Archive for May, 2008

Be our guest

May 31, 2008

Now usually I don’t do this, but uh, I’m gonna go ahead and make a second post today seeing as O’Dell put up three pages worth of photos from the Girl/Anti Hero “Beauty & the Beast” tour… with possibly more to come I guess.

Angel investors

May 31, 2008

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

So a few weeks ago word got out that Kris Markovich bounced from Crimson Skateboards, took the team and would launch something new. Now, we could make a lot of easy jokes about his sponsor tattoos, how he rode for Duffs like three times, or the Vegas over/under on how long Given will last, “given” Markovich’s track record as a businessman. (Markovich does seem to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.)

Whatever the case, I gotta hand it to Markovich for getting back on the skate company horse time and time again, with extremely mixed results, because he’s such a deep veteran at this point. Unlike a lot of his peers who came up around the same time he never really disappeared and he’s pumped out so many video parts, including a few great ones.

However the first thing I thought of when I heard the Given news was, “who’s putting the money up this time?” I read somewhere that it was going to be entirely financed by Markovich himself; are Red Bull and Hurley still paying him? Anyway, if by some chance this company goes south, I thought I’d put together a quick list of venture capitalists and financiers that Markovich could maybe hit up for his next venture.

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway: Despite his net worth of $62 billion, which makes him the richest man in the world as of 2008, Buffett still lives in his modest Omaha home and pays himself an annual salary of $100,000. Made a bundle off a stake in Coca-Cola he took in the late ’80s, and he’s big into philanthropy, so a start-up skate company might be up his alley. On the other hand, he’s not a fan of high-risk investments.

Eddie Lampert: Multi-billionaire hedge fund manager who’s earned a reputation as something of a turnaround specialist, Lampert is a member of the secretive Skull and Bones society, items that figure heavily into Markovich’s past graphics. Lampert is also notable for his negotiating tactics–he once talked would-be kidnappers into letting him free, so maybe he could convince Markovich to stick around when they inevitably come to some disagreement. However, Lampert currently has his hands full with the Kmart/Sears merger.

Michael Milken: SoCal-born junk-bond impresario of the 1980s who did a couple years in prison for insider trading around the end of that heady decade. But he’s still got a couple billion in his pocket and his gift for packaging high-yield debt and selling it to investors could make him a prime candidate for getting behind a Markovich-headed skate company.

Jeffrey Lebowski: Multi-millionaire with a penchant for inner-city philanthropy and tasteful rugs. Known to have a weakness for vanity, linking himself to a skateboard company could be another way of expanding the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers and getting his name out there. Still, the venture would have to be profitable, as the money belongs to the foundation and not to Lebowski himself.

Mr. Slate: Head of the Slate Rock and Gravel Company, Slate is an entrepreneur far ahead of his time, and his foresight of getting into hard assets prior to the present run-up in commodities shows he has an eye for a good long-term investment. That said, if his interactions with Fred and Barney are any indication, he’s a little bit of a taskmaster, which generally doesn’t work well when it comes to managing skateboarders.

Miles away from ordinary

May 29, 2008

The happiest place on earth!

I can’t recall exactly how I ran across Terry Worona’s site–I’m assuming I found it in a dream and bookmarked it in another dream, or possibly something even more mystic. Anyway he’s a Ottawanian (?) photog with some pretty badass stuff up there; hopefully he doesn’t get bummed out about me cropping and reposting the Dave Nolan ollie up above, but the OG version was super wide and it’s one of the more unique photos I’ve seen in a long time.

So check the site–lots of good stuff in the “tearsheets” section. Here’s another one of my favorites. Big fan of tail fins right here. And Bible churches.

