It seems like it’s been a little while since we seen one of those curveball tricks that gave Stefan Janoski another couple dimensions past just being a style-killer type during his lengthy come up from “Alone” onwards — since “Nothing But The Truth” you sometimes got the feeling he was operating under some legal obligation to represent the premium coffee swirling, fine food tasting, mahogany wood sniffing lifestyle represented by his premium boat shoes. But the above trick, which comes out of the recent Habitat catalogue and is the first time I can think of seeing this move on a hubba ledge, moves back toward the line of thinking that produced big switch b/s shifties and those backside tailslides on top of the curb, Scott Johnston style. Anybody else take this down a hubba to fakie like that?
Archive for February, 2012
When the U.S. economy crashed in the 1970s it was time for Americans everywhere to look in the mirror and face up to some home truths about the way folks were living at the time. Giant, luxurious ghetto sleds guzzled up gas by the boatload. Reams of cloth were being squandered to create extravagant disco pants and cocaine residue encrusted every tattered scrap of U.S. currency plunked down to see expensively produced Hollywood blockbusters including “Airport,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Hugo the Hippo.”* Now too, following a decade of excess that saw Rob Dyrdek perversely create the world’s largest skateboard, Danny Way construct the “Mega Ramp” and rumours of a mega picnic table from the Axion team, onetime City skateboards star Alex Klein holds up a reality TV-shaped mirror to depict the harsh state of the modern day industry.
Whereas last year’s OIAM focused mostly on fun-but-competitive-but-still-fun seshes at famed Bay spots, when it wasn’t focused on the Forrest situation, this year’s edition uproots the premise and casts it into warts-and-all New York City where urban grime is dressing for producer Klein’s mixed-greens salad of rotting values and wrongheaded challenges that function as a take-out version of the movable feast for corporate interests that Klein believes the activity has become in ’12. In one man’s tormented vision of this business, which sort of resembles the storyline to one of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater Playstation games, hungry up-comers literally live in a company-sponsored skatepark draped up with product placement, giving thanks when showered with a meager offering of sponsor-branded woodgoods and denim. In this OIAM, prefabricated and local government-approved sk8 facilities are the destination of choice just as often as your cellar doors and organic stair sets, and survival depends on split-second acts of self-promotion and stepping up to trade show-style physical challenges.
“You should know that a big part of skateboarding is learning to market yourself,” declares 5boro’s Steve Rodriguez, the words crashing down with all the condemnation of a convicting judge’s gavel. Contestants born into a seasonal rotation of series graphics sheepishly offer sharpie scrawls and Sears catalogue castoff collages, daring the viewer to recall an era when the likes of Jeremy Wray and Neil Blender arted up their own boards. A more faint of heart storyboarder may have dreamed up a Hollywood hogwash ending that sees the youth rise up and rebel, robbing the warehouse of decks and shoes to sell for dirt-weed funding and rave entry fees. But Alex Klein has seen the industry eat up and spit out too many eager ams to fool anyone with false hopes for a better future yet to come. The winner of this contest will immediately shift into filming/demoing/promoting mode for his new clutch of sponsors, resolutely sporting multiple logos on his New Era as he places respectably upon Dew Tour podiums and, in time, thanking his country for the honor of donning a red-white-and-blue uniform for the Olympics after testing free of some illicit substances.
*Spoiler alert, the hippo did it
Probably it’s yet another sign that I’m getting older and higher strung and less cool with kids on the proverbial lawn that I look at the newly launched Life Extention Skateboard Group LLC and wonder not so much at its lifespan as much as the fact that it came together in the first place — when bros ten years older than I no doubt mumbled and grumbled the same thing about a decade back, around the unsteady unveiling of Baker. Say what you will about the various and sundry looks pursued by Jim Greco in the years since, but the Baker Bootleg boys bottled and guzzled the lightning of a very particular aesthetic that proved a lot longer-lived than even I would’ve thought, and I was a fan, although it seems like their vices/demons have plumbed greater depths than than this foglit new guard.
I’m not sure what they got together for the trade show, but they did approve a canned quote for a press release last month:
“The Life Extention Skateboard Group looks forward to working together with Blitz, to create an essential skateboard brand. Extend it,” said Trapasso.
As a card-carrying fan of the recently rejailed Lennie Kirk and respecter of risk-taking, I am compelled to acknowledge sheer balls, and the life-extenters look to be packing church bells — spearheaded by one of the industry’s spaciest cadets, sporting a misspelled name*, co-signed by malcontent recluse J Strickland, formed in the middle of an economic slow patch that’s steadily separating the old and infirm from the pack. Not that I’d begrudge the existence of a Tom Cruise-inspired company backed by some of the finer fuckups to fumble a tattoo gun in recent years, with the laid-back gumption to make good on the vow to deal decks out of their garage. If anything more of these kinds of shots oughtta be taken, even if the target’s invisible through a cloud of smoke and barrier of beer cans, to balance out the Business Plans For Dummies 2nd Edition strategizing and and paint-by-number logo decks pumped out each season. And what if they do blow it? Those early Big Brothers command classic status, and it was all those dudes could do to get issues out every couple months back then.
*I don’t believe that shit that they did it on purpose
Lucas Puig Ledge Sequence Raises Concerns That The Ghost Of Chris Lambert’s Career May Be Trying To Possess His Soul DudesFebruary 10, 2012
Several people noticed a change when Lucas Puig left Lakai Footwear Ltd. to go work for Adidas, fulfilling a longtime dream of endorsing certain of the same sportswear products as his French heroes of years past. For most people, the difference centered on his feet and the shoes he was wearing. But behind the scenes at industry functions some began to whisper that a stranger and potentially more troubling metamorphosis could be at work, namely that during this time of upheaval in Lucas Puig’s sponsorship situation that the specter of a defunct pro career, years in the grave, may be seeking to supplant the “Fully Flared” skater’s grasp on his own affairs and remake his career in the poltergeist’s own graven image.
This month’s Adidas ad spotlights what we must interpret as a silent battle for nothing less than Lucas Puig’s soul. Here we find him maxing out his “special” bar with a switch hardflip backside tailslide, back to switch even, a maneuver that requires intense concentration to successfully land for maximum bonus points. Deep in thought and staring down the ledge similar to the way a hungry wolf in the French hillsides might stare down a wayward baguette, Lucas Puig does not notice his hands beginning to move on their own, seeking some extra token to take the photo to some other, unspeakable level. Over one shoulder hovers the translucent shade of Chris Lambert, gleefully urging Lucas Puig’s hand toward a clear plastic water bottle, long since damned for cluttering European cities and being overpriced to begin with. Over the other shoulder floats SAD, fingertips at his temples and eyes closed, exerting all of his internal forces in order to sway Lucas Puig’s hand instead toward a white handtowel that represents purity of soul and also the Ramada Inn.
Luckily for Lucas Puig’s future prospects we can see that the white towelette was the victor. But this episode raises a more deeply troubling threat, that the skateboard industry in this time of harsh recession could be primed for haunting. Ghosts regularly preyed on pros in at the tail end of the 1980s and early 1990s when the industry lolled over and exposed its weak underbelly during the administration of George Bush Sr., and many privately fear that a worse haunting could be at hand soon. Besides the usual property damage and costs related to expungement, an abrupt rise in hauntings poses longer-term threats because it can be scary and equity investors find it difficult to secure insurance against ghosts. This weekend Boil the ocean urges all friends and defenders of the industry to attend church and not answer the door if it seems like a ghost is ringing the bell. Thank you
Braydon Szafranski’s Personal Relationship With His Shoes Finally Catches Up To His Relationship With WomenFebruary 6, 2012
Hubba interview, 2009:
You’ve got some guidelines when it comes to slayin’ babes. Can you lace the public with some of your game?
It’s not necessarily that you can’t blaze the same girl three times. I’m just so obsessed with skateboarding and I like to do whatever I want at any time. If you end up blazing a girl a few times you’re gonna end up catching feelings and it becomes a lot harder to look at somebody and not give a fuck. I feel like I’m such a kid still and I’ve got lots of traveling and things I need to do. I’m not ready to get tied down. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a girlfriend, but I see some homeys dealing with arguments and drama while they’re on the road cause their girl is pissed they’re out of town all the time. At this point in my life I need to be skateboarding, traveling, hanging with the homeys and partying. I don’t see how I could have feelings for or take care of somebody else when I can hardly take care of myself.
ESPN interview, 2012:
What happened with Emerica?
It was one of those things where we both went our separate ways. They had to make room for new kids and I was off on my own path and I felt like after 11 years it was time for a change and to see something new. The whole thing is that we’re still really close. That’s still my family. I still go on trips with Miner and everybody else. They have my back, I have theirs for life. We both had different views on different things and I needed to go see what was out there besides one thing for the rest of my life.
Do you have a new home already?
No, I don’t have one right now. At the moment I’m enjoying life. Right now I’m wearing a pair of Converse, yesterday was a pair of Vans and the day before that was some Supras. I actually get to wear everything I ever wanted to wear, all those shoes I’ve been staring at for years and thinking, ‘yeah, that’d be awesome to get a trick in.’