A lot like Anthony Van Engelen did 10 years ago and Henry Sanchez did before that, Andrew Allen’s market strategy relies in part on bringing a hairball ramp-dog mentality to switch backside tailslides and frontside k-grinds — out the gate here he reverse suplexes a rail (backside) and careens into a big angry hill that eventually decides not to play nice. The big backside flip into the bank, switch backside 5-0 the creamy colored ledge and the switch b/s tail down that sorta wavy hubba emphasizes Andrew Allen’s smooth and sensitive side, and by the end he comes off a little better with the hills. “Prevent This Tragedy” was one of the better videos of the year, hopefully Thrasher keeps this ball rolling.
Posts Tagged ‘Anti Hero’
Looking at the pic above, in the Alkaline Trio-themed new Thrasher, kind of blows me away. First of all, because it’s a big hill, with steel poles menacing anyone who might try and roll down it. Second of all, you may notice that Andrew Allen is not just rolling but jumping into it. Third of all it’s even crazier because he’s doing this jump backward-footed (switchstance in the new-school parlance) and fourth of all it’s yet crazier still since he is a pool skater on Anti-Hero who wears Dickies and knee socks.
It’s obvious that the boy is in way over his head. He basically says as much in the Thrasher–
It was super windy and I’d been bailing it, so I decided, “I don’t care. I’m riding away on the next one.” I really had no control of my board. I was bouncing off the wall. I just got fed up. I hit the kink at the end of it and I don’t really know what happened — just closed my eyes. I woke up on the ground with a couple of scrapes. Cheated death a little bit, but not really.”
With hair as tall as an embattled late-night TV host, Andrew Allen is a living, breathing, sponsored testament to the fact that proper grooming, great lift and a can-do attitude can earn one exceptions from many of the limitations this earthly life foists upon us. He has been infected with a love for the new style of street skating, with nary a backyard pool to be found in his section of the excellent new Thrasher/Cons video (a welcome throwback to the mid-00′s glut of free promo DVDs). Like a post-darkness Anthony Van Engelen or a pre-web 2.0 Salman Agah, the pool skater Allen brings a weightful tangibility to his ledge and gap shit that makes his tricks come off looking a bit more significant, as opposed to your usual stick-limbed tween in stretch corduroys and one of those puffy-topped ski hats with semi-ironic knit stitching upon the side. He doesn’t crush tricks like Pete Eldridge does but everything looks like there’s a little more meat to it (see: switch b/s tailslide kickflip, switch backside lipslide, noseblunt pop-out).
Somehow going back to the above photo, this trick taken on its own kind of encapsulates the whole vibe of “PTT” — Thrasher-approved tech/gnar chemistry heated to the verge of bubbling over, which of course it inevitably does. Also plaid and a beanie.
A general disclaimer about the list to follow ought to start with noting that most lists of this sort are pretty much bullshit anyway, designed to ignite pointless debate and sell women’s health magazines or ad spots on VH1, and this one may not be much different really. However, given that this is an internet blog site, and the end of a decade is approaching, fate holds that a list must be made. I thought about whether it should be billed as the 40 “best” videos of the past decade, or the 40 “most significant,” or the 40 “most favoritest of BTO” but in the end we’re opting to call it something altogether different and stupid and just get on with things. Special shout to Skim the Fat, where from I got most of these images, is that site still going? Anyhow, numbers 40 through 30:
40. “It’s Official,” 2005
An overall pretty awesome video marred by a Kanye-heavy soundtrack and a few too many Lenny Rivas quotables, Kayo Corp’s stab at a “Trilogy” featured the national debut of gap-gliding Kenny Hoyle and SF sweatpants fan Robbie Holmes, alongside solid turns from all-stars Jackson Curtain, Karl Watson and a damn Marcus McBride part. I don’t know if Marcus McBride is the Z-Ro of skateboarding, exactly, but he’s something. “Official” probably could’ve done with more Richard Angelides and some editing where Quim Cardona was concerned but this video is one that probably doesn’t get rewatched as often as it should. Chany Jeanguenin skates vert in it.
39. “Skate More,” 2005
Daewon Song’s self-reinvention for a post-picnic table world helped vault him to SOTY status off the back of DVS’s debut full-length, but the Python-flavored “Skate More” also boasted the feel-good part of the year straight from the happy feet of Jeron Wilson who floats the slickest heelflip that Jason Dill had ever seen. 2005 was a banner year for Keith Hufnagel as well, putting out two ollie-riffic sections, and this DVS video also offers a glimpse of the ever-shifting Dill in his New York denizen phase and the mixed bag that is Jereme Rogers’ best part to date; also Busenitz/Zered Basset and a more-interesting-than-usual Mikey Taylor contribution.
