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.