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table of ContentS May/JuNe 2014 VOLUME TeN ISSUE Three

oN The cover: aleXis lacroiX [360 flip] PHOTOgRAPHY :: DaN zaslavsKy coNTeNTs: TysoN PeTersoN [backside wallride] PHOTOgRAPHY :: sTePheN oliveira

a rticles

a. b angers



forewords 9-year aGeD croWN royal


soap box sKaTeBoarDiNG aT iTs raW-esT


insta-faves iNsTaGraM Pulls


hammertime TricK of The MoNTh


fresh find MicKey o’Keefe


fresh find ThoMas DrisTas


behind the lens JoNaThaN MehriNG


back to back sliDe aND GriND

34 slauGhTer PeN PivoT humble bragging

36 MaNaTee MaDNess humble bragging

40 haND coloriNG photographer’s eye

42 harTforD, cT scenester

44 cosTa rica

skateboarding abroad

48 corey GooNaN small talk

50 Joey PePPer small talk

54 iNceNTives photo section

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Focus Skateboarding Magazine is published bi-monthly, six times a year by Focus Skateboarding Magazine Inc. All contents are copyrighted by Focus Skateboarding Magazine Inc. 2014. Reproduction of any material requires the written consent from the publishers. All letters, photos, editorial contributions, and advertisements are accepted upon the representation that they are original materials by the author and/or advertiser. The author and/or advertiser accept full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their ads and/or editorial contributions. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author and may not reflect the views and opinions of the editor, staff, or advertisers of Focus Skateboarding Magazine. Any similarities between persons or places mentioned or alluded to in the fiction and real places or persons living or dead are purely coincidental. Advertisers assume full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their advertisements. The author and/or advertisers also will indemnify and save Focus Skateboarding Magazine harmless from any legal claims. Now either read this magazine, or go skate!


This was one of the last photos I shot with my medium format camera before all my gear was stolen. Needless to say, that was about 4 years ago. It was such a rad photo, I’m glad it resurfaced and didn’t fall through the cracks, getting buried under the sands of time. And yes, Kyle Nicholson does pop his tre flips as high as a small child.

9-Year Aged Crown Royal

WORDS & Photography :: Mazur


A few months prior to this issue I realized I was getting hella old. How, you ask? Well, on a random given day I broke a filling I had gotten in my back molar when I was like 10 years old. I had to go see a dentist who then threw around the term of root canal. I was terrified by this. I thought to myself it was some really elaborate procedure that they only did to old people. Then he mentioned to me about getting a crown… Again, the thought of an old withering man came to mind. Not having insurance, I asked for some pricing so I could figure out what to do.

As I look back through older issues, I start to get such a sense of excitement. Half of the people in our first year of printing are now big-time names. They have pro boards and even pro shoes. They are winning major worldwide known events and have TV shows or are even in movies. Its just thrilling to know that at one point in time, we may have had something to do with it. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to be narcissistic; I’m just saying that maybe we helped push these people to that next level.

This was all happening around the same time that we started working on the issue you hold in your hands right now. And, honestly, it was only days prior to printing that it really hit me… This is our 9-Year Anniversary issue! For 9 Years we have been producing the best, and only, East Coast skateboarding magazine!

So, while 9 years is quite a long time, it’s also been an amazing time. We’ve learned so much since we started and have seen so many things come to shape. I guess you could say getting older has its perks. You have so many great times to reflect on, which comes in handy when you hit rough times in the present. You could say that while the 9-year mark of Focus was scary to think about at first, it was actually pretty calming after the fact. Sort of like everything that went on with my dentist visit. It turns out root canals and crowns aren’t so bad. In fact, my sexy new porcelain tooth is stronger than my real ones.

Now I was really starting to feel like an old fart. Had 9 years really come and gone? It feels like it was just yesterday when we decided to get this bad boy going. I can’t really say I am upset about how the fast the sands of time have filtered through… I was more or less just stunned.



WORDS :: Chris Donmoyer

We, as skateboarders, already have an outlook and different approach than most individuals. Hell, take a look at the Rodney Mullen’s, “A Beautiful Mind,” video that was on the Berrics for inspiration. Skateboarders, to me, connect to a mind and body outlook that really creates a challenging, but rewarding life. We get up after falling, “failing,” and somehow after all of the pain and disappointment, we rest our heads knowing that no matter what the outcome is/was, skateboarding plays/played a huge role in our daily decisions and creating that happiness.



Skateboarding at its RAW-est

Our community is like no other. The closest thing that I can relate to, for myself, are the friends and love that I’ve been blessed to be a part of in the plantbased and raw vegan food community. Yes, I can only share my personal growth for including a high raw “diet” into my day-by-day adventure, but I’ve also seen how a plant-based “diet” has improved fellow friends, and a majority of them being skateboarders. As I just attended the Tampa Pro contest, I conversations with fellow plant-based friends to see how much they’ve changed and the the change. All of their stories included a way physical and mental state.

was able to have amazing and it’s really a great thing reasons why they’ve made to feel the most optimal in a

We tend to cater to healing ourselves a little more compared to the average 9-5ers. It’s an absolute pleasure to see skateboarders such as Andrew Cannon, Manny Santiago, Felix Arguelles, PJ Ladd, Steve Berra, Ronnie Creager, Focus’ own Mike Mazur and Justin Heister, and many more who understand that eating a low fat, plant-based lifestyle allows you to see quicker recovery during injuries, become more “light-footed” on a board, and overall feel better. In particular, I noticed with myself and others that consuming a high carb, low fat raw vegan diet, allowed for less inflammation and feeling stronger on and off of a board. A higher level of endurance/energy also increased after only a short period of time. The body fat tends to shred away as more of the core muscles become exposed. This goes back to being more “light” on your board. This is key when skateboarders are taking a rough toll on their body and want to prolong their skate career. Digestion issues start to get increasingly better as you remove all of the excess fat, processed foods, meat, and especially dairy products. The mucus build up alone can delay nutrients and minerals from processing in your body, leading to longer injuries, less calcium absorption, and inflammation. When your body can take in and break down easily digestible foods, such as ripe fruits and veggies, when properly combined, it can truly can make a difference. Just as simple as adding foods such as pineapple, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and walnuts can help with inflammation and allow better blood flow. Berries and cherries are great for recovering and helping with sore muscles as they contain phytonutrients. Citrus fruits work well with muscle fatigue. By adding nutritional yeast to your salads and dishes as an alternative to cheese, it can help after a long day of strenuous activity on your board. A great post workout is as simple as adding dates and water in a blender and consuming what is called datorade; high in nutrients, calories (about 50-70 calories per date), and no fat.

