2006: The Year in SkateboardingNov 11 2006 / Los Angeles, CA
A look back at the 2006 skate season
Lat34’s beta launch shot us straight into one of the most exciting years in skateboard history, and we’re happy to report that the state of the skate is strong:
Veteran vert guys Bucky Lasek, Bob Burnquist, and Danny Way reached higher than ever, while newer names – including Sandro Dias, Jean Postec, and Shaun White – promised to keep things interesting for the future. Ryan Sheckler, Jereme Rogers, and Nyjah Huston kept up the public face of park-style skating on the Dew Tour, Chris Cole gave it up at X Games 12, sick new parks went up all over the place, and mind-blowing new videos provided that street skating is alive and well despite the skate-stopper industry’s best efforts.
In the spirit of ringing in a new year, we tried to pick the top 10 moments in skateboarding, circa 2006, then cranked it all the way up to 11.
Winning the 2006 Transworld Skateboarding Legend Award was a nice cherry on top of the strangest career in skateboarding and a busy year in which Mark Gonzales also stomped out a spectacle of a video part for Krooked Kronichles, anchored the re-launch of the Adidas skate team and shoe line, and mounted a massive exhibition of his paintings and 1,000 hand-painted bubble-blowing Megga America Communion Priest figurines at the DPMHI Gallery in London. At the close of Krooked Kronichles, he offers the following timeless advice: “Learn new tricks. Learn harder tricks. Do ‘em faster. Do ‘em more powerful. Do ‘em more finesseful. Don’t get hurt.” Words to live by.
Happy 30th, George
Speaking of careers in skateboarding, 2006 marked the 30th anniversary of the Powell Corp and its first Quicksilver deck. George Powell joined forces with skate star Stacey Peralta in 1978, signed Alan “Ollie” Gelfand (inventor of modern skateboarding’s staple trick) to his new Bones Brigade team in 1979, and rounded it out with a couple of guys you might have heard of – Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero ring a bell? – in 1981. Need more convincing of the influence of George Powell’s vision? Consider that he had the foresight to sign fresh-faced 2006 Dew Tour champ Bucky Lasek to the Bones Brigade team sixteen years ago.
Sing, sing a Song
Want to see something ridiculously cool? Just when you thought mini-ramp skating was dead, skate innovators Daewon Song and Chris Haslam put together an utterly bizarre head-scratcher of a video part for Cheese & Crackers that is just plain silly and oddly awesome at the same time. Daewon Song might have been deserving of Thrasher Magazine’s Skater of the Year Award in any given year, but 2006 is as good as any: he also busted his super-tech style in the brand-spanking new Chris Hall video, Get Familiar. Song doesn’t sing for the likes of the Dew Tour, but that doesn’t mean he’s not cashing in: As co-owner of Almost skateboards, he takes a cut every time somebody buys a plank to collect Ryan Sheckler’s autograph.
What Would Jereme Do?
We’re still not sure what to make of the growing Christian influence in skateboarding, but there’s no arguing with Jereme Rogers when he says he feels blessed: The street skater’s neck tattoo reads “In God I Trust,” and his faith helped him find happiness and plenty of cold hard In God We Trust in 2006. Rogers piously led Team Goofy to victory over the Regular-footed heathens in the Etnies GvR contest, won the Dew Tour events in Denver and Orlando, took 2nd place after God-loving pal Ryan Sheckler for the overall Dew Cup contest, and placed fourth at X Games 12. His new flick Jereme Rogers’ Neighborhood and his first signature DVS kicks dropped this month. Oh, yeah… and he won Transworld Rookie of the Year 2006 too. Amen.
Danny Way, Megalomaniac
Jumping over the Great Wall of China is so 2005. To step it up in 2006, the super-sizing skate stuntman started things off with a record-shattering 82-foot bomb drop off the head of the giant guitar at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. His 28-foot freefall from the guitar doubled the previous freefall record, sent him hurtling down a 56-foot landing ramp, then launched him 27’ feet into dry Nevada sky. Later in the summer, Way unveiled the El Camino – a rocket grab backflip – at a Megaramp demo in Mexico, then won the Big Air event at X Games 12 with an El Camino over the 70-foot gap and a huge Christ air more than 25 feet above the lip as Christian “Rising Son” Hosoi looked on.
