Maybe I am partial to this video because I also live in North Carolina where it was filmed but for the latest installment of Simply Stoked on the Skating I wanted to share a video that makes me froth every time I watch it. Will Seal of Comet Skateboards takes the path of least resistance and provides an effortless decent down a NC gem. This video originally aired on Skate House Media back in 2012 so I figured it was time to brush the dust off this classic and re-air the footage. Sit back and enjoy Will's escape to freedom and give some thought as to how you can achieve the same freedom in your own board related endeavors!
In a new digital age where information is being spread by way of media outlets that are on the breaking age of technology, it almost seems like going about the "old fashion" way and conveying thoughts through written means would have been phased out by now but alas, it clings on. Written media will always be lurking around poking its head out amongst the video recaps and raw runs that so often are flooding our craniums. Written articles will always continue to linger due to the power it possesses and the descriptive capabilities reached when words are used to paint the picture. Here at Beauty Out of Babylon, we love well composed articles or write ups pertaining to skateboarding and the culture there of and feel there is a certain aspect captured through the use of words to describe thoughts, feelings, and emotions that is amiss in more modern forms of media. Words capture the person behind the action and allow the audience to view a panoramic view of the situation and the cast unfolding it.
I recently stumbled across an article posted by Concrete Wave Magazine's facebook page written by Kevin Eason titled "Why I love skateboarding", so naturally I was intrigued. What I found upon clicking the blue hyperlink was the compilation of thoughts and emotions akin to those felt in my own heart about skateboarding. There are a thousand ways to say the same thing and I was stoked to dive into Kevin's world and have it explained in someone else s words why I love this life that skateboarding has given me. I wanted to share this inspiring piece with you in hopes that it will help put into words that describable feeling that keeps us coming back every time!
JAH Bless and get out to your local shops and say whats up! They are skaters just like you, give them some love and support.
Beauty out of Babylon is a site dedicated to bringing skateboarding of all disciplines to the forefront to display the art that has come to captivate all who are reading this. You are here because of the intense love you feel for this way of life we have all chosen to lead. That being said, it is way over due to have a section dedicated to you, the viewer. I want to see pictures and short clips of all of you shredding your local terrain and I will post some of my favorites Thursday's of every week. Send all your media to firstname.lastname@example.org or message them to me on my facebook found on the "Contact" section.
I am stoked on all of the shredding I am about to witness! JAH Bless y'all and support your local shop!
Reflection on the past is the key to a prosperous future and paying homage to those who have come before us shows a respect and knowledge of previous achievements that have set a foundation for our own endeavors in this day and age. Skateboarding is no exception from this proverb and is starting to reach a point in its progression that there is actual history behind the sport, shaped by individuals whose heart and soul were behind their art. For this weeks segment I wanted to show my own signs of gratitude to those who came before me and set in motion all that I have fallen in love with these many years later. Picking a video that embodied all of the characteristics comprising the skateboarding pioneers lead me to an oldie by a goldie, a section from the Bone's Brigades "The Search for Animal Chin" movie in which the boys proceed to demolish a spot called Wallows out on one of the islands of Hawaii.
Skateboarding is being more and more excepted by the general public everyday so I encourage you to go out and brush up on some of the history and names behind what embodies and consumes our lives so that you can help promote and shape a future that our founders would be stoked on as well.
JAH bless as always and Go Skate!
Summer is in full swing here in Southeastern North Carolina, coming off an extremely busy fourth of July weekend packed with the usual flocking tourists and the not so usual run in with hurricane Arthur. Despite the fact that the sun is out and the livin's easy, we're about to embark on a voyage of knowledge and attend the first of many courses to come in this new segment simply called: "Shreducation". This segment is specifically designed to dive into the worm hole that is skateboarding's hardware. The worm hole in question will entail a vast amount of material revolving around the key features and components of high performance skateboarding.
