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About Lee Elliott

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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.

Craig Foster has been in and around skateboarding since 1983. As a young skateboarder growing up, Craig became enamored with the art that adorned the bottoms of skate decks in the 1980s. He still remembers his first few boards: a Schmitt Stix Lucero, Schmitt Stix Grosso, and a Vision Gator. To this day, Craig still drops by the shop regularly to take mental inventory of the latest graphics. The parallels between skateboarding and tattoo artists are apparent though they may not be obvious. Skateboarding has always been about the skater, his board, and what he does with that board. Creativity, style, aggression, and personal expression are hallmarks of a great skateboarder. It’s what sets skateboarders apart and makes you watch the latest web clip over and over again. The same can be said for a tattoo artist and his tattoo gun. A great tattoo artist can put all of his emotions into a design that is inspired by all of yours.

Craig’s personal love affair with art and skateboarding hit a crossroads in 1995 when he started tattooing full time. With a family to support and his only means of making a living laying in his ability to use his hands, Craig put down the skateboard and started focusing on his craft. When you’re a tattoo artist, a broken wrist can put you in the bread lines. It was this unescapable fact that motivated Craig to push his art to greater heights. It was then that Craig began to make a name for himself in the Atlanta tattoo scene.

Ambush and Craig first crossed paths in 1997 when Craig inked up Ambush shop rat and team rider, Chris Delarm. Craig drew a more realist adaptation of Mike Vallely’s Elephant design on the back of Chris’ shoulder. He quickly became known as THE guy to get a tattoo from by nearly all those affiliated with Ambush. Over the years, Ambush employees Brent Houle, Paul Lizon, Charles Chatov, Alecia Sundberg, Cameron McLane, and John Turnbull have all had work done by Craig.

Jules Woods got his first tattoo at the age of eighteen by an artist named John Mihalic. As so often happens in the intimate setting of getting a tattoo, John and Jules became friends. Jules was making art on his own when John asked him to learn the tattoo trade and apprentice under him. Jules’ skills developed quickly and within four months of graduating high school, and less than a year after getting his first tattoo, Jules began tattooing full time.

Jules bounced around tattooing in shops in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Virginia, and Tennessee before making his way to West Georgia. In his thirteen years as a professional tattoo artist, Jules has worked in twelve shops picking up influences along the way. Craig and Jules met through a mutual friend named Josh Prentice before he passed away in 2007. Craig and Jules became close while working at a tattoo convention in Richmond, VA shortly after. The shop Jules worked in at the time put on the convention. Their budding friendship became a professional partnership when Jules moved down to Carrollton and became part of the Skinwerks team in February of 2010.

Whereas Craig’s tattoo style in undeniably new school, Jules’ work is more neo-traditional. Jules likes to stylize conventional tattoos with more realistic characteristics. Ask Craig to ink you up with a old-style pirate ship and he will flat out refuse. Request that from Jules, and you’ll get a more realistic and detailed version of a grimy, haunted clipper.

Jules’ philosophy is simple: make art that would look good as a tattoo and make tattoos that would look good as art. After walking around Jules’ workspace, it’s easy to see how he blurs the lines between a living room piece and a chest piece. Craig may be the innovator, but Jules definitely has the talent of a classical artist with a penchant for the gritty.

Craig’s art is a modern nod to a simpler time when tattoos didn’t necessarily have to mean anything. It’s great for tattoos to tell a story, but only if that story isn’t chock full of BS just to pick up chicks. Craig’s tatts incorporate “whimsical characters” that “laugh with a bit of sarcasm”, bold colors, and a strong light source. If you know Craig’s work, you can spot it on a swath of skin from across the room.

