Posts in SS Articles
My Favorite Rainy Day Dallas Skate Spots

The last few weeks have been horrible for skating in the Dallas area. It seems like the rain is hanging over the city waiting to make its move every time the streets dry like a bowl of ramen on the table left alone in front of my cat. These past few weeks have also sucked because my knee is messed up, but that’s another story.

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If you live in the area, I’m sure you already know of a ton of spots to skate when it rains. Skaters always find a way and it usually involves a parking garage or two. Today, I’d like to share with you my favorite spots to skate, (when I can skate) around the Dallas area when it rains. Hopefully you’ll see a new spot or just remember an old one to go shred during this bad weather.

1. Campbell Parking Garage

Friends and I have been skating this garage for over a decade and it’s always a go-to when it rains. Some people might recognize it for the 14 and 17 stair out front, but they’re sketchy and most people skate the spot for the garage, (Unless they’re trying to die like Kechaud).

There are a few bars around so you may encounter some drunk people at night. This can be good or bad as we’ve almost gotten in a few altercations, though we once made $20 for doing a kickflip. Your experience may vary.

This is located off of Campbell Rd. and Plano Rd. in Richardson, Texas. You can see James skating it mid-”Shred The Multiverse” episode at 2:52 in the video below.

 

2. Addison Parking Garage

This spot is one of my favorite flat ground spots in the world. It seems that most garages are pretty smooth which makes a skateboard wheel more susceptible to hitting tiny rocks, like the Campbell Parking Garage spot above. This place doesn’t have much rocky-nonsense which is a huge plus. When it rains there are puddles, but that just makes dangerous, (for your board and possibly the back of your head when you slip out) flat gaps to skate.

The curb is waxed up, but not very good. This is still one of my favorite parking garage manual pads because it’s low and easy to pop nollie-to-nose manuals on and whatever other shenanigan-fueled tricks you’re trying to pull off. Luckily, we’ve already filmed a Dallas Skate Spots episode here so grab some extra salty, XTRA BUTTERED popcorn and watch the episode below! (Here’s a link on how to get there.)

 

3. Addison Underground

This spot is a bit different than the others since there’s more to it than just manual pads and smooth flat ground. Weather aside, Addison Underground is one of my favorite skate spots of all time. It’s situated underneath a large building on Arapaho Rd. and Dallas North Tollway in Addison, Texas.

The video below starts out with the underground area and slowly weaves into some other random spots. The one pictured on the front of the video is Wylie Skatepark (obviously not a covered spot.) Enough blabbing. Check it out!

 

4. Comerica Bank Ledge

This is JUST outside of Addison in Dallas off Verde Valley Lane and Dallas North Tollway, (so many Addison spots). The ground is buttery and the ledge has been waxed every day since what seems like the Civil War. It actually grinds better than most park ledges. One is super low and the other one is of moderate height.

Sadly, I don’t have much footage here except the Instagram video below. I highly recommend this spot though!

5. 4DWN, Guapo, and Alliance Skatepark

If you’re looking for a little bit more to skate in the realm of ramps and rails, you may consider one of Dallas’ indoor/covered skateparks. They’re not all open every day and 2 out of 3 will cost you, but it’s worth it.

Your first option is 4DWN, though this option isn’t exactly available yet. You can follow their progress HERE for public skating. Who knows, maybe you’re reading this way after I published this and it’s open now. If that’s the case, send me your video of it and I’ll update this article! In the mean time, they are holding events that showcase some of the skate-able things built so far, (below).

Your second option is Guapo. I used to skate Guapo park before their remodel, but haven’t been since. I loved it back then and from what I’ve seen it looks awesome now. Luckily, I found a pretty dope edit made by TheGreat YouTube channel entitled, “Weekly Skatepark Edit | Guapo”. Peep it below!

Your third park option is a covered park called Alliance Skatepark. I wish more skateparks would take this approach and just cover the whole park. It would be great for rainy days and sunburns/heat exhaustion, but I digress. Alliance is in Grand Prairie, not too far from downtown Dallas.

This park has a ton of stuff, but it is HELLA SLIPPERY. So, bring your larger wheels if you have them. Hell, slap on the ole’ snow chains if you got ‘em. As with the Addison Parking Garage, we actually did a Dallas Skate Spots episode on this spot too. HERE YA GO:

 

Thanks for reading! If there’s a spot you enjoy when it rains that I missed in the Dallas area, let me know! I may have to do a part two in the future. Now go shred and keep that board un-water logged!

Interview w/ Shift Skateboarding Company

Since I began posting skate clips more and more on Instagram I've been given the opportunity to meet, (online and off) a lot of fellow skateboarders from around the world. In a society where it has almost become "cool" to hate on the use of social media and looking at your phone, (which I agree to in a small way), it also gives you the chance to meet really great, like-minded individuals that share the same passions as you. This is how I met and interviewed the owner of the Shift Skateboarding Company, Joel Matthews.

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How did you originally get into skateboarding?

