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Greg Lutzka wins Tampa Pro 2009

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Wow! Can you say three peat? This dude has seriously got to be one of the highest paid skateboarders in the industry right now. Honestly, win after win!

greg lutzka tampa pro 2009

Check out his sponsors list with “Toyota” as an official listing. Dude, a car sponsorship is above and beyond the incentive he probably receives from any of his other sponsors. Props to Greg Lutzka for pulling off the win this year and coming back home $20,000 richer.

His run was absolutely flawless. I have seen tons, and I mean tons of message board hate and video comments all over the place about him not deserving the win due to repetition of tricks. But with all honesty, this is the Tampa Pro not a best trick contest. You are judged on your consistency and difficulty of tricks within your runs. Greg Lutzka accomplished all of that and more. He may have done the usual tricks he normally pulls off, but regardless, 270 lipslides, frontside flip 360’s, and his daily 270 to blunt are ridiculously hard. And to be able to pull them off in a consistent line without flaws is gold worthy.

You can check out his run on Fuel TV.

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PJ’s Project Granite

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

pjs ledge competition

An online ledge competition? That’s a new one right? To top it off, the grand prize winner gets a buttery granite bench that PJ Ladd was tearing up? Sounds like a recipe for greatness. Judging by the skateboarder they’ve chosen to feature for this contest, I wouldn’t say it’s an easy win. You can probably imagine what kind of tricks he’s going to be doing on the ledge.

The Berrics and DC got together for this contest and you can enter by posting comments on the designated page. There are a host of prizes being given away. You can win his new DC shoes, which cost a whopping $120.00 a pair and probably even more for the gold color way that’s lurking around. Its pretty pimp how PJ is wrecking $120.00 shoes every time he skates don’t you think? Three people will get a year’s supply of gear and 6 pairs of the PJ shoe. At the end of the contest, Mr. Ladd himself will choose the grand prize winner who will have a brand new marble bench. According to the contest officials, if you have an apartment or no space for the bench, they’ll either give you a life long membership to a park where they will place it, or hook you up with $5,000 worth of gear.

I would hardly think the bench costs anywhere remotely near 5k but shoot, that’s what they’re offering. So polish those ledge skills and bust out with the wax because it’s going to be one hell of a contest. They say you have six days to turn in the footage but you know heads are going to be uploading their footage that very same day.

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Tampa Pro 2009

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

tampa pro 09It’s that time of the year again. Who will win the Tampa Pro this time around?

$20,000 is the grand prize this year for the first place champ with an overall cash purse of $100,000 to be distributed amongst other placing individuals. The money is hot and you know the competition is going to be head to head.

Greg Lutzka has had two victories within the last five years, will he make a three peat? Will Eric Koston sneak in another surprise win? Will one of the many recent Ams turned Pro take their first win? Or will someone completely unexpected take the gold out of nowhere?

I actually think that it would be even more spectacular if someone unexpected wins it. Regardless, this contest is so dope that even 12th place wins a cool grand. Plus, if you’re in the area on the 21st, for $15.00 you can check out a performance from Wu Tang OG’s Raekwon and Ghostface Killa. Its all part of the Tampa Pro contest party that will be throwing down that Saturday night. Then, the following day you got the finals and the best trick contest where it will all go down and history shall be made.

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King of S.K.A.T.E. Contest

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Lately there have been a lot of S.K.A.T.E. related contests going down. This King of S.K.A.T.E. is different in that you don’t actually obtain any letters at all. In fact, King of S.K.A.T.E. is a foreign contest in Europe which is executed online through their website. So anyone here in the United States could enter if they chose too.

king of skate

It’s pretty insane because the dudes over at Besttrick.com have come up with an out of this world idea. Basically, it’s a contest that doesn’t end until one last skateboarder is left standing.

The way it works is that a trick is posted up that you have to do. For instance a 360 flip is the first trick, so everyone competing uploads their 360 flip trick that they just filmed and from there, they basically make it into round 2. Now it sounds easy but when you start watching what tricks are required, things can get a little mind boggling. I honestly don’t know how the heck some of these dudes pull of what they do.

The grand prize to the winner is 2,500 euros which translates to $3,196.93. Hot damn that’s a decent amount of cash. So if you think you got the skills to compete with your crazy European skate brothers, then by all means give it a shot and enter the contest. It’s free to enter and at least if you make it midway you could say you lost on a 720 gazelle flip or something.

Posted in Skateboarding | 1 Comment »

Poway Skatepark Fingerprinting Buzz

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

poway skatepark fingerprintingYou may soon have to register your fingerprint to use the Poway Skatepark. That’s their latest clever method towards keeping it a “safer” place. This futuristic method of admittance towards entering a skatepark sounds full proof in keeping the trouble makers out of the skatepark for good right? Wrong!

In a sense I guess it does keep some strays out, but all it takes is one registered kid with his pack of homies to tag alongside him and enter without scanning their own prints. I highly doubt the door has a mind of its own enough to close after one person enters. You will still have bullies, you will still have trouble makers, and you will still have someone inside tagging on something.

Yes you can probably keep the local bum from entering and spending the night in the snake pit but your not going to solve the entire problem by putting in that finger scanner. All that money that was spent on the damn-thing could have been used towards better things, like improvements to the park. Maybe some improved drinking fountains, or some extensions to the park. A lot of the coping in there is beat and pretty sticky already even with wax thrown on it. So if they are going to spend $50,000 on cameras then what’s the point of throwing in the finger scanner?

Someone would have to be completely stupid to mess up while in there, knowing their fingerprint is pre scanned. The shady people sneaking in with the finger approved friend causing trouble still aren’t going to get caught. That $50,000 would have gone down the drain just like that. Might as well stick the video cameras in the back of an alley.

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Mike Mo wins Battle at the Berrics.

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

battle at the berricsWe finally have our winner! Some of you may have predicted it, some of you may have not. Actually, I doubt anyone got the exact lineup of who would win what but I’m positive many of you were going with Mike Mo Capaldi for the gold. And boy was it one hell of a game.

I actually thought the match up with him and Billy Marks was a bit more heated than the final game though. Also, I’m pretty sure tons of people underestimated Benny Fairfax and said PJ Ladd was going to win. I am glad Benny made it into the finals, I’m so stoked for him.

The entire redemption battle that went down was awesome! Super cool idea and another great chance to see some epic game of SKATE battles go down. A lot of contenders were missing though if you noticed. I hope they make this a yearly thing there at the Berrics. It was pretty awesome to watch it go down. And a surprise $10,000 cash prize? Mike Mo Capaldi just came up big time.

Posted in Skateboarding | 2 Comments »

Skateboarding with Balloons

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

I’m sure a lot of you have seen the original balloon bowl stunt with Matt Beach a couple of years back. It was pretty epic and he surprisingly was able to skate perfectly fine with thousands of balloons engulfing him. And it now seems as if we have some sort of a balloon rematch going down with Bob Burnquist.

Skateboard cinematographer extraordinaire Ty Evans is the man behind the lens filming the whole deal. What I’m hearing it’s for a Aero candy bar commercial.

aero bar

The progress is looking pretty darn awesome. Even the color of the balloons they chose is interesting. At times it looks so surreal that it almost looks like CGI, only it’s not.

All in all it’s a pretty cool visual effect and what’s expected of Bob to do, looks pretty tough. You can follow the video updates they put up through their YouTube channel. It’s definitely something unexpected and interesting to watch. It’s cool, uplifting, fresh, new, and Ty Evans is behind the lens so you know it’s going to be rad.

I know that the behind the scenes camera you see shooting everything isn’t really that great. But you can bet that the actual footage is probably being shot in HD, on an hvx200 or who knows maybe even on a full on Panavision camera.

Pretty entertaining if you ask me.

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Skateboarding and Music

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

skateboarding and musicSkateboarding and music. These two topics pretty much go hand-in-hand with each other.

Some professional skateboarders have even branched out into sparking their own musical projects. You want examples? Terry Kennedy doing his thing with Fly Society. Tommy Guerrero with his amazing beats and music. Ray Barbee’s guitar skills are out of this world. And even Danny Way and Bob Burnquist have a band called “Escalera”. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. I have even heard Jereme Rogers is stepping into the rap game. And perhaps the most successful of the bunch I believe would be Mike Vallely with his band Revolution Mother.

Skateboarding is just as much an art form as music is, and it’s no wonder why the two click so well. You can only imagine all the bands out there who are getting asked permission for the use of their songs in skateboarding videos. Some musicians also have a reputation of just loving and supporting skateboarding in general. Beastie Boys, Ima Robot, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Slayer, and the list goes on and on. I even remember watching a Digital skateboarding video with a dude airing over Slayer on a half pipe.

Personally, I can’t even skate without having some kind of jams pumping through my ears. Music gets you pumped up and gets your adrenaline going. It also makes skateboarding videos more epic. Can you imagine trying to watch a skate video with no music? Take for example, Heath Kirchart in Transworld’s “Sight Unseen”. Heath is a gnarly skateboarder and his part is amazing, but it’s even more amazing with the jaw dropping editing. The song fits so well with him going out into the night and getting all the hammers he pulled off. On the flip side, music can also ruin some video parts, regardless of how amazing the tricks are. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. An annoying song edited with some amazing skateboarding turns that part into a not so amazing part.

