Archive for December, 2022

1. Vince Guzaldo – ‘Immortality Research’

December 31, 2022

In this glad and girthy time of dad tricks, judging any potential infractions, parsing which rules that still remain and tallying the expanding exceptions, there is a measure of comfort to be found with Vince Guzaldo, among the vanguard bearers of the current Chicago renaissance, who this year brought forth multiple video parts’ worth of impeccable trick and spot choices. In Tommy O’Mara’s ’Immortality Research’ he applies knife’s edge tech to downtown Chicago spots with aesthetics on par with your favorite Philly or New York inner-cityscapes, and roves more broadly across the greater ‘Grains’ and ‘Grand Prairie’ regions. He really works the frontside noseslide, going way deeper than the nollie heelflip out varietal that’s become commonplace in the last few years, and seems to have unlocked the pop shove-it to backside ledge trick, like on the AZ hubba and after dark, a pop shove-it backside 5-0 frontside 180 out, categorizable within the Tim O’Connor school of lesser-seen ledge configurations. His previous section in Bleach USA’s ‘Spike’ vid was just as gnarly, with a very nice switch Suski grind 180 out and one of this nearly dead year’s most picturesque switch 360 flips, flicked across an alleyway gap and backed by a freewheeling saxophone solo.

2. Jeff Carlyle – ‘Right Here for Pablo’

December 30, 2022

Debates raged across skate shop counters in the early days of the big gap era over how the precision and finesse required for tech tricks compared to those needed to get the right pop/flick/spin off the top of a big drop, and the confidence to hang on til impact. The GX1000 dudes have added a new and white-knuckled dimension over the past decade, mainly in the sense that past a certain point on some of their hills, there’s no kicking out or bailing. “Fuck that shit, it’s all mental,” Jeff Carlyle states, maybe to himself, nursing a charlie horse and a beat-to-shit board before nosegrinding a bump to bar towards the end of ‘Right Here for Pablo.’ He expresses the sweary comment after already having featured in some of the more intense and pressurized clips in the video, boardsliding a kinked handrail mid-kick out, jumping fakie down the China Banks tiles and riding all the way down after the fence backside smith grind. Jeff Carlyle’s backside lipslide on the rail at the top of Mason Street and the bomb down is the craziest trick in a heavy video, and he ripped all over town, from the wallride 180 50-50 180 out and the nosegrind grab over the bench, plus he got to back up Jake Johnson.

3. Bobby De Keyzer – ‘Bobby’

December 29, 2022

How many years are we away from Socrates Leal or Tim Dowling launching ASMR YouTube channels dedicated to VX-mic’ed crooked grinds and Hi-8 flatground soundscapes? Until such a point in time people may have to settle for Dude style head-to-rug headphones sessions, double-tapping left to replay again and again Bobby De Keyzer’s kickflip backside nosegrind in his symphonic project last fall with Ben Chadbourne. The different mood flashes give this vid some depth, from the straight obnoxious kickflip that starts it out to the sighing strings when he gets into the backside tailslide, and the late-night comedown after the manual to perfectly caught backside flip over the gap, a potent artist-producer combo from two of the modern masters.

4. Mariah Duran – ‘Rapa Nui’

December 28, 2022

Presumed stone obelisk fancier Mariah Duran in this vid turned her hardflips pro, taking them down big blocks and stair sets, cranking them backside over hips and down banks with the mellow confidence of one of the few working professionals to hold a headband pass. She’s got here a mean backside tailslide, some Brian Peacock-level track suit choices, immaculate flick and generally an easygoing way on her board in spite of, or maybe as a result of, various rollercoaster-ride plunges into desert ditches. She’s also got some pretty good range, shifting from top rope drop-ins to kinked handrails to campus tech – her line at the USC ledges with the backside flip in the more recent clip for Thunder was a 1996-level time warp.

5. Leonardo Bodelazzi – ‘Leozinho’

December 27, 2022

It’s one thing to do super hard tricks – the IG explore page for several years has offered up skatepark flingers teaching cautionary lessons about the kickflip body varial as gateway drug to more twisted, blasphemous knowledge. It is a separate thing to choose super hard tricks that look good, and into this category Brazil’s Leonardo Bodelazzi shall be categorized. In this footage digitally published earlier this year by Free, he takes a switch backside tailslide over not one but two Philly steps; rather than kickflip off a bump up the big three-stack, he switch kickflips; his nollie powers are such that he straight snaps not only a bump to bar, but goes from Universitat bench to bench, no shifty. It’s at the end though where he goes on some type of wild bluntslide jag that incorporates nearly all the hardest thinkable variants – fakie to backside noseblunt on a bank to ledge, nollie to frontside blunt, nollie backside noseblunt with a hefty pop out to regular, and at the well-worn pyramid ledges, a perfect fakie frontside blunt that measures up to Josh Wilson’s ABD principles.

