Last weeks blog, Scooter Kids – why everyone hates them, seemed to go down really well. Clearly it is an issue that just about everyone is dealing with in skateparks at the moment, I got a lot of responses from so many different people, even from kids that scoot themselves agreeing with everything I wrote about. I’d like to thank everyone, Broken Magazine in particular, for sharing the blog, I very much appreciate it, the blog probably would not have got even half as much circulation as it did, so cheers for that. As you can imagine I’m kind of at a loss as to what to write about that would get everyone as excited as they did about Scooter Kids, it might be some time before I manage that again. Until then though I’ll still be hitting you up with bits of skate news, interesting new product and anything else I think is worth talking about.
So, first off for today, Santa Cruz are celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year.
Yes, 40 years of Santa Cruz, I don’t think I need to be telling yo about Santa Cruz. To be honest I’d be concerned as to why you were even reading this if you didn’t know anything about Santa Cruz. Just in case you’re unfamiliar with Santa Cruz just click on the image above to get to their website, there is info on their team, videos and their product catalogue for you to check out. Fancy some new Santa Cruz product to celebrate their 40th Anniversary? Why not pop over to our Urban Surfer website and treat yourself to some new gear. Seen something in the Santa Cruz catalogue but it’s not on our website? Head on over to our Contact Us page, drop us a line or message us and we’ll do our best to try and get it for you (no guarantee’s though, some items maybe available in the US only, but if you don’t ask…).
Jerry Hsu, leaving Enjoi? Don’t be daft, he’s perfectly suited for Enjoi! As mad as it sounds, it appears to be true. This picture went up on Thrasher’s Instagram last week. I always thought that Jerry would be riding for Enjoi until his knees said they were done with skateboarding, especially since his bestest buddy Louie Barletta skates for Enjoi too. Thrasher asks who you would like to see him skate for now he’s left Enjoi. I’m not sure I can see him in another board company, possibly riding for Chocolate or Almost, what do you think?
Next up, this video part that went up on the Thrasher site recently. I don’t know if I’ve just been slacking off keeping up on who’s who this summer but I wasn’t aware of Josh Swyers until seeing this video. As far as I can gather he is currently on flow from Foundation Skateboards and Pig Wheels, if this video is just a small sample of what he is capable of then I’ll be expecting to see him making it to Pro Status sometime soon. Some interesting tricks in here, check it out, look for the lip-slides up stuff!
Why Does Everyone Hate Scooter Kids?
Whether you are a Skateboarder, BMXer or InLiner, you will have no doubt experienced the bane of all skate parks that is the Scooter Kid, I believe there is even a snowboarding equivalent that has been hitting the slopes now. Before I get started though, I would like to say that there are some kids out there that clearly have some talent for riding these things and are clever enough to be able to work out how a skatepark works, but I’ll get to that shortly. I’d also like to add that this is not a hate campaign against Scooter Kids, but more about making an observation and exploring the reasons for why this has happened.
Scootering, or as I’ve been informed, Scooting, is a wheeled sport which seems to be on the ever incline of popularity with young kids. To the everyday pedestrian they are probably held in the same regard as Skate, BMX and possibly even InLine. I say this because to anyone not “in the know” they would probably see all these wheeled enthusiasts hanging around the same places, especially skateparks and probably at the same street spots as each other too. I would imagine that the average pedestrian would assume we’re all best buddies, hanging out together, lurking the same set of stairs and street spots. To be fair, you could even say that you could find some similarities with what you actually can do on a scooter, we all take the same lines and approach obstacles to do grinds, airs and all kinds of spinning, turning and carving etc. Scooting, as far as I can gather, works very much the same as in the skateboarding world. There are professional Scooter(er?)s, people of varying ages that have honed their skills enough for a company to offer them sponsorship. These people/pro’s are usually responsible for the progression of the sport, possibly inventing new tricks, which they give appropriate or quirky names for or sometimes are named after themselves. I suppose it could be said that there are quite a few aspects across all of the earlier mentioned wheeled sports that are similar. So, what is the problem? Why is there such a negative response to scooters?
Well, here’s a few reasons for why I think it might be. I’ll start with the more trivial ones and then move on to the more vile criminal acts.
