Industry News August 1999

Soon after leaving longtime board sponsor Anti-Hero, Bob Burnquist hooked up with Lance Mountain and The Firm, rounding out a team that also includes pros Matt Beach, Ray Barbee, Mr. Mountain, and Weston Correa, and am Frank Gerwer.

Birdhouse Distributionhas concluded a six-month search for a new general manager, hiring industry veteran Bryan Ridgeway. Citing his experience managing brands, his long-term vision, and his seventeen-year friendship with Birdhouse owners Per Welinderand Tony Hawk, the company feels Ridgeway is the perfect complement to its executive-management team. Birdhouse distributes Flip, Hook-Ups, the Firm, and Fury, as well as the Birdhousebrand.

Now that Element‘s World Tourvideo is out and director Dan Wolfegets to take a rest, the Element team is scattering about the globe – on tours, at skate camps, or working on interviews with TransWorld SKATEboarding(Reese Forbes)and SLAP(Billy Pepper) magazines.

With Carl Shipmanmaking the jump to England’s Blueprintskateboards, New Dealhas turned street terror Ryan Johnsonpro. look for footage of Ryan in an upcoming issue of 411VM. Chad Bartiemade his first trip to Europe this summer, traveling with veteran Lincoln Ueda, who has been visiting the Old World contest circuit for about the last ten years. Lincoln recovered from a shoulder injury just in time for the X-Games this summer. After being arrested in Australia on assault charges, Ricky Oyolais still awaiting a court decision to see if he will be released soon. New Deal is organizing a tour for late summer that will include other members of the Giant Distribution family.

The 411VMhas been busy all summer, having just released a special Tampa video, an éS Brazil Tour video, and issue number 35, and the Slam City Jam video.

The California Skate Labhas added a new 7,000-square-foot street course to its facility, bringing the size of this highly acclaimed park to 19,000 feet. Built by Tim Payne, the new course features a ten-foot concrete vert wallride, ledges, rails, and a spectator viewing area. The Skatelab has also added a spine to its six-foot mini ramp, and maintains a museum with over 1,000 skateboard artifacts dating from the 50s to present. For more information on the Skatelab, log on to its Web site at: www.skatelab.com.

The United Skateboarding Associationwas founded last year to develop and promote East Coast amateur contests. It began 1999 with the USA Spring Flingseries, which took place in April and May. Its next round, the Universal Styles Align Lyfestyle Competition Tour, is traveling to various festivals and will include breakdance competitions and a graffiti gallery, in addition to the skateboard contests. When that ends in September, the Second Annual USA Beast of the Eastregionals and championship contests will pick up in October and continue through December. Skaters who don’t pre-qualify for the championships during the Spring Fling and Universal Styles contests can try again at the Beast of the East regional contests. USA expects a roster of 240 ams at its championships this year. Dates and locations for the Beast of the East regional events have not been announced, but for more information on the United Skateboarding Association, call: (732) 432-5400 ext. 35. Or check out its Web site at: www.unitedskate.com.

Santa Cruzhas launched its new Web site, located at www.scskate.com, which features all of the information and images you would hope to see in a skateboard-company site, and is built with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a company in such proximity to Silicon Valley. Santa Cruz has also released a new video that features its amateur team: Steffan Attardo, Eric Bork, Pat Corcoran, Vanik Hacobian, Kyle Kimberling, Levi Marvin, Quinn Montgomery, Ryan Parsons, and Jacob Rupp. A small pro section also includes Ron Whaley, Tony Tieu, Mike Rafter, and a mystery pro.

After years of prodding by local skaters and skateboard businesses, the City of Santa Cruz, California has finally agreed to a location for its second public skatepark. Santa Cruz’s first park, Derby Skatepark, was built in the 70s.

In July Proctor And Gamble announced the formation of a stand-up and luge racing team comprised of Beau Brown and Guinness Book of Recordsspeed-title holder Roger Hickey. Under the banner of the company’s Eclipse fruit beverage, Brown and Hickey will compete in both stand-up speed skateboarding and luge events through the 2000 season, including the Gravity Gamesqualifying contest in July. Brown says he’s excited to team up with longtime friend Hickey, and that he’s encouraged by a renewed interest in stand-up downhill racing. The Eclipse Racing Team will also participate in various educational and charity events.

