Punk power


POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009

Travel the streets of Waikiki on any given day and you'll see a variety of transportation methods put to use.

Tourists roam the sidewalks and nearby sandy beaches on foot. Automobiles of all shapes and sizes occupy lanes on Kalakaua, Kuhio and every other inch of open pavement between Kapahulu Avenue and Ala Moana Boulevard. Mopeds—both the traditional, two-wheeled variety and newer, three-wheeled car-types—compete with bicycles and other vehicles on the road.

But nowhere will you find a skateboard. The act of standing on one while it rolls is illegal from Ala Wai Boulevard to the ocean. Get caught by Honolulu's finest, and you're looking at a $55 citation for the first offense.

To raise awareness about the issue facing Waikiki's skateboarding community, local promoter Stunt Dog Productions teamed with House of Flys and Volcom to launch “;Once-A-Month Punk!,”; a punk showcase that aims to provide a meeting location for anyone interested in changing the no-skateboarding law.

“;When people think of skateboarding, they think of tricks and the use of any possible city terrain to become a skate spot,”; House of Flys co-owner Simon Elbling said earlier this week. “;I understand ... that's not cool, but as a transportation use, I think we need to come up with a compromise for those who skate.”;






Featuring Cronseedz, False Crack, Mistermeaner, Old Habits Die Hard and Pimpbot

        » Where: The Waikiki Sandbox, 2260 Kuhio Ave.

        » When: 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. tomorrow (repeats every third Saturday)

        » Cost: $10 general admission, $5 with Hawaii ID

        » Call: 923-3597

Elbling, who grew up in Venice Beach, Calif., and moved to Hawaii in 1988, has seen more than his fair share of violators from his shop at the International Marketplace.

“;I've got a friend who works at Round Table,”; he said. “;He got so many parking tickets, his whole tax return went to paying them off.

“;And just as he finished using his tax return to pay off those tickets, he was skateboarding to his car and got a $55 ticket. He lost his mind and almost went to jail because he was so (angry).”;

The new showcase also brings the local punk scene back to its roots. While the party itself will take place at the Waikiki Sandbox, Elbling remembers a time when a neighboring space used to be home to Club 3D, the “;original birthplace”; of punk rock in Waikiki nearly 30 years ago.

“;To bring it back to Waikiki and have punk events join up with skateboarding is a great idea,”; he said. “;We need to make a statement. At least we can enlighten some people with our approach. I don't think anybody is seriously looking at it.”;

Every month, a new lineup of local bands will be featured. This month's show will feature a guest set from Big Island-based Old Habits Die Hard in addition to Mistermeaner, Pimpbot, False Crack and Cronseedz. Cronseedz and Pimpbot will return in January to share the Sandbox stage with Australia's Goons of Doom, T.Y.T.L., Old Habits Die Hard and D—s of Doom.

While Elbling is focused on the legality of skating—and assures us that skateboarding “;won't be illegal”; at the Sandbox during these parties—he's also quick to point out the environmental benefits.

“;Skateboarding for transportation, in my eyes, is everything people want to be doing,”; he said. “;It's a non-fossil fuel and is environmentally safe, so it's good on our pockets and is available for everyone to use.”;

Stunt Dog Productions' Lang Sheppard added, “;Skateboarding is a great way to reduce emissions and live a healthy lifestyle.

“;We don't want to make people mad at us, but we're hoping to raise enough awareness about the issue.”;