Monday, June 30, 2008

World Industries - A Stoner Company.

Another example of World Industries' silliness.

This is from when skateboard graphics were beginning to move away from the standard skull and crossbones type of stuff. Guys like Neil Blender, Mark Gonzales, Chris Miller and Andy Howell were starting to design graphics that weren't all blood and guts. Street skating was becoming more popular and a skull with a dagger just wasn't going to cut it any more. Skateboarding's visual image needed a change. This had both positives and negatives. On the one hand, we were exposed to a large variety of new art. This certainly helped influence my own art and presented another side of skateboarding that I could relate to - the creative, art minded side. The drawback is that the gnarly vert shredders got kicked to the curb. Skateboarding always needs punk rock and skulls in it, regardless of the majority opinion of the time. If it isn't offending somebody, then something is wrong.

Thrasher - October 1990 Volume 10 Number 10

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Peter Hewitt.

The current Anti - Hero vert soldier got his start on Team Hosoi.

Thrasher - August 1989 Volume 9 Number 8

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mark Farrington.

Mark Farrington doing a 43 in San Jose. The photo is by Miki Vuckovich. Farrington rode for Vision.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mark Gonzales.

Mark Gonzales doing an ollie to fakie at the La Mirada Ramp in a photo by O. I can't believe it has taken me this long to get to posting a photo of the Gonz. I also can't believe I hadn't posted any photos by O yet either. He's one of my favorite characters from back in the day. His shared part with Lance Mountain and Neil Blender in Powell Peralta's Ban This is total comedy. O was also in the band Olivelawn and later Fluf. He might still be doing Fluf, actually. I don't know if they are still around. Everybody should know Olivelawn from their song "College Volume Pedal." It was used for the mini ramp section in Plan B's Questionable video, which is the greatest mini ramp part ever put together. I still use that as a measuring stick to judge new videos that have mini ramp parts.

Transworld - September 1989 Volume 7 Number 5

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Coco Santiago & Sean Sheffey.

Coco Santiago and Sean Sheffey ollie a canyon in New York City. The photo is by Bryce Kanights. I'm positive this picture has run other places in Thrasher, but it received full page glory in the 1990 calendar.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Alien Workshop Notebook Series.

Neil Blender is brilliant.

Transworld - December 1993 Volume 11 Number 12

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Julien Stranger #2.

Stranger's first ad for Real. I don't know if this is the best ad ever with him, but pretty much anything he is in is the best ever. It stuck in my mind for whatever reason after 15 years. I believe Ed Templeton was quoted as saying that Stranger was a guy who you were stoked on even if it was just a picture of him reading a book. He's riding the Salman Agah board with the horizontal stripes on it. For all the effort and skill that goes into board art, two decks that I really like are that one and the Duane Pitre olives. Minimalism is nice sometimes.

Thrasher - September 1993 Volume 13 Number 9

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ocean Howell.

Pure style. I got nothing to say beyond that.

Thrasher - August 1993 Volume 13 Number 8

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eric Koston.

"The second - place mini - ramp champ's name is Eric Koston. Eric had endless combinations of tricks, as well as some flights worthy of praise. Ollie tail - grab."

This Mark Water's photo of Eric Koston is from the 1991 NSA Amateur Finals at the Skate Zone in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to second on the mini - ramp, Koston got fourth, in between Fred Gall at third and Andrew Reynolds at fifth on street. Jordan Richter won the mini, got third in vert and tenth in street. A few of the other riders in the contest included Willy Santos, Chris Senn, Tim Brauch, John Cardiel, Colin McKay, Chet Thomas, Matt Beach and Steve Berra.

The one thing I've been noticing about the photos in the old magazines is that the skateboarders are always wearing pads at contests, even on the street courses. Some of the street setups were rather tiny and laughable, too. In addition, some of the pads were tiny and laughable as well, with guys having elbow pads for knee pads. You used to have to wear pads at nearly every park. I understand the importance of safety gear for vert and helmets in general, but pads just limit your range of motion on street and smaller ramps. This might have been an additional factor contributing to closing of many skateparks in the early 90s. Why wear nasty kneepads to skate a two foot high hip or a ledge when you can go ride the streets for free? It's a shame the parks closed up back then because I lived in an area that had winter. Curse the lawsuits and insurance issues.

