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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

 

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…

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

The 2014 Wakeskate Tour Suwannee Pro Recap Video

The level of riding on The Wakeskate Tour has d*mn near gotten out of hand. Straight up, these guys are go for the gusto right out of the gate as if the qualifying round is simply a massive final before a smaller final.

We’re pumped to see Ambush riders Josh Zentmeyer, Ben Horan, and our good friends Austin & Travis Pastura at the forefront shaking things up. Press play and watch this incredible recap video put together by Rockstar. Oh yeah, and Benni…that frontside heelflip caused an earthquake up here at the shop.

BOOM!

 

On the Red Couch with Jordan Smith, Mitch Shutters, and Matt Mazza

Take a look inside the beautiful mind of Matt Mazza

A Day In The Life of Josh Zentmeyer

Josh Zentmeyer oozes charisma. From his dayjob to the skatepark, from the skatepark to the wakepark, Josh is always excelling at what he’s doing. It’s no wonder that his unfailing work ethic has morphed him into an incredible skateboarder and wakeskater. Josh brings a unique perspective to wakeskating and often pops his signature Andrew Reynolds-esqe frontside flips higher than most big-box pros can dream (proof at 2:32). We’re proud to see Josh flying the Ambush Board Co. flag and look forward to watching his bright future unfold.

Ambush Board Co. Five Panel Hat

Can't stop the JZ Pop.

Boneless

More on Josh Zentmeyer 

Grand Opening Party at Terminus Wakepark with Liquid Force and Shawn Watson

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The guys up the street at Terminus Wake Park have teamed up with Liquid Force to throw a huge opening day party to celebrate their first full season in business. This is a milestone for the Atlanta wakeboard scene and we expect to see everyone out.  Here are the official details:

It’s almost time to open our doors once again and get the cables spinning this season! We would like to welcome you all to our grand opening celebration for Georgia’s first full-size cable wake park on May 3.

Terminus Wake Park is an official partner of the LakePoint Sporting Community and is also their first recreational park to open in 2014! From first-timers to professional athletes–of all watersports disciplines–Terminus Wake Park invites all skill levels to experience one of the largest and most unique cable wake parks in the country. Terminus will be fully operational with both full-size lakes (clockwise and counter clockwise) and their System 2.0 lake running!

Join us for a day of riding, food, music, giveaways, and entertainment as we officially kick off the start of this new adventure! Friends and family will have the luxury of enjoying our amenities for the day, as well as hanging out on the NEW HYDRO TURF! We’re excited for you all to see our newest additions to the park, including an elaborate series of rail and slider features on both full-size lakes!

See you all on the water, soon!

For any inquiries, please e-mail info@terminuswakepark.com or visit the Terminus Wake Park homepage. You can also stay in the loop on Facebook and Instagram.

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!

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