The Backstreet Atlas Guide to New Jersey

July 27th, 2016 | 6:38 am | Daily News | 7 Comments

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New Jersey is impossible to ignore when you’re indulging the mythology of skateboarding. (Thrasher forgetting to give Fred Gall a S.O.T.Y. trophy for the past twenty years is a topic for another day I suppose…) You can talk all the shit you want on the nation’s greatest state, but in reality, at least two of your top five skaters are from there. And for all we know, the Muska might not even be with us today if not for the bravery of one, Michael V. Vallely — born in a New Jersey hospital.

But what do you REALLY know about New Jersey besides the turnpike, Tony Soprano, Jersey Dave, and it containing the global headquarters of I.K.S.R.T.F.O? Adam Abada and Zach Baker, two native New Jersey-ians who once upon a time INSULTINGLY opted to skate through New England rather than the glorious state of their upbringing, decided to take it all back and find out what happens in the majestic home of Brian Wenning and Lockdown Skateboards.

TWS posted the short film of their 100+ mile journey this morning, which chronicles the vast diversity of America’s greatest place from the George Washington Bridge in New York to the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia.

P.S. Happy [belated] July 26th everyone.

Previously: An Interview With Two Guys Who Skated from New York to Philadelphia

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.

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 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 :(

Weekend Viewing: Backstreet Atlas

August 23rd, 2013 | 4:55 am | Daily News | 3 Comments

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The Ride Channel was nice enough to run Backstreet Atlas, the mini doc about two guys skating from Boston to New York, on their YouTube page. You might remember that we interviewed Adam and Zach about their journey back in April.

Living in New York, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming the entire world revolves around you. (At least until a hurricane comes through and you realize you’re just on an island with expensive coffee in a corner of the Atlantic Ocean…) People barely consider nearby cities outside of Philadelphia, Boston, D.C. and maybe Baltimore, but the northeast is a pretty big place. They were able to condense their two hundred-mile / two-week trip into a twenty-minute video, and while it doesn’t even have a big flip in it (!!!), it’s a fun video that does a great job of getting you hyped to explore a bit further than your own backyard, or just to go skate in general.

Solid work from all those involved. Have a good weekend.

Alternate Vimeo Link. “Keep it real, I guess.”

An Interview With Adam Abada & Zach Baker, The Two Guys Who Skated From Boston to New York

April 17th, 2013 | 5:12 am | Features & Interviews | 5 Comments

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There are obviously more serious things going on with Boston right now, but here is a quick lighthearted distraction from that whole situation. This past August, these two guys skated from Boston to New York City — twenty-five miles at a time on hard wheels — stopping in New England towns that your average skateboarder would only know from exit signs on I-95. The short video of their journey, “Backstreet Atlas,” premieres at the Jane Hotel (113 Jane Street) at 8 P.M. on April 18 (tomorrow.)

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How did this idea come about?

A: It was initially a joke. We talked about skating from Boston to New York without ever having the intention of doing it for a long time. We were having a conversation about skating distances and one day Zach was like, “I’m gonna skate back home from Boston” one day. It wasn’t an epiphany or anything, the joke just became more of a good idea. We entertained it for so long, that we just decided to go for it.

Z: We first planned to do it two years ago. First it was supposed to be in the fall, then spring, then Adam hurt his knee, so it kept getting pushed back.

What was the process of getting it from being a joke to an actual trip?

A: First, we thought we were gonna wing it and just skate, but the more we thought about it, it made sense for us to plan to hit up cool stuff along the way. We weren’t gonna make a movie. Then figured if we were gonna do it, it’d potentially be worth sharing. We planned on shooting whatever interesting things we see along the way, but nothing specific. We did want to go to all the skate shops though.