Saturday, January 30, 2010


Phil Jackson
Zach Lyons has seen the skate industry take such a big hit, he has to ride grass instead of pavement. Backside 5-0 from end to end.
Last night, President Obama delivered his first State of the Union and spent a good deal of speech addressing the concerns of his fellow Americans in the wake of one of the worst economic crisis in our lifetime. The recession has touched virtually every part of our lives, even skateboarding. With 10% unemployment across the board and a long, slow road to recovery ahead, the skate industry (the pros, bros, skate shops and company owners) is battening the hatches. We talked with Chris Cole, Tony Hawk, Greg Lutzka, Dan Murphy and more to see how skateboarding is being effected and how we'll weather the storm. Full Feature »

I, for one, am glad to say goodbye to 2009 and pray 2010 is a better year for the skateboard industry. Like most every facet of our nation's economy, skateboarding took a big hit in 2009. It may not appear that way from the outside, what with the biggest contest purses in history and big budget Nike commercials on television featuring Paul Rodriguez and Ice Cube, but trust me, things ain't pretty in Skateville. Jamie Thomas, pro skater as well as the owner of Fallen shoes, Zero, Slave & Mystery skateboards, bluntly puts it best when he says, "Skateboard sales have been sucking this year." That's an understatement. I own three NJ Skateshop stores in New Jersey and this past Holiday season was our worst in seven years. I have friends that have owned skate shops three times as long and they're saying the same thing, across the country. Barak Wiser, who is the head buyer and operations manager for the Skatepark of Tampa, sadly admits, "I know there are a lot of shops that closed up in Florida."
Renol/Shazamm/ESPNGreg Lutzka pads his paycheck with contest winnings galore earned with casually massive mid-run 5-0s like this one.
It's not just the little mom and pop retailers that are getting beat up either; it goes from top to bottom, from the highest earning pros to heads of companies. Skate apparel manufacturer, Volcom's third quarter stock was down 18%. Quiksilver, owner of DC Shoes, net revenues were down 13%, $538.7 million compared to $606.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.
Pro skater, Greg Lutzka, explains, "The economy is definitely hurting our industry because people aren't buying as many boards and aren't spending as much money. It's hurting our board sales because, as a pro, our boards sell for $60 when a kid can go buy a local shop deck for $35."
Even shops owned by pro skaters are selling more shop decks than the pro decks. Mark Brandstetter of Nocturnal skate shop in Philadelphia, said he sells two to three of his cheaper priced, Nocturnal shop decks to every one pro model deck. That includes his partner, Kerry Getz's pro model!
The economy is hitting other parts of the industry as well. Tony Hawk says his low-priced footwear brand is on the rise. "Tony Hawk shoe sales at Kohl's are way up. Affordable skate shoes are a big hit, apparently," Hawk admits.
Skate company heads and skater's skaters, are having to make the tough call. Jamie Thomas explains, "We've cut back in every area of the company." One of those cuts was to pro skateboarder Dan Murphy who was let go by his sponsor Mystery skateboards, after receiving a pay cut just weeks earlier.
"I don't think it's just skateboarding," Murphy says, "The economy in general isn't on top right now. Obama needs to live up to his "Change" speech and start changing things to help the economy. Until the economy does better, skateboarding won't improve. I received a pay cut and I understood because sales are down in general. Without sales people's salaries have to be cut," Murphy adds.
Joey ShigeoChris Cole stands tall on a switch 180 5-0. In tough economic times, he's willing to put in work.
Even Tony Hawk, is feeling the shift, "My Jeep contract got dropped at the end of 2008. But it wouldn't feel right accepting Detroit 'bailout' money, anyway."
Jim Thiebaud, owner of Deluxe distribution gets bummed when he says, "We did three rounds of internal layoffs last year. Each one was incredibly tough. Deluxe is really tight and anytime we have to make those kinds of decisions they're lasting ones that remain. People who work at Deluxe do so because they believe in what they're doing and back the gig. Letting someone like that go sucks."
"I've had a few of my companies give me pay cuts." Lutzka admits, "I always try to keep a positive attitude whether I'm making no money, or I'm making money skateboarding. I'm still gonna do it because that's what I love to do."
The economy's fluctuation may be a little easier to handle for a guy like Lutzka, a high profile skater who earns top dollar on the contest circuit, but for a more low-key pro like Murphy, tougher decisions need to be made. "I need to pay a mortgage so all I can do is rip," Murphy says. "I have to skate my a** off and hope that I can make enough money to pay my mortgage or I'm going to get foreclosed on like millions of others in America."
Thrasher's 2009 Skater of The Year, pro skater and Reign skate shop owner, Chris Cole says, "A couple of people close to me have been laid off. It sucks! I've been trying to save my money and whatever extra I have, I want to invest in stuff like Reign. I try to make sure I am not buying something just to buy it."
So how will the skate industry make it through these tough times? Wiser isn't overly hopeful, "I think we're seeing a lot of bigger brands that were bought up by the surf companies downsizing and firing people off left and right out there" he says. "The shrinking part is about over. A lot of money was thrown away by the big guys in so many ways that I think they'll regroup and focus on more grass roots approaches to promoting their' brands instead of trying to be in Foot Lockers and every other big box store. Once they move on, it'll make room for the smaller brands to be smart and lay bigger footprints in the skate market. I do envision less brands making it. There are too many core shops closing up. It just depends if Zappos, Zumiez, Journey's and CCS will keep [the brands] going long enough to weather the storm; that's where most brands survive these days. I think skate shops are more at risk than the brands."
Jim Thiebaud echos Wiser's sentiments. "Unfortunately it will cause some companies to go under. Some see this as a good thing. I'm not on that side. I love the eclectic landscape of skateboard brands and riders; it's awesome to be a part of. But let's be honest, the true die-hards are going to find a way to keep their s**t going. One way or the other, skaters will make it happen."
Phil JacksonZach Lyons has seen the skate industry take such a big hit, he has to ride grass instead of pavement. Backside 5-0 from end to end.
Tony Hawk has seen every generation of success and failure the skateboard industry has ever faced, including the awfully lean years of the early '90s. He's certain, "there's not a chance of it ever getting that bad again. Skating's foundation is much stronger now. And there are way more participants. I think the brands that promised their riders huge salaries are probably having the toughest time staying afloat. It made pro skaters realize that the "gravy days" of skating are short-lived and you can't just cruise on your previous reputation to make it. I believe that we'll once again only have a handful of recognizable brands in the skate industry once this 'recession' passes."
Thiebaud plans for the Deluxe brands to still be standing. He poetically puts his industry peers on blast. "If the rest of the dorks are smart, they will pour their energy into cool events, videos, tours, etc. and you are going to see some great, exciting skating," Thiebaud says.
Jamie Thomas agrees, "Quite simply, we're working harder to keep kids psyched on skateboarding."
For the skaters out there? What's the answer to our economic woes? Chris Cole suggests reeling it in. "Live like you have a 1994 skater's salary," Cole says. "Skaters that just chill and don't skate much will see the door. Lots of new companies will start because of this and because if you start at the bottom then you have a good chance of going up."

