Archive for June, 2008

Rocky road

June 30, 2008

With team captain* TK jumping ship it appears as though the torrid rumors of Ice Cream’s skate foray coming to an end may not have been exaggerated, much to the disappointment of messageboard fish-barrel marksmen everywhere. So it goes. Believe it or not (I know) I sort of saw this one coming. My personal leading indicator, the Foot Action down the street from my neighborhood, got in a shipment of the notorious “Board Flip” model a few years back. Over the course of a few months I watched through the shop window as the pink, green, brown, orange and baby-blue hued Board Flips enjoyed a brief reign at the top of the shelf before sliding to mid-shelf a couple weeks later. A month went by before I wandered past Foot Action again, at which point I sadly shook my head, seeing the Board Flips now resting at the very bottom of the shelf. A week or two later the discount tags appeared, little nooses for the $39.99 condemned.

So: a cautionary tale about the difficulties of breaking into a new market, even if you put Jimmy Gorecki’s mug on 106 & Park. (I really wish I could find that clip on Youtube.) Nevertheless, the Ice Cream/BBC culture warriors stay on their grind, like Pharrell after the other dude in the Neptunes lost interest in producing rap music. Hence the new fall/winter 2008 collection, featuring among other items the lovely goldenrod number pictured above, which fetches 7,140 yen, or about $67 at the current exchange rate. Who said the Japanese economy was dead?

*Has Terry Kennedy never heard “The Mail Man”? I asked myself a similar question when Koston was running around in that Fourstar “Captain” shirt. Come on, dudes…

Hook ups

June 26, 2008


Frontside grabbin’

From the “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby!” files: Remember when the cheerleaders wouldn’t talk to you in high school because you were a shitbag skater? Yeah, Rob Dyrdek doesn’t either. This has been posted elsewhere but what piqued my interest is the dude who swings through around the 0:54 mark–is he wearing a Girl circle-G logo hat? (Warning, video is from TMZ, and also may not be safe for work, depending on where and how you work.)

Update: I thought I was on some 90s hat sleuth shit but I now see that they remade that hat as a New Era. And another piece of my childhood dies, or rather is reconstituted in 59fifty form, rendering this post pointless. Except that I watched Dyrdek’s part from “Memory Screen” again, which generally is as good a use of my time as anything else. Like so many other pro skater types I’m not totally convinced he ever topped his first big video part, though I am partial to his section in “Time Code.” Somebody say, yeah Dyrdek. Enjoy the ride while it lasts (all puns intended).

We do this in broad daylight

June 24, 2008


Wha happen?

Jamie Thomas is given credit for a lot of things, such as the Zero quick-cut editing technique, reintroducing the world to Chris Cole and ruining skateboarding forevermore. But often people end up overlooking other things about the Zero warlord, like his deep flatground skills, his vertically integrated business approach and his eye for great tech skaters. While he’s generally associated with greaseball hessians of the Ellington and Garrett Hill variety, Jamie Thomas also put on the likes of Josh Kalis and Adrian Lopez, whose first line in Thrill of It All is still hot a decade-plus later.

(Did Jamie Thomas recruit Satva Leung to Toy Machine? Been a while…)

It’s a close thing, but at this point I guess I can pretty safely say that Gilbert Crockett had my favorite part in the generally underrated Mystery video last summer–snappy flip tricks, fast pushing and quick set-ups. As is the way of the skateboard world, he got a spot on the Fallen shoes team a couple months ago ahead of their video this summer, and the powers that be posted up this video last week of Crockett skating the Black-Box warehouse. Pretty much all these tricks are boss material in one way or another but the smooth-sailing switch b/s lipslide and the way he pops out of the frontside k-grind are particularly thrilling to me. Note to HD filmers: it is indeed possible to toggle the slo-mo off on HD footage, and it still looks amazing.

