Monday, December 31, 2012


Getting up this morning and watching The Bones Brigade documentary recalled one of my fondest Xmas memories. The year was 1989 and the distinctive plastic rattle of one package in particular could mean only one thing: my first skateboard video cassette. Bear in mind that in this pre-interwebs Dark Age I was reduced to watching MTV solely in hopes of catching 5 seconds of skateboarding in an INXS or Tom Petty video. So one could hardly expect 13 year old me to contain my excitement until Christmas morning. 

By the time the 25th rolled around, I had already unwrapped, watched, and rewrapped the Blockhead Splendid Eye Torture video every single day, probably some twenty times. In addition to the amazing skating in early parts from Rick Howard and Steve Berra, its soundtrack taken exclusively from the Dischord catalogue set the basic course for my musical development for decades to come. Now that I think about it, the song in Howard’s part was probably directly responsible for my first musical purchase that soon followed - the Fugazi Margin Walker tape I bought after taking the ferry and making my way up Capitol Hill to Fallout Records and Skateboards.

Nice work ma!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Yet another skating bulldog. I just don't get it.

Edited out the "pet psychic", a human-weary but sk8-dog-curious Rodney gets down (and jacked) with mans best friend. Never seen a dog carve before.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Pretty silly infographic designed as a mock-up. Fun to do, easy to make stupid shit up as I went along. Should've been titled something different but I had to appeal to a non-skater.

Monday, October 15, 2012


YamaodaBroken skateboards are recycled into Iris decks.
What do you do when you break a board? Toss it in the dumpster, save it for your wall collection or paint something on it and make it an art piece? George Rocha takes his broken decks and makes them into decks! How is Rocha resurrecting the dead? Black magic perhaps? Well, he wouldn't go to deep into the actual process of his technique but you will find out that he's a 100% skateboarder and his company, Iris skateboards, is making a deck skateboarding has never seen before. Can you explain what is an Iris skateboard?
Rocha: They are cruiser boards made entirely of broken skateboard decks. Skateboards are made with glue and the catalyst in that glue is toxic, so it can't be put into landfills. So you have to do something with them. So I take broken ones and make them into skate-able ones and it just perpetuates the idea of keeping skateboards under your feet.
Are you an Eco-conscious person?
Yes, I am, I'm not like a tree hugger but I do think that we do have a responsibility on this planet not to kill it. So this is like an extension of that.
[+] Enlarge
YamaodaHow many people do you know that skates a recycled board in their own backyard pool they've poured themselves? George Rocha goes frontal.
Is that the inspiration for making these decks?
No, it was more like a bonus. The inspiration is skateboarding itself. There are other people that will take broken boards and make sculptures for example Haroshi who's amazing at his craft, I'm not trying to copy I'm just doing my version of what to do with a broken board.
Where are you getting the broken boards from?
Fortunately I live in San Francisco where a lot of great companies exist here and they allow me to use their returns, places like Deluxe, FTC and NHS. Big thanks to them. I do want to make a note, that every board I use must be broken or cracked, if it's rideable I'm gonna go down to the park and find a kid who wants it.
Is it possible to take a broken Iris boards and make another one?
That's a good question! I can't wait for the day to have a stack of broken Iris boards and glue them together! Just perpetuate the cycle, you know.
What's your work background?
I've been building skate parks and working as a masentry carpenter most of my life. I started making ramps when I was 10 years old. I got hooked on making skate parks first at Freddy Smith's Skate Park call "The Skate Hut" in Providence Road Island. When my friend Sloppy Sam began a company Breaking Ground is when I learned concrete, I basically jumped in and had to learn, that was 1999 or 2000ish. After that I've worked with Grindline, Red and the Dreamland crew, great dude doing great work. Then I decided to stop traveling so much and to try and make my living in SF. I made Thrasher's "Double Rock" park and I make private pools for people.
How long does it take to craft an Iris board?
It varies, I make them by hand so at best I can probably make 10 a week, just me. You can't walk down the street with one of these boards without someone stopping you and being like "what is that?" It's obvious it's made of other boards but don't know how or the story behind it so hopefully when some gets one they will know the story and keep passing it on.

Taken from:
October, 15,
By Tadashi Yamaoda

Sunday, August 19, 2012

You gotta push -wit' cher arm!

 Gotta warm up to the spot.

Ah, that's better. Blair-style wallchomp. Always palm down.

Bremerton still has its secret spots. GET SOME BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


She grew up down the block from my Old Man. Then I grew up with a torn bikini poster of her in our work room. That's where I got the skateboard bug....

