This issue is dedicated to Andy Kessler, Jarret Ewanek and Anthony Fricker. They all left a mark on skateboarding.
concretewavemagazine.com VOL. 8 No. 2 â€˘ FALL 2009
Canada Post Publication Agreement number 40671108
FALL 2009 Vol.8 No.2
Rider: Mark Bezenar Photo: Sheldon Lauzon
LETTERS ................................................................24 NOTEWORTHY ........................................................26 PRODUCT PROFILES ................................................34 THE SILVERFISH REPORT..........................................38 SKATE AND ANNOY ..................................................40 THE DISPOSABLE SKATEBOARD BIBLE ......................42 LEFTS & RIGHTS: BRAINS, COASTS, ROADS ..............50 AUSTRALIA REPORT ................................................54 DEFAMILIARIZATION ................................................56 BUS CALLS AND OIL SLICKS ....................................61 CW’S TRIP TO CALIFORNIA ......................................64 VIVA LOS BARRIOS ..................................................70 SHOP PROFILE: THE FRONTSIDE GRIND ....................76 CAVORTING WITH THE NON-SKATERS........................78 IGSA EUROPEAN WORLD CUP ..................................82 ARTIST PROFILE: RUSTY SHERRILL ..........................88 SUMMER SLALOM RACING REPORT ..........................90 NEXT WAVE ............................................................94
12 CONCRETE WAVE FALL 2009
Vol. 8 No. 2 FALL 2009
PUBLISHER/EDITOR SENIOR EDITOR ART DIRECTOR ASSOCIATE EDITORS DOWNHILL EDITOR DOWNHILL PHOTO EDITOR QUIVERS EDITOR SLALOM/FREESTYLE EDITORS STREET EDITOR/WRITER CORRESPONDENTS NORTHERN EUROPE LATIN AMERICA, SPAIN AND PORTUGAL AUSTRALIA
Michael Brooke • email@example.com Blair Watson Mark Tzerelshtein • MarkintoshDesign.com Mike Moore | Buddy Carr Jon Caften Jon Huey Dave Hackett Richy and Maria Carrasco Marcus Bandy Jim Kuiack | Mark Kessenich | Kilwag Markus Suchanek Diana Gracida | Pablo Castro David Pang | William Fonseca | Nick Sable
Rick Tetz of CalStreets.com
1054 Center Street Suite 293 Thornhill, Ontario L4J 8E5 Canada ph: 905.738.0804
Indaba Group PO Box 1895, Carlsbad, CA 92018 firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS (In order of appearance): Steve Potwin, Nils White, Sheldon Lauzon, Tracy Mewmaw, Hector Valle, Brian Sneed, Andi Leslie, Jeff Sanders, Donovan Watson, Mike Dallas, Sheri MacDonald, Jason Salfi, Ben Karpinski, Joe Krolick, Lee Leal, Adam Colton, A.J. Powell, Bob Ozman, Seb Dubois, Rusty Sherrill, David Mitchell, Zdena Klein, Mike Miller, Sydney Goldberg, Daniel Vasconcellos, Jeffrey Stern, Tony Cowl, Janet Johnson, and a special note of thanks to my trusty designer, Markintosh, who wanted to kill me at least 14 times during the creation of this issue. It was a toughie, but you did it! Another special note of thanks to Jonathan Harms, a.k.a. “Eagle Eye.”
concretewavemagazine.com Concrete Wave is published by North of La Jolla Inc.
Subscriptions (5 issues) are US$26 FIRST CLASS or CAN$26 (US$38 outside North America). Address change? Mag not arriving? Email us... don’t go postal. We can sort it out. email@example.com. We will notify you when your subscription expires. Publisher’s permission is required before reproducing any part of this magazine. The views and opinions expressed in Concrete Wave are not necessarily those of the publisher. We happily accept articles and photos. Please contact the publisher directly at firstname.lastname@example.org before you submit anything. We are looking for a variety of stories and images as long as they are skate related. COVERS: Steve Caballero. Photo: Steve Potwin Chris Mohney. Photo: Nils White. OPENING SPREAD Zach Friendly, Lee’s Summit, Missouri Photo: Tracy Mewmaw Distributed by ph: 416.754.3900 f: 416.754.4900 Printed in Canada ISSN 1708-3338 Canada Post Publication. Agreement number 40671108
WELCOME TO THE FINE PRINT: My son and I had a heck of a time in California. You can catch a glimpse of the incredible memories we forged during our two-week trip later on in the issue. As I write this, I am preparing for a 10-day trip on the Vans Warped Tour with the charity I co-founded with Chris Lilly called “Rock For Autism.” You’ll see how things turned out later on in the issue. By the time we get to press, Paskapoo, Maryhill and a ton of other events will all have passed. Trying to document them all is an uphill task. Did I mention we have the Surf Expo trade show in the third week in August? Where do the months go? Hell, where do the years go?
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While I was in California, I started to wonder about the cumulative affect of all my work within skateboarding media. It’s been more than 10 years of creating things. We printed up 45,000 copies of the book “Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding”; more than 350,000 copies of International Longboarder were produced; and the Concrete Wave TV show went for 52 episodes and was played in more than 20 countries countless times over the years. Since June 2002, we’ve printed more than 700,000 Concrete Wave magazines, and this year, we’ll hit the 60,000th copy of the “Evolutions” DVD. And I can’t even begin to get my head around the cumulative affect of almost 15 years of posting and hanging around the Web.
I wanted to share an incident that happened back in midJuly at a movie theater in my hometown. My family was back in the booming metropolis of London, Ontario, and I took my two sons to see the latest Harry Potter movie. We parked the car and skated down to the cinema. In line, the guy sitting behind the counter asked if I was part of Concrete Wave TV. I normally don’t encounter this, but I put out my hand and explained who I was. I gave him my e-mail address and told him to contact me and I would send out a free copy of the mag. My sons and I enjoyed the movie and I went back to Toronto. A few days later, this note arrived. I wanted to share it with you. It is truly a humbling experience to realize that something I was involved with had an effect on a fellow skater.
Michael: When I started skateboarding back in 2001 I had to inhale everything. I had started skating later than most other kids too. I was 16 the first time I stepped on a board. A very bad time for me as well, but skating delivered me from those hard times. It was the only pure bliss I had, and still have. I accredit skating [with] making me who I am. Subsequently your show “The Concrete Wave” was airing every Monday on OLN. I loved that show. I still have almost every episode on VHS. I could always rely on it to be on after school. It had a diverse blend of every type of skater and skateboarding. It included not only elements of street skating but also longboarding, old school, freestyle, specific cities and their scenes, pros young and old, industry stuff, how skateboards are made, history, trick tips, local contests, etc. Nothing was discriminated against. It even included locals from London… I always loved seeing our skate scene on TV. It has changed
a lot since then. I love looking back on those episodes the most. What differentiated me from other skaters at the time was that I really wanted to learn about where skating came from and how it evolved. Why I’m standing on a skateboard today doing tre’ flips in the street and who influenced the way things are and really innovated what’s happening today. Most kids don’t really care to look back and appreciate and be grateful for what came before them. At that time for me, and still today, it was very important. Your book, “The Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding” was the most comprehensive compilation of skateboarding history and photography I have ever read. I took everything out at the library that had to do with skateboarding. Most were all throwaway reads that I can’t remember, but your book…its information, vivid photography, and stories [have] stayed with me to this day.
Basically what I’m trying to say is that a lot of what I know and appreciate in skateboarding to this day is because of you. The way I see things and the way I approach skateboarding [are] on a higher and more informed and grateful level because of your hard work. I mean I just watched your shows and read your book a half dozen times and that was fun! So thanks for all of the years of hard work devoted to the most amazing thing that I have ever stumbled upon.
These words truly inspire me to do more…to spread the stoke further. As some of you know, there is a sign in my office that reads “One rider at a time, one reader at a time and one subscriber at a time.” I am truly lucky to be able to do what I do, and I promise you that I will never waver from 100% skateboarding. But then again, if you read this far, you already knew that! FALL 2009 CONCRETE WAVE 17
Those who have been keeping track of things will recognize that August 2009 marks something of a milestone. Exactly 10 years ago this August, the first copies of International Longboarder Magazine rolled off the press. After completing the book “The Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding” I was at a loss at what to do next. I still had a ton of creative energy running around my brain and was deeply passionate about presenting something I didn’t see in the other skate magazines. In early 1999, I decided to team up with Tom Browne, a graphic artist and fellow skater whom I had met first in 1976, and create the world’s first magazine for longboarders. To say that a lot has happened in 10 years would be an understatement. It’s odd to think that some of our current readers weren’t even BORN in 1999! I recently had a chance to unearth a copy of the first edition. Rereading the issue is truly a bittersweet experience. It’s gratifying to see that we were on the right track with statements like “there’s no doubt that longboarding is the perfect cross training exercise for surfers and snowboarders” and “longboarding is about change. It’s as though the radio dial is moving from just one station and people are following a different sound.” The fact remains, however, that the vast majority of the skate media have ignored all the trends that have mushroomed over the past decade. Despite their silence, skate shops that have embraced these trends are starting to see some major rewards on their investment. I know of numerous shops that are thriving despite a trying economic climate. Change may take a long time to happen within skateboarding, but once it comes, look out. My prediction is that over the next four years you will see some truly astounding things happen. Shortboard companies are now taking notice of what is happening out there. International Longboarder had a three-year run, and eventually I morphed it into the magazine you are reading now. The idea to do this came from Mike Moore, one of our editors. Back in 1995 (whoa, that’s almost 15 years ago) Mike created the logo for the “Skategeezer Homepage.” He recognized that Concrete Wave’s strength was to embrace all types of skateboarding and all types of skaters: vert/pool skaters who skate street, longboarders who skate slalom and street skaters who are into sliding or downhill. You can call it hybrid skateboarding or cross-pollination, but the fact remains: Variety keeps skaters in skateboarding for a much longer time period. With a quiver, you’ll never be bored, you’ll never leave skateboarding and you’ll enjoy every moment. What could be better than that? Next year marks an even more significant milestone for me. In 2010 I will have skated for 35 years. The joyful memories I have derived from skating for this long are matched only by the skate experiences I currently encounter. Sure, time moves on, but with skateboarding, it feels like time is on my side. Enjoy the issue, Michael Brooke, Publisher/Editor
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THE ORIGINAL AND STILL THE BEST BEARINGS FOR OVER 25 YEARS
BRANDON WESTGATE F/S LIPSLIDE
Win with Bones Bearings. bonesbearings.com/contest U 30 S. La Patera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 U 805-964-1330
Letter of the month receives a prize pack from Original Skateboards
The Skate Fink is on
MONGO SKATERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! I’m a die-hard 32-year-old skate guy. I push mongo, and man, do I have mixed feelings on it. I feel skateboarding has opened up a world of unique possibilities and great people — that is, until they see me push off. But if skateboarding is about self-expression and “against the grain attitude,” then why does anyone care how you push, as long as you’re skateboarding? So if you see me at your local park, as I’m sure some of you have, I will be pushing mongo on my old-school board. Just say, “What’s up?” Chances are I will have at least another two or three old-school boards in the car, and I will happily let you shred on one for the remainder of your session. I may even just give it to you. But for God’s sake – be cool and don’t judge. My name is Tom, and I push MONGO! Shred forever, Tom L.
WAITING-ROOM READING Last month, I had a parent in the hospital for three weeks of recovery and rehabilitation. The visitors’ waiting area had almost no reading material. So I brought in a bunch of different publications that included multiple back issues of Concrete Wave from 2007-present (not my “keepers,” mind you). I wanted to share them with other folk that were likely starving for something to read and pass the difficult times as I was. During those weeks, I realized that the CW mags were disappearing! Not the National Geographic or Rolling Stone magazines, etc., that I also carted in – only the Concrete Waves! I’m certain that those missing CWs have passed along some fresh STOKE! Saludos, Richard S.
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While reading a skateboard magazine, something hit a nerve with me. Not once or twice, but four or five times I read that skaters had to give up skating time because they got a job. The latest article I read was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’m fed up with jobs cutting in on someone’s skating time! It should be the opposite: Be rewarded by providing more skating time. It’s like the old saying, “Work hard, play hard!” It would be like if every city and town in the USA had a 15-acre indoor and outdoor skatepark! We all need to work to make money. We all [need] money to enjoy the Black Pearl in the Cayman Islands. I can’t make this happen alone, so I need everyone’s signature. This also struck a nerve point: I read the article on this skatepark tucked away somewhere in the Austrian Alps. More skateparks should be visible to the public eye. Again, let’s make them at shopping malls, beaches, workplaces, casinos and dating service plazas. Signed, Anonymous
SPIDEY SENSE - Letter of the Month The kid was turning 8 in a few days. He came to skate camp wearing a bike helmet, toy-store pads and a huge grin, carrying a Spiderman skateboard with wheels that didn’t roll. Within five minutes, Spiderman was rightfully abandoned against the fence, and said new skater was on my Gravity Pool 36”. First, he’d stand on the board and make me roll him around, holding his hands. Before long, he could roll and turn on his own after I gave him a little push. The pushing lesson came next, and the brand new regular-foot got the hang of it rather easily. By the end of the first hour he was hooked, rolling by himself down the 1-ft. roll-in. His joy was uncontainable. This kid really wanted to be a skater, but his own skateboard was a clear obstacle to his progress and safety. He tried the other boys’ brand-name street boards, but after just a minute or two he’d come back to my smooth, turny ride. The next day, his mom greeted me with, “You’ve ruined him!” Evidently he had gone home and shredded his birthday list, announcing that all he wanted was “a board just like Miss Heather’s!” I gave her a crash course on what to look for and what to stay away from, then
I recommended the only skate shop within 50 miles of here that seemed to know anything besides street skateboarding. The following day, she said she went where I sent her and asked for the things I told her to ask for, only to be told that I didn’t know what I was talking about. Here’s where Concrete Wave comes in. Since we obviously have some educating to do – and it’s not me that needs it – I’d like to ask for another copy of the Fall 2009 issue. Mine had a flaw, with pages 67 through 82 all stuck together and cut shorter than the rest, making it a bit of a pain to read the very cool article about the skate trip through Peru and Bolivia. I can deal with the flaw, but the folks at this store will need a nice, readable copy. After all, they’ve got a lot to learn! Thanks for all you do to make sure that all facets of our wonderful sport are covered, hopefully reducing the number of skateboard illiterates one shop at a time! Heather D.
BACK TO REALITY I just wanted to drop you a quick line. I just received my first copy, and I am really impressed with the content of your magazine. I especially like the variety of skateboard disciplines you cover. I am 42 years old and have recently returned to skateboarding after an 18-year absence. It has been an amazing experience of getting back on a board. I thought I might remember how to boardslide to fakie. Yeah, right! I could barely push my board in a straight line the first time back at the park. I have also met a whole crew of new skate friends that have been extremely supportive to my return. We try to get together between commitments with wives and kids. A good friend of mine has a halfpipe at his house, which I ride as much as possible. This time around, however, a trip to a friend’s halfpipe doesn’t have to be coordinated with my mom to be dropped off. I also hit the local city ramp and skate park before work (6:00 a.m.), long before the kids and bikes show up. There is nothing quite like starting the day off by watching the sun come up over the Boise foothills while at the skatepark. Once at the office, I think back on my morning scraped up knee and/or elbow and smile to myself. Life is good. Keep up the good work. Greg M., Boise, Idaho
NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
KEWY KEWY Longboards is a manufacture of top quality longboards and skate decks. Based in Las Vegas, NV the company was formed by an idea to bring hand shaped boards back into a stamped out market. Ken & Wynette (KEWY) offer 8 styles from, 36-48” longboards in 5,7 and 8 ply. Any quantity and any size, open for orders. 702-360-KEWY (5399) or myspace.com/kewylongboards
durometers, and seven original and unique styles and shapes. These bushings enable skateboarders in any discipline, to get the most rebound, return, shock absorption, and maximum torque capabilities. See what's new at khiroskateboardproducts.com EASTSIDE
The new Mindstate is a compact pintail shape and the latest addition to Arbor’s popular Flex Series. It has a slightly concave fiberglass-reinforced design that was developed to deliver a fun, energetic ride with loads of rebound for ultra-responsive turning. Fontana created a graphic for the Mindstate that reflects aspects of the Arbor state-of-mind. Arborcollective.com L.A.X.
