Skateboard graphics have reached a really good spot at the moment. Gone are the ho hum days where every graphic is a parody or revolves around some sort of skull, weapon, flames, or some generic attempt at badassery. Contemporary skateboard brands have developed their own distinct art directions that are clearly identifiable and evoke cranial innervation. Modern skateboard graphics tell a story and give skaters something to enjoy and react to that is fresh and new.
Brands are experimenting with multi-stained top sheets, employing vintage screen-printing techniques, adding textures to their graphics (check the new decks from Madness), collaborating with accomplished artists (like Isle’s series with Jack Brindley), or incorporating culturally iconic elements from their respective locations (a la Evisen and Pass~Port).
In keeping with the cascade of epic graphics coming out lately, we are pleased to present the latest series of Ambush skate decks. Conceived and designed by our very own, Ben Mercer, this series draws on legendary tales of debauchery from America’s sports heroes, hangover busting breakfast decadence, and an ode to our hometown of Kennesaw, GA.
“Skateboarding is full of characters, but it doesn’t have a monopoly on it. There have been some really bizarre instances of sports figures doing things even skaters would think is gnarly.”Ben Mercer
The Wade Boggs Challenge
Wade Boggs was one of the elite hitters of his era. And, while that’s definitely something to be proud of, his penchant for chugging mass quantities of Miller Lite is what has us in awe. Many of his teammates from several different clubs have reported that he can drink 50, 60, even 70 beers on a cross-country flight and play flawless baseball the next day. One teammate counted 107 beers on a particularly long trip. He was such a prolific beer drinker, that he averaged 50 beers a flight, including short puddle jumps after a night game in one town to play a day game in the next. Boggs’ legend status inspired the Wade Boggs Challenge as immortalized in the iconic Always Sunny episode.
The Daly Diet
“John Daly is the Keith Richards of golf. He’s a total pile that will probably out live us all.”Ben Mercer
According to John, the Daily Daly Diet consisted of the following:
-28-30 Diet Cokes
-2-3 packs of cigarettes
-2 Big Macs, 2-3 cheeseburgers, and a chocolate shake from McDonald’s
-5-6 packs of M&Ms
-Absolutely no water
For most humans this is impossible to do in a single day let alone every day. And, John Daly did this while on a torrid PGA tour schedule. In addition to his ruinously toxic diet, Daly died of alcohol poisoning for a total of 9 minutes before doctors revived him. According to the doctors who pumped his stomach, his blood alcohol content was 3.70 (legally drunk is 0.08).
Daly’s life has been so brilliantly chaotic that the fact that he has lost over $55 million gambling over his lifetime is a mere footnote in his crazy legacy.
Dock Ellis LSD
Pitching a no-hitter is one of the most difficult things to do in sports. Since Major League Baseball started over 140 years ago, there have been only 299 no-hitters thrown. To put that into perspective, there have been nearly 220,000 games played. The odds of throwing a no-hitter are 1 in 1,562. You’re 3 times more likely to have 11 fingers than to witness a no-hitter.
But, Dock didn’t just throw a no-hitter. He threw a no-hitter while tripping balls. According to legend, Dock was in L.A. partying and doing drugs the day before the start. In his nebulous narcotic fog, Dock lost track of what day it was. Around noon the following day Dock took another hit of acid. A worried teammate tracked him down and got him on a plane to San Diego to play the Padres. He was on the mound a few hours later.
Dock Ellis pitched nine innings without being able to feel the ball or see his catcher. He thought the home plate umpire was Richard Nixon and each batter was Jimi Hendrix. He walked eight batters and beaned another one, but no one got a hit off him.
A good biscuit is the cornerstone of the Southern breakfast. Biscuits need to be light, flakey, and have a soft crisp to them. Then, they need to be topped with a gluttonous deluge of trans fats. The more gravy, bacon, eggs and cheese the better. Don’t worry about counting calories…you don’t want to know. It just needs to be the breakfast equivalent of an all night bender that comforts your soul like a handful of valium. After eating a properly appointed biscuit, you shouldn’t want to (or be able to) go anywhere.
“When creating this graphic, I wanted to do something indicative of our location. The biscuit is pretty damn Southern and speaks to our roots in the area. There’s no shortage of good biscuit places like The Red Eyed Mule. Being across the street from Martin’s, we’ve done a lot of work fueled on their food..”Ben Mercer
The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was a significant clash in Union General Sherman’s siege of Atlanta. And, although it was considered a tactical defeat for the Union Army (3,000 Union casualties compared to 1,000 Confederate casualties), General Sherman fought on, decimated Atlanta, and secured victory for our nation.
“The most notable part of our horizon is the twin summits of Kennesaw Mountain. For our area, they are as iconic as Stone Mountain. As tragic of event as The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was, its nice to see the place be repurposed as a place of enjoyment. It’s amazing we have a National Battlefield in our backyard.”Ben Mercer
In the end, these are just skateboard graphics that will be slid off soon. But, life is full of interesting characters, tales, and locations. And, skate graphics are just better when they mean something. Enjoy.