Santa Barbara, California is finally seeing its first public skatepark, thanks to the efforts of Mike Taylor and the skaters there. With the help of Powell and Skate Street skatepark in nearby Ventura, they’ve built and opened Sk8sipuedes, a literal street course that sits on a previously unused road next to Santa Barbara Junior High School. Mike Taylor and the Skate Street ramp crew completed the conversion of that park’s mini ramp into a seven-foot-deep capsule bowl, just in time for its first anniversary on March 22. Skate Street has also been helping the city of Ventura to plan three of its own free, concrete public skateparks.
Tony Hawk broke his elbow in March during the filming of a Gap clothing commercial. Two days later he flew to New York for a Rolling Stone fashion shoot, only to find out they wanted him to skate. He managed some backside ollies and a padless McTwist before heading back to California for surgery. Now resting, Hawk’s injury shouldn’t keep him out of commission long. He says the two steel pins holding his elbow in place will allow him to skate full strength by early May.
New from NHS comes the printed line of TSG helmets. NHS is the exclusive U.S. distributor of the TSG line of safety gear. The TSG printed helmets are available in winter-camouflage or cow-print designs.
Creature skateboards welcomes Aaron Harrison to its team. Creature has also promoted Mark Widman to be its primary artist. Widman will be producing Creature’s horror/gore-inspired deck and T-shirt art.
Powell has several new products and one new team member. Spanish street-wizard Javier Sarmiento is the eighth and latest member of the Bones Brigade. Brit Brigadier Danny Wainwright is developing his new pro model, and Jason Ellis has just finished his new graphic. The Bones Bearings team continues to grow, with Mathias Ringstrom joining the team. Powell has released its new China Bones Reds bearings, a Chinese-manufactured version of its popular Bones Bearings. The Reds feature a red non-contact rubber shield that Powell says is easier to remove.
New York City’s Uptown Projects has been busy with a couple new ventures. The Blue Light Wheel Co. has attracted the support of pros Ryan Hickey, Ben Liversedge, Mike Hernandez, and Matt Bell. Liversedge, Hernandez, and Hickey have also established a New York City based board company, Infamous. Uptown’s other board company, Freedom skateboards, has in the meantime added Chris Yourgalite to its pro team.
SPARC, the Sales Performance Action Retail Center, has released a new series of videos designed to help retailers train their sales staffs. The program was developed by pro snowboarder and 1996 SIA Retailer Of The Year Steve Klassen in conjunction with the Entrepreneur Program of the University of Southern California. SPARC is available in four versions, each tailored for different types of shops. For more information, call: 1-800-841-2767.
Nixon Inc., makers of custom-built sports watches, has introduced its debut line for surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding. The company has also signed several pros from each sport to endorse the brand. The Nixon skate team includes Kareem Campbell, Caine Gayle, and Danny Way.
World Industries is launching yet another board company, Shaolin Wood Company. The team will be comprised solely of amateurs selected by Rodney Mullen. May is the month for tours: A-Team will be in the UK, the World Industries team will be hitting France, Belgium, and Holland, and the Axion team will be traveling to many European capitals on their Capital Tour.
All the Tum Yeto companies have been sy filming for upcoming videos. The Toy Machine video, with a working title of Jump Off A Building, will be released in June. Toy Machine’s Elissa Steamer and Mike Maldonado have turned pro and will have models coming out this month. Toy Machine amateur Kerry Getz broke his ankle jumping the water gap in Tampa, Florida. Jamie Thomas literally knocked himself out filming for the new Zero video, which is due out in September. Adrian Lopez recently turned pro for Zero. Foundation welcomes two new ams to the team: Judd Hertzler and Tony Desilva. Foundation pro Brad Staba received twenty staples in his stomach after tearing his liver. He spent a week in the hospital, but is on the road to recovery. Foundation has a video currently in the works. Solid Brand amateur Nathan Jones is the newest member of the Pig Wheels family.
The Physics wheel company has acquired Chad Fernandez, who will soon have a 54 mm pro wheel. After a recent trip to India, Physics pro Nanda Zipp has decided to retire from professional skateboarding. He will continue to skate for fun while pursuing schoolwork and different career paths. Zipp was one of the creative forces who helped establish Physics, and he has produced artwork for many board graphics and magazine ads.
Giant Distribution has been a hive of activity lately as its teams circle the globe and grow. Englishman Carl Shipman and Aussie Chad Bartie are the latest pros to join the New Deal team. While on tour in Australia, Element‘s Kenny Hughes won a considerable sum of money gambling with coach Josh Friedberg. Look for coverage of the Giant tour in 411VM issue 26.
