Tag Archives: Street Sharks

Gone Skateboarding Dude

It’s June 21st 2014 and besides being a Saturday, it’s also “National Go Skateboarding Day”. I also believe it’s the 11th year of “GSD”. Eleven glorious years of a special day just for us skaters. I can honestly say I never saw that one coming. If you told me back in 1986 that one day skaters would have there own holiday, I would have assumed you were snorting old Ripgrip.

In the 80s and early 90s skateboarding was not cool with anyone but skaters. All we had was each other and it was a solid brotherhood. Jocks did not wear skate shoes. Jocks called you “skate fags” and “skater faggots” and tried to ruin your makeshift spots. Skinheads, gangsters, cowboys, and especially parents hated skateboarding. We were “losers” because we didn’t fit a certain mold. We dressed how we dressed, we hung out in the streets and parking lots, and we didn’t give a fuck about anything. The lack of conformity is what made people hate us because they didn’t get us.

The brotherhood was thick. You would hear about a ramp or that someone might have a jump ramp at a spot. Contests were the best because it was all of us at one spot. Strength in numbers was golden. A truck load of Socs might drive by and yell “Skate or Die!” but, they damn well didn’t pull over. Ironically these guys are probably Dads now, wearing DC Courts with their Independent tees.

The acceptance of skateboarding worldwide saw the brotherhood slowly slip away. Family became cliques, certain crews were cooler than others, and soon skaters kept to their own clans. The us against them attitude was white washed away by skate dads and delusions of their kids being the next Flying Tomato. Parents wanted their kids to skate? Yes, and by all means, how can my son get sponsored? Fuck me.

That’s what happens to everything and every pioneer wants it to stay sacred. Fight change! Grand tales of back in the day and so on. It is what it is, skateboarding will always be the best. No rules, just you and the board. While all the contests and skate events are going down today, there are still those kids out there dealing with the torture and keeping the dream alive. GSD is just another day, to me it’s not good or bad. It’s just been a weird ride to get here. Cheers to all the skaters out there that got their asses beat, got shit at school, had no support at home, broke bones, fought back, had kids, and never quit skating. A road traveled to the end is a trip worth taking. -ERL

1984

Go Skateboarding Yesterday.

 

Sunshine Down On Me Today, Remember Me Tomorrow.

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 IMG_8870 IMG_8874 IMG_8877 IMG_8879 IMG_8881 IMG_8888 IMG_8889 IMG_8893 IMG_8898 IMG_8899 IMG_8901 IMG_8903 IMG_8907 IMG_8909 IMG_8912 IMG_8914 IMG_8916 IMG_8921 IMG_8927 IMG_8932 IMG_8934 IMG_8935 IMG_8937 IMG_8940 IMG_8941 IMG_8943 IMG_8945 IMG_8946 IMG_8948 IMG_8951 IMG_8953 IMG_8962 IMG_8964 IMG_8965 IMG_8969 IMG_8970 IMG_8971 IMG_8981 IMG_8984 IMG_8985 IMG_8989 IMG_8991 IMG_8992 IMG_8993 IMG_8995 IMG_8999 IMG_9005 IMG_9008 IMG_8930

Shred Sunday Hoth

The high suggested 22 degrees was all the mercy  we were going to get from Mother Nature. The snow had been scraped and there were a few options besides strictly parking garages. They are always dry but, the lack of sun is brutal. For the first time in a few decades my bushings froze up to the point where they might as well been made out of steel. No turning means no control and rickety style.

The rest of the crew had zero problems adapting their Speeders to the cold. Hot coffee, hot chocolate, and constant motion was the name of the game. As much as an indoor park would have been lovely, I felt better about skating in a frozen hell with a good crew. I’d rather suffer than get soft.

Winter skating takes me back to the day where you and your crew would skate no matter what. You would skate the curb spot by where the jocks hung out even though you knew there would be trouble. Skate a spot you knew you would have to run away from cops or security or you’d lose your board. The hunger of youth overpowers the excuses that comes with age.  A mediocre day skating beats not skating at all. -ERL

You get what you're given. Them's the breaks.

You get what you’re given. Them’s the breaks.

Tyler takes the long ollie into the dry zone.

Tyler takes the long ollie into the dry zone.

Dane made use of a make shift block.

Dane made use of a make shift block.

Cut through a dry spot, over the snow, grind it, and pop out over more snow. The good life.

Cut through a dry spot, over the snow, grind it, and pop out over more snow. The good life.