With the conversion of AZA Industries to Syndrome Distribution, and the elimination of the former’s pricepoint brands, Syndrome has added several new riders to its teams (see Recent Roster Hops, this page), and products to its lines. Status skateboards is its newest brand, and will feature a team of six ams promoting a line of logo decks. Unit‘s latest truck is the Phantom, and FKD has released its Gold Elite bearings, a high-tech and aptly priced bearing packaged in an attractive chrome case. dNAskateboards’ new promo video will be out by Christmas.

On Board Entertainment announced that it has joined a number of existing companies and individuals to form a new partnership called Disson, Furst, and Partners (DFP). DFP is a sports, music, and entertainment agency that specializes in event marketing. OBE will remain “On Board Entertainment,” but will be a wholly owned subsidiary of DFP. As such, OBE will remain focused on action sports, lifestyle tours, and music, but as part of DFP, it now also specializes in cycling, entertainment, motor sports, figure skating, the Olympics, and corporate hospitality and events.

OBE/DFP will have offices in eight U.S. markets: San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles/Huntington Beach, Charlotte, Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Washington, DC. For more information, call OBE/DFP at: (415) 331-6100

Mike Vallely has launched a new wheel company independent of his Giant Distribution ties. The Accel. wheel team will consist of ams Kristian Svitak and Steffan Attardo, and pros Rob Gonzales, Stacy Lowery, and Joey Pulsifer. The debut line features four wheel designs, each in four sizes. For more information, call Gish at: (877) 90-ACCEL.

Bob Kronbauer, editor of Canadian online magazine Pacific Skateboarding(www.pacificskateboarding.com), and film maker Dave Boulter traveled across Canada in July from Vancouver to the East Coast to make a video documenting the local scenes all across the country. Unlike promotional videos, this project will include each scene’s best skaters, and is intended to show that skateboarding is a diverse and nationwide phenomenon, happening in large cities and small towns alike.

The streets of San Franciscohave spawned Western Edition, a board-and-clothing brand offered by Shrader St. distribution. For more information, call: (415) 386-1677.

M17 Distribution has been formed to handle the international distribution of British brands Blueprint, Panic, and Octagonwheels. With locations in Huntington Beach, California, London, and Essex, England, M17 will serve shops and dealers worldwide. Shops in the United States can order using e-mail to shi
p from Huntington Beach: sales@miseven.freeserve.co.uk.

The Powell team swept the Vans Triple Crown of Skateboarding in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last June. Andy Macdonald got first in vert and Pat Channita received first in street. They both then went on to place second in vert and street, respectively, at the X-Games in San Francisco. Congratulations to the Bones Brigade!

MXGis a new young women’s fashion magazine/catalog covering everything from beachwear to streetwear. The premiere issue, out this summer, featured skateboarding’s own Jen O’Brienand Jesse Van Roechoudt modeling T-shirts, cargoes, and the like in a story about “x-treme” women athletes. MXG is the sister publication to its online version, MXGonline.com.

Prime Wheels is a new company from the makers of Kryptonics. Developed by Krypto veterans Chuck Demarestand Sue Aragon, Prime will offer a line of soft wheels and will also explore OEM opportunities within the skateboard industry. For more information, contact Kris Koprowskiat: (303) 375-0410 ext. 6.

Freshjivewelcomes two new riders to the team: Malcolm Watson and Daniel Castillo. Additionally, they have appointed Mike Riley as new sales rep for mid-Atlantic position. This territory includes: Virginia, North and South Dakota, Delaware, Maryland, and D.C. Riley comes to Freshjive with four years of experience at various companies, including Ambiguous, Zeal Optics, and Nitro snowboards.

Grind Kingwelcomes Adam McNatt, Ronnie Bertino, Jayme Fortune,and Dan Pageauto their team. Check out their new Web site at: www.grindking.com.

Equal Skateboards, manufacturer of five- to six-ply boards for kids, has added some new amateurs to their team: Aaron Brown (age ten), Justin Globerson (age twelve), Bryan Herman (age thirteen), Daulton Lantow (age six), Taner Lantow (age eight), Ryan McWhirter (age eleven), Christian Sokol (age two), and Drew Weaver (age seven).

Nixonwatches welcomes Mike Hoefer as the new director of North American sales. Previously, Mike was the sales manager for Salomon snowboards North America and a sales representative for Arnette Optics and Burton snowboards. Check out Nixon’s Web site at: www.nixonnow.com.

