Posts Tagged ‘France’

Leo Valls Takes Advantage Of A Hurricane To Make A Case For The Continued Relevance Of Tail Devils, Grappling Hooks

February 20, 2013

DEVO

The kindest gift that Paul Rodriguez ever bestowed upon the industry was making switch 360 flips down double sets look not-really-trying casual. Upping the ante in one’s mid-teens to not only top-drawer difficulty but seeming no-sweat execution put a fresh floor under tricks that pushed boundaries and set the stage for a weird and wondrous era in which random YouTube kids compete with professionals for unique page views and thumbs-up identifiers. It also enabled dudes who aren’t up to switch backside noseblunting handrails to differentiate on metrics such as speed, aesthetics, geography, or wearing suspenders. French cobblestone ticklers Magenta have based their whole deal on agility and architecture without fussing a great deal over filling up their tech/gnar power meters, pumping out a stream of sliding- and pushing-packed vids that have refreshed and divided the populace in ways similar to the Stereo videos of yore, except with more Wu-Tang Clan.

Making a New York vid probably has been on these dudes’ list as long as the Los Angeles schoolyards were for the Palace guys, and watching their new ‘Panic in Gotham’ clip you get a sense of the zest with which they screeched their wheels across these hallowed streets, even if most of the marquee spots were disregarded in favor of jumping whatever benches and bars they ran across. New York long has been associated with chutzpah and some balls are helpful if you aim to insert clips of flatground shove-its or a repeat of one of those one-footed slider moves, but this raises interesting questions around the role of these caffeinated French purists, and tricks like Leo Valls’ tail-skid to slappy noseslide. Are the Magenta bros in their tightly fished, powerslide-mining fashion pushing as much innovation as the likes of Corey Kennedy or Torey Pudwill working over a DIY parking block ledge? Would their efforts be classified as ‘lateral’ progression, devolution or some as-yet unknown direction? Is there room for Magenta as a hardgood manufacturer to differentiate on products amenable to their styles of scooching and spinning, like ceramic wheels or tailguards? Could Magenta and Nissan collab on an environmentally friendly grappling hook that enables urban skaters to hook a ride on a low-emission vehicle?

Summertime Mixtape #5: Lucas Puig “Bon Appetit”

June 8, 2012

As the Mediterranean breezes, expansive vineyards and reported peccadilloes of Dominique Strauss-Kahn suggest, France can be an easygoing place, illustrated herein by the major-production video debut of the nation’s favorite four-wheeled son in Cliche’s “Bon Appetit,” set to a freewheeling Zappa jangler. Back when this came out–not that long ago really, but seems like a while ago–people began drawing comparisons between young Puig and Mouse-era Mariano, and while these comparisons haven’t borne out over time given both dudes’ eventual embrace of tricky ledge combos, they did wind up endorsing the same kind of shoes, so the possibility remains that some of those original comparison-drawers were psychic. I was and remain ‘psyched’ regarding a lot of the relatively simple but well-chosen moves in this part, namely the kickflip backside shifty, the fakie frontside flip off the wedge, those backside noseblunt variations on the little banked ledge, the spin on the switch 360 flip over the channel and the smattering of dork tricks in the middle. Lucas Puig tapdances across sculpture gardens and sunny public spaces, plus there’s a JB Gillett feature, without which no summer can really be complete. In closing, we hope you have enjoyed this rare run of several posts across consecutive days, or at least the video clips.

Bastien Salabanzi Does Not See Eye To Eye With Elderly Lotto Winners But As Far As We Can Tell Has Not Yet Taken Any Wild Animals Captive For Celebration Purposes

April 26, 2012

On the evening of March 30, Merle and Pat Butler of Red Bud, IL embarked upon the dropping of a certain brand of lifestyle hammer that in certain ways has never before been seen. After hitting a record lotto jackpot, they kept their heads down and stayed on the proverbial grind for nearly three weeks before stepping forward to acknowledge their lifestyle hammer of $110 million that has made them “rich forever,” in the parlance of Maybach Music Group. In purely lotto terms, this was the equivalent of Geoff Rowley segueing into a modest flatground line after completing his Clipper assault and briefly praising the Lord.

The behaviour exhibited by the lucky retirees stands in sharp contrast to other rapidly enriched persons including footballer Chad Johnson, whose urge to share his exuberance upon scoring points has occasionally included unique collabs with other species.

“On the highway, I hit a deer,” Johnson said Tuesday, insisting he was serious and that the animal wasn’t hurt. “I kept him. He’s at home in the garage. I’m going to use him for the celebration this weekend. He’s a prop. They might suspend me for the last game, but I think this one is worth it.”

