Thursday, March 22, 2018

Kevin "Spanky" Long #6.

Staring at the sea.

Kevin was one of the new ams on Baker and Emerica in the early 2000s. It's interesting to see who manages to stick around compared to the people who burn out after a short career. He had ridden for Sixteen and Kareem Campbell's City Stars before joining Baker. He won the Skate Park of Tampa's 2003 Tampa Am contest and turned pro soon after. The kid they called Spanky has had a few obstacles to defeat over the years, but he's still pro today with a board on Baker. He's also still on Emerica and RVCA. I'm glad to see Kevin has persevered to keep on rolling. He's put out some good video parts and interviews with a nice mix of modern and classic tricks.

Transworld - December 2002 Volume 20 Number 12

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Emeric Pratt.

Sorry ma, forgot to take out the trash.

Iota was a board company produced by Fobia Skate Shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team included Steve Nesser, Brian Heck, Neal Erickson, and a few more Twin Cities locals. They had some neat ads to go with Steve's handrail assault.

Is Emeric taking this grab to backside lipslide? He had an ad with a melon grab to frontside lipslide so that makes me think he's going to land on the rail.

Transworld - Winter 2002 Volume 20 Number 13

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hollywood Team.

The A-List.

Hollywood was Kris Markovich's company under the Tum Yeto banner. He had been riding for Foundation and was getting a lot of offers from other brands so he opted to start his own gig with Tod Swank. He peaced out for Blind in 2003 and the set got dark soon after for Hollywood.

I settled on a bunch of stuff from the early 2000s for the current batch of scans. It feels like enough time has passed from that span that it is exciting to look at again. Of course, I'm probably only going to end up playing my favorites since by that point I had been skateboarding for fifteen years and had a fairly solid idea of what I liked versus what I wasn't into. Those Transworlds were thick and you don't always remember everything that was hidden in the back.

Transworld - December 2002 Volume 20 Number 12

Monday, March 19, 2018

Daniel Shimizu #2.

Make up is lies.

Daniel recently retired from the ranks of professional skateboarding after a long career of jumping down handrails and grinding ledges. He was sponsored by Formula One, Foundation, Stereo, Bummer High, and Heroin over the years. He was also on Nike and had a solid part in their Nothing But The Truth video from 2007.

I had his board back in 2013. It was a somewhat odd and squarish shape that was really comfortable to ride. The metallic gold paint looks awesome.

Transworld - December 2002 Volume 20 Number 12

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Village Skatepark.

My village made a halfhearted attempt to have a skatepark in 1997 and 1998. They used the parking lot at one of the parks to host a collection of ramps for the kids to skateboard and rollerblade on for two summers. The ramps were six wooden wedge ramps that were all about four feet wide, two feet tall, and six feet in length. I want to say there was a square stage as well. It was a dull collection of obstacles, but at least you could move them around for the sake of variety. You could also turn the ramps up on the two foot side to do wallrides on. They didn't make you wear pads so that helped. There weren't any lights so the fun was over once it got dark.

The skatepark was launched in either late August or early September of 1997. I had skipped town for graduate school so I missed out on the inaugural season. I'm not exactly sure where the ramps came from. It seemed like it might have been a shop project from a local trade school, but that's a guess on my part.

For 1998, I was back home for summer after my first year of grad school. The skatepark was run through the village's youth recreation program. They always hire college and high school students to staff the program and I sent in a letter to see if they needed a person to be the skatepark monitor for the summer. I got the job. It was the only time I worked during my three summers off from grad school. I highly recommend taking the warm months off if you can get away with it.

I worked from June until mid August. I'd go in the morning for a couple hours, take a lunch break, work two hours in afternoon, and then come back after dinner for a little bit. This was a Monday through Friday gig. I'd have to get the kids to write their name down on a sign up sheet so they could keep track of how much use the place got. I suppose I also gave advice on how to skateboard to any kids that asked. I don't recall that happening very often.

In addition to the wedge ramps, a couple of ledges and manual pads of varying degrees of durability showed up in the parking lot. Some of those didn't go over too well with the program supervisor. I think the village even confiscated a slider bar or two. As with any spot you spend too much time at, the doldrums started to set in as the summer went on. I think I was hoping it would rain often by August. I know I skipped out one day to go see the Warped Tour, which was the last time I bothered with that traveling circus. I ditched a shift to see the X-Files movie, too.

A few notable moments:

1. The park itself has a baseball diamond, two pavilions for picnics, a basketball court, and a tennis court. It's a good size plot of land. Although there are a fair amount of trees around the park, it's also surrounded by houses. There are houses to the left and behind the vantage point of the photo. One of those houses hosted a daycare. Every so often demonic children from the daycare would wander over and climb on the ramps. The operators showed little concern where their clients had ventured off to and the children never wanted to leave. It sucked.

2. Since this was the late 90s, rollerblading was a thing that people did. There was one blader who was kind of annoying and he got into a fight with a skateboarder. They basically wrestled for a bit on the grass. No big deal, no punches thrown. I let 'em go at it for a minute or two and the fight, such as it was, was over. More than a few years later I was out at BJ's, the local dive bar, and this kid who is now all grown up and has tattoos comes up to me to ask if I was the skatepark monitor. I told him I was and he said he remembered how I let him beat up the rollerblader. I suppose this makes me either the worst or the best skatepark monitor ever.

3. I'd occasionally have to kick BMXers off the ramps. I cannot imagine the setup was much fun for them, but they would still show up. Most of them were nice enough and just looking for a place to ride. A BMX posse showed up the last night I worked there as I was leaving. I told them I don't work here any more and they could ride away.

The village hasn't made an attempt at a skatepark since. I sort of figured they would at some point since the rival burg has nice park. These days our water system needs a massive upgrade and a bunch of our roads aren't looking so hot, which means any investment in recreational facilities is not going to happen. At any rate, it was a decent summer where I got paid to hang out in a parking lot and skateboard. There are far worse ways to spend your time.

Vert Is Dead is taking a week off before spring starts and will be back on Monday, March 19th. I've got a couple of ideas so that's a good thing.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Chris Senn #5.

Stunts too dangerous for television.

After riding for Powell, Chris joined the broadcast staff at Channel One. He was on the air for a couple of years before leaving to start Adrenalin and then switching to Toy Machine. I like how Chris attacks spots as well as how he skates mini ramps.

Transworld - February 1994 Volume 12 Number 2

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Carl Shipman #4.

"Tony Hawk has always been good to watch on vert. He was so ahead of his time. Gonz is amazing, he was ahead of his time, too. Jason Lee in the old Blind video was so fat. I like skaters like that. Natas was rad. I like skaters who can skate everything - it's good to watch guys bust out on the street and then go bust out on vert. Vert's coming, in a way. It hasn't gone out, everybody is street, but I've always liked to watch vert, at Münster I liked watching Mike Frazier, I saw Jordan Richter bust out. Danny Way and Colin McKay were good on street and amazing on vert, too."

Keeping it simple.

Tobin Yelland snapped the photo.

For the quote: Transworld - February 1994 Volume 12 Number 2

Transworld - June 1994 Volume 12 Number 6