The Zoo York Institute of Design

May 31st, 2012 | 10:11 am | Time Capsule | 16 Comments

In the introduction to his interview with Zered Bassett, Chris Nieratko details how Zoo York was once a source of pride for east coast skaters. A few buyouts and a decade later, nobody sets up a Zoo board with a geographic bias in mind anymore. Even if the company completely phases out of skating, people will forever nerd out over their first three videos (Mixtape, at this point, is just as much of a hip-hop classic a la Wild Style or Style Wars as a classic skate video), and chances are, most who began skating after Zoo ceased being any sort of an east coast status symbol have seen those videos and cried about how all the spots are gone.

You can’t type “zoo york ads” into a Vimeo search bar and get any results, so a lot of younger kids won’t see the old Zoo ads. (They probably won’t see the new ones either…do kids still look at magazines?) Those ads are just as full of classic nineties east coast iconography as the original videos.

The Zoo ads throughout the nineties were “MAD HIP-HOP YO,” at a time when that meant more than leaving comments about how Lil’ Wayne sucks on every pre-2000 rap video’s YouTube page. Other companies even jocked their whole hip-hop scrapbook vibe when it was appropriate: Transworld styled article layouts for east coast skaters with Zoo’s look (see here), west coast companies would run Zoo-esque ads for their east coast riders (see here and here), and start-up east coast brands like Illuminati, Metropolitan, and Capital all had a bit of Zoo DNA in their ads. It’s unfortunate that now, even when paired with a sick photo, Zoo ads look pretty generic.

Thanks to the internet’s leading scanner-based skate sites, we gathered a handful of ads from 1994-2000 into one place. The scans are stolen from The Chrome Ball Incident, Police Informer, and Skate.ly.

This Is What Skate Shoes Looked Like Ten Years Ago

April 4th, 2012 | 10:34 am | Time Capsule | 40 Comments

(Click to enlarge. Thanks to Alex Dymond for the mags from which the scans come from.)

The gratuitous air bubble is an oft-overlooked entry on the “Worst Trends in Skateboarding” list.

It’s easy to get nostalgic for classic shoes from the past. We have fond recollections of the ÊS Koston 1s (one of the few times the air bubble “worked”) and the Lakai Staple (even if our memories tend to slim their bulky construction down a bit), but forget that they had to co-exist with some of the ugliest shoes known to man. More often than not, the prototypical late-90s / early-2000s moon boot began with an air bubble. The Osiris D3 was the most notorious of the bunch, but there are other equally hideous offenders that we tend to forget about.

This infographic is from a 2001 issue of Stance, which was Transworld’s short-lived shot at a “lifestyle” magazine a la Complex. It accompanies an article that breaks down Jordan Brand’s use of air bubbles in basketball shoes, and is meant to illustrate how “air technology” made its way into skateboarding.

Today, it provides an overview of just how insane the average skate shoe looked back then, not to mention clues as to why half of these companies aren’t around anymore. It worked for the Koston 1 and Reynolds 1, but it didn’t work for a whole lot of others. People don’t come to terms with the absurdity of most trends until long after they pass, so there’s nothing wrong with us admitting we were psyched on a few of these back when they came out.

Thank God there are kids comfortable with jumping down 15 sets in Old Skools and Janoskis nowadays, right? Without them, people would still think that air bubble has a reason to exist. Shout out to the Dunk / Jordan 1, the Half-Cab, and the Chuck Taylor.

4 Young Jeezy Albums > 4 Years of College

March 5th, 2012 | 2:20 pm | Daily News | 10 Comments

It’s chill that Jeezy chose to cash out at the best slice spot in Manhattan, out of all places.

Given the tremendous momentum of the #phatstylez movement, the QS Fashion Desk will slowly be streamlined into a dedicated Phat Stylez website. Until that happens, you can browse recent happenings in the world of Phat Stylez through the movement’s Instagram tag.

A bunch of Swedes took a trip to New York in 1998, and uploaded the 15-year-old video of their journey online. Features a backside flip over the Trump Tower six rail from the illustrious Geo Moya, mad Rhythm cargo pants (#phatstylez?), and too many reasons to tear up over long-gone spots. Shout to the Broadway Bump.

