Paisley Skates has produced these rather amusing Morrissey-themed skate decks. Each one is done by a different artist including Todd Bratrud, Sean Cliver and Dave Carnie. Every deck is signed on the top by the artist and sells for $70 a pop. I dig the “Vicar in a Tutu” board by Sean Cliver.
The invention of the polyurethane wheel in 1972 literally reinvented the wheel for the modern skateboard. While Team Zephyr etcetera were tearing up the empty pools of the west coast, it wasn’t for another decade that underground skateboarding began to seep into the cul-de-sacs of suburban America. More than just a surfer fad, skateboarding echoed the defiant self-expression of the nation’s youth subcultures. So it was no surprise then, that the sport often gravitated toward the thriving punk movements of the era. Ever the locale for political discomfort, Washington DC under Reagan was a mecca of punk and hardcore, with bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains setting the nation’s pulse. Obviously, the skate culture came along with it.
The only problem was, in DC there was nowhere to skate. The short-lived scene saw a demise in the mid 80s, with the closing of the city’s only parks and backyard ramps. That was, until the Cedar Crest Country Club. Located in the middle of a forest in Centreville, Virginia, the half-pipe was built in March 1986 on the property of a golf club. The property owner’s son was given free-reign on expenses, resulting in the construction of a ramp like none other. Besides its behemoth-like qualities, the most notable feature of the ramp was its steel bottom, which ensured maximum speed and higher air time. There was nothing else in the country like it at the time, and it was free to ride if you could make the hour trek outside of the District.
Tony Hawk skates Cedar Crest
Before long, people from all over the world were dropping in at CCCC. Some of the world’s greatest skaters, like Tony Hawk and Bucky Lasek, all came out to skate. Camping was allowed, and people started showing up for the punk shows they had on the ramp. Bad Brains played, along with Government Issue, GWAR, and Scream (with a young Dave Grohl on drums). Fugazi was scheduled to play CCCC for one of their earliest shows, but the cops broke it up during the opener’s set (evening skating resumed, however).
The Church of Santa Barbara in Llanera, Asturias, located near the northern coast of Spain, had been in disrepair for years until a group of concerned individuals formed a collective called the ‘Church Brigade’ and secured funding to transform the stately house of worship into a psychedelic skate park using murals by Okuda San Miguel.
The church was originally designed by Asturian architect Manuel del Busto in 1912. Church Brigade used crowdfunding strategies but also secured a grant from Red Bull. The public skate park is now called Kaos Temple.
The transformation took place in early December. My favorite bit from the project description is “Time flies, do not think and get involved.”
I was going to post about these clever-as-hell weightlifting skateboards by Russian artist Meisha Petrick a few days ago, but there was too little information about them. There still isn’t, but from what I understand, they are being produced by Meisha and if you’re interested in ‘em, you can inquire about ordering one (or more) at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have no idea how much they’re selling for as no one has a listed price anywhere.
If you’re young, male and you live in the city, how do you prove yourself in the most materially comfortable country on earth? How do you show courage, daring, skill, strength? How do you prove you’re a man? If you’re a Masai Tribesman in Africa you kill a lion. If you’re an Aborigine boy, you go on walkabout, if you live in Dogtown, Los Angeles you ride a skateboard.
Hilariously, this is how this vintage documentary from the golden age of skateboarding begins. At the time of its release in 1978, the sport of skateboarding was still a developing endeavor that a lot of people outside of California might have looked at with simple fascination. While the sport was growing, with skate shops and parks popping up all over the country, it was by no means as prevalent and integrated into world culture as it is today. Skateboard Kings, produced by Horace Ové for the British Television series The World About Us,features early pioneers Tony Alva, Ray Flores, Shogo Kubo, Stacy Peralta, Billy Yeron, Paul Constantineau, Jerry Valdez and Kent Senatore among many others. It makes them out to be this sort of new kind of rebel on the fringes of a faddy phenomenon, with a “No really… kids are actually getting paid money to do this for a living” attitude. Interviews with parents in a skate shop are particularly chuckle-worthy as they try to rationalize letting their kids get involved in the sport despite its inherent dangers from overly crowded “skate courts” and whatnot. If parents really wanted something to worry about, imagine what they would think if they knew anything about the legendary Dogtown party world.
There’s very little of a taste of the party here, however, but it’s still cool nonetheless, and despite some of its stiffness, there’s great footage from early skate parks, pool skating (and draining), and Tony Alva narrating tricks and using still early terminology like “aerials” and “grinders.” Tiny boards, traffic cone slaloms, flat ground 360’s and rolling handstands were the cutting edge at the time. There’s also a skateboard safety clinic featured which is really funny and mike just leave modern day skaters shaking their heads.
The last five minutes of the film are great, showing Tony Alva and others skating 21-foot high pipes soon to be installed in the desert. The infamous “Arizona Pipes” should be legendary to anybody interested in the history of the development of skateboarding as a sport and as a creative endeavor.
I was not cut out for skating. I tried, but no dice. In the mid ‘80s I had a G&S Neil Blender deck, the graphic on which I still think was freakin’ awesome, a friend of mine had a half-pipe in his back yard, and I had a ton of friends to go street skating with (this in the era during which, contra the assertion on the bumper sticker, skateboarding often WAS a crime, at least in Ohio), but I never got terribly good at it, and when I watched a good pal take a spill and saw his badly broken ulna sticking out of his bleeding arm I was pretty much done. Ten years ago, that friend and I attempted a misguided relive-our-youth tour of skate parks in Oregon which, though it was a great time, resulted in an ankle injury I still haven’t recovered from. Yeah, I was not cut out for skating.
