After the Death Race contest in Fallon NV and copious amounts of pizza and beverages, we headed to the “Old High School”. Talks about a 10 stair had the crew ready for more. The stairs out front, the flat gap, and the stair gap into the street got handled. Some of the crew got dealt as well. The sun started it’s way to the other side of the world and the day ended like it began, just a bunch of skaters hanging out shooting the shit. Good times and great people. These are the days. -ERL
After a solid 20 year run Blind and Ronnie Creager have parted ways. Ronnie is the last link to a time where Blind skateboards was actually a groundbreaking company. Although, Blind should have been dismantled as a company after Mark Gonzales left the brand. All of the key ingredients that separated Blind from other companies were missing. The entire roster from Video Days were gone, they all left after The Gonz split. No Jason Lee, no Rudy Johnson, no Guy, and no Jordan Richter. That Team was so unique and the vibe you got from Video Days was so good, it should have ended there. Nothing against Tim Gavin or Henry Sanchez, Pack of Lies was so good. Brian Lotti was such an innovator and kept that style through all the pressure flip madness. By the time Lavar McBride was on it seemed like Blind was just a completely different company. It might as well been World Industries 2.0 and again, this isn’t a knock against the actual team or the skating. It’s like watching your favorite movie then when the sequel drops, it’s not the original cast and they story is bad. Because the first movie made a lot of money they have to make a sequel. “Conan the Barbarian” is a good example. It was raw, brutal, bloody, violent, and rated R. The sequel was “Conan the Destroyer” and it was awful. Rated PG, soft, weak, and senseless. By making it not so violent and controversial it made more money. Gonz was the Barbarian and anything after was the Destroyer. Literally, think the Reaper character they use.
Mark Gonzales also started ATM Click and was rad. Then he left and they kept it going as just ATM. It wasn’t the same either, $30 boards can be found at Dumiez in every mall across America. The thing with Blind was they always had some of the best guys on the team. I’m friends with guys who rode for Blind and they are still killing it to this day. With Creager, he never stopped innovating or even came close to slowing down. Despite all the team changes, it was always “Yeah but, Creager’s dope.” and he would come through with that smooth style and tech degree from the early 90s. That OG feel that made Blind have some form of roots and a relatable past. That style of skating that reminds you of why people say he should have been on Girl or Chocolate. Style like that doesn’t get old no matter what the current stair count is.
Not every company can be Girl or Chocolate. They seem to have a game plan unlike any other skate company. It must be nice to be Gino, Koston, or Chico and jump in the van to go on tour with a company that turned 20 years old. The same van that has the Trunk Boyz in it. They cared enough to take away Guy’s Pro Model board until he got healthy. Even when times were probably not the best, they didn’t retire Gino for lack of footage. Want to talk about a family vibe? The Crail Camp has it on lock. Steve Caballero has been the face of Powell/Powell & Peralta for three decades. He has riden for them for almost 34 years. Along the way I’m sure he had plenty of offers to leave and he stayed loyal, even when Powell kooked it and took away his Pro Models for a couple of years in the late 90s.
20 years is a long haul in any career. Think of how many 90s pros have disappeared. Sometimes we get comfortable in our position in the work field and change is good. Change usually breeds new life and creativity in people to find something new. Skateboarding is no different. Hopefully Ronnie gets sparked up and drops something heavy on our heads to remind us of why he’s on so many skater’s top 10 lists. That board control, trick selection, and style separates the Kostons, Howards, Daewons, Mullens, and Creagers from the “whoevers”. It always has and it always will. -ERL
I’m not sure what’s going on in skateboarding lately. I just saw Tom Asta’s Pro Spotlight Video for Transworld and he didn’t have any skatepark footage. Not only that but, all of his street skating was not indoors. He skated outside the confines of perfection and wrecked some grimy East Coast spots. Bobby Worrest came through for his hometown and regulated Pulaski Park. Mark Suciu did the same, raw street skating that blew everyones minds. Dude just rolled up and dropped a Wonder/Horrible on us in 2013. Is this new form of street skating returning? No, it never left. It was just overlooked and for obvious reasons the fact is, skating at a predesigned skate spot is just easier.
Back in the day you would go to a skatepark just to warm up. You’d roll around and get yours legs under you and then hit the streets. Some days were good with no bust factor. Other days you would get kicked out of every spot. “Can’t you read” “You’re a liability on our property.” You are all trespassing” are all things everyone has heard while out skating. Cops get fed up with kicking you out of the same spot and eventually write tickets. They also are quick to inform you of the local skatepark and always ask why don’t you go there. Technically a city builds one thinking they solved all the problems of renegade skaters in the streets. Dudes that never leave the park at least get the Home Town Hero effect because the have the place dialed. That’s great, you backside flipped every hip in the park and all your homies clap. Every time you do it, every time. Why leave?
The legitimacy of an actual video part out in the streets is untouchable. The battle to come through with a full part in the suburban jungle is real. Mother Nature is always in charge. Wind, rain, snow, or 100 plus degrees is where it begins. Throw in rocks or even rock for that matter. Who hasn’t hit the absolute tinniest pebble and been served? Cracks in the sidewalk, no bondo, skating only after business hours, cops, neighbors, concerned citizens, and always having limited time to land your trick is always a struggle. For these reasons people travel to Barcelona and even more people are going to China in search of new spots and lenient skate laws. All of this insanity makes for the best videos though. You can do a NBD trick on a park rail and it’s still NBD. Take that trick to a rail where blood has been shed countlessly and that NBD is legendary. It goes in the halls of skateboarding lore, because it was the Wilshire rail or El Torro.
Indoor parks started out as TFs or training facilities to get a trick down and then take it to the street spot. Now days they are the spot. I see the need for them and I have friends who own these indoor master pieces. PRod’s park is insane, so is the Berrics. They are perfect and are really fun to skate. The fact remains that a trick done in a custom built for skating spot will never have that sense of rawness that comes from actual street skating. Contest are a different story. Obstacles are built to perfection as well they should. You have top pros doing tricks first try that would have been someone’s “banger” in their part 10 years ago. If you are trying trick at a contest on a double kinked rail, it damn well better be built right. Contest are gnarlier than ever, just like skating in general. Park footage from say Ben Raybourn who kills tranny is nuts. Then again, he can’t exactly find these spots behind a supermarket. He does however skate outside of the park, ditches are out there.
Street skating is hard. The frustrations and stress level is make makes the reward that much sweeter. I hope to see more and more top Pros and Ams fighting the good fight and keeping street just that, street. Good work Transworld, a Pro Spotlight Video is a great idea. Thanks to Tom Asta, Bobby Worrest, Mark Suciu, and everyone who puts in the work to inspire others to find new spots. Skateboarding is bigger than ever, let’s not forget it started in the street. -ERL
http://skateboarding.transworld.net/1000192703/videos/tom-asta-pro-spotlight-video/ http://www.thrashermagazine.com/articles/videos/bobby-worrest-hometown-turf-killer/ http://www.thrashermagazine.com/articles/videos/mark-suciu-search-the-horizon-remix/