Ed Syder’s new tribute book to Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi is underway following the success of his previous projects: The Natas & Gonz Book (interview here) and The Neil & Lance Book.
How can you assist Ed with this latest project? Head to Kickstarter and order one in advance.
You will be helping him fund a 60+ page full colour book featuring new work from a host of artists including: Michael Chsiung, Jay Croft, Luke Hanson, Chad Cardoza, Nathan McKee, Ed Syder, Thomas Fernandez, Thom Lessner, Joel Abad, Pete Hellicar, Dave The Chimp, Kevin Wilkins, Philip Morgan, Nick Simich, Neil Macdonald and many more, so order yours today.
Ed will be hosting a live Q&A stream today at 6pm (BST) from here, answering questions and giving you a tour of his home studio.
Literally cannot wait to see this new Barefoot documentary on Lee Ralph. A new trailer dropped this week featuring those who came across his wonderful character.
Alex Dyer’s film will feature Tony Hawk, Mark Gonzales, Christian Hosoi, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Gregor Rankine, Kevin Staab, Chris Miller, Steve Douglas, Bod Boyle, Andrew Morrison, Ron Allen, Peter Hill, Stephen Hill, Bob Goodsby and many more. Coming soon.
I don’t know about you, but one of the most recognizable aspects of skateboarding for me are Vans skate shoes. The patent waffle-gripped rubber soles have been supporting skateboarders for almost fifty years. Say that again: supporting skateboarders for almost FIFTY years!
Vans is a skateboard culture heavyweight with riders spanning several generations, commandeering all sorts of terrain and actively sponsoring events across the Globe. You’d think that the day Vans decided to release their first ever feature length film, Propeller, video dedicated to the skateboard team, they would be shifting the gears on the hype machine for at least a few years prior to it’s screening. Apparently not. They don’t have to. Everyone knows their team is a legit band of brothers that go to war at every spot they skate and the filmer they hired for the job, Greg Hunt, is about as dedicated and craftful as it gets.
Propeller clocks in at about one hour of just skateboarding. Albeit the short introduction featuring the older gods (Tony Alva, Steve Caballero, Omar Hassan, Jeff Grosso, Christian Hosoi, Ray Barbee, and John Cardiel etc…), the rest of the video features a full part from each of the riders – except for Jason Dill who moonlights a couple of tricks in Anthony van Engelen’s amazing ender. To quote a fellow skateboard enthusiast, Ben Powell of Sidewalk, speaking about the last part: “Best over –Thirties part ever. Basically do some good skateboarding or fuck off!”
I think everyone knew Anthony would get the curtains seeing how much time and effort he put into his section, but Propeller still has 45 minutes of bangers from the likes of Chris Pfanner, Elijah Berle, Tony Trujillo, Pedro Barros and others to gawk at. I have to give Elijah and Chris double thumbs up for the raw power they exercise on their boards; Tony has matured a lot over the years but he’s still just as reckless as he was when he was young – more so even, especially in this incredible section; and Pedro bears the ugly stigmata of being the ramp dude, but when you see the lines he threads together on cold concrete mountains, you’ll respect him nonetheless.
As a British native, I can’t forget my fellow countryman Geoff Rowley who has been a figurehead for Vans since the early Nineties. Geoff has a reputation as a notoriously gnarly skateboarder with little regard for personal safety and most of his tricks support that point. I can’t help but get the feeling that after watching Geoff roll down the last of many hellish ditch spots, this section may be an honest farewell and passing of the guard to the next generation of gnarlers. If that is the case following the multiple injuries sustained filming for this then our hats are doffed to a British legend.
Gilbert Crockett and Andrew Allen take care of business in the streets and will probably increase their popularity among the skateboarders who feel they need someone to relate to when watching skate videos. That is by no means an understatement to both of these guys incredible talent, nor is it meant to undermine the likes of Curren Caples, Chima Ferguson, Rowan Zorilla, Kyle Walker or Daniel Lutheran who embody the modern skateboarder, born and bred to rip every kind of spot be it a quirky transition, a kinked rail or a curved ledge. All of these players put down seriously solid parts.
