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Alien Workshop Skateboards: Commodity Deck graphic

April 22nd, 2016   

Alien Workshop is a staple brand in the world of skateboarding. It functions as a good memory for some, a way of life for others, and a board sponsor for a current select few. Since its foundation in 1990, Alien Workshop has been at the highest of highs in the industry and as low as “out of business.” Nevertheless, the iconography of the company is almost impossible to match. Shortly after the company was founded in 1990, its first film “Memory Screen” set the tone for imagery it would eventually burn into all skaters minds for over a decade. At that time, skaters like Bo Turner, Scott Conklin, and Rob Dyrdek made up the pro roster for the Workshop. In the later 1990s, the company release “Timecode” and was home to some that would later grow into legends: Josh Kalis, Lennie Kirk, & Fred Gall.

The Commodity Deck from AWS

The Commodity Deck from AWS

After the turn of the century, Joe Castrucci came on board with the ‘Shop to help with creative direction and continued with what had already become an icon in the industry. Shortly afterward, one of the most influential skateboarding videos – “Photosynthesis” – was released, introducing the Habitat Skateboards brand and leaving a mark on skateboarding forever.
The company later made some turns, for better and for worse. Unfortunately, a company that had set precedent for so much of what street skateboarding later became was sold and had accrued outside interest that eventually tainted the culture of the brand. In 2009, “Mindfield” was released, which was a phenomenal skate video with one of the best teams in history. But after several years of uncertainty as a company, the team was shaved off, one skater at a time. Some lost interest or couldn’t afford delayed checks, and Alien eventually went under the radar, out of sight and mind.
Just last year, Alien Workshop came back under the guidance of Mike Hill and within distribution at Tum Yeto, where it is as of today (04/22/2016). The brand stayed true to its design principles and visual appeal from the first iteration. Check out their product on our site for a better idea of what they look like now, but they’ve done well in keeping it true to what we know Alien Workshop is and should be. It would be impossible to replicate the super team of 2009, but the new group of skaters representing the brand are all new. A fresh slate, as many magazines have touted, the skaters on the current Alien Workshop team are pretty new faces to the industry with unique styles  on and off the board.
The iconic logo of Alien Workshop

The iconic logo of Alien Workshop

Joey Guevara, Paul Liliani, Yaje Popson, Frankie Spears, Max Garson and Brandon Nguyen make up the current team, but none of those skaters are pro. Alien Workshop currently doesn’t have any pro riders, claiming that it’s intentional and that they’re bringing up their current roster to truly rebuild a quality brand in Alien Workshop.
The graphics and art direction, still under Chris Carter as ringmaster, are consistent with themes of yesteryear’s Workshop. We’re stoked to see what’s in the future! But we’re really stoked on what we’ve got already. Alien’s Commodity Deck can be found here at 8.25” wide.
Watch out for all things Alien Workshop in the near future. We definitely will be.

LA Local Premiere: LYSSOPHOBIA

April 22nd, 2016   
When we first arrived, light was barely present, and everyone was content in the shadows. There was the essence of a party in the air but an even heavier feeling of anticipation. When I first heard about the premiere, it was from an employee at Transworld Skateboarding. I knew, based on that recommendation, that it was a solid plan to make it out. A night in downtown LA to support local skateboarding and drink some beers with others that share the love of skating: sounds good to me!
The talented boys of LYSSOPHOBIA.

The talented boys of LYSSOPHOBIA.

Lyssophobia (that’s defined: the fear of going insane) was an appropriate title for this video, as it was absolutely bonkers. I mean, we recognized a few of the names on the list of talent, including Welcome Skateboards-repping Daniel Vargas and rail chomper Dylan Witkin. But we weren’t anticipating the kind of street skate destruction that came through those reels of film (or from that .mp4) onto the screen. The video could not have disappointed anyone with any expectations. The skating was well-rounded, the music was unexpected, and the clips were well-edited to the tracks. There wasn’t a moment in the video when we felt bored, although there were a few “WTF” moments, which we’re not complaining about.
As we all know, “sometimes skateboarding involves not skating,” so the video premiere isn’t just about the video itself. The premiere is a metaphor for the congregation of skate scenes in each and every community. It’s a time and place for skaters to rejoice the lifestyle and praise their local heroes. And most of all, its a time to get silly with your bros and girls over a few (…okay, many) drinks. Thanks to Lagunitas Brewing Co. for sponsoring and providing the booze for all of us skate rats and beautiful ladies. It was much appreciated and used responsibly, for the most part.
The premiere is less of an excuse to party and more of a cause for celebration. Skaters like to party, just like normal people like to party. Some skater DON’T party, just like some people don’t party. The premiere of a full-length skate video is an occasion afforded by the hard work of a select group of guys. It’s a reason to revel with and recognize those that have been working hard at their craft. It’s the best time to come together and keep skateboarding alive and well!
Check out the video for yourself! Pick up a copy here, check Transworld’s website for individual parts, or see the teaser below. But whatever you do, always remember to support your OWN local skate scene by showing love to the local skaters, the local shop, the local park, and all things that keep YOUR scene alive.
Skate and appreciate. Help us grow.

Bronze 56k x Thrasher Mag: “plug”

April 15th, 2016   
If you’ve been keeping up with skateboarding media at all over the last few years, you’ve gotten pretty familiar with the crew and content over at Bronze 56k. You know the schtick: “If you don’t fuck with Bronze, you’re whack as fuck…” This is the company that built its reputation off of pure shock factor and bold style.
From the riders to the visual art and everything in between, Peter Sidlauskas harnesses a unique flow in the videos that made Bronze famous amongst the cooler-than-thou skateboarders of today. For the last three years, there have been Bronze 56k edits, presented in their most vulgar, addicting, and unpredictable forms. SOLO JAZZ hooked those of us that would later watch and re-watch every following video edit, introducing them to our skateboarding friends and inevitably growing the Bronze 56k footprint in the skate world. Last year, Bronze brought us TRUST and then the Palace collaboration, PARAMOUNT.
After a 10-month hiatus, but no lack of brand growth, we were introduced to yet another Bronze gem via ThrasherMagazine.com: “plug.” plug is a promo for a full-length Bronze 56k flick coming later in 2016, and it definitely got us excited!
The video begins with one of the worst hill bombs gone wrong we’ve seen in a long time. Boom!  Right out the gate, Bronze has “got us fucked up.” Sidlauskas immediately transitions to a couple street gap tricks from two very fashion forward Bronze riders in San Fransisco. As a subtle form of rebellion against the status quo of Southern California skateboarding, there were two parts to “plug”: Side A was comprised of all SF bay-area footage while Side B was filmed all at “home” in New York. The movement to further individualize skateboarding by seeming to get “away from the industry” is fully embraced by Bronze as a brand.
In all honesty we feel that “plug” didn’t shock us nearly as much as past Bronze productions. Are they trying to appeal to broader audiences? Are they trying to focus more on the skating? Or are they just doing whatever the fuck they want to do?
We’re leaning in to that last option. And we can’t wait for the full video later in 2016.

Baker Skateboards: Hover Deck graphic

April 15th, 2016   
Don’t lie… We know that part of you likes the idea of playing on those new “hover boards.” Sure, they’re not hover boards; they don’t hover and they aren’t boards, but they’re fun toys made popular in the masses.
The Hover Board deck graphic from Baker

The Hover Board deck

It’s funny to see a new pop sensation fly off the shelves and be compared to a skateboard when there is barely room for such comparison. “Hover boards” are the easy route, but skateboarding is the real way for us all.
Now you can shred a hover board while skating your real deck. Baker is currently printing their Hover Deck graphic – available here in 8.25”. Regardless of the kook factor, Baker Boys wood is always good, so you won’t have to worry about quality of the skateboard here. That maple will last you through skateparks and street alike.
Everyone’s been on this new jaunt, from Theotis to T-Funk. So get on it! The Hover Deck is live on the site now.

KOTR Goes To VICELAND

April 15th, 2016   
For years, Thrasher Magazine has been organizing and documenting their King Of The Road series. What started in the early 2000s, took a brief hiatus and continued in the late 2000s, has become a staple in skateboarding media.
King Of The Road (KOTR) is not just another video series. It’s not just another tour. It’s not just another challenge. It is one of the most highly anticipated video series in the context of one of the gnarliest tours chock full of challenges for some of the best skateboarders on the planet to conquer.
KOTR has effectively encapsulated all aspects of street skateboarding and road life as a skater. From the city-specific challenges to the weird and wonderful, each challenge represents something in skateboarding, silly, gnarly, and everything in between.
It was a couple months ago that we started asking ourselves, “What happened to KOTR 2015? Is the content being published?” Sure enough, the footage was captured but never released. … Yet. It was recently unveiled that 2015’s King Of The Road would be shown in a brand new format. VICE’s new channel, “VICELAND,” which features new and edgy programming, is premiering Thrasher’s King Of The Road over the course of a season of twelve hour-long episodes.
Many forgot that it was never aired, but some were chomping at the bit for their KOTR fix. Our thoughts on the new collaboration were as follows:
First off, in the interest of VICELAND, it’s crucial to recruit outside programming to truly create a diverse line-up. King Of The Road is exactly the kind of thing you won’t find anywhere else. So Cheers to VICE and Hell Yeah for VICELAND.
King Of The Road, Baby!

