Archive for January, 2010

The Beak Is Back, Maybe

January 28, 2010


Can’t be stopped

As you can imagine, even in the freshly minted year of our Lord 2010, the Muska is never far from our minds around here. Whether it was his days pioneering the cargo pant as the Shorty’s team captain, the clear sunglasses-and-headscarf combo of Circa’s heyday or his resurrection as a white-denimed Hollywood nightcrawler, Chad Muska’s legacy looms large. So large in fact that I was gobsmacked no less than twice yesterday during my usual You-Toob clip perusal by the way Muska fulfilled the dream with one of his token moves, the backside noseslide.

I’ve been hard-pressed to keep up with the various “You/U/Eu” video contests and controversies that seem to be constantly churning over at the berrics, but was prompted to click this one because it had an odd name that I incorrectly thought belonged to a single person, and also because it came from Mexico, a land I imagine to be overrun with bloodthirsty druglords toting AR-15s, but actually is home to some bros that do a lot of body varial tricks. The Muska moment arrives at 2:33 with a healthy noseslide through some sizable kinks and taken back to regular which is always a good look with this move.

Elsewhere on the planet, globetrotting Yankees fan Kenny Reed stretches his backside 5-0s to worldly proportions and revisits a few obscure spots en route to a (spoiler alert) truly massive noseslide down something like 50 steps. The sheer length is one thing but what makes this noseslide really classic is how low the ledge is and the never-say-die way that Reed skids it out to the bitter end. Kind of comical but it’s interesting to see a resurgence of these more basic tricks these days. People like Davids Gravette and Gonzales are promoting 5050s again when there’s a gnarly handrail involved, although for years it seemed like that trick had been discarded as too basic* to even consider. If noseslides creep back into the rotation, perhaps there will one day be no need to twist boardslides into feeble grinds.

*disregarding Anthony Pappalardo, in which case that seems like the whole point

Kibbles ‘n Bits

January 27, 2010

If wishes were ponies this site might instead be a highly productive dog-food factory, but one dream did take flight last year when the yearning for Grant Taylor to film a more transition-focused video part came true in living color via the Nike am video. But even before that, another longstanding hope was for Santa Cruz man-am Sid Melvin to swing his personal pendulum the other way – out of the concrete parks and back to the streets that made his Arcade Fire-stoked section in SC’s “Out There” a quasi-guilty pleasure for those of us who patiently await the paroling of Lil Boosie.

Ambiguously-named clothing company Ambiguous Clothing comes through in more ways than one with this brief Sid Melvin clip they posted up a little while back, which would suggest that a bounce back from knee issues has rekindled a belly-fire in the light-footed bro with the looks of a young Sam Smyth – the frontside 180 line has serious street mojo and the kickflip to mini-bank carries the right amount of lightning tweak. Still pulling for the beanie over the brim though.

Jan. 24th: New Bin Laden Tape Surfaces, Saints-Colts Matchup Set For Superbowl XLIV, Greg Lutzka Conquers Another Medium

January 25, 2010


Now imagine music going off in the background

I was inspired to make my first visit to the Armourdillo website earlier today after finding a half-soaked CCS catalogue in my letterbox, browsing it and smirking at this Corey Duffel quote:

“They are the ultimate flair company.”

The thinking was, post up a pic of Duffel wearing some of his more ostentatious gear and a tough-guy frown, paste the quote underneath, have another chuckle at that we live in an age where one can say the phrase “ultimate flair company” in an un-ironic fashion, and go to sleep secure in the knowledge that we will start the week with some breezy and half-amusing content. BUT, after visiting the website of Armourdillo – an Australian leathers concern of some description that seems focused squarely on belts and wallets – I was completely blown away by the fact that “the” Greg Lutzka has pointed the prow of his personal brand toward the iPhone app shores with his first videogame. Let’s allow him to explain his unique vision in terms of his own choosing.

dizm is launching a new Skateboarding iPhone app where you can compete against Greg Lutzka in a game of S.K.A.T.E. as music goes off in the background. S.K.A.T.E. features a variety of tricks, ranging from ollies to more technical moves such as frontside bigspins and nollie heelflips.

“dizm S.K.A.T.E. is a fun app that is technical enough to appeal to skaters, but easy enough so non-skaters can enjoy it too,” commented Lutzka. The dizm S.K.A.T.E. (Skateboarding iPhone app) is available for $0.99 from the App Store and can be found by searching for dizm SKATE in the App Store or by clicking here.

Even in the midst of the Great Recession, at 99 cents, somebody has to have the extra banana-skins to have downloaded and battled the i-Lutzka for SKATE supremacy. So a full and let’s face it, glowing review would be appreciated. The only possible knock against this game would be that it’s probably more accurately described as an entry in the fantasy genre because in real life, one cannot hope to compete with the Lutzka.

Backmasking

January 22, 2010


Back it up then stop

There are those dudes like Brian Wenning and Daniel Castillo and Nate Jones who find a seam to mine and stick with it for much of their careers, and when you’ve got a nice switch heelflip/switch backside heelflip/hair that can help you pay your mortgage or whatever, more power to you. But for those of us whose major fulfillment re: progression comes from landing personal NDB’s, by a function of stair-fearing ankles or general sucking, it’s heartening to see established pro-bros who keep reaching for the new-trick rainbow year in and year out.

Case in point: Emmanuel Guzman’s rather genuine excitement at filming a flatground switch 360 flip in the Transworld video, a maneuver he apparently had figured out not long before. This particular memory was jogged via Guzman’s section in “Prevent This Tragedy” when he twirls a switch tre over a cement hump, only to follow it with what I’m assuming is another recent addition to the repertoire, a switch backside 360.

Now, there was a time and place when backside noseblunting a handrail won you fever points with the masses, covers of magazines, curtains in videos; this time was the year 2000 and the place was a little zone that so-cal brahs like to call “so-cal, brah.” The handrail BSNBS was among the last milemarker tricks, in that it became over the subsequent years kind of a benchmark as far as what dudes could do it and how big they could take it.

It seems like a lot of the past decade was given over to stringing tricks together and rediscovering ramp roots, but if there were to be ’10 version of the barometer type trick, we at Boil the ocean internet peanut gallery LLC would gently submit the switch backside 360 as a worthwhile candidate. Suitably exclusive to the super-good, it’s also one that could conceivably be done ugly enough to let you sort out the legit envelope-pushers from the skatepark stair pretenders. Guzman doesn’t sail his down a Merlino-sized gap but it’s got an interesting delay to it. And yeah we are aware that Russ Milligan has already done and gone and did it with a kickflip (who else–Chris Cole? PJ Ladd?)

Guzman’s got that wicked spider-style and the switch 360 actually ranks pretty low on the gnarlitude scale when it comes to his part in this video, with higher positions held by the frontside ollie into the giant pool, the windbreaker hill jam and a personal favorite, the backside tailslide (to regulars) on the wood rail, which anyone will tell you earns extra points always.

Spliff Star

January 19, 2010


Nick Trapasso, moments before enraging a stuffed-shirt dean of students with his relaxed attitude toward life

Back around the time when Jake Brown offered up his body to raise skateboarding’s profile on sports highlight/grievous injury clip shows, Brazilian melonfarmer Bob Burnquist took a certain amount of heat for appearing to anguish over the organ-lacerating slam, pace, and then proceed to wrest victory from the jaws of the Aussie-eating Megaramp. Some submitted that the classy thing would’ve been to cede the contest to Brown and his history-making 720, but Bob B eventually responded by saying that laying down, even for a badly injured bro, would’ve bummed Jake Brown out and violated the sacred spirit of the X Games themselfs, which would be a bummer of cataclysmic proportions, no doubt.

Only an MRI machine can know for sure what was going on in Jake Brown’s mind at the time, and given the prodigious amounts of the devil’s lettuce that Nick Trapasso is understood to blow, similar guessing at his motivations re: skating would be also a risky bet. But watching the Converse/Thrasher video it’s interesting to see some restraint in terms of what moves he does or doesn’t do at any given time, and in some ways it’s as refreshing as a cracked window to a hotboxed car.

Trapasso’s brand is one of festive floral leisurewear and tossed-off tricks, but the dude’s no slouch skill-wise, switch nose-grinding handrails and hucking that ginormous bigspin flip at the beginning. Not to mention, nollie nosegrinding a different handrail bearing an unfriendly kink. There’s plenty of people who will tell you the Spicoli thing is a put-on, and maybe it is, but there’s some type of genuine relaxation to a dude who in 2010 will incorporate a flatground kickflip into a line*, or a similarly simple halfcab to set up a stair jump, or a halfhearted blunt fakie attempt thrown in after the behatted coping nosegrind. There’s a kind of who-cares confidence there too, the sort of thing sometimes appears lost among trick trends and the rise of personal brands. Also the backside heelflip he does at 2:44 is extremely wonky and sweet-looking.

*nods to Marc Johnson’s “Modus” flatground ollie

Andrew Allen Is the Best Pool Skater Working Right Now

January 18, 2010


Thought you thought

Looking at the pic above, in the Alkaline Trio-themed new Thrasher, kind of blows me away. First of all, because it’s a big hill, with steel poles menacing anyone who might try and roll down it. Second of all, you may notice that Andrew Allen is not just rolling but jumping into it. Third of all it’s even crazier because he’s doing this jump backward-footed (switchstance in the new-school parlance) and fourth of all it’s yet crazier still since he is a pool skater on Anti-Hero who wears Dickies and knee socks.

It’s obvious that the boy is in way over his head. He basically says as much in the Thrasher–

It was super windy and I’d been bailing it, so I decided, “I don’t care. I’m riding away on the next one.” I really had no control of my board. I was bouncing off the wall. I just got fed up. I hit the kink at the end of it and I don’t really know what happened — just closed my eyes. I woke up on the ground with a couple of scrapes. Cheated death a little bit, but not really.”

With hair as tall as an embattled late-night TV host, Andrew Allen is a living, breathing, sponsored testament to the fact that proper grooming, great lift and a can-do attitude can earn one exceptions from many of the limitations this earthly life foists upon us. He has been infected with a love for the new style of street skating, with nary a backyard pool to be found in his section of the excellent new Thrasher/Cons video (a welcome throwback to the mid-00′s glut of free promo DVDs). Like a post-darkness Anthony Van Engelen or a pre-web 2.0 Salman Agah, the pool skater Allen brings a weightful tangibility to his ledge and gap shit that makes his tricks come off looking a bit more significant, as opposed to your usual stick-limbed tween in stretch corduroys and one of those puffy-topped ski hats with semi-ironic knit stitching upon the side. He doesn’t crush tricks like Pete Eldridge does but everything looks like there’s a little more meat to it (see: switch b/s tailslide kickflip, switch backside lipslide, noseblunt pop-out).

Somehow going back to the above photo, this trick taken on its own kind of encapsulates the whole vibe of “PTT” — Thrasher-approved tech/gnar chemistry heated to the verge of bubbling over, which of course it inevitably does. Also plaid and a beanie.


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