6. Casper Brooker – ‘Cathedral’

December 26, 2022

If a body were going to draw up a list of ways to make filming a skate video more difficult than it might otherwise already would be, Casper Brooker and Jacob Harris’ Drift-adjacent Nike production from last spring has a bunch of ideas – keep it not only to one spot, make it a busy one, and go when nobody’s around; film mainly lines but include nearly no pushing, and orient a load of the hardest stuff around ledge tricks to manuals, a sub-subgenre that was at one point relegated to the credits section gag reel. South Bank is plenty photogenic, Casper Brooker for sure brings some heaters like the fakie manual to fakie ollie down the steps and the big boost out of the backside smith grind, and these dudes really don’t need much else – a block and a bank.

7. Elijah Odom – ‘You Deserve It’

December 25, 2022

The record indicates that particular tricks, carried off in proper form and in the utmost time, can be enough all by themselfs to register placement on a year-end wrap list published on a web ‘blog’, and in this year, such an individual is Alltimers sponsored Elijah Odom, and specifically his fakie shove-it nosegrind across the step ledge in the company’s full-length vid from November. With enough time and thoughtful character placement, its praises could properly be sung (typed), though one may run the risk of short-shrifting a ton of the other material packed into this part, like the length he gets out of the backside 180 nosegrind on the big white Pulaski wall or the boosted fakie ollie over the rail. This dude is an East Coast bruiser with a silky backside flip and the muscle to plow through serious crust, like the backside 50-50 on the traffic barrier or the Philly step frontside nosegrind. He’s got a great fakie backside tailslide in the recent ‘Rascal’ video also.

8. Shor West – ‘Evisen’

December 24, 2022

With exceptions granted to most any of the myriad codes and dictats that govern skating, are the much-maligned ‘safety hands’ given a pass when the bro or bro-ette in question really seems to be on the teetering verge of catastrophe? Shor West in this tremblor of a part for Evisen last summer at times looks like he’s hanging on by the last tread on the tips of his Vans, like on the pyramid-scale noseblunt slide or at the tail end of the line on the white tile embankments, and by the time he’s method grabbing off the side of another hunk of Japanese crust he’s on his way to falling off entirely. In an apparent effort to check off some ‘Insane Terrain’-style bingo card, Shor West at other points here hits up a jumbo-sized full pipe and drops into a pool from a boat; on IG he separately posted up a pretty crazy ceiling bash.

9. Jahmir Brown – ‘Play It Back’

December 23, 2022

Jahmir Brown’s expanding roster of deep-pocketed sponsors have helped put one of Philadelphia’s most recognizable silhouettes on the road over the past couple of years, in this brief DC edit popping up to ply his switchstance material on famed ledges ranging from Bristol’s Lloyds, Pulaski and various Barcelona notables in addition to the usual Municipal Plaza blocks and benches. It is Pier 7 though that presents the most velvety glove-like fit for this dude’s manual stuff this go-round, the fakie hardflip switch manual and switch kickflip up switch heelflip down, both clips good to place Jahmir Brown on the board for the spot’s recent resurrection. The line toward the end with the frontside noseblunt and switch backside noseblunt is immaculate.

10. Diego Todd – ‘Hockey X’

December 22, 2022

The ranks of glasses-wearing skaters have felt a bit less lonely in recent years – Tony Trujillo’s spectacles adoption has been mathematically determined to have fully offset Tyler Bledsoe going under the lasers, and powers including Dom Henry, Mark Del Negro and Matt Gottwig have continued to advance the normalization of glassed-up footage. This year’s high point in the ongoing effort clearly went to Diego Todd and his mid-line bridge pushback toward the end of the bruisy and physical Hockey video, which also featured a few frame-loosening slams that tended to hit as hard as the best clips, like the ollie way out to backside lipslide on the bench and the wallride 50-50. Diego Todd’s nollie flips and nerve for steering tricks down crazily steep and tight walls, like on the noseblunt nollie flip, got the classic video-part treatment with plenty of slow-mo, a guitar solo for the friends section and various freezeframe exuberancies; here and there he looks happily shocked to be riding away.