Archive for September, 2009

Oy Flips?

September 30, 2009


The Buffalo, NY dirtbag with the toilet-centric onomatopoeia surname, Dan Plunkett, now does his thing for Skate Mental boards, which you could take any number of ways. It does reinforce certain shadowy conspiracy theories around Staba’s stacking of the squad with Nike endorsers, which we’ve ruminated on in the past, sure. But the above pic has me curious if we’re also seeing a new front in the war on 360 flip form – the antithesis of YWS’s hated “yo flip”?

Even Dwarfs Started Small

September 27, 2009

Sonny’s missing

Feel for the little kid skaters whose skill outpaces their form and frames, the preternaturally gifted Nyjah Huston or Chaz Ortiz types launching careers before cracking the 60-inch height threshold, tricks obscured by billowing T-shirts and short statures. Even prodigies who grew into powers like Nick Jensen and Grant Taylor needed time to fully develop and inhabit their skating; Guy Mariano may be the exception proving the rule that no little kid part has been deemed a classic.

With all this half-baked philosophizing in mind comes Yaje Popson’s section in the much-ballyhooed “Rich Mahogany” video (holder of the title for best internet promo of the year), which forces a reckoning with the whole hate-the-first-five-years-and-then-ask-questions approach to little kid skaters. Now I got this New York-centric vid a couple months ago, partly because of that promo and partly because Billy Rohan and Lurker Lou were in it, but there I’d be, letting Yaje Popson’s opening part play through, the usual little-kid grumbles fading away like so many unreturned library books and Slap messageboard passwords.

One major advantage this kid has is his backside lipslides, which he can seemingly screech across most any available surface. Another is an innate ability to break down old person defenses. Let us discuss an example. At one point in this video part he’s doing this line down a street and he whips out the fakie frontside noseslide shove-it, a classic mid-to-late-90s ledge trick that’s gotten all bogged down these days with fakie flips and bigspins and reality TV and shit. It’s the sorta trick one may see somebody do at a spot or a park and convey the impression that the person doing it probably had been skating a while. Yaje Popson has a lot of these type of moves, or else something about the way he does a trick like the switch backside bigspin that made me think about Rick Howard in “Questionable” instead of whoever’s doing them these days (Darrell Stanton?). Or this frontside feeble grind he does on a beefy ledge, which is awesome in all of the standard ways. And, he nollie 180’s into that courthouse bank drop, which is just ridiculous.

Of course at this point Yaje Popson’s already past the little-kid red zone, because at 17 or whatever he’s shed most of that dumpy short-stack style that some dudes unfortunately never overcome, no matter how tight their clothing gets. There’s a kind of feature on him here, but the best idea is probably to get the Green Diamond video and watch that because it’s also got loads of beards and Vans and Kyle Iles does the sickest switch noseblunt slide. There is also a Soulja Boy song and the “Bossy” instrumental. You can buy it from Unicron probably, I can’t find Quartersnacks’s ordering page anymore.

Return of the Search Terms

September 26, 2009


Haven’t done one of these in a while, but, here’s the most recent assortment of internet* searches that led seekers to these fine shores…

-dyrdek secretary pics
-names of fish found in the ocean
-burberry shorts (old standby)
-crazy explosion
-when the sea boils blog
-jereme rogers smokes weed
-tk bulletproof vest
-skatebook out of business
-JR Blastoff “goodbye skateboarding”
-coloring pages of tech deck flameboy
-kevin spanky long skate fashion
-why did muska leave shortys
-mine giant truck
-ice cream shoes board flip 2
-stop or my mom will shoot

*or, intranet

Knights of the Round

September 25, 2009


On the topic of magazines and striking photos of old guys, the November 2009 Skateboarder probably has already caught your eye if you are a fan of pool gnarldom in general, Lance Mountain in particular, or the florescent row of the Crayola 64 box. We here are fans of course and looking forward to his part in the Flip video (with a pair of earplugs or “Cuban Linx 2” within reach), but when it comes to Skateboarder throwback covers, I feel compelled to see Lance and raise him a purple Lambo re: the 1997 comeback issue below. Both dudes Flip riders at one point; if I remember right the plunge took place in front of a cop shop and was not landed, which if you think about it long enough might serve as a decent metaphor for Bam Margera’s career as a whole. He still skates right? Just his driveway though? We need a “Bam’s Park Footy ’09” in the tradition of Chet Childress’s recent Burnsidesploitation, except at FDR and with more scarves and top hats, for real.


