Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I guess I'm not either.
So this morning the Beav shoots me a not saying ESPN is starting their own online action sports network. I say: right on. keep growing the space and we all benefit. the more skating, surfing, snowboarding, BMX ...whatever remains in the public eye the more participants we have. The more people that participate the better for the industry. If you think some kid in Nebraska or Kansas skateboarding is a bad idea then simply put: you should start your own company and see how far you get with that mantra. Action sports can be for everybody. We don't have to water it down. We don't have to simplify it. We just have to do a better job of presenting the content and all that it is. Fuel.TV does a good job (Bias here I blog for them) BNQT.com does a good job. Seshn.com does a good job. All these sites do well but it will be interesting to see what resources the World Wide Leader throws into the mix.
ESPN impressed me with their relaunch and updating of EXPN.com. they've got no shortage of content and hold the keys to the premiere industry event. Post MTV-AST-Dew combine it appears they are serious even more so about retaining that number one slot. Can they make a run at capturing traffic from the Transworld's? Anything is possible in this day and age. Again, it comes down to presentation and what you are giving the audience. having content deals with Vans, Surfline and Active Ride Shop already places them in bed with a core brand, a strong media partner and a well respected retail outlet. By the way have you checked out Active's redesigned pages? All retailers should be putting that investment into digital if they can...
So that being said welcome to the very crowded space ESPN Action Sports Network. Now lets see what you can do.
Read the story on LA Times
Read the Story on paid content.org
On the X Games side of things things look pretty interesting this year. Vert is in, Super Park is in for all us aging and decrepit old men who skate roundwall. Skate Street has moved out of the velodrome back into the great wide open. If the skate street course is the same one that all the BMX websites are showing off (see below) we might see another solid display of skating like we did at the Maloof Cup. Now, I'm sure that will be some wood set up with bricks painted on. A big difference but getting it back outside was a step in the right direction for X Games. Glad to see they are working to improve their event even after 14 years running.
On the super park side you can see they've taken a good hard look at this decades concrete park explosion and cobbled together a respectable park. While the name "super park" is pretty cheesy X games stands a good chance at exposing the public to a broader spectrum of skating. I wonder how jam packed my local park will be with groms imitating Rune, Benji and Omar after this event? At any rate it should be interesting.
As for vert and Mega Ramp. One is vert and the other is a big air jump I think we know what we're getting there. I think it's worth noting that there was a year where X Games bowled in one side of the vert ramp and another where they Incorporated street elements. Overall, they seem to have the most success when they add in build outs inside the ramp as we've seen in the DC video and in notable online clips from Bucky, Tony and a host of other innovators. On the Mega Ramp side everybody is already looking at Jake after last years fall. Lets hope lightning doesn't strike twice.
A busy few days lie ahead and it's coupled with a few obligations that can't be avoided but overall this looks to be a solid trip. Now if only my rental car didn't cost $200. That goes back to the downside of life on the road. But, at least I'll get to duck out and skate Culver City when rolling by that part of town. You see it all balances out. Sometimes up and sometimes down but always balance.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Yes, the Low card blow out at Robstock is on again. As they say leave your man purse at home. This party is like a mini Skatopia and if Epicly Later'd showed us anything last year it was how much fun Robstock could actually be. So August second get your ass to Whitneyville, Maine for the best skate party to ever hit ... Whitneyville, Maine?
Next up: New York City. That's damn right. Best city on the entire earth will be the focus of all things skating August 16th and 17th. First up: Banks Jam. As we all know Steve Rodriguez from 5Boro. Has managed to work with the New York City parks and Recreation department to not only save the Brooklyn Banks from being demolished but have it converted to a skate park. A little slice of awesome if you ask me.
Evens like this just show how dedicated people can be to this thing of skating. Last year Jake Duncombe, Zered Basset and a ton of other pros were on hand to kill it and that was in no small part to the weekend being double stacked with events. While the Banks Jam, in my eyes is skating at it's finest: fast, street, gnar, raw and unfiltered the other contest of the weekend take s slightly different approach.
Redbull rolls into NYC the day after the Banks Jam for Manny Mania. If you're looking for all things on two wheels this is it. The idea came from Red Bull skater Joey Brezinski and change up the regular contest format. Not an event for everybody but tech guys and those who have the manny wired like taking a Sunday stroll should be good to go. The list of skaters competing is invite only so for suckers like me ... we'll be chilling with an adult pepsi enjoying the skating from the spectator side. As Mike Crum likes to say: Blog it!
OK, random break here to round up a few thoughts. First up: lets talk about Deluxe. as in DLXSF.com. So they've thrown support behind Johnny Romano for years (btw, Get well soon Johnny!) and recently had an autism fundraiser deck and t-shirt. Now they are also throwing their power behind the Banks Jam through Spitfire. That's right...wheel and shirt. I rarely do this but we really need to support companies that not just support skating but make larger inroads to all things. Seeing how Deluxe does this through Real, Spitfire and a few other companies is really solid. Not only are they down for skating but all of those who are involved with skating. Sorry, to get all "i'm ona soap box and you can't stop me" but it was worth it.
OK, random number two. Let's talk about the guy I envy the most right now. Mostly because I'm trapped behind a computer all day but go damn. It must be fun to be Rob Meronek. For the last month if you've been reading his SPoT updates you'll know he's been on the road for weeks. While Rob, Ryan and a few others in Tampa's finest party crew rack up frequent flyer miles we get to sit and watch them smapel some of th finest spots in all the lands! Ok, a bit dramatic but overall they do a good job of showing off stuff you don't ordinarily get to see.
Ok, som rally quick stuff. Over on BNQT.com there's a whole mess of new Danzed in DC episodes. Click over to the Berrics and you'll find soem Sean Malto footage. Inventor spot came up with the 10 best skate graphic companies of all time. Pretty random but then again it did come from Boardistan so you make the call.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Injuries, life who knows what was going on but the guy didn't seem to be 100% on it. Now, can we hold P-Rod to an icon like Michael Jordan? No. No way. Jordan was one type of icon and Paul's becoming another. Now, when Paul showed up to skate this year on the summer contest circus set (Dew Tours, Maloof Cup, X games and god knows what else) I didn't have high hopes. Then I caught his skating in Baltimore. everything he did was solid, stylish, minimalist and you really had to watch closely to make sure you saw what was happening. He makes it look that effortless at times.
Hot off his second place at Dew Tour in Baltimore he walked away with the 100K at the Maloof cup and then recently at the Dew Tour in Baltimore a win was to be had. So what lit a fire under Paul? I don't know and to be honest I don't care. The guy is an amazingly talented skated it's good to see him killing it again. On that side note some new shots are surfacing of a possible new Nike SB P Rod 3. This is a good example of when cell phone cameras attack. Check them out and decide for yourself.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Bottom line, you can now find eight out of twelve available for sale online in the United states. A little flooding of the market perhaps. So far reactions have been mixed online but with a drop this big there's a little something for everybody.
Nike Sb P Rod 2 High 'Jordan' White / Varsity Red
Nike SB Dunk Mid Pro Shoe Black/Aqua Fuel
Nike SB Blazer Shoe Black/Bright Cactus
Nike SB Blazer Shoe Azure/BlackNike Sb Dunk High 'Nightshade / Shark / Futura ' Anthracite / Metallic Summit White
Nike SB Blazer Low Premium Shoe Khaki/Grape Nike Sb Classic Yellow Ochre / Black
Nike SB Harbor Brown /Yellow
Nike Sb Dunk Mid Obsidian / Varsity Red
That gap right there got me scarred and excited all in the span of 20 seconds. Somebody tell these guys stateside organizing these events that mixing it up is better than leaving it stock. If it's one thing the Maloofs did right it was build a real street course. If there's one thing the Maloofs did wrong it was tear that park down.
