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2015: Year Of The Yeto

Tum Yeto

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, it is no surprise that TumYeto, home to Toy Machine, Foundation, Dekline, and more, is quickly staking its claim as one of the most popular skateboard related distributors. With the addition of Habitat Skateboards last year and recent acquisition of Alien Workshop, Tum Yeto has stepped in to carry on the legacy of core skateboarding. These new additions to the Tum Yeto camp may catch you off guard, but once the dust settles it all makes sense. From the top of the food chain down to the entry-level employee, Tum Yeto is truly owned and operated by skateboarders.

While the staple brands like Toy Machine continue on their path of awesomeness, not more than a couple of years ago Dekline Footwear was hardly even on anyone’s radar. Since then, Dekline has gone through some serious roster changes and emerged as one of the top selling footwear brands not backed by big industry money. We asked Tum Yeto team manager Mike Sinclair, in his opinion, why Dekline has become a household name as of late.

Mike Sinclair, Tum Yeto TM

Mike Sinclair, Tum Yeto TM

“I think there are a few things that attract skateboarders to Dekline.  One is the team, two is the price, and three, it’s an alternative to what is predominantly out there right now… The Dekline team is more a crew of friends than a picked team… We don’t claim to be bigger or better than anyone.  We are just doing what we all love and are stoked to still be able to do it.”

We couldn’t agree more.  Dekline is core skateboarding.  While other brands have teams that resemble All-Star rosters, Dekline’s team gives you an opportunity to relate and imagine yourself out there doing the same thing.  Don’t take that wrong, Dekline’s team is jam packed with some heavy hitters, such as Blake Carpenter, Dakota Servold, and Matt Bennett.

Tum Yeto continues to kill it on their social media accounts, like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. By following @tumyeto people from all over the world get a unique glimpse at what it is like to be in the van and on the session with riders from their favorite Yeto brands.  We talked to Tyler Culbertson, Tum Yeto Social Media Manager, about his approach to social media.

Tyler Culbertson, Tum Yeto Social Media Manager

Tyler Culbertson, Tum Yeto Social Media Manager

“A social media manager’s job cannot be done properly between the hours of 9-5.  It is a 24/7 commitment.  To connect with as many fans as posisble, I put a huge effort into carving out blocks of time throughout the day and night to reply to fans on Twitter, like/comment on photos through brand specific hashtags on Instagram and reply to direct messages.”

Not only is their performance of relating and responding to their fan base spectacular, but they also raise the bar when it comes to maintaining relationships with the shops that carry their products to help promote local skateboarders that fit the Tum Yeto mold.  The most effective way they do this is through a program created by Tyler called the Foundation Secret Society, or FSS.

“The ultimate goal with the Foundation Secret Society is to help grow and celebrate the local skate scene for independently owned skateshops.  The FSS promotes unique opportunities for everyone involved with the program, including the shop, local skate scene, FSS members, and their filmers and photographers.  They all now have a stronger connection with Foundation.  The relationships and friendships created through the Foundation Secret Society are definitely the raddest things to develop from the program.”

A good example of how the FSS works would be our very own Zeke Logan collaboration.  He rides for Foundation and through the FSS, we were able to collaborate with Foundation and create an Ambush branded Foundation board.

Ambush x Foundation Collab Deck

Ambush x Foundation Collab Deck

Check out more Foundation Secret Society radness here.

The underlying theme to Tum Yeto’s recent success can be contributed to the fact that they are real skateboarders, running a skateboard company, that truly cares about skateboarding.  This is also makes the latest additions of Alien and Habitat a perfect fit.  Tum Yeto has set themselves up for a fail-proof year.  According to some sources, 2015 might provide us with a Dakota Servold or James Hardy Dekline pro model shoe, an all inclusive Tum Yeto super tour, and maybe even a new Toy Machine or Foundation video.  You’ll just have to wait and see.

The Origin of Ambush: From Shoppers to Shop Owners by way of Punk Rock – Part 4 of 4

Punk rock has always run through my veins.  My brother and I grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles where bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Descendents, The Minutemen, Redd Kross, and Pennywise were born.  It was normal to hear loud, crusty chords screaming from a neighborhood garage.  Instances of punk bands duping unsuspecting bar, bowling alley, and coffee shop owners into booking their acts (and subsequently wrecking the place) were frequent.  As a kid, I loved the sound and speed of punk rock, but it really didn’t totally envelope my soul until I began to understand the art form in its entirety.  It wasn’t until my teen years that I would figure that out.  And, by then, I would live in another bastion of punk rock, the East Bay.

