Andrew Cannon interview by Kevin Marks

 

Andrew Cannon Vegan Skateboarder vegetable shredder Kevin Biram

photo: Kevin Biram

Andrew first came onto my radar in the year 2000 at Tampa AM. My first impression was that of a young, confident, jovial, and well rounded skater. We soon started flowing him Killing Machine hardware. And from there I would see him around the country at skate events where he always had a smile on his face. More recently we don’t see each other as often, but it’s been a pleasure to stay in touch and watch him grow into a man in the industry; even doubly rewarding to watch him find veganism and the straightedge.

– Kevin Marks

Where did you grow up?  Glen Mills, Pennsylvania

What year did you start skating?  1996-ish

How did you fall into being a skater?   Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They skated and it made me want to skate.

First board?   First board I bought was a Paul Zitzer Germ Birdhouse board, Grind King trucks, Birdhouse wheels, probably generic bearings and Jessup grip.

Do you recall the first skate mag you saw? I do not. Magazines were never my thing growing up, although I used to LOVE reading all the Big Brother articles. I was more into videos. I got a bunch at the same time; Best of 411 Volume 4, Thrill of it all, Mouse and Sheep Shoes “Life of Leisure”.

Your favorite part from the SHEEP video? Brian Anderson. Those lines at Hubba Hideout were beyond awesome. I remember being so stoked on the Smith pop out and the way he winds up for the nosegrind. He has always had one of the coolest styles because he looks like he is about to crush whatever he’s going toward but then when he gets on he’s light-footed. It’s awesome.

Your favorite part from the MOUSE? Guy Mariano. That part, the song. Then he vanished and as a kid I had no idea what happened to him and would get so stoked seeing even just one trick from him. So when he got sober and had a comeback I was so stoked. I’m a fan of Mouse era Guy and modern day Guy. He’s super inspiring.

First sponsor? Board Stiff Skate Shop

Run down a list of all the sponsors you’ve had over the years? Ha, that’s like telling me to list all my teachers – it’s more about the ones that had an impact than listing them all. Fairman’s has been there for me through thick and thin. Thanks to everyone there and Dave for always taking care of me.

Which board sponsor treated you the best or do you have the fondest memories of…..? World Industries was great. Rp Bess and Charlie Thomas took great care of me. I got way more out of skateboarding than I ever deserved on the skate career side. I owe those guys  forever.

How many video parts have you put out and when was the last one?  Probably around 5 or 6 parts. I used to love filming. The lastest was a part for Theeve trucks, but they took it down and since they paid for none of the footage and I edited it with a friend of mine, I just put it up on Youtube because I was semi proud of that part.

Favorite terrain to shred?   At this point, a park that has good flat-ground, a ledge, a rail, and a nice long quarterpipe. That’s the dream for me.

How did you deal with the harsh Pennsylvania winters? I was lucky. I grew up on a farm with a barn so I used to skate in that during the winter.

Favorite skater from the 80’s?  90’s?  lately? Jerry Hsu always

fs boardslide Photo: Matt Price

What sort of jobs did you work before your present position at NHS? I had worked odd jobs – karaoke host in college. Worked in a vending machine warehouse. I had been a graveyard shift server at Ihop near ASU. Worked at Fairmans. Nothing super insane, but it all helped me realize I didn’t want to do that forever.

I think I’m most impressed with your karaoke job. One of my best memories of NYC was singing karaoke with Josh Stewart and Jack SabbackWhat is your go to song to sing? “I touch myself” or “I would do anything for love”. But I don’t do much karaoke these days because I’m rarely out at a bar that late anymore.

Any good stories from the karaoke job?
There was this guy who would come in and bring his Metallica karaoke CD at one of the places I worked and sing “Seek and Destroy.” He was not good at all, but he gave it everything he had. Always wore all black, chubby little fella. The one time I saw him driving around in a yellow Ford Focus. It was just such a funny juxtaposition.

What skate nerds have you sung with? Not with a ton of nerds but I’m seen some rad people sing. Clint Peterson did Sinatra and everything about it was amazing. Shortbus AKA Josh Johnson from Texas sang “Friends in Low Places” when he stayed with me one time at Phoenix Am. He was well under 21, not even sure if he was 18 and we ended up getting him into the bar so he could hang with everyone. Hammeke goes, “Alright Shortbus, just lay low and we will all be able to hang.” Joe and I turned to the bar to get beers and then before we could even pay you hear “Next up to the stage, Shortbus!” He sang it great and the moment it was over he was kicked out. That Phoenix Am was really rad.

