Branding Masterclass — Trucks

March 27th, 2018 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 21 Comments

Words by Frozen in Carbonite
Collages by Requiem For A Screen

Few choices in life communicate as much about their owner as the skateboard truck. Board companies vary by woodshop, clothiers get bought out by global conglomerates, shoe brands come and go at the mercy of the vicissitudes of fashion, but the Big Three (plus one?) truck brands remain with consistent brand narratives that — for whatever reason — synergize with the most mindblowing slogans in the culture.

With that in mind, and with no end in sight to the #trend of starting brands, we will deconstruct the marketing tactics of the Big Three (plus one?) truck companies, focusing on their most iconic and immortal slogans.

Join me, won’t you?

Five Favorite Parts With Tom Knox

February 15th, 2018 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 4 Comments

Photo by Alex Pires

Never not on a perpetual break from the days when we were doing one of these segments a month. 2018’s first one comes from Tom Knox, one of the leading line choreographers working today. As always, open to any requests for future 5FPs.

Stop Fakin’ 3 — An Interview With Smalls

January 24th, 2018 | 5:10 am | Features & Interviews | 4 Comments

Photo by Kyle Myles

Words & Interview by Frozen in Carbonite and Recordings of Boardings

Pulaski, for connoisseurs of plaza skating, offers the most authentic experience left in North America. One is out in the open yet simultaneously in one’s own pocket of reality. The Capitol looms at the end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the White House stands only a couple of blocks away. The locals know the color schemes of the different law enforcement vehicles that encircle the block and react accordingly. The sheer electricity of the overall experience blows away your local park, no matter how expansive or plaza-like.

Like I said here, the power resides in the marble.

D.C. videography dates back to Sheffey’s A Reason for Living part, but exploded onto the scene via Chris Hall’s New Deal parts and the first issues of 411. Dave Schubert’s camera and Giant Distribution’s willingness to feature their riders at the time offered skating writ large a window into an intimidating but mind-opening scene that overshadowed Love Park for most of the early nineties. In 2018, “east coast” is synonymous with wallrides ‘n shit, but Pulaski locals were just as tech if not moreso than their Embarcadero contemporaries.

In addition to producing generations of rippers, Pulaski has produced as extensive a library of independent scene vids as anywhere — back to True Mathematics’ Prosperity², to the seminal Pitcrew (R.I.P) vid Where I’m From, to the turn-of-the-century classic Pack a Lunch. As computer technology facilitated D.I.Y. video production, more essential documents emerged. Along those lines, we recently caught up with Smalls, the dude behind the longest-standing D.C. video series, to discuss Stop Fakin’ 3 — the third in the trilogy of the same name — and the culture of one of the most prolific scenes in the world.

You can purchase Stop Fakin’ 3 along with the whole trilogy here.

A Short History of New York’s Longest Lines

January 18th, 2018 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 10 Comments

Ricky Oyola, godfather of the east coast “filming a line via just skating random shit on the street”-practice, once expounded on his peak skateboard dream: doing a line through Philadelphia’s then-standing City Hall, into the street, up into the Municipal Services building, back down the stairs, across the street, into Love Park, through Love Park, and end at Wawa.

The closest he got on record was a line from the end of City Hall, through the intersection, and into Love Park in Eastern Exposure 2, but it did establish a lingering precedent for connecting spots. Apart from Ricky and that Joey O’Brien Sabotage 4 line where he starts at Love and ends up in the garage beneath it, spot connecting does not have a rich history in Philadelphia.

Or anywhere, really — because doing a line from one spot, through the street, and to another, is fucking hard. There are variables (people, traffic, pebbles, maybe two sets of security, acts of God), and a pressing anxiety of missing the final trick in an already-long line, which gets amplified by the fact that fifteen other things went right up until that point. As you will soon learn, spot connecting is something most people do for the sake of doing it. In the majority of cases, they stick to their safe tricks.

Like Philadelphia, New York is a dense and layered city. Many of its streets are narrow, and depending on where you are, three or four spots could be across from one another. New York never had a “Big Three,” but it does have three different types of benches on four different street corners, and over the years, skateboarders here have kept their third eyes open and far-sighted.

Sabotage 5 — #theprocess Continues…

January 4th, 2018 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 12 Comments

Photo via @brian_panebianco on IG

Words by Frozen in Carbonite

“The Process” refers to the Philadelphia 76ers’ management philosophy under former General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, Sam Hinkie. In a nutshell, The Process contains three guiding principles:

A. Minimize competitiveness in order to obtain high draft picks.
B. Stockpile those draft picks in order to maximize trade values.
C. Delay “trying to win” until the team drafts a transformational, once-in-a-generation player. Based on the history of the NBA, this is mainly how teams have set themselves up to win championships.

This strategy requires a shit-ton of patience. Nevertheless, over the years “Trust the Process” has become a mantra, a philosophy, and a rallying cry for 76ers fans.

+++++++

Back in the essay on the Philadelphia sports mythos, I focused on #toughness as Philadelphia sports’ guiding principle. Nothing exemplified this in 2017 more than Sabotage 5, in which Brian Panebianco and his usual suspects — plus some new additions — skated Love Park until every last slab of marble had been extracted and nothing remained but a few dirt banks into which to ollie.

On the other side of town, perhaps as a form of karmic balancing of the universe or some shit, something happened to the 76ers basketball club: They became sick-ass fun to watch.

So here we are, at a crossroad in which the Sixers are displaying flashes of basketball genius, Process believers looked ahead to a promising future, and the Sabotage crew released their final video chapter. As an homage to both #theprocess and the extensive Sabotage legacy, let’s take a deep dive into how the two crews match up.