I haven't enjoyed the effects of dry pigments this much since Blue Man Group! (Kuma Films)
Since 1993, Jake Phelps has been the top editor at legendary skateboarding magazine Thrasher. At 53, he's still a skate punk through and through. From Willy Staley's fantastic profile of Phelps in California Sunday, with photos by Andrew Paynter:
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An unwillingness, or inability, to stop is perhaps the defining characteristic of Phelps’s career. He’s been the editor of Thrasher since 1993. The magazine occupies such a privileged space in skateboarding’s collective imagination that it’s difficult to know what to compare it to. Skaters call it “the bible,” but we’re prone to hyperbole. Maybe it’s Vogue, but for degenerates, and Phelps is skateboarding’s Anna Wintour. Phelps likes to think of himself as the Thrasher brand personified, and in many ways, from his caustic wit to his encyclopedic knowledge of the sport, that’s true.
Phelps is an unreconstructed punk rocker in a city that has little need or space for them anymore. He refuses to pay his Muni fare, instead slipping through the rear doors. He bums cigarettes everywhere he goes; he calls kids blood. He barks at strangers and screams at drivers. He sails through lights with an unearned confidence, directing traffic with cryptic hand gestures. He shoplifts candy bars just to see if people are paying attention. (Once, in Copenhagen, they were.) His entire affect is charmingly cartoonish. His ears protrude from low on his head, and his smile cracks his face in half. If you dipped him in yellow paint, he might not seem out of place in Springfield.
Downhill skateboard champ Zak Maytum flies down one of the fastest runs in his home state of Colorado “with speeds approaching 70mph, and rough-ass pavement. Be ready to have your fuckin' face melted.” Read the rest
Not since the Amphicar has a boat led such an interesting double life. The short film Skate Heads shows a number of wooden structures that transform into skate ramps and accessories (including a cooktop for snacks). Directed by Vancouver-based Zenga Bros, the film is a collaboration between blog Booooooom and hat manufacturer Flexfit.
Skateboarding is inherently about adapting and repurposing the urban landscape, but somehow even skateboarding can settle into a complacent state, where certain approaches become the norm. When street skating first started it was weird and abrasive, and that’ll always be there with wheels rattling down the sidewalk, but it’s good to remind ourselves to maintain a sense of foolishness, exploration and wonder; that is skateboarding.
[Video Link: "The Uukhai Documentary," dir. Odmandakh Bataa]
Michelle Borok is a culture-blogger from Los Angeles who has expatriated to Mongolia, where she is raising a family. She shares word of a really cool project there that could use your help:
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This new film by Uukhai, a Mongolian skateboarding association, sheds intimate, honest and unpretentious light on a growing community in Ulaanbaatar. The video features interviews with skaters involved with the organization, and tons of footage of street skating shot this summer.
An Afghan girl takes part in a skate boarding competition to mark the third annual Go Skateboarding Day in Kabul, on June 21, 2011. (REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail)
Photographer Glen E. Friedman remembers Bob "The Bullet" Biniak, a hero in the early days of skate culture who was a member of the original "Z-Boys" team. Biniak suffered a massive cardiac arrest on Sunday, and passed away Thursday at 12:51pm EST in Florida. From Glen's blog post:
Back in DogTown's heyday Biniak was known as one of the toughest, hardest skating dudes out there. Few could match his skills skating the infamous pipes out in Arizona or on the vertical flat wall of Mt. Baldy. In pool skating he was a clear innovator as witnessed by my lens, and Craig Stecyk's even earlier when he was interviewed in SkateBoarder magazine's first ever "Pool Riding Symposium." Bob early on received the coveted "Who's Hot" bio, and later, only for the most respected riders, a full length interview in SkateBoarder. He was also voted as one of the top ten Skateboarders of the year in SkateBoarder magazine's first annual poll held in 1977.Bob "The Bullet" Biniak, original Z-Boy, Bad Ass Mother Fucker, R.I.P. (Idealist Propaganda)
Biniak's passing follows the recent loss of fellow early Dogtown greats Baby Paul and Dennis "Polar Bear" Agnew. There will be a memorial skate for Biniak at the Venice Skate Park (named for Agnew) this Sunday, according to Yo Venice. Read the rest