Storefront: Supreme LA

May 6, 2010

supreme los angeles rob brink the skateboard mag

Storefront: Supreme LA
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, June 2010

Since first opening its doors in New York City in 1994, Supreme has never had a problem being cool. Seriously … the name is cool; the logo is cool; the location is cool; they’ve always been affiliated with cool people and cool brands. In fact, Supreme was so cool right out of the gate that they pretty much set a new standard in skateboarding retail and became a direct influence for so many of the “skateboard boutiques” and skate shop/skate brand collaborations that have become so commonplace today.

But Supreme is more than just cool and more than just retail—always has been. With five shops in Japan and a location in Los Angeles that opened in September 2004—a decade after the NYC store, the shop has become a brand and the brand has become a vibe. Or maybe the vibe became a shop and the shop became a brand—actually, come to think of it, any combination of those three elements in any order is almost applicable.

“We don’t have a team,” say Curtis Buchanan, Buyer and Manager for Supreme LA. “It’s more of a neighborhood vibe—a community of skaters who we support and they support us. We hook up pros and friends around Los Angeles like Eric Koston, Alex Olson, Spanky, Braydon, A.V.E., Dill, Neckface and Atiba and Ako Jefferson.”

The decision to open in Los Angeles almost six years ago was pretty much a no-brainer for Supreme. “Los Angeles seems to be the skateboard capital,” says Buchanan. “The time felt right and we wanted to offer something that wasn’t currently available but without stepping on other local skate shops’ toes.”

Other than the vibe, what separates Supreme from the rest of the pack (and keeps them consistently ahead of the pack) is somewhat shrouded in secrecy. Often imitated but never quite duplicated, the crew over there is a bit tight-lipped about what makes Supreme tick … but then again … isn’t that mystery and elusiveness part of what makes ‘em so cool? A few things we do know, however, are that Supreme has a bowl in the shop for the homies to session, hosts poker nights every now and again and produces their own line of clothing, which, to no one’s surprise, is quite successful.

“Supreme was the first store to do what we do,” says Buchanan. “We never imitate or flip to a trend. We have a loyal skate clientele who love new product and we just try to sell and make cool stuff consistently.”

But even Supreme isn’t invincible. They have their challenges like anyone else. “There are tons of pro skaters in Los Angeles, so it’s easy for kids to get product from them and avoid buying from shops at full price,” says Buchanan, “but consistently providing and making a good product helps, so thanks to Girl, Chocolate and DLX for all the rad shit they make.”

Put simply, according to Buchanan, Supreme’s goal has always been, and always will be, to support skateboarding.

“You get out of life what you put into it,” he says. “Everyone runs a business differently and there are many paths to success. You gotta learn from your own mistakes. Don’t open a shop unless you truly love skateboarding and are willing to accept the good with the bad.”

Supreme Los Angeles
439 North Faifax Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90038
(323) 655-6205
SupremeNewYork.com

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Contenders: Kevin Terpening

May 5, 2010

Contenders: Kevin Terpening
Words: Rob Brink
TheSkateboardMag.com, May 2010

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Festivus: Festivus: Damn Am / YBAm Awards

April 4, 2010

years best am damn am awards rob brink the skateboard mag

Festivus: Damn Am / YBAm Awards
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag May 2010

One of the coolest things about The Skateboard Mag and Skatepark of Tampa’s YBAm / Damn Am awards is the fact that you might actually win (or get nominated for) an award that you don’t want to win. Like … that’s soooo cool. Seriously, how often does that happen in life? Being scared to win an award? So awesome.

Just imagine you’re sitting there at Tum Yeto Headquarters in San Diego during the infamous bi-annual ASR/Crossroads week, amongst hundreds of rowdy skaters, industry peers and friends gunning for the “night of their lives;” with a buttload of cameras rolling and everyone and their mother with itchy Twitter fingers, and you hear Brian Schaefer, in all of his scratchy-voiced, Natural Light-buzz-induced glory, shouting, “Okay, so up next is the “Never Gonna Win” award!”

And then droves of drunk people cheer for a moment …
“Uh oh, I hope that’s not me” is probably a thought that runs though a more than a few people’s minds.

I mean, if there’s ever an award you don’t want to win, it’s gotta be the “Never Gonna Win” award, right?
Well, come to think of it, last year’s “Most Annoying” award, won by Chris Troy, could possibly rank as the number-one award you don’t ever want to win. But let’s worry about this year for now because last year is soooo last year.

