Friday, December 29, 2017

Matt Hensley #10.

"When I skate, I push around, and look down at my shoes. If my shoes don't look right, I get bummed and can't skate. Sometimes if I try to get all artsy fartsy and get some killer design on my skateboard, I just can't skate it. I'll take it apart and give it to somebody. Or I'll have a totally good board and I'll sticker it all up perfect. I'm just into that, you know? It's the only thing I do, I skateboard, so putting my skateboard together is like putting my house together. I just put my stickers on and go, "OK, that looks killer." I just go down the line of my sponsors. "OK, cool. This is rad." I put the grip tape on right, slant it just perfect, everything's looking killer, and then I'll get the paint pens out. I'll ride it for a day and I'll be stoked on my set up, and then I'll draw some stupid looking thing that blows it all, and I have to give it away."

Matt talks about the madness. I'm the same way with grip tape art. Sometimes I would draw stuff, but I would always end up hating it so I stopped. It's been the same grip job for ages now - two pieces with a thin line in front of the back truck. Ideally none of the top graphic is showing, but sometimes a little bit slips in. I think it makes the skateboard look fast.

This poster was on the wall of my bedroom for a bit. I think I even took it with me to college for my freshman year.

A few things I dug about skateboarding in 2017:

1. Ryan Lay's part in Welcome's Fetish video
2. Nikola Racan's Solsticij video
3. The Pass~Port section in Transworld's The Cinematographer Project: World View
4. Ben Gore's part in Transworld's Riddles In Mathematics
5. Nora Vasconcellos' part in Welcome's Fetish video
6. Raven Tershy in Lakai's The Flare
7. Gilbertt Crockett in Venue's Gospel video
8. Lizzie Armanto turning pro for Birdhouse

I got skateboarding 257 times in 2017. Some of those were long sessions at the park, other times it was 15 minutes on my lunch break or pushing around in the street, and a couple of times it was a few ollies and a 43 on the front porch. February was mild so that was nice. I had this goal of no double digit days off this year and I was successful, although it got dicey at the end. Hence the porch skating. The winter is here now and I'm not sure when I'll get to roll next. I'm hoping it clears up enough to hit up an indoor park next weekend, but that might be asking a lot.

Vert Is Dead is going on winter hibernation until Monday, January 15th. Have a safe and happy calendar change.

Daniel Harold Strut was the photographer.

For the quote: Transworld - August 1990 Volume 8 Number 8

This is from a 1991 Transworld Poster book.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Chris Miller #12.

Pool Cat.

For those wondering, my town did not get the five feet of snow that Erie, Pennsylvania is now buried under. We're sitting on a wind blown eight inches or so of snow. The roads are clear, but daily highs are only in the teens. I'm about 45 minutes northeast of Erie, which is just enough to make a difference with the weather, particularly with lake effect snow storms. Lake effect often dumps a lot of snow in a small area while avoiding other places that are nearby. Needless to say, I'm not going to the mall in Erie any time soon.

Transworld - September 1990 Volume 8 Number 9

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Remy Stratton #13.

"Remy's neighborhood consists of only six different styles of houses. Each house is basically the same, except some face different directions. For added spice: Beaver Cleaver could definitely live on Remy's street. It's most likely that kids from Remy's neighborhood grew up pretty ordinary, coming from one of the six housing styles. The surprising thing about Remy is that he is far from ordinary. He lives in the garage, and lives to skateboard. He is accompanied by his wide variety of music, a vintage motorcycle, strange clothes, and a broken rifle with a flower peering out of the barrel. The people that planned out Remy's neighborhood probably never imagined that a kid with so much character, confidence, and style would emerge." - Max Schaaf

Remy was born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia and then his family moved to the Los Alamitos area of Southern California. He used to play soccer as a kid, but quit once he got to high school to stick with skateboarding. Remy was briefly sponsored by Blockhead, Skull Skates, and Madrid before getting on G & S. He turned pro for the Ampersand and then left for Acme, Jim Gray's new company, in 1991. He gradually faded from the pro side of things and moved over to the industry side of things to work at Volcom. Remy still works at Volcom and his name pops up every so often in the mags or online.

For the quote: Transworld - February 1995 Volume 13 Number 2

Transworld - December 1991 Volume 9 Number 12

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Rob "Sluggo" Boyce #4.


Rob is from Vancouver, British Columbia. He was sponsored by G & S before leaving for Real. After a short stint on Real, he was pro for World Industries for the duration of the 1990s and early 2000s. His part in 1993's The Real Video features nearly all airs that have been flipped into plus a few McTwists set to the tune of Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations". Oddly enough a day or two after I scanned this ad, it was announced that Real is reissuing Sluggo's first pro model.

