Archive for October, 2010

You Won’t Have Heath Kirchart To Kick Around Anymore, Except Maybe On His Bicycling Blog

October 21, 2010

Hushed whispers and anxious talk these past weeks that California’s Heath Kirchart may have won skateboarding. Whether such a thing is possible, or even within the tremb-ly bounds of reality, matters little to them who speak of web-winged horrors in the night and terrible, elder gods whose names are better lost to fabled memory. We find ourselves confronting a post-‘Stay Gold’ gap that fits like an abyss and is that much more perplexing for its almost welcome appearance.

It’s maybe wrong to say Heath Kirchart went out “on top” as he didn’t really wear the hungry contender hat — Rob Welsh once notoriously described himself as your favorite skater’s favorite skater, and probably that isn’t really the right hat to put on Kirchart either, but maybe something closer to your favorite skater’s most feared specter. His shadow was a long one, stretched by negative vibes, bushes-hiding and the occasional bout of physical violence, and it will grow with time. And perhaps the completion of certain American biking challenges.

So maybe better to say he left* on his own terms, though the Kirchart of the Thrasher interview might try and argue the point — saying more like forced out by tougher competition or something. But compared to a slow, five-year slide through fourth- and fifth-tier shoe sponsors and cashing elastic cable accessory checks, it could have been much less dignified. And it was without a blaze of sour grapes, or grabbing for some Hollywood brass ring, as interesting as that concept may have been.

Possible knocks on Heath Kirchart: A Career On Four Wheels? With counter-knocks
-Skated for Birdhouse during the height of the cartoon graphic/Tony Hawk deification era
—Was in “The End,” among the best 90s videos; damaged property and lit fires with future “Hater’s Ball” honoree Jeremy Klein; ate shit skating a bus stop

-For much of his tenure, a “handrail skater”
—Unless I’m wrong, was the first dude to backside noseblunt such a handrail; christened El Toro; that lipslide shove-it from the Foundation vid

-Turned in a half-dozen tricks for his last video “part”
—Jumped the mega-ramp/set a higher bar for “street dudes” taking the plunge; told everybody they could stop paying him afterward

Others?

*Barring a comeback, which would inevitably bring comparisons to Jereme Rogers which nobody wants

But He Never Had A Drinking Problem!

October 9, 2010

Handled a shoe deal, drug problem and semi-graceful growth from handrail am to finesse pro and still looks like he’s 15, Dylan Rieder’s VBS quadrilogy paints him as a still-young man now on a mission — personally thought his “MF” part held up well enough as a sophomore come-down from the blockbusting done in the Transworld vid, but suppose this really only goes to show how far off my perceptions are from the front-line realities of action-sportoids such as Mark Oblow and others who have front row seats to eyeball melting impossibles*. The Gravis mini-movie didn’t strike me so much as anybody pinnacling but more like this kid gathering his strength, re-setting the bar for what may come next with a lot of moves that seemed sort of founded on the Heath Kirchart-sized gap in the AWS ranks (tall bar b/s tailslide, rooftop ollie, head-high hip frontside flip). The focus on power/altitude over technical-ness seems like a conscious choice that makes sense in terms of retrenching for the next five years of Dylan-dom, but when it comes to tying it all together what would’ve sweeted up the pot would’ve been a couple reminders that this is the kid who switch bigspin flipped that blue stairway after blazing through the bowls in “Time To Shine.”

That’s quibbling though and Dylan Rieder, with this Gravis video, has for the moment outstripped the trappings of his little shit days, his heart-throb cheekbones and personal dark period to win over even the tut-tuttin’est messageboarders, now roundly seen as having recorded one of the better video parts to be seen this year. More interesting is what he aims to do with his hard-won political capital — Barack Obama blew his on health care reform, Jamie Thomas resurrected the street grab, Peter Smolik cleared the table and built for himself an empire of waxed ledge combos. Dylan Rieder is a style guy though, both on-deck and off, and his tastes sometimes run toward the retro which maybe explains his apparent decision to use his platform as a starting point for reclaiming the once-rebellious “McSqueeb” hairstyle, used by young men in the late 80s/early 90s to help invent the Madonna and save mankind from robot-wrought apocalypse. This ‘blog site’ may settle for more switch bigspin flips and another angle of that impossible over the contest barrier.

*BTW, the one over the New York bench ought to jockey with Satva Leung’s maybe-maybe not flip in “Welcome To Hell” for all-time sleight of foot mirages


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