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About Lee Elliott

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

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

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

 

Operation Ivy at 924 Gilman. Photo: Murray Bowles

Operation Ivy at 924 Gilman. Photo: Murray Bowles

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

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

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

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

 

Nor Cal Surf Shop c. 2011

Nor Cal Surf Shop c. 2011

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

 

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

 

E.T. Surfboards c. 1972

E.T. Surfboards c. 1972

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Honus Wagner Sporting Goods c. 1919

Honus Wagner Sporting Goods c. 1919

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Game of Skate 21

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

– Stormy Pruett

 

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

 

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Linked by Ink: The Ambush x Skinwerks Collab

Craig Foster

Craig Foster

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

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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