Archive for January, 2012

In Which We Discuss The Potential For Stacking Some American Dollars Via Spot Profiteering

January 25, 2012

When Josh Kalis talks about a growing shortage of organic skating and tricks in current videos and magazines he’s mostly talking about how filming has come to be oriented around missions rather than documenting whatever progression is coming out of an existing scene or spot or crew, and he has a point — the idea that the possibly most-recognized/followed spot is a California warehouse done up in shades of gray probably says something about the state of the union/kids these days/etc. But the discussion around Mark Suciu’s States-spanning video part throws out some broader questions about what constitutes real or genuine skating, amid explosive charges of what one friend termed “pseudo-east coasting.”

Oh? It’s hard to recall eastern-borns skating Southern Californian schoolyards being derided as west coast carpetbagging but let’s go with it here. Authenticity counts, or it used to. In the days of yore, like the 80s, “poseurs” served as shorthand for wannabe types looking to co-opt the image of skateboarding without paying the various tolls, such as being branded a loser/misfit/outcast in zones outside of California, as well as physical injuries and legal reprisals in all locations generally, or possibly owning Limpies. Shoulder chips were earned by those who slaved over hot asphalt in pursuit of a flip trick destined to go unloved by all but a handful of local peers. Or even more dire, skating a vert ramp.

The knock against Suciu (ten years ago you could maybe slot in another Habitat employee, Danny Garcia, in a similar fashion) I think is that he’s looking to mint an image by taking some California skatepark show to hallowed East Coast spots and thereby earn valuable blog-points that are redeemable* for blog-cred on widely observed messageboards, a surefire plan to reap riches and piles of endorsement goods. This type of NIMBY brainwave has forced young’ns in days past to pay respects to their forebears and earn respect in old-fashioned ways, in some cases by stepping up to the same shit they skated. An argument could be made that kids build more character skating Love Park nowadays in its more-illegal state versus the ’99-’00 heyday. But what would be an acceptable penance for growing up in California, indulging in some “Forecast” ledge combos and not bombing enough hills? At what point would it be cool for such a bro to take his shot at the Fred Gall ledge-to-handrail? Should Jake Johnson have taken heat for tilting at the Astor Cube? Were hard feelings harbored after Bob Puleo tried his hand over in London?

There’s legitimate gripes to be made when up-and-comers seek to launch their personal brands upon your El Toros and your Hubba Hideouts and your Macba 4s, especially if they’re foolishly snarling traffic for the builders of Burnside or the flag-planters at Embarcadero. Maybe the Love Park holdouts still feel this way when they look at the Mark Suciu part. I’ll grant that part of it is down to the dude involved — much less slack would be granted to, say, Ryan Sheckler if he concocted some video part that stitched together beloved Eastern seaboard plazas and a bunch of spots in New Jersey and whatnot. But I don’t get the impression that Mark Suciu is bereft of street cred, and if this is a calculated get-rich quick scheme on his part I think he’d do better to log hours on Google Earth looking for teeny stair sets to jump up, or figuring out where Elijah Berle shops for his outfits, or recording some private skatepark antics.

*but non-transferrable

Hrm

January 17, 2012

Not at all sure what to make of this new Gino Iannucci ad, which I had to see a few different places to even fully believe was real this afternoon. He’s skating again, so obviously a plus. But first sequence out the gate in how long and it’s a two-tone ledge trick with a full b/s 360 by the end of the day? Guy Mariano must be sharing his vitamin water.

Nike’s emissaries promise some lengthy interview in the near future, but unless it involves passing dipped cigarettes with Jereme Rogers any explanation of how this sequence came to be will probably end up less than 100% satisfying. Don’t get me wrong though, this is pretty amazing..

Mark Suciu Pens “Photosythesis” Fan Fiction, Has Hudson News On Smash

January 17, 2012

What with the standalone physical-release full-length video production gradually scaling back to the more occasional “event” that they were up til the late 1990s, we’ve got some of these one-off web parts taking on a bigger profile and developing their own little hype cycles — the Dylan Rieder “Laterds” coinciding with his landmark statement of purpose for Gravis, Nyjah Huston’s biographical/career turning point as promotional peg for his Element clip last fall, Thrasher handing its website over to Plan B and Torrey Pudwill over the summer in the run-up to his midyear footage dump, and so on. Drama and promotion seem to be part of the effort to rise above the Youtue/Hellaclips/message-board footage din, which makes it notable in a different kind of a way when Mark Suciu and his Atlas store buddies show up and run the WWW table for a three-day weekend with very little fanfare or notice ahead of time.

