When I think back on great skateboard moments of the past decade there are a couple obvious highlights, like the occasional dispatches from planet Andy Roy and Bob Burnquist doing the switchstance inverted indy grab loop, but few put a smile on my face as much as when the opening chords of Mannie Fresh’s “Real Big” tingled my ears at my local Lakai video premiere. It was a cultural and personal high-water mark that few moments have managed to touch or tingle in such a way since, that is, until Pete Eldridge today appeared on my screen pushing his monochrome board in the new TWS vid to the rock organ-infused tones of his brother from a different beard, Rick Ross the [onetime prison] Boss.
Delving again into the powerful nature of Pete Eldridge’s brand of East Coastism, almost like pointlessly dwelling on Rick Ross’ correctional officer past, is probably not necessary for the purposes of this space. So instead let us pay tribute to the lesser-loved nuggets of eras past that Eldridge makes look timeless, including but not limited to crew-neck sweatshirts, blue jeans and switch b/s tailslide shove-its. And it’s fair to say he’s earned the video clip incentives due from all those gratuitous triple-stripe shots for his switch f/s k-grind, as well as tangling wrong-handed with a rail in the rain while a certain former law enforcement official heaves away in the background about masturbating and his perspiring groin.
“Hallelujah” is said to be the 22nd video by Transworld, which is enough to make the likes of certain absentee blogmongers feel a coming rain in their weary ankle bones, but more surprising than the long-livedness of this franchise is how they’ve managed to mostly maintain the good portions of the formula (A-list and oughtta-be-A-list dudes, grab-bag of styles/approaches, production value, general effort and soundtrack budgets affording the likes of Bill Leonard Roberts II) while sooner or later ditching the tiresome (lengthy intros, too many montages, THE VOICEOVERS). Thought about making a labored comparison to a band like AC/DC that hit its stride after the first couple go-rounds and has since mostly held up its legacy by sticking to what they do best, or a reliably reliable TV series that went on for decades like maybe “Bonanza,” but not sure either one really works. Year in and year out TWS vids are at worst worth watching twice and at best one of the better efforts of the year, which this one could be unless “Stay Gold” is scored entirely to “Teflon Don.”
The TWS vids occasionally go some distance toward making dudes’ careers and this time I found myself growing bullish on the Decenzo bros, this being the second dose of Canada’s late-aughts answer to Jeremy and Jonas. Kind of digging the unvarnished brand of rail-chomping they pursue, helped by how they apparently look for new and harder tricks to take down the rails even if they don’t wind up looking that great (nollie barley grind was impressive for real though). Rollercoaster lipslide looked fun. Taylor Bingaman’s nollie b/s 5-0 down that great big round rail just looked scary.
Someone on the Slap board described backside slider to backside flipper and noted teal fan Tyler Bledsoe as Alien’s answer to Sean Malto, which is accurate enough in its way, and it’s nice to see him do some more lines here than in “Mind Field.” Thinking in particular the tail, smith grind, kickflip sequence, a thoughtful turn that reminded me of teammate Arto’s opening runs in “Sorry.” This section seems meant as Bledsoe’s pro bow (and he has a beaut of a debut graphic) but the “Hallelujah” choirmaster has to be the increasingly hairy Torey Pudwill… his “Dudesx3” part served as a notice of arrival and here he appears intent on pushing his freakish powers to the limit of video-gamedom with all those kickflips in the midst of ledge combos and generally lazer flipping whatever frightening jump is in front of him. The arms still flap now and then but the unhinged look has a way of making some of these moves a teeny bit more realistic, or at least justifiably hard, and on some of those __ kickflip __ things you have a hard time imagining anybody else doing them, which is saying something nowadays.