Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Interview for Kryptonics

My wife calls me a Krypto "Superfan" what she really means is that I'm obsessed. She's right on either account. That's why I was so stoked to be asked to be the lead-in story on Kryptonics Fan Photo week on their Facebook page. Here's the story and the pics they ran:

This week we will be posting old photos of Kryptonics fans riding, what else...Kryptonics Wheels. Starting off, we have an interview with Franklin Klock of Pennsylvania. I (Jack Smith) had the the pleasure of meeting Franklin and his wife last summer while skateboarding across America. He is a huge Kryptonics fan, and has been super supportive of the relaunch. I think you will enjoy the interview. Please check back daily throughout the week for more rider might even see yourself!

When did you first ride Kryptonics?

My earliest recollection of Kryptos is from the summer of 1977, in a semi-banked schoolyard in Lebanon, PA. I saw this kid riding a G&S Fiberflex with Gullwing split axle trucks and first generation 70mm green Kryptos. Seeing that board, with those wheels, was like meeting a celebrity. Up until then, I had only ever seen a setup like that in SkateBoarder Magazine. I got my first set of Kryptonics for my birthday in the spring of 1978.

What color wheels/size did you ride?
Over the years, I’ve ridden every size, hardness, and later on, shape, but my first set of 70mm reds are the ones I’m fondest of.

How better were they from the competition?
I was the first one in my group of friends to get Kryptonics, and like the name implied, Star•Tracs WERE like from another planet…so far and above anything else available. Here in PA, we didn’t exactly have glass-smooth concrete and blacktop so I road red Kryptos as much out of necessity as for any other reason. They just flew over rocks, bumps, crappy sidewalk cracks, and those killer steel cellar doors.
I remember we would start at the upper end of the longest block in town, and bomb the sidewalk. My friends would be pitching out, locking up, falling, and basically going slow because of their inferior wheels. On my Kryptonics, I’d just cruise all the way to the end of the block, waaay ahead of them. I’d look back and be like “HEY! What’s taking you so long?!” After that, some kids wouldn't even skate with me.

What was your favorite Kryptonics ad from back in the day?
The first color ad I remember was “Tomorrow’s wheels today.” with the first generation green, yellow, and purple wheels but I think my favorite, the one that made the most impact, was the iconic “THE FORCE.” That’s the ad, with the unveiling of the new 2nd generation red, blue, green wheels that let us know things were going to be different from now on. Man, were they EVER!

What is your favorite memory of skateboarding from the 70’s and early 80’s?
Hot Summer Sunday afternoons, skating down the middle of a deserted business district sidewalk (most stores here were closed on Sundays) pretending we were surfing, carving back and forth, getting real low like the riders in the magazines. We didn't have any banks to ride, so we would juke in and out of the stores’ entryways like they were waves.

What is your favorite memory in skateboarding?

In June or July of 1976, my father convinced me that I was good enough to enter a local slalom and “obstacle course” contest put together by our towns Bicentennial committee. I quickly threw a crappy board together with whatever parts I could find, entered the contest last minute, and won the thing! Winning was great, but that day my father’s actions showed me that he believed in me, supported me, and approved of my “sport.” I never entered another contest, but after that, my dad took me wherever I wanted to go to skate, and I haven’t stopped riding since.

What are you doing now?
I’m an instructor at an environmental education center, and I have a hobby business, Klock Designs, shaping custom skateboards, longboards, and landpaddle poles. Just recently I have been asked to join the local recreation commission as an adviser for the first-ever skatepark to be built in my town.

                        Out of the big bowl -Spinning Wheels Skatepark - Reading, PA

                             Large quarterpipe, Northwest Elementary - Lebanon, PA

                                                 "Slalom" Contest - 1976       

Monday, January 20, 2014

Skaters over 50

I haven't added much to the blog recently, so I thought I'd to throw a few thoughts out there today.

Wow, as far a Facebook goes, Skateboarding is really rockin'!  There are so many groups, clubs, and sites that support the sport. Some are collector sites; new, old, O.G. (that never made sense to me), Penny, wood, etc., etc., etc. Then there are the genre boards; longboard, downhill, slalom, pool, vert, street, pool, and more.

Yesterday I quit membership in a skateboard collector's group. What a joke it had become. The only reason I joined in the first place, was to see if anyone out there still had the same boards I rode, and wore out, back in the day. I'm Definitely not a collector, except of memories, but I thought the group would be a good place to be. It wasn't. Not at all. The conversations had gotten way to off topic. Star Wars figures? Really? The members were becoming rude to one another, and frankly none of the "reissues" they collect interest me. I wonder how many of them really even RIDE skateboards anymore.