On Saturday January 23rd, 2010 full time professional Zoo York skateboarder and part time photographer, Zered Bassett turned the art world on its ear by rejecting numerous offers to show in any Manhattan gallery and opting instead to show his collection from his trip to Cuba in the sleepy mountain town of Mt. Vernon, New Jersey at >Mountain Creek's South Lodge.
Back in 2009 Zered and a bunch of skaters snuck into Cuba with a few hundred skateboards to give to the local skaters in Havana who are unable to get product due to the U.S. embargo. Throughout his stay on the island, Zered documented every moment of the mission with his camera. Those photos were on display Saturday.
As much as the night was about Zered's photos it was also about skating Red Bull's version of the MegaRamp that is permanently housed at Mountain Creek for anyone to use, free of charge, whenever they want. Joey Pepper, Eli Reed, Ron Deily and Zered were all showing the local kids how the ramp worked.

Courtesy of Red Bull
The other reason for the journey to Mt. Vernon.

Courtesy of Red Bull
A Zered fan checking the Cuba photos.

Courtesy of Red Bull
The man of the hour on his way back into the transition from a Smith grind that was properly decked.

Chris Nieratko
Joey Pepper and Zered Bassett flank Mrs. Nieratko and Chris Nieratko Jr.

Courtesy of Red Bull
An unknown soldier lofts a melon over the bowl's hip with more air above the lip than the bowl is deep.
Guru Khalsa is many things all at once. He's Texas and he's India. He's humble but he certainly stands out. His skating is technical and gnarly all at once. Riding for Habitat skateboards for over 5 years, Khalsa has just made the leap into their pro ranks. He'll have a full part in their new video due out this coming summer and, if it's anything like his part in "Inhabitants," it will be well worth the wait. With his pro model hitting shops any day now, Khalsa is now also the first Habitat pro to rep their newly launched shoe division. We caught up with him to talk about his new pro status, his new kicks and the state of skate in Texas.
Travis HowellGuru finds a perfect balance on this switch lipslide and holds on for the long haul.
What's your full name? Guru-shabd Singh Khalsa What are some good nicknames you've gotten through the years? Well all my friends that I grew up with still call me "Chubby" because I was a chubby little kid. Other than that I'vve heard "Gooey," but I can't respond to that because I had a friend growing up and his nickname was gooey. There's also been "Ru," "Gu," "Shub Shub," and "Rubaker," to name a few. Congrats on turning pro! Thank you sir! Just to give them a shout, who all do you ride for? I ride for Habitat skateboards, Elwood clothing, Satori wheels, Habitat footwear, Venture trucks and Artist Front skateshop. Where did you grow up skating? I grew up skating mainly at my boarding school in Punjab, India. Then, in the summer, I would live in skate Houston, Texas and I'd skate there, often times at Southside Skatepark. Where do you live now? Currently, I'm living in Houston. How's living with your Team Manager (Habitat TM, Brennan Conroy)? I'm not living with him anymore, but when we were living together it was mellow. Any advantages or disadvantages to that situation? Well, the main advantage was that Brennan is always down to skate, so long as he's done his yoga and practiced his piano. The disadvantage was he was always on his phone first thing in the morning and he's one of those guys who talks extra loud on it. But that wasn't really a big deal. Brennan's mellow overall and has helped me out a lot. Is there a new video dropping for Habitat anytime soon? Yeah. It's gonna be Habitat's 10 year anniversary video and will be out in 2010 for sure. I think its supposed to come out in the summer though.
Travis HowellThe Texas version of a rollercoaster, this tall and long 50-50 is no joke.
