The prospect of a full-length, sponsor-backed video section from Brazilian-pedigreed, New York-bred Yaje Popson has tantalized since he demonstrated board control and trick choices far outstripping his age in the Green Diamond video a few years ago, and given his quiet parting of ways with the Crailtap camp ahead of “Pretty Sweet” that wait seems destined to drag on. Two instances in 2012 served as stopover dumping grounds for footage of his frontside feeble grinds and switch backside lipslides, including one of the central pillars in JP Blair’s really awesome “Outdated” video that also delivered goods from Kevin Tierney, Brian Clarke and the pop-gifted, excitingly named Billy McFeely. Yaje Popson’s part reminds here of the mixtape-esque output of a post-“Mosaic” Danny Renaud, meaning sporadic and easy to miss if you aren’t out there looking for it, but super worthwhile. The switch b/s lipslide across the famed pyramid ledge is one of many highlights, along with a kinked-hubba backside tailslide and a perilous 50-50 transfer. We’ll see if any of the top-shelf tricks in his old Skateboarder interview make it into the planned “Dece Vid,” slated for a January release, and a reported migration to Brazil casts further uncertainty on his boarding future, but meanwhile the stuff from a separate ”Strange Notes” clip last summer is nearly as good as the “Outdated” part.
Posts Tagged ‘Yaje Popson’
Looking back on that “top ten” list I’m seeing now a lot of rap songs, not a lot of transition and almost everybody did some kind of crooked grind pop-over. So be it…
Some other really good ones:
Matt Bennett – “Brainwash”
-I’ve been a fan of his pretty well-established range of tricks so it was nice to see him stretch for this (switch f/s hurricane for instance)
Bryan Herman – “Stay Gold”
-predictable, but would’ve won this site’s heart if his part stopped after the schoolyard
Tyler Bledsoe – “Hallelujiah”
-eight, nine months on and the backside tail flip-out clip still isn’t old
Rory Milanes – “This Time Tomorrow”
-partly for the song
Chewy Cannon – “Make Friends With The Colour Blue”
-felt almost like it would be unfair to stick him toward the top half of this year’s list after last year and the Adidas part, but this dude is a machine. The switch backside smith grind
Greg Myers – “Skateboarding Is Forever”
-I see some of the critiques of this dude’s style but he’s got a lot of super hard tricks and I think is probably overlooked for how vicious some of his flip tricks are
Chad Timtim – “Trio”
-The most aggressive sidewalk-cruising part of this year with a guest appearance by one of the most urban tricks, the switch pop-shove it nosegrind revert. Honorable mention to Levi Brown’s very major b/s 180 over the two poles in this same vid.
Steve Durante/Fred Gall – Seasons/Orchard web clip
-NJ’s bash brothers in what would be my vote for the best shared part
Wes Kremer – “Skateboarding Is Forever”
-As mind-melting as the Torey Pudwill part, but with more wall-rides
Brandon Westgate – “Stay Gold”
-I still have difficulty getting into his styles* but it’s hard to deny all the San Francisco hill-blazing
Feel like Leo Romero returned the SOTY race to where it ought to be, that is, a genuinely hardworking dude that most folks can get behind as elevating the trick and/or gnarliness bar while being fairly representative of skating current and/or enduring themes — in Leo’s case you get a sometimes subtlely dazzling angle on handrail skating, a satisfactory anti-social demeanor and often a cowboy hat or a moustache, which you know, Chris Cole won it twice these past few years, and I don’t remember him getting behind cowboy hats like that. These are the weighty issues I feel are at stake when Thrasher/Phelps appear to be edging dangerously toward giving the one award that matters to some pampered television personality, and in the process totally fucking up my fragile worldview.
Wouldn’t even pretend that I’ve seen enough photos to pick out a “best of the year” or anything, but this Yaje Popson SSBSTS had all the elements.
Special mention to all rocket scientist video surgeons at Krooked who managed to not only make the first 3D skate dvd, but to execute it with a minimum of heavy-handed editing and sanctimoniousness that probably would’ve sapped the silly fun out of such a project with a lot of slow-mo if it had fallen to somebody like Ty Evans. On a related note, this blog (also predictably) fell into the camp viewing the annual TWS video project contest as a terrific hose-job for the Etnies effort, so here’s a link to that if you missed it.
*it’s a personal problem, I realize
I have a thing with little kid skaters, which is to say, I have a thing against them, meaning, I generally/totally can’t stand watching them. In order to demonstrate how seriously serious I am and potentially earn internet cool guy points, I’ll just say there are times when I feel kinda iffy on Guy Mariano’s Blind video part, and when it comes to somebody like Nyjah Huston or Chaz Ortiz forget about it. Whereas I am a fan of dudes like Nick Jensen and Grant Taylor post-puberty, I really wasn’t at all interested in their floppy flips and billowing T-shirts before they cracked the 60-inch barrier, and even the watchable exceptions to this rule like Jeron Wilson and Colin McKay only serve as a bitter reminder that there are 14-year-old kids out there front-blunting it up while I have to go to work, pay taxes, spend my time thinking about cures for constipation and so forth. Youch.
But these deeply personal problems of mine are basically just background for the revelation that was Yaje Popson’s section in the much-ballyhooed “Rich Mahogany” video (holder of the title for best internet promo of the year), which had me reconsidering my whole hate-first-wait-five-years-and-then-ask-questions approach to little kid skaters. Now I got this New York-centric vid a couple months ago, partly because of that promo and partly because Billy Rohan and Lurker Lou were in it, and I just naturally assumed that over time I would gravitate toward the bearded dudes’ parts because, you know, we here at B.T.O aren’t impervious to internet stereotypes the same way we are to fiery lava. But there I’d be, letting Yaje Popson’s opening part play through, the usual little-kid grumbles fading to the back of my head like so many unreturned library books and Slap messageboard passwords.
One major advantage this kid has is backside lipslides, which he can seemingly screech across most any available surface. Another is an innate ability to break down my old person defenses. Let me give an example. At one point in this video part he’s doing this line down a street and he whips out the fakie frontside noseslide shove-it, a classic mid-to-late-90s ledge trick that’s gotten all bogged down these days with fakie flips and bigspins and reality TV and shit. It’s the sorta trick I would see somebody do at a spot or a park and think to myself how the dude doing it probably had been skating a while. Yaje Popson has a lot of these type of moves, or else something about the way he does a trick like the switch backside bigspin that made me think about Rick Howard in “Questionable” instead of whoever’s doing them these days (Darrell Stanton?). Or this frontside feeble grind he does on a beefy ledge, which is awesome in all the standard ways. And, he nollie 180′s into that courthouse bank drop, which is just silly.
Of course at this point Yaje Popson’s already past the little-kid red zone, because at 17 or whatever he’s shed most of that dumpy midget style that some dudes unfortunately never overcome, no matter how tight their clothing gets. There’s a weird kind of feature on him here, but the best idea is probably to get the Green Diamond video and watch that because it’s also got loads of beards and Vans and Kyle Iles does the sickest switch noseblunt slide. There is also a Soulja Boy song and the “Bossy” instrumental. You can buy it from Unicron probably, I can’t find Quartersnacks’s ordering page anymore.