News Tagged ‘vans’

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

Thursday, 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 Jordan Sharkey part for Vans Europe

Monday, 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

Wednesday, 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!


Vans release a new Chukka Pro to celebrate Danny Wainwright

Monday, June 29th, 2020

2020 sees Vans release a new Chukka Pro to celebrate Danny Wainwright and his 20 year association with the brand. There are few UK heads with careers as multi-faceted as Danny’s so, in recognition of this fact we caught up with him to chew that fat and discuss the background to this Chukka Pro release.
Dotted throughout are a bunch of Danny Wainwright videos relating some of his contributions to skateboarding but they only represent a tiny faction of his overall output. He’s had more UK skate mag covers than anyone else in history, he’s a world record holder and, best of all, he’s one of ours. Read on below…


Let’s get a few background things nailed down first – were are you from originally?

I was born in Coventry and lived there until I was 11. I didn’t skate at that point though – we moved to Stroud in Gloucestershire around that time, which is where I started skateboarding.

 

When did Bristol come into the picture?

Well, Bristol was the closest big city to Stroud and it had a really strong skate scene, skateparks, loads of spots, etc. We’d travel there regularly to skate from early on really – it seemed like the obvious place to go to. Then I ended up moving there at 17.

 

 

What was your first published magazine photo?

My first photo was from an SS20 jam in Botley (where the bowl used to be) in 1991 – the caption read ‘cold kicking in effect’. That was the same event that Tom (Penny) got his first photo in R.A.D as well, which is quite mad thinking back on it. His photo was of a mute and mine was a one-foot tailgrab. I was already skating with Tom a lot at that point, travelling around to events, going over to skate the ramps in Oxford and Leamington Spa, he’d come over to Gloucester…

 

SS20 (OG Oxford skate store) was your first sponsor too, right?

Yeah, that happened after the Botley jam where I first got a photo in R.A.D. that I mentioned – it might have been related to that as I probably met Mon Barbour (SS20 owner) for the first time at the Botley jam. Sometime after that I started getting boards from Jeremy (Fox) as I was going to ride for Deathbox kind of. Then when it changed from DB to Flip I started getting flowed Flip boards too. It wouldn’t want to say that I was ‘riding for them’ because I wasn’t officially but it was kind of floating around as a possibility at the time.

 

 

When did Powell skateboards come into the picture?

Around the same time that the Deathbox/Flip thing seemed like it was kind of on the cards Shiner hit me up about riding for Powell. So I was riding for Powell through a distributor at first. That lasted for a couple of years until Powell wanted to fly me out to Santa Barbara to check me out. My first time on a plane, first time out of England – straight to Santa Barbara. I was completely out of my depth. I was expecting to get shot in a fucking drive-by at first (laughing).

 

What about Vans – when did that start?

Hard to say precisely because I’d ridden for them through a distro a long, long time in the past, long before I officially rode for them. I had stints on Emerica and Etnies before quitting those and ending up on the Vans Europe team. The thing there though was that I never did much in Europe at that point as this was in the late-90s when I was spending a lot of time in the USA doing things with Powell.
I spent more time in the States than I did in England back then, I’m struggling to remember actual dates though – I’m definitely not the best fact checker as I was probably swimming around in bong water for a lot of that period, (laughs).
Officially, I became a member of the global, ‘proper’ Vans team in 2000, hence the 20-year anniversary this year. I’d got shoes from them before that in various formats but it was never an official deal until 2000.

 

You’ve had two pro shoes from Vans during that time too, correct?

Yeah that’s right – one in 2001 and the other in 2003.

 

 

You’ve got to be the only UK pro skater to have done that whilst still being based in the UK…

Well, I wasn’t really ‘based in the UK’ for the entirety of that time, like I said already I did spend a lot of time in the USA. I guess you could say that I’m the only pro skater from this country to have ended up with pro model shoes on Vans who didn’t move permanently to America. That’s probably more of an accurate way of putting it. I did it my own way for sure.