What's the best place you've traveled so far? I would have to say the trip I took to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Going to India is always an amazing experience as well. I'd have to say those places so far. Any places you are specifically trying to go soon? Well, Jonathan Mehring is trying to get a trip going to Brazil where we take a boat ride up the Amazon river. But right now he's still trying to get the funding, I believe. I want to be a part of that if it happens. Who would win in a longer hair contest: you or Nick Dompierre? I haven't really seen Nick's hair completely out and brushed. When mine is all the way out, it's pretty long, but Nick's is probably longer. Are you a practicing Sikh or is it just your parents who are Sikhs? I'm not a practicing Sikh but I think it's a good religion and has a lot of positive morals. My parents are practicing Sikhs. Habitat shoes are looking really good. With your spot on the team, do you have any input on the design side of things? Well, I give a little input here and there. If I feel something is wrong with any of the samples then I let the designers know. Or, if a certain part of the shoe doesn't last long enough then I tell them and they work to fix it. I haven't really helped out with the design side of things; that's mainly Aaron Hoover and Joe Castrucci. They know what they're doing so I just leave it at that. Austyn Gillete has been helping out with the design stuff a lot as well. Are your, or any of the dudes at Habitat, nervous about launching a footwear division since Element just shut theirs down? Well, probably a little bit. Starting a footwear company in a recession is sort of bold, especially with all the other shoe companies, cut backs and stuff. But it's something they felt they wanted to do now or never. As far as Element's shoe thing shutting down that's' unfortunate for people's jobs and stuff. All I can say is Habitat is not Element.
Travis HowellGuru locks in on the landing of this double set backside flip seen through a chain-link fence.
You seem to skate in Austin, Texas a lot. What are your favorite skate spots in Austin? Ha ha! Well, this is sad but, probably the No Comply Skateshop slab or the slab spot over off 290 West. Of the new guys on the team (Al Davis, Marius Syvanen, Daryl Angel), who are you the most stoked on? Who do you get along with the best? That's a tough question. They are all cool in their own ways. They all are amazingly talented skateboarders. I really enjoy watching Marius skate. And I get along with everyone. I definitely like to chill with Al. Daryl's got a funny sense of humor. Damn, I don't know; they're all super cool. What's your gnarliest Fred Gall story? I've got to put a little censorship in here. I'll just say, Fred is amazing. Fred, you're the s**t! What happens around Fred Gall stays around Fred Gall. In your opinion what does it take to go pro today? It's a combination of photo coverage, video coverage and a good relationship with your sponsors. From there, they decide what they want for their company. It all comes done to skating and progressing and trying to put your self out there. Thanks for the interview. Peace.
Ben Karpinski
This year's OIAM was the obvious choice. Tom Karangelov nollies into the future.
If you've followed Slap's One in a Million Contest over the past few weeks, it was fairly obvious after the first two days that there was one horse out in front. Spot to spot all over San Francisco, Tom Karangelov got tricks with ease and style. Though an honorable mention goes out to David Bowens for his street gap switch heel and his two dynamic switch 50-50s on rails, I'd say Karangelov had this contest locked from the get go. With the final video installment of the OIAM contest up today, Slap dubbed Karangelov this year's big winner. He's already caught the eye of Jamie Thomas and is getting boards from the Zero squad as I type this. Don't look for Tom to be slowing down any time soon, either. Back in So Cal, Karangelov is still on fire getting photos, tricks and making things happen. Look for a feature interview with the young upstart on Slap in the coming weeks and maybe even a Q and A with him right here on ESPN Skateboarding sooner than you think. Hopefully Karangelov will follow in the footsteps of previous OIAM winner, Jake Donnelly, who's taken that initial spark and turned it into a proper career riding for Real and getting things done.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Bryan London - switch crooks (LINES)rnrnPhoto: Robert LandersrnRenoskateboarding.comrnrnTAKE 3 (This SUMMER)rnrn

Spice up your desktop with a new photo each week—click on the photo for the large version, then download or drag it to your desktop. Here’s Dustin Dollin from our February 2010 issue.
Photo: Andrew Mapstone.