It’s hard to overstate how good this part is but we’ll try here. Gone is the five-panel hat, but otherwise Mark Suciu and his collaborator Miguel Valle strip away the floppy hair, overwrought ledge combos and assorted other little kidisms from the already-good “Origin” section and double down on stuff like the rail ollie to backside lipslide on the block, and all those flip tricks atop the narrow curb. These dudes seem to work like a good musician/producer combo and are smart about how they put hard tricks in the frame here, like the backside noseblunt up against the wall or the backside tailslide pop-out at Pulaski Park in Washington DC which seems like the type of trick that’s been crying out to be done by somebody. No egregious slow-mo, or even any slow-mo. And some of these tricks and runs are way out of hand.

But past all that you get the feeling that this dude almost is working with a kind of plan. Jake Johnson talked a while back about messages. Not knowing a lot about what he was going for with this section, or Mark Suciu in general except that he comes out of the Bay Area and he’s a fan of vintage Pappalardo and he heeds advice from Brennan Conroy as to footage gathering, it lets you project or theorize a little bit as you oooohh/aaaahh through this footage for the eleventh time. A blurb in Transworld not long ago put him in Philadelphia on some for-the-fuck-of-it road trip that apparently netted the switch feeble grind and probably a lot of the other local stuff as well as the Occupy clip. Looking at the way he’s skating now and the places him and his friends choose to hit, you can put together some picture of a kid who’s getting a chance to put his own spin on a “Photosynthesis”/”Ryde or Die Vol. 1″/”Element World Tour”/”EST” — carving his initials into spots next to Anthony* Pappalardo, Josh Kalis, Fred Gall, Ricky Oyola, Tim O’Connor, Kevin Taylor, John Igei, etc.

People are out there talking about this part in the same fashion as PJ Ladd’s debut, and there’s one similarity as far as how the heaviness of the tricks and lines here** are balanced out by a general low-key approach. No costumes, the whole time you’re basically watching a dude in a t-shirt flipping his board down the street, neither him nor the dude with the camera tripping too much on the angle of the sun in the picture or a little blurry footage or a wayward backpack. Also the fakie b/s nosegrind shove-it in that last line gave this mid-90s torch-bearer goosebumps.

*Possibly my favorite Pappalardo photo of all-time, so it was awesome to see Mark Suciu flip the script at the same spot
**Did he seriously do all those tricks in SF on the same night..

Rob Dyrdek Bids Against Self In AWS Pursuit, Vexes Merger Arbs

January 14, 2012

As skateboarding’s most-recognized dealmaker, Rob Dyrdek has built his career on the risk of embracing different kinds of risk. A Jackass for the CNBC set, Dyrdek is as comfortable negotiating his homeboys’ contract terms from beneath a Motel 6 hangover as he is nollie frontside nosesliding to fakie or cooly inhaling intoxicants from colorful balloons at a European rave event. Among those who invest their business expense money in gas station trinkets and accept automobiles as payment, Dyrdek’s business sense is high lore, which only added to the shock following his premature exaltation this week that he would take ownership of the hardgoods concern that has employed him since he was a tyke.

Dyrdek surely knows that dealmaking of any kind is a gamble, yet chose to break a cardinal rule of M&A and show his hand to his opponent — the snurfer lord Jake Burton — by announcing not only the advanced stages of their deal talks but vowing to keep the beloved Ohio memory-screener under his financial protection forevermore, implying that profits and losses are but a passing fancy on the wind that take a back seat to his emotional connection to the Alien Workshop. Which is understandable and even worthy of praise from fans such as this weblogging site that bore with some of the at-times questionable decisions re: team and otherwise over the past 10 years, but Dyrdek’s business sense oughtta be reptilian enough at this point not to let something like love enter the picture when you’re trying to bend your trading counterparty over the table.

The deal confuses me. Few details are out there, because maybe they have yet to all be determined. Let’s assume Dyrdek buys DNA Distribution in full from Burton. He gets AWS, Habitat, Reflex bearings, Habitat shoes. I would think Burton keeps Gravis’ IVSK8 effort. For one thing I wonder why Burton would sell after acquiring the AWS business just four years ago. Maybe Burton is looking to trim its balance sheet, as they’re rumored to also be trying to unload a surfboard company also. Decks and wheels are known not to be tremendous moneymakers and the t-shirts/hats/etc business seems as flooded as ever. What I don’t get is how Dyrdek would be able to run it more profitably as a standalone company, since you would assume that under the Burton umbrella AWS could get better deals on materials like shirts and pants and whatnot since Burton already buys a lot of that stuff for its own purposes. Maybe he has plans to integrate his Rogue Status thing there, or realign AWS with DC, by way of Habitat shoes. DC’s new advertising person would be interested in such a move no doubt.

The most likely scenario to me seems like Dyrdek becoming majority-owner with Burton keeping a stake, since that way maybe the two companies could maintain their ties in terms of volume discounts on raw goods, stocking DNA and perhaps other Dyrdek products in Burton stores, some skateboard-world cred for Burton, etc. Long-term I’m not sure whether such a deal’s a positive in terms of DNA, or at least Alien, maintaining the weird and “separate” vibe that made it seem to cut deeper and matter more than your typical deck and urethane purveyour. You’d like to think that Dyrdek the actual dude stands somewhat apart from the MTV and Street League character, and that he knows when to leave shit well enough alone. I think he trusts Carter/Hill/Castrucci.

Awake, Yall

January 8, 2012

Did yall see this one? P-Rod channels this blog website’s RSS feed into his preternaturally gifted feets and puts into action two of the recent mumblings, b/s tailsliding the Mission district’s 3-up-3-down and a pretty jaw-dropping commercial clip, smooshed together for the purpose of explaining Paul Rodriguez’ new alliance with Venture trucks. Whether this suggests Silver is on the block I have no idea, but all three tricks recorded for this clip are the type of top-drawer shit that makes Paul Rodriguez’s case for being one of the best skaters working, rather than just a dude who can do a lot of tricks. Could watch that SSBSTS over and over..

Roll Out The Barrel

January 7, 2012

It is one week into 2012. See if you can pick the fake headline:

[ ] Andy Roy Attempts To Choke Out DMX Live Onstage

[ ] Jereme Rogers Arrested Following Nude, PCP-Fueled Hotel Rampage

[ ] Brian Wenning Quits Selfish Skateboards Via Jereme Rogers Diss Track

[ ] All of the above/gonna be a long year

Ten More From 2011

January 6, 2012

In no particular order. BTW, Deluxe posted up a link to Jake Donnelly’s missing “Since Day One” part that is salivated over in the posting below, so watch that too if you haven’t seen.

Chewy Cannon – “Tres Trill”
Switch wallie backside 180. RZA = PALACE TM

Torey Pudwill – “Big Bang”
Going forward there will always be a camp that solemnly believes Torey Pudwill was robbed for SOTY 2011 and they will always have a reasonable argument to make. Some of these tricks even six months later seem so obnoxiously difficult, like it’s not enough to jump a rail and lipslide a pic-a-nic table, then you gotta kickflip out too. But it’s hard not to cheer for this dude, his spring and zest for colorful shoes and big ledges.

Gou Miyagi – “Subspecies”
Don’t know much about this dude aside from the Slap interview a while back but have come to think of him as one of the precious few authentic weirdos that hopefully will always be able to find some kind of outlet in a skateboard, whether it’s gripped with felt squares or whatever.

Lucas Puig – Transworld Profile
Think I liked Lucas Puig more when he was a kid who seemed like he had the potential to do anything, versus the grown-up beast man who can and does do everything. I dig the idea of a French counterweight to the US-bred Kostons and Chris Coles and so on though, and Puig makes wise trick choices especially for one of the main proponents of the “Beware of the Flare” school of ledge combos. Also contains Lem Villemin’s challenge to Torrey Pudwill for backside tailslide of the year.

Tom Asta – Mystery pro part
The song got to me after a while, but the Love Park gap at night still is one of the more dramatic/picturesque settings for your power moves, reiterated in the new Mark Suciu ad.

Mike Anderson “Not Another TWS Video”
They are some fast feet

Gilbert Crockett – “Life Splicing No. 005″
Lifting his cat-pounce a few levels out there — was surprised the clip of the bench leap and the three-times manual weren’t held for some more prestigious release, but one of the upsides to the more-disposable nature of the web clip is a sort of throwback to the days when you could catch something inspiring between “Chaos” and the first “Wheels of Fortune.”

Travis Erickson – Santa Cruz part
Still one of the funnest to watch. Like to imagine he’s doing this stuff on his way home from work, keys hanging off the belt and backpack on.

Justin Brock – “Since Day One.”
When I think back on this section I think about the tricks off the bump and onto the shorty ledge, like the noseblunt, the Snowman-Eazy E mash-up and that long run through the park at the beginning. Justin Brock might not be your first choice as a thinking man’s skateboarder but I think he’s got more depth than he gets credit for.

Nick Boserio – “Life Splicing No. 004″
One of the better-edited parts made this year. Nosegrind through the kink was bananas


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93 other followers