Contrary to most award show-type scenarios, it almost seems like being announced runners-up for the “Never Gonna Win” award, like Marius Syvanen and Abdias Rivera were, is a blessing compared to actually being the recipient of the award, as Ben Gore was. Congrats, Ben! According to “the industry,” you’re never gonna win!

Thank God some people still have a sense of humor these days.

But come to think of it, we’ve all heard the story of the ‘ol “Tampa Am curse.” Some might say you gotta avoid that one for sure. In that case, “never gonna win” could be a good thing. One less thing Ben, Marius and Abdias have to worry about.

There was also a time, long, long ago, when “winning” and skateboarding weren’t always words that belonged in a sentence together. People were often heard saying things like “Yeah, I don’t really care if I win. I just want to have fun.” Or, “Skateboarding isn’t about winning, its about having a good time” and things of that light-hearted, motivational, inspirational nature. I mean, yeah, maybe when it was Hawk vs. Hosoi vs. Gator vs. Lance vs. Cab in the early 80s or whatever … there was some friendly rivalry, but for the most part, skateboarding has never been about “winning.” Dare we throw out the “isn’t that part of what makes it cool” cliché? But it’s true.

Quite frankly, these days, skateboarding could use a bit more niceness and smiling and hugs and sensitivity. Which, in my opinion, makes Theotis Beasley’s award—Best Attitude—the most admirable of the evening. And it seems to be working for him. Take note, kiddies. Get off the message boards and back on your skateboards.

So congrats, Theo, for being amazing! And congrats Luan and Tyler, for winning the entire year of 2009. And congrats Ben and everyone who won an award—whether you wanted to win or not—you earned it!

• Team Manager of the Year: Rodney Johnson
• Most Improved: Shawn Hale
• Just for Showing Up: Caesar Fernandez
• Zumiez Overall Destroyer: Clint Walker
• Tampa Am Winner: Luan Oliveira
• Damn Am of the Year: Luan Oliveira (1st place Damn Am Costa Mesa and 1st place Tampa Am)
• The Skateboard Mag’s YBAm: Tyler Bledsoe
• Never Gonna Win: Ben Gore - Runner-ups: Marius Syvanen, Abdias Rivera
• CanadiAm: T.J. Rogers
• EurOK: Youness Amrani
• Done Growed Up: David Loy
• Better Hardflip Than You: Lacey Baker
• Pro Before You Know: Nick Merlino
• Mad Snaps: Luis Tolentino
• Little Big Man: Louie Lopez
• Came Out of Nowhere: Mark Suciu
• Best Attitude: Theotis Beasley
• Most Entertaining: Andrew Cannon
• Best Black Dude: Norman Woods
• Best Mexican: Paul Flores
• Gratitude Award: C.J. Tambornino
• You Choked: Mike Thompson
• Winner of Every Practice: Evan Smith

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Damn Am of the Year: Luan de Oliveira

March 7, 2010

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Damn Am of The Year: Luan de Oliveira
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag April 2010

“I can only imagine being one of the other skaters who made the finals at Tampa Am ‘08” says SPoT’s Ryan Clements, “I would be thinking, ‘Fuck, well, at least I can shoot for second place.’”

And that might just be the simplest and most effective way to sum up why Luan de Oliveira was singled out by the SPoT crew as 2009’s Damn Am of the Year. It’s the type of sentiment you often hear out of many pro’s mouths prior to entering contests against Chris Cole or P-Rod.

And like Cole and Paul, Luan is blessed with the gift of seemingly being able to win a contest at any given time, assuming he chooses to. What adds insult to injury (or possibly just adds envy) is that huge-ass grin on his face the whole time he’s doing it.

luan oliveira the skateboard mag rob brink

It’s a good grin, though. Hell, you’d be grinning too if you could flip your board in and outta ledge tricks like that. Or have such pop and flexibility that everything you do is stupid high and caught really well. Or spin with such control that you’ve contributed to the standardization of bigger spin flip trick variations skateboarding.

Most of us can only fantasize about what its like to roll around for five or so minutes, trying trick after trick, with a difficulty level of 11 on a one-to-ten scale, and not miss one of them. Luan lives that fantasy. Yes, if you were Luan, there’d be plenty to smile about. Don’t be mad—be thankful. He’s out there progressing and evolving the whole of skateboarding for all of us to enjoy.

The story is fairly simple: In 2007, a virtually unknown skater from Porte Alegre Brazil, Luan showed up in Lake Forest, California at GvR and won it. All anyone knew is that Flip had already snatched him up and he was on éS flow. Had someone looked him up on the Internet around that time, all they might have found was a self-filmed video from 2006 of a shirtless Luan skating a janky-ass ledge in Brazil doing every backside tailslide variation known to man in one session. It’s impressive. Check it out.

luan oliveira the skateboard mag rob brink

A few months after GvR, Luan won Tampa Am ‘08. Then, in 2009, his part in Flip’s Extremely Sorry might have lead one to dub Luan this generation’s Rodrigo TX or this generation’s equivalent of PJ Ladd in Wonderful Horrible Life. Power, style, control, jumpability, technical prowess, new tricks—a from-out-of-nowhere skateboarding machine with an ability that’s almost hard to comprehend through video alone—but we sure do want to see more of it.

Then Luan won Damn Am Costa Mesa and Tampa Am ’09—becoming the only skateboarder in the 16-year history of Tampa Am to win it twice.

After seeing the caliber of Ben Hatchell’s runs at Tampa ’09, everyone in the place knew that if anyone were going to beat Ben, it would be Luan and only Luan. If Luan were skating in the Pro with the very same run, he would’ve won it. Seriously. The dude is scary good. Come to think of it, Tampa Pro is coming up. And as most of you already know, Luan is the newest pro for Flip skateboards. It’s only right. Having him return to Damn Am or Tampa Am in 2010 just wouldn’t be fair to everyone else … although the three-peat would be worth talkin’ about. But then again, so would winning his first Tampa Pro contest after back-to-back Am wins.

luan oliveira the skateboard mag rob brink

It’s no secret that Brazil is known for producing tons of amazingly talented skateboarders. To the point where we’ve become a bit desensitized to it actually … maybe even bitter. The “Oh, he’s just another great skater from Brazil” mentality is one we’ve all experienced at one time or another. Luan breaks that mold. It’s kinda hard to hate on him without sounding like and angry, jealous douche bag because you’re baggin’ on the happiest-looking dude on a skateboard right now.

We can sit here yappin’ about Luan and why he was chosen as Damn Am of the Year ‘til we’re blue in the face, but really, that new pro model board of his does most of the talking, now doesn’t it? Oh, and those back smith to tre flips out don’t hurt either. Congrats, Luan. Looking forward to seeing what you bring to professional skateboarding this year and beyond.

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Festivus: Johnny Romano Skate Jam for Make-A-Wish

March 3, 2010

johnny romano make a with rob brink

Festivus: Johnny Romano Skate Jam for Make-A-Wish
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, April 2010

If Johnny Romano were here and writing this article, he probably wouldn’t waste time coming up with a clever title or theme for it. He probably wouldn’t sit in front of a blank computer screen for days, toiling over how to write it from a unique perspective or give it a good “hook.” He probably wouldn’t worry about who the audience is and how to attempt to give them something they’ve never read before. He wouldn’t worry about if readers would make it through the entire article or not before flipping the page. In fact … he probably wouldn’t worry at all, because in skateboarding, at 11 years old—or any age for that matter—what’s really to worry about?

Instead, Johnny would most likely get right to the point and give you a recap of his experience at the 13th annual Make-A-Wish skate jam at Southside skatepark in Houston, Texas. He’d probably talk about how eager he was during the days leading up to the event, knowing that many of his favorite pros, supporters and friends from all over the country would be rolling into town and that he’d be able to skate around with them.

He’d probably tell you about all the autograph signings from Adio, Black Box, DLX, Sole Technology and World Industries, as well as seeing and meeting some of the biggest name pros in skateboarding. Guys like Andrew Reynolds, Ryan Sheckler, Dennis Busenitz, Steve Berra, Chris Cole, Sean Malto, Kenny Anderson and Jamie Thomas—all in one place to raise money and awareness— and all in the name of skateboarding.

