Sonntag, 20. April 2014

We are not FUCKING dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Summer ca 1999
I am 25 and still skating. WTF is wrong with me? We are filming for our 1st video. I am trying to capture my friend Phil doing a bs tailslide at our local spot. Unfortunatly he never made it. If you look closely, you`ll realize that he got no grib tape on his tail. That could have been the reason for his constant bails, anyway_ happy days.
I miss those days, when you could go to your local spot anytime and you`ll always meet someone. You skated until it got dark, your were exhausted or your board broke. 

Those were the days!

Samstag, 6. April 2013

Hillarious Stuff Fom The WWW

Mike Vallely Interview from SLAP;-)

After our little natter with the Elephant man dropped yesterday, we found this great post in the SLAP Forum. Make sure to check it out.

Freitag, 5. April 2013

Mike Vallely Interview

Interviews via email are kind of lame, but this time we had no chance to get in touch face to interface.
In december last year we hit up Mike V. to ask, if he would answer some of our questions. We were excited to see what he would answer.
That he is a polarizing, stand up character is a non deniable fact. So here are our silly questions and his straight up answers (I hope he got over all the sponsor questions, hahaha).

 Mike Vallely Interview

Name: Mike Vallely

Age: 42

Years skating: 28

Years pro: 25

1st real set up: Sims Jeff Phillips, Gullwings, Sims 2 Tone Wheels

You are 25 years in proffessional skateboarding, can you still remember all the companies you rode for?

I try not to.

We always wondered why you quit World Industries after you basicly helped to build it. What was the reason to do so and why you went to New Deal?

I didn’t like Steve Rocco’s politics or master plan and I didn’t want to be party to it or used as a pawn. I just wanted to skate.

Your career on New Deal was kind of shortlived.

I had a few models with New Deal but the relationship just wasn’t right. 

What made you to try and open TV together with Ed Templeton in a time when skateboarding was about to hit rock bottom again?

We started TV for fun – as a creative release – an extension of our skating – for something to do. We didn’t think in terms of business. I never really have.

Yes, this is a 360 flip

The early 90`s must have been a really dark time when you were depending on boardsales to feed your family. How did you surrvive? Would you call it the worst time in your career?

I have great memories of the 90’s. I did what I had to do, just like everyone else. Those who skated then or stayed in skating in the 90’s were true blue.

Elephant Brand is after TV Skateboards, Transit Skateboards, Vallely Skateboards and By The Sword Skateboards your fifth own board company. What´s the difference to those other projects?

The difference should be obvious at this point. It’s not really up to me to point it out or try to convince anyone.

What about a Guest Board for Ed Templeton on Elephant Brand? You always seemed to get along very well when you`ve been on the euro contests together.

I’m not really interested in guest boards. Ed and I haven’t skated a contest together in probably a decade.

What do you think of the Skateboarding industry today? As a Skateboarder and owner of a Skateboard company. Good things, bad things?

I don’t really think about the industry. I just skate and do what I do.

We`ve just seen the “Bones Brigade Documentary” and noticed that you were in there for maybe 30 secs.
Do you think that Fred Durst has more to contribute to the OG Bones Brigade than you?
(We thought it was rather fucked up after your part in Public Domain blew everyone in 1988 and we don`t mean the graveyard run. We are still stoked on the fakie flip and halfcab flip)

Fred is the same age as me. We grew up with the Brigade. I think he spoke to the influence and inspiration of the times. I’m happy with my part in the movie and my contribution to it.

What would be your „Dream Team“in Skateboarding today and of all times?

I don’t think in such terms really. Some of my favorite skaters are Lance, Duane, Gonz and Blender.

When you look back, what was the happiest/ best time in your career?

I don’t look back. I’m living right now.

One year in Münster (1994 or 1995?), after you had a great run and the crowd went completly nuts, you took a spray can and wrote „Neil Blender“on the street floor. Why did you do that?

It was just something I needed to express at the moment… There’s more to skating than competition and Neil embodied that more than any other skater I could think of.

What was the most fucked up situation you have ever been in (Skateboarding related)

Anytime you’re taken away in an ambulance is pretty fucked up. I’ve been there a few times. Not a fun place.

The craziest thing you experienced on a Skate Tour? 

Not for public consumption.

