Archive for August, 2009

Bobby Worrest: Time to Die

August 8, 2009

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Bobby Worrest had buddies who died face-down in the muck so that you and I can enjoy this internet blog website

Not so long ago, I went a-shopping and came up on a copy of the old PitCrew video “Where I’m From” being offered for the princely sum of $5, so I figured, what the fuck–pretty awesome DC effort with parts from Jake Rupp and Darren Harper, not as good as “Pack a Lunch,” but what is. What hit me most about this vid was that Bobby Worrest was in full-on snotnosed fashion, a skinny little kickflippin’ handrailin’ SOB that I barely recognized, accustomed as I am to the macrobrew-swilling tattoo merchant nowadays beloved by the Gonz. It was sort of like wandering into the corner bar in your hometown and seeing the little neighbor kid all puffed up and red-faced, nursing a tequila sunrise, except if you were in the nation’s capital and possessed a functional time machine along with some flannel.

The modern day Bobby Worrest has many advantages. He can dress. You know, he’s got that tech ability but there’s restraint too, when you talk about taking the switch 360 flip to noseslide back to regular. The dude has an eye for overlooked ledge tricks (b/s 180 to switch k-grind), skates at night a lot and has balls enough to do a fakie hardflip on flat, and not even the Bryan Herman-approved kind of hardflip which is all the rage these days. Old(er) school rap is becoming kind of a safe move for skate parts these last couple years but it’s a good look here as there’s a lot of actual street skating in this part, by which we mean longer lines than you’d normally see, which stray beyond the generally accepted format of b/s tailslide 270 shove-it, nollie 360 flip, front blunt bigspin or whatever the Forecast generation’s version of the b/s tail-nollie flip-nosegrind 411 line may be.

Sort of like Silas Baxter Neal, probably Bobby Worrest is at some point in his career where he can keep cranking out parts like this and be good for years, as long as he stays away from those chicken-scratcher grinds on banks. It’s hard to guess at what his ultimate motivation might be. If it’s strippers and beer and weed then his longevity may be secure, as it seems to have worked wonders for Fred Gall, who is rich and famed and well-beloved, in addition to being from New Jersey. Hopefully Worrest’s sponsors will steer his career around stereotype potholes filled with Coors Light and Rambo and shit, but God knows it’s a tough economy out there.

Once Upon A Time I Think I Didn’t Hate the Band MGMT

August 6, 2009

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Joey Brezinski leads a scrappy team of crime-fighting guinea pigs in the outrageous animated adventure “Right Foot Forward”

I’ve been a Joey Brezinski fan but sometimes it’s hard. He’s always spinning around. So you really have to pay attention to know what’s going on in a general way. Plus I think he gets so mindbendlingly tech’ed out that he sometimes forgets how to execute your obligatory street pro tricks like the kickflip backside tailslide, and looks a little off when he does them.

So you can imagine my surprise when I put on this new Transworld video and discovered that Brezinski has gone back to the basics. Comparatively. By which I mean, the average length of combo-trick names in his “Right Foot Forward” section came in a bit lower than that of his recent Cliche video part, exhaustively chronicled earlier. He didn’t manage to crack the hallowed 15-word threshold, but did come pretty close at one point. Breakdown is as follows:

-Switch nose manual fakie bigspin manual drop-down to manual backside 180 out (12 words, 77 characters)
-Backside nosegrind shove-it to backside tailslide to fakie (8 words, 59 characters)
-Halfcab kickflip nose manual backside tailslide to fakie (8 words, 57 characters)
-Backside tailslide to fakie manual half-cab kickflip (7 words, 53 characters)
-Frontside noseslide nollie bigspin switch manual 180 (7 words, 53 characters)
-Halfcab noseslide to nose manual nollie heelflip (7 words, 48 characters)
-Half-cab kickflip manual revert half-cab kickflip (6 words, 50 characters)
-Frontside noseslide fakie manual bigspin kickflip (6 words, 50 characters)

Aural fatigue aside this is a pretty good effort from the manual madman and I kind of dig how he tries to grubby up his squeaky-clean manual act with some of those dingy wallride spots the youth* are so fond of these days. The simple(r) shit was good too, like the backside 5-0 to switch f/s crooked grind and the backside double flip, and that zany powerslide move turned out far better than it probably should have. We’ll get into the whole aesthetic of the TWS vid a bit later on, but I’m respecting the Holland/Ray vision as far as these levitation clips too – the type of thing that doesn’t take a whole lot of time away from the actual skating but adds to the overall, er, vibe. Brah.

