Industry News April 1999

San Francisco investment firm Swander Pace Capital has purchased an undisclosed minority percentage of Dwindle Distribution. Dwindle is the parent company of the Axion, A-Team, Blind, City Stars, Darkstar, Speed Demons, and World Industries brands, as well as majority partner in Merge, Inc. (Dub and Droors clothing). The deal, says Dwindle CEO Frank Messman, doesn’t affect the management or direction of the company, but will allow Dwindle management to broaden its skateboard, snowboard, and shoe programs, and to remove personal debt liability for loans. Dwindle President Steve Roccoretains a greater share of the company than any other individual partner, and will continue to direct the company.

Based on the success of its first skatepark in Orange, California, Vans has signed letters of intent with the Mills Corporation to build and operate three more parks. The new Vans Skateparks are to be built at existing Mills mall complexes in Ontario, California; Prince William, Virginia; and Toronto, Canada. In a separate deal with the Belz Corporation, a fourth Vans Skatepark is planned to open in Orlando, Florida.

The Ontario, California Vans Skatepark is expected to open in Fall 1999. It will be a 60,000-square-foot facility catering to both skateboard and BMX. The Vans Skatepark in Virginia should then open in Spring 2000, and Toronto sometime in 2001. The 50,000-square-foot Orlando Vans Skatepark will open Spring 2000.

Vans and retail-chain Pacific Sunwear have formed a new Limited Liability Company (Van Pac, LLC) to produce and distribute Vans apparel. Pacific Sunwear will own 49 percent, and Vans will own 51 percent of the company, and the apparel line will initially be sold in Pacific Sunwear and Vans stores only. In the future, the apparel produced by the LLC will be sold to non-mall specialty stores, certain mall retailers, and department stores. Pacific Sunwear currently operates a total 347 retail, outlet, and demo stores in 43 states.

Bam Margera and Kerry Getz have both been bumped up to pro status, creating an all-pro Toy Machine team.

Zero premiered their new video, Misled Youth, at the Spreckels Theater in downtown San Diego on March 5. Erik Ellingtonwas carried out of the theater Rocky-style on the shoulders of adoring fans, and is now rumored to be turning pro for Zero in the near future.

Mike Vallely, Charlie Wilkins, and Kenny Reedhave all been added to the Pig Wheels team roster. Robert Valeriohas left Tum Yeto to concentrate on his writing career, as well as cruise other avenues of life. Good luck, Rob.

Black Label‘s Matt Hensleywas the unfortunate victim of a typo on a recent graphic. The board, which featured a gun and was supposed to read “homicide” slipped out of the Black Label art department reading “homocide.” For the record, Black Label is not a homophobic company and this was an unfortunate mistake. They apologize if anyone was offended, and especially to Matt for enduring such a dilemma.

In other Giantnews, the Elementteam, under the wing of Kwala Distribution, spent the better part of April on tour in Australia. Giant Head Photo/Video Editor Dan Wolfeis along for the ride to film an Element tour video, including Donny Barley, Kris Markovich, and Natas Kaupas, who celebrated a birthday while on tour—which one, they didn’t say.

New Dealpro Chad Bartie has relocated from Australia to Southern California. He’s just in time to lay down some lines for the upcoming New Deal video.

In control of all of this is Ryan Kingman, Giant’s new team manager for Element, New Deal, and Destructo. Good luck, Ryan.

Cinematographer Wing Ko is currently filming a documentary about Mike Vallelyand his contribution to skateboarding. The film will also include some of Mike’s recent spoken-word engagements. Look for more information on Mike’s Web site:

Split has announced the addition of Australians Renton Millar, Brett Margaritis, and Trent Bonham to its team. The entire team will be featured in the upcoming video Icons and Outcasts, which will premiere this spring.

Longtime Santa Barbara ripper and Powellsales-staffer Rob Washburn has been inducted as the new Bones Brigade team manager. Also new at Powell is designer and photographer Erik Olsen, a recent graduate of San Jose State University and creator of City One ‘zine. Olsen will be concentrating on the Bones Brigade Team Zine, Powell’s free quarterly house mag. According to Powell over 150,000 copies of the last issue were printed.

Giorgio Zattoni wants to bring serious pros to Italy to compete in an invitation-only 900 contest—the first skater to pull one wins. Zattoni will be providing food and lodging. Contact Michael at Powell for more info: (805) 964-1330.

