Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rob Roskopp.

The Barn puts down a backside disaster.

Rob was born in Michigan, grew up and discovered skateboarding in Ohio. He made the move out west and turned pro for Santa Cruz in the mid 1980s. After retiring from the professional ranks in 1990, he started Santa Cruz Bikes.

Grant Brittain was the photographer.

Thrasher - November 1988 Volume 8 Number 11

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sergie Ventura.

Sergie is from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was sponsored by Christian Hosoi back in the day. When Christian started Tuff Skates in the early 1990s with the backing of Vision, Ventura rode for that short lived company. He is riding one of their boards in this ad. After Tuff, he rode for Formula One and set a then world record for the highest air with an 11.81 foot air in 1996. Sergie was also on Think and was on some of the Tony Hawk arena tours. He currently rides for Hosoi, Ace Trucks, Type-S Wheels and Etnies.

Speaking of Tony Hawk, he's got a new video clip out where he goes totally Todd Congelliere with the backside bigspin.

I got to skateboard for the first time this year yesterday. We had initially made plans to hit up an indoor park in Buffalo. However the weather was nice enough that we could go to the outdoor local park. It was a little cold and windy, but nothing gloves and layers couldn't overcome. Everything was dry and there was no snow around. Good times.

Thrasher - September 1990 Volume 10 Number 9

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kris Markovich #11.

Trampled under foot.

This is from the start of Markovich's pro career, when he was riding for Dogtown. I wouldn't mind owning a pair of those Airwalks again, but I don't think it would be the same.

Thanks to Ben Schroeder for stopping by.

Thrasher - December 1990 Volume 10 Number 12

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sam Cunningham #3.

Good Sam.

I said it two weeks ago and I'll say it again, I miss Blockhead.

Thanks to Shrewgy for clearing up the mystery of Dart Wheels.

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ricky Winsor #4.

This feels about right to follow a Ben Schroeder post.

There's something wonderful about seeing lifestyle shots like this. You get that glimpse into the life of your favorite pro. Given that this would have been shot on film, a degree of editing or self control would have gone into the photo taking, although I doubt the photographer was really thinking about such a thing when the photo was being taken. It was probably more along the lines of a spontaneous decision to take a picture of Ricky eating some Burger King.

Hunter Kimball took the photos.

Thrasher - July 1989 Volume 9 Number 7

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ben Schroeder #3.

Turn it up and feel the buzz.

Big Ben barefoot and no handed nosepicking.

The photo is by Alec Schroeder.

Thrasher - April 1990 Volume 10 Number 4

Monday, January 23, 2012

Andrew Morrison.

New Zealander Andrew Morrison rode for Schmitt Stix and stayed with Paul Schmitt for the New Deal. He was primarily a vert guy, but could throw down in the streets, too. I dug his video parts.

Michael Burnett has a cool new photo of Remy Stratton in the latest Burnout over at Thrasher's website. He's on tour down under with the Volcom team.

I'm never sure what I think of Skate Mental, but that D3PO graphic is funny.

Thrasher - January 1991 Volume 11 Number 1

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rodney Mullen.

"The SMA stands for Steal Major Athletes." - a disgruntled Powell Peralta skateboarder

Rodney's move from Powell Peralta to Steve Rocco's SMA World Industries was a big deal back in 1989. Here was one of the top pros leaving the biggest company in the industry for the then small World Industries. I don't think it even registered at the time that he had switched companies to me since I was 15. I was just trying to figure out what was going on in the ad and why it said sorry.

The Mutt is riding his regular Powell board and covered the graphics up with Jesse Martinez stickers.

Spike Jonze took this particular photo.

Transworld - August 1989 Volume 7 Number 4

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dart Wheels.

This ad is seriously one of the reasons I started doing Vert Is Dead. Dart Wheels has always been a mystery to me and I've got no idea why the image has stuck with me after 22 years. I've always wondered what the deal was with this company. Was it even a real company? Was it somebody's failed attempt at a wheel brand from an established company? Did Thrasher have a blank half page to fill at the last minute so they made up something stupid? Did Dart make wheels? Did anybody ride them? Did they advertise any place else since there never were any other ads from them, at least in Thrasher? Why no phone number or contact information? So many questions.

Thrasher - December 1990 Volume 10 Number 12

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dave Crabb #2.

A Kiwi grinds in the Aloha State.

I'm calling an audible at the line of scrimmage and changing what I had planned for today after yesterday's Toxic post raised a bunch of questions, some of which I have answers for.

I checked a few years worth of Toxic ads in Transworld last night from 1988 - 1992 and this is what I found.

