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2014 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Project Re-Ride
On Go Skateboarding Day 2013, we gave 15 skateboards to underprivileged kids in the Windsor area.  We are already building boards for 2014, so any donations are helpful.

You can always help finish a board by donating used equipment or sponsoring the purchase of a new component.  email us through the contact link to help put another underprivileged kid on a skateboard.
Here are our current needs for 2014
13 Decks
5 sets of trucks
7 sets of wheels
11 sets of bearings.
Workshop Wishlist
Bearing press ($70-$80)

 

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Saturday
May102014

Game of S.K.A.T.E League Strategy (one guy's opinion)

I have not been skating all that long, and I certainly don't have the credentials to speak definitively on the game of SKATE.  By I do credit myself with being a fairly intelligent adult and an above average strategist in general.  So on this, the morning of game #1 of the Game of SKATE League, I have a few thoughts on playing, winning and losing.

Playing: While I don't like those kids that only ever want to play SKATE and nothing else, I'd like to live in a world where everyone plays SKATE.  I started playing SKATE when I had shuvs only half the time, fakie ollies (some would not call it a valid trick for SKATE) and no hope in hell of learning anything switch or nollie (I'm an old beginner, remember?).  But in playing SKATE, I have developed a frame of mind that has to (under some pressure) try to figure out how that last trick works.  People have even taken time during or after games to help me try to learn it, which fosters social ties and strengthens the skateboarding community.  It has helped me learn more flat ground tricks than I ever thought I would.

Also, there is something to be said about having a little bit of pressure on you from the outside.  No one wants to lose.  External pressure can be a great motivator, or maybe it shuts you down, but in a friendly game it shouldn't.  All I know is that I have landed exactly 2 fakie big spins at this point in my ife, both in games of SKATE.  Also, the only game of SKATE I have ever won was T to T, both of us completely out of tricks, and I landed my FIRST nollie front shuv ever.  

Losing:  One of the best things about SKATE is that it is just a game, and I have never really seen anyone super bummed or pissed that they lost (okay, once).  I think that is pretty rare.  This is a general characteristic of any skateboarding competition.  Everyone is just hyped to see good skating and some new tricks.  You don't see fans cheering against each other, although they do cheer for their homies.  If the other guy lands a double dolphin flip, everyone is gonna freak and cheer.

Winning: First off, a disclaimer.  Use whatever strategy works for you.  If you want to keep your homies, don't open with nollie inward heels.  Think of the tricks you have, not from simple to complex, but in terms of your percentage of consistencey.  Start with locked tricks.  As a reference, for this discussion, being "on lock" means 100%.  Not 90%, but 100%.  You can see this in the BATB to an extent.  In fact, there are tricks that are so consistent for the pros, that they don't use them at all (back shuv, nollie shuv - which BTW are part of my first 5).

Play a consistent game.  Do the tricks you are most likely to land.  You want to stay in control and let little Billy make mistakes.  When you get them to T, well, that is another story.

Playing SKATE at 'T': When you get your opponent to 'T', what you do next depends on the game you are playing.  If it is a casual game against your homies, most people will pull out their double doplhin reverts that they have landed twice in the last year.  That's fine.  Another thing is to do tricks you know your buddy can do but is still learning.  This actually helps them as a skater.  These days I request fakie big spins if they have it when I am at T.

However, in an organized competition, where there is a more focussed goal to win, I think you should continue to run through your trick list purely sorted by your consistency (most to least).

In a couple of hours from now, the first game of the GOSL will get underway, and I am looking forward to seeing some very interesting stuff.  I know a guy who can't make it today who has a bucket full of shuv / sex change variations.  Another absent buddy has every big spin varient as easy as you can put on pants.

What are you gonna bring?

 

Saturday
Apr192014

ECS Interview With Mike Mo Capaldi

Mike Mo is one fo the few pro skaters that I have ever met.  Being at the Berrics last summer, I got to watch Mike skate with Mikey Taylor and Garret Hill.  I saw the same thing I have always seen in videos of Mike Mo.  He was having a a lot of fun and everything he did looked looked clean and stylish.  I was super hyped to get this interview.  I hope you like it.

ECS - So much of modern skateboarding is non-competitive (hanging out with friends, shooting videos, having a good session).  Why do you think the game of SKATE has become such a popular competition among kids today?

