News Tagged ‘Elissa Steamer’

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


Welcome to Hell – huge Toy Machine skateboards drop in stock

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

As we edge into February we’ve been blessed with a huge Toy Machine skateboards drop which gives us an excuse to delve in loyal pawn history.
Toy Machine skateboards was founded from the ashes of the earlier abortive Ed Templeton and Mike Vallely 90s skate brand TV (as in ‘Television’) in 1993, and was Ed’s first solo-effort following his huge success as the headline pro of New Deal Skateboards.

Looking back on the trajectory of Toy Machine since (which incidentally has to be one of the best brand names in skate history), it’s hard to to think of it as the tiny brand populated by a bunch of largely unknown skaters that it began life as on their inaugural video release ‘Live!’ (see above)
Featuring such household names as Charlie Coatney and Pete Lehman, (although admittedly backed up by Ed T, a young Ethan Fowler and Jahmal Williams), Live! made Ed’s decision to ditch the mighty New Deal at the height of his fame seems somewhat foolhardy to say the least.
However, in much the same way that the creepy vegan predated the highwater Dickies trend by two decades, his decision to start up Toy Machine skateboards under the Tum Yeto distribution umbrella as a solo effort also found vindication (and more) as time progressed and the team picked up various heads who would go on to to have a huge impact on skate culture.

Toy Machine skateboards drop

Toy Machine skateboard‘s second video ‘Heavy Metal’ (1995) introduced an entirely new team (with the exception of Ed T) with the likes of Josh Kalis, Satva Leung, Panama Dan and Jamie Thomas hopping on.
Heavy Metal also introduced the world to the filming and editing skills of Jamie Thomas and set the scene for the truly epoch-forming third Toy Machine video, which we’ll come to in a minute.

The third full-length release from Toy Machine a year later in 1996 saw Ed T’s fledgling enterprise finally come of age and drop what has gone on to be one of the most influential skate videos of all-time. Not only did Welcome to Hell set in motion the second wave of Pat Duffy inspired handrail mania, it also resurrected the tradition of slam sections, alongside blowing global minds with the first ever proper female street skater part in the form of the utterly timeless Elisa Steamer section.
It probably sounds like an exaggeration read in 2021 but honestly, Welcome to Hell changed everything.

If you’ve never seen it before – prepare yourselves.

Obviously, from 1996 onwards Toy Machine evolved further, lost team riders, acquired new ones and has gone on to create a lot of noise to this day, even within the extremely crowded skate brand universe of 2021.
If you want to know more about the ups and downs of Toy Machine life span then you’d be well advised to give Ed Templeton’s Epicly Later’d series a watch – peep below for the first one.

Anyhow – that’s it for now – stay up hombres!