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

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

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25 Responses to “In Which We Discuss The Potential For Stacking Some American Dollars Via Spot Profiteering”

  1. Plat Says:

    I haven’t heard a truly coherent argument against Suciu so it must be this: the blog commentariat is sick and tired of seeing teenagers skateboarding. They’re a bunch of old dudes and they want something they can relate to, or at least aspire to. Danny Garcia had/has a pass because he’s 30 or so.

  2. Wally Says:

    Many of us are of the coming of skage, if you will, in the late eighties and early-to-mid nineties group, where there were generally no skateparks/plazas that our parents could have dropped us off at and that we would have learned on, so we learned in the streets, which is a lucky blessing for our skate generation, in my opinion.

    That said, I can relate to both sides of the conversation, but I think that it’s at least OK, if not slightly admirable, to see a youth of the street plaza skatepark generation at least take those abilities to real spots. Would we rather have them stay in the parks? I’ve seen some good younger skaters get bored, quit, and pork out by doing just that.

    One usually can’t help where they grew up or learned to skate, but they can help where they take those skills. I think that’s it’s the better of the scenarios that Suciu and the like at least go skate real street spots instead of laze around within the easy fences of the parks. And know what, it’d be a hard case to make that doing so doesn’t make him and his ilk better, more whole, more appreciative skaters.

    I see it as more respecting and learning from the past than pilfering it. Dude’s sponsored, and has to film one way or the other. I also take it that he’s doing his job in that he put together a skate part that makes me want to skate. We can either be salty at the kids trying to really skate street, or we can give em a hearty “Huzzah!’ I’ll take the latter.

    Good post, as always.

  3. OaklandPete Says:

    Another great post. Between thisbl

    • OaklandPete Says:

      (continuing) … between this blog and Chrome Ball, I find that most legitimate skateboard journalism (Thrasher, Transworld, etc) just doesnt cut it anymore once you’re over the age of say 19.

      • HarryCrews Says:

        Guess what kook? Skateboarding is mostly for people under 19…

      • dummbert Says:

        that sounds like my ex girlfriend telling me i’m a ridiculous idiot with passion for something that should be quitted between 16 and 18.

        guess what, there’s more than 9-15 yr olds sitting next to their mom in streetleague events…

  4. Brad K. Says:

    What Wally said.

  5. Coleman Bentley (@CB_Radio13) Says:

    The only worthwhile thing to come out of last post’s Suciu-love backlash is this return salvo. Good skater, better post.

  6. That Wild Indian Poster Happened to be Stylin' Says:

    You touched on something very profound… as far as the realm of indoor tfs, if you think about the decor of the the world park vs. the berrics, that sums up the difference between generations don’t you think?

  7. Rocuronium Says:

    Quote:
    “The knock against Suciu….is that he’s looking to mint an image by taking some California skatepark show to hallowed East Coast spots”

    I didn’t hear any of those NIMBYs tssk-tssking Westgate for shutting down those SF hills……

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Kid deserves credit, but seems odd that this is the kid is who you’ve stacked your chips with…

  9. art hellman Says:

    Enjoyed the peripheral commentary on making your mark in skateboarding, but two thoughts

    Weird that there are vehement nay-sayers…?

    Weird(er?) that there are vehement “you MUST love this kid…or you must not really truly understand skateboarding and what it’s come to be (i.e. “get it”)”-sayers?

  10. clug Says:

    quality.

  11. yourmom Says:

    I totally agree, skateboarding is beginning to lose its art, its heritage. All anyone ever does is skate parks now, you hardly ever see anyone out in the streets.

  12. Joshua Ballew Says:

    I can remember around the time of the Berrics debut, hearing Berra say something to the extent of the indoor park serving as a place to train for the streets, alluding that somehow it would help street skating easier citing traffic and security as major deterrents to getting tricks. At the time all I could think of was how ridiculous that sounded. While I still think that Berra’s justification is outlandish I am wondering now if other pros are following in his footsteps simply out of laziness, compensation, or a combination of both.

  13. Chris Lewis Says:

    Man, if you’re killing it, it doesn’t matter where you’re doing it.

  14. Cos Says:

    I can’t believe that nobody brought Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” and his ten oscar nominations yet.

  15. intheknow Says:

    Some thoughts:

    1. The reason this part grated on my nerves so badly is because the tricks he chose to do at the spots he chose to do them were ill-fitting in a way that showed what I would consider to be a less-than-complete understanding of what made “east coast skateboarding” so rad. The LOVE stuff I don’t mind much because it was always the more “technical progression” spot of the EC. I’m not claiming that Sucui needed to be out there pole-jamming and wallie-ing into everything and not flipping his board, but backside nosebluntslide to fs 270 revert on a crusty ledge to bank? GTFO kid. Plus it’s like he went through and got all his EC checklist shit in: Cellar door? Check. Propped gate to trashcan? Check. Parking garage footy? Check.

    2. The Westgate in SF hills comments isn’t an accurate comparison. What he did was an obvious linear progression of the way that we’ve come to expect folks to skate the hills. It’s not like he set up a MegaRamp launcher to boost some of those spots. Suciu taking things like kf fsts (gross) to rugged EC limestone missed the point entirely. I mean look, even PJ’s WHL part had infinitely more EC feel with much more technical skating that this part.

    3. I am not now, nor have I ever, denied this kid’s talent. He rips. But this part excited me on exactly 2 occasions: The bump to bar to quick fs k-grind to fakie and the bsts gap-out at Pulaski.

    • Ndreeze Says:

      By that logic, spots will sink into the stagnation of a bygone era. It’s fine to respect a spot’s history, heyday, etc., but those spots were dedicated progression As Well As raw street skating. Expecting Suciu to bow down to Kali’s, Pops, et. all is to deny his own style and ability. As for the bs noseblunt nollie fs 180…Gtfo, shit was rad

  16. Wally Says:

    Is it too late to try to get a bug in the ear of Quartersnacks to do a re-edit of Suciu’s part to “Sussudio” by Phil Collins?

    SU-SU-Suciu! Woah-oh-oh!

    Powers that be, please give it some consideration.

  17. Joel Says:

    If one were to ask me for my thoughts on something (which they did not) in which I have no discernable reason to have an opinion (I didn’t pay for it and it took only a few moments of my time), I would say in reply that regardless of our unwarranted pickiness about something ultimately rather inane, we all watched the fuck out of that part.

  18. counter point Says:

    suciu knows where he’s from,he’s not fronting at all, unless you want to say the gonz was when he decided to skate EMB. you’d have an argument if he was truly trying to be perceived as an east coast skater….but he’s not. i have more of a problem with the jason dills and alex olsons who have a chip on their shoulder for being effective california transplants than people like suciu or AVE who exist on the east coast transiently, only doing gnarly tricks and then leave as fast as they came.

  19. bukabuka Says:

    olson – maybe, but i don’t think he ever goes as far as to claim east coast in any way. maybe romanticizes it a bit too much.

    dill – lived in nyc for like 13 years. he was always a cali kid, but a stay like that does allow you to be a “new yorker”. not a native, but a legit nyer none the less. dudes life moved on and he lives in la again these days anyway.

  20. dhad Says:

    It reminds me of Reynolds flying from the Banks to Love Park to EMB getting frontside flips. To me, it’s just keeping a tradition alive of traveling to the hottest spots. I love it.

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