I originally got into skateboarding when I was around 13 years old. My friend Jack Zepler showed me a couple of videos of him skating, I thought it looked sick and knew I wanted to try it out ASAP! So the next day after school I went to my house and grabbed my super cheap Bart Simpson skateboard that was sitting in our shed. I rode around with my friends trying out tricks, but obviously wasn’t getting very far on such a cheap board. I was eventually given a better setup by a friend and began to properly learn tricks.

Every weekend I would stay at Jacks house and everything we did involved skateboarding! We would go skating, come home for dinner, play skate 2 on his Xbox, try tricks on his deck on the trampoline, and watch hundreds of skate edits on YouTube before bed. I will always have a place for skateboarding in my life, I have many great memories from it!
— JM
 

When did you decide you wanted to start your own skateboarding company and what were some of your biggest challenges you faced/are facing?

I decided to start up a skateboarding company a couple of days before going on holiday, at the time it was just an idea for fun. So I created a name and logo, created an Instagram page, posted a couple of posts and videos, not thinking much of it. But then a couple of days later I checked on the page and it had been getting likes from quite popular people on Instagram. Some cool people were showing love and my friends seemed to like the idea, so I decided to try and take it further.

I guess the biggest challenge I am facing at the moment is building up followers and getting our name out there, but I have some ideas that should help get our name heard. James Larner (our sponsored skater) has been keeping our current followers entertained with some sick videos, there’s some real sick stuff coming soon! ;)
— JM

Is there anything @j.larner can't bs 180??? 😍🤑🔥 #skate #Skateboarding #bs #bs180 #stairs #huge #skater #ShiftSkateboarding

21 Likes, 4 Comments - Shift Skateboarding© (@shiftskateboardingco) on Instagram: "Is there anything @j.larner can't bs 180??? 😍🤑🔥 #skate #Skateboarding #bs #bs180 #stairs #huge..."

 

Where did the name "Shift Skateboarding Co" come from and what sort of products do you sell?

The name Shift Skateboarding just rang a bell to me, I thought it sounded really good and when I designed the logo I thought it looked pretty nice.

We sell TShirts, Hoodies, Hats, and boards. More are currently being designed!
— JM
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What are your goals for the company in the next year and do you have any upcoming events you'll be attending?

My goals for the company are to gain more followers, get some new team members to skate for us and represent us! James Larner is currently working on The Lords Of The Swords competition!

Lords of the Swords is the UK’s number 1 amateur skateboard filming event. Each team has one weekend to visit as many of the specifically selected locations as possible, ensuring all challenges are captured on film. No film, no points!

All challenges must be filmed and each team has only that weekend to compile footage. Teams then have a further 4 weeks to produce a 12 minute video. This video is then submitted for a public online vote with all the videos being shown at the Lords of the Swords premier evening.
— JM
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How can people stay in contact with Shift now and in the future?

If people want to stay in contact with Shift I would recommend following our Instagram page @ShiftSkateboardingCo and look out for our posts! We may be bringing out a website in the future so look out for that too!
— JM

Although the Shift Skateboarding Co. is in its early phases, I really believe in Joel's vision for the company. Ask anyone who's ever attempted to start a skateboarding company and they'll tell you it's a really difficult endeavor to take on. With the passion behind Shift and Joel at the helm, I have no doubt that if he continues he'll make his mark on the industry.

I'd like to thank Joel for taking time out of his day for this interview and I can't wait to watch them grow as a company and in their online presence. Be sure to tap or click the button above and give them a follow on Instagram. Now go shred! 

Proof that Rodney Mullen is Probably an Alien from Another Planet.

You may or may not remember my article, which proved beyond any reasonable doubt, that pro skateboarder Kechaud Johnson was in fact, TOO GOOD at skateboarding? (Possibly Not Human?) After posting it, I was followed for weeks by men and women in black suits. Day and night I was harassed. I was even contacted via a note on my car windshield a couple days ago:

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Who is the S.A.A.? Why am I being threatened? Well, if you're out there reading this, I'M NOT AFRAID TO EXPOSE YOU. I've been doing a little digging and I think I may have found that the Kechaud story is not a stand alone one, but is in fact, part of a larger narrative. Today, I'd like to look at a skateboarding legend that we all know and love: Rodney Mullen. 

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My search for the truth lead me back to the 1960's as well as the picture above, which was originally used for a Rolling Stone interview about Rodney. Why was Rodney Mullen such a huge fan of George Harrison? Did he just buy the shirt on a whim? Something felt weird. I had to investigate.

Take a look at this: 

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Notice anything strange?

Okay, let me break it down for those of you who are missing the obvious. Rodney Mullen was born August 17, 1966, the same day the Beatles played the sixth date of the Beatles' final tour. Add the numbers up of the day and year in Rodney's birthday; it equals 30. Now add up the day and year of George Harrison's birthday of February 25, 1943; it equals 24

30 - 24 = 6, as in, THE 6TH DATE OF THEIR TOUR. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Shortly after, I began to develop a theory: Are Kechaud and Rodney from the same alien species? Then the proof presented itself in the classic video part "Virtual Reality". Look closely at 2:33.

Did you see it? Here's a screen grab:

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NO FACE.

