Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tim Gavin #3.

Happy trails, 2010.

Hope everybody has a good weekend. Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday.

Thrasher - October 1996 Volume 16 Number 10

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Forties #3.

Forties had some great ads in the mid 1990s. I think Micke Reyes did a lot of the art.

Already Been Done.

Slap - November 1996 Volume 5 Number 11

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scott Copalman.

The thrill of it all.

Scott was part of the original crew on Zero. Zero started to get big at the same time the Smashing Pumpkins had their t-shirt with the word zero on it. Some of the younger kids I was skating with would heckle college students that they saw wearing a Smashing Pumpkins shirt. The results were usually a nice alternative boy and his girlfriend left wondering who Jamie Thomas was and why would they be down with him. I'm sure they were also wondering why are these fifteen year old kids picking on them.

Transworld - August 1996 Volume 14 Number 8

Monday, December 27, 2010

Jesse Paez.

The holidays are over and it's back to 1996.

Jesse was the little kid who went big in the early years of Consolidated. He launched himself down some huge gaps. He later switched to Think and was on that team until he disappeared in the early 2000s. His brother Richard was also pro for Consolidated.

Airwalk decided to enter the then fledgeling pro shoe market by giving models Jason Lee and Tony Hawk.

I'll do another 1980s/early 1990s week sometime again soon just to add a little variety.

Jamie Mosberg was the camera guy.

Thrasher - July 1996 Volume 16 Number 7

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jeff Phillips #10.

"I never imagined I would get what I got. I never imagined I would be pro, making money doing all this stuff. I lived up to my goal in life. I remember being a kid and saying to my friend Kevin, the guy who dug out the Rathole, 'I'm going to be pro someday,' then laughing like there was no way. And here I am."

Merry Christmas & happy holidays.

For the quote: Thrasher - March 1990 Volume 10 Number 3

Transworld - October 1990 Volume 8 Number 10

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ray Underhill #3.

Ray is another fine skateboarder who left this mortal coil far too soon. He also invented the classic Experimental graphic that you would see Powell Peralta pros riding in the videos.

The old Powell stuff always makes me think of Christmas time, probably because there was always a new Bones Brigade video that came out just in time for the holiday.

The pictures are by Grant Brittain.

Transworld - April 1989 Volume 7 Number 2

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mark "Gator" Rogowski.

I wasn't ever a big Gator fan. His Transworld Pro Spotlight seemed really weird to the fourteen year old version of me. I don't think his graphics ever appealed to me either, although now being older I can fully see the benefits of continuity with variation on a theme. Sean Cliver has written a couple of great pieces on the numerous versions of the Gator spiral at his Disposable website. This is a stark comparison to the high turnaround rate of today's industry. When you say the name Tony Hawk or Steve Caballero or Jason Jessee, there is an instant art image to go along with the skater that is already burned in your mind, if you are old enough.

When was the last time that happened in skateboarding? Maybe with Chad Muska, but that was over a decade ago now. What pops in there for Eric Koston or Daewon Song or any of today's top pros? Are you really thinking Mike Carroll's Calvin eating mac & cheese model when you read his name? Well, OK, I am, but most probably aren't. I guess what I'm saying is that most of today's young pros aren't going to have an encounter down the road with somebody who got their board graphics tattooed on their arm like so many of the 1980s finest have.

I'm not writing any of this to complain or berate any of the fine artists and designers in today's skateboard world. A lot of you guys and girls are doing a great job. Please keep it up. These are just a few observations on how the visual mythology of skateboarding has changed. And for those that are putting the rider's name in a giant bold font and passing it off as art, try a little harder.

Transworld - December 1988 Volume 6 Number 6

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mark Partain #2.

Taking a classic ramp trick to an abrupt street obstacle.


The photo is by Miki Vuckovich.

Transworld - December 1988 Volume 6 Number 6

Monday, December 20, 2010

Omar Hassan #2.

Omar has been pro for twenty years now. He turned pro for Blockhead, went for a few years without a model at Acme and then it was back to having a model for Formula One. He switched to Black Label after that and has been with them ever since.

I watched the first Consolidated video on Saturday night. Or rather I watched most of it before I fell asleep on the couch. Alan Petersen and Andy Roy killed it. That's about all I remember.

