Posts Tagged ‘Powell Peralta’

Explosive Sticker-Price Explosion In Stickers Sets Inflation Alarm Bells A-Ringing

February 7, 2013

helicopter-ben

Skateboarding has long seemed impervious to the whims of inflation, with a deck and grip-tape in 1990 costing roughly the same as it does today, a conundrum that has confounded shop owners and time-travelers bent on achieving quick profits. Logic rules that over time a good either rises in price as ingredient or construction costs increase, or becomes cheaper due to advances in more efficient production techniques and more easily mined minerals. In skateboard decks’ instance, technologically advanced choppers derived from multi-blade Gillette razors have eased the felling of Canadian hard-rock maples, but the giant iron weights needed to press plies together and form decks have grown more dear due to increased demand from coastal New Jersey exercise parlours.

But fallout from the worldwide economic volcano could change all. Easy-money policies pursued by the Fed and other central banks have raised fears that nebulous and weird “bubbles” could be a-growing in certain segments of industry, risking catastrophe. So sayeth Esther George, Midwestern Fed banker:

“”Prices of assets such as bonds, agricultural land, and high-yield and leveraged loans are at historically high levels. A sharp correction in asset prices could be destabilizing,” she added.

On the internet, Ebay is an electronic marketplace where web users can buy bundled tongue depressors and floppy disks by the pound, or gently used pants. It is a digital bazaar where ‘buyer beware’ is the law of the land and strange economic aberrations can develop, challenging monetary norms and thought processes. So it is that skateboard stickers have undergone a mutant outgrowth in price, with the “buy it now” demand of $16.99 for one cassette-tape sized decal running a hefty 3,400% premium to the 50-cent rate prescribed by glass case curators nationwide in 1994.

Here, fond remembrances of the passing Bridgebolt fancy of the early 1990s costs $8.00 to relive in sticker form. This Powell sticker ostensibly from the 70s is the size of several dimes, comes with ‘authentic’ centering error and is $32 to buy immediately. Elsewhere, two American dollars sought for a couple SMA stickers possibly reflects the harshness of Europe’s sovereign debt problems. Other entities, such as Apple Computer and HURLEY.COM, also make skateboard stickers.

Could a neon-coloured Steve Rocco Sims sticker selling for $27 or a $100 asking price for a larger Powell decal jostle the economy in an unfriendly way? Is there a market for recently unearthed Tracker stickers? Will packets of Bad Boy Club stickers ever find their true home? View more stickers currently on offer here.

Lance Mountain and Bob Burnquist Are the Runaway Jury

October 20, 2009

lance_flip
In a theater near you

Back in, uh, 1998, vertical pioneer Tony Hawk and snowboard movie-man Jamie Mosberg unveiled “The End,” a statement of purpose that laid the groundwork for Tony Hawk’s rise to sport celebrity, solidified years of cartoon graphic deck sales and set the bar impossibly for future incarnations of the Birdhouse team. As you can imagine it was a pivotal moment for the culture and Tony Hawk mentioned at one point or another that one of the highest pieces of praises he received was somebody telling him “The End” was like one of the old Bones Brigade videos, which you can definitely see, and which is certainly no left-handed compliment despite the cheese factor spread over pretty much everything in the 80s.

There’s not a lot about the “Extremely Sorry” video itself that translates to easy comparisons with the classic Powell Peralta productions – it will take someone far bolder than I to hold up Louie Lopez et al alongside the Guy/Paulo/Rudy contingent – with the obvious exception of Lance Mountain, the Bones Brigade’s Ringo, and Bob Burnquist, sometimes known as the Bob Burnquist of mega-ramp skating.

And what about Bob? He makes for an easy target, what with his dramatic contest tears, recreational base jumps, TV stunts focused on geologic wonders and so on. It would be folly to dismiss shit like that switch feeble grind on the mega-bar or that heelflip frontside 540 spin that’s in the new Thrasher or all those tricks into (i.e. from the deck, into the transition of) the mega-quarter-pipe*. Or the switch backside tailslide, or those tricks at the beginning that remind you how he used to skate for Julien Stranger and those dudes. In some ways Bob Burnquist’s mega-complex is an extension of Tony Hawk’s bullring loop, but different, because it’s hard to shake the feeling that there’s something sort of fundamentally artificial about the whole mega pursuit… the idea of donning body armor (or not, I guess) and zipping to and fro on a golf cart to ride off a ski jump on a longboard. Like an underwater motorcycle race, or skyboarding. Quibbles aside, Bob B does for sure deserve a heaping helping of credit for filming a video part of this stuff, rather than dribbling it out from X-game to Dew Tour in a bid to rack up contest purses, which I guess he could do anyway.

