Tag Archives: Thrasher magazine

Flavor of the past 22 Years

Every once in a while the new generation hears about this guy, or that guy from some guy’s particular generation. Tales of grandeur that takes the older dudes on a path to their glory days. You hear about the dude who “changed it all” or is the “best ever” and or course the “G.O.A.T.”. 9 times out of 10 the guy has a point and he’s talking about Hawk, Hosoi, Way, Gino, Markovich, Duffy, Cardiel, Hensley, Speyer, Salman, TG, Natas, Gonz, and at least 50 others who stand out as legitimate legends. Including Eric Koston, who’s on the top of that list.

For the first time in an entire career, Eric Koston did not have a full part in last years “Pretty Sweet” video. Questions were raised about his impeccable run. Here’s 8 reasons why Eric Koston can do whatever he wants for the rest of his days on board. He changed the game more times than you probably know of. Heaven help us all when he remembers he can destroy transition. Froston rules. -ERL










Street Skating returning to the Streets?

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.


Go play somewhere else.

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.


Lotti in his natural environment.

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.

MJ made his mark on skate history. Hubba Hideout raised the stakes.

MJ made his mark on skate history. Hubba Hideout raised the stakes.

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/

Leroy and the Brat

John Lucero and Jeff Grosso were two of the first Pro Skateboarders I met. It was 87 and it meant a hell of a lot more to meet a Pro back then. There weren’t a trillion Pros like now. I went with my friend Cade to a skate contest at the Donner Ski Ranch. We rolled into the parking lot and saw a ton of kids. At the time if you saw a skater you’d always approach him and chill. Skateboarders were still outcasts at the time so you always stuck together. We watched the contest and made our way to the lodge. I’m pretty sure we both saw John Lucero and Jeff Grosso on the deck at the same time. We immediatley freaked out. I mean why would two Pro skaters be at this little parking lot contest? The illusion that these guys were living the dream in California complete with mansions and swimming pools had me fooled. Jesus, we all assumed the Bones Brigade all lived together and skated everyday like our crew. The ignorance of youth is bliss.

I had only seen them in the mags and was fully fanning out. A ton of kids were around them and we made our way closer. I asked Lucero if they were going to skate. Grosso replied, “Yeah, maybe if someone buys me a hamburger or something”. Although he was being a dick, I could care less. I asked Lucero if he was giving away his board and he told me, “No way dude, that’s my board”. The one question you don’t ask a Pro I asked in hopes of getting that board of his. The same question he was asked a hundred times I’m sure. I asked Lucero why they were at the contest and they both said, “we’re here to see him”. They pointed to Riky Barnes who was pretty gnarly. To a small town white kid, he looked like something out of the Sex Pistols. He was all punked out and ripping the course. Spiked hair, leather jacket, bondage bracelets, and pushing around like a demon. After the contest Lucero skated and was doing fakie tail slides on a metal curb. Pretty mid blowing at the time. Pushing fakie and smashing his tail into the curb and coming out forward after sliding what seemed 100 feet. Lucero pretty much put on a one man demo without even trying, he was just skating around doing moves we had never seen yet.

Grosso was asked if he would sign an autograph to which he responded, “You can only sign your name so many times before it gets boring”. Being surrounded by kids and being that pretentious would have rubbed me the wrong way if I’d been older, Grosso was being a dick all day and we loved it. He just had his street model come out and he’s not going to skate? We were bumming and I never wanted to suddenly see a vert ramp so bad. Cade and I both noticed Lucero’s board had little grooves routered into his nose. I assumed it was for nose grabs and a better idea than Ripgrip. Total prototype set up that I had never seen and never saw again. He was riding a purple stained Schmitt Stix Street Thing, white Thunders, and Saw Blade wheels. Seeing those guys made such an impression that stuck to this day. Cade and I both had Lucero and Grosso boards not long after. We also found a good curb spot where Cade learned fakie tail sides pretty quick. From Schmitt Stix, Lucero Limited, John Lucero Skateboards, to Black Label, I always rode and supported the original blue collar Pro. Curb skating is the foundation of street skating and it’s still my favorite things to skate. Grab a few friends, a boom box, some brews, and there’s no way you’re not having a blast. Slap it up! -ERL

Street Thing ad.

Curb Crusher

While you were stressing.

Curb Life 101

The Forefront of Fashion.

Riky Barnes getting weird in Donner.

Riky coming in hot.

I tried to do this sticker job on my Grosso. Beautiful photo, brutal.

Serious Attention

Ain’t nothing changed.

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