News Archive 2003-2004 Part 3

There was so much going on last weekend it was hard to choice where to go. I ended up going to the Etnies Skatepark grand opening in Lake Forest. It was definately over the top and a good time was had by all. You can check out the details and a ton of pictures of the event here. We have lots of video of the event that should be posted in the next few days.Three skateparks opened last weekend including Etnies, Brawley, and Palm Springs. All three of these skateparks are hopefully signs of a shift from sub-par skateparks to the future of killer skateparks in SoCal. If anybody has any pictures of the opening day at either Brawley or Palm Springs feel free to send them in so others can see what went down. There was also a Skate Festival at Burbank Skatepark which Bill Hensley of Skatepark Guides covered and will be sending in a review of the event to me sometime this week.
Posted on 04 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Thanks to everyone who got involved with righting the wrong at Memorial Skatepark in San Diego. Hats off to Buddy Carr from Tracker Trucks and Bulldog Skates for leading the charge. The supposed Del Mar Keyhole replica that has been built is now being destroyed and they are now going to start again from scratch and do it right. Read more here. The Memorial Skatepark is scheduled to open on Saturday January 29th.The crew building the Glendale Skatepark is now going into overdrive to get this new skatepark built. Check out the photos herecourtesy of Ben Schroeder.Pat Flaherty put together a great video of the Etnies Grand Opening. I will be working with Pat to put together some more video coverage so stay tuned for more in the coming months.

I will be heading to Vegas for New Years in a few days so if you don’t see any updates during the next week I will catch up when I get back. I am stoked that I am finally going to get a chance to skate the new Anthem Skatepark in Henderson and hopefully will get a chance to hit some pools while I am there. Have a great New Year.

Posted on 04 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Steve Hirsch - Layback Palm Springs Kidney
Hope everyone had a great New Year. I was unfortunately out of commission with the flu that is still haunting me and missed out on any sort of celebration. My first full week off in a year and I end up being sick – what a major pissa. However, just prior to going into flu overdrive I was able to skate all day Monday with my Brother. We took the perfect SoCal SkatePark road trip starting out at the Palm Springs Skatepark, then off to the Chino Skatepark, and ending up at the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest. My brother Steve lives up in Davis, Ca and was way stoked and jealous of the latest round of skateparks to be built here in SoCal. Check out some pictures here.IMPORTANT! The Torrance Skatepark has been closed and the Torrance Skate Association is looking for some voices to help in the cause to re-open the skatepark. Do what you can to help save one of the better LA area skateparks.
Posted on 04 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
I split out the Updates Section into this new area. You can now add comments to the Updates. Enjoy.
Posted on 04 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Just a quick reminder that the Palm Springs Skatepark Official Grand Opening is going to be huge and will take place on Saturday January 17th. There will be demos from 1 to 4 but after that the session will be on for everyone to skate for free. Should be a great day so try to make it. More details will follow in the coming days. Stay tuned.
Posted on 05 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
I was curious to see with the 115+ Skateparks listed here at what the trend was for new skateparks over the past decade. The following is a graph that I put together which shows the trend for new skateparks and what I project for new skateparks in 2004.
As you can see there are 15 skateparks on the graph for which I do not have the data for the actual year the skatepark was built. The data that I track on comes from a wide variety of sources that I trust to be providing me with accurate information. Based on the data that I have gathered so far for new skateparks in 2004, I estimate 20 new skateparks for the year 2004 which would be an increase over 2003.The future of skateparks in our region looks to be killer and we should all be very stoked to be able to be participating in the re-birth of skateparks here in SoCal.

There are many that think skateboarding is heading for another crash similar to what we saw with the first skatepark explosion that happened in the 1970’s. I am one that does not think skateboarding is going to fall out of favor but continue to grow more popular over the next 10 years. Time will tell. All I know is that it is a great time to be a skateboarder.

Posted on 07 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
I am stoked to announce that we have some new sponsors at California Bearing will take over as our official bearings sponsor and Punk Rock Skateboardshas come on board to support the site. Both Ron from California Bearings and Brad from Punk Rock Skateboards are standup guys that offer killer products that I am proud to promote.I talked to Ben Schroeder of Site Skateparks the company building the Glendale Skateparkand he said that things are going well and they will start pouring the skatepark next week. The Glendale Skatepark should be open in Spring 2004.This summer, there is going to be a new skatepark built at Houghton Park in Long Beach. The skatepark was designed by Purkiss Rose and is going out to bid in April. I should have an image of the design in the coming days.

The Rancho Santa Margarita Skatepark is going out to bid late spring or early summer and they project the skatepark to be completed in September 2004.

The Memorial Skatepark in San Diego is near completion with the exception of the keyhole which they are ripping out and will build again – this time to spec. The grand opening for the Memorial Skatepark is still on schedule and is set for Saturday January 24th. More details will follow on this one.

There has been a bit of a snag regarding the Santa Monica Skatepark. You can read about it Here .

The Torrance Skatepark is now closed. Hopefully, somehow the skatepark will once again re-open. Try to get involved if you live in the area.

Also, there is also a new skatepark opening this Saturday January 10th in Palmdale.

If you are going to partake in the Concrete Disciples Skate Blitz this Saturday, I will see you there.

Posted on 09 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Dales feeling like a slob.

The boys and girls from Concrete Disciples showed up in force at the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest for the first leg of their Skate Blitz. What a great session it was. If you were there you know what I am talking about. Me and my son Christian had to bail out of the blitz that was heading next to the Chino Skatepark and then off to a backyard pool party for the Milk Man Joe Graham who rides for Punk Rock Skateboards. The entire crew was ripping the Etnies skatepark and looked to be having a blast. Good times for sure!
Posted on 11 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Glendale Skatepark Right Hand Kidney
Glendale Right-Hand Kidney

Neil Blender
The Glendale Skatepark is coming along nicely. Check out the recent photos here.By the looks of the design and the construction progress, the Glendale Skatepark will most likely be the best skatepark in LA County.Also, construction of the new Oxnard Skateparkis underway. I have someone in the Oxnard area that is going to be providing us updates starting tomorrow so stay tuned for more.I was checking out the 88 Footwear site and they have a cool little mini mini clip of Neil Blender you might want to check out . It is great to see Neil once again showing off his special purpose – skateboarding.

Posted on 12 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Click to View the skaters that will be appearing at the 01.17.04 Palm Springs Skatepark Dedication
Palm Springs – Nude bowl

This Saturday, January 17th, the city of Palm Springs will have the official dedication of the new Palm Springs Skatepark. The event will start at Noon and end at 3pm. We are stoked that the city of Palm Springs asked to put together the demo for the event. You can see who has been invited to skate at the event here. After the event the skatepark will be open for a free session until 10PM. Hope to see you there! For more details, view our Events Calendar.
Posted on 16 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Click to View the Palm Springs Skatepark Dedication ArticleJ
ake Piasecki – Palm Springs Skatepark Dedication

The Palm Springs Skatepark Dedication went down on Saturday, January 17th and was off the charts. Check out our coverage of the event here.
Posted on 19 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Brad Bowman
Photo: T-Bone

The Memorial Skatepark in San Diego opens this coming Thursday, January 29th at 3PM. George over at BowlRider was cool enough to send in the photos of the skatepark so check them out. I am planning on making it out to the event and hope to see some shredding of the latest San Diego skatepark offering. As reported previously, the word on the skatepark is that the contractors who built the skatepark blew the pour when building the keyhole and the verdict is still out on the rest of the skatepark. I have not spoken to anyone who has actually ridden the rest of the skatepark. If there is anyone out there that has ridden the skatepark, then feel free to comment here to let us know what you think.Over this past weekend I was up in Santa Barbara with my wife and kids so that my son could visit the Santa Barbara mission for his 4th grade mission report. On Sunday, me and my son Christian were able to bust out for an hour and hit the Santa Barbara Skatepark. Always a good vibe and there are usually some locals that are killing the place. While we were there we had the opportunity to session with some of the local boys including Brad Bowman and Mike Taylor. Both were ripping and having a good time. If you are every up in Santa Barbara check out the skatepark. It is not the best but the location is great – right on the beach!

Posted on 26 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Some more pictures courtesy of Ben Schroeder have been added to the Glendale Skatepark Gallery.
Posted on 27 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Congratulations to Guy Mazza of LA County for winning the complete BullDog Skates deck. The complete features a BullDog Buddy Carr Deck, Tracker Trucks, Edger Wheels, and Rocket Bearings. This is a great setup and perfect for pool skating.
Dave Cardoza – Palm Springs Skatepark
Our current giveaway is a complete Kronk Skateboards Dave Cardoza model. Kronk is a new skateboard company here in SoCal and I am happy to have them as one of our sponsors and to have the opportunity to promote their products. Look for their team riders ripping a skatepark in your neighborhood. The giveaway ends Sunday February 29th.
Posted on 31 Jan 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Mike Early – Memorial Skatepark Grand Opening

The Memorial Skatepark Grand Opening was great. Check out what went down here.Also, be sure to check out our Online Skateshop. I just added new products for Kronk Skateboards, Punk Rock Skateboards, DeathBox, and Crooks Rails. The skateshop helps keep rolling so your support is appreciated.Word from Ben Schroeder is that the Glendale Skatepark should be opening in a month or so. More details to follow.

Posted on 02 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Some site news. I have spent some time working on the performance of so that the site should now load much faster. Other enhancements are in the works. Hopefully, you will notice a major difference.
Posted on 03 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
N-Men Pool Service
N-Men Pool Service
By John R Gleason
John Gleason

If the Z-Boys were the Ted Nugent of skateboarding then I would have to describe the N-Men of Northern California as the Rolling Stones of skateboarding. Ted Nugent had his time; he created great music, and then slowly coasted into extinction. The Rolling Stones, however, are still hitting it hard; holding true to their predisposed nature. The N-Menare no different; they never sold out, never took industry positions, and never cashed in from the sport. The N-Men, made up of business owners, chefs, students, pilots, scout-leaders, teachers, lawyers, husbands, and fathers all find passion for life via pool riding. The intensity required to pursue back yard pool hunting/skating for better than a Quarter-Century should speak volumes as to the make-up of this crew.N-Men Pool Service
Hunting season starts May 1st -25 years running- in which the highly practiced and proficient N-Men emerge like the CIA into all neighboring cities and towns on the hunt for the choice pools.Randy Katen (44) has lived, eaten, and breathed skateboarding for over a quarter-century and as a result has developed the most artful form of pool acquisition I have ever heard of. Many high tech methods such as satellite imaging surveillance are incorporated in the search; as this is easily accessible via the internet.

Skateboarding today isn’t the punk-rocker/rebel go to jail sport it used to be. Average people are more open to the idea of pool riding due to the likes of Tony Hawk and the X-Game thing, which has given way to open-mindedness in regard to convincing John Q that it’s his privilege to have us skate the pool.

Without going into specifics, let’s just understand that common people want to be a part of something cool. One old guy is so stoked to have Randy and the crew skate his pool that he rips out the BBQ every time they show up; he thinks it’s the greatest thing ever. In stream-lining the process the N-Men take down given address’ and phone numbers, go online to a satellite service, zoom into their backyard from space and evaluate the pools via computer. It sure beats the old days when they would research real-estate listings with pools, then show up in their trucks with signs on the doors that read ‘Pool Service’ wait until the home-owners would leave, then sneak into the backyard making the neighbors think they were servicing the pool, not sessioning the pool. There were times Randy would return a friendly wave from a neighbor who probably thought what the hell type of pool cleaning machine makes that clikedy clakedy noise?

In a recent interview I had with Randy he explained some of the methods.

JG: What is the most important element in finding a skateable pool?