So while we all wait for the Fallen video, which supposedly is going to premier online at some point, here’s an older Gilbert Crockett part from the “Whathadhappenwaz” video, made by the Endless Grind people in North Carolina. Watch for the flared-out nosebonk at 2:05. And the sweet Arby’s product placement about 10 seconds earlier.

Hallmark holiday

June 21, 2008


Go

Remember that Simpsons episode where the suits are trying to think up a new summer holiday to sell greeting cards, presents and “assorted gougables”? I had a nice cynical chuckle over it at the time, until a couple years later when I heard about Sweetest Day, basically Valentine’s Day 2 in October invented by some candy company fat-cat types who insist they didn’t make it up. Hallmark still pushes it with cards and shit, but somehow it has yet to catch on, with the bizarre exception of Detroit I guess.

To the IASC’s credit they have not, as far as I can tell, tried to pretend that Go Skateboarding Day isn’t their creation. Although maybe I’m just not looking hard enough. It’s hard to imagine that designating the first day of summer for skating moves a significant number of boards/shoes/skate-related gougables, but then again, I’m out here in the peanut gallery. Somebody at Active or CCS hit me up if the Nike 6.0s start flying out of the warehouse.

No, as far as I can tell it’s more to raise skateboarding’s profile, ostensibly to build support for building parks and to let the squares know “we’re out here.” Which makes sense, I guess. Skateboarding is still beating the pants off other sports in terms of growth, and despite the damnedest efforts of ESPN and the Dew, there’s still no world series of skateboarding for all those Sheckler-foam-hand-wearing fans to tune in every year.

But skating isn’t baseball, parks get boring, and most other places skateboarding remains illegal. Having come of age in the days when Tony Hawk was sleeping in his Lexus, generally I’m a fan of keeping it that way, and gatherings of thousands of people, who commence to cheer, wave their illicit instruments and then put them to use isn’t how you keep a low profile. (Unless you’re in Palestine on New Year’s Eve.) It kind of reminds me of those weed legalization rallies, where all the hippies come out to the park, blaze while the cops sort of look the other way, then march to the capitol for a couple fiery speeches. Then everybody goes home and watches their back for the next 364 days. Keep the faith, Willie.

So in a way I’m with the people who poo-poo “Wild in the Streets” and the related shindigs that went down around the world today. Mobs of skaters barging spots and stopping traffic gets us noticed, but probably not in any way that’s positive from the squares’ viewpoint, and may well serve the agenda of the “build a park and write tickets everywhere else” approach to regulating skateboards.

However. I’ve been in on one of these Emerica events, and it was a pretty amazing experience. The rah-rah fist-pumping stuff beforehand was pretty whatever, but once the crowd broke for the street it was crazy to hear hundreds of wheels hitting the ground at once, charging down a major road, people sitting in their cars or standing on the sidewalk just staring. Trying tricks with people skating four feet in front of you and four feet behind inevitably leads to pile-ups and it turns into everyone bombing down the street at full speed, and slowing to a cruise when people start getting tired. It’s a pretty unique situation to have your usual posse on one side and have a dude you’ve seen in magazines pushing on the other side, and thousands of skateboarders hitting a spot, chilling, skating, and moving on, all together… all that isn’t something you’d ever see with, say, baseball. That day took me back to the first big demo I ever went to, how wide-eyed and awe-struck I was to see so many skateboarders in one place, and the reckless camaraderie when it turned into a big free-for-all session afterwards.

Over the next few days I’m sure we’ll hear all about overzealous cops, poor choices of venue and various renditions of “don’t taze me bro,” but hopefully Go Skateboarding Day will amount to something more than soft news features on local TV stations, speechifying and funding for a few pre-fab parks. Maybe it’ll bump up sales for some real skate shops, some kids will get to skate with their favorite pros and maybe–just maybe–it will warm the hearts of bitter old skaters such as myself. Nah, never happen.

By the way the photo above is from Alex Cave.