Will you be on tour with your team this year? If yes will you hit Europe aswell?

Nothing planned at the moment.

You are famous for your all or nothing approach when it comes to skateboarding. What drives you to fucking shred to the fullest, even on a little demo in some shitty skatepark?

I love skating and it shows.

The Hockey stick incident is wildly discussed via internet and we all know what happend, but one Question that I couldn`t figure out.
Who got the stick? Your daughter or the drunk fuck?

It is? That is sad. People need to get lives. What you’re asking me is not important and not something I feel like discussing on the internet or elsewhere.

Thanks to:


Well, but we thank: The Chrome Ball Incident for the scans and Mike V. to answer this in 10 mins. The man is always down for a good and extended e-mail natter.

For comments and thoughts: Check the SLAP FORUM  

Dienstag, 27. November 2012

Ripped Rippers 2/2

R.I.P- Dead Skaters part 2/2

The list of gone rippers continues from part 1. Those guys stepped off the board forever. 
R.I.P shredders

8. Joe Lopez born ??.??.????; died March ??, 2002

Boom, "Circle A" in your fucking face. To be sponsored by this company back in the 80`s made a statement. Little hint for the not knowers: What kind of simbol do you get, when you draw an "A" and then you circle it. Yes it is the Anarchy symbol. 

I reckon everybody got the message as we got it right away. So check out this punkish stalefish.

Joe Lopez then rode for "Schmitt Stix" where he had one of the most memorable graphics from the late 80`s. The "BBQ".
For the BBQ you need a good sauce so here we go.....

After that the 80`s vanished and the street skating 90`s started. We couldn`t have cared less, cause we were busy learning all the new shit, being invented on a daily base. The 90`s became history aswell, internet started to kick in and then I found this post from 2002 on the TWS site. I started to remember and felt sad.....

TWS Info:
80s pro killed in auto accident.
In the early 80s, when skateboarding was just beginning to climb back into the public eye, the sport survived thanks to a handful of quality vert ramps and sporadic backyard pools. Street skating was emerging as a style in its own right, the focus was on vert, and the few remaining skateparks were on their way out. So skaters who wanted to have a regular place to ride were forced to build their own.
In the San Francisco East Bay community of San Leandro, Joe Lopes became well known for his family’s amazing twenty-foot-wide vert ramp (large at the time), his ballsy skate style, and infectiously fun personality. Joe was a character, loved having friends over for rampside barbeques, and even hosted the first backyard pro jam-format contest–Joe’s Ramp Jam–in 1983.
As skateboarding grew through the 80s, Joe found himself on the infamous Schmitt Stix team with a signature board and a sponsor that sent him to skate other amazing ramps all over the world. He also rode for Venture Trucks, Speed Wheels, Op, and Rector.
Even though skateboarding itself outgrew Joe’s rampyard (it literally covered every square inch between the fence and his garage, and the crawlspace under the deck was filled with a mini ramp), he built the sport a venue at a critical time in our history, and contributed his own brilliant hue to skateboarding’s colorful collective personality.
In March Joe was killed in an auto accident, leaving a wife and five children. He didn’t have life insurance, and Joe’s friends and many former sponsors have stepped up to help build a trust fund for Joe’s kids. Companies and individuals are encouraged to help a family who supported skateboarding when our sport needed it most, and donations in any amount are appreciated and are tax-deductible.
Donations can be sent to Central Sierra Bank and directed to the following account:
Rick Lopes FBO Joe Lopes
Account Number: 07-111487-21

Mailing Instructions:
Central Sierra Bank
3505 Spangler Lane, Suite 300
Copperopolis, California 95228
ATTN: Joe Lopes Fund
Wiring Instructions:
RT Number 12-11387-41
Central Sierra Bank
373 West Charles Street
San Andreas, California 95249

9. Harold Hunter born April 2nd, 1974; died February 17th, 2006

New York City, 90`s, real hip hop, Brooklyn banks, Zoo York being legit as fuck. Those were the days, when Harold Hunter was in his prime. If you haven`t lived in NYC in the late 80`s early 90`s you never heard of him until the Underworld Element video "Skypager dropped in 1992. That was some serious shit. NYC rough night skating. This city really never sleeps. 

