Friday, March 31, 2017

Mark Gonzales #20.

"You go skateboarding 'cause you're uncomfortable and you need to feel better."

The Gonz kickin' it. I'd been looking for this ad for a while, but couldn't find it. Don't let anybody fool you tomorrow.

Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday, April 10th. It's spring break from this thing. I've got Tantrum Distribution, random stuff from Thrasher (Memphis Shoes), and a few other tidbits lined up for April.

For the quote: Transworld - August 2002 Volume 20 Number 8

Thrasher - September 1997 Volume 17 Number 9

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Keith Hufnagel #10.

"I've always had a skateboard, probably since I was four years old. I used to ride BMX-freestyle with my brother and my friends. We played a lot of street hockey, and we skateboarded, too. But for some reason, when I was about thirteen, I started to skate more than anything else. I was always into sports when I was growing up. I ran track, scuba dived, and did a lot of different stuff. But skateboarding was always there."

Huf is from Manhattan. He grew up skating with Keenan Milton and Gino Iannucci. He was first sponsored by Life, Ron Allen's company that was backed by H-Street. Keith would stick with Ron when he did Fun out of the Deluxe camp. The Fun didn't last and Jim Thiebuad asked him to ride for Real. That was roughly 25 years ago and Huf is still on the team. For footwear, he was sponsored by DC and DVS. Later he would go on to start his self titled shoe brand that seems to be doing pretty well these days.

The lights are now on at the skatepark here. I wasn't expecting that since they weren't on Tuesday. I wound up staying for two hours last night. I didn't really have two hours of skateboarding in me.

For the quote: Transworld - July 1998 Volume 16 Number 7

Thrasher - August 1997 Volume 17 Number 8

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Johnny Fonseca #2.

"I'd have to say that definitely someone like Wade Speyer who goes at anything and everything, who tries to take it to the furthest limit. And Mark Gonzales too, because Mark just has natural ability at skating. I just like stuff like that, like people who could skate pretty much anything instead of restricting themselves to certain things."

Johnny is from Aurora, Illinois and grew up skateboarding in Chicago. He moved out to California in 1994 and later turned pro for Real. Some of his favorite spots are mini-ramps and skateparks. Johnny is fluent in Spanish, too.

For the quote: Thrasher - April 1997 Volume 17 Number 4

Thrasher - July 1997 Volume 17 Number 7

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Quim Cardona #6.

"We study curbs. We look at it from a different perspective. That's what makes it the art of skateboarding. It's our own culture."

This kickflip was in Real's Kicked Out of Everywhere video from 1999.

For the quote: Thrasher - November 1997 Volume 17 Number 11

Thrasher - April 1997 Volume 17 Number 4

Monday, March 27, 2017

Matt Field #4.

"All kinds of big curbs, flatground stuff, and I've been getting into a lot of transitional stuff since I moved to Santa Cruz, I've been pretty stoked on Derby."

Matt is from Edison, New Jersey. He was sponsored by Real and turned pro for them. His part in 2001's Real To Reel is great. He's a champ at doing backside heelflips. When Deluxe expanded in 2003, he ran Rasa Libre. The company was around for a while before coming to an end in 2010 or so. The team included pros Reese Forbes and Nate Jones as well as future pros Omar Salazar and Dylan Rieder. Matt's name is basically synonymous with IPath footwear. He still pops up from time to time and was recently issued a guest model on Killing Floor Skateboards out of Portland, Oregon.

For the quote: Thrasher May 1994 Volume 14 Number 5

Thrasher - February 1997 Volume 17 Number 2

Friday, March 24, 2017

Ethan Fowler #14.

Ethan's Turntable:
1. Belle & Sebastian - The Boy with the Arab Strap
2. The Jesus Lizard - Down
3. X - X
4. Mudhoney - Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
5. The Smiths - Hatful of Hollow

Ethan's Refrigerator:
1. Vanilla soy milk
2. Goat and cambazola cheeses
3. Greens
4. Tofu pate
5. Blueberry preserves

Ethan's Basement:
1. Premier XPK four-piece drum kit
2. Gretsch chrome plated brass snare
3. Silvertone electric guitar
4. Fender Super Strat
5. Fender Duosonic amp
6. Twelve-string hollow body electric guitar
7. Fender Mustang bass
8. Tascam 424 Mark II Porta Studio
9. Cigarette butts
10. Old nine-volt batteries

Ethan's Skateboard:
1. Foundation Ethan Fowler model
2. Pig Wheels (55 mm)
3. Independent Trucks (156)
4. Pig Bearings
5. Pig Skewers Hardware

This is from an interview with Ethan in 1999 that ran in Warp, the lifestyle magazine made by the Transworld folks. Expect a little more from Warp in the near future.

The list was compiled by Rich Russey.

For the list: Warp - April 1999 Volume 8 Number 11

Heckler - Issue #50 Late Fall/Early Winter 2001

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chris Senn #4.

Roof Bat.

The photo is by Bryce Kanights.

Heckler - Issue #50 Late Fall/Early Winter 2001

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Jesse Hotchkiss.

True to Self.

