Focus Skateboarding Magazine #60 - May/June '15
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Transcript of Focus Skateboarding Magazine #60 - May/June '15
10 forewords Greener Pastures
14 guest editor Brian schaefer
18 behind the lens J. strickland
20 insta-faves instaGram Pulls
22 hammertime trick Of the mOnth
24 fresh find dick rizzO
26 fresh find thOmas macmillan
28 fresh find JOsh WilsOn
30 entrepreneur keith hufnaGel
may/June 2015 VOLUME eleven ISSUE three
34 a lOve stOry soap box
42 zach lyOns small talk
44 Justin BrOck small talk
48 tOm asta small talk
50 luis tOlentinO small talk
54 incentives photo section
behind the lens
26 fresh find thOmas macmillan
28 fresh find JOsh WilsOn
30 entrepreneur keith hufnaGel
cOver a: JOsh dziadek [front 50-50 into bank] phOtOgraphy :: rOB cOllinscOver B: JOey OBrien [front 50-50 into fountain] phOtOgraphy :: luke dariGan
50 luis tOlentinOsmall talk
54 incentivesphoto section
kevin shealy [kickflip]
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Focus Skateboarding Magazine was published bi-monthly, six times a year by Focus Skateboarding Magazine Inc. all contents are copyrighted by Focus Skateboarding Magazine Inc. 2015. reproduction of any material requires the written consent from the publishers. all letters, photos, editorial contributions, and advertisements are accepted upon the representation that they are original materials by the author and/or advertiser. the author and/or advertiser accept full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their ads and/or editorial contributions. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author and may not reflect the views and opinions of the editor, staff, or advertisers of Focus Skateboarding Magazine. any similarities between persons or places mentioned or alluded to in the fiction and real places or persons living or dead are purely coincidental. advertisers assume full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their advertisements. the author and/or advertisers also will indemnify and save Focus Skateboarding Magazine harmless from any legal claims. thanks for great times. now finish reading this and go skate!
cOntriButinG PhOtOGraPhersrOB cOLLInS, pat DaLy, LUKE DarIgan, ryan gEE,
MIKE hEIKKILa, BrIan KELLEy, BEn KILpatrIcK, SEan MIchOn, StEphEn OLIVEIra
cOntriButinG WritersLEE BErMan, BrIan SchaEFEr, anthOny trIVELLI
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stePhen [email protected]
matt [email protected]
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as the great Billy Joel sang, Only the good Die young. It saddens me to say, but without regret, this will be the last issue of Focus Skateboarding Magazine. For 10 years now (60 issues), we have dedicated ourselves to Focus and the wonderful world of skateboarding. While we will forever hold skateboarding dear to our hearts and a part of our everyday lives, Focus has run its course... and I do not regret a single part of this journey!throughout its 10-year existence I have met so many awesome and amazing people within the skateboarding community. It is one of the tightest knit groups of people that I think probably exists in the world today. We dont see race, creed or financial stature. We see skater. the type of work you do while not skateboarding doesnt mean anything as who you are as a skater. Its simple you skateboard, so youre part of the tribe and are accepted across the globe into other groups and communities no matter where you travel. the East coast skateboarding scene in particular is one that Focus will always call home. Its meant so much to us to help contribute to and nurture over the years. Id love to say we have been a major player in the game for the East coast scene, but I dont believe that is for me to deem. that honor is held by you, the readers and fellow skateboarders to decide.
It is sorta crazy to me to think 10 years have come and gone. It honestly only seems like it was just a few months ago that we started Focus in that cold, dark, windowless home. We had no money, no jobs, and were really pretty much homeless in a sense. But with the help of our fellow skateboarding compadres, we persevered and were able to stand tall again. Ive learned a million things throughout producing Focus. From business practices, to paper types and weight, to what logistics really means But the one thing I was taught that I will never unlearn is that hard work and dedication will get you everywhere in life. never giving up what you really believe in, especially if
it is positive and develops you into a better person. youll have your pitfalls along the way and stumble from time to time, but nothing easy is worth having.
In saying that, you might think, well isnt that a little contradicting considering you are shutting down the magazine? and to answer that, Id have to say nO. this is not a failed experiment by any means; it simply has provided itself to be a stepping-stone into other ventures in the lives of both Justin and myself. Sorta like how you learn to crawl before even knowing what walking is. Opportunities sometimes just develop out of nowhere, and you cant be afraid to take that leap into them. thats another thing I could clamor on about, and I will for a quick moment, that Ive learned from running Focus Opportunities. Sometimes they blind side you outta nowhere and you just have to jump on them. Ive been fortunate enough to have a bunch put in front of me. Some I went for, and others I kick myself for passing up. Word of advice, never let them slip by! change can be very scary at times, but if you never seize the moment youll always wonder, What if?
In closing, Focus Skateboarding Magazine will always be a huge part of my life. not just cause I did it for so long, but because of what it has meant to me, and the opportunities its put in front of me. Ive learned so much, met so many amazing people, and this is all just from publishing a magazine whose subject matter means the world to me. While this may be the last time you physically hold a copy Focus in your hands, rejoice with us knowing that this is actually a celebration of life! Were happy to have had the honor of solely repping the scene we love for an unprecedented decade. cheers to shining a light on 10-years of East coast Excellence, and thank you to everyone whos been a part of this journey and contributed to making it happen!
WOrDS :: mazurGreener PasTures
Some opportunities and changes are better than others. take chris cOle, circa 2007, for example. his bluntslide may be timeless, but that hair? change can be a good thing.
WOrDS :: Brian schaeferOffiCe raT, DeaCTivaTe
I find myself on the daily taking everything for granted, and damn Im disappointed to say so. Its the simple things that matter, and one of those simple things is to remember why you started skateboarding in thefirst place. It happens to all of us, but I think it hitshome the hardest when you love skateboarding so much but it takes every ounce of effort just to go out and actually do it. the odd thing about it for me, is that my playground is in my backyard. DUh, It St St hOULD BE EaSy!