Music in skateboarding videos is also responsible for introducing new artists to an entirely different audience. J Mascis, Placebo, Cali Agents, Rubberoom, Radiohead, Pinback, and tons of other artists where unknown to me before skateboarding videos. Thank you skateboarding for some wonderful jams.

Posted in Skateboarding | 3 Comments »

Skateboard Magazines Slowly Vanishing

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

concussion magazineConcussion Skateboard Magazine has recently announced its final issue. Yes, the 40th issue is said to be the last one, ever. I am pretty bummed.

First Slap and now Concussion? Man, seriously this sucks major bearing rust. I mean being able to check out coverage on the internet is cool and all but nothing beats actually being able to hold an real magazine filled with glossy images. You know what I mean? Flipping through the crisp pages, taking photos from the inside and pinning them to your wall.

Of course you can still catch Concussion Magazine online through their website, just like Slap magazine. Both magazines are amazing and it would’ve been rad to still have them around in print. But I guess there just isn’t enough support out there anymore for all the different magazines. Not only has the economy scared the advertisers away, which has halted a lot of the ad dollars magazines rely on. But with the way media consumption is changing, there just isn’t enough market share anymore for 20 different mags. Magazines will never be replaced, but as we’re witnessing now, there will be a huge consolidation and only the couple strongest will survive. Pure skateboard magazines are like core skateboard shops. Rare, true and the heart of skateboarding. Many of them will be missed.

It seems the owner of Concussion is up to sell the magazine though. Check their website and email them for details. Somebody can still save the day and keep this magazine running in print. We’re not holding our breath though.

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RIP CITY: Thumbs Up For New Portland Skateboarding Documentary

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Although I regrettably missed its screening at last month’s X-Dance film festival, I recently had the privilege of seeing the new Portland skate documentary Rip City on DVD and was impressed not just by the overall quality of the film, but also by its honest and heartfelt portrayal of the Portland skateboarding scene and the characters that have, over the years, come to define it.

It’s a different breed of skater up here. It’s the pioneer spirit, man. The Northwest is a different thing. This isn’t the lap of luxury, this is gritty.” –Pat Q

Rip City isn’t your typical action packed skate flick filled with the latest tricks done to a bumping soundtrack, nor is it a documentary in the sense that it chronicles the specifics of skateboarding history. Instead, Rip City takes us behind the scenes for an intimate peak into how skateboarding has affected the lives and lifestyles of Portland’s skaters and how these same skaters have in turn, come to influence the progression of skateboarding in their town.

The film does a great job of capturing some of the features that exemplify Portland skating and does so with an artistic approach that you don’t see too often in skate films. The monologues in Rip City, for example, though informal and seemingly all over the place are often profound and inspiring. Guys like Donovan Rice, Chet Childress, Ben Krahn, Chris Nukala, Pat Q, and Jay Smay (not all inclusive) deliver on point and down to Earth perspectives that go a long way towards effectively relating to the rest of the world just what it is that makes Portland such a distinct place.

Speaking of artistic approach, the camera work in Rip City is awesome and deserves special mention. You can tell a lot of thought went into shooting this thing and you’ll find that some scenes are worth rewinding a couple of times to make sure you’ve absorbed all the juicy splendor they have to offer. I’m specifically thinking about the aerial footage of Ben Krahn at Newberg, the Pier Park shots, and the Portland landscape footage but there’s certainly more that just that to feast on visually.

Rip City also has a kind of day-in-the-life feel to it, which, I think works really well. It reminds me a bit of the 2007 surf documentary, One California Day, in that in that it uses the stories of individuals to convey the bigger picture of what’s collectively going on. Chet Childress’ morning skate through the neighborhood, Sage Bolyard and Mark Red Scott’s Dreamland Skateparks segment, and Chris Nukala’s “toxic waste” project all seem to be happening at the same time and together with other parts define the core skate scene in Portland.

In the end, Rip City is like a painting, or rather a dual portrait of both Portland skater and Portland skating. It’s also an inspirational piece, although it differs from others like it. If a team skate video is like a candy bar as far as stoke factor goes, then Rip City is like a pasta dinner. The former might be appropriate as motivation for a quick session, but the latter is what you really need for long-term nourishment. Check it nice.

Rip City will premier on Fuel TV on March 27, 2009

Posted in Skateboarding | 12 Comments »

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