Author: Ruben Najera

The wonderful world of Youtubes Professional Skateboarders!

The influence of skateboarding youtubers is undeniable. There is this strange unspoken thing where as influential as skateboard vloggers are they are essentially not spoken or acknowledged in the “core” skateboard market or magazines. The “youtube” skateboarding professional has become a reality and oddly enough become its own category in our industry. What does it truly mean to be a professional skateboarder? Most professional skateboarders have trouble enough selling through their product period with sponsors so if a famous youtuber with millions or hundreds of thousands of followers has products selling out left and right to the point that their sales surpass entire “core” branded teams does this not make them a valid pro skateboarders? Of course it does! I have alot of respect for the hard work that todays skateboarding youtubers put into their channels. There is alot of hard work involved and I totally feel they deserve to have a spot in our industry. Nowadays everyone is good at skateboarding. The difference is the hard work and that extra effort that someone puts into pushing their careers or their skateboarding in general.  Its quite impressive when you step back and analyze how many followers the top skateboarding youtubers have versus some of the largest skate brands in the industry. It goes to show the influence an power a single skater can have next to a mega brand. Here are just a few of the top Skateboarding Youtubers and their reach.

  1. Braille skateboarding (Aaron Kyro)
    3.1 Million subscribers

2. Andy Schrock
1.7 Million subscribers

3. Chris Chann
932k subscribers
This video isnt a video part but its a gnarly grind across the Los Angeles River super gnarly!

MOST WATCHED SKATEBOARD YOUTUBE VIDEOS!

We are in interesting times right now where many YouTubers are experiencing demonetization and are losing their income from videos for their content. The world is changing and just as quickly as myspace came and Facebook overtook it we will witness many avenues of social media become lapped by the “newer” thing.  However, as it stands right now what are the top 4 most viewed skateboard related youtube videos? The results may come as both a surprise and an assumed outcome.

4. TONY HAWK RIDES THE WORLDS FIRST HOVERBOARD

This video came at a point in time when alot of technology was breaking through including drones to the mass market. This hoverboard ill admit was not excatly what I had hoped when I clicked on the video the first time but the word hoverboard was enough click bait for me to be a contributor of a view to this video. The technology has improved since this video and Tony Hawk is a legend and always will be. Still entertaining and worth a viewing. The video currently stands at 17 Million + views.

3. TONY HAWK SKATES FIRST DOWNWARD SPIRAL LOOP

Now I dont just say this because my first sponsor was actually Birdhouse and I got to meet Tony in my youth as one of his Birdhouse flow kids but honestly the Birdman is a cool dude. A legend who has done so much for skateboarding but above all a skateboarder who to this day pushes the boundaries and still has the motivation to progress. I have loads of respect for his determination to push skateboarding to greater heights even in his later years. This downward spiral was nuts and I applaud from my chair as I watch Tony make history. Interesting note the “Downward Spiral” I feel could even be a homage to the band Nine Inch Nails to whom Tony is also a fan of! Pretty awesome.  The Downard Spiral lands Tony in at 19+ Million views.

2. SKATEBOARDING DOG

Yup Tillman the skateboarding English Bulldog is the 2nd most viewed skateboard related video on youtube. We have all seen this talented canine do his thing and look back at our very own dog in hopes of training them to at least stand on the board. Sadly Tillman passed away in 2015 but his memory and talent live on forever in this video showcasing his skateboarding skills. Skateboarding Dog has over 22 million views to date!

  1. BEST OF RODNEY MULLEN

The skate god himself Rodney Mullen has the most video on youtube in the category of skateboarding with a whopping 23 million plus views. This video is a compilation of his skateboard clips throughout the years. Watching this makes me crave a new Rodney Mullen video part. We actually havent had a new “full length” Mullen part since Almost round 3. Heres to crossing our fingers they make a round 4 video down the line. Watch his technical prowess and enjoy great skateboarding.

2017 BEST OF THE YEAR

2017 was a fantastic year for skateboarding as a whole. The level of progression is insane and the skateboard trickery of today is reminiscent of the video games you grew up playing. Those Tony Hawk video game combos are real! Here are 4 memorable and groundbreaking things we had in skateboarding in 2017.

  1. I remember growing up watching the Black Label skate video just to see Jubs final drop ender and here we are in 2017 with Aaron “Jaws” Homoki nearly matching that drop ender and surpassing it with every clip in his entire “Fiddler on the Roof” 2 part.  Yes thats correct this is the 2nd one hes done, theres a completely seperate roof part as crazy as that sounds.  Be forwarned make sure theres no misquitoss or flys around when you watch this and dont eat anything during this part because your jaw will drop and your mouth will stay open through the entirety as the tricks get gnarlier and gnarlier. Jaws you are one of the greatest dont change dude!

2. Speaking of Tony Hawk video game tricks from earlier this next one is not only groundbreaking but absolutely historical and deserves to win 2017’s Street League Trick Of The Year! Primitive Pro skateboarder Diego Najera kickflipped over an entire picnic table the long way. Ill say that again. Diego Najera kickflipped an entire picnic table the long way! Now theres alot of gnarly tricks in the running for Trick of the Year but I can see all the tricks being replicated or done by numerous other skateboarders in the world. But take every one of those contenders and stick them in front of a a full size table and give them a day to kickflip over it longways. Good Luck. Next time your in front of a full sized table just stand in front of it and try to imagine even ollieing over it the long way. Now contemplate a kickflip. Yup this trick NEEDS to win seriously. This trick is legendary and deserves all of our votes!

3. This year broke records for women in skateboarding. Never has there been this many female skateboarders inducted into professional status and its fantastic and well deserved. Here are just a few of the women who are now pro skaters!

4. Daewon Song absolutely ruled 2017 via social media. His insta clips are fun yet progressing skateboarding still at the same time. Watch this Instagram compilation of his for 2017 the last trick which he switches his wheel mid air is absolutely nuts and I find myself watching it numerous times. Daewon only gets better and better with age its absolutely incredible! Beyond legend he is an icon in skateboarding

 

“Original,Fresh and Exciting” New brand categories in the world of Skateboarding.

Skateboarding tends to have the same pattern decade after decade in regards to the hardgoods and softgoods markets. Boards, trucks, wheels, bearings, hardware, footwear are all staple categories in the skateboard industry but we are in the dawn of a new age. Whether it’s the capabilities to shoot entire videos from the comfort of your own cellular phone or the advantages of next day shipping product to your door our world and economy have greatly changed and here are a 3 cool brands bringing some fresh new products into our market which you should keep an eye out for and support.

1. SKATE BALM

Skateboard wax is not a new concept to skateboarding obviously, in fact, its one of the original staple of brand categories dating back to the early days of skateboarding. Throughout the years I recall using everything from moms candles to Wendy’s paper cups back decades ago when they were lined with wax! Literally, anything I could get my hands on I would use to wax up the old dry curb. But what Skate Balm does is takes an old concept and adds some sexy into it. First off they solve the issue with the wax straight up melting on you with that chapstick like packaging which is extremely convenient. And secondly the colors and packaging catch your eye instantly for a nice clean presentation. Fits right in your pocket and is there when you need it Skate Balms pretty cool. Check them out

www.skatebalm.com

 

2. SKIDMARK SM1 & SM2 smartphone fisheye and wide angle lens

Yup how cool is this a fisheye lens for your smartphone and not just any lens but an actual legit one? This bad boy looks better than my old century optics I used on my Sony VX back in the day yet it’s for my iPhone! Seriously how cool is that plus the quality in the glass is amazing and they offer a whole handle kit, cases, replacement glass and a bunch of other parts to back your lens. Their SM1 lens with the case can be obtained for only $50.00 so there’s officially no excuse to not getting some dope footage out in the streets now! You don’t even have to drop cash on that expensive DSLR you have almost everything you need to produce some quality looking skateboard footage!

