Emerica Reynolds Cruisers – throwback wear review by Kevin Marks

Young Guns & Lifers project. Go Skateboarding Day 2014 p: Jason Buck

Young Guns & Lifers project. Go Skateboarding Day 2014 p: Jason Buck

VSB contributor Kevin Marks has recently retired his Emerica Reynolds Cruisers after more then a year of shredding!  He has been skating most of his life and has no intention on stopping anytime soon. As of this writing Kevin is on day 156 of 200 days of skateboarding goal. (Stretch is 365 and beyond) Emerica Vegan Skateboard shoes Andrew Reynolds The Boss Baker Bakerboys

We posted the Reynolds Cruisers back in February of 2012 when the shoe was hitting the shelves for spring. Kevin got himself a few pairs and has been running them to the ground.  As a person who strives for as little waste as possible in his life, he certainly gave these shoes a good run. You may not be able to find this shoe any longer, but Emerica makes fine quality skateboard shoes and always have at least a few Vegan options every season.  Right now Kevin is getting into his B. Herman G6 Vulcs.

-Mr. Fakie

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Emerica Vegan Skateboard shoes Reynolds Cruisers Baker Baker Skateboards BakerboysI started skating these Cruisers in the early summer of 2013 and they were my second pair. Stable, light weight, cushy insole, simple. It should be said that I’m not very hard on my equipment. I also take pride in riding my equipment into the ground. I extended their life several times over the 15 months they served me. They remind me of a VANS era. Emerica Vegan Skateboard Shoes Andrew Reynolds BakerThe Crusiers were super comfortable and hard to let go. I didn’t initially put shoe goo on, that wasn’t until a year later.Andrew Reynolds Emerica Vegan Skateboard shoesShoe goo was put on the left shoe ollie zone June 2014. The right shoe heel cup came loose at 8 months, but didn’t affect my skating. To wear them barefoot, I put some duct tape at the back to prevent blisters.Vegan Skateboard shoes Emerica Reynolds Baker SkateboardsThe soles of the Reynolds Cruisers had multiple spots where the foam was showing through and finally one spot worn all the way through. Overall the tread pattern lasted a long time and was truly grippy.

———————————————————————————————————-Thanks for sending in the review Kevin!  If any of you want to see how a 42 year old rips, here are some photos.  Check back for some video evidence of front rocks and pivot fakies that should keep you motivated to skate into retirement.

Launch Community through skateboarding Kevin Marks Old man on a skateboard

Frontside 50-50 a few months into the Cruisers lifespan – Sept 2013 Launch Creative Center, Ft. Collins, CO p:Andy Weiss

take your dad skateboarding day feeble fake

feeble fakie days before I retired the Cruisers – Sept 2014 Leadville, CO p: Mark Liscak

Kevin getting a smooth smith grind.

Kevin getting a smooth smith grind.

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Portland to Texas and back again…

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 9.03.08 AM Vegan, skateboarder and all around vagabond Kevin Marks of Traveling Free Box has joined me on an adventure of skateboarding and delicious food through the West.   beetboxA quarter of the way through our trip, Denver has served us up with a great skatepark and some donuts.

Check out #pdxtoTXtopdx on Instagram for posts from Kevin and Mr. Fakie for updates. If you’d like to skate or grub (or lets us crash at your pad) give us a shout.

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Vegetable Shredder – Jimmy Hoang

Vegan Skateboarder Jimmy

Backside flip over the side walk photo: Nick Labovites

Name: Jimmy Hoang

Location: Worcester, Massachusetts

Occupation: Loving Hut Hamilton. I’m a part time chef.

Where do you like skating?: Eggs in Boston.

Why did you go veg?: I was actually born and raised a vegetarian. I became vegan when I was twelve years old because my family and I decided being a vegetarian wasn’t enough and it defeated the purpose of being against animal cruelty. To really be against animal cruelty and support animal rights; It just didn’t make sense to still be consuming milk and wearing leather.

Jimmy Hoang frontside flip vegan skateboarder vegetable shredderWhat is your favorite thing to skate and why?: I enjoy skating everything but if I had to choose, flat ground is my favorite thing to skate. Its what I grew up skating everyday and I just love the feeling of doing a solid flat ground kickflip.

What shoes are you skating in right now?: Fallen The Vibes

Say whatever I want about skating vegan…: Being vegan has unlocked my full potential and strength to keep pushing forward on and off my skateboard.

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Jimmy sent this rad vegetable shredder to us back in July! Probably some of my favorite skate shots since Deerman’s Vegetable Shredder!   You’re in some good company Jimmy!

If you skateboard and shred vegetables, send us an email fakie [at] veganskateblog.com  You’ll become famous beyond your wildest dreams and get a sweet sticker pack.

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Huf Sutter

Huf Sutter Vegan Skateboard shoes Huf Sutter boarders fancy and functional skateboard shoe in this all vegan model!  Huf has been bringing out a number colorways in this slim silhouette with no animal, but this is their first fully synthetic leather upper!  With super minimal lines and just a splash of camo print on the tongue these look like a great pair to wear on your next fancy skate-date! Hope to see a bunch more synthetics from Huf. We’re going to hit up Keith for a review pair and hopefully have some updates soon!

Huf sizes 4-13 $70.00

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Mercy For Animals Investigates Factory Duck Farm

photo2Mercy for Animals just released footage from an undercover investigation at Riechardt Duck Farm in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The investigator turned over footage to the Sonoma County Sheriffs Department which resulted in a raid on the factory farm that holds close to 300,000 animals.

Factory farm footage like this seems even more compounded and cruel when you think of the absence of anything close to what a ducks habitat would resemble. Though not surprising, the “industry” definition of animal cruelty takes none of this into account. Maybe thats more damning?  This isn’t really a case of factory farm out of control or perpetrating  unusual cruelty. This is by the book abuse. It’s just a stronger case that eating animals is fucked up.

For more info, check out the Mercy for Animals and exclusive video on the ABC 7 site.

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Emerica Herman G6 Vulc

Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesEmerica’s Herman G6 Vulc comes in a Vegan colorway for Fall 2014 in a strictly canvas upper! The vulcanized sole version of the G6 strips down some of the technical (and pricier) aspects of Hermans last pro shoe, for a more relaxed fit that retains great protection and board feel.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe G6 Vulc is refined in both color and simplicity and maintains the functional skate element due to a solid, one-piece toe cap.  With the double-stitched lines set up and back from heavy wear areas the shoe didn’t face any premature blow-outs. (though it didn’t really get a chance and we’ll get into that in a moment)Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe grayish khaki with the minty green liner and red accents are a nice refresh from the usual black canvas. Those trade mark stitches let the initiated know that this is B. Herm’s shoe! Thinner tongues make the shoe much more maneuverable around the ankle. The padded collar isn’t too restrictive and gives a little protection from flying boards too. The shoe is true to the vulcanized form factor but more solid then others in a similar catagory. So what makes the G6 Vulc a G6 anyhow?   After all, a vulcanized sole for better board feel isn’t anything new.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe red insoles are what does it. Where the first G6 models have built the foam into the cupsole itself, the Emerica Vulc line has a removable insert that has a thicker molded cupped heel, thicker arch area, and thinner toe.

So now to the wear and the (early) tear…Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesAfter two days of solid skating, (about 6 hours worth), the ollie area is showing significant wear.  This would have been a perfect moment to slap some Shoe-Goo in those holes and really prolong the life. Canvas shoes are going to rip, but this is a little earlier then previous reviews.  Even the ultra-thin Laced in waxed-canvas lasted longer.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesAnother few down and dirty skate sessions (another 10 hours) the ollie hole was all eaten through. Not more then a few scratches on the black foxing tape and the G6 Vulc are already to the point where every pair of socks will get sacrificed to the grip tape gods.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe vulcanized soles before and after.  Almost no wear and they still feel incredibly protective in the ball and heel area. A testament to the overall durability of the shoe outside of the canvas upper.

So here is the verdict….Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesI love these shoes. Out of the box the Emerica G6 Vulc fits perfectly and needs no break in time. They’re solid in every other area except for the one area of the upper that counts most. I’d love to keep skating in them and luckily have another pair that will certainly get Shoe-Goo’d the moment an ollie hole develops.

