Monday, October 16, 2017
Born: Little Rock, Arkansas
Shoe size: 9.5
First axe: Claus Grabke
Favorite spots: LA Courthouse and Camelot Benches, Arkansas
Movies: Pulp Fiction and Empire Strikes Back
Book: The Alchemist
Car: '89 Mazda 626
Who's rad: Gonz
Who's sad: Simple As Death
Rail or curb: Rail
Ice cream flavor: Cookies and cream
Salt or pepper: Pepper
Who's rad: Gonz
Who's sad: Simple As Death
Tunes: Marley and Dylan
Chow: Anything organic, sushi
Hall of fame: Bob Dylan
Gator or Hosoi: Hosoi
Words of wisdom: "Many tragic things have been said by tongue and pen, but none so tragic as what might have been."
For the Firing Line: Thrasher - April 2003 Volume 23 Number 4
Thrasher - December 2002 Volume 22 Number 12
Friday, October 13, 2017
Raise the roof.
I think it tends to be forgotten how much of a vert dog Alan was.
I like the two trick line Auby Taylor did from the Rumble in Ramona where he does a fakie ollie to an ollie to fakie. Straight up and down and blasted as high as possible on a Jeff Phillips style old school shape.
Thrasher - September 2005 Volume 5 Number 9
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Sean Cronan: Do you still spend a lot of time making basement music?
Ethan Fowler: No, now I make dining room music. It's too hard to find a basement in San Diego. I don't think I could afford it, so the dining room works very well. It even has a covered ceiling, so it adds a little architectural ambiance.
Ethan had been living in Portland, Oregon when he was riding for Stereo and kicking out the jams in his basement. Once he got on Foundation, he moved to San Diego and put his guitars in the parlor.
For the quote: Transworld - October 2002 Volume 20 Number 10
Slap - September 1996 Volume 5 Number 9
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
"I skate as much as possible, as much as my body can take. That's every day. Sometimes I just look through all the pain. Most of the time I go to Sugar Hill Skatepark and skate there from 3:30 p.m. all the way to ten. Also after ten there are no kids. It's a little bit more fun because you use the whole park to skate in - you can go as fast as you want. You're not afraid to body check a kid around. But I skate every day. It doesn't matter what it is, I'll skate it."
Alan brings the thunder to a handrail.
I got skateboarding for the first time in a few days last night. There has been a bunch of rain. My legs needed the days off, but my sense of timing was not there. Summer has been sticking around so the weather has been great. Usually no matter how crappy I skate, I always land at least one or two tricks that I'm happy with.
For the quote: Transworld - November 1998 Volume 16 Number 11
Slap - September 1996 Volume 5 Number 9
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Monday, October 9, 2017
Friday, October 6, 2017
"Yeah, music is a really big part of my life. If it's too quiet, I feel a little awkward, I always like to have music playing. Over the years I've always been into music and collecting records. If there's something I'm into, I like to find the original pressing because they're not making that anymore, and it's worth something to me because it's OG. There's a lot to it - with the artwork, the photos, all the ill album work on records. it seems like a lot goes into the whole production of it. I get inspired from finding records, like with the photos or weird colorways; it sparks my ideas for design stuff."
It makes sense that a guy who is into music would name his company Listen. A spot like this looks pretty neat, too.
I hit the 200 mark for times skateboarding this year on Tuesday. I also had a streak where I skated 25 days in a row. My ollies were not looking so hot on Tuesday night. I really should have taken this past Sunday off, but the weather was too nice. We had a really mild February and it didn't rain as much this August so I got to 200 a month ahead of last year.
Ethan and Alan next week. I've also put together a week of Arcade for the future.
For the quote: Thrasher - October 2008 Volume 28 Number 10
Skateboarder - May 2006 Volume 15 Number 9
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
"Just be you and skate. Don't worry about anything else. Be patient, be educated, be a good person, and people will see the way you are and try to help you out. Don't try too hard. When you try too hard, things don't come to you."
