Orchard Battle at the Barrics: Participant Overview/Analysis pt. 2


Continuing our week dedicated to Sunday's Battle at the Barrics 3 contest, we have below our predictions and analyses for the "East" bracket. Our predicted winner will then be announced on Saturday, rounding out our bracket (much of which we left up in the air because three people doing one bracket was bound to be difficult). Don't forget, it's 3:00 p.m. at North Star Bar across from the Garden and we'll see ya'll there!


Participant: Eric Dasaro

Riding For: Orchard Skateshop

Strengths: Speed, pop, fresh line ups.

Weaknesses: Ceilings may be too low for Eric to properly pop shove it.

Notable Achievement: Last part in Stone Soup, fakie frontside heelflip noseslide at MFA ledges (RIP, kinda)

Predicted Placing: Will win first round, predicting an incredible match against Comini in quarter finals.


Participant: Erik Pickard

Riding For: Orchard Skateshop (but secretly smltalk.com)

Strengths: Drinking beer, doing tricks that no one else can do.

Weaknesses: Free beer, “chicks with sweet butts”

Notable Achievement: Once called out by Dane Burman on instagram for “bad form” on a no grab benihana, back foot casper flips.

Predicted Placing: First round loss to Dasaro :(


Participant: Eddie Comini

Riding For: Theory

Strengths: Former competitive yo-yo-er

Weaknesses: Alcohol, extreme height

Notable Achievement: 4 ½ foot half cab flip, ability to kick a beer can off of Burke’s head

Predicted Placing: Goes against Dasaro in quarter finals. No idea who wins that.


Participant: Dave Begonis

Riding For: Eastern Boarder

Strengths: Being one of the most likeable people on Earth, Smoking more weed than humanly possible, Malden Park Spine.

Weaknesses: See above strength

Notable Achievement: nollie big spin Melrose 12, back 5-0 front 180 the electrical box at Tootsie Roll ledge, once smoked a blunt containing over one ounce worth of pot in one sitting.

Predicted Placing: Will lose to Comini first round.


Participant: Nnamdi Ihenetu

Riding For: Eggs

Strengths: Raised by Hyde Park Skatepark, hardflips both ways, switch frontside heels, Drake.

Weaknesses: Nollie 540 inward heelflips...can anyone really be prepared for something like that?

Notable Achievement: Switch hardflip late frontside 180 on flat, kickflip that set along Storrow is bonkers.

Predicted Placing: Going to be very close, whoever wins will likely beat Burke though. ;)


Participant: Jason Ross

Riding For: Max Hesh

Strengths: Lives next to North Shore TF “The Market Skatepark”, is used to skating wooden floors (he will not be rusty). Has been known to bust out a double heelflip or two if he has to.

Weaknesses: Too many tricks to choose from → Mental breakdown???

Notable Achievement: Once skated to “She Blinded Me With Science”

Predicted Placing: See Nnamdi’s predicted placing.


Participant: Jeff Burke

Riding For: Theory

Strengths: A tactical player, Jeff Burke approaches each game intuitively with the poise and consistency to support his strategy.

Weaknesses: Tre flips (sorry Jeff).

Notable Achievement: SMLTalk SOTY14, put out ~36 parts last year, one of the fastest flipping varial heels in history.

Predicted Placing: Losing to winner of Nnamdi/J-Ro's match.


Participant: Ariel Perl

Riding For: Concepts

Strengths: Legend status, “The Ariel Twirl”

Weaknesses: Dirty water swimming.

Notable Achievement: Switch pop shove nosegrind fakie bigspin out, multiple plunges into Boston Harbor.

Predicted Placing: After what may perhaps be the most entertaining game of the entire bracket, Ariel will ultimately lose to Burke. It’ll be an insane game though, full tallboys encouraged for that match up.

Picky to be announcing our predicted winner tomorrow! And if you haven’t done so there’s still time to fill out and submit a bracket of your own...


Orchard Battle at the Barrics: Participant Overview/Analysis


Well everyone, it's that time year again. The 3rd annual Battle at the Barrics event is going down this Sunday, March 15th, at the North Star Bar and we here at the SMLTalk HQ could not be more excited. There is not an event in the city that means more to Boston skateboarders than this one. With flatground and ledge skating as the undisputed lifeblood of our skate scene, you would be hard pressed to find an honor higher than being the BATB champion. Even being considered for the competition is quite flattering, though it has been known to cause some sleepless nights for skaters terrified of duffing the obligatory first kickflip in front of all their friends, a moment they will surely never live down (right Eddie? ;) ). All that being said, we have very high hopes for this year's competition (besides Rojo) and we have a feeling this year will be the best yet for BATB. We're so excited in fact, we're dedicating this whole week to BATB analysis and predictions, starting first with skaters from the "West" bracket. Feel free to use this information in filling out your own bracket's or don't, because we're honestly not that well informed. Regardless of what happens, we're stoked for everyone that's competing this year and this stands as a small reminder as to why supporting your local skateshop is always so important: local shops do rad shit...duh.

Anyway, let the wild speculation begin, and we will announce our predicted winner this Friday! Good luck to everybody involved! (this excludes Rojo, he's totally fucked, and we're not willing to blow our bracket just 'cause he's skating for us.)


Participant: Rob "RoJo" Ridge

Riding For: smltalk.com

Strengths: None

Weaknesses: Anxiety, food, doesn’t skate much

Notable Achievements: Kinda landed a switch hardflip once, can eat a whole pizza by himself in one sitting.

Predicted Placing: Dead Last

wisdom brothers

Participant: John Wisdom

Riding For: Concepts

Strengths: Can do pretty much every trick possible.

Weaknesses: They're all strengths too.

Notable Achievements: Switch tre flip noseslide, also recent line at Navy Yard is beyond comprehension.

Predicted Placing: Eliminated by Delaney in 2nd round


Participant: Brian Delaney

Riding For: RAW

Strengths: ‘Most Likely to be Seen at Eggs’ 2014

Weaknesses: “you know you’re high when you lose your phone” - Brian Delaney

Notable Achievements: Backside tailslide while drinking a Dunks hot coffee, varial heelflip nosegrind.

Predicted Placing: Eliminated by Dana in Semi-finals

J cal

Participant: Justin Callahan

Riding For: Pueblo 2012

Strengths: Skated to “Sara” by Fleetwood Mac in Palomar II

Weaknesses: Secretly hoping there will be a flatbar.

Notable Achievement: Filmed a part entirely in camo pants/fleece lined jeans, fakie ollie switch front blunt JP Park flatbar.

Predicted Placing: Eliminated by Delaney in the first round


Participant: Andrew Whittier

Riding For: Squeaks

Strengths: Always hyped, rolls good spliffs, switch pop shove its.

Weaknesses: But is he too nice?

Notable Achievements: Nollie frontside 180 switch 5-0 switch backside big spin out (wow), switch heelflip frontside 5-0.

Predicted Placing: Honestly too close to call.

Shawn mac

Participant: Shawn Macmillan

Riding For: Corner Store

Strengths: Style, backside flips, trick selection

Weaknesses: No bump to bars in BATB ;)

Notable Achievements: Hardflip at Metals is honestly so fucked, all Eggs Report footage is gold.

Predicted Placing: As noted above, this is going to be one of the best games of this bracket so we're unfortunately unable to make a prediction at this time.


Participant: Dana Ericson

Riding For: RAW

Strengths: BATB 1 winner, BATB 2 finalist, one of the best skateboarders alive.

Weaknesses: Feels imprisoned by pants, could skate better in jean shorts.

Notable Achievement: Fakie tre switch backside tailslide, switch tre frontside tailslide, the list goes on.

Predicted Placing: Will reach finals.


