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Remembering Dustin Hart…

 

Dustin RIP

You Will Be Missed Brother

In the wake of losing a loved one, how do you collect your thoughts enough to create a clear and concise message? The feelings come in waves. One second your smiling and reminiscing on great times shared and the next your tear ducts swell and a slightly darker shade of life looms over you. I could sit here all day typing and then backspacing trying to make this perfect, but simply put Dustin Hart was, nah fuck that, IS the man. So much to celebrate in regards to his life. So many great accomplishments in such a short time.

Whether you had known him for years, or you had met him once in passing, his heart was pure and it was apparent from afar. Dustin had many friends from all walks of life, but never picked favorites. When it came time to get in the car and go skate, if he chose to ride with you it made you feel special. Just his presence alone would lighten up even the darkest of moods or situations. He looked out for everyone. He would give you the shirt off his back, his last dollar, hell he would even get in trouble with his parents just so he could have you stay the night and not have to drive home.

Skateboarding has a funny way of exposing a person’s true character. The connection you share with someone standing right next to you, in the trenches as we like to call it, at the edge of total physical and mental exhaustion is so deep that everyone involved will remember those times for the rest of their lives. When you want to give up, your friends are there to push you that extra inch because they know you would do it for them. The countless hours you spend sitting in cars on the way to the next spot, sleeping on random floors in distant cities only because you saw some spot in a video, all of these experiences teach you certain life lessons that your average person doesn’t learn until much later in life, if at all. The comraderie and bond shared between you and your friends is thicker than blood. I couldn’t be more thankful that I got to share those bonds with Dustin.

Dustin Hart was more than just that scrawny kid from the suburbs of Atlanta. He was a household name for skateboarders in the Southeast. Dustin produced video parts packed full of mind blowing tricks that grown men should be doing, not some teenager. Those video parts received not just local attention, but national and even international recognition from skateboarders all over the world, and this was all before the kid even had a driver’s license. His reputation preceded him, but for someone outside of skateboarding, you would have never known. He was the epitome of humble. While having all the bragging rights in the world, he could have cared less.

Having known and been close to Dustin for the better part of 10 years, this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. This is me sending off a hero, a best friend, a brother, a true warrior. Cheers Dustin. It’s only goodbye for now, not forever.

 

Ambush G-Series Wakesurf Contest

What hasn’t Scott Byerly contributed to wake sports? Everyone knows Byerly as the “Godfather of Wakeboarding” and one of the earliest pioneers of wakeskating. But, did you know that Byerly also invented wake surfing? (As it currently exists. People have been tanker surfing off the coast of Galveston, TX since the 1950s).

Wakesurfing was first brought to the public eye in a largely ignored video by the now defunct brand Badass Bindings.  The video showed Byerly and Bruce Clem paddling in to massive wakes thrown up by the first Super Air Nautique in the summer of 2001. Since then, wakesurfing has become one of the most important niches in water sports.

Now that waksurfing has blown up, we at Ambush have fully embraced it as a competitive sport. Last weekend’s G-Series Wakesurf Contest was the first wakesurf specific contest that we have put on. And, the contest was a blast.

The competition was pretty intense given the friendly, grassroots vibe of the event. Friends, siblings, and co-workers battled it out for wake-slashing supremacy. The new Nautique G-21 wake served as a huge canvas for wakesurfing artistry and the riders did not disappoint. Surfers were boosting airs, blowing out their tails, and doing surface spins that would rival some of the pros. Check the montage of the event and the contest results.

Video credit: Cameron Pugh

 

Ambush G-Series Wakesurf Contest Results

Beginner Women:
1st Place: Colleen Cain
2nd Place: Kristina Burns
3rd Place: Kaeley Creasman
Beginner Men:
1st Place: Mason Liner
2nd Place: Parker Phillips
3rd Place: Jake Borton
Masters Women:
1st Place: Beth Chao
2nd Place: Donna Skellham
3rd Place: Sue Borton
Masters Men:
1st Place: Danny Biebricher
2nd Place: Jay Baker
3rd Place: Josh Creasman
Advanced Women Skim:
1st Place: Abigail Chao
2nd Place: Jordan Wolfe
3rd Place: Taylor Wolfe
Advanced Men Skim:
1st Place: Leland Watkins
2nd Place: Jamie Eichler
3rd Place: Nathan Chao
Advanced Women Surf:
1st Place: Jordan Wolfe
2nd Place: Taylor Wolfe
3rd Place: Abigail Chao
Advanced Men Surf:
1st Place: Mark Roche
2nd Place: Leland Watkins
3rd Place: Nathan Chao

 

Special thanks to Nautique, Hyperlite, Eddie Beverly, Danny Biebricher at Allatoona Adventures, Ronix, Spy, Slingshot, and O’Neill.

