without it.” Eventually, a CNC savior arrived in the form of Tim Brodesser. Tim hailed from Germany and had done a lot of work at Pogo, who made both skateboards and snowboards.

and Ian have hired so many skaters to work at their company that they often make up more than 50% of the staff. At almost 70 employees now, this is still Ian’s way. Besides being an influential designer and manufacturer, Ian has also influenced skateboarding’s direction over the years. For many years Concrete Wave had on its masthead a certain “Jon Caften” as its downhill editor. Guess who that really was. Ian/Jon ensured that the people who were pushing speedboarding forward were given their due. Through his voice and vision, Concrete Wave documented a way of life that numerous people worldwide now enjoy. Kebbek’s Jon Caften pro model was also a way for Ian to show a mirror to the industry – a mirror the industry tends to ignore at its peril. “I pitched skating and exploring, and this definitely resonates now to millions of skateboarders,” Ian said. “Because I came from the street skating community myself, I thought the way to market longboards would be as a vehicle for those street skaters that couldn’t skate a 14-stair set any more.” Ian’s vision filled with former (or at least well-seasoned) street skaters enjoying

the endless ride downhill didn’t take into account a surprising turn of events. “I thought road rash was a better replacement to broken ankles for the old guys still yearning to skate.” he said. “Better that than hammering yourself on a handrail.” Ironically enough, downhill skateboarding started to gain popularity by masses of people around the world as their first skateboarding experience. “They weren’t transitioning from the street – they were going straight into downhill!” Ian said with a hint of alarm. “They never really had this notion of all skateboarding all types of terrain. They never learned to drop in or even ollie.” No wonder there’s been chaos ever since. Welcome to skateboarding! When asked how Ian intends to mark their 25th anniversary, and after reading most of this piece, it probably won’t surprise you that Kebbek decided to celebrate their 25th anniversary in a slightly unusual way. After years of back-breaking work and untold financial near-crises, Kebbek is set to give back to skateboarding even more. “I have a commitment to give away 1,000 completes to communities facing financial hardship and strife,” Ian said. “Already we’ve given 100 completes each to South Africa, Paraguay

and Cuba and as well a hundred more to new Syrians and Haitians to Canada ” Next up is Jamaica, new Syrians to Sweden and potentially Lebanon. If indeed the answer is 42, then you could say that the journey of Ian Comishin is probably approaching the halfway point (statistically speaking.) The average Canadian male passes away somewhere in his 80s. I bring this up not be morbid, but to offer the following insight. Ian has 25 solid years of making a product in an industry that is notoriously difficult to survive in, yet despite all the adversity, he’s not only standing, he’s thriving. I made a commitment to Ian not to disclose all of what the number 42 stands for, but I will say this: It’s highly probable that Ian has a few more amazing ideas in his mind that will eventually see the light of day. These ideas may cause a revolution in the craft beer industry, or they might create a hurricane of change in the world of chocolate. If he can do it with skateboards, aquariums and wind turbines, then anything is possible.

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is the last remaining U.S. skatepark from the 1970s”

HITS 40 YEARS By: Michael Brooke

I first learned about the Kona Skatepark in the pages of SkateBoarder magazine back in the spring of 1977. I was mesmerized by the flowing lines of red, white and blue. The snake run looked positively insane. It would take over 38 years for me to actually set foot in the place. Your first time opening up the door to walk into the park is something no skater ever forgets. You are hit with a wave of concrete.

Kona is the last remaining U.S. skatepark from the 1970s. The fact that it’s located in Jacksonville, Florida, and not some beach town in Southern California speaks volumes. This park has so much history and oozes so much soul, it’s pretty much impossible to capture its essence in eight pages. In June I was fortunate to attend Kona’s 40th anniversary celebration. Locals, other Floridians and East Coast skaters came out in droves to celebrate. A number of West Coast pros and legends and also made the four-hour-plus flight to be a part of things. It was a skateboard reunion/contest that combined the very best of what skateboarding has to offer.