As skateboarding is a lifestyle for a majority of us, I’ve found that same approach in every conscious decision on my new path of eating and incorporating low-fat raw vegan foods, which is very similar to what skating has done for me.


During one of my last tradeshows that I attended in CA, I met the one person who changed my life for the better. I met fellow skateboarder, raw foodist, and now great friend, Chris Kendall ( At this time, I don’t even think I’ve eaten a mango in my life. Now, when they’re in season, I’ll consume 20 a day. Along with another great friend, Jeff Cochran, who has contributed to skateboarding in the Lancaster, PA area for years, really had an impact on my life decision to going plant-based/vegan. No matter who or what has influenced you in any decision, I feel that it’s best to test the waters. See what works for you. And if anything, increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds in a ratio that allows you to perform your best, on or off of a board and see what the outcome is. By making more health-conscious decisions, I promise you will make an improvement in your life.

“Stalefish and Bananas” may not sound that appealing or appetizing as a meal, but Chris Kendall shows that the combination sure does make for one helluva topical photo for this article.


Kyle Nicholson making Corpsey proud, savagely ripping in a grimy situation, cigged up and ready to power snap over your face hole in PA. OJ/NOCTURNAL #yinz/yunz




L E V I . C O M / S K AT E B O A R D I N G











inSta-faveS #focussKaTeMaG #easTcoasTeXcelleNce

1. Photo: @homebase610 2. @Mikemag Photo: @dcahall 3. Photo: @theoriginalshnooks

4. @ohafricabraveafrica Photo: @notryanmiller


The mission is simple, if you’d like to see your handy work featured in Focus as part of our, “Insta-Faves,” you better start following us (@focusskateMag) and use the hashtags: #focusskateMag and #eastcoastexcellence on your rad photos. We’re always browsing and reposting finds from our hashtags, and in addition to that, we’re also picking 9 each issue to put in the mag. Here’s your chance for 15 minutes of internet fame to be solidified in print for a lifetime.

5. @steezyymcbreezyy Photo: @allamericanbeefcake 6. @elo_222 7. @jacoblurks Photo: @wescunninghamphoto 8. @eye_was_here 9. @douglasdowney Photo: @skookill

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niCo MagalhaeS [ollie uP, froNT sMiTh, PoP-ouT To Nose MaNual]

WORDS :: Mazur

This is one of those spots I feel like most people and skateboarders would look at and think, “Man, that is almost a spot. Too bad it didn’t just have a little more…” Well, no… That isn’t what Nico thought. He took one look at this spot and used it to his full advantage. He was like a Mexican jumping bean on this thing! And honestly, my favorite part is the pop-out of the smith grind and into a quick nose manual. I feel like most people would go to regular manual, or nothing at all. I’d also like to mention that Nico is doing this with a dead guy’s ligament in his knee. Yeah, that’s right. He’s coming back strong from a recently torn ACL. So, if you hurt your knee, don’t let it get you down. Just take Nico’s Hammertime this month as inspiration.


“Mickey is the type of dude that feeds off of skateboarding, no matter how hurt he is, always looks at thing on the bright side. Mickey skates everything in the streets doing flat ground tricks, hitting all the ledges and gaps, on his way to a session. He can get from point A to point B faster than you can in a car, he skates the as fast as he can. Still having the energy to skate some of the gnarliest spots, and get the gnarliest footage I have ever seen; this is on the daily basis. Mickey is a rad dude all-around on and off a skateboard. If he has the chance to help someone he will, and not expect anything in return as long as he can skate.”

Christian Sims

~Leo Alvarado Owner, Concentrate Clothing

Mickey O’Keefe



Hometown: Holley, New York Sponsors: BC Surf and Sport, Concentrate Clothing, Emerica (flow) Spot you’re sick of seeing in videos: Indoor skateparks Trick that always gets you a letter in S.K.A.T.E.: Hardflips   Guilty Pleasures: Skating alone Worst injury: Eight staples from the Staples Center One word to describe the future of skateboarding: Acid-drop

4%!-2)$%2#,%-%.4/,!$)0/ 0(/4/4(/-!3'/,$-!.


“This is going to sound like an atypical writeup on someone. I’ve known Thomas since he was a young lad, ripping at the skatepark with a fedora on his head and huge DC’s on his feet. Ever since that awkward clothing choice, he’s kind of straightened out. He pushes himself harder than most on a skateboard, and jumps down some of the biggest sets I’ve seen. The kids got a natural talent for skateboarding, and it shows.”

Luke McKaye

~Ethan Messina Friend

Thomas Dristas

[360 flip]


Hometown: Raleigh, NC Sponsors: DC (flow), Cliché (flow), Proof skateboarding, Vertical Urge Skate Shop, Street Ice Spot you’re sick of seeing in videos: None, I always enjoy seeing someone fuck up a infamous spot. Trick that always gets you a letter in S.K.A.T.E.: Frontside Heels   Guilty Pleasures: Getting medicated with a bad bitch. Worst injury: Broken arm One word to describe the future of skateboarding: Mind-blowing