RK: The ground hunt! First you must have solid understanding of the city in which you’re hunting in. Certain roads and areas are better, and remember, timing is everything.

JG: Are their any reliable year-round pools that are guaranteed?

RK: In the month of March most public swimming pools are empty. That’s all the freebees you get man.

JG: What are some of the characteristics you look for in a city or town that may indicate skateable pools?

RK: Older neighborhoods! They are set up along lengthy avenues and boulevards, if you drive along at a precise speed you can look directly at a fence and it becomes invisible allowing you to look for pool sweeps and ladders, hence pools. Document these pools and visit them year after year, it can pay off.

JG: What are some pitfalls that should be avoided?

RK: Don’t be an idiot, don’t vandalize while you’re in someone’s back yard, and don’t bring people you can’t trust. If you practice these cardinal rules you can experience multiple sessions in one pool, bust-free.

JG: You mentioned earlier some alternative methods of intelligence other than driving up-and-down the boulevards.

RK: Yes, we have many methods that believe it or not have worked. Rent a helicopter. A bunch of you guys go in on the cost. Then, take cell phones, Thomas maps, and deploy a few cars on the ground. Simply spot possibilities and pass the info on to the ground crew.

JG: Randy thanks for taking the time with me and sharing a little insight into the reality of true pool skating, it’s always a pleasure when I listen to your wealth of knowledge in this area.

RK: No problem, just remember that skateboarding is supposed to be fun and this makes it even more of a challenging game.

JG: Don’t forget I will be making the trip
in early June, so tell Mark to have the pool ready.

RK: I will have at least two pools located and ready, I will even wait to skate them until you arrive just to make sure their still available.

JG: Right on.

If you strip away the commercial aspect of skateboarding and remove the layer of B/S you find guys like Randy Katen, Mark Anolik, and all the other hard-core N-Men. When it’s all said and done you can rest assured that somewhere in time and space, Randy and the crew will be pulling wheelers in some other place and always in search for a skateable pool.

Posted on 08 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
By John R Gleason
John Gleason
Father and Son
In 25 years of skateboarding I have witnessed many different happenings. I was there in the corner of the Upland square pool in 1983 when professional skater Chris Miller fell 17’ onto flat concrete during a pro-contest in the now legendary convulsive knockout. I have skated many sessions with Tony Hawk and experienced his extreme intensity, along with many other well known skaters. In all the events and people I have skated with none leave me with more pleasure than when I see a father and son skating together.While sessioning my new favorite skatepark Chino I witnessed the coolest thing ever. John Reilly and his son, 3 year old Jeff Reilly, took skating together in the literal sense. If little Jeff couldn’t carve the giant waves of concrete on his own he’d simply catch a ride with his dad. The fluent carves and complete control John displayed with his son fixed between his legs was truly the coolest. Hmm, I wonder who we will be seeing in the future skateboard magazines.

Skateboarding possesses many skills necessary for the development and challenges kids will face in life. Being active in today’s societal epidemic of Sega, Microsoft, Big Macs, and Twinkies is an undeniable benefit unto itself. No other sport or activity demands more physical endurance and coordination skills than skateboarding. Skateboarding requires and develops visualization, and creativity all while improving motor skills and cardio. Skateboarding is certainly not without its fair share of hard knocks and failures, however, in dealing with and overcoming one’s fear through perseverance and determination will certainly prepare one for life’s jolts.

Be original and confident in yourself and not influenced by what others determine as cool. Proper safety practices may not be the “cool” thing, however, busting the big moves with pads and a helmet is always cooler than being side lined with a broken whatever. If you desire to be a great skateboarder then pad up and go for it. Make wearing pads cool through your own example. If you would like to learn more about skateboard safety for you or your child simply contact me at and ask about my next skateboard safety clinic.

Until then, Crank the music and drop in.

Posted on 08 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Local Skate Scene
By John R Gleason
John Gleason
Dog Town was certainly a time and a place that goes down in the history book as the holy ground of skateboarding, however, the story by no means begins and ends in Dog Town. No other group of skaters has contributed more to the development and progression of skateboarding than the Badland crew of Upland. No other geographical area has produced more skateable pools, canals, ditches, and the mother of all skate terrain, Mt. Badly Full pipe; making the Badlands the holy Mecca of skateboarding. Albeit this group of skaters helped pave the way in showing the world what was possible on a skateboard, by no means were they alone in the aggressive punk rock pool riding of the 80’s.Corona, also known as Crown Town, was home to many ripping skaters who by lack of magazine coverage simply slid into the world of the unknown. The Crown Town skaters incorporated a surf/skate influence as many of the great skaters were also surf rats. Style was of the utmost importance in establishing a line. As the aesthetics of surf style was the transposition of all Corona pool riding maneuvers, this gave way to a unique poetic skate style.

The world of magazines in the early 80’s had people marveling at Duane Peter’s acid drops into the 14’combi pool in Upland, Ca. Little did the world know that Corona skater Robert Henderson was also acid dropping into the 14’combi, or that Riverside’s Coco (Coco was a well known Riverside skater) was asked to perform the first ever sponsored 360 degree loop?

Being a skateboard history buff is an interesting pursuit; however, understand the evolutionary process of our sport is to understand you as a skater. We all perform generally the same tricks or variations thereof that truly connect us throughout time. A new skater stepping onto a board for his/her first time also steps on the back of thirty-five plus years of skateboard evolution, making their pursuit of skateboarding easier understood.

This column is dedicated to all the great unknowns and particularly to the older skaters still at it to this day. I will feature some old time Crown Towners as well as a few old time Ripperside Skaters in the upcoming articles. The likes of Coco and his formation of the Ripperside crew along with all the many new school skate rats.

If you see me at one of the local skate parks please feel free to rap with me and let me know your views and the high possibility of finding yourself featured in this publication.

Until then crank the music and drop in.

Posted on 08 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
02/09/2004 Etnies Press Release

Elissa Steamer Honored as 2003 Female Skater of the Year

Lake Forest, CA. (09 February, 2004) – Over the weekend, etnies’ Elissa Steamer was awarded the coveted title of Check It Out Girl Magazine’s 2003 Female Skater of the Year!

The award ceremony, which took place at Bar Deluxe in Hollywood, California on Friday night, was packed with friends, family and industry to honor Elissa as she accepted the prestigious womens skateboarding title. “Elissa has done so much for girl’s skateboarding,” said Check It Out Girl Editors Liza Araujo and Lucianna Ellington during the presentation. “We are so excited to present her with this award!”

Elissa first made an impact in the male-dominated world of skateboarding back in 1996 with an incredible part in a video that many consider one of the most influential of all time, Toy Machine Skateboard’s Welcome To Hell. Her exposure in the video single handedly redefined the role of women in skateboarding and ushered in a new era of talented female skaters. Elissa is also one of the first women in skateboarding to ever be issued a pro model skateboarding shoe, the etnies Steamer, followed by the etnies Tross.

In 2004, there are more female skateboarders than ever before and, without question, Elissa has helped make this a reality. etnies would like to congratulate Elissa for not only being named Check It Out Girl’s 2003 Female Skater of the Year, but also for her countless contributions and passionate dedication to skateboarding!

Congratulations, Elissa!
Established in 1986, etnies started out by designing the very best skate shoes on the planet. From the creation of the very first pro model skateboard shoe ever; the Natas, to expanding that innovation to include other action sports like snowboarding, surfing, Moto, and BMX, etnies has always been there, crafting the quality, style, and functionality that has changed the face of the action sports footwear industry forever.

Timothy Nickloff
etnies Public Relations Representative
Phone: 949-460-2020 ext.2957
Fax: 949-460-2050

Posted on 10 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Three new articles by John Gleason have been posted in the past few days. John is a skateboarder that grew up skating in the 70’s and as a journalist he is going to be bringing us some great articles and interviews to SoCalSkateParks in the coming months. Stay Tuned.
Go To N-Men Article
By John R Gleason
John GleasonRead N-Men Article 

The Glendale Skateparkis set to open in the next few weeks. It looks like the city has decided to not hold a grand opening right away and has decided to open the skatepark with little fan fair. Once I find out the date the skatepark is going to open I will pass it along.wassat Due to lack of interest and the abundance of skateboarding forums on the web,’s forum has been trimmed back with only discussions available for Site Help and Skatepark Discussion. Traffic at SoCalSkateParks has been great as the site is receiving over one thousand unique visitors a day. I am totally stoked that people are finding the site useful and that you keep coming back for more. Thanks.

Posted on 10 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Attention friends of Pat Ngoho. Pat turns 40 on Sunday and will be at Etnies with his crew to celebrate. Happy Birthday Pat. I will have to miss it since I am off to Vegas for a few days for some family time and a little skating. Here is where I will be. Definitely will not find me in a casino.
Anthem HillsWagon Wheel

Wagon Wheel

Posted on 12 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Skateboard Madness Video Review
Skateboard Madness
Review by Dan Colburn


Like an ancient artifact un-earthed in a geological dig, this discovery will most likely only appeal to a certain sub-sect of people concerned with this subject matter.In this case, it’s VINTAGE SKATEBOARDING FOOTAGE. I’m highly biased because I’m 37 and I’ve been skateboarding since ’74(?), and subscribed to SKATEBOARDER MAGAZINE since the beginning, and poured over each page until the next issue arrived.I have been waiting 25+ years to see this movie and it did not dissapoint for the most part. You have to imagine a time (1978-79) when you couldn’t see skating on TV, get skateboarding videos or find skate shops everywhere.

This movie is like seeing the pages of a 1978 issue of SKATEBOARDER come to life. On one hand you could also see this movie as cheezy, cheap, corny , hokey but thats the way the 70’s were. Highlights include : Stacey Peralta’s stylish bank tricks, Alan Gelfand’s early ollies, 70’s skateparks like Vista, Torrance, Marina Del Rey, Desert pipe sessions, long forgotten pioneers like Gregg Ayres, Danny “mini-shred” Smith, Shogo Kubo, Jerry Valdez, Kent Senatore, Mellow Cat and Dennis “Polar Bear” Agnew.

The DVD includes bonus footage which is even more killer, with Cherry Hill footage, Winchester with Stevie Caballero and more. Skateboarding is a sport that has never embraced it’s history , and maybe that’s why it’s progressed so incredibly. I found it inspiring to see skating when it was still pure. Before “getting sponsored” meant everything.

You can purchase the video at 411

Posted on 18 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
02/18/2004 Etnies Press Release

Bastien Salabanzi!

Lake Forest, CA. (16 February, 2004) – One of the most talented skateboarders of our time, Bastien Salabanzi is the latest phenomenon to join Arto Saari, Stefan Janoski, Ryan Sheckler and Rune Glifberg on the etnies Team for 2004.

Bastien’s inclusion in skateboarding’s elite began after winning the World Championships of Skateboarding in Germany, not once, but twice (2001 and 2002) in a row. Bastien accomplished the back-to-back feat before he was even old enough to drive.

Since then, Bastien has won several more contests, received widespread media attention and is responsible for an incredible collection of video footage that includes groundbreaking parts in Flip Skateboards’ highly acclaimed Sorry video and Really Sorry DVD, as well as the Lordz Wheels presentation, They Don’t Give a F–k About Us.

Though Bastien has achieved so much at such a young age, it has been his matchless style and consistent skateboarding ability that has earned him the respect of his peers and recognition as one of skateboarding’s brightest up-and-comers.

Please join us in welcoming the one and only Bastien Salabanzi to etnies!

Bastien is supported by etnies Footwear, Flip Skateboards, Quiksilver Apparel, Fury Trucks and Lordz Wheels.