Thrasher - October 1991 Volume 11 Number 10

Monday, December 25, 2017

Steve Saiz.

EMB Vibes.

I got a Steve Saiz deck for Christmas in 1989. The recent Powell Peralta reissue reminded me of how much I liked that board. Steve had been on the team as an am for a bit and after a couple video parts, they finally turned him pro. He skated a mix of street, mini, and vert. The one I got was white, and although I'm not big on white as a board color, it made sense for this graphic because it has a lot of detail. I had blue Powell rails and white Thunder trucks. I took three or four of the Bones stickers that looked like warning labels for flammable material and put them across the top over the Ripper. The rest of the board was covered with grip. I think I had some A-1 Meats Sex Cells on it first and soon swapped those out for T-Bones to keep it all Powell.

I'd been skateboarding for a little over two years at this point so I was starting to figure out tricks better and feel more comfortable on board. This setup felt really good and I remember learning new stuff on it. I don't remember exactly what all we were doing for tricks back then, but it would have been boardslides and 50-50s on curbs. There were launch ramps and quarter pipes, too.

One of our friends had a mom who was the office manager for this mail order seed company with a large warehouse. The warehouse was right next door to his house. Shortly after this particular Christmas, a couple of us went over to his place on a cold Saturday night. His mom was out for the evening with her friends and he somehow snagged the key for the warehouse. We got in a nice little session with a launch ramp and maybe some boards to ollie over. It was winter so this was bonus time skateboarding. I think we were back in the house safely before she got home, but a light in the warehouse was left on or something. It could have just been a mother's intuition for all I remember. She knew what happened and he got a darn good lecture about how he shouldn't have done that. The rest of us didn't get in trouble, but we never skated the warehouse again.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Make sure you got permission before you barge at will. Or at least remember to turn the lights off on the way out.

Transworld - October 1989 Volume 7 Number 6

Friday, December 22, 2017

Noah Salasnek.

Big Air Attack.

Noah was from Marin County, California. He was sponsored by H-Street and had a good amount of tricks in Hokus Pokus. In addition to skateboarding, he was a snowboarder and you could see the influence on his skating. From my recent viewing of Hokus Pokus, he would float and tweak his airs in a way that not many other people were doing. He stood out from the rest. Noah turned pro in 1991 for Life, Ron Allen's branch of H-Street. His part in A Soldier's Story is rad with a whole bunch of nollie tricks on ramps. As vert was dying out in the early 1990s, Noah shifted his focus to snowboarding and became one of the top pros. Sadly, he passed away from cancer this last April.

Always remember those who have left us too soon.

The photo is by Tobin Yelland.

Thrasher - October 1991 Volume 11 Number 10

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jeff Toland #2.

Venture Force.

I always have to have at least one vintage Venture ad for the month since they're my truck of choice for the last twenty years. This pic is gnarly.

Thrasher - October 1991 Volume 11 Number 10

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Alphonzo Rawls #3.

Vert dog on an H-Street curb attack.

I don't know if this has been on the internet yet. I think companies ran different ads for Poweredge. It happened last year with an Ocean Howell Gullwing advertisement. I wish I'd gotten more issues of The Edge back then, but it might have been a minor miracle even a few copies of the mag wound up in my corner of New York.

Daniel H. Sturt took the photo.

Poweredge - October 1991 Issue Number 36

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Tracker Team #2.

Power Trio Tuesday.

Sam Cunningham was pro for Blockhead and works with reptiles these days. Basically, it doesn't take much to get me to put anything related to Dave Bergthold's company on here.

Lester rode for Sims, Tracker, and House Of Kasai. He was also sponsored by Airwalk.

The late Jeff Phillips rode for Zorlac, Sims, and BBC over the years. He helped to define Texas skateboarding and was one of the best vert pros ever.

Transworld - March 1990 Volume 8 Number 3

Monday, December 18, 2017

Lance Mountain #10.

Lance and Michael Burnett discuss the merits of any given particular park:

Lance Mountain, along with being one of the most beloved skaters of his generation, is a man who, when it comes to concrete terrain, cannot be satisfied. Although he occasionally admits to having a good time at a park or pool, when pressed, he admits that he actually hates everything.

"Did you like that park?" you'll ask.

"Yeah. Maybe. It was cool," he'll respond.

"So you didn't like it?" you'll ask.

"No. It was rad, I guess," he'll say.

"So you like it?" you'll ask.

"Yeah, I mean, it's terrible and it sucked, but yeah," he'll say.

"You think it sucked?" you'll ask.

"I'm just kidding. Maybe I suck," he'll answer.