WORDS :: Mazur

okay, let’s start this off with your craziest photo story you can think of. Probably the sketchiest situation I’ve gotten in because of shooting was in Baku, Azerbaijan. We found these oil fields inside the city limits that were totally open, not fenced off, no security, etc. And I really wanted to get a shot of the crew there for an opening spread. We parked on the side of the road and went into the area shooting the oil rigs and walking around. Half the crew was still in the van, either sketched out or smoking or something, so before they even got out a couple cars pulled up around our van blocking us in. They started yelling at us and we went over to find they were security for the area and they were super pissed about us having cameras. We tried to reason with them through our local friend/guide but they insisted we go to the police station. That’s where, in retrospect, we should have insisted on the US embassy, but it was pretty stressful and I think we thought we could still talk our way out of it. Anyway, eventually the cops came, got in the van with us, and escorted us to the station. The whole time they kept saying we had to delete the photos in front of the boss, but the boss kept changing and we kept climbing this bureaucratic ladder. Finally we got the, “big boss,” who let us go after several hours of questioning. The ordeal took the entire day. Also, in Baku, we almost got jumped by about 30 people in a park we were skating because the filmer wouldn’t let a couple guys see his camera. With good reason. I think they were looking for a reason to fight but we ended up running to the van with all our gear still set up in hand. Or the time I lost the keys in the desert in Morocco. But we found them shortly thereafter. I guess there have been numerous almost bad situations but never anything where I lost gear or got my ass kicked or something. Not yet at least. Ha-ha. Where are you currently living and where did you grow up? I’m living in Brooklyn, and grew up in rural VA. how were you first introduced into skateboarding? My friend James moved to the nearby town, Charlottesville and got into skating. He gave me his old board. It was a Santa Cruz Street Creep, truly an epic deck. I used to push back and forth in the basement until my father and I built a 4’ ramp in the yard. There was also a tennis court a few miles away that my parents would drive me to so I could skate a 3 foot length of railroad track I found. When I turned 16 I’d drive to Charlottesville and skate actual pavement with James and his brothers and our small crew of friends from the area. When did photography come about? I randomly took a photo class in high school and loved it. I was so stoked on photography that I would show up to school an hour early to print in the darkroom. I’d shoot everything. Artistic stuff, skating, whatever. in your opinion, what are the differences of shooting skate photos now compared to, say, 10 years ago? The bar is a lot higher now, but it’s also a lot easier with digital. The learning curve is way less. I wasted a lot of money on botched slide film until I figured out how to expose properly and balance ambient light with strobes. But there’s also been something lost artistically with digital. It makes you think too much maybe about how to get this perfectly clean clear photo. It’s nice to see some blurring sometimes to get a sense of motion.

Do you shoot other stuff besides skating or have another job? I’ve assisted a lot over the years and worked in photo studios in NYC. I’ve also shot a lot of portrait stuff, documentary, advertising, and lifestyle jobs as well. It’s hard for me to be happy just shooting one thing. I get burned out on just skate tricks. Laying in the gutter waiting for a trick to get landed takes it’s toll after so many years. I guess I don’t have as much patience as I used to. But you can never tell a dude to hurry up or quit so you make your bed and you lay in it. Literally sometimes.


okay, the big question all the young filmer/photographers always wonder... What are you working with these days? Shit man, I’ve got camera problems. I’m always obsessing over what rig I’d rather have. I’m into lightweight and small at the moment. So I’ve been staring at Leica’s on eBay for months. I do my “work” shoots with my Nikon setup though. D800e or D3 if I have to shoot a sequence. I got an 85mm f/1.4 recently and that is the sickest lens ever. Plus the typical 24-70 f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4 and fisheye that I’ve had since ‘97. I’ve also got a bunch of point and shoots and a Fuji x100s which I have a love hate relationship with. I just use Speedlights for lighting skate stuff. You can do high speed syncing and they are super small and light. All that Lumedyne and other big lighting setups give a really nice light, but I would rather make it work with the small stuff so I don’t have to carry all the gear. If it was up to me I’d just carry a Leica with a 50mm and that’s it. But things aren’t so simple at the moment. Maybe one day...

JOey PePPer


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Reed Levine [backside boardslide]

Back to Back WORDS & Photography :: Christopher Gleason

I recently moved to Knoxville, a few months back, and found this rail at the Motel 6. As far as I know no one had ever hit it. It’s a pretty burly one… Steep with kind of a rough ride away, the ride-up is right in front of the door, and they are open 24 hours a day. I took Reed to it a few days back to see if he was feeling it ‘cause I knew he could get down on rails, but he wasn’t feeling it that day. I didn’t push it event though I really wanted the photo and knew he had it in him. About two days later my friend David Jackson texted me and said he had came across the rail and wanted me to come shoot a 50 on it for him. Of course I jumped at the chance, and hit Reed up, hoping if someone else jumped on it, he might get hyped and take a swing.


We met up at the rail on a Sunday afternoon with a few other homies and realized it was a bit gnarlier than we’d thought. The regular frontside had a terrible ride away. You essentially have to pop out to the side to get a make, and the backside had a huge tree with branches sticking out all over it. Some of the guys tore the branches back while a trucker told us stories about he used to skate pools back in the 80’s. Even after we made the backside skatable, no one was really stepping up. Reed and Jason did a couple of drop in grinds, but no one was jumping on it. I set my flashes up hoping it would fuel the fire.

Eventually Hartman decided to step up. I was stoked because Hartman kills it and I had never gotten a chance to shoot him. After a few ride-ups he went for it and nailed the 50 first try. I was bummed because I sort of blew the photo. The angle didn’t happen like I thought it would. But the make got Reed going and he decided to take a swing at a boardslide. He stuck a few before breaking his tail. I thought the session was over and I still hadn’t got a good shot of a make. I offered Reed my board to try again. After another three or four goes, including a crazy slide out that could have qualified for a make, he got a clean ride-away on my board. Not wanting to press my luck too far, I asked Hartman if he wanted to try one more time so I could give him a photo he would be stoked on. He reluctantly agreed since it meant Balfi could film another angle. After one jump off he made the 50 for a second time. In the end everyone came out unscathed. The hotel worker came out after the session and asked us if we could go, “Play out back.” Hartman said he might be feeling a return trip for the 5-0. Maybe this monster hasn’t seen its last day.

