adidas x Metropolitan Capsule 2 – ’90s Drift Culture Tech Pack

adidas Skateboarding is teaming up again with legendary NYC skate apparel brand, Metropolitan for a limited drop on March 21st. The latest capsule features a tech pack inspired by ’90s drift racing and import car culture.

adidas x Metropolitan - Ambush Skateboarding

“​We all had import tuner cars, like ridiculous Honda ’97 Civic DXs with a spoiler,” ​says Metropolitan founders Keith Hufnagel and Hanni El Khatib. “We both had a ’97 Integra with blacked-out lenses and stuff. That’s the vibe and a treasure chest of design inspiration​. ​All of this sparked from these Japanese import illegal drift racing videos, pre Fast & Furious in the mid ‘90s. They feel underground and illegal, which they were.”​

The blacked out adidas ZX8000 pays homage to clandestine late night races with accent colors inspired by the lights and paint jobs on those cars. Check it: Read More >

2019 Tampa Am & Everything that Comes with It

As told by Christian Hall

Tampa Am is the undisputed top contest for AM skateboarders worldwide. Whether you’re from Brazil, Japan, or Atlanta, GA. This is the contest to make it to!

Day 1: Practice Day

 The first day of Tampa Am is typically the Thursday before the weekend event. This means practice day. It’s hectic. Skater after skater. Board after board. Everyone is either trying to warm up in a crowded park or they’re already warm showcasing their best tricks. After practice everyone heads to the cafe in the back for the rider meeting/welcome to town after party. Personally, this was one of my favorite parts. You get to kickback and relax with your homies, meet new friends from all over the world, and drink free PBRs. You can even get “FREE tattoos”. I got three, how could you not love it? Read More >

Cruising The Berrics

As told by Christian Hall

The good homie, Christian Hall, has been taking his skateboarding everywhere. With a workmanlike approach, Christian has spent the last month traveling from NYC to ATL to LA to Tampa, with a brief stint in Macon, GA in between. Through the miles, Christian found some time to relate one of his favorite experiences from his travels: a stout session at The Berrics with the guys from Primitive. Read below:

Growing up in school I would always put my school computer on private mode to sneak and catch up on The Berrics. Whether it was new products, Battle of the Berrics, or Battle Commanders, I had to see what was next. The Berrics is a private skatepark/skateboarding hub for products, content and contests. Read More >

Brothers from Different Mothers?

Two backside lipslides and a backside tailslide. Who's who?
Huhta, Spelta, Da Silva…who’s who?

Have you ever watched a part and immediately thought, “Oh, this person is biting so and so’s style.”? Or, watched a friend or local skateboarder switch up their kit to look like their favorite professional? When I see this I’m sure anyone within 20 miles can hear the sound of my eyes rolling. Fairly recently three separate skateboarders have caught my attention, all of whom share similar trick selection, style, etc. Has anyone ever seen Heitor Da Silva, Vincent Huhta, or Ruben Spelta in the same place? Maybe they are all the same person? Or, are they brothers from different mothers?

Watch these three parts.

Vincent Huhta’s Sour Solution II Part

adidas Skateboarding Presents /// Heitor

Ruben Spelta’s Mamma Mia

Even though all three seem to mimic each other they still manage to coexist with a certain level of autonomy that seems authentic. I really like all three of these parts, but I think I like Vincent’s part the best. What do you guys think? Read More >

Skateboarding and the Olympic$

Thoughts on the subject by two dudes with sometimes varying opinions.

Figgy getting in the spirit for the Olympics! LOL

Perhaps foretold by Neal Hendrix a suspended USA Skateboarding executive committee member who is not to be named, et al., in Atlanta in 1996, skateboarding is now an Olympic sport.  Skateboarders are a seriously opinionated lot…and there is, of course, a dearth of opinions on the topic all over the place.  Most of these opinions are predictably negative.  We’re not that interested in calling people kooks or offering up vapid generalities.  Instead, we’d like to talk about a few specifics.  Paradoxically, though, we’ll start with the most elemental question:

Should skateboarding be in the Olympics?