 

The 2000 highest ollie thing – I know this has been talked to death already but we ought to mention it: I don’t know anyone else who’s in the Guinness Book of Records…

(Laughs), it is what it is. I’m proud of myself for doing that, I’m proud of all my achievements because, come on, I’m from a council estate in Coventry, I wasn’t exactly set up to achieve very much. Skateboarding came through hard for me. I’m not going to lie, it does still amuse me that I managed to win ‘The Reese Forbes Ollie Challenge’ despite not taking it ultra-seriously like a lot of the other people involved who were training, long before the idea of training for a contest was a thing like it is now. That is pretty funny to look back on, lots of the other people involved were filming clips for 411 showing how they were preparing for it like it was some battle or something whereas myself, I just adopted the same approach that I always did to skateboarding: get super high and just…skate. It worked out. Aside from that stuff though which has been talked about a lot in the past, I felt at the time, and I still do now, that me winning that thing kind of stood for British and European skateboarding at the time. That’s how I felt about it. It was a bit of a ‘fuck you’ from our scene I felt like. You know your man’s acting all Billy Big Balls, filming his victory lap before the contest had even started.
I remember thinking at the time, ‘chill out – we haven’t even started yet’, (laughs). It was presented as such a big deal at the time, like this showcase of pro skating with a huge emphasis on America and I turned up stoned out of my mind, totally anti-social as ever, not talking to any cunt because I couldn’t be bothered and still took it home with me. Like I say, I’m proud that I achieved that on a personal level but for me I was more proud of the way that it shone a light on UK skating and kind of said “we’re here”, you know what I mean?

 

Absolutely, in the same way that Tom Penny winning Radlands in 1995 in front of the entire world of pro skateboarding did…

Yeah I guess: that was the most unbelievable two-fingers up of all time.
He won that contest with his hands in his pockets. I’ve seen Tom skate better on a Sunday afternoon in a car park. That contest run, that has subsequently gone down in history, was about 2% of what he could do. He was fucking yawning throughout his run, (laughs). You remember that? That’s how easily it came to him, unbelievable. My man was yawning, his hand over his mouth mid-run in front of every single person in the industry at that time. Only a couple of years before a lot of the same people had been laughing about his clothes or his style or whatever – he showed them didn’t he? Who’s laughing now? They all started worshipping him from that point onwards. Tom’s the best.

 

Can we talk about that period shortly afterwards where you basically came first in every contest in Europe consecutively?

(Laughing), that was the year that my daughter was born. I just decided ‘right, I’m going to enter every contest and win them all, the money’s mine’.
I was on a mission. It worked though, there was one summer (2004 I think) where I won every single one that I entered. Not to be a knob about it obviously but I genuinely only went there with the intention of winning. As mercenary as that might sound, that’s why I was there. I was about to become a dad so I wasn’t playing around. I won the European Championships first and then just followed the contest circuit through Europe taking all the cash, (laughs).

 

You were always good at mixing it up in that way though – you’ve filmed more street parts than I can think of but you’re not afraid to switch the contest mode on when it’s necessary.

Yeah, you’re right. That’s how I looked at it too. I never wanted to get labeled as a ‘contest guy’ and filming and shooting street footage was always my priority but (back then more so than now maybe) part of your job as a pro skater was to step up to the contest scene as well. I wasn’t afraid to get my hands dirty when there was so much money up for grabs and all you had to do was skate perfect skateparks for a couple of minutes on your own in a stadium. No brainer really.

 

What about your first skate magazine cover?

That was a R.A.D cover in 1995, shot by Wig Worland at Bedminster skatepark in Bristol: a backside ollie on the original banks.

 

When did you and Syd open up 5050?

