Thursday, March 31, 2016

Neil Blender #14.

The Heated Wheel.

Thrasher - May 2004 Volume 24 Number 5

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mike Lohrman #2.


Thrasher - December 2004 Volume 24 Number 12

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Duane Peters #2.

Red stripes.

Thrasher - September 2004 Volume 24 Number 9

Monday, March 28, 2016

Christian Hosoi #5.

Rise Above.

Thrasher - August 2004 Volume 24 Number 8

Friday, March 25, 2016

Jerry Hsu #4.

Sacred Heart.

Jerry is from San Jose, California. Marc Johnson helped get him sponsored by Maple back in the late 1990s. He turned pro for the Leaf in 1999 and switched to enjoi in 2001. In 2013, Jerry left the Panda to ride for Chocolate. For footwear, he was sponsored by Osiris from the beginning of his career until 2007 when he changed to Emerica. He's still on Chocolate and Emerica presently.

The ender in Bag of Suck was a two song epic part by Jerry. He skated to "Sacred Heart" by Cass McCombs and Sonic Youth's cover of the Carpenter's "Superstar". Jerry does a number of difficult tricks on awkward spots that would hurt badly if you fell. I know he battled injuries to get this part done and the skateboard world appreciates his effort. He does a lot of big switch tricks, including a massive switch ollie gap blast. He throws down fakie kickflips and switch 360 flips with ease. Jerry also understands the vibe about skating rocks. The final trick is a nollie backside heelflip down the Lincoln stairs just as the amp drop sounds in "Superstar".

One last thing I need to mention about Bag of Suck is the friends section. Set to "Ginger" by the Lilys, it captures the feeling of skateboarding with your friends perfectly. There's shredding, but there are also those good moments that happen between the tricks. The montage features a bunch of San Jose regulars and visitors as well as former enjoi riders Marc Johnson, Tony Manfre, Dave Mayhew, and Bobby Puleo. It's one of my favorite parts for sure.

That wraps up the look back at ten years of Bag of Suck. Hope everybody delighted in it.

There will be Vert Is Dead on Monday. I thought I was going to take a week off because the last two months of content have kicked my butt to put everything together. It's going to be some simpler stuff for a while. Single pages, one company focusing on one year type of things. Well, maybe one two pager.

Happy: Skateboarder - June 2006 Volume 15 Number 10

Royal: Thrasher - June 2006 Volume 26 Number 6

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Louie Barletta #4.

Clock Jitters.

Louie was riding for Maple before he joined enjoi in 2001. He became brand manager in 2013 after Matt Eversole left the Panda. Louie is in charge of who rides for the team, coordinating videos, designing ads, and all sorts of exciting behind the scenes skateboard stuff. For somebody likely to throw a Sal flip down a double set, Sweet Lou is just as likely to bust out a switch hardflip. His part in Bag of Suck featured a good mix of technical, transition, vintage, and street skating, sometimes done while wearing a coonskin hat. It's all fun. Louie is currently sponsored by Globe, Krux, and Pig Wheels. He enjoys woodworking and shopping on ebay in his spare time.

Selling Out: The Skateboard Mag - July 2005 Issue 16

Osiris: Thrasher - December 2004 Volume 24 Number 12

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Clark Hassler #2.

Canned Heat.

"Me and Kyle Camarillo had this idea one day to end my part, like, "Oh, maybe we could just have you float away." We told Matt Eversole and he thought it'd be sick. A girl that worked at Dwindle knew some people from MTV or something that had the equipment for that. Fuck yeah, I was scared, though. That harness could break or go loose if it wanted to. I'm scared of heights in the first place, and they just left me stranded up there for a minute. I don't even know how high it was but I was looking down at cement, like "Ahhh!""

Clark's part in Bag of Suck features a lot of manual tricks done with quick feet. He skates many ledges and does a bunch of switch tricks. I think he's from the LA area and lives in New York City. His dad was friends with Steve Rocco from growing up together. Clark rides for Nike. enjoi finally turned him pro this last summer. He's a tough guy to find out information about. I still dig his part a whole lot. Sometimes it is better just not knowing.

What was up with NFL mascots skateboarding at the park with Louie?

For the quote: Skateboarder - May 2008 Volume 17 Number 9

Wind: Skateboarder - August 2008 Volume 17 Number 12

Nike: Skateboarder - July 2008 Volume 17 Number 11

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Jose Rojo.

The Big Red Machine.

