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January/FeBruary 2014 VOLUME ten ISSUE one
a. a rticles
Table Of Contents
forewords 5-0 to Failure
fresh find spenCer Brown
guest editor andrew Cannon
fresh find Justin damer
insta-favs instagram pulls
behind the lens alex pap p Ke
hammertime triCK oF tHe montH
behind the cover Flipping out
fresh find evan dittig
photographerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eye negative FraCtions
on tHe Cover: mat Call [backflip] phOtOgraphy :: stepHen oliveira Contents: Kevin pHelps [backside flip] phOtOgraphy :: sean miCHon
36 down to tHe wire
46 Kanaan dern
44 saCK attaCK
48 neil HerriCK
48 assed out
humble bragging humble bragging
small talk small talk
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Co-owner / miKe maZur editorial direCtor firstname.lastname@example.org Co-owner / Justin Heister art direCtor email@example.com editorial assistant / Zander taKetomo senior pHotograpHer firstname.lastname@example.org weB / online stepHen oliveira Content manager email@example.com weB support matt Kosoy firstname.lastname@example.org Copy editor James william ContriButing pHotograpHers MIKE BELLEME, DaNIEL BLECKLEy, rOB COLLINS, SEaN CrONaN, LUKE DarIgaN, aNDy ENOS, ryaN gEE, NICK ghOBaShI, KarIM ghONEM, MIKE hEIKKILa, JaSON hENry, BrIaN KELLEy, BEN KILpatrICK, StEphEN KNIght, SCOtt KraMEr, rIChIE McCOrKLE, ChrIS McDONaLD, StEphEN OLIVEIra, aLEX papKE, DaVID StUCK, XENO tSarNaS, aLLEN yINg, DaN ZaSLaVSKy
ContriButing writers BUDDy BLECKLEy, aNDrEW CaNNON, LUKE DarIgaN, ryaN gEE, JONah KINg, CLaIrE LaVEr, ChrIS NIEratKO, StEphEN OLIVEIra, aLEX papKE, ZaNDEr taKEtOMO, XENO tSarNaS Interested in advertising and Supporting your Local Scene?
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5-0 to Failure WORDS :: Mazur
Being a successful person in life doesn’t necessarily mean owning a big house, fancy car, and going out to elaborate dinners etc. Sometimes those are the things that can blur the vision of being successful… Sometimes those are the steps that lead to becoming an unsuccessful person. Now I am not saying you can’t have those things and continue on the right path, but it often seems that it’s done poorly and throws a person down a one way street, in the wrong direction. The skateboarding industry is notorious for this. Kids are turning pro younger and younger. Leading to them having to make important decisions about their lives before they even know what’s really best for them. Maybe that is a bad choice of words… More or less it’s about what they want in their future life, what they want to become, what their goals are. If you don’t know what your goals are, then how can you design a plan, a life, on achieving them and thus becoming successful within yourself?
Let’s say you just started skateboarding and you want to learn kickflip backside 5-0 grinds down the local 10 stair hubba because, well, that is what you first saw the local cool skate-kid doing. You’re sold on that being what you have to do, to be successful in front of everyone else. So, without trying to learn the basics first… The ollie, the kickflip, the backside 50-50 and the backside 5-0, you just go for it. You charge at that 10-stair hubba with all these hopes, dreams and aspirations, without even realizing it’s probably not the best idea for you. What happens? You crash and burn, breaking your ankles or face, and in an instant, you’re a failure.
I know that particular story is a bit of a stretch, but I think you get the point. I hate saying this ‘cause it means I am old, but when you’re young, you definitely think you know everything that is good for you… And let me tell you, you don’t. I mean, I thought I knew everything and anything too, until I made a million mistakes and realized I definitely didn’t. By no means is it bad to fail. But just understanding more of why you failed, and being able to adjust to reach your goals, is the difference. Skateboarding is a powerful tool in learning to become a successful person, but it can also be a very dangerous one if used in the wrong way. You really just need to make sure you have a plan of attack for life and prioritize what you really want in the future to become successful. If you set you’re goals and follow an educated path toward it, and learn from the mistakes along the way, then success will become a byproduct before you know it.
Josh Swyers knows the right path to success. Check out this gap ollie into the bank in what looks to be a very rundown area. You have to start from the bottom to get to the top.
JAMEL MARSHALL, SMITH GRIND
It would be nice to have come up with some clever caption for this photo, but the only fancy thing you’re going to find here is Andrew Cannon’s foot work. Ollie up, frontside 5-0.
Stay true to You WORDS :: Andrew Cannon
I started really skating in 5th grade because of my friend Colin Mason. Sure, the Ninja Turtles had been subtly hinting that skating ruled for years, but I was too busy being a little kid and eating pizza to realize it. For my birthday I got a Nash board that my dad then ran over because I had left it in the driveway like a classic suburban kid. Colin set me up with a board and I used the old plastic trucks and crappy wheels and bearings that I had from the previous broken one. I worked for my Grand Pop selling Christmas trees that year and used my tip money to buy my first proper setup. It was a Paul Zitzer Birdhouse board with Grind King trucks, Quickies bearings, Birdhouse wheels and Jessup Griptape. I went and bought it the day after Christmas in ’96.
Colin didn’t end up at the same middle school that I did, so I was forced to make some new friends. Luckily there was a group of guys that took me in right away. We all skated together in their neighborhoods after school or in my barn. Those guys were my gang growing up. That year for my birthday, which is in the fall, I got a green crewneck sweatshirt from my mom. It had a drop of water giving the peace sign. I fucking loved that sweatshirt. I wore it every single day, and my buddy Roger wore the coinciding maroon one with the flame. 6th grade was a good year. When I got older, one of the guys from our town started getting boards from World Industries, Tyler Oakey. We all started skating World boards again because of it.
