Archives for Jordan Smithh

About Jordan Smith

Skateboard enthusiast for over a decade and can't imagine seeing an end in site. Word is bond.

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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

 

As he became closer to finishing his degree here in Georgia, Bobby wanted to continue his learning about design, and finally settled on an option to continue his education down in Florida at Full Sail University.

January 2004, I moved to Florida.  The program at Full Sail was quick and intense. It was a two-year degree, squeezed into a fourteen-month period.  Luckily I found a nice balance of school and social life.  School all day and night—creative explorations in the bars afterwards.  March 2005, I graduated from Full Sail.”

Bobby’s plan after college was to make it out to California to be at the heart of the board sports industry.  By the time he had graduated a few of his friends, including none other than fellow Ambush Alumni Juston Tucker and Ryan Dearth, had already made the trek out west and settled in Long Beach, California.  He had been plotting ways to get all of his belongings cross country when an extremely unique opportunity arose.

“While in Florida, through mutual friends, I met another good, longtime friend, Sam Ratto.  At the time Sam worked for DVS and—among many things—was the captain of the Big Red Bus—the company’s event/marketing RV.  Sam also lived in Long Beach, CA.  I called Sam—knowing he was going to be back in Florida soon for an event with the Big Red RV—and pitched him my idea.  I would rent a trailer and when he was done in Florida, I would hop a ride with him in the RV across America—with a tea leaf green Saturn in tow—to California.  June 2005, a day after turning 21, I moved to California.”

Big Red Bus And Bobby's Car

California Or Bust

 

Shortly after moving into a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 other guys, all from across the country, Bobby learned of an opening at Sole Tech (eS, Emerica, etnies, etc.), and with the help of Dearth and some of his connections was able to get his resume in front of the right people.

“October 2005, I began working at Emerica.  I was at Emerica for about a year, working on different projects like campaign development and design, catalogs and photo shoots.”

Emerica Ad By Bobby

Emerica Ad By Bobby

While at Emerica, Bobby met Craig Metzger.  Craig and Bobby hit it off, and would eventually collaborate together on a different project.  Bobby left Sole Tech around the same time as Craig, and years later Craig became the Creative Director for Element.

“At the time I was working at Quiksilver, in the marketing art department, he called to see if I would be interested in coming to work with him at Element as Sr. Graphic Designer.  March 2008, I began working at Element.”

At Element, he worked on the design and art direction for marketing and sales to develop and design ad campaigns, promotions, in-store artwork, sales catalogs, photo shoots and many other projects.  After two years, he was named Art Director, in charge of seven categories: two men’s apparel categories, two footwear categories, the juniors line “Eden,” boy’s apparel, and skate hardgoods.  Much of the type of the work stayed the same, but he was now the lead, with a team of two designers, for global art direction othat wasn’t related to product—like board and t-shirt graphics.  An added perk to the job was developing campaigns and organizing photo shoots around the world including Alaska and Chile.

Bobby was also in charge of developing, designing, and executing marketing initiatives like Element’s video Future Nature.  Working with marketing team, video guys, and team manager, they envisioned the overall theme of the video. From there all of the visuals had to be designed for everything, the logo, print and digital campaign, promotional posters, on-screen graphics and titles, DVD packaging with a photo book.  Future Nature premiered in 2012 and proved as a jumping point for the careers of many of the Element amateurs that were involved.

Element Future Nature Ads

Element Future Nature Ads

While being forever grateful for the opportunities to work and collaborate with such talented and creative people over at Element, one constant feeling throughout all of his awesome experiences working within the skateboard and board sports industries was to have his own design studio.

“The more time that passed, the stronger the desire became.  So, I put together a rough timeline in my head about when would be a good time to make the jump.  This also gave me time to put some money aside, to support myself at the beginning.  May 2012, I started my own design studio.  Going out on my own was terrifying and exciting.  When I started, I had one client, Santiago Cycling.  A bicycle shop with a focus on road cycling. Other than that, I was trying to figure it all out.”

When asked about his favorite piece or project that he worked on, Bobby’s response was the photo book he worked on with Brian Gaberman, a very well-known and established skateboard photographer.  Over a period of about six months, Bobby and Brian worked on everything from filtering out photos to physical size, paper quality, cover design, materials, and the layout and sequencing of all the photos.  The book, entitled A Life in Transition, came out at the end of 2013.  Check it out!

A Life In Transition

A Life In Transition

Here are a couple of examples from Bobby’s extensive and impressive portfolio.  Find out more about what he’s been up to here.

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.”

Since then, Juston has designed shoes for DVS, Lakai and Element.  This has given him the opportunity to work directly with Jeron Wilson, Kerry Getz, Keith Hufnagel, Chico Brenes, and Ibn Jasper.  In 2011, Juston launched Diamond Supply Co. Footwear with Nick Tershay (Owner of Diamond), and is now the Senior Footwear Product Manager there at Diamond.

