Category: News

Cons Project: Creative Recycling in Toronto

Monday, November 17th, 2014

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Supplies.

On Saturday, November 15th, more than 40 kids participated in the latest CONS Project: Toronto workshop series, “Creative Recycling.”   “Creative Recycling” taught participants the key skills of repurposing used skateboards. From building furniture from recycled skate decks to designing and painting finished pieces, the daylong workshop was led by designer, craftsman, and founder of skateboard recycling company, Deckstool, Jason Podlaski, with the help of Converse CONS Skate Ambassador, Don “Nuge” Nguyen.

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Jason Podlaski.

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Nuge.

The workshop offered participants the chance to work in small groups to build Muskoka Chairs providing them an opportunity to build and work collaboratively.  After lunch, attendees worked on their individual build creating their own personal stool out of recycled skate decks.

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Looking for that right piece.

CONS Project: Toronto, “Creative Recycling,” was the third of five in the ongoing workshop series slated to hit the city over 2014/2015.

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As one local component of the overarching North American CONS Project initiative, CONS Project: Toronto is slated to continue alongside other workshops in key cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Boston through Spring 2015.

This specialized program, geared towards up-and-coming skate and art talents, offers extensive, hands-on workshops with renowned legends and up-and-coming super stars at no cost.

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Scott Varney goes over a Muskoka chair via a frontside 180.

Aspiring creative actives between the ages of 13 and 24 can apply for a slot at http://consproject.com.

All Photos shot by James Morley

Epicly Later’d: Chocolate Part 4

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Epicly Later’d concludes their series on Chocolate Skateboards, touching on the stories of pros moving on, whether on their own terms or reluctantly, and talking about what the new generation brings to the table.

The Documenters of Gnar: Keith Henry

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

We started this feature to hear from the photographers at the front lines of skateboard action. It’s they who fill our pages and screens with the stunning visual imagery we all desire. What they’ll show us is a selection of their favourite images they’ve shot, and offer us some insight into how they got their start and what gets their heart pumping. We can all take a picture, but these are some of the people that do it best and with the most thought put into it. First you’ll see a gallery of their photos with extended captions, and below that is an interview with the photographer. -Jeff Thorburn


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Paul Gonzalez photo

Name: Keith Henry

Age: 25

Hometown: Vegreville, AB

Currently lives in: Vancouver, BC

Website: keithhenry.tumblr.com

Social media handles: @keithhenry

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Tyler Warren, Toe Clip – This photo is gold. I never wish this upon anybody, but sometimes a bail can make the best photo. They don’t say “a picture is worth a thousand words” for nothing. 

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Max Fine, Smith Grind – Max Fine may be the greatest name is skateboarding. Max Fine is also a fine gentleman. This is from a trip to China a couple years back. This area in Foshan was unlike anything I’d ever seen. I was down on the stairs next to the river at one point and a lady came from out of her house to pour a piss bucket out beside me. I wasn’t alarmed based on what I’d seen that entire month, but I opted to walk back up the stairs and shoot from there. I love the kids in the photo. They’re probably seeing skateboarding for the first time. 

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Dave Ehrenreich, Wallride – This photo makes me XD. Daver is one of the best people I’ve ever met and I love skating with him. He doesn’t take skating seriously and it’s nice to surround yourself with people like that. His outlook inspires me to take make the best of every moment, and anyone who’s met him will say the same. 

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Dylan Fulford, No-Comply – I shot Dylan when he was 13 years old living in Edmonton. I hadn’t seen him in a few years until he made a trip up to Vancouver last summer. We decided we were long overdue to shoot and I was pleasantly surprised to see how good he’d gotten. Dylan was always one of those kids who dressed well and looked good on a board…nothing has changed. 

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Mike Campbell, Ollie Over to 5050 – You don’t get lighting like this every day. I was shooting with flashes, but as the sun started to creep into the frame, it cast a lovely bleed of yellow over the left side of the frame. I coudn’t replicate it if I tried. I had a similar situation with Russ Milligan in Chicago, but you’ll have to stay tuned to see it in print. 

