Posts Tagged ‘TWS’

In Which A Recent Krew Video Inspires Us To Tally Up Some All-Time Lords Of The Bucket-Hat

March 20, 2013

MINNOW-1

They say history is written by the victors, and when it comes to rewriting certain chapters, or revitalizing them for the purposes of revivalism, maybe we say the past is best remembered by those popping bottles and making it rain in the club at any given point in time. Current bottle-popper and kickflip backside noseblunter Lucien Clarke remains among the hottest ‘boarders out of London and as an employee of Palace possesses the subcultural capital to deploy for the purposes of making his mark on the scene, whatever it and that may be. So it is that this meaty clip released last week by Krew clothes documents his daring decision to get behind the bucket-hat, that vestige of late 1990s fashion long since wadded up in the fist of time and used to clobber some smaller, clumsier dimension for forgetting to stoke the rescue fire.

A Palace-branded white button-up that a waiter or Dylan Rieder might wear commands a $200 asking price on Ebay, giving the company and its team-riders gravitas in the accessorizing game, and doubling down on the bucket-hat is in keeping with prior Menace-aping efforts. But are Lucien Clarke’s shoulders broad enough to pick up and carry forward the bucket hat’s noble legacy? Here is a look back at some of its esteemed practitioners throughout the hat’s golden age.

Andrew Reynolds: The Boss is an obvious influence on Lucien Clarke’s massive nollie backside kickflips, and during his Birdhouse-moppet era a bucket-hat held down Reynolds’ locks as he launched himself down gaps and rails in “The End.” The fact that his hairdo looked sort of like a bowl cut only adds to the mystique and credibility of the hat.

Jason Dill: Probably run more as a novelty item that completed a Dr. Hunter S Thompson ensemble for a brief juice-sipping clip that featured in TWS’ “Feedback”, Dill’s foray came early in his deep dive into alternative fashion that would lead many an impressionable youngster down the proverbial garden path throughout the ’00s. You get the sense that Jason Dill probably was not that invested in the hat necessarily, but it’s interesting to ponder how he currently views its place in the world, and whether he agrees with Lucien Clarke that it is ripe for revisiting.

Chad Fernandez: Even before Chad Fernandez was drawn into a verbal sparring match with an unpaid tween amateur he gave the impression that he had something more to prove than other pros, which is maybe why in retrospect he seemed more invested in the hat when rewatching clips like his part in Osiris’ “The Storm.” A decade later Chad Fernandez has shifted to beanies for this 2011 part that features some genuinely out of hand stuff like the ollie up to crooked grind at the beloved bench-to-stair spot, a nosegrind on the rail recently wooed by Sean Malto in the Girl/Chocolate video and a high-speed one footer.

Ronnie Creager: The lord of positive vibrations was an equal opportunity endorser of headware in videos such as Es’ “Menikmati”, in which Ronnie Creager managed not to succumb to the pressure of conceptualizing a lengthy, autobiographical intro that may have featured costumes. Of all those mentioned on this brief list, the desert-dwelling Creager may today have the most legit claim to wearing a bucket-hat in the course of his current day to day, which could also involve golf and checking in on Easter Egg packages that may lie around the Southern California region unclaimed for fifteen years.

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.

Technology Rolls Steadily Forward, And As We Contemplate The Coming Girl/Choco Video, We Contemplate Also The Idea Of Being Steamrolled Or Jumping Into The Steamroller’s Cab Alongside Ty Evans

July 9, 2012

The 1990 “Brady Bunch” reunion/reboot is recalled as a triumph of broadcast television, surpassing lofty expectations set by the artistry of the original series and hauling in ratings that shamed and embarrasses the Superbowls and Little League World Series of that day. The fog of time and extremely singular nature of the event have obscured though the massive risks taken by the artisans and business hounds who plotted it all, with plenty of chewed fingernails and nervously cracked knuckles early on as decades-deep devotees feared and fretted whether that long-ago magic could be rekindled or whether the whole endeavor would amount to so much bodily fluid sprinkled atop a beloved legacy, never again to be un-sprinkled.

