Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Andrew Sayer's column x Rod Ferens: The Winnipeg Style OG

Without style being a defining factor in skating, who knows what kind of circus professional skateboarding would be like? Huf's ollie. Gino's push. Gonz's creativity. Appleyard's couch style. Reynold's FS flip. Some just have it, while other's work on it for a lifetime without the desired results. Winnipeg OG'er Rod Ferens was born with it. Sweats and white tee for life with the ill kicks to match, Rod has been doing it proper since the ‘80s and has the style, confidence, and board control to back it up. Never one to hate on different steez, he's acquired the skate maturity to know what looks good on a deck. Rod gave us the low-down on how to achieve the perfect push (hint: if you weren't born with it, you're out of luck), the move from the Prairies to Vancouver, and being a life-long shoe head, his top choice in kicks of the non-skate brand variety. Leave the safety gear at home kids, and play on playa...

"Hailing from T-Bay, Rod Ferens started spending the summers at his dad's place in the early ‘90s, which happened to be in my Winnipeg neighbourhood. I met him while skating the local school, and we quickly became friends. It didn't take long for him to become a full-time ‘Peg resident, join our Green Apple crew, and become a well-known skater in the city. He's still one of my faves after all these years." -Frank Daniello

What's up Rod? Let's start if off back in the day. Give me a run-down of the early days in Winnipeg.
In ‘88, Winnipeg was all about visiting my father who lived in Winnipeg while I lived in Thunder Bay. My first memory was skating the double curb at Tyndall Park with Frank Daniello; I was skating a Hensley. I think Frank was skating a Tom Knox board. That was my first Green Apple experience.

Have things changed at all with the Skate Plaza being put in?
Yeah, it's totally different for me with the plaza now. I like the plaza because I can actually skate with friends and have fun. To me I like skating with my boys, or just hanging with the crew. That's what I like the most about skating. I could care less who did what, unless you're my boy. Plus there is no kick out.

When did you make the move to Vancouver?
I moved away to Vancouver in 2002, I think, actually to skate and look at life differently. I felt at that time there was nothing left for me in Winnipeg. When I left Winnipeg every one of my friends I skated with either quit or moved away. The scene was pretty much dead to me. I never really gave too much thought to moving back.

I know the weather isn't ideal for skating in the Peg. How many months a year can you skate outdoors?
Well, pretty much you skate street from mid-April to maybe November. Then there is the Edge Skatepark, which is run through a bunch of Jesus worshipers. They used to stop you for 30 minutes from skating to push the Jesus on you, they'd make you wear helmets and its fucking mayhem trying to skate that shit! Even if I visit and go skate there, I wan to focus my board and kill everyone. It's pretty much a skate mosh pit. That park would run, like, two times a week for dudes our age; the only way you wanted to skate it was when you're jonesing hard.

You're known as one of the OG style skaters. What makes a rider have good style?
Age. Old dudes who have skated long look good. Confidence and board control is sick as fuck; you can just tell when a dude can run his board. It's ill. Arms, also.

Rod's style in full effect:

What gives a rider bad style?
Helmets, wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads... any of that shit.

What makes a good push?
Either you have one or you don't. There is no workin' on that one.

I remember you saying you only -- or greatly prefer -- filming with Ry Guy. Do you only film with Ry Guy? Why is this?
Ry Guy is the shit! He don't give a fuck what he's filmin, as long as you see it workin'. He's mellow; he'll film it ‘till he runs out of tape. Ry is just rad, ‘cause he's a real bro and he's fam. But now that he's in ‘Peg I try to film with others, but it's hard.

Break down Green Apple for everyone.
Green Apple started out as a crew from the north end of Winnipeg. Roan Barrion started filming dudes with a piece of shit camera back in the day. Roan made vids for the crew and didn't really think too much about it. He pretty much just did it for our Green Apple fam. When I came to Winnipeg back in ‘88 it seemed like there was the Sk8 team, which was sick, and there was the Green Apple family. Things started to get a little more than just a fun vid to do for Roan, which I think Roan started to get annoyed when dudes would always be callin' him to film; that's when it started getting serious and turning into a Winnipeg vid. Roan did a few more vids, then he was pretty much over it. Ry Guy stepped in at that point and started doing it, he wanted to keep the whole Green Apple family name going. At first Ry was filming just us -- McD, myself, Paul Spencer, and Mick Lamoine. Now it has blown up and is sicker than ever. And now, my boy McD has taken it to the next level and the Green Apple skate shop, which all skaters in Winnipeg need to support. Being part of the old Sk8 family back in the day, this is what the Winnipeg skate scene needs again.

Rod's part in Green Apple's 2006 release, Modern Love :

You've been a Nike head for years, always skating in the illest Jordan's and what-not. Where you at with that these days?
I was always down with rockin' Nike and Jordan shit: always. It was the whole move to Vancouver, which opened my eyes as far as actually being able to get the sick shit to skate. I still love skating an ill pair of Nike's, I love looking down and seeing that shit. Right now I'm skating some Jordan 1 Phat's and enjoying them quite a bit.

What kind of kit are you into when you're skating?
I still love skating in huge sweats and white tee. It's so much fun... It's kinda played, but fuck it. I've also been skating this new 4 Star denim, which stretches all dope. I really can't run the tight shit.

You think this look's best for everyone, or is it just your personal style? What do you think about the whole tight pants stee?
It's a personal thing. If dudes think tight shit is dope, than good for that dude. I can't run tight stee; it's just not my thing. Everybody likes different shit.

You're a married many these days. Congrats. Has this has any effect on the skating?
Nah, my wifey backs me skating and knows it can make me really happy when I have a good day of skating. She knows how much skating means to me.

Rod's Top Fives

Skater style:
1) Gonz
2) Gino
3) Huf
4) Keenan
5) Mulder

Hip hop style:
1) Stevie
2) Marcus
3) Pupecki
4) Wade D
5) Trav Stenger

1) Steve Harnish
2) Jai Periera
3) John Erhart
4) Chris Steggles
5) McD

Non-skate shoes for skating:
1) Jordan 1
2) Dunks
3) Court Force Classics
4) Stan Smiths (Goodfoot, Undefeated, Huf, DQM Colabs)
5) Gazelles

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Frank Daniello's column x Open House: The Green Apple Skateboard Shop

"The way I can describe Green Apple: it was the coolest group of skaters in Winnipeg, in the early ‘90s," Habitat Pro Mike McDermott says over the phone.

The Green Apple legacy began from the mind of Roan Barrion, and led to a series of skate videos showcasing an expanding Winnipeg crew, including the likes of McDermott, in the 1990s. The series featured 5 VHS videos that were presented at small premieres and sold locally.

"There wasn't anybody making consistent Winnipeg videos in the early ‘90s," he explains, "and I think it really brought the scene together as far as having something to focus for and as far as having something for kids around the city to look forward to seeing. Green Apple was and is grassroots. Nobody made any money and nobody thought of any sort of return. Skaters have the mindset of "check me out", and it was all in the name of that."

By 2000, Roan Barrion was ready to pass the Green Apple torch and pursue other projects. He cut his final Green Apple video, Street Magic, which featured Rod Ferens and McDermott. It was filmed entirely by the talented Ryan McGuigan. Soon after, McGuigan took hold of the GA video legacy and, along with McDermott, relocated to Vancouver, eventually releasing Green Apple's Modern Love in 2005 and Supper's Ready (a 2-disc set showcasing nearly all the GA videos) in 2007 featuring a Canada-wide cast.

With this crash-course in Green Apple's history hopefully bringing you up to speed, the following Open House Q&A with Mike McDermott sheds light on the latest chapter: Winnipeg's Green Apple Skateboard Shop.

What made you decide to move Green Apple forward into both a brand and shop?

I was doing my thing and skateboarding's good to me, and to all of us, so really the next step was to take it back to the roots, which are in Winnipeg. You can say Green Apple all across Canada and they know the name at this point, but they don't quite know it as a brand or a product. So we wanted to take it to that step, and have Green Apple become a centre. We wanted to do a shop, and this is where we're at now: The Green Apple Skateboard Shop. I thought of doing this on New Year's eve, on a plane, when it just turned to 2008. I'm always coming back to Winnipeg from wherever I travel, so I just thought, "Enough of this back-and-forth, I'm just going to go to Winnipeg and open up a skate shop in the name of Green Apple." Decision made. I wanted to leave Vancouver in May 2008 and have the shop open in Winnipeg by May 2009.

How did Habitat help The Green Apple Skateboard Shop?

We had to come up on a logo to refresh the Green Apple image and come up with a new look. We spent a lot of time with Joe Castrucci [Habitat's art director], who helped us with that. It was collaboration between me, Ryan, and Joe. I wanted to come up on a logo that wouldn't just appeal to skaters, but to the masses as well. I wanted the logo to be unisex: I wanted girls to think it was cute, and I wanted boys to think it was cool. We also got Habitat/Green Apple collaborative decks made. Everybody calls their shop decks "blanks", but they're not blanks by any means. I didn't want anybody to call our deck a "blank"—I want it to be called a Green Apple board. And if you pick up a Green Apple board, you're picking up a Habitat board. You know the quality's there, and that's what you want. So we got together with Habitat again, and Joe designed a beautiful graphic that showcased their logo and our logo on the board. They look so good on the wall, man.

How did the skate community in Winnipeg rally behind you at the beginning?

I couldn't of asked for a better community to open a skateshop in. People thought I wasn't really living here, but I was. I finally let the cat out of the bag that I was here to stay and that I was opening up a skateshop—people were hyped. I got the space on 836 Corydon Ave, and the place was a f**kin' disaster zone. I'd be cleaning up, and go for a coffee, and there would be 3 skaters from the scene in there helping when I came back. One thing I've learned from this experience is that people respect you more if you ask for help, and when you're doing something you believe in, people smell it. My friends were in here helping; my dad and his friends, and even the landlord. Colin Lambert's mom was helping; Jared Will and Sam Klassen helped us huge. This place was hoppin'. Roan Barrion buys and sells furniture now, and has his own business, Modern Love, and he donated some furniture to the shop—a nice bench for people to try shoes on, and some chairs.

Who's on the team?

Myself, Travis Stenger, Jason Crolly, Colin Lambert, Sam Klassen, Justin Basset, Mike Vince, Aaron Rosenblatt, Jeremy Gelfant, Tyler Gaucher, Chris Rossong, and Nick Serduletz.

You can find out more about the shop via and see more videos on the Green Apple YouTube channel right here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Green Apple x Matix Clothing present "Lord of the Lines"

Saturday July 18th

Registration 12pm

Contest 1pm - 5pm

Earl Grey Community Centre 360 Cockburn St N

View Larger Map

1 Manual Pad

1 Grind Box

1 Flat Bar

Best line wins $500

+ Prizes / Product Toss

BBQables by FAZZO

Music by DJ Co-Wrekt

After Party @ Bar Italia 737 Corydon Avenue
(18+ Sorry Kids)








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