Bones bearings will release its first team video in September. The Class of 2000 will be Powell’s seventeenth video and will showcase the talents of the Bones bearing team, including newcomer Rick McCrank. The new Bones Ceramic Swiss bearings are also now available.

China Bones Reds contest grand-prize-winner Shawn Storch enjoyed a trip to California, courtesy of Bones/Skate One. While in So Cal, Shawn and a friend visited Skate Street Ventura, Vans, Duffs, TransWorld SKATEboarding, Innes, Roughhouse, and the Encinitas YMCA.

Skateboarding will be featured in a series of U.S. postage stamps that celebrates new sports, including snowboarding, BMX, and in-line skating. While the skater is not identified on the stamp, the image was derived from a photograph of a prominent Powell and Airwalk vert champion taken by TransWorld SKATEboardingPhoto Editor Grant Brittain. Thirty-eight-million of the skateboarding stamps will be in circulation in June, coinciding with the ESPN X-Games.

Media giant NBChas announced a partnership with Petersen Publications to produce a summer sports festival similar to the X-Games. The Gravity Gameswill feature alternative-sports events, including skateboarding, in-line skating, and BMX. The event will be produced for a series of broadcasts this fall on NBC. Gravity Games skateboarding coordinator and former pro Chris May says that the skaters’ concerns will be a major focus at the Gravity Games, and that the prize purse—as yet undisclosed—will be the highest ever for a skateboarding contest. For more information, call Chris May at: (949) 574-5474.

Electronic Arts has announced its first video game exclusively dedicated to skateboarding. Powell skateboards, Warpmagazine, Dragon Optics, Epitaph Records, and Capitol Records teamed up to develop the Street Sk8er video game for the Sony PlayStation system. Street Sk8er is a trick-oriented street-and-vert race against the clock, and is available in stores now. For more information, check out the Electronic Arts Web site at:

The Snowboard Canada Magazine Group has announced the launch of SBC Skateboarding, a magazine that will focus on the abundance of Canadian skateboard talent, with coast to coast coverage of Canada’s vibrant skate scene. SBC Skateboarding will be published four times a year, starting in April. The Snowboard Canada Magazine Group also publishes Snowboard Canada, SBC Snowbiz, Windsport, and the new Wakeboard Canada magazines. For more information, call: (416) 406-2400.

Former Tum Yeto International Sales Manager Kevin Marks has packed his van
with friends and supplies and hit the road. The five-month Four Corners Tour will take him, videographer/editor Bryan Moll, and many skaters around the country, and even overseas for the European contests this summer. Marks will document life on the road and the skating of featured riders for a video to be produced when the tour ends this fall. Slated to be on the tour are Bam Margera, Scott Bourne, Kerry Getz, Adrian Lopez, Matt Mumford, Mike Maldonado, Brad Staba, Charlie Wilkins, Dave Coyne, Greg Harris, Tobee Parkhurst, and many more. The Four Corners Tour and video are being sponsored by Eastern Skateboard Supply, Emerica, Etnies, éS, and Mapleskateboards. Shops that would like more information about the tour and when it might be in their area can call Overboard Productions at: (619) 702-3523. Or check out its Web site at:

Freshjiveclothing is pleased to announce the addition of Mike Yorkand Gino Iannucci to the team. They will be involved in product development, as well as representing the line. Freshjive also announced the opening of their New York corporate showroom, located at 1466 Broadway in suite #435. Jan Sussman, former vice president for Twenty Five Clothing, is the new national sales manager for Freshjive.

Be on the lookout for the new Planet Earth video Citation. Due out this summer, it will feature Kenny Anderson, Chad Fernandez, Kanten Russell, Brian Howard, Frank Garcia Hirata, Rick Jaramillo, and Ed Selego.

Santa Cruz-pro Ron Whaley is the new Krux team manager and reportedly has some new team riders in the works. Brian Childersis retiring from skateboarding to go back to school for his master’s degree.

Tom Boylehas joined the Kingdom team. His board will be available soon. Be sure to get your hands on the 1999 Kingdom Swimsuit Calendar, as well. Check out the Kingdom Web site at:

Myche Howe, former team manager for 60/40, Co-Op, and Union Wheels, is the new team manager for Supernautskateboards and Halobearings. He will also be helping out with sales. Mike Daher is the most recent addition to the Supernaut team, which is presently working on a video.

Max Dufour has signed on as the first pro for Canada’s Wood Laminates. Now part-owner of the company, he will also oversee the products, team, and image of the company.

Two members of the Chapman skateboard team have broken into the world of television. Danny Gonzales “loves Dave Thomas’ chicken sandwich” in a current Wendy’s commercial, and Mathias Ringstrom will “obey his thirst” in an upcoming Sprite commercial.

Sessions welcomes Santa Cruz-native Justin Gold as the new promotions assistant. He will work under Keith Wilson to continue to promote the company and skateboarding.

From the independent production house P Stone Productionscomes Justice II. Preston Maigetter has put together a great collection of pros and ams from all over the world. Highlights include a California section with skating from Peter Hewitt, Tony Hawk, Matt Pailes, John Cardiel, and many others. Also, check out Danny Wainwrightand other Bristol, England locals; contest highlights from Europe, Tampa ’99, Ventura, and Vancouver. Justice IIis available in shops now.

Philadelphiaexperiment has been in operation since the summer of 1997, sponsoring a team of eight riders from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware including Tim Achille, Rich Adler, Jesse Bradley, John Brannon, Vern Laird, Damian Smith, Mark Tengowski, and Sarah Thorp. Look for their first full-length video in the early summer.

Capital Distribution, manufacturers of Ezekielclothing, Kastelshoes, and Blond outerwear, has licensed its labels to Azita Corp. Manufacturing, LLC. Under the terms of the arrangement the owners of Capital Distribution, Vince de la Peña, Shaine La Voie, and Royce Cansler, will maintain full control of all product development and direction, including all aspects of marketing, merchandising and design, sales, and distribution.

“We have hit the ceiling of what we can do with our own resources,” said Capital Owner and Founder De La Peña. “After careful evaluation it was obvious that to grow our labels with integrity and still be able to maintain total control of our direction, this was the logical solution and a win-win situation for both parties.” The teams have not changed through the process.

Morgan Campbell from Perth, Australia is the latest addition to England’s Blueprint skateboard team. He is currently living in Australia, representing Blueprint there.

Big Daddy, Inc., manufacturer of prefabricated ramp kits, announced Ron Camero as the new sales manager for the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America. Former sales and marketing manager for Select Distribution, Ron Camero has over ten years of experience in the action-sports industry and will be working with Big Daddy’s Marketing and Promotions Director Robbie Matusich.

Located in Wilmington, North Carolina, Cape Fear Boardsis a custom skateboard manufacturer offering high-quality, long-lasting decks and in-house screenprinting. They are a skater-owned company and have over ten years of experience working in the skate industry. For further information, give them a call at: (910) 793-6611.

East Coasters Jim Murphyand Andy Kesslerhave joined forces to launch Wounded Knee, a board company based in New York City. With primarily large and varied shapes, the company is focusing on boards with wheelbases longer than 14.5 inches. The name, says Kessler, is as much an ode to Native Americans as it is to seasoned vert skaters, and the company plans to donate a percentage of its profits to Native American groups in the New York area. The Wounded Knee team, consisting of Murphy, Dave “Science” Maxwell, Bruce Martin, Jamie “Eastie” Cumming, Slappy Sam, and Big Tim, will be touring the East Coast this spring. For more information, call Wounded Knee at: (212) 877-6681.

Clockworkskateboards welcomes Sergie Venturato its pro team. Sergie’s new model is now available. The Clockwork team will be on tour this summer and will release its new video soon afterward. For more information on the Clockwork summer tour call: (714) 841-3425.

TransWorldwelcomes its newest advertising representative, Jamey Stone, who comes to us from the team office at Kastel/Ezekiel. When he isn’t getting busy on his backyard mini, you can find him on the horn in his new cube. Call him with your ad queries: (760) 722-7777 ext. 194.

Red Bull North America, maker of the Red Bull energy drink, has brought the two 48-foot Red Bull branded ramps to the U.S. The ramps were manufactured in Switzerland by Vertical Skateramps, and can be connected to make one 96-foot ramp or broken down into four 24-foot ramps. Red Bull has retained youth marketing agency On Board Entertainment to market its halfpipe program in the U.S. The Red Bull ramps are available to appear at sports events, on music tours, and at lifestyle festivals. Although the face of the ramps are branded with the Red Bull logo, additional

sponsor signage opportunities are available on the railings, sides, and backdrops. For more information, please call On Board Entertainment at: (415) 289-1510. Or visit its Web site at: