Wednesday, November 22, 2017

CCS Shoes 1990 - 1992.

Get yo kicks.

This is a retrospective of the shoe pages from assorted California Cheap Skates catalogs from 1990 to 1992. We wore some kind of weird footwear back then. It's also crazy to think how the catalogs had between two to four pages of shoes compared to how many different brands there are today. Fewer choices isn't always a bad thing.

Airwalk, Vans, and Vision are the big three. It's a little surprising how few options Vans offers. There is Steve Caballero's model, the Classic High Top, and the Chukka Boot. It seems odd that the Classic Low is not available. Maybe people really weren't skating the low at the time so CCS didn't carry them. I never had any Vision sneakers. There are also the initial offerings from Etnies and Simple.

I primarily stuck to Airwalk and had a good sampling of their assorted models. I like the 540˚ in blue. I went through two pairs of the Velocity model, one in black and one in white. I had a pair of the Enigma in the classic green colorway. I also had two pairs of the 620˚. I think I had the black ones and a version with a white/purple color scheme. I really wanted the NTS, but that never happened.

I tried out the Etnies E-Z when I started college. They were very stiff and I don't think they ever broke in correctly. They were durable, but if I had them today, I would have tossed 'em for being uncomfortable.

Were Simple Shoes vegan? The copy is poorly worded. It sort of sounds like they used some synthetic materials, but at the same time used leather and suede.

Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday, November 27th. Have a good holiday and/or weekend.

Top to bottom:
1. Spring/Summer 1990
2. Fall 1991
3. Winter 1991/1992
4. Winter 1991/1992
5. CCS Fall 1992
6. CCS Fall 1992
7. CCS Fall 1992

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Plaza.

For those of us who didn't grow up with an urban plaza like Love Park, EMB, or the one designed by Rob Dyrdek, this is what a plaza looked like. Depending upon the size of your town, there were usually a couple of strips of asphalt and concrete that maybe offered a few things to skate. If suburban sprawl set in, your town was blessed/cursed with a whole bunch of these things. At the least there was a lot of flatground. Maybe it wasn't always the smoothest flatground, but there was a lot of it.

The plaza has been somewhat unchanged over the years in terms of general layout. I'm guessing that it was skated in the 1980s, but the peek usage was in the early to mid 1990s. Kids probably still skate there today, but there isn't much left and there are always cops around. It has seen the coming and going of many businesses over the years. There was a donut shop and a Fotomat. Both have long since been demolished. The donut place has been replaced with a drug store that does have a couple of manual pads. The film processing kiosk is now parking spaces.

We would skateboard here after 9:00 PM when all the stores had closed. It was relatively hassle free. There used to be a couple of wooden benches that could be moved. My recollection is that the only time the cops said anything was if the benches were moved away from the storefronts. There was a little flat gap on the right side of Big Lots, formerly Sidey's, where a couple of shrubs used to be. I remember a lot of time spent trying flip tricks in the parking lot during the early 90s. It was not the greatest blacktop at the time.

Honestly, the plaza was lacking for excitement. I don't think I hated the place, but I wasn't thrilled with it either. It was more of a neutral default spot. The benches were mediocre at best, although they did slide OK for board and nose slides. There weren't any curbs, sidewalks, loading docks, or stairs like some of the better plazas I've skated over the years. I feel we gave up on going here because it was dull.

Monday, November 20, 2017


"The sun is the enemy of all skateboarders. It brings onlookers, who bring security guards, who bring ignorance. And it's too damn hot. The night time is a refuse from society. It's pure freedom at 3 am." - Paco Leche

This is a head scratcher of a spot. We used to skateboard here at night during the summer of 1996 or 97. I think it was 96. We'd go at about 9:30 PM, roll for a half hour, and then go elsewhere. We might have even done some shopping. What makes it puzzling is that we never got kicked out and nobody said anything. It was usually my friend Paul and I. Our friend Kyle and maybe a random college student who skated would come, too.

There were red curbs and a sidewalk all the way around the front of the building. We would skate the part of the sidewalk that was roughly where the Walmart sign is. There's an entrance immediately to the left that isn't in the photo. This area was set back from that entrance so it wasn't really in direct traffic and you could hit the curbs. Not that I remember there being many cars. It might have been the fire lane area. I also don't recall if the store was open 24 hours at the time or not. There would be the occasional employee out on a smoke break and that was about it for human interaction.

They remodeled the building into a super center about ten years ago to give it a completely flat and curb free front. Just another example of how architects are designing buildings to eliminate skateboarders from the environment. Thanks for the slappys on the red curbs and not kicking us out, Walmart.

Note: I adjusted the levels in the photo to add a bunch of yellow to give it the lighting I remember and not the sterile white light of the present day.

For the quote: Wrench Pilot No. 18 - Transworld - July 1991 Volume 9 Number 7

Friday, November 17, 2017

Louie Barletta #6.

"I've always had a job and have never taken too many things for granted: from McDonald's when I was 16 to buy my first car, to having a board out and still moonlighting as a manager at the local coffee shop, to fixing houses in between filming trips - I'm blue collar. Work is in my blood."

Sweet Lou grinds over the bar. You have to really appreciate the creativity in Louie's trick selection. One minute it's a switch hardflip and the next it's a caveman to wallride.

Two spot stories and old shoes from CCS for next week.

For the quote: Thrasher - December 2014 Volume 35 Number 12

Transworld - August 2011 Volume 29 Number 8

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Rick Howard #14.

The Cutter.

Rick noseslides a big handrail from the Yeah Right! days.

Apparently today is the ten year anniversary of the release of Lakai's Fully Flared video.

The photo is by Ben Colen.

Thrasher - July 2003 Volume 23 Number 7

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dennis Busenitz #4.

Dennis decks a backside disaster on a steep quarter.

I stand corrected on the Berrics magazine. They did move subscribers of the Skateboard Mag over to the new venture. I got the debut issue the other day. The Berries reminds of Warp.

The day off was OK. I went skateboarding for a bit, but was moving a little slow. The weather was nice at least.

Thrasher - June 2003 Volume 23 Number 6

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Jake Johnson #4.

"I would really like to be an inventor. Maybe coming up with some of those as-seen-on-TV things, probably living in a mobile home. Who knows, I could have a family, too. I just wanna be happy and skating vert."

Jake takes a switch frontside 360 up and over the handrail Mike Carroll backside 50-50'd for a Slap cover. I picked this one because a 360 over a rail is pretty crazy, but a switch one is the next level.

For the quote: Thrasher - March 2016 Volume 37 Number 3

Thrasher - June 2016 Volume 37 Number 6