We asked Juston, out of all the shoes he has worked on, which was his favorite:

“My favorite shoe I’ve worked on, ironcially, was one that never came out…  I was working on the HUF 6 while at DVS back in like ’08-’09.  It was this full air bag, boat shoe inspired runner concept.  Before the sample ever showed up from asia, Keith left DVS to launch his own footwear line (HUF).  Besides that I would say it has to be the Diamond Supply Co. Jasper.  The Jasper is a shoe I worked on with Ibn Jasper, who is part of Kanye West’s creative team DONDA.  Then maybe the Folk Mid which is a new shoe that we released from Diamond just last month.”

 

While working with us Juston made some connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.  During his years at Ambush, Juston met Jim Leatherman.  Juston and Jim teamed up in 2010 to create PORT.  PORT is a boutique-style store in Long Beach, California, that sells the finest in skate/surf lifestyle apparel and accessories.

We wanted to create a store/brand that was just a nice mix of skate/surf lifestyle, no hardgoods, just clothing, and select accessories,” says Juston.

In early 2013, Juston stepped aside and let Jim run the show over at PORT, so that he could focus more on his footwear career and family.

“I owe a lot of my professional success to Ambush; Lee & Eric really opened my eyes to the action sports industry.  I’m very thankful for the opportunity Lee gave me 14 years ago, and all the experiences we shared together.  I was always treated like family.  I’ve never told him, but Chuck also deserves a lot of the credit for my career.  All the business knowledge he taught me when I was just an 18-19-year-old kid and the trust he instilled in me is something I’ve never forgotten.  Knowing the business side of this industry has helped me tremendously throughout my career.  We had a really amazing crew of people working at Ambush during my time there, Bobby, Dearth, Kit, Dennis, Anna…Bobby and Dearth are my two best friends and we have continued to push each other in our careers ever since we left Ambush.”

Juston has come a long way since his Ambush days.  Here is a little advice and his biggest lesson learned since leaving little ole Acworth.

“Follow your dreams, and have fun.  Never burn a bridge, this industry is very small once you are inside of it!”

Thanks, Juston.  Cheers!

Bobby, Juston and Dearth

Juston (middle) and his fellow Ambush Alumni friends, Bobby Sattler (left) and Ryan Dearth (right)

For more of Juston’s work, check out his Tumblr.

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.

It is no surprise that the skateboard industry rivals Fort Knox when it comes to entry or employment.  Almost every kid’s dream as soon as he/she stepped on a skateboard was to become a professional skateboarder.  For some..that dream still lives, but many of us find out that the ability and talent required may exceed our physical capabilities.  Without losing the passion or love for skateboarding, the next logical step would be to aspire to work for a company related to skateboarding, whether that be board, shoes, or clothing companies.

I asked Ryan to give any advice for someone looking to follow a similar path.

Starting off, make a dope shop video and pass it around to the mags, the Berrics and any of the shop riders’ sponsors. Study videos. Pay attention to angles and editing for ideas. Make sure you’re settings and filming are on point. Film anything and everything. It’s like anything else you do, the more you do it the better you are. If you work for a shop, take advantage and create your own content for the site, i.e. trick tips, parts, board set-ups, contests, video release parties with interviews (it sucks to do, but its a learning experience). Do online tutorials in your spare time, i.e. editing, color correcting, effects, lighting, audio, video…if it’s truly your passion do what you can to be great at it in all aspects.

You pretty much have to move to CA to be a skate filmer…. Having an outgoing personality is a plus. Put yourself out there to make things happen. Just moving to CA isn’t gonna make it happen, unless you already have an in somewhere or with someone.

A lot of what got me to where I am today was on-the-job-training and working with other people.

The saying “It’s all about who you know” is completely true.

Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire way to get a cool industry job.  One recurring theme after asking a bunch of people who work within the skate industry is that most of them feel as though they were in the right place at the right time.  The only way for that to happen is to put yourself in enough situations where that kind of opportunity can arise.  Basically, pack your bags, you’re going to California.

Enjoy some old and new pieces of Dearth’s work…

“Dirty South” – Late 90’s – Early 2000’s

DVS Does Detroit

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

 

1.  Skate Tool

Skate Tool

DUHHH.  Everyone should have one somewhere in their car or bag at any given moment.  With that said, skate tools are similar to lighters in the sense that they are hard to keep track of when you let a bunch of people use them.  They seem to come and go as they please and the universe has a funny way of bringing them back to us, in the form of someone else’s skate tool.  Don’t get caught slippin’ at some spot hours away from the nearest skate shop without a tool.

 

2.  An Abundance of Clean Socks and Underwear

 

Clean socks and underwear

Lets face it, skateboarders (especially when on the road) are disgusting creatures covered in dirt and grime.  It helps to try and cover up your stench as much as possible.  No one in their right mind wants to have a bunch of dudes crashing on their floor when they all smell like feet and farts.

 

3.  iPhone or iPod Stocked with Music

 

iPod

While this one seems to be another no-brainer, you’d be surprised how many times I’ve been driving through rural areas and had no cell phone service, and a very limited supply of tunes.  Nowadays kids have a tendency to just use YouTube or similar music apps to play music, but when you’re outside of your coverage area, all you have are shitty radio stations.  If you’re lucky, someone may have a CD or two laying around from ancient times.  Despite your parents’ “nationwide coverage” plan you’ve been mooching off of, cellular dead zones exist all over the place from the mountains of Tennessee all the way to New Mexico and Arizona’s lonely desert highways.

