How to Win the Warriors Race

18 07 2010

The most Epic Longboard race in the last 3000 years will begin in the Bronx on Friday, July 23, 2010. Inspired by the cult classic Warriors film (1979), this grueling 27 mile skate from Van Cortlandt Park to the beaches of Coney Island is the first urban longboard marathon. Teams of three, each rolling as a gang from the film will have to navigate through at least three boroughs and cross at least 3 bridges. Every member of the team must finish together, so pacing, route, and strategy are huge factors in this sheer battle of speed and endurance.

Finding a way to get safe group skitches could prove to be the deciding factor.  Furthermore, each gang will be given bags and a few tasks to complete along the way. The route is entirely up to each individual crew, and to think about the best route and grade from the top to the bottom, I would highly recommend this awesome mapping site by the USATF, way better than that Google shit. Also check some routes I have pre-made on the MAPs section of the Brooklyn Barbarosa. having lived in and skated the shit out of Inwood and Wash Heights all the way down is where I first learned and made my turf. I would also make sure someone on your team knows how to make molotov cocktails.

Find a crew and sign up on the Concrete Kings Facebook Page, or the Bustin’ Blog. Nearly 20 teams already- can you diiiiggggg it?


Longboard Videos of the Month

21 05 2010

This month has been good for skating, and good for debuting slick video clips. I have come across some amazingly creative longboarding videos, and an awesome skateboarding video. Each video has excellent music, and capture the joy of innovating on a longboard.

My Cigar reborn as a Bustin Blunt

12 05 2010

Before my swift departure to the other side of the sphere to a place I like to call Dingoville, I scooped a stylin’ Bustin Cigar from the shop in BK. This served as my trusty steed as I skated/hitchhiked from Sydney to Brisbane. After returning a few months back, I quickly felt the itch to experiment. “I must modify and optimize both the form and function of my longboard, so that it becomes a unique extension of my body,” insists the Mad Scientist, and I humbly comply.

I had a new idea about a shape, setup, and design. The first step was reshaping the nose and tail. Smooth wheel wells would allow for maximum carving, and its new silhouette would resemble a zodiac zephyr. I wanted to try and use a sander to make my shape rather than a jigsaw as I have used in the past, as an attempt to eliminate the possibility of stress fractures. It definitely takes a little more time, but it looks and feels great. Make sure to wear a dusk mask or you will come down with a nasty case of the Black Lung.

The next step was to elaborate on the abstract design on the deck (one of many you can choose from on the Bustin customizing website). I loved the green and black, and picked up some black Randal 180s and Lime 75mm Retro ZigZags wheels to compliment my modifications of the art. I used simple $5 Paint Pens called Painters by Elmer’s. I wish I had found a fine tipped black, but the blue and black colors ended up looking great. The art was inspired by both mechanical and aboriginal themes from my escapades in the rain forests of Australia, and my return to New York City.

I also added a pinstripe to the recognizable Bustin grip tape and took the blue from a stripe to the edges of the longboard. Then I added a few pieces of grip tape on the logo where I like to keep my front foot.

What was once a Bustin Cigar has been gutted, infused with the finest Hayes, and reborn as a Blunt. With its new shape and bold coloring resembling a bird of prey (or perhaps a platypus), this board is wild. The Randals/Limes combo flow into the new curves for incredibly responsive handling. Basically the Blue Blunt carves like a freakin pumpkin, and bombs like Clash of the Titans. Riding from Washington Heights to Central Park for a Spin Jam session has never been more fun. There is still work to be done- plans for a bumper, headlight, and retractable wings are still in the works.

Everyone is unique, and I love how a longboard can reflect that. The longboard is not a toy, it is a tool. To want to customize your longboard to fit your style and body and aesthetic to excel is natural and essential in NYC.  See you on the streets.

The Push Culture

5 04 2010

When describing the New York style of longboarding, one word comes to mind- Push. NYC is the best place in the world to skate because it offers opportunities to skate in every discipline- downhill, slalom, dancing, traffic surfing, sliding- all on your commute to work every day. The landscape is as diverse as the people, and the longboarders here find their board is an essential extension of their legs, and we rarely leave home without it. Because of the size of the city, and the often frantic pace of traffic, pushing hard as fuck is at the core of the  Empire State of Mind.

I’ve heard strange tales of people walking up hills and then skating down them. I ask, why walk when you could skate? A big hill just means its time to push harder. What skates up must skate down. This is the mindset in which I understood to be the Way, and a uniquely urban phenomenon. NYC board companies like Bustin’ Boards and Earthwing have worked to create a community that embodies the Push Culture, one that doesn’t think twice about skating from Brooklyn to Jersey. I was stoked to see this interview with Canadian Push fiend Paul Kent of Rayne Longboards, who goes on extreme 24 hour Push odysseys. This interview clip below lets the world know that Canada is down with the Push. Hope to see Paul and others from all over the world at the 2010 Broadway Bomb (the most intense urban Push race in the world) next October. Until then, keep Pushing.

Loaded Boards Adds a New Weapon to Their Bamboo Arsenal

2 04 2010

Its true Loaded Boards are some of the most expensive longboards on the market (excluding the limited line of diamond encrusted plutonium boards), but you definitely get what you pay for. Their bamboo boards are nearly indestructible, which is important if you skate in a city infested with ignorant taxi cab drivers like New York. A rider can select which level of flex is ideal for their style and weight, and be prepared to dominate whether downhilling, cruising or freestylin. Even the winner of the 2009 Broadway Bomb (the biggest, longest and most dangerous skateboard race in the world) rode a Loaded Dervish.

