Sunday, November 27, 2016

eBay Find

8.75 x 32 fish shape deck with minor scuffs and therefore a majorly discounted price. Sold at $14.01 USD after 5 bids. Couple that with $8 shipping and I have a twenty-two dollar deck on the way to ride.

Jeff's Best of 2016

Not to rush things or anything, but parts of this year have sucked really bad. But there has been skateboarding, and that is always good. This year we switched from wax to Salba sauce, had some nice father and son slappy sessions, and recently enjoyed some Thanksgiving skating at the Matt Hughes Skatepark. And, as always, I am keeping a watchful eye on products of interest to our readers. Most recently it is this Assault Skateboards X SCRAM Nolan Johnson collab deck that has me salivating. A rare scallop cut 1980s inspired shape 10 x 30 deck to shred, complete with an incredible looking halo fade. Ned has outdone it with this one. Produced by Watson Laminates, made in USA.
In the meantime, we are shredding curbs, marveling at how short the days are on the East Coast once we "Fall back" to daylight savings time, and looking forward to those 40 degree days in the coming winter months when the weather is just warm enough to let us get out and skate again. Positive forward vibes for a better 2017 folks. Until then, stay shred. - Jeff and the family at Jeff's Skateboard Page

Thursday, August 25, 2016

30 Year Retrospective: That First Board

The one that started it all for me. I wrote about it some in the last post, the white dip, the all pink everything. The decks of the early to mid-1980s were wide and shapely, especially when compared to what I thought of as a skateboard prior to laying eyes on Transworld or Thrasher. My previous board was a yellow "banana" board with soft red wheels and trucks that were molded right into the plastic board, so you can imagine how blown away I was looking at these decks of the now! Names like Powell, Alva, Vision, Hosoi, Skull Skates, and the graphics... sensory overload achieved. These were the boards all of the dudes around town were riding, and I wanted to be one of those dudes, I wanted to be a skateboarder. But more importantly, I wanted to skate!

My first attempts to approach and hang with the pioneers of skateboarding in my hometown were less than successful. These guys were all one to two years older than me and hung in a tight clique. I cornered one of them in front of Fas-Chek one day. "Hey man, I'm gettin' a Gator," I announced in my hickish Appalachian drawl. He was less than impressed. He was the one dude in town who already rode a Gator, and here I was chomping at his heels. By the time we became friends a few months later, he was riding a Caballero.

Another time, I approached all of them in the lunch room at school, yipping away about something I am sure I knew nothing about in an attempt to join the ranks of the radical elite. Chuck was sitting facing away from me, and according to the other guys, was trying to fart on me. Not sure if this was an attempt to run me off or some kind of hazing ritual, but I was going to be a skater.

It was late in the Summer of 1986 when I met the leader of the local tribe. He had been laid up due to a compound fracture and was still in a cast when we first started hanging out, but that didn't stop him from pushing his Powell Skull and Sword from his house to mine four blocks away. Now, here was this guy, military pants cut off into shorts, a highly yet demonically decorated cast on one leg, a Vans hi-top at the end of the other, and griptape cut out into letters that read "EAT ONE." After that cast came off, the jump ramp and wallride era was wide open, and dude was there man, just killing it. Then came senior year, they all joined the football team, geared up for college, re-pledged their allegiance to beer and women, and kind of left skateboarding behind.

But to this day, all of these dudes are skaters still, full circle is the path of life. Being a few years behind them in school gave me the advantage of staying on board a few more years before college ultimately lead me astray in the mid 1990s. By then skateboarding had changed a lot. My favorite era will always be 1988-1991, a time of just radical change, but I love it all. It's in my blood.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

30 Year Retrospective

Summer, 1986. My parents reluctantly allowed me to order a skateboard from California Cheap Skates. I procured a popular board for the time, the hot selling Vision Mark "Gator" Rogowski model. The board was a pristine white dip with the signature geometric Gator graphic in a brilliant pink to purple fade. To complete this trainwreck, I chose pink Gullwing trucks, pink Vision Shredder wheels, and all pink plastics, yes, rails, nose guard, and tail plate. I. Just. Didn't. Know. Of all of the boards I would pore over in the magazine ads, the Zorlac decks, the Santa Cruz boards, and just about every Powell-Peralta deck, all emblazoned with horned demons, slashing skating monsters, and skulls, skulls on everything, I chose a hot pink geometric pattern, oddly, one of skateboarding's most popular graphics at the time.

