And if so, how. Here’s a different one though — is Joey Pepper the last of the “Ryde or Die Vol. 1″ ryders to keep a skate career lit? Is Rob Welsh nowadays a fulltime guitar-slinger? Did John Igei hang it up after performing what has been duly recognized and/or realized as the best switch inward heelflip captured on film, over the Pier 7 block no less? Before planning your own pilgrimage to Pier 7, read some recent reviews here.
Posts Tagged ‘Joey Pepper’
As the 24-hour twit cycle and its bottomless demand for web-ready footage continues to remake the skateboard pursuit before our eyes, one of the semi-entertaining developments has been the fulfillment of a prophecy made several years ago by now-Dirty Ghetto Kid Josh Kalis, who said something to the effect that there are now multiple stages of “going pro” — the first being the symbolically important signature deck, followed by the more lucrative pro shoe deal, and onward/upward into the lofty realms of reality TV contracts and energy drink sponsorships that run more than skin deep.* This blog-space would add to this list the message-board fodder of getting on various-status flow programs (rep, “direct”), the sounds-silly concept of “going am” and I guess the baseline local-shop deal, although you could have some flow chart fun tracking elevation to “name” shops like your FTCs or Westsides, and maybe a mailorder offshoot.
From a personal brand-building standpoint it seems like the deck, however commoditized the seven plies have become, is still the leading indicator in terms of how/when/why dudes get the pro nod, even if the blessings of whatever footwear concern is backing said dude are increasingly being sought. Kenny Hoyle, that long-laboring, Laker-hating West Coast kid with the hardflips and relaxed attitude toward life, got called up to the show last week in a promo-video arrangement centered on the kind of sorta-sensical skit that in the bro-age known as the 80s could’ve carried a decent chunk of a Bones Brigade vid, and done a good job of it too. Hailing back to what was said about Toy Machine’s Matt Bennett a few months back, this kid has earned it which helps to rebuild a little faith in the vague structure of the universe — the graphic will soon be buried under piles of team series boards and other one-offs, and maybe his next move is already in the frame at DVS, but dudes, the debut pro board maybe means something still.
Kenny Hoyle’s trick universe seems like it expanded for this part, with like that f/s bluntslide kickflip and the switch heelflip b/s tailslide shove-it helping with our little “earned it” thesis — watching his footage in the past he always looked confident but on some of these “Madness” clips he’s matured or gained more command (thinking here of the 360-flip noseslide near the end for instance), though his face still looks about 12 years old. Maybe varial heelflipping gaps off what looks like a gigantic building block turned sideways keeps you young.
Expedition plays the contrast to the hilt when Hoyle is confronted by an extra-grizzled Rob Welsh, here doing his best “Paco” and breaking out the payment-plan jacket for the first time in a while. For my money Welsh’s footage in this little vid outstrips what he had in “Fully Flared,” a lot more of the classic smoker Welsh with new spot footage, obligatory pants adjustments and transition stuff to justify the Lowcard hats. Refer also to the hand stylings on the fakie b/s 5-0 flip out, and Rob Welsh remains able to pop out of nose-centric tricks better than your favorite post-Lakai ledge am. Head-turners elsewhere from Joey Pepper (kickflip to surprise lipslide) and Enrique Lorenzo who has this one clip where it’s hard to tell what direction he’s skating and reminded me of that Cliche segment from “Freedom Fries.”
Happily returned Ryan Gallant’s got an eerie calm with one of the harder tricks going, his much-utilized b/s 180 switch f/s crooked grind, and also newly pro Matt Miller’s ungodly ledge powers and vaguely Colin Mckayish looks made me muse a little on why his DC affiliation didn’t land him at Plan B when Gallant’s spot opened up. But wife-beatin’ Spencer Hamilton’s mini-part maybe wins best supporting video part or whatever here: beefy board flipping from a rail-skinny bro who wears pants the right way and has mastered the fakie frontside bigspin out of switch backside nosegrinds. His manual tricks are super hard and the effect on that last stair set is key, the trick is bananas.
*For the record, my money remains on “not real”
“Kevin” Spanky “Long” takes a lotta heat in certain circles for looking like a girl, wearing girls’ trousers, having girly hair, his unabashed hipsterism, and occasionally skating like a girl. The internet’s great unwashed can and will debate these points, but to my mind, there is little debate as to the classic status of this f/s air, just reaching cruising altitude above the rim of Brooklyn’s Autumn Bowl. Photo is from a striking B&W set in the Brandon Westgate “Skateboarder,” snapped by Jonathan Mehring, and for those of you who like to make your ambiguity a double, the Spanky pic butts up against a shot of Dylan Rieder backside crailing with reckless, untamed abandon. Elsewhere there’s a really sick Joey Pepper lip trick sequence that I can’t think up any dumb jokes about.
Alternate title: Game gear
Since I now see how I was kinda riding off frozen in carbonite’s recent Nunez posting last time around, I suppose I’ll keep the (ahem) ball rolling and quasi-bite Bloggy Omega’s Joey Pepper item in a certain kind of way, insofar as recognizing the dude’s apparent role as a sometime graphic design assistant when it came to those last glorious days of Aesthetics.
It was some time ago that I stumbled on the Tunney page, I think during the course of a fruitless Google Image Search for Kevin Taylor Aesthetics ads – specifically this bombastic backside 180 nosegrind on one of those Temple rails (I think?) where he’s letting it all hang out in typical KT fashion; one of those skaters who pretty much never ever produces a bad photo. I might try and argue that Kevin Taylor photos as often as not turn out better than the footage, but it would depend on the day, how I was feeling at the time, what was for lunch, etc.
One thing or another prompted me to save the link and not long afterward, in a classic “plate of shrimp” moment, my Mozilla ran aground at the Handheld Games Museum, where a couple other series of Aesthetics graphics are archived (Gamer, pictured overhead, and Arcade). All of which got me thinking back on the, er, artistically beautiful and/or pleasing appearance of Aesthetics graphics, ads, Rob Welsh’s switch 360 flips and so on.
Now many pixels have been sacrificed to the ongoing eulogization of skateboard graphics’ import, relevance and general quality, all of which are agreed to have slipped since [insert golden age here], thanks to such usual suspects as the heat-transfer process, series boards, kids these days, and that ever-present creative bugbear, corporate influence. Which may or may not be true, although great graphics still are being produced here and there.
I think though the generally sweet quality of Aesthetics graphics is usually left out when discussing what should’ve been Sal Barbier’s great legacy, where the conversations usually focus on the amazing squad and the tragic migration to Zoo, which as far as I can tell didn’t treat anybody especially good. Barbier served a short and probably thankless TM stint, Welsh wandered in board-sponsor limbo after fleeing the Ecko empire, Pepper nearly quit skating, Clyde Singleton I guess wrangled a foot surgery before getting out, John Igei had to wait a couple years before going to W.E. for the belated pro nod, and Kevin Taylor has to skate in Zoo York shoes. Is the latter “worth it” though if it funds monstrous backside heelflips and a car note? Probably that’s one of those questions that can only truly be answered in the afterlife, or perhaps the Slap board.
PS, if anybody knows that KT ad I blathered about earlier, by all means post it up somewheres or point me towards it.
Today’s dispatch from the holy shit department: Joey Pepper with hair