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San Francisco

Matt Field, kickflip. Photo: Richard Hart
Interview

Push Periodical x Bright Moments: Interview with Richard Hart & Zach Chamberlain

We were psyched to talk to two very creative minds for issue 10 of KrakMag. Richard Hart is the great SF based photographer who put together the insane work behind Push Periodical. He teamed up with VX master Zach Chamberlain to produce the Bright Moments video which we included in the SF-Tokyo KrakBox. Discover a bit more about Richard and Zach below. k.

Where are you from initially?
RH: I’m from a little village in England. It’s quiet, there are horses hanging about.
ZC: I’m an Oregonian.

When did you move in SF?
RH: About a century ago.
ZC: August 22, 2006

Why?
RH: Because of skateboarding. SF was definitely the place to be, if you skated in the mid-90’s.
ZC: SF beckoned me with its golden hills and better weather.

Are you happy in this city now? Do you plan to stay there?
RH: I’ve never intended to stay here, to be honest, but somehow it happened; and there are much worse places to accidentally end up.
ZC: I’m happier than ever in SF despite many drawbacks of the city being a technology hub. I only bring it up because that might eventually be what makes me have to move.

We could totally feel from the outside that SF really inspires you and your work. Could you tell us what’s so special about this city?
RH: There is a creative energy here, if you can tap into it. Historically, SF has always been full of artists and writers and weirdos and hippies and punks and skaters and so on. Nowadays it’s a bit different, but the energy is still there somewhere. And visually SF has a lot of character too.
ZC: From anyone’s front door in SF there’s countless things to skate in just a few blocks or on the way to any daily means of living.  If you have an eye for little trinkets to cruise or fast hill bombs it’s all in easy reach.

I also feel that there is an old SF and a new one. I mean this city was probably the epicenter of the whole community back in the 90’s but that changed, right? Like in the early 2000 probably? Can you feel the difference yourself? What happened in fact?
RH: Yes, I lived through all of that I suppose. The 90’s were a vibrant time with lots of people moving here. This had a lot to do with ‘A Visual Sound’ and the first FTC video and EMB (then Pier 7). Then in the 00’s, it became such a bust and a lot of the spots got knobbed, so it all died down and people moved away. Then there seemed to be a bit of a lull (or maybe it was just that I wasn’t too involved in skating for a bit). But now there’s a whole new generation of skaters here, and a lot going on again.
ZC: I’m not that old to have lived it here.  The 90s internet Silicon Valley boom stirred things up and then in the 2000’s it started booming again but this time the young people all figured out living in Silicon Valley (south of SF) basically sucks compared to SF. So now rent is pretty wild.

When I think about the SF city center now, I also have in mind all the insane skate-stoppers for instance (like the ones we see on the banks in front of the US District Court Clerk on Golden Gate Av.) but that being said, the skate community there seems to be more active than ever, what’s happening? Are those policies boosting your creativity and motivation?
RH: The scene is thriving again; I think it has to do with being forced to skate more creatively. Not skating the ‘spots’ (mostly gone), but finding the cutty stuff. It’s harder work but more rewarding, and that stuff looks better anyway.
ZC: Yeah there are a lot of nobs in downtown. It’s a mess of ’em. Sometimes the nob is a spot. Then they nob the nob and it makes something else to skate. On the other side its a paradise here for weather and people are still cool all over compared to a ton of places. Cops can’t be super bothered by skaters most of the time.

After all, would you still encourage skaters to come to SF? Despite the rise of the costs of living, the policies, the tech companies HQs and so on?
RH: Skaters should always try and visit SF. The character of the place may be changing, and the rent prices getting crazy, but SF will always have the hills.
ZC: Anywhere you wanna go, check it out. SF is worth checking out in the least. Living anywhere in a new place can be hard. But yeah check it out here and then move here for a bit if ya dig it.

What should be the first few stops/things to do for a skater who lands there? Any must-skate spot in the city where everyone starts the day?
RH: To warm up/meet up, go to the Island (by Embarcadero) or the Waller ledges (by the park) or the newish Duboce skatepark. Then it’s all about cruising around. Maybe head to the Avenues in the daytime and Downtown at night. Also, everyone should go to Fort Miley once.
ZC: Emb, the island, pier 7 then head over to northbeach grab some pizza at golden boy and a beverage in Washington park a block away. Then skate to the mission through the Stockton tunnel. Find little stuff to hit on the way. Get a burrito.

Fox, Nawrocki & Jones in Budapest. Photo: Richard Hart

Fox, Nawrocki & Jones in Budapest. Photo: Richard Hart

You’ve been working together on something special lately, right? Could you tell us more about it?
RH: Zach and I just did a cool project together – the Push Partial World Tour, which took us to Paris, Bristol and Budapest. We had Chris Jones, Taylor Nawrocki, Connor Kammerer and Glen Fox with us. So the next mag (PP6) will be devoted to that trip, and we’ve just finished an edit of the footage which will be online when the mag comes out. I’m stoked on both.
ZC: Richard and I are always cooking something up!

Any more plans for the end of the year?
RH: I’m about to go and meet the Traffic team in Chicago.
ZC: I’m headed to Japan on a Northern Co. Trip. And then Richard and I are putting together a partial world tour 2 soon.

What could we wish you?
RH: A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Same to you.
ZC: Wish that I come up with something brilliant that stops world suffering.

Thanks guys!

