Archive for April, 2008

Seven things I liked about Terry Kennedy’s Deathwish part

April 30, 2008

TK keeps progressing, sort of, though if I were him I’d stop hyping the fact that he only started skating in 2000 or whatever it was, because each part he puts out running basically the same tricks it gets less impressive and more obvious. But what am I saying here, a Terry Kennedy video part isn’t about tricks, or even skating really. It’s about being young and carefree and well-off and making rap songs in your living room and designing fashionable bulletproof vests. But I’m on TK’s side really. At this point he’s at least as cartoonish as your Jim Grecos and Chad Muskas, but the difference to me is that he seems to take himself a lot less serious. Uh, most of the time.

Anyway, the highlights of Terry Kennedy’s Deathwish part:

1. The wacky and possibly intoxicatory smile on his face when he comes out the door in his tank top and short shorts at the beginning there. Ha ha ha! What is he doing anyway. Crazy guy.

2. His little monologue in the basement with the ping-pong lady in the background. I’ve watched it at least a half-dozen times and I’m still not sure what it is he’s saying toward the end there. It sounds intense though. Is he talking about Lupe? If he was going for the Smack DVD angle he should’ve had Gorecki and the rest of the Ice Cream crew wearing bandannas over their faces and flashing guns. But keep the ping pong lady. It makes you look unpredictable and a little insane.

3. He lets Sammy Baca sit on his couch without even putting that plastic shit on it. I thought that was nice of him.

4. Fakie 5-0 down the white hubba. This was a good trick.

5. His rap song. TK’s producer, or homie, or cousin, or whatever website he downloaded the instrumental from seems to be improving at a marginal rate, much like TK himself on a skateboard. Some of this recent Fly Society material sounds like it could maybe stand on its own near the end of a 30-track Slick Pulla mixtape, which is saying something. TK’s lyrics are pretty standard fare as far as having fancy things and affirming his eternal hatred for snitches but he sounds pretty convincing to me. I wonder if he thinks up lyrics while he’s sliding down handrails, like “it would be hot if when I get into this b/s overcrook, I sing ‘got your wifey on my dizzick.'” Multi-tasking…

6. That last bar he f/s railslides looked like something Rowley would have tackled before he got old and started skating ditches all the time. Tall and beastly.

7. Finally, the bro-down session after his last trick reminded me of “Fulfill the Dream”… in a good way.

P.S. what’s with all the unicycles in this video? Kind of amazing…

Baker’s new blood

April 29, 2008

where the fuck was this trick

Like his frontside flips in recent years, Andrew Reynolds’ talent scouting is kind of hit and miss. He got a homerun with Spanky and knocked it out of the park with Brian Herman, not to mention Antwuan Dixon. Szafranksi I’m kind of lukewarm on and Terry Kennedy is a whole nother conversation, but then you’ve got Knox Godoy, who still hasn’t lived down his prepubescent Baker2G antics, and Evan Hernandez, who managed to get a board before everybody figured out he was boring as fuck.

Anyway in honor of the Baker/Deathwish video hitting the internet today I’m gonna do Deathwish week, unless another Andy Roy interview comes out or something. While we’re on the subject, how long will it be before Jackass World updates us on the Snuggle Bandit’s latest adventures? I’m sure it’s already in the works.

Anyway, there were a handful of newer kids in this video, so to officially welcome them to the skateboard industry let’s go ahead and judge them, shall we…

Theotis Beasley: He’s not much bigger than he was in Baker 3 but he’s looking better on his board and has a new batch of manual tricks–the fakie b/s heelflip manual down the bank has the boss arm style. The heelflip bigspin was a crusher and if he’s smart enough to be riding with Cam at 15 or whatever he’ll do fine, good shit. Where’s Rammy Issa?

Sammy Baca: Best intro in the whole video for sure, the lass in the white t-shirt looks about to wrench her friend’s arm off trying to escape, but you can’t really blame her. Having Baca’s arm snake around your neck is probably on the list of things you should get a tetanus shot for, or maybe consult with your priest. Reynolds is a known fan of UK skating and Baca looks/skates a little bit like Zarosh in the new Death video, with more of a street angle on shit. What he lacks in technical acumen he makes up for in enthusiasm, or stupidity, depending on how you look at things. The jump into the bank is nutty.

Brian Hansen: I’m not sure if he counts as new since he had a part in a Vox promo a few months back and probably elsewhere long before that, but I want to commend him for (I hope) finally dropping the “Slash” nickname. Not that many tricks but I was surprised how smooth of a skater he’s becoming, especially with his flip tricks. The b/s 180 nosegrind revert on Hubba was sick.

Furby: Cursed to resemble Chris Cole back in his World days. I’ve never been real impressed with Furby’s shit in the past but the nollie b/s tail to fakie at Wilshire was hot. Follow Brian Hansen, suck it up and go by your real and probably boring/hard-to-pronounce name. Or start beefing with Figgy.