Did the Crailtappers pluck Ty Evans from the TWS camp with the knowledge that he would over the next decade bear on his shoulders the burden and associated emotional message-board baggage of carrying forward a video franchise regarded as helping to set the high bar for the 1990s’ great video rethink? Only Rick Howard’s personal psychic knows for sure, but pluck they did, extending into the 00′s a second rethink driven not by any particular evolution in craft, such as the embrace of the streets as an ipecac-like reset button following the excess of the neon-and-spandex drenched vert era, but instead by the gradual availability of cheaper/better technology and software that within a few years erased much of the distance between Jamie “Mouse” Mosberg and any hometown heroes dredging their local skatepark hip for Youtube-ready NBDs that can involve front-foot impossibles.

Ty Evans’ output suggests a subscription to the school of thought that says “what got you there will keep you there,” in this case referring to a deep, loving embrace of the newest camera models, rigged filming gizmos, lots of effects and filler shots and emotive techno music. Transworld’s Evans-helmed productions had all these in spades of course plus some other tricks including the sometimes-attempted but never well-advised fast-forward/rewind motion in Danny Gonzalez’s “Reason” part, as well as the voiceovers, an interesting innovation that somehow wore out its welcome after 10 years. Going with Ty Evans was an intriguing look for Girl/Choco at the time, given that vids like “Mouse” never had much in the way of slow-mo (perhaps because they’d seen the lackluster results elsewhere at the time) but also cuz somebody reading between the lines could take the old pogo-stick skit in “Goldfish” as an indictment of the high-pressure, high-production regime that dudes in “Fully Flared” wearily recounted after it came out five years back.

Around 2000 though you could say Girl was shopping for a new identity, putting on the gap and rail-minded youngsters who would constitute the torch picker-uppers of “Yeah Right” and “Fully Flared.” It’s tough though, for someone who saw the influence wielded by Carroll/Koston/Howard/Mariano/et al in the 1990s to have felt the same impact from the next-genners with the possible exception of Paul Rodriguez or Rick McCrank, and efforts to extend the super-team rep into the tech-gnar era brought on a mixed spread of amateurs through the Torrance offices that included Jereme Rogers.

For a company whose founding principles included not taking themselves or their skating too serious the post-Modus presentation sounded a little off-key too–the Jonze/Howard sensibility was still there in some of the skits, but especially come “Fully Flared” that stuff took a back seat to high-definition cameras, elaborate filming contraptions and slow-motion explosions. Myself I never had any real gripe with the recorded skating material, but the sanctimonious way it got put together — behold, I give unto you this trick, slowed down and then sped up and then slowed down again; below these bros, with a follow-up high-five and/or running and throwing down the board as a segue to the next clip — seemed miles away from powersliding down the yellow lane-divider lines. Here we will submit that it was no coincidence that the technology-embracing, filler-friendly and emotion-emphasizing directorship of Ty Evans dovetailed with a high-water mark in technical ledge skating that’s inspired some of the current wave of “power” skating by way of backlash, and the Crailtap camp are fans like the rest of us, investing in tall-sock wearers Raven Tershy, Elijah Berle, Alex Olson and Vincent Alvarez over the last couple years.

How then does this dynamic, call it Pappalardo-Flared vs Mariano-Flared, inform the cobbling-together of the coming Girl/Choco feature “Pretty Sweet”? The recently released preview suggests the answer is, not much, or maybe not much different than before. We are previewed some HD video, solid bro-ing footage*, some real painfully slow mo, some emotive techno music** and, if past performance is any future indicator, a release date that is prone to being pushed back. Interestingly, though, if Ty Evans continues to stick to what got him here the likely complainers such as myself will face an interesting conundrum similar to those who wish for “The Simpsons” to be cancelled in defense of the first nine seasons’ legacy — the era of Ty Evans-led Crailtap video productions at this point would at least in terms of years far outstrip what old-timers regard as the classic age, steadily shrinking in the rear-view mirror..

*Major fan of the doubles action, btw
**Bear in mind that while we grouse about emotive techno music, and with good reason, blanket criticisms of Crailtap video productions fronted by Ty Evans were rendered null and void forevermore after “Fully Flared” included a song from the Mannie Fresh solo CD.

