Friday, February 27, 2009

Skatelab + Wal-Mart = ?

Get ready, this one is a doozy. According to an article in Boardistan and on Skatelab's own website, there is a new skate brand headed to your local Wal-Mart. As posted on the site:
Be sure to check out your local Walmart and buy some of the new SKATELAB GEAR. Shirts and hats only $7.50! More cool stuff coming soon!!"

I wonder what other cool stuff is on the way? I know that with the current economy, a good number of local skate shops have felt the pinch. Is this Skatelab's way of staying afloat? With this news, I do want to point out that before you start shouting the "S" word, keep this in mind: Skatelab in Atlantic Beach is still providing loads of kids at the beach with a place to skate after school, and they even have a van that drives around picking kids up. That's called building community. I hate Wal-Mart just as much as everyone else, for sure, but in the back of my head, I'm thinking this might just be good for the park in the long run. I didn't exactly feel the same way about that Mike McGill business.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just Something to Think About

I'm sitting here at my desk trying to be creative, trying to put things together, and I've been bummed that I can't go out and skate as much as I'd like. It used to be, when I would hit some kind of roadblock in the creativity department, I would just run outside and push around on my board. But I'm older now, and I don't have that luxury. I think the notion that we all have to grow up someday really sucks. I actually bought some kneepads the other day so I could start skating transition more. But every time I look at those pads, I get this weird feeling, like hey-where am I going to go with those things? Am I turning into the Pad Dad from the skatepark? Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being that. I've got good friends that are rad skaters and pad dads. But that's not me, that's not how I want to skate. I mean I love skateparks for what they are worth, but I just want to go outside and push down the street sometimes. I don't always want to go to a designated area to skate. I think this interview with Scott Johnston kind of illustrates what I'm trying to say, much better than I can.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Event Calendar Contest Update

Lots of Contests coming up. Wanted to post a reminder to check out the event calendar at the bottom of the page. It's updated semi-regularly. It's not some super sexy skate calendar like you might find at your shop or at other online resources, but it does the trick. I have some news I'm working on regarding Tampa Pro and BusStop coming up soon. If you are in the Area, Make it a point to go to the OP Park Contest tomorrow. It'll be worth it, I promise.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I was just reading a popular game blog known as Joystiq, and I came across this image, in regards to Fantasy Factory being released as downloadable content for Skate 2. It made me laugh. But yeah, send some money Rob's way and download this thing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Skateboarding is a Crime at the Milton, FL Skatepark

I just saw this on Skatedaily- which is pretty much the national internet news of skateboarding. I can't believe what I'm seeing here! Basically a kid gets criminal trespass for dropping in on a ramp AT A SKATEPARK during normal hours. If you are heading to Milton,  maybe you should contact a city official to find out the secret rules of the skatepark before you go skate there and get arrested. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Contest at OP Park

I don't have a flyer for it yet, but here is some info about the upcoming contest at the OP Park that I got in my email:

Feb 21st, 2008 Best Run Contest
Part three of Our Winter Contests
will be two, one minute runs on the
entire park. Entrance Fee $10.
O.P. Park, Crown, BC, Busstopmag,
Friends of OP will be helping out with
the contest. Nana’s Ice Cream.
Skate Place with chips, drinks and
candy and Jose Velez with the Shaved
Ice Stand. Bring a few bucks for the
food. Flyer with more details out

I hope to be running the hotdog stand again. This time around, it might just be George Foreman powered. Who knows!? I wanna go ahead and thank Lois again for helping us out last time with that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Re: Rob Dyrdek, Skate Plazas, etc.

I've kind of been on the fence lately about my feelings on Rob Dyrdek. In my opinion, Rob & Big on MTV was great. The DC Skateplaza was great. I had a Pair of Rob Dyrdek DC shoes one time, and they were pretty decent too. But with this whole 'Fantasy Factory' TV show dealio, I'm not sure I'm quite so stoked. Lately, with skateboarding so prominent in the mainstream media, I'm starting to relate to the whole "I love skateboarding so much, I want it to die" idea. Thankfully, this blog post on 'You Will Soon' gave me another take. Check out the rest of the blog too. It's an entertaining read with lots of honest opinions. Aptly, the blog name will show up as 'Shit Talking 24/7' on your RSS reader, if you use one. Check out this clip from Fantasy Factory, thanks to the aforementioned blog post.