Compare that with the photo from the article I wrote about Kechaud:

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WHAT?

I took this revelation to an expert, as I was afraid this may just be an older video and the quality made it look this way. According to Dr. Groppenheimer however, this is not the case.

What we see here is truly something unfathomable to the human mind. The pure phenomena of such a photo leaves me, with all of my expertise in most areas of science, completely dumbfounded.
— Dr. Groppenheimer

Combining what I've found, with the fact that most UFO sightings are blurry, I've reached a conclusion: what if the alien species that have been visiting us over the years are in fact, blurry beings with exceptional skills? Skills like these:

If you're still unsure with my findings, look at this last piece of evidence: 

A Winter Haven, Florida, private pilot reported he fled from a giant cone-shaped UFO which kept his plane in shadow for about three minutes on the morning of September 20, 1966. “That thing had not changed in size at all, but was still with me and pacing me. It was still as big as a football field.”
— ThinkAboutItDocs.com

Winter Haven, Florida is but a small drive to Gainesville, Florida, where Rodney was born, (about a 2 hour drive). This took place a little over a month from when Mullen was born. Could it be that this cone-shaped vessel was the ship that dropped him off on Earth? After all, a cone shaped object was also seen back in the late 80's; almost exactly a month after Kechaud Johnson was born.

The plot thickens...

 Image sent to me by an anonymous source.

Image sent to me by an anonymous source.

5 Ways to Get Your Body Adjusted for Skateboarding After 30.

I hate to harp on the fact that I'm 30 now, because it's not the end of the world. Unless something major happens, I plan on skating well into my 50's and 60's. It's becoming increasingly obvious though that unless I start doing certain things differently, I'll never make it that long skateboarding. For anyone else out there that wants to skate as long as physically possible, check out these top 5 things I've been trying to change to achieve this.

 

1. Water

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This should seem obvious, but I've never put this into practice as much as I should. My water intake has always been on the low side before and after skating. There's a reason water is said to be the source of all life.

Water is needed to transport nutrients to your cells and transport waste out of the body. Water helps form the structures of protein and glycogen. In order to move and flex your muscles, you need water. If your body is dehydrated, your muscles will be deprived of electrolytes and cramp.
— Bodybuilding.com

As you can see, water intake is extremely important and if you're mixing it with a ton of salty foods and sugary drinks, you're screwed. You'll become dehydrated a lot faster. As I found pretty quickly, you can condition your body to drink tons of water just during skating. You have to learn to drink water all day long. I'm still working on this, but it's certainly gotten better.

 

2. Warm Up Exercises

Since skateboarding is an exercise, it stands to reason that our bodies will respond better if we warm up first. I used to believe that stretching before was the answer, but if you haven't warmed your muscles up yet, you're going to have issues. This seems to work a lot better before you ever step on your board.

According to the Greatest, you should loosen up, get your heart pumping, do some dynamic stretches, and practice these things every time you go out to skate. This should do it:

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3. Stretch After Skating

Okay, so now you've warmed up, skated, and now it's time to go home and rest, right? Well, damn it, I usually do, but I shouldn't and neither should you. After skating, take a moment to sit on the ground (or stand) and stretch those muscle boiz you just worked out so hard. Check out the link below for 16 post-workout static stretches and a bonus stretch from the 80's below that. 

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4. Eating Better

As a disclaimer, I definitely don't follow this one. I know I should, but...I love Hot Cheetos and 3-day old slices of cake in the fridge. However, if you really want to make a significant impact on your body's overall feel, you'll eat better.

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Here's an easy guide to cheap, healthy eating from Nerd Fitness:

Maybe one day I'll take my own advice.

 

5. Keep Skateboarding

This is the most important things on this list (err...well, at least my favorite.) If you only skate once or twice a month it's going to be a lot harder on your body to take those falls. Additionally, THE FEAR that I wrote about awhile ago comes back and that's never good.

I've found that skating at least twice a week keeps my body, and fear of drops, at near skater-homeostasis. The fact is, it's never going to be as easy as when you were in your teens and early 20's. It's one of the hardest lessons we learn as we get older.

I see a lot of people jump back into skateboarding, take a hard slam and think, "yep, I'm too old for this." It's not that you're too old, it's that you've let your body waste away to a point that it hurts a lot more to take those slams. You need to get back into it and make exercise a regular thing. DO IT.

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Like I said though, I'm still working on these things at a very early stage of being exactly 30 years old. This list will be my life-long experiment to see if I can keep going until I can't physically walk on my own. Of course by around 60, I hope to be an android with emerging technology and skate until I'm 600 or so.

 The goal.

The goal.

Is Kechaud Johnson TOO GOOD at skateboarding? (Possibly Not Human?)

Let me set the scene for you: I'm sitting on the toilet as I normally do each morning at the office (not in) when I receive an Instagram shared through a DM. My friend Gavin sends me a video of Dallas' own Kechaud Johnson.  

 
 

If you've been following Kechaud's career as I have, you may be asking what I am: Is Kechaud Johnson TOO GOOD? After seeing this video, I went back through some of his old parts and realized something. Kechaud has always been this good - presumably since the day he stepped on a skateboard. Something seems sketchy though. Just look at his part from Nike's Chosen Minute from 2011.

