100% SKATEBOARDING Rider Down: Surviving a Coma • Bryce Kanights • Chris Strople concretewavemagazine.com VOL. 6 No 3 • HOLIDAYS 2007
$4.95 Canada Post Publication Agreement number 40671108
RIDER DOWN: SURVIVING A COMA PORTFOLIO: BRYCE KANIGHTS CATCHING UP WITH CHRIS STROPLE
THE FISH REPORT
NO RIGHT WAY OR WRONG WAY
TAKING THE RISK
MARYHILL FESTIVAL OF SPEED
THE LEGEND OF CEDAR CREST
PORTFOLIO: BRYCE KANIGHTS
VIVA LOS BARRIOS
MID ATLANTIC SKATE SERIES
RICH IN SPIRIT
2007 PASKAPOO DOWNHILL RODEO
WORLDS SLALOM CHAMPIONSHIPS
GIVING BACK AND MOVING FORWARD 84 WEFUNK PROFILE
94 Rider: Mike Franklin Photo: Kimathi Smtih
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PUBLISHER/EDITOR SENIOR EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITORS DOWNHILL EDITOR QUIVERS EDITOR CORRESPONDENTS LATIN AMERICA, SPAIN AND PORTUGAL AUSTRALIA ART DIRECTOR
Vol. 6 No. 3 Holidays 2007 Michael Brooke • email@example.com Blair Watson Mike Moore | Buddy Carr Jon Caften Dave Hackett Jim Kuiack | Mark Kessenich | Kilwag Diana Gracida | Pablo Castro David Pang | William Fonseca | Nick Sable Mark Tzerelshtein • MarkintoshDesign.com
1054 Center Street Suite 293 Thornhill, Ontario L4J 8E5 Canada ph: 905.738.0804
Indaba Group PO Box 1895, Carlsbad, CA 92018 firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS (In order of appearance): Jason Innes, Kimathi Smith, Phil Pham, Rich Auden, Josh Friedberg, e.a.r.l., Peter Valkema, Tjeerd Derkink, Ryan Simpson, Heidi Lemmon, Sue, Vo-Ho, Mark Bezenar, Aaron Francoeur, Mark Fountain, Steve Steadham, Steve Friedman, Chad Thomas, Dan Hughes, Mike McGown, Susan Read, David Pearson, Colby Carter, Veronica Armstrong, Jeff Tatum, Wally Inouye, Jeff Ament, Avra Kouffman, Brian Fick, Erik Basil, Malakai Kingston, Michael Speke, John Gilmore, Dan Bourqui, Bruce Adams, John Egerson, Bryce Kanights, Regis Leon, Joana Castanheira, Lauren Shade, Matthew Thorsen, Alexandra Hailey, Haydn Sweterlitsh, Jason Zdun, Mark Lesage, Tom Roszcowski, E. Kromberg, J.F. Boily, Lizzie Stange, Greg Fadell, Roger Hickey, Jashan, Gary Holl, Toby Taylor, Robert Edmonds, Keoni Castend.
concretewavemagazine.com Concrete Wave is published by North of La Jolla Inc.
Subscriptions (5 issues) are US$26 FIRST CLASS or CAN$26 (US$38 outside North America). Address change? Mag not arriving? Email us... don’t go postal. We can sort it out. email@example.com. We will notify you when your subscription expires. Publisher’s permission is required before reproducing any part of this magazine. The views and opinions expressed in Concrete Wave are not necessarily those of the publisher. We happily accept articles and photos. Please contact the publisher directly at firstname.lastname@example.org before you submit anything. We are looking for a variety of stories and images as long as they are skate related. COVER: Jason Mitchell (aka Racer X) at the National Slalom Championships in Colorado Photo: Jason Innes OPENING SPREAD: Markus Suchanek at the brand new Keyhole Skatepark in Munich, Germany. Photo: Phil Pham Distributed by ph: 416.754.3900 f: 416.754.4900 Printed in Canada ISSN 1708-3338 Canada Post Publication. Agreement number 40671108
WELCOME TO THE FINE PRINT: The time between the September and November issues has been filled with a number of activities. The ASR show was a three-day whirlwind. More than 60 skaters joined up on the Friday night Banana Bay garage session, including Jeff Tatum, who was tearing things up! I also managed to meet up with a number of people I have been anxiously waiting to meet. These include Ryan from Bustin Boards, Jessica from Arbor, Joey from Ace Trucks and Ryan from Ladera Longboards. The Saturday skateboard auction hosted by Dale Smith was electrifying. A number of legends were in attendance. I finally got a chance to meet Skitch Hitchcock, the father of the “gorilla grip.” I want to personally thank Dale for arranging this event. Not only did I have a blast looking at the incredible vintage skate stuff, I finally got my hands on all the skateboard books my mother threw out all those years ago. Thanks to the folks at G&S, Sector 9, Landyachtz, Never Summer, Kahuna, Honey Skateboards and Yatzco for their support during ASR. Thanks also to the Mr. Bennett and his son Brian for their hospitality – I had a really enjoyable dinner with them and Erik from Silverfish on Saturday night. All in all, it was a really good time. A week or so later, Bob Stack and Jim Kuiack were very busy at the Surf Expo show in Orlando, Florida. They introduced CW to a number of shops who were unfamiliar with it. I am pleased to report we have now opened up Puerto Rico. We are continuing to work on other parts of the world. The more mags we can get out there, the happier I’ll be. My trip down to North Carolina for the world slalom championships was simply incredible. The level of racing was superb, and as you will read in this issue, the young guns from Colorado are definitely making an impact. It was also a blast
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meeting up with old and new friends. Kenny Mollica was in fine form. It was great to meet up with so many Europeans who traveled at great distances. By the time this issue hits, the Dixie Cup will be in full swing. I know that all participants will have a smile on their face. Sorry I can’t be there, Joe and Fatboy! Remember, what goes on in Statesville… I was particularly pleased with how things unfolded with the Evolutions DVD this year. As many of you know, we offered it up at the Silverfish website. As of this writing we’ve had over 23,000 downloads. Thanks to Elliot Rudner, you can also download it from Google video. I figure by the time all is said and done, over 250,000 people will have seen this video. Over the past several years, I have been fascinated to read about the future of print. There are dire predictions from some areas, while others see magazines as still being a vital part of the media mix. In September, there was a debate between a guy called “Mr. Magazine” (a.k.a. Samir Husni) and Bo Sacks, head of the electronic newsletter ‘Heard on the Web.’ The fact that you are reading this magazine (and especially this section) makes me believe that magazines can play a role in people’s lives. As the Internet becomes a more powerful challenger to print, a number of folks question the future of print. As for myself, I am starting to realize that the Internet is a lot like water at a drinking fountain: 1. Both are free. 2. Both will quench your thirst (i.e. your thirst for information!). 3. Sometimes the water/information you get might be tainted. The fact is, we NEED water to live. Information is something we like to have and yet, many of us can’t live without it. I bet if you took away access to the Internet for some people for a few weeks, they would start to go mental. I know I would. I go crazy after three hours! A number of us are addicted to the Web and email, and just like water, it sustains us. The key thing to remember is that there is more to life than water. Take vodka, for example. It looks JUST like water, it actually contains water…but as we all know, it’s not water. This is why I believe in BOTH what the Internet offers and what magazines offer. The truth is that if it’s just information (or water) that you want, well, the Internet can give you that for free – as does a drinking fountain. What Concrete Wave is trying to do is give you a taste of other types of beverages. Vodka, coffee, orange juice, tea, beer, wine, tequila – these beverages have a vastly different impact on us than water does. If information is free and you happen to be in the business of information (a.k.a. magazine publisher) then you better be offering up more than just information. Your magazine must not only reflect your readership, it must inspire and delight them. We will continue to push things forward here and continue to inspire and delight you. You may have noticed that we have expanded our Noteworthy coverage and now feature dozens of stories. We have also made a solid effort at incorporating skate stories from all over the world. While I still feel there is a huge amount of work to be done with the magazine, I am proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past several years. So, for the record, I am nowhere near the level of where I’d like to be with CW, and I may never be. But it is this constant drive to for improvement that gets me fired up. As we head into 2008, I want to take a moment and thank all the people who are a part of CW. Their support and contributions are the reason why the magazine continues to grow. We’ve got lots of surprises in store for next year!
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 17
Racers prepare to hit the course at Almatrieb, Austria Photo: Rich Auden
FOURTOTHEFLOOR They say three is a magic number, but I think it might be four. Think about it for a moment. Four wheels on a skateboard. There are four seasons and four components to your life (kid, teenager, adult, skategeezer). What about a four-day work week! The expression “four to the floor” fits this issue perfectly. This is the first slalom photo (four wheels on the floor) on a skateboard magazine cover in over thirty years and we couldn’t be prouder to publish it. Jason Mitchell has proven not only to be an insanely great slalom skater, but a formidable talent when it comes to skating pools, parks and ditches. It’s not just skaters that have ramped things up. A number of companies are literally pulling their hair out trying to manage the demand for longer and wider decks, tighter-turning trucks and softer wheels. If 1978, 1988, and 1998 are any indication, 2008 might very well be the most explosive yet in skateboarding. While it can be fun to speculate what might happen, the best thing about skateboarding right now is how much it is starting to embrace variety. I see this in my local neighborhood, and when I walked the show floor at the Action Sports Retailer Show in September, I realized that the wheels of change were starting to spin. There was more variety of skate product than in the previous four years combined! Four to the floor, indeed! Enjoy the issue, Michael Brooke, Publisher/Editor
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SKATEBOARD SHOPS LIST ARIZONA Soul Sticks Boardshop 23 South Beaver Flagstaff 928.853.3033 Sidewalk Surfer 2602 N. Scottsdale Road Scottsdale 480.994.1017 email@example.com • www.sidewalksurfer.com CALIFORNIA Greenhouse Board Shop 1041 H Street Arcata 707. 825. 7873 greenhousesurf.com Cellular Skate 6787 Carnelian Street Alta Loma 909.941.1004 Mike McGills Skate Shop 335 First Street Suite #S Encinitas 760.943.7730 California Board Life 1016.4 Riley Street Folsom 916.984.0301 Mike’s Bike Shop 5507 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles 323.935.4338 Viva Skateboards 1709 Howard Road Madera 559.664.8997 Marina Cycle and Skate 214 Reservation Road Marina 831.384.2453 Bill’s Wheels Skateshop 1240 Soquel Avenue Santa Cruz 831.469.0904 Purple Skunk Purpleskunk.com 5820 Geary Blvd. San Francisco 415.668.7905 Skatelab 4226 Valley Fair Street Simi Valley 805.584.0783 skatelab.com Skate Supply 1135 Garnet Avenue #13 San Diego 866.310.2654 The Trading Post 622 Upham Street San Luis Obispo 805.801.6653 firstname.lastname@example.org Fishbanks Skate Shop 475 N. Wolfe Road Sunnyvale 408.830.0403 Sonoma Old School Skate and Surf 1001 Broadway Sonoma 707.938.5500 skatesos.com South Bay Skates 3120 W. 182nd Street Torrance 310.327.9986 Cellular Skate 287 Mountain Ave Upland Tel: 909.981.8856 email@example.com Locals Board Shop 34 South Main Street Willits 707.456.9030 COLORADO The Boardroom 100 West Beavercreek Blvd. Avon theboardroomvail.com All Board Sports 1750 30th Street Boulder 303.415.1600 TCS skateboard supply 914 North Orchard Avenue Canon City 719.640.4140 The Wright Life 200 Linden Ft Collins wrightlife.com CONNECTICUT Skate Pusher 57 McIntosh Drive Bristol 860.593.4550 The Cutting Edge 146 Mill Street Berlin 860.828.3428 cuttingedge.com Skate Valencia 4 Castle Court Stamford
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Want to know where to find Concrete Wave Magazine? Would you like to find all the amazing skate gear you see in these pages? Look no further than our shop list. If you’d like to have your shop listed here, it’s easy. Simply send a check for $115 to Indaba Group PO Box 1895 Carlsbad California 92018 or pay pal firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 760-672-4740 fax: 760-966-0040. You’ll get 10 copies of 5 issues mailed out along with this complete listing. For international rates, please email us. Yes, shipping is included. If you think your local shop or park should be carrying Concrete Wave, email email@example.com. FLORIDA SkateLab of Florida 52 West 3rd Atlantic Beach 904.249.2529 firstname.lastname@example.org Beachside Sports 180 South Daytona Ave. Flagler Beach Sunrise Surf Shop 834 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville 904.241.0822 Mojo’s Skateshop 2415 N. Monroe Street (2064) Tallahassee 850.386.7765 GEORGIA Feral 190 Park Avenue, Athens 706.369.1084 Skate Madness 1344 Stonefield court, Alpharetta 770.777.0336 skatemadness.com Woody’s Halfpipe 6135 Peachtree Parkway Suite # 603 Norcross 770.416.1475 INDIANA Gneiss Skateboards 9014 Crawfordsville Road, Indianapolis IOWA Wise Guyz Paintball 124 6th Avenue South Clinton, Iowa 563.242.9417 KANSAS The Pusher 4600 W. Kellogg, Wichita 316.943.PUSH Rip City Skates 2320 W. Douglas, Wichita 316.263.3432 KENTUCKY Ollie's Skatepark 8171 Dixie Highway Florence MAINE Boardroom 16 Armory Street Northhampton 413.586.8857 MARYLAND Malibu’s 713 Atlantic Ave. Ocean City, 410.289.3000 Wavedancer 825 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson 410.583.5635 MICHIGAN Ollies Skate Shop 120 ½ E Maumee Adrian 517.265.2031 Aura Boardsports 525 N. Main St. Suite 130 Milford 248.232.8122 email@example.com MINNESOTA Renegade Board Shop 421 Central Ave, Ste 400 Faribault 507.332.9844 Old School Skaters 1119 NW 2nd Street Faribault 612.578.3326 www.oldschoolskaters.net MISSISSIPPI Byrddogz Board Sports 558 Highway 51 North Ridgeland 601.605.5845 MISSOURI Genesis Skateboarding 13 NW Barry Rd. #147 Kansas City 816.456.1307 genesisskateboarding.com Springfield Skatepark 945 W.Meadowmere, Springfield sk8springfield.com MONTANA Wheaton’s 214 1st Avenue West Kalispell 406.257.5808 wheatonscycle.com NEW JERSEY BORDZ 323 E Jimmie Leeds Road Galloway 609.652.6777 bordz.net
Stokaboka 32 Monmouth Street Red Bank 732.936.9032 NEW MEXICO Timeship Raicing 825 Early Street Suite H Sante Fe 505.474.0074 timeshipracing.com NEW YORK The Grind Skate Shop 527 Hawkins AvenueRonkonkoma 631.285.7812 grind.skateshop.com NORTH CAROLINA Soul Ride Skatepark 6049 Victory Lane Concord 704.454.7433 soulrideskates.com Exodus 2051 Silas Creek Parkway Winston.Salem 748.9712 exoduskate.com OHIO Old Skool Skateboards 19E College Avenue, Westerville firstname.lastname@example.org OREGON The Longboard Store 1238 SW Wheeler Place Bend 541.480.4254 thelongboardstore.com Cascadia Longboards 3366 West 17th Street Eugene 541.729.7392 Daddies Board Shop 7126 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland 503.281.5123 daddiesboardshop.com Rebel Skates 1025 SE Sandy Blvd. Portland 503.232.0434 Oregon Skate 38962 Proctor Boulevard Sandy 503.826.8427 RHODE ISLAND Sk8sations Skate Shop 3032 N. John B.Dennis Highway Kingsport 423.245.0994 Seven.Ply 3 Canal Street Westerly 401.348.0656 TENNESSEE Planet Sk8 7024 East Church Street Suite 2 Brentwood 615.377.1947 Sk8sations Skate Shop 3032 N.John B.Dennis Hwy. Kingsport 423.245.0994 email@example.com Triple X Sports 1180 Antioch Nashville 615.781.8766 xxxsports.com TEXAS Skatepark of Austin / Motive Skateshop 1615 Rutherford Lane 512.997.PARK skateparkofaustin.com UTAH Salty Peaks Snowboard Shop 3055 East 3300 South Salt Lake City 801.467.8000 Milo Sports 359 E.1300 S. University Parkway Orem 801.426.4300 VIRGINIA EastCoast Boardco. 10358 Fairfax Blvd. Fairfax 703.352.4600 x:8 213 25th Street Va Beach 757.425.8069 Black Cat Skateshop 1325 A West Main Street, Charlottesville 434.244.0014 WASHINGTON Gravity Sports 126 Rainier Ave South Renton 425.255.1874 Mountain Goat Outfitters 12 W. Sprague Avenue Spokane
ALBERTA Avenue Skateparks 9030.118 Avenue NW Edmonton 780.477.2149 Easy Rider 4211.106 St., #153 Edmonton 780.413.4554 Pipeline Surf Co 10336 111 Street NW Edmonton 780.421.1575 BRITISH COLUMBIA Area 51 191 Station Street Duncan 250.746.8869 a51.ca Banana Slug Board Co. 900 Gibsons Way #13, Gibsons, BC 604.886.4688 Bananaslug.com PD’s Hot Shop 2868 W. 4th Avenue Vancouver 604.739.7796 Raven Skate Shop 411 Campbell Street Tofino 250.725.1280 ravenskateshop.ca PUSH (at Bonsor skatepark) 6766 Jubilee Ave., Burnaby 604.434.7874 Salton Rides Saltspring Island, BC 250.537.4984 firstname.lastname@example.org Switchback Longboards 4385B Boban Dr. Nanaimo 250.751. 7625 ONTARIO Orbit 406 Cumberland St., Cornwall, 613.932.9754 Hammer Skate Shop 2225 Queen Street East Toronto, 416.698.0005 Hogtown 401 King Street West, Toronto 416.598.4192 McPhails 98 King Street North, Waterloo 519.886.4340 QUEBEC DLX/Deluxe 2480, chemin Ste.Foy Ste.Foy 418.653.0783 dlxdeluxe.com OVERSEAS Boardshop Australia boardshop.com.au 04 15883371 email@example.com If Only He Would Apply Himself Skates 11 Rossings Court Notting Hill Victoria 3168 AustraliaH UK – Octanesport.com Skateboardsofchoice.co.uk Bath, United Kingdom. Tel: + 44 1249 715811 Fatboyskates UK 11 Trafalgar Way Billericay, Essex CM12 0UT Germany – seasondistribution.com, concretewave.de Hackbrett Longskates Im Wechselfeld 12 St. Peter Hack@customlongskates.com France : Hawaiisurf.com Japan — www.xtreme.jp Y & T Fussa Fussa.City,Tokyo 2348 Fussa Fussa.City,Tokyo 1970011 Netherlands — Sickboards Fuutlan 45 Delft firstname.lastname@example.org Spain — Barcelona ridespirit.com 0034 934 431 788 Sweden Ärtvägen 14 Fjaras 43033 2fun.se
ON.LINE RETAILERS Allboardsports.com Bordz.net CascadiaLongboards.com Coldwarskateboards.com Daddiesboardshop.com Denverskateshop.com Edsbearings.com (pleasure tools) Fuegolongboards.com Latterdayskates.com
Lbhaven.com Longboardshop.de Longboardstore.com Milehighskates.com Oldschoolskates.net Roadkillskates.com Sk8supply.com Socalskateshop.com Solidskate.com VSLboardshop.com
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HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 27
PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
HERRON Herron Trucks are a super lightweight alternative to heavier aluminum trucks without sacrificing any strength or functionality. The material of the trucks is an engineered carbon-based polymer that is also used in the race car and aerospace industries. Herron Trucks allow for more performance in whichever facet you are into: in the street you can clear the gap or that huge rail that you’ve wanted to, in the bowls and vert areas you can grind faster and get more air, and longboarders get more speed and distance with each kick. herrontrucks.com ARBOR The Vice is designed fat, with aggressive concave for harddriving transition and street-inspired skating. It’s built with environmentally friendly materials including two ecologically produced, black direwood veneer plies that sandwich a five-ply, sustainably sourced hardrock maple core that has been reinforced with an ultra-renewable bamboo ply. The bamboo radically improves power and durability, which allows them to reduce weight. arborsports.com GORDON & SMITH G&S has just released the official ‘80s reissues with details just like the originals. Both the Doug Saladino “Street Cruiser” (9” x 30”) and Steve Claar “Whales” decks come with YoYo wheels and your choice of trucks. There are also 100 limited editions that are numbered and signed by Doug and Steve. Legend Distribution, 858-581-3045 or gordonandsmith.com BIGWAVE The newly redesigned Bigwave Goddess board is made from solid Walnut and Ash hardwoods and now features a triple color maple leaf design reflecting the Canadian
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roots of their company. The three colours represent the three main seasons of longboard skateboarding in Canada. The Goddess is a flexy board featuring a cambered and slightly concave platform with a carbon fiber reinforced kick tail and a kicked nose with the front trucks mounted on the nose for a lower ride. bigwavelongboards.com BUILD A BOARD These blanks come with detailed instructions and templates to create any shape desired. Build-aBoards are 7-ply maple and come in 3 styles to choose from; a 70s Flat Kick, an 80s M-Tech, and a modern Street. In addition, they include a sheet of Flypaper grip tape and Madrid stickers. fullcircledist.com WOODY TREND Woody Trend is a skateboarder and artist living in Atlanta, Georgia. Practicing a magnificent, remarkably modern version of the ancient art form of the mosaic, he hand breaks stained glass and put thousands of pieces together to create landscapes, portraits and geometric designs. The mosaic “Fennessey” is Woody’s tribute to local Atlanta vert pro, Ray Fennessey. It is the first in a series entitled “Legends of Skateboarding”. email@example.com MADRID Madrid has released two new speedy little rockets in their extensive Mini Cruiser line. Like all of their high-end minis, these American-made speedsters are seven-ply maple and hand-shaped in Huntington Beach California. The “Dragon” is a smooth ride that weighs in at 7.5” x 27.5”. The deck has concave, kick tail, and 61mm/ 92a wheels. The “Sergie” is a larger mini that measures 9.5” x 32.5” with a camber concave and small kick tail. madridskateboards.com BANKS COVE Banks Cove Boards now has a store in Brooklyn, New York. BCB builds custom carbon fiber skateboards in the shop behind the new outlet. Located at 252 Grand Street between Driggs and Roebling in Williamsburg. Skatebcb.com
After a mishap at their old manufacturing facility that destroyed the mold, Rayne are now in production of the 2008 Demonseed. The deck is 100% Bamboo and Triaxial Fiberglass and their first run features a center carbon stringer. raynelongboards.com STRANGEHOUSE Five years ago Frank Molina founded StrangeHouse with the idea of creating a unique online shop. Even before he opened, Frank was a huge fan of Factory 13. He decided to start creating StrangeHouse decks to feed his curiosity and share it with the skate world. These are some of their new mutations. 703-869-2499 or strange-house.net POOL KING Chris Strople has chosen Pool King Skateboards to oversee the production and marketing of his first signature deck in 20 years, the Ally Oop 1034 – named after an aerial maneuver invented by Chris in the late ‘70s. The deck was designed by Chris with an old school vs. new school shape that reflects all 30-some years of his expert knowledge in highperformance skating. The Ally Oop is highly versatile and features an engraved and hand-signed Chris Strople signature. The deck will be available on the Pool King Skateboards Web site only or directly through Chris Strople. Pool King is also releasing the Disciple model. This 8.25” x 32” deck has been popular with their team for some time now. The Disciple is now available to the public with new graphics by Jeff Tatum. poolkingskateboards.com THRUSTER ThrusterUSA has changed their midsize 35” Thruster Carving Machine – based on feedback from team riders. The shape is now sleeker and the wheelbase was increased by one inch. The coolest change was the transparent iridescent blue finish – where you can see the grain of the wood through the finish and the engraved
PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
logo on both the top and bottom of the deck. Call 949-548-5100 or visit the new Web site at thrusterusa.com. TUNNEL WHEELS Tunnel Products is proud to announce the latest addition to their line-up, the Tarantula wheels. Named after the large spiders known to live in tunnels underground, the Tarantula wheels are 70mm in diameter, 52mm wide, off-set and with a high-quality core. The embossed, California-poured wheels combine old-school style with modern performance technology. tunnelskateboards.com LIVIN FREE This DVD is a skateboard odyssey of the mind, body and soul. Directed by Marc McCrudden and produced by orangefiist.com, Livin Free is a film about four crew members on a popular reality TV show who decide to define their own reality when they turn the cameras on themselves. Realizing that they share a common love of skateboarding, these four men decide to document their quest for the perfect ride. As they travel around the world riding an endless asphalt wave, they discover a powerful and creative outlet that reinvigorates their love of filmmaking and skateboarding at the same time. orangefiist.com