Eric E.:
Yes.  I feel that there are three reasons that this is even a question: Read More >

Sesame: The Contest #5 Photos & Video Recap is Live!

As told by Matthew Goodison-Orr

The morning of March 23rd was clear, with a promise to be sunny.  The temperatures promised a beautiful Spring day.  At Brook Run Skate Park, tables and chairs were being set up, pens and clipboards put out, signs erected.  The music started to fill the air.  Sesame: The Contest was being held.  This would be the 5th contest in the series hosted by Christian “Drizzy” Hanna.  Soon, the skaters would roll up to the tables to sign up for the beginner or advanced divisions.  Drizzy is busy filming a few of the skaters for the highlight video shown here.  The skaters are warming up and practicing their tricks while sizing up their competition. And then Drizzy slowly skates out, megaphone in hand, and announces the start of the contest. Immediately the park clears out, he thanks everyone for coming and calls out the first 3 names. Read More >

Boards and Breweries

Peter Raffin, Skateboarding, Beer, Shotgunning
Peter Raffin knows it!

It comes as no surprise to hear “Beer and Skateboarding go together like PB&J,” or as a true “Millennial” might say, “Avocado and Toast.”  Most of age skateboarders would probably agree with this.  Responsibly sharing a couple of brews with the homies amid a mini ramp session is great and it’s no secret.  It’s a trend made clearer when you see bigger brands like Brixton collaborate with Coors Original, 686 partner with Pabst Blue Ribbon, or the fact your favorite Street League pros will retire fruitfully off their windfall craft beer investments.  More so, it wouldn’t be a stretch to draw parallels between the craft beer renascence of recent years to the boom in small, independent skateboard brands currently taking the industry by storm.  Seemingly every time you blink a new skate brand is created.  With this in mind, it makes total sense for me to pair my favorite local brews with my favorite independent skateboard brands.  What’s not to love?  Boards and Breweries.

street league, saint archers, paul rodriguez, nine club
Saint Archer’s Money.

Creature Comforts’ “Tropcalia” and Blvd Skateboards

For a couple years now beer aficionados living in the Southeastern United States have raved about Creature Comforts’ Tropicalia IPA for its balanced, fruit-forward, hoppy flavor.  Often times, this IPA can be hard to find in the wild, and the same goes for a BLVD skateboard deck.  The beer gets it’s name “Tropicalia” from the Brazilian artistic movement that arose in the late 1960s.  Much like Creature Comforts’ affinity for a smooth, aromatic, citrusy IPA, BLVD shares an equivalent palette for skateboarding.  Look no further than their team’s pro roster for a heavy, stylish, and super smooth Brazilian style.  With guys like Rodrigo Petersen, Danny Cerezini, Carlos Iqui, and Tiago Lemos skateboarding for BLVD, it’s easy to see why I would pair the brand with this stellar IPA.

Monday Night Brewing’s “Dr. Robot” and Sour Solution Skateboards

Hailing from Atlanta, Monday Night Brewing has continued they’re expansion over the past several years, quickly becoming the brewery of choice for me.  Their year-round offerings consist of anything from a killer scotch ale aptly named Drafty Kilt to a Belgian-style wit named Fu Manbrew.  Monday Night’s lineup not only boasts humor, but depth.  Just don’t let Monday Night’s variety be mistaken for a weakness.  They didn’t spread themselves too thinly, and in my opinion, any of their beers would be another breweries breadwinner.  The same can be said for the eclectic Euro brand Sour Solution, which has an as extensive team that excels at whatever terrain lays ahead.  All-terrain riders like Barney Page and Oscar Candon both kill it in the streets and park, while Gustav Tonneson and Albert Nyberg’s approach may make you question their planetary origin.  For example, take Free Skateboard Magazine’s latest cover:

Barring, maybe, Rodney Mullen, who would have thought to Casper slide a wall?  NO ONE.  Furthermore, who would have thought a Casper could look so cool?  Well, again, NO ONE.  I have been proven wrong by Albert’s feat.  So, when it came time for me to pair Sour Solution with a brew from Monday Night, I decided to pick one I thought Monday Night would fail with.  That beer would be the new blackberry lemon sour Dr. Robot.  As apprehensive about it as I was, I’ll happily admit, for a sour, it’s great!  Kind of like Albert Nyberg’s Free Skateboard Magazine cover.  So a sour brew for Sour Solution.