Vert Is Dead will be updated every day this week, including Thursday and Friday. I don't have to work either of those days, but I'm still going to post something. Things have been busy at work the last few days and it will probably be that way until Wednesday afternoon. I'm also trying to finish up the art for a friend's CD on the side and that's been taking up most of my free time at the office. I will also be updating the week after Christmas. It might be back to 1996 stuff for then, but I'm not completely sure right now.

Steve Sherman was the photographer.

Transworld - May 1991 Volume 9 Number 5

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ed Templeton #10.

Work's been too hectic the last couple of days. It was supposed to be Gator today, but I never had a chance to write something up. I guess that isn't too important, but for somebody like Gator, there needs to be a little something more.

So anyway, I'm going with classic Ed Templeton from the Schmitt days. It looks like RVCA is still printing their ANP Quarterly magazine since a new issue showed up in my mailbox yesterday. It's got a neat little interview with OFF! and a longer interview with Brian Roettinger, the graphic designer who has done work for No Age and Liars.

Christian Kline took the photo sequence.

Transworld - October 1989 Volume 7 Number 6

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dave Carnie, Grahme Stanners & Tod Swank.

A beardless Carn Carn getting hella puke craze on a frontside grinder. Whalecock represent.

Transworld - August 1989 Volume 7 Number 4

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blaize Blouin #3.

The late and great Blaize Blouin.

I watched Geoff Graham's film Flying Sutra For Beginners last night. It's pretty cool. It kind of comes off as a long form music video for the band Flying Sutra and their sonic experiments. There is skateboarding in it, but it isn't a skateboarding video per se. There are some heavy duty lines at FDR and mini ramp destruction. If you like the arty montages Alien Workshop puts in their videos, then you will probably like this. If you hate the artiness, then don't even bother. I wonder if the Crailtap staff has seen the film yet because I think it would be their favorite video of the year. One section in Flying Sutra For Beginners features goats frolicking on a farm while a guy skates the back of a trailer. Goats! Lots of them.

Larry Workman was the photographer.

Transworld - January 1990 Volume 8 Number 1

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

John "Tex" Gibson #2.

John is doing Embassy Skateboards these days with Ken Fillion, Todd Prince and Troy Chason.

I'm wearing an Arcade shirt from the first time that company was around. Nostalgia online, nostalgia in real life.

Skateboarding Is and the Chrome Ball Incident are on the same page today.

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tom Groholski #4.

"I wear Skate Rags because they say skate."

Skate Rags was a clothing company done by Tracker. A lot of the Tracker and Blockhead riders wear on the team. I think I had a pair of their shorts.

Tom is making good use of simultaneous contrast with the yellow and purple.

Transworld - April 1989 Volume 7 Number 2

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tommy Guerrero #2.

I'm not going to lie. I never cared for the shape of any of Tommy's boards on Powell Peralta. However, the graphics are completely awesome. Not to mention that he's one of the best and most stylish skaters ever.

Transworld - December 1988 Volume 6 Number 6

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sam Cunningham #2.


The photos are by Kimball and Spike Jonze.

Transworld - November 1989 Volume 7 Number 7

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ricky Winsor #3.

“If you’re from Sac and you skate, you’re a badass, I guarantee it.”

I found the above quote from Ricky Winsor on a website called Midtown Monthly. It was in an article for an art show that covered the glory years of the Sacramento skate scene. The show was called Sacto Street Damage and happened in August of 2009 at Artifacts Gallery in Sacramento.

I usually try to find a little background to go with what I post, especially with lesser known pros just to provide some details about them. Even back then you didn't know much about people, just because there wasn't all that much information readily available. You certainly couldn't hook Joey Brezinski up with a spot on Twitter. A lot of times the internet doesn't turn up very much and other times, you find some good stuff. This time I found something cool. The article talked about the history of skateboarding in Sacto and gave a brief timeline of the scene. As for Winsor, he is working as mechanic who restores old cars and still skateboards every so often.

Transworld - December 1988 Volume 6 Number 6

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Damon Byrd.

Hey Jake H., here's the Damon Byrd you requested.

You gotta love the trick terminology from 1990.

Transworld - October 1990 Volume 8 Number 10

Monday, December 6, 2010

Natas Kaupas #2.

Brave Captain.

