Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jeff Kendall #4.

Indiana Pacer.

Jeff is from Indianapolis. He rode for Madrid and Powell Peralta before getting hooked up with Santa Cruz. He moved out to San Jose in the mid 1980s. Jeff turned pro for the Dot and had a board with his name on it up until about 1992. He moved behind the scenes at Santa Cruz after the pants got bigger and the wheels got smaller. As a side note, he played guitar in a reunited version of the classic skate rock band The Faction. These days Jeff is the vice president at NHS, which is all things Santa Cruz, Creature, Flip, Ricta, and OJ.

Thrasher - August 1989 Volume 9 Number 8

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Otis Christian.

Slow motion nollie flip.

Otis is from Las Vegas. He rode for G & S. His middle name is Glen.

For having a rather small team and never having ridden them, I can't stop scanning G & S truck ads.

A Shapiro took the photo. If anybody knows a first name, let me know.

Transworld - February 1989 Volume 7 Number 1

Monday, December 29, 2014

Chris Miller #9.

Gullwing goes New Wave.

This isn't one of the usual vertical surfaces you are used to seeing Chris ride. It's a rare sighting of Miller out in the streets. He also had a handrail boardslide for Billabong a couple years later. I don't really need to write anything more about how awesome Chris is, right?

Thrasher - February 1989 Volume 9 Number 2

Friday, December 26, 2014

Hugh "Bod" Boyle #4.

Bod was a big time vert shredder from England in the 1980s and early 1990s. He was pro for G & S and Santa Cruz. Neil Blender's band Toxic Death Sentence wrote an ode to him for a song in Alien Workshop's Memory Screen video. He works in the industry these days. There's a bunch of old Strange Notes videos on YouTube that I had never seen before that has ripping from Bod and all the other Santa Cruz riders from back in the day.

Props to Matt Bennett's for his part in the Dekline video. He made a good one. I forgot to mention that last week when it debuted on the Thrasher website. Are they making a DVD of True Blue?

It's December 26th in Western New York and I'm going to set up a new board to go skate outdoors. The weather is nice today.

Thrasher - September 1989 Volume 9 Number 9

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Steve Alba #5.

Merry Christmas!

Salba Claus holiday grinder at Upland.

The photo is by Chris Ortiz.

This is from the 1990 Thrasher Calendar.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Steve Schneer #2.

Never forget.

Rest in peace Jeff Phillips, Ray Underhill, Jay Adams, Matt Reason, Keenan Milton, Phil Shao, Curtis Hsiang, Ruben Orkin, Blaize Blouin, Bonnie Blouin, Jaya Bonderov, Mike Bouchard, Andy Kessler, Tim Brauch, Harold Hunter, Shane Cross, Pat Brennan, Eric Stricker and everybody else we've lost along the way.

The late Sin Egelja took the photo.

Transworld - August 1989 Volume 7 Number 4

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tom Knox #5.

Just gonna grind those trucks down to the axles and wear the shoes out until they are held together with duct tape.

Interestingly, Tom skated to fIREHOSE's "In My Mind" for his part in Speed Freaks. Ray Barbee also skated to that song a couple years later in the Firm's La Buena Vida video.

Thrasher - October 1989 Volume 9 Number 10

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bo Ikeda #3.

Greetings from Hawaii.

Bo rode for Hosoi, Vision, and Acme. He was also on Tracker and A-1 Meats.

The weather was good for skateboarding this weekend and looks to stay that way until Christmas Eve when it might do something involving rain and/or snow. If the forecast is right, it could be in the mid 40s with sun for next weekend. I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope for the best.

The photo is by Cesario "Block" Montano.

Thrasher - May 1989 Volume 9 Number 5

Friday, December 19, 2014

Corina "GoGo" Spreiter.

Freestyle Friday.

Gogo is from Switzerland. She routinely competed against the men in both pro and am freestyle contests in the 1980s and beat some of them. She won the Women's Amateur Freestyle Championship at the Expo 1986 in Vancouver, Canada.

