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Hopkin Simpsons tribute ad in Heelside Magazine

Hopkin Simpsons tribute ad in Heelside Magazine

I used an old Hopkin advertisement image in the longboard=art blog post and have received a few questions about it, so I thought I'd do a blog post about it, instead of replying to a lot of messages. The Hopkin Simpsons tribute ad was created for issue 5, the 3D edition of Heelside Magazine around January 2012. Have you subscribed? The idea behind the issue was a big 3D photo shoot featuring Jacko, Gabe and the end of the world or zombie apocalypse. The cover was to be 3D and because we had the backpage advertisement space,  I decided to do a one off 3D ad. As the 3D photo shoot had been done a few months earlier, we could not add a few extra photos into the shoot for our ad. I trolled around the internet looking for ideas. The place I like to find photographers and artists for creative digital work is DeviantArt.  Although most artist don't like to commercialise their work. After looking through lots of 3D images, I found some cartoons done by Darren Lacey at DTDstudios. Then the idea came, a 3D Simpsons cartoon of everyone that works in the Hopshop! I contacted Darren, he was up for the job, and what I thought was going to be a simple ad turned complicated. I kept the project secret from everyone, because I wanted to get it done, reveal it at the last moment, so if there was a mutiny, we had to use it because there was no time to do another ad. Over the next few weeks I plotted with Darren to make it happen. Coming up with a general idea, that was not too complicated, I relied on Darren. I was hopeless, had no idea, I'm the big picture guy. Darren said lets do the characters and it will all fit into place. This is the creepy part. I had to take photos of everyone on the sly. Most of the photos I found on Facebook and ASRA. Baz was the hardest, there is no photos of Baz anywhere, dude is off the grid. Also building the characters was telling Darren who everyone was, what they did, and try to portray their character. heads The first character back was Lea. lea-rough-cut  

Next was racing Jackson Shapiera Rough-Base-pose-Jackson Then Robbo robbo-rough-base-head There were a few versions of Baz. The original idea was to have Baz in the  lotus position with that "I'm either going to kill a great white shark on a a surfboard or sit in a tree" kind of look.

early-baz Early version of Baz

I had to reveal the project and tell everyone what I was working so I could take some decent photos of Baz. Due to Baz's guru status in the Hopshop, he got drawn in an older Simpson style, a nod to the fact he was one of the originals...original extreme sports dude. Baz-Rough-NEW   I can't remember now who saw all the draft images. I know Lea and Robbo were early viewers. Baz was the only one that requested a change: he wanted a "B" on his hat. I was surprised how well everyone accepted their Simpsons style. Now the characters were done, the wireframing for the pose started. By this stage, we were getting close to deadline date. Magazines have a deadline to submit ad artwork. We were always late. So I figured we had a week or so before Kurt started complaining I was holding up production. how-the-3d-will-work-ish The only character we ran out of time to do was Cue Bob the shop bird. At this stage we were thinking of adding in something, like a bird mark, to signify Cue Bob had been there. Never happened. Finishing off the image was the most fun. One thing we were good at in the Hopshop was pranking, laughing, and insider jokes. So doing the final touches of the ad, there was a lot of ideas and jokes that never made the final version. There are a few jokes in there. I'm most notability absent, but sort of in keeping with reality... no one really knows what I look like, I keep a low profile, a juxtaposition of having my name everywhere (it's all marketing baby). So we decided to have my hands engulfing the crew. Earlier versions the hands were green. That was later changed to yellow to make it seem like it was the Gits that controlled everything...maybe Hop is the Gits? Behind-the-scenes In the final image we added "Simpson" style sun rays and clouds as a creative nod. Everyone has their favourite boards. Pat with a Daddow top mount. Cooper with his Fibretech top mount and Lea with her Fibretec race deck. one-final If you have some old school 3D glasses (red and blue). The last two images are for you. First, some of the things I learnt doing the 3D ad. - I got sea sick looking at 3D images for a long time. - 3D is a cool idea for content but didn't translate well to an ad. Readers put on the 3D glasses for the main article and not to look at ads. - Customers in the skateshop didn't appreciate the ad because most looked at it without glasses on - Like most things in the Hopshop, the fun part was the journey not the destination adjusted 3d colors mono 3d

Hopshop voted one of the top ten skateshops in the world

Hopshop voted one of the top ten skateshops in the world

The Concrete Wave magazine readers choice awards have been voted and published.

