Hillside Strangler

The re-emergence of the transition/all-terrain discipline over the last 5-6 years has brought much good, including renewed reverence for certain ’80s pros, pants of the canvas persuasion and counteracting the counter-intuitive notion of striving to keeping one’s action sporting sneakers crisp. However, a potential rogue thread woven into this fine flannel has been the de-emphasizing of the street grab in favor of the bowl or vert variety. Here we wade into a minefield of hot words and controversy and people rightly will point to various stink-bug stylings and the horrendous notion of tuck-knees down gaps, and it’s folly to argue, though I would submit that the melon grab is the exception proving the rule in this case.

Years ago I misplaced the Thrasher containing the above Satva Leung photo but it stuck with me to the point that when I ran across it on some blog I hurriedly right-clicked away to reclaim this digital rendition, glad to no longer feel obligation to paw through old boxes of mouldering magazines after it. The shot came to mind during Brandon Westgate’s SF bombing run and more recently in Elissa Steamer’s memory-lane trip back to Ed Templeton’s island of misfit toys. Don’t recall ever seeing footage of this trick but the boost Satva Leung looks to get off the sidewalk bump points to a separate righteous melon grab employed in a PA ditch by another former Toy Machiner, Bam Margera, in “Jump Off A Building.” The case could be made that this was some type of golden age for this move given that “Thrill of It All” dropped around the same time featuring a good backside rendition by Jamie Thomas, who also on behalf of Emerica deployed the notorious “ninja” varietal. What other melon grabs deserve to live on for perpetuity in Valhalla, hall of the slain? Does anybody got a good switch melon?

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23 Responses to “Hillside Strangler”

  1. sk84fun Says:

    Donny Barley and Rodney Jones both have good melon grabs, though I can’t recall any street melons from either one.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Grabs on street seem unneccessary though right? Can we all just bring back shifties instead?

    • OaklandPete Says:

      All skateboard tricks are “unnecessary” when looked at with that kind of context. Why kickflip when an ollie will get you over the barrier? Why smith grind a rail when a boardslide will get you down the stairs?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    DGKalis has a proper melons

  4. m477 Says:


  5. Ratt of NIMH Says:

    Curtis McCann and Alex Moul did rad melons in a Dundee warehouse in 1991, after that it was on and a trick dubbed the melancholy brought me a lot of joy. Oh, and we were talking last night about when the Donger – down those stairs – tweaks one into a legitimate street method – providing us at least one gold standard right there.

  6. François Says:

    I think Smolik did some switch melons over some hydrants back in the late 90s.

  7. al Says:

    just saw a switch wallie japan in the new issue of concrete skateboarding, done by will blakley. (no online pic to be found)

  8. alexreedwilson Says:

    Justin Strubing has an amazing one in a Transworld Photo Annual from 1999, the only of which I own. McCrank does a Lien which looks like a Melon in the photo in the same issue.

  9. art hellman Says:

    all those old toy machine era photos take me back… nice find. taht was a wall hanger at some point, but never had the sense to take em down and save them.

  10. justin Says:

    Dan Drehobl did a switch melon down the 7 at EMB in a Thrasher interview. Pretty sure it’s on the Chrome Ball Incident.

  11. Jaysus Says:

    er.. Natas at one of the those southern CA school yard hips.

  12. Plat Says:

    Sticking with Satva, he did that rad melon wallie out of the China Banks in the Welcome to Hell Jefferson Airplane section.

  13. pilot light Says:

    Right on. Adding also to the list here Peter Smolik from that timeless Shorty’s classic, “Guilty,” 1:41

  14. stanley Says:

    see the second fabo les seinfelds video for some of minnesota’s finest street grabs, why was this such a big thing in minnesota

  15. Nick Says:

    Was TWS though, not thrasher. Maybe that’s why you couldn’t find it?

  16. Nick Says:

    Also, was it Aaron Harrison who did a bs 360 Melon in Thrill of it all?

  17. tron Says:

    lindsay robertson dying to live switch melon grabs dub sets

  18. Mike Vaz Says:

    I used have the same exact picture of Satva ripped from the mag and on my wall when I was a younger. Great find!

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