The East Bay of San Francisco is home to punk rock legends Operation Ivy, Rancid, Jawbreaker, Crimpshrine, Fifteen, and the famous 924 Gilman Street venue.  In the late 1980s-early 1990s, the scene was perfect for young punks as it centered more around the music and less around drugs and alcohol.  The East Bay punkosphere served a larger purpose to give teenage outcasts a place to call home and stay out of trouble.  If the L.A. punk scene was about aggression and destruction, the Oakland/Berkeley punk scene was about the community and its youth.  One of the habitats most dominated by the punk rock youth was Telegraph Avenue, a swath of road that stretches from Old Historic Oakland to the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Operation Ivy at 924 Gilman. Photo: Murray Bowles

Operation Ivy at 924 Gilman. Photo: Murray Bowles

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The Origin of Ambush: Meeting your Maker or your Soulmate – Part 3 of 4

The first time I ever saw a dead seal was at the mouth of San Pedro Creek right where it empties into the Pacific Ocean at Linda Mar State Beach in Pacifica, California.  The seal had gotten its head ripped off, undoubtedly by a great white shark, and was decomposing in about four inches of water.  My brother, some buddies, and I had just come in from a surf when we spotted it.  Of course we were rattled by what we saw.  A large, deadly predator had displayed its position in the food chain for us to see.  So, we did what teenage boys always do in that situation: we poked and prodded it with the noses of our surfboards and made jokes about it.  Oddly enough, that was the second most notable thing I saw that day.  The first, of course, being boobies.

In the early 1990s, we lived in the East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area).  It was too far from the coast to surf during the week, so on weekends me, my brother, and our circle of friends would proposition one of our parents (usually Chuck) to take us.  Almost every weekend was the same thing: get up at the crack of dawn, drive to Pacifica, stop at Nor Cal Surf Shop for something that someone invariably left at home, surf, feast, and then drive home.

The aforementioned weekend was a little off.  The fog was thick and the air felt colder than it actually was.  My brother, our buddies, and I were all bundled up in hoodies and beanies, but somehow we were still shivering.  It wasn’t exactly the same type of shivering like you would be doing if you were cold.  It was almost a fearful shivering.  No one forgot anything this time, but we decided to go into Nor Cal Surf Shop, anyway.  We were stalling.  For what?  I don’t know.

 

Nor Cal Surf Shop c. 2011

Nor Cal Surf Shop c. 2011

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The Origin of Ambush: Celebrating History – Part 2 of 4

 

The Law of Attraction centers around the belief that like attracts like.  When you surround yourself with positive people and positive thoughts, great things happen.  The Manhattan Beach Surf Club in the 1950s was prime example of the phenomenon, as it attracted two of the most legendary figures in the history of surfing.  It was in this club that Dale Velzy met Greg Noll and taught him how to shape surfboards.  Noll then passed his craft (and surf shop) on to Eddie Talbot in 1972.  Eddie and his partners picked up where Noll left off and changed the name to E.T. Surfboards.

 

E.T. Surfboards c. 1972

E.T. Surfboards c. 1972

 

I don’t remember exactly when my twin brother, Eric, and I first went in to E.T. Surfboards, I just know we were young.  We didn’t surf yet, but were hypnotized by the smell of freshly glassed surfboards, Neoprene, Sex Wax, and the salty air of nearby Hermosa Beach.  The colors were intoxicating (this would have been the early 1980s in the height of the neon era).  Our eyes would dart from Slime Balls wheels to Body Glove wetsuits to the airbrush jobs on custom Pat Ryan or Ronnie Williamson boards.  We knew we couldn’t afford anything in that store, but we were determined to be a part of it.

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The Origin of Ambush: A Tribute to the Shops that Inspired Us – Part 1 of 4

Honus Wagner is widely recognized as one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game. Wagner was one of the first five members inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and his face adorns the rarest and most valuable baseball card of all time.  His dramatic influence on the sport of baseball can still be seen today.  But, did you know that Honus Wagner was also one of the key influences on Ambush Board Co.?

One of the things about Ambush Board Co. that I am most proud of is our history.  The past 17+ years has written an intriguing story that most of the loyal Ambush Union are at least peripherally aware of.  But, many don’t know the back story of how Ambush became Ambush long before there was such a thing as Ambush.  Nature and nurture ensures that humans carry a piece of their parents on with them as they grow up.  Similarly, Ambush was built on the legacies of all the shops that we identified with as kids, as adolescents, and onto adulthood.  Each shop was an influencer in their own way and all left an indelible mark on what would become Ambush Board Co.  In an effort to promote the soul of the core shop moving forward, I want to pay tribute to those shops that played a major role in the founding of Ambush Board Co.  As the Winston Churchill (or Edmund Burke or George Santayana) quote says, “those who don’t know their history are destined to repeat it.”  In my estimation, those who do know their history are destined to build on it.