That being said, when the idea for this new segment came about I knew exactly which class I wanted to "teach" first and that was Bushings 101. Bushings are a key piece of hardware that often gets overlooked by many disciples of skateboarding and not seen as the fine tune tweaking tool that it is. To begin the shreducating, I believe it is important to fully understand the function and purpose of a bushing. The bottom bushing acts as the seat for the hanger to rest upon the base plate,connecting the two all the while forming a beautiful, mutualistic relationship in which they join together as a single component, sealed together by the kingpin and associated washers clamping down upon the top bushing (if washers are desired by the rider, more to come on this in a minute). These seats allow the hanger the rotate around the pivot point giving the rider the ability to turn and guide the board in any direction of their choosing. In essence this urethane doughnut is your skateboards rutter, coming in various shapes and durometers, aimed to steer your ship precisely how you want it Cap'n!
Lets start with the first of those two variables: Shapes. The shape of the bushing is very important and should reflect the discipline of riding trying to be accomplished. The two basic shapes of bushings are barrels and cones, each having their respective variations and spin offs. The shape of the bushing its self determines the range of motion the hanger is allowed to travel, thusly, cone bushings would allow a greater range of motion, i.e. more turny, than a barrel bushing due to the reduced surface area as a result of the tapered design. The hanger is offered less resistance and therefore more responsiveness is the felt by the rider during carves and tight turns. The down side to this lack of resistance offered by a cone bushing is the danger of speed wobble is increased exponentially as momentum increases. The vibrations and natural balance of the truck is very dynamic and easily affected by road conditions which is why the barrel bushing is better for dampening those vibrations out and maintaining crucial hanger stability. For a basic rule of thumb I tend to follow the suggestion that cone's are for a more surfy ride while the barrels are meant to remain stable even as the speed increases to critical rates.
The second variable to discuss is durometer. Durometer is the measure of hardness of the urethane in question. The technical process of determining the "duro" is accomplished by how far a needle is able to penetrate the urethane. This rating is a number which falls on the A scale (which is why one set of numbers on your wheels always has an "A" after it) which operates under the rules that the higher the number, the harder the duro. How duro pertains to the performance of the ride is as such: the harder the bushing, the less carvey the ride will be, the lower the number the more carvey it will be. A higher number bushing is composed of harder urethane that does not have the physical give that a softer urethane would. Therefore when the hanger encounters a bushing of a high duro during a turn it will not allow as much rotation to occur as it would when it encounters a similar bushing of a softer duro. The range of duro's offered generally runs from 78A all the way up into the upper 90A's depending on which company's product you are dealing with. Harder bushings tend to lean on the more stable side at speeds where softer urethane is more susceptible to exaggerating vibrations and imperfections of your riding surface.
My personal bushing set up out of my Bonzing Dakine model. The left is an example of a barrel bushing while the right is a cone. The barrel is an APS Chubby 90A from Rip Tide while the cone is a Venom 90a. I like to use the Rip Tide on the bottom and the Venom on top giving me a stable, yet very turnable ride
These two variables are incredibly important to establishing a dialed in set up that tailors to your own individual desires and personal stylistic approach taken when you ride your skateboard, but the key to really tweaking those last few kinks out is to recognize the relationship that exists between these two different parameters and exploiting only the positive experiences offered from either while containing the negatives associated with them as well. This is accomplished again by exploring the approach to skateboarding you are going to take and acting accordingly. To combat the negative side affects of a cone shape, going up in the duro helps to stabilize the ride as the speed increases just as decreasing the duro of a barrel will offer a stable ride with a little more control laterally. The best way to figure out which bushing set up you like best is to simply go skate! Order a few sets of different shapes and duro's and go crazy! Bushings highlight perhaps the single best part about skateboarding: there is no rule book. You are able to assemble your bushings however you would like and no one can tell you otherwise. Try all different shapes and duro's until you have figured out which set up works for the art you are interested in pursuing. I have even seen guys ride without a top bushing completely while park skating (and RIP!!!) to allow for maximum turning rotation of the truck so anything is possible!
The point of charging the topic of bushing's first was to try and get skaters out of the mindset that the only way to adjust the turning capabilities and performance of their ride is by simply tightening or loosening the kingpin nut. While this is can be done with limited success, the individual is missing out on much of the riding capabilities the machine yet has to offer. Bushings are a great cheap way to mix up your skating and enjoy different aspects of the art that we love. Thanks for letting me Shreducate you today and as always, get out, go skate! Remember knowledge is power.
