Matt Burke: Blue Sky Longboards

Matt Burke, founder of Blue Sky Longboards, located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania has been skating since before you were born. Active in the skate community since 1971, Matt has been heavily involved in skateboard related charity fundraising and has spent the last four years growing his board company with the help of his son Noah.

“Pushing Wood and Doin’ Good”- the motto of Blue Sky does exactly that by taking skateboarding and using it to give back to the community.

The concept is simple. Host a 10-mile long push event that consists of 10 riders. Each rider gets 10 people to donate 1 dollar for every mile they push. 10 x 10 x 10 = $1,000.00. This concept allows the chance to raise good money while having a blast doing it. The money collected is donated to hyper local charities to directly impact the immediate community.

Matt, his family, and his skate team have also been active in helping out with other notable charities and foundations such as The A.skate Foundation and Stoked Mentoring. The A.skate Foundation is a non-profit that allows children with autism to be a part of our social world through skateboarding and Stoked Mentoring aims to promote personal development, academic achievement, and healthy living to under-served youth through action sports culture.

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Skate: Giovanni Lategano

What is new with Blue Sky and what are your plans for the future?

“In addition to our existing decks the Lotus and the Contrail, we have just released our newest deck the Chakra. This board was designed by our team rider Leon Vincent aka Leon the Lion. The shape is a single kick, directional top mount for downhill and freeride. The board features a healthy, rear-offset W concave for a nice locked in feel. In the past we have had a lineup of several “entry level” decks that have since been discontinued. We have decided to go with a new direction, take our time, and develop what we like to call our ‘Timeless Lineup’”. Our goal is to have 8 permanent shapes that will range from a push deck, a traditional popsicle stick street deck, to reintroducing our Beefy old school pool deck, among others.”

Leon Vincent skating the all new "Chakra". Photo: Ross Earhart

Leon Vincent skating the all new “Chakra”. Photo: Ross Earhart

Can you explain more about your “Timeless Lineup?”

“I want there to be boards in our line up that beginners can gravitate towards and feel comfortable right away and I also want boards that the highest quality professionals are going to want to step on as well. I don’t feel like you need a massive line-up of 30 plus shapes to accomplish that. Ultimately its all going to boil back down to a couple of shapes that are meaningful, that work, that are going to stick around for the long haul and everything else will pretty much fall away. Skateboards are getting bigger and longboards are getting smaller and it’s all converging.  In the end, there are only going to be a couple shapes that really last”.

What were you involved with before you started Blue Sky?

“I had previous experience pressing and shaping wood for a snowboarding company called “Summit” when I lived in Breckinridge, Colorado in the late 80’s. At the same time I was very involved in teaching snowboarding. I must have been one of the first 20 people in the world to get certified to by the Professional Ski Instructors of America, and I was a part of the first clinics to teach people to teach people to snowboard. Later in life, my career path had been in marketing for high tech companies to help bring brands to life at tradeshows. Eventually I ended up with a firm that did most of their work for pharmaceutical companies and I hated it, I hated the pharmaceutical industry and just decided to leave the firm I was with. At that point I decided it’s now or never, if I want to pursue my passion I needed to do it now.”

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Matt Burke after winning his first skateboard competition at 8 years old

Tell me about your team!

“We have a team of 20 riders that are managed and coached by Luke Ayata. He is on the board of directors for the IDSA and is a founding member of the Concrete Kings and the Shralpers Union. He is also an ex-professional basketball player who has since become and integral part of the NYC longboard scene.”

