Archive for April, 2011

Dear Makers Of Skate Vids Who Make Your Work Available On Itunes

April 27, 2011

I’m down to pay and all but it would be way cooler if you split the files into chapters, kthxbye

Jason Dill And His Shirt Raise Important Concerns About Submitting To The Man, Dudes

April 25, 2011

swallow(if you can) from william strobeck on Vimeo.

Iconoclast boardsportsman and outspoken tastemaker Jason Dill is back at it again, this week controversially dropping video footage that prominently features a tucked-in t-shirt. The web clip, posted above, proved instantly divisive on the ‘Net and has raised fresh questions around the “institutionalization” of skateboarding as corporate interests exert ever greater control over team dress codes and branding.

The issue has festered since the early ’00s when Baker/Bootleg teamriders sparked outrage and tingled curiosities by donning fitted sportcoats. The latest escapade by Dill, known for provocative fashion choices such as Diesel jeans and nudity, will likely alarm industry observers already concerned about the growing influence of “the man.”

Jason Dill first signaled an embrace of the tuck last summer when he, along with noted dressers Alex Olson and Eli Reed, were spotted tucking in tank-tops at the Maloof Money Factory contest. Dill recently reprised that look at Brandon Biebel’s skatepark where he demonstrated that a more-constricted waistline need not interfere with basketballing feats. But expanding the initiative to include t-shirts opens a new front in the steadily growing furor and presents aging boarders with another dilemma around the already murky standards of conduct in the elder statesman role.

A little over a decade ago Dill spoke of chafing under the norms of mid-90s California skate-code, which required a certain bagginess of pant and support for Wu-Tang Clan singles. Could his venture into tucking shirts reveal similar discomfort with fashion standards that have in the past 10 years more closely aligned with Jason Dill’s personal tastebuds re: tightness and expense? Is this really a big marketing ploy for a new line of FuckingAwesome belt buckles? And will Jason Dill laugh all the way to the bank as five years from now we all vigorously are tucking and he sharply moves to un-tuck in a scenario that is like Dr. Seuss’ cautionary tale about the Sneetches?

Official Like A Referee

April 24, 2011

When people apply that well-worn “robot” complaint to footage from the likes of Shane O’Neill and Paul Rodriguez my head tends to vaguely nod but when watching the footage itself this head-motion is usually replaced by the furrowing of brows in a vain attempt to grasp really why that is. Like how come Shane O’Neill doing a 360-flip noseslide nollie 270 heelflip out the hard way doesn’t stir me from the couch/computer chair, is it something to do with his arms, would it make a difference if he were taller, was not performing in a warehouse painted in neutral colors, etc. Maybe it is one of the galaxy’s great ungraspables, but all that type of confusion seems silly when you’re skipping backward on your first trip through the new Real video to watch Jake Donnelly’s section again and screw your face up (again) at how he takes the recoil on the switch heelflip over the schoolyard ledge and steps, or how he hangs onto the kickflip b/s tailslide down that orange hubba, or scootches to safety landing the screwed-up backside 180 over the railing. Additional thumbs up to the crack on the kickflip frontside tailslide and the switch f/s bigspin near the end, but probably the top compliment you could pay this section would be to acknowledge it prompted you to shut off a vid that still held unseen parts from Peter Ramondetta, Ishod Wair, Dennis Busenitz and Max Schaaf to go out and skate.

Funnel Cloud

April 23, 2011

Got the warm fuzzys seeing Raymond Molinar pop up in the Trapasso-facepaint Skateboard Mag the other day, partly because I’ve been worried about him fading out ever since his departure off Habitat, partly cuz there’s a little bit of Henry Sanchez-style spazz crustiness to his take on technical ledge tricks that’s pleasing to the eye. My initial recollections date back to some tricks in a TWS vid montage, possibly “Free Your Mind,” which would’ve been an all-time classic with another part and 1/3 as many skits — he did lines in those Vans with the giant V on the side, reminiscent of some Vision Street Wears, and even back then he had the switch kickflip backside tailslides. This entry in Popwar’s short-lived “Video Hype” DVD teaser series I thought of as his official/proper debut and it’s also worth revisiting as some Utahn has revived the brand-name, a strategy that could deliver profit and pleasure to all involved, and maybe even a lucky few who are not.