Also on the topic of magazines: shouts to Eric Stricker, hopefully he got to see the footage of that Lance Mountain trick, even if it wasn’t his magazine.

Enough Is Too Much

September 23, 2009


Would you believe, we spent two days nattering on about Josh Kalis and Alien Workshop and feelings and so on, all the while sitting on this burning hunk of total classic Gonzales action from the recent 4-Star Thrasher? Yeah well, me too, but still…

Fat Lady Sings

September 22, 2009


Maybe it’s like Kalis implied in this EXPN interview – he saw it coming, Alien saw it coming, nobody was too broken up over the whole thing. There is a vague end-of-an-era feeling, but AWS has moved a space pun-worthy light year or two from where they were back in 1995 (throwback graphics notwithstanding), whereas Kalis, bless his heart, hasn’t changed his approach too much (brown cords and Rolling Stones notwithstanding).

There’s been talk of unused Spanish footage collecting dust on Greg Hunt’s cutting room floor, the stunted career ambitions of one Marquise Henry, and the increasingly divergent path of Alien Workshop from its hallowed backpack rap era, which was one of the things that perhaps made Kalis stand out in “Mind Field” versus “Time Code.” It is a bit sad though, since one of AWS’s great strengths was to fuse the weird, cerebral weirdness the Ohio brain-trust had going on, and the dudes cracking tricks and in the piss and dirt at the Brooklyn Banks. I thought Josh Kalis’s section in “Mind Field” was one of the proverbial fresh-air breaths with its abrasive rap music and baggy jeans, but as long as they hold onto Jake Johnson and Grant Taylor, Alien should be good riding the Dyrdek/Berra reality TV revenue into Jake Burton’s good graces.

As far as DGK goes, Kalis has never really stopped producing, and you know Stevie Williams in particular is psyched to have him on as they gear up for a new video. Various reports have the DGK chieftan forgoing his next multi-zero shoe deal in favor of filming the best section of his career, a tall order on or off Philadelphia public space. And possibly more interesting than any of this is that Jackson Curtain is rumored to be sitting on an alleged 30+ minutes of video footage for the DGK project, raising the possibility of a Marc Johnson-esque reign of terror set to a suite of Just Blaze instrumentals… or maybe a Daniel Dumile approach that would see him parcel out multiple parts over the course of a year in a bid for SOTY status or Nike pro shoedom.


September 11, 2009

Pic via O’dell

Earlier this decade:
OK, Anthony – let’s start off with the basics: age, where you’re from, how long you’ve been skating…
I’m 17, from Long Island, N.Y. and been skating for six years.

What made you decide you wanted to ride a skateboard?
I just always saw skateboarders around where I lived, you know. A kid gave me a board and it just grew on me. I had fun.

At what point did you get more serious with it?
After seeing some videos. I saw certain people I liked because of their style and just the tricks. You know, I always liked East Coast footage, it always appealed to me, made me want to skate .

What was your favorite video at that time?
Plan B. Virtual Reality.

Whose part were you stoked on in that? Carroll?
Yeah, Carroll definitely and Danny Way.

So now that you’re on the same team as Danny, does it seem weird? To look up to him all that time and now you’re his teammate?
Oh yeah. It’s crazy. Same with all the Workshop guys, you know? Dill, Kalis, They’re amazing.

What kind of stuff were you into before skateboarding?
I wasn’t into sports at all. Basketball a little, but not really into sports.

Yeah, I think it’s the same way with most skateboarders. I used to breakdance before I started skating…so, were you the skater in your city that everyone looked up to?
Not really. I just skated with my friends, not at skateparks or anything. I just stayed in that little group, you know, go to the city. I skated with Rodney Torres and other skaters that were good. That’s how I learned.

