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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!

The Traveling LTD Project wrap up.

Spreading the love of wakeboarding is something we have been doing since day one.  Ambush Board Co. and Slingshot team riders Shredtown got together and produced a limited run of 15 wakeboards that featured a alternate colorway with additional graphics of their 2014 pro model.  The Co-op was intended to stoke out fans of Shredtown and Ambush and give them the opportunity to own a piece of wakeboard history.  In doing so we came up with the idea to send one board all over the country for people to try and this became The Traveling LTD Project.  It was a simple process of simply signing up and patently waiting by the phone for your chance.  With a select few getting the opportunity they would in turn get to keep the board for a week (sometimes two) to see what they could do on it.  The overwhelming reply from everyone was that they absolutely loved the board and we instantly converted Slingshot fans.  It’s these opportunities to allow people to try something new or different that give us a great sense of helping wakeboarding move closer to the masses.  With so many cable parks opening up regionally the cost of wakeboarding is slowly but surly bringing new people to the sport.

Thanks again Andrew, Chris, and Davis as well as everyone at Slingshot for working on such a fun project.  Below are a few images that were shared on social media and check out the map for all the locations the board traveled too.  Hopefully we can work on a similar project in the future!  There are a few boards still available so jump on the chance to be apart of history!

 

Traveling LTD map

Traveling LTD map

 

 

2015 Snow Preview with Ambush Board Co.

Well here we go again.  It’s the beginning of August and we are already talking about snowboarding and what’s new in the snowboard game for 2015.  Crazy to think that all the hot new gear starts arriving at the tail end of the summer, but that’s so we can have exactly what you’ve been looking for in time for the holidays and your snow trips.  With some pretty profound advancements in snowboarding technology from Magne-Traction to tech outerwear, what do you think is the hot new thing this year is going to be?  To get you in the mood here are some hand-selected items that we have coming that will only enhance your snowboarding experience.

 

Here are two boards you really want to keep in mind for this year.

2015 Lib Tech TRS XC2 is an all-mountain killer!  A new formula of C2 with a shorter, but aggressive Banana rocker combined with cambers that sit more underfoot.   Camber Banana Tech & Magne-Traction…yes, please!

2015 TRS XC2 BTX

2015 TRS XC2 BTX

2015 Never Summer Ripsaw with CR technology is  one to keep your eye on.   Never Summer has this new CR Technology that features amplified camber areas that are longer and deeper than their traditional Rocker Camber (RC) boards.  True twin tip with crazy pop!

2015 Never Summer CR

2015 Never Summer CR

 

New Boots to keep you feet happy.

2015 ThirtyTwo TM-Two Stevens Boot is the #1 team boot year after year.   ThirtyTwo boots are truly some of the most comfortable boots and feature this awesome System G2 Gel that helps on impact.  Oh, and if you don’t know who Scott Stevens is, get on YouTube now!

2015 32 Stevens Boot

2015 32 Stevens Boot

2015 Nike Snowboarding Lunarendor Boot is a mixed bag of awesomeness.  The Lunarendor is not only one of the most comfortable boots in the Nike line, it’s packing more tech than any other boot made…with features like FlyWire inner lacing, 3D molding and Lunarlon cushioning.  What else?  It lights up with an on/off switch and features 30 LED lights to illuminate the Swoosh.   This boot will be a Quick Strike this year so be sure to follow us for release dates!

2015 Nike Lunarendor Boot

2015 Nike Lunarendor Boot

 

The best bindings to stay locked in with the response you’ve always wanted.

2015 Union Force bindings are what put Union on the map 10 years ago!   The best bang for the buck, the Union’s Stage IV Base, Force Multizone Highbacks, and Magnesium Buckles can take on anything.  Park rats and backcountry riders best friends.

2015 Union Force Binding

2015 Union Force Binding

 

2015 Burton Cartel EST is a must own if you are getting any Burton board with the Channel.  There is no greater connection with this combo and you can never go wrong with Black Bindings.  *Booked!

2015 Burton Cartel EST

2015 Burton Cartel EST

 

Good Goggles : MUST HAVE

Nike Command PH (Black/Volt) Goggle  w/ Transition Lens.   Say what?   That’s right.  The big dogs at Nike are coming into the Google game this year and they are not holding back.  The Command is a large fit goggle that is designed for the ultimate field of view.  One of the best parts is the new Speed Change Lens System, a “Push and Pull” bracket system that features a fully sealed, anti-fog treated dual lens with uni-body gasket.  It’s Nike…they know what they are doing.   Transitions adaptive shield automatically darken and lighten in response to changing sun light and weather conditions.   True game changer.

