Gilbert Crockett and Elijah Berle – Vans ‘Alright, Ok’

November 24th, 2020

What a pair! Brought together for Vans under the auspices of contemporary skateboarding’s most celebrated film maker (Greg Hunt of course) – Gilbert Crockett and Elijah Berle smash it here.
If you’re a certain age then the title of the blog post might make you think of Miami Vice.
Or, if you’re a wrong un, maybe Whitney Houston. However, if your skateboarding brain works, then you’ll know we’re on about the lastest Vans release.
(Do we still call then ‘videos’ now everything’s online?)

Gilbert Crockett and Elijah Berle - Vans 'Alright, Ok'

Needless to say, Gilbert Crockett and Elijah Berle come through hard here. It’s difficult not to be fans of either of them and with Greg Hunt manning the editing controls, this is another classic following previous Vans releases such as ‘Spinning Away‘ and ‘Take it Back‘.
Long enough to justify the hype and the online premiere but short enough to fit the brain patterns of 2020. Gilbert’s slimmed down the trousers and upped his manny game even further, taking us on a switchstance dalliance around his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. You have to be impressed by his ability to stay local spot-wise whilst still pushing the boundaries of where his majestic pop and tech abilities can take him. Fellow Quasi head Justin @wukeeper Henry pops up in Gilbert’s part and manhandles street furniture with ease.
Looking forwards to that Quasi video featuring them both slated for release this year.

Gilbert Crockett and Elijah Berle – Vans ‘Alright, Ok’

FA’s Elijah Berle takes the curtains of this two act Greg Hunt masterpiece and fills it with an array of truly fucking mental skating. Pupeki grinds, fakie 5.0 reverts and nosegrind nollie flips on rails plus impossibles a plenty. Say what you like about Elijah’s gear switch ups but there’s absolutely no arguing with the skill.

There’s not much else that needs saying really. Go watch it and consider keg sizing.
One last thing that bears a mention – some of the music has been exclusively scored by ‘Reverend Baron’ AKA Danny Garcia.
For extra information on the man in charge – go check out Speedway Mag’s fantastic interview with Greg Hunt.

Buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas?

November 20th, 2020

Buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas?
The 2020 skateboard boom shows no sign of slowing down so we though this would be timely.
Across the world, participation numbers have reached heights not seen since the THPS boom.
Not only are we up in sheer numbers, but the Covid boom is obliterating the gender/age gap finally.
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this – head to any skatepark and you’ll see it for yourselves.
Female skaters, tiny kid skaters, middle-aged shredders returning to the fold and everything in between – skateboarding is booming right now.
You can read more about this Covid-era phenomenon here: the unlikely boom of skatebarding during a pandemic.
With the above in mind, and aware of the fact that many of you will be buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas, it seemed a good time to post a little info.

buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas

You have masses of options as regards buying your first complete skateboard. We’re stocked to the gills so how you go about it is entirely up to you.
The two main routes that most beginners take are a) buying a preassembled complete skateboard, or b) buying the components separately and having us assemble it.
See below for a handy guide on the major things to consider.

Deck size
You need to select a deck that suits your height, weight and shoe size. If you pick something too big or too small it will make it difficult for you to control when you start learning.
We can advise you on this but it is important to consider deck width (usually between 7.5 and 8.5 inches) and length (usually between 28 and 33 inches) when choosing your first skateboard.
New skaters with smaller feet or children should opt for a narrower board (around 7.5 wide) and slightly shorter board.
If you’re looking at buying your first complete skateboard for a smaller child – try our child range here, or click below to see our complete stock.

buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas

Other things to take it account when it comes to your deck.
Wheelbase: This is the distance between the two trucks. Most modern decks have a wheelbase of between 13 and 15 inches – fine for the average teenage/adult skater.
For children or smaller people, look out for slightly smaller wheelbase.
As with width/length, this will make it easier to control.
Concave: This relates to the curvature of the board. There is no right or wrong with this and all manufacturers will offer different concaves.
Some people prefer a flatter concave whereas others prefer a deeper one for board feel. Feel free to call us and ask for advice.

buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas

Trucks: these are crucially important when buying your first complete skateboard. There are various things to consider but the main two issues are – hanger/axle width and truck height.
The rule of thumb is, the wider your deck, the wider your trucks need to be.
Truck width is usually calculated on the length from axle to axle, (the bit that sticks out beyond the hanger that your wheels fix onto).
Truck height varies from one brand to the other – a good rule of thumb here is – the larger your wheels, the higher the trucks you will need.
As always – don’t hesitate to contact us for advice on truck selection.

buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas

buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas

Skateboard wheels and bearings
Selecting the correct wheels and bearings will have a huge influence on your experience of learning so here are a few crucial tips.
The main variables with skateboard wheels are size (measured by wheel diameter) and hardness (measured by durometer reading – usually represented by a number follwed by ‘A’).
Wheel size runs from around 50mm to 70mm. The average skater (street and park) will usually opt for something in the 50-60mm range and pick a relatively hard wheel with something along the lines of a 95a to 101a duromteter reading). Smaller sized wheels reduce weight and harder wheels slide more easily on concrete and wood surfaces. For people more interested in cruising around than in doing tricks – larger and softer wheels (around 80a durometer) may be a better choice.

buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas

Each complete skateboard requires a set of 8 skate bearings (that’s 2 in each wheel).
Bearings are all a standard size but performance and price varies hugely. Basic bearings sell for between £5 – £25 and will last, provided you care for them and keep them away from water.
If you want to treat yourself to a set of really high-end bearings offering heightened performance and durability then the recognised industry standard of excellence is the Bones brand and their Bones Swiss and Bones Ceramic bearings. Looked after properly, a set of high-end Bones will last you for years and years.
As always – feel free to call us for advice on wheels and bearings before buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas.
buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas

Cruisers and longboards: For those of you more interested in skateboarding as a form of transportation and for the pure joy of rolling, we offer a full range of cruisers and longboards. Generally these will come as preassembled completes with softer wheels for comfort and speed with a shape more akin to a miniature surfboard.
Hit the links above and below to see our full range.

buying your first complete skateboard for Christmas

New Balance Numeric skate goodies drop for Xmas

November 4th, 2020

Well, the lockdown is back and the weather’s turned to crap but the Internet keeps on turning.
Lots of New Balance Numeric skate goodies delivered in the first week of November. And, by some act of magical coincidence we’ve also got a heavy drop of fresh New Balance Numeric skate shoes.
Spooky eh?

First up is long-time New Balance Numeric head Tom Karagelov, (yes, I had to Google the spelling).
Seems as though I’m not the only one who struggles with his surname too as the upload of his latest clip simply goes with ‘Tom K’. Does having a commonly misspelled last name negatively affect your Google footprint? Who knows…

We’re not entirely sure which ‘museum’ Tom K is entering, or, for that matter, what the title is supposed to mean but hey ho – the footage is good. As you’d expect from Tom K, there are lots of interesting spots and a lot of fast-footed no push lines. You have to admire a man prepared to colour coordinate his outfits with his spots too.

New Balance Numeric skate goodies drop for Xmas

After you’ve ‘entered the museum’ (and then exited presumably) you’ll probably be thirsty for some chunky goth magic, right? Well, have only the smallest smattering of fear because New Balance Numeric have got you on this one too.
Is there a more unique and genre-crossing current pro than Franky Villani? Tech. Mosher. Pop. Weirdo. Dork tricks. Ledge maths. Handrails. Tranny skills. Big lad has it all.
The fact that he went from Zero to Primitive and it made absolutely perfect sense should be testament enough to the sheer depth of skill he has. But, if you’re a bellend who still needs convincing why this misfit is where he is – feast your eyes below.

This is one of those parts where anybody with even the slightest interest in skateboarding is going to take notice. If the opening trick alone doesn’t have you fiending for more then you’re dead to us. Watch. Enjoy. Repeat.

New Balance Numeric skate goodies drop for Xmas

Due to the newly imposed lockdown our store will now be temporarily closed but our online arm is in full swing as always. Shout us for all of your skateboarding needs.
We are stocked and ready to deliver with everything from Christmas complete skateboards through to all the skate shoes, hardware and soft goods that you could possibly need.
Hit us up at www.blacksheepstore.co.uk

Collab of the year? Vans x Dime Half Cab Pro skate shoes

October 22nd, 2020

It’s been a strong year for Vans already – heavy video output, even heavier team additions (Andrew Reynolds and Tony Hawk), the Foot the Bill project: the list goes on.
This latest collab release might just be the best yet though as these Vans x Dime Half Cab Pro skate shoes are sick.
We post a hell of a lot of Vans content on the blog but don’t call it bias.
Quite simply, Vans are now, and always have been, true leaders in the world of skate footwear.
Seeing them team up with Montreal’s own merry pranksters Dime makes so much sense.
As a brand Dime’s roots are in the scene that spawned it but over the years, thanks to a combination of wavey garms and a unique approach to event management, they’ve evolved into one of the hottest street wear brands on the planet.

