Van’s Park Series is a wrap.

It’s taken us to 4 Continents. It’s been a worldwide adventure through the highways and by-ways of Australia, Brazil, United States, and finally Europe. The journey on this inaugural Van’s park series started in Melbourne, Australia, 4 months ago. Embassy’s “Beast from the East” Collin Graham visited Oz for the 2nd time in less than a month, to compete in the 1st round of the Van’s Qualifier. Five challengers made the cut to earn a chance to skate in the Semi-finals alongside the 15 Van’s selected Pro’s. Only 20 skaters would be in the semi’s at each stop. Judging was based on “overall impression” which meant MAKE IT LOOK GOOD! Mix up your runs. Don’t start from the same place every time, don’t keep trying the same ole’ run every time, get creative. That’s exactly what Collin did at every stop, he made it look good; tweaking his airs higher than most, using every inch of the park and obstacles, skating fast, putting an exclamation mark on a speed thrills attitude. He skated with total style that captivated the crowd everywhere he went. He made it to the semi’s at every stop, (Except Hasting, Canada, which he had to cancel last minute). Melbourne was the testing ground for the first qualifier held at St Kilda Skatepark. The park was designed by Ozzie legend Renton Miller. It had the Dragon extension that would serve it’s purpose.
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Collin, Boneless one of the Dragon Extension

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Twilight fun in Melbourne!

The qualifier was intense, filled with “Thrills & Spills’. Alex Sorgente cracked his coconut and had to get some staples but joined the contest on Saturday. The Finals were a battle between Pedro Barros & Chris Russell. Chris won the Finals on his 3rd run. The format there was best run counts. You could blow your wad in the 1st 3 runs and bring it home on the 4th. Melbourne was a great time!
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Pedro Barros is in No Holds Barred, Full Throttle, 100 miles an hour, in your face AGGRO ZONE!

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Chris was on point all day!

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Chris Russell takes the 1st stop of the Van’s Park Series

Next stop was Florianopolis, Brazil, home of the infamous “RTMF” crew. This place is always Paradise Wonderland for the skate culture. We didn’t waste anytime and headed to the park straight from the plane. Todd Prince signed up to be part of the posse, so we were in for some good fun.

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straight off the plane! Floripa, Brazil!

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Our Airbnb was the bomb!

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Not a bad deal, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, outside chill area. And a freezer with lots of room for the ICE COLD BEER!

This part of the tour would be the Pedro Barros show! No Shit, I’m not just saying that because some gnarly hood rat Brazilian behind an ally told me to. PEDRO killed it. The home crowd was louder than any contest I’d been to since the early days of S.U.A.S (Shut up and Skate) during the ’80’s. Pedro claimed the home honors on this leg of the tour.

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Pedro was not to be denied on this day!

The Barros clan rules these lands. You can’t go 2 blocks without seeing a Layback Beer ad, or poster, or a picture of Pedro, Felipe, Vi or Murilo repping the brand. The RTMF vibe was the sickest and most positive vibe towards the brotherhood, but take note the Brazilian’s don’t fuck around. You come here you better respect the land, the culture, the people, or you might end up like… well, that’s another story!! After it was all said and done – Italian, Ivan Federico, and American, Kevin Kowalski, joined Pedro on the podium.

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Andre Barros and Steve Van Doreen

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The Brazilian podium Ivan Federico 2nd, Kevin Kowalski 3rd and Pedro Barros 1st

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The Layback Beer Mobile

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Our friends from the Hi Adventure

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Andre Barros adds to the stoke!

Monday was a day to go checkout Pedro’s bowl at the compound.
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Collin, Boneless on some RTMF crete!!!

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Todd Prince with Pedro after the win!!!

The 3rd stop of the tour was a scratch for us, due to unfriendly Canadian rules. Having missed the Hasting’s contest, we were almost sure that the World Championships in Sweden would be impossible to reach. However, onward through the fog to the annual Van’s US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California we went. This place was a zoo. 104 selected skaters from all over the world competed to qualify for 8 spots in the semi’s. Embassy had a posse from Texas on hand for this gathering. Ben Johnson, Zach Castillo & Jake Kirby, joined Collin on this one. We also had Embassy Artist Shane Munce on hand to enjoy in the fun!

