Red Bull skater Zered Bassett will release a guest deck, the Code Zered, with UXA, a New York City-based street skating company, which recently announced the partnership. Now available for pre-order, the deck goes on sale June 21 (or Go Skateboarding Day).
“Zered is one of the best skateboarders out there today,” said Peter Huynh, UXA co-founder and fellow skater, in an interview. “His skills, creativity, and relentless pursuit of perfection on the board have been an inspiration to me for over 10 years.”
This represents a shift for Bassett, 27, whose decision to work with a local boutique company came after a decade of involvement with Zoo York, the large corporate structure that’s recently inundated itself into skateboarding.
Zoo York was founded by Manhattan graffiti artists two decades ago and eventually acquired by Ecko Unlimited. Last year, Zoo York was bought by the clothing conglomerate Iconix, who declined to resign all but two Zoo York skaters (Chaz Ortiz and Brandon Westgate) in 2012.
Bassett grew up skating in Chatham, Massachusetts, and moved to New York when he was 18, joining 16th Skateboards before World Industries made him a flow rider. He filmed frequently with Doug Brown, brother of Brian Brown, who was then riding for Zoo York. Bassett joined the team in 2002.
“I’ve had a great run,” Bassett said of his time with Zoo York. “It’s fallen into the wrong people’s hands, but I’ve still had a great time, met a lot of great people, and traveled the world.”
UXA began as an apparel brand founded in 2005 by three friends, Huynh, Peter Bici and Jeff Pang; Bici and Pang met at the famous Brooklyn Banks skatepark. The brand quickly found an international following, and was soon collaborating with everyone from 1980s (and '90s and 2000s and 2010s) legend Mark Gonzales to House of Vans in Brooklyn to the Japan Red Cross.
Pang, who knew Bassett from the lower Manhattan skate scene, contacted him with the idea for a board.
“It’s cool to connect with old friends and people who’ve had your back for a while,” said Bassett, who delayed this interview when a security lull in downtown Brooklyn left a hot spot open. “Jeff Pang was the first pro out of New York, and Peter’s amazing. They’re what New York skateboarding is, and they still skate. This was a no brainer for me.”
Cole Louison is the author of "The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding."