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INTERVIEWS

Blondey McCoy Talks Influence, Creativity, & Cultural Appropriation

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Over the past several years, Blondey McCoy has conquered the world. Emerging as one of the faces of Palace and adidas has firmly cemented his status in skateboarding. Simultaneously, he’s infiltrated fashion and the art world through his Thames label, solo exhibitions, and work with high-profile brands like Burberry. What’s most impressive is that he accomplished all of this by age 21. If nothing else, you have to respect Blondey’s hustle.

END. recently visited McCoy in his studio and conducted a proper interview. He goes on the record about many things, including how skateboarding has influenced his personal creativity, and fashions appropriation of skate culture.

END.: Would you say that skateboarding is linked to your creativity?

Blondey: Absolutely. Skateboarding taught me self-confidence and not to need people’s approval to be who you want. Perhaps a little too much. A hundred skaters can do the same trick, but they all do it differently. I always find that amazing. It’s cliched to say, but there are skaters who look more fluid falling off their board than others who are doing the most technically advanced, horrific tricks and robotically making them every time. I think British skateboarding has often been a case of style over substance when compared to American skateboarding. I used to skip school to go and linger in the old Slam store until I could muster up the courage to talk to the people who worked there. I remember the board wall was an absolute beauty and none of the artists seemed to have GCSEs or anything, but they had their own style and didn’t seem to care what people thought of it. Whether that was the case or not, I’ve carried that mentality with me through everything. I’d feel saner having a good bash at ten things than studying for ten years to be told by an unelected mentor that I’m good enough to do one.

END.: Do you think that skating has given you the mindset that it’s okay to fail?

Blondey: I would sooner say that it’s given me the mindset that persistence is everything. Skateboarding is one massive game of trial and error and even if you’re naturally gifted you will fail 99% of the time and break bones. But that’s what makes the 1% of attempts you roll away from rewarding enough to keep at it and bring that trick up to scratch. There is a real work ethic attached. I suppose more importantly it just taught me not to seek constant validation from people and to set my own standards, which is pretty paradoxical to youth culture now with social media and whatever – but that’s another can of worms.

END.: There’s been a lot of fallout recently about fashion’s appropriation of skateboarding culture and style, what’s your take on it?

Blondey: It’s boring. Skateboarding isn’t a subculture anymore – at least not in America. It’s as normal a thing to do there as playing football is in the UK. I think culture clashes are what make the world bearable. Variety is what keeps things interesting and we cant go setting double standards as supposedly liberal people. Everything’s up for grabs if you ask me. You know, I couldn’t care less about football or tennis or cricket, but I don’t feel like I’m pillaging their culture by wearing the kit. I could waffle on about this all day without making any sense, but I basically think everyone should do whatever the fuck they want.

We recommend making time to read this entire piece.

Image Via End.

INTERVIEWS

‘Good Work’ Episode Features Lisa Whitaker and Meow Skateboards

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Skater Lisa Whitaker narrated how she started Meow Skateboards in this episode of “Good Work”.

She also related how she got introduced to skateboarding and how she founded Girls Skate Network in 2003.

Whitaker started her skateboard company in 2012. Now, Meow has more than a dozen talents including Vanessa Torres, Mariah Duran and Kristin Ebeling.

“Lisa has always been the catalyst for women skateboarding”, says Torres who was one of the first skaters to join Meow’s roster.

Produced by Red Bull, the Good Work series features skater-owned and operated businesses.

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INTERVIEWS

Monster Energy’s Aspire-Inspire Episode Features Mami Tezuka

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Get to know more about Mami Tezuka in this episode of Aspire-Inspire by Monster Energy.

Surrounded by skaters growing up, Mami showed interest in skateboarding at around the age of three.

She started participating in competitions abroad in 2017. In 2021, she won silver in the X Games Women’s Skateboarding part. She landed third place in X Games Chiba 2022.

Fellow Monster Energy rider and friend Lizzie Armanto describes Mami as easy-going, fun to be around, and inspiring. “When I’m around her, I want to push myself better,”

Tezuka admits that she enjoys filming video parts more enjoyable than participating in contests.

“Competition is kind of stressful for me”, Mami said. But added that she does enjoy seeing everyone at contests.

“Filming part is more fun for me…it doesn’t to be hard, tricky trick, but you can see the style and progress of the skating”, explained Mami.

I want to inspire girl skaters and young people. Do what you love and then don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Mami tezuka

Aspire-Inspire is a mini-documentary series by Monster Energy. Previous episodes featured Aurelien Giraud, Kelvin Hoefler, Rune Glifberg, Ayumu Hirano, Nyjah Huston, and Matt Berger.

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INTERVIEWS

The Nine Club Features Elliot Sloan

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Elliot Sloan narrated how he injured his neck while doing a 900 and his other worst slams on the ramp in this episode of The Nine Club podcast.

He also talked about getting into vert and then mega ramp, building his own vert and mini mega ramp in his own backyard, and hosting the X Games in his backyard among other things in the two-hour podcast.

Sloan is a four-time X Games Big Air gold medalist. In the recent X Games held in his backyard, he landed second place in the debut of the Mega Ramp category and first in the Skateboard Vert Best Trick.

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