Ditch Day

Yesterday, I made a goal for myself to hit up as many ditches to skate as I possibly could. I never really got too far with that goal, though. My original intention was to hit up white Nate and head out early, but since he didn't get up till late, I called up Chris Jolly and followed his crew to a spot in San Marco. A handful of rad guys were there skating a manual pad, but how rad do photos of manuals look? I think this one I got of Ryan King is probably the best case scenario. Too bad I don't have a video camera. 

Ryan King

Chris Jolly

Eventually Nate called me and I headed out to Kona to meet up with him. While I was waiting for him, I headed up to Kona to watch my friends Jordon and Duane skate the miniramp while I ate my Frisco Burger. I couldn't even finish this eating this thing, and I asked anyone if they wanted it. These Kona kids tore into that thing like a bunch of damn sharks. I was surprised at first, but then I remembered the times when I was younger and my mom would drop me off up there. I would blow all my money for the day on playing Street Fighter, and then have to scrounge for change just to get food. 

rebuilt Rebuilt, and better than ever!
Finally we all met up and hit up the sloth pit. If you don't know about this spot, basically it's this crappy ditch near Kona that's usually got some bums in it. At some point in time, someone created a small quarterpipe extension on the side opposite the roll in. It was hard enough to skate, but when we got there yesterday, the place was hacked up like crazy. First of all, we had to clear out some huge tree limbs that were tossed in the way, on the roll in, in the ditch, etc. Next, the bottom of the ditch was filled with RUSTY NAILS. That's right, someone scattered a ton of nails along the bottom. Rad! Lastly, when I took a look at the quarterpipe, I noticed that someone had knocked out the bottom of the ramp with a hammer or something, making the ride up nearly impossible. Not only that, but it also looked like someone had taken a skill saw and cut vertical and horizontal lines in the ramp. Not sure what the point in that was. We did our best to make the spot skateable again, although I have to say, my version of 'skateable' is much different than Jordon and Nate's version. I wouldn't go near this sketchy shit. 

NateBSsmith Nate Cary, Backside Smith

Jordon Fink, BS Feeble

After this spot was done, Nate and I headed off to skate some spots near busy highways. Crazy story though, when we were scoping out one spot, Ms Ramos of Kona fame just happened to walk by. She asked me how my family was doing, and told us it was dangerous to skate so near the street. I actually think she walks everywhere she goes, so spotting her like that isn't a rare occasion. We ended up ending the day there. We didn't get to hit up too many spots, but I had fun regardless. 

Nate, Backside Ollie

Friday, February 6, 2009

Update: Phelps not Fired From Thrasher

So, I'm not really sure what was up with that video I posted up. Maybe he was high, maybe he was joking around? Well, whatever the case, he's posted up another video in the videos section at Just an FYI, if you were concerned about it. I'm not sure what the point behind the "firing" deal was, but he seems to be in good spirits about it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Alley-Oop!- A Retrospective

Access to a good photocopier is a hell of a thing. If you ever get me in a job with free access to a photocopier, you'd better keep an eye on that thing, cuz I will print some shit out. Case in point: Alley-Oop!. I don't think anyone outside my core group of friends remembers or has even seen a copy of Alley-Oop!. Not that I didn't try to get it out in the open though. I would print about 60-80 copies on the DL at my old temp job, risking my career of being an office temp in the process. It was worth totally worth it though. For me, anyway. Probably not so much of a big deal for other people. I'd drive across town, dropping off copies of my zine to all the shops, whether they wanted them or not.

started off as a letter to a girlfriend written in magazine format. It was what I did to pass my time in college. In the first "issue", I wrote a stupid story about a talking pancake while sitting in class, and stapled in some photos of me doing streetplants. It was all on a folded piece of notebook paper. This kind of thing went on for about 6 issues, until one day I decided to actually make a photocopied zine out of it.

number 7 featured Chris Sartain on the cover doing a backside nose grind on the old Grove Park Elementary School ledges in Orange Park. On the inside was an interview with the Florida based indie rock band Plastic Mastery, along with photos of my friends and acquaintances skateboarding, including Chris Nanny, Mike Peterson, Nate "Black Nate" Johnson, Travis Ochab, and Kevin Graver. I also tossed in a story from some a weird conspiracy theory newsletter. I cut it out, and glued it to the page. All the other text was either hand-written, or made from rub-off transfer letters. It was real ghetto, but out of all the crap I've put together over time, Alley-Oop! #7 was my favorite.

