It All Started With a Manual — The Skateable History of Columbus Park

July 12th, 2017 | 11:20 am | Features & Interviews | 14 Comments

Skate spots are living, breathing things. They shift with the socioeconomic climate of the time, and position themselves to best adapt with people’s needs. Skateboarding has always been reflective of greater society, so it should come as no surprise that our lives were pushed into Columbus Park as we began to get pushed out of the pricier, glossier haunts that we once frequented in lower Manhattan.

Columbus Park sits on ominous ground. It was built on top of what was once America’s first slum: a hotbed of vice, disease, murder and clashes for control that have been documented in many books and films. Though it would take decades for the neighborhood to rid itself of the notoriety it earned throughout the 19th century, the city built Columbus Park in 1897. A hundred years passed, and then a guy from Clifton, New Jersey came along. The park began its second life as one of the few downtown spots you can skate in 2017 without getting kicked out.

An Interview With The Creator of Skhateyou, the Internet’s Most Mysterious Skateboard Website

June 28th, 2017 | 5:33 am | Features & Interviews | 4 Comments

Dubai

A key feature to the internet’s role in spreading skateboarding across the world is democratic access to spot knowledge. You can become a local in any city with a skate scene through a mere Google search. The spots page is the most common tale of how people discover QS, and QS began as nothing more than a ripoff of the Metrospective spots page — one of the internet’s first city guides.

Anybody who has travelled in Europe (and even beyond) for skateboarding has been told about Skhateyou, which is a crudely designed skate spot guide reminiscent of Web 1.0 sites plus a Google Map. Though it is most well known for its comprehensive Barcelona page, in recent years, Skhateyou has accumulated spot maps for Chinese skateboard meccas, eastern European cities you’ve never thought to visit, and even cities in the Emirates. There’s next to nothing on Skhateyou.com besides maps and pictures of skate spots, so we tracked down the mysterious good samaritan responsible for remotely tour guiding thousands of European skate trips. (He still wanted to be kept anonymous though.)

+++++++

Where are you from and how did you first get into skateboarding?

I’m from the Italian Alps. I started snowboarding at the end of the 80s with some friends. When the snow would melt, we’d bomb the hill around our place, and of course, I got an instant bug for skateboarding.

When did you first start Skhateyou, and what sparked you initially? Do people help you out with it?

When I started skating in the 80s, it was lame to skate. People thought that it was a kid’s toy and something that I would stop soon. Around 2000, I was still skating, and started to think about saying “fuck you” to everybody who thought you can’t skate when you get older. I thought “Skhateyou” could represent that state of mind; you don’t understand what I’m doing but are still judging me, so Skhateyou. I printed it on a couple of shirts for me and my friends.

I love to travel, and have always been more interested in the spot than the trick. Even a long time ago, it felt natural to shoot pictures of the spots I was skating. I moved to Barcelona in 2006 for one year, and decided to do the website. It felt logical to call it Skhateyou.com.

Do you remember any other skate websites from the time you started? Were any of them direct inspirations onto Skhateyou?

A friend of mine used to do something similar for the south of France — it was called skalpes.fr. I never really thought about it, but it was probably my inspiration. But back in the early 2000s, there weren’t too many skate websites.

That’s A Crazy One

June 14th, 2017 | 5:17 am | Features & Interviews | 5 Comments

3a3a36_d5bea7dc5c684c4e89332b8228c60953

Imagery from New York skateboarding’s most romanticized decade is finite. The city spent half of the nineties without an industry, so all the existing artifacts have been reblogged, reposted and #TBT-ed a million times — Zoo, Kids, Ari Marcopoulos’ Metropolitan ads, a couple early 411 or Transworld montages, and then it runs scarce.

What does remain is people’s private collections (e.g. you may remember the homemade SkateNYC videos that made their way online back in 2011.) High and Mel Stones are two girls who grew up alongside many of the names you’d immediately associate with that era of skateboarding in New York, touting a camera from their respective school photography programs along with them. After posting outtakes on their Instagram over the past year, they are releasing a book of personal photographs from those years to celebrate the lifelong friendships they created in that time. We asked Mel to caption some of those images. The book can be purchased on ThatsACrazyOne.com, and all proceeds will be donated to the photo department at Lincoln High School in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.

Five Favorite Parts With The Bunt

June 7th, 2017 | 5:30 am | Features & Interviews | 11 Comments

the bunt 5fp

In running this hyper-specific multi-thousand dollar skateboard media conglomerate, it’s easy to get isolated in a bubble of what comes through the QS news desk. The Bunt, perhaps more than any other skate media outlet, has expanded our horizons. By embracing the sports podcast format to near-parody levels (…those sponsor intros), they have created a safe space for themselves to nerd-out, and for pros to feel more comfortable letting loose than they would in say, a magazine interview. The Bunt has made me care about skaters whose parts I’ve never remembered or checked for, solely off the strength of them giving Céphas and Donovan a great interview.

To switch up only asking pros and videographers their favorite parts, Céphas and Donovan gave us two of their favorite parts of all time, along with one that they could both agree on for The Bunt’s personal canon.

Branding Masterclass — Hubba Wheels

May 24th, 2017 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 4 Comments

hubba wheels branding masterclass v2

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?