News Tagged ‘april skateboards’

Guy Mariano is on April Skateboards – who saw that coming?

Saturday, December 4th, 2021

After lots of online gossiping, Instagram has just confirmed that Guy Mariano is on April Skateboards. Following the slow, ignominious deflation of his and Koston’s board brand Numbers, (which we’ll assume has been canned despite them never saying so) it was only a matter of time. Whereas Koston seems content to follow his current ‘lol it’s an early grab’ trajectory into semi-retirement, the original wonder kid has kept up the pace. Looked at historically, despite stylistic differences, April’s owner Shane O’Neill is in a lot of ways, the modern iteration of what Guy started and thus the reality that Guy Mariano is on April Skateboards at this point in his career is just….well, right.

Guy Mariano is on April Skateboards

I’m sure that most of you don’t need a history lesson but, just in case, here’s a brief run down of Burbank’s finest.
First introduced to the outside world as one of the emergent street rippers assembled by Stacey Peralta as the ‘LA Boys’ in Powell Peralta’s 1989 video ‘Ban This’, Guy Mariano was, from the outset, something of an outlier.
Insanely young for the amount of talent he possessed (even amongst his teenage contemporaries), by the time Ban This had come out, Mariano was already charting new waters of skateboard possibility at age 12.
When the global skate public next saw Guy, he was on the original Mark Gonzales led iteration of Blind Skateboards and dropped the part that will forever enshrine him as the ultimate skate prodigy.
Guy’s opening section in Video Days (1991), set to the Jackson 5’s ‘I want you back’ is still, to this day, rightly heralded as one of the most influential video parts of all time. This influence was felt on numerous levels: a) it was ridiculously progressive, (impossible lipslides on handrails and switch fs 360s 30 years ago); b) it was ridiculously well executed, fast and stylish and c) Guy Mariano was ridiculously young when Video Days was released. Seeing 14 year olds create new skateboarding realities might not seem too crazy now but back in 1991 it was paradigm-shifting.

Following Video Days, Guy Mariano rode for Blind until eventually leaving for Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, Spike Jonze and Megan Baltimore’s post Rocco exodus vehicle, namely Girl Skateboards. Whilst there was never another Blind video featuring a full Guy Mariano section, he popped up on related Rocco/World Industries releases and blew minds in the early 90’s. A brief Blind team appearance on the seminal Blind Skateboards Tim and Henry’s ‘Pack of Lies’ saw Guy drop 3 tricks, two of which had never been documented down stairs before. That brief snippet of his otherworldly talent was further underlined by the truly shocking display of how far ahead of the curve Guy was in the Friends section of Plan B’s second release ‘Virtual Reality’ (1993). It’s more than possible that there are people reading this whose parents weren’t even born in 1993, so let me assure you of one thing: nobody else on the planet was doing switch noseslide kickflip out down handrails in 1993.

With a template of post Video Days video output established, (i.e. a handful of tricks which were likely to be a decade ahead of his contemporaries) Mariano’s fame rose exponentially despite him only having two tricks in the first Girl Skateboards video ‘Goldfish’ (1994).
Mariano fans had to wait until the release of Girl’s magnum opus in 1996 to see another full section and fucking hell, did this one deliver.
If you’ve never seen Guy Mariano’s Mouse section then stop reading this now and scroll to the top of this post and watch it immediately. Hands down one of the most important video parts ever made.

And then, with that, it felt as though he was gone for the next decade. Mariano would pop up with the odd trick here and there, (always ludicrously progressive still) but his presence was noticeable by its absence from the mainstream skate media. Subsequently he publicly spoke of this period of his life as being one riven with addiction, loss and personal issues which you can find out more about in his 10 part Epicly Later’d here.

Post disappearance Guy Mariano came back with an almighty bang with the closing section on Lakai footwear‘s much feted ‘Fully Flared’ released in 2007.
Global standing ovations met this one with Mariano definitively back in the driving seat in terms of his pro skater career. Give it a re-watch below for a reminder of what a comeback is supposed to mean.

Following his Lakai piloted reemergence, Mariano has consistently dropped footage (mainly via Instagram in the last few years) for current shoe sponsor Nike SB, along with clips in releases from the now defunct Numbers skateboards project.
With a recent Thrasher cover under his belt and the news that Guy Mariano is on April Skateboards, we’re left wondering: is there a post-40 full part coming?
Let’s hope so…


Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown – Welcome to the future

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

With the second of the skateboarding events of the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, we figured it was a good opportunity to shine some light on Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown. This pair, along with the likes of Momiji Nishiya (Japan’s 13 year old gold medalist in women’s street), are about to reset skateboarding completely.
You’d have to have absolute no interest in skateboarding to have not heard the names Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown before. They, along with a swelling group of mini rippers, represent probably the biggest paradigm-shift that skateboard culture has ever experienced.
Obviously, it is a clear and evident fact that skateboard’s embarrassing gender imbalance is finally over. Skateboard participation numbers are up full stop, with female skateboard participation exploding globally.
The boy’s club is finished…