Skateboarders are essential for our cities — From a lecture by Iain Borden, the director of architectural history and theory, delivered at University College London.”

“Kelly Green Wave Rider” is an iPhone clip featuring Zered Bassett, Joey Pepper, Sweet Waste, Gangsta Boo, and a modern rendition of Mark Morrison’s 1996 masterpiece.

With a few more Jordan-inspired skate shoes coming out these days, which skate shoe company is going to be the first to re-imagine the Ewing 33 Hi?

The Grove Street PATH station in Jersey City seems pretty trife these days. This same thing probably happened 10 times over this past weekend after that awful St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Tyga Held At Gunpoint In Canada & Forced To Dance To ‘Rack City?’” Already the news headline of the year. But it kept getting better: “It was funny to see Tyga dancing with his doggie bag under his arm. While Tyga was dancing he said ‘Oh my god, what’s going on.'”

Four years ago, Dobbin Block, New York’s most notorious skate house, uploaded a trailer for their upcoming video project. Many assumed its production had been marred by alcohol and other familiar trappings of New York. We feared it would never be released. Well, several inside sources revealed that the finished product is upon us, and set for release this month. Revisit the original Useless Times trailer below.

Future’s “Gone To The Moon” = Nina Simone cover? Sick.

Previously: Dobbin Block 2011 Flip Cam, “New footage” edit from 2006, Dobbin does Flushing, Dobbin 2010 4th of July.

Quote of the Week:


It’s going to be 60 on Wednesday, and 65 on Thursday. Quit your job, cut school, etc.

Important YouTube Finds: “Collage”

February 10th, 2012 | 11:51 am | Time Capsule | 11 Comments

Boss Bauer discovered this video upon a cursory “Steven Cales” YouTube search. It’s made by Danny Minnick, who we’ll guess was a prominent filmer between roughly 1996 and 2002. Collage is a gumbo of projects he worked on, mostly set in southern California, and annoyingly broken up into twelve, two-to-five-minute segments on YouTube. The first installment has Rob Welsh, A.V.E., and Fred Gall (sporting his trademark rolled up pants leg, backwards hat look…Sidebar: Has a skater victimized by 90s fashion ever filmed a trick rocking goggles a la Seth Green in Can’t Hardly Wait?) skating the Venice Beach Graffiti Pits and a mini Menace section at the end with appearances by Kareem, Pupecki, Cales, etc. Deeper into the video, there’s Fulfill-era Shorty’s footage, Guilty-era Shorty’s footage (*shudder*), a Harold Hunter appearance, and a glimpse into the pinnacle of the Baker Piss Drunx period. One section contains snowboarding edited to Outkast’s “Bombs Over Baghdad,” so you might want to skip that.

Thanks to the original uploader. Part one of twelve embedded below. Not going to embed all twelve, so just click around the right side under all the related videos. Each section is a small chapter of at least one nostalgia point from the late-90s/early-2000s that people nerd out over.

Continued in part two here

The Back of Union

October 20th, 2011 | 9:44 am | Time Capsule | 1 Comment

NY Skateboarding posted the exact same clips yesterday, so please pardon any redundancy.

Falling in line with other archival treasures that surfaced earlier this year, here are two great lifestyle-ish skate clips featuring Harold Hunter, Rodney Torres, Steve Rodriguez, and others. They cover a wide array of nostalgia points: excellent sneaker choices that would be seen as “retro” should they be worn today, the swooshy Adidas track pants that the 90s were quite fond of, a fence-lacking Banks wall, the original “Back of Union,” and perhaps most notable for those who enjoy making their lungs black, a $2.35 price-tag on a pack of cigarettes. It is also good to know that Rodney was capable of 360 flip lipsliding a handrail fifteen-years ago. Can’t say anyone should be nostalgic for skating in Northface jackets with snow on the ground though…

Check out Manolo’s channel on YouTube for more clips. (Not to be confused with the guy who does all the re-edits.) There’s almost seventy of them and they cover about fifteen years of footage.