Whats the matter with me? We just built a new cement skatepark and its the best thing weve added to thepark since the loop in 2001. ha, kidding of course.however, I just couldnt figure it out as to why I am not enjoying something that I was born to do and have been doing for over 35 years now. and yeah, you heard me correctly, over 35 years. But I figured it out.you cant submerge yourself in any work 7 days a you cant submerge yourself in any work 7 days a yweek, no matter how rad or awesome it is, and think youre going to enjoy it every time you have the opportunity. Seems like you would do it more, but its not the case as its been the same game I have been practicing for now over 22 years now. the funny thing, more practice makes you better and sometimes it takes longer than expected, but Im getting better at not taking things for granted.
I went to the beach (gulf of Mexico) that is only a 30-minute drive from tampa, FL the other day and I tampa, FL the other day and I trealized I havent been to the beach more than three times this year and it was truly awesome. honestly,I felt like I was in costa rica with my QDt (Quality Dude posse) pals; chris Ortiz, gabe clement, ryan Kingman, and Jamey Stone. the QDt trip was one of the best trips we all used to do, but some how it just stopped happening. Damn it, I am taking it for granted and damn it if I dont do the same with skateboarding. Whats wrong with me? Why dont I take mini vacations that make me feel like Im in foreign countriesmore often? Well, Its just forgetting how the simple things matter so much.
although Ive noted not enjoying skateboarding as much as I should, its slowly getting back to where I want it to, and getting back to making me feel like the kid in the candy store again. Ive been going on skate trips, hitting up some ditches, rolling around at our park, and most of all connecting with my friends that Ive been skating with for over 20 years. hell, I even threw down an egg plant at tampa tampa t pro during the concrete Jam and won $400. yes, it was extra hype since the old guy and captain of yes, it was extra hype since the old guy and captain of ySpot did it, but hell, Ill take it and it was the inspiration t did it, but hell, Ill take it and it was the inspiration tof being around skateboarding without my office rat legs holding me back. Im kicking myself in the ass that I havent been putting more effort into skating, but more
effort follows with more skating. Duh, once again. I was at a newly built park the other day just outside of tampa tampa tand heard kids saying, this park sucks, and I started to take a look around and point out where it could be better, but I immediately stopped myself. Instead I told him, It could be a lot worse, you could be forced topay, they could make you wear a helmet, and evenmore than that, youre alive so soak it upand appreciate it and dont take it for granted kid.he stopped, listened, smiled and changed his perception, which was a reminder for us both that the simple things matter.
as I speak about taking for granted, when I was first approached by Justin from Focus to do the guest ed,I was honored and didnt tell him I felt as though I didnt deserve it. Why would I tell anyone this? Well, because I just havent been engaged with Focus as I should have over the years, and felt slightly responsible for another great magazine not going to print any more. If I only would have done more ads and got them more involved with Spot it could have assisted in keeping it moving. t it could have assisted in keeping it moving. thowever, everything has its course and Focus, we will be forever thankful that you provided moments for so many, that were documented for life, and never taken for granted. Focus, youve been an inspiration to the world. Enjoy your vacation and we will be here when youget back.
no matter if its in front of a cheering crowd at tampa tampa t pro or on a solo mish, Brian schaeferis definitely learning how to unwind from the grind. hes uprooted from the desk and has egg plants for days.
Fred Gall launching over and under the sign of the beast into the small landing zone in the crusty East. Do you like LSD? Then cop some of Freds new acid eater wheels ASAP.
J. sTriCklanDlets start from the beginning. how were you introduced to skateboarding?My mom, pretty much When I was a little dude I pretty much wanted to stop playing baseball and riding bikes and just skateboard. My first board was a Suregrip Monger that my mom bought me from Daves Skates in Ventura. then my first real setup was a black and grey Vision gator with Indys and black rat Bone Wheels. I really got into skating around Jr. high growing up in El cajon. all the skaters my age, and a little older, from El cajon where some of the raddest people who taught me the shit I stick to today.
Was there a time you wanted to be a pro skater or was it always geared toward the film side?hell yeah, of course! Jimmy acosta and Danny pena were like the O.g. pros from my area. they Skated for z and where so badass and steezy Even riding z-rollers! I wanted to be a pro like them. Levis, white tees Slash grinds and the ill kicked out backside airs off jump ramps! then a few of my good friends were hooked up proper. Killing it doing crazy things. I just fell back and had fun skating; I got more into traveling, art and graffiti especially. I was into wanting to work in skating, doing board graphics etc. One of the first boards I did was for the homie Mirko Mangum for planet Earth. then the rest is history. Filming came later while trying to explore all creative aspects of skating.
youve been through some great times in skating, and some dark. Would you mind to elaborate on this?all the great times come with the price of the hard and dark times! Im no different than anyone else thats been a skateboarder for three decades. real heads know what it is and just soldier on!
can you remember any of your craziest moments in filming?Even so smoked out, some filming experiences are vivid like yesterday. the Wilshire days of filming for Baker 2g probably. Shit was just so hectic! how many heads just smashed it and shit that went down in that period. grecos dedication to that place and what he did there is legendary shit. paying the security guards getting to film Koston reynolds frontside flip mish, Beagle and the young dudes buggin out late night, being so hyped I actually ollied the stairs I never thought when seeing gonz skate that rail when I was young that Id be spending so much time at the spot and filming the skating like I did.
how do you feel on the progress in the filmography-world of skateboarding? What did you start with and where are you now?I fucking love it! Skaters in general tend to be more creative. So with all the new technology its rad to see all the different types of mediums skaters do and use these days. Im down for anything that is fresh and made with heart.
as for cameras Well, I was just always VX1000 and gVr900 type of guy. tapes for days! the Vashica t5 and Voiglander with an aspherical lens Just trying every type of film I could get my hands on.
Okay, the real juicy question... What are you rolling around with these days to do art and film?nikon all day son! For pro type flicks! Everything else iphone Flip cam hD, haha.
how do you feel about everyone using iPhones these days to film and shoot so much skating?I think its rad on one hand as a fan, but shitty for skaters and video-makers that work long and hard on solid videos. Its like I said how skaters will adapt to a technology and make it awesome in our own way. the downside obviously is the respect the kids have lost for how much work it takes for pros and their filmers to put out, real, solid videos and for it to have an impact. So all you kids out there, when you see a pro with a photographer and/or video guys; dont be an asshole and poach that shit and put it on the internet.
are you indifferent to videos being so instant these days? like how they just keep coming out so quickly and have sort of lost the luster of old skate video days?Like I said in the last question, as an old-head that isnt trying to film as a living, I like digging through all the shitty videos out there and finding new shit that is fucking amazing. Its just part of the future, and it keeps getting faster. Might as well try and keep up, instead of crying how it used to be! guy Mariano has been putting out legendary parts before the internet, and it still can break the internet with Ig clips of him. hes produced epic parts for current videos just the same. I think skaters always win at adapting and taking shit into the future. the real heads still stick out to me amongst all the shit coming out so fast. Its like a new generation in skating, and I think its exciting.
