Has anybody tried Ventures since they shifted to under the Deluxe umbrella? I got a new set of trucks for Christmas and I'm curious as to if there are any differences. I noticed right off the bat the bushings are white instead of the purple that I'm used to. I've got plenty of leftover parts stockpiled so that change doesn't really concern me. I've been riding some older Ventures for a few years and they are just about done.
Ray was pro for Powell Peralta and was in a number of their videos. He did a lot of technical vert tricks with a smooth style. He moved behind the scenes to work in the industry after retiring from the pro ranks. He was the team manager at Gullwing and the web master for Eastern Skateboard Supply. He passed away from a brain tumor in the summer of 2008.
Doug rode for Powell Peralta. He had a part in Public Domain. He switched to G & S and turned pro for them. I always liked his style. I'm not sure where he went after G & S ended or what he is doing today.
A View Without A Room was a column by Transworld staffer Britt Parrott. It was often creative work from Britt, but would sometimes feature samplings from others. This particular episode has excerpts from Chip Atkins' Edger Skatezine.
Thomas rode for Schmitt Stix. He also ran Torque in the mid 1990s. His son Grant is pro for the Alien Workshop and was Thrasher's SOTY for 2011. Thomas is the owner of Stratosphere Skate Shop in Atlanta.
Adrian rode for Powell Peralta and Lester Kasai's House Of Kasai. He was an avid guitar player during his skateboarding days and has kept up with music after retiring from the pro ranks. He has played in a couple different blues, swing, and rockabilly bands.
Kevin was one of the top freestyle skateboarders in the world, right behind his teammate at Powell Peralta, Rodney Mullen. He is from Richmond, British Columbia. His style of skating involved a lot more rolling with manual variations and board flips, instead of just doing tricks in one place. Kevin opened the Richmond Skate Ranch in 1986, which featured a number of interconnected mini ramps. This park would be the home base for skaters such as Rob "Sluggo" Boyce, Colin McKay, and Rick Howard. Kevin also started Ultimate Skateboards, a distribution company for gear. He is still doing that today. Kevin also still skateboards and even enters the occasional freestyle contest.
Fred rode for Alva in the 1980s. The word straight from the mouth of Tony Alva is that he never actually turned pro, yet had a board with his name on it that outsold a number of other pro's models. After Alva changed to New School, Fred was still on the team. It looks like he is hooked up with Bill Danforth's American Nomad these days. Fred is currently a tattoo artist at American Tattoo in Newport, Rhode Island. I believe he was in one of Thrasher's King Of The Road tour videos. He is also playing bass in a band called The Loud Ones.
"Sporting a thick goatee and a wicked Tijuana-born facial scar in true Savannah pirate fashion, Don Fisher couldn't hear his name very well when it was called. That was because he wasn't near the loudspeakers - he was across the arena, hanging on to a railing, standing on his board's tail, sixteen feet above the rock hard Civic Center surface. All that separated him from the grey anvil-like surface was eight feet of vertical and eight feet of bent plywood. The warped nature of the tranny reflected Fish's warped mental situation as he let go of the railing and plunged. The crowd erupted in a six mega-stoke explosion. Fish hit a ding and took a heavy dive, but this didn't make one bit of difference - he had gone for it, and that's what counted."
The man, the myth, the legend.
Fish earned his place in skateboard lore when he dropped in on the Budda Budda Wall at the Savannah Slamma #3 contest in May of 1989. The Budda Budda Wall was a large quarter pipe to vert wall with two machine guns painted on it. In a possible nod to Roy Lichtenstein, the words 'budda budda' were also painted on the wall, hence the name. I had planned on including Fisher this month anyway, but after recently watching Thrasher's King Of The Road 2004 DVD where Skate Coach mentions him in the introduction, I knew I had to have something on his infamous tail drop. There were no pictures of the drop in either Thrasher or Transworld. The article in Transworld didn't even mention the trick. I'm guessing if there is video, it's on YouTube somewhere.
I do not know much about Fish. He was one of the founders of Think, with Keith Cochrane and Greg Carroll. I'm not sure who his board sponsor was. He rode for Venture and Speed Wheels.
For the contest, Christian Hosoi won, Tony Hawk was second, and Danny Way placed third.
The photo is by Chris Ortiz.
Miles Orkin wrote the contest article.