3. SKATEBOX skateboard subscription

By far the best deal in skateboarding and the most innovative and convenient of all the brands out there right now is without a doubt SKATEBOX skateboard subscription. Seriously this brand is changing the industry right now. For all our fellow skateboarders living out in the middle of nowhere or snowed in stuck skateboarding their garage in the cold winter months, SKATEBOX provides a subscription service where you get monthly skateboard product delivered directly to your door for only $29.99 or even less if you subscribe for 3 months or more! This brand is a becoming a lifesaver for many skateboarders out there. Everything from bearings, wheels, skate DVDs, wax, and literally, anything you can think of gets loaded into your box monthly. Getting these boxes in the mail is a fantastic feeling and for those young skaters who want to feel what its like to be sponsored this is a cool way to get that feeling of what its like. For longtime subscribers they get boards and how could you not be hyped getting a box every month it’s just another cool thing to look forward to in life. Plus that element of surprise of getting some products introduced to you for the first time or possibly getting something you never knew you needed but now got to have all the time. Skatebox offers the best deal in skateboarding and there are a few companies trying to mock the same type of business now but SKATEBOX is the original. Try it out and add some more positivity to your life!

Subscribe today! www.skateboxgear.com

VINTAGE SKATEBOARDS EQUAL BIG BUCKS

As skateboarders, we have all had that Uncle, Neighbor, or onlooker at the skate park tell us “when I was your age I had a Natas board” or something of that nature applied to their favorite skateboarder of the time. Being a young skateboarder I couldn’t imagine saving a skateboard and NOT skating it! Collecting comics, stamps, action figures, or vinyl records seem like a simple enough thing to do based on the entry level of the pricing but collecting a skateboard deck, not skateboarding it at all and keeping it mint? Now that is a difficult thing to do and it’s no wonder some of the boards on this list go for such big bucks. The mere fact that they still exist in their original shrink wrapped fresh form is a miracle in itself. Now there are tons of collectible vintage skateboards that could be on this list but I am just going to go based on the latest 3 highest eBay sales. Prepare to have your jaw drop on what these pieces of wood are selling for.

3. NATAS KAUPAS SANTA MONICA AIRLINES manufactured by SANTA CRUZ skateboards

Of all the boards on this list this one is my favorite! The colors, the shape, the wolverine cat like character and that grin plus its a Natas board. A win win in every category now as for trying to score one of these mint at the priec of $1,400 dollars my wallet would take a beating. Well lets just hope the stars align and I find one in a storage locker somewhere. Fingers crossed. Essentially every Natas Kaupas board was golden! Fun fact Natas created the Quicksilver clothing font and logo! He is a designer extraordinaire.

2. JEFF PHILLIPS SIMS TIE DYED DEMON

Yup, you can add almost a whopping extra $1000.00 to our number 2 highest seller. Jeff Phillips is an absolute legend and almost every oroginal graphic he did in the 80s demands high value. Keep in mind this is before the heat transfers so thats alot of silkscreen work. Every board is indiviudally hit with numerous screens one for every color so theres actually a ton of work that went into making this board to begin with. Curious of the print run on these, at the current price its at im guessing this is as rare as the listing states.

ROB ROSKOPP SANTA CRUZ skateboards

Ah, yes the famous Santa Cruz  Rob Roskopp boards! How could you not love them, I actually have memories of seeing Madballs and tons of other 80s and 90s toys and being reminded of Roskopp graphics or Jeff Phillips work. Skateboarding has influenced pop culture in so many ways. What we have here is the real deal original stock of a Roskopp deck from 1986 that sold for a whopping $3000.00

After reading this article you could see the value in these vintage decks. Keep in mind these aren’t even high selling records this is all just recent sales you could only imagine what the records sales on vintage decks have previously been! If you think you know someone who might have one of these stashed away somewhereit’ss time to start digging them out! On an interesting note theres someone online asking $9,850.00 yes close to ten thousand dollars for this Supreme X Louis Vuitton skateboard deck. Now thats just insane! Its not even vintage. You would literally be scraping off a thousand dollars with every board slide you would do! Ouch.