for up to 10 miles on a charge with a wireless, handheld controller. exkate.com GARAGEBOMB LONGBOARDS Based in Texas, Garagebomb offers three different decks, a 44” and two 54”, and is run by a cool cat named Louis. All his boards are constructed with Baltic birch plywood, and they’re all flat. The boards are all available in custom colors in stain or paint. Louis is also willing to do one-off artwork (as long as it’s fairly basic since he does it all by hand). garagebomblongboards.com FALTOWN DVD In 2003 a group of like-minded skaters happened upon the previously untapped source of skateboarding history that is slide skating. Using the Cornish landscape as their canvas, and taking inspiration from their downhill forefathers, they developed tricks and maneuvers never seen before in skateboarding, and aim to bring downhill freestyle to the mainstream. This DVD follows the Castle Hill Mob from UK shores to Berkeley hills in California, explaining the development of new styles and techniques and showcasing the raw and unique talent nurtured by Cornwall’s undulating topography. faltownskateboards.com SOUL RYDE/CW GIVEAWAY
LANDYACHTZ Back by popular demand, the wood Drop Carve is the ideal wheelbase and platform size for hard carving. The kicktail gives you more maneuverability, the concave gives you more leverage on the board for easier turning and the drop mount gives you more stability than a standard top mount. Also new from Landyachtz is the “L-series” urethane. The 85mm Hawgs will now be available in black (78a), clear (80a) and orange (82a). The center-set 77mm Hawg is available in black (78a) and clear (80a). On a final note, the company is looking for photos of people riding their Landyachtz boards. Send in photos of yourself cruising, carving, hill bombing and sliding for a chance to win a prize pack. The best shot will be used in a future Concrete Wave ad. Submit your high-res photos to firstname.lastname@example.org INSECT The Firefly, Insect’s newest speedboard, is now available. This top-mount deck is 9” x 40.5”, concave, with deep front wheel wells, a cutaway tail and available wheelbases of 29, 30, and 31 inches. Nine plies of birch and four layers of heavy triaxial fiberglass create a deck that’s extremely stiff and stable. Developed in tandem with some of the Pacific Northwest’s top downhillers, the Firefly is ready to burn pavement. insectskateboards.com ASHLAND
Asfalte produces old-school skateboard decks with innovative designs. Asfalte also makes longboard decks with twin-tip snowboard shapes and wicked concave designs. Each deck is unique and 100% made in Montreal, Canada. The company will also do custom sizes. Asfalte establishes a relationship with its riders and makes a point of connecting with them at every possible opportunity, so you’ll never ride by yourself. 514-502-0032 or asfalte.com EXKATE® Exkate’s new owners are launching a new line and new standards of quality and fun. Unplug and carve on the original patented wireless electric skateboard. The boards now command respectable 18 mph
We are giving away this beautiful custom Soul Ryde deck complete with Concrete Wave graphic. There is only one of these in the entire world. How to win it? Email email@example.com. One lucky winner will be picked on January 1st, 2008. EARTHWING The “Little Buddy“ is just a party wrapped in a good time. Using the same thermoplastic/maple construction as the slide models, this little guy is a perfect skateable mini and a great pool deck for the little rippers out there. When combined with the 56mm 78a Superballs, it can cruise with the best of them and is still small enough (7.75” x 30”) to fit almost anywhere. earthwingskateboards.com
Matt Barker from Corpus Christi, TX has joined Ashland Skateboards. Matt brings to the team a killer, old-school style and is right at home on any pipe, pool or park. Be on the lookout for Matt’s signature pool deck in the very near future. ashlandlongboards.com
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PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
SPEED-DEALER Speed-dealer Distribution is proud to announce the addition of the full line of Bennett Truks, Alligator wheels and accessories. Speed-dealer has also taken on Canadian distribution for RocknRon's Ballistech Bearings, Old Man Army bags and Skookum 10mm stainless steel racing bearings. Dealers can inquire via firstname.lastname@example.org. Retail customers can visit speed-dealer.ca - they ship worldwide! Speed-dealer would also like to welcome Glen Miller to their racing team. Apart from racing, Glenn will be assisting at Speed-dealer slalom clinics across Western Canada. Interested shops can email email@example.com. KAHUNA CREATIONS The ancient Hawaiians introduced the idea of standing up on a board in the Pacific Seas and paddling their way to distant destinations. Kahuna Creations has taken that concept to the streets by allowing longboard riders to smoothly make their way with big strokes on a longboard, effectively paddling their way to distant destinations on flatlands much faster than kicking. The idea is to take a big stroke by beginning the stroke with a “pull” on the pavement and transition to a “push” so that you get a full stroke. As the company states, “not only does the Kahuna Big Stick give a great upper body and cardiovascular workout, it helps save the knees and feet from the constant kick of pushing a longboard.” The stick is made from solid, form fitting, solid wood and the entire shaft is layered in fiberglass (carbon fiber optional) to give added strength. The tip is designed with dual high performance rubber contacts to allow for ultimate grip, durability and feel as you paddle on the pavement. kahunaboards.com SKULL SKATES
Skull Skates is introducing 10 new decks this December. Of particular note are the two decks from legendary Montreal skaters Marc Tison and Barry Walsh. There are a number of new longboard and pool shapes as well. skullskates.com GRIND KING Grind King Truck Co. has now branched out and taken truck design one step further. They
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have scoured the world to find some talented up-and-coming artists to participate in a new truck design project. In this series you’ll see works from Jason Maloney, Mike Kershnar, Justin Barry, Josh Taylor, Dumperfoo, Downtimer, Mildred and loads more. Visit grindking.com to see all artists and pieces available. LUSH T h e Globe Slide is a 9.125” x 36” pool shaped deck with a longish wheelbase for stability and a lot of concave for foot placement and grip while sliding. More information, plus slide photos, videos, gloves and wheels, at lushlongboards.com. WRECKROOM & McRAD Wreckroom Skateboards have released a deck i n honor of the latest release from McRad (the first in two decades). The band is the brainchild of former skate pro Chuck Treece. Besides making a name for himself in skateboarding, Chuck has done some pretty amazing things in music. He’s played on Billy Joel’s “River Of Dreams” and pulled double duty on tour with Bad Brains and Urge Overkill. wreckroomskateboards.com TRIPLE EIGHT Designed and tested right in NYC with the help of Team Earthwing, Triple Eight has a brand new longboard glove called Sliders. The gloves feature double-stitched full top grain leather, tear resistant Kevlar® coated fingertips and rounded sliders that can be rotated for longevity. The Sliders also have additional sliding bars to connect fingers and wraparound wrist straps for extra support. Available in XS, S/M, L/XL. Triple Eight is also pleased to announce that Jeff Tatum has joined the Triple Eight army. firstname.lastname@example.org SLIP TAPE Slip Tape® / Jessup Holiday Promo Packs are great stocking stuffers and a great way for shops to display the product. They come in a 12 pack – a 6 pack display box and six additional tubes to refill the display. sliptape.net
LIEF LONGBOARDS Lief boards are designed in such a way that you do not need risers to eliminate wheel bite. There is a 1 1/2” drop at the front, and the rear drop-through truck mounts. These boards are low to the ground (lower center of gravity = better balance = easier ride, better feel, easier pushing, easier sliding) and a pleasure to ride. Lief also makes short boards and all decks are made in Canada. lieflongboards.com POWELL There are new offerings on their way from P o w e l l , Powell-Peralta and Powell Classic. Pictured is the Ray Underhill Re-issue. skateone.com
PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
BUSTIN BOARDS Following continued success with their first two models, the Complex and Cigar boards, Bustin Boards meticulously designed the Spliff as a smaller take on an all-around cruiser while maintaining the versatility of their longer boards. Representing nearly three years of development and engineering, this board packs a fast longboard ride into a light, maneuverable package. bustinboards.com
80A and 81mm in 78 and 82A. Look for the nineball yellow wheels passing others on a hill or race course near you. Sector9.com
Speedboarding Championships at Maryhill
Skip Engblom of SMA with Reggie Barnes owner of Eastern Skate Supply at San Diego’s Washington Street Skatepark barbecue/fundraiser during ASR 2007. Photo: e.a.r.l.
Skate legends Skitch Hitchcock, Bruce Logan and Steve Cathey pictured at the Skate Designs Auction held at ASR this past September. Special thanks to Dale Smith for hosting the auction. Photo: Josh Friedberg DECOMPOSED ‘80s freestyle legend, Keith Butterfield is now on team Decomposed. His model just came out a few days ago. This is his first pro model in over 24 years since it came out on Vision. decomposedsk8.com LADERA After uncovering an original ‘70s deck made out of beautiful exotic purple-heart wood, we couldn’t help adopting the stylish retro shape into our own line of boards. Of course, the Purple Heart is only an adaptation of the old-school artifact. We threw in contemporary touches like a kicktail, mellow concave and a slight nose kick to turn the board into a high-performance mini fit for the modern rider. Every Purple Heart comes equipped with Bennett precision trucks, Abec 11 wheels and a crazy new graphic by Hiro Murai. laderalongboards.com
DVDs Ándale This film follows Danny Gonzalez, Patrick Melcher and Steve Caballero as they travel from Orlando to Orange County, California. As they hit parks and events they find new “posse members.” Andale is an unusual DVD since it’s a combination of one part skate video, one part documentary and one part road trip. See the trailer at andalemovie.com. Available from actionfilmer.com.
As skate legend George Orton explains it, “The DumbAss Deck is an in-your-face deck that is dedicated to all those upstanding jerks who said skateboarding will never last – for the cops who chased me and called me a loser and a DumbAss, or the teachers and coaches who told me I was making the biggest mistake of my life. In all that negativity came a stubborn inspiration to be who I am today and the revelation of creating DumbAss Decks. All those authority figures can truly kiss my DumbAss all the way to the bank.” DumbAss Decks are available to skaters, retailers and distributors. To order call 714898-7070 or visit randomxboardshop.com. SIRE Sire Longboards just launched a new series of longboards, locker boards, pool boards and street decks. Four new longboard beauties come in 44”, 40”, 39” and 36” lengths. Like all Sire boards, these are American-made in Huntington Beach, California. sireboardingcompany.com SECTOR 9 The New Racing formula wheels have been chemically balanced to offer riders both speed and traction. They give you the grip you need through high speed turns or the release you need to slide through them. Available in 69mm 78 and 82A, 70mm 78 and 80A, 76mm 78 &
RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY GIFTS BOOKS The Skateboard Art of Jim Phillips Jim’s first book, “Surf Skate and Rock Art,” was a terrific overview of his legendary work. Even though the book hit over 300 pages, it was obvious that a huge chunk of his skateboard art was missing. This new book focuses on what Jim has given the world of skateboarding. It’s difficult to comprehend the amount of incredible artwork he’s created: Road Rider, OJ, Santa Cruz, Independent, Slimeballs and of course, the most famous of all, “The Screaming Hand.” From board graphics to ads, the book is filled with of some of the most memorable imagery ever to appear on skate equipment and in print. Jim’s current work with Pocket Pistols is also showcased. While the book provides a fairly detailed history of Jim’s life and insights as to what it was like working at NHS, it’s really the art that does the talking. Available at schifferbooks.com.
Disposable Three years after it was first published by Concrete Wave Editions, Sean Cliver’s book is still having a tremendous effect on people. However, Disposable has been a very difficult book to find – until now. Thanks to the folks at the Gingko Press, you can now get a copy. Available at bookshops everywhere. ISBN 1-58423-264-1 gingkopress.com
The races at Maryhill are now becoming legendary (see this issue for what happened back in September!), and this DVD does a great job of capturing the intensity of the 2006 North American Speedboarding Championships. Joe Lehm and the gang at Timeship Racing have put together an exciting account of the racing. Order from timeshipracing.com.
The Man Who Souled the World Directed by Mike Hill, this documentary is a musthave for any skater who is intrigued by Steve Rocco and the saga of World Industries. A number of skaters are interviewed, and the animated parts really add to the overall impact. The story of Rocco is both amusing and disturbing. Is he crazy? Is he a genius? Watch, and try to decide. themanwho.com TONY HAWKS PROVING GROUND Set in the streets of Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., the new TH title gives players the freedom to define their character, story and style based on the choices they make, the paths they select and the style of skating they want. The game includes a fullfeatured video editor to create skate videos. We have one copy for Xbox 360 to give away to the first reader who can answer this question: What is the name of Tony’s older brother? Email your answer to email@example.com
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NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
OEREND SKATE FESTIVAL Story by Peter Valkema
Photos: Tjeerd Derkink grabbed first in the jump ramp contest. Sunday started a bit quieter than Saturday had ended (40 skaters doing a Chinese downhill). But hangovers soon cleared up at the announcement of the crazy catamaran contest, the infamous boardercross and the classic snakerun speed contest. Everyone gathered to watch Hans Van Dorssen push the catamaran teams into warp speed down the down the banked downhill – only to fly through the air a couple of meters before introducing their asses to Oldenzaal concrete. Jarne Verbruggen and Bram van Halteren blasted straight down the course and saw a brutal arse landing awarded with first place. Even harsher than the catamaran is the boardercross contest. This is because you are allowed to cut your opponents off, or kick, spit or shove ’em off their boards. Last year Jennifer de Sera took out Ben Daleman with a mean punch to the eye at the semi’s in this year’s edition, but crashed hard in the final so Tom Hakstege zoomed past and took the title.
On August 7, 2007, Dutch, German, British, Belgian and Swiss skaters descended into the Hulsbeek skatepark in Oldenzaal for the Oerend Hard Festival. The festival combines two days’ worth of skating a classic park in Holland. This park features a vintage 1979 concrete snakerun and banked downhill track. The contest is both serious and laid-back fun. Sunshine, swimming and a noisy campsite next to the park make for a picture-perfect gathering of skaters. Jimmy de Kok won the best trick contest on the banks and bumps: ollie to tailslide on the deathbox, flip out. Niek Zandstra laid the best line downhill with the extra obstacles: backside disaster on the starting quarter, backside 5050 on the ledge, a smooth backside 360 nosegrab, a big benihana, and a reverted salute to the good old Bert. Douwe Macare
Eight wheeled insanity - the catamaran: Jarne Verbruggen (left) and Bram van Halteren (right)
Nelson Mosikili vs. The Wizard (right) in the snakerun bordercross.
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It has become a tradition for Dennis Hemmekam to win the snakerun speed title. This guy is rumoured to be a product of a romantic evening at the very spot he’s the speed king. How’s that for roots? His level-headed, smooth, hands-down Jumpramp: Manuel de Jong style proved the strongest and probably most aerodynamic run. The designer of the park offered a balloon ride for first place, so just after the awards ceremony the big parachuted stove took to the air with the five-in-a-row winner. Bram Waterman, “de Fabriek” in Enschede and Skateboard Federation Netherlands brought together a team of 67 volunteers to make this happen, and like you, we’re all looking forward to next year’s edition! oerendhard.net
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NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
GROMFEST: SKATING FOR THE LOVE OF SKATING By Ryan Simpson We all live by our watches. Wake up at this time; be to school or work by this time; make an appointment at this time; bathroom stop if you’ve got time; then finally hit the sack by this time so you can wake up the next morning and repeat the whole process. The soul of skateboarding defies the usual rules and constraints of time. It’s about independence and freedom to pursue a passion. I’ve watched a kid spend a couple of hours hitting the same line over and over just so he could cleanly stomp that one trick that he’d wanted all day. Over the last decade, as skating became more mainstream, the soul of the sport has suffered. Skate parks open only at certain times, constraining when a person can skate. Competitions abound now, but competitors find themselves limited to tightly timed runs, what they can skate and how they can skate it. And if you’re sponsored? Forget about it, your time is their dime. This past year a newly created event began reviving the soul of skateboarding. The Great Northwest Gromfest, a five day, 18 & under event, allows the competition segment to take a backseat to being there simply because you love to skate. What makes Gromfest even more unique is that proceeds from the event are donated to board sport non-profits. For the ’07-’08 season, Gromfest selected the Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship as the skate nonprofit. As if that wasn’t enough, Gromfest also ties a creative aspect into the event with winners taking home one-of-a-kind, creative trophies. Skateboards, uniquely painted to reflect select artists’ alternative sports visions, serve as both a work of art and a trophy. Hosted at Whistler, B.C. in July, the Gromfest Skateboard Finals span a week of events and activities. Gromfest challenges competitors on everything from street and bowl riding to slalom and flatground, all while making new friends and benefiting sport non-profits. In 2007, competitors from the Dominican Republic and Korea joined kids from Canada and the United States for the first-ever event, and Gromfest expects to welcome kids from South Africa and Germany as well in 2008. While you never know exactly what to expect during the Great Northwest Gromfest, you can always count on days packed full of skating, a laid-back competition approach and the chance to ride with skaters from all over the globe. Special thanks to Whistler/Blackcomb, Camp of Champions, SPAUSA, Arbor Longboards, Adio, Active Ride Shops, Jones Soda, Birdhouse, Flip, Termite, Elemental Awareness, Dogtown Skateboards, Grind King, Hook-Ups, Board Bangers, Five Four Clothing and, of course, Concrete Wave for starting Gromfest off right. gromfest.org
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the Hill close the University of Colorado, Boulder. This store, located at 1089 13th Street, Boulder, is in addition to the original one at 1750 30th Street. Next year, this store will expand by adding 2,000 square feet of retail space. allboardssports.com or call 303415-1600 or 303-442-3654. TOP CHALLENGE
Gromfest competitor Dylan Dragotta clears a window gap during Gromfest’s Underground Skate Jam. Photo: Heidi Lemmon.
Montreal’s Top Challenge featured thousands of spectators this year and plenty of exciting racing. Erik Lundberg of Sweden took first, Kevin Reimer (aka K-Rimes) from Canada got second, Noah Sakamoto (USA) third and local favorite Niko Desmarais took fourth place. Pictured are Will Brunson (orange) and Blake Startup (gray). Photo: Sue Vo-Ho. AUSTRALIAN SLALOM SERIES By Nick Sable Photos: David Pang Conehead Cup #4 The San Remo Screamer Central Coast, New South Wales, Australia July 8, 2007
The Pro-AM SK8board Association accomplished its first series of events this past summer. The tour consisted of both contests and clinics with two days at each stop. Sponsors included Steadham Skate Ind., Tech Deck, Hurley, Independent and Messiah Skateboards. The six-contest series went to Orange Skatepark (Orange, Fla.), Stone Edge Skatepark (Daytona, Fla.), Athens Skatepark (Athens, Ga.), McDonough, Ga., Oxford, Miss., and Alabaster. Ala. Pictured left to right are the Mayor of Orange, Fla., Steve Steadham and skatepark director Anjie Palmer.
All Boards Sports of Boulder, Colo. has opened a new 800-square-foot retail space on
The sun rose on the ghetto slalom paradise that was San Remo, central coast New South Wales, Australia. Welcome to NACCOS [Newcastle And Central Coast Old School] home turf. This was Round #4 of the notorious outlaw slalom Conehead Cup Series 2007. Riders came from far and wide for some serious head-to-head racing, with speeds that became as hot as the weather. Big thanks to Paul Carey for the hard work he put in with the ramps, trophies and organization; as ever the
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NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS Blacktown results: 1st 33.64 Steve Daddow 2nd 33.94 Haggy Strom 3rd 34.06 Mick Mulhall 4th 34.84 Jackson Shapiera 5th 35.25 Paul Carey
ASRA [Australian Skateboard Racing Association] kept the motley bunch in order. The head-to-head kicked off with times progressively improving throughout the day. Partway through the day, one of the timing switches decided to commit suicide, so racing carried on in one lane against the clock. Steve Daddow pushed the envelope in true form; Haggy Strom the Euro contender was as consistent as ever; Paul Carey killed it in true NACCOS style. Big shout to Scott Tansley for coming back up the ranks after a shoulder injury. The other chargers that deserve mentions are Mick Mulhall, Greg Ambler, Dave Robertson and Jackson Shapiera. Conehead Cup-#5 Blacktown Beast October 7, 2007 One word: Intimidation. That pretty much sums up the sheer speed and runout gnar factor that Blacktown mountain hill served up for the final round of the Conehead Cup slalom series here in New South Wales, Australia. To quote one of the racers, Mick Mulhall: ‘‘At the bottom, we foot brake or die!’’ At Blacktown Mountain, speeds were improved on all day, with Steve Daddow finally coming out on top, Haggy Strom blazing into second, and Mick Mulhall pulling a well-respected third. Big shout to Greg Ambler for the after-party and presentation at the Blacktown skates HQ. Also thanks as always to the ASRA for working hard setting up and running the timing equipment. The 2007 series has been described as an apprenticeship for many of the racers, as at the start of the year it was merely a bit of slalom fun with your mates on a Sunday afternoon. But now here at the end of the series we have some seriously fast slalom talent. Thanks to all the racers of this series. You have provided great race action all year, be it head-to-head, ditch or simply racing the clock. We raise our glass to you. So after tallying the final points, the overall winner of the Conehead Cup Series 2007 was Haggy Strom. In second was Steve Daddow and in third Paul Carey. For all upcoming events check charliedontskate.com or skateboardracing.org.au. See you on the hill for ’08!
