Friday, December 24, 2010

All 80's All Day

Pretty funny skit. "Still wearing your shirt backwards?" lol

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shanghai 5

Here's a super good video on the local skate scene in Shanghai. Looks amazing. My wife and I have been planning on a trip to China for years. Hopefully I'll make it back to the Motherland sooner rather than later. My Mandarin is non-existent and my Cantonese, which is useless in China anyway, is super weak.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crailtap x Alife

Got this in my inbox. Here's the info from Alife Vancouver's facebook.


Available today, December 18th.* Exclusively at Alife Vancouver.
A true re-interpretation of the classic banana cruiser updated with modern hard goods, top and bottom Alife graphic treatments, and clear grip tape to keep it all visible.

It's mellow concave coupled with a 14.5” wheelbase, Alife x Girl custom wheels, and re-sized Royal trucks (only available for this release), are a throwback to an era gone.

* Board Size: 8 x 28 7/16 inches
* Girl x Alife 52mm - 98 durometer wheels
* Royal OG 4.0 Trucks

Well done Tony!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chrome Ball Incident x Heel Bruise

Super sick shirt coming out in early 2011 courtesy of Heel Bruise and Chrome Ball Incident. It's a grid of screen shots from classic old skate videos. No skating. I still think E should have included the twins at the start of Shackle me Not!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This Ad Sucks

This Powell ad... iirc, it was based on one of their Canadian ams at the time. I think it was Moses. I could totally be wrong though. Image from skateboarding is...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Best Lines

Inspired by the above image from this post at Chrome Ball. Not really sure what year that article is from. Must be as recent as 2002 because of the PJ inclusion.

The 10 Best Lines Ever Caught on Video. Below are all of the lines flagged to start at the correct time. Of course, it's also worth watching the full clips.

Mike Carroll Modus Operandi

PJ Ladd Wonderful Horrible Life

Jason Lee Video Days

Mark Gonzales Video Days

Ray Barbee Public Domain

Eric Koston Falling Down

Tom Penny 411 Flip Industry Section

Kareem Campbell 20 Shot Sequence

Jason Dill Photosynthesis

Henry Sanchez Blind Promo

Personally, I've always liked the many lines from Gino in 20 shot and Brian Lotti in Now n Later. And Jeremy Wray's opening line in Second Hand Smoke is pretty nuts.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Illuminati Elephant vs. Fly

Illuminati was a short lived sister company to Zoo York in the mid 90's and didn't even last a year. I had this board and I remember it well because it was one of the first decks I bought when I moved to Vancouver. I hadn't been skating much because of school and wasn't getting enough exercise. I felt I had to get back onto my board on a regular basis and there was a sick underground parkade on campus right near my office.

I decided to start fresh with a new set up. Wheels were getting bigger at the time and I was surprised the smallest ones the shop had were 53mm. I ended up grabbing those, some Indy's and this Illuminati board. The board felt weird at first because it had crazy steep concave and kick and had a blunt-ish shape compared to what I was used to. It felt weird to me and I didn't really like it. I eventually cracked it and after that, it felt really good. Go figure. Image from Chrome Ball.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sheffey By All Means Necessary

A got this scan of a classic early 90's Sean Sheffey Life ad from Chrome Ball and had it put on a long sleeve shirt at Wordans. It turned out okay. The print is nice and clear but it feels kinda rubbery... almost like one of those cheap Bang On iron ons, which is different from two other shirts I had made. I have no idea how many different printing processes Wordan uses but this one is the worst of the three. It wouldn't surprise me if the entire Sheffey print flaked off in a year.

I wore it the other day and this young skate rat asked me "Is that Bob Marley holding a skateboard?" Pretty funny. A few days after I had it made, I saw this pic of Carroll at Chrome Ball.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2010 Slap One in a Million

This years Slap One in a Million Contest is being shown like episodes of a reality TV show. Some funny stuff in there.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I don't know how I missed this for the past week but DLX is posting something cool everyday of December up to Christmas like a chocolate advent calendar... sneak peek at the new Real video, trick tip with McCrank, ad and video retrospectives with Busenitz and Worrest. I've been a fan of the former for a while now but I have to admit, I never really paid much attention to Bobby Worrest. He freaking kills it! I feel shame for sleeping on his skill and not noticing.

All the videos are on DLX's Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blind Sean Sheffey

Sheffey's been chillin' with the Blind crew for close to a year and now he's officially pro again!

Ollieing over his son Julien 16 years later (13:58). More Sheffey later in the week.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Krtek shirt

When I visited central Europe over the summer, I didn't really come home with any souvenirs. While in Prague, I kept seeing this character in a lot of the tourist shops. I wasn't even sure what animal he was and didn't know his name. It turns out he's a mole named Krtek. Most of the Krtek stuff was for kids so I didn't end up getting anything.

When I got back to Canada, I decided to make my own Krtek shirt. I got a crappy low res image from google, enlarged it and tidied it up. I uploaded it to Wordans and got them to print it on a medium heather gray Hanes Heavyweight shirt, which fits as a medium should. When I received the shirt, the print was kind of translucent and the colours weren't are bright as I would have liked. It reminds me of a typical faux vintage Mickey Mouse ringer t-shirt. I contacted them about it and they said it was printed on their "Brother printer", which doesn't print white. They offered to redo the shirt for me with their other printer and they said to put in the comments section that I wanted the eyes white. My second Krtek shirt is below... much brighter colours. That one was printed on a medium Alstyle 1301 charcoal shirt, which fits a bit small.

I've done another shirt there and I'll post that up in the weeks to come.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chris Pfanner Ollie

Wow that's huge.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bones Brigade

Documentary coming soon! From Caballero's blog.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Walker Ryan Shuffl

Super sick Walker Ryan video part. Wish I could sw bs big spin like that.

Friday, November 26, 2010

T-shirt Raiders

So stoked on this High Five shirt. Had a hard time finding one but eventually a friend of mine hooked it up for me. Thanks AC.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mystery Sascha Daley Intro

Well worth the visit to Blackbox's website. Dude is really going for it in this clip. Quintuple set?! Crazy! Gotta give props to Jamie Thomas for showing so much love to Canadian skateboarders.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Music Product Review

I gave a preview of the Music wheels and deck I was sent here. I've gotten out a handful of times but due to rain and general lame weather, I'm not gonna be skating as much as I'd like. Here's my experience.

I'll preface that I'm not a wheel snob. I'll try just about anything that is around 52-53mm. I tend to ride my wheels for a long time. I'm not a heavy flatspotter. I don't really do boardslides, lipslides or bluntslides. I don't pivot/drive my 180 tricks.

The last set of wheel I rode were blue 52mm Zero wheels I found in the garbage area of my condo. They were practically new (still had full tread on the riding surface) with some Bones Reds. For me, when wheels are too hard, my ride feels rough and bumpy. If they're too soft, it feels slow and grippy... gummy feeling, if that makes any sense. Those Zero wheels felt super hard and it was a rough ride... Foot massage style like when I was in grade 8 in the 80's and was pushing all over the neighbourhood and had numb feet after cruising around for hours.

These Music wheels feel just right... not too hard nor soft. For whatever reason, they are not as barky as other wheels when powersliding. So far, no issues with durability but like I said earlier, I'm not a heavy flatspotter and tend to ride my wheels for a long time. These wheels are as good, if not better, than others I've ridden over the past 20 years and they're eco friendly so why not save the planet one set of wheels at a time.

When it comes to decks, I'm super particular. Width, concave, shape... it only takes one of them to be off to ruin a set-up for me. I break a lot of boards... 70% I ride I'll snap skating. It might be a coincidence but the majority of the decks that didn't break on me were pressed by PS Stix in the States, which doesn't exist anymore and has now moved all their facilities to China and Mexico. Back to the Music board... it really is a solid deck and took almost no getting used to. The shape is right up my alley and the concave feels proper as well. Some boards start to feel soggy/slug-ish after a few sessions. This Music board, 7 sessions in, still feels nice and crispy. I've had some wonky landings on it and it didn't crack, which is always a positive.

If you're looking for some solid gear and want to support a great new small company, go out and buy some Music product. Hopefully your local shop carries Music and if not, ask them to do so. As of a few weeks ago, you can purchase directly from their new online store. One more thing that is super awesome is they were just recently featured in New York Magazines gift finder issue.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


For some reason, the past few months, I've been accumulating logo shirts, which is rather odd for me. I typically just wear plain t's, usually heather gray. Figure I'll start posting a shirt every once in a while.

At the end of October, my wife was in Orlando and got me this shirt.

Yes... I'm a giant nerd and I'm stoked on Harry Potter. Part one of the Deathly Hallows opens up this weekend. Looks sick.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bank shot

Speaking of hole in ones... sick bank shot ace by Leif Olson during the second round of the 2009 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Heath Kirchart- First Alien Workshop Interview

Found this in the archives. A nine years old welcome to the Workshop interview with Heath. There's also a Berra one.

Kirchart answers some questions.....

Motivations for coming to the Workshop? Was it mostly a business decision for you? Could you relate to the identity more?

Heath: When it comes down to it Alien is a better fit for me. First, I believe with the current team we have a very diverse team which will make for a great video when the time comes. Second, the direction of the brand (meaning graphics, etc.) are more along the lines of what I would like to be riding. Third, I like Alien.

What are your first memories of the Alien Workshop as a young skater? Any impressions?

Heath: When I was a little kid I bought the Alien video and thought that the skating in it was great. Hated the art though because that could have been more footage of those guys skating. I still have that video at my parents house.

What's it like being teammates with Berra for so long. You guys have been on Foundation and Birdhouse together. How do you guys push each other/influence each other?

Heath: This will be the third board company that we have rode for at the same time. We are good friends but not the greatest of friends, but their seems to be this silent loyalty between us that has been there since the early Foundation years.

Any short-term or long-term goals now that you're on AWS?