If you don’t know who Tyler was, he was one of the most awesome skateboarders around the West Chester area. What he is doing now, I unfortunately have no idea. After I moved out to Arizona for college I was kind of unsure if the pro skateboarding dream would ever come to fruition. I just had knee surgery and I was scared to jump the same way that I had been. So instead of stressing, I did the school thing and just had a shit-load of fun and made some awesome new friends. Eventually I realized that I wanted to keep it going and gave it my husky college boy all. It was about a year later that I was on a trip with a clothing company that I used to skate for. We were in Albuquerque and I started telling my buddy Matt, who shoots for The Skateboard Mag, about how even in my 20’s I thought that World was cool because it had the sentimental value from when I was a kid, even if the team was insane and the image of the brand was at an all time low. He thought it was awesome and he ended up contacting his friend over there to see if they were looking for team dudes. They were no longer at Dwindle and they had a shoe program, but I didn’t care, I just wanted free boards and if they still had some money, maybe I could go on some more trips. Here I am six years later and god damn am I stoked that Matt and I nerded-out on shit we loved as kids.
A little over a week ago World Industries took a shit. They dismantled the skate team for the second time in their history as a brand and are not looking to replace us. It sucks, but this article isn’t about being a sourpuss, I’m just stating the facts. But even though it ended the way it did I can still hardly express how much my experience with those guys means. They turned me pro, they gave me tons of experience with seeing what goes on behind the scenes, and most importantly, I gained a whole new family from it. Sure, it wasn’t for the best company in the world, but lets call a spade a spade, I’m not the best skateboarder in the world. I’m a dude who works hard, cares a lot about the brands and is willing to go the extra mile where I need to. Because of that, I have been able to live the same life that I dreamed about when I watched the 411’s growing up. And do you know why? Because of a sentimental attachment to a tiny little raindrop when I was in 6th grade. The moral of the story is that sometimes in life you just have to say fuck it and do something because it means something to you, even if it is not the coolest thing in the world. In 20 years none of that shit will matter anyway. You’ll be satisfied with what you have accomplished and the friends you’ve made. And all those people that told you what you were doing was lame and that this or that company sucked, where would they be? Who cares.
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Down to the Wire
Video Droppin g May 2014
D A M O N
S H I E L D S,
B A C K L I P
D AV I D S T U C K
Ne w Lo ca tio n
PA R K V I L L E
iNSta-FaVS #FoCussKatemag #eastCoastexCellenCe
1. @newbreedsk8board photo: @cornphoto 2. photo: @inkfloyd 3. @d1llanrara photo: @vinny_tullo
4. @roezano photo: @Kylearc
If you’re not following us, @Focusskatemag, on instagram, you’re blowing it son. We’re back with our second installment of Insta-Favs. here’s a reminder of what you need to do to get in on the action. We’re always pulling and reposting photos from Instagram that are tagged using our hashtags: #Focusskatemag and #eastCoastexcellence. So, if you’re not using those tags, you might want to start. From the images we repost, we’ll now be choosing nine of our favorites each issue to feature in the mag. after this, you’re on your own and we’ll see you out on the streets and/or in cyber space.
5. @crickhunter photo: @lukedarigan 6. @codyartsyboul photo: @billycocks 7. @jmcguigan photo: @alynxx3 8. @jskvzz photo: @zakari100mph 9. @doctor_zorch photo: @christophermgleason
Which would you rather carry when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re skating?
A slim minimal wallet designed for skateboarders, by skateboarders, capable of holding over 10 cards, plus cash and more.
Albert Nyber focusskatemag.com
WORDS :: MAZUR
Okay, I know what you are all thinking to yourselves… This isn’t East Coast. Well, yeah, it’s not… Its super, super East Coast. Anyway, I’ve wanted to get something of this kid, Albert Nyber, for a while now. So, when this great flick came in, I just had to snatch it up. At first I was confused, too. I am not going to lie. When I first saw it labeled ‘Rick Flip,’ I thought to myself, “That must be a typo.” Then I realized minutes later, “Never mind, I remember that now.” Fakie bigspin heels, I normally think of as a circus trick, and they are usually very sloppy. But Albert makes this trick look so good! He also puts on a show for outdoor café patrons, adding to the brownie points for Albert and this fakie big heel. With that, we chose it as the Hammertime for this month’s issue.
“Evan is one of those dudes who will dress up like a ‘G’ and put on fake chains just for a Snapchat. His love for thug-culture, in general, is probably more extensive than his education at St. John’s University, and his ability to skate ledges is even more extensive. Myself being someone who can’t do a single switch ledge trick, it’s intimidating to see him rifle them off backside, but enjoyable to film him doing them. I’m psyched to know him and be able to skate/film with him, even if he does sweat so much that he chafes and can’t run and throw his board down.”