Just like nearly everyone else on the team, Jose is from San Jose, California. He was asked by Marc Johnson to ride for enjoi at the start of the company in 2000. He turned pro in 2008 and is still riding for them, which means he is the only rider who has been with enjoi for the entire lifespan of the brand. His part in Bag of Suck has a lot of smooth street lines and big ollies. Jose is fairly tall and he makes everything look easy. Bolts, dog. It appears he just got on Nike. His previous footwear providers were Adio and Etnies. Jose was on RVCA back in that company's early days, too. His current sponsors include OJ Wheels, Royal Trucks, Bones Bearings, and Official Hats.

Dogs: Transworld - August 2001 Volume 19 Number 8

Indy: Thrasher - January 2006 Volume 26 Number 1

Monday, March 21, 2016

Jason Adams #10.

"It was hell, with rainbows and kitty cats, but we had health insurance."

Jason was on enjoi from 2004 to 2007. He had been on Black Label before and went back to the Label afterward. The Kid's part in Bag of Suck featured lots of slappys and wallrides. He wasn't just sticking to curbs and did slappys on hubbas and wallrides out of manuals. There were some abrupt vertical surfaces that were grinded with the aid of minimal transition. Jason did big ollies on street and got some airtime in the skateparks, too.

The Kid is from San Jose, California and has been pro for nearly 25 years now. He started off on Think, switched to SMA, rode for Creature and Scarecrow, and got on the Black Label a few times. He currently is sponsored by John Lucero's company. He was also on Mike Vallely's Elephant a couple of years ago. I've always been a fan since his interview in Transworld back in 1993. I like how he mixes a variety of tricks without being too caught up in the flavors of the day. Jason has been doing art for a while now and has developed a unique style with spray paint and stencils. enjoi even liked his paintings enough to use them for a guest series of boards after he left the Panda.

I set up a new board last night. It looks like it will be damp all week so I probably could have waited until the weekend.

For the quote: Transworld - December 2015 Volume 33 Number 12

Beer Hunter: Thrasher - September 2006 Volume 26 Number 9

Duffs: Thrasher - October 2006 Volume 26 Number 10

Friday, March 18, 2016

Caswell Berry #3.

"Call the police, I just got robbed."

Caswell is from San Jose, California. His first photo in Thrasher was of a kickflip at Derby wearing Counterfit gear. He was probably barely a teenager in the picture. Caswell was sponsored by Powell and switched over to Toy Machine. He turned pro for the Machine in 2002 and left for enjoi in 2003. He's still repping the Panda to this day. In terms of footwear, he was on Circa before changing to Osiris. He's also still on Osiris. Caswell has sustained a few serious injuries and ailments over the years, but keeps on rolling. His part in Bag of Suck has a lot of big rails and ollies, as well as regular and switch flip tricks. He can skate transition, too. His other sponsors include Krux Trucks and Ricta Wheels.

I looked and looked, but could not find the ad with a bloody Caswell. Jerry Hsu took the photo and it was posted on Patrick O'Dell's Epicly Later'd website in September of 2004. There is a small copy of the ad in the 15 years of enjoi issue of Transworld. My Slap and Transworld collections have some gaps in them from 2005 to 2007 so I'm making an educated guess it was in one of those mags.

Dumbbells: Skateboarder - May 2008 Volume 17 Number 9

Krux: Thrasher - February 2005 Volume 25 Number 2

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bag Of Suck.

A Decade of Suck.

enjoi released their first video in the spring of 2006. Bag of Suck featured full parts from the entire team. The pros were Jason Adams, Louie Barletta, Caswell Berry, and Jerry Hsu. The two ams were Clark Hassler and Jose Rojo. The primary filmers were Matt Eversole and Kyle Camarillo with Eversole serving as the creative director and editor. There was also a section of friends that included a variety of pros, ams, homies, and even a few former team riders. It won Transworld's Video of the Year award for 2006.

I think Bag of Suck is one of the best videos ever for a number of reasons. Considering enjoi sticks to only silly business in their ads, Bag of Suck places the emphasis on skateboarding and uses the humor appropriately. You get a sense of who the riders are and that they like to have fun, but the skating isn't overshadowed with endless antics. You have to be a skateboarder to understand it and there probably isn't much crossover appeal to somebody who isn't.

enjoi went through a few team changes since Marc Johnson started the company in 2000. Marc, Dave Mayhew, Rodney Mullen, Bobby Puleo, and Brad Staba all left the team before Bag of Suck was released. Rather than lament over who could have had parts in the video, you have to appreciate the effort from the guys who are in the video. None might have necessarily been huge names in skateboarding, but all the pros were plenty respectable at the time and even more so now. There's a whole underdog quality to the team and it feels like they managed to win the championship in the end.

