Archive for July, 2012

In Which We Feel Some Kind Of Way About Exclusive Breaking News As Reported By ESPN

July 30, 2012

As the inventor of Craig Kilborn and the Espy award, ESPN has made its bones in the world of mainstream sport, often heard bragging to other media outlets in the locker room about how much the network and its affiliated websites and publishing divisions can bench-press. In recent days ESPN.com, a web portal operated by ESPN, has flexed its own muscles in the arena of digital journalism, publishing an online exclusive breaking story that Nick Dompierre is in the hospital recovering from a coma induced by a drug overdose sources say.

Now, any discussion of this type of topic ought to be prefaced with a note to the effect that we at Boil the Ocean Rims & Chrome Pipes plc hope the best for Nick Dompierre and his family, and that we sat up a bit straighter on the sofa when we seen the 360 flip at the end of his section in “Roll Forever.” As to whether or not the world needs to know of such things as celebrity/public figure drug overdoses is a matter for TMZ’s legal squadron, and the ethics of running an unbylined article based on anonymous sources is a matter we shall assume was debated hotly by those furry mascots that run the ESPN network, or so I understand from seeing some of their television ads. One can only guess that with the glare of the Olympics generally blotting out all other sporting at the moment, ESPN’s attention will be trained on non-skating athletes that make choices to imbibe intoxicants in and around competitive events, such as that skier bro who bummed out portions of the country a few years ago due to his lackadaisical partying ways.

On our messageboards and emails though the Dompierre item on ESPN has ruffled some feathers, though you may wonder why — we slurp up legends of pro-level debauchery like so many melting chipwiches when they’re related via Big Brother scans, Epicly Later’d confessionals or the odd magazine interview, relishing these partly because dudes like to think this is the type of heady, irresponsible freedom that your major-league baseball bat swinger or Olympic shot-putter isn’t able to discuss as openly, much less talk about the other pros there, what the cops said when they showed up and how much it cost to bail Antwuan Dixon out the next day. So even in the big four magazines nowadays it’s no big whoop to discuss weed smoking, beer guzzling, ecstasy and assorted psychedelics, and though powders and various injectables remain dicey, for those dudes that come out the other side the cautionary tales and recovery scars have become generally accepted gravitas.

In some ways it’s a little rich to get all high and mighty about this ESPN.com blurb, what when the online bulletin board system derives much of its perpetual motion from a volatile fuel composed partly of pro shenanigans, which alongside rumors of tricks recorded provides a grittier base to the constant froth over who is or ain’t keeping it real. In other ways though it smarts to see mainstream media outlets providing the type of juicy celeb-culture natterings that we’re used to looking down our collective noses toward when they are circulated on Slap. This is a raw and reddened zone, at a time when multinationals are outmaneuvering home-grown concerns to capture shrinking market share in the shoe biz, for instance, with Es and DVS on the ropes as Nike adds roster members as rapidly as Godzilla hangs the heads of lesser monsters as trophies on the wall of the undersea cave where he lies in repose until another atom bomb awakens him.

This article is also interesting in that Nick Dompierre’s “big” sponsor, a soda company, is presented as one authority on how he’s doing next to his mom, raising the prospect that big-money sponsors may have to answer in a public forum for transgressions and pitfalls confronted by the dudes they put on. If ESPN.com is enriched with flash-ad revenue from hits generated by this story, you could imagine a scenario where more such items follow suit, perhaps gathering momentum as the energy drink and footwear and sunglass purveyors nibble at their collective fingernails in the event a marketable talent is discovered in a compromising position (perhaps via grainy video shot in the privacy of Godzilla’s undersea lair), and resulting in some such talented bro ultimately getting the boot due to public pressure. If bros sign up for the soda company paycheque, are they signing up for a higher level of personal scrutiny? Is the real problem here somebody else airing our dirty laundry for us? Would the internet be catching feelings if TWS reported this on their website, or if it appeared in a hearsay-friendlier venue such as the beloved “Trash” column in Thrasher? Is Godzilla really “that bad of a dude?”

Supra Has Stevie Williams Riding The Bench

July 29, 2012

Incendiary click-bait topic title aside, not a great deal to see here other than a much fantastic photo of Stevie Williams in this ad for his Supra signature model footwear. Enjoy that this photo doesn’t clonk you over the head with a big fisheye angle showing how high the bench is, kinda like Stevie Williams’ strictly basics attire here, the whole idea seems to be take it or leave it. A dude cracking an awesome trick as he goes down the sidewalk, on his way to wherever. The Hollywood squares sidewalk kind of threw me at first but this is a worthwhile entry in this internet site’s long-running love affair with the switch frontside noseslide and from a veteran practitioner. There are plenty pro-types whose off-board months and years carry the whiff of wasted time but Stevie Williams always has seemed to be genuinely operating in the background, to whatever end, and really looking forward to his section in this long-discussed DGK video.