Transworld - February 1992 Volume 10 Number 2

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mike Taylor.

Mike Taylor was an am who was getting some decent coverage in the early 1990s and then disappeared around 1992. This happens a lot. I'm curious what happened to him. Was it an injury? Was he over skateboarding when the wheels got smaller? Was he a kook?

Taylor rode for Vision and G & S. I don't believe that he ever went pro, even with G & S loosing a number of riders when Alien Workshop and Birdhouse Projects started. The handwriting on the board reads "New Power Generation" and is a most likely a reference to Prince's band at the time. I say most likely because you never know sometimes.

Sin Egelja took the photo.

Note: This is not the same Mikey Taylor who currently rides for Alien Workshop.

Thrasher - March 1992 Volume 12 Number 3

Friday, June 20, 2008

Eric Ricks.

For this week I've been posting pictures from 1992. I wanted to mix it up and I got tired of having to move the stack of magazines from 92 to get to the older ones. 1992 was a transition period from bigger boards with rails and high tops to slick bottoms, smaller wheels and low tops. The year wasn't without its charm, but it didn't yield many awesome images that I wanted to scan in.

Steve Sherman's photo of Eric Ricks' fire hydrant ollie perfectly sums the good things up. Baggy shorts, baggy button down shirt, Adidas and small wheels. Even though the photo is a BW, I'm sure Ricks' clothes are correctly color coordinated. That hat probably matches the shoes and the shirt might have a bit of the same color in the pattern. It's little things like that help unify a photo or work of art and make it stand out. The picture wouldn't be the same if he was wearing some nasty purple oversized jeans and an extra baggy green shirt. Also, I know people tend to think of the big pants/small wheels era as having a lot of low to the ground flip tricks, but thankfully there were still skaters with pop getting off the ground.

Transworld - December 1992 Volume 10 Number 12

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Barker Barrett.

"Barker Barrett, an East Coast skater with all the right moves, goes over the top with a one - footed nose bonker somewhere near Gotham City."

Some of my friends were big fans of Barrett when he was starting to get a lot of coverage in the early 1990s. He always looked very stylish in all the photos and was usually doing some hot new street move. Barrett and Jason Lee certainly helped sell some Airwalk Enigmas.

The photo is by Ken Salerno.

Thrasher - February 1992 Volume 12 Number 2

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sean Sheffey.

You can't discuss skateboarding in 1992 without mentioning the rip off graphics. Everybody was biting any sort of logo they could find, with either hilarious or horrible results. It made sense at the time, but in retrospect it got a little ridiculous. A lot of the creativity that went along with skateboarding went down the shitter. Sheffey's Droors/Eightball advertisement had him placed onto the cover of Ice Cube's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted album in what is probably an early example of messing around with Adobe Photoshop. I'm going to say that this is one of the better rip offs of the time. Droors/Eightball eventually became the DC Shoe Company.

Transworld - September 1992 Volume 10 Number 9

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Karl Watson.

A young Karl Watson noseblunt slides a curb for Venture Trucks. I like how subtle this ad is. It is almost subliminal with the light font for Venture and the sticker on the board.

Thrasher - January 1992 Volume 12 Number 1

Monday, June 16, 2008

John Cardiel.

"Eager night crawler John Cardiel jumps onto the hook. He can't wait to be inside a fish"

Tobin Yelland's photo of Cardiel was used in an article by GSD on the advantages of skateboarding at night. It is one hell of a cheesy caption, but a neat photo. Cardiel would have been on Dogtown. By the shape of the board and the time required to prepare magazines back then, I'm guessing the picture was taken in late 1991. He might even be riding a slick bottom board. This would have been when Cardiel was starting to blow up. It seemed a little surprising when Thrasher named him SOTY for 1992, but they knew what they were doing and getting us ready for the future.