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On the way to the qualifier at Huntington with Shane Munce,

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Ben Johnson made the trip to Cali!

Zach Castillo turned out to be a crowd favorite. Zach killed it with his array of lip tricks taking them to revert and his smooth, buttery Madonna’s. His custom grip tape was classic! He impressed all at hand, and kept the Texas Renegade spirit alive and to true form.
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Zach Castillo

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Jake Kirby has been a Texas transplant to Cali, and was stoked to get in the mix, TEXAS PROUD!

Collin qualified 5th. In the Semi’s, he missed the cut by one, finishing 9th for the 2nd contest in a row.
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Collin was truly a crowd favorite, he went higher, and tweaked his arsenal with an urban assault!

After all was said and done – after 8 hours of world class skateboarding, Chris Russell stood on top of the podium to claim his 2nd win of the tour!

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Chris Muscle from the real HB, Hermosa Beach

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Huntington Podium, Oski, Hatchell & Chris


Collin never made it to the finals, but earned enough points for a trip to Malmo Sweden for the first ever Van’s Park Series World Championships. Sweden was sure to be a trip for the ages, billed as the Park World Championships. The top 20 bowl riders, on the raddest park terrain in the world – Grant Taylor, Ronnie Sandavol, Pedro Barros, Alex Sorgente, Chris Muscle, Kevin Kowalski, Ben Hatchell, Greyson Fletcher, all of them. After all was said and done, a .032 separated Collin and Ivan Federico, 8th & 9th place. Ivan went on to kill it in the finals, earning a spot on the podium behind Brazilian charger, and favorite Pedro Barros. The World Champion was none other than our good friend from Florida via Italy, Alex Sorgente. The skating he displayed during his 45 second run was one for the ages. 20 years from now, they’ll still be talking about it. Congrats to EVERYBODY that contributed. Big Texas shout out to Van’s for doing such an amazing job and The Boardr for keeping it all in check, and KEEPING IT FUN.

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Collin was just STOKED to be in such select company!

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Chris Russell killed, barely missing the cut!

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Todd Prince, Marley & GiGi. Embassy crew in Copenhagen, Denmark!

The first ever Van’s Park Series World Champion is Alex Sorgente. He killed all day, Qualifying 1st, and keeping that momentum into the finals to slay the rest of the field. Couldn’t happen to a better, cooler guy. He’s been skating since he could walk. CONGRATS ALEX!!
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Collin Sunday session at Sibbarp Skatepark, Malmo, Sweden

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Nose grind off some chucky shit!

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Collin, Front Blunt, Malmo!

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Old Guys Club! I had to take a selfie with Todd

Special thanks to Steve Van Doren, the ambassador of FUN!!! Looking forward to next year!!
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SIDE BAR NOTE: Contest scoring is subjective to what the judges are looking for on that day. We here at Embassy Skateboards are very proud of Collin Graham and all the effort he put forward to show the world he belongs on one of its biggest stages. Missing the cut by ONE (9th place), at 3 contest this year only gives him more motivation. And we’re not all about contest either. WE’RE ABOUT HAVING FUN. Whether it’s a backyard pool session with 4-5 friends, having a speed line down a rad 14 story parking garage, or finding and sweeping out a fun skate-able ditch, it’s all about the stoke. The Coastal Edge / Van’s East coast Surfing Championships in Virginia Beach this week will feature a vert demo on the beach. Embassy fork crew shredders will be entertaining the crowd. Henry Gutierrez, Collin, Nathan Midgette, and Ronan Livingston will be on hand along with the Van’s Vert Nobles. After VB, it’s on to San Jose, California for the annual World Cup Skateboarding Tim Brauch Memorial, where “Double D” Dave Duncan will be calling the Thrills & Spills. A slew of the Texas Posse will be making the trip as well. Expect Ben Johnson, Zach Castillo and Gary Morris to join the Nor Cal chapter with the Folsom’s and Pat Black. Fun stuff on the radar keeps the PMA switch activated. Embassy Proud

Lee Leal

The Rumble in Ramona is a wrap!!