Iconic Atlanta Video Parts

Atlanta Traffic

Atlanta

Watching skate videos is a part of every skateboarder’s life.  Everyone has a taste of their own and not everyone can agree on which video is the best.  One thing is for certain though, local videos definitely hold a little more value than your average pro video.  Although the quality of the skating within the video may not always be as good, there is always something special about watching video parts of those older guys you see around town all the time at all the spots you love to skate.  Skate videos have been around for a long time.  In an effort to bring you a broader timeline of epic Atlanta video parts much larger than my own spectrum, I had to reach out to some of the more seasoned veterans in the game.  These first two are not technically local videos, but they were among the first few times Atlanta skateboarders had big time video parts.

1. Andy Howell in New Deal’s 1281 (1991) – This part came out when I was still wearing diapers and sucking on my thumb, but to others a little older than me it changed everything…

“The main one for me was Andy Howell in 1281.  I had read his Transworld pro spotlight about a hundred times and my pen pal buddy from up here told me to check out the New Deal 1281 vid when I could and said there was tons of Atlanta footage in Andy’s part. I still watch that part today. It was the first time, being from Jones County, at 13 years old that I “had” to go skate in Atlanta somehow… Skating was starting to transition at that time. It was very rough filmed and by looking at it today, kinda sloppy skating. But the song, his clothes, the switch and nollie shit he was doing was beyond what anyone else did. It wasn’t the clear day school yard that Vallely and Templeton skated. It looked and seemed a lot cooler than the other footage in that video. Plus, it was “real”. Like, I knew where Atlanta was. F*****g 2 hours up the freeway. California looked awesome, but it may as well said Russia. It wasn’t feasible. It seemed like story land stuff.” – Jeremiah Babb of Bender Hardware

 

2. Daniel Powell in Underworld Element’s SkyPager (1993) – This Daniel Powell part was also a bit before my time, but was suggested to me by a couple different sources for really putting Atlanta on the map.  With innovative tricks, great style, and a serious eye-opener at the SunTrust building right off Peachtree Street how could anyone deny the awesomeness of this part?  Turn the volume up and feel the 90′s.

 

3. Chris Head in Raped Inc.’s Conspiracy (1998) - In the 5 year gap between the previous part and this awesome Chris Head part, the quality of videos changed quite a bit.  People really began to figure out how they wanted skateboarding to look and how it should be filmed.  I asked Matt Creasy, a local skateboarder/filmmaker, what his favorite Atlanta parts are and he answered with this… “Chris Head or Jeremiah Babb in the last Raped video.  That was the first time I saw people from Atlanta on par with the rest of skateboarding.”

 

4. Jeremiah Babb and Graham Bickerstaff in Ryan Dearth’s Dirty South (1999-2000) – These are my two personal favorite Atlanta skateboarders.  I was introduced to skating a year or two after this video had come out.  I remember seeing this video for the first time and having the hardest time grasping the concept that not only were these dudes killing it so hard, but they were skating spots that I had access to.  It brought to mind the idea that, “If they can do it, so can we.”  It was my first window into what Atlanta skating was all about.  Good skating, good times with no room for bullshit.  Graham 360 flipped over the rail at BellSouth, who does that!?

 

5. Mike Devine in Ruin Skateshop’s Nouveau (2004) – I grew up watching skate videos like Zero’s Dying To Live, Flip Sorry and many other typical hammer-style videos of the early 2000′s, so when Ruin Skateshop’s video Nouveau came out I was blown away.  The first reason being that it was another amazing local video featuring guys I had become friends with over the years and the second reason being that it was the first time I realized that there were other styles of skating that appealed to me rather than just your average stair and handrail skating.  Mike Devine has a really clean and unique style that is very pleasing to the eye.  This part along with the whole video is worth a gander.