Shouts To Werner Heisenberg, Dejuan Rice, The (Extinct) Protoceratops And Everybody Who BBQ’d This Weekend

July 22, 2012

Quantum theory teaches us that the act of observing a process can affect the result. A recent interview with Josh Kalis reminded readers that in the 1990s Scott Conklin was not to be trifled with. Now, another reconnoitering looms, as we determine what to make of a sober-minded treatise on our cultural forebears from the New Yorker of all places.

The early to mid-nineties are mostly recalled by skaters as a time of funny tricks and super-baggy pants, of random mockery by the public. Gone were the days when everybody knew about Powell, when Cab won high-air contests and pretty girls mewled around Hosoi. Many skaters now did hard, often ugly-looking moves; ridiculously, transition skating was even derided, for a time making it impossible for such pros to make a living. And yet, at the same time, the innovation begun in the eighties marched on. Gradually, people could land flip tricks (where the board flips in different ways under your feet while you remain in the air) cleaner, faster, and more consistently. And in a stroke, the full realization of the concept of switch-stance—doing tricks going the other way, like someone deliberately pitching with their non-preferred arm—effectively doubled what could be done. To top it all off, the best ramp skaters learned what nobody would have dreamed of, which was to make the new, ultra-precise street tricks compatible with twelve-foot-tall half-pipes. These skaters were indeed obscure and comically dressed. But most skaters in 1992, viewing Plan B’s “Questionable Video”—in which Pat Duffy faced terrifying handrails with a matador’s nerve and in the rain, and Mike Carroll reminded us that San Francisco’s Embarcadero Plaza was a brilliant laboratory, a sort of Silicon Valley of skating—understood that they were witnessing something extraordinary. There was no telling what each new video would prove possible.

True, true. Web places like this one, constructed around the practice of picking nits, could give it a shot here but it’s not easy sledding in that regard since the bro James Guida has a grip* on history, isn’t much contesting a generous number of consensus-backed pro picks, and obviously shares a soft spot for the 1990s and in particular the outsidery attitude fermented in that rich, bubbly stew of small wheels, big pants and occasional rave music. This is where the whole pursuit veers into paradox territory though. Looka here:

The popular notion of skaters tends to be as adolescent (often true, speaking purely demographically), male (ditto), unruly and anti-social (there are shades to that). So, yes, there’s some fact there. “Skateboarding is not a crime,” a famous sticker from the eighties, was so popular in part because skaters knew and liked that it was a crime. Skaters do grind and mark things and take chances in people’s empty pools; the constant dodge and chase of security guards has always been an occupational hazard. (A regular feature in skateboard videos, much like skits in rap records, is clips of encounters with authority or otherwise humorous pedestrians.) But skaters are a far more diverse and accepting bunch than most people tend to recognize. It makes sense: their obsession has tricks, not rules, and nobody’s there to tell you which ones to do. Style is valued above all, and both tricks and terrain expand with people’s imaginings. With reason, some like to say that skating is an art.

Guida rightly credits the anti-social aspects of skating as a defining trait. But what’s it say re: general positioning in the societal food chain if you’re getting a well-reasoned thumbs-up from the New Yorker?

*Rip Grip? Lawl

Excerpts From “Trash” In The June 1993 Issue Of Thrasher

July 16, 2012

HARD TIMES

Henry Sanchez, Mike Carroll, Julien Stranger and Tobin Yelland had a run-in with some mini-mobsters in the Mission District of SF. After a brief altercation, the young hoods shattered the windshield of Tobin’s car with a pipe. Ten minutes later, cops pulled them over for no windshield. Tobin had no license, so he was promptly issued a two hundred dollar fine.

Meanwhile in LA, Ron Chatman’s car got stolen with all his and Mark Gonzales’ skate gear in it.

John Cardiel and Mike Ranquet went off to Japan for some snowboard deal. Cards told the tale of being ripped off by the contest promoters to the tune of $2000. When he finally got back home, he was starving.

Contrary to rumors, John Lucero’s Black Label is not out-of-business. His team is still intact, but Jason Dill jumped ship just as the finishing touches were being made on his model. Former Blockhead rider Jeremy Wray has hooked up a deal with a new company called Color Skateboards.

HALL OF NAMES

Brian Ferdinand is still unattached and unbelievable. Gravedigger Ross Goodman has been seen skating the vert ramp in Sacramento. Shawn Martin is back in the City after a brief stint in Sac.