The day my new board arrived I hit the streets with a friend who had a board with another snoozer of a graphic, the Sure-Grip International Eric Grisham pro model. We threw some duct tape on the sides of our shoes, not because they had holes in them, but because we saw that all of the other skaters in town had duct tape on their shoes (because their shoes had holes in them from actually skateboarding), and headed to the plaza where all of the local heavies could be found most days. It would be our first of many, many skates to the plaza to session over the next few years. We had arrived, desperate to be cool.

But how cool? Even in skateboarding, which at the time was a non-elitist anti-sport if you will, there was a weird jock like pecking order composed of the older, more experienced (i.e. "better") riders at the top and the new jack posers (us, at the time) on the bottom. But it wasn't long before we were accepted into the fold. Despite our soft bellies, twangy dialect, and very new unscathed skateboards (very not cool), we became part of the crew and were soon sweeping drainage ditches and building jump ramps with the other guys.

With our new found street cred, we were desperate for female attention. We needed some skate Betties in our lives so we could be cool like the no bullshit Godoy brothers. Look at them up there. Sleeveless tees, leopard print, posing with a skateboard but not even wearing skate sneakers. These guys were punk rock, unconventional. And they probably had girls, Betties, I bet they had all of the Betties! So we did what we had to do to get the phone numbers of some girls, ones that of course didn't go to our school and lived ten minutes from town, which back then might as well have been China because we didn't drive. Our chances were slim to none when it came to actually meeting these girls, with the above factors combining with the fact that we were nobodies (at least we thought we were nobodies) we had no game. So we did what any other low-on-the-totum-pole fourteen year old kids would do. We told them we were Jeff Grosso and John Lucero. And it worked. For about a week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Return of Simple Shoes

They're BACK! Well, they've been back since October of 2014 but I can be a little slow on the draw. Simple appeared on the scene in early 1992, and their casual and stylish skate sneakers were an instant classic with skaters and non-skaters alike.

The gummy red rubber playground ball soles, sturdy construction, low profile silhouettes, unparalleled comfort, and even the occasional toe-caps (think Salman Agah) were MADE for skateboarding, but the stylish sneakers and 4 eye chukka boots (the Barney, their first shoe) were wildly popular with kids in the grilled cheese line as well as those looking to embrace the "I love the outdoors" denim and flannel look of the Pacific Northwest in the early 1990s. I personally remember rocking the navy blue OS Sneakers both on board and to shows back in the day!

Started by Eric Meyer in 1991, the brand held strong in skateboarding through the early and mid to late 1990s. The roster of professional skateboarders appearing in their sneakers and in the advertisements included Mark Gonzales, Frank Hirata, Mike Crabtree, Julian Stranger, and more. The return of the brand features a full line of sneakers as well as casual and dress inspired shoes.

We have a pair of the 4 eye chukka boots (the Barney) on the way and are excited skate in Simple Shoes again! Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Prototype Ready to Roll

Set up and ready to rip with brand new Independent 159s. Hope to take it out for its first ride this weekend!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sidewalk Surfin'

1964. 52 years ago this year, Jan and Dean appeared on American Bandstand to introduce a new song and a new pastime to the youth. Sidewalk surfing. Early roots here with "tricks" including "grab the rail" and a "one-hundred eighty," which is, in this video, a standing backside powerslide. Now, go grab you bun buster and shoot the curve!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Modern Alva Dagger Tail

Double-kick modern concave Alva dagger tails are coming. 9.5 x 33 with a 15" wheelbase. Photo boosted from StrangeHouse.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Team Alva 1980s

Eddie Reategui was rocking his pro-model in this photo while everyone else is on the Street Fire or some other Mondo design. Such a bad ass period in skate history.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Gonz NYC

Mark Gonzales. There is so much that can be said. A lifetime of skateboard history still in the making at this very moment. Whether it was that grey stain Gonz deck you got for Christmas in 1988, or that ollie you just popped, his influence has impacted you and your skateboarding whether you know it or not. Like a fine wine, the years shape us, and we grow more complex, more elaborate, more refined.

