Friday, September 30, 2016

Chris Pastras #2.

"I ride my shape in wood with no rails - I like riding full-screen painted boards. I don't like slicks too much. Magnesium Gullwings - because they're light - with plastic baseplates, 43mm 101A Blue wheels, and no risers."

Dune looks so young in this photo.

Welcome To Hell on Monday… I think.

For the quote: Transworld - December 1992 Volume 10 Number 12

Transworld - September 1992 Volume 10 Number 9

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Jason Lee #7.

Metal Circus.

There used to be a skateboard shop in my town. It was open from probably about 1989 until 1993 or 94 when a fire wiped out half the block it was on. The family that owned it had a sports store, but devoted a good chunk of the shop to skateboards and clothing. I'm sure that their son had a little input on carrying skate gear because he sort of skated. I want to say he was more into snowboarding. In thinking back about the place, they probably did pretty well with business from skateboarding. Enough people were skating and I don't think we were really doing all that much mail order. They had a decent selection and carried Powell Peralta, Santa Cruz, Vision, Blockhead, Airwalk, and more. Since they were selling Vision products, they also carried other companies that were distributed by them like Sims and Lucero. I had a ton of shirts from both brands. Although I don't think they ever had the boards. Anyway, they did carry Blue and possibly TV. I had a Chris Pastras slick that I bought there. I believe a friend had a TV deck, but I'm not positive where he got the board from. The Dune was chunky and heavy compared to the Mike Carroll slick I had been riding previously.

Congratulations to Brian Anderson. May nothing but happiness come your way.

The new Supreme clip is cool. Alex Olson has some good tricks and B.A. shreds Phillie. I always liked that Kim Carnes song and it was cool to see it used with something that wasn't lame.

Taking the day off from work yesterday was a good idea. I got skateboarding for a while in the morning while it was sunny and warm. It looks like off and on rain for the next four days.

Transworld - November 1992 Volume 10 Number 11

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kareem Campbell #4.

Seven Shot Sequence.

Kareem takes flight down a triple set, but doesn't stick the landing due to deck breakage upon impact. Everybody knows boards break, it just seems a little odd to use that in an ad. At least they had some fun with it.

Vert Is Dead will be back on Thursday.

Transworld - September 1992 Volume 10 Number 9

Monday, September 26, 2016


Low Fidelity.

Blue was started in 1992 by Jason Lee, Chris Pastras, and Kareem Campbell. All three had been riding for Blind or World Industries and wanted to do something different that was more grown up than the edgy material Steve Rocco was selling. Blue was the precursor to Stereo, with some of the graphics being inspired by jazz culture. The company didn't last long before Chris and Jason started Stereo with Deluxe in 1993 and Kareem went back to World Industries.

This is going to be four day week of Vert Is Dead. I'm using some vacation time on Wednesday. I'll probably be taking a few more mid-week days off in the next couple months because I need a break from work.

The next two features I'll be putting together will be on Welcome To Hell and Mouse, since both are 20 years old now.

Dune & Kareem: Transworld - July 1992 Volume 10 Number 7

Life after skateboarding: Transworld - August 1992 Volume 10 Number 8

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mark Heintzman #5.

Pop shove-it late flip.

Everybody was trying to impress each other with how small their wheels were and how edgy they could be with naming products or coming up with graphics in the early 1990s. I'm thinking naming your wheels HIV is failed attempt in the branding department. The owners of G & S were on the conservative side so this one was a little surprising to see.

A-1 Meats did a similar ad in September 1991 that showed their small wheels. They didn't include any skateboarding to spice it up a bit.

Skateboarding somehow worked out last night. I've had a head cold the last few days and wasn't expecting much, but the weather was so perfect I made myself go to the park. I stayed until the lights shut off and did well enough for me. It felt good being out in the fresh air. I'm doing freelance photography for the paper tonight and won't be able to skate so that was my motivation for battling the germs. I'm a little glad nobody was there because I had a box of tissues and a bottle of Gatorade with me.

Things are getting Blue for next week.

Grant Brittain photographed the sequence.

Transworld - June 1992 Volume 10 Number 6

Thursday, September 22, 2016

John May.

Fifteen minutes.

I got nothing on this guy. I don't think he's Shannon's brother, although he might be. He's got a good frontside flip.

