Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

1. Mark Suciu – “Cross Continental”

December 31, 2012

Mark Suciu seemed to lurk around every corner in 2012, roaming the map and riddling spots with very hard tricks before resurfacing every few weeks with yet another video clip, earning him favorable comparisons to Gucci Mane in his prime. In recent months Suciu has ripped downtown San Jose, Spain, the southern U.S., Philadelphia and most recently New York, finding a new way over the courthouse cliff en route to an Adidas paycheck. And this all came after setting off 2012 with a skateshop part that digs deep into a trove of well-worn spots to unearth some bar-lifting lines and certain yet-to-be-dones. Views can and will differ as to the tastefulness of frontside reverts out of backside noseblunts or frontside crooks, but Suciu proponents were handed piles of ammunition this year in favor of a rare talent that gets over without slavish retreads of coast-specific tricks on coast-specific spots, hands-off editing and (aside from a little wavy animation) no punchlines and no gimmicks when it comes to execution. Mark Suciu in the “Cross Continental” part shakes out a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks, including the little-seen switch frontside smith grind and an immaculate hardflip, and rolls below nighttime lights of skate capitals on both coasts as he composes a love letter to turn-of-the-century urban classics like “Photosynthesis” and “Ryde or Die Vol. 2” and possibly the first “EST.” It is rare that he passes up the chance to add a flip trick up a curb or a 180-out at the bottom of a bank, and he packs multiple variations on 360 flips and 360s into the same line, but it still doesn’t come off all egregious. I for sure watched this part more than any other one this year and maybe more than any other part in the last couple years, up there with Dylan Reider and Jake Donnelly.

Awake, Yall

January 8, 2012

Did yall see this one? P-Rod channels this blog website’s RSS feed into his preternaturally gifted feets and puts into action two of the recent mumblings, b/s tailsliding the Mission district’s 3-up-3-down and a pretty jaw-dropping commercial clip, smooshed together for the purpose of explaining Paul Rodriguez’ new alliance with Venture trucks. Whether this suggests Silver is on the block I have no idea, but all three tricks recorded for this clip are the type of top-drawer shit that makes Paul Rodriguez’s case for being one of the best skaters working, rather than just a dude who can do a lot of tricks. Could watch that SSBSTS over and over..

1. Jake Donnelly – “Since Day One”

December 30, 2011

Jake Donnelly Real Since Day One Part from dlxsf on Vimeo.

In a time of faster and bigger Jake Donnelly out in San Francisco has been quietly making a case for smarts and finesse, putting together a snappy flick with some spring and light-footed landings. All his recent footage suggests he’s got a knack for running some of the best looking tricks, like backside smith grinds on ledges, frontside blunts, nollie backside noseblunt slides, b/s tailslides of course, a good hardflip, et cetera. His part in the Real vid, which early on includes one of the more boss backside shifty kickflips put out lately, is not available for free via Youtube or whatever and really needs to be seen with the bouncy Too Short song to get the full impact, so pasted above is an Adidas clip made by Dan Wolfe that has a really high switch kickflip over a table and a good manual trick. (Note: link to this clip now here.) No doubt the Real part, red bottoms and pom-pom beanies and all, got me more motivated to skate than any other one I seen this year.

Straight Out The Dungeons Of Rap, Travis Erickson Submits An Entry For Most ‘Street’ Video Part Of The Year

September 23, 2011

Watch Wisco kid Travis Erickson mine the San Francisco bay to concoct one of the more “urban” skate parts to be seen this year: Hanging onto moving vehicles, getting yelled at by passersby, skating a curb, switch frontside flips and 360 flips off natural bumps, a switch k-grind to regular, skating in a goddam backpack, sidestepping traffic, water on the lens, skating a truck bumper and truck trailer on nonconsecutive occasions, and a wallie. If you had a street skating bingo card this dude could win the George Webb gift certificate even without the free space and cellar door square.

Is Brandon Westgate’s New Emerica Video The Career Equivalent Of Ollieing Over The Back Of A Rail And Grinding It Uphill? Switch??

January 19, 2011

Now that everybody can do all tricks and caballerial kickflips are a prerequisite for post-roshambo strategy I kind of have no idea whether restraint as a concept is still in play. Probably not the time or the place to have the conversation about whether or not the bro going for the kickflip frontside blunt down the park handrail can do it consistently on a curb but maybe there’s some similar elements. Pretty sure that Spiderman explored some related themes of power and responsibility in his new off-broadway production, I think it’s called “U Do U And I’ll Do Me: Turn Off The Dark While I File This Workman’s Comp Claim On U” or something.

Speaking of responsibilities young Zoo Yorker Brandon Westgate has professionally designed footwear to sell and name recognition to build ahead of a potential retirement gig as an “extremely” informed home renovation specialist on HGTVX. Your more seasoned pro might get his companies to pony up for a mini-ramp jam in a strip club and let the blurred web-only footage do the heavy lifting, but instead you’ve got handyman Westgate continuing to push the old boulder uphill with a whole new video section after an teeth-rattling entry in the Emerica vid a couple months ago.

To me this one’s way better — half the length and zeroes in on the more dramatic aspects of his skating, bombing down those San Francisco hills like he’s riding a snowboard* and the ungodly pop up onto some of those bars. The run where he 50-50s the fence off of the sidewalk bump is the kind of clip you want to watch every day, all the time, one of those little slices of what skating is perfectly captured on a digital video-making machine. The nagging reservations I harboured around his sort-of weird-looking flip tricks in the past are basically washed away here with not a lot of complex moves — Quartersnacks and Platinum Seagulls are riding for the giant kickflip but over here I’m promoting the 360 flip over the rail that seems like a totally ridiculously long distance to launch that particular trick. Later on the ender quietly asks the world at large how much better they can do with the up-rail movement in 2011, the answer could be some time coming.

*in a good way, dudes

3. Andrew Allen – “Prevent This Tragedy”

December 29, 2010

A lot like Anthony Van Engelen did 10 years ago and Henry Sanchez did before that, Andrew Allen’s market strategy relies in part on bringing a hairball ramp-dog mentality to switch backside tailslides and frontside k-grinds — out the gate here he reverse suplexes a rail (backside) and careens into a big angry hill that eventually decides not to play nice. The big backside flip into the bank, switch backside 5-0 the creamy colored ledge and the switch b/s tail down that sorta wavy hubba emphasizes Andrew Allen’s smooth and sensitive side, and by the end he comes off a little better with the hills. “Prevent This Tragedy” was one of the better videos of the year, hopefully Thrasher keeps this ball rolling.

5. Jackson Curtin – “Give Me My Money Chico”

December 27, 2010

Don’t know any particular reasons why Jack Curtin isn’t regarded as one of the heaviest dudes out there these last few years, or maybe I’m just not moving in the right circles, but his appearance in the LRG video this year validates the thesis and about half the part is total carnage in the most Smash-TV sense possible — switch backside 5-0 the Clipper ledge, switch backside nosegrind (and pop-out) into the Courthouse ledge drop, switch ollie SBN’s Bay Area wall, switch frontside blunt at the Pyramid ledge, and all those tricks on the Chinese block (the last one would come in around the top of any year-end list I’d do on specific tricks). Still among skating’s best-dressed and the onliest dude still wearing Muska pants in 2010, really pulling for more from Jackson Curtin in the coming DGK production.

6. Dennis Busenitz – “Diagonal”

December 25, 2009

Even without the Thrasher crown, whadda year for Dennis Busenitz – hitting three stripes’ worth of pro shoe paydirt, contest runs that won the Dew Tour of internet buzz, and a sizzler of a video part that ensured career elevation beyond a message board reign inherited from the likes of Bob Puleo and Gino Iannucci. The secret Busenitz sauce seems to lie in a frothy mixture of speed, unholy control and a supreme confidence that whatever those magic feet do next will work out for the best, and he pours it lavishly across this section the Adidas Europe vid, which he maybe got into by virtue of sharing a motherland with the Herzogenaurach-based outfit. Beyond the big-bounce ender the highlights I guess are the neck-high kickflip on the Ft. Miley hip, the no-push switch smith grind, that lengthy b/s nosegrind and his 180 switch k-grind that seems to stick right to the ledge. Not sure if this is the peak of what Dennis Busenitz can bring in terms of video-section heat but even if not it’s a pretty awesome placeholder ahead of the Real video.

Kill Yo Self

May 31, 2009


Third time’s the charge

If the rumors are true then I guess this weekend may go down as skateboarding’s parting barrage at SF’s Wallenberg Alternative High School, as officials stand poised to expand the Bulldogs’ kennels down the hallowed four-step, and dash the dreams of gap-minded amateur skateboarders (and razor scooterers, for what it’s worth). Trailblazers Gonz, Bucchieri, Gerwer and Manfre have secured spots in whatever history books keep track of this stuff, and in the end Chris Cole will probably be remembered as the big boss of the Berg, what with his tre-flip vengeance tale and the nonchalance with which he put down the big tricks yesterday. I was kind of shocked he didn’t bring out the switch frontside heelflip, but with all the nonsense exploding down the steps and out of Phelps’ megaphone, probably I would’ve sat down after one switch frontside flip trick too.

But Chris Cole’s quick-draw makes aside, the winner of this weekend’s big-jump hoedown was for sure skateboarding’s nappy boy, the schnozzed-out seventh son of a seventh son* known as Lizard “Mike Plumb” King. Not so much because he landed more tricks than anybody, which he did, but because he spent his 15 or so minutes in the SF air executing some grade-A dork material… and while it would probably be a stretch to hold up a world record backside 180 one-footer as high-level commentary on the whole get-tricks-or-die-trying affair, it added an amazing unpredictable gonzo element to an event so packed with hungry strivers and messageboard mavens checking off boxes on “most likely to be landed” spreadsheets.

Now, a lot of people find the slobbering pursuit of NBD’s that this type of contest produces rather gauche for understandable reasons, and Jake Phelps has taken plenty of heat in the last 24 hours for his usual self-aggrandizing antics, as well as the way he seemed to relish axing dudes and dashing poor Neil Smith’s nollie heelflip hopes. But fair’s fair and hand it to Thrasher for moving the best-trick format forward, and in the process creating one of the few contests that actual people who ride skateboards care about… another being the Berrics game of skate, which you could say has improved upon the don’t-fall-off-your-board-for-60-seconds format. Whereas the Berrics’ warehouse floor democratizes professional skateboarding competitions, Phelps & Co. have successfully set up camp on the other end of the spectrum with shit like the Wallenberg contests, Slaughter at the Opera and so on, don’t-try-this-at-home affairs where, yeah, there’s money, but a shot at a piece of history too.

There’s an argument that packing 11 groundbreaking tricks into one banner-splashed, frenetic afternoon cheapens what it is to do a trick down the Wallenberg stairs, which I can see, but then I think about the legendary Hubba Hideout. In its nth liberation you had dudes flying out to camp there twenty-four hours a day, and yeah it was cool to see Carroll schralp it on the cover of TSM for all the obvious reasons, but that came amid a million web clips, and even legitimately gnarly stuff like Matt Miller’s nollie noseblunt were eventually relegated to the last 60 seconds in that summer’s TWS vid. So, Wallenbergers, get it if you can, while it’s there, make it count, etc etc.

And if there was a best trick yesterday, I think Lindsey Robertson did it. Wow.

*it’s a Utah joke


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