MMC - Its popular because its the most simple contest you can do. You don't need obstacles or people that judge. its very easy to get the game started. And a good head to head battle is always fun to watch.

ECS - How competitive was  your mindset in the early rounds of any of the BATB?

MMC - I never took it very serious, don't get me wrong I didn't wanna lose but I wasn't training everyday for it or something you know? I just wanna go out there and skate good, thats usually my goal.

ECS - Not counting this year, which skater surprised you the most in BATB ?  (in general or a specific match)

MMC - When I played Shane (O'NEIL) about 2 years ago, that probably was the craziest game I've ever had to play. He is the best skater ever, he lands everything.

ECS - You have been a fixture in the game of SKATE scene at the Berrics since the start.  What has it meant to you to win the very first BATB?

MMC - I was stoked to win the first one, that one was huge! I would love to win another one thoUGH! The dudes are just so damn good in this one!

ECS - Did they ever get around to having a trophy built for your big win?

MMC - No i never got a trophy! The only contest i ever won, I never got a first place trophy.

ECS - Do you go into BATB matches with a particular starting set?  If so, what are your first 8 these days?

MMC - Yeah I got a set game plan, whenever i break out of the game plan I usually lose. I just run thru all the basics, then if gets to the point to do the weird tricks then I'll start doing those... you can't come out swinging with the weird tricks, thats just disrespectful I think.

ECS - When was the last time you practiced a specific trick to prepare for a specific opponent?  

MMC  - I never usually practice the other dudes tricks, I just try to work on my own to get them more consistent... Think about it, if its your turn and you don't miss, your'e gonna win.

ECS - What is/was your initial prediction for BATB 7, Pros or Joes?

MMC - Shit, I have no idea... I honestly think Sewa is gonna win the whole thing, so pros.

ECS - In the past you have talked about the kickflip challenge you have set for  yourself.  What is the longest you have gone without missing a flatground kickflip?  Also, as of today, when was the last time you missed one?

MMC - I've went till August once, that was probably 4 years ago. This year I haven't missed one yet and we are in April. Actually, funny enough, I missed my first kick flip last year on June 1st which actually happened to be the BATB6 finals haha. That ruined my whole day.

ECS - What is the backstory on your first skateboard?

MMC - My brother started skating and i would always copy everything he did. So I got my first board from CCS and it was a Flame Boy and Wet Willy blowing up the world slick board, Spitfire wheels, lucky bearings, black magic grip, and destructo trucks.

ECS - What is the backstory on your obsession with Batman?

MMC - Batman is the best, I just like that its so dark and so damn dedicated to what he loves. I know its a fictional character but its pretty inspirational to me. Plus, black everything is the way to go... and the villains are the best, joker, penguin, freeze, riddler, all those guys are sick. Joker is the all-time best villain for sure.

ECS - XBOX, Playstation or PC?

MMC - Playstation 4!

 

ECS - When was the last time you rage-quit a video game?  What game?

MMC - Probably back in my COD days... i really like playing story modes on games, so they don't piss me off as much. When you play online when people thats when the games get really frustrating.

ECS - Not counting yourself, who has the best flatground game on GIRL?

MMC - Cory if he cared.... Koston if he cared... 

ECS - POOF - Evil Curse:  you can only do one trick for the rest of your life; what is it?

MMC - Switch backside flip!

ECS - POOF - Evil Curse:  You have to give up street skating and have to choose between:

a)  BMX

b)  Scooter

c)  Working at Target

d)  City Bus Driver

MMC - Work at Target, Target is sick!

ECS - Have you ever skated in Canada?  If so what is your favorite spot / city?

MMC - I've barley skated in Canada actually, one of the only times is on that Toronto tour back in 2006. I barley even remember all the way back then! I gotta go out there soon!

ECS - What percentage of the time do you skate with music (iPod)?

MMC - 100% never

ECS - Last song you played on your iPod?

MMC - Beyonce - Drunk in Love

ECS - Last time you listened to Money Grabber?

MMC - When pretty sweet came out on iTunes

ECS - Who is the most underrated am today?

MMC - Honestly have no idea. I don't even know who's am or pro anymore. Davis Torgerson?

ECS - When and with whom is your next video part going to come out?

MMC - Good question! We will see!

ECS - What is your current ride?

MMC - 8 Inch Girl Board

- Guy mariano Royals (with the allen key king pin)

- Mob Grip

- Spitfire F4 Wheels

- Bones Swiss Bearing

- Diamond hardware

 

END TRANSMISSION


 

Saturday
Apr052014

ECS Interview With Morgan Smith

Morgan Smith, is Canadian, Skates for Blind and was the Winner of BATB 4 (U.S. vs THEM).  While on tour in Europe, Morgan was cool enough to answer some questions by email...

-------

ECS:  So much of modern skateboarding is non-competitive (hanging out with friends, shooting videos, having a good session).  Why do you think the game of SKATE has become such a popular competition among kids today?

MS:  I think the new generation of younger kids like the competition involved with a game of skate.  They like being able to say they're better than someone else if they win a game. It's an easy ,straight forward way for them to compare themselves to their friends.

ECS:   How competitive was your mindset in the BATB 4 in the early rounds?

MS:  It wasn't really competitive in the sense like I wanted to beat everyone, but I knew it was a good chance for me to get some exposure.  Plus I was really surprised and thankful that they invited me, so I wanted to put forth a good effort.

ECS:  Which skater surprised you the most in BATB 4?  (in general or a specific match)

MS:  Hard to say, it was a couple years ago and I don't remember every match trick for trick.  PJ still surprises me, he can literally do anything.

 

ECS:  On the topic of the BATB 4 championship:

a.  How intense was it competing in a Canada / US final on their turf, on Canada Day?

 

MS:  Canada day didn't make it anymore intense than it already was, I thought it was a wild coincidence for sure though.  Once I get to a contest like that and warm up, it's all good.  Everyone's skating, tons of friends, it's always fun.  Plus my girlfriend was there so that gave it a mellower dynamic, she's just always positive and excited.

b.  In what was arguably the most epic game of SKATE in BATB history, against one of the strongest flatground skaters today, you skunked PJ Ladd.  What stands out in your memory about that game?

MS:  It honestly just happened so fast and I was so tired, it's hard to remember that much.  We just played skate....and I had played PJ a bunch of times before that game, so we knew how each other liked to play, so we kinda just went through the motions, like a chess game or something haha. He knows what tricks I can't do but we still had to do all the basics.

ECS:  Did you have a specific game plan in any of your BATB 4 matches?  (starting tricks, or finishing tricks?)

MS:  Like I said, I always like the basics.  It gets you both warmed up and you can actually play a fair game. Makes it more legit then just going for crazy tech tricks right off the bat.

ECS:  This year the BATB is pros vs joes.  Any prediction on which side will win?

MS:  Joes...

ECS:   Who was the last person you played SKATE with?

MS:  Charles deschamps

ECS:  Who was the last person you beat in a game of SKATE?

MS:  Charles, but he wasn't trying.

ECS:  Not counting yourself, who has the best flatground game on BLIND?

MS:  Sewa , insanely good.

ECS:  POOF - Evil Curse:  you can only do one trick for the rest of your life; what is it?

MS:  Nollie Frontside Flips

ECS:  POOF - Evil Curse:  You have to give up street skating and have to choose between:

a)  BMX

b)  Scooter

c)  Working at Walmart

d)  Chartered Accountancy

MS:  Harsh....BMX, without the tricks though.

ECS:  What is your favourite Toronto area skatepark?

MS:  Dunbat , it's a drained hockey rink with a bunch of boxes, rails & mannys.  It's got smooth ground and its right by my house, lights until 11pm too.

ECS:  Growing up as a skater in the Canada, how and where did you skate during the winter months?

MS:  I was lucky to have a couple different indoor parks to skate over the years. Shred Central located in downtown Toronto was always a go-to for winter. Thanks to Gymbo and Mike Essner for keeping it going for so long.  It had to get torn down to make way for condos though.

Commonground skatepark in Vaughn was around for a couple years. It was a huge space and run by a good friend of mine, Glen Field, a real skater and good dude. The rent was just too steep to last, but it had a good run. Thanks Glen.

Now more recently the "Skate loft" has opened up in Toronto's east end, run by a true skater and family man "Evey".

Owning an indoor park is tricky in Canada, for 6 winter months business is great.  But for 6 summer months it's literally dead,  hard to keep consistent cash flow.

