Skateboarding

So That’s Where Doug Palladini Went

by The Editors on January 30, 2023

Ever since Doug Palladini disappeared mysteriously and suddenly as Vans global brand president on March 17, 2022, we’ve had a nagging sense of “wonder what happened to Doug?” And not being close to Doug it was not a story we pursued with anything nearing tenacity. We’d ask here and there, some would make hints, but no one seemed to have the details, or was willing to share them with us.

Well, last month, on December 28, 2022 Doug shared his story with his Instagram followers. It goes something like this:

On December 28, 2021, I went to see the cardiologist with a strange “twinge” in my left shoulder. Two hours later, I was in the cardiac ICU and two days later I was recovering from quadruple bypass open heart surgery. Today, exactly one year later, as I watch the sun come up over the Sierra’s, I am overcome with gratitude: gratitude to still be here, gratitude for the doctors and nurses who literally saved my life, and gratitude for all of the friends and family who got me through a very difficult recovery. Because of your love and support I am today the healthiest I have been in 20 years, because without health, nothing else matters.

Great news. According to his most recent Insta post, Doug is now an adjunct professor at San Diego State University (his alma mater) teaching, no surprise, brand marketing and communications. As so many have pointed out, those seniors are lucky to tap into a wealth of in-the-trenches wisdom from someone who has done it all and done it well. Seriously.

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More Tony Vitello Quotes On Jake Phelps

by The Editors on January 25, 2023

The San Francisco Standard has an interesting piece on Thrasher owner Tony Vitello made up of quotes from a September 2022 interview in which he discusses Jake Phelps’ fentanyl overdose and why Thrasher didn’t mention Phelps’ cause of death when the news broke. And, more importantly, why Tony was even willing to speak about Phelps’ death with The Standard in the first place:

“There was some concern about Jake’s parent’s reaction to how he passed. And my position was—and has always been—that his family’s word is the word I go by. And that’s why we’re here in this interview today because Marie [Phelps] told me that she wants to talk about it and that she thinks it’s important to talk about.” 

This appears to be a follow-up/add-on of sorts on The Standard’s previous story by David Sjostedt titled The Killer of a Skateboarding Legend Went Unnamed for Years. Could Deaths Have Been Prevented?

No one is ever happy with these kinds of stories. And yes, it’s kind of sus to point the finger at anyone for how they handled a personal tragedy while they were in the middle of it. Drugs are bad, kids. Don’t do ’em.

[Link: The San Francisco Standard]

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Toooooony HAAAAAAAWWWWK!

by The Editors on January 23, 2023

Haven’t laughed this hard in a while. Thank you, Tony Hawk. Oh, and Aubrey Plaza.

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More Tony Hawk Helmets Recalled

by The Editors on January 20, 2023

Helmets made and marketed by Sakar International under the Tony Hawk Multi-purpose Helmets name have been recalled because they reportedly “do not comply with the positional stability and retention system requirements of the U.S. CPSC federal safety standard for bicycle helmets.” This the second time this year for Tony Hawk helmets. And years back Tony Hawk flammable pajamas were recalled from Kohls.

Tony Hawk multi-purpose helmets were sold in various colors and have black straps and a black buckle.  The white warning label on the inside of the helmet contains one of the following item numbers on the top right corner: AGE251TH-GCRM, AGE251TH-NCRM, AGE251TH-BKMT, AGE251TH-BLU-T30-12, AGE251TH-RBW, AGE22SLDTH-BLK, or ACTGEAR242TH-GRN. 

If you, or someone you know, made the mistake of buying one of these helmets, please immediately stop using it and contact Sakar for instructions. Another example of why getting paid to let people slap your name on junk might not be the best idea in the long term.

[Link: Consumer Product Safety Commission]

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Governor Newsom Reverses Gator’s Parole

by The Editors on January 18, 2023

Mark “Gator” Rogowski, the pro skateboarder who has spent the last 30 years in prison for the 1991 rape and murder of Jessica Bergsten will not be paroled. The parole board voted to approve his release on June 14, 2022, however, California Governor Gavin Newsom has reversed Rogowski’s parole for the second time, according to a story on CBS8.com.

On November 4, 2022, Governor Newsom once again rescinded Rogowski’s parole. . . While citing Rogowski’s work to reform himself, Newsom wrote that Rogowski has “made efforts at self-improvement,” having participated in “significant self-help programming, including substance abuse prevention, anger management, and sex offense desistence courses,” [however] “Despite the constructive steps,” Newsom said a recent verbal disagreement with another prisoner and Rogowski’s inability to understand what caused him to act in such a violent way are reasons for his decision to repeal the parole board’s decision.”

Gator, who is currently serving a 31-years-to-life sentence, comes up for parole again in December 2023.

[Link: CBS8.com]

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Ken Block Dies In Snowmobile Accident

by The Editors on January 2, 2023

We haven’t even begun to process this yet, but Ken Block, action sports visionary, DC Shoes co-founder, rally car driver, Hoonigan co-founder, and all-around incredible person, husband, and father died today (Monday, January 2, 2023) in Wasatch County, Utah when the snowmobile he was riding reportedly flipped on top of him, according to TMZ Sports. Ken was 55.