Hartman Austin [frontside 50-50]



Slaughter Pen Pivot     WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY :: Tim Snyder

If you’re from any small town you may understand how real the struggle for new spots is. There’s that crusty ledge down the street, that gap that has nearly every trick already done on it and a few good manual pads scattered around town. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my little city of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and our skate scene is thriving, but where’s all the tight spots? The nation’s capital, Washington, DC, has really sick spots and so does Richmond. Unfortunately, Fredericksburg is literally smack dab in the middle of these cities, about 50 miles to both. Fifty miles isn’t too bad for a day trip, but that definitely can’t be an everyday thing. Sometimes you must get creative.

The weather this year can often put a damper on your creativity for spots though. Especially this insane fluctuating weather Virginia has been getting lately. We’ll have sun and highs in the 70’s on Monday, and then Tuesday it’s 25 degrees with freezing rain and gale force winds. On this particular day, it was raining AND hailing so Pete Diehl, myself and some homies went to the loading dock, the only place with a roof, to skate some flat. I rolled my ankle a few days before so I was just bullshitting and shooting some photos. As time passed, the wind starting blowing the rain under the roof, progressively getting the ground wetter and ruining the spot. After an hour of my nose dripping like a faucet, and my fingers turning pink, I was pretty over the

flat ground sesh. But getting Pete to stop skating flat is kind of the equivalent to stopping a train. He was just ripping that day despite the shit weather. I could tell he was feeling it because he was landing literally everything he tried. He certainly was on that day and I couldn’t let it go to waste, so I pondered other spots that could possibly be skatable. Pete and I had talked about trying to do a little trespassing to shoot a photo at this historic Fredericksburg landmark called, “Slaughter Pen Farm.” This farm was the very heart and soul of the Fredericksburg battles in the Civil War around 1862. Currently, it’s just a big field with a few random barns and a house. The type of place old people or out-of-towner tourists might come look at on a vacation or something. Lurking around the different barns for possibilities to skate, we realized we’d have to climb up through a window to get in. As we tossed light stands, skateboards and camera bags up into the building, we immediately smelled some funk and noticed hundreds of Jim Beam single shots spread out all over the ground. It seemed very apparent that some drunken homeless dude had spent his years posted up in here drinkin’ and pissin’ and littering up the barn. I cautiously looked around the area to be sure no squatters or critters were going to run out. Besides the bottles, the barn was also filled with tons of lumber, metal, and bags of seed. This place had creaky wood floors and vines growing wildly up the old walls, which was the perfect type of location for some photos. As Pete spent a good 15 minutes sweeping the filth and building this “Fresh Corn” bank,

PeTe Diehl [Pivot fakie]

I set up flash and found the angle to shoot from. At first I was having a bit of trouble finding an angle until I spotted a small old stair set that led up above to the loft. I had to climb over the railing and squat down in the corner to achieve this point of view. The first couple of tries were a little discouraging as his board flew right out the window into mud puddles and pouring rain. I could tell by the look on his face he was getting more and more pissed each time he had to climb out and grab his soaking wet skateboard, but I knew he had it. He hung up his front trucks a few times and took some minor slams while avoiding the rusty nail filled columns and splintered floor at the same time. I was actually surprised he still had any grip on his board because it was so wet and dirty, much like his clothes. By this point my legs were starting to cramp up like crazy due to this gargoyle pose I had to be in when he rolled away from the trick fakie. He busted a few more out for the clip, we high fived and decided to call it a day. Next day, I wanted to share the newfound spot with some more homies so we went back for more photos. As we pulled up to the spot the entire farm had yellow tape around it like a crime scene. There were tractors demolishing some of the buildings and the workers were mean muggin’ so we rolled out. I really couldn’t believe they were destroying such an old landmark but I was stoked we at least got to shred it on possibly its last day. I feel doing things like this helps keep skateboarding and shooting it fresh for me. getting creative and doing something you normally wouldn’t do or skating things you usually wouldn’t find yourself skating is what it’s all about for us.



Manatee Madness WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY :: Stephen Oliveira

Jim Morrison grew up in a house one street away from where this spot is. I really wish that I could think of some creative pun to tie him and his naked Indian from Wayne’s World into this, but I can’t. I did try to though… Way too hard. We all can’t be Mat Call, and have tough tasks come naturally to us. I mean look at what he’s doing... He plowed over a field of grass gaps and cement patches just to continue on and navigate himself through a sea of rocks, then ride up onto a giant manatee sculpture that he’ll be blasting a backside ollie off of; all while knowing that he is going to land into the same sort of mess that he had to plow through in the beginning. People get messed up when they go over a crack, and look what he had to go through. This shoot’s a tough one, but Mat somehow always finds a way to make it work. Bravo, Mat. Maybe someday we’ll get to shoot a traditional photo on a “normal” spot.

MaT call [backside ollie]


Pencil Adam Emery [hardflip]

We have no way of knowing, but scientists estimate that somewhere between one in every five to one hundred thousand people experience a condition called synesthesia. Synesthesia, briefly, is the condition of one’s senses “coming together.” Hypothetically, this implies dozens, even hundreds of variations, but the one most commonly reported is a coupling between the visual and auditory experiences. Essentially, synesthetes who experience this form of the condition relate the experience of seeing very vivid colors, as triggered by sounds. For example, a synesthete would be able to brilliantly illustrate the differences in their experience of red, white, blue, and brown radio noise, some of which can even be quite unpleasant. It’s the kind of thing on which someone might call “bullshit!” I met one such person on a rideshare from Portland to San Francisco – with ample time to discuss. Besides the fact that all of this sounds incredibly cool, why does it matter? For starters, one could ask that very question of much of the great art that has been produced throughout history, and the inevitable lack of a conclusive answer would offer answer enough. After all, human beings are naturally very good at drawing deep meaning from very personal experiences. Sometimes these inferences prove quite valid, but more often we are left with meandering minds not fully grasping our own conclusions, or lack thereof…


Coloring WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY :: Daniel Muchnik

If this all seems far too deep of a discussion in the context of skate photography, you are correct! But still, context is crucial. Skate photography exists within certain distinct, but certainly not separate realms. Imagine a simple Venn diagram involving art, sport, skateboarding, and photography. Art and sport may seem to be completely separate, but upon further inspection, we see that skateboarding and photography both exist within the art circle, somewhere off towards the side. Skateboarding also cuts a sliver into the sport circle, by necessity, and makes one of the most unusual connections between photography and sport. People who shoot skateboarding have developed a very particular eye for visual aesthetics, often very much away from other influences. Sure, we have our mainstays like the fisheye shot at the bottom of the stairs, but for the most part, skate photographers constantly strive to give a new and intimate perspective to their subject matter. I can only imagine what it must be like – for someone outside the realm of skateboarding to try to understand our passions. Maybe it’s something like trying to hear color.