Thanks to Sk8boarding4life for having some info in the archives.

Marco Contati took the photo.

Thrasher - March 1989 Volume 9 Number 3

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Eddie Elguera.

El Gato.

Eddie invented a lot of vert tricks at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s, including the Elguerial. That's a fakie invert with a 360˚ backside rotation. He rode for Variflex back then and was on H-Street in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He currently rides for Hosoi, Osiris, and Indy. Eddie is still rolling and involved as a pastor with The Rock Church in Palm Desert, California.

Transworld - December 1988 Volume 6 Number 6

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fred Olande.

Mike McGill's Skatepark.

After rolling with the Z-Boys, Fred would ride for H-Street and New Deal. He had tricks in a number of early 1990s videos, including H-Street's Not The New H-Street Video, Risk It by Speed Wheels, and New Deal's 1281. He mostly skated vert and did a variety of more technical tricks in his video parts. There was street skating as well in the big pants/small wheels days.

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ron Chatman #4.

Airwalk opts for crazy neon color usage and layout.

I wanted to get some more Ron on here and it was a no-brainer to scan this ad, but I'm not sure I like it upon further review. It's rather confusing to look at. Oh well, it was the 1980s.

Elsewhere in the modern day skateboard world, Wes Kremer won Thrasher's Skater Of The Year award. I was a little surprised he was the winner. He earned it. There were a lot of deserving candidates as always.

I got the new issue of The Skateboard Mag a couple weeks ago. It is now under the management of The Berrics. They made the magazine a larger size and completely redesigned it. The core editorial staff who founded the magazine are still onboard. All of the staff writers are not. In fact, there are no writers listed on the staff and most of the articles don't have more than a paragraph or two of text. This is what happens in the age of the internet and shortened attention spans. All of the regular columns are gone so I guess Vert Is Dead is never getting a Sklog. On the positive side, the Mag is a photographer's dream since there aren't many pesky words getting in the way. The photos and printing look great. There's a photo essay on Guy Mariano and a general brief history of skateboarding in Los Angeles. They have tapped into the vaults and are reprinting older photos that the staff took in the Transworld days, too. It will be interesting to see what direction The Mag goes in from here.

Transworld - December 1989 Volume 7 Number 8

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monty Nolder #3.

Monday with Monty.

You get a nosepick and a backside Smith grind from this Florida vert legend.

Daniel Sturt took the photos.

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ron Cameron & J.J. Rodgers.

You can't go wrong with Ron, J.J., and Blockhead.

Thrasher - December 1989 Volume 9 Number 12

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ken Sigafoos.

Skate Hell.

Ken was an East Coast vert power and was pro for Brand X. He started getting more into art and painting in the early 1990s. There has been graphic design work for Scum, Gouge, Hell, and of course XXX. He currently tattoos people in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The late Bernie Tostenson founded Brand X in 1983. He was the artist who created several iconic graphics for Sims before moving on to start his own company. Brand X changed to XXX in 1989. The Brand X team included a few notable riders. Transworld staffers John Dettman and Britt Parrott were sponsored by the X. Chuck Treece of McRad fame was on the team. Dave Crabb, Rob Mertz, and Circle A founder Bob Schmelzer were pros in the late 1980s. Future G & S pro Bill Tocco was also on team. Other riders included Dan Tag, Sean Goff, Jeff Croteau, Scott Collins, and Chris May.

Thanks to Skately for having older Brand X ads in the library.

Geoff Graham snapped the photo.

Transworld - August 1989 Volume 7 Number 4

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

John Grigley #3.

The Old Ghost tweaks an air off a launch ramp.

There must have been more than a few awkward interactions when the Tracker staffer had to drop the ad off at Thrasher every month.

Brandon Westgate's Zoo England part is really good. Gonz versus the curved rail for Fourstar is entertaining.