In The Spirit Of _____, We Bring You ______

April 11, 2011


In keeping with the cosmic balance, Maldonado pops up in this Kerry Getz-themed clip today, click toward 01:05 for the relevant backside tailslide variant.

A Salute To Vaj Potenza

April 4, 2011

In mid-American junior high school libraries at the dawn of the 90s it was hard to come by a more exotic or attractive cultural lifeline than Thrasher and Transworld magazines, even for readers shielded from the sheen of their garish covers by clear plastic binders. They had swear words. Authorities like teachers and the police were openly laughed at and heavy metal graphics rode tall in the saddle even when half the ads were black and white. In 1991 Vaj Potenza’s seminal work “101 Cheap and Cheesy Ways To Keep Them Off Your Ramp” won fans among devotees of driveway quarterpipes who counted “Spaceballs” and Weird Al’s “UHF” as chief cinematic landmarks of the day. Number 52 basically nails the senitment.

52. Scream “Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh…” and keep screaming until they get bored and walk away.

Twenty years later* Nos. 7, 25, 27, 29, 46, 55, 93 continue to get chuckles while Nos. 9, 50, 65, 74, 101 are grinners. This was in the October 1991 issue of Thrasher, predating the later, lesser works listed in Potenza’s online resume, though the DC footwear sported in this Vimeo profile reveal his true nature. Much appreciation to Justin at “Vert Is Dead” for not only identifying the feature from a half-remembered memory but scanning and emailing it too, for free. Enjoy this either for the biting satire of ramp life at the end of the Hosoi era, or the blurry window it offers into the long-ago genesis of this blog-space’s sensibilities, such as they are.

*dear God…

Is Nyjah Huston’s Element Victory Lap The “New Coke” Of Sponsorship Arrangements?

April 3, 2011

The above pic of a shirtless LL Cool J functions as a multi-purpose vehicle, in that it’s aimed to increase this blog-spot’s marketshare among LL Cool J content consumers [via content-farming] while also setting up a discussion of the much-ballyhooed (by Transworld this month) comeback of Nyjah Huston, 16-year-old Element prodigy turned hardgood entrepreneur turned Element prodigy once more. According to an exclusive interview given to the periodical, Nyjah’s two years in the skate industry wilderness nearly cost him much, from sponsors to the coveted Maloof’s Money Cup, and his personal journey of becoming an older and wiser teen as a result begs the question of which other professions or pursuits involve making career comebacks at age 16 — thoroughbred racehorses? Gymnastics?

Nyjah Huston’s skating heavily leans on the hammer by way of the stair-set and handrail (much credit due for caballerialing onto the rail the hard way), and the TWS interview offers much to chew over, suggesting that the Maloof powers that be preferred to hand the cash to a skater like Chris Cole who is backed by major sponsors instead of a grassroots effort like Huston’s I&I, although he retained the support of fans on the face book and even Element, who waited patiently and eagerly for him to return to the fold from the day he departed. He intends to shift his focus to technical skating as he enters the autumn years of his late 20s and is wary of becoming “lost in the core” if he strays too far from the spotlight of mainstream competitions and sponsorships. Manny Santiago is off the hook and he is more motivated than ever to expand his career.

It is possible that the drama of the recent years will ferment conspiracy theorizing that striking out on his own was a preemptive move to build anticipation for an ultimate comeback to Element and generate board sales revenue in the seasonally weak first quarter financial cycle, similar to the whispers that for years have dogged the introduction and eventual burial of the beloved “New Coke” recipe for all-time? Will Nyjah Huston’s market value, like that of Coca Cola Co., rise 2200% in the future and prompt an investment from the Oracle of Omaha?