Archive for June, 2021

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 9 – Emmanuel Guzman, ‘Let’s Do This!’

June 25, 2021

In time, yesteryear’s Transworld video voiceovers will be presented in their intended forums: TED-style straight-to-Youtube insisters, purring and pounding atop college lecterns, or directed at bleary-eyed Denny’s diners past midnight in guttural shouts and barks. Santa Cruz A-lister Emmanuel Guzman caught one of the last of a dying breed in 2007’s exhortative ‘Let’s Do This!!1’, an easily paid price for a top-to-bottom summation of his power and range that hasn’t faded as the ATV wave crested and rolled over everything. Here and in the later Thrasher/Cons joint ‘Prevent This Tragic’ you see his puma crouch and forward lean, ready to knock your block off frontside boardsliding a rail or pumping a pool. He looks fearless, hanging onto the board in those queasy seconds he’s transferring from the bowl to the big bowl, or drifting as he pops the backside noseblunt back into the deep end, or jumping off a damn roof into some backyard ramp. This vid opened with Brian Brown, worked in Peter Smolik and Devine Calloway and closed with this Emmanuel Guzman thunderclap, and it’s one of the great sorrows of TWS’ demise that you don’t see many full-lengths offering that type of lineup anymore. 

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 9 — Jimmy Lannon, ‘Shaqueefa Mixtape Vol. 3’

June 23, 2021

Among Florida’s perspiring alleyways and crumbling stuccos, what makes a man? If your response included a fire hydrant, switchstance manuals, nollie flips and floral prints, you may be due an assortment of flow-program Lakais. Achieving true bucket-hat lord status, such that Jimmy Lannon enjoys, requires something more — switch backside 360ing on a bank, maybe, hopping an alligator, for sure. May this dude’s golden shirt-to-pants size ratio never waver, may all hydrants shrink before him, and may his bushings cushion each moss-encrusted tropical brick that comes beneath his wheels. 

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 9 – Shane O’Neill and Theotis Beasley, ‘Debacle’

June 22, 2021

Slipped in between the broken glass and Skid Row screamers in Jason Hernandez’s Technicolor property damager was one of 2009’s less intuitive tag teams. Shane O’neill’s sterilized tech matched well with Theotis Beasley’s gangly gap flights, tagging off on the stairs and ledges to a sunny love song that felt like an oasis in one of the heavier features of the time, am team or otherwise. It now reads like a postcard from a simpler time, pre-influencer follower maintenance and Olympic obligations, when a couple kids could throw on the New Eras, chill amongst the wreckage of a global economic collapse and film tricks on colourful flatbars.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 9 – Richard Mulder, ‘The Chocolate Tour’

June 21, 2021

Who from the OG Girl/Chocolate camp was still peaking after ‘Mouse’ besides Koston and Carroll? Here in 1999 is Richard Mulder, bass turned way too high, missing no steps since ‘Nautilus.’ In the second half of this Zero-speed edit he’s ripping through the East Coast, putting a beauty of a switch backside 5-0 grind onto Kalis and Stevie’s picnic table and anticipating Brian Wenning’s rise at City Hall. Aside from Gideon Choi’s achingly good and deservedly revisited stuff, there weren’t many to put a hurting on the Chaffey ledge transfer like this dude.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 9 – Kevin Bradley, ‘Bon Voyage’

June 19, 2021

Before West Coast Kev, here he was, young prodigy on a French-gone-Dwindle board sponsor, skating his ass off and hopping trash cans almost as tall as he was. All the KB elements were already in place, from the giddily boosted kickflip off the LA street bump and quietly brutal gap to backside smith grind to the afterparty-ready rollaways and deep-impact knee drops on the noseblunt and backside lipslide. There was enough range in here with the deep end airs, foot plants and body varial that yung KB could’ve theoretically gone in any of a number of directions — Nike SB contest ATV, Scandinavian-directed cobble surfer, or the current seven-day weekender.

No Time For Slipping

June 6, 2021

Years ago, before all our troubles and sadness, demonic possession was ‘buzzworthy’ and a hot topic. From time to time, shivers and consternations would be raised high by satanic board graphics, unholy amusement part field trips and unlucky shoe numbers. In those easier and younger times, much could be chalked up to youthful irascibilities and in-good-fun nose-thumbing. At times, though, things veered darker and weird, most famously in 2012 when a published Lucas Puig sequence featured the freshly striped-up Frenchman switch hardflip backside tailsliding with a water bottle in hand, immediately kindling frights that one of the most promising, ascendant talents of the time had been supernaturally captured by the long-faded spirit of Chris Lambert’s professional career, out for power and vengeance.

Ghostologists and statistical occultists never delivered conclusive proof either way. Yet as so often is the case in the spirit world, unintentional consequences followed. Clutched between the sweaty and griptape-calloused fingers of ams, pros and various bros, water bottles became commonplace, the hand towel occasionally was revived by SAD’s spiritual descendants, and kickflips with VX in hand became a way to flex on the rapidly grizzling GoPro generation. Elevating the discipline in 2017, Philadelphia ledge maestro Dylan Sourbeer barreled through Muni with a t-shirt in hand; in a much-replayed DC spot bumpering Thrashermagazine.com uploads, the Macba block was kickflipped while grasping a second board. Most infamously of all, career regulator Bob LaSalle in the Dime Video dominated both ledges and a gap while a handling a loaded pistol.

Now, everyone is older. Grant Taylor, onetime taciturn malcontent, is a family man, chatting amiably with Thrasher about his recent Los Angeles migration, a two-kids-and-a-dog realm of avocado toast and crossover hybrids. “I like that feeling of just getting lost,” he muses to celebrity photog Atiba Jefferson in Thrasher. “And that’s how you end up finding new parks, playgrounds or places to go. All the food, too. My wife and I love trying new things and eating out or getting take-out now because of COVID, so that’s always fun.” The global pandemic emptied SoCal’s streets and back-routes in time for Grant Taylor to trade in the bowls and Slayer for his first extended dip into the handrails, hubbas and ledges in some time; now, winding down Nike SB(?)’s ‘Constant,’ he is as natural on the alleyway steeps as any GX’er and young enough still to tangle with a bull-ride backside 50-50 and the gap out to backside lipslide.

Grant Taylor’s West Coast adulting bleeds through midway into the part after he carves backside up an asphalt blob and spins a frontside 360 wallride thing that brings around his left hand, clutching what appears to be either a formidable banana or a Salinas-fresh organic zucchini straight out the farmers’ market. Draped in Bob Seger’s ‘Still the Same’ — the bittersweet old-head’s answer to the Virginia Slims-ready bop of Orleans’ ‘Still the One’ — it is a yellow flashing signal, at once a requiem for misspent youth shrinking in the rear view, the promise of high-fiber and low-guilt sustenance ahead, and the ever-present risk of slipping out if one’s guard falls too far.

With the wellness trend now claiming item-in-hand clip-getting, must we brace for a backlash that puts triple-decker burgers, bottom-shelf vodka bottles or, for optimal photo/video incentives, energy beverage tall cans in the palms of the next generation? Could a rejection of big boy/loose fit denim usher in a return of Ali Boulala-ready blouses and vests that call for knives, perhaps even clamped between the teeth? With street grabs thankfully out of fashion*, are dudes’ hands subconsciously searching for something to hold? Could wider adoption of bananas, zucchinis, carrots, cucumbers and other similarly-shaped produce help to turn the tide against safety hands, fairly maligned?

*with the exception of the melon grab