France’s Bastien Salabanzi has not divulged capturing live animals for the purposes of hyping supporters, but he has staked out ground as among skateboarding’s biggest believers in one’s self and in the past has openly expressed himself in front of a live arena audience. Like Greg Lutzka’s happily snapping fingers and Bob Burnquist’s tears of joy, Bastien Salabanzi’s penthouse quarters on cloud nine have left a bad taste in the mouths of some and occasionally drawn fire from others.

ESPN: Why do you get so much grief for doing that?
BS: It’s skateboarding. The cool attitude is to do the gnarliest thing and make it look like you do it every morning on the way to go get the bread at the store, like the trick is completely normal.

I don’t really care. I don’t want to be someone else. It makes me happy when I land something. But I can understand from an outside point of view, maybe from someone who liked to watch skateboarding but never really did it hard they cannot relate to that kind of behavior. For example, a lot of people talk about John McEnroe, that the guy is insane and he goes mental on the court but at the same time people agree that he was one of the best that has ever played. I’m sure he doesn’t care his reputation is to be completely crazy. What he cares about is the number of tournaments he’s won.

Skateboarding’s rejection of big upping one’s self is rooted in a historic aversion to the sort of chest-beating that characterized the mainstream sports kids were supposed to be pursuing in the 80s and 90s when the sheen of televised vert contests began to recede. The country wasn’t trying to care about Jovontae Turner doing 360 flips and nollie nose manuals and generally dudes weren’t fooling themselves. All this stuff was going on in parking lots and around back of some department stores, and if you knew you knew, etc.

Is this mode of thinking outdated when our $15 million man Rob Dyrdek is finally getting around to starring in some tossed-off show he pitched to MTV five years ago and decks regularly outsell Louisville Sluggers? Have we become so coldhearted as to begrudge Billy Marks a moment of euphoria at the big Wilshire handrail? Did Forrest Edwards transcend the self-cheering debate when he cooly explained that his go-to tricks are “not gay”? Do yall realize this posting has incorporated so far three ESPN web-links?

It used to be humbler times, when a trick-namer such as Tony Hawk was gluing plies together by hand in the back of his Lexus as he stayed one step ahead of repo men and sought to put food on the table, or when bros were hopping fences to get at wealthier folks’ lightly used pools. Bastien Salabanzi recently skated a private park to try and qualify for a contest series where he could pocket some $1 million, and the idea of hiding his double-cabellarial flipping light under a bushel seems to strike him as outlandish.

What do you put the importance on?
At the end of the day I don’t want to be remembered as a cocky lunatic. I started skating in 1994. Today I watched the 12 minutes of footage from when I was a little kid and that’s when I was having so much fun and not caring about no industry or sponsors. I was just having fun and loving skating. That’s how I want to skate, to have fun and skating the way I want to skate like when I was 13.

I’m happy with the road I took and the way things happened; I don’t regret anything. But I do understand the people that find my behavior too much, at the same time I don’t care. I’m 26, I learned and I’ve evolved and think different. When I see my behavior at a contest from years ago I laugh so hard and think, “Wow, I was a little bit crazy.”

When Colloquialisms Attack Or, The Time Something About A Muska Shoe Ad Bothered Me For 13 Years

March 9, 2012

Recently as part of a broader discourse on the state of the modern skateshop I deployed the phrase “branded product,” and even with scare quotes highlighting a wry and half-joking nature, heh heh, I felt kind of like a dork. There’s any number of breadcrumbs dropped along skateboarding’s meandering path into the deep dark forest of institutionalization lo these past couple decades, and embracing this type of industry jargon seems like shaking the bag. For the youngsters there’s maybe some cachet to dangling such terms around the park or the curb, suggesting you’re familiar with the industry and maybe a little bit of world-weariness to go along with it, but as time passes I feel sometimes like these little phrases get to be more of a reminder of how weirdly and wonderfully insular our little universe can be, what with pretty much all the media by/for/about its advertisers and well-documented revolving doors granting exit and entry from jobs at companies or distributors the same as pro team rosters.

Of course at a time where our planet is regularly threatened by dangerous solar storms and powered by a steadily expanding sun that may one day engulf us, or heat us up too much to live anymore, this is all minor league shit. But, for a tribe that has developed its own vernacular to the point where a factual complete sentence like “He kickflip backside noseblunt slid that hubba for his ender in the Firm’s ‘Can’t Stop’” sounds like gibberish to the man on the street, I’m getting on my Académie Française on for some grievance airing. Disclaimer, this blog webpage has maybe abused any or all of these phrasings.

Product, singular: Sorta remember first noticing this in interviews in the late 1990s, now it is the parlance of our times when it comes to discussing numerous boards, sets of wheels, pairs of shoes and so on. During especially sensitive moments this word could be seen to carry an elitist tinge, like an offhand description of sponsorship spoils. But it’s also useful as a reminder of the commoditization of boards and wheels over the past decade, and maybe now shoes too, until the pendulum finally swings away from canvas low-tops and back toward the Es Scheme.

Colorway: Distinctly recall first seeing this in an ad for Muska’s first pro shoe for Circa. Disliked it because it always seemed a little poofy and, dare I say, girly. Why not just “see other colors of the Scheme at http://www.esfootwear.com”?

Core: When referring to a shop or a company. To me the word “core” in this sense comes from the same land where they farm those big neon-coloured hats with the fake dreadlocks, step-in snowboard bindings and surf shorts with big flames down the sides. I understand what the word’s trying to get at but attempting to affix this label flounders on the same slippery slope as Justice Potter Stewart grappling with a definition for hard-core pornography. Know it when you see it, etc.

Brand: Instead of company. Comes off a little high-falutin’, or maybe like the product of an overheated marketing 101 lab session. Rather than make things, it must also be things, perhaps to certain people at certain times and for certain favors to be delivered at an agreed upon date.

SKUs: Here you toddle down the path to the strange and surreal dimension of retail merchandising acronyms. SKU stands for stock-keeping unit, and can be used to refer to Es Schemes or other products kept in a store for sale to customers. Confusingly, a shoe* can be a SKU, and a SKU can also be a shoe, or in other cases a hat or even a Hurley sticker.

*such as an Es Scheme

Superpowers Enable Joey Brezinski to Blend In with Machinery

February 24, 2009

Joey Brezinski’s Transworld interview a couple months ago was entertaining for a variety of reasons, among them his challenges with the French language, designing video game characters based on SAD, and how he uses EA Skate to brainstorm his Rube Goldberg-esque trick combinations:

A lot of my tricks really do come out of that game. A lot of tricks take like five days after I do it for 30 minutes on the couch. In a way that game is mental training for physical training.

They also poke fun at him for basically not being able to come up with any single-frame photo material, which goes some way toward explaining the lame Colin McKay cover. But squinting and furrowing my brow at the sequence captions got me thinking about how Joey Brezinski on a trick-by-trick basis regularly executes some of the longest-named maneuvers currently running. Spoiler alert, here’s some of the more convoluted items from his excellent section in the new Cliche video “Cle” which we may discuss in further detail some day soon.*

-Fakie lipslide to nose manual to nollie backside bigspin (nine words, 57 characters)
-Switch nose manual to fakie nosegrind shove-it out (eight words, 51 characters)
-Kickflip nose manual nollie backside tailslide (seven words, 50 characters)
-Frontside 180 switch manual body varial manual 180 out (nine words, 54 characters)
-Frontside boardslide pop-up to fakie manual revert backside 180 out (10 words, 67 characters)
-Half-cab kickflip manual backside tailslide backside kickflip out (eight words, 65 characters)
-Half-cab frontside noseslide backside 270 manual revert (seven words, 55 characters)
-Nose manual nollie backside bigspin fakie manual fakie pop out (ten words, 62 characters)

Obviously this is the one and true benchmark by which we must measure his part in the upcoming Transworld video this summer. I think he’s got at least a 15-word trick in him, provided he is able to evade the MongoCorp assassins in San Vanelona or whatever it’s called.

*Note, I counted the spaces as characters because I’m not a crazy word monster who likes his words all mushed together in a big mush.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to French

December 13, 2008


Liberty potatoes

I found this little anecdote from the Joey Brezinski pro spotlight very endearing:

TWS: Does anything ever get lost in translation between you and the rest of the team?
JB: Dude, I don’t know any French. I got this game called
French Tutor, but it doesn’t really help. Last tour it taught me how to say Wednesday and I was super hyped. JB [Gillet] was sitting in front of me and I hit him on the shoulder and say, “JB, Mercredi [Wednesday in French].” And he’s like, “Ehhh, is good, good. You tell everybody in France today.” It was Wednesday that day too. But then he was like, “Now you go and say ‘Wednesday’ to everybody. That’s pointless. You learn nothing. How do you bring up Wednesday in conversation?” I’m like the little brother on the team.

Now for some reason I got it into my head that the new Cliche video “Cle” was supposed to premiere online, and got bummed when I went to the site and saw that it’s not coming out until next month. Whatever, I’m banking on Brezinski’s double heelflip bumping Carroll out of the Berrics Battle after Jeron flared out today. Go Jojo…


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