~Cooper Winterson Filmer & Friend
evan Dittig [wallie]
Hometown: Wayne, NJ Sponsors: Underground Skateshop, HUF (flow), Enjoi (flow) Spot you’re sick of seeing in videos: Jkwon Trick that always gets you a letter in S.K.A.T.E.: Varial Heelflip Guilty Pleasures: Sleeping with a blow dryer when it’s cold out. Worst injury: I split my shin open to the bone in May of 2012. One word to describe the future of skateboarding: 9club
[Frontside noseslide nollie flip to fakie]
Hometown: Baltimore, MD Sponsors: Lockdown Skateboards, FKD Bearings, Silver Trucks, JSLV Clothing, Nike SB, VU Skateshop Spot you’re sick of seeing in videos: I wouldn’t say I’m sick of seeing any spot. This is simply because any person could completely reinvent a certain obstacle and freak it in a way that’s never been done before. But I definitely get hyped/pissed off at the same damn time when watching footage of EMB, Love before the renovations, the small side of the Brooklyn Banks and all of the classic, iconic, spots that are no longer with us. R.I.P. Trick that always gets you a letter in S.K.A.T.E.: Inward Heelflip Guilty Pleasures: Fresh white tee’s and blowing money on gear. Worst injury: Knee and ankle bullshit. A couple of dislocations. It comes with the territory. One word to describe the future of skateboarding: Streets
“Spencer Brown a laid back, raw, and naturally talented skater from the streets of B-more. A filming machine and street technician whose always out working hard and having fun, no matter what the environment. He’s one who doesn’t follow the herd or any trends. Trends that seem to be followed by others in order to rush-in but come and go so fast. Spencer is the real-deal skateboarder and great motivational person to be around, which I know from personal experience. We’re very honored to have him on board riding for the Lockdown family. Keep y’all eyes peeled for Spencer Brown.” ~Ronson Lambert Teammate & Friend
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Justin Damer focusskatemag.com
[ollie into bank]
Hometown: Washington, DC Sponsors: Palace 5ive, Foundation, Dekline, Pig, Coalatree Organics, A.Skate Foundation Spot you’re sick of seeing in videos: If anything it would be a plain looking ledge. I like watching people skate spots differently than normal. Trick that always gets you a letter in S.K.A.T.E.: Switch 360 Flip Guilty Pleasures: Hanging with my wife, cooking, driving across the USA, exploring the outdoors, 3 Amigos, and a good cup of coffee. Worst injury: I tore my rotator cuff and three tendons off the bone in my left shoulder skating a ledge. I got pretty lucky and had surgery from one of The Redskin’s doctors. One word to describe the future of skateboarding: Switch
“I’ve known Justin since he was a wee lad, donning a sticker covered helmet that never left his head (I suspect he even slept with the thing on). He is now a full- grown man, boy, wife, Honda and all. I feel that no matter what is in this guy’s life he will keep shredding every day. While everyone else was chasing highs and women through their teenage years, he was skating. Others changed and he skated. This cat is so nice and positive and full of adventure and talent that I can’t even be my normal sarcastic self in describing him. He’s seriously so good that even after constantly being around so many talented skateboarders, I’m still blown away every time I skate with him.” ~Nick Ghobashi Photographer & Friend
Alex Papke WORDS :: Luke Darigan
Hey Alex. What are you doing? Not too much, walking to school. It’s a nice chilly day out. I have so much stuff to get done today. I have to make 15 digital prints so I’m going to be sitting in front of the computer hitting the print button every 20 minutes.
Who were you there with? I went up there with my friend Cody Baker. He’s a filmer from Pittsburgh and kills it on the board. It was his first time in NYC so it was awesome getting to show him around. I also met up with Neil Herrick in Philly and we ended up taking the same bus to NYC so that worked out pretty nicely. I went up there and stayed with Giorgio Villone for a few days, and kicked it with Cooper Winterson and Carlos Jaramillo, who is also a photographer. There was a bunch of other people up there too. I love it there. It’s nothing but good vibes. Get anything while you were there? I got this one really sick photo of Neil. We found this construction spot on the street and one of streets was blocked off with this shitty jersey barrier… There was a huge bump in it that looked impossible to get over and it was crusty with all these notches in it. Neil looked at it and wanted to skate it, so we started shooting photos and one of the last ones that he got had a longboarder right behind the barrier mall grabbing. It’s so sick with the dude in the background and Neil doing the boardslide. I’m really surprised someone was actually able to skate it. When I first saw it, I thought of it as one of those spots that you think is sick but no one will ever skate. What’s in your bag? Right now I’m shooting with a Nikon D7000. I’m using mainly a 35mm 1.8 for long lens stuff and a 10.5mm 2.8 fisheye that I like to use a lot. I have an SB-900, a couple Vivitar 285s and an Alien Bee B800 with two different reflectors and some pocket wizards. For film I use my Bronica and I have a couple of 35mm cameras that I like to use.
What are you majoring in? Right now I’m doing photojournalism. I’m going to do one more semester then I plan on taking a semester off and moving to San Diego. I still have to get my funds in order, then going back to school as a communications major. A lot of the stuff I’ve been learning in the photo program I learned a while ago and a handful the other kids who major in photography at my school only seem to do it because they didn’t know what to go to school for. I just think if I was somewhere else I could be getting a lot more work done that I would be happy with. Some of the classes I have right now, like my experimental black and white class, which I was really psyched on at the beginning of the semester, has been bumming me out recently. I was really bummed on this one project because we had to shoot with a Holga camera. I had already bought a bunch of 120 film for my Bronica and I had to waste it on the Holga. I shot three rolls and didn’t get a single photo out of it. That really bummed me out. But I guess that’s the risk with film.
So, San Diego? Yeah, I’m thinking San Diego next year but it takes a lot of money. That’s the thing that is hard. I’m working two part-time jobs. One at Panera… Which is the worst. I’m trying to get out of there ASAP. I’m also working at my school for this program that lends out the cinematography equipment to the students. Technically I’m in charge of all the photo equipment, but not many people take that stuff out, just the cinematography stuff gets used. I never got any formal training so I’ve just been trying to bullshit it this whole semester. I’ve been learning a lot about cinema. It interests me, but it’s nothing I want to pursue. What have you been shooting recently? I’ve been so busy with school that I haven’t been skating a bunch and the weather has been pretty crappy. I just got back from New York last night from a week long trip. We got a couple days of skating in, but most of the time it rained.
Was it your secondary goal? Haha, nah, I can’t say that it was. Just for the record, I did NOT get any underage booty while I was there. For some reason they just thought I was trying to hook up with all the girls there. That was kinda lame and I’m Mycah Williams
Where do you go to school? I go to Point Park University. It’s a small liberal arts school in downtown Pittsburgh. It’s a really big dancing school believe it or not. I think it’s the second in the nation next to Julliard. There are a lot of girls here and it’s really big on the cinematography program. They have a decent photo program, but I have nothing else to compare it to. It definitely takes up a lot of my time.