Minnesota massacre

May 28, 2008


Bloodbath at the 2008 Top Shop contest a few weeks ago at Third Lair skatepark in Minneapolis. While it doesn’t really approach the highly entertaining, free-for-all rapid-fire bail-a-thon that so many best trick contests devolve into, this clip does feature a seriously mind-melting array of tricks dished out on the mini-rail, including a couple I personally have never seen before. Here’s a possibly accurate rundown of which dudes did what:

-Dan Corrigan: frontside smith grind bigspin
-Cody Temple: 360 double kickflip lipslide
-Davis Torgerson: nollie heelflip frontside nosegrind, nollie frontside hurricane, nollie inward heelflip frontside boardslide (amazing looking trick from the fisheye angle)
-Cody Davis: kickflip backside smith grind backside 180 out, backside lipslide kickflip out (to regular)
-CJ Tambornino, switch bigspin flip frontside boardslide

Mike Munzenrider, Skateboard Mag writer, Twin Cities luminary and a fan of nollie inward heelflips himself, described this as the craziest best trick contest he’s ever seen, which I might be inclined to agree with. But I think TSM internet commenter “Squaters” best captured the spirit of the thing: “if u were a witnessed im pretty sure u would have to change into that extra pair of drawes u brought!!” No doubt.

The Skateboard Mag has its own clip up that’s better quality but a shittier angle on a lot of the tricks, although it does include Nate Compher’s run–switch b/s 5-0 the hubba, switch f/s tailslide bigspin the other hubba. Maybe switch b/s smith grinds were getting boring.

Addendum: Here’s a clip that has a switch f/s bigspin noseslide from Ian Sherman, I believe, as well as a lot of the other tricks. Between the music in this clip and TSM’s I think I gotta ride with Juelz/Just Blaze over the French robots.

Sub zero

May 26, 2008

The cold snap is over but certain sections of Southern California may be experiencing unseasonably low temps. Ronson Lambert, doing what he does best.

Gnarliest Enjoi ad ever?

May 24, 2008

…and it’s not like there isn’t competition

Smell the glove

May 22, 2008

Blueprint always seems to get a ton of footage out of their annual spring break trips to Mallorca, so by doing all these “Tales of the Black Glove” podcasts from their most recent trip there, I’m assuming that they’re just keeping it skate and are going to end up pushing their new video back to holiday 2009. They only started the “coming soon” ads earlier this year after all, and as we all know, industry standard on that is 2.5 years prior to release minimum.

Sidewalk posted up episodes 6 and 6.5 the other day, and while 6 is a truly gripping account of Paul Shier applying his bearded technical prowess to a pot of spaghetti, 6.5 is pretty much all skating and features some right cracking footage from Danny Brady, his first line in particular. Speaking of crack how deliciously cheesy would it be to set a Joey Pressey part to this song? Some 11-year-old YouTube hero should get on it. Meanwhile this Blueprint video is looking like it’ll be really good.

The hardest working man in show business

May 20, 2008

I know your momma’s grieving

Humor in skateboarding is a hard thing to pull off most of the time, partly because showing off in any form is generally frowned/hated upon by the masses, and partly because of the repetitive nature of the skate video. Shit that seems funny the first time tends to get old quick after a few viewings, and in some cases can grate to the point careers are ended early (perhaps Knox will prove this wrong). There’s exceptions, like Gerwer in TWS’s Free Your Mind or the skits in the Chocolate Tour, but there aren’t many.

Much like rap-rock, straight-up fusing skating and comedy is dicey to the point where people probably should know better, but the ease with which the Tilt Mode crew do it has inspired a lot of lesser imitators. Then there’s Rory Sheridan, shadowy Pit Crew affiliate and Uwe Boll to Patrick O’Dell’s Werner Herzog (or something). Sheridan, which probably almost certainly is not dude’s real name, burst onto the scene last year with the Behind the Griptape series, and this week scored some kind of internet skate video hat trick with new Bobby Worrest clips for Es and Spitfire.

After the Worrest BTGT we’re already familiar with his love of public service and helping his fellow man, so the Es video allows some insight to the softer side of Bobby Worrest, or whatever side goes hitting the sheets after blasting kickflips. The music is annoying and the plaid Koston knock-offs are ill-advised for sure, but Worrest rips all over the place.

The Spitfire video however showcases the darker side of Worrest, shooting cops, lipping off to detectives and doing a switch 360 flip noseslide. In a line. With a switch front blunt. The special effects are not to be missed and the interrogation scene at the end is fraught with tension, especially when Worrest’s roommate, er, the cop pours out the wheels. I’m hoping that all the ridiculous tricks Worrest is logging in these little clips will eventually build up to the amazing part he’s capable of putting out, but I won’t be mad if he keeps doing these little clips for a while. Like O’Dell did with Cardiel, Rory Sheridan has found his muse in Bobby Worrest.