I’ve shot a lot of film in my life, but for the sake of convenience and cost, I currently shoot mostly black and white stocks. Most recently, I started experimenting with the idea of applying what I like to call “remembered color” to my images. Hand-coloring black and white film is by no means a new innovation. Up until the mid 30s, Hollywood studios employed whole assembly lines of mostly women to color early films. Before the advent of three strip (Technicolor), and later, three layer (Eastmancolor) processes, this was the only was to show a film with color, but why do that at all? We told rich and complete narratives with black and white film; heck, we did it just only words for millennia! The fact is that the use of color adds an undeniable emotional element to the image. We naturally associate reds with passion or anger, blues with tranquility, and greens with the natural world.

Grip & Pencil Matty Hunt [drop in]

Watercolor Moses Salazar [backside 50-50]

So, by applying this remembered color, the photographer has the ability to show not just what was there, but also what it felt like. Furthermore, by forsaking reality, one opens the door to a whole enclave of manipulation. For example, in the photograph of Moses’ backside grind, the wall behind him has a distinct progression from light to shadow, simply because of how I lit the photograph. This was also the first trick to go down in a heavy session. It was an undeniable breakthrough, and a moment of raw power and joy. There’s no way to relate this emotion strictly through this image – conventionally, that’s what captions are for. By applying false color, the photographer can hint at his or her personal experience, but by necessity still leave it open to interpretation.

What I have just described is only one approach to the technique of hand coloring. One can also strive for the other extreme of hyper-realism. The photographer/artist could use this technique to the end of utterly confusing the viewer by inducing a distinct sensation of strangeness, coupled with the inability to discern what exactly is so different. Personally, I’m always interested in seeing something new. We humans have a natural tendency to strive for order and predictability, and while this is comforting, it’s fucking boring. It’s often said that nothing is new, that everything has been done, and all artistic effort is merely permutation of that which has come before. There is some truth to this, but we must strive for newness nonetheless. Most of us will never understand what it’s like to hear colors, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.


Despite Hartford’s rough past with violence and once being on the list for top 10 most dangerous cities in America, it’s a pretty rad city. Even though it may not be as physically aesthetic as other cities, it’s a pretty big staple in New England’s skate scene. The long and cold winters mean nothing to the locals; they don’t mind getting their feet wet when conditions are not normally suitable for skating. Hartford’s become a main go-to city in New England for their unique and gritty spots. Hartford’s skate scene has also progressively become larger, and is making a name for itself within the skate community. So, if you have yet to come and visit the 860, I highly advise you to come and check it out. You wont regret it.

Scenester Hartford, CT


[Fox Middle School]

Hartford’s Top Rippers: Julian Lewis - No matter what the reason is to be skating in Hartford with Julian, it is always a delight. Julian is the most dedicated kid to skateboarding that I have ever been able to shoot. He surprises everyone with his impeccable rail game as well as his ability to skate spots that should not be skated. He knows exactly what he wants to do on exactly what spots and without a doubt he gets them… And he gets them clean. He’s got a clean West Coast style on gritty East Coast spots. Regardless if the ground is full of stop rocks or if it’s wet, he still manages to get his trick. Julian amazes every who sees him skate and he’s giving the Hartford skate scene a good name. Jared Collazo - Do you have that one friend that just hates cops and says/does whatever they want with no filter? Yeah, that’s Jared. This kid is one of the gnarliest skaters I’ve have seen with an East Coast style. He throws himself down massive gaps, stair sets and will kill any ledge. Always wanting to skate, his commitment to skateboarding is amazing. Jared will fight for that “one last try” opportunity when getting the boot, and when he gets the chance, he makes sure he lands his trick. I honestly have never seen any other kid of the same age as Jared go head-to-head with four cops and come out laughing in cuffs, all in the name of skateboarding. Jared is the definition of nitty-gritty and hard working. Jared is something else and is someone that you should definitely check out. Jack Moore - When I was new to the Hartford skate scene, I had always seen footage of Jack and it was straight bangers. I had the opportunity to meet him and boy oh boy, Jack is easily a top contender for best rippers. Not afraid to eat it and get right back up, and determined to land his trick until he does so, Jack lives to skate. He’s the most patient when it comes to getting his trick, I’ve never seen him get upset and focus his deck, and he’s just all concentration. Despite Jack’s quietness he’s one of the most personable and humble kids I’ve skated with. Check out some of his newest clips in the video, “The Homie Montage 2” and keep up with him ‘cause everything he puts out is some really good skating. Hartford’s Hottest Skate Spots:

[White Ledges]


[Healthcare Gap]

[Cover 9]

Hartford’s plethora of skate spots is some of the most unique to New England. You can find anything from ledges to gaps and everything inbetween. To start off, we have the White Ledges (600 Main St) located behind the Wadsworth Museum. These ledges are a must to Hartford’s skate scene because regardless if you’re heading there to warm up or getting a line, you’ll always end up there at one point or another. These ledges are very rarely a bust, but I have heard a few accounts of kick-outs. If you wind up here on a weekend you’re bound to run into other skaters and the sesh always turns out to be a good time. If you’re looking for a great set to skate rain or shine, Cover 9 (260 Constitution Plz) is the spot. So many bangers have been thrown down this set. Since it’s usually a bust on weekdays, the weekends are the time to go. With a perfect run up and landing, it’s no wonder why it’s a must skate in Hartford. Also since this spot is off a main road that the police frequently patrol through, you’re going to need to keep a look out for them. As I said before this is a covered spot so this is one of Hartford’s more frequently skated spots during all seasons. One downside to this set is the ground on the landing. It’s a bit rough and really sucks to bail on. Regardless this spot is a spot you need to check out if you ever visit Hartford. Another really popular spot is the Fox Middle School Handrails (305 Greenfield St). You have three different rail lengths here a 7 set that both Nate Green and Kevin Phelps both killed, an 11 set rail and a 12 set rail.