 

4.  Bluetooth Speaker

 

Nixon Blaster

In the words of MC5, “Kick out the Jams, Mother F*****s!!”  These things are dopest things since sliced bread.  They give you the opportunity to bring your tunes with you wherever you go, wirelessly.  Take those headphones out, ya little shit, we’re jammin’ over here.  I give all the credit to the Muska for this one.

 

5.  Foam Roller

 

Foam Roller

Some of you may or may not be familiar with these little angels sent down from skate heaven.  Skate trips are very rough on your body, and the older you get the more painful they become.  Taking some time in the morning or at the spot to roll out some of your sore muscles accumulated from long hours of skating and sleeping on hardwood floors can really make a difference.  Your body will thank you later.  Rob Welsh knows what’s up.

 

Let me know what’s on your skate trip checklist in the comments below.

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.

 

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…

 

Adidas Skate Copa Southeast Regionals

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.

 

Etnies Marana Vulc Full Review

Marana Vulc Wear Test

The first thing I noticed when I slipped my foot into the Marana Vulc is the fact that they run a little big.  I wear a size 9 (US) in most shoes, and this 9 is a tad bit big.  I’d probably be better off with an 8.5.  The heel hold is snug and there is a very prominent arch support.  From the heel heading towards the toe, the shoe opens up to be pretty wide leaving plenty of space for your toes to stretch out.  The collar and tongue are made of a breathable mesh providing some much needed airflow.  All in all, it is a pretty comfortable shoe.  This shoe is built to endure the harshest abuse you can give it.  Due to their tank like construction, the break-in process may take a bit longer than expected. The STI Evolution foam footbed provides good support for impact and everyday wear. The vulcanized version of this shoe is definitely more appealing aesthetically than its cupsole counterpart. The cupsole interpretation has a bigger logo on the side and kind of reminds me of some crappy Etnies mall shoe, but it’s vulcanized brother has a more subtle skateboarder-friendly vibe.

  • Rubberized toe cap for durability

  • inverted stitching around the side panel to prevent blow-outs

  • great arch support

  • highly ventilated tongue and collar for breath-ability

  • vulcanized sole

  • fits half size bigger

  • wide toe box

After Five Hours

The first flick in the Marana Vulc is a big reminder that vulcanized shoes have superior grip compared to cupsole shoes.  The sole is tall and the toe cap is rubberized, leaving very little room for ripping around the toe.  Due to the bulky sole and rubberized toe cap, the break in process was a little slow.  Once those kickflips become familiar again, everything comes together nicely.  Like most vulcanized shoes, the first hour or so can be frustrating. It would take many hours of flip ins and flip outs to put a hurting on this shoe. If you lean more towards heelflips rather than kickflips, you’ll run into some ripping issues sooner.  Your heels and arches are protected well, but my main area for concern is with the padding around the ball of your foot.  Having less support in this region provides added board feel, but at the cost of protecting the ball of your foot.

Shout out to Etnies for hookin’ up the shoes!

Visiting The Kayo Store

This past week I had the chance to go visit the Kayo flagship store off Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, California.  Fairfax Avenue is a highly regarded street when it comes to flagship stores for very popular skateboard and streetwear brands.  With brands like Diamond Supply Co., Supreme, and Crooks & Castles all having stores on the same block you could say having a piece of Fairfax real estate is pretty prestigious.

The Kayo Store

View from outside the store

Kayo’s store is the biggest on the block.  Equipped with teller windows and a functioning vault containing bricks of gold that may or may not be real, it was originally a bank that has since been converted into a premium retail outlet designed to showcase quality goods from all the Kayo brands including Organika, Expedition, DGK and Gold Wheels.  As soon as you walk through the front door you notice the real skate shop vibe.  Local kids lurking, loud music, super laid back environment, team riders in and out and the latest skate videos being projected onto the wall from the upstairs.  No elitist or condescending vibes from any of the employees either, despite the daily parade of star-studded clientele; Ghost Face Killa of the Wu-Tang Clan was cruisin’ through the store while I was there.  The shop guys rip, too!  The upstairs area is reserved for art galleries and parties held by the Kayo family, like the Brian Lotti x Organika release party.  Oh, and OG New York City legend, Vinny Ponte, runs the store like a boss.  Do your homework, kids.  The icing on the cake for the Kayo store is the fact that they were able to acquire some truly priceless skateboarding relics…like two original LOVE park benches that they house in the garage of the store and are available to skate during store hours.

Kayo has deep roots in the east coast skate game.  With Stevie Williams behind DGK, Vinny Ponte running the store and numerous east coast OGs such as Quim Cardona, Joey Pepper, Josh Kalis, etc., riding for their companies, Kayo has really brought the East Coast feel to California.  Taking a full day to hang out at the store, bullshit around with the employees, and skate the LOVE park benches really made me feel as if I were back home on the East Coast shootin’ dice and drinkin’ 40s with the boys.  In an ocean of swag rats and sneakerheads, Kayo’s store brings the light back to the founding element behind all of this: skateboarding.