We opened up in 1997. It felt like something that needed to happen because of how big the scene was and how many skaters there were here. Bristol needed an SOS to cater to that, to help people out, give them routes into sponsorship, organize events, make videos, all of that. You only get that kind of infrastructure with a skater-owned store, because those are the people invested in the scene because they’re a part of it as well. A long time ago man…

 

That was back in the era when you looked like a skeleton, right?

(Laughs), yeah well I lived off cans of Coke and weed at that point in my life, with the odd Mr. Kipling’s thrown in for nutritional value. Not a diet I’d recommend to anyone else looking back but it worked at the time. I’ve gone fully the other way now – all I do these days is eat and drink red wine. Comes to us all in the end…

 

You’ve been into painting since you were really young too, right?

Yeah, I’ve always been involved in making art, painting, graffiti – I’ve been tagging since I was 8 years old – longer than I’ve been into skating. Like every skater really, we all tend to have multiple interests that cross over. There are lots of creative types in this culture – if I hadn’t already been into it, no doubt I’d have been introduced to painting and art more generally through skateboarding. It’s as big a part of my everyday life as skateboarding is.

 

Am I right in thinking that you were one of the first pro skaters to go to China as well?

Steve Caballero and I were the first pro skaters to travel to China. Strangely that didn’t end up being mentioned in Grosso’s (RIP) Loveletter to China but yeah, we were the first to go there. We went to Beijing in 1994 for two weeks. This was back when China was a hugely different country to the way it is today. Back then, everyone out on the streets would be wearing those blue workers suits, all dressed exactly the same – everybody would ride the same bicycles. I guess this was when China was still pretty much closed off to the rest of the world – an amazing experience for sure. I remember arriving in Beijing in a pair of all-white Half Cabs and feeling like I was at Embarcadero or something, (laughs). Well crispy.

 

Why did you pick the Chukka for this 20-year celebratory release?

It was always a shoe that I really liked. I’d wear them a long time ago, back when I was still paying for shoes. I’d modify them – put fat laces in them, extra tongues to make them look puffier. The style of that era, the really early 90s ‘Simon Evans thing’ – you see that being replicated again now so I thought it was a good time to revive what had always been a favourite shoe of mine. I’d always thought that Vans ought to do more with the Chukka because it’s such a classic, beautiful-looking silhouette. It was so popular in the early 90s – when people used to put bam in them to get the fat, padded tongue look. It looked so dope modified like that and it always surprised me that Vans didn’t jump on that, following skater-modifications the way they did with the Half Cab for example, which came about after people started cutting the original Full Cab down themselves. So anyway, I added padding to the Chukka Pro that we’re talking about now to try and get that look to it. Updating it but with a definite nod to the past. I added 5 mm of padding to the tongue at first, then when I saw the first sample, I doubled that to 10mm – to be honest, if it was entirely up to me I’d have probably added 30mm, (laughs), trying to relive the past – back when I wasn’t grey and my back worked properly. I’m stoked on how they’ve come out though, like I said, I always wanted the Chukka to get more love so it’s nice to have a chance to do this. The way I remember the era when it was first a popular Vans shoe, back in the early 90s, it seemed as though all of us who were starting to get into the mags at the time, myself, Geoff (Rowley), Tom – we were all wearing the Chukka so it has a strong place in my heart.

 

What’s your official job title at Vans these days?

I’m not sure that I have an official title as such – maybe ‘grassroots marketing/activation’? I work for Vans heading up their entire core skateboarding/grass roots events program and whatnot. It’s a bit of everything really – working alongside shops, organizing and doing logistics for events, helping local scenes to do things – the long and the short of it is that I’m on the ground floor if you like. I’m the point of contact in Europe for all the grass roots stuff that Vans are involved in. It’s sick. I get to work with the people who make everything happen. I get to feed my experience and my love of skating, art, music, food into everything I’m involved with – I’m lucky to have the opportunity to do that.
Vans are a family man – people often flippantly say that kind of thing but with Vans it is actually borne out by their actions and the support they offer to skateboarding. Throughout this Covid situation they haven’t got rid of one skater or one TM you know? They ran that ‘Foot the Bill’ program with skater-owned stores across the world which, if they marketed it correctly, those shops would make a solid amount of money completely funded by Vans right at the height of the Corona virus lockdown when everyone was really anxious about surviving. You know, it’s one thing to talk about supporting skateboarding and the grass roots, but it’s another thing to actually put your money where your mouth is. Vans always have done that – it’s 100% legit. I didn’t see too many other huge brands doing anything similar you know? I’m honoured to be part of the Vans family and to work for them. That’s why I’ve been with them for 20 years.