Reformation Brewery’s “Stark” and Isle Skateboards

I’m often stuck in what I’ll coin as “beer Groundhog Day” where I’ll continuously drink the same two or three types or styles of beer ad nauseam.  Truthfully my go-to beers are normally pale ales, IPAs, and maybe a pilsner or two.  What beer always breaks this cycle?  If you guessed a strong porter, then you guessed right!  Just down the highway in Woodstock, GA, is Reformation Brewery and their Stark porter is a thing of beauty.  This beer is dark and full of robust character that hints of toasted malts and chocolate.  Since porters first were developed in London in the 18th century, what better brand to pair this porter with than with London’s very own Isle Skateboards.  Isle’s visual offerings tend to be dreary, but entrenched in strong, powerful skateboarding through unique tricks and spot selections.  Good on ya, chaps!

Red Hare Brewing’s “Long Day Lager” and Scumco & Sons

Has it been a long day? Maybe it’s been a long week. Either way, celebrate the beginning of summer with us tonight at the brewery! We’ve got live music and food for our Longest Day party, 5:30-8:30! #redharebrewery #longdaylager Read More >

2017: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

2017 is nearly a wrap and for the first time in ages I feel that collectively we can all breathe a slight sigh of relief.  Why?  Well, we made it out of the dumpster fire that was 2017, guys.  While that is reason enough to tie one on and celebrate, let’s not get too excited.  Regrettably, 2018 is revving up to be just as turbulent.  Whether it’s the constant barrage of bad news or social media overload, it’s apparent that it is harder to focus now more than ever.  Like many, my mind has was cooked by 2017.  So that’s my excuse for why my very cliche year-end “best of” or “listicle” may be missing some very noteworthy things.  With that said, in no particular order, here are somethings that made some crumby days brighter in 2017.

The Atlantic Drift series by Jacob Harris Read More >

Amazombie Apocalypse – The Clash Between Amazon and Action Sports

As Jeff Bezos scours the United States looking for a place to plop a second Amazon headquarters, I started thinking of how deeply addicted we as Americans are to Amazon. It started with the seduction of big discounts, intoxicating convenience, and the opportunity to buy anything capitalism has to offer under one domain. Now, Amazon has become the gatekeeper of all that is sold online and the place we as consumers go when we want to do the least amount of shopping and still get the best (at least, we think it’s the best) deal on the planet. I started looking inward as to whether or not Amazon’s outright dominance of all things ecommerce is a good thing for us in the long term. I mean, there’s a reason they call shoppers who buy exclusively on Amazon “Amazombies,” right?

Ambush Amazombies

In full disclosure, we at Ambush Board Co. absolutely offer a large percentage of our catalog on Amazon, but is that the right thing to do? We experience successes and failures on Amazon just like every other retailer.  I just wonder if this is healthy for us (and everyone else) in the long term.

Before we go any further, I feel compelled to illustrate how products actually get catalogued on Amazon. The most basic answer is: marketplace sellers (such as Ambush) list their products. Retailers pay a hefty per transaction commission to Amazon in exchange for visibility and sales on their site. Seems like a good deal, right? Well, in many senses, it is. The whole world has adopted ecommerce and an incredibly huge number of web shoppers are using Amazon as their sole source for online purchases.  Amazon has hit such a critical mass that retailers are almost forced to sell on Amazon. Shoppers are abandoning specialty retail websites at such a rapid clip that, in order to keep their products moving, retailers have become chained to Amazon. For many, many specialty retailers, Amazon is their primary source or revenue.