This week we’ve got Magnus Hanson 360 flipping between a couple of storage containers in Vancouver from our February issue. If you’re not sure what’s going on, watch this for reference.
Photo: Sam Muller.

Innes Clothing wants to fly you and one guest to the mother of all St Paddy’s Day shows, enter to win a VIP trip to Phoenix, AZ for the final night of Flogging Molly’s GREEN 17 2010 Tour!
-One lucky “Grand Prize” winner will win round trip airfare for 2, transportation, a VIP meet n greet with the band, a $500 Zumiez gift card, and a $450 gift certificate to the Innes Clothing online store.
Runner Up Prizes:
-1 $300 Gift Cetificate to the INNES CLOTHING ONLINE STORE
-4 $250 Gift Certificates to the INNES CLOTHING ONLINE STORE
-20 INNES CLOTHING Prize Packs

Thunder just put up a new video today, this one is with everybody’s favorite Theotis Beasley. Check it out.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Thunder has a new video with Sean Malto and a chance to win his new trucks The Malto ‘last call’ Lights. Check it out.

Have a look at Darkstar’s Lookbook for Spring 2010. New graphics, new product, and a new pro!

Check out FTC’s new lookbook photos and a peek at its Spring line—For The City.

February 14 at The Department Of Skateboarding in Portland, Oregon. Sponsored ams only. Peep game below.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


malto2TransWorld SKATEboarding’s 20th video And Now, will be running, re-edited, from now until Febuary 26, 2010 on Fuel TV’s Insane Cinema. The video, featuring the automatonic sleepy skating of Nick Trapasso, the magnetic 50-50 ability and wild trick selection of David Gravette, mega nollies of Matt Miller, seemingly finishing-school-tuned skating of Sean Malto, top hat and mustache of Richie Jackson and unapologetic smoothness of Kenny Hoyle. A Jon Holland and Chris Ray project, it’s a must see and will run on the schedule below. Gotta see it on the tube (check dates below).
etnies posted this amazing video of Kyle Leeper cruising the streets of L.A. shot by the ever-impressive Mike Manzoori. Check it out.

Corey Duffel is out with a knee injury at the moment so he just kickstarted his new blog. Check out Corey’s world of randomness and whatever he feels like posting right here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


LakaiWelcome aboard Daniel!
After a short stint on Adio, young Daniel Espinoza's skills caught the attention of the good folks at Podium and he's found his way into a comfy pair of Lakai shoes with a solid spot on their am team. Will the phenomenon from Fontana be announced as the next edition to Chocolate skateboards soon as well? Time will tell. Either way, Espinoza's future is looking bright.

Ben Karpinski
This year's OIAM was the obvious choice. Tom Karangelov nollies into the future.
If you've followed Slap's One in a Million Contest over the past few weeks, it was fairly obvious after the first two days that there was one horse out in front. Spot to spot all over San Francisco, Tom Karangelov got tricks with ease and style. Though an honorable mention goes out to David Bowens for his street gap switch heel and his two dynamic switch 50-50s on rails, I'd say Karangelov had this contest locked from the get go. With the final video installment of the OIAM contest up today, Slap dubbed Karangelov this year's big winner. He's already caught the eye of Jamie Thomas and is getting boards from the Zero squad as I type this. Don't look for Tom to be slowing down any time soon, either. Back in So Cal, Karangelov is still on fire getting photos, tricks and making things happen. Look for a feature interview with the young upstart on Slap in the coming weeks and maybe even a Q and A with him right here on ESPN Skateboarding sooner than you think. Hopefully Karangelov will follow in the footsteps of previous OIAM winner, Jake Donnelly, who's taken that initial spark and turned it into a proper career riding for Real and getting things done.

Corey Adams and Alex Craig are the co-writers and directors of the new film, "Machotaildrop" (trailer below). The film, which features pro skaters Rick McCrank, John Rattray and Steve Olson among others, explores the dreams of skating sponsorship and stardom in a fanciful realm. Adams, who grew up in Canada and Craig, who grew up in Scotland, became friends through their shared loves of skateboarding and filmmaking over 10 years ago. They gained shred recognition when they won the Fuel Experiment with their short film, "Harvey Spannos." The reward for winning the competition was a $1,000,000 budget to make a feature film. That film, "Machotaildrop," is now complete and currently making the film festival rounds with early accolades being heaped on the project and it's co-creators. I spoke with Adams and Craig to talk about how they made a film about skating that rings true to skaters by ignoring the obvious and embracing the bizarre.