Propeller is a pretty good name for product with a sole purpose to push things forward. Vans kept everyone pushing hard when they introduced their skate shoes to the world, and several decennia later the skate team are leaving their mark on the future generations of skateboarders. Cliché as it sounds in the free internet era, this really is a skateboard video worth purchasing. Vans have supported you for so long, it’s only right that you should show some gratitude.
Download it from today on iTunes. It will be tough call to find a better full length skateboard video this year.
Enjoy this drunk phone cam footage of Caballero and Hosoi after the Propeller video premiere in London’s House of Vans.
Let’s kick this off by saying that the hype surrounding this film before it aired at the Prince Charles cinema in London was completely justified. It’s an incredible production that has zero filler and parts that will leave your jaw on the floor. Greg Hunt obviously worked his socks off to get this completed at the highest level and left no stones unturned. It’s so damn good that it feels like everyone has the ender.
At the world premiere, Geoff Rowley mentioned that Propeller “is a raw video, like one you grew up with” and he’s spot on. Doused in fast moving rock n’roll, each section is peppered with incredible skateboarding, packing gnar and tech from a crew who broke bones to make it special. Let’s hope that those skaters who grow up with Propeller see full length production as the norm, and bring back the full length as a priority over web clips in the future. It’s night’s like these where you wished the internet never existed.
The premiere itself was packed to the gills and over subscribed with people who had travelled from all over the UK. There were no seats for us, so we were asked to watch it upstairs where we joined Sidewalk’s Horse, Henry from Grey Mag and about 10 others and watched it with a Rob Smith introduction instead of the full cast. I’m sure the atmosphere downstairs was electric though, as each part just takes the piss. No spoilers of course as you will have to downnload it and watch it on iTunes on May 5th when it drops worldwide, but it’s a ridiculously impressive skateboard video and one to keep.
Plenty of booze was consumed at the House of Vans afterwards, where Steve Van Doren made burgers for everyone and was joined by Lutheran, Zorilla, Hunt, Rowley, Trujillo and more of the pro team. At 1am, Steve Caballero and Christian Hosoi decided it was time for a bowl sesh. Enjoy this drunk cam footage and snaps from the phone. Go get Propeller as soon as you can.
With all the talk of the new Vans video now over and done with, it’s time for it to be unleashed to the public. So here’s the first official teaser and unveiling of it’s name: PROPELLER. Yep, you heard it here first.
Greg Hunt is behind the making of it that will have full parts from Rowley, Crockett, Dollin and so many more. Look out for the full film this May that you will be able to download or pick up in stores.
When you look back through the many years of skateboard history at some point you will no doubt discover Eric Dressen‘s name in lights. Street skating and this bloke go hand in hand. He is a pioneer, who skated fast and hard and was up there with very best inspiring generations with his skills on a board. Growing up in Torrance, California, Dressen found skateboarding at a really early age due to his father who worked at Free Former Skateboards. By 8 year’s of age he was testing decks, by 10 he was winning his first contests and was picking up his first sponsors. Just take that in for 5 seconds.
At 46 years of age and a skateboard CV to kill for, Eric still loves a shred and found himself in London on a tattoo tour this month. Greg Atkins met him on a cold, miserable Friday afternoon at Parlour Skate Shop in East London to bring you some tales from the ink chair.
Welcome to Crossfire Eric, how did this tattoo tour of the UK come about?
In the last year I’ve visited Japan twice doing the tattoo tour just through Instagram and Facebook, so I thought it would be fun to bring my stuff here. It all came about thanks to Heel Bruise, Rock Solid, Shiner and my friend Jerome who suggested I come out here. It’s always been a dream of mine to tattoo and skate in Japan and England so yeah, it’s definitely a dream come true.
I guess you could call it the Grey Britain tattoo tour with the crap weather we are having this week. I hear you are sensitive to light, how do you cope in sunny California?
I love rain and clouds and I prefer the cold to the heat. Unfortunately I get sunburn pretty easily. Back in the day I’d skate in contest starting at 9 in the morning, in the middle of summer there be a heatwave and I’d just get fried. I avoid the sun. I think it’s my English/Irish roots.