For the quote: Thrasher - September 1989 Volume 9 Number 9
I don't know much Eppic. They were around in the mid to late 1980s. It was operated by Louis Carleton, who went on to create the mysterious Small Room. Some of the riders included Eddie Gomez, Bryan Pennington, Dave Donalson, Kris Markovich, and Sal Barbier.
The two guys throwing boards into the fire are Russ Pope and Tony Buyalos. Pope would later start Creature and Scarecrow. Buyalos was the man responsible for Shorty's, the bolt company that evolved into a board company and later scaled back down to a hardware company.
Scott and Tim were both pro for Dogtown. You would always see photos of Tim doing crazy wallrides and step off shove-its that would leave you wondering how those tricks were actually done. After watching some clips recently, you realize that the tricks are a lot more fluid in real time versus the split second captured on film. Scott was, to borrow the phrase from Skate T.V., a style king. Everything he did was smooth and stylish.
David Gonzalez won Thrasher's S.O.T.Y. Props to the kid from Columbia. He helped his cause out by having mini ramp and transitions in his Possessed To Skate clip. I'm getting the Pretty Sweet DVD for Christmas and won't see it until then, so I can't offer any opinion on that yet. I would say that maybe Guy Mariano should have won. My pick from Thrasher's list of finalists would have been Justin Figueroa because he had two strong video parts on the year - Shake Junt and Bake & Destroy. In all seriousness, it should have been Dennis Busenitz. Pushing SF. Enough said.
Jim rode for Powell Peralta and had a good part in Public Domain. He turned pro for SMA before starting Real with Tommy Guerrero in 1991. Real was the first board company out of Deluxe, which consisted of Thunder Trucks and Spitfire Wheels at the time. Jim is still going today, working at Deluxe and skateboarding while raising a family. Roll forever isn't just the name of a video, it's a way of life.
It's the time of the year when Vert Is Dead kicks it back to when I started skateboarding at the end of the eighties. I dug through the stacks and picked out what hopefully is some cool stuff for the next twenty five days.
Tony rode for Powell Peralta up until 1992. There's no need to rehash his accomplishments as I think everybody knows what he has done for skateboarding. The best part is that he is still going strong today. When he left Powell, Tony started Birdhouse, which just turned twenty. His oldest son Riley is also pretty good on a stunt wood and has earned sponsorship from Baker and Lakai. Riley had the opener in Bake & Destroy. The kid reminded me of his dad skating street in the first Birdhouse video.
Caine was on Prime before changing to Plan B. He was on at the end of the company and would soon migrate over to Kareem Campbell's All City/City Stars. Caine was also on DC Shoes and Axion.
That wraps up a look back at mid 1990s Plan B. Due to there not being enough days in the week, Pat Chanita and Brian Emmers were the two riders who were left out. I'm going to do a month of random 1990s scans in January so I will include them then.
What's the over/under on a bigger riot for Pretty Sweet than for Bake & Destroy? But seriously, stay safe out there, kids.
Vert Is Dead will be back on November 26. I need a break.
Rick got his start as an am for a small Canadian company called Cherry Bombs. His first major sponsor was Plan B, but unfortunately this was at the end of things and he soon wound up on Birdhouse. He had the first part in The End. Rick filmed his tricks in about a week due to deadlines. From Birdhouse, he switched to Girl and has been there ever since. He runs a skateshop in Vancouver called Anti-Social.
Jeremy rode for Blockhead and Color before getting on Plan B. He took tricks to new levels by doing everything bigger, longer, and higher than people before him. He was also really good at skating assorted rooftop ledges and gaps, which leave you little margin for error. When Plan B ended, Jeremy switched to Element. This was good for a while, except until Element started featuring some of the legends on their team a whole lot less than they should. He left Element within the last year or two and I'm not exactly sure what he is up to these days.
Matt had retired from skateboarding in 1993. He came back to Plan B after the passing of Mike Ternasky in 1994. Skateboarding photos were a little rare the second time around for Matt, but they were worth it. The pivot with the street sign is awesome, even if my scanner did wash out some of the color. It reminds me of the days of skating sketchy ramps with PVC coping in the driveway.
Pat had the opening part in Plan B's Questionable video in 1992 and soon turned pro. He rode for the company until it's end and then was on Think. He was also on the short lived Legacy before rightfully being added to Plan B round two.
