Former World Industries Man Daewon Song had the internet agog last week when he made the choice to re-film a few clips from his landmark “Love Child” section along with a heap of other zany moves that indicate his already freakish skills have only mutated bigger and more transition-savvy tentacles over the past couple decades. Daewon Song was roundly praised for his choices and we applaud him as well, except with the Zen-approved one hand’s worth of clapping because this seemingly fun exercise exposes a gaping weakness of modern skateboarders that puts the whole operation at risk.
Basically several generations’ worth of product upgrades and fashion cycles have seen our legs atrophy from the pinnacle of the early 90s, when miniscule wheels, sub-Abec 26 bearings and yards of cheaply dyed denim ensured a minimum five pushes between each trick. And on actual paved surfaces, as opposed to the custom-poured park surfaces of the current era. It’s no accident that among the most severe blows landed against the drill-bearing aggressor in Plan B’s early 90s document “Virtual Reality” were several beefy kicks. And similarly, unsurprising that no physical violence ended up transpiring between Mike Plumb and the shouty Baby Schizo the other weekend, as neither wanted to throw out the first feeble roundhouse attempt in a widely televised event.
The truth is that complacency has led us down this unhappy road, to a place where Will Smith’s child-star could whomp our collective behinds, where rollerbladers’ calves may be considerably more toned, where we stand little chance in grape-stomping contests or a race to the top of the Burj Khalifa. I think we can make this work again but it likely will require discipline, an aged/possibly alcoholic mentor and at least a couple training montages set to appropriately motivational tunes.