Monday, February 29, 2016

New Prototype Deck

Toothbrush shark is ready to rip! Photo courtesy of J. Renn because I am too lazy to take my own pics of this deck.

The Fickle prototype is 9.25" x 31.5" with a 15" wheelbase and, finally, a 5.5" nose! Now if Mike V. would bring back the Accel Budget Series 60mm wheel...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It Was All About the Nose

It was never about a dual wheelbase. At least not in 1989 or so. The nose of the board was starting to become just as important as the tail with the evolution of the nollie and the advance of nose tricks such as nose slides and stalls. I am eyeballing another custom, one with a 5 to 5.5 inch nose, 15 inch wheelbase, and an overall length of 31.75 to 32 inches.

The Disposable Skateboard Bible

Back in 2010, my friend Bear sent me a copy of this book as a college graduation gift. It was the most thoughtful gift he could have given me. Bear knew me way back in the 1990s, the first time I was in college. He was a music major and I was an English major, but I took a lot of photography classes in the arts building so I was able to meet some cool folks like Bear.
I still grab this one from self at least once a week if not twice, poring over the pages of boards from years gone by. When I set out to have a custom deck designed, it was Disposable that the biggest source of inspiration, even more than the internet.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Future of the Skateboard Blog

The skateboard blog. Is it dead or alive? In my opinion it is, for the most part, alive and well. It has, like skateboarding itself, rolled with the punches, dealt with the changes, and kept right on trucking.
Oh the punches. What can beat up a skateboard blog? Primarily, I would say low readership, which can be attributed to a handful of various factors such as bad writing, uninteresting or irrelevant content, and competition from other blogs or websites.

To say that social media has changed since I started this page nine years ago would be an understatement. When I launched this blog, the laptop computer was still the tech device of choice. Now, we no longer have to tote a big ol' laptop anywhere! The advance of handheld devices and smart phones brought along applications like Instagram which is blooming with skateboard clips and photos from skaters and brands using the photo based app as means of promotion via social media. And I'm still here, banging on the keyboard of a six year old HP desktop, bring you all of what I find relevant to my microcosm of the skateboarding universe.

And, like a lot of my favorites, I'm still here. I have to admit that there are times when it is difficult to come up with content, but there is ALWAYS something going on in the world of skateboarding. With all of the old guard still here and new blogs popping up, I believe the skateboard blog is here to stay whether we want it or not. To those of you who do, and those of you who take the time to stop by and look at what I have posted, I thank you. Here's to more skateboarding in 2016 and beyond.

Ace Your Face

I have primarily ridden Independent Trucks for the last 10 years. I say "primarily" because I have also ridden a couple of sets of Tracker Trucks here and there on different setups but I have always gravitated back to Indy. I am currently riding a well broken-in set of Stage XI 169s and I have to say that I really like the way they grind, and that the new lower kingpin design has been a long time coming.

So, if it's not broke, then why fix it? Well, I have to say that I am really curious about these ACE Trucks. I want to know how they turn, and how they grind compared to the trucks I have been riding. I have never faked a front of brand loyalty to a truck company. Growing up I rode Gullwing , Tracker, G&S (I HEART chromoly trucks), Venture, and even Thunder well before I even owned a set of Independents. I didn't start riding Indys until we met Sal Barbier right at the time he switched from Tracker! So I can't claim any brand loyalty, no "Indy for Life" tattoos or anything like that here. And with all of the truck testing that has been going on over at Luchaskate, I feel the need to try something new!
I figure I will swap out the stock bushings for something a little more firm. Trust me, my trucks are loose, but me and 90a stock bushings do not mix well. I'm more of a 93a - 95a body type, so if any of you reading this have a good suggestion for a replacement, then please let me know in the comment section. The final tipping point to my decision is that the Ace 66 runs just a little more wide than the Independent 169, checking in at 9.5 inches from axle tip to axle tip, a full 1/2 inch more than the 169. And I am riding a 10.2 custom Fickle, so I've got wiggle room! Stay tuned for pics and more in the upcoming weeks as the truck transition continues.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday Session Selfie

Met up with Mr. Risk late this morning to lay down some slappies. After towel mopping the curb dry we rode for a good hour with slappy after slappy. Mr. Risk even pulled a NBD at the spot today, dragging a feeble grind the length of the curb and yanking it back in at the last second!