The boys went down to Damn Am 2015 this weekend hosted at Hazard County Skatepark. Jona Owings, owner of Hazard County Skatepark, is probably the best host out there. The hospitality his park exhibits is top notch. From friendly dudes behind the counter, to Jona himself outback cooking burgers, hotdogs and delicious chicken, this is the type of shit you can only find in the south.
The weekend started on Friday with a day of practice and a Welcome To Town Bowl Jam, which was mighty epic. Saturday began with qualifying heats from over 100 skateboarders from around the world. Oh and free beer. Yoshi Tanenbaum and Jamie Foy ended out the day by qualifying in first and second place earning them the Golden Tickets for the weekend. The Golden Ticket allows you to bypass the semi-finals and go straight to the finals. Our very own Zeke Logan, placed in the top 30 skaters on Saturday and was able to advance to the semi-finals. Sunday was jam packed with semi-finals, finals, and then the Independent best trick contest. Zeke finished out the weekend in 24th place. Stoked.
After the dust had settled and all the skating had finished the results were as follows:
1. Yoshi Tanenbaum
2. Jack Olson
3. Jamie Foy
Check out some photos from the weekend right here.
Before there was a social media marketing team here at Ambush there was the lone wolf of the web, Rhett Whatley, who handled it all himself. Rhett graduated Kennesaw State University with a degree in Marketing while working at the shop (Ambush Board Co.) and our ecommerce companies (BuyWake.com/BuySkateShoes.com/BuySnow.com/CheapSk8Shoes.com). He helped our business establish an online persona and we continue to carry forward that mantle today. We are grateful for all the support and we promise to continue to support him and his music!
In his humble beginnings of sampling and layering beats he was good…I remember thinking, “Dude this is your third track you’ve ever made?” Fast forward and observing from a far, Rhett would lace me up with every mp3 he was making. At one point, I looked in my iTunes library under the folder I made for him and there was over 100 songs equaling 5 hours worth of tracks. Rhett has an extensive background in wakeboarding and competed on The Pro Wake Tour for a few years. I can’t remember the year, but back in the day he won the PWT in Portland. Immersed in wakeboarding his early music could be heard on such wake projects as “The Way” DVD. It’s pretty solid to be a rider in a legit wake video, but to have also done the soundtrack is literally unheard of.
Peep the trailer for “The Way” DVD from 2008 and listen to some of his early mixes:
Both tracks are solid, but you can hear the progression in the second video. We can’t stress enough how stoked we are for Rhett and his passion for making people’s ear holes happy. It is always the people who choose to chase their dreams that make us continue to chase ours.
Below are my top 3 tracks from Daily Bread that can only be found here:
1. We’re talking beat battle tracks like “Badger Killer” (crazy mix with a sample from The Andy Griffin Show)
2. This track “Celebrate” hits close to home as you can hear my daughter doing the intro in the song. I watched him grow up, and I now find my children growing up listening to his music. It’s surreal to say the least.
3. This untitled track is a complete expression of chill mode.
With time comes the ability to hone your craft and Rhett has done that in a big way. Rhett went home every night after work and played music and made beats until the early hours in the morning for years straight. The outcome is a series of heavy tracks that positioned him where he is today with his record label, Philos Records. We hope to hear more from Daily Bread and we promise his SoundCloud is not just bookmarked, but played every day.
Below are the most played tracks here at Ambush Board Co. HQ and seriously some of his best work yet:
1. “Somehow Someday” legitimately went viral…we’re talking over 346,000 plays!
2. “Get Lifted” is the type of track that gives you that stank funk face right off the bat. From the horns to the piano, you’re going to dig on this.
3. Outkast – Roses (Daily Bread Remix) is one of those feel-good tracks that brings back nothing but good memories…like picking up a fresh new Braves “A” hat from Stonecrest Mall.
Quick 8 Q&A with the man himself, Daily Bread aka Rhett Whatley.
DD: My man! Congratulations on all the exposure and the positive vibes the music industry is putting out about you. How are you handling the exposure right now?