I’ll see your Great Wall and raise you…
Inspired by Homer Simpson’s accidental attempt at Springfield Gorge and Evel Knievel’s legendary Grand Canyon fiasco, Bob Burnquist had a trick up his sleeve when the Discovery Channel’s Stunt Junkies came calling. Packing a parachute, Burnquist dropped in from a Megaramp-type structure at the edge of the Grand Canyon, hit a rail, and gapped into the void. He nearly killed himself on an early attempt – “D’oh!” – then went back for extra takes to nail it. Also in ’06: Burnquist landed a front-flip over the Megaramp gap in Mexico, took bronze in the X Games Big Air contest, and built his very own backyard monstrosity to fuel the insanity. Back on the little old vert ramp, he also won the Panasonic Open in Louisville, took third in the overall Dew Tour competition, and took silver at X Games 12 in both the Vert and Best Trick contests.
The Big Apple Crowns Its KingWhile big dogs like the Dew Tour, X Games, and LG Action Sports Tour wrestled with how to present “street” skating contests properly, DC Shoe Co. did it right with the King of New York All Borough Skateboarding Contest. Over three weekends in September, the contest brought New York’s finest amateur skaters to the ABC ledges in Staten Island, the Tiffany Street Banks in the Bronx, Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Banks under the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Appropriately enough, the Five Borough crown went to 5boro Flow Team rider Jimmy McDonald.
- Read more on the King of New York Contest>
Days of The DeadOn October 8, New York skateboarders celebrated life and mourned the February death of skater Harold Hunter (you might have seen him in his Kids cameo or dozens of great skate vids) with a jam session at the Brooklyn Banks. Proceeds from “Legends Never Die,” a film about Hunter’s life, and from a limited edition commemorative cap released by Zoo York and New Era in his honor, will benefit Hunter’s favorite NYC charity, Stoked Mentoring. Meanwhile, skaters in York, PA are busy raising money to build the Reid Menzer Memorial Skatepark in honor of the young skater who was hit by a car while street luging in January, and the Tim Brauch Memorial Skatepark hosted its 8th annual contest (Benji Galloway cleaned up in the Pro division, Steve Caballero took the Grandmasters, and Holly Lyons won the Girls gig).
YouTube Redefines the Sponsor-Me VideoRichie Jackson was born in New Zealand and defected to Australia, but YouTube blew the lid off his undercover-down-under thing when his clip from the Death Skateboards video Escape from Boredom went viral – 45,190 views as of the last time we partook of the pleasure. You’ll think you’re on psychedelics when you see some of the brain-tweaking stuff this long-haired hippie breaks out, including an opening riff on Natas Kaupas’ famous Streets of Fire hydrant spin, some monstrous stair gaps, wallies out the wazoo, and the escalator nose/tail slide that inspired everyone who saw it to forward it to somebody else. Some diligent web surfer at Pig Wheels got the message: They picked him up as a team rider ASAP.
Welcome to the Concrete JungleIf you watched some skateboarding contests on TV this summer and thought the park courses and vert ramps paled in comparison to that sick new concrete park in your suburb, you weren’t alone. The best in roundwall skating went down all over the world this summer at the Pro-Tec Pool Party, Tim Brauch Memorial, and Etnies Bowl Jam in California; the Quiksilver Bowl Bash in Sweden; the Etnies Bowl Riders contest in Austria; the Oregon Trifecta, and the Kronik Energy Desert Dog Bowl Bash in Arizona (to say nothing of what the kids next door are doing to that cradle). Here at Lat34, we try not to make our bias for roundwall skating eclipse our love of skateboarding in all its forms, so we’d like to give it up to Benji Galloway for entering just about every major bowl, street, and vert contest of the summer (and winning a few to boot) and showing us all how to do it up right. Hint: the moustache helps.
Sheckler Takes Lat34 to the BankWhen Ryan Sheckler noticed Lat34 photographer Greg Weatherall shooting like mad during a practice session at the PlayStation Pro Skate Park course in Orlando, he had to ask: “Who are you shooting for?” Sheckler was happy with his answer. “Lat34? Thanks, man. I’m all over that site!” If hopping on the Sheckler Show bandwagon is a crime, then we are guilty as charged. Who can resist? Despite massive amounts of hype (our own included) surrounding the Megaramp, Shaun White, and 11 year-old newcomer Nyjah Huston, Sheckler never lost his shine in 2006. Dew Tour wins in Louisville, Portland, and San Jose? Check. Overall Dew Cup winner for the second year in a row? Check. Team Regular MVP at Etnies GvR? Check. New signature Etnies shoe and a new Almost deck? Check. Started filming this month for a new show on MTV? Check. Responsible for many, many young ladies somehow finding their way to Lat34.com? You bet.
- Find out why... Life is Good When You are Ryan Sheckler>
– Colin Bane