Whats in the future for J. strickland?you never know what the future brings! Just gonna try and produce as much art as possible. get better at surfing this summer and try to keep skating when I can. Doing some cool projects with my lady too. get my book, out now at:http://paradiseplease.com/products/shoot-to-kill.
thanks and shout outs?Mom and JoJo. paradise plus and 2nd nature for supporting my dream of dropping a photo book. all my spray fams! too many to name here cause the posse is deep! Big up to all the skaters everywhere keeping shit alive. Special thanks to all the East coast homies that have showed love all these years.
WOrDS :: mazur
the mission was simple, if you wanted to see your handy work featured in Focus as part of our, Insta-Faves, youd better start following us (@focusskatemag) and use the hashtags: #focusskatemag and #eastcoastexcellence on your rad photos.
congrats to everyone that made the pulls! Well still be posting on Instagram from time to time, so keep the hash tags alive and maybe youll see yourself pop-up again inyour feed. Vive de largo la revolucin digital!
1: @josepht12 - Ollie Photo: @bryantheoneill2: @myleswillard - Back Smith Photo: @qntnprsn3: @brocambrocam - 360 Flip to Fakie Photo: @chrisjolly4: @killvkam - hurricane Photo: @mymansandthem5: @tgloves - push Photo: @kofiphoto6: @derekmclean - Ollie Photo: @chris_james_films7: @pooptart - Boneless Photo: @mothafizzy8: @b__church - Fastplant Photo: @trefish9: @seanplundeke - Front Feeble Photo: @s.sirvanphoto
a decade ago, Dave Bachinsky graced the pages of the first-ever issue of Focus with a Fresh Find, so, it suites us very well to have him as a part of the very last issue. From the first time I met Dave, at a contest in canada I believe, I knew there was something special about this kid. I looked up to him as a skateboarder, even though he was younger than me. Even then he was doing tricks that blew my mind. I mean, nothing like this switch crook full-cab flip out, but still some really sick stuff. Its very pleasing to have Dave represent the East coast one more time in the pages of Focus as our last-ever hammertime.[sWitch crOOk full-caB fliP]
WOrDS :: mazur
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Well versed in skate history, practitioner of some of my favorite nefarious nighttime activities, and despite all yall who pull the, But son can only wallride card, my dude shuvd into and out of a crooked grind on the tombstone. pay respects, this dude can do whatever he wants off and on the board criminally on point.
hometown: Mahwah, nJ sponsors: hUF, chocolate, Spitfire, Bronze 56K, nJ Skateshop
spot youre sick of seeing in videos: reggaeton Ledges trick that always gets you a letter in s.k.a.t.e.: Kickflip
Guilty Pleasures: Ehhh... Worst injury: Broken elbow
One word to describe the future of skateboarding: Fucked
thomas Macmillan a.k.a. t-Mac skates as smooth as sweet Billy rays bar-b-que down in Wilmington, north carolina. his kickflip alley-oop disasters resemble savory pulled pork with delicious vinegar sauce on it. the 540 backside ollies have a bit of a strong after bite to them, but go down smooth when chased with a properly caught front side flip. Oh youre gonna be impressed with his skating alrighty... told ya!
~Doug Moore Friend
hometown: Malden, Masponsors: none favorite trick: Backside 360 trick you Just suck at: Switch/nollie Flips favorite non-skateboarding activity: Driving fast cars and shooting guns. last Words/shout-Outs: h.S.h.Q, colonial, everyone in Malden, Eric Munday and r.I.p Shawn clark
ThOmas maCmillan [frontside flip disaster]
Its hard these days to come across naturally talented skateboarders who have a level head about what they do. Joel Meinholz and I were inspired by Joshs skating since day one. he skates with a great combination of speed, control and power. possessing the ability to skate anything and having a keen eye for street skating makes him really enjoyable to watch. hes originally from new Jersey, which has a long history of producing some of the most original and stylish skaters on the East coast. hes a true ripper and always enjoying the ride.
~Jahmal Williams Owner, Hopps Skateboards
hometown: river Vale, nJsponsors: hUF, hopps, Bronze 56K, rachet Bearings, nJ Skateshop spot youre sick of seeing in videos: Seaport trick that always gets you a letter in s.k.a.t.e.: Switch Frontside Bigspins Guilty Pleasures: candy and other sugary items. Worst injury: I tore my McL when I was 18. One word to describe the future of skateboarding: Unknown
JOsh WilsOn [ollie from 1st bank to 3rrd]
thanks for the time keith! lets jump right into it. huf came to fruition in 2002. What series of events led you down this path of becoming your own boss and starting your own brand?Well at this point in my life I had been a pro skater for 10 years and I was looking to get involved with something else, something to focus on when I wasnt out skating. I was really lucky to have gotten to travel all over the world through skateboarding, and through that I got to see all these different culturesI was really drawn to this different street culture/fashion that I saw evolving in the metropolitan cities, out in places like London, new york, tokyo. Back then the scene was a lot different; I was inspired by brands like Supreme and Stussy, and everything they were doing then.
around this same time I was moving to San Francisco and felt that the city was missing this type of retail store with these specialty products. In a way I saw an opportunity to fill a gap, but at the same time I had absolutely no plan or vision, I basically just went with it, just got my hands dirty and figured it out. I guess thats kind of how it is when you grow up skating, you just go on your nerve, you just run with it.
