If you are like me – growing up you studied every page of Skateboarder magazine and later Thrasher – not just the pics, not just the articles but every word of every ad. Well skater Rich Monday has sent up a facebook fan page dedicated to finding , posting and sharing so many of these ads before they all go the way of the dodo bird. Do yourself a favor and go like his page Old Skate advertisements.
One of the best set ups i had as a kid was a Duane Peters mini deck, with Indy 151s and Blackheart wheels, not sure why I loved it so much but its comparable to saying playing a Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall amp – some products are just MEANT to go together.
My current set up is a Creature Pig deck with Indy 215s and some Hosoi wheels by OJ, but damn if they had these new Duane Peters wheels out when I set that board up I would have had them instead. For some reason I really really hate White wheels, these new Dp signature wheels come in red, Green and Pink – awesome
Creature Skateboards is proud to present the 2013 Creature Babes Calendar. Twelve months packed with hot babes and all you will catch is good times. We are also offering a very limited deck and tee to go along for the ride. What’s this got to do with skateboarding? NOTHING.
A short clip showing the process of creating the graphic for Z-Flex and Jay Adams to celebrate 35 years of Z-Flex Skateboards. From rough sketches to Illustrator magic to finished graphic, watch the whole process from start to finish.
Creature is the most bad ass metal Skateboard company on the planet – While all other skateboard teams go to South America, Spain, South of France or Australia to shoot their latest videos – who else goes to the ground zero of Black Metal – Norway to shoot footage? No one but Creature Skateboards of course.
I have known Sam Hitz Creature’s Head Honcho for over 12 years now – we bonded over our love of Metal. I forget who he was riding for at the time but he, Al Partanen and Darren Navarette were involved in a pre Creature skate company called 151 (after the insane over proof rum of course!) – Sam hooked me up with a couple of their old school shapes and they were sick! Jeez I am sure I still have some of the 151 stickers floating around my office and pasted on some of my guitars. I can’t remember all the details on why 151 folded and to be honest with you it really doesn’t matter. In MMA they say you learn more from your losses than your wins – whatever happened in 151 the boys learned from that and moved on to bigger and better things with Creature.
I am a little cloudy on the details but I swear even back when 151 was going Sam talked about “Blader hater Skateboards” I even have a mock up he made stuck on my filing cabinet of some sick ass anti rollerblader shapes they came up with (just checked the flyer says 2004!) I have all the Creature videos and in one of them you can actually see a blader hater board they set up and are trying to take the local fruit booters out with – ha ha
Anyways they did it right with Creature not only do they have a sick team or riders but they come up with some hugely collectable decks – in case you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years Creature is responsible for one of the best shapes ever the Hacksaw – I want to say they only did 666 of them – yeah I got one – did you? i also have one of their version o the banana board which is coffin shaped – see pic
Like I mentioned above they did a team tour to Norway (sick) and even had a series of skate decks by iconic Norwegian Black metal photographer Peter Beste come out last year
these guys make a set of cruzer boards with wait for it…built in bottle openers , I don’t know why no one every thought of that before but that is genius!
Sam mentioned to me they are now working on a shaped Darkthrone deck which is sure to be a collectors item before it even hits the stores – make sure you get on that now!
I mentioned above I have all their videos and they even managed to get budget to do a Zombie promotional video – like I said Creature is the sickest skateboard company in existence – bow down to your masters!
Before I moved to the USA I was living in England – in fact I lived there for 11 years. I don’t think I rode any vert the whole time I lived in England – I would ride my Zorlac Aaron Deeter at the massive Asda car park across the street from my flat – super smooth concrete and some nice curbs to grind and slide on and that was good enough for me then…When I got the word I was moving to America to live and work in NYC I had some time to kill as it took them 6 weeks to process my work papers, during that time I had a dream that I was skating vert in New York City , the next day when I woke up I thought – How ridiculous there is no vert in New York City. When I was growing up in Australia and reading Skateboarder magazine I knew all the parks were on the West Coast , I knew land and space in NYC was very very expensive and I knew unlike Australia where the city provided skateparks for the kids to ride in the US (due to insurance issues) most parks were private enterprises as not city wanted to be sued as little Johny broke his wrist dropping in on the half pipe.
So a few months after I moved to NYC I became aware that there was a Skatepark on the west side highway at Chelsea piers. I had been coming to NYC, since the early 90s and a friend had driven me by Chelsea Piers when it was a run down piece of crap and told me they were going to spend millions on rebuilding it. (NYers : please note this is not the existing Chelsea skatepark but the one before that) you can see footage of this skatepark on on the early episodes of Tony Hawks skatepark tour show that he did. Everyone warned me don’t ride the park – its bunk and that there was a good half pipe (for free) up at 110th street.
