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Zach Kral Interview: 5 with 5s

Friday, December 19th, 2008

zach kral

5ones: First off how do you prepare for so many kickflips? 1,546 kickflips is alot!!!! Do you have any training techniques, or do you just go at it?

Zach: I skate all the time, but didn’t do anything special to get ready. I should have eaten breakfast that day. We started at 10:00 in the morning. I could have done more if I’d eaten something.

5ones: Aside from the kickflip record, you’re an all around talented skateboarder as well. What are your goals in skateboarding?

ZK: Thanks for the compliment! I just want to keep working and learning new tricks until I’m good enough to be pro. I want to learn really really long mannys from you.

5ones: Any new tricks you are working on at the moment? And which tricks do enjoy doing the most?

ZK: I just learned front board kickflip out. It took about an hour to get it down. Now I’m working on back krook halfcab out. I like to do kf frontboard, kf backlip, back feeb, back 50 & kickflip pretzle stance.

5ones: If you could skateboard with anyone in the world who would you choose to skate with?

ZK: I’d love to learn from Dave Bachinsky. His signatures – nollie big heelflip & hard flip. I skated with Greg Lutzka a few times. He’s from 4Seasons in Milwaukee, too. He’s a great guy!

5ones: Shoutouts! Who would you like to thank out there?

ZK: All my sponsors that are so awesome to me. I get to go to a lot of competitions around the country because of them. They are all really good people!

Phenom Skateboards, WI – Decks
Ronka Clothing, NJ – Clothing
Buckle Down Belts – Tight Belts
Skate-Aid, FL – Protective shoe patches that work so good!
4Seasons Skatepark, WI – The best spot to skate!
925Never, CA – Stickers
Kragon Board Racks, WI – Nice Racks!
KRUX trucks (flow)

Also a shout out to my best friends Eric, Halston & Tyler.

Posted in Skateboarding | No Comments »

5 with 5’s: Professional Skateboarder Eric Bork

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

5ones: What have you been up to lately and what are your future plans?

Eric Bork: Lately, I have been working at OGIO. I manage the skate program as well as our Key accounts. I work with accounts anywhere from Active to Best Buy.

5s: Describe a daily routine in the life of Mr. Eric Bork?

EB: Daily routine – At work by 8:30 and I get home between 6 and 10pm. When I get home early, I work on my book. I want to take writing to a higher level than I ever was able to take my skateboarding. The only problem with skateboarding, was that when you get older, it fades, whereas, the older you get with writing, the more you learn and the better you get at it.

5s: What gets you super pumped to go out and skate?

EB: These days, I get pumped to skate when I’m in the mood to bomb hills and play skate.

5s: What is the hardest single trick or most memorable trick (hammer) that you are most proud of to this day? (put most effort into)

EB: 26 stair crooked grind in bakersfield. Built the 20 foot flat bar that is now in the Berrics and crooked it 20 times for 2 weeks before.

5s: Advice to kids trying to get themselves into the industry?

EB: If you live true to your beliefs, know where your talents lie and use those talents for other people’s benefit as well as your own, you’ll stand out and enjoy what you do no matter what industry you are in.

Posted in Skateboarding | 3 Comments »

5 with 5’s: Xavier Rudd Conversation

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Xavier Rudd

While I like to think my time in Nicaragua has made we wise and learned in dealing with the challenges that come with living in an under-developed country, my recent experience of having the privilege to speak with musician Xavier Rudd has shown me otherwise. Perhaps the stoke of having Xavier take time out of his current tour schedule to give 5ones a little love blinded me from the reality that Nicaragua walks hand in hand with Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. An ant breaking wind will put the power out for days here and I work from an office located on the main drag of a town that celebrates weekly holidays like they were going out of style. So while it may have been naive and even ignorant on my part to set up a phone session with Xavier, thank god he is one of the most truly special people I’ve ever come across.

“I’m just another person, we’re probably very similar me and you,” Xavier told me in the midst of our discussion that covered his music, life on tour, and surfing among other things. “I’m just a vehicle, someone who’s been given a gift,” Xavier said, “I’ve had this music running through me ever since I was a child and it’s never changed.” This is the way Xavier sees his music. It’s this gracious and brilliant form of spreading positivity that has made his grassroots, or better yet, sandroots following, especially within the surfing community, so passionate about the issues he covers through his musical activism. Protecting our environment, protecting the rights of native people, protecting each other… these and others are all issues that Xavier holds dear to his heart. He engages in this activism through his unique form of musical expression. It’s an expression that doesn’t just come through his inspirational lyrics, but also through his simultaneously playing multiple instruments when on stage, including the aboriginal didgeridoo. If Xavier Rudd’s music is as he calls it, simply a gift, then it is a gift that he has taken and developed in hopes of bringing about a better world.

And surfing? Being on tour does affect the ability to find time to paddle out, however tour stops such as his recent show in San Diego help to remedy that. “Yeah I was able to get out for a bit up at Oceanside when I was down in San Diego. It was definitely nice to get out in the water,” Xavier said, “when I was young I didn’t always take advantage of my opportunities to surf, now I’m just grateful for any chance to get out in the water.”

When I spoke with Xavier he had since moved on from the west coast portion of the ‘Dark Shades of Blue’ World tour and was currently in New York City preparing for his show there on Sept. 11. This brought up an interesting point. How does someone who grew up in a place like Jan Juc, a tiny coastal town of Victoria, Australia which boasts a population of roughly 3,000, cope with the hectic life that goes along with being on a world tour? It would seem that having to deal with the traveling, the press requests, and all of the other business aspects would be a source of frustration for Xavier. Not at all. “I’ve surrounded myself with a great team of people and they make it all easier,” Xavier said in regards to life on tour,” they help with the decision making and allow things to run very smoothly.”

Thousands of miles of separation, faulty power and phone connections, mariachi bands and percussion bombs blasting away… none of this had any effect on the message that Xavier Rudd spreads even through telephone conversations. He is as he calls it, a vehicle to spread his music and his message. He let me know that he will continue to do so until that message ceases to run through him. Here is to hoping that this day is still a long way off. Because if there is one thing, above all else, that I was able to take away from my time spent chatting with him, it’s that the world needs more people like Xavier Rudd.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

5 with 5’s: The Future of Nicaragua Surfing

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Rex CalderonAt the ages of 15 and 17 respectively, Rex Calderon and Norwin Estrella appear to be just like any other ordinary teenagers. Their daily agendas are pretty simple: Go to school, surf, and rally around town chasing after the local betty’s. Little do they know, they represent what is a very bright future for surfing in Nicaragua.

Rex and Norwin represent what is the exploding next generation of surfers from a country where surfing is still very much in it’s adolescence. The first time I saw Rex in the water he was finishing up his destruction of a wave with one the smoothest, styled-out, and elevated aerial 360’s I had ever seen. Rex, the current no. 1 ranked Junior in all of Central America, possesses the tools and natural ability to one day become a truly great surfer. He’s been picked up by Quiksilver and a few other smaller sponsors who are aiding Rex to reach his unlimited potential.

Norwin is intriguing as a surfer for the simple fact that at 17 of age, he has only been surfing for 3 years. Yet in 3 short years he has developed into an extremely talented surfer, most recently placing second behind Rex in a contest held at nearby Popoyo. The ultra-consistent, high-quality surf in Nicaragua is providing this generation of young surfers with limitless opportunities to develop their skills. With this, we have much to look forward to as these and the rest of the young up and coming Nica-rippers are tirelessly setting themselves up for big things to come.

Rex and Norwin were kind enough to sit a Sunday session out and participate in a 5 with 5’s. Knowing the passion they have for surfing every second they possibly can, we thank them for this and look forward to watching them, and the rest of this countries next generation of surfers progress towards greatness.

5ones: How old were you guys when you started surfing, and what was it that got you started?

Rex Calderon: I started surfing when I was right around 9 yrs. old. My Uncles Rocky and Cello were always surfing and when I saw them going it made me interested in trying it out. They gave me my first board and I’ve been surfing ever since.

Norwin Estrella: I was 14 when I started. Pretty much all of my cousins and friends were already doing it and were having fun so I decided I wanted to try it.

5ones: What surfers out there inspire you guys?

Rex: For me it’s Andy Irons and Cory Lopez. I guess for competitions I would say Kelly Slater. As far as just aerials and free-surfing I would definitely say Julian Wilson (ear-to-ear smile on his face when mentioning Julian).

Norwin: Andy, Cory, and Freddy Patacchia. We (he and Rex) always surf together and watch movies together so we all like a lot of the same surfers.

5ones: As far as your surfing goes, what are you guys really working on right now and practicing?

Rex: When I first saw the rodeo flip Jamie O’Brien has been throwing I wanted to try it. I’m practicing that a lot right now. I’ve only landed it once though so I’m hoping to get better and throw them consistently.

Norwin: Just throwing a lot of different airs. I love throwing airs and being above the wave so I’m trying to practice as many different airs as I can.

5ones: It’s pretty obvious the area you guys have grown-up in is growing and seeing more visiting surfers than ever before, how do you guys feel about having so many people in the water now?

Rex: I’m cool with it, you know. We have so many waves here and a lot of secret spots so when it does get too crowded we just head over there and it’s no big deal. I don’t really mind it too much.

Norwin: I guess sometimes it really makes it hard because there really are so many people here now, especially at the main breaks like Maderas. When you have so many people it makes it hard to surf and really enjoy it. But like Rex said, we have our secret spots so we can just go there when it gets too crowded.

5ones: What are you guys jamming out to when getting ready to head out for a session?

Rex: Damian Marley, Welcome to Jamroc

Norwin: Easy… System of a Down!

Posted in Surfing | 4 Comments »

5 with 5’s: Koby Abberton Interview

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Koby AbbertonWithout a doubt, Koby Abberton has put himself on a very short list of surfers in the world who are constantly pushing their limits and charging each session as if it were their last. As you dive deeper into the life of the Bra Boy Abberton, beyond the surfing, you begin to understand this approach. Koby has faced and endured challenges throughout his life that would make many others crumble. Even then, no matter what Koby was being confronted with in what has been at times a very turbulent life, one thing has remained a constant, he loves to surf, is damn good at it, and is constantly pushing and inspiring those around him to push themselves just as hard, no matter what it is.

This is part two of a two-part 5 with 5’s with Sunny Abberton and Koby Abberton. The unprecedented success of the documentary Bra Boys continues it’s roll following the July 29 release of the Bra Boys Collectors Edition DVD. Sometime in between ripping sessions in Bali and West Oz, Koby was kind enough to give us some of his time and insight and be the next guest on 5 with 5’s.

5ones: Koby, Thanks again for your time and congratulations on everything you accomplished with the release of Bra Boys. How has the massive success of the film affected the city of Maroubra, as well as the rest of the Bra Boys?

Koby: Well the boys are pretty much the same, they just all seem to be getting a lot more girls, hahhahahahah… The police are really pissed with the movie’s results and they seem to be doing everything they can to make us look bad… but all good besides that.

5ones: What were some of your biggest obstacles when trying to break through and become successful as surfers, and what was it that you feel kept you pushing through all of the turmoil toward reaching your goals?


5ones: What words of wisdom would you hand down to the younger, up and coming surfers who are from rougher areas in the world and face similar struggles to those that you guys faced growing up in Maroubra?

Koby: Keep away from drugs and just take notice of who your friends are and what they are doing when you’re not around.

5ones: 5 words that would best describe the Bra Boys and what they are about?

Koby: Loyal, Honour, Respect, Brothers, Death.

5ones: It’s just Sunny, Jai, and Koby heading out for a dream session… Where would this take place and who will be charging the hardest?

Koby: Me of course, they are both fags!!! HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHA. Tahiti would be great because we could drink beers after and eat sushi…. Perfect!

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

5 with 5’s: Nica Skate Pit Crew

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Nica Skate Pit CrewOver the weekend, part of the 5ones crew had the pleasure of attending the grand opening party for the Nica Skate Pit. We’ve also had the pleasure of getting some one-on-one time with the crew responsible for the Nica Sakte Pit, so we sat down and found out some of the inspirations behind the pit and just about the general skate scene in Nicaragua.

5ones: What is The Skate Pit?

Nica Skate Pit: The Skate Pit started out as and extracurricular activity for our school, and quickly grew into a huge project. We ended up creating a website (still under construction) called Nicaskatepit.com where we have photos of skate sessions, announcements from the skate community, and profiles of our skate crew. So, The Skate Pit isn’t just a sweet ramp, but also a way for the local and international skaters to get together and have a fun session.

5ones: What was the inspiration for this project?

Nica Skate Pit: Skating, for us, is inspiration in and of its self; it’s fun to do and fun to be around. Here in Nicaragua there aren’t a lot of skate spots. So, we decided to make our own spot to shred. It is definitely the first of its kind in San Juan del Sur, and hopefully will blossom into a sick skate park.

5ones: What is the most rewarding part about doing this so far?

Nica Skate Pit: Our grand opening barbecue was a huge success, and extremely rewarding because we had a great turn out of skaters, friends, family, and spectators. It was great to have the skate crew shredding it up together. We haven’t had a session with all the skaters in a long time. We all skated for about six hours non-stop, everyone enjoyed some food, and just chilled as they watched the skating exhibition. The grand opening really showed us what is to (hopefully) become of The Skate Pit.

5ones: What are your goals?

Nica Skate Pit: With our website and skate ramp, we really just want to bring our skate crew together and have some awesome sessions. By doing this, the crew has already taken their skating skill to the next level. Most of our crew are street skaters, and now they are learning how to skate vert. Some have traveled to other cities/countries to skate ramps, but now that they have a place near home they can really take it to the next level. We would also really love to use our project to attract support from outside organizations. Such support would help us get skateboards into the hands of kids who can’t afford them. And make the San Juan skaters feel like their part of a global skate community.

5ones: Can you describe a typical Nicaraguan skate style?

Nica Skate Pit: The skate style that is being created down here seems to be a cross of raw hard-core urban skating, and aggressive surf influenced fluidity. We’ve basically got a couple of highly skilled and motivated street skaters, used to making the best of less than favorable terrain, coming together with Nicaragua’s leading surfers whose smooth and powerful techniques are coming directly from the waves, to patent what is a unique Nicaraguan skate progression. One thing is certain, Nicaragua’s skaters are an innovative group, drawing heavily from every influence available to them, and constantly pushing the envelope. It’s definitely a lot of fun to be down here right now, watching it all go down! Dale Pues!

Posted in Skateboarding | 3 Comments »

5 with 5’s: Sunny Abberton

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Sunny AbbertonFor Bra Boys Sunny and Koby Abberton of Maroubra, N.S.W., Australia, this was just a recounting of their lives, their home, and their brotherhood. With the production and release of the Bra Boys documentary in the spring of 2007, they set out to simply tell their version of what they believed to be a very one-sided story at the time. In doing so, they ended up breaking box office records and seeing an unprecedented level of success that never could have before been imagined.

The demand by those not only throughout the surfing community, but all over the world, to witness their story has continued to grow over time and has seen the film end up in very unexpected markets. The Bra Boys Collectors Edition DVD just hit stores on July 29, and with a Hollywood version of their story in the works being directed by Oscar-winner Russel Crowe, the success of their story is sure to continue.

It´s been a whirlwind ride of success for the first family of the Bra Boys brotherhood, but through it all they have remained what they have always been at heart – an extremely tight-knit family that’s as passionate about surfing as any I’ve ever come across.

This is part one of a two-part 5 with 5’s with Sunny Abberton and Koby Abberton. Sunny and Koby were kind enough to give 5ones some of their time to give us a glimpse into what´s going on with them and their journey following the release of Bra Boys. We thank them for that, congratulate them on their massively successful project, and encourage any of our 5ones friends who have yet to see the film to go out and do so.

5ones: Thanks again for your time and congratulations on everything you accomplished with the release of Bra Boys. How has the massive success of the film affected the city of Maroubra, as well as the rest of the Bra Boys?

Sunny Abberton: You see people, a lot of people come and take photos of the beach with them in it like it was a tourist attraction. It has also helped the boys with gaining more respect for what we do. As well, its been better for some of the younger guys like Richie Vas (guy who gets stabbed in the neck and laughs) to gain sponsorship as a big wave rider. Johnny Gannon who trains the boys and who does the training in the extra section on the DVD has been picked up by World no. 3 Taj Burrow to travel the World Tour with him as his trainer in the hope Johnny will help him win a world tittle.

5ones: What were your biggest obstacles when trying to break through and become successful as surfers, and what was it that you feel kept you pushing through all of the turmoil toward reaching your goals ?

Sunny: The biggest obstacles to succeed at anything is just trying to remain focused on your goals and stay on the right path of being fit and healthy.

5ones: What words of wisdom would you hand down to the younger, up and coming surfers who are from rougher areas in the world and face similar struggles to those that you guys faced growing up in Maroubra?

Sunny: Don’t get caught in the cycle of your area; drugs, crime, and jail. You can rise above it. You just have to find an outlet, like the surf.

5ones: How would you best describe the Bra Boys and what they are about?

Sunny: A big family over 100 years old.

5ones: It’s just Sunny, Jai, and Koby heading out for a dream session….Where would this take place and who will be charging the hardest?

Sunny: Well Koby, Dakota, and I are all natural footers so Jai would have to listen to us. It would probably be in the Mentawai Islands and it would be very competitive.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

5 with 5’s: Grant “Twiggy” Baker

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Grant Twiggy BakerGrant “Twiggy” Baker’s 2006 victory at Maverick’s went a long way in placing himself, as well as South Africa as a whole, into the forefront of not only the Big Wave Surfing community, but the entire Surfing world in general. What sets Baker apart is the style in which he charges some of the most massive waves the world has to offer, surfing them with the fluidity and approach that is more common on waves half the size of the heavy waves he is known for lighting up.

With his mind-blowing performance at a heaving Dungeons this past weekend, Baker added another prestigious title to his name by becoming the 2008 Red Bull Big Wave Africa Champion. By doing so, he has not only sealed his spot as one of the world’s premier big-wave riders, but also reminded us all that Big Wave Surfing in South Africa is vibrantly progressing and has a lot more in store for us in the years to come.

5ones: Grant, first off, congratulations on your incredible victory this past weekend! It must have been off the charts to win an event of this magnitude so close to home. How does your 2008 Red Bull Big Wave Africa win compare to your victory at Mav’s in ‘06?

Grant “Twiggy” Baker: The BWA is something that us surfers in South Africa hold very dear to our hearts. It’s what brought us all together in the first place and gave us the opportunity to take Big Wave surfing in South Africa to the world. To win is the ultimate achievement for me in our small sport of Big Wave Surfing and something that will always be with me. The win at Mavericks likewise is something that I will never forget, it gave me the opportunity to prove to the rest of the world that South Africa has surfers that can compete at that level and win.

5ones: For us non big-wave surfers, what are some of the thoughts and feelings you experience as you turn to paddle into a bomb at places like Dungeons and Maverick’s?

Twiggy: Ha ha….It’s a weird on that. It’s a feeling of both excitement and terror that this could be the wave of your life or the last…ha ha. No it’s not that serious, it’s what we do and what we train and prepare for so when the time comes to go…you go!!

5ones: Who are some of the surfers you looked up to, as well as those who have influenced your surfing?

Twiggy: Growing up in South Africa we were always in awe of the guys surfing Mavericks and Waimea, but I learned first from guys like Greg Swart and John Whittle in Durban and then Davy Stolk and Mickey Duffus in Cape Town, as well as my uncle Ari Kraak in J-bay. We have so many good big wave surfers up and down the coast in South Africa and all of them have had an influence on me during sessions over the years.

5ones: What was your very first surfing memory?

Twiggy: Having fun with my friends in Durban on the pump house and causing all sorts of trouble!!

5ones: You get to choose everything that would be in your dream session; location, wave size, conditions, crew, etc…How would it go?

Twiggy: Wow, great question….The location would have to be Bawa in Indonesia before the Tsunami, 12ft+ with the late afternoon offshore blowing on a draining spring low tide so it’s doubling up through the inside bowl. The Long Brothers, Reg, Mogwai, Flame, Edy, Warren Dean and Holmsie trading the biggest barrels you will ever see with AVG shooting water!!

Thanks for the interview and congratulations once again to Grant “Twiggy” Baker, the 2008 Red Bull Big Wave Africa Champion!

Grant Twiggy Baker Reb Bull BWA Champion

Posted in Surfing | 6 Comments »

5 with 5’s

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

We just launched a new feature on the site called 5 with 5’s. The basic idea for 5 with 5’s is that we’re going to start doing a series of questions with athletes, brands, bands, industry peeps, and more. We’ll ask them 5 questions in an interview style format, let them answer however they see fit, and then post the interview up on the site for everyone to read. Our first interview was done with FirstStoke.com and you can check it out here.

If you’re an athlete, brand, musician, etc – and you’re interested in doing a 5 with 5’s feature then get in touch with us. Look for these on a weekly basis.

Posted in Blog | No Comments »

5 with 5’s: FirstStoke.com

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

First Stoke LogoAs the world of board sports continues to grow like never before, more and more riders everywhere are finding new ways to keep connected with each other as well as with everything that is going on in our board riding communities. The internet is obviously huge in providing so many opportunities for surfers, skaters, snowboarders, skiers, and so many more to immerse ourselves in everything action sports.

I recently had the chance to speak with the founder of a site called FirstStoke.com, Darren Reinke, and threw him a few questions that would help our readers who haven’t heard of First Stoke get a better idea of what they’re all about. Based out of San Diego, Ca. Darren and his partners started First Stoke as a “group of enthusiasts who yearned for an ability to share their experiences, ideas, and passions across a variety of mediums and activities.” They have continued to see strong growth over the past couple of years and are becoming a very fun and useful site for riders everywhere to check out-

5ones: Where did the initial inspiration for First Stoke come from?

First Stoke: Honestly, I was sitting on the beach in the South of Brazil taking in all that Praia Mole has to offer when I came up with the idea. I had been working in the surf industry and therefore had been following what was going on in the world of action sports. The industry had been and continues to grow at a rapid pace, but I felt that in the process the smaller brands, athletes, musicians, photogs, and film makers that have been so vital to the progression of the sports were losing the opportunity to have their voice heard. First Stoke is first and foremost a rider movement that is inclusive to all individuals and groups who embrace the idea of progression and inclusion in the world of board sports. More specifically, FirstStoke.com allows users to connect more deeply with all aspects of the action sports industry including the individuals who are most critical to its growth and survival.

5’s: Give me 5 words that best describe your company and what you are all about?

First Stoke: Progressive…Authentic…Grass Roots…Open Minded…Up and Coming…

5’s: How do newcomers to your site benefit from checking it out for the first time?

First Stoke: First time users can benefit along a number of dimensions; from the pure entertainment value of the pictures and videos to the education provided by the travel and educational content to the ability to connect with sponsors and other riders. Also, we are in the process of enhancing the site and will soon be launching a contest whereby users can win cash and other swag provided by our partners.

5’s: The word ‘core’ seems to be a constant when talking about First Stoke – what is your definition of core?

First Stoke: Core is really just being true to the reason you started surfing, skating, snowboarding, etc…. Yeah, everyone wants to live the dream and get paid to follow their passion. But don’t forget why you got into the sport and lose the love for what you do every day.

5’s: What 1 song would you pick to best suit a First Stoke soundtrack?

First Stoke: Free by Felonious (underground San Francisco live Hip Hop band). The song is all about freedom through expression.

Posted in Brands, Surfing | 2 Comments »

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