*no, no, no

So I Keep On Buying Porsches

August 5, 2009


Dragonslayer

Apropos of not very much I’m going in for a video clip post because I’m busy as all hell this week. Rather than try and formulate some kind of commentary around this mess, and until I get my act together enough to address the TWS vid and this other shoe topic, I present to you this already-sort-of-old-in-internet-time Tyler Bledsoe clip from Etnies that has kind of a Michael Sieben twang to it. New tricks and I can dig it; it’s like the taller the kid gets the easier it is to watch his skating. The pop out of some of these tricks is sort of ridiculoid (particularly the b/s lipslide to b/s tailslide at the AVE ledge), and can we get some type of You Will Soon poll on the historical equivalent to the A’s fitted that so many youngsters favor nowadays? Make it so…

Flight of the Passion Fruit

August 2, 2009

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And thus we complete the mainstream print media triumvariate

A meandering afternoon in which an errant copy of “Outside” magazine was flipped through, uncovering a pretty in-depth profile on hemp farmer and Mega Ramp LLC co-owner Bob Burnquist who is described at one point as “prone to stoner speechifying about ‘fluidic rhythms.'” (Aren’t we all.) It’s a pretty by-the-numbers rundown of the Bob’s life and times as an X-Games superhero, multiple family man and amateur pilot but at one point they’re cooling out at the rancho and things take a turn for the surreal* when a certain Utahn comes scritch-scritch-scratching at his rancho door:

While I’m at the rancho, Bob’s friend and fellow pro Pierre-Luc Gagnon, or PLG, pops by with some fresh meat: a street skater known as Lizard King (Mike Plumb to his relatives), who’s wiry and abundantly tattooed, with a rapsy smoker’s voice and the bug eyes of a man who gets amped for a living.

Bob greets them in the driveway and tells PLG to take Lizard out to the ramp “just to see what he’s getting into.”

Minutes later, Lizard King comes back looking as if he’s seen a ghost. He can’t stop pacing. “I’m not even over there looking at it and I’m having a heart attack,” he says.

Bob plays the confident older brother, goosing the Lizard up, onto and eventually down the mega-slope.

Lizard King snatches a bag of pads from PLG’s Mercedes and comes back. “I’ve never been more intimidated by anything in my entire life,” he says, then exhales deeply.

“I wanna get you psyched,” Bob says. “I’ll go out there with you.”

Bob shows Plumb how to bail the jump and then does it sans pads.

Lizard King practically collapses. Here he is, terrified, and Bob has casually dropped in as if this were a backyard pool, wearing nothing but jeans and a T-shirt.

“Fuck it, dude,” Lizard yells, rolling toward the edge. “Live life.”

His first attempt isn’t pretty, but he has gusto. There are many whoops and hollers and “Holy shits!” as he rockets down the roll-in, up the launch, and through the air, dropping his board and flying along like someone leaping off a bridge into a lake. He lands awkwardly but safely on his knee pads and slides to the base of the quarterpipe.

“I love you, Bob!” he howls as Bob and I walk back toward the house. “This is the funnest thing I’ve ever done in my life! Thank you for building this!”

About an hour later, Bob’s phone buzzes. It’s a text from PLG: Lizard nailed it. “He’s got the right mentality,” Bob says. “Or the wrong one, depending how you look at it.”

Elsewhere there’s something of an “Xtremely Sorry” preview, which Bob Burnquist is apparently obsessing over “because (video parts) maintain his credibility in the skate world, which might otherwise regard him as a stunt guy who cashes in at the X Games once a year and then retreats to his ranch to roll around in flaxseed.”

In one sequence, he launches across the 50-foot gap, lands on the manual pad, kickflips his board 180 degrees while going 50 miles per hour, then drops in toward the quarterpipe – all without breaking rhythm.

So, what… manual backside flip? Frontside flip? Or just a “180 flip” into the landing from the manual pad? Meanwhile Bob’s organic restaurant has closed its doors, FYI.

*At least, surreal for those of us for whom Lizard King and “Outside” magazine exist in separate, non-overlapping worlds