38. “Get Familiar,” 2006
Chris Hall’s sneakerhead-financed East-by-West coast document should’ve maybe leaned a bit heavier on the retro elements, like I always thought the electro songs used for the intro clips would’ve made an interesting soundtrack for the whole thing. “Get Familiar” though was a worthy addition to a long line of self-produced East Coast videos with a pretty stacked lineup in a still-skinny Bobby Worrest, a skinnier yet Zach Lyons, EE vets Barley and Forbes and the resurgent duo of Joey Pepper and James Craig (the backside bigspin flip is a career highlight). Curveball parts come from Daewon and Mark Gonzales before gun-slinging Darren Harper controversially closes the video with some baggy denim stylings, crazy pop and that silly floater of a switch frontside shove-it.
37. “Waiting For the World,” 2000
It’s kind of fucked up how John Rattray’s section in this video was this devil’s bargain that earned him the glitz and glamour associated with Zero, Elwood and Osiris sponsorships, while at the same time siphoning away Blueprint’s heaviest dude, but these things happen. Nowadays WFTW looks kind of dated, especially Paul Carter’s Osiris pants and the Souls of Mischief song, but in 2000 the video itself was a serious stylistic push forward (the intro in particular) and generally served as a statement of purpose for the British skateboard scene, especially for those of us outside it, putting everybody onto the likes of Paul Shier, Colin Kennedy, a pint-sized Nick Jensen and the loopy genius of Mark Baines, leading up to John Rattray’s Britpop-powered star turn.
36. “Cash Money Vagrant,” 2003
There was really no reasonable or feasible way for Anti Hero to try and follow up “Fucktards” but their stab at a semi-conventional video in the midst of restocking the team for the concrete park decade is laudable enough and a fun one to throw in now and again. Young(er) and dirty Frank Gerwer does half his frontside k-grinds on Firm boards and Tony Trujillo rejects the Transworld gloss that helped mold his SOTY bid, alongside contributions from Cardiel, Hewitt and most of the other Anti-Heros that matter. It’s short, there is a little lo-fi themed skit that ties the whole thing together and they make it safely to Benecia at the end (spoiler alert). Interestingly, this site is selling a copy for $1300.
35. “Dying To Live,” 2002
In some ways it’s easy to bag on this vid, what with Jamie Thomas’s very dramatic intro, the beginning of Adrian Lopez’s career slide and Jon Allie’s sort of boring opener part. But as with most Zero productions the editing is sharp, the music fantastic and there is enough good here that “Dying to Live” probably can be considered fairly underrated at this point – Ryan Smith in his young and hungry days, paired with Nirvana, Matt Mumford to Queen, bespectacled Lindsay Robertson’s crushing slow-mo intro, and Chris Cole kickflip backside noseblunting a damn handrail amid a characteristically ridiculous part that capped his fresh-to-hesh migration. And, it had a sweet friends section, something that’s kind of fallen by the way-side in recent years.
34. “7 Year Glitch,” 2002
It seems like forever ago that New Deal even was a company and most of these dudes have been scattered to the four winds at this point, and where Fabrizio Santos is concerned, this all may be for the best. But this video, which preceded New Deal’s folding pretty quickly, contains one of the better Ricky Oyola lines captured on video, a lot of good Europe footage before all the spots were played, and the type of diverse lineup that’s generally been tossed in favor of appealing to this or that sub-sub-demographic. There is vert skating and Rob G has a nice run that’s filmed via a stationary long-lens, also, Chad Tim Tim at the early stages of being underappreciated for more or less ten years. Probably you could trace Kenny Reed’s nearly decade-long wandering in the international wilderness to the filming of this project, and maybe the marathon backside 5-0 to backside tail in particular. The one with the kid on the bike.
33. “Baker 3,” 2005
The Baker Bootleg video formula refined and distilled, taking the sometimes-interminable 90-minute slogs through the chopped-n-screwed Baker world and squishing it into something resembling a more straightforward format. Baker 3 also introduced the world to polar opposite ams Antwuan Dixon and Theotis Beasley, and helped Bryan Herman transition from a browless Reynolds fan to a grown up hardflipper with a world-class 360 flip. Somewhere in there Spanky skates to Morrissey (I know!) and Reynolds stretches his editing legs with some weird effects. Thinking back on this vid now I remember being vaguely shocked that Erik Ellington was capable of backside noseblunting a handrail, and after reading the recent Greco interview, I’m reminded that it was a bummer he didn’t end up using the Queen song for his comeback section.
32. “Bon Appetit,” 2003
This video rightfully put Cliche on the global map, even though it retreaded that tiresome Yeah Yeah Yeahs song for the nth time and wasted so much top-drawer footage on endless region-specific montages – where is the rationale, I ask you, in sprinkling JJ Rousseu nosegrinds here and there in some Japan part when he could’ve had a full-length section to himself. French Fred’s editing choices aside, “Bon Appetit” dodges classic status but still boasts Lucas Puig’s best part to date (the nollie backside noseblunt), Jan Kleiwer getting his Hufnagel on, Rousseau in top form and a part from when Cale Nuske’s knees still worked that contains exactly one line, which is sick. Also, you should know that Ricardo Fonseca’s ponytail is meant to symbolize the virility of the European skate scene as a whole.
31. “Cheese & Crackers,” 2007
Chris Haslam and Daewon Song conspire to build a better mini-ramp mousetrap. Kind of like if the Tilt Moders got locked in a garage for a weekend with a miniramp and a sheet of high-powered blotter acid. When street skateboarding moves beyond its current love for manageable transitions this video could possibly become the current era’s “1281″ but there’s a general retardedness that helps smooth out the troublesome physics problems associated with doing blunts behind a curtain, and all manner of other nonsense these dudes get into. Friends section features Carroll and Alex Olson and the human dynamo that is Giovanni Reda, remember, and Lewis Marnell’s bonus part is nice also.
The Which Beer Project
Like Guns’n'Roses and Metallica, peanut butter and chocolate, Hall & Oates, some combos seem predestined somehow – bear witness to Girl and Anti-Hero’s “Beauty and the Beast” tour, already inked into the annals of legendary road trips, and the video the best tour documentary to come along since probably “Harsh Euro Barge.” It’s no “Barbarians At the Gate” or “Shit” but I’d definitely rate it above the bloated “Super Champion Fun Zone,” and let’s be honest, in the late 00′s, making a tour video that’s worth watching more than once is no mean feat. Even O’Dell and his all-seeing VX1000 didn’t clear that bar with last year’s “Wild Ride” doc.
The 10 Beast Moments:
10. McCrank’s Miller flip subtitle – he skates for Girl, remember?
9. Gerwer no-handed climbing the ladder / Koston crapping out on the boat
8. Jack Rebney Beast edit cameo
7. Trujillo’s hardflip – Scarface sidewalk gap soundtrack
6. Wizard staffs – on track to become as ubiquitous as Half-Cabs, or played out like Leo Romero’s black eye game?
5. BA’s pants sag – Gerwer’s AH sombrero
4. Malto’s nosegrind pop-out – Peabody gap to b/s smith grind
3. Julien Stranger nollie noseblunt – Alex Olson brick nosegrind
2. John Cardiel – backside 50/50
1. Mike Carroll, Japan air – very possibly the best trick caught on film this year:
After scouring the internet all week, I finally FINALLY downloaded it today: the Brian Anderson HD outtakes from the upcoming “Beauty and the Beast” DVD, which I solemnly promise myself will be the last tour video I ever buy, ever. For real this time.
You know that age-old saying, “if men had boobs they’d never leave the house”? Well, if I could do smith grinds like BA does about a quarter of the way through the clip, and I could make my arm go like that, I’d never leave the quarterpipe.
The Real World
So while the rest of us were BBQing and firecrackering and generally getting our Fourth of July on, and DNA was counting their snowboard cash and not updating their goddam video sites, Deluxe debuted DLX-TV with a slew of clips, old and new. Which is good news for this noble country and the planet in general, seeing’s how there really is not enough footage of Peter Ramondetta lately, or Frank Gerwer ever. Highlights are the 3rd & Army session, the Civic Center ledge session and Jake Donnelly in general (his day in the life kinda drags though). Also the mighty Mark Appleyard’s Thunder commercial, which pleases my eye nearly as much as those one type of fireworks that explode, and then the tracers start going all wonky at crazy angles. Hopefully Bob can hurry up and land his next kickflip into the Amazon rainforest or whatever for the Flip video, so we can skip past it to that two-song part Appleyard supposedly has in the can already.
As a bonus, since I’m still flush with national pride, here’s a link to Ramondetta’s sadly underappreciated part in the ill-fated C1RCA vid. Here comes the cheap shot: It’s Time… to think of a better name for the next video, guys.