ECS:  Have you ever skated in Windsor or the surrounding area (Canadian side)?  If so, do you remember where?

MS:  Yeah for sure, my parents actually just moved to Windsor to buy a bigger house and semi retire.  So i've visited a bunch of times and met up with Jamie Jeffery, Jeff Srnec and all the guys.  They've pretty much shown me all the spots, it's a great scene, I'm always stoked to visit.

ECS:  You are or were just in Europe.  What has been the coolest place to skate?

MS:  The trip isn't done yet, but as of right now though,  Lisbon, Portugal - really nice locals and amazing white granite everywhere.

ECS:  What has been coolest non-skateboarding thing you have done on the trip?

MS:  We climbed a mountain at park guell in Barcelona , that was cool for sure.  We rode bikes around Porto, Portugal, that was super fun.  I like to just wander around in every city we go to, take some photos and just see it for myself, that's always my favorite non skate activity.

ECS:  When and with who is your next video part going to come out?

MS:  A couple projects on the go for sure...

-Blind is doing a new video for Xmas 2015, so saving for that.  

-Jordan Moss is filming/editing his own video so hoping to have a good amount of stuff in there.

-Bluetile lounge skate shop will be doing a project for sure, so I'll be workin on that with them.

-The web is always needing footage now, so for sure some web clips will surface as well at some point.

ECS:  What is your current ride?

MS: Deck- blind 8.0

Trucks- venture 5.2 highs

Wheels- SML 51mms

Bearings- whatever

Grip- Timber shop Grip , my friend Phil song owns a shop in South Korea .

Hardware- Leftover co.


 

Thursday
Mar062014

ECS Interview with Steve Berra

In order to try to get some of the local kids Hyped, I am trying to get some email interviews with people associated with the Battle at the Berrics, which is the inspiration for the Game of SKATE League.  Right out of the gate I was able to do an email interview with Steve Berra, founder of the Berrics.  Here it is...

 

ECS:  So much of modern skateboarding is noncompetitive (hanging out with friends, shooting videos, having a good session).  Why do you think the game of SKATE has become such a popular competition among kids today? 

SB: I think there are two major reasons.

1)  We all have a competitive nature in us. Because life in and of itself is a game, we tend to, as human beings, make games of everything we do.  Every time my daughter and I go to the movies we park in the same place and take the same set of stairs up to the box office and every single time we race up the stairs, it's just something we do to make life more fun. I think if people aren't playing some sort of game, they're not living. And I think that goes with the game if SKATE. 

2) Everyone can play it and it's scaleable to the individual's skill level. If you and your friend can both do kickflips and shuvits and a few other tricks, you both can play and it can be somewhat fair. And as you progress and profess, the games get better. And the games help with your progression too.  It's fun.  It builds relationships. 

ECS:  How early on in the development of The Berrics did you know you wanted to do a pro game of SKATE? 

SB:  It happened within the first year.  It actually came about because of Johnny Romano who sadly passes away shortly after it got started.  He was the real inspiration for it. He was in the hospital, very ill,  and Jim Thiebaud hit me up and asked me if we would do something cool for Johnny, a shout out, anything, to list his spirits. So... I thought about it and Eric and Mo were at the park and I just came up with the idea that they play a game of SKATE. So what we did was we had them both record a greeting to Johnny that if they win they'll get Johnny to the park. Eric and Mo played a real game of SKATE and Eric beat him and so we put Eric's part of inviting Johnny to the park for his win. It was a real game, not staged, and Eric truly won. Sadly, Johnny never got to come to the park. That's something that has made me really sad over the years. After we saw the response to what we did, we thought we should probably do something like March madness but with SKATE. So we did. And come to think of it, I'm going to dedicate this BATB 7 to Johnny Romano.  Thank you for asking me this question because I needed to be reminded as to how it all started and why and how special it is. 


ECS:  The Berrics rules for BATB have become the most common variation of the game;  a kind of common language among skaters.  How do you feel about that? 

SB:   Ya know, that feels pretty good. I wrote those rules out in my notebook (that I think I still have) in about 10 mins and then we printed em up and they just became a thing.

ECS:  Which of the BATB seasons has been the most exciting for you personally? 