L.A.X. has 3 new Drop ThroughsThe Flatbed series features a 29”, 37” and 55” Model that are totally flat and setup complete with Randals and 76mm Gravity High Grade wheels. Made in the USA and built for speed. laxskateboards.com SCHTANK
Schtank Skateboards started because the founder was sick of buying boards for $50 to $100 from companies who don’t care about skaters. As Christian Smith says “How can ceo’s of a skateboard company not ever skate? Why not start my own? I have been skating since 1982 and love the business. I am in it for the kids. To provide them with a greatskateboard deck for a lower price.” schtankskateboards.com KHIRO For many years now, KHIRO has lead the way in bushing technology being the first to market with seven hot colors, seven popular
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The newest edition of the EASTSIDE DROPBOARD – The 5th version of this aspiring speedboard originally created in 2005. Veteran team riders Casey Morrow, Robin McGuirk, and Eric Hovey have been racing this board extensively at various events this year including the Maryhill Freeride, Danger Bay, Vernon, Sully, and Paskapoo. Big congrats to our younger riders Nick Calafato and Alex Tongue who’ve been racing as well with some impressive results. eastsidelongboards.com CARVER Carver Skateboards has introduced four new boards to their line of surfing skateboards. “The line is more comprehensive than ever,” says designer and CEO Neil Carver. “We’ve added a little 28 inch shorty, an old school pig, a double-kick hybrid and a performance funboard.” These are the first boards to come out of the new Carver factory, now located in the historic surfing community of El Segundo, California. They all come with Carver’s patented C7 dual-axis front truck or the patented CX transverse kingpin front truck, each of which turns more than the standard back truck, so you pivot your turns from the tail and pump the board for speed. carverskateboards.com TRIPLE SIX LONGBOARDS Brandon Fielding started custom painting longboards for the simple reason that when he started riding hesaw too many people riding the same boards. “I wanted something different for myself. When I started, I painted decks with nothing more than tape and
spray paint but as time progressed I worked my way into airbrushing.” Brandon says he loves to see people out riding his boards knowing that they have something to truly represent them as individuals. “Now that I have been painting for a few years I have worked my way into painting custom prize decks for the annual International Attack of Danger Bay race in my home town of Pender Harbour, British Columbia.” Some of Brandon’s decks have gone to such racers as Scott “Scoot” Smith, Rylan “Raggie” English, Bricin “Striker” Lyons, Brianne Davies and Douglas Dalua facebook.com/Triple6Longboards JHD BOARD CO. All boards are solid wood, handmade and hand shaped out of various combinations of maple, cherry, walnut and mahogany allowing them to capture the aesthetics and feel of vintage big wave boards. These boards are truly in a league of their own and can only be described as a work of art, but don’t let their good looks fool you; a full perimeter bevel allows for some sick carving on the streets. Completes also available email@example.com EARTHWING Whenever Earthwing is developing a new product, it always starts out with “Wouldn’t it be rad if there was a...”These super fast little fellas are perfect for any deck with a smaller wheelbase where speed is needed. Throw away those annoying risers, but keep the speed and grip. Throw a set on that streetdeck, and blur the lines between speed, and tech. earthwingskateboard.com MOTION BOARDSHOP Big things happening in the northwest skate scene! Motion Boardshop in Seattle launched their new online store this spring featuring custom setups and free shipping. They have decks from up and comers like Fullbag, Insect, and Comet while still stocking Landyachtz, Rayne and everything in between. Check out their video tutorials which help riders determine the right bushing combo or baseplate degree for their ride. motionboardshop.com. ILLUSION ALL TERRAIN CONCEPTS Illusion ATC announces the release of their new Blackbird deck, the G3. This new version has many improvements including a white, high impact 95A urethane sidewall (other colors available) and a
NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS POGO
carbon twill finish. Similar to past models, this deck is 40” long, has 1.5” of drop, a 33” wheelbase, and deep concave. It’s a strong, stiff deck that weighs a mere 2.7lbs with stainless threaded insert truck mounts and hardware. illusionatc.com SKYHOOKS NO FUEL RACING are the manufacturer of the Skyhook. These simple plastic curved pieces fit over your toes for a stable hold and tight feel during riding. Easy to set up with hardware included. Left & Right non-breakable plastic will keep you on the board. firstname.lastname@example.org FLEXDEX The Mantis is a very mysterious and complicated board with a deep twisted past. The board is a wooden reincarnation of the Flexdex Stinger. The Stinger was carved from the famed Flexdex formula and was a top seller for years. Flexdex decided to bring back the popular shape with a new Maple/fiber weave body. Flexdex.com ELEMENT
Element has just released a new line of cruiser completes called TRAVEL WELL that pay homage to OG surf/skate roots, culture and shapers. The Cutter (9.875” x 44”) was designed by Chuck Hults. Elementskateboards.com BENNETT
Bennett is proud to present a limited edition of7- ply surf-skate cruisers. They feature 4.3 Vector Truks with 62mm 78a limited edition Alligator Wheels. Perhaps the most interesting feature is a nosehole for hanging or lock to bike rack. Bennetttruks.com
Pogo have just finished the new 2009 handcrafted Pogo Longboards. The boards have real wood designs of smoked oak, maple triple stringer and CNCmilled logos. An ash woodcore with a top and bottom layer of titanal in combination with a solid Kevlar layer ensure a stiff and very responsive flex. To eliminate vibrations there is a rubber layer under the top sheet. The boards are equipped with Randal trucks and the very cool Manx wheels. email@example.com PIMPGRIP PimpGrip launches with mind-blowing assortment of custom colored griptape. No longer do skateboarders have to settle for plain boring black griptape. Now you can pimp the top of your skate deck with an assortment of colored griptape from PimpGrip colors.pimpgriptape.com TUNNEL Tunnel Rocks Park Killers are a highperformance park wheel poured in Huntington Beach, California with premium park urethane. With two sizes available, 54mm and 57mm, the Park Killers are hard, fast and definitely worthy of the Tunnel Rock legacy. Formulated specifically for parks, pools and tunnels, the durable, cored Park Killers are resistant to flat-spotting and roll forever. Also new is the Baldy Pipeline deck. In honor of the legendary pipe, Tunnel is proud to release the Baldy Pipeline deck. Based on an old Tunnel shape but with modern concave, the Baldy Pipeline is 31.5” long and 8.5” wide. It’s a single kick with just a hint of nose. Adding to the old school flavor, a die-cut grip allows the Tunnel logo to really pop. Tunnelskateboards.com LIGHT RISER Light Riser™ creates a blue “pool of light” under your board and a white headlight to the front. This clear acrylic riser sports two large 10,000to-20,000 MCD LEDs, powered by three AA batteries (burning brightly for 30+ hours) and pre-wired for optional rechargeable batteries. LightRiser.com
DURANGO SKATE JAM The 1st Annual Durango Slalom and Downhill Skate Jam will be held on September 12th and 13th in Durango, Colorado. Events include Slalom, tight, giant and hybrid, downhill, and skatecross, with flat and slide trick contests. The event takes place on E. 8th Avenue, a fast, winding and freshly paved hill. For more information visit durangoskaters.weebly.com THE LONGBOARDERZ is an online space/community that was created in 2008. It was and continues to be the only forum in Portugal specific to Longboard Skateboarding. This year will see the second edition of the Longboarderz Festival and it will take place on the 26th and 27th of September, in Carvoeiro, in the region of Águeda, Portugal. If you are anywhere near Portugal at that time, be sure to check it out! www.thelongboarderz.com SKATERS RAMP IT UP ACROSS ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
It was no ordinary day for skateboarders across the city of Adelaide. The team from Boardshop Australia had arrived from the Gold Coast for the “Ramp it Up Tour” of Adelaide skateparks. The rolling skate festival began early Saturday morning at the Henley Beach skatepark, before moving to Adelaide Shores, then to City skatepark and finally dropping in at the Seaford facility. Skaters from across the metro area turned out to greet the Boardshop crew. It was an action packed day of demonstrations, impromptu best-trick competitions and free product tosses at the four skateparks. All skaters were eligible to participate in the competitions free-of-charge and the Boardshop crew held a raffle at each skatepark to ensure that no skateboarder went home empty handed. “It’s really great to have such a fantastic turn-out” says Boardshop team manager Tony Gembeck “to meet fellow skaters, go for a roll and then give back to the skate community. I’m stoked! The skaters here are an amazing group of youth and the parks here in Adelaide some of the best anywhere. It’s a credit to the forward thinking of local councils that they provide this caliber of skatepark facilities. I can’t wait to come back.” boardshop.com.au
FALL 2009 CONCRETE WAVE 27
Congrats to Co-Owner of Aend Industries, Tony Gabriel on the birth of his new baby Atticus McCoy, 8 pounds, 6 ounces, May 7, 2009. PUERTO RICO SCHOOL DISTRICT DOWNHILL By Hector Valle
The morning school announcements came out the school’s speakers sluggishly on a sunny Friday morning. The monotonous voice of the principal’s assistant read the routine highlights for the week, but today a particular announcement was different. Out it came, for the first time ever anywhere, an announcement that excited the senses and set in motion the imagination of the students of the Luis M. Rivera Junior High, one of the schools in the Arecibo Schools District. Today the School’s District Downhill Fest was announced, inviting all students at the schools to participate, and encouraging them to network in order to attract other schools in the district to participate. The event echoed across the land like the announcement of an invading horde. Here comes the downhill racers again. But this time it was different; this time the sport of downhill skateboarding took center stage in high school varsity sports, right along side traditional team sports and activities such as basketball, baseball and football. Sunday morning, March 29th finally arrived and brought a warm sunny day to hold the event at the legendary Guajataca Beach road # 113; home of the annual Guajataca Downhill races. 82 racers from all 10 schools in the district were signed up by 10:00 AM. A large crowd of family members and spectators assembled along the 2.3 km route to support their favorite racer or school. A large number of vol-
unteers from the Pirate Surf Club and the Luis M. Rivera Junior High covered the route in a variety of roles to ensure that the event was executed smoothly. Thanks to the School Principal, Mrs. Migdalia Barreto, and her initiative, the Arecibo School’s District Leadership accepted to allow the event and to sponsor it. The large group of volunteers were expediently and efficiently organized to execute this event flawlessly. The Town of Quebradillas and its Mayor, Heriberto Velez, sponsored the event, with trophies and a slew of resources to include the support of the State and Municipal police, as well as the Emergency Management Office. Each heat of skaters was escorted by 2 police motorcycles all the way down the race course, to ensure their safety and keep pedestrians, animals, and cars out of the race course. Super Ambulance Services provided emergency services for the duration of the event, ensuring that any riders that “bit the dust” in the races were promptly treated and evacuated as necessary. Only 5 racers required treatment of minor wounds, with no serious injuries. The event ran smoothly throughout the day, as the different age groups charged the hill at speeds over 45 miles an hour. The girls and boys 10 to 13 were allowed their own categories at grade school level at ½ the course. Then the 14 to 17 age group, representing their respective schools, charged the full 2.8 km course for their school’s honor. After the schools encounter, the district allowed the organizers of the event and other guests to participate on an open “jackpot” where riders cashed in at over $250 in prize money. We want to thank all the sponsors like Abec 11, Bangee Bungee, Rayne Skateboards, Khiro Hardware, Ollie Pop Chewing Gum, Time Ship Racing, and Birdstown Surf and Skate for donating prizes for the students of the Arecibo School’s District who won their different age groups at these races. We look forward to the next event with even more schools from all over the Island participating, and invite other school districts on the Mainland to organize events like these. RESULTS: Boys 10 to 13 years 1. Vidal Velez 2. Christian Guzman 3. Carlos Barreto
Girls 10 to 13 years 1. Akisha Soto 2. Jennifer Juan 3. Tiara Perez
Jr. Men 14 to 17 1. Jomar Guzman 2. Lugar: Kenneth Barreto 3. Luis Ramos BULLDOG SKATES WEST COAST JAM V By Brian Sneed Bulldogskates.com is hosted by skateboard artist and guru Wes Humpston. A worldwide family of skaters, collectors and fans meet daily in his on-line message board. Many of these forum members gather annually in four unique geographic locations.
28 CONCRETE WAVE FALL 2009
Photo: Tom Hunt
Photo: Jeff Donovan
PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS
Members travel hours (even days) to attend. For the second year in a row Los Osos Skate Park and Toyland Ranch hosted the affair in late June. The gates to the reserved Los Osos Park opened at 8am for more than 75 skaters and friends. Old-school mixed with new-school in a shred fest for all ages. Grinds, airs, laybacks and long carves sliced through the BBQ smoke filled air. After hours of jammin’ fun the dinner bell was rung. The plates piled high with ribs, carne asada and grilled veggies soon disappeared. The crew moved into the red barn for dessert. Nothing edible here, just tables stacked with product to share. A drawing was held to spread the wealth, then off to Act II in a parade of stealth. A 10-minute drive led to Jonny Miller’s place, aptly named ‘‘Toyland’’. Hundreds of acres surround this skater’s artistic creation. A rustic skateshop sits near his home. The roof doubles as a stage above the concrete and wood skateboard playground. The terrain meets the shop all across the front, with a rideable wall window and view. From the coping drops, roll in’s at the top, to a new hip with a hook; it was all rideable in my book. The session kicked into high gear when the Reefriders took to the roof. Surf/Skate/Punk Rock n Roll boomed into the night. Band after band, run after run, no one there could have had more fun. The fire pit roared to light up the midnight sky. No need to leave, as we slept where we fell. The dawn rose for those that needed more. PASKAPOO DOWNHILL RODEO JULY 24-26, 2009 By Blair Watson Racers from around the world came out to Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park for the return of the Paskapoo Downhill Rodeo which was on hiatus last year. Not only was it back, but in some ways it was bigger and better than the previous downhill events at the Olympic site. The course—a road with plenty of switchbacks, a nice steep grade and two speed bumps, and the palatial surroundings—seemed to be very popular with riders. 175 racers showed for the free ride the day before the event went off!
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NOTEWORTHY PRODUCTS, PEOPLE, EVENTS The $10,000 in prize money was a nice touch as well. It was joked that while some riders were racing in Europe racing for points that weekend, “the real racers were in Calgary battling it out for the big bucks.” Despite the lure of the European race, the Rodeo saw 130 racers of the highest caliber rocket down the very technical high speed course. Tom Edstrand nips Zak Maytum at the line. Photo: Andi Leslie
RESULTS: 1. Zen Shikaze 2. Tom Edstrand 3. Zak Maytum 4. Niko Desmarais 5. Billy Meiners
Photo: Andi Leslie
A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE UPCOMING BROADWAY BOMB, OCTOBER 2009 By Mike Dallas
Matthew “Grizz” Kroetsch (front) and Niko Desmarais lead the pack. Photo: Jeff Sanders
Mike Slota (front) and Ken Leigh-Smith attack a turn. Photo: Donovan Watson Kevin Reimer, Billy “Bones” Meiners and Nate Lang. Photo: Jeff Sanders
This year’s event, put on by the Speedboard Longboard Association of Calgary (SLAC) in a new partnership with Winsport Canada was a big step up in a number of ways. Camping on site for racers, onsite parties with a battle of the bands, beer gardens at the bottom of the hill and at corner 6, jumbotrons fed with footage covering every corner, catered food and chairlifts for racers to get back to the top of the hill made this year, perhaps, the best Rodeo so far. The online streaming of the event was just icing on the substantial cake.
Zen Shikaze leads Kevin Reimer and Maytum across a speed bump. Photo: Andi Leslie
Riley Harris Photo: Donovan Watson
Kate Middleton (L) and Brianne Davies (R). Photo: Donovan Watson
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The racing was incredible with more than a few races that were so tight that slow motion playback via the jumbotrons was required to ascertain the winners of several heats. Ultimately, kamikaze hill killer Zen Shikaze of Vernon came out on top of a field of 136 racers. Coastlongboarding’s grand poobah, Bricin Lyons, also the event’s MC, won the Jarrett Ewanek(Doc GoFast) Memorial trophy for outstanding achievements in gravity sports—an annual award. His band, Loose Tooth also won the Battle of the Bands.
In a recent edition of Concrete Wave I learned the rules of Downhill racing. DH racing allows a single push to keep the pull of gravity a control. New York City skating is much different. There are few controlled variables, as each course changes without notice. The city conditions a rider will face are extreme. Outlaw racing in the city happens regardless of physical obstruction. The “Central Park” race crowns the most athletic longboarder and the “Broadway Bomb” crowns the most strategic Outlaw skater. The skater with the greatest sprint endurance will win the Central Park race. Street wise skaters win the Broadway Bomb, using traffic adapted strategy. New York City’s races are not sanctioned or insured. The rider assumes all liability and risk. The rider chooses what is responsible skating and what is dangerous. City riders practice outlaw technique because it is efficient transportation and saves energy. The Broadway Bomb is a different race this year. The once epic stretch through Times Square is obstructed by a pedestrian lounge of sorts. Loose pebble flooring and a crowded seating area will challenge riders to detour, against the original Broadway Bomb regulations. Many wish to break the 8.2 mile 24 minute record set by Kaspar Henrici. Brainless drivers occupy our streets. Drivers are impatient offering little attention to the casual longboarder skating on the shoulder of the road. Our everyday skating pleasure is balls to the walls traffic lust. We elegantly float through traffic systems synergistically cooperating with the flow of traffic. My fear in traffic is the random opening car door. I always watch for movement through a vehicle’s rear window. A door makes a very distinct noise before it feeds on your stoke. Safe skating will allow outlaw races to continue. Please skate smart.
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e’re the Hamborgs and we make the BIGGEST SKATEBOARD on the planet. We all want you to know that we just don’t make Hamboards for their SIZE; we make them because how much FUN they are to ride!
