Big Brother Editor Opens Skate Shop
Big Brother skateboard magazine’s Managing Editor Chris Nieratko has moved back to his hometown of Sayreville, New Jersey to open up a skate shop appropriately called NJ Skate Shop with his two childhood friends Steve Lenardo and Troy Jankowski.
The shop has already put together quite a team, including Fred Gall, Tim O’Connor, Brian Wenning, Quim Cardona, and Steve Faas. In addition, the shop has come up with alternate teams for friends who already have shop sponsors. These include Natas Kaupas on the surf team, Ricky Oyola on the boxing team, Mike Vallely on the wrestling team, Kris Markovich on the guy-with-tattoos team, Chris Pastras and Tim Gavin on the has-been team, and Jeff Pang on the anti-Jersey team.NJ Skate Shop held its grand opening on July 15. The store is located at 389 Washington Road, just a mile and a half up the road from the brand-new fifteen-thousand square-foot California-style public cement park designed and built by Mr. Cherry Hill, Wally Holiday. Check out njskateshop.com.
The 411 on 411
There has been plenty going on down at 411 Productions. For starters, its videos are available in Japanese now. Ever since issue 57, 411 has produced a Japanese VHS format, and the DVD versions have been available with subtitling. 411 offshoot ON Video will also be available with subtitling. Miki Vuckovich, associate producer of ON Video, explains the rationale: “In Japan there’s a language barrier. We want to make it more universal, especially ON Video. We’re telling the stories we think people want to hear.”
ON Video has also recently decided to produce only two issues per year, in order to focus on developing the content more.
In addition to setting precedent for video magazines, 411VM is breaking new ground with its online database. 411 now has a painstakingly thorough, fully searchable database of just about every pro and am in the industry, every company, and all 411 videos including contents, clips, and soundtracks.
Now anyone can easily find out biographical information on their favorite skater, what teams they’re on, what 411 articles they’ve had, even what music was used in their parts, as well as descriptions of every company in the industry. All the information is searchable by keyword, linked for easy navigation, and available for free at 411VM.com.
In addition, 411 is also celebrating its ten-year anniversary with issue 60. The DVD release will be a four-disc set, complete with the staff’s picks of the best feature articles, the best chaoses, a music compilation from Jade Tree records, and much, much more.
411 Productions will also be releasing Bam Margera’s first-ever feature film, Haggard. Based on a true story, Haggard is the tale of a dejected young man whose girlfriend has left him for a crazed heavy-metal rocker. Of course, the movie stars the entire cast of the CKY videos, and even has special appearances by Tony Hawk, Bucky Lasek, and Jason Ellis. Available to skate shops now.
Bread And Butter In Berlin
Bread And Butter, a street-urban culture trade show, had its second event this past July called Berlinlove. The show was a success, drawing 30-percent more people than the first show, which was held in January of 2003.
According to its Web site, the Bread And Butter show serves as “a sector meeting place where fashion representatives can draw inspiration and do good business.” Check out breadandbutter.com for more information.
New Board Companies
Even in a time of recession, new board companies are coming out of the proverbial woodwork. San Diego-based Deaf Skateboards is a company devoted to deaf skaters. They’re out there, and they rip. Check out deafskateboards.com for more info.
Saturday Skateboards is a new board company out of Charlotte, North Carolina. With a team of local skaters, tours, and a video in the works, you can be on the lookout for Saturday Skateboards soon, at saturdayskateboards.com.
The latest from the Dwindle umbrella gives us Almost, a new board company featuring Daewon Song and up-and-comer Chris Haslam. Also included on the roster are Rodney Mullen, who found his way over to Almost from the enjoi camp, and wonder-kid Ryan Sheckler’ who made the switch from World Industries. With graphics from longtime World Industries artist Mark McKee, you can expect great things from Almost.
Overland Park, Kansas-based Blue Bus skateboards has signed two new professional skateboarders to its strictly Midwestern team-Nick Reynolds and Ananda Messina. Both riders are also featured in Let It Ride board shop’s video, What’s The Rush.
Syndrome Distribution has recently released a new truck line called Silver. With a heavy-hitting line consisting of Josh Kalis, Rob Dyrdek, Paul Rodriguez, and Ryan Gallant, you can be sure they are something to look out for.
And finally, in the urethane department, Fillmore Wheels is coming straight out of Girl Distribution. Fillmore boasts a team of Mike Carroll and Justin Eldridge. Smooth.
Out of consideration for show participants, ASR Trade Expo has changed the dates and location for its January show. Formerly held in Long Beach, California, the trade show will now be held January 17-19, 2004 in San Diego, California. Changing the dates lessens the potential inconvenience for both retailers and exhibitors. The change of venue is due in part to San Diego’s recently expanded convention center, which will provide more space and be easier to navigate.
IASC On eBay
IASC, the International Association of Skateboard Companies, has started a fundraising campaign through eBay, in order to help support the nonprofit organization. This ongoing auction will offer limited, rare, and personalized products from some of skateboarding’s great professional riders as well as weird, odd, and interesting memorabilia from skateboarding. Check out members.ebay.com/aboutme/skateassociation/.
For more information about IASC visit SkateboardIASC.org, or if you would like to donate items for auction to IASC, e-mail DonBrown@SkateboardIASC.org.
Zoo York, Alive And Chillin’
Despite rumors of closing its doors following a significant roster shake-up, Zoo York is definitely still in business.
Zookeeper Rodney Smith says, “Our continuing emphasis going forward will focus on offering the highest-quality hard- and softgoods for our retailers and consumers.”