Friday, June 22, 2012


Got rained out before even arriving to Jefferson park at 9am. Headed down to Marginal and pretty much had it to myself for a couple hours. Artsy shots ensued.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Undoubtedly one of the more banal trends in skateboarding, from an artist's perspective or not, was when everyone became a tagger in the early 90's. It was so rampant amongst street skating, (i.e. condensed in commercial urban areas) that it actually may have been what led to the full-force crack-down on graffiti in general, starting in Los Angeles. SWAT teams burst into the scene (and my front door), molesting and arresting potential felons under the ruse of fighting gangs. The tactic spread like wildfire to law enforcement all around the country as it was considered an effective method of stomping out the most feared and loathed artwork in our national history.

Indeed, you don't see the quality of pieces anymore anywhere on the West Coast. Just shitty tags and throw-ups....ironically, as one saw skaters doing en masse a la '93.

It did make for some good hometown drama though....

 Ah Billy, where are you?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Treated self for birthday...wanted something big and fun, roughly like an old Blind shape from days of old. I found that shape in a Black Label series, and Mike at Gravity hooked me up without selling the whole series to some board collector schmuck. The only problem is all the artwork is done by Neil Blender, and now I'm having a hard time thinking about fucking it up. Same reason I can't buy one of these beauties...

And it's Blender!

....couldn't resist.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Vatos Loc(als)

Long hiatus away from the blogs. 3 funerals and a wedding. Seriously heavy.

Not sure how to segway back into posting, but it was so random before, I guess there's no reason it shouldn't continue that way. I am running out of material however....

So why not steal an epic pic?! Skateboarding can make anything cool cooler.

I actually dreamed about a chicano gang last night after having stared for a long while at this superb photo of Stecyk's yesterday. Why a gang, I'm not sure....maybe the various 13's in the background. Ah, what I miss and don't about living in Venice. V13 ese!

Monday, April 9, 2012


This bump was across the street from my old pal Ben's apartment in Los Angeles. It's not legit for me to claim the spot in any way, because we never skated it. But I always looked at it from my car door when coming over. Many, many times. There were so many "bumps" in L.A. that were just, well, not bumpish enough, that many got second-guessed and over-looked. L.A. had a lot of "spots" that were just plain fucking hard. You had to earn it. Apparently I underestimated this one. 2 recycling receptacles via Dill, one of my all time favorites, galvanized for me ever since this. This kickflip is the earned last trick in this epic part.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Newest cruiser. Old (my original) shape; acrylic, oil-based paint pen, aerosol, polyurethane coat. (p.s. FOR SALE!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Photo credit: Joel Lee
If you’ve tried to skate the first ever skatepark in Seattle to have lights at nighttime, then you know there is a serious problem: they don’t adequately illuminate the park.  This is in spite of the lighting designer shutting down any questions brought forth during the public meetings with quips like “I am a professional, this is what I do every day.”  There was even a bunch of talk about using LED downlighting that obviously didn’t make it into the final product.  (I almost wonder if this is why the shadows exist…)
It’s great that we finally have a skatepark that is open at night, but it adds a bit of insult to injury to have just enough light to skate, but not enough to actually skate safely.  There are shadows all over the park, and some of them could be dangerous if you weren’t familiar with those areas.  Good luck if it’s your first time skating there.
The good news is that Seattle Parks has gone back to the contractor to get a bid for adding more lights and frankly, for finishing the job they were supposed to do right the first time.  It must be nice to be a contractor with the City of Seattle…if you don’t do it right the first time, they will just pay you again to fix it later.
Anyone want to go in on a contractor’s license?
The schedule for this fix is TBD.  I will post more info as I get it.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


New and improved shape and method. The new cruiser to ail my woeful heart. The cool colors were accidental, revealing themselves after a black spraypaint job that I decided to lightly sand down. Poly urethane coating to keep it waterproof, 80 deurometer (sp?) Bones ATF keeps the pebbles at bay. This little sucker feels really good, and will make any commute better.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I distinctly remember seeing this when I rented the painstakingly long Savanah Slamma VHS tape from the video store on Wheaton Way. Same place I rented Animal Chin and got immediately hooked for life.

Hands down one of the best contest runs ever, second only to Neil Blender's run where he had a can of spray paint in his pants of which he used to paint a wall mid-run. Honorary mention should also go to Dan Drehobl's oddly-similar (perhaps an homage) human crash test dummy run circa '93 in...Philly? (Seen long ago in a 411, #6 or 7.)

They don't make 'em like that anymore.

p.s. If you haven't checked out Grosso's Loveletter's to Skateboarding, you're missing out.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Jesse's home-crafted boards for sale. I don't know the particulars but I do know they are well made, completely unique, and built to last. Inlayed wood like the Hobie's and Sincor's of old, complete with the wedge-grafted kicktail, these fuckers have perfect balance, but hold a weight suitable for bludgeoning the most capable of attackers.

P.S. Happy Birthday Jesse!

Monday, March 12, 2012


First skatepark I ever rode. A real dinosaur (it's still there), this concrete edifice was amazing to us at the time. No coping, one sided, no decks (those were installed a la wood later on)....perfect to learn the feel of a bank and rolling in.