But don’t take our word for it — here’s what other people are saying: “... one of the most responsive and addictive skateboards ever produced” — Concrete Wave Magazine, Winter 2008 “... mimics the feel of a surfboard on the water” — The Los Angeles Times, January 12th 2009 “the board is amazing, it is hard to keep my feet off it!” — Matt Hendry, Beverly, New Jersey And.. “my husband, a violin maker for 30 years, is impressed with the craftsmanship of my Hamboard” — Melanie Lake
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Over the past few years we have heard from many readers that they want more product reviews. So we are pleased to showcase this expanded section. If you are a skate company and would like have your gear featured in this section, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
KOASTAL TOSS UP Early this year, we had an opportunity to visit with Derek Horn of Koastal Skateboards. He’s been experimenting with a wide variety of woods, and many of his boards are one of a kind. Of particular note is the “Meat Loaf.” It was the “Toss Up,” however, that garnered our attention due to its unique symmetrical shape — the nose and tail are exactly the same — and springy flex. The deck is 36’’ in length, and the top features green dyed maple veneers with purpleheart, an extremely hard wood that when cut is, as its name suggests, purple. This gives the deck a very beautiful look. Since there are only five additional plies, the deck is reinforced with a Fiber-Lam weave. The flex is quite substantial, giving you a very responsive ride. The grip on all Koastal decks is made from a recycled clear material; you can ride safely in bare feet. Both trucks are positioned toward the end of the deck, which can take some time to get used to. Of course, the coolest thing about the “Toss Up” is that you don’t have to worry about what way the deck is facing. koastalboards.com
SKATEBOARD PARKS: DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT By Scott Bradstreet We wanted to take a break from the usual reviews of skateboard products to let you know about this new book from Schiffer Publishing. Schiffer has done a number of skate books, including the series on Jim Phillips’ artwork. When this book arrived, we were quite surprised; it really came out of
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the blue. Bradstreet has put together an excellent resource for both skaters and those putting plans together to create a skatepark. It contains dozens of photos and illustrations and is laid out in a very comprehensive way. Bradstreet has first-hand experience planning skateparks, and he achieves his goal of creating a “comprehensive, non-biased overview of skatepark development.” The hardcover book is 130 pages and is available via Schiffer or amazon.com. schifferbooks.com
SURF ONE BEIRUT The Beirut is a classic longboard with a subtle rocker but no concave. We mounted it up with Randal 180s with 50-degree R-II plates loaded with a combination of Khiro red barrels and their tall cones for maximum performance. Khiro’s killer ½-inch risers and their pan-head hardware kept everything locked down nicely while providing enough clearance for the Nitro Bearing-loaded 72mm 78A Pink Powerballs we hung on the ends of the hangers. The bearing/wheel combination made for some surprisingly good speeds. It was quite maneuverable despite its 43.75” length and 9” width, and with all that clearance, and solid grip from the wheels, the Beirut made for a very fun cruiser that was actually quite fun to rip around on. But it’s not just a longboard. The Beirut comes with two plastic cups and a handful of ping-pong balls and graphics that turn the underside of the board into a game table – a beer pong game table, to be accurate. And what a riot it was after a fun cruise down by the river along the paved strand leading to a park, where we took a break, broke out some nourishment and had a game of beer pong – which attracted a lot of attention as the contests became hysterical. So much fun! After a few rounds, we headed back out for another cruise. What a blast — a great way to blow off a nice afternoon. Good thing we were wearing helmets. surf-one.com
NEVER SUMMER TYRANT It only takes a second to realize why this deck is perfectly named. It’s got a fierce look because the upper nose is much wider than the tail. In fact, the Tyrant tops out at 9.5’’ in width. This gives you a huge amount of space to work with. Although Never Summer is known for building a substantial amount of flex into their decks, this board is quite stiff, and the rocker design adds to the stability of the deck. So where did we test it? On hills, of course! The board performed extremely well, and we found that our feet locked nicely into position. As with all Never Summer products, the graphics are something to behold. The board comes complete with Paris 180mm trucks and Never Summer 77mm wheels. neversummer.com
POWELL “FUN!” VIDEO Powell serves up 36 minutes of what is largely street skating performed by their current crop of pros, including Jordan Hoffart, Dallas Rockvam, Derek Elmendorf, Aldrin Garcia, Josh Hawkins, John White and Ben Hatchell, who take on a myriad of rails, ledges and interesting spots. Stevie Caballero even makes a
few cameos, busting it out in a steel fullpipe, a couple of skateparks and a pool. It’s a fun watch whether you’re into street or not. The team filmed at some really cool spots with interesting architecture and some very interesting variations served up. While the vid seems a little corny at the start, you will get a chuckle out of it and find yourself in awe of some of the moves and want to search out some of the killer spots where they filmed. However, the last blast of footage is painful to watch, as the team riders slam hard over and over again in attempts at various maneuvers. No pads, no helmets, just pain. That doesn’t sound like fun to me, but at least it’s offset with enough humor to carry it through. powellskateboards.com
SAYSHUN LITESPEED This racing machine is as much a thing of beauty as it is a hill killer. Made for full-on, noholds-barred downhill racing, the new Sayshun Litespeed is certainly a contender on any hill, anywhere, at any race on the planet. Yes, it’s that good.
outer inch and a half of the 10-inch-wide deck kicked up; the platform in between is, for the most part, flat. It feels good, too; the combination of the extra shoe/deck contact and the kicked-up edges provided excellent footlock and was a welcome feature when we took this rig up to speed. The die-cut grip is a nice touch, too. The Litespeed was mounted with Sayshun’s new Plasma Precision (previously code-named Savant) racing trucks and set up with Venom bushings, Khiro soft pivots and a new and ingenious invention that goes in the 40-degree baseplate’s pivot, under the pivot bushing, and serves as a pivot cup tuning pad. The fully CNC’d 6061 aluminum Plasma Precision truck is perhaps the most precision truck we’ve tested to date; the quality and accuracy are simply awe-inspiring. Even the threads are expertly done on the CNC. The split axles are threaded into the hanger, threadlocked and then collared and pinched — ensuring no possible slippage. This truck is incredible — no dead spots, no dives, just a smooth, stable, linear swing that really comes alive as you start building speed. The pivots themselves are a masterpiece of art and function, as are the stainless steel axles. Last but not least, Sayshun’s offset Plasma O Positive wheels, loaded with Rockets ceramic bearings, provided the Litespeed’s link to the ground. Their 53mm contact patch provided plenty of grip and rip, and the ability to reach some truly extreme speeds. And the whole setup – board, wheels, trucks, bearings and grip – weighs all of 6.75 lbs. Simply amazing! sayshun.com
There is no other way to state this: The Photon Lightboard is not going to be for every skater out there. To some it will simply look like a gimmick; they’ll dismiss it and move on. But when I first spotted these decks at the ASR show, I was impressed with how well the idea of lights had been implemented into the construction of the deck. The company offers both a street and longboard version of their unique decks. The longboard decks feature 14 lights on the bottom and 17 lights on the sides. When you ride this deck around at night, people just stop and stare. The lights will remain on for 90 minutes on a full charge. The street decks are designed to handle the abuse of rails and ledges. The lights are truly embedded into the laminates. We talked to one shop owner who is selling a ton of these decks each month, and every kid I showed it to in the neighborhood thought it was pretty cool. Sure, they are flashy, but they are also a great conversation starter and a blast to ride. What could be better than that? photonlightboards.com
PHOTON LIGHTBOARDS There’s some serious tech behind this gravity sled, which features H-Beam foam core construction wrapped in carbon fiber. Amazingly, this carbon fiber wonder is nice and stiff with no sign of the usual torsion issues the material often suffers from. It’s a real concern with many carbon fiber decks – a concern Sayshun seems to have licked. Lexan plates are used to create a hard and solid mounting block for the trucks, negating any worries of the bolts pulling through. This 39’’ long road rocket features the option of a 33.25’’ or 34.5’’ wheelbase. It has a rather unique concave as well, with only the
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FALL 2009 CONCRETE WAVE 37
Dog Days of Summer! Half the northern hemisphere is broiling, flooding or turning into a dry desert this summer, and don’t let The Man fool ya: summer ain’t over just ‘cuz school’s starting up again! This is skatin’ weather and it’s your right to beat the bulldozers to the foreclosed pools, the highway patrol to epic downhills and road trip it to skate sessions! So what’s going on? Right as this edition of the ‘Fish Report starts floppin’ and flippin’ on doorsteps, the infamous Maryhill Festival of Speed will be going down for its third year as an international stoke fest, Sept. 2-6th. This is the ultimate freeride, camping, racing, longboard party in the world! Trip on up to check it out (and toss a quarter in the various “recall the kook mayor” collection cans in town), or login to the ‘Fish for daily reports,
photo galleries and live, streaming video of the racing! Later in September, check out Indiana’s “Epic International Skate Fest” featuring longboard freestyle, downhill slide and slalom competition at Bethel College, in Mishawaka. $25 bucks gets you more stoke than you can handle and the chance to win schwag for style. In October, you’re off to Texas for the Nac Bash 2009, in Nacogdoches. This college town (see a theme?) is hosting a triple threat: DH racing, slide competitions and slalom racing, with skaters and racers coming from all over the United States and beyond. It’s a small town with a big heart and some damn good brisket at Harlon’s or Mike’s (ask a local, they’ll ‘splain it). Also in October, the Pennsyltucky Derby II downhill skateboard
races with a BBQ and a 50mph run for the money. Hit the Regional Forums and Events Calendar on the ‘Fish for all the info you could ever need! Of course, stoke is where you find it! Whether you’re rippin’ all night in the after dark scenes in New York City, Caracas, Paris and San Diego, or discovering that epic descent in the Black Forest, outside Melbourne or the green hills of Tennessee, longboarding rules the road! Rip it, share it and come stoke it on the ‘Fish. We’ll be waiting for you, with event coverage, scene reports from around the world, all the epic bling you can stand from this season’s Surf Expo and ASR shows, gear reviews and online product releases of the newest skate stuff there is. That’s the report for this month. See you out there on the asphalt!
The second pour was a grassroots effort done entirely by the park users with saves-theday technical help from a local legend named Marc Tison. Is it over? Not likely. Kevin wants to do a bowl next year. So far the mayor is on board — but he faces re-election in the fall, so it’s not necessarily a done deal, and there’s always funding to worry about. Kevin would like to thank Director of Sports and Leisure Patrick Lafleur for greasing the wheels in city hall. He got behind the project early on and was instrumental in getting it started in a timely manner.
Note: The views of this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor, publisher or anyone else in all likelihood.
So this time I was going to give some advice on how to start your own skateboard company, but I think I’m going to delay that, seeing as how my own company is spectacularly failing right now. Instead, I think I’ll tell you about one success story. I’d love to take credit for it, based on my last column encouraging activism, but this project was being skated well before my article went to press. I’m going to talk to you about a little unknown project called Burnside… Just kidding.
version known as the F-shape barrier that has a slightly steeper geometry and a higher step-up, but somehow completely fails to look like an “F” in any obvious way. California has its own spec called the K-Rail (but K-Rails suck, because the coping falls away at the top…). Not to be outdone, Texas has the Texas Constant Slope Barrier. In the U.K. they have something called concrete step barriers that have a little step and no tranny whatsoever – very lame, except the machine that pours them in place is pretty cool. How do I know all this? Why, Wikipedia, of course. (And the Summer 2008 issue of CW! – Ed.)
★ D.I.Y. IN N.D.L.P. Notre Dame de L’ile Perrot is a small town outside of Montreal, Quebec. Kevin Cann, a resident and skater, was fed up with the less than adequate public skatepark in his town. Apparently it was just a few crappy prefab ramps sitting on a slab of concrete. He went to the city’s Director of Sports and Leisure (what a title, huh?) and proposed a small skatepark project, to be funded by the city. He didn’t just show up and say, “Build us a skatepark!” He came to the city with a (ahem) concrete idea and some basic plans for what he wanted to do. He went with the decision makers to a local concrete company to show them what he wanted. In this case, the park was being built on a foundation of Jersey barriers used as containment walls with a largerthan-usual tranny added to it – not larger than typical skatepark tranny, but larger tranny than you find on typical renegade Jersey barrier pours. And now for something completely different: The Jersey barrier was invented in…
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★ BACK TO N.D.L.P.
Hoboken, New Jersey. In some places, (OK, most likely one place) they are known as “Pennsylvania Separators,” which coincidentally was the name of a basketball team in the 1930s. Official “Jersey” barriers were developed under the direction of the New Jersey State Highway Department and first used in 1955. It seems that the old metal guardrails weren’t keeping cars from jumping into oncoming traffic lanes. Jersey barriers were designed to stop that — as were other similar devices. There’s a modified
As point man for the N.D.L.P. project, Kevin made sure the skaters got something they wanted. He successfully talked the city out of getting more prefab wood and metal. In addition to driving the project to get done, he had to agree to give skateboard lessons at the park for free, once a week for a year. The city took a risk on Kevin, and it paid off. They had no idea it would be as successful as it was, as their firsthand knowledge was limited to soccer and hockey. It went over so well, they gave him more money the next year. The original Jersey barrier-and-tranny park added a “Twinkie” pump bump in the middle and a wallride arch over the gap. The first pour was done under contract by a small, regional skatepark company called Bloom.
It can be done. Obviously, the situation in your location might be different. Not every city official is skate-friendly – or even reasonable, for that matter. For instance, the city of Chicago just took a giant step backwards in skatepark evolution. A few years ago, after hiring a typical nonskateboard-specific, sidewalkbuilding construction company to build their first park (with predictable and disastrous results), they hired a company with a solid, if unimaginative, design/build record that delivered a solid skatepark with a good finish – nothing that will go down on the list of all-time greats, but still something competent and fun. For their next park, you’d think they’d go big and get it done right – maybe something with a little creative flair, something more appropriate for a major city with some world-class architecture? How does a few truckloads of prefab metal and Skatelite grab you? Are you stoked to hear the “ka-chunk, ka-chunk” of skateboard wheels hitting the metal plate where the concrete meets the tranny? If you don’t get involved, that’s what could happen to you. Kevin got involved in his local scene, and it turned out for the better. The worst thing that could happen to you is that you might not try anything. If you’ve got feedback, I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Now I’ve got two readers, thanks to Bryant. Skate and Annoy! – Kilwag
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IINSIDE SEAN CLIVER'S NEW MASTERPIECE
DISPOSABLE Photo: Sheri McDonald
Interview by Michael Brooke
Looking back, what were your initial expectations for “Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art”? I’m not sure what, if any, expectations I had going into all this. I was just disheartened and frustrated by the few books dealing with skateboard art/decks that had already made it to print. They were either muddled by historical inaccuracies or came from an outsider’s viewpoint of the art/culture. The author(s) had good intentions, I’m sure, but none of these books really spoke to skaters. So my foremost goal was to make a book for skateboarders, not a mainstream audience. Generally this isn’t the type of marketing goal publishers want to hear – and, well, it wasn’t, considering my initial difficulty with finding a publisher. Luckily we – meaning, Concrete Wave and Per Welinder – were able to produce it first within skateboarding, making it all the more credible.
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Were you surprised at the outpouring of emotion the book elicited? Yeah, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the first book finally came out in 2004, so it was – and still is – really cool to watch skateboarders from the ’80s and ’90s thumb through the pages. And with this new one I hope to say the same for those who skated in the ’70s. It’s amazing how much of a visceral mark skateboarding can leave on one’s life and how the mere sight of an old board or graphic can detonate entire fields of semi-buried memories. What are your expectations for “The Disposable Skateboard Bible”? Well, my first hurdle to clear is just getting the message across that, yes, this is a completely new book. There were several updates/revisions I made to the first book during subsequent printings and publishers – perhaps a few too
many for my own good – so people have, understandably, been a bit “gun shy” when hearing about this new “Disposable” edition. So how exactly does it differ? Well, it’s really a complement to the first book, a continuation to tie up all the loose ends I was unable to attend to. It contains a number of new quotes and stories from artists, skaters and assorted other industry folk that I wasn’t able to get on the first go-round, like V. Courtlandt Johnson, Mark Gonzales, Greg Evans, Mark “Gator” Rogowski, Art Godoy, Chuck Hults, Christian Cooper, etc., as well as fairly extensive photo galleries of skateboards produced in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. I probably would’ve shown more boards from the ’90s and ’00s, but I simply ran out of pages – maxed out my limit at 368 pages (containing approximately 2,500 deck images). The bulk of the introductory text on this one is also geared toward skateboarding collecting and the mania it entails. I know the “c- word” can carry a stigma at times – probably the main reason my publisher steered me away from using it in the title – but if anything, this is more about the psychological addiction/affliction and all the fun ways to justify spending a thousand dollars or more on an old board. Grime’s quote in the beginning sums it all up for me: “I hate collecting…but I love it more.” From what I can gather, you’ve been given an opportunity to dig much deeper. How did you find this experience? How did you balance job, book and family? I’m a skateboard collector at heart, so of course I simply enjoyed the treasure hunt aspect: seeing what still lurks out of the public eye in boxes and storage units around the world. One of the main challenges was, of course, finding decks that have either not been seen before or weren’t the exact same versions of decks used previously. Although, honestly, I have to say I did get a bit depressed at one point while trying to put this book together. A ridiculous amount of boards have been produced over the years, and I soon came to the conclusion there was no way I could even begin to catalog them all. So I’m sure some people will still be like, “Why wasn’t [fill in the blank] included?” As for balancing it all out between my full-time job and maintaining a family life … I guess that’s part of the reason it took over two and a half years to produce. Well, that and I’m a tad (understatement) OCD, so it was just plain difficult for me to stop taking/collecting photos of boards. Even now that the book is out, I’m still seeing boards surface where I’m like, “Damn, I would’ve loved
to have included a photo of that one!” It’s almost like I need to do a quarterly supplement or something, but that’s just the board junkie in me talking. If I was more tech/Web savvy maybe I’d do something like this online, but I’m as dumb as a case of sheetrock when it comes to all that HTML business. What was the most unusual thing you found while doing your research? One of the more interesting aspects for me was just shooting boards from the ’60s and ’70s. I started skateboarding in the late ’80s, and my knowledge of these eras was piss-poor at best. So it was fun to lay them all out in spreads and watch the evolution unfold. It was also fun just to piece together the variants of certain graphics/shapes and figure out which version came first. Deck-wise, I’d have to say it was really cool to find out that the one infamous Mike Vallely board seen in a Powell-Peralta ad circa 1988 still existed. It’s the prototype version with a yellow background print on black, the first color scheme they chose to do on the reissue a couple of years back. I am sure a lot of folks will be intrigued by the “Once Were Riders” and “Prototypes” sections of the book. Can you discuss these sections in a bit more detail? When I first started laying out the book, I wanted to try and keep the decade galleries as clean as I could. By this I mean I wanted to limit them to production boards. So it just made sense to segregate the “niche” boards, like those once ridden by pros, and the “prototypes” – a loose term to encompass all the one-offs, team riders and test prints that have surfaced over time. What’s interesting about these two categories is that they’re both highly relevant to skateboard collecting, but their values are oftentimes way more subjective than regular boards. The freestyle boards also received an appendix of their own – they’re just way too awkward-looking next to all the other fullsize boards – while another is devoted to the autograph quandary. What was the “holy grail” for you – the one item you searched and searched for and eventually found? There were a few variants of certain boards that were cool to track down and illustrate the progression of certain graphics, like all the Powell-Peralta Ray “Bones” Rodriguez and Lance Mountain “Future Primitive” models. But there were probably a lot more things I couldn’t find, like unskated versions of Steve Olson’s first two Santa Cruz models and Neil Blender’s first two models on G&S. I
would’ve loved to unearth a prototype of Steve Caballero’s first “unofficial” model with the propeller graphic in any condition, but no such luck on that one. A rumor persists that one may have sold from Stacy Peralta’s collection a while back, but to date I’ve seen no solid proof of this. I noticed a “beauty shot” of a pair of Cadillac wheels at the beginning of the book. Can we someday expect a book on wheels and trucks? Nope, not at all. I never really developed any sort of emotional attraction to wheels and trucks, or at least certainly nothing to warrant another two years spent running around California. But, in this case, it did seem like the right thing to do with Cadillac wheels – not to mention the fact I can’t stand wasted space and I had to put something there. Seriously, there isn’t the inkling of a “design space” left open in the book. Any further comments? Unfortunately, a few people passed away during the years I spent compiling the book. The first was Ray Underhill, and the last page of the book is dedicated to his memory. I worked with Ray on both of his Powell-Peralta graphics, and he was an all-around good guy – very cool and very keen on how his graphics came out. The other two individuals were a bit more close to home. I say this only because they were both directly involved with the book, and I still had emails from them sitting in my inbox that I’d yet to respond to – the Interweb can be real spooky that way. First, Sharon Harrison, a longtime wordsmith in skateboarding who was responsible for not only copy-editing both “Disposable” books but [also for] officiating the marriage of my wife and I in 2000, passed away earlier this year, not long after returning all my edited Word documents. Then, in April, Bernie Tostenson, a man who contributed greatly to the advancements of screen-printing in the skateboard industry, not to mention some classic graphics like the Sims Christian Hosoi Rising Sun, succumbed to cancer. I found out about his death just as the book was set to roll on the printing presses, and it was a real shock. I attempted to make an “emergency” revision to the ’80s Brand-X spread to include a photo of Bernie and a small memorial note, but unfortunately the printer neglected to make the change. This was the one and only thing that did not turn out as I’d hoped with the final printed book; so if and when the initial print run of “The Disposable Skateboard Bible” sells out, this will be the sole update made to the second printing – I swear. ¶
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Lefts and Rights:
The Buffalo Bill Downhill was held in May 2009 on Lookout Mountain in the great state of Colorado. Here Zak Maytum leads the pack.