Bag of Suck is watchable and gets you excited about skateboarding. Having only six full parts plus two montages keeps everything focused nicely. You aren't using the vert button or skipping some am you have never heard of. There are a good variety of spots to keep things interesting, even though it is primarily a street vid. The music works well with a smidge of hip hop, some older classics, and indie rock. Rod Stewart is even made somewhat palatable thanks to Louie's sweet moves on the dance floor. The titles for each rider are handmade and occasionally take advantage of a little movie magic. Everything fits the vibe that has been established by enjoi over the years.

Finally, the skateboarding in the video is relatable. The tricks often fall under the category of timeless good skateboarding without being overly caught up in current trends. There is balance of new and old, serious and silly, that holds up after a decade. Granted this crew is very talented and the skating is at a high level, but it is never rubbed in your face as to how much better they are. If you wound up at a session with them, they would be happy you did your dumb noseslide on the same ledge somebody else is doing a kickflip backside tailslide on. Bag of Suck has an accessible spirit to it, aided by the fact that everyone on the team are friends and actually skate together. It's the ultimate version of a video you and your buddies might make, only at the professional level. Thanks, dudes.

Note: Everybody who had a full part gets a day on here with one enjoi ad and one skateboarding ad. The Bag of Suck feature is going to run until the end of next week. I started on Thursday because it has been taking a little longer to find stuff. I still don't quite have everything scanned for next week yet. I'm also going to take one last shot at finding the ad where Caswell has a bloody face tonight, which I have not been able to track down at all. It could be from 2004 and I have not checked that year at all for this project. No guarantees on being able to find it. Enjoy.

Camera: Transworld - April 2006 Volume 24 Number 4

Miller Time: Skateboarder - April 2006 Volume 15 Number 8

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lance Mountain #8.


Lance rode for Variflex and Powell Peralta in the 1980s. He was pro for both companies. When the industry started to change by focusing more on street skateboarding, Lance left Powell to start the Firm in 1991. The Firm lasted up until 2006. Flip offered him a spot on the team and he accepted. Lance is still on Flip and recently put together a video part for Nike. It included the expected classic transition skating as well as some street gems from the old man.

The photo is by Deville Nunes.

Thrasher - Thirteen - Photo Annual Summer 2006

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Aaron Suski #4.

Flower Travlin' Band.

Skateboarder - December 2008 Volume 18 Number 4

Monday, March 14, 2016

Cooper Wilt.

Another failed footwear brand. I'll stop now.

Beloe was only around for a very short amount of time. The team was Ethan Fowler, Austin Stephens, and Cooper Wilt. Ethan quit Vans and Austin left Emerica to ride for the company. Oops.

Cooper is from San Pedro, California. He rode for Artafact before Daewon Song came up with the idea for Almost. There's a guest trick from him in the friends section of enjoi's Bag Of Suck. Cooper is pro for Almost. He also rides for Indy and OJ Wheels.

Skateboarder - August 2008 Volume 17 Number 12

Friday, March 11, 2016

Rob Pluhowski #4.

Loose Lip Sync Ship.

Thanks to Lucas at the Ride Channel for the link to go with the story about enjoi's Hip To Be Square deck.

Transworld - July 2001 Volume 19 Number 7

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tim O'Connor #2.

"Skating can’t be put in the same category as other sports. It’s more like music… you can be technically good but nobody gives a crap. Just because somebody can play the shit out of a guitar doesn’t mean they can write a song."

Tim is from Morristown, New Jersey. He rode for Think and Illuminati as an am back in the 1990s. He turned pro for Element and then left in 2000 to ride for Habitat. Along with Kerry Getz and Fred Gall, Tim was one of the first three pros on the Alien Workshop's sister company. He is still pro for Habitat, but chronic ankle injuries have taken him out of the game over the years. In terms of footwear, he has also been sponsored by Emerica, Savier, and Adidas. I always thought Tim has some of the best ollies in the game. It looks like he is effortlessly floating in the air, especially on backside ollie tricks on ramps.

Did Tim have a TV game show on TBS recently? I think I remember commercials for it, but never watched.

For the quote: The Chrome Ball Incident

Transworld - March 2001 Volume 19 Number 3

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Danny Garcia #4.


Danny was on City Stars before being abducted by the Alien Workshop to ride for Habitat. He had a part in Photosynthesis and turned pro a little while later. His feet have also been sponsored by Lakai and éS. Danny is into playing the guitar and making music so I'm not sure if he is still on Habitat or if he has somewhat retired from the pro ranks.

The weather has been spring like around here lately. Monday was too darn windy, but yesterday was nice. I got in a decent session after work at the park. The warm temperatures brought a lot of people out from wherever they were hiding during the winter. Fun times.

Transworld - June 2001 Volume 19 Number 6

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Reese Forbes #6.

