Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christian Seewaldt.

"More skaters tried ollies before they could turn left or right."

Christian rode for German based company Titus and Vans. He was a freestyler, but also rode street and ramps, as far as I can tell.

The photo is by Jörg Ludewig.

Thrasher - May 1990 Volume 10 Number 5

Monday, December 30, 2013

Nicky Guerrero #2.

Denmark's finest.

Mark Waters was the photographer.

Transworld - September 1989 Volume 7 Number 5

Friday, December 27, 2013

Allen Losi #2.

All the nation's airports.

I got the Zero and Fallen DVDs for Christmas. There's something depressing about watching dudes skateboard in the tropics when it is 25˚ outside with six inches of snow on everything.

Anyway, the Fallen video is nice. It's not the type of thing you are probably going to watch more than once or twice, yet it is enjoyable. Rather than have normal parts from each rider, the Road Less Traveled has parts made from each trip the team went on. There is a lot of location footage and stories from the various team riders. It can be a little hard keeping track of who is who at times, but that is a trivial problem.

I had seen some of the Zero video when it was on Thrasher's website. It's a different viewing experience watching from the couch on a TV. I don't think I'd seen the first half of Cold War and I was pleasantly surprised. It's classic no frills Zero editing set to vintage punk rock for the most part. When you've got a formula that works, there is no sense in deviating from it. James Brockman, Ben Hatchell, Nick Boserio, Tony Cervantes, and Tom Karangelov deliver quality parts. I'm stoked on what Cervantes is doing and Karangelov went all Heath by wearing all white. It was great to see a full part from John Rattray, too. I wasn't feeling the music for some of the parts that I saw online, but it seemed a little better in the living room. Jamie Thomas went all out and everybody knows how raw Tommy Sandoval and Dane Burman are.

Thrasher - November 1988 Volume 8 Number 11

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Reese Simpson #4.

"I'm not no poet or nothing."

Reese was pro for Schmitt Stix. When a good chunk of the team split to start the New Deal, he rode for BBC, the Life's A Beach board company. He also rode for Thunder, Bullet, and Airwalk. I'm pretty sure he still skates.

The photo is by Luke Ogden.

Thrasher - April 1989 Volume 9 Number 4

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monty Nolder & Jeff Phillips.

Merry Christmas.

Life's A Beach expanded from being a clothing company to a board company in 1988. The first two pros were Jeff Phillips and Monty Nolder. I always liked that black board Jeff is riding. Nice and minimal. It's also got a huge nose for the time.

The photos are by Grant Brittain.

Transworld - February 1989 Volume 7 Number 1

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ray Underhill #6.

"Something wrong with that ramp, Ray?"

A lot of T-Bones this month.

Powell Peralta avant garde designs.

Thrasher - October 1989 Volume 9 Number 10

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christian Hosoi #2.


Transworld - August 1990 Volume 8 Number 8

Friday, December 20, 2013

Monty Nolder #2.

The unusual world of G & S Trucks.

Monty is from Ft. Pierce, Florida. An interesting fact about Monty is that he lost his hearing at a young age due to a serious ear infection and is deaf. He invented the backside Smith grind, one of the best looking tricks there is. He was sponsored by Variflex as an am and turned pro for Schmitt Stix. After Schmitt, Monty was pro for BBC, the Life's A Beach Board effort.

Thanks to Skately for the assist.

The photo is by Jamie Mosberg.

Transworld - October 1989 Volume 7 Number 6

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Steve Salisian.

Later days of Dogtown.

Steve rode for Sims and turned pro for Dogtown. He's from Arcadia, California. I probably should have dug up his Transworld Checkout, but I like the simplicity of the Dogtown ads.

Thrasher - May 1990 Volume 10 Number 5

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jim Thiebaud #4.

The end of silence.

So if the economy is in the toilet, companies are cutting riders, there's no money for travel or ads, where's all the profit going from thirty dollar designer t-shirts and eighty dollar hoodies? Are these things even selling? OK, I'm done complaining about things for a while. Nothing but positivity from here on out. Or at least a couple weeks.

Enjoy your retirement, Austin Stephens.

Transworld - July 1990 Volume 8 Number 7

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tom Groholski #5.

The Jersey Devil.

I got the latest CCS catalog yesterday and I saw something that shouldn't be for sale in it:

Vision is making Gator reissue boards.

This is glorifying a murderer. Including Gator in a team section of legends on your website is tasteless. Yes, he was good at skateboarding and an important figure in the 1980s, but he failed as person by killing his girlfriend. There is no reason to be making or selling this product.

The photo is by O.

(Sorry, Tom and O.)

Transworld - May 1990 Volume 8 Number 5

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jesse Martinez.

The Mess flies out of the fountains at Back To The City contest in SF.

Jesse is the ultimate local in Venice Beach and was instrumental in getting the Venice Skate Park built. He has ridden for Powell Peralta and World Industries. Powell recently gave him a tribute model with graphics by Vance Court Johnson. He ripped up a ramp in World Industries' Rubbish Heap video.

Thrasher - April 1989 Volume 9 Number 4

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fred Smith #2.

"Thurston! Watt! Thurston! I think it's ten thirty, we're calling from Providence, Rhode Island."

Thrasher - October 1989 Volume 9 Number 10

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lance Mountain #4.


I checked out the Nike video yesterday since it was slow at work due to snow. I think you've got today left to see it for free at Thrasher's website. I would say it is worth a watch, but not a buy. The filming is fairly straight forward without much in the way of fancy gimmicks beyond some Neckface illustrations so the video doesn't induce headaches or boredom. It is nearly all street skating. Donovon Piscopo did boardslides for miles and knocked the wall down. I like Daryl Angel's style and trick selection. Justin Brock is a freakin' beast. I'm a little surprised Nike gave it a go with Minor Threat again. Ishod Wair can do a lot of tricks and it doesn't look boring when he does it. His trucks turn, too.