Growing up in California did you gain any influence from surfing which you used in you’re skateboarding?
Oh yeah definitely. I was skating in the mid 1970s and I saw that movie Endless Summer so I decided I wanted to surf. I think I was about 8 years old. My uncle was a semi-pro surfer and one of my other cousins surfed and they suggested I learn how to skateboard first. I watched all the old surf movies and that’s how I got into skateboarding but back then it was sidewalk surfing – everyone skated barefoot and just pretended they were surfing.
Musically, what bands were your biggest influences and did you ever get involved playing in any yourself?
Well as a little kid I was exposed to so much music like rock n’roll, Led Zeppelin and Ted Nugent. When I was in 3/4 grade I listened to Ted Nugent a lot, that fast rock n’roll would get you hyped up to skate fast. I also listened to Kiss, Van Halen and Aerosmith, but then when Punk rock came out I started listening to Black Flag and The Damned. As a little kid I’d go to shows and stuff. I always wanted to play in a band and took guitar lessons for like 2 seconds and then drums for like 2 seconds, but for some reason I thought that musical talent was something you were born with. That’s like my little secret, I wish I played in a band and could get up on stage and just blow everybody away but that didn’t happen.
The 80s thrash scene hit the skateboard world pretty hard back then, you featured in Suicidal Tendencies’ ‘Possessed to Skate’ video right?
Yeah, it was the day after I got on Dogtown ’85 / ’86 or something. It was kinda a big deal because skateboarding died in like ’81 and it was just coming back. So it was kinda neat you know, Cab, Natas and Jessie Martinez were present and an empty pool, so everyone was there. I even met Timothy Leary which was kinda weird. It was fun. I actually watched it recently and I look like I was 12! I did an invert on the hip and I was like: “What?! I did that?!” I don’t even remember. I had a scar on my shin for years though from that shoot. Caballero’s board shot in the pool and gave me the biggest shinner. I got scarred and ended up tattooing over it.
‘Thrashin” and ‘Gleaming the Cube’ still get props in 2013, how weird was it being around two of the cheesiest (but legendary) skateboarding movies of all time?
It was during the resurgence of skateboarding in the mid 80s when that movie came out. That’s right about when I met Natas and Jesse Martinez and used to go down to Venice and hang out with them. I had a little bit parts in Thrashin’ (kind of). Actually, I tried out for a part acting in it but I didn’t get it. I ended up being a standard Dagger. We had to check in at like 6.30am and stay the entire day ’till night, so after the first day I was over it. We’d go skate a ramp or a pool or something. I’m at the very beginning of the LA downhill in ‘Thrashin”. I’d filmed the scene like 100 times and was just over it so I decided to butt-board instead so that’s all the skating I contributed.
With ‘Gleaming the Cube’ I was supposed to stunt double and they promised me 6 months work. I was riding for Dogtown and riding contests and making a little bit of money, but I had a full time job. They convinced me to quit that job and then after the first day they told me they didn’t need me anymore, but that’s actually one of the best things that ever happened to me. I went on a trip to Hawaii with Christian Hosoi and some of the Venice guys after that happened and at the time I was really worried financially ’cause I was right on my own, but I skated everyday instead of weekend’s only, and that’s when I won my first pro contest.
With the highly competitive edge to contests back in the 80’s did you feel much pressure at all?
I had a lot of pressure on me in the late 80s/early 90s to be a super good skateboarder but now I like just going out and hanging out. I get to travel and skate a little bit and I don’t have to be the best. I’ve had a few knee surgeries and my knees are shot so I have to take it somewhat easy these days.
What do you make of today’s scene?
I’d hate to be a pro skateboarder in this day and age. The amount of pressure is insane and people are just doing such gnarly things. You could kill yourself on some of the things they’re doing or injure yourself for the rest of your life. They’re so fucking good right now!
I heard your first re-issue on Santa Cruz sold out in 2 days. That says a lot about your roots and influence in skateboarding. How does that make you feel?
Yeah, I think right when they released it they sold right out. I rode for Santa Cruz from 89′-93′ then I popped round other companies like 151, Dogtown again, some little garage projects. They were doing re-issues and said I wanted to be back on the team. I never thought I’d be back on Santa Cruz again.
I bet you never thought you would have a trick named after you either when you first started either?
Yeah, Salad Dressen, I guess Kevin Thatcher from Thrasher magazine named it from that. I called it the windshield wiper, ’cause it’s kinda more like that. I did it kind of as a joke – it’s a long story. On mini ramp we’d always do it backside to slow down and set up for the next trick. I was skating with Lucero and Grosso on this little mini ramp one day and decided to do it frontside. I did it with my truck just a little on the coping and didn’t think much of it. I thought it was kinda kooky. I was in SF with Bryce Kanights and Tommy Guerrero after this and they had a mini ramp there that we sessioned. I was fucking around and could extend it further and that was the day they started calling it the Salad Grind. I never dreamed of doing it down a handrail or on pool coping and people just took it further.
You’ve been involved with skateboarding for about 30 years now, did you ever feel your mainstream involvement was over at a specific time?
Yeah I think ’93-’94 it was out with the old and in with the new so it kinda pushed everyone away but I kept skating. All I’ve ever done is skateboard as a kid so it’s all I’ve ever known. I never thought I’d imagine myself doing another job. I never had a plan B so that’s kinda how I got involved in tattooing.
What day to day things do you get up to when you’re not skating or tattooing?
Not much, I tattoo almost everyday. Just funny stuff like drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. I walk my dog. I watch a lot of travel channels and go on the internet a lot. I go on YouTube, I like YouTube a lot, watching documentaries and interviews with people. I spend a lot of time on YouTube, it’s kinda funny.
Being Friday 13th and 13th question what was the meaning behind the skull and 13 image on the insole of your vans syndicate shoe?
I grew up looking at Chicano and Cholo graffiti (many Dogtown graphics come from their art) and they always use ’13’. I used to see SM13 (Santa Monica) or V13 (Venice). I guess bikers used it too like the 13th letter of the alphabet being M. You know, like M for marijuana. But 13 to me has always been a neighbourhood thing so I tend to use the 13 in many things for some reason. I kinda adopted it. I have a number 13 tattooed right there on my leg but you can get in trouble for that now. It has a gnarlier meaning with the Mexican mafia.
Look out for Eric Dressen on your travels and enjoy hucking out a Salad Grind in his honour this week. Thanks to Heel Bruise for hooking this up.
Watch Eric and the Santa Cruz team shredding Hawaii.
Sam Beckett carved wicked and took the honours at this weekend’s UK Vert Finals at Alexandra Palace, a comp that provided some incredible skateboarding on the day. Placed between the growling tones of various metal and punk bands on the stage next, this session yet again pushed UK vert skateboarding forwards from all involved on the coping. Andy Scott even treated the crowd to his infamous Scrambled Egg. Ridiculous trick.
The legends session was graced with skating from Steve Caballero and Christian Hosoi. Beckett took the £3000, Sam Bosworth came second and took home £2000, and third placed Jussi Korhonen went home with £1000 in his pocket.
Look out for a full feature from all of the bands involved on the day dropping in our music zine soon.
Sam Bosworth flies high into 2nd. Ph: Jerome Loughran
Andy Scott walks away stoked after a perfect Scrambled Egg.
Back in the 1980’s Del Mar Skate Ranch was the most legendary park in California. A breeding ground for the pro’s that made history over the years, a battlefield for competitions back then too.
A documentary has surfaced covering the golden days featuring rare footage and photos of Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Kevin Staab, Christian Hosoi, Dave Swift, Grant Brittain and many more ripping in the early years of the park. Check out part one of this video feature and get some skate history from here today.
Thrasher have footage of a jam going down at Pedro’s bowl with a host of rippers in tow for the session in Floripa, Brazil. The party included visits from Christian Hosoi, Rune Glifberg, Jeff Grosso, Omar Hassan, Sandro Dias, Duane Peters and the ridiculous skills of Pedro Barros. Click play for handplants, lipslides, no shoes smiths and much, much more.