King Of The Road, Baby!

Thrasher is a unique brand that sells apparel but is and always has been a media company. As the longest-running skateboarding magazine that has never changed ownership, it’s important for them to stay relevant in the context of today’s media landscape. VICE has built a cult following among the fringe of skateboarding culture, all things “hipster,” and is the perfect platform for partnership.
It’s a little bit of a bummer that to watch King of the Road, you have to have access to the VICELAND channel. Sorry Thrasher, but we know that there will be a lot of skaters not paying for VICELAND that won’t ever see King of the Road because of this. It’s a solid move, but it brings about an exclusivity that is a bit contrary to the spirit of skateboarding. It’s a pain for us skaters who don’t own TVs, but it also makes for unique content that isn’t available everywhere.
The amount of video prepared to fill out twelve hour-long episodes is bonkers! With the help of VICE cameras and staff, the full show will give a much deeper look in to the van life, piss bottles and all. However, we’ll see if the additional camera crew creates a less-than-desirable effect on the quality of the tour (spots busted, makeouts diverted, etc.).
All in all, we’re pretty stoked on the Thrasher x VICE action coming soon (April 28th). There will be setbacks involved, but with those also come huge benefits from partnering with VICE.
If anything, VICELAND just got cooler. Let’s see how it goes, boys. Do whatever it takes to see the show: get a bootleg plug-in for VICELAND, make friends with someone who has it, or get a job at VICE… No matter how you do it, be sure to check it out & let us know what you think!

Pyramid Country Does It Again

April 7th, 2016   
This past weekend, the 15th Annual Phoenix Am contest fired away with its usual insanity. This year’s weather was a bit cooler than usual (high 80s, Fahrenheit), but the talent was hot as hell. The am contest in Phoenix, AZ each year is hard to predict and difficult to control, but it never seems to disappoint. This year’s podium consisted of Dashawn Jordan in 3rd place, Yoshi Tanenbaum in 2nd, and Zion Wright taking the overall win! Congrats to them, all the finalists, and every skater who threw down in their heat.
As you probably know, big contest weekends like this are not only about contest results. They are some of the best reasons for friends to reunite, celebrations to be had, and the industry to gather around some of the nation’s best up-and-comers. One great thing that’s special to Phoenix Am is the unique and positive skate scene of Phoenix and Arizona as a whole. These guys are inclusive, hyped on skating, and eternally ripping! So what better time to release a top-notch local video than on Phoenix Am weekend!’
The Pyramid Country is very real. Or is it?

The Pyramid Country is very real. Or is it?

Intro: “Distant Mind Terrain”…
Pyramid Country is one of the best examples of the local homie crew that got big-time rep from the skate world at large. The homies of Pyramid Country hold it down in their own unique way and put out some of the weirdest pieces of cinema skaters can find. (And that’s saying a lot.) Some of the real pioneers of trippy VX-only footage mixed to outer space b-roll and crude public behavior, Pyramid Country made sure that its most recent release did not disappoint.
Distant Mind Terrain starts with a shinner, something all of us skaters are much too familiar with. A slightly awkward pause and then to a slow and low bass beat to banger clips to open up the film. Intro starts it off right to lead in to the first full part – Tyler Franz. Tyler’s one of the original fixtures to Pyramid Country and rips in his part here to prove it!
As the video progresses, we watch an indecipherable amount of shredding from all the guys, including: the new-age smooth of Eric Dowswell, the hesh master Aric Blattner, the proper flipping Kevin Skutnik, the blunted Shaun Gregoire, the techgnar player Chase McIntyre, Life Extension’s Blue Headey, ATV ripper Jonathan Pierce, Welcome’s own Aaron Goure, the ditch-skating prowess of Justin Modica, Late Night Link, the legend Dave Engerer, and our ender Kevin Braun.
Santa Cruz Skateboards supports Pyramid Country.

Santa Cruz Skateboards supports Pyramid Country.

Kevin, although not new to the Arizona scene, is new to the Santa Cruz am team. His smooth style and difficult bag of tricks made it a no-brainer for the NHS camp to pick him up. He deserved the ender to this video and his new official board sponsor based out of Santa Cruz, CA. Congrats, Kevin!
The overall vibe of Distant Mind Terrain was on point. The talent was incredible. The build up to and around the Pyramid Country brand was not a disappointment. Even given the ridiculous amount of skateboarding media coming out online these days, this 18-minute edit is one you don’t want to miss any of! So brew some coffee, pop some corn kernels, and get comfortable. Because you’re gonna get your mind blown like DMT.
Welcome to Pyramid Country.

