Revel in your pain(!)
There’s a certain quality to Geoff Rowley’s skating, or maybe more accurately to his “being” as a pro-whatever, that is highlighted when the filmer stills his hand from marking that day’s hammer and instead follows along as Rowley pushes once, twice, and diddles about with various flatground tricks like he was getting double points for those shove-its like it was his own personal bonus round. Which it may well be, and of course we’ve only a vague idea how long any particular trick takes him to land, but if you were to pick a scrawny Brit to shoulder the weight of a baggage-heavy production like “Extremely Sorry” you could do worse than a never-say-die type who won’t stop even after he’s won that particular day’s battle.
So you could interpret Rowley’s lead-off position in the Flip video proper in any number of ways: that it’s the second-best part, following on some unwritten rule of video sequencing that came to prominence around the time of “Misled Youth”… that it has a frontside flip late shove-it in it, which is a trick that everyone will be feverishly gossiping about and therefore it’s pointless to put it at the end of the video because everybody is gonna just fast-forward to see it anyhow… or that Rowley looks to meet head-on the challenge of following up the two past Flip videos, some six years since the last one, half the team gone, crazy diamond Shane Cross departed, Boulala jailed, and the mountain-sized expectations of a viewing public eager to write off this new generation of longhaired tween ATVs and the custom-composed rap/rock soundtrack.
There’s some validity to this whole mess – you take your chance going for a trilogy when half the cast checks out after the second reel, and years of anticipatory ads and deadline back-pushing and Grand Canyon base-jumps do not dull usually a video hype cycle. Geoff Rowley the human probably cares as much about all this as he does about those who would gnash their teeth over the thought of him slaying a mountain lion, or his engaging in those aesthetically displeasing truck hang-up tricks (that would include me). “Extremely Sorry” has some of his craziest shit ever, the part will not be remembered as his best, but he is still out there doing things like that wallride 5050 and that into-the-bank ollie and the rather costly rooftop maneuver, and his brand of ultra-gnarly skateboarding has never really beaten you over the head with its ultra-gnarliness. All of which oughtta be respected, whatever comes next – b/s 360 powerslide or one of those puberty-stricken gap kickflippers. Or satanic poetry, or claymation. Or drum’n'bass music.