As the 24-hour twit cycle and its bottomless demand for web-ready footage continues to remake the skateboard pursuit before our eyes, one of the semi-entertaining developments has been the fulfillment of a prophecy made several years ago by now-Dirty Ghetto Kid Josh Kalis, who said something to the effect that there are now multiple stages of “going pro” — the first being the symbolically important signature deck, followed by the more lucrative pro shoe deal, and onward/upward into the lofty realms of reality TV contracts and energy drink sponsorships that run more than skin deep.* This blog-space would add to this list the message-board fodder of getting on various-status flow programs (rep, “direct”), the sounds-silly concept of “going am” and I guess the baseline local-shop deal, although you could have some flow chart fun tracking elevation to “name” shops like your FTCs or Westsides, and maybe a mailorder offshoot.
From a personal brand-building standpoint it seems like the deck, however commoditized the seven plies have become, is still the leading indicator in terms of how/when/why dudes get the pro nod, even if the blessings of whatever footwear concern is backing said dude are increasingly being sought. Kenny Hoyle, that long-laboring, Laker-hating West Coast kid with the hardflips and relaxed attitude toward life, got called up to the show last week in a promo-video arrangement centered on the kind of sorta-sensical skit that in the bro-age known as the 80s could’ve carried a decent chunk of a Bones Brigade vid, and done a good job of it too. Hailing back to what was said about Toy Machine’s Matt Bennett a few months back, this kid has earned it which helps to rebuild a little faith in the vague structure of the universe — the graphic will soon be buried under piles of team series boards and other one-offs, and maybe his next move is already in the frame at DVS, but dudes, the debut pro board maybe means something still.
Kenny Hoyle’s trick universe seems like it expanded for this part, with like that f/s bluntslide kickflip and the switch heelflip b/s tailslide shove-it helping with our little “earned it” thesis — watching his footage in the past he always looked confident but on some of these “Madness” clips he’s matured or gained more command (thinking here of the 360-flip noseslide near the end for instance), though his face still looks about 12 years old. Maybe varial heelflipping gaps off what looks like a gigantic building block turned sideways keeps you young.
Expedition plays the contrast to the hilt when Hoyle is confronted by an extra-grizzled Rob Welsh, here doing his best “Paco” and breaking out the payment-plan jacket for the first time in a while. For my money Welsh’s footage in this little vid outstrips what he had in “Fully Flared,” a lot more of the classic smoker Welsh with new spot footage, obligatory pants adjustments and transition stuff to justify the Lowcard hats. Refer also to the hand stylings on the fakie b/s 5-0 flip out, and Rob Welsh remains able to pop out of nose-centric tricks better than your favorite post-Lakai ledge am. Head-turners elsewhere from Joey Pepper (kickflip to surprise lipslide) and Enrique Lorenzo who has this one clip where it’s hard to tell what direction he’s skating and reminded me of that Cliche segment from “Freedom Fries.”
Happily returned Ryan Gallant’s got an eerie calm with one of the harder tricks going, his much-utilized b/s 180 switch f/s crooked grind, and also newly pro Matt Miller’s ungodly ledge powers and vaguely Colin Mckayish looks made me muse a little on why his DC affiliation didn’t land him at Plan B when Gallant’s spot opened up. But wife-beatin’ Spencer Hamilton’s mini-part maybe wins best supporting video part or whatever here: beefy board flipping from a rail-skinny bro who wears pants the right way and has mastered the fakie frontside bigspin out of switch backside nosegrinds. His manual tricks are super hard and the effect on that last stair set is key, the trick is bananas.
*For the record, my money remains on “not real”
Tags: 10 easy payments, Bones Brigade, Canadian maple, Canadiens, Expedition, Joey Pepper, Kenny Hoyle, Madness, magical mysteries, Rob Welsh, royalties, San Francisco Giants, Spencer Hamilton, the fountain of youth, varial heelflips, wrinkle cream