LIVE TO SKATE

I want to make it clear that the following article is not influenced by working and being an instructor for Goskate.com for the past decade. This is not biased praise just because I work for them but they truly are a great company and I have always been thankful for all the connections they have gotten me throughout the years. Perhaps the greatest part about being a skateboard instructor has been the pure joy of seeing your student progress to become an absolutely amazing skateboarder. Words cannot explain the amount of inspiration and mass amounts of motivation that my students have bestowed upon me. Even after skateboarding for over 20 years I find my biggest influences to be from my students. I swear to see them ollie over their first skateboard or manual right past me with ease is 10 times more gratifying than it ever was when I first landed those things myself. It keeps me young regardless of how much older I become and it makes me truly see how absolutely amazing skateboarding will be in the future with this new generation of absolutely talented skateboarders on the rise. Skateboarding is such a positive and beautiful thing, seriously there is nothing else truly like it on earth. Go to any skateboard park and you’ll find the youngest little rippers alongside 40+-year-olds all shredding at the same time enjoying the same common practice all at once. I could travel across the world internationally not speak a word of Japanese and still be able to make friends with skateboarders over there solely based on our common practice SKATEBOARDING! It is absolutely incredible. I encourage you the reader to be a motivator and a positive role model in your community and extend a few words at your local skatepark or skate spot the next time you see some fellow skateboarders or even family members that want to get into skateboarding. We are all a tight knit community and should help raise each other and keep skateboarding a positive hobby or lifestyle. Whether it’s helping a young skater correct his mongo push for the first time or hooking up a fellow shredder at a park with your spare used board when you see has just snapped his. We all have the ability to make a positive impact and rise up our community of skateboarding and skateboarders. And knowing that you could not only get that amazing feeling of landing a new trick on your own for the first time but to be equally as stoked to witness someone around you land something for their first time as well. Skateboarding is a wonderful gift that keeps giving. The saying “Skate Or Die” I feel is not so accurate in today’s world. I like how “LIVE TO SKATE” sounds better! Peace and Positivity!

El Toro: The Hammer Hall of Fame

El Toro High Schools 20 Stair has seen many years of body hucking and carcass tossing left and right. Anyone that comes to pull something off at this spot means business. And more often than not people leave unsuccessful and broke off. There are however a handful of tricks that have been pulled off and engraved the skateboarders that landed them into El Toros history. Here are just 5 tricks that have been successfully pulled at this monstrous stair set.

5. Ben Gilley 5-0 Grind
Perhaps my favorite Grind done down the 20 stair of all time. It was first try! And he did it twice a second time to clean it up. I have always been a fan of 5-0 grinds down rails or ledges and seeing this down the set for the first time was jaw dropping! Everyone should know who Ben Gilley is and if you don’t then please do yourself a favor and watch his video parts. Legendary!

4. Ryan Decenzo Nollie
Probably the cleanest of the landings of the tricks down this behemoth of a starriest. When Ryan Nollied it seemed like he was in the air forever. Timing is everything with a Nollie down a starriest this big. One millisecond to late and he would have missed the pop for as fast as he was going. The pop speed and floatation of this trick is a thing of beauty. Well executed Ryan.

3. TJ Rogers Switch 180
TJ can make any list of best tricks done down famous spots. He essentially has something down every major spot. This Switch 180 however solidifies him into the pantheons of El Toro greatness with this Switch frontside 180 down 20 stairs. Of all the people on this list I could see TJ coming back and getting something else bonus down this stair set. He has a big bag of tricks he can pull from.

2. Ryan Dannettelle Backside 180
First off remember that a backside 180 off of this 20 stair ends you up with a switch stance roll away. Once you acknowledge that you will see why this is so gnarly. I always wondered why the skateboard industry didn’t embrace Ryan after this trick. This dude was super good and may still be out there shredding. This should for sure be in everyones top 5 tricks down El Toro.

