Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda

ATA Review of AGENDA, Long Beach

By: Steve Kitagawa

Photos: Taylor Stockham

When you’re the new kid on the block, no one gives you shit and if they do, they control the terms because they can.

A few months ago, we tried to obtain press passes for the annual MUSINK Festival in Costa Mesa.  After jumping through all their hoops, like an abused seal at Sea World, we were rejected and told that even if were were approved in the future, the promoters would not approve media passes unless we agreed to support the festival with a positive preview story.  Is Would MUSINK Please Go Fuck Themselves a positive headline?

So, when we tried to obtain press passes for the Long Beach Agenda Show, we thought we’d receive the same or similar corporate response.  To our surprise, the powers that be at Agenda granted us press passes without reservation.

Inclusiveness:  It’s what AGENDA is all about, and what makes it a special kind of tradeshow.

No matter who you are, you can stand side by side with companies like the Hundreds, 10 Deep, or Chinatown Market and compete with the same.  That’s the draw.  The excitement.  The diversity.  The opportunity that makes AGENDA electric and well, fun.  That and a lot of free shit.

Moreover, those behind AGENDA, simply get it.

Here’s a litmus test to see how really progressive a festival is.  How do they treat skateboarders?  I know it seems like a strange test.  But in practice, congregations of skateboarders and congregations of minorities are two things that universally make cops and uptight hall monitor types nervous or angry.

At AGENDA, skateboarders are free to skateboard—everywhere.  One of ATA’s most memorable highlights of AGENDA was watching the CREATE skateboard team session a small open area between the food trucks and the merchants during the peak of the festival at about 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Finding freedom in a forum that backs freedom and independent thought is truly refreshing.  Moreover, getting the opportunity to see new companies backed by astute, young, creative, and driven individuals is what ATA was at AGENDA for in the first place.

Here are the best brands (that you may not have heard of) that we saw at AGENDA.

URLA

The first thing I noticed when I came up on the URLA installation was the large display image of two cops tied up and gagged in front of URLA [Randy’s] Donuts with the shadow of a skateboarder kicking it on the roof.  Dangerous. Controversial.  Statement worthy.  Isn’t that what streetwear is supposed to represent?  Easily the most exciting brand we have seen in a long while, Inglewood’s own URLA is anything but status quo.  Moreover, their principals, Cojo and Dom, are astute, talented, thoughtful, and driven individuals with a well laid out plan (which includes their own you tube series) to take over the world.  Don’t be surprised if they do.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach

Impala Rollerskates

Impala Rollerskates is doing to rollerskates what Kobe Bryant did to his retro shoes: bringing back classics with updated technology. colors, and styles.  From the genius mind of young woman entrepreneur, Morgan Cleland, Impala rollerskates takes the classic boot rollerskate and reinvents it with fresh colors, patterns, wheel packs, high quality bearings, and vegan leather.  The result is a fresh and fun brand aimed at “girls who have it going on, are fearlessly chasing their dreams, and living life to the full.”

Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach

Create Skateboards

When I first spoke with Chris Martinez, the owner and visionary behind CREATE, somehow my attorney background came up. The next ten minutes of our conversation were dedicated to getting out of skateboarding tickets he and the CREATE team received the night before from the always amicable Long Beach Police Department.  The next time I saw Chris, he and the CREATE team were drawing a crowd and causing havoc with a mindblowing, impromptu skate session in the middle of AGENDA.  Backed by the youthful energy of a young twenty something owner with a collection highlighted by bold, bright, colors, patterns, graphics, and manatees, CREATE is the shit that kids love and parents don’t understand.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach

Leen

Leen’s Hansel Echeverria makes incredibly accurate and detailed pins of your favorite vehicles.  Whether its’s Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder, your favorite Subie, or a custom-made pin of your own car, Leen customs does it with style. Check out their website and IG and step up your pin game immediately.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach

Lamebrain Skateboards

If ATA was a skateboard brand, we’d be Lamebrain. Because its 100 degrees out right now and I’m having trouble thinking of other clever things to say, we’ll use Lamebrain’s own words to describe them: “We’re just here to have fun!  So, get on a board, hang out with friends, drink beer, skateboard a lot, do whatever fucking makes you happy and don’t over think things.”  Lamebrain also has dope POSER hats and decks and other quality products that make fun of cops and scooters.  They also write helpful and hilarious articles like this one—How to Make Your Own Skateboards.

If you don’t give a fuck and just want to have fun, buy Lamebrain.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
Awesome Totally Awesome - Agenda Long Beach
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