Woah, haven’t updated in awhile. I don’t think anyone reads this anyways so I could probably type anything here. I might just write the new great American novel… but probably not because then I’d have to be relatable and be able to type my thoughts out clearly and communicate ideas effectively. Ya’ll know I ain’t about that life. I’m mostly gonna talk about what Broke has been up to which is mostly what I’ve been up to since this is a one man show still.
I moved to Pittsburgh for about four months and that was an experience. In that short time I skated a lot in the streets and at a few parks. Now I’ve got to say I’ve lived in the Bay Area and thought I had seen some gnarly hills but Pittsburgh has them beat by a lot by being completely unskatable for the most part. They’ve got the steepest street in America in that town and the road conditions are so bad it’d be a suicide mission to bomb. God speed to anyone that tries to GX the hills in Pittsburgh. The concrete situation is pretty bad there as the city is pretty much crumbling, in fact a major bridge collapsed while I lived there completely fucking up traffic in the Squirrel Hill area. I have a lot of respect for the street skaters of Pittsburgh that make it happen everyday there.
I helped put in a rail at Oakland DIY and I think they have a really great crew of folks helping out around there. It’s a small but solid crew for sure and they have a few guys that work with concrete and masonry in their day jobs so they build stuff pretty solid at the DIY. A lot of the people I met in Pittsburgh were pretty blue collar and down to earth people and in a lot of ways reminded me of the Milwaukee skate scene so I felt pretty at home.
Got a part time job at Switch & Signal Skatepark too. I’ve been skating there since it opened whenever I’d come to town and knew about it before it was built. Kerry and I met in Chicago in like 2009 at a vegan restaurant and we’ve been pals ever since. We even lived in Oakland at the same time and skated a bunch together. The saddest thing about leaving Pittsburgh to come back to Milwaukee was quitting the skate park. That park is one of the best ones in the country and is really well designed and planned out on top of it being one of the most inclusive and accepting places I’ve ever skated at with the coolest coworkers. I got spoiled being able to go there whenever I wanted to skate. I even started to teach kids how to skate at some of the skate camps and did two one on one lessons with some kids before I left town. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy teaching people how to skate, I mean, I can barely skate myself so I felt like my advice was kinda lacking but somehow the kids I taught had a fun time with our lessons and so did I. Maybe I’ll do that again sometime out here.
I also frequented Radio Skate Shop and made friends with Eric. Radio is probably my favorite skate shop outside of Sky High. Just a really cool vibe where you can drop in and shoot the shit with people and hang out. Radio also carries all the stuff I like to skate and the shop is run by people who care about skating and want to see it grow but not just in a financial way or an industry way, they want skating to grow as a community too. As skating has gotten more blown out it’s becoming more and more rare to see people in skating with that mentality.
During the pandemic and everything it was hard to keep Broke going. Some of the people I was helping with boards found bigger and better things so I was sort of feeling like Broke was losing a lot of momentum. Stuff was slowing way way down. The video project I was working on didn’t go according to plan and that was sort of disheartening. I think I was looking for something to kickstart some new ideas and new projects for me with this little skateboard company and give me something to be excited about. It hasn’t really happened that way though. I still love skateboarding and do it just about everyday but loving skateboarding isn’t enough to justify doing something that’s essentially a solo art project at this point. BUT!!! I still have a ton of fun doing Broke, and to me that’s the most important thing! I don’t really care if Broke is popular or considered cool. I’d rather just do what I want to do and have fun and put stuff out there in skateboarding that I want to see. So until it stops being fun I’m going to keep doing this dumb little skateboard company.