Friday, November 14, 2008


Vietnam day! What a coincidence. I was just writing about Clint's new blog addition on Stereo, comparing my experience in New York to a booze-soaked Vietnam and here the Epicly Later'd Lakai edition episode three is out.

When you watch these explosions in real time, it makes you understand just how much of a skater's job is similar to being a stuntman. Luckily it's not like 'Nam everyday, but if it were, Mike Mo would have to skate over stairs and gaps that were constantly blowing up. That would be impressive. Is this the new direction of skateboarding's future—street skating's way to match the gnarliness of the Mega ramp? Are you impressed? No? Oh, you are? Well, then, you may be impressed by Mike Mo's tre flip world record. Now go watch his part in Fully Flared and imagine everything's blowing up after he lands. The Fully Flared Deluxe edition drops soon.

In Clint's experience, this was probably just Williamsburg Bridge. In my experience, it felt like a long beam with nothing but a bar at either side. This bridge is hot now.
Last time I went to New York, I came back with a case of that pheasant flu you get from Chinese food and a disorder that made me feel like my liver had dissolved, slowly seeped through my internal organs and exited my backside. Perhaps that description is a little drastic but when I left, it felt like I was leaving 'Nam—a debaucherous and booze-soaked 'Nam (which, I suppose, is just like 'Nam was, but without the killing people and losing it in pre-'Nam boot camp…I get worried sometimes that too much of my world view has been shaped by movies).

Anyway, so it was four days of 24 hour drinking. We didn't have a set place to stay, so we were at the whims of wherever we were crashing, and everyone knew someone who worked at a bar.

"We should go skating," we would say. Then, somehow, our friends there would redirect us to the bar. Soon, we were "skating" to the bar, "skating" to my friend's house, "skating" around the bar stools at Max Fish.

It's true what Clint Peterson wrote on his blog: If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. I've since been back to NY with less booze and I love it. But, if that trip's any indication, it appears as though my friends and I are bound to "make it" as alcoholic vagabonds with SARS and a severe case of the gut rot. Check out Clint, Benny Fairfax and Danny Supa's trip to the Big Apple here and their Halloween Havoc over at Stereo.

Tony Hawk Gets Probed On The Red Carpet By A Bizarro Adam Dyet
This Was One Of The Items I Bid On For The Silent Auction.
Just tonight, Stoked Mentoring, the action sports non-profit organization hosted their 2nd Annual Awards Ceremony at the Red Bull space in NYC. If you're not familiar with Stoked Mentoring, it's actually a really amazing program. Basically, Stoked provides "at risk youth" with mentors who teach kids how to either surf, snowboard and/or skate. There was a nervousness felt all around, as the event was to bring out a very special guest, Tony Hawk. That's right, THE Tony Hawk. We're talking a skateboarder who has his own signature gummy multivitamin, folks. The legendary Hawk was being honored at the event for his helping to distribute over 2.3 million dollars to 390 Skate Park Projects all over the damn place. And for his beyond solid contribution, the legendary Hawk would be presented with the Stoked Achievement Award.

The event was what one might expect from any guest list party in Soho. There were free flowing drinks, a mini buffet table that featured an exceptionally delicious couscous, pretty ladies in backless gowns, paparazzi, plenty of teched-out line beards and tons of beats, courtesy of the obligatory DJ.

In addition to the already over stimulated atmosphere, there was a decent-sized section of items to be auctioned off. There were signed decks, diamond encrusted watches, vintage prints of Tony Alva & Christian Hosoi and what I considered to be the illest number of the night; a framed glossy-as-hell photo of Ryan Sheckler's tattooed back. Holla! I'd be lying if I told you I didn't put in my silent bid with the quickness of a gazelle. I actually tried to put in a second and a third bid but was immediately stopped by the moderator.