Jamie Mosberg took the sequence. I think it might even be film, but I forgot to double check when I scanned this.

Transworld - March 1993 Volume 11 Number 3

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Shannon May.

Red Vans Hightops.

Shannon was pro for G & S. He was also sponsored by A-1 Meats for wheels. I don't know much about him or what his deal was or if he even had a deal. I watched clips from the G & S videos Winona Riders and Stun the other day. The guy was doing some big ollies and generally blasting over street obstacles so he gets the Vert Is Dead seal of approval.

The photo is by somebody with a camera by the name of T-Bough.

Transworld - May 1992 Volume 10 Number 5

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Matt Beach #2.

Korner Groove.

Matt is from Portland, Oregon. He has ridden for G & S, Birdhouse, The Firm, and Skate Mental over the years. He has a tendency to disappear from the spotlight, but keep up with his skateboarding at the same time.

G & S had a similar ad of Kris Markovich doing a backside grab to fakie in May of 1991.

I went skateboarding 161 times in 2015. I hit 161 for 2016 last night. The mild winter we had helped out a lot in February and March. I think 200 is possible for the year since there are 102 days left. As long as it stays mellow and dry for October and winter doesn't get here early, this seems doable.

Transworld - January 1992 Volume 10 Number 1

Monday, September 19, 2016

G & S.

Stylized Ampersand.

G & S was started as a surfboard company by Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith in 1959. They got into skateboarding and had quite a successful run in the 1970s and 1980s. The team during the heyday of the 80s included Chris Miller, Neil Blender, Hugh "Bod" Boyle, Steve Claar, Nicky Guerrero, Remy Stratton, Blaize Blouin, and more. The company lost a number of riders and employees in the early 1990s. Chris Carter, Mike Hill, Neil Blender, Steve Claar, Rob Dyrdek, and Duane Pitre all bounced to start the Alien Workshop. Willy Santos and Andrew Reynolds were picked up for Tony Hawk's new Birdhouse Projects in 1992. Kris Markovich was also on G & S briefly before going to 101.

Even with the changes in skateboarding at the time, G & S switched up their image a little and kept going. Mark Heintzman stuck with the team and they still had rising am Matt Beach until he left for Birdhouse. Future Think pro Matt Pailes and Maple pro Thom Hornung were part of the company as well.

Transworld - December 1992 Volume 10 Number 12

Friday, September 16, 2016

California Cheap Skates 1994.

The Rebound.

Skateboarding started to show signs of life in 1994. It seemed like more people were interested and more companies were being started. We moved beyond the pressure flips and big pants era, too. California Cheap Skates made a minor name change with a switch to CCS. The catalogs started to feature a lot more boards and the magazines were getting thicker, which are both indicators of positive growth. Girl/Chocolate, Element/New Deal/Mad Circle, and Foundation/Toy Machine were helping to fill the pages. New School was still kicking and Gonz had switched over to 60/40. New companies like Creature, Maple, and Sonic had begun along with smaller efforts like Entity, Invisible, Goodtimes, and Natural. Everything was coming up Milhouse.

Were our boards really this small back then? They seem tiny. I remember them being thinner, but I don't recall decks being so short. There are so many boards that measure 31.5, which I guess would be longer than the standard 10" x 30" from the late 1980s. Although I don't think I got picky about what I was riding until the later half of the 90s when I settled on the 8" x 32" size.

Late period G & S on Monday.

The Pepe Martinez photo is by Chris Ortiz.

This is the Fall 1994 catalog.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

California Cheap Skates 1993.

Sugar Magnolia.

1993 was probably about the leanest year for skateboarding before things started to rebound. Steve Rocco wasn't selling his wares to CCS at the time so that definitely hurt their business. You've got a sampling of Real, Stereo, Think, Santa Cruz, and Powell. Acme and Channel One are both well represented. There are new companies like Consolidated and Color, too. H-Street had changed the name to Evol by this time and Vision was going by Other Level. G & S is lingering around as And. I dig the Stereo John Deago and Chris Pastras boards. The graphics for the early ATM Click decks are radical.

Owning a bearing press sure makes life a lot easier. I decided my old wheels were done so I put some brand new ones on my current set up last night.

That Grant Taylor kid is really good.