Question: Of all the skate shops you've ever visited, which one would you consider the best in the world?

1. Daddies Board Shop 2. Sickboards 3. Edge 4. Muir 5. Longboard Skater 6. Motion 7. Longboard Loft 8. Switchback 9. Concrete Wave Germany 10. Hopkin 11. SoCal 12. Flatspot Thank you for everyone that voted for us. As we did not promote it or ask skaters to vote for us, it was a real surprise making the top ten.

2012 Hopkin Skate Christmas sticker giveaway

For those new customers not in the know, we do something special at Christmas every year, it is called the Christmas sticker giveaway. We don't talk about it during the year, or warn customers it will happen, it is a nice surprise to come home one day to an envelope of totally rad skate stickers! Last year we gave away over 40,000 stickers! This year we have as many stickers but WAY more variety. More brands involved, more different types of stickers so it is almost guaranteed you will not get the same type of stickers as your mate. Why do a sticker giveaway? Instead of a Christmas card or an email with a Santa skating gif, we get together with your favourite skate brands and create something to say thank you for supporting us, a local Australian skateshop, and hopefully we stoke the WHOLE Australian skateboard community. It should put a smile on ya dial, and make you want to get outside and thrash up some local terrain. Who gets the stickers? We rank our customers by sales value, send the most stickers to customer number 1, then go down the list until we run out of stickers. The cut off, where we ran out of stickers, this year is around the $150 mark, which is a set of wheels and trucks. Please thank the brands We can not do this type of giveaway without the skate brands. We pay for the mail out, but the brands give us the stickers for free to send out. There is a real cost to sending out 30,000+ (we lost count) stickers all over Australia. You can make a difference, by reaching out socially and saying thank you to all the companies that helped us give you some frickin rad stickers. See below all the brands and the type of stickers they sent. I have also linked to their social media accounts where you can, liked them, share them, thank them, tell them your life story, take a photo of what you did with the stickers and post them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Make a noise, make a disturbance, tell em that they are rad, and show the brands, that said it was too hard to send stickers to Australia, that there is a real benefit to stoking the Australian skate community!! Not all stickers and colour variations are shown below. If you got a bonus one, something different, post up a photo or tell us on Facebook. Show me the money!!!! This is what 30,000+ stickers looks like: Caliber Trucks, Volante Wheels and Blood Orange Bushings These guys are serial sticker offenders. Always generous every year in the sticker giveaway. They were one of the top contributors. PLEASE send them some love. Caliber on Facebook, Volante Wheels on facebook and blood orange bushings   Rayne Longboards Another yearly contributor, never missed a sticker giveaway, always willing to support the local grassroots, I give you frickin Rayne lubben Longboards. No swear word stickers this year, so we wont get in trouble from the mums. They have been HUGELY generous. If you dont like em, love em, link em on the web I'll come round to your house and personally remove all the stickers from your helmet and decks!! Find them here: Facesmash, Utubes, Tnstajizzl, Twaters or just hidin in their crib     Loaded Boards and Orangatang Wheels Everyone ones favourite longboard junkies. These guys make weird normal and never stop having fun. I'm telling you, these guys love Australia, support everything the scene wants to do, and I'm convinced they would shave their heads and send us hair if we wanted to make a giant toupee. There is only one thing you can do - BE GENEROUS and givem big online hugs here: LOADED Website or Facebook or Twitter or YouTube or YouTube (ambassador channel) or Flickr or Instagram or Pinterest ORANGATANG Website or Facebook or Instagram   Concrete Wave Magazine They want to stoke you, spark you into action, search out new terrain and most of all subscribe to the delicious feast that is longboarding. Michael Brooke loves feedback and ideas. So sock it to him, on his facebook and his website He is also the mastermind behind Longboarding for Peace.   Riptide Bushings New to the sticker give away is Riptide bushings. We have been using Riptide for years and they support skaters, events and races. When we did Newtons and Keira we were a mail point for skaters arriving for the race to collect flowed bushings. It may not seem much but it is nice to see all types of products getting active on the skateshop level. Give these guys a tickle on their facebook. You should add them on your newsfeed, they have awesome products rolling out all the time.   Paris trucks Another newbie to the sticker game. Joey and I have chatted a bit this year about the scene, new product development, and his company has a huge future. We love his trucks, they turn, dive and carve like they are made from seagulls. Look out for V2, in store soon to pop like candy. He also flowed divine and Elephant stickers. If you got some of these stickers, you should be stoked. So say thank you, get on the interweb and do some clickin. They are webbin it here or Fbook or tweet or instagram your stickers you got here or just watch their vids. Seriously thank them, they sent some amazing stickers. There was so many variations we could not scan them all!!!   