Courtesy of "Machotaildrop"The legendary Steve Olson plays the character "George" in the film.
How did the two of you meet?
Alex: These Canadian guys turned up in Scotland and we got on really well. They were telling me about their friend Corey who made films, which was also what I was doing. His friends and I ended up sending videos to each other between Scotland and Canada for maybe two years before I'd even met Corey. And then in 1999, I got the opportunity to come over to Vancouver on a road trip and I met Corey at that point and we hit it off. We've been making film projects together ever since.
Courtesy of "Machotaildrop"Rick McCrank plays the character, "Blair Stanley" in the film.
What was your first project together? Was that the "Harvey Spannos" film?
Alex: No, our first project together is another funny story. In 2002, I came to Vancouver and Corey and I were going to go on a road trip and make a film about karaoke bars in the Midwest. But just before I arrived, Corey had gone skating. He was skating a big bowl and some kid dropped in on him and collided with him and snapped Corey's jaw in two places. So I get off the plane and this stranger comes and meets me and tells me Corey's in the hospital. I go to the hospital and Corey's in bed with his whole face wired shut. He couldn't open his mouth at all, couldn't speak and had to eat all his food pulverized through a straw. So, obviously, we couldn't go on the road trip. So we decided to make a film based on things we found in Corey's house. We found a mask of a werewolf and a fake leg. We ended up making a 100% improvised film called "Of Wolf And Limb." Keegan Sauder is in it and Quinn Starr is also in it.
When you two started to make movies, were you trying to make careers in filmmaking or was it just for fun?
Alex: Purely for fun. I guess in the back of our minds, that was always a dream for us. But mostly we were just having a laugh and doing what we wanted to do. At that point Corey was working on special effects in Vancouver and I was working on a TV program in Scotland. Both of our jobs were pretty limiting. It wasn't what we really wanted to do. It was almost a relief from our jobs to do what we wanted to do and make things for pure inspiration.
Corey: I'd been making stuff since I was kid, just skate videos and filming dumb s**t all the time. Then I started working as a special effects makeup artist and I did that for a bunch of years. The last thing I worked on was "Freddy vs. Jason." Seeing the industry that close made it seem like it was possible to make my own stuff and get it out on a more professional level, I guess.
How did "Harvey Spannos" come about and how it ended up on FuelTV?
Alex: A few years later I was back in Vancouver and Corey and I were working together making a series of short films about hillbillies called, "Swamp Donkey." And a friend of Corey's was telling us about the Fuel Experiment. We decided we should both submit proposals and see what happens. I actually went back to Scotland and was way too busy and didn't get around to it. But Corey wrote out the treatment for Harvey Spannos, submitted it and his proposal was chosen as one of the ten films to receive funding. So I came back the following summer in 2005 and the two of us worked on "Harvey Spannos" for about four months, intensively. While we were making it, we really thought our film was going to get laughed out of the competition because it wasn't the obvious road or the standard way of filmmaking. But it ended up winning the competition and Fuel was generous enough to award us the $1,000,000 budget to go on and make "Machotaildrop."
Courtesy of "Machotaildrop"The film poster.
You've carried over the character, Blair Stanley portrayed by Rick McCrank, from "Harvey Spannos" to "Machotaildrop." Would Spannos be considered a prequel of sorts?
Alex: Yeaaah. It was never our intention to do it like that. But, as we started to develop the script to "Machotaildrop," it just sort of became like that. There are a few discrepancies. In "Harvey Spannos" Blair Stanley lives in a huge castle and in "Machotaildrop," he lives within the Machotaildrop underground compound.
Corey: We've said "Machotaildrop takes place about 10 years after "Harvey Spannos."
Where did the inspiration for "Machotaildrop" come from?
Corey: I think it was something that every skater can relate to. When you're a child the whole dream is to get sponsored by one of these companies. Every kid is working on this magical footage tape.
One of the things I really like about "Harvey Spannos" and "Machotaildrop," is you've made a movie that incorporates skating and avoided the clichés and pitfalls of other attempts at skate movies by going for the surreal. Was that a conscious decision in approaching film?
Alex: That was very much our idea. We knew there was no way we could portray skateboarding in a serious manner. I was always our idea that we would go in the opposite direction and make it fantasy and farcical. We always knew what we shouldn't do.
Corey: When you look at those other films, it's so obvious why they fail. They try to take skateboarding and capture the essence in a literal way. That's never going to work through the medium of film. You might be able to do it with poetry or something. That's why we decided to take another approach and make it take place in a fantasy world. When you take something and put it in a strange place, the true qualities shine through.
You do, however, pay some homage to "Thrashin" with the skate gang, "Manwolfs" in the film and the cameo of Steve Olson.
Alex: "Thrashin," because of our age (Alex is 36. Corey is 35) is quite special. Maybe one day "Street Dreams" will be like that for future generations.
The danger and allure of brand identity and the way that can taint the purity of skateboarding seems to be a theme in "Machotaildrop." What made you both hone in on that?
Alex: I think it's the age-old story of the purity of essence. Once you strip back the nonsense that's involved in anything you can get it's real essence and that's where the fun is. It's not like we're having a real go at any of the companies involved in skateboarding. It's more just to have a laugh about skateboarding, at the end of the day, being about enjoying yourself and doing what you want to do with your life.
Corey: When you're young, you don't think that when skateboarding becomes a job for these guys it changes completely. Some of the people that I know that are professionals now, there's pressure. There's times when you don't want to skate but you're sitting at a railing with filmers and photographers. You start to think, "Is this what I signed up for?" But it is what you signed up for.

