Lucas Puig Is Skater Of The Quarantine

April 8, 2020

Where to turn, as walls reach up, close in and hold us? The global plague hems in the living, and each day claims more dead. Shades of apocalypse waft from emptied supermarket shelves and block-deep lines for firearms. Covid-19 sank feverish hooks into Josh Stewart; authorities spread sand and mulch over skateparks and at others, in a truly bizarre twist, threaten to arrest kids. Bill Withers passed, another piece of the music died. Gone last week is Jeff Grosso, irascible and deadly earnest skate dad to us all, who wore his love for the life on his sleeve and tried to rub some onto yours, too. It is frustrating and unfair. Feels like losing a general in the middle of a war.

Mired in gloom, to whom to look to for hope? A swaggering, bearded and sometimes-shirtless Frenchman beckons, modeling responsible social distancing behaviours from within a picturesque seaside flat. Lucas Puig is the Covid-19 therapeutic the world needs to see through these dark, blurring-together days. Sequestered with his family and a seemingly fully equipped toolbox, the Helas chairman sees Instagram’s skate-at-home campaigns and raises bets to heady, often ridiculous levels. When pros and assorted bros were doing their best living room Kevin Bilyeu, Lucas Puig stepped out and kickflipped a damn shoe, pleasing fans and earning packs of high-profile imitators. He melds that credits-section standby, the laying-down flip trick, with Max Geronzi’s 2019 shaped-board beatdown into a 360 flip novelty act with better form than many traditional line-filler variants. Ocean breezes wafting in, he switch lazer flips it, and moves on to yet stranger realms, 360 flipping a brush-on-wheels and catching it a foot high, or unlocking the Kelly Hart three-times 360 flip achievement on a 2×4 — gripped, you neanderthals, of course.

Lucas Puig also provides street footage, crucially in the drought. In this week’s Jacky Biarritz video, a breezy seaside bro-cam affair, he is switch kickflip backside noseblunting and switch heel mute grabbing, backside tailsliding tall blocks and channeling countryman Bastien Salabanzi in both backside flip and post-make exhortation. He howls and cheers his friends as they careen into downhill stair sets and energetically pat their bellies, presumably fat with freshly-boated fish. Fellow shoreman Vincent Milou blasts a street gap kickflip suitable for any of the world’s major urban centers, Sammy Mould scoots a block-to-block noseblunt slide, Rafa Cort Lorente threads a hairy bench-gap ollie by the beach (all their spots seem to be by the beach). By the time Jeremie Plisson scrapes his way backside down a ‘Sorry’-scale hubba, Lucas Puig is beside himself, lifting the viewer’s spirits — and maybe, the whole world’s.

Even in the midst of this worldwide virus crisis, do we ‘deserve Lucas Puig’? With the potential for months more sheltering-in-place ahead, must Thrasher’s brain-trust now consider the prospect of suspending this year’s asterisk-burdened SOTY chase and instead name a Skater Of The Quarantine? How many viewers subsequently opened their Milton Martinez SOTY Thrasher issues to read Lucas Puig’s last and hopefully prescient ‘Firing Line’ quote — “cela aussi passera” — this too shall pass? Have you, dear reader, opened your wallet to support shops through this unnerving and horrendous time?

Who’s Smiling In The Great COVID19 Footage Drought Of 2020?

March 22, 2020

“Country boy a tourist, say he looking for a brick,” Gucci Mane softly rasped in late 2017, spinning a crime tale of feast turned to famine on his ‘El Gato: The Human Glacier’ project. In between threatening to burn down rivals’ marijuana crops and sticking up for the Steve Harvey suit, Gucci counseled all would-be cocaine magnates on one of the several secrets to his own (past?) successes: keeping a side supply stashed to draw upon when your competitors’ plugs run dry, allowing Gucci Mane not only to continue peddling drugs in a thinly supplied market, but to charge a premium to boot. It is a story much like Aesop’s fable of the hardworking, pragmatic ant and the flamboyant, cocaine-addicted grasshopper, except in Gucci’s version the ant is an iced-out lion and it did not come out on Def Jux.

Today, as the global coronavirus pandemic reconfigures human and animal societies, it is again time to ponder Gucci Mane’s words. Indeed, time is all mankind has now, in an age of boredom and worried waiting. Instagram, the skateboarding industry’s outsourced hypnosis engine, sputters and coughs on limited fuel. Municipal and statewide lockdowns in the US and Europe have upended the long-running ‘Skateboarding Is Not A Crime’ conceit; with businesses and schools closed across continents and cities deserted, the question is now whether a spot can be skated, but should it? The athletic equipment manufacturers that are pro skateboarders’ most powerful employers have aligned with public health authorities and independent companies in a species-wide call to stay indoors and curb potential infection, inventing hashtag campaigns and video challenges to bide the time and sate the daily lust for ‘likes’ and follower maintenance.