“Our team includes some great skaters and some of the fastest pushers in the world. They have reached podium at events including the Broadway bomb, Central Park Race, Ultra Skate and Adrenalina. Some notable team riders include Colleen Pelech who previously broke the world record at Ultra Skate in 2013 and was also one of the first two women to accomplish skating across the United States. Clio Sherman and Daisy Johannes are two very talented skaters who I am stoked to have on the team. Giovanni Lategano and Cameron Luke Wilson make up our international team members and are doing what they do best in Argentina and South Africa. Max Allesandri is a very talented freerider who is currently in 1st place in the Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series. Miles Evans took 3rd place at last years Broadway Bomb and has done very well in many other push races”. Joao Pineiro is an amazing push racer from Peru that now lives in NYC but goes back to Peru at least once a year and helps stoke out the community down there with a big push event. Jason Quinn has a dancing style like no one else I have seen. I hope to do a dance board and edit for him very soon. I am just really proud of everyone on the team. They are super chill and just fun to be around.

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Skate: Daisy Johannes Photo:Christian Barnard

You have some very talented Push Racers, don’t you?

“We are basically “based” in NYC and because of the strong push scene here, yes we have developed an incredibly strong push team. Long distance push racing is a form of extreme athleticism. It’s growing; the IDSA is working hard to create a collegiate level series. Most colleges have a longboard club and every one of those clubs have been doubling in size and now the colleges are funding the clubs and more skaters will be able to attend these events. It’s a more serious athletic approach to skateboarding. A lot of strategy and preparation is involved, you can’t just jump out there with a red bull and go do it. You’re training, you’re eating, you’re prepping for weeks and months in advance for it.”

Colleen Pelech Photo: Grace Moon

Colleen Pelech
Photo: Grace Moon

What is the Blue Sky Mile Challenge?

“When we first started the company, we produced an event called the “Blue Sky Mile Challenge,” and it brought out riders from everywhere.  The thing I am most proud about in that event is that we paid the women the same amount in prize money as the men. We gave out an equal amount of money and prizes regardless of gender. About a year later we exhibited at Surf Expo and some members of the largest company in the industry approached us. They told us that what we did by offering equal prize money changed their outlook on how to treat women in the industry. That in itself was a huge accomplishment for me. Women need more support, and now more events have been honoring equal prize money. If you are going to separate the sexes, then why is the top of one group any less valuable then the top of the other group.”

#Showmeatrick is blowing up on facebook, what’s that all about?

“This page is a personal thing and not a Blue Sky thing. It is devoted to sharing the skateboard camaraderie with short boards and longboards alike. If it helps bring the short and long board communities together, then that’s something really special. I am very happy with how #showmeatrick is going. It helps keep skateboarding fun and helps promote progression. Very notable old school legends as well as modern day professionals have gotten involved, too. This page isn’t about sponsorships, branding, or companies. It’s as simple as show me a freaking trick and challenge a friend to do the same. That’s all any of us really want to see anyway.”

Max Allesandri skating the all new "Chakra". Photo: Ross Earhart

Max Allesandri skating the all new “Chakra”. Photo: Ross Earhart

Can you tell me a secret?

Blue Sky and Pantheon Longboards are joining forces to create a single distribution alliance. This is something that I’m very excited about. Jeff Vyain is one of the most authentic and creative people I know in the industry. What he’s been able to do with Pantheon in such a short period of time is truly outstanding. Jeff and I share the same enthusiasm for collaboration. We are excited to work under one roof and focus our strengths for the good of both brands and the skate community. We are discussing ideas that entail everything from complimentary products under the alliance to event planning. The partnership will allow us to simplify our sales and distribution processes, making it easier for shops to order and more efficient for us from a business end. The goal is to continue to keep both businesses family run and to get better at it!

Skate: Jason Quinn Photo: Christian Barnard

Skate: Jason Quinn
Photo: Christian Barnard

Weekend Weather Roundup: 4/4-4/6

Since spring is here and the days are a bit longer, I decided we’d do a new weekly feature, the Weekend Weather Roundup, to take a look at the weather up and down the east coast for the weekend ahead. Weekend Weather RoundupI’m no meteorologist, but I do know some pretty fancy websites to visit and even have an app or two on my iPhone, so some people say I come close.