I took all my own photos in this issue. I actually owned a Canon SLR that took ADVANTIX film, and I put a $500 fisheye lens on the front of it. Do you know what ADVANTIX is? It's like a little rectangular box with film inside, like a cartridge. It was total shit, but I didn't know the difference or care at the time. It was my first camera. I took all my film to get developed at Eckerd's, a chain drugstore from back in the day. I didn't know how do develop film, and I didn't feel like learning. (It's a good thing my friends were photogenic, all of our spots were outdoors, and I didn't have to pay for the prints that I didn't want when having my film developed.)

So yeah, I would take these photos and staple them to the pages, and write captions over the top of them. I take back the part about the hand-written text, I actually had the Plastic Mastery interview printed with a dot matrix printer. Remember those? No? Well, look it up on wikipedia or something then. With all the hand-written stuff, I tried my best to emulate the lettering found in the zine Cometbus, my favorite zine at the time, and of all-time. It looked hand written, though now I'm pretty sure it was a custom font.

Jordon Fink and Lance Katz, as seen in Alley-Oop! issue 11.

I had one advertiser in issue 7, and that was Nicotine Skateshop, also known as Nicotine Smoke Shop. Nicotine sold skateboards and tobacco products. They paid me 8 dollars in store credit for the ad--I bought a shirt with it. Nowdays, Nicotine no longer sells skateboards, but back in the day, the crew was tight and I had lots of close friends in the group. They got the back page.

Other issues followed, of course, and in late 2004 I decided to try to make it look like a legit magazine. I had taken a couple of years off from the zine, but I wanted to try to start it up again. My favorite local zine, Truckstop, had ceased production, and I thought I would try to lessen the blow by creating a full-sized magazine. I didn't realize until 3 issues later what a shitty idea that was for me. Well, I guess the idea was good, but the product was lacking.

A photo of me, as used in the 'about me' section in the front of issue 8.

First of all, I wasn't doing the layout by hand. The first re-envisioned issue of Alley-Oop! was laid out using Mac Publisher Pro. The pages all had margins, the text was some random sized arial font, and the pictures looked grainy. The second one did much better. I made it the Tampa Pro issue. It was the first year I had ever made it out to the Tampa Pro contest, and Ryan Clements was cool enough to let me shoot photos. My fonts in this issue ranged from OK to FUCKING HUGE.

The next issue was a little lacking, featuring more 'lifestyle' crap, interviews with Suicide Girls, and a Borrowed article from Skatepark of Tampa's website. I got permission though, and I even used photos with SPoT's watermark on them in print. Real classy!

A photo of Jason and Ryan, current owners of Club TSI downtown, as taken at a gallery opening in their home loft.

The last issue of Alley-Oop!, unfortunately never made it to print. It could have been the best one, but unfortunately random page graphics and photos and a couple of finished features are all I have left of it. The cover touted photography by David Morico, which I'm pretty happy to have gotten my hands on. We later worked on other projects together, but David's photos for this issue will always stick with me.

So there it is. The history of Alley-Oop! Skatezine. More than you ever wanted to know. I do want to say thanks to Thrasher for saying nice things about my shitty zine back in the day though. It was motivational.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jake Phelps, Even more Later'd Than Before?

Looks like Jake Phelps got some heat for a commentary on the skaters banned from the pages of Thrasher Magazine. So much heat, in fact, that he is no longer the editor, according to Thrasher. Some of you may have negative things to say about Phelps, but you have to give it to the guy for speaking his mind. Good luck in your future endeavors, Jake. I originally got the story from, but soon after saw the post on's main page. You can view that here. While we are on the subject, don't forget to check out Phelps' episodes of Epicly Later'd, which can be found here and here.

More recently, Transworld Business has reported that the whole thing is untrue. I'm not sure what to think. It's still on the Thrasher site, which is kind of confusing to me. What gives?