I was up there for a couple weeks two summers ago and there were a handful of reasons… I’m still not really sure what I did. I don’t think they liked me that much. I shot a bunch of photos of skating there, but they gave me a list of all the sponsored spots in camp that they wanted me to shoot that not a bunch of people skate. I tried getting it done, the first week the Enjoi guys were there and I shot a bunch of stuff with them and thought I did a decent job, but when I came back up and my boss told me I blew it. He said the photos were good but I didn’t do any of the stuff he asked me to do. Then I had to shoot a bunch of the lifestyle bullshit they wanted me to do. I was out there every fucking day with three backpacks of equipment and they told me I wasn’t working hard enough. I mean, I was working as an unpaid intern, I think I did a pretty damn good job but I was told that I was put on the “do not rehire list” for some bullshit reason… I tried calling them and talked to the head of the media department, but he was so vague and couldn’t give me a direct reason that I got fired. I actually had to drive up there to pick up two of my homies at the end of this last summer and I took my board up. I skated a few of the parks but everyone who was working there was like, “What the hell is this dude doing here, isn’t he banned?” It was funny. I thought they were gonna kick me out but they actually let me skate for a few hours. They thought I was just trying to mack on the underage campers while I was interning there, which for the record wasn’t my primary goal.
Alex Papke [wallie]
Where are you from? I’ve lived in Pittsburgh most of my life. I was born in Denver, Colorado but only lived there for 6 months as a newborn before my family decided to move here because they were closer to their parents. It’s pretty cool, but the winters suck… A lot. The skate scene’s not bad and there are a decent amount of dudes ripping doing Pittsburgh’s skate scene justice. I heard you get real drunk real fast? HAHAHA, who told you that? Maybe when I was younger. Yeah, for sure. If I slam 10 beers in 10 minutes chances are I might be a bit out of it. I dunno. I try and cool it on the drinking. It isn’t good for you. My first year of college I was super hyped on drinking, but I sorta lost interest once this year started. I try not to embarrass myself as much as I can. What happened with Woodward? Oh man, they pretty much banned me from that place.
bummed I can’t go up there anymore, but I had a kickass summer this year that beat any of the summers that I’ve had at Woodward. What did you do instead? I spent the summer out on the West Coast. I went on this awesome road trip with two of my best friends Zane Timpson and Mycah Williams. We spent a month going from San Diego to Seattle and back down. It was incredible. It was definitely different than Woodward, and refreshing to see something other than PA for a summer. Any last shout outs? I would like to thank anyone that has supported me since I started shooting photos. My Mom, Dad and brother Deegan have always been there to help me out. Also, One Up Skateshop for holding it down, Focus, TSM, the good homie Bielich, and anyone that has skated with me and let me taken their photograph. And thank you too, Luke! I’ll try and make it back down to Philly soon. Get your ass over to the Burgh!
Ira Canada Photo by Nicholas Raciti
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FlippiNg out WOrDS and phOtOgraphy graphy :: stepHen oliveira
y know that look that we give scooter riders when we see them at a you skate park actually charging the obstacles, rolling into six-foot quarters and airing out of things… that, “Wow, these guys totally don’t belong here, but they’re oddly killing it, so carry on, carry on.” look? that was the look that Mat Call and I got when we encountered some BMX guys while shooting on these trails. Mat and I have gone out to this spot about five times. We were able to get the backflip that you see on the cover on the first trip out, but had to head back out there to snag a sequence of it. y yeah, the sequence that should be sitting above this text here, or maybe next to that photo of him drying the roll-in with the flamethrower that he hustled out of a pawnshop JUSt for this occasion. Who knows where it may have sat, but it sure isn’t here, and we can thank Mother Nature for that one. time after time I would pick up Mat from his house, drive out to the trails, park on the side of the road in this neighborhood, grab our stuff out of the car and embark on the hike out to the jumps. Using the dirt under our feet as a barometer, it always showed signs of wetness up ahead. It was wet EVEry ry single time we went out there after the first trip. Mat nearly put himself on the injured list just one day before leaving for the tampa t am due to rain from the night before making the roll-in too mushy. as he jumped on into the roll-in with the bungee’s assistance, throwing all of his weight forward, his front wheels found themselves a new home – right on the top of the roll-in, about an inch and a half into the dirt. hucked to flat, Mat was done after that one try, as he shouted that the pain was worse than a car accident he was in that totaled his car years back. One thing that bums me out about skateboarding is that so many people talk about the freedom that it provides, with being able to do whatever you can imagine, wherever you can imagine, yet so many people are so quick to slap “unskatable” across a spot’s forehead just because it has something very minimal wrong with it.
Well let me tell you guys, dirt jumps have a lot of things “wrong” with them when it comes to attempting plow over one on a skateboard, the most obvious one being the fact that, well, they’re made entirely of dirt. Closed minds have a place, and that place is politics. this is skateboarding, and thIS is what went into the first cover of 2014.
to watch a video of the cover in action, check out: t www.FocusSkateMag.com/2013/12/reel-time-mat-call or scan the Qr code on the cover.
WOrDS and phOtOgraphy :: eriK HoFFman
according to Merriam-Webster, the definition of a process is “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.” I disagree. If there is one thing to learn from my “process” it is that, contrary to Webster’s definition, there is no particular order and certainly no particular end. as I work through this idea, which has only been a presence in my mind for a short time, I am finding that there are no limitations that indicate I have taken this idea to it’s full extent, moreover I cannot seem to see any bound that could be reached in the foreseeable future. Somewhat ironically enough the course that I have chosen begins at the point where most photographers end, the point where they would decide an outcome is subpar and simply go back and reshoot.
having an undeveloped roll of film draws a number of parallels to purgatory. you’ve won half the battle by shooting the photo but uncertainty lies between those strips of film backing. In the digital age we live in today, few put themselves in a position as such. about six months back I had a shot that I was excited about and after developing the film I realized that since the exposure had been so close to the end of the roll it happened to overlap with the tape which held the film backing to the film. In a state of dissatisfaction I punctured the bottom half of the exposure with clips so the group of negatives would dry and stay straight rather than trying to salvage the exposure. realizing what I had done an hour or so later, I had come to an understanding in my mind that the exposure was to become nothing more than refuse. Weeks later I found the negative while scanning others. Since it had been “ruined,” my knee-jerk reaction was to inflict more damage in that frustrated state of mind. the weapon of choice was the wire brush sitting on my desk. after a couple swipes I scanned it again, unsure of how I felt about the results I turned to the matches in my desk drawer which warped the negative a great deal making it difficult to scan. the only logical solution to this problem was to sandwich the exposure between glass when scanning. I quickly realized that when the negative gets burned it also becomes very brittle so the spots that had been exposed to the most heat now split wide open.
Out of a bout of good fortune the cracks never reached the subject of the photos and turned into a very interesting, yet unpredictable, way of making the composition more interesting. After making a couple more burns and scratches, then scanning, I began to notice fingerprints showing up on the scans and found that in a twist of fate I was happy with the way they marred the distressed negative. After an hour or so of work the marks, mars, and mistakes came full circle giving the exposure a new life past the drying rack that was fully unexpected. The cracks which emerged from the bubbled plastic complimented the puncture wounds from the drying clips, giving the negative a very grungy, weathered look as well as turning the exposure into a cohesive work that was now less about the subjects presence in the frame and more about the scarred plastic. 1. Alex Sadd [front feeble] 2. Alex Sadd [nosepick] 3. Alex Sadd [back smith] 4. Alex Sadd [5-0 to fakie]
5. Ant Delieto [hurricane] 6. Andy Adams [invert] 7. Zack Anderson [50-50 pop-in] 8. Alex Sadd [nosegrind]
The nature of shooting film ensures that you will have an overabundance of extremely mediocre shots that do not have the flexibility that a digital RAW file offers. Taking these mediocre shots and subjecting them to the erosion continues to give me great joy as well as giving a negative, that is doomed to a life between the pages in a binder, a new meaning while coming incredibly close to destroying it. More mild irony. After success in the first round of distressing negatives it would be a mistake not to test luck again. Six months later the sleeves in my binder no longer lie flat due in large part to the warped negatives incased in it. Not only that, but my binder has also become something which needs to be treated as a fine piece of China so no further damage is done to the brittle plastic inside. The series that I am now fully immersed in seems to be coming along quite well. Along with any new endeavor, with time, improvements and better techniques surface and in a perfect world you would be able to apply these improvement and techniques to the previous shots included in the project. Since this is not the case, the series will either take longer than expected or a distinct improvement shown in the prints will be made later that hopefully gives the viewer a better understanding of the technique.
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W W W. S K I B L U E M T . C O M
DAvi A D stuck Avi
DowN to the wire
Carl sCHmidt [ollie]
INtrODUCtION :: gary smitH phOtOgraphy :: Joe BroCColo
Let’s face the facts, our new video, “Down To The Wire,” isn’t going to be able to oneup Nyjah’s new part or even come close. But what we hope to do is help expose our shop, Baltimore, and the raw talent that lies within the Mason Dixon Line. With a release date set for May 2014, everybody on the shop’s team has been working super hard toward the deadline. For some of the riders it will be there first full video part. Others, like Spencer Brown, it will be another notch on their belt.
Filming in Baltimore has always looked aesthetically pleasing, but every trick has taken a ton work. Rough ground, crack heads, and unpredictable weather have hindered our filming process. Some of the riders have had to go back to spots more than four times just to get one trick. But that’s what’s it’s all about; getting a trick is like another piece to the puzzle.
The shop riders all skate together, but each one has their own trick selection and unique style of skating. We hope to cater to a wide audience and allow them to have their favorite part. We know how critical skateboarders are and that there is a new internet video up every 23 seconds, all we ask of you is to consider how hard we all worked for this. Now double-tap the like button.