Colin also rode for Powell Peralta and stuck with them until the start of Plan B. Along with Danny Way, he took the more technical side of street skating to the vert ramp, using the coping as somebody would use a ledge. He's from Vancouver. After that he rode for Girl and the brief Alien Workshop offshoot Seek. Obviously Colin was back on for round two of Plan B in 2005. He's been on DC Shoes for the long haul.
Old joke I know, but I haven't made it on here yet.
Danny was sponsored by Vision way back when and then rode for Powell Peralta in the Public Domain days. Once he joined H-Street, it was game on and skateboarding wasn't the same. After a little switching back and forth between H-Street and Blind, he settled in at Plan B. He won Thrasher's SOTY award in 1991, too. Danny rode for the B until the company was put on the shelf at the end of the 1990s. He was on Alien Workshop until the Plan B resurrection in 2005.
I haven't voted for SOTY and I might not bother, but I would give Darren Navarrette some serious consideration for my vote. Dennis Busenitz would be another choice, based on his Pushing SF part. I still need to watch Austyn Gillette's new video part, along with whatever Brick Harbor posted the other day of Dennis.
When I took the look back at Plan B's Questionable video in September, I only used one Plan B ad over those two weeks. The early ads had something interesting about them, but truthfully they weren't great in terms of design. They were almost too basic. In compiling scans for this part of Plan B's history, I noticed the ad quality improved greatly. The layouts tended to be arty enough to make them stand out without overdoing it.
Ronnie had been riding for Blind and made an in-house sponsor change to Plan B. He had ridden for Alva and Think before Plan B, 23 after and then finished out his pro career on ATM. Ronnie helped pioneer a lot of tech switch tricks, such as 360 frontside ollies and backside lipslides.
Vert Is Dead is going to spend the next two weeks looking at Plan B from the years of 1995 to 1998. I figure Rodney is a good place to start. After giving up his freestyle board for a normal street board, the Mutt continued blowing minds by taking all his freestyle tricks to street skating.
Barker is from Carversville, Pennsylvania. He has ridden for a few companies over the years. He was part of the SHUT team and then rode for Planet Earth. He was also on the early days of Zoo York and Creature. When Russ Pope changed things to Scarecrow, Barker made the switch as well. Afterward, he moved behind the scenes at Element.
There's a Barker guest board out on Dogtown with graphics by Alyasha Owerka-Moore. Grip one while you can.
Starting on Monday it will be two weeks worth of Plan B from 1995 through 1998. Probably more stuff from the first two years than the second two.
Adam was on the Scarecrow wheel team. He has ridden for a few companies over the years. At the time of this ad, he would have been on Tony Magnusson's Evol. This was the company Tony did after H-Street ended in the early 1990s. Adam was an am for Alva back in the day with Ronnie Bertino and Pat Brennen. He then switched over to Powell Peralta and turned pro. After Powell, he was on 101. Natas even let him drive his car for the 101 video in 1992. Then he skated for Goodtimes right before Evol. Finally, he rode for ATM at the end of the 1990s until his retirement from the pro ranks in the mid 2000s. I think that's everybody. He is a tattoo artist these days.
"There's more to Ed than meets the eye. He may appear to be dirty, but if you took the kind of falls Eddie does, you'd be dead, not to mention dirty. He's also the craziest sane person you'll ever know, and that shines through when you see Ed skating on the edge of control. Enter Eddie's vortex and see that he is the world's greatest showman. In his spare time, this impressive twenty-one year old can be found wrecked underneath Jason Adams' loft, deep in the heart of old San Jose, or backflipping off the stage at Apeface shows. Eddie rides for Scarecrow and Krux. Eddie rules." - Branch Benson
The photo is by Jai Tanju.
For the quote: Thrasher - May 1996 Volume 16 Number 5
Dorian turned pro for Scarecrow. He had a neat part in Pig Wheels' All Systems Go video. He also rode for Hollywood Skateboards, Kris Markovich's company that was backed by Tum Yeto in the early 2000s. Not much else to say about this guy, except that I had one of his boards in 1997 and it was a nice deck.
Hope everybody on the East Coast survived the storm safely.
