Chris Thiessen wastes no time with any intro and gets right to the meat on the bone, SF’s favorite line skater, Ben Gore. An opener perfect for the direction of the film, Gore threads tricks together like he was born to do it, and he probably very well was. The music holds a theme of eccentric jazz club live jams, which is maintained throughout the first good half of the production. Much like the skating, the music makes sudden turns in every direction and shows the audience different angles of each spot, each trick, each approach, some too quick to notice. Bobby Worrest comes in for relief with the second part and holds it down with his classic skate rat style. One trick to the next, the skateboard purist shows us how we all do it in our dreams, and still to the same zany soundtrack of the film Thiessen has masterminded.
The marquee at the Riddles in Mathematics premiere!
The lack of predictability is the only common thread in this film, for there are flip tricks, ledge lines, manual trick fun and fast skating throughout. Bobby DeKeyzer holds it down for the Canadian rippers and the CONS crew, bringing in some more technical skating, but still with the line-threading technique that makes the film so dynamic and fun to watch. Killing one spot at a time, while Thiessen captures it with style and edits it with grace. All the while, Friends sections and breakaway footage to other skaters, including a solid 10-12 tricks from SoCal’s own Stevie Perez.
Riddles takes the viewer through a very European experience, with many of the spots being there. But the exotic Euro vibe continues through Los Angeles and New York footage alike. Keeping the trend alive, Leo Valls’s part in the video maintains the creative vibe of skating, as he always seems to do on a board. Leo says screw your bag o’ tricks, and enjoy the ride! Too humble to say, “Watch me do my thing!” With powerslide, beanplant and nollie trick combos impossible to see coming, he kept us all on our toes just long enough to bring us to the video’s “ender.”
And Yaje did NOT disappoint. Now PRO for Alien Workshop, Yaje Popson came correct with a style and trick selection all his own. Fitting Thiessen’s vision yet expressing himself without apology, Yaje showed the world (once again) why & how he is a “G”, for those that catch the drift. The quick feet carry him under, over and across spots in a way that we only wish we could. For the sake of giving away nothing more, Yaje came to impress and succeeded. Chris and everyone involved at TransWorld did their thing and kept a legacy alive. Although the annual TWS video came through as it usually does, the film (and those of the past few years) defined itself in a way that implied, “We know the future. Let us show you for forty minutes…” Never relenting, always pushing forward.
So there we were again, in the humidity of the Floridian gulf coast. Walking past the final gate with wrist bands in tow. Mentally prepared for what’s to come, the best & the worst alike. It was that time again… Tampa Pro 2017, the 23rd annual, was firing in full force by halfway through that Friday, the day of Practice. Everyone, from Ishod and Luan to Lizard and CK1, was there. Perhaps this contest will always attract every skater that can possibly make the trip.
Milton Martinez flies high in the Finals. HUGE Melon Grab Transfer.
There’s a grungy feel to the skatepark, mixed with ultimate opportunity for shenanigans of any size or shape… SPoT is truly the place to relax and get weird, but usually if you’re a true skate rat. Every flavor of talent is under one roof: the tranny gods, the rail chompers, the tech wizards… Everyone. They all flew in for the weekend (and some longer than that) for that Tampa, Florida fix. If you’ve never been to a big event (Tampa Pro and/or Tampa Am) at Skatepark of Tampa, it needs to go right up to the top of your bucket list now. It’s already begun to change… There was no moat race this year… When there always has been… Not good for a new, clean image..? I guess we’ll never know. But no one (legally) submerged themselves in the fabled moat.
Other rad things were rising though… Arctic played a show at the park on Saturday night (yes, that’s Figgy, the Nuge & Frecks), Ray Barbee and Evan Smith played sets (separately) the night before, and DJ Romar (yes, Kevin Romar) jockeyed those discs after the Jenkem Best Trick contest on the concrete area outside. Nike premiered a short new video, featuring Ishod and Grant… Beers were had, tricks were landed [bolts] and bragging right s were distributed.
Creature Skateboards has had a long history of great riders, sick videos and rad graphics. That might sound obvious – they’ve been around since 1994 – but they persist and continue to put out good stuff, each season & every year.