JAH Bless and support your local skate shops
We're back at it again bringing you another moving picture show depicting skateboarding at its raddest! For this week's clip I thought I would give a shout out to all my homies out in San Fransisco working hard to bring you the highest quality sleds available on the market. I am talking about none other then the boys and girls out at California Bonzing skateboards! If you don't know now you know...Bonzing is the bee's knees when it comes to skate decks. This group of skaters is passionate about their art and make sure to share that passion with you by producing boards for ANY riding style and by giving back to their local community and skate scene. Support your fellow skaters and make sure to check these guys out! And beyond all of this, they are a Certified B Corp as well!
Enjoy this mash up of clips promoting a moto i often cite in my own life, Bonz or Die!
Far to often in today's world we are told what to do and how to do it with limitations and rules implemented by governments, teachers, boss's, parents, police officers.... the list goes on and on. To many aspects of our lives have become decided for us and to many black outlines have been drawn around how we spend our time day to day. This mentality has been instilled in our minds since a very young age. Creativity is never encouraged in preschools but rather pre-drawn pictures are handed out and predetermined colors are attributed to those objects making an environment that encourages assimilation of thinking. Time does not bring about change in this particular case either. When you grow up you are told how fast you can drive to work, when to be there, how to dress while there, and what you have to occupy your time with while there.This is not just limited to where we go but also what we encounter along the way. Our lives are filled with objects that hold but one single purpose, and we as a society accept and embrace this theory gladly. This mentality has created society that lacks creativity; they lack the ingenuity and skill of mind to see beyond the singular designation of purpose assigned to the landscapes and infrastructure which are strewn about our every day lives.
And this is why JAH made skateboarding. In my life and all of my experiences, I have not come across another tool which meta morphs it's manipulator's mind and allows them to see beyond the black lines drawn and designed to discourage individuality and artistic expression. Once an individual embraces the psychedelic philosophy that skateboarding has to offer, no longer is that person a product of the mass mold. Once you step onto your shred sled, a ticket has been torn and the passport has been stamped to a destination completely controlled by you and is free of any influences not desired by the operator. In a word, you have arrived at true freedom.
Skateboarding is an art form unlike many out there. We as artists use a medium not tasked for this intended use. We are forced to create and make beauty out of what we are given and surrounded by in our day to day lives. This kind of thinking does not just apply to this one aspect of our complexity as a person, but contrarily manifests its self into the individuals outlook on life. No longer are they limited by the red tape administered by the man meant to advocate actions amongst the masses. This is why skateboarding is such a magical activity. Yes there is nothing on this planet that compares to the feeling of whistling down a hill or seshing your favorite local spot, but I believe the real reason skateboarding possess the healing properties that it does it because it links the physical and the mental aspects together in such an undeniable and perfect way. In order to experience the physical, you first must create and establish the maneuver or line in your mental.
By a lot society's standards we are considered adrenaline junkies or underachievers in most part due to what was described earlier, our lack of subscription to the "norm". I take this and wear it like a badge of honor knowing that every single day I am going against the grain and looking to reveal the inner visions of what I really see when I see that driveway or drainage ditch. I love exercising my brain and "mind skating" every feature I pass driving down the road, knowing that one day I will have the time to stop and make that mental trip, a physical reality.
Never limit your self in any endeavor that you come across in this life but rather leave your shred goggles on when dealing with them and who knows, maybe the best way out of the box is just think about how to ollie out of it. JAH Bless and Go Skate!
Got out to the skate park in Carolina Beach with some of the boys to hit a few lines and enjoy the North Carolina summer sun. We scored an empty park on which to sesh and progress. Some of the action was captured digitally by Scott Chapman and is here in a raw format to wet your wiggleboardin whistle.
Welcome back to another edition of Simply Stoked on the Skating! For my second installment of this section I choose a choice clip from Tactics Downhill. Their coverage of the recent Sante Fe Skate School's All Around Challenge shows the unique street freestyle and boarder cross courses that challenged all that attempted them. Then some of the top skating on the planet was on display in the infamous arroyos and is captured on film for all to witness right here, and right now. And if you could even want any more action there is some RAD footie of some runs taken along the way to The Land of Enchantment. I hope this visual aid will spark a stoke fire that cannot be put out with out the use of a skateboard. JAH Bless y'all and shred on!