Skate Legend Karl Watson Joins Team Marley

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How do you explain Karl Watson’s skate style in one word? Butter. Whether on a ledge, rail, Hubba, manny pad, hill or regular old curb, Karl is as smooth as possible on four wheels. His effortless command is something rarely seen. That’s why we’re extremely excited to welcome Karl as the newest member of Team Marley.0440000

Growing up in the skateboarding mecca of San Francisco, everything in Karl’s skate life came organically. Living amongst legendary spots like Embarcadero and Pier 7, he learned from some of the best and pushed his skills forward with a natural ability. “I’ve been skating for 25 years and being an ambassador of House of Marley is an honor to me,” Karl says of joining Team Marley.

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In addition to his skateboarding evolution, Karl has parlayed his positive vibes into doing charity work with his organization, Karl’s Kauses. “Karl’s Kauses and OneLove mesh well as we both strive to give back to our communities,” Karl states. Working together with other skaters, Karl’s Kauses strives to bring skateboarding to kids around the world.

In 2003, Karl took a life changing trip to Bob Marley’s home country. “I visited Jamaica with a group of 25 skaters in hopes of introducing skateboarding to the youth of the island,” Karl says of his experience. “We assembled and gave away 200 complete skateboards. We also built two ramps in some of the roughest villages in Jamaica.”

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Karl’s love for Bob Marley started at a young age and says “[Bob's] positive message helped me become the person I am today.” Yet, it was his trip to Jamaica further cemented the influence of Bob on his life. “While I was there I became even more inspired by Bob Marley’s legacy. I saw many murals of him and everybody had the utmost respect for the legend.”

Between his sick style, charity work and overall positive attitude, Karl Watson truly embodies what it means to be a member of Team Marley. We’re extremely excited to have him on board and look forward to seeing him skate for many years to come.

Bonus: Karl’s creative flow is something to be seen and not read about. Check out these tight clips below of Karl showing off his neighborhood and talking about his skating past, present and future.

House of Marley Approved: Stereo Remix Vinyl Cruiser

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Summer means it’s time to bomb hills and get wild in the streets. Stereo Skateboards brand new Remix Vinyl Cruiser offers the best option for shredding in style as owners Jason Lee and Chris Pastras have built the perfect old school skateboard. Dubbed “banana boards” in a prior life, the new Remix model has a wider nose and longer tail for easier control.

House of Marley Wraps up The Transworld C.U.T. Tour in New York

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Taking over the hot concrete of New York’s Lower East Side, nearly a hundred amateur skaters took to Coleman Park to compete in the final round of the Transworld C.U.T. Tour this past week. Fighting for the top prize of one of our earth-friendly bags filled with skate gear from companies like WESC, ShakeJunt, Coal and DeathWish, the competition was frenetic and fierce.

Sick grinds and wall rides ruled the day with many of the skaters hitting the park’s quarter pipe-to-wall ride for an insane jam session. A.J. Rodriguez hit the top of the fence with a huge 50-50 while Jordan Trahan and Keith Hardy littered wall rides all over the place. As sketchy and insane as some of these tricks were, tech skating ruled the day with crazy grinds propelling Tyshawn Jones and Andrew Valencia to victory.
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Winning the Prime C.U.T. award for his super shred-heavy style and long flowing locks, Piro Sierra dropped epic boardslides over the rainbow rail and a few grinds on the ledge-to-quarter. A busted arm couldn’t keep Tyshawn Jones from getting third with some crazy frontside flips, while Steven Farmer brought home second with his gnarly bag of tricks. None could stop Andrew Valencia though, the Transworld C.U.T. Tour winner for New York dropped bluntside after bluntslide and flip after flip in each of his lines.

With the C.U.T. Tour officially over, Transworld Skateboarding is challenging the winners from each of the six stops to piece together their best skate video. With less than a month to get all the footy they can, each of the C.U.T. finalists videos will be put on the web for users to vote on for the overall winner of the whole tour. The winner selected by the fans will receive the ultimate prize of a spotlight article in an upcoming issue of Transworld. For an am skater, there is nothing better than this kind of killer profile to document your style.
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Bonus: Check out the footage from the Transworld C.U.T. New York stop and stay tuned for more clips from each tour stop’s big winner.

#LiveMarley Contest Winner: Jeremy Hopwood/Caravan Skate Shop

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As a part of the #LiveMarley contest on our Facebook page, we’ve been asking you to submit stories of how you have personally been inspired by Bob Marley’s values. The first winner of one of our sick new watches is Jeremy Hopwood, a 27-year-old skater from Seattle, who is also the owner of Caravan, a mobile skate shop.

OK. Your first thought was “What’s a mobile skate shop?” Right? Well, Jeremy was tired of the old skate shop model — he wanted to move it out into the streets. Instead of waiting for someone else to do it, Hopwood bought a van, tricked it out with a quarter pipe and stocked it full of decks, wheels and trucks. Forget the ice cream man… Kids are now running to the Caravan Skate Shop van. We spent some time talking to Jeremy about the shop, his charity work with Skate For Change and the future of the van.

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What was the reason that you started Caravan?

Caravan evolved out of boredom and a desire to do something meaningful. The whole idea didn’t come to me at once, but it was a feeling that I had… A burning. After I thought of the mobile skate shop idea, it took me a few months before I actually bought the vehicle. It was Earth Day 2012. My friend and I went out for a day trip here in Issaquah, Washington, starting at 6 or 7 AM. We actually didn’t know it was Earth Day until we got back from the trip.

How did the charitable element come into play?

The charity aspect came out of pure desire to continue what I started. I went to a local skate shop with the idea and the owner and I began converting the van to have a better aesthetic and functionality for skateboarding. I got word of Pam Miller (a skate event organizer) and her work, and was able to go to that first event at Samammish Park and volunteer with set-up/breakdown for the event. I passed out water and had tools and extra bearings/hardware for people skating. It slowly evolved to where I was accepting donations of skateboard equipment and shoes, and then going to events and giving them out to kids who needed them.

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How did you become involved with Skate For Change?

Getting involved with Skate for Change (a non-profit group of skaters who give back to low-income families and the homeless) was another blessing from Pam Miller, and the skate park competition circuit she runs. I took the Caravan out to Woodinville Skatepark with a pack of younger rippers, Jaeden Ovenall, Kyle McQueen and we entered the contest as a team. It was the first contest I had been in since I was 18 or so. So Skate for Change had a booth set up and it was about as natural as it could have been. I was already doing the charity aspect of Caravan and it was a perfect fit.

What kind of projects are you working on with Skate For Change?

Caravan and Skate for Change are starting to come together, but it hasn’t happened just quite yet. Mike Smith [the founder of Skate For Change] travels the country and speaks at high schools, and is gaining a huge following. They just won the State Farm $25,000 grant for the second year in a row, and just recently opened up the Bay in Nebraska, an indoor skate park/youth facility. So as far as my part, I go out with SFC Seattle most Sundays and spread the word about what we are doing in our community. Besides that, I am working to recycle used skateboards by shaping, sanding, and painting them, and by leading by example.

What’s the connection between skateboarding and making changes in society?

I’ve had conversations about the connection between skating and society since I was a lot younger. The first skateboard video I was in was called Wood Relation. To me that title says a lot on its own; skateboards are a vehicle for positivity and growth for individuals. They don’t pollute the environment, at least their carbon footprint is much smaller than most other modes of transportation. Beyond that, skating is an outlet for creativity, in art, in the physical form and with photography/filmmaking. It’s an extremely positive activity, but I believe anything active can be good. A lot of skaters don’t like scooters, rollerbladers, bmx or traditional sports. I think those are great and much better than kids playing Call of Duty any day.

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Some people just don’t understand skaters. They think they are lazy. They think they are destructive. “A skater comes down the street and it’s loud… It shocks people,” Hopwood says of skaters’ reputation. “They think you are reckless and are going to run into them.” Through his work with Caravan and his latest adventure (a summer spent acting as a counselor at a Massachussets sports camp), Jeremy is doing his part to keep the skate community in a positive light. He’s even considering making Caravan a bi-coastal project with a new van on the East Coast.

If Bob Marley’s vision for a better world has inspired you to hit the streets, plant trees, pick up trash or spend time helping others in your community, then we want to hear your story! Visit the #LiveMarley contest page on our Facebook profile and tell us what you are doing locally to improve the planet for a chance to win a new watch.

