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WENTZLE’S WORLD: Maui (No Ka Oi) Update

CONCRETE WAVE MAGAZINE WENTZLE'S WORLDCONCRETE WAVE MAGAZINE WENTZLE'S WORLD CONCRETE WAVE MAGAZINE WENTZLE'S WORLD CONCRETE WAVE MAGAZINE WENTZLE'S WORLD CONCRETE WAVE MAGAZINE WENTZLE'S WORLDIn “Wentzle’s World,” I am focused on doing my part to help build my website, with the help of computer guru Dave Smith in Portugal. My vision centers around doing live video, interviews in the Islands, California, the East Coast, Colorado and other states, as well as Portugal and Europe – everything from surf and skate legends, pioneers and newer generations. I will be branching out to cover surf/skate photographers, shop owners, skatepark builders, musicians, artists, clothing designers and emerging graffiti artists with a variety of ideas skate/surf related. Hoping for this to be a “life changer” for me in terms of personal discretion in the latter portion of this life. Any and all support on this new venture is appreciated. Mahalo and Aloha from Maui.

The skate scene is alive and well on Maui. Lots of people of all ages are stoked on skating, which is awesome to see. There are new ditches being produced, some just too rough to skate without big soft wheels, if at all, and others that are really quite nice. New parks in the works or being rallied for, a few empty pools I’ve discovered and always lots of hills to be bombed, including Back Road to Hana’s fresh black tar runs with tons of run out. Big-wave surfer and friend David Langer’s pool in Haiku is being utilized more with some free skate as well as organized events happening or in the works. Excited to be a part of that.

Andrew Beerer, Aloha Skateboards. I first met Andrew in the latter part of 2009 when I moved to Maui full time. My very first connection in the skate scene here was Joshua Weisfeld, the one Maui contact that my manager, coach and friend Joe Iacovelli supplied me with. After I met Josh, he then took me around to meet people in the skate scene, and Andrew was one of the very first people I met. I knew in no time that he was ALL IN when it came to skateboarding. At first I almost thought he was “too nice,” but as he and I became friends and he invited me to join him and Davey Delong to be part of the Maui Skate Series, I knew it was genuine! Next to Joe I., who has been tagged as “the nicest guy in skateboarding,” Andrew is right there! It is an honor to have him as a friend.

Originally from Evergreen, Colorado, Andrew first got the skate bug in 1983, at which time there were no skateparks left in Colorado. Part of his stoke came from the “Full Bleed Issue” of TransWorld Skateboarding, in which Mark Gonzales and the ollie were featured. Andrew and crew started building various ramps and features, including lots of quarter pipes and half pipes, to provide a place to unleash and progress in the sport. Labeled a “shop rat,” Andrew couldn’t stay away as he was drawn in by skate artwork and the creativity in these environs. He felt right at home. When traveling, Andrew would hit any and every skate shop in his path, and was also able to skate at the Del Mar Skate Ranch before its demise.

After graduating from high school, Andrew went to college in Boulder, Colorado, and also managed skate and snowboard shops through the early and mid-1990s. With his snowboarding stoke, knowledge and accomplishments (1992 USSA Snowboard Champion) he was right at home. He would skate in the summer and hit the slopes in the winter. In the late ’90s, Andrew helped host demos at various skateparks that were finally re-emerging around the Denver area. After graduating from college, Andrew gave the corporate world a shot, working as a website builder and doing graphic design. After just two years he realized he was too boxed in, so he bailed and started a small Denver-based skate brand, appropriately called Denver Skateboards.

Andrew had started visiting Maui in the mid-’70s and continued to vacation at a family condo there for years. In the mid-’80s he knew where all the best ditches were on the island and skated them whenever he came here. The spark re-emerged after corporate burnout, and in 2001 he and his wife moved to Maui to live full time. After seeing the absence of, and need for, local skate products, he started a new brand, Aloha Skateboards, in 2002.

In addition to the new brand, Andrew saw a dire need for skateparks here on Maui. He immediately got involved in both plans for new parks as well as much-needed repairs at the semi-crumbling existing parks. But despite his compassion, commitment and vision, by 2007 only one of those five parks had survived the lack of maintenance, vandalism and seemingly uninterested and restless youth.

But Andrew didn’t give up. Working diligently with the Maui County Parks Department, in 2008 he and Davey Delong from Hi Tech started a new entity called the Maui Skate Series. The series thrived and conducted over 100 skateboard events. It provides skateboard events to kids in rural areas such as the islands of Lanai and Molokai and the rain forests of Hana. This led to the creation of the Hana skatepark. The Maui Skate Series was alive and well from 2008 through 2012, when the County shut off funding. In 2013 Andrew opened the Aloha Boards skate shop in Central Kihei, which he operated until 2015 when he moved into a higher traffic area closer to the beach. Today the shop is still very much alive and doing well.

The Maui Skateboard Series was reconsidered and approved in 2016 – largely, I believe, due to both Andrew and Davey’s commitment to the sport and ability to make things happen with little or no financial assistance.

Andrew is very active in the community here in Kihei and spearheads for both skate-related causes and a long list of other community needs. He is the primary advocate for the $150 million Kihei High School, the first high school to be built in the state of Hawaii in 25 years, and designed the Kihei
Bike Paths and Playground. He was also the primary advocate for construction of new Upcountry skatepark and the Kihei skatepark redesign. Construction of both will start this year.

Andrew happily lives a simple yet very busy life here with his wife and two kids. In addition to skate-related work Andrew enjoys time with family and friends. I’m honored to have Andrew as a close friend and to be invited once again to be part of the Maui Skate Series. A special thanks to Michael Brooke at Concrete Wave Magazine

And the beat goes on … Aloha, WR IV

Follow Aloha Team riders Kaimana Pinto, Jonathan Valenzuela, and Michael Morris down a coveted Maui mountain.

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