Participant: Curt Daley

Riding For: Concepts

Strengths: You saw that Transworld Check Out right?

Weaknesses: Playing Dana first game (will be best game of entire bracket tho).

Notable Achievement: Once STARTED a line out at Eggs with a kickflip backside noseblunt. Switch backside tailslide gap to barrier, ollie by Biddy's is absolutely insane

Predicted Placing: Knocked out first round by Dana (basing this off Dana's winning legacy in this contest, going to be a VERY good game.)

So there you have it, the official SMLtalk West bracket. East coming Thursday.

Have you filled out yours?


Palomar: The 0260 Tour

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=087NMAmVSZI] An iPhone Tour Video by Dave Lewis, featuring:

Alex Nivison, Brian Leff, Ali Atmaca, Danny Falla, Chris Keiley, Kevin Emerson, Tim Jarman, Rob Collins, Paul Collins, Bobby Murphy, Aaron Randi, Mukasa Muburimusoke, Mike Laybold and Friends, Scott Stevens, Frank Elizondo, Dean Yoramitzu, Tim Oliver, Matt Lane, Sean Brooks, Evan Oppedisano, Leland Taylor and Friends, Dave Sullivan, Alek Zalewski, Bill Ryan, Neil O'Brien, Brent Eastman, Justin Callahan, Ryan Stiffler, Jeff Burke, Tom Kruper, Pat Donfro, Rob Hall, Steve Hamblin, Erik Pickard, Rob Ridge, Ray Trotta, Chris Botsch, Phil McCormick, Booger Boyz, Jon Harrington Dave Lewis, Jeremy Vito Ramirez, Isaac Hendrickson and Michael Chew.

Special thank you to everybody who donated clips, Justin Callahan for graphics assistance, and to Michael Chew for general, daily inspiration, and for pioneering Palomar.

Dana Ericson Presents: head_crack


It's not every day that you get a two and a half minute clip featuring some of the most venerable Boston locals in recent history. Dana released this edit of guys like John Wisdom, Dutchmaster Delaney, Rob Cabral Skategod, Ariel Perl, and more. Notes from the SMLTalk staff:

1) Dana puts himself in that rare category of people who can make a lazer flip look good.

2) How on earth did Ariel boost that air out of the Orchard ramp? (RIP the brown layer days)

3) Keep an eye out for Delaney in the SOTY runnings 2015.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyZ6Y2Jl8mc&feature=youtu.be]

Wide Angle Vision - Rob Collins Photo Exhibition


SMLTalk family member, Rob Collins, is having an art show at Orchard Skateshop in Allston on February 21st. To alleviate your stress, we put together a quick pro/con analysis to help you decide whether or not to be there. Pros:

1) Free PBR

2) All of your friends will be there

3) Maybe there will be a photo of you! (probably not, but who knows!)

4) If you play your cards right you can get Bro's autograph

5) Free PBR


1) It's indoors, and warm

2) There's a miniramp

3) Free PBJs. Just kidding, but there will be free PBR (BYOPBJ)

Well, as it turns out all of the cons are really just pros, so we'll see you there.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_AdU8wpyNY&feature=youtu.be]

2014 Part 1, A Short Film by Brent Eastman


photo: Steve Hamblin Friend of SMLTalk and Skate Nerd of the Year Nominee, Brent Eastman, stopped by HQ with the first installment of his 2 part recap of 2014. If you delight in footage of J Cal (which you do), enjoy a feel good edit (which you hopefully do), and have some spare time (which you definitely do with the forthcoming storm) then this edit is perfect for you. Watch it now, and then nestle up by the fire with some friends, family, maybe few bottles of wine ;) and really take it in.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGywns8xA98&feature=youtu.be]

