No Time For Slipping

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

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2 Responses to “No Time For Slipping”

  1. ventullo Says:

    Alternatively, they might cross-breed with safety hands into something far worse than either.

  2. Incognito Says:

    Quite sure that was Will Marshall and not Bob LaSalle? Wouldn’t have said anything but it was hyperlinked. Either way, always love a Boiltheocean post.

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