Based on what information I found on the Skate Park of Tampa's database, Jesse rode for 510 Skateshop, Satori Wheels, Upper Playground Clothing, and Silly Pink Bunnies. He had a part in Satori's 2004 video In Search of Roots and Culture. Jesse did a lot of big ollies and a couple handrails. He also had a few tricks in the third FTC video. He's a painter these days.

The photo is by Franklin. Anybody know a first name?

Heckler - Issue #54 May 2002

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Judd Hertzler #3.

House of Pancake.

Judd is originally from Groton, Connecticut and moved out to Sacramento for skateboarding. He was sponsored by Arsenal, Foundation, and the Unbelievers. Vans and Adio gave him some shoes. He won the third Tampa Am contest in 1997. Judd had parts in two Foundation videos - 1999's Nervous Breakdown and 2001's Art Bars Subtitles and Seagulls. He works as an art director and designer currently.

Jeff Landi took the photo.

Heckler - Issue #35 Summer 1999

Monday, March 20, 2017

Antonius "Toad" Dintcho #2.

Blood Wizard 5-0.

After Think ceased distribution of Adrenalin, the company went away for a bit before returning with the backing of Chapman. They had the same principal team of Chris Senn, Jaya Bonderov, Toad, and Mike Manzoori. The ams were Jon Miner and Keegan Sauder. The crew kept it going for a year or two before retiring the brand name once and for all.

It appears we've made it to spring. Maybe the freezing drizzle will stop now. It sure doesn't look like lunch break skateboarding is happening today.

The photo is by Bryce Kanights.

Heckler - May 2002 Issue #54

Friday, March 17, 2017

Jahmal Williams #4.

Hoppin' Fine Art Friday.

The photos are by Ben Colen.

Strength - Volume 3 Number 14 Early Winter 1999

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jessie Van Roechoudt #3.

"There were one or two other girl skaters I would see occasionally, but they were from other towns, so I didn't skate with them much. I only skated with my friend Dan for the longest time. I lived about 30 minutes from the nearest skate spot, so we would just do flatground tricks in the dirt until I got my driver's license. By the time I was driving I could skate as well as most of the people who were hassling me. Also at that time ('94 or so) vibing people was cool, so I didn't feel I was being given a harder time than anybody else."

It's a Giovanni Reda photo.

For the quote: Slap - February 2001 Volume 10 Number 2

Strength - Volume 3 Number 12 Late Summer 1998

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Danny Supa #3.

Big Apple Switch Champ.

Danny is from the Bronx. He had been riding for Tree Fort up until that company ended in 1996 and then switched to Zoo York. This was the ad that announced that he was pro for Zoo in 1998. Danny was doing a lot of big switch tricks that were showcased in his part in the Mix Tape video. He is currently pro for BLVD and Nike.

Giovanni Reda snapped the photos.

Strength - Volume 3 Number 12 Late Summer 1998

Ben Liversedge #4.

Blue Light Special.

Blue Light was a wheel company from NYC. The team also included Kevin Taylor, Mike Hernandez, Jahmal Williams, Rodney Torres, and Geo Moya. I don't think they were around very long. It appears Uptown Projects was the brains behind the operation. They also were in charge of Infamous, the board company that sponsored many of the same riders.

I called in sick yesterday so that's why there was no post. I'll be putting up today's regularly schedule content a little later in the day.

Giovanni Reda snapped the action photo. The background photo is by Mike Hernandez.

Strength - Volume 3 Number 12 Summer 1998

Monday, March 13, 2017

John Drake #4.

West Virginia Mountaineer.

Congrats to Louie Lopez on winning the Tampa Pro. I know I'm a week late on this.

The first issue of the now bi-monthly Transworld is out. It looks pretty darn good. I'm curious why they went with Helvetica instead of Avant Garde for the font, like they used to use. TWS only printed six issues a year back in the 1980s.

Grant Brittain and Dave Swift are no longer on the masthead for the Skateboard Mag. Dave did have a photo in the new issue. The best article might be Jerry Hsu's collection of photos from his time on Osiris.

Blockhead is doing another batch of anniversary reissues and whatnot. I just got the DVD of Splendid Eye Torture so I no longer have to watch my VHS tape of it.

It got really cold this weekend and I came down with a head cold thus making for a successful couple of days. I did manage a little sidewalk surfing on Sunday afternoon when the sun was shining. We are supposed to get a lot of snow over the next few days.

The picture is by Strength's photo editor Joel Porczak.

Strength - Volume 3 Number 14 Early Winter 1999

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pontus Alv #5.

"Skateboarding in Sweden is like no other sport. Most sports, you have to go train between six to nine in the morning, and if you don't go to the training, then you can't enter the next game, and then there's that whole "team/group" thing. I just like the freedom of skateboarding, it's all up to me and what I do with my skateboard and where I want to take it."

The photo is by Dennis McGrath.

For the quote: Big Brother - December 1999 Issue 55

Strength - Volume 3 Number 14 Early Winter 1999

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lauren Mollica #2.

Rainy Night Flight.