What’s your motivation to keep progressing? Just keeping up?
Pretty much skating with pros now is motivating. If a new video comes out, I’ll watch that and get psyched to skate. A good video will always do it. You get psyched after seeing somebody do an innovative trick. You see that trick and want to push it a little farther. Also, filming for the new Alien video is motivating. Trying to get innovative.

Speaking of the Workshop, what made you decide to send in that first sponsor-me video? Did you send one out to other companies or what?
No, it was the only company I sent a video to. I don’t know…I don’t really like a lot of the companies in skateboarding, but I liked the image of the Workshop. Plus Dill and Anthony (AVE) had just gotten on. And I was always riding Workshop boards. But see, I didn’t really send it in. I broke my arm and was out for a while, so I put some footage together. My friend tried to talk me into sending it in, but I didn’t see the point. so he actually edited it and sent it in to you guys. We had a bet. I bet him a board that I wouldn’t hear anything and he thought I would. So I waited for a while and then Dyrdek actually called my house.

Yeah, I remember watching your video and we were all stoked. You were just this little guy with a big cast on your arm skating that one metal ledge. You could see a lot of potential from that one spot you were skating.
It was cool, getting a box of stuff….even those first two boards, it was great.

Who else inspires you to skate? I know you look up to Kalis and Stevie.
Yeah, Kalis, Stevie and Guy Mariano is a big inspiration. Mike Carroll definitely.

Did you ever get to see Guy’s part in the first Blind video?
Yeah, I love it. I bought it off this kid so I got my own copy, it’s sick.

So, let’s talk West Coast for a while. Have you been out there much to skate?
I went to S.F. about 3 years ago and skated a little, but my first time really skating hard was to L.A. about a month ago.

How was that? First big trip out there, all those spots you’ve seen in magazines your whole life..
Well, you have to drive everywhere out there. I like where you can skate from spot to spot and just keep skating. I liked it out there though, you know, the spots and everything. But it seemed like we would just drive, skate, get kicked out – that happened over and over. The weather is good, though. Out here, it’s frustrating.

Oh yeah, winter in the East will take it’s toll. But it seems like East Coast skaters develop a discipline from dealing with the snow and cold.
Definitely, it seems that way with Philly and New York.

OK, so what about those spots out there in the west?
It’s nice to finally get to skate some of them…you can never tell though from a video or magazine what it’s like..sometimes it looks steeper than it actually is…sometimes more mellow..but Hubba, Hubba is huge.

Yeah, the super lens has blown out some obstacles to where you can’t tell how big they really are.
But when you’re there, yeah, you’ve seen those spots in magazines and it’s like you already know what you want to try on them.

I heard you’re moving to Philly pretty soon, what is it about Philly that makes it a mecca for the east coast?
This is my last year in school and I’m definitely moving there this summer because I have a lot of friends there and for skating Love. But I’ll definitely be going back and forth from Philly to home a lot. I love New York. I’ll have a place to stay in Philly, but I’ll keep going back and forth to skate.

Had any problems with undercovers at Love?
Yeah, they’re crazy, they just come out of nowhere and try to grab you. There are park rangers there sometimes everyday just sitting there waiting to catch someone. I heard they do it every now and then to scare the skaters away, but I don’t think it’ll work. Personally, I don’t think they’ll ever stop skating at Love. It’s been around so long.

Do you ever go out and skate by yourself?
All the time. I grew up skating by myself. I’ll always do it. There’s this school by my house, I go there and skate all the time. I’ll even take a trip to the city to skate by myself sometimes. I like waking up early and just going out.

What’s your favorite thing to skate overall?
I’m pretty much a ledge skater. Ledges and some gaps. They’re fun. Manuals.

After seeing your footage, I don’t think I’d classify you as a “ledge skater.” Some people fit that category, but you seem more well-rounded than that, like you’ve got a lot of big, tech stuff.
Yeah, I guess. But if I’m skating with Pat (Corcoran), he’ll get me psyched to jump on a handrail. And if everyone else is skating a gap, I’ll skate a gap. That’s why I like Dill and Carroll so much. Just well rounded. And Anthony (AVE), you see him skating everything…and he’s got so much power.