Was it difficult to come up with a name for your company, or did the name huf seem like a no-brainer?ha, yeah that was a tough one. In the beginning I didnt want to call it hUF since it was a personal name, part of my last name. When I was a kid I used to write hUF all over the place, just tagging around and shit, and it kind of just stuck as a nickname with all my friends. So when it came to opening our first retail shop in San Francisco we had to come up with something to call itI tried for a while to come up with a different name but in the end had to run with hUF. I was pretty embarrassed at first, like naming it after myselfit felt kind of weird. But I figured in the end it was a good name and that eventually people would not call me hUF anymore!
nice! huf started out as more of a boutique-style shop than a brand, right? What was going on that pushed you towards creating your own label?yeah, it was a full boutique in the beginning; we were just carrying other brands really. at one point the shop started catching on and we began making some teesas it progressed we just kept on making more apparel, hats then fleece then some cut and sew, and so on. I really pushed on making our own
apparel because we could control what it was we made creative-wise, and how much of it we wanted to make. Before that, I had felt sort of constricted at times by some of the accounts/brands we carried, as they would only let us buy certain amounts of product. So, I guess the hUF label itself was really a kind of way to just carve out our own path and become our own bosswe sort of just took matters into our own hands.
that sounds like the way to do it. is it difficult juggling the role and obligations of professional skateboarder along with the responsibilities that come along with running your own company? how have you dealt with that?absolutely. this is always difficult. In the beginning I was skating more, dealing less with the shop and brand. nowadays Im working more and not skating as much. the grass is always greener
its pretty obvious youre down for supporting skateboarding at its very core. do you think thats one of the reasons huf has been, and continues to be, so successful?I hope so. One of the major reasons I started hUF in the first place was to try and give back to skating somehow, to take back a piece of the pie for skateboarders. We will always support skateboarding. It is the reason we are here. It is our roots.
you guys have an absolute kick-ass team backing you! What do you look for in team riders? do you see shades of yourself in these guys?I try and look for cool people with style. they do have to be an amazing skateboarder, but in the end it always comes down to their attitude and style on a board. as the line goes, What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.
so far, what has been the most rewarding or enjoyable aspect of being your own boss?Being able to support the people that work for this company and especially being able to support the skaters and artists that are involved with us. I like being able to support creative people.
On the flip side, whats the most difficult or bullshit-side of the business that you could really do without?
WOrDS :: Justin heister
ha! Firing people. that, and dealing with all the financial stuff.
if you could go back in time and do something differently, would you?I dont think so.
What was it like finally adding footwear to the line-up?It was the best thing ever, but also the hardest thing to get going. Making footwear was actually a dream of mine since the very beginning, with the shops, but I always knew it wasnt going to be easy. So when things lined up right to make it happen we just grabbed the opportunity and went fully in. Its been a massive project getting it to where its at today, and has been really exciting being able to put together our own skate team and tours to support it. now we get to work with the team riders to develop their own signature models, which is super rewarding.
so the footwear has been more difficult than introducing any other product to the line?yes. So far footwear has been the hardest. producing footwear is so much gnarlier compared to, say, printing a tee. With footwear youre dealing with long timelines, factories that expect big minimums, developing molds just to create a new style. Its a huge process and definitely took time to get correct, but were stoked to be where were at with it now.
is there anything in your past or present catalog that just shocked the hell out of you with sales? like a design that you werent too hyped on that just killed it, or vice versa?there are so many things that you think will do really well, but just dont; and then theres those items that you never guess would sell well, but then do. take the plantlife Sockswe hardly sold any the first few seasons we were offering them in the line, and suddenly they just took off. We could never have foreseen those catching on like they did. Its all just part of the game I guess, trial and error.
Obviously skateboarding constantly goes through trends Whats going on right now that just irks your nerves?I dont know Maybe the overly technical tricks these days. I like tricks that just look good, people who look great on a board no matter how hard the trick is. Sometimes those super technical tricks just look bad.
speaking of trends, have you noticed any differences in fashion trends between the east and West coast, or do you receive good reception across the board?there are always trends due to the weather.
Being from ny, is there anything you miss in particular about the east coast?I always miss ny. the pizza, the bagels, the attitude, the crowds on the street, the smell of the old bars. the city itself and the weather I miss it all.
have you had any mentors along the way? if so, who have been some of the biggest help and why?For sure. I was super lucky having the whole Deluxe family to help me out along the way, everyone from Jim thiebaud to Mickey. they really supported what I was doing and helped guide me along as I was skating, and even when I started wanting to build my own product and brand. Its all about just asking the right questions If you want to learn how to do something you just have to ask around and put in the work to figure it out. I always ask people for advice. From Jim thiebaud to Frank Sinatra. they have all helped me.
ive read time and time again that most successful people surround themselves with like-minded ambitious people, and a team of people that they perceive as smarter than themselves. do you subscribe to this recipe for success?I definitely try to.
aside from worldwide domination, is there anything in particular youd really like to accomplish with huf within the next year?haha. My goal is to just make the best product at the best price. I want people to be really stoked to wear hUF; it stokes me out when I see a kid skating down the street in the shoes. Id also like to shake up the industry a bit. I feel like skateboarding has gone soft and needs its attitude back.
last but not least, do you have any words of advice for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?Work hard and do what you believe in.
thanks again for your time keith and cheers to your continued success both on and off the board!cheers.
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0170_SB_SU15_Nano_RedShoes_Sprd_Focus.indd Trim: 16.0 W X 10.0 H Bleed: 0.25 Layout Scale: 100%
Up until recently, people thought Love parkwas dead. they heard it had been remodeled beyond the point of interest back in 2002, gone the way of EMB. hell, it was even given the ultimate swan song - an On Video segment. It wasnt until newer names like Ishod, asta, and Suciu began to replace more familiar ones such as Stevie, Kalis, or Wenning, that the conversation started happening outside of philadelphia that Love park might not be dead. the real answer, whether or not people can admit it, is that Love park has been alive and well since early 2008. In fact, its even managed to reinvent itself with a thriving scene that includes underground talent and poster children all its own. all it took was the right vehicle to get people to realize what was happening. now, with Loves future in the air, its as good a time as any to take a look back at what could be the last era of philadelphias most iconic plaza.