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Overall results for the slalom series: 1st Haggy Strom 624 points 2nd Steve Daddow 582 3rd Paul Carey 518 4th Mick Mulhall 517 5th Dave Robertson 476 R.O.G.U.E. (RIBBON OF GREEN ULTIMATE ENDURANCE) LONGBOARD RACE Edmonton, Alberta August 18, 2007 By Mark Bezenar Photos: Aaron Francoeur.
The city of Edmonton is almost completely flat, owing to its location at the northwest corner of the prairies, at least three hours away from the Rocky Mountains or any real hills. Despite this flatness, longboarding is exploding here because the North Saskatchewan River carves a 60-meter deep valley through the city, and this valley and the ravines connected to it form North America’s largest stretch of urban parkland, 21 times larger than New York City’s Central Park. Within this “Ribbon of Green” is a huge network of paved bicycle trails that snake their way through the river valley’s many parks and forests, extending from one end of the city to the other. Some of these twisting, narrow trails are steep and challenging to bomb, while others are great for a mellow pleasure cruise. So the Ribbon of Green was the perfect venue for Canada’s first-ever officially sanctioned longboard endurance race, which was put on by Jeff Sanders, Tim Mercer, Nick Breton, Ivan Nguyen, and 780longboarding.com. All week leading up to the event, most of the local media did reports on longboarding and the race, giving longboarding a huge boost in public exposure and acceptance. Sixty-seven racers from Alberta, British Columbia and even Quebec entered the race, including three women, a few kids under 14, a few old farts over 40 and even one hardcore rider with a prosthetic leg! They
came to test their legs and lungs over a 12 mile course that climbed and descended the valley slopes several times, and where speeds downhill of more than 30 mph were reached. Racers were given a playing card at each checkpoint to prove they completed the entire course but also to create a poker hand to compete for the many prizes at the finish. Despite some navigation errors and a few minor crashes, every racer managed to finish, and everyone was truly blown away by how much fun the course and race were and how supportive the community was. Finishing the course in just over an hour, Local 124’s Mike Sanders claimed the first place trophy, a oneof-a-kind custom Rayne longboard built just for this race. roguerace.com Results: 1st. Mike Sanders 2nd Paul Vanen Biggaart 3rd Tanner Thorton
Picture (left to right): Tanner Thorton, Mike Sanders and Paul Vanen Biggaart. INTERVIEW WITH MIKE MAHONEY OF HONEY SKATEBOARDS What is your background in manufacturing? From the mid ‘80s to the early ‘90s, I owned a custom cabinet shop. In 1994 I began teaching; I taught math and woodshop. In my woodshop classes I had complete freedom and was able to Mike in the shop write my own curriculum. Aside from project-based woodshop classes, I created a Manufacturing Technology class. I set the class up as a production line, and we manufactured wooden toy cars that we donated to the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. After seven years of teaching, I opened up a custom furniture shop, then got into manufacturing longboards.
Why did you decide start a longboard company? I've made my own skateboards since high
PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
Where do you see Honey Skateboards in five years? In five years. there will be at least one Honey Skateboard in everyone’s quiver. Do you find people are riding your decks, or are they putting them on their walls? We frequently get people telling us that our boards are too nice to ride. I know there are boards out there hanging on the wall, but most of our boards are being ridden. Our boards are made to be ridden. Of course, when you are not riding it, it looks great on the wall.
What makes your decks unique? Our decks are unique in the way we laminate our boards. The stringer patterns that we use on the top and bottom layers of our seven-ply decks are cut from the same solid, vertically laminated glue-up, reassembled into the lamination, matched up and aligned when pressed. This gives our boards the look of a solid wood deck, but allows us to design flex and shapes like concave, camber and kicktails into the decks, so you have the ride qualities of a laminated deck and the classic look of a solid stringer deck. All our decks are numbered and signed. What have been some of the more challenging experiences in starting Honey? The most challenging thing when starting was getting into shops. One of the first shops I approached told me that they weren't interested in carrying another longboard brand. I explained how our boards were different than the brand they were selling and asked if I could show them one. The owner reluctantly agreed to take a look. Once he got a chance to see the quality, his tone quickly changed, and I got the account. I would walk into many shops and see only one brand of longboard on the wall. The managers or owners didn't see the need for another brand, yet you look around the shop and see that they sold many different brands of shoes, clothes and even surfboards, but only one brand of longboard. Fortunately, shops are figuring it out and starting to offer some choices. The shops that do a lot of longboard sales usually have several brands of longboards to offer their customers. What have been some of your more memorable successes? I'll never forget the first time I saw one of my boards being ridden on the street. Another memorable success happened when one of my sales reps called me with a huge order. He was elated when he told me the shop had
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the time or funds to support the event. So I was given the opportunity to put the entire thing together, which was a blast. I think it was an awesome success because they ended up airing it on ABC and other networks around the world. My future plans are to get our own bowl built for the X Games Legends event – possibly a contest. But most of us like the jam format and doing a demo instead of a contests. I want it to turn into a full-blown contest but having the skaters vote on how we will run the event. My main goal is to get the skaters that skated involved and let democracy rule. Then we can stay united and created a positive thing that is fun and professional. It is time for something like this anyway. A lot of people everywhere are excited. I want to thank all the awesome skaters that have been my friends for over 20 years. Thanks to the sponsors, Tech Deck, Skub Bros., Powell and Steadham Skate Industries and especially ESPN and the X Games for allowing us to do our thing. We had the best time slot we could ask for, which was right before the pro vert finals. It was a blessed day. Peace.
The wedding vows were quite unusual. Here’s a sample: “I, Billy Harrison, in the presence of our family and friends, take you, Leah Marshall, to be my wife. I will share my Rainskates wheels with you, lend you my Pro Designed pads and snake you into the bowl when we skate the Ring of Fire. I will even share front cover of www.charliedontskate.com with you.” Leah followed up with her own vows that included the following: “In the presence of God, I, Leah Marshall, take you, Billy Harrison, to be my husband, lifelong partner and friend. I promise to communicate with strength and tenderness for you, promise to always let you know when your skating bores me and that you suck.” After the vows the boyz dropped the bowl with the rings, made a successful delivery and papers were signed. After kissing the bride it was off to the kidney bowl for a skate and then drinks at the Baseball Club. All the MOSS folk, family and friends got to witness and experience the best thing I have seen at the park.
SKATE WEDDING DOWN UNDER By Steve Friedman Photos: David Pang
This summer Omaha, Nebraska was host to the Luis Palau Heartland Festival. Skateboarding along with music and other action demos drew more than 105,000 folks to the two-day event. Greg Fountain is shown here doing a frontside 360 over the BMX jump box. Photo: Mark Fountain. X GAMES LEGENDS EVENT by Steve Steadham, X Games Producer
A gang of legends
I decided to do this exhibition because the X Games needed something like this – for the sake of skateboarding and creating some awesome energy. I originally spoke to ESPN and they showed a lot of interest but did not have
I first heard about Billy Harrison and Leah Marshall’s wedding from Wedge Francis, a MOSS (Melbourne Old School Skaters) crew elder. He wondered how to go about organizing one at the park for them. I was stoked to help out. I called the Frankston City Council and asked how to go about having a wedding at our sk8park. “You want to do what?” was the answer from all the officials I spoke with. They asked who the couple were. Were they locals? When I said they were hardcore sk8ers from the Pines and great role models for the younger skaters, the red-tape was sorted and it was on with the show. Billy was doing his best nervous “husband to be” thing in full tux and tails with sponsor logos on his top hat. Leah’s entrance was something to see – an honor guard of MOSS proportions down to where Billy and the boyz (sons Dareje and Adam) waited along with family and friends for the ceremony to start.
2007 WFSA FREESTYLE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Currently, freestyle is emerging from its underground existence and garnering a new following of devotees. On July 29, 2007, the World Freestyle Championships took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The event was held at Robson Square in the downtown area and drew participants from around the world. Among the standouts in the amateur division were Germans Maxe Jeblick and Christian Opperman. The Masters division (40 years and better) featured a number of talented skaters. Gary Holl came out on top as the new Masters World Champion followed by Lyle Chippaway, Mike McCaughey and Bob Staton. The pro field included skaters from Brazil, Germany, Sweden, USA and Canada. Special thanks to the sponsors of the 2007 World Championship: ARES and the BC Government for the use of Robson Square, sportsinsurance.com, RDS and Center Distribution, SK8KINGS, Powell, Ultimate Distribution, Rona, TabooTiki.com Design Interventions, the YUCA sound crew, CASA.ca and WFSA.
Standing, left to right: Christian Heise (7th - Pro), Lynn Cooper (4th - Pro), Brandon Ross (4th - Am), Ben Farquhar (5th - Am), Bob Staton (4th - Masters), Stefan "Lillis" Akesson (2nd - Pro), Mike McGaughey (3rd Masters), Maxe Jeblick (1st - Am), Gunter Mokulys (5th - Pro), Lyle Chippaway (2nd - Masters), Rene Shigueto (6th - Pro), Per Canguru (3rd - Pro). Sitting, left to right: Starsky Kleinhaus (8th - Pro), Tyrell (6th - Am), Gary Holl (1st - Masters), Christian Opperman (2nd - Am), Kevin Harris (1st - Pro), Jon Bunn (3rd - Am). Results: Masters World Champion 1st Gary Holl (USA) 2nd Lyle Chippaway (Canada) 3rd Mike McCaughey (Canada) Amateur World Champion 1st Maxe Jeblick (Germany) 2nd Christian Opperman (USA) 3rd Jon Bunn (USA)
Brittney Krause at Red Bluff, CA event.
North State Skate Series took place in September and October. More than 60 competitors and 400 spectators showed up at the first event held at the Redding Skatepark. They even had a park slalom event.
Pro World Champion 1st Kevin Harris (Canada) 2nd Stefan “Lillis” Akesson (Sweden) 3rd Per Canguru (Brazil) 4th Lynn Cooper (USA) 5th Gunter Mokulys (Germany) 360s World Champion Gary Holl (USA) 47.5 Kevin Harris (Canada) 45
NEXT WAVE UPDATE Sky Siljeg
Photo: Dan Hughes
What is it about wood that fascinates you? The ability to take something, change its form and make it functional and aesthetically pleasing. There is great satisfaction that comes from creating something with my hands.
increased the size of their order because we were outselling the major competition.
Photo: Chad Thomas
school in the late ‘70s. In 1994 I made myself a longboard to get my carving fix between snowboard trips. A few years ago, my son Taylor became interested in skateboarding, and we made a board together. It wasn't long after that I made myself another longboard. It came natural to fuse my love for wood with the longboard. I began making longboards for my friends who encouraged me to sell them. Things moved quickly and Honey Skateboards was born.
PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
We featured Sky way back in 2004. I was down at the September ASR when I saw his photo in Outside magazine as one of the icon athletes of the next 10 years. Over the past several years, Sky, now 13, has been extremely busy. He has a number of sponsors and has written extensively for Scholastic. “During the Concrete Rodeo Tour 2005 and 2006 I made a lot of great friends from all over the United States,” said Sky. “After winning 2006 CRT series, I was just looking forward to seeing everyone during the contests for ‘07 and really didn’t think about trying to win the series.” (Not that the thought never crossed his mind, but he wasn’t going to be able to make that many contests - he’s that busy!) “The level of skating is coming up insanely, and getting to skate with some of these guys just makes a session really exciting. You lose track of scores and feed off the energy of the session.” Sky says he was pretty stoked to win the championship this year for the men’s CRT tour. “What an honor in a huge group of great riders.” In July, Sky headed up to Whistler for the Gromfest. “It rained pretty hard but it didn’t keep us from having a good time. There were guys from Korea, the Dominican Republic and of course Canada too. That made it even more of an interesting experience.” Sky won the bowl title and 2nd overall for skate. He is currently ranked 27th in North America for World Cup pro bowl. “My sponsors, my mom, and most of all God have been ‘the skaters’ that add the most support for me on a daily basis,” says Sky. “Some look to sponsors for what they get, I look to my sponsors as family because that’s how they treat me. Thanks to Vans, ProTec, Quiksilver, Khiro, Freestyle, Black Flys, Ninja, Motto, Tracker, Randoms, BFC, SBW, AD, Ollie Pop, Dakine, Sno-Con, Tail Devil and Jones.”
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 39
Over 270 skaters showed up for the 2007 Toronto Board Meeting
TORONTO BOARD MEETING September 5th, 2007 By Mike "Smooth Chicken" McGown After 5 years one would think that I wouldn’t be surprised yet again by the number of people we had come this year to Toronto’s annual Board Meeting. This year we pulled over 270 riders out from Eastern Canada, and places as far as Brazil. This puts us as Canada's largest longboard gathering, (in the land of no hills none the less!) As always, Ben Jordan, Matt Dmytrencko, Adam Winston and myself met up prior to the meet time to do a little preemptive planning. This year, there were already 30 odd people outside the subway anxiously waiting. As we gathered in the park, we spotted the Red Bull ladies in full force and the hoards began spilling out of everywhere. They came by cars, bikes, on foot, and on board. The white shirts and neckties were everywhere in the park and you could feel the community truly coming together. We left the park in 2 groups, one to the top of the hill, the other to the bottom, in hopes that we would meet up to continue the ride. This went off without a hitch, and we even got cheers from the second group as we came
40 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2007
Photo: David Pearson / UPDOWN GROUP
Photos: Susan Read
PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
down the hill. The rest is a blur of shouting, directing, screeching tires, and angry cries from rich Hollywood folk in town for the film festival. When we got to Much Music (aka Canada’s version of MTV), the stoke in the air was thick as we lay down in the middle of the intersection. After a killer ride what more could you ask for than a killer party? The event was put on for us by Updown Media Group. We had Lisa Farrows painting a board live, which was given
away later in the evening along with other prizes from Skurf Skates, Longboard Haven, Concrete Wave, and Hogtown Extreme Sports. All this was topped off by the presence of the lovely Budweiser ladies. Even though I continue to say this every year, this year’s Board Meeting was the best one yet! To everyone who showed up, caught it from the street, grabbed a snapshot, or honked in anger, you can be sure we'll be back next year.
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NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
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FLEXDEX Flexdex has a new series of decks called LEAC which stands for the Limited Edition Artist Collection. These feature a number of very intriguing artists. The decks are limited edition, signed and numbered. Flexdex.com UNION STATION Union Station is on track with a line up of old school bowl busters and new school skate machines. The company is truly skater owned and driven with all the product produced in the Pacific Northwest by Rocket Girl Distribution. All boards feature an aggressive concave and hearty kick. The conductors at Union Station Skateboards can be reached at 253.820.5080 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dealers are invited to
contact Rocket Girl Distribution at 503.680.1466 or email email@example.com. CALIFORNIA SKATEPARKS
The Glendale Skate Park in Arizona opened October 6th 2007. The 26,000-square-foot facility was built by California Skateparks and created by Colby Carter in collaboration with Site Design. The skatepark is designed to accommodate all types of riders of all ages and levels of ability. Of particular note is a clover bowl with three pockets ranging from 7’, 9’ and 10’ deep. In addition to this world class skatepark there is a 1,400-square-foot pro shop and concession building adjacent to the facility. Californiaskateparks.com
Las Vegas local and Revdeck rider Jason Majdanski age 11 Photo: Rich Burton
SK8KINGS 360 King Spinners — All new rock hard urethane 360 Wheels modeled after the original Richy Carrasco signature wheel from the 70’s. Not quite ready for steel? Here’s your solution! Sold in sets of 2. Crown Jewels 55mm are now available in 95a durometer. They are the same
favorite design but are softer to handle really rough or super slick surfaces. Black gold printed both sides. sk8kings.com or 714-636-7308
Photo: Colby Carter
RIVERA The newest edition to the Rivera line is the elite Artist Series, the first of which features work by artist Jay Alders. The concept behind Riviera is to make a wide-variety of boards that appeal to as diverse a crowd that surrounds the company. All boards come complete with Paris Trucks, 83A durometer wheels, ABEC 5 precision speed bearings and hand cut griptape. Jayalders.com or riverialongboards.com
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 43
SEND_LETTERS_TO>>firstname.lastname@example.org I keep saying, “This is the last board I buy,“ but I keep trying something that I think will work better. Take care. John L., Morehead City, NC
THE CHINESE CONNECTION
. The Armstrong Familyrong st m Ar Photo: Veronica LETTER OF THE MONTH RECEIVES A PRIZE PACK FROM
ROCKET SCIENCE – letter of the month Been sk8n since `62 – metal wheels, tar and chip, what’s a poor boy to do? Finished my one and only year of college in ‘67. Sk8n died that year and I missed the obituary entirely. With the advent of modern sk8 equipment in late ‘75, I jumped in big time. The first evening we arrived at our new store there were a dozen kids all sk8n out front, trying every current move at the time There was one, tall black kid with catlike balance that the other kids where chiding. ‘’Ask ‘em for a job, Pat!” My partner Billy said, ‘’Ask him to be on the team, Boug!’’ We had three years of great memories and we all did a lot of growing up. By early ‘79 all the Wal-Marters had returned to the business and it really ruined that part of sk8n for us. Pat enlisted in the Air Force, I bailed for the beach. A true reward. A month ago I get a call: “Hey, this is Pat Hall, how ya doin’? You got twin girls too! Oh man – haven’t sk8td in a while but probably still could.“ I got him to meet me at Olney Manor sk8 park north of D. C. He gets there, we hug, punch each other, laugh at the changes. He’s wearing a Com-Sat hat and I say, “What do you do, Pat?” and he says, “I control satellites in space.” I asked, “Do you control the thrusters?” and he says “Oh, yeah!” I looked over at my wife and said, “What do ya think – from sk8brdng to rocket science!“ I was so proud of him, I thought I was going to have to change my Depends. Jus’ here 2 sk8. Bougie, Bethany Beach, Delaware QUIVER PROBLEM? BLAME CW! I just wanted to let you know that you are probably responsible for about 20-30 extra boards that I have now. For years I was content with a 30” wood Hobie for cruizing and a 30” DT Bulldog for the banks (yes, it was about to fall apart). Yeah, I had other boards, i.e. a 24” Bahne [and a] 27” Sims. When you came out with International Longboarder, you announced that Wes [Humpston] had a new company called Bulldog’s Art. I was hooked. It’s been fun. I was a far better skater when I was 15, but so what. At 45 now I have a board for my every mood and I am having just as much fun.
44 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2007
Editor’s Note: This e-mail was sent more than two years ago, but it never reached us. We are publishing it, however, since China still seems to be as relevant a topic as ever. After that opening spread showing the new skatepark in Shanghai (Vol. 4 No. 3), you invited readers to weigh in on the issue of China. I’m glad you did this, and I hope that some others take you up on it. There seems to be a weird, knee-jerk, pseudo-patriotic backlash against Chinese-made products. It’s a sad state of affairs when ad copy needs to tell us first and foremost where the product was NOT made. Is that REALLY the first thing that I should know about your gear? I can think of some more important features myself. I would invite readers to consider that the grossly exploited workers who are cranking out decks in China aren’t the ones to blame for poor product quality and job losses, either. We should take a look at the Western companies who are contracting all that stuff out to sweatshop labor and pocketing the difference. Then, we ought to check all of our labels and see where the soft goods we wear are made. Chances are they aren’t made in the First World, either. I hope, then, that maybe some people will tell these companies that if they want us to ride their stuff or wear their clothes, then they can also pay fair wages, quit shutting factories down and jacking profits up. Things are getting too scary in the world right now to let this anti-Chinese thing go unchecked. China has its problems – awful human rights policy and frightening environmental practices to start – both of which don’t show any signs of getting better. But instead of encouraging skaters and advertisers both to engage in this kind of quasi-jingoism, maybe it’s time that we look at the other side. China wouldn’t be turning out cheap products if the dollars weren’t flowing their way. P.S. This letter was written some time ago and then misplaced well before the current wave of Chinese-made product recalls. I think it still holds up. It’s great that companies still make hard goods in the United States, but what about their vast clothing lines? I recently e-mailed a shoe company that will be forever linked to skating, and told them they should move their factories back to California. Their response was that their “soul would always be there” – even though their production jobs would not. I still wear their shoes for the simple reason that it is almost impossible to find skate shoes that are not imported. All I can say in retrospect is support your local businesses when you can, but don’t just do it because they aren’t Chinese. Do it because they make a product with integrity, and because they support the community that allows them to exist. Damon S., Portland, Oregon
SAFETY CONCERNS I am writing regarding the Fall 2007 issue. Safety equipment is something most (it seems) want to avoid. [Yet] not only can it save your life, but it also shows responsibility. I can’t help but feel not wearing it fuels the negative outlook of the anti-skate (too harsh?) crowd. Believe it or not some of us are still fighting for just a decent spot to skate. Decision makers (county commissioners, etc.) see the sport as dangerous and jump on any opportunity such as a death/ severe injury to say “See, I told you!” I have been skating a long time and have found that there always has to be some compromise. Maybe an industry push promoting safety equipment (such as your closing line) can open more doors. Please know that I understand people view change geographically, etc., and not everyone will wear pads, but I can’t see where wearing them could ever HURT our sport. Thanks for all your hard work. Barry M., Appling, Georgia
P.S. Kids also need to know that injuries suffered early in life hurt a hell of a lot more as you grow older – trust me! HA!
