Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Our good friend and longtime team rider Mike Maldonado has the latest Chromeball interview. Check it out here...
Photos by: Luke Darigan and Ryan Gee
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
With skateboarding tricks ("moves" as some say) getting downright dangerous and life threatening it's becoming apparent that I care more for photos as I get older. Video is tight, don't get me wrong, but photos just hold a lot more interest these days. Maybe it's because we are bombarded by nonsense on every tube-channel imaginable. The photos that really get me stoked these days are ones of simple tricks but with the double exposure action and usually a fisheye of some sort involved. Here is one of my all-time favorite photos of a man who is definitely a huge inspiration to my skateboarding, Mr. Karl Watson. This flick is almost 20 years old at this point. Then there is one recently shot of Pusher team rider and one of my best friends in the world Ricky Geiger. This photo was shot by our good buddy Zander Taketomo. It's kind of cool to see a recent shot that takes it back to a style that was very prevalent in the mid 90's. I'd like to see more of this stuff, because too often people forget how crazy skateboarding really is. Think about it; what we do, even the simplest of tricks is pretty nuts compared to what most normal people do in their lives. Classic tricks, done right, that's what matters. Not some flip in to grind on a rail-of-doom into a bank that let's you out into on-coming traffic...or some stupid gold spray-painted rail in the middle of a struggling city arena fighting for relevance.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Today Shawn Beeks and I are planning graphics and product for January 2015. Get stoked loyal followers. Oh yeah...and Shawn just had knee surgery so he's got plenty of time to draw awesome stuff. Meanwhile I'll be filming for the full promo releasing next year. Keep Rollin'
Friday, July 18, 2014
There are some key people who personified the kickflip through the 90's and beyond. Tom Penny, Carl Shipman, Andrew Reynolds, and the North East had Kerry Getz. Kerry's kickflips were perfect; and hell, they still are. It doesn't matter the terrain, Kerry understands perfect execution. 20 years ago Kerry decided to quit working at a yogurt factory in the Lehigh Vally of Pennsylvania to pursue skateboarding. This moment is highly pivotal in his life and Pennsylvania skateboarding as a whole so we felt it was only right to do a wheel graphic referencing his decision. This actual graphic is about one of Kerry's last days at work when he was so over it he drove a forklift through a bunch of yogurt cases. Kerry went on to skate for two of the sickest board brands to ever grace the skate world and have countless colorways of pro model shoes; not to mention epic parts and global travel. Kerry played major roles in brands that had massive impacts on all of skateboarding. All of this was done while calling Philadelphia his home. Kerry never followed the trends or pressure that pushed him to move to LA and that speaks leaps and bounds towards his character. More skaters should push to not operate inside the confinds of the old out-of-touch California guard. Guys like Kerry, Maldonado, Ricky Oyola, Robbie Gangemi, and Zared Bassett were ahead of their times in this ideology. It is the modern world and if the act of skateboarding can exist anywhere than someone can make a career out of skating anywhere they see fit. The following is a recent interview with Kerry on his life, history, business, and the future. Read on and enjoy this honest and insightful conversation with a true East Coast professional.
R- What was it like growing up skating in the Lehigh Valley back in the day? How did you even get into skating?
K- When I first started skating I would skate on my knees and race my friends in a circle. We would design a racetrack in the middle of the street with chalk. Racing was big in my town and my older brother would always take me to the races. I loved it; I would put carpet on my board to be softer on my knees and I’d just fly around in circles. I eventually started to watch some Powell videos and It made me want to stand up on my board and start learning tricks. Once I learned Ollie's and 180's I was hooked. Also, my little town actually had some rad spots to skate. Everything was within 10 to 15 blocks away from each other so we could skate to all the spots. Then when my best friend at the time Brian "Herm" Mangold got his license we started to skate in Allentown, Hazelton, and other towns that were close by. Herm and I were always filming. I had a big VHS camera my brother let us use, so we made little videos all the time. My good friend Aaron Borger was usually our filmer. We had some great times man. After those guys started to fade away from skating I stayed with it. Then I got my license and started skating an indoor park in Shimmerville, PA. It was about 40 minutes from my house and I skated there probably 5 times a week. That place helped me progress quickly to be honest.
When exactly did you quit working at that yogurt factory?