Trevor Colden Desperately Seeks Cheat Code To Boost Driving Skill Meter [laughs]

May 22, 2012

Just as the nation giggles when a souffle collapses on a profane, ruddy-faced television chef, or when a ballet dancer stumbles and stubs her toe after an ovation-commanding routine, or a world-class chainsaw juggler accidentally slices his thumb off while buttering toast, we live for those moments when we are reminded that the enchanted feet that push through the piles of dollars cluttering the pro/am/flow universe are human as we are. This can manifest itself in any number of ways, including public intoxication tickets, sitting in traffic and woeful tax evasion charges. In the amateur-theme Transworld issue, knit cap devotee Trevor Colden offers a charming anecdote that humanizes one-store backside heelflips:

So tell me how you passed your permit test.
How I passed my permit test [laughs]? Well, the first time I tried to take it, I got 10 wrong. The second time, I called Bama–the Zero TM–there’s these little cubby-type deals, and I was just on my phone reading him all the multiple choice questions, and he’d just tell me which one he thought was right. He got eight wrong [laughs]. The third time I tried to take it, I took a photo of all the questions and sent it to Ian Berry because he said it would be 10 times easier for him to look at it like that, and then he would text me back all the answers. And he got eight wrong [laughs].

You took it four times [laughs]?
Fourth time is a charm. I went there and passed it.

All on your own or what?
No, I took a book with me [laughs].

“Metal Plates On My Nuts So My Shit Don’t Scrape”

March 26, 2012

Frenchman’s Defection To German Shoe Company From Californian One Spotlights A Deepening Fissure In The Industry Dudes

September 11, 2011

“…Along the way, amazing things have simply continued to happen–like a Francophile Forrest Gump, seemingly stumbling obliviously from one victory to the next…”

Did you leave on good terms?
We talked a lot about it. For them it was hard. I understand their point of view. It’s the skate brands that make all this happen. They have the real sense for it. They are the ones that go find riders and build them up. Without Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, or Guy, I would still be out in the French countryside. They push people like me up and then the big companies can come in and help themselves. I see their side of it. That’s why it was so hard to make that decision.

Trying to figure out which plot point in “Forrest Gump” would correspond with Lucas Puig’s fraught parting with Lakai to don triple-striped track suits. (Spoiler alert) Maybe when him and Lieutenant Dan ride out the hurricane and Lt. Dan loudly curses God? Or the point where Forrest decides to stop running cross-country with his new pack of followers? Sleeping with his elementary school heartthrob and then she abruptly bounces?

Like Gump’s rise to become a shrimping magnate, Lucas Puig’s shift to Adidas was in the works long before Es went into suspended animation, but this month’s splashy teamrider interviews in the new TWS, Adidas-backed web part and the magazine’s concurrent gushing over a lavish Nike shoe-release party in Spain comes off sorta tone deaf, coming a shortly after the towel was thrown in by the dudes who touched off the current generation’s Game of Skate obsession.

I guess if the years go on and footwear heavies like Lakai, Sole Tech, etc are forced into a farm-league role by virtue of their slimmer wallets, interview responses like Chris Cole’s recent DC talk or the one above (or maybe the “why’d you move” question itself) will vanish and look kinda quaint in the rear-view mirror, but currently Puig’s comment makes me feel for the Crail camp. They bring up the hot young’ns, occasionally turn them into stars good for a pro model or two before they wave goodbye and head for money-greener pastures. And if you don’t cheer them on the way out you risk looking a hater in the “do u” era.

From a P&L perspective it seems like a kick in the pants too–like you can have Cory Kennedy sell your wood and urethane, but when it comes to moving high-margin kicks and clothes, a dude like that may ascend outta your price bracket. So does your enterprise turn into a staging ground for the more well-heeled shoemakers, or does a Lakai satisfy themselves with a role as tastemakers and scouts scooping talent on the upswing? Do these companies need to figure out tie-ups to ensure some type of compensation/protection for bringing dudes up? Long-running contracts? Does skateboarding need break-up fees?

