Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Team Pain Park Trippin' -

I'm always glad to hear about a new Team Pain park. Thankfully, Florida has plenty, and I have no doubt that we have the best ones, too. Video from DunesGoon904 on Youtube (aka Jordan and Spencer), Via Jake Sykes.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jacksonville's soon-to-be Newest Skatepark - the Block

    Mike Peterson is an amazing skateboarder and a bartender, and I once heard he's even great at mowing lawns. Well, this summer Mike will have another hat to wear as owner of The Block skatepark, located in a warehouse on the corner of Clarkson and Tallyrand in downtown Jacksonville. I visited the new park a few days ago, and had the warmest, friendliest welcome a person could give while in the middle of building a skatepark. (If you talk to Mike regularly, you're probably used to that kind of thing)
      Mike took the time to chat with me about the park, and how the support and energy people are putting behind what is going on at the park has blown him away. "It's all word of mouth. People just show up and ask to help."
     When I asked how he managed to pay for the space, the wood and everything else involved with building a skatepark, he told me succinctly: "I've been saving." Between contest winnings and wages from his bar tending job, he's managed to put enough of his funds together to get the park in motion. And when I stopped by last week, I saw no shortage of people lending to his cause. Without giving too much away, I have to say Jacksonville has some good things coming as far as skateboarding is concerned, and I can't wait to see them materialize.

Stay tuned for more info and photos about the Block! You can see the gallery of construction images here!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tampa Pro 2013

   My experience this year at Tampa Pro was pretty mellow. I'd already convinced myself that without a good telephoto, I probably wasn't going to get any next level action shots of the contest. So, I brought out my 50mm and just tried to take in everything that was going on.
   This year, the Skatepark of Tampa is celebrating their 20th anniversary. For me, that's a little hard to believe, and it makes me feel a little bit old. But it's not that bad, as there were famous dudes twice my age ripping on the vert ramp all weekend, and Ron Allen was ripping the street course at the ripe old age of 50.
   One of my favorite moments of the weekend has to be talking with Lance Mountain, who mid conversation, advised a wobbly looking kid who wandered onto the vert ramp to "Try Christian's board - It'll make you go higher". This kid looked like he'd never been on a skateboard, but that didn't stop him from picking up Christian Hosoi's skateboard and dropping into the vert ramp like it was no big deal.
   Ben Raybourn had my favorite run of the weekend, blasting huge ollies off of every transition and doing some high speed slides and kickflips too. Not to mention the sickest looking tweaked smith grind I've seen in 20 years.  I also enjoyed Evan Smith's skating, and he ripped pretty hard for a rookie pro. Can't wait to see more of his skating. BusStop homie Kyle Berard even won the Fan Favorite award, so I'm not bummed at all about the weekend. Actually, I think the fact that this is the second year in a row that I've hung out in the same room as Eric Koston, Lil' Wayne, and the blonde kid from Eastbound and Down is pretty cool. And I haven't even mentioned Erica Yary. 

You can check out the full gallery from the weekend here. I'll update this with more photos soon.
(top photo: Jeff Grosso getting upside-down) 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

10 Questions with Kyle Parisi

1 - What's the first skate trick you ever learned?
The first trick I ever learned was an Ollie. I did it off a curb at the baseball fields at monument long before there was a skatepark.

2 - What's the most recent trick you learned?
The most recent trick I've learned is alley-oop switch 50 50's on tranny.

3 - If you could skate anywhere you wanted to, and with whomever you wanted to, where would you skate and who with? 
I would want to skate the black pearl park in the Cayman Islands with all my friends, plus John Cardiel, and Ben Rayburn.

4 - Who's the most inspirational skateboarder you know?
There are too many to name! Anyone who gets knocked down hard but wont let it stop them. And the skateboarders who do it for the sake of having a good time. Some people take skateboarding too serious.

