Archive for May, 2008

Be our guest

May 31, 2008


Who brought the retard…ed shirt

Now usually I don’t do this, but uh, I’m gonna go ahead and make a second post today seeing as O’Dell put up three pages worth of photos from the Girl/Anti Hero “Beauty & the Beast” tour… with possibly more to come I guess.

Angel investors

May 31, 2008


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

So a few weeks ago word got out that Kris Markovich bounced from Crimson Skateboards, took the team and would launch something new. Now, we could make a lot of easy jokes about his sponsor tattoos, how he rode for Duffs like three times, or the Vegas over/under on how long Given will last, “given” Markovich’s track record as a businessman. (Markovich does seem to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.) But, in Markovich’s defense, his former partner in Crimson, Sam Uisprapassorn, is reportedly a non-skating schlub who used to do marketing for Stereo, so, you know, maybe this one wasn’t Markovich’s fault? I don’t know, I just hear these things.

Whatever the case, I gotta hand it to Markovich for getting back on the skate company horse time and time again, with extremely mixed results, because he’s such a deep veteran at this point. Unlike a lot of his peers who came up around the same time he never really disappeared and he’s pumped out so many video parts, including a few great ones. Plus he punked out Chad Fernandez.

However the first thing I thought of when I heard the Given news was, “who’s putting the money up this time?” I read somewhere that it was going to be entirely financed by Markovich himself, which I guess could be feasible. Are Red Bull and Hurley still paying him? Anyway, if by some chance this company goes south, I thought I’d put together a quick list of venture capitalists and financiers that Markovich could maybe hit up for his next venture.


Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway: Despite his net worth of $62 billion, which makes him the richest man in the world as of 2008, Buffett still lives in his modest Omaha home and pays himself an annual salary of $100,000. Made a bundle off a stake in Coca-Cola he took in the late ’80s, and he’s big into philanthropy, so a start-up skate company might be up his alley. On the other hand, he’s not a fan of high-risk investments.


Eddie Lampert: Multi-billionaire hedge fund manager who’s earned a reputation as something of a turnaround specialist, Lampert is a member of the secretive Skull and Bones society, items that figure heavily into Markovich’s past graphics. Lampert is also notable for his negotiating tactics–he once talked would-be kidnappers into letting him free, so maybe he could convince Markovich to stick around when they inevitably come to some disagreement. However, Lampert currently has his hands full with the Kmart/Sears merger mess.


Michael Milken: SoCal-born junk-bond impresario of the 1980s who did a couple years in prison for insider trading around the end of that heady decade. But he’s still got a couple billion in his pocket and his gift for packaging high-yield debt and selling it to investors could make him a prime candidate for getting behind a Markovich-headed skate company. On the down side, he looks like a fucking psycho.


Jeffrey Lebowski: Multi-millionaire with a penchant for inner-city philanthropy and tasteful rugs. Known to have a weakness for vanity, linking himself to a skateboard company could be another way of expanding the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers and getting his name out there. Still, the venture would have to be profitable, as the money belongs to the foundation and not to Lebowski himself.


Mr. Slate: Head of the Slate Rock and Gravel Company, Slate is an entrepreneur far ahead of his time, and his foresight of getting into hard assets prior to the present run-up in commodities shows he has an eye for a good long-term investment. That said, if his interactions with Fred and Barney are any indication, he’s a little bit of a slave driver, which generally doesn’t work well when it comes to managing skateboarders.

Miles away from ordinary

May 29, 2008


The happiest place on earth!

I can’t recall exactly how I ran across Terry Worona’s site–I’m assuming I found it in a dream and bookmarked it in another dream, or possibly something even more mystic. Anyway he’s a Ottawanian (?) photog with some pretty badass stuff up there; hopefully he doesn’t get bummed out about me cropping and reposting the Dave Nolan ollie up above, but the OG version was super wide and it’s one of the more unique photos I’ve seen in a long time.

So check the site–lots of good stuff in the “tearsheets” section. Here’s another one of my favorites. Big fan of tail fins right here. And Bible churches.

Minnesota massacre

May 28, 2008


“R-E-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S!!”

