Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cook Bros. Racing

Now playing: The Pogues: Sunny Side of the Street
More self-service! Here's a clip of Leif Valin from Sidewall Distribution, talking about some new Snafu parts, including the VST stem...

SNAFU - More BMX Video


Here's a video of the amazing 3D rendering that Eric did of my Snafu VST stem design, based on my pencil drawing. You can see that the original design is narrower than the one Leif shows in the Interbike video from Vital. I'm excited to see a revised sample.
Here's the back story on this stem. Cook Bros. Racing made some of the nicest, most "high class" parts in the late 70's and early 80's. They made a stem called the Slantline that was a work of art. It had a chromoly shaft and top plate, all nickel plated, with nice, anodized aluminum clamps and an aluminum wedge. In hindsight, the stem was already obsolete when it was released. The Tuf Neck (virtually the same stem design used today) had been out for awhile and was far superior in strength and clamping power. On the other hand, Cook Bros. also developed a stem/fork combo called the "Uniclamp" that was essentially the same as the threadless setup of today. It didn't sell well for a few reasons but it was way, way ahead of it's time. The uni-clamp also had the slanted design. Anyrate, the Slantline was so cool and I had to have one. I ran it for awhile and was stoked, but one day down at Fat Ben's track, I was hauling ass over the "Bonzai" downhill jump, landed hard and my stem started turning in forks! I rode it out over the next jump and ended up flying over the little berm at the bottom of the hill and ghost riding my bike, narrowly escaping total shit eating. It was a wild ride. The shaft of the Slantline stem had broken and stripped the aluminum wedge in the process, setting the whole thing free. That was the last of the Slantline until now (thirty years later!). I can't thank McGoo and Sherri from Snafu enough for the opportunity and Eric from Bulletproof Concept for bringing it to life. Hopefully it will sell. "VST" is in homage to my dad.
I have to thank Nick from In the Gnar for this one (check out the surfer bursting into flames on there--a true "holy shit!" clip). After he did that interview with me a few months ago, Wallace, the main shoe R&D guy at Etnies, saw the interview and specifically, the scans from the Cobras zine I did a few years ago, and decided that we needed to do a Cobras Local 77 shoe.

I didn't design the actual shoe (it's called the Jameson 2), but I came up with the colorway, the graphic placement and the art on the footbeds is from the zine (I keep telling myself I'm going to do a pdf version). The shoe is most likely not going to be produced, but I do have the sample and it's really cool to see the finished product after going cross-eyed, staring at the computer, while working on it.

And I'm building some new jumps at Birdland.

4 comments:

Edwin said...

What a dream Skipper.....

Nick Ferreira said...

what???????? I know it says it's not going into production but I'm a 10.5

Smitty said...

Dude. Pinch yourself.

jason said...

Soooo good on the stem design. I'm also lobbying for the Cobras Local 77 shoes to be produced.