Archive for June, 2017

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 5 – Darrell Stanton ‘Roll Forever’

June 22, 2017

Before Plan B and the $35,000 question, Darrell Stanton came up on Real and ripped Bay Area spots with an uncommonly loose-limbed style that nobody else really had then or since. Setting aside debates over the moniker and worth of the ‘forward flip’ — he could do them in lines — there is something about nearly every clip in this part from Real’s ‘Roll Forever,’ a full-length offered up for free in the days when that was achieved by packaging rainbow-reflecting DVD discs with paper magazines sent through the U.S. Postal Service to subscribers’ homes. Man-for-all-seasons Darrell Stanton spins his switch 180s late, sits on his window-ledge backside tailslides for a good long while, switch bigspins double sets and wow, that arm on the nollie frontside noseslide. For however many years he’s been out of the limelight now Darrell Stanton, who crushes three tricks down the SF Clipper hubba here, could still make a credible claim to the title for that spot, what with his Transworld part two years earlier.

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Summertime Mixtape Vol. 5 – Alex ‘Trainwreck’ Gall 411VM Wheels of Fortune

June 21, 2017

Alex Gall careened into the frame at a time when a dude could get a wheel ad and a board in a magazine along with a 411 part and immediately become a factor. Jamie Thomas hitched a VX1000 to this dude’s blazing backside 5-0s and barely hanging-on squat landings to get out this ‘Wheels of Fortune,’ which came in a couple flavors, before the misanthrope knowed as Trainwreck hopped to J Strickland’s Bootleg venture and then for the board-company blip Young Guns before his pro arc fizzled. But while he was hot, he was hot. The 411 part is Zero edited to the Mountain Dewiest cut-at-the-snap levels, with Alex Gall screeching backside tailslides down hubbas, fakie ollieing onto the Arco rail six ways to Sunday and 5-0ing long handrails, real visceral skating that sort of personifies the triple-stud spike belt that’s ripped across the sidewalk at the beginning of the park. Let the record reflect that Alex Gall’s brief time at the top of the industry heap also produced what remains one of the best non-trick magazine covers.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 5 – Dustin Dollin and Lewis Marnell ‘Chichagof’

June 20, 2017

Beyond your typical personal chemistry and blood oaths, one key to great skate duos of any era is a certain peanut butter-meets-chocolate stylistic matchup. It was true for Jason Dill and AVE, for Louie Barletta and Jerry Hsu, for Mike Carroll and Rick Howard, and it was true for Dustin Dollin as he introduced his preternaturally gifted ‘filmer’ in Volcom’s 2004 pronunciation challenge to tongue-tied shop employees worldwide. Dustin Dollin by this point had established himself as one of the highest-functioning soaks among the Baker squad, solidified via Transworld’s ‘Sight Unseen’ and ‘Baker2G’. By this point his rapid flick, penchant for hairy crooked grinds, and frontside heelflip were known across the hills and dales, but Dustin Dollin’s tricks had a little different flavor when sandwiched around those of relative newcomer Lewis Marnell, who was toward the beginning of his too-short run. The Dunks still were fresh and the hair had yet to dread but other pivotal pieces in the Lewis Marnell repertoire — the heelflip, 360 flips both ways, the switch varial heelflip — already were fully formed.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 5 – Danny Garcia ‘Inhabitants’

June 19, 2017

Danny Garcia’s curtains-drawing part in ‘Mosaic’ somewhat was the Guy Mariano ‘Mouse’ part to Stefan Janoski’s preceding Eric Koston position, but by the time Habitat came with ‘Inhabitants’ four years later Danny Garcia was transitioning from hubba-gracing gentle giant to brooding, button-up troubadour. His flick though remained among the best on the market, regular, switch, toe or heel, and his early embrace of colourful socks and surf-loose trucks extends this part’s shelf life such that someone could release it today and generally remain in step with where things stand, similar to former Lakai compadre Anthony Pappalardo’s ‘Fully Flared’ section. Few dudes then or now can hand a switch heelflip with such grace, and dudes still aren’t that much doing frontside shove-it backside nosegrind reverts both regular and switch in the same parts. Even as he turned up the lilting psychadelia and the cruising, and dialed back on the thunder gaps, you can now and then glimpse Danny Garcia’s All City roots, like in that loading dock line with the switch shove-it nosegrind revert.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 5 – Ryan Nix ‘The Good Life’