2015 Nike Command Goggle with Transitions

2015 Nike Command Goggle with Transitions

Anon M2 Goggles are crazy.  The first time you change the lens and experience the Magna-Tech quick lens change system you are going to freak out.  It’s so simple.  With wall to wall vision and full perimeter channel venting, the Anon M2 should be in your top 3 to decide from.

2015 Anon M2

2015 Anon M2

 

Protect your dome you dummy.

Electric Mashman (Charcoal Flake/Stripe) Helmet features custom flake paint, and is badass to look at.  Classic motorcycle style with a twist, the Mashman isn’t heavy at all.  Easy Rider never looked so good snowboarding.

2015 Electric Mashman

2015 Electric Mashman

Smith Maze (Matte Black) Helmet is the go-to helmet for clean, modern, minimalist design.  No fancy bells and whistles here…just the worlds lightest certified snow helmet.  NBD.

2015 Smith Maze Helmet

2015 Smith Maze Helmet

 

Lastly, if you want to play the part you have to dress the part.

686 Parkland Pact Anorak (Camel Pincord Colorblock) is a 1/2 zip pullover-style jacket.  It’s all about the earth tones yo!  A killer 10K jacket for all occasions.

686 Parklan Pact Anorak Jacket

686 Parkland Pact Anorak Jacket

Burton Nomad Jacket (True Penny/Indigo Denim) features Burton’s Dryride Durashell.  Another great 10K jacket, but this one packs170g of PrimaLoft Silver insulation.  Not quite a puffy, but equally as comfortable.

2015 Burton Nomad Jacket

2015 Burton Nomad Jacket

Volcom Articulated Pant (Teak) features a Modern Articulated Fit/2-Way Stretch/15K waterproofing/15K breathable….gone are the gangsta pant days.

2015 Volcom Articulated Pant

2015 Volcom Articulated Pant

Nike Snowboarding Enigma Hoody (Black/Volt/Ivory)  is the most high tech riding hoodie…EVER.

ICS

 

Accessorize

Crab Grab Mega Claw Stomp Pad.  Look, we know some people think stomp pads aren’t needed, but you know what…these are RAD.  We’re down with the Crab Grab Crew!

Crab Grab stomp pad

Crab Grab stomp pad

 Leatherman Hail + PS Tool (Pocket Tool) and Skeletool SX (Multi-Tool) are a couple gems from Leatherman that you need.  Don’t be that guy always asking for a screwdriver or knife…pack your own heat.

Hail + PS Tool (Pocket-Tool)

Hail + PS Tool (Pocket-Tool)

Skeletool SX (Multi-Tool)

Skeletool SX (Multi-Tool)

 

 

Make sure you stick with us socially and sign up for our email list for all the hot new Snowboarding items for 2015!

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!

Ambush Board Co. and Slingshot Release Limited Edition 2014 Shredtown Wakeboard

KENNESAW, GA(March 27, 2014) – Ambush Board Co., an industry-leading board sports retailer and outfitter based in metro Atlanta, today released an exclusive, limited edition version of Slingshot’s best-selling Shredtown pro model wakeboard. Featuring a unique top sheet graphic drenched in yellow complete with two Ambush stone logos, this wakeboard is truly something special for core Shredtown and Ambush supporters and enthusiasts.

“Being able to collaborate with a group riders [Shredtown] and a company [Slingshot] on the forefront of innovation makes us very proud,” explains Ambush Board Co. Creative Director, Derek Davis. “This project is something special for everyone involved and we hope the few lucky riders who get one will enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed the process of making this collaboration happen.”

Fewer than 20 units are available exclusively at Ambush Board Co., AmbushBoardCo.com, and BuyWake.com in sizes 139 cm and 143 cm, one of which is being reserved for the cross-country Traveling LTD Project in Summer 2014.

For more information on this limited collaboration wakeboard or the Traveling LTD Project, contact Ambush Board Co. at Sales@AmbushBoardCo.com, (770) 406-6568, or visit AmbushBoardCo.com/TravelingLTDProject

About Ambush Board Co.:
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 that 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.

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AMBUSH X SHREDTOWN LTD from Andrew Adams on Vimeo.

Sign up for a chance to be featured riding the Ambush Board Co. x Shredtown.com collab wakeboard by Slingshot Wake

The Traveling LTD Project

Click to Sign Up

We’ve teamed up with Shredtown to produce a limited run of the 2014 Slingshot Shredtown shape and want to give you the chance to try it out. With only 20 boards made, they will be gone fast. Knowing that the demand will far exceed supply for this rare wakeboard, we decided to send one board out on the road to show the people what it’s all about.