He’d probably gush about the impromptu game of SKATE between Billy Marks and Cole. He’d probably tell you that Luis Tolentino won the overall Destroyer award, Ben Hatchell blew minds and won the bowl jam, James Hardy won the drop ledge jam and Chris Cole won the tech center jam. With that, he’d probably make extra mention of Chris Cole’s frontside 270 to frontside noseslide on the ledge, which, safe to say, no one’s ever seen done before.

Johnny would then probably mention Brian Schaefer and Ryan Clements sporting some steezy Stetsons, how he sunk Anthony Schultz’s girlfriend in the Spitfire dunk tank, collected lots of free stickers and shwag from all the sponsors and ate lots of hot dogs and Fritos. He’d also have lots of great things to say about the premieres of Slave’s Radio-Television and Zero’s Strange World videos.

To conclude, Johnny would thank everyone involved. South Side, South Shore, Make-A-Wish, SPoT, all the skate companies, pros ams, media, friends, family, spectators—everyone—for coming and uniting and helping and sharing a little bit of themselves for a greater good. And even if that greater good hadn’t been him at one time … Johnny would be supportive and thankful just the same … because that’s what real skateboarders do—they circle their wagons and look out of their own.

Results
Bowl

1. Ben Hatchell
2. Tony Cervantes
3. Raney Beres

Zumiez Ledge
1. James Hardy
2. Davis Torgerson
3. Andrew Pott

Tech Center
1. Chris Cole
2. Daniel Espinoza
3. Joey Brezinski

Destroyer Award
Luis Tolentino.

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3 Minutes with Tyler Bledsoe

March 2, 2010

tyler three minutes rob brink

3 Minutes With Tyler Bledsoe
etnies.com, Jan 2010

Top three places to eat in Portland:
1. Taste Tickler
2. Burgerville
3. Cadillac Cafe

Top three best cheeseburgers:
1. In-N-Out
2. The Habit
3. Burgerville

Top three reasons to not leave Portland:
1. Friends
2. Scenery
3. Family

Top three things to do when it rains/snows:
1. Department of Skateboarding
2. Sleep
3. Call of Duty

Top three Burnside rippers:
1. Mike chin
2. Red
3. Brent Atchley

Top three reasons to visit California:
1. Weather
2. The beach
3. Spots

Top three other cities to tour:
1. Barcelona
2. New York
3. LA

Top three tour roomies:
1. Oliver Barton
2. Devine
3. Lucas Puig

Top three Alien graphics:
1. Any OG graphic
2.
3.

Top three Alien Videos:
1. Photosynthesis
2. Timecode
3. Memory Screen

Top three Alien riders of all time:
1. Lennie Kirk
2. Jason Dill
3. Heath Kirchart

Top three Portland skaters:
1. Matt Beach
2. Mike Chin
3. Craig McKendry

Top three etnies shoes:
1. The Portland
2. The Portland
3. The Portland

Top three favorite tricks to do:
1. Ollie
2. Kickflip
3. Frontside flip

Three skaters with a good hurricane grind:
1. Brian Anderson
2. Mike Carroll
3. Kenny Anderson

Top three favorite videos:
1. Photosynthesis
2. Mouse
3. Goldfish

Top three favorite skaters of all time:
1. Guy Mariano
2. Gino Iannucci
3. Andrew Reynolds

Top three bands:
1. Pink Floyd
2. Jimi Hendrix
3. Rolling stones

Top three movies:
1. Goodfellas
2. A Clockwork Orange
3. Dumb and Dumber

Three favorite non-skate pastimes:
1. Chillin’
2. Call of Duty
3. Movies

Top three things you are afraid of:
1. Heights
2.
3.

Top three books:
1. Mr. Nice
2. Any Hunter S. Thompson
3.

Top three things you could be doing instead of this:
1. Skating
2. Chillin’
3. YouTube

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Year's Best Am: Tyler Bledsoe

January 25, 2010

tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

Year's Best Am 2009: Tyler Bledsoe
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, March 2010

Ask anyone who knows Tyler Bledsoe and they’ll tell you that on the rare occasions he actually does speak, it’s usually the funniest, most epic utterance of the day. They’ll also tell you how gifted of a skateboarder he is… which is no bullshit. In fact, despite it’s complimentary nature, is still probably an understatement.

Tyler is a simple young lad who is wise beyond his years… both in life and in skateboarding, which is something that could serve us all a little better, should we be able to achieve such an enlightened state of being. Since we have him being a little chatty for once, lets just get to it, shall we? Ladies and gentleman, we present to you, The Skateboard Mag’s 2009 Year’s Best Am… Mr. Tyler Bledsoe.

