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CULTURE

In Wake of Founder’s Death, The N.Y.T. Tells Vans’ Story

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We may have been a bit remiss in not throwing up a post about Paul Van Doren’s death earlier this month. The Vans founder passed away on May 6 at age 90. The New York Times published a piece yesterday that puts Van Doren’s contribution to the culture into perspective nicely. While skateboarding has done as much for Vans as it has for skateboarding, you have to credit the brand as being the archetype for the skate shoe business. Sponsoring skateboarders? They invented that. The vulcanized sole? That was them, too. Consulting with pros on product design? They’ve been doing it since the ‘60s. You get the point.

The idea was straightforward: sell high-quality but inexpensive sneakers from a store adjacent to a factory in Anaheim. The company handled production on-site, making it easy to fill orders of different sizes and allowing buyers to customize their shoes in a rainbow of colors and patterns.

The first Vans sneaker adopted by skateboarders was a canvas boat shoe, now called the Authentic. It was set apart by its unusual sole, a diamond waffle pattern that gave way to star shapes on the ball of the foot. A vulcanization process made the rubber especially grippy, helping skateboarders stay on their boards and control them better as they whipped down a sidewalk or an embankment.

Mr. Van Doren recognized an opportunity in the burgeoning sport, and skateboarding became Vans’ focus.

“Until the skateboarders came along, Vans had no real direction, no specific purpose as a business other than to make the best shoes possible,” he said in his memoir, “Authentic,” published this year. “When skateboarders adopted Vans, ultimately, they gave us an outward culture and an inward purpose.”

This article is definitely worth checking out.

https://www.instagram.com/p/COlMFzWBg93/

Image Via Vans

CULTURE

Sixth Avenue Skatepark to Host Punk Rock and Paintbrushes Exhibit

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Sixth Avenue Skatepark will be hosting Punk Rock and Paintbrushes art and photography exhibit on September 5 from 3:00-8:00 pm.

The event will feature the works of Blair Alley, Ray Barbee, Paul Kobriger, Jason Adams, Mark de Salvo, Christian Hosoi, Sean Cliver, and Brandon Novak.

Trevor Keith of Face to Face will be performing during the event.

This event is free and open to the public although the organizers request attendees to RSVP to not exceed capacity.

Punk Rock and Paintbrushes will also have a VIP event on September 4 with Brandon Novak and Christian Hosoi. This will be held in Gladwell Guitars on Woodland Street. Ticket prices range from $40-$100 and can be purchased here.

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CULTURE

Watch Unlock the Spot Albuquerque Highlights

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Mariah Duran returns to her hometown in Albuquerque, NM to “unlock” the Civic Plaza for an open skate jam for local skaters. Watch the highlights below.

Mariah was stoked about opening the Civic Plaza to skating for the event as she narrated how they would get kicked out of the place when they were skating there before. She also talked about how the community shaped her into the skateboarder that she is.

The Unlock the Spot in Albuquerque featured cash-for tricks and an open skate jam for the local skaters.

This is the third stop of Unlock the Spot organized by Mtn Dew as part of their “Skateboarding is Unstoppable” campaign. The series of events takes place in Mtn Dew Athlete’s hometowns. Each event would give local skaters a chance to shred spots that are otherwise off-limits to skating.

The fourth Unlock the Spot will be this Sunday at Gilham Park in Kansas City, MO with Sean Malto.

Instagram will load in the frontend.

The first of the series kicked off last July 3 at Hula Lakeside, Burlington, Vermont with Chris Colbourn. The second one was at the Recreation Park in El Segundo, California with Theotis Beasly.

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CULTURE

Mtn Dew’s “Unlock the Spot” Next Stop is in Albuquerque, NM

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Join Mariah Duran and Mtn Dew as they “unlock” the Civic Plaza for an open skate jam with local skaters on July 17 from 11 am to 3 pm. This is the third “Unlock the Spot” event organized by Mtn Dew.

Skate content creator Lamon Holt will also attend the event.

The Unlock the Spot events feature Mtn Dew’s skate team members returning to their hometowns. Together with the locals, they skate in spots in their town that are otherwise off-limits to skating. The series will culminate with the Summer Dew Tour in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29-30.

Watch the highlights of the recent Unlock the Spot in El Segundo, California with Theotis Beasley.

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