When I was 19.
Who or what got you to quit that place?
Bam Margera, he said quit that fucking job and come stay with me and we'll shred and film in Philly everyday. He said you’re too good at skating to be working some bullshit job like that. So I quit the very next week. My Pops was pissed, but the risk all paid off and in the end my Pops was so proud of what I went on to accomplish.
You moved to California for a bit after that?
I did not move there. I would just stay with Ed Templeton most of the time.
So you chose to never really fully move to Cali during your career, how come?
I never was a fan of Cali. I liked to just visit there for a week or 2 then roll out. I grew up East Coast, so it just always felt more like home and a place I would never leave. Don't get me wrong, Cali is amazing for skating, especially now with all the incredible free concrete parks.
Toy Machine sponsored you during what probably was its dopest era. How did riding for Toy Machine come about?
Bam and Maldonado. Maldonado was riding for Toy at the time and Welcome to Hell was dropping all around that time. I then flew to Cali with Bam and Mike and stayed at Ed's house. I skated my ass off at every spot I went to and turns out Ed was hyped. He put me on Toy Machine after that trip. I realized then I reached my dream and there was no stopping me from there man, I was super stoked. I went full speed ahead at being a pro skateboarder. Some days I still can't believe I made it.
After that you skated for Habitat skateboards. Did you know at the time how influential Habitat would be to skating as a whole and East Coast skating in particular?
From the moment I first saw the Habitat logo I was hooked, and yes I knew it was going to impact the skate world for sure. How much was unclear, but it was going to do something special. Our team was full of heavy hitters and all of them had great styles. I think style goes further then a bunch of hammers or rail tricks with no style. Plus, with DNA/Alien being the legs under Habitat I knew it would be a strong company. With Joe Castrucci running the ads and art department I knew something good was going to come out of it.
During your time on Toy Machine you filmed a Transworld part for Feedback with Bam and Mike Maldonado. How was it filming for that part and how was that era in general? How do videos feel to you now?
Transworld videos and videos in general just seemed so much more important and long lasting back then. Filming that part was actually my favorite part I ever filmed for. It was much easier cause it wasn't a full part and our skating meshed together so well. It was the perfect combination; all three of us had something rad to offer the viewing audience. Videos back then meant everything to skateboarding; it was different. Now they’re just a quick watch once and then forget it. It's fucking sad times to be honest.
You've traveled a lot of the years. What was your favorite place you've traveled to for skating?
Australia and Mallorca, Spain are a definite tie for first. Just go, you'll see why.
What's the best skate spot you've skated during your career and why?
The Philly Habitat TF. Why? Because we got to design it however we wanted and it was all built to practice and have fun on. Everything was perfect, you never got kicked out, and all my friends were there. I grew up skating indoor parks, so to this day indoor parks are my favorite places to skate. I've skated some amazing street spots and I enjoyed them all, but I always had the best time kickflipping over pyramids. I just like that feeling the most.
You've been in the Philly/NJ area a long time. How has the scene changed over the years?
There were a few years there where I thought skating in Philly was done. Everyone moved away and then the recession crushed the industry. Everyone was struggling to find a new beginning and not knowing where to turn. I think things have turned around and there is definitely a great skate scene again. I really feel in the last year Franklins Paine skate plaza has helped the scene get hyped up again. I could be wrong cause I don't hit the streets as hard these days, but that's just my recent view of things. The scene is alive and well for sure.
Got anything in the works for this year? Trips, videos, business stuff?
I have a Berrics/Cali trip coming up soon to promote my new app game Angry Skaters. I have a free version dropping on android phones and of course iPhones. The game has tons of new updates and much better game play. I'm so much happier with the new improvements for this launch. I worked my ass off on this game and it's cool to see an idea become reality. I never ever thought I'd design my own video game and I’m honestly pretty hyped I got to do this. Life's a trip sometimes.
With the closing of DNA distribution and all the rumors floating around I gotta ask, what's going on with Habitat and their squad these day?
