Friday, January 29, 2016

Jack Curtin.

I always like switch pop shove-its.

Trasher - September 2011 Volume 31 Number 9

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Torey Pudwill #2.

How ya like me now?

Plan B put out a stand alone video called Torey Pudwill's Big Bang in 2011. DVS, Matix, Nixon, and Thrasher also helped. Torey expanded upon Kyle Leeper's idea of skating the inside of the ledge with longer backside lipslides and tailslides done on the dirt side of planters. He's also got a mean Smith grind for tall obstacles. Given the tricks he can flip into or out of, I'm saying Torey's got an under appreciated kickflip, too.

The Skateboard Mag - November 2011 Issue 92

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kyle Leeper.

Inside job.

Kyle is from Leucadia, California and currently rides for Stereo and OJ Wheels. He has been sponsored by Expedition and Black Label in the past. Kyle helped popularize doing tricks on the dirt side of the ledges around planters. He did a backside lipslide to kickflip out on a curved inside ledge to end his part in Transworld's 2004 video Subtleties. The outside planter that everybody would normally skate had been skate stopped to death so he approached the obstacle with a slightly different mindset. He also might have done the world's longest nose bluntslide in 2014.

The photo is by Mike O'Meally.

Transworld - May 2011 Volume 29 Number 5

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Dan Plunkett.

Mental Skating.

Dan rides for Skate Mental, Huf, Spitfire, Stratosphere, and Thunder. Brad Staba turned him pro in 2012. He's into working on his motorcycle and has a degree in welding so he's got something to fall back on once the professional skateboarding days are done. Dan did a bluntslide down the giant hubba in front of the old Jim Kelly's Sports Grill in Buffalo in 2011 for a Spitfire ad.

Elwood was a clothing company started by Sal Barbier in the late 1990s. When he took the whole Aesthetics team over to Zoo York, that was the end of the brand for about a decade. Kenny Anderson resurrected Elwood in 2009 with a new team that included Dan Drehobl, John Rattray, and Anthony Pappalardo. It lasted a couple years before coming to an end again. There's an Elwood sticker on one of the ramps at my local skatepark.

Transworld - March 2011 Volume 29 Number 3

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cory Kennedy.

What'd you think about that football-shaped board he was riding?

I was shocked! 'Cause those boards sucked when we rode 'em in the '90s, so seeing him on that thing and what he was doing on it was pretty rad. But whatever. If he's doing that type of skating on that board, by all means. It was just nice to not see any pressure flips on it. I might've had flashbacks!

Football shaped skateboards as discussed by Michael Burnett and his friend Kevin.

Cory is from Lake Stevens, Washington. He got hooked up with Girl in high school and turned pro for them in 2011. His other sponsors include Nike, Fourstar, and Spitfire. After a tech heavy part for Chocolate's Pretty Sweet video from 2012, Cory seems to have settled into a fun loving permanent vacation mood. He's not resting on his laurels like many a 1990s chillin' pro, but completely going for it on all types of terrain and on boards that are well broken in with a smile on his face.

For the quote: Thrasher - January 2016 Volume 36 Number 1

The Skateboard Mag - August 2011 Issue 89

Friday, January 22, 2016

Clint Walker.

"Folk metal with a little bit of post-punk."

Clint is from Altus, Oklahoma. He is sponsored by Birdhouse and turned pro after his part in the Ambiguous Clothing video Modern Art from 2013. For the video, he took down a lot of big handrails and gaps. There was some rooftop and ditch skating as well, with a no comply over a handrail for good measure. Clint also rides for Independent and Pig Wheels. He is an RV enthusiast.

Ryan Lay's switch fence ollie in the new issue of Transworld is a total throwback to 1991 because of the shape of the Welcome deck he is riding. Only nobody was blasting switch ollies over fences that big 25 years ago.

The photo is by Antton Miettinen.

The Skateboard Mag - April 2011 Issue 85

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tom Remillard.

Prehistoric Dog.

Tom is from the San Diego area of California. He rode for Anti-Hero for about seven years before switching to Expedition. He turned pro for them in 2014. Tom left Deluxe on good terms and got to keep Spitfire as a wheel sponsor. He also rides for Converse and Ace Trucks. Although he is primarily a transition shredder, he likes to mix it up and skate street, too. In his spare time, Tom enjoys flying single engine Cessnas. He had a great part in Transworld's Perpetual Motion video from 2013. Josh Matthews also has a good section in that video.

Thrasher - October 2011 Volume 31 Number 10

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tony Trujillo #4.


Fourstar was started out of the Girl camp by Eric Koston and Guy Mariano in 1996, but those two don't work there these days. The idea was to create some unique and more athletic fashions for skateboarders that were based on the stuff Eric and Guy liked to wear. The original team included Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, Keenan Milton, Mark Gonzales, and Max Schaaf. Colin McKay, Andrew Reynolds, Brian Anderson, and Paul Rodriguez have ridden for the Star in the twenty years since. Currently the team includes Lucas Puig, Tyler Bledsoe, Ishod Wair, Andrew Brophy, Sean Malto, Cory Kennedy, and Frank Gerwer. Based upon the recent Fourstar European tour article in Thrasher, Bledsoe is crushing it as of late.

John Scott will be allowed to play in the NHL All Star Game. If you let the fans vote, you have to live with the results. They are the ones giving you the money to support your product so their voice is kind of important.

The Skateboard Mag - December 2011 Issue 93

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Donovon Piscopo.

