Jah love

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?

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