This is one of those things that gives me conflicted feelings about Nike. The company does put in the effort by supporting pros that aren't just big names and making a quality video, but at the same time it is still the same old Nike that is full of itself. I don't think there is a resolution to any of this and I don't blame anybody for riding or wanting to ride for them. Meh.

Thrasher - March 1989 Volume 9 Number 3

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

John Grigley #2.

Vision invented street wear.

Grigley was pro for Vision. He's originally from St. Petersburg, Florida and relocated to California for skateboarding. He retired at the end of the 1980s. Grigely started to do more with his Old Ghosts clothing and design company. At one point he was even partnered with Rikki Rockett, the drummer from Poison.

For the punk rock girl or boy on your holiday shopping list, 1031 has a couple of limited edition Dead Milkmen decks available for purchase. One is punk point cruiser type of board and the other is kind of like Mike Vallely's barnyard double tail. The graphics are by Dead Milkmen drummer Dean "Clean" Sabatino.

Thrasher - February 1989 Volume 9 Number 2

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tony Chiala.

"There was always a board around the house when we were growing up, so it is hard to say when Tony started skating. He started skating avidly in 1982 on a ramp that Joe Arabia built in his backyard and learned surprisingly quick.

Now, as he always did, Tony skates smoother than Marty and Cindy Jimenez's baby's bottom. He gets more impressive every time I watch him skate.

During the day Tony kicks back and watches CHiPS and Emergency-51 with his pal Ricky Barnes, an avid D.P. fan. Then he'll street skate at night when it's cool. It's amazing how he cab go weeks without skating then step on a board and win a contest.

Tony currently lives in Huntington Beach with his girlfriend Angela. Although I hardly ever see him, he's my friend and my brother." - John Chiala

Tony rode for Lucero and the Black Label back in the early days. He was also on Billabong and Thunder.

Hats off to Ishod Wair for winning SOTY. Also props to Riley Hawk on turning pro. We can start having father/son skate contests now.

Chris Ortiz took the photo.

For the Check Out: Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Thrasher - November 1990 Volume 10 Number 11

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ray Barbee #4.

In my mind.

Thrasher - January 1989 Volume 9 Number 1

Friday, December 6, 2013

Rodney Mullen #5.

The Mutt.

What really needs to be said about Rodney? He invented most of the tricks everybody does today, won nearly every contest he entered, improved board technology, and is still doing things nobody else can do.

We gotta vote again in the SOTY poll? My choice didn't make the first cut and I went with Brandon Westgate for round two. I need to watch Jim Greco's part in the Deathwish video again. I know a few other pros have been playing around with darkslides, but that trick doesn't look right unless Mullen is doing it.

Thrasher - February 1989 Volume 9 Number 2

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Primo Desiderio.

The Primo Slide.

Primo was pro for Vision. Along with his wife Diane, he did numerous demos at all sorts of random places in the 1980s. Primo did fairly well on the contest circuit, too. It appears that the Desiderios run a DJ business for weddings, dances, and other social functions that require music. How awesome would it be to have Primo get out from behind the turntables to spin some 360s and do a few pogos at your wedding?

Transworld - February 1989 Volume 7 Number 1

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cameron Martin.

Is skateboarding an art form or just a break from too much Nintendo?

Cameron is from Seattle, Washington and rode for Powell Peralta. He might have been the last person to legitimately turn pro for freestyle. It's interesting how Powell kept freestyle going by having a couple of pros on the roster at all times and by making sure they had cool graphics. I'm sure those guys weren't getting the same royalties off board sales as the rest of the team. It is also interesting to note Venture dabbled with making a freestyle truck, although everybody would be riding skinny boards in two years time.

The photo is by Bill Thomas.

Thrasher - April 1990 Volume 10 Number 4

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pierre-André Senizergues.

Sole Tech.

Pierre-André is another French freestyler. He was pro for Sims in the 1980s and battled Rodney Mullen often in the contests of the day. He started working as a shoe designer at Etnies and helped the brand grow in the states. Pierre-André is currently the CEO of Sole Technology, which includes Etnies, Emerica, and Altamont Clothing.

Grant Brittian took the photos.

Transworld - February 1989 Volume 7 Number 1

Monday, December 2, 2013

Jean-Marc Vaissette.

Freestylers of the world unite and take over.

This week Vert Is Dead takes a quick look back at freestyle. Freestyle was a specialized branch of skateboarding, done on smaller boards that were the forerunner to the modern popsicle shape that has been popular for the last twenty years. The tricks ranged from balancing on the rails or trucks in one place to assorted manuals and flips done while rolling. There were also handstands, 360s, tic tacs, shove-its, and more. A lot of the modern day street tricks were adapted from freestyle moves, which were often invented by trying vert tricks on flatground. Most companies in the 1980s and very early 1990s had at least one or two freestyle pros on the team. The discipline more or less vanished by 1992 when Rodney Mullen made the permanent switch to a regular street board, which was oddly similar to his old freestyle deck. I am positive there are still guys out there who skateboard this way and I hope they continue to do so. It is also interesting to note that many of the former freestyle pros moved behind the scenes to become owners of some of the more successful brands in the industry.

Jean-Marc is French. He was sponsored by Tracker and had a pro model from them, in addition to riding the trucks.

Transworld - August 1989 Volume 7 Number 6