BRAINS, COASTS, ROADS and
the Expansion of Human Consciousness
Jason Salfi Gets Steep & Deep I
t was early May in Colorado, and it was supposed to rain all weekend. The Buffalo Bill Downhill on Lookout Mountain, organized by Comet conspirator and Pagan pioneer Justin Dubois, was slated for May 9-10. Lookout Mountain was paved in 1917. The road was graded to accommodate Model T cars, so the average grade is 7% and is littered with hairpin turns – albeit flat hairpin turns – but we’ll get to that later. The minute I got off the plane I was greeted by the legendary Callahan and Rizzo, and we got to work picking up the road closure signs.
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We were graciously fed free burgers and bratwursts by the Colorado Dept. of Transportation. By 2 p.m. we had added Brent Dubendorff and Kevin Reimer to the van, and by the evening Graham Buksa had joined the posse. We were all staying with MC Callahan and were treated to amazing hospitality by the Estes Park family. The next day we agreed to drive one of the support vehicles, which gave us all plenty of time to get to know each other even better and skate some unreal Rado goodness – and, thankfully, stay out of jail, thanks to Dubes’ vigilance.
Every road we skated was hit and quit, in and out, one or two runs max to keep the neighbors and fuzz off our backs. The cast of characters that showed up for this event was all-time, and everyone chipped in to make it happen. Top racers were graciously throwing hay bales for hours. There were no biased brackets contrived to preserve “top” racers for the final heat, just a spin of the “wheel of death” to decide the heats, Buffalo Bill shotguns, snow camping at 8000 feet and hardcore rain racing. Everyone pulled his own weight. Everyone shredded. Big ups to Rado
local Zak Maytum for taking the final heat, followed by a sick inside pass by Louis Pilloni (2nd) on Will Brunson (3rd) and “King Brian” Elderkin (4th). After racing on Sunday, I found myself in the same van with Kevin Reimer and Anthony Flis, maxed out on burritos and trying to follow Callahan and Rizzo on the long ride back to Estes Park. Rado roads are steep and winding, but unlike the unpredictable corners of the East Coast or the banked corners of California, Colorado corners are flat, offering more of a challenge for high-speed lines. Anthony and I were trying to figure out why when Kevin suggested an answer. “Geology and pitch dictate whether a road will be able to follow a ‘natural line’ true to the landscape or an ‘unnatural’ man-made traverse created to allow for easy travel,” he said. “Banking is too difficult on hard rock.” I was impressed by this well-thought-out answer. The concept of “natural” versus “unnatural” roads was so compelling that I did some research and compared the geology in the Rockies to that of other areas like the Appalachians of the East Coast and the coastal range of California. LEFT BRAIN, RIGHT BRAIN Road construction is a science. In general, as humans we meld creativity and practicality to solve various problems. However, in the case of road construction, the hard sciences of geology, hydrology, calculus, geometry, navigation, etc. dominate over any sort of creative art form. The right brain is the center of creativity and nonlinear thought, while the left brain provides us the capacity for structure and linear thought. Pop psychology or not, it has been estimated that we use approximately only 20% of our brains. What of the rest? We live in a left-brain world; let’s face it. But what does it mean to you as a skateboarder? Navigating our surroundings is a necessary function for all species. Before paving roads and sidewalks, we made our way through our environment leaving scented, worn paths behind, much like goats leaving a trail on a steep alpine landscape generation after generation. There are many theories about why our species left our place of origin, which likely was a lush equatorial African forest with plenty of food. That aside, however, as we radiated outward from our origin, we created networks of paths eventually interconnecting all over the world. The networks of these pathways were our first glances at linear time. How long will it take to get water? How long to the other side of the forest and back? Will I be exposed to pred-
Notice the points where the rain washed the soft mountains, and left gullies and points. The points on that particular canyon are tight rights, the gullies tight lefts. This design holds true for all southern-facing canyon roads. The opposite is true for a northern-facing run. ators? Sun? Hunger? Paths led not only to our next meal, but eventually to the defining and catalyzing of our left brain and more developed linear thought. As our species began to grasp strategy, execution, collecting, stacking, process, maps, patterns and, most of all, our opposable thumbs, global conditions somehow genetically selected for the more organized hominids and the left brain began to expand. Before consciousness and left brain superdevelopment, some say our species used our large brains for telepathy, transcendence, levitation and things relegated to fiction these days. We were in tune with nature, insofar as we simply ate and did not s**t where we ate. The rest of our time was spent gliding between dimensions. Time was an amorphous continuum, not a linear race. The Dalai Lama has said that the human condition we now observe will be short-lived. War, poverty, environmental degradation, etc. will be ephemeral; humans are good. I will posit that as skateboarders we are on our way to tapping into ancient wisdom. Twenty percent of our brains and some incredible leftbrain proficiency have delivered us roads and much of our modern society, for better or worse. I like to think that skateboarders are tapping into the other 80% as we fly down these roads. We are taking things made for a very utilitarian purpose and transforming them for another — thus expanding our minds. We are taking the well-mapped trappings of the left brain, i.e. roads and tools (skateboards) and learning to levitate again. You have felt it. You know why you skateboard without ever putting words to it.
ROCKY (AND ROCKIES) ROADS Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are a natural wonder. One of the youngest mountain ranges in the world, the Rockies stretch from New Mexico through British Columbia up to Alaska. The Continental Divide runs along the crest of the Rocky Mountains throughout most of their course. Rivers drain eastward to the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, westward to the Pacific Ocean or northward to the Arctic Ocean. The rivers running through the Rockies are the Colorado, Snake, Rio Grande, Arkansas, Columbia, Fraser, Missouri, Saskatchewan, Athabasca, Peace, Mackenzie and Yukon, along with untold streams and tributaries. The geology is mostly granite, an igneous rock (magma that cools under ground) that is very hard. The Rocky Mountains were sculpted by a series of tectonic uplifts, the last of which was as recent as 20 million years ago. This relatively young age allows for the steep, raw and challenging nature of this range – and thus the need for winding, traversing roads graced with hairpins and sweepers. Road construction in hard granite, steep mountain areas like the Colorado Rockies is a harrowing feat. Erosion is not a big issue (as it is in other places like California), which allows engineers to plan roads for whatever is appropriate for most automobiles at high-speed travel. Subsequently, road construction crews can carve grades and corners right into the granite mountainside. While in some cases the carving of a road might follow some natural topography, it is likely that mountain roads in the Rockies are the result of altering the landscape and taking an “unnatural pathway.” In this steep terrain, it is necessary to create some sort of traverse, which usually results in long, straight sections of road with big sweepers and big, gnarly, flat hairpins. As engineers design and build roads into this hard granite, they must use explosives and heavy machines, making it difficult to bank them. Roads, even if they are vestiges of ancient wild pathways, are now a mathematically calculated and highly engineered phenomenon. Modern engineers and road construction experts employ a number of processes in the pursuit of constructing safe and durable roadways. The first step is the aerial photograph to understand the myriad possibilities. Next is on-site land surface evaluation. This consists of elevation surveys and evaluating changes over distance. Once a site has passed initial tests, geological samples are gathered to assess the stability of the site, check for aquifers and fault lines, etc. – essentially, to try to know all that needs to be known about what is under the surface.
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The right brain is the center of creativity and nonlinear thought, while the left brain provides us the capacity for structure and linear thought. Meanwhile, Dustin Hampton enjoys the superbank.
Once all the info is gathered, it is time to carve. It takes years to proceed with a site from planning to construction. Risk analysis weighs in heavily to deem a site ready — as does the budget. Exceptional mountain roads in a developed nation can cost taxpayers up to $10 million per mile. To be sure, downhill skateboarding is not one of the major selling points for the deployment of tax dollars. And that leads us to unintended consequences and the right brain – utilitarian mobility transformed into adrenaline-crazed, mind-overmatter transcendence. In Rado the air is thin, and the following is an excerpt from a day in the life of a Colorado pass hunter. What can I say about the road? Corner… tuck… avoid the gnarly reef… tuck... bump... REEF!... tuck…“I must be going 60”…stand up…try not to footbrake... DON’T…HUGE carousel lefty... grab rail this time…“Don’t go off the road…but if you do, aim for that willow bush again!”…tuck...set up for the weird dip... “Oh, that wasn’t so bad”...Calvin trying to pass me here again…tuck...don’t let him!! ...“Oh, here comes the straight”...head down…“Holy s**t, must be doing 60+”...“Who cares?”.... “Where did Calvin go?”…playing chicken with yourself…into the most bad-ass rollercoaster chicanes…“This is nuts”...NO FOOTYBRAKE!!!... “Here we go!” Into the righty!... MEGATRON!!!!...
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so good!...what a corner!!!!! A banked wave...a crooked ski jump!!!... burning urethane!...grip… grip... feel it going...grip…tuck... “Should’ve hit it faster”…set up for the left…surf’s up! ...No hands!!!... tuck... look back... “Oh, s**t, he’s kinda catching me”… squeeze harder… forgot about this corner!... more burning urethane... keep breathing… look back... “He’s not catching me after all!”… another corner... a f**kin’ labyrinth of corners – so many corners!... stick it on the dirt!... “My legs are cooking!”... all I can do is... “WOOT!!!”... everyone is killing it!.. .let’s f**kin’ GO!!!!! Like kings on the hunt…this is our place today. We skate non-stop for four and a half hours... Too many runs (or not enough) later, its time to call it. We’ve had a good session; let’s quit while we’re ahead. On the way out, we pass one of Chaffee County’s finest, driving with serious intent. Soon after, we pass a State Patrol car flying up the canyon with lights flashing and sirens blasting. “Hope that was not for us.” Seeing the po-po go by as we were leaving was the icing on the cake...another successful pass hunt. Roads that were designed to accelerate and facilitate basic human needs are now home to the expansion of consciousness. My friend Matt, who is doing his Ph.D. research on bird brains at Cornell University, straight up told me that the whole right/left brain thing is bulls**t if you try to isolate the two. “People are not right-brain or
left-brain people,” he said. Rather, different parts of the brain hold the capacity for different functions in individuals, and the interplay between creativity and linear thought is just more complex in some cases than others. In my estimation, we are seeing a sort of evolution bouncing from one facility to another. Our capacity for more complex right- or left-brain development will be strengthened by how we as a species collectively play off each type of thinking. As seen with other forms of evolution in past observations of natural history, things happen the same all over. Similar environmental conditions, even if geographically isolated, lead to convergent trends. In other words, the same thing is happening all over the world at the same time, independent of any one skate scene’s influence. The growing scenes in the East Coast Appalachians and in the Rockies are very well connected. EAST IS EAST… The Appalachians have had several hundred million years to mellow out and are subsequently less extreme than their younger cousin, the Rocky Mountains. The Appalachians formed during the Paleozoic, with major uprisings from 650-350 million years ago. By the time humans reached their slopes, the Appalachians had worn down from prehistoric peaks more than 18,000 feet high to
their heights of 8000 feet today. The northern ecosystem of the Appalachians was greatly affected by the last ice age, which ended 10,000 years ago, but the Southern Appalachians were never glaciated. This could speak volumes about differences in, say, the mountains of North Carolina versus those in New York. The chain’s north-south alignment allows species to migrate easily – species including humans like Anthony Flis. His description is below. “Nothing is consistent about the road type in the east, except that the roads are inconsistent – which is the beauty of them. On the same road, I have encountered banked corners and severely off-camber corners that trail off away from the apex.” The East Coast landscape is very lush and thick with forest. It’s rare to be riding exposed to the sky. You’re usually under a canopy of trees. I mean there are definitely roads that are very open, like around New York near Ithaca and Munnsville, but almost every road I’ve skated from Vermont down to Carolina is in thick, beautiful deciduous forest. In Quebec that changes to big, thick coniferous forest, but there is still a thick forest. As a result, roads with the same pitch and corner types can feel quite different. If you have the exact same slope and turns on two different mountains, one with a thick, impenetrable forest and one with little vegetation and covered in rocks and major vista views, the latter, more exposed road feels gnarlier. I know that when you are surrounded by trees it can feel a little more secure, because you don’t really feel the magnitude of what you are doing…you can’t see for miles in all directions or see the road winding a couple of hundred feet below you on a different part of the mountain. It’s much more intimidating to drop in on a hill that is perceived as being a massive undertaking. Either way, after you kick in your focus shifts away from the landscape and to just you and the road. The geology of the east is so varied that every type of road exists. Road construction out east has been happening for hundreds of years
longer as well. So people are expanding off roads that were built when road construction was not as developed a science. Population density on hilly terrain is not quite the same as it is out west, so hills to skate can be a bit more feral – dirt to pavement and back again, total butter to some frost-heaved crust. As the population gets more dense in the hills, we may begin to see some of the newer road sciences developed in the west applied to the hills of the east.
…AND WEST IS WEST The geologic history of California’s coastal mountains began several hundred million years ago when movement in the earth’s crust catalyzed the processes that created the coastal ranges. Plate tectonics is the system of loosely interlocking plates in the earth’s crust, floating on a matrix of less solid material. The North American Plate supports the continent of North America, and the Pacific Plate lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. About 250 million years ago these two plates, which had been gradually moving toward each other, collided; the sea floor crust of the Pacific Plate slipped beneath the continent, heating and melting as it reached the earth’s interior. Between 150 and 140 million years ago this molten rock, or magma, began to push upward, forming the Klamath and Peninsular ranges. In northern California, the Klamath Mountains are composed of metamorphic and granitic rock – formed as a result of extreme changes in temperature, pressure and chemical composition that occurred when molten material from below the earth’s crust was pushed to the surface. South of the Klamath Mountains, the Coast Ranges on the continent’s edge range from Humboldt County to San Francisco Bay and southward, forming a series of low mountains paralleling the coast. South of the bay, which separates the Coast Ranges into northern and southern ranges, are the Diablo, Gabilan, Santa Cruz and Santa Lucia mountains, the highest of which reach to 4,000 feet. Sea floor sediments comprised of sandstones and shale make up the loose geology of the maRoads that were designed to accelerate and facilitate jority of sea cliffs on the coast. This is basic human needs are now home to the expansion of the geology of the legendary Oakland consciousness. Steve Doman soaks in the natural turns. Hills, Malibu Canyon and so on. In the Malibu region of southern California, where Kevin Reimer likes to spend a day every so often, he has recognized many patterns to the roads. Unlike the extremely hard, steep granite of the Rockies or the varied hard-sediment forest of the Appalachians, the Coastal range is
very soft soiled, with myriad arroyos etched into a single hillside. This soft-sided terrain lends itself perfectly to road construction that meanders with the natural, water-carved paths. Spending days happily gliding, Kevin has also observed an even deeper and more pervasive pattern. Many of the canyons in Malibu are north- or south-facing, each of which has topography defined by gullies and points. On the south-facing canyons the points create tight rights and the gullies create tight lefts. The opposite is true on north-facing canyons. California civil engineers are forced to tap into nature’s course because of the soft, erosion-prone substrate they deal with. Unlike the hard rock walls of the Rockies, the coastal geology would simply collapse and erode away if any alteration were made to the course. The best California can do is follow the exquisite, sinewy paths that rain has etched. The wonderful thing about this soft soil is that the grade is perfect – not too steep and not too flat. That, coupled with California’s car culture, makes for the next beautiful phenomenon: California loves its banked turns. The soft-sided canyons are relatively similar to building sand castles as opposed to chiseling away granite. The need for speed and elegant turning has created the perfect mastery in road evolution. AND NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET (?) What is next? Civil engineering may be a field to consider if you are a downhill skateboarder. If you can get through the seven years of college, you might just have a life of building incidental skateboard parks paid for by auto drivers – or better yet, building actual dedicated skateparks on melted ski resorts as the snow seasons get shorter and shorter across the globe. In the ’80s, one facet of skating was ripping backyard ramps and pools that were unique – some good, some not so well built. Human-made materials and terrain designed for one thing and used for another shaped a generation of skaters who went on to build their own terrain and are now progressing transition skating to something crazier than ever before imagined. Dreamland Skateparks is the perfect example of the interplay of utility and creativity. The right and the left are perfectly channeled. Concrete, rebar and fill material used for making blocks and rooms to contain are unleashed into over-vert, mind-bending acceleration vectors that expand. What if downhill skaters were to start applying the gifts that the left brain has bestowed upon the right brain and merge the two for creating the ultimate roads? Forty-five degree banks through hairpins at 50+ mph, anyone? Get to work – the evolution of our species depends on it! ¶
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Wedge francis shooting the cones at Allawah.
The ASRA crew taking a break
Dear All , Wish you were here. It’s been over 3 years now in Australia. The scene here is the best I have ever experienced anywhere in the world. I kid you not – these guys rip! I’d be stoked if you could come visit, Hope you are all well back in Europe. Best wishes…….Nick Sable Photos by Bill Fonseca
August 1, 2009
Tim at the Sunset Bacon demo at Five Dock.
Old Mam Army vet rider Scott Spring steps up at Galston. Sergie Ventura nearly taking out the lens at the Bowl-A-Rama.
Cameron Dowse cranking the clam at Five Dock.
Disaster in the de at Galston.
Muzzer, double trucker at Five Dock.
Death at the opera.
NACCOS racer Brad taking on the Pump Station.
Danny Van of the OMA laying it down in pure style at Galston. King of the Kones Decent Hardware team rider Paul Carey pumping the speed at the Blue Mountains.
The Birdman at Monster, Sydney.
Australian legend Adrian Jones, reppin' for OMA at Galston.
Incoming Queenslander Steve Daddow always taking it up a notch at Allawah.
Zack Wagner, crooks. Photo: Karpinski
DEFAMILIARIZATION By MARCUS BANDY
There are some who believe skateboarding is more than a commodity to be swallowed whole by the machinations of consumerist gluttony – that skateboarding transcends scorecards, world records, pop culture and product placement. To these radicals skateboarding is an act of creation, and of defiance – the two, inseparable. Through discipline and tech-
here is a quality that is intrinsic in street skating, one that allows the skater to perceive the world in a broader and more dynamic sense. That quality is what some might call “defamiliarization.” To better understand this concept, imagine the sport of baseball for a moment. After a game has been played, the participants and audience of baseball rarely have the feeling or sensation of perceiving much of anything differently than before the game. The ball is thrown, hit, caught and dropped; runs are scored by following the rules and regulations; the stronger/sharper team wins. People cheer. The game is over. Everyone has fun and is entertained; yet perception is unaltered. The field remains a field, the ball and bat are still a ball and bat; perception has not been challenged one iota. I know, I know, I keep talking about perception. Why? Please let me explain: The other day I came across a quote from an art critic who suggests that: “Art[’s] [purpose] is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar,’ to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important.” — Victor Shklovsky, “Art as Technique,” 1917
nique they believe that the best skateboarding heightens perception, and thus tears down the façade of a one-dimensional worldview. Count me a soldier in this army of strange-thinking skateboarders.
Massimo Cavedoni, kickflip. Photo: Krolick
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Although I’m not sure I completely fathom the whole pseudo-artfaggery of this idea, I am still blown away by its general premise, and the fact that street skateboarding functions in a similar way. Skateboarding can defamiliarize the familiar — “make objects unfamiliar.” But let us slide back into that baseball game for a sec. The importance of the baseball analogy lies in the fact that during, and after, the act of playing baseball there is no change in perception to the “form” of the ball, bat, player or stadium. Thus, baseball is seldom considered an art form — baseball is, for most intents and purposes, a formulaic sport. But skateboarding, on the other hand, can most definitely be viewed as artistic expression. Here’s how: Imagine a group of skateboarders coming across a drainage ditch, a brick embankment, a marble bench to sit on in front of Macy’s or a railing to aid in walking up and down stairs. Upon perceiving these objects, the skateboarder (artist) is forced to see more than the normative forms; the objects become unfamiliar in the normal sense as a new perception
is forming. The handrail in front of the bank is no longer simply for placing a hand after depositing weekly wages; it is transformed into an object to test one’s physical and mental vitality, an object of expression — a means to a new beginning, so to speak. The front of the Bank of America slowly transforms from a financial institution into a stage and arena for challenging one’s physical and mental creativity, the expressing of one’s ideas and the release of visceral energies. Thus, skateboarding challenges perception; perception is made difficult and form is challenged. A handrail is no longer a just a handrail, but is also a prop, a tool, an obstacle — an art supply. This artistic mixture of act and place can be obtained through skateboarding in myriad combinations: a grocery store loading dock and a piece of discarded wood; an empty backyard swimming pool; a curb and a cardboard box; a drainage ditch and a railroad tie; a ledge and some candle wax. The list is endless. All that is really needed is a skateboarder and his (or her) imagination. The hypothesis is this: to create
such art with a skateboard, all one needs is something not intended for skateboarding, one’s imagination and, of course, a willingness to skateboard that something. So why is this so important? Who cares about artboarding, or defamiliarization? Well, the belief here is that skateboarding’s connection to art is the key ingredient that has carried skateboarding as far as it is today, the reason everybody wants a piece of our culture, and the key to a lasting future. Skateboarding’s ability to challenge perception and allow its participants to see the world around them, not as a landscape filled with ossified structures and myopic institutions, but more so as a world where interesting opportunities lie just under the surface of one’s standard perception; this is the true heart and core of skateboarding’s power. I’d say that the most influential skateboarders of all time are the ones who have practiced (although some, maybe unwittingly) this type of defamiliarizing skateboarding. Consider the Dogtown days – how skaters turned empty swimming pools into endless oceans of perfect
Gershon Mosley, frontside slider. Photo: Karpinski
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Mike Barker, switch frontside crooks. Photo: Karpinski FALL 2009 CONCRETE WAVE 59
Josh Borden, Smith grind. Photo: Krolick.
waves. Think about the power one guy (Rodney Mullen) wielded with only a skateboard, his imagination and an asphalt expanse. Consider the millions of others who took their predecessors’ lead (the idea of skateboarding as a tool for rethinking what is possible) and ran with it. Think about Mark Gonzales, Guy Mariano, Natas Kaupas and Danny Gonzalez. And what the hell ever happened to that guy Simon Woodstock, who skated fish tanks, shag-carpeted boards and skimboards with trucks and wheels slapped on? Without such imaginative individuals and their ability to challenge our perception of what skateboarding is and what is possible, skateboarding would be something altogether different. Without this critical element of defamiliarization, allowing skateboarders the rare freedom of perceiving differently, our skateboards would simply be our baseballs, bats and gloves (sporting goods equipment), and we would simply be jocks. No, sir, I don’t like it! Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against any of the various genres of skateboarding. I’m not saying that contests and races are not fun. I’m down for whatever; I’m into downhillin’, and I’d love to barge some slideboarding action sometime. And please do not misunderstand; I like
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baseball as well. God bless America, bro! I am a firm adherent of the idea that all things have their place in this crazy, kooky world we live in. My purpose for writing these pages is to specifically illuminate the role of art in skateboarding, as well as to propose some sort of idea on how to bring us closer to our artistic foundations. Sadly, though, the only solution I can provide is this collection of words and images – an open dialogue on how we practice and perceive skateboarding, and life. That, and I ask that you take whatever board you ride: drop-through, pig, pool shark, slalom, flare-tail, beer-getter, cruiser, popsiclestick or whatever the hell else will roll; and go out in the streets and rip it up! Ultimately, I believe that skateboard culture is indebted to the artful beauty that is created when it meets the streets. Skateboarding is our jazz — our Impressionism — our Grecian theatrics. Some may consider this a rant from an old guy desperately grasping at straws trying to keep skating ‘pure’… I’m cool with that. Some may also label me an elitist. I’ll accept that one as well, but only because I feel so strongly that the best skateboarding is modern performance art. I will forever celebrate this Idea. Ride or die, my homeys! The reward is in the doing. ¶
By MICHAEL BROOKE
oncrete Wave was fortunate enough to participate in the 15th anniversary of the Vans Warped Tour. Back in May of this year, we teamed up with Floridian Chris Lilly to establish a charity called “Rock For Autism.” Through one of Chris’s business associates, we were offered a place in the not-for-profit section in the tour along with a complimentary spot on one of the tour buses. While most of you know I have spent the last decade working in the skate industry, what you might not know is that 21 years ago, I said goodbye to the music industry. The truth is I left the industry somewhat jaded. Over the years I often wondered what would have happened had I stayed.
Dakota White stands proudly in Wisconsin.
Thanks to a truly wonderful 12-day experience, I have come to the realization that I might have an opportunity to weave together skateboarding, music and charity – but more on that later. It’s pretty hard to distill 12 days into just a few thousand words, but there are a number of things I need let you know about. First, a big thanks to Chris, who came up with this idea and worked his contacts. When he first sprang the idea about the tour on me, I had no idea what I’d be in for. Magically, it all came together. We started the journey with our wooden tour box filled with our banners (thank you, Monster Graphics!), stickers and postcards. The first stop was Orlando, and as we pulled into the grounds, I quickly realized how much the
tour had changed from the last time I attended it. That was back in 1999 and a whole other century ago. Over the course of a few days we got into a groove. We met a number of amazing folks who either worked with autistic kids or had family members with autism. Our charity has two main goals: to raise awareness of autism and to raise funds for autism programs in schools. Thanks to some wonderful volunteers, we were able to get the word out and raise some money. By the fourth day, it was time to move onto the tour bus. Thanks to the truly amazing tour manger, Lisa Brownlee, I was placed on what turned out to be one of the friendliest buses of the entire tour. Headed up by
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Bus 13 just taking it easy. Kevin Lyman heads up the Warped Tour.
a man by the name of Big John, the group was made up of folks representing a number of corporate sponsors that included AT&T, Xbox and Skullcandy. Together with our intrepid bus driver, Lindsay, we were a gang of 16 people. Any time you get 16 people on a tour bus, it is referred to as a “slave ship.” I am pleased to say that everyone got along extremely well, and the camaraderie we found on this bus was something I’ll never forget. These people welcomed me into their home with open arms. It was something truly special. As the “new guy,” I found my sleeping arrangements to be quite unusual. I was put in what is what is humorously called “the cave.” This is created by a clever rearranging of the front seats in the bus to form an airtight chamber. Well, maybe not airtight, but I did manage to get a fairly decent night’s sleep. We had some pretty long hauls. I seem to recall a few 10-plus-hour trips. The truth is, after a while it all became a blur. Never mind
what day it is – I had trouble remembering what city I was in. The sign I spotted on a production office stating “Sorry, we’re warped” seems to fit the bill perfectly. The truth is that the Warped Tour is the most grueling tour you can do. The schedule runs over 60 dates, and days off are few and far between. In comparison to some, I lived like a king. There are a number of bands who do this tour in a van, driving themselves to the next gig and grabbing whatever rest they can. There is only one word for that kind of stress: brutal. My hat is off to all those folks who can handle the Warped Tour in this way. Despite what at times can be a rigorous schedule, there are some days off. I did manage to experience one in Macon, Georgia. I seem to recall the world’s smallest pizza slice and some excellent sushi with the folks of AT&T. And what folks they were! Big John was someone I instantly bonded with, and he made me feel comfortable right from the beginning. I had an ongoing discussion with Ben as to which band we hated more: brokeNCYDE or Millionaires. Both are utterly unforgettable in the way a car crash is utterly unforgettable.
Balancing this were Gallows – a punk rock outfit from the U.K. who literally get into the pit and play their hearts out — raw and mesmerizing. Jayson and Jerry came up with the brilliant idea of purchasing a portable shower for the tour. Showers are a prized item on the Warped Tour. The ability to take a private shower without a huge lineup is something I leaped at the chance to do. I seem to recall trading a large bottle of booze for the shower privilege — and it was one of the best investments of the entire trip! Jayson shared with me his experiences in touring, and my jaw just kept dropping. It is such a different life than publishing a skate magazine here in suburbia. Jerry was kind enough to help me with getting some of our volunteers special passes to meet the bands. Also with AT&T were Rachel, Christina and Shannon, who had done the tour a number of times, as well as first-timer Lindsay. The Skullcandy folks were also exceptionally hospitable, but even more interesting was the fact that they skated! Bolen and Freeze and I managed to get a few quick skate sessions in, but the truth is that they needed better gear. I was able to procure some decent Bones bushings for Bolen at the Detroit show (thank you, Modern
The co-founder of Rock For Autism, Chris Lilly.
Reverse daycare? Nope, not interested.
Skate & Snow!). Apparently, additional product from Never Summer and Landyachtz wound up in their hands as well. Also on the Skullcandy team was “Mr. Sprinkles,” a 6’4” giant who sports a well-coiffed mohawk. He’s also a very friendly guy enjoying his first Warped Tour. There were Billy, Jessica and Andria from Xbox, who I believe deserve a medal for their insane amount of patience. Imagine what it must be like to be in a tent for seven hours every day, listening to people mess around with Rock Band. Sure, you might encounter some great players, but for the most part, it’s the same songs, all being badly played, and with sound levels guaranteed to turn your brain into mushy peas. I also met some great folks on the not-for-profit side of things. My first contact was Sumner Komro. He has been on the tour for a number of years and works hard at making it all come together. It’s a very challenging job setting up, coordinating all the various non-profits (and their entourages) and then tearing down…and then posting material to a website well into the night. Thankfully he has some backup help in the form of Devin Hornbeek, a young man who somehow has seem to have lived quite a full life – all at the ripe age of 21. Amie, who headed up Music For Relief, garnered some of the biggest crowds as folks dived headfirst into a pool filled with soil looking for the elusive backstage passes. We became fast friends lugging our gear around! In case you wondered, the title of this piece refers to the time you have to be on the bus, ready for departure. Depending on the length of your trip to the next destination, some bus calls can be as early as 9 or 10 p.m. One thing’s for sure: You don’t want to miss your bus call. Other wise, you wind up getting an “oil slick,” and you’ll scramble around looking for a ride to the next venue — not a fun time! The food on the tour is quite remarkable. You can have your choice of meat, veggie and vegan dishes, and all are quite delicious. The people in catering deserve a medal – they work very hard indeed to satisfy everyone’s appetite. As you wait in line, you just never know who you’ll meet. This adds to the specialness of the tour and is probably one of the reasons that people keep returning each year. As you approach the food table, sometimes you’ll find band members serving you – but most times it’s local kids doling out the food. Talk about getting your first taste of show business! I seem to recall that when the Warped Tour first hit, it featured a lot more skateboarding than it does now. Despite this downsizing, the local talent found on the mini ramp did not disappoint. I saw some exceptional skaters, including Wisconsin’s very own Dakota White. At the age of 11, he tore up the ramp! As the time progressed, I found myself getting into a groove and figuring out how to tackle things. I even grew to like the sugarcane soda! It’s not easy working your way through crowds of 20,000-plus people in the intense heat or, in the case of a number of dates,
ridiculous amounts of rain! After dinner, there is time definitely inspired me, as I for some relaxation. Often times, a group will host a am sure it does everyone barbeque. This tour, the jovial members of Longway who gets a chance to be a worked their butts off delivering burgers and hot dogs part of it. By the time you along with some fine beverages. (By the way, if you read this article, it will ever get a chance to see Longway, be sure to buy one have been more than a of their “skeleton” shirts — just trust me on this!) month since I left the For me, the Warped Tour was a definitely re-edutour. Despite this, every cation in the ways and means of the music business. time the evening rolls Nowadays, it’s all about the merchandise, and the venaround, I start wondering to dors compete hard for the “souvenir” dollar. And what myself, “What time is bus call?” exactly is the souvenir everyone treasures most? A TYou could say I’ve been permanently shirt, of course…and some cool stickers! And folks line “warped.” ¶ up for ages to get a chance to meet their favorite bands and get an autograph. But while they are doing this, they are missing out on seven other performers. There Lindsay, our esteemed are so many bands to see at the Warped Tour, it’s imbus driver. possible to see them all in one day – even if you did clone yourself. Hell, even I couldn’t see all the bands! While watching a band (I can’t remember exactly who – perhaps the A.K.A.s, or the Dirty Heads, or maybe the After Midnight Project or Down With Webster), I realized that I could probably integrate skateboarding, music and charity. I thought it would be cool to have a skate company sponsor a charity and have the group spread information about the charity while on tour. We’d do a write-up in the magazine on how all three are connected and see what develops. So far, we’ve had some pretty big nibbles of interest. I know we can make something happen, but you’ll know more in our November issue. There are more than 750 people who make the Warped Tour happen: the roadies, the drivers, the sound and light folks, the front office, the back office…the list is endless. It’s like an army on wheels. I got a taste for about two Edward Sanchez executes a Benihana. weeks, and I marveled Photo: Lee Leal. at how well it all came together. On my last night of the tour, I had an opportunity to meet Kevin Lyman and one his key members of his team, Sarah Baer. I explained to them all the fun I’d been having and how the tour had deeply affected me. I told them I was interested in helping out and that they’d be hearing from me soon. My hope is that this article gets things rolling. The Warped Tour
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Concrete Waveâ€™s 3
Summer Trip to California By Jonathan and Michael Brooke e spent two weeks in California enjoying
the sunshine and skateboarding. We even
got a chance to surf and closely explore the
beauty of the state. There were numerous people that made our trip very special. Our sincere thanks to all those who made us feel so welcomed. We started out in San Francisco and drove all the way down to San Diego. That Highway 1 is something to behold! For those readers who live far away from California, we 5
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hope these photos inspire you to plan a visit soon. We know weâ€™ll be back! CONCRETEWAVEMAGAZINE.COM
1 Sonoma Old School Skate Shop owner Bob Wilson. 2 An overview of the fairly new San Rafael skatepark. The park is very beautiful, with some unusual terrain. It was at this park that Michael realized he had left his prized SMA board with experimental Oust wheels at another skatepark down the road. He returned to the other park, only to find it had vanished. 3 Marcus Rietema on the streets of Petaluma. 4 Located in San Francisco, this park proved a little bit difficult to find. We got there to find some locals setting off fireworks (it was almost the 4th of July!) along with some friendly skaters. 5 The Menlo Park skatepark is actually pretty damn good, but is now overshadowed by the new San Jose park (a.k.a. Lake Cunningham). 6 Jonathan up a tree at Stanford University in Palo Alto. 7 We had a blast hanging out with this group. All can pretty much skate everything! 8 Cat Young runs through cones in an early morning slalom session. 9 Menlo Bill gets into the groove. 10/11 The San Jose skatepark is massive – 68,000 square feet of pure skate stoke. It’s completely overwhelming. Obviously, one of the highlights of our trip. 12 We found the Google offices via Google maps. The sprawling campus is located in Mountain View. 13 The graffitiridden Palo Alto skatepark. It’s slippery and awkward. Perhaps the folks at Google can throw some money and build a new one? 14 Gary Holl, our very gracious host in Palo Alto, carves over Jonathan’s head. 15 Gary organized a Sunday morning freestyle session, complete with music. 16 An overview of the Scott’s Valley (Tim Brauch) Skatepark. It’s located just outside of Santa Cruz and is a lot of fun to ride. 17 The folks from Population Destroyed – a rad little skate shop in Santa Cruz. Pictured are John R. Love, Amber R. Love and Jeff Monser. Not pictured: Aaron Clark and Birdo. 18 The peanut pool at the fairly new Santa Cruz Skatepark. 19 This kid wasn’t from Santa Cruz but he charged the park like he owned it!