The weather was really nice yesterday so I used some vacation time to extend my lunch break to an hour. It was good to get in a proper session in the middle of the day before the next batch of snow gets here. We aren't supposed to get that much. It should warm back up for the weekend and beyond.

Thrasher - April 1989 Volume 9 Number 4

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ross Goodman #2.


Ross is from Sacramento. He rode for Circle A and Blockhead. Santa Cruz gave him a pro model in the early 1990s. He ripped the vert ramps with a lot of big airs and different inverts.

The photo is by Luke Ogden.

Transworld - September 1989 Volume 7 Number 5

Monday, December 8, 2014

Jef Hartsel.

Power Of The Trinity.

Jef does a frontside Smith grind in Glendale, Arizona.

Jef rode for Alva and then World Industries. He was sponsored by Thunder Trucks. His part in Rubbish Heap was a whole bunch of different slappies on a variety of curbs and a little bit of pool shredding. It's rad because he does a bunch of modern street tricks a lot of people weren't even able to ollie into at that point.

Kevin Thatcher took photo.

This is from the 1990 Thrasher Calendar.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bill Danforth #3.

I want yr. skull.

Mr. Love bashes a frontside air to grind.

I squeezed in 14 minutes of skateboarding on my lunch break today. Yesterday was perfect, but I was stuck at work and didn't have my board. If the forecast holds up Saturday looks rainy and Sunday is going to be dry. I've heard rumors that this mild weather trend might last into next weekend. C'mon global climate change, justify my love.

The photos are by Joe "Xeno" Lloyd.

Thrasher - March 1989 Volume 9 Number 3

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Schmitt Stix.

Permanent wish list.

I've noticed that companies used to routinely run ads with all of their products in them. Usually it was the smaller companies that had fewer things for sale, but even more established companies would run one or two product only ads every year. That trend seems to have faded out after the mid 1990s.

Transworld - February 1989 Volume 7 Number 1

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Eric Sanderson & Chet Thomas.

Serious mini ramp champs.

Eric even won the NSA Mini Ramp National Championship in 1989.

Cryptic Powell Peralta propaganda.

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jason Lee #5.

Before Hollywood.

Jason tweaks out a grab during the S.M.A. World Industries days in an ad for Jesse Martinez's newest board.

Transworld - April 1989 Volume 7 Number 2

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mike Vallely #4.

Freak Scene.

It's time to kick it back to the end of the 1980s for the next month.

Mike was the kid from New Jersey who got sponsored by Powell Peralta for doing street plants in a parking lot. He turned pro and was given one of the cooler looking debut board graphics ever. He teleported all around the east coast in his part in Public Domain, long before Clark Hassler tapped into the magic of time portals. After Powell, Mike switched to World Industries and then the New Deal. During the time frame of 1988 to 1992, he put out a few of the best street skating parts with his performances in Rubbish Heap, Speed Freaks, and 1281. These days Mike is running Elephant Brand Skateboards. The team includes Jason Adams, Neal Hendrix, Kyle Berard, Jake Wooten, and Jade Ryan.

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dylan Gardner.

Straight out of Santa Barbara.

Dylan rode for Neighborhood, Venture, Race Wheels, Shorty's, and Puma. He had a pro board on both Neighborhood and sister company Eśpecial.

Have a good holiday and/or rest of the week. Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday, December 1st. It will be generally older stuff from the 1988 - 1990 time period.

Andrew Reynolds picked a promo video from Adrenalin for his classic pick over at Thrasher's dot com. Five minutes of big ollies and arty filming. It's awesome.

Scott Starr took the photo for the Shorty's ad.

Eśpecial: Transworld - July 1996 Volume 14 Number 7

Shorty's: Transworld - August 1996 Volume 14 Number 8

Monday, November 24, 2014

Eliud "Shorty" Gonzalez.

Shorty is from Huntington Park, California. He rode for Tracker and Etnies in addition to Neighborhood. He prefers Amtrak over Greyhound for travel. Shorty likes jalapeño peppers with just about any food.