Jack “Jack the Ripper” Winburn Photo | Stefan Judge

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Kevin Conway came all the way from Nashville to skate barefoot on Kona’s halfpipe. Photo | Al Porter field

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Portland, Oregon’s Mikee Zion O’Friel. Photo | Stefan Judge

“For the generation of skaters who experienced Kona in the 1970s, the park has left an indelible mark on their lives.” Florida really turns up the heat from April to October, but that shouldn’t discourage you from visiting. But if you live in a climate like Canada’s, it can take some adjustment. I found myself walking a lot slower and reaching for water every half-hour. Given its location and massive amount of reflective concrete, Kona just bakes in the sun. The heat, however, seems to have no effect whatsoever on the intensity of the skating. In fact, from my three days of observation, the heat just makes skaters charge even harder! For the generation of skaters who experienced Kona in the 1970s, the park has left an indelible mark on their lives. Mitch Kaufmann, who along with Jimmy Plumer invented the elevator drop, has skated the park since its earliest days. When Kaufmann dropped in from the park’s monolithic Tombstone in a contest, it solidified his reputation as a Kona legend. “I remember that day clearly,” he recalls. “I was going for the win. I

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didn’t have that great of a run, and I figured the only way I was going to win was if I did the elevator drop off the Tombstone. I tried it the first time and ate it. I realized that if I just slammed my front wheels down and rode it out I could make it. Looking back, I am not sure how I even made that second run.” Kaufmann says his favorite memory of Kona is the first month or two before that contest. “It was such a fun scene. It was all so new,” he says. He says he and Plumer couldn’t wait for the concrete to dry on the Tombstone. Like Kaufmann, Plumer has ridden at Kona since it started. With roots in both Santa Monica and Jacksonville, Plumer was a key figure in linking the West Coast skate scene to the East Coast. “My favorite memory was when I was 16 and I won the snake run downhill,” he says. “I turned pro that day and made $600.”

 I asked Jimmy what his life would have been like if Kona had closed in the 1980s like most other skateparks. “I wouldn’t have had one,” South Carolina contingent

Salba rocks out. Photo | Stefan Judge

I asked Jimmy what his life would have been like if Kona had closed in the 1980s like most other skateparks. “I wouldn’t have had one,” was his reply, echoing the sentiments of a vast number of people. Another local whose roots go far back to Kona is Hunter Joslin. Hunter is the inventor of the Indo Board, but back in 1978, he was reveling in the experience of having all the West Coast pros meet

up at Kona. “All the Dogtown skaters came out and it was unreal,” he says. “It wasn’t East versus West; it was a true skateboard community.” Legendary skate manufacturer “Professor” Paul Schmitt, who came all the way from California to celebrate, also grew up in Florida and skated Kona. “The first time I came here was 1979,” he says. “I rode a Greyhound bus

to Lakeland, Florida. Then I got in the back of a pickup truck [with] a camper shell and that took me to Kona. Walking through the door that first time was an incredible feeling.” The skating over the weekend at several different parts of Kona was truly epic. From the women and men tearing things up in the pool to the banked slalom race down the snake run, spectators were hit

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Tony Alva is still as smooth and stylish as ever. Photo | Stefan Judge


is located in Jacksonville, Florida, at the northeast corner of the state. While most people feel that Orlando is where you’ll find the “magic kingdom, ” I think Jacksonville casts a deeper spell on visitors.

Tyson Zane Photo | Stefan Judge

with a wave of pure skate stoke. Watching Tony Alva flow in the pool at close to 60 years of age left a huge impression on everyone. David Hackett charged the snake run with every ounce of intensity he could muster. Pros like Darren Navarrette annihilated the pool along with countless locals and unknowns. But

it was Sunday’s Tombstone competition that blew everyone’s minds. After hours and hours of riding, the skaters somehow overcame the heat and exhaustion to take on the giant vertical slab with the kinked transition. Nothing was too outrageous, and Kona fans were treated to a truly world-class session.

Also flying in from California was Steve Alba. I was surprised to learn that this was Salba’s first time riding Kona. “[I’d] been here two times in the ’90s but had busted my fingers, so I couldn’t skate,” he explained. But he added now that he’d returned, “I was so stoked to ride the snake run.”

