Working For the Weekend


Ain’t trickin if you got it

If I had a nickel for every skateboarder done wrong by the industry I could probably save deck merchants from the scourge of blank boards, bail out PacSun and have enough left over to take Dave Duncan and Fred Gall out for buffalo wings (not even on 5 cent night). However, on rare instances I get to wondering what’s lost when the industry effectively closes the door on some former hot shoe’s career, for what are usually pretty subjective reasons. The fickle tides of footwear choice and waistlines, etc.

I got thinking on this recently when two Wisco boys, Brian Emmers and Aaron Snyder, popped up in various media via The Skateboard Mag – Emmers with the pic above in the photo issue and Snyder with this “Mag Minute” video feature a couple weeks ago. While as far as I know neither one’s got any kind of major-league sponsors backing them right now (or anytime since the turn of the century if you don’t count S-One [which maybe I should]), both clearly remain ready and willing to skate up to and possibly beyond current standards. Which is cool from a soul-brah-pure-love-of-skateboarding perspective of course and interesting as far as their willingness to continue pushing their personal trick envelopes.

I’m still a fan of Brian Emmers’ part in Plan B’s “Revolution” and remember being blown away by the nollie cab backside lipslide shove-it out, which still isn’t a trick you see done much at all today. Aside from some style quibbles the part holds up pretty well, as does his contribution to the rag-tag group of misfits Evol video, which anticipates the rise of Brian Wenning minus the Yosiris ender. The question on my mind: in an age where camera-ready park pros wax poetic on their frontside feeble grinds, would Emmers’ “respect the skills” transgression still get him drummed out of the industry?

Likewise, when dudes up to and including a skater of the year can get away with fudging a sequence and Photoshopping is par for the course, you wonder whether Aaron Snyder’s fiasco with the Big Brother sequence would be such a big deal. Spilled milk aside, the dude hasn’t lost many steps with the TSM clip, arm-flappiness on the manual pads aside. His last two tricks are genuinely insane.

Whether these dudes belong back in regular circulation is a question best left to industry dark men and the free market. But I wonder if it bums out pros on the slide or come-up kids, seeing dudes like Snyder and Emmers busting legit stuff on current spots like that. I imagine it’s probably the same way strippers feel when somebody’s drunk girlfriend leaps out of her chair, onto a pole and starts working it for free. Those bags of blow don’t pay for themselves, after all.

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7 Responses to “Working For the Weekend”

  1. Hari Says:

    The couple of times I’ve skated with Emmers, I’ve been in awe. He seems like someone that skates not, ‘outside the industry’ but ‘despite the industry’. Hopefully these guys inspire those on the ‘way out’ as it were, that there’s life after sponsorship.

    Good work man. Keep ‘em coming.

  2. mike Says:

    I always thought it was “recognize the skills,” but a slight change of wording doesn’t deminish the awesomeness. Skated with Emmers at 3rd and Army years ago, dude is gigantic-ripping no doubt. Past two posts were pretty bonkers, thanks for the reads.

  3. Rocuronium Says:

    As mike says, thanks for the great reads. I feel like it is the only place to find well formed & informed insights into the industry and its history. There are the slap boards, but it takes a lot of trudging to find the diamonds.

    But please remind/link the lesser schooled what you are referring to with the “recognize the skills” or the sequence deal with Snyder. Have no clue otherwise. Also, since you don’t mind drawing a little blood it would be funny and helpful if you linked an example of people who wax poetic about their fs feeble.
    When you said photoshop is de facto, do you mean turning a white shirt orange or something more fraudulent?

  4. Kevin J Says:

    Well put. Good read.

  5. tim Says:

    me and my friend always wondered why snyder hasn’t picked up any sponsors . i actually really enjoyed his digital get tricks or die trying part from a couple years ago. he does go slower than i like on some things but his trick selection and style are much more appealing than your average park rat whos trying to keep up with the feeble flips and back smith flip outs.

    i too would like to know what you’re talking about when it comes to the photoshopping and sequence smudging . i know guy marianos old transworld sequence cover is well know but i was hoping you’d have something else to point out. and yes they really do photoshop out the filmers from time to time.

  6. Mr. Says:

    Yeah, please explain more on the Snyder sequence controversy. I’m no kid anymore, but don’t remeber it during the Big Brother days.

    I’d love to hear more on the history (and current state) of photoshopping/claiming bails as lands in ads/faking that happens in skate ads. Please do a post on it, I’ve never heard anything on that.

  7. pilot light Says:

    The Snyder sequence brouhaha, as I recall it, arose from a sequence he had in Big Brother (I think a manual/grind combo) where there was something/someone in the background that disappeared and then reappeared. BB printed a letter a couple months later from a kid who called Snyder out on it, and I believe Snyder responded, saying how he’d landed the trick a week previous to the sequence being taken, but basically admitting that he didn’t land it for the photo, per se. At least that’s how I remember it. To what degree that was related to his fading from the industry I couldn’t say, but the whole episode stuck with him.

    Four or five years ago Appleyard had a sequence in either The Skateboard Mag or Skateboarder that was a kickflip backside tailslide on a rail, during which a Baker logo mysteriously appeared and then disappeared on the bottom of his deck. No call-out letters appeared on that one; the footage may have been in “Really Sorry” or maybe not.

    Photoshopping to my knowledge is pretty standard practice these days but it’s a matter of degrees, ranging from making colors “pop” to aestheticizing spots to erasing filmer lurk to boosting Markovitch hangtime. Of course the practice of running tricks that weren’t landed continues, but it’s often out of the skater/photographer’s hands, so hard to determine who exactly must be demonized on internet forums.

    And yeah, it was indeed “recognize the skills.”

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