 
 

Did you see it? If not, that's okay. I didn't notice until I looked back at this video. Luckily, I used modern technology to capture what can only be described as "not even trying".

 
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Take a look at his arms. Now this is the arm placement of someone at a co-worker's birthday party or a deacon at a church, but someone on a 15+ stair? Not possible. I reached out to a physiologist to study this image and video.

In my professional opinion, that’s not a human reaction to grinding down a handrail of any kind. Normally you would expect extreme flapping and circular movement through out a trick. This video is either edited or...well, I don’t even want to go there.
— Dr. Timothy Gnarbar

Here's where the story gets really strange. I continued my investigation by watching Kechaud in the D.R.E.A.M. video. I was reminded of a day I skated with him at American Airlines Center in Dallas. My memory is hazy from that day. When I looked closer at the clip though, it all came back.

Kechaud sometimes doesn't have a mouth.

 
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Let's take a closer look.

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Absolutely no mouth. Jesus. Now I remember.

This realization freaked me out as you may imagine, but something in me said to keep the investigation going. There's got to be more to the story. Why were my memories wiped from that day? At this point I realized we may not be dealing with a human at all. Could he be...alien?

I began to imagine what his true form might look like.

 
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Although probably an accurate, exact description of what lies beneath his skin suit, there was no way to be sure. Then the final piece of the puzzle hit. What was it you may be asking (if you've read this far)? A date: December 22nd 2017. On the 22nd, Kechaud posted these two posts to his Instagram:

 
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Why would he post a picture of a flower AND a "Back Lip"? I had to consult the language of the universe: Math.

 
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WTF. It was all in the math. Kechaud was speaking in alien code converted to human code. He was telling us to write out "flowerbacklips" and like an anagram, reorder some of the letters. When I did, I got "kiloparsec" which means 1000 parsecs (a distance of 3262 light-years). It was so obvious. He was telling us he was going to visit his home planet that day, which is exactly a kiloparsec away!

Don't believe me? Remember what happened on December 22nd of 2017?  

 "The contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen from Long Beach, Calif., more than 100 miles southeast from its launch site, the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Friday." - as reported by NPR.

"The contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen from Long Beach, Calif., more than 100 miles southeast from its launch site, the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Friday." - as reported by NPR.

The media will have you believe it was Space X, but I think the evidence paints a very different picture. If this shocks you, I understand.

So, there it is. This clearly explains why Kechaud Johnsons is so good and why some might consider him "TOO GOOD" at skateboarding. CASE CLOSED.

 

You can follow this alien on his Instagram at @kechaud

 

Oh yeah. One more piece of evidence that sealed the case shut for me. Using an ultra high powered zooming device that my friends over at NASA let me borrow for the day, I captured this from the image above:

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The Boardr Skateboard Company Interview

I often reach out to my favorite skateboarding companies from time to time for interviews. I love to establish relationships with the movers and shakers of the industry, but if I'm being completely honest, I do it because it gives me the opportunity to meet and soak in the creativeness and knowledge of those who shape skateboarding and its culture around me. As I'm sure you've gathered from the articles title, today's interview is with The Boardr Skateboarding Company.

The Boardr's goal is to bring Authority and Authenticity to Skateboarding as a whole. They achieve this through their website, events, and more. I first heard of the Boardr when they were a part of a Zumiez contest I competed in back a few years ago in McKinney. Fast forward to now and I got to interview the raddest dude behind it all, Rob Meronek. Let's dive in.

 Rob Meronek and Danny Way at Zumiez 100k ( Original Photo )

Rob Meronek and Danny Way at Zumiez 100k (Original Photo)

 

What originally got you into skateboarding?

I had a skateboard as a toy and didn’t know you could do tricks and crazy shit on it until one day I saw a kid do a street plant from the window of my car. I was blown away and hooked ever since.
— RM
 

What is The Boardr?

We create skateboarding events and also help other people and companies run theirs.
— RM
 

Where did the idea for The Boardr come from?

Some of us here worked at Skatepark of Tampa in the past. Our jobs evolved there as we started making those contests better and better over the years. Some things were not working out there so many of the key people left and we started our own thing. Real similar to doing events like we did, but better with a global audience instead of just Tampa.
— RM
 Boardr event ( Original Photo )

Boardr event (Original Photo)

For people out there wanting to start their own business, what advice would you have for them?

Pretty much all the cliche and standard stuff you hear is absolutely true: just get started even if you’re not ready, make mistakes because they teach you valuable things, don’t be too afraid of what other people think, don’t wait until things are perfect to begin - things will never be perfect.
— RM
 

What future company goals do you have/are most excited for in the next 5 years?

There are two big segments in skateboarding that have always been there - the “fuck everyone else I’m doing my own thing” and the “let’s have some fun and have a contest and organize things.” I’ve always been part of both and it’s been a pleasure to watch both evolve.