So what? Revenue is revenue, right? Those specialty retailers should be happy that Amazon affords them the opportunity to sell on their site, some might say. Not so fast. Amazon actually pits its specialty retailers against themselves. The more units retailers move on Amazon, the more eyebrows they raise at corporate headquarters.

Ever wonder how Amazon selects which products it decides to sell and ship itself? Ever wonder what happens to the original sellers once Amazon takes control of the distribution of that product? Amazon uses the data it collects from its marketplace sellers to find popular items that are creating a buzz on their site. Amazon then moves in and corners the market on those items. And, it doesn’t do this through friendly competition; it does so by boxing out the original sellers that had success with the products in the first place. Amazon then creates an artificial environment where the only option to buy is from Amazon itself. So, when an up-and-coming skate shop in Middle America is having success selling its merchandise to the world via Amazon, those sales make a huge contribution to that shop’s overall success. If one of their products is profitable enough, Amazon will block said skate shop from making those sales and put a major squeeze on their business, regardless of the investment that business has made in that product or in its ability to sell the product. Whether or not the shop can survive the pinch is of no consequence to Amazon. They will do whatever it takes in the pursuit of bigness.

The manufacturers of your favorite brand are partially to blame. Amazon can only decide to gate retailers if they have the products to sell in the first place, and they can’t get the products unless the manufacturer sells it to them. I don’t blame manufacturers for being seduced by Amazon, either. The allure of one of the sexiest companies in the world offering untold sums of money to sell your products has got to be nearly impossible to turn down, especially given that most manufacturers don’t readily recognize that, once Amazon makes its pricing demands, there isn’t much actually there for the manufacturer once the product has been produced and shipped. For some manufacturers, though, an order from Amazon is the difference between barely surviving and extraordinary short term success. The manufacturers simply taking the cash now over long-term viability. But, that fleeting moment of short-sidedness can have grave consequences.

Amazon does not need to make money in the short term. They are so cash rich that they even set aside hundreds of millions of dollars just to harm to a company it sees as a threat (look up what it did to Amazon simply considers taking losses on the sales of a specific product, brand, or category a small price to pay in the conquest of a market segment. They also view it as a small investment that they will see a massive return on once they have become the monopoly of their wettest dreams. They can discount deeper, and for a longer period of time, than everyone else. While the extreme markdowns sound good for the end user, they, along with Amazon’s gating tactics, will eventually push all specialty retailers away from Amazon. And, due to their total domination in all aspects of retail, the ruthless combo will drive specialty retailers out of business, as well. What will likely remain is a massive megalopoly where all skateboard, wakeboard, and snowboard merchandise is completely sold and shipped by Amazon and all board sales are totally devoid of any level of passion or tacit knowledge of the products or culture in general. This, in turn, commoditizes the very foundation from which we base our entire existence and vaporizes our sense of community.

Where does our industry go from there? Who will nurture it and help it grow? Will Amazon bring a demo to your town? Will Amazon sponsor the next rising am skateboarder? Will Amazon put on the next WSL event? Will Amazon film Travis Rice’s next project? I seriously doubt it.

I am cautiously optimistic that we will never get to that point. Amazon seems to have realized what a race to the bottom truly means for itself in the long run. It seems that they also recognize that they could very well be the kind of organization that 21st century anti-trust law is designed to protect us from. Plus…I’d like to think that it can only get so far using its current bully tactics (at least in our industry). Manufacturers are gaining the foresight to realize that, although it is beneficial for retailers to sell on Amazon, its increasingly unhealthy for them to sell to Amazon directly. And, authenticity, product knowledge, service, and a lifelong dedication to board sports are becoming more important to consumers than just price. If we as board sports retailers can show our customers that embracing retailers that embrace them is key to having a thriving culture to call our own (in addition to offering the the best price and service we can possibly), we will move into the digital shopping age where specialty retail is special again.

This is by no means meant to be a definitive treatise against the monolith. I just want to give people some food for thought. What do you think?


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