Check out our full range of Vans products here.


Jeff Grosso’s final Loveletter to LGBTQ+ skateboarding

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Jeff Grosso’s final Loveletter to LGBTQ+ skateboarding just went live and stands in testament to the depth of loveliness that our much-missed sage represents. We can only hope that the big pink one is surveying the scene from above and is smiling that unmistakable grin as the Internet reacts to his Loveletter to LGBTQ+ skateboarders the world over. Absolute magic this one.

I’m not going to waste your time by recounting who’s in it, what gets discussed or why it’s an extremely timely embrace of our brother and sisters in arms because, unless you’re stupid, you’ll already appreciate the significance of this being Grosso’s final Loveletter.
We’ve come a long way since the days of women featuring in skate brand adverts purely as eye-candy wearing skate clothing not designed for them, and even more so in the slow but exponentially increasing open acceptance of the huge LGBTQ+ community but there’s still a way to go and this Grosso/Vans release is going to do a lot to expedite that change.

Like I already said, I’m not going to patronise you, you know that this is the perfect send off to one of skateboarding’s most beloved voices. If you ever needed proof of the fact that Jeff Grosso loved the act of skateboarding with all his heart and soul, then this 36 minute video provides it.
We love you Jeff Grosso.

If this has put you in the mood for more of the great man, (and why wouldn’t it?) – head over to our very own Loveletter to Jeff Grosso here.

With the above said, we can also strongly recommend checking out the full-length ‘Euro There’ video from LGBTQ+ skate crew/brand There Skateboards (featuring a bunch of the people interviewed in Grosso’s final Loveletter to skateboarding). We’ve even made it easy for you by embedding it below.
It’s 2020 and there are millions of skateboarders in the world. Let’s try to make our shared universe that little bit more pleasant by trying to be nice to each other, it’s really not that difficult.

Jeff Grosso's final Loveletter to LGBTQ+ skateboarding


Mariah Duran and Jenn Soto for adidas skateboarding

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

One tiny glimmer of hope and joy amidst the otherwise truly grim beginning of 2020 has been the prevalence of banging female skate clips.

This week saw the latest she-shredder banger drop courtesy of Mariah Duran and Jenn Soto for adidas skateboarding. Following last month’s amazing Credits video from Vans, the pressure was most definitely on for whichever big brand stepped up to the female skateboarding Oche next, but this Mariah Duran and Jenn Soto for adidas skateboarding piece more than came through with the goods.

For those of you unaware of this duo prior to watching this and shouting ‘Damn’ at your phone screen when Mariah did that fakie hardflip – here’s a super brief overview of them both.
Mariah Duran is pro for OG female-owned brand Meow skateboards, has won two X-Games golds and is generally pretty gangster. Check out her 2016 YWBHFT below for some more background. She’s gangster, she rips and you wish you’d filmed that bench line in the adidas skateboarding video above.

 

 

 

 

Jenn Soto, like Mariah, is a big name on the female skate scene, took first in the 2018 Street League finals in London and is equally gangster. These two can run adi trackies and shell toes with zero cosplay issues.
Additionally Jenn joined the Primitive skateboarding team in 2019, announced in the Testing II video, which is also banging and is conveniently embedded right below this.