At one time Emerica  employed a fair amount of synthetic-leather in their shoes. Most recently Ed Templeton’s Heritic featured a highly durable toe cap which took months to destroy. Further more, other skate brands like Servent and Fallen have started using super durable synthetic-suede that is being used not for ethical reasons, but sheerly for the purpose of skate-life and breathability.

Emerica is a company owned and operated by skateboarders. The people who design and produce these skate shoes really know what we want as skateboarders.  The label below is proof positive that Emerica hears the vegan skate community and have been receptive.  We just may need to speak a little louder.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe Herman G6 is still gets a solid Buy from us, but if you plan to skate much other then transition, be sure to also get a tube of Shoe-Goo.

Emerica $64.99 size 6.5-14

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Upton’s Break Room

Upton's BreakroomLast year I interviewed Dan Stackmman and Nicole Sopko at Upton’s Breakroom in Chicago. They recently celebrated their first year at 2054 West Grand, a building that is home to their 100% Vegan restaurant and so much more.   -Mr. Fakie

MF: Tell me about the building and why Upton’s who primarily manufactures seitan is getting into the restaurant business.

Dan: This is feeling very formal now that the tape recorder is on.

MF: (less serious interview voice) Why did you open up a restaurant?

Nicole: We built this whole building as an opportunity to have some aspect of our business be open to our customers. Before everything was behind the scenes. Now this is our front door. This is our living room.

MF: How about the menu, The Employee Meal, whats that?

Nicole: That was our idea of have something that rotated regularly to keep it interesting for the employees who are eating here everyday.  We wanted to make something thats reasonably affordable, but still filling and has fresh ingredients that people can eat everyday.

MF: Everything you have here is affordable too, There is nothing over 8 dollars.

Nicole: Nope, we wanted to keep our menu reasonable, so you know people in the neighborhood would be willing to check us out. So you know you could eat here with out breaking the bank.

Upton's BreakroomMF: You guys have a soft serve machine with our friends, Chicago Vegan Foods, Temptation. Thats exciting!

Nicole: Why are’t you talking during your interview? (to Dan)

Dan: You’re doing a much better job.

Nicole: Yeah Dan doesn’t like to talk.

Dan: Are you going to get some soft serve on your mac and cheese

MF: Possibly. When I was a kid I put A1 Steak Sauce on vanilla ice cream.  Sounds weird right?

Dan: That sounds kind of good.

MF: Raisins are a big flavor in A1 sauce, and it’s Vegan!

Dan: Is it ?

MF: Yeah, but Kraft makes it, so there is also an Amy’s version and then that company that makes the vegan worcestershire sauce with the wizard on it.

MF: This is an amazing breakfast sandwich! It’s available all day and you use the seitan bacon!

Nicole: Yeah its a good sandwich, I like it.

MF: A portion of the sales of the seitan bacon are going to Farm Sanctuary. Tell me about how you decided to work with them?

Nicole: When we were launching the seitan bacon we wanted to try something different. I felt like that was something we could partner with Farm Sanctuary on, like that it might be a really difficult process, but they were like, “Yeah sure lets get it started.”  It’s been so easy.  So yeah we donate 5% of every package sold to Farm Sanctuary.

MF: And there is that adorable pig, Julia.

Nicole: Oh on the package, I don’t think that pig has a name but we’ve been making ads with Farm Sanctuary and a pig named Julia.  Upton’s pig on the back doesn’t have a name. Maybe we should have a contest?

MF: You should have a contest!

MF: I don’t know if you read the blog (VSB) everyday, but there is a company in Portland called Bacon Skateboards, and they have a vegan rider Chris Klich.  So his deck has “Vegan” spelled out in Bacon.

Nicole: Oh yeah, I’ve seen that!

MF: You guys should do a combo pack, Vegan Skateboard board with Vegan Bacon!  You guys are down with the skateboard community right?

Dan: No.

MF:NO?

Nicole: I don’t skateboard. I tried in high school and I’m not very coordinated.

MF: But you do yoga!   Your’e a yoga instructor. I also hear you’re going to have yoga at Uptons.

Nicole: We have a space upstairs that we are calling Maha Dharma Center.   We’ll be teaching yoga by donation. I hope that will be open in the next month or so.