Cover image: Matt Field, kickflip. Photo: Richard Hart

This interview was originally featured in the printed KrakMag issue 10 that shipped with the SF-Tokyo KrakBox. Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

Event

Agenda Long Beach – Part 2: FTC

Established in 1986, FTC is the brainchild of Kent Ueyhara. Kent started out selling skateboards in the original FTC (Free Trade Commission) sporting goods store (owned by Kent’s pops) on Bush Street, before moving FTC first to its Shrader location and then to FTC’s Haight location in 1994. With San Francisco emerging as the ’90s mecca for skateboarding, FTC has long been associated with SF’s iconic spots like EMB, Hubba Hideout, Pier 7 and more through its iconic videos (Penal Code 101A, A Fine Line Between Love and Haight, Finally), and played a significant role in shaping and influencing the aesthetic and evolution of modern skateboarding. With franchises in Barcelona, Tokyo and Sendai; and with Western Edition Skateboards under the FTC family umbrella, the FTC brand has an enviable global reach with it’s carefully chosen collaborations as well as easily recognizable aesthetics and well thought out designs. I had the opportunity to spend some time at the FTC booth at Agenda 2015 Long Beach, and got to check out the upcoming line.

Lucas holding it down in the FTC booth. The Western Edition Route series decks for John Igei (green) and Jabari Pendleton (black) can be seen hanging up behind Lucas.

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As expected, FTC’s upcoming line is amazingly clean, with the characteristically recognizable FTC logo interpreted creatively on each piece. Some of my personal favorites were the following two renditions of the classic FTC logo t-shirts.

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Lucas walked me through their upcoming line and he and Kent also talked about some upcoming pieces that you’d definitely want to keep an eye out for. One of those pieces, the Hosoi Skateboards x FTC collaboration “Haight” Hammerhead t-shirt was especially cool, and definitely brought back that late-80s/early-90s vibe where transition skating was huge.

Lucas with the Hosoi Skateboards x FTC collaboration “Haight” Hammerhead t-shirt.

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Another unusual item in the line definitely worth checking out is the FTC x Mac Dre t-shirt. Definitely needs no explanation here, but I bet these will sell out fast!

Lucas and Kent with the FTC x Mac Dre t-shirt.

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I also got to pick up a copy of the FTC Chaodown DVD as well as hear about the Pier 7 DVD that will be dropping really soon, with apparently a whole load of unseen footage from one of SF skateboarding’s most formative and progressive periods. Remember all that epic Lavar, Stevie, Marcus, JB, Brad, Rob, Henry and Enrique footage and many more SF heads? You know I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of that  that! If it’s anything like what I’m hoping for, it’s gonna be crazy!

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Thank you Lucas and Kent for taking the time to talk to me about FTC’s and Western Edition’s lines, everything’s looking really good! – HK

 

Spot

SKATE San Francisco with Ben Gore

Magenta’s Ben Gore has a really sick episode in the RIDE Channel’s SKATE series skating around San Francisco for a day. He shares about his love for the city, having moved there from Florida, and how so many people in SF also moved there from elsewhere.

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Follow along with Ben Gore and friends Carlos Young, Max Van Arnem, John Lindsay, Joe Staley, James Coleman, Nick Daley, Zach Chamberlain and more as they bomb hills, hit up one of Ben’s favorite eating spots (his favorite burger in SF), and visit iconic skate spots like 3 up 3 down, the SF library and the Federal Banks.

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Some really rad skating from everyone and cool insights into the city from one of our favorite Floridian transplants.

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The day finishes off at Magenta’s Hill Street Blues art show and if you didn’t know, Ben’s also an accomplished photographer, and you should definitely also check out his photography work here. Talented both on and off the board, check out the video below and go bomb some hills! – HK

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Random

Time Capsule: J.B. Gillet

In each Time Capsule, we salute those who have paved the way for modern skateboarding. In this first installment, we shine the spotlight on one of our favorite Frenchmen, J.B. Gillet.

Who is J.B. Gillet?

Back in the mid-’90s, if you were a skater from Europe trying to make it in skateboarding, it was a given that you had to head over to the US. Alongside Enrique Lorenzo, Daniel Lebron, Alfonso and Jesus Fernandez, Jean-Baptiste “J.B.” Gillet was among the first wave of European skaters that moved to California in search of smoother ground, year round summer weather and California’s legendary spots.

J.B. in the New Deal Promo “Ninety Six”(1996).

Learning English from listening to Tupac?

“Damn, that’s good shit.” – J.B. Gillet

Originally from Lyon, France, J.B. first arrived in San Francisco in ’96 in the final bust-free days of EMB and just as Pier 7 was starting to blow up. After learning English from listening to Tupac, plus a little help from the Pier 7 crew who doubled as English tutors, J.B. continued to pick up sponsors, stack footage and eventually moved down to Los Angeles where he became roomies with Enrique Lorenzo. From riding for New Deal, to Alien Workshop flow to a stint on World Industries and almost becoming a part of the Chocolate family, J.B. turned pro for Daewon Song’s Deca in 2000(that first pro model World Cup graphic was fire!).

J.B. in “Rodney vs Daewon: Round 2″(1999). Check out that switch front heel tailslide at HdV!

The master ledge technician, as evidenced by his ridiculous footage from Lyon’s Hôtel de Ville(HdV), Pier 7, the USC benches and the West L.A. Courthouse, J.B.’s been straight killin’ it for more than 20 years.

J.B. in Cliche’s “Freedom Fries”(2004).

Full circle

Now riding for Jeremie Daclin’s Cliché skateboards(now also part of the Dwindle family), J.B. has indeed come full circle. These few videos are just a tiny sampling of J.B.’s amazing skateboarding(you can see that he was way ahead of the times) and testament to his longevity. And yes, style really is everything.

J.B.’s “Day in the life”(2012) in China.

Thanks for the inspiration all these years, J.B., and for introducing a generation of skaters to French hip hop!!! Much respect!