The Rumble in Ramona is a wrap. Special Huge Texas Shoutout goes out to Darren Navarrette for the invite and the hospitality. Every year this thing gets bigger and better. It’s a place for old friends to unite, and new friends to become acquainted. It’s also a group of souls that would scare most people at the mall. The Ramp had got a face lift, meaning it is now a Red heavy metal surface ala (the Kahuna of the ’80’s in Houston, Texas). We remember it well. The group of attendee’s did not disappoint. It was a special group of “Vert Soldiers”, “Medicine Men” and “Vert Nobles”! the weak, need not apply! From Lincoln to Conroe, from Wilkins to Hewitt, from Holmes to Armanto,from Hendrix to Russell, from Gutierrez to Graham, it was a day where you just knew something special was going down ALL DAY, The Beers, babes, and bands lived up to the billing! Again without these people, this page would be blank, SKELETON KEY, CREATURE SKATEBOARDS, SPITFIRE, THRASHER MAG and numerous others, you know who you are!! To the bands GRINDLINE, LOSI’S band, SALBA’s Powerflex 5, EVERYBODY ROCKED!!! ONCE AGAIN THANKS NAVS!!!!

The Key

The Host with the most The Vertical Vampire

Collin Graham

Dave Duncan and Ben Johnson

Grindline the Band

Dave, Henry and GiGi

Ben & Mercado, Gullwing Army

Madness over the channel

We’re back with some new Graphics and a few more rippers

Greetings all,

It’s been awhile since we last updated the blog.  Our friend and Historian Jorge Blacktop has been released from the Mexican jail. We say “Keep Skateboarding a Crime” and the Mexican Federales will slap your ass in a 6×6 nasty cell, just for grinding some gnarly coping at the vacant hotel. Anyway it’s been 13 months, (We promised not to update the blog in his absence) We will try to keep him sober enough to update this blog on a weekly basis. there’s alot of positive sheez happening, and we’re right in the thick of things.- Lee

Hello Everybody, It’s been a long minute since I’ve been able to scribble some words down. Luckily for me, I bribed the guard to get internet access. I’ve been keeping up with EVERYTHING! We’ve added some new Virginia Beach young guns in the names of Nathan Midgette (That’s right Allen’s son) and Ronan Livingston. On any given day you’ll find Nathan, Ronan, Newest Embassy Pro Collin Graham and the Legendary Henry Gutierrez staying true to the “Fork Crew” Legacy, and that is SKATING EVERYDAY, having a positive vibe, and always having fun! With Mt Trashmore and Williams Farm just a few minutes apart. It’s all about “What kind of tranny do we want to skate today!

Houston has the new Grindline “Spring Skatepark” in the famous Guns’s Point footprint. No worries here, Let the bullets fly. This place is worth the trip, the time, the lines, the fun, the Stoke. Endless Lines! Ben Johnson has a new shape and graphics. Ben has recently been inducted and vested by the Legendary “JAKS” crew. He’s part of the Texas Nomad Chapter. The crew in Nor Cal is holding it strong. the Folsom’s have a vert ramp being built in the backyard. STOKED on all the pics and good vibes from Beeb’s Bowl. The Reuler is Texas tuff with thick skin!! Stay Strong, brother. We’re super stoked to have the Gregory Williams Series be a huge success, and look forward to the new series by Shane Munce. Shane has a tattoo shop in Media PA, Ole’Media Tattoo shop.He’s an Old School Skater, with some OG roots, So if your close to Philly, GO CHECK HIM OUT!! His girl Fallon Ven Detta has been doing some rad photoshoots for the brand. The creative juices are flowing, Everybody has their sealbelt on. Wanna thank all the photographer’s who get in the war zone, to get the shot, Mark Nichols, ( Virginia Beach, Fork Crew), Todd Fuller (Nor Cal), Lori Palmos, ( Everywhere), Dan Sparagna (Everywhere), and everybody else that contributes content for the web, IG, FB, et all. THINGS ARE HAPPENING!!! KEEP ROLLING – Jorge Blacktop

 photo Nathan_509_zpsv7wnucf6.jpg“> Natahan Midgette is the son of Virginia Beach Legend and Friend Allen Midgette. He is quickly becoming a major VERT Soldier!!

