Tag Archives: Steve Caballero

Ronnie and the 20 Year Itch.

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

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)

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Dallas Sunset.

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Delirium and night fall.

Nice digs.

Nice digs, welcome to Brazil.

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Brazilian Pro Model. Circuit Wheels?

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For their rainy season, it was real hot.

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Still want to tell me how rough you got it?

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

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CK Face Tatter.

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

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

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Austyn Back Noseblunt.

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The stage was set.

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All the Brazilian guys killed it.

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Dylan laying down the style on a noseblunt slide.

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Malto nollie crooks.

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Malto Back Lip

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Dylan KF over the ledge.

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Chris Cole about to noseblunt slide in the chaos.

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Mikey Taylor nosegrind.

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Bastien KF Back Tail shove.

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Austyn mid lip slide.

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David always puts on a good air show.

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David (Daveed) Gonzales back three.

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David threw down the style.

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Austyn Lipslide transfer through the hip.

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Pappalardo board sighting.

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Koston Front Feeb.

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Koston FS Hurricane.

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Phone service got a little dicey.

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Dyrdek back smith.

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1 second earlier it was Fandangle time.

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Mikey Taylor Nollie Noseblunt.

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Austyn Gillette BS Flip.

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Cole – Noseblunt Slide.

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Pudwill was here.

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Men’s Room awkwardness.

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Face Eaters Everywhere!

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Manny’s always down for whatever whenever.

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A case of kicking my board away and it refused.

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Heath Brinkley offering little advice.

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Top Shelf Skateboarding

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Everyone in Street League skates, BA is no exception.

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GTWYC

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The good crew.

Chaz back noseblunter.

Tom Asta 5.0 Fakie

Tom Asta FB.
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The Press Conference.

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The Falls were amazing.

Constant Rainbow.

Constant Rainbow.

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Sean Penn mode.

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Like I said, I’m huge in Brazil.

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

Chaz still owes me $100!

"GO CK!"

“GO CK!”

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Brazil to Miami.

Two hours from home soil.

Two hours from home soil.

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Made it back intact, next stop Barcelona.

Wheels of Change

Days of Future Past

Every generation that sees the path it created change too much seems to cringe. Change is a hard pill to swallow at times. About the time I started skating I heard tale of Duane Peters hating Tony Hawk. Tony’s tricks were deemed more of a novelty than true skating. This was because it was a changing of the guard. 9 times out of 10 the guard doesn’t necessarily want to be changed. The tradition of the 70s and low ariel tricks were being swept away by the next generation of skaters. Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi, Lester Kasai, Steve Caballero, and a handful of younger Pros were creating their own path. The foundation of tricks that were laid by the generation before helped to inspire the young guns to go higher, grind longer, and slide farther. The change was needed but, not always appreciated.

I always wondered what the OG skaters felt like after that first air by Tony Alva, that’s what set if off it seems. Once you see what is possible, you push it as far as you can to see what’s the limit. A great example is Alan Gelfand’s ollie to start off no handed airs and 30 years later look at Jaws. That kid is certainly pushing the boundaries of what the human knees and ankles can endure. Giant stunt jumpers are not my cup of tea, although I respect it for what it is. Another form of change that dudes a lot younger than me consider the norm. I’ll take some footage of Gino Iannucci, Guy Mariano, Mark Gonzales, Jeff Grosso, or Paul Rodriguez skating pretty much anything over most roof jumpers. Style counts to a large degree in skating, that’s the beauty. Want a great example of style? Watch Steve Olson push down the street.

Style over steeze has no shelf date.

Some change is unstoppable which may or may not be a good thing. Again, it depends of your generation and what path you helped create. Are print magazines going the way of the Rip Grip? The digital age is here to stay kids, kinda like that Boy Band music you thought would fade away. Every skateboarding publication is fully equipped with some great websites these days. There you can find out within a moments notice what your favorite Pro skater is up to. A new graphic or shoe model gets leaked, BOOM it’s online in a heartbeat. Team changes, gossip, opinions of a 13 year old mall rat, and lies are available to the masses. Video parts and pictures are available everyday on all of these sites. The overkill is almost deadening how special it all once was.

Gone are the days of wonder and the magic of it all. In the glory of it all you  would wait to see the latest Bones Brigade, Santa Cruz, Vision, or contest series video. They were so few that the rumors you would hear about a trick or a part would kill you with expectation. You would pick up a new Thrasher Mag and see an advertisement for the new “Street Shape” from your favorite Pro and anticipate its arrival at the local skate shop. Shapes were so damn sick. It was your heart and sole shaped out on a signature board you worked at for so long. Skaters would ask local shops when was the best Amateur turning Pro and shops would call companies asking the same. Amazing photos of Matt Hensley skating an overpass, Natas Kaupas board sliding the roll bar of a Toyota truck, and Steve Caballero blasting 12 feet at Raging Waters were torn from magazines and plastered on skaters walls. Print magazines are the pages of our Bible. Thrasher has been the Bible since day one. Print mags losing readership is the change I have no use for.

The “New Graphic Available” made for a lot of calls to the locals shop.

20 years from now I hope to see Thrasher Magazine, Transworld Skateboarding, The Skateboard Mag, and hopefully Big Brother back in the fold of print mags. I’ve seen a lot of change in skateboarding since 1984, even in the dark days of 42mm wheels and hobo clothing I wouldn’t change a thing. Actually, I liked the lack of ramps and the street direction it took. The late 80s and 90s weeded out a lot of people who lost the love of riding a skateboard. A large amount of those dudes ended up snowboarding and didn’t like change. Skate everything man! Change has always been such a key part of skating, it’s needed. No matter what direction skating heads towards, the heart of pushing down the street will always be the same. Adapt, change, mix it up and never stop skating. -ERL