Pat Pasquel: He can switch bluntslide rails (back to switch) and switch backside flip up 5 stairs but he can’t get his last name in the video? Bummer. At last he can make interesting sounds, which could land him a job as a stand-in for Sgt. Larvell Jones when they get around to remaking the Police Academy movies. Bomb of a switch heelflip over the rail.

Gee thing

April 27, 2008

DC TV, despite DC’s typically overdesigned web interface, is actually turning out to be pretty quality. A little while back they put up this Ryan Gee photo gallery that has a few gems from the last few years. I haven’t seen much of Gee’s shit recently, which may just mean that I’m not paying close enough attention, but for quite a while he was holding down the East Coast like few others. It looks like his personal site is still going, though there isn’t much new on there… this Maldonado shot is gold however.

Really sorry

April 25, 2008

Cue the “Free Ali” shirts: Ali Boulala was sentenced today for the drunk-driving motorcycle accident that killed Shane Cross a little over a year ago. Ali’s looking at two to four years for something called “culpable driving,” which is probably Australian for driving while under the influence of more than 10 beers, or whatever the limit is down under.

Does Boulala deserve to sit in some jail, despite its possibly tropical location, for two to four years? Who knows. From all accounts the Cross family wasn’t pressing charges, which is pretty admirable from a turn-the-other-cheek perspective. Skateboarding as a whole, meanwhile, seemed ready to absolve Boulala the moment it was clear that he came out of the coma. Should we?

It seems like whenever some high-profile, well-loved skater runs into trouble the skateboard world tends to rally around him.* Baker had those “Free TK” shirts printed up before Terry Kennedy ever saw the inside of a cell for having a gun in his car, if I remember right. Josh Swindell is still generally revered for being that pro locked up in Mexico, despite the fact that he may or may not have killed a guy. The murder/suicide mess that Ben Pappas was apparently involved in last year was more or less glossed over. Shit, people were about ready to canonize Christian Hosoi when he got out of jail in Hawaii, and he got busted with a load of meth. To paraphrase Aaron McGruder here, every famous skateboarder who gets arrested is not Nelson Mandela.

But it happens and it gets back to the dubious legal status act of skateboarding itself. “No Skateboarding” signs get ignored. Cops chase you out of spots, they write you tickets. But what are you going to do, not skate? Skateboarding is not a crime, etc.

So how far should that go? Should Ali Boulala really go free? You could make a good argument. He suffered plenty, three months in the hospital, brain damage, may not ever be able to skate like he used to. He’s gotta live with the fact that he killed a good friend of his, and someone who’s pretty well-loved throughout skateboarding. The Cross family didn’t hold it against him, by all accounts. But then there’s the law, which also says thou shalt not skate this curb, jump that gap. In for a penny, in for a pound, then? Is there even a point to drawing a line between the two?

I don’t know. It’s hard to argue against punishing drunk drivers, or, you know, murderers. But the disregard for law is part of what used to make one a skateboarder, versus a kid who rode a skateboard, and that same pack mentality that gets people hyped about Hosoi getting out of prison is the same thing behind benefit skate jams and eBay auctions for skaters, pro or not, that are facing crazy hospital bills or some other crisis. And it’s probably worth preserving.

Anyway, rambling. RIP Shane Cross. Hold your head, Ali. Don’t drink and drive and hug your loved ones this weekend.

*Note that getting arrested in Tampa does not really count, since it’s more a passage into manhood at this point.

Last Axion Heroes

April 25, 2008

Kareem Campbell was many things–legendary skater, mid-90s cultural architect, Peralta-caliber talent scout, semi-convincing skit actor–but the title of successful businessman continues to elude him, even with all those Tony Hawk Pro Skater appearances. Plenty of dudes have abandoned the board for the darkman role with varying degrees of success, but what made Kareem’s gradual exit from mags and videos suck so bad wasn’t the steady decline of his companies but how raw of a skater he was, even up to the point where he disappeared.

Crailtap linked to a clip from the last Axion footwear tour the other day, and in between Javier Nunez generally being underrated and Devine Calloway ripping all over the place there’s more than a few tricks from Kareem and he still had it, even half-assing it at demos (or full-assing it in the case of the switch hardflip). It’s probably way past the point to hope for any kind of comeback, and his unfortunate link-up with ATM and the supposed Axion revival really do not count. I’m talking more the kickflips over oil drums and the manhandled rail tricks. Those were some good years though. There’s another Kareem-related post in the works, so expect more half-bitter nostalgia to come. But meanwhile check out Devine’s switch hurricane. Jesus christ…

Get it how you live

April 24, 2008

While MJ kind of pushed it to and past the outer limits last year, there’s something to be said for video parts that you can kind of get lost in, where by the time they’re over you’re remembering tricks here and lines there and for a while each re-watch is a process of discovery (or something). Mike Carroll has made a few of these parts, Lavar in Trilogy of course, and a lot of lesser skaters.

Time will judge this new part from freshly minted Sk8Mafia pro Kellen James, who pushes the six-minute mark and strings together enough crazy tricks that I’m not going to name them off. The mash-up music selection is kind of questionable but it’s a banger of a part for sure. Some may whine about paid dues and such, but this dude has been around longer than a while and if logging footage week in and week out on the TWS website doesn’t count as doing your time, I mean, jesus.