June 18, 2017

From the dungeons of the dearly-missed Joe Perrin’s body of work comes this snapshot in time of Ryan Nix, after his seven-minute Bootleg 3000 opener but before he went full Spring Breakers, where his skating was peaking. This ender part in Westside’s seminal ‘Good Life’ vid cribs some musical supervision from the Blind section in ‘Trilogy’ for the deeply Floridian Ryan Nix to push some heavy frontside noseslides, ride out a window-rattling switch 360 flip, and step to celebrated spots across Philadelphia and other eastern seaboard locales; did anybody else hit that Boston gap to rail besides PJ Ladd? Whereas much is made of the current ‘anything goes’ era in terms of tricks and approach, in the five-panel heyday of 2006, Ryan Nix put out there a part with both a switch varial flip and a street switch stalefish.

In Lieu of Some Longwinded and Semi-Coherent Blog Post Here’s a Bunch of Justin Henry Tricks

June 11, 2017

Could Tiago Lemos’ Incredible Switch Backside Tailslide Also Reflect Ledge Skating’s Shrinking Middle Class?

June 4, 2017

In what has come to be knowed as the ‘switch backside tailslide heard ’round the world,’ this week Tiago Lemos hopped on his board backwards, got up the high way on the long MACBA block and slid the length of a full-grown crocodile before rolling away to cement one of those increasingly rare, culture-unifying moments. “Ok. [Tiago Lemos] is a beast,” remarked Josh Kalis. Drake Jones figured “this could be the biggest,baddest switch backtail ever done!” “Amazing,” commented Mike Sinclair. Transworld, which once elevated Eric Koston to diety status, declared that Tiago Lemos hereby “is a god.”

Yet as Andy MacDonald and others understand all too well, one day’s lifted bar soon becomes the next day’s hurdle to be ollied, and later kickflipped, and eventually kilty mcbagpipped for an after-credits clip set to a whimsical indie-rock tune. Just days before Tiago Lemos seized the switch back tail crown, Antonio Durao had the internet agog at his own back to back assault on waistline-topping planters in Numbers’ second video drop, to the delight of Miles Silvas and Rodrigo TX and the vacant-eyed indifference of unnamed cell phone lookers. This all arrived a few days after Dylan Rieder’s birthday reminded how he once lifted a backside smith grind onto a Thrasher cover-meriting ledge.

Across history’s compendium of burly ledge tricks, these have been cause for celebration. But concerns have arisen among musty academic circles over a perceived ledge disparity that some experts fear may be growing. As anointed ones such as Tiago Lemos and Antonio Durao hoist their trucks and tails onto ever-higher blocks, planters and hunks of raw cement, there are separately signs that many others appear to be making do with less and less. According to the emerging theory, a slappy revolution, once conceived as a reclamation for the common man, is showing troubling signs of becoming instead a cage, a ceiling which grows ever more difficult to penetrate. While powerhouse pros claim more and more available ledge inches via high-altitude feats, increasingly curb skating is celebrated, stylized and fetishized for the world’s remainder, a disparity that grows more troublesome as ‘middle-class’ ledge spots like Love Park and JKwon increasingly face the bulldozer.

Do Boston’s Eggs, Paris’ Republique, and Los Angeles’ Swoosh-reconstituted LA Courthouse represent sanctuaries for ledge skating’s increasingly squeezed creamy middle? Could some type of social engineering be attempted via plunking cinderblocks on top of red curbs, and meanwhile chiseling down ledges deemed by ivory-tower eggheads to be ‘too high’? Is concentration of ledge height inches in the hands of a smaller few part of a broader ‘trickle-down’ theory under which smaller ledge-oriented masses will be inspired to seek out larger ledges and ultimately add inches to their own frontside crooked grinds and backside smith grinds? Is Tiago Lemos for real?