Just wanted to share this interesting letter from Michael Brooke acquired from our friends over at SilverfishLongboarding.
What goes around, comes around, eh? The genesis of Concrete Wave mag was another, “Int’l Longboarder”. It had a good run before it evolved into Concrete Wave in order to serve and cover “all of skateboarding”. Well, Papa Darwin and Skategeezer have conferred yet again, and here’s news about our beloved ‘wave, fresh from publisher, Michael Brooke…
Concrete Wave goes Longboard!
Toronto. Over the past several months, I have had a number of conversations with readers, advertisers, supporters and yes, even former readers. It has become increasingly clear to me that it is time to pour nitroglycerin on the fires that are burning out there within the world of longboarding. Things are burning brightly and now is the time to focus that intensity.
While each area of skateboarding has its own unique stoke and culture, there is a stoke found within longboarding that is so intense and passionate that it requires more of my attention than I am currently giving it. So, starting with the November issue that’s mailing right now, we’ll be focusing our efforts to cover primarily the world of longboarding (carving, cruising, downhill, sliding and of course freeriding).
Don’t worry! We will continue to cover slalom and freestyle and won’t hesitate to publish an amazing street or transition/vert shot. However, when it comes right down to the crunch, Concrete Wave will be a magazine for longboarders that aims to stoke the hell out of each reader with each page.
Every cover will be longboarding. Most of the features will relate to longboarding.
And every magazine I publish from this day forward will be focused on creating something that reflects the incredible stoke that burns within this community. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
How is this good for Concrete Wave?
We’ve been moving in this direction for quite some time. I believe it is in the best interest of my readers. I am constantly trying to make the magazine better. I realized that the quiver theory is alive and well BUT readers want more Longboarding (and related disciplines.) The fact is that most of our advertisers create products for Longboarders. Some Longboarders ride street, transition, vert, freestyle and slalom or a combination of all genres. I respect that, because I do it, too. But the key thing is that by focusing most of our attention on Longboarding, we are stoking out our main readership. If people want street and transition/vert, there are many magazines to cater to that need.
How is this good for skateboarding?
Skateboarding has changed and with that has come the incredible growth of Longboarding. In much the same way that in the 1960’s Surfer Magazine realized there was a unique market and publication for the skate market, I realized that the time has come for Longboarding to have its own official publication. I co-published a Longboard magazine 11 years ago. It ran until 2002, but 8 years ago we didn’t have what we have now. The product breakthroughs, the level of riding and the level of photography is stunning,now! I’ve brought on some of our sports leaders in photography and racing coverage as Associate Editors in recent years, and now I’ve added two more from what’s clearly evolved into the center of the stoke in longboarding, too. Concrete Wave will now put more focus on what is happening and this will further drive the popularity and encourage more folks to investigate what is happening. Yes, we’ll still publish vert, street and transition shots but they will be in there to accentuate the magazine. This will do two things. Those people who like CW, will like it even more. Those people who didn’t like it will probably dislike it even more. The fact is that skateboarding CAN and SHOULD support all genres and that’s precisely where CW fits. We won’t be covering X Games or Mountain Dew Tours…but we feel quite certain that our fellow skate magazines will be able to handle these types of events.
How is this good for longboarding?
Longboarders can take pride in a magazine that focuses on what they do. They may not all slide, they may not all speedboard and they may not all just cruise, but they are all under this big tent. We will celebrate all the diversity found within Longboarding. The focus is on the ride, not how many shoe ads I can jam in there. This is not to say that shoes and shoe ads aren’t great. But people who read Concrete Wave believe that it’s more about the life as opposed to the “lifestyle.” We will just pour gasoline on this passion that burns out there!
Did the profusion of longboarding content effect this decision?
It’s not just the proliferation of content and products…it’s just the insane level of stoke that is out there. When 550 people show up to go skating at the Broadway Bomb or 470+ show up at Board Meeting in Toronto or when Silverfish’s servers crash due to a stampede, these are all signals that the time is right to focus my energies. Longboarding can hold its head proudly. We are taking our rightful place at the table. But actually, it’s a little deeper than that. We’re creating our own table. We are setting our own agendas and goals, irrespective of what the rest of the skate world thinks. We are taking skateboarding back to where it truly thrives: a culture of freedom, innovative products, thinking for yourself and just spreading the stoke. This is not to say that you can’t experience these feelings in the street skating world. You certainly can. But you have to cut through quite a lot of clutter and confusion.
What factors make you feel that now is the time to do this?
In some respects, I was ahead of my time with the first Longboard mag. But looking over what we accomplished with those issues, we going through a test phase. I was naïve (some folks think I still am!) but passionate. It was unchartered territory, but it laid a foundation. The old expression, “everything happens for a reason”, resonates deeply with me. In trying to create a magazine that was filled with variety, I spoke to an era within skateboarding that celebrated variety (the mid to late 70’s). That’s in my skate DNA. But just because something is in your DNA, doesn’t mean it’s in everyone’s. Concrete Wave has been following the growth of Longboarding but we’ve mixed in a lot of other content. I noticed as we put more Longboarding content in, our readership grew, just as my two new Associate Editors kept insisting it would when I first came to them seeking an evolution of my online presence. There comes a point when you realize “the tribe has spoken!” and that time is now. So, I am focusing my efforts with laser-like precision to stoke out the Longboard community. The movement is so strong that do anything else would be a disservice.
I hope you’re as stoked as I am!
–Michael Brooke, Skategeezer and Publisher, Concrete Wave Magazine