 

 

Mariah Duran and Jenn Soto for adidas skateboarding

 

 

Along for the ride with Mariah Duran and Jenn Soto in the latest adidas skateboarding clip is Floridian ripper and now NYC local Samantha Narvaez – she’s underground now but she won’t be for long. Along with the three she shredders is Palace skateboards wonderboy Heitor Da Silva who throws in a few bangers to this clip too and gets the job done.
As we’ve mentioned his name – it’d be churlish really not to use this as an excuse to repost the amazing Palace video ‘Deeper Understanding’ that officially announced Heitor and our very own Charlie Birch to the team.

 

 

Enjoy the clips above, stay safe and, if this has whet your appetite for adidas proddy – check out our huge range of adidas skateboarding shoes and apparel here.


25 minutes of Vans Europe destruction with ‘Tom’s Tales’

Monday, May 11th, 2020

 

 

Fucking hell Vans Europe! That really ought to suffice as far as the text for this post goes but Google doesn’t accept honest exclamations of sheer shock and awe so bear with me. Released today under the moniker of ‘Tom’s Tales’ – the clip above features the Vans Europe crew absolutely decimating spots everywhere from Athens to Paris.
And when I say ‘decimating’ I’m not being hyperbolic – the skateboarding on this clip is absolutely mind-bendingly good. Spot diversity, the number of countries involved, the variety of styles and types of skating covered: this really does have everything. In an age where skate videos are free and nobody pays for anything, I can honestly say that if Vans Europe decided to bring this out on a DVD, I’d buy it. This is how you make a team video people – Vans do it again. Book ended with full sections (more or less) from Martino Cattaneo and Victor Pellegrin (both of who absolutely go in) – regardless of whether you like beautiful Parisians in next level fits bouncing off walls, or you prefer sweaty moshers doing the unthinkable and nearly smashing into cars at 20 mph – you’re covered. Seriously cannot praise Vans Europe and co enough here. A masterpiece.

 

Some of these names might be new to some of you – some of them won’t be but for the sake of giving due props – here’s the roll call of names: Martino Cattaneo, Pepe Tirelli, Yellen Moens, Joseph Biais, Val Bauer, Oscar Candon, Mika Germond, Robin Bolian, Jan Hoffman, Hugo Westrelin, Roberto Aleman, Thanos Panou, Sam Partaix, Kris Vile, Dustin Dollin, Chris Pfanner, Daniel Lutheran, Axel Cruysberghs, Albert Nyberg, Alexey Krasniy and Victor Pellegrin.
Honestly – stop reading this and go watch it. And then watch it again.

 

 

Vans Europe

 

During the process of writing this it occurred to me that during the Covid-19 carnage we somehow forgot to post another Vans backed recent video masterpiece too – this time in the form of the first ever all-female Vans production, (that’s all female riders, filmer/editor and photographer). Shameful oversight on our behalf really. I’ll punch myself in the face as soon as I’ve finished typing – promise.
If you somehow managed to miss Credits – you can wise your selves up here.
Featuring the talents of Breana Geering, Una Farrar and Fabiano Delfino plus a host of other female rippers including our very own Helena Long. Go peep – don’t sleep.

 

 

Vans Europe


A loveletter to Jeff Grosso

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

 

 

The last twelve months have been rough as far as skateboarding is concerned.
Far too many people have passed long before their time and on March 31st we lost another stellar human being – hence this loveletter to Jeff Grosso.
Grosso passing has left a huge void globally and the reaction to his death speaks to the level of affection that our culture held for the lovable curmudgeon.

 

 

 

 

It ought to come as no surprise to any of you reading this that we loved the man.
All of us have had the pleasure of meeting Grosso a bunch of times in various destinations under the auspices of everything from ASR trade shows to unexpected demos in Shrewsbury. Always he was funny, talkative and the loudest voice in the room. A truly lovely man.

 

 

 

 

He was a walking, talking skateboard encyclopedia. A man who wore his heart and his flaws on his sleeve and didn’t give a hoot about who that might upset. As spokespeople for a culture go, we couldn’t really have asked for anyone better than Jeff Grosso.

