Friday, May 27, 2016

Jake Johnson #3.

Hitting the wall.

One of my friends who moved away was in town about a month ago. We were talking skateboarding and trying to figure out what current pros we liked. We both drew a blank. You keep up with the latest online clips and those are mostly pretty good because everybody rips these days, but it's sort of hard to pick favorites. Everything goes by so fast and there is too much to keep track of. After giving it some thought, I'm a fan of what Jake is doing with the big no complies, the wallrides, and the overall switch savagery.

Have a good holiday on Monday if you get the day off. Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday, June 6th. I need a break. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments, too.

The photo is by Zach Malfa-Kowalski.

Transworld - October 2011 Volume 29 Number 10

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Alex Olson #3.

Deep house trax.

Thrasher - July 2006 Volume 26 Number 7

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Daewon Song #4.

One second, 28 frames, one double flip.

Daewon is riding a Blind Racing Team deck.

Thrasher - June 1992 Volume 12 Number 6

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Marc Johnson #10.

Limitless by design.

Didn't Marc quit Emerica for Lakai on the sly as well? I think he was always a fan of Adidas so it probably does make sense to take an offer they make.

It's more than a little sad skateboarding is slowly creeping towards two choices for footwear and it won't be Vans or Airwalk. I really don't want to wear shoes with a swoosh or three stripes on them. One of the things that appealed to me about skateboarding was that it was different and you didn't have to be a jock. Jeff Grosso and John Lucero touched on this in their recent Weekend Buzz interview. Skateboarding was for the characters that didn't necessarily fit in and not the quote unquote cool kids. However, the growth of skateboarding has changed that over the years. That's not necessarily bad, just not necessarily a one hundred percent good thing either. I guess you are always going to lose a little something from one generation to the next. Maybe thanks to the internet the next batch will keep up with the history now that it is increasingly easier to do so.

Big Brother - July 1999 Number 50

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mike Carroll #16.

Another Mike Carroll power move.

The big news of the last week was that Marc Johnson now rides for Adidas. He abruptly quit Lakai to the displeasure of Mike so he got the boot from Chocolate via an interview on Jenkem. Mike's side of the story is that he knew Marc was leaving for the brand with three stripes, but was expecting a fair warning. Marc denied he was leaving and then the next day it was announced during the premiere of the new Adidas video, "Away Days", that MJ was on the team. This is understandably a major bummer given the amount of footwear Lakai had in production with Marc's name on it and Carroll reacted accordingly. Kind of like when Tod Swank kicked Dan Drehobl off Foundation in an ad.

Transworld - December 1999 Volume 17 Number 12

Friday, May 20, 2016

Dan Drehobl #20.

Vert Is Dead turns eight years old today. Thanks to everybody for all the support over the years.

Dan is my favorite pro. I've got a pair of his Vox pro model I wear in the basement (AKA The Vert Is Dead archives) at my parents.

The photos are by Ed Dominick.

Thrasher - October 2006 Volume 26 Number 10

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Darren Navarrette #8.

Hesh Overlord.

Congrats to Darren on winning the Masters Division at the recent Vans Pool Party contest.

Anybody get kicked off their board sponsor via the internet during my break?

The photos are by Ed Dominick.

Thrasher - August 2006 Volume 26 Number 8

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dane Brady.


Vert Is Dead will be back on Thursday, May 19th.

Transworld - October 2015 Volume 33 Number 10

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Roman Gonzalez & Kevin Rodrigues.

"You guys should try some doubles."

In addition to the animations of colored squares and circles, one great thing about "I Like It Here Inside My Mind, Don't Wake Me This Time" is getting to see the skaters that have their names on the boards I've been riding the last two years. I keep up with the new faces as much as possible, but it is difficult these days with so much available content to know who everyone is. I knew some of the guys, but not all. I'm curious to know more about Michal Juraś. I can't really find much on him anywhere. I had his board and it was one of the lightest decks I've ever ridden. It reminded me of a World Industries board from the early 1990s. And Kevin is the one with the long hair in the ad.

Here's the graphic from Kevin's debut pro model. For as much of a bummer as it is, I like the art.

The photos are by Manual Schenck.

Transworld - February 2015 Volume 33 Number 2

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Aaron Herrington #2.


Sometimes it's a little crazy to think about how much skateboarding has progressed since I started back in 1987. Skaters are routinely grinding up waist high handrails and launching themselves down massive sets of stairs. Not things I can really relate to doing, but I understand the degree of difficulty involved and respect it.

Thrasher - September 2014 Volume 34 Number 9

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cyrus Bennett.

"I was at Labor Skateshop right after I left 3D, and I asked the guy what boards sell best. He said Palace, Polar, and Welcome. I asked him why and he said something along the lines of, "A lot of these kids aren't at this ability where they can relate to the likes of Nyjah, so they relate to a Polar video way more." The type of skating associated with those companies is way more tangible for someone who just wants to skate. The skating in their videos could actually happen on a session with regular people." - Alex Olson

I'm pretty sure this guy rides for Alex Olson's 917 now. Polar coverage was a little hard to find so I used whatever I could track down, even if it was for an ex-rider. Theories of Atlantis was running advertisements in Transworld for the brands they distribute, but that appears to have stopped as of late.