Since our last issue, the Maryhill Festival of Speed turned out even better than predicted, so read about that elsewhere in the mag for a report and, if you’ve ever thought about speedboarding, start making your travel plans, now. Labor Day weekend is going to be all about Maryhill in ’08. Hey, it’s winter, so here’s some stuff to warm ya up:
Collegiate Speedboarders! Longboarders are making it a reality at colleges and universities. If the school won’t sport you a team, bus and some goofballs in cheer outfits, form a “rec club” and do it yourself. Oregon State and the U of Northern Colorado have clubs already. Western Michigan U and Texas Tech students are forming clubs while several University of California campuses have launched speedboarding clubs that will be contesting for points in a collegiate cup series! Will the Triton Speedboarders crush the Bruins or the Cal Bears? Get your own club going! It’s a chance to meet more skaters, set up sessions and push the limits on campus.
Skate the Night! It’s getting dark earlier or, if you’re up North, it might even seem like it’s dark almost all the time. Hey, that’s what illuminated parking garages are for! Set up your slide session on the ramps and slopes, then dig the smooth slide of frozen ‘thane. Toss a headlamp on your helmet and bomb the streets – they’re practically empty at night and what cop’s gonna believe skaters are in the park when it’s freezing outside?! Skate it!
Longboarders Rip Bonelli All Winter
IGSA’s California DH Series returns to the Los Angeles area, with five races in Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park and the IGSA North American Championships. The Series started in October, so check out the race reports online (just hit “IGSA Coverage” on our front page) and the “NorAms” will take place in the middle of November. Last year, Noah Sakamoto railed the Corner of Death, dominating a field including ’06 World Champion Tom Edstrand and this year’s winner of the World Cup at Maryhill, “Scoot” Smith, to take the Championship. With an even larger field in ’07, it’s going to be faster out there, too. Depending when you read this, get online for directions to the race or full reports on all the action. Is it freezing cold or sunny and warm for your winter? Hey, that Al Gore freak caused all this global warming, so it’s anyone’s
guess! That politics ain’t for us: we’re skatin’! When you’re looking for some stoke to get yourself out there or have some to share back, check in with your global skate family on the ‘Fish. Download the Evolutions DVD if you didn’t
get one last month, check out the winter editions of our Board Builders’ Contests and our Christmas Wish List or find out about a little surprise we’ve got for skaters late this season: a wheel produced by our favorite mad scientist!
Snow means Nothing!
When you're looking for some stoke to get yourself out there or have some to share back, check in with your global skate family on the ‘Fish. Download Evolutions if you didn't get the DVD last month, check out the winter editions of our Board Builders' Contests or find a little surprise we’ve got for skaters late this season: a wheel produced by our favorite mad scientist!
JEFF TATUM: Where did you live during your skate pioneering hay-day and where do you live now? CHRIS STROPLE: I was actually born in Pasadena, CA and grew up in Sierra Madre. Primarily skated locally as there was quite a bit of diverse terrain, ranging from hillside reservoirs, drainage ditches, great hills and of course an incredible amount of pools. I started traveling with the advent of the skatepark, the first being Montebello. That is where I met Wally. We skated the Baldy Pipe and got wind of the park that they were going to build in Upland, the Pipeline. We saw it first as chalk on dirt, and then dug out. At that time nothing was that big. I moved to Upland in 1977, for a short time, and then migrated to North County with Curtis Hesslegrave who was living out on a ranch in Encinitas. Then, moved in with Brad Strandlund, Waldo, Ed Economy, Curt Kimbel, and Wally in Cardiff Circa 1974 by the Sea, and started working on the Del Mar Skate Ranch. Currently, I am living in Monrovia, back in the 626/SGV.
AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS STROPLE BY JEFF TATUM
48 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2007
Photo: Tom "Wally" Inouye
skated with Chris Strople quite a bit in the latter half of both our hay-days. Chris had a very unique style and approach to skating. The only way I can describe it is a trippy mix of San Diego and Los Angeles kamikaze scientist influences. Chris Strople gets in this certain zone when he skates with a trademark look of crazy determination in his eyes and comfortably clenched fists, which is very different than his mellow off skateboard personality. Circa 2006 when Chris started making his semi-comeback from once being one of the most influential aerialists and pioneers of skating Chris constantly was testing himself, constantly inventing and pushing limits. Everything Chris achieved on a skateboard was purely from his natural talent and imagination. None of this stuff had ever been done before. There was no one to copy or emulate. No right or wrong way, every moment was innovation. There was a very small exclusive subculture of skaters in LA and San Diego that had enough natural talent, dedication, luck and time on their hands to unintentionally start the American skate revolution kind of like the Beatles of skating. Chris Strople is one of the original pioneers, achievers and inventors of skateboarding in bowl shaped terrain during the 70’s and 80’s in the deep underground of Southern California and Los Angeles, CA, USA. Chris had a big part in shaping the American Southern California skate subculture that debuted in the 70’s and blazed a few trails for the next generation of skaters to come. Most skaters don’t realize that Chris Strople was one of a hand full of guys that took air on a skateboard to a level that left the next generaStrople tion of skaters confident that anything is Jeff Tatum and Chris possible and the sky’s the limit when it comes to skate air. Chris Strople is a legend among those with knowledge of original skate history after a 20-year hiatus from serious skating. Chris is back. He couldn’t resist his calling and joined the growing resurgence of first generation skaters to claim their piece of secondgeneration skate history. —JT
In the 70’s & 80’s you were one of the master aerialists, probably in the top 8 to 10 guys in the world for big air. You were one of the first guys to get air and invent aerial tricks. Tell me how, why and when your knack for sic air started. Aerials were the next step in vertical, as skaters mastered the lip in the 70’s. Primarily I honed my aerial in pools. The “Alley Oop” was done first at the Seal Bowl in Arcadia, 1976. I made my first hand plant later that year. Getting air was just a natural progression from all the tricks that were happening inside the bowl. The only place to go was up and out. The envelope was pushed early with Tay Hunt, probably the best and most “Bionic” of all vert skaters at that time. The Badlanders, Curt Kimbel, Charlie Ransom, Steve Evans, the Alba’s (Steve and Micke), Lee Gaheimer and Harvey Hawks were collectively the most hardcore bowl skaters in the late 70’s. You had the “Worm” Kevin Anderson, Doug Schneider and Greg Ayers that spent time out there tearing it up. San Diego had its share of good skaters, and also tons of energy. Murray, Gunnar, JT, Grant, Pineapple, Dennis Martinez and the young guys coming up that we skated with at Del Mar, Tony Hawk, Gator, Tex, and many more that had a major impact on the sport today. JT: In the day, you appeared in skate mags and media tons
of times. How many times have you appeared and in what mags? CS: I appeared in Skateboarder Magazine, Skateboard World and Thrasher. One picture that made my day was in the 25th anniversary issue of Wide World of Sports. Imagine a skater in the company of the best athletes in the world. They were way ahead of their time recognizing skateboarding as a sport. I also appeared in some films and commercials. JT: Did you ever make a significant amount of money from skating? CS: I made enough to skate and surf, eat three squares a day and keep a roof over my head. The rest was all gravy. Unfortunately, today’s skaters are still grossly exploited. I just came from the Pacific Northwest and witnessed the most blatant exploitation of current skaters by a promoter in a long time. Sure we skate for the love of it as professionals, but when a judge gets paid more to judge than what the pro made when he won the contest it is sickening. The bastards lined their pockets at the expense of the skaters. Kharma will catch up with them or some pissed off skaters will fix it. Also, the Jake Brown fall and how he was cared for was a complete travesty. The non-medical attention that kid received was a joke. Look at how a football player is cared for if they think there is any head or spinal injury. The idiots could have ruined his life. They turn him over, make him sit up and then make him walk after a forty-foot drop. He should own the network. The last contests I watched there were no qualified medical people at all. With the coin that ESPN makes on the X games, and all the extreme sports, that would be the first thing they would address. JT: Give me a brief summary of your skate history. CS: I started at six on an old Vita Pak board, then got my first Black Knight. I skated freestyle, slalom, and downhill, in the early seventies at a number of municipal contests, and com-
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 49
peted in the California State Championships in ’74. I started skating pools shortly thereafter. JT: What skate injuries have you had? CS: I’ve never had a skate injury just hunting accidents. JT: Do you wear briefs or boxers? CS: Commando JT: What five skaters do you think are the coolest, your favorite, made the best contribution to skating – whatever? CS: No single skater, everybody that skates contributes and helps it grow and continue. The guys that kept it going in the late 80’s and bridged the gap to where it is now. Guys like Lance Mountain, Ben Schroeder, Tony Hawk, Jeff Grosso, Salba, Tony Hallam, and Christian, and the rest. They all still rip.
us create that again in a deck thirty years later. JT: You decided to manufacture your new deck under the Pool King label, why? CS: They’re good guys that make good stuff. JT: What terrains do you enjoy skating the most? CS: Vertical, vertical reservoirs, ditches, vertical banks, hills, no buttjack. JT: Do you like to eat octopus? CS: Only on Thursdays.
CS: It already has. As I said, thirty years ago that when it hits the Olympics, I will be fulfilled. I always thought that skateboarders were the some of the best athletes in any sport. You could put any of the top skaters today with any of the top football, baseball, and basketball players and they are their equals. Commercially, it would never affect the core of skateboarding. Money and major corporations will never be able to crack the core. Just ask the skaters in Washington and Oregon, extreme. By the ratings skating gets on Photo: Jeff Ament network TV, I’d say it is hitting the mainstream hard and will only continue to grow. The growth of skateparks alone is fueling a whole new era. Just wait a few years…. JT: If you were among a group of people and you got an itchy butt would you just itch it right there or suffer until you found a clever way to hide it? CS: I would have the wife itch it.
JT: How does your addiction to skating affect your life, negatively or positively or both? CS: Always a positive. You could be addicted to worse things. Skating cures the to Washington and Oregon skateparks. Chris and Tom “Wally” Inouye during their trip mind and body. It changes JT: Do you believe in your mental focus instantly. If ghosts, UFO’s or psychics? not you’ll be lying on the bottom of some CS: Sasquatch. JT: What type of wheels, pads, trucks, shoes, bowl, dinged. bearings and bushings do you ride? CS: I’m currently checking several wheels, RainJT: Do you have a favorite movie, band or JT: Why have you made a recent comeback to skates, BDS mini dubs, Pool King, SPF’s. For book or all three? skating after a long hiatus? trucks, I ride Tracker Sixtracks and Indys. BearCS: Movies; Animal House, Allegro non ings Rockin Ron’s Ballistic steel, Ninja’s. Pads Troppo. Bands; Pearl Jam, Boney James. CS: It never leaves the blood. You can supand helmet by Pro-Tec. Shoes, Vans and Nike. Books; anything by Clive Cussler, Robert press it for a while but it will just haunt you Jordan, Terry Brooks. until you do it. With the resurrection of local community skateparks, Opie, Wally, Jeff, Big JT: What do you think of the whole pads vs. John, Moke, Ranger Gene, Colin, and quite a no pads controversy? JT: Are you married with children? few other bro’s that just skate. My mountain CS: There shouldn’t be any. People express CS: Married, no kids, but the best wife in the bike tires are flat and the golf clubs are rusting themselves their way, with pads, without pads. world. these days, but I have a great quiver of skates. They are still all skaters. JT: What goals in skating do you have this JT: Do you think a woman could make a good JT: You had one of the most successful deck time around? President? models with Caster. Rumor has it for the first CS: The same as the first time around. Skate CS: Someday. time in 20 years or so you will be releasing a and have fun, enjoy life. Great sessions with new self designed signature deck. What’s up the bros. JT: What is up for the future? with that? CS: More road tours with the bro’s. 50. JT: Why do you think skateboarding will probTony just turned 50, looks like we will all be CS: The boys at Pool King, Mike Early and you ably never reach the commercial mainstream going strong for the next 50. Keep smiling, came to me with the idea of doing a deck. My level as football, baseball, etc? And is that stay healthy, and live life to the fullest. luck, Jim at Watson is still around and rememgood or bad for skating? Skate hard….. CW bers the days of quality not quantity and helped
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PRODUCTS SMA – STIGMATA Among the latest offerings from the legendary Skip Engblom and his epic brand, Santa Monica Airlines, is a pair of all-terrain longboards based on the renowned SMA Longboard from around 1988. Skip is actually offering two versions of the deck; the larger at 38.75” x 10.25” with a 20” wheelbase and the smaller at 37” x 9.5” with a 19” wheelbase. While based on the SMA Longboard, the Stigmata decks are not as radical insofar as the multi-dimensional concave and rocker that actually saw several of the prototypes break in the mold. But it’s all there, including the rocker, it’s just a little subdued in comparison – and incredibly functional. The other difference between the Stigmata and the O.G. SMA Longboard is that Skip was able to reproduce the original artwork by legendary artist Kevin Ancell in full detail rather than the minimized graphics on the late ‘80s version. So it not only feels good and performs like a dream, it looks pretty rad too. The result is nothing short of a spectacular board that seemingly wants to soar at every opportunity and can serve multiple duties as a pool/park machine, street cruiser, pipe blaster, ditch stick or downhill demon. In other words, the Stigmatas are a whole lot of fun. smaskateboards.com
NEVER SUMMER – NORAD Concrete Wave had an opportunity to visit the Never Summer factory in Denver, Colorado and watch how these decks were made. The cool thing about Never Summer is that they have taken all their knowledge of snowboard manufacturing and design and channelled it into skateboarding. The Norad has a personality all its own and is perfect for both general cruising and pumping madly down a hill. The Norad has a springy, responsive energy that feels great. It’s the variety of ingredients – wood, carbon fiber and composite materials – that give the deck its character. Rubber dampening is also used to absorb vibrations. The result is one hell of a smooth ride. Never Summer also pay special attention to details. The P-Tex tip and tail bumpers protect the board from impact and reduce damage. Even the Norad graphic is laid in via a special process, and it really pops. Available in 38” and 40”. neversummer.com CW
See more reviews on-line at concretewavemagazine.com HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 51
TAKING THE RISK
AN INTERVIEW WITH MIMI KNOOP BY AVRA KOUFFMAN Photos by Brian Fick
Mimi Knoop, 4-time X-Games vert medalist, is not the kind of person to sit around complaining when things aren’t going her way. Instead, she takes action. Concern for women in skateboarding led her and Cara-Beth Burnside to found the Alliance, which works to improve conditions for women in the sport. In 2005, Alliance skaters lobbied to increase the women’s prize purse and exposure at X-Games. The result? The prize purse is now almost 10 times what it was in 2005. Mimi feels a stronger industry focus on women will benefit companies and skaters both. She tells CW why companies should take the risk and feature female skaters
AK: Why doesn’t the skateboard industry focus more heavily on the female side of the sport? Mimi: It may be different for each companybut I think that a lot of companies have been dealing with only the boys for so long that they’re less aware what’s going on in the female market at present. Over 25% of skateboarders are girls now. That’s more than 3 million, just in America. A couple of years ago, girls only made up about 11% of all skaters, so we’re one of the fastest-growing parts of the industry. There are already a handful of companies that have had their women’s line outsell their men’s line. As for publicity, it’s starting to change a little bit. The big surfing and snowboarding magazines are already giving more editorial coverage to the girls. With skateboarding, it almost seems like everyone’s waiting for someone else to do it first. Maybe magazines are worried girls won’t be seen as hardcore — or that it won’t be as accepted as promoting male street skaters. But despite the odds, some magazines are already starting to feature the girls — little by little. Either way, girls are skating better than ever now and there’s more and more of them out there. The iron is hot. AK: Would you rather get better coverage in the industry magazines or see women skaters in mainstream mags? Mimi: I think it would be good to see both happen more. For girls, the mainstream market is good because we can be hugely versatile. Girls can bring in sponsors that maybe the boys couldn’t, like a make-up sponsor. There are so many magazines that girls buy, it’s unreal. So that could be an obvious way to reach the mainstream market. And of course, it’s always respected if you’re a girl and you land a photo in one of the big industry magazines — so that could earn girls more respect from other skaters and the industry itself. These things are already starting to happen — it’s just a matter of time before it becomes commonplace. I think overall it’s a wider market for us. If you’re a girl you can still be a ripping skater and also be seen as attractive or feminine. You can be both at the same time and earn respect — that is, if you do it in a tasteful way. It’s a doubleedged sword. AK: So you feel the industry should use pro skaters to advertise instead of professional models?
Mimi: Well, of course I think so — being a female skateboarder myself, and trying to survive. But honestly, not only because of that; a lot of girls out there don’t even know girls skate. I myself didn’t know of any other girl skaters until I moved to California six years ago. I had never even seen another girl skate — but once I did, I started to progress and feel more confident with my own skating. It helps to see girls skating at a professional level. It’s intimidating to be the only girl in town that skates; I’ve been there, so I know from personal experience. If there was more exposure, girls would be less intimidated, the participation numbers would go up and so would the ability level — standards would be reset faster. Girls would be ripping harder.
But you don’t have to be a skater to think it’s cool, either. I have a lot of girlfriends back home on the East Coast who are stoked on skating, and you’d never catch them on a board. But they’d be hyped if they saw a girl skater in an ad/or magazine. They’d be like, “That’s so cool. I’ll support this company and buy from them.” That’s why Nikita is so cool. They use athletes to promote their clothes. Heida, the owner, skates and snowboards herself. She has always promoted her clothing line through her athletes and made it work. AK: It sounds like a win-win situation. If women’s skating becomes more popular, the industry also benefits. Mimi: The industry could potentially make a huge profit. It’s already starting to, by just promoting the skate lifestyle to girls. But it would be really cool to see the major brands/companies support the actual (girl) skaters out there — instead of hiring models to represent their product. The industry would still be generating all those dollar bills, but they could also be using
their “powers that be” to help grow the sport for the ladies at the same time. AK: Can you tell us about how you were able to raise ESPN’s purse for women skaters in the X-Games? Mimi: At the 2005 X-Games, the majority of us pro girls, street/vert, decided at the last minute to not skate in our contests. It wasn’t premeditated — we literally had a meeting in an L.A. hotel room the night before, and the next day we didn’t show up to skate; it was about becoming united in a way, to create a voice for ourselves; to be heard. That caught the attention of some higher-ups at X-Games, and we negotiated a meeting to sit down and have one voice for the girls. We didn’t demand money or exposure, we just wanted to be acknowledged and have more input at our own events. So the ESPN contact(s) said they would listen if we promised to skate, so we all ended up skating. A whole year later, not much had happened in terms of progress — a bunch of meetings and promises came and went without much action. By the 2006 X-Games, we negotiated yet another last-minute meeting on the night before the women’s vert contest. This time it was between myself, CB Burnside, our Alliance manager/lawyer, Drew Mearns, and the president of ESPN. We had a very positive meeting, and after that, the prize purses were raised — almost tripled compared to 2005 — and we received a little more exposure, with the promise of more for the next year and future. This past X-Games in 2007 our prize purse was increased yet again to an all-time high, but we’re still waiting for some decent television exposure. We’ll be following up with ESPN this month to discuss next year’s event and how we can keep working together to improve things for the girls in skateboarding. Since our first accomplishments with ESPN, many of the other major skate contests have followed suit and raised their prize purses for the girls as well. The trickle-down effect has set a new standard in contest winnings. This will no doubt only improve the level of skating at these events, and therefore create more opportunities for the ladies. To work with the Alliance, potential sponsors and corporate CW enterprises are invited to go to.
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 53
MARYHILL FESTIVAL by Erik Basil ave you ever come off of a fast carving session or a killer, heart-in-your-throat bombing run and, fueled by that unique mixture of adrenalin, speed and urethane drifts, just wished you could have a private road of your own for a day? Would your private road have any turns? How about 17 full-on curves, including multiple hairpins that arc around more than 180 degrees, esses, decreasing-radius turns and sweepers, all on fresh pavement? Would it be like that? How would it be with 200 of your newest best friends, lifts to the top of the hill and a giant party that goes for days? Pipe dream? Hell, no: it was the “Ex Drinks Maryhill Festival of Speed”! For five days in September, skateboarders converged on Goldendale, Washington and took literally thousands of runs down a nearly-three mile long road alongside other gravity-addicts there to savor the festival atmosphere, camping, live bands, parties, incredible hospitality of the host city, World Cup Racing and skateboard racing’s triumphant final event of the year.
Photo: Malakai Kingston and Erik Basil
Maryhill Loops Road is the oldest paved road in the Northwest, designed to accommodate commercial traffic between the Columbia River and the town of Goldendale, Washington, 2000 feet above. In the days of slow vehicles and even horse-drawn wagons, a gentle grade was very important. Switchbacks, called “loops” at the time, were the order of the day and, man, does this one have them! Once deemed the “most dangerous road in the Northwest” due to the number of people careening over the high side of the hairpin turns, it’s now closed to vehicular traffic without a special permit (automobile commercials are often filmed here), so it’s nirvana for motorcyclists, vintage cars and skateboard racers. The 5% grade sounds mellow and it’s a “45-mph hill” for speedboards but, as so many unfortunate motorists once found out, it’s all about the turns! The downhill skateboard racing world knows all about Maryhill, and skaters converged on the Festival of Speed from all over North America, Europe, South America, New Zealand and even the Middle East. Over 100 skaters hit the hill during four days of freeriding, friendly grudge matches and timed
The twelve guys in the finals and consi were the fastest collection of downhillers I’ve ever seen. — Chris Chaput
qualifying for an IGSA World Cup race on the fifth day of the Festival. The World Cup race featured top-echelon gravity racers in streetluge, classic luge, gravity bikes, inline DH and 96 of the fastest men and women in DH skateboarding. Multiple current and former IGSA World Champions were hanging it all out next to the next generation of banzai longboarders on Maryhill’s freshly resurfaced pavement, run after run, after run, whether in large packs of free-riders, the single-competitor, time-trial qualifying or heats of six in the IGSA race. The photos you see here are the smallest of samples and there are links on the next page to many more, along with video.
