I had been working in a small mom & pop sporting good store that bought and sold used sporting equipment. I had gotten the job as a way to earn some meager cash over the summer while school had been on recess. The owner was, often times, in a drunken stupor in his little upstairs office, while my co-worker and I ran the store.
- on July 22, 2017
- on July 11, 2017
Skateboarding has been the focus of my life for the last decade. Whether it was playing an active role as a photographer/writer contributing "content" to the hype machine or being the eye candy in front of the lens, I've managed to carve out a double existence within this small humble realm, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't acknowledge the fact that I've been extremely fortunate to have been able to live such a life. With that said, if there is one thing you realize through all of this, it's that stagnation is the swan song to our industry. The moment we accept complacency within our spectrum, is the moment when everything begins to unravel.
- on June 15, 2017
Ill never forget what it felt like to attend my first slide jam. I remember the crowds of skaters and spectators alike, all sitting along the sides of the hill. I remember the sound of skateboards and sliding wheels, cheers and hollers as skaters flew by. Here and there were the individuals you recognized from photos, the seasoned guys doing all things stand-up, rarely dropping slide pucks to the ground. It was truly a spectacular thing to watch.
- on May 27, 2017I dont feel like any of us really chooses to stop skateboarding; life just prioritizes it out. Thats a weighty opening statement, I know, but for each and every one of us, eventually there will come a time where you will be forced to make a choice: maybe not one big sudden decision, but a series of smaller decisions that overall limits the actual activity of skateboarding.
- on March 25, 2017
With almost a decade of weekly Wednesday sessions under my belt I had known for awhile it was time we added a new location to the rotation. Downtown Los Angeles has been such a wonderful sanctuary to us for almost the better part of 3 years, but it needed a break. Security guards were starting to recognize specific skaters, and their shifts seemed to be running later and later. So I decided to tour us around for a bit, as I do when I feel one spot is getting too much heat. This particular week, Ojoom Pucks' John Baelly suggested we check out a new location. Nestled deep into the hills of Elysian Park, this absolutely peach of a free-ride hill immediately brought back memories of the golden age of Parkway Calabasas (for veterans of The Gel Lab sessions, theyll remember just how glorious the incline of Parkway really was). This new hill however; is well lit at night, secluded, the pavement is smooth with zero cracks, and the grade is steep enough and long enough for both the seasoned freerider as well as the novice looking to step up their game. It is my hope, that this new location will play host to a new rise in freeriding talent from the greater Los Angeles area, as attendees of future Gel Lab sessions can expect to see this location in the mix a lot more often!
- Watch "Forsaken Circuit" here. For many, adventure can be a daunting task. What looks good on paper doesn't always turn out how we hope. You get rained on, cars break down, the hotel doesn't have hot water, your funds run out before it even feels like you got started. These common bumps in the road keep many people from experiencing what there is to be had in the great wide world. In their video "Forsaken Circuit", Alex McKenzie and Jon Sevik took the little free time they had before summer ended to make memories that will last until their next journey. Their travels are not dictated by the robotic voice of their GPS, they don't listen to the endless ramblings of a tour guide, they didn't find a treasure map in Davey Jones' locker. They found a few hard to believe locations thanks to the dense thicket of the internet and went for it. Like true explorers, the adventure did not go according to plan. And that was the point.