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Ryan Witt, Backside Flip – Lighting is such an important aspect of a photograph. Ryan and I just happened to show up at the right time and get the photo with some unexpectedly pleasant sunlight. No flashes were used on this one, and I think if I had used them, I wouldn’t like the photo as much.

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Skylar Kehr, Ride on 5-0 – I love this photo because of the composition, and the story behind it. I was borrowing Dylan Doubt’s Hasselblad, and this was one of my first times using it. We got kicked out the first time we tried going there, before I even had intentions of shooting it. I opened up the film on one session, overexposing the roll and ruining the photo. I shot the roll backwards, not even letting light touch the film the time after. Finally on the fourth try, we got the one I wanted and never had to go back. I like the perspective of the shot, the simplicity, and the scaling with the cars below him. I’ve always loved square format, and personally think it works better for most situations in skateboard photography. 

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Jed Anderson, Over Under – I shot a lot of film this summer, skating around with my friends, taking shooting a little less seriously. I feel like the old me would want to set up flashes and get in really close with a fisheye. Never limit yourself to what you think others would like to see. Please yourself, and the rest will come naturally. I like the colors and simplicity of this one. 

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Brett Gifford, Kickflip – Timing is everything when shooting a Kickflip. Gifford has the best one, and I somehow was able to capture it at the perfect time. Style is everything in a photo and this just solidifies that ideology. 

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Drew Summersides, Backside Lipslide – This spot is at an abandoned school in San Francisco. There were construction workers at the entrance when we walked in, and they warned us that cops may come and bust the session. Luckily nothing of the sort happened and I was able to get this photo while the lighting was just right. I love that having a skateboard is almost like a hall-pass to do whatever you please. People walk past this every day, but they’d never have a reason to step inside. Skateboarding gives you that reason.  


 

An interview with Keith:

What came first, skateboarding or photography? How did one meet the other? Do you remember them coming together? Skateboarding came first. I had been into shooting photos for a while before I got into shooting skating. Growing up, there weren’t a lot of skateboarders in my town so I started out shooting my friends and abandoned houses around my place. 

What was your first camera and how did you acquire it? Do you still have it? My first camera was my Dads Canon AE-1. I used to play around with it in his office without his knowledge and finally asked to bring it on a family vacation; I think that was around 12 or 13 years old. It doesn’t work anymore, but I’ve still got it hanging in my room. I’ll never throw it out. 

Early on, how did you figure out shooting skateboarding? Did someone with more experience help you? Was it books, the Internet, school? I had a subscription to Skateboarder magazine, which provided years of inspiration as a kid. I hit up Nathan Matthews via email when I was 15 or 16 and he got back to me with a long and detailed email explaining his process. That really helped me figure things out and showed me that you can learn a lot by asking questions.

Who was the person you had the earliest success shooting with? Someone you got along with on a personal level that also happened to rip. Ryan Fyfe-Brown. We shot a Youngbloods in 2008 for Concrete. After that, I shot ads for the local skateshop in Sherwood Park, Solid, that ran in SBC. Shortly after moving to Vancouver, I was introduced to Nate Lacoste and started shooting him quite a bit, which helped get a few more published here and there.

 What photos jump out at you in a skateboard magazine? Can you pinpoint something that the best photos all have in common? Which ones get you excited? There’s a lot of good stuff out there these days. I’m stoked to see the new kids coming up. I can’t really go into detail at what makes a good photo; I just know it when I see one. It could be really dynamic and have a lot of flashes involved, or the complete opposite. It’s hard to explain. I don’t care about stair counts or ABD’s; I’m just stoked to see something visually appealing.