Zach Malfa-Kowalski was the photographer.

For the quote: Thrasher - March 2014 Volume 34 Number 3

Transworld - July 2015 Volume 33 Number 7

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pontus Alv #3.

In Search of the Miraculous.

It's going to be quick overview of a few things from Polar for the week. Pontus started the company in 2011 and it has taken off from there. The team currently includes Dane Brady, Roman Gonzales, Paul Grund, Hjalte Halberg, Aaron Herrington, Kevin Rodrigues, Oskar Rozenberg, and David Stenström. Pontus recently finished up his new video, "I Like It Here Inside My Mind, Don't Wake Me This Time." I assume you can get it on the internet, but I picked up the physical DVD, which is a much better viewing experience, even on my old ass tube television. Enough rambling, I like how Pontus charges at all the spots at Mach Ten. It's proper shredding without messing around. He's probably got the best no complies in the game right now.

The Skateboard Mag - November 2014 Issue 128

Friday, May 6, 2016

Jamie Thomas #7.

The ride is over.

Some sort of week of Polar stuff starting Monday.

The photo is by Joey Shigeo.

Thrasher - March 2009 Volume 29 Number 7

Thursday, May 5, 2016

James Hardy #2.

Basically a rerun.

I already did a James Hardy post for the Patriot II last year, but wanted to get my favorite shoe from Fallen on here again. And once again the shoe has a questionable colorway in the ad. Anyway, you can't beat a solid cupsole with a well padded upper in fewer colors. I think I had about four or five pairs. They lasted forever and were comfortable. I was really disappointed when Fallen discontinued the model. The replacement version was called the Patriot III and the pair I had never broke in correctly. I think this was something Jamie Thomas alluded to in the interview about the demise of Fallen. They had quality control problems with the factory and changing the production lines. I straight up tossed the IIIs in the trash after about a month and fixed my last pair of IIs up with duct tape.

Nose grind though the knobs. That is gnarly.

Joey Shigeo took the picture.

Thrasher - December 2010 Volume 30 Number 12

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Billy Marks #3.

Close, but no cigar.

I had three pairs of Billy's Bandit model, which is somewhat similar to the Revolver except it had a cupsole. Supposedly there is an ad with Billy featuring that shoe, but I couldn't find it all. I did find an ad with James Hardy showing the Bandit, but I already had a scan with him for the week so I passed on that one. The Bandit had a different type of sole that was a little thinner and didn't last a super long time. The upper was fairly well built, which is why I kept buying them. I still have one pair left that I wear when I have to go outside in the rain and mud.

It appears Polar did not run print ads in the Skateboard Mag from 2011 to 2014. Maybe it was Skateboarder?

Dave Chami snaped the sequence.

Slap - July 2008 Volume 17 Number 7

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chris Cole #4.

The Ripper.

Former Fallen sales rep and pro skateboarder Jason Rothmeyer hooked me up with a pair of these in black a few years ago. It was the first time I skated vulcanized shoes in ages. They worked out pretty good, but once the soles went, it was over. The red shoes make a nice visual contrast to the black and white photo.

Does anybody remember if Polar ran print ads in the Skateboard Mag three or four years ago? I think I recall this, but couldn't find anything when I started looking last night. I didn't check back too far yet and it appears Polar was started in 2011.

The photo is by Joey Shigeo.

Thrasher - January 2007 Volume 27 Number 1

Monday, May 2, 2016

Jamie Thomas #6.

Rise with the Fallen.

This week Vert Is Dead takes a quick look back Fallen Footwear. Jamie Thomas started the company in 2003 when he left Circa. It was originally backed by DC Shoes. DC was in the process of being sold at some point a year or two later, but Jamie kept Fallen independent and was not included in the acquisition. He operated the brand out of his Black Box Distribution. There was a lot of team overlap with riders from Zero, but they also sponsored guys with other board sponsors. Over the years Fallen gave shoes to Chris Cole, Josh Harmony, Tony Cervantes, Brian "Slash" Hanson, Tommy Sandoval, Billy Marks, Tom Asta, Gilbert Crockett, and more.

The company had a pretty good run, but unfortunately due to declining sales caused by big athletic footwear companies, Jamie put an end to Fallen as of this April. All the kids at the local skateboard park wore Fallen back in the mid 2000s. I sort of wasn't into their shoes at that time, but I decided to try a pair instead of being a grumpy old guy about things. I wound up liking them so I stuck with Fallen for quite a few years. Mainly they were making solid cupsoles with a decent amount of padding on the upper, which is what I prefer in my skate shoes. It's a bummer to see the company go.

I got my copy of Pontus Alv's "I like it here inside my mind, don't wake me this time" on Saturday. That's how you make a skateboard video.

The photos are by Daniel Harold Sturt.

Tattoo: Thrasher - November 2003 Volume 23 Number 11

Give Up: Thrasher - December 2003 Volume 23 Number 12