The Venom Skate Podcast (updated 2/19/21)

Posted: 2019-11-05 in Uncategorized

Man, what a find!  In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge skate nerd.  I know the podcast only has one episode posted thus far, but I literally put my life on hold to listen to it.  Zak, of course, is one of the movers and shakers of the longboard industry, and the first episode is him interviewing one of the OG movers and shakers, Roger Hickey.  When I say “literally put my life on hold,” I meant that I had the podcast playing on my car’s stereo, and I drove around for a half hour to listen to more of it.  I grabbed lunch and ate it in my car, just to keep listening.  When I was done with lunch, I kept the podcast on when I went back into the house, and couldn’t stop listening even while attempting to play GTA Online…So, I muted the game’s radio, and simply drove around the countryside.

Covered in this episode were the roots of downhill skateboard racing, street luge, and downhill in the Olympics…I had no idea that they actually had downhill skateboarding as a trial event after the ’92 Barcelona games, for instance.

They talked of bad blood between Hickey and the downhill ‘establishment,’ for lack of a better word.  One of my earliest longboard memories was watching the Gravity Games and the X-Games on TV, and seeing these guys in wild racing suits flying down hills, and it was incredibly interesting to hear Roger’s side of things on the drama surrounding the Gravity Games, the X-Games, the EDI series, and Team Dregs.  Hickey posits that the reason that Team Dregs got all the money and the glory back then was because of Biker Sherlock’s “daddy’s money” (Roger’s words, not mine).  By spearheading the whole thing, Biker got to dictate who advanced in the races, and who was shown on TV (until Biker himself got DQ’d for taking out Lee Dansie in one of the races).  Another supposition that Roger made about Biker was that Biker set himself up as something of a heel; the bad guy who smoked pot, the renegade with wild hair and flames on his suit.

Roger and Zak went into a little bit of a tangent about skateboard wheels, and why urethane is the way that it is.  I’d heard a little bit of this before, but never actually got the details about things like why white or natural urethane wheels are better:  The chemicals in the dyes used (in urethane production) take longer to set up, which affects those molecular chains seen in the Bushing and Wheel posts.  As a result, white or natural wheels grip just a little harder and rebound just a little quicker, giving the rider just a teeny little bit more speed.  Roger even went so far as to say that a urethane wheel would be a better fit for road bikes than a pneumatic rubber tire.

Another hot take from Roger was that Abec11 urethane and Seismic Urethane are one in the same*…though there are many keyboard warriors our there who insist that they’re entirely different.  But, that raises some interesting questions, at least to me.  There was a similar online rumor when Sector9 debuted their Race Formula wheels:  S9 “strongarmed” AEND Industries into giving up Abec11’s Reflex formula.  If there’s a grain of truth in that, as well as a grain of truth in Roger’s hot take, maybe Abec11 isn’t as groundbreaking as they claimed to be (which was yet another online rumor).

I’ll spare my own thoughts on a few of those points, as I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying hard to shed my old vendettas and negative ideas and look more positive on the brands that are still surviving and making this wonderful hobby of mine possible during this industry decline, so I’m doing my best to keep an open mind and support those who still support me.  Venom is one of the companies that’s still keeping it real, and they’re doing a great thing with this podcast!  I highly recommend it if you’re into skateboarding and skateboard history!  I’m definitely looking forward to the next episode.

*It has come to my attention that this statement is patently false. Further reading is here.

  1. […] been able to dive headlong into the Venom Skate Podcast, as I made a review of back in November.  It’s addicting!  Episode 1, which I reviewed above, was so engrossing that I had it on in […]

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