Recently I joined "Skaters Over 50", another group on Facebook. I have to say, I'm really enjoying reminiscing about tricks, personalities, and gear from bygone days. The conversations are pertinent, polite, and on topic. The old school gear these folks are pulling out of the archives is KILLER! Some if it I had completely forgotten about! The best part about it is; I get to rub syber-elbows with the actual skaters I reminisce about. They belong to the group too, and you know what...They're real people, just like me! THIS is the group I thought the collector site would be.

Happy to be a board-carrying member of "Skaters Over 50."

Have FUN, Skate-on!


                                                                         Skaters Over 50 cover photo

Friday, November 15, 2013

New C-Series Kryptonics Are Hitting The Streets - TODAY!

Today marks a milestone in skateboard history, A newly formed and restructured Kryptonics wheel company has shipped the first batch of reformulated wheels, modeled after the original C-series to stores and shops nationwide.  Many consumer orders, some that have been placed months in advance, will be fulfilled today! 
This is NOT the "Kryptonics" junk you can now find in discount stores, this is the original, the real deal. Born of blood and guts, poured of high rebound urethane.

All Photos property of Kryptonics

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Pink Helmet Posse!

Hope for the future!


Click the link below to see these girls in action.

The Pink Helmet Posse!

New USPS Directive: Stamp Out Dangerous Activities!

This week, after complaints from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, the entire run of a new series of US postage stamps were ordered destroyed. The stamps, depicting suggestions for physical activities for kids, were initially designed to fall in line with first lady Michelle Obama's exercise and nutrition plan to fight childhood obesity.

Three stamps in particular, the ones showing a child doing a canon ball dive (why it's unsafe, I don't know), performing a head stand (without a helmet?!), and another, of course, skateboarding (WITH a helmet, but without knee pads) were of particular concern to the council. *Shaking my head*

Seriously? Do we really need our Post Office telling parents to shelter and protect children even more than they already are. These stamps depict NORMAL activities that children have done for a VERY LONG TIME, some for centuries. Now, all of a sudden they are dangerous. COME ON! What they are, all of them, is calorie burning, skill and confidence building, non-video game playing, physical activities that require no batteries or electricity. These activities are a child's right of passage. Every child needs to be allowed to try (and maybe even fail at) new things.

Are you aware that children of today are being described as Generation Cupcake?!!!!!!

The skateboarding stamp should NEVER BE REPLACED, but here are some suggestions that I endorse to replace any three of the other most "dangerous" stamps :


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Blind Ambition

I wanted to write something to describe my feelings about this video, but I can't come up with the words, just the feelings. Watch.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dogtown 1979 - A Super 8 Film

1979 was the smack in the middle of the BIG skating boom for me. I wasn't here, in Mexico, but this video, with the pro skaters and tricks performed takes me back to a simpler time. Simpler yes, but yet it was one of the most active growing times for the sport I love so dearly. During this time, companies were making millions, soooo many tricks were being invented, and more people knew about skateboarding than ever before.

Click, watch, and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Return Of The Force!

It's been a while since I was this excited to write a blog post. As the army of darkness continues over the skating world, out of the blue (and red, green, and some other unknown color) comes good news! The force will soon return to reclaim the streets, parks, pipes, and pools.

Yep, that's right. Kryptonics C series wheels will return! HEY, SANTA!....

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hit By A Truck! It Ain't Called Urethane PAIN Fer Nuthin'!

Here's a lad that was damned lucky; Lucky he hit the middle of the grill rather than getting run over by the wheel, lucky the truck driver was paying attention, lucky the truck wasn't going that fast, Lucky he landed on his ass and not his head... the list goes on. 

Hit by a truck without a helmet... thrown 50 feet.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jack Smith - Skateboarding Encyclopedia

This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of connecting with Jack Smith, curator of the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum, and his crew, who were nearing the end of a coast to coast skateboard trek across the United States in the name of Alzheimer's Disease Awareness.