“Filming for ‘Down to the Wire’ has been both stressful and enjoyable. the past couple of years I’ve really found myself on and off the board. Finding my balance between work, real-life responsibilities, and skateboarding has shaped me into who I am today. I’ve noticed that some of my favorite clips were at night. Not just because of the look, but because most of the spots were spontaneous. It’s so much more exciting to stumble upon a gem in an ally rather than jump down the huge gap that everyone else has done. I’ll go to a spot with a plan or an idea of what I want to do, then wind up doing something completely different. For this video I’ve focused on trying to enjoy myself at all times on my skateboard. Concentrating on a more ‘basic’ trick selection, and going as fast as I can is what does it for me. this photo represents just that. the sidewalk run-up is typical for Baltimore, rough and uneven, then you have to carve to the left, pop up two stairs, force yourself over a big crack, dead center on the porch, then quick setup and snap over the bar. these are the types of spots that drive me. I love Baltimore and everything about it. hopefully this video influences others to explore the city and push their own limits.” ~Carl Schmidt
“the biggest struggle for me filming for this video has been trying to keep it different. I am constantly looking for new spots, and have a certain way I want things to look. I’m super picky about what I film on. I’m not a huge fan of seeing a video where the whole crew skates the same ten spots over and over again in their parts. Finding new spots or creative ways to skate old spots is what drives me. Baltimore has seen a big surge over the past few years of out-of-towners coming through and skating. that just makes me work harder to find more and more new spots to keep it fresh. Baltimore, like most of the upper northeast, is such an old city and has been weathered for so many years. Many of the spots need work to make them skatable. a sawzall, signs, masonry rub bricks and clear coat are all a regular part of my arsenal to make things skatable. this heelflip to fakie is a perfect example. this spot has been there for years in plain sight. right next to a ledge spot and across the street from a foundation spot. all I needed was a little sign at the bottom and it was good to go. Baltimore has so many hidden gems like this, if your willing to put the time in and do some work it pays off in the end.” ~Steve Batton
steve Batton [heelflip to fakie]
m myles willard [gap to 5-0]
“Skating in Baltimore is gnarly because of bad weather, old spots, and people always trying to stop us from skating. this spot is a good example of that. Most of the time you will have only a couple tries before security comes and kicks you out. Joe and I were trying to get this photo while a security guard was standing on the steps and calling the cops. Filming for D.t. tt t. t.W. has been sick. Most of the time we all meet up in a big pack and just go skate. the weather in Baltimore has sucked lately, so we’ve all been trying to make plans to go out of state and go to new spots. Since most of the spots are old and beat, going out of state to new spots is one of the best things about filming for D.t. t t.W.” t. t ~Myles Willard
aaron pennington [wallride nollie out]
gary smitH [pivot to fakie]
“I was finishing things up with art school when gary mentioned the spring ‘14 deadline; it was motivating, I looked at it as a year long project. Since then, the whole filming process has been as classic as it ever was… go out, scheme on something, and see what happens. It will be rad to see it all come together.” ~Aaron Pennington
“this has been the hardest video part I’ve filmed for. I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I used to love to jump down shit and now I find myself keeping it closer to the ground. My time is so limited now with a baby and opening my second store… the good thing is when I do go out and film, I waste no time. Either I get the trick, or I leave battered up. the spot in this photo is at the Baltimore City jailhouse. It’s never a bust, but extremely hard to skate. the ride up is beveled and skinny as hell. I am stoked on the footy I’ve gotten so far, I just hope to make it through the winter and get a few more solid clips.” ~Gary Smith
BZafa, <WdW_k 4aY^[S
WORDS and PHOTOGRAPHY :: Stephen Stalnaker
Every skateboarder’s worst nightmare… The deep, protruding thought embedded in your head just as you ride up to that rail, that’s just tall enough for your feet to miss the ground if straddled. My friend, Reese Salken, is no stranger to the reality of this consequence. Skateboarding began its hold on Reese in the small, colonial county of Yorktown, Virginia, and has since taken him up and down the corresponding coasts of the United States. In my experience, Reese has always, no matter what the day brings, rather been skateboarding. His daily routines, choices, and even thoughts all reflect what, when, and where he can skate. His integrity for skating shows up in his footage and photos and he has always been one of my favorite skaters to watch. One day in January of 2013, Reese and I headed out to this untouched double-set rail he and some friends had found a few weeks prior. The rail was located on Ft. Monroe, an island-like, former military base built in the early 1800’s to protect the Virginia Peninsula from attack by sea. Ft. Monroe had only recently been open to the public so skating was still pretty rare, plus we didn’t know how security would handle it being that we were skating on a national monument.
Upon arrival, it was clear that what we were dealing with was pretty much a ghost town with only few businesses still in operation, which cleared our minds of anyone kicking us out or giving us any trouble. A lot of the area’s architecture is similar, so it took a little while to find the rail, which ended up being at the base’s abandoned library. It was freezing out and by the time I had set everything up, we were so cold that I think we were questioning our own motives. Reese started hopping on the rail and boardsliding it for a still photo and a sequence. There was no filmer with us so he decided he would come back at a later time to film the boardslide and maybe 50-50 or smith when it wasn’t so cold. In the next month or so, Reese ended up going back to the rail twice with two different filmers. The first time, to film the boardslide and the second time, he wanted to 50-50 it, but ended up sacking while warming up with a boardslide and tore his urethra. Not able to pee and fearing the worst, he went to the hospital where he was issued a catheter that he would wear, and somehow skate with, for the several coming months.
reese salKen [backside boardslide]
this thing was gross; it was basically a replacement bladder while his was out of commission. I remember him being pretty miserable for the first week or so because he wasn’t sure if he could skate with it in or not. the doctors eventually cleared reese to skate but told him to, “take it easy,” because you can only imagine how durable those things are and I’m sure they’re not built for the heavy stress that skateboarding can have on your body. he quickly resumed his normal habits, driving around spot searching and looking for any possible way he could set foot on a skateboard. Skating with a catheter in was sometimes difficult for reese, especially early on. Who wouldn’t fear the worst in a situation like that? Optimistic, he made it happen and was able to get a good bit of footage and photos both here in Virginia and in Florida before his surgery in early May. My hat’s gladly off to reese because despite all the robotic shit going on in his drawers, he still skated every spot (sometimes going back for the same trick, over, and over), he still moved to Florida to skate for a month, and he’s still able to jump on these rails that most would think twice about. all that, after being through so much, takes a lot of what every male skateboarder strives to protect, even if they are damaged or slightly bruised.
aSSeD out WOrDS and phOtOgraphy graphy :: eddie liddy
at the start of summer, I received a message from the owner of t tyrant Skateboard Company (Dom Borowicz) saying that he had a rail he wanted t tony Christopher to 50-50 in pontiac, Michigan, and asked if I’d come out and get the photo. a few days later I meet up with Dom, t tony, and a few others to go skate. We went to a few spots in pontiac, then all of a sudden we pull into an abandoned shopping complex, and by the looks of it, it had no spots to skate... Unless you wanted to skate over potholes. We pull up to a building, and Dom tells us to pile some wood in the back of our buddy’s truck. We walk around, find a couple pieces of rotten wood and get the truck loaded up. at this point I still had no idea what we were doing and if we were even going to this, “fucked-up rail,” that Dom spoke of. We piled back into the cars and pull around the back of one of the buildings. there’s trash everywhere, shitty ground, and cardboard bum shelters. We pull up to this 22-stair rail in the woods that is completely rusted, slightly bent over, and crooked at the end. “this has to be the rail,” I say sarcastically. Dom answers, “It is.” very seriously.