What is your current job title and what sort of tasks do you work on routinely?    I’m the Brand Manager for Santa Cruz Skateboards. I’m in charge of marketing, product line management, and overseeing what we are doing. It’s rad. I basically make sure that our brand is something we are happy with from what you see on your social media down to the boards under your feet. Our art department is awesome and the guys are cranking.

Which team riders are the most fun to work with? They are all fun for different reasons. The ams are so hungry and pushing the envelope. The pros are so talented it’s crazy and sometimes you need to pinch yourself to remember how people can be so humble and so good at skating. Dressen is the nicest human in the world and Jason Jessee is a one of a kind. It’s awesome. All the guys rule.

Do you still announce contests?  I still do contest announcing. I do sidelines stuff for TV on Street League, I do Phoenix Am webcast, and then I do Tampa Am and Pro. It’s a really rad gig and I love the people I work with on that front.

Who is the best skateboard announcer in your opinion? You cannot get better than Tim O’Connor. He’s witty, he shows no mercy, and he’s such a great human being.

Boardslide UP the rail photo: Matt Price

When did you find veganism and what was your path to getting there?   I honestly think it started for me at a young age. Middle school is when I got into bands like Earth Crisis that had a message and felt strongly about animal liberation and stuff. That planted the seed. I lived in rural Pennsylvania though and it was before the internet was accessible and riddled with great information about it. I stopped eating meat about 6 years ago, I had been thinking about it for a while and I had just seen Slayer in Vegas and was eating chicken fingers at a TGIFridays and literally it just hit me while eating them. I remember saying to myself, Nope, I’m done. I didn’t even tell my wife, who has been vegetarian since she was in 7th grade.  I didn’t want her to think I was doing it for her, because I wasn’t. After that I had knee surgery for the second time and in my recovery I did a lot of research about health and eating better to help healing. I ate vegan throughout the majority of the recover and then when I started traveling again I would do vegan at home and vegetarian on the road. But I was on the road a lot and the cheese pizza was catching up to me again so I just said, “fuck it”, and went all in. It’s been almost 3 years now as a vegan and I love it.

I saw your FREE LUNCH  Do you truly see yourself as an alcoholic? Yes I do. I went to an AA meeting when I finally stopped just to be sure. I sat in the room and looked around at all the women (it was a closed women’s meeting but they took me in because they knew I needed the help) and listened to their stories. I could relate to so many of them and I just knew that the writing was on the wall. For the record, I never want to or will drink again, but I could have one if I wanted. I know that I could have a beer right now and be fine. But to me, the alcoholism isn’t just about the moment, it’s about the future. It’s about 3 months from now when I have been late to work and I smell like booze around my kids and I am wasting my money at the bar. It’s a slippery slope and one that I never want to mess with again. Anyone trying to stop drinking, hit me up on Instagram. It’s not easy but it’s the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself. I am thankful that I have been able to help some good friends of mine get off it.

Do you now identify as straightedge or just as someone who doesn’t drink or do drugs?   When I turned 30 I decided I could finally call myself Straight Edge. It’s been almost 7 years since I have had a drink and my straight edge friends assured me that as long as I didn’t claim it when I was younger it was all good to call myself that now. To me it is more about being able to tell my kids that. Santa Cruz is a weird place where kids get into drugs early (although I’m sure that’s most places in the world now) and I wanted them to know that it’s ok to not smoke weed and party. I don’t care if people do it, I just feel like there is a shitload of pressure on kids now to partake in that stuff through social media, movies, music, etc. So I’m proud to be what I am. What’s cool is, over the last year or so I’ve been able to geek out with a lot of people about hardcore and metal and straight edge and veganism and stuff via social media. It’s cool that there are people all over that share those ideals. Not to sound like a dick, but that whole, ‘you’re a skater, I’m a skater so we are bros’ thing doesn’t really apply anymore. So when I meet skaters that are into the same music and share the same ideals, I get super excited about the potential of new friends.

There are very few vegans in the skateboard world and even fewer who are willing to be vocal about it. I was psyched to see that you proudly proclaim your veganism & XXX on your instagram page @andrewcannon Are there other ways you are vocal about your choice to be vegan?   Not really. I am always happy to talk with people about it, but I don’t like when people give me shit about not eating meat so I try not to give people shit about eating it. I have spoken to my family about it from a health perspective but that’s it really.

