Raging Dill

International tastemaker, former Sal Barbier employee and affable guy-on-the-couch TV guest star Jason Dill is in the messageboard headlines again, only this time for skate tricks. It’s a departure for Dill, one of the most quotable/misquotable personalities in the biz, and who seems very much aware of it. What do you think, this is the third career renaissance for Jason Dill? Fourth? Would it be pointless hyperbole to submit Dill as the Madonna of useless wooden toydom? Does this site traffic in any other sort?

The cynical book is easy to make on Jason Dill, who could be perceived putting himself just far enough ahead of the pack when it comes to trick trends, outfit choices and various cultural movements to appear streets beyond the yellow-shirted nollie crooked grinders of the early ’00s or the energy drink-hatted ledge swirlers of our current age. His occasional mouthiness — witness this month’s Thrasher, “We axed the Scientologist and acquired two new ams” — marks him as something of a snob, which maybe he sort of is, but any and all of that stuff I feel like is balanced out by what’s just as obvious to anybody who’s followed Jason Dill for any period of time, and he basically lays out later on page 149: “as a fan of skateboarding myself…”

Whatever foibles he’s got it’s hard not to root for a dude who lugs around several suitcases full of skateboarding history and potpourri underneath that now-dormant afro puff, hitching his filming wagon to some long-forgotten H-Street dude’s section 20 years ago or seeming to wear a wrist cast as some type of fashion accessory. Whether or not I personally recognize or relish whatever references and insinuations he’s baking into his tricks, you appreciate the effort to bring something more nuanced to the table with one eye on the history books and the other kids who may or may not pick up on it.

Rightly or wrongly sometimes I get to wondering about how skating is different than or same as big-league sports like basketball or football, and professional fandom is part of this wondering. Like, does Johan Santana subscribe to the MLB network so he can Tivo Joe Mauer’s at-bats? Or does Brian Urlacher have a shelf of VHS tapes handy in case he feels like watching some games with the Fridge? Do basketballers discuss it in the locker room if some dude on another team made a glorious slam dunk? On our end how many pros you think went out and bought the DVD/begged for PMs on the Slap board when “Stay Gold” came out? How many dudes with pro shoes on the market right now could rattle off Mike Maldonado’s last trick in “Welcome To Hell”? Should it matter?

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20 Responses to “Raging Dill”

  1. Joshua Says:

    As sad as it may be that many of today’s pros can not recall Maldanado’s last trick it would not be surprising.

  2. aaron cayer Says:

    I think anyone old enough to understand this should actually go out and talk to some kids. They have SUCH a different mindset… “I have never seen photosynthesis” ..

    • Joshua Says:

      I would if I thought it would make a difference. There is no point in explaining the significance of Dill jumping off his board in the middle of a line, to someone who was a sparkle in their mother’s eye at the time.

      • Anonymous Says:

        It’s actually worked in a few instances for me. A kid asked me if I invented “43s” (180 no comply) and I laughed, said “no”, and told him to YOUtube Ray Barbee’s “Ban This” part. He did and came back with no comply fever. It’s also worked in passing the torch of Karma, Julien, and even Wade Speyer to the youth. Some kids are retarded little assholes and some aren’t- I guess I got lucky a few times….

    • Sam Says:

      If it makes you feel any better there are a few of us younger guys who care, I am seventeen and would consider myself a pretty big skate nerd, and I try to focus on watching all of the older video parts that I wasn’t around for. They are great material, but I feel like sometimes kids don’t understand that skateboarding is a constantly progressing beast, they think that skateboarding has always been Torey Pudwill and Danny Way, and when I try to explain to them how awesome EMB and Love park was they don’t understand, they think it is just mediocre skating. I feel like kids have no respect for style and fast fluid skating anymore, it is all about the trick selection and how many stairs you can switch bigflip. Jason Dill is proof of this, he is a top favorite for many pros, but the kids just think he is a burnout old dude, who made some crappy VHS 500 years ago. It is embarrassing that a 15 year old skate park rat thinks that Julian Stranger is lame and that bombing hills is boring and pointless, but Shaun White is cool because he is in the X Games and he is sponsored by Target.

    • bo Says:

      Working in a shop shows both sides of things. Sometimes kids will be watching Yeah Right! and commenting on how sloppy they think Gino’s style is, then the next group of kids is mesmerized by Eastern Exposure Zero. I’m a consistent cynic when it comes to the younger dudes, but when it all shakes out, there’s still probably as many skate nerds out there as there’s ever been. The overall sample size of skateboarders is just larger.

  3. New Dill AWS ad – Grey Skateboard Magazine Says:

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  4. justin Says:

    Those first three paragraphs are in complete agreement with my assessment of Dill. It’s hard to believe he’s given us twenty years of video parts, interviews and photos. As for the fourth paragraph, I had never thought about that, but now I am. I know a few baseball players were obsessive about watching tape and kept extensive VHS libraries they would study before games.

  5. timfeeble Says:

    I think factoring in the amount of coverage skateboarding gets in contrast to other sports is why skateboard pro’s are sitting around talking about skater xyz’s ender. It takes 3-5 years to put out a video part of sometimes less than 40 clips, where as you have 160+ baseball games in one season. If baseball games were played only once a year, rewatching footage and talking about the shortstop’s style or finesse when he throws the runner out on first would probably be more common.

    As for dill, as long as the guy is skating hard I’ll be hyped on him. Just don’t put out another mindfield part that leaves you wanting more/disappointed he didn’t try harder (and I don’t care about the drug/injured/nyc excuses, suck it up and skate).

    • al Says:

      I really enjoyed the Mind Field part. This is also coming from a younger guy (early 20s) who started skating pretty much alone and had a lot of catching up to do once I finally encountered other skateboarders/magazines/videos/etc. Maybe my snobbery is somewhat abated by the novelty of the spectacle? First Dill part I knew about beforehand besides the SkateMore confusionfest.

      Also, does anyone remember Pat Rakestraw snapping two tables years ago (that was probably around the time I first started seeing videos)? People barely seemed to remember that when Alex Olson had his ollie-the-hard-way as a Girl ad a few months ago. In scenarios like these, I don’t think it decreases the stoke, it’s just a curiosity of our weird little culture.

      • timfeeble Says:

        I’m also young 20’s not that it matters. I do remember Rakes ollie and it’s definitely worth mentioning, back wheel tap and all. I don’t mind that Dill does a two table ollie though, seeing as there are plenty of 12 stair ads with nollie flips that different pro’s have done. Different stair set, basically the same size but still respectable regardless. With so many skaters now a days and abd’s I think the only thing that really matters anymore is how well you can do it, forget the fact that so many other people have done it. So and so did it first ? Good for him, doesn’t mean I can’t try it now, or watch my favorite skater land it too.

    • charlie ward Says:

      interesting baseball comparison, tim.

      the only way dill’s mindfield part could have left you unsatisfied is if you didn’t watch the quartersnacks re-edit.

      any occasion to remember the street rake is work taking. excited for his next showing.

    • Armin Says:

      I like that baseball season/video part analogy – I’m gonna try and take it a step further – might be a little out there but bear with me…

      Think about single games in a 160 game season as one day out skating – on a good day a dude will get a usable clip or make that game saving diving catch.
      But on a highlight reel day dude’ll get that walk off homerun, or some kind of ender ender.

      It used to be all you would see is the compiled highlight reel of 3 years of footage,
      but now every moment of a pro’s life is accessible through instragram or some kind of live clip, it’s gotten to the point that the average skate fan can watch the session go down streaming from his iphone.

      I guess there’s good and bad parts to it: more fodder and footage for the skate fans to feed on is definitely cool in my book.
      It’s just when do things cross that line and lose the mystery/fantasy aspect of skateboard endorsements, and people learn the meaning of the expression “never meet your idols” (or however it goes.)

      Either way – let’s hope for more Dill coverage coming any way possible!

      • timfeeble Says:

        Don’t really have anything to contribute except that I enjoyed reading your comment and agree with everything you said.

  6. thecarbonite Says:

    saw some Paul Pierce interview one time when he said he [nerds out] and watches old games on ESPN Classic and NBATV

  7. kelson Says:

    who’s the scientologist that left?

  8. Art Hellman Says:

    He’s always welcome at the kids table

  9. smorales Says:

    I too enjoy how much Dill brings to the table.

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