Bathe in the Glory and Horror of Post-Everything Skating

Last week was notable in the sense that Miles Silvas ended lines for all professional skateboarders forevermore. For a meandering five minutes, he pushes, flips and slides his way through several Los Angelean blocks, swerving past security, adjusting his chain and switch heelflipping an artfully knocked-over trash bin on the way to a truly gnarly ender and a history-book entry for probably the craziest run ever. But has Miles Silvas’ ‘One Stop’ line pushed things not only forward, but over some maddening brink?

We now enter a realm where seemingly everything been done, in which all eras exist simultaneously, where nothing and everything is cool and wack all at once everywhere. Observe, on any given day. Switch tailslide something-out champ Luan Oliveira nonchalantly rips wearing a visor. A Florida flow kid lands on Thrasher’s cover, just a few months after a similarly situated young buck frontside crooked grinded the fearsome El Toro first try. Not long before that, Gabriel Summers nosegrinds a larger 21-stair handrail first try whilst wearing a dogs-playing-poker shirt. All over, the established ways dissolve before your eyes: Varial flips are commonplace, people are sponsored by weed mobile phone apps, neon camouflage is freely worn, and CCS proudly advertises its mail-order catalogues in the pages of Thrasher while marketing jeans with macaroni and cheese print interiors.

It’s easier to exhale and surrender to feeling permanently unmoored, eyes glazing over as irony and confusion blunt shock’s few remaining edges, and one brow-furrowing surprise after another leaves you punch drunk. For Youtube browsers in this state, caution is the watchword as skate videos, once content to function as a compendium of individual skaters’ tricks set against a driving tune of their own choosing, now throw loose whatever bonds of convention remain, seemingly pursuing their own brand of ‘What, Me Worry?’ lawlessness.

Drone buff Ty Evans has long shouldered criticisms that his brand of Filmmaking prizes high-end camera rigs and general spectacle over actual tricks, and more than two decades into his skate Film career, no stripes-changing can be detected in ‘The Flat Earth.’ The Film’s heavy incorporation of 360-degree video, digitally rolled onto two dimensions for consumption on high-resolution flattened TV screens, suggests a project that perhaps once aspired to some virtual reality gambit — but settled for a version of Ty Evans’ prior outing, ‘We Are Blood,’ with the storyline switched out for intense bouts of psychedelia, where mountain peaks and highways contort and spasm to dubstep blurts for minutes on end with no identifiable skateboards in sight.

There’s of course blistering footage, in particular from the unsinkable Carlos Iqui and aforementioned one-time Floridian flow rider Jamie Foy. But whereas the Brain Farm budget permitted Ty Evans to indulge in peak Ty Evansness (see: slow-motioned puddle splashing, skating the world’s tallest building, fire) the comparatively bootstrapped ‘Flat Earth’ production may be the first time in 15 or so years where his level of resources significantly declined for a new full-length skate Film, and the result suggests something like Ty Evans’ version of ‘Memory Screen.’

As Ty Evans casts about for purchase in this sloppy, undulating stew that is skating in 2018, simmering a few sub-basements below Bronze and Beez, nearby to Ssquirted, thrives the Instagram video clips of @dogceo. Here is a euphoric and jarring dimension in which park and street footage are hurled with abandon into some video toaster, sauced liberally with vintage video games from other countries and blurred text offering repeated and nonsensical exhortations — where it’s not enough for a grab-bag of logos to bleed through background (or foreground) of a clip, they must flash, and ripple. Skating is happening here, to an extent, at times, but the giddy, disorienting thrill is squeezed from not really knowing whether the steadily immolating visual salad bar is a vehicle for the tricks, or the other way around.

In a time of pink swishy pants and backside smith grind body varials, where’s the lane for a comparatively level-headed dude such as Walker Ryan? Is the steady erosion of conventional wisdoms and tribal law behind the continued appeal of high-handed authorities such as Jake Phelps and @FeedbackTS? If everything officially is over what happens next?

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4 Responses to “Bathe in the Glory and Horror of Post-Everything Skating”

  1. Warm Up Zone Says:

    I know I’m fighting a losing battle with this point of view, but my opinion is that Miles’ super-line was just a gimmick video from an amazingly talented skateboarder.
    As we have all seen from the many Battles at the Berricses, most pros (and lots of “Joes”) have nearly every trick on lock, nollie lock, and switch lock.
    I was entertained by One Stop, and no doubt it took immense talent, but other than a straight 8 kickflip, one ledge trick, and the stupefying mid-line ssbsts gap, it was just a bunch of flat.
    Awesome and worth watching, yes, but hardly the game changer described here.
    Stephan Lawyer’s pants are a bigger disruption to skateboarding right now.

    Haven’t seen Flat Earth yet.

  2. Joel Says:

    Loved this post. Confusing times all around, luckily the act of skateboarding is still here to sooth.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    This miles silvas video is an example of selling out your morals and ethics. A lot of people complain how bad the world is and they think its because its the way the system is setup. But the truth is its not so much the system as it is the people who make up the system, which make it suck. People have traded in their values for money, and doing that for enough years, creates a miserable world.

    Nike, Adidas, New balance, olympics, etc have all figured out ways to entice skaters to sell out, so they can control and create their representation (a misrepresentation) of what skating is.

    Whats great about the internet is that it lets niche markets thrive when they would otherwise not be in business. Skaters need to continue making their content and focus on their own style as to bring something meaningful to the world, not something popular. They need to stop trying to play by the rules of nike, youtube, and whatever else, and continue to uphold strong skating values, as they figure out new ways to represent their styles to people they care about, not to most popular.

  4. Rocuronium Says:

    It’s easier to exhale and surrender to feeling permanently unmoored, eyes glazing over as irony and confusion blunt shock’s few remaining edges, and one brow-furrowing surprise after another leaves you punch drunk…. loved it!
    …. but I believe the dogs are playing pool….

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