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20/21 Bill’s Wheels skate shop in Santa Cruz. One of the most incredible skate shops in the world. If these walls could talk…! 22/23/24/25/26 Santa Cruz opened up their own store in the city that bears their name. It’s absolutely fascinating looking at the skate treasures they’ve put in the store. Yes, those are original Indy skate trucks with independent suspension! 27 The absolutely amazing interior of the Santa Cruz/NHS warehouse. You could spend days there just staring at the walls. 28 Buddy Carr and his rad little son, Blaize. Not pictured are Buddy’s wife, Traci, and their younger son, Tosh. 29 Scott Starr has done a tremendous amount for Concrete Wave. His photo of Roger Muller (from the cover of the CW book) is the most reproduced skate image in the world. Scott is working on a new book covering the 1960s skate scene. It’s incredible what he’s tracked down. 30 Wynette and Ken Shofstall of Kewy Longboards. They drove all the way out from Las Vegas to meet with us in Venice! 31 We had a wonderful visit with Jim and Jimbo Phillips. They were very hospitable, and we discussed skateboarding, cars and, of course, art. 32 George Powell stands amongst the thousands of laminates at his factory in Santa Barbara. We spent four hours with George and marketing manager Michael Furukowa. They were extremely generous hosts and took us on a very comprehensive tour of the facility. 33 George takes Jon through the finer points of creating the perfect skate deck. 34/35/36 You could spend hours at Simi Valley’s Skatelab and still feel completely overwhelmed. Todd Huber has spent years collecting skate stuff, and it is mind-blowing what he’s created. Here are just a few of the dozens of shots we took. The cups are from a Slurpee collection that came out in the late ’70s. 37 This is deep inside the Bones Wheels production area. Bones Bushings are also made here. In terms of the chemistry of wheel manufacturing, it appeared that Jon understood the concepts more than Michael. We’d like to tell you more, but we were sworn to secrecy. 38 The Northridge Longboarders were founded in January 2009. Five longboarders from all walks of life came together to celebrate the grand opening of the G3 Parking Structure at California State University, Northridge. Since then, they’ve been meeting on Wednesdays at 10 p.m., and as you can see by this photo, attendance is growing! The group recently became recognized by the university and now has access to funding. The group takes pride in their campus by performing campus beautification projects (mostly longboarding & picking up trash in the structures), and hosts races at the end of semesters. 39 Mike Mahoney of Honey Skateboards. Mike is building a pretty amazing manufacturing set-up at his house. He’s a master craftsman and one of the nicest guys in the business. 40 John Ravitch (blue shirt), Greg Foy and Judi Oyama. Greg and Judi’s kids are on the left and right. We had a delicious meal at their home in Aptos.
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45 41 Mike and Brian Salmon of Soul Ryde. They have a very cool store and production facility in San Diego. Their laser-etched decks are truly works of art. 42 We met up with Cory Juneau at the Clairemont Skatepark. He is 10 years old and absolutely unbelievable to watch! 43 We threw axes with Malakai Kingston of silverfishlongboarding.com. He has a whole setup behind his home. He only throws axes when he’s not out skating or doing the website! 44 We traveled deep into Rancho Santa Margarita to meet up with our new Japanese distributor – Allvision. Pictured are Masayuki and Anna Endo. 45 Scott Lembach of Muir Surf and Skate. The store is filled to the brim with product. There are a ton of demo boards to try as well. 46/47 They say that by October the new Venice skatepark will be completed. We can only hope. The park looks very good indeed, including a killer snake run. 48 Cheryl Johnson of Maui and Sons. This shop is brimming with product and is right in the thick of things at Venice Beach. It is one busy place! 49 Damon Mills of Watson Laminates. Damon was gracious enough to take us on a major tour of the facilities. Talk about production – this place is mindblowing! 50 Andrew Jacobson (left) and Tucker Hopkins at the Arbor store right in the heart of Venice. 51 Chaput has some very unique toys – this gas-powered vehicle is a blast to drive. 52 Mike Freed and Solomon Antonelli of Riviera. These guys have come up with a very creative way to spread the message on the back of pedi-cabs. 53 Linda Prettyman and Larry Balma of Tracker Trucks. We had an opportunity to see how the trucks were made. 54 This shot was taken at Chris Chaput’s house in Huntington Beach. Chris hosted another great party, and we took over the street with electric Hamboards. The neighbors don’t seem to mind. 55 The Hamborg family less one family member, who I believe was out surfing or skating. We had a great day of surfing with the Hamborgs. Thank you, guys! 56 The Carmel Valley skatepark recently opened and is 10 minutes from the original Carlsbad Skatepark. It’s also right next to a police station. 57 Ryan Connors in the Carmel Valley street area. 58 The gang from Gravity Skateboards located in San Marcos. 2009 marks their 15th anniversary in business. 59 Don Tashman of Loaded Skateboards. Don was a very kind host, and we had a blast just hanging out. On Friday night, we had dinner with Adam Colton. Although Adam tried to destroy himself with an exercise ball, he did not succeed. 60 Dave and Nic of Miramar Longboards. The guys joined us at the Maui and Sons and proudly showed off their decks. 61 Jerry Madrid is one busy guy these days. He is making a ton of skateboards and enjoying every minute.
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T R PA
VIVA VIV VA
a battle with Peru y Bolivia by longboard photos by: Adam Colton
The first part of this two-part article began with the team of Adam Colton, Aaron Enevoldsen and Paul Kent setting out from Lima, Peru, skating across one of the driest deserts on earth, and then making their way up into the Andes and their multiple 14,000-foot mountain passes. It ended with them taking a few days off on the Isla del Sol (where Paul had injured himself trying to impress four lovely “gringas”), before setting out on the road again to finish the journey – which they did, arriving in Potosi, Bolivia a couple of weeks later where the paved road ends. Having finished the ride successfully, the three took time to reflect on some of the most memorable moments of the trip. What was one of the most memorable skate legs of the trip for you? (I know there must be many.)
Paul: The first climb out of the desert and into the paradise of Lucanas. The altitude was amazing, and it was probably the most difficult hill anyone will ever skate – although skating through Bolivia’s Altiplano at nighttime is a close second. Aaron: Now that I’ve watched about 18 hours of the hi-def footage, I can’t choose one over the other. It was a truly amazing tale of three guys who put themselves through something totally out of the ordinary and endured the whole thing together. When one of us was sick to our stomach, pissed about something or simply too tired, we were all cool with waiting up.
By MARKUS SUCHANEK
THE FRONTSIDE GRIND Interview with Harold Osborne
arold Osborne is the owner of the The Frontside Grind – “A Serious Skateboard Shop” in Colorado Springs, Colo. I met him in Munich, Germany this past March, and after spending almost a whole week together, hitting the road to skate as many skateparks as possible, I was quite sure that this man has a unique vision to run his skateboard shop and that the skateboard world should know about it. But read for yourself.
MS: Harold, you are calling your skate shop “a serious skateboard shop.” So tell us, please: What is behind this name, and what kind of skateboard shop do you run? HO: “A serious skateboard shop” came from the idea of that’s all I want to sell. You see, there are plenty of shops that sell other items and also some skateboards. But I always thought, if you want a bike, go to a bike shop. If you want skis and snowboards, go to a ski shop. If you need jeans and fashion wear, then go to The Gap. My shop is different than those franchise chains. Skateboards and skateboarding – that’s all my shop is about. So many small shops want to be the big franchise stores someday. Me, I want to be the “go to” shop in the area. The Frontside Grind is the place that has the cool s**t, the hard-to-find stuff, the great old-school shapes and styles. I want to be the store that if a parent has a question about skateboards or skating, they can come here and feel comfortable to ask the “dumb” questions. I really have no desire to any bigger a shop than I am. I just want to get the kids and families on good rides. MS: So I guess you are offering mostly hardware instead of clothing and shoes, right? Or are there other differences, too? And is it possible to run a retail skateboard shop successfully by selling mostly or only hardware? Isn’t it the trendy clothing that brings the teenagers into the shops?
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HO: Yeah, I mostly sell the hard goods – the deck, trucks and wheels and hardware that go with skating. I do sell some T’s, mostly “old school” style. They sell pretty well. It was a bit of a struggle early on with just selling skateboards, but after a year-plus under my belt, the locals know me, and they know what I have. I try pretty hard to keep changing up what I carry. I don’t want to get tied down to carrying just certain brands all the time. The idea is to keep ’em guessing on what I have in at any given time. I have fun digging up great values on the newschool and old-school stuff. Trendy? I’ve never worried about the trendy. You’ve seen me! (laughs) The trendy skaters will find what they need someplace else, and I’ll help them out if I can. If I don’t have it (and when it comes to skate fashion I usually don’t), I am more than happy to point them in the right direction. MS: Is there a variety between the hardware you offer, or is it mostly the typical setup? HO: For me there is a big variety in my place. A lot of the other shops carry basically the same hardware as all the others – you know, Bones Reds and Spitfire wheels, etc., etc. There’s not a darn thing really wrong with them; I just want to keep things different. I also carry those same items, but like so many other things in my shop, I try to have variety to keep things changing. I always keep checking to see what’s new or different out there. Not that the other shops don’t, I just really want to keep things fresh and keep on top of the game. MS: Sounds very interesting to me. So let’s go a bit more into details. What kind of decks, for example, do you offer? By watching the Bulldog Skates skateboard that you ride, I guess you offer the real old-
school style decks as much as you offer the usual new-school skateboard? HO: I carry pretty much all the popular brands that are out there, but I do carry some more home-grown brands from here in Colorado. There’s a great new company named Agony Skateboards out of Pueblo, Colorado. Their graphics are hip and really well done. There’s another one here in the Springs called Ritual. They’re pretty popular with the kids right now. I have to tell you, though, for more of that “new school” shape I really like the stuff the guys at Pocket Pistols Skates are puttin’ out. Very cool art, and they are great to deal with from a retail standpoint. The old-school stuff is what I ride, and that’s what I love the most about still skating after all these years. It’s great to see brands like SMA, Dogtown and Schmitt Stix out there. Personally I ride Bulldog Skates almost religiously. They are some seriously wellmade decks, and Wes Humpston’s art just kicks ass. Wes’s art has a following that’s just unreal. That man has been in the skate scene for a long time now and pretty much has it mastered. No finer decks out there in my opinion. Along the line of old-school decks, for me here at FSG it’s a steady part of my sales, and I see it only getting better. I’m pretty much the only shop in town that carries a truly big selection. I see the dads come in with their kids, they’ll see the oldschool stuff I have, and almost all of them have an “I used to skate” story. Some return later and buy a re-issue setup or new old-school style setup. I usually tell them when the local old dudes get together and skate. And what I really like is seeing them show up at the park later! I am also the only Colorado dealer I know of that sells real 8-wheelers. I have a line on that market that nobody can touch! My shop rider, Jay Vonesh, is a real good 8-wheel rider. It’s not that easy, ya know! Just try rolling it across the sidewalk, then imagine dropping into a 10-foot pool with it and throwing a frontside air or 7wheels-out grinder – crazy stuff, but way rad. You have to see it in person to fully appreciate what those guys do on an 8. I have the decks, trucks and wheels that will make the true 8wheel freak flip out – the really good equipment. Like I said, I carry a wide variety of boards. MS: I have to agree. I met Jay in Munich, too, and he rips on an 8-wheeler as much as on a regular skateboard. I like the fact that you chose someone like him as your shop rider. That tells a lot about you and your shop. What I also like is the idea to bring the dad with his son to your shop to buy a skateboard,
so your shop seems to be pretty much a family affair, right? What more are you doing to build a reputation for your shop? I heard something about a “happy hour” on Friday afternoons in your shop. Tell us about this. What` s going on during this happy hour? HO: From the start I wanted my shop to be a place where mom and dad could feel as comfortable as the kids walking through or hanging out in it. And for that reason I do my best not to carry decks or other product that may offend some people. Though skating has always been about being a bit rebellious or [about] self-expression, I believe you can still do that without getting people hacked at you. What I’m saying is, skaters don’t have to be punks all the time. I plan to continue running my place the same way. I like it that way. The customers seem to like it. If it’s not broken, why fix it? The Friday happy hour? Wow, we were having a blast in Munich if I told you about this! That’s unofficial and kept fairly low-key. What happens is, I unofficially extend my Friday hours and open up my refrigerator (free of charge) to my friends (and sometimes customers). I probably shouldn’t comment on the contents of the fridge, but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. (Laughs.) Seriously, though, it’s always been about skating and hanging out, so that is just a part of my hang-out time with friends. We also have a mini ramp in my shop. We’ll move a few shirt racks around, block off the front window from loose boards and have a session. I bought it to enhance the displays on the floor area, but we knew we’d skate it! It’s pretty much been a “locals only” after-hours scene. I’ve had a few flatland freestylers do their gig on it too. Lynn Cooper from skatelegends.com has been there doing his flippy tricks, most of ’em that I still can’t comprehend. It’s a good thing; you should join us! MS: Yes, you told me the secret about the Friday happy hour; maybe a couple of Bavarian beers played a role here, too… My impression of you and your shop is just that it is how it should be: a real skateboard shop from a real skateboarder for real skateboarders. No fake, just the real stuff. Hanging out in the shop, have a little session there together and a good time. A real local affair, building the scene and caring for it and bringing the old and new generations of skateboarders together. Would be great to visit you someday in Colorado Springs. Harold, keep up the good work and thank you very much for this interview! ¶
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A.J. Powell backside drifts off a bridge into a path with a few millimeters to spare at the Imperial Castle in downtown KĂ¸benhavn (Copehnagen), Denmark. Photo: Jon Caften
WITH THE NON-SKATERS BY JON CAFTEN
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etting paid for having a pro-model skateFlensburg skaters have their own take on urban art. board is a ridiculously difficult dream to Caramba skate shop, Germany. Photo: Jon Caften achieve, despite the fact that virtually all skate magazines like to jam down your throat that this is the ultimate goal any skater should have. Creating teenage heroes and giving them rock-star status is the business of skateboarding, but often not the reality. In my opinion, even Concrete Wave has dedicated way too many pages on teaching kids how to get sponsored. Take speedboarding now, for example: Becoming a professional skater this way is even more precarious of a career choice. Having a pro-model speedboard has become the dream of many skaters, albeit a would have some skater lot fewer than the flipcompany around the water up to ledge-slide and cooler. We were fortunate flip-out crew. I can tell enough to get sent to Denyou with authority, mark this year, as that though, that the board country has led the world royalties in this day and kside 180 to noseblunt Unknown Bruder (bro), bac in developing electricity age are not as lucrative as rages through the while German death metal bar. rg sbu Flen a in k from wind. We were a some of the hype surspeakers and steins clin Photo: Jon Caften group of three: A.J., myrounding this scene self and this thing in the would have you believe. working world they call a “colleague”. Add the responsibilities of supporting a family This “colleague” is in his 50s and has letters on speedboard royalties, the trickle of board after his name that introduce him as having a designing and what, if any, pay one can get university degree in business. On this trip the from writing for CW…well, it can be pretty three of us were stuck in a teeny hotel room in difficult to get by. northern Germany, trying to stay as “profesI’ve always despised the concept of working sional” and as “cordial” as possible considering for money. I thought all along that if you just the generation gap. lived the skate dream, everything would fall We were out for supper one night in the into place. Times were a bit rough last year very stylish town of Flensburg, the last town in after the two-punch knockout of the currency Germany before crossing the Danish border. exchange and the now economic crisis, so I got Over the course of the meal we got into a fairly a “real” job. At least this job is in the wind enheated debate with the colleague about ergy industry, and that is almost as conwhether or not skateboarders should be alscionable as a job in the skate industry. After lowed in the public domain. The colleague’s 15 years of skateboard employment I found theory is that skaters should not ride their myself all of a sudden surrounded by nonskateboards on any structure, courtyard or skaters. It is an odd world that I am still street environment that was constructed before having a hard time adjusting to after 18 skateboarding came to exist – that is to say, bamonths. sically we should skate nowhere. He feels that A while ago I convinced my “boss” (who, inskaters should have the decency not to go cidentally, skated all through his growing up on anything public or private that had no and occasionally still does) to hire A.J. Powell, chance to incorporate preventive design to one of my riding buddies. At least this way I
keep skaters off. It is only fair, really, he argues, since the engineers of the time could not have known their handrails and ledges would become skateable. That is to say, don’t skate anything that was not skate-proofed, unless it was intentionally not skate-proofed. I tried to wrap this guy’s mind around the importance of urban recreation, especially in a time with video games and TV running rampant as the number one forms of leisure. His theory that a city is designed for function only and that recreation should be done in closed environments or out of the city in the wild. His biggest gripe is the signs of skateboarding activity left on the city after the skaters have gone home. (And it’s true; let’s face it: Skating leaves wax or aluminum markings that aren’t very pleasing to look at if you are a fan of Martha Stewart.) However, a skater understands that the cost of mild urban decay caused by skateboards in the form of dark gray on ledges or paint chipped off handrails is no more significant than the carbon monoxide stains on buildings that were also designed long before internal-combustion car engines existed. We
put salt on roads to get the ice off, which causes asphalt to crack; pigeons s**t all over statues and copper roofs, causing them to disintegrate; buses leave huge indentations everywhere they stop regularly. Cities gradually fall apart for all sorts of reasons. Skateboarding does indeed cause a slight decline in a city’s infrastructure, but in my opinion, the rewards are worth it.
