Free LOVE UpdateRecently there has been talk of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mayor John Street changing his position on skateboarding at the newly remodeled LOVE Park. Street, who was responsible for bringing the X-Games to Philadelphia in 2001 had banned skateboarding in LOVE park altogether.On Sunday, October 5, hundreds of skateboarders and skateboard-supporters gathered outside of City Hall for a rally to free LOVE Park. Among the skateboard advocates were Daily News Columnist Carla “Urban Warrior” Anderson, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, City Controller Jonathan Saidel, and LOVE Park Designer Edmund Bacon. Also in attendance were Founder of the Skateboard Advocacy Group (SAG) Scott Kip, Independence Hall Association (IHA) member Jonathan Schmalzback, and Cofounder of the Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP) Andrew Hohns.Over the summer, a coalition made up of the IHA, the SAN, and the YIP presented a compromise to the city, their Balanced Solution. The Solution proposed the need to make the park skater-friendly, while acknowledging respect for other patrons of the park.City Controller Jonathan Saidel received an ovation when he informed the crowd that they would have an answer to their plea in a few days’ time.As of October 21, Mayor Street hadn’t yet delivered an answer to the skaters, which has caused confusion among the people. Skate Nerd skate shop Owner Brian Nugent explains the mixed message: “It’s a huge mess right now. The election is in a few weeks, and a whole bunch of local papers posted that LOVE Park is now legal to skate, which is not yet true and kids are still getting tickets.”
Pennsylvania Skate Shop RobbedExclusive Board Operation skate shop Owner and Hollywood Skateboards amatuer Phil “Skinny” Ladjanski was robbed at gunpoint on Friday, October 3. Ladjanski and a few friends were upstairs in his apartment above the Philadelphia shop, when five men wearing black ski masks and armed with shotguns stormed in.”I’ve never been in anything like that in my life,’ says Ladjanski. “It has messed me up a lot-someone putting a gun in my face and putting my life in jeopardy.”Larry Blacklock, Ladjanski’s friend and business partner, was hit in the head with one of the shotguns. Ladjanski and Blacklock had just paid rent, so the robbers made off with cell phones, purses, and 100 dollars from the register.Local residents and police agree that it was a random robbery, possibly instigated by skateboarding’s rising popularity and Ladjanski’s fame. The robbers may have overestimated the lucrativeness of a retail skate shop.It’s A Small WorldRob Valerio, longtime Dwindle Distribution president, has left his position for an unknown horizon. Former World Industries President Bob Sayre has returned to fill Valerio’s shoes and assume the position.World Industries has also recently signed a licensing deal with Variflex for its completes, helmets, and other safety gear. Variflex also has licensing agreements for SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy Neutron, and Shrek 2 skateboards, among others.According to a recent press release, World Industries has acknowledged its ‘core audience as kids who buy their gear at general sporting-goods stores and is altering its marketing accordingly.World Industries will still continue its ‘core-market promotions, both with advertising and teamriders. This licensing agreement is for World Industries only, and no other Dwindle brands will follow suit.Understood Art ShowThe third annual Understood art show happened on the tenth and eleventh of October 2003. Understood is a nonprofit skateboard art show designed to raise awareness for The Storefront, San Diego, California’s only 24-hour emergency youth shelter.For three years, locally and internationally known artists have contributed their talents to help the cause. Among the featured artists have been Andy Howell, Dave Lively, Niko Burke, Austin Thomas, Chris Pastras, and Mark Gonzales.Show Director Troy Gurling felt the show was a success: “The Storefront was really hyped.” Over 500 people attended the show, and over 3,000 dollars was raised this time around, but even more important were the eyebrows raised. “The money wasn’t as big as it had been in previous years, but awareness was our primary goal. As far as that goes, the show was a complete success,” explains Gurling.
Boarding For Breast CancerBoarding For Breast Cancer, a nonprofit youth-focused breast-cancer awareness group, is teaming up with Nixon watches, Zumiez, and Designer Paul Frank to create in-store promotions to help raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer. In October, Frank released two specially designed T-shirts in his U.S. stores and is donating 100 percent of the profits to B4BC. Both shirts will feature professional snowboarder and B4BC Cofounder Tina Basich.
Skate Plazas AboundJim Barnum, president of Spectrum Skatepark Creations has created the world’s first pure street skateboard plaza. The 15,000-square-foot park sits in Barnum’s hometown of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.”North Van already has four bowl parks,” says Barnum, “so it made sense to balance it out with a pure street park.”Spectrum, local distributors, and local shops have all donated time, materials, and energy to get the park completed. Spectrum has also created the Calgary Park and the Hastings Park. The North Vancouver park is set to open in mid November 2003.Spectrum’s second street plaza begins construction in November 2003 and will be located in Burnaby, British Columbia. The Burnaby park will be 11,000 square feet and include a separate beginner area. It is scheduled to open in May 2004.