The reasons for this explosion in female skaters in manifold: from the current visibility of pioneers like Alexis Sablone, Lizzie Armanto and Elissa Steamer, through to the obvious power of Social Media at connecting once disparate communities and inspiring people to get involved. Our own UK-based Girl Skate UK network is one such example. What began as a one-woman project to try and create spaces for the (then) tiny UK female/non-binary skate scene to connect, has since mushroomed in a massive network of skaters across the country running everything from skate schools to skate comps. You could do a lot worse than to check out their website at girlskateuk.com

Anyhow, we’ve wandered away from the specific topic of this blog post, namely Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown. These two (for us at least) represent the direction that the future of skateboarding is headed in.
Both are technically children at 13 years of age. Both are in the Olympics, (Rayssa has already won a silver medal and Sky is highly likely to win a medal too) and most importantly, they both absolutely fucking rip. Not ‘good for a girl’, or ‘good for a child’ – just good, full stop.
We’re kind of assuming that you all knew this already but, just in case, (and because it’s the Olympic Park skating event this week) it seemed timely. Unlike the footage of Rayssa at the top of this blog which is all super recent and was only uploaded this week, we’ve struggled to find much recent footage of Sky in YouTube format since most of her stuff ends up on her parent-run Instagram page.
With that said, it’s still worth posting the Almost x Skateistan clip of her from 2019 (see below) just because it’s dope and the project was a sick one. I’m not entirely sure she still rides for Almost skateboards though as there were a couple of vague ads for a sinister sounding board brand called the ‘Monarch Project’ claiming Sky Brown as a pro, (along with Leticia Bufoni) recently. Either way, she’s 13, she spins head high mute grabbed McTwists and if she’s not a millionaire already, she will be soon.

Also – this: Rayssa Leal was 11 here. Jesus wept.

(P.S. The Men’s Park Olympic contest is on Thursday August 5th from 1am – 4.30 am.
Women’s park in on Wednesday August 4th from 1am – 4.30am Uk time)

Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown

If you, or your kids have just started out skateboarding, then check out our extensive range of smaller-sized complete set ups here or by clicking the Almost complete below.

Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown


Yuto Horigome is skateboarding’s first ever Olympic gold medalist

Monday, July 26th, 2021

Finally, after 12 months of delay, the Tokyo Games are here and Yuto Horigome is skateboarding’s first ever Olympic gold medalist.
It was always going to happen. I’m surprised it took this long to be honest given how boring a lot of other Olympic sports are. I mean, do you want to watch a 13 year old girl gap out to front crook on a 12 stair handrail, or do you want to watch some Allegra dance around on a horse? Simple equation really.
The arguments for and against skating being in the Olympics are myriad. Depending on your side of the fence it either represents the ultimate coming-of-age of a culture, or it represents the neutering of what was once an anti-establishment sub culture. I kind of agree with both sides if I’m honest. Uniforms, IOC officials in blazers (not the Swoosh kind) pretending to give a shit and all the other sports bullshit is, very obviously, anathema to the traditions of skateboard culture. I agree with all I’ve just typed but that didn’t stop me sitting up till 4am two nights in a row to watch it and talk real-time shit on the UK Skate forum with other portly dads.

Honestly, it was entertaining to watch. I get that a lot of people feel as though it’s somehow soiled the spiritual pants of skateboarding but, in a world where people happily cover themselves in logos for Monster, knife companies and Christ knows what else – does it really matter?
As I write this we’ve only had the street section of Olympic skateboarding with Park to follow next week.
The format was basically Street League and, as with SLS, it devolved in a handrail fest pretty quickly.
Nonetheless, it was bloody exciting to watch despite the inherent tedium of the SLS format, well unless you’re the Mayor of Greater Manchester that is – Andy Burnham you made yourself look like a out of touch bellend mate.

If you missed it, you can peep highlights of Men’s street below in YouTube format, plus a link to the full BBC broadcast of the entire Men’s Street here (complete with Marc Churchill on the mic)

Along with the fact that Yuto Horigome is skateboarding’s first ever Olympic gold medalist, is another moment of glory for the host nation with a gold medal for Japan in Women’s street too. A double whammy for glorious Nippon made even crazier by the fact that the winner, Momiji Nishiya at 13 years old is one of the youngest Olympic gold medalists of all time. Pretty fucking cool eh?

Below there’s a video with a bit of back story on Momiji Nishiya and to watch the whole thing – hit up the BBC iPlayer here to peep the entire contest.

It’s highly likely that a lot of you won’t give a toss about the Olympics and that’s fine but believe me when I say this – a 13 year old girl just repeatedly back smithed a twelve stair handrail in front of millions of people. I’m struggling to think of many ways in which that is not a good thing.

Yuto Horigome is skateboarding’s first ever Olympic gold medalist