Heath: Well once the other guys and I get these other videos that we are working on right now out of the way it will be time to make an Alien Workshop video.

What's your main motivation in skating at this day and age? Gnarly tricks? Does coverage influence those motivations? Has it changed over the years?

Heath: When you make or even try something that your scared of you get this feeling of accomplishment that is impossible for me to describe. For me, skating is the only way to get that feeling.

I heard in the Dill interview that you don't get too excited over your graphics...can you remember what was on your very first pro model graphic? Before you turned pro did you have graphics fantasies of what you'd have on your boards?

Heath: Yeah my name coming out of a dog's ass, real happy about that one. Only when I was real little did I care about graphics, and all I wanted were some skull and bones graphics. I was real into the Peralta Powell thing.

Immediate or long-term future plans in skating or outside of skating?

Heath: Sure.

You travel around quite a bit with filming and everything... is there one city you like better or feel more comfortable at?

Heath: Not really. The only place I feel comfortable is at home, surrounded by people I choose and am comfortable with. I did just spend some time in Toronto and that was a fun place.

Any kind of inspiration outside of skateboarding that gets you excited? certain music, literature or anything?

Heath: Sure.

If you could skate to one song, all copyrights aside...any song for a video part, what would it be?

Heath: Mostly anything by Pink Floyd, "Wish you where here," in particular.

If you look closely at bottom of your board, it says in very small type, "man of the night." Is nighttime really the right time? Is nighttime best because of the non-bust factor?

Heath: Does it? great. I skate at night mostly because I can't stand anyone that I don't invite watching me. Any spot during the day will have all these people around and people drive me nuts.

p.s. it doesn't really say "man of the night" on the board. I just made that up. I wouldn't do that to you. OK, that's it.

Heath: I hate interviews.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alife x Girl Skateboards Bedrock

I saw a Japanese kid riding this board last weekend and I kept getting glimpses of the super bright graphic but had no idea what it was. Jef Choy informed me that it's an Alife/Girl collaboration deck and it was Fred Flintstones tie. Very clever. We then talked to the kid about the graphic but he didn't speak very good English so Jef tried to Japan-ify "Flintstones", with some sort of Japanese suffix, to no avail. Later on, I got the official pdf from Tony Ferguson and grabbed this image.

From Alife Vancouver's facebook, it looks like they are clearing out a bunch of old boards for $20 including this Flintstones one. It's pretty odd that there's absolutely no information about this deck anywhere online. You'd think at least one street wear/sneaker nerd blog would have something about it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bent Axle

Super lame. Never done this in 20+ years. I suppose these Stage 8 Indy's are super old. I think I got them in the early 2000's but didn't skate very much from 2004-2007. I skipped a whole stage! Got some 139 Stage X's. My old bushings were totally messed up... old, cracked and brittle, which lead to pretty terrible turning trucks for the past little while. My new trucks turn super crazy quick. Took a bit to get used to but it's no big deal two sessions in.

Music deck and wheel review in the process.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thrasher - Pappalardo Heads

Q: You're really into golf, so that Lakai ad is true. You really were a great golfer who barely skated?

A: Pretty much. when I was younger I would just golf every day with my dad. I grew up golfing. I was getting good, and I almost quit skating to golf all the time. Then I started skating more. I still like to play every once in a while, but I kind of suck now.

From this gem at Chrome Ball Incident. People who start golfing and get good when they're kids will always maintain some of that ingrained talent. His "kind of suck now" is probably still better than my best.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Photosynthesis Retrospective

Head over to Quartersnacks to check out their look back on Photosynthesis, Alien Workshops amazing third video and the introduction of Habitat. One of my favourite videos.

Monday, November 8, 2010

101 Gino Islanders

One of the sickest graphics ever. Only image I have is of a re-issued shirt from here. I rode one of these and it was amazing. Graphic was all white with just the Islanders logo. I also rode the Gino Grave Diggas board. Another sick one!

Friday, November 5, 2010


This Stevie post got me thinking about Seek. Some comical commentary here including:

"All right. It’s like this: I think that it’s basically headed to take over skateboarding. I think Alien Workshop, Habitat, and Seek are going to get sued by the government for being a monopoly."-Josh Kalis, when asked where Seek was headed.

"I’m sure there’re people in the hype that are thoroughbred." -Josh Kalis

"The future of skateboarding is right around the corner-it’ll be rearing its head in Dayton, Ohio. The cross of the skateboard history will go right through Dayton, Ohio. Thanks to both DC and Seek, but you’ll know about that soon enough."-Rob Dyrdek

"I don’t really know. It will be the most popular pretty soon. I see it pretty much sporadic, you know, all over the place.”-Josh Kalis, when asked if Seek is more popular in certain parts of the country than others.

Florentin Marfaing switch 360 flip

Decent team. I don't remember Bjorn Johnston. A three year run and then in 2005, Alien reabsorbed the majority of the pro's from the team. Colin was left out and ended up rebooting Plan B later that year with Danny Way.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Forging 101

Awesome video of Miura's forging process.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Music Product Preview

Anthony from Music was kind enough to send me some wheels and a deck to try out. Review to come soon.

