Category Archives: Skate

Last Wednesday, The New York Times had a feature in their Fashion & Style section: Skateboarding Past a Midlife Crisis.

According to the story, the new symbol for the midlife crisis is the skateboard! Yup, forget the little red sports car, aging members of Generation X, and even those that are older, are reclaiming their youth and rebellious streak by “shredding” on a board. Some are even venturing to show off their old tricks in a skate park.

Apparently, it’s a detail noticed in the media lately. A recent satire in The Onion headlined, “43-Year-Old With Skateboard Not Fooling Anyone,” showed a close-up of Tony Hawk looking somewhat weathered in his helmet.

But, it sorta makes sense that it’s now appealing to the 40+ somethings since skateboarding itself is entering middle age. Like the older members of Generation X, the sport was born in the ’60s.

Most of the older skateboarders are riding longboards, which are usually about 40 to 48 inches long, compared with traditional street decks, which are around 32 inches. Considered the luxury sedans of the skateboarding world, these decks are fitted with bigger, softer wheels to roll over sidewalk cracks and pebbles and are built for cruising and carving, not tricks and aerials. They’re perfect for riders who no longer want to risk broken bones by grinding rails and ollying curbs, which they once did as teenagers.

Longboard manufacturers Honey Skateboards of Colorado, Bustin Boards of New York and Original Skateboards of New Jersey report a surge in sales among older riders, indicative of the aging skateboard demographic. The number of skateboarders over 35 has nearly doubled in the last decade, to 742,000, from 404,000, and now accounts for 10 percent of the market, according to the National Sporting Goods Association, a trade group in Mount Prospect, Ill.

What are your thoughts? Are you over it with the skate geezers or say more power to them? Continue reading

Last Wednesday, May 2, 2012, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to approve a “motion aimed at outlawing recess skateboarding or “bombing,”” drafting a speed limit ordinance for skateboarders designed to prevent them from exceeding 25 mph.

The proposal is aimed to address a dangerous new skateboarding trend called “hill bombing” or “bombing.” Hill bombing is when skateboarders race down hills at high speeds, sometimes while weaving in and out of traffic and neglecting traffic laws, often at speeds surpassing 40 mph.

The proposal was initiated by the council’s newest member, Joe Buscaino, in response to the death of two skateboarders over the last year. In the last six months, two teenagers have died in San Pedro due to injuries sustained while “bombing.” The new skateboarding speed limit will resemble an existing speed limit on bicycles.

“There’s no brakes on these things,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander to KABC, a local ABC affiliate. Skateboarders “lose control, and they die or worse, end up as vegetables, brain dead,” he continued.

The ordinance would essentially require skateboarders to follow the rules of the road, including stop signs and traffic signals, and impose a speed limit of 25 miles per hour. Councilman Richard Alarcon also suggested an amending motion asking the departments of transportation and public works to brainstorm ways to structurally prevent hill-bombing on city streets and sidewalks.

Skateboarders, what do you think? Do you feel it is a violation of rights or a means of protecting you?

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Looking to view what will be a classic film of some of the best skating moves? “The Cinematographer Project,” TransWorld‘s 24th video, will be available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and iTunes worldwide March 30, 2012. Featuring 13 filmmakers and 145 skaters, this film collaboration is a culmination of years in the trenches and producer Jon Holland’s creative vision.

The premise of “The Cinematographers Project,” was to get the best filmers in the industry, let them go one-on-one with any skater of their choosing, and then give them total creative control in the editing room and splice the results together to create one rad skating compilation.

The participants include the industry’s premier lensmen: Jon Holland himself, Dan Wolfe, RB Umali, Lee Dupont, Mike Manzoori, Beagle, Chris Ray, Bill Strobeck, Benny Maglinao, Brennan Conroy, Russell Houghten, Torsten Frank and Chris Middlebrook.

“The Cinematographers Project” stars top notch skaters Jason Dill, Dennis Busenitz, Zered Bassett, Chaz Ortiz, Braydon Szafranski, Dylan Rieder, Mark Gonzales, just to name a few of the amazing shredders featured from around the world.

Transworld also created an online Cinematographer contest for anyone to participate in. There were over 130 entries, with Ohio native Dan Mizicko, winning overall. For his top efforts, Mizicko’s video edit is now included in the film, plus he was flown to L.A. for the premiere, got to stay at The Roosevelt, presented with an award at the TWS Awards, and showed his winning entry on the big screen! Due to the success of the contest, this will now be an annual Transworld contest and award at their premieres.

Transworld also picked 9 other runners-up to make up a Top 10 Finalists list, and are featuring them on their Facebook fan page. The video with the most Likes on March 30 will win the Fan Favorite award.

Here’s to the worldwide release of “The Cinematographer Project” on March 30.

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LAUNCH: Community Through Skateboarding is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization devoted to empowering individuals to better themselves and community through skateboarding. Their mission is to provide an environment that fosters a culture of creativity and self-expression for skateboarders of all ages.

Founded by Executive Director Andrew Weiss, LAUNCH started earlier this year when Weiss, whose passion for skateboarding began after helping to grow and support the local skateboard scene through his skateboard retail store The Market Skateshop for the past fifteen years.

“There is one important thing that skateboarding teaches that often gets overlooked. It teaches an individual the ability to cope with failure. For example, you may try a kickflip 200 times only to land it once….and when you land one it feels so good, you want to land it again only better, cleaner and faster,” says Weiss.

As the skateboarding population grows, more people will see the positive impact skateboarding has on people’s lives. LAUNCH joins other skating-focused organizations like the A.skate Foundation, a pending 501(c)3 non profit that allows children with autism to be a part of our social world through skateboarding, and Skateistan, a Kabul-based NGO and Afghanistan’s first skateboarding school dedicated to forge bonds that transcend social barriers and affect change.

Man, these organizations are diamondz… doing amazing work by utilizing skateboarding as a tool to improve people and their lives.

For more information, check out LAUNCHSKATE.ORG.

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Who do you want to see win this weekend’s Street League DC Shoes Pro Tour Championship event?
The championship, barring any hurricane Irene delays, is this Sunday, August 28th at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ (from 5-7pm EST). The Street League series, founded by 20-year professional skateboarder and entrepreneur, Rob Dyrdek, is the premier professional street skateboarding series worldwide.

This is the last and final stop of the series; the first three have already been completed in Seattle, WA, Kansas City, MO, and Glendale AZ and started with 24 of the world’s top street skateboarders competing exclusively for a groundbreaking $1.6 million prize purse.

Element skater Nyjah Huston won all three of those stops, but this last and final one begins anew. The New Jersey contest is a “winner take all” championship that is only open to the top ten pros from the series. These top 10 finalists will be competing for the raised stakes of a $200,000 first place, a Street League Championship watch and ring, as well as the title of 2011 Street League Champion.

The Top 10 Street League pros who qualified to the August 28th Championship in Newark are:

  • Chris Cole
  • Ryan Sheckler
  • Chaz Ortiz
  • Billy Marks
  • Paul Rodriguez
  • Mikey Taylor
  • Sean Malto (Tommy Sandoval is out due to ankle injury and Sean Malto will be taking his place)
  • Mike Mo Capaldi
  • Shane O’Neill
  • Nyjah Huston

Who do you think will take the $200,000?

They’re all amazing skaters, but we’ll put our bias out there and root on Element team rider Nyjah Huston. Exciting stuff! It’s best to watch it live, but if you can’t make the event, be sure to watch it on ESPN2, or the international webcast on Continue reading