 

The House of Marley Hits Up The Transworld Come Up Tour 2013

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Around the globe, little groms hit the skate park every single day with the dream of having a chance to win a major competition and take home the big prize. We’ve teamed up with Transworld Skateboarding on their current Come Up Tour to offer amateur skateboarders the chance to bring home a championship of their own.

The C.U.T. tour starts with underage skaters submitting footage to become prequalified for a skate jam at their local park. The best of the best qualify for the finals, while hundreds of their skate brethren continue to battle it out for the chance to be called C.U.T champion.

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This past Saturday, Chicago’s finest took over Piotrowski Skate Park, vying for three gear-stuffed Lively Up bags. From the techie switch flip crooked grind of Kevin Braun to the giant kickflips of Jorgey Rodriguez, the competition was hot and heavy. In the end, no one could match the flip-in/flip-out tricks Emmet Duffy was throwing down as he walked away with the C.U.T. championship for the Windy City.

Transworld’s C.U.T. continues to roll on down the road this weekend for a stop in Phoenix on April 27. We’ll be taking over the Peoria Skate Park with Cowtown skate shop and getting skaters to go big for some Lively Up bags and more prizes from Independent, Deathwish and Shake Junt. Skaters can still apply for the Phoenix contest by sending a one-minute video with their best tricks to Transworld Skateboarding.

Bonus: Check out this sick contest recap from the Chicago stop of the C.U.T and get some inspiration to shred:

Photo Credit: Transworld Skateboarding

Daycation Pt. 2 With Izzy Guttuso

When we last caught up with freelance photography Izzy Guttuso, she had taken in a day of relaxing beachside fun with her friends. Check out Izzy’s second DayCation below, as she leaves behind the comfort of the ocean for a skateboarding mission. A few arm scrapes, shredded boards and hundreds of miles later, her crew has had another successful adventure. Stay tuned to the House of Marley blog for more day trips with Izzy and get some inspiration to go explore your own world.

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DayCation Pt. 2

Getting up early is always a part of the deal. You get in a good meal, relax for a bit, prepare your deck set up and cruise a little. Living in Florida, where the land is so flat, we have to head north to find the right hills for longboarding.

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One of my favorite places to skate is Hiawassee in Northern Georgia. When we get to the hill, there are no cars, no city sounds, just the nervous chatter of friends, snaps of helmets and rips of velcro as we re-adjust our slide gloves. When stopping isn’t an option, padding isn’t really an alternative or choice. You just gotta have it.

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Being able to fly down miles of winding roads through fog and nature awakens the senses. The cool air rushing past my skin forms goosebumps on my body, and the adrenaline pumping through my veins gives me the most incredible feeling.

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Despite the cuts, road burns and broken bones, I don’t ever want to stop getting that feeling that skateboarding gives me. It just wouldn’t feel right. Growing up, learning to skate came before I even learned how to ride a bike. To me, it’s not a sport or pastime anymore, it’s a lifestyle.

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Photography/Words by Izzy Guttuso 

Tony Hawk Foundation Brings Skateboarding to Underprivileged Youth

Recently, the Tony Hawk Foundation united with eBay Giving Works and some of the most recognizable names in the music industry to raise $126,000 in an effort to build skateparks for underprivileged youth.

tony-hawk-foundationtony-hawk-foundationDeveloped by Tony Hawk Foundation board member and musician Ben Harper, the group collected old pro skater decks from the likes of Jamie Thomas, Bucky Lasek and Mike Vallely to auction. Yet, these weren’t just any old decks. Inscribed with lyrics and autographs from Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and the recently departed Adam “MCA” Yauch, all of these skateboards were certifiable one-of-a-kind pieces of skate and music history. While the rest of us will have to settle for skating to these artists playing on our Bag of Riddim portable audio systems, a few lucky folks will now have the option to skate on the hand scribed lyrics of these legendary songs (though we wouldn’t recommend it!).

The board with the highest bid was a Jamie Thomas signature Zero deck adorned with the signature of Bob Dylan. Emblazoned with the words of Dylan’s signature hit, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” it became the most expensive single deck ever purchased in the history of the skateboarding at $38,425.

All of the proceeds from the auction went directly to the Tony Hawk Foundation, which has already helped build over 400 skate parks in low income areas.

Skateboarding’s ability to unite youth from all different types of backgrounds can’t be ignored. The House of Marley commends the Tony Hawk Foundation for working to impact underprivileged youth across the country. The epitome of #LiveMarley is creating something that helps society move forward today. Props to the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Killer Headphones for Skateboarding

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When searching for the perfect in-ear headphones for skateboarding, look no further than the House of Marley. Skateboarding is all about fluid motion. No matter the ground you’re covering, whether it’s the street, the park, the vert ramp or just the backyard, any headphones for skateboarding should not restrict your ability to do tricks.

The House of Marley’s Zion and Redemption Song in-ear headphones allow for this while also making sure that the ear piece remains firmly in place, allowing you to concentrate on landing that trick.

Just like a pair of skate shoes or the bushings in your trucks, when headphones for skateboarding are created, designers attempt to make them as cushy and comfortable as possible. The House of Marley has taken extra care to outfit in-ear headphones like People Get Ready, Conqueror, Midnight Ravers and Smile Jamaica, with supremely comfortable earbuds that will conform to your ear. Slamming on the ground may hurt, but your ears won’t after wearing our earbuds.

While headphones for skateboarding are all about mobility comfort, Marley earbuds pack the musical punch necessary for motivation. With killer bass from our custom engineered acoustics system and coil drivers pumping out smooth sounds, Marley headphones are capable of projecting the perfect skateboard soundtrack.

While headphones for skateboarding may never be directly responsible for helping you land a kickflip, wearing a pair of Marley earbuds will give you the added style and inspiration points every time. Even when you’re just pushing down the street.

Punky Reggae Party: The Best Songs To Skate To

So you don’t have a skating mixtape? Here, the House of Marley has compiled a playlist of five of the best songs to skate to, whether you’re bombing a hill or just picking up a deck for the first time.

No matter what your style, experience level, or age, sometimes music is just as big an element to skating as the deck and wheels themselves. Download our list of the best songs to skate to, throw in some of your favorites and get out on your own four wheels.

Bob Marley – “Punky Reggae Party”

In “Punky Reggae Party,” the first track on our list of the best songs to skate to, the House of Marley’s namesake sings about how music brought together punks and Rastas. Similarly, skateboarding has always connected kids of different backgrounds and inspired them to push the limits with one another. Oh, and it’s also awesome to just cruise too.

Agent Orange – “Bloodstains”

The dark and brooding “Bloodstains” is a blast of California hardcore punk from the ‘80s that screams “Skate or Die!” Perfect for skating a city, if you have this song blaring on your House of Marley over-the-ears headphones you will be 1000% guaranteed to push faster, skate harder and take all your bails with a huge smile on your face.

Lupe Fiasco – “Kick, Push”

It’s a surprise that no one has used Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick, Push” as the soundtrack to their epic tech skate video segment. Perfect for a skater with the right flow, “Kick, Push” is the ultimate jam for a skater with tons bench/ledge tricks and a bunch of killer manual variations.

Jimi Hendrix – “Ezy Ryder”

Choosing the Hendrix classic “Ezy Ryder” as one of the best songs to skate to comes courtesy of one of the most stylish skate crews ever, the Dogtown and Z-Boys. Providing the background music for a revolution, “Ezy Rider” was one of the tracks that pushed Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta to make skating a beautiful piece of artwork.

Misfits – “Skulls”

The Misfits Crimson Skull logo is just as synonymous with skating as any skate company logo. “Skulls,” from the band’s debut Walk Among Us, speaks to the enduring qualities that make any Misfits song instantly skatable; it’s fast, it’s short, and it’s brutal.

#LiveMarley On The 2012 Vans Warped Tour: Epilogue

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Now that the 2012 Vans Warped Tour has come to a close, taking with it our exclusive in-field coverage, we’d like to punctuate the end of this epic summer adventure with a profile of the House of Marley stage featuring some of our favorite artists. Listen in as G-Eazy, T. Mills, The Constellations, The Green, and Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds recount their #LiveMarley summer on the House of Marley stage at the 2012 Vans Warped Tour.

Read the 2012 Vans Warped Tour Week 1 Recap.

Read the 2012 Vans Warped Tour Week 2 Recap.

Read the 2012 Vans Warped Tour Week 3 Recap.

Read the 2012 Vans Warped Tour Week 4 Recap.

Read the 2012 Vans Warped Tour Breakdown.

Read the 2012 Vans Warped Tour Conclusion.

For exclusive 2012 Vans Warped Tour photos, visit the House of Marley on Facebook.