It’s still not quite Spring over here in England (no matter what the calendar says), yet it already seems like we’re ramping up on a massive scale, freestyle-wise. The economy might be teetering on the brink of collapse and World War III might be on our doorstep, but there are kickflip variations to learn, new board designs to make and contests to be held. Freestyle can stop for no man, and I’m already feeling exhausted. This is a much bigger report than I expected considering how delayed the last one was! Put your feet up and tuck in. There’s a lot to get through!
I’d like to begin this whole report with a simple statement: Virgin Blacktop is fucking rad. Hopefully the trailer embed below will work, but if it doesn’t, you’ll have to head off to Vimeo for a couple of minutes. Just come back when it’s done! There’s lots more news still to come.
Anyway, Virgin Blacktop has been in the works for a while, and it looks incredible. It’s like an east coast Dogtown and the Z-Boys, and if that statement doesn’t make it clear enough, the full-length piece is going to be worth supporting, watching, owning, forcing on your friends, and generally shouting about from the rooftops. At the time of writing it’s already had its premiere at the Bay Theatre in Morro Bay, California, and is about to head out on the festival circuit. Follow the documentary on Facebook or Instagram to find out when it’s near you – or when you can buy a copy. Let’s be honest; if nothing else, it’s worth it for the Humeres footage alone.
More media news now: Broken Fingers’ first issue of the year is now at the printers. If you’re a stickler for zines and the printed word, you should be able to pick up a copy at the Small School Cooperation by the time you read this. And if you haven’t read the previous issues, copies of the stand-alones and the four-issue collections should all be available for purchase, too. Support the only all-freestyle print magazine in the world and fill up your bookshelf.
While the Freestyle Podcast team still can’t get their shit together, Sweden’s Skateboardpodden stepped up with a two-part Hazze Lindgren interview this month. While the first half is largely in Swedish, a good block of the second half was in English due to a surprise call-in from Don Brown. You can listen in over at their website or pick it up in your podcast catcher of choice.
Next up is some important news: the World Round Up has capitulated to the vocal minority and has dropped the deeply unsatisfying minute-long quickies to give everyone ninety second runs across the board. Obviously this is something I’m relatively pleased about – even if I’m not going this year – but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
My prediction is that the pro division should look much more comfortable with this shift, but the am division will probably see a major upheaval due to the extra time. In previous years, street skaters have been able to roll around, do some flatland tricks and place higher than skilled freestylers who didn’t have the time for combos and wheelies that they’d get elsewhere. If everything works well, this extra bit of time should prevent this from happening again. Hopefully.
Anyway, if you’re planning on going, you’ve not got long to book your flights; the Round Up kicks off on the 18th of May.
Speaking of flights, Nick Beaulieu (a.k.a. The Container Boy, a.k.a. the 17 year old Moonshiner who’s doing harder tricks than 99.5% of all people who’ll ever read this piece, including the guy who’s writing it) just told me that he’s booked his flights and heading to Europe for the first time. Why? Because Paderborn, obviously. Can he unseat Robert Wagner’s position at the top of the Am division in Europe? Quite possibly. He might face some stiff competition from another couple of American Ams looking at making the journey, though.
Where’s the American pro contingent, though? Mike Osterman’s already confirmed he can’t make the journey this year; Connor Burke? Pete Betti? Jacob Whitt? Time to jump on a plane lads… Paderborn starts on the 30th of June.
One American pro who won’t be heading to Paderborn this year is Dan Garb, as he’s just upped sticks and jumped on a flight to Japan, where he’ll be living for the foreseeable future. Current reports are that his penchant for bright pink camouflage and anime griptape is endearing him to the locals and Mario Steinemann is currently curled up in a corner in Switzerland, crying and rocking backwards and forwards due to an overwhelming sense of envy. We at Everything Skateboarding wish him luck with his new life and recommend he stays well away from the fugu.
On a potentially more interesting note, Dan Garb’s due to receive a pro model from Moonshine Skateboards this summer. The shape and mould have already been finalised, and trust me on this – it’s probably not what you’d expect. Start saving your pennies because this is one you’ll want to try out.
Staying in Japan, the latest Megane cup has given Powell’s Japanese wunderkind Isamu Yamamoto his first win of the year. Moonshine’s Mirei Tsuchida and Yuzuki Kawasaki took second and third places respectively, meaning this was a podium comprised entirely of skaters who aren’t even allowed to drink a beer to celebrate. Give it another five years and Japan will put professional freestylers worldwide out of a job.
Fresh off her podium placement, Mirei continued her one-woman battle to bring a sense of elegance to freestyle by both walking the catwalk and doing some skateboarding at a major fashion show in Tokyo, hereby proving that not all freestylers are awkward, socially-inept nerds.
(Rumour has it that this is the real reason Garb’s moved to Japan: someone has to offset Mirei’s existence.)
TGCに出演しました！ The Japanese girl freestyle skater Mirei did modeling and skating on the stage of Tokyo Girls Correction in front of over 26,000 people, which is the most major female fashion event in Japan. #moonshineskateboards #xsunified #xsunifiedjp #LipsTips #nouve_japan #skateslate #colfulproject #lineblog＃skatergirl
When asked for news, my comrade from over at the Freestyle Podcast, Bob Loftin, requested that I state “Bob Loftin continues to degrade and degenerate both on and off the skateboard.” While I don’t doubt for a second that every word in that statement represents absolute truth, it also transpires that he’s booked some plane tickets to Florida to meet up with New England ex-pat and Mode Skateboards head honcho, Terry Synnott. While it’s entirely possible that they’re working on a retirement community for aging freestylers (I hear Joe Humeres has also found his way to the Sunshine State in recent months), I have suspicions that they may be cooking up something a bit more interesting than that.
And no, I’m not talking about Key Lime pie.
Speaking of Mode Skateboards, former Mode pro Mike Osterman’s new project with fellow YouTube darling Daniel Trujillo, Waltz Skateboards, has taken the next leap towards legitimacy by producing their own freestyle boards. While shapes and sizes are yet to be announced, photos of the completed boards are available on the internet if you know where to look.
Single-kick aficionados will have to wait for a while, though: the first two designs both appear to be double-kicks. Whether or not Daniel Trujillo will take over Terry Synnott’s job as moderator of Mosti’s board shape flights-of-fancy has yet to be seen.
The only news I’ve got from Australia is that there is no news. It’s been the height of summer over there in recent months; what on earth is Josh Dunstone doing?
Let’s end this with a bit of hot video action courtesy of Alex Foster and Latetricks now, featuring the usual motley crew of hideous British vagrants, an adopted German and a guest Texan. Flo Skatepark in Nottingham was kind enough to let us all take over their mezzanine area again and, after a demo for the kids, much freestyle-related silliness occurred. Grab a coffee and click play.
Tony Gale is a British professional freestyle skateboarder and rides for Moonshine Skateboards, Jimmy’z, Seismic and Synopsis Bearings; he’s spent most of this month drinking insane amounts of coffee, taking on too many projects, and attempting to remember all the tricks he learned before the long, dark winter set in.