Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wade Speyer #7.

Wade blasts off.

I know the fisheye distorts things, but that is still one steep looking bank to ollie from.

Thrasher - May 1998 Volume 18 Number 5

Monday, May 30, 2011

Anti-Hero #2.

Nothing to see here today.

Thrasher - February 1998 Volume 18 Number 2

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mark Gonzales & Max Schaaf.

Enough of Consolidated vs. the world. Back to the good times.

Today's update almost didn't happen due to heavy thunderstorms last night that kept me from turning the computer on. I had one small window of opportunity where I could get this scanned and then had to shut down.

Bring on the three day weekend. It might even stop raining one of these days so I can go skateboarding.

Thrasher - July 1998 Volume 18 Number 7

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Consolidated Don't Do It.

Now obviously the presence of the world's largest sneaker company is going to ruffle a few feathers in the small skateboard world. Even though skateboarding was growing at the time, the bulk of the industry was skater owned and operated. Or at least the parts that people really cared about were. Consolidated took offense to Nike and started their Don't Do It campaign.

It's funny. I've never worn a pair of Nikes and I doubt that I ever will. There's always been a certain aura of coolness that the company presents itself with that I've never gotten into. I know part of this comes from when the Bulls beat the Lakers in 1991 to win the NBA championship. I'm a Laker fan so I instantly hated Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Since Jordan was the face of the brand and I didn't like him, that meant Nike was guilty by association.

When this ad came out, I thought it was pretty cool how Consolidated was taking on Nike. These days I don't really have anything against the company. I'm not going to run out and buy their shoes, but if they make another video, I will probably check it out. They have managed their second stint in skateboarding much better. They assembled a well rounded team and for the most part the shoes look decent. Nike has even done things Consolidated feared that they wouldn't in terms of helping the shops by releasing special colorways of shoes available only at skateboard shops. They even made a Chromeball Incident Dunk, which is pretty cool.

Thrasher - April 1998 Volume 18 Number 4

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Nike took their first shot at the skateboard footwear market in the late 1990s. Granted skaters had been wearing the Swoosh off and on over the years, but the company had never tried to make skateboard specific shoes or sponsored a team. Nike gave it the old college try, but things did not go all that well aside from some clever ads. I think what hurt them the most was that the shoes did not look very appealing. They did put together a team, which included Remy Stratton, Choppy Omega, a young Bam Margera and I believe Jaya Bonderov.

Big Brother - April 1998 Issue 35

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Consolidated Can Opener.

Bill Pepper: Do you feel like commenting on the Consolidated ad that came out?

Chad Muska: I heard about it, but I could care less, to you the truth.

Bill Pepper: Does your watch help you with the wheels of steel?

Chad Muska: It gives me the proper weight on the left-hand side so I can scratch properly.


Consolidated makes a funny and the Muska is unphased by the whole thing.

Note: Diakka was started by Steve Black, Rune Glifberg, Chad Muska and Clyde Singleton with another investment partner. According to issue 45 of Big Brother where they did the watch reviews, that investment partner took money from the company. This was the end of Diakka.

For the quotes: Big Brother February 1999 Issue 45

Slap - November 1998 Volume 7 Number 11

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chad Muska #3.

Skateboarding was going through a period of growth in the late 1990s. It had weathered the lows of the early 1990s and there was expansion in the industry. Part of the upswing in popularity was caused by ESPN's X-Games, which gave skateboarding increased visibility and a degree of credibility to non-skaters. You were even getting people who were fans of skateboarding that didn't actually skate themselves. Street skating was bigger than ever. More cities were building skateparks, which theoretically provided hassle free new terrain to ride. Sometimes this was successful and other times resulted in what Thrasher called certified pieces of suck.

Due to this economic expansion, there were lots of new companies popping up. For probably the first time since the 1980s, there were watch sponsors in skateboarding. Some of these were outside companies like Casio, who sponsored a few pros, including Dan Drehobl, Ed Templeton and Willy Santos. At the same time, Nixon and Diakka were more skater owned and operated. Diakka had a team of Chad Muska, Rune Glifberg and Clyde Singleton. I don't think they were around all that long, but they gave us this ad which only the Muska could pull off.

Thrasher - October 1998 Volume 18 Number 10

Friday, May 20, 2011

Aaron Suski.