Vans x Dime Half Cab pro skate shoes

Although it seems fairly unlikely that any of you out there will be unaware of Dime’s contributions to global skate culture, just in case – we’re here to remind you.
The Dime Glory Challenges (see videos dotted throughout) are a series of events, part Olympic/Street League parody, part It’s a Knockout!, part straight forward carnage, that have become the most talked about events in global skate culture since starting in 2015.
The best skating, the best skaters and the best vibes.
Vans have been involved since it began and this Vans x Dime Half Cab Pro collab celebrates this fact.

In the simplest terms, Dime’s Glory Challenges are skate contests like they’re supposed to be.
Competition plays second fiddle to chaos with awards thrown out for things like best ‘fake style’ rather than robotic repetition. If for whatever reason, you’ve never watched any of their videos – sit back, drink ten energy drinks and get ready to rip your shirts off, (after buying a pair of these very limited Vans x Dime Half Cab Pro skate shoes first of course).

Big up Vans. Big up Dime. Big up skateboarding chaos.

If you’re keen, which realistically you should be, DO NOT hang about because these Vans x Dime Half Cab Pro skate shoes will sell out almost immediately. We can guarantee that.

Vans x Dime Half Cab Pro skate shoes

New Chris Pfanner Antihero part with heavy cameos

October 3rd, 2020

Let’s be honest, AH are pretty much untouchable when it comes to video releases and this here new Chris Pfanner Antihero part with heavy cameos from the crew only serves to reiterate this.
As ever, released with minimum Social Media circle jerking beforehand, this one fell straight into our collective eyeballs and delivered. It’s highly reassuring that in a skateboard universe where Nyjah can barely go for a shit without 85 repost Insta accounts frothing about it, Antihero just go skating, film it and then let us see it without all the algorithmic cock-teasing that everyone else seems to be addicted to.

In terms of what you get – eight and a half minutes of Pfanner doing what he does best: blasting full speed, leaping everything in his path and somehow making moustaches seem dope. No half-stepping here – this is all-killer from the now 36 year old beast himself. In amongst the Chris Pfanner footage you also get a brace of Frank Gerwer, Raney Beres, GT, recent Antihero recruit Victor Pellegrin and Daan Van Der Linden clips. I’m struggling to recommend this further than just describing who’s on it to be honest but if you need more, Daan’s cameo’s consists of three enders effectively and that’s only scratching the surface on what’s on this.
If you’re not already all about Antihero then there’s something wrong with you.
Tune in, turn on, tweak out.

New Chris Pfanner Antihero part

Although not directly connected to the above we’d be remiss if we didn’t raise our glasses in memory of DLXSF stable mate and skate industry legend Keith Hufnagel who sadly passed away in late September. It’s no exaggeration to say that Huf’s influence on skateboarding culture is almost unparalleled.
Not only did his style and approach to skateboarding help to redefine street skating, but his subsequent pioneering involvement in the skateboard industry helped to redefine skater-owned retail and soft goods models the world over. His early passing leaves a huge void at the centre of skate culture and we would like to offer our condolences and deepest sympathies to his family and friends across the globe. Rest in power.

Eddie Belvedere and Sam Mason hit Germany for Dickies

September 14th, 2020

Strong Black Sheep family representation here with Eddie Belvedere and Sam Mason joining forces with Cornish heads Rhys Bickmore and master lens man Matt Hunt.
Flucht aus England, (AKA ‘Escape from England) sees Captain Caveman, Simply Shred and crew hit up up the German city of Köln on a four day camping/skate mission.
This one was filmed after Covid restrictions had been briefly lifted in August of this year with the lads chomping at the bit to go anywhere with a modicum of liberty.
A quick ferry journey and camping chair chill and bosch (forgive the German pun) our intrepid group of goons were happily chewing on German architecture.
With Dickies (along with Mount Hawke and Blacksheep) funding this one, Eddie Belvedere and Sam Mason led the charge around Köln hitting up various spots, including the frankly amazing looking KAP 686 skate plaza (hit that link for more on that place).

