Longboarding For Peace Houston


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What started as an idea by Michael Brooke the publisher of Concrete Wave Magazine has now evolved into a full fledged movement. Houston Texas has become the epicenter of the United States Chapter of Longboarding For Peace.

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Longboarding For Peace Houston

  1. 1. 100 CONCRETE WAVE SPRING 2013Longboardingfor Peace:UPDATEA lot of things have happened since we last reported on Longboarding for Peace in BritishColumbia and Peru in the January issue. The following are some updates. We want tothank all our sponsors who generously provide product. We are especially grateful to allthe volunteers who step up and lend a hand. If you want to help spread the stoke, justemail mbrooke@interlog.com. Whether it’s helping to build peace between enemies,forge peace in neighborhoods or just bring someone some peace of mind, we’re inter-ested in hearing from you. Read, get inspired and then step up!SAN DIEGOA Hawaiian Pig Roast Appreciation Luncheon was held at the SanDiego Police Department Southeastern Division on March 20, 2013.Pastor Dennis Martinez and the Training Center sponsored the eventto thank the officers for their service in the community and their dedi-cation to youth diversion through the Off The Street Program.Longboarding for Peace has joined the OTS collaboration by makingits first donation of five skateboards and helmets to OTS, a communityservice for after-school skateboarding clinics aimed at reducing tru-ancy and juvenile delinquency in Southeast San Diego. Special thanksto Riviera, Sector 9, Deville, Buddy Carr Skateboards, Churchill andS-One Helmet Company for their contributions, and to the San DiegoPolice Department for their daily community service.Photo: Dennis Martinez (in red shirt) and Harvey Hawks with Offi-cers Chad Crenshaw, Scott Smith, Tyler Deyling and Captain TonyMcElroy of the SDPD Southeastern Division.OASISThe students from OasisSchool in Toronto were inspiredso much by L4P that they cre-ated this one-of-a-kind deck.oasisskateboardfactory.blogspot.caSECTOR 9Harvey Hawks (left) standswith Sector 9’s EG Fratantaro.Sector 9 has been very gen-erous and donated quite a bitof product to our movement.Photo: Jeff Budro
  2. 2. SPRING 2013 CONCRETE WAVE 101AARON’S APPLEL4P teamed up with Restless Boardsto create this unique charity deck forthe children’s charity Aaron’s Apple.The charity’s primary goal is to helpfamilies cope with overwhelmingmedical costs. Aaron’s Apple helpsfamilies pay for expensive medicationand treatments. aaronsapple.comTHE HUMBLE HIPPIE – AKA SOLE MANJoy and happiness are not just words we say; I practice what I preach. Wedecided to have a shoe drive to collect shoes for people in San Diego whoneeded them. The mission statement of Longboarding for Peace gave usour start: search, spark, stoke. We searched for a way to create somepeace, joy and a little happiness in a few people’s lives. An idea sparkedfor a shoe drive, and then we just kept stoking it until we had 200 pairs ofshoes to help those who need them.When we started this I was only concerned with creating some joy andhappiness in some strangers’ lives with some new kicks. What I did notrealize was how much the people involved, including myself, would getfrom helping others. The joy and happiness that was created with thissimple small shoe drive affected everyone involved in ways we neverimagined. It’s hard to tell who is helping whom. Ask yourself this onequestion: What would happen if everyone did what you do? Help us spreadsome good vibe by doing something nice for someone who could use it.To everyone who donated shoes, thank you for helping us kick evil’s ass.When we help others we help ourselves. Mike Barringer at The Shoe Bankin Texas, you are an inspiration to all of us; thank you for shoeing us theway. Keep it real, everyone. Be the change you want to see. Dusty Ray, akathe Humble Hippie.PEEDS WHEEL PROGRAMGage is 3 years old and has been battling leukemia(a blood cancer) for the past three years. While he hasbeen in the hospital, his parents have been exposed to thereality of how many kiddos are suffering and fighting can-cers and diseases. The one thing that pulled them throughwas a reward at the end of a harsh treatment procedure.So Gage’s parents decided to create the PEEDS wheel. It’sa new bright orange 70mm race wheel that will be used togenerate funds that will directly purchase toys for kids.The toys will be given to them by their doctors and nursesduring children’s hospital visits. The PEEDS wheel isteamed up with Longboarding for Peace and will be soldthrough churchillmfg.com.