5 - What's the worst you've ever bailed on a trick?
I've had some pretty gnarly falls on my skateboard but The worst was last January, while I was warming up at monument i was doing a slash grind and I fell in an awkward way. I tore my ACL and meniscus in my right knee.

6 - What's the best/most fun skateboarding event you've attended so far?
The chili bowl in San fransico was the best event I've been to. I didn't compete but I managed to sneak in the practice session. It only cost like 15 dollars to enter, it's hectic, and they play good music.

7 - What people do you skate the most with these days? 
I pretty much always skate with the o.g monument crew.

8 - What's your favorite park here in town? 
I'd have to say monument, because My friends and I learned how to skate in that park at the 2 and 3 stair back in the day. We always would try an get them to build a skatepark there. So it's awesome that the city finally did it, and it turned out to be such a good skatepark.

9 - If you could steal a trick from anyone, and do it yourself, what would it be and who from? 
Kevin kowalski does crail slide Saran wraps. I'd like to steal that one.

10 - What's the last spot you skated, and what are you going to skate next?
UNF's park. And most likely The next spot will be monument.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Transplants: Yousef Hussein

I was a little bit late to joining the Internet, I have to admit. Lucky for me, by the time I was able to move out of my parents' house and buy internet for myself, Yousef Hussein's Skatejax.com was there to help me get the most out of it. Between Skatejax and Julio Gonzales' 904skate.com, skateboarding in Jax fully had a presence on the net. The forums were full of greatness, with skate discussion and other randomness. In addition to the forums, there were also periodic skate montages. Some of these videos still live on through YouTube, and for that, I'm grateful. Recently, I interviewed Yousef to see how things have been since he's left. Hope you enjoy it. 

So tell me how you've been since you've moved. How long has it been since you left?

At first it was a struggle. This is a city where I had no family or friends, but after a year I got settled in. I now have a pretty cool group of close friends and am starting to lay down some roots here. I have been living in the ‘Nati for a little over two years now and love it!

What’s the biggest thing you miss about Jacksonville, and one standout thing about being in Cincinnati that you really appreciate over being here?

I miss the Southern hospitality bad. I miss sitting in line at the store, and some random dude just sparking up a friendly conversation with you. That just doesn’t exist here. I miss the always warm weather. I also miss Burrito Gallery, Bento, Emerson Skatepark, and all of my family and friends there!
With that said, Cincinnati has so much more to do. Everything is only 15 minutes away, you can watch Reds games for hella cheap, and the job market for marketing professionals is so much more developed.

You seem pretty successful now. Maybe that's because of your photos with you in suits. Why did you move?

Success is all relative. Skateboarding definitely taught me to look at things from a different perspective. I chased money straight after college, but discovered that I really should have been chasing happiness instead.
Funny story, I was actually interviewing with a company in Chicago and San Francisco, but the only opening they had was in Cincinnati. The job I was offered in Cincy was literally a dream job to me (I got paid to learn about some really cutting-edge store brands). I googled the city for a few minutes, saw they had a football team and a baseball team, and took the job without ever visiting.

What's skateboarding like in Cincinnati, and how is it different from here?

The skate scene in Jacksonville is so much more developed. The park system, the spectrum of skateboarders (beginner to pro), the companies, and the environment in Florida makes for a much better skate scene.
Cincinnati is actually a really conservative city, and skaters aren’t really looked at positively. Skateboarders in Cincinnati just try to learn tricks but they don’t focus on style. Jacksonville has so much more steez. Finally, the skateparks in Ohio are pretty poorly made. There is quantity here, but little quality.
The BMX scene in Cincinnati is actually really big. There are more BMX bikes at the parks than there are skateboards most days. Oh and for those cats trying to skate that DC plaza in Kettering, It isn’t some little kid park where you just do warm-up tricks. Everything there is pretty gnarly, lol. I got broke off trying to skate there!

Tell me about Skatejax.com. It was going pretty strong for a while! What's the most memorable thing you got from that experience?

