Litterbox Winter Issue

Think you got what it takes? Prove it by writing us a letter. Show the world your vast skateboarding knowledge, boast of your impressive trick list, and explain to everyone why you need to be sponsored. Get your floggers in gear and send some sub-par letters to TransWorld SKATEboarding, Attn: Litterbox, 353 Airport Road, Oceanside, California, 92054.

FREE ANIMAL CHIN! I just got through reading your Litterbox in the December 2002 issue where it said that Animal Chin was being held hostage in the basement of McGill’s skate shop in Southern California. I think it’s time that we, as a collective skateboard community, put aside our differences and band together to free Mr. Chin from the impoverished chains that bind him. It’s vital that A.C. be allowed to return to normal life-just think, he could be out there enjoying all those new skateparks opening up everywhere. I think they should make a new Animal Chin video called The Search For An Elderly Asian Man Forced To Work Long Hours In A Skateboard Sweatshop.-Francis Von Belvan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Lighten up, Francis. New reports have been reconfirmed by our staff that Animal Chin was recently spotted in Berkeley, California by Mark Appleyard when Ben Gilley was attempting to 50-50 a massive 23-stair. Needless to say, “The Barbarian” came through with a make, thanks in part to the magical presence of the elusive Animal Chin. The event was documented for posterity’s sake, so keep your eyes open.

BOOM DOOM SUCK SLAM It has been brought to the attention of JLG Industries, Inc. that a JLG Boom Lift was featured prominently on the front cover of the September 2002 issue of TransWorld SKATEboarding. It is our understanding that the photograph in question was taken at the DC Shoe Super Ramp in San Diego, California by a Mr. Mike Blabac and features skateboarder Danny Way performing a stunt off of the modified platform of the subject boom lift.

Please be advised that JLG Industries, Inc. does not approve the use of JLG Boom Lifts in the manner depicted in the subject photograph. JLG products are not designed, manufactured, tested, nor intended for use in this manner. Please refer to the Operations And Safety Manual for information regarding the safe, proper, and intended use of the subject boom lift.-Gregory E. Perry, Product Safety & Reliability Engineer, JLG Industries, Inc., McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania

Damn, next time we’ll go with the Genie S-60 boom lift crane on the cover instead.

AMERICA’S FRUIT I beg of you-please stop calling Rollerbladers “fruitbooters.” By doing this you’re giving a bad name to something I love-fruit! Now everytime I chomp on an apple or any other kind of fruit, I’m reminded of the incredibly disgusting sport of Rollerblading. So again, please don’t call them fruitbooters anymore, just call them “shaved apes,” or what have you. Thank you. Oh yeah, your magazine kicks hiney.-Anthony Cauterucci, Little Silver, New Jersey

We’re off fruitbooters and onto bigger subjects like freestyle handboarders.

PARDON MONSIEUR! Dear TransAmerica SKATEboarding magazine: This letter is regarding your latest feature on Paris in the September 2002 issue. Like a lot of people here, I could not believe what I read! See, I don’t feel that I have an exaggerated pride in the city I live in, but reading that “the spirit here kind of sucks” was a little too much. How can you print such things about a city of millions with a skateboard scene of thousands? I’ll be the first to admit that, like everywhere, some Parisians (skaters included) are true assholes, but you can’t write off a whole city like that.

Each person is different, and reading such a thing in a magazine that’s supposed to bring some knowledge to young people is pretty scary. And what about the fear of Arabian terrorists mentioned in there, too? Sorry, we’re not all white folks rocking berets over here! Paris is a multicultural city, and it’s the mix of differrent energies that makes it special.

I know how the whole thing works-sometimes you have to fill pages in a matter of minutes, but still … you don’t print hatred-filled text by some notorious mythomaniac insulting thousands of persons you’ve never met before. As a publication directed toward the youth (and also as skateboard media), you’re supposed to open people’s minds.

What saddens me the most is that I wasn’t even that much surprised when I found out about this so-called Parisian “coverage.” It’s in the following of other “These dudes are weird, dude!” pieces that you’ve been running in the last few years. Well, sorry again. Europe is not America. Africa is not America. Asia is not America. I could quote Giovanni Estevez on that one. He once said, “No more New York articles.” Well, let me add to that: “Please, no more articles of that kind.” Please!-Benjamin Deberdt, Paris, France

Sounds like somebody woke up on the wrong side of the Atlantic Ocean this morning.

GAME OF SKATE TURNS VIOLENT PART TWO Hello, hombres. My name is John, and I’m writing you concerning the “Game Of Skate Turns Violent” letter in your October 2002 issue. This is probably the funniest letter in the history of your magazine just because of the obvious exaggeration. For example, “So I got up and used my special trick-a crooked grind to shove-it into a bowl. Then I manualed down it and 50-50’d around the bowl.” Okay, first off-what’s up with the “special trick”? Like she has a certain line set aside at her skatepark for games of SKATE. Then there’s the part that really gets me-“then I manualed down it and 50-50’d around the bowl.” Ha ha. I’d love to see someone 50-50 around a bowl, much less manual down one. People like this (ones who lie to sound like they’re really good, when in reality they don’t know the first thing about skateboarding except for the fact that Tony Hawk did the 900) should be taken out to a field and put to death.-John Tubbs, Mobtown, Alabama


WEASEL HAS NO POP Hey! I just got the October 2002 issue, and I have to say that the picture of Steve Rocco, Mark Gonzales, and Natas Kaupas on page 166 really brought back some memories. I’ve been skating since ’82, and I’ve never ollied or grinded a rail, but give me a pool and I’m happy until the owners show up. With all the recent media on Dogtown, I was hoping you could tell me whatever happened to Scott Oster? I still have my Oster board from around ’86 or ’87. It’s about the size of a wakeboard, and much to the dismay of the local kids, it has a flat nose. Gasp! But damn, I can still get a good swing in with it when the BMX kids show up! Speaking of the old crew, where’s Natas been lately?-Brian Weasel, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Here I am, Brian! Lately, I’ve been busy working with Element, Etnies, and Quiksilver. I’ve been designing a book for Element filled with interviews, photos, and drawings that represent the positivity Element stands for. We’re currently working on producing a super Collector’s Edition Natas board-researching inks, woods, and finishes that’ll elevate the board to “wall-hanging fine art” quality.

I’ve also been working with Etnies to reproduce my signature shoe from the late 80s. This is taking a lot of research and meetings to make sure we get it right. And I’m always working closely with Quiksilver, putting together their skate ads and other weird things. All this and skating now and again, swimming with my dog Bonnie, and surfing when I can.-Natas Kaupas

We’re still waiting to hear from Scott Oster …