Interview with Broderick Gumpright

Broderick Gumpright Orchard Skateboardshop

Broderick Gumpright is one of the founders of Orchard Skateshop. Now with two locations in the Boston (technically one is in Allston) Along with his partners, Broderick “Bro” Gumpright have built a cornerstone shop and community for skateboarders in the north east. Their Flagship location in Allston has an art gallery that regularly features art that is related to skateboarding. Their free half-pipe is gone but in August of 2015 a bowl with a birds nest esthetic was built in its place. Free to ride, so long as you’ve signed the shop waiver.   Contributing writer Kevin Marks had some questions for Broderick about veganism, skateboarding, and art.

Where did you grow up?  Brewster, Massachusetts (Cape Cod)

What year did you start skating?  1988 for sure but I think I rode a board as early as 83 or 84.

How did you fall into being a skater?  My step brothers built a quarter pipe in the driveway. My dad got me a used Bradlee’s board from the local flea-market so I could skate with them.  I was pretty much hooked on that day.

First board?  It was a “spectrum” from Bradlees.  First real board was a Vision Shredder II with Pink Vision Shredder wheels and Venture trucks, and yellow rails.

How did you come up with the name and what is the meaning of Orchard?  My first business partner Jon Devoe had worked in an apple orchard and it was a name he had been thinking of for years.  I wanted to call it some bad names like Mass Destruction or Ironside.  We settled on that because we were both vegetarians.  Years after we left that part of the city we found out the location was originally an apple orchard way back in the day.  Some people still call it “Orchid” or “Orkard” we joke that our name is an intelligence test.  Pass / Fail.  Some fail.

What sort of jobs did you work before opening orchard? I cleaned pools, worked at a skatepark, worked as an office drone for way too long.

How did you meet your biz partners?  Devoe was my first business partner and I’d known him for when he owned True East skatepark in Springfield.  Matt Bagley came on board a couple years in and he and I had started doing skate jams at the Chinatown Courts.  Devoe left and Armin Bachman came in shortly after.  Last year we added longtime dedicated employee and wippersnapper Ian Coughlan to the crew.

Broderick Gumpright

Wall ride photo credit: Xeno Tsarnas

How do you divide the shop duties?  Matt does the softgoods buying, Armin does a lot of the design and social media, Ian does hardgoods buying and I pay the bills.  We all pretty much work the store and come together to make it all go and put on events.

What are the biggest day to day challenges of running a store?  Keeping it all going in these times when people would rather buy stuff from someone they will never know on the internet than buy something in person.

When did you find veganism and what was your path to getting there? I became vegetarian in 1996 when some friends bet me that I couldn’t be vegetarian for a week.   We are more than labels but it was a big defining moment for me in my life.  I discovered that milk cows were often turned into hamburger when they slow their milk production so I became a vegan in 2000.  You just have to ask yourself what happens to the cows and chickens etc when they are no longer productive.

I immediately fell in with a bunch of people who were involved in Animal Rights.  I took on a very “hardcore” approach to it where most of the world was in the wrong and needed to be changed by all 10 of us.  I was arrested in NYC at a protest against Huntingdon Life Sciences and I was charged with some felonies and misdemeanors.  Some of the people I was arrested with went to prison over it. My charges were dropped which led some people to believe I had ratted.  That was not the case.    What happened is, I was filming the protest and what goes with it and I was stopped by the police. I passed off the camera and I think it was passed several times, but they got it in the end.  All the evidence they needed was on that camera.  If I could relive that day I would have run with everything I had in me.  People were calling it terrorism.  The police played good cop / bad cop….  “Are you a member of ALF?  We can help you if you talk.  What do you want to do with your life, it’s not this… You know the doorman had a heart attack and is dying in the hospital this is your fault.”  I told them to talk to my lawyer.  The police were liars and the whole thing was poorly planned looking back at it but we had good intentions.  Shortly  after, the apartment that I had just moved out of was ransacked by the FBI or police.    I think I was very idealistic and saw the world in black and white when in fact it’s shades of gray.  Those two things where my hint to get back to focusing on skateboarding and less on animal liberation.  I think people like Ingrid Newkirk and Rod Coronado and countless others are heroes for what they have done for animals but you have to ask yourself “Is this what I want to do?”  After going to jail it was a wake up call that I’d rather do something else.

Do you identify as straightedge or just as someone who doesn’t drink or do drugs?  I am proud to be Straight Edge!

Broderick Gumpright

Ollie photo credit: Andrew Miyagi

How did you come to that lifestyle and when? Two things:  I was at Woodward at 12 or 13 wearing an old crew shirt with crossed (boat) oars on it.  Some kid was like,” Hey are you straight A’s.”  I replied that I got A’s and B’s but not straight A’s.  “No straight edge… Do you drink or smoke or do drugs?”  No, I replied. I guess I am [straight edge].  He responded by saying straight edge was a bad thing and I didn’t want to be that.  I thought it didn’t sound so bad. [Laughs].

A couple years later I read about the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ “Ska-Core the Devil and More,” in Transworld. I was sure that ska was short for skate so I went and bought it.  It had a cover by Minor Threat and Slapshot so I went and bought their stuff.  So that was 1993-94 and it’s pretty funny that a band that was pretty into drinking got me into straight edge…. I guess I was destined for it.

Favorite bands, current and past?   Youth of today, Minor Threat, Black Flag, Dead Kennedy’s, Slapshot, Descendants, Minutemen, Suicidal Tendencies, Op Ivy; All the great music from before my time. I started going to shows in the early 90’s.  Fugazi is one of the best bands of all time.  Dischord records.  I was really into Ten Yard Fight.  King Kahn does some great stuff, The Real Kids, Dirty Fences.  I love rock n roll in its many forms!

Explain your recent injuries and surgeries?    I tried to ollie a really big gap at 34 and folded my knee like a chair.  I hadn’t had any major knee problems but if you look at what I did it can be explained pretty easily.  It was a gravity overdose.  I had to get two knee surgeries and it took me around a year and a half to get back on my board.  I was at a pretty good level of skating that made me happy and then in a freak accident I fell on my wallet and broke my femur.  I had to get a titanium rod and a blood transfusion as the operation left me with anemia.  It’s a long road back but I’m doing my physical therapy and I am confident I’ll skate again.  For any readers out there if you get really hurt it’s okay to take pain killers. I’d advise you to not get addicted.


How many video parts have you put out and when was the last one?  Had a part in some VHS homie stuff in the early 90’s that may never see the light of day because it’s lost. I probably have about six parts out there.  The last one is in Stone Soup, which is an Orchard video.  I hope to get a couple more.

Favorite terrain to shred?  I like crusty bank stuff with a long roll out.

Favorite Boston area vegan eats?  Red Lentil, Veggie Galaxy, Dosa n’ Curry, Life Alive, Thai Bistro, and Wild Rice.

Are you active in the local animal rights community? Any causes close to your heart? I’m not active but I support the idea of it as I answered before. I think I burnt myself out on it.  I’m into recycling at the moment. If I was going to get active again I would rather convert people by creating good alternatives like a restaurant; Rather than thinking that burning down a building or locking oneself to a gate would change anything.

Any memories for the Hospital Banks?   I lived right next to them for a year and a half. One night I almost got arrested with Will Harmon for fixing a hole in the ground where some bricks were missing.  When I saw that they had drilled holes in the ground I got one last session and the next day there was a fence and it got torn down.  I think Baby Schizo was the last to skate it.  Adam Ayer local legend tells me that he witnessed Gonz and Tommy G both Ollie through the middle of the volcano which was quite a feet in the early 90’s or late 80’s.  Gonz recently denied that he ever did it.  Who knows.

With all the pros and artists that you deal with at the shop, who have you fanned out on the most?  We had Gonz here recently and that was a huge high-water mark for the shop.

Who were some of the most memorable art openings?  Having Dennis Mcnett here was really cool I think that was one of the best shows.   Jason Jessee was very cool to have and he was awesome.

Russ Pope did a show here with various artists to help me with my hospital bills.  That one had a big impact on my life so I would like to thank him for doing that.  We’ve had a couple shows with my lifelong friend Silas Finch who does really cool found object sculpture type stuff.

How did you come to having a mini ramp in the shop? We got the ramp around 5 years into our existence.  Converse paid for that and we offered it free to the community.