ty on the Berlin Making a childhoold dream a reali
The author nosegrinds a cheese-grater on the Nyhavn Canal, København. Photo: A.J. Powell
ell Wall, Germany. Photo: A.J. Pow
Our colleague’s stubborn stance was that we “need” cars but we don’t “need” to skateboard. At this point A.J. and I decided enough was enough and that we “needed” to skate. We ditched the colleague and found a local skate shop in Flensburg called Caramba. A.J. bought the only longboard they had in stock, and then the shop’s owner, David Diez Gutierrez, took us back to his apartment. Within a few minutes of connecting with this fellow skater — from across an ocean and in broken language — we were welcome in his home, drinking beers and smoking out with his buddies. He took us to a bar he had rented out and put a mini ramp in for the night. Despite my not having a board yet, there was always one ready for me when I wanted to drop in. Hardly anyone spoke English or French, and we don’t speak German, but lo and behold, our identity as skaters connected us to real lives in Germany that no regular tourist can dream of connecting to. I couldn’t help but chuckle a little thinking about our colleague back at the hotel, who was connected to the Internet trying to connect to his girlfriend back in Montreal while we slashed up a really tight transition with German death metal blasting around us. We had two more days of meetings at the Wind Energy show in Husum, and then we stranded the colleague for good. We went to the small city of Vejle, where 20 years earlier my brother used to live as an exchange student and almost died of meningitis. I bought a regular street skate at Skatehouse Vejle because I was
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The author the world-r Køb
SKATEBOARDING DOES INDEED CAUSE A SLIGHT DECLINE IN A CITY’S INFRASTRUCTURE, BUT IN
jonesing for some ledges – especially ones that may have been designed before skateboarding came to exist. I was Entrance to the Caramba skate shop in Flensburg, lucky to get my Germany. Photo: Jon Caften hands on a Michael Jensen model, as he is a Danish pro skater, and his board is made by Cane Skateboards in the European Union. Real skaters who’ve been around for a while know full well that you support the small skateboard companies and the local scenes no matter where you are. Besides…being a pro in Denmark, with its population of only three million, probably doesn’t offer much in the way of royalties. Anyway, there’s not a chance in hell I would buy an American-brand board made in China while I’m in a store in Denmark. I couldn’t get my debit card to work, so a couple of 11-year-old kids who spoke no English at all skated with me several blocks away to show me a cash machine. We drove to København (Copenhagen) and dumped our car off at the first hotel sign we saw, which ended up being across the street from some of the city’s most notorious ledges. A.J. and I basically just headed out into the streets and tried to get lost. We pushed nonstop for a total of at least six hours in the very flat but very cobblestoned city. We came across amazing spot after amazing spot. Exhausted and in need of a meal, we dined on an outside veranda on a wharf next to floating sailboats, all at least a hundred years old, that were still clearly heading out to sea on a regular basis. Over the course of the evening we ran into many amazing people on our skates. There was a group of four skaters, all around 13 years old, that we hung out with in Købenlocks into a frontside boa rdslide at havn’s center square at Rådhusrenowned Jarmers Plads ledges in benhavn. Photo: A.J. Pow pladsen. We discussed the ell differences between Danish girls and the Quebecoise (women), since there was about a 20-year age gap between our tastes. It’s
not surprising that the skater bond can bridge the generations; these skaters were totally comfortable hanging out with us, despite our being 10 to 20 years older. Plus, street skaters in Denmark didn’t seem to have anything to diss about A.J. riding a longboard, which is a lot more than I can say about some North American kids... The old city of København is a maze of narrow streets teeming with a young, healthy nightlife and festive sounds emanating from windows and restaurant doors. You couldn’t possibly get a sense of direction with all the turns and intersections and canal ways, and there is no way you could possibly cover the kind of ground A.J. and I traveled in those few hours as a pedestrian, or even worse, in a car. Skateboard tourism is kind of comparable to speed-reading or using a microwave; it gets the job done. The next morning we got up and had a morning session around the imperial palace and marveled at how the Danes keep everything so clean. We went to a famous tourist spot and took photos of the tourists taking photos as they hopped off their tour buses, running over to Hans Christian Andersen’s statue of the Little Mermaid and then running back into their bus to get to the next stop. A.J. sessioned a bridge at the imperial palace in front of a fountain, pulling some very stylish backside drifts while the Danes walked calmly by and went about their business without a shred of distaste for A.J.’s seemingly reckless speed and risk taking. I had only a few hours left in Europe to achieve two more things. I really wanted to meet the family that had saved my brother’s life, and the sister who had found him sprawled out on the bathroom floor minutes before he slipped into a coma. We raced back to Vejle, and they graciously fed us sandwiches with multiple choices of pickled fish before we drove to Berlin, 600 km away, at 180km/hr the whole way on the fabled German Autobahn. When I first started skating in the ’80s, Thrasher magazine ran a photo in the “Something Else” section of a kid in East Berlin doing a wallride on the Berlin Wall. A.J., being several years younger than I, hadn’t really soaked up much of the Cold War and was sort of surprised to see how obsessed I was to ride my skateboard on this relic of a sad time for a sad place.
We arrived in Berlin at about 2:00 a.m. and found a falafel joint in a pretty seedy part of town. We chatted up a Ukrainian and an Azerbaijani who looked like they had just finished mugging old ladies. I tried to speak some Ukrainian that was taught to me by my grandmother, who grew up in a Ukrainian village in Manitoba. But he was more interested in getting his picture taken with the guys from the town where the greatest hockey team, Les Canadiens, played for the Stanley Cup. While trying not to look too sketched out, we ate, and then made out on a hunt for the remaining section of the Wall. We finally located it and skated there all through the night. It was a surreal moment that we soaked in, and I tried to impress on A.J. the significance of what a caged society must have felt like. We talked about how governments can put up real walls to keep their people ignorant of what goes on elsewhere, and how people like our colleague can put up mental walls to enforce his own ignorance as to what skateboarding has come to represent in a global society. I think skating this piece of civil construction that most certainly was not made for skateboarding gave A.J. a profound sense of history and reflection as to how lucky we are to be obsessed with a wooden toy on wheels, instead of being obsessed with escaping oppressive governance. I got my wallrides dialed before A.J. got the nuances of street-skate photography dialed, and we put a beer in our bellies with our backs against the cold concrete of the symbol of the fall of European communism. I know that guys like the “colleague” are still the educated but ignorant majority, and after more than two decades of trying to convince the world that skateboarding is amazing, I am actually at the point where I am just tired of trying to convert the stupid. I am going to just skate the rest of this life away, accepting that I am part of some counterculture that belongs more to society than society wants to understand, and just hope this collective ignorance doesn’t hit me with one of their cars. We skated Berlin all night long until I had to get on a plane back to Canada the next morning. A.J. left for Italy, and I was left pondering how the world must look and seem to non-skaters. I eventually decided, I don’t care. ¶
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2009 IGSA EUROPEAN WORLD CUP OVERVIEW BY MARCUS RIETEMA
PEYRAGUDES 2LUXE CUP The 2009 IGSA World Cup Series got underway July 15-18 in Peyragudes, France with the Peyragudes 2Luxe Cup. It kicked off a threeweek stint of consecutive World Cup races on the European continent. Mischo Erban spent the winter in southern California so he could escape the Canadian snow and skate every day. The improvement in his skills on technical courses was immediately obvious. Other top contenders like Martin Siegrist, Erik Lundberg, Jonathan Martinez and Jackson Shapiera also seemed to have raised their level of skating over the off-season in an effort to take the World Cup Series crown away from 2008 Champion Scott “Scoot” Smith. Traveling to Europe for the first time was the California duo of James Kelly and Louis Pilloni. Both skaters brought speed and a stand-up style with them that immediately raised the sport’s level to new heights. On the opening day of practice, both of them appeared to be really fast. Qualifying was a dogfight, with Mischo coming out on top, followed in order by Pilloni,
Per Pilloni — Louis Pilloni looks back at Adam Yates and Corey Leeson. Photo: Bob Ozman
Mischo Erban was the #1 qualifier but finished 4th. Photo: Marcus Rietema
Kelly, Siegrist and Martinez. Canadian Patrick Switzer was also making his first trip to Europe and immediately made his presence felt when he qualified sixth. Scoot wound up in seventh.
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In the race Pilloni was really solid, winning all of his heat races leading up to the four-man final. Erban and Siegrist also had solid runs through the prelims to make the final. Erik Lundberg was the surprise fourth finalist, coming from the 15th position after missing the entire practice day. Two of the biggest upsets of the day occurred in the quarterfinals. Number six qualifier Switzer crashed and was eliminated, and Scoot crashed out in the final corner of his heat while running in third place. He wound up 14th in the final standings. Switzer was credited with 13th. In the final, Pilloni simply ran away with it. Erban crashed out while running second, losing all hope for the win. Lundberg and Siegrist battled all the way down the 3.2 km (2-mile) course. Lundberg eventually prevailed to earn second, and Siegrist was third.
Siegrist, Pilloni and Lundberg were stoked to make the podium. Photo: Marcus Rietema
Peyragudes 2Luxe Cup Results 1. Louis Pilloni United States 2. Erik Lundberg Sweden 3. Martin Siegrist Switzerland 4. Mischo Erban Canada 5. Jonathan Martinez France 6. James Kelly United States 7. Sebastian Hertler Germany 8. Jackson Shapiera Australia
2009 IGSA EUROPEAN WORLD CUP OVERVIEW
THE GRAVEYARD CALL Following the first IGSA World Cup of the year in Peyragudes, the skaters traveled across France for round number two July 24-26, 2009 in Argonay. The Argonay track was narrow and technical and threw all sorts of challenges at the competitors. It immediately became a favorite with many of them. Due to the narrow racing surface, the decision was made to run in a oneon-one, two-man format. Louis Pilloni picked up right where he left off in Peyragudes to qualify number one. His teammate James Kelly was second, followed by Nicolas Robert surprised many to finish 3rd. Photo: Bob Ozman
Scoot beats Mischo to the line for the win. Photo: Bob Ozman
Martin Siegrist in third, Christoph Batt in fourth and Mischo Erban in fifth. Patrick Switzer and Scoot Smith were sixth and seventh, respectively. Sundayâ€™s race was amazing. The combination of the best downhill skaters in the world in one-on-one heats on a track many were calling the worldâ€™s best was a dream come true. Scoot Smith nearly crashed out in the final about 25 meters (75 feet) from the finish line but was able to gather it back together to win. He had to win it the hard way, racing head to head and beating Adam Yates, Yvon Labarthe, Patrick Switzer throws a standup speed check. James Kelly, Patrick Switzer and finally Mischo Photo: Marcus Rietema Erban in the final. It was the first win of the 2009 season for the reigning IGSA World Champion. Number one qualifier Louis Pilloni suffered Erban had to overcome adversity to even a shocking defeat at the hands of newcomer make it into the race after he crashed during Nicolas Robert in the quarterfinals. Pilloni the warmup session and severely bent one of wound up finishing sixth. Robert qualified in the the hangers on his prototype trucks. With no number eight position and beat Yohann Nortier, spares available and only minutes to spare beStefan Ruefli and Pilloni before losing to Erban fore the start of the race, Mischo had no choice in the semifinals. He then moved into the conother than to crudely bend the axle back and solation final, where he beat Patrick Switzer to hope it was reasonably straight. After the race earn third place. he revealed that his board was pulling to the right throughout the entire race and that James Kelly skated hard to finish 5th. Photo: Seb DuBois he felt very fortunate to finish second.
The Graveyard Call results 1. Scott Smith 2. Mischo Erban 3. Nicolas Robert 4. Patrick Switzer 5. James Kelly 6. Louis Pilloni 7. Christoph Batt 8. Boris Schinke
Canada Canada Switzerland Canada United States United States Switzerland Germany
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2009 IGSA EUROPEAN WORLD CUP OVERVIEW BY MARCUS RIETEMA
PADOVA GRAND PRIX The IGSA World Cup Series traveled to Italy for the first time July 31-August 2, 2009 for the Padova Grand Prix in Teolo. Qualifying number one was three-time World Champion Martin Siegrist. Louis Pilloni turned in another solid qualifying performance to start second, followed by slalom ace Ramón Königshausen in third, Mischo Erban in fourth and Patrick Switzer in fifth. Race day was filled with crashes on nearly every run as the skaters were pushing the limit and doing all they could to find more speed. As the heats went on, it was a race of attrition, leaving only those who were able to stay out front and ride clean or those who were able to get back underway quickly after crashing. In semifinal #1 it were Siegrist, Scoot Smith, Switzer and Erban. Siegrist took the early lead, followed by Erban, Smith and Switzer. Heading into the fast left and right hairpin, Erban crashed, moving Smith to second and Switzer third. A few corners later Scoot slid wide and tagged the bales. This allowed Switzer to move into second. Siegrist and Switzer finished first and second to move into the final. Semifinal #2 included Erik Lundberg, Königshausen, Pilloni and Stefan Ruefli. All four riders pushed really hard off the line. As they came into the fast left-right hairpin, Lundberg, Königshausen and Pilloni were all in a tight pack; Ruefli was trailing slightly behind. The combination of regular- and goofy-footers,
Martin Siegrist totally focused on the win. Photo: Bob Ozman
one of the few clean runs of the day. Siegrist went to the front and never looked back until the finish. Switzer rode cleanly into second, while Ruefli and Lundberg had a good battle all the way, with Ruefli coming out on top to earn the final podium spot. ¶ Switzer, Siegrist and Ruefli celebrate on the podium. Photo: Marcus Rietema
Erik Lundberg made it to the final for the second time this season. Photo: Bob Ozman
Patrick Switzer earned his first World Cup podium finish. Photo: Marcus Rietema
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different braking techniques, the narrow track and aggressive riding were a recipe for disaster. Lundberg, Königshausen and Pilloni all piled into the bales together. Ruefli went sailing by and rode unchallenged into the final. There was a mad scramble in his wake, as the other three knew they were all racing for second and a spot in the final. Pilloni made it out front first with Lundberg in hot pursuit. Lundberg got a good run coming off the last hairpin and used the extra speed to draft by Pilloni down the final straightaway and into the coveted second place. The final was set with Siegrist, Switzer, Ruefli and Lundberg. Amazingly, the final was
Padova Grand Prix 1. Martin Siegrist 2. Patrick Switzer 3. Stefan Ruefli 4. Erik Lundberg 5. Scoot Smith 6. Louis Pilloni 7. Ramón Königshausen 8. Mischo Erban
Switzerland Canada Switzerland Sweden Canada United States Switzerland Canada
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Rusty Sherrill Rusty Sherrill was born with an artist’s brush in his mouth in Lakeland, Florida. Ever since, his mind has been in art mode. He could glance at a stranger and think, “This guy has a really strange head shape. He’d make a great monster.” Soon after, he finds himself knee-deep in a painting where a swarm of tiny alien toasters are attacking a giant strange-head-shaped monster. After graduating from art school in Tampa, Rusty moved to California. He has 20 years’ experience as a graphic artist in the clothing industry and has freelanced for the movie industry, comic book companies and advertising agencies. Rusty’s gallery pieces have been on display the last decade throughout southern California, and he annually is a well-reviewed artist at the “San Diego Comic-Con Art Show” (1997-2009). His art, technique demonstration and an excerpt from his selfpublished book, “Kid Nitro and the Sinister Slorp,” can be viewed on his website, rsartstudio.com. Rusty can be contacted at email@example.com. ¶
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RACING SCENE REPORT BY MARIA AND RICHY CARRASCO
ith summer in full swing, the month of July marked the peak of the slalom skateboard racing season, kicking off the three most important slalom races of the year. The string of events started off with the Seismic U.S. Nationals in Colorado, continued on to the Seismic World Championships in Hood River, Oregon the following weekend, then moved to the other side of the world for the European National Championships in Polička, Czech Republic. ¢ SEISMIC U.S. NATIONALS LAFAYETTE, COLORADO (JULY 11-12, 2009) With a great local racing scene, Colorado has long been producing top pros and fresh talent and has hosted several major races over the years. This event, spearheaded by multi-World Champ racing veteran Jason Mitchell and his wife, Terri,
Young gun Adam Schwippert took a silver and a bronze at the Worlds. Photo: Maria Carrasco
The head-to-head events used traditional launch-ramp starts, but for the single-lane GS, the bungee start was introduced. This slingshottype start had the racers hitting about 30 mph into the course, and it was up to each rider to decide how far to push it. Coming in too hot could mean blowing out of the course with a DQ penalty. Some of the top finishers were the guys who went from the highest numbers and pushed it to the limit. The courses were fast and challenging, and the racing matchups were too. Young talent is definitely making its mark in the current racing scene, but the veterans still managed to claim the top spots on the Pro podium this time around, with George Pappas winning both the tight and GS and Jason Mitchell winning the hybrid event over young guns Martin Reaves, Joe McLaren and Zak Maytum. Reaves and Pappas ended in a tie for the overall pro title. The Open class was also
heating up, with relative slalom newcomer (but no stranger to racing) Kevin Delaney winning two of the three main events (hybrid and GS) and his second overall national Open title. In tight, Justin Collins claimed the win and his first national title. Women’s World Champ Lynn Kramer raced in the men’s Pro division all weekend, raising the bar once again for all women in the sport. Several pros moved into the Masters class, with Keith Hollien (HS), David Pirnack (TS) and Joe Lehm (GS) all taking turns at the top of the podium and Hollien claiming the overall Masters title. The Duquet brothers from Canada, Gabe and Daniel, led the Juniors division all weekend, with Gabe Duquet claiming the overall Junior title. The bonus
Ella Roggero runs the Worlds TS course in downtown Hood River. Photo: Maria Carrasco
Open overall World Champ Justin Collins. Photo: Maria Carrasco
had all the elements for a racer-pleasing national championship. This two-day event featured four races: hybrid, tight, giant and a skatercross bonus. The venue, Overlook Road, offered a long, steep grade with a great surface and made it possible to run all four disciplines in just one location.
