July 4 boasts more explosions and the month of August is typically reserved for the country of France to go on holiday, but Memorial Day weekend with its water-ski exhibitions and blazing barbecues is regarded as the true starting line for summertime and in some respects the peak, with its promise of near-limitless potential and hot grilling action. What follows below is one ill-conceived blog’s ready reckoner for who is going in this season.
Tom Remillard: In this era of all-terrain bros traversing hemispheres to gather footage Tom Taxpayer is a youthful voice for bootstraps restraint, filming the best section in this year’s Transworld vid mostly within the Washington St. skatebowls and including only a token sprinkling of handrailings and ledges. The specialist approach wrings new mileage out of ditch wallrides (ollie out, backside flare-slide) and the launch up to backside tailslide on the high wall advocates for gnarliest trick of 2012’s first half.
Jon Dickson: The day-glo orange cargo van of skating, Jon Dixon’s Deathwish video part delivered payment in full on a couple years’ worth of photos and sequences like the nollie backside flip the hard way over the rail, which looked like a textbook case for how somebody could ever hope to do such a trick. This section is the product of mutton chops, jangling keys and stretch denim and is saturated with clips to the extent that it’s hard to pull out the same stuff every time. Most recently it was the power b/s flip over the picnic table, the switch kickflip frontside noseslide and the half-cab heelflip hurdle-jump into the bank.
Moms: Manners and clean living have drawn few defenders since the bitter and all-too-public dissolution of the SMP clique some years back, but in recent months corporate leadership has emboldened the often ignored angel on the X-industry’s collective shoulder. Though his leopard-spotted leotards might conjure visions of TVs flung out of high-rise hotels with enough extra cord to keep the adult feature rolling until impact a la Diamond Dave, Shaun White recently told his fans he wished he’d never pulled a hotel fire alarm in jest, while a sternly-worded memo from ESPN last month urged X-gamemasters not to filch freebies or poke fun at “backward”-seeming Braziliers. Messageboards meanwhile tell the tale of how Peter Hewitt was allegedly booted from Nike after publicly professing his enthusiasm for marijuana, whereas Zoo York professional boardriders were allowed to skate Yankee stadium after asking nicely and saying please.
Kyle Walker: I remember Kyle Walker coming up as one of the scuzzy looking kids in the newer Real video who had some nice backside tailslide and smith grind pics go into the magazines, and this part he made for Volcom is as good a dump as any for his steaming garbage trucks full of towering fakie flips and tall-can backside 50-50s. Occasionally it looks like he puts a little too much ooph behind some kickflip or hardflip and they almost get away from him, upping the suspense, and there’s a real monster of a b/s tailslide down a rail and some good tricks on a spot I believe was formerly romanced by onetime TWS am issue cover-bro Neal Mims.
Austyn Gillette: Footloose, fancy free and sporting a newly gilded Ryan Gosling look, Austyn Gillette is jumping hubba ledges and capturing X-Game audiences’ hearts this summer apparently without the nettlesome strings of board or shoe sponsorship to cramp his style. The cocksure young man who skated to Juicy J and affronted several internet commentors by Babe-Ruth pointing in his “Cosmic Vomit 2″ part, as is the custom, will take the summer months to play the field before settling down with new sponsors and filling his store-room full of canned goods, gunpowder and treated burlap so as to survive the long winter ahead.
Bonnier Corp: While skating is a lifestyle for some, drug overdose repellent for others and the key to unlocking the halls of eternal fame via Guinness World Records for a chosen few, for certain others it has served merely as a stopping-off point en route to bigger and better things, such as Hollywood acting careers or rap music moguldom. Count amongst the latter group now-former Transworld stewards Bonnier Corp., who ceremoniously announced last week that the firm had struck an arrangement to dump its action sporting titles in favor of no fewer than nine motorcycling magazines that will help fulfill Bonnier’s long-held thirst for “revenue growth and sustained profitability.” To the newly reborn Bonnier Motorcycling Group and its affiliated Boss Baggers, it has been fabulous doing business with you.
Forrest Edwards: Like the bad kid kicked out of school, Forrest Edwards is the creation of an industry that generally now seems not to know what to do with him, and for the time being has left him to his own devices, including but not limited to smoking, curse words and general antisocial attitudes. Quartersnacks and Chief Keef put him/his worldview in better perspective than any of his post-OIAM spots have so far and the vulgar display of tech-gnar power here comes off like a double-dare to any would-be Jamie Thomases looking to try a ’10s version of the Chris Cole career reboot. Is there a photo out there of the double-rail ollie?
Free Agency: Like nosesliding a handrail without a nollie or a kickflip attached, simply hopping to another company doesn’t cut it in 2013 when top-bench talent is breaking out for parts unknown with their best bros along for the ride. Though Deluxe is rumored to be one possible aviary for some of these newly free birds, other established manufacturers are on their heels and weighing responses. One rumored strategy has several top companies chipping in to buy the back covers of the Skateboard Mag, Thrasher and Transworld to run an all-text ad listing the names of heavy hitters under a banner that reads “five of these ten pros will be staying with their current sponsors rather than start a new company.”