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Nike Does It Again with “Chronicles III”

February 24th, 2016   
The recent release of Nike’s newest production was … drum roll please…
a great success!
It can be a true challenge to live up to the hype of such a big brand name within the ongoing transformation of skateboarding media distribution. As peoples’ immediate attention spans decrease from fifteen seconds down to nine, it’s hard to believe that anyone is engaged by anything. But the truth is that Nike SB delivered a quality product with a great cadence that will be sure to appease even the most cynical of skate nerds.
Photo: Transworld Skateboarding

Heavy line-up at the world premiere in LA. Photo: Transworld Skateboarding

The Chronicles series comes at perfect timing for the cultural change in skate video intake, due to its length. But even more relevant is it’s format within the thirty minutes that it shows you.
SPOILER ALERT (read no further if you don’t want it):
The immense pressure of “first part” in a full-length video is real, and Nike made a good move by opening with Cory Kennedy. First of all, almost everyone loves CK1. He rips, he parties, and he doesn’t think twice about any of it. Also, opening with such a young buck shows anticipation for building on that for a full-length shred marathon.
Next up, it’s Trevor Colden. If Cory wasn’t new age enough for you, Trevor comes in hot with a classic hip hop-blaring hard street part to bring it back to a “classic” skate video vibe. And Trevor has been breathing Nike since he first stepped into the national scene from coastal Virginia.
Following him up is the complete polar opposite and yet another crowd favorite, Lance Mountain. The fact that he is still pushing his skating is incredible, and true Lance fans (there are many) are pooping themselves with happiness to see it. Lance alley-oops his way over pool ladders and vertical hippie jumps through them. But he also kickflips picnic tables and boardslides full-sized ledges. Lance rules! And we all know it.
Taken from be-street.com

Lance getting crazy on a deathbox. Taken from be-street.com

Next up is the montage with four of the best in their own genre. Omar Salazar, the king of speed. Brian Anderson, the czar of style. John Fitzgerald, the man-sized champ. And Blake Carpenter, the new kid and tech star. Oh, and a switch flip from Stefan Janoski. Who doesn’t love his switch flip??
After a well-rounded shared part, the audience wants to see a banger. and they get a BANGER. In today’s age of new board companies started by our favorite skaters, Fucking Awesome is the word. And Kevin Bradley screams “Fucking Awesome” with his signature “G” style. Bringing power in a small package is what Kev does. And every kid in LA wants to be him. Nike is better for having Kevin Bradley on board with the Swoosh.
Who could possibly follow the BANGER just dropped by Kevin? … KOSTON. Eric Koston puts out a legitimate full part for this video (maybe his last) that shows progression, style and longevity. And everyone respects it. Koston was already king. And the fact that he filmed that many tricks for one video, one more time, solidifies his place in skateboarding. LEGEND.
Now the build-up is REAL. Who’s next? Karsten Kleppan?? Some people still didn’t even know who Karsten was, but he made sure we all remembered with the footage he put into this production. Nike selecting him was definitely strategic, as he simultaneously went pro for Skate Mental and showed the audience that Nike is still bringing in the newest talent from around the globe. He ripped for sure, but honestly, the one thing we remembered was his ender. Skateboarding has never seen a mellow-rail 50-50 grind so impressive. I’m standing by that. Never.
When the video ended, I think everyone was expecting another part from a more well-known name, but no one could be mad at the show that they had just witnessed.
via ridechannel.com

via ridechannel.com

Cheers to you, Nike, for doing it the right way, but with your own unique style. No one was paid to say these words about you. But because people may think they were, you have a lot of pressure on every move as a company. And you showed skateboarders that Nike SB is SB. The skateboarding production that is Chronicles III did NOT disappoint.
Now let’s see the line-up for Chronicles IV… Nyah? Jagger?
Only time will tell.

Four Star’s “Obtuse Moments Tour”

February 24th, 2016   
Skate videos come, and skate videos go. That is inevitable, but the rate at which they cycle through increases all the time. Skaters release parts more often than skate teams release full videos. The way we consume this stuff is just evolving, for better or for worse. One genre of skate video that is often done half-heartedly, when there once was a solid trend of creativity, is the tour video.
We are in the Instagram age...

We are in the Instagram age…

From the Baker tour videos and Tony Hawk’s Gigantic Skatepark Tours of yore, there is no comparison from modern skate company tour productions. Except for a mere few.
Four Star Clothing.
Four Star has always edited their tour videos in a unique, fun, and impressive way, that no other team has really recreated. The videographers, skaters, editing and music, altogether create a sort of unity in the team that seems so rare in today’s skate media climate.
Brophy's ollie over Rickk's bike.

Brophy’s ollie over Rickk’s bike.

The street clips are as sick as any other tour video’s. The demo footage is friendly and gnarly all at once. The video of candid shenanigans are a staple. And, of course, the quirky family photo-type moments with the whole team in frame. Gerwer’s antics, Trujillo’s hang time, Ishod’s bangers, Brophy’s pop… The list goes on and on.
Great team and great production. Long live Four Star and all of its Obtuse Moments.

Pig Wheels – Pig Head Natural

February 24th, 2016   
For our first product review, we’re highlighting a smaller company that’s always been about core skateboarding! Pig Wheels. As part of Tum Yeto Distribution, Pig was started in 1993. So many legends have ridden for Pig over the years, and today’s team is still stacked! There’s a reason they “ride the swine”.
After using these wheels for a while, we notice that they are generally pretty soft. They don’t slide well on rough concrete, but they do really grip the ground when you need it most. You’ll almost never slide out of a tough impact. Instead, the wheels will grip and let you roll right through your landing.
The Pig Head - Natural

The Pig Head – Natural

They do tend to flatspot (or wear away unevenly) a bit faster than other wheels can, but they are solid wheels that will help you any day in the streets. You’ve also got the power of the pig behind you!
Ride the swine!