 

6. Justin Brock and David Clark in Matt Swinsky’s Southern Comfort (2007) –  These parts, to me, are truly amazing, not only for the skating, but this was the first time I got to see first hand in person what it really takes to film a gnarly video part.  My friends and I were lucky enough to be around for quite a bit of this video, on the session or at the party afterwards.  We were the younger kids trying to be cool like those older dudes, and this one set the bar pretty high for us.  Justin is a skateboarder’s skateboarder, and David skates Atlanta like we all wish we could.  They both definitely left their mark on a lot of Atlanta spots with this one.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Atlanta Metrospective Logic Issue 01 (1999)

Stormy Pruett in Dog Shit

Phil Kent and Graham Bickerstaff in Rusty Trombone

Chris Head and Mike Devine in Rusty Trombone

Mike Summers and John Sheffield in Rusty Trombone

James Coleman in Ruin’s Nouveau

Kevin Radley in VHS Tape

David Clark for Bender Hardware

I am almost positive I missed a couple gems, so feel free to let me know in the comments below…

 

Go Skateboarding Day 2014

 

As everyone knows, June 21st is National Go Skateboarding Day. We at Ambush wanted to make sure that this day gets the proper recognition it deserves. And, we wanted to give all skateboarders a day of enjoyment. So, the Ambush crew headed up to Kennesaw Skatepark. Video game booths, misting stations, pizza, and the RedBull MTX truck were just some of the things providing the entertainment that day. Prizes were given out for best tricks and random skateboard trivia questions that were answered. Well, I don’t wanna bore everyone with words, so here is a little montage that recapped the whole day! If you missed it this year well we look forward to seeing you next year!

 

 

 

17 Years…Where Has the Time Gone?

On Friday June 13th, 2014 we turned 17 years old.  If Ambush Board Co. were an individual, we would be able to drive our own car with up to 3 people (under the age of 21, that is) inside of it, but we’d still have to be home by the 12 AM curfew.  We would be close to graduating high school and looking for prospective colleges to spend our prime partyin’ days.

But, we’re not just an individual.  In our minds we’re a revolutionary business.  What have we done in the 17 years of our existence?  Here is a brief and very abridged rundown, as told through pictures.

1996

In the late months of 1996 and the beginning of 1997, we were finalizing our first logo.

Original Ambush Board Co. Logo Ideas

Original logo ideas – late ’96/early ’97

1997

Our first flyer/advertisement was released to get word out for our opening day.

1st Ambush Flyer/Advertisement 1997

1st Ambush flyer/advertisement

Friday June 13, 1997 Ambush opens its doors for the first time in a crawl space (a 1,200 sq. ft. shop in Kennesaw, GA).

Original Ambush Location

Original Ambush location

1998

Ambush helps out Fat Mike from NOFX by promoting shows for his band and the bands signed by his label, Fat Wreck Chords.

Ambush Owner, Chuck Morrow, with the lead singer of NOFX, Michael Burkett 1998

Ambush owner, Chuck Morrow, with the lead singer of NOFX, Michael Burkett (Fat Mike) in 1998

It was getting a little cramped in our first shop, so in October ’98 we decided to upgrade and moved down the strip into a space almost triple what we started with at 3,500 square feet.

2nd Ambush Location

Chuck and GT

One of the first Frequent Buyer cards.

One of the Original Frequent Buyer Cards

One of the original Frequent Buyer cards

Let’s fast forward a little, but check out all the stuff that happened in between on our timeline!

2002

Ambush Board Co. co-founders (Chuck Morrow, Lee Elliott, and Eric Elliott) are featured in an article in Level X magazine on “the new look of extreme sports business.”

Level X Magazine - 2002

Level X magazine – 2002

2003

BuyWake.com was launched in 2001, but was operating out of the back storage room of the shop.  2 years later, we were able to move into their own warehouse, where all the magic started happening.

2003 Buywake.com gets its own space- Original team members

2003 – BuyWake.com gets its own space.  These are the original team members (L-R: Ryan Kearns, Derek Davis, John Turnbull, Paul Lizon, Cameron McLane, Kit Furderer, and Eric Elliott).

2004

BuyWake.com puts out one of its very first magazine ads.