Established in 1986, etnies started out by designing the very best skate shoes on the planet. From the creation of the very first pro model skateboard shoe ever; the Natas, to expanding that innovation to include other action sports like snowboarding, surfing, Moto, and BMX, etnies has always been there, crafting the quality, style, and functionality that has changed the face of the action sports footwear industry forever.

Timothy Nickloff
etnies Public Relations

Phone: 949-460-2020 ext.2957
Fax: 949-460-2050

Craig Metzger
etnies East Coast Public Relations

Phone: 212-965-1780
Fax: 212-965-1759

Sole Technology Inc.
20161 Windrow Drive
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Posted on 19 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Recent site updates include the following:
– A new photo gallery where we will be tracking the progress of the new Oxnard Skatepark
– The City of Santa Paula has a new Skatepark planned that is currently out to bid.
– Several new events have been added to our Event Calendar
– The Desert Hot Springs page has been updated with new pictures and directions.
– Several new articles and reviews have been added including a review by Dan Colburn on the Classic skateboard movie Skateboard Madness.In the coming weeks, we will be posting new interviews with Steve Alba, Stevie Caballero and others.In other skatepark news:
– The Glendale Skatepark is tenatively scheduled to open on Saturday March 26th.
– All of the missing and broken tile in the Chino Skatepark clover has been replaced and repaired.
– This is from Mark Leone over at Academy Skate regarding the new Memorial Skatepark in San Diego “The bowl will definitely be corrected. The contractor is required to bring the bowl to specifications and we are in the process of determining the best way to do so. We are exploring a couple of options”. When, time will tell.
– It looks like the Rancho Santa Margaritawill not go out to bid until late spring.Some other cool stuff on the net that you should check out include:
– Team Goon’s latest articles including Pat Ngohos Birthday Bash and a review of RockNRons Rocket Bearings.
– Jim Gray’s Personal Manifesto regarding the China Skateboard Manufacturing issue.
– The LA Access website has some classic skate photos from the 70’s and 80’s posted.
– Another site worth checking out is Skate Daily

 Posted on 19 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Las Vegas Skating – Brian “Manimal” Henson Interview
Skating Las Vegas
The Brian Henson Interview

I recently took a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada and had the opportunity to skate with an old friend of mine Brian Henson who runs the website Las Vegas Skating. His site offers some great pictures/video of the skateboarding action going on at the Las Vegas Skateparks as well as local Pool coverage, and some vintage photo galleries including a Big O Skatepark Gallery. I have known Brian for over 25 years now and he is one of the coolest guys that you could meet. Many of you may know Brian as “Manimal” from the Concrete Disciples forum. When Brian and I skate together I still think of Brian as the teenage kid that I use to skate with back in the late 70’s and early 80’s.Here is an interview that I had with Brian to talk about the Las Vegas Skateboarding scene and beyond. Enjoy!View Photo Gallery

Brian Henson
How long have you been running Las Vegas Skating and what motivates you to keep the site going?
The Las Vegas Skating site was born in June of 2002. I basically started it to get sessions going with other skaters in the area and that’s pretty much the reason I keep it up today. Although the original idea was for local heads to get together we’ve had skaters come from all over the country come to skate and party/gamble/whatever here in Vegas.

Do you run the site by yourself or do you have others that help you out?
I’m the “manager” but it’s pretty much self governed. Anyone is free to post as long as its skate related. One of my oldest friends Steve Zirwas helped a lot by providing many of the older pictures that are on the site. He had most of the Big O shots including the Gold Cup pictures. I know its not Vegas related but it was something I thought that other skaters would be stoked to see.

How does the Vegas skate scene compare to the skate scene in Southern California?
Skaters are skaters wherever they are. Since there’s a smaller population in Vegas the numbers are smaller but the dedication and passion for skating is the same. There are a few older guys like me that I skate with like Troy (Tboy), Bryan Smyth (Shoe-pad), and Carl (Mauiboy). There’s also a few younger guys that tear it up like Paul Smith and Ryan Fabry, those guys are amazing and really the core skaters in Vegas that I know.

There are now over a dozen skateparks in the Las Vegas area. Which skateparks do you recommend for someone looking to skate while visiting Las Vegas?
For awhile there were only mini parks here and even then they weren’t that good. Planet Plywood was a pay indoor park that was decent but they lost their lease and they closed. Then the city built Desert Breeze. It’s a bigger park but what a joke. They have this bowl that looks like it would be pretty fun, then when you get up to it you notice a big nipple in the middle. It looks like a bunt pan; it’s pretty funny but what a waste. The best park right now would be Anthem. It’s got smooth cement and a good flow design. Only thing with Anthem is the bike traffic is crazy. Buffalo a.k.a. Pro Park is good and designed very different then any park I’ve ridden. The design is very cool, it’s just one huge bowl with just a little too much flat bottom. However the construction was terrible. The ten foot bowls never reach vert, just banked but still fun. I would also include Bunker Park, even though it’s a mini park it’s got flow and the concrete is smooth. There’s also Skate City an indoor mini ramp park that’s good if your into mini ramps.

View Photo Gallery

Ryan Fabry – Anthem Skatepark
I had the opportunity to skate the new Anthem Hills skatepark in Henderson and on the day that I was there the park was being overrun by bmxers. Do most of the skateparks in Vegas allow bikes? If so, how do the skateboarders in the area deal with this?
All of the parks here allow bikes and it blows. I don’t mind riding with bikers except that they have different rules of engagement. Most skaters wait until the last skater is done before dropping in, most bikers will drop in on you anytime. There’s not a lot that can be done about it. I’ve spoken with the parks and rec people and they understand but feel they have to allow bikes, oh well. To be honest Vegas is a biker town, they out number skaters. We live in the desert so bikes are an obvious choice of transportation for kids. TJ Lavin even lives here so it’s just something we deal with.

I recently had the opportunity to skate with you at Kirks pool, Wagon Wheel, could you provide some background about the pool and maybe share some stories about some of the sessions or parties that you have been at?
The Wagonwheel rocks! Kirk is a Vegas native. He use to skate for Alva back in the day and ripped, hell he still does. He built the pool a few years back just for skating. It’s very close to the old park pools of the late 70’s and 80’s. All kinds of people come from all over the country to skate the Wagon Wheel. Last year Lance Mountain came out with Neil Blender, that was a cool session. A picture of Lance from that session made it into Transworld. Rene “The Walrus” brought the Sacrifice team out too that was wild. I helped set up the session which swelled from 10 Sacrifice guys to 22. Kirk was cool about it and Rene bought pizza and beer for everyone and there was a raging session. The Punk Rock Skateboard kids were just here. Those kids rip pools and bowls. If those kids keep skating the future of pool skating looks very bright. Kirk’s had a couple of Wagonwheel parties. is his “mature” humor t-shirt company. In order to promote the company he threw a couple of parties with bands and beer. The turn out was good and the sessions were heated. If you get a chance you should come to one.

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Carl “MauiBoy” – Wagon Wheel
Besides Wagon Wheel, how is the pool scene in Vegas?
Pools? Just because it’s the desert and there’s a drought you think there’s pools…there’s no pools in Vegas, next question.

My in-laws live outside of Vegas in the city of Henderson. When I last visited them I started to pay closer attention to the drainage ditches in the area and spotted plenty that looked skatable and actually skated one that was a blast. Are there an abundance of ditches to skate and do you ever check them out?
There are tons of ditches. Personally I haven’t skated any here but when my son Mark is old enough I plan on starting him off by taking him to skate the ditches. Ditches are way better then parks for learning because there are no people around to interfere and lots of room to learn. A good long ditch can help a beginner learn how to do flowing frontsides and backsides and get the basics for style. My first real skate spot was the El Cerrito ditch just outside of Corona when I lived there in 77. I skated that thing non stop when I first started riding.

You are usually out for the Concrete Disciple Skate Blitz’s. Any props for JED and the boys and girls of Concrete Disciples?
Jeff gets tons of props, the CD site was probably my first exposure to a skate site. He’s got many megabytes of info, old pics and video that are cool to browse. I’d have to say along with the Texas Pool Sharks site his site inspired me to start mine. The couple of Blitz’s I went to were fun, well worth the drive.

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Allen Losi
Where and with who did you skate with when you were a young lad? Any skateparks that you wish that we could dig up and skate again?
Ok I grew up in Corona in the 70’s. I skated with a small crew that lived near me, Steve Zirwas, Greg Devine and Gerry Gagner. Those guys were a few years older then me but I was able to hold my own skating so they always let me tag along. They all had cars so I was able to get to the parks with them. Corona was pretty much equal distance from The Ranch in Colton, Pipeline and Big O, where I met you. We went to all of them but mostly Big O, that’s how I ended up getting on their park team. After making the park team I got to skate all of the parks in socal during the ASPO contests. I skated against guys like Gator, Kevin Stabb, Roland Cobalis, Tim Glavin, John Lucero and Todd Joseph, those guys ripped. After the parks went away I skated a lot of ramps like the Norco ramp with Squirt and Ron Yerman’s ramp in Fontana. I skated the Chino ramp a few times and Marcus’ ramp in Upland. We also had the Bird ramp and Wally’s. There was also another ramp in Fontana it was huge but I don’t remember who owned it. I only skated it a few times and the last time I was there Al Losi caught a screw with his knee and split it wide open, that sucked!

I wouldn’t dig out just one park but pieces from several to build a dream park. I would have the capsule from Big 0 (that pool ruled), the clover and full pipe from Whittier, the bank slalom run from Del Mar, the upper keyhole from Marina, the half pipe from Lakewood, the Combi from Upland, the snake runs from Colton (that’s right) and even though I never skated them I would add the Winchester pool and everything from Cherry Hill so I could skate them.

Any closing comments or shout-outs to your homies lol?
Yeah thanks to Steve Zirwas for catching all those old memories on film, priceless. Thanks to Kirk for putting his money into a pool that’s rad and 5 minutes from my house, forever! And lastly thanks to you for thinking that I might have something interesting to say, keep up the good work on your site.

Thanks to Brian for some insight into the Las Vegas Skate Scene and sharing his thoughts about skateboarding.

Related Sites:
Las Vegas Skating
Concrete Disciples

Posted on 23 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Lance Mountain
Lance Mountain – Vans at the Block of Orange
I would like to welcome Mike Sallinger and his crew to the SoCalSkateParks family. They will be shooting some video footage for the site in the coming months. I will soon be posting some new video footage that he filmed last Sunday at the >Orange Vansand some footage from many of the other skateparks.Due to the weather hindering construction progress, it looks like the City of Glendale has once again pushed back the Official Grand Opening of the Glendale Skatepark until April 17th. There is a new skatepark opening in Norwalk on March 6th. Once I have more details I will pass it on. I have heard from Purkiss Rose that the city of Irwindale has a skatepark that is currently under construction – more details to follow.

Posted on 26 Feb 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Steve Alba Interview
Steve Alba
By John R Gleason

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The king of the Badlands and the master of insane terrain continues showing us what hard-core punk/rock concrete assault is, with every carve, grind, and point of no return. I met up with Steve for a sit down one-on-one, but not before a two hour session in the new Upland pipe. At 41 Steve still rides with power and flow that I would compare only to that of a master-craftsman. With three decades of pool and pipe riding, winner of the first ever professional pool contest in Spring Valley California during the height of the Dogtown/San Diego rivalry with a come from nowhere upset, Steve stamped his seal on pool riding from the early stages, and established a cult following by just being Alba. There is always a price to be paid, with over 250 stitches in his head, broken this and broken that many times over, and still living life past vert, puts Steve Alba in the highest ranks of skateboard royalty.View Photo Gallery
Steve Alba
JG: What does skateboarding mean to you personally and why do you continue skating after all these years?