Courtesy of "Machotaildrop"The infamous "Manwolfs" gang.
What were your film influences in the writing process?
Alex: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was always talked about during production. It definitely became an inspiration. For me and Corey, I would say a Clockwork Orange was an inspiration and the early films of Werner Hertzog and the Hungarian director, Bela Tarr and his film "Werckmeister harmóniák" was a huge inspiration; it's one of the reasons we went to Eastern Europe to shoot the movie.
Corey: Guys like Terry Gilliam and Michelle Gondry. We were trying to draw influence from films that were as far removed from action sports as possible. We'd watch those and say, "How would a director like this approach a topic like skateboarding?"
How did John Rattray and Rick McCrank and Steve Olson get involved with the film?
Alex: Rattray and I grew up together in Scotland. McCrank has been living in Vancouver for 10 years or so and Corey's known him for a while. They're both good friends of ours that we have a tremendous respect for, their skateboarding especially. When we started, even with "Harvey Spannos," we were adamant that we didn't want to use stunt doubles. We always thought they have to be real skateboarders. When we were developing characters for "Machotaildrop" Rattray and McCrank were obvious choices; we knew them so well, had worked with them in the past, and their skateboarding speaks for itself.
With Steve Olson, we had this character, "George" and a short list of people we would like to see play it. Olson, Neil Blender and The Gonz were on that list. Blender and The Gonz were impossible to get a hold of. McCrank is friends and teammates with Steve's son, Alex Olson. We got McCrank to speak to Alex and Alex to speak to Steve. He accepted the role less than a week before we had to film his scenes.
Corey: We thought, if we get these guys and get their blessing and they're willing to be a part of it, then the skate industry is going to take what we're doing more seriously. Having Rattray and McCrank in the film boosts our credibility. They're basically backing what we're saying.
Courtesy of "Machotaildrop"Anthony Amedori as "Walter Rhum" on location for the film.
Is Anthony Amedori, the actor that plays the main character Walter Rhum, a skater in real life?
Corey: We didn't want a kid that was too well known. But we got him within a week before we needed him for scenes, basically sight unseen. It was nerve racking.
Alex: All of Walter Rhum's skating is really Anthony Amedori. There's no fake skating or stunt doubles in the film. We were having real trouble finding the right person that had the look, could act the roll and could really skate. We exhausted all of our resources in Vancouver and Scotland without coming up with anyone so the folks at Fuel put out some feelers in Los Angeles and they came up with Anthony. We were already in preproduction in Hungary. The Fuel folks were sending screen test clips to us and they came up with Amedori. He seemed absolutely right for the part, skated amazingly. We gave him a call from Hungary and offered him the job over the telephone without ever meeting him. He flew over within a week and began working with us.
Are there skate videos that have been an influence on you're film?
Alex: Well, the name of the film is a direct link. In the old G&S video, "Footage" Neil Blender is standing on top of a big fence and says, "This is called 'macho taildrop.' When girls come around, this is what you want to do to get 'em." So that's obviously a direct link. I was also hugely influenced by the first Alien Workshop video "Memory Screen." That's why I wanted film Super 8.
What's the one thing you'd like kids to take away from seeing the film?
Corey: I think just to appreciate skateboarding for skateboarding itself. Don't focus so much on the corporate end of it. It seems like nowadays every kid wants to be a star and wants to be famous. And it's like, Do you really want that? Do you know what that entails?
So how and when can people see the film?
Alex: The film is doing the festival circuit right now. We premiered it at the Toronto Film Festival. It played at the Whistler Film Festival and it's playing at the X Dance Film Festival in Salt Lake City. We're applying to more festivals. That's the main outlet for he next few months and we'll go from there.

Joe Hammeke
Want the Boss frontside flipping in your town on Go Skateboarding Day? Tell the Emerica homies to hook it up.
Every year on June 21st, skaters have reason to rejoice. Firstly, the day marks the first day of summer. Most kids are out of school for a blissful three months. Adults with jobs can at least enjoy longer days and warmer nights to fit their skate time in. Secondly, the day is the official international Go Skateboarding Day. Though any day is a good day to go skate, the official Go Skate Day is a great excuse to drop everything and go for a roll. Finally, each summer, on Go Skateboarding Day, the Emerica team posts up in one city or another around the globe for a mass-skate jam they've dubbed, "Wild In The Streets." In previous years, the Wild In The Streets events have mobbed the streets of Philadelphia, Vancouver, San Francisco, New York and more with skaters of all ages and top tier pros from the Emerica team. What better way to celebrate the start of summer than to have a session with Andrew Reynolds and about a thousand other skaters en-mass?