Tyler! Whatcha doing?
I’m just chilling at home… a little sick.

Swine Flu!
No, not yet.

tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

Do you get bummed during winter?
I used to. But I appreciate the wintertime now because I was in California for so long and they don’t have seasons. I like the rain now.

How does it feel to be Year’s Best Am?
It’s kind of a surprise. I didn’t even know I was in the running for it. You just randomly told me. I thought you were joking. I’m stoked.

I heard you have your own place now.
I just moved in this month. It’s cool. I’ve lived on my own pretty much for the last three years… just being on trips and stuff, so it wasn’t that big of a change. I’m still pretty close to home and go there all the time.

When you need food or something?
Yeah. Cleaning supplies and all that.

“Hey mom! I’m hungry.”
Call her ahead of time to get dinner cooking.

Does having your own apartment trigger the OCD at all?
When I leave it kinda freaks me out. I’m afraid something’s gonna happen and my place will catch on fire. That’s the thing that triggers the OCD.

So when I see you pull the hotel room door closed five extra times… that gives you the comfort that a disaster wont happen?
Yeah, exactly. I don’t get all paranoid if I do it five times. I’ve actually overcome it a little bit. But it was pretty gnarly for a while.

tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

What were the worst things you did?
Just checking everything before I leave… the sink, the locks, the light switches… everything.

I’ve been there. But as I got less stressed about things it started disappearing. Also being busier and not having so much free time…
Yeah, that actually happened with me. ‘Cause I would have to leave somewhere and I couldn’t spend 10 or 15 minutes checking the shit so I’d have to learn to block it out.

What’s your favorite thing about your new apartment?
Just being able to be lazy and not do anything.

Watching Curb Your Enthusiasm…
Yeah. Pretty much 24/7.

What’s your favorite episode?
This one called “The Carpool Lane.” Larry David smokes weed with his dad and a hooker. It’s pretty epic.

While driving in the carpool lane?
He picks up this prostitute so he can use the carpool lane on his way to a baseball game then ends up buying weed for his dad for his glaucoma or something… then he bugs out.

Do you have any new YouTube videos to recommend?
I’ve been watching a lot of faceplant montages. Those are always pretty entertaining.

tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

I heard you were vegetarian for a while?
I was never a vegetarian. I’ve always been down for meat.

Most people have all these harsh rumors going around about them… but the one about you is that you used to be a vegetarian.
I haven’t really heard anything too crazy about me. I’m sure it’s coming though.

Why you don’t like swimming?
Ever since I was young I didn’t really like water. I’m down for hot tubs but not swimming or jumping off cliffs. I was a good swimmer, but I just don’t go into the water.

I’ve lived next to the ocean for three years and I’ve never been in it. I just don’t think it’s necessary. I just sit there and look at it.
Yeah. I’d rather just chill on the beach. Of all the times I’ve been to California I’ve never been in the ocean.

I heard you and Lucas room together on Fourstar tours and play SKATE a lot. What trick can you always get him with?
He has pretty much every trick. I think the inward heels are his weakness. That one gets a lot of people though.

What changed for you after Mind Field? Are people recognizing you more?
That was the first real video I’ve had a full part in. It was a pretty big change… a little overwhelming and weird. Everyone knew who I was almost overnight. But I think it’s a good thing.

What are some of the advantages of you being “the quiet guy?”
You don’t have to talk to as many people. It’s more entertaining to just observe.

tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

Do you just sit back and watch all of us loud people run our mouths and act like total assholes?
Yeah. That’s the whole point. It’s like watching a TV show.

The real Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Exactly. Also, people listen to you more if you’re quiet and all of a sudden you say something. Most people talk and it goes in one ear and out the other.

Wasn’t there a phase where you almost got booted off Alien?
Yeah. There was a weird period where I almost got kicked off of everyone because I was up in Oregon and didn’t really know what I was doing. I hadn’t really had any coverage and Alien didn’t know what I was doing up here.

So you got a call from someone telling you you’re blowing it?
Yeah, I got a warning. Like a six-month trial period…

That’s kind of cool. Instead of just getting cut.
Yeah it was good ‘cause it got me motivated. I was like, “Shit, I need to do get to Cali again and do something.” It all worked out in the end.

What’s the secret to holding a hurricane grind for so long? The people wanna know.
Haha. I think you just pretend it’s a feeble grind and hold it as long as you can… except you’re going backwards.

Two months from now everyone will be able to hurricane 50 feet.
That’d be sick!

tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

I’ve seen you compared to Guy Mariano a few times. Perhaps the way you guys skate ledges or something?
He was a pretty big inspiration for me. One of my favorite all-time skaters, so I kinda relate to his skating I guess.

When was your last big meltdown?
About two weeks ago.

What happened?
There was a week where I couldn’t land anything. I think I freaked out every day. It was kind of a big blur. I tried to block it out of my head. I was cursed.

I’ve seen you battle for a trick, melt down, land it perfect then sneak away into he van and still be bummed.
Well, just because I land it doesn’t mean I’m not still pissed that it took so long. Or if it’s something that I can usually do easily and it takes me two hours I’ll be pissed even if I do land it.

What bums you out about the skate industry?
All the gossip and shit. It gets kind of old. That’s what’s nice about being up here. I never hear anything about the industry up here. If I do it’s like a month and a half late.

I remember being a kid who couldn’t get enough skate gossip. Now when I don’t hear it until two months later I’m kind of proud.
Yeah, that’s how I was. I would check all the skate sites and videos when I was younger… now I could really care less.

Do you think that’s better for your skating creatively? All those influences or standards or “rules” are absent from your mentality… No barriers.
That’s exactly what it is. If you watch skating all the time and know the tricks everyone is doing, you’re gonna start doing those tricks too. Or you’re gonna copy what’s happening. But if you don’t watch, you don’t know what’s going on and you’re just gonna try and think up your own shit to do.

tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

Otherwise you just end up doing impossibles and crails.
Yeah, and turn that into the next hot shit.

How about your fake ID mishap?
That wasn’t one of my finer moments in life. We went to some random street in L.A. and you just go up to these sketchy dudes. We didn’t even get out of the car… they just came up to us like, “Fake IDs? Fake IDs?”

I was like, “Shit. That was easy!” I put down all my info. But I was nervous, ‘cuz it was sketchy and I fucked up on the date. It said I was 20, not 21. I got another one made but it cost another 60 bucks. But I could’ve had a fake 21st birthday if I wanted with the 20-year-old ID though. That was the only good thing.

How about when you puked spaghetti and meatballs all over the tour van in Tampa? That’s my favorite Tyler night.
I ruined my Ninja Turtles shirt that night.

You threw it in the bushes. I kinda wanted to save it for you, but it was covered in…
I got too much puke on it. It’s okay. It was worth it for a good story.

tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

About 20 people told me I wouldn’t get a word out of you for this interview.
I think I’m getting better at interviews. Plus, I’m sipping on a White Russian so I think it’s helping. Yesterday I had a White Russian and watched The Big Lebowski.

You have the life! This interview makes me wanna move to Portland.
Yeah, I’m just trying to keep it pinnacle right now.

BONUS MATERIAL!

The cover:
rob brink tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag

The cover shot:
tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

"Letter from the editor" portrait:
tyler bledsoe the skateboard mag rob brink

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Festivus: Tampa Am '09

January 25, 2010

rob brink tampa am 2009 the skateboard mag

Festivus: Tampa Am ‘09
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, March 2010

This year’s Tampa Am contest may have been the most incredible Tampa Am ever … seriously. “Why?” you ask. Well duh! Obviously because all sorts of history was made!

As you all know, Luan Oliveira won. And that makes him the first person to ever win Tampa Am twice! History in the making! You should be excited. One might assume that after two Tampa Am wins, he won’t be am too much longer, eh? Or maybe he’ll win next year as well! Three-peat history! Luan beautifully flipped his board really fast and high and spun around a lot. That kid sure has one hell of a pre-trick windup. Hit pause next time you are watching his footage and check it out.

You know what else? More history was made when Ben Hatchell took second. Yes, indeed, Ben is the first person to ever get second place at Tampa Am twice! Insane! Furthermore, not since Daewon has someone exerted so much authority over the blunt kickflip out. And Ben’s cab flips … fuggitaboutit!

This year, for the first time in history, there was a high ollie contest at Tampa Am. Luis Tolentino made history by tying the history-making high ollie world record of 44.5 inches set by Danny Wainwright in February of 2000. Whoa … that record is ten years old and no one’s beaten it yet? That’s historic in itself! Possibly even sadly historic. Can someone just do it already? Beating his record would mean more history could be made! And we all like making history, don’t we? Lots of history. Historical amounts of history.

rob brink tampa am 2009 the skateboard mag

Alongside high ollie record-matching history also came high jinx history. You see … there’s this guy, Stalker Steve. He’s a local down in Tampa and shoots photos. One can only imagine why his name is “Stalker Steve,” but that’s beside the point. Anyway, a challenge was posed to him—the challenge to jump, on foot, over the high-ollie bar at 44.5 inches.

Steve accepted, crowds gathered, chants began, and Steve approached the bar at a speed not unlike that of a 101-year-old Galapagos Island giant tortoise and ultimately achieved a vertical leap of approximately 1.6 inches as he crashed through the ollie bar. It didn’t appear Steve put much effort into his attempt, but I think he did, and that’s what made it amazing. Hats off to you, Stalker Steve, for allowing us to laugh with you. Lord knows we all need a good guffaw or two these days.

Could anything possibly trump the aforementioned history made by Luan, Ben, Luis and Steve? Well, how about local Skatepark of Tampa femme fatale, Sierra, having a historic increase in size to a certain area of her anatomy? Now that’s some history that we can all enjoy. In fact, let’s just go ahead and shut this one down by awarding Sierra and her new boobs “the most important historic event of the Tampa Am ’09 weekend” award.

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Mike Anderson: Behind the Ad

January 21, 2010

mike anderson rob brink es footwear

Mike Anderson: Behind the Ad
Words: Rob Brink
esfootwear.com, March 2010

Was this a spontaneous session or did you plan this spot and trick?
I wanted to skate the pool but I didn't know I was gonna do feebles.

Where do front feebles fall in your hierarchy of favorite tricks?
They’re fun sometimes.

Where’s this spot?
My friend Squeak’s house.

What’s the 7-10-1975 stand for?
That’s Art’s pool. Squeak’s uncle. 7-10-1975. RIP.

How come you didn’t shoot a fakie thruster for the ad?
My knees couldn’t get stylish enough.

Are big-cuffed jeans back in style or were they just too long for your legs?
Are they in style again? Awesome! Woooo Hooooooo!

You have a Krooked Square One colorway now. Tell us about that.
éS asked me to do a colorway and I was really stoked! Really wanted that Krooked logo on it. RIP Van Wastell.

How about the custom insoles and photos?
At the time, I was spending a lot of time with my friends in my garage after Van passed. Just had a lot of good memories together. The other insole is just random funny and cool photos of Van.

So when’s the baby due?
February 11th

According to the baby tracker, how big is she now?
Says she’s as big as a head of lettuce (18 in, 3.2 lbs)

Tell us the story of going to Paris. It’s kinda romantic. Skateboarding needs more romance I think. You and Daisy can start a revolution.
A romance revolution? Well, I was in Europe on The Great éScape tour for a few weeks before Daisy flew out. She a 4D ultrasound while I was gone, so we decided to have the doctor write down the sex of the baby and seal it in an envelope so we’d open it in Paris together. We planned to open it under the Eiffel Tower, but were too anxious and did it right when we got to the hotel. It’s a girl!

How has the journey to fatherhood changed you?
I’m trying to learn how to be a better man. I want to raise my daughter to be a good person. I definitely try to think twice before I do stupid shit now. I’m really excited. I’m sure I’ll have a better answer for you in a couple months.

What’s been the best part?
Happiness.

What’s been the hardest or scariest part?
She doesn't like daddy.

Are you bitter at Nieratko at all for getting your girl pregnant?
Stoked he convinced me to not wear condoms... yes. Bitter? No.

Does he get visitation rights?
Just saw him today. His baby boy isn't allowed near my daughter!

Any plans to get married?
Very personal questions, huh?

Have you practiced changing diapers yet?
I changed my little brother and nephew’s diapers a bit.
Are you working on any interviews or video projects at the moment?

Skateboarder interview just dropped and I think I’m filming for an éS video.
Any talk of going pro? It’s gotta be coming soon, no?
I’m actually not sure.

Who are your favorite skaters at the moment?
Jake, Justin and Aaron.