How did the new bowl come about?  That was Converse. They have been really awesome to the local skate community.  They fully funded it and it’s available free to the public any time we are open.  It’s way sicker than the mini-ramp and we love having it here.

What brands are you most psyched on carrying at the shop? Hopps. Jahmal is a legend and the design behind his stuff is great.  Coda – I skate for them and Pat Smith is awesome.  Theories of Atlantis (Traffic, Polar, Magenta, Theories) Quasi very rad.  Politic, Transportation Unit (Russ Pope’s company) Deluxe is always bringing something rad to skateboarding.

Is it hard to find vegan shoes? Do you stock many in the store?  Yes and no.  Pretty much every company out there makes a vegan shoe at some point.   We have a decent amount of vegan shoes here but just a regular canvas shoe doesn’t do it for me.  I need something that is a vegan cupsole which is kind of hard to find.

What shoes are you wearing lately?  Converse Canvas CTS with a Lunarlon insole which is crucial.

You seem to be doing consistently cool stuff with Converse. Tell us about some of those partnerships?  Converse has been awesome to us and the local skate community.  They’ve hooked up tons of kids, they funded a free indoor skatepark called pop allston, and they built our bowl.  In addition to that they’ve done the cons project which teaches kids to build skatboards, ramps, make a zine, build with concrete. I wish that kind of thing existed when I was a kid.  Converse moved their corporate headquarters to Boston and I think they are putting their money where their mouth is as a corporation.  They’ve done huge things for skateboarding around here.

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Vegetable Shredder – John Gardner

John Gardner Creature pro skater vegan vegetable shredder

photo:Grant Monihan

NAME: John Gardner

LOCATION: Wherever I park it.

OCCUPATION: Wind Whisperer

Where do you like skating? New York City, Portland, San Francisco, and New Jersey

Why did you go veg? … I was really turned off by the animal agriculture industry and the their lack of accountability for their actions. It’s a very unsustainable business and does more harm than good. I also learned of the negative effects that animal products have on the human body… Especially at the rate the world is consuming it. I love animals and I want to be as healthy as I can be in mind and body so it made a lot of sense to go vegan.

Vegetable Shredder, vegan skateboarder, leap of faith, Creature Skateboards

photo: Paco

What is your favorite thing to skate and why?  I don’t know if I have a favorite thing but lately I have been really into skating vert. Catching air is so fun!

What shoe are you skating in now?  DC shoes. They’re not all vegan, but maybe one day!

Creature Skateboards, vegan, Vegetable shredder,

photo:Elias Parise

Or say whatever you want about skating veg…  If you want more information about how a vegan lifestyle can help you and our planet, watch the documentaries, “Forks Over Knives” and “Conspiracy.”


WOW John! Your skateboarding gives us shivers and a sick feeling in the bottom of the stomach, but in a good way! If you haven’t heard, Mr. Gardner is skating himself to an early grave as the newest team member at Creature! Well deserved, his skating is brutal and we are glad to have him on the Vegetable Shredder team too! (Liquid Swords on that video, too! Nice choice!)

Are you veg and shred? Send in a some photos and the answer to all these questions to fakie@veganskateblog.com  Don’t forget a mailing address so we can get you some rad stickers. ( US only – that international shipping is EXPENSIVE!)

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Fallen Footwear R.I.P.

Fallen JamieFallen Footwear’s founder Jamie Thomas took to Instagram today, announcing that the Spring 2016 season (out now) will be the last. We wanted to thank Jamie and the Fallen Footwear team for their generosity to Vegan Skate Blog and making some amazing skateboard shoes.  Though Jamie hasn’t been vegan for a long time now, he made a commitment to always make a vegan model available; In synthetics rather then just canvas too!

It’s frustrating to see another skater owned brand fold. paraphrasing Jamie, rather then compromise the values of Fallen, they are simply going to close up shop.

The Rambler was the first shoe we skate reviewed from Fallen. The upper was a durable synthetic suede. Super light, and very fun to skate. I’d love to find another pair.

 

The Vibe was a fancy slim cupsole! The signature Tommy Sandoval colorway was vegan-suede. Another great Fallen model.

 

Though we didn’t review the Kingston (another Tommy Sandoval shoe) I picked up a pair at DLX in SF and really enjoyed skating.

 

Thanks for the good times Fallen… hopefully the brand will rise again.

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DC Evan Smith Hi – Frist Look Review

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder DC Evan Smith Hi is a new vegan skate shoe that dropped in January! We reported on the shoe when it dropped and were lucky enough to have a review pair sent out shortly after.  Since we posted in January a new color has been added to the line, navy blue canvas, keeping the line (at least in the hi-top model) totally vegan.

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder The toe-cap has been making the rounds in nearly every skateboard shoe brand. It adds some extra life to the shoe and potentially some blow-out protection. The Evan Smith Hi toe-caps fully wrap the toes but don’t go overboard and they’re not stiff either. This allows for some good toe flex.

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder Looking straight on the shoe looks like it has some heft. When we first tried them out, that was definitely the case. The shoe isn’t overly heavy per say, but it takes some getting used to. That being said, if you have wider feet, the Evan Smith Hi is a good shoe to let your toes spread out.

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder The collar has some light padding and the stitching gives it some unique style that really scream, Vans sk8-Hi. If you’re the type of skater that likes a lot of ankle support, here you go!

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder DC’s “Impact-I” sole is one of the new marketing features of the shoe. The idea is that the little cone shape cut-outs allow for the rubber to expand on impact, reducing foot pain. Maybe this works, after all Evan Smith can be seen acid dropping off a high overhang of a Pittsburgh convention center in his add for the shoe.  Though for a shoe that already has some heft to it, this is a great way to lighten up the sole, the heaviest element of any skateboard shoe.

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder After a weeks worth of skating the Evan Smith Hi, everything is holding up considerably well, though a little discolored around the toe cap and outsole from dissolving glue.  Several small spots are developing in the ollie area and the toe-caps are starting to wear down slightly. The laces are a mess on the right side/ heavy wear shoe. They were the first thing to go, but laces are cheap and not as messy as Shoo-Goo.

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder The metal eyelet is always a double edges sword. So much easier to lace up, but a perfect surface to shred laces against.

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder Back down to the business end of the shoe, its nice to see that the black paneling is only wearing down to more canvas. It would be a shame to rip right through that ollie hole while the rest of the shoe has so much life left in it, so it will get plugged with some Shoe-Goo to extended the skate life.  While the Evan Smith might be a little heavier on the foot, it doesn’t look terribly bulky.

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder The heavy wear of the soles happened where you’d expect it, right at the ball of the foot. Those little cones are fading away into oblivion. Further back in the shoe all is intact, but it would be nice to have a little extra rubber up front.

Evan Smith Vegan Skateboarder Veg Non-leather canvas shoe DC Hi-top vegetable shredder The Evan Smith Hi has a toe-cap, multi-paneling, metal eyelets, and some stylish stitching. They lace up and down quickly and feel comfortable from the first wear.  They need a little breaking in before feeling really solid on the board. Multiple instances of stumbling, bumping and gripping the grip tape just a few millimeters too soon may happen with any new shoe, especially if you’re not sued to skating with big toe caps. Getting used to that bulky feeling may be a good idea given the extra skate life you may reap.

The sizing of the Evan Smith Hi is spot on. The toe is nice and wide, no taper means everything is breathable and loose in the front, no scrunched up toes! If you’ve been looking for a vegan hi-top with significant skate-ability. Pick up a pair of Evan Smith Hi!

DC sizes 6.5-14 $70.00

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Vegetable Shredder – Chris Center

Chris Center Vegetableshredder vegan skateboarder board slide stair case hand railNAME: Chris Center

LOCATION: City Heights, CA

OCCUPATION: I’ve been a valet driver for over two years now working at a casino. I’m leaving the job next month though. My first job I worked was McDonalds, vegan the 2 two years that I worked there around 2008.

Where do you like skating? Mostly random things skating the streets and cruising the sidewalks and hills. Dallas skatepark. Fairmount ramp. Curbs.

Vegan Skateboarder Chris Center vegetable ShredderWhy did you go Veg? I was in highschool and realised I was drinking WAY too much soda. I decided to stop even though I didn’t have anybody telling me what was healthy or not. After that I became more concience about what I put in my body and I thought about the chicken sandwiches I was eating every day. I asked myself why I was eating an animal and something clicked. I became vegetarian soon after, then vegan about a month after that. I made some eggs and a friend jokingly said “you won’t eat meat and your gonna eat eggs?” and that made sense so I went vegan.

What is your favorite thing to skate and why? I love parking blocks on transition that you can get good crunchy slappy grinds on. I love the feeling and the sound of it. Hill bombs are great they are exciting and fun. Manny pads and ledges Ive grown up skating them having 4 hour long sessions with friends it’s a great feeling.

What shoe are you skating in now? I’m riding some weird vans shoes that I dont think are for skating. They are actually suede which is new to me. I couldn’t find any vegan shoes at the thrift stores after looking for a very long time and my shoes were barely holding together. I decided to thrift some suede shoes because still it doesn’t cost the life of an animal. Needless to say, I still prefer and look for canvas thrift shoes.

Or just say whatever you want about skating Veg? Make your skate stuff last, skateboarding unfortunately hurts the environment, but its good for the soul. Stay healthy and keep having fun. Don’t let people tell you’re too old for skating. Being vegan doesn’t mean you stop there, be a part of your community and let your actions help humans and non-human animals. Your actions will greatly benefit the community around you, not just not boycotting consumer products. Buy local, use less packing, and try to support non/less corporate stores and shop at farmers markets to help your local community.

 

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Thanks for being so patient for this to go up Chris! We appreciate the words that remembering that veganism, the environment, and humans are all part of one fight! Are you veg and shred? Then you’re a Vegetable Shredder! Send in a some photos and the answer to all these questions to fakie@veganskateblog.com  Don’t forget a mailing address so we can get you some rad stickers. ( US only – that international shipping is EXPENSIVE!)

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The Look Back Library – BrotherBoarderPowerSlap Magazine Tour

Look Back Library exhibits at Slappy's Garage in San Diego

Look Back Library exhibits at Slappy’s Garage in San Diego

The Look Back Library #BrotherBoarderPowerSlap classic skate magazine exhibit rolls into Starr Skates today in Tucson, AZ. This is their third stop on a 50 city tour that will span the next seven months.  Each exhibit varies as magazine covers are selected for each stop to highlight the talent within that region. Tonight’s show at Starr Skate will showcase magazines featuring Aaron Suski, Erik Ellington, Aaron Jaws Homoki, Marty Murawski, Ryan Lay, and many more rippers from Arizona.

Peter Smolik, Willy Santos, Slappy's Garage San Diego

Peter Smolik, Willy Santos, and Slappy’s owner Jason Carney

At each stop most of the magazines on display are for sale. Many of the mags are autographed by the rider on the cover. Walk away with a souvenir of a classic cover with your favorite skater

Big Brother, Skateboarder Magazine, Power Edge Magazine, Slap Magazine

The Look Back Library is coming to a town near you!

The tour has several missions. 1. to promote the Look Back Library’s mission. 2. to seek magazine donations from across the land. 3. to build skate magazine libraries along the eastern seaboard. 4. to promote literacy, zine making, and the relevance of print media. 5. to bring skate nerds together for a fun filled evening of skateboard history discussions.

Cowtown Recap

Cowtown Recap

Below are some upcoming dates for the #BrotherBoarderPowerSlap event. Check here for updates.  If you know of a space that might want to host, or vegan business that would want to partner/sponsor the show, get in touch with Kevin.

Starr Skates – 2905 E Broadway Blvd Tucson, AZ – SATURDAY Mar 25th / 6-9pm

Crooks INDOOR – 1118 E Yardell Dr El Paso, TX 79903 – MONDAY Mar 28th / 5-8pm

No-Comply – 812 W 12th Street Austin, TX 78701 – SATURDAY Apr 2nd / 5-8pm

Southside Skatepark – 510 Iowa Street Houston, TX 77587 – WEDNESDAY Apr 6th / 6-9pm

Humidity – 515 Dumaine Street New Orleans, LA 70116 – FRIDAY Apr 8th / 6-9pm

The Boardr – 4611 North Hale Avenue Tampa, FL Apr 15th / 6-9pm

MIA Skate Shop – 229 9th Street Miami Beach, FL – Apr 16th / 6-9pm

Orchard – 156 Harvard Ave Boston, MA – May 28th / 6-9pm

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éS Sesla – First Look Review

éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suede

The Sesla is the newest skateboard shoe from éS and it’s all vegan! What is possibly the most “tech” skate shoe out right now, the éS Sesla has some of the most innovative approaches to creating a comfortable ride with real durability. Did we mention, it’s completely animal-free in both the black and navy colorways? If you’re too excited to read on, jump to the bottom and get yourself a pair. They run a 1/2 size small, so if you wear a 10, you’re going to need a 10.5!

The Sesla utilizes a number of technologies to be one of the lightest skateboard shoes out right now and the one that we want to highlight before we jump in (though we will drill down into a bit more down the page) is the micro-suede toe/vamp.

éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeThe éS website has the material listed as “Premium suede”, it’s a disappointing oversight in marketing, and we’ve been getting a ton of email and direct messages on Instagram about it.  What we can assure readers is, what we have been told directly from éS and SoleTechnology, the shoe is all synthetic, “man-made” materials.éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeThe “suede” upper is a micro-fiber suede that is NOT animal derived.  No word yet on if the marketing information on the site will change, but “ALL MANMADE MATERIALS” is printed on the shoes, we also have several emails and even a hand written note from éS/SoleTech exec Don Brown to confirm!!!

éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeAside from being cruelty-free, one of the benefits of going with animal-free suede is the weight reduction and clean look. The navy model pictured above is a great example of what can be done with a color other then black. éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeSesla isn’t a cupsole exactly, and it isn’t a vulcanized skateboard shoe either. While it definitively is designed for the skateboard, it has some material reference to a running shoe. Most notable in the heal, the STI Energy Foam is branded with a little E+.éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeThis provides impact protection much more then a rubber sole can and makes the shoe incredibly light! Walking around your heel feels like you’re wearing super comfy running shoes.

éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeMoving down the mid of the shoe is all mesh with a little bit of PU (polyurethane) coating. The massive breathability of the Sesla adds to the comfort but doesn’t leave the mesh open to easier rips in high-impact areas. Even around the outer lace eyelets, you’ve got breathable mesh!

éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeDown to the business end of the shoe and a few common points of impact. The toecap is a material éS is calling THERMONTHANE.  The abrasive resistance they say is comparable to urethane skate wheels. While toecaps might be all the rage in skate shoes right now, most are rubber. These seem a little more flick-able for flip tricks, and they just have better style then a big hunk of rubber.   While the footbed and sole are primarily STI Energy Foam, the 400 NBS Gum rubber tread is the same as a traditional skate shoe. Here you can see the grey outsole come up to the side. This gives the shoe some added board grip, protection, and flexibility. The defining difference from a running shoe. éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suede

The sole has a herringbone pattern on a traditional 400 NBS Gum rubber tread. You’re still going to feel the board similar to your last pair of shoes. All be it with some foam in the middle of your feet, rubber, and grip tape.

éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeThe swath of red at the bottom right of this photo is the tongue stabilizing strap. Not only will the tongue not shift around or bunch up, your feet will stay snug and centered.  The collar has some nice medium padding but still maintains a really slim fit. All this adds up to a shoe that really hugs your foot with minimal travel. See that little sticker there with the diamonds and cross-stitch pattern?  It’s a little more assurance for the vegan police of the animal-friendly materials. The diamonds mean manmade. éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeThe éS Sesla has two ways to lace up. Pictured on the left you can see the outer lace eyelets. Most likely a few of these will be laced out of the box. On the right (and a bit harder to see) are the inner eyelets.  Also check out that super meshy tongue! éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeThe esthetics change a little bit, but the rope laces will be protected from grip tape damage if you go with the inner eyelets.éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeWe decided to go with the inner-lace system to protect the laces from ripping up. A wise choice and a sleek look! This is a nice shot of the Sesla before skating. éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeSeveral hours of skate sessions later, this is what we are looking at.  Very little toe wear. The foam is chipping a little, but still completely holding form and shape. The very top of the THERMONTHANE in the ollie area is showing a tiny bit of wear, but nothing to complain about.  With about 6 hours in of a typical 20 hours of skating for a shoe review, the Sesla hasn’t even begun to show actual signs of abuse.éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeéS Sesla is an amazing skateboard shoe. It’s so light, that out of the box, you might have doubts about the skate-ability.  However the board feel is incredible. Your feet feel so close to the board that the doubts melt away. The difference between the Sesla board feel and a slim vulc shoe, is closeness without the pain.  For skateboarders in their mid-thirties and above, this is a huge benefit. For the youth, born into this space-age shoe era, congratulations! You can stave off the crippling pain that may will come with high-impact foot trauma.