1. TIE Dave Bachinsky + Aaron “JAWS” Homoki
You all knew one of these two would be the number one but I couldn’t just leave one or the other out. Dave did the kickflip first and really shocked the skateboard world and Aaron came along and just upped the ante. Both are gnarly and both deserve to be on the tip top of El Toros trick history considering they are to date the only flip tricks successfully pulled off. We have seen attempts of Shecklers backside flip, and Peter Villalbas 360 flip but no makes as of yet so for now Dave and Jaws take the gold. But I look forward to seeing the whats to come because as skateboarding progresses we know there are skateboarders out there that are destined to take a piece of the El Toro pie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG6XQTuNiSQ

3 Skateboarding Video parts to remember!

We live in an age where skateboard footage and video parts are a dime a dozen. Where every day your mind is flooded by instagram video parts and gnarly footage that despite how groundbreaking it is you forget about it the next day because it gets overwritten by something else. Its just to much and coming from an era where the “video” part actually mattered and you waited years for something glorious it truly makes you appreciate the wait and effort put towards something. Here are 5 classic video parts that go above and beyond just great skateboard tricks. The artistry and time spent filming them in itself makes them staples on this list. Enjoy 5 parts you won’t soon forget.

1. Hearth Kirchart and Jeremy Klein “THE END” by Birdhouse Skateboards
Skateboarding to a classic song with Freddy Mercury and David Bowie two vocal legends setting the vibe for two skateboarding legends almost like they were narrating or speaking for them throughout the video through sound and vision. This video part clearly broke all boundaries and standards of what a video part was. I remember watching this and thinking “Wait, you can do this?” I swear I never looked at another bus stop or business sign the same ever again! Everything is possible! This video still holds up even after decades.

2. Jason Dill “PHOTOSYNTHESIS” by Alien Workshop
Photosynthesis did something to me it probed me like the Alien themed brand that Alien Workshop is. It dug into my soul when this video came out. The visuals and music impacted me and expanded my mind. This part more than any other in the whole entire film. This took me beyond wanting to make skateboarding videos it took me into another realm of creating movies and something more artful with a greater impact. This video part is also responsible for turning me onto Radiohead and making me a lifelong fan. Any video part that can do that is engraved in your mind forever. That line with the walk down the stairs is a thing of greatness for sure!

3. Justin Strubing “ART BARS SUBTITLES AND SEAGULLS” by Foundation
Yet another video that went beyond just a “skateboarding” video. The blending of visuals, graphics, skateboarding, and the music video like synchronization of the music all mixed together was a beautiful thing. Justin Strubing is an underrated skateboarding in my opinion he has always been an absolute favorite of mine and after watching his video part I am sure he will be one of yours as well. Speed, Power, Precision and style! A quadruple combo of excellence that accompanied by a pristine edit and you have yourself a recipe for one of the greatest video parts ever filmed.

PHOENIX AM 2017

Phoenix Am is a legendary contest that is a not only a tradition in Arizona but a staple in the skateboard industry in general. Every year the biggest brands on earth and the best am skateboarders in the world gather in the desert to skate one of the most important skateboard contests there is. This contest makes the careers of many who win it and its one of the best venues for an aspiring pro skateboarder to make their dreams become a reality. It is commonplace for sponsors at Phoenix Am to reach out to many of the elite riders entered in the contest and offer them a position on their skateboard teams. The long list of now professional skateboarders that once have won or skated in Phoenix Am is astounding. Ben Hatchell, Diego Najera, Matt Berger, Theotis Beasley, Aaron Homoki, Trevor Colden, Boo Johnson, Louie Lopez and the list goes on and on. The east coast has Tampa Am but on the West Coast Phoenix Am is thee contest to enter for sure. In regards to the uniqueness of this contest I would say the heat takes out a lot of competitors who may not normally be used to skateboarding in such conditions. I grew up in a desert city so I always thrived skateboarding in the warmer settings but I could see how the blazing sun could drain some competitors. Staying hydrated is key and not burning yourself out before your actual runs is at hand is vital. Trent and Laura from Cowtown who run Phoenix Am are absolutely some of the coolest nicest people ever and they have a wonderful tradition going with Phoenix Am. It is that time of the year again and coming Saturday March 25th and Sunday 26th the 16th annual Phoenix Am will be happening and if your anywhere near Arizona you won’t want to miss it. Great skateboarding, giveaways, good vibes and an unforgettable skateboard experience is guaranteed for you.  I leave you now with some highlights from past Phoenix Am contests. And don’t forget to check out their website www.phxam.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzQHN0FcmEg