Another video part that was really deep down underground. After Underworld, Harold moved on to New York based ZOO York and that was`nt the  fashion thing it would be years later. Zoo York represented New York City urban skating to it`s fullest. Kind of a logical step after Underworld got transformed into the company with less taste for a graffiti wall. 
Brooklyn banks and and NYC skating was the shit back then, which is mostly covered in pics and less video. There was a Brooklyn Banks contest in 1993, where Harold won best trick with a sw bs 180 kickflip over the wall (before the city built the fence). Some footage of this event made it to 411 s 1st issue. You`ll get a good grib what NYC was back then. Hard skating, tagging, smashing rats and bums. That was fucking real.

Zoo York released their vid "Mix Tape" in the mid 90`s and it contained a very solid Harold part. This time he was even skating in day light, but you got the whole "Skypager" package: Hip Hop, ghetto blasters, pagers, strictly New York street skating and even Method Man gives the flowing rhymes for the skating.

New York was the shit by the mid 90`s and Harold was one of the leading figures to portray this unique scene. He even made it into a movie by more or less being himself. you guys out there with a bit of skate trivia knowledge know what I mean, any other- go a check the mighty web. 

Harold Hunter was by any means one of the persons who put New York skating on the map and that is his contribution and kind of legacy he left behind after he died from an overdose cocaine

10. Shane Cross born August 22nd, 1986; died March 7th, 2007


This one here is a double hard one. First off is that he died with age 19. Reason of death was a motorcycle ride he had with a drunk team mate. Well, the driver lost control, they crashed and Shane was dead, while his team mate was left crippled for a period of time and in jail. Not a happy ending for two human beings.
Well, Shane was highly skilled on the board which you`ll propably`ve seen already, but now we have to go to the second hard strike and it is his only ever video part from mighty "Flip". To be honest- I quote the words of Dan Watson from Youwillsoon:

"This kid was really really good at skateboarding. It's a damn shame that he had to die in such a senseless manner. Also a damn shame is that they took what will basically be his only section ever and ruin it by putting a bunch of lame animation over it like sloths riding his shoulders in lines, and flowers shooting out of his boards as he grinds rails and shit. Seriously who the fuck could possibly think that ruining this kid's footage was a good idea? This actually shocked me."

But decide for yourself, here is Shane`s only ever video part:

Ahh yeah and he got a posthumous cover aswell- WTF you sloths at the real mags. Have ya seen the shit he made down the El Toro handrail?! Well, heavy slept on again- like Keenan!!!!

11. Ben Pappas born May 13th, 1978; died March 11th, 2007

Ben Pappas from Australia came to the states and got on New Deal. His less then 1 minute part was rad as fuck. Word has been: Who is this unknown kid destroying it? WTF he can do no handed kickflips on vert? Have a look for yourself and remeber this was 1994 and skateboarding, espacially vert was dead.

If you say, that this wasn`t a good part, then you have`nt been rolling on four wheels back in those days. Sick skills, but the whole story is a bit complicated.

I`ll pass the word to Vert Is Dead:

"Tas and younger brother Ben burst on the vert scene from Australia in the mid 1990s. They certainly made things more interesting by doing the technical tricks larger and more consistently. In a way they were a throwback to 1980s vertical characters, like Lee Ralph. Tas rode for Mad Circle and Ben was on the New Deal. They both would ride for Platinum to close out the decade.

Unfortunately, Ben's story does not have a happy ending. He had developed a serious problem with cocaine and was arrested for smuggling the drug at Melbourne Airport in Australia. He was found dead in the water off Victoria Pier in Melbourne in March of 2007. At the time of his death, he was a suspect in the murder of his girlfriend. Police were treating his death as suspicious and not necessarily as a suicide. There were similarities in how Ben and his girlfriend's bodies were found. I haven't found any updates on the case."

Really hardcore!!!!!!

12. Ray Underhill born October 18th, 1962; died August 1st, 2006

If you haven`t been around during the heyday of the allmighty Bones Brigade then I`ll try to explain it to you.
Take the "Nike SB" team multiply it with the "Street Leaque" winners, plus the hype for the "Baker" squad, plus anticipation for video parts like "Pretty Sweet", minus corporate money and you`ll have the feel for the OG "Powell and Peralta" Bones Brigade.
Ray Underhill  was one of them and he was pro with an own model. You could not score any higher back in those late 80`s. 