Can you point to one film that you would recommend a person watch who is considering going veg or vegan?   Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy. They don’t play the shock value game of just showing slaughter house footage. They give information that you can choose to accept or not. It’s really rad.

Other movie recommendations? Tony Robbins “I Am Not Your Guru” – The whole Tony Robbins thing is super interesting to me. His story is cool and I’m fascinated by people who just put their mind to something and do it. Making changes because you are in control of your life is rad. I’m really into all the self improvement/empowerment stuff. It’s been a driving force for me in life as I keep growing as a person in life and work. I am not the same person I was 5 years ago and in 5 years I hope to be different than I am now.

Favorite bands, current and past? Oh man, Slayer is my all time favorite but since this is all about vegan and straight edge I’m going to stick to hardcore stuff. But hit me up on Instagram and we can geek about metal and punk shit too.

All Time: Bane, Converge, Minor Threat, Embrace, Earth Crisis, Strife, Snapcase, Gorilla Biscuits,  Neurosis (throwing them in because it would be a crime not to)

Lately: Turnstile, Mizery, Give, Praise, Fury, Blistered, Malice At The Palace, The New Harmony, Oathbreaker, Judiciary… The list goes on and on and on. It’s all over the place and it’s nonstop.

If you are a fan of hardcore at all, check Hate5six.com – It’s this guy Sunny who films hardcore shows all over the east coast as his passion project and it’s the raddest thing ever. I have watched so many epic shows thanks to him. The sound quality is great and he films really well.

Favorite Santa Cruz area vegan eats?  Saturn Café, Dharmas, Golden Fu Wah (they will make stuff vegan no problem) and Windmill Café for breakfast.

Best vegan eats in Pennsylvania? That’s a tough one; it’s been such a long time since I’ve lived there. But there is a really good place right next to Fairman’s in West Chester that makes vegan pizza, that I visit every time I’m home and I get to meet up with Dave. It rules.

Are you active in the local animal rights community? Any causes close to your heart?  This is the part that makes me sound like I’m not staying true to my conviction, no. I am crazy busy and just have not had a chance to go down that road. But I need to step my shit up and help out where I can.

Is it hard to find vegan shoes?   Not hard to find, just harder to get used to. It was the last thing that I held onto. I wore suede skate shoes up until about 6-8 months ago. But I finally just said no more. It was lame I didn’t switch earlier, but now that I have made the change it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

What shoes are you wearing lately?    I have been wearing Converse CTS canvas and shoe-gooing them and they rule. Super comfy once broken in and they last. But I have Fred Flintstone feet so I have to stretch them. I skated some Janoski slip ons in canvas that were awesome too. I want to try some of the Etnies Marana’s since they have a synthetic. Chris Joslin rules and skates that shoe all the time. Plus, Ryan Lay is on the team. I am down to try whatever shoes, but when I find one I like, I want to be able to stick with it.

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Vegetable Shredder – Adam Connett

Vegetable Shredder vegan skateboarderNAME: Adam Connett

LOCATION: London, England.

OCCUPATION: Video for an ad agency.

Where do you like skating? Queens Road Peckham.

Why did you go Vegan? Because hurting animals sucks.

Vegetable Shredder vegan skateboarderWhat is your favorite thing to skate and why? Curbs, ramps and pole jams.

Vegetable Shredder vegan skateboarderWhat shoe are you skating in now? Vans AV Classic Highs.

 

Or just say what ever you want about skating veg…   Working on a video/photo book which should be out this winter called, I SHOULD NOT BE HERE. It’s basically all my friends and what we’ve filmed over the last year.


Not sure what that last answer has to do with “skating veg” bruhv, but the trailer looks cool!

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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Best Vegan Skateboard Shoes of 2016

vegan skateboard shoes és dc vans

Left to right: éS Sesla, DC Evan Smith Hi, Vans AV Rapidweld Pro Lite

In 2016 three stand out vegan skateboard shoes dropped. The éS Sesla, DC Evan Smith Hi, and Vans AV Rapidweld Pro Lite are all different in style. We reviewed all three and are happy to report all are excellent skateboard shoes!

éS takes on a running style shoe. Vans sticks with a contemporary vulcanized skate platform, and DC has a classic ‘chuck taylor’ vibe. They’re all using different technical details on their soles, but what everyone is doing is adding a toe-cap.  All the rage the last couple years, toe-caps can be difficult to pull off and look good. The first colorways of the DC Evan Smith and Vans AV Rapidweld Pro Lite were high-contrast. (We reviewed both and got some comments.) New seasons brought some color changes and more earthy tones.

éS Sesla

és sesla vegan skateboard shoe synthetic suede

Current season colorway of the éS Sesla

éS is using a foam midsole and synthetic suede upper making them incredibly light and comfortable. The toe cap on the Sesla is a thin strip of “Thermothane.” It’s overlaid on the synthetic-suede toe cap. It doesn’t breakdown easily on grip-tape and is super flexible.  All colorways of the  Sesla are vegan, so no matter which colorway you dig, éS has you covered.   Priced at $90-100. If you need a pair of running shoes, these can be your ATV! (Our review here)

DC Evan Smith Hi

DC Evan Smith Hi Vegan skateboarder

DC Evan Smith Hi TX. Black on Black on Black!

The toe cap of the Evan Smith Hi are an extension of the foxing tape, so they are rubber similar to the soles. They just cover the tops of the toe and thats about it. The shoe is comfortable, but takes a day or two two break in. Not all models of the Evan Smith Hi are vegan. If you’re shopping online, especially from the DC site,  look for “TX” (for textile) at the end of the shoe name.  Priced at $70 dollars, the super comfy soles will outlast the canvas. If you don’t mind adding a little shoe-goo, these are great. Plus, Evan Smith is Vegan! (Our review here)

Vans AV Rapidweld Pro Lite

Vans AV Rapidweld Pro Lite Vegan synthetic upper classic waffle sole vegan shoe

Vans AV Rapidweld Pro Lite

This shoe was a HUGE surprise! The upper material is a fine mesh with a rubber like synthetic coating. It is deceptively lightweight but tough as nails. The insoles and sock liner make the AV Rapidweld Pro Lite comfortable for all day wear. The toe cap on this past seasons colorway is covered with the same synthetic coating on the rest of the shoe. (Not the case the first season) This makes the shoe look more consistent and stylish.  Note that the there are TWO different versions of the AV Rapidweld; Pro and Pro Lite.  The Pro is not vegan, the Pro Lite is Vegan.  Priced at $90, which might seem like a lot, but these shoes are going to last you twice as long as a typical suede skate shoe. (Our review here)

Servant Dagon

Servant Dagon vegan suede skateboard shoe

Servant Dagon 2014 colorway.

The Dagon gets an honorable mention. No new colorways or model in 2016, however the Dagon is one of our favorite vegan skate shoes of all time. This deep blue is a nice switch up in colorway. Also available in Red and Black. Hope to see some new stuff from Servant real soon.  Priced at $75 and longer lasting then animal suede, these are a great option.

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Vegetable Shredder – Michael Dean

Michael Dean Vegan Skateboarder BonelessNAME: Michael Dean

LOCATION: Encinitas, CA

OCCUPATION: Surfboard factory hand

Where do you like skating? Poods Park in Enci, both in the park and the perfect red curb in the parking lot.

Why did you go Veg? I went vegan solely to prove my solidarity for animal liberation. I have been vegan now for almost 5 years and I was introduced to veganism through the punk/hardcore music scene. After going vegan, I watched Earthlings for the first time which opened my eyes to speciesism and deepened my convictions for animals as fellow earthlings. Thus my compassion for animals grew tremendously which I didn’t even think was possible. Whereas before I was just practicing a vegan diet, I have now cut out non-vegan friendly hygiene products, clothing made from animals, leather/suede shoes, etc.

Michael Dean Vegan Skateboarder Hippy JumpWhat is your favorite thing to skate and why? My favorite thing to skate is a solid, smooth red curb because once I learned how to slappy, skateboarding became way more fun. I also love a nice long flat rail. Anywhere I can get creative with some basics is gonna glue a grin to my face.

Michael Dean Vegan Skateboarder Board SlideWhat shoe are you skating in now? I tend to stick to canvas classics. Right now I’m skating a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors and Vans Authentic. I like a sole that lasts a long time. Shoe goo is my best friend.

Or just say whatever you want about skating Veg… Roll up to every session with a hand of bananas and listen to Youth of Today.

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If your veg and skate, you’re a #vegetableshredder (hash tag that shit everywhere!) Send in some photos and the answer to all the questions above to fakie@veganskateblog.com  Don’t forget to tell us your instagram name and a mailing address so we can get you some rad stickers. ( US only – that international shipping is EXPENSIVE!)

