Feel The Contribution

May 21, 2013
by Seb Carayol


Plain and simple: few skate shops have become more than just a skate shop. FTC is definitely one of them. Started over 25 years ago by Kent Uyehara as a small corner in his parents’ tennis emporium in downtown San Francisco, what exactly is FTC? An incubator for the skateboarding that was to define the ‘90s ? A shelter for inner-city skate kids rejected from everywhere else, soon-to-become skateboarding’s new elite? A trend lab –ever heard soul in skate flicks before? During the mid-90s, when Embarcadero was reigning supreme, FTC was skateboarding, dictating the direction, worldwide, that it was to be taking in the years to come…

You see the little kid on this pic with his cutout FTC grip tape job? Wasn’t me, but it could have: after all, me and my buddies in Montpellier (France) saved money for two years and pretty much crossed half the Earth just to go buy an FTC shirt, back in 1994, all because of the impact FTC’s Finally… video had had on us. I wish I was kidding saying this –I am not. Part brilliant, part stupid plan -irrational, yet totally thought out.

When FTC’s own Ando told me, probably three years ago now, that a retrospective photo book was underway, we came to the conclusion that, well, FTC probably deserved better -for all these reasons, and then some: photos alone can’t tell the epic Lennie Kirk stories, Jovontae’s role, Kent’s legendary tab book and loan system, nor all the urban myths that surround the name (sorry to disappoint all you “Fuck The Cops” lovers)  -this could go on for hours. Actually, it will -just come back say hi to this page every now and then.

After over a year hunting down never-seen before photos and a bunch of classic shots, the proper FTC book is actually happening. Until then, enjoy the FTC blog…

-Seb Carayol, author and editor


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