One of the original Buywake.com ADs 04/05

One of the original BuyWake.com ads – April ’05

Ambush and BuyWake.com host Georgia’s first night pro rail competition, Slider Slam.

Parks Bonifay 2004 Slider Slam

Parks Bonifay at the 2004 Slider Slam

2005

Our Skate team poses for a photo session.

2005 Skate Team

2005 Skate Team (L-R: Dustin Hart, Stormy Pruett, Frank Lee, Charles Chatov, JJ Patterson, and Wade Johnson)

Ambush holds its first street contest in the parking lot of the shop.

1st Street Contest 2005

1st Street Contest – 2005

Crowd shot at the 1st Street Conest

Crowd shot at the 1st Street Contest

2006

The Liquid Force Slideshow is held in our parking lot.

Ambush hosts the 2006 Liquid Force Slideshow

Ambush hosts the 2006 Liquid Force Slideshow

2007

Ambush owners, Chuck Morrow, Eric Elliott, and Lee Elliott, talk shop with the Marietta Daily Journal about working in a family business.

2007 Article on family businesses

2007 article on family businesses

2010

One of many 2-page spreads in Alliance Wakeboard Magazine.

Double page Alliance Wakeboard Magazine Spread

BuyWake.com ad in Alliance

2011

We are accidentally sent bright red, bejeweled button-ups in an inventory shipment…perfect time for our warehouse guys to have a photo op.

Modeling their Bedazzled ensembles (L-R: Billy Witcher, Garrett Bauman, Gary Sargent, Ryan Parks, Jeremy Kline, Nick Bode, Danny Peterson, Kyle McEaddy, Ben Mercer, Cameron McLane, Alamo, Tres Morgan, and Eric Elliott)

Modeling their bedazzled ensembles (L-R: Billy Witcher, Garrett Bauman, Gary Sargent, Ryan Parks, Jeremy Kline, Nick Bode, Danny Peterson, Kyle McEaddy, Ben Mercer, Cameron McLane, Alamo, Tres Morgan, and Eric Elliott)

2013

In September 2013, Ambush headquarters was relocated to a new pro office space.

Creative & Sales Team along with Chuck Morrow  (Founder of Ambush) and Tony Finn  (Inventor of wakeboading and founder of Liquid Force)

Creative & Sales Team along with Chuck Morrow (Founder of Ambush) and Tony Finn (one of the forefathers of wakeboarding and founder and CEO of Liquid Force)

 

Even though we have made many more memories since 2013, we thought we would share some memorable highlights from our first years in the business.  We love what we do and are just as, if not more, excited and motivated than ever.  We’re looking forward to seeing what else we can accomplish as we continue to push the progression of Board Sports retail.  For our full timeline check out blog.ambushboardco.com/ambush-timeline/

What is Low ATL?

 

Over the past year or so, there has been a ton of talk and social media promotion using the phrase and the hashtag “Low Atl”. But, it seems that not too much is known about what exactly Low Atl is or means. I have had a number of people come up to me with a lot of the same questions. “What does “Low Atl” mean?” “Is that a brand?” “Isn’t that the same as Lowcard Magazine?”

 

Ambush Low Atl

 

In translation, the term “Low Atl” means family. To be “Low” means to be down. We are a family of people who truly love skateboarding and who come together for one common passion. I say “we” because we are all considered “Low Atl”. Even if you aren’t from or living in Atlanta. It is a family of skateboarders. We have all started somewhere, and no matter how good you are or are not, there will always be people who will have your back if you are legit. Your legitimacy in skateboarding can be defined in infinitely many ways based off of everyone’s individual standards, but to me your legitimacy is defined by your passion. We all had to be shown the ropes at some point. You can’t learn everything all on your own. But, rest assured that if you always stick with something you are truly passionate about, then you will learn as much as you can on your own. The rest comes from listening to the ones who have been doing it longer than you.  They have the most experience and have shown dedication to the art. Even in skateboarding, your elders deserve respect.