Some of the Creature Skateboards team, lurking hard.
Most recently, Creature put out an especially dope series titled “Tanked”. Working with the man who calls himself @sketchy_tank on Instagram was a good decision on their part. It’s no new news to include pro riders’ interests in their board graphics, but the rag tag style in which they did these is unique and screams “Creature Skateboards”. Step one: make the decks green. Step two: draw images of the riders’ favorite things in life. Step three: maybe get their permission to print… Step four: send it to the presses!
Sticking with the tried & true formula, each deck tells a small story about that rider. Whether it’s David Gravette’s love for animals & beers & shenanigans or Willis Kimbel’s attraction to bikinis and shellfish, the guys at the NHS offices really hit the nail on the head. Reyes is feeling the unicorn vibes, Partanen is “beardsy,” Darren Navarette is still feeling the vampire within and Chris Russell keeps it hardcore with his graphic.
A company that holds so many transition rippers in the ranks is bound to keep it classic. But the new age spin on this throwback concept is why Creature will live long and prosper in all of its lurkdom.
Check out their new “Tanked” decks and relive CSFU in all of it glory right here:
Foundation Skateboards is a company started by Tod Swank in the year 1990. But much more importantly, Foundation is a crew, a team and a family. Once known as the Foundation Super Co. with past riders such as Daniel Shimizu, Brad Staba, Ethan Fowler & Heath Kirchart, Foundation has a rich history of great teams with full-length videos to accompany them. This generation of Foundation, however, is brand new and comes with a lot to prove. And their newest video, “Oddity”, was their opportunity. The team has changed a lot since it’s last full-length feature, 2010’s “WTF!”.
Most of the Fondation boys at the premiere in Santa Ana, CA.
The new guys are the guys! The team is stacked with young blood like Corey Glick, more seasoned skaters like Corey Duffel, road dogs like Dakota Servold and possible 2017 SOTY, Cole Wilson. The van is filled to the brim with talent, but it’s great to know that the bros are just bros. With no big checks to light a fire under their asses, the boys are getting clips for the love of it. And they’re getting it in whenever and however often they can. Doing it for all the right reasons, the current Foundation Skateboards team was bound to create magic with their newest video. And sure enough, Oddity was a stand-out.
Between Corey, Corey, Cole and the rest of the homies, the entire video was 100% (okay, 98%) skateboarding all the way through. Ryan Spencer came out with some really unique skating, Cole Wilson and Corey Glick came out swinging at every spot, Nick Merlino almost killed himself to get the footage, Aidan Campbell made a beautiful debut and Joey Ragali pushed himself hard for this one! Truly, everyone crushed it, and no SoCal spot was left unharmed.
Specifically, the handrail game was absolutely destroyed. From skating up kinked rails to skating through 8 kinks, these dudes did the unthinkable in every way imaginable. Never Been Done’s were No Big Deal, and lack of budget came through as Better then Ever.
There are plenty of skateboard companies that were formed within the last three years, but there’s only one that dropped a team video for the very first time just one week ago… On February 2nd at BLACK in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, Primitive Skateboards debuted the 7.5-minute-long video, “Opal”. And Opal was a fitting name.
Diego Najera – Nollie Tre Flip in Santa Monica
Like a rare stone, this short video was highly anticipated and long awaited. People knew it would be high quality but simultaneously wondered to themselves what the caliber would actually be. For those that aren’t avid followers of the brand, the premiere was a pleasant surprise. Primitive has a team that one might forget is truly stacked with the gnarliest talent. Of course, we all think of Paul Rodriguez, but we may forgotten about Devine Calloway and Brian Peacock, rookies in one regard but legends in another. Carlos Ribeiro, a strong 2016 SOTY contender; Shane O’Neill, one of the best in the world; and Nick Tucker, Instagram gold… And never count out Trent McClung, full-on team rider for Primitive as well as adidas Skateboarding and Bones Wheels.