Eddie Belvedere and Sam Mason

Eddie and co skate all manner of street spots, bringing with them that peculiarly British notion of ‘if it’s a bank, it’s a skate spot, even if it’s horrible’.
Some places you’ll recognise as they’ve appeared on some heavy videos in the past, whereas others are new to us and probably to you too. Based on this though, Köln looks like a decent choice for a skate trip, well as soon as we’re allowed the leave the house again anyway.

For those you who aren’t already aware, Matt Hunt (the guy behind the camera on this one) has been making UK skate videos for a long while so, if this floats your boat, go peep some more of his stuff.

Click here for a brace of archive Cornish footage (including a Fallen tour visit to Truro) and below for a 2019 Cornwall-based piece for Flavour skatestore in Newquay.

Embrace the crust!

A double dose of Louie Lopez courtesy of Converse Cons & FA

September 2nd, 2020

A right old treat here with a double dose of Louie Lopez, dropping virtually simultaneously from Converse Cons and FA. Is there a better human representation of a skateboarding come-up based on sheer talent and humility than that of LA’s very own Mr Lopez?
Louie’s skateboarding journey has been documented and under the microscope from the tender age of 13. For many, this attention has proved to be a destructive force, releasing the twin demons of underage insanity and regrettable kiddy-style documentation – for a variety of reasons however, Louie Lopez has managed to swerve this wunderkind curse and mature into one of the most highly rated skaters on the planet.

Louie’s earliest exposure was as the long-haired and brace-wearing mini ripper announced in Globe footwear’s United by Fate (2007) and then cemented into skate lore in his banger 2009 Extremely Sorry part for former sponsors Flip Skateboards.
Despite the expected sniping of the time, aimed squarely at Flip skateboards‘ acquisition of Louie, (along with fellow murder midgets Curren Caples and David Gonzalez) Jeremy Fox, Ian Deacon and Geoff Rowley‘s eye for talent was vindicated once again with all three additions maturing into some of the gnarliest skaters on the planet a few years later.

A double dose of Louie Lopez

This first of this week’s double dose of Louie Lopez comes in the form of a three minute part (we think it’s solid enough to warrant that description) filmed in and around Louie’s native LA during the last 6 months of lockdown. Hands get sliced open by skate-stoppers, the infamous LAX banks get treated to an unfathomable backside noseblunt slide shove it, the Sister Sledge track rules and there’s little to no bullshit over-zoom filming. In short – it’s everything that you could ask for in a clip. Get it watched immediately.

If you’re not satisfied by the Converse Cons ‘Lola’ clip above never fear, as Jason Dill and AVE‘s FA World Entertainment have your back with a slightly shorter, slightly rawer but equally as cracking expose of Louie’s undeniable talents in the form of the ‘The Louie Lopez II’.

New Jordan Sharkey part for Vans Europe

August 10th, 2020

Hyped on this new Jordan Sharkey part for Vans Europe!
If you’re thirsty for more banger UK content then look no further. Here’s a Black Sheep family duo serving up an all new Jordan Sharkey part for Vans Europe. Filmed and edited by long-time Black Sheep media node and one-time rugby star-in-the-making Isaac Wilkinson: this is all killer, no filler.

Luckily for you all, Vague skate mag have seen fit to conduct an interview with our Welsh brother too, so you can hear a lot of the background behind the filming of this piece, of Jordan winning the Berrics/Element ‘Make It Count’ contest and more besides.
If you’ve had the pleasure to meet Jordan Sharkey in real life then you’ll also know that he’s as insanely talented in the flesh as he is on video, which is probably why Nick Stansfield added him to the Black Sheep team only 30 minutes after meeting him.

Isaac and blondie are a team and a half and this latest Jordan Sharkey part for Vans Europe follows in the wake of a brace of other banging releases from the pair. If you fancy peeping a few of those, keep scrolling past this text and you’ll find a few embedded for your pleasure. Big love to Jordan for always repping so hard and never losing his grip on the beaming grom that he started off as. Likewise, heavy knuckles to Isaac Wilkinson for always coming through with the goods, despite his high octane career filming biscuit commercials for her Majesty. HD 4:3 on point big man!

Full props also to Manhead and all at Vans Europe for keeping Jordan in shoes and of course, to Element skateboards for hooking him up as properly as his talent deserves.

New Jordan Sharkey part for Vans Europe

Check out Jordan in Element’s recent Knucks video (by French Fred) below.