According to the new Transworld Buyer's Guide, Santa Cruz has a Rob Roskopp deck in production again. They are also making sweatpants, too. Yup, sweatpants. That's kind of gross.

In other 1980s skateboard news, Mike Vallely is back on Powell. Third time's a charm, right?

Transworld - February 1989 Volume 7 Number 1

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dan Drehobl #10.

Add it up.

I'm going to switch things up a bit for the next three weeks and go back to the late 1980s and very early 1990s. I've got a bunch of good stuff that's been sitting on my computer that I want to clear out. Christmas time makes me think of the old school stuff for some reason. Then it will be back to 1996 on either December 27 or the week after. I might take a little break. It's going to depend on what I feel like at the time.

Thrasher - June 1996 Volume 16 Number 6

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mike Manzoori.

Underrated 1990s all around shredder. He rode for ATM Click and Adrenalin. Mike made a graceful move to behind the camera while he was pro and is still a filmer for Sole Technology. He worked on some little video called Stay Gold recently.

In other related news, eS is going to be putting out a Sheep reissue sometime next spring.

Transworld - May 1996 Volume 14 Number 5

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pontus Alv.

I'm stoked on what this guy is doing. After Arcade fell apart the first time, I lost track of Pontus until Jocko Weyland sent me a copy of Strongest Of The Strange a couple years ago. That video is great and I need to track down his new film, In Search Of The Miraculous.

Mike Blabac snapped the sequence.

Transworld - May 1996 Volume 14 Number 5

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bob Burnquist.

Bob is from Brazil and started wrecking havoc on vert ramps in the mid 1990s due to his huge bag of switch tricks.

Thrasher - May 1996 Volume 16 Number 5

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pat Smith.

Pat is a one time Black Label rider from Maryland. It looks like he is doing Coda Skateboards these days in New York City.

The photos are credited to a David B.

Slap - May 1996 Volume 5 Number 5

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tommy Guerrero & Jim Thiebaud.

Happy Thanksgiving.

This was a Real ad from the 15th anniversary issue of Thrasher. The photos at that point were ten and eleven years old. That was almost fifteen years ago now. Both guys are still rolling to this day.*

* I follow Thiebaud on Twitter and know that technically as of this moment he isn't skating due to an injury, but he will be again shortly. Get well soon.

Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday.

Thrasher - January 1996 Volume 16 Number 1

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jason Guthrie & Thomas Taylor.

Torque was a company out of Atlanta run by Thomas Taylor. Taylor was an am for Schmitt Stix back in the day. He runs Stratosphere skateboard shop, too. His son, Grant, is pro for Alien Workshop and has to be one of the most well rounded skaters out there today.

The photos are credited to Alf Elder.

Slap - April 1996 Volume 5 Number 4

Monday, November 22, 2010

Julien Stranger #10.

Upwardly mobile vagrant.

It's a little weird seeing Julien wearing shoes that aren't Vans.

The ad for Fucktards.

Thrasher - February 1996 Volume 16 Number 2

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ronnie Creager.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Transworld - August 1996 Volume 14 Number 8

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Laban Pheidias #3.

There are a few rumors floating around the internet that Sheep Shoes might be back in business. This is an ad from when they were just getting started. The company was done by Sole Tech and featured vegan friendly footwear in addition to dead cows for your feet. Their designs were nice and simple. I liked the brand and wore the shoes in the 1990s, but I'm not sure I could wear them today. Something about the name Sheep made sense at that point in the culture of skateboarding, whereas it doesn't necessarily do the same today. Somethings are better left as a memory.

Transworld - July 1996 Volume 14 Number 7

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jim Greco.

Grecs back in the Birdhouse days. What a long, strange trip it has been from then to now.

Sean Cronan was the photographer.

Transworld - August 1996 Volume 14 Number 8

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kenny Hughes.

"I'm gonna be a Jedi."

I liked watching Kenny's big and casual style in the old Element videos.


If anybody out there has any pictures, videos or stories about Mike Bouchard, please feel free to contact his sister Pamela at The family is working on putting together a memorial for him.

Ryan Gee took the photo.

Slap - August 1996 Volume 5 Number 8

Friday, November 12, 2010

Donny Humes.

It's a Fine Art Friday.

Donny is a Columbus, Ohio local who has been putting out his Smelly Curb 'zine since the 1980s.