 

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DC Evan Smith Hi

DC Evan Smith Vegan Skateboard Shoes Canvas Hi-top all blackDC Evan Smith Hi debuted in January with some great vegan colorways, though some may have been a bit more colorful for your monochrome skate uniforms. Well you’re in luck Lil’ Dracula, this season features an all black model!

DC Evan Smith Vegan Skateboard Shoes Canvas Hi-topIf skater-goth isn’t your vibe and you’re feeling a little evergreen, tis the season. (They’ve got Tan too!) We reviewed the Evan Smith Hi earlier this year and it’s a solid skate shoe! If you’ve got wider feet and want a large toe cap then pick up a pair.  You’ll be jumping off buildings in no-time! Oh yeah, and Evan is a vegan skater, so bonus points!

DC sizes 7-14 $70.00

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Once A Month Crew (older young man Portland skate club)

 Long time VSB contributor Sean “sleepinghouse” Conley is a working stiff.  Dom Parlavecchio rips for Troika Skateboards and somehow still works a real job like a grown-ass person.   Somehow they still make time in their busy lives to at least skate once a lunar cycle. Enjoy!

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Look Back Library – BrotherBoarderPowerSlap Tour West Coast edition!

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

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

Kevin Mark’s Look Back Library Tour is back on the west coast and will be at Commonwealth Skatepark in Portland Oregon this Friday!  The tour features a bevy of out of print publications, notable covers, and a chance to see some of your favorite adolescent moments!  You might even glimpse a Pro and their cover.

Commonwealth SkateparkCommonwealth Skatepark 1425 SE 20th Street Portland, OR  The skate sessions ends at 8pm, so if you’re planning on bringing your board you can skate until 8pm. ( Normal rates apply. Support your local indoor park ya’ cheap skates.)

 

—————#BrotherBoarderPowerSlap tour dates——————–

Commonwealth Skatepark – 1425 SE 20th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 – FRI Oct 21st / 7-10pm

Good Times – 146 Mill Ave. Grass Valley, CA 95945 – FRI Nov 4th / 5-8pm

Boulevard Skate Shop –  3230 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95817 – SAT Nov 5th / 6-9pm

Red Curbs – 40293 Grimmer Blvd. Fremont, CA 94538 – SUN Nov 6th / 6-9pm

San Francisco Skate Club – 635A Divisadero St. SF, CA, 94117 – FRI Nov 11th / 7-10pm

Skate Works – 379 State St. Los Altos, CA 94022 – SAT Nov 12th / 6-9pm

Bill’s Wheels – 1240 Soquel Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95062 – MON Nov 14th / 6-9pm

Morro Bay Skateboard Museum – 699 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442 – TUES Nov 15th / 5-8pm

Five Points – 2787 E Main St, Ventura, CA 93003 – WED Nov 16th / 5-8pm

Skatelab – 4226 Valley Fair St, Simi Valley, CA 93063 – THURS Nov 17th / 7-10pm

Kingswell – 4651 Kingswell Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 – FRI Nov 18th / 7-10pm

Long Beach Skate – 3142 E 7th St, Long Beach, CA 90804 – SAT Nov 19th / 6-9pm

Joker’s Skate Shop – 9606 Hamilton Avenue HB, CA 92646 – SUN Nov 20th / 5-8pm
Programme – 2495 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92831 – MON Nov 21st / 6-9pm

Overcast – 28780 Old Town Front St. Temecula, CA 92590 – TUES Nov 22nd / 5-8pm

The House Skate Shop – 637 S Santa Fe Ave, Vista, CA 92083 – early December

Pacific Drive – 756 Thomas Ave, San Diego, CA 92109 – early December

Posted in ART, Books, Event | Leave a comment

Vegan Matzo Ball Soup!!!

vegan matzo ball soupMatzo Ball Soup is one of my favorite meals during the colder months. It’s a traditional jewish chicken soup with dumplings. I grew up eating it in the spring for Passover but it’s good all year! This is my vegan adaptation.

vegan matzo ball soupThere are two ways to get matzo meal for the matzo balls; pulverize a few sheets of matzo or buy a box of pre-measure matzo meal. The recipe on the back is quickly tweaked to make it vegan.

vegan matzo ball soup

Ingredients:

Matzo Balls:

  • Matzo Ball Mix (a box has two 2.5oz pouches each that make about 8 balls each)
  • ENER-G Egg Replacer
  • 1/2TB Better Than Bullion No Chicken Base (make sure it has the V for Vegan on it)
  • 2 TB Canola Oil.