From switch crook grinds to switch tailslides, I rise

May 19, 2008

Word, ya heard

Getting old is kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand you can buy alcohol and pull tabs with impunity, but at the same time you get bitter about certain things, like politics and bills and shit, and for some of us, the fact that for a whole generation of skateboarders, their first impression of Joey Suriel was some behind-the-wheel freestyling and bullshit funbox tricks. Most of his part in City Stars’ Street Cinema (7:20) wasn’t even that bad really, and not too far removed from his mid-90s peak (funbox tricks notwithstanding).

But aside from a couple cursory viewings to see what the old dudes on the message boards are all heated about, his clips in Trilogy, 20 Shot and Paco probably won’t have much of an impact on the goddamn youth of today. Which is too bad, because a good decade before he was slinging Odyssey backpacks and $50 Diamond t’s, Suriel had been hooked up by Stacy Peralta, anointed as pro by the Gonz and skated for a company that was repped by pros who weren’t even getting paid to wear the shirts. Meanwhile he filmed one of the hottest lines ever, containing a serious contender for the top 5 switch heelflips of all time (20 Shot, 7:00).

I just called the Menace Mastermind hotline and it’s disconnected, so until Kareem hooks it back up here’s the Joey Suriel interview on 48 Blocks, which is still pretty great:

You got to realize that Paulo was doing switch ollies and nollies over tables well before it was ever suppose to evolve to that… and I’m talking with authority too.. not just barely making it over. So to witness that and actually live it, to me, is hands down the illest ever, for that time.

“These guys are idiots so I was just running with it”

May 16, 2008

When I was little I used to read skate magazines and bug out at the crazy stories spun by pros in their interviews because they seemed to live such wild, reckless lives. Case in point: the Andy Roy interview in BB, which I could scan if somebody hasn’t already done it, Shiloh, etc. Jim Gagne of all people had a really entertaining interview in a mid-90s Thrasher I have somewhere. And Ryan Kenreich, I think, had a pretty hilarious interview in the waning years of BB where he broke down his lengthy arrest record.

Anyway, in the May issue of Slap there’s a tag team interview with David Gravette and Devin Appelo that was pretty funny. You have to marvel at the logic at work in this story, really:

David Gravette: It started out as five of us walking through the streets with ski masks. One of us was carrying a crow bar, the other one had a thing of rope, and the other dude had a flashlight.

Devin Appelo: Didn’t we have a saw?

DG: No. Anyone who saw us out the window was gonna call the cops, but these guys are idiots so I was just running with it. So we walked to the house–it’s this big Indian museum with a bunch of Indian artifacts. Taylor’s plan was to jump on the roof and take a smoke ventilation piece out and rappel in. We found out when we got there that the shingles were too icy to climb up, but Devin used his crow bar to pop the door open. We walked in and hung out for a bit. I had to convince Taylor not to take a bear pelt. He was running around with the bear pelt over him pretending to be a bear and ran into a pole. Then Taylor and Devin wanted to light a fire in there.

DA: Dude, how cool would it be to light a fire in there?

DG: I was like, no, we gotta go.” So we left and Devin was like, “Let’s get on this train, it’ll take us back to where we wanna go.” So we get on this train in the middle of winter in Portland and it’s so cold. We’re holding on and it started picking up speed for a second and I was like, “Dude, we’re not gonna be able to jump off if it keeps going!” It kept going for a bit and it got pretty scary, but then it slowed down and we hopped off. We weren’t really close to anywhere near where we wanted to be, but it was alright.

Slap: Spell “alligator.”

DG: Fuck you. What if I get it wrong? I can’t even try right now; it’s too dangerous.

DA: Dude, I could never spell that word.

DG: I can write it. A-L-I… Does it got two L’s?

DA: No, I don’t think so.

DG: It’s just A-L-I-G-A-T-O-R, right?

Slap:There’s two L’s, but I’ll give you an “A” for effort, idiot.

DG: Dude, this is gonna make me look like a dumb ass.

Despite (because of?) his general idiocy Gravette has been skating like a man possessed this last year. He landed the new TWS cover with one of his kinker rail attacks and the photo above from the Slap interview is pretty bananas. Plus he has the TWS video part coming up. Get your money up Navarette.