Rodrigo is from Curitiba, Brazil. He got into skateboarding after seeing one of the kids in his neighborhood do a boardslide on a curb. Some of his favorite skaters include Kennan Milton, Gino Iannucci, Guy Mariano, Mike Carroll, Chico Brenes, Mark Gonzales, and Julien Stranger. He started visiting the United States to skateboard in the early 2000s after riding for a couple Brazilian companies. Rodrigo was sponsored by Listen, then switched to Organika, and is now on BLVD. He is sponsored by Nike and had a part in their Nothing But The Truth video from 2007. He also did some shoe design work for the Swoosh. LRG gave him free clothes when they were still around and he had the opening section in their Give Me My Money, Chico flick. Rodrigo does the high tech street skating thing very well and has a fair amount of pop to get up on the tall ledges.
For the quote and information: Thrasher - June 2010 Volume 30 Number 6
Skateboarder - October 2006 Volume 16 Number 2
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
"B. Brown brings the steeeezzzz! That's one thing that's missing in skating today. Everyone can do everything, but can they make it look good? He also brings that East Coast flava that I never get to see out on the West Coast." - Vern Laird, Listen team manager
Brian is from Westchester, New York. He had the opener in Listen's Viajeros Locos video from 2007. This trick is in the part. His section featured a lot of flip tricks into banks and smooth lines full of manuals. He's not afraid to throw some wallrides or no-complies into mix for the sake of variety. Brian also had the first part in Transworld's Let's Do This, which was released in 2007 as well. Both those parts are heavy on New York City spots. He rode for Zoo York prior to Listen. Adio sponsored his feet. This is one of those guys I feel I missed in the mid 2000s. Brian has got a casual and relaxed style where everything he does looks good. If you need something to do at work today, look up his parts on the old internet thing. It's worth the effort.
For the quote: Transworld - August 2005 Volume 23 Number 8
Skateboarder - August 2006 Volume 15 Number 12
Monday, October 2, 2017
Danny Montoya and Rob Gonzalez started Listen in 2006 after both their former board sponsors went under. The original team was Danny and Rob plus Brian Brown and Rodrigo Petersen. Listen existed as such until 2010 when they moved the company to Syndrome Distribution and changed the name to BLVD. The Boulevard is still in operation today and enjoying the popularity of Brazilian pop star Tiago Lemos. Lemos is operating on a whole other level of technical street skating.
It did dry up after work on Friday so I got to keep the days skateboarding streak going. The weekend was nice and I got to skate both days, although I didn't try very hard on Sunday morning. The weather looks like it will be good nearly all week.
I'm also slowly getting some pictures together for another week of stories about old skate spots. What's weird is I always remember night skating as having a yellow glow, but with the new LED lights and whatnot, everything is white. It's something I was aware of, although I really noticed it last night when I was getting a couple photos.
Skateboarder - April 2006 Volume 15 Number 8
Friday, September 29, 2017
"I graduated from high school in '93 and ended up going to Buffalo State for a year. I only went there for two semesters, but it's weird because I met so many great people that I still keep in touch with today. It seriously felt like four years. We were skating so much and snowboarding. It was rad."
This is the ad that prompted two weeks of Emerica. I had to go with the Buffalo quote as well from Aaron's Transworld Pro Spotlight.
It's looking like my streak of consecutive days skateboarding for September is ending tonight. We're dealing with off and on rain. I'm hoping it is dry enough after work so I get in a couple ollies and power slides in the street, but the forecast is gray.
Listen on Monday.
For the quote: Transworld - May 2009 Volume 27 Number 5
Skateboarder - September 2005 Volume 15 Number 1
Thursday, September 28, 2017
"It's really fun for me to just go really fast. Going fast is a variation of tricks, in a way. I could spend the whole day just skating at Huntington High, and going fast. I like to try to go as fast as I can and push myself. I try to do a hard trick that people always do slow, going fast. The only tricks I can do are ollie impossibles, one-footed ollies, and nose bumps. I guess I suck, when you think about it."
