Branding Masterclass — Hubba Wheels

May 24th, 2017 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 2 Comments

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Words by Frozen in Carbonite

Way back in college, my bros and I vibed the shit out of the business school dudes who walked around in three-piece suits: “Fuck those dudes! Could never be me, man. Just moving money from one place to another…”

Well, as with many things in life, the joke’s on me because, twenty years later, I’m over here Googling how to start an LLC ‘ n shit.

Truth be told, starting a business — via brands, entrepreneurship, startup culture, etc. — is [almost] cooler than skating! However, if you’re considering jumping into the fray of nascent skate brands and feel overwhelmed, one need only look to the heady pre-recession days of the mid-00s and study the most disruptive brand of the pre-Instagram era: The Hubba Wheel Company.

In order to learn something new — switch 360 flips, a musical instrument, lifting — one needs to observe as many examples as possible. Along those lines, we will examine the Hubba Wheel Company’s background and marketing tactics to deconstruct their most #disruptive advertisements. Join me, won’t you?

Film Review: Dumb — The Story of Big Brother Magazine

May 10th, 2017 | 12:04 pm | Features & Interviews | 3 Comments

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It is not easy to write about Patrick O’Dell’s film, Dumb: The Story Of Big Brother Magazine, and Shit: The Big Brother Book within one year of each other without sounding redundant. Even though it hasn’t published an issue in thirteen years, Big Brother holds a unshakeable stake in skateboarding’s collective heart. Thrasher bears perhaps the most recognizable skate brand on the planet, Skateboarder was the first-ever skateboard magazine, but no, more Big Brother, we need more.

Having covered everything from the cult of Cardiel to Menace throughout Epicly Later’d, O’Dell is the best person to sit across from anyone throwing heart eyes at a mammoth of skateboard lore. The linear story of the magazine is told through a series of new interviews, shoddy unseen footage that otherwise only had its audio transcribed, archived clips from newscasts (i.e. interviews with angry parents), and clips from Big Brother‘s video series.

An abridged history of Big Brother was told in the 2007 Steve Rocco documentary, The Man Who Souled the World. Rocco’s few appearances in Dumb cover the same ground as before, where he recounts the infamous story of why he started the mag in the first place. Unlike the Big Brother book, which apart from the epilogue, was narrated by Sean Cliver and Dave Carnie’s recollections, Dumb‘s interviews cover a wider spectrum of contributors to any and all Big Brother projects.

Five Favorite Parts With Lacey Baker

April 26th, 2017 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 1 Comment

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Photo via Pawn Shop Skate Co

A test for a great movie is whether or not you drop everything and sit there until the end — no matter how many times you’ve seen it — when you catch it on TV. (I’ve probably wasted weeks of my life watching Heat with commercials.) There’s a similar test for a great video part. In our age of fifty skate videos dropping a day, a tried and true metric is the “Have you seen?”-test: how many people asked you if you saw a specific one of those fifty parts?

Lacey’s “My World” part was 2017’s first “Have you seen?”-part. Even people I knew with a casual interest in skateboarding (the “I check Monday Links for the ‘Quote of the Week'” crowd) were asking if I saw the Lacey part, and for good reason. We linked up with her to see the inspirations behind what will inevitably be one of the year’s best.

An Interview With Mitchell Wilson

April 5th, 2017 | 1:03 pm | Features & Interviews | 9 Comments

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Words & Interview by Zach Baker
Photos by Colin Sussingham & Max Hull

We’ve all heard more than a few skateboarders use the term “family” to describe their group of friends, mutually-funded acquaintances, or more broadly, everyone who has ever owned a skateboard, whether or not they’ve even met. But I think I speak for all of us when I say that it has always been a source of fascination when you hear of people that skate together who are, well, actually siblings. Guys like Jonas and Jeremy Wray, Mike and Quim Cardona, Dustin and Tristan Henry — it always seemed so nice to grow up with a brother or sister who also skated.

Courtesy of Max Hull’s owl-like awareness, it was brought to our attention that a number of Slap commenters are a bit confused about the genealogy of contemporary skateboarding’s most popular brothers: the Wilsons. Mitchell Wilson, a.k.a. Crazy Mitch From Philly, is Andrew and Johnny’s oldest brother. As you maybe know, and in keeping with the higher-publicized talents of the his bloodline, Mitch is anomalously fucked at skating. What separates Mitch is that, unlike his brothers who are very much a part of the multi-billion-dollar skate industry, Mitch has always been untethered by the throes of brand affiliation and marketing teams, which has granted him the liberty to say, post an Instagram story of himself scribbling on his teeth with Crayons, dive headfirst into a pile of garbage, or say generally whatever he wants with minimal repercussion save maybe a black eye.

While many of his compatriots have migrated north in search of art-handling gigs and diamondplated metal, Mitchell has been downright stubborn in his affinity for Philadelphia, so much so that he allegedly gives his whole family Philadelphia t-shirts and souvenirs for Christmas every year.

So, to clarify, Mitchell, the guy who does wallie kickflips, slappy switch smith grinds, and that really, really long winding slappy in Paych, is the oldest brother of Andrew and John Wilson. Josh Wilson is not at all related.

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Who’s your favorite skateboarder?

I didn’t have one for years because I never even thought about it, but when I started working at Woodward, every kid would ask me that, so, I guess, Tony Trujillo.

What’s up with wallie kickflips?

I was trying frontside wallie backside 180s, and it flipped one time. I figured out how to make it flip and just tried to land on it. I can’t really do it anymore, it was just a passing thing. But I’ve tried heelflip ones and I’ve tried them switch.

Five Favorite Parts With Andrew Allen

March 29th, 2017 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 11 Comments

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Photo by Ben Colen

Andrew Allen has always added a dose of something special and unexpected to spots and tricks that we may have otherwise grown too familiar with. His string of parts since Propeller is marked by unconventional takes on classic spots, and an unparalleled eye for choosing tricks that look just the right amount different from the way any other skater may do them. It came as no surprise that he listed five parts that have never come up in this series before :)