Tag Archives: chris cole

Following in the footsteps of Bon Jovi’s Euro Tour (Street League Munich)

Germany had a lot in common with all our other Street League stops, Rain. It rained in Brazil, Barcelona, Kansas City, and rained hard in Munich. The course was good and the beer was better. Chris Cole ran shit and Paul made him work for it. European fans are the best, American’s are jaded. Torey lost everything because airlines blow it. He practiced for two hours on a new set up and killed it the whole weekend. This is a photo journal from the Great German Street League Experience of 2013 and Beyond. -ERL


Sean got weird in the German climate.


Even German love letters are on a wall.


Club Homeboy alive and well.


Munich Tower Olympia.


Munich Tower Olympia against the rain.


Keep it Classic.


Ever seen a 1/2 Pipe on water?


Brian Atlas seems hip hop but, he’s all about Rock n Roll.


Euro Craze.


Evan Smith Stigmata.


Jack Curtin and Yunice Amrani. Style Kings.


Torey Pudwill ruled the course.


Torey, KF 5050.


Manny Santiago backtailed the gap of hellfire.


Germany gave me props.


Serious props.






Guy FUCKING Mariano.


Bastien caught in the moment.


Practice started bringing everyone together.


Street League killed it with this course.


Peter Ramondetta 5-0.


PRod plotting.


Torey talking that Grizzly talk.


Malto asking Heath the secret to texting and Tommy ain’t having it.


That’s me in FAN OUT mode.


Mikey Taylor locking down front hurricanes.


Ishod sweating my technique.




Mikey and Aaron agreeing to completely disagree.


Another FAN OUT mode.


Chris Cole got his….finally.


Don’t let Chris’s Wife borrow your phone, Red’s selfie.


Chris is a good human, he’s on my good guy list.


Until this happened.


Evan Smith had the crowd chanting “Cole! Cole! Cole!”.


Great vibes at Street League.


Chris taking time out for the fans.


German stoke mode.


Sign my mini toilet seat cover!


In Germany Malto means Malto?


Shane making the rounds.


Mikey Taylor will not sign autographs with red ink, true story?


Paul always gets mobbed.


Sneaker Heads unite.




Too much culture.




Shuttle life with the SL Crew.


Eye Heart?


Drug trafficking was never about the beard.


Trip out.


The place was packed and Manny slayed them all.




Off duty LAPD and Waximillion (Street League Los Angeles)


Ready, steady, go Malto.


Too much gnar…

One had to go.


Controversial NV angles.


Mikey beams Luan’s air time.


Malto styling out an ollie to pivot.


Pearl Harbor attack from David Gonzales.


Sheckler 5-0 get down.


Torey caught mid lip to crooks.


Caught up in the combo, back lip to backtail.


Denman & Steezus Christ.


When a filmer falls, you’ve gotta call him out. Erik Bragg


Dylan speedy tail slide.


Torey back tail.


One second late on a Dylan front ollie.


Ritchie got them Betty Davis eyes.


PRod switch back tail.


Decenzo crooky monster.


Questionable angle on Dylan’s back tail.


Torey pops out of a back noseblunt.


Malto nose grind mission.


Sandoval warm up 50-50.


Stay Gold


Shecks warming up.


Shecks back smith.


The line up is tough.


Pete looking outside the norm.


PRod about to drop the hammer.


Chase chasing Matt Miller.

It was hot, the security X-Games hired was for shit, and Nyjah won. -ERL

Heavy Portland Days

My first glimpse of the Nike P.Rod promotional madness I witnessed was on the side of a bus as my cab neared downtown Portland. From that moment on, your average passerby would have thought Paul Rodriguez was the Mayor of Portland. His image was all over the city. This Street League stop was definitely themed after Paul just as every Kansas City stop was all about Sean Malto. Sean is from KC and they called Portland “Paul’s second home” so naturally Nike welcomed him with open arms.


19 men enter 1 man wins, kinda Thunder Dome…ish.

I made my way to the Rose Arena and right out front was a gigantic billboard featuring Paul larger than life. As I walked inside I was surprised at the color scheme of the actual course. The P.Rod 7 recently dropped and the red and black colors mocked Paul’s latest shoe, right down to the tiger stripes. Aesthetically it looked damn cool and I’m sure it’s appearance was amazing on television. The entire Rose Arena was filled with P.Rod posters in every single seat and again, looked cool. If you were one of Paul’s fans and came to this contest you were so stoked. How would you not be?


Not the best seating for Nyjah’s fan club.