You can probably add nose blunts and feeble grinds to Ed's self proclaimed lack of tricks.
For the quote: Transworld - June 1991 Volume 9 Number 6
Skateboarder - August 2007 Volume 16 Number 12
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
"It goes back to the fact that I'm not going to make money after skateboarding. I have no skills in life. There's nothing I can really do. If I lost all my money and the economy went to shit, I don't know what I'd do. I couldn't get a job. I'm not social. I can't do anything relating with people. If I had nothing and nothing to fall back on, I'd try to get a job at Sole Tech. But if that went under and the economy got so bad that all the skate companies went away and it went back to 1990, I would have no idea what to do."
I think one of the kids in the brand new Emerica video tossed himself down this gap, too. I believe it was Victor Aceves, the new am on Toy Machine. Emerica always does a solid job of picking out music for their projects.
For the quote: The Skateboard Mag - April 2009 Issue 61
Skateboarder - December 2004 Volume 14 Number 4
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
I set up some new wheels on Saturday. I always forget how nice it is to have smooth wheels. My old ones had gone maybe a week or two longer than they should've. I do get slightly paranoid that when I put together new gear that I won't be able to skate the same as I was before the change so I tend to put it off as long as possible. It's going to be a sad day when my current trucks finally crap out.
Skateboarder - August 2004 Volume 13 Number 12
Monday, September 25, 2017
Erik was born in Anchorage, Alaska and moved around a few times before settling in Phoenix, Arizona with his mom. He started skateboarding after seeing Back To The Future while still living in Alaska. His influences in the early days included Mike Carroll, Sal Barbier, Rick Howard, and the cast of Video Days. He rode for Balance, a company he did with Scott Copalman and Aaron Pearcy in Arizona. Later he moved to California and Jamie Thomas added him and Scott to the Zero team. Erik would turn pro for Zero, temporarily leave for Baker before returning to Zero, and finally split permanently for Baker in the early 2000s. He started Deathwish with Jim Greco in 2008 as a sister company to Baker. For footwear, Erik stayed on Emerica until 2006 when Supra began. He's still rolling today and throwing himself down big gaps, twenty years after the Thrill Of It All.
For the information: Transworld - April 2011 Volume 29 Number 4
Skateboarder - July 2004 Volume 13 Number 11
Friday, September 22, 2017
That's gonna get all sorts of weird search engine hits. It's the song title from Leo's part in Stay Gold. I've been low on words this week.
On the last night of summer, I finally stayed at the skate park until the lights shut off at 10:15 PM. I usually always stay until they turn off, but this year there were issues with the timer. I got into the habit of going a little earlier in the evening and would be done before it went dark. I couldn't land much of anything yesterday, yet I managed to land a half cab heelflip on flat. That trick gives me odd problems. It's there every try, but I don't end up landing it.
Skateboarder - June 2004 Volume 13 Number 10
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Matt is from Victorville, California. In addition to Emerica, he rode for Foundation and Pharmacy Board Shop. His part in the F-Troop's 2007 video Cataclysmic Abyss is full of big rails and some tech stuff. Matt does a bunch of frontside heelflips, backside 360s, and big spins. In addition to his section, I watched the rest of Cataclysmic Abyss last night, too. That's a fairly solid video as a whole.
I also watched most of the new 917 video yesterday at the end of a slow work day. It was cool to see footage of Alex Olson's tricks from his Transworld interview from a couple of years ago. I'm glad the soundtrack was posted in the comments on YouTube because I would have been racking my brain for days trying to figure that one song was by Duster. I knew I recognized it, but I couldn't place it.
Skateboarder - December 2003 Volume 13 Number 4
Monday, September 18, 2017
Braydon is from Las Vegas, Nevada. He was an am for Baker and later turned pro. He was dropped from the team a few years ago and I'm not sure if he has a board sponsor currently. I think he popped up in a Transworld tour article in the last couple of months. Jamie Thomas recently added him to the team of his new footwear company, Straye.
There's been a change of plans. A week of Emerica expanded into two weeks and Listen has been pushed back to October. I got on a roll scanning stuff on Saturday so that's the reason.
Skateboarder - November 2003 Volume 13 Number 3
Friday, September 15, 2017
Crash course in brain surgery.
Keegan is from Vancouver and has been sponsored by Real, Zero, and Blood Wizard. He was also on Vans. The guy zips around transitions and takes on handrails with a laid back style.
Listen or Emerica on Monday. The other will be for the week after next. I'm also thinking about some Philadelphia stuff in the near future.
The photograph is by Jeremiah Doubt.
Skateboarder - September 2005 Volume 15 Number 1
Thursday, September 14, 2017
We make things roll nice.
Momentum is a Canadian based wheel company that has been around since the 1998. Artist Andrew Pommier does a lot of the graphics. The team currently includes Rick McCrank, Magnus Hanson, Nate Lacoste, Steven Burke, and more. Brandon Biebel, Danny Way, Jose Rojo, Corey Sheppard, and several others have ridden for them over the years.
Shout out to WKND for adding Alexis Sablone to the team. I know this was announced a couple weeks ago, but I'm running behind at life.
RIP Grant Hart.
Jeremiah Doubt took the photo.
Skateboarder - May 2006 Volume 15 Number 9
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
"The voices call out from the dark."
That's what it says on the tag of the Program t-shirt I have. Stacy and Mike are keeping the good times rolling with the Program. The company follows in the same direction as Bueno and Roger.
Skateboarder - May 2006 Volume 15 Number 9
Monday, September 11, 2017
I tried. I only found two ads for Bueno. They were getting distributed by Element so I thought they had a couple more ads, but I couldn't find 'em. And it wasn't for a lack of looking on a rainy Friday night either. I assume this means I will find them in next month or two.
Bueno was Stacy Lowery and Michael Sieben's company from 2005 to 2007. The idea was to bring some much needed humor back into skateboarding. The team included Shiloh Greathouse, Jeremy Holmes, Nate LaCoste, and Nate Broussard. Later they would start Roger and eventually the Program.
The remaining three fifths of the week will be used for Momentum Wheels. Their ads are kind of similar and were much easier to find.
The Skateboard Mag - May 2006 Issue 26
Friday, September 8, 2017
What a difference sixteen years makes.
In the time since the early 1990s, CCS catalogs ballooned in size from around thirty pages all the way up to ninety pages. You sure got a lot more clothing and shoe options as the industry had grown substantially. The internet was starting to render print catalogs a moot point, but they were trying really hard.
I'm usually never one to say a given era of skateboarding was better than another and I avoid the trap that nostalgia can be. Each time period has its pluses and minuses. 1994 was not wholly better or worse than 2010 for example. They were just different. That being said, all I can say is "YIKES!" about a whole lot of the board graphics in this catalog.
The truck choices expanded with lots more colors and even signature model trucks with custom colorways. It looks like a lot of people were riding thinner boards in 2010 because trucks come mostly in two sizes: 7.75" or 8". I didn't recall boards still being smaller back then.
In terms of wheels, sizes had evened out in the low to mid 50s. Spitfire, Bones, and Ricta were dominating the selection. The plastic core trend was still there, which never made sense to me. I was riding whatever Spitfires that were 56 mm and white. Or basically the same type of wheels I've been using for the last fifteen years or so. It's odd to consider how much rapidly skateboarding changed over a few years in the early 1990s versus how I've been riding the same shape boards from the same company for three years now. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
There will be something for next week. I don't really know what yet. Maybe Bueno.
The Brian Anderson photo credited to a CMRO. No idea who that is. The Muska?
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Hardcore in '94.
