This year we here at Long's Board Shop got the chance to go out to Long Beach, California for the Agenda trade show. We normally go to the NYC shows but when the opportunity arises to go to Cali in Jan, you have to go for it. Eating burritos and wearing short sleeves out on a patio was pretty nice, especially when Maine was experiencing super cold temps that i usually am breaking binding straps in.
Geeking out over the new lines is always great but the added benefit to being out in California is getting to see some of the reps i usually only get to talk to over the phone AND since most pros reside in CA many of them are there hanging out with their brands. i've got to admit though, it's a bit tough placing an order when some of your earliest inspiration are just inches away. Sorry if there are a few holes in our Spitfire line but it's because of these two:
Lance might have helped us all remember to keep skateboarding fun, But Guerrero was the guy that was skating the streets like my friends and i. We didn't have parks in New England, pools were a rarity and with limited time to skate them, and backyard halfpipes were constantly either getting destroyed by weather or complaints from neighbors. Tommy G was who we were emulating starting out after occasionally finding a copy of a Bones Brigade video at the local Blockbuster to watch. A Jim Thiebaud shirt was one of the first skate tees i ever had and man, did i wear that thing until you could see through it. When the guys who helped form who you are as a skater turn out to be great and sincere guys, well hell, there's a trip well taken.
Then i bump into Jamie Thomas. Jamie Thomas is arguably my favorite skateboarder. Idealistically and aesthetically he is one of the skaters that i feel i can relate to the most. He is as down to earth and sincere as i had hoped he would be. It was great getting to talk about Quicksand (one of my favorite bands) with him. i ran into him a bunch over the process of our time there and got Boba Fett style head nods from him.
It was business time too though. i've been pleased to see skateboarding really making a move back to it's roots and saw even more of that everywhere (well, except for in those huge athletic companies blocks there). Feels like anything goes again and i love it. It's great to see that excitement and passion coming out of the brands that we work with, and that's why we chose the companies we do. It's a bunch of us who are just trying to live out our dreams and do something we love.
No, you still can't get me to ride a wider board, but longer... maybe...
There were pros everywhere, just walking around, and new pros being announced at various booths over the two days. Sarah was disappointed that there was no Berra (i was glad though, she had a return ticket after all) but we did bump into Koston, Shepard Fairey, Westgate, Grecco (who's booth was maned by a sleeping homeless dude), and many others. i'm not very good at playing fan boy but sometimes you've got to.
When heading to an appointment i had to stop and get my pic with Cab and Powell. Living Legends. Lots of exciting products coming into the shop throughout this year and lots of incredible people that i got to spend some time with.
After all the work was done we had to head to an obsession of mine. Salmon Agah's SOTY cover is my favorite Thrasher cover of all time and i've been following his pizza shop's instagram for quite a while now. Skater owned pizza place with vegan slices offered daily and Clash references... fuck yeah, i had to hit up Pizzanista! Of course we had to add an LBS sticker to the collections as well. -tom