Dave Duncan has been announcing contests for years and did so for this event. When I noticed he had a free moment, I took my chance to get his thoughts. “This event right here, right now is my favorite memory,” he said. “I’ve seen so much crazy stuff here, it’s been awesome.” Dave grew up skating in the ’70s and enjoyed the snake runs found in so many parks of that era. “There are no more parks like Kona,” he said. “This one has the history, and that’s why I’m here.”

“I’ve seen so much crazy stuff here, it’s been awesome.” Sharron Brown’s son Jacob is an up-and-coming skater who entered the pool contest. The family lives just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, which means they had a solid 10-hour drive to get to the park. Sharron tells me her husband skated at Kona in the ’80s, and they encouraged Jacob to start skating at the age of 4. It is a true testament to the power of Kona to seamlessly bridge the generations. The tombstone contest was absolutely raging! Photo | Stefan Judge

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Jacksonville is a huge city, boasting an area of almost 900 square miles. Kona is located in an area called Arlington, just near the airport. While I had visited the park before, I hadn’t really gotten to see Jacksonville before this trip. The one word that kept coming back through my mind was “surprising.” For a lot of folks, Florida is Miami Beach and Disney World. But Jacksonville seems to have channeled its inner Austin and San Diego. There are some very cool places that just completely take you by surprise. There are dozens of unique breweries and shops that add a huge amount to the experience.

The restaurants are also exceptionally tasty. We hit a Mexican joint called TacoLu that was absolutely jamming on a Friday afternoon. The food was delicious. I looked up at the ceiling and spotted a Landyachtz deck. Obviously skaters had left their mark. A recent issue of a local magazine called Jax featured a cover story about the power of skateboarding to change a city, a fitting tribute to the dedicated skaters of Florida. Hopefully, other cities will follow Jacksonville’s lead.

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Guttermouth put on a pretty intense set. Photo | Stefan Judge

over the park.” But after two attempts at higher education, he eventually secured a degree in business, and he continued in his father’s footsteps.

“The place is gnarly and it’s high-energy.”

“My father would put me in some pretty interesting situations,” Marty says. “I remember buying seven suits with my dad. I’d wear the suits while I ran the park. When lunchtime hit, I’d put on my skate clothes and go out and ride. I’d get all sweaty and come back and put on the suit.” Although California is usually considered the epicenter of skateboarding, it’s not by chance that an East Coast park can lay claim to be the last surviving skatepark of the 1970s. Marty acknowledges that being a skater on the East Coast is a challenge. “You just have to work a lot harder,” says Marty. “I think that’s one of the reasons the park has been around. We didn’t have industry to lean on. There was no one to bankroll the park. If we wanted a contest, we had to put it on ourselves. We just couldn’t wait for others.” It is this do-it-yourself attitude that has propelled Kona forward these past four decades. “There just feels like there is a lot more tenacity and determination here on the East Coast,” says Marty.

RAMOS: The first family of Kona The Ramos family has been associated with Kona for almost four decades. Marty Ramos (the son of longtime owners Helen and Martin) recalls driving with his parents on the highway adjacent to park and watching it being built. “I saw all these tractors making this massive mound of dirt,” he says. “This eventually would turn into the snake run.” It took almost a year for the park to be finished. “When the park eventually opened, my friend and I both had steel-wheel skateboards. We realized we needed to upgrade our equipment for Kona!” At the time that Kona was built, Arlington was the epicenter of Jacksonville. It had one mall, the Regency. “I stopped going to the roller rink and started skating at the skatepark,” Marty says. Like many skateparks of the 1970s, Kona rode the boom times and then met the bust. Toward the end of that decade, due to a combination of mismanagement and a crash in skateboarding’s popularity, things looked bleak for the health of the park. It eventually closed down in the fall of 1978. Local skaters and BMXers still rode the park when they could by sneaking in through the fence. In May 1979, the Ramos family purchased the shuttered park, and by June they had Kona up and running again. “My father was an accountant and he had a sense for business,” Marty says. “He had purchased some pool halls and made them financially successful. He was a pretty entrepreneurial guy.” Marty says that when his father purchased the park from the bank, he figured he’d have it for a few years and then build some apartments on it. “Obviously that did not happen,” Marty now says with a smile. Despite the family’s passion and business acumen, for a few years, Kona sat pretty much empty. “You have to remember that in 1980, no

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one really cared about skateboarding,” Marty says. “It was not cool to be a skateboarder at that time.”

