Archive for December, 2015

1. Max Geronzi – ‘Gypsy Life’

December 31, 2015

Tenured psychology professors in 1985 formulated the ‘Francis Buxton’ principle to warn of spendthrift excess, dangerous gorging and aquatic Godzilla delusions that may arise from privileged upbringing, a cautionary stance that should be paid mind by the ‘everyone can do every trick’ generation, particularly given an ongoing fixation on 1980s artifacts including but not limited to bonelesses and sport vests. Cliché’s contrast pocketeer Max Geronzi, one of those seemingly capable of doing every trick, also appears imbued with the good sense to know what ones are worth trying as he runs the streetstyle gamut from Photosynthesis tech lines to flip-in-flip-outs to tall rails to bump-to-bar crust spots, griptape hanging off the nose and a Jake Johnson arm on the switch ollie into the bank. In spite of dated lifestyle-shot jumbling, the mysterious and swirly grab bag of seldom-seen-elsewhere maneuvers Max Geronzi pulls from – switch late shove-it, fakie frontside bluntslide, nollie backside 180 to switch 5-0, on a rail – and razory execution on more straightforward gnar like the full-tilt switch nose manual and the towering switch 360 flip off the Barcelona wave make his ‘Gypsy Life’ section more rewatchable than nearly any other video part this year.

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2. Miles Silvas – ‘1947’

December 30, 2015

It is an interesting and engaging investment of time to consider Miles Silvas’ skating as a cipher for the youth of today, in all of their seeming contradictions and thirst for rapid gratification: Here is a young man, alternately clad in slimly tailored, above-the-knee shorts and a Guwop-for-Prez tee, not bothering to sweet talk or buy the hubba flowers first with a switch crooked grind or backside 5-0 before unleashing the switch backside smith grind. Miles Silvas is a budding beast capable of switch backside heelflipping off a damn house but psyched to twirl a vanilla 360 flip down a smallish stair set for kicks and free-of-charge LRG shirts and apparel, slathering plenty of mustard onto his roll-aways but never writing uncashable tickets. The boy right now seems to embody Jason Dill and AVE’s “in the window” theory and his daring and measured matching of tricks to spots, as well as potential free-world leaders, is as sharp as his judgment in pattern combos is awesomely lacking, and one assumes he’s got more heaviness on offer in the Adidas vid to come.

3. Anthony Van Engelen – ‘Propeller’

December 29, 2015

In a just and honourably logical world there are two sorts of Skaters of the Year: Those undeniable destroyers whose up-and-comingness has already established them as power forces and for whom the Thrasher nod bestows gravitas and permanence of place that the honoree bears out through photos, video footage and survivability over the ensuing years; or, a recognition of plants aligning and a moment arriving for those understood to have achieved all of that except the award itself already.* Anthony Van Engelen, that early embracer of body art, hard living and Jason Dill’s fractured and improbably profitable take on popular culture, falls squarely into the latter compartment with a blistering burn of a closing-section in Vans’ ‘Propeller’ video that refurbished some already-patented AVE tricks, such as the backside nosegrind and the switch frontside crooked grind, broke out new ones, like the switch backside smith grind and switch frontside 180 nosegrind 180 out, and drew recommendations to wipe the blood from his teeth upon floating that ollie off the volcano and barely hanging onto the fence frontside 5-0. On the strength of always-quality production and wack trick avoidance AVE a long time ago registered as a consummate pro but between the Vans part, which also placed him alongside Bobby Worrest in a class of aging dudes who still fuck with handrails, and the equivalent of three video parts (across the Vans vid, the associated raw footage (above) and tricks strewn across various Bill Strobeck and Jeff Kutter productions) cement his status as forevermore.

*Danny Way’s mega reinvention aside, maybe, repeats suggest lack of imagination

4. Tiago Lemos – De La Calle/Da Rua

December 28, 2015

A frightening shadow passed over the skating sphere in late August when the Tiago Lemos ‘We Are Blood’ remix part, an important public service to vertebrates, for a time vanished from Facebook and immediately assumed a new and mercifully brief existence as internet lore, telling of a unique realm where a switch backside tailslide kickflip out down a rail and a massively tall switch bigspin backside tailslide can be viewed without skipping past any number of joyously shaken boards and the frolicking RV that transports them in four-stacks HD. Not that it would have mattered though. In some surely quantifiable sense Tiago Lemos has done and filmed the most hardest craziest tricks all year and another video part spilling over with jaw-slackening feats invariably was due within months, and so it was that DC unleashed this section that included at last the planter-top switch frontside crooked grind, various crazy-big switch backside smith and noseblunt varietals, and continued his endearing devotion to the switch mongo push, baggy denim and DC shoes that have kept Tiago Lemos in good standing among aging “LA County” fans. The most-impressive Tiago Lemos related move of the year may have been BLVD hanging onto him.