 

Chuck Morrow, owner, co-founder, and patriarch of Ambush Board Co. grew up poor in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.  His mother, Marijana (no, not what you are thinking of) emigrated to the United States from Yugoslavia as a refugee at the end of World War II.  As a single mother with a language barrier, Marijana struggled to make ends meet.  Often times, dinner would be an onion steamed down to an edible form and sandwiched between two pieces of white bread.  It would be an understatement to say that Chuck didn’t go shopping much as a kid.  But, when he did, he made the most of it.  He took in the whole experience and made it a family event.

Honus Wagner opened a specialty sporting goods store in downtown Pittsburgh in 1919, roughly two years after he retired as a player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The store immediately became a cultural epicenter for kids looking for the latest mitt, ladies shopping for tennis equipment, and fans of Honus Wagner the player.  All would all lay claim that this was “their” shop.  To customers of the boutique, Honus Wagner was more than a store.  Shopping there meant that you were someone, you were a Pittsburgher.

 

Honus Wagner Sporting Goods c. 1919

Honus Wagner Sporting Goods c. 1919

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Wednesday with Wes: Switch Varial Heelflips w/ Wes Lembo

Tighten up your man bun and get your learn on with Wes and his infamous Switch Varial Heelflip.

Game of Skate 21

“The best part about Game of Skate is getting the community together for a fun day of skateboarding”.

– Stormy Pruett

 

Yep. That’s what Game of Skate is all about. Twenty-one times we have amassed the local skate scene into the Ambush parking lot in an effort to bring everyone together for a friendly competition. Sure, this one was a little smaller than some of the other Games of Skate in the past. But, the vibe was one of the best. Those that came were there for the skateboarding, camaraderie, and, of course, to see who can dominate the flat ground. And, the one thing that was proven throughout the day is that everyone has been getting really, really good at skateboarding.

 

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TWS Outliers Is Coming

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year or so, then you already know that the new Transworld video, Outliers, has premiered and will be available on iTunes October 30th.  The dude behind the lens who created this whole project is Chris Thiessen.  Chris is a Georgia native, and grew up skating in and around the metro Atlanta area.  With that being said, Chris brought all the skateboarders involved with the video to Atlanta a couple times, and they destroyed some local spots.  I was lucky enough to see an advanced screening of the video, and there is a ton of local Atlanta footage spread throughout the video.  Not sure if you guys follow Transworld via social media, mainly Instagram, but they have been posting some pretty rad outtakes from the video.  It just so happens that almost all of the outtake Instagram videos are of Atlanta spots.  Not sure if he did this on purpose or not, but Chris is definitely showing some love for Atlanta skateboarding by posting all of these.

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Ambush Alumni: Bobby Sattler

Our latest installment of the Ambush Alumni series features Bobby Sattler.  Bobby, just like many of our esteemed alumni, started as your average shop rat gripping boards and vacuuming floors.  Bobby was with us for 4 years, from 2000 to 2004.  From the beginning, Bobby had a knack for graphics and design.  This began in a high school class where he had access to a lab full of G4 Macs, which is impressive for any public school, especially back then.  After graduating high school and taking a semester off to enjoy himself, Bobby found himself enrolled in school again at North Metro Tech (now part of Chattahoochee Tech) for Visual Communications-Print Design Specification.

“After I started college, Chuck (the owner of Ambush) presented an amazing opportunity to me.  One I’m forever grateful for.  The offer was to work on all the graphics for the boards, tees and events and the BuyWake stuff, which had recently launched, while also working the warehouse side with Eric, receiving and entering inventory and making deliveries to the two shops (Kennesaw and Gwinnett).  That was such an invaluable time and experience for me—to be able to go to college for design and work as a graphic designer for Ambush at the same time.”

Bobby Night Life

Pictured Left to Right: Bobby, Anna McFarland, Lee Elliott, Juston Tucker, and Kit Furderer

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Linked by Ink: The Ambush x Skinwerks Collab

Craig Foster

Craig Foster

Skateboarding, tattoos, and art have been culturally forged together through decades of avant garde contrarianism, a blunt questioning of societal norms, and a passion for personal expression. The relationship between skateboarding and tattoos can be seen everywhere from board graphics to the amount of ink on the archetypal skater’s body. As skateboarding, art, and tattoos weave in and out of each other’s existence they leave lasting impressions on one another. In Atlanta, none have done that more than Ambush Board Co., Craig Foster, Jules Woods, and Skinwerks Tattoo.

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