"Aaron Suski gets upwardly mobile with a 5-0 and some metal."

Zoo Yorker and Emerican. After watching the Brandon Westgate Epicly Later'd, I was in the mood for some 5 Boro type of stuff and I found this picture of Aaron Suski. His part in This Is Skateboarding is so good. Ditto for Stay Gold. He's riding a New Deal Carl Shipman deck with the matching shirt. Check out the big Nice Skate Shoes sticker.

Vert Is Dead turns three years old today. Thanks to everybody.

The photo is by Brian Gaberman.

Slap - December 1998 Volume 7 Number 12

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Keith Hufnagel #6.

It probably doesn't matter all that much at this point, but here's my two cents on Real's Since Day One video. Basically, all the hype and positive reviews you've already read are valid. The skateboarding is all top notch and the company did a great job as a whole with everything - filming, editing and music. It reminded me of an old Powell Peralta video in a way.

I'm not going to critique every part and only mention a few things that caught my attention after a couple of viewings.

James Hardy - Molly Hatchet? Seriously? I have a higher than expected tolerance for classic rock, but that song is bad. James, I'm sorry if you really like the band or something. I'll buy one of your t-shirts or boards to make it up to you. The frontside 180 the hard way to fakie 50-50 down the Clipper Ledge is an amazing trick.

Jake Donnelly - This kid is from a small town about a half hour away from where I live. He would come skate the local park in my town every so often a few years ago. He was good then and it's cool to see how much he has progressed.

Alex Perelson - I totally Vert Buttoned his part. NOT. Alex is Chris Miller approved as we learn in the newest Chrome Ball interview at Already Been Done. He has a good mix of stylish airs and technical lip tricks from the Danny Way and Colin McKay school of vert skating.

Ernie Torres and Nick Dompierre - Normally when you see a shared part in a video, you know not to expect much. Usually it means somebody got hurt or all their footage went to another sponsor's video. Not this time. Chilling pros need to beware because Ernie and Nick raise the bar for what can be done in a shared part with relentless destruction from both. I'm fully backing Ernie. The dude rips and doesn't seem to get a lot of credit.

Keith Hufnagel - Huf has my favorite part in the video.

J.T. Aultz - Since I've been posting a lot of stuff from 1998 on Vert Is Dead, I feel like I need to use a phrase from that year to describe his part: J.T. is trying out for the Zero video. Throw in some classic Egg Hunt and you've got a part worthy of any Jamie Thomas production. J.T. is another guy who probably doesn't get all the credit he deserves.

Max Schaaf - I forgot he ollies out of his Smith grinds. His section is short and sweet. He even makes fun of the Vert Button, which will never be used on any of his parts.

Peter Ramondetta and Dennis Busenitz close out the video. Do I even need to say how good they are? Everybody knows this already.

As for anybody I didn't mention, don't feel offended or left out. Your part was really good. Nothing about Since Day One sucks.

Is Brian Eno going to be this year's David Bowie for skateboard video soundtracks?

Slap - August 1998 Volume 7 Number 8

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mike Maldonado #2.

Jump off a building. Or jump over it. Mike did some big ollie pops for the Machine.

If anybody guessed on Friday that 64 Slices Of American Cheese was a reference to the Huevos Rancheros' song, then give yourself a pat on the back. It's from the band's 1995 album Dig In! on Mint Records. Huevos Rancheros were a Canadian instrumental surfabilly trio, similar to Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet of Kids In The Hall theme song fame.

Atiba Jefferson was the photographer.

Transworld - October 1998 Volume 16 Number 10

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jerry Hsu.

Jerry hits up a tall crooked grind.


Transworld - November 1998 Volume 16 Number 11

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ed Templeton #12.

64 Slices Of American Cheese.

Nobody's gonna get that reference. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Tempster that I know of. It's also not a Simpson's reference.

Transworld - March 1998 Volume 16 Number 3

Ed Selego.

Ed was pro for Planet Earth and Habitat. His Transworld Check Out featured a noseblunt slide down Hubba Hideout. For his part in Habitat's Mosaic video, he skated to a new J. Mascis song.

Jeff Taylor took the photo.

Transworld - October 1998 Volume 16 Number 10

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Natas Kaupas #3.