For this first week I picked a whole smattering of cities, probably far too many, so leave a comment and tell us which ones we should keep, and which ones you think need to be cut from the list. If you think we should add somewhere we don’t currently have on the list holler and I’ll add it for next time. All our weather info is sourced from the Weather Underground, check it out if you’re not familiar as it’s a killer weather resource.

New England

Let me start off by saying predicting the weather in New England, especially in spring, is a fools game. The professionals can’t get this right 90% of the time. Mark Twain gave an epic speech on just how whacky it is. It just doesn’t make sense. No matter how hard you try, it’s probably wrong. This warning generally applies more to when it’s supposed to be nice out than when it’s supposed to be miserable – but the type of miserable weather might be different from you were expecting (e.g. if it calls for rain, it could easily be snow). You’ve been warned, but you should also be used to this by now.

Bangor, ME

Bangor, Maine…well, how do I put this lightly? Things look kinda rough in your neck of the woods. While it’s beginning to be spring throughout much of the east coast, you’re going to get the shaft just a bit longer. Friday will be sunny with an afternoon high of 47° so take advantage while you can because at night it’s going to dip down to around 33° and start snowing after midnight. IT’S GOING TO SNOW AT NIGHT. What makes it even worse is you can expect 1 to 3″ of accumulation, so it’s really going to mess your Saturday up. Which isn’t a big deal, because Saturday looks like a 100% chance of rain with a high of 48° and low of 22°, meaning things are probably going to be pretty icy when it’s all said and done. Sunday looks pretty salvageable with a high of 47°, some clouds in the morning but they should clear up and make for a sunny afternoon. At the very least it’ll help dry things off since your week after that looks nice overall…

Burlington, VT

I thought Bangor might have had it worst in this lineup since it’s so far north, but having just seen Burlington’s weather report I feel a bit worse.

Weekend Weather Roundup Radar Map

Tons of rain, son.

Even Friday afternoon looks like it’ll suck, as it’s going to be overcast all day with a high of 50°. As you head into the evening you can expect rain and ice pellets to start falling from the sky at around 8PM or so, lasting through Saturday morning. Saturday will start off wet and brisk but will become partly cloudy in the afternoon with a high of 46°. Sunday is the day to take advantage of with a high of 52° and sunny, bluebird skies. You’ll finally be able to start evening out that goggle tan as we move into the warmer months, so make sure you get out there and take advantage of it.

Boston, MA

Our friends by the bay are going to have an overcast Friday afternoon like much of the rest of New England, with a high of 44° and rain starting around 11PM. Saturday is going to be a mix of les mis in the morning and possibly a salvageable afternoon, with rain and fog running through about 8AM and some partly cloudy skies in the afternoon — high of 56°. Sunday though, sunday should be a beautiful 56° with sunny skies all day – it’s springtime baby!

Western MA

Most of you don’t care, but this is where Skate The East is based out of since both Henry and I call home most of the year, so it’s going on the list. Deal with it. Friday is going to be overcast with a high of 52° and a 90% chance of rain tonight. Saturday looks pretty nice overall though, a change from the usual and from the rest of New England, with partly cloudy skies and a beautiful high of 56°. Sunday gets even nicer, with sunny skies all day and a high of 60° – no, I didn’t mistype that, it’ll finally be back in the 60′s.

Hartford, CT

See the Western MA forecast but with Saturday being 58° and Sunday being 61°. No excuses for complaining.

Mid-Atlantic

A much less mystic force than those of New England, these might be a bit more accurate. I have absolutely no evidence that that’s a true statement, though…

New York City, NY

Friday looks like it’ll be a washout in the city, but the rest of the weekend should be on point, or as they say, “mad nice.” Saturday will be clear skies and a high of 57°, meaning the roads should be nice and dry by the time everyone wakes up and shakes their hangover (or finishes their Saturday morning cartoons…). Sunday follows the trend of being the nicest day this week with a high of 60° and clear, sunny skies all day. Make sure to pack a jacket if you’re going to be out at night though, as lows will still be dipping into the mid-30′s.

