Just a few weeks ago, BA (Brian Anderson) was announced as a professional addition to the Antihero Skateboards
team – September 27th, 2016
. And it had been years of us seeing him riding their skateboard decks…
After a memorable career riding for legacy brands such as Toy Machine
and even having started his own board brand with 3D Skateboards
, Brian had a long-standing period of time where he didn’t really HAVE a board sponsor. Content and strong with Nike SB, Supreme and Independent Trucks
as his supporters, Brian moved back to the east coast, where he grew up and has been silently killing it. His current home in Queens, NY is a new place for him and his career as he moves forward as an openly gay man. For more on his recent coming out, check out our blog piece HERE
Brian Anderson, as skaters who have followed his career loyally will know, has been a perfect fit for Antihero
for years. With his powerful style, unique approach, gnarly appearance and long-time home in San Francisco, it made sense that Antihero (under SF-based Deluxe Distribution) would take him under their wing as a pro rider. If they had made that announcement at any point, it would have been a good call for the culture of the brand and for Brian as their friend. But waiting until after the coming-out unveiling made it even more significant. Basically Antihero
, a brand that is well-known for its dirty street-based roots, made a strong statement along the lines of “we don’t care what your size, color or orientation are, we’re skaters and we’ve got skaters’ backs.” Contrary to the “hard ass” attitude put off by the brand over the decade(s), they took an unwavering stand on Brian’s behalf.
Skateboarding has begun to hit a tipping point of popularity, where those running the brands, teams and organizations in the industry need to remind their followers of where skaters stand, who skaters are and why we’re all listening in the first place. Skateboarding started as a complete fringe activity. Something middle-aged Americans would look down upon and elders of our culture would literally scorn. Skateboarders had no choice but to band together and stick up for one another. The only other option was to retreat into whatever other life we would settle with. It was either keep skating or give up. Over the last 25 years that street skateboarding has been alive, it has grown tremendously, shrunk almost as much and has seen a huge change in audience.
Skateboarding has become cool, yet again, in the greater American (and even international) society. And it has become shrouded by that coolness to include fair-weather fans, “posers” and those looking to take advantage of the industry. As little or as much as those people pay attention to actual skateboarding, they look up to skaters for their style, resilience and lifestyle. And now that it has the current limelight of hip urban culture, it’s important to remind the masses that skateboarding was built on inclusion. It was founded on the fact that if you skate, you’re cool. And petty opinions on human traits such as homosexuality do not alter our willingness to help our brothers and sisters.
has never compromised who they are as a team or as a brand, but they did show the skateboarding world that gay, straight, bisexual, transgender or however else you personify your sexuality, a skateboarder is a skateboarder
is as much a legend now as he was before he came out. He’s as much a legend now as he was when he closed the doors at 3D Skateboards. The only thing that has changed is the fact that he has a board graphic shares Antihero’s name and his own.
Welcome to Antihero
, Brian. We’re stoked they’ve got your back and glad that skateboarding does as well.
Keep skating, everyone.
As every American should know by now, Donald Trump is our president elect
. Few people, on either side of the ballot, saw this coming as a probable outcome. But hey, s*?# happens
, right? All emotions and predispositions aside, here are some of the things we thought a Trump presidency
would bring upon the American skateboarding family. For better or for worse, here we go:
I. The Ultimate Wallride
So from the very wee beginnings of this Trump “campaign,” we’ve heard all about this massive wall… “It’s gonna be YHUUGE!” Meant to block out illegal immigrants (as if they didn’t have systems in place to bypass a wall), it could actually be a plus. If, on the American side, security is
pretty lax, there’s yhuuge potential for some DIY work of the ages. Highest wall ride competition in El Paso? Sponsored by the Trump International of course.. ;/
II. Women’s Skateboarding’s Rights
Of course, more and more females
have been active in our skate communities recently, which is rad. It’s about time that male skaters stopped seeing girls as objects and started having to keep up with their level of shredding! Just in the last 2-3 years, women’s skateboarding has truly taken off
. But if Trump maintains certain ideals prevalent in his presidential campaign, we might see women being stifled in any career they choose. And that’s just NO good.
III. Legality of the “Sex Change”
The hottest thing in skateboarding since sliced br.. uhh.. no-complies. The body varial. Used with a kickflip, it’s dubbed a “sex change
.” We’ve all become familiar with Trump’s ideology against the LGBT community. In real life, this is a huge loss. Everyone should be comfortable and open with themselves, regardless of gender or preference. But in skating, this could result in a mixed bag of opinion. How many body varials is too many body varials?
IV. Anti-Trump Propaganda Graphics
Let’s be real for a second here… The undeniable majority of core skateboarders were in opposition to a Trump presidency, whether they voted or not
. Many companies printed “Anti-Trump” board graphics. Whether it was the guys at
Donald Trump and Mike Pence
Deluxe or Baker Boys Dist. right here in LA, the industry took a stance against this guy. We can only hope that Trump doesn’t impose unnecessary taxes on “action sports retail” to get back at OGs of the industry. And we surely wouldn’t want a U.S. skateboarder registry keeping tabs on all skateboarders, in case some sketchiness goes down…
V. Immigration Against PROgression
Trump is definitely leaning into some anti-immigration policy of the toughest variety, and this is no good for lots of reasons. Most importantly, how are we gonna be able to embrace some of the best skaters in the world? Brazilians
alike are crucial parts of American skateboarding. Not to be greedy, although that is the Trump way, but we don’t want to know a United States without those international rippers…
VI. And then it breaks apart…
California has already suggested seceding from the US, in a Brexit-style exit from the rest of the country. Largely in response to Trump’s presidential elections, what if other
states begin to do this? Will us American skateboarders need a passport just to go skate Burnside
or the ditches of SoCal
? We hope not. Let’s stick together and hoard the spots as a collective. What do you say?? F*?# Yeah!