DB: Thanks, D. Right now we’re just making moves to keep the hype up with well-thought-out remixes and highly conceptual original releases. I’m doing a ton of crate digging right now, putting together ideas for my next album release. On top of practicing and perfecting the live show, I’m just meeting cool people and stacking inspiration.
DD: Being in an industry with lots of exposure is nothing new for you. Photo shoots, travels, videos…is the music side similar? Does it feel comfortable to you because of your past with wakeboarding?
DB: I guess my past has made certain things more comfortable, like traveling, but all in all it’s hard to say because the two are so different. There are a lot of things I haven’t experienced yet on the music side of things. Being part of the wakeboard industry young and being mentored by guys like Zane Schwenk, Andrew Adkison, and Jeff McKee.
DD: Who locally should we be following? What local artist are you really vibing off of lately?
DB: There’s an MC from Atlanta working with RJD2 called STS. Everyone from Atlanta should put their ears on their new track “Hold On Here It Go.” He calls out some local landmarks in a fashion only an ATLien could do well. Definitely peep The Difference Machine as well, these guys are like Rage Against the Machine and Public Enemy wrapped into one, but not really because they’re on their own shit. I’ve been vibing to Methuzulah and Jarren Benton a lot lately, too.
DD: Your beats totally make all the 2015 Hyperlite videos better. Have you pitched your music to any other wakeboarding companies other than Hyperlite? Any plans in the future for doing more?
DB: It was very cool to see the Hyperlite guys riding and doing product edits to music I had made in my bedroom. I’ve remained friends with Spencer of WIT Productions over the years and supply him with beat and scores when he needs them. He did the Hyperlite videos this last year so, boom! Shout out to Spence.
DD: Let’s get real. I know you have a serious collection of vinyl. How much bigger has it grown since the last time I saw you? Any really good pick ups lately that you would like to share?
DB: Oooh, man. When’s last time you came over? Two or three years back!? (editor’s note: 11 months, HA!) I’d say that my vinyl collection has tripled, maybe even quadrupled since then. It’s gotten kind of bad. Lately, to make room, I’ve been giving stuff away that I know I won’t listen to or use. But, despite this it always seems like the collection is growing. I have them all sorted out by their dominant instruments kind of like a sound library. I got a hold of an white label promo copy of McDonald and Gile’s first and only release. They were part of the original King Crimson line-up and did kind of a side album that absolutely crushed. I’m obsessed with it, you gotta listen to the whole album like you would Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. I found a very rare Eddie Bo 45 rpm lately. I’d tell you what it is but then I’d have to kill you because I haven’t used it yet.
DD: Coming from doing social media in the board sports industry, who are some of the groups doing social media correctly in the music industry?
DB: The MadDecent crew kills it on social, they’ve done the best job building their brand and giving it all a cohesive feel. Plus they’re fuckin’ hilarious. Gravitas Records always holds it down well and so does the Superbest Records crew.
DD: Do you still follow wakeboarding in general? Have you seen Mike Dowdy’s Heelside Backside 1080? The game is getting crazy right now.
DB: Man, I feel bad admitting it but I haven’t seen Dowdy’s backside 10 yet. That’s nuts. We couldn’t even do that on the trampoline back in the day. Props to Dowdy and kids like him and Harley who are pushing boat riding. I follow what Justin Lee and Cole are doing on the cable, but other than that I’m a bit distanced. I still get out and take sets when I can though. I have a Slingshot Shredtown and still go hard sometimes. Shouts to Shammy and Phil for the pulls lately.
DD: The ultimate question – Will we see you on a wakeboard this summer? Terminus Wake Park is around the corner and you know you have free sets for life behind our Nautique G21.
DB: Oh, man! Can we do both in one day? You know, old school on a Monday at 8am like we used to? We’ll call up Brett and Brandon Lee, then turn 2015 into 2005 for one day.
Thanks, Rhett, for taking the time to rap with us! It’s always good catching up with family. Any shout outs you would like to give.
Big shouts to Philos Records; my manager and good friend Alvero; the homies Pete, Nick, Katelyn, Phil, Clyde and the whole rest of the East Atlanta team; thanks to Sweet Melissa Records in Marietta, GA for giving me unlimited access to their crates; Glenn & Meagan; also Kim for all the hoop-vid exposure; Chris & James for all the continued support; and my colleague Sean Hance for always being there to bounce ideas off of; can’t forget Ozzy…he just got his graduate degree and that’s crazy inspiring to me; EJ, too, I guess…and Mum. <3 u Mum.
