The showroom-arena is packed with sweaty kids and eager adults. The air is heavy with tension and the constant clicking of tails rings out like crickets in high season. Like a world record Gang Bang attempt, Es Footwear partner up 100 star struck kids to take on their King, Eric Koston, at his own game- S.K.A.T.E.
Once all the freakshow freestylers, video clones and desperate pros have been weeded out, the real talent takes centre stage. However, Koston has nothing to prove- He’s had it all and done it all, so he bows down and exits through the side door. Jim Bates and Jimmy Carlin are left to prove themselves and play the skateboard version of Russian Roulette. It goes down to the last letter, and with his last bullet in the chamber, Carlin fires out a frontside nollie bigspin heelflip. The crowd twists and groans… It’s all over… Or is it?
Carlin feels cheated, his gun jammed and Bates responds as if it were walk in the park. Ha! Bates ups-the-ante with a fakie inward heelflip frontside revert, but that wouldn’t suffice to claim victory. Helas, it was the fabled backside 360 nollie flip that nailed the final letter into Carlin’s coffin and left Bates to reign victorious over any technical trick wizardry. As a bystander put it, “He beat Koston!” Well observed mortal, but who has the greatest style, eh?
The Entente Cordiale…
It’s a fact that only a few people move and shake up the skate industry. What they says goes- take it or leave it. Santa Cruz Skateboards head honcho, Rich Novak, is one of these people. A new blueprint for skateboard teams has been drawn up, but only a few people have grasped it. The colonial style era of all American teams simply flogging off their foreign counterparts as flow teams that the distributors can handle is over. Today, the Euros mix with the Yanks and an ‘Entente Cordiale’ is underway.
Santa Cruz have announced their latest team line-up: Lee Smith, Nestor Judkins, Emmanual Guzman, Sid Melvin, Alex Carolino, Flo Marfaing, Oli Buergin and Henning Braaten. Those last few names are European.
Whether or not these new faces (ebven though well established at home) will be accepted with open arms cannot be confirmed as of yet. Already the authorities of virtual skateboarding have had their say on the message boards of spin:
Monster Network: (Speaking about Henning Braaten) that guy is from norway. not seen much of him and the video clips are whatever. not sure why he’s pro to be honest Needless to say, the Jury is out on this one… In any case, Speed Freak Damian Smith saw it just to join his Philly Skate pal, Ricky Oyola over at Traffic Skateboards. www.santacruzskateboards.com
There’s no business like shoe business…
Before the days of Nike SB, Osiris D3s and collaboration models, skaters were pretty much bumming it off their pro stumpwood royalty checks (unless you were Rob Dyrdek). The arrival of pro model shoe contracts was like an interest free credit loan from the bank manager himself, and everybody has a price.
So, whilst some people refuse to let go and simply scratch the brand name off, along with a couple of riders, and others sell their souls to their supposed enemy, Element decide to step their game up. At the last ASR tradeshow, Element revealed their latest price of the pie that is Element shoes. This now means that Element produce everything from decks to bearings, travel bags to clothing, and now shoes. Tosh Townend has signed on and will only have to spend his checks on food, unless Element picks up the tab there too…
Meanwhile, as mentioned earlier, Ed Dominick killed off his brainchild 88 Shoes and re-named it Vox instead. When the plug was pulled, several riders including Corey Duffel were seen floating down the drain. All that remains now is Darren Navarette, Alex Horn, Dan Drehobl and Peter Hewitt. Let’s hope it works this time…
Oh, and Thrasher have been given a pro model on Nike! The day grainy camera-phone pictures of George Powell in bed with Steve Rocco hit the Net, we’ll know we’ve seen it all. http://www.skatehere.com/Article_Show.asp?ArticleID=638