Marty admits he had a choice when it came to Kona. “I could have walked away, but I didn’t,” he says. “Now I get to build stuff, run

But the family persevered, and ultimately Martin Ramos’ investment helped to save the last remaining ’70s skatepark. I asked Marty what he thinks would have happened had the family lived out in California; could they have saved parks like Carlsbad and Spring Valley? “It’s funny, the family almost did move to California,” he says. “My dad was the son of a sharecropper from southern Texas. He faced quite a bit of discrimination because he was half Mexican. He joined the Air Force at a young age to get out of his situation and eventually wound up in Nebraska, where he met my mom. When they got married, they looked at both California and Florida. Florida was the shorter drive, and that’s how they wound up there.” Sadly, Martin Ramos passed away at the age of 62 in 1995. Although he never skated or surfed, he did water ski. “He was not a typical accountant,” Marty says. “He loved the challenge of taking a business that someone had failed at and making it successful.” At the age of 25, Marty took over running the park. “College was really important to my parents, but skateboarding was a major distraction,” Marty says. “I never grew up thinking I’d take

Marty Ramos Photo | Stefan Judge

contests my own way. It’s just us. Nothing was ever planned, but it all worked out.” The great thing about Kona and its 40th anniversary celebration is that it truly was a showcase for all types of skateboarding. It was as inclusive as you can get. Besides the banked slalom, vert (featuring some outstanding female riding) and Tombstone events, there was even a contingent of freestyle skaters who busted out some tricks. Kona now spans two generations of skaters and has solidified its place within skateboarding as an absolute mecca. Fathers who skated Kona in the ’70s now ride with their sons and daughters. “Kona has given the skate world some pretty amazing skaters,” Marty says. “The place is gnarly and it’s high-energy. It’s probably something to do with the heat.”

At 15, Jack Winburn is the next generation of vert skaters. Photo | Stefan Judge

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In June 2016, Tesla Motors lost a lawsuit in a Norwegian court. The suit claimed that Tesla deceptively advertising their Model S P85D with much higher claims than it was actually capable of. Six months later, Tesla decided not to appeal and settled out of court with 126 litigants to the tune of up to $7,700 (USD) each. What does this have to do with electric skateboards? It’s all about power – the kind measured in horsepower (hp) or kilowatts (kW). In electric vehicles, there’s more than one way and place to measure power. One will give you a theoretical rating (nice to know, but forget about it); the other, mechanical output, is what you’ll feel beneath your feet or pushing you back into the seat. The story started when Tesla came out with their Model S P85D. The “D” indicates a dual-motor system advertised as having 470 hp (350 kW) from the rear engine and an additional 221 hp (165 kW) from the electric motor placed on the front axle. To get total power, simply add the two, for a brainrattling total of 691 hp (515 kW). Straightforward, right? Wrong. The car sold great. Everyone was amazed about the power, and videos of its great acceleration plastered YouTube – until some Tesla owner in Norway decided to find out real numbers by using a dynamometer (dyno), a testing device for measuring a car’s power output. The owner was less than amused with results: 33% less power than advertised. Instead of the promised 691 hp, the dyno indicated that the car only delivered a shade less than 469 hp (350 kW). Could both Tesla’s claimed numbers and the owner’s test results be correct? If so, which has real-world meaning for the customer? The investigators found that although Tesla had advertised the Model S with a banging 691 hp (515 kW), the car’s battery could only deliver 345 kW of electrical power. In short, although the motors might have had the quoted theoretical power rating, the car’s battery didn’t have sufficient power to realize it. Reading about sky-high specs is nothing new to buyers of electric skateboards. Although Tesla claimed that all figures “were legally required and confirmed as accurate by European regulatory authorities,” the electric