What does your family think of your skateboarding?
At first, they didn’t really understand it, you know? Until I started getting something out of it. They wanted me to go on to school and stuff, but now they’re pretty open to it all.

Do they get stoked when they see you in an ad or a magazine?
Oh yeah, they support me, definitely all the way.

You’ve come a long way really fast, as far as coverage, name recognition and that kind of thing. Does it feel weird?
Sometimes it’s a little stressful. It’s not that much different. Still skate with the same old friends. Go to the city, get photos, not that much different. I travel a bit more now.

What do you think about your future in skateboarding? Seems wide open for you?
Well, I’m psyched on my sponsors. I just want to keep doing tricks. I love to see skaters do innovative stuff and that’s what I want to do. I’m real lucky right now… I will just have to focus on skating in three months and that’s the way I want it.

You relate to any one pro over the others?
Mostly like Wenning and Pat Corcoran. Pat, he’s closer to my age.

Do you guys (Brian and Pat) push each other when you’re filming?
Yeah, I guess. We’d just go out and one would get a trick, then the other would get a trick. We’d all meet early and the morning and just learn tricks.

Did you and Brian grow up skating together? How’d you guys meet?
It’s funny, that story. The first time I met him, I was trying to kickflip the nine at the Brooklyn Bridge and here he comes out of nowhere, trying to kickflip them right behind me. So he tries a few more times and then rolls up to me and says, “I just want you to know that it doesn’t usually take me this long to land this.” (laughter) Castrucci loves that story. Anyway, we just started meeting up and skating all the time. Wenning is definitely a character. He’s got this old man’s head and the body of a 14-year-old kid.

Yeah, I think O’Connor teases him about that a lot, they say he’s aging fast…they say his head is aging. But I met him, he’s a funny guy. So do you like to film or is it frustrating?
Yeah, I like it. Filming pushes me a little. Sometimes I don’t feel like filming, but you have to some times. I like filming with Bill (Strobeck) and R.B.

How do you feel about contests? Do you think it’s important for a skater to do good in contests?
I don’t like them at all. The practices are fun, just seeing people and that kind of thing, but there’s something about a bunch of people watching me skate that I don’t like. I get freaked out sometimes at a local spot when there are a bunch of people watching. That’s why I like to go out early in the morning to skate. Early is the key.

Yeah, sometimes even at a local spot, if other people aren’t skating it just turns into a big demo…automatic pressure. Kerry (Getz) is one of those guys that can skate street really well and still skate a park like crazy, with tons of people watching.
Kerry Getz is definitely amazing. He is so consistent it’s incredible. That guy is really on point in skateboarding. I’m psyched on that guy’s footage.

Where else do you want to travel in the next year? Any place in particular?
Maybe go back out west, I’d like to go to Miami and skate, too. That place looks sick. San Francisco.

In all of your footage, you look like you’re having fun when you’re trying a trick, always have a smile on your face when you ride away. You ever blow your temper?
I usually try not to get that mad. I know if I get mad, It’ll take me that much further from the trick. Overall, I’m kind of mellow. I never break my board.

You probably see plenty of that going on though, right?
Yeah, I see crazy tempers sometimes. Breaking brand new boards and stuff. I can’t do that, you know. I still can’t bring myself to break a board. I always rode crap boards and now I can give mine away to other kids when I put on a new one. I just don’t see the point in breaking them when there are kids that are riding crappy boards that would appreciate them.

Yeah, I like Dill’s method. I’m sure he breaks the occasional board, but he also gives obstacles the old karate chop. I saw him karate kick this handrail one time.
Oh yeah, you saw that footage? I like Dill’s skating a lot. He’s one of the few skaters right now doing innovative stuff on a skateboard.

Yeah, Dill looks at things a little differently. He can come up with a trick that most people would never even consider. OK, Anthony Van Engelen is referred to as AVE because his name is so long. Is it OK if we refer to you as APO in ads and stuff?
APO? Yeah, yeah. I know – I got a long name.