Seen skating around SF: Alfonzo Rawls, Eric Koston, Chris Senn, Barker Barrett, Greg Hunt, Joey Suriel, Fabian Alomar, recently departed NHS rider Andy Roy, Danny Way and Mike Ternasky (who was filming for guess what?). Not one to be underdone, Pat Duffy kickflip noseslid the well-lathered Hubba Hideout. New kids taking the blocks at EMB by storm include Sean Young, Greg Hunt, Dan Drehobl, Erik Pupecki and Jamie Thomas.

Guy Mariano and Tim Gavin have been living in the redesigned World park. On a recent afternoon, the topic of discussion was Dae Won’s apparent fakie pivot grind 360 kickflip out. The new World facility format is sans mini-ramp and under four-feet tall. Rodney Mullen liked it so much that he moved his whole office there.

WHICH HUNT

Which major team manager/owner recently held a team meeting to discuss “tight money?”

Which one-time mega company’s manufacturing complex was surrounded by a battalion of North American Van Lines moving trucks in the ultimate down-sizing exercise?

Which Philadelphia, PA homeboy was chased from EMB by Jovontae Turner and Don Carey?

Which world’s biggest skate factory owner announced in the newspaper that he’s been forced to sell said facility? Did the same guy also lay claim to industry leadership in the same article? Did he additionally pose for Action Sports Retailers, that geriatric journal of consumerism, riding a box scooter?

MOLD TIMES

Rick BLackhart is doing his own line of trucks straight outta San Jo.

The Master of Disaster, Duane Peters, has sworn off drinking and started a new band called The Exploding Fuck Dolls. Members include Art and Steve Godoy, a guy named Ricky and another called Goatfucker.

FULL BLEED

Todd Swank has become so hands-on oriented that he now thrives on screening all his four-color sublimations himself. Artist Larry Clark has worked to create some fine art skates. The boards depict female genitalia and sell for $3500.

Natas Kaupas was seen in San Fernando hanging out with Guess? super-model Anna Nicole and Adam McNatt. Following that, the trio did a multi-media deity in the desert.

First Spike Jonez moved into a luxury power office high atop the La Brea Tar Pits. Then he moved into Howard Hughes’ old sun-lit sex palace apartment. Now Spike’s been seen hanging in San Diego.

NO BONES

Stacy Peralta, who left the skate scene to pursue his interest in films, was seen in South Carolina hanging with NASCAR racing legend Richard Petty. Peralta filmed numerous hot laps with Petty for an undisclosed future project.

Jay Adams was recently spotted on Oahu’s North Shore consoling Ty Page over the recent death of Ty’s wife. Mark Bowden and Tony Jetton were also in effect. Jetton is said to be opening a step aerobics clinic in Hawaii. Jay continues to surf and skate unabated.

Details were sketchy regarding a pro street contest in Daytona Beach, Florida, during spring break. The site changed at the last minute but East Coast locs Tom Boyle and Lance Conklin took second and first respectively. Other highlights included Jen O’Brien on MTV in the Beauty and the Beach contest at the parking lot of wet willie’s Daiquiri Bar.

UTTER NONSENSE

“I’m number one now and I’m never gonna slip.” -Keith Cochrane

“You can only be angry everyday.” -Todd Swank

In Which We Try And Resolve A Potential Identity Crisis Afflicting The Streets, Or At Least Make It Easier To Develop A Lasting Meme

July 12, 2012

Attention aspiring action-sport marketing honchos and brand-managers* — some years ago in this web space, Boil the Ocean Canteen and Cookery Unltd. challenged readers to design a caption for a pic of Adelmo Jr and his free-range dreadlocks. Today a more stringent and perilous challenge is posed to all. In years past the industry has ushered in ATVs, ledge-dancers and cellar doors, but somehow a more recent fashion of skating, some examples collected above, seems to have wandered up ledges, over the backs of handrails and elsewhere generally unnamed. The other day I struggled with this and clumsily thought to myself “it’s gotta be fast and powerful. Something like, um, “power skating”, but not so lame.” So I used power skating. Yall can do better I bet, what is this subgenre called?

*read: box-packers able to heed the call of the clock-radio alarm

Technology Rolls Steadily Forward, And As We Contemplate The Coming Girl/Choco Video, We Contemplate Also The Idea Of Being Steamrolled Or Jumping Into The Steamroller’s Cab Alongside Ty Evans

July 9, 2012

The 1990 “Brady Bunch” reunion/reboot is recalled as a triumph of broadcast television, surpassing lofty expectations set by the artistry of the original series and hauling in ratings that shamed and embarrasses the Superbowls and Little League World Series of that day. The fog of time and extremely singular nature of the event have obscured though the massive risks taken by the artisans and business hounds who plotted it all, with plenty of chewed fingernails and nervously cracked knuckles early on as decades-deep devotees feared and fretted whether that long-ago magic could be rekindled or whether the whole endeavor would amount to so much bodily fluid sprinkled atop a beloved legacy, never again to be un-sprinkled.

Did the Crailtappers pluck Ty Evans from the TWS camp with the knowledge that he would over the next decade bear on his shoulders the burden and associated emotional message-board baggage of carrying forward a video franchise regarded as helping to set the high bar for the 1990s’ great video rethink? Only Rick Howard’s personal psychic knows for sure, but pluck they did, extending into the 00′s a second rethink driven not by any particular evolution in craft, such as the embrace of the streets as an ipecac-like reset button following the excess of the neon-and-spandex drenched vert era, but instead by the gradual availability of cheaper/better technology and software that within a few years erased much of the distance between Jamie “Mouse” Mosberg and any hometown heroes dredging their local skatepark hip for Youtube-ready NBDs that can involve front-foot impossibles.

Ty Evans’ output suggests a subscription to the school of thought that says “what got you there will keep you there,” in this case referring to a deep, loving embrace of the newest camera models, rigged filming gizmos, lots of effects and filler shots and emotive techno music. Transworld’s Evans-helmed productions had all these in spades of course plus some other tricks including the sometimes-attempted but never well-advised fast-forward/rewind motion in Danny Gonzalez’s “Reason” part, as well as the voiceovers, an interesting innovation that somehow wore out its welcome after 10 years. Going with Ty Evans was an intriguing look for Girl/Choco at the time, given that vids like “Mouse” never had much in the way of slow-mo (perhaps because they’d seen the lackluster results elsewhere at the time) but also cuz somebody reading between the lines could take the old pogo-stick skit in “Goldfish” as an indictment of the high-pressure, high-production regime that dudes in “Fully Flared” wearily recounted after it came out five years back.

Around 2000 though you could say Girl was shopping for a new identity, putting on the gap and rail-minded youngsters who would constitute the torch picker-uppers of “Yeah Right” and “Fully Flared.” It’s tough though, for someone who saw the influence wielded by Carroll/Koston/Howard/Mariano/et al in the 1990s to have felt the same impact from the next-genners with the possible exception of Paul Rodriguez or Rick McCrank, and efforts to extend the super-team rep into the tech-gnar era brought on a mixed spread of amateurs through the Torrance offices that included Jereme Rogers.

For a company whose founding principles included not taking themselves or their skating too serious the post-Modus presentation sounded a little off-key too–the Jonze/Howard sensibility was still there in some of the skits, but especially come “Fully Flared” that stuff took a back seat to high-definition cameras, elaborate filming contraptions and slow-motion explosions. Myself I never had any real gripe with the recorded skating material, but the sanctimonious way it got put together — behold, I give unto you this trick, slowed down and then sped up and then slowed down again; below these bros, with a follow-up high-five and/or running and throwing down the board as a segue to the next clip — seemed miles away from powersliding down the yellow lane-divider lines. Here we will submit that it was no coincidence that the technology-embracing, filler-friendly and emotion-emphasizing directorship of Ty Evans dovetailed with a high-water mark in technical ledge skating that’s inspired some of the current wave of “power” skating by way of backlash, and the Crailtap camp are fans like the rest of us, investing in tall-sock wearers Raven Tershy, Elijah Berle, Alex Olson and Vincent Alvarez over the last couple years.

How then does this dynamic, call it Pappalardo-Flared vs Mariano-Flared, inform the cobbling-together of the coming Girl/Choco feature “Pretty Sweet”? The recently released preview suggests the answer is, not much, or maybe not much different than before. We are previewed some HD video, solid bro-ing footage*, some real painfully slow mo, some emotive techno music** and, if past performance is any future indicator, a release date that is prone to being pushed back. Interestingly, though, if Ty Evans continues to stick to what got him here the likely complainers such as myself will face an interesting conundrum similar to those who wish for “The Simpsons” to be cancelled in defense of the first nine seasons’ legacy — the era of Ty Evans-led Crailtap video productions at this point would at least in terms of years far outstrip what old-timers regard as the classic age, steadily shrinking in the rear-view mirror..

*Major fan of the doubles action, btw
**Bear in mind that while we grouse about emotive techno music, and with good reason, blanket criticisms of Crailtap video productions fronted by Ty Evans were rendered null and void forevermore after “Fully Flared” included a song from the Mannie Fresh solo CD.


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