Tell me about a skate photographer that first caught your attention. As in you noticed something about their shooting style, beyond just capturing the trick. Nathan Matthews was the first because he shot locally in Edmonton, and had great lighting and composition. Brian Gaberman, John Bradford, and Oliver Barton are others that I admired. I looked up to the photographers that shot for Skateboarder because it was the magazine I looked at religiously. I think a lot of other photographers would say the same. I spent hours looking at the photographers positioning, the lighting, and timing for each trick.

 What is your approach to skateboard photography? Do you try to be right in the middle of the action, or watch from afar and document it without disturbing? Do you like more emphasis on the skateboarder and trick, or the overall environment? Most of the time, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m running around, trying to figure out how to shoot it, stressing, etc. Somehow they usually work out, and I can’t tell you how. I don’t really have a planned process; I sort of just wing it and hope for the best. I used to shoot really tight and try to get right in there, but lately I’ve been stepping back a bit and shooting without flashes. I like the idea that I can make a photograph that looks like you could have seen it walking down the street rather than a set-up situation. The best photos are usually the one’s where I don’t have to worry about my flashes going off. If a passerby walks into the frame, that’s gold.

 Outside of shooting action, are there other things you like to photograph, either related or unrelated to skateboarding? I love shooting my friends and our daily routine. In the summer, we go on all these camping/swimming missions and its great to shoot that aspect of life. I like to think I get to do some cool stuff in my spare time, so it’s great to document and show what we’re doing. Other than that, I’m working on more commercial photography, lifestyle, and editorial stuff, just getting my foot in the door and pursuing that realm.

Is photography your primary occupation? If so, what does that involve? If not, what else do you do, and how do you balance it all? I’m a freelance photographer, yes, but Vancouver is expensive so I have a full time job in addition to that. I work at a place called A&B Partytime Rentals. I’ve been there for four years or so and they’re incredible for letting me have my free time to shoot and travel. My boss, Mark Johnson, is my friend and also skates, and they employ a lot of my friends who skate and do other cool stuff. The owners are the best and I can’t thank them enough.

 Are there some photos you see that make you want to go skate, and others that make you want to go photograph? What’s the difference or similarity? That’s a tough question. I think the lines are a bit blurred as of late because I love seeing my friends in magazines – both photographers and skateboarders. It makes me want to go skate, and it also makes me want to shoot. I get the best results when I shoot with my friends because I’m more comfortable around them. I’m not worried about experimenting and trying new things because I know they’ll be patient for me.

 Name one photo that we should all go look at right now. Brian Gaberman proving that sometimes even a bail can be beautiful. There’s just something I love about accidents in photographs. It makes them unique.

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Converse Cons Presents Jake Johnson

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Cons Ambassador Jake Johnson recently spent some time in Malmö, Sweden where he hooked up with fellow Cons rider Pontus Alv. 

And speaking of CONS, if you are going to be in Toronto on November 15th, be sure to sign up for the next CONS Project: Toronto. This one will focus on “Creative Recycling”, teaching skills that can be used to repurpose old skateboards.

The pertinent details are below, and visit the full website to register.

  • CONS Project: Toronto - November 15
    • With Jason Podlaski and Pro Skater, Don “Nuge” Nguyen 
    • Saturday, November 15 from 11am to 5pm
    • 358 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M6K 1Z8

Antoine Asselin Lunch Break Part

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

A lot of skate videos put out daily lack much humour. If they are humourous they tend to lack much in the way of good skateboarding. This video of Antoine Asselin from Dime has a perfect mix of both. If this is what Antoine puts out for a laugh, what can we expect from his part in the Dime video?

Epicly Later’d: Chocolate Part 2

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Alex Olson speaks about Designing.

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

NOWNESS speaks to Alex Olson and his love of Designing, Music and Fashion.

Death of summer recap in Montreal

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Halloween is here which means lots of fireworks, costumes and good times on the board. Here are some photos from p45 in Montreal that photographer Dan Mathieu sent over, looks like everyone had a good time.

