Let’s Discuss The Most Controversial Sequence On The Internet

Haters in time

An uproar burst forth upon the seas of gentlemanly internet discourse this week when a SkateboardMag blog revealed a photo sequence of Anthony Pappalardo, known professional, plying his trade with a couple of ollies. “Foul” cried some, claiming that not only could they ollie themselves, but that neither ollie was particularly big or dangerous. Both of these statements are true, but uncovering the deeper, more long-winded truth requires a trip through time.

It was once the year 2000. Flying cars were commonplace, personal credit was freely available and Anthony Pappalardo was executing nollie heelflip frontside noseslides while making “urban” pants choices. But today the clock has rolled back, erasing years of sales growth and trick progression. Ollies are back. Cruising on a 70s-inspired skateboard is the choice of dreaded granolas and professional shoe endorsers alike and the biggest show on television wallows in the hair-grease and flop-sweat of philandering 1960s ad executives.

Christopher Colombus, in an apocryphal story that dates back even further, once strutted into a state dinner when a hater (of some description) stopped him, perchance to hate. The gist of it was that CC was not that hot of an explorer, and that the West Indies would’ve been inevitably found by anybody who pointed their boat far west enough, et cetera. Colombus famously ice-grilled the guy and then told them that he bet anybody he could make an egg stand on its end. After others tried and failed, Colombus squished in one end of the egg and stood it up, declaring “now that you’ve seen me do it, it would be easy for anyone.”

So too with Pappalardo? Oh, to be a fly on the wall of a Brooklyn woodshop. Someone on the Slap board said something to the effect that after watching the bonus footage on the “Prevent This Tragedy” DVD they were pissed at the apparent lack of effort APO seems to be putting forth (somewhere in there, he makes a couple half-hearted ollies onto a slanted plank on a hill, and bails an ollie).

You could make the argument though that there’s plenty of pro-types who’ve made their bones and sailed into their sunset years on a raft of coping slashes, frontside rocks and more recently switch 360 flips. Pappalardo may be pushing it as he retains a youthful look despite a hospital-patient pallor, and a pro model shoe to boot, but I think he could still turn it on if he wanted to (citing the nollie 360 flip recently spun on Epicly Laterd). Would it come off as gratuitous if the pursuit of ollies over nollie heelflip frontside noseslides were a conscious choice? Or simply elevate the level of his hustle?

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38 Responses to “Let’s Discuss The Most Controversial Sequence On The Internet”

  1. Liono Says:

    He says right here cruising around the streets of NYC is just as fun as going to spots (the trailer gap grind is sick as fuck btw).

    He’s doing what he wants, can’t really argue with that… and if that’s how he gets paid, that’s how he gets paid.

  2. tim Says:

    even more curious is whether he is faking the hunchback or not.the dude went puleo and there’s no coming back, like puleo we can all wish for the ledge footage and occasional handrail that both used to hit but let’s be realistic he’s not ever going to be what he was and no comments or blog post will change that. and if he enjoys artsy ollies in new york then i’m glad he’s happy, i have many a day where i do nothing but ride the coping of the local mini ramp.

  3. Watson Says:

    This is an amazingly written post.

  4. clug Says:

    fucken great writing.

  5. will Says:

    to quote kanye west, “50 told me go ‘head switch the style up and if they hate then let ’em hate and watch the money pile up.”

    pops is livin the good life doing his. im glad he’s getting more regular coverage, but….you can only milk those woodshop videos for so long. im putting my trust in him that his chocolate part is going to be awesome. even if its devastatingly simple in comparison to the alien days, it will surely be on rewind for me regardless. my favorite skater.

  6. theProgram Says:

    i think you’ve hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head with your EL reference. he’s still got it, but is that what’s fun for him? apparently not. a mad black woman once told me “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” such is pappalardo.

  7. full court defense Says:

    If I had a nickle for every grom who would give a testicle to be sponsored says, “I could do that!” It never fails, I get a little chuckle every time I see this, and I think in my head, “nobody fucking cares if you can do it, because you can’t do it like Pops.” Pops has the style. His stock is incredibly high in my book, and he’s one of the guys I just love to see out there doing his thing, he’s not jamming it down your throat as the viewer and it just gets me psyched to see somebody just skating. I mean, I think many of the ledge dancing stuff is insanely hard and I give respect to all those guys that throw it down, but I give tons of props to Pops for doing what he wants.

  8. Rocuronium Says:

    Can’t let a topic of a double ollie go by without mentioning the Lizard King sequence in this month’s TWS mag. Couldn’t find a link.
    That reminded me of the old interviews in that mag where every trick/pic surprised you.
    Nice Hamlet reference, though in reverse.

  9. andreas Says:

    the mentioned sequence looked really fun too me!