Divine Noticed a bit of new urethane creeping into your crew? Have you got thane line envy? Maybe you are on a mission from God? Three yeses probably means you need some Divine inspiration. They gave us stickers that will make you sing like an angel. Send them a pixel thunderbolt to their face or right in their tweet or do what we do and just hang out on their cloud. Elephant Skateboards Ladies and gentlemen, there is an elephant in the room. Mike and co are probably the raddest skaters on the planet, voted most likely to blow your mind. You have to agree with his ideas: skaters just want to skate, no rules, no divisions, no schools. One of the hardest things I had to do this year was giveaway the elephant stickers we got. They were SUPER limited in numbers. Absolutely kick arse gorgeous. If you got a pink elephant, you know you were in the elite top 100 hopshop customers! You could bay that puppy for big bucks or slap it on your deck and go skate like mike! Cause we all wanna be like mike. Rumour is Mike is very active in this company, if you get social on their arse, you could be talking to the man himself, or at least poking him in the eye, so DO IT - on the facebook or on the twitter or show the world on instagram ya sticker addiction. Riviera These guys sometimes slip under the radar. Their range of completes we have in the Hopshop are hitting all the right spots. Very popular on form, function and price. Have you seen their website? Oh you will lose days in there, so you have been warned. Facebook or instagram or get old fashion and watch videos online. The image below does not do their contribution much justice. They send a schwag of stickers in all colours and all sizes. Face photo me some stickers you got - please!! SuperSports TSG Lush Cult Sabre These are the new kids on the block. SuperSports has burst onto the skate longboard scene with the force of a Supernova. Apologise to Rodney and the gang, I did not get any scans of their stickers, they had some awesome ones. If you go any of there stickers, post up a photo on our facebook. You can find this gang of pirates all over the seven seas including web of superness and FB or TSG or TSG facethingy or Lush or lushbook or cult of thane or facecult or aliens stole my centresets or hands off my sabre or a book of sabre Trust me on the sticker photos - just imagine there are rows of amazing stickers right here   Louis Pilloni (aka SHM and RAD) Lewie gets his own entry because of outstanding services rendered to the sticker giveaway. Louis got us skatehouse media stickers and Rad stickers, plus a few bonus Sector ones thrown in. What can we say about one of the nicest guys in longboard. Thanks mate for the support. Please checkout his indelible work at skatehousemedia and also bask in the glory of Rad Wheels. Bust out some big standy 180 finger typin at Rad's Facebook and  da skatehouse fb location. Give up the love, support the crew and annoy him on his personal facebook, tell him Hop sent ya. Sector 9 They are big, bad and steezy. You love them or hate em or just want to be them or be on their team. When the S9 team rolls into your neighbourhood you hide your girlfriend and pray they pick your car to drive them around to shred your favourite hills. What is amazing is they give so much and expect so little in return, it is like they are this enormous grassroots garage company...the smallest biggest skate company in the world! Sector 9 gave so many bags of stickers we were pouring them into envelopes at some stage. We even maxed out the envelope weight limit of 125 grams with some envelopes. They'll probably burst on the way and shower S9 stickers all over Australia. Apologies if that was your envelope. Have you noticed the Sector 9 Aussies have started a facebook page. It is your duty to like them and put up a comment. Tell em you want to see a Jacko bro board by next Christmas! ASRA Everyone's favourite skateboard association. You know where my loyalty lies. They are the boss at ASRA. They do it for love. They make your life worth living. They are the jonny appleseeds of skateboarding - planting skate seeds all over Australia and the world. They are more grassroots than a savannah. Check it Hopkin That just leaves me. Hopkin Skate or Hopkin Racing or Hopshop or Hopkin Skateshop or Hop or stop treading on my toe. It is all the same company and radness. We are just one big group of skaters servicing you the community. I like to think of you all as friends. Sure you are technically my customers but we are too connected to make you faceless. One of our big challenges this year was to keep ourselves relevant, and in business from the onslaught of US skateshops. One of those shops told me this year to give up and let them share the pie. You my friends are the pie. I corrected him and said they are not some object to consume but it is my community and skate mates and I never take them for granted. I hope you see that reflected in everything we do. We put so much back in to the community by volunteering our time, sponsorship, events, giveaways, providing community space in the shop and online. I believe there is a future for Australian skateshops. I dont believe our future is to buy everything online in America. Those big shops that pay big money to advertise on the top of our Google search results think different. I acknowledge we need to buy stuff at one time or another online overseas. However, give the little guys a shot. Walk into your local skateshop, say hello and support the local scene that supports you. End of rant. I doubt anyone will read this far, if you have. I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, a steezy New Year from myself James Hopkin (Hop) and all the Hopshop staff. It has been another amazing year. We have so many great ideas for the community in 2013, we can hardly wait! Skate safe. Skate every day. Skate everything.    

