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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Here are my most recent posts

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…

 

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!