First impressions:

1. At first glance, the Music wheels have a weird look to them. They aren't super white and the surface texture looks a little different. Anthony explained to me that they look that way because they are an eco friendly formula (USA made) and are actually more durable that typical urethane.

2. The Genre Music deck is my first Pennswood pressed board. I picked this one because 7.75" is my preferred width. The shape and concave are both typical of what I ride. I compared it to a couple of Alien Workshop boards (one Bareback, one PS Stix) I have and the shape is very similar and the concave is pretty close... just a touch flatter in the nose and the tail. The blond unstained top ply isn't my #1 choice.

Monday, November 1, 2010

101 Robot and Girl

I rode this board back in the day and was reminded of it when I saw this photo in one of the Big Bang Theory dvd boxset sleeves.

All the decks I rode that summer were basically the same width and shape and I decided to try this one, which was wider. Felt great. I kept trying to go wider and wider (tried a Flip gold brand deck which was also wider but still workable) and then at some point, it just got too wide (a Real Julien Stranger deck with wolves on it iirc). Not sure who the artist is... probably Cliver or McKee. Image from

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Parallel

Skateboarding: You don't land every trick.
Golf: You don't make every shot.

Skateboarding: Urethane wheels.
Golf: Urethane cover balls.

Skateboarding: How high can you ollie?
Golf: How far can you drive?

Skateboarding: A nice long line.
Golf: A great stretch of holes.

Skateboarding: Bad day... it's not you, it's your board.
Golf: Bad day... it's not you, it's your clubs.

Skateboarding: Good day... it's all you.
Golf: Good day... it's all you.

Skateboarding: There's a 100 different ways to execute a trick and land it.
Golf: There's a 100 different ways to swing and get a good result.

Skateboarding: Rough asphalt.
Golf: Bumpy slow greens.

Skateboarding: cup sole.
Golf: cup face.

Skateboarding: vulcanized rubber sole.
Golf: vulcanized rubber grips.

Skateboarding: Nike Dunk SB.
Golf: Nike Dunk SB.

Skateboarding: Adidas Gazelle.
Golf: Adidas Gazelle.

Skateboarding: Would you ever buy a complete pre-assembled board? Or would you get one custom with your choice of board, trucks, wheels, bearings, grip, hardware? Obviously the latter is superior.

Golf: Would you ever buy a complete off the rack set of clubs? Or would you get them custom with your choice of heads, shafts and grips adjusted for flex, weight, loft and lie? Obviously the latter is superior.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Byrd - Hole in One

I'm stoked on playing golf but don't really watch much of it on TV. I caught this on the highlights. Jonathan Byrd's hole in one during the playoff in last weekends Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals Open... super awesome.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Heath- Goofy and Regular

If you're not following Heath's cross country bike, start now. Heath bats right handed but skates left handed. It always surprises me when someone does some sports lefty and some righty. For me, I do everything lefty... write, swing, throw, skate, punch.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blind Rudy Johnson Abortion

I had this board. I remember it well because I bought it at a surf shop in Pacifica during my first visit to San Francisco. The shop was also playing the Dune and Colvin World promo. I didn't really watch it because I was busy scoping out all the decks and shirts. It was the last board I owned that had a shape. Every other board after this one was a lot more symmetrical. Art by Mark Gonzales. Image from Disposable.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Carroll Quote

When someone throws the headphones on its like they're saying "I'm not skating with you." Shit’s hella rude!

I agree. Image from Vert is Dead.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Organika United

Walker Ryan is awesome. That Miles Silvas kid is good too. First time I've ever seen him aside from his Bangin'.

Monday, October 18, 2010

World Industries Shiloh Greathouse Dictator of Dopeness says it's a Jovontae Turner but I swear it's a Shiloh board! They have it dated 1994 and by then, Jovontae was riding for Girl. I had this one and I'm fairly certain I never road a single Jovontae World board.

Around that time, Shiloh had a board with a Gza style ninja comic strip graphic. Then a few months later, he had a new graphic... can't remember exactly what it was. What I do remember is, at my local shop, they got a new Shiloh board in and the new graphic was screened on top of the comic strip graphic. You could see the outline of the old screen print. There were quite a few quirky things that came out in those days... off center truck holes, upside down graphics.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Music Skateboards Interview

Several weeks ago, I posted about Music. Here's an interview with Anthony Ianiro and Eric Sandell... the conductors of Music Skateboards. I was happily surprised with how thorough and well thought out their answers were to the questions I tossed their way. Enjoy.

New York has a deep history of board companies that goes as far back as the 80’s (Shut, Zoo York, 5Boro, Official etc). What’s different about Music that will separate it from the rest?

