Great Music + Solid Art Direction + Quality Editing+ Raw East Coast Street Skating= All Heart
Faith Restored in Humanity
If you guys haven’t already taken a look at Patrick Odell’s newest installment of Epicly Later’d, then you need to jump on that shit. The final part in Elissa Steamer’s series just went up this week. Ultimately, her impact on skating is heavier than pretty much anyone out there. The first female professional not only skates better than you do, but she probably does it with more style. Unfortunately, I think Elissa has been overlooked for a few reasons. Partly because of the fact that she’s so mellow and good natured. Another reason could be that she’s not (and never has been) a grandstanding self promoter. She’s never seemed to want that. More than anything, she just wanted to live the skate rat life and be one of the rippers.
photo courtesy of skatergirlinternational.tumblr.com
I’m stoked to see she’s staying healthy, and has moved into surfing now too. I just think that someone of Elissa’s stature that has had such an immense impact on skating, needs a role in the skate world. It sounds like she piles out here and there, but there has to be a place for her somewhere. All I can say is that if I were a Pierre or a Thiebaud or a Van Doren, that I would be looking to put her on the payroll somehow. Women in skating owe her a tremendous amount (obviously) as well. There are a ton of girls out there now that would put most of us to shame….and in my mind, that’s all because of Elissa Steamer.
photo courtesy of skateboarding.transworld.net
Okay, I’m really going to try and stay positive on this one…..really. Lil Wayne likes to ride skateboards now. Maybe you’ve heard this already. Fine…..just fine. He was inspired by Alex Midler, so he decided to pick up a board and become a “skater boy.” Again fine….just fine. Then things changed. Then he started his own “skate company.” He’s now pushing around with some professionals, he’s on the Berrics, and he’s getting shine from a ton of people including Lil Stevie. Then he went and said “Yes, I made skateboarding cool,” and now he has a signature shoe for Supra……maybe the Mayans were right.
photo courtesy of ditcradio.com
On the positive side, he’s taken some decent slams and continues to get back up. He’s trying to get better at skating, and seems to really be putting his heart into it. I like to see that. He’s promoting skateboarding, and clearly he has a lot of people listening. These are all good things. I do however have some serious concerns.
photo courtesy of livemusiccityblog.com
You did not make skateboarding cool. Please be careful about what you say and how you approach the world of skateboarding. For many of us skateboarding has been cool since you were in diapers. I’m only 4 years older than you my friend, and yet skateboarding has been cool for me since 1984. For others skateboarding has been cool since before Jay Adams made it cool. For others skateboarding has been cool since before Nashworthy urethane became the norm. For many of us skateboarding was cool when the world loved us, then when they hated us, when they thought we disappeared, and then when they loved us again. Skateboarding was cool when we were beat up just for skateboarding. Skateboarding was cool even when most girls hated us for skateboarding. Skateboarding was cool when…as an only child in the streets, my friends and my board were my escape.
I’m glad to hear that you are promoting skating, and it’s a good thing that some kids now think skateboarding is cool because of you. Again though I ask that you are careful in your words and actions. Right now there are kids sleeping in cars and on couches in Southern California just to get sponsored and make a life out of skateboarding. Those kids are hungry as fuck. Those kids would kill for a shoe on Supra. Those kids are what make skateboarding cool.
Congratulations on your success in the music world. I don’t like your music at all, but I give you credit for coming from meager beginnings and succeeding like very few ever have. I ask that as you move forward, please set a decent example for our kids in any way that you can. Don’t tell kids to drink Mt. Dew, let alone mix it with Codeine and Jolly Ranchers (you should stop that shit too by the way, it sounds fucking horrible). Set a good example in terms of skateboarding as well. Don’t forget, that for many of us it is not a passing fad. Skateboarding is who we are. There is a storied history to our world. Have some respect for that.
Ok so I’ve written briefly about Ray Barbee before and here’s why. He is absolutely one of my all time favorite people. I don’t really fan out over anyone (except maybe Gonz). I am however more likely to get riled up like JoJo the Idiot Circus Boy when I come across someone like Ray, than say …(insert random Us Weekly celeb here). Ray Barbee began to influence my skating back in the Public Domain days. To see someone my age, with similar style, skating street, keeping it fluid, and basically stringing together trick after trick…was mind blowing. I followed Ray through the years, and always admired the way he was true to himself, and the way that he grew as a person. For those that don’t know, music and photography are very important to him as well. Ray is a positive person with an incredible outlook on the world. Often in skating the people that get press and highlights are the complete piles of shit. We all love a comeback story, but it just seems like the glamorizing of self destructive behavior is so rampant in our world.