The (future) college dropout

June 20, 2008

I thought this was kind of heartwarming. (Via the Habitat site.) In an age where everybody and their lazy-eyed little brother can backside noseblunt handrails, big up to Austyn Gillette for achieving that which continues to elude so many skateboarders, both professional and otherwise: a high school diploma. I wish Danny Garcia hit up my graduation. Let’s hope his big day went better than it did for Hoops McCann and replay his cut footage from the Habitat video which is pretty banging.

Quimtime

June 19, 2008

Speaking of dudes who are still on it, the new issue of the Skateboard Mag has this amazing shot of Quim Cardona just cranking this monstrous duck-and-cover ollie. Still got it, that unpleasant business in the Kayo video aside. His website is kind of another conversation but this shot is a beaut for sure.

Three-peat

June 19, 2008


“You like me, you really like me”

Guy Mariano cleaned up at the TWS awards last weekend huh? Street skater of the year, best video part and reader’s choice, the latter of which is especially impressive from one of the magazines that was backing Sheckler so hard, and the exclusively 10-year-old demographic that they seem to be writing for. Now I’m not looking to get crucified or anything, but I kind of get the feeling that this is one of those deals where they’ll honor a dude’s career by recognizing his recent work after ignoring him for so long. Like how only the last Lord of the Rings movie got an Oscar, or how Scorsese only just got one for “The Departed” and not “Taxi Driver” or “Raging Bull” or “Goodfellas.”

Not that Mariano did much for most of the last decade that didn’t come in a little plastic bag. But the TWS awards, such as they are, are in their 10th year now… Mouse came out in what, 96? They gave Jerry Hsu all those awards last year and the enjoi video came out in early 2006… well, like writing, math isn’t one of my strong suits, but you see what I’m getting at. Considering the drama of the whole comeback story, probably Guy could have taken a dump on Abe Lincoln’s grave and the TWS squad would’ve given him an award for something or other. Now I’m not saying he’s not an amazing skater or that his Lakai part sucked or what have you. I’m just saying.

So does Mariano deserve that handful of weird globe thingies? (In all seriousness he did seem really touched, in a cool way.) This is of course a trick question as no dignified person should have to suffer being named TWS’s anything, and we all know the only award in skating that matters is SOTY. Whatever. I’m happy for Mariano and I remain very very glad he’s back. Here’s some leftover Berrics footage they posted up today. Still a beast.

But way more interesting is that TWS got Stevie Williams and Corey Duffel to present the award together, which struck me as kind of ingenious, sort of like when Thrasher had Nikki Sixx present the trophy to Tony Trujillo. Except with teenage racism. To everyone’s eternal disappointment Stevie didn’t knock Duffel out in front of a packed house, but it does raise the possibility of similar odd-couple award presentations to come. Some potential combos:

-Mike Vallely and Mike O’Meally
-Chad Fernandez and Knox Godoy (perhaps Knox could open the envelope and call Nandez’s cell phone with the winner’s name)
-Henry Sanchez and half the skateboard industry (video screen in the background could feature a photoshopped picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in flames)
-Sean Sheffey and Ryan Fabry (or maybe Earl Parker and Chris Senn)
-Steve Berra and Jovontae Turner
-Heath Kirchart and a crew of Midwestern crack dealers
-Ed Templeton and David C. Novak, CEO of Yum! Brands, which runs Kentucky Fried Chicken
-Tony Hawk’s dad and Rodney Mullen’s dad
-the SF twins

Words from the genius?

June 18, 2008


“He was like a NAMBLA f—–, or something”

I have a kind of sad feeling that this isn’t real, but you know, it’s one of those things that makes opens your eyes a little wider in the morning.

Update: Considering how domesticated the woman on the voicemail message sounds, there’s no way this is real. Unfortunately.

TK love the kids

June 18, 2008


Really I just wanted an excuse to repost this ad for Krew’s fake bulletproof vest.

Today’s Terry Kennedy update comes to us from AllHipHop.com, announcing that the solemn and dignified young man who worked his way out of poverty on four urethane wheels is once again selflessly giving of himself. Billed as a “Viva La Bam” star and “caption” of Pharrell’s Ice Cream squadron (it still exists right?), TK is set to get dirty tomorrow, but with a noble purpose–namely cleaning up the Venice skatepark, painting the exterior of the VCPJA building and making improvements to the sanctuary area. I’ve been trying to tell them the VCPJA building needs a new paint job for years, but, you know. I’m just one man.

But TK is just one man too, even if he does caption an Ice Cream Team and lead a Fly Society and have the Baker Boys behind him. So the powers that be chose to partner him with somebody on the cleanup detail, and the logical choice was of course Eazy E’s son, known to us all as Lil Eazy. Now what you have here is a movement, people. That VCPJA building is as good as painted. Real talk.

I see that Boost Mobile somehow butted their way into what TK probably intended as a quiet and reflective afternoon of improving and VCPJA building-painting, which is obviously sketchy in a way, because when Boost Mobile gets ahold of a couple rappers, you know the type of dude they bring to the mix. But according to the AllHipHop blurb the kids who help clean up the park get to go see Tracy Morgan along with Three 6 Mafia and, that’s right, Puddle of Mudd*. Now, originally I was going to kind of joke around about this whole deal but now I’m thinking about going. Maybe Tracy Morgan will get one of the Puddle of Mudds pregnant. Maybe he’ll get Jim Greco pregnant.

*How many people do you think wouldn’t be able to pick the Academy Award winner out of that lineup? More or less than the number of people who can’t find Iraq on a map?

Vincent Alvarez has potential

June 17, 2008


Ain’t shit to do but cook

I could sit here and pretend I’m not excited about persons of color being added to the mix in growing numbers over at Choco, but dammit, it wouldn’t be honest. And besides, I’m shallow like that. Either way, the long-awaited (well at least a month or two) debut video part for young Vincent Alvarez hit today and mostly it’s pretty good. Partly because the brown on the team finally outweighs the white again, but also mostly because little VA isn’t the same type of super am the Crailtap posse has been signing in this, the Malto Age or whatever. He’s got a kind of weird selection of tricks, and they’re definitely not all pretty, but it’s refreshing to watch a kid who chooses to huck a switch smith grind up onto a tall flatbar instead of scootching b/s tail reverts on a three-foot-high bank or nollie inward heelflipping 16 stairs.

It’s also refreshing to see that Ty Bruckheimer has trimmed his Fully Flannel lumberjack beard and locks. Next let’s work on trimming the clips of dudes sitting on curbs and suddenly standing up, or the always inspiring run-and-throw-down-the-board shot.

I think I’m liking this kid though. With tricks like his first line and that switch 180 to 5-0 on the yellow rail, combined with the Diamond Head, brought to mind POL-era Henry Sanchez. And I mean that in the most non-racist way possible, I swear. Some tricks were pretty gross-looking, like the cab b/s lip on the ledge and the fakie lipslide tricks up the loading dock, and the switch tailslide 270 shove-it body varial (?) I’m kind of half-and-half on, but like Torey Pudwill, Alvarez seems like he’s putting some thought into his skating which I’m always a fan of. It was even cool to me how he landed horizontal on the bank with the fakie flip and half-cab flip.

So yeah. I wished there was more of his celebrated switch transition skating, but a few of those tricks (b/s lipslide to bluntslide, fakie bigspin bluntslide) were gold and the waterslide guitar hero moment was pretty inspired. Mike Mo and Malto are good and all, and I’m a fan of their skating, but it’s cool to me that an institution like Girl/Choco is still down to put on a kid like this who doesn’t land every trick the same exact way and has a little upper-body spaz. You know? Paco had Chico and Mulder next to Paulo and Gabe.


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