Julian Lewis [50-50]

These rails are amazing. The 7 rail you have a slightly curved run up. These are usually the rails that most New England skaters tie as “those rails in Hartford.” The downside to this spot is that it is in the hood; you really have to be careful with the equipment that you bring there and just overall be careful. Never a bust because honestly you’re in the hood, and the cops are usually just amazed that kids went out there to skate. If you’re more of a gap skater, then check out the Healthcare Gap (1 Constitution Plz). It’s located behind the building. This gap has been seen in Kevin Phelps part in, “Culture Shock,” where he threw down a switch big heel and Nate Greenwood, in his Thrasher part, did a front big spin. This gap is really tall and the run up can be a bit weird for people because of the approach. This spot is never a kick-out on the weekends. If you do end up going on a weekday, the parking garage monitor will kick you out real quick. This spot is pretty hidden so you won’t have to deal with anybody trying to ruin your sesh. Also one down side to this spot is the landing is slightly uphill, but other than that it looks beautiful in footy and is for sure a go to spot in the city. No matter where you go in Hartford, you’re bound to find countless spots other than these. Hartford is for sure a good weekend spot if you’re looking to either stack clips or just have a good time skating around with friends. If you ever find yourself down here, make it a priority to check these spots out. Hartford’s Best Eats: There are so many choices to choose from when looking for places to eat in Hartford. Regardless if you are looking to spend a lot on a meal or only have $10 to your name, you’ll find somewhere to fill you up in the city. One of Hartford’s hidden gems is Max Bibos Deli (250 Main Street). Serving the Hartford area for over 20 years, they’re not strangers to the neighborhood. Their soups are pretty amazing, the clam chowder and lobster bisque are some of the best in the city, as well as their sandwiches that they pile high with any meat of your choosing. Also, their prices are pretty low compared to other delis in the city.

Jack Moore [varial heelflip] Jared Collazo [kickflip]

Another choice spot is DD’s Gyros and Spuds (24 Temple Street). They’re authentic Greek cuisine right in the heart of Hartford. If you’ve never had a lamb gyro before, this is the place to try your first one. For less then $10 you can get yourself a plate of Greek goodness. The people that work there don’t speak English very well, but that doesn’t stop them from being some of the nicest people that you’ll encounter on your trip down to Hartford. Oh, and if a lamb is not your choice of meat, they have many different types of meats and a vast selection of meals that are exquisite and flavorful. If you’re looking for some Asian food, Feng (93 Asylum St) is the place to go. With moderately low prices for sushi and other choices, it’s an amazing restaurant. Their sushi is phenomenal and is some of the best in Connecticut… And the way they present their food on the plates is very modern and genuinely cool. If sushi isn’t your specialty, they also have a wide selection of other entrees such as their steak. These are only a few options to choose from in Hartford, the city is filled with good eats. If none of these are up to your standards, I promise you’ll find somewhere in the city that is. Hartford’s Nightlife: Hartford nightlife is pretty awesome. There are numerous amounts of clubs and bars throughout downtown, most of them are located on Ann Street or Allyn Street. If you’re out on a Saturday night, either skating or looking to party, you’re bound to see lines out the door with tons of people, and you’re bound to encounter some characters downtown Hartford at night. Since the most of the spots that are lit are located near all the bars and clubs, the crowds get a kick out of seeing some kids skate in front of them. Some of them even try to hop on and bust out some of their, “Old moves.” Hartford’s nightlife is unique to the East Coast and never disappoints. It’s for sure something to look into if you’re looking to spend the party. Local Plugs: EightSixty (1850 Park St) is Hartford’s only local skate shop. They are always trying to help out locals through sponsorships and by holding some of the local’s clothing brands like Treleaf Skateboarding Apparel. It’s for sure the shop to check out. They also have a mini at the shop that is pretty rad and always a blast to skate with all the locals. So, if you’re out skating around Hartford, make sure you stop by the shop.


troPiCal retreat

CoSta riCa WORDS & PHOTOgRAPHY :: BreNDaN MeDairy

The great escape from winter’s wrath on the East Coast, shutting down all outdoor activities... This winter has had been a beast, dumping tons of snow and driving some people insane not being able to do much but keep warm. So, myself and longtime friend, Tom geilfuss, a former pro skateboarder and local of Baltimore MD, decided to pack up and take a trip down to Costa Rica and retreat to the warmth. Our day of flight was delayed about 10 hours from one of the many huge snowstorms impacting the entire East Coast. We did not make it down ‘til late that night, leaving from BWI airport and arriving in Costa Rica around midnight. We were heading down to meet up and stay with our best friend that we had grown up with, who now lives there, Zach Renner. With our boards on our backpacks, my giant luggage of camera equipment, clothes, and a bag of surfboards, we got to Zach’s place located in Playa Samara where he built a 5x14 foot mini ramp hidden on his property in the jungle-like area by the beach.

When Zach was building this ramp he contacted us asking if we all had any extra skate supplies, and if we could send them down. We put together a pretty goodsized package and had it sent down so locals could get to learn to skate. This is a place where many people have never ridden a skateboard. Most do not even own a pair of skate shoes, just flip-flops. Playa Samara is a surfing town, full of tourists, with unpaved roads made from just compacted dirt, offering nowhere to skate or the opportunity to even learn. Zach’s ramp changed this. He offers free rental boards and use of the ramp. Some of the kids who had never skated before were learning, and by the end of our trip, they were able to drop-in, rock-n-roll and some were even doing some grinds. It was pretty sick to see the progression and love they found for skateboarding. Seeing the impact this ramp had on people for skateboarding, being able grow in this third world country on the coast of Costa Rica, was something truly inspiring.