Skatejax.com was really just an attempt to capture the amazing skate scene that Jacksonville had going for it. I was really psyched to see so many skaters using the site. The site actually crashed when my friend’s webserver went down. I didn’t have anything backed up so it went away forever. You can actually still see all the Skatejax montages on YouTube though!
One of the most memorable experiences was definitely being a part of the city’s first Go Skate Day. Channel 12 News ran a prime time story demonizing skaters for the event, so we encouraged users to voice their opposition to the propaganda on the website. Tons of people showed support, and the news reporter actually went on the Skatejax forums to try and defend himself after getting so many emails! The site also showed everyone all of the talent we had across the city (Nick Blanco, Jake Sykes, Bruce, Ty Butler, etc…)

So you came back to Jax recently, and I was wondering, did you do any skateboarding while you were here?

I HAVE to get a session in whenever I hit up Jax! You guys take that winter weather for granted man!

Since skateboarding isn’t as big where you are now, do you find yourself not doing it as much? Or is that more of an issue with your work schedule?

I definitely don’t skate as much. I don’t have the RLC (Red Light Crew: Ty Butler, Mauree Thomas, Jason Whittington) to push me out here. The older I got, the more I’ve become a filmer/photographer, rather than skater.

The weather and the parks here are also not as good. You really can’t skate here from November till March, and we don’t have any good street parks besides Kettering which is an hour away. With that said, I still get about 3-4 good sessions a month here. There are some nice bowls out here, and I definitely morphed into a bowl skater out here.

What spots do you miss most in Jax? If I had to guess I’d say it would be the skatepark on Emerson.

#1 Emerson Skatepark
#2 Monument Skatepark
#3 TIE: (UNF Campus/Hemming Plaza/Main St. Underpass/Kona)

Anything you want to say to your friends in Jax as we wrap this up?

I wanted to give a shout out to the Red Light Crew, my brother Ibrahim who still shreds Monument, my mom who always supported my skating, the new generation of shredders (Pat Schaefer, Jake Sykes, Nick Blanco, etc…) who are carrying the torch, everyone I skated/filmed in Jacksonville, and all the groms trying to get better.
The one thing I love the most about skateboarding is that it encourages individual creativity, but also has a great sense of community. It really brings together people from all walks of life. I encourage all of the skaters to work hard to protect that in Jacksonville. Some of those people you see at the skatepark will be with you for the rest of your life.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Matt Oistacher: Criteria for an Interview

I probably don't need to explain who Matt is. If you skateboard and you are from Jacksonville, you know that Matt is responsible for creating Criteria for Failure, one of the best skate vids to come out of North Florida in recent years. Matt wants to put Jacksonville back on the map, and with efforts like this, I don't think anyone can stop him from doing just that. 

Well first off, Congrats on finally finishing Criteria for Failure. You've been working on it for so long! Do you even remember how long it's been since you started working on it?

Thank you, thank you. I honestly remember having barely enough footage for the first promo I ever put out for it and I'd say that was in the fall of 2009. I guess you could say that's when we officially started working on it.
It's seems like it's been received pretty well. Is there anything you wish you could have done with the video that you just had to say no to? Where there any tough decisions on tricks to cut?

I mean with any project there's always going to be more you wish you could do, but that always leaves room for improvement for the next time around.

Was C4F filmed primarily in Jacksonville?

Yes, primarily it was mostly shot here in Jacksonville with the exception of all of the trips we took. Also, Nick's whole second song is the footage he got while living in California.

Tell me about some of your favorite tricks you've filmed so far.
Damn that's a hard one. Jamal's ender is one of my favorites though for sure just because it was first try and kind of came out of nowhere. Spencer's last trick is another one of my favorites just because of the location. I think people were really surprised that spot made it into the video.

So how many people would you say were involved with filming, over all?

