Posts Tagged ‘Polar’

The Incredible Shrinking Alien Workshop

February 23, 2014

thanks_ohio

Singular as it was to see the Dill/AVE ‘Dear John’ letter pop up on AWS’s site last spring, it is wild to look upon the ‘Team’ page in recent weeks and count just four working professionals and two amateurs, half the year-ago number, and relegating 30-years-young 2006 Sect inductee Omar Salazar to de-facto elder statesman status. Setting aside Heath Kirchart’s retired jersey and the mercurial standing of Rob Dyrdek the absentee landlord, if you were to trim now-departed ridership from the ‘Cinematographer’ section (and keep the between-clip clips) you’d get about a three-minute vignette; just three parts from ‘Mind Field’ would survive.

The narrative seems to go like this: aging bones and the lack of any equity stake in the company that employed them for some 15 years, Van Engelen and Dill dipped after seeing the title to DNA’s corporate UFO change hands multiple times in recent years, in the most recent case supposedly finding out only after the fact that Dyrdek had abruptly flipped the company to sunglass investor and Street League licensor Pacific Vector Holdings. (‘Despicable Me’ teaches us that a vector possesses direction and magnitude, while Pacific refers to the ocean that abuts California.) Sans these sometime-roomies and industry spirit-guides, Ohio-rooted bean-planter Kevin Terpening quietly exited, followed by the long-anticipated departure of Mikey Taylor, Grant Taylor’s seemingly preordained leap to Anti-Hero and most recently that of onetime franchise fakie 360-flipper and recent DKNY booster Dylan Rieder*.

The slow ebb of branded professional talent from the AWS roster over the past three quarters probably does not rise to the level of the World Industries ship-jumping of the mid-1990s or the nearly absolute Toy Machine team abscondiment that left Ed Templeton and Austin Stephens to rebuild by themselves the house of the Transmissionator. The steady grabbing of coats leaves open the question though as to whether the exodus has yet run its course. The curb-carving hair-greaser known to fans as Donovon Piscopo is seen to remain close with the DAVE contingent; hardly a fortnight can pass without wallride impresario Jake Johnson being instagrammed in close proximity to Polar hardgoods and he has really started to do a lot of no-complies these past 18 months.

Are the quartet of Jake Johnson, Omar Salazar, a recently reinvigorated and spectacleless Tyler Bledsoe, and Gilbert Crockett — who for one has voiced on the record his commitment to remaining aboard the grand Alien trip — strong enough to sustain and refresh this hallowed and murky well of Midwestern weirdness? Did recent “collaborations” with the estates of Warhol and Haring* signal a grasping at creative straws for a company with one of the strongest track records of art still going? To what extent are DNA’s new owners vexed by the exits, versus what their financial models may have divined prior to agreeing the purchase? Will the excellently disjointed TOUROHIO clip from late last year come to be seen as bridge or a bookend? Are the personnel moves to be interpreted as some right-sizing of DNA’s pro-level staffing, given Josh Kalis’ recent comments to the effect that even the MTV-moneyed boardroom chessboxer Dyrdek struggled to keep the company financially viable?

*Noting the Dill and Ave note, as the industry becomes increasingly press-release driven it seems more and more strange when companies keep silent on the departure of marquee names, especially those of years-long riders, instead quietly deleting them from their websites and re-screening their boards.
**does the world need a Radiohead album of Beatles covers?

Mayan Calendar Fail And Some Other Notes From The Year That Was

January 2, 2013

Ten more parts
-Austyn Gillette – “Unlimited”
Something about Austyn Gillette’s riding will probably always be not my thing, but I’ll always check for his footage. Switch backside flip at the end had the craziest catch.
-Keelan Dadd – “Parental Advisory”
-Russ Milligan – “Business As Usual”
I think Russ Milligan at this point may be destined to go down as criminally overlooked, but it’s good he’s found a niche in SF.
-Forrest Edwards – “Wild Power”
-Nate Broussard – “Secondhand Stoke”
Somebody could make a case on how this dude’s languid style and focus on simple tricks might’ve helped refocus Dylan Rieder in his evolution toward the Gravis part.
-Ross Norman – “Civilized”
Ross Norman slayed in “Last of the Mohicans” a few years ago and he’s apparently been putting in time at his own personal Love Park. The heather-gray crew-neck sweatshirt is overdue for a comeback.
-Gilbert Crockett – “Cellout”
-Conor Champion – “3Hunna”
Attention video makers, the farther “Carter 2″ fades in the rear-view mirror, so does the bar grow higher for any use of Dwayne Carter music in parts. Ponder this as we take in Conor Champion’s huge switch backside tailslide.
-Brian Peacock – “DC China”
-Adrian Vega – “Outdated”
No super-secret recipe here, just clean tricks at good spots and a brassy song.

What is the over-under on how many months will pass before Mark Suciu is rated pro?
suciu_love_ledge
Just curious, the stance here is obvious. There was this one too.

Ten shared parts/promos
-Alien Workshop – “Cinematographer”
If they would’ve sold this part alone via Itunes for $4.99 I think they might have been able to keep AVE in Dapper Dan for decades. Companies should think about devoting their resources toward pumping out well-produced smaller projects like this every year or so, versus these five-year global slogs that wind up relegating half the dudes’ footage to a bonus reel most people will watch twice. Jake Johnson’s nollie wallride here is the real deal.
-Adidas – “New York City”
Adidas and Dan Wolfe have been making the best tour clips out for some time now and this ranks at the top of the stack, up there with the Greece one. Pete Eldridge’s loosey bought him a ticket to years’ worth of message-board dissertations on style.
-Politic – “Introducing”
-“Ordos”
These vids that offer peaks into weird crannies of the world are super worthwhile.
-Polar – “No Complies & Wallrides+shuvits”
-Palace – “N***** WIT ALTITUDE”
Love these guys, and the cameos are amazing, but white dudes throwing around the n-bomb is better suited to suburban tweens.
-Tim & Eric – “Secondhand Stoke”
Helping hand on the front flip warms the heart
-Dennis Busenitz/Real team – “Cinematographer”
-Bobby Worrest, Daniel Kim & Tim McDermott – “Stop Fakin 2″
Worrest, lines at Pulaski
-Lucas Puig & Co. – “Adidas roadtrip”
The red hat and those cement boobs got a lotta mileage this year. Between Cliche and Adidas and those blue shorts, is Lucas Puig officially the most Euro pro out?
-Magenta – “Hill Street Blues 2″

The rise of Riley Hawk

It has been interesting to track Riley Hawk’s come-up these past few years and his moves. Flying the Birdhouse coop and farming his hair and scumstache under the Baker banner was one thing but all the footage done recently is another, he’s got an interesting take on the heelflip and he’s moved onto a bigger canvas from the ledge combos that got him on the radar a few years ago. This one is my favorite among the several sections he made this year.

A re-rise of Tom Penny
Tom Penny footage these days is a crap shoot, but this brand-new clip from the DC “Embassy” park is the best in quite a while. There is still some magic in those feet, between the switch nosegrind, switch frontside flip and ollie impossible.


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