Patterned after the large IGSA races held in Europe every year, the “Ex Drinks Maryhill Festival of Speed” was conceived and promoted by Volcanic Productions to be much more than even the largest skateboard races in North America. With the full support of the City of Goldendale and big dollar sponsors Ex Drink and Abec11, the Festival offered five days of free camping with a skate park, live bands with a beer garden at the campground and amazing athlete hospitality from the town. Hundreds showed up.Each morning began with breakfast prepared by townsfolk that crawled out of bed before dawn, and then the campground would empty with a stream of cars and vans headed for Maryhill Loops Road. Once on the hill, the Festival of Speed was all about multiple runs and the opportunity to skate with gravity racers from around the world. No two turns on Maryhill are alike. From the top of the hill, speed comes quickly and then you’re into the curves. Six turns later, you’re cutting left, right, left, zigging through the chicane known as “Spaghetti”, then down, down, down the “Never-Ender Left” that twists around 270 degrees before dumping you into a 90 degree right turn and a straightaway leading to the next set of turns. After six more turns, there’s an infamous “loop” that starts with a 90-left into a descending hairpin to the right known as Cowser’s corner. This leads into a straight descent and one last sweeping left turn as the course flattens out to a finish-line area. The radar gun pinged skaters at the entry to the turn at 45mph and the grippling sound of uber-thane wheels as packs dove into Cowser’s on the ragged edge of control was like what you’d hear pulling duct tape off your kitchen floor!
Photo: Michael Speke
OF RUNS, THE “FESTIVAL OF SPEED.”
45mph above Cowser’s
The freshly resealed pavement had been broken in by some local skaters, and a motorcycle event two weeks earlier, but still stained wheels with tar-like streaks and ground them into coned submission. With a pair of giant box trucks constantly shuttling full loads to the top of the hill, there were over 600 runs before lunch on the first day! By the third morning, nearly 1,500 runs down the hill on skateboards, luges, etc.had polished the surface with long lines visible in some photos and fresh wheels stayed a lot cleaner. If you didn’t bring spare wheels, you wished you had! Each night, the festival moved back to Ekone Park, right in the middle of Goldendale, where the town allowed free camping and opened their small-scale skate park up for locals and visitors to shred before dinner and well after dark, thanks to the headlights of parked cars. Local radio and newspaper coverage alerted the area to a meet-the-athletes/autograph session sponsored by McDonalds that had crowds lined up out the door to meet racers, and then McDonald’s gave every racer certificates for free food! Everywhere skaters went in town, grins and welcomes were on every face, including the Mayor and Chief of Police. Orangefiist premiered their skateboard movie, Livin’ Free, in the Jr. High auditorium to a mixed crowd of skaters and locals while others enjoyed fresh-grilled dinner right in the park with homemade desserts and sides.Giant picnic tables were filled – a nightly feast of friends in many languages. After the third day of ripping down Maryhill, the Festival really stepped into high gear. The afternoon had been filled with timed qualifying runs for the IGSA World Cup and everyone was stoked to hear about the outcome of the Never Summer Top Qualifier contest for downhill skateboarding. 2007 IGSA World Champion Martin Siegrist took the $300 premium in a brief ceremony on the stage in Ekone Park, and then the second band of the night, Van-
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Erban with a young fan
couver, Canada’s “Loose Tooth” hit the stage with Goldendale’s first punk concert in 20 years. Bedlam, thrash and stoke! Another band followed, as did more midnight skate park action and tent-city parties in the campground. Race Day followed. After the parties, you might have expected a lot of bleary eyes at breakfast. You’d have been right to, but among the racers shivering in the post-dawn line for hot, fresh food were many with a deceivingly calm demeanor: the best skaters in the world
MORE MARY: Thousands of photos were taken by several pro photographers, including Jon Huey, Jonah Gilmore and John Longfellow. Links to their galleries are listed at Silverfish Longboarding.com, along with Maryhill shots in the galleries there. Daily Race Reports and more are under the IGSA Racing tab on the ‘Fish, too. The official website is: maryhillfestivalofspeed.com Video: Hit YouTube and search “Maryhill” IGSA rules are at: gravity-sports.com would be on the hill and it was going to be fast. On the course, sunny skies, a few high clouds and light (by Maryhill standards) breezes couldn’t have been any better for the 96 speedboarders heading up the hill in giant box trucks. Siegrist was in the first heat of six racers to launch down the hill, just after 1pm, and the race was on! Over the next few hours,
Reimer and Lang in Turn 17
it was a non-stop series of eliminations leading to an incredible series of semi-, consi- and final-heats that moved along all day, flawlessly. Abec 11’s sponsorship of the DH Skateboarding class resulted in a cash purse of $2,500.00 and, as the rounds went on, the competition became more and more intense. The crowds in the final curve and finish line area were stoked by a team effort from the announcers: Bricin “Striker” Lyons radioed in color commentary from the start line overlook, which gave him a perspective over almost ¾ of the course. Turn for turn, pass for pass, he called the race, sometimes so excitedly that the radio was overwhelmed and all spectators could hear was an excited roar, punctuated by a pause and then an enthusiastic, “Whoaaaah!” From Striker, the commentary would transfer to former IGSA Streetluge World Champion David Dean, who’d report the radar speeds taken at the bottom of the straight above Cowser’s Corner and then call each heat to the line. Dean kept a constant patter of information, details about the racers and results pouring out of the public address system as spectators screamed at the racers in the final turns and during the lunges for the finish line. The crowd was going nuts and there was even some wagering taking place on the sidelines! By the time racing reached the semi-finals, the heats were amazing in terms of the level of competition! Minor mistakes or daring moves were the determining factors as racers came through Cowser’s tight and fast, together. Out of the first semi, it was Martin Siegrist, Nathan Lang and Noah Sakamoto in a blistering run that sent those three to the final round. The second semi-final featured Kevin Reimer, Tom Edstrand, Fredrik Lindstrom, Scoot Smith, Mischo Erban and J.M. Duran. Mischo had been the top qualifier on day one, K-Rimes was skating at the top of his game with big grins visible through his windscreen, Edstrand was
Photo: Jonah Gilmore
Photos: Malakai Kingston and Erik Basil
FIVE DAYS, 150 ATHLETS, THOUSANDS
“Spaghetti” into the “Never-Ender Left”
looking aero and aggressive in Cowser’s and the unflappable Scott “Scoot” Smith had qualified faster than all but Siegrist. These heats were so strong they could have been finals at any other race in the world. They came down the hill, ripped through the final turn with Scoot on the inside line next to Erban as ’06 World Champion Edstrand came down in a surge to pass and then, Wham!! Edstrand was into the hay on the outside of the final turn, his only spill of the weekend, and Erban carried his outside line speed for the top spot. K-Rimes and Scoot followed him in for slots in the finals. That set the stage for an epic contest between Lang, Sakamoto, Siegrist, Erban, Reimer and Smith. At the call from the top of the hill, Striker was now howling like a monkey, nearly impossible to understand but conveying the intensity of the battle for position going on in the early turns. As they came into spectators’ view, streaking down the “Cattle Gate Straight”, it was Siegrist in the lead! Martin was followed closely by Scoot and K-Rimes. They went out of our view and headed down toward Cowser’s Corner. As with many runs at Maryhill, the entire race was won and lost at Cowser’s. Siegrist took the traditional fast line, with a wide entrance and an angle to the inside. Scoot saw
The Money Shot: Scoot wins it
Unbelievable! I will plan for next year on my flight home! — Matthias Lang Siegrist make the move and just went for a last-ditch move down the almost-impossible fully inside line. He leaned, gripped, ripped and somehow managed to keep his wheels from sliding out, which would have spelled disaster for him and Siegrist, together. K-Rimes latched onto Scoot and they train-rolled past Siegrist as Erban also lunged forward. Then, they were hard into the left-hand sweeper before the Finish Line, four of the six nearly elbow-to-elbow. Erban went wide to avoid hitting Scoot and Siegrist ground his hip into hay bales to avoid crashing with Reimer. Scoot and Erban led to the line with Erban gaining ground. As they came over the line, Scoot could see the nose of Mischo’s board, knew he had it and threw his arms up with a scream that we could only see over the roaring crowd lining the finish area. The final results were: 1. Scott “Scoot” Smith; 2. Mischo Erban; 3. Kevin Reimer; 4.
Martin Siegrist; 5. Nate Lang; 6. Noah Sakamoto. The party started in the run out area below the finish line and kept going all night, right through the steak & shrimp dinner, awards ceremony and a concert with Seattle bands Point One and Tempered Cast. In the middle of it all, after Scoot and the other Festival of Speed Champions had been awarded their giant “checks” (cashed immediately with stacks of C-notes in promoter John Ozman’s hand) the incredible schwag giveaway took place. At the racecourse, there had been boxes of t-shirts, wheels, DVDs and a few boards handed out to stoked spectators, but what followed was the Mother of All Schwag: dozens and dozens of completes, decks, wheels, shirts, videos… locals, skaters, everybody was in on the melee! When that was all over, Marcus Rietema announced that the 2008 IGSA World Championships will be at the Maryhill Festival of Speed. It will be the week before Labor Day and, if perfect weather, an incredible road, a super town, a giant family of stoked skaters and the most intense racing of the season are any indication, you’re going to want to be in Goldendale on August 27-31, 2008! Get your gear, get your longboard and be there! CW
Photo: Michael Speke
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 57
VIRGINIA RAMPS n the last issue of Concrete Wave, we began a three part series covering some killer ramps from the state of Virginia. The ramp covered, Annandale Ramp, was one of the best early ( ), do it yourself, take it to the woods, f**k you we just wanna skate ramps. However, the ramp covered in this issue, Cedar Crest Country Club, took vert ramps to whole new level. Cedar Crest Country Club (CCCC) was one of the finest ramps in history, and surely the finest anywhere between 1986 and 1991, I don’t care what coast you were on. Tom “Twister” Putnam, in an interview in Juice Magazine, called it the “first real ramp”. It was a beast. Built beginning in August , CCCC had ’ of flat bottom, ’ transitions and just under 2’ of vertical.
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It was layered with ’ x ’ steel sheets attached with screws apiece, each sheet weighing in at pounds. The ramp was built in Manassas Park, Virginia on the sprawling grounds of the country club through the kindness of Mr. Eugene Hooper and his son Mark. Mark Hooper, Mike “Micro” Mapp, and Bruce Adams with many others assisting, built the ramp over about a seven month period. Mike now runs RampTech, a successful, year old ramp/skatepark building company based in Woodbridge, Virginia. Bruce Adams sells skatelite, consults on parks, and repairs parks. Bruce and Mike have given their lives to skateboarding, and their legacy is impressive. In I met Mark Hooper in my freshman high school algebra class. He walked in one
day with a board he had made in shop class that was a replica of the G & S Warptail. I was blown away and demanded he make one for me. Within a few weeks he had finished the board and hooked me up. I set it up with blue Kryptos and ACS 650 trucks. On the top I cut out the rectangle in the grip tape and put the proper Gordon & Smith sticker where it belonged, and I had a dream come true. Needless to say a friendship was created, and Mark Hooper and I went on to skate the hell out of the D.C. metro area for the next decade. At one point we built a halfpipe in Mark’s driveway that had one sheet of ” layered plywood and looked more like an egg than a halfpipe. We would ride his moped some miles to a skatepark named Skateworld in
he would fly higher than most and grind longer and harder than everyone. He WAS punk rock, he stood for it , he lived to skate and skated to live! It was all about that vert ramp for Mike. No matter what direction skating took, he just kept going down that dirt path in Annandale and owned the sh*t out of that ramp for years. Thrasher came and put it on the map by gracing its cover with Tim “Puker“ Whistler and Pat Clark doing doubles on the 16-foot-wide structure – not an easy task by any means in the days of skinny little Rector pads, plywood surface and big, fat skate decks. We wanted it bad and did whatever it took to get it, keep it and make it our own. In Mark Hooper had a vision....he went to his pop, Eugene, while sipping wine on
the back porch one night and told him he wanted to build a halfpipe on their country club property. His dad said “OK,“ because he was that kind of guy! He told Mark we could do whatever we wanted as long as we went back in the woods to do it, out of range of the 18-hole golf course and the pavilions. The next day Wade Herren, Mark and I borrowed the country club‘s bulldozer and set out to build a ramp in the woods. After clearing an area the size of half a football field, Mark’s father came cruising back there in a golf cart (because he always did) and said, “WHOA, what exactly are you guys planning on?“ Mark started blurting out dimensions like “ feet wide, feet tall, blah, blah, blah.“ Mark always did everything top of the line. Everything had to be the
best; that’s the way the Hoopers’ minds work. They always thought BIG! Eugene Hooper was the nicest man alive. Once he saw Mark‘s vision he got involved. His suggestion to us was to go see the architect in their office and draw up what we wanted – so we did. Mark told him we wanted a two-story apartment on one side complete with plumbing for a bathroom. The other side was a huge storage/
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 59
Photo courtesy Bruce Adams
Blaize Blouin, sweeper
Photo: Dan Bourqui
Photo: Dan Bourqui
Alexandria, Va. We would travel all over Maryland and skate places like Crofton, Lansdowne and Ocean City. There were ditches and empty municipal pools galore, so every summer we would travel around and skate as much as we could find. In skating was dead as hell, Crofton was deserted, Skateworld was bulldozed, and Rolling Surf in O.C. ended up in a field out on the bayside. I remember it being hot as hell and going around with our jump ramp, doing these street demos at Pulaski Park in Washington, D.C., skating empty fountains in sketchy cracktown D.C. such as the Pigeon Bowl and Malcolm X fountain. Our local ramp was Annandale ramp, which Mike “Micro” Mapp basically ruled and kept alive for five years or so. Mike was running all around with us too in search of Animal Chin in the mid-’80s, all the while returning to his home in Annandale, VA, where
Photo: Dan Bourqui
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As the structure took life and the deck was finished Mr. Hooper would notice the amount of people that started coming out. The news stations all did stories on it, channels and as well as CNN news, MTV and every major newspaper came out to see what all the hype was about. The skateboard world began to hear about this place in Virginia that was some sort of Utopia and the exodus began. Thrasher, Transworld and Washington Post magazines all did stories, TWS used it in their calendar and Gull Wing used it in their Full Power Trip video with Gator. The list of skaters was phenomenal, everyone from Tony Hawk to Lester Kasai, Joe Lopes to Blaize Blouin (RIP), Florian Böhm to Bod Boyle, Ken Sigafoos to Rob Mertz, Toke Team to Team Losi, Reese Simpson to Troy Chasen, Bucky Lasek to Buster Halterman, Pat Clark to Tony Thaiman, Gator to Magnusson, Morris and Brian Wainwright to Sergie Ventura, Dan Brown to Radioactive Ray, Fred Smith to Carwash, Kentucky to Bob Umble, Henry Gutierrez to Tommy Kay, Jimmy O’Brien to Jimmy Leaphart, Sam Irby to Rat, and of course Mark Hooper, Mike Mapp and the Lapper posse and all the Maryland locals. After the deck around the ramp was complete, Eugene wanted Texan ripper Andy Humphries to give the audience somewhere to observe. He came up with this crazy mezzanine idea and had a deck built all the way around the upper structure to give everyone a “birds-eye“ view. The ramp sat this way for years, and the parties began to transpire. Mark started to host these parties that would last for two to three days; we would pick three-day weekends so the event could last longer and people could travel to be there. He would hire his whole family to help run these Woodstock-style parties. Like I said, Hooper loved to go BIG.
He started hiring all these local punk bands to play there. Scream was a favorite (with Dave Grohl on drums), plus Government Issue, Yer Mom, Coathanger Delivery, Bells Of, Token Entry, Avail, Lucy Brown, Root Boy Slim, Cock Ring, and of course GWAR! Yes, that’s right, GWAR, costumes and all, on the deck of the ramp. There would be night skating going on the whole time, and a lot of fights due to the variety of people that would come from all over the East Coast. Skaters, punkers, metalheads, skinheads, rednecks, dirtballs, jocks and plain ol‘ kooks would all converse and pay 00 to come in and watch the circus. You could camp anywhere you wanted, there was never anyone checking ID’s, and there was a choice of substances floating around the grounds. People would raid the ice cream coolers at the pavilions, steal golf carts and canoes, meet strange girls and make babies, shoot off fireworks, four-wheel for miles and basically lose their mind for the time being, pass out, get up and do it all over again the next day. Mr. Hooper went on to order a roof over the entire place, which just made everything seem more massive. After lights and speakers were installed we had our own version of Brewce Martin‘s Skatopia. At one point in the late ‘80s I was spending so much time out there that I decided to put everything I owned in storage and just live in the box on top of the ramp. Unfortunately, the apartment never did get finished, and every time we tried to put a bed or furniture in there someone would pee on it. I figured since there was someone from out of state camping out there almost every night I would join them. It was a great idea, and I saved a few months on rent, but when EVERYONE would leave some evenings I would find myself sitting around the fire alone and just gawking at the place before me. The “living at the ramp” thing ended the night I woke up to the sound of someone walking around the boardwalk below. All I could think about was how close I was to the Bull Run River. It was literally a hundred yards through the woods. So after envisioning some bloody, wounded Civil War soldier, I decided to get a place again. It all still seems like a movie to me. I can’t believe what we accomplished years ago and the limits that were pushed at our breeding ground. I learned inverts at years old there. I learned how to skate a “real” ramp! The country club was taken over by the bank in and we lost our paradise. They would not let us on the property and eventually drove a bulldozer through the middle of it to assure us we would never skate it again. I had moved out as close as you could be to the place, and now I was just out in the middle of nowhere. I picked up and moved to Colorado in 1992. Skateboarding had died again, and this time I was ready to move on to jumping cliffs on my snowboard. I go back and visit my family every year, and for some reason I HAD to know what became of it. I asked Micro and Hooper if they ever went out there, and they both just scoffed at the idea. “WHY”? Mike asked. “Because it’s there,“ I replied. I drove out there in after a long night in my home town. It was . on a cold Saturday when I took the drive down that long road in. There were huge houses all along the entrance to the place that used to be just fields. I entered the same way I used to, and it was all changed around. The original country club was torn down as well as the pool. I cruised over to the woods 10 years after I had left and it was still there, in all its glory. If you ever walked down that road to the ramp you Photo courtesy Bruce Adams
store/ smoke shack/ bar/ stabbin‘ cabin/ whatever. It was big and useful in more ways than one. Wade Herren and I had a skate zine at the time we called Lapper and went on to document the whole construction and lifetime of Cedar Crest. So as the story was once told years ago for few to hear, this is a recap of a part of skateboard history that must be told and written in stone (concrete)! The winter of 1985 was a rough one on the East Coast but the skate gods had shined upon us. It seems the Cedar Crest construction crew had been given a “stop work” order from the courts for not pulling permits to build more pavilions. Christmas was coming and he needed to keep his crew working. Ironically, we had picked a spot in the woods that was NOT in the same county. Not to mention it was hidden in the woods, so he put his crew to work for us. Mike Mapp was running the construction up to this point and with such a large task, without much skilled labor to help him, it was slow going. The weather did not cooperate very well either that winter. But Mike now had the help he needed to get things rolling, and by spring of 1986 it was complete. It was the best ramp you ever skated in your life. It was flawless: -gauge steel surface and decks, -foot trannies, 18 inches of vert, feet wide, pool coping, channel, and on 1800 acres of Civil War land and the Bull Run River (the bloodiest battle of the Civil War!). In the beginning we used metal ladders to get up to the decks feet above, and it was super sketchy. There was mud all around the sides from the winter construction, and it was a mess. Mr. Hooper sees this mess and says, “You need some sort of decking around this thing, huh?“ Yep, sure do, Mr. Hooper. He hooks it up; within a matter of days, a stack of lumber shows up at our ramp. Mike Mapp, Hooper and his crew proceed to build a boardwalk and steps up to the decks and all the way around the ramp. It was a massive undertaking and a costly one, but Mr. Hooper did not care.
Bruce Adams stands at what remainds of Cedar Crest
know what I’m talking about. It was an unbelievable place that spawned unreal skating for five years. So there it was, all destroyed and just sitting there...still. It had become a paintballers‘ home away from home. The steel sheets were still there, but all twisted and rusted. As Jim Beach and I strolled the area looking for artifacts, we found three perfect blocks of pool coping. We brought them back, and I gave one to Mark and one to Mike. The other one I broke up and stuffed part of it in my luggage and brought it back to CO. I told my pop, “NEVER throw this other piece away; I’ll be back for it someday,” and I put it in his garden. Last year my mom and dad drove out here to visit and he brought the piece with him, because he’s cool like that. A few years went by and on another visit I drove out there again (hung over) at a.m. after partying with Micro and Hooper. It Dan Brown was on the way to my parents so I would take the exit whether I wanted to or not. Inquiring minds wanna know? This time I turned the corner and it was a whole new scene. The ramp had been burned to the ground. It was gone – twisted, melted steel everywhere, giant lodgepoles broken and burned, nothing but a memory. Both times I went I stopped at -Eleven and bought a “point ‘n‘ click” camera to document what I was about to see. It was very sad; it hurt just to be there. I felt like a Hurricane Katrina victim or something. I guess I sorta know what people feel like when they return to their home after a natural disaster. It was a graveyard. Eugene Hooper was a great man and went unmentioned in skateboard history. Hopefully we can change that and also give props to Mike Mapp, Mark Hooper and everyone that made this come true. Owen Nieder and Paul Wisniewski have developed a Web site financed by Mike Mapp of Ramptech to memorialize the Cedar Crest legend. Check out www.skatecccc.com for pictures, video, stories and more. You can also join the CCCC group on Myspace and download your own pics of yourself at the Crest and what you‘re doing now at www.myspace.com/ bruceadamscccc (as well as my Colorado ramp that was torn down two years ago at www.skatecolorado.com). Twenty years later I’m just getting an I.V. out of my arm for too many “swellbows.“ It seems at years old I have a problem keeping my bursa sac from getting infected whenever I slam on it. Surgeries aren’t very fun and they cost a lot, so I may have to slow down soon. CW
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 61
BRYCE KANIGHTS ears ago as a teenager armed with a skateboard and toting around a small range finder camera, I certainly had no idea of where or how far these two new passions in my life would take me. Through skateboarding I had met a new community of friends and was able to escape the pressures at home of my parents’ divorce. I was young and impressionable and skateboarding brought me a sense of direction, independence and a creative outlet. I was hooked and bought every magazine that I could at the time. Like many other kids from that era, I was captivated and inspired by the action images of SkateBoarder magazine’s lensmen, Craig Stecyk III, Craig Fineman, James Cassimus and later Ted Terrebonne. Unlike today’s generation of young skaters we didn’t have access to regularly released skate videos, instant visual information from the internet or direct feeds of progressive skate action happening in other areas. Our connection to the pros and the heavy skate sessions came from the photographs printed within the pages of the skate magazines. Once a month we’d witness the vivid and compelling photographs that would leave us wide-eyed, bewildered and stoked in amazement. Most often we would have to figure out the latest tricks from one single magazine photo. These were the action images that would stay taped to our bedroom walls for months, if not years! With that inspiration I began to shoot our skate scene with a small Canon rangefinder camera. My camera enabled me to capture visual memories and good times with my friends while we skated the streets and backyard ramps of San Francisco and the emerging skateparks of the Bay area. Wherever our crew would skate, I brought along my camera without thinking much about it. Just as the 70s skateboarding boom was beginning to crash I was fortunate to assist Ted Terrebone on a few of his shoots at Winchester, Milpitas and Campbell skateparks. I happened to be a local park rat and if he needed a flash held for a particular shot, I’d usually put down my board and help him out. Yes, I was the little monkey with a helmet and knee pads standing there pointing the tethered unit in the direction of his subject. Those rudimentary sessions helped me to better understand flash photography and lighting. Fast-forward through many years of working at Thrasher magazine with days spent toiling over production prints and fixer fumes in the darkroom, pasting up the magazine pages into the night, running press checks, shooting skate sessions and much more. Through my life as a skateboarder I’ve been fortunate to photograph many talented skaters and significant moments which have undoubtedly shaped skateboarding over the years. It’s been a fun ride and I’d never imagine that skateboarding and photography would continue to drive my life over 30 years later. Grab a camera, think creatively and remember to look through the viewfinder. Half of the process is just being there at the right moment.