There’s a rumor going around that Sean Malto is being wooed away to DC to the tune of $5 million over a period of five years, a princely sum that raises the interesting question as to where DC ranks along the shoe co spending spectrum, what with their recent team overhaul-splurge. You could also ponder the potential for the multinational Nikes and Adidases to raise up new faces–in their now-decade of SBness has Nike gotten behind many lesser-known ams? I’m thinking Shane O’Neill, Grant Taylor? Lewis Marnell? With Adidas one would be Lem Villemin, who it’s nice to see get on with Cliche at last.

As far as that part goes it’s usual killer Lucas Puig stuff–he has got a real good handle right now on manual tricks, especially the one at three-up-three-down and the crazy squeaker. The BA/SF run was a nice point-scorer and the backside nosegrind revert up that brick ledge is heavy duty.

Does Paul Rodriguez’s iTunes Video Part Deserve An Elusive 10.0 Rating?

November 24, 2010

A number of years back me and a buddy of mine engaged in an epic argument, spanning a few hours and two bars, over whether Paul Rodriguez was in “the top five” or not. Think this was post-”Yeah Right,” around the early days of Plan B. My whole thing was: this dude is heavily gifted skill-wise but not pushing the envelope in terms of innovation or doing things in new ways. The buddy’s view was that I was a fucking idiot. Years later I like to think we were both right.

Hangovers fade, winter turns into spring and injured feelings are soothed with the balm of liquor. But generally my feeling on Paul Rodriguez hasn’t shifted a great deal, as the video parts and corporate sponsorship deals have piled up. Here you have a dude who immediately attained Next Big Thing status upon his arrival on the rosters of super-teams and TWS vids, but even snagging milestones like designing the first among several disposable Nike SB pro-models and posing for the only TSM cover to make Dave Carnie feel like a child molestor, it seems like something on-board has been missing, sort of like he’s yet to really arrive.

Fairly or not P-Rod more than probably any other hot-shoe am has had to evolve under near-constant comparisons to/oversight of the legendary ones like Kareem Campbell, who ensured the rolling of more than a few eyes by purposely scoring the kid’s “Street Cinema” stepping-out to “Want You Back,” with all the subtlety of an “Enter The Pu-Tang” ad. Or, Eric Koston making a PRJr-shaped spot on Girl/Es/Four-star, which you can’t say he didn’t deserve, but set up a certain amount of backlash when he inevitably left to do his own thing.

Ten years after his switch heelflip inspired hushed wonder from Atiba Jefferson, and he’s got a beard and a kid and an ill-advised foray into acting under his belt, Paul Rodriguez apparently still is toiling under the same ol’ comparisons to the Kostons and Tony Hawks (see: new Transworld). Not that he seems to mind, and his ode to Ronnie Creager comes off endearingly genuine, but I look at somebody like a Chris Cole who’s got at least as much skill and achievements over a similar time frame, and people generally don’t present him through this spectrum of greats that’ve gone before.

Tony Hawk invented numerous tricks and named one after Madonna. Eric Koston ran with a decade-long string of blockbuster rail sorcery (nollie noseblunt-backside noseblunt-nollie heelflip noseslide-nollie backside noseblunt-360 flip noseblunt) that justified de-facto closer positioning in most of the big productions where he featured. Getting back to the epic bar argument, this is where you could draw a line between the crop’s very creamiest versus the pros that can just do every trick and add a couple more stairs or an extra kickflip.

Which all leads up to Paul Rodriguez’s $3 iTunes part with the Kanye West song, because amidst the usual ridiculous skills the guy displays there are a few — chiefly the switch b/s noseblunt, a real live cover worthy move at a name spot, but also the nollie flip 270 switch b/s tailslide* and the fakie varial heelflip nosegrind — that threaten to set up shop at that tip-top tier of ultimate board bros. Not sure if all this puts him on par with them what he gets compared to in interview intros or if he’s still next up, but switch backside noseblunting a sizable rail does go some way toward glossing over the whole Target deal and Nascar fitted.

*labeled properly dudes?