To be honest with you I feel pretty bummed out on what's been going on with Habitat, but there’s nothing anyone can do at this point. It bounced around to a couple different owners and nothing seemed to go smoothly for the brand over the last few years. I just know I broke my neck for Habitat for many years. Every demo I skated in I gave it 110%, I was always professional, and I always respected everyone on the team. Recently I was told they will still give me a pro board, but just do limited runs for my shop only. So, if you want a Habitat Kerry Getz board you will have to order one directly from NOCTURNAL. I just want to wish the brand and everyone who's apart of the future of the brand the best. I’d also like to give a big thank you to Joe Castrucci for over a decade of great years.
Nocturnal Skate Shop has moved to a new location on South St. How's the shop been lately and how's it feel to be 14 years deep in the skate shop biz?
I feel so thankful that Nocturnal has been around for 14yrs. The first 7 years were amazing cause my first partner Tim Quinn was an incredible person. We both knew our positions and gave it 150%. We were always on the same page; no bullshit, no ego's. After Tim left it went through 3 rough years and the image Tim and I built for the shop was almost destroyed. It took me about 2 to 3 years to recoup the shop, and I ended up bringing in some new savy and educated partners that knew why Nocturnal should survive. We all see eye to eye. The shop is back on track and doing better than ever. We are very excited to be right on the strip of South St. That has been my dream for Nocturnal since it opened back in 2000.
Owning a skate shop and being a pro skater for that long has probably put a shit load of shoe samples in front of you. What are your top five favorite skate shoes of all time and why?
1) Airwalk Enigma's
2) Etnies Sal Barbier 23's
3) ES Accel
4) ES Koston 1
5) DVS Getz 1
Why these 5? They were all cupsoles, skated well, and looked damn good on your feet with some fresh jeans.
Miniramps, why are they the best and do you think younger skaters should skate them more? Do you think they even know who Barker Barrett is?
Kids these days definitely don't know who Barker Barrett is. They should, but they are being trained to only know 15 seconds of someone and then a second later forget about them. Yes, miniramps are important. It's tranny skating and it just makes you a more well-rounded skater. The more stuff you can skate, the better skater you will become.
Kerry, thanks for being awesome and supporting the brand over the years. I'm proud to have a wheel out with your name on it that addresses a pivotal point in your skate history; it's an honor man. More importantly, thanks for sticking it out on the East over the years and showing the skate industry that it's not all about that Southern California. Any last words before we sign off?
Thank you Rob and I'm super stoked to be apart of PUSHER!
My last words would be this...
Don't take advantage of people that help you get to a good place in your life. Always treat people the way you would want to be treated, and never grow a big head or feel like you own the world.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
This is Carl Schmidt....
Carl lives in Baltimore, MD. It's an old rust-belt city; a lot like Philadelphia. Baltimore is an over looked city on the East, but if your into skating nugs it's a hidden gem. There's abandoned buildings with stoop ledges all over the place, some dope hill bombs, cool stuff downtown and a rich skateboarding history. Baltimore has produced some rad skaters over the years including Rodney jones, Gary Smith, and Scott Johnston. Carl Rides for Gary's skate shop called Vu, which has two locations in the city. If you go to Baltimore make sure you stop by Vu and say what's up to Gary, Carl, and the rest of their crew; they all rip. You can catch Carl skating The-Ridge DIY spot on the regs as well as the famous Lyric building. The-Ridge has played a key roll in Baltimore's last 10 years of skating and it definitely shows in the local talent. Vu recently dropped a full length video project called "Down to The Wire". Carl has a full part in it. Find it, watch it, and enjoy. I spoke with Carl not too long ago about his city, his scene and the recent video; here is the conversation.
R- Carl, let’s give people a little back-story on who you are and who you ride for...
C- I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. I've lived in the Baltimore area my whole life and I am currently living about 20 min outside of the city. I've been riding for Vu Skate Shop since the jump about 6 years ago, and I've been getting flow shoes from Cons for a few years now.
How was filming for the Down to The Wire video?
It was solid. This past Winter really slowed down the filming process, but overall I think the video has come together really well.
How long have you guys at Vu been working on the video?
Two years now.
Have you taken any trips for the video or is it all Baltimore footy?
Other than a couple clips in Philly, it's pretty much all Baltimore footy man. I'm stoked on that.
I heard Vu opened up another store location, that’s pretty sick. Baltimore seems to have a solid loyal scene that’s growing each year.
