“Fuckin, I don’t know”
Okay, can I just tell you my favorite thing about this new Transworld video, even more so than Kenny Hoyle’s opening kickflip, or Richie Jackson’s paisley pirate outfits, or Nick Trapasso: no fucking voiceovers. This closely approximates my personal reaction, except on a couch. I was wearing basically the same amount of body armor.
Pretty much every time a TWS video has come out in the last few years I’m inclined to think “hmm, this is the best TWS video in years” which may or may not actually be the case after a few weeks of viewing. But this time, guys… this time for sure (no Bullwinkle) I think “And Now” really is the best TWS vids in quite some time. There’s been some hoopla in the magazine about how this is like the new “In Bloom,” which I can see, sort of. But that begs the question: who’s gonna plump up and fizzle out Alex Gall style? My money’s on Sean Malto personally. Mostly because he seems like such a volatile, angry drunk.
Transworld videos at this point are basically an institution, like Madonna for instance, and if you took the 20 or so videos they’ve put out over the last 15 years (TWS that is) you’d have a fairly accurate roadmap of trick trends, skateboard fashion, and evolving film/edit techniques that generally represent the best in skate videos at any particular point. A lot of the credit goes to Ty Evans, who presided over the TWS golden age of “Feedback”/”The Reason”/”Modus Operandi,” but the revolving cast of filmer/editors that has passed through those hallowed AOL/Time Warner doors since has taken up his blueprint and soldiered on, with mostly positive results. Filming innovations and high production value aside though, there’s Ty tropes that maintained long past their expiration date, like the intolerable voiceovers (some sounded like they were reading off a fucking teleprompter) and the vaguely hilarious inanity of the titles.
So it’s cool that “And Now,” humorously inane title aside, tones down the starry-eyed “wow, skating, man” aspect and keeps things moving. No overblown intro montage (not too overblown anyhow), no goddamn voiceovers, no skits unless you count Richie Jackson’s whole part. Reckless dumbass David Gravette comes out blasting with his charbroiled rail moves and winds things up with a trick that’s sure to get some novices sacked before the snow flies. Matt Miller I was really looking forward to and he came through with a solid part of fairly straightforward skating, fakie flip body varial noseblunt aside. (That’s what it was right? I had to rewind many times.) But generally he had a minimum of the polejam/wallie/manual combos that TWS videos have showcased heavily the last couple years.
That of course is handled with psychedelic aplomb by Richie Jackson, dark hippie avenger from Oz, who twirls and skids and somehow powerslides down stairs. Some of the tricks are pretty inspired and I was relieved to see him work in some more standard-issue shit, like the b/s 5-0 revert and the switch 360 flip, because sometimes I get the sinking feeling that these guys known for doing nutty/dork/novelty tricks all day long may not be able to actually skate any other way.
Kenny Hoyle is just great. The angle on that switch bigspin heelflip he does over the hump is so good. A prime example of a skater who on paper might not sound that sound exciting but the way he lands tricks does it all. I love watching this kid skate. Nick Trapasso is sort of the same (see the way he rides away from the double-set switch frontside heelflip) but freakishly talented enough to inspire head-scratching and rewinding. There’s some stuff I’m not into at all, like the nollie tuck-knee, but it’s hard to complain much. It’s like he can do anything. Both the song choice and the electric blue socks are kind of untouchable.
Then there’s Sean Malto, who seems to be the living, hardflipping nightmare of every skatepark old guy who narrows his eyes and mutters “damn kids” as some 9th-grader glides down the rail. Switch kickflip frontside k-grinds, cab feebles, et cetera. It goes on for some time. I can imagine people complaining that the marquee tricks have already been in ads, but for me, the full gnarliness of those tricks didn’t quite translate through the 2-D photo format, although that could just be my brain problem at work again. Malto, though: So much command and confidence, and he’s so young. At least he looks young. Trainwreck used to look young too. If my calculations above are correct Malto will soon be sleeved up and bloated from alcohol misuse, so as long as the legions of skatepark old guys can keep their guts in check til then, the last laugh may yet be theirs for the laughing.
In summary, best TWS video in years. I think. No voiceovers!