It typically goes around like this for awhile, but if you read through all the smiles and raised eyebrows the message is clear: Lance hates everything.


I always do the same thing and think most spots suck, even if they really don't and I had fun. It usually breaks down to constructive criticism in my head, like those transitions should be a little mellower, that ledge is in the wrong spot, who moved the parking block, that ramp would be cool if it didn't have a kink at the bottom, and so on. It's also fun to compare what spots your friends liked against what spots you liked. There end up being some interesting differences at times.

For the back and forth: Thrasher - September 2006 Volume 26 Number 9

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Friday, December 15, 2017

Danny Sargent #4.

"I like to ride both ways, but sometimes I forget which was I'm going. I'm trying switchfoot backside 360˚ ollies. I like doing switchfoot backside 180˚s over stairs, impossibles, and ollie flips. Ollie shove-its and late shove-its are rad. Nollie everything. I've always loved doing 360˚ frontside ollies since my friend Dan Feldman taught me in Portland in 1986. We both learned it on the same day, but he did it first. Since then, I always like to push that trick over longer stairs and over hips. On vert, I like backside ollie tail slides. I want to try and get gnarlier. I want to do backside disaster reverts. I love vert. I love street. I love going fast, hauling ass."

Danny doesn't always get the credit he deserves for pushing switch skating back in the early 1990s. For example, he had a switch backside 180 down the EMB Seven. I like how he calls it switchfoot instead of simply saying switch. Of course this was a time when the names of tricks were still being worked out. Danny was also riding ramps as well to keep his skating well rounded.

Bryan Temmermand took the photo.

For the quote: Thrasher - January 1992 Volume 12 Number 1

Transworld - December 1989 Volume 7 Number 8

Thursday, December 14, 2017

G & S Amateur Team 1988.

The Future.

This has been sitting on my computer for a few years and I'd never gotten around to posting it for some reason. It's the G & S team after the NSA 1988 Amateur Championships.

Mark would soon turn pro and become one of the new wave of street skaters changing the landscape of skateboarding.

Blaize would also turn pro. He was an excellent vert shredder who sadly passed away in a car accident in 1999.

Eric and Mark were later sponsored by former G & S pro Chris Miller when he started Planet Earth.

In addition to being sponsored, Mike was a graphic designer at G & S before leaving to launch the Alien Workshop with Chris Carter. The two worked together on the Footage video.

Derek Rinaldi rode for Shut and Think. He's still involved in skateboarding today and helps run the Skate Daily website.

The photos are by Daniel Harold Sturt.

Thrasher - June 1989 Volume 9 Number 6

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

John Reeves #3.

Metric Measurements.

When I watched Hokus Pokus the other night, I noticed that John and Kein "Donger" Lieu had a lot more tricks than I remembered. I also noticed that nearly all of the parts are a little more loosely defined, with different riders showing up throughout the video. You get a healthy dose of John and Kein's skating over the course of an hour. The two stand apart from a lot of the team because rather than awkwardly flip into some stall and shove-it out, they are blasting ollies over the largest sidewalk gaps and grinding the tops of picnic tables. Their skating is a different take on progression by pushing the tricks they have already to new heights and lengths over technical innovation, which can sometimes look a little awkward upon its debut.

Thrasher - December 1991 Volume 11 Number 12

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sal Barbier & Baird Bergenthal.

Double shot.

A-1 was a wheel company supported by Tracker. They had a solid team that featured Matt Hensley, Kris Markovich, Bo Ikeda, Laban Pheidias, and many more. I rode a bunch of their wheels because of Matt. I've still got a shirt of their meat cleaver logo.

Was Baird on Blockhead? I thought he was on H-Street, but I watched Hokus Pokus last night and he probably wasn't in it. I may have gotten him confused with Ray Simmons, who was in the video. It looks like he might be building custom bicycles these days.

The photos are by Joe "Xeno" Llyod and Christian Kline.

Transworld - January 1990 Volume 8 Number 1

Monday, December 11, 2017

Tony Hawk #9.