On the side of “contest and organizing things,” I’m looking forward to watching that grow even more as this crazy Olympic thing takes effect. I’d like to help work on it if we have the opportunity.

I’m also excited about more brands doing legit contests that are truly fun and organized. One of the best things for me about growing up skateboarding is all the lifelong friends I made because I went to skateboarding contests.
— RM
 "Rowdy Crowd at The Boardr Am at Houston" ( Original Photo )

"Rowdy Crowd at The Boardr Am at Houston" (Original Photo)

 

I'm so pumped for everything The Boardr is doing. Independent skate shops, board brands, and companies like Rob's are the reason skateboarding thrives. I'd like to personally thank Rob for keeping skateboarding flourishing and for taking time out of his busy schedule to be interviewed. 

The Boardr's next two events are going to be in Texas (home of Shred Social, though a little more south). That's the Hot Wheels Junior Series in Austin, Texas and the Grind For Life Series in Houston, Texas. You can get more information on both events HERE. To follow them everywhere else, check out the button-links below.

 
Jordan Standley: Skateboarding, Filming, and the Texalona Series.

Growing up in the Dallas skateboarding community, you tend to run into a lot of really great and creative people that you would have otherwise never gotten the chance to meet outside of the skate world. This has spawned a really great atmosphere of friendships and personal growth that I'll probably never fully appreciate as much as I know that I should. Regardless, I am cognizant (at least a little) of that fact, which is why I'm always so excited to meet Dallas locals who shape our society like filmer/filmmaker, Jordan Standley. 

 Photo by Ana LLorens

Photo by Ana LLorens

I first met Jordan at the Texalona premiere a few years back at the iconic Texas Theatre. The videos concept seemed really interesting. The premise was described to me as being a mixture of clips from not only my home state of Texas, but also the city of every skateboarders dream: Barcelona, Spain. 

I attended with my friend James Daniels and arrived to find a packed theatre. The video met and even exceeded my expectations. I shook hands with Jordan, but that would be the end of communication for a few years.

Fast forward to a month or so ago when I saw that Texalona 2 was coming out. I began promoting on a small scale the release of Texalona 2. I was beyond excited, but for personal reasons I was unable to make it to this premiere. I met up with Jordan during a skate sesh last week to purchase the video and support his creative mind. We got to talking and I really wanted to write an article about him and his relationship to skateboarding in general.   

 Dallis Thompson, from left, Kenneth Jordan Standley and Carsten Boyer.

Dallis Thompson, from left, Kenneth Jordan Standley and Carsten Boyer.

What originally got you into skateboarding?

I grew up in Dallas Texas. I got into skateboarding through a kid named Ben Schlesinger when I was about 12 years old in the 6th grade (thanks, Ben!).

I spent a whole year just learning how to push and ollie on the carpet. Basic stuff: kick turn, manual around, nose stalls on curbs, drop in on quarters etc. Once I started to Ollie while moving it was all on from there. Then I learned a new trick, then another then another.

In the 7th grade, I started skating with other kids in my class: Sean O’Brian, Austin Adams, Ari Markle, and David Pink. We were doing ollies over things, board slides, 50-50’s, kickflips, ollie 4 stairs etc. Austin and David left my school, but I continued to hang out and skate with them outside of school. I would say around 8th grade I kinda got a “skate crew” together. I was skating with my friend Austin Adams and David Pink mostly. Austin started skating with this kid from his neighborhood, Jake Ward. I met this kid a grade ahead of me at my school named Oscar Herbas. He, by coincidence, lived down the street from me as well. I started skating with him more regularly since we went to school together and lived down the street. Austin and Jake lived down the street so they would skate together after school more, but on the weekends we would all meet up.

We would meet up mostly on the weekends, but would also try to make it over to each other’s houses during the week. I would get over to Austin’s house sometimes during the week and see what new tricks he had learned on his box or we would call each other on the phone and tell each other what new trick we had done or what new trick Oscar had done or Jake or what new spot we had found. I had a quarter pipe at my house and a rail and a cool box with two levels, one lower and one higher like a picnic table seat, a bank ramp, and a launch ramp.

Austin had a bowl quarter at his house and a box and a rail and a launch ramp. We all had something at our house either a box or a rail or something. We would skate schools around our neighborhoods, churches, shopping centers, downtown, anything we could find; just trying to find new spots and learn new tricks. On the weekends we would try to skate downtown a lot. We would go to the famous rooftop spot. We would see Jeremy Holmes there, Aaron Baugh, Josh Hurley, Elijah Moore, Aaron Dupree, and Jeremy Blakemore. These were the older local guys we looked up to. We would occasionally meet up with Aaron Baugh and Josh Hurley and go skate.

Once we had cars it became a lot easier to go skate together and wouldn’t depend on our parents for rides, it also made it a lot easier to look for spots and crash at each other’s houses on the weekends, and do things we weren’t suppose to be doing haha. Then another group of kids Jake knew came into the picture, Kerry Armstrong, Miles Becken, Shane Flynn, Anthony Molino, and Stephen Bishop. David as well had some new guys he was skating with, Eduardo Picasso, Ryan Leahy, Ian Colwell. I also met through David Pink a kid named Patrick Biffle who would have a part in the first Texalona and help make the art/animations for the videos. I was mediocre. I would have fun and learn tricks. I definitely progressed, but if I compare us to the guys I have filmed with we were nowhere close to that kind of level but also this was 15 years ago and the level wasn’t quite as high as today.