Seek shelter and attack. Tyler catching a beauty of a kick flip.

Seek shelter and attack. Tyler catching a beauty of a kick flip.

Mother Nature blessed us with some rays of hope.

Mother Nature blessed us with some rays of hope.

SS9

Mitch skates vert.

Tyler got his as well.

Tyler got his as well.

Dustin Elliker edit.

Arm Chair 540s?

There has been and will always will be the great debate, “IS SKATEBOARDING A SPORT?” and you are on one side or the other. The purest attest to the “fuck no” approach as the average person points out the obvious and agrees that it is.  I’ve jumped the fence a few times in regard to the matter.

Skateboarding can’t be a sport. There are no rules. You can butt board and push with your face if you so desire. There is no written guideline to tell you otherwise. There is no practice, no regiment, and no uniforms. It is such an individual activity that is closer to art than sport. There isn’t a coach (minus Nyjah’s Dad) and you are not punished for a bad performance. You normally won’t see a team tryout in skating, and if you do it’s real kooky. You aren’t drug tested. Most athletes are not kicked out of their practice area by police and rent-a-cops.

Skateboarding has always been a sport. They make protective gear for it. There are teams and people get real upset when someone quits their favorite team. You become an amateur on a team and then go Pro as in professional. You follow your favorite Am’s career and get hyped when he gets the nod into the Pro Ranks. Once a professional you get paid to do so and that makes you a professional athlete. You also get endorsements and good ones at that, big money. Not only all of that but, you are performing on television and in arenas. Bob Burnquist fakes/milks injuries to win just like NBA players flop to get that free throw. Thousands of fans with signs rooting for you to win, to pull that big trick crushing the other team’s rider. Shoe deals with your own signature line are abundant. Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and more and more large sport shoe companies have a vested interest in skating. Just like Jordan, people are wearing your brand so unless your that jaded 80s punker dude still talking shit on Hawk, it’s obvious skateboarding has always been a sport.

What makes the sport of skateboarding special is it’s ours. Skating is our fucking sport. We weed out the kooks and protect it individually. It remains special in the heart of men pushing 60 and the youthfulness will always separate us from any other sport. How many high school football players still pad up and go hit the field in their 30s and 40s? None of them because they played football to fit in. They did it to get to the next level and maybe they did. That next level eventually led to a kind of unfulfilled feeling that made them lose that drive or what they thought was love. I’ve seen many a friend realize they didn’t have what it took to be a Pro Skater and slowly they “grew up” and skated less and less. They may have ran in a touchdown on the High School level and heard those cheers but, they couldn’t make the cut in the big leagues. If that is why they were still skating then that is why they also stepped away.

From the kid who just started getting his balance, to the kid ripping up the park, to the old guy slashing the bowl, that is what makes our “sport” different for anything else. We don’t practice, we skate. We don’t take one for the team, we skate. We don’t get a scholarship, we skate. Even when it’s all over and done and you retire from your team, you still skate. -ERL

Next up, representing sunny California, THE ALVA TEAM!

Next up, representing sunny California, THE ALVA TEAM!

Plan B in Barcelona aka The Mighty Calvitus Tour.

Shortly after the Street League contest wrapped up in Barcelona I tagged along with the Plan B Team (Pat Duffy, Felipe Gustavo, Torey Pudwill) during a filming mission for the new video. Rain was our nemesis along with angry security guards. We had a slight communication problem with our guide right up until we ran into Enrique Lorenzo. Enrique knows Barcelona and in no time we were going from spot to spot. Between Roger Ferrero and Enrique the mission was back on track.

Everyday was the same. Wake up, skate to Starbucks, skate to the other hotel to meet with the rest of the team, warm up at the marble bench square, and jump on the Metro to our first spot. Baguettes and fries were in full effect. Barcelona is huge so we logged in some time on the trains but, it beat renting a van and dealing with traffic. Day one was a bit of a bust. Our first spot had several men playing something similar to racquetball and they wanted us gone from the second we rolled up. Puffed out chests, hand gestures, and multilingual cursing took place as soon as either Jagger or Jett Eaton slammed and shot their board into the game. Matt Rodriguez reminded me we weren’t in the US and I could get my head kicked in by the Policia if I got into to it with these locals. It was good advice as I was not used to being a stranger in a strange land. We made tracks and avoided the rain from spot to spot.

