An Interview With Adam Abada & Zach Baker, Two Guys Who Skated From New York To Philadelphia

January 27th, 2016 | 5:30 am | Features & Interviews | 13 Comments

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Hating New Jersey is hating America, because all of America is inside New Jersey. It’s the fourth smallest state, but it has Alpine celebrity mansions reminiscent of Beverly Hills, run-down cities that would fit inside the rust belt, Cape May retiree communities you’d expect in south Florida, a poor man’s Vegas called Atlantic City, overpriced river-view condos not unlike in its neighboring New York, beachside towns where Jersey Shore is very far from exaggerated, politicians that make fictionalized Jersey criminals seem tame, white trash, midgetvilles — and that’s only scratching the surface. Unless you’re making a crack about how confusing the turnpike is, a joke at New Jersey’s expense is a joke at our nation’s expense.

Adam Abada and Zach Baker, two guys who skated from Boston to New York in 2012, followed up “Backstreet Atlas” with a ten-day skate through their home state. “The Backstreet Atlas Guide to New Jersey” premieres at Kinfolk Studios in Brooklyn tomorrow, but until then, here is a quick conversation about their journey.

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Is there anything you learned on the skate from Boston to New York that you took into consideration when planning this one?

Zach: We knew how far we could skate in a day, which is about thirty miles.

Adam: There was no worry about whether or not we could do it. Our friend Everett Brown walked from Philadelphia to New York in three days, so that was an inspiration behind this trip.

Z: Yeah, he’s an artist.

Was there always an idea of doing another long distance skate?

Z: The pace of skateboarding long distance is something people respond to in a good way. We got to meet people in a different way than if we were walking or on bikes.

A: Something about telling people you’re skating through piques their attention. People seem more down. They’ve heard of bike trips; you could bike to Philadelphia in a day, so it’s easier for them to understand.

Z: It’s what skateboards were created for. They get you from point A to point B. They’re for traveling, but it’s still hard for people to fathom them being used for that.

A: That’s the thing about skateboards — they make distance real. The way we uncovered places on the Boston trip seemed like a cool thing we could do in a state that we were both from. There was less risk because we both knew New Jersey better than the middle of New England.

Five Favorite Parts With Wade Desarmo

January 22nd, 2016 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 15 Comments

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Photo by Corn

It is a known fact that Canadians excel over Americans in many facets of living, yet never get the credit. Skateboarding is no exception, as many talents have fallen by the wayside of American attention spans in favor of inferior homegrown products.

During our DGK company retreat, we had a chance to speak with one of the few Canadians who broke through the glass ceiling and into the hearts of American ledge enthusiasts everywhere. We’re talking about none other than the legendary Wade D., the only Canadian to make the c. 2012 phat stylez master list. It should come as no surprise that he’s a fan of both the [Italian] American Gino and the Canadian Gino.

Quartersnacks for DGK in fine skate shops now :) Available online from 35th Ave, Black Sheep, FTC, Premier, Mom’s Sweet Shop, Palace 5ive, Pitcrew and Uprise.

The QS Year in Review Countdown: 5-1

December 31st, 2015 | 12:18 pm | Features & Interviews | 11 Comments

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Photo by Mike Heikkila

Last post of the year. Be safe out there tonight. Previously: 10-6, 15-11, 20-16, 25-21.

5. The Year of Columbus Park

For a spot that has been around for so long, Columbus Park didn’t become the main only place people go if they leave L.E.S. Park until recently. There was Puleo’s INFMS line, A.V.E’s ollie over 5050, and the seminal 2002 “Ja$onwear Day” clip that may have been the second time the kinked ledge ever got waxed — but besides routine 2000s video appearances of the ledge, the spot was never a bustling nexus until now. In 2015, it clocked two major video enders, one magazine cover, a newly established A.B.D. docket of tricks done up the two block, and is the place you are most likely to see a group of semi-motivated skateboarders pointing iPhones at each other.

The Year in Spot Checks

December 30th, 2015 | 11:25 am | Features & Interviews | 2 Comments

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Diagram via Charles Rivard, PhD.

Gaps between generations have seemingly insignificant signifiers. For instance, a lot of people now in their teens or even early twenties have lived lives where landlines were a mere novelty. They never had to call their friend’s house and ask for them to be put on the phone (“Stacy can’t talk now, she’s grounded.”) Spending even a few years in landline purgatory, dealing with the anxiety of the unknown on the other end, helped shape your personality in one way or another. We like to think that it helped us relate to people older than us in a closer way than those 5-7 years our junior.

The same could be said of those currently in their late-twenties/early-thirites and spots in New York. Though the much mythologized “Banks during the day, Astor in between, midtown all night”-days never happened for us, we know what it’s like to, you know, at one point have skated a row of marble ledges in lower Manhattan that you didn’t get kicked out of. Kids who grew up meeting at 12th & A or even L.E.S. Park don’t know what that’s like. Those days are a decade back in the past. On the flipside, when a twenty-year-old responds to your “Where you at?” text with “This spot on Mott and Prince,” you know know to get excited because it means they’re more than likely skating a spoonful of asphalt to a traffic barrier.

That midway point gives us a decent perspective upon which to observe the current state of “spots” in New York. Unlike the Dogg Pound, the #tfreport hashtag has not been active. Thus we are sad to announce that there is no “Year in T.F. Obstacles” for this year (previously: 2014, 2013, 2012.) Instead, the QS Twitter began compiling a visual journal of the stuff that people skated, sorta tried to skate, sorta kinda considered skating, or sorta kinda only joked about skating throughout 2015.

The QS Year in Review Countdown: 10-6

December 29th, 2015 | 3:08 pm | Features & Interviews | 8 Comments

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Photo by Brian Kelley

Dude it’s almost 2016. Previously: 15-11, 20-16, 25-21. Don’t forget to vote in our reader’s choice awards. Only two days to go ;)

10. Gillette’s Lafayette & Howard Ollie

This spot has always been a mirage. It looks cool, and is a bit out of place from the rest of the shit you passed along the way, but there’s not much there. The way people skate it also only evolves every ~ten years: what has been a wallride for as long as people have been making the skate from Supreme to the Banks, became a chain-to-manny concoction with Dill’s Skate More part in 2004. And this past year, Austyn Gillette eyed the barely wider-than-a-board slab of concrete at the bottom of the wall, and made the massive [blindsided from traffic] ollie into Howard Street.