In what may just be the coolest collaborative effort to hit skateboarding ever, Alien Workshop has teamed up with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. to put out an incredible limited-edition series of decks. These boards combine Warhol's iconic imagery with each of Alien Workshop's 10 pro riders. The continuing creative push of Alien Workshop and their entire brand aesthetic blends perfectly with Warhol's memorable imagery. Five decks in the series feature art from Warhol's famed Death & Disaster series and five decks feature iconic Warhol pop art works. Dylan Rieder, for example, gets the famed "Banana" image and Mikey Taylor's board features Warhol's iconic Campbell Soup imagery. The performing art executed by the skaters riding these decks will be well complimented by the art beneath their feet.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Germanic gap blaster, Austria’s Chris Pfanner, is going to be pflying through the air on the regular on Deluxe’s Pfanner Pfridays. The Vans and Antihero pro from kakanien, the land known for classical music and hot bar maids in pig tails (or is that Germany?), will be carrying the flag for Antihero every Pfriday. Stay tuned!

This year, the Emerica team will be attending numerous Wild in the Streets events around the world, and they want to hear why you think they should come to your event!
The Emerica team will be splitting into four groups and hitting four locations around the world on June 21, 2010. That gives YOU four chances to have the team at your Wild in the Streets.
For more information, go here.

Come through to see the Cliché team in LA next Friday and Saturday! January 29, get your Résumé book signed at HUF.
January 30, skate with the team at Pedlow Skatepark. Details below.

Check out the 2010 Element Make It Count International Contest Series mini-site which includes all locations, new video player, results, and more.


etnies posted this amazing video of Kyle Leeper cruising the streets of L.A. shot by the ever-impressive Mike Manzoori. Check it out.


Saturday, January 23, 2010


picture-14A new year brings new tidings for everyone—some good, some bad, some great. In the world of skating, it’s that line of springtime things for us to look at and marvel over, which also come along. And, so it goes for Crailtap. They’ve released their 19th Wallride Catalog, with an always smart-aleck intro from part owner Megan Baltimore about all the new lessons she’s learned about the skill of keeping your board on your feet, the difference between a ramp and a bowl, how some people have better styles than others and what a game of S.K.A.T.E. is. Take a look at their newest product from Girl, Chocolate and Royal—the Vince Capaldi board graphic and the one-offs, which are probably a response to fans’ calls to make Hershel’s Greatest Misses reality. Too funny from the skater-owned and operated Crail family.

The ripper from Fontana has been officially welcomed to Lakai. Check the requisite welcome video at the Lakai site and check back soon for its complete Spring 2010 product line.

Agency Thursdays: Clint’s Corner Cam, Part 2. The Saga Continues.
This week’s installment of Agency Thursdays comes correct with Part 2 in Clint’s anthropological exposé. Some of the people you may recognize in here include Stefan Janoski, Lizard King, Nuge, Slash, Berra, J. Roy, a dapper Sir Pastras, J.Lee, and of course, host Clint. Buckle up, it’s a wild ride Watch it now at

Now in its fourth year, the annual DVS Copenhagen Pro has evolved into Europe’s premiere skateboarding contest event. Each year, hundreds of top professional skateboarders from around the world descend on Scandinavia’s crown jewel city of Copenhagen. The skaters participate not only in an amazing and professionally executed pro contest, but also take part in a family-style party that rages throughout the contest’s three day schedule.
CPH 2010 is slated to be the biggest contest to date. With events including a pre-contest festival featuring live art shows, live music acts, BBQs, late night parties, and plenty of open skate jams and demos at Copenhagen’s newly built concrete skatepark.
Please Save The Date. June 23-27 2010. CPH 2010 Is Not To Be Missed!
Footage of Torey Pudwill winning CPH 2009!

Airing Friday, January 22 at 8:30pm ET and 11:30pm ET (5:30pm PT and 8:30pm PT) in Skate @ 8, and re-airing several more times over the next month, FUEL TV will showcase the “Insane Cinema: And Now.”
TransWorld SKATEboarding is proud to present its 20th video, And Now. Produced in eight short months, And Now was filmed in Australia, China, Spain, South America Hawaii, Arizona, New York, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Georgia and California.
And Now features the talents of six young rising stars; the handrail madness of David Gravette, the lazy style of Nick Trapasso, the bionic pop of Matt Miller, the consistent textbook skating of Sean Malto, the striped pants and jaw dropping moves of Richie Jackson, and the smooth buttery style of Kenny Hoyle. Produced, edited and directed by Jon Holland and Chris Ray, this is one skate film that cannot be missed!
“Insane Cinema: And Now” Air Dates:
Friday, 1/22/2010                               8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT
Friday, 1/22/2010                               11:30 PM ET / 8:30 PM PT
Saturday, 1/23/2010                           8:30 AM ET / 5:30 AM PT
Sunday, 1/24/2010                             8:00 AM ET / 5:00 AM PT
Sunday, 1/31/2010                             8:30 AM ET / 5:30 AM PT
Sunday, 1/31/2010                             12:30 AM ET / 9:30 PM PT
Friday, 2/05/2010                               1:00 AM ET / 10:00 PM PT
Sunday, 2/07/2010                             10:00 PM ET / 7:00 PM PT
Friday, 2/19/2010                               8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT
Friday, 2/19/2010                               11:30 PM ET / 8:30 PM PT
Saturday, 2/20/2010                           8:30 AM ET / 5:30 AM PT
Monday, 2/22/2010                            10:00 PM ET / 7:00 PM PT
Monday, 2/22/2010                            1:00 AM ET / 10:00 PM PT
Wednesday, 2/24/2010                       4:00 AM ET / 1:00 AM PT
Friday, 2/26/2010                               10:30 PM ET / 7:30 PM