The ramp is something different, and the way it was built looks like something out of an episode of The Flintstones, but it is perfect for the way it’s skated. Zach built the ramp pretty much by himself, and with the help of a few locals and a little guidance from a local skate park builder. Tom and I woke up the first morning, looked at this thing, and took a run. Tom had a pretty good gathering around the ramp that day because they have never seen anyone in person be able to skate this way. I was looking at this ramp like, how can I get a good shot showing something that people have never seen before? A skateboard ramp in the jungle surrounded by palm and banana trees. The ramp wasn’t technically finished. The decks were only about 1 foot wide, so if you missed your footing you could sack on the coping or fall over into wood and cinder blocks. We spent a few days taking different photos but this indy nosebone was our favorite. We headed up to another spot that is located in Playa guiones de Nosara. This town is a huge tourist town filled with many Americans; they have the largest yoga school for becoming an instructor. The girls here are amazing, especially when they’re doing yoga on the beach. The park looked pretty wild. It had a part still under construction, and part of it open to skate on certain days. While speaking to the builder, he was telling us that he been involved with another project farther north.

We couldn’t believe that there was another skate park and that skateboarding was growing along this coastline, where when I last visited 3 years ago, was barley heard of. We learned from Zach that he had helped with a ramp in a town 45 minutes away. We would soon be on our way to check out this spot. Upon arriving at the park, we were told about something called, “The mutant.” We could see exactly why. It should have been called, “El fucking gnarly.” This park was one of the most interesting designs around. The park truly was a mutant and unforgiving if you were not careful. There were drain holes the size of softballs around, so if coming out of a transition you didn’t see one, you were done. The park also had these humps throughout it and other wild sections. We had this park all to ourselves. It was like hell, the sun beating down on us, and around 97degrees out. The park cost $5 for the day, so we skated and I shot photos for most the day ‘til we couldn’t take the heat anymore. Towards the afternoon, when the sun was off the park, we started to notice groups of people coming out to the park and realized these guys knew the daytime was a bad time to skate. But seeing the amount of people coming out was pretty sick to know that skateboarding was catching on down here and kids were starting to rip. When seeing a place that doesn’t have much skateboarding, and people starting to bring this sport to life where most wouldn’t think ever exists, it is truly inspiring. For myself and Tom to witness the expansion of such a sick sport where those who don’t have much, really shows the respect for skateboarding and how far it has come. So, next time you want to beat the cold, take a trip south, to Costa Rica. There are not only waves, but also some good up-and-coming skate spots.

Tom Geilfuss [indy]


“You know when you meet someone and they have a deep appreciation for skateboarding? You just want them to succeed in life no matter what they choose to do. Goonan really loves skateboarding for skateboarding. Not for the recognition or money but for the simple act of skating. I’m excited to see what future he creates for himself, and with a style that makes you want to skate and uncanny pop, it’s going to be a great show.” ~Anthony Shetler All I Need Skateboards

Corey Goonan

Hey Corey, so how’s it going? I don’t know much about you, so how about you tell us a little about yourself. I grew up, and am residing in, Plymouth, MA. Several different houses, but always here in Plymouth. I’m 24 years old. And my favorite food is breakfast food… All of it.

Wow, Florida huh? I never would’ve thought that. Think you’ll ever move there? Yeah, I can’t really even explain why I like it so much. It’s just always felt right every time I’ve been. I don’t know if I’d ever live there full-time, but I think about trying to stay down there for the winter months. The summers down there are way too gnarly. Winter down there is rad.

Breakfast food? Why’s that? What would be your favorite of all-time? Because it’s delicious! It’s funny because I never ate an egg until I was like 15 or so. I was just weirded out by them and a super picky eater. I’ll eat anything now. Been making omelets lately, some Linguica and cheese in there, amazing!

I hear you are getting over a recent injury. What happened? I tore my meniscus at Tampa Am in December and got surgery on it early March. Thankfully I’m able to skate again now. When I was recuperating I would just go to the skatepark and be the designated filmer. Was able to stay somewhat sane that way.

How did you first get into skateboarding? I don’t even remember how I got into it. I wasn’t looking for it, I just discovered it randomly. I think about that all the time actually. I could have just as easily not found it and been an entirely different person. Scary thought… I can’t believe you don’t remember how skateboarding started for you. Do you remember your first ollie or kickflip? I absolutely remember my first kickflip. It was a stationary one and when I landed it I just threw my hands in the air and screamed with joy, ha. Then I immediately skated over to my friend’s house to show him. He was asleep so I had to knock a bunch to wake him up. He wasn’t as thrilled as I was. Kickflips are still my favorite trick. I think I’m just chasing that feeling from the first one.

Where have your skateboarding travels taken you? I really haven’t been anywhere crazy. I’ve had crazy experiences in ordinary places. In Philly I saw a dude climb up a huge flight of stairs, pass out at the top and tumble down the whole thing. His pants fell off as well. Gnarly.


WORDS :: Mazur PHOTOGRAPHY :: Karim Ghonem

What other crazy things have you witnessed? This isn’t really skate related, though it did happen right after leaving the skatepark. We went out to eat at a PF Changs and saw a homeless dude jerking off at the urinal. I come out of the stall and there he is. Moaning and everything. “Oh baby” this, and “Yeah baby” that. So messed up, ha. This dude did not give a fuck. There were other people in the bathroom, too. No one knew how to react ha-ha. Definitely lost my appetite. What’s your favorite place? I love going to Florida. I get a really good feeling every time I’m there. I love the way the spots down there look on film too.