The photos are by Fat.

For the general info: Transworld - November 1994 Volume 12 Number 11

Neighborhood: Transworld - June 1994 Volume 12 Number 6

Eśpecial: Transworld - June 1996 Volume 14 Number 6

Friday, November 21, 2014

Petey Martinez.

Big snaps on the heelflip.

Petey had parts in both Neighborhood videos where he did a bunch of high tech flip tricks. Neighborhood had two videos - 1994's Mi Vida Loca and 1998's LaLa Land.

Tracker: Transworld - March 1995 Volume 13 Number 3

Neighborhood: Transworld - October 1995 Volume 13 Number 10

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Robert Douglas.

Enough with the formalities, on to the riders.

In addition to Neighborhood, Robert rode for A-1 Meats, Tracker, and Etnies. He's from Imperial Beach, California. His favorite TV shows were Cheers, Star Trek, and the Twilight Zone. For music, he liked the Rolling Stones, The Breeders, and the soundtrack for the movie Juice. Robert's food preferences included fruits, veggies, ham and eggs, Whoppers, and Mexican food.

I had a snow day off from work. The weather has actually been decent and snow free. I think the town where my job is at didn't feel like plowing the streets.

For the general info: Transworld - August 1994 Volume 12 Number 8

A-1 Meats: Transworld - July 1994 Volume 12 Number 7

Neighborhood: Transworld - September 1994 Volume 12 Number 9

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Neighborhood launched a second company called Eśpecial in early 1996. I think it was meant more to be Julio De La Cruz's team. The two ran split ads often. It kind of felt like Neighborhood was put on the back burner with more of a focus on Eśpecial, although everything went back to the Hood after a couple of years.

The Neighborhood am is Lenny Perez.

Weather update: I live about an hour south of Buffalo. We did get about a foot of snow yesterday, but it was nothing major. Everything is clear today. We might be getting more snow in the next day or two. The south part of Buffalo got dumped on with at least four to five feet of snow. At the same time, the north part of Buffalo had sun and no snow yesterday. It was very focused band of lake effect snow that pummeled the area. Stay safe, Buffalo.

Blue ad: Transworld - April 1996 Volume 14 Number 4

Team ad: Transworld - August 1996 Volume 14 Number 8

On Exhibit ad: Transworld - September 1996 Volume 14 Number 9

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dark Men Of The Cube.

Are we not men?

Thrasher - October 1995 Volume 15 Number 10

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Board Game.

The silly business of skateboarding.

Thrasher - July 1995 Volume 15 Number 7

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Alan Petersen & Karma Tsocheff.

Small parts isolated and destroyed.

Karma: Thrasher - April 1995 Volume 15 Number 4

AP: Thrasher - June 1995 Volume 15 Number 7

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Surface.

Skateboarders and the sea.

I thought it made sense to pair these two together.

Alex Perelson is on a vertical rampage, with or without pads.

On The Surface: Thrasher - February 1995 Volume 15 Number 2

Under The Surface: Thrasher - March 1995 Volume 15 Number 3

Monday, November 10, 2014

Consolidated Team 1995.

Cube week.

The Consolidated pro team circa 1995.

The enjoi video is looking pretty sweet.

Thrasher - January 1995 Volume 15 Number 1

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tom Boyle #3.

Running down a dream.

The Rock was on New School after stints on World Industries and H-Street. He had parts in both New School videos. His part in the promo was good, but his part in Slash Dogs was better. You could see how much he improved in a short time, not that he was skating poorly in 1993. The airs were higher and the tech tricks were done more smoothly. They even made him skate a little bit of street. At some point Tom switched to Arsenal, a another company done under the S.O.P. umbrella. The Arsenal team included Adam Beltz, Tony DaSilva, Jayme Fortune, Judd Hertzler, Aric Hondell, Jon Miner, and Mike Rafter.