 

Ambush Jeremiah Babb Sessions

 

The true origin of “Low Atl” can be an ambiguous topic in that people aren’t too sure of how it started. “Low Atl” actually came from a colaboratory effort between Lowcard Magazine and Atlanta’s very own Stormy Pruett (@Seaboard) and Jeremiah Babb (@Benderbabby). Stormy had contacted the people at Lowcard to see about having an issue of the mag focused solely on the Atlanta scene. Lowcard, being as down for skateboarding as they are, agreed to it. The mag was filled with interviews as well as sick photos of all the Atlanta rippers. The photo credit primarily goes to local photographer David Morico (@last_of_the_morichans). Without him, there would not have been any photos to send. It was Issue #46 “The Atlanta Article”. The release of an article of that caliber of course calls for a party, right? Well, in order to track the event on social media, the people who came to the party were told to hashtag the words “LowAtl”. This became the true start of the “LowAtl” movement and, to me, it was the the return of Atlanta to the skateboarding scene. People like Stormy and Miah gave this area its start. They were the first generation and they made a lot of history. Well, now its our time to step up to the plate. It’s time for us to go spot searching and street skating. No more of this all day at the park garbage. Get out there and go big. Try to make something happen. A skatepark is like a canvas that has been painted on over and over and over again. How good does it make you feel to three flip down the same stairs that someone else three flips every day? As far as consistency, a skatepark is convenient. You can’t get hassled at a skatepark (even that isn’t always the case). There is nothing original about a skatepark. It is a just way to trick skaters to stay out of the streets. And it works too.

 

Ambush Stormy Pruett Lowcard

 

This Saturday just so happens to be “Go Skateboarding Day” which is an internationally acknowledged holiday. And, we at Ambush are going to be hosting an event at the Kennesaw Skatepark. I encourage as many of you as possible to come, but only as a start to the day. Come out, have fun, participate in the best trick contests, listen to the Dirty Squids, chill with homies, and maybe get some free product if you’re lucky. Then go hit the streets!!!  So many street spots are still left to be discovered here in Georgia. And not just in the city, but in the suburban areas too. Some complain that all the spots are so spread out that nobody wants to spend the gas money to find them. I get it, every spot outside of downtown is at least twenty minutes away from one another. But so what? Why should we let that stop us? We shouldn’t and we cannot continue to let it! Take the time, scrape some money together, throw in for gas, and put in the effort because the results are so indescribably worth it. Being out with your friends searching for untapped resources. Trying to get the best angles and the lighting just right. Documenting the trick, the style, and the personality of the skater coming out through that spot. And then being able to watch that clip all together with your buddies and just feeding off of the energy that it generates. It is something that you can’t quite describe. It is something you have to feel for yourself. So, go out there and find out what that feeling is to you. Pick up your board, call up your friends, and go skate! Because, at the end of the day, the streets are where it matters the most. Adapting to urban environments is the heart of skateboarding and the true nature of a skateboarder. And, this new generation needs to help us return skateboarding to the streets the way Stormy and Miah  did. Then, we need to keep it that way.

We all look out for each other. We all stand side by side. This is what we love. This is our passion. This is our fun. This is our freedom. This is our community. One Community. Low Atl.

 

Ambush Lowatl

 

 

 

Ambush G-Series Wakesurf Contest

 

The Nautique G-Series are undoubtedly the best boats in the world to wakesurf behind. The perfect manage-a-trios of a super deep hull, massive wake, the new all new NSS make this boat churn our a wave that looks like a mini version of Kirra on a perfect East swell.

In celebration of this incredible line of boats, Ambush is throwing the G-Series Wakesurf Contest on Saturday, July 12th at Lake Arrowhead.

 

Ambush G- Series Wakesurf Contest

Registration is open now at Ambush. The cost is $45 which includes rider insurance and a contest tee shirt. You can register in any of the 6 divisions (beginner women, beginner men, advanced women skim, advanced women surf, advanced men skim, advanced men surf) where you will be subjectively  judged based on style, technical skill, variety, and intensity.

A $100 cash prize will be awarded to the winners of each advanced division. Register now to secure your spot in the contest.

For more info, email info@ambushboardco.com or call 770-420-9111.

The Ambush G-Series Wakesurf Contest is sponsored by Nautique, Marine Max, Hyperlite, Byerly, Spy, Billabong, Ronix, Liquid Force, Slingshot, Accurate, Reef, Body Glove, and Jet Pilot.