SALBA: Skateboarding is pretty much my life, you know, that’s the way I look at it so it’s kind of like the whole culture you’re into and every thing kind of revolves around it. Skating is hanging with your buddies, playing music and whatever, so I guess I have skate on the brain.

JG: Was there ever a period when you pulled completely away from the sport?

SALBA: No, I mean there was a time when I just got out of high-school and all I did was skate back yard pools more less, but I got kicked out of Upland for a while so I just started playing in bands and didn’t really skate, I just rode pools that popped up here and there. That was like 83 or 84 right in there.

JG: Who are your current sponsors?

SALBA: Indy, Hurley, Spitfire, Smith glasses, I guess Vans; I don’t know how that works right now. Factory skateboards, and Pro-Design pads.

JG: Who are some of the current vert riders that you admire as all around skaters?

SALBA: I think pretty much Omar Hassan is one of the best guys for sure. Tony Trujillo is really really good, I mean, basically he’s probably the best guy right now all around in my opinion, no one can even touch that guy.

JG: Do you partake in modern street skateboarding?

SALBA: No, I just like skating what I skate you know, just because that’s what I’m into and I don’t really have time to try and learn something new, even though I think I could do it if I put the effort into it. It’s not where I get my rocks off you know. I like the roller coaster sensation.

JG: Do you enjoy watching modern street skateboarding?

SALBA: Ya the shit they do is phenomenal, I mean for that matter even the shit I do these days I would have never thought I could do on a skate, let along half the shit people do now days. So I mean they do some crazy ass shit and you’ve got to give them props, it’s definitely skating, just a different genre. There are so many different types of genres in skating now it’s kind of cool, but at the same time it’s like every-one has their own little camp, you know what I mean, if you skate you skate.

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Salba – Clairemont Skatepark
JG: Right on. Do you still like to compete or do you show up at skate competitions just to hang out with the guys and have a good session?

SALBA: I don’t know, there’s no way I can compete with a lot of the younger guys, so when they have like the, Soul bowl deals at the beach I kind of delve into that but either way you skate or hang out with your buddies, so it’s a win-win situation anyway you look at it.

JG: Competitions were a big part of skateboarding in the 70’s and 80’s. Do you have some found memories of those days?

SALBA: Ya, I mean you don’t want to say those were the best on one hand, but on the other hand you kind of do because it was a new period of time that skating was coming alive, it set the whole format for what’s going on today; the way tricks were being invented. I basically got in it from the ground up, where there were no tricks realistically you know, except on the flat ground where you had like 360’s, nose wheelies, and high-jump and that kind of deal, but as far a vert goes I was there since the very beginning and it’s really changed a lot and is still crazy, but the thrill is still there for sure you know what I mean, you can’t get enough of it in my opinion you know. Growing up with all the people you grow up with, their all you friends and even though there’s like these rivalries say between us and the Variflex guys it’s just good American clean fun you know what I mean.

JG: You won the Spring Valley Hester Series contest at the height of the Dog-Town/San Diego rivalry. Did you have any idea that you could win that contest?

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Salba – Spring Valley 1978
SALBA: You know, I didn’t go into it thinking I was going to win that’s for sure. Basically I was just a grom, and growing up around here in the Badlands you know we had crazy terrain, actually some of the best, if not the best terrain people had to skate at that time. Dogtown had Gonzales pool, Dog bowl, and OC had the fruit bowl, but out here we had Baldy pipe, we had L pool, we had 25th and Euclid pool, we had the Skull bowl down by Ontario Airport. So we learned how to ride really big vert, crazy shaped deals that in essence kind of gave us I don’t know, like an edge over other people because all the crazy people we looked up to where coming out here like Rick Blackhart, Doug Schnieder, Greg Aryyes, and Kevin “The Worm” Anderson was another guy, Stacy Peralta. We seen a lot of these guys ride a pool and that is kind of how we got our connection with you know, Schneider and some of the guys in the South Bay, so that’s kind of how we got our clue into the whole history part of it, you know. Basically Dogtown guys started it all and a lot of them were really good guys, but I still think the Badlands was just as rad if not radder, and took things further than they did once things got going and they don’t give credit for that you know.

JG: How were you treated by the established pros before Spring Valley and after?

SALBA: I don’t know a lot of them couldn’t believe it; you know I was just like a no-body more less before the contest even started. The only guys that really knew me were the guys I just mentioned and some of the Badland guys and most every one at that point had entered the contest because — you’ve got to remember that those contests weren’t made for skating in general, but it was more of a park thing. Eddie ElGuera

Eddie Elguera – Fontana
All these park managers had this little idea to get together and have skate park teams compete against other skate parks. That’s more less how the whole thing happened, because the amateur circuit we all did, you know I skated against, Bowman, Olsen, Arab and whoever else was at like Skatopia, or Anaheim’s Concrete Wave, guys like Ronny Houghton. All these parks had locals you know like Pipe-line had me and Tay Hunt, Scott Dunlap, and Lee Gahimer. Down south at Spring Valley you had guys like Pineapple, Martinez, and Steve Cathey. Then you had all the Dogtown guys out in L.A., Santa Monica. So you had all these groups of people that came together. You really actually only knew who were in the magazines at that time. So you knew who Alva and Jay was, you knew Stacey, you knew Pineapple, and Dennis, but outside of that there were a lot of no namers, not no-namers but like Mike Weed was there and every one from that time period was there too, but like I said I was a no-body and even after the contest Dennis Martinez cracked his head open when he fell on a backside air and hung up. He was saying, “I want a rematch” and “you don’t deserve to win,” It was like a big deal in a sense, it was like some form of punk-rock just came in and destroyed this whole deal and just took over every thing that people thought was going to happen and what direction skating was going. A lot of guys called me a flash in the pan after that but two contests later I won Big O you know, which I think after that I kind of put my own stamp on things and let people know this is for real and I’m someone you have to watch out for and compete against. You know that two year period before Eddie Elguera came around I was pretty much the top consistent guy you know. I won either top 3 or 4 in just about every contest. Then Eddie came into the picture and did some different shit than people did and a little bit more tech and at that point we were like tech is not were it’s at. Skating is about flow and speed, fast you know big. How far you can grind and not only how high your air is, but how far you travel. So that was the whole Santa Cruz/Variflex deal. But to give those guys credit, they were super rad and the first time I saw Lance Mountain I thought this guy should ride for us and he should ride Indies. That was kind of funny because Lance was the only Variflex guy on that team that rode Indies and they let him get away with it because he was Lance and pretty much the raddest guy, you know. Every one else had to ride those crappy Varibot trucks which were the biggest joke (laugh).

JG: What trucks?

SALBA: Varibot, they were Variflex trucks, they had to ride Variflex boards, Variflex risers, Variflex hardware, Variflex bearings, Lance was the only one on that team that rode Indies and then after awhile Stevie (Caballero) did too; I think he also rode Trackers for awhile, but he didn’t really ride for those guys that was a little different deal.

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Salba – Winchester 1978
JG: Do you think the Hester and Gold Cup series were important to skateboarding and should those types of competitions return to the sport?

SALBA: Ya, I think so for sure, because I mean I think it definitely put skating on the map as far as the contest circuit and different establishments, like the old one, that stupid Sally Fields or some Sally something that ran the International Skateboard Association, then you had Kona. So these different organizations where kind of whacky and stuff, but I think as far as pure competition and just the whole vibe of the time you had to have those contests to make it work. So I think in essence when you have a lot of those contests with the kids; I mean come 41 anyone under 20 is a kid to me, more less. You have major contest now for those guys in the street and vert you know, Rune, Bucky, Andy McDonald and those kinds of guys, Bob (Burnquist). They have like the soul bowl thing once or twice a year. They have one in Manhattan and one in Huntington, so it’s like a full on concrete circuit again with some of the old guys like a master’s thing, just like they do in the masters of golf. So these guys are still in there and their making decent money. You know your never going to make as much as the younger guys that’s just the nature of the game, but I think it would be rad with all the skate parks coming up now that why couldn’t someone make some kind of contest somewhere. View Photo Gallery

Salba – Upland Skatepark
You could have 4 or 5 contests maybe once a month and you could had like a point’s winner, like overall winner kind of deal. Not only could you win every contest at the end but whoever had the best standings could win something too. Have the longest carve, or the longest rock-and-roll slide, and best air and best doubles, just kinda like the old days. It would be interesting for different people to watch and also give things a different vibe you know, so stuff like that would be really cool.

JG: It would be great wouldn’t it?

SALBA: Ya, some of the crazy parks they have now like Upland and you know Palm Springs, and the Etnies Park, and Clairemont has a good pool, there’s one in Glendale. There are so many crazy places you can have a contest now, so like why not. There is some underground pool contest here and there I mean basically the clover base thing was like an underground thing for a long time. It’s kind of established now, but they have one up in Tahoe every year called the Strawberry Lounge. You know you just gotta get it together.

JG: Tell me about your first trip to Mt. Baldy.

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Salba – Mt. Baldy Pipeline
SALBA: To tell you the truth I don’t really remember my first trip it has been so long (laugh). I have gone there so many times. As far as the whole atmosphere, we were totally blown away when we got there and really couldn’t believe it. Like I said we were younger when all the guys started, we were 12 or 13. Most of the guys like Weedman, Jeff Lorrigan, Buddy Allred, and Harvey Hawks, those guys were probably 15, 16 and 17. So they had a good three or four year jump start on us, but I basically rode Baldy probably the summer of 75’. You know we heard about it and heard these rumors and we checked it out here and there you know basically right when the skateboard thing first came out. You know basically a lot of us weren’t allowed to ride it because it was super hush hush. It was like an honor for the older guys to even tell the younger guys and when you first go up there you don’t really ride because you are so awh struck by the whole deal anyway. So you get all scratched up by the bushes running across there, but at that point we went a different way, we went in the Clairemont way and dropped down this road into the pipe. In those days you had to take a rope and climb down because we really didn’t know how to get through the regular way.
JG: If you could revisit any skate spot for one session, where would it be and who would you want to session it with?

SALBA: It would be Pipeline Skatepark for sure. Just because the old bowl at Pipeline Skatepark was insane. The combi was insane too, but I liked the pipe. The pipe bowl was insane because you could go real fast in the pipe carve around the whole bowl and do lien air back into the pipe. That to me was one of the best things I ever did, so that’s what I would want to ride again for sure if I had like one session. I would just want to ride with the pros who ride here (The new Upland). These guys used to ride, Mike here was just a kid then but I rode with his dad at Pipeline, my little brother, Chris Robison, Grosso, Mike Smith.

JG: How about Blender?

SALBA: You know I never really rode with Blender that much you know, I mean he’s definitely rad. I just don’t know him all that well and he’s not maybe one of the guys I want to skate there with because I never really skated there with him that much you know. I mean not to dis the guy, I like the guy for sure you know what I mean but I skated like I said more with guys like Jake Piaseki, Smith, Olsen, and Grosso lived with us for awhile so he skated there a lot, Roskoff, and Chris Robison when he was alive. Lossi used to skate there a lot and even Lance Mountain skated there a lot with us you know. So those are the guys I would want to skate with back at the Pipe.

JG: Whenever you skate you go through a stretching ritual. It seems most skateboarders just show up and immediately drop-in. How long have you been doing this and how important is preparing your body for skateboarding?

SALBA: I don’t know, I’ve done it forever man. I’ve done it as long as I can remember skating (laugh). Everyone makes fun of me.

JG: Do you always wear safety gear and is that the key to longevity in this sport?