Philadelphia, PA

Philly folks see the weather report for NYC by and large. Saturday will be nice and sunny with a high of 57° and Sunday will also feature sunny skies and a beautiful high of 62°.

Washington, DC

Washington, DC is lucking out and missing some of the rain that’s headed north. Friday afternoon will have a weekend high of 66° and overcast skies to keep the direct sun off of you. Saturday and Sunday will both be beautiful and sunny, with highs of 61° both days. I can’t lie, sounds about perfect right now. I won’t be as jealous once the humidity hits you guys like a bat though, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Weekend Weather Roundup Regions

Southeast

I felt like Asheville shouldn’t be the only city in this category, but the options are pretty limited…

Asheville, NC

The Mecca of the East, Asheville is having a wet and wild Friday, with rain and overcast skies this afternoon making way for a chance of thunderstorms this evening. The high today looks like an extremely comfortable 72° though, so my jealousy is off the charts. Thunderstorm or no thunderstorm, I’d kill to wear shorts and chill on a porch for an afternoon right now, hopefully the AGP boys hold it down for me. Saturday will be sunny and 63° while Sunday will be partly cloudy and 63°.

If no one films down there this weekend I’m going to be very disappointed.

Miami, FL

Miami, Miami, Miami…I really just put this on the list to remind the rest of the east coast that our weather sucks, and there’s a city close by that we can all be mad at and envious of. Usually L.A. takes the rap, but let’s just keep it all east coast and channel it down there.

Miami will be fucking perfect on Friday, with a high of 82° and partly cloudy skies. Saturday will also be fucking perfect, with a high of 85° and partly cloudy skies. Know what’s funny? Sunday will also be fucking perfect, with partly cloudy skies AGAIN, and a high of 86°. Did we mention there’ll be a beautiful, calm, cooling ocean breeze every day? Ugh…I can’t keep talking about this…

Leave a comment!

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Pantheon Embryo: What You Need to Know

Pantheon EmbryoThese days you’re hard pressed to find someone doing anything really unique in the game. Loaded regularly employs new materials and techniques, Never Summer has integrated some of their snowboard technology into their longboards, Comet produces green boards and Earthwing has recently changed the game with their NLS lineup; beyond those though I feel like we see a lot of  board companies copying each other and putting a slight twist on the end product.

Enter Pantheon Longboards. New for this 2014 season, Pantheon is headed by Jeff Vyain, the former board designer for Bustin’ Boards and the brains behind some of the most popular deck designs over the last couple of years.Pantheon Longboards This fall Jeff decided to venture off on his own and left Bustin’ on great terms, moving his family and new company up to Pennsylvania to get things rolling. After a few short months Jeff has unleashed the first deck in Pantheon’s lineup, the Embryo.

Pantheon, as Jeff described to me, is meant to be a no bull sh*t approach to skateboards, paying attention to the details and the finer points of design to bring you the best feeling skateboard possible. To quote Jeff himself:

My focus for Pantheon really isn’t on innovation for the sake of innovation, but creating stellar, practical designs with innovative (or non-innovative) features that just work. No bullshit. No hype. Just an awesome skateboard that combines with that awesome hill or path or whatever that gives you that awesome feeling.

What I’m super stoked about with the Embryo is what they’re calling the “W-Bubbles” concave. Instead of having the W run throughout the length of the board like you usually see, the Embryo has a flat standing surface in the middle for comfortable distance pushing (Jeff’s former specialty) and W concave towards the ends to lock you in during slides and in a tuck. [UPDATE 3/3/14: Jeff sent me an e-mail and Will commented below letting me know that the Madrid Nessie also featured a similar concave before, apologies.] Feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ve seen this “W-Bubble” concave on any other decks before, but it sounds pretty dope.