Their latest board called the Tan Tiem  looks slightly smaller than a Dervish but equally vicious. The tan tien is the center from which all martial artists move when they perform, and could also be considered the source of Zen to which all longboarders skate from.  The team riders in the video below are absurd, with footwork so fancy my toes began to cry.

The Art of Longboarding and Living

31 03 2010

As an artist and longboarder from Brooklyn, the connection between the art of painting and the art of skating seemed clear to me. Your board should be an extension of your personality, your style, and your needs and desires. There is one longboard company that understands this concept- Toronto based Longboard Living is the ideal fusion of art longboarding, and I recently sat down with owner and founder Ryan Rubin to answer a few questions…..

J.- What makes Longboard Living different from other comapnies?

Longboard Living offers the market extreme customization as we carve our niche as the largest supplier of hand painted longboards.  Our boards are designed for the city and the art reflects the environment we ride in. When people see what we are up to, they get it.  When a new rider wants a board, they can choose from the ongoing collection of hand-painted one-off decks by their favorite artist or choose a Longboard Living artist to design something custom for them.  We offer a service and an experience.

J.- What kind of boards do you offer?

Our boards are designed for an easy push and a sweet carve and are improving constantly.  Decks are purchased in small batches, made to specifications by Independent board builders in Ontario, Canada.  We are supporting the growing number of Roarockit builders who are using the locally designed Thin Air Press.  From there, blanks are distributed to our expanding network of artists, designated for signature artist series or remain available for a custom commission.

LL has a 35” and 42” drop through decks in stock, will soon be launching a W-Concave freeride board as a collab with Ambitious boards and a line dancer’s via DKLB.  Since the gallery launched we have been approached by many emerging builders with something new for the market, let the collaborations continue!

J.-Can people request certain themes or colors for a personalized board?

Yes, we help the rider come up with a concept.  Asking them about themes, symbols, concepts and colors and go from there.  We find the artist most appropriate for the job and connect the client with them to take design to the next stage.  It is a very hands-on process and memorable experience for the client.  Below is a photo of a board designed for one of our first clients, Samantha Rosen.  Her request was for mountains and angel wings.  The artist, Dov Gray took the design to the next level by turning the wings into bird feathers with the mountain sunset inside, a sun and a moon (in glow and the dark paint) that double as owl eyeballs and finished with owl eyebrows and a beak.  The design flows with the shape of the board designed by Charlie Dunnham.  It is always fun to see how the design evolves from the riders’ original idea, through the artists creativity and into a final product.

J.– Is the artwork protected with some kind of varnish?

We apply a coat to protect the art and another exterior gloss clear coat to protect from the urban elements.  Some varnish will cause the ink or paint to run, but it is a process we have now mastered.

J.- What is the relationship between art and skating?

When the idea for Longboard Living was born in 2008, the idea was to be a provider of longboards to help build the culture in Toronto.  My summer was spent skating and observing what was going on around town.  One thing was clear, there was a surplus of artists that love to paint.  So I turned to the street artists, the festival vendors and the students, who were familiar with painting Toronto themes and had a visibly recognizable style.  I began providing artists a “Mobile Canvas” building collaborative relationships and a roster of Longboard Living artists.

As many riders know, there is a personal connection to their board.  Longboard Living is multiplying that connection exponentially through our custom art services.  We are also custom painting existing longboards, helmets.

J.– What new projects are you working on?

We recently opened a gallery to showcase our hand-painted completes.  It has been a lot of fun bringing this project to life, it beginning to take LL to new heights.  A ton of signature artist collections are lined up for the next 6 months.  We are taking it one day at a time and the time has been flying by.  Super stoked for Summer 2010.

LL has been working closely with BOZ Boards and begun a joint sponsor ship with New York Rider Steven Sanchez and will soon be sponsoring Natheniel Cohen as well.  BOZ Boards are available in the Bustin Boards shop and we look forward to having a larger presence in the NYC longboard market.

Another project with is about to wrap up with Matthew Napier, a master carbon fiber board builder.  He is building a DH drop deck out of an extremely rare carbon fiber that is used to line the inside of Rolls Royse Jet Engines.  “Napes” is making the board for a collab with Longboard Living artist Jimmy Chiale who will paint an abstract design through the carbon.  Some might call it unpractical but it is only an example of how we want to push art and board design in the longboard industry while building strong relations with other Toronto builders.

Other projects include collaborations with University art classes and ad agency Art Directors.  We are taking the no limit mentality and our end goal is to have artists (and builders) with a style for every unique rider.

J.- What is the skating vibe/aesthetic in Toronto?

Toronto has a strong set of freeride / downhill riders.  Push culture has some growth to do, and that is the purpose of Longboard Living.  The Toronto Board Meeting (every September) has been bringing out 350+ riders to this one-day event over the last few years.  It is a good way to gauge who is riding in this city.  We are stoked to be part of the Push Culture movement, striving to create one rider at a time, Longboard Living will be leading city rides from the new Gallery every Wednesday.

The Post-Apocolyptic Future of Longboarding

5 03 2010

Introducing some crazy shit. I suppose it was only logical that  one day military transport and skateboards would come together to make an unstoppable tank board. Luckily we managed to invent it before the machines did. We need to master and improve the tankboard, so when Google becomes self-aware in 2012 and begins to build its army of war-bots, we will be prepared.

I had been speaking about such a device earlier this week and then searched out these videos. I like the off-roading capabilities and the sweet double tank treads of the Scarpar, but it needs a wireless remote possibly controlled by your thoughts. I can envision gangs of these tank warriors battling over a fresh water hole in the post-nuclear wasteland in the not so distant future.

Don’t give up on the Push just yet, but be ready to upgrade to the tank board come 2012.