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Tom Penny Overrated, Are You Kidding Me??

Posted by Jack On July - 17 - 2010
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Yesterday I was watching Tom Penny’s part from Flip – Extremely Sorry when I come across some comments from people who had no idea what they are talking about. Here’s one of them:

This comment above annoyed me so much that I decided to make this post. Some people don’t understand that some skaters are past their prime for example Chad Muska was at his prime in the video Shorty’s Fulfil The Dream. Rob Dyrdek was skating at his best when Alien Workshop Photosynthesis first hit the skate shops! Tom Penny is no different and just because his latest part wasn’t his best doesn’t make him underrated. Check out this video of Tom Penny skating in the 90s to see just how talented he was from an early age!

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Skateboarding Fake Steez – Is There Any Such Thing?

Posted by Jack On March - 1 - 2010

Every time I watch a Ronson Lambert video on Youtube I always see comments saying he fakes his style. Is it really possible to fake style? even if he does try hard to skate with style isn’t it a good thing? Watch the video above and let me know what you guys think!

Interview With Mekanism Skateboards

Posted by Jack On November - 22 - 2009

Concept Skateboarding is very proud to present our latest interview with one of the dopest European brands that you’ve probably never heard of. Mekanism is a leading skateboard company based out of Paris, France, and they’ve been making plenty of waves not only locally, but in the global arena as well. The founder, Fred Maechler, was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for Concept Skateboarding’s archives. Enjoy the new interview with Mekanism Skateboards and be sure to stop by to peep the goods.

mekanism skateboards

What’s up, Fred. Please tell the Concept Skateboarding readers who you are and what you do.

31 years old, live and work in Paris, France. I’m the founder and director of Mekanism. And from time to time I write a column at called “The Columnist” about design, art and everything I find interesting.

So about Mekanism. What is the company all about and how did it get started?

mekanism skateboardMekanism is a skateboard brand based in Paris and founded in 2002. I work in the skateboard industry since 95, as owner of a skateshop from 95 to 98 and of a distribution company of US skate brands in France since 99. In 2002 I came to a level where I was missing something, none of the brands of the skateboard industry had exactly the same vision of skateboarding that I had so I started Mekanism. Mekanism has a guideline, to communicate through a sober, very graphic field of vision, avoiding the superfluous, without sacrificing comfort and meaning. Since 2005 it has evolved as an UFP (unidentified flying project): we invite artists on limited-edition decks. We try to propose to a young audience the work of artists they are not always familiar with.

I’m assuming that many people on MySpace have never been to France before. This may seem like a very general question, but how would you characterize or describe the youth cultural scenes in France, particularly the skateboarding scene?

The skate/street industry is pretty big and independent in France, we have our own brands, magazines and videos. But I must admit that most of the teenagers are still obsessed by the US brands. The older people support more the French scene.

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of running Mekanism from France?

The disadvantage is that in this skate/street culture in order to get recognized abroad, and even in France, you have to get recognition in the US at first. Only then people start to consider what you do. That means a lot of work and patience. The advantage is that once you got that coverage over there you are noticed easier because few of those projects are coming from France.

Speaking of the art on your decks, I have to say that Mekanism has really elevated that to a whole new level, especially with the artist collaborations. The more recent collab was with German artist Katharina Grosse, in which she spray painted 100 decks in her signature style. How did that one come about?

I discovered her work at her exhibition at Palais de Tokyo in Paris last year and took a slap. I contacted her and ask her to do our next limited-edition deck. She agreed immediately. At first I proposed her the same format as all the other artists, a limited edition of 100 decks. After she agreed, I continued to study her work and thought that using such a medium, the spray gun, directly on 100 blank decks could give an even more interesting result. I proposed her this second method and she preferred this one as well. 100 original and unique skateboards were then created.

Are there any other upcoming Mekanism collaborations that people should be on the lookout for?

Our new project is with Invader. Last year we did with him a limited-edition of 100 skateboards and now he created three skateboards covered with real tiles and conceived a different mosaic for each deck. Three original and unique works of art on skateboards.

Have you thought about expanding the Mekanism brand into other areas like clothing?

We did t-shirts, sweatshirt, caps and accessories. But not on a regular basis, we produce new products whenever we feel like doing it.

Skateboarding For Cancer Research

Posted by Jack On November - 22 - 2009

skateboarding event A very resourceful teen from Ontario, Canada, will be skating across North America to Canada to help raise funds for cancer research. Skate4Cancer is a marathon that will begin in Los Angeles and end in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Beginning in early March, Robert Dyer, Kyle Massaar and a group of friends plan to visit skateparks to promote Skate4cancer and to raise awareness of cancer research and funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Robert Dyer will be skateboarding the distance–around 5,000 miles from Los Angeles to Canada. He is working with a personal trainer every morning. What’s more he is following a diet and exercise program to prepare himself for the marathon, which will include trekking through the desert and the rockies.