Below are a few of the graphics by Shane Munce, The beautiful young lady is Philly’s own Fallon Ven Detta

Here’s Fallon with a few of the Greg Williams Series. Pic by Brad Kinglet

Ronan Livingston, Virginia Beach Local!!

Ben Johnson Backyard pool

Team Poster 2015

Collin Graham, Ramona

Decks and Decks
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Embassy “HMFIC”, John Gibson Retro Old School shape is in production!

It’s “Official” Embassy “HMFIC (Head Mother Fu**** In Charge)has a his old school retro shape from the 80’s in production. Thanks to our good friends at PSStix, this deck will be ready to ride, hang on the wall, our just look at, in about 4-6 weeks. pre-orders on available at the shop!!! This retro deck will be 10″ wide, thats right 10″‘s wide. 32.5″ in Length with a classic 15.1/2” wheel base. Artwork is by resident artist Greg Williams. Only 100 being made, this is truely a limited edition run! RIDE WITH PRIDE!

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Amateur Combi Pool Classic at the Block in Orange County

It was that time year again for the Amateur Pool Classic at the Van’s skatepark at the Block in Orange County. Embassy sent the one and only Collin Graham from Virginia Beach. Collin killed it all week. The contest was off the hook, the 14 and under division was INSANE!! 9 & 10 year olds SLAYING the Combi!! Embassy also sent out Todd Prince to give his moral support. It was a party in the parking lot for much of Todd’s time there, since he REFUSED the spectator fee from vans of $12.00 just to watch during practice. All-n-all it was a great weekend, we went to the Steve Schneer Memorial on Saturday night. Good stories, fun times,below are a few pics from the trip. NEXT STOP…AUSTIN for SXSW

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Collin Graham killed it all week, STOKED

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Embassy Proud!!

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Todd Prince lurks at the Combi

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Roger Folsom, Kat Folsom and Lee at the Steve Schneer Memorial

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LEGENDS!!! Dave, Christian, Todd, Steve and Eddie round off those crew!!!

1st Annual Steve Steadham Spyder Cup

The 1st Annual Spyder Cup went off this past Saturday at the Johnny Romano Galveston Skatepark. This was a killer event in honor of the Ian Tillman Foundation. Props go out to Robert Wagner for puttig on The event. Big Embassy Congrats goes out to Max Peterson for creeping in on that 2nd place in the Sponsored Am Division. Zach Castillo took the top honor’s and Lance Childers managed to get the nod for the remaining spot on the podium. It was a great day, Skateboarding is in full swing with alot of positive vibes flowing on the Island. Look forward to bigger and better things for next year.

Max Peterson defying gravity over the key hole, on his Southside Deck.

Anoth view of Mad Max over the window!!

Zach Castillo has Strong Skating DNA

Steve Seadham and Heath Cherryhomes handled the duties of regulating the madness!

Todd Prince and Heath

A couple loyal Embassy Sweets!!!

