Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Covid Beards, Flame Beanies, Cargo Sneakers And Other Detritus From This Pandemic Year

January 1, 2021

Ten further
-Josh Wilson, ’Hardware For The Masses’ — lighting up Michigan City, pre-Covid beard
-Jahmir Brown, ’DC’ — near-knockout blow for the famed Pyramid ledges
-Nik Stain, ‘John’s Vid’ — dude needs a pro model flame beanie
-Patrick Zentgraf, ‘Kiosq’ — no matter the country, strong switch backside tailslides and track pants will eventually draw Primitive’s attention
-Jake Anderson, ’Cheap Perfume’ — to go with the helicopter heelflip frontside 360, there’s a great clip of a lady holding a tropical fruit and gasping in disbelief
-Javier Sarmiento, ’Jarana’ — the don of the Basque country can still do switch smith grinds, frontside and backside, in lines
-Chris Colburn, ’Heatwave’ — if Element’s weird arms’-length management of this dude and his backside 180 to switch frontside feeble grinds on handrails leads to yacht rock music vids like this, maybe it’s all fine
-John Shanahan, ’Cargo Sneaker’ — noseblunt to fakie on a handrail is rare, but pop shove-it to noseblunt on a ledge may be rarer
-Amelien Foures, ‘Introducing’ — Orlando Blooming tech on tree stumps
-Griffin Gass, ’Nervous Circus’ — flips-out that may be unrivaled right now

1. Tom Knox — ‘Atlantic Drift’

December 31, 2020


Is there such thing as a perfect video part? Determining an answer may require intensive quantitative computing, enchanted armor, and forensic analysis of Mark Gonzales in ‘Video Days,’ Guy Mariano in ‘Mouse,’ Jason Dill in ‘Photosynthesis,’ Dylan Rieder for Gravis, et cetera — all of which lay beyond the operational and budgetary constraints of modern weblog technology. Doesn’t watching the inevitable-feeling Tom Knox/Jacob Harris brick-and-bubblegoose masterpiece press the question though? It is a rapper-producer partnership as strong as any there were, probing and working many threads across ten engrossing minutes that mine London’s vacant schoolyards and blocks of flats — smirking humor, heartache, family, memories of spots and days past. It is tempting to sift for the nods and references, or ponder how many tries the street gap nollie out of the kickflip nose manual took, and whether the frontside boardslide to fakie after the backside 360 was spur of the moment. But the real reward is getting lost watching Tom Knox and Jacob Harris wind on and on through these claustrophobic brick and stone labyrinths, soaking in flourishes like the backside powerslide after the 360 flip to make it around the corner and cannon blasts like the monstrous curb cut ollie over the can to backside lipslide, set against incongruously beautiful summer days in an accursed year. Just cuz it’s obvious don’t make it wrong.

2. Nick Matthews – ‘HUF Welcomes Nick Matthews To The Team’

December 30, 2020


Imagine having committed to longterm body memory the exact combination of torso contortion, forefoot balance, ankle flick and split-second timing such that you now possess Pupecki grind kickflips out on command, the way Chicagoland’s Nick Matthews seems to have done. No longer the most feared flow dude in circulation, Huf became the first big operation to take the increasingly obvious step of elevating Nick Matthews to its formal team and presumably mailing out the first of what ought to be years and years of cheques. These and other payments are required to formally recognize the sheer difficulty of the things he repeatedly has done over the past couple years and continued to do here — ranging from a gargantuan street gap, the incredible block-to-block backside lipslide, to a fakie blunt to fakie and switch heelflip frontside blunt, in a line — Steve Durante level. Nick Matthews’ laser-eyed gaze is a smart match for any of the companies supplying him with equipment, but especially Huf, which consistently has delivered some of the best-constructed* videos in recent memory.

*if lazily titled

3. Lil Dre — ‘Manifest Destiny’

December 29, 2020


For all the ‘future’ trappings around this Karl Watson-blessed kid and how he closed out the Maxallure video, from the high fashions to the ‘2070’ dateline on the into, he put something together that hits strong notes across a bunch of different eras from the last few decades. There is East Coast ledge technicality in his kickflip backside noseblunt pop-out on the wooden block, hill jumping in the Bay, some ride-on no-comply shit, and hammer-swinging flips down big gaps, like the fakie frontside flip that he crazily hang onto. There is a chain wallet. Lil Dre generally though is just fun to watch, with his strange and mesmerizing switchstance flick delay, the back-and-forth windmill on the halfcab to backside tailslide, and his raspberry after that fakie ollie to switch frontside crooked grind (or whatever this fairly heavy trick must technically be termed).

