Archives for Skate

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!

Jay Buck Jam 2013

This past Sunday marked the 13th annual Jay Buck Jam held at Old Fourth Ward Skatepark.  The  Jam was started by Stormy, Jeremiah and the rest of the Atlanta skate family after the loss of Jay Buck back in 2000.  The jam was originally put on to honor the memory of Jay, as well as the camaraderie and brotherhood that skateboarding brings.  It’s awesome to still see it going on 13 years later with the guys that started it, the local legends, the young bucks all getting together to remember Jay Buck, and to show what skateboarding is all about.  Check the video above for some highlights and be sure to come out next year if you couldn’t make it out this time.

Make it a $99 Complete

http://youtu.be/JIKQS1H0Cw0

Here at Ambush we know it can be tough sometimes to pull together the cash for a proper set up.  With that in mind we decided it was time we came up with a deal to get you ripping on a pro model complete for under $100.  Now you can come in and pick any pro model deck off the wall and any of our new and improved Ambush wheels out of the case.  From there, we’ll set you up with some Krux Trucks and FKD bearings, and you’ll be rolling out with a complete perfect for beginners all the way up to seasoned vets of the concrete.  So come on by, pick up a board and Skate With US.

Ambush Summer Calendar

Summer sucks. Summer is rad. I love the summer time. I hate the summer. The heat is unbearable. Sweat, sweat, sweat. I’m thirsty thinking about it. The nights are wild. The parties are epic. The days are longer. The sessions are longer. The sessions are better. I love summertime.

Now that summer has once again reared its beautifully ugly head, we have some upcoming events to help you enjoy your arduously short yet acutely long summer. Let the radness begin.

wakeskateday_web

Ronix Wakeskate/Wakeboard Demo Day - June 12th
Take a set with Reed Hansen behind the Ambush Nautique. Demo your favorite Ronix wakeboards, wakeskates, and surfers. Learn a few tricks from one of wakeskating’s premier shredders. And, it is totally FREE.

The Ronix Wakeskate/Wakeboard Demo Day runs from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm at Holiday Harbor Marina (Lake Allatoona). 5989 Groovers Landing Road SE, Acworth, GA 30102.

 

GSD

Go Skateboarding Day – June 21st
Spend Go Skateboarding Day with us. Enjoy live music from Space Orphan and the Red Bull DJ. Chomp on free food, candy, and drinks. Enter the Red Bull High Ollie Contest (winning prize TBA). Or, skate some ledges with the Ambush crew.

The Ambush Go Skateboarding Day festivities will run from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the shop.

 

Hyperlite Experience

 

The Hyperlite Experience – July 11th
Have you ever ridden behind a Nautique G-23? Have you ever taken a set with Hyperlite and Ambush pro Scott Stewart? Have you tested out all of the latest Hyperlite boards? How about the System boots/bindings? No? Well now you can.

Sign up for this once in a lifetime opportunity at www.hyperlite.com/expereince. Chose either the morning of afternoon session. The cost is $30 which includes a FREE Hyperlite tee shirt, mini Murray wakeboard, and swag bag.

The Hyperlite Experience also takes place at Holiday Harbor Marina (Lake Allatoona). 5989 Groovers Landing Road SE, Acworth, GA 30102.

Ruby Tuesdays-‘Tis the Season

Hey guys! Welcome back to another installment of Ruby Tuesdays!

As you may have noticed, Spring is here. The weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer, and there is pollen on EVERYTHING. I hate pollen.
It’s been making it quite difficult to get motivated to go out and skate, by the time I get out my allergies start to act up. Which sucks, cause it’s getting to be perfect skating weather now, and school is almost out.
Lee brought up a good point earlier, that this is the second best time of the year to skate only because of the pollen. Besides that, the weather is amazing and the days are getting longer.

Granted that not too much skating has been going on for me, we’ve been keeping up with our band, Space Orphan.
We played a show last Friday at the ARTS AGAINST HIERARCHY DIY art show at The Arts Exchange, downtown. It was quite an interesting experience, the Arts Exchange is this super run down, old building tucked away behind some trees off of I-20 East. It was a benefit art show with all proceeds going towards the building of the Atlanta Social Center, with free admission. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when we arrived there. It was a cool vibe, definitely not what I expected though. We hung out for about an hour, checked out some local art, and watched our new friend Josh Loner play an acoustic set in the main hallway for about 20 minutes. The guy has some interesting subject matter in his songs, and he was really nice too. He had a powerful voice, that dude could wail!

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Once he finished, we set up and got to work.
We played in the hallway, quite a cramped little space for the three of us, as you can see below.

