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.
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.
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.
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.
As everyone knows, June 21st is National Go Skateboarding Day. We at Ambush wanted to make sure that this day gets the proper recognition it deserves. And, we wanted to give all skateboarders a day of enjoyment. So, the Ambush crew headed up to Kennesaw Skatepark. Video game booths, misting stations, pizza, and the RedBull MTX truck were just some of the things providing the entertainment that day. Prizes were given out for best tricks and random skateboard trivia questions that were answered. Well, I don’t wanna bore everyone with words, so here is a little montage that recapped the whole day! If you missed it this year well we look forward to seeing you next year!
Over the past year or so, there has been a ton of talk and social media promotion using the phrase and the hashtag “Low Atl”. But, it seems that not too much is known about what exactly Low Atl is or means. I have had a number of people come up to me with a lot of the same questions. “What does “Low Atl” mean?” “Is that a brand?” “Isn’t that the same as Lowcard Magazine?”
In translation, the term “Low Atl” means family. To be “Low” means to be down. We are a family of people who truly love skateboarding and who come together for one common passion. I say “we” because we are all considered “Low Atl”. Even if you aren’t from or living in Atlanta. It is a family of skateboarders. We have all started somewhere, and no matter how good you are or are not, there will always be people who will have your back if you are legit. Your legitimacy in skateboarding can be defined in infinitely many ways based off of everyone’s individual standards, but to me your legitimacy is defined by your passion. We all had to be shown the ropes at some point. You can’t learn everything all on your own. But, rest assured that if you always stick with something you are truly passionate about, then you will learn as much as you can on your own. The rest comes from listening to the ones who have been doing it longer than you. They have the most experience and have shown dedication to the art. Even in skateboarding, your elders deserve respect.
The true origin of “Low Atl” can be an ambiguous topic in that people aren’t too sure of how it started. “Low Atl” actually came from a colaboratory effort between Lowcard Magazine and Atlanta’s very own Stormy Pruett (@Seaboard) and Jeremiah Babb (@Benderbabby). Stormy had contacted the people at Lowcard to see about having an issue of the mag focused solely on the Atlanta scene. Lowcard, being as down for skateboarding as they are, agreed to it. The mag was filled with interviews as well as sick photos of all the Atlanta rippers. The photo credit primarily goes to local photographer David Morico (@last_of_the_morichans). Without him, there would not have been any photos to send. It was Issue #46 “The Atlanta Article”. The release of an article of that caliber of course calls for a party, right? Well, in order to track the event on social media, the people who came to the party were told to hashtag the words “LowAtl”. This became the true start of the “LowAtl” movement and, to me, it was the the return of Atlanta to the skateboarding scene. People like Stormy and Miah gave this area its start. They were the first generation and they made a lot of history. Well, now its our time to step up to the plate. It’s time for us to go spot searching and street skating. No more of this all day at the park garbage. Get out there and go big. Try to make something happen. A skatepark is like a canvas that has been painted on over and over and over again. How good does it make you feel to three flip down the same stairs that someone else three flips every day? As far as consistency, a skatepark is convenient. You can’t get hassled at a skatepark (even that isn’t always the case). There is nothing original about a skatepark. It is a just way to trick skaters to stay out of the streets. And it works too.
This Saturday just so happens to be “Go Skateboarding Day” which is an internationally acknowledged holiday. And, we at Ambush are going to be hosting an event at the Kennesaw Skatepark. I encourage as many of you as possible to come, but only as a start to the day. Come out, have fun, participate in the best trick contests, listen to the Dirty Squids, chill with homies, and maybe get some free product if you’re lucky. Then go hit the streets!!! So many street spots are still left to be discovered here in Georgia. And not just in the city, but in the suburban areas too. Some complain that all the spots are so spread out that nobody wants to spend the gas money to find them. I get it, every spot outside of downtown is at least twenty minutes away from one another. But so what? Why should we let that stop us? We shouldn’t and we cannot continue to let it! Take the time, scrape some money together, throw in for gas, and put in the effort because the results are so indescribably worth it. Being out with your friends searching for untapped resources. Trying to get the best angles and the lighting just right. Documenting the trick, the style, and the personality of the skater coming out through that spot. And then being able to watch that clip all together with your buddies and just feeding off of the energy that it generates. It is something that you can’t quite describe. It is something you have to feel for yourself. So, go out there and find out what that feeling is to you. Pick up your board, call up your friends, and go skate! Because, at the end of the day, the streets are where it matters the most. Adapting to urban environments is the heart of skateboarding and the true nature of a skateboarder. And, this new generation needs to help us return skateboarding to the streets the way Stormy and Miah did. Then, we need to keep it that way.
We all look out for each other. We all stand side by side. This is what we love. This is our passion. This is our fun. This is our freedom. This is our community. One Community. Low Atl.
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!
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