The team is full of power, style and history within this thing we love called skateboarding. It’s easy to forget how impressive the squad truly is. And it just became a bit more impressive. Almost the entire second half of “Opal” was an introduction of Diego Najera to the pro Primitive family. If you’ve seen Diego skate, you know he handles himself like a professional. But now, Diego has his own pro board for the royalty-laden Primitive Skateboards.
Watch out for his new wood at the site COMING SOON and the full “Opal” edit HERE.
Humans are aplenty. So much so, that some nationalist leaders are establishing policies to bar them outside of their countries’ borders. Everyone has their differences, and with over seven billion humans on this planet, it’s started to get a bit sloppy. Yes, many get lost in their emotions amongst each other, but many have also found special places for themselves.
Certain people are put on our Earth to make a unique difference. Those that know him know how much of a difference he’s already made. Andy Dicker is a skateboarder, an artist and so much more. The head camp counselor at the YMCA Element Skate Camp at Sequoia Lake, he’s a role model for all those his younger and his elder alike. A pure soul that engages his students, his peers and his leaders with equal and great enthusiasm.
A soul like his is hard to find.
Andy is down but not out. He suffered serious head trauma while skateboarding in San Francisco about two weeks ago. His progress is slow, but we know his inner strength will bring him back to his old self in due time. His fervor unmatched, he’s capable of anything, something skateboarding was a part of teaching. There’s a hot fire burning in each of us. One that helps us push on regardless of any circumstance.
Many skaters have that fire. An ever-burning flame that keeps them going. But Andy… He had a such a strong devotion in him, that it constantly spread to those around him. Those that are now here for him in a time of need. The skateboarding world is here to show support, and all additional help qualifies as a great cause.
If you have $20, $200 or just one share on Facebook, feel free to help that cause right here at:
Aside from annihilating everything in his path on a skateboard and being one hell of a cosmic soul, Evan Smith has been getting a huge amount of coverage in the skate scene at large over the past three years. With multiple full parts, some solo and some as part of full-length skate videos, and great skating in plenty of this past year’s major contests, Evan’s shown himself to be the full package as a pro skater.
Evan on that tour life…
A serious SOTY contender, a street warrior, and a wandering lovechild don’t usually coincide on one human being, but that’s probably why everyone loves Evan. Celebrating his presence on Element Skateboards’ team isn’t enough. It’s only right to make his pro deck graphics as dope as can be, and we think Element nailed it right on the head. From his recent “Ranger” deck to the Star Head Body tribute in his “Elementalist” series deck, it’s easy to see how he fits in with the brand and how his artistic lifestyle shines through in its creation.
Always an artsy fellow, he could settle in Pittsburgh as a local creative. But for Evan, the road to meaning has only begun. And skateboarding is lucky to have him as a die-hard lifer. Stay around Skateboards.com to see the next graphics Element comes out with for Mr. @StarHeadBody.
Skaters unite! And support your favorite professionals. Keep pro boards alive by buying them yourself.
Most people don’t know exactly what you mean when and if you say the words “women’s skateboarding.” It’s still just beginning to blossom like skateboarding did for males so many years ago… There had not been a full-length girl-only skate video in over a decade, but that has been changed for the better because of the passion and dedication of two producers, Monique O’Toole and Erik Sandoval.
The vision for this era’s all-female skateboarding video was an ambitious one and a brave move. Even men often don’t get paid well to ride a skateboard, and their female counterparts (generally) are at least twenty years behind on that curve. All those long nights at lit up spots and weeks on the couch nursing injuries are rewarded with nothing but the love of skateboarding. I don’t mean to imply that the love of skateboarding isn’t freaking amazing. It is, and otherwise no one would be breaking themselves without getting a check in the mail. But it’s important to acknowledge the drive and perseverance required to keep skating hard, day in and day out for an eventual shot at a career in this thing.