I’m all for bucking the norm, and punk rock ideals influenced me tremendously in my life as well. I don’t think you need to be a lazy, negative, gutterpunk to carve your own DIY path though. You can be a responsible father and husband. You can save your money. You can live in moderation. You can be an educated postmodernist. You can be an artist. You can think for yourself…. Too many good people in the world of skating have been lost to apathy, drug use, and lack of forward thinking. Sometimes when you throw tons of money at 15 year old kids (that have had little guidance in general) this type of thing can happen. We all have free will though, and we all truly care about skateboarding. People like Ray Barbee should be highlighted more often. Take a look at Chris Nieratko’s newest Adventures With Chris, check out Ray’s Independent At Home, and watch the all too short Epicly Later’d. For the young skaters out there please just think for yourself, don’t be a pile of shit, and keep doing what you love. Thanks Ray.
photo courtesy of stussy.com
Got a few million on hand? If so then you….yes you…have the potential to purchase DVS Shoes. On June 13th there will be an auction to see who can bail Brian, Kevin, and The Gav out of bankruptcy. It looks like they’ve been doing everything they can to keep that ship afloat. We wish all the boys well (still can’t believe dude is VP of anything). Check the details over at TW Business, and start saving some dough…..shit it’ll probably be an energy drink company.
photo courtesy of shop-eat-surf.com
I know for many of you this is kind of old news, but I had to put up a Haroshi post. The guy is an absolute inspiration, and he is the embodiment of DIY. …oh and I must have the new Haroshi-Huf Pro-models…clear cup soles?…so rad. Now stop reading this, and check out his Aberrican Me.
photos courtesy of haroshi.com
Former Skate TM and Co-Owner for RVCA Jimmy Arrighi left the company this last fall. I was bummed to hear this since I’ve always thought RVCA was a rad company, and that Jimmy was a huge part of their skate division’s credibility. We knew he’d be up to some clever big boy shit, and we were right. Eswic Apparel has a slaughterhouse of a team (RVCA exodus apparently), and they’ll be at Agenda this month. Good luck Jimmy we’re stoked for you, and can’t wait to see the new line.
photo courtesy of thrashermagazine.com
photo courtesy of atlantahatesus.com
I’m sick of the snowboarding vs. skateboarding thing. It’s clear there are differences culturally between the two. I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a bunch of shit that bugs me about both. I’m really trying to be more positive lately though, and I’ll leave the super rants to Avran. In the mean time, I’m stoked to see that 686 Outerwear and Fallen have come up with a collaboration line. I’m really into the Classic Fit Jeans and the Field Jacket. It’s rad to see The Chief isn’t too narrow minded. Check out more over at TW Biz.
The guys over at Ipath have been posting up some clips from their Search and Enjoy Tour lately. Two of those clips are of the Golden Spike State (you know it)…the state where Life is Elevated (hate that one)…A Pretty Great State (when we were underselling the place)….the state with The Greatest Snow on Earth (snowboarder prejudice)….the state I live in, and love more than any other. The state of UTAH. Check out one of the most diverse teams in skating camp, travel, and rip up the west…
The first clip is of the crew shredding slick rock down by Arches…
Baker Skateboards are no longer distributed by Freestyle Swede Per Welinder. Baker Boys Distribution has finally brought their flagship board company under the BBD umbrella. Read more about it at TWBusiness. Looks like Blitz will have to focus their efforts on Smolik, Lucero, and the rest of the clan. Congrats fellas.
photo courtesy of bakerboysdist.com
Here’s two you need to watch…
The second is a DIY skate short from Sean Pointing: Antifornia…Dave Dixon has some good insight.
photo courtesy of zimbio.com
My son started skateboarding this year. He’s 6 now, but started when he was 5. I won’t push him to do everything his dad does, but I have to say that I’m stoked he’s taking an interest. He means the entire world to me. I hope that whatever he chooses to pursue in life, that he gives it as much heart, creativity, and love….that Van Wastell gave to skateboarding. 3 years ago today the world lost one of it’s greatest.
photo courtesy of thrashermagazine.com
Van was the rare kind of kid that could skate anything with effortless style. I would even argue that there’s never been a regular footer (except Holmes) with more style. Feel free to disagree with me, but you’re wrong. If Gonz thinks you have style, then…end of story. Pinnacle achieved. Though I never knew Van personally, I do know that the guy could rip anything in sight. I also know that his family had a ton to do with why he was such a good person, and such a great skate rat. Wastyle was bred into him. Van has inspired so many kids over the years, and his legacy will always live on.
photo courtesy of thrashermagazine.com
My heart goes out to the Wastell/Villa families today.