OK, that’s it. Anybody you want to thank at this point?
Yeah, my family, friends, photographers – R.B., Reda, Bill…all you guys at the Workshop..and Kelly Bird at Lakai.

Debut of the Dazzler

September 10, 2009


Mystique is an amorphous, squishy thing, much like a color-changing cuttlefish or the nature of life itself. Yet if you can only attain it, the door stands open to early retirement, coasting on lifestyle ads and occasional blog photo appearances, minimal footage obligations if any and the giddy thrill of knowing that somewhere out there, an internet forum post is being crafted: “when is ___ gonna put out another part” translates to higher board sales than “does anybody know what’s up with ___ lately?” with both ranking above “anybody remember ___?” or the dreaded “___ denied parole again LOL”

Of course it is easier to establish said mystique if you’re some typa well-known 90s-bred style wizard (Iannucci, Stranger), a generalized misfit weirdo (Martin, Alv), or a flagrant breaker of state or federal laws. Far tougher if you’re some middling front-blunt-to-5-0er in black shoes w/white soles without great push or a nose tattoo.

Worse yet, you are a young flow-bro on the come-up in an age of instant judgment and sentencing via YouTube: message boards pore over the minutiae of park footage trick selection, SPoT profiles are tracked for sponsor switches and the Berrics transforms today’s pre-fab park hero into tomorrow’s factory-direct wunderkind. By the time kids “go am”* they’re generally vets by the internet exposure benchmark, and any sense of mystique probably long wafted away.

Emerica’s Marquis Preston is one of these increasingly rare exceptions**, with a relatively small number of photos prior to this month’s Paul Rodriguez TSM appearance and paltry seconds’ worth of footage scattered across contest, demo and “Stay Gold” clips – the intro to his magazine interview directs people to this six-second clip as a starting point, but indications are that some of the anticipation may be justified. Foot swag through the roof, as the fella says, there’s a few more tricks here on the off chance you haven’t seen all this shit already.

*an actual expression I guess
**Ishod Wair may be nominated as another

As You Lie Awake, Shadowy Europeans Are Devising Strange and Bizarre New Flip Tricks

September 8, 2009


A couple recent forehead-scratchers to cross the BTO desk, both of which are crying out for Mystery’s Jimmy Carlin to formulate hilarious names: Londoner Daryl Dominguez’s danger dance over the pyramid (1:08) at the UKSA National Skateboarding Championships, and then this inward-flipping mindbender at the scene of the Macba gap’s half-dug grave. The other side of the Atlantic is pushing the envelope, but until names are claimed, YouTube wag “Billyhanning” takes it there in the comments re: the second one:

I’d call it a Jizzle flip!


September 7, 2009

Royale with cheese

For those who started skating decades back there’s shit being done now that of course seems unfathomable in retrospect, for instance, switch 360 flipping double-sets, 360 flip noseblunts, nose tattoos and so on. Then there’s a whole other world of tricks that are the type of thing that theoretically were within the realm of possibility, but so out of hand as to be restricted to idle speculation during recess or in the wee hours of a sleepover after the third watch of “Public Domain,” and it is into this category that this sequence from the new TSM falls: Tony Hawk blasting a quarter century’s worth of contest-honed McTwisting over Aaron “No” Homoki’s parlour trick somewhere in Australia.

The Nieratko-penned article on this trip is a generally good one by the way – brief and BB-tinged, it’s telling of the way things are reshaping at the ‘house that Hawk built. For one, there’s an amusing Shawn White diss, and much is made of the fact that the Birdman was in the van* as opposed to sipping Chardonnay on his Lear jet or whatever on their city-to-city jaunts. Plus, the dude skated street with the bros (who included his son) and threw down his personal plastic when more juice was required to keep the distillates flowing. Who can say whether the B-House corporate account remains solvent. Perhaps Willy Santos, who also has a Birdhouse ad this month. No shit, Willy Santos. Either way, Birdhouse continues to be home to some genuinely dirty/dedicated dudes and there’s effort being put in over there to have a say in the way things are right now.

*they rented a van