MF: Are you going to do required employee work-outs, like calisthenics. You know to enhance their mellow?

Nicole: Dan says yes, I say No.

MF: Do you think it will make a better work environments?

Nicole: Forces calisthenics, I don’t think so.

MF: So how long have you guys been Vegan?

Dan: 21 Years

Nicole: 18 years

MF: YEAH, 96!

MF: Dan What made you go vegan 21 years ago?

Dan: Everything.

MF: Everything? What is Everything to you?

Dan: There really weren’t any reasons I didn’t agree with. Obvious; Animal rights, Health, Environment.  The basic 3.

MF: How did you find out about the basic 3?

Dan:  I guess partially through music and just stumbling upon things.

Nicole: It was just Shelter

MF: Nicole tell me about going vegan. In 1996 it was hard, back then you had Tofuttie ice cream if you were lucky.

Nicole: I lived in suburban Detroit too.  I was listening to Hardcore music and going to shows. I had become straight edge the year before and so it was for the same reasons. It was about your ability to (not have) control of the bigger systems around you. But you can control what you spend your money on and who you support, and every dollar is a vote and thats what your power is as a consumer and a human being.  I didn’t want to support animal agriculture.

MF: Is there a specific show you remember? I remember seeing Earth Crisis, One King Down, and Vision of Disorder. I was already into straight edge and I went to that show and that was sort of it.

Nicole:  You know what, I went to some shows and I picked up a zine or something and I didn’t know anyone else who was vegan and I didn’t know what I could or couldn’t eat. I tried a lot of things that just didn’t work, but eventually I figured it out.

MF: Obviously this is a 100% Vegan Restaurant, so brand new, awesome griddle for making breakfast sandwiches and everything else.  What are your favorite things on the menu?

I know it’s hard to choose, it’s like choosing your favorite child right?

Dan: I think the Italian is good. Then there is the secret menu item, “The Dirty Tony”  named after one of our team members that took the Italian and added gravy to it. Its double dipped in the broth and then theres a bunch of gravy poured all over it.

MF: It’s not because he is dirty, you don’t have any dirty workers in your facility, they are all clean.

Nicole: It’s really messy.

Dan: You have to ask for it by name, it’s not on the menu.

Nicole: I eat the employee meal a lot because it changes. Lately its been a lot of organic kale and brown rice and I really like that.  Everything is so good I couldn’t chose.

MF: And you can always have soft serve afterwards right?

Nicole: Yep. Yesterday I had our triple chocolate cookie monsoon.

MF: Holy Crap. Oh and you also have baked goods, and I hear you have a super star baker!

Nicole: Kelly Poloza, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur! Author, photographer, there is nothing she doesn’t do. She’s developed all these recipes specifically for Upton’s Breakroom.

Nicole: Did you see the back of the building? Skateboarding and Street Art, those go together right?

MF: Oh there is street art?

Upton's Breakroom Gabriel SpectorNicole: We had Gabriel Spector do the back of the building.  Dan And I learned about his work a few years ago when we saw his work at a gallery show here in Chicago.  When we thought about what we wanted for the back of the building, Gabriel was the first person who came to mind. We contacted him, he’s based in Brooklyn but travels to do work all the time. We contacted him and he was totally on board with the project. He’s a big fan of seitan, so it worked out really well.  He worked back there for about a week.

MF: Did you pay him in seitan?

Nicole:  No.

MF: Thats not a recognized currency yet.

Nicole: There are some jobs you can pay in seitan, but working for a week, 16 hours a day isn’t one of them.

MF: You got to get some spinach for that too.

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My Rules: Glen E. Friedman and Ian Mackaye

Glen E. Friedman, photographer of some of the most infamous early skateboarding (including many of the late Jay Adam) rock and hip-hop photos of the last three decades has a new book out; My Rules.  The book is a collection of never before seen photos and some alternatives of some iconic shots.

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Marble City


Marble City is a short documentary about the Korean skateboard scene. In just two minutes we get a good idea of some of the amazing architecture in Seoul. The relative obscurity of skateboarding in Korea makes much of the smooth surface in the Capital city very skate-able.