There's so much good skateboard stuff going on right now:

1. Chrome Ball Incident's interview with Justin Girard

2. Dan Watson's sponsor me video for the Roger Sticker Team.

3. Going skateboarding after work for thirty minutes before the darkness sets in. Stupid stinkin' clock change.

Thrasher - February 1996 Volume 16 Number 2

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Caesar Singh #2.

Caesar delivers a hard trick caught clean.

For those of you who want to relive part of the 1990s, Five-O Threads has some new Gino Iannucci and Henry Sanchez t-shirts for sale.

Chris Ortiz takes a lot of photos.

Slap - January 1996 Volume 5 Number 1

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Steve Olson #2.

Steve Olson was a character.

It's interesting that back in the 1990s the mags always made it a point to refer to Foundation's Steve Olson as the younger or the new school guy, so as to avoid confusion with the elder Steve Olson. This was probably done for the older guys more than for us youngsters. Nowadays the kids might not know who this Olson was, but know all about Alex's dad.

Thrasher - February 1996 Volume 16 Number 2

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mike Bouchard.

RIP Mike.

I scanned this in last week because I always liked the Sub Zero board graphic. Then when I got the new issue of Thrasher yesterday, I was bummed to see that he had passed away.

This was written by Ricky Oyola on the Traffic website:

"I got news this past week that a good friend of mine has passed away. Mike "Boosh" Bouchard died in his sleep. I don't know what to say really but I know he had friends in the skate community from all over world. He was a ripper to say the least and he definitely stoked me out to go skating. He spent time in Colorado and in Florida but always made it back home here in and around Philly. We had great times blazing the streets of Philly, hitting Love and beyond. A more closer time period is when he lived a few blocks from me in South Philly and we started skating the warehouse. In the beginning of the warehouse days, we would skate with the whole squad getting used to all the different trannies and then him and I would come back during the days while all the hessians were at work and we would try and learn all the lines we saw the previous night. Without his presence and push I would have never learned to skate the warehouse the way I did and some of you might remember a sequence I shot there that I coined "THE BOOSH RIDE". I tried to get that phrase known but still fuckers call it a hippie wall ride. You need someone to help push you and Boosh was my partner in crime for a good stretch. He was always down to help me with my crazy concoctions that at least we called skate spots. He had no fear when it came to grinding shit, realistically I don't think he had fear in general. He was a go for it type guy, there to give you the extra motivation if you needed it. Had Far East, a company out of Florida would have stuck around I am sure more of you would have heard about him. He had some clips in my New Deal 7 Year Glitch part and he had a classic Thrasher cover shot from Love shot by Kelly Ryan. Rest in Peace my friend."


If it was Phillie and 1996, then Ryan Gee was taking the photo.

Slap - November 1996 Volume 5 Number 11

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sam Hitz & Brian Seber.

Let's see if I remember how to do this.

I figured I'd start back up continuing from where things left off with notorious blader hater Sam Hitz. He was on Creature the first time around and is on the resurrected version as well. He plays in the band Shed, who have been making evil noise since 1999. Emerica did a collaboration shoe with Shed over the summer. I don't think Hitz had any footage in Stay Gold, which is a shame. His Big Brother interview was epic.

Brian Seber rode for Black Label and Anti-Hero. It looks like he is involved with a company called Hardtimes Manufacturing these days.

Was Wheelie Company a precursor to Landspeed Wheels? I can't think of the name of the artist who was behind the visual image of the company, but I can picture his profile in Slap perfectly. The internet is turning up nothing but Bam Margera and CKY references. Not exactly what I'm looking for.

Wez Lundry and Donny Humes took the photos.

Thrasher - March 1996 Volume 16 Number 3

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jason Adams #3.

Happy Halloween.

This is going out to Old School Sammy and is the first Creature ad. Jason was riding for Santa Monica Airlines prior to Creature. When NHS put SMA on the shelf and moved most of the team to Santa Cruz, Jason went with Ross Pope's new venture. After the break up that led Pope to starting Scarecrow, Jason opted to switch instead of sticking with Creature.

Well played, Chrome Ball.

Vert Is Dead will return on November 8th. It will be stuff from 1996.

Thrasher - April 1995 Volume 15 Number 4

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Al Partanen #2.