Depeche Mode
Channel 3
The Cure
The Cult
The Damned
Duran Duran
Echo & The Bunnymen
Front 242
Guns 'N' Roses
The Jesus & Mary Chain
The Jam
Joy Division
Lene Lovich
Love & Rockets
Mad Parade
Manheim Steamroller
Missing Persons
Alison Moyet
New Model Army
New Order
Nitzer Ebb
Sinead O'Conner
Oingo Boingo
Peter & The Test Tube Babies
Iggy Pop
Sisters Of Mercy
Stiff Little Fingers
Time Zone
Violent Femmes
Wall Of Voodoo


A Boy & His Dog
Airplane I & II
Blade Runner
Cat's Eye
Die Hard
Hollywood Shuffle
All Indiana Jones
Lethal Weapon
Naked Gun
Prince Of Darkness
Rain Man
Serpent & The Rainbow
Top Secret
Anything with Tom Hanks or Eddie Murphy


Barbecue Chicken
Chin Chin's Chicken Salad
El Torito
Herbal/Iced Tea
Joe's Banana Bread
McDonald's Breakfast
Seafood (not shrimp)
Soup North/South

The Birdman's favorites circa 1989. I'm mildly surprised that Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol wasn't in his movies category. I kind of dug lists back in the pre-internet days because it gave you some insight into what a person was like. I'm not sure if we checked out any of the bands Tony mentioned at the time, but we were definitely listening to a few of them. I know I got into some of the others later on.

Congrats to Jamie Foy on winning Thrasher's Skater of the Year.

For anybody who saw the Colts vs. Bills game and was wondering, my town didn't get the snow Buffalo got. We've had about six inches on the ground since Thursday, but we didn't get dumped on like the Queen City did yesterday afternoon. We're south just enough that our weather can be slightly different from Buffalo.

For the stuff: Transworld - August 1989 Volume 7 Number 4

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Friday, December 8, 2017

Phil Esbenshade #3.

Gently take my skull for a ride.

Transworld - February 1990 Volume 8 Number 2

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Andy Howell #3.

H-Bomb blasts frontside.

For all the technical street innovation Andy brought to skateboarding with nollies and switch tricks, it gets a little overlooked that he was also good on ramps and vert.

The snow is here as of today. I brought my board with me to work yesterday because it was dry when I got up. The weather at lunch featured a stiff breeze and the slightest amount of flakes possible. Somehow it warmed up to 39˚ F and the wind subsided when I clocked out so I got in an unexpected twenty minute session at the park before sunset. It was a nice bonus for the day.

The photo is by Bill Thomas.

This was in the 1991 Thrasher calendar on the back cover.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mark Oblow.

Industry Man.

Mark is from Oahu, Hawaii. He rode for Vision, Indy, and Jimmy-Z. Some of the companies he has been involved with over the years include Acme, Color, Think, Vita, Analog, and Gravis to name a few. Mark has served as a team manager, a creative director, and more. He's also an accomplished photographer.

The photos are by Tony Roberts. He's the guy who filmed some of the Santa Cruz videos.

Transworld - May 1990 Volume 8 Number 5

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sam Cunningham & Jim Gray.

Two for Tuesday.

I bought Blockhead's Splendid Eye Torture video back in 1989 at the local skateboard shop. I loaned it out to a friend and never got it back. He loaned it out to another skateboarder who dubbed a copy of it. I somehow wound up with the duplicate VHS tape, which also included World Industries' Rubbish Heap, so in a way I came out ahead in the end. Blockhead somewhat recently reissued all their old videos on two DVDs and I added the full library to my collection. And no, you can't borrow any of them.

Blockhead has come to be my favorite of all the 1980s stuff. It's good to see Dave Bergthold keeping things going on a small scale with reissues and whatnot.

The lake effect snow is headed our way. I used an hour of vacation time to take a long lunch yesterday so I could get in some skateboarding at the park. I had a good little session on what was probably the last of the warm days for a while.

Thrasher - April 1990 Volume 10 Number 4

Monday, December 4, 2017

Julien Stranger #21.

"My first concert ever was Black Flag, that had to be one of the best, too. When I was a little kid I used to go to lots of shows, 'cause my mom was some punk rock girl/lady/mom. It wasn't like she was going to leave me at home every Friday and Saturday, so she would take me to shows. It was like 1980, '81, '82, it was a thriving scene here [SF]. You could go out to this place, Temple Beautiful, and see five to ten bands for like four bucks. I was like this little punk munchkin kid. I would just run around, all these punker chicks would be grabbing me. The Temple Beautiful had this big padded staircase, 'cause it was a real Jewish synagogue, but they would rent it out on weekends. Anyway, I would just dive down the stairs, that was my big thrill. I used to stand at the top of the stairs with my back facing the stairway, I'd tell some passing-by punker to act like he would shoot me, then I'd just fall back on my head and tumble down the stairs. It seemed like you couldn't even get hurt when you were a little kid."

It's safe to say Julien had a more interesting childhood than a whole lot of other people. I really like the design of the old SMA ads. They brought in some different styles that stood out from what other companies were doing. I'm also curious about that milk board. Was that a sticker? It looks very ahead of the time for 1990.

For the quote: Transworld - March 1992 Volume 10 Number 3

Thrasher - August 1990 Volume 10 Number 8

Friday, December 1, 2017

Nate Jones & Max Schaaf.