Brett Star Iphone Edit: Vol. 1


City People alum and real estate mogul, Brett Star, has put together a little iphone edit for your weekend enjoyment. It should be said that almost half of the edit is a marathon line by Mr. Devin Woelfel, a stark reminder of his injury (godspeed on your recovery, sir) and his ridiculous knack for flatground. If there's a Flatground SOTY category for next year's SMLTalk Awards, Waffle would undoubtedly be a strong frontrunner. We've been really heavy on local video content this week, we promise we'll get some writing stuff together for next week. Regardless, thank you to everyone who contributed videos to the site, it makes our job a little bit easier when we're not as caught up as we should be. Despite currently being in the throes of winter, it's nice looking back on warmer times. Spring in two months!! (kinda, not really)

-SMLTalk Staff

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTstCKNyJiM]

Happy Weekend, ya'll.

DAD Clothing: "Shake Dunks" Video

Enter the mind of Christopher Botsch. You may remember C-Botsch as our selected "Crowd Favorite" winner at the SMLTalk Awards and if you haven't had a chance to see him skate in person, his footage in this edit is a fraction of what he'll do on the way to a spot. His line at the MFA ledges (RIP, kinda) is actually a contender for one of the best ever filmed there, right alongside Dasaro's and Mark Suciu's. Chris loves skateboarding and he loves Dunkin Donuts even more. This edit is a bit longer than the first DAD promo we posted on the site and includes a full Abe "Orange Man" Dubin part*...there's much more skating in this one.

We hope you enjoy this edit and remember: shake your fuckin' dunks, dude.

-SMLTalk Staff

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5OVssMHHVg]


*Just want to mention that Abe has already dropped two full parts and may already be leading the 2015 SOTY race just two weeks into the new year...just sayin'.

SMLTalk Awards 2014: A Semi-Comprehensive Recap


A very special night. On Saturday, January 3rd, 2015, SMLTalk hosted it's first event, the SMLTalk Awards for 2014. (We realize that based on the dates this may be confusing, but please bear with us). Anyhow, before running through the event, let's thank some people.

Orchard Skateshop - for always backing us, as well as playing an integral role in getting this event set up, and getting everyone there.

CONS -  for providing shoes to all of the winners.

Michael Chew/Armin Bachman/James DeRocher/Myles Underwood/Jesse Ciulla - if you still haven't seen Palomar II, Softhits, Snot Rockets and the Chinistix Promo, well, I guess it's only been like a couple days so you still have time. I'll come back to this in a week and berate you if you're still out of the loop.

Nick Mola - for hand-carving the amazing, sheik, sexy trophies that were received by the winners.

Ryan Stiffler - for helping edit/produce videos which played for the nominees.

Erik Pickard - for playing the technical assistant, and also for looking so damn good in that suit.

Alex Filho - for MCing this event, and making everybody about 10x more hyped than they would've been otherwise, heaven knows none of us could have done it.

ALRIGHT, enough of that mushy shit, here's how it went down:

Booger Boys started it up with Snot Rockets, a great recap of the youth scene in Boston, which, as a work of genius, used a remix of the SpongeBob Squarepants theme for the intro.

Next, Armin Bachman presented SOFTHITS, the first of his new project, using one MiniDV tape at a time, to some smooth music.

After that, Ryan Stiffler premiered the 9th installment of his iPhone video series, Feat Dion, Brooks, Rob Collins and more. Beautifully edited to Oxy Cotton by Lil' Wyte.

NEXT - we had the serious rap promo for the Chinistix video, by Jesse Ciulla

Then Michael Chew wrapped up the videos with the PALOMAR II Premiere, which obviously left people crying tears of sweet joy.

From here we moved on to the awards. Rather than talk about it in detail, we'll just post the nomination videos and tell you who won.

Skate Nerd of the Year - Mike Fork

King of the Model - Frankie Nash

Best Monochromatic Skater - Abe Dubin

Most Likely to be Seen at Eggs - Brian Delaney

Photographer of the Year - Liam Annis

Filmer of the Year - Lee Madden

Skated the Least - Mike Laybold

Best Young Dude - Ismael Diallo

Crowd Favorite - Chris Botsch

SOTY - Jeff Burke

Congratulations to everybody that won, THANK YOU to everybody that came. See you all next year!

Here are the photos!

***And here are the nomination videos, it starts up at around 15 seconds, the winners' videos play twice, and when it goes to the logo, skip about 10 seconds. Way to lazy to chop it up and post them individually, or really do any more editing than was already done. Enjoy.***

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCrtpqJ-xQM]

Boston Spot Directory: With Phil McCormick and Brett Star

An Overview of Boston Skate Flatground Spots


Library flat


With flat ground being as important as it is here in New England, it is no surprise that the city of Boston widened the area known as Copley flat in front of the library to accommodate the numerous local college kids who are lost once the fountain is filled every spring, and they realize they are not welcome at any other spot in the city. People are still talking about Kenny Hughes' untouchable front side 180 as if it had just happened last weekend.


copley fountain

Turn your perfect balance on when you get to the fountain, because there is less than two full pushes to skate this manny pad, and the loose cobblestone serve as perfect landmines. Full of water and trash during the warm months, and full of college kids (also trash) during the cold months trying to get noticed and be on Orchard’s junior varsity squad.

Bust Factor;

library flat high( but you’re good after 7).

Fountain; low

Tip from a local; great people watching spot if you don’t even feel like skating. Oh, you got kicked out of Copley flat- don’t worry you can always make your way down the street to 500 flat, where there’s actually nothing to skate except flat, and as a bonus, its even a wind tunnel. Why do people even skate here?

Prudential 17 360 prudential

Ahhh fuck it- go for broke.

Charles Benches


Research has proven that  there exists a clear correlation between the rise in popularity of spandex pants with that of people skating the Charles benches. These rounded and granite benches along the picturesque Charles river have taken a beating over the years, but still remain both unknobbed or a bust.

Bust Factor; low

Tip from a local; grab some beers and have a seat at the “chill” rock after a session.

Eggs eggs The spot you have been anxiously awaiting. Far and away the most skated spot in Boston- perfect flat ground (with a huge water hazard) and overly waxed ledges. If you happen to be lucky enough to see Waffle skating, you may be witness to some groundbreaking maneuvers. Ariel, Boston’s own version of the Gonz, has recently been sighted leading Segway tours through the area (@buddhabless).  The only stair set you will ever see Bostonians skating - three stairs never looked so big….until you were this high. Think you got a new trick you wanna try here? “Fuhhhget about it”- Dana Ericson did it switch 2 years ago (in some Fila’s). If you’re curious as to who is currently murdering eggs, either look up #eggsreport or start following @dutchmasterdelaney.

WARNING; do not be intimidated by the locals; they are actually kind of friendly, but just too stoned to actually give a fuck about you and your weekend filming mission in the city. So please please please do not complain about getting vibed out just because nobody asked you for your autograph.

Bust factor;low- people have gotten tickets in the past, but you're usually OK- just run.



Pretty iconic ledges and manual pad made famous initially by Joey Pepper (a la Ryde or Die) and the Wisdom brothers (al a every video they’ve ever been in). This place pretty much sucks unless you know what you’re getting into before you get there. The ledges - only skated presently by Nate Keegan still grind really good….so he says. Otherwise, its yet another flat ground spot- only at this one you skate in circles like you’re at a fuckin hockey rink. Your best bet is to grab a beer, roll a blunt, and enjoy all the harbor has to offer.

Bust Factor; medium

Tip from a local; “Welcome to Boston, Aquarium cracks WILL  KILL YOU.”

Rose Kennedy Greenway

rose kennedy

Post Raw video, this spot should again become the big dig and be re-converted back into a highway. Spanning most of Boston’s downtown, this spot offers an array of flat ground so vast it has also been known as the most expensive construction project Boston has ever seen. There are several ledges, manual pads, low-to-highs, high-to-lows, benches, carousels, open markets and homeless debauchery….but fahk you - unless its flat ground.