It was Craig’s memorable style, ability to perform under pressure, and a recommendation from Jesse Smith (Inkmaster Season 2) that landed Craig a spot on Inkmaster Season 3. Craig’s dichotomous experience on Inkmaster was replete with both Yin and Yang. As you might expect, reality TV is not exactly real. If a producer needed Craig to have a bad day, they would send in a client to intentionally push him to madness. The producers sculpted reality into the outcomes that they felt would make for good TV through editing and creating situations from nothing. Craig’s goal in agreeing to do the show was to open viewers’ eyes to what a genuine tattoo artist was actually like. Knowing from watching the previous season, Inkmaster was, either inadvertently or by design, portraying tattoo artists as obnoxious, cocky, hot headed, Jersey Shore types. Craig wanted to show America and beyond that this was not the way he viewed the tattoo industry and wanted you to experience his world through his actions on the show. The producers eventually saw the wisdom in his approach and let him do his thing.

Since Inkmaster, Craig has been continuously bombarded with appointment requests. In the months after the show aired, his waiting list exceeded 200 people. At one point, Craig had to stop taking on new customers.

Craig had always had a creative itch that seemed like it may never be scratched. It’s not often that clients offer up their skin to your personal ambitions. Most customers micro manage the tattoo process to the point of nausea for the artist. Craig needed an outlet to do something fun and on his own terms. What came out of it was Snactoos. Snactoos is a playful mix of junk food and comic book characters. In Craig’s mind, sushi is always possessed, ice cream and corn dogs are maniacal, and doughnuts want to be your best friend. And those quirky Snactoos characters have caught on making a nice little side business for the Inkmaster. He has even put a few on some people’s skin.

Craig & Lee

Craig & Lee

 

So, in celebration of our two distinct yet congruent brands moving in harmony with one another over the years,  we announce the Ambush x Skinwerks collaboration. Craig Foster has created a signature Ambush Board Co. Snactoo to go along with his Mr. Yellow Tail design. Both are featured on a pair of Ambush skateboard decks and matching tee shirts. Jules laid out his Torch art on a baseball tee and his Skull piece on a tee shirt. Both have complimenting decks as well.

Ambush Snactoos

Ambush Snactoos

We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed bringing them to you.  LTD Shirts available online NOW!

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.

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.

 

 

2014 Ambush Wake Classic

Grassroots wakeboard contests are the backbone of our sport. They cultivate the next generation of wakeboarders, push riders to improve their skills through friendly competition, and bring together the local wake scene. Yeah, the Pro Wakeboard Tour is important. The level of riding is insane. Sponsors infuse money into the sport. Legacies are cemented. But, without grassroots events like the Ambush Wake Classic, the Pro Tour would be dead in less time than it takes to de-winterize your boat.

And, not to get all sappy sentimental on you. But, the wakeboard community needs you, the rider, to keep these grassroots events alive. So give yourself a huge pat on the back for playing a part in the survival and progression of wakeboarding. And, after you’ve congratulated yourself on your contribution to the sport you love, check out the video, pics, and results from the day.

 

 

Contest Results:

Women’s Wakeboard
1st Place: Jenna Malcolm
2nd Place: Madi McCreary
3rd Place: Gabrielle Cumm

Beginner Wakeboard
1st Place: Pierce “Spanky” Bishop
2nd Place: Leland Watkins
3rd Place: Robbie Brown

Intermediate Wakeboard:
1st Place: Garrett Reidy
2nd Place: Devin Baker
3rd Place: Taylor Jimenez

Advanced Wakeboard:
1st Place: Ryan Wakenigg
2nd Place: Blake Grimsley
3rd Place: Craig Reidy

Open Wakeboard:
1st Place: Taylor Van Haastrecht
2nd Place: Justin Lee
3rd Place: Quinn Silvernale

Women’s Wakesurf:
1st Place: Jordan Wolfe
2nd Place: Bonnie Kline
3rd Place: Abigial Chao

Men’s Wakesurf:
1st Place: Mark Roche
2nd Place: Leland Watkins
3rd Place: Jamie Eichler

 

Big thanks to our sponsors for making this event happen: Nautique, Marine Max, Hyperlite, Lake Acworth, Slingshot, Remote, Spy, Ronix, CWB, Billabong, Liquid Force, Reef, Jet Pilot, O’Neill, Quiksilver, and Body Glove.