We get out and have to clean the spot up a bit. the grass is overgrown and almost hiding the rail... Full trash bags and shit-filled diapers on the sides, broken glass at the landing. On top of that, the ride up was a weathered sidewalk with a crusty, asphalt landing. t tony duct tapes a few of the cracks at the top while we situate the soggy wood at the bottom. t tony rolls up to the rail a few times as the cameras are being set up. his first couple attempts went all right. he was able to jump off and slide down the grass. then just as he was getting the feel for the rail, he gets into a mullet grind, sticks, and it goes straight to his taint. he hits the ground, and everyone just looks at each other in shock. he manages to drag himself to a spot to sit down and asks for a cigarette, but everyone was out. a few dudes go out on a cigarette and beer run. he stands up to have Dom check out his ass... he luckily just got a decent gash on his ass crack. Dom pours whiskey on it to hopefully kill the brewing staph infection.
after twenty minutes or so, some of the neighborhood residents come down to see what the commotion was about, and our friends show back up with beer and smokes. t tony chugs a brew, smokes a few, and says that he’s ready to try it again. he rolls up to the rail a few times and gets a few “fucks” out of the way. then, after some unsuccessful attempts, even one where he almost rolls away but slips out on the wood, one of the locals said he’d put some reefer on the line if he got it next try. he runs back up, adjusts a few pieces of duct tape over the cracks and off he goes. tony then sticks the 50-50 solid, grabs a celebratory beer, and we headed to the next spot of the day. t
tony CHristopHer [frontside 50-50]
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Kanaan Dern WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY :: STEPHEN Knight
Hey what’s up? Starting off with the basics… How old are you, where are you from, and how do you pronounce your name? I’m 19 years old. I’m from Apopka Florida, which is about 10 miles outside of Orlando, FL. And my name is pronounced like “Kay-nin” I guess.
What are you up to when you’re not out skating or sneaking around cutting kinks and knobs in the middle of the night? Ha-ha, I just bought a dirt bike recently, so I’ve been riding that a lot. Other than that, I try and find extra junk around the house to sell on eBay.
You have a pretty infamous spot in your backyard now, next to your mini ramp. It was actually on a cover of Focus back in 2009. Explain how that happened though. It’s called the “Fiber Rider,” it’s basically a big water slide. My brother Dalton and I wanted it so, we made an offer on it. It took 4 trips to get it to my house from a place called, “The Property,” in New Smyrna, FL that some gnarly bowl skaters owned. They had a big bowl and a mini flow course too. It was let go and destroyed recently, so I guess you could say we saved the fiber rider! Tim Payne originally donated it to “The Property.”
Do you and Dalton have a competitive brotherly love going on in contests and rub it in each other’s face as to who placed higher? We always have brotherly love. We may not always show it, but we’re never against each other like that. We’re just always pushing each other to skate harder and better! You seem to find quite a bunch of spots, out of town, searching Google maps. How often have you been bamboozled with fool’s gold after driving to check it out? I’ve always liked skating new spots and stuff that aren’t blown out, so I like going to random towns to search for new spots or lurk Google maps and go check it out. Yeah, there’s been a few times I’ve gotten bamboozled ha-ha. How’d you start getting hooked up by Black Box? I won a best trick at a Jamie Thomas demo at Graffiti Skate Zone and the owner, Dan, had showed a Black Box rep my footage. So, I met and talked with him and he started flowing me Zero boards. Then the rep just forwarded my footage to Ryan Bobier, whose the TM for Fallen now, so I just recently started getting flow from them.
“Kanaan loves to skateboard. As long as I’ve known him, he’s always been down to skate no matter what the circumstances. Whether it’s lighting up a spot at 3am or skating a 12-stair rail in the pouring rain, he’s always down. Even when I ask him to film a trick twice to get a second angle he never hesitates. Besides the fact that he loves to skate, he’s one of the nicest dudes I know. With such a humble attitude, I see nothing but good things in store for Kanaan.” ~Tommy Bohn Friend/Filmer
Kanaan Dern [backside boardslide through knobs]
You seem to have gotten in a few incidents with a laser pointer, including getting your mom stopped by cops and getting us ran off the road by some redneck. I heard about another in Vegas... Dude, it was crazy! Me and Tommy were just shining it off the road signs and a street biker got pissed and started following us. It turned into a high-speed chase real quick; I had the rental car topped out at about 120 mph down the highway. I got off the exit and he was still following us, so I didn’t wanna lead him to where we were staying, so we were speeding through some random neighborhoods running stop signs at 80 mph. Then we got to the end of a cul-de-sac and I whipped the car around and we almost had a head-on collision. He slammed on his brakes and slid out, falling off his bike, gets up and pulls a gun out pointing and yelling at us. I just ducked my head and floored it out of there! I glanced at the rear view mirror at him trying to pick his bike back up but we were out of there before he could catch back up! People in Vegas are crazy!
I always like to think to myself, “Be careful and you’ll be fine,” ha-ha. Well, how do you consider trying to ollie El Toro, “for fun?” I’ve always seen it in videos as that famous 20 stair and I told myself when I was younger that I was gonna try to ollie it one day. So, I tried it about 15 times and then couldn’t walk for a week. I guess there’s always next time! That doesn’t sound like fun at all. How did you manage to only have to go to high school for one year and not be a drop out? My mom had me in private school from kindergarten to 6th, and I had begged her to home school me, so she let me do it from 7th to 11th, but she was over always hassling me to do my work. She then made me go to public school for my senior year to finish up. I’m glad she did!
You’ve put out a handful of video parts already. What are you working on now? A couple things. I’m working on another part with Tommy Bohn for his next full-length he’s making. I’m also working on a part for Troy Vetri’s next video, too. And I’ve filmed some stuff for Ryan and Tyler Lodzinski’s video called, “Collective Behavior.”