Is filming or photography something you’d ever get super-into? I’ll probably never be into it as much as I am skating, but it’s definitely a good alternative for when I can’t skate. I can only film so much and then I start itching to actually skate. I do enjoy the process of filming though, like setting up the shot and thinking about how you could edit it later. I dig it. Do you have a job or other hobbies outside of skating? I work at Solstice Skateshop in New Bedford, MA. Aside from skating I like to read and listen to music. I also like building things. I took four years of carpentry in high school. I wouldn’t necessarily want to do it as a job, but it’s super fun in my spare time. I just made and put up new shutters in my kitchen. What other things have you constructed? A bunch of stuff. Built a deck with my dad at his house, end tables, coffee tables... Made some stuff out of old decks as well. My favorite thing are these skateboard blinds I made for my windows. The way the sun shines through them in the morning is really sick! Psyched on those. If you had a kid, would you push them to go to college? I hear so many people talk about finishing college and being unable to find a job. Meanwhile you have thousands of dollars in loans. Fucking nightmare. I’d like to believe that I would support him/her in whatever they wanted to do. I think you just have to share your knowledge with them and be a guide. Just try to keep them from fucking up too bad, I guess. Is there anyone you’d like to thank? Thanks to you man, always psyched to be in this mag! Thanks to my friends and family, and specifically Anthony Shetler and Jay Vasconcellos. The two of them have done so much for myself and Massachusetts skateboarding as a whole.

Corey Goonan [gap to front lip]


“It’s pretty inspiring to see all that Joey has accomplished in his time being on Expedition. I was wondering how someone so good could be so underrated before we made the call; it’s great to see that skateboarding has finally caught up. Joey knows the meaning of “professional,” you can see it in his time on and off the board. From the tricks he picks, to the outside projects he’s involved in, everything is done with passion and style… A true craftsman. I’m proud to have Joey Pepper as a professional skateboarder on Expedition-one.” ~Chany Jeanguenin Friend/Teammate

Joey Pepper WORDS :: Mazur PHOTOGRAPHY :: Jonathan Mehring

Let’s get the basics first... Where are you residing, where did you grow up, age, favorite food... You know, stuff like that. I grew up in Belgrade, Maine where I lived ‘til 18. At 18 I sold my ‘89 Pontiac Grand Am for $700 and took a $59 bus ride to California. I wanted to see the country, skate and drink 40s. Over the course of 18 years I lived in Sacramento, Maine, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and now I’m in Brooklyn, NY. I’m 36. How did you first get into skateboarding? A garbage man gave me a banana board someone had thrown out. I skated it for a few months then bought a used Santa Cruz Corey O’Brien Reaper deck, 4 different used wheels and Thunder trucks. I set it up and took it to this big hill near my house and tried to bomb it. I got speed wobbles first try and got tossed into the woods.

Did you have dreams of one day becoming a professional? I grew up in the sticks of central Maine with basically no outside influences. It was many years before I even knew a professional skater existed. Then, even after years of being sponsored, I don’t think I saw being pro as a real possibility. Still don’t. I just skate and do my thing.


What’s up with HUF? How’s that going and how did it come about? Huf is great. Everything going on with the company right now is positive, from the team to the designs. I got on about 3 years ago. After a few conversations with Keith, it just seemed like a perfect fit. It’s been really refreshing dealing with someone who is just

straight up about things and super responsive to creative feedback. Huf is the best thing happening in the shoe world right now for sure. I hear you are a real man’s man... Like, you like the outdoors and stuff. Any reason in particular? Well, I grew up in Maine, which is over 90% forested so I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. The area where I’m from is all glacially formed crystal clear lakes. But I’ve lived in big cities for the past 18 years, so that takes a toll on a country boy. I need to get out and breath fresh air every chance I get. You’ve traveled all over the world, right? What is the craziest place you think you have ever been and why? Well, Southeast Asia is always a favorite because it’s exotic, beautiful, and can be super chaotic, but at the same time really easy to travel. In Vietnam I rode a small motorcycle north to south from Hanoi to Saigon (about 1,000 miles). About every hour I would see the most beautiful sight ever, the best smell, the worst smell, the loudest noise, the cutest kid, and see my life flash before my eyes in a near death experience. In that 3-week period I felt the coldest I’ve ever been, and probably the hottest too. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. I also took a riverboat up the Amazon for 5 days which is up there on the list of crazy places. What was your favorite place? I can’t say, but I just got home from a month in New Zealand. That place has to rank close to #1 on my list. You recently got engaged, right? How does your future wife feel about you skateboarding?

Let’s ask her. Marilu: I like it. I feel fortunate that we get to take advantage of the free time and travel. It’s hard when he goes away for a long time, but exciting when he comes home. Not to mention, it just makes him happy when he skates, and that’s good for both of us. Do you have any other jobs or interests? I have lots of other interests. Too many really. I need to start editing my hobbies. I’ve always had other jobs other than just skate income. Not having big-ticket sponsors throughout my career has kept me grounded I guess. So whenever anyone has asked me to work, I’ve always said yes. There have been lots of different jobs, but recently I’ve been working with wood, both for work, play, and as another artistic outlet. I feel really fortunate to have stuff in my life I’m passionate about. So many people out there go through life without passion and that’s really sad. Maybe that’s what makes people do bad things. They get bored and have no outlet. Life should be enjoyed; otherwise what’s the point? Did you ever go to school? Like, college and stuff? Nope. I’ve taken a few classes here and there, but nothing formal. Shout-outs and thanks? Expedition, HUF, Autobahn. I wouldn’t skate for you if you weren’t awesome. Thanks to my family. Do you have any lasting words of wisdom for the young bucks out there? Have fun and don’t be scared to try new stuff.

Joey Pepper [wallie]

Scot Criv // Cam Breton

50,000 sq. ft. indoor skatepark

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54 Chris McDonald

Mike Powley [back smith]

Luke Sutton

Kevin Cordell [ollie]

Sean Michon

Paul Hart [switch front lip]

Ricky Aponte

Julian Lewis [frontside 50-50]

Kevin Phelps [frontside flip]

Sean Michon



Focus Skateboarding Magazine #55 - May/June '14  
Focus Skateboarding Magazine #55 - May/June '14  

Do you remember what you were doing 9 years ago this very day? We do. We were cradling the very first issue of Focus as it came hot off the...