The "W-Bubbles" in the Pantheon Embryo

The “W-Bubbles” in the Pantheon Embryo

The deck is asymmetrical and the concave changes a bit throughout it, as well. As you can read in the graphic below, one end has a gradually tapered concave, while the other sports some gentle 3D concave — a “Funnel Concave” if you will. While the deck is asymmetrical, Jeff assures me that it can be ridden either direction depending on what your preference is. So while it’s technically a directional board, its directional in whichever way you choose — pretty unique and very cool.

To top it all off the graphic is dope as hell. Eddie Kihm came through and did the dopest job designing this graphic, setting the stage for a lot of other companies to step their game up come 2014. Just like we mentioned with Earthwing’s NLS lineup, we’re stoked to see that Pantheon is manufacturing their decks right here in the USA – that’s what’s up!

Length: 36.5 in
Width: 10 in
Rocker: 0.25in
Wheelbases: 25.5-29 inches

You can pick one up from Pantheon themselves for $130.00, helping to support a small and local east coast company! Sound off with your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

Pantheon Embryo

Earthwing N.L.S.: New Deck Technology and Lineup

I got an e-mail from Earthwing head honcho Brian Petrie giving me the scoop on a new technology and deck line they’re dropping, dubbed N.L.S. (Next Level Shit).

Earthwing N.L.S. 37 and 40

Earthwing N.L.S. 37 and 40

Earthwing N.L.S. decks are made using a crush-welding processes that presses each deck individually (many decks are pressed en masse) in an aluminum mold under heat and pressure. There’s no glue involved and the bond formed is  stronger than the core material itself,  so delams are said to be a thing of the past. The core is then pressed in between layers of what Earthwing calls Unbeleivium, a rigid fibrous material that adds “unusually stiff torsional support” to the deck. What’s all this mean? It means that you get a deck with a 4 ply core that’s just as stiff as a 9 ply deck. Less weight but the same stiffness is better for your skateboarding.

Earthwing N.L.S. 40 holding 96oz of water.

Earthwing N.L.S. 40 holding 96oz of water.

The decks will also feature 360 degree concave that essentially forms a giant bowl on the deck. Brian said they were able to fill one with 96oz of water and sent a picture to prove it. Not the first time we’ve seen ‘cereal bowl concave’ if I remember correctly, but impressive stuff none the less. An added bonus? It’s all made here in the USA and is clean, green and recyclable.

The first two decks featuring the new technology will be the Earthwing N.L.S. 40 and N.L.S. 37. They’re describing the 40 as a symmetrical free ride/park deck while the 37 is a directional speed board with a functional kick tail. Full stats and dimensions are below.

If you want to get your hands on one of these bad boys they’ll be available worldwide in just a few days, on March 1st 2014.

N.L.S. 40 N.L.S. 37
Dimensions 40″ x 10″ 37″ x 9.875″
Wheelbase 20 13/16″ – 24″ 20 13/16″ – 24″
Nose 4 5/8″ – 7 1/8″ 1 1/2″ – 4″
Tail 4 5/8″ – 7 1/8″ 4 5/8″ – 7 1/8″

Earthwing N.L.S. Concave

The NY Times On NYC Skating

Solomon Lang New York Times

The New York Times is running an article in its Monday edition that focuses on the thriving NYC push culture that shows no sign of abating anytime soon, despite the recent deaths of two skaters in Queens and the Bronx.

The article spends much of the time talking to Bustin’ Boards rider and friend of the site Solomon Lang, who does an excellent job of representing the sport in a positive light, while also acknowledging that fact that risks are involved and you can wind up getting hurt — just like on a bicycle. It also talks about the failed attempt to stop last year’s Broadway Bomb, the differences between longboards and skateboards, and highlights New York’s unique skateboard scene. Shout outs to the whole Concrete Kings crew, who also get some great lip service throughout the piece.

One thing I was really stoked about was that the writer, Winnie Hu, did a great job pointing out that despite the fact that longboards don’t have breaks like a bicycle or car, you’re able to slow down to a stop effectively and quickly by foot breaking, showing that not all skaters are out of control and dangerous.

