2017 is nearly a wrap and for the first time in ages I feel that collectively we can all breathe a slight sigh of relief. Why? Well, we made it out of the dumpster fire that was 2017, guys. While that is reason enough to tie one on and celebrate, let’s not get too excited. Regrettably, 2018 is revving up to be just as turbulent. Whether it’s the constant barrage of bad news or social media overload, it’s apparent that it is harder to focus now more than ever. Like many, my mind has was cooked by 2017. So that’s my excuse for why my very cliche year-end “best of” or “listicle” may be missing some very noteworthy things. With that said, in no particular order, here are somethings that made some crumby days brighter in 2017.
As Jeff Bezos scours the United States looking for a place to plop a second Amazon headquarters, I started thinking of how deeply addicted we as Americans are to Amazon. It started with the seduction of big discounts, intoxicating convenience, and the opportunity to buy anything capitalism has to offer under one domain. Now, Amazon has become the gatekeeper of all that is sold online and the place we as consumers go when we want to do the least amount of shopping and still get the best (at least, we think it’s the best) deal on the planet. I started looking inward as to whether or not Amazon’s outright dominance of all things ecommerce is a good thing for us in the long term. I mean, there’s a reason they call shoppers who buy exclusively on Amazon “Amazombies,” right?
We recently ran a enter to win contest for a complete kit…we’re talking head to toe clothes and full skateboard set up. Entries from all over the globe poured in for it and our random winner ended up being this guy Eric Britt from Philadelphia. You never know who will when these contests when we do them and hands down the right person won this contest! Eric’s instagram is filled with some smooth skating and he is easily a good follow so get on that. Congrats again for winning and keep pushing big dawg!
Peep a few of these!
“Hold the board up to your face. If the board lies between your nose and chin, it’s the right size for you.”
How many times have you heard that in your life? I think some guy at a random rental shop back in 1995 just made that up and it stuck. No matter how that rumor became the standard in snowboard sizing, it’s important that we push passed the lazy anecdotes and get the right size snowboard for your ride. Simply ask yourself two easy questions and you’ll be on your way to snowboard bliss:
How much do you weigh?
The most important piece of information needed to correctly size a snowboard is your weight. Snowboards react to the amount of pressure put on them. The heavier you are, the more pressure the board is put under. The lighter you are, the opposite is true. The goal is to create a balance to where you put enough load on the board so that it grips the snow and reacts to your movements without flattening it out and making the board ride sluggishly.
12/12/1964 – 09/01/2017
Wakeboarding had existed for a few years before Chuck Morrow founded Ambush Board Co. and Buywake.com, but it was still a small, burgeoning industry. The products were being improved at a rapid clip with major innovations taking place in design, function, and construction for both boards and bindings. But, how wakeboards were being sold at retail was stuck in the dark ages.
Boat dealerships were the primary source of distribution for wakeboards until Chuck established Ambush Board Co. (https://www.ambushboardco.com) in the summer of 1997. Most boat dealers would relegate an unused corner of the sales floor to a few of mid-grade wakeboards and call it a “pro shop.” Enthusiasm for wakeboarding was rising, but the dealers at the time were more focused on selling boats than boards, and their knowledge of the products and of the sport itself were minimal at best. If wakeboarding were going to grow, it needed a focused, passionate advocate at the retail level.
Another June 21st has come and gone. For skateboarders everywhere this means one thing: Go Skate Day! We at Ambush celebrated the day by heading over to Swift-Cantrell Park and hosting an epic event.
The weather looked skeptical, but nonetheless the turnout was large. Every skateboarder has their group of friends and Go Skate Day brought out all the locals. We kicked off the event with some music courtesy of the old school L.A. punk band: The Cheifs. This brought the hype. The Cheifs jammed while the skaters ripped the park.
Following the jam/skate session was the 12 and under best trick contest on the kicker. For not even being teenagers yet, these kids killed it! Kickflips, switch 180s, front shuvs, and nollie back 180s were standard for their bag of tricks. Wes Lembo served as hype man on the mic and kept the kids amped. When time ran out, a tre flip off the kicker took the win along with a brand new Ambush deck and $50 gift card.
Nothing ever goes as planned. We hoped to premiere the Ambush Video Challenge edits at Kennesaw Skatepark as part of our Go Skateboarding Day festivities, but the weatherman had other ideas.
The City of Kennesaw was kind enough to bail us out and offer up the Ben Robertson Community Center as a venue. We quickly called an audible and moved everything there. After a few frustrating AV issues, the Video Challenge was on.
The videos were incredible. The creativity, the spots, and the editing were phenomenal. But, what stood out the most, was the insane amount of footage each team stacked in 24 hours. Mind blown.
Each montage was so good we couldn’t narrow it down to the planned five finalists. Seven teams made the finals each with their own vibe. Crust First took the path of most resistance and centered their edit around chunky, East-coast style spots, while Burnt had a polished, professional feel focused on absurdly talented skating. Pretty SB, Boi Boi Tour, and Loyal brought the whole skateboard lifestyle element into focus while Lowkii and Varolina simply brought the hammers. In the end, Lowkii took the crown as Video Challenge champions.
Following up on their latest video, the Creature team launched a full-scale tour throughout the US. On Wednesday, June 7th, we at Ambush hosted the team at Swift-Cantrell Skatepark. The roster included some heavy hitters with names such as David Gravette, Truman Hooker, Willis Kimbel, Kevin Baekkel, and Chris “The Muscle” Russell. The team piled out of the van and the day was underway.
To keep things light, the team opted for a jam style skate session, giving the locals a chance to skate with their favorite pros and not miss out on the session. Not lacking in all-terrain ability, this team has something for everyone. Kevin Baekkel ripped the street course, hitting all the rails with ease. Chris and Truman effortlessly flowed the bowl.
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children” – Nelson Mandela.
Bartow Advocates for Children is a non-profit organization committed to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Kids don’t get to choose the world in which they are born into. But, if they are unlucky enough to be brought up in a bad situation, Bartow Advocates for Children are there to help. So, when they have their major fundraising gala each year, we at Ambush jump at the opportunity to make a donation.
This year we contributed a day on Lake Allatoona on the Ambush Nautique GS-22 for four kids. The day included product demos, lunch, instruction, a goodie bag, and a video to commemorate the outing. The experience was offered during a silent auction with Leah Phillips of Cartersville, GA donating the winning bid. Leah assembled a crew of passionate, young wakeboarders to partake in the experience and an incredibly fun time was had by all.
My first viewing of Bloody Chicken Boots
Rarely do I remember the exact moment I watched a skate video for the first time. That is unless I attended the video premiere, or the video made some sort of immediate impression on me. The impression doesn’t necessarily have to be good either, it can be bad too. With that, I do distinctly remember the first time I watched Ambush’s first skate video, Bloody Chicken Boots, and it wasn’t because the video was particularly spectacular.
I remember rolling up to the shop with some friends on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon sometime in 2001. This was Ambush’s old location, the one with the infamous three stair. Anyway, I was posted up on the couch, which sat across from on of those antiquated big screen televisions. You know the type…the old projection ones that have the VCR’s timecode burned into the screen. Admittedly, I was a little hungover from the prior night’s endeavors. Still, I had no idea a skate video contained the power to augment my hangover. Was it was the filming or the odd techno songs that caused my stomach to churn. Who knows? What I do know is that my first viewing of Bloody Chicken Boots was nauseating. This made the viewing permanently burned into my brain, just like the timecode burned into the big screen it played on.