To Have And Have Not

The mildest U.S. winter in decades has helped reduce reliance on private indoor facilities rented for the purposes to safeguarding 360 flips from rust and cobwebs in recent months, and probably also helped to nurture the “Occupy” movement such that occupiers across the country were able to blow out half a candle in recent days, situated atop a free-range cake and served family-style at a sanctioned local park/streetcorner. But deeper strife may yet lay ahead.

Zered Bassett, raised in the shadow of a failed Dukakis presidential bid and a onetime beneficiary of Mitt Romney’s health programme, suggests in the Appleyard TSM that skateboarding may be watching the rise of its own so-called 1%, and an inevitable widening of the income and performance gap between two increasingly disparate camps:

The Skateboard Mag: To go back to Street League, why don’t you compete in that contest?
Zered Bassett: Why are we talking about Street League? I’m not a contest skater, man.
TSM: I think you’re capable of doing really well in contests.
ZB: I don’t have a skatepark that I can skate and learn tricks at to take to a contest and feel confident enough to skate the contest well. If I had a skatepark that I could skate with my homies every day and learn shit, not in the public eye, I’d feel way more confident.

It’s a well-worn chestnut that for every Mark Appleyard, switch backside flipping in finely tuned leathers and pushing a Jaguar, there are a half-dozen Rob Welshes manning liquor-store tills and Wade Speyers filling large dump trucks full of debris and then dumping them at a dirty dump. Even Heath Kirchart, receiver of several signature shoe payment deals, was reduced to delivering pizzas and servicing snack machines upon his self-directed retirement. Things are tough all over out there and keep in mind this isn’t some fly-by-night youtube hot-shoe we’re discussing here, this is Zered Bassett, who’s either awash in Red Bull energy beverage endorsement fees or a consistently poor chooser of hatwear.

Yet Zered Bassett goes wanting when it comes to private parkdom, ensuring he will never develop the machinelike consistency that makes Nyjah Huston, Chaz Ortiz and Ryan Sheckler such riveting competitors to watch amass those hard-to-follow Street League points, and bring home the big moneybags (or at least get the chance to fall victim to high-profile jewelry heists). While Paul Rodriguez parlays his Fuel TV heroics into lucrative sponsorship arrangements with Target Corp., that in turn provides branded obstacles with which to expand his personal training ground, Zered Bassett moves to Brooklyn and farms his beard.

While Nyjah Huston blows tens of thousands of American dollars on hot cars, Ricky Oyola spends his winter driving a truck in Philadelphia. And as Rob Dyrdek lays peacefully asleep on his yacht off the shores of Key West, the bullet-riddled body of Danny Renaud, stone dead, is borne ashore by friends and well-wishers in the still of night after a lifetime of hard choices and short chances finally caught up with him on that one last run back from Cuba.

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17 Responses to “To Have And Have Not”

  1. OaklandPete Says:

    It’s hard to see Oyola suffering. If he can’t cash out I hope he can at least be somehow “honored”. It’s hard to believe that off all the Philly Vibe-Tribe crew, Fred Gall has had the most secure career.
    I’m glad Cardiel wasn’t tossed aside as soon as he was rendered unable to adequitly entertain us with his skating.

  2. m477 Says:

    Mo money, mo problems.

  3. R Says:

    Whoah, that last sentence really comes out of no where and kicks you in the balls. Good stuff BTO

  4. intheknow Says:

    so many gems here:

    dumping dumploads of dumptruck debris in a dirty dump, consistently poor-chooser of hatwear, etc. etc. etc.

    best post in a long time.

  5. REID Says:

    How come zoo york hasnt built a TF for Zered? he and Chaz could share..

  6. . Says:

    ‘Philly Vibe-Tribe Crew’–KooklandPete. Eat a dick with your eyes open my friend.

  7. Tom Says:

    when did renaud get shot? i know he fell off a building a couple years back but didn’t hear anything about a shooting

  8. dedleg.com (@dedleg) Says:

    Damn good article – that last paragraph is so surprisingly potent and heart-string-pulling that I almost forgot I was reading the ramblings of a failed MFA or whatever the fuck that guy is always going on about.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    there’s always been an economic divide in skateboarding. there’s the suburban privileged kids (arugably the majority of skateboarders – young and old) who were able to get new boards at least semi-regularly, and there’s the non-privileged kids whose “new” boards are two-month-old hand me downs, often cracked or razor-tailed to death.

    the best part of it all is that skateboarding is often the only chance these camps have to interact and hang out, often without any issues or whatnot.

    the current state of, for lack of a better term, TF/energy drink sponsored skaters vs. the rest is that they truly are making skateboarding into more of a “snowboarding” type formula, i.e. you have to be able to afford the price of a lift ticket/admission to be able to “practice”.

    i’m not sure Zered is the best icon of the have-nots, considering he has some large corporate sponsors…not saying the guy doesnt rip, or isnt an excellent human, just sayin’ that being able to afford living in Brooklyn and the luxury of beard farmin moves you closer to the 1%. bars with carft beers and skee ball aren’t cheap.

    • HarryCrews Says:

      Whatever, you’re looking for excuses. You don’t have to be able to afford the price of a lift ticket if you wanna practice, you find a way to make it happen.

      Ricky Oyola should be driving a truck, firstly he’s pushing 40, and two he is nowhere near the level of Nyjah. The reality is the skill of skateboarding is finally at a place where people can have big sponsors, and compared to other pro sports they’re getting peanuts. Shit, even women’s tennis players make more money, the big money bag this guy speaks of is not even big. Yet skateboarders speak to the “elusive 15-24 yr old male demographic” every company wants so badly, the purse should be ten times as much for street league.

      • Ben Dickerson Says:

        How dare you compare nyjah to Ricky Oyola! It’s skaters like nyjah who are ruining skateboarding, and guys like Ricky who are holding it down for the working man.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    There is nothing “even” about Heath, never been a seller.

  11. handsclapanin Says:

    zered doesn’t even have a shoe sponsor. its not that hard to believe he is also lacking a private skatepark

  12. GL Says:

    HK is the TM at Emerica, he had vending machines back in the day, but this is BS about him being “reduced” to anything. And I hate to say that, because I love BTO, just gotta set the record straight with the legend. Check this out, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf9xtHUTVMQ

  13. Joe Says:

    What, Danny Renaud is dead???

  14. Bobby Worrest’s Phenomenal Pulaski Part Offers A Glimpse Of The Great Skate Recession | boil the ocean Says:

    […] coming years more deeply segment have-not pros from those lifted on tides of multinational sport apparel largesse, capable of securing weekend […]

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