  10. lien to crail Says:

    It might just be me getting older, but with the insane combo tech/gnar stuff getting more and more ubiquitous, and when even the local park grom can attempt the fully flared jr., it’s sometimes the really simple things that stick in one’s mind. Now I can just imagine when the next full pops part comes out, I would bet a said “I could do that” nickel that there will be plenty of “I could do that” ollies, but if he even does a switch kickflip a lot of us will bask in the full reverie of it. It’s like seeing an endangered animal or new footage of Ocean Howell.

  11. Bujiwam Says:

    “It’s like seeing an endangered animal or new footage of Ocean Howell.”
    I laughed out loud. Classic.

  12. OaklandPete Says:

    What?!? A professional skateboard continues to be financially compensated when he has long since abandoned the effort other would need to provide to get said compensation?!? Absolutely ridiculous. If there was a font for sarcasm, I would be using it here.
    C’mon, kids, this is what happens. As long as his endorsed products continue to sell, why should he be forced to retire or apologize. When a compensated endorser (which is what pros skaters are) no longer have the drawing power, they will eventually get dropped. Instead of complaining on a message board about a lack of stunts, just don’t support half-assed pros. Or if you think someone should remain pro despite a lack of contemporary contribution (as I do for, say, Cardiel), then continue to buy his product.
    Good for Pappalardo (are we really calling him “Pops”?) for doing his thing, and I certainly think he would be the least surprised or really concerned if his sponsors slowly ducked-out as the young consumers lost interest.

    Basically, what I’m saying is that Sean Sheffey should have been forced into retirement around 1996.

    • asshole Says:

      Why shit on Cardiel? There’s a huge difference between being a shit pile and binging your talent away and being paralyzed.

  13. SOTA Says:

    the hunchback thing is interesting..but also compare the speech here

  14. Seabreeze Says:

    I think he should send his paychecks to skaters that actually skate the neighborhoods he tries (in vain–peep the sketchiness) to make it look like he skates. It really bothers me to see him cashing in as cynically as possible* on something as sick as skateboarding in a place like New York–when there are other skaters who always did it way better and who are true originals and who don’t get paid for it currently–all so that he can finance the beginning of his little art career. He is not now and never was an original skater or a spot seeker, but tons of kids nowadays believe otherwise (for whatever reason). I find the fact that he continues to take full advantage of all this rather offensive.

    And sorry for turning this post even more Slap board-ish, but I have to say that I think it’s insane to compare Poppalardo to Puleo, Cardiel or Sheffey. Poppalardo was just a good skater who did hard tricks (for a fairly brief period), while the other dudes in question blew crazy doors down. You can’t seriously compare Love Park little kid quasi-tech to what any of those other dudes did. Finally, nollie tres are not even close to hard for him (or many of the rest of us). Okay, sorry, and I agree that this post was masterfully written.

    *: I’m asking you to trust me when I say I have this on very good information.

  15. garrett8888 Says:

    pappalardo has become a true American
    fuck the fans… its all about money

    and building wooden stools

  16. Vibetekk Says:

    Anthony Pappalardo is showing us another side of skateboarding. The one most of us can relate to where you just go for a skate, cruise around and pop a few ollies. Maybe even find a clever little line through a spot.

  17. tim Says:

    if i wanted to see “another side of skateboarding” i’d watch free pegasus, krooked knaughty or bring a mirror with me when i skate.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    My dick was hard by the time I finished reading this.

  19. serious sammy Says:

    Why is everybody so serious on here? I think seabreeze is possible an “I can do that” type who wants all pappalardo’s paychecks delivered to his doorstep. Not gonna happen.

    You forgot the switch ollie down love fountain (at night)?
    You forgot the sw/back 50 down clipper (at night)?
    the lines at flushings?
    the pole jam and fakie flip down bk banks set?

    It’s incredibly sad how people overlook all this stuff, and I could go on, in fact I will, f/s shuv back nosegrind shuv out in the middle of the ledge
    b/s flip fakie 5-0 half cab out
    switch ollies over chest high rails

    half that stuff was from fully flared and people say he’s slacking? I’m so lost and just don’t understand. Everybody can keep hating for years and I still wont understand, I honestly think many of the folks who hate want his checks or his position currently. Sorry dudes NGH. (not gonna happen).

  20. eman on Says:

    Pappalardo doesn’t make any claims or shit talk, etc. He does what he does, hate it or love it. We all watch it and we all have feelings about it. Therefore, I would say he’s certainly doing something right. If more people went out and just did things proactively instead of worrying about what everyone else was doing or how they can do it better, the world would be a different place.

    All I know is I’d rather watch Pappalardo cruise down pavements and do ollies than watch most of the so called ‘professionals’ out there. I don’t care what circus stunts Mike MO Capaldi can do, Papparlardo can lurk in the shadows and still be vastly more pleasant to watch and dare I say it, even inspirational.