The gang has already been hosting events to collect donations for the supplies and equipment they will need for the trip, including propane stoves, Hammocks, flashing Lights, tents, coolers, microwave, fridge, and several propane tanks. They will be dedicating their journey to their heroes, Tony Hawk and Terry Fox, and to cancer victims everywhere. Rob will dedicate The first and last kilometer of the trip to the memory of Wendy M. Dyer.

The History Of Skateboarding

Posted by Jack On November - 20 - 2009
Skateboarding History: From the Backyard to the Big Time

Many myths and urban legends abound concerning the origin of skateboarding  so what is the real truth’? Sure scooters with a vertical bar and handles have been around since the early 1900’s, but skateboards are a different street toy.

No one really knows when the first person put wheels (usually roller skate wheels) to a board and skated down the sidewalk or street in front of their home. We do know, however, the first “Roller Derby Skateboard”, considered the first “official” (manufactured) skateboard came on the American scene in 1959. Then in 1962, the Hobie Alter surf board manufacturer began making “street surfer” boards, as they were popularly called, with a surfer design that enhanced the sales appeal of street toy.

Early homemade versions of the modern sleek skateboard were clumsy thick two by four boards made many times with metal wheels taken from roller skates and nailed or screwed on to the bottom side of the thick plank.

The new manufactured skateboards, of the 1960s, were wider and thinner double duty ply board, which allowed for better maneuvering when riding down the sidewalk. These new skateboards also had a new type of wheel made of clay. Unfortunately these new wheels were not very strong or long lasting and did not grip concrete or asphalt surfaces well, but they worked better than metal roller skate rollers.

Many serious accidents began to happen across America from the skateboarding phenomenon that captured kid’s interest. The speed and ability to fly through the air like Evil Knievel seized the imagination of many kids who owned or wanted skateboards. The popularity of the new “toy” soared and so did accidents and injuries.

A movement occurred across America, where towns and cities began passing ordinances to ban skateboarding on their streets and sidewalks and parents began to stop buying the popular contrivance. The “sidewalk surfing” craze, as it came to be called faded as a trendy exciting kid’s activity.

The skateboard made a comeback in the 1970’s with the invention of polyurethane wheels instead of clay. Manufacturer “Road Rider” introduced the first precision bearing for skateboards in 1975 and along with new board designs skateboarding became a big industry. A new American sport and venue was given birth to! Amateur skateboard teams that have become legends in our present time began to rise up; Hobie Team and Z-Boys are a couple of the more famous.

skateboarding in the 70'sSouthern California became the unofficial “home” of the center of the American Skateboarding arena in the late 1970’s when people drained their pools (due to the drought) and kids began using the pools as an adventurous skateboard sites. This is where the high riding, sky popping and air riding board tricks are said to have begun. This style of skateboarding led to the opening of skateboarding parks, which in turn led to more dangerous and serious skater injuries. Almost all the skateboard parks were closed in the early 1908’s due to huge liability costs from skater injuries.

skateboarding a kicker rampThe 1960’s craze was not to go away, though, as the “skate culture” took on a life of its own across America. Skateboard companies began to promote and sponsor professional teams and national competitions across the country. Amazingly, skateboards became a big business with refined aerodynamic boards and smaller, harder faster wheels. Daring athletic teens began to incorporate stuntman-like riding styles with tricks like the “Ollie”, “kick flips”, “grinds and slides”, aerials and “lip tricks”

Contributing to urban renewal projects and social programs keeping kids off the streets and out of gangs, the skateboard industry launched a national multi-million dollar 21st century bound sport venue called the Extreme Games in 1995. Today this sporting event is known as the X-Games and seen around the world with international TV coverage. Tony Hawk, Andy MacDonald and Tony Alva are legendary skaters who have become synonymous with the sport’.

Most young kids and teens are very familiar with Tony Hawk’s series of “Professional Skater” video games and many skater products today have endorsements by the famous riders of modern skateboard history. The fad now a fully accepted venue of American sports has its own vernacular, slang, sub-culture, multi-million dollar business revenue and fan base. Skateboarding seems to continue to grow in interest, acceptance and popularity with each generation around the world.

411vm – Vancouver 02

Posted by Jack
Nov-22-2009 I ADD COMMENTS

411vm – Volume 13 Issue 3

Posted by Jack
Nov-22-2009 I ADD COMMENTS
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