Christian Hosoi tweaks a stylish backside air above Upland’s Combi bowl as Frank Hawk and Steve Steadham prepare for another round of competition at the Summer Series. September1984.
62 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2007
Frontside thrusting the ceiling of the truest solid form to resemble a concrete wave, Tony Farmer gets it done secretly at the Hook. July 2000.
Alex Chalmers braves the unforgiving Arizona heat with a backside noseblunt upon a section of the defunct skatepark formerly known as Thrasherland. April 2004.
Without a doubt, John Cardiel is one of the most gifted humans to have ever stepped on a skateboard. His stunts are eternally etched into the books of skateboarding history. Back when skate wheels were nothing more than bearing covers, Cards tosses up another benchmark under his belt with this booster over Ft Mileyâ€™s tall turnbuckle. May 1992.
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 67
BK rolls through the upper regions of Lincoln City’s cradle. September 2003. Photo: Regis Leon
Long after the Berlin wall came down, Ben Krahn floats and nollies out from a wallride on a lengthy section that remains as a testament to the oppressive powers and times of war. June 2006.
Todd Prince, Jeff Phillips, John Gibson and Ken Fillion collectively sum up the vibe of Texas’ heavy hitting vert scene back in the late 8os. June 1988.
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 69
Many of my afternoons and evenings were spent at the home of the Lopes family and their legendary backyard ramp. Tony, Beverly, Joe and his family welcomed countless skaters to their home to skate and destroy. If you were solid friends of Joe’s, you were part of their extended family. February1984.
On a recent visit to the northwest, Salba took to the many skateparks with the hyped up energy of a teenager. Slob air over a big hip at Battleground. August 2007.
Skateboarding isn’t really about who has the best style or who is the fastest, more importantly it’s about genuine fun shared with friends not matter who happens to eat dust at the end of the day. May 1985.
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 71
RIDER DOWN f you Google “John Van Hazinga” you will find multiple news articles detailing his accident. As owner of Ridin High skate shop in Burlington, Vermont, John has a huge impact on his local community. On July 12 of this year, John was involved with an horrific accident. He was wearing all safety gear, and is very big on promoting safety and safety equipment. Unfortunately I’m told he was riding a new downhill board and the trucks were a little too “buttery” for him. He was riding downhill at a good rate of speed when he got a wobble and the board threw him down, striking his right front temporal lobe. John survived because those on the scene knew what to do. His friend Lance had just completed EMT training, so he was able to stabilize John until an ambulance arrived. The ambulance arrived within 10 minutes and made the 45-minute drive to Burlington to Fletcher Allen Health Care, a Level 1 trauma center. They had to resuscitate him on the way. He received amazing care at Fletcher Allen... and was in the surgical ICU (intensive care unit) for 30 days. John has a long and costly road ahead... but skating is what he loves. It will be very interesting to see the things this experience will teach him. Sincerely, Lauren Shade, Biggs Mama
PHOTOS: MATTHEW THORSEN Tuesday, July 17, 2007 Rider Down
I’m John Van Hazinga’s oldest sister, Rebecca. As you likely know, John was seriously injured in a skateboarding accident on Thursday. My family and I appreciate the good wishes from the many people who’ve let us know how much they care about John and are hoping to see him back on his feet again. I’m no blogger, but decided to start posting the news of John’s progress. Today, 5 days after the incident, John is still in the ICU and is in a coma. Background: The key danger over the past several days has been the intercranial pressure (ICP) as his brain swells. His ICPs are being measured by a device inserted in his skull. Over the weekend, the ICPs were managed by giving him a saline solution intravenously. Yesterday the swelling increased such that saline could no longer keep his ICPs in a safe range and a drain was put in his head. This temporarily improved his ICPs. Today: It has been a tough day. His ICPs are again increasing, above safe levels (safe is 20; John has been above 25 for much of the afternoon and evening). If the ICPs cannot be brought down, a section of John’s skull will be removed to relieve the pressure. He has also developed a high fever (38.8 Celsius), which could be indicative of an infection. Prognosis: Initial and follow-on CAT scans show damage to 2 areas of his brain. The effect of this damage is currently unknown. Most people with this level of brain injury do regain consciousness and physical abilities. Many suffer some perma74 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2007
nent mental damage, although in some cases noticed only by the person themselves. The effects of brain injury vary significantly from one person to the next, and it is hard to say what the outcome for John will be. John was stable last night, as has tended to be his nighttime pattern, with the rising ICPs coming during the day. The doctors repositioned him for better drainage of his head, and gave him a super dose of saline, which brought his ICPs down. They were in the 15-20 range overnight. His fever is also down. They have put cooling pads around his body which circulate cold water. The doctors are not yet sure whether the fever is due to infection or the effect of the brain injury. Since John was admitted to the hospital, the doctors have performed repeated tests of consciousness or coma depending on your view of the fullness/emptiness of the glass. They measure abilities of vision, speech, and movement. They reduced the level of sedation and tried to get John to do things like open his eyes and move his limbs on request or in response to pain. The test is somewhat subjective and affected by the amount of sedative in his system. Today’s test was encouraging – he moved both of his hands, turned his head away from pain, and tried to open his eyes (showing a fluttering, but not getting them open).
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 Data vs. Perspectives A few developments today, but hard to sort out the data from the perspectives. The head neurosur-
geon said John’s brain was “hamburgered,” that his recovery would be long and difficult, [and] that you can’t make a call on the damage until days of data are in. But I didn’t hear what data she was using to form this perspective, only the baffling and disturbing term. We also had quite a few disturbing perspectives from his nurse over the past several days: “We almost lost him,” “he may have pneumonia,” “his left eye not tracking could be a sign of excessive brain pressure that the monitor is not picking up.“ I can’t say I’m disappointed that she’s off duty for the next couple days.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
The Boy Next Door
One Inch Away
The last day was John’s best yet. ICPs stayed below 15. His oxygen levels are improving and [his] lungs look a bit better. His ability to regulate his temperature is slightly better. The doctors are doing another CAT scan later today and we’ll see what comes next. So, I guess we are in the waiting period as John’s body rests and recovers.
The weaning actually went much faster than we had understood, and John has been off the pentobarbital since yesterday morning. The effects should take another day or two to wear off, but already we are seeing signs of John coming back to us. My dad described him as one inch
Saturday, July 28, 2007 Thanks and Gratitude by biggs mama Thanks John for sharing the chant from the concert last night. Tears flow so easy these days... and reading how much people love my son John helps a lot. I woke thinking I wanted to put up a post thanking you all for your prayers and the powerful energy you are sending to John and our family. We are deeply touched by the outpouring of love from all over the map. We have a long road ahead... just how long is anyone’s guess, and Biggie is not talking yet. We need to reach out to one another, hold tight and be strong and courageous. Biggie is fighting the fight of his life, for his life. I’ve sat with my boy for hours on end, stood holding his hand and singing the Cherokee Morning Song to him and visualizing him opening his eyes and asking “What’s up, Bigg Mama?”
Sunday, July 29, 2007 Some Improvement
Thursday, July 19, 2007 Riding High, Lying Low John had a “significant event” last night, meaning a spike in ICPs that they had a hard time getting down. They took him for a CAT scan after the event and didn’t find any change vs. the previous scans. My dad thinks he’s seen at least 30 doctors checking on John. We are very grateful that he’s at such a great hospital. For the first time today, a rehab doctor appeared. While we haven’t gotten much info on what outcomes we can expect for John, the fact that a rehab doctor is coming by seems like a positive sign that there will be life post-ICU.
John’s recent CAT scan showed resolving contusions and larger ventricles in the area of injury. Or more simply, his brain swelling is reduced. Makes me smile
Monday, July 30, 2007 Baby Steps John continues to be stable, supported by various interventions, and the doctors are in the process of weaning him off those. His care by the nurses and doctors is intense – with many adjustments hour to hour – but the overall progression is toward improvement.
Monday, August 6, 2007 Inhale John is breathing mostly on his own now. Yesterday they switched the ventilator so that it would do one breath and then the next John would do himself. Today John is doing all breaths on his own with some extra support by the vent. It sounds like if all goes well he could be off the vent completely in a few days. He’ll still be breathing through the tracheal tube though.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 Have You Seen a Sunburst? by biggs mama In between the long periods of “no contact” with John floating somewhere in the ozone are windows of clarity. In the late morning I felt him engage eye contact. After talking to him awhile I asked him if he was understanding me – “Blink if you are hearing me, John” – and there was a slight blink. “Ok, I thought that was a blink, but I can’t be sure. If you are really understanding me close your eyes, like this”, and I closed my eyes. And then he closed his eyes!
Friday, August 10, 2007 Ridin High staff closer, but to look at him now he seems just one inch away. His eyes are now open. He’s not quite there yet, but it seems like he’s not too far away. He’s making some small motions with his hands, including in response to pain. He’s making some small movements with his mouth, seemingly in reaction to the feeling of having the tubes in his mouth. The doctors are planning a couple procedures for later today. The first is to protect him from blood clots going to his heart. They’ll be inserting a filter in the main artery return. They are also inserting a feeding tube directly in to his stomach, removing the one that currently goes in through his mouth. The mouth tube can irritate the throat after a prolonged period.
Saturday, August 4, 2007 Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
John continues to be stable, with last night particularly quiet and steady. The doctors have decided to start weaning John off the pentobarbital (the sedative he’s currently on). They say the process will take 2-3 weeks as they slowly reduce the drug a few CCs at a time.
Last night’s nurse described John as lighter. When I was there, his eyes were moving quite a bit more than the night before and he seemed to look toward me a couple times. The nurse said that when she would leave him alone at night for a while, he’d close his eyes, but then open them again when someone entered the room. At times
John had the best day and night yet since he was admitted to the hospital! His ICPs are below 20 and stable, and hopefully will stay that way. The doctors may reduce the sedation and check his level of consciousness later today.
his hands respond to stimuli but there was less change with that so far.
Ridin’ High in the Sunshine by biggs mama Best day so far! Big John was alert and interactive today, with a few smiles, good eye tracking, some eyebrow raisings, lots of hand and arm movements, leg movements, and moving his head. He was awake most of the morning and afternoon. He had an EEG this afternoon and was alert throughout. The EEG is to determine if he’s having any seizures (so far he hasn’t), but once that’s read, they can give him some medicine to stimulate the waking-up process. The speech therapist was in to see him and explained how she will work with the respiratory therapist to cap the trach collar and release the cuff inside around the trach tube so he can practice talking, once he’s ready for that. It’s an incredible roller coaster ride, and today has been quite a high. I really felt Big John was connecting with me today. It’s funny how a little purposeful raised eyebrow or a wink back to his nurse can raise one’s spirits exponentially. In fact, it was so great I stayed all day until he finally took a 4 P.M. nap.
Saturday, August 11, 2007 Progress John has made “tremendous progress” in the past few days, says Dr. Link (neurologist). John HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 75
Friday, August 24, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Back home in NJ for a few days of work and restoring inner balance. Thanks to all who’ve supported us through the great challenges we’ve faced these past 36 days. John has come a long way out of the woods, but this forest is huge, and the way difficult. His need for us is great as he faces the scary reality of requiring 24/7 care and prolonged help to regain mobility.
Back in VT after my sojourn at home in NJ to find John waking up more each day. He admits not remembering his first week at Fanny Allen, so actually only awake for two weeks now. His progress is amazing, and gives hope that in the 2 1/2 weeks left before his discharge [Oct. 2] that he will continue to grow stronger, steadier and more alert. “You know how I go, Mama,“ he says. I watch in amazement as he walks down and up stairs, walks around cones without the walker, walks around the building with his walker, and moves more gracefully from bed to chair without assistance. John’s progress is a testament to John’s spirit and to the outstanding therapy he’s receiving. There without distractions he can fully focus on his recovery. He is working very hard and gives his wholehearted attention to each task. When looking at him it is not as apparent how damaging this event has been to him, and how much work he still has to do to regain his life. Those of us who have lived through this life-changing event with him remember each and every day. John doesn’t. He also doesn’t realize how delicate his brain is, and how he has to alter his lifestyle to prevent future damage. Brain damage is cumulative, and further injury will exponentially affect his recovery and his future. John is being counseled in this area, and has been told that he will have to abstain from drinking, smoking, skating and snowboarding for one year. He also won’t be allowed to drive for the foreseeable future. I say all this to you because we need each of you to support John by not encouraging him in ways that will derail his progress or disconnect his brain from recovering.
I’m in my first day of being online, let’s do this. I’m here, I’m alive. I got one month in rehab until October 2nd and I’ll see you all then. Looking for a place to call home.
By Alexandra Hailey
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007 by biggs mama Today was a big day for Biggie. He had his first shower in 38 days! His nurse Alice suggested it, and he seemed quite pleased by the prospect. She arranged for a waterproof gurney, somewhat similar to an outdoor lounge, but much higher. We rolled him into a shower room, and he really enjoyed the experience. Afterwards he napped.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 by biggs mama It’s been just about 6 weeks since Big John went down, and this is the first day I felt relaxed enough to sleep in and wake without worrying. It’s good to read the positive comments about Fanny Allen rehab that support the feelings I got being there. John looks and acts mellow, 76 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2007
de John in recovery mo
Thursday, August 30, 2007 As I arrived back at the entrance to Fanny Allen around noon yesterday, the ambulance attendants were wheeling in a precious bundle just as a week ago Biggie J was wheeled in, and that memory flashed before me. I’d been hearing multiple daily reports of Biggie’s progress, and so was prepared to be dazzled by his footwork and handiness and speech. And as usual, Biggie exceeded the reports. He continues to be a miracle in Ridin’ High tee shirt and baggy sweat shorts. I truly believe in the power of prayer, and with so many praying for him... I have to ask... “Who am I going to believe, the doctors or Biggie?” My bet is on the towheaded boy grown to a man! Not to say that he doesn’t have a mountain to climb, but he is! Almost by the minute you can see the reconnections being made. It’s frustrating for him to find the words... and sometimes they come out “turkey” or “what kind of car is that?” to which he replies “an 86 tofurkey”, but then he breaks through with a sentence and I burst my buttons.
Photo: Haydn Sweterlitsh
Photo: Jason Zdun
This afternoon as I was standing by Biggie’s bed in the private room he was moved to last evening, he reached his left arm around my shoulder and patted me! In a voice no louder than a whisper he replied “OK” when a friend said she would be back to see him again. I brought him a deck of cards (with a picture of a Zoey dog no less) and he enjoyed picking through them. He even put some in his right hand and delicately held them for a bit. That is the first time I saw him move his right fingers, and he held the cards! He had a lot of activity in his legs, and tried to use his left shoulder to adjust himself in the bed. And when I left this evening, he was fumbling with the TV remote, pushing the on/off and channel buttons, and the call nurse button too! WOW, what a difference 4 days makes! If this is baseball... it must be the World Series!
Photo: Mark Lassage
by biggs mama
Tuesday was a big day for Biggie J. After 6 weeks of patience his feeding tube was finally removed from his stomach. He said, “If I knew how easy it was, I’d have removed it long ago.”
Editor’s Note: I want to thank John’s family for sharing this extremely difficult period of their life with the world. To read the entire blog, please visit http://johnridinghigh.blogspot.com/. On behalf of skaters everywhere, we wish you the very best, John. CW
takes hundreds of phone calls and dozens of organizations, laying out magazine ads and articles, developing and maintaining a website (CurtKimbel.com), taking photos and editing them, and working with the local government officials at the skate parks to ensure everything is in order.” When asked about some of the highlights of this summer’s competition, Curt was quick to respond with a number of great moments. “Wes and Packy are always a thrill to watch. They embody what the series is all about. They are a couple of nice guys skating for fun and pushing each other to unreal levels. Their session at Fredrick was memorable.” Curt also felt the pro series class at St. Mary’s with Ben Hatchell’s new school style versus Jesse Davis’ old school style had the energy and intensity that left everyone exhausted. “It was a perfect ending to a great year of skating. Curt wanted to thank all the sponsors who have supported the series over the years, especially their main sponsor Ledo’s Pizza. “I also want to thank all our new sponsors like Santa Cruz Skateboards who jumped in big this year and even sent out Tom Knox to a couple contests. Red Bull, another of our new sponsors, was also big supporter this year.” Curt is also very grateful to the small army of volunteers who help out at all the events. Yes, there will be a 2008 Mid-Atlantic Skateboard Series, so stay tuned for details. There’s simply no telling what’s in store for next year with more and more parks being built in the Mid-Atlantic and the growing enthusiasm for skateboarding on the East Coast generally. CW
Chuck Morris Trevor Colden
Wednesday September 19, 2007
Photo: Jason Zdun
Saturday, August 18, 2007
In early afternoon John discovered he could unlock the brakes on his wheelchair and propel himself. Under my guidance we took a couple spins around the halls. Neurologists have adapted the Rancho Los Amigos scale from 1 to 10 to describe patients emerging from coma and help their family and friends understand what they are going through. Level 1 is comatose, 10 nearly “normal.“ The levels are not hard and fast, but John is mostly in Level 4 moving into 5.
urt Kimbel, a former pro skateboarder started the Mid Atlantic Skateboard Series for his son Willis when he moved to the east coast from San Diego. When his family arrived to Maryland Will was disappointed that there was very little going on. Back in San Diego his son was skating at the Encinitas YMCA everyday with great skaters.“In Maryland there was virtually no one skating the bowls, so I organized a series to motivate skaters to ride bowls, and give Will something to look forward to” says Curt. Adding, “the series took off and now has a life of its own.” The 2007 MASS had eight contests and over 400 skaters representing eleven states. Contests had six pool/bowl divisions by age groups ranging from “10 and Under” to “Over 40” and separate “Women” and “Longboarding” divisions. We also held street contests with three divisions, novice, intermediate and expert. Also, this year, there was a special Red Bull “Manny Mania” best trick event at all of the contest stops and a gobro.tv “Big Air” event at one. As Curt sees it, it’s important for the skaters who normally skate with one another and push each other to improve and still have fun with the competition. He specifically avoided making the series a pro series where the local skaters only want to watch. Curt wanted the series to be something everyone would look forward to participating in regardless of age or ability. “The series also motivates skaters to work all year to improve.” It takes Curt a whole year to prepare for the series. “It requires a marketing plan, gathering awards which
10 and Under Bowl 1st Neil Hailey 2nd Joe Rutkowski 3rd Nic Potts
18-29 Bowl 1st Chris Williams 2nd Ed Latus 3rd Ryan Magyar
Women Bowl 1st Alexandra Hailey 2nd Jackie Dorney 3rd Olivia Branch
11-13 Bowl 1st Frank Schaffroth 2nd Jake Hilbish 3rd Daniel Hobson
30-39 Bowl 1st John Fudala 2nd Robert Roper 3rd Zac Reed
Longboard Bowl 1st Frank Schaffroth 2nd Coco Branch 3rd Neil Hailey
14-17 Bowl 1st Corey Rubin 2nd Charles Dagley 3rd Chuck Morris
40+ Bowl 1st Bob Pribble 2nd Curt Kimbel 3rd Jeff Swayne
Novice Street 1st Neil Hailey 2nd Daniel Crowe 3rd Myles Willard
Photo: Haydn Sweterlitsh
Long Path Through the Woods
by Big John
Photo: Jason Zdun
Sunday, September 2, 2007
except for his decision to yank out his trach tube! I’d been asking when they would remove it, as he obviously didn’t need it any more, but Dr Knackle said, “Since it’s there, we’ll put him through his paces today and see how he does, then we can take it out in a day or two.”
has been responsive when engaging with family and friends, seeming to understand much of what is said to him, and responding at times with a smile or moving his head.
MID ATLANTIC SKATEBOARD SERIES
Intermediate Street 1st Korey Gandy and Trevor Colden (tie) 2nd Coco Branch 3rd Charles Dagley Expert Street 1st Alex Johns 2nd Chris Williams 3rd Dakota Welty
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 77
RICH IN SPIRIT PM/KebbeK Hits Fifteen Years
BY MICHAEL BROOKE
that said ‘15 years’ that included the KebbeK logo on it considering they only started doing KebbeK branded boards in 2001. As Ian explains, “I understand that for him he differentiates PM and KebbeK, but to me they are one in the same. My life’s journey has had this skateboard business at the center of it the whole time and the product line evolving from street skates into speedboards is no different than the evolution of Caballero’s early-grab launch ramping in the eighties to Nyjah Huston currently doing heel-flip front side feeble grinds on handrails.” s Ian sees it, he doesn’t differentiate between the two worlds of street and speedboarding. “Skateboarding is a deck, two trucks and four wheels.” Skateboarding divided itself up into categories for reasons he still can’t understand. “I went to L.A. last year to try and get into bed with a fairly large skate company and they looked at my speedboards as if I was trying to sell them mountain bikes. My love is skateboarding and I don’t get the exclusion of any forms of it.”