Bloodbath at the 2008 Top Shop contest a few weeks ago at Third Lair skatepark in Minneapolis. While it doesn’t really approach the highly entertaining, free-for-all rapid-fire bail-a-thon that so many best trick contests devolve into, this clip does feature a seriously mind-melting array of tricks dished out on the mini-rail, including a couple I personally have never seen before. Here’s a possibly accurate rundown of which dudes did what:

-Dan Corrigan: frontside smith grind bigspin
-Cody Temple: 360 double kickflip lipslide
-Davis Torgerson: nollie heelflip frontside nosegrind, nollie frontside hurricane, nollie inward heelflip frontside boardslide (amazing looking trick from the fisheye angle)
-Cody Davis: kickflip backside smith grind backside 180 out, backside lipslide kickflip out (to regular)
-CJ Tambornino, switch bigspin flip frontside boardslide

Mike Munzenrider, Skateboard Mag writer, Twin Cities luminary and a fan of nollie inward heelflips himself, described this as the craziest best trick contest he’s ever seen, which I might be inclined to agree with. But I think TSM internet commenter “Squaters” best captured the spirit of the thing: “if u were a witnessed im pretty sure u would have to change into that extra pair of drawes u brought!!” No doubt.

The Skateboard Mag has its own clip up that’s better quality but a shittier angle on a lot of the tricks, although it does include Nate Compher’s run–switch b/s 5-0 the hubba, switch f/s tailslide bigspin the other hubba. Maybe switch b/s smith grinds were getting boring. Is his hairline receding? Get ready for the dirty 30s Jr Mint…

Addendum: Here’s a Skateboard.com clip that has a switch f/s bigspin noseslide from Ian Sherman, I believe, as well as a lot of the other tricks. Between the music in this clip and TSM’s I think I gotta ride with Juelz/Just Blaze over the French robots.

Rating the E-beefs

May 27, 2008


Hit ‘em up

I thought about posting something with Brian Patch getting arrested for sexually congressing a 15-year-old (girl) but the general reaction among the skateboard sphere has been “dude have you SEEN 15-year-old girls lately?! OMG” so I’ll take a pass, unless it turns into a hilarious circus similiar to the current R Kelly trial. Which we all hope that it will.

Instead let us turn to the blog-o-sphere itself, which has been more entertaining than usual lately, what with the willingness of pros and other industry types to air one another out. Since most of these people still have a dog in the skateboard fight, a lot of the shots are pretty passive-aggressive, making the whole thing even more high-schoolish than the industry usually is… and not nearly as entertaining as the bridge-burning tirades posted by the likes of Kris Markovich and Henry Sanchez. But we’ll make do.

Rather than running down the fascinating minutia of each dust-up, which everybody probably knows already, I’ll summarize and pass judgment upon each battle, as is my wont, and employ the hard-won experience gained in my 15 years of internet usage… all the way back to impersonating John Fogarty in Prodigy chatrooms.

Clyde Singleton v. Jamie Thomas

Recap: So our old friend Clyde, who seems to take great pleasure in letting everyone know he’s no longer a pro skateboarder, has come out as a Sheckler apologist, joining the rarified ranks of Danny Way, Rob Dyrdek and, uh, Sheckler’s parents. Separately, Jamie Thomas took it upon himself to explain to Danny Way his perception of the whole “Sheckler Is Ruining Skateboarding” school of thought, a conversation that Danny Way apparently related to Sheckler, who no doubt spent several days contemplating this in solitude before placing Jamie Thomas into the “haters” camp, and letting the world know in the Skateboard Mag. For what it’s worth, Sheckler has insinuated that Thomas is boring in earlier interviews.

Anyway. Clyde gets hate mail for coming out in defense of Sheckler. (I personally interpret Clyde’s thumbs-up as general approval for anyone who’s young, good at skating, raking in money and rolling in chicks, as opposed to a thoroughly researched view on Sheckler’s video parts and MTV persona.) Clyde responds to Sheckler haters on his blog, naming Thomas amongst their kind and taking thinly veiled shots at the Zero chieftan for the usual handrail fetish, playing dress up with riders, and issuing trick lists. Thomas, a new inductee to the hallowed church of internet discourse, responds; much back-pedaling and over-explanation by Clyde ensues.

Powers of reasoning: Clyde’s TWS “15 Reasons You Hate Ryan Sheckler” would have come off half-baked even in an environment not already permeated with “Sheckler vs. Haters” coverage, but I think I get his angle, maybe. Jamie Thomas, the injured/misquoted party here, is pretty civil calling Clyde out for getting the story wrong and keeps it classy, though it’s a little bit scary that he’s right there with the second comment after Clyde’s post went up. Clyde may have a point re: the tight rein Jamie Thomas keeps when it comes to his image, but it’s lost amid all the “you got me wrong fam.” Edge: Jamie Thomas

Internet savvy: Clyde started a blog, but any idiot can. Jamie Thomas withstood the trials of the Slap board and his screen name survived to tell the tale, with a positive rep even. Clyde claims he doesn’t read the comments on his own site. Yeah, sure. Edge: Jamie Thomas

Career: This is a tough one. Jamie Thomas changed the game with Welcome to Hell, etc etc, but Clyde came up in the World camp and rode with Sal through Aesthetics. JT did the leap of faith but Clyde fakie b/s tailslid Hubba Hideout. So it’s close. Draw

Dollars: What it all comes down to, right? Edge: Jamie Thomas (obviously)

What animals they would be: Jamie Thomas has employed lions and eagles in the past but I see him as more of a horse. Clyde would maybe be a hyena. Edge: Clyde Singleton

Winner: Jamie Thomas

Dave Carnie v. Bob Burnquist

Recap: This has been a long-simmering one, with Carnie being one of the few to openly call out Bob Burnquist for watching Jake Brown’s legendary slam at the X-games, playing up the drama and gravity of the situation prior to his last run and then winning a contest that would have otherwise gone to the fallen Brown. Carnie, for better or worse, tends not to hold his tongue on shit, and his take on the whole Jake Brown thing voiced a lot of people’s dissatisfaction with Bob for his general tendency to not keep it real at all.

Powers of reasoning: Bob rightly called out Carnie on not contacting him for his side of the story, although Bob’s side of the story was already told in numerous articles on the Jake Brown slam. Carnie agreed with Bob, admitted he was wrong, and big-upped Bob for handling his shit in an adult manner. Maybe, but Bob did wait until Carnie called him to skate his ramp to finally broach the issue… Edge: Bob Burnquist

Internet savvy: Dave Carnie has a blog, which he acknowledged should probably be afforded higher journalistic standards than ‘write whatever the fuck I feel.’ Bob Burnquist is a vegan hippie who grows his own vegetables. Edge: Dave Carnie

Career: I don’t know how to go about comparing the career of an X-Games champ to one of the handful of skateboard magazine writers who isn’t also a photographer. Dave Carnie probably has more street cred, and we all know how far that goes. Edge: Bob Burnquist

Dollars: Bob hasn’t let his hippiefied leanings stand in the way of carving 100-foot-tall ramps into the sides of mountains, or grinding giant handrails that drop off into the Grand Canyon. Does he also own a helicopter? I can’t remember. Edge: Bob Burnquist

What animals would they be: Dave Carnie is often associated with cats, but despite his fluffy beard and happy-go-lucky approach to life, his analytical nature and self-destructive tendencies bely a deeper anger and perhaps some bitterness too. So maybe an elephant seal. Bob I would maybe say is a falcon. Formidable, but also kind of a priss. Edge: Dave Carnie

Winner: Dave Carnie… because he’s able to admit when he’s wrong, and because I think he was basically right about the Bob/Jake situation.

Ted Barrow v. Ryan Sheckler

Recap: Kind of a one-sided beef here, but with Barrow dedicating a lengthy blog post to the Sheckler issue and drawing parallels to the assholish nature of a young Danny Way, someone with Sheckler’s black-and-white worldview could promptly file Barrow into the haters category.

Powers of reasoning: Barrow acknowledges Sheckler’s argument, which is that Way was a child prodigy pro way back when, and he’s respected now, so you haters, you shut up. But Barrow points out that Danny Way, asshole that he may have been as a kid, came up through the usual channels of the day–contests, videos and photos–where he was judged on his skating first and foremost, whereas Sheckler is being savaged in the court of public opinion for his life of cryin’, rather than his skate tricks.

I don’t think Barrow takes this far enough though. By all means, let’s evaluate Sheckler on the basis of his skating alone—what’s he got? Big kickflips, backside flips, some stock handrail tricks and a tuck-knee air that got played out a couple years ago. I think it’s the opposite—Sheckler is in the spot he’s in because of his personality, not his skating. And though they may be brothers in youthful assholedom, Sheckler or anyone else equating his skill to a young Danny Way—the kid who almost landed the 900 a good eight or nine years before Tony Hawk—is way off. Anyway. Edge: Barrow

Career: Sheckler has an MTV show about himself. Here’s Ted Barrow’s part in Lurkers 2. He can do switch b/s smith grinds on ledges. Edge: Barrow

Dollars: Sheckler makes that Mountain Dew money. Barrow seems like the starving artist type, although I guess he could be a secret trust fund case, like a certain videographer might be. Edge: Sheckler

What animals they would be: Barrow would be a barn owl, of modest means, but maybe a little bit pretentious, and he eats mice. Sheckler would be a Pomeranian. Edge: Barrow

Winner: Ted Barrow, in a walk.