SALBA: I don’t know, it’s just because I ride vert, you know you don’t have to wear pads I just kind of grew up doing it and that’s what makes it easier for me to get do stuff is by wearing my pads. I don’t think it’s a big deal if you don’t want to wear you pads. People think like it’s not cool, you know, it’s the whole vibe were kids don’t wear pads because it’s some old school deal but I don’t even care. If I didn’t have my pads I couldn’t ride (laugh) that’s for sure. One slam on my knee and I would be done. I’ve tweeked my knee so many times, ripped my ACL and just about every thing else you could do. I’ve broke my knee cap you know, so I have to have my pads dude. I could just wear my knee pads and feel comfortable but basically I don’t want to brake my wrists any more, I’ve broken them three times. I broke my elbow, had stitches in my elbow, I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to get stitches in my head anymore, that’s why I wear my helmet. Just before my kid was born, literally four days before he was born I cracked my head open again in this pool. I’m just sick of getting stitches man; I mean I don’t mind getting them it’s kind of cool getting them or whatever. I’ve had over 250 stitches in my head now but the point is I don’t want to deal with it anymore so that’s why I wear my helmet you know.

View Upland Skatepark

Upland Skatepark
JG: Are you happy with how the Pipe-run turned out and how does it compare with the original Upland Pipe-line?

SALBA: Ya, I mean the whole thing is kind of neat to see your idea on paper and trying to estimate how lengths, depths, radiuses, and transitions, I mean I’m pretty happy but there’s definitely a couple things I would change now. I didn’t really have any control because the city guy had to have so much room for the brick wall, and he wanted it to drain where he thought was proper. I didn’t have a 6% grade originally like it is now, but originally I had a 2% grade which I felt was way better. I felt it should be flat personally but. I don’t really like down hill pipes too much in a sense, but I really like the way it is because it’s super gnarly, and I kind of built it for that purpose, so kids could aspire to learn something so gnarly that when they go to ride other places they can get it dialed kind of like we did at Pipeline. I want to keep that whole tradition alive having some crazy terrain and having like the whole deal with the pipe and I was trying to copy Baldy flat wall, that’s why I have the extensions are on the other side more less so you can fly-out like Baldy. Looking now I would defiantly put more flat and bring more of an angle. The original design was to have the swallow end deep. The whole thing was going to be deep, but then the city wanted to know how they were going to get anyone out if they got hurt, and they had a point. There were definitely some concessions to make you know, but over all it turned out pretty descant, I mean it’s a rush; it’s the raddest roller coaster ride in skating in my book. I love Louisville Park, I would have to say that Louisville overall is better than Upland, but I think Uplands pipe and bowl are better than Louisville because they are so big there. Don’t get me wrong, Louisville is rad as shit I love that place. If I had a choice I would rather have Louisville than this one just because there’s more stuff to it. It’s bigger and better, that place is out of control

JG: Who do you skate with on regular basis?

SALBA: Probably like SSC guys, the guys that where just here, Um, Jake Piaseki when I can, if he is not hurt. Toby Burger is another guy I skate with a lot and all the locals here at Upland. Just whoever pops up, Omar Hassan shows up and Rune Glifberg, Andy McDonald was here the other day. The guys I like skating with a lot is Peter Hewitt, Darren Navarrette, the vertical vampire, guys like that are just f!@king rad.

Bob Burnquist
Bob Burnquist – Baldy Loop Attempt

JG: Is there a loop in Steve Alba’s future?

SALBA: Ya, I mean I keep thinking I can do it maybe, I think personally if you are to try it you need to be in the best shape you’ve ever been in to take that fall. You’re going to fall, your going to slam no matter what, no matter how many times you do it; I fantasize about it, put it that way. My fantasy is to go parachuting at Perris and then drive straight to Bob’s (Burnquist) house and go for it. I think once you get so high on adrenaline from parachuting I don’t think it would be that scary. You put a couple of more air bags at Bobs and I will definitely try it. I’m not going to say I will make it, but I think if all the circumstances are right and I was in the right frame of mind and my body was not as tweeked as it is now. I actually went to Bob’s one day and looked at the ramps, and it was just supper scary too me that day. Lance kind of went for it that day, it was pretty rad man. My whole deal is I’m afraid to fall off the top and get launched into the yard, so that’s why I want a couple of more air bags to go width way as opposed to being in the pipe itself. I don’t know, I have actually been practicing on a trampoline on how to get out of being upside-down, and learning how to flip my body like a cartwheel flip. I actually learned how to do that on a trampoline and land on my feet. I have learned how to do it both ways for that eventuality you know.

JG: Thanks for taking the time and sharing a little of your life with me.

SALBA: No problem.

Steve Alba is skateboarding in the purest form. He lives this sport and continues the tradition of session skating with friends for mere love of the sport. Steve is also an accomplished writer/musician; his contributions can be found in Thrasher’s Insane Terrain, with a great article on municipalities and monster pipelines. You can find investigative missions into the mystery of the behemoth monster pipe of Texas that many thought didn’t exist. After years of research, Steve and a few buds traveled via plane, car, and blow-up boat into the abyss of this monster pipe. To learn more about Steve’s travels and SALBA products, visit SALBALAND.

Posted on 02 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
View Photo Gallery
Read the Salba Interview
Just posted a great interview of Steve Alba who was interviewed by John Gleason. Be sure to check out the interview gallery for some great vintage and recent images that were contributed by Ted Terrebonne, Jon Yunker, and Jim Goodrich.A new video taken by Mike Sallinger has been added to the video gallery. The video features footage from the Etnies, Laguna Niguel, Palm Springs, and Westminster skateparks. Look for new videos taken at the Vans at the Block of Orange and Clairemont Skateparks later this week.Sessioned the Clairemont Skatepark in San Diego last Sunday with some new and old friends and had a great time. We shot some new video and photos during the session which should be posted in the next couple of days. Until then you can check out this sequence taken by John Warren of Adrian Demain.

There is a new skatepark opening in the city of Norwalk on Saturday March 6th. The skatepark consists of modular ramps. If you would like more information about the skatepark contact Rozanne Adanto at 562-929-5706. Since it is just a modular skatepark we will get out there when we get a chance and include the skatepark at a later time.

The Skatelab skatepark in Simi Valley will be holding a open masters comp in their bowl later this month. More details to follow.

The Concrete Disciples crew are going to be out at the Palm Springs skatepark this coming Saturday, March 6th. For more details visit their Forum! Their events are usually a great time and we will definately be there all day for the session. Hope to see you there.

Visit Punk Rock Skateboards
There is a ton of new products that have recently been added to the Punk Rock Skateboards product line. They recently added the Circle Jerks to their deck offerings and have expanded their clothing line. Cool stuff from some cool people.

Juice Magazine just published their 10th year anniversary issue which features 3 different covers with images of Steve Olson, Bob Burnquist, and Peter Hewitt. The anniversay issu features over 20 interviews! Proceeds for the first 12 subscribtions sold at our skatehop go to support You can subscribe HERE.

You can also check out a review of our website over at Team Goon. Thanks to Team Goon for the props on the site.

Posted on 03 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
For those of you that were at the Concrete Disciples Bomb Drop this weekend that took place at the Palm Springsskatepark thanks for the great session. It was great skating with the crew and witnessing some serious shredding. If you have not been to the Palm Springs skatepark my advise to you is to go and skate it – the park rules. We will post some pictures and video footage of the event in the next few days.I just added some new photos contributed by James Rodriquez of the construction progress at the Glendale Skatepark.I also updated the Vans The Block skatepark page with a new photo gallery and a new video.

Posted on 09 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Just added 2 new videos to the Video Gallery:- Concrete Disciples Bomb Drop footage from the Palm Springs Skateparklast Saturday.- Some killer footage from a session we had at the San Diego Clairemont Skatepark a few weeks ago.

I also updated the SkateShop with a bunch of new products from Protec, Black Label, Santa Monica Airlines, and more so go check it out and support the site.

Posted on 11 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Heated Sessions


Wrex Cook - Click to view the CD Bomb Drop Gallery

Wrex Cook


Skateboarding by yourself quickly leads to boredom. On the other hand, Skateboarding in a heated session quickly leads to anarchy and some intense skateboarding. If you find yourself involved in or witnessing an intense skate session the skating seems to always rise to a another level. Those skaters who are at the top of their skateboarding seem to push their skating up another notch and those who would normally bail on certain tricks seem to hang on as if their life depended on it. The adrenaline seems to pump much more intenslely when a session heats up especially if there is a crowd hanging around checking out the action – demo mode seems to turn on for those involved with the session.Concrete Disciples has been putting on some great sessions over the past few years and the most recent happened on Saturday March 5th, 2004 at the Palm Springs Skatepark. The Concrete Disciples crew are pool and vert skaters so during that particular session grinds were longer, airs were higher, and the the gnarly factor was stepped up big time. Here are Some Photos of the session for you to check out. For the full affect of the session, check out our video here. Enjoy!
Posted on 13 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Tony from Kronk Skateboardssent this in and I thought that I would share it with you.Dave Cardoza & I were just were at the Fullerton Skateparkjust having a GREAT session and this kid Zach rode up on a no tail, barely rolling, rusted bearing, rusted trucks VERY BAD skid. I looked at Dave and asked him what he thought? He said we needed to do something about it. So I walked past the Dad and mentioned that the kid needed some some NEW wood. He said money was tight, I said not to worry about it. Opened up the trailer and in a few minutes walla! Zach was STOKED. The pic is pretty cool.
Here is a follow-up letter from Zach’s mom to the boys over at Kronk

To the whole “Kronk Skateboard Team”….

A huge THANX to everyone who was at the Fullerton skate park on March 6. The impact you made on my son, Zachary, will last him a lifetime. How sweet is it when someone you don’t know, walks right up to you and says, “hey man, it looks like you could use a new board”, and then goes back and tells his dad, who then goes and makes his new skateboard in their on-site, “KRONK SKATEBOARDS” trailer! You guys ROCK! Never have I seen such delightment, as I did that day, on the face of my 10 year old. Thanx for being so generous and making one boy, very, very happy!


Brenda Lee
(Zach’s mom)

NOTE: Not every kid will be as lucky as Zach and get a free Kronk Skateboard but be on the lookout for the Kronk Skateboard team as they will be out and about at the skateparks ripping it up.

Since we are all now in a happy place, one more really cool story can be found over at the Team Goon site.

Posted on 14 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
PSA for Immediate Release
PSA for Immediate Release

Re: Skateboard Camps: Denver, Colorado, Spokane, Washington, Oregon, and Montana
Dates:June, July and August
The Skatepark Sessions All Star Skate Camps

Looking to improve your skateboarding this summer? Get sponsored? The skatepark Sessions All Star skateboarding camps will be hosting sessions of skateboarding day camps during June, July, and August at the skateparks of Highlands Ranch Colorado, Denver Colorado, Snowmass Village Colorado, Great Falls Montana, Kalispell Montana, and Spokane Washington. And, in the interest offering a diversity of camp programs, The Skatepark Sessions are offering two week long travel camps from park to park in Oregon.The camps are open to all ability levels ages eight and up, with the exception of the Oregon camp which is ages 12 and up. Boys, girls, adults, and families are all welcome. Coaching will take place in small groups divided up by ability level and age; guided by qualified coaches.

Our camps feature teaching by Pro and Am skateboarders such as Brian Patch, Mike Vallely, Steve Cabellero, and Renton Millar among many others. The Skatepark Sessions All Star Skate Camp has been offering skateboarding programs f or three years in communities of Colorado and New Mexico. The program has served the public in these communities through day camps and specialty programs for the Youth Opportunity groups.

This summer, expanded camp offerings are reaching Montana, Washington, and Oregon. Included in the new offerings is the week long traveling camps in Oregon which will visit a selection of skateparks around Oregon while offering an outdoor camp experience through alternate activities. “This was the best time I have ever had at camp!” – Everett Mann 14 year old camper summer 2002. “You guys do an awesome job! We will be back!” – Happy parent of two campers aged 8 and 11.