I'd say probably 90% of the video was filmed by myself. A lot of others contributed clips they had for the friends' section or clips they had of people with parts.

Do you have any stories to tell about sketchy run-ins, or funny experiences at weird spots? Jacksonville is so big; I know you've had to have experienced a few weird run-ins while filming the video.

I'd say all of the weird stories occurred at one place--Hemming Plaza. Recently we went and lit it up at night, and some bum was there playing with himself on one of the benches. Another time, about 20 bums tried to start a royal rumble match with us ‘cause they didn't like that we were filming them.

Ha ha! I remember there used to be a cop that we all called Robocop, some homeless guy threw a slice of old pizza at his head while he was writing my friend a ticket.
Anyway, what's the most important piece of equipment in your filmer bag?
It's gotta be all the batteries I have. What good is a camera if it doesn't turn on?

I agree with that! What kind of board setup do you have to film with?

I use a zip zinger. It gets the job done.

So let's talk about your influences - What have been your biggest inspirations a skate film maker?

I would definitely say Jason Hernandez is my all-time favorite filmer, and Ty Evans being a close second. However, my biggest inspiration for the video was my wanting to get Jacksonville back on the map in the skateboarding world.

That's respectable. In the 70s and 80s, it was pretty much a hot spot. So you mentioned Ty Evans, that guy uses some crazy stuff to film with. 
If you had an unlimited budget for filming, tell me the first few things you would buy and what you would want to film with it.

Unlimited budget? Damn that'd be crazy! Definitely would get a new Panasonic HVX200 and the extreme fisheye. Probably a new computer with newer programs. Maybe get some crazy explosives and blow some stuff up. That's a hard question; I guess I'd actually have to have the money to accurately answer that for you.

Ha-ha. Fair enough. What do you edit with now?

MacBook Pro, Final Cut Pro 7, and Adobe After Effects CS3.
The video looks super clean. Did you teach yourself to edit, or did you take classes? I know after effects can be pretty tough to pick up and learn all by yourself.

I pretty much just taught myself.

So where can I buy Criteria for Failure?

C4fvideo.weebly.com. Kona had copies but I'm not sure how many are left.

Awesome. Thanks so much for your time! 

No, Thank you!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Transplants: Eric Staniford

I can't say exactly how long I've known Eric, it feels like he's always been there. When I first got into shooting skate photos when I was younger, he would always be at the events shooting the same things I was, but usually in a better spot, using more relevant equipment, and pointing his camera in the right direction. I learned some things watching him shoot, and I learned even more looking at his photos. This is the second time Eric Has been featured on Busstop, but his work is even more relevant now, and his story is inspirational. I'm glad to have had this opportunity to talk to Eric in this over-the-net interview. -Normheader photo: Katie Ferguson

How long has it been since you've lived in Florida?

I left in November 08, right after the election. So 4 years.

Does it seem like 4 years?
It seems like longer really. The first 2 years were really rough.

So what was your biggest motivation to leave?
There was a lot of thought that went into leaving. I couldn't find any kind of work in Jacksonville. I was unemployed for 6 months, scraping by on less than 400 bucks a month doing odd jobs. Then, when Amy left me, I was really depressed. I had nothing to lose, really.
What was the toughest part about leaving?
I really missed leaving the homies. I didn't want to leave Kona and everyone behind. Grosser, Murphy, Peanut, Kyle Frere, Tim Johnson, and Duddy were all I had. I was so brokenhearted at the time that I didn't care. I didn't really think I was going to survive the trip out here. I'm glad I did. It was a real dark time in my life: I guess you can say there was a whole lot tough about it.