4. Shin Sanbongi — ‘Shin’

December 28, 2020


As Polar’s scattering tribe seeds Pontus Alv’s parables of no complies, wallrides and shove-its across teams based in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere, pickups such as Chigasaki’s Shin Sanbongi show he can still bring new proselytizers into his Nordic-by-way-of-Portugal-by-way-of-the-late-80s fold. Commemorating his choice in colors for an Adidas shoe as the pandemic loomed, Shin Sanbongi deployed all the elements that propelled Polar to the zeitgeist’s forefront — see the crazy pole jam backside tailslide with arms on point, the backside smith grind pop way out, the line that starts with the ollie up to scorching backside powerslide and ends with a metal pole wallie, one for the books. He’s also got a way of fusing surf fluidity with East Coast grit material like his setup 360 flip, a pronounced point of view that sits him well alongside people like Dane Brady and Nick Boserio and Pontus Alv his own self. This part also features the perennially underrated Silas Baxter Neal and a great sideways glance from Dennis Busenitz as he heads into traffic.

5. Alexis Sablone — ‘Seize The Seconds’

December 27, 2020

Presented with a multiple choice questionnaire 18 years ago, would you have been able to accurately predict which ‘Wonderful, Horrible Life’ alum would embrace the Sikh religion, which would abandon the pro ranks for a rap career, and which would be in the SOTY running two decades hence? Alexis Sablone’s been around for a minute but her impassioned, cathartic, context-free board smashing at the start of her ‘Seize the Seconds’ section captures much of the 2020 moment. The ever-crisp flips and confident charges that follow are the release, and for sure among the most polished and best-captured stuff from her singular skating career. Ben Chadbourne and company catch all the angles, the toe poise on the smith grind dismount and barrier backside 180, the street-gap power heelflip. The left and right-footed kickflips in Florida speak for themselves, the subtext is gravy.

6. Seven Strong — ‘Untitled’

December 26, 2020


It’s been said, but the 24-hour footage party’s steady din occasionally functions to sift out and surface projects that stand apart for whatever reason — exotic locale, full-throated trend rejection, or in the case of Michael Nicholas’ ‘Untitled,’ a labor of remarkable quality and authenticity that comes fully formed, seemingly out of nowhere. The vid draws upon the best of these recent Supreme years, revolving around a tight-knit group of kids skating together in the streets and cuts and doing some seriously great tricks, without indulging in the worst, like trick-obscuring zoomage and gratuitous slow-mo smoke blowing. ‘Say My Name, Say My Name’ T-Eddy candidate Seven Strong carries the vid’s middle with five minutes of substance, including a worthy entry into the bump-to-can 360 flip canon, a doubly dangerous ollie over a chain to against-the-wall 50-50 grind, a wallie to nose bonk on a trash can, among many others. Toward the end, in the middle of a viciously wrapped pop shove-it to backside 50-50, it seems like he starts grinning even before it’s landed.

7. Tyler Dietterich — ‘Content’

December 25, 2020

Less than a minute goes by in this Philly-area rising heavy’s section in the Andrew Meyer-made ‘Content’ and it is assuredly one of the best-sounding video parts this year — the classic VX crunch of the opening backside 5-0, the slicked up glide on the backside tails, the urethane zipper down the delivery truck ramp, the harsh handrail scrape, counteracting the ‘Mushroom Jazz’ soundtrack. Tyler Dietterich skates for Theories’ new Picture Show board grouping, sweats through the knees of his pants, has a varied hat game and a nollie heelflip to rival John Shanahan’s Pulaski one for 2020’s toughest. And he seems to like making things harder on himself, with the firecracker to stair hop after backside smith grinding a split-bar rail, and fusing multiple illegal tricks for the ender here.

8. Auby Taylor — ‘Clowny’

December 24, 2020

What era archivists such as John Shanahan and Aiden Mackey have done for the ‘Photosynthesis’ period and 1996 Warped Tour, respectively, onetime gap tamer Auby Taylor pursues to a more deeply esoteric level, recreating a brief interlude in Texas’ storied vert history. There is something primal in his float and fakie ollies and method tweakers and inverts; his bulky, padded up silhouette trips some chemical synapses in the viewer’s brain, excitements long submerged in the collective subconscious, similar to the newly unearthed doppleganger for Texas’ long-dead Clown Ramp that Auby Taylor here skates for the entirety of this video. But. Is it authentic enough for Bobby Puleo, arch critic of the modern scene and noted coinesseur of backyard ramp skating?

9. Kevin Rodrigues — ‘Dancing on Thin Ice’

December 23, 2020

Is this the K-Rod experience in its purest form? The Benny Magliano-helmed Hockey production sounds all of the notes — downbeat and distorted, off-kilter wallies and slappies on aged stone, lots of black, careening slams, spots that aren’t but somehow for him are — the Polar-ready tree-root truck bonk and the sidewalk block backside tailslide are prime exhibits in favor of the old saw about seeing the world differently. This section, and last fall’s whole Hockey promo really, is a strong argument in favor of shorter, concentrated runtimes staying more potent than churning out three parts in ten months.