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

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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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Emerica Romero Laced

Emerica Leo Romero Vegan Skateboard shoesEmerica Romero Laced comes in a vegan synthetic-leather colorway for the fall season!  Leo Romero’s revisions to the classic Laced model made this low profile shoe even more skateable. A single piece toe cap gives a smooth flick and should be much more durable then canvas in the all black synthetic-leather.  The tongue and collar are both thin, with very little padding.  The tongue on the Laced is stabilized with an elastic cage so not only will it stay in place, but you could even eschew the laces.  A note about sizing, go up a 1/2 size.  I tried these in both 10.5 and 11. The 11 was by far more comfortable.

Emerica sizes 5-13 $57.99

Emerica Made 2 video premieres in Los Angeles tomorrow September 8th at The Vista Theatre. Tickets are only $6. Show is at 10pm

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Vegetable Shredder – Weston Rundle

Weston Rundle vegan skateboarderNAME: Weston Rundle

LOCATION: Portland, OR

OCCUPATION: Cook, looking for a full time job at a vegan restaurant.

Where do you like skating? Street spots…many pads, ledges, gaps, banks, anything that grinds.  Skateparks with good street options all day.

Why did you go Veg? Can’t support animal brutality.

What is your favorite thing to skate and why? A sick ledge at a quiet urban street spot at twilight on a warm summer evening.

What shoe are you skating in now? Just ordered two pairs of the Emerica Figgy’s, the ones that Vegan Skate Blog just reviewed.  Clutch!

Or just say whatever you want about skating Veg… Do what you can.  Don’t expect the world to follow you because you have made the decision to be vegan.  Just be proud that you aren’t contributing as much to the bullshit in this world.

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