skateboard market is still too immature to have such requirements, if ever. Nevertheless, awesomely high motor wattage ratings are not only the main selling argument; for many, they’re also the basis of “informed” buying decisions. Doesn’t everyone want the most power for his or her money? Most customers are internet-educated and are already aware that claims of range, climbing ability and even top speed aren’t reliable, so they’ve come to rely on good old simple “power” – so easy to compare. You don’t need to be a physicist or a mechanic to know that 2000 W > 1000 W. But have we learned anything from that courtroom full of irate Norwegians? Current advertised power outputs in electric skateboards range anywhere from 1000 W to 3000 W. Can these numbers then be trusted? If a huge company like Tesla (market value of $47.9 billion in Apr. 2017) can fudge its numbers, what do you think?

But organizing a class-action suit for the relatively tiny e-skateboard market just doesn’t seem realistic, so what tools do future e-riders have? The answer is: Do the same as Tesla drivers – perhaps without the lawsuit. Start with a dose of skepticism, add some logic, a bit of physics, and, lastly, throw it on a dyno, just like they did. The example of electric bicycles is closer to the scale. A “normal” e-bike will offer somewhere between 200–800 watts of power. In order to be street legal and not require registration in Germany, an electric bike must be below 250 W of continuous power. Others are intentionally high-powered and actually require registration as a motorcycle, such as the “Das Spitzing” by M1-Sporttechnik. One of the most insane racing e-bikes out there, this monster goes 75 km/h, wields 120 Nm of torque and boasts … “only” 0.88 kW (880 W) of power? How can this be one of the strongest e-bikes on the market? If 880 W can go 75 km/h, why does an electric skateboard claiming four times that only have a top speed of 30 to 35 km/h?

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With a bit of physics and controlled testing, the picture becomes clearer. Using an in-house custom-built e-skate dyno, Mellow Boards has put its own product, and those of leading competitors, to the test in a controlled environment. We have found that actual mechanical output on all boards tested is about 60% less than advertised. Tests on Mellow’s motors has given more accurate figures, and we will be revising our own ratings accordingly. This has no change on fulfillment of performance, top speed and torque; motor rating will simply be revised to be factual. Since most e-skate riders don’t hang out in garages with dynamometers at their disposal, most will not realize that their motors will never produce the overpromised power ratings. Other power-limiting factors such as loss and friction in the battery, electronics and motor are unknown, invisible and impossible to compare from one e-skate to another. Mellow Boards believes that consumers deserve to know. Just as car enthusiasts don’t have to be engineers because regulations and consumer associations exist, we believe that more education, greater access to tools such as our dyno, and standardization or controlled testing will eliminate smoke and mirrors from advertisement. Factual advertisement of power is just the beginning. With the proper tools and a few parameters, acceleration, range, hill-climbing ability and top speed can all be objectively measured and finally used to provide real factual guidance, not misdirection. Disclaimer: Kilian Green, is head of engineering at Mellow Boards, whose mountanywhere electric skateboard drive was successfully crowdfunded and started delivery in March 2017. Ever a conscientious engineer, he believes that numbers should tell the clearest story possible and is willing to devote brainpower and personal time to convince others of the same. All e-skate manufacturers and customers alike have a standing invitation to the Mellow Boards Munich laboratories to have a spin on our test rig. Come visit Mellow Labs, have some world-famous brews on Mellow’s tap and test all the boards in the most open and transparent way possible. No pixie powder – just physics, math and beer. Cheers!

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2017 group photo – contestants and staff

his was year number six for one of the most awesome skateboard events that exists today, the World Round-Up freestyle skateboard championship, which only gets better each year. Bringing over 60 of the world’s best freestyle skaters from 13 countries to one venue in Canada is an equation for success on its own. But when you add in one of the world’s top “Girl” skaters, i.e., professional street skater Rick


By Hippie Mike Photos By Jim Goodrich Page 56 |

McCrank, who was filming an episode about freestyle for his TV show, plus the Vans/Skull Skates launch ramp and high jump contest happening outside, not to mention Chris Haslam and Rodney Mullen showing up to watch the finals … well, let’s just say the stadium was extra-packed and the crowd was extrapumped. The competitors were stoked, too, and all trying to get some of that $10,000 in prize money.