Seeing how we were on a filming mission I’m not really able to say too much about what I saw. A couple of things were evident though. Pat Duffy is still on top of his game. He is still doing what he’s always done and that’s killing it. Torey skated things only he could and is putting his heart into his part. He always had something funny to say and is such a positive dude. Felipe rules! He is funny all the time. Great one liners that are even better accentuated by his thick accent. He also is insanely smooth and consistent for how tech he is. His brother Paulo Macedo was with us and is a great photographer and cool person to hang out with. Ryan Denman is their Team Manager and ran a tight ship, everyone got their job done and had a good time doing it. As insane as the tricks that were going down, everyone stayed in good spirits and avoided meltdowns. I personally can’t wait to see it all in the video. Thank you to Torey, Duffy, Felipe, Jagger, Jett, Paulo, MRod, and Denman for a great trip. -ERL

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Morning rituals.

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Once more into the Metro.

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Bad vibes and the Policia are on the way.

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Drugs…

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are….

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trippy.

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No rain meant it got hot quick.

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Not that it stopped the mission.

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Felipe warming up.

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Torey getting his.

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Every angle covered.

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Felipe was putting in work.

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Love the local Perros.

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Brothers cup.

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When it rained, it poured.

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Then hailed.

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No wax required.

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Strictly a political move.

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Weather is a hurdle you can’t jump.
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Sanctuary and the unplanned theme of the trip.

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Another long one.

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We did a head count and gear check at every train.

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Matt MRod Rodriguez was my road dog all Summer.

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Electronica.

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Head count complete.

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Gotta run to the next spot before it rains.

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Barce fashion siting.

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The next stop was a doozy.

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Felipe.

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Duffy.

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Just when it was all coming together…

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She showed up.

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She was pissed!

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Felipe dropping Brazilian Jedi Mind Tricks.

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Every dog needs a bone.

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Hippies everywhere.

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Too many trains brings on the madness.

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Religion is weird or the laziest bum ever.

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Everyone was getting train weary.

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We needed a new spot to recharge the crew.

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Then this happened.

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Recharged and in the zone.

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It’s rad to see these guys are like family.

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Pat and Felipe got theirs.

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Such a crazy thing to skate.

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Stay sharp!

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Right into hell.

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Enrique showing us the spots.

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We also got a sneak peak of his new video, mind blower.

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Now everyone is hyped.

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Axion reunion.

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Torey grind o rama.

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More perro sitings after someone tried to drop a water bomb on us from 5 stories.

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We skated by these a lot so Felipe had a quick sesh.

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A random spot by where we ate ended up a good sesh.

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Slappy time.

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Torey’s got it like that. FS pop shove.

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Damn.

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Duffy telling it like it is.

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Work.

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Pop.

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Another head count.

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Thanks Calvitus Crew!

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Denman got his for the Barce buzzer beater.

The Great Highway 70 Tour

To get away from the smoke and to put the pedal down for the day we headed North. Three towns were the plan, in those three towns of Loyalton, Portola, and Quincy laid 3 skateparks. Clean air, mountains, trees, a boom box, and two car loads of the homies is all it took to put an plan into action. We had the entire skatepark of Loyalton to ourselves. Portola was a tough one and is where the photos are from. We ended up in Quincy where the sign to the entrance of the parks read, “No Bikes.” and “No Scooters” and how sweet that was. Plenty of brews, beautiful scenery, and slight heat stroke. Left early and was home for in time for Breaking Bad. Hit the road. -ERL

7

The finer things.

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Ernie got crooked.

2

Tony Jumbo stomping shadows.

3

Apparently this bank to rail served Dane up earlier, he got his revenge next try.

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Ian stomping shadows over the hip.

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Toby broke the “no transfers over the spine” rule to tail.

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Locked in and lapped over 5-0. ERL

Street Stylin’

Skateboarding was born in the streets. That is where it became popular and that’s where it became a nuisance. The popularity and general laziness of hanging out at a skatepark all day is baffling. Say skatepark and I picture helmets, scooters, skate dads, bikes, and too many rules. You say new street spot and I envision endless possibilities. I’ll take a junk ramp over any prebuilt cement nonsense. Toby Riley, Justin Hackle, Tyler DeWitt, and Dane Haman avoid the road entirely and take the alley. -ERL

TYLERTOBY

Double Trouble

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Dane get smithy and exits out 180.

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5-0 Fakies are hard, 5-0 Fakies in front of the peanut gallery are just mean.

Dane

Freebird

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Toby Riley caught in the bricks.