Evan Smith (Finally) Has a Pro Shoe!

February 24th, 2016   
One of the many things in skateboarding that we’re currently stoking out on:
Evan keeps it real. Photo: The Boardr

Evan keeps it real.
Photo: The Boardr

Time and time again, he has surprised us by his raw talent, loose style, and ability to push himself in any direction. His recent shoe release, accompanied by a rad party in Long Beach, CA, was something we all knew we wanted but didn’t know we needed. Sure, we can all be stoked for Evan (and you should be), but to make it even better, his professional shoe model with DC Shoes is about as high-quality as it gets. With super suede in all the right places, Impact I sole technology, and today’s hot toe cap design, The Evan Smith S is a solid skate shoe for any type of ripper.
We don’t even carry shoes, and here we are going on about his footwear. But they’re that good.
Also riding for Element Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Bones Wheels, and Swiss Bearings, Evan’s got a solid list of sponsors, all of which he fully deserves.
Check out Evan’s Element Predator deck, available in 8.1” and more! The featherlight construction that Element has been nailing for years comes together with authentic art to do Evan Smith justice as one of our favorite skaters. We proudly back Element Skateboards here on the site!
Evan's recent Thrasher Magazine cover. HEAVY!

Evan’s recent Thrasher Magazine cover. HEAVY!

We also back products from all his sponsors.
Independent Trucks are built to grind, and he uses that to it’s fullest capacity.
Bones Wheels never flatspot, perfect for his spontaneous, speed-checking style.
Swiss Bearings keep him rolling fast, so he can approach any spot, no matter how challenging.
Cheers to Evan and all that he is. Cheers to skateboarding.

AVE SOTY 2015

February 24th, 2016   
Each year, nearing the end of the calendar, skaters everywhere anticipate this award. Once per year. The lifetime award, as some consider it.
AVE! SOTY 2015!

AVE! SOTY 2015!

It’s become so anticipated, yet it’s not the measure of the best skater in the industry at the time. It’s about the skater that best represents a skateboarder at his (yet to be her) prime. The skater who exhibits style, speed, progression, and the grit to eat shit. The skater who does this all year long, and longer.
This year’s Skater of the Year was announced on December 8th, and our SOTY is Anthony Van Engelen (AVE). AVE has been pushing his hardest for longer than many SOTY voters have existed. Since his first sponsor with Channel One Skateboards to his debut with Alien Workshop in the iconic “Photosynthesis” video, his role in the days of “The DC Video” era of DC Shoes to his founding Fucking Awesome. Almost every time period of modern street skateboarding has been one chapter or another of AVE’s notable career as a professional skateboarder. The cherry on top and good excuse for Thrasher to give him SOTY 2015: his incredible ending part in a long-awaited video that completely met the hype: Vans’ “Propeller.”
The main man with a beefy back tail. From the Vans Skate Tumblr account.

The main man with a beefy back tail. From the Vans Skate Tumblr account.

Just to answer any nay-sayers, any doubters, any talkers, AVE was a worthy SOTY. He may not have blizzard flips like Kevin Bradley, the spry energy of Cory Kennedy, or kinked rail talent of Ishod Wair, but he has something none of them have.
The heart and perseverance of Fucking Anthony Van Engelen.
Congrats, Ave.

Agenda Show Hits Long Beach – Jan. 2016

February 24th, 2016   
In any industry, there’s a need to stay relevant. People always want to stay educated on current trends, and even fads, to better know how they can make their products better for their customers. Skateboarding is no different.
Skateboarding has an industry with as much loyalty as any other. Company owners, sales managers, and pro skaters alike want to know what’s going on in skateboarding. And there are not many better ways to do that than by physically coming together with those from all around the industry.
From our Instagram. The Babylon miniramp.

From our Instagram. The Babylon miniramp.

Last week was highlighted by Agenda Show in Long Beach, CA, the premiere west coast trade show for skateboarding. For many years, living on the east coast, I attended the Agenda Show in New York City. Yet this was my first time visiting the show in Los Angeles County, California.
The atmosphere of Agenda Show is unlike any experience most skaters have had. It’s, for lack of a better word, dope. Especially the first few times going to these events, walking the show is a bit surreal. You’ll casually pass P-Rod, Aaron Herrington, and Evan Smith, and it’s no big deal to the majority. Everyone’s friends, and most are really friendly. It’s a chance for an industry of friends (that is the skateboarding industry) to catch up and connect.
It’s an exciting experience for us individuals, whether employees, company founders, or skate rats. But also, it’s an encouraging time for every brand in attendance. The staples of the industry for decades are lined up in rows right next to upstarts that hope to reach their own greater success one day soon. Element Skateboards, Plan B Skateboards, and Loud Headphones are just down the way from Pizza Skateboards and Remind Insoles. Every type of skateboarding company with every type of product. They’re there.
The Skate One booth stayed busy! Photo taken from our Instagram.

The Skate One booth stayed busy! Photo taken from our Instagram.

All is looking healthy for skateboarding at the Agenda Show, and we’re happy to know it! After all, that is why we do what we do: skateboarding. It’s the best part of our days, and we want to offer solid products to skateboarders everywhere.
We’re stoked to see skateboarding’s industry on the ground level. Even more, we’re glad to see that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Long Live Skateboarding!