What’s the best thing about riding for Krooked?
Free stickers!

What’s your favorite thing about the Gonz?
Spontaneity.

Favorite YouTube video of the moment?
“Stop betraying me!” And Aaron Loreth.

New Years resolutions for 2010?
To make it to 2011.

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Rick McCrank: Behind the Ad

January 21, 2010

rick mccrank rob brink es footwear

Rick McCrank: Behind the Ad
Words: Rob Brink
esfootwear.com, December 2009

Didn’t anyone ever tell you that regular belts are out and you’re supposed to be wearing a shoelace around your waist?
I wore a shoelace belt for a while. It kept digging in to my side and it looked like a G-string so I went traditional again. Chocolate makes a nice belt. I've been wearing it forever.

Do you feel weird about the amount of underwear showing in your ad?
Yeah that's a bummer. That ledge has a nice sized drop off of it. I guess I caught the wind.

Where do you buy your boxers?
I don't need to buy boxers because Matix makes really good ones.

How about those chicks in the upper left corner? Were they checking you out?
I don't know? They were there for a really long time. I think one of our dudes was chatting them up and got a number.

Did the naked statues on the wall distract you at all? Perhaps inspire you?
Definitely inspired me. I love the old architecture in Paris and I don't mind a nude body either.

So where is this spot and what do you like and dislike about it?
It's in Paris at what is now an art gallery called Palais de Tokyo. Ed Templeton had a show there! I really like this spot. It has a perfect three stair with really nice ground, a tall ledge that Biebel switch back tailed, a small double set, a huge double set, the hubba and the massive one above it. I always have fun there. The hubba is wide and has a perfect slope. It slides and grinds great. I guess I dislike how beat up the ground has gotten over the years. It's a main skate spot in Paris so the ground at the bottom of the three-stair and the double set is all smashed up. Oh and it always smells like piss where you start for the hubba.

Was this a spontaneous thing or was the 50-50 backside 180 planned prior to the arrival?
It was spontaneous. I wanted to try another trick on the backside one but didn't have the nerve that day. It was Bobby that suggested I try 50-50 backside 180. Thanks Bob!

Have you ever had any other ads at this spot? I know in Menikmati you 50-50'd it.
I think I had an éS ad doing 50-50 kickflip out over the kink. I've done a couple other things on it over the years.

What’s your favorite trick that you’ve seen done there by someone else?
Colt Cannon frontside nosegrinded it. That is insane! I heard a rumor that Tom Penny almost frontside noseslide it but that's unconfirmed.

Is it more intimidating to skate this thing now or was it harder back then? I’d think back then it would have been a higher ledge by common standards… but now maybe the trick you were trying was harder?
It was harder now because I have bad ankles.

I heard you battled a bit. Did you know you would eventually land it?
Yeah it took some time because I'm rusty with the bigger things. I did have faith I could do it though ... just had to put the time in. My ankles are jacked. I'm getting some clean-up surgery in a few weeks. I didn't even think I would street skate that whole trip. The good thing about that trick was that it only really hurt my ankles when I landed from the impact, so if it felt wrong I could just run or slide down the ledge on my ass.

Did you land it more than once?
Nope, luckily it worked out the first time I rode away.

Can you describe, person-by-person, what’s going on in that other photo?
Terps was trying to do a blunt over me while I got hippy. Manderson was pretending to be a Sasquatch and Josh was puking up the poison from the night before.

es footwear rick mccrank rob brink

Quote from Seb… “He did it for liberté I think. I’m sure égalité and fraternité came in to it too.” What’s that all about? Did you indeed do it for all those things?
I did it because skateboarding is all I've got.

This was during the last leg of The Great éScape tour… what was your favorite part of that trip?
Being in Paris was my favorite part. I love skating there and just being there. I'd like to spend most of next summer there.

Are you working on any interviews, video projects or more film stuff at the moment?
I think I've done enough interviews for a lifetime. I'm not that interesting.

Will you have a part in the Chocolate video?
Yeah. I'm going to have a part in the Chocolate video and I might do a skate project on film with a friend of mine.

You’ve been on éS a pretty long time now! When did you get on?
I think it's been ten years. Crazy! I wonder if I get a watch or a plaque?

Any New Years resolutions for 2010?
Get my ankles in order and skate my ass off.

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