When you have a belief and a passion towards something that moves you and comes from the heart, you pursue it. Such is the case and creative aspirations of Mark “Monk” Hubbard, and his skatepark company Grindline Skateparks which began from humble beginnings in the Pacific Northwest. Tune in to this short film that follows Mark’s story and his huge contributions amongst several others, which helped to kickstart the modern day public skatepark movement.
Sonos Studio caught up with skateboarding’s very own Don Pendleton to discuss his creative collaboration with Jeff Ament and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and his graphic design work for their new album “Lightning Bolt” that landed him and the boys a Grammy award this year. Dig into this interview with Don where topics of skate art, style and the future are tabled. Congrats again Don!
Back in the Fall of 2014, Levi’s invited members of the media to San Francisco and Oakland for a two-part mission. The first was to showcase their 2015 Skateboarding Collection and, secondly, to introduce us to their most recent skatepark support project in West Oakland.
Fast forward a few months and “Skateboarding in Oakland: The Town Park Story” has made a handful of premieres around the country and the new 2015 Skateboarding Collection is well into its selling season. We’ll get back to the clothes shortly.
The mission in West Oakland begins with a man named Keith “K-Dub” Williams – art teacher, skater and founder of “Tha Hood Games.” What began as a simple conversation with Karl Watson in the mid 2000’s about providing a place for Oakland skaters to call their own, turned into a quasi social experiment. Tha Hood Games didn’t just organize the skate scene in Oakland, it incorporated a full spectrum of the community that transformed into an arts festival that merged skateboarding with live art, music, film screenings and fashion performances.
In 2009, K-Dub officially established “Town Park” at DeFremery Park in West Oakland with skater made, re-purposed wooden ramps with the longer term goal of transforming the space into a concrete, permanent home for skaters.
Williams reached out to representatives of Levi’s for support and as they have done successfully in India, South Africa and Bolivia, and Levi’s pulled though in a major way. K-Dub and Levi’s worked in concert with California Skate Parks and the city of Oakland on the design and construction of phase one of the new Town Park which opened in October. The wooden ramps from the old park were moved to a new skate park in Marin City that had recently opened which kickstarts hopes of progression in yet another community. Williams and Levi’s are currently working close to complete phase two of Town Park in 2016.
On to the 2015 line. Back in San Francisco, at the Levi’s headquarters, our visit went far beyond just being shown the new line. We were walked through the facility and given an extensive history lesson on the deep roots of Levi’s Strauss & Company. Then we visited the design and testing wing where jeans are stretched, scratched, scraped and basically abused all in the name of research and development. Then, finally, we got to see the 2015 line… simple, clean and dependable. There are no flashy colors, no frills. Just wearable, usable and durable clothing made to stand up to whatever a skater can give it. If the tour of the facility taught us one thing, it’s that the skate line is designed, tested and made to last the same way that the rest of their clothes are with close attention paid to the details that make great clothing for skaters different than great clothing for “civilians”. Take a look at the full 2015 Skateboarding Collection and click here to locate a dealer near you.
“In the 60s and 70s, as America’s manufacturing and industrial complex came apart at its rusty fasteners, the Rust Belt was born—wide awake and never to sleep again—and for the last 50 years it’s slowly worn itself down to a corroded nub.”
Converse recruited Mike Anderson, Zered Bassett, Jake Johnson, Al Davis, and Aaron Herrington to film their latest video “Rust Belt Boon” far from any prefab skateparks or indoor “training facilities”.
While cities in America’s heartland like Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh have plenty to offer a skater in their downtown areas in the form of rails, ledges and architecture, it’s the unique components of these particular cities that were most appealing..the wastelands.
Blown out buildings and vacant lots long forgotten my many are the perfect environments for creative and resourceful skateboarders. Adapt or die.
“Rust Belt Boon” appeared on the Berrics website earlier this month and an accompanying article in the February issue of The Skateboard Mag. Check out a gallery of images shot by Jon Coulthard.
Has social media hurt or helped skateboarding? In Chapter Two of ‘Pushing Forward,’ a skate documentary from Red Bull, they take a look at the impact of social media on pro skateboarders and how the modern pro utilizes social media to manage their own brand.
To help answer this somewhat obvious, but complex question, they looked at the different ends of the spectrum. Joey Brezinski is quite active on social, as is Alex Midler, who at the age of 16 was born into the social media era and doesn’t know anything different. And then there’s Wes Kremer, who has a different approach entirely to the medium. Veteran pros Jamie Thomas, Mike Vallely, and Steve Berra weigh in on the subject with some strong opinions that provide interesting context to how the profession has changed.
Is the traditional skate video as we know it really dead? What is the relevance of the skate video in this modern digital age?
The latest skate documentary from Red Bull, ‘Pushing Forward’ takes a look at the emergence of the solo video part, the impact a traditional premiere still has, the hype behind the biggest team video in recent history and we look towards the future of skate videos.
Chapter One shines the spotlight on Ryan Decenzo during an important time in his career: as he prepared to drop his online solo video part “Double Down” for Thrasher. Ryan dedicated two full years filming for this part. The question is raised: Was it worth it?
Zered Bassett was recently featured in “Outliers,” Transworld’s 26th full length team video. Reaping the benefits of a traditional Hollywood premiere, Zered defends the significance of the skate team video.
With the much anticipated Plan B video set to drop in two weeks, Chapter One reinforces the core nature of a traditional skate video and why the concept of longevity and shelf life can never be replaced.
‘The Golden Age of Video is…Dead’ features Decenzo and Bassett, as well as skateboarders Torey Pudwill, Felipe Gustavo, Wes Kremer, Joey Brezinski, Dane Burman, and industry heavy hitters Ty Evans, Steve Berra, Erik Bragg and Chris Thiessen.