Explain what a “Me, chilling!” picture is, and how you get your friends caught chilling way to hard. It’s when you go on your homies phone and upload a funny picture of them to their instagram, zoomed in super close on their face and just making them look kooky!
Geez, you’re everywhere around here! What goes through your mind when you roll up to a gnarly spot 30 times and then proceed to land it multiple times? It’s always just getting that first try over with. It also helps me to really concentrate on what I’m about to do.
Always a good laugh catching those in the feed before they get deleted. Let’s wrap this up with a quick holler. Shout-out to all the homies, my family, my sponsors, Zero, Fallen, and GSZ (Graffiti Skate Zone).
“I have known Neil Herrick for quite a few years now, and I am confident in saying that he is one of the most interesting and amazing humans I have ever met. Neil is the true embodiment of what skateboarding is all about, and the very definition of East Coast skateboarding. Fundamentally sound and continually pushing his own limits, the amount of footage Neil can produce in a single weekend is mind-blowing. Watch the kid skate and I guarantee you’ll feel the urge to pick up your own board. Outside of skating, Neil is a super friendly and down-to-earth kid who always has something to say worth hearing. Keep your eyes peeled for more of Neil in the future; he is one skateboarder who cannot be stopped.” ~Ray Porreca Fairmans, TM
WORDS and PHOTOGRAPHY :: Alex Papke
Hey Neil, what’s going on? Not too much, just trying to skate a lot. I’m going to school, that takes up a decent amount of my time. The semester is almost over, I wanna take a trip somewhere to escape the cold.
Yeah, the winter is never any fun here. I know you like to travel as much as you can. We are in New York now. Why did you decide to come up here this weekend? To film with Cooper (Winterson) and just skate the city. I wish I could stay longer. I try and come up here whenever I can, between work and school. Where do you work? I work at a car wash/gas station. I’ve been there for about six months. It’s really convenient because I can walk there from my house. The tips are decent, too.
Plus I get a discount on gas. That seems like a pretty cool job. Beats working in the food industry any day. Where else have you traveled recently? Recently, Charlotte, North Carolina and Pittsburgh. And you had never been to either of those cities before? What did you think of them? Charlotte was rad, the locals are friendly and there are plenty of cool spots. Pittsburgh has tons of spots too, and isn’t like any other city I’ve been to before. Thanks for letting us stay with you and showing us around. I’m glad you were able to come up. Do you have any funny stories from being on the road?
Neil Herrick [backside boardslide]
On a trip to Richmond, Virginia with the Kinetic crew, the guys we were staying with had a party. One kid was super drunk and wanted us to break a 40 over his head. Jake (Todd) tried hitting him twice but the bottle didn’t break. John (Devine) broke it first go while everyone was chanting, “Break that shit!” over and over. The dude was psyched. That was pretty nuts!
Cooper is rad. How long have you known him for? A few years now. The first time I came to skate New York, Giorgio and I met up with him at Columbus Park. We skated that whole day and all night and he showed us around to some really cool spots. Since then every time I come up here I always meet up with Cooper.
When you are out skating, what makes you want to skate one spot over another? I like spots that have unique characteristics. If it’s a weird spot I’m pretty into it. If something is hard to skate and you get a trick on it, it’s more rewarding. Its just a better feeling than going down a big handrail or flipping down stairs. It allows you to be creative and put your own style into what you are skating. If you choose the right trick to do at a certain spot it makes the spot look that much cooler.
I know that you skate Philly a lot. What do you like about it? Philly has such a healthy skate scene. Everyone knows each other and someone’s always doing something creative or beneficial to keep skateboarding alive. There are a lot of parks and DIY spots popping up, and the spots are one of a kind. Plenty of rippers here and more teams come through every year. I live 20 miles outside and can take the train from my house to LOVE. Getting around isn’t bad either. Driving’s always an option, but you can push to most places.
What else do you like to do outside of skateboarding? I’ve always had an interest in film and video. I got a VX in high school and got pretty good at filming skating. I started working on a full-length, but since Jake Todd was filming with a lot of the same people we decided to combine footage and that turned into, “Fully Flaccid.” That explains why you always have that Super 8 camera with you. What have you been saving most of your recent footage for? Are you currently working on anything? Jake Todd and Matt Steindl are working on a video called, “Standard Definition.” I’ve been putting a lot into that. Also, Cooper’s working on a new video. It doesn’t have a name yet. He wants it to be half VX and half HD. A lot people who were in his last video have tricks.
What is one benefit of living in Philly and visiting New York? Philly is definitely more affordable than New York. I plan on moving into the city as soon as I can. New York isn’t very far from me. It offers a whole new selection of the spots that are so different than the ones in Philly. You can take the subway wherever and whenever. It’s fun to learn your way around the city. You also run into a lot of skateboarders in New York, and the city is more skateboard friendly than a lot of places I’ve been. Awesome. That’s all I’ve got for you. Anyone you want to shout-out or thank? Tombo and 5 Boro, Joe Bragan at Emerica, everyone at Fairmans and Kinetic, Cooper Winterson, Jake Todd, Matt Steindl, Alex Papke, Luke Darigan, everyone that I have met in New York and everyone I skate with on the regular. Brad Cromer [backside flip]
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50,000 sq. ft. indoor skatepark
RYE AIRFIELD SKATEPARK 3 Concrete Pools / Wood Bowl Street Plaza / Vert Ramp Flow Section / Mini Ramp Micro Section
Chris Keefe [back crook]
Billy Cox [frontside 5-0]
Matt Lane [front blunt]
Chris Huber [nosegrind]
Ricky Geiger [50-50 to back tail]
isH Cepeda [switch flip]
Daniel Kim [ollie]