Now That’s What Boil the Ocean Calls Skateboarding (’00s Edition): 20-11

November 13, 2009

20. “Ryde or Die Vol. 1,” 2001
ryde_or_die

One of the last videos with that 1990s feel, Rob Welsh came storming through with a section that observers and supporters had been waiting on since he popped up in the Mad Circle video. Kind of like the Pier 7 opener, there maybe are flaws to this section, but they’re awful hard to make out amid the crooked grinds and Wu-affiliated musics. Aside from the fade-to-whites, “ROD” also features rare full-length appearances from Kevin Taylor and Clyde Singleton, who floats that monstrous bar ollie, and Joey Pepper comes off all forward-thinking nowadays with his Stooges song and backside nosegrind pop-out 180s; this video also featured a pretty good John Igei part and a Mannie Fresh instrumental, ensuring it a top-20 position.

19. “In Bloom,” 2002
in_bloom

TWS’s first am-boosting video featured two of the most visceral parts committed to DV tape this decade from Trainwreck and TNT, more than balancing out the comparatively humdrum footage from the young Evan Hernandez and Mikey Taylor. Tony Trujillo was at the height of his powers, clinging onto tricks he should’ve bailed and ending with a sort of literal smash. People who don’t skate have watched this part on my TV and termed it poetry in motion, and also tight jeans. Whereas P-Rod stood on the cusp of cashing in his little-kid chips for a spot on Girl and probably should’ve had the last part with all the switch gap stuff, it becomes difficult to logically argue against Slayer and 100-mile-an-hour handrail jumping by the rapidly sleeved and unfairly maligned Alex Gall, practitioner of a truly brutal form of gnar skateboarding. I wish he’d stuck around. Finally, this entry would be remiss not to mention the inclusion of Chris Cole when he started getting more interesting, indulging in the Misfits and the Love Park gap.

18. “Man Down,” 2001
man_down

Everything that “Tilt Mode” was and more, except a little less, since there was no Juvenile and Steve Cab didn’t take another run that one crazy handrail, perhaps on sound advice from his lawyers. Saying that the Tilt Moders re-injected “fun” into things misses the point and can make the sayer sound embittered for his or her own bizarre and unfortunate reasons, but videos such as “Man Down” did seem to make a point to encourage drinking, indulging in peculiar fantasies, and generally taking things less serious than the pros who stare at handrails, or wap themselves over the head with their boards for instance. Marc Johnson’s last trick in this video was a switch hardflip backside tailslide, which Rodrigo TX did for his last trick in the Flip video last month. Marc Johnson also skated to the disco Rolling Stones and if you slow-mo certain tricks you can see him bludgeoning seal pups for fun and profit.

17. “This Is Skateboarding,” 2003
this_is_skateboarding

Retroactively the Emerica video with the kinda-silly title gets lumped in with the leather-jacket-and-basic-handrail-trick movement from the early part of the decade, which it was part of sure, but “TIS” had a lot more depth than that thanks in part to the crack production squad of Miner and Manzoori. Opening on a dismal/dour note with a subdued Heath Kirchart section, they meander through the noisome world of Ed Templeton and his ollie impossibles, the most legitimately urban Tosh Townend part, and the last major effort from Chris Senn who did that crazy f/s pivot. Kevin Long roared onto the scene here, spinning both switch and frontside, and the Reynolds closer has that opening line for the books and some serious left-field tricks like the switch backside shifty.

16. “The DC Video,” 2003
DC_video

DC’s vaunted debut video was notable for a few reasons, including Rob Dyrdek seeming to make a sincere effort, Josh Kalis making some of the first miscalculations when it came to choosing tricks, and Colin McKay skating to Jimmy Buffet while foreshadowing the rise of the Geico insurance lizard. The video as a whole though gets over on three parts: Anthony Van Engelen’s blistering crooked-grind melee, Brian Wenning doing less than five tricks regular-footed throughout his other great video part, and yea, the Danny Way. A generation in skateboard-years later the mega-ramp is a known commodity, with its own X-Games designation and related baggage, but seeing the iron man jump and twirl and soar over that thing for the first time was a very, very nutty thing to see, and the victory lap with the rainbow rail sealed the deal.