Eric: You see a lot of companies come out of New York and immediately identify themselves with "being from New York". And why wouldn't they? Just walking down Broadway or jumping on a subway here is a life changing experience. The companies you mentioned I think have taken that idea, or that feeling of living here and have translated it into brand. They've done it so well that you have cats in Boise, Idaho pushing down their one traffic light Main Street on a Zoo York set up wearing a 5Boro t-shirt. If that's not successful marketing I don't know what is.

So when we came into this we said to ourselves "okay, there's these monsters of the New York skateboarding industry who have dominated and completely own the NYC aesthetic, so we're going to have to approach this from another direction." And I think that was the moment me and Anthony looked internally, and focused on things that got us excited and shaped us as people who love skateboarding. We figured if we're doing something original that gets US excited first, that enthusiasm translates into the company and then hopefully people who see our series hanging on the wall at their skateshop. So yeah, we're a New York company, but we don't make that the cornerstone of our message. This environment made us who were are, but I feel like we're taking that notion and applying it to a different set of tools. Namely MUSIC Skateboards.

What are your skateboarding backgrounds? What era did you start skating in and who did you look up to back then?

Eric: I started like most people did. I got a crappy Nash skateboard from toys'r'us when I was 9 and would just ride it up and down the street all day. I was such a dork I even made my mom buy me fluorescent yellow and orange spray paint so I could "customize" the top. It was just horrendous. Anyway, some kid I never saw before came down our street on his BMX and saw what I was riding. He stopped and got off his bike and started to approach me. Immediately I figured he was gonna punch me in the guts and take my board, riding off down the street laughing. He said "Lemme show you something." Stepped on my skateboard, and did an ollie knee high without moving. He didn't say anything, just kicked the board back to me, got on his bike and rode away. It was a significant moment for me, in seconds he opened my eyes to an entire world I had no idea existed.

So you get a bit older, you start riding that shitty skateboard further and further from your house everyday and you start to see kids riding skateboards also. But these kids are riding boards with "H-Street" & "Vision" on the bottom, and a bunch are riding boards with a shark on the bottom. They're doing ollies and grinding curbs, and they're going FAST. You can imagine what that must have been like for a kid who only thought skateboards were made to ride down hills in front of your house with. This was like 88-89, so for my next birthday I got a Sal Barbier H-Street board, the one with the Raiders logo. I rode then whenever I could but never ran with a group of people who skated, and I think that's important when you're just starting out. You tend to feed off that energy you get from your friends learning and landing tricks, and I never had that when I was really young.

So finally around 95 I happened to run into some neighborhood people who had set up ramps and snagged a few parking blocks, and it was literally instant friendship. We all spoke the language so we already knew each other it seemed. Over the next 5 years I spent most of my free time skateboarding in my own neighborhood or in the city. This was mid-late 90s NYC so the landscape was completely different. There were more spots, more people ripping, more discovery happening then that rivals any other time in skateboarding. What I mean by that was it seemed a lot more accessible. You didn't throw on Trilogy and see lines done using multiple cameras, no rail tricks with lights and generators in the background. What you saw in videos of that era, you could jump on a train downtown and see the same thing. No one was risking their lives yet to get footage (okay maybe Jamie Thomas), it wasn't on TV either, it was ours, our tight little community. And within that community, specifically here in New York there was so much talent you could see skating any day of the week. All the Zoo York heads, 5Boro people, Wenning and Pappalardo were young then but you could already tell those cats were gonna be famous one day. Rodney Torres paid so many dues it's unbelievable, he was doing stuff months, sometimes years before anyone else here was, flip-in to noseblunt slides, crazy manny tricks, flip-in-flip-out on ledges, just mindblowing.

Personally I looked up to people that were in my immediate circle of friends, Sasha and Charles Lamb, who I could just sit and watch skate all day, Benny Leung, Ray Wong, Keith Harrison, all the Jade guys, people who not only excelled at skateboarding, but were also just overall good people and a blast to be around. This was also the time I met Anthony who I've been friends with ever since. It was such a great time to be skateboarding, it's a real shame a lot of that is gone now.

Anthony: I started to skate around 1986. Like Eric, my first board was a fluorescent orange Nash Executioner. Skated that damn thing for a long time. I got a paper route and saved to buy my first real board, A Schmitt Stix Joe Lopes with the M.C. Escher influenced graphic, Thunder trucks and Powel Crossbone wheels. The day I got that setup was the most exciting moment in my childhood. Every weekend we would be at the Brooklyn Banks at 9 in the morning, and skated till the sun went down. Many of the people I skated with during that time are still my good friends. Never thought 24 years later skateboarding would still be a big part of my life. Back then my favorite skaters were Lance Mountain, Neil Blender, Mark Gonzales and Mike Vallely. Still look up to them.

You had mentioned that this is your second go at a board company. What happened with the first one? Best lesson learned from that experience?

Anthony: In 96 I started Jade MFG. We were doing well for a few years with a dozen or so shops on the East Cost, distributors in Europe and South America. By 2001 it ran its course. Running your own business is not easy. You work very hard for little or no pay for years. The stress of it finally got to me. It wasn’t fun anymore, so I saw no reason to continue. Best lesson learned? Every brand is different, Don’t do what others have done and expect to be successful. It doesn’t work.