Kingdomco-founder and pro Chris Gentryhooked up a new sponsor in time for the X-Games. SpinRecords.com, a music Web site and label put its name on Gentry’s board for the summer, and will put Gentry in the studio to produce a three-song rap CD. SpinRecords.com specializes in underground and maturing artists, and offers MP3 music files on its site. There you can also find a Chris Gentry bio and an assortment of Kingdom merchandise for sale. For more information, log on at: www.SpinRecords.com.

Redsandhad appointed Rick Lohr to the post of brand merchandising manager. He was formally a creative director for Katin clothing. Jim Austin, Redsand’s owner and creative chief, feels that he’s found the perfect guy for the job.

Dave Bergthold has started a production company called Smash Technologies. With fifteen years of experience under his belt, he’s ready to charge. Services will include: video production and editing, stock video, marketing, consulting, and skatepark design. Contact Dave at: (760) 721-5352.

Like many lone public skateparks, the West Flamingo Skatepark in Las Vegas, Nevada is overcrowded and primarily suited for beginners. Doug Treese of City Board Shop is determined to see more challenging skateparks added to Vegas’ cache of spots, and has been working with the Clark County Department of Parks and Recreation to achieve that goal. With West Flamingo hardly a year old, several more public parks are already being planned in the Las Vegas area. With other parks like Planet Plywood and Park 216 in the area, Chad Muska‘s hometown may be fertile ground for yet another phenomenon.

Recently, Vermont-based Burton snowboards inaugurated their new skate ramp in style with burgers, beer, loud music, and relentless skating. Beyond employee benefits, the ramp is a service to the local skate scene, with public access several days a week.

Aircraft Distribution Company, a.k.a. AC/DC, has released two new models. By marrying alloy and maple, they have created a wood composite aluminum skateboard that they claim weighs a little less than a standard wood board. These new designs, called Suspectskateboards, have a flat bottom and a wood nose and tail – a far cry from the original Aircraft boards.

Get ready for the new Deluxe video On Point, which features skating from everyone on the Real, Stereo, and Antihero teams. Due out by the Fall ASR Trade Expo, it includes new Real amateurs Damian Bravo and J.T. Aultz, as well as the all the heavyweight regulars. Also, Gabe Morford is currently working on a new Real video, so be on the lookout for that!

Additionally, Spitfirewheels is releasing a new line of pro wheels. Check out models by Kris Markovich and Ed Templeton.

Philadelphiaexperiment is currently on tour promoting their promo video Experimental Footage. Call for their fall schedule: (215) 546-7349.

Think Skateboards has launched two new board constructions: the “new smartcave” and the “9 lite plys.” They also welcome Alyson Castro to the amateur team. Pro Diego Bucchieri has moved from Argentina to San Francisco, is living with Pancho Molder, and is in the process of getting his work visa. That is, when he’s not busy winning the Radlands contest in Northampton, England.

Diabolicalskateboards has added a few new team riders. For the record, the pros are Mike Santarossa and Frankie Hill. Amateurs include Pete McGeary, Geoff Dermer, Ben Kendall, and Dan Roberts. Look for their first video, which is due out this fall. Check out their new Web site at www.diabolical.com, which was designed by Tai Kahn.

Jimmy’Z, the clothing brand that swept the beach scene in the 80s with Velcro-fastened pants and hats, is making a comeback. After a six-year hiatus, the company launched a juniors’ and girls’ line at the MAGIC apparel trade show in August, focusing on surf-inspired sportswear. The Jimmy’Z brand is owned by Trends Clothing, a licensing company that makes B.U.M. Equipmentand Op.

Ramptech, Inc. has announced that Eastern Skateboard Supply will be the wholesale distributor for its line of portable kicker ramps, grind rails, and ramp blueprints. Additionally, Ramptech has launched its Help Us Help You!dealer incentive program, which offers rewards for helping Ramptech locate areas that are planning to build new skateparks or refit existing ones. For more information, contact Ramptech at: (703) 492-2378; or Eastern Skateboard Supply at: (910) 791-8240.

Sector 9will be introducing a full line of skateboards, wheels, and apparel in September. The new board line will still include the original 48-inch pintail longboard, but will introduce the Deep End series, a collection of pool-inspired short boards.