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20 years of Chocolate- Vice

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Part 1 about the history of Chocolate skateboards is now live on Vice’s Epicly Later’d series.

Cons Project Toronto Recap

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Last Saturday, nearly 50 kids participated in the latest CONS Project: Toronto workshop series, this one focusing on Filming Skate Videos.”  The workshop was geared to aspiring skate filmmakers, producers, and directors who learned the skills of filming and editing skate video content through the use of smartphone technology.

Acclaimed filmmaker, Nick Genova (“BLTwo” and “Eulogy”), and Blue Tile Lounge’s Rob Lane (“Four Letter Word” and “Fist Full of Loonies”) led the workshop, with the help of Converse CONS Skate Ambassador, Don “Nuge” Nguyen.

Photos courtesy of James Morley and Converse.

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The students assemble to hear the teachings of Nick and Rob.

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All eyes and ears. Future makers of skate magic, we hope.

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The Nuge gives the documenters something to focus on. Heelflip.

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Nick explains how all that hardware works together to create the goods.

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Taylor Johnston gets up on the wall!

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Trent Matley Nosegrinds on the simulated streets.

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Solid turnout and solid crew!

foundation Secret Society Conlan Killeen

Friday, October 17th, 2014

In Conjunction with Foundation and Ultimate Dist., Metro is proud to declassify a few entries from the book of (F)’s Secret Society. Conlan Killeen @genghisconlan definitely got the blood of a true Canadian ripper! With both a rad trick selection and smooth style Conlan’s skating is all around good time to watch! Foundation Secret Society is a group of riders representing Foundation Super Co. regionally throughout the USA and internationally. With that the riders also are representing their local skate shop in that region. Both the rider and the shop are chapter members of Foundation Super Co. We are all working together to helping build their local skate scene.

Powell-Peralta Extra Photos

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Deville Nunez the Powell Peralta team manager and great photographer gives us some of his extras from the tour. Enjoy!

Brendon Villanueva, lipslides through the caps and kinks at the New Spot.

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Brendon Villanueva, poses while on the drive up to Squamish.

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Brendon Villanueva, frontside kickflips at Chuck Bailey in Surrey.

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Bucky , kickflips over the fence at Lonsdale park in North Vancouver.

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Bucky tries to wash the die out of his hair at Lynn Canyon.

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Bucky, frontside noseblunts at Railslide park in Coquitlam.

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Backside tailslide through the kink, Bucky has no problem skating all spots.

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Bucky having a hard time washing the die out.

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Charlie Blair pops a huge backside kickflip over the hip at Seylynn park.

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Charlie Blair, frontside air at a backyard ramp.

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Charlie Blair hikes the trails of North Vancouver.

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The picnic table at Railslide park is a big gap, Charlie Blair kickflips during the demo.

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Ice Bucket after a long day of skating.

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The crew on the way to Brohm Lake.

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Chuck Bailey demo.

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Zack Kuehne frontside kickflips over the cement couch.

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Make sure you watch the street video we just posted as well. Click Here.

Vans Crockett Pro Mid

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

The Vans Gilbert Crockett Pro shoe has a new sibling, the Crockett Pro Mid. Featuring all the good stuff you got in the original, like Duracap, Wafflecup, and Ultracush HD, now in a midtop!  If you’ve taken one to many snakebites to the ankle or heel, this is going to be the shoe for you. Check out the Crockett Pro commercial from earlier this year, and some images of the new midtop version below.

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Eric Koston, Atiba and Ako Jefferson and… Andrew WK ?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

This is one of those “what the hell” type things you find on the internet. An Andrew WK kids show featuring Atiba and Ako Jefferson playing “kick the can” with Eric Koston.

20 Years of chocolate skateboards video

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

20 years of Chocolate. It all started back in 1994 and they’ve on fire ever since!

Adidas X Krooked with Mark Gonzales

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Adidas and Krooked have released a nice looking collar and have put out this nice looking video to go along with it.