The Top 4 Skateboarding Entrepreneurs

Skateboarders are artists, crafters, entrepreneurs, musicians and more. We all have a set skill of never giving up and pursuing something till we “land it” or accomplish it. We have this drive within us to make things happen. A lot of skateboarders run their own businesses and sometimes its not always in skateboarding. Here is a cool list of 4 Entrepreneur skateboarders you may or may not have known have their own cool business going in no particular order.

4. ROB DYRDEK

Of course this list wouldn’t go down without Rob being on it. Perhaps the greatest business man skateboarding has ever known or had. Some would argue and say Tony Hawk has just as big an empire and although Tony Hawk totally has his long list of business ventures Rob comes off as a businessman more. To the point where it essentially took over his life. We would be lucky if we could get a new Rob Dyrdek video part. Rob probably still skateboards for sure but their doesn’t seem to be any new Rob Dyrdek street video parts on the horizon. Lets hope he hasn’t thrown in the towel because although he doesn’t need to huck himself off anything anymore because he’s a millionaire I still miss seeing seeing Rob shred. Always been a fan of his skateboarding and ledge grinds. Once a skateboarder always a skateboarder I know he has the fire still in him. Despite the lack of pushing the skate career like before he’s obviously doing a lot for skateboarding in general still with Street League. And for the jillion brands and television shows he owns and runs I have pure respect for him. His hustle and ambition is definitely admirable without question.

Rob Dyrdek talks about entrepreneurship:

3. TONY HAWK

Tony Hawk made the skateboard video game a “thing”. Tony Hawk Pro Skater is an absolute classic and Tony is the most well known skateboarder in all history. From appearing on the Simpsons, to his cameos in films, numerous video games, his brands, all while still skateboarding. In fact the greatest part about Tony Hawk to me is the fact that he is still shredding to this day. Despite his absolutely hectic schedule it amazes me and truly earns all our respect when we see him coming out with video parts and still innovating and contributing to skateboarding. I really don’t have to say much here we all know Tonys contributions to our culture he is a legend.

Tony Hawk talks about building a brand:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUWsO0EZqsQ

2. PIERRE-ANDRE SENIZERGUES

Etnies, Es, Emerica do any of those three shoe brands ring a bell? Of course they are skateboard brand royalty. They have all been around respectfully for many years and left their imprint stamp on skateboarding. Pierre Andre started all of them and Sole Technology and he is also a former professional freestyle skateboarder which is unique in a world where the majority of shoe brands are owned by corporate brands that are taking over skateboarding but never started with skateboarding to begin with. Here is video of Pierre shredding on his skateboard in 1987 in Carson, Ca!

Pierre Andre started off living in his car and now owns one of the largest skateboarding companies.  Listen to his story:

 1. SALMAN AGAH

The master of Switch stance skateboarding and the reason we pretty much all skate switch today. Salman Agah is the man! His restaurant called PIZZANISTA is amazing! Salman has always been an entrepreneur in fact if you remember the energy drink Skaterade he was the one behind it and this was way before all those big name energy drink companies came around. Salman was always one step ahead and with Pizzanista he has himself a legendary gem of a business. Theres even a ledge on the side of his restaurant and guess what no one kicks you out! So you can get your shred and your grub on! How perfect is that! And trust me this is the best pizza you have ever had in your life! Highly recommended! Absolutely delicious!

Salman Agah’s new business, Pizzanista!