Friday, January 22, 2010


LakaiWelcome aboard Daniel!
After a short stint on Adio, young Daniel Espinoza's skills caught the attention of the good folks at Podium and he's found his way into a comfy pair of Lakai shoes with a solid spot on their am team. Will the phenomenon from Fontana be announced as the next edition to Chocolate skateboards soon as well? Time will tell. Either way, Espinoza's future is looking bright.

Courtesy of Zoo York
Zered's pictures from Cuba are pretty eye opening.

Chris Nieratko
The father to be crushing the minramp.
You might remember last year when I gave Krooked am, Mike Anderson some faulty advice on how NOT to get a girl pregnant and then two weeks later his girlfriend Daisy was prego. Well, 13-months sure does fly by when you're hving fun and Anderson and Daisy's daughter Lyla is less than a month away from being born. Last week they held a baby shower and miniramp jam at Anderson's parent's house in Ventura. éS footwear was kind enough to bring me out, seeing as how the whole beautiful mess is my fault. Also in attendance were Danny Garcia, Torey Pudwill, Scuba Steve, Bobby Worrest and more.

Courtesy of Fat Old Guy skateboards
Skateboarding's no lnoger for just the young or the svelt.
With so much of America concerned with weight loss and health I like that a brand has stepped up to let us fat guys know that we are beautiful just the way we are. And who better to helm this aged ship of lard than one of skateboarding's favorite fat old guys: Dave Carnie. Aside from being the former editor for the now defunct Big Brother magazine Dave is also a world renowned artist, foosballer, dancer and singer. It appears 2010 is the year of the Carn Carn with the release of Fat Old Guy, Dave's upcoming book as well as his reality show where he tries to find a chill neighbor. Yup, Carnie's back, hide your beer.

Courtesy of Ipath
Mat Rodriguez is one of skateboarding's unsung godfathers of style.
As one of Stereo's original members and a partial brainchild behind IPath, Matt Rodriguez has always brought originality and style to everything he does. Out of San Jose, he made a name for himself in San Francisco, but made a home in Sacramento, all while staying homies with Cardiel and approaching everything with a Do-It-Yourself attitude. Get some Rodriguez history, heated by the habaneros tucked into his knitted hat. Enjoy. Full Interview »

A couple of cool events are going down in the greater NYC area this week that you won't want to miss if you live in the tri-state area. First, the good folks from KCDC skateshop are hosting a benefit for the people of Haiti on Thursday night. If you're in Brooklyn and you're over 21, come by the shop between 9-12. Bring some canned goods, clothing or cold hard cash to get in the door. Once you're in, there's a ramp to session, OG Rookie rider Sean Kelling killing it on the ones and twos, free beverages provided by Brooklyn Brewery and a performance by Natur.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


A compact ball of skate energy like Taylor Bingaman must have footage falling out of his pockets when he walks. With an impressive release in Creature’s latest horror-skate flick Hesh Law and an upcoming barnburner of a part in our forthcoming video Hallelujah, he’s sure to come from relative obscurity to people’s favorite list. Now, it seems someone was picking up the bits Bingaman left behind for a mini-part over at StrangeNotes. Start becoming a fan, now.

If you haven’t experienced the return of Appleyard’s smooth skating in Extremely Sorry (highly anticipated not only by skaters at large, but by Appleyard himself), you’re blowing it. But, luckily, you can get a shortened version of the apple picker’s part (music and all) over at the Flip Skateboard site.
The once little Ontarian has come a long way from Beasley Bowl to where he’s at, stopping at Habitat along the way. See a piece of his latest apology on Flip’s website and then track down his Extremely Sorry part for good measure. Plus, Flip’s Feast Tour coverage coming soon. One Love.

This Saturday, January 23rd, Geoff Rowley, Lance Mountain and other Flip riders are doing a signing at SoCal Skateshop in Mission Viejo, CA. Make sure and get there early because there’s going to be a BBQ and raffle! BBQ starts at 12PM and signing and raffle at 1PM.
SoCal Skateshop
24002 Via Fabricante Suite 205,
Mission Viejo, CA 92691