Rookie was a late 1990s company from New York City. The initial team was Jessie Van Roechoudt, Lauren Mollica, and Kyla Duffy, who also was a pro snowboarder. Jaime Reyes was added soon after. Other notables to ride for the arty brand included Jon Klein, Sean Kelling, and Tino Razo.

The skateboarding photo is by Giovanni Reda. I'm not sure on a first name for Lee, who is credited for the night time photo.

Strength - Volume 3 Number 11 Early Summer 1998

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Harold Hunter #4.

"Harold Hunter switch k grinds at home in the L.E.S. Sammy Glux took the flik. Everyone at Zoo York wants to send our respect out to Mike Cardona. Skating has lost another brother. Peace to you and your family. You will not be forgotten."

The late Harold Hunter rocking some Nice Skate Shoes in the Lower East Side. He first got coverage in Thrasher as a little kid in the late 1980s when they sent the staff out to NYC for an article on the Big Apple. It's always neat to see who sticks with skateboarding and does something with it when they grow up.

Note: I rotated both pages of the ad from how it ran in the magazine to make better visual sense for the internet. Also the copy was right on the margin and was somewhat lost to the scanner so I typed it in.

Sammy Glucksman was the photographer.

Strength - Volume 3 Number 14 Early Winter 1999

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chad Muska #9.

Off the roof.

Ghetto Child Wheels, the brand endorsed by Chad Muska, Tom Penny, and Sean Sheffey during the heyday of Shorty's, is back from the graveyard of expired companies. There's an ad in the new issue of Thrasher featuring a photo of the team, minus Tom, who obviously skipped picture day because his name was on the list. It's just like the 90s all over again.

Strength - Volume 3 Number 10 Spring 1998

Monday, March 6, 2017

Jason Corbett #3.

The Toronto Argonaut.

Vert Is Dead takes a look back at the now departed Strength Magazine for the next two weeks. It will be some ads, photos, and editorial content. I'm slightly inclined to believe some of this stuff hasn't wound up on the internet before. I might be wrong on that, but I think some of the companies made different ads from what ran in other skateboard publications for Strength. At any rate, it hasn't been on here on whatever day I post it as yet.

Strength was a magazine based in Cincinnati, Ohio that was around from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s. The publisher was Christian Strike. Matt Deak was the managing editor, Eric Wollam was the art director, and Joel Porczak was the photo editor. The mag was a hodgepodge of skateboarding, snowboarding, hip hop, indie rock, and art. It was the 90s so this honestly made sense to offer such a variety of content in one perfect bound printed form. There was also plenty of hi-jinx, which earned them a comparison to Big Brother. Due to their location, Strength focused a little more on the East Coast and Midwest.

Around about 2001, Strength was bought by CCS. The silly business and snowboarding were taken out and the magazine focused only on skateboarding with much less music coverage than there had been. The layouts were cleaned up and the content was a little more organized. They still did a lot of art features that included interviews with the folks who were designing skateboard graphics. They also relocated to Los Angeles. Strike remained in the publisher position, although Eric Conyers was listed as an associate publisher. Carleton Curtis, Quentin Haskins, and the late Eric Stricker served as editors over the last few years the mad was around. Stricker would go on to be the editor at Transworld. Strength came to an end in early 2003.

The photo is by Geoff Kula.

Strength - Volume 2 Issue 7 June 1997

Friday, March 3, 2017

Bob Burnquist #5.

"I think that if you know how to skate everything, and enjoy and respect all aspects of skateboarding, you will be a better skater and also a much better person to be around. Skate everything that's skateable, if you can."

Feel good Friday with Bob Gnar.

Up next is two weeks of stuff from Strength. I might have even found a couple things that haven't made their way to the internet as yet, but I don't fully believe that. It should be good. Or at least not suck.

Spring in February came to an end with a slight return of winter to start March. I managed to skateboard for 11 days in a row and only once went to an indoor park. My ollies weren't getting off the ground by that last day so a break was needed. There's a cold Saturday on tap and then back to the mild weather for Sunday. It's kind of like spring training in baseball.

For the quote: Slap - December 1999 Volume 8 Number 12

Thrasher - October 1998 Volume 18 Number 10

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tony Trujillo #6.

"I must have been like eight or nine and my dad took me to the San Jose warehouse. I got to watch Christian Hosoi skate the spine. He was probably the first pro I'd ever seen in person. And he was just BLASTING airs to tail over the spine. That, to me, was the gnarliest shit I'd ever witnessed."

Fun fact: The photo of the team sleeping in the bowl was used in a previous Anti-Hero ad from December of 1995.

For the quote: Thrasher - July 2015 Volume 36 Number 7

Thrasher - September 1998 Volume 18 Number 9

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

John Cardiel #12.

"John Cardiel… that name always brings up motivation when I hear it. I first saw photos of John when he was Skater of the Year in 1992, ollieing the beach gap in San Francisco. I loved that sequence, the houses in the back looked like a painted background. It was a surreal picture being skated by a very real skateboarder. One-hundred-percent skateboarding is the feeling you get when skating with Cardiel."
- Bob Burnquist

For the quote: Transworld - August 1999 Volume 17 Number 8

Thrasher - June 1998 Volume 18 Number 6