Coaches focus on trick and skill development, park etiquette, stretching, and safety in small personalized groups. This is the perfect opportunity to dial in your 360 flip, pop an ollie up the curb or learn the basic skills to drop in, pump transitions, and carve the bowls.

Day camps run from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm each day and include daily video analysis. The last day of camp includes a FUN contest with cool prizes such as skate decks, wheels, backpacks, sunglasses, shoes and an assortment of other cool skat e goodies – everybody walks away a BIG WINNER!

For more information and online registration, log onto or call toll free1 (866) 406 4327.

Posted on 14 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Had a killer session at the Etnies Skatepark on Sunday but now I will need to recover from a brutal slam in the Skull Bowl – my hip is killing me. Enough about me. Here are some recent site updates.
– Added a new article Heated Sessions.
– Added some photos from the Concrete Disciples Bomb Drop on the Palm Springs skatepark page.
– New photos were added to the Clairemont skatepark page.
– New photos were added to the Upland skatepark page.
– Added some new events to the events calendar
– Rocket Bearings just posted their team riders at the California Bearing Site
– Added the El Segundo Skatepark to the Future Skateparks page.
– The lights for the Etnies Skatepark are on order and should be up and functional sometime in April.
– Rumor has it that the Clairemont Skateparkis going to be getting lights in the near future but I would not hold your breath.Stay tuned for our Stevie Caballero Interview that will be posted next week.
Posted on 15 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Costa Mesa Preliminary Design
Costa Mesa Prelimary Design

Just received a rendering of the Costa Mesa Skatepark preliminary design and updated some of the other Future SoCal SkateParks.Oxnard: Under Construction
Santa Paula: Under Construction
Ojai: Under Construction
Posted on 15 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Lords of the Dogtown – Stacy Where Are You?Just got an email from Deadra Ricketts who is part of the team casting for the Lords of the Dogtown movieOur biggest challenge right now is finding a skate double for our Stacy Peralta character – he is
5’9″ 140 lb. blonde and lanky – between 18 – 25 yr. and can super skate pools….. if there is anyone who pops to mind – please have them call our office ASAP and we’ll arrange an audition.

If you know of anyone please contact Deadra Ricketts at 310.244.2811

Posted on 16 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
an Diego, Clairemont Skatepark

Added some cool sequences contributed by John “Jaydubz” Warren from a session that we had back on February 29th at the Clairemont Skatepark. Pat Ngoho, Wrex Cook, Steve Hirsch, and others were wrecking the place. To see video footage from the session, check out our Video Section.Stay tuned for our Glendale Skatepark preview coming soon!

Posted on 19 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Ben Schroeder - Glendale Verdugo Skatepark - First Session to Date
Ben Schroeder – Glendale Verdugo Skatepark

Just posted the first images of some action at the Glendale Verdugo skatepark. The skatepark is far from being open but Ben Schroeder, Manimal, Paul Smith, and others took it for some test rides. For more details on their session, visit Las Vegas Skating and check out the a short video of the session HERE.NOTE: The skatepark will be opening on Saturday April 17th so hold tight.

Posted on 22 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
The City of Costa Mesa is going to have a meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 24th) to review and hopefully approve moving forward with the Skatepark at Tewinkle Park. For further info, check out our Event Calendar.The keyhole at Memorial Skatepark in San Diego is going to be under construction starting this week to fix the mess the original build team left us with. No word yet from Cora Construction regarding the state of the future of the kidney pool that they built at the Brawley Skatepark. My guess is that it will never be repaired and the skateboarders in Brawley are going to be stuck with that pool forever.
Posted on 23 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Ryan Sheckler Nominated For Laureus Award

Ryan Sheckler Nominated For
Laureus Award

Lake Forest, CA. (17 March, 2004) – etnies’ fourteen year-old skateboarding phenom, Ryan Sheckler, has been nominated for one of the world’s most prestigious honors in sports, The Laureus World Sports Award.

After winning numerous major street skateboarding competitions in 2003, including Slam City Jam, gold medals in both the X Games and Gravity Games, as well the overall title of the WCS Triple Crown Of Skateboarding, Ryan made quite a name for himself last year. The youngest professional skateboarder to ever win a pro street competition (at age thirteen!), Ryan’s incredible accomplishments in skateboarding have earned him recognition as a nominee for the distinguished Laureus Award, which honors the world’s very best athletes.

Ryan is nominated in the category of Alternative Sportsman of the Year, residing in the distinguished company of other world-class professional athletes like Shaun White (snowboarding, USA) and Layne Beachley (Surfing, Australia). Other nominees honered with Laureus nominations include Lebron James for the Newcomer of The Year Award and Serena Williams for the World Sportswoman of the Year Award.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is recognized as the premier honor of the international sporting calendar. The Awards are unique in that they honor the world’s best sportsmen and women for their achievements across all sports and all countries.

The 2003 Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony was televised for global distribution and invited guests included the worlds top sportsmen and women, as well as international celebrities from the world of entertainment.

The fifth annual Laureus World Sports Awards will be held in Estoril, on the Lisbon Coast, Portugal, from May 8 – 10, 2004.

For more information,

Established in 1986, etnies started out by designing the best skate shoes on the planet. From the creation of the very first pro model skateboarding shoe ever, the Natas, to expanding that innovation to include other action sports like snowboarding, surfing, moto-x and BMX, etnies has always been there, crafting the quality, style and functionality that has changed the face of the action sports footwear industry forever.

Please Contact:
Timothy Nickloff
etnies Public Relations

Phone: 949-460-2020 ext.2957
Fax: 949-460-2050

Craig Metzger
etnies East Coast Public Relations

Phone: 212-965-1780
Fax: 212-965-1759

Sole Technology Inc.
20161 Windrow Drive
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Posted on 23 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch

John Lucero – Autographed Madrid Jester Decks
We have 5 re-issued autographed Madrid John Lucero decks currently available. A great deck to add to your collection. Check out our SoCal Skateshopand get one while they last.Also, I just added an eS Footwear event happening in LA this Saturday (3/27) at 9 Stair where Eric Kosten and Chad Muska will be battling it out in a best trick contest. Click Here for more details.

Posted on 25 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Scott Taylor
A new killer video of a session that took place Wednesday March 24th at the Laguna Niguel Skatepark was just added to the Video Gallery. Enjoy!
Posted on 27 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
– This past Saturday a new skatepark opened in San Bernardino. The skatepark was partially designed by the Site Design Group. We did not make it to the grand opening so if there is anyone out there that did and could provide some feedback or some pictures you can send your info here.– The Etnies Skatepark in Lake forest will be closed today Tuesday March 30th and Wednesday March 31st for the installation of the skatepark lighting system. Also, check out there new hoursso that you do not show up to skate and find yourself there while a BMX session is going on.- The Memorial Skatepark keyhole should be under construction some time soon if not already to fix the initial build of the pool. The plan is to sleeve the existing keyhole (rebuild the pool from the inside of the existing keyhole).

– The Encinitas skatepark is now closed for construction of the new skatepark which will feature the 2003 X-Games vert ramp and a new concrete skatepark which will include a skatepark pool. Last I heard is that it is going to be a right-hand kidney??

Posted on 30 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Stevie Caballero Interview
Powell Skateboards
By John R Gleason


If there is one skateboarder that embodies stand up qualities coupled with legendary status, my pick is Steve Caballero. A native of San Jose, California, Steve entered the ranks of professional skateboarding in the late 70’s as a young grommet and rose to the top of the sport within a few short years. Shortly after being asked by Stacey Peralta to join his newly formed team -The Bones Brigade– Steve soon became symbolic of the sport through grace and style; on and off the skateboard. From the beginning of his career to the present, there has always been a common thread in that he has passion for the lifestyle, culture, and sport of skateboarding. Steve’s commitment to sponsors and fans has endured for nearly three-decades making him in my opinion “The Ambassador.”View Photo Gallery
View Photo Gallery

JG: Now that you’re a husband, father, and traveling musician what role does skateboarding continue to play in the life of Steve Caballero?

CAB: Skateboarding still is a big part of my life, it’s my bread and butter, it that’s how I pay my bills and expenses, but because of being so dedicated to my work and traveling all the time… it cost me my relationship with my X-wife, so now being divorced I see my daughter less. Kayla and I still have a strong bond and it seems to get stronger and stronger all the time. I have a new girlfriend who supports me in all that I do, so that makes me very happy these days and I feel that I made the right decision. As for the band, we play shows here and there, but it’s not a full time gig and we don’t practice that much.

JG: I’ve heard great things about your band The Faction, can you talk about how the band is doing and where it’s going?

CAB: It’s kind of on hold at the moment and we are not playing out that much. But we do have a couple new Faction skateboards coming out from Outlook Skates and Punk Rock Skateboards, which will be pretty cool for collectors; not many will be printed. We are not writing new material at the moment, but we do have 4 new songs that were never released that we recorded a couple of years ago.

View Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

JG: What role do you play in the song writing process?

CAB: I share that role with our bass player, so about 50% of the music is my influence.

JG: When was the first time you came down to Southern California to skate and what was the experience like?

CAB: First time was back in 1979, for a Skateboarding national held in Escondido, near San Diego; that’s were I was discovered by Stacy Peralta who was a judge at the comp. After it was over he approached me and asked if I wanted to would ride for a new company he was putting together called Powell Peralta… the rest is history!

JG: You competed in the USASA contest at Escondido. What do you remember about the event?

CAB: I remember meeting Alan Losi, Eric Grisham and watched for this new awesome skater named… Eddie Elguera. He was the man back then and I finally got to see him skate, plus I met Steve Cathey and Stacy Peralta. I was excited and I remember I got 5th in the contest. I went down there with the Campbell Skatepark team and we made a strong Nor-Cal presence; they were thinking of not letting us enter the comp because we were not part of their So Cal association. “Fat’s” Macentyre was the man in charge and we were bummed on that guy.

JG: Do you think that Pro-Am competitions similar to the Hester Series and the Gold Cup series held in the late 70s and early 80s should return?

CAB: Sure if you want to see only pool skating, but skating is different now, there are many free public parks and street skating seems to be the majority of what kids do these days.

JG: Back in the early 70s and 80s how did the So-Cal skateparks compare to the Nor Cal skateparks?

CAB: The parks in Nor-Cal were built better and had more ride-able terrain, but So-Cal had more to choose from.

View Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

JG: Are you surprised to see the re-birth of the skateboard park?

CAB: Not surprised, but stoked to see cement come back and to see that they are free to skate. I knew they would come back, history always repeats itself in one form or another.

JG: How does a pool like the one at the Clairemont Skatepark, compare to say the Winchester Keyhole?

CAB: They are both made of cement (laugh)… but different in design. Claremont is more like the combi pool since it has a square and a round part. They had both have their strong points, but different lines. Winchester’s key hole was the best one ever built and the most perfect.

JG: It seems street skating and the destruction of public property by street skaters has lead city governments to build skateparks in an attempt to stop the destruction. Do you really think that it’s going to work or are they kidding themselves?

CAB: They are kidding themselves, because true hardcore street skaters will never leave the suburban streets.

JG: If you were to teach skateboarding what would be the three essentials?

CAB: Dedication, patience and perseverance.

JG: What advice would you give in helping a skater overcome fear and mental block in regard to conquering a trick?

CAB: Think positive and remember that skateboarding can be dangerous, but if you are willing to go through the pressures and pain, then go for it. If not, then go at a slow pace until you feel confident in what you’re trying to learn, take baby steps and don’t rush anything. Confidence plays a big role in becoming a great skateboarder.

View Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

JG: You commented in an interview not long ago that pool riding doesn’t interest you anymore. Is that only in regard to illegal pool riding or in general; I know you are into streetstyle?