15. “Mind Field,” 2009
mind_field

Reminding us what a video can do aside from whomping you over the head with unending ledge combos, “Mind Field” returned Alien to form in time for the decade to close out after a few years of soul-searching brought the company to Burton’s doorstep. Purists will quibble about putting on Arto and distribution strategies but in the end-results department “Mind Field” was a triumph, dragging AVE back out of the gutter, putting a match to the incendiary Omar Salazar, letting Jason Dill do as he must and anointing Jake Johnson as a new standard-bearer for New York City – before Heath Kirchart blows through and wipes out everything. Maybe if we were doing this list five years from now, this video would be higher.

14. “Vicious Cycle,” 2004
vicious_cycle

For an outsider this Zoo-backed production signaled a sort of generational torch-passing as far as high-profile New York types – you had Vinny Ponte yelling at people and Robbie Gangemi doing those frontside blunts and Danny Supa, sans Supa-suit, with a bigspin-flip higher than a regular person’s head. It’s hard to ignore Zered Bassett though, seeings how he comes through and switch heelflips over a house or something in basically every section, and all the then-young guns have pretty amazing shit: Charles Lamb, Eli Reed, Brian Brown and most especially Lurker Lou, whose low-key opener features many colorful varieties of the Etnies Rap, and Aquil Brathwaite, who was on some serious Lavar McBride in “Trilogy” and who I would’ve bet the farm was gonna be huge. Live and learn..

13. “Mosaic,” 2003
mosaic

People bemoan Habitat’s westward shift in terms of personnel, but the squad might have been at its strongest when it struck a balance between coasts. Featuring the dirtbag debut of Danny Renaud, with Brian Wenning and Anthony Pappalardo at the height of their relevance and Jason Dill’s planned/unplanned all-line section, all differentiated the first Habitat vid and realigned things for everybody else to a certain extent over the years to come. One of the few videos where either of the last two sections could’ve closed it, but it’s hard to think of any other moment in time when poised Peruvian Danny Garcia could’ve dropped the curtains, and nollieing a gap to k-grind remains a pretty crazy thing to do even years later.

12. “Baker2G,” 2000
baker2g

The video that launched a thousand apparel companies centered on black stretch denim. This video shocked upon arrival, first and foremost with the foul-mouthed Knox Godoy, second with the skating, and to a lesser extent the assorted antics and guest appearances from Brad Hayes, Hoops and Chad Fernandez. Greco’s backside noseblunt and Reynolds’ nollie noseblunting ascension to Koston heights aside, the influence of “Baker2G” was felt just as heavily off the board, and it’s to their credit that the bros have stuck to their niche in and out of 12-step programs while finding new ways to heft a middle finger toward, for instance, the Olympics.

11. “Real to Reel,” 2001
real_to_reel

A Bay Area classic in the spirit of “A Visual Sound,” “Sick Boys,” and “In A Major Way,” Real’s early ’00s entry is still the best case for Nate Jones’ elevation to flower-child style icon, and watching this video again is kind of disappointing when you wonder how much further he could’ve taken things, what else could’ve been, etc. But “Real to Reel” also launched Hensley revivalist JT Aultz and the barnstorming Dennis Busenitz, with Mark Gonzales refocused on street lines and Cairo Foster at or approaching some sort of peak. Max Schaaf on the money board and shit, even this video’s credits section approaches classic status.

Rock and Hammer

September 14, 2009

king_kong
More are bound to suffer

A few weeks back I loaded up the Rocky Norton “Mag Minute” because I thought he had a funny-sounding name and his clip might be interesting, and it was, but first let’s flash back to 2002, when the wounds of September 11 were still raw, the presidency was just a twinkle in Sen. Barack Obama’s eye and future SOTY Chris Cole was leaping his way down the Love park fountain, into a tighter set of jeans and onto Zero. Late in the summer, on a night much like tonight, I remarked to a bro how I was kind of digging Chris Cole’s part in the TWS vid “In Bloom” but there was something I couldn’t put my finger on about it, and after a certain amount of blackberry brandy, it seemed as though that something was in fact the size of Chris Cole’s forearms, which at times seemed to resemble some type of heshed-out ape.