Bones Wheels: NEW SPF Clears

April 7th, 2016   
Bones Wheels have been in production since 1978. That’s almost 40 years! And those years of experience absolutely translate to quality. Bones has made some of the best skateboard wheels available for decades under the supervision and expertise of engineer and legend, George Powell. After getting laid off from an aerospace engineering gig, George picked up and left from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara and founded Powell Peralta with Stacy Peralta. We don’t know if he knew at the time, but that company would eventually become one of the most influential skateboard companies of all time (now Skate One).
The brand spankin' new SPF Clears - Red 54mm. Only from Bones.

The brand spankin’ new SPF Clears – Red 54mm. Only from Bones.

Wheels are only one of the product categories manufactured in Santa Barbara. They’re made in-house, just as all of their products are, and it’s really a trip to see the process. One of our staff members, Keegan, posted about his visit to the facility on his personal blog. Check it out HERE.
Bones makes an OG (original) Formula, a Skatepark Formula (SPF), and a Street Tech Formula (STF), among other varieties. Their new Clear SPF wheels are something that skaters everywhere are talking about. It doesn’t make sense that a translucent wheel could be hard and slick enough to slide or “revert” on a concrete skatepark’s surface. Clear wheels originally came out as the first urethane that would GRIP the ground. But they do slide, and we can vouge for that.
Shown here is the 54mm Red Bones SPF Clear, but Skateboards.com also carries Purple 54mm, Red 56mm, and Blue 58mm versions.
Check 'em all out!

Check ’em all out!

It’s hard to believe that they made a great skatepark wheel out of clear colored material, but they did it! One of the biggest recent advancement in skateboarding wheel technology – now available to YOU! So if you want to match your board graphic, or just let the light shrine through the wheels for your next photo shoot, be sure to check out the Bones SPF Clears for yourself.
100% less flatspots. 100% more rad.

Dubbed Rip City For A Reason

April 7th, 2016   
Portland is a hell of a place. Or some would call it “heaven.” As staff writer and skater, I’ve been making recent trips there, but it’s been a destination since before I was alive. The year 1990 supposedly marks the beginning of the Burnside DIY, but it was even before that when Portland, OR started to attract skaters.
Mt. Hood looming behind Portland's skyline. Courtesy of SVP Portland.

Mt. Hood looming behind Portland’s skyline. Courtesy of SVP Portland.

A sort of polar opposite of Los Angeles, climate-wise, Portland offers an entirely different type of skateboarding hub to the global family. While Southern California never sees much rain and serves as what’s commonly considered the street skating capital of the world. The Northwest US receives lots of precipitation and contains some of the most fun concrete skateparks in the world. And the biggest concentration of them… It’s a less obvious mainstay of the worldwide skate scene that has made and maintained its niche in skateboarding and in many people’s minds.
The landscape there is lush, green, and glorious. The people are mellow. The skaters are serious, dedicated, and talented. It’s a great place to be a skater. If you can deal with the wetness and/or skating Burnside. And speaking of Burnside… The crustiest grail you’ll ever find is nestled neatly between a semi-empty truck lot and a brand-new building, right under the infamous Burnside Bridge. From the back wall of the park, you can get a clear view down the north side of the bridge to the incredibly tacky and beautiful “Portland, Oregon!!” sign.
You’ll see things at Burnside you’ll only see at homeless communes. And you’ll see things at Burnside that you’ll only see at the X Games. It depends on the day, but sometimes you’ll see all of it at once. Just turn your head. That place under the bridge is one of the most unique, even amongst its peers. FDR in Philly gets grimy, and the beer flows strong. But it still doesn’t have the same intimacy of Burnside. Washington Street in San Diego is intimidating, and the yells of stoke are long, but they’ll never deal  with weather like the locals of Burnside. Every other skatepark might have a safe place for you to put down your cell phone, and a grill to lay your tongs, but it just never will be Burnside.
Photo from under the Burnside Bridge. From @collegiateskate on Instagram.

Photo from under the Burnside Bridge. From @collegiateskate.

Don’t misconstrue what I’m saying here: Portland isn’t only special because of Burnside. That’s like saying New York City is special solely because of Staten Island (no offense SI homies!). But it is (as a skateboarder) one place that completely encapsulates the raw attitude and a unique experience that reflects the unique and raw experience of Portland, OR. As an outdoors enthusiast, musician, artist, softball leaguer, or a number of other things, Portland is just as rad.
But don’t let the word spread too far… The rent is TOO damn high.