SB:  Ya know, they've all be really exciting to me. Sometimes the first rounds aren't that great because either some guys are nervous and don't perform well or they're too cool and don't want to act like they're trying too hard. But it don't think anything will replace the feeling I had after the first BATB. Only because it was the first event I had ever been to for skateboarding where I genuinely felt like it was fun. No drunk or stoned idiots turning it into something it isn't supposed to be. No fights. No jerks in the crowd. It was invite only, and it was just so incredible. And every year, every finals since has felt the same but that first year felt monumental because it was something I always wanted to experience. I don't do well when drugs and alcohol enter the scene. I don't do and never have done either of them so I always felt out of place at skate events over the years. This was just about the skaters and the fans and the fun. 

ECS:  Which BATB match (any year) has been your favorite and why? 

SB:  I really enjoyed P-Rod and PJ (Ladd) this past year. Paul is one of my all time favorite people on earth so I'm always rooting for him and I just admire his ability so much. 

ECS:  Which skater has surprised you the most in BATB?  (in general or a specific match) 

SB:  Joey Busenitz and his game against Cole. Trent McClung and his game against PJ Ladd. Moose against PJ Ladd. Those were some of the most epic battles. And anything Mo does because he's so stylish. Those first years when he would do a trick at the old park, the ground would shake. That is no lie. He has so much power. 

ECS:  Until this year, BATB has been pros only.  Once you know what your theme is, how do you select the pros? 

SB:  We just kind of look at people's flat ground game. We look at their availability and their desire to participate. Most guys are up for it. Some aren't.  Some are too cool but some are just genuinely nervous because they know A LOT of people are going to be watching them. 

ECS:  How hard is scheduling matches, given everyone’s location and personal schedule? 

SB:  It is pretty damn hard. The first BATB we just got people we knew and loved in LA or close to LA and who would come and do it. Now there are people from all over the world. It's getting a bit crazy. 

ECS:  As far as you know, do most of the BATB skaters come in with a game plan like a set of their first 5-8 tricks or a special weapon for when they get to T?  (or do most just wing it?)

SB:  I think the ones who win have a game plan and the ones who get skunked do not. 

ECS:  Of the BATB skaters so far, who takes it the most seriously as a competition? (focus and competitive nature) 

SB:  The winners do. All of them. Some of the losers too, but the winners take it seriously.  And that, I appreciate. I love PJ's focus and Paul's competitive side. It's a great thing to watch. These guys are true technicians and just incredibly talented people. 

ECS:  Of the BATB skaters so far, who has been most relaxed, easy going about the thing?  (especially in the later rounds) 

SB:  Hmmm... Good question. I'd say Cole is always relaxed.  Sometimes to his detriment.  Mo is relaxed or appears so. 

ECS: What is your prediction for this year based on what you have seen so far?  Pro or Joe? 

SB:  There are some damn good Joes. Dams good. Chris chann. Cody Cepeda. Spencer brown. Gavin Nolan, and Christian Vanella. He was actually the guy who started it all. He sent me a video of his flatgrpind and I just kind of thought to myself, there has got to be more guys like this, and it's also something people had been requesting so it became the theme. I'm hoping some of these guys give good shows and that this is a real jump off point for them.  These guys are good. As far as the pros. It's anyone's game. Paul, Cole, Shane, and PJ of course. Luan, Moose: It's no joke out there. It's going to be really interesting. 

ECS:  Who was the last person you played SKATE with? 

SB:  Hmmm... Probably van Nguyen, one of the Brooklyn boys. And yes, I smoked him. 

Over the course of career, Steve Berra skated for Birdhouse, Foundation, Alien Workshop and DVS among other sponsors.  He is an actor, father, and along side Eric Koston, the founder of the most popular skateboarding website in the world.  www.theberrics.com

 

Tuesday
Oct292013

If It Weren't For Those Meddling Kids

Skateboarding has come a long way, but in some places it still gets a bad rap.  Some of it is earned, but it is also then applied to all skaters.  Imagine society deciding that all hockey players were violent mountains of rage because of the Donald Bashir incident.

If you google skatepark fight, you'll see some bad stuff.  If you google basket fight same thing.

Instead, put some of this food in your brain...

Rebuilding a Detroit neighbourhood, with a skatepark

Boards for Bros

 No legs?  No Problem!  AND THIS GUY IS A PROFESSIONAL!

Too old?   hahahahahahaha, oooo, that's a good one!

 Skater Mom

Why do the pros love it?