The trippy Jeremy Wray photo was provided by the folks at Union Wheels.

This is the Fall 1993 catalog.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

California Cheap Skates 1992.

Fantastic Plastic.

Skateboarding was in a transition phase in 1992. Many of the old companies were shrinking or going out of business as fresh new ventures started to gain ground. This catalog reflects that. Slick bottom boards were the hot trend and everybody was making their own version of Santa Cruz's Everslick. I thought slicks were done, but Real has brought them back with their new series of decks. I don't know if that's a good idea or not. Powell still has some decent graphics to go with a solid team. Alien Workshop, Real, Acme, Planet Earth are all looking sharp. The Brain Lotti orange and blue deck is interesting. There were a few boards at the time that tried a symmetrical graphic of squares and rectangles. I don't think they ever did very well for sales, but I like how they look, more so now than back then. Ed Templeton and Mike Vallely's TV and Jason Lee and Chris Pastra's Blue make an appearance in the catalog. Of note are the Museum boards, which was Pushead's branch of Zorlac in the early 1990s. The Metallica Pirate II deck was spoofed by Kris Markovich for 101 at about the same time.

Is Emerica's Made 2 going to be released on a DVD? The first volume was pretty good and I'd like to have the second in a physical format. I'm kind of over online only skateboard video content. And in other news, I'll be yelling at the damn kids to get off my lawn. Stay cranky, my friends.

Steve Kobata took the photo of Matt Pontius doing an ollie over a fire hydrant.

This is the Fall 1992 catalog.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

California Cheap Skates 1991.

It's 1991, stand up and take a look around.

I had the Matt Hensley Church Glass and the Danny Way Street with the Volkswagen ripoff. That board was super light compared to the Hensley. I think it met an early demise due to nose damage from launch ramp trickery, which was a bummer. H-Street/Planet Earth/Life and World Industries/Blind were going strong with newer companies like Real, New Deal, and New School just getting started. Powell, G & S, Santa Cruz/SMA were holding things down for the old timers club. I really like the Black Label decks. Any time you can work in Max Evans to a post, it is a good thing.

The nollie flip that Mike Carroll does on flat in the new LA Courthouse clip from Crailtap is great.

Tony Hawk and Bucky Lasek do some doubles at the Hawk compound. The photo is by Sin Egelja.

This is the Fall 1991 catalog.

Monday, September 12, 2016

California Cheap Skates 1990.

Mail Order Days.

Let's do this. Here's the pages and pages of board porn that everyone has been asking for. I picked out one catalog from each year between 1990 and 1994 to fill up the week.

This is probably the first CCS catalog I had. It has the address for my friend on the back so I most likely permanently borrowed it from him before ordering something.

You've got a varied selection of the bigger brands of the 1980s - Alva, BBC, Santa Cruz, Powell Peralta, and Sims. There are also the upstart companies that would shape the next decade of skateboarding - H-Street, World Industries, Lucero, and even Small Room.

I had the Matt Hensley Pro, the Mike Vallely Full, the Steve Saiz, and the Fred Smith Maxi. NHS recently reissued a t-shirt of the Jim Thiebaud avenger so I picked one up when I was at my friend's shop. I used to have the shirt, but it was lost over the years.

The cover photo is of Justin Lynch at McGill's Skate Park. It was taken by Chris Carnel.

This is the Spring/Summer 1990 catalog.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Phil Shao #12.

“He was a positive influence on people he’d never even met. He got to touch and influence so many through skating. Right after he died, a kid from Montreal, Quebec named Vincent Dumoulin called me and just wanted to tell me that Phil was the nicest guy he’d met and how bummed he was. You can tell Phil touched so many people. He definitely left a positive mark." - Greg Carroll

Always remember.

Have a good Labor Day weekend.

Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday, September 12th. I have no idea what I'll be posting. Maybe something for Etnies since they are 30 years old now. Any suggestions? A week of decks from CCS catalogs?

Thrasher - November 1992 Volume 12 Number 11

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jeff Toland.

Linus & Lucy.

Jeff rode for Powell Peralta, Think, and Chapter 7. He's from Sacramento. This trick is in his part in Think's Partners In Crime video from 1991.

Thrasher - January 1992 Volume 12 Number 1