5. Joey O’Brien – ‘Sabotage 4’

December 27, 2015

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Nuff respect due to Alex Olson’s ringing Republique line, Greyson Fletcher’s concrete slopestyle, Josh Kalis’ backside noseblunt face-off and Gino Iannucci’s 40 shove-its to freedom, but Joey O’Brien’s run in, out and under Love Park’s granite skeleton ranks not just as the year’s best run of tricks but among the craziest period at a spot that’s yielded some of the most memorable for all of earth’s eternity. In the fourth ‘Sabotage’ volume Joey O’Brien proved willing to and capable of digging his fingernails deeper into Philadelphia’s hallowed and hectic crust than even many of his mouthwash guzzling compatriots, chiseling through handrails and gaps to keep pro-level fans from usurping any curtains as wrecking balls again threaten to end this latest Love era. If wink out it must, there are worse ways to go than under the twinkling neutron star that is Joey O’Brien’s tightly spun 360 flip closer.

6. Dick Rizzo – ‘Trust’

December 26, 2015

Buoyed by a surname associated with intensely described roofing and auto repair, Dick Rizzo cemented a calendar year of powerful persuasion despite entanglements with the aged Elvis of postage stamp controversies past and ersatz poetry by Quentin Miller. In between uniquely musical bike-rack clankers and bidding for Huf wallride titlist the Bronze ‘Trust’ chapter offered viewers a long sip of Dick Rizzo’s broiling and magma-like psyche as he hopped skatestoppers at speed, switch grinded bars and united bizarrely positioned ground nubs via kickflip.

7. Lance Mountain – ‘Chronicles 3’

December 25, 2015

The increasingly rote presentation of Nike’s ‘Chronicle’ entries, from the name to the kinetic editing that carries the familiarity of a seventh-season TV show, has upped pressure on Swooshified pros and ams to stake out series high points through force of personality — beside debates over Cory Kennedy’s offbeat vest maneuvers distracting him from urban achiever status and Eric Koston’s late-blooming ‘Cherry’ rebrand, the most-buzzing part this time around came from a former board company owner and graphic drawer born under the LBJ administration. The handplants, rocks-n-rolls and mile-long boardslides all are knowed and beloved Lance Mountain quantities, but the hanger-wiggling feeble grinds, tight-corner 50-50 and over-the ladder thunder would be deemed gnarly by dudes half his age, and the street footage — which he probably didn’t need to get and which shocked unwary and plodding weblog typers — cleared benches even before the father-son kickflip registered as that rare hammer of both the standard and lifestyle varieties.

8. Dane Vaughn – ‘Laugh Now Cry Later’

December 24, 2015

Occasionally fitted like Puffy’s Hamptons pool boy and targeting tricks at times like DGK’s answer to Dylan Rieder, swamp threat Dane Vaughn has been one of the more interesting dudes coming up among the company’s third generation, or fourth, or whatever it may be with Stevie Williams piloting nautical clothing concerns, Jack Curtain riding for Staba and Keelan Dadd striking out on his own. The sun is shining on Dane Vaughn, nudging noseblunt slides across sporadically reluctant planters, kickflipping into a frontside noseslide on JKwon’s tall block like it’s a curb, laughing off a nollie inward heelflip to calamity crash and on the ender, defying any type of conventional wisdom as to the smooth handling of a barely imaginable block-top move.

9. Brandon Nguyen – ‘Bunker Down’

December 23, 2015

The initial video clips heralding Alien Workshop’s stripped-down resurrection went long on ‘Memory Screen’ level image cryptology and edit-bay abrasion, which goes some way in explaining why October’s ‘Bunker Down’ reintroductory video, hewing closer to a more straight-ahead Habitat lane, came off kind of more ‘Time Code.’ Sect-worthy skating was offered up from Joey Guevara, Max Garson and particularly Brandon Nguyen, who could legitimately jockey for a T-Eddy themed around wallride prowess. He’s got a wild type of double wallride transfer in ‘Bunker Down’ and the most convincing pop out of one since Tom Taxpayer went in for Transworld, plus all types of dipped smith grinds, a whirligig frontside 360 and perhaps the year’s best Pupecki grind, back to forward.

10. Gustav Tønnesen – ‘The Sour Solution’

December 22, 2015

Skating’s heightened infatuation with slappies has trod familiar terrain, taking a good idea and mainly blowing it out while an anointed few, such as Norwegian confectionery Gustav Tønnesen, don headlamps and breathing masks to pick loose the remaining seams of rich slappy ore. He unearths some unspeakable moves from out of the k-grind shaft in ‘Sour Solution,’ putting a Tilt Moded spin on a part otherwise bubbling over with lackadaisical tech moves, man-bun stylings and some appropriately slow-motioned back-foot flicks, gratis Thrasher subscriber swag included. This dude ranges far and wide, making bad-on-paper stuff like a nollie b/s 180 switch backside smith grind revert look presentable to comment section skeptics, and wandering onward after stairs halt his filmer.