Ok so I hadn’t ridden vert in over 10 years and I had the itch again – but to my horror all the boards I could find at the time were those darn tooting Popsicle sticks!! Nah, no way was I going to buy one of those! So I started searching online and it seemed pretty impossible then to pick up anything wider than an 8″ set up. So I found a place called Beer City Skateboards based out of Milwaukee! Not only did they have wider skateboard decks, decent sized wheels but Duane peters skated for them too! Hallelujah! Mike Beer city promptly hooked me up with a nice wide set up (and a sweet deal on a set of Indies if I remember correctly) and I was good to go.
The funny thing when I got to the skatepark (I think I was 35 at the time) I was like man all the kids are going to be “Oh dear who let GRANDPA out today??” well there were plenty of kids there but on the half pipe everyone was over 30! haha – seems like none of the kids riding at the time knew how to ride the halfpipe. A great bunch of guys too I skated with guys who were heads of marekting at mastercard, the Vice president of Deutsche bank and even a couple of actors. We were all in the same boat , been skaters, life and careers took up our lives and we were keen to get back to skating again. what a great summer that was!
The great thing with Beer City as well is that they still used Canadian woods as opposed to saving a couple of bucks using Chinese wood. Mike also runs a record label called Beer City records and puts out some great punk rock and records by legends DRI!!
If Santa Cruz is the all time most bad ass skate company out there then the crown for the reigning kings from the early to late 80s really must go to Zorlac Skateboards from Texas. Not only did they have the sickest Skateboard graphics ever courtesy of graphic artist legend Pushead they had some of the best vert skaters to come out of Skateboarding’s post Skate park collapse / ramp riding era.
I recall seeing John Gibson in Skateboarder mag back when he was sponsored by Caster – what I didn’t know at the time was that he had already ridden for Zorlac back when Newton was making decks out of his garage. Craig Johnson was another great Texas skate who was a pro for Zorlac. What I didn’t know as a young kid was that with Gibson being from Houston and Craig being from Dallas there was initially some rivalry and snobbery (that ol’ Texas thing ya know) When you are sitting there in Australia checking out the skate mags you don’t know that Houston and Dallas are no where near each other etc. etc.
As I have said in other posts – A great skateboard company is not just selling a piece of wood with some cool graphics on it – its an attitude – anther super cool thing with Zorlac is they aligned themselves with the Hardcore Punk scene and the emerging Speed metal scene too. I am going to say speed metal and not thrash as that is what it was called at the time. Even Metallica had their first decks with Zorlac.
I don’t think I ever saw a Zorlac deck in Western Australia growing up – I was on a trip to Melbourne on the East Coast of Ass-tralia when I finally saw one in a pro shop and some now long gone skatepark – the pro store was unattended and it did cross my mind for a micro second to do a quick grab of that board as I wanted it so bad but luckily for them I don’t steal as otherwise….
I finally got my first Zorlac set up when I was living in England of all places courtesy of the Abrook Brothers who were in charge of distribution of Zorlac over there. It was the Aaron Deeter model if I remember right – thanks again Barry!
Zorlac or at least Pus’s graphics saw a re-emergence in the new millennium , not sure if they were legit or not – I know there has been a lot of legal problems with copyright and ownership issues so I stayed away from picking some up. I did manage to get some of the Conspiracy boards that Pushead did (google em) But never got another Zorlac. This guy did whoever he is:
Independent Skateboard trucks were not just a way to secure your wheels to your skateboard deck – Independent trucks were a way of life.
I first recall seeing their ads in Skateboarder magazine in the late 70s and didn’t really “get it” Many of the ads were just a skater in a photo with something like “Independent trucks #@$% ^&*!” It took some time for the first Indies to reach the fair shores of Australia but by the time everyone was riding super wide boards they were readily available
I had been a Bones Brigade fan and had a set up with Tracker Trucks and all my favorite skaters at that time were riding Indies (Olson , Alba, Peters) I was on the fence about “going over to the other side” and I recall seeing this kid Paul Hopkins land a boneless one (on grass) with a brand new set of Tracker trucks and immediately breaking both baseplates (the look on his face was priceless)
For me that was the turning point – my very next set up I had was going to be with Indie 169s – man those things were so wide – I have no clue what deck or wheels I set that thing up without I do recall the bushings falling to bits in no time and having to get some replacement ones – over the years they changed the bushing caps to stop them busting up so much but man those were great trucks!!
Bizarrely enough at a time where wider = better – my favorite set up had to be a mini Duane Peters with Indie 151s and Blackheart wheels. Go figure eh?
These days pretty much every set up I have is with Indies – ok I do own one Popsicle stick deck with those small, low, lightweight trucks but I never ride it and I just got a Santa Cruz cruiser with “Blazer trucks” – I think? But those are made by Indie so , eh whatever besides its just for cruising to the store and back so it doesn’t really count
Any ways I digress – Indies were not just trucks they were an attitude you either got it or you didn’t and I did. Thank the Gods for Indies !