Ian i n fr facili ont of the ty in M Ville ontreal Emar d ounded by Ian Comishin, PM/Kebbek started life in 1992. Fifteen years is quite a milestone within skateboarding and we decided to celebrate by asking Ian about his past, present and future. The birth of PM/KebbeK was fairly humble. “I was just a teenager in high school,” recalls Ian. “My life was kind of upside down as I had just lived for a year in Japan as an exchange student. I was encouraged my whole life to go to university and make some sort of professional future for myself. I had a great friend in Japan named Toshi Ogawa that had already been a skater for as long as I had been alive and he opened a humble skate shop which is still running today. I figured I could make a career out of skateboarding yet too, I just had to go for it.” Ian had no seed capital to start the brand and was working as a liftie at the ski hill in Kimberley B.C. He decided to put a couple hundred dollars into some t-shirts and officially became a company owner.
T 78 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2007
his summer, one of his partners, Jim Ziemlanski (JimZ) was a bit embarrassed to see Ian putting out t-shirts
couver zoning, it was just a structure wedged between two real buildings.” Soon thereafter, Ian sunk the company in a really deep financial hole after he put on the Hicks on Sticks tour. The tour was conceived to promote his pro riders and six-color graphic street decks. in a bid to pay off his debts as well as all the others who lost money on the Hicks tour Ian moved to Montreal to work 12 months in the fish industry. He left the PM office running with a close friend at the helm and moved the operation to Montreal as soon as he could. The brand KebbeK was launched to pay homage to the company’s new adopted location.
or the first eight or nine years, PM focused on street skating. “At the time I was an immature teenager with a narrow view of what skateboarding is. I loved street skating so that’s what I pushed. At one point the PM office was situated in the very poor neighborhood of the Vancouver downtown eastside where the office was built on used realty signs suspended five feet from the ceiling of a filthy welding shop, Ian worked off the rent by welding hours for the company. “I remember trying to create ads for Concrete Powder magazine while wearing mittens, the building didn’t even exist in the City of Van-
Rednek Elk Hunter (1996) Artwork: Comishin
Hoseheads (1998) Artwork: Comishin
ongboards took center stage in Montreal as demand for PM decks dropped to basically nothing. “The formula wasn’t working for the company. I still love street skating but I can’t feed my daughters on it unless I build my boards in China and I’m not really into that right now.” Ian assures me that speedboarding is easier than street skating and people don’t ever really give it up the way they stop skating street. “I really feel like our brand has become a positive influence in the industry. I work with my partners JimZ and Pierre Gravel on designing boards that perform better, I go into the back of the shop and we build them better. I still have my hands on every board that goes through the door, I’m sure quite a few of them have my sweat droplets under the clear-coat.”
Smoothcut (2002) Artwork: Martin D’Argensio
hen I asked Ian what his biggest motivator was, he was pretty forthright. “I think success is measured in personal legacy, and I’m not speaking of the media driven vanity epidemic the wealthy world is suffering. When I speak of personal legacy, I’m talking about how I’ll feel about my accomplishments when my life is over, what I’ll have to reflect upon. I would be lying if I said I don’t care what other people think of me or what I’ve done, it just not as important to me as what I think of what I’ve done. PM-KebbeK is a portion of my personality interacting with the whole world, but its not just mine, it’s the past PM riders and the current KebbeK team who also use this brand as a vessel to communicate their passion for skateboarding to their friends and family.”
Hairpin (2005) Artwork: Gravel
Clearcoating the sweat in
12 out of the 94 Models so-far produced under the PM – KebbeK
nother big motivation the company gets right now comes from the online skateboarding forums; Ian claims he can spend up to an hour per day reading rider posts. He can interact with KebbeK’s end customers about how their boards are performing
Jon Caften (2003) Artwork: Comishin
Pierre Gravel (2004) Artwork: Gravel
JimZ Flushcut (2004) Artwork: Ziemlanski/Gravel
Comishin (2006) Artwork: Comishin/Gravel/LX
in different parts of the world and he can see the commentary on their workmanship. Generally the comments on the boards are almost always positive and it makes him proud. People have misconceptions about how big KebbeK is. “They have expectations of us like we are a huge brand. It is flattering to get comments that our customer service is better than brands who’ve actually hired staff members referred to as their customer representatives, but we bust our asses around here.” an isn’t that philosophical when it comes to assessing things he would have done differently. “I think I would have learned how to value my time better. I’ve worked out that the amount of time I spend building a board and the amount of materials that go into it would be worth 5 times as much if it was a piece of furniture, the thing is people don’t let their wooden desks bash into curbs at 40 m.p.h. They gotta be sold cheap enough for people to use them the way their supposed to.”
’m glad I’ve given my life to skateboarding but it owns me; nobody else builds boards the way KebbeK does. It may sound arrogant but truly feel I have an obligation to the skateboard community to keep building these things… even if my family would like me to bring home a little more earnings.”
hen asked about support from the Canadian skate media, Ian feels PM has been treated very poorly. “The magazines in Canada treated PM like crap. We had an all Canadian team with all Canadian orientated graphics and we sponsored every single Canadian skateboard contest that asked us for support. They refused to cover our riders in any depth and the majority of Canadian skateboard shops maintained 100% American branded boards in their inventory.”
Proud (Re-release) (2007) Artwork: Comishin ut as far as KebbeK goes, Canada has been amazing. “It seems that now the cooler-than-you shop employees who love to ‘diss’ what they don’t read about in Transworld has no impact on how people choose their speedboards.” Ian says it’s the internet that drives the understanding. “People can just order online if their local shop is narrow-minded. That’s why so many skateshops are either closing down or being replaced with mall-style conglomerates who can maintain the status quo, they are only surviving because they can purchase in high volume with better margins.”
B Revenger (2007) Artwork: Comishin
Bamboo JimZ (2007) Artwork: Homage to G7
Pool Monster (2007) Artwork: Gravel/Comishin
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 79
7 0 0 2 e Paskapoo Downhill Rodeo Th
BY CW STAFF
Photo: E. Kromberg
Street skating at 33 years old is less common but Ian still loves the feel of a 5-0 n order to join the longboard world PM started out by building boards for other companies. For a brief period in the history Jody Willcock ,who grew up with Ian in Kimberley BC, shared his concepts of board building with Ian and JimZ. Jody invented the lowered speedboard that eventually sparked the revolution in speedboarding that certainly caused the current explosion in popularity that downhill skateboarding is experiencing. Ian had an opportunity to help design boards for other companies because of a relationship Jody brought to PM when he came to Montreal. One of those brands now has the number one selling speedboard in the world and KebbeK takes pride in its existence. Ian genuinely hopes for the growth of all companies who promote downhill skateboarding. “That was the first deck I designed without JimZ’s help and its cool to see that it gets on the racing podiums so often. Jim was our CNC guru and he coached me into the robotics world that I knew nothing about. I think it was great for Jim to see me not asking for help every twenty minutes, he felt a bit more relaxed about moving back to B.C. after knowing I was okay on my own with the equipment that essentially he and Jody had made.”
Photo: J.F. Boily
Leathers mean a better chance of going in to work if you go down.
80 CONCRETE WAVE HOLIDAYS 2007
Photo: J.F. Boily
here is one other thing that Ian finds incredible and had no idea things would work out this way is the fact that some young skateboarders are choosing speedboards as their first deck. “Look at guys like Nico Desmarais, Mischo Erban, Scoot and a bunch of the other top pros in downhilling and they had never skated street before getting into speedboarding.”
asked Ian how he defined success. Again, I found him to be very reflective. “I think if there is one piece of success I can measure it is the fact that I’ve stuck with this business for 15 years and it has been fledgling and cash-flow challenged almost the whole time. Everybody who has tried to come on board and work the way I do throws in the towel. Great people with excellent work ethics have a hard time being in a business of passion where you can go months without taking a penny of pay. We’ll spend thousand of dollars in materials and time to make unique prizes for racing events but we went two years without heating in a city that drops to minus 20 degress for months on end” That, in a nutshell, describes Ian. He is driven to give to skateboarding…until it hurts.
Running Hairpins is Ian’s preferred fall activity ebbeK knows first hand that speedboarding is already on its way through the roof. “Every year thousands of new kids get into skateboarding. Most of them start into skating street which their bodies only let them stick with until they are in their early twenties. This is the entire big-brand skateboard industry’s market; they completely failed to understand that skaters want to stay skaters for life.” Ian believes that the street-skate industry doesn’t offer safer alternatives for skaters who need to support their families and can’t miss work for broken ankles. Speedboarding is addictive because it incorporates the purest thrill of the ride and that is speed in an open environment. “I know skateparks are getting good, but they are still just glorified cages when you compare it to riding something that wasn’t made for the purpose of skateboarding. A speedboard still provides people that sense of exploration in cities that have been knobbed and capped on anything remotely street skateable.”
The CNC machinery is happy to work on weekends an appreciates and wants to give thanks to all the people out there who’ve also given their lives to skateboarding, “people like the late great Fausto Vitello who’s Thrasher started my sense of identity in the 80’s to all the guys today who are still trying to make skateboarding better in their own ways.” When I asked him to name some of the people he mentions folks like Jim Ziemlanski, Pierre Gravel, Jody Willcock, Tom Edstrand, Joe Lehm, Bricin Lyons, and Claude Regnier. “These people, along with so many more have made lifestyle sacrifices to better skateboarding and we are all the benefactors of theirs and your efforts. Real skaters know that your family of skateboarding is as important as your own last name, if you are loyal and fair to this you will lead a rich life, maybe not in money… but in spirit.” CW
t was nothing short of an unadulterated explosion of speed at the second annual Paskapoo Downhill Rodeo, with racers rocketing down the very technical, winding, 1.7 km switchback course. Despite (or perhaps because of) two speed bumps, the hill became a favorite with many racers and spectators at the inaugural event last year. While the run-up to this year’s event — held at CODA’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on Aug.12 — proved to be a rough ride for the event organizers, the Speedboard Longboard Association of Calgary (SLAC), it seemed to have no negative effect on racers and the assembled spectators, who seemed to be genuinely stoked. In fact, with speeds exceeding 77 km/h (48 mph) for speedboarders and 85 km/h for luge, it was an eye opener for many who made their way to the site of the 1988 Winter Olympics to watch the races. The event saw 111 racers converge on Calgary from 5 Canadian provinces and one territory (Alberta, BC, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories), as well as racers from the United States (Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Texas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico), and a number of other countries including Switzerland, England and New Zealand. Paskapoo was originally scheduled for two days on the Olympic site, but due to an unforeseen shortfall in funding and the pullout of a major sponsor, slalom events were cut from the competition and the slide event was relocated to Jamieson Road, west of the nearby town of Cochrane, a favorite local spot for outlaw races. Despite saving organizers more than $10,000 by dropping the second day at C.O.P., the directors of the Speedboard Longboard Association of Calgary were still stuck with $26,000 in debts associated with the Downhill Rodeo that were covered by the directors‘ own personal lines of credit. But money woes didn’t get in the way of the Paskapoo Downhill Rodeo being the epic event it was expected to be. The 8-man speedboard heats went a long way toward making this year’s Downhill Rodeo the exciting event it was—the racers involved also seemed to dig the format. For the assembled spectators, the sight of 8 racers sweeping through the corners was simply awe-inspiring. Throughout the event, regardless of where on the hill you were, you could hear the formidable event announcer, Bricin “Striker“ Lyons from Coast Longboarding, who manned the microphone at corner No. 3 — decked out in purple pimp glory to provide color and play-by-play as riders whipped
Photo: Lizzie Stange
s Ian sees it, PM/KebbeK has already achieved everything he’s wanted for it. “I still get up every morning give it all I’ve got… but it doesn’t have to accomplish anything else for me to be satisfied with what I’ve done. Sure, I know that I haven’t even come close to tapping the market who likes what we do but my business principals are pretty lousy.” Ian knows it could be beneficial to saddle up with a major skateboard brand that actually has a proper distribution network so that more kids around the world can enjoy downhill skateboarding on good skateboards. “that means conducting better business and I think I’m better at conducting the woodworking tools.”
through the corner (or crashed into the hay bales). The race was not without carnage — the unofficially dubbed Crash Corner served up its fair share for both speedboarders and luge racers. The Godfather of slide, Cliff Coleman, was one of several who got served; Cliff dislocated his shoulder after crashing in one of the speedboard heats. Coleman was, however, fit enough to help judge the following day’s slide event. With the mayhem of a full day of racing behind them, many racers headed out to the bars and then to the Downhill Rodeo’s private campground for, well, more mayhem in the form of wobbly pops, live music, BBQ and other recreational treats. The latenight darkness saw bands of racers “antiquing” their fallen brothers who foolishly turned in earlier that night hoping to be rested up for the next day’s outlaw events. The biggest worry of any outlaw event is that someone might get hurt or that the event might get busted by law enforcement. While the extent of injuries was limited to a few minor scrapes and bruises — save for Brit slide master Mark Short, who entered the comp with a broken foot — luck seemed to have left as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser made its way up the hill after receiving several calls about crazy skateboarders on Jamieson Road — a nice hill with swooping curves that overlooks and connects with the 1A highway. However, after speaking with event promoters, the constable had the foresight to see it’d be a whole lot easier getting the hundred or so skaters and spectators off the road in an orderly fashion by allowing the contest to continue to its scheduled finish 30 minutes later rather than
chasing them around for hours trying to run them off the hill, followed by hours of paperwork. The event otherwise went off without a hitch with some incredibly talented sliders, including the Faltown crew from England, who turned things up a few notches on the banked corners of Jamieson Road. An outlaw slalom event, not officially part of the Downhill Rodeo but sponsored by it, followed at another location. But a breakdown in communication and the slide event running late resulted in a poor turnout for the race, which was held on a very steep and fast power-plant access road. There has been some question as to whether this annual event will continue next year. Tyler Peckman, SLAC’s new chairman of the board of directors, sums up his answer to the question in one word: “Definitely!” CW
1. Nicolas Desmarais
1. Pascal “Rookie”
2. Max Erwin
3. Kevin Reimer
2. Brad Kasha
4. Hugh Johnston
3. Glenn Miller
5. Noah Sakamoto
4. Chris Iverson
Slide: 1. Pieter Wiekens 2. Noah Sakamoto 3. Kyle Martin 4. JM Duran 5. Adam Auger
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 81
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS OF SLALOM
By Michael Brooke HE 2007 WORLD SLALOM CHAMPIONSHIPS were held in Statesville, North Carolina on September 28th to 30th. Statesville is the home of the Downhillbillies, who have achieved great success putting on the Dixie Cup. The intensity of this year’s event was simply amazing. As you can see below, the difference in time between pro and open class is less than a blink of an eye. You can thank the Colorado crew for that! Sixteen-year-old Martin Reaves is just finishing up his first year of slalom. I shudder to think how fast he’ll be next year! A number of folks traveled a huge distance to get to Statesville. This included the Swedes, Ramón Königshausen from Switzerland, Dominik Kowalski from Germany, Janis Kuzmins from Latvia and Team Fullbag, who drove all the way from Quebec! Many thanks to the Downhillbillies for putting on a first-class event, to announcer Kenny Mollica for keeping everyone laughing and to the town of Statesville for being so hospitable. Next year in Sweden! CW
Giant Slalom: Pro Division 1st Jason Mitchell 2nd Dominik Kowalski 3rd Henrik Wadsten 4th Gary Fluitt 5th Dave Pirnack Giant Slalom: Open Division 1st Martin Reaves 2nd Zak Maytum 3rd Brad Jackman 4th Joe McLaren 5th Miguel Marco
22.3404 22.5403 22.6611 22.9563 23.0923
Hybrid Slalom: Open Division (Qualifying Times) 1st Joe McLaren 16.439 2nd Martin Reaves 16.14 3rd Mike Duquette 16.77 4th Ethan White 16.411 5th Zak Maytum 16.229
22.8526 23.1722 23.3002 23.3080 23.6082
Tight Slalom: Pro Division (Qualifying Times) 1st Janis Kuzmins 15.531 2nd Henrik Wadsten 15.557 3rd George Pappas 15.778 4th Michael Dong 15.705 5th Ramón Königshausen 15.396
Hybrid Slalom: Pro Division (Qualifying Times) 1st Dave Pirnack 15.967 2nd Gary Fluitt 15.934 3rd Ramón Königshausen 15.417 4th George Pappas 16.063 5th Henrik Wadsten 15.949
Tight Slalom: Open Division (Qualifying Times) 1st Martin Reaves 15.564 2nd Zak Maytum 15.947 3rd Brad Jackman 16.514 4th Louis Ricard 16.318 5th Joe McLaren 16.605
1. Gabriel Steptoe of Foiled Concepts 2. Jim Weatherwax and Brent Griffith 3. The Saenz Family 4. The Swedish contingent 5. Lynn Kramer and the UK’s Ella Roggero
The Top 5 Overall for PRO and OPEN and Top 3 Women/Juniors: PRO MEN 1st Henrik Wadsten 2nd Gary Fluitt 3rd Dave Pirnack 4th George Pappas 5th Jason Mitchell
OPEN MEN 1st Martin Reaves 2nd Zak Maytum 3rd Joe McLaren 4th Brad “Jackhammer” Jackman 5th Miguel Marco
WOMEN 1st Lynn Kramer 2nd Judi Oyama 3rd Cat Young
6. Gary Fluitt, Dave Pirnack and Ramon Konigshausen
7. Friday’s GS. Photo: Greg Fadell 8. Marion Karr with a little ripper 9. Martin Reaves, Louis Ricard and Brad Jackman
JUNIORS 1st Kyle McLaren 2nd Josh Byrd
10. George Pappas, Janis Kuzmins and Henrik Wadsten 11. Dom Kowalski at the awards ceremony Opposite page: Martin Reaves vs. Zak Maytum Photo: Greg Fadell
Giving Back and
By Roger Hickey n May of this year I was approached by a group called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). They are a part of the Soboba Indian Tribe in southern California. The group wanted to know if I could get a well-known celebrity skater to come out and talk to their kids and teach them how to skate. I pondered this for a few days before asking them what it was they were trying to accomplish. Was it just teaching some kids how to skate, or was it something bigger? After talking with their group, I realized that they use these programs to help those kids who might not have the opportunity to get the help or education it takes to get to the level of potential they might have in a different environment. With my love for kids and my appreciation for all that skateboarding has done for me, and the places I have been able to see because of my 25 year skateboarding career, I felt there had to be more I could do than just introduce them to a pro-skater and learn how to maybe skate for a day. What happens after they meet a pro skater? Where does that take them? What will they get out of the whole thing, and what will or can they do with that information? Something just did not jibe with me on this. I am a person who never does anything 80% or 90%. It has always had to be 120%, or it has never been worth doing it all. Throwing some ideas around in my head and talking to some friends about this, I told them to give me a few weeks to come up with a proposal for something different. Thinking back to my childhood, most of my life-
encouraging lessons came from having many experiences and options to choose my interests from. I remember watching my dad working on his Top Fuel dragsters and wanting to learn how the mill and lathe worked. I was eager to learn how to paint, how to build and how to race. I remember at that age wanting to learn everything. I learned that anything was possible after being around so many different options. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by talented men and women to show me that you can make or do anything you want to do, with or without a big budget. I felt this was my best chance to give these lessons back and started to formulate the plan to make a difference in these kids’ minds. I contacted my longtime mentor and friend Jerry Madrid for some help. Then I approached Don Brown at Sole Technology, Neil Piper at AEND Industries, and lastly my friend Bob Mannarelli at HB Apparel. My plan was not only to teach the kids how to skate, but to show them that behind every Tony Hawk there are millions of jobs and opportunities. I wanted them to experience the sights and sounds of how to make boards, wheels, clothing, shoes and ramps. This way, after we were all done, I had hope that something would spark an interest sometime in the near future and they would have an option to pursue their dreams. Two weeks later the plan was in place, and I presented it to Soboba TANF. The plan was to take 40 to 45 kids for six days (over the course of two weeks) and introduce them to the skateboarding industry and culture, and then teach them how to skate. TANF accepted the plan, and I had two months to put everything into place. My hope was that we could make a difference in at least one young adult’s life, using the sport I have loved since I was seven years old.