 

The Nautique G-23 Wake was Perfect

The Nautique G-23 Wake was Perfect

 

 

ABC_5822

Wakesurfing Took Over the Ambush Wake Classic. With Moves Like This, We are Happy it Did.

 

Alex Graydon Giving Slingshot a Plug

Alex Graydon Giving Slingshot a Plug

 

Women Have Brought Grace and Elegance to Grassroots Wakeboarding

Women Have Brought Grace and Elegance to Grassroots Wakeboarding

 

Kline has Brought Grace and Elegance to Nothing

Kline has Brought Grace and Elegance to Nothing

 

Quinn Silvernale Can Ride Behind the Boat Too. As Long as it is a G-23.

Quinn Silvernale Can Ride Behind the Boat Too. As Long as it is a G-23

 

Justin Lee Grabbed 2nd Place in Open Wakeboard

Justin Lee Grabbed 2nd Place in Open Wakeboard

 

Surfers Rule

Surfers Rule

 

Boys Drool

Boys Drool

 

You Didn't Have to Win to Win. Shariyn (sorry if I botched your name) Won a Slingshot x Shredtown x Ambush Board

You Didn’t Have to Win to Win. Shariyn (sorry if I botched your name) Won a Slingshot x Shredtown x Ambush Board

 

Thanks for Coming

Thanks for Coming

Ambush Wins Shop of the Year

Wakeskate Magazine just unveiled their 2013 WEBer awards on Friday and Ambush Board Co. was well represented.

Josh Zentmeyer took Am of the Year honors with his work in Good Ratio, Fun Razor, and the Remote Philippines Trip video. Plus, his invention of “The Sweeper” made him a lock for the award.

Josh Zentmeyer - Am of the Year

Josh Zentmeyer – Am of the Year

 

Ben Horan earned his second Coolest Tool award with the “U-Turn”, a web of rope that makes a complete u-turn possible while winching. And, not to be outdone by his own contraptions, Ben also won Video Part of the Year with his epic section in Good Ratio.

Ben Horan U-Turn

Ben Horan U-Turn

Ben Horan Video Part of the Year

Ben Horan – Video Part of the Year

Finally, your homies here at Ambush Board Co. won Shop of the Year. Thanks for the love, Wakeskate Magazine.

Ambush Board Co. - Shop of the Year

Ambush Board Co. – Shop of the Year

Fresh Wax Leads to Better Tracks

We’ve all experienced it. You’re at the top of the mountain with all of your buddies when someone yells out “Hey! Let’s all race to the bottom!”. All of you start talking trash about who is going to be first down the mountain as you line up and get ready for take off. Soon after, you realize it won’t be you that comes in first.

Don’t be that guy. Blow past your friends by keeping your board waxed and tuned to perfection. You know what they say; fresh wax leads to better tracks. Or, a smooth base wins the race. Or, an edge like a razor cuts like a laser. Actually, nobody says that crap. But, everyone agrees that a good wax and tune goes a long way towards making your day on the mountain rad.

We at Ambush have a killer back shop that can take care of all of your waxing and tuning needs. And, we can dial in your board while you wait in most cases. Come check us out before your next trip.

 

Ambush has the Best Waxing/Tuning in the Southeast

Ambush has the Best Waxing/Tuning in the Southeast

Snowboard Outerwear Tech Guide

Snowboarding can take place in some of the gnarliest conditions on the planet. If you want to ride for hours on end in high altitudes, extreme cold, wind, snow, sleet, or rain, you gotta have the gear to go with it. Even on good weather, blue bird days, its imperative that you have outerwear that will keep you warm and dry. In most cases, the fun you have on the mountain depends on it.

Let’s face it; outerwear is confusing. I constantly hear questions like “what size should I wear”, “what waterproofing rating do I need?”, “what does breathability mean?”, “is this really going to keep me warm”, or my favorite “can’t I just Scotchguard my jeans or wear my jogging pants?”.