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Jordan Huotari rockin' out as he takes 2nd place in the Worlds Open GS on Mosier Ridge. Photo: Maria Carrasco
claiming the GS win, followed by England’s Ella Roggero, with Cat Young picking up third. In the Open division, new national champ Kevin Delaney was crowned with his first World Championship win, followed by Portland local Jordan Huotari in second and Mike Duquette in third. In the Masters division, Floridian slalom racer Keith Hollien was at the top of the podium, with Badlander Tay Hunt in second and NorCal’s John Ravitch in third. California’s Keith Henderson conquered the Juniors division, followed by Gabe Duquet in second and Ricky Garland in third.
Louis Ricard (front) and Joe McLaren blast off in the hybrid at Hood River. Photo: David Mitchell
skatercross event mixed elements of downhill and GS by pitting two riders at the same time, jockeying for position through obstacle courses and ending in a downhill tuck to the finish. Zak Maytum used his downhill skills to his advantage and took the hard-earned win. At the end of the two-day scorcher, everyone walked away sunburned, smiling and stoked on racing.
Overall Podium at the European Championships in Polička, Czech Republic. Photo: Zdena Klein
¢ SEISMIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS HOOD RIVER, OREGON (JULY 17-19) The very next weekend after the Nationals, many of the same racers regrouped for another action-packed weekend consisting of three events for the Seismic World Championships. The Hood River venue is one of the most picturesque and longstanding race centers, having hosted annual events since the days of the FCR Series in 2001. With the Worlds alternating Colorado's George Pappas winning the Pro tight slalom at Hood River. Pappas also won the Pro hybrid and took second in GS, making him the overall Pro World Champion. Photo: David Mitchell
Janis Kuzmins returned from knee surgery to tie Dominik Kowalski for 1st overall (Pro) in Polička. Photo: Zdena Klein
between North America and Europe for the past few years, this classic venue was a fitting choice for the USA’s turn. Gareth Roe, Judy Harris and Pat Chewning, along with the Cascade Slalom Association (CSA) crew, organized and ran the event. Legendary skater Claude Regnier from Canada was the designated course setter and set some great courses that had the racers going at full speed all weekend. The event kicked off on Friday with the legburning GS event in Mosier, which at nearly a mile long offers the longest GS track to date. When the dust settled, Martin Reaves had claimed his first Pro World Championship win, followed by George Pappas and Chris Barker, making an all-Colorado Pro GS podium. In the women’s Pro division, reigning World Champ Lynn Kramer was on it again,
Saturday’s dual-lane hybrid event was held in downtown Hood River, right in front of the Full Sail Brewery. The head-to-head action brought many great matchups throughout the day. In the Pro division, Adam Schwippert of Vermont gave national champ George Pappas all he could handle, but Pappas claimed the hard-earned victory, sending Schwippert to second, with Joe McLaren in third. The Women’s finals ended in a mirror-image podium of the day before: Kramer, Roggero, Young. The Open finals had Justin Collins from California shooting it out with Sebastien Leger of Canada – but it was Open overall U.S. National Champ Kevin Delaney. Photo: Maria Carrasco
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Joe McLaren (L) and Martin Reaves (R) battle a gnarly hybrid course (and each other) at the Seismic U.S. Nationals. Photo: Maria Carrasco
Collins who claimed the gold and his first World Championship title. Robert Thiele of Germany finished third. Colorado’s David Pirnack led the pack in the Masters, with Keith Hollien placing second and Martin Drayton third. In the Juniors division, Gabe Duquet kept his winning ways going, sending fellow Canadian Kelian Duplain to second place, with Ian Roe from Washington finishing third. Canada's Seb Leger charges the TS course in Hood River. Photo: David Mitchell
Seven-time World Champ Lynn Kramer at the U.S. Nationals. Photo: Maria Carrasco
Lynn Kramer completed her sweep of the division with the TS win and claimed her seventh overall World Championship to date. Judi Oyama of California claimed the silver and Ella Roggero the bronze. Justin Collins put it all together again to win the Open TS gold and the overall Open world title, leaving Robert Thiele with silver and Mike Duquette with bronze. It was David Pirnack again at the top of the Masters podium, with John Ravitch second and La Costa Boy Marty Schaub holding third. In the final standings, Keith Hollien claimed the overall Masters world title for the weekend. ¢ EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS POLIČKA, CZECH REPUBLIC (AUG 7-9) Just two weeks after the Worlds in Hood River,
Sunday’s tight slalom was held on the spectator-lined main street in downtown to showcase the final event of the weekend. In the Pro TS it was another young pro’s turn to try to knock Pappas off his throne, but 16-year-old Joe McLaren had to settle for silver as Pappas claimed his second world title and secured the overall Pro world title. Third-place bronze went to Adam Schwippert. In the Women’s Pro,
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Dominik Kowalski pulls ahead in the streets of Policka. Photo: Zdena Klein
another heavy-hitter event was underway in the countryside village of Polička outside of Prague. The Czech Republic is one of the leading promoters of slalom races in Europe, including an annual event at the Polička venue. This year’s event earned the European Championship distinction, bringing racers from several neighboring countries and even a few from North America to join the large home-grown Czech racing contingent. The four disciplines – giant, special, hybrid and straight parallel – had racers aiming for the grand prize of overall winner in each division for the weekend. As we go to press, results and pics are just rolling in, but the 2009 European Championship overall winners are: Pro – Janis Kuzmins and Dominik Kowalski (tie); Open/Am – Robert Thiele; Women – Sandrine Ferreira; Juniors – Vitek Hromadko/Jakob Knettig/Juris Grundulis.
Gabe Duquet (foreground) and brother Dan Duquet, neck & neck at the U.S. Nationals. Photo: Maria Carrasco
The 2009 season is surely not over, with several scheduled events still to come, and racers are already speculating on the location of the 2010 Worlds. For the latest on what’s coming up, as well as full results and more pics of the races featured above, visit sk8kings.com (click on “News”). ¶
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DONTAE OVERTON age 10 WORDS AND PHOTO: MIKE MILLER I met Dontae more than a year ago at a backyard bowl event. He started skating at the age of 7, when his uncle bought him his first skateboard. Since then he has been skating every day, and his father, Dale, likes to think he has taught him everything he knows (like most proud dads). Dontae is now 10 years old and has been skating vert for three years. This young, exciting, up-and-coming amateur has placed in the top five in multiple competitions in over the past two years. He resides in Victorville, California but travels all over so he can hit the biggest bowls and largest ramps. Dontae is a very passive person until he gets to the edge of the bowl. He’s referred to as “The Snake” at most skateparks because of his style – thus the custom design on the bottom of his board, courtesy of USL Skate. (Dontae came up with the design concept) Dontae is an A student at Discovery School of the Arts and part of the Gate program for students that excel in academics. He is very much involved and concerned in the environment and participates in the “Go Green” cause.
NORA VASCONCELLOS age 16 WORDS: SYDNEY GOLDBERG PHOTO: DANIEL VASCONCELLOS With her plush pink helmet and safety pads in check, this Massachusetts native is taking over the world one trick at a time. Nora made history as the first female skateboarder to land a 540 in a contest and the first to compete in Volcom’s Wild in the Parks Championships in Austin, Tex. Her versatile and consistent style landed Nora 2nd place overall in the 2009 Florida Bowlriders female division. Conditioned by the brisk New England shoreline and the healthy competitive nature of Rye Airfield Skatepark in Rye, N.H., Nora was bred to be the best at both surfing and skateboarding. She is one of the most humble girls I’ve ever talked to, and she exudes positive energy. “Drugs, going against the police, the rebellious nature of being a teenager, I never found that attractive,” she stressed. The phrase “Role Model” is written all over her, with interests that go far beyond board sports. An honor roll student, swimmer, model, babysitter and artist, she is an example of a true renaissance woman. Sponsors: Levitate Surf & Skate, Guy Skinny Jeans, West Wetsuits, Freestyle Watches, D-Surf, Bern Helmets, Spy Optics, Girls Riders Organization.
JACKSON STERN age 9 WORDS AND PHOTO: JEFFREY STERN Jackson has been skateboarding since he was 5 years old. One day Jackson picked up his brother’s skateboard in the garage and rode away on his knees. Within days he was standing on the board, and something special was happening. He started to compete in skateboarding at age 7. By the time he turned 8, he was recognized as one of the top skaters in California (8 & under). Jackson skates all different terrains, but loves bowls and vert ramps. Sneaux Shoes is one of Jackson’s sponsors, and they have been a great support. Jackson’s home park is Skatelab in Simi Valley. If you’re in Southern California, stop by Skatelab, go to the bowl and you will probably see Jackson busting backside airs. Ask Jackson what he wants from skateboarding and he will tell you, “I want to have fun and be professional someday.” Keep an eye out for this kid; you will be seeing much more in the future.
GEORGE WILLS age 14 WORDS: TONY COWL PHOTO: JANET JOHNSON George is one of the United Kingdom’s most up-and-coming young riders. He has achieved a huge amount of success at downhill events. In 2008 he entered the GoFast! Speed Days race in Eastbourne after only skating for eight months and placed 66th, which made him the third-fastest rider under age 16. This year George is going to be attending a number of European and many more U.K.-based events, so look out for him on a hill near you!
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SKATEBOARD SHOPS LIST ARIZONA Sidewalk Surfer 2602 N. Scottsdale Road Scottsdale 480.994.1017 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.sidewalksurfer.com CALIFORNIA Board Gallery 3333 Newport Boulevard Newport Beach 714.902.3769 Cellular Skate 6787 Carnelian Street Alta Loma 909.941.1004 Mike McGills Skate Shop 335 First Street Suite #S Encinitas 760.943.7730 Mike’s Bike Shop 5507 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles 323.935.4338 Viva Skateboards 1709 Howard Road Madera 559.664.8997 Bill’s Wheels Skateshop 1240 Soquel Avenue Santa Cruz 831.469.0904 Purple Skunk Purpleskunk.com 5820 Geary Blvd. San Francisco 415.668.7905 CCMF/Toyland 1260 Palm Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805-801-6653 email@example.com The Trading Post 622 Upham Street San Luis Obispo 805.801.6653 firstname.lastname@example.org Sonoma Old School Skate and Surf 1001 Broadway Sonoma 707.938.5500 skatesos.com Cellular Skate 287 Mountain Ave Upland Tel: 909.981.8856 email@example.com Maui and Sons 1415 Ocean Front Walk Venice Beach mauiandsons.com COLORADO All Board Sports 1750 30th Street Boulder 303.415.1600 Board Lords Foothills Mall 215 East Foothills Parkway Suite (J-4) Fort Collins 970.225.1109 CONNECTICUT Skate Pusher 57 McIntosh Drive Bristol 860.593.4550 Skate Valencia 68 Leonard Street, Bristol 203.524.4675 GEORGIA Feral 190 Park Avenue, Athens 706.369.1084 Skate Madness1344 Stonefield court, Alpharetta 770.777.0336 skatemadness.com Woody’s Halfpipe 6135 Peachtree Parkway Suite # 603 Norcross LOUSIANA Board Lords Mall of Louisiana, 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd. Suite # 2044, Baton Rouge, 225.769.1222 MASSACHUSETTS Boardroom 6 Armory Street Northhampton 413.586.8857 MICHIGAN Ollies Skate Shop 120 ½ E Maumee Adrian 517.265.2031
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Want to know where to find Concrete Wave Magazine? Would you like to find all the amazing skate gear you see in these pages? Look no further than our shop list. If you’d like to have your shop listed here, it’s easy. Simply send a check for $115 to Indaba Group PO Box 1895 Carlsbad California 92018 or pay pal firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 760-722-4111. You’ll get 10 copies of 5 issues mailed out along with this complete listing. For international rates, please email us. Yes, shipping is included. If you think your local shop or park should be carrying Concrete Wave, email email@example.com. MINNESOTA Old School Skaters 1119 NW 2nd Street Faribault 612.578.3326 www.oldschoolskaters.net MISSOURI Genesis Skateboarding 13 NW Barry Rd. #147 Kansas City 816.456.1307 genesisskateboarding.com MONTANA Wheaton’s 214 1st Avenue West Kalispell 406.257.5808 wheatonscycle.com BlackTop Surfshop 176 5th Avenue West North Kalispell 406-752-6006 NEW JERSEY Black Diamond Skatepark 400 Route 38 Unit 1610 Moorestown NEW MEXICO Koa Nalu Surf Shop 8254 Menaul Blvd NE Albuquerque 505-332-SURF koanalu.com Timeship Raicing 825 Early Street Suite H Sante Fe 505.474.0074 timeshipracing.com NORTH CAROLINA Soul Ride Skatepark 6049 Victory Lane Concord 704.454.7433 soulrideskates.com We’re Board Inc Skatepark and Shop 1423 North Church Street, Ste 104 Burlington NC 27217 OHIO Old Skool Skateboards 19E College Avenue, Westerville firstname.lastname@example.org OREGON The Uprise 1110 NW Van Buren Ave, Corvallis 541.754.4257 541.480.4254 thelongboardstore.com The Longboard Store 1238 SW Wheeler Place Bend 541.480.4254 thelongboardstore.com Daddies Board Shop 7126 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland 503.281.5123 daddiesboardshop.com The Mountain Shop 628 NE Broadway Portland Rip City Skate 1510 NE 37th Ave. Portland PENNSYLVANIA Rayzor Tattoos 4 South Front Street Steeltown RHODE ISLAND Seven.Ply 3 Canal Street Westerly 401.348.0656 TENNESSEE Planet Sk8 7024 East Church Street Suite 2 Brentwood 615.377.1947 Sk8sations Skate Shop 3032 N.John B.Dennis Hwy. Kingsport 423.245.0994 email@example.com VIRGINIA EastCoast Boardco. 10358 Fairfax Blvd. Fairfax 703.352.4600 x:8 213 25th Street Va Beach Black Cat Skateshop 1325 A West Main Street, Charlottesville 434.244.0014
WASHINGTON Gravity Sports 126 Rainier Ave South Renton 425.255.1874 Mountain Goat Outfitters 12 W. Sprague Avenue Spokane ALBERTA Avenue Skateparks 9030.118 Avenue NW Edmonton 780.477.2149 Easy Rider 4211.106 St., #153 Edmonton 780.413.4554 Pipeline Surf Co 780.421.1575 Comasports 10B-200 Barclay Parade SW 403-233-8841 powerinmotion.ca BRITISH COLUMBIA Area 51 191 Station Street Duncan 250.746.8869 a51.ca Raven Skate Shop 411 Campbell Street Tofino 250.725.1280 ravenskateshop.ca Salton Rides Saltsummer Island, BC 250.537.4984 firstname.lastname@example.org Switchback Longboards 4385B Boban Dr. Nanaimo 250.751. 7625 ONTARIO Hammer Skate Shop 2225 Queen Street East Toronto, 416.698.0005 Hogtown 401 King Street West, Toronto 416.598.4192 McPhails 98 King Street North, Waterloo 519.886.4340 QUEBEC DLX/Deluxe 2480, chemin Ste.Foy Ste.Foy 418.653.0783 dlxdeluxe.com OVERSEAS New Zealand — Serenity Island Surf & Skate Café 202a Wainui road Gisborne email@example.com serenityisland.com Boardshop Australia boardshop.com.au 04 15883371 firstname.lastname@example.org Cre8ive Sk8 5/244 Ross river Road Aitkenvale Queensland 4814 Australia UK — Octanesport.com Skateboardsofchoice.co.uk Bath, United Kingdom. Tel: + 44 1249 715811 Germany — seasondistribution.com, concretewave.de Hackbrett Longskates Im Wechselfeld 12 St. Peter Hack@customlongskates.com Longboarders.de Gustavstrasse 49 90762 Furth longboarders.de email@example.com Tel: 0911 9772500 France: Hawaiisurf.com Clover Skateboard shop
1-21-3-1201 Befu Jyounan Fukuoka 8140104 Japan Y & T Fussa Fussa 2348 Fussa Fussa.City,Tokyo 1970011 Skate of the Nation Unit 6 GYY building # 1 Tomas Morato 1100 Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines www.Skateofthenation.com Netherlands — Sickboards Fuutlan 45 Delft firstname.lastname@example.org Soul dh Alameda Picaflores 245 San Borja Lima 41 Peru Indiana Sports GmbH Elbestrasse 14 Wald, 8636 Switzerland Contact: Christof Peller Clover Skateboard Shop 1-21-3-1201 Befu Jyounan Fukuoka 8140104 Japan Skate of the Nation Unit 6 GYY building # 1 Tomas Morato, 1100 Quezon City Metro Manila, Philippines; www.Skateofthenation.com Bestboards 24 Danao Street Rivera Village Bajada Davao City Philippines ON.LINE RETAILERS Allboardsports.com Blackholeboards.com Bordz.net CascadiaLongboards.com Coldwarskateboards.com Daddiesboardshop.com Denverskateshop.com Edsbearings.com (pleasure tools) Fuegolongboards.com Genesisskateboarding.com Longboardskater.com Latterdayskates.com Longboardshop.de Longboardstore.com Longboardskater.com Milehighskates.com Oldschoolskates.net Pressuredroplongboards.com Roadkillskates.com Sk8supply.com Socalskateshop.com Solidskate.com TACTISSK8.COM Tailtap.com VSLboardshop.com
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