During the 2nd wave of Skateboarding boom in the late 70s and early 80s there was no other skateboard company that was as Punk rock as Santa Cruz – their 3 hottest skaters Steve Olson, Steve Alba and Duane Peters were the epitome of Skatepunk. In fact when Steve Olson won skater of the year he was already punk – back when Tony Alva, Jay Adam and even Duane were still long hairs. Which is kinda of ironic in a way since Santa Cruz was started as a Surfboard company back in 1973.
Owned by the Umbrella company of NHS – Inc (Rich Novak, Doug Haut and Jay Shuirman) this trio of surfers planned to surf all morning and shape and sell surfboards during the day to fund their lifestyle. They soon found their margins were very very tight and started producing fiberglass skateboards to help increase their profits. Pretty soon their skateboard sales were out stripping their surfboard sales. To their credit they guys managed to stay in business during at least two “bust” cycles in the skateboard business where many other companies went bankrupt – you can only really do that with a true passion for skateboarding.
Steve Olson’s checkerboard deck was not only the most “punk” deck you could buy back in the day it was also probably the widest you definitely needed Indy 169s to rock that thing, I never had one at the time – I think one of my buddies did but I did manage to pick up the re-issue a couple of years back – fuck yeah!
The Duane Peters black and red stripe deck has to be the most iconic punk rock skateboard deck ever – I don’t remember the dimensions of the original 80s models but for some reason in Australia we always preferred the shorter decks – the original Duane Peters came in a full and mini version – my favourite set up of all time was my Mini Duane with Indy 151s and pink blackheart wheels – I damn near rode that thing to Death.
Back when I first moved to the USA I picked up a Duane Peters re-issue with routed grab rails From Beer City and I think I do have a couple of other Duane Re-issues in my collection (Sorry too lazy to go look).
Speaking of my Santa Cruz collection I also own a copy of Steve Alba’s Bevel deck (re-issue not the original) which is another great SC deck.
Here is to Santa Cruz Skateboards – one of the truly great Skateboard companies.
The Bones Brigade was at the time probably the most Famous Skateboard team in the world
There were many Skateboard teams before them – like the Z-boys, The Hobie team. The Powerflex guys etc but the pairing of Skateboard inventor/genius George Powell with Pro Skater Stacy Peralta set the Bones Brigade into the stratosphere
Acting as team manager and marketeer Stacy had an incredible eye for spotting young Skate talent – from memory the first guys on the team were Stacy (of course), Ray “Bones” Rodriguez (where do you think they got the name “Bones Wheels” from?), Mike McGIll and Alan “Ollie” Gelfand. That alone is a pretty impressive talent pool – but think on this over time Stacy signed Stevie Caballero, Jay Smith (the most insane laybacks on vert – ever!!) Rodeny Mullen – flat land genius and In my humble opinion his flatland ollies built the entire modern day street skate scene, Steve Rocco (who went on to form World Industries one of the most dominant Skate companies of the 1990s) Lance Mountain, Danny Way, Mike Vallely, Tommy Guerrero (who set the 90′s standard of street skating and went on to form REAL with Jim Thiebaud) and a not very well known Skater by the name of Tony Hawk.
Being 14 at the time I thought the Bones Brigade was the coolest thing ever – they had some sort of fan club (anyone remember what it was called?) Which of course me and all my buddies sent away from and got the newsletter some stickers and an exclusive shirt (f*ck yeah!) I was lucky enough to own and skate a Ray Bones Snub nose (in yellow) a Stevie Cab Dragon in an orange and a Mike McGill Jet plane in green. True Story I paid $60 for an Import MM deck back in the day – my buddy landed a backside air half on the deck half on the ramp and cracked the deck. I wrote to P/P at the time and a few months later they sent me a replacement deck free of charge …which was great of them $60 was a lot of money for a 14 yo kid back in the early 80s. So a few months later I get one of those cards from the local post office – “there is a package waiting for you at the head office come and collect it” I was like well I didn’t order anything…wtf – so I go to the post office and there is another deck there for me – Mike McGill himself had found my letter and took it upon himself to also sed me a replacement deck – how cool is that!!! When you are 14 gestures like that are beyond Huge – Mike if you ever read this blog – thanks again buddy!
Out of all their decks that I never got to own the ones I really wanted were the Alan “Ollie” Gelfand deck and Jay Smith’s Blue Snub nose, now that Powell are re-issuing them under their Classic range – I am going to have to pick them up.
I think I had my cab set up with Bones wheels and tracker trucks (this was before Setvie switched to Indies – riding a P/P set up like that is comparable to playing a Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall or a Fender Strat through a Twin amp – it’s the way these things were designed to work together!
So the Bones Brigade had the coolest team, the coolest boards and the coolest graphics – their wheels were pretty great too – right up until I got a Duane Peters with Blackheart wheels I was using Bones Mini Cubics or whatever they were called – loved those wheels!
Their Video series – changed the way skaters could view pro skaters – no longer were you limited to a sequence in a magazine to see what the pro was doing – you could see it on your VCR and figure it out from there. Without their classic videos I believe the Skate industry would be very different today. Less focus on winning competitions more on shooting the right part etc changed the way the entire industry was done.