Yea the new shop is in Hampden, which is located in Northern Baltimore. Hampden is a great location for the 2nd store because it sits right off of Interstate 83 and a block away from the local skate park. I definitely agree though, our city is small so most skaters living in the region know each other or have a general idea of who they are. Gary has done a great job bringing our city together and shining some light. There are some serious rippers here who all deserve recognition.
What’s up with The Ridge right now, is it still alive and kicking?
It's sort of a matter of opinion. I grew up skating there and learned almost everything I know there so it will always have a place in my heart. Most winters at The Ridge are pretty dead now but spring and summer are always poppin’ any day after like 2 oclock. Also, I can skate to The Ridge from my apartment, which is perfect for week days after work.
Why are you so fond of Old Bay?
Hahaha because you can put it on fucking anything and everything. A lot of times when I eat pasta I'd rather just do butter and old bay...screw the sauce. And of course crabs or other seafoods; and with a 6 pack of natty boh’ you’re good to go.
A lot of people may not know how good Baltimore is for skating. What should people know about the spots down there and the scene that may make them want to visit and experience the city?
Baltimore is great for anybody that loves the East coast. Our city is very old and very weathered but has tons of potential in my eyes. If you come here, expect to have your quick feet on. A lot of our spots require you to setup really fast for your trick. The night-life is good too, want to go to a bar? Pick your poison, we have plenty.
When are you coming up to Philly to kick it?
I'm making my way up there soon. My good friend Damon Shields has lived there for years. He rides for the shop too but also does all the art/design work for Vu. Damon is the fucking man!
You skate 54mm, which may surprise some people. Why the bigger wheels?
Cause you gotta be able to mash through shit!
Where do you want to travel to the most for a skate trip?
San Francisco for sure; I like going fast.
What’s an average Baltimore skate day like for you?
Either meet up with a crew at The Ridge or the shop and take it downtown. Sometimes I'll go solo and see what happens. Just go with the flow and try to skate and film as much as I can.
Any last words for those reading this?
Shout out to you Rob! Thanks to Pusher Wheels, Gary Smith at Vu, Bobby Sperro for editing Down to the Wire, Jon at CONS, Joe Broccolo for photography, and all of the filmers; Zach Stith, Jeff Sheridan, and John Hudacheck. Peace!
Carl's June 2014 PUSHER AD
Monday, May 26, 2014
Jimmy and I lived together for 4 years during college, and during that time I can honestly say that every single time I skated with him he did something thoroughly impressive. He seriously is one of the most talented people I’ve ever seen on a skateboard. He can also eat more than even the fattest of food fighters. I guess if skating doesn’t work out he can just enter the Nathan’s NYC Hotdog Eating Contest and give Kobayashi a run for his money. No but for real, Jim is a great dude. He’s funny as hell, doesn’t sugarcoat anything, skates with dope style, and to me represents what a lot of skaters should strive to be. Since Jim's new wheel just came out it seemed appropriate to do an interview with the man to give you all a little insight into what he has been up to. Enjoy the read folks.
R- How did the winter treat you up there in NYC? I ask, because it was god-awful here in Philly. Never ending snow.
J- This winter has definitely been harsher than usual. Snowing constantly. There are a few indoor spots in NYC and I hit them up whenever I could. Homage has a mini-ramp in Brooklyn, KCDC has a temporary ramp in the LES, and there's also House of Vans in Greenpoint.
You got hurt last year, let the folks of internet-land know what happened and how are you feeling today?
I hyper-extended my left knee around this time last year. I tore my ACL in the same knee when I was 15 and had surgery. I was really relieved to find out that it was just a bad sprain and I wouldn't need surgery again. I couldn't skate for about 5 months though, and had to do a bunch of physical therapy. I also didn't have health insurance when I got hurt so that made things complicated. I'm feeling great now though. My knee isn't perfect but it hasn't really been 100% since I was 15. I can skate without pain now though so I can't complain.
Do you have any trips planned for this year? 5B or other? I know you guys just went to Paris for a bit, how was that?
Paris was amazing. I hadn't been there since 2008, and there are so many new spots now. We had a great crew, and skated with the Blobys every day. I love Paris; it's definitely one of my favorite cities. As for other trips, nothing is set in stone yet but I'm sure we'll go somewhere this summer.
Speaking of trips, you’ve been on a lot of sick ones. Which trip was your favorite or most influential to your life as a skateboarder?