Now-a-days skateboarding is crazy and kids progress so much faster then when we were kids. We had different types of skaters in our crew. David skated big stuff, Oscar skated everything extremely well, Jake and Austin were super tech with good style, Kerry did weird flip tricks, etc.

Our skate crew was called M.S.A. Midway Skate Alliance. The midway comes from that being the major street near all of us. We all hung out together and skated together all the time and at the age of 16 and 17 came all the other stuff that came along with that age, lots of partying haha. Naturally like with most kids as they get to be 18, a lot of us slowed down and got into other things, girls, partying, drugs, drinking, music, working etc. Partying took a big toll like it does with most people as they get into their late teens. All of my friends have stopped skating or being involved with skating except Patrick and I.

When I was 19 I first went to Spain and came back to the states but then a year or so later when back again to study and then came back again and went back with a one-way ticket as they say. I kept being involved in skating and would come back and slowly all my friends would skate less and or would have quit. Life takes you into many directions and you go through many phases. Some of them got into working and girl friends, some into playing music etc. It’s funny when I look at some of them whose lifestyles have taken a complete 180 and I look at what they are into now and see how much they have changed. Through out your twenties and thirties you change a lot and drift apart too. Sometimes it’s not purposely but everybody gets into their own stuff and it makes it harder to have frequent contact or meet up frequently.
— JS
 Jordan Stanley and Dallis Thompson filming Texalona 2.

Jordan Stanley and Dallis Thompson filming Texalona 2.

Was skateboarding your motive behind getting into film?

Skateboarding was my main motive to get into film and to go to school for film. I had always been really into movies and television. I had periods or phases as a child where I watched TV non-stop. I would come home from school and just watch TV. I would hang out with friends and play video games or play sports, but I mainly wanted to watch TV and I had my shows I was really into and would always watch when they would come on. I watched lots of Nickelodeon and adult shows on Nick at Night.

I was 6-9 years old and watching all the American classics from the 60’s and 70’s, I love Lucy show, Bewitched, Taxi etc. All of the Nick at Night shows. As I got older I liked to watch movies more then TV. When it came to skateboarding I always liked to watch skate videos before skating. I still have all of my old VHS tapes at my dad’s. Watching the videos would get me hyped to skate. I always liked the editing and how it got you excited or got you to feel a certain way after watching a skate video.

I had a digital 8 camera and so did some of the other guys. We would film each other all the time when we would go out. Now that I think if it, the filming was horrible haha. I still have those tapes and have thought about capturing them but I’m afraid to see the filming and some of the stuff we were doing.

My friend Austin had some stuff put onto VHS, but I’m not sure where they are. We had a moment where we were really into CKY. I think it was right when CKY and CKY2K came out. So we wanted to do crazy stuff and be like those guys. Those VHS tapes had us doing some pretty crazy stuff along with skating. I think the crazy stuff was crazier then the skating haha.

As far as skate videos, my first skate videos I think were 411 Europe 97 and Shorty’s Fulfill The Dream. That Shorty’s video was the video that did it for us. I can’t describe how special that video is and was for us. It was way ahead of its time. The tricks are still on par with today’s skateboarding. Some other videos were Zero’s Misled youth, Thrill Of It All, Osiris’s The Storm, Birdhouse’s The End, Toy Machine’s Jump Off A Building and Welcome To Hell.
— JS
 Dallis Thompson in Texalona 2.

Dallis Thompson in Texalona 2.

How did the Texalona series come about?

When I went back to Spain with a “one way ticket” was when I really started to get into filming. I had a VX 2100 I had purchased and brought it with me and started to put a lot of effort into learning how to properly use a camera and film with it and to edit. I was around 22 years old.

I had been learning to film in Barcelona with guys I was skating with. I was going out and skating and would bring my camera too. I would skate a bit then pull it out and try to motivate the guy or guys I was with to try to film something. I was making the effort to try to use it more and more. For whatever reason all of a sudden I had this grand ambition to learn how to film well just like the clips I watched in skate videos when I was younger, and what better opportunity did I have being in one of the skate meccas of the world, Barcelona.

I was filming and skating with pretty good guys. I would say as I continued to film the level of the guys I was filming got higher and higher. I was still learning though. I started filming a lot and skating less and less.

I met Flo Marfaing and he said to come out and bring my camera. With Flo is where I really started to learn quickly. We started filming everyday. I started from there progressing very quickly. I also started going out with Enrique Lorenzo and Shadi Charbel and going out with different guys as well. I was coming to the states for periods of a month or two at a time. I was going back and forth between Spain and the US but I was mostly in Spain.

