Monday, August 3, 2009

Sam Cunningham.

It's Blockhead week. The company was started by Dave Bergthold in 1985 and was around until 1994 when it changed to Invisible. There are occasional anniversary reissues of Blockhead products. Thanks to a combination of a ripping team and the unique art of Ron Cameron, the brand has retained a special place in the hearts of old dudes. I think they blended being weird and creative without being too kooky quite well. Once wheels got small and pants got big, Blockhead tried to keep up with what was going on without much luck.

The big three pros were Sam Cunningham, Jim Gray and Mark Partain. Soon a kid named Omar Hassan was given a board with his name on it. Rick Howard also turned pro for Blockhead. Other notables to ride for the team included Steve Berra, Jeremy Wray, Jason Dill, Dan Rogers and Laban Pheidias.

Sam was from Sacramento and was an all around skateboarder - street, vert, mini and pools. These days he works for a college caring for reptiles, something he talked about in the Poweredge interview that this picture is taken from. I'm pretty sure he still skates, too.

The photo is by Christian Kline.

Poweredge - July 1989 Volume 2 Number 6


iSapien 1956672 said...

Wow, Poweredge! I lost all mine one year when water got in the basement, Thrashers & TWS dating from 1986 also. Not a lot of people remember or have even heard of Poweredge, the Gonz interwview issue is the stand-out one for me, when he jumps over that car from the side.

justin said...

I have three issues. The Sam Cunningham one with a Jason Lee cover, the one with the Mike Vallely interview and what I believe is the last issue with a Todd Congelliere interview. For some dumbass reason, I ripped a lot of the color photos out and hung them on my wall. I didn't do that with Thrasher or Transworld. It was hard to come by. I thought I read somewhere that the old issues were online.

I'm going to run a few more things from Poweredge over the next few weeks. Looking at them now, the mag was kind of a hodge podge of 80s culture with a lot of good skateboarding.

justin said...

It looks like Poweredge is coming back in September 2009:

The website looks a little sketchy.

Anonymous said...

I always liked Sam C. He was one of those rarely seen pros, who had a unique style. really smooth and solid.
the first Transworld I bought had his check out in it. I liked his long waterfall, and his sacto punk look from that time. I bought his Blockhead pro model twice in the late eighties. They were great! He was the first to have a 4+ inch nose on his board, which alot of skaters in 1987 thought was stupid. More recently Sam got a Krooked guest model, which is rad and deserved as he still skates ramps and pools and is aggro. thanks for putting this up.

Anonymous said...

I remember Sam's "Good Sam" deck. I wish I had one, you can't find one anywhere.

Anonymous said...

He still skates and rips!

If you skate pools, vert or skateparks in the East Bay or Pacifica\SF, you might run into him, I did more than a few times when I lived there a few years back. He was skating better than he was in the 80's.

I miss the Bay Area bad