4Q Conditioning & Velvet Jones.

I think the general theme for November has been skateboarders whose video parts I like so I'll wrap it up with these two guys. Nate had a true classic of a part with the opener in Real's Real To Reel from 2001. Max has consistently been a favorite of mine over the years, ranging from the Real Video in 1993 to his section in the aforementioned Real To Reel to 2005's Roll Forever and beyond.

Real's logo from this time period is a solid piece of design work.

I've gotten in some lunch break skateboarding the last four days at the skatepark. It's been varying degrees of nice outside. The forecast calls for a good weekend and the possibility of snow later next week. I will gladly take 45˚ F and sunny with no wind for every day in December, but that probably ain't happening.

It will be the traditional 1988-1991 old school stuff for the rest of December starting on Monday. This weekend is going to involve some planning and scanning. I usually get everything ready to go at Thanksgiving so I don't have to touch a scanner until the new year, but I was lazy this time around.

Thrasher - February 2003 Volume 23 Number 2

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Jason Dill #13.

Awesome street ollie in England.

Sam Ashley was the photographer.

Transworld - December 2010 Volume 28 Number 12

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Jerry Hsu #6.

"I’m not into gear at all. The only thing that’s important to me is that it feels good when I take a picture. You know what I mean? I have so many different kind of cameras just because I like cameras. And after a while, if a camera doesn’t feel good anymore I gotta use a different one. It’s like board shapes: you know, this is what I ride right now and then when I don’t want to ride it anymore I’m gonna ride something else. I’m not obsessed with, like, “Is this eight-and-a-quarter or eight-and-five-eighths?” Kids are so obsessed with that shit. They ask me constantly about sizes and I’m, like, “I don’t know. I just stand on it and I know it’s good.” And it’s the same thing with cameras: if it feels good when I hit the shutter and the photos are what I want, then this is the camera that I’m gonna use."

Jerry is not overly concerned with his gear. It's funny because I've gotten rather fussy about that stuff. I think it's partially practical because I know exactly what I want so having the numbers ensures an exact match when shopping on the internet, contingent upon whoever typed those numbers onto the website. It's also probably from getting older where you are more aware of serial numbers and specific sizes, stuff kids don't think about. That's more in general and not necessarily applicable to skateboarding. At the same time, I'll still go by feel. Sometimes a board or pair of shoes doesn't feel right to me. After thirty years of skateboarding, I have my sense of what is comfortable, what needs a little getting used to, and what is flat out wrong. You just have to evaluate the equipment and see how it matches your expectations.

One thing I never get is skateboarders who say they only care about the shape and not the graphics. I understand that idea fundamentally because the graphics don't matter all that much after they've been wiped away by a bunch of boardslides. I know over the years I've ridden a deck here or there that I was more into the shape of than the picture, but generally I have to at least like the graphics somewhat. The art draws you in and then the shape sells you on the board.

For the quote: Thrasher - May 2016 Volume 37 Number 5

Transworld - November 2009 Volume 27 Number 11

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Javier Mendizabal #6.

"He's powerful and stylish on his board, shoots amazing photos, and is also a great painter." - Joe Brook

The photo is by Sam Ashley.

For the quote: Thrasher - February 2017 Volume 38 Number 2

Transworld - August 2011 Volume 29 Number 8

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ben Gore #3.

"I was living in SF at that point. My friend Evan randomly grabbed my footage and sent it to Hi-Fi Wheels, a Stereo distributed wheel company. They started sending me wheels and then I had a little part in one of the Hi-Fi videos. Chris Pastras hit me up after that and asked me to come down to LA. So I did Stereo for a little while. Turned pro. That was rad."

Riddles in mathematics.

One more week of new stuff and then it will be old stuff for December. I still have to figure out what all to scan for the month. I intended to do a little planning over the long weekend, but inertia won out.

Dave Chami took the picture.

For the quote: Transworld - February 2017 Issue 384

Transworld - September 2011 Volume 29 Number 9

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

CCS Shoes 1990 - 1992.

Get yo kicks.

This is a retrospective of the shoe pages from assorted California Cheap Skates catalogs from 1990 to 1992. We wore some kind of weird footwear back then. It's also crazy to think how the catalogs had between two to four pages of shoes compared to how many different brands there are today. Fewer choices isn't always a bad thing.

Airwalk, Vans, and Vision are the big three. It's a little surprising how few options Vans offers. There is Steve Caballero's model, the Classic High Top, and the Chukka Boot. It seems odd that the Classic Low is not available. Maybe people really weren't skating the low at the time so CCS didn't carry them. I never had any Vision sneakers. There are also the initial offerings from Etnies and Simple.