How did the name Music for a board company come about?

Eric: Once we established how we were going to approach the idea of a skateboard company, we took a close look at the things that make skateboarding not only such a unique experience but also a universal, multicultural appeal you only see when you turn on say, the Olympics. For me it was three main things. First, take an hour and go to your local skatespot, even if you don't skate just sit there and take it in. You'll witness things most people only get from listening to jazz records or turning on their favorite radio station. You'll watch some cat try and frontside crook the ledge, while his friend tries over and over to three flip a garbage can on its side. Meanwhile, two people even further off play a game of skate. Literally what you're experiencing is a composition. It's rhythm, it's repetition, there's breaks, there's peaks, accents, etc., etc. The sounds you're hearing and the scene you're witnessing have all the fundamentals of a well wrought piece of music. Maybe it comes from skating in the mid-late 90s, when a big part of skateboarding was just hanging out with your friends, just killing an entire day at your local skatespot. You might not have landed anything that day, but subliminally, even if you didn't understand it, you were drawn back to the same flat ground and shitty ledge day after day. Much in the same way when you're driving you instinctively turn on the radio, you might not be listening but you like to have it floating in the ether.

Second, when you get older, you find your free time slipping away from you. Unless you invented Facebook or you're an artist who throws paper plates around a gallery in Berlin twice a year, chances are you work a 9-5. These days it seems more like 7-7 and thus, your skateboarding time is now maybe catching a 3 minute clip on youtube during your lunch break. Some do the impossible and become pro or moguls in the industry and thats their life. Most of us will never experience that firsthand, and the older you get the more detached you start to feel from that lifestyle. But if skateboarding was ever a part of your life, even if its been years since you stepped on a board, hearing that sound of a pack of skaters blazing down the street takes you right back. It sounds like fun, like freedom, like happiness. That sound can only translate to those whom skateboarding has truly left its mark on, to anyone else it just sounds like bearings spinning against asphalt. I don't care how old I get, to me that sound will have more life to it than Mozart.

Third, and this goes back literally to the beginning of skateboarding, is this idea of genre. I remember sitting on the wall at the Brooklyn Banks and looking out at the crowd who gathered there on a Saturday afternoon. Over there you had the kids wearing Menace Tech, cream colored Fila tennis lows skating a 101 board trying nollie hardflips to fakie over and over. You had the two guys shirtless with military cargo shorts and 62mm wheels carving the banks themselves, powersliding with a loud "SCREEEECH" for an hour. Maybe there was a pack of kids from North Jersey there, every one of them rocking DC shoes (always the "Boxer" model) and doing 50-50s on the ledge behind the banks or trying late shuv-its out of wallies. So here you are, surrounded by all these different styles of not only skateboarding, but what they're wearing and how they handle themselves and speak to each other. You'd never see such a potluck of young people anywhere else, and they were all getting along, they were laughing, clapping, giving a whistle when someone finally landed that trick they were trying for 3 hours. That's an extraordinary thing you don't see everyday, not anymore.

Where you do always see it, this idea of genre or style mixing, is inherently in music. How many different styles of jazz are there? Of rock? Of classical? Go to a music store (though even rarer these days) and under "rock music" you'll have classic, indy, metal, popular, all these little sub-movements form together to make a complete genre. Skateboarding is the same way. Look at the last Workshop video or all the Workshop videos for that matter, what made them so epic is how diverse those riders are in both personal and professional style. Really when you compare the two, music and skateboarding, its striking how much they have in common. We figured this approach, via MUSIC Skateboards, would be the best way to explore this theory.

Seeing as the company is called Music, what do you guys typically listen to?

Eric: Anthony is a lot more musically inclined than I am. In high school I listened to typical fair, Tribe Called Quest, De La, Wu Tang (hometown heroes, I was born and raised on Staten Island). After that I listed to a lot of the Rawkus stuff, then later West Coast indy hip hop, Project Blowed and weirder stuff like Anticon and Shapeshifters. I feel like I aged quick however, these days if I listen to music it's oldies or classic rock, but mostly jazz. I can listen to Charlie Parker all day. In fact, there's a great radio show weekday mornings on WKCR called "Bird Flight" that plays ONLY Charlie Parker. The host, Phil Schaap, knows more about Charlie Parker than most people know about their own mothers, its insane. But thoroughly entertaining.

Anthony: I’m all over the place when it comes to what I listen too. When I was a kid, watching videos like Speed Freaks, Public Domain and G&S Footage introduced to music I would of never heard if I didn’t start skating. These days, some of my favorites are Neil Young, Animal Collective, Echo and the Bunnymen, Field Music, The Smiths, The Beach Boys, My Bloody Valentine, Non Phixion, Velvet Underground, Nick Drake and Arc In Round.

Your artist did a great job with the first series of board graphics. Where did the idea of it originate and how difficult was the execution?