David Gravette wasn't the first guy on Creature to jump down a big handrail. In fact, all the riders who the young kids think of as vert or park skaters these days had an ad where they were skating a handrail back in the day. Even Chet Childress.

Thanks to the Creature guys for re-linking this stuff on Facebook.

Jeff Kendall stepped off his skateboard and got behind the camera.

Thrasher - November 1996 Volume 16 Number 11

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Darren Navarrette #2.

The Vertical Vampire with a kickflip Indy to fakie.

Creature week hasn't been too scary so far compared to what their image looks like now. The older stuff is much more classic comic book style depictions of monsters. I guess this is an example of how things evolve over time.

The photo is by Darin Back.

Thrasher - October 1995 Volume 15 Number 10

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doug Shoemaker.

Tiltmoder Doug takes a pop-shuvit down some big stairs into the fires of Hell. I want to say that he also rode for Consolidated.

Jeff Kendall took the photo.

Thrasher - March 1996 Volume 16 Number 3

Monday, October 25, 2010

Barker Barrett #2.

It's Creature Week!

Creature was started in 1995 by Russ Rope and was backed by NHS. Pope wanted to do something different than what other skateboard companies were doing and went with a vintage horror and monster theme. Interestingly enough, he set up his own distribution instead of using what NHS had already established. Eventually, there were a few differences of opinion and Pope left to start Scarecrow with some of the same riders. NHS kept Creature going at that point and added some new riders.

The original team consisted of Jason Adams, Barker Barrett, Darren Navarrette, Dorian Tucker and Ronnie Marshall. This is the second ad for the company. The first was with Jason Adams.

For the background: Strength - February 2003 Volume 8 Number 2

Thrasher - May 1995 Volume 15 Number 5

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ryan Hickey.

King of New York.

Creature next week for Halloween and then I'm taking a week off.

Of course it's an Ari Marcopoulos' photo.

Thrasher - February 1995 Volume 15 Number 2

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Absolute Wheels.

Absolute was a very short lived wheel company by Tum Yeto that had quite a nice team assembled. They also manned up and went with a two page spread instead of the usual quarter to half page ad that most wheel companies start with.

Transworld - November 1995 Volume 13 Number 11

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mathias Ringström.

Sometimes I like things that look very European.

Evol was started by Tony Magnusson after the demise of H-Street. They also made footwear. This eventually led to Osiris.

Mathias would go on to ride for World Industries and Osiris. His part in the Storm saw him doing technical tricks on vert that mimicked what the rest of the team was doing on the street. I thought his front foot impossibles were cool.

Note: There was company information along the left side of the ad that I cropped off because it was eaten up by where the pages joined together.

Niko Achtipes was the camera man.

Transworld - December 1995 Volume 13 Number 12

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rick Jaramillo #2.

Based on a comment left for the first Rick Jaramillo post, he might be working for Active in shipping and receiving these days.

It also looks like Planet Earth is back in business as an eco concerned boardsports clothing company. It doesn't look like Chris Miller is involved or that they necessarily have a team.

Chris Ortiz was the photographer.

Transworld - October 1995 Volume 13 Number 10

Monday, October 18, 2010


I wish I was chillin' in NYC right now instead of farting around with the design of a brochure for a greenhouse.

The photos are all by Ari Marcopoulos.

Thrasher - April 1995 Volume 15 Number 4

Friday, October 15, 2010

Consolidated #5.

It's funny because it's true. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Thrasher - November 1995 Volume 15 Number 11

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Brian Schaefer.

The Skatepark of Tampa owner flying around back in the day.

Thrasher - November 1995 Volume 15 Number 11

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Andy Stone.

Showing DC some love. I only ever had one Capital board. It was a nice piece of wood. I think the paint was a little different, but it worked fine.

I ran out of scans that I was into and had to wait until after work to update today. I'm good for the week, but need to come up with something for next week and then piece together Creature week for Halloween.

The photographer was Pete Thompson.

Thrasher - December 1995 Volume 15 Number 12

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Josh Beagle #8.

Shake Junt! Oh, wait, that's somebody else. How about the good times are killing me? Better yet, duty for the future now. Yeah, that's what I meant.

Atiba Jefferson took the photo.

Transworld - December 1995 Volume 13 Number 12