I primarily stuck to Airwalk and had a good sampling of their assorted models. I like the 540˚ in blue. I went through two pairs of the Velocity model, one in black and one in white. I had a pair of the Enigma in the classic green colorway. I also had two pairs of the 620˚. I think I had the black ones and a version with a white/purple color scheme. I really wanted the NTS, but that never happened.

I tried out the Etnies E-Z when I started college. They were very stiff and I don't think they ever broke in correctly. They were durable, but if I had them today, I would have tossed 'em for being uncomfortable.

Were Simple Shoes vegan? The copy is poorly worded. It sort of sounds like they used some synthetic materials, but at the same time used leather and suede.

Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday, November 27th. Have a good holiday and/or weekend.

Top to bottom:
1. Spring/Summer 1990
2. Fall 1991
3. Winter 1991/1992
4. Winter 1991/1992
5. CCS Fall 1992
6. CCS Fall 1992
7. CCS Fall 1992

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Plaza.

For those of us who didn't grow up with an urban plaza like Love Park, EMB, or the one designed by Rob Dyrdek, this is what a plaza looked like. Depending upon the size of your town, there were usually a couple of strips of asphalt and concrete that maybe offered a few things to skate. If suburban sprawl set in, your town was blessed/cursed with a whole bunch of these things. At the least there was a lot of flatground. Maybe it wasn't always the smoothest flatground, but there was a lot of it.

The plaza has been somewhat unchanged over the years in terms of general layout. I'm guessing that it was skated in the 1980s, but the peek usage was in the early to mid 1990s. Kids probably still skate there today, but there isn't much left and there are always cops around. It has seen the coming and going of many businesses over the years. There was a donut shop and a Fotomat. Both have long since been demolished. The donut place has been replaced with a drug store that does have a couple of manual pads. The film processing kiosk is now parking spaces.

We would skateboard here after 9:00 PM when all the stores had closed. It was relatively hassle free. There used to be a couple of wooden benches that could be moved. My recollection is that the only time the cops said anything was if the benches were moved away from the storefronts. There was a little flat gap on the right side of Big Lots, formerly Sidey's, where a couple of shrubs used to be. I remember a lot of time spent trying flip tricks in the parking lot during the early 90s. It was not the greatest blacktop at the time.

Honestly, the plaza was lacking for excitement. I don't think I hated the place, but I wasn't thrilled with it either. It was more of a neutral default spot. The benches were mediocre at best, although they did slide OK for board and nose slides. There weren't any curbs, sidewalks, loading docks, or stairs like some of the better plazas I've skated over the years. I feel we gave up on going here because it was dull.

Monday, November 20, 2017


"The sun is the enemy of all skateboarders. It brings onlookers, who bring security guards, who bring ignorance. And it's too damn hot. The night time is a refuse from society. It's pure freedom at 3 am." - Paco Leche

This is a head scratcher of a spot. We used to skateboard here at night during the summer of 1996 or 97. I think it was 96. We'd go at about 9:30 PM, roll for a half hour, and then go elsewhere. We might have even done some shopping. What makes it puzzling is that we never got kicked out and nobody said anything. It was usually my friend Paul and I. Our friend Kyle and maybe a random college student who skated would come, too.

There were red curbs and a sidewalk all the way around the front of the building. We would skate the part of the sidewalk that was roughly where the Walmart sign is. There's an entrance immediately to the left that isn't in the photo. This area was set back from that entrance so it wasn't really in direct traffic and you could hit the curbs. Not that I remember there being many cars. It might have been the fire lane area. I also don't recall if the store was open 24 hours at the time or not. There would be the occasional employee out on a smoke break and that was about it for human interaction.

They remodeled the building into a super center about ten years ago to give it a completely flat and curb free front. Just another example of how architects are designing buildings to eliminate skateboarders from the environment. Thanks for the slappys on the red curbs and not kicking us out, Walmart.

Note: I adjusted the levels in the photo to add a bunch of yellow to give it the lighting I remember and not the sterile white light of the present day.

For the quote: Wrench Pilot No. 18 - Transworld - July 1991 Volume 9 Number 7

Friday, November 17, 2017

Louie Barletta #6.

"I've always had a job and have never taken too many things for granted: from McDonald's when I was 16 to buy my first car, to having a board out and still moonlighting as a manager at the local coffee shop, to fixing houses in between filming trips - I'm blue collar. Work is in my blood."

Sweet Lou grinds over the bar. You have to really appreciate the creativity in Louie's trick selection. One minute it's a switch hardflip and the next it's a caveman to wallride.

Two spot stories and old shoes from CCS for next week.

