Skaters With Jobs: A Special Investigative Report

May 20th, 2015 | 11:39 am | Features & Interviews | 13 Comments

andrew_wilson_wallride_ready_set

Photo via Colin Sussingham

A job is like kryptonite to a skateboarder. A normal schedule, conceding to authority figures, responsibility — these bare minimum characteristics of employment are pretty unappealing. Many skaters’ job histories involve quitting abruptly or getting fired hungover. It’s not exactly an activity that promotes “growing up,” at least in the traditional sense.

One of the most commonly asked questions by people on the outside looking into New York skateboarding is “How do you afford to live there?” San Francisco might’ve just knocked us off for highest cost-of-living in America, but surviving here still costs a lot, especially if you’re intent on staying for more than a summer or two. A bit has been written on jobs in skateboarding; there’s less information out there on what type of jobs most skateboarders actually have. For as long as many of my friends have been above adult working age (post-“slumming it out to avoid any semblance of responsibility”-age), a sizable portion of them have worked for set companies.

This may come as a surprise, but a set company makes sets. The background of most ads or commercials you see is fake. Say a fashion company wants to do a photo shoot with a bunch of babes. Some creative director will scream at a bunch of people with MFAs to sketch out a concept for the backdrop. That concept gets given to a set-design company, who in New York, will potentially give it to a responsible skateboarder who they employ, who then, delegates work out to a team of maybe less-responsible-but-still-responsible-enough skateboarders to build out and deliver to the client.

Chances are, when you flip through some magazine and see a Victoria’s Secret or Ralph Lauren ad, the entire background was built by skateboarders you see in videos on the internet. See, it ain’t only Olson and Rieder — skaters come into fashion on all levels fam.

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Photo via Dave Dowd

After years of hearing about this industry that employs at least a few people in every skate crew throughout the city (“can’t skate for three weeks, I’m on a job”), it made sense to shine a light on it. We asked Lurker Lou, a decade-plus-long set-builder / C.E.O. of Iron Claw Skates, Fred Gall, a freelance refugee in the set-building industry / Governor of New Jersey, and Paul Coots, a project manager at Ready Set who’s been able to help many skaters keep money in their pocket — about why the hell every skater works for a set-design company.

Talking ‘Bout a Whole Lot of Spinach

May 18th, 2015 | 5:50 am | Daily News | 5 Comments

olson air

Extreme. Photo via Gigliotti.

281-330-8004 x 917-692-2706.

HD video blog #11 from Johnny Wilson even though Transworld commenters hate it ;)

Forrest Edwards ain’t for contest judges, he’s for the people.

Shocked to see that the new Staten Island skatepark has straight, normal ledges. NY Skateboarding takes a look at Faber Park. Looks like Astoria but with more hubbas.

Didn’t know bearing companies really go on “tour” — Bones Swiss has a new Euro tour vid out with a bunch of really good B. Worrest footage. Sorta miss the era when you could still put a really long manual in a video :(

This has been online for eight years, but saw it reposted a bit on Tumblr: raw footage of Anthony Correa from 1997. Mostly Houston and S.F. stuff. Wish there was more footage of the dude out there (or at least a version of his Mixtape 2 part that didn’t feature a rapper who actually said “my crew packed full of nuts like an Almond Joy.”) Also, that back smith on the Seaport bench in the first Static video is still reigning atop the smith grind hall of fame nearly twenty years later.

Not sure which “Summer Trip to New York” cycle this should even count for…it came out in 2015 but was seemingly filmed in 2014. Anyway, some Australians who really love helicopter shots skate around New York for a bit. The kickflip up / turn around / switch flip down line at Columbus Park is awesome.

Russians produce bleaker skate footage than even the Brits. They love tracksuits too.

Always surprised to remember that Riverside Skatepark still exists.

Happy to hear the lease at House of Vans was renewed. Place was a real lifesaver these past few winters when you just want to listen to Drake and skate with the boys.

There are the Boil the Ocean posts that I sorta get, and then there are the ones that I sorta don’t. The new one is in the latter category.

The low barrier in front of Punjabi on Avenue A and Houston is gone.

R.I.P. Chinx Drugs. “Let him be remembered for being one of the few rappers who didn’t waste Harry Fraud’s production.”

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Iguodala probably should’ve been called for the foul here, but Steph hit a shot behind two three point-lines. Big no thanks to the Los Angeles Clippers for allowing this excruciating-to-watch Houston team to make it to the conference finals. You guys are horrible and hate people who watch basketball.