This shot came from Rob over at SPoT. The Skate park of Tampa crew is running amok over in Europe for another show. Those guys have more frequent flier miles than Jamie Thomas has sketchy rules for being on Fallen. OK, kidding about Jamie ... seriously ... just kidding. For Real Go check out the SPoT site and peep the photos for a ton of inside stuff you won't see anywhere else. Meronek, Clements, those guys are out there making it happen and deserve your eyeballs looking at all the cool stuff they have going on.
Meanwhile over on Skatebook's new blog and site Skatebook.tv there some good background shoots of the Maloof weekend. Seems Salman and berra hooked up to head down to the Cup with Felix. Along the way there was breakfast, vertical vampires and all sorts of fun stuff. We even get to see the Berrics shirt Mr. Steve Berra wore to breakfast. As always skatebook is available at SKATESHOPS ONLY. Support your local shops, like Skate Park of Tampa and get a skatebook while supplies last.
Peep the Skatebook footage from Maloof...
Friday, July 25, 2008
This installation gazes through an artistic lens at how we can interact with public and private space through the modern skate ramp. I only say modern ramp to imply that a) the wood was not stolen from a construction site and b) they actually know what they are doing in building the transitions. But enough about my past indiscretions and inexperience lets talk about Jesse Rodato.
Along with being the design brain of this skate creation Ms. Rodato's will be showing off the new exhibit tonight at SiteLA.org. As the exhibit opens there' be a host of other activities but first and foremost there will be skating. Quik team riders and legends will be on hand: Olsen? Garcia? Brock? Forbes? who knows? The Quik team is so deep they could bring a bunch of ams and they'd slay it. Back to the other stuff though, Danny Garcia's band will be playing a set, Jessie's short film featuring Alex Olsen and Garcia will premier and she's has invited local DIY artist to come and explore the space as her creation is unveiled. There's quite a bit going on but none better than supporting the Do It Yourself ethos that resonates through skating.
Rather than simply host and exhibit opening and leave everybody on the conscious high of art Jessi is looking to empower us to do the same. At Site LA you'll be able to pick up newsprint based ramp plans to build your own ramp. Check out the event and take those amazing visual from your brain and convert them to reality. Don't let a moment pass by where you could regret not becoming a part of this conversation we call skating. Most of all...don't steal wood from construction sites. But, if you do. I won't tell.
OK, on to the usual stuff...
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
But, to make sure you don't suffer the same crap I did Sole Tech is making sure they continue to drop new and innovative designs. The inclusion of the Reynolds Light pretty much defines where lots of skate shoes might head in the next few years. Ultra tech but finding a way to maintain the classic look and feel of a vulcanized shoe. The Lights have the motto going for them "everything you need and nothing you don't" Well played guys well played.
Next up is shoe that eventually will be a classic: the Jerry Hsu. pretty much modeled on a Vans Half Cab but packing enough heel cushion for my tubby ass. Should the Hsu stand up to the beating Jerry dishes out then no problem that thing should last forever. I might have to try these sooner or later. Screwed up foot or not.
Finally like I tell everybody keep your eyes peeled for Braydon's shoe at Sole tech agenda outpost this year.That thing is going to be T U F F tough...
The best thing though from Sole Tech I've seen recently was last weeks "shot of the week" on Skate Daily from Bryce. This is Sole Tech employee Mark Waters getting his feeble right. The caption reads:
"It surely isn't April to be fooled that Sole Technology's very own Mark Waters has frontside feebs on lock. But make no mistake, this dude lives and breaths skateboarding and is truly a pro in his own right. Truly stellar Mark!"