Scooter(er?) Kids are usually just that, kids. I honestly cannot think of even one occasion where I have seen anyone over the age 16 on a scooter, unless of course you include seeing someones Dad thinking he’s Evel Knievel on one (Google him if you don’t know who that is). “Awe bless them, they’re just kids playing!” is probably the first thought most would have. No, there are three kinds of Scooter Kid menace. The very young and a less than competent rider, always oblivious to his surroundings. The slightly older but more competent rider, these are either oblivious to his surroundings or they just don’t care about the other park users. Then there are the kids about the same age as the second type and a little older that are actually quite good but seem to all ways be trying their best to make your visit to the park as far from enjoyable as possible. The fact that there are so many very young kids getting into Scooting speaks volumes about how easy and accessible Scooting can be for anyone, of any age.
No Park Etiquette.
The fact that they are just kids usually means that they are not really savvy in the workings of the skatepark, what to look out for and how you should behave. By park etiquette I mean that there is kind of an unspoken law in the skatepark (or at least it used to be unspoken until the scooter came on the scene). All this means really is that everyone is there to use the park, everyone is entitled to use it as much as the next person. So, as a common courtesy you take you turn and let other take theirs, fairly straightforward. Etiquette might also include other simple things like, look before you drop-in on a ramp, spot others taking lines across the park, are they going to come across your line, will you be getting in the way, should you just wait a few seconds before you drop in, are you standing and waiting in an area that is being used by someone else? As I said, this concept seems lost on the young minds of these scooter mounted menaces and too difficult to comprehend. This is clearly evident in the way that they respond the the numerous yet futile attempts at trying to communicate such a thing as simple courteous behaviour.
The lack of park etiquette, be it due to naivety or just pure ignorance, can only result in one thing, snaking. Snaking is basically not respecting the other park users by not taking their turn, dropping-in in front of people, cutting other peoples lines up and getting in the way, treating the park like it belongs only to them. Like I mentioned, they are not prepared to listen, in fact they seem quite impervious to any form of reasoning and will actually find it impossible to comprehend that they are in the wrong.
You will find, more often than not with the older ones, that a lot of Scooter Kids actually do understand the concept of etiquette and are aware of snaking. These are the ones that are always in the way, always cutting you up, hanging their front wheel over the edge of coping and of course the ones that let their mouths run. I for one find that I’m quite prepared to wring the neck of anyone that speaks to me in any away that is derogatory or disrespectful. I jest, because we’re talking about kids, you just can’t express yourself this way. As an adult I appreciate the value of a calm and sensible approach to dealing with a situation. But, unfortunately, it would seem that all attempts to communicate the fact that they are essentially ruining the skatepark experience for everyone in the park are met with foul language and various insults, or at the very least twisting and muttering about how skaters shouldn’t even be allowed be in a skatepark. I’ve seen many situations, and even had to deal with it myself, where Scooter Kids are so cheeky and even aggressive enough for all kinds of ruckus to go off, ending in someone either being hurt, the police being called or said Scooter Kid running home to get Daddy to sort out the problem he’s created for himself.
Taking for Granted and General Ignorance.
As I mentioned, I’ve overheard and had conversations with many Scooter Kids, with amazingly ignorant statements such as “Skaters shouldn’t be allowed in skateparks!”, “There should be one park for Scooters and one for everything else!” and “People have been Scooting for longer than people have being skateboarding!”. I think statements like these are an indication of the level of commitment, or lack thereof, these Scooter Kids have for their sport. I remember when I first started, it is something I’ve seen time and time again in youngsters first leaning to skate, but the interest in the sport leads you to learn about it in great detail. You find that you just seem to pick up bits of information about where the sport came from, who is most famed for their achievements and why, especially with the internet being available you can find out any information you want. But, this doesn’t seem to be happening with around 80% of all Scooter Kids I’ve spoken too. I’ve even found myself pointing out the obvious part of “Skate” in “Skatepark”. Arguably, it could be fair to say that as Scooting is fairly new in the scale of extreme sports, that it may need to be at least a little grateful for the fact that skateparks are available for their use in the first place. After all, most parks were built before the Scooter Kids came on the scene, the people that they are offending while in the park are most likely the ones that have put in a lot of hard work raising money, begging Councillors for funds and going to endless meetings and consultations. What have you as a new Scooter Kid contributed to the build and design of the park? Nothing! I don’t think they realise that back in the day if you wanted to ride ramps you had to travel 50 miles or more to an indoor park (and pay at the door) or you’d have to build it yourself.