Soup:

  • 3 Medium Carrots
  • 4 Stalks of Celery
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 Tablesppons Better Than Bullion No Chicken Base
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 8-10 Cups of

BONUS: Vegan chicken strips  shredded and chopped

Make the Matzo Balls first! 

vegan matzo ball soupFollow the instructions on the Ener-G box to make two eggs ( quick tip, its 1TB powder to 4TB water) Whip it into a foam making sure the powder is desolved. Add Bullion to egg replacer mix, whip until fully dissolved, then add the oil, continue to beat with a fork until everything is smooth and dissolved.

vegan matzo ball soupMix one packet of matzo with the egg replacement mix until the its semi stiff. Roll it into 8 balls, cover and place in the fridge while you make the soup.

If you want more balls, just double all this.

vegan matzo ball soupChop the celery, make the carrots into coins, and dice the shallot.  Shallots work well in the soup and is better suited to the flavor than onions.

vegan matzo ball soupI’ve added some Beyond Meat grilled chicken strips that I’ve shredded and chopped.

vegan matzo ball soupHeat a large soup pot(try and go 6 Quarts or more) and then add Canola Oil, let heat for 30 seconds and then add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. When the salt has mostly dissolved add the carrots and celery. Sauté for a moment until they start to sweat releasing their water, then add the shallots.

vegan matzo ball soupWhen the shallots start to become translucent add the bullion. It will quickly start to caramelize which will be your cue to add water. 8 to 10 cups, it all depends on how salty you like your soup.

vegan matzo ball soupBring the soup to a rolling boil, having a lid really comes in handy here.

vegan matzo ball soupAdd the matzo balls, just drop them in there.

vegan matzo ball soupBefore you close the lid add the shredded vegan chicken strips if you’re using them! Or try vegan ham. The flavor will be all wrong, but it’s still kosher!

vegan matzo ball soupCover the pot and let cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. I let mine go a little too long in this picture which you can see on the sides of the pot. The matzo balls started to break up a little. The important thing is that they’re floating!   If you like your matzo ball soup with parsley, add it into the bowl right before you serve.

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Vegetable Shredder – James Alby

Vegan Skateboarder James Ably Vegetable Shredder

FS Ollie photo: Jon Geiter

NAME: James Alby

LOCATION: Portland, OR

OCCUPATION: I work for Stumptown Coffee.

fs boardslide photo: Jon Geiter

fs boardslide photo: Jon Geiter

Where do you like skating? I cruise the streets of Portland, looking for spots that aren’t really skate spots. Things out of the ordinary.

Why did you go Veg? I was vegetarian for awhile because I didn’t want to contribute to the suffering of animals, other living beings. I went vegan when I gained more knowledge and understanding about the dairy and egg industry.


What is your favorite thing to skate and why? I like pole-jams, wall-rides, barriers, and anything sketchy or crusty. But my absolute favorite thing is curbs because I can charge at them with full speed and have fun. Slappies forever!

What shoe are you skating now? Huf Classic Hi’s. All black, canvas. I really want to try Servant Footwear next!

Nollie bs tail slide photo: Jon Geiter

Nollie bs tail slide photo: Jon Geiter

Or just say whatever you want about skating Veg… Skate fast. Eat like you give a damn.


James is the Pole Jam king of Portland! I’m glad to call this guy a friend and it is always a blast to skate with him. Thanks for sending this in James!

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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David Mayhew interview by Kevin Marks

David Mayhew vegan skateboarder Osiris D3

David Mayhew izas a professional skateboarder through most of the 90s. Coming up amongst such legends as Marc Johnson, Jerry Hsu, and Rodney Mullen; Mayhew was a street skating tech-wizard. His most infamous mark on skateboarding was the Osiris D3. A bombastic culmination of the ‘puffy’ skate shoe of the 90’s which actually came out in 2000. It was loved, hated, and remembered. Osiris has re-issued it several times (current models available are vegan, link at the bottom of this page) and Jenkem recently interviewed Mayhew about the shoe.  David along with his family have been Vegan for eight years and posting about it on social media. Contributing writer Kevin Marks spoke with Mayhew on Go Skateboarding Day in Madison, WI about skating, veganism, and even the D3.