Things seem like they are really looking up for you now though. Tell me about how you went from there to where you are today.
I started out living in my uncle’s homebrew fermentation shed. I set up an air mattress, and cleaned kegs and did yard work for rent. Looking for a job for over 6 months with no luck (even fast food drive thru) I shot a few gigs here and there but not enough to get set up. Tried to move to SF, but it fell through. 
I cut my dreads, and got hired at a Starbuck drive thru north of Six Flags. That went on for a while until some shady banking by B of A and my uncles PTSD left me broke and sleeping in my car. My friend Pat taught me how to survive by passing myself off as a student at California Institute of the Arts.
I spent a semester sleeping in student’s studios, on couches and eating expired Starbucks food. After shooting some headshots and selling a handful of paintings, I was able to afford my first apartment in Echo Park. I got a transfer with SB but I could only work the opening shift 3am- noon 35 hours a week for less than 900 bucks a month-800 of that going to rent of my studio apartment. About 2 months into this my car died and I started to ride a bike. The whole time this was going on I still skated, shot photos and painted.

After about 9 months, things started to turn around for me. ! Nolan Lee came to LA a few times. Shot some stuff of him and made the logo for POW!! Skateboards. My paintings started getting into galleries regularly, I met my girlfriend Katie flirting while making her lattes, Mike Barnes came out-I was skating a ton! It was killer. Mike Barnes and I went to Orange County to skate pools. I dislocated my elbow at Belmar's. It took me out of the game for a while as far as skating went, but I got to focus on my painting a ton. 
It's been a little over a year and a half since the injury, and life hasn't been better! Things are AWESOME with my girl and her family loves me. I got a job with the Los Angeles Public Library and quit Starbucks. I moved to Silverlake (hipster capital of the world, a lot less hood then echo park). I'm showing paintings in galleries at least once a month. I'm skating again. I'm shooting photos and doing art for Shredder's Lair. My Dad helped me get a retired postage van, so I'm driving again. Things have really turned around!

That's an incredibly uplifting story, and I'm sure so many of your friends in Jax will be glad to know these things if they don't already.

So let's talk about your photography. I've seen everything from self-portraits, to porno sets, to skateboarding and maybe some other stuff too. Are you having a good time with it?
It would seem so.
Oh yeah, There's some wildness in there. In the last few months I've set up a studio. I've been shooting fashion and headshots in there. The porno sets, well that’s a long story, but I got to go to Mike Campbell's (guitar player for Tom Petty and the heart breakers) mansion and shoot a music video for a porn star group Pajama Band. The singer of the group, Jamie Langford, let me drain her backyard pool and shred it. Blue tile Obsession did an article about it. Last month I shot my first set for Suicide Girls. Good times. (you can see the article here)

How did you get hooked up with Suicide Girls? Was that just a hopeful shoot, or did it get on the main site?
I'm not an SG member yet, she's a hopeful. "Scarlet star"- I've been shooting for SG competitors for a while, it was just a matter of time.

Tell me more about your art. What inspired you to start painting?
I've been painting for a while. I did a little graffiti in Jacksonville. I was having shows at the bars in 5 points to pay my bills before I moved. I'm inspired a lot by Banksy, and Shepard Fairey and revolutionary graffiti. My first stencil was Rat for my Gulfport skate crew back in like ‘99. I loved the realism I can get with stencils. It's photographic realism with spray paint.

Let me finish the interview with asking what you are up to these days, and what your next venture might be.

The Shredder's Lair video drops April 20th. So I'm working hard on that when I can. I'm trying to rehab my back and elbow and skate more. 
Nick Blanco is headed out this way. I hope to shoot some epic-ness with him. 
I'm Painting A LOT! Like a WHOLE LOT! I hope to have a solo show before my 30th birthday. 
Katie and I are working on a house in Echo Park that we hope to move into in about 6 months. 
My job at the Public Library is awesome I love it. I'm hoping I get a promotion soon. I’m just taking it a day at a time. Trying to keep submitting to mags and keep on the hustle. It's all I really know how to do. 

Thanks Eric! You can see more of what's going on with Shredder's Lair at the link on the top right of the site. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

From our friends at Thing Entertainment and SKATEAUGUSTINE!