Hopkin Christmas sticker mail out

Instead of a Christmas card this year, we are sending STICKERS to all our wonderful customers! If you were a Hopshop customer this year, thank you, you made 2011 the best year ever. We loved seeing you in the skateshop, at the events, talking online and generally being part of the Australian skateboard community.


We have collected over $100,000 worth of skate stickers from all your favourite brands. We are mailing out to our top 3000 customers over 20,000 stickers!! First 1000 envelopes were mailed out a couple of days ago, if you have received mail, you are one of the top Hopshop customers. Not everyone is going to get stickers, we had to make a few rules. You had to have ordered something in 2011, and for logistic reasons, the cut off was the end of November. We sorted customers by their total orders, so if you only ordered bushings this year, you probably missed out. You had to have a Hopshop account or ordered online, it is only these customers that we know who you are and your address. That's why it is so important to have a Hopshop account ... you know it is free. HUGE thank you to the brands that helped us share the stoke this Christmas. It sounds simple but it has been a huge effort getting organised. Stickers have been arriving months in advance, and they have been hidden in the Hopshop waiting for mail out time. There is also a real cost to all the skate companies that participate. PLEASE give them a huge shout out. I have provided below all their social contacts. Like them, friend them, send them a thank you. We want this to be an annual event, if you share the stoke, they will see the value in doing it all again. Big thank you to the elves in the Hopshop that stuffed envelopes: Caspian, Harrison, Josh. Also the family insider help from Veronique and Lisa. Special mention to the distributors: John and Christine at JHS and Co, Peter at Goliath, Glenn at Black Box.