Later on in the day we gave the higher ups at Nike a tour of the course and they met with the majority of the Nike SB team. One of them was the person responsible for the design of the original Jordan 1. I had no choice but to fan out on that seeing how it’s one of the best looking shoes in history. Flash backs of Tommy Guerrero, Cab, and the Gonz rocking Jordan Ones put a nostalgic smile on my face. Politics aside, Nike has made some solid shoes for skating even when they weren’t trying to. Now they are top notch.


The colors of potential pressure.

The next morning, this landslide of promotional aspects finally hit me. Want to talk about pressure? Oregon is the home of Nike and they promoted Paul Rodriguez 100% for the Portland stop. The entire city has your image all over it, everywhere. The actual arena boasts the same image as you approached the contest. The course you are skating is the same color as your latest shoe. 15,000 screaming fans are all holding up your poster. One of your major sponsors have brought all the higher ups to watch the contest. Beyond all of these other facts, you are competing against the best skaters in the world. Pressure situation? How would Paul Rodriguez deal with this mountain of pressure? By winning.


Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.

Portland was heavy. All of the skaters were on point in practice. By all means this could have been Chris Cole’s day with a back to back win. Luan Oliveira was a wrecking ball and couldn’t miss a trick. Ishod Wair blew us all away and put together the most insane lines. Portland was so heavy. In the end Paul showed everyone why he is a prodigy. In my opinion he is the last prodigy. Now there is a “amazing new guy” every other day because of the unlimited internet sitings. I can tell you right now there’s more pressure to fill his shoes than to be in them. Flavor of the months are a dime a dozen, there is only one P.Rod. -ERL


Dos Wins. Dos Amigos. Zero Pressure.


Austyn Gillette


Austyn knocks out a kickflip while I avoid knocking out the sound guy. Street League Portland was top notch. Austyn Kills. -ERL

Hey look, video link…..v

Sorry I yell.


We Can’t Stop Here, This is KC, This is Malto Country!

Street League Kansas City has always been pretty much the best stop. Just the “Maltomania” vibe in that town is so damn crazy. The enthusiasm and excitement levels are genuine and the energy is real. This stop by all means offered the best skateboarding yet. Dylan Rieder was the stand out by making the finals and added a ton of speed and style by doing so. The end result was the same, Nyjah Houston won. What made this contest stand out from the others was Paul Rodriguez, Chris Cole, Luan Oliveira, and Dylan Rieder having stand out tricks back to back. They killed it! Hail Mary’s were thrown out and it will be a hard day to match. I had the best seat in the house for it all. Here are a few photos from Street League Kansas City. -ERL

Who runs Barter Town?

Who runs Barter Town?

Everyone did and more.

1/2 a second late on a smith by request. Dylan blazed.

1/2 a second late on a smith by request. Dylan blazed.


Nyjah midway into the belly of the beast.


Matt Miller long nosegrind.


A Trifecta of moves. Malto crails while Koston and Tory are on the hunt.


Tory backlip to back tailslide.


PRod switch tailslide nollie heel out.


Paul’s got it like that.


There’s no denying, Nyjah has the goods.


Malto, switching it up.


Nyjah 5.0.


Mikey Taylor in feeble mode.


Ishod is always in his own zone. Skate around and kill it with a smile.


Gnar Boots laced up tight, Nyjah has got it.


Sean all blurred out on a front krooks.


Jimmy Sweat Pants and MRod holding down the judges table.


A photo of a photographer taking a photo? Lurking on Yoon Sul.


Mach 10 smith grind by David Gonzalez.


Boneless One!


I thought the Berrics would be bigger, damn fisheyes!


Shane is a cool cat and was first on site.


Billy Marks kickflipped this like a beast.


Dylan Rieder’s massive bs flip.


Nyjah won, his 9th to be exact. All smiles.


Nyjah won but, Tory delivers the goods to the Diamond Life Afterparty jam session winner.


Diamond Life Afterparty jam session champ, Shane O’Neill. Drink Up!!!!


Tory Pudwill MC’s the press conference. Endless laughs and entertainment.


Street League Foz do Iguaçu

My first international flight took me to Foz Do Iguacu Brazil for the first Street League stop of 2013. If you leave for somewhere and if you get there well beyond a day after you left, then you’re pretty far from home. I have never been the biggest fan of flying and I assumed this flight would be my demise. That wasn’t the case and if anything, it prepped my for any future flights. I was ready for Brazil.

Brazil was beautiful. It reminded me a lot of Tennessee in a way. Hot, green, lots of bugs, and friendly people who were hard to understand. For the first time in my life I was a foreigner which was a very odd feeling. I became a master of sign language in a very limited time. Shortly after I arrived it was time to get to work and watch some of the best skateboarders in the world do their thing.  One thing about watching skateboard contests on TV is you really only get to see the dudes who make the cut. Some of the guys that don’t often have some of the best tricks go down during practice. Koston, Dylan Rieder, Austyn Gillette, and Evan Smith crushed Brazil. Collectively they all offered something special and it pays to be at these events to witness it. I’ll always trip out on watching Eric Koston skate. It’s pretty much everything you would want it to be. Koston rules the wasteland!

Once work was done it was time for some night life Brazil style. The tolerance for us filthy Americans was unbelievable. We partied hard and acted the fool to the point where we should have gotten kicked out of the country. In the end, we tore apart anything resembling a patience factor and was asked to leave the local bowling alley by the police. My summer has started a season early and next up is Barcelona Spain. Here are a few photos and facts from the trip. -ERL

1. Put Cory Kennedy and Grant Taylor in a room together and it’s a fire and gasoline mixture of entertainment.

2. Lacy Baker is better than your average home town hero, she rules.

3. Evan Smith skated unlike anyone else. Way too much creatively and control for one guy.

4. Austyn Gillette makes skateboarding look like a gift.

5. Matt Miller’s POP for President. (not his dad)


Dallas Sunset.


Delirium and night fall.

Nice digs.

Nice digs, welcome to Brazil.


Brazilian Pro Model. Circuit Wheels?


For their rainy season, it was real hot.


Still want to tell me how rough you got it?


Cory Kennedy & Grant Taylor were out for blood all week.


CK Face Tatter.


If you sold shade in Brazil you’d be made in it.


Insanely fast and yes, it was a make. Back Lip.


Austyn Back Noseblunt.


The stage was set.


All the Brazilian guys killed it.


Dylan laying down the style on a noseblunt slide.


Malto nollie crooks.


Malto Back Lip


Dylan KF over the ledge.


Chris Cole about to noseblunt slide in the chaos.


Mikey Taylor nosegrind.


Bastien KF Back Tail shove.


Austyn mid lip slide.


David always puts on a good air show.


David (Daveed) Gonzales back three.


David threw down the style.


Austyn Lipslide transfer through the hip.


Pappalardo board sighting.


Koston Front Feeb.


Koston FS Hurricane.


Phone service got a little dicey.


Dyrdek back smith.


1 second earlier it was Fandangle time.


Mikey Taylor Nollie Noseblunt.


Austyn Gillette BS Flip.


Cole – Noseblunt Slide.


Pudwill was here.


Men’s Room awkwardness.


Face Eaters Everywhere!


Manny’s always down for whatever whenever.


A case of kicking my board away and it refused.


Heath Brinkley offering little advice.


Top Shelf Skateboarding


Everyone in Street League skates, BA is no exception.




The good crew.

Chaz back noseblunter.

Tom Asta 5.0 Fakie

Tom Asta FB.

The Press Conference.


The Falls were amazing.

Constant Rainbow.

Constant Rainbow.


Sean Penn mode.


Like I said, I’m huge in Brazil.

Chaz in losing $100 mode.
Chaz still owes me $100!

Chaz still owes me $100!

"GO CK!"

“GO CK!”


Brazil to Miami.

Two hours from home soil.

Two hours from home soil.


Made it back intact, next stop Barcelona.


From the Lot to the League

The day started off pretty standard, I was sitting in the parking lot of the Amazon Distribution Center in Fernley NV waiting for my shift to start. I would listen to music and prep myself for another 10 hour shift while watching the most unique humans walk by. Temp workers are an interesting species to say the least. You get all sorts of people looking for a quick paycheck or a second try to work themselves into a better financial scale in life. I myself worked outside of my skate shop because I knew as long as I worked, I’d never have to rely on taking money from the shop and it would be self sustained. I would make quick calls to my distributers during 15 minute breaks to make orders. On 1/2 hour lunch breaks I would call the shop to see how things were going and what needed to be done. The job was hell and running the shop in increments added to the stress of working at Amazon during their busiest season. After my shift was over I would drive to Classic to see how the day went and rush home to eat and go straight to bed. I excelled at my job and was made a supervisor who audited the docks, the last place to insure packages would make it to the correct destination. Everyday I would see the sun go down faster and had a hard time skating let alone making sure Classic stayed on point.