The savvy skateboard consumer had a whole lot more choices for boards as the 1990s moved along. Birdhouse, Alien Workshop, Real, Stereo, Mad Circle, Foundation, Acme, and more were all doing well. It's interesting that this catalog would have been printed before Chocolate was available, as Girl was well represented. Slick decks were still kicking around. I don't think I had any of the boards in here because I was firmly committed to Consolidated when I was in college. The graphics for the most part are looking fairly sharp and often reflect the rider's image or personal tastes. Keep that thought in mind for tomorrow.
The truck selection had slimmed down and your only color choice was silver. I was riding Ventures and Indy at this point.
Wheels were hovering in the low to mid 40 mm range. A few brave brands started to drift to the upper 40s and even over the 50 mm mark. Santa Cruz was holding down the wheel biz with Direction, Speed Wheels, and SMA. Union, A-1 Meats, New School, and Acme were all fighting for your dollar bills. I think I was riding Consolidated wheels at this time. I'm surprised there aren't many offerings from Spitfire.
The Drake Jones cover photo is by Tommy Guerrero.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Twenty five year high school anniversary.
Skateboarding was getting lean and mean in 1992. Powell and Santa Cruz were still going fairly strong, but a lot of the other big dogs had fallen off. Upstarts such as Real, Black Label, Acme, Milk, Alien Workshop, and Small Room were gaining a lot of ground. Slicks were popular. I like how Santa Cruz and SMA had the same graphic on the bottom with different art on the top. The top graphics for the SMA decks are great. The Real costume series of slicks hit the market and Acme was making racing car inspired board art. Two of my favorite boards ever are in this catalog, the Neil Blender speakers deck and the Salman Agah camel stripes board. I also really like the extra minimal Andrew Morrison from the New Deal.
In terms of trucks, there is a decent variety, although a few of the brands shown were on the verge of extinction. Deadbolt and Gullwing were keeping plastic baseplates alive. Tracker, Indy, Thunder, and Venture were well represented. The new San Diego Trucking earned a big rectangle in the catalog, too.
The wheel choices have slimmed down in both size and number of companies from 1991. Santa Cruz still had the most choices. Acme, Deluxe, and Toxic were providing more options to put over your bearings. I dig how the Spitfire Buffered Tablets look. I was riding some Spitfires and Acme Formula One wheels around this time.
My class didn't have a reunion this year. I was a little surprised since our twenty year was a fun time. My friend from the next town over said his class didn't have a reunion either. They had tried to get one organized, but it never panned out. I don't think my school even bothered. I supposed we're finally living up to being a bunch of slackers.
Note: That's a Chet Thomas deck without the caption on page five. I'm keeping the interest in the Public going.
The Gershon Mosley cover photo was provided by Santa Cruz.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
What happens when Hollywood has a successful movie?
They make a sequel.
Following that logic, Vert Is Dead is doing another week of board porn from CCS. I'm even throwing in some trucks and wheels to spice it up a little.
A reader sent in a request for a few specific catalogs and I had some of them so that's how this batch of scans came together. I'm ending the week with a catalog from 2010 for comparison purposes.
First up is the Summer 1991 catalog. Most of the heavy hitters of the industry are still going strong. Powell Peralta, H-Street, Santa Cruz, G & S, Vision, and Zorlac have plenty of decks for you to pick from. Newer companies like New Deal, Black Label, Small Room, and World Industries give the consumer some different choices. Decks of note would include the Ross Goodman Gravedigger, the Nicky Guerrero mask, the Jim Thiebaud hanging Klansman, and the SMA decks.
The wheel selection is dominated by Powell and Santa Cruz. I like the early Spitfire Classics and the New Deal Nude Eels. I had a set of the Powell Street Style wheels in green. I think I also had the A-1 Meats Kings because those were the wheels Matt Hensley rode. I might have had the Sex Cells, too. And for the folks who wind up on this site looking for Toxic Wheels, their Poison, Shock, and Acid Rain rollers will make you happy.
The cover photo is listed as John Lloyd by Xeno. That happens to be Xeno's real name. Photo magic or a typo?