Things Got Really Weird At The Guitar Hero Station. I Had Dibs On Winner, But Got Snaked By The Dude In The Background.
As I waited for the festivities to commence, I watched as some serious shredding went down at the Guitar Hero station. I tried to step in for an impromptu ripping, but was snaked by a perpetrator. It was fine, because it was around that moment when Stoked co-founder, Steve Larosiliere, took the stage. Steve went on to congratulate a few of the more exceptional Stoked volunteers, and award them for their achievements. It wasn't long before X-Games announcer, E! Host, co-founder of Stoked and a man whose last name I have yet to properly pronounce, Sal Masekela took the stage. Sal did his thing and presented a video that gave a brief overview of Tony Hawk's contribution to skateboarding, as well as his commitment to building parks through the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Tony snagged the mic and the crowd went buck. Tony said many things, including an amazing story about why he decided to start The Tony Hawk Foundation (which through grants and other charitable donations supports programs focusing on the creation of public skateboard parks). It went something like this...A public park had been built somewhere in the U.S. (I can't remember where because I was crushing Red Bull & Vodka's from the get go). The powers that be, invested a ton of money in the project and were so proud and self congratulatory, they invited Tony Hawk to come out and help christen the park for its unveiling. When Tony arrived, he was shocked at just how bad the park sucked. It's an all-too common occurance and a complete waste of a chance to have a neighborhood skatepark. From that point Tony knew what he had to do and rest was history. At the end of his speech, Tony announced that he would be donating $5 G's to Stoked Mentoring. This impromptu declaration sparked an almost reckless chain reaction as audience members began shouting out even more donations towards the stage. Sal M. grabbed the mic and took on the role of a cinematic auctioneer. It was amazing. At the end of it all, the impromptu giving spree raised something around $12 G's for Stoked. That's not bad. Big ups Tony Hawk, Big ups Stoked Mentoring and Big Ups Red Bull and Vodka. In my eyes you are all equally as delicious. And as far as that Sheckler print goes, I'm still waiting to find out if I won. Yo, Stoked people, if you're reading this, I had to cut out hit me up if my number was called! Thanks guys. Toodles.

The Berrics
With age, dwindling skill and all encompassing apathy, I often seek out the skate sessions which snuggly fit into the "low-impact category." And for theses reason alone, I've found myself skating more and more flatground in the recent years. And for chubby old dudes like myself, it's the simple games of S.K.A.T.E. that allow us to relive our glory. For us, it's a way to relearn the tricks we'd long since lost and pull some new ones out our ass when it's our turn to throw down.

One of the coolest things to happen to skateboarding in the last few years is the pro level game of S.K.A.T.E. I've always loved seeing just how good a pro is. And for the most part, they're that g'damned good. I'm not sure when the next eS' Game of S.K.A.T.E. is scheduled to pop off, but at the moment DVS and The Berrics have joined forces to present, "The Battle At The Berrics." While there's an impressive list of matches to come, so far the only battles that have happened were between Joey Brezinski and Chad Tim Tim and Danny Montoya and Erik Ellington. Take a look here to see who will be battling who. Holy sh*t, there's some gnarly ones. Arto Saari vs. Chico Brenes, Mike Mo vs. Furby, PJ Ladd vs. Tyler Bledsoe and the one that I'm about to put some money on, Koston vs. Dyrdek. I'm claiming Dyrdek on that one. Be sure to stop by daily to get your fix of these pro's and others facing off on the buttery smooth Berrics asphalt.

Whatever stance Birdo might take about bigger brands being in skating, I, under no umbrella but my own, will say that Consolidated is one of the most infamous companies of past and present eras. It's spawned greats like Steve Nesser, Clint Peterson, and was the controversial home to Jason Jessee for some time.

With Kyle Berard, Mike Peterson, Alan Peterson, Karma Tsocheff, Steve Bailey and Roberto Aleman still on the pro squad and a whole slew of ams, they have an eclectic team. They're up with a new blog now, where you can watch the Support Your Local Skate Shop Tour vid. Also, out of my own preference, I suggest watching Roberto Aleman (or Robert the German as I like to call him in the anglicized form). He's got his own "only in Spain" pro model and rides for Fallen on the sly. Dude rips.