    I don’t skateboard because I want to do difficult tricks, I do it because I value skateboarding in itself. There are no meters whereby we can measure who is puting in the most effort, who does ‘hard’ tricks or even childish notions of who deserves legend status. Any such attempt would be futile, it all comes down to individual interpretation.

    In my opinion, everyone can do ‘good’ tricks and everyone is a ‘good’ skateboarder. It takes something special to make an individual stand out. Pappalardo stands out, that’s why haters will hate and admirers will admire.

  21. Ross Cooper Says:

    Can somebody point me to the Nollie Tre EL? is it just the Fully Flared episode that features him?

  22. lien to crail Says:

    ^^^^ yeah the last segment if I remember correct

  23. mike Says:

    I like to watch the guy skate, if you don’t, then don’t watch him skate.

  24. Gerardo Says:

    First of all that sequence didn’t make the mag so I don’t see why so many of you are complaining.

    Pappalardo reinvented the way he skates. I don’t see many people bashing on Huf and he does alot of ollies too. Pappalardo does tons of legit shit, it’s just not as technical, you got to take notice of two other important aspects of skating; style and spots. He oozes style and he skates hard spots(not in the sequence obviously.) You don’t have to do something insanely technical for something to be considered hard. I just can’t wait for his Chocolate part.

  25. art hellman Says:

    would totally rather watch lewis and clark explore any day….heard Columbus was afraid of dolphins

  26. Adrian Says:

    When He approaches obstacles, he still has the beast stance. (check 1:00 min in the red vid) I really can’t wait for the chocolate vid.

  27. James Says:

    Well AP didn’t take the picture of himself and I imagine he has very little editorial control over what gets printed. There had to be some motivation behind putting the sequence out in the world but in the end, who gives a crap? I’ll take these sequences any day over double-pits-to-chesty or other shameful douchebaggery.

  28. jules Says:

    Magazine editors and team managers are the ones who think his skating is interesting/marketable and that’s why we see it. There are a billion people that have to give their “ok” before a sequence hits our eyes, so it’s worth noting that companies and skate media are just as complicit in creating this dichotomy of simple skating vs. combo ledge skating as the skaters themselves.

  29. lucien Says:

    Cruising around doing ollies is the funnest shit ever and Pappalardo does it super well. Dude’s a legend and deserve to be one.

  30. Sean Says:

    This is great, it’s like a Slap thread without the idiots.

  31. jaskuo Says:

  32. Wanning Says:

    hahaha, WOW, he even has the ass shots and weird foot steeze on lock.

  33. Jonathan Says:

    I really don’t care what anybody out there thinks about my skating and I’m sure Mister Anthony Pappalardo doesn’t either…..And that is the point. I figure it like this: Mister Pappalardo went out skating one day doing what he does and someone shot a sequence of him and tried to throw it in a mag. He clearly doesn’t give a shit so what is the point pontificating about it relentless on the world wide webiverse. Fact is he is good. Better than you or I and if he’s wants to do whatever the fuck he wants then who is to stop him? Definitely not Converse and most certainly not you. I will buy his shit and so will you and if not then don’t.

    P.S. Ollies are probably the best and most fun “trick” in skateboarding. We all know that.

    Phew, all this computer hacking is making me thirsty, I think I’ll order a tab.

    • Wanning Says:



      not at ALL.

      This is like watching some 13 year old’s youtube skatepark clip, the only thing that’s missing is the MGMT song. You wanna skate on your terms? cool, but TURN the fucking camera OFF, that way you can go soul skate without wasting my time. You know he’s an asshole for putting this shit out. I mean, why the fuck would you bring a photographer in the first place if you knew you were gonna do this shit before hand?

      • welcome Says:

        R-E-L-A-X. Jugding by your E-beef tone, skating is very sacred to you, and you don’t want to see it if it’s not mind blowing, I get it, but I don’t agree. I personally like watching Pappalardo skate, I think it’s inspiring in a sense that it’s not so far out of range, it makes me want to go try things, the same way watching Ricky Oyola or even Danny Garcia, (he’s toned it down and is very careful and stylish these days too), makes me want to go out and think about it a little harder, rather than just seeing a ledge dancing spazoid trick and thinking if I land some off the wall shit it will matter, because it won’t. I think he’s careful with his skating and it shows. It’s a bummer you are so upset about his sequence, but just don’t look at it then, go watch somebody else or film something you think is better. I dunno dude, have fun.

  34. Wanning Says:

    It’s a bummer you’re so stoked on it. Go outside and film this sequence yourself, people do this kind of shit everyday, I don’t need to see some glorified AIDS patient act like he’s the first one to do it by putting this sequence out, It’s demeaning.

  35. matt Says:

    how can a skinny dude have knocked-knees

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