The pros included Dave Crabb, Bernie O'Dowd, Ken Fillion, Denny Riordon, Darren "Moose" Menditto, Danny Mayer, Jim "Murf" Murphy, Eric Conner and Kyong Kim. The amateurs that were featured in ads in that time included J.T. Merphie, Kevin Colin, Charlie Thomas and Jeremy Rentaria.

I'm going to make an educated guess that the company started sometime in 1987 or 1988 and lasted until 1993 or 1994. Modern street skating definitely took Toxic out.

They had two videos. Oddly Enough was from 1990 and A Toxic Thing from 1991. They also gave away a free video with each board in mid 1991. I'm not sure if this was A Toxic Thing or something different, like maybe a short vid of the pro to go with the board. I haven't seen any of these videos and I can only assume that they exist.

I remember that Toxic had ads in Thrasher in 1992 or 1993 for a 39 mm wheel. I didn't check my Thrashers. Their ads in TWS were right at the front of each magazine so they were easy to check.

Grant Brittain was the photographer.

Transworld - August 1990 Volume 8 Number 8

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Toxic Team 1989.

For the anonymous commenter who requested some Toxic a couple of weeks ago, here you go. I went with a team ad instead of a wheel ad because I didn't want just wheels and dead fish. Holler if you did specifically want an ad with only a photo of the wheels.

Toxic was a company based in Maryland who sponsored Dave Crabb, Bernie O'Dowd, Ken Fillion, Denny Riordon and a few others. Jim "Murf" Murphy rode for them after Alva fell apart, too. They totally played up the toxic image with bright neon colors and gross imagery. Even the wheels had names like Toxic Waste and Toxic Poison. Pretty clever.

The photos are by Matt Horner, Grant Brittain and Sin Egelja.

Transworld - December 1989 Volume 7 Number 8

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ron Allen #2.

"Just keep skating and don’t stop. Whatever they tear down, build more. And don’t let anybody tell you you’re done. Remember, Fred Astaire broke his wrist when he was 75 skateboarding around his Hollywood home. So that gives us all an opportunity to go as long as we can. That doesn’t mean that you have to go kill yourself but that also doesn’t mean that a frontside grind don’t feel good."

Mark Suciu made a good little video. Habitat at Love Park just feels right.

The quote is from a Chrome Ball Incident interview with Ron Allen from September 2011.

Thrasher - July 1989 Volume 9 Number 7

Friday, January 13, 2012

Duane Peters.

The Master Of Disaster.

There's a cameo from Phil Esbenshade, too.

Be careful out there today. My car was frozen this morning and something still ain't quite right with the driver's side door. Think warm thoughts for my station wagon.

The photo is by T. Putnam.

Transworld - April 1989 Volume 7 Number 2

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Roger Seliner & Jason Brown.

Seliner. Railslide. PVC.

Walker was a Florida based company started in the 1970s by Bruce Walker. It was a big part of the Florida skate scene over the years and especially in the early days. Some pros included Reggie Barnes, Chuck Dinkins, Jim McCall and YoYo Shultz. They always had freestyle in their ads and often offered both street and freestyle version of a few of their boards.

Seth Hum and Cathy Kostreba were the photographers.

Thrasher - November 1989 Volume 9 Number 11

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mark Partain #3.

The ever popular Mark Partain.

This was the board I got when I sold my Mike Vallely after the T-Bone incident. Mark actually wasn't on Blockhead very long after this ad came out and switched to Walker in 1989. I was a little bummed he left Blockhead, although I don't think I noticed that he changed. Ah, the advantages of being young and living in a small town a long time before the internet happened.

I want to give a shout out to whoever does the Powell Peralta Tumblr. They gave me a link the other day. The site says that it is a fan blog, but it looks official. Whatever the case may be, the website is totally worth checking out.

I miss Blockhead.

Grant Brittain took the photo.

Thrasher - December 1988 Volume 8 Number 12

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Joe Lopes.

The late Joe Lopes.

I've always wanted to get some Joe on here, but I've never found any pictures of him in the magazines I have. This is weird because I know I knew who he was back then, which had to have been from his classic Schmitt Stix BBQ graphic that Neil Blender did. It's not like you could look him up on YouTube at the time.

Joe helped keep skateboarding alive during the lull of the early 1980s with his backyard ramp. He was famous for his good natured hospitality and cooking food on the grill. His ramp was the site of Joe's Ramp Jam contest in 1983. In addition to Schmitt, he rode for Venture Trucks, Speed Wheels and Rector. Unfortunately, Joe was killed in an automobile accident in 2002.