All of these questions are valid and need to be addressed in order to outfit your body correctly for the mountain. So, we at Ambush created this nice little outerwear tech sheet just for you. Peep the info:

Mens Outerwear Tech Guide

Mens Outerwear Tech Guide

Women's and Kid's Outerwear Tech Guide

Women’s and Kid’s Outerwear Tech Guide

We are committed to answering all of your snowboarding questions. If you don’t find the answers here, or if you would like further explanation, simply call us at 800-408-9945 or drop by the shop.

Nike Snowboarding Never Not Premiere

Nike Snowboarding rolled out the red carpet last night for the Southeast premiere of Never Not. The shop took on a movie theater like vibe complete with a popcorn machine, candy, and of course, Never Not.

The two part feature film from was an epic journey through all things snowboarding. Part One focused on the gnarly. Nike snowboarding riders Jed Anderson, Sage Kotsenburg, Halldor Helgason, Nicolas Muller, Justin Benee, and about a half dozen more melted snow with some of the most intense backcountry, street, and park riding ever caught on camera. Part Two illustrated the dichotomy between contest riding and free riding. The former being a training intensive, injury riddled voyage to the deepest emotions victory and defeat can conjure up. The latter presenting snowboarding as a soulful pursuit of ultimate happiness. Simply put, Never Not is snowboarding and snowboarding is exactly what you want it to be.

I won’t put any footage of the video in here, but I strongly urge you to download both Part 1 and Part 2 now. Your life will be better for it. Instead, check the photos from last night’s party.

 

Rolling out the Red Carpet

Rolling out the Red Carpet

 

Never Not Enough Candy and Freebies

Never Not Enough Candy and Freebies

Jake Got His Popcorn On

Jake Got His Popcorn On

 

Good Times

Good Times

Movie Goers

Movie Goers

 

Friday Night at the Movies

Friday Night at the Movies

Toms Style Your Sole Event

One for One. For each purchase of pair of Toms shoes or sunglasses, Toms donates another pair to a person in need. Currently, Toms gives shoes in over 60 countries and helps restore eyesight in 13.

Here at Ambush, the Toms Style Your Sole Event donated artists to create a unique pair of shoes just for you. Artists Jonny Warren, Jennifer Utterback, and Olive 47 crafted custom pairs of Toms shoes. Each shoe was hand painted with original art made to each individual’s specifications. And, the shoes came out great.

Toms Artist at Work

Toms Artist at Work

Kayla's Custom Pair

Kayla’s Custom Pair

 

Darah's Fresh Pair

Darah’s Fresh Pair

Peacock Feathers

Peacock Feathers

Koi Fish Art

Koi Fish Art

Custom Painted Toms

Custom Painted Toms

Thank you Toms for coming out and producing one-of-a-kind shoes and, in turn, donating to children in need. One for one.

 

Stormy Pruett: 10 Years Deep

Rarely in life do you meet someone who is exactly the same on the outside as they are on the inside.  It’s not often that you come across an individual who acts the same in front of people as they do when no one is around. Or have your back when shit is on the line. Or live above the fray. It’s rare to find someone who is as good of a friend or better to you than you are to them. And IF you ever find that special person, consider yourself mighty lucky you are able to share 10 years with them.

This month marks Stormy‘s tenth year at Ambush. Throughout that time, Ambush and Stormy have grown together, evolved together and become synonymous with one another. So, how do you reward that kind of extended passion and loyalty? Forget the golden watch, its all about skateboarding, baby.

Introducing the Stormy Pruett/10 Years Deep limited edition deck. The board features pop art style graphics by Austin Fehn and a heartfelt tribute by myself and Jeremiah Babb shrink-wrapped inside. The board is available in-store only.

Stormy Pruett and Jeremiah Babb - Friends for Life

Stormy Pruett and Jeremiah Babb – Friends for Life

Beyond Ambush, Stormy is a dedicated husband and father, a caring friend to all, and is on the Mount Rushmore of Atlanta skateboarding. Thank you Stormy for all you are. Thank you for all you have given skateboarding. Thank you for your commitment and passion. And, thank you for all you have devoted to me and Ambush.

Stormy and Finley

Stormy and Finley

We have had a lot of great years together…but nowhere near enough. Here’s to ten more.