Skate Rat Holiday Buyer’s Guide
A list of skate goods to stuff stockings with.
Christmas time is here and even skate rats need their share of holiday cheer. While it usually doesn’t take much to satisfy the average four-wheel pusher, aside from a working board and any nook to snag a trick or two on, we figured it’s only right to compile a sweet buyer’s guide for the homies – you know – for solidarity and such. We skaters aren’t a greedy bunch and the bearded bastard comes but only once a year. And hey, some of us have put in more work than others, so we definitely merit more than a lump of coal. So here it is, a list of goodies to give your skateboarding chum/boyfriend/sister/neighbor/local scumbag near you.
Okay, while “skate socks” isn’t really a term, and I’ll admit that it sounds damn near corny, any skater that rides in shorts can attest that riding with a good pair of funky/high socks is definitely the wave. Maybe not for the OGs that prefer their classic tube socks, but any pushers under 30 can appreciate some. Here are two brands doing it right in the sock game. Take heed and cop one for your skate comrade. He or she will pay you in wicked ripping, or at least look good while attempting.
Stance Socks ($9.99-$19.99) – A little under three years deep, these folks have definitely changed the sock game heavy. Printing everything from indigenous patterns to straight up photos, they come correct in terms of color and design options. Really, who’s not going to enjoy flexing in a pair of these?
HUF Socks ($12.00) – HUF holds it down for the Bay Area and over the past few years they’ve definitely stomped on the core skate market. Ever since the reincarnation of their “recreational leaf” pattern, they’ve pretty much been as ubiquitous as Supreme 5-panels. Not saying these are played out just yet, but even if they are, HUF’s got other dirtbag-approved designs to satisfy the homies.
Dickies Workwear Pants ($19.99-$29.99)
Whether they like them skinny or straight fit, nothing gets more utilitarian use for a skater (other than shoes) like a good pair of pants to rip in. And well, the less that these pants actually “rip” the better. That’s why we’ll definitely go with a working man’s pair of Dickies. Usually priced at $20-$30 a pop, depending on where you cop from (we recommend sporting goods stores), these lightweight, durable bad boys are perhaps the most bang you’ll snag for your buck all year – word to Kris Kringle.
A Good Pair of Skate Shoes ($49.99-$89.99)
Probably the most significant thing in a skater’s life next to their board is the ever-important skate shoe. We need them durable, wearable, and from time to time, stylish enough to wear off the deck. We asked the homies around the office to chime in on their favorite pair and here are the three that they most recommended:
Nike Stefan Janoski – This be Nike’s golden child/cash cow right here – literally their most popular and best-selling skate shoe. After finally perfecting the vulcanized, swoosh-incorporating model that they‘ve always dreamed of, Nike’s gone to town parading and pushing these, and with good reason. First, these mofos are low profile, lightweight goodness. Think Vans “Authentic” (sorry Steve Van Doren) just with more foot support, padding, and durable material. If you fucks with the swoosh you’ll probably want to fuck with these. Not to mention they’ve got like a million colorways/combinations for folks that want to mix and match their skate steez.
Adidas Dennis Busenitz – Adidas steps their skate kick game up with one of the most durable and board-friendly shoes out, hands down. Taking cue from their rich soccer shoe heritage like that of the Samba, they’ve been able to re-appropriate sleek design that also works fucking amazingly for skateboarding. The thin un-vulcanized sole (for all you waffle haters) maintains a nice connection with the board without giving up the grip, while the extra-long tongue protects yer ankles almost all the way up to the beginning of yer shins laddy! Plus these come in suede AKA the most abrasion-proof material your hooves can skate in.
Converse Kenny Anderson II – Durable, low profile, comfortable as shit. What more is there to say about a good skate shoe? Real talk, these are the kind of shoes you literally break in with just one wear, and wind up skating in for months. I don’t know exactly what it is about these, but Converse definitely struck gold in terms of a balance between casual and strong, kind of like the homie Kenny Anderson himself. Oh, and don’t forget the Nike Lunarlon padding. Goodbye heel bruise, hello five-stair heel flip!
Thrasher Corduroy Snapback ($29.95)
Yeah, snapbacks are sort of played, but you show me someone with an all-black corduroy Thrasher one, and I’ll show you someone who’s probably not just following the trend tide. Put away the tired 5-panel (Supreme’s got too many non-skaters wearing those anyway) and throw this puppy on for a tasteful shred. Plus corduroy is warmer for these colder months of pushing.
Amibition Snowskate ($124.95-$159.95)
Speaking of colder months and winter weather, here’s a rather weird board we pretty much have to give a hood pass to. Why? Because it isn’t as douchey as say, a wrong board, i.e. your New York City new Equinox juicehead-muscle-bro isn’t going to experiment with these for his post-workout calisthenics, you feel me? This shit right here is strictly for some day-tripping snow rats that skateboard just as much as you and I, except not when 20 inches of snow drops down on their town every weekend. But alas, we don’t have to defend the validity of this contraption. Ambition’s promo video pretty much speaks for itself. Pushing like a real board, kickflips, lipslides on rails, mannies and bonelesses?!?! We’re fucking sold, and you’re closest skater should be too!
Skate Videos ($19.99-$25.99)
No doubt that this year has definitely been the year of bomb-ass independent skateboard flicks. Along with the shift in the industry as a whole, so many film projects have also taken the more conducive indie route, complete with less pressures and more creative freedoms than anything else.
“Soliel Levant” – Spearheading this is Paris’ own Magenta Skateboards whose film “Soliel Levant” wowed skaters from far and wide with one of the most creative production/post-production effects during the skating. You’ll have to watch it to see what we mean.
“Lenz II” – Then there’s “Lenz II” from renowned Japanese director, Shinpei Ueno. This monster of a flick (90 minutes long) took a whopping four years to film and features more than 100+ riders. When we talk about skateboarding as an outlet for expressive or outstanding bodies of work, look no further. This shit’s an art project for real!
“Cold War” – And last, but certainly not least, is Zero’s “Cold War.” While probably not as independent as “Soliel Levant” or “Lenz,” “Cold War” holds its own in terms of pound-for-pound true school skate video, complete with varying solid team riders flying the same Zere flag under OG skate general Jamie Thomas. Cop this one for your more mainstream skater, who’s more into big parts and less artsy fartsy.
FTC Book ($35.99)
Here’s one for the coffee table for sure, or your more knowledge-seeking skaters with an interest in the West Coast modern era of skate. The FTC book pays homage to one of the most influential skate shops in the San Francisco Bay Area with tons of beautiful pictures and details highlighting the city’s golden scene. Random, but worth a mention – comedian and skater Dave Chappelle wrote the intro. How could any adult skater not want this book?
Independent “Burnside” Ashtray ($26.95)
Sometimes skate rats have habits. Smoking being one of them. Now, whether it’s cigarette smoke or green herb tokes, Independent’s “Burnside” ashtray collects your precious ashes and stores them under the guise of a ceramic version of the actual DIY skatepark in Portland. What an honor; your scumbag/stoner habits relinquished by a cleverly named novelty ashtray.
Filmbot VX1000 Bottle Opener ($8.00)
Here we go again with the rager habits. Fuck it. Skaters like beer and sometimes they need something to pop open those bottles with. The Filmbots VX1000 is probably the raddest bottle opener ever conjured up. An homage to the OG tape camera that’s legendary among ‘90s skate filmers and nostalgia buffs, we just can’t see how having this in your arsenal won’t earn you stripes from all angles. Cheers!