Ten Things That Happened in Skateboarding in 2012
I thought I’d close out 2012 with a list of things that happened in skateboarding this year. I don’t consider myself an expert and certainly don’t keep up with the staggering skate video output the internet has beseeched us with, so don’t consider this a list of the best moments of 2012 or anything like that. Just consider it ten things that I remember happening this year. See you in 2013, you turkeys.
A 44-Year Old Man Lands the 900
In 2012 a 12-year old boy became the youngest person to land a 900 degree aerial on his skateboard toy and people talked about it for months. The same year, Tony Hawk landed a 900 at age 44 and it pretty much went unnoticed. I’m pretty sure that the Chinese government is accused of faking birth documents for their gymnasts every Olympic Games because of speculation that their athletes aren’t old enough to compete. I’ve never heard of anybody accusing the Chinese government of trying to sneak in a 44-year-old gymnast into the Olympics. Oh wait… what was that… the 12-year old landed a 1080? Oh… well that’s different. Time to step it up, Tony.
All jokes aside, The Birdman still rules. But we all know that. That’s why he’s Tony Hawk and we’re just sad, sucky, us.
My skateboard company (Roger Skateboards) manufactured a run of skateboard decks in February of 2012 after not manufacturing a run of skateboard decks for approximately eight months. I won’t bore you with the boring details, but things were looking kinda bleak there for a hot minute. Luckily the stars aligned and the children of the world rejoiced as we pumped out a few more dong jokes. Get it? Pump, dong…
I don’t care if you hated the editing, acting, special effects, and the soundtrack, I really don’t. Because if you can’t look past all that and appreciate the fact that you got to see a twenty minute Vincent Alvarez part and got to watch Guy Mariano make every skate dude from the 90s cream their Blind jeans then you’re hopeless. And that’s not even mentioning Marc Johnson’s sublime offering or watching Raven Tershy go all Grant Taylor on everything. Everybody else ruled too, you guys should all be proud of yourselves. My only complaint with the entire video is that Rick Howard didn’t casually throw out a switch 360 flip for our enjoyment, he’s kinda my favorite from the old-guard.
In this video, we explore the phenomenon that is the “sponsor me” tape. Sam Smyth, the team manager for the Girl and Chocolate skateboard teams, leads us to the sponsor me tape graveyard at Crailtap HQ. He also names some pro skaters who once sent in their tapes, and shows us Sean Malto’s first submission. Sean then breaks down what it took to get on Girl and reminisces about filming Pretty Sweet. Enjoy.
Sam Smyth is the talent manager for Girl and Chocolate skateboards. If you Google him, most of the links that pop up lead to pictures of him eating sandwiches or his photo website. While those activities make up a large part of Sam’s portfolio, I think his greatest achievement is keeping the most elite team in skating balanced and happy for the last 15 years.
The Girl and Chocolate teams are about to release their first video offering since 2004’s Hot Chocolate, and to the people concerned with such things (everyone who rides a skateboard), it’s the biggest event to happen all year—all that president electing business included. As you may have noticed, last week we released a little YouTube nugget from the Crailtap camp in the form of a bowl jam with Raven Tershy at the Diamond Mine. In preparation for the big day (which is November 16, by the way), every Tuesday we’ll be putting up more bonus junk from the Tap, so check back next week. And the week after that, etc.
I got out my typing fingers and had an iChat conversation with Sam in an attempt to learn something about the video, but we ended up talking more about oops poops, drunken kids, and babysitting a bunch of man-children than anything else.
VICE: Hello Sam. We had to postpone this interview due to our conflicting lunch schedules. How was yours?
Sam: Fine. Had a low-budge burrito and watched the end of the Giants game. Giants won the division series.
Will you brag to James Kelch about the superiority of your city?
Uh, YES. Fully.
As a person who reads every skate magazine and pays attention to people’s names in videos, I always wondered about your history. Can you give me the breakdown of where and how you were born and raised?
I was born to hippie parents in San Francisco, in the house that my mom still lives in. I was a city kid. I had a lot of freedom. I was riding bikes, taking the bus, and skating all over the city at a pretty young age.
Who did you start skating with?
I started skating with some kids from my neighborhood. They were down for a year or so, then they went on to different things and I stuck with it. I met Nick Lockman at Golden Gate Park. His dad and mine would take us skating. They took me to Embarcadero. Nick was six, I was ten. Nick is the team manager at DGK now.
Were his parents hippies or was he just poorly supervised?
They were cool as fuck. They liked to party, so I think there had to be a touch of hippie in ‘em. Like mine, they supported skating to the fullest, which wasn’t a popular move for parents back then.
I heard you say once that you shit your pants at a skate contest when you were 12. Is that true?
Yes. Nick and I stayed best skate buddies for a long time. And then we met Karl Watson, and the three of us were like skate brothers. When Think Skateboards started they wanted our little crew, so all three of us got on Think. We actually came up with the name. They wanted to call it Move, and we thought that was whack.
Anyway, first trip we ever went on with Think was up to Corvallis, Oregon for the NSA contest. This had to be 1990 or so. While we were practicing I did a little oops poops. Unfortunately, I was wearing Ghetto Wear shorts. They were so thin there was no playing it off, and I had to ask Kieth Cochran to take me back to the hotel. He laughed and called me out on the mic, which was slightly embarrassing. When I got back I took my run. I think I did OK, but I puked as soon as they said time.
Had you gotten drunk the night before?
Yeah. It was my first time ever getting drunk. Jason Adams got me a 32oz of Miller High Life. That was my dad’s brand so it was the only beer I had ever tasted. I remember getting wrapped up in the bed cover and drug around the hotel.
This week, Pretty Sweet Tuesdays is centered around a young man that has had skaters of all ages in awe for the past couple of years, Raven Tershy. Heir to skaters like Wade Speyer, John Cardiel, and Rick McCrank, Raven is known for assaulting the things he skates, taking on street and tranny spots with reckless abandon. This video highlights a casual afternoon at the Diamond Bowl, where a crew consisting of Vincent Alvarez, Robbie Russo, Eric Koston, and even a Bam Margera rampside appearance.