Yeah, first up that's an amazing photo. Second for as much as I write about shoes and crap this is the good stuff. Straight up ripping when you have the chance. Good on ya Mark.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I love getting the excited call from Chris at AlpineDrops.com. It goes something like this
Chris: "Guess what's on my blog that you'll be blogging about later."
Me: "Dude, I'm driving. What is it?"
Chris: "Not telling you'll have to wait and see."
Me: "OK. Crap. Now I'm interested. Let me check on my interweb phone and call you back."
First up, yes, we both need to get lives. Second, 9 times out of 10 he knows when it's something I'm going to dig. So I went to AlpineDrops and fully expected something I had already seen.
Lo and behold that was not the case. Instead Chris has a nice little image of the Kass Pro binder form Union. Going back to the agency bindings, which were less than stellar, there were some ...um... "interesting" color choices. Now Danny's grenade influence has come through a little bit and solid binder is to be had. As far as Union goes...I back them 110% solid binders and never had them break down. Check it, purchase it, support snowboarding companies who support snowboard shops and Buy from your local shred shop. Y'hear?
Hypebeast has new images from am oversea dealer of the Tie Dye Mid. The colorway is sticking with the theme of brightening things up this summer. I was a bigger fan of the Huf Tie Dye high back in the pink box day but this is a good try. with blazers being so strong as of late it'll be interesting to see how this is received.
Monday, July 21, 2008
The subject of all the worry? Why that would be Arto Saari. You know Arto, the longtime Flip and eS/Etnies skater who officially jumped ship this past spring to skate for Workshop and Gravis. That wouldn't ordinarily be a big deal but with his clothing sponsor being Analog he's tied closely to the hip of Burton snowboards who owns all three of those brands. For some reason that caused concern. Seriously. Apparently a guy who started a snowboard company can't own skate brands or something like that. OK, enough background, lets move on.
Over on Nieratko's site we get word that after sitting on his interview with Arto's for four months somebody pulled the plug. Nieratko goes on to commend Arto for answering the questions at that point in time. Overall, it leaves a big question mark. Why would Arto second guess himself? The even bigger question becomes: is somebody pulling his strings? I'm not getting all conspiracy theory here but read the interview, it's harmless. Actually, true to form, it's pretty funny. I'm sure we'll never know and to be honest we shouldn't care too much.
The only reason it's even worth talking about is that it represents the larger spectrum of what's happening in skating. People are less likely to speak their mind and their opinion. That's some scary shit. When something like skating with it's roots in being counter culture and anti establishment looks to censor and conform that's cause for worry. You should be worried on several levels. Are we going to start self censoring our graphics? If people throw millions of dollars into a contest will we lose all objectivity just to keep those dollars? I hope not. Skating doesn't have to be grimey and rough. But, we don't have to sell ourselves out for the first big paycheck.
Certainly the trend right now is to lock up skaters into one brand for all their major needs and sign them to bigger contracts. You can expect to see more of this all in-house sponsorship across the board. But, with those bigger contracts comes the caveat: you are no longer a skater who might pay off into bigger exposure. You are now a major investment and investments must be protected. It happens in the NBA, NFL and of course every professional sport around the world.
Yup, I just said professional sports. Now that's a scary thought. What's next? Uniforms? Unions? George Steinbrenner? Lets keep our eyes and ears open. OK? My favorite question and answer from the interview was simply this. Thank god Nieratko has the minerals to ask those questions.
What if you get real wasted on whiskey one night and upper decker Jake Burton’s toilet? Then you have no sponsors. You’ll lose your board, shoe and clothing sponsors.
I know, that’s going to be a very sad day. I’m going to try and stay away from that bad stuff. That is the path I have chosen to go through. They actually have that in the contract; if you show up drunk in public and they don’t think it’s cool then they can basically tell you, “That’s it. You’re done.” They’re a pretty gnarly company in that way so I gotta be careful. Don’t tell them about that naked blog I have.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Now Nike SB is getting ready for August to be a big month for P-Rod. No official street date has been announced yet for the high but it appears a new black and tan is on it's way. Delicious beers aside I know more than one person who may or may not be a rep for a competing skate shoe brand who's sweating the forth coming high. Here's to August looking like a nice big month. You can find more verified Nike SB August drops over here.