So, those are some of the things that I have witnessed while being in skateparks, as I said earlier this is not a hate campaign against Scooter Kids, I know a few that are actually genuinely nice kids and I have no problem with at all. In fact they experience more or less the same problems as Skaters, BMXers and InLiners. Quite often you’ll see and hear them having a go at the less respectful Scooter Kids. This is something that shouldn’t be forgotten, but can sometimes easily be overlooked when there are such large numbers of kids swamping every park you go to.
I think it’s good that parks are getting full of people, it goes to show that the parks were worth building in the first place, but when a park reaches what you could consider beyond it’s safe capacity common sense would tell you it’s time to exercise some caution. Unfortunately common sense is often something that is often in short supply in the very young. But, I’m not sure that it’s an excuse that can be used and taken seriously, dropping-in on someone is not acceptable at a skatepark, it causes injuries and usually you find it’s the older ones that get it in the neck from parents of the kid that dropped in without looking. It worrying that some of these really young kids are actually in the parks unsupervised but an adult and without any padding or protection of any sort. Being in a park can be dangerous even for the most experienced riders. Getting KO’ed by a BMX that’s half way through a big 360 air is no fun in anyone’s book, never mind if you’re only half the size of the BMX itself.
I don’t understand why Scooter(er?)s don’t seem to be able to grasp this. When I ask a Scooter Kid to move it’s because 1. They’re in the way. 2. It’s gonna hurt them so much if my fully grown adult sized man limbs splatter them into the ground. 3. I can’t be bothered with slapping their parents into next week because they don’t look after their kid/s properly and don’t understand that they have released their sweet, beautiful little baby into a hurricane of fast traveling spinning metal and planks of wood, 4. I don’t need any other injuries from a Scooter that I might have already acquired anyway while skating (it happens, it’s an extreme sport after all) and 5, In the “no win, no fee” and “sue or be sued” society and “owt for nowt” mentality their parents will probably indirectly get the park closed down. Or, what I’ve seen happen is that young inexperience Scooter Kids with get themselves seriously hurt then the park will start imposing bizarre rules on all the park users or charging daft prices to get in to be able to pay any future injury claims. There are parks out there that already impose rules on their users, some indoor park will have “Scooter Only” sessions so as to out right avoid any potential problems, some parks have just altogether banned Scooters. All a bit on the harsh side when all that it would take is some of that common sense and simple courtesy to be applied.
I suspect that over time we will see a change, many fads have come and gone in the past, you’ll find that only the most dedicated will continue to be involved. I think that the key at the moment is to spot the one that are putting in the effort. Look for the difference between the kids just playing, oblivious to their surroundings, or trying to wind you up as oppose to the ones that are pushing themselves for the bigger air, most dangerous tricks, then, try to communicate the way it is in a park and why it is important, it’s got to sink in at some point. As far as dealing with the older ones that should know better (but if anyone asks it never came from me) next time they try to snake you, calmly explain why and how they are in the wrong. If they think that you’re just there to be used as their target for a skit and insist on letting their mouth go and actively, next time they try it just give them a gentle shoulder barge while at the same time give his handlebars a quick spin and watch the show, chances are you’re going to hurt them, but to your credit you did warn him to the dangers of dropping-in, and low and behold, you correctly predicted it. It might seem a bit harsh, but if they think they’re clever enough to work their ticket then they have to accept being cleverly dealt with. I’m not condoling violence, I’m merely suggesting that rather than wait for the inevitable accident to happen were both of you get hurt, just speed up the process with a sharp, short lesson in slamming.
I could go on and on, there is so much more that could be said, both in favour of and against Scooter Kids, but I’ve really got to wrap this up. By all means pop a comment at the bottom of the page, say your piece, tell me I’m right or wrong, if you’re a parent of a Scooter Kid talk to me, fight in the defense of Scooter Kids if you like, if you skate tell me about the crazy things you’ve had to put up with from these kids, how and if they got out of hand, or how best to calmly deal with a situation, just make sure you keep it clean and half way legible.
Emerica Made – Chapter 1. Provost, Romero, Westgate and a surprise part from Leabres.
Emerica have been busy and put out the first part of their Emerica made videos and released it yesterday featuring Collin Provost, Leo Remero, Brandon Westgate and a special surprise introductory part from Jeremy Leabres.
