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Kill the Engine

My Ten Favorite Things in the Local Skate Shop

There's nothing like a tail-sparking slap to the face to remind you that a skate shop is essentially a very sarcastic and opinionated toy store.

I love hanging out in skate shops looking at all the current offerings being pumped out by the skateboarding industry. The stickers, the keychains, the socks, the air-fresheners, the t-shirts, the hats… even the skateboards themselves. I was at No-Comply skate shop this morning and made a list of my ten favorite things in the store at this very minute. Or eleven hours ago. You get the idea.

Anti Hero "Pigeons' Revenge" decks (two of eight)


If you're a fan of skateboard graphic illustration and you don't know the name Todd Francis, then… well… you're not really a fan of skateboard graphic illustration. Better hit them books. (And by books I mean Disposable I and II.)

Creature Skateboards "Shred Party" decks

Jay Howell is kinda killing it at life right now, seemingly living the existence of his skate rat utopian drawings. Here's two (of five) graphics he designed for Creature in 2011. Wait… 2011? Either these things have been on the shelf for a while or Creature releases new graphics as often as Roger does. Either way, these rule while most graphics drool. Shred Party!

Girl Skateboards/Sanrio collaboration: Alex Olson/Keroppi model (Get it… model?)

Collaborations are big in skateboarding these days, but usually it's just two crappy companies that you couldn't care any less about putting their logos on each other's products. Not the case here. Two equally dominating companies, although in completely different business hemispheres, teaming up to make some really attractive and obviously immediately recognizable graphics. I'm sure these were collected outside of the skateboard world too, so smart move there as well. Not that anybody was accusing Spike Jonze of being a dummy…

(P.S. if you didn't get the "model" joke, it's because Alex Olson is also a male model on the account of him being so darn handsome.)

adidas/Roger Ronan


And speaking of collaborations… it just seemed stupid not to take a picture of the most recent adidas/Roger collaboration, which is without a doubt the best skate shoe ever! (That came out in 2012 and includes my crappy drawings on the sock liner.)

Teenage Runaway Urethane sticker on the trash can

Teenage Runaway isn't around anymore, but as long as this sticker exists (I still have one in my sticker box as well) the spirit will never die. It bums me out that a dude like Todd Bratrud can't get rich doing what he does. He's kinda the best. Send Help!

Spitfire Guy Mariano wheels

I'm a sucker for good packaging, so these rule for that reason alone. But they're also Guy Mariano's pro wheel and he's kinda the embodiment of everything good about skateboarding, so they have that going for them too. Cue the Jackson 5 song.

Shoe Goo

I love the fact that at some point Shoe Goo recognized their product had found a niche market within the skateboarding subculture and as a result you can now find a tube of Goo in skate shops (when I was a kid you had to go to Foot Locker to buy this stuff). I also appreciate that Shoe Goo didn't kook themselves by trying to make a skate specific version of their tried and true product. I guarantee you there would have been a silhouette of a dude doing a benihana on the packaging if they'd done so. Thanks for keeping it classy, Goo.

Tail Devil

There's nothing like a tail-sparking slap to the face to remind you that a skate shop is essentially a very sarcastic and opinionated toy store.


Inspectrum Skateboards "Urkel Jerks" t-shirt

I don't know anything about Inspectrum Skateboards beyond the fact that they made one of my favorite t-shirt graphics of all times. Good job, y'all.

My friend Dharam Khalsa

Because at the end of the day, isn't that what it's all about? That's the importance of a local skate shop, it's a hub for skate friends to meet up and make plans, talk shop, gossip, watch videos, look at magazines, complain, celebrate, and hopefully buy a few things along the way to support the business. If you live in a town or a city with an independently owned shop, please do what you can to put some money in their cash register. If you don't, you can't complain when the only place to buy a slice of grip tape is the mall.

(P.S. "slice of grip tape" is a copyrighted slogan of my new "Pizza Grip" grip tape company. Grab a slice! That's copyrighted too.)

Bonus Section: My Least Favorite Thing in No-Comply

All the really nice collared button up shirts that skate companies are making these days. I get it, you own the company and you're in your 40s and you like dressing nice. That totally makes sense, but trying to convince teenagers that they need to dress nice is just wrong. Come on, they're teenagers, let them wear the same ridiculous crap that you wore in your youth. They have the rest of their lives to dress business casual. And what's with all the boat shoes?

Bonus Bonus Section: My Eleventh Favorite Thing in No-Comply

Local videos > corporate videos. If you don't believe me, make a video with your friends and then let's talk in 15 years.

Previously - Ten Things That Happened in Skateboarding in 2012