  3. 3. 102 CONCRETE WAVE SPRING 2013Photo: Xavier EthuinRETURN TO JAFFA, ISRAELBy Michael Brooke | Photos: Yahav TrudlerAfter the ISPO trade show wrapped up in Munich, I traveledback to Tel Aviv, Israel, to meet up with workers at the PeresCenter for Peace. It was a follow-up to the tour we had done inJuly 2012. On February 11, 2013, we organized a longboard ses-sion of about 30 Arab and Israeli children. Although these kidslive close by each other, they never really get to hang out. Long-boarding for Peace is there to forge these relationships.You can’t get any more perfect than waves, concrete and peace combined in one location.A huge thanks to Tami Hay-Sagiv and Sivan Hendel from the Peres Center for their hard work.Everyone enjoyed pizza at the conclusion ofthe event. It definitely helped bring peopletogether through the magic of sharing slices.A local girl from Jaffa enjoys her first momentsof gliding on a longboard.Well, that’s one way to do an ollie!Yoni Ettinger lends a hand (and a foot).Yoni Ettinger andMichael Brooke say itall with longboards atthe Peres Center.
  4. 4. SPRING 2013 CONCRETE WAVE 103LONGBOARD LOFT’S NEW FULL CIRCLEEXCHANGE PROGRAMAs the sport grows and skate tech turns overfaster and faster, one of the most profoundresults is the massive quivers of oldequipment stashed in closets or piled incars of skaters around the world. NewYork City’s Longboard Loft is lookingfor new ways to translate what wouldotherwise be waste into stoke forskaters who wouldn’t otherwise get thechance to skate. In conjunction withLongboarding for Peace, the LongboardLoft has just rolled out its new Full CircleExchange Program.“I think Longboarding for Peace is challengingeveryone to think outside the box and outside of themselves,” says Loft ownerRyan Daughtridge. “We wanted to be a part of the movement here in New YorkCity, and we’re stoked to roll out this new program that will benefit our customersand our community.”The new program is simple: Customers can exchange old equipment for a 10%discount on comparably priced new equipment. Looking for a new set of thehottest new thane? Turn in your old wheels and get them under someone whowill appreciate them so much more than your bedroom closet. It’s not a new con-cept and it’s not rocket science, but it’s powerful when a highly visible,award-winning skate shop goes out of its way to actively and creatively supporta cause.“We are delighted to be working with the Longboard Loft,” said Concrete Wavepublisher Michael Brooke. “We encourage other shops to step up and copy thisidea and spread the joy of longboarding to those who may not get an opportunity.”So next time you start jonesing for that new setup, take a page from the LoftCrew and think about how your old equipment could change the life of a skaterin need. And if you’re headed to New York City, make sure to take all of your oldgear and swing by the Longboard Loft at 132 Allen Street in Manhattan to expe-rience one of the world’s most epic longboard stores. CWLONGBOARDING FOR PEACE DECKNathan Bishop proudly shows off his incredible grip tapework on the Longboarding for Peace Deck. The deck will beon permanent display at Longboard Labs in Vancouver, BC.Artist Haley Herrington worked extremely hard oncreating the bottom of the deck. Look for an artist profileon Haley in an upcoming issue.
  5. 5. By MIKEY SEIBERTPhotos: ANDREA WALLACE104 CONCRETE WAVE SPRING 2013Longboarding for Peace:HOUSTON, TEXASHouston, Texas, has the highest number of millionaires percapita of any city in the USA. Yet 17% of the populationlives below the poverty line. Those people mostly live inpoorer neighborhoods, often called ghettos. Houston’s mainghettos are broken up into wards. The Fifth Ward is whereworld-renowned rappers the Geto Boys are from. It also happensto be where I grew up. Surrounded by drugs, prostitutes andgangs, we didn’t really have a lot of options. My best friend Andyand I got involved in drugs and gangs at an early age. We madeall the wrong decisions and took all the wrong paths, all of whichwere leading to prison or death. The skateboard gave us anopportunity to escape our horrible surroundings. We could hopon a metro bus and go anywhere. We chose downtown.Downtown Houston was like Disney World for skateboardersin the early ’90s. The police did not bother us, there were nogangsters, and the bad in our daily lives did not exist anymore.It was great! I started skating in 1987 at the ripe old age of 10.My father was a surfer, and being in Houston without surf, heOur core group of skaters loves every minute of the session!
  6. 6. SPRING 2013 CONCRETE WAVE 105was like a fish out of water. In his mind, skateboarding wasthe next best thing. He got me my first skateboard andtaught me to jump off launch ramps, and my mother wouldtote me to the Skatepark of Houston any chance she had. Wewould sometimes go without other things in life, yet I neverwent without a board. My father would wear shoes withholes in the sole because he spent his shoe money to get mea board. So when I decided I was going to dedicate my life tothe board, my parents were as supportive as if I told them Iwas going to Yale. When you grow up poor, the simple thingsin life can make all the difference. The piece of wood withfour wheels was my ticket out of hell. It took me across thecountry, made me some of my greatest friends and led me toa decent life.A few years ago I injured my back skating a rail. Notwanting to quit skating, but knowing I couldn’t jump downstairs anymore, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.Thena friend introduced me to longboards. I chose the wrong styleboard and wheels, and in turn I did not have that much fundoing it. It did, however, keep me rolling. I was down for life.After moving away from Houston for more than a decade,I moved back. I wanted to support the city that had givenme so much. Needing a local shop, and being the kind of guythat only supports core shops, I got turned on to Carve SkateShop. The guys running the shop were Neal Roberts andSean Cook, two amazingly knowledgeable longboarders.Neal helped me pick a board that suited my riding and whatI wanted to do. It made a world of difference, and I fell inlove with the longboard. At first it was just cruising andcarving, then pumping and racing garages. Powersliding wasnatural to me since it was a fun trick we did in the late ’80s.Having such a great time, I immersed myself in the long-board culture.THE PIECE OF WOODWITH FOUR WHEELS WAS MYTICKET OUT OF HELL. IT TOOKME ACROSS THE COUNTRY,MADE ME SOME OF MYGREATEST FRIENDS AND LEDME TO A DECENT LIFE.” Slevin is 5 and a pure natural.Greg Nobles helping the kids learn to skate.Passing out the gear to the kids. They are so appreciative of receiving it.