While the weather and roads in our particular part of PA were not exactly optimum for skating, it did give me an opportunity to sit down with Jack and chat. Jack, who is a living history book of skateboarding, has lived the skateboard life I could only dream of. Our conversation ranged from the origin of the Simple shoes I was wearing, to the movie Lords of Dogtown, which he not only consulted on, but acted in. He talked of meeting T.A., knowing Stacy Peralta, and shared stories of the many, many others I had only read about in Skateboarder Magazine in my youth. I know he had told these stories hundreds of times before, but Jack, in his humble way, made me feel like he skateboarded all the way to Pennsylvania just to share them with me. His stories were filled with sooo many recollections of skateboard history, my history. I mean, yeah, I lived it too, but here on the east coast, and only through the pages of the mag. Dude, he was THERE! Del Mar, Signal Hill, and many other significant places and events that shaped the history of the sport I love so dearly.  Before we parted, The team gave my wife and me matching A Push To Remember t-shirts, and I presented them with custom made land paddle poles. (Hey, pushin's pushin'!)

The next day, they were off on their final leg of their epic cross-country journey to New Your City. Along the way, Jack and his team touched many lives, and brought about awareness to Alzheimer's, a very often misunderstood disease. So the next time I hear someone say "Damned skateboarders!" I'll think of Jack and his crew, and proudly say "You're damned right."

Klock :|>-/-o

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Even non-skaters will remember this mornings 70's blast from the past!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Skate Excitement 2013!

Wow, there has been so much going on with skating over the last few months, and because I've been doing more skating myself, it has taken me until now to sit and write my thoughts on (some of) it.

First, we have Jack Smith and his crew from A Push to Remember who are embarking on an epic cross-country skate journey to raise awareness for Alzheimer's Disease. Click the link to learn more!

This year Innoskate, a major public festival at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History celebrated, in a big way, the invention and creativity in skate culture.
Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Cindy Whitehead, Laura Thornhill-Caswell, Patti McGee, Di Dootsen, Paul Schmidt, and other important skate icons contributed personal and historic items to be put on display at the museum.

Here's a great piece that tells a behind the scenes story of the events within the event:

A while back, street champion, Nyjah Huston mad an interesting comment, about women in skateboarding, that ignited a firestorm of response from the skate community as a whole.


Then, Huston issued this apology, which just made the situation worse:

"I want to apologize for the remarks I made in Thrasher about female skateboarders," he wrote. "What I meant was that skateboarding is a gnarly sport, in general, and as someone who knows the wrath of the concrete all too well, I don't like the thought of girls (like my little sister) getting hurt. My words were an inaccurate reflection of who I am; more importantly, they were disrespectful and I genuinely regret them."

Who is Nijah, anyway, to feel he has to protect girls from getting hurt? They are capable of making decisions pertaining to their own safety, just like he is!

There was more skate news than this recently, but these were the highlights that hit my particular corner of the web.

Have fun, skate safe.


Thursday, June 20, 2013


The Moment

Here, in classic "Skateboarding is life" style, is a pair of photos of 2013 Skateboard Hall of Fame inductee, Laura Thornhill-Caswell. These pictures speak, no... scream, no... that's not it either, they OOZE with the sheer beauty of what it is to ride a skateboard for no other reason than to ride it.

Oh, the rush and calm at the same time of cruising a long deserted street (or tunnel) on soft, soft wheels - heaven. The swoosh of urethane on the pavement and the wind as it rushes by is like the sound of blood coursing through your veins. There exists a moment when you are no longer "riding". The skateboard under your feet disappears, and becomes an extension of your body as you cruise, carve, and flow to the rhythm of your internal being. You aren't aware of it as it's happening, and if you do notice it, the feeling immediately goes away. But, when you are done, you know that for that one moment in your life - it was truly is the greatest feeling in the world. 

These far-too-many words can never fully explain "The moment" to someone who has never experienced the joy for themselves. For those of you who ride, you already know.


Klock :|>-/-o

                                 Laura Thornhill-Caswell, Photo by Cindy Whitehead

                                Laura Thornhill-Caswell, Photo by Cindy Whitehead

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Roller Coaster Highway

Life has it's ups and downs. so does this road. Somebody get me my longboard!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hello Officer!

Here's a great pic. I like that it's shot in the middle of the trick, not at the end, or even at "Just the right moment." Why is is soo cool? Look to the lower right. See that police car?! Uh huh. And the officer saw the rider too.
The rider, when asked for his name, answered "I'm Theodore. I drive the kids to school." They call me BUS-TED!"

Square Wheels!

 What the hell?!
 Click the link below for a video.
Shark Wheels - Reinventing the wheel.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

No Girls Allowed In Skating?