DAY ONE: FRIDAY MORNING After working with Neil Piper and Jerry Madrid preparing for the first day of this experimental skate camp we were all ready. I arrived early at the Madrid factory and warehouse. I have no idea why I was so nervous – I guess because I wanted this to go down perfectly, without any hitch. Angela, Mandy and Alex (of Madrid) were all putting extra stuff together for the kids, like CW mags with Freshpark and Madrid stickers in them, one for each kid. At 10 a.m. we were standing outside waiting for what we thought would be a little school bus, or one of those crazy 1962 restored church buses. As the Soboba TANF bus pulled in we realized quickly that this was not the case. It was a Prevost type of bus, complete with TVs and leather seats. As the giant bus pulled into the small
nesses run, and what his company parking lot I climbed in to say hi to the kids. All my nervousness provides to the skateboard industry. disappeared right away as soon as I saw their faces. There was this It was amazing to see how much the one kid right up front, (I later found out his name was Nick), and kids got into what I would have thought we seemed to bond “skatedude to skatedude” within 10 seconds. were boring and somewhat too mature Every kid was pretty hip. They all had their own attitudes, all very questions. But this probably is why unique, which reminded me of how independent I was at that age. Neil has kids – because he was meant As they all trailed out you could hear them already excited about to. I was so impressed with all of them. being at a board company. Once inside, we realized that even Neil then took them out to the loft though there were only 40 kids and five adults, plus one bus driver, overlooking the factory, while he went the offices of Madrid were bursting at the seams. I separated them down and pulled warm pieces out as the into two groups, with Jerry taking the first group for the tour and molding machines were finished. He Alex taking the second. I just followed and observed while taking would throw them up to the kids and pictures. Only 10 minutes into this six-day ordeal, I was already adults as he explained the process of feeling very good about the direction I decided to go. The kids were making the asking questions, pointing at everything and ooh-ing and aah-ing. hubs for I think I was already getting more out of it than wheels, all they were, and they didn’t along asking questions to even know the big surprises keep them into it. Then we all in store yet. made our way down the stairs, Once the Madrid tour and Neil took them all through concluded, each kid was each step of making the highest able to take home their own performance wheels in the world. complete Freshpark board He showed them the plastic pellets and how they are molded made right there in the into hubs, then trimmed; the giant computerized Madrid factory, plus a helmet, urethane-mixing machines and wrist guards, knee pads and ries st du In ND AE how wheels are poured, trimmed elbow pads. They also got the Touring and printed on; the packaging mags and stickers. It looked and shipping; and the ordering like Christmas had come early board that shows how many as they were searching for places under the bus to fit all wheels need to get done every day. of that new equipment. Once on the bus, I got back up Neil was careful to explain the value in there and gave them a random test about what they’d of people: “No matter how great seen – things like “how many layers are the normal your equipment, you need the best boards made of, what kind of wood do they use, how people to make the best products, are the graphics put on, how designs are made,” etc. I Custom shirts from HB Apparel and I have great people.” knew then that they had been very interOnce the tour had concluded Neil ested, because every single question was led them back up to the upper office answered correctly. I was hoping that any to form a line and receive a set of high-performone of these experiences would spark someance street wheels, a set of aluminum inserts thing within each creative young mind. along with grade 8 mini bearings. I thought, Maybe one of them would become a woodhang on! I don’t even have anything like that! So worker or a designer of skateboards? I cut in line for my share of the treasure, too. Now all loaded with goodies, Alex helped Once outside and all loaded up in the buses, I to guide the truck out of the tiny parking lot got on to tell the kids that I would see them and follow me in my Freshpark Team van Checking out Madrid’s woodshop tomorrow out at The Oaks to start the skateover to the AEND Factory. Thankfully, it was board training part of this camp. They were very only a couple of miles away. I designed the excited and asked who was going to be teaching them. I told them tour this way, knowing that a kid‘s attention span is not much there would be four very good skateboarders: Lyle Palmer, my longer than my big toenail. I didn’t want them to lose any stepson, who rules rails, ledges and streets; Mandy Esch, who is a momentum or information. Once there, Neil was all ready for us. It professional bowl, pool and vert skater with a lot of knowledge in was crazy seeing that many people go upstairs to be greeted by the teaching; Sam Ogas, an all-around great skater who has been always happy Rachael. With a huge smile, she came out and teaching skateboarding for about five years; and Oscar Gonzales, talked to the kids as we waited for Neil to come back in from the one of the best street and park skaters I have ever seen in my life. factory. Once inside I introduced Neil as the man who was responThe girls seemed very happy that I had a female skater to teach sible, along with Tom Peterson, for making me so fast in my downalso. Only two tours down and I already had way too many memohill career. If it weren’t for them, I would have never won the 20 ries to fit in this article. It made me think that kids are very cool and World Championships I did. Then Neil took over like a champ – we could learn from them on how to be more open and less fearful. questioning kids about why people are in business, how busi-
HOLIDAYS 2007 CONCRETE WAVE 85
DAY TWO: SATURDAY MORNING 6 a.m. – the team met me at my house to load up and make the twohour drive out to Hemet for our first day of teaching. While driving we were coming up with a strategy to teach the more than 40 kids. First, we had to separate them according to levels. Once we were there we could not believe how many kids already had their pads on and were sitting there waiting for us as we drove up. It was 8 a.m., and these kids were ready. I got all of them to sit on the ramps while I gave my “how fun skateboarding can be if done right” speech. More than half of the kids had never ridden on a board, so I put them with Sam to learn how to fall first. Some had been on a board, but not comfortably yet, so I had Mandy teach them how to push correctly and go through a long, slightly downhill slalom course to learn how to turn and stop. The rest knew how to ride, but not in parks yet, so Lyle and Oscar took them to show them how to drop in, compress, turn, grind, etc. I pretty much took photos and oversaw the whole process. The speed and enthusiasm with which they all learned was amazing. We had this one kid named Joe that didn’t want to learn the basics and just jumped up on the quarterpipe, rode off the coping and slammed into the asphalt Taking a break about three times in a row before we had to stop him and make him learn on a smaller wedge ramp first. Oscar then nicknamed him “the Wrecking Ball.” This first day could not have gone better. It was about 98 degrees out, yet no one was stopping or slowing down at all. Sam had a line of about 12 girls running and sliding on their knees and then elbows. Then they would go over to Mandy to learn how to ride and turn. Then some even went over to Lyle and Oscar and tried to drop in on a smaller ramp. By noon we were all exhausted. We grouped together, all had lunch, and I talked about what I was going to have them do for the next day, and then we left. While driving away we noticed that pretty much all of them put their pads back on and were back out riding on whatever level they had stopped on. We talked about how strong and determined all of them were all the way home.
DAY THREE: SUNDAY MORNING Once again we were off at 6 a.m. to go out for our second four-hour day of teaching. I decided to keep the teaching days down to four hours for two reasons: one, it is just too damn hot at 100 degrees, and two, so we could keep their attention and limit what they needed to retain for one day. The team pretty much slept in the van while I drove the whole way out. During the last four miles or so they woke up and we all discussed how this day would be the factor on how much the kids really wanted to learn how to skateboard. After taking a lot of falls and skating all day yesterday, we all thought that maybe half or less would have shown up for today and that this would be the true test. Once again, we pulled up the hill to the park and not only were there all of the kids from the day before, in pads, with helmets on, ready to go, but at least another six or seven new ones. This was amazing to us, but very satisfying. Once we had our morning meeting of the minds, I decided to make up an obstacle course with five hits in it. I would have each of my team at each hit, including me, to help them get over it. Lyle took the first pass to show how they were supposed to do it. They were to take off turning through 4 cones, then up and over a small pyramid set up with two wedge ramps and a fun box in the middle, then around two cones With each session, the skaters gain more confidence placed far apart and up and over a small launch ramp spine setup. Once over that, they had to click-clack their way to the next setup, which was a launch ramp to double fun box and launch ramp down. That completed, it was down to another spine but with wedge ramps, and then off to the finish, which was a wedge ramp to fun box to grind rail off. All of us stood at each hit to hold their hands, arms, or just guide them across. We did this whole thing twice and it worked very well, making them all
fearless to anything they could ride on. After this drill we let them go back to picking what they wanted to learn and had an instructor at each section. I looked over one time to see Mandy teaching a kid who was easily twice her size. He was riding up and over a small spine, while she was trying to hold him up with his hands on her shoulders. It was an incredible sight. Mandy was straining every last muscle in her legs to hold herself from falling and being crushed. But she did it, and he learned how to do it on his own within four or five tries. It was very cool to watch the kids’ faces when they would get it. First scared, then after many attempts and finally getting it, they would be proud. I had one kid named Paul who was determined that he could not drop in on the launch ramp. I would hold him down the whole thing and his knees would buckle. Then after I could get him to ride down it while I held him he would say there was no way he could do it without me holding on to him. Finally after about 25 tries, he stood up there, only 2 feet off the ground on the fun box connected to the launch ramp. I told him I would catch him no matter what so just go for it. He stood there for what felt like hours, but really probably just three minutes. You could see through his eyes while he tried to overcome his fears that he could do this. Finally he leaned forward, bent his knees, put his arms out and rode down. I had my arms out to catch him but pulled them back as he made it to the ground. He made it, and the other kids let him know how cool they thought that was. That was it, it was great to witness – and after that he just went for everything. I was hoping this would be a lesson for him and the others to never give up, in anything you do. So eight hours of teaching down and every single kid was pushing, riding, turning and knowing how to fall, but most of all, laughing, smiling and having a great time. Half of the kids were not only dropping in on ramps, but trying to attempt the grind rails and riding fakie. Even little Joe a.k.a. Wrecking Ball was dropping in on the quarterpipes now. We ate lunch with the kids and said goodbye until next Friday. While driving home we were in awe at the fortitude these kids had and felt like we were really doing something good here. My team was the best, and I was happy with the project so far.
DAY FOUR: FRIDAY MORNING Today was another field trip day of discovering skate-industry jobs and companies. First off in the morning the bus arrived at the HB Apparel factory. Here I wanted to show the kids along with owner Bob Mannarelli how the clothing industry is run and how shirts are printed. I designed a Soboba Skate Camp shirt for Bob to use in his lessons and demonstrations. First the kids got to see how the design goes from the computer art into making films for printing. They learned how each color has to line up perfectly on the screen for better registration on the printing press. The kids were very impressed as the process went on all the way until their shirts were printed and coming down the dryer belt. Once at the other end they were able to take one of their size and keep it. Bob kept the questions coming the whole time and did a great job teaching the kids every detail of the process. Once again I was hoping to spark something in one of their minds. Maybe they would want to be a designer, or have their own shirt line or become a printer. Either way, this was a big hit with the kids, and they all started putting on their new camp shirts. From HB Apparel they got back on the bus and followed me down to the Sole Tech offices and warehouses. I had pre-arranged for them to eat lunch at the Etnies skatepark. They watched Oscar ride in the park and do some amazing tricks. Every rider in the park stopped to watch him. While this was going on, I took groups of 10 kids to the Etnies store, where Don Brown arranged for me to get the team deal on shoes. Each kid was in heaven there and loved not only all of the shoes, but the offices and marketing materials on the walls. Two hours later all 40 kids had a new pair of the Etnies of their choice and got to see how huge the shoe market really is. The kids loaded onto the bus and headed back to Hemet. They now had their own Madrid skateboard, Viking pads & helmet, extra set of wheels, speed bearings, new shirt and new shoes. These kids were set.
DAY FIVE: SATURDAY MORNING We were all wondering how much of last week’s lessons the kids would remember and how many would show up for week two. Today was supposed to be 104 degrees, so we wanted to get started right away. The team slept most of the way, except during an occasional Hickey practical joke by slamming on the brakes and yelling. Once we were there it was business as usual. The kids were ready and
waiting for us. They also moved some of the park around to make it how they wanted. The nice thing about the Freshpark system is that you can make it into what ever you want (plug!). We started out with a giant one-line downhill race – not that fast, but they had to get into two teams and do a relay. The first leg was sitting down, almost luge style, through a giant slalom coned course; when they crossed the finish line the next would go standing up and so on. Believe it or not it came down to about 10 feet at the end of 40 kids. I wanted to start out with that for warming up and getting the fun started. We then set up the obstacle course through the hits like we did last week to make sure they did not forget how to get over the ramps and onto the rails. When that was all done we put the park back together and started teaching almost every kid how to ride the ramps. They were all dropping in, some falling pretty hard once in a while, but getting right back up of skaters! and doing it again. Nick, the kid One happy crew I first bonded with, was helping us, since he was a good skater. Since the kids refused to wear a name tag due to the “not cool branding,” we were forced to just try to remember 47 kids’ names. This was definitely not possible, but we remembered every kid‘s face and ability and worked with them accordingly. This being the secondto-last day, the kids had progressed further than I thought they would. About 15 kids were really trying hard to Mandy Esch teaches the basics of dropping in master getting on and riding t h e
grind rail. Lyle and Oscar helped them with that. It was another great day, and the kids advanced again faster than humanly possible.
DAY SIX: SUNDAY Well, 6 a.m. again and the team was ready for the last day. We were all kind of sad that it was almost over, but we definitely needed a rest. The team decided that this was the last day for the kids to try to learn their hardest tricks or things that they wanted to learn. We would make sure they could do it before we left. Upon arrival, like clockwork, they were ready. They were a little more tired than last Sunday due to us really making them work yesterday. We rearranged the park a little to make it so there were three different levels in rows, or three runs for each step of difficulty. The first row was just pushing into a wedge ramp, fun box, fun box, wedge ramp. The middle run was starting on a fun box, dropping in down a launch ramp, ride, back up a launch ramp, across two fun boxes and back down a wedge ramp, then finish it off with a launch ramp mini-spine. The last run was an 8-foot-wide quarterpipe into another quarterpipe volcano, into another quarterpipe – kind of like two halfpipes meeting in the middle. We made the kids start on the easy one first. Everyone made it across that at least once, and these were kids that had never skateboarded two weeks ago. Then we took the ones who were comfortable in moving up a notch to the next row, which was about 80% of them. Some had it down easy, and some needed some help. Either way, this group all made it through eventually. On the last run (and the hardest), we had about 40% left. It was awesome to watch all three runs being ridden and each kid challenging himself or herself further and further. We had a wedge ramp to a fun box hooked to a grind rail setup for the few that wanted to master the grind rail. By the end of the day, there were about 10 guys and three girls riding across the rail with complete ease and no help. I couldn’t even do what they were doing! Once we were all to the end, Lyle, Oscar and Mandy put on a little show for the kids, showing them how far they could take this. Lyle was getting some massive airs off the launch ramps and landed every one of his crazy flip tricks to grind rail like a machine. Oscar was doing insane stuff, and Mandy rode in a classic style, carving and shredding the park with smooth grace, popping off some ollies here and there. Sam was just worn out and in pain from a recent surgery, so he just watched. Once we finally calmed everyone down and got them all together I was asked to give a little speech for the kids. I talked about my childhood and how rough the school and neighborhood was that I grew up in. I talked about how you can do anything you want to if you just keep trying and never, ever quit. The weird thing was that about half way through all of this I found myself holding back some tears. Weird, I know, but these kids had obviously really affected me, and what we did here in the last two weeks was way above any idea I had. As we drove home, I felt truly blessed to have been put in the situation to give this and to have this experience and lesson for myself. I am going to try to do more of these types of industry/skateboarding camps in the future. Skateboarding truly is a whole world of its own, and there are a lot of opportunities for business, employment, traveling, fun, friends and a unique lifestyle. I am just one lucky dude to have been a part of this culture, and it has been very good to me. CW
For more photos of the Soboba Skatecamp please visit freshpark.com
Interview with Wefunk’s Alex Luxat by Malakai Kingston of Silverfishlongboarding Malakai Kingston: Where did you start your passion of skateboarding? Alex Luxat: It started in the late ‘70s with a plastic banana from a flea market, which was forgotten soon. Then in the ‘80s it was all about ramp decks and (humbly) imitating the Bones Brigade. As a teen this was also about rebellion and getting rid of excessive energy and aggression. After I learned snowboarding I was missing the weightless gliding sensation and stopped skateboarding for a few years. I got back on when I found a 44” Powell with Indys and soft Kryptos. I instantly knew I would have fun with it. MK: When did you build your first board? AL: In 2003 my friend Arne and me pressed our first ash/fibreglass decks. MK: How would you describe the boards you currently build? AL: The three main characteristics I try to achieve are control, response and precision. Technologically the boards have more in common with modern ski and snowboard design than with a typical skateboard.
AL: You can align enforcement fibres along force vectors way more efficient than wood grain. Since the fibres have a higher tensile strength than wood you need far less mass. Less mass = faster response; less momentum = faster changes of direction = more control. It´s quite easy to build a stiff and very light deck. But the tricky thing is not to build a deck too nervous and jumpy. My solution was the triple-torsion-box which allows a certain amount of non-linear vertical flex to absorb shocks but with an unparalleld torsional stiffness which transfers steering impulses instantly. Wood is not all bad: Combined with the Airex foam it helps to keep vibrations low and is used where foam would be too weak to bear pressure. It adds some weight but also some vibration-dampness. At the end the Bonecores still weigh only half as much as a plylaminated wood-deck of comparable size and stiffness. For cruising / commuting, Woodcores are still the first choice when everyday toughness and a bouncy, comfortable flex outweigh the characteristics you would look for in a racing deck.
MK: What aspect of your background goes into the boards you make? AL: As an industrial designer my approach is to design first the ride and then the board: I want traction, vibration dampness and control / fast response. Some forces need to be deflected or absorbed, some forces need to be transferred instantly to the trucks. When I´m sure a constructive concept will work I design the board and shape around it.
MK: Where do you see composite skateboarding technology going next? AL: Just look where ski and snowboard construction went in the past 20 years. The technology is there. The question is: Are there enough riders who demand true sporting equipment and are willing to pay for it or do they want to continue paying only toy prices?
MK: What do you think is the most promising aspect of board building with composite materials? Why not just build your boards out of wood?
MK: Do you feel that the end consumers are becoming more value-conscious in regards to the board you build and deliver? AL: Yes, I absolutely believe that. The only thing
that makes me sad is that the horrible EURO to US$ conversion rate and shipping costs makes my decks 30-40% more expensive for North American customers than they should be (keeping in mind same buying power of the currencies in their regions). MK: Do you feel we will start seeing more advances in board materials by the more mainstream board companies in the future? AL: Depending on what market they focus [on]. If you market longboards to the majority of teens, recreational skaters or mallrats it doesn´t make sense to try to sell advanced technology meant for racing. Some companies who focus on the racing scene already have come up with amazing composite designs. MK: What advice do you give to board builders who are thinking of working with materials such as the ones you use? AL: Research the Internet for board-building advice. Take at least two weeks‘ time to research sites like Silverfishlongboarding.com before you start questions in the forums. When questioning be specific. Nobody wants to write an essay for you when you are too general. Start small and progress to more complicated designs to get a feel for the material and how it is used best. Building by yourself may be more expensive than you might think. So maybe team up with friends to buy bigger quantities of composites. MK: In a word what do you think your boards say about you? AL: Tricky question.They are like me: Not always easy to understand but they make a lot of sense if you give them a try. CW
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WORDS: BILL FONSECA PHOTO: JASHAN
WORDS AND PHOTO: GARY HOLL Riding for SK8KINGS, living in Northern California and having a diet rich in Goldfish baked snack crackers, mango lemonade and Girl Scout cookies suits Christian Opperman just fine. Christian focuses his time riding freestyle but is no stranger to carving down hills and hitting the local skateparks and ditches. When he’s not studying for school (all AP classes) he can be found skateboarding or playing guitar. Christian competed in this year’s World Freestyle Championship in Vancouver, Canada on July 28, 2007 and placed 2nd in the Ams.
WORDS: TOBY TAYLOR PHOTO: DAN BOURQUI Dylan moved from Cocoa Beach, Florida to Encinitas three years ago with his big brother Adam Taylor – now a pro – and little sister Lea, who also rips. Dylan is 13 years old and is one of the most stylish young skateboarders coming up. He can adapt to all terrains but loves the big vert ramps. Dylan is sponsored by Timeline Skateboards, Steaz Organic Energy and Green Tea Soda, K5, Adio, Earth, Bones, Electric, 187 Pads and Mechanical Grip Tape. Dylan always remembers his roots and appreciates his parents‘ efforts and hard work so he can live here in Southern California skating with the best pros in the world. Dylan always has a smile on when he skates. He loves going back home and skating with all his friends, and he continues to support the East Coast scene, competing in the Grind for Life series every year as well as other competitions up and down the East Coast. Dylan wants to be a pro skateboarder one day and be inducted into the Florida Skateboard Hall of Fame. Dylan is proud to be from the East Coast and believes that all skateboarders are family no matter where they are from.
WORDS AND PHOTO: DAVE PANG Jack hails from Queanbeyan (a township just on the border of Australia’s capital city, Canberra). Being from an area that does not have any major skateboarding companies, Jack has been under the sponsorship radar for most of his last seven years on the skateboard. But after winning numerous local and national competitions recently, this kid is pretty well kitted out for clothing and skate hardware and deservedly so! He is one of the smoothest and most consistent all-round skaters currently rolling around. Street or tranny, this guy rules! And now with some great sponsors he’ll be traveling Oz and the USA more often. Now you are aware of him, keep him in mind when you sift through skate DVDs and magazines. Bet ya see Jack Fardell gracing the limelight a fair bit! Sponsors: Rip Curl, Fallen shoes, Shifty’s skateshop (Canberra), Zoo York and Oakley.
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WORDS AND PHOTO: RYAN SIMPSON
This Aussie from Leppington, New South Wales is one of the up-and-coming talented kids coming through the ranks. The DIY ethic runs strong in Ben – making ramps out of pieces of scrap wood and using bricks to make them taller. Skating since 7-years of age, Ben has already travelled to Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, China, India and the United States. In the past couple of months Ben went to Perth, Australia to do a tour there with some Christian skaters. They did demos in schools and then big shows on the weekends. He was home for a day and a night and then flew up to Queensland to do demos at a Christian music festival. Ben traveled from Brisbane to Cairns, stopping along the way in the main towns to do skate demos and running competitions. He is currently saving up to go overseas next year – with plans on going to America and Spain. Ben’s sponsors include: Seoa Skateboards, Adio Footwear, Oakley Sunglasses, Cortech Wheels, Krew Clothing, Pro-Tec Helmets and Skater HQ shop.
Some kids just have the whole package: great riding abilities, an amazing personality and goals to boot. Newberg, Oregon’s Brogan Robinson is one of these kids. After hopping on a board only five years ago, Brogan has already accomplished much and set high goals for himself. Out of 20 competitions during the 2006-2007 season, he took home 16 1st place, two 2nd place and two 3rd place finishes, including clinching the overall 1st place title at the Great Northwest Gromfest in Whistler, B.C. and Men’s overall 5th place at the Concrete Rodeo Finals in Battleground, WA. While competitions are great, what keeps Brogan skating is the push to progress. Watching others’ style and incorporating new input into his own is what fascinates Brogan about the sport. Without the support of his family, however, Brogan doesn’t believe he would be at his current level. “My mom, dad and sister are really WORDS AND PHOTO: ROBERT EDMONDS good motivators and a lot Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Jason has been of the time I just do it for them,” he says. “I don’t do it for the sponsors, I do it for skating for four years. His favorite type of skating is street, them and myself, cause that’s what skateboarding’s about – it’s about having fun.” but he enjoys mini ramps and carving in bowls. He also Getting out there and skating is what it’s all about. So what’s next for this up-andlikes to longboard and bomb down hills. Jason plans to comer? “The plan for every day,” says Brogan, is “get up and go skateboard.” continue skating for as long as he can and one day, like all Sponsors: Powell Skateboards, Bones wheels, Dakine, 187 Pads, Fuel Clothing, other skaters, turn pro. Freestyle Watches, Cal Skate Skateboards and Mom & Dad.
JASON AGE 16 EDMONDS
WORDS: HEIDI LEMMON PHOTO: KEONI CASTENEDA LI first met Lamonzo in 2000 when we were doing events in Watts. He joined our S.P.A. demo team then and has been on it ever since. He never misses a chance to skate, film, demo, compete, judge or help produce an event. Lamonzo took Best Trick (nollie frontside nose-slide down the hubba) at Slam City Jam in Calgary and never, ever puts work before skating. In the last year we have sent him to Shanghai, China, Whistler, B.C., Wasilla, Alaska and on a tour of the southern states. John from Active in Santa Monica had this to say about Lamonzo: “He is a humble guy. He doesn’t just come in to get stuff, he hangs out. He skates for all the right reasons.” Teamate Jorge Comelli says he likes to skate with Lamonzo because he is creative, talented and a lot of fun…especially on road trips. Sponsors: S.P.A.U.S.A., Grind King, Active, Dirty Birdz, Fly Paper, Dogpoo Wax, Arbor
Sponsors: Freak Skateboards, Sneaux Shoes (flow), RockStar Bearings (flow), Freestyle Watch Co., Hype Energy Drink
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