éS Sesla Vegan Skateboard Shoe Synthetic-suede, no animals harmed, animal friendly, vegan vegetarian faux-suede, micro-suedeThe pointy-er toe is great for flicks and isn’t terribly narrow. While some people may like a boxy toe and the protection of a lot of hard stuff to keep the shoe alive and flipping boards, the THERMOTHANE toecap has some great trade offs. It isn’t hard, so it feels more exacting in your flick. The material is slick and thin but durable. It feels good to kick!

The éS Sesla runs 1/2 size small. The first pair we tried were 10.5 and were just a little too snug. We traded up for an 11 and they fit perfectly. Foot hugging, not squeezing.  So find your size and go up a half. Synthetic materials rarely stretch, so you want to get into the right size your first go-round.

The price of the Sesla is up there. At just under $100, it isn’t going to be a shoe everyone can afford. If you can afford it, you’re getting exactly what the Sesla is, and what éS is billing it as; A flagship shoe!

Finally, éS and SoleTech certainly haven’t forgotten they made a vegan shoe despite a glitch in their marketing material. They have mentioned the Sesla as a vegan shoe several times in their social media posts.  We got word of the shoe about seven or eight months back, and though details had been limited, we were told it was going to be one hell of a shoe. The Sesla did not disappointment. Keep the emails coming if you have further questions. fakie@veganskateblog.com

éS

Black/Grey/Red  size 7-12 $99.99

Navy  size 7-13 $99.99

Kinetic Skate Shop (if you’re in the Philly/Delaware area head to the shop! )

Black/Grey/Red size 8-12 $95.00

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The Broken Board ABC’s

Dylan Goldbeger, Broken Board ABC, focused skateboardDylan Goldberger has an exclusive print on Limited Posters called, Broken Board ABC.  The 16.5 x 23.4 poster is a reproduction of a linoleum block print and shows 26 “focused skateboards,” one for every letter of the alphabet!  Goldberger’s work ranges from blood and gore (as you may have seen in our interview with him)  to the downright whimsical.  This one is for the kids! Even if that kid is a rage filled skateboarder who takes out their frustration of not landing their trick on an innocent skateboard.

Limited-Posters only offers each print for a week, and if they don’t sell at least 15, they don’t start production. So, who knows, maybe they print 15 and you’ll have a super limited print of Dylan Goldberger!   And we have to mention that a portion of the sales go to our favorite organization, Skateistan!

If you’re in the US, shipping and the print is going to run you about $45.00, in the EU about 30 Euro at Limited-Posters.  A bonus for everyone reading this, put “2:1 SPECIAL” in the “Notes about this order” and you’ll get a second print for free!!!

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Servant Loiters

Servant Loiters Vegan Skateboard Shoes Canvas Servant Loiters are a casual vegan skate shoe at a great price! The all canvas upper comes in the usual black, and BLACK Eclips but the Burnt Orange pictured above is a nice change up.

Servant Loiters Vegan Skateboard Shoes Canvas The low profile shoe has barely any padding on the collar, tongue or upper around the toes. Right off the bat, you may even want to Shoegoo the ollie area. The soles of the whole Servant line ofter some great protection though. See our review of the Barnyard X Loiter collab. For $25 it’s hard to go wrong.

Servant Loiters sizes 6-11 $25

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Truth and Power: Ag Gag


Truth and Power, a cable show about people fighting injustice, corporate and government control, will air an episode tomorrow night Friday the 19th at 10pm EST on Ag-Gag laws.  The episode goes into some of the recent history of the law and the animal enterprise act. A federal law that sent several activists to prison and turned the pressure up on would be whistleblowers.

We’ve posted many stories about Ag-Gag and a bit about SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) the clips posted show some of the evidence of how animal agriculture acted along side the FBI and Justice Department to go after activists and keep corporate profits safe.  If you have cable, click here to see if you get Pivot.  I got a chance to see the full episode and would highly recommend it.

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