VSB contributor Sean Conley aka Sleepinghouse directed this piece for a contest hosted by the British Film Institute, Prime and Fire Selects, and Talenthouse in collaboration with Sidewalk Magazine.   If you like what you see and want to see more, vote for Sean’s trailer  here. talenthouse.com/i/132/submission/127655/8a1e7052

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Fallen The Vibe

Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upperFallen’s “The Vibe” is Tommy Sandoval’s new pro skate shoe! The signature colorway is Vegan and comes in a black synthetic-suede!  We received a pair towards the end of the season, but were happy to get a chance to skate such a rad shoe! The slim cupsole features some excellent support, especially in the heel, but offers a really grippy and flexible toe which makes it out of the box skateable!  Toss in a little Rasta flair and you’ll agree, you’ve been in Babylon for too long.Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upperThe Vibe is an evolution of Tommy Sandoval’s last shoe The Kingston which also featured a synthetic toe cap and hemp canvas backing. On the vibe there is even more synthetic-suede which is balanced by a hemp-canvas tongue and heel backs.Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upperThe shoe looks super clean with solid toe caps and minimal stitch lines around the tongue and lace cage. The branding is subtle. vegan skateboard shoes rasta laces fallen synthetic If you really want to rock some rasta flair tricolor laces are in the box!synthetic vegan skateboard shoes FallenThe synthetic-suede toe cap is decidedly pointed and snug and really puts you in touch with the board for some excellent flick. The ollie area is cleared away from stitch lines. Even then the lines are layered with the canvas tongue.  Wide feet beware; You may want to go up a half size.02tcollarThe collar features an almost neoprene-soft padded collar with a high scoop around the heel and ankle. The shoe goes where ever your foot does with barely any wiggle or lift. The Vibe really has a connected feel.05healscollarBlack hemp-canvas on the stiff heel caps on top of a sculpted cupsole heel and those excellent cupping collars. Jah!Fallen The Vibe Lion of Juda insole Vegan skateboard shoesFallen always seems to keep the insole game strong. Lions of Juda printed on the arched and padded insoles.  The heel padding in the Vibe is excellent and the toe slims down to a thinness that makes your feet and board feel excellent together.Fallen the vibe FLX soles slim cupsole vegan skateboard shoeBased on Fallen’s slim “FLX” cupsole has a real snuggly designed fit. Lots of bend around the balls of the foot. The cut lines and suction cups make for an interesting break in the herringbone pattern. Add onto that, the primo protection on the arches and solid rubber on the toes and heels give some extra life on these kicks.15 hours of skate wear vegan skate shoe testThe Vibe after several weeks of skateboarding has been really fun! The shoe was a bit snug for the first few sessions, but only in the toe. It took some skating and walking around to get things loosened up however they are instantly skateable.  Those with wider feet really should try on a pair before buying. Though this is a fun shoe to skate its just not for everyone.0815hourstoeThe synthetic-suede upper help up considerably well and took a better part of two weeks of skating to even develop a wear pattern.  A second spot is still working its way just to the left of the first ollie hole.The Vibe Fallen skateboard shoes vegan A closer look at the ollie hole reveals a white rubber liner. This piece is woven into the toe caps to give a few days more or wear time once you get through the synthetic-suede layer.Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upper soles FLXThe soles have plenty of traction, even if the little suckers are worn away. The soles feel super consistent in traction and still have good impact protection, especially in the heel. The white looks a bit filthy. Chalk it up to skating on freshly paved roads we’ve been skating. Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upperVegan Skate Blog received our Fallen shoes a little late in the spring season, so the available sizes may be a bit low.  We’ve tracked down two spots that are still carrying this colorway in a number of sizes.  Most of the online retailers are listing the shoes as “genuine suede” however we’ve confirmed with Fallen that this colorway is synthetic.  Another note, we rarely link to places like Amazon, but due to the limited availability of the shoe, VSB is making an exception. Please check your local shop first.  On last check DLX in SF has several sizes in this colorway.

Skate Warehouse

Sizes 7-14 $49.00

Amazon (ONLY BLACK/BLACK is confirmed Vegan)

Sizes 5-14  $54.00-$59

 

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