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About Jordan Smith

Skateboarder and skate enthusiast for more than a decade.

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Damn Am Atlanta 2015 Photo Recap

The Team At Damn Am 2015

From Left To Right: Zeke, Bobby, Wes, and Skyler

The boys went down to Damn Am 2015 this weekend hosted at Hazard County Skatepark.  Jona Owings, owner of Hazard County Skatepark, is probably the best host out there.  The hospitality his park exhibits is top notch.  From friendly dudes behind the counter, to Jona himself outback cooking burgers, hotdogs and delicious chicken, this is the type of shit you can only find in the south.

The weekend started on Friday with a day of practice and a Welcome To Town Bowl Jam, which was mighty epic.  Saturday began with qualifying heats from over 100 skateboarders from around the world.  Oh and free beer.  Yoshi Tanenbaum and Jamie Foy ended out the day by qualifying in first and second place earning them the Golden Tickets for the weekend.  The Golden Ticket allows you to bypass the semi-finals and go straight to the finals.  Our very own Zeke Logan, placed in the top 30 skaters on Saturday and was able to advance to the semi-finals.  Sunday was jam packed with semi-finals, finals, and then the Independent best trick contest.  Zeke finished out the weekend in 24th place.  Stoked.

After the dust had settled and all the skating had finished the results were as follows:

1. Yoshi Tanenbaum

2. Jack Olson

3. Jamie Foy

Check out some photos from the weekend right here.

For More Damn Am Atlanta 2015 Coverage Check Our Instagram, BuySkateShoes Instagram, SkatePark Of Tampa, And Street League.

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.

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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2014 Street League Atlanta Pro Demo at Kennesaw Skatepark

This past Saturday, September 13th, 2014, the Kennesaw Skatepark hosted its very first Street League event.  Street League was kind enough to send out 4 of their top Pro’s, including Paul Rodriguez, Ishod Wair, Tom Asta and Chaz Ortiz, to come and put on a demo for the local crowd.  Oh, and our boy Justin Brock was out there having fun too! Watching these guys on TV is one thing, but witnessing their talent in person is jaw-dropping.  Big thanks to Street League, Cricket Wireless and the Kennesaw Skatepark for making this all happen!  Check out some photos and our recap video filmed by Matt Mazza.

Ambush Alumni: Juston Tucker

The Ambush family strives to build and cultivate the local community and give people an opportunity to do what they love.  As stated in the previous Ambush Alumni post with Ryan Dearth, we have been so lucky to have such an amazing group of people come through our doors and work with us.  Allow us to introduce another one of them to you!

Juston Tucker

Juston Tucker (right) with fellow Ambush alum, Bobby Sattler (left)

Meet Juston Tucker.  Juston grew up 20 minutes from the shop in the Acworth area, and worked for us between 2000 and 2002.  Shortly after leaving Ambush, Juston moved to California and began working in the marketing deprtment for Podium Distribution.  Podium Distribution, at the time, was the home of DVS, Lakai and Matix.  Juston left marketing and now designs footwear full time.  When asked about how he made the switch from marketing to footwear design Juston said:

“I was working in the marketing department at Podium and one of my good friends was the design director for footwear.  He asked me to help color up some shoes for the season. Everyone really liked my vision, and my approach, so they offered me a full-time footwear job a few months later.”

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Ambush Alumni: Ryan Dearth

Since opening our doors in 1997, we have been blessed with a revolving door of badass staff.  While some have stayed to push Ambush further in its evolution and to help cultivate the next group of young up-and-comers, others have gone out on their own and accomplished some pretty rad sh!t.   This is an ode to those who used Ambush as their career launch pad.  Whether you recognize them or not, their presence was highly valued during their time spent at Ambush…and we’re hyped that these guys are out there making moves and doing big things.

DVS Skateboarding Filmer

Ryan Dearth grew up skateboarding and filming his friends here in the Atlanta area.  He started working at Ambush in 1999, when the store was still located in the shopping center across the street from its current location, right next to Sidelines and whatever that laser tag joint was called at the time.  After his time at Ambush and years spent filming and submitting footage to 411VM and ON Video, Ryan left Georgia for sunny California.  Using some of the connections he made from working at the shop and sending in his footage, Dearth had gotten a job in the DVS warehouse and worked his way into an in-house filmer/editor position for DVS and Matix.

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5 Skate Trip Essentials

There are not many things in life more exciting than skate trips with your friends.  The thought of being free from normal life and hitting the open road is enough to get anyone’s juices flowing.  Choose your destination, load up the car, collect gas money, and BOOM you’re off to make memories that will last a lifetime.  After more than a decade of travelling the country with my friends, I have compiled a list of essentials for your skate trip, outside of the most obvious.

 

Road Trip

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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.

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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…