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Concrete Wave Goes 100% Longboarding

written by Ryan November 15, 2010

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!

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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).

Alternate Cover,

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November 2010

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.

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Pictures can be metaphors.

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.

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JT’s artwork for Silverfish is timeless.


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

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9 comments

Ryan Griffiths November 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm

So awesome! I’m already stoked; I think this ill be great for the sport. It needs a central drive to keep it growing, just like this.

Joe Goodman November 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Amazing, shows the growth of the culture! Everyone should subscribe to show him the idea is right!

brian m November 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Ha! The mysterious black jacket made the cover of Concrete Wave! Stoked!

Jungi November 15, 2010 at 10:04 pm

omg this is awesome how can i get a copy of this mag???

jamieson November 16, 2010 at 11:45 am

Michael Brooke was awesome, so happy to have met the guy, and now this? I might just owe him a hug next time he comes around.

Seth Levy November 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Gotta say, as much as I love Concrete Wave and Michael Brooke, this bums me out. By focusing on only longboarding, many people who would have otherwise picked up the magazine will decide not to. What this equates to is less longboarders, not more. What made Concrete Wave so special in my mind was that it broadened the reader’s scope of what skateboarding is. To the street skater, it showed a whole new world of big boards, big transition, slalom, freestyle, etc. To the pool skater, it showed a new world of street, long distance skating, and downhill. You get my point. Concrete Wave has gone from being the magazine that brings all types of skateboarders together to yet another magazine that increases the separation of the different genres of skateboarding.

Seth Levy November 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

BTW, I forgot to add, just a week and a half ago I skated the first North American skateboard marathon on my new Bustin longboard, skated an empty pool on a Factory 13 pool board, and skated a mini ramp and street course with my 8.25 Hosoi popsicle stick all in one weekend. What do all three of those things have in common? They are all a part of 100% Skateboarding.

Skanunu November 17, 2010 at 8:02 am

What a great way to build the culture of Longboarding. Congrats Michael! I am thankful to have met you and look forward to reading your NEW magazine!

PUSH LESS, GLIDE FARTHER!

Lansing March 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I know I’m late jumping in here (didn’t see it until now), but I hafta agree with Seth, 100%.

CW is now another specialized publication. Another word for “specialized” is “niche” — a niche mag within a niche industry.

CW was UNIQUE. It was evangelical about the fact that ALL forms of skating are cool. Many of us who LOVE longboarding (even those who, ahem, used to own a longboard company themselves!) do NOT want to look at nothing but pictures of longboarding…especially of push-culture ‘boarding. Pushing on the streets is fun, but guess what: It’s boring to look at.

My kids longboard almost every day, but they also skate street and parks. They used to devour Concrete Wave. The last two issues? They got bored with in 5 minutes, and told me straight up they thought the pictures were boring.

I may be wrong (I hope), but I don’t see this as being good for CW, or good for longboarding, or good for skateboarding in general.
Again: Hope I’m wrong.

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