Smith goes on to explain why the Zoo will remain a staple of the skateboarding industry: “Because we love skating.”
Creativity, determination, and the ability to tap every resource are integral factors to getting a skatepark in your town. Northampton, Massachusetts has all three. Local artist Nanny Vonnegut has taken to raising money for their park with a little help from her dad-author Kurt Vonnegut. There are T-shirts available on Kurt’s Web site (kurtvonnegut.com) to benefit SPIN (SkatePark In Northampton). Among the T-shirt designs is one of Mr. Vonnegut himself on a skateboard on the moon. Check out the Web site and help support SPIN.
Skaters Thirsty No More
Black Label pro Salman Agah is working on a new skate-oriented energy drink. The name? Skaterade, of course. Skaterade will release a full beverage line, including good old H2O. According to its press release, Skaterade’s aim is to “create functional beverages that will help enhance their (skaters’) performance and make them feel better.”
Skateboarding is still number one in the media, as evidenced by Grind, a movie about a young skateboarder longing for a professional sponsorship. The movie is out now and features cameos from media darlings Mike V. and Tony Hawk. The 70s had Skateboard: The Movie That Defies Gravity, the 80s had Thrashin’, the 90s offered us Christian Slater in Gleaming The Cube, and this decade has Grind. You’ll probably go see it, just like we will.
In addition, Paramount Pictures had decided to write a screenplay based on the lyrics to Avril Lavigne’s pop
ular song, “Sk8er Boi.”
Skateboarding has also found itself all over TV this summer. John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted, was filming for The John Walsh Show, in which he profiled child prodigies across the country. His first show featured Mitchie Brusco and Hannah Lisk, two young skateboarders. After watching them skate a ramp in Port Authority, New York, Walsh decided to attempt dropping into the ramp, breaking his ankle in three places in the process.
Art In Skateboarding
Spectacle, a photo-exhibit featuring the work of twelve women who met through skateboarding, displayed at L.A.’s Millicent Gallery from May 21 to June 11. The opening reception drew close to 500 people and has been picked up at a number of galleries all over the world. Spectacle features Angela Boatwright, Deanna Templeton, Jardine Hammond, Desiree Astorga, Saba Haider, Sharon Tomlin, Cel Jarvis, Luciana Ellington, Ana Paula Negrao, Bethany Black, Lisa Whitaker, and Jessie Van Roechoudt. The show is opening at Philadelphia’s SkateNerd gallery on August 1 and runs through August 29. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and future dates.
Seattle-based Manik skateboards presented the PUSH project, an art exhibition in Santa Ana, California. According to its press release, PUSH was created to “encourage viewers to draw parallels between the iconography of skateboard graphics and current trends in contemporary art.” PUSH features artists Charles Kraft, Jim Woodring, and C.R. Stecyk, among others. It is being held at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana and runs through August 31.
San Diego, California’s Premise Intelligence Agency recently hosted TURN, a skateboarding art show to benefit the San Diego Youth and Community Services’ YET (Youth Education Town) Center. The money raised at the door went to provide kids with skateboarding equipment. TURN featured artwork and photography from Steve Caballero, Alfonzo Rawls, Steve Olson, and Miki Vuckovich.
Still Pushing is another art show that ran for the month of July at Prey For Art in Santa Cruz, California. Still Pushing featured some of the most iconic Santa Cruz skateboard graphics from the past 30 years. The show featured such names as Jim Phillips, Johnny Mojo, and Keith Meek.
Rumble In The Bay
Due to a successful trade-show spin-off last year, the San Francisco Bayview Rumble will take place August 30 and 31 at High Speed Productions, home of Slap, Thrasher, and Juxtapoz magazines. The January debut of the event fell on the same weekend as the ten-year anniversary of the SkatePark of Tampa and the Tampa am contest. According to the press release, event scheduling has been addressed: “After careful consideration it seems that this is the best time to have our event. Nothing else is going on (that we know of) this particular weekend.”
In conjunction with this event there will be a 10,000-dollar best-trick contest, and the premiere of Thrasher’s S.O.T.Y video at Slim’s in SF.
Summer is evidently the time to release a video. Apparently, “antics” videos are still all the rage, with the release of VAS Entertainment’s CKY4, and American Misfits. But perhaps the most curious of these videos is Mike V’s Greatest Hits, a collection of Mike Vallely’s most popular fights that were caught on tape.
As far as skateboarding videos, our pantheon grows richer with installments from several companies. DC has released its first-ever video, The DC Video; Digital came out with Fashja; 411VM has released First Step; Habitat is about to drop its first-ever video, Mosaic; and even Gravity longboards put together a suprisingly gnarly video, called Flow. Emerica has also just released the DVD version of This Is Skateboarding, which is chock-full of new footage and Easter eggs. Get your VCRs and DVD players ready.
Corporate Roster Hops
There have been plenty of movers and shakers in the skateboarding industry lately. Brian “Sweets” Thompson is now Tum Yeto’s new promotional department assistant lackey.
IPath has recently acquired Jeff Osthus as its new vice president. Dragon optics has TransWorld alum Charlie Anderson as its new sales director. And Hawk Clothing has two new sales reps: Atlee Treasure will handle the Northwest U.S., and Dana Saraceno will hold down the Southwestern U.S.
And finally, Fox Cable Networks Group’s new action-sports channel, FUEL, announces its six-man creative group: Jake Munsey is the creative director, Scott Paridon is the supervising producer, Shon Tomlin is the executive producer, Kimiko Warden is the director of marketing, and Daryl Berg and Johnny Katovsich are the music supervisors.