Caliber Trucks Caliber on Facebook or Find them on the web Give em lots of love, they were very generous. Loaded Boards Our friends at Loaded and Orangatang are always first to join an event to stoke skaters in a major way, they send a slab of stickers!! Big moon hugs to Loaded - you can squeeze their face or grab their tweets or watch the vids Rayne longboards Always a favourite in the skateshop, and they love you very much with thousands of stickers. You can return that love on the face or tickling their twitter or watching their moves Sector 9 Shout out to the Sector 9 Australia team, you rocked Australia with a suitcase of stickers. Show em that they are not too big for a hug, pinch em on the tweeter or stalk em on facebook or just be a voyeur. If it wasn't for these blokes, Jackson would not be Number Two in the world !! (IGSA World Cup rankings) Heelside Magazine Your favorite Australian skateboard magazine. They are original, creative, bold and crazy. They deliver you something your mum does not understand and probably does not approve of, so let them know their hard work is appreciated. Get social on their arse. Or a quick little spray.  You must subscribe for them to survive. ASRA - Australian Skateboard Racing Association They are the only REAL skateboard association in Australia. Real members, elected board, community inspired and skateboarders looking after skateboarding. So who is fake? SbA or Skateboard Australia are a $2 event company. The sham is our tax money is funding a private skateboard company. No elected officials. No accountability. Hundreds of thousands of dollars siphoned off with our Government's approval. They know the facts, and continue to waste your money. WE NEED TO GET MAD. Join ASRA. Even better become a financial member, it makes ASRA stronger and SbA look stupider. Time magazine has made the Protester the person of the year. You can make a difference. You can change the world. You can create the world you want to live in. No generation in history has more power at their fingertips than you. Protest. Talk. Yell. Scream. Skate. Create. Dream. Then take small steps to make it happen. Contact your elected politician or senator. Tell them to stop wasting our money and take skateboarding seriously. Then get your mum, dad and all the family to do the same thing. If you use twitter, so do they. Fallen Shoes Some of the raddest skate stickers you'll find on the planet. I did not scan every sticker that went out. If you got something different, post a pic. On the Fbook or on the inter webbie thing, they probably dont want to know you like them, they're too cool for school. And are core = only little boards here (they're easier to carry). Early Skateboards The OG crew on the Goldie, designing boards for Australia. Twitter or FB or web Fibretec: Swiss made dream machines. They are fine like a piece of ... art. 50 stickers were add into the mix. Vicious Griptape: Sent 50 special decals to stoke, if you got one, your lucky. If you have their tape on your deck your even luckier...and probably dont have any fingerprints. Bombsquad, Ladera, Dekline and Slippery Dip all contributed some special stickers. Thank you to everyone who is apart of the Australian skateboard/longboard scene. Lets do it all again next year. We promise the Hopshop will be bigger and better in 2012. We hope you will be a part it. Live life ... skate every day. PS: We send out stuckers to our bro's in New Zealand. We  love our cousins across the ditch too! TWITTER USERS We are using #hopkinstickers  

Tunnel Krakatoa Freeride wheel review

Review by Ben Hay A few weeks ago I was in the Hopshop, hanging out and picking up some goodies when I noticed Robbo unpacking a box that included some wheels I hadn’t seen or heard of before. They were Krakatoa freeride wheels made by Tunnel. Anyone who knows anything about the history of skateboarding knows that Tunnel have been around for a long time. With that in mind and after a quick chat to Robbo about them I decided I had to try them. I chose the 81a and a few days later Tim Day, Steve (Finn) and myself met at a new found hill that was ridiculously gnarly and technical. After a few mobster runs on square lipped wheels I felt it was time to shred some centreset freeride styles and see how the Krakatoas stood up in some ideal terrain. Immediately I was amazed at how easy they slid fresh. I had ridden most pre ground, and a few centre set wheels before but these were insane. It wasn’t long and I was holding out long standup slides with ease. Since then I have ridden these wheels several times on more mellow terrain and have really taken a liking to them. The wear has been minimal in comparison and they have already outlasted my last set of freeride wheels. All the specs are what I look for when choosing a freeride wheel. At 70mm and a contact patch width of 40mm, a pre ground surface and your choice of 81a or 84a its no wonder they feel ridiculously good to throw around. They also are a bit cheaper than some of the other freeride wheels allowing you to shred more for less! Next time your in the shop, check them out and give them a go, you will be floating out steezy slides of sikness without doubt. Go shred. Benbro