It’s a great read and some awesome publicity for the longboarding community. Give it a look and check out the pictures that accompany it.

They race through the streets of New York, cruising through the cityscape as they try to outmaneuver taxis and dodge car doors swinging open.

They are not rookie Citi Bike riders: they are skateboarders, navigating city streets with no fear and no brakes.

“You definitely get a rush or a thrill,” said Solomon Lang, 31, who started a group called the Concrete Kings that conducts organized rides in the city. “People see us and think we have a death wish, but we’re totally comfortable.” - New York Times

If you want to catch it in print, you can find the article on A16 in the Monday October 7th, 2013 paper with the headline “Despite Hazards, Street Skateboarding Thrives.”

2nd NYC Skater Killed

2nd NYC Skater Killed in Less Than a Week

More tragic news comes out of New York City today, just 6 days after the death of a Queens teen while skateboarding home from school. 21-year old Genielle Laboriel was killed as she crossed the street at 160th Street on Melrose Avenue in the Bronx this morning, police and witnesses say.

2nd NYC Skater Killed

Screenshot from the News 12 coverage.

Laboriel was skateboarding at 7:15 AM this morning on Melrose Avenue when a mini-school bus carrying children struck her while making a right hand turn on to 160th Street. One witness, 47-year-old Juanita Hernandez told the New York Post that she saw Laboriel first skateboarding on the sidewalk before moving into the cross walk, where she was hit by the mini-bus. News 12 in the Bronx, however, says that Laboriel was struck while traveling northbound in the bike lane on Melrose Avenue; we’re unable to independently confirm which is actually the case.

49-year-old Nelson McKinsey was returning home from a trip to the corner store when he heard Laboriel scream, by the time he looked up, he said, she was already under the bus. It was McKinsey who then ran up to his apartment to retrieve his phone and dialed 911. Laboriel was transported to nearby Lincoln Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

2nd NYC Skater Killed at this intersection in the Bronx.

The intersection of Melrose Ave and 160th St.

The driver of the bus remained on the scene and all the children were transported off the bus. No school children on board the bus were injured. Police say things are still under investigation, but that no charges have been brought against the driver yet. A nearby building’s security camera was able to capture the incident on camera, which police have taken as evidence in their investigation.

Sources linked above. 

 

18-Year Old Skater Killed in NYC

Some tragic news came out of New York City on Thursday afternoon, just over two weeks before thousands of skaters plan on descending upon the city to skate in the Broadway Bomb. 18-year old skater Alexander Ciszewski was killed after being run over by a truck while skateboarding home from school Thursday afternoon in Queens, after losing control of his board while skitching.

18-Year Old Skater Killed in NYC - 2005 GMC Box Truck

One type of 2005 GMC box truck.

Police say Ciszewski was holding the passenger side of a white 2005 GMC box truck (e.g. a U-Haul or Ryder type truck), skitching a ride, on 47th Avenue near 32nd Place in Sunnyside when he lost control and fell backwards, being run over by the truck’s back wheels.

One witness, Jadon Thompson, told the New York Post that “I know [the truck driver] probably saw the guy. He sped up about five miles per hour either to get the kid to let go, or to give him a faster ride.”

Thompson was the first to respond to the scene and called 911, where he found Ciszewski face down and gasping for air intermittently. Ciszewski was rushed to nearby Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to DNAinfo NYC.

The driver didn’t stop immediately, leaving the scene of the crash, although Gothamist reports that the driver came back to the scene about 20 minutes later. Police say it remains unclear if the driver knew the teen had fallen and been run over, and are investigating whether or not a crime was committed.

The news is tragic, but also serves as a poignant reminder that skitching, especially on the sides of vehicles, is incredibly dangerous. When the driver isn’t fully aware that you’re there, and/or isn’t in communication with you, the risk is exponentially higher.

Accidents happen when you least expect them, so skate safe and skate smart everyone.

Photo via Bestrucks.com

 

Fresh Wheel Co. x Skate The East Danger Wheels Give Away!

