Skater Men | Going pro with Ultimate Phil

Phil with an axe looking seriousMeet Phil. Phil is a real man who skates. Besides being a father, husband, music-maker and entrepreneur, Phil also works hard at the local hardware store. There he trades in traditionally manly things, such as tools, nuts and bolts. Hard things. When we started working on this short piece Phil was 37, and he was coming to terms with the stark realization that it was probably his last chance in life to finally kickstart his dream career as a world-renowned professional skateboarder. Now Phil’s 40, and he runs a small, independent, board brand — Fixer Skateboards.
The thing is, if at the age of 37 Phil had followed the herd and pursued the standard pro path, riding for a bigger brand, like Girl, it would have been too obvious, and even worse than that it would have certainly oppressed his creativity. We do well to remember that the biological clock stops ticking for no living being and not a millisecond can be wasted executing someone else’s vision. So Phil didn’t pursue a big brand endorsement, he got a job at the hardware store, and now thanks to its modest size, running his Fixer brand on the side really allows Phil the artistic space he needs to continue to grow and contribute to the culture as a genuine devoted dreamer of dreams, and a formidable professional skater man.

Stalefish 101 with Fernando

Fernando Bramsmark peaks out with a big stalefish on the sea walls at the Barcelona Forum
Big fish.
I love working with the best humans who ever rolled on the surface of the earth. For me Columbian-born Swede, Fernando Bramsmark, easily falls into that category.
Not too long ago we put together this little video piece all about the grab we know today as the stalefish. We were in Barcelona and while we were there we sent a message to Lance Mountain asking him why this perfectly good-looking grab got named after something so unpleasant. Here’s what he sent back: “Summer camp, Sweden, 1985, Tony [Hawk] did them. Lunch was served in aluminum containers. Once a week we would have this bad fish. Tony and I were calling it stalefish with [many] bones and we’d go eat at McDonald’s. A British guy asked Tony if the trick he did was a Stalefish with [Many] Bones. It stuck. Tony did backside ones too. Gonz, I think, got the first photo two years later that popularized it. And he did the classic fold-down knee.” So there you have it, despite how utterly insane, doomed and incomprehensible the world might currently appear to be, we can take comfort in the fact that both Fernando and the stalefish have Swedish roots in common.


Young gull on the beach
Stale fish preferred

Post Script:

I updated a text glitch above, from ‘no’ to ‘many’. If you need more stalefish intel then take a breath and enter Mackenzie Eisenhour’s stalefish wormhole.

3 Years Deep: Travel, Truth and Lies with the Little Man

One of the perks of parenthood is lying to your kid.

“Dada! What’s that?” Ivor asks, straining in his seat to get a better view of the wood mill, a huge plume of white vapor billowing skyward from its chimney stack.

“That, Ivor…is a cloud factory!”

Cloudscape from plane window
Above the clouds…
A thin layer of cloud separates the mottled green brown earth and the blue sky.
Between the clouds…
A view of the central highlands as we make our approach towards Inverness airport
Below the clouds…
A view of a mill with a plume of white vapor billowing out of a chimney. If you were 3 you'd think it was a cloud factory.
A cloud factory.

We’re in Scotland for a rare summer visit and we’ve deplaned from KLM flight 929, Amsterdam to Inverness, on May 28th 2016. It’s Ivor’s 3rd birthday and he is psyched. But my bag is stuck in Holland and as we talk to the KLM agent about lost luggage retrieval it suddenly dawns on Ivor, his birthday present is in that bag. He throws his head backwards with the sudden, jolting, seizure-like movement of a lamb in a slaughterhouse. It’s a reaction of utter mortal fear. He emits a blood-curdling scream full of pain and suffering. Philippa struggles to hold him. During these moments he’s like an umbrella in a hurricane.
“NOOOO!” Philippa yells. “Stay calm. We’ll get the bag. You’ll get your present. One day you’ll do this freak out thing and I won’t be able to hold you. You’ll be smashed on the floor and that will NOT be good.”
I’m not sure Ivor can hear these words amid his screams and sobs.
“Waaahhhh waaaaaannnntt maaaaaaaaa peh sent!” he yells through bubbling snot and tears.
The KLM agent lady doesn’t understand what he’s saying. She can’t comprehend his garbled three-year old language. She stares. I stare. Ivor’s a mess. Think fast, how do we solve this problem? Yes, the first-world quick fix: cold hard cash! “We’ll go to Sainsbury’s and see what toys they have, ok?” This is not a lie. This is a sacred promise that must be kept. An oath. Ivor’s face begins to return to normal.
“Awwww. It’ll be ok, wee man.” says the agent lady, smiling, calm and professional. She looks at her screen, taps in a code and looks up at me. “Can you fill out this form please?”

Ivor, age three, strains to see if we are at Sainsbury's yet.
Are we at Sainsbury’s yet?
Ivor kneels on the asphalt floor of the Sainsbury's car park testing his new Blaze Monster Truck toy . It is a sunny day in Nairn.
Problem solved.
Ivor holds up three fingers to show you his new age.
Yup. 2+1. That’s right. Uh Huh.

Happiness returns…

Ivor leaps off the pier wall onto the white sand of Nairn beach.
Every moment of every day, rest assured, somewhere, somehow, someone is catching some air.
A gull wheels overhead
Meanwhile, overhead…

Things to Do in Portland When You’ve Bred. 2. Opal Creek

As we all know, having a kid marks the death, destruction & total annihilation of your old life. It is done, gone, over, finito. That’s not to say your new life after birth can’t have its bright moments. They’re just a little different from the old bright moments.
For our 13th wedding anniversary we’re trekking to Jawbone Flats in the Opal Creek Wilderness Area, to a tranquil & beautiful solar & hydro powered education center deep in the old growth forest of the Pacific North West. Ivor is 2 and it’s clear this is not the wedding anniversary trip of 5 years ago. This trip is altogether more…midlife. The crew: Philippa, Ivor, myself and Jennifer, the Mother-in-Law. Off we go.


