Hot industry goss edition | Simply Ranked

Psst: Dwindle, Airwalk, Berra, 7.8"s, and more.

Hot industry goss edition | Simply Ranked
The definitive weekly ranking and analysis of all the skateboarding and other online things that I cannot stop consuming and how they make me feel, personally.


Rank: 1?
Mood: 🚶‍♂️💨

While still on the mend from the broken ankle featured in his “Conjecture” video part for Disorder Skateboards, Clive Dixon appears to be slowly making his way back into skating form, as seen in the recent Instagram clip above. Recovery is an unfortunate but relatively normal part of a skateboarder's life, professional or otherwise. Injuries besiege us whether we’re grinding unthinkably large hubbas or slipping out on a slappy curb.

What is abnormal, however, is that Dixon is doing it in a pair of Airwalks and declares himself via hashtag an #airwalkpartner. It’s unclear what an Airwalk Partner is or if Airwalk is reviving its skate program (Dixon didn’t respond to a DM asking for clarity on this important matter), but the Airwalk Instagram page has been regularly posting skateboarding edits as of late, with the #airwalkpartner hashtag featured in most of them.

The once-storied footwear company that was home to the likes of Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi, Jason Lee, Andrew Reynolds, and Geoff Rowley has, in the decades since, been a staple of outlet malls everywhere. It doesn’t look like that would change if their skate program were to relaunch, given JC Penney’s Andrew Brophy level of engagement on Airwalk’s Instagram skate clips.


What’s behind this testing of the waters is also uncertain. Does Airwalk see a gap in the skateboarding industry it can fill? Is there a space they can squeeze themselves into between Supra’s corpse and Cariuma? The constant jettisoning of talent from big-name shoe brands leaves many skateboarders without a home, so it’s not entirely surprising that they could wrangle someone like Dixon. But where do they go from here? Is there a cogent, coherent brand strategy, or are they just in the market for some short-lived social media influencers? We’ll have to wait and see. If they ever need help figuring any of that out, though, we know there’s at least one former Airwalk rider waiting in the wings.

Screencap via @darcythewatson on Twitter.

Serial beef

Rank: 123 minutes
Mood: 🐂

Speaking of Steve Berra, he’s found himself embroiled in yet another public spat, this time with content creator and former The Berrics employee, The Hyphenate. The whole situation seems messy, personal, and The Hyphenate has released four separate videos detailing the affair, which have a collective run time of over two hours if you’re depraved and bored enough to watch them all. The gist of them is that Berra allegedly talked shit about The Hyphenate to a number of people in the skateboarding industry and The Hyphenate made these videos in response to refute Berra’s alleged slander.

The whole ordeal sounds understandably frustrating, tedious, and, frankly, like none of my business. However, amidst the accusations of Berra’s ad-hominem attacks (featuring an uncanny Berra impression) and the plugging of his various other content-creating ventures, The Hyphenate does drop a few interesting tidbits about the dissolution of The Berrics and Hypebeast’s business relationship that I wrote about a couple of weeks back. Including pushback on the claims Berra made when announcing that he and Eric Koston were “100% back in control of The Berrics” from Hypebeast (the latter had owned a majority stake in the former since 2018)

Contrary to popular belief, it’s been almost 5 years since we’ve effectively had any influence over what we created, how it was run, what we made and what it stood for. Five years forced to the sidelines, largely silent, being told what we can and cannot do… or else suffer the consequences. Suffice to say, it was painful watching and experiencing some of the things that transpired.

I previously reached out to The Berrics and Hypebeast to ask who had been in control of content direction. The Berrics declined to comment and Hypebeast didn’t respond. However,  The Hyphenate alleges that The Berrics and Berra specifically have been in control of The Berrics’ content throughout their association with Hypebeast.

“As much as Berra has tried to make it seem like Hypebeast has been the one in charge of all of the content… that’s not the case at all. I’ve been on every single Monday meeting for two years, which [includes] The Berrics’ entire team, the Hypebeast representative that oversees The Berrics, and Berra is supposed to be on these weekly Monday meetings. Those two years I was [in those meetings], he was never on those calls, never a part of those meetings.

“Hypebeast did not control any content, they did not dictate any of the content. All Hypebeast was there on that call for was to stay up to date with what was happening. The Berrics’ team would be the ones explaining what is going on, what’s coming up, etc. All content [is] controlled by The Berrics with [the] person who approves and disapproves [of content] being Steve Berra.”

The Hyphenate also lobbed one last grenade in his final video, aptly titled “Moving on! | What’s next?”

“I’ve had conversations with Hypebeast, they are about to be separated from The Berrics officially… I’m not sure if they’re going to pursue anything on Berra for embezzling [shrugs shoulders].”

Embezzlement! Wow. It’s hard to imagine how this could’ve gone much worse for Berra. To allegedly talk shit about someone in private and then have it turn into a nearly two-week-long public drama show is an all-time Berraism. But really, it’s what he should’ve expected when crossing a content creator. As The Hyphenate says in video two of his four-part series on the matter:

“The most logical way for us to fix this is for us to both put each other on blast.”

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

Rank: 1!
Mood: 🦋

Yes, the zoomed-in shaky shots still make it hard to pick out certain tricks and might give the viewer a mild case of motion sickness—readers of this newsletter know I’ve consistently whined to the heavens about it—but by now, it’s probably best to accept a Strobeck production for what it is. There are its perks, of course. When the camera alternates between rushing and lingering on a skater, we get a heightened sense of emotion before and after a trick and in the great gobs of b-roll each edit offers.

These moments give us glimpses of a skater’s personality. We get to see the many shades of Efron Danzig’s joy as she rides away from a wild tangle of tricks that appear to be as much a surprise to her as they are to us. These scenes help the audience forge a deeper connection with a skateboarder beyond just the tricks on screen. Ben Kadow has become the ever-memeable icon we know him as today for just this reason. Of course, that itchy zoom finger can botch the filming of one of the most impactful kickflips of all time, so there are still the much-ballyhooed risks to this style of filming.

All of that to say, the new Violet video is great. It should also be noted that Strobeck has put together one of the more exciting and dynamic teams in skateboarding right now. From Danzig to Kris Brown, Seven Strong, Patrick O’Mara, Troy Gipson, and more—it’s a fantastic lineup I always look forward to seeing more from.

Kalis on Creature?

Rank: 7.8
Mood: 🧌

Like gold stuffed into a gym sock and hidden under the bed in wait for the collapse of civil society or a responsible gun owner keeping their heavy artillery locked up in a gun cabinet, Josh Kalis apparently keeps a stash of 7.8” decks in a safe in his garage. Considering the power Kalis can wield with an undersized board and the rarity of finding a deck with a width less than 8” in our current age, it’s not surprising that you’d want to take all precautions to guard such a precious and limited resource.

At the time of this newsletter’s publication, there are currently three 7.8” boards available on DGK’s website, one of them being a Kalis pro model. That’s not an awful lot. If DGK ever goes under, how long would Kalis’ stash last him? A year? Two? Through to the end times? You’d imagine the 1st ballot Hall-of-Famer has planned it out and knows approximately how long his rations will sustain him. However, if there was a miscalculation, would he be able to bring himself to ride the rare 7.8” from another brand? The immediate google search results for “7.8” skateboard deck” show several DGK links, a “Toilet-bound” board from Walmart, and, surprisingly, a Creature complete.

Is there a world where desperation drives Kalis into the flat bottom of Navarette’s vert ramp in search of space to 360 flip as his new teammates Andrecht above? Only time and unfortunate circumstances will tell.


Rank: Ugh
Mood: 😔

Transom Capital Group, the private equity firm whose portfolio company Bravo Sports acquired Dwindle Distribution in 2019, would appear to be making good on the promise of private equity firms everywhere by hollowing out the companies under its umbrella (A.K.A “streamlining operations”) and either selling them for scraps our pivoting them in a direction where they think they can make as much money with as little overhead as possible.

Bill Weiss, longtime brand manager of Blind Skateboards and the brain behind Madness Skateboards, was a recent high-profile victim of this corporate slashing and burning. This was followed by the public resignations of the Madness team on Instagram and stirred rumours on SLAP that the majority of Dwindle’s art department had also been fired. In addition, Shaun Ross, longtime Sector 9 Skateboards team rider (another brand under the Bravo Sports umbrella), claimed in the comments of Alex Perelson’s resignation post that the entirety of Sector 9’s staff had been let go.

These cuts appear to have been presaged by the mass exodus of riders from enjoi Skateboards in recent weeks, including Didrik Galasso, Thaynan Costa, Zack Wallin, and Jackson Pilz. While we can’t say with confidence what this means for Dwindle and its many brands, it’s clear that it isn’t good. It would be a devastating blow to the skateboarding industry if they were to collapse, leaving a significant amount of skaters without sponsors and staff jobless.

I reached out to the dark soulless void of Transom Capital Group for comment but didn’t hear back by the time of publication.

Something to consider: Necessity is the horned-up mother of invention.

Good thing: Settling your differences.

Another good thing: The Slow Impact schedule is live! I’ll be a part of the “Anything at All” reading on the Friday. Hopefully, see you there. Thanks to Kyle Beachy for the invite and Ryan Lay for putting this thing on.

Until next week… wherever you go, there you are. And wherever you are, you’ll eventually get hungry, so remember to bring a snack.