It's hard to pick out just one favorite trip. My first trip to Europe in 2004 was really memorable. That was my first international skate trip, so everything was brand new. Also, all of the trips we did while filming for Mulhern's videos were amazing. We always had a really good crew, and we definitely covered a lot of ground. Also, the "Meet the Stans" trip I went on with Patrick Wallner and Co. in 2012 was incredible. We traveled all the way from eastern to western China, and took a 34-hour train ride to Kazakhstan. It was an experience for sure.
Why do you think Europe has become so ideal for skateboarding and when the heck are we going on a Pusher trip over there? I say Berlin…never been there, but I heard it’s rad.
A lot of the big old cities in Europe happen to have amazing skate spots with generous amounts of granite and marble. Also, they are generally more lenient towards skateboarding in public space over there. There are plenty of other factors that make Europe great for skateboarding, but those two things are pretty huge.
When are we doing a Pusher trip to Europe? That's up to you boss-man. Fire up the company jet and save me a seat in the cockpit.
Since working at Saatchi and Saatchi in NYC has the opportunity come up to take those skills and apply them to 5B? Like ad layouts, copy, etc.
Everyone at 5boro is always down to collaborate on ideas and stuff, but I'm not really involved with any of their marketing or advertising. Nardelli, Tombo and a bunch of contributing designers and artists handle all of that.
You have filmed a lot with Mulhern over the years. It obviously takes a good skater/filmer relationship to make great video parts. Why is Mully so damn good at what he does (filming and nose manuals)? Who else do you really enjoy filming with?
Mulhern just has an incredible work ethic. He's obviously very talented, but I haven't met too many people that work as hard as he does. So that's got to be the secret to his filming and nose manual capabilities. I also really enjoy filming with Tombo Colabraro. He's the 5boro filmer and TM. We've been through a lot together as well. He's a hell of a guy.
Filming VS shooting photos…same amount of stress?
Both can be fun or stressful in their own right. It all depends on the day, spot, trick, weather, and a million other things.
Can you pinpoint the moment your kits drastically improved?
My kits have and always will be shit.
Speaking of kits, Es Footwear is back? Thoughts?
Yep, heard about it. Should be interesting to see where it goes.
Favorite skate shoes ever, top 5…
eS Accels, eS SLB 23's, eS Square 2's, Lakai Manchesters, HUF Choice.
Can we expect a F.O.B style pro model from you soon? Maybe a 5B board with just a photo of you eating a huge box of donuts?
Only time will tell.
You’ve been pretty heavy in the NYC, Philly, and DC scenes over the years so I have to ask, what is your favorite NYC spot? Favorite Philly spot? Favorite DC spot? Why?
NYC — Manhattan as a whole, because there's something to skate on every block and pushing through the streets there is the best thing ever.
PHILLY — Cecil, because it's where I met almost all of my closest friends in Philly and it's one of the only bust free spots in the city.
DC — Pulaski Park, because it's one of the best spots in the world.
If you could only skate one thing for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
I'd skate a granite plaza that has lots of trees that provide shade, because the perfect spot needs a nice atmosphere as well as stuff to skate.
53mm for life?
Sunday, March 30, 2014
I've known Mark for a long time. I remember seeing him kill it at Woodward as a little kid back in about 98'. We didn't know each other back then, but I knew he ripped and since then over the years he's always been super cool and super good at skating. From the Boarderline Skatepark days back in West Chester to 7th Street now, Mark has always been a great homie to skate and talk shit with. All along the way Mark has made style #1 priority in his skating. The footage over the years speaks for itself. The following is an interview we did last month to give you all a little insight into what Mark has been up to. Enjoy.
Mark, what have you been up to as of recent? How's winter been for you?
Coolin' man, just counting down the days till' spring arrives. Been working as much as possible and trying to skate when there isn't a foot of snow on the ground. I don't mind winter too much; it's all apart of the game living here so I just let Mother-Nature do her work and go with it.
Any trips planned for Spring or Summer? NYC? DC? Or somewhere totally off the skate grid?
Nothing crazy but yeah hopefully once the weather is good I'll adventure out. New York, Baltimore, and maybe Boston at least once this summer. It’s tight because Delaware is between everything which makes it a little easier to do little trips.
