Understanding the Vibe of a New York City Skate

3 03 2010

After returning from a two month skateabout in Australia, I realized how much I miss the concrete comforts of New York. I did some great longboarding all over the East Coast of Dingoville, but nothing in the world compares to the feeling I get skating NYC.

I never stepped foot on a skateboard until I was 26 years old. When I was  a kid I rode a bike, and then I grew up and got a longboard.  I learned to skate on First Ave in the East Village, my skate legs forged  in the fire of merciless traffic. Without the intensity of a hundred cabs and buses barreling down on you, the smell of steam and pizza wafting through the air, and am army of delivery dudes on bikes cruising along- without all of this skating just seems bland.

In the two days I got to skate in Brooklyn before the Snowpacalypse, I was able to connect with that part of the city I didn’t realize I had missed so much. There is a special relationship that a longboarder develops with New York. This bond is cultivated over time, and is essential to ones survival, while skating or otherwise. This covenant with the streets is based on trust, respect, determination and love. Skating here is more than being prepared for anything at anytime- it is about a kinship and harmony with the flow of traffic, people, nature and chaos. I will see you real soon NYC…….


It’s Time to Make Longboarding an Olympic Event

22 02 2010

Watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics has been highly entertaining thus far. The games remind us of the true meaning of sportsmanship and friendly competition. Last night, I almost got in a knife fight with an elderly Canadian woman talking trash aboot the American curling team’s lack of form. USA! USA! USA! All of these winter evens full of adrenaline junkies, speed freaks and fearless masochists made me realize how perfect longboarding would be as an Olympic sport.

So how does a sport become an Olympic event? Up until 1992, there would be demonstrations of potential Olympic Sports to gauge public interest. This is how ice shuffleboard aka curling became official. A sport or discipline is included in the Olympic program if the IOC determines that it is widely practiced around the world. That is, the number of countries that compete in a given sport is the indicator of the sport’s prevalence. However, to have countries competing n a sport prior to Olympic consideration, they need to have an international governing body, namely an International Federation. This sports governing body creates a common set of rules for the sports disciplines, organizes international competitions, and appeals to the IOC for acceptance.

There are a number of sports the IOC recognizes, which is an important step to becoming Olympic. Most of these recognized sports compete in the World Games. Neither skateboarding nor longboarding are part of these games. However, the IOC does recognize the International Roller Sports Federation. The FIRS includes inline hockey, speed skating, artistic roller skating, and the “emerging sports” inline downhill and freestyle skateboarding.

There are so many things wrong with this, I hardly know where to begin. Firstly, having any kind of skateboarding considered a “roller sport” and represented by the same group that promotes men dressed like matadors dancing on roller skates to “Who’s that Lady” is offensive. There is a time and place for that, and its Saturdays at noon in Central Park at 72nd street. And secondly, that these morons consider a sport that has 20 million and rising participants short and longboarding religiously “emerging” is absurd.

The first step is the creation of an International Longboard Federation. There is already hundreds of regional and national organizations set-up waiting to be a part of competition on the world stage. The Australian Skateboard Racing Association is renowned for their downhill, luge, slalom and freestyle tournaments. And we all know New York has developed the fine art of outlaw street racing, which along with sliding would make five excellent disciplines of longboarding that are highly entertaining for both spectators and participants alike.

With sports such as surfing and wakeboarding competing in the World Games, and BMX and snowboarding as Olympic events, longboarding is ready to explode onto the international scene. After Shaun White’s electrifying near perfect Gold medal performance in Vancouver, its time to make longboarding a Summer Olympic event. Longboarding is aggressive, fast, smooth, intense, and pretty damn fun. It’s time to rally the troops, and show the world how we roll (on a really long skateboard).

Carved- A Series of Ill Skate Films

26 01 2010

 I had been meaning to post some of these skate films for quite some time. Carved is a series of longboard and shortboard music videos (created by Sergi Ferrer) that portrays the unique aesthetic of the New York City Push Culture. The series is now  up to forty videos, all with eclectic funky soundtracks, and features some of the best skaters in NYC. Here are just two of my favorites.

Embedded video error. Check out second video by clicking youtube link below


Gettin Busy in Brizzy

24 01 2010

I spent a few days in Brisbane, Australia, and got to do some serious skating. There is substantial terrain, with a good variety of hills, an assload of bridges, nice bike paths along the river, and even a few nice skate parks. I bombed Logan Road and then cruised around town until I met  a local longboarder who showed me a few nice spots in the West End. I then went to see Avataar in 3D, which was pretty entertaining, despite the hype. I also stumbled upon some very nice artwork and grafitti. Heading towards the beach and hope to meet up with a crew on the Gold Coast for a rip. Stay warm NYC.

NYC Santa Skate 2009

19 01 2010


Unfortunatly I was unable to attend this years Santa Skate through the mean streets of NYC. I spent my Christmas with my legs danging over the edge of Minyon Falls (Nightcap National Park, Australia) relaxing with a fat spliff of bushbud. Sure, it was amazing, but I really wanted to take my gorilla suit and white beard out and join the NYC crew as they skated in full Santa regalia.  Enjoy the video footage and prepare for next years merrymaking, courtesy of Unlce Funky’s Longboards.

Brooklyn Australia?

4 01 2010


While wandering throiugh the Outback, I came across this sign, and was admittedly confused. So i headed to the right and found myself at a lakeside village called Brooklyn, oddly devoid of bearded hesidics and converse clad hipsters. Also, there were no Bustin longboard shops, obnoxiously loud reggae music or hot Polish chicks, so I got the hell out of there as quickly as possible and continued North, into the jungle. Meanwhile, back home in snowy NYC, a  longboarding video caught my attention.

More great footage from the nicest skate documentary team in New york City, Fabrika Production out of Astoria Queens. This years race was epic, and I cannot wait for next year. Anyone not from NYC, make plans now to come through the city next october and join in the mnayhem.

Skurfboarding in Byron Bay

22 12 2009

I took an absurdly long train ride and arrived late Monday evening in Byron Bay. This small town is known for surfing, and the immense number of backpackers that infest its streets. All the reasonably priced hostels were booked, so I got drunk, and slept on the beach. The next day I was planning on taking Jim’s Alternative bus Tour to a hippie haven called Nimbin and a few parks, but Jim was all booked, leaving me with an entire day to kill.

So i dropped my bags off at the Cape Byron Hostel, and made my way to the Mojo Surf School.  Outside the school I met two of my instructors, both  with skateboards. Chris rocked a Sector 9 board (seems to be the most popular down under) and Chungy rocked a vintage torpedo board about 14 inches long. Both were barefoot skaters, as many Aussies seem to be, and were pretty damn good, especially on that mini-board. They tried my Bustin Cigar and liked how much it felt like surfing- awesome. 

Instead of surfing concrete, today I would try some serious Pacific Ocean waves. For a mere $60 I got a four hour lesson, which consisted of about two and a half hours in the water. I managed to stand up on my third attempt, and proceeded to ride a good number of waves. Although I did take some rather comical falls, I also had three really amazing waves I caught and rode like a champ. Waiting for and catching the right wave is the hardest part. I expected to be carving and tearing up and down the wave on my first time out, but that proved to be somehwat more challenging than I expected.

After a physicaly taxing surf sesh, I met up witha few longboarders and skated the small town, constantly forgetting about the whoile driving on the left side of the road thing, and pissing off quite a few drivers not used to an aggresive skater dominating the streets. I am about to catch a bus to Nimbin, and then spend a week at a communal farm called Jasper Hall. I plan on renting a surfboard again sometime soon and going for round two. See you suckas in 2010!