For the quote: Thrasher - December 2014 Volume 35 Number 12

Transworld - August 2011 Volume 29 Number 8

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Rick Howard #14.

The Cutter.

Rick noseslides a big handrail from the Yeah Right! days.

Apparently today is the ten year anniversary of the release of Lakai's Fully Flared video.

The photo is by Ben Colen.

Thrasher - July 2003 Volume 23 Number 7

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dennis Busenitz #5.

Dennis decks a backside disaster on a steep quarter.

I stand corrected on the Berrics magazine. They did move subscribers of the Skateboard Mag over to the new venture. I got the debut issue the other day. The Berries reminds of Warp.

The day off was OK. I went skateboarding for a bit, but was moving a little slow. The weather was nice at least.

Thrasher - June 2003 Volume 23 Number 6

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Jake Johnson #4.

"I would really like to be an inventor. Maybe coming up with some of those as-seen-on-TV things, probably living in a mobile home. Who knows, I could have a family, too. I just wanna be happy and skating vert."

Jake takes a switch frontside 360 up and over the handrail Mike Carroll backside 50-50'd for a Slap cover. I picked this one because a 360 over a rail is pretty crazy, but a switch one is the next level.

For the quote: Thrasher - March 2016 Volume 37 Number 3

Thrasher - June 2016 Volume 37 Number 6

Monday, November 13, 2017

Caswell Berry #4.

"Well, I always root for the underdog no matter what. At this point I'm not even sure who the underdog is. For right now, it seems like the money is going to win out. Whoever has got the money can kind of keep it going. But then again, in the early '90s at one point everybody just wore white t-shirts and blue jeans. And that sort of launched Girl and a lot of the companies that have set the tone since then. Then FA and Supreme now seem like the response to that to a degree. But honestly, at this point I don't even know what comes next."

Hot dog.

The photo is by Pete Thompson.

For the quote: Transworld - September/October 2017 Issue 388

Thrasher - April 2003 Volume 23 Number 4

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ryan Lay.

Touch, Part one.

Ryan is from Arizona. He turned pro for Welcome in 2016. His other sponsors include Krux, Etnies, and Altamont Apparel. He had previously ridden for Enjoi and Rasa Libre. Ryan runs Skate After School, a nonprofit organization that works with Phoenix area schools to teach skateboarding to underprivileged children. He had the opening part in Welcome's Fetish video from the beginning of the year. Ryan does a bunch of nollies, noseslides, ollies, and boardslides set to the synth pop sounds of Secession. His switch game is on point with backside tailslides and lipslides on handrails and a big backside 180 down a hefty chunk of real estate. This is one of those parts where the skating, the music, and the editing fit together perfectly.

Dan Zaslavsky took the photo.

Skateboarder - May 2008 Volume 17 Number 9

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Jimmy Lannon.

Spirit Quest.

Jimmy is from Sarasota, Florida. He rode for Element before joining up with the Magenta crew and turning pro for them. He was sponsored by Lakai, but might be on Adidas these days. I had one of his boards from a few years ago that had a fire hydrant for the graphic. It was a really good deck. Jimmy and his big ollies turn up quite often in assorted independent videos.

This post is for all arty and/or shop videos that feature the lesser knowns in the sometimes lesser traveled lands. It's also for all the skaters in those videos that I cannot find pictures of in print. I know the importance of ink on paper is fading in this digital age, but it still is a nice thing to have. Keep on rolling and keep on filming. I watch what I can and I like what y'all are doing.


I picked a good day to take off from work. It was sunny and pleasant. I got to skateboard for a while this morning before the wind really picked up. A little snow might show up over night.

Skateboarder - January 2008 Volume 17 Number 5

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Lem Villemin.

Lem is from Stuttgart, Germany. He was getting boards from Plan B before switching to Cliché in 2012. Lem was given a signature model from Jeremie Daclin's company in 2014. His going pro video is pretty cool and features classically trained technical street skateboarding done with an effortless style. There are plenty of ledges, manuals, and switch heelflips. He just cruises around. The part is on the Thrasher Hell of Year 2014 DVD, which is where I started watching it. I like the song, but I'm not sure who it is by. Lem is also sponsored by Adidas. I don't know who he is riding for since Cliché came to an end.

The photo is by Daniel Wagner.

The Skateboard Mag - November 2011 Issue 92

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Kyle Frederick.

"Square tail 8.5 in the back, 8.75 up front by 33 long. She's a beaut!"