My first move: the tail skid. (a 5-0 in my head movies.)

Get some!

This guy rode his bicycle all the way up from California. He super-stoked up the session with no shoes/shirt and serviced gorilla grip airs right off the cover of T&C Skate.

My old man gets shutter cred.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Honestly, I first took note of this lad when I saw him in a Transworld vid switch heel the biggest gap I ever ollied. It was a reticent note of self. Since then it's just been shock and awe. Style and skill. Janoski has a clumsy swagger, but a loosey goosey skateboard ability and harder-than-thou trick selection that keeps me simultaneously baffled and charmed.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Somewhere in the U-District on the way from Gasworks. Billy Cain and the Henderson's in tow. Asshole commentary by yours truly.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Diggin' in the vaults for spare parts, found a clip. It aint a great piece of footage, but it does have 3 nostalgic components:

1. Koston had a manual run there in the 101 promo.
2. I had a long-gone edition of my "Legalize It" T-shirt.
3. I could do nollie flips.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Aside from the fact that he looked like a malfunctioned Terminator T2000 gone rogue and homeless, Tim Jackson was a style king. I saw him in his Venice stomping ground circa his heyday, probably 1989. I went down to the beach in search for Mullen (whom I never saw him in those days, but always saw someone) and was blessed with a one man show. Jackson was doing his usual (though far from any other usual) onslaught against the 4 foot tall, 40 foot long wall divider above the (once was) graffiti pits, which are now filled in with sand. He would approach at full speed a la bad-ass Dogtown gangster surf style (i.e. attitude) and straight wallie up and boardslide through the kink, about 20-30 feet. Sometimes he'd layback (as below), other times tuck-knee or pop-out early. It was his shtick and he did it better than anyone I've seen since. Venice had such a rad 80's scene, which was borderline voyeuristic in its display. They performed and we watched. Or was it because we watched?

Check out Rowley's psyched intro to Jackson's Risk It Part

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


What I wouldn't do for a nice waxy double-sided curb right now....maybe I'll start a non-profit to save them in their plight. Seriously -where have they all gone??

Friday, February 10, 2012


Banger of a video (Manolo's mixtapes are the illest) for the weekend: World Park Mixtape

To this day, World Park, which I only went to once, remains one of my favorite skate parks ever. It was nestled in a shitty warehouse in what I think was Lawndale, just between Hawthorne and North Redondo. Private to Rocco team players and various friends of the teams, it was an unsupervised den of inequity/hell. And it saw not only the hellfire wrath of kids without adults (but with spare cash), but also some of the most progressive skating in the early 90's tech boom. Whenever this park showed up in a video part I got really hyped. It was all about the noise. That little warehouse was a huge acoustic drum. The clanking of the metal lips on the ramps, the hollow wooden boxes echoed when wheels touched down, the banshee wails reverberating in the rafters whenever a trick was enhanced what was already really good footage -usually something you hadn't seen before.

When I went there, I met Daewon Song for the first time, as he was our chaperone for the night. I'm sure I geeked it, but I do remember enjoying the park to its fullest, skating until late in the morning. And I of course remember every single thing he did there that night. Blunts on the hip spine (4" worth of wood/coping), mach 3 tailslides to heelflip out across the box, his usual barrage of manuals, 360 flip fakies on wood laying against the wall almost vertically, and showing us how he could kickflip with his foot in the extreme heelflip position. He also challenged any of us to try and "take him down." Don't you always wrestle before you skate?

That building will never Rest In Peace after what it went through at the expense of Steve Rocco and his band of misfit toys. Small wheels, flip your board, tricks for cash, kick a hole in the door, climb the walls, howl at the moon, claim to be the King of the Wild Things.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Blair and I tried stopping in at the Skate Barn over the holidays. I had some free passes that my lady bought me thru Group-on. I had talked the the owner a week previous to make sure I could redeem my coupons, to which he replied, "no problem....yeah, over a thousand of those were purchased..." He failed to warn me (and I imagine the rest of the 1000+ people who obtained the Group-on) that they would be closing their doors for good within a weeks time. What a god-awful businessman. Not only did they obviously fail to meet their rental requirements, but they failed to let those who invested in their coupons (probably sold knowing they'd cash in on them as their business sunk into the ocean) that they should hurry to redeem them. They didn't change their website, they didn't send out a courtesy e-mail. I hope their debts outweigh what they ripped-off from their coupon constituents. I would hate to think all that money was a scam to help them out of bankruptcy. Shitbirds. 

Speaking of birds, that night, over the Skate Barn, there was an ominous flock of about 2000 crows swooping and screeching and diving around the sky. It was an omen. But for what or whom, we shall never know. 



Where to now? Another hour in the car to Inner Space...