Everyone I skate with knows that I’m a massive fan of Emerica. To me they are a proper skate shoe company, focusing more so on the skateboarding than advertising campaigns and marketing. Sure, Emerica do advertise their products and market their riders, but you tend to see the skateboarding speaks for itself without having to add some quirky element to grab your attention. You’ll be pleased to know that I’m not going to go off on one about how skate companies should behave, corporate take over and globalisation, I can bore myself to death with that so I’ll not inflict you with my rantings.
I’m not going to bang on about much really, I’m not even going to go on about how stoked I am on the first chapter of Emerica Made, or about how good the new guy Leabres is, or even about the fact that Westgate’s part is just mind blowing. All I’m going to say is…
Go and check it out, it’s up and available to watch now on the Thrasher Magazine Website (although I’m sure it’ll not be long before it’s ripped and put up on Youtube). Just click on the image at the top of the page to get there. If you don’t like this, you don’t like skateboarding.
Loads of New Products landed again this week in the Urban Surfer warehouse. If you read this block often you’ll know I go all weak at the knees for the Independent stuff. I can’t get enough of it! Caught myself leaving the house the other day with Indy jeans, t-shirt, hoody and jacket, obviously I have a mild Indy addiction issue I should be monitoring. Anyway, my point being that we have just got a bunch of Independent products land over the last few days. Here’s the ones that I’m excited about…
Independent Blitz Beanie, a heavy weave woolen style hat in burgundy and denim colour. A nice no nonsense beanie, with a simple stitched Independent cross motif, perfect for the oncoming Autumn and Winter season.
Independent Stock OGBC Baseball T-shirt, cardinal red and denim colour, 100% cotton. Three quarter length sleeve T-shirt with the classic Independent logo on the front, usually these come in a blue and white or black and white so it’s nice to see some different colours being used.
Independent TC iphone 4 cover, I don’t have an iphone but this makes me wish I did. Plain black with the Independent Truck Company logo on the back. If their iphone covers are as good as the trucks they build then you can expect it to outlast your iphone no problem, but I doubt it’s “Built to grind”.
As well as all the Independent stock coming in, we’ve had a lot of hats and belts drop this week from Etnies too, here’s my favourites…
Etnies Staple Graphic 2 Belt, supers strong nylon weave belt with metal clasp buckle. If you’re a massive Etnies fan and down with the reggae, look no further, here’s an Etnies belt repping the red, gold and green.
Etnies Brandito Snapback Hat. Etnies are calling this colour “eggplant” but I can’t take that seriously so we’ll call it burgundy I think. A very nice Etnies cap here, I’m liking this burgundy (not eggplant) thing that’s going on at the moment.
Etnies Classics Beanie. Again Etnies are calling this colour eggplant, I dunno about you but I’m not telling anyone I’ve bought an eggplant hat. So, a nice burgundy woolen style beanie, just what you need as Winter gets closer, it’s also available in black if you’re not down with the eggplant.
Tonnes of other Indy and Etnies products have landed too, as well as new products from loads of other brands, have yourself a look over at the New Products page on our website for more. As the Autumn/Winter ranges come in there will be loads on new products going up on the website almost everyday so don’t forget to keep looking.
In the meantime, if you didn’t already know, Enjoi Skateboards recently welcomed Jimmy Carlin to the team. He’s definitely reading from a different user manual of life for sure, so expect so weird and wonderful stuff from him now he’s on a team more tweaked than most. Here’s Jimmy’s The Berrics Battle Commander part so you can see the Carlin steez.
Some super mullet action in there too, eh?!
Yes, you read that right, Death Skateboards visited the dark depths of Horden, Peterlee. “Yeah right, why on earth would Death Skateboards visit Horden?” is probably what you’re thinking and I would agree with you if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Well, whether you believe it or not, they did visit Horden, here’s how it went down.
If you didn’t already know, Death see their 15th birthday this year and to celebrate they have been on tour hitting up as many spots as possible over the space of a few days. Part of that tour brought them up to the North East. I’ve known one of the flow riders for Death, Sam “Blinky” Hutchinson, for a few years and in the past shown him some of the street spots around Peterlee and Horden. As Death were in the North East, and Blinky being from Sunderland, he was asked if there are any obscure spots that they could skate on their way southbound and Blinky said he wanted to hit one of the spots I’d shown him in Horden.
So I get a phone call around dinner time, a number I don’t recognise, but I answer it anyway. “Hello?” “Hey Anth man hows it going?” “Erm, who’s this?” “It’s Blinky man!” I’d obviously lost his number or something, long story short, he wanted some directions to a spot on Horden Dene that is part of a concrete drainage system leading out from the Dene and eventually out into the sea. I said it was difficult to describe and would send him a Google Maps link right away. I get off the phone and send him a bunch of links, he says cheers and that’s that.
Anyway, 5 o’clock and Blinky rings again, saying something about directions not being his thing and could I meet them to just taken them directly to the spot. Being such a top bloke I give them the SatNav for East Durham Collage and met them in the car park. After a quick hello to a mini-bus full of Death I get them to follow me to a shady looking bit of road where I pull over before a short walk to the spot. Nick Zorlack, Death’s Boss, not being down with the shadiness of the road decides to stay with the mini-bus while we head off to skate.
I’d like too say we got to the spot and the Death team killed it, shutting it down for all future skateboarding thereafter, but truth be known it was more like a visit to the monkey cages at the zoo. It started well enough, first there was a fast hill bomb down into the Dene, always enjoyable. Then we get to the actual spot which is basically two gnarly flat banks facing each other with some flat ground in the middle and a stinky pool of water at the end of it.
A few of the guys start dropping in and getting the feel of the banks while a few others are happy just supping a few beers and exploring the area. Blinky and a couple of the lads start doing ollies into it, Rob Smith starts climbing in the trees looking for some way of either tail dropping or nose-blunt pulling into the bank. mark “radman” Radden starts to attempt a kickflip into it. Everyone, except Rob who is still wrestling with the trees, stands and watches Mark attempt the kickflip and the video camera comes out. Mark, after a few attempts, sticks one and gets the ride out.
We all cheer and offer the relevant congratulations. Mark says he thinks he can get a better one so we all leave him to it and see if Rob is any further with finding somewhere to drop in from. Rob must have mutilated 3 different trees looking for just the right branch and still couldn’t find what he wanted even though just about everyone offered some form of “helpful advice”.
After much swinging from branches, hacking of brambles and scraping away of moss we hear something like “Oh no no no, shit, awe man no!”. While mark had been trying to get another kickflip his board decided to take a little swim, unfortunately skateboards swim about as good as bricks do. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been to this spot before but you don’t really want to be going in that water. At best you’ll probably have the trots the next day if you got a mouthful of it, I mean part of the reason it is there is because of the sewerage station you have to pass to get there. So, in an attempt to avoid having to make any contact with the water, people started looking for sticks and branches that might be used to fish his board out. This kinda turned into a 2 way stone skimming battle for a short while, obviously ending in not being able to fish out the board. Mark decides that going in the water is the only way forward if he expected to get his board back, although by this time the wood is probably ruined but the trucks and wheels etc would still be OK.
Mark gets half-starkers and slowly eases himself into the water, it’s near balls deep, you can see from the picture above that the water is dirty, anything submerged any deeper than 4 or 5 inches just seems to disappear. Everyone stands about watching and of course offering lots of “helpful advice” but Mark is having no luck, although still determined to find his board. At this point I’m taking a few photos as Mark bravely sloshes about in the grey mucky pool, I can hear something to the right of me, kinda like someone trying to get a stubborn lid off a jar or something, and people are laughing and stuff. Timmy Garbett is only curling a brown one off into the water almost right next to Mark.
Needless to say Mark is not best pleased at all, gets out of the water faster than I’ve ever seen any man move, and chases Timmy off while he tries to pull up his kegs. Everyone agreed that it was bang out of order and that Timmy should now be the one that has to fish out Mark’s board. Timmy, unable to see the error of his ways and more concerned about the fact he’d hurt his bum hole because he didn’t even need a poo and had to force one out, eventually agrees to poke a stick around in the water for 10 minutes before everyone decides he’s put enough of a stink on the session and it’s time to head off. We all grab our stuff, head back to the mini-bus, say our goodbyes and head our separate ways.
An interesting visit, not a lot of skateboarding when down, but it was easily the highlight of my Thursday. A big thank you to Blinky for calling me up and bringing all the boys to visit. Thank you to all the Death Skateboards crew for a thoroughly entertaining evening, you’re welcome back again any time you like, just hit me up.
Here is a bit Death footage for you, enjoy.
Vans, Downtown Showdown 2013 went down in Paris at the weekend. If you were not lucky enough to catch the live feed it is still up and running and available to stream at the link below or click on the image to the right. (I tried to attach the feed directly to the page but not one of the methods I used would embed it to the page so you’ll have to follow the link to the actual webpage, sorry about that)
For those of you that don’t know, here’s a quick run down of the format and who’s competing at the event. Basically, Vans invites Skateboard companies to the event and to also design a fun obstacle to skate during the competition. Four of the best designs are chosen. Each obstacle is skated on in jam session format for an hour with two members of each team skating at any one time. Skaters are judged on their ability and originality of their skating. Some of the teams this year are Amitz, Cliche, Blind, Radio, Palace, Death, Element and Flip (there are more, but off the top of my head that is all I can remember). As far as actual skaters in the event there are about 20 competing in each event at a time so it’s difficult to keep up. Names to look out for are Luan Oliveira, Geoff Rowley, Louis Lopez, Rob Smith, Nick Jensen, Lucien Clarke, actually, I reckon you should just head on over to the stream feed and get it watched just so I don’t have to type everyone’s name in.
As well as the Vans Downtown Showdown, (Vans and Volcom rider) Geoff Rowley’s long awaited Battle Commander also went live at the weekend. This is worth checking out, guest appearances from Jamie Thomas, Mark Appleyard, David Gonzalez and more. Click on the image below to get to The Berrics Website and Geoff’s Battle Commander.
Loads of new product has landed over the last few days and is up on the website. We have new lines from Globe, Volcom and Stance, I’ve picked out a few of my favourites but you should get yourself over there and check out all the new arrivals.
Globe Encore 2, the next phase of the original and very popular Encore. A good solid shoe, no messing about, a skate shoe for skaters and not half bad to look at either. Available in 4 new colour ways and a good price too at £49.99.
Loads of Stance socks just landed too, socks don’t have to be boring, check these bad boys out. They have a wide range to choose from, I like the Misfits pair. Don’t know who the Misfits are? I suggest you give yourself a shake and go do a Youtube search right now and find out!
Volcom short sleeve T-shirts up on-line too. You can’t go wrong with Volcom, good quality product, you get what you pay for. I’m down with the paint splat style design for sure.
Like I said, these are just a few of the new products to land over the last week, if none of these are speaking to you then you should have a look over to the New Products page, I’m sure we’ll have something you like.
Here is Ryan Decenzo’s Globe – United By Fate video part. This guy has one of the best fs 360s in the game, look out for the massive El Toro nollie too, crazy!
Street League Skateboarding Super Crown Final goes off this weekend at Newark, New Jersey, this Sunday, August 25, 2013 7PM (ET) (which as far as I can gather is midnight in Old Blighty)
The Street League Skateboarding Super Crown Final is, as would it’s title suggests, the final stage of the Street League tour. It consists of the 8 skaters that have continually shown their skill and consistency throughout the previous 2013 stages with the highest accumulative score. This years final sees Torey Pudwill, Chris Cole, Paul Rodriguez, Sean Malto, Shane O’Neill. Mickey Taylor, Luan Oliveira and Nyjah Huston.
Now provided you have ESPN at home, or a friend does, or some other way of getting access it shouldn’t be a problem watching it live. If not, as far as I can tell, you should be able to stream it live (ish, taking into consideration internet speed/connection) directly from the Street League Website.
All previous Street Leagues of 2013 have been amazing to watch, the skateboarding is at it’s highest level and something always goes down that just blows you mind. Right so too considering these Pros have battled it out against each other and all the other contenders in the previous events. This event should be even more exciting as it’s the final and of the final 8 contenders are gunning for first place, Mickey, Torey and luan especially as they don’t yet have a Street League win under their belt yet.
Whether you’re down with the whole Street League set up and format or not, there is no denying that the skateboarding outstanding. I know a few of my friends (usually the older guys) tend to look at Street League as a bit of a sell out and turning skateboarding too “commercial” and a bit “Dance monkey boy! Dance!”. I’d be inclined to agree, but, if you can look past the sensory overload of advertising, Nike SB plastered on EVERYTHING and the mind-numingly depressing and sometimes confused babblings of the commentators, (I heard the Geoff Rowley is commentating at this event though) it’s pretty damn good. Once you’ve managed to find a way to block out and shield yourself from the negative vibes emanating from you’re TV/PC and just focus on the skateboarding it really is amazing. think about the pressure these guys are under, all the people there watching them, it’s got to be intense, right? But they are still killing it, it might take you or I 20 attempts to get one trick, but they’re getting the job done first try most of the time. However you feel about Street League you can’t get away from the talent that is being showcased at these events.