I know you and Tommy Zhoa have been working on the Legion of Sorts video, right?
Yeah it is called Something Sinister, which is actually dropping this month.Tommy and the crew been putting in serious work.
How was your 6 month stay in China/Vietnam in 2012?
Spent 5 months non-stop skating, traveling to different cities, and meeting new people. It was amazing. Then I did a month long bike trip in Vietnam which was an adventure of a life time. Didn't know if I was going to make out alive some days during that, but it was super rad. It was sick to get away from the norm and adventure out to some new shit. A good eye opener for sure.
Was that the best skate trip you have been on or are there others that stand out above that one?
The China trip was for sure heavy, but I can't consider it the best because any skate trip to me is awesome. One that stands out to me still to this day is when me and my friend Zach drove across the country and literally listened to Peedi Crakk from Delaware to Cali. That shit was sick.
You're also working on the Kinetic Skate Shop video too, right?
Yes, it’s in the works as we speak. Just going out and watching the younger dudes put in work is making it worthwhile to work on. Making me feel like a old man!
Who is filming and editing it?
Jake "Toad" Todd. Its his baby.
So we can usually find you at 7th Street park; what do you like about that place? What's up with Rodney Square these days?
You get it all there. From skating the best stuff, to seeing some nutty Wilma people creeping; and best yet its the meet up spot where all the homies shred. I like it because you’re basically in the middle of no-where. You drive down some weird ass road to a parking lot surrounded by water and trees, its awesome. Rodney is still the jump if you skate down town. I grew up skating that place and still love it to this day. Sometimes you can skate all day, and sometimes you get the boot in a matter of minutes, but it's nothing serious. Roll back in 10 minutes and your good.
When your not skating what do you do besides search for the most ignorant music you can possibly find on planet earth?
I like to doodle. That’s therapy to me. Put on some crazy rap music and zone out. Exploring with the homies is always fun. Walk around in the woods, or a creek, or find some abandon shit to crawl around is always tight. Sounds weird but yeah I do that when I'm not skating.
Heard your moving to Philly? Truth or total myth?
Where has travelin' man Willy Akers been?
Last I saw he was in SD. He's a traveler so its hard to keep up with that dude, but I always see little clips of him killing pools which is awesome. Love that dude.
You guys in a red beard battle?
Not anymore I had to give up. He had me beat but it was worth a try. I grew it out wanting to be Action Bronson for Halloween, but it didn't end up happening; salty.
You've been skating for a long time. When did you start and how has skating changed since you started? How has the scene in our area changed?
I started skating around 96'. Coming up watching skating it was all about speed, style, and good looking tricks. You didn't see the flip in flip out shit. It was style when I was coming up and that was fresh to me. I enjoy that kind of skating to this day and still only 90's parts usually. Not saying I don't like what’s going on but that’s just what I'm into. Skating today is so easy for kids its crazy, but its awesome to see how its developed since then. Not saying I'm some OG or something, but I've seen a lot coming up and how shit has gone in cycles; its cool and interesting. I’m hyped to have been able to see so much. As far as any changes in our area I wouldn't say anything has changed but the players. A new generation of skaters are keeping it alive.
Who's been hooking you up and keeping you rollin' as of recent?
Hopps (flow), Pusher Wheels, Helas Caps, Bones bearings, Nike sb, Kinetic Skate Shop.
Cam' Ron or Juelz?
Cam' with the cape on.
Black Sabbath or Metallica ?
Black Sabbath. Fairies Wear Boots makes me feel some way.
Blazers or Dunks?
Blazers stay crispy.
Accels or Sal23's?
I have to roll with my Pops on this one. Accels.
Half Cabs or Old-Skools?
Half Cabs are the best looking shoes ever. Keenan Milton made that shoe look fresh as shit.
Wiz or American?
It all depends on what kind of mood your in. I rock The Wiz on my chicken and American on my steak. Is that weird?
Polo or Nautica?
POLO… Nautica's, not for all of us.
Any last words Chip?
Do what you want no matter what people think or say.Shred until the wheels fall off! Thank you Mom, Dad, and Erin for being there for me no matter what I love you. Shout out to my HEADS, the Akers family, and all the homies. Thank you to everyone that’s helped and supported me throughout the years I couldn't thank you enough. STAY UP Gzzz!