Recently, pro skater Nyjah Huston made some pretty chauvinistic comments about girl skaters:

Then, after a backlash from both the the female AND male skate communities, Huston sent out this no-less-offensive, and equally chauvinistic apology:

"I want to apologize for the remarks I made in Thrasher about female skateboarders," he wrote. "What I meant was that skateboarding is a gnarly sport, in general, and as someone who knows the wrath of the concrete all too well, I don't like the thought of girls (like my little sister) getting hurt. My words were an inaccurate reflection of who I am; more importantly, they were disrespectful and I genuinely regret them."

Here's an interesting response to Nyjah:

"This is my personal response to the comments that Nyjah Huston made about "Skateboarding is not for girls at all" .
Nyjah - I was skating vert before you were even a twinkle in your mothers eye, (it's amazing that I was even "allowed" to skate - right??) there were girls who skated before me like Patti McGee, Gale Webb, Laura Thornhill, Robin Logan, Edie Robertson, and girls who skated with me like Judi Oyama and many others. There are currently girls tearing it up right & left. And in case you live under a rock Nyjah - 12 yr old Alana Smith landed a 540 McTwist and girls were skating Superpark this past month at the X-Games.

Maybe you feel threatened by all this amazing female talent in skateboarding? Or perhaps you are just young and haven't learned your skateboard history properly? I'm hoping you won't make this mistake again.

FYI from me to you: "Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word" in skateboarding or anywhere else."
-Cindy Whitehead
ROCK ON, Cindy. I agree!

Urethane Pain Blog Is Now On Facebook!

Urethane pain! is now on Facebook!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Push To Remember

Everyone "wants" to volunteer, or to help a cause. Getting started is sometimes tough. Sometimes you just need a little "push."

This summer, I'm planning to meet up with this hardcore group of skaters and longboarders who are skateboarding across American to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer's Disease.

Please visit the site below to contribute!

~ Klock :|>-/-o

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ahead To The Past.

Everyone remembers their first boards, the way they remember their first kiss(es). Beginning in 1974 there was a line of low-end commercial boards, including the yellow Roller Derby 77K previously mentioned in this blog, but nothing that would be considered "Pro." My first professional quality board was bought at Sears; a 7X27" Hobie Skatepark Rider with Bennett Hi-Jackers, Hobie wheels, and real precision bearings! It was followed by a Logan Earth Ski Dura-wedge, bought at Spinning Wheels Skate Park, in Reading. PA. It had Gnarly Tracker fulls, and white Sims flat-back snakes.

About this time I started to admire a certain skater by the name of Alva, Tony Alva. He was everything I wasn't, but wanted to be. This was also around the time that my father thought it was time for me to learn the value of a dollar, and start saving for the things that I wanted. What did I want? An Alva skateboard, in the WORST way. I tried saving, but candy, skateboard trading cards, and Mountain Dew kept cutting into my stash. Then a windfall! I was offered a job delivering flyers door to door for a local bank. Me, a kid of 12 years old, EMPLOYED! It took 2 Saturdays and Sundays, but a friend and I walked every street and delivered a flyer to every address in Lansford.  One week later I got paid, $60 - BY CHECK! My very first check. I was so rich I couldn't believe it. Now I could get that Alva Deck!

The precess of ordering something was very different in 1977 than it is now. No internet, no credit card. Just a check book, and a letter, mailed to to Val-Surf, a skateboard shop very far away. The waiting was horrible, as it took nearly a month for my package to arrive.

When I tore into the box, the first thing that I noticed was the smell. The nearly overpowering combination of grip tape adhesive and the clear varnish. When I pulled the new deck from the box, I must have looked like Ralphie opening the Red Rider, smiling from ear to ear. From that moment on, my live changed. Well, at least my skating did. In an attempt to emulate Alva, I became a more aggressive skater, developed an attitude, and even grew my hair - LONG.

Now, some 35 years later, I am nearly as eager to receive a new deck. An Alva reissue. Not the exact model I got back then, but a slightly larger version - After all, I'm slightly larger too!

Here it is! This ain't gonna be no "Wall Hanger" but rather a fun cruiser. Set up with vintage Trackers and soft wheels, it should be a great going to the store board, and general conversation piece. Thank GOD it got here10 times faster than the last one!

    Top - Die cut grip tape and all!
 Laser etching under rear truck 
 Front truck plate installed
                             Rear truck plate                               
   Front and rear trucks - Vintage Tracker Six-Tracks!
Abec 11 No-Skoolz 65mm/88a wheels. Complete!