On this particular day I had an email from an old friend, Rob Dyrdek. Rob for whatever reason had always had my back since we first met in 96. Sometime around 2004 he fought hard for me to become the DC Shoes Team Manager. A position I had for about an entire day before a friend of mine, Heath Brinkley was offered the job. That’s where the majority of my grey hair came from. The bad news was I lost out on my dream job, the good news being I had free shoes for the next couple of years. Rob asked me if I would be interested in a job at Street League that he lined up. I was invited to go to the finals in Las Vegas the year before and was sold, seeing it in person is a whole other level of rad. When I had a chance to call him he explained the job to me and that I would be traveling to Seattle, Kansas City, Phoenix, and New Jersey to keep the show flawless. Rob knew I was friends with or acquainted with most of the Pros in Street League so it was an easy transition although I had never worked on live television. After a phone meeting with Brian Atlas, I discussed the proposition with my girlfriend of quitting my job at Amazon to start touring with my friends and get back into the side of skateboarding I was in before I moved back to Reno. Being the amazing person she is, Megan agreed it was a no brainer. I was ecstatic when I left that parking lot the last time. Although I pulled the trigger early and was hurting for those last few paychecks I should have waited out.

I’ve always been afraid to fly. That being said, I was the first person on the scene of an airplane crash out in Fallon NV and about a year later saw an airplane crash right in front of me at the Reno airport. Although they were both Cessna prop planes, those images were heavily burnt into my brain. My first stop for Street League was in Seattle WA and would you know it, I was flying in on an Alaska Airline turbo prop plane. Why would it be any other way? My cherry was getting popped back into the ways of flight and it was hell all the way there. I’m sure the flight was actually a smooth ride but, I was a mess. I made it there, took the transit to my hotel, and made my way to the arena to check out the scene. I saw Rob and the first thing he said was, “Eric Lantto are you ready for the most stressful job in Street League?” and I replied “You know that I am”. He introduced me to the crew and staff, the ESPN guys, and I went to check out the course. It seemed like it was a lot to take in but, I was in my element the moment I got off that plane.

The next morning I met with all the guys I would be working with. I had become friends with Paul Rodriguez and Mikey Taylor from the City Stars days. Actually when I knew Paul was becoming PRod and he was on the verge of blowing up I cornered him in the elevator. I told Paul if I ever saw him even if it was years from then and he didn’t talk to me I was going to put the hurt on him. He said, “I know you will Eric” and from that day had always stayed the same person. Paul has never let his success change him as a person, true blue and a loyal friend. The same goes for Rob, money and fame has not changed the person who did a demo in the back of Addiction Skate Shop on a quarter pipe. Rob was a Reno fixture there for a few years. I met all the other guys and broke down how the contest was going to go with me on board. The contest went well, I made one mistake and made sure to never send anyone out of order again. No matter what though, I still fanned out on Koston….I mean it’s Eric Koston right?

From Seattle we had three more stops and I was hooked. I did my job well and I was working with the best skateboarders surrounded by 15,000 screaming fans. I built solid relationships with a lot of good people. Working out tricks and runs with Malto, Mike Mo, Chris Cole, and Paul were some experiences that are golden. Street League is my perfect element and I never took one stop for granted. I ruptured my achilles tendon four weeks before Kansas City and had food poisoning the night before my flight and I knew there was no way I was going to throw in the towel. I limped around stage and the walk back and forth to the hotel was murder but, there was no way I’d miss out on a KC trip. Kansas City rules, and Malto’s fan base there is insane. Thousands of fans screaming “Let’s Go Malto Let’s Go!” and holding up signs dissing the other Pros was amazing. Sean is another guy that is true blue. I met him once at the Phoenix Am contest years before and he remembered my name and was genuinely stoked I would be touring with them. Every stop we would time his run together and discuss different tricks. I say that in a manner of graciousness, I take all of these experiences with such grateful attitude. I have always worked with and been involved with this side of skateboarding and now that I’m older, I appreciate it so much more.

My last stop was August of this year in New Jersey and as I write this I’m decompressing from the high I get from being involved with such a great organization. The job is fast and stressful, there can be no mistakes on my part. That is the element I thrive in, it’s something I have never taken for granted and each year has been better than the previous. I am able to tour the country with my friends and witness guys puling tricks that could be video part enders first try. With all the money on the line and being surrounded by thousands of screaming fans, it’s still just skateboarding and the guys are having fun skating. The misconception of some of the guys I work with is just plain funny to me. I’m honored to be around some of the most respectful and talented skateboarders ever. To me it is like one big Shred Sunday and the vibe is the same. A solid crew of skaters getting together to shred on the weekend. It’s all skateboarding and that’s why I’m involved 100%. I’m counting down the minutes to next year, from what I hear it’s going to be the best one yet. Thank you Rob Dyrdek and Brian Atlas for the opportunity to shine. -ERL

In the eye of the hurricane. Forrest Locke photo.

Game face with the best guys doing what we love. Forrest Locke photo.