Thanks for everything Van. We miss you. Rip in peace.
Poler is a new company that you need to support. Poler makes camping gear and apparel that’s focused on simple clean design. They’re run by good people, based out of Oregon, and their team is packed full of heroes (stoked to see who they pick up on the surf side too). I look forward to testing their gear in the coming months. Follow them on Twitter then go buy some Poler Stuff .
photo courtesy of poler.tumblr.com
photo courtesy of slamxhype.com
photo courtesy of …oruga fumadora de hachis…’s photostream
Life is about decisions and fine lines. As a sponsored athlete in an “Action Sport” (god I hate that term) you have some decisions to make. Assuming you are at an amateur or professional level, you will be faced with many decisions in reference to your “career.” I’m a nobody (though I’m a nobody that people actually seem to listen to), but here’s my opinion on some questions you may come across. My credibility? Oh I’m a 33 year old father of two with a super hot wife and a day job….and I’m huge in Japan. If that doesn’t do it for you then why the hell have you even been reading this thing? Anyway here it is.
1.Should I move to a place that could help my career?
YES.…more or less. Look there are exceptions I know. And yes it might give you more character to grow up skating in New England, surfing in Cocoa Beach, or Snowboarding in Michigan. However, the point of this whole thing is to get noticed. It’s no secret that you’ll get noticed easier when you’re near the leaders in your industry. I know that LA is full of Kooks, Salt Lake bars close at 1:00, and locals at Haleiwa aren’t always the most friendly. That shit can be worked out though. Maybe some of those places don’t have the character of your hometown, but life is long, and you can always head back once you’ve accomplished what you left for. So if you can make it happen relatively comfortably, then I say yes….make the move…at least for a while. Or don’t. Just freeze your balls off in North Dakota I don’t give a damn.
photo courtesy of warpedmelody.tumblr.com
2. Should I quit school?
NO. I know I know you think you’re peaking at 15 years old and need to drop everything to get in a van, get footie, and travel the world. It is tempting. The reality of it is though that your schooling can continue in conjunction with your career. Many ex athletes end up with little education, some shitty habits, and a half ass job in the industry. Believe me that you will be better served to have a couple degrees and a level head after your athletic career ends. If you’re smart enough to hire a CPA to help manage your earnings during this time also, you’ll come out with a chunk of change, a few damaged body parts, and at 30 years old, be ready to continue with a new chapter. Or whatever quit school, blaze up, and don’t wear a rubber. Natural Selection’s a bitch.
photo courtesy of 1957timecapsule.wordpress.com
3. Should I take that corporate sponsorship?
MAYBE? A friend of mine (BurritosandSnow) once said that it’s OK to make money, just be careful how you make it. Look carefully at who you choose to represent. I know that not everyone can skate for Rick Howard or Jim Thiebaud, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to ride for El Pollo Loco Skates….I do love their chicken though. Does riding for Burton mean your not core? Do you have to paddle out with Mitch’s Fins to be underground? That’s for you to decide ultimately. I would just say be careful. There are large companies (Nike/Adidas/Bonfire/Quiksilver/Etc.) that have hired good people with history in the industry. Many of these guys have given them the R&D knowledge, and cultural credibility to maybe make it worth your while. Gonz skates for Adidas, Joel Tudor and Al Knost hang heels for Vans. Like I said just make sure who you represent is actually good for the sport that you love. Or whatever. Shred for slim jim and tear into the spice you turd.
photo courtesy of skateandannoy.com
Overall I say go with your heart, and don’t be afraid to take a few risks along the way. Be smart, don’t party too damn much, and work work work. Blue collar work ethic can put you at the next level. Good luck and don’t sacrifice who you are for what you do. Or sell out as soon as possible, pound some Mt. Dew, and be hated by the people that helped you get there.