Transworld - May 1992 Volume 10 Number 5

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Julien Stranger.

This Santa Cruz Speed Wheels advertisement was in the same issue of Transworld as Stranger's Pro Spotlight. Stranger was on SMA at the time, but would leave for a brief stint on Underworld Element in a few months before getting on Real.

Transworld - March 1992 Volume 10 Number 3

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rick Winsor.

Slimeball Fizz
13 prime party butts
2 owl pellets
1 toad frog (fresh)
1 wad ABC gum (bubble)
1 ptero goober pad
62 spewage phlegm (ganrly)
1 arachnid
1/2" hairball
Add Meeksterbrau.

Mix well with Slimeball 97A.
Let dribble into crockpot.


Thrasher - November 1989 Volume 9 Number 11

Friday, June 13, 2008

Natas Kaupas.

I figured I had to go with something evil for Friday the 13th. (Or it was going to be the Slimeball ad where Ricky Winsor drinks the bowl of gutter vomit, but I found this bad boy first.) This is one of the classic graphics that helped define World Industries and its related brands, 101 and Blind, in the early 1990s. Marc McKee created the beast, which totally played on Natas' name. Just because Natas is of Lithuanian descent and his name spells Satan backwards, the anti - skateboard crowd picked on him. Given World's fuck you attitude of the time, they did what they could to piss people off. I had this ad hanging in my locker at high school. I somehow don't think you could get away with that in a school today. It seems kind of tame by current standards.

Thrasher - June 1991 Volume 11 Number 6

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ron Chatman.

World Industries at its finest.

Transworld - April 1990 Volume 8 Number 4

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The New Deal #2.

The second New Deal ad. You've got Danny Sargent at the China Banks and an Andy Howell drawing of a monkey, plus a nifty little statement of purpose. The grand irony in all of this? A couple years after the New Deal started, Howell began a little venture called Underworld Element. The name Underworld was soon sadly dropped and we were left with Element. As in the same Element that today sponsors Bam Margera, Mike Vallely and Chad Muska and has a sizable chunk of the action sports soft goods market. I would safely say that Element is bigger than Vision ever was. Not that many (any?) of the original group that started the New Deal are still with the company, but it makes you wonder if they would have stuck with their plan had they known how the future would have them becoming exactly what they were trying to get away from? The overall growth of skateboarding has been largely beneficial with more places to ride and better equipment, yet it sometimes feels like small things got lost along the way.

Thrasher - July 1990 Volume 10 Number 7

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The New Deal #1.

"As long as we're not a rock - n - roll band and we don't make coffee..."

I think that the tag line of not being a rock - n - roll band or a coffee company has to be the greatest intro ever. It was so appropriate for a new skateboard company in 1990 and that philosophy should still hold true, but the business is a little bigger these days. The New Deal started that summer and this was their first ad. The bulk of the Schmitt Stix team left the Vision empire and started something new. Besides bringing yellow and black layouts to skateboarding, the New Deal, along with H - Street, Blind and World Industries ushered in a new era of street oriented skateboarding. These companies were the complete opposite of Powell Peralta, Vision and Santa Cruz. They weren't big when they started, but were much smaller and owned by skaters who were still in their prime. It was the hot new kids with a fresh look versus the old corporate dinosaurs. Although in retrospect, the corporate dinosaurs weren't that far removed from skateboarding and had only been around fifteen years at the most. At the time in 1990, there was still room for both in the industry, but that would change very quickly.

Thrasher - June 1990 Volume 10 Number 6

Monday, June 9, 2008

Steve Claar.

"Europe's vast variety of skate terrain was highlighted by the fabulous Berg Fidel Skater Park in Munster Germany. The park consists of a snake run and an eleven - foot - deep bowl; both are made of concrete and topped with metal coping. Munster local Steve Claar finds himself with plenty of breathing room as he hovers a lofty frontside ollie across the bowl's channel."