But if I wasn’t cut out for that scene—which, in my experience, was mostly just a way for dudebros in the hardcore scene to flex their jock impulses without crossing tribes into school-sanctioned team sports (another reason I was a bad fit)—where could Nick Cave have fit in? The music of a tall, lanky, heroin/goth figure like him was anathema to the adrenaline anthems skaters tended to favor (still another reason I was a bad fit). But though Cave was never even remotely associated with the skate scene I knew, that hasn’t stopped Australian company Fast Times from making a really gorgeous Nick Cave deck.
True legend of Australian music, Good friend and Customer Nick Cave has teamed up with us to produce an exciting and rad collection! After discussing lyrics and a theme, It was agreed Nature Boy best suited the Melbourne Skate Scene and vibe of Fast Times. The Lyrics are taken from ‘Nature Boy’ A track from’s Nick’s Abattoir Blues album which also features on the accompanying Fast Times Skate clip.
Once the mood was set Artist Chuck Sperry hailing from San Francisco worked with us to come up with a design, One of Chuck’s dames is seen tangled in her long golden locks wrapped in a psychedelic bed of flowers. The Boards feature a full wrap metallic graphic which feels and looks like an amazing piece of art.
I grew up on a skateboard and have intimate, first-hand knowledge about what it feels like to literally slide on my face across unforgiving concrete after taking a hill way too fast. I probably don’t need to tell you that it hurts badly and scares the living shit out of you.
That’s why every time I see footage of longboarders bombing the hell out of insanely long declines spanning miles through no-room-for-error terrain, I watch with a combination of admiration, fascination and straight-up cringe inducing terror.
The video below takes the cake, though. Really. The guy almost gets hit by a bus.
It starts with a warning to “NEVER fully trust walkie talkies.” In spans like the one you’re about to see, a person at the bottom of the hill has to communicate to the guy who’s about to take the plunge that the road is all clear of oncoming traffic. Obviously, all sorts of things can get in the way in the meantime.
The raw, not-for-the-faint-of-heart footage appeared recently on the PERROPRO YouTube channel out of Spain which houses a cool collection of videos devoted to the sport of longboarding that you can check out here if you have the inclination. The clip below would be hair raising enough even without its death defying ending (which happens around the 2:35 mark if you want to skip ahead). The pure sound of wind and rolling urethane adds to the tension in my opinion.
Skaters Sean Collelo and Rob Miceli take you on a pretty wild ride through an abandoned psychiatric ward in New York state. As I was watching them walk through the underground tunnels all I could think of was too much asbestos. Those old pipes are just covered in it!
The footage wasn’t entirely shot in the psych ward, but some other abandoned buildings as well. They never reveal the exact locations, so it’s up to you to figure it out. But dammit, I’m a sucker for this type of stuff.
The campus is a pretty huge area made up of about 10 abandoned buildings and 4 buildings that are still functioning. Psych patients roam around the complex and so do cops. Most of the abandoned buildings are pretty boarded up so you can’t get in, but the thing that’s so sick is all the buildings are connected with underground tunnels, so if you can find a way into one, you can access them all. The nurses used these tunnels to deliver food and supplies to the patients all over the center. It’s surprisingly untouched. You will still find office supplies, files, photos, machinery, and other artifacts.
Once we found our way into the tunnels, we quickly learned it was a giant maze: Loads of dead ends, stairs going up and down, and puddles so big you have to use cinder blocks as stepping stones. The reason we called the project ‘The Search For BLDG.40′ is because the first room in the video that Rob skates was the hardest to get to.
What I dig most about this is that it’s where skate culture meets art. And it looks fun as hell too!
Where does one begin to dissect this video of a Norwegian guy attempting to skate down a hill with a case of beer?
Nevermind the two-second shot of the dude taking a wee in the background—and the fact that these guys must’ve already been pretty drunk to begin with—I believe this kid would have actually made it had he pulled up his goddamned pants! Now get off my lawn!!!
A mockumentary in the style of an alarmist propaganda film, The Devil’s Toy, directed by esteemed Canadian director Claude Jutra in 1966, uses the beginnings of the skateboard explosion to satirize and critique society’s fear of youth culture. Dedicated to “all victims of intolerance.”
“Beware, the youth of the world is on the move and their aim is to take over!”
In addition to making salient points about the generation gap, the film is beautifully photographed.
Skatedater, one of the best skateboarding films ever made, has finally popped up in a decent color version after years of bouncing around the ‘net in terrible looking transfers.
Skaterdater is a short film that was released in 1965. It was Produced by Marshal Backlar, and written and directed by Noel Black and was the winner of the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival. It was also nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Short Subject category. First prizes in international film festivals including Moscow and Venice.
The film tells a story with no dialogue. The surf rock-esque soundtrack was composed by Mike Curb and Nick Venet with Davie Allan and the Arrows playing “Skaterdater Rock” .
It was the first film on skateboarding. It was distributed theatrically, both domestically and internationally, by United Artists. It was reviewed extensively, including “Time Magazine”.
The skateboarders were members of the neighborhood Imperial Skateboard Club from Torrance, California. Their names are Gary Hill, Gregg Carrol, Mike Mel, Bill McKaig, Gary Jennings, Bruce McKaig and Rick Anderson. Most of the action shots were taken in Torrance, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes Estates. The final shot was Averill Park in San Pedro.” Wikipedia.
These young dudes have some classy moves and an almost Zen-like grace. I lived in Southern California for awhile as a kid and this brings back some memories.
If you dig the soundtrack, you can stream all the tracks here.