Eric: The design went through many different variations. At first photographic, then very specific, then uber minimalist. Winter was quickly approaching and we started asking ourselves "What are we trying to say here?" Obviously, we're trying to introduce this concept of music and genre and associate it with our company, an introduction if you will. We took that idea and applied it to music itself. If you were going to explain music to someone who's never heard music before, where would you begin, how would you explain where all these diverse sounds come from? So we broke it down into its three major sections, wind instruments, stringed instruments and percussion instruments. Once we had that dialed in, we figured we had a series right there. Then came the painstaking task of figuring out the design. I always dug the work of Lou Dorfsman (google em), this graphic designer for CBS back in the 60s through the 80s. He had a very typographic style, almost collage-like and mondrian-esque, but his compositions were very bold and the message would literally smack you in the face. Design like that really appeals to me I guess. So I took that system and applied it to the overall idea.

That whole winter was spent designing after hours after my day job, just hours and hours of drawing instruments every night. It was fun though, when you do work that's YOURS after fucking around with client work all day and having to march to their orders its nice to sit down and jam on stuff that belongs to you. Also, the idea of doing a series, albeit not a new idea, was one that I felt I wanted to stick to, but at the same time keep the direction on the overall brand identity. I look at a lot of companies these days, companies who's boards shops can't keep on the walls, and more than half the time I don't know what they're about. You go through their catalog history and the series don't relate to each other and the designs don't relate to the company. When you take a broad perspective of a company, I think the aesthetic should reflect the idea. I never understand it when companies do a "hubcap series" one month, and then the next month its a "sneakers series". Where is that going? Is it just random? I just didn't want to run artwork like that. I want someone to come to our website or lay all our catalogs out a few years from now and look at the designs and immediately get the idea, without even having to know the name of the company, I think that's a staple of good design.

There are two schools of thought for starting a new company. Team first, product second. Product first, team second. You’ve chosen the latter. Is there a particular reason why?

Eric: This is a controversial topic that I think speaks volumes about the state of the industry right now. Fifteen years ago, your company was essentially your riders. The way companies marketed themselves were through the faces attached to their brand. This was via videos and print ads. If your company didn't have big names attached to it, no one was going to buy your boards or even give your name a second thought. While I think that still holds true today, I'm not so sure it means as much. How many companies in the last 15 years have come and gone, how many of those had colossal line ups? I'm sure right now you can think of at least three without having to google. My guess is it's because of the access we have to media and the abundance of companies out there today. You have to wade through a plethora of fly-by-night material out there to find anything of value these days. And I'm not speaking of merely skateboarding. Everyone is a DJ or a producer now. Everyone is a filmmaker. Everyone is a writer. Its so easy to just produce. Some of it is genius, most of it is mediocre. So now what do you do? Look at what big companies, especially in fashion, are all about these days: craftsmanship, quality, attention to detail. These things are important again because they've been ignored for so long. I want to bring the same thing to MUSIC, I want to make sure the brand and the identity is right before we start thinking about expanding with a squad of team riders. I think for us, being so small and not having that layer coming between us and the consumer might look like a disadvantage, but I see it as being just that much closer to the people riding our boards. The team will come, but it will be done with as much care that goes into a board design, with detail and relativity in mind.

How’s the process of assembling a team coming along?

Eric: We're getting a lot of feedback from people really excited about the company and what we're about. We've created something with a strong foundation, and we want to make sure the people we bring on board represent that same ethic. There are some very talented cats coming up these days, and it makes sense when you look at how advanced skateboarding has become. There's kids out there skating now who got into skating because they saw the Lakai video. Imagine starting when that is the high water mark for skateboarding? That is going to inspire a ton of creativity and promote a skill level that just didn't exist when I started skateboarding. It's a really interesting time and I'm looking forward to bringing on talent that is a result of this new era.

In the past few months, you’ve gotten your boards into quite a few shops. Are you doing all the leg work to create all these networks or do you have a distributor of some sort helping you out?

Anthony: We’re very hands on with all the shops that caring MUSIC Skateboards. Many times a week, we jump in the car @ 10am, driving from shop to shop and don’t get home until 11pm. I find it’s the best way to service our customers is to know them in person. Let them know we stand behind every board, wheel or t-shirt we sell them. If they have problem/questions with any of our products, they can call us direct.

You picked Pennswood (one of the top woodshops on the east coast) to press your boards. What is it about them that stands out and separates them from your other choices?

Anthony: We spent a year testing boards from every woodshop in the US. Right away we realized we wanted to keep manufacturing on the east coast. With great companies like South Central, Chapman and Pennswood located here, why would we not? In the end, decided on Pennswood due to the excellent product and customer service they offered us. In return we could offer the same quality and service to anyone who rides a MUSIC board.

Aside from assembling a team, what’s next for Music skateboards?