–KERRY
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Where did you grow up? Madison, Wisconsin

What year did you first step on a skateboard and how did that come about? Seeing my older brother skateboarding just looked so cool. He got me into it. That would have been around 1986.

Does your older brother still skate? No, it’s been a long time off the board for him.

Do you recall the 1st skate magazine you ever saw? It was a Thrasher Mag, 1985 or 1986.

First sponsors?  Small Room and Etnies. I rode for a shop in Madison called California Connection.

Did you ever work in a skate shop as a teenager? The owner of California Connection would let us work off product, help put boards together and clean things up.  It was never an official job.

How did you end up in San Diego? After riding for Small Room I started to ride for a company called Evol.  That was right around the time H-Street split up.  Plan B and Evol were the companies that came out of the split.  Evol was based out of San Diego so it seemed like the next step.  Plus I had a few friends that were living in SD.

David Mayhew vegan skateboarder Osiris D3 KRUXWhat was your first photo in a magazine? It was a Krux Trucks ad in Slap, black and white sequence of a kickflip nose slide nollie flip out.

Who would you room with on an Osiris trip? Kanten Russell or Tyrone Olson
David Mayhew vegan skateboarder Osiris D3

How much of a role did you have in designing your Osiris shoe? I came up with the concept of the lace loops the rest was done in-house. I wanted something different. I remember being on an Osiris tour and every shoe in all the shops looked the same. My thought was I just wanted something different. I ended up seeing a hiking boot at a Sports Authority store that had loops at the top of the shoe. I had a vision to continue the loops all the way down the side, next thing you know the D3 was born. At the first trade show the D3 wasn’t very popular and then 6 months after that they couldn’t make enough. Crazy time for sure.

We hear so much about pros earning big checks for a few years, and then having nothing to show for it.  Did you make investments with your shoe checks? Overall I’m pretty frugal.  My big purchases would have been a car and a house.  I also invested some in the stock market which was doing great until 2008!!

David Mayhew vegan skateboarder Osiris D3

kickflip photo:Cory Peteron

How much time transpired from first moving to San Diego to owning a home there?  I moved out in 1994 and bought my house in 1999.  My first pro pay check was for $300 and that’s not going to buy you anything in San Diego.

Wackiest place skateboarding has taken you? Honestly, I don’t really have one.  Traveling was such a gift from skateboarding.  It’s something I never expected when I first turned pro. And who knows, some people might think Madison is a wacky place.


During your tenure at Osiris, which three teammates amazed you with their skating ability? Jerry Hsu, but I met him before Osiris. He was about 14 when he went on a Maple tour with us. It’s easy to see his talent now. Chris Dobstaff would be another one. He had a big bag of tricks and was really creative. Smolik was also amazing. All three of them thrashed and had a natural ability. It was also cool to see Kanten Russell hold it down because I grew up watching him skate. So many people just run out of steam. Tyrone Olson is still going hard still to this day.

Can you name a skater that never got their due in the professional ranks? Way too many to mention.  We had this guy from Green Bay, WI.  Troy Turner is his name and man that dude was years ahead of his time.  Most of us would watch a video and then learn the tricks but he would already be doing them.  He never made it pro but easy could have.

David Mayhew vegan skateboarder Osiris D3

tailslide photo:Cory Peteron

Out of all the board companies you’ve ridden for which brand do you look back on with the fondest memories? It would be a toss up between Osiris and enjoi. We traveled so much with Osiris, all around the world. Plus it was most of the homies from San Diego. Enjoi was fun because it was Marc’s creation and it felt so good after the A-team. He is a creative dude and it felt good to have him in the director’s chair. Skateboarding was very serious and judgmental for a while.

What was the lead up to you moving back to Madison in the fall of 2004?  It was a few things that triggered it.  One being that MJ was going to leave enjoi and go to Chocolate.  Second would be Osiris kicking me off the team for no reason while I still had a great selling shoe.  Third would be the housing bubble.  My neighbor’s house in SD sold for almost double what they paid, made me wonder what I could get for my house.  I had an open house and about 2 minutes into it a family wanted to pay my top asking price, hard to say no.

Had you always wanted to open a skate shop?  Not really.  When I got back to Madison I noticed that none of the shops really carried good stuff or did anything fun.  I wanted to change that.  Next thing you know I had a partner and in 2005 we opened.

How did the name Alumni originate? I kinda felt like I was an alumni of skateboarding.  Going from kid to pro and back made me think of it like school.  Plus Madison is a big college town.

