“Mind Field” is a big meal. Beginning with the ams…
Grant Taylor is a hard one to pin down: all-terrainer of the new school, fresh-faced fifth-grader features with an affinity for graffiti(?), ramps and fits of grouchiness that could coax a cracked-tooth smile upon the craggiest faces of slash dogs. He lives in a bowl and reportedly spearheaded the construction of his own foundation spot, at the ripe age of however old he is (my guess, not very). Following the brief trick-list rundown in the Nike video and assorted cement park schralpage sprinkled throughout the Indy 30-year tour thing, “Mind Field” finds Grant Taylor sharpening his street teeth on some standard little-kid thrill chasing (big rails, big jumps) and other shit of a way different order: the half-cab backside smith*, the door bash and so on. Personally I would’ve liked to see more transition out of the kid, because I like that one thing he does with his arm when he lands, but it’s going to be interesting to watch where he takes things from here – I get the feeling he’s already foregone a probably assured career milking his ingrained Penny style on easy ledge/natural transition stuff. More to come, I guess.
Tyler Bledsoe I knew first as a midget in baggy pants who wore glasses and made periodic appearances in complimentary DNA calendars; we now know him as an upstart Oregonian with an affinity for headgear of multiple types, still-loose clothing and the ability to impress Rick Howard with frontside bluntslide variations across the USA. Hat wearin’ Tyler, as he is known to some**, practices soft-focus landings and Sean Malto dismounts and brings probably the greatest level of Lakai ledge flare to the Alien production; at times it’s like the honchos in Ohio opted to trade in their option on Torey Pudwill in favor of the next-gen edition with the kinks worked out. Bledsoe doesn’t have the off-kilter tech mindbender nature that Pudwill employs, but you’re less likely to fear for his pelvis when he’s bigspinning out of some tailslide six or seven feet off the ground. So maybe it was an insurance liability issue. Which would explain all the hats, to cover the glasses strap.
Jake Johnson we have waxed on, and waxed off, in this space previously… I’ll keep this brief: several viewings in, his section remains my favorite in “Mind Field” and I regularly sit up straighter on the couch when those kaleidoscopic twinkles fade in after Omar’s ovation. Johnson builds on the ambidextrous/low-tech approach taken in the Chapman video a year ago, with the limber flips and skyscraper rails, but he looks a lot more fluid now – on some kind of Nate Broussard puffy cloud even when he’s riding away from those colossal wallrides, or that hairball of a fakie heelflip.
*Also performed about eight or nine years ago by your boy, Bobby D
**some who read this blog post, anyway