Also on the horizon is Paul and Clark. Like I said big things are taking shape for Mr. Paul. After watching him skate in Baltimore and Maloof I can see the reason for the big push. Hands down he made it easy, fun and packed more style than you can dream of into his quick lines. Yes, Chris Cole and Nyjah had the effortless flow. The complaints about Paul's skating being robotic may surface but when he's on...he's on and it's a amazing thing to watch. I do like to think his overall sense of skating and style is still developing the same way he is still learning tricks. It's the natural progression. He has yet to fully define himself on and off a skateboard. That's exciting.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Wow. Maybe this is a new CCS publicity still.
OK, I am going to do something I never do. I want to see who is going to comp up to the best caption for Jerry's pic here. I have some extra crap laying around. I'll ship it anywhere in the lower 48 & Canada (I expect good things from you Dan Watson). There might be a Nike SB shirt or a pair of size 10.5 vans. maybe some slightly used Globe shoes or Supreme stickers. Whatever has landed on my doorstep that I am cleaning out is now coming your way. Leave all captions in the comments of this blog post.
Here are the Rules:
Don't be a douchebag. Jerry seems like a nice guy.
If you make me laugh so hard that beer comes out my nose you win.
There is no guarantee you'll get anything you like or that's in your size.
That time of the week has arrived again. No, it's not Free taco night. Although delicious tacos right now would be a little slice of awesome. Instead of tasty treats from South of the Border we're going to do a little skate wrap. Yeah, I need to get back in the swing of this leading up to X Games. So lets get into it.
First up. Guess who got the money shot this month? Beyond the world of Skatebord, SBC, Skateboarder, Thrasher, Transworld and Concrete Wave it appears ESPN the magazine is helping Sheckler continues his march as the new face of mainstream skateboarding. The article is a little weird and I'm not sure if the writer Allison Glock does a good job of painting the broader picture. Having quotes from Andy Mac and Jereme Rogers (two guys who get equally kooked on ... just sayin') doesn't really paint a good picture.
The thing that really stuck once you get past the family, add, and tv show stuff is how Sheckler is really at peace with where he is. At least that's what he says. He doesn't complain or draw a virtual line like he's done in the past. Instead you get the sense that all the negativity is just another part of his skateboarding job. Doesn't make skating sound fun to me.
The weirdest part of this whole article is that Sheckler's now disputing what he said.
"They said something in the ESPN interview that I was comfortable with selling out which is completely not what I said. It is not selling out. I haven’t sold out. People say what they want to say, but in my eyes I have taken my skateboard career and gone on a different path. It might not be the same path as some of these core skateboarders that think that their path is the right way. There is no right path in skateboarding. I want to do something different. I love this. I love the fans. My life is crazy as it is and this fits right in the puzzle piece.”
He's right you know, it's not selling out. It's called buying in.
Over in less mainstream news but certainly with way more having to do with skating Skateboarder mag redesigned it's website. There's enough Maloof Cup coverage on there to make me a little queasy. I'm being a hypocrite right now and you'll understand why in a few minutes. Anyway, so much Maloof in one place reminds me of my time at Lat34.
I'm all for supplying coverage to big events but this was a bit overkill. Events, while big, are only a piece of the skating puzzle. Same with sneakers, gossip, photos. Actually, that shit has nothing to do with skating. Really it's about getting out there and skating. Hopefully Skateboarder Mag blows it up a bit more.
Best Part of the Update: The Return of Later'd
Epicly Latr'd Season 2 is on the way. Yes, hands down some of the best videos around last year and with the season ender of Cardiel. Can not way for the good stuff from Mr O'Dell to roll out. Check out his words below from VBS..