New Jordan Sharkey part for Vans Europe

After that, peep this earlier Issac and Sharkey collab piece celebrating the Element x Black Sheep Ten Year anniversary release from a couple of year back.

And then finally, for now – take in Isaac Wilkinson’s full-length Black Sheep video 01FUCKIN61 and go skateboarding.

Tony Hawk discussing legendary skate spots and ripping as usual

August 5th, 2020

If you’re too cool to openly admit that big Tone is dope then you’re dead to us.
The video above featuring Tony Hawk discussing legendary skate spots just cements it, again.
Mainstream coverage of skateboard culture doesn’t have the best track record if we’re honest. From 7-Sports Wigan contest coverage back in the 80’s (complete with Bill Danforth pissed up on the mic) to New York Times coverage of the rise of Tyshawn Jones, they just seem to always make a bollocks of it. I mean in their defense, that might be just because skateboarders are notoriously picky but, you all know what we mean.

Anyway, with that said, and very probably due in part to Tony Hawk‘s involvement, we’ll put our hands up and admit that this Vox piece, which sees Tony Hawk discussing legendary skate spots alongside skateboarding’s premier academic Iain Borden, is definitely worth a watch.
From Mount Baldy to Natas Kaupas’ infamous hydrant, this is an in-depth look at many of America’s (primarily at least) most iconic spots accompanied with discussion by Tone and Iain and a brace of archive footage. You’ll love this whether you’re a 15 year old stair hero or an arthritic 50 year old struggling to force your beer gut up a kerb.
As an additional (and customary) treat – you’ll find links to various other bits of documentary coverage of skate culture (both good and awful) littered through this text – take your fingers for a wander and scoff at Danforth’s not-so-subtle digs at Sean Goff nearly 30 years ago.

Tony Hawk discussing legendary skate spots

If you enjoyed the above, get your eyeballs around some more Tony Hawk ripping courtesy of the latest Homies clip featuring Independent Trucks riders big Tone, Omar Hassan and various others skating tons of classic spots in Montreal, Canada.

Now go enjoy the sun whilst it’s here and don’t pay any attention to all this foolish talk of a skateboard hardware drought – we’re stocked to the gills like always.
Visit our web store or come in and see us and we’ll sort you right out.
Avanti Jerry!

Ali Boulala on The Bunt podcast

July 10th, 2020

Long time fans of the podcast here at Black Sheep, (especially during lock down) so we thought we’d share the news that last month saw Ali Boulala on The Bunt podcast. For those who don’t know already, The Bunt is a long-running skate podcast run by two very funny Canadian skaters. The hosts, Cephas and Donovan have a reputation for securing the guests you want to hear from and for asking hilariously blunt questions.

Over the years since they started (back in 2015/2016) The Bunt podcast has produced some of the funniest and most truthful interviews in skateboarding history with guests ranging from their Canadian friends to the likes of Jake Phelps and Brian Wenning. If you’re not already a fan of their output – we strongly recommend jumping over to their site at The Bunt Live and catching up.

 

Anyhow, as regards Ali Boulala on The Bunt podcast, get yourselves ready for an uplifting chat with Ali covering everything from the filming of Flip skateboards‘ Sorry video, living with Tom Penny in France, the origins of Baker skateboards and his current involvement in a Swedish-made documentary on his life.
The Bunt guys avoid the much-discussed tragic accident that resulted in the death of Shane Cross and the long-term hospitalisation and subsequent imprisonment of Ali.
If you want to hear that story, then re-visit the Epicly Later’d series on that here.

 

 

As we’ve touched on Baker Skateboards above (and below) – it seems sensible to also include the latest video release from them featuring their newest recruit, the insanely talented Jacopo Carozzi, wrecking shop in his native Milan just prior to Italy’s Covid lock down.

 

 

In more related Baker connections, the next podcast from The Bunt following the Ali Boulala one above is with Baker OG/owner and current Deathwish skateboards pro Erik Ellington.
As with the Ali Boulala interview above, The Bunt comes through with the insight on this one, plus heavy hilarity regarding the infamous ‘Carlsberg Gap’.

 

 

Hope everyone is well out there – don’t forget that our store is now open (for the rest of July) on Fridays and Saturdays 10-5 and Sundays 11-5. Our online webstore is open always for anything you need. Stay safe.

Ali Boulala on The Bunt podcast

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