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It was a bit difficult to hear ourselves since the sounds would all reverberate throughout the hallway, we were so close together that the drums and amps would kind of just blend.
It was a fun experience though, definitely glad we got a chance to come play. It’s always fun to get out and play for people, especially for friends and family, and potential new fans!

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We’re looking forward to playing more shows and hopefully recording soon. As summer approaches, we’ll have more time to worry about getting out to skate and play music more. I’m excited for sure. We may have some videos posted soon, stay tuned.
Keep an eye out for news, things are only gonna get better from here.
*All photos by John E. Ramspott, here’s a link to the rest of the photos from that night, enjoy!

Speaking of skateboarding, we just got copies of Austyn Unlimited to give out with every Habitat board purchased at the shop. Personally, I can say that this was my favorite video part that was put out in 2012. Granted, Austyn Gilette is my favorite skateboarder, but with good reason. The guy has such good style and an amazing trick selection, it doesn’t get much better than that. If I were you, I’d come grab one of these Habitat boards and get a free copy of Austyn Unlimited with it. You won’t regret it. Here’s the video on youtube:

Yeah, it’s cool and all to watch it online, but it’s so much nicer to have the actual copy of the dvd. So come get one! We’ll be up here all day, every day!

Sorry for such a short post, I’ll have some more interesting stuff to talk about soon. I’ll leave you guys with some more music, enjoy this performance from DIIV on KEXP. Later!

Ruby Tuesdays: Film is not Dead

Yo!

Welcome to the first installment of Ruby Tuesdays, a blog about music, photography, other kinds of art, and last but not least, skateboarding. And, maybe some other stuff. But, mainly those things.

So, I’m Ruben. At some point after getting hired here at Ambush, my name nickname became Ruby. I guess the Kaiser Chiefs song was playing or something…whatever. Ruby Tuesdays started with my homies on Instagram with pictures of me (#rubytuesdays, good luck sifting through all the restaurant pictures to find me). As an aspiring photographer, I love seeing stuff that people post on the ‘gram. That’s what I’m gonna talk about today, photography. More specifically, film photography.

Film photography is so undervalued these days. Convenience this, megapixels that. Everyone is too worried about immediate satisfaction. “Oh, I didn’t get a good enough shot out of the 300 I took just now, I’ll just edit it in photoshop.” I guess it’s just a consumerist mindset. “You shoot film? Psh, hipster!” Many people don’t understand that there’s so much more to shooting film than trying to be “hip”.

Marvin hanging out.

Film has substance. You are exposing light onto the emulsion on the film. A digital camera uses a sensor. Same concept, but it feels like digital cameras take away from that. They’re too artificial for me. Shooting film is so much more satisfying. You have to consider the situation: composition, exposure, and the right timing. Not that you don’t do that in digital, but you have to think out each picture so much more with film. Because each roll only has from 12-36 shots, depending on what you get. No memory card here. It’s harder than just pointing and shooting. And sometimes you can’t be positive of what you’ll get. There’s no LCD screen to check your picture on. Sometimes months will pass before you develop a roll of film and you forget what is on it. The thrill of finding out what you shot is so exciting. And the end result is much more satisfying.

The entire process is exhilarating. Especially when you get to the darkroom. That’s the best part, seeing your photo come to life. Setting up the chemicals, processing the film, drying it, and then seeing your negatives on a lightbox. That’s pretty cool. But printing, that’s even cooler. Picking your negative, enlarging it, focusing the grain, making test strips, finding the right exposure. Exposing your paper, and then developing it: developer, stop bath, fixer, water wash, fixer remover…awesome (and full of carcinogens, watch out!). Taking the final print out of the darkroom into the light and seeing it, man, that’s the best. Putting the photograph in the archival washer, and just seeing it, that’s satisfying.

Going from taking the picture to developing and printing it yourself, nothing beats that. It makes every photo count so much more because you worked hard to get your end result. You didn’t just take 100 and pick one, then import it into photoshop and throw a filter on it. You imagined, stopped, and managed to get the one you wanted within a couple of tries. I’ve spent hours on end in the darkroom, working ’til 2 in the morning trying to get the right exposure for the print. People do spend hours editing in photoshop. I’m not knocking that because it’s also a lot of work. But I like how “hands-on” film is. It’s hard. I’ve been in the darkroom and come out with nothing except for a general idea of how I’ll expose it, because it takes a lot of work and patience to get to that final print. But it’s all worth it.

And that’s when you get awesome shots like this recent one of Ray Barbee doing a backside 360, shot in black in white by Anthony Acosta.