Temperatures have hit the 80s, lake levels are rising, and the pollen count has hit blinding levels. That can only mean one thing: wakeboard season has arrived. Now it’s time to hone in your skills for our annual season kick-off wakeboard contest, the Ambush Wake Classic.
The 2015 Ambush Wake Classic is on Saturday, May 2nd at Lake Acworth. The lake is closed to boat traffic, so the water will be glassy and the riding should be epic. The contest will be broken down into 5 divisions: Women, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Open. The winner of the Open division will win $250 cash and a ton of prizes from our sponsors. The winners of all other divisions will earn $100 cash and a grip of prizes too. Second and third place from each division will walk away with prizes as well.
Registration is open now. You can register in person at Ambush or over the phone (770-420-9111). The entry fee is $45 which includes rider insurance and a contest tee shirt. Each division is limited to 12 riders, so sign up early to secure your spot in the contest.
Check-in opens at 9:00 am the day of the event. The contest starts at 10:00 am. The Women division will will go first followed by Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Open.
Each rider will get a run consisting of two passes or three falls, whichever comes first. Each rider’s run will be subjectively scored based on style, technical difficulty, and amplitude. The rider with the highest score wins.
Divisions are broken down by skill level. In the beginner division, riders will be allowed to spin up to 360 degrees and pull up to one invert. Intermediate riders will be able to spin up t0 540 degrees and pull up to 3 inverts. Advanced riders can spin up to 540 degrees and land up to 5 inverts. Anything goes in the Open division. The Women division usually consists of riders that can jump both wakes, perform a variety of grabs, and occasionally land a 360 or invert.
And, of course, the contest will be pulled behind the legendary Nautique G-21. The boat will run full ballast for Open and Advanced, half ballast for Intermediate, and dry for Women and Beginner.
Finally, the contest is free to watch. Come out and kick off your wakeboard season with us.
Check the video from last year’s Wake Classic:
*There will be no wakesurfing at this year’s Ambush Wake Classic. We are hosting a separate, wakesurf only contest in July.
March Radness is by far our favorite event of the year. The weather is always beautiful, the turnout is stout, and the level of skateboarding keeps getting better and better. And, we get to host it at our hometown park that just happens to be one of the best in the country.
About 500 spectators gathered around throughout the day to witness the Radness. And, they were not disappointed. The Street Division finals featured 4 of Atlanta’s best young skaters: Greyson Beal, Niko Howard, Brendan Lagna, and our very own Zeke Logan. Niko Howard’s consistency, fresh legs after hours of skateboarding, and backside 360 kick flip over the centerpiece gap earned him the victory.
1st Place: Niko Howard
2nd Place: Zeke Logan
3rd Place: Greyson Beal
Street Division (L to R): 3rd Place: Greyson Beal, 1st Place: Niko Howard, 2nd Place: Zeke Logan
The Go Pro Best Trick Contest was more pain than pop. Skaters flung themselves down the impact section with utter disregard for their bodies and few riding away cleanly. Faith Skate Supply‘s Jason Sallisas’ death gap 50-50 was more than enough to claim the Hero 4 and the best trick crown.
The Pool Division came down to an epic battle between Death Skateboards‘ Dave Allen and Hazard County Skatepark’s Jake Wooten. Jake had all his tricks working and walked away with the win.
Pool Division Results:
1st Place: Jake Wooten
2nd Place: Dave Allen
3rd Place: David “Malachai” Smith
Pool Division (L to R): 3rd Place: Malachai, 1st Place: Jake Wooten, 2nd Place: Dave Allen
Words don’t do March Radness 2015 justice. Check the video:
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, it is no surprise that TumYeto, home to Toy Machine, Foundation, Dekline, and more, is quickly staking its claim as one of the most popular skateboard related distributors. With the addition of Habitat Skateboards last year and recent acquisition of Alien Workshop, Tum Yeto has stepped in to carry on the legacy of core skateboarding. These new additions to the Tum Yeto camp may catch you off guard, but once the dust settles it all makes sense. From the top of the food chain down to the entry-level employee, Tum Yeto is truly owned and operated by skateboarders.