Unfortunatly he turned pro in late 1989 and that was exactly the time when skating took it`s down swing and the focus turned towards street skating. Boardsales were pretty much rock bottom for the vert guys, cause everyone who still skated was about to get a street associated deck. After he left (or got cut from the team) he was the Gullwing trucks TM and then worked at Eastern Skate supplies. He died from a brain tumor.

13. Van Wastell born April 22nd, 1984; died September 5th, 2008

BOOM, look at this 5-O grind this is tough as fuck. Van Wastell was without any doubt talented and gifted on his board. He just turned pro for "Krooked", and was on tour. Next news was that he fell to death from a hotel window in Berlin, Germany.

Our good mate Chops from Chrome Ball Incident had a Van Wastell special, with guest posts from his brother and friends. Please check the links for the Van Wastells story.   

Why he fell to death keeps on to me mysterious. I tried to get some info from our Berlin
connection, but nothing could be figured out. Just fucking rumors I don`t want to spread. 
So let Van rip in peace.

14. Jaya Bonderov born ??.??.????; died June 26th, 2012

Jaya hits your face from 1994 "Thrasher" cover, doing a fs noseblunt slide in SF.  The cover is good, but his picture in "Slap" is still epic!!!!

Killer pic!!!! Jaya rode for Santa Cruz skateboards as the follpwing images prove.

After leaving SCS he teamed up with "Adrenalin". I had the pleasure to see him go full blast at the 1997 World Cup in Münster Germany. He ripped the street course to pieces, including trasfers from the vert ramp to the mega steep bank everytime. Consistant shredding with no mercy. Here is some video footage:

"Adrenalin" seemed to be the right named team for this NorCal shredder. 

He died in a car accident.

That was it with the Ripped Rippers. Part 1 and 2 sum up a grand total of 14 names and the majority of those who had to step off the board forever, was due to the fucking traffic. So be careful before you drive to the next session. Forget about the warning stickers, that skating can cause death. Yes it probaply can, but the chance is nothing compared to the risks of driving a car. They should put warning stickers on those four wheeled.

Have a good one and enjoy life and skating.

Words by FOG (I don`t care about typos or gramma- fuck that shit!!!!!)

Thanks to: 

The Chrome Ball Incident

for their permission to rip their archives 


Freitag, 23. November 2012

Ripped Rippers 1/2

R.I.P- Dead Skaters part 1/2

In the history of skateboarding are a few rippers who stepped off the board forever. Those skaters in this list we could remember. R.I.P. shredders.

1. Jeff Phillips born ??.??.????; died December 25th, 1993

He is a real tragic case. Used to be Texas finest back in the 80`s. He ripped at vert. By the early 90`s, when vert skating wasn`t the prominent thing to do anymore, he opened up a skatepark and still shredded the fuck out of every ramp in sight. 

What led him to commite suicide with a .357 Magnum  remains mysterious. For a full length story, check this very well written article from "Rolling Stone Mag".


2. Kit Errickson born ??.??.????; died January 30th, 1997

He was one of the many on the OG H-Street squad. Had a montage part with Sal Barbier in "Hokus Pokus", then got on Ron Allen`s "Life skateboards", with team mates like Sheffey, Ron Allen etc. Heavy hitting team. Kit`s part in "Soldiers Story" is fucking heavy slept on. He did some really heavy shit back in 1991, when this was filmed. 

Later after Life folded he found a place on "Sonic Skateboards" and kept shredding. He passed because of a non skate related head injury.

3. Pat Brennen born ??.??.????; died February 1st, 1997

Pat Brennen, early 90`s Powell Pro. He turned pro after the original Bones Brigade fucked off and founded their own companies. His first part in Powell`s video "8" was fucking wow. Front foot impossibles down stairs and impossibles over fire hydrants weren`t the standart yet.

He had one of the most underrated video parts in the history of street skating Check his part from "Celebrity Tropical Fish" before continuing reading.

So what have we got to see? Laserflips, sw ollie boardslide on handrails, nollie heelflips in lines, 360 ollies and bigspin heelflips in one line. That was mega ill for 1991-1992. I think Pat Brennen is still a super heavy slept on ripper. The man was really up front tech. 
After 3 video parts in 2 years for Powell he joined Lance Mountains "The Firm". Except of some tricks in a 411 Industry section, I haven`t seen any more footage. One of his last boards had a graphic which is in retrospetive- scary!!!!!