Cockroach wheels, that formerly Australian species, has invaded U.S. shores in a new form. Released in February, the new line of Cockroach wheels is available from Asylum Distribution: (619) 284-3311.
Creative Urethane has introduced a new nylon-hub skateboard wheel. The lighter-weight wheel features a thin urethane skin around a harder urethane core. Creative began making its hub wheels available to various skateboard brands though its OEM operation in March. For more information, call: (310) 798-4874.
Jonas Wray is the newest addition to the Platinum team, with Lance Conklin handling the team manager responsibilities for both Platinum and XYZ. Plan B embarked on “The Best of the Midwest Tour” this month, which is featured in the industry section of 411VM issue 27. New videos from XYZ, Platinum, and Plan B are in the works.
In Deluxe Distribution news, the Real, Stereo, and Anti-Hero teams are planning their summer tours now. Keep your eyes peeled for the Anti-Hero video Early Grab coming out this month, as well as two Real videos¿one featuring Matt Field and Quim Cardona, and the other with Keith Hufnagel and Mark Gonzales.
Am Brad Johnson has joined the F.I.T. skateboard team. SLR1 distribution, maker of the Solar brand of clothing, has launched a new board company called Fight. The five models are manufactured by P.S. Stix, and the new Solar video, Portable Flat Bar, is also available from SLR1.
Rookie skateboards, the female-owned-and-operated company out of New York City, has added a couple new team riders. Lisa Whitaker and Jaime Reyes join Jesse van Roechoudt, Lauren Mollica, and Kyla Duffy to round out the all-women team. The first Rookie video will be available later this year.
Skaters Union has moved into a new and larger building to house their operations and new video-editing equipment. They recently finished the new Co-Op video, which features ams Josh Shay, Sean “Renos” Donnely, Joe Lanenga, Josh Heath, and Jason Lemankiewicz. A new 60/40 video is also in the works. It will feature am Doug Diaz, and pros Ron Chatman, Gino Perez, John Deago, Dan Rogers, and George Watanabe. The new building was also the setting for the first in a new series of sticky-gooey Slimeball ads featuring Ron Chatman.
The Rainier Richlite Company has developed a new ramp-surface material it calls Skatelite. This fiber-laminate panel resembles masonite, but tests at the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA Skatepark in Encinitas, California have demonstrated that Skatelite is far more durable. Four-by-eight-foot quarter-inch panels of Skatelite cost about 90 dollars. The Nike-sponsored renovations of the Encinitas YMCA utilized Skatelite on the street course and all ramps, including the 80-foot-wide vert ramp and the 10.5-foot-deep bowl. For more information about Skatelite, call the Rainier Richlite Company at: 1-888-383-5533.
Longboard maker Gravity Boarding Co. devised a unique way to help underprivileged kids and lighten the load on San Diego landfills. The company donated enough scrap wood to the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association to make over 1,000 toys for needy families over the holidays. Gravity has also been involved in planning and sponsoring San Diego area skateparks, and its men’s and women’s teams perform demonstrations at area schools.
Disgusted TV is a half-hour program that features interviews and footage of skateboarders, snowboarders, and surfers. DTV plays weekly on cable systems in California, Colorado, Florida, Utah, and Japan. It will also be shown on the College Entertainment Network beginning this spring, which broadcasts to over 200 college campuses nationwide. For more information about DTV, contact Timothy Curry at: (714) 366-6355.
Fiberglass longboard maker Flexdex has several new models available: big-air snowboarder Jim Rippey has a signature model, the Surf Diva and Flexdex Wahine longboards are designed for women, and a new line of Hang Ten boards will be produced for sporting-goods outlets and international distribution. Flexdex also sponsors a women’s team of “goodwill ambassadors,” the Flexettes, who surf and skate.
Mike Santarossa launched his new skateboard company at the February ASR Trade Expo. Diabolical is a Santa Barbara, California-based board-and-wheel operation that currently offers six decks and three wheel designs. Mike also plans to introduce a new wheel brand in the near future.
In response to the success of Stepson outerwear, Brethren Distribution launched a skateboard clothing line under the Stepson label at the February ASR Trade Expo.
I.S. Bearing Products has introduced a new product to its line of skate tools. I.S. Speed Spray is designed to both clean and lubricate bearings to enhance their performance and speed.