CAB: Well no one wants to get busted for trespassing, especially if you’re over 18, so that is a deterrent in riding backyard pools. Plus I’ve done it for years and street skating is something I have come to really enjoy in my progression in the sport.

JG: Give me a little insight into the earning capabilities of today’s professional vert riders from the 80’s vert riders?

CAB: The stuff they are doing now is way harder and the injuries are way gnarlier. But as far as earning capabilities, the money is way up there for them. Skateboarding has become main-stream with the help of ESPN’s exposure, giving today’s vert riders a career and a living by just being a pro skateboarder, which I think is awesome.

JG: Steve, you have contributed so much to the sport that I could go on all day listing your accomplishments, however, what single thing or attribute would you most like to be remembered for?

CAB: The fact that I have stayed with the same skateboard company and have been dedicated to Powell skateboards for over 25 years; that’s the thing I’m most proud of, and I’m still going strong for them.

JG: Steve I know you are a very busy guy and I want to thank you for taking the time in sharing some insight with us.

CAB: Take care and thanks for letting me express my views, and remember to always skate for fun.

Thanks To The Contributing Photographers:

Greg Hall –

Ted Terrebonne

Jon Yunker

Joe Runkle

Posted on 31 Mar 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Read the Steve Caballero Interview

Congratulations goes out to Chris Dunn for winning the March 2004 Punk Rock Skateboards giveaway. This month we are going to be doing 2 giveaways with the first one being a Caballero Chinese Dragon Re-Issue deck from Powellthat ends on April 14th and the other will be announced on April 15th. Stay tuned.Went by the Etnies Skateparkyesterday and the lights are being installed. The skatepark should have night sessions going starting sometime next week.Recent Site Updates
– New pictures were added to the Clairemont Skatepark page. Some good news, they have recently added a new mini-ramp half-pipe bowl section. Very cool!
– New pictures were added to the Diamond Bar, Moreno Valley, Santa Barbara, and Laguna Niguel skatepark pages.
– Bill Hensley and the Scum Skates crew headed out to the Brawley Skatepark last weekend and Bill was cool enough to pass on the photos from there session. You can check them out here.

Posted on 01 Apr 2004 by Mike Hirsch
etnies Donates Over 2,000 Shoes

etnies Donates Over 2,000 Shoes
To L.A. Mission!

Lake Forest, CA. (02 April, 2004) – On Good Friday, the Los Angeles Mission will serve nearly 3,000 hot meals to adults and children, wash and care for the feet of the homeless, and give them over 2,000 brand-new pairs of etnies shoes.

For the last three years on Easter, the Los Angeles Mission has offered podiatry services to the homeless, healing the feet of those in need. Located in an area often referred to as Skid Row, this foot care warms the souls of the homeless by reaching out to them in a loving manner. The effort is an outreach by the Los Angeles Mission Medical Clinic to address the foot problems suffered by many on Skid Row, an area the Mission has renamed Hope Central.

This Easter event is a way of inviting the less fortunate, who seldom receive normal loving contact, to join the Mission’s program to help them get off the streets permanently. In addition to receiving podiatric care, participants will receive a warm meal, an Easter gift bag, and a free pair of etnies shoes!

Hosted by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., plus hundreds of volunteers that will participate, the event will also include Patricia Heaton, John Larroquette, Jayne Meadows, Enrico Colantoni, Ellen Dubin, Edwin Hodge, Aldis Hodge, Arlen Escarpeta, Scotty Levenworth, Marsela Lusha, Gerren Taylor, Courtnee Draper and
etnies CEO / owner Pierre André Senizergues.

The entire block of 5th Street between Wall and San Pedro will be closed to vehicular traffic for the Los Angeles Mission Easter event, starting at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, April 9. etnies is proud to support the Los Angles Mission and give back to the community in such a great way.

Established in 1986, etnies started out by designing the best skate shoes in the world. From the creation of the very first pro model skateboarding shoe ever, the Natas, to expanding that innovation to include other action sports like snowboarding, surfing, moto-x and BMX, etnies has always been there, crafting the quality, style and functionality that has changed the face of the action sports footwear industry forever.

For more information, contact:

Timothy Nickloff
etnies Public Relations

Phone: 949-460-2020 ext.2957
Fax: 949-460-2050

Craig Metzger
etnies East Coast Public Relations

Phone: 212-965-1780
Fax: 212-965-1759

Sole Technology Inc.
20161 Windrow Drive
Lake Forest, CA 92630


Posted on 02 Apr 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Killer Deck Salein the SoCalSkateShop – Go check it out. (Sale Ends – Saturday April 10th).Noour shop doesn’t have all the bells and whistles found at the huge online skateshops but our prices are comparable or even better than some of them.Support by shopping at our Online Store.

Posted on 03 Apr 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Tyler Mumma
Tyler Mumma

On Saturday we headed out for a killer day of skating where our first stop was the new San Bernardino Skatepark. Next was Fontana, Upland, and when the rain began to fall we headed off to the VansSkatepark at the Ontario Mills Mall.We have a ton of footage what we are currently putting together and should have it up in a couple of days. For now, check out this sequence of Benji Galloway taken at Fontana by Jaydubz.
Posted on 04 Apr 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Fontana Skatepark

Added new pictures and photo galleries to the Fontana, Vans Ontario Mills, and Laguna Niguel Skateparkpages.Special thanks to Bill Hensley of SkatePark Guidesand Jaydubz for helping to document the session that we had last Saturday.We will be posting a video of the session in the next couple of days so stay tuned!

Posted on 07 Apr 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Another Crappy Video Premiere?

Lake Forest, CA. (April 06, 2004) – Come join the chaos on Saturday, April 24 as the Emerica and Pharmacy Boardshop teams, as well as a veritable “who’s who” of skateboarding’s rising stars and legendary luminaries alike, all converge on the high desert for the World Premiere of the new Emerica DVD, Kids in Emerica.

Unlike your average video premiere, this event is being held in conjunction with Leo Romero’s
“Going pro!” celebration in the freshly-built and entirely skateable backyard of the one and only Donny Damron, of Pharmacy Boardshop fame. This will be the kick-off skate party of the upcoming Summer season!

“The party starts at 3:00 p.m. and the DVD will begin as soon as it gets dark. There’s gonna be a $1000 Best Trick Contest on Donnys brand-new, private, backyard concrete hubbas, a Leo Romero retrospective video put together by his pals at Pharmacy, free BBQ and liquid refreshments, tons of FREE stuff, too many pros to list, the usual skate media, and of course, frenzied throngs of skate-crazed maniacs–and you’re invited!” commented Emerica Team Manager Justin Regan when asked about the days festivities.

Another Crappy Tour Video?

When Emerica team riders Andrew Reynolds, Heath Kirchart, Tosh Townend, Erik Ellington, Kevin Long, Chris Senn, Austin Stephens, Aaron Suski, plus up-and-comers Leo Romero, Bryan Herman and Braydon Szafranski show up for a demo, you are guaranteed that some real magic is gonna happen. The Kids in Emerica tour was a year-long series of domestic and international skateboarding tours that the Emerica team embarked on after completion of their highly successful This is Skateboarding DVD.

The Kids in Emerica DVD combines some of the best skaters in the world at some of the best street spots and skateparks around the globe, bringing their world class skateboarding to their growing legions of fans-the Kids in Emerica. The Kids in Emerica DVD documents all the magic, as well as the street carnage that went down between the demos, and consists of only the best footage accumulated from an entire year on the road with the Emerica team.

With the release of the Kids in Emerica DVD, Emerica blows away any preconceived notions you may have had about tour videos–except for their cheap price!

Emerica and Pharmacy presents the Kids in Emerica DVD World Premiere, Leo Romero
“Going pro!” celebration, Best Trick contest, BBQ and skate party.

Saturday, April 24, 2004 at 3:00 p.m. (DVD premiere at dusk)

Pharmacy HQ, 12636 Autumn Leaves DR, Victorville, California 92392

From the I-15 Freeway in Victorville,
Exit Bear Valley RD Go East on Bear Valley RD (approx. 3.6 miles)
Turn left onto Ridgecrest RD (approx. 0.9 miles)
Turn right onto Pebble Beach DR (approx. 0.1 miles)
Turn right onto Autumn Leaves DR (approx. 0.2 miles)
End at 12636 Autumn Leaves DR, Victorville, California

For more info, contact:

Justin Regan
Emerica Team Manager

Phone: 949-460-2020 ext.2947
Fax: 949-460-2019

Timothy Nickloff
Emerica Propaganda Specialist

Phone: 949-460-2020 ext.2957
Fax: 949-460-2050

Sole Technology Inc.
20161 Windrow Drive
Lake Forest, CA 92630


Posted on 13 Apr 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Punk Rock Skateboards Press Release
Punk Rock Skateboards is stoked to announce the addition of DEVO to the PRS family. Many regard DEVO as the first skate rock band that many of us sessioned pools and ramps to. DEVO in the early skate scene made an impact that is still felt today. Their music was a great sound track for all out skate shredding. Decks will be first made available to our distribution network in about a month and online after the skate shops have got them first. Decks will come in: minis, 7.75, 8, 8.5 as well as our 9.25 pool deck, with this line up on sizes no one is left behind.We also want to officially welcome pro skater Kevin Staab to Punk Rock Skateboards. As many of you know, Kevin has been shredding it up for many years and is punk as F*CK. After looking at the many pros that contacted us regarding having a pro model with us, Kevin we felt was the best fit for us. We will be re-issuing his pro model that had the pirate design on it from back in the day in the exact old school shape with the correct thickness of vaneers too. That same design will also be made available in the new school versions of minis, 7.75, 8, 8.5 as well as our pool deck. Clothing, etc to follow.

For more info you can always check out
Punk Rock Skateboards –

Posted on 13 Apr 2004 by Mike Hirsch
There are several events going on this coming weekend including the Spring Break Classic Competition at the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest, the Glendale Skatepark Grand Opening, a killer new Anti-Hero video premiere that is going to take place at the Skatelab skatepark in Simi Valley. Check our Events Calendarfor more details about all of these events.Also, something to definately check out, Nick Gates over at Broken Magazine has been adding tons of new content that will leave you jonesing to skate your next backyard pool.
Posted on 13 Apr 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Wrex Cook Interview
Read the Wrex Cook Interview
By Mike Hirsch


Sometime early in January this year I stopped by the Etnies Skatepark on my lunch hour and I was watching this guy that I have never before seen skating shredding the Skull Bowl and was blown away. At the time I was putting together the skaters for the demo for the the Palm Springs SkateparkGrand Opening event so I approached him to see if he would be interested in being apart of the demo and without hesitation he was down with the doing the demo.That was the first time I met Wrex Cook and since then I have sessioned with him numerous times and without a doubt he is 100% skateboarder and is an all around cool guy. Wrex can skate anything put before him and is a truly gifted all around skateboarder. He has been around the skateboarding scene for over 20 years and since he has been living here in Southern California for the past several months he has been turning the heads of many a skateboarder when he shows up for a session.I sat down with Wrex recently for an interview. So here it is. Enjoy!

MH We’re here with Wrex Cook from Conspiracy Skateboards.

WREX What’s up?

MH How old are you these days?

WREX Going on 34 this year.

View Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery
MH Where are you from?

WREX I’m From Tempi, Arizona originally, but I have been living in Colorado for the past 10 years, all over pretty much.

MH You ever go to that wave machine in Tempi?

WREX Yeah, Big Surf, Oh yeah. We use to sneak in there all the time, it was a blast.

MH So where did the name Wrex come from, is that your real name, Wrex?