It looks like Confusion was a board and clothing company in the early 1990s. Their ads never went beyond a quarter page and they probably didn't last too long. Phil Shao also rode for Confusion. His ad was too pixellated to be scannable. How they managed that for 1991 is beyond me.

The photo is by "Buzzman" Rodela.

Thrasher - March 1991 Volume 11 Number 3

Monday, January 9, 2012

Curtis Hsiang #4.

12/4/1963 - 1/8/2000.

This quote is from Max Schaaf:

"I probably met Curtis when I was 14. He came to skate our ramp in the old Phoenix Iron Works Building in West Oakland. What I remember is him skating a longboard, it was a Schmitt Stix Yard Stick and he had on some weird Rector pads that had a trippy zebra polka type pattern on 'em. At the time both those things bothered me. Cause I was a punk and thought the only reason people rode a longboard was to get attention. Why would you ride a board that made it harder to skate? And the pads just were too ugly. Anyway, Curtis dropped in and he was about the sketchiest skater I had ever seen. His feet were all over the place. He wasn't cheating with the longboard or trying to get attention. It was a tool for survival."

The photo is by Bryce Kanights.

Thrasher - September 1989 Volume 9 Number 9

Friday, January 6, 2012


One of my art history teachers from college usually posts some piece of art each day on his Facebook page. One day he had a Pushead drawing. I told him that I had an old Pushead interview from Thrasher that I would get around to scanning and emailing to him. I finally did that this past weekend. I figured that since the interview does talk a lot about skateboarding that I would use it here as well.

Brian "Pushead" Schroeder is an artist who did most of the graphics for Zorlac. He's been skateboarding since the beginning of things. Pushead also does a lot of art for bands such as Metallica, The Misfits and Dr. Octagon, to name a few. He was in the band Septic Death and used to write a column for Thrasher called Puszone. It was about various hardcore and metal bands. Puszone also included some fiction and usually some artwork. Sometimes it scared the fourteen year old version of me.

The interview is by Mike Gitter. The photos are by Kristin Callahan and John G. Hall.

Note: Since the type for this interview was in a small and condensed font, I really darkened the text up to improve legibility. This made the small action photo much darker and redder than it was originally.

Thrasher - June 1991 Volume 11 Number 6

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Scott Stanton.

Zorlac was started in the late 1970s by Jeff Newton. The company was the face of early Texas skateboarding with John "Tex" Gibson and Craig Johnson. Other team riders, not necessarily all from Texas, included Todd Prince, Mark and Barry Abrook, Rob Mertz, Aaron Deeter and Donny Myhre. Zorlac also released boards for Texas skatepunks the Big Boys and Metallica. Brian "Pushead" Schroeder did most of the graphics for the company, which created Zorlac's distinct visual look.

Scott is a vert ripper from Florida. He used to be in the band The Causey Way, who had albums out on Alternative Tentacles, and Pilot Scott Tracy.

This will make more sense tomorrow.

Thrasher - January 1990 Volume 10 Number 1

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jimmy Arrighi.


The former Vision amateur and RVCA team manager has a new clothing company called Eswic. The team has Ed Templeton, Cairo Foster, Leo Romero, James Hardy and a few ams. It looks pretty cool.

O Photo.

Thrasher - July 1990 Volume 10 Number 7

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Claus Grabke.

"I, myself, however skate for fun and only for fun. Any other reason to skate will cause frustration."

Welcome to 2012.

Claus is from Gutersloh, Germany. He was pro for Santa Cruz and had a series of board graphics with clocks. He rode for Titus and Powell Peralta, too. Claus had a band called Eight Dayz. From the various interviews I've read with him, Claus is an all around creative person - skateboarder, musician, artist and photographer.

I've noticed in working my way through the Best Of Skate Fate how outside of everything skateboarding was. It's not like this isn't something I didn't know, but I'm thinking about how different it is compared to skateboarding today. To vaguely and generally sum things up, skateboarding was the complete antithesis of the idea of mainstream. I've also noticed that a lot of the pros didn't drink or do drugs. Not to say that everybody was straight edge back in the 1980s, but it's a bit of a contrast to today. I'm not sure if either situation is necessarily better or worse and is a reflection of the general social climate more than anything. Finally, interviews used to be more in depth with pros handling grown up questions with intelligent answers. Not that aren't a lot of good interviews in these modern times, but I'm just saying. It can be a lot more interesting than hearing about how fast a sixteen year old can drive his car.

Things have been happening in skateboarding. I might have a few comments on them soon.

Note: The Grabke quote is from Gary Scott Davis' The Best Of Skate Fate 1981-1991 book.

Transworld - May 1990 Volume 8 Number 5