For a short while Love park was actually dead. Most would logically associate this moment with the installation of pink planters and wooden benches, but it really happened a little later, in the fall of 2004, when the city added a 24/7 squad car and a nine-to-five park ranger into the mix. Unlike the annoying but still skatable situation created by the planters, there simply wasnt much of a work around when it came to all day police surveillance. For the next three and a half years, youd hear a rumor here or there about someone getting a half-hour on christmas day, or at 4aM on a Wednesday night while the car was mysteriously gone, but the park was dead. Luckily, philadelphias city government couldnt manage money very well,so after the budget cuts of 2008 they decided it wasnt frugal to keep the car there anymore. there were still bike cops to avoid, but the possibility had been restored. alas, the damage had already been done to phillys reputation. city hall, although a fun spot in itself, had long since lost its appeal to the few pros still left in the city, and they left in search of greener pastures. this well-documented exodus left the city with no big-time names to associate with its scene, so even when Love park finally did began to rise from the ashes - it did so in secrecy.
Well, it was kind of a secret. While people still of a secret. While people still ofrefused to believe the park was experiencing a renaissance, there were certain clues they couldnt help but notice. For starters, there was Ishod Wairs October 09 howl feature in Skateboarder Magazine in which he added one of the first truly significant tricks down the gap post-renovation. Shot with then-philly resident zander taketomo, taketomo, tthe switch kickflip photo both surprised and polarized people who couldnt decide if they were psyched it had been landed or mad that it wasnt anthony pappalardo going back to finish his well documented battle from yesteryear. Whatever side of the fence you were on there was no denying the impact that photo had in renewing interest in the gap and making new tricks seem possible.
WOrDS :: anthOny trivelliphOtOgraphy :: graphy :: graphy luke dariGan
neil herrick [gap to 5-0]
anatOly Bitny [crook]
JOey OBrien [back smith bigspin]
Brian PaneBiancO [switch 180 nosegrind]
new videos began popping up more and moreas well. Smalls & Feldts cult-favorite Stop Fakin (2009) featured a Love-heavy montage that opened with a run, Skate, chill-affirming chase scene, and featured local guys like Brian Douglas,chris Schiafone, nik Stain, and Mike rankine.chris Mulherns this time tomorrow (2010) saw a tomorrow (2010) saw a tlittle more worldwide attention, showcasing many of the same guys from the Stop Fakin montage and adding names like Devon connell, John Kroesser, Shaun Williams, Bryan Leddy and many others to the list of current locals who were showing up more and more to the park. While the video itself was very philly-rooted, it didnt focus solely on Love, and besides, with the amount of international guys featured, it had a lot of ground to cover throughout Europe.
ryan higgins and Brian panebianco also droppedSabotage 2 (2010) later that same year. panebianco had already made a name for himself as the guy to Bondo cracks, fix ledges, and switch tiles around to keep the park functioning, but again the video seemed to only reach local audiences. Undaunted, the pair went straight into filming the next installment, Sabotage 3 (2012). Local guys Dylan Sourbeer, Joey OBrien, Kevin Liedtke, and tore Bevivino each had parts, as well as Florida-tore Bevivino each had parts, as well as Florida-ttransplant Jon hadley. aside from the plethora of friends in the montage, the two remaining full-parts went to Ishod Wair and Mark Suciu. the mixture of local talent and big names proved to be a success. For the first time in a long time the skating at Love was appreciated for what it was, and while most of the message board talk centered around real and habitats respective riders, the rest were getting noticed as well. More importantly, the park became a destination skate spot again; with people from all over realizing they still had a chance to experience what they thought had been long gone.
Unfortunately, just as Loves resurgence was coming to fruition, the city threw another wrench in its troubled legacy. again out of money, and looking to sell off assets, philadelphia finalized the sale of the park in June 2014 for the hefty sum of $26.9 million. plans were kept vague until March of 2015 when the group of designers tasked with beautifying the space unveiled four unskatable designs. With March 2016 as a tentative close date for remodeling, its very possible that this could be the end.
In total there were eight solid years during this last run, a real blessing considering that no one could have expected anything after fall of 2004. While the park may not have become the destination the locals had hoped for until just before the end of its life,they can look back and realize that they successfully fooled everyone. Shit, they managed to skate undetected through an era that was both longer and arguably more fruitful than the one theyd grown up idolizing - even if the world wouldnt listen. go back and watch the all the videos. aside from the ones discussed above, try Ming Kongs revenge (2013), Stop Fakin 2 (2012), clock In (2011), Spot On (2010), the philadelphia Experiment (2013), Spex Vision (2009), or the upcoming Sabotage 4 (2015). there are a lot of guys you probably havent heard of, but thats the charm. For the most part, those are the people with all the stories, the ones who kept Love alive the whole time. this article is dedicated to those dudes - the ones who spent every possible moment there, skating and hanging out. Shout-out to everyone, you know who you are.Brian PaneBiancO [switch 270 noseblunt]
Brian dOuGlas [switch backside flip]Brian PaneBiancO [switch 180 nosegrind]
ChutingStar Skate Park & Sh
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arietta GA 30060
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I was once standing next to Magenta co-Owner Soy panday when zachs dad came over to him and thanked him for making his sons dreams come true. I always liked that. I know what skating means to zach, and I know how appreciative he is of everything hes experienced through it. It was special to see a skaters family understand that. zach is a true East coast skater, having grown up in Maine and now residing in Baltimore, he has never turned his back on where he is from and the style of skateboarding he was raised on. his quest has never been for fame and fortune but rather to interact with as many people and experience everything and anything the world has to offer him. this might be the last one for Focus, but it certainly will not be the last time youll be seeing zach Lyons.
so this isnt youre first walk in the park, especially with focus, so we might as well jump right into things. i dont know if youre aware, but this will be the last issue of focus. you were actually in the first issue 10 years ago. What does having an east coast magazine mean for you? What does it feel like to see it go?I was in the first one?! Sick!!! Wait, 10 years ago?! holy shit!!! Well its a real bummer obviously, I dont know anything about the details as to why, but it sucks. I think its important to have a magazine for any scene, but the East coast for sure since a lot of the industry is on the West coast. But it seems like a lot of people are doing their own zines and magazines, like Skate Jawn, and 43, and Stoops in ny just to name a few. My buddy pat Mcquade here in Baltimore just started a mag called, Outta pocket.
the one thing about focus ive always personally felt that, for better or worse, is it was an opportunity for everyone on the east coast to be heard. if someone was doing something cool, there was always a possibility that focus could be an outlet for that person and it didnt matter who they were sponsored by or what city they were from.yeah for sure. I think it was a huge outlet for a lot of people that wont be there now.
