Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Leo Baker.

"All the kids want to sniff some glue, all the kids want somethin' to do."

Leo started Glue Skateboards with Cher Strauberry and Stephen Ostrowski in 2020. Glue is probably one of the first companies to openly represent queer, trans, and non-binary folks in skateboarding. We've come a long way since some of the idiotic crap in the 1990s, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Thrasher - August 2020 Volume 41 Number 8

Monday, January 18, 2021

Carl Aikens.

Fresh Chocolate.

Carl is one of the new ams on Chocolate. He's originally from Santa Clarita, California and now lives in New York City. His other sponsors include Nike, HUF, Val Surf, and Wayward Wheels. He's noted for busting some big ollies.

Since skateboarding is all about suffering, let's spend the next two weeks looking back on 2020.

The weather here has been very mild and snow free up until yesterday. Winter mode appears to be back on for the week ahead. I've gotten skateboarding twelve times this year. I set up a new board in early December and have yet to get any serious mud on the grip tape. This feels like an impressive accomplishment.

Thrasher - August 2020 Volume 41 Number 8

Friday, January 1, 2021

Omar Hassan #9.

Dirty Thirty.

Omar hit the three decade mark as a pro in 2020. I'm glad to see he keeps on going and wrecking all manner of transitions. Blockhead granted him his first pro board in 1990 and he rolls for the Black Label these days.

Well, that was an interesting 12 months. Let's never do a whole bunch of that ever again. On the plus side, I did get to skateboard a lot. I had a goal to skate at least 300 times and I accomplished that. The final tally was 315. There were probably a couple cheap ones in the winter months, but whatever. I had enough quality on board time to solidly reach my goal. Our weather has been smooth sailing all fall so that really helped. I only skated an indoor park once back in February so I'm talking proud about skating over 300 times outdoors in Western New York. I had a few observations about skateboarding over the year. Most of those are rather trite so I'm not going to bother. I will say that I skate best when I am relaxed and comfortable. Also skateboarding is hard and you definitely benefit from repetition as well as not thinking about how to physically do it when you aren't skating.

Sound Zone: Here's the Vert Is Dead unofficial top ten releases for the year. I got a little nostalgic for written music criticism and reviews so that's why I started doing these write-ups every month. I always like what Wez Lundry and Sam Hitz bring to the music writing at Thrasher. I wanted to skew the curve of skate rock more towards the experimental side for the sake of variety. It goes band/album/label for those with any questions.

1. C. Lavender - Myth of Equilibrium - Editions Mego

2. Container - Scramblers - Alter

3. Control Point - Dreamer's Disease - Hot Releases

4. Drainolith - Electric Hearse - Freedom From

5. Long Distance Poison - Technical Mentality - Hausu Mountain

6. Mi'ens - Future Child - Kill Rock Stars

7. MJ Guider - Sour Cherry Bell - Kranky

8. Bill Nace - Both - Drag City

9. Noveller - Arrow - Ba Da Bing

10. Pod Blotz - Transdimensional System - Dais

In the photo are Drainolith, C. Lavender, and Bill Nace.

Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday, January 18th, 2021. It's winter break time.

Have a safe and happy new year! There will be a quick look back at 2020 when I fire this thing up again in two weeks. I've got a batch of other stuff planned, too. Thanks for all the support.

Transworld - August 1990 Volume 8 Number 8

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Jim Thiebaud & Corey O'Brien.

New graphics.

These are a pair of ads from Strange Notes, the NHS publication that was part catalog and part 'zine. You've got the debut of the Thiebaud Avenger and a fresh set of spooky graphics for Corey. I dig both of these decks.

Have a safe New Year's Eve. There will be a year end wrap up post at some point tomorrow and then I'm taking a two week break. I might even get to go skateboard today in the cold, if it stays dry.

Jim's picture is by Sean Sullivan.

Jim: Strange Notes - October 1989 Number 12

Corey: Strange Notes - May 1990 Number 14

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Hugh "Bod" Boyle #7.

Awake to Venture.

I always liked how Bod rode for Venture. I wonder how many folks only know of him from the song in Memory Screen by Toxic Death Sentence and didn't realize how good he was at skating vert?

Thrasher - March 1990 Volume 10 Number 3

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Nicky Guerrero #5.

Nicky is from Copenhagen, Denmark. As luck would have it, he had relatives in California and got into skateboarding at a young age on trips to visit them. He was able to skate a number of the concrete parks in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Through contests and demos in Europe, Nicky was sponsored and turned pro. He rode for Titus, G & S, and Powell Peralta. Some of his favorites include Claus Grabke, Chris Miller, Steve Caballero, Ben Schroeder, Steve Salisian, Steve Claar, and Omar Hassan. His dad was in band that scored a few hits on the Danish pop charts. Nicky is into science fiction and outer space, along with music and art.

Transworld - September 1990 Volume 8 Number 9

Monday, December 28, 2020

Buster Halterman #4.

"I live on a dirt road on a farm and I wake up to the rooster."

Buster explains his hometown scene. He was born in New Jersey and relocated to Wellsville, Pennsylvania at a young age. Due to the lack of street spots, he gravitated toward vert ramps and built one in his barn. His favorite skater is Chris Miller. He liked a plain board with no rails, Gullwings, white wheels, and a minimal amount of stickers. For music, Buster was a fan of King Diamond and The Damned.

The photo is by Mark Waters.

For the information: Thrasher - February 1991 Volume 11 Number 2

Transworld - April 1991 Volume 9 Number 4