I was driving towards Boston today and there was a commercial for a new Vans Store opening at the Providence Place Mall. “Big deal”, I thought, “another corporation.” But then I heard these magical words, “Featuring an autograph signing by none other than John Cardiel and Tony Alva.” I’ll be there, will you?
So, it is official: New Balance is entering the skateboarding market.
Instead of being distributed from the corporation themselves, such as Nike, Cons and Adidas; New Balance Numeric, shortened to NB#, will be distributed underneath Jamie Thomas’ Black Box roof along with Fallen, Zero, Mystery and Insight. It appears that Fallen will stay independent of NB#, however NB# will be a more athletic aesthetic, drawing on New Balance’s past history of sneakers. Their main selling point, if it can be true, would be that the shoes would be the only brand manufactured in America. The only drawback of NB# being made in America would be the $100.00+ price tag that comes with their other models that are Made in America.
American Chinese made shoes for your Chinese Wood
Now, I have been sitting on this post for a while, as there has not been much rumblings from the Black Box camp about NB#. However, I learned that the NB# line of shoes and apparel WILL be manufactured in China. This means two things will happen: skateboarding will still not see an American made skate shoe and NB# will not have the $100+ price tag. NB#’s reasoning behind manufacturing the shoes in China is that the company does not possess a vulcanized shoe facility in North America. Being under the Black Box roof, I see the shoes being made in the same facilities that makes Fallen.
All I can say is good for them, especially Arto. After Gravis imploded, many speculated where Arto would land. Many wanted to see an Etnies revival, myself included. However, I hope that NB# gives Arto as much freedom as he had with Gravis. He’s a great photographer and would really give the brand great direction and insight.
With yet another corporation coming into the skate market, all I can say is that its wait and see. Some people will embrace it, while other purists will disregard it. Such as it is with Nike, Cons and Adidas.
Coming soon, to a mall near you.
Unless you have been living under a rock, Tampa Pro is this weekend. It is also the 20th Year of SPoT. As always, SPoT will broadcasting the entire contest live starting at 6pm on Friday. Check it out here. The Ship has always been a fan, and I even skated SPoT and the Bro Bowl three years ago. I fondly remember going to the Moat Show and shaking Schaefer’s hand and telling him thank you for all he’s done. I even skated the mini-ramp. I won free Combat socks from Circa and even got a free HUF hat. Tampa is a great city, and if you are attending Tampa Pro, I will tell you I am insanely jealous. My pick this year has got to be either Dennis Busenitz or Brian Anderson. I’ll be getting my wisdom teeth out that day, so of course I will be watching.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Element Skateboards screwed Jeremy Wray. I read this article on Jenkem’s website and it turns out Element has been using Jeremy’s name for a while, without actually sending him a check for doing so. This sounds oddly familiar, and I am glad these pro’s are speaking out on the sketchy, crooked business going down in skateboarding. Finally, Jeremy said “enough with the bullshit” and decided to start his own company, along with his brother Jonas, aptly named Wraybro Skateboards.
Because skateboarding is so addicting
Another reason Wray started a company was his family was starting, and he did not want to have to rely on sponsorship money in order to support them. Wray has stated that he does intend to bring back some of his old graphics from the Color, Blockhead and Plan B era. He even has an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, where you can give him some input on which graphics you would like to see reissued. When asked about doing spoof graphics of Element, Wray was quoted as saying:
Most of the Element graphics in my humble opinion are often uninspired. Cut and dry names, colors with the tree logo being the largest and most noticeable thing about the board. It would actually be a difficult thing to do a spoof on because what could you really do besides run something that looks graphically similar. I certainly won’t be biting Don Pendleton’s art or any of the other heavy hitters they’ve enlisted to do graphics over the years. I have too much respect for the art and the individual artists. So for now, we’ll just be sticking to what we know and what we like. Pulling influences from everything else around us without stepping on too many toes or ruffling anyone’s featherlights.
What Jeremy said was right. Element’s graphics are so simple and boring that is too difficult to try and do some parody graphics. The graphics for sale on Element’s website would appear to be the same Tree logo cut and pasted over and over. Element’s graphics went down the tubes the moment Don Pendleton left for Alien Workshop and Habitat. I get that Element is sort of hippy-ish with it’s use of recycled boards that you can buy for $115.00. Element is a shadow of what it once was, boasting a team that consisted of Mike Vallely, Colt Cannon, Vanessa Torres, Tosh Townend, Jake Rupp, Brent Atchley and Chris Senn. All those listed have cut ties with Element and gone on to other companies. This is the team I grew up with and the ones that inspired me to go out and buy an Element deck. Elementality was the first video I remember purchasing and watching endlessly. However, they have changed a lot in those eight years since. I still have no idea why Muska rides for them, even though there appears to be no Muska graphics available on Element’s Website. I really hope that (no pun intended) Element isn’t a sinking ship. Because it isn’t really “cool” to say that you are one of Zumiez most popular brands.
For updates on Wraybro, follow Jeremy on Twitter @wraybro
The Shetler Show is a podcast hosted by professional skateboarder Anthony Shetler.
Filmed in his kitchen, the Shetler Show has featured some of the local, well-known people surrounding Anthony’s life. People such as pro skateboarders Brandon Westgate, Nick Dompierre and Dave Bachinsky, Craig Paiva (founder and owner of No Problemo Taqueria), Donny Barley, Steve Rodriguez (Owner of FiveBoro Skateboards) and even professional pole dancer Samantha Star. The Shetler Show allows an indepth look at their lives straight from the people themselves. You learn many interesting things. I had no clue that Craig Paiva had quite the existential skateboard collection that he does, and I had no idea that Nick Dompierre’s seemingly disappearance from the skateboard world was because of a broken neck.
The Shetler Show is both audio recorded as well as video recorded, which Anthony and his co-host Ramsey upload to Youtube on the ALLiNEED channel. Anthony is a really busy guy; skateboarding and filming for World Industries, shooting the Shetler Show, running his clothing company All I Need apparel, wolfing burritos at No Prob and just being an all around great guy. Check out the Shetler Show on Itunes, Youtube and Vimeo. And feel free to show some love to the shows sponsors: All I Need Apparel, World Industries, Solstice Skateshop and Olloclip. Be sure to keep checking out and see who appears next on the Shetler Show.
So today, I saw on Thrasher that skateboard industry veteran Paul Zitzer is now backed by Roger Skateboards.
What I liked most about this Welcome Video was that it necessarily did not feel like one. This part was filmed all in one day and it felt more like Paul was just having a session, rather than trying to cram as many different tricks in as many different areas. I really hope most of the industry takes note, the casual approach is more appealing. Paul’s video just sort of flowed and seemed more fluid than say (Insert Latest Part on Youtube). Here at the ship, I have always been down for Roger since day one. Michael Sieben is an amazing artist and Stacy Lowry really knows what he is doing. Roger shows that underneath all the bullshit, skateboarding is still fun. So go blast a judo off of a launch ramp and slappy a curb and remember what drew you to skateboarding in the first place: fun.
I haven’t done a top five in a while, if you count outside of the Thrasher Message Boards. However, everyone has those video parts that they just absolutely love. You put them on and there is just absolute stoke flowing through your veins. I feel it is my turn to enlighten you about my top five video parts.
The following list is brought to you by Narragansett…
5.) Tony Trujillo - Transworld’s ‘In Bloom’
Tony Trujillo has become one of my favorite skateboarders. His speed and his style, coupled with the tricks he was doing completely blew my mind when I first saw this part. And the fact he skated to Motley Crue’s Kickstart My Heart didn’t hurt either. This part, to me, was the catalyst for his Skater of the Year award in 2002. If you want to see more recent Trujillo footy, check out his King of the Road videos from when he was with Vans and Anti-Hero.
4.) Darren Navarette – ‘Creature Skateboard – Born Dead’
Darren Navarette has always been one of my favorite skaters. Born Dead was one of the first skate videos I watched religiously. His and Sam Hitz parts were my favorites, and these guys got me into thrash metal. I always thought that Navs had a clean style, and I am still kicking myself for not picking up a pair of his signature shoes from Vox. His inverts were always my favorites and he is the reason I learned crailslides.
3.) John Cardiel - Transworld’s ‘Site Unseen’
I personally believe that Site Unseen is one of Transworld’s best videos to date. All of the part just sort of flowed together. John Cardiel is your favorite skateboarders favorite skateboarder. Cardiel is such an inspiration to me. He is the reason I wear Vans, he is the reason I support Anti-Hero, he is the reason that I skate. Cardiel is the most influential skater, next to Gonz. There will never be another Cardiel and there will never be another skater like John Cardiel.
2.) Jason Adams - Black Label ‘Black Out’
First off, I love Jason Adams. His skateboarding inspires me like no other. He is the reason I learned bonelesses and all these other dork tricks I taught myself. This video part gets me so hyped to go out and slappy some curbs and no comply crailslide a quarterpipe. I am stoked for Jason and his new endeavors at Iron Fist and Elephant Brand Skateboards. I have my fingers crossed for a new Jason Adams part in 2013!
1.) Chad Muska - Shorty’s ‘How to Go Pro’
Muska will forever be my first favorite skateboarder. I always remember picking him in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series and being hyped on his classic board graphic. This part was an instant classic the first time I laid eyes on it. The song made the part too. Muska custom made his own song for the video part and this inspired me to make my own music to my own video part. I love how his music flows with his part. His whole part was jaw dropping. I’ll admit, I miss gangster Muska. However, I am still glad he is getting what he deserves and continually rips.
Those were my Top Five video parts. Next up, I’ll do my top five favorite beers.