Here is the final from the Los Angeles stop to get you amped for the next event…
20 years of Girl Skateboards
I’ve been away for a few days and had no internet access, or even mobile phone signal, so I’ve been a bit out of the loop. There have been a few things going down over the last few days but I think one of the most important events was that Girl Skateboards celebrated two decades of being on the scene. Girl Skateboards have now being supplying us (the skateboarding world) with some of the most influential skateboarders and video parts for 20 years. Although at the moment here at Urban surfer we do not currently stock any Girl Skateboards or Crailtap products I think it would be a crime to let it pass without saying a little something about it.
For those of you not familiar with Girl Skateboards (although I find that hard to believe) here is a very brief history of Girl Skateboards. Founded in 1993 Girl has evolved into a distribution company manufacturing hard goods, skateboard videos and films, soft goods. Girl Skateboards is only one aspect to the company to which it has developed into over the last 20 years. After only one year Girl also founded a second company, Chocolate Skateboards, the success of the Girl Brand inspiring its creation. Two years later, 1996, saw the creation of Fourstar Clothing. Another three years later, 1999, Royal Trucks was then founded. Around the same time Lakai Limited Footwear was also created. Going from a company making only skateboards to also distributing clothing, trucks and footwear in only 6 years.
Companies tend not to last to the grand old age of 20 and as a rule don’t explode into a multi-faceted company distributing all, or most, hard and soft goods. I’d like to think this is a result and testament to the skateboarding (the list of riders is immense, Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, Guy Mariano, Erick Koston, Rick McCrank, Chico Brenes, Brian Anderson, Mark Johnson, the list goes on and on) in their large catalogue of skate videos. Combined, Girl, Chocolate, Fourstar and Lakai, have put out about 30 skate videos, some full length videos, some promotional tour videos. Among those 30 are arguably some skateboarding’s most influential, possibly even best skate videos ever made (Mouse, Hot Chocolate, Yeah Right, Fully Flared, Pretty Sweet). They have without doubt released videos that reflect the progression of skateboarding at the time of their release, having further influence on the skateboarding community. In my opinion, I think it’s safe to say that without the presence of Girl Skateboards, and the companies that followed under her bosom, skateboarding might no be what we recognise it to be today.
So, hats off to Girl Skateboards, raise a glass and celebrate the past 20 years, wishing them another 20 more years of pushing skateboarding as far as they can. You cab pop on over to the Girl Skateboards website to see how they celebrated if you want, Thrasher Magazine also have a photo-gallery you might like to check out. I’ll leave you with some of my personal video parts from Girl, Chocolate and Lakai.
First up, Eric Koston’s Mouse Video Part.
Next, Justin Eldridge’s Hot Chocolate Part.
Brian Anderson’s Yeah Right Video Part.
Marc Johnson’s Fully Flared Video part.
Lastly, as seen as it is near impossible to find any full parts on Youtube of the Pretty Sweet Video Parts here is a French Fred Remix of Sean Malto’s Video Part.
I’ve been a bit slack this week with the blogging, but its been a busy one over the last couple of weeks, having more than one job has it’s drawbacks and there are only so many hours in the day (Sigh). Anyway, before the excuses start piling up, I figured that a bit silliness was in order for this blog. As you might already know I’m a big fan of Jenkem Magazine and their articles on the different kind of skaters you might meet or the weirdos and crazies that you find in a skatepark. So I guess this goes out to those guys at Jenkem.
The skatepark is full of obstacles, some of them are part of the park itself, ramps, ledges and rails, but some of them are of an organic nature and more unpredictable than the trusty old concrete. Here is my list of unpredictable obstacles that annoy the s**t out of you that you could probably find and want to avoid in a skatepark in the UK.
Buggy Mothers and offspring.
Buggy Mothers, usually travel in pairs, each has at least two kids, one each in the buggy/pushchair, the rest of them who’s combined ages is less than ten years are let loose in the park on some form of wheeled object, it could literally be anything. These kids obviously have no concept of how a park works and is constantly cutting across the fastest drop-in, ride up or ride out, also appear to be deaf to the warnings of other park users. You’ll notice a distinct lack of supervision as the Buggy Mams put the world to rights over a box of Lambert and Butler. Any reaction from parents is the barrage of abuse the child gets should it fall over or get ran into. If you are really unlucky the Buggy Mams will attempt to verbally assault you, using language normally reserved for a Tarantino film, if their unsupervised child falls under your wheels. Sometimes the male equivalent can be seen lurking at the park, usually with arms folded issuing constructive abuse at their clearly frightened child.