On the other end of the spectrum one finds Lance Mountain and his personal backyard BBQ, throwing back to any number of previous video parts – Bones Brigade and otherwise in what struck me at one point as being a more wholesome version of Chet Childress’ Burnside odyssey in the Black Label vid a couple months back. Watching Lance Mountain crunch around the coping is all types of awesome with that ridiculous smith grind, the even more ridiculous feeble grind, those inverts, incorporation of various swimming implements – the late invert! – tied up with a loose weekendish theme that a 10-year-old kid could relate to, at the same time he’s bugging out off a hippie jump over the deep end ladder. I think I felt 10 years younger watching this part, which makes me wonder how Lance Mountain felt making it (broken bones notwithstanding)

*holy fuck by the way

McDoubles

September 7, 2009

birdhouse_mctwsts
Royale with cheese

For those of us who started skating in the 1980s there’s shit being done now that of course seems unfathomable in retrospect, for instance, switch 360 flipping double-sets, 360 flip noseblunts, nose tattoos and so on. Then there’s a whole other world of tricks that are the type of thing that theoretically were within the realm of possibility, but so out of hand as to be restricted to idle speculation during recess or in the wee hours of a sleepover after the third watch of “Public Domain,” and it is into this category that this sequence from the new TSM falls: Tony Hawk blasting a quarter century’s worth of contest-honed McTwisting over Aaron “No” Homoki’s parlour trick somewhere in Australia. It’s very possible this same pairing went down in some X-Fest or another, and I missed it because I never think to watch that sorta thing, but I really did set down the magazine and ponder this one for a minute when I saw it.

The Nieratko-penned article on this trip is a generally good one by the way – brief and BB-tinged, it’s telling of the way things are reshaping at the ‘house that Hawk built. For one, there’s an amusing and unapologetic Shawn White diss, and much is made of the fact that the Birdman was in the van* as opposed to sipping Chardonnay on his Lear jet or whatever on their city-to-city jaunts. Plus, the dude skated street with the bros (who included his son of course) and threw down his personal plastic when more juice was required to keep the distillates flowing. Who can say whether the B-House corporate account remains solvent. Perhaps Willy Santos, who also has a Birdhouse ad this month. No shit, Willy Santos. Either way, as far as the article goes, we can assume that none of this, including Nieratko’s invitation, happened by accident, but it’s nice to see nevertheless because Birdhouse continues to be home to some genuinely dirty/dedicated dudes and there’s some effort being put in over there to have a say in the way things are right now. It’s a long way for them to go of course, but I’m curious to see how far Tony Hawk is willing to push to get his shit back on track.

*they rented a van

Serious As Cancer

June 27, 2009


Ask about our catch of the day

Depending on whom you ask, Powell (was it Powell Peralta again for a shot while there?) is either an enduring monument to the successes and excesses of ’80s skateboarding, a third- or fourth-tier farm team company that’s been home to high-ollie champions and future SOTYs, or a stalwart supplier of blank decks. It has yet to be seen whether the new “FUN!” video will reassert Powell’s seat at the table of board companies people care about or catapult its featured amateurs to, er, am status on bigger/better board companies, but it’s an impressive effort even beyond the skating (which is roundly pretty awesome) – a statement of purpose from a notoriously directionless company, with the only ones that seem to give a shit about the whole affair probably ranking fairly low on the pay scale. Pretty much your classic rag-tag team of misfits taking a shot at the little league title or whatever, in a video that could only begin with a Spongebob song.

Since it’s unlikely that one video is going to turn the Powell ship, which has been floating aimlessly art-direction and team-wise for over a decade now, a more constructive game might be to parse “FUN!” re: the likelihood of different dudes getting tossed lifelines to other teams. Opening dude Josh Hawkins would probably be one, despite some kind of weird body varials out of tricks. He does this immaculate bluntslide kickflip and lands a cartilage-crushing noseblunt toward the end of his part, which features some pretty sizable gap skating. Also the relentlessly rounded Ben Hatchell, spinning a feeble grind whirligig in the shallow end and back-to-back flipping in the full-pipes. He has the crucial Cab cameo and also offers some handrail heroics to and beyond a double-kink feeble grind, crazy tricks that could maybe land him on Real or something; maybe Almost could get some of these dudes when Lutzka’s contract finally, finally runs out.

Meantime former Element-For-Lifer Dallas Rockvam gets his AVE weight up on a fat wallie to backside 50-50, the gap-to-rail lovin’ Aldrin Garcia hops a fence to a puffer-fish landing and scores a sweet look-back after a big backside flip. John White, previously a paralegal and in close competition with Mike Anderson for most boringest name in skating right now, is working with a new light-footed technique that isn’t bad and skids a sick backside noseblunt at the Crailtap electro-box ledge. On the topic of names, Derek Elmendorf has thankfully dropped one of the lamer nicknames around, and winds down a hammer-ready section with a bizarro fakie ollie to switch feeble grind and that 50-50 that must be seen to be believed.

Flarey ledge combos in this video include a noseslide to back noseblunt, nose manual to b/s noseblunt and f/s boardslide spin-around to noseblunt, but all things considered it’s a pretty big guns-focused affair that sees Wallenberg varial heelflipper Jordan Hoffart emptying the clip to “Panama,” stepping right up to the Staples Center hubba as he generally gets his Muska on. Noseslide shove-it transfer on a beefy block, a double-set jump to 5-0, long cranked-out k-grinds and gapping out over some stairs that I’d been waiting the whole vid for somebody to do. He goes and gets his Billy Marks on a little later with that Slap “Curtains” curtains trick, and there’s a finishing move that surely resets some type of bar. It would be impressive if Hoffart and everybody else refused all offers in favor of mutinying the Powell ship, stuffing old George in the brig and pointing the prow toward glory and treasure, but there’s a time to fish and a time to cut bait, and you gotta think that with these kids’ buckets full of freshly heaving lunkheads it’s time to see what kind of price they’ll fetch on the open market. And so ends this extended deep-sea fishing metaphor.


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