Samarria Brevard – Crooked Grind
Quit Your Day Job is the most recent and best attempt at an all-female skate video: they absolutely nailed it. The vision of Monique & Erik coupled with the raw talent of so many skaters made it everything we all want in a full-length video. With an opener from Mariah Duran, they booted it up with some serious skating (and she turned pro at the premiere!). We’re not going to give away the full line-up and ender, but there are solid full parts from young shredders like Samarria Brevard and Savannah Headden, alongside veterans like Vanessa Torres. The vibe of the video is quasi-early 2000s, with structured parts and a solid soundtrack. The editing is almost flawless, coordinated with music and b-roll in a playful yet real way. And the skill level of these girls is fully mind-blowing! To be honest, there is a difference in the skill level of professional skateboarding by guys and girls, but this video will blow you away. Almost every single minute, you will see something that draws a reaction. You’ll want more of it, and at the end of the feature you’ll be wondering when the sequel will be released.
Get your hands on a copy somehow! Their crowdfunding campaign was a success, so check out that page for more info. See for yourself how real and rad women’s skateboarding has become! It’ll stoke you out more than you know, we’re sure.
At the end of the day, we’re all skateboarders, and we all deserve similar opportunities for our craft. As a pro skater, it’s crucial to be supported while living the dream, and we hope that skateboarding grows to be more inclusive of all the girls growing up now, in the skateparks and the streets alike!
This year’s SOTY race was arguably the closest of all time. Over the last five or six years, Thrasher (and skateboarding in general) has made the annual Skater of the Year award into something much more than just bragging rights. SOTY has become a skateboarding pop symbol, one hell of a party and a highly anticipated end-of-year conversation starter in skate communities worldwide. No matter how much YOU anticipated the winner of this year’s Skater of the Year, the real contenders were no doubt aplenty.
With ATVs like Evan Smith and Elijah Berle in the mix, powerhouses like Tiago Lemos and Dane Burman, and all-time greats like Dennis Busenitz and Brian Anderson, it was all way up in there air. The list went on and on… Figgy was another well-deserving shredder. And then there was Austyn Gillette… It seemed impossible to choose, and you know what I mean if you’ve been following skateboarding media at all this year. But it was awarded and to one of the very best, most deserving skaters in the world right now.
Kyle Walker HANDLES kinked rails.
Straight outta Oklahoma, Kyle Walker represents America, the mid-west and all that is alive and well with skating big rails and gaps. A straight-up productive killer with an affinity for shutting down any spot in his path, Kyle always gets back in the van with a well-deserved Stella Artois. If you’re a photographer, filmer, teammate or TM, you should always be prepared to celebrate, because Kyle will no doubt bend the limits of what’s doable…
Coming off of a solid performance in Vans’s “Propeller” (second to last part, only second to last year’s SOTY) last year, he produced footage for his full part in Volcom’s “Holy Stokes!” and various online video parts including the recent “No Other Way,” a shorter production from Vans. Kyle came out with his Vans pro shoe earlier this year and also did really well at Dew Tour in Long Beach. With the constant attitude of “let’s kill it, today” day in and day out, it’s no wonder that K Walks got the title of SOTY 2016.
For those that might be disappointed, you know that the winner deserved it. He’s as much a die hard skater as any of the other contenders and definitely pushed himself to new levels! If not convinced, watch the video below.
Politic: adj. <(of an action) seeming sensible and judicious under the circumstances.>
Politic is not your average skateboard brand. They are anything but that. When most of the industry is based in Southern California, Politic stays with its roots on the American east coast. When most companies sponsor a mix of contest skaters and clip stackers, Politic recruited raw street skaters only. And when most are following the blueprints of many skate companies past, Politic does its own thing entirely.
Taylor Nawrocki – back tail
Based in New York City, Politic never ventures far from the dirty streets of Manhattan, the very terrain that bred the culture of the brand. These guys take their pushing seriously, as they should, and people are taking note. They’ve drawn a top-notch team, including Taylor Nawrocki, Danny Renaud, Dom Henry, Dave Caddo, Quim Cardona, Joshua Bos and Steve Durante. This list of heavy hitters is no joke, and they’re paving the way for their own future. On their own terms.
Their graphics reflect the hectic energy of street skating in any metropolis, whether it be the boroughs of New York, the centro of Miami, the plazas of DC or the neighborhoods of Philly. The homage to their skaters with their pro decks are rad, to say the least; we hope you’re as stoked on them as we are.