WREX No my real name is Brian Cook. It came from the guys from the old Tempi Tribe, Gavin Troy and a bunch of those guys. They called me that because I use to just try things and I would just wreck but till I would do it. I would just keep going and going and going. Also, I had no style you know when you start out you’re all goofy looking so they called me Wrex from Tex, and that’s pretty much stuck with me ever since.

MH Wrex from Tex?

WREX Yeah because I always bailed and I had no style, cause that was back in the day with big (belt) buckles, big hats and such.

MH What year was this?

WREX Umm, 81-82. Just after, somewhere around where Tex the book came out and the movie Tex came out. Yeah it was right around that era.

MH So when did you first start skateboarding?

WREX I would probably have to say about 81. That’s when I was really into it. I use to ride a Logan Earth Ski around just cruisin’ to school and back. I never really got too far into it until my later years but…yeah it’s been a long time over 20 years .

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MH You started up when I dropped of skateboarding. I dropped out around 81.

WREX Yeah exactly. See I always just looked at the skateboard magazines and I would see you and your brother or Salba or somebody and be like, Yeah! Back then I never had the opportunity to ride the stuff you guys were riding.

MH You were in Tempi at the time?

WREX Yeah, and the skatepark there was already gone by the time I was getting into it you know.

MH What skatepark was that?

WREX I can’t remember the name. Supposedly the parking lot there still dips where the bowl use to be.

MH Was that the only skatepark they had back then?

WREX That I know of. I’m sure they had a couple more somewhere around there but who knows.

MH What was the first contest that you entered and how old were you?

WREX Shoot I was probably about 13, O-Boys Productions put it on, local guy doing some contest series through his skateboard shop T.N.T. Dave Boytson was his name…and he got everyone organized and getting into it and I remember it being real fun so it was a blast. And it was cool because he hooked up with N.S.A. and Castle every now and then so you got to see other pros and stuff skating.

MH They would come through town?

WREX Yeah, the Z-Boys would come out all the time. Jimmy Acosta and a bunch of those guys always coming out.

MH Half pipe contest?

WREX No. Mostly street, they would have a quarter pipe or two, bank setup, wall rides stuff like that. Lots of launch ramps were getting pushed up against walls and such. Always had a curb.

MH Do you still compete?

WREX Actually, yeah.

MH So where did you compete last summer?

WREX Umm, last one was the Dream Parks out in Denver, which was really good. It was awesome lots of people came out, Salba, Chet Childress, it was a big contest.

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MH Was that the footage that was in the “More Concrete”?

WREX Yeah exactly. I also think that there is a little bit in the Dream Park-Airwalk documentary on Fox Sports or something. Yeah that was the last one that I did. I’m hoping this summer there will be some more out here in California.

MH Are you going to enter the Basic Bowl competition that is taking place in April?

WREX Yeah, yeah I missed the last one there.

MH Have you skated the Basic Bowl yet?

WREX No not yet. It’s better that way.

MH Why is it better that way?

WREX Cause that was there’s no expectations or anything. I just show up and it always looks great you know. Most people will ride and be like there’s a kink here or there. So normally I just show up and I won’t know anything about it so I’ll just go ahead and ride it. It’s better that way, it’s fresh.

MH That’s cool. So what does skateboarding mean to you these days is it your lifestyle or what is it?

WREX Yeah it’s pretty much. You can’t really be a skateboarder without saying its part of your lifestyle you know I mean it’s like it’s a love/hate relationship. Yeah I couldn’t see any other life style personally for me I mean this is my way of expressing myself and a way to get things out and I love it. It’s always been keeping me going. It’s kind of hard not to have skateboarding in your life not as a lifestyle.

MH Do you have any goals as a skateboarder?

WREX Skate for fun. I mean that’s the main thing. Once you start worrying about it this and that that’s when it becomes not fun anymore. I’ve already gone through that and I just have fun now, just come out, if people say they are going to show up and have a good time I’ll come up and have a good time with them.

MH Do you do any street skating or just vert and pools?

WREX I try to do it…well where I grew up it was kind of like there would be a pool for a little bit so you’d learn to ride the pool and then you know people would move into the house so then somebody would build a ramp but then the ordinance would say you have to take it down so you’d skate the ramp for a little while and then you would end up getting sucked back on the street. So where I grew up you’d end up riding everything so I try to stick with that same pattern so that is why I can pretty much adjust to where ever I go.

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MH So you still go out and hit the street spots?

WREX Oh yeah, still do maybe not as hard as I use to you know but I’m known to hit an occasional rail here and there. I just go out have fun. Cruise down the road hit anything.

MH So you said you lived in Colorado for about 10 years. How do the skateparks in Colorado compare to the skateparks in Southern California?

WREX Umm, well they’re just different. Everything’s different, like all the parks here. I think these parks are great the only thing is between em’ is most of them in Colorado are a little deeper. There are defiantly no regulations in Colorado and they are paid for through lottery money. So its public money and you do not have to pay to skate every time that you skate them. No supervision or cash to fork out unless you want to go indoors to the Vans Skatepark. But other than that it’s great. Just go out have fun it’s at your own risk, nice and mellow.

MH Are there pad rules?

WREX At some skateparks they’re enforced but for the most part it’s just at your own risk. It’s up to you to wear them if you want to.

MH What about the Oregon skateparks? Have you been to any of those?

WREX I have been to a few of the Oregon Skateparks. They are amazing. Some are a little slick, some are a blast but who am I to pick and choose when they build something so great for us.

MH Which one do you think is the best?

WREX Newberg is my favorite one I still haven’t been to Orcas or any of those new parks or any of the new Airspeed parks. I still like Burnside because it’s gnarly.

MH Have you ridden Washington Street yet?

WREX Yeah I have skated there once and it was just like narrow path way you could ride through because there was still a lot of trash in the way. I haven’t been able to ride the whole thing yet but hopefully I will be able to skate it soon.

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MH How did you hookup with Conspiracy and how long have you been riding for them?

WREX I met Lindsey Kuhn through Concrete Challenge. I was riding for Alva at the time and things were just going real slow and these guys were at every event and doing a really good thing. I was just stoked to see them all the time and then they asked me to ride for them and I was like “Sure I’d love to man!” You guys are motivated, I’m motivated and they’re not worried about having to perform, go do this thing or that, just skate for fun and I really like that a lot. I met them about 3 years ago and it’s been going good ever since.

MH So you rode for Alva ?

WREX I’ve rode for Alva on and off. I rode for them for about 6 years in the 90’s.

MH I was checking out the Conspiracy site and there seemed to be a link between Colorado and Texas within the company?

WREX It all started with Dana Buck (Buckethead) and Lindsey Kuhn use to own a shop down in Texas and they also did Zorlac Boards with Newt and those guys. Then when Zorlac broke up and all you could find was small wheels and little boards and you couldn’t find decent sized vert boards and wheels they decided to start a new company. That is where the name Conspiracy came from because it was pretty much a conspiracy you couldn’t buy good wood and get good products and that is where they got the base of it from. It started in Texas, Austin I think and then one of the guys moved to Denver and they were branching between Colorado and Texas in those days.

MH Who else do you ride for?

WREX Umm, Smith Eye Wear, Ipath shoes, Billabong, Rocket Bearings, Tracker Trucks, and I think that’s it I hope I didn’t leave anyone out, get them upset, sorry.

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MH Who have your influences been, who are your favorite skaters?

WREX Brian Brannon, Steve Alba, you know I hear a lot of weird things about Steve this and that but he is one of the nicest guys, definitely influenced me as a kid in my early days of skating. He took me to pools not knowing too much about me so I was really into him and his style is amazing. Shogo Kubo was one of my mentors back in the day. He could get up anywhere, he’d get upside down and still be able to get out of it. There are a lot of guys, most of the guys I’ve rode with. Anyone that has fun with skateboarding always gets me stoked.

MH So who do you skate with these days?

WREX Anybody who wants to skate. I am down to go skate with anyone. I skate a lot with Billy Green, Jessie Parker. Yeah, if you want to go skate give me a call let’s go.

MH So what trick are you known for?

WREX It use to be Texas plants but I’m not too sure. Most people say backside disasters or inverts but they are like a warm up trick for me.

MH So if you had a choice of what to skate for the rest of your life which would you choose, a killer pool, killer vert ramp, or killer snake run?

WREX It couldn’t be the snake run into the pool?

MH Nope, no just one.

WREX It would probably end up actually being the pool, it’s never the same run no matter how many times I hit that pool wall there’s always a weird kink spot that makes it different. Never the same run.

MH So have you traveled a lot in you skateboarding career?

WREX Yeah I try to. I haven’t traveled over seas or anything I pretty much just do low budget style stay in the country and yeah I try to travel as much as I can.

MH So what setup do you ride. Your Conspiracy deck?

WREX Yeah. I ride Tracker Trucks , Rocket Bearings, Conspiracy Wheels, the green alien shots, they seem to be a perfect all around park wheel and I ride my board which is 8.25 wide, has a 15″ wheel base, and is 33″s long.

Conspiracy Website

Conspiracy Skateboards

MH Your graphic. What was the inspiration for your graphic?

WREX Well the graphic was my design. The graphic was mainly aimed at the American Companies that have moved to China and are making cheap boards over there and putting American Board Manufacturers out of work. It’s a picture of Uncle Sam rolling up his sleeves getting ready to duke it out. When I finally got it done he guys back at the office told me it looked too much like me that they ended up changing the colors and giving him red hair. That was pretty much the basis of those graphic.

MH I just saw the new Conspiracy video “More Concrete” its great lots of great footage. What was some of the highlights for you filming the sessions?

WREX Most of the footage was taken over a long period of time getting together for sessions, some contest footage, and some just going on trips saying we’re going to go skate this weekend and winging it. Take off for two days and just skate and film and whatever. Just have fun there’s so much most of it’s just a road trip. Just a bunch of guys going out having a few beers and having fun skateboarding.

MH Speaking of beers. The contest in Colorado…

WREX Oh boy.

MH There was a guy who rolled out of the pool and grabbe a beer out of some guys hand and rolled into the bowl.

WREX Oh yeah, yeah that was Science, Dave Maxwell.

MH Was that planned?

WREX No!. Dave Maxwell is a mad man that’s why they call him Science. He’s funny. P.B.R. sponsored that one so a lot of stuff went on. Yeah Pabst Blue Ribbon actually sponsored that with Airwalk. So…you can imagine how nuts it got.

MH So you’re an artist and it seems that Conspiracy is 50% Art 50% Skateboarding. Do you design any of the other graphics for the company?

WREX On and off stickers and t-shirts you know whatever seems cool or needs to come out at the time. Lindsey does most of the artwork. But it’s just pretty much if you are on the team or you’re a friend and you have an idea draw it up and bring it to us and we’ll check it out. There are no guidelines we don’t have an art director or sales person because everyone on the team is co-op to do everything.

MH So who’s your favorite artist?

WREX There are so many great ones and there’s new ones coming out. Shoot I don’t know. Everybody’s so different I like some of the old stuff, Brian Stacy does some pretty wild stuff. I like Robert Williams style pop hot rod type of artwork. I can’t really say I have an exact favorite.

MH What do you listen to, what’s your music?

WREX Everything pretty much it ranges from death metal to a little bit of country. I like everything.

MH What’s next for you, what are your plans for this coming summer?

WREX I’m definitely going to travel. Just right now sticking in out here in Southern California as long as I can and milk it you know. But I’d definitely like to get back to Colorado for some of this summer and hit some of the cool places there like Jacksonville that you can’t skate during the winter months. No doubt I am going to be touring. Having fun is my main goal.

MH Thanks for sharing your world with us.

Wrex No problem, anytime.

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Posted on 15 Apr 2004 by Mike Hirsch
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