I was skating with Josh Love a lot when I was in Texas and Patrick Biffle. I was trying to come up with a name and I wanted to make a video. I was with Josh Love and Mack Dafoe and was telling them I wanted to make a video and described the concept. I think it was Mack and he just said, “Why don’t you call it Texalona?” and I immediately thought, “wow yeah that works easy”. I didn’t think twice about any other names, that was it.

A guy I knew made me the logo and then I had a logo set. Other things just kinda fell into place. I started filming A LOT and filming with all kinds of people.

I met David Sauceda, Sean Greene, Ryan Strader and more guys in Texas. I started skating and filming in other cities in Texas and meeting more and more guys, I bought a generator and lights and bit-by-bit more camera accessories. Back when I would be in Spain I was filming freelance for money and going out with more and more people but I still had my regular guys who I skated with the most, Flo, Johannes, Dave Gilbert and some others. I was filming with Johannes Bayer in Spain a lot.

We filmed two parts in the first video, his regular part and the paral-lel part. He would crash at mine for months and we would go out everyday the two of us or go out with Flo or with other guys too. I had a shared apartment dead in the center of Barcelona, crazy apartment with crazy times. I asked the guys I was filming with the most and had the best chemistry with if they wanted to have parts in the video.

In a way Texalona is a homie video still. All the guys who had parts are my friends. There were other guys I tried to film parts with but in the end it didn’t happen due to injury, unavailability or just simply not getting enough footage in the end. We filmed for Texalona 1 from around roughly 2009-2013 and Texalona 2 from around 2013 to 2016.
— JS
 Jay Kadence Choi - Hardflip in South Korea

Jay Kadence Choi - Hardflip in South Korea

For people out there that want to film their own full length skate video and host a video premiere, what advice do you have?

Advice for someone out there who wants to make a skate video and have a premiere: watch lots of skate videos haha. I think it obviously helps that you skate and have a good comprehension of the tricks and how hard it is to do them, the trick names and just how skateboarding and the skateboarding world works.

If you are out filming with guys you have to be into skating and know how it works and everything and hang with them. Imagine you bring out a film student or a DP/camera guy who has no idea about skateboard cinematography and doesn’t skate. It’s not easy to film fish eye while riding a skateboard for example. You have to get use to the weight of the camera and where to angle and center the camera and lense etc.

Skateboard filming has its do’s and don’ts with how to film and edit and it’s very artistic and has different styles and so on. For example, a skilled cinematographer who can’t ride a skateboard would have a hard time filming a line or know what’s accepted and not accepted in skateboard cinematography. It’s very hard to film skating if you aren’t a skater and don’t understand skating. If you understand skating, skate and want to start filming, start with a VX1000.

I feel starting with a VX 1000 or at least a VX of some sort it will help you understand the basics of skateboard filming. You will be learning with the classic skateboard camera, how to get close filming fisheye etc. I think it gets you a good feel for filming skating and let’s face it the cameras aren’t too expensive.

I always compare it to DJing with vinyl and not CD. VX is a nostalgic thing kinda like vinyl. Also it’s like trying to jump a few steps ahead of your self, like someone wanting to film skating and they go and buy a RED camera or an expensive 4K camera. Start with the basic and classic and if you get into it and decide you want to you can upgrade to an HD camera. It’s like not paying your dues haha. Knowing what it’s like to capture tapes, have glitches in footage, all of that. It’s like you have to put in the hard work before being promoted, you gotta work your way up.

In my opinion, the VX cameras get you a good first feel for using a camera. You should learn to use that camera inside and out and get good at it and then if you want, move up. Some people might disagree with me but whatever.

Other things would be to watch a lot of skate videos and see the different styles of filming and editing because there is so many out there. It’s pretty interesting to see all the creative styles now a days and how it’s progressed so much.

Read online and ask other people you know who film. I learned a lot from other people who filmed just giving me pointers or tips on things and you kinda figure out what works for you and doesn’t. There is a lot of trial and error when it comes to anything you do; especially when you are in an environment that isn’t based around a structured classroom environment. You aren’t in a filming skateboard 101 class, but asking people who already know is a big help.

Lots of practice. Don’t be afraid to try stuff and have fun with it. As far as premieres go, my only advice is be prepared, have it ready, test it and make sure everything works way ahead of time. Have back up plans in case something goes wrong and always try to do it in a movie theater or somewhere with at least a good set up.

Oh and if you have DVD’s have them at the premiere to sell.

Last thoughts on full length videos: don’t make them too long. It’s your first video so you’re allowed to make it a little too long, but on your second video, shorter! Have a really good first part and last part but don’t let it get stale in the middle. You have to keep the flow going throughout the video and pick the order of skaters perfectly. The music also helps to set the tone.

To me this is very similar to a DJ set. You need to carry the mood a certain way through out the whole experience that the viewer is watching the video just like a DJ tries to provoke a specific feeling and carry the listener on a journey. The DJ knows what song to start with and what song to end the set. You should do the same with your video.

Try to have as they say “Straight killers no fillers.” A shorter but heavier video is better then a long pretty good video. Don’t mix HD and VX, it can be done well, but it’s a pain and very time consuming.
— JS
 Ricky Moore - Huge Ollie in San Pedro

Ricky Moore - Huge Ollie in San Pedro

Do you have any projects you're currently working on?