After 101 ended, Natas rode for Element. Pictures of him skateboarding at the time were few and far between. I believe he might have had some lingering injury issues. He was also doing more work behind the scenes as a designer, which I'm sure kept him out of the spotlight as well.

Transworld - November 1998 Volume 16 Number 11

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Max Schaaf #5.

A rare street Max sighting.

Vita made some clean looking shoes. I never had a pair and I only saw somebody who had the Natas pro model that looked a little like hiking boots once.

Thanks to the Deluxe crew for giving Vert Is Dead a shout out in the credits of Since Day One. The Chrome Ball Incident made the list, too.

Transworld - October 1998 Volume 16 Number 10

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tim Brauch #12.

Do you have San Jose pride?

Yeah, it's fun. I guess there are a lot of places here that are really good for skating. The people are the funnest to hang out with here, too.

Who do you usually skate with?

I skate with Jason Adams, my friend Todd, Simon Woodstock, Jaya.

Lance Dalgart?

Yeah, I skate with Lance. I meet Lance every morning for coffee. I call him up, I'm like his human alarm clock. I wake up super early to start my day for some reason. I always have to be doing something or I'll get all antsy. So I wake him up and we go to coffee at Nordstrom's because it's only 25 cents a cup. We just hang out and talk, and that's how we start our day.

Lance is a nice guy.

I've known him since I was super young. He took me to my first skate spot outside of San Jose. I was just this little skate grommet hanging out at der Wienerschnitzel and he was all, "Do you want to go to the Fish Banks with a bunch of other guys?" It was one of the funnest days skating because I got to venture out of my little area.


Remembering Beans.

4/16/1974 - 5/9/1999.

The photo is by Jai Tanju. The interview was with Thomas Campbell.

For the quote: Transworld - November 1994 Volume 12 Number 11

Thrasher - December 1998 Volume 18 Number 12

Friday, May 6, 2011

Keegan Sauder.

Real am then, Zero pro now.

I'm slightly envious of Keegan's casual approach to life - camping outdoors, riding around on a motorcycle, pooping in large bodies of fresh water... well, maybe not that last one.

It's a Gabe Morford photo.

Note: The photo originally ran in the September 1998 issue of Slap.

Slap - October 1998 Volume 7 Number 10

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jackson Taylor.

"Jackson Taylor is 21 years old, and has been into skating for 10 years. He's from Newport, North Carolina. He had a car, couldn't keep it, flipped a coin - heads: California, tails: Carolina - and got California, probably thinking he's gonna make it big. So, he comes here, not knowing anybody, only relying his humble fuckin' nice guy attitude. He says he tried surfing and barely got into old bicycles and Scott Bourne rules. Jack is one of the coolest guys you'll ever meet - not very punctual, but that doesn't make him a bad guy. In this order, he loves his mom, Consolidated, Skateworks, Solar and Kastel." - Jason Jessee

Consolidated pokes a little fun at Hands Across America.

Brian Uyeda was the photographer.

For the quote: Thrasher - August 1997 Volume 17 Number 8

Thrasher - October 1998 Volume 18 Number 10

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bo Turner.

Bo turned pro for the Alien Workshop. He did some big ollies over things people weren't normally doing ollies over in Memory Screen. After the company made a few team changes, Bo rode for Balance. He runs a garage in Florida these days. You don't want him mad at you.

The photo is by Josh Stewart.

Big Brother - May 1998 Issue 36

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Luis Cruz.

If you had guessed obscure World Industries related riders and companies as a theme for this week, then you know something I don't. I think this might be the most random week ever on Vert Is Dead, which is saying something. I think it also reflects the variety of things that were going on in skateboarding in 1998.

Shaolin was a very short lived company done in part by former Alva and World Industries pro Jeff Hartsell. Luis rode for Society Skateboards before Shaolin. He also rode for Deca and Artifact.

Chris Ortiz took the photo.

Slap - August 1998 Volume 7 Number 8

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gideon Choi.

There always seem to be requests for this guy floating around the internet.

Gideon rode for Blind and Natas' Vita footwear. He is credited with inventing bluntslides on the wrong side of the ledge.

I like the Moped Man graphic, but I could never get into the Blind Reaper. There's been a lot of Blind ads that I thought about scanning, but just couldn't because of that thing.

Big Brother - April 1998 Issue 35