A loveletter to Jeff Grosso

 

Like everybody else, we’ve been binging on Grosso content since his untimely death, so as a nod in the direction of the man, we thought we’d share some of our favourites with you as a loveletter to Jeff Grosso from some more people who loved him.

Skateboard culture should be forever grateful to Jeff Grosso – for his stalled inverts, for his resurrection from the pits of addiction that allowed him to reappear and become our collective mouthpiece, for his unswerving dedication to shining a light of every aspect of skate culture and not just concentrating on the hottest and the coolest, and for the fact that he was happy to share his private life with us all via his Instagram account.

 

 

 

 

Most of all though, in this sad time, we ought to be eternally thankful that Vans, Jeff and his friends at Six Stair recorded so much of his love for skateboarding over the last decade.
Grosso’s Loveletters to skateboarding are going to go onto to become some of the most influential, culturally deep and significant reflections ever made on skate culture.

 

 

 

 

So without further ado, and with no need to be in chronological order – here’s our loveletter to Jeff Grosso. There’s so much out there on the Internet so this is only intended as a pointer based on our own playlists since the great man passed. Either way – buckle up and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Thankfully, there are as-yet-unaired episodes of Loveletters still to come out with Season 11 episodes focusing on the Japanese and the LGBTQ skate scenes currently under production by Sixstair so we have much to look forward to. For now – tell your friends you love them and stay safe. Jeff Grosso rules!

 

 

 

 

The above are some of our favourites – if you want to catch the entire back catalogue of Grosso’s Loveletters – you can do so here: Vans playlist Grosso Loveletters in order.

Let’s close it off with Jeff’s appearance in the still fucking incredible Antihero ‘Destination Unknown’ video. All hail the man. We love you Oliver!

 

 

A loveletter to Jeff Grosso


Vans Rowan Pro Release Date

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

Vans Rowan Pro Release Date

 

 

We’ve known at Black Sheep now for a while that (Sir) Rowan Zorilla was due his own first Pro model for Vans. Seriously been hyped for this release date as with our instagram hashtag #BigFansOfHisWork truly rings true in Rowan’s case.

 

When you hear the stories from Jason Dill saying he’s that one dude who he’d love to steal for Fucking Awesome and praise from many a pro skater claiming Rowan as in there top picks you know he’s more than worthy of his name on a Vans Pro Skate shoe. So it don’t take much our end to go with the excuse of gathering as much Rowan footage as we can and compiling in one easy watch space. Scan below for some serious shockingly futuristic skateboarding from the style master Mr Zorilla.

 

vans-rowan-pro-skate-shoe

 

Guess along with the footage below we’ll give you a sneak preview of the mighty new all Pro Skate Shoes designed by Rowan and the Vans Pro team of designers. The features and details are above and beyond on the Rowan Pro including all new Vans “Sick Stick” waffle gum sole and “PopCush” impact protection/comfort insoles. The outer silhouette has hints of the ever popular Vans Half Cab along with the classic side-stripe and padded heal. Rowan’s further detailing includes his Pro signature woven tongue and embossed heel tab. All this along with the Vans classic Pro Skate upgrades including the ever durable ‘Duracap’ under toe extra layer, triple stitched ollie areas and breathable side panels. Be sure to check all available colourways for the Vans Skate Rowan Pro on release date of Saturday 15th February, shoes will be available in our Manchester Skate Store and online via the link below-

 

https://www.blacksheepstore.co.uk/vans-skate-shoes.html

 

 

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Vans Pro Skate are only available at select skate stores, please see the full range here.