  7. 7. 106 CONCRETE WAVE SPRING 2013One day as I was reading Concrete Wave, I came acrossan article on Longboarding for Peace. It was showing the greatthings they were doing and the stoke they were building. Iknew I had to be a part of such a great movement.Several emails and phone calls later, I was in. I was now partof L4P. And I knew the direction I wanted to go: Because I wasfrom Houston and got started skating in Houston, and becauseHouston had poor kids in gangs, why not set up a branch of L4Phere? Now L4P Houston is a reality.I hooked up with the guys at Carve to see if they wanted tohelp. They were so down.THESE KIDS WHO HADNO REAL PROSPECTS ANDWERE BASICALLY WRITTEN OFFBY SOCIETY AT LARGE NOWHAVE A SENSE OF PURPOSEAND CREATIVITY. THEYUNDERSTAND THAT THEYCAN BE THEMSELVES.”Sharing the stoke in Houston.
  8. 8. SPRING 2013 CONCRETE WAVE 107I also got in touch with Esteven Azcona at MulticulturalEducation and Counseling through the Arts (MECA), anarts center for underserved and underprivileged children.They were more than excited to have us. My intent was totake longboarding to kids who were poor — I mean reallypoor; kids from neighborhoods rife with gangs and drugs —and give them something fun and creative to do. Somethingto take their minds off the troubles they faced in everydaylife. I mean, a board with four wheels got me out, so maybeit could do the same for them.I estimated that we might get 10 to 15 kids to sign upand try it, and figured maybe six to 10 of those would reallydig it and keep coming back on a weekly basis. I was wrong.Twenty-two kids, aged 2-16, came to the first session. Someof them were actual gang members – one of whom was 16and covered in tattoos and already had a 2-year-old son.Well, they enjoyed it so much that they kept coming back.We are up to 38 kids now, and it grows by at least two to fivekids each week.I have been told they are doing better in schooland respecting authority due solely to the fact that they don’twant to get in trouble and have to miss our sessions. What agreat response!Companies like Loaded, Klever, Landyachtz and Rest-less donated more boards than I ever expected. Thesecompanies really believe in the cause and deserve our sup-port and respect. Without them and others like ChurchillMfg., Crossroads, Big Myth, Sweet Spot, these Wheels andAbec 11, none of this would be possible.These kids who had no real prospects and were basicallywritten off by society at large now have a sense of purposeand creativity. They understand that they can be them-selves. Even though we are longboarders, how we choose toride is up to us and no one will judge us for it. It’s a goodmirror for life.We are all humans, and how we choose to liveand dress is our choice and no one should judge us for it –whether it be emo, punk, prep or anything else. These arethe values I am trying to teach with L4P Houston. At L4PHouston we have had a wonderful outpouring of support,locals have come to teach, Carve has helped with helmetsand time and MECA has given us a facility.The program is growing every day and has a 100% reten-tion rate. Not one single kid has dropped out or stoppedcoming. By the time you read this, we should be close to 50strong. We have been doing slide clinics, board dancing andfundamentals like pumping, carving and stopping. The kidshave grown not only as riders but also as people. It’s beenabsolutely fantastic and will continue to be – all thanks tothe longboard and the longboard community.I would like to thank all those involved, and I am sure Iwill forget some. But I am asking you to support these com-panies. Let them know you are supporting them becausethey support us. Thanks to Restless, Pablo and LoadedBoards, Klever Skateboards, Landyachtz, Carve SkateShop, Churchill Mfg., Abec11, these Wheels, Riviera andDivine, Koastal, LongboardLarry, Navigator Trucks, Bomb-squad Longboarding, S-One Helmets, Crossroads, BigMyth, Bustin, Phat Deanz and Concrete Wave magazine.Search, Spark, Stoke. L4P for Life! CWMECA Houston: The steps to change for the kids.Georgiah picks it up quickly.Street kids turned into longboarders.