It’s been a little while since our last full fledged give away, so we teamed up with a new east coast wheel company out of Maryland, Fresh Wheel Co., to give everyone a chance to win a new set of wheels or a Skate The East t-shirt. The guys over at Fresh have been hard at work developing their new wheels over the past few months so we’re stoked to be able to team up with them and give a set of their Danger downhill/freeride wheels to one lucky winner. They’re 72mm 80a wheels that were developed with east coast gnarliness in mind, a perfect piece of gear to start the summer off right.  Another lucky person will walk away looking fresher than before in a Skate The East t-shirt with some stickers to swag your board out, too. Make sure to read on for all the details on how to enter!

freshwheeels-giveaway-may2013

The contest is going to go down a little different than the last few we’ve done, forcing you to get off the computer and get out onto some hills if you want to win! To enter:

  1. “Like” both Skate The East and Fresh Wheel Co. on Facebook
  2. Share the contest photo with your friends
  3. Post an original photo of you or a friend shredding on the Fresh Wheel Co. Facebook Page’s wall
  4. Tag both Fresh Wheel Co. and Skate The East in the photo.

From here we’ll choose the top 10 photos to move onto the next round and let you guys decide who wins by voting on which photo you like best. All photos must be submitted by June 5th (that’s a week from today) in order for you to be entered! Make sure you’re a fan of both pages by then as well, otherwise your photo will be disqualified. If you have questions hit us up by leaving a comment below, via e-mail (mike [at] skate the east.net) or on our Facebook Page.

Happy skating and good luck! We’re amped to see what people come up with!

Man Defends Himself Against Cougar with Longboard

You can the title as many times as you’d like, but your eyes aren’t fooling you. While walking along a wooded path (what we’d call a trail out here, by the sounds of it) in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, a man was suddenly attacked by a large cougar while listening to music through his headphones. cougarvslongboardHe was hit from behind with enough force to knock him to the ground, fortunately for him his quick thinking lead him to elbow the cougar in the face before using his longboard to stun it and escape unscathed.

Officials from the park say that attacks of this nature are extremely rare, as cougars are relatively shy, wary animals who tend to avoid human contact. This means that the cougar is either very young and doesn’t yet know how to hunt, or is in some sort of dire straights and is going for the easiest prey possible — either scenario isn’t good.

What can you do to avoid getting attacked yourself? Carry some bear mace, making noise, and walking in pairs or groups while also avoiding dawn and dusk are your best bets for steering clear of any trouble.

While this took place far away from the east coast and not directly related to skating, it’s a good reminder that you should always be aware of your surroundings, and make sure friends or family know where you’re going if you’re alone. It’s a best practice to skate, hike, etc. with a buddy in case anything ever happens, but when you can’t find anyone you should at least leave a note or shoot someone a message. We’re not the only creatures in the great outdoors, and it seems like after Buffalo Bill Downhill and this incident, animals are becoming even more and more curious about skating.

Stay safe out there.

 

(via the National Post)

Skate The East Welcomes Tom Leary

We’ve been working hard on building a team of writers to bring you guys the best content possible surrounding the east coast longboarding scene, and are stoked to announce another awesome addition to the staff, Tom Leary.

Best known for his kickass filming and editing skills, Tom is one of the rising stars in New England and by far one of the gnarliest kids on and off the hill I know. He’s also quickly making a name for himself in front of the camera — riding for Nelson Longboards and Tiger Design Wheel Co. — with some of the smoothest and steezy switch toesides I’ve seen in a minute. He’s got some great insight on where the sport is, and where he thinks it’ll be going, as well as an impecable eye when it comes to videos. Tom will touch base on a variety of topics in his posts and will be a driving force behind some of our coming interviews with east coast riders. We’re hoping we can convince him to chef up a few videos for your viewing pleasure, too.

We’re super stoked to have him on board, help us give him a warm welcome and share the news with your friends with a Like or Tweet!

tom_leary_author_collage