Monday, April 23, 2012

Kona Vert Jam - April 21, 2012

This past Saturday, something really great occurred to me. Something that I'd wished I'd realized sooner. What I realized is this: If you love skateboarding, partying, motorcycles, inexpensive beer, and vintage autos, Kona Skatepark is a great place to have a party. I also realized that there are tons of other variables you can throw into this mix to reach that conclusion.

This weekend the Creature team came through town to demo at Kona, along with the rest of the vert skating party goers in town. It was a vert Jam, and I think that meant anyone could skate vert so long as they could hold their own. Kona's huge competition style vert ramp was packed with dudes throwing down heavy tricks, and at one point I caught a rare glimpse of the vertical vampire known as Darren Navarette. I tried taking his photo, but apparently that doesn't work too well on the undead. Or maybe I was just to slow with the shutter due to the Sweetwater.

As usual, rain threatened the day's events, but in Typical Kona style, they handled it, and by the time I showed up (thanks guys) it was dry, skateable, and busy as heck.

As soon as I got to Kona, I was directed to the 5 dollar commemorative cup, emblazoned with a Kona 25th Anniversary logo on one side and an Indy logo on the other. You buy one of these suckers, and you get free Sweetwater beer for the rest of the day. It was a great idea at the time. I mean the beer was good, and I have this rad cup. I also get a tad too brave if I try skateboarding whilst drinking.

So there was beer to drink, skateboarding to watch, and a pig roast to gawk at. There was also a classic motorcycle and auto show, which came to an exciting conclusion when Curtis from Wolfgang in 5 points hauled ass around the skatepark on his 1953 Harley with a custom skate deck seat mounted on the back of it. I had a rad time, and I don't have many photos to show for it because of that. I think it's becoming a general rule that the more fun I'm having, the less I focus on shooting photos for you people, whomever you may be. Sorry about that. Maybe that'll be more motivation for you to show up to the next Kona blowout? I hope so, cuz I'd love to see you there.

Some photos of my homies here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Raw Hyde Zine and DVD Charity - Limited Run!

In addition to being a skateboarding superstar that wins contests such as Florida Bowlriders, Todd Johnson is also a great guy who is down to help his friends in a time of need. From Todd: 

The Rawhyde Book AVAILABLE NOW! This book is a collection of every issue of Rawhyde skate zine from 1985 to present (9 issues) plus two other equally obscure local zines. Rawhyde was originally created by Mic Walker in Jacksonville Beach, inspired by Kevin Thatcher telling GSD: “if you don’t like it, start your own.” This xeroxed book has hard to see photos, dated articles of forgotten contests/events, reflective essays from the people involved as well as a photo index for the entire volume. If you skate, like zines or care about things-satisfaction is guaranteed. Each copy is numbered in this limited run of 100, over 2oo pages of radicalia.
All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit two skaters who are fighting debilitating illnesses. 6 year old Evan Procko (son of Bill Procko, early Schmitt Stix team) and Bryan Farabagoli (first Florida Zorlac rider) are two beautiful people who are deserving of every cent this fundraising effort will generate.
Orders can be placed NOW by sending cashiers check or money order for $24 (s&h included) paid to Todd Johnson to the address below. For Paypal send payment to, thank you! 
Rawhyde Book
202 Walnut St.
Neptune Beach, FL
In addition to the book, there is a DVD with classic skate footage as well:

1982 Kona Summer Nationals and 1984 Kona Sundek Contest on DVD. Over 90 minutes of skating featuring Pro and Am skaters: Mike McGill, Tony Hawk, Billy Ruff, John Gibson, Kevin Staab, Buck Smith, Steve Caballero, Neil Blender and many more. This edition is what appeared on local cable access in Jacksonville. All money to charity, see for more info!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Of Doing or Dying - Mike V at Tampa Pro 2012

That's a really tall nosepick.

Tampa Pro this year was a hell of different experience for me than it’s ever been before. The event was literally packed with current skateboard superstars. People so famous, I can’t even say their name on this blog post without incurring fines from 3 major TV networks and confectionary beverage corporations. Street Leaguers, Dew Tourers, local pros and underground sensations all made their appearances, and just about the only thing that seemed out of place was the cameo of hip-hop supersensation of times gone by, Lil’ Wayne. But hey, we all get weird now and then.

One thing that stood out to me in this contest was the presence of Mike V. In the world of skate blogging, message boards and social anonymity, Vallely is an easy target. In the mid-to-late 80s, he was an aggressive grom with a mean look and a habit of using both his hands and his feet to perform tricks. Plus he ran through a graveyard. In the late 80s, he helped World Industries Make a name for itself with his new deck shape and controversial graphics. He later became a pro wrestler, a spoken word performer, a pro hockey player and a pro skateboarder all in one, so you can’t deny the size of the target on his back. You also can’t deny the power of his presence.

Mike V. and Felix Arguelles 

From my position on the deck of the roll in, when Mike V. skated, all eyes were on him. His bag of old weird tricks is enormous, and his kickflips are pretty strong too. Maybe we didn’t get a repeat of his 1995 winning run full of tweaked grabs, airs, and kickflips to grinds. It’s ok. We got a Mike V. Demo in the middle of the Semifinals. Skatepark owner Brian Schaefer wouldn’t let the dude give up on his deadly wallplant over the loveseat till it was ridden away from, so that’s what happened. He did it and rode away from it. Later on, during the best trick contest on the rail, Mike skated the quarter pipe with a 7 foot wall extending off the back of it. Does anyone remember what the best trick on the rail even was? I don’t. I just remember that during that time, Mike V launched into a stall on that big ass wall, landed disaster and rolled back in. He took about 30 minutes to do it, and people were ready to throw down on his behalf if someone got in his way during this time period. I know he broke a few boards while trying it, too. It really says a lot to me when you see a dude like Mike V skating on Koston’s board, breaking it, then getting handed a board from Felix fuckin’ Arguelles and finally pulling it off. How random is that? Then Lil Wayne hands him a trophy while Kids (film) writer Harmony Korine watches from the announcer’s stand. Jesus frickin’ whiz.