Free John Scott.

Donovon is from Covina, California. His dad skateboards as well and even had a photo in Poweredge back in the late 1980s. After riding for Zero and Vans, Donovon switched to the Alien Workshop and Nike. He did get a few tricks in Zero's Strange World video from 2009 in a shared part with Jamie Thomas and Elissa Steamer. He now is pro for Hockey, the sister company Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen started after they launched Fucking Awesome. Some of Donovon's favorite skateboarders include Julien Stranger, Natas Kaupas, Jeff Phillips, Mike Carroll, Heath Kirchart, Jason Adams, John Cardiel, and his dad. For music, he likes Black Sabbath, Peter Tosh, and Bo Diddley.

Thrasher - December 2011 Volume 31 Number 12

Monday, January 18, 2016

Alex Davis.

The Cincinnati Kid.

Al isn't from Cincinnati. He's from Covington, Kentucky and gets a lot of footage in the home of the Reds. I just wanted to get a Kids In The Hall reference in here. Anyway, he is pro for Habitat and rides for the Asphalt Yacht Club. He turned pro in 2014 at the age of 30. His dad used to own a skateshop in Kentucky. Al has a nice style reminiscent of mid 1990s Philadelphia skaters, mixing in wallrides and poll jams with well done kickflips and some transition shredding.

The photo is by Zach Malfa-Kowalski.

Transworld - April 2011 Volume 29 Number 4

Friday, January 15, 2016

Willy Akers.

Staten Island.

5Boro turns twenty this year. The company was founded by Steve Rodriguez in 1996. Steve is a skateboarding lifer and doing all he can to promote and improve the NYC skate scene. He helped make the Brooklyn Banks into a legal spot for example. The team includes Jimmy McDonald, Willy Akers, Danny Falla, Joe Tookmanian, Rob Gonyon, Silvester Eduardo, Jordan Trahan, and a few others.

Willy is from Wilmington, Delaware. He is pro for 5Boro. Willy also rides for OJ Wheels, Independent, and Lacolombe Coffee Company.

The Skateboard Mag - September 2011 Issue 90

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Rodrigo Tx.


Rodrigo is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He rides for DGK, LRG, Adidas, Venture, Bones Bearings, and Mob Grip. He used to ride for Lance Mountain's Firm and éS. His full last name is Teixeira. He specializes in well done technical street skating. I watched his part in LRG's Give Me My Money Chico video from 2010 last night. Tx does some good frontside noseslides and catches his flip tricks properly. Give Me My Money is a fun vid to watch actually. It features a lot of Frank Gerwer, which is always a bonus.

After years of rumors about going out of business, éS finally signed off in 2011. Sole Tech brought the company back in 2015 with a new team of Kelly Hart, Walker Ryan, Tom Asta, and Ryan Lay. It also appears they are making the classic Sal Barbier model again and a proper reissue of the Accel.

Transworld - January 2011 Volume 29 Number 1

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Alex Perelson.

The Drawback.

Alex is from San Diego, California and one of the newer faces of vert skateboarding. He was riding for Real and had a part in their Since Day One video from 2011. I don't think he has a board sponsor currently because he recently left Real and was briefly on Welcome. Alex also rides for Vans, Thunder, Spitfire, Skeleton Key, and a couple other companies.

The Skateboard Mag - June 2011 Issue 87

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Eric Koston #6.

Los Angeles.

It really was not much of a surprise that Eric wound up riding for Nike after stints on éS and Lakai. He was one of the first pros who made it OK for skateboarders to like real sports such as basketball and even appeared in an ad for Oakley sunglasses wearing a Laker uniform. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing in all honesty. Anyway, Eric left his long time sponsor of Girl at the end of 2015. There hasn't been much accurate word on who he will be riding for next. It was a little shocking that he and Guy Mariano quit since they both had been there since the beginning. I supposed they could be starting a new company as many pros are doing these days, but I don't see either as the entrepreneur types. I guess this is one of the big stories we have to look forward to for the year ahead.

Thrasher - August 2011 Volume 31 Number 8

Monday, January 11, 2016

Heath Kirchart #8.

Hydrant kickflip to hill bomb while giving the finger to a disgruntled motorist.

Heath retired from the pro ranks after Emerica's Stay Gold video in 2010. He pops up at demos and in team manager roles from time to time these days. He's also dabbled in feats of athletic endurance, such as biking across the United States.

Vert Is Dead is taking a look back at skateboarders from 2011 for the next four weeks. I picked out some different skaters and companies just to get more variety on the website. I'm going to start looking at stuff from the early 2000s next in the same type of format as in the past where I'll spend a week on a company from a given year. The early aughts now have some distance to them so we can view those years with a critical eye now.

Skateboarder - January 2011 Volume 20 Number 5

Friday, January 1, 2016

Neil Blender #13.

"For the record, there aren't very many things that Neil Blender likes. He hates AC/DC and orange dyed hair, as well as television, crowds and people in general. He doesn't care about parties, magazines, or leaves turned upside-down either. His place is just being different. Think about it. There are over four and a half billion people out there in this wide stupid world, and you can search all you want, but you'll never find another." - Gary Scott Davis

Happy New Year!

Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday, January 11. It will be stuff from 2011 to start the year off with. I tried to pick out some different skaters for the sake of variety.

The description of Neil is from Gary Scott Davis' The Best Of Skate Fate 1981-1991 book.

Thrasher - January 1990 Volume 10 Number 1