Once in a lifetime.

Reese had been riding for Duffs before switching to Vita. After Vita ended, he rode for Nike. His pro sneaker resembles the model Natas had. Reese would have been on Element at this time for a board sponsor.

I'm theoretically putting together a feature on enjoi's Bag Of Suck for next week since the video was released in 2006. It getting there, but it ain't going well right now. It's going to be a long weekend of flipping through magazines.

Transworld - February 2001 Volume 19 Number 2

Monday, March 7, 2016

Jason Dill #11.


Vert Is Dead takes a look at another extinct footwear endeavor for the week. Vita was briefly alive from 1998 to 2001. Natas Kaupas started the company with Mark Oblow. The team included Gideon Choi, Jason Dill, Reese Forbes, Danny Garcia, Kenny Hughes, Tim O'Connor, Max Schaaf, and Rob Pluhowski. The shoes were slightly different. Some of the earlier designs were simpler beefy cupsoles and the later designs went oddly high tech. Natas' pro kick somewhat resembled a hiking boot while Dill's model had a mild futuristic slant to it. I really wanted a pair, but I never found any. I did see a pair on the feet of the owner of BTB Skateshop in Joplin, Missouri. I think even he was a little surprised he found them. The Dill is sporting Vitas for most of his part in Alien Workshop's Photosynthesis video from 2000.

Transworld - April 2001 Volume 19 Number 4

Friday, March 4, 2016

Ali Boulala #2.

The Man of the Month.

Ali's name has been in the news a lot recently. Aaron "Jaws" Hamoki successfully jumped down the 25 stairs that Ali tried to ollie in his part in Sorry. Thrasher organized a trip to Lyon, France this past fall for Jaws to give it a go. Michael Burnett even got Ali to show up as an advisor. This was the second time Jaws had been to the stairs and he was able to roll away from a backside grab down the massive flight.

I had forgotten Ali was on Nadia. This line was in Sorry, Flip's video from 2002. I'm wondering if he might have been wearing some samples for a few of his tricks in the video because he is sporting some odd shoes throughout the part.

I fixed the computer issue I was having last night so Vert Is Dead HQ is in good shape. It turned out to be simpler than I initially feared.

Vita is on tap for next week.

Transworld - February 2002 Volume 20 Number 2.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Henry Sanchez #3.

Neva Forget.

Henry was the third pro on Real when Tommy Guerrero and Jim Thiebaud started the company back in 1990. He wasn't on the team for long and soon switched over to Blind. In 1992, he split a short format video with Tim Gavin called Tim & Henry's Pack of Lies. Henry's part was a blast of never been done technical tricks at high speed set to the ominous tones of Black Sabbath. In the mid 1990s, there were a couple different board sponsors and Henry sort of fell out of the limelight. He rode for Profile and Platinum, plus C|O Wheels. He staged a comeback in 2001 while riding for Lucky Skateboards with a part for Transworld's Sight Unseen. It was a shared part with Marcus McBride, but it was heavy on Henry. The two also shared a part in the filmer video Chomp On This from 2002. This kickflip backside noseblunt slide from the ad was in that video.

As a heads up, I'm having some computer problems at the Vert Is Dead HQ. I'm not anticipating any problems in terms of creating content at this juncture, but I also am anticipating a few problems over the next month or so.

Transworld - January 2002 Volume 20 Number 1

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Gailea Momolu.

Gailea was born in Boston and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. His family is originally from Liberia. He was pro for Darkstar. Globe and Osiris also sponsored his feet at different times after Nadia was done. He specialized in a lot of switch and technical tricks on handrails. I'm not really sure what he is up to these days.

Transworld - March 2002 Volume 20 Number 3

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Corey Sheppard.

In like a lion.

This was the first Nadia ad that showed skateboarding. It was their second ad overall. You might as well make a splash by having the hot am on Blind blast a switch tre down a double set. Corey is from St. John's, Newfoundland. He turned pro in 2002. Corey might be living in Vancouver and doing masonry work these days. He got into art and graphic design a short time after turning pro.

I got the new issue of Thrasher yesterday. It's pretty thick with a lot of words, which is how you are supposed to make a magazine. I skimmed bits and pieces of it. It appears Guy Mariano and Eric Koston are going to be launching some type of deck company in the future. Although with all the love Guy gives Anthony Van Engelen, I could see him skipping that to ride for Fucking Awesome or Hockey. Diamond has formally ventured out into the footwear biz as Torey Pudwill and Brandon Biebel have joined the team. Starting a skater owned shoe brand in 2016 seems like a sure fire way to lose money, but good luck to 'em.

Transworld - December 2001 Volume 19 Number 12