Whats your take on digital media and social media as compared to print media in 2015?
I think its all really bizarre! I guess its just a sign of the times. I just feel bad for every dude that puts out the craziest part ever on the thrasher site and its forgotten about the next day because they already put up 5 new gnarly parts in the time it takes you to blink. and then all the Insta shit is crazy, and I cant really talk to much shit since Im up in that bitch (@zachyattack), but I cant believe its become so important for skaters careers. But like I was saying with the print stuff, its a huge bummer that mags like Focus and Sidewalk and so on are going to bed, but it forces people to make their own shit, and there is a lot of that happening.
there are def positive sides to it, too. the Internet has made the world so small, which is good because, yeah, obviously, smaller French brands like Magenta can get out there. Im just from the generation that grew up obsessing about skate mags, looking at each one over and over memorizing every photo and ad. I was talking to my buddy Matt, and he had been at his folks house trying to get rid of some old shit, and he said he found all his old skate mags and couldnt stand to get rid of them. It would be like throwing out old family albums. In 10 years no one will remember some fucking dumb online edit or online ad.
youve always been a person to hold onto your roots. even though you moved away from new england at a fairly early age, what keeps you on those 12-hour bus rides back and forth from
Baltimore to maine? What do you think about with all that alone time? yeah, my dad got a job in Dc when I was 16 so my family moved. But yeah, Ive made that trip many times. I always have all my buddys to visit, you and all my buddys in Boston and then Forrest and toebee in Maine. I love new England and love that I grew up there. the time on the bus is really weird sometimes, too much time to think. I just try to sleep and listen to music.
Outside of the boring answer that every east coast skater gives about how winter has made the ground rough and everyone has just so much more heart than everyone in california, is there anything you can think of about the north east that has defined your skating?Well yeah, growing up in gardner and skating with Forrest and having nothing to skate, makes you have to skate anything in front of you. Like, anything. So yeah, I think it forced trying and figure out how to skate shit that sucks.
have any of your magenta brothers experienced Baltimore? how did they do? culture shock?hahaha Jimmy has been a bunch of times, and loves it. anytime people come and visit they have a good time. But yeah, its definitely different than France. haha.
WOrDS :: lee Berman phOtOgraphy :: rOB cOllins
zach lyOnsIssue #1 2005
[switch wallie boardslide to regular]
Weve all heard about the differences between skating in new york and la, but how does skating in a Baltimore compare to skating in a city such as Bordeaux (home base of magenta)?holy shit. Well, its like two different worlds. Bordeaux is so smooth and mostly marble, you can skate all over the city real easy. Baltimore on the other hand is rough as fuck! and there are pretty big parts of the city you shouldnt be skating around.
are they any reasons why, in pursuing a career in professional skateboarding, youve never moved into a city thats a bit more in the limelight such as new york or san francisco? I did live in SF for like 6 months, and La for 2 months, but just to escape the winter. Ive always loved visiting those places but I like being kind of removed by it all. I like being able to do my own thing, not have to worry about whos skated the same spot or what trick has been done already.
a lot of people complain about losing pop as they get older. do you feel youve lost any spring in your step since turning 30? Wait, are you even 30?yeah, Im 30. I dont feel like Ive lost pop as Ive gotten older as much as I just stopped skating high shit as much. I felt like I kinda reached my peek for skating high ledges and stuff and moved on. Beer probably hasnt helped either haha.
do you still know the exact amount of times youve had sexual intercourse? i tell a lot of people i have a friend that knows exactly how many times hes had sex. i dont want to be lying.no, I stopped counting a few years ago. I think it might be one of my biggest regrets. can you imagine how tight it would be when you are old and gray and be able to know every time youve boned?! Fuck!
i know as a child you used to spend a lot of time at Woodward skate camp. do you have any fond memories youd like to share? any cute visiting pro stories?yeah, I went when I was a kid and then worked there for years and then as a visiting pro, so yeah I have some good memories. hanging with harold hunter late night! all the KayO trips we did were fun as fuck, staying up all night smoking weed out of a can for the first time... great times.
Growing up, what do you feel your skating was most inspired by?Ive always been inspired by trying to have fun, and the skaters that make it look fun and doing their own thing. puleo, gonz, Quimtime. people with unique styles. But fun is what makes me want to skate. Whats the quote? If you are not having fun you are doing it wrong.
after being around so many different skate careers, where do you see yourself in the future? What advice can you give kids about the skate industry through your personal experiences? Fuck... I have no idea at this point, Im just happy to have the people who support me (Magenta, coalatree, pItcrEW, etc.) and that Im healthy and can skate. Im just trying to get in where I fit in and keep that going for as long as I can. as far advice? again, I have no clue. Skating is so crazy at this point. they main way I came up was by having a lot of photos in mags... and they all seem to be going the way of the Dodo Bird. Seems like the best route at this point is to do everything thing yourself. Start your own mag, make your own videos, start your own companies, fuck trying to make it in someplace. get a job that doesnt make you want to die and do it yourself.
zach lyOns [switch pivot fakie]
WOrDS :: mazurphOtOgraphy :: zander taketOmO
first things first, tell me about the wildest or craziest thing you saw at tampa this year that didnt really deal with skateboarding?I saw some dumb-ass get mad that he got hit with an egg in the head while watching the moat race. If you dont want to get hit, stand back!
Okay, now the gnarliest trick you saw?grants fly-out to the wall on the practice day!
so what have you been up to these days?I just moved to La to see what it was like out here. Other than that Ive just been skating a bunch and hanging out with my family.
i dont think i have really spoken with you since our first issue of focus, which you happened to be in. its great to see you have progressed so much and made a name for yourself. is this always something you wanted?I always just wanted to skate. I dont think I actually thought that I could go this far. I feel very privileged to ride for the people that I do, and have fun riding my skateboard!
if you had not found skateboarding, where do you think you would be right now?I would probably be doing construction somewhere in nc and hating life!
do you still stay in touch with people you grew up with skateboarding?yeah, I talk to a bunch of people from back in the day. I have a buddy that I went to kindergarten with that I still talk to! Were all just old married dads now.yeah, time flies! youve traveled all over the world now, right? Where would you say was your favorite place?