Thumbs down from Ivor.




Old growth all around us.


Back in the day there were mining and logging operations down this way. They dragged a load of heavy gear down. These cogs are apparently from the USS Oregon.


This old steam engine powered the saw mill maybe.




The storage shed’s not looking too bad. A dab of paint, it could be quite lovely.



Here we are. Electrics powered by solar and hydro. No internet for guests unless it’s a life-threatening emergency. Set phasers to airplane mode.


Crank start.




Warhol fans.



It’s important to always travel with these essential survival items known as Monster Trucks.


I call this one Killah Bee. Ivor calls it Dragon Fly. We’re from different eras.








Raft racing with a small log that looks like a hot dog bun.


Old rusty stuff everywhere.


Cabin 7. Very nice.



Off to Opal Pool. It seems to be this way.



Hydro outflow.


Old Pelton Wheel.








Always try to remain as it suggests.


Heavy traffic.






The creek.



So it goes.







The boy.



The chocolate thief.

P1100345Distracted by cartography.



Things to do with no internet.


As mentioned, the cabin is wonderful.





Heading home.


Wherever you go, skateboarding is with you. Random Toy Machine art, spotted in the wilderness.


The final meltdown.


Can’t say it’ll get any easier, little man.

Cycling Shorts | 1 | Saw Blade

I keep a keen eye on worktrucks & job sites when I’m riding. That’s mainly because of the woman who got decapitated. Sad story. She was just minding her business, walking to work, or the shops or wherever, when she strolled by a construction site & bzzzzsssswhoosh! A saw blade came flying from where they were cutting a pipe and she was gone. Her body on the pavement, her head in the road. Ever since then I’ve made sure to maintain a healthy distrust of men in hardhats operating heavy machinery.

A Dreamcatcher in New Zealand

Andy just sent me the dreamcatcher teeshirt from the New Zealand trip, that one time when I smashed my collar bone into painful fragments. Remember? It was around 2005 and the trip was with P-Stone, O’Meally, Mumford, Shane Cross, Duffy, Chet, Strubing & Mendizibal. Mumford had recently quit Zero and was attempting to make some waves with his Legacy brand under the Dwindle umbrella. Hence Duffy, Strubing and Shane.

Staring into the empty eye-sockets of that longhorn skull the dreamcatcher prompted me to search through an old hard drive.

converse all stars and dreamcatcher tee shirt

Photos emerged featuring P-Stone rocking hair like he’d lost a bet.p stone bad hair day

Still smiling, still stoked.IMG_1642

Mendizibal blazed the pipe at New Lynn. This park is rad. Legend has it the plans were sent from the states in inches and the local contractors read them as centimeters. Full Spinal Tap Stonehenge shit. Amazing. If you watch Riding the Long White Cloud you can hear me say the same thing in real voice words.IMG_1657

Rhyss let us crash at his house and showed us around Auckland. He looks a bit shifty here but he’s a good lad, Rhyss. Hope you’re doing well, mate.IMG_1666

At the time of the trip Andy Henry was working as a post-grad in some neuroscience department of NYU. He joined in on the trip just because. Smart dude old Andy. Intelligent. Erudite.IMG_1667

If Andy hadn’t come on the trip then nobody would have put Petrol in the Diesel tank. This made him feel less smart. It made him question the value of all that time reading dumb science books.

Siphon skills remedied that. Andy drained that tank into a pair of 10-Gallon containers while Pat smoked cigs within spitting range. IMG_1734



At this other old bowl thing I can’t remember the name of Chet screeched through a few of his classic signature backside bluntslides while O’Meally lurked in the bushes.IMG_1684IMG_1689

The trusty Mountain Co-op hammock strung up behind Rhyss’s place.IMG_1699

Rowdy Roddy Piper?IMG_1723

Justin erupted from the volcano like a hot blast of lava fire.IMG_1776

What’s your secret, Justin?IMG_1799

It’s simple.IMG_1800

What’s your secret, Chet?IMG_1801IMG_1802


Other stuff happened and then I got broke off. Tried a dumb trick on an 8 foot high concrete vert ramp. In Riding the Long White Cloud Rick does multiple Miller Flips on the same ramp. When we realized my collar bone was shattered Duffy assured me it would be fine. “I’ve broken my collar bone like 20 times or something” he said. Very reassuring. Thanks for that, Pat. In due course the fragments fused and the pain subsided.IMG_1804




Raybourn’s Portland

Popped a few photos of Texas raised, Portland based, Birdhouse pro destroyer of all things skateable Ben Raybourn recently while he filmed for little day in the life documentary. Hopefully they bring a small glimmer of joy to your day.

What up?Ben opening his front door and peeking around from inside Portland, brah.P1050923 So artsy.P1050928 Mad beats.P1050938 Now featuring…Eric Swisher of the chrome ball incident Chromeball. P1050964Onward to Burnside.
P1050966Some rap video shit.
Heavy metal parking lot.
P1060011 Eggplant for lunch.fisheye shot of eggplant at burnside skatepark Hayashi in full effect.P1060055

Back at the crib scoping the scene with the bird’s eye view.P1060118 Free runners look on in disbelief. This local training center could make a good TtDiPWYB post, maybe, if there is such a thing as a good TtDiPWYB post.P1060126P1060128Not dangerous at all.
Perfectly safe.P1060132
Damn leaf.P1060131
Fully cropped the ground out of this.P1060136
Quicker down than up. P1060142
The owls are not what they seem.
security camera disguised as owl
And finally, what the internet was made for.P1060167