Quote of the Week: “Vaping is the rollerblading of smoking.” — Billy Rohan

Ok, who do we talk to about the New York version?

#TRENDWATCH2015: Full Spring Report

May 15th, 2015 | 5:02 am | Daily News | 15 Comments

polo hats

Spring is here, the ladies r looking sexy and the footage is more fashionable than ever. Our Fashion Desk observes some of S/S 15’s most notable developments.

Sending a Photo of the Polo Hat Rack at Macy’s to Your Company’s Headwear Designer as a Reference Image

What’s going on in the embroidery industry? Is there any explanation for why the average embroidery size on a hat in 2015 cannot exceed 3/4ths of an inch in height? How much of a testament is it to the Lifshitz legacy that nearly fifty years later, skateboard companies are clawing over each other to outdo Ralph’s masterful simplicity? Why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets? Why is @dropolo the most underrated? Why you gotta do me like that?

hatz

Streets Need That Muska Epicly Later’d Fam

May 13th, 2015 | 4:14 pm | Daily News | 17 Comments

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#jersey

Short of maybe an Epicly Later’d with the entire original Zoo York team (that’s never happening), it’s hard to think of one as desperately needed as one with The Muska.

The “Occasionally Awesome” Podcast dropped an episode with Ed Templeton yesterday, which tells the story of a fateful night when Muska got kicked off Toy Machine (at the 31:20 mark.) There’s no candidate equipped to tell the tale of the ~1998-to-mid-2000s “rockstar era” of skateboarding like The Muska. Kerry Getz is cool but he ain’t kick it with Paris Hilton et al in Las Vegas superclubs.

If you were to re-create a less-dark version of Boogie Nights, except base it on the turn of the millennium, pre-high speed internet skate industry rather than the porn industry at the advent of home video, the Dirk Diggler figure would have to be based on The Muska. (The Welcome to Hell premiere night is clearly the start of act two — it’s set up almost too perfect.) Paul Thomas Anderson probably lost my business card or something (I have the treatment ready to go man), but until he finds it, the crew over at VBS really needs to get it together and work some magic.

And let us not forget the time when Mike V. took on an entire security staff so he “could rescue The Muska from the bad guys.” It’s baffling why skateboarders keep finding themselves making these awful, heavy-handed motivational skate movies, when the most cinematic skate career just sits there as an anecdote on some Podcast with Ed Templeton for three minutes.

PTA, my e-mail is on the contact page.

Da Fam On Da Gram

May 11th, 2015 | 2:03 pm | Daily News | 7 Comments

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Photo via Brian Kelley

If you need some motivation to help you power through the week, Khaled has a new Breakfast Club interview. He’s been meditating, swimming, and is considering flying.

This was awesome: Jim Hodgson uploaded a “lost” German Nieves part from 1997. Great watch, especially considering there aren’t a ton of all New York-based full parts from back then. R.I.P. Hoboken Ledges

Alex Olson from Bianca Chandon's favorite skater’s part from Life is Goodie is now online. Buy a DVD copy of the video here.

The two guys who skated from Boston to New York are skating somewhere far again.

It’s gotta be amazing to live in a place that closes down a legendary skate spot (that’s utilized by absolutely no one else), promises to build a skatepark in exchange, and somehow doesn’t completely fuck it up. That place has something like ~20% unemployment for people under 25 and also feels like a Groundhog’s Day-esque vortex after a while, but hey man, you can sk8.

Greg Hunt broke down how terrible the process of clearing music rights for skate videos is. Yo but you don’t gotta clear that shit for the Gram tho.

Brian Anderson and Mark Gonzales made a downtown to midtown bro cam clip.

Zoo is reissuing Matt Reason’s Keys deck. All the proceeds go to Matt’s family.

Boom game next level down in Virginia.

Another YouTube compilation from a classic skate spot! Real life.

Phil Rodriguez in slow motion at the Forrest Hills park.

Is pontificating on Koston skateboarding’s version of pontificating on Kobe?

A bunch of the Bronze dudes + Rich Homie Quan + San Francisco.

Confused because a) why is Vogue covering skate products? and b) how dare they snub Alex Olson from Bianca Chandon?

Shorty’s made it outside, past the walls.

$82,000 Snacks.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Courtside angle of Rose’s Game 3 winner. Glad to see the dude doing what he was doing when he was the youngest MVP in league history. Rooting for him, but that series is probably going to seven games…

Quote of the Week: “In all honesty, Daniel Lutheran had my favorite part.” — Pryce Holmes

Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan aren’t making music together anymore but he’s making music with Jamie xx? These rappers, man :(