This is just the beginning of possibility with Donald J. Trump. No one knows exactly what will happen, but with an election like the one we just witnessed, it’s hard to say what might go down in the next year or four years.. Some are looking to capture opportunities. Like Billy Rohan chatting with the Trump
about building (even more) skateparks all over the nation. But we’re gonna hope the for the best moving forward. Maybe it will be okay. But no matter what, skateboarders will rule the world
noun: zygote; plural noun: zygotes
- a diploid cell resulting from the fusion of two haploid gametes; a fertilized ovum.
The title itself, “Zygote,” implies the birth of a new life, the beginning of a new era. Element Skateboards
has indeed been a staple skateboard company for years, but the last few years has proven to be a regeneration for the team and for the brand itself. From the early 2000s era of Jermey Wray
, Bam Margera
and Donny Barley
to today’s crew including Evan Smith
, Greyson Fletcher
and Nyjah Huston
, the skate team has remained at a top-tier quality. But they have evolved, just as skateboarding has as a whole.
The implication of the video’s name is absolutely met by quality, and we were excited to see every minute of the 11+ minute edit
. Although not a “full-length” video, the clips include the entire team, push the limits of what is happening in skateboarding and remind us what it takes to make skateboarding insane again. Although not each member of the Element Skateboards
team has more than a couple clips, everyone did contribute footage and a select few made substantial waves in the blogs and Instagram feeds of modern skateboarding.
Following a well directed video introduction, the first skater to grace the screen with proper clips was Mason Silva. A recent rookie who has quickly come up and into the eye of the skateboarding industry gives some solid pushes while rolling up to a perfect half cab flip over a hefty handicap ramp to bar. He then continues to lay down fifteen tricks that at least impress or flat-out blow minds. Following up the young rookie is a line-up that we must not forget – Mark Appleyard
, Ray Barbee
, Chad Tim Tim and Levi Brown. All legends in one regard or another. And then, Element, once again reminds us that their team is stacked to the top. The segment afterward includes Tom Schaar, Maders Apse
and Greyson Fletcher
, all standouts in their own generation. Schaar, child prodigy; Maders
, Euro line master; and Greyson
, the ultimate transition maniac. But the video is less than halfway over.
Despite a slight headache from witnessing all the ripping thus far, the show goes on, with a full part from Tyson Peterson no less. Making every trick look fun, even when we all know how impossible it is, is why he is so fun to watch. And he delivers a burly part for the audience. Skate nerds and passive viewers alike can appreciate Peterson’s approach to rails, banks, gaps and all. And fresh on the heels of new guy Tyson Peterson, well-known Nyjah
shares a part with Dominick Walker. Both Nyjah
and Dominick show up with hyphy, gap-heavy parts, complete with plenty of speed and hairy roll aways. Needless to say, the ripping is nonstop.
and Chris “Cookie” Colbourn join Ethan Loy and lesser known Jacopo Carozzi and Jaakko Ojanen to give us a thorough visual attack. Brandon
’s speed and power are almost unmatched. Colbourn’s unique approach and creative trick selection is a breath of fresh air from almost any skater we’ve seen. And the rest of the Element
team complement each other so well that it’s easy to forget they all ride for one brand, supporting a single message through the company. Element.. but wait.. It’s not over.
This whole time, wondering who would be the ender of the video, we see one more name come up on the screen. Evan Smith
. And we knew when his name came up that this would, in fact, be the last part. Evan has been on top of his game, and on top of skateboarding’s game to be quite frank, for the last 5 years. Between Street League Finals appearances, mind-numbing video parts and his crushing demos all over the world, Evan
may very well be on a path to SOTY 2016. But that only builds the excitement toward watching this last part. He did more flip tricks over rails than we expected, transferred places we didn’t see coming and constantly kept us on our toes. Evan
’s one of the most unpredictable pro skaters in this world, and he kept up his reputation with this Zygote part.
It’s amazing, but not surprising, that Element selected Evan as last part for “Zygote.” First of all, he had a healthy amount of footage for it, especially compared to some of the team riders. But furthermore, he embraces the attitude of the brand, almost to a T. Element has always had an environmentally conscious ethos and a “do it differently” mentality. Evan’s the guy
who, when given his “fifteen minutes of fame” during his introduction on live TV for Street League, presented the world with a piece of paper – sharpie’d on: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” He’s also the one who will never be anticipated. From his tricks, to his music and his wardrobe, he is the ultimate rolling stone, road warrior, and slowly becoming the industry’s favorite skater.
Cheers to Evan. And Cheers to you, Element
. Here’s to the the 24 years you’ve been ripping. And to 24 more. The zygote