- on May 01, 2015Tags: wilshire cruise , wilshire , venice beach skatepark , venice beach , street , skateboarding , sidewalk shred , push culture , push , noah dekel , los angeles , longboarding , loaded , joshua hayes , greenskate.org , greenskate la , greenskate , freestyle , freeriding , earth month , earth day , distance , carving , arian chamasmanyFriends, compatriots, let there be no doubt, Ive thrown my fair share of skate events over the years. Ive run the gamut of mishaps, tackled with the unexpected, the unscripted, unplanned. Ive attended and played host to numerous slide jams and weekly shred summonings. Savored countless instances of pure unadulterated skateboarding elation. Seen and sewn the seeds of stoke, both near and abroad. So, after almost six years of solid event attendance, organization, and assembly, naturally, you have to assume that there are going to be a few bad apples in the bunch, so to speak. Alas, so was what I had originally perceived by the painfully lackluster attendance of the recent event I threw in conjunction with Greenskate.org and Loaded Boards, The Greenskate LA Sidewalk Shred. Out of the twenty something people I had confirmed or assumed would attend our leisurely Sunday afternoon skate gathering, only a proud and faithful TWO had actually arrived. [caption id="attachment_19379" align="alignnone" width="625" caption="Pushing off towards Wilshire Boulevard, and down towards the beach."][/caption] What to do? I thought to myself nervously Continue to stall the jam? (assuming maybe a few more swarthy souls would arrive) or, run the days plan with the proud plucky two that made the effort to show up.. The resulting noble group-made decision to press onward despite our absence of numbers later proved not only to debunk my initial woeful projections as to the overall success of the afternoon, but also worked to remind me that while stoke in numbers may indeed be the case, it definitely does not dictate that a day spent shredding the streets with a two versus twenty isnt necessarily any less fun; or in this case, meaningful.
- When you're up there, it's somewhere else that you go. It doesn't specifically feel like you're on a mountain, or that you're in Santa Barbara, the state of California, or even the good ol' US of A, for that matter. When you make the ascent to the lofty peaks that make up the Santa Barbara range you leave behind all the bullshit of your day to day, and embrace a tetherless experience of being above it all. Every year the Santa Gnarbara race comes around, and every year I relish the opportunity to make a weekend out of it and spend my time in the clouds. It's a bit of a cleansing experience, a weekend of gorgeous scenic views and incline oriented skateboarding to help put the odds and ends of your life back into perspective. It's also something I don't take for granted, knowing full well I'm rather privileged to be able to live a life that allows me to experience such things. As you can probably tell by now I really enjoy those mountains. I feel safe, cozy amongst those steep cliffs, the winding ridge roads, the bathed-in-orange sunset sessions. It's like a dream you once had, but it's real, in all its glorious vividness. [caption id="attachment_18394" align="alignnone" width="625" caption="Camping amongst the stars, skateboarding in the AM."][/caption]
- on September 12, 2014Tags: slide jam , skatecentralma , skateboarding , skateboard , skate , orangatang , mini ramp , mike girard , longboarding , longboard , loaded , downhill race , downhill , centralmass5 , central mass longboard festival , central mass 5 , ambassadors , "orangatang wheels" , "orangatang ambassadors" , "loaded boards" , "loaded ambassadors"August 15-17th, 2014 marked the 5th annual Central Mass Longboard Festival and my most ambitious undertaking yet. To call it a "Longboard festival" is a bit misleading; these three days saw 397 registered skateboarders of all shapes, sizes, disciplines and creeds take to the races, ramps, slides and rails in three different venues across Harvard. A rowdy after-party in Ayer, MA topped off the action. One of the major goals with Central Mass is to break down the unnecessary and counterproductive walls between skate disciplines - most prominently between "short boarding" and "longboarding". Instead, the event strives to push riders to comingle and progress in all disciplines with no extraneous lines drawn in the sand. To pull off something of that scope as an independent organizer takes approximately 2 metric tons of elbow grease, 3,000 gallons of diplomacy, enough budget to buy an entry-level BMW and a time investment sufficient to make an hourly employee rich, so I got started early. (For more insight into the nitty-gritty preparatory steps, check out last years Organizers Recap.) [caption id="attachment_17966" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Official flyer"][/caption]
- on March 27, 2014Treee Skateboarding, Loaded Boards and Orangatang Wheels are really stoked to introduce a new track this year: seven curves with a top speed of 85km/h (53mph) and 1.6km long, good pavement, and amazing scenery.