 

 

 


Vans Shop Riot UK 2019 – Graystone Action Sports Manchester

Friday, October 18th, 2019

Vans Shop Riot UK 2019 – Graystones Action Sports Manchester
This has been said many times previously but it absolutely deserves reiterating: Vans Shop Riot is hands down the best event in the UK skateboard calendar. There is a lot of talk from a lot of brands about the cultural value and necessity of supporting core skate stores but there is only one brand who actually put their money where their mouth is and that brand is Vans.
We can argue all day about the relative ‘legitness’ of the myriad skate shoe brands in our universe if you like and, judging on Instagram battling, people love to, but one, simple, undeniable fact remains.
Only Vans are prepared to put their hands in their pockets and back up the rhetoric year after year with an event that brings the sadly dwindling number of UK skateboard shops together to create a space for localism to be celebrated, skaters both known and unknown to shine and, more importantly, still manage to keep things 100% skate in the process.

 

 

For those of you not clued up as to what Vans Shop Riot is, here’s a very brief summary.
Vans invite skate stores from across our country (and our European counterparts) to come together for a shop team event every year. The idea is simple: without skate stores, skateboarding culture is screwed, so why not create an event that allows all the major stores responsible for nourishing their local skate communities to gravitate towards one place for a weekend? Vans fork out for hotels, food, booze and the venue and the crews come to rip purely based on the love and respect that they have for the skate shops that support them. In the simplest terms – it’s on some Robin Hood shit. You get me?

 

 

If my slowly disintegrating memory is correct, the recent Vans UK Shop Riot 2019 Graystone Action Sports Manchester event marked the 11th anniversary of Van’s commitment to celebrating the lifeblood of our skateboard scene and what a weekend it was. Vans UK masterminds Olly Wright, Manhead, Matt Lloyd, Amanda Destroyed Brains, Ralph Knackered Hip and various others held the reigns and curated a banger of a weekend.
Free booze from Northern Monk (who doesn’t love their 2% IPA?), free BBQ chomp, Blast skates pinatas, a warm up sesh at the Pump Cage and a Saturday at Graystone watching the best humans from the best shops in the country go in – I mean, you’d have to be an utter bellend not to enjoy that, wouldn’t you?

The answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes’ just in case you were wondering.
As defending champions, the Black Sheep Family came out swinging, qualifying in first coming into the semi finals but you know us, as the Kersal Massive said “we dont fuck about”. With that said, when the final was finally finalised, nobody was going to argue with Flatspot’s position as Vans Shop Riot 2019 winners – the Devon cream tea heads went in – fair play.

 

 

I could ramble on all day about this but really, you might as well just watch the excellent Ryan Gray crafted video at the top of this guff and decide for yourself.
As a completist of the highest order, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you the full list of attendees as you’re very probably not going to see them anywhere else so…
If we work on the proviso that the eventual winners were in reverse order:
1st Flatspot
2nd Black Sheep
3rd Slick Willies
4th Lost Art
4th 5050

That then means that the full results are as follows (according to the score sheets).
6th The House
6th Freestyle
8th Sessions
9th Forty Two
10th Skate Warehouse
11th TR7
12th Kultivation
13th Flavour
14th Big Wooodys
15th Lariatt
16th Ideal
17th Welcome
18th Decimal
19th Exist
20th Brixton’s Baddest
21st Cardiff Skate Club

 

 

So there you have it. Absolute banger of a weekend for all involved. Never ending big ups to all the Vans heads for making this happen year after year. Even heavier big ups to all the shop crews that came and repped hard for the love and a special donation of knucks to our very own Rikk Fields who managed to break his ankle in the finals, carry on skating till the final whistle and then still drink a brace of booze before returning to grafter land.

If you want more, head over to the Vague Mag site for a full photo overview by skateboarding’s own Man Mountain Marko, the very venerable Leo Sharp and the equally venerable Rafski.

 

 

And then, seeing as how we didn’t win this year, scroll down and drink deeply from our victory in 2018.
We’ll be back in 2020 and this time we’re going to DESTROY you.


Vans Shop Riot UK 2019 – Graystone Action Sports Manchester