What do you see as the role of the local skater owned & operated shop? Listen to the skate community.  Some people may want more pro’s to come to town and some people just want more local events (contests, games of skate, video premier’s…) Keep the kids engaged and happy.

David Mayhew vegan skateboarder Osiris D3

wallride grab photo: Cory Peteron

What were the major struggles in running your own shop? About 3 years into the shop, Zumiez opened up 2 stores.  In some bigger towns that might not seem like a big deal but we needed those kids who were just starting.  Another thing would be Nike SB and I feel like that story has been told by many small store owners.

What led you to get out of the shop recently? My wife and I started a family, a boy 4 1/2 and a girl 2.  I have been staying at home with the kids and not having much to do with the shop.  We did have 2 employees to take my hours so I felt like once the kids were in school I would jump right back in.  My business partner had other plans.  I wanted to do more community stuff like lessons and skate camps, along with doing more events at local schools.  He thought those were all terrible things and wanted the shop to have nothing to do with them.

David Mayhew vegan skateboarder Osiris D3

bs 360 flip photo: Cory Peteron

With the growth of web sales, do you see a future in the local skate shop? I believe if you have a good relationship with the skaters, they will shop in your store.  I think as a society we need to understand how spending money at a local store can help pay for other things in your community.  When you buy online who knows where the money ends up. So get your butt off the couch, support local!!
What are you other interests outside of skateboarding? I played some soccer when I moved back, both indoor and outdoor.  Since becoming vegan I have enjoyed learning how to cook.  Now it’s all about family time with the wife and kids.

When did you find veganism and how did you come to that path? My wife and I have been vegan for 8 years now. She grew up a vegetarian and my dad was a vegetarian growing up. I had friends that had been vegan years before. It all clicked for me. I was driving to work one day and heard an interview with Karen Dawn, a vegan book author. I told my wife about it and we both read her book “Thanking the Monkey”. NO turning back. My wife and I support each other. It can seem like looking up a mountain, like how can I make this happen. The key is baby steps, take time to learn “why”? What is making you want to change: health, ethical, earth, global warming? It’s everything for us.

Were you vegetarian for a while or go right to being a vegan? I joined my wife as a vegetarian for about a week or 2.  I felt like I only ate cheese, cheese and more cheese.  It is easy to be an unhealthy vegetarian/vegan. A few days into it is when I heard Karen Dawn’s interview, perfect timing!!
There are very few vegans in the skateboard world and even fewer who are willing to be vocal about it. I was psyched to see that you proudly proclaim your veganism on your instagram page @davidrmayhew
are there other ways you are vocal about your choice to be vegan? 
I try to promote it to friends but not push.  A few of my friends have changed to being vegan in the last couple years.  My wife and I helped do the first ever Madison City Vegan Fest, they are on year 6 now.  More and more often people are interested if the topic is brought up.
Is your immediate family vegan or veg? My dad is a vegan.

Has it created any tension in your relationships?No tension but some jokes.  Everybody thinks it is my wife making me do it, like it makes you less of a man.

Are you raising your children vegan? YES, YES, YES!! Both of our children are vegan and will be as long as they live in our house.  We understand that they will have a learning curve.  All we can do is pass on our knowledge and hope they can figure things out.

What challenges if any does that present? Now that our son is going to preschool we have to plan out snacks. The school works well with us and plans out all snacks ahead of time. They have a few other kids that are vegan which helps.

Best city for veganism/vegan options that you’ve visited? Closest would be Chicago for us.  We also liked Seattle and SF.  Gonna be in San Diego and LA this September, excited to see what they have to offer.

How would you rate Madison for being vegan friendly?  Madison only has one vegetarian/vegan restaurant.  I end up cooking most of our food.  The summer/fall is great for salads and soups.  Winter is a different story and is kind of a struggle.

Favorite vegan meal to cook for the family? We love a nice big salad most days.  I also make black bean burgers and chickpea cutlets.  Those both use Vital Wheat Gluten which is a great source of protein.  We try hard to use a ton of fresh veggies and a protein source with each meal.   Winter is soups, sweet potato/peanut African stew would be one of my favorites.

Can you point to one film that you would recommend a person watch who is considering going veg or vegan? We watched “meet your meat” from PETA.  My wife and I have made our decision to stay vegan and will never turn back.  Watching those films makes me sick.  I’ve heard the film “earthlings” is a good one.  I believe that when the time comes you will have your moment when all of the dots line up.

 


 

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