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Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Updated: May 21, 12:33 PM ET
State of Skate: 5.19.04

By Keith Eric Davidson
EXPN.com

  • Vans, the original skateboard shoe company founded in 1966, was sold for a cool $396 million to the VF Corporation, the biggest apparel company in the world. VF owns American favorites Lee, Wrangler and Rustler jeans. Expect to see Vans at a rodeo near you.

  • With the combined springtime acquisitions of DC and Vans totaling more than $550 million, how much time is left for the last big independent, Sole Technologies, makers of etnies, eS and Emerica? Plenty, according to CEO/founder Pierre André Senizergues: "Sole Technology is the company I founded and the people at the company are my family," he said over e-mail. "You don't sell your family."

  • In other Vans news, residents of Canada will be treated to the "No Half Stepping" tour beginning May 20. The tour kicks off in Vancouver, stretches all the way to Montreal and features riders Geoff Rowley, Tony Trujillo, Dustin Dollin, Scott Kane, Terry Kennedy, Steve Caballero, Johnny Layton and Ray Barbee. Check out www.vans.com for dates and locations.
    Stacy Lowery goes kickie over fencie! Oh, and, um, he will also be joining the Accel wheels team to beat ass on some east-coast skatepark terrain.
  • Accel wheels, Mike Vallely's wheel company out of Long Beach, is heading out on the road East-coast style with a hefty crew in "Men Versus Skatepark". Love him or hate him, if you've seen Mike V in a demo, you know it's gonna be quite a show. Especially with the squad of rippers he has in tow: Charlie Wilkins, Clint Peterson, Stacy Lowery, Scott Christianson and new all-around technician Kyle Berard. Head to www.accelwheels.com for the exact dates.

  • Bones Wheels is heading through the expansive southwest on a month-long journey that will ultimately end in Denver. The lax demo dates promise a hefty amount of free skate time for the crew, which includes Chris Senn, Dayne Brummett, Rodney Jones, Chad Bartie, and ams Aaron Perko and Graham Bickerstaff. For the dates, go to www.boneswheels.com.

  • Popwar skateboards, the brainchild of Cairo Foster, was given a deadline by team manager Paul Sharpe to end all filming by the end of the summer. With that in mind, Cairo scooped up the crew and headed to Barcelona, Spain. The crew includes team shredders Rob G, Chad Tim Tim, Raymond Molinar, Adam Crew and Kenny Reed, who already lives in Spain. Now Kenny can shred at home with his homies for the next two months.
    Switch flipper Adam Crew and the Popwar Skateboards gang are in Barcelona, Spain, to finish filming for their new video. Ahhh ... Espana, cervesas y paella -- esta todo mejor.
  • Ron Whaley and Krux trucks have been steadily filming for their soon-to-be-released (and first truck company) video "Blown Out". You know this is gonna be a goody, especially with the steady skates of Caswell Berry, Louie Barletta, Steffan Attardo, Tom Krauser, Ricky Oyola, Jessie Fritsh, Emmanuel Guzman and many others. For more details or to purchase the video, go to www.kruxtrucks.com.

  • The 900, the once coveted holy grail of skateboarding tricks (if you're one of the few people who ride 14-foot-tall vert ramps) was conquered by two more skaters, and only a couple of weeks apart from one another. On May 9th, Brazilian skateboarder Sandro Dias lofted a clean, backside grab 900 about nine feet out during the Latin X Games on his home turf in Rio, click here to watch the video of Sandro's 900. And Italian skater Giorgio Zattoni, a former Vans/Powell pro, landed the feat a couple weeks earlier in a more intimate setting of his private backyard skatepark. The only witness, besides a couple of friends, is rumored to be Flip pro Alex Chalmers.
    Switch flips are hot, yo. Scott Christianson of Accel wheels gets with the heat before heading out to the east coast for Mike V. and the crew's "Men Vs. Skatepark" tour.
  • Thrasher magazine/Zero's invite-only Wallenberg Best Trick Contest ended with Andrew Reynolds stomping a frontside flip down the mighty gap, Zero's Lindsey Robertson snagging a heelflip and Real pro Darrell Stanton floating a huge switch b/s 180. In legendary style, Mark Gonzales, who was the first rider to ollie the mighty gap way before you were born, showed up and launched over the gorge with the greatest of ease. He was riding some sort of bizzaro setup with giant slalom trucks to boot! If you want to see an amazing video, go to www.thrashermagazine.com for the goods.

  • After hearing the rumors, I confirmed with my friend Luciano Mor of Aesthetics skateboards that Sal Barbier and the entire skate team of Rob Welsh, Clyde Singleton, Kevin Taylor, Joey Pepper, John Igei and all the ams defected to the Zoo York camp. Large signing bonuses, NYC apartments, XXL T-shirts and very large salaries were their incentives. (What else is there?) There are no hard feelings between Aesthetics and the old riders. Business is business in today's soft economy. Aesthetics is moving forward with a new team in the development stages.