Signature TeesBlack Magic Griptape will release a limited line of signature T-shirts for two of its original team members. Ricky Oyola and John Cardiel, who have been supporting Black Magic throughout its ten-year history, will each receive a percentage of the sales made from their shirts. Shorty’s Marketing Director Noe Flores explains this project it a way of thanking the skaters for their support: “This release is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. These two guys have been supporting Black Magic since the beginning and have never asked us for anything but the griptape.”
Vice VersaElement has a new line of “Siamese” symmetrical boards that feature identical noses and tails. Element also has Mike Vallely on board, whose “Barnyard” board made the double-tail style board extremely popular in the early 90s. Element is also putting on a Siamese best-trick contest in which participants will have to do certain tricks both switch and regular. The contest will be online, and people will send their footage to Element to win.
Video MadnessPromotional videos are popping up all over, including one coming from Quiksilver clothing. The Kayo Corp, home to DGK, Gold Wheels, Expedition One, and Organika, is also working on a promo that will highlight each company individually.On the newfangled promotional tip is Popwar, which has started Video Hype, its ongoing guerrilla campaign of several short videos. These mini promotional videos will lead up to Popwar’s first full-length release scheduled for September 2004. The first installation of the Video Hype series is a five-minute DVD that will be available November 2003.Tum Yeto is just as full of video news as ever. Both Foundation and Toy Machine are currently working on its latest videos, That’s Life and Good And Evil, respectively. Not to be outdone, the Hollywood team is on a video rampage. Not only are they wrapping up their tour video, they’re already hard at work on a full-length Hollywood video. All this just after the release of Hurley’s Transmission Japan video, which stars several members of the Hollywood team. To add even more pressure, Tum Yeto skaters Corey Duffel and Don Nguyen both need to start filming for the upcoming 88 Footwear video.411 Productions has been keeping busy, as well. The first new video is simply titled Chaos. Running with the theme from one of its most popular articles, Chaos is a video that repackages all the best tricks from the past year of 411VM. PR Manager Brian
Garofalow explains the rationale behind the title: “The title Chaos has a wider appeal than Best Of 10 and will attract customers not familiar with skateboarding and 411 Productions, building excitement about skateboarding to new customers. It is also a stand-alone, independent title that will have an extended shelf life over a numbered issue.”Classics ON Video is another new venture from 411 Productions. This new department will produce special-edition releases of classic skateboard films, starting with Hal Jepsen’s 1980 film Skateboard Madness. Skateboard Madness stars Stacy Peralta, Kent Senatore, Gregg Ayres, and more, and is narrated by Phil Hartman.In other video magazine news, Puzzle has released Issue 22. Puzzle is Europe’s premier video magazine, and Issue 22 covers England, France, Spain, Italy, and even ventures to Brazil.
Odds And EndsAccel. Wheels has announced that Consolidated artist Todd Bratrud is doing a guest-artist series of wheels. The Bad Apple and Rotten Eggs wheels will be available in Accel.’s winter lineup.Skate One has released a CD of songs from the first three Powell-Peralta videos, The Bones Brigade Video Show, Future Primitive, and The Search For Animal Chin. Also on the CD are some previously unreleased Johnny Rad tracks.Blind has significantly altered its roster, letting Gershon Mosely go and picking up Jake Brown, Aaron Artis, and quizzically, Kris Markovich. Yes, Markovich has left Hollywood Skateboards and now skates for Blind.Ed Templeton has yet another art show coming up. The Prevailing Nothing will be at the Roberts & Tilton Gallery in Los Angeles, California from November 15 until December 20.
Corporate Roster HopsGabe Clement has just been named team manager for Podium’s DVS and Matix brands.Sessions clothing is expanding its distribution with the addition of Manny Quinteo as its sales rep for Puerto Rico.Split clothing has beefed up its marketing department by enlisting the likes of Paul Malina, Zach Boon, and David Patri.Fallen, Jamie Thomas’ new footwear company out of DC has brought aboard Circa’s Dennet Oyanguran as brand manager. Oyanguran will head up advertising and all facets of brand direction.Elwood Clothing and Aesthetics Skateboards and Apparel has recently acquired Shimirit Swartzon as the new director of operations and Travis Jackson as sales manager.The Skate Park Association of the USA (SPAUSA) now boasts Australian skatepark designer Chad Ford as its executive director of skatepark development and community planning.Travis Nohe is the new sales manager of Dwindle Distribution.IPath footwear has two new reps. Todd Stanley will handle San Diego, Orange County, and Arizona, and Ernesto Barbosa will handle Puerto Rico. IPath’s new in-house salesman is Brian Cook.