Flashing forward to 2009, that phrase is not one I would apply to Rocky Norton, mostly because I prefer not to take my pancake breakfasts through a straw and also I hope one day to teach my many, many awestruck grandchildren about the glory days of skateboard blogging in the early part of the century. Let’s try and think of a more noble analog for New Mexico’s Norton – he can have his pick of Popeye or Bluto – and draw a parallel to a 2007 video part, namely Fred Gall in “Inhabitants.” There’s some similar ideas going on in terms of tricks and terrain, yeah, but I’m thinking more about the construction digger machine gnawing into a brick wall, an image that fit Fred Gall, but now appears made for Rocky Norton. Same with Eric Koston’s trick in the Lakai intro, complete with soul scream.

In the ensuing weeks the Mag Minute footage remains on my mind, leading me to dig up some older parts* and consider this dude’s approach. In some ways it’s like Mike Vallely without all the beards and bands and bullshit, but then he’s nollie backside flip reverting and bashing walls and things, primed to tear apart phone books and put on some David Banner CDs. I think I’m pretty into the raw powerness of it all and will give the dude some elbow room; meanwhile I’m considering a belated apology to Chris Cole, before he becomes enraged and targets my face with a contest closer (2:41).

*also Daniel Lutheran, not bad

Active Ride Shop Attacks Bankruptcy Monster With +30 Sword of Discounts

March 26, 2009


Free shoelace belt, schadenfreude included with every order

Wherefore art thou, Active Erica lifestyle spin-off brand? Dark whispers surround the retail business these days and while the cynical among us may chuckle at the tumbling same-store comparisons of megamall corpo-goons, the Chapter 11 filing of Active Ride Shop, despite its generic clothing line and often clue-deprived layabout employees, hits a bit closer to home as a skateboarder-established business that has maintained at least one foot in the legit skateboard sphere, even while riding the web/mailorder blimp to untold riches during the boom years.

Ah yes. The boom years, when Brian Wenning leased a Bentley, filming video parts on American soil was tres gauche and a spacious suburban California home was just a shoe deal/zero-down mortgage away. In many ways it was a simpler time, free of the heated and conflicted emotions that troubled us in the aftermath of the Osiris video (embodied by the Aftermath Tour, and to a lesser extent Aftermath Records). My memory is not what it used to be, but I remember it more or less exactly like this.

What does a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing mean for Active? Jeff Harbaugh, an action sports industry consultant who I can imagine sporting a goatee, explains in 1500 or so words over at TWS Business. Now I’m no lawyer, though I served as an understudy for this kid who played one in a poorly received junior high play, but I will attempt the same feat in 150 words: Basically Active has four months to get their shit together, conferring with legal wizards and big suppliers (read: skateboard distributors) to figure out how best to keep the crazy blimp afloat, as in the current climate you can imagine no skate company is especially eager to see a major buyer of hard and soft goods snuff it.

(Only 57 words! Note, the remaining unused words I have divided into several tranches according to their relative risk, packaged as securities and sold the lot off to investment banks, where noisy professionals are already at work structuring complex debt instruments around them – a plan assured to reward everyone handsomely and forever.)

There have been convincing arguments made to separate Active out from the likes of Zumiez*, PacSun and even famed Steve Rocco flip-job CCS, but the fact remains that on-premises miniramps or not, those semi-monthly catalogs and website saw Active eat off the plate of many a local skateboard shop, in the US and elsewhere, who haven’t had an easy ride either. I can’t say if Active is more or less worthy as far as “giving back to skating,” whatever that means in 2009, but I suppose the coming months will determine whether it’s worthy as a commercial enterprise. You would imagine that it is, though maybe in slimmed-down form. (There is an easy Active Erica joke in there somewhere for those who seek it.) If not, we’ll survive, yeah, but I can’t imagine things will be looking too hot for other entities on the brink of the abyss.

Regardless, people losing jobs is scary and not funny even when the economy isn’t in the toilet. Unless you’re one of those reptilian demons who works for AIG and bathes in kitten blood during your spare time. Because those guys are the total blurst.

*By the way, TWSB’s Josh Hunter earns a gold star for slogging through the Zumiez 10K filing


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