Sub zero

May 26, 2008

The cold snap is over but certain sections of Southern California may be experiencing unseasonably low temps. Ronson Lambert, doing what he does best.

Gnarliest Enjoi ad ever?

May 24, 2008


…and it’s not like there isn’t competition

Smell the glove

May 22, 2008

Blueprint always seems to get a ton of footage out of their annual spring break trips to Mallorca, so by doing all these “Tales of the Black Glove” podcasts from their most recent trip there, I’m assuming that they’re just keeping it skate and are going to end up pushing their new video back to holiday 2009. They only started the “coming soon” ads earlier this year after all, and as we all know, industry standard on that is 2.5 years prior to release minimum.

Sidewalk posted up episodes 6 and 6.5 the other day, and while 6 is a truly gripping account of Paul Shier applying his bearded technical prowess to a pot of spaghetti, 6.5 is pretty much all skating and features some right cracking footage from Danny Brady, his first line in particular. Speaking of crack how deliciously cheesy would it be to set a Joey Pressey part to this song? Some 11-year-old YouTube hero should get on it. Meanwhile this Blueprint video is looking like it’ll be really good.

Tangent: It’s funny but no matter how much I watch these British skaters, and I watched Lost and Found quite a bit, I still hardly ever imagine them as having crazy accents. I don’t know why I’m surprised every time Shier opens his mouth, after Static 2 and all, but I guess I am. Go USA?

Eazy does it

May 21, 2008


Extraordinary machine

The Stereo Sound Agent blog has a post up about Jason Hernandez’s new skate camera dolly contraption, which at once put my appreciation for DIY ingenuity at odds with my general distaste for the Ty Evans school of overwrought video production. It’s a cool idea, I guess, but at what point does the average kid with a VX2000 need some shit like this? Then again, if there are kids out there whose parents shell out the duckets for VX2000s and the various trappings that go along with them, what’s another $545? I mean, it’s not like these kids have anything else with wheels that will roll in a straight line…

Aw, fuck. It’s a free market right? And I like the idea of Jason Hernandez and his dad scribbling designs on the kitchen table and messing around in the garage for a few weeks to make this work, because it reminds me of building ramps with my dad. Holy shit, before I get all sentimental, I’m going to go ahead and link the demo video featuring Daniel Shimizu and Clint Peterson and some other dudes. Now excuse me while I troll YouTube for bittersweet Wonder Years* clips…

*Arnold and Pfeiffer, not Markovich and Lambert

The hardest working man in show business

May 20, 2008


I know your momma’s grieving

Humor in skateboarding is a hard thing to pull off most of the time, partly because showing off in any form is generally frowned/hated upon by the masses, and partly because of the repetitive nature of the skate video. Shit that seems funny the first time tends to get old quick after a few viewings, and in some cases can grate to the point careers are ended early (prove me wrong Knox). There’s exceptions, like Gerwer in TWS’s Free Your Mind or the skits in the Chocolate Tour, but there aren’t many. Tim O’Connor, god love him and his magic feet, comes off like he’s trying too hard a lot of the time.

Much like rap-rock, straight-up fusing skating and comedy is dicey to the point where people probably should know better than to fuck with it, but the ease with which the Tilt Mode crew do it has inspired a lot of lesser imitators. But then there’s Rory Sheridan, shadowy Pit Crew affiliate and Uwe Boll to Patrick O’Dell’s Werner Herzog (or something). Sheridan, which probably almost certainly is not dude’s real name, burst onto the scene last year with the Behind the Griptape series, and this week scored some kind of internet skate video hat trick with new Bobby Worrest clips for Es and Spitfire.

After the Worrest BTGT we’re already familiar with his love of public service and helping his fellow man, so the Es video allows some insight to the softer side of Bobby Worrest, or whatever side goes hitting the sheets after blasting kickflips. The music is annoying, the Krooked Square Ones are pedestrian and the plaid Koston knock-offs are ill-advised for sure, but Worrest rips all over the place, and as Skate and Annoy observes, Sheridan/Worrest know a lot of chicks.

The Spitfire video however showcases the darker side of Worrest, shooting cops, lipping off to detectives and doing a switch 360 flip noseslide. In a line. With a switch front blunt. The special effects are not to be missed and the interrogation scene at the end is fraught with tension, especially when Worrest’s roommate, er, the cop pours out the wheels. I’m hoping that all the ridiculous tricks Worrest is logging in these little clips will eventually build up to the amazing part he’s probably capable of putting out, but I won’t be mad if he keeps doing these little clips for a while. Like O’Dell did with Cardiel, Rory Sheridan has found his muse in Bobby Worrest.


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