Halfway through and still rolling strong…
Quartersnacks Celebrates the Decade – The 100 Most Important Events in New York City Skateboarding from 2000 to 2009: 100 to 91, 90 to 81, 80 to 71, 70 to 61, 60 to 51, 50 to 41, 40 to 31, 30 to 21, 20 to 11, 10 to 2, Number one.
50. Mike Wright starts issuing a “bonus” with t-shirt purchases – 2004:
As the Internet slowly eroded the profitability of being a “mobile skateshop” (as Mr. Wright famously declared himself as being), you know, with the low prices on more desirable products, individuals that would sustain their living by hocking skate products at local spots needed to find incentives for their customers in order to keep their business. It was this summer that Mr. Wright began giving people free DVD copies of his footage to customers as a “bonus.”
49. Brian Wenning Leaves Habitat – 2006:
When Brian Wenning forgot that he was capable of doing tricks other than ones that start with the words “switch front shove” or “switch backside,” he decided it was time to change sponsors and go to Plan B. When every kid in New Jersey found out about this, they burned their XL white tees and DC jeans, focused their Habitat board, and slipped into a pair of slim Krew jeans as a passive-aggressive measure against their hero, role model, and stylistic inspiration. It is estimated that approximately 6% of the solid waste to come from New Jersey in 2006 was focused Habitat boards.
48. Jake Johnson invents the wallride – 2009:
Wallrides were discovered in 2009. There is a smidgen of evidence indicating that wallrides had existed some time during the 1980s, but there is hardly any written record of that period in history, so it is mere speculation. Jake Johnson’s Mind Field part was proceeded with widespread increase in wheel scrape marks throughout the city, particularly over walls perpendicular to stair sets. Jake Johnson invented a maneuver, a trick, a mode of transportation, a means by which to defy gravity, and most importantly, a way of life, with the wallride.
47. Flipmode 3: The First Flipmode video premieres at Supreme – 2006:
The release of Flipmode’s third (or first, depending how you look at it), video proved that they were in fact the best skaters in the city and not a bunch of dirty degenerates from Queens breaking windshields, talking into microwaves and doing varial flips.
46. Switch Michael Strobert becomes obsessed with Michelle Branch – 2002:
This is not necessarily all that important, but it seems like a good time to point out that when Switch Mike was 15 to 16 years old, he was obsessed with Michelle Branch.
45. Infamous Skateboards goes under – 2001:
One of the better New York companies to exist throughout the late-90s/early-00s closed its doors early on in the decade. Its short, 15-minute video is a particularly significant document, in that it was quite an effort to track down during the VHS-only, pre-You Tube days, mainly for Bobby Puleo’s ender part before he became the viable lifestyle brand that he is today. Geo Moya has also since been left without a sponsor, but a tee shirt is still tightly wrapped around his head.
44. Brooklyn Academy of Music Ledges Skatestopped – 2002:
Before Brooklyn became land of the cellar doors, musty flannel shirts, and Bud-induced liver diseases, it was home to the best bust-free ledge spot in New York City. It was a seemingly random island of marble that served little purpose beyond absorbing exhaust from midday traffic on Flatbush Avenue, but for us, it was a magical, cramped space of perfect (although slowly eroding) marble ledges, the best manual pad on earth, and the life-threatening ledge to street gap.
43. Dirty Daddy becomes the last certifiable TF legend — 2006:
As Tompkins began to lose its iron fisted grip on the skateboard politics of the 2000s, it slowly went from a place that bred legends like the 1990s Chicago Bulls to a pool of incompetence, banality and simplicity that contained individuals devoid of a single unique facet to their whole mystique. Dirty Daddy however, was the last hurrah for the TF Hall of Fame, and the last time the Tompkins Hall of Fame committee had a regular meeting. Following an unbeatable track record of stories (the explanation behind the nickname is in and of itself one of the TF’s most historic anecdotes) and a readiness to throw down not seen in any post-2004 entries into the TF Hall of Fame, it took a mere five minutes for the committee to mark his approval to this highly distinctive title. Even in 2009, DJ Roctakon has stated that adding Dirty Daddy on Facebook is one of the most significant and rewarding life choices one could make.
42. Rec Shop debuts on NYC public access television – 2004:
Despite the fact that we are stuck in an era of Rob Dyrdek’s Fun Factory, Life of Ryan and Street Dreams, it is reassuring to know that we once had an actual skateboarding TV show that didn’t suck on [public access] television full of montages and genuinely creative skits. A few chunks from it are still available on You Tube.
41. Tito Suarez becomes the leading fashion pioneer of New York skateboarding for the remainder of the decade — 2001:
In a decade that drew an ensemble of both questionable and uninspired fashion choices among the city’s skateboarders, it seems essential to credit those who are true pioneers and trend setters throughout the field. While Brian Wenning and Anthony Pappalardo have been dominant style-inspirations for so many 14-to-18-yeard-olds who grew up watching Photosynthesis, and the majority of New Jersey/Long Island young suburbanites with an affinity for music involving electric guitars drew upon Baker for their wardrobe choices, there were a select few who dared to stand out and be different. Simply put — Tito Suarez, the original man behind Substance Skateboards’ marketing (yes, it has been around for ~10 years, although it was just a sticker company in 2001, and there was a point in time when the second Banks rail was quite literally yellow with Substance stickers and you couldn’t skate from the Banks 9 to Newport without seeing at least one hundred of them on your way) matched his baby blue Venture trucks with his baby blue du-rag.