Personally I had no idea he was even half this good, and if I wanted to get bitter here I could harp on about any number of tricks that would make better TSM covers than a Sheckler air-ball kickflip, but let’s give Kellen James his moment in the sun here and hold up a toast to more video parts like this to freak out and rewind for a few months.

Flo Jo

April 20, 2008

Today’s dispatch from the holy shit department: Joey Pepper with hair

(via crailtap)

Jah love

April 20, 2008

Have you seen him? (on a skateboard in the last 24 months)

I’ve been sitting on the Rasa Libre promo for a couple weeks and it hit me that I should write a review of it for 4/20 because the pale-skinned patchouli purveyors would probably be stoked on it. Actually I’m kind of surprised this video even came out, because I was very much in the “believe it when I see it” camp re: their resurrection last year. Partly because of the fickle nature of skateboard trends, and even though Rasa was right on time when they originally came out (that magical summer where every Johnny Kickflip dreaded his hair and abstained from deodorant), at this point the whole vibe has kind of been co-opted by Element and summarily played out. Also because they’re a bunch of hazed out hippies.

Anyway, the video. First off I was shocked at how little reggae there was, especially after the last Rasa Libre video, also known as the Ipath promo.

Jon Newport: Fresh off the sunken Popwar ship and ready to roll the dice with the recently resurfaced Rasa boat, Newport’s definitely after the thrill-seeking lifestyle. I like Newport though, because I’m a fan of Florida skaters in general and I like how he hands his tricks really hard, kind of like Pete Eldridge does. Feather-footed dudes like Dylan Rieder are great but sometimes you want to see somebody bring his wheels down like a ton of bricks.

Ryan Lay: This kid strikes me as one who felt the Rasa groove pretty heavy when the company first came out and he rode with it… this has its ups (snappy nollies, loose style) and downs (pink scarf, uncomfortable-looking cutoff jean shorts)

Brian Botehlo: Let me get my hippie moment real quick: those clouds in his first line at 3rd & Army look so cool. Also, nice b/s nollie noseblunt. And switch b/s nosegrind.

Nate Jones: All I heard before I watched this was like “Nate Jones only has like three tricks” but really he’s got almost two minutes of footage here. And sure it’s all the usual, kickflip, b/s flip, 360 flip, b/s tail, but shit, most of it’s down crazy hills and how much more do we expect from Nate Jones at this point anyway? As far as I remember the last part where he was really trying was “Reel to Real,” a good seven or eight years ago at this point. And Matt Field is pretty much the best mentor you could have as far as getting years of mileage out of a handful of tricks, so this part is pretty satisfying. Anyway, word has it Nate Jones bounced from Rasa, so who knows if we’ll ever see anything more out of him. Maybe some kind of comeback attempt in another five years…

Family section we’ll pass over, except to note Mike Bowman’s pretty amazing nut-cruncher on the power line pole. Nice

Kenny Reed: Getting Kenny Reed was kind of a genius move for Rasa because unlike some other guys whose pro status is secure (Nate Jones) Kenny Reed seems happy to keep putting out video parts, in return for a steady supply of plane tickets to countries that end in -stan and begin with a handful of scrabble tiles. He’s good for long lines with random flatground tricks thrown in (switch f/s shove-it, b/s 360) and I think he’s even got a 540 flip in there. But whoever put this video together needs to understand that just because a trick makes a good photo doesn’t mean the footage automatically needs to be used. Specifically his two tricks on that white bank over the stairs, the 5-0 and the f/s boardslide. Thank god they’re followed by some Kenny Reed classics, the uber-long b/s 5-0 and a floaty 360 flip.

Mike Daher: It took some balls to put this footage in here, because it makes a lot of the other shit look pretty stupid. So good.

Ben Gore: Slippery b/s lipslides and cab flip bombs in lines. The floaty b/s 360s are good too. He rides a lot of the current trick trends I think, but he rips, and probably he’ll put out better stuff than this in the future. Good part though, for sure.

Matt Field: I was surprised how much effort he put into this, really, although that doesn’t explain why they included that impossible over the bar. Or that heelflip in the Japan line. More tricks than I thought he still knew how to do, but I’m not into the way he looks on a board, I can understand why some people are into him though. My question is, who decided to put him after Ben Gore?

4th and long

April 18, 2008


Could be awesome, could be something else entirely. Except that was pretty awesome too.

Knock you out your tax bracket

April 15, 2008

Somewhere I have this Josh Kalis megamix with a ton of footage from old 411’s and cameo appearances in other people’s part and whatnot, which I should upload at some point, but I ran across this stripped down edit of DC’s King of New York thing that came out a little while back and it reminded me about one of the best things about Kalis, how his skate ratness remains intact enough to keep learning new tricks and trying bizarre shit like that ollie over to b/s noseblunt… I don’t know if it works for me aesthetically or whatever but it’s a fairly nutty thing to even comprehend. Also witness the switch b/s bigspin, moving things forward in the living room. And of course the Alien video’s been pushed back til August…