I kept this week on skaters who had parts in Slash Dogs. One guy who got a lot of ads and coverage at the time was Brandon Carabajal. Did he ever film any video parts? I don't think I know much about that guy. Also it seems a lot of the riders for New School had their mid 1990s moment and then vanished.

Thrasher - February 1995 Volume 15 Number 2

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hondo Soto.

Hondo is happy.
Hondo is pretty.
Hondo is from Flint, Michigan.
Hondo is not a Honda.
Hondo drives a yellow submarine.
I beat him up once, now he's mellower.
His skateboarding is fast and beautiful.
Hondo listens to lots of Gang Starr, but listens more to the man upstairs.
Hondo is faithful to his skateboarding and loves traveling. He is the Top Ramen king and the world's best budgeter.
Hondo is motivated for greatness.
- Kip Sumpter

For the Check Out: Transworld - December 1994 Volume 12 Number 12

Transworld - July 1994 Volume 12 Number 7

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bobby Kuhns.

Child's Play.

Bobby put down some smooth flip trickery in Slash Dogs. He also rode for Tracker and A-1 Meats.

Transworld - April 1994 Volume 12 Number 4

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Jim Duhamel.

Talking about my generation.

Jim had parts in both New School videos. He previously had ridden for Blockhead. One of his pro models had a Notre Dame Fighting Irish graphic. That's about all I got.

A few items on Vert Is Dead have been getting a lot of page views lately and I can't tell where the traffic is coming from. The one Joe Lopes post on this site has been getting a ton of hits. It looks like Joe would have turned 50 last week if he was still around. A Louie Barletta and Jerry Hsu Big Brother cover has been racking up the views, which I'm assuming is based on the new enjoi video. Also Rob Mertz from Friday has had more page views than normal. It looks like the referring URLs are mostly from Facebook so that doesn't exactly help pin down any answers.

The photo is by Marc Hostetter.

Transworld - March 1994 Volume 12 Number 3

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pete Mihalenko.

It's New School week.

New School was what Alva changed into in the early 1990s. Tony Alva wanted to keep up with the changes in skateboarding and shifted the board company more toward street skating with a new team. Alva and business partner John Falahee parted ways and Falahee kept doing New School. He would later add ATM Click and Arsenal to his list of companies.

Pete had parts in both New School videos, the promo from 1993 and Slash Dogs from 1994. I ordered those videos at college because they were cheap and skateboard flicks were a little hard to come by in a small town in Pennsylvania. You broke university students of today have it easy with the YouTube. Anyway, both vids have some decent ripping and some skating of that era that doesn't hold up very well. Slash Dogs is a little more polished. Pete does some solid tech skating and hits up a few bigger gaps.

Ever feel like you didn't get your homework done and then the teacher picks on you in class? I watched Slash Dogs on Friday and intended to take more notes, but didn't. I'm doing most of this from memory and there was not a lot of info on the New School team.

Transworld - February 1994 Volume 12 Number 2

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jackson Taylor #2.

A Halloween rebuttal.

Thrasher - December 1996 Volume 16 Number 12

Friday, October 31, 2014

Rob Mertz.

Happy Halloween.

It's not just about scary graphics, sometimes it is about scary tricks.

There will be a post on here tomorrow. New School is up for next week with 1995 Consolidated and Neighborhood to follow for November.

Jeff Newton took the photos.

Transworld - January 1990 Volume 8 Number 1

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Zorlac Street Hell.

Zero Heroes.

Pushead whipped up a crazy and evil looking graphic.

The boards are for Donny Myhre, Aaron Deeter, Mark and Barry Abrook, and Craig Johnson.

Congrats, SF. KC, thanks for putting together one helluva a playoff run. Let's do this again next year.

Transworld - May 1991 Volume 9 Number 5

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

John "Tex" Gibson & Craig Johnson.

Texas is the reason.

John and Craig had ridden for Zorlac in the 1980s before switching to Alva. After street skating became more popular and Alva changed over to New School, the two went back to Zorlac.

Transworld - April 1991 Volume 9 Number 4