Bust Factor; medium- depending on what stretch you’re at.

Tip from a local; no tips here-enjoy the flat.

Chinatown Rocks

Chinatown rocks

We’ve never skated these before, and they look ridiculous on film, but they do still exist.

Bust Factor; none.

Tip from a local; you are in Chinatown- it wreaks.



Owned by the good homies Sean and Darrah, featuring master chef and cheese artist aficionado, Dan Daley (@dandaley84) - located near a handful of skate spots, and often host of many a video premiere. If you come to Boston and don’t get a beer and a burger here- you’re an idiot, kehd.

Bust Factor; hi, you’re already drunk.

Tip from a local; good fah you guy, ya still wasted.

Windowsills/Downhill ledges flat ground

pj windows

As east coast Seth (@sethoon) famously said to a weekend warrior trying to film a trick, “why bother filming that? PJ kickflipped into that years ago.” This spot featured some of the best marble ledges in Boston. They have since knobbed, unknobbed, and reknobbed these ledges, which is to everyones benefit if you have ever watched PJ Ladd’s wonderful horrible life or Robbie Gangemi’s part in Zoo York Mixtape.

Bust factor; high

Tip from a local; Biddy’s is a stone’s throw away.

Hospital Banks

hospital banks

Often overlooked (because of its non-flatground attributes), these banks are still as good as you remember them in the 90’s. believe it or not, someone has wallridden to boardslide down the rail at this spot, so quit your claim chowder.

Bust factor; low

Tip from a local; free methodone next door.

Shingles shingles

If you thought hanging out under bridges was for bums..well then you were right, or you just wanted to skate a curb on top of a retarded bank with several curbs before each bank- you have found your mecca known as shingles.

Bust Factor; you’re under a bridge.

Tip from a local; head on over to the seaport ledge (over mulch gap) once you’re done shooting up with the locs.

Navy Yard navy yard Take the ferry from aquarium (long wharf) over to the Naval Yard for a great ledge skating experience. Feast your eyes on the abundance of high rise buildings and the USS Constitution- the largest floating waste of money that the city has to offer. Marvel at all the spot has to offer, and enjoy a lovely conversation with the locals who think they own the public space known as the Naval Yard.

Bust Factor; we got a solid 45 minutes in the other night with no issues

Tip from a local; this spot gets skated in Palomar 2!

Watertown Skatepark


Welcome to Watertown Skatepark, a.k.a The T.F., a.k.a. A Basketball Court With a Box, a.k.a. The Skid Mark of Skateparks. The absolute worst skatepark in recorded human history, Watertown Skatepark is a safe haven for people over the age of 13 that still ride and do tricks on scooters. However, it's major benefit comes in the form of a perfect box that is constantly being moved to the worst parts of the park, usually where the crack's are the biggest, a preference of the locals. By lowering your expectations you can have an extremely fun time here, it has on a number of occasions been the intended "warm up" spot, only to become the "only" spot for the day. A favorite for the under 15 and mid to upper 20 crowd's, alike.

Bust Factor; low

Tip from a local; the RMV is across the street, so it's somewhere to go while you wait for 4 hours.

- Phil and Brett

SMLtalk Profile: Joe Banda


Joe is an artist, skateboarder, and SMLtalk family member living in Beverly, MA, but more importantly he's a normal guy with a real full-time job. Joe is also pretty much the nicest guy ever so we wanted to pay tribute to him by premiering his Anchor Hardware mini-ramp part, and showcasing some of the artwork that he does.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjOmSkxSRmI]


"the joust"




Shirts are available at the Anchor Hardware site

Joe is also involved with the building of the Market Indoor Skatepark. We know how classy you are, but save the money you were gonna spend on that bottle of Tisdale and help find yourself a spot to skate that isn't freezing cold or 2 hours away.


Check out more of Joe's stuff at www.joebanda.com and www.anchorhardware.tumblr.com/