“Yes, there will be Gino Ianucci and Ethan Fowler, but we will also have Lance Mountain, James Kelch, Brian Anderson, Beauty and the Beast Tour, and more shit with Lakai team than you could possibly ever want. So everyone who ever doubted that there would be Life after Cardiel can now log back onto the Slap Message Board and post that they were sorry they ever doubted Epicly Later’d. And for those of you who believed, thank you.”
Bueno was good. I liked Bueno skateboards. Then again, I like Michael Siebens art. Now the Bueno guys are going the Roger route. Split apart from Giant Lowery and Siebens are starting up the wood making process again. Kicking off the whole thing they've sent out the world's most self depricating press release. That's perfect.
Footage You Won't See on CBS
OK, hypocrite Jon in effect. I know I just said too much Maloof and here we have footge from the Maloof Cup. Courtesy of Sole Tech's all-star team, manager photographer, writer and web guy Rob Brink. honestly I don't know if Brink fills all those roles but he could. He's a talented guy.
Burnett's Burnout Blog is backing the Baker Deathwish Tour ....niiiiiice
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
“In keeping with the theme of ‘the best and biggest’ in the sport’s history, we were honored to have the opportunity to create something so unique for skateboarding’s top pros. The watches represent the best in materials, design and craftsmanship and are two of the most valuable watches to date that we’ve had the opportunity to create,” stated Nixon co-founder and Marketing Director Chad DiNenna.
With no expense spared on the street course and vert ramp created solely for the Maloof Money Cup, the biggest names in skateboarding were present to showcase their talents. When the dust settled it was Nixon’s own Paul Rodriguez taking top honors in street while Pierre-Luc Gagnon captured the watch and title in vert.
I’m going to run out and get one of these when I need to replace my now eight year old Seiko. All kidding aside, congrats to P-Rod and PLG on their wins and new watches. Nice to see Nixon step up and lend a little something special to the event.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Actually, I picked up on it from You Will Soon. Regardless, somebody is handing out a smackin' to somebody else. Pretty shitty overall if you ask me but skateboarding like every other microcosm has it's own set of rules. I have no clue what actually went down and of course Slap has it's own thread running on the topic. Another fight thing that popped up from the maloof Cup had Bob Burnquist. Not really sure what that is all about but Bob is pretty straight forward. Lets see if we can't get him to tell us what's up. More than likely he got stuck in a sticky situation. Hopefully, everybody has become friends and we can get back to skating by leaving the ultimate fighting at home.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Burton has been doing one off boards as mid season releases for awhile but this one caught my eye. The "Southern Hemisphere" edition being sold in New Zealand and elsewhere. The board is a 2009 Custom and come only in a 158 CM. Check it
We now return you to the blog already in progress...
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Take a real good look at these two photos of Stevie Williams from the Paul Sharpe edition of Skatebook. I've sat on this since getting my copy in the mail from Ballard and Salman and have a hard time figuring out if there's something that defines the hustle and style of street skating better than these two images. The interesting thing is how these photos draw a line in the sand. The pics on the right is a switch front noseslide. The untrained eye might think "it's a cool picture" or "wow that looks hard". But, they'll never comprehend the hours that go into making a trick like that like effortless and capturing so much style. That shot was taken in 2000 when skating was screaming back into the mainstream. Since then Stevie has been on the come up and changed the game to a certain degree so it suits his own needs.
Monday, July 7, 2008
"Thank you New Jersey"
OK, moving on lets give an even bigger thanks to Red Bull for continuing their "this is a good skate event" streak. I think their official record is 9-0 on this one. Actually, I just made that up. I have no idea how many contest they've put on. But, the point is this is another good one. Distributing Jersey Barriers to five east Coast shops to film and throw online was nothing short of wicked smart.
Check out the first two clips from the crew at Palace 5ive in Washington D.C. if you need to see it with your own eyes.