Pat Brennen died in a car accident.


4. Phil Shao born December 28th, 1973; died August 22nd, 1998

Look at this "Thrasher" cover. Yep, it`s Fort Miley. The spot is truly fucking hard to ride. Those banks are tiny rough and steep as fuck. To ollie up this shoulder high handrail speaks for Phil Shaos skills on the board. That man had some serious pop. A very good example for his ollie skills is this pic below. Rumors go that he ollied from the ditch on the block, to ollie back in- SICK AS FUCK!!!!!

His video is speed, style, pop and control. Damn it was refreshing to see a guy banging out headhigh tricks after the skate scene has just recovered from the slow ass flip shit, from the big pants small wheels era.

Phil Shao got killed in a car accident.

5. Tim Brauch born April 26th, 1974; died May 9th, 1999

Tim Brauch gets his well deserved "Thrasher" cover in the Jan 1993 issue. Pay attention to the size of wheels- bearing covers my friend. Fucking bearing covers!!!!! But despite the fact that this was shot in the before mentioned dark era of skateboarding, the krooked grind is no joke. Fucking rough waist high front truck killer.
I met him in 1997 at the World Cup. He was very down to earth and had a couple of beers on the parking lot in front of the Contest arena. Very funny chat and we were both pretty smashed at mid day time. Well I just had to film, but he was facing semi finals. Dude was so consistent that he qualified for the finals and I think the next day he placed pretty high in the money ranks. True skater!!!!!

That he was a funny guy is very well portrait with his "Forr
est Gump" cameo. He passed due to a sudden heart attack.

6. Keenan Milton born August 4th, 1974; died July 5th,2001

Keenan Milton- happy face with one of the smothest styles in the game. I reckon thats why he shared a part with Gino in "Mouse". Tight East Coast connection! You know man?! Lets watch the short part from "Mouse" before I go into detail

Ok, this one is from 1996 and for Monster Energy hyped kids no
t even worth to be called "Webclip". But come on this here is style in perfection. Smooth and effordless. To call it out like the old fuck I am: Back in the days those tricks were some next level shit. Look at Keenans last trick: Sw kickflip over the picknick table. The trick is BAAAMMMM straight in your face, but the little extra which makes it special is the kickturn back to normal stance. That is the style we want to see. 
Shame he got a "Skateboarder cover" because he drowned at a party in a swimming pool.
All those chief editors should have given him this as a cover when he was still alive.

7Pepe Martinez born March 11th, 1973; died September 26th,2003

Pulaski Park Washington DC, Chris Halls mate, one of the best sw and regular bs flips in the game, plaza skating before Kalis made Love Park prominent again, Barca and all those fancy China ledge spots were`nt even about to dreamed of. 
Pepe Martinez grew up in DC and fucking ripped and styled through Pulaski Park  and other memorable USA CAPITAL spots.
His 1st impression he knocked into my brain was when the "Underworld Element" video "Skypager" was released in late 1992- 1993. That was straight fucking ghetto style. Ahhh yeah that was the company with the urban realness that would later become the eco friendly Bam Magera sponsoring shit that is called "Element". It`s still a video that gets me hyped, because of the fucking roughness. Yeah yeah- this is big pants and small whells at it`s best, but the fucking feel is beyond that. Homemade beats, garage skating in the winter, bro cam- that`s what I call REAL!!!!! ... but here is the part:

That got me pumped, two years later with less baggy jeans and proper sized wheels followed "Fine Artists". The "Underworld" got already dropped from the name so "Element" remained. Who fucking cared, we couldn`d predict the fucked up future. Pepes part in this one here is ultimate style. If you hate his 180 bs flip (at 0:53) down those stairs, you propably hate skateboarding in general. Check the smoothness.

After "Element" he skated for "Capital" in the Capital. Some shared DC footage.


Pepe Martinez died of a brain aneurysm, result of a blood clot that had developed at his brain stem due to a head trauma suffered in 2001.

That was it for part 1, part 2 is here.

Words by FOG (I don`t care about typos or gramma- fuck that shit!!!!!)

Thanks to: 
The Chrome Ball Incident 
for their permission to rip their archives