The Group of Weird Girls.
Weird as in behaviour, aged anywhere in the early to mid teens, travel in groups of three or more. Has a tendency to flock to whatever you’re skating at the time at sit there oblivious to their surroundings. Will ask dumb questions like “So, like, are those proper skaterboy trainers?”. Will assume the skatepark doubles up as an adventure playground using the ramps like a slide and screaming high enough to shatter glass. Leaves small deposits of chewing gum on everything they touch. Can usually be coaxed away from park with reason, but, occasionally one of the little princesses will take it upon themselves to inform you of your mistake.
The Know it all Chav.
Usually on their own, sometimes a slightly less intelligent and silent companion in tow. Probably topless or in a vest, might smell of cider, always trying to get a cigarette off someone, missing at least one front tooth. Might have a dog, or a horse. Although not really a threat to anyone he is best avoided if possible. Interaction will cause you to despair at the obvious decline in the national average IQ. He will believe it his right to inform you about the intricacies of your chosen sport and hobby. Possibly should be commended for his dedication to stupidity and sheer volume of misinformation he confidently distributes.
Can be found sat at in the park, usually on a block or bench, very rarely actually seen using the park or actually riding anywhere at all. Owns a nice board/shoes etc but they look unused. Smokes as many tabs as Dot Cotton. Constantly going on about the extensive catalogue of tricks they have performed, but when asked have an even bigger catalogue of excuses for why they can’t do it that day. Clearly enjoys the idea of it all but not prepared to put in the effort to learn anything and would rather make up fictitious stories in the hope of social acceptance. Sometimes large groups congregate around the park, usually in the most heavily used areas. Essentially posers.
Hockey Temper Monster.
It’s good to let of a bit steam if you’re not making the trick you’re trying. Vent it out, compose, try again. It could even be considered healthy to get that aggression out, a release. The hockey temper sometimes takes you by surprise and you can flip out at the person unlucky enough to be closest to you. It seems though that some people spend their entire time they are ‘having fun’ in hockey temper mode. They will loose their s**t at the drop of a hat, for the most trivial of things, red in the face, shouting at the top of their voice, sometimes near tears, throwing board at floor or smashing it of a rail. Can put the stink on a mood in minutes, highly embarrassing for everyone in the park.
The Park Hero.
Known by everyone in the park, was said to have done this gnarly trick once, has a moderate level of competence at riding the park. All three of which have given him delusions of grandeur turning him into a complete douche. Thinks that he’s the only person worthy of riding the park, will not tolerate others riding the same line, has no concept of taking his turn and a massive snake. Can switch into hockey temper unexpectedly at any moment but will either back down or gather his mates if confronted.
The bane of all skateparks, average age of about 14, assumed blind to anything outside of a one meter radius, highly skilled at snaking, impervious to reason. Rarely in groups of less than 10, scooters flock in herds from one side of the park to the other. If not attempting endurance laps of the skatepark they congregate like the Fashion Victim near an obstacle. Capable of covering a park in sweets, crisps, pop, chewing gum and/or spit in a matter of minutes. Although having only being alive half of the time you’ve been skating have superiour knowledge of the history of skateparks and the difficult process involved in campaigning the local council to have one built. Can often be heard saying “There should be one skatepark for scooters and one for everyone else!”
The affliction of spitting holds no prejudice, any sane individual might fall victim to it’s evil ways. OK, so sometimes you have to spit, that’s fine, just spit outside of the park, easy enough right? No, some people are so tragically afflicted that lung-slugs seem to continuously flow from their mouths on to the floor of the park. Skaters, BMXers and Bladers can all be guilty of spitting on the park. But by far the worst offenders are Fashion Victim, Know it all Chav and Scooter Kid. Confrontation results in speedier spit production, leading to a large body of ‘water’ being formed and various aquatic life soon emerging.
There’s my 8 obstacles (yes, that means people) to avoid in a skatepark, there are others, but these 8 are those that bug me the most at the moment. Look out for them, avoid if possible, certainly don’t invite them round for tea. So be careful out there, the skatepark, especially outdoor parks without an entry fee, attract the loons, nutters and intellectually challenged.
Here’s a totally unrelated video, enjoy.