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Ray Barbee Talks Krooked in New Transworld Interview

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One bright spot in this godforsaken year was last month’s announcement that Ray Barbee rides for Krooked. It was one of those unexpected and perfect team changes that makes following the nuances of the skate industry worth it. Jamie Owens gets the backstory in a new interview published by Transworld this afternoon.

How did it all come about? Did Gonz call you and ask out of the blue?

No, no. I went begging to those dudes [laughs]! Element got bought out with new investors and they came in and changed up everything. The skate program cost a lot of their budget so they needed to do budget cuts and it didn’t make sense to be over there anymore. So, when I left Element, I just started thinking of what program would it be fun to be part of. Having a long relationship with Tommy, Mark, and Thiebaud, I just thought it would be rad if those dudes thought it made sense for me to be over there at Krooked. And I’m so grateful that they did!

I remember, I called Tommy and told him that I had left Element and said, “It would be so fun to do stuff with you guys. I just want to do stuff with friends.” And Tommy said, “That’d be rad but it’s not up to me. But let me reach out to Mark.” Then a couple of hours later, he texted me back and said Mark was into it! And that was still just part of the process because they still needed to talk to Bram (Krooked TM) and the team. And right away I was thinking I dig this because you guys are a family and it’s about everybody having a say. It’s not being dictated by some dude in charge. It’s about what the team cares about. Much respect for that and I’m so stoked that they were down for the old man to be a part of it.

You mentioned something about this to me almost a year ago when we filmed your Skater’s Favorite Skater. What took so long to officially announce it?

It’s been a slow process because, yeah, I actually got on this time last year. A lot of it was me being tied to the idea that I didn’t just want to make an announcement. I wanted to show that I’m still having fun skateboarding. I wanted to have a video announcement. Then Covid happened and then Thiebaud was just like, “That’s on you man. That’s your hang up.” [laughs] And then I had to acknowledge, like, “Yep, that’s me. All pride, man. All pride [laughs].” And so Covid helped me change the mindset from having a big idea for an announcement with a capsule collection with the boards, a music component, all with a video to being open to the idea that it didn’t need to roll out that way. It could just come out in small little chunks. Another thing that made it take some time was getting the board shape right, working on graphics with Mark, and then just all the board shortages and delays in the board manufacturing world. All of those factors just pushed all those plans so far out. Then Bram just hit me up saying, “Hey, we’re just going to put out your first ad.” So, the ad became the announcement, basically.

Read the rest here.

Image Via Vans

INTERVIEWS

Santa Cruz Skateboards’ ‘True Grit’ features Tom Asta

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In this latest “True Grit” video by Santa Cruz Skateboards, Tom Asta revealed that he never planned on becoming a pro but just enjoyed skating as a teen. He turned out to be one of the best pro skaters we know today.

He talked about growing up in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and also showed his favorite skate spots in his hometown. Town mates Chris Cole and Ian Berry, and other pro skaters spoke about how they met Tom and how they have seen him develop into the skater that he is today.

The “True Grit” video series attempts to get an in-depth look into how skaters came to where they are now by visiting them in their hometowns and interviewing the people around them.

Watch more of Tom Asta in the Santa Cruz Skateboards’ welcome video below.

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INTERVIEWS

Shecks Guests on the Latest ‘The Nine Club’ Episode

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Pro skater Ryan Sheckler talks about growing up in Southern California, starting skateboarding at the tender age of two, his over two decades of career, and his personal struggles in the latest podcast episode of “The Nine Club”.

He also discusses starting his skateboarding company, the Sandlot Times, and the story behind the name.

The Nine Club is a skateboarding podcast started and hosted by professional skateboarder Chris Roberts in 2016. The show is co-hosted by Roger Bagley and Kelly Hart.

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INTERVIEWS

Vans Skateboarding Drops ‘Lizzie’ Video

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Get to know more about Lizzie Armanto through the lens of the persons closest to her in this 35 mm film directed by renowned filmmaker Greg Hunt and presented by Vans Skateboarding.

Lizzie is an X Games gold medalist (Barcelona, 2013) and the first-ever woman to make it to the cover of Transworld Skateboarding in 2016.

She was also the first female skateboarder to do the loop, a 360-degree vertical ramp on which the rider turns completely upside down while maintaining contact between the wheels of the skateboard and the ramp’s surface.

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