Kyle filmed a part called "12 O'Clock Karl". I saw it on the Thrasher Hell of a Year 2014 DVD the mag released to sum up the best of the previous twelve months. He acquired the nickname of Karl by accident from Michael Burnett, hence the video part's official title. Kyle is from the Philadelphia area and rode for Mystery. He started riding a 1991 shaped deck and it worked for him pretty well. He reminds me of Fred Gall in a way. Kyle had no problems making the filmer board flip or doing early grabs to crooked grinds down handrails. I'm not sure what all he is doing today, but he was working as an ironworker in Phillie.

Omit was a short lived clothing company done by Chris Cole. It was distributed by LRG. I thought it was by DC Shoes because Blabac was taking the photos and the ads looked similar.

Mike Blabac took the photo.

Transworld - November 2011 Volume 29 Number 11

Monday, November 6, 2017

Brent Atchley #2.

Quick feet.

I picked out five guys who made video parts that I like. It's kind of a random sampling of different styles.

Brent is from Portland, Oregon and he turned pro for Element in 2006. They sent out a promo DVD with his debut part. The section features skateparks, pools, and street action all set to the rhymes of the Freestyle Fellowship. He skates Burnside a bunch. Brent does a lot of odd transition tricks in a loose style probably only he can pull off. There are many ollies and 360 flips, too. He reminds me of Quim Cardona to an extent. I wasn't sure what I thought of this part when it came out, but I appreciate it more now because it was different from much of what was going on at the time. Heck, it still holds up as different from a lot of what is going on in skateboarding. The photo is of his ender - a frontside ollie on a very thin natural launch ramp.

Props to Louie Lopez for including Remy Stratton in his top five video parts at Quartersnacks.

Transworld - April 2006 Volume 24 Number 4

Friday, November 3, 2017

Darren Navarrette #10.

"We listened to Navarrette's mix tape everywhere. It wasn't bad, except for this one song that Darren would have to listen to when he was trying something for the camera. Like at Lincoln City he was trying frontside hurricanes to fakie on the big vert wall - so gnar gnar - but unfortunately it took him a few dozen tries to make it, meaning we had to listen to the beginning of that damn song a few dozen times. We don't even know who plays it. "I like the bass line," he said. All I can hear is the buzz that starts the song. It's so annoying. I can only describe it on paper as an army of robot crickets all chirping together at the same time. "DEEDEEDEEDEEDEE!" Dan Drehobl would cue up the tape, hit play, "DEEDEEDEEDEEDEE!" Darren would roll in and bail. Drehobl would rewind the tape, cue it up, hit play, "DEEDEEDEEDEEDEE!" bail. Over and over again. It sucked. But it worked. He made it." - Dave Carnie

Dave explains Darren's motivational tactics on a tour of skateparks in Oregon for the Skateboard Mag from 2004.

I got skateboarding for the first time in a week last night. It's been raining since Saturday. Things were still warm so that was nice. Taking a few days off felt good, too.

Random newer stuff is on tap for November. There will also be a pair of old spot stories and pages of shoes from CCS catalogs.

Jeff Kendall took the picture.

For the quote: The Skateboard Mag - October 2004 Issue 7

Thrasher - June 1996 Volume 16 Number 6

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Chet Childress #7.

"Making art helps me pass these raining, dreary days. Riding my bike and skateboard in traffic on dry days makes me feel young again. When a car honks at me, I laugh. Oh, you're in your car and you're in a hurry? To do what? I'm out here in traffic not wasting our resources called gas. Sometimes I get my kicks by flying by ten cars stuck in traffic. I see their eyes and they're in such a hurry - suckers."

Ludacrooks reflects on living life in Portland, Oregon.

Jeff Kendall snapped the photo.

For the quote: Transworld - March 2009 Volume 27 Number 3

Thrasher - August 1996 Volume 16 Number 8

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"Crazy" Eddie Nemeth #2.

TV Eye.

The photographs are by Jai Tanju.

Thrasher - July 1995 Volume 15 Number 7

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Doug Shoemaker #2.

Happy Halloween!

The photo is by Lance Dalgart.

Thrasher - October 1997 Volume 17 Number 10

Monday, October 30, 2017

Chad Fernandez.

Ross Goodman's Gravedigger lives.

Chad rode for Think, Creature, Planet Earth, and World Industries over the years. He had footwear sponsors of Etnies, Osiris, and Globe. The guy did some big handrails and gaps, plus lots of ledge work with some transition tricks added for good measure.

The weather has been dicey for skateboarding. Last week featured a lot of rain, as did the weekend. Friday was probably the last of the truly warm days. I only managed a few quick minutes of pushing around in the street before I was off to take playoff high school football photos. At least I didn't get rained on and I had Mighty Taco for dinner.

Lance Dalgart took the photo.

Thrasher - July 1997 Volume 17 Number 7