Eric: With winter on the way, we're getting into the planning stages for the next series, which we're hoping to launch by next summer. Right now, we're still trying to get the word out and introduce ourselves to the community at large. It's not too hard to find us in the New York/New Jersey area right now, but I'd love to see more Music product in places like Canada and the Midwest. Its been a blast meeting people throughout the northeast and building relationships with some amazing shops. I know there's plenty more out there. The industry climate might have changed, but the community is still there. Its proven every time we visit a new shop and meet the owners and their customers.

I look forward to seeing Music grow. Any last words?

Eric: Just for everyone to take some time everyday and build. And by that I mean work on something, something creative, something that others can learn from or benefit. I know most of us get caught up in a lot of things that eat up most of our free time, be it a job, relationships, social networking etc. I get caught up in it myself. But I can't express how it feels to put a lot of hard work into something and see the finished product. The day we got our boards back from the wood company was a day I'll never forget. The day someone out there gets a line on video they've been practicing all summer is a day worth remembering. Picking up an instrument, starting a blog, taking photos, whatever it is. Putting an hour into something inspiring always seems to blend into other aspects of your life. I may have a shitty day at work designing comps for clients with bad taste, but when I stop in a skateshop on the way home and see a Music board on the wall, all the nonsense fades away and you remember whats important again.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sean Cliver at Slap

Sean Cliver interview at Slap. So many awesome graphics over the years.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Crailtap office and warehouse tour

I've never seen this before... not really sure how I missed it. Pretty funny.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Watch out camera man!

Eldrick duffs a shot right at the camera man.

Check that photo from the weekend's Ryder Cup action. No, it's not staged or Photoshopped. That's really Tiger Woods hitting a golf ball straight at the camera.

How'd it happen? By mistake. The cameraman, Mark Pain of the Daily Mail, was in the proper position on the 18th hole when Woods flat-out duffed his shot. The ball hit Pain's camera and dropped to the ground. But unlike many instances when Woods and caddy Stevie Williams have taken issue with photographers, Tiger had nothing to say here. He knew he was in the wrong, not Pain.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Alva Eddie Reategui

I took this image from the Sk8face blog. They have a lot of board graphics + other stuff. I never knew much about Reategui back in the 80's. I never really new much about Alva back then either. For the first year I skated, I pronounced it Awa lol. The one thing I remember is when I was in high school, some kid stole this board out of an older guys garage. He ended up selling it to a friend of mine, who tried to disguise it by painting it and changing some of the accessories. Needless to say, he ended up giving it back to the original owner and the thief got his ass kicked.

I never knew Reategui was Hosoi's homey until I watched the Rising Son documentary. Highly recommended. It seemed like an odd combo... flamboyant Hosoi and dirty Alva dude. This Alva retrospective at Chrome Ball is pretty cool.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Alex Olson cover

Ollie off the wheelchair ramp to boardslide up the rail. Super slick.

Friday, October 1, 2010

2010 Stuntwood

Thought it would be good to try and update this post. LAST UPDATED 5/17/11.

Which wood shops press boards for which company. I'm fairly certain the following are correct with corresponding links:

Bareback/Generator (Mexico) - Real, Anti Hero, Krooked, Alien Workshop, Habitat, DGK, Expedition-One, Organika, Blueprint, Creation, Stereo, Western Edition, Rasa Libre, Kitsch, Consolidated, Magenta, Arcade.
PS Stix (China, Mexico) - Element, Alien Workshop, Habitat, Plan B, Flip, Welcome, Lifeblood.
Dwindle (China) - Almost, Blind, Darkstar, Enjoi, Cliche, Speed Demons, Superior, Arcade.
Chapman (USA) - Shut, Zoo York, Hopps, Raw, Naysayer.
Cinco Maderas (Mexico) - Zero, Mystery, Slave.
NHS (China, USA) - Santa Cruz, Creature.
NHS P2 technology (China, USA) - Flip, Zero, Plan B, Creature.
Watson (USA) - Foundation, Toy Machine.
Skate One (USA) - Powell, Mini Logo.
Control (Canada) - Monke, Selfish.
Zorlac/Syndrome/Woodchuck (Canada, Mexico) - Traffic, BLVD, Premium, City Stars, Finesse, Birdhouse.
Pennswood (USA) - Music, Open, Fickle.
South Central (USA) - 5boro, Substance, Coda.
Churchill (USA) - Traffic, BLVD, Warco.
Comet (USA) - Habitat Eco-ply.
Prime/Goodwood (USA) - Bummer High.

I have no web sources for who is pressing for the following companies: Girl, Chocolate, Baker, Deathwish + others. As a general rule of thumb, if a deck doesn't have an identifier/sticker that distinguishes who pressed it and/or where it was pressed, it's best to assume it's made in China. Many of the companies listed above use multiple wood shops and boards from China are in the mix for most.

Several other board manufacturers include Service (USA), Third Foot (UK), Homegrown (Canada), Mimic (USA), CBSB (China), Natural (USA), Select/Westside/Dorfman (USA), Lancaster Board Press (USA), Kramer (Germany), Jart (Spain), Drifter (USA), Evermore (Taiwan). If you are interested in how a board is made, click of some of the above links as many of them include factory tours.