2015 is off and running, which will no doubt bring a rapid rise in the number of VOD productions to make you part ways with your hard-earned cash, a selection of closely fought competitions, new products and the usual drama that will be blown fully out of proportion on internet message boards. With this in mind, we decided that it is time for yet another of our annual Rumour Mill articles, featuring confirmed industry information, hearsay, speculation, Chinese whispers and wishful thinking, all prefixed with the words apparently, supposedly and allegedly in order to exonerate ourselves from any accountability.
Things Are Looking Sunny for SSM
It would seem that this photo of a seemingly old school reunion between Brian Shima, his former boss Andy Wegner and Remz owner Kato is more telling than it would first appear. SSM is supposedly now being distributed by Sunshine Distribution, joining Remz, so it looks like yet another brand now falls under the Sunshine empire…kinda. Also, there are rumours flying around that Brian Shima has left the Create Originals team and is riding for Ground Control once again. When asked, Ground Control team manager Keaton Newsom simply responded, “No comment.” If there was no truth in this, surely he would just say so? The fact that he refuses to discuss the topic only makes us more convinced that something might be going on. Who would have guessed that when Brian Shima left Razors to start Nimh all those years ago that he would find his way back to the all-consuming bosom of Andy Wegener? It’s funny how things work out. So what does this actually mean? Well, for starters, it should make getting hold of SSM skates a whole lot easier now that distribution is being provided by a company with a proven track record.
Gabriel Hyden Pro Skate Mystery
Following Billy O’Neill‘s announcement that he is no longer actively involved in Create Originals and Brian Shima’s alleged departure to rejoin previous sponsor Ground Control, it is also rumoured that Gabriel Hyden has followed suit, signing up for Ground Control once again. This seemed a little odd as Hyden left Ground Control to join Create Originals, so we asked the man himself and he confirmed that this is not the case…but he did let something else slip. It would seem that the leaked photo floating around of his SSM pro skate (above) featuring Create Originals frames could be a little misleading as it may not be the final product. There is a possibility that Hyden’s debut pro skate will instead feature the Ground Control Featherlite frame. Create Originals missed out on having their frame on Montre Livingston‘s SSM pro skate when SSM opted to go with Fifty-50 instead and now it looks like they are going to be out-priced again If this turns out to be true, it would seem that Brian Lewis and Hakeem Jimoh just can’t catch a break! And what is going on with the Create Originals CRS frames that are well overdue? To be perfectly honest, we lost interest in that months ago.
Connaire Skerritt Linked with Valo
Weymouth’s Connaire Skerritt has been killing spots all over Europe over the past year and featured in most of the highly popular DRC edits, as well as a pretty impressive skatepark section, and it looks like companies are finally starting to take notice. He could very well soon be a Valo representative in the UK. Apparently he has is currently being flowed skates at the moment, but Valo’s UK distributor is aiming towards forming an exclusive team in the near future and are considering Skerritt for one of the slots.
Look Out for Los Hermanos
It would seem that Bay Area filmmaker Ivan Narez is working on a top secret (but not really) media project called Los Hermanos, which is due to surface later this year. It will contain footage from last year’s Puerto Rico trip, so expect clips from heavy hitters such as David Sizemore, Franky Morales, Victor Arias, BFree and more. Also, it is rumoured that Narez has roped in photographer and Valo professional Brandon Smith to contribute photos to the venture. Will it be a multimedia magazine, a website, or a series of DVDs with accompanying booklets? Your guess is as good as ours. However, if Valo 4 Life and V are anything to go by, you are probably going to want to pay close attention. All Narez will tell us at this moment in time, when asked about a potential release date is “I gotta finish the damn things!” Things? Plural? Meaning more than one? Hmm, interesting!
The Remz Team Curse
You could be forgiven for thinking someone has voodoo dolls of the Remz team and is taking sadistic pleasure in stabbing them with a needle at any given opportunity. Pro rider Nils Jansons had a tough 2014, first sustaining a head injury at Winterclash 2014 and then getting hurt again later that year. He is currently undergoing physical therapy, so not only is he going to miss this year’s Winterclash, he is also going to lose out on the opportunity to defend his title at Laced two weeks later. Mason Richard is also on the injured list. Apparently he couldn’t complete last year’s Ground Control edit because his knees were too sore and now he has been diagnosed with Osgood–Schlatter disease – an inflamation of ligaments that causes considerable knee pain. This is apprently common in a lot of rollerbladers but most people don’t know they have it because it only shows up in an MRI scan. And Josiah Blee? Well, he lives in Seattle, which is like being injured, because it rains so damn much it’s near impossible to go street skating unless you wanna get drenched through to your boxers. Fortunately, Chris Haffey is still holding it down and has recently been in the streets with Adam Johnson to film for his Vibralux VOD – expect big things!
Polish Blade Shop Wars
It would appear that there is a challenger to Hedonskate’s title of Poland’s premier blading retailer and it comes in the form of Skatefun. In addition to selling aggressive skates, they also stock offroad and fitness options. Hell, they even poached former team rider Mateusz Kowalski from the nourishing teet of Mirek Ragan and co and he just dropped an edit to announce his new endorsement deal. However, it doesn’t appear that Hedonskate should worry too much as Skatefun’s website is all in Polish with no English translation option, so we are guessing that they are not aiming at capturing the European market just yet.
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