I always had a lot of fun in australia! that place is amazing! But the most fun trip I ever went on was a nike camping trip in the northwest! We just skated parks and had the sickest crew of dudes.
With how much skateboarding changes, are there things that bother you, or do you feel its heading in the right direction?there are things that bother me, but as long as they dont affect my skating I dont really care what goes on. I just do my own thing and try to have fun with the boys! do you have any thoughts on this being the last issue of focus?Im sad that this is going to be the last issue. Im so used to seeing it all the time. you guys always had all the up and coming kids from the East coast in here. Im going to miss that! thanks for what you guys do!
thank you! its rad to hear what weve been doing is appreciated. so, what goes through your head when youre trying a new trick? is there a difference if its a tech trick or some big ol rail?I think with big rails its easier because Ive skated them for years, so I just try to jump on it and get it over with! But tech tricks are hard. I mostly just try forever at them and sometimes get lucky!
did you ever think about going to school or furthering your education?I havent really If I did I, wouldnt know what I would go for. But who knows, I might change my mind.
eh, dont waste your time, that pro nike shoe coming out soon anyway, right?! Whens that going to happen and can i get a signed pair?you tell me! If it happens, Ill get you a pair!
Justin BrOckIssue #1 2005[front feeble]
there is so much to say about Justins skateboarding, but more impressive is his attitude. he is the hardest working and least entitled skater Ive ever met and that type of personality is contagious. When Justin is shredding at a session, everybody else seems to skate a little bit harder and complain a little bit less. his ability to motivate others is priceless and the fact that hes a fucking beast on a skateboard is just icing on the cake.
~James TupperFriend, Founder Post 22
Justin BrOck [fakie ollie]
Whats it like skating with some of the pros youve looked up to when you were younger?Its awesome! I never expected to be skating with all the legends! the best part is theyre just regular dudes and love to skate just as much as I do. We all push each other and have fun!
im sure you have been arrested for skateboarding before. Whats the worst arrest story?this guy pulled a knife out on me at my hotel and I was drunk, so there was a big scene and the cops were called. the cops arrested me instead of the guy that pulled the knife. the cop said I assaulted him and that was a lie. I was charged with assaulting a police officer and went to court and lost. I ended up having to go to jail for 5 days. that shit sucks and its bullshit that a cop can lie and the courts believe him just because he has badge. But it was defiantly an eye opening experience. Im not trying to go back anytime soon.
man, thats messed up! speaking of messed up, what would you consider the worst injury you ever had before?When I broke my ankle, that was the worst. I have a plate and nine screws now.
damn... did it affect you mentally?It just made me want to skate more since I was out for like 3 months. Well its been great catching up Justin! thanks for the time. is there anyone youd like to shout-out or thank?thanks to my wife Kaley and my son Jasper, all my sponsors and all the guys that work at nike and Deluxe. Everyone on the teams, all the guys in nc that helped figure out who I was and all the homies in atlanta that took me in! thanks to you, Mazur, for taking me down to Florida and putting photos of me in this mag! thanks to skateboarding!
lasting words of wisdom?have fun and enjoy!
tom was given the decision at 16-17 years old to drop out of high school in an attempt to make a career out of skateboarding with a couple of Black Box Distribution brands. the urgency was to get enough footage to have a part in ride the Sky. needless to say, he didnt have a part in the Fallen video. he will however be boarding his 6th flight to china in the next couple of days to film with Lrg for their latest video 1947. I think every skateboarder would agree that tom made the right decision to drop it all and try and make something of his skills and abilities. I skate with tom pretty often. If I ended missing a of couple sessions, or hes on a trip, it is perplexing how much better he gets in a short time. Whether it be learning new tricks or progressing old ones, hes always fun to watch skate. he is one of those pros that are just as good in person as one of their video parts.
~Ian BerryFriend, Filmer
WOrDS :: mazur phOtOgraphy :: luke dariGan
TOmhey tom! so what have you been up to these days? any fun and exciting stories to start things off?Well, I feel like theres not too many exciting. I have just been traveling a lot Mainly back and forth from philly to La, mostly on filming missions and some Berrics stuff. When Im home I try and hang with my family a lot, skate a few times a week, and then film on the weekends.
Whats it like filming and skating at the Berrics? pretty awesome! the place is super fun just to skate and cruise around. and everyone that works there is really cool too.
can you still remember the first time you picked up
a skateboard? What was it like?yes. I dont think Ill ever forget. My cousin had some toys r Us board we would mess with all the time. I would only really use it when I was at his house, but then I borrowed it, and ended up learning how to ollie on it a few months later. I never wanted to stop skating since. I got a legit board for christmas that year.
What was your first legit board? tony hawk Falcon 3, Birdhouse.
did you ever think youd make it to the level you have in skateboarding?no, not really. I just skated because it was super fun and ended up meeting a bunch of kids in school who
skated, so I ended up having a little crew to skate with and it was just rad. the sponsors and all that stuff kinda just fell into place with some help from my friends and knowing the right people. Definitely have a few people to thank for where Im at today.
What was it like skating and growing up with chris cole as a major influence? It was really crazy at the time. he was always cool and nice. and, as I skated with him more and more he played a huge part in getting me hooked up. Definitely awesome to have that dude in your corner.
im sure! is it strange to know that when you go to a park now, kids clamor to each other, hey, thats
WOrDS :: mazur phOtOgraphy :: luke dariGan
TOm tom asta... do you ever remember doing that when a pro would come through? absolutely! Very rarely did we see pros out here unless it was a demo or something, but when we did it was amazing. Its like; you dont realize they are normal people until you see them in real life. if you were not skating, what do you think youd be doing... like for work?Im not sure man. I guess I would probably be involved in the family business. My parents own a restaurant in Langhorne, pa just down the road from where I live now. I probably would be there bartending or cooking food or something.
so you didnt finish high school did you have aspirations for college before left? I never really planned on it, but who knows what I would be doing if I never started skating. I could have been into other things that would have steered me to college. Where I was at in high school, with skating and everything, I couldnt even finish my senior year. I missed too many days from going on trips and skating
all the time, so I ended up dropping out.