The simple stuff is cool too. Here’s a polaroid I shot of Ray Barbee back when he last stopped by the shop. I got to hang out with him for a good hour, helped him find a camera on my lunch break, a had a good conversation with a good man. Best day ever. Polaroids are really cool, it’s nice to look back at one and think of the memories associated with it.

I’ve been shooting a lot of medium format and 35mm lately. I definitely need to take some more polaroids…we’ll see what happens.

I’ve only recently been able to print a couple of pictures, but here are a couple of scanned in negatives of my good old friend Zane Durfee.

Zane in the Marietta Square, stomping grounds...

Zane back tailsliding some curbs.

That, all of that, is where the value in film lies. There’s so much more I need to learn, and I can’t wait.  I love it. I hope someone gets inspired to get out and try this. Film or digital, just go take pictures. But remember film is not dead. Good luck!

Mazza Mondays

Yo what’s up what’s good what’s happening? Nothing much over here just chillin’ with Stormy, Marvin, Brian, and Charlie at the shop today. Ready for the weekend to come up. Party, shred it up and other BS.

The Game of Skate is next weekend. I’d thought i’d go over a list of things of how to properly skate in a game of skate so we can make it an awesome enjoyable event for all of us.

1. Pop your tricks

2. SPEED. We don’t want any complaining when the judges don’t count your trick when you come to a complete stop when you land.

3. No pivots. Do your rotation tricks at FULL rotation. We understand you need to do a little bit of skirchin on some tricks. At the judges discretion though will determine if it counts or not.

4. No pressure flips. People are under the impression that if you can pressure flip that you’re good, when in reality doing pressure tricks is just an easier way of saying “Hey, I can’t do real tricks.”

5. Be cool and have a good time.

6. Request from Marvin: no circus tricks. No flatground indy grabs, no boneless (unless your Mike V.).

Over at the Shady Lane we got Pizza hooked up with a new liter box. He’s super hyped to be poopin’ good from here on out. Shady Lane era might be coming to an end, but Shady Lane V4 could also very well be in full force! Thats it for now. Peace!

 

Random picture I found online

 

 

Whos ready to be in this parking lot?

 

Mazza Mondays: Last Weekend

Last weekend. Good skating, good times. On the scene this weekend we had the Nashville homies, Baker AM Dee Ostrander, Shane Powell, Ivan Hernandez and Cameron Zjveninkieiskes (Can’t spell his last name. Sorry, Cameron) hung out at the shop for a bit then took it to the city for some good skating. Catnip (recently getting hooked up with Think Skateboards) on the scene as well as injured JPSystem there for the support. We had a good successful weekend. All together we got 1 clip! Good weekend I must say.

Lee gave me a set of 52mm sample Ambush wheels to try out. Over the weekend I put them to the test. I must say these new wheels are so much better then the old ones. Whatever formula was used on the old wheels sucked. They worked fine in the streets, but whenever you hit slick terrain your going to slide into death. I took these samples to the streets, cement parks, wooden parks and they were awesome everywhere.

To end off the weekend good ol’ Buddin came over Sunday night to the Shady Lane. Max had just arrived home and I must say his broke ass was stoked to see what Kevin brought. Let’s leave it at that.

Now it’s Monday and I gotta listen to this dude.

 

Catnip Thinkin’

 

Injured JPSystem

 

Dee Ostrander backside flip Atlanta, GA

 

 

 

Ambush Demo @ Found Skatepark

Friday August 31st the Ambush team headed up north to Found Skatepark to show off the goods and give away some goodies. This was the first time up there for most of us and I have to say that the park is pretty damn sweet. The guys over at Found made good use of a smaller sized space and the park flows like butter. I know the Found is pretty far from home for you local Ambush dudes, but we saw a few familiar faces up there (which is awesome) and met a whole bunch of new rad kids as well. Hopefully, this video will hype some of you to drive up to Ellijay and give it a whirl.

Big thanks to Mike and the whole Found crew for having us, and an even bigger thanks to all the kids and families who showed up in support. Hope you guys had as much fun as we did!

Ambush Demo at Found Skatepark

Most of our team riders have been out killing themselves trying to wrap up their parts for the SEC III video.  This can be pretty stressful on the body and mind.  So to blow off some steam, we decided to put on a demo where you can get a small taste of what’s to come in the video.

The demo is going down August 31st at Found Skatepark in Elijay, GA.  We’re getting the whole team together for a day of skating, giveaways, and good times.  Come hang out and watch these dudes do what they do best.  Featuring: Josh Butler, Gary Sargent, Dustin Hart, Jordan Smith, Stormy Pruett, Zeke Logan, Trey Abad and Travis Glover.  It all starts at 6:00 pm, Found Skatepark 12 Hefener St #113, East Elijay, Ga 30540.

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