This photo of Steve Claar is from a summer tour of Europe by Dave Swift. Dig the messed up bunny graphics by Neil Blender. I always thought Claar was cool just by his association with Blender. The massive frontside ollies didn't hurt either.

Transworld - February 1991 Volume 9 Number 2

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jim Thiebaud & Mike Conroy.

These are two stickers from 1990 that showcase some vintage Santa Monica Airlines artwork. I have a shoe box full of stickers that I went through recently because I thought I had a few older ones that would make for good scans. Aside from an unopened pack of Fucked Up Blind Kids, it turns out I don't have all that many from back in the day and nobody wants to see a Tracker, Kryptonics or Hook - Ups sticker all that much. I do have a huge quantity of each version of the Real logo from 2000 on and every color of Spitfire big head for when I decide to do a retrospective on either of those companies. Real had some neat logos a few years ago and their oval is a classic design.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Neil Blender.

"Into his own, sporting low tops and long hair, Neil Blender casually grabs tail off an over - vert wall at Westminster."

There's no way you can go wrong with Neil Blender. My friend Alan recently said that the only pro skateboarders he recognizes any more are Mark Gonzales, Jason Jessee and Neil Blender, plus maybe Frank Gerwer.

This is the same mini ramp Remy Stratton was skating for yesterday's post.

The photo was taken by Scott Needham.

Thrasher - January 1991 Volume 11 Number 1

Friday, June 6, 2008

Remy Stratton.

I don't think there has ever been a bad picture in print of Remy Stratton on a skateboard. Spike Jonze took the photo.

Transworld - May 1991 Volume 9 Number 5

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Justin Lovely.

The idea behind the Justin Lovely persona was a joke by Foundation owner Tod Swank. The gimmick was to have a pro model for a fictional person. The obvious gag for this ad is to claim that said fictional skateboarder placed first in the NSA Vertical Championships of 1989 in Dayton. The reality is that Swank got last in the contest and had a little fun with it. Some guy named Tony Hawk won the event. I wonder what he's up to these days?

For whatever reason the early Foundation advertisements have stuck with me visually throughout the years. The cut and paste 'zine style is a great look when coupled with Swank's simple drawings. It looked different from other stuff at the time. Plus the company had Dave Carnie and Andy Jenkins as riders.

Note that at the time of the ad, Foundation was still distributed by World Industries.

Thrasher - May 1989 Volume 9 Number 5

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This one still makes me laugh.

Transworld - June 1990 Volume 8 Number 6

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Riky Barnes.

The Lucero graphics are some of my favorites. They have an interesting mix of playfulness and well developed design. It isn't just an over simplified cartoonish outline, like some of the H - Street graphics. Don't get me wrong, I was a huge H - Street fan, but looking back I wish I had ridden some Lucero boards, too. I'm guessing this photo of Barnes was taken at the Turf. You can kind of make out the copers in the original ad and there weren't that many indoor bowls in 1989.

Thrasher - December 1989 Volume 9 Number 12

Monday, June 2, 2008

Chris Johanson.

This is from a Transworld feature on skateboarders who are also visual artists. Ron Cameron, Thomas Campbell, Sean Cliver, Dan Eastabrook, Mike Hill and Nisi were included in the story as well. The kids have it so easy today. Now they can pull out a copy of the Beautiful Losers exhibition book or reference the Art In America article on Chris Johanson from a few years ago. By the time fall hits, there will also be Ed Templeton's Deformer book. And I guess you can't forget the whole internet thing either. But back in the day when you would tell your art professors that you were influenced by Neil Blender or Mark Gonzales, all you would get in response was a blank stare.

Transworld October 1991 Volume 9 Number 10

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ben Schroeder.

I don't think there is much else to say about Ben Schroeder other than burly. He is doing a transfer from the vert ramp to the mini at Jeff Kendall's Kennedy Warehouse in San Jose. It took me forever to figure out what was going on because of the extreme distortion of the mini ramp from the fisheye lens when I first saw this ad.

Thrasher - July 1989 Volume 9 Number 7