Participating in the Traveling LTF Project is simple:

  • Sign up for you chance to keep the board for a week and share your good times with us.
  • Winners will be notified one week before their turn.
  • Slingshot will be sending all winners a swag bag full of goodies like t-shirts, hats, and stickers.
  • Ambush is covering all shipping costs.
  • When your time with the board is up, we will be in contact with you to arrange for the LTD to continue its journey.

Once the LTD embarks on its journey we will all follow the board’s path around the country for the ensuing five months. #travelingLTDproject

SIGN UP NOW

Follow us at @ambushboardco on Twitter and Instagram

Josh Butler for Bender Hardware

For most of you, this man needs no introduction. Josh Butler recently linked up with local hardware brand Bender to bring us some crispy new footage. Watch Josh’s new part from Bender below, filmed by Matt Mazza.

Bender Hardware

Frontside Bluntslide by Josh Butler.

More from Bender Hardware *available now in-store at Ambush Board Co.

More from Josh Butler and the Ambush Skate Team

This tool fits in your pocket and can assemble an entire skateboard

Last Fall, Leatherman Tools® a.k.a. “The Original American Tool Company” decided to put over thirty years of tool R&D into creating a line of pocket tools designed for skateboarders. The idea was to create a multi-tool that could assemble and disassemble an entire skateboard and still find a comfortable place in your pocket. Mission accomplished.

Last weekend one of our in-house skate wizards, Ben Mercer, decided to put a Letherman Grind to the test. After a lengthy morning session of skating and board building, Ben gives you his two cents on the Leatherman Grind.

Unsnapped image of the Leatherman Grind pocket Skateboard Tool

More from Leatherman Tools

More on Ben Mercer

Franchise FLX Product Review

It’s unreal to think that we now have a full cable park right down the street! Located in Cartersville, Ga., Terminus Wake Park is truly a blessing for wakeboarders in the Atlanta area. I’m more excited than a Lake Allatoona fisherman would be if they found out a Bass Pro Shop was going in right next door! (And yes, that might actually happen too.) Yeehaw!

With all the excitement of having such an amazing cable park so close, it’s easy to overlook things like a good “cable” board, or maybe that’s just me? When I heard that thing was up and running, I grabbed my Hyperlite Murray and voided that warranty with no hesitation. Within a week I slid my board to the core and crushed one of the corners on a feature. So don’t be a dummy like me and ruin a perfectly good boat board. Keep your boat board alive and get a solid cable board in your quiver. You won’t be disappointed. A cable specific board lasts longer and will be a whole lot more fun.

In my eyes, the Hyperlite Franchise FLX is hands down the dopest dope for Hyperlite’s cable board line. Made for pro rider Jimmy LaRiche, this board is the flexiest, most durable Hyperlite board I’ve ridden. The fully machined crossover flex core really gives the board that flexy/snappy feel of wood and, with the 360 degree ABS sidewall, you’re not going to crush or delam this bad boy either.

2014 Hyperlite Franchise FLX

2014 Hyperlite Franchise FLX

I really like that the board has no contours or channels running through the tip or tail to get maximum feel and control when pressed out on features. I love this board and I can almost guarantee that you will too. So stop into Ambush Board Co., Atlanta’s premiere wakeboard shop, and check it out!

The Perfect Cable Board

The Perfect Cable Board

Racked – Game Of S.K.A.T.E

The twentieth edition of the bi-annual Ambush Game of S.K.A.T.E. is happening this weekend. This marks ten years worth of kickflip battles, high ollie contests, and epic raffles. The weather is going to dip into the thirties early Saturday morning so you know the weather is going to shape up nicely. Add Stormy and a pile of product to give out, then you have a recipe for an epic game-of-skate.

Here are the essential must-haves in order to survive Saturday’s Game Of S.K.A.T.E. 

*FREE shirt for participants

Shake Junt Box Logo Backpack ($36) Independent 78 TC Wind Breaker Jacket ($60) Ambush Board Co. Slouch Beanie ($20) Vans TNT 5 Shoe ($65) Skanunu 2oz Bearing Cleaner & Lube ($7) Ambush Game Of Skate 20 tee (FREE) Skullcandy Fix headphones ($28) Ambush Complete Skateboard ($100) Sparco 6″x9″ Clipboard ($1)

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Ambush Game Of Skate 20 Flyer

For more information on Game Of S.K.A.T.E. 20 “Like” us on Facebook or call 770.420.911.

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