 

 

Adidas Skate Copa Southeast Regionals

Adidas Skate Copa

Have you ever been to a skateboard contest hosted by Adidas and The Boardr?  I hadn’t either until last weekend.  If you ever get the chance, I would advise you to go.  The Adidas Skate Copa Southeast Regional contest was held at the Kennesaw skatepark on Saturday, May 31st.  Skate Copa is a regional shop versus shop contest, where a four man team from each of the 17 invited shops get a 5 minute jam style run to showcase their bag of tricks in front of a panel of 3 judges.  The shops team members are scored individually, and the top 3 scores from the team are factored in to the shops overall score.  From there, the top 8 shops move on to the semi-finals where they battle head to head in a single elimination bracket format.  The winning shop gets an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Skate Copa finals, where they will battle it out against the other 4 regional champions at The Berrics.

 

We could not have been more stoked to be invited to join in on the fun and get a chance to skate with and against some of the best skateboarders in the whole southeast.  We chose Zeke, Travis, CatNip and Josh to represent us and hopefully bring home the bacon.  With forecasts calling for rain that Saturday, the original start time of the contest being 12 noon was bumped up to 10:30 in the morning.  Much to our dismay, we were selected to skate the first heat starting promptly at 10:30.  No complaints though, because we do have a home field advantage being that the Kennesaw skatepark is right in our backyard.  Nevertheless, the boys all showed up on time and ready to rip.  Master of ceremonies and OG east coast ripper Tim O’Connor kicked it all off and kept the day rolling smoothly.

Our first jam at 10:30 was awesome.  I have never seen those losers skate a contest so well.  Josh came in swingin’ skating the big rail, CatNip was switch 360 flippin’ all over the place, Zeke was on fire as usual and Travis was soothing the eyes with style for days.  5 minutes of carnage later and we had just set the bar for the other 16 teams who had yet to go.  Zeke even managed to do a front crook nollie flip out first try in the heat, which he has only done one other time in his whole life.  The crowd was officially awake now and Tim O’Connor had plenty of hilarious jokes ready for Zeke, calling him “the incredible flesh toothpick” and other accurately assessed adjectives.

After all 17 shops had taken their qualifying runs, Ambush sat in 3rd place.  This meant we were moving on to the semi finals and we were stoked.  Once in the semi-finals, it became an endurance battle.  The temperature was high and there was no shade in sight.  The water was flowing, but it wasn’t enough to keep the exhaustion away.  The better you skated the more you advanced, and the more you advanced the more you had to skate without getting a whole lot of breaks in between.  Fatigue was setting in for every team and it showed in everyone’s skating.  The teams that made it to the top two spots, Skatepark of Tampa and PLUS skateshop, were maniacs and were able to keep skating under such harsh conditions.

Our dudes skated hard and killed it all day, but the sun and its heat had worn them down.  We ended the day in 4th place.  4th place out of 17 of the best shops in the southeast isn’t half bad if you ask me.  The day went on though.  It was a close call, but ultimately it was Skatepark Of Tampa that took the crown.  A major shoutout is owed to PLUS Skateshop and Hazard County for ripping the entire day and keeping us on our toes.

To top off an amazing day of skating, Adidas was giving away shoes like candy.  Everyone had three stripes on by the end of the day.  After the contest everyone headed to a free pizza and free beer after party that was just what the doctor ordered after a long day in the sun.  This was a time for everyone who competed to hang out under the brotherly umbrella of skateboarding and all its awesomeness.  Our bellies were full, our ability to operate motor vehicles had been impaired and Adidas Skate Copa was officially a wrap.  A MAJOR thank you is in store for all the guys at Adidas and all the homies from The Boardr for making a kickass event.  Cheers!

 

For official results check out The Boardr’s results page.

 

Mitch Shutters Full Part

Team rider Mitchell Shutters put together a sick part for your viewing pleasure.  The last rail is no joke!

The 2014 Wakeskate Tour Suwannee Pro Recap Video

The level of riding on The Wakeskate Tour has d*mn near gotten out of hand. Straight up, these guys are go for the gusto right out of the gate as if the qualifying round is simply a massive final before a smaller final.

We’re pumped to see Ambush riders Josh Zentmeyer, Ben Horan, and our good friends Austin & Travis Pastura at the forefront shaking things up. Press play and watch this incredible recap video put together by Rockstar. Oh yeah, and Benni…that frontside heelflip caused an earthquake up here at the shop.

BOOM!