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Ramp Up Your Shredding Game with Tech Deck’s Fingerboards!

by Sponsored Post on December 16, 2022

Tech Deck has been bringing us authentic mini skateboards featuring real graphics from the world’s biggest skate brands for 25 years. So when you’re not dropping in on a halfpipe you can carve, flip and grind your way to fingerboarding greatness. Or shred the gift-giving game with these must-have replicas.

From nose to tail, Tech Deck’s fingerboards are designed to replicate the feel of a real skateboard–down to the smallest detail. Collect them all, including decks from Blind, Baker, Primitive, Finesse, Element, Santa Cruz, Plan B, and Toy Machine, plus replicas of boards used by top pros like Mariah Duran, Nyjah Huston, Torey Pudwill and Daewon Song. Follow the jump for all the details!

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The Corpse Of Action Media Sold Yet Again

by The Editors on December 14, 2022

Honestly, we haven’t been paying much attention to the action sports media space lately, because there really aren’t any action sports media in the space (yeah, props to Thrasher, always). But, someone sent us a link to Emerald’s Shopping Blog and a story about A360 selling the old TransWorld Media and Surfer Publications titles (along with Men’s Journal) to The Arena Group, the current owners of Sports Illustrated, The Street, and Parade for close to $29 million dollars. The purchase includes the brands Skateboarding, Skateboarder, Snowboarder, Surfer, Powder, and Bike.

“For years, consumers have trusted Men’s Journal for exclusive lifestyle content and guidance on travel, gear, the outdoors, style, food & drink and more,” said Ross Levinsohn, chairman and CEO of The Arena Group. “Additionally, the titles within the Adventure Network have long stood for excellence with passionate enthusiasts within the Ski, Surf, Biking and Skateboarding communities. There are natural synergies between these brands and our existing audiences we can leverage and enhance through integration, distribution and our playbook, driving incremental value, growth and profitability. This strategic investment underscores our commitment to diversifying and devoting resources to opportunities where we see the most value across The Arena Group.”

As we all know, online media sites aren’t exactly killing it these days, but apparently The Arena Group (Where The Action Is™) knows some secret to getting paid. But as one industry insider told us, “Honestly, this seems like more bad media consolidation. Just stacking lots of money-losing things together rarely results in making money. They seem like they’re just building towards an acquisition by Hatchette or Condé Nast or someone bigger.” It doesn’t look like this insider is alone. Arena’s stock dropped 11 percent on today’s news. (Or was it that half percent rate hike.) You be the judge. For the official word from The Arena Group please follow the jump.

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Scholars Say Skateboarding Still Punk Rock

by The Editors on November 29, 2022

According to a recently published scholarly article by Brian Glenney and Paul O’Conner skateboarding continues to be “discordant.” In other words, skateboarding continues to be disagreeable and incongruous to the mainstream regardless of how you may feel about its diluted post pop cultural blowout. At least that’s what the authors have decided based on studying skaters in New Zealand. Here’s a little slice from the abstract.

We expand upon skateboarding’s relationship with time using the Marxist theorist Henri Lefebvre’s temporal science of Rhythmanalysis. With the disruption of urban social production of capital by the Covid-19 pandemic, we find skateboarding renewed in urban disjuncture from Capitalism and argue that this separation is central to its performance and culture. We propose that skateboarding is arrhythmic: discordant, out of step, and disruptive of the more predictable rhythms of everyday production of capital.

Good to know. If you find yourself engaged with this kind of super discussion of skateboarding philosophy the please, by all means, click the link to read the entire article.

[Link: Taylor & Francis Online]

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ESPN Dumps the X Games On a Billionaire

by The Editors on October 26, 2022

After decades of spending money on their action sporting franchise, ESPN has finally found an exit to the X Games by selling “a majority interest” in the brand to a private equity firm called MSP Sports Capital (owners of McLaren Racing and more.)

“We are bringing our deep-rooted sports expertise to continue the progression and excitement around athletes, competition, fans, and X Games partners,” said Jahm Najafi, Founder and Chairman, MSP Sports Capital, and Founder and CEO, The Najafi Companies.

MSP founder Jahm Najafi, a billionaire who (aside from owning a large piece of the Phoenix Suns basketball team and entertainment company STX Entertainment,) also has investment dealings through Najafi Companies with Shaun Neff. Remember his first brand Neff Headwear?

We’ve never understood the calculus behind PE/VCs interest in action sports. Rarely have the numbers worked for anyone (Jamie Salter is an obvious exception), yet the “sexiness” of boardsports seems to keep the money managers flocking like vultures. They’ve enlisted Tony Hawk as “a brand steward,” and that’s not a bad first move. But the only real synergy the X Games brand ever had was ESPN’s somewhat aging TV/Internet distribution system, so it will be interesting to see what MSP does with the brand outside of that. Najafi is obviously a business genius, so this should be good.

For the official word from MSP, please follow the jump.

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