Scarecrow was started in 1996 by Russ Pope and Mike Adamski of CCS. Pope had started Creature at NHS, but wanted to do something on his own. He also wanted to continue with the horror theme, since very few other companies were using scary graphics at the time. Most of the original Creatures made the switch as well. This included Jason Adams, Barker Barrett, and Crazy Eddy Nemeth. A few others were added and there was even a wheel team with Hanzy Driscoll, Josh Kasper, and Adam McNatt.
Ben was an am for Scarecrow. He is an artist and does $LAVE from out of Black Box Distribution these days. Black Box is the overall name Jamie Thomas uses for his assortment of companies, including Zero, Mystery, and Fallen.
Israel is from Santa Cruz, California. He is into art and likes drawing. That was what I got from a Transworld interview from 1998. He switched over to Santa Cruz after SMA ended. I have a feeling he was an am for Sims along with Ron Whaley during the time NHS was distributing Sims in 1992.
Frank was an amateur for Small Room and Powell Peralta. He had a good street part in Powell's Propaganda video. When NHS took control of Sims in 1992, he was on the team. Frank moved over to SMA for a year or two and then switched to Foundation for most of the 1990s. After Foundation, he rode for Planet Earth and Maple, as well as Sheep Shoes and Physics Wheels.
The Kid gets flippy. He also does a big 180 ollie off a bump over a piece of caution tape.
Jason was riding for Think before catching a flight on Santa Monica Airlines. At the end of SMA, he switched over to Creature and then rode for Scarecrow. After that, Jason was on Black Label, enjoi, back to Black Label, and 1031. He was on Sonic at some point, too. He currently rides for Mike Vallely's Elephant Skateboards. Jason has also been making a bunch of art.
It's going to be a week of SMA stuff from the last couple years of the company.
Beans get blunted in a pool.
Santa Monica Airlines was started by Skip Engblom in the late 1970s. Natas Kaupus was the important pro in the beginning. Skip partnered SMA with NHS (Santa Cruz) for increased distribution. The team was Natas, Jim Thiebaud, Mick-e Reyes, Julien Stranger, and Sean Sheffey. As riders left and things changed, Mike Conroy, Alan Petersen, Eric Britton, and Karma Tsocheff were all sponsored by the company. The final version of the team lasted until the end of 1994 when NHS dissolved the brand. The team included the late Tim Brauch, Jason Adams, Frank Hirata, Israel Forbes, Paul Sharpe, and Ron Whaley. Skip is still doing Santa Monica Airlines today and custom shaping boards in a variety of shapes and sizes.
I've been watching the Stereo videos a bunch recently. I was always a fan of Greg back in the 1990s and I think I'm more of a fan today. He was an am and turned pro for Stereo. Greg was only pro for a few years and then started working behind the camera filming videos. He did a few for Transworld and then the DC video. He also filmed Alien Workshop's Mindfield and is currently working on a project for Vans.
It's going to be a quick flight on Santa Monica Airlines next week. Maybe. It depends on what's been on here before and what hasn't.
Note: Greg got the front cover of this issue of Slap, in addition to the paid product placement on the back cover.
Mike had been on Birdhouse prior to Stereo. He had awesome parts in both A Visual Sound and Tincan Folklore. He left for Toy Machine and then Element in the second half of the 1990s.
In case you are wondering about the gaps in months from each Stereo ad, I wanted to get all of the riders from the first video on here. Stereo repeated some skaters and had a few team ads over the time span as well. Each ad is most likely the first each guy had with the company. This is Mike's second. His first had already been posted on Vert Is Dead.
Was Rick Ibaseta supposed to be on Stereo? His name was listed in the ad for A Visual Sound.
Ethan had been riding for Toy Machine before Stereo. He had moved to Iowa with his mom from California. He was famously "abducted" back to San Francisco by Thomas Campbell and Tobin Yelland when the duo were making a cross country trek from New York. At least I think that's how the story went. Ethan was on Stereo until the end of the 1990s and then rode for Foundation for most of the 2000s. He left Foundation to start Bummer High, which I don't think is around any longer. I'm not sure if he even has a board sponsor these days and is off the Converse skate team. He is playing in the band Green & Wood.
Matt is from Sacramento and was one of the first guys on Stereo. He turned pro for them and was with the team for a number of years. He rode for Supernaut after that, but now is back on the Stereo Classics team. He helped start IPath Footwear in 1999. As an aside, he is known for riding very loose trucks. Matt also plays in the reggae band Storytellers.