#TRENDWATCH2013: Triangles

triangles copy

Navigating the volatile skateboard industry is no easy task for prospective small business owners. A few blunders with art direction and hires of skaters preoccupied by beer or art, and sixteen months later, they’re back telling the old story about how “nobody starts a skateboard company to make money.” But recent start-ups have found a believed-to-be shortcut to success: triangles.

Over the past several years, Palace seems to have written a blueprint on how to succeed in the hardgoods market with three vertices. Using a Penrose triangle, the brand has been able to win over older nerds jaded by a kid-targeted skate industry, the world’s best Instagramer, London socialites, dyslexic counterfeiters, and pretty much anyone else who doesn’t spend an unhealthy amount of time on the internet arguing about how Shawn Powers “isn’t good enough to be sponsored.” Such success was unprecedented for newly established companies in the post-2008 meltdown world, and the triangle was front and center, even falling victim to easily amused parodists.

Those who can’t leave da game alone because da game may or may not need them took notice, and likely structured their business plans with triangles in mind.

More »

#TRENDWATCH2013: “Chic Skater Turbans”

chic skater turban

Never one for banality, the dreamboat pro who brought you four-figure griptape continues to fuse together skateboarding and high fashion. Much like how girls and the companies that sell them things re-appropriated the headscarves of observant Muslim women into an overpriced luxury item, Alex Olson adopted a traditional Tom Penny t-shirt head wrap into something for fashion-forward skaters in warm climates (note the intricacies of how it is tied.) Though your average non-triangular skater #trend evades the female eye (e.g. girls only like camo on themselves, on other girls, and in theory), Liv Tyler, star of the documentary film, Armageddon, took notice and offered her compliments via a Max B adlib.

While Penny may have intended utilitarian purposes with his creation, Alex’s astute fashion sense couldn’t let this pass as a mere summertime cool-off device. Expect his pro model skater turban and signature griptape to debut at this upcoming New York Fashion Week in Chanel’s F/W 2013 Ready-To-Skate collection. Owwwwww!!!

Happy week before Fashion Week, everybody!

#TRENDWATCH2013: Televisions


Loose Trucks Max — Blunt stall. Photo by Colin Sussingham.

TVs are the first must-have commodity in the impending 2013 “Trip to New York” cycle (slated to begin in April.) With recent studies indicating that Americans watch up to 3 1/2 more hours of TV on computers than on actual televisions, many TVs are ending up in the trash. Naturally, northeastern skateboarders who love skating garbage took notice, and TVs began to gain on the refrigerator’s marketshare in the “Most Frequently Skated Household Appliance” category. #Trendwatch2013 analysts expect that tricks on televisions will graduate from mere novelties, to modern-day staples of the “authentic” New York web clip checklist. Tricks on abandoned cars and wallrides on porous surfaces (e.g. chain link fences) have also been able to make this leap in recent years.

Could this be one giant skaters-go-to-art-school-and-get-crazy-ideas-from-smoking-too-much concoction intended to be a critique of America’s TV addiction? Is it performance art? Are we on the brink of scanning Craigslist curb alerts for free TVs instead of thinking about spots to skate before we call our friends on Saturday mornings? Did @SeinfeldToday fall off? Is there an industrious crew of skaters performance artists intent on making the first-ever all-TV skate clip? And if so, will they consider Kingpin Skinny Pimp, Yo Gotti and 8ball’s bass-heavy masterpiece, “TVs,” for music supervision? Does anyone like Criminal Intent more than SVU?

The answer to all of these questions, except the last two, is probably “yes.”


Kevin Tierney — Photo by Brian Kelley

More »

The Events That Defined New York City Skateboarding in 2012: 10-6 + 2013 Predictions

lou ruining skateboarding

70% chance of snow for the last weekend of 2012. New Year’s Eve plans? Nets head coach suggestions? Indoor skate spot recommendations? Highest bidder for an unauthorized House of Vans key duplicate? Who’s excited for the new season of Girls? Previously: #s 25-21, 20-16, 15-11. Expect 5-1 on New Year’s Eve.

10. Lurker Lou Ruins Skateboarding

Skateboarders hate everything. It becomes more evident by the day, as the anonymity provided by Hella Clips comments supplants the Slap forum as the skateboard internet’s epicenter of negativity. But we won’t stand for that negativity in our reality shows! This past spring, Lurker Lou — who, looking at it as objectively as possible, didn’t “hate” *that* bad — spewed his bearded criticisms on a bunch of youngsters looking to “make it” via the “One in a Million” reality show fiasco. He hurt feelings, crushed dreams, snapped boards and ruined any fun there was to be had in riding a skateboard for the remainder of human existence, which unfortunately, did not end on December 21st. (No existence is better than existence on an earth with Lou.)

What a jerk!

More »