Sunday, November 8, 2015

Talking Gear Doesn't Make You A Poseur, And Not Giving A Crap Doesn't Make You A Jock

If you are familiar with the work I've done with The Ride Channel or even hung around the Parking Block Diaries Facebook page, you probably know I put a fair amount of thought into the gear I ride. In modern skateboarding, thinking critically about what you are riding is usually a point of controversy, not for the opinions you might form, but for the fact that you have an opinion at all.

I see it all the time on my pages or in the comment sections of my articles: Someone will ask some advice about how a deck rides or ask for suggestions on what kind of wheels to get, and, soon afterwards, the snarky and even hostile comments come rolling in. For many, even asking about gear is "over-thinking" and considering the specs of different products"Doesn't matter".  Before long they always end up twisting the good ole' Zorlac "Shut up and skate" slogan into their ultimate justification.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Stop acting Like The Taliban. Start Acting Like The Hell's Angels

Skaters like to wax poetic about the virtues of core skateboarding, the values fostered by the underground...they go on about how important all of that is, how vital it is, yet, when anything comes along that might (gasp) move skateboarding outside the boundaries of their own personal, subjective and usually ooverly idalized ideology of "core" skateboarding, they start ranting about how skateboarding is in peril of being "ruined".

I have to wonder: Just what is this fragile thing they call skateboarding that needs so much protection?  It's not something I recognize. The skateboarding that I have cherished for three decades is not some precious, fragile little flower, it's a fucking weed that won't die no matter how hard it gets pulled, stepped on, or doused with poison. Its a weed that can't be killed because its roots are too strong.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

SLAPCHAT: With Danny Sargent

If there was a Mount Rushmore of curbs, Danny Sargent’s face would be on it, three stories high, right between John Lucero and Tom Knox. At the apex of his career it seemed as if there was no angle of concrete in the San Francisco Bay area safe from the wrath of Sarge’s trucks. But now, after moving his family to Minneapolis, Danny Sargent is getting a sample of the pain every midwestern skater felt back in the day trying to emulate his video edits on sketchy middle america crete.

“Out here the curbs are all weathered,” Sargent comments. “It’s not like out west, that’s for damn sure.”

But even if he’s mostly hitting bowls and parks nowadays, Danny Sargent is still a slappy god. “For me it was always a way of life,” Sargent says. “You go out and you slappy around.. it’s just what we did”.

A beacon of inspiration for curb fiends past and present, I was honored to collect Danny Sargent’s accumulated wisdom on the intricacies of the slappy for this edition of Slapchat.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Why "International No Ollie Day" Should Be The Next Big Skate Holiday

Every year when Go Skateboarding Day rolls around, I get to thinking about other holidays skaters might think up to celebrate their culture. Usually these musings are just an excuse to crack jokes and troll for cheap laughs, but this year I’ve been thinking about something more functional, more sincere. I’ve come up with an annual event that will both pay homage to some neglected elements of skateboarding while opening the minds and trick repertoires of all the skaters who choose to participate. A holiday skating, especially street skating needs.

Friday, June 19, 2015

SLAPCHAT: With Matt Field

In the mid 90’s Matt Field and his Real Skateboards teammates like Keith Hufnagel, Mark Gonzales, and Greg Hunt did just as much to bring flow back to skating as any of the Sub Zero or Zoo York crew. Although he may be more renowned for wallrides and one of the best nollie front 180’s ever popped, Field’s east coast roots and soulful style means he’s also deeply connected to the dao of slap. Subjecting Field to the slapchat grind revealed that this smooth operator had a lot to say about slapping curbs. No doubt, he’s one of us.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Branding And The Birdman: To Advertisers Tony Hawk Is More Celebrity Than Stuntman Now, But What Does That Mean For Skateboarding?

In the days before I stumbled upon my first issue of Thrasher magazine, seeing the odd skater flying off a launch ramp or doing an invert in a soft drink commercial would whet my appetite for skateboarding while simultaneously giving me no real hint of the true flavor of the culture I yearned for. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the latest Mini Cooper commercial, featuring The Birdman himself, Tony Hawk, got me thinking about the strange looking-glass skateboarding has jumped through in the last 15 years.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

SLAPCHAT With Donny Humes of Smelly Curb Zine

All photos: Jason Bash

When Ohio Skater Donny Humes started Smelly Curb Zine in 1987, skating curbs wasn’t a nostalgic trend or a time-filling gimmick, it was the status quo for anyone who didn't have access to a pool or half pipe. (i.e., almost everyone not near a coastline). As decades passed and skating changed, Humes became more than just another guy making a zine about skating. Producing Smelly Curb by hand with X-acto knives and Xerox machines even after the advent of digital publishing, Humes became a sort  Keeper Of The Curb, using his zine to help keeping skating rooted to the crete thorough all its ups and downs. Humes efforts as an artist, publisher and skater have earned him the respect of skaters around the world and secured him a place in the prestigious Grand Order Of Curb Crushers. When it comes to slappy authorities, you can’t do much better than Humes. We ran Humes through the Slapchat gauntlet, and here’s what we got. Read and learn.

First Off, what counts as a slappy? Do you have to get your trucks involved? Some folks consider a noseslide on a curb where you don’t lift your tail a “slappy noseslide” or a slapped in blunt slide a “Slappy blunt”?

The first slappy involved grinding your trucks, literally carving or slashing the curb. there are variations now because that’s what skateboarding does, it evolves and expands. Slappies are all about the grind, and feeling the concrete
and trucks rippling under your feet.