While the staple brands like Toy Machine continue on their path of awesomeness, not more than a couple of years ago Dekline Footwear was hardly even on anyone’s radar. Since then, Dekline has gone through some serious roster changes and emerged as one of the top selling footwear brands not backed by big industry money. We asked Tum Yeto team manager Mike Sinclair, in his opinion, why Dekline has become a household name as of late.
Mike Sinclair, Tum Yeto TM
“I think there are a few things that attract skateboarders to Dekline. One is the team, two is the price, and three, it’s an alternative to what is predominantly out there right now… The Dekline team is more a crew of friends than a picked team… We don’t claim to be bigger or better than anyone. We are just doing what we all love and are stoked to still be able to do it.”
We couldn’t agree more. Dekline is core skateboarding. While other brands have teams that resemble All-Star rosters, Dekline’s team gives you an opportunity to relate and imagine yourself out there doing the same thing. Don’t take that wrong, Dekline’s team is jam packed with some heavy hitters, such as Blake Carpenter, Dakota Servold, and Matt Bennett.
Tum Yeto continues to kill it on their social media accounts, like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. By following @tumyeto people from all over the world get a unique glimpse at what it is like to be in the van and on the session with riders from their favorite Yeto brands. We talked to Tyler Culbertson, Tum Yeto Social Media Manager, about his approach to social media.
Tyler Culbertson, Tum Yeto Social Media Manager
“A social media manager’s job cannot be done properly between the hours of 9-5. It is a 24/7 commitment. To connect with as many fans as posisble, I put a huge effort into carving out blocks of time throughout the day and night to reply to fans on Twitter, like/comment on photos through brand specific hashtags on Instagram and reply to direct messages.”
Not only is their performance of relating and responding to their fan base spectacular, but they also raise the bar when it comes to maintaining relationships with the shops that carry their products to help promote local skateboarders that fit the Tum Yeto mold. The most effective way they do this is through a program created by Tyler called the Foundation Secret Society, or FSS.
“The ultimate goal with the Foundation Secret Society is to help grow and celebrate the local skate scene for independently owned skateshops. The FSS promotes unique opportunities for everyone involved with the program, including the shop, local skate scene, FSS members, and their filmers and photographers. They all now have a stronger connection with Foundation. The relationships and friendships created through the Foundation Secret Society are definitely the raddest things to develop from the program.”
A good example of how the FSS works would be our very own Zeke Logan collaboration. He rides for Foundation and through the FSS, we were able to collaborate with Foundation and create an Ambush branded Foundation board.
Ambush x Foundation Collab Deck
Check out more Foundation Secret Society radness here.
The underlying theme to Tum Yeto’s recent success can be contributed to the fact that they are real skateboarders, running a skateboard company, that truly cares about skateboarding. This is also makes the latest additions of Alien and Habitat a perfect fit. Tum Yeto has set themselves up for a fail-proof year. According to some sources, 2015 might provide us with a Dakota Servold or James Hardy Dekline pro model shoe, an all inclusive Tum Yeto super tour, and maybe even a new Toy Machine or Foundation video. You’ll just have to wait and see.
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.”
Pictured Left to Right: Bobby, Anna McFarland, Lee Elliott, Juston Tucker, and Kit Furderer
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.
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.
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 (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 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.
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.
Ambush Board Co. is a universally recognized global leader in Board Sports retail. Founded in 1997 in Kennesaw, Georgia, Ambush is owned and operated by a core group of devoted skaters, wakeboarders, and snowboarders who are deeply invested in the Board Sports community, and has evolved by staying true to their essential principles of Service, Knowledge, Integrity, Commitment, and Passion. Ambush always has been and always will be unyielding in their collective efforts to push the progression of Board Sports retail.
Ambush Board Co.
2555 Cobb Place Ln
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: (770) 420-9111
1690 Roberts Blvd, Ste 105
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(800) 408-9945 or (770) 406-6568
2871 McCollum Pkwy
Kennesaw, GA 30144