I’m currently working on Texalona 3. I don’t have anything solid yet, but I definitely have a bunch of footage. The parts haven’t really formed yet.

It will definitely have a few guys back in it from the other videos. Besides that I’m trying to work on other film projects besides skating. I just finished school and have been involved in all kinds of different genres of film while studying so now I want to get out there and get involved in different kind of projects and just see what’s up.

I’m making a small Texalona brand of boards and accessories to go along with the video and setting up a collectibles business. Working on several things at the moment. Trying to have my eggs in several baskets, as they say.
— JS

I love doing these types of interviews. I always get so much out of them; I hope you have too. You can stay connected with Jordan and follow him for updates on future projects:

 

Grab a copy of Texalona, Texalona 2, or a t-shirt by clicking below!

Check out the Texalona 2 Trailer below:

Why the Style of a Skateboarder Outweighs Their Trick Selection
 Photo Courtesy of Brian Gaberman

Photo Courtesy of Brian Gaberman

When I think of stylish skateboarding, I have a collection of skaters that come to mind. Now if you asked me about insane tricks and the biggest stuff in relation to different skaters, I could name a ton. 

I just watched the Jeff Dechesare "Wait For It" part that just dropped through Grizzly's YouTube channel and although it was some of the craziest tricks I'd seen, it didn't necessarily make me want to go skate. 

Obviously this article is opinion-based and I'm not saying anything bad about Jeff Dechesare, because he's amazing, seriously, but his part really opened up the discussion in my mind. Why do some skaters make me want to skate and some don't? It all comes down to style for me.

Take Brent Atchley for example:

His fluidity on a skateboard trumps almost anyone's style. He looks like he was born on a skateboard. His smoothness appears as if he's apart of the transition.

And then there's Levi Brown with a skate part I've probably watched a thousand times from the Element Trio video.

He could do any trick and make it the best trick I've ever seen. It appears that weaking has become second nature to him.

If we reach further back, we can find skaters like this in every generation of skateboarding. They're people who just make skateboarding look the way it should; this glorious, effortless display of control and ease.

Like the legend, Tom Penny, at the DC Embassy.

I suppose what I'm trying to get across in this article is that I (of course) respect all skateboarders as long as they're humble and they're doing it because they love it. However, some skaters just make me love it a little more. 

Honorable mentions to the list and some of my all time favorite skate styles, are below. They aren't really "honorable mentions" since they're all my favorite skaters to watch, but I think I've written so much about them in past articles that I wanted to give the guys above a spotlight.

Now that you're pumped, go skate!

Shred Social Relaunch: Here's What's New.

We're incredibly excited to announce that we are relaunching Shred Social. I could write about about the whole journey here or what are goals for the future, but I'd rather just focus on what's new and that's it. Let's dive in.

Cataloging Skate Spots 

The goal from the very beginning was always to create a massive skate map where we could catalog skate spots and share them. Originally, I was talking with app companies and we were going to get users in a social media-type platform to add spots. Quickly after exploring the idea, we found a couple apps like it out there. So why weren't they successful?

As fate would have it, I ended up crossing paths with a developer who had made an app just like this. I thought I'd pick his brain as to why the app wasn't all him and his team had hoped for. He told me the answer came in two parts.

On one side, the marketing just wasn't there. It was as simple as that. On the other side, skaters wanted a full list of spots, but it was to bothersome to stop at a spot, take a picture, write a description, and upload it. After some thought, I decided my team and I would upload spots ourselves, though in reality we can only do this in the Dallas area.

The new goal is to get an ambassador from each city around the world dedicated to marking spots. I know this may be difficult to achieve at first, but imagine an entire map dedicated to skate spots. A map you can access anywhere in the world and find a place to skate near you. 

If you'd like to be an ambassador for your city or you would like to mark spots here in Dallas where we are beginning the project, let me know by contacting us via our CONTACT PAGE.

YouTube Index

We created a YouTube Index page here on the site with 14 of the best skateboarding YouTube channels. All of the videos auto-update so every time you visit the page, the newest videos for Thrasher, LurkNYC, The Ride Channel, etc. are there, ready for your viewing pleasure.

The Shred Social Shop

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Our shop will be a little CCS-like in that we will be selling all major brands and products. Although the page will not be live until next week, the layout will be structured with "Featured Items" up top and a "Shop by Brand" index below. All of this is powered by Amazon so when you buy through us you will not only be helping support us, but the majority of your money will be going toward supporting the brand you're buying.

Things that are not so new:

 GIF courtesy of Know Your Meme

GIF courtesy of Know Your Meme

We won't get rid of the articles! We will continue to host this blog with daily videos, monthly and/or weekly S.S. Articles, and shared articles from sites we love and want to support. We often do a lot of articles on Dallas local skaters and companies, though we do branch out to mainstream skateboarding topics and companies/skaters outside of our area. The site should be fully operational in the next couple weeks. 

The team and I can't wait to bring everyone more content and grow for the love of skateboarding. If you've read all of this, thank you. Now go outside and skate!