“Bringing over 60 of the world’s best Freestyle Skaters from 13 countries to one venue in Canada” | Page 57

The World Round-Up freestyle skateboard championships is unique. It’s not all about being the best and winning the competition, it’s more about hanging out with your friends and showing off the joys of skateboarding.

Marcio Torres - Brazil

Toni Medina - Spain

Guenter Mokulys - Germany

and Andy Anderson in the pro division, and Yuzuki Kawasaki, Ikkei Nagao, Dillanger Kane, Marcio Torres, Josh Dunstone and Cristobal Bahamonde in the ams. The lead kept switching, but nothing matters until Sunday, when the finals happen. On Sunday, the pressure was huge and all money was on Japan. With many solid runs in both divisions, the crowd was loving the show. The amateurs ended with Marcio Torres from Brazil taking first place, followed closely by 11-year-old Ikkei Nagao and 8-year-old Yuzuki Kawasaki from Japan. Ikkei tossed out the first-ever 720 big spin in competition in the finals – twice! – but Marcio’s solid skating was right on point with his amazing choreography, and the judges gave him the nod. Marcio comes from a background in breakdancing and has only been skateboarding for a few years, but you wouldn’t know it when you watch him live. He’s a must see.

Isamu Yamamoto - Japan

i a w a sa k Y u zu k i K y & Rodne M u lle n

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Right from day one it was obvious that the Japanese were present, with 14-year-old wonder boy Isamu Yamamoto as the guy to beat in Pro, and then kids like 8-year-old Yuzuki Kawasaki bringing the heat down on the competitors in Amateur. The thing about freestyle is that age doesn’t matter; Round-Up competitors ranged from 8 to 56 years old, or 66 if you include Russ Howell, who competed in the 360 spinoff. It’s amazing to see young kids who have learned from the masters of freestyle forcing those masters to step up their game and learn more in order to keep up. Skateboarding is forever, and these guys prove it every day.

In the pro division it was the race to catch Isamu. Not only was he landing perfectly on

everything, but he was doing it at triple speed. This kid is a machine! Guenter Mokulys from Germany came into the finals in 10th place, which is unusual for him, but he reminded the other competitors why he has won so many world championships over the years by laying down some solid routines to finish off in third place. U.S. skater Mike Osterman has won this event in the past and is always one of the toughest to beat, but with Isamu skating perfectly all weekend, Mike knew he had to do something extra-special this year. He put together a line like I’ve never imagined, sticking every trick the hardest way with pure style and skill, but it just wasn’t enough to take down Isamu Yamamoto. Isamu took first place for the first time. His new maneuvers and fast-forward style not only wowed the crowd and won the contest, they even got Isamu’s idol, Rodney Mullen, fired up and excited. Rodney was interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine about the World RoundUp and Isamu Yamamoto and had nothing but positive and encouraging things to say – including that watching Isamu in person reminded Rodney of himself as a kid. Could

Mike Osterman - USA

we have another Rodney Mullen on our hands? The future is bright. The World Round-Up freestyle skateboard championship is unique. It’s not all about being the best and winning the competition, it’s more about hanging out with your friends and showing off the joys of skateboarding for multiple different crowds over one long weekend. It’s about putting on the best demo you can and giving memories to kids and their parents that will last forever, and hopefully encouraging some of them to try skateboarding too. It’s about watching competitors’ battles with themselves, and seeing their excitement when they accomplish their goals. And it’s about planning for the next year. Who will show up? Who will be watching? Who might be the one to take down Isamu Yamamoto? Come to next year’s World Round-Up on May 18–21, 2018 and find out!

Prize Money Winners

Competitors bounced around in the standings over the first two days of the event. Among the riders to watch were Isamu Yamamoto, Mike Osterman, Guenter Mokulys, Satoshi Kanagawa, Pete Betti Tony Gale - England

Riley Allen - Canada

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Premium Skateboard Hardware

Vol 16 No 2  

Our fall issue

Vol 16 No 2  

Our fall issue