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 stands up to billing

This year Embassy was STOKED to be a part of the festivities. First Big props goes to Brent Humphreys and Project Loop for bringing in the Skate/BMX to the FFFFest. The place was rad, Speerco Skateparks put the playground together, with a nice Mini-ramp with a few extentions, a killer Wave vert hollowed out extention caught everyones attention. The art was total Tim Kerr style (Thanks Tim, for suggesting our presence). The challenge was getting everyone together. Most of the Texas crew came out to represent, GIBSON, JOHNSON as in CRAIG, JOHNSON as in Ben ( as in Eggs to Fakie), PRINCE as in TODD, FILLION, CHASON showed up when PETERSON refused to hitch hike to Austin. ANGRY ANDY stumbled in on who knows who’s pass on the guest list and a Motley Crew of others, but I was mostly STOKED on how COLLIN GRAHAM handled himself. The kid from Windsor Woods in Virginia Beach took no prisoners. He killed it EVERY session!!!A couple Rock Star Energy’s and some 99 cent taco’s, there’s no jet lag here!! The Vert Demo was insane with Sergie Ventura, PLG, Elliot Sloan, the Entropy crew, Matt Hoffman’s crew ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Those dudes are WHACKED!! It was a killer time, 3 days of FUN FUN FUN!! Todd almost got in the ring during the ANARCHY WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS, but security stopped him!! You had to be there. the Music had an insane line-up from Snoop Dogg to Cro-mags, to FLAG, DESCENDENTS, MISFITS, SUB HUMANS, ICE-T, BODY COUNT, the list goes for days…THREE DAYS!!!All topped off with SLAYER on a brisky Sunday night at Auditorium Shores in Austin.. Alot of cool Shit went down on the mini ramp, Raney, Reeves, Cody, Ben, Collin, Will, Mike Kelly, Hollywood, and a slew of others invaded the playground, as they served up “Eggs to Fakie”, “One footed Sad Plants” Everybody had to do a “Tex Plant” during one of the sessions, at one point it looked like the TEXAS DEATH MATCH. Next year promises to be Bigger and Better!!! Below are a few pics. Remember the code, WHAT HAPPENS IN AUSTIN, STAYS IN AUSTIN!!! Thats all I can really say about it!!! Save the date next year!!Remember the Alamo!!!

 photo FFFF_PROJECT_510_zpsf811dd96.jpg Big TEXAS high 5’s go out to Brent Humphreys and Project Loop for putting on the whole Skate Demo. None of the events would have happened without them!!! TEXAS IS THE REASON!!!

 photo FFFF_CG_2013_15_510_zpsdd681af6.jpg” Todd Prince trying to Measure up, Collin Graham refuses to comply!

 photo FFFF_BJ_05_510_zps1f696996.jpg Ben Johnson lives up to the billing!!!

 photo FFFF_BJ_510_zps72561b59.jpg Ben Johnson!!

 photo FFFF_CG_2013_19_510_zpsdcbc667f.jpg Collin Graham, Has no Mercy, photo by:John Leach

 photo FFFF_DESCENDENTS_Wheelchair_zpsae6cf771.jpg The Mosh Pit Love during Descendents

 photo FFFF_Milo_510_zpsfa48ff45.jpg Milo killed it, Descendents had a KILLER set!

 photo FFFF_DESCENDENTS_01_510_zps23700d50.jpg AUSTIN came out and represented

 photo FFFF_OLSON_CRAIG_510_zps2097e0d8.jpg Steve Olson, Craig Johnson and Dave Nobody

 photo FFFF_KERR_510_zps3ff3fed9.jpg Fillion, Tim Kerr and Lee!!! Tim did an AWESOME job on all the art for the ramps and street course!

 photo FFFF_CG_2013_12_510_zps0b5a5a49.jpg Collin Graham with a Chicken Wing

 photo FFFF_Whichwich_TP_zps1a602343.jpg Todd Prince looking for a new Food Sponsor!!!

 photo FFFF_KF_510_zps959f726b.jpg Ken Fillion, ARGGGG

 photo FFFF_TEX_zps2c45123a.jpg Gibson and the girls!!

 photo FFFF_CJ_TP_510_zps0a3ad6a1.jpg Craig & Todd

 photo FFFF_Flag_KM_510_zps3e83c759.jpg Keith Morris, FLAG!!!

 photo FFFF_TEX_WES_510_zpsd29be1eb.jpg Tex & Wes

It was a KILLER weekend, There so much that happened, that I can’t remember. I do remember needing a Bloody Mary every morning. Again a big THANK YOU to Brent Humphreys at Project Loop, Tim Kerr, The Speerco crew, Everybody who contributed to this weekend, Todd for not hurting the wrestlers, Until next time. RIDE WITH PRIDE!!!

Miles Long
Embassy Skateboards
Regional Branch Manager
Texas Squadron NBR420