With the state of skateboarding always changing, is there anything you miss or do you miss anything that people dont do any more? I really miss full-length videos and stuff like that. I mean they still happen but now its so, here one day, gone the next. With the Internet and social media these days, your brain just gets flooded with skateboarding and videos that were always looking for whats next and it leads you to forget about videos way faster. now I watch a video once and rarely watch it again. When I was growing up I would watch the same videos over and over cause they were just so rad. the good thing about skateboarding is that you dont have to do anything a certain way and everyone skates different.
so, as you know, this is the last issue of focus. any thoughts or feelings about that?Kind of a bummer man. I always liked going into the shop and seeing a new Focus Magazine having an East coast-based magazine is awesome because everyone out here can relate to it way more than any other mag.
Focus will be missed!
Whats the future looking like for you? Pro-model shoes and stuff? Im not sure, for definitely. Im going with the flow of things for now and trying to figure it all out. Finding a board sponsor would be rad. the Lrg 1947 video is coming out soon, so that should be awesome. I put a lot of time into that video. I havent really talked with S about pro shoe or anything, but that would be amazing. those dudes are so awesome though I couldnt be more hyped on riding for them. If a pro shoe ever came about with them, I would be more than grateful!
Well, thanks for gracing the pages of focus one last time tom! Got any shout-outs or thanks?Shout out reign Skate Shop! Big thanks to Ian Berry for helping me out all the time, and filming, and being rad. thank you to my family for understanding what I do!
lasting words of wisdom?SUppOrt SKatEBOarDIng!
tOm asta [kickflip back nosegrind 180]
I have had the pleasure of knowing Luis for over ten years now and its been an amazing experience working, traveling and hanging with him. On and off the board he is always going beyond my wildest expectations as a true new york Skateboarder. Luis gives new meaning to the old expression, Just be yourself. he also has an ollie that is not human.
~Michael CohenSHUT Skateboards, VP
WOrDS :: Justin heister phOtOgraphy :: mike heikkila
im psyched we were able to get this interview done in time to make our final issue! do you remember having a photo featured back in our very first issue?Was it that ollie off the twelve set? that was my very first 12 set, haha.
it was! if you can remember, who all were you riding for back then, and who keeps you rolling strong these days?Back then I was getting hooked up by rodney torres. he gave me shoes and boards. he also helped me get my first sponsors, Supreme and 5boro. now I ride for Shut Skateboards, DVS, Spitfire, thunder, and Bones Bearings.
those are some rad companies to have your back! since were talking the past, how did it all begin for you? skateboarding, that is.I started skateboarding because I saw a cartoon with the main character skating in it. afterwards I kept seeing it on racks in sporting goods stores. What kept capturing me was the shape the skateboard had. the concave. the real word used to refer to the shape or squiggly goodness I finally learned about when I got deeper into skating. I would ask my mom every time we would go in a store if she could buy me one, and she would say one day. Money was hard to come, by but one day she surprised me with a skateboard. I fell in love and that shape was all I saw when I closed my eyes. that was my world. I loved to push through the cracked streets of Queens Falling on every crack pretty much, to get up bleeding, to try again.
youve made quite a name for yourself over these past 10 years.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments both on and off a skateboard?thanks! Some of my proudest accomplishments are traveling around the world and getting the chance to break the world record. I am honored and grateful to have picked up a skateboard. thanks to my mom though! She bought me my first skateboard with the little she had and my father taught me how to endure the hard times.
What do you see in the future for luis tolentino over the next 10 years?I see myself settling down and just keeping it positive in my mind so it can manifest with my actions.
When did you realize skating professionally was an attainable goal?I think it was when I saw zeros Misled youth, and also when I met Daewon Song through reda.
is skateboarding your sole source of income?Skateboarding, at the moment, isnt the only thing I do right now. the reason why is because I got myself into a car payment that needs to be taken care of every month. I didnt need to get myself into this extra payment. Should have kept it simple all along, but I started riding for a huge company that had me grabbing more than I could eat. the eyes are dangerous when the mind and soul arent connected to them. Simplicity is key. Who knows... We are always changing and I might do the same mistake down the line but what I learned is to keep it simple.
you have a choice. no one else is the captain of your vessel unless you let them be. they can slowly sneak into your ship if you dont maintain the daily maintenance. Daily maintenance is also imperative, for living.
youve been skateboardings king of Pop for a hot minute now. What to you attribute your uncanny ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound to?I had a pet cat. he taught me all I know. his name was tigger.
if you could skim a few inches off those ollies and exchange them for any 3 tricks in the world, what would they be?
luis tOlentinOIssue #1 2005
[ollie over rail]
Definitely some switch tricks. Switch tres, switch back smiths aaaand, hmm. hahaha.
What gets you hyped to try a new trick?that feeling you get when you actually land it. the whole process really. Its like a puzzle and a canvas at the same time. you create a motion picture in your mind and you recreate it. Its like magic because you picture it how yOU would want to picture it and when yOU recreate it, yOU feel that magic and it is felt amongst those who yOU are sharing that moment with. Its personal, but the homies appreciate seeing you grow and react. you could be skating flat ground in a parking lot and explode with excitement. Skateboarding is amazing. Its about you, but together its even more powerful naturally, in the same consciousness.
i heard youre still rocking a flip phone. is that true?the truth is I have some expensive bills! I owe the IrS so I gotta keep it chill. I just got myself a SKy phone and its more on the modern side of things. another truth is that social media was getting overly mental. Every time I felt something deep I had this urge to write it or tell someone. a lot of things a best kept within.
Well put. i have to agree with you on that one for sure! Well, i think thats going to put a fork in it! Before you sign off, is there anyone youd like to thank or any words of encouragement youd like to impart to the youth reading this?honor your parents. they tried as hard as they could with what they knew was right in their hearts. In the end you have the choice. peace, and keep the mind focused and learning. School is amazing. patience and respect. Let it go, and move forward.
luis tOlentinO [switch 50-50]
shane kassin [noseslide pop-over]
Jimmy mcdOnald [180 fakie 5-0]
Jake Baldini [ollie up and over]
alex cOnn [switch ollie]
tOre BevivinO [back smith]
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