Just like Gucci Mane’s secret bricks and pounds, the end result is pause pushed on the 24-7 content crush, a rain delay on the global, never-ending demo all had until recently taken for granted. COVID19-chancing renegade missions aside, today there exists a finite supply of footage that pros, ams, filmers, brand managers and TMs and bros now must determine how best to sprinkle and disperse as movement and sociable restrictions grow steadily more intense, and any endpoint uncertain. Just as sports TV channels dip into ‘classic matches’ and commentators regurgitate and eat their own punditry again and again, so do skateboarding’s content brokers and programming avengers have their own choices to make. With filming missions cancelled and even throwaway park clips now a limited commodity amid shelter-in-place orders, the wizened ants and ‘El Gatos’ who banked footage and resisted those tingly ‘for tha Gram’ urges shall be revealed; flakey, unhappy grasshoppers soon shall go wanting, forced to fall back on virus-themed #TBT variations and pontificating on road trips past, in between propping up their phone for off-the-couch flatground clips.

Has Thrashermagazine.com already implemented a wartime video-rationing programme designed to stretch its supply of releases to cover a widening coronavirus-driven gap in new productions? Will companies readying full-lengths increasingly carve them into single parts to dribble out over time, so as to command more homebound and content-starved eyeballs? Since it’s been about 3 months since his last one, does Mark Suciu already got a couple parts filmed and ready to go? If the COVID19 virus mutates and returns and forces further quarantines and social isolation, will the pressure on board companies, hardgoods distributors and independent contracting pros grow to such an extent that footage comes to be hoarded up and traded for exorbitant sums of toilet paper, pasta and ammunition? Should everybody just watch Justin Albert’s excellent ‘Flora’ vid over and over again?

Social Distortion, A Global Spot Smorgasbord And The Conundrum Of The Alien Workshop ‘Quarantine’ Graphic

March 14, 2020

Sometimes, it is difficult to recognize life’s crossroads moments until you are slapped across the teeth with the flat of a scimitar a-ship at dawn in the middle of the Indian ocean. Other times, destiny chooses you, hurling you toward your fate like a weightful pokemon lusting to crush its adversary’s arms and fingers. Bill Weiss is a man who recognizes choices, and stands ready. In the year 1973, he released arguably the peak of the Digital Video Magazine catalogue, ‘Get Tricks or Die Trying,’ which was a reference to rap singer 50 Cent’s concept album about hunting down and destroying archrival Buddy Rich. For many, it remains a seminal document for all ages and income levels.

Back in the human realm, COVID-19 caused by CoronaVirus threatens mankind, his economies and civic practices. Fear and sadness grip the world. Populations hoard, and now seclude themselves away. “NYC empties out in face of coronavirus,” says NBC. “Foot traffic has fallen sharply in cities with big coronavirus outbreaks,” writes the Economist, with charts ranking Rome, Tokyo, Seoul and Paris atop the list. Kron 4 News, which broke the ‘whistle tips’ story in 2003, says “coronavirus is slowly turning the Bay Area into a ghost town.” Meanwhile, passenger-starved airplane admission sells for 70% less than normal as the global virus threat empties out the sky.

Is this opportunity or temptation? Modern skateboarding trades in bodily harm the way backroom sharps deal cards, and stack big faces. Are weeks of coronavirus-induced fever, bodily pain, respiratory disruptions and potential death far off the more traditional days of soreness from pile-driving one’s self to the bottom of a spot, or months immobilized in a cast? At hand, potentially, is a global smorgasbord of lightly tended spots. But with the current bodily harm risk factor extending well beyond any carcass-hucker and any potential board-to-the-head takers on the session, should this smorgasbord be sampled, at risk of spreading hazardous contagion, prolonging the pandemic and risking further mortality? This once-in-a-generation* conundrum now stands before pros, ams, bros and barneys the world over, as security guards, business owners and other streetlevel authority figures hunker down to ponder societal fabrics and Netflix watchlists.

With the clock ticking on a skatespot supermarket sweep, are vans already rolling and trick lists compiled, prioritized and checked off? Does heightened anxiety and fraying emotion ramp the tension and aggression in any confrontation with those left to stand guard? Will rapidly shifting municipal, state and federal coronavirus responses place wayward skaters at risk of being wrung up on public endangerment charges for crossing city, county and state lines, whilst rubbing ungloved boards and body parts across ledges, handrails and other public/private properties? Should everybody just stay home, and invest in Kyle Berard-built backyard spots?

*hopefully

If Franky Spears Kickflip Backside Noseblunts The Pyramid Ledges And The Footage Disappears, Is It Again An NBD?

February 21, 2020

Current events. Priceless works of art. Mankind’s steamiest industrial achievements. The beauty of a peacock’s feather. A plate of shrimp. All are fleeting in the arc of the universe, spilling out across millennia, like so much galactical flab. In the time of the electronic cigarette and smouldering anxieties, time is a loosened and wiggly loop, like the yellowed waistband on a ragged pair of Hanes.

A man’s body of work, they say, can be measured two ways: by souls ignited in inspiration, or by enemies’ bodies rotting beneath the ground. Just for the sake of argument let’s consider Niels Bennett, Frankie Spears, Felipe Gustavo, Tom Snape and Gustav Tonnesen in the former category. Their efforts featured in last year’s post-SOTY season Adidas release ‘Reverb,’ reliably extending the sportswear conglomerate’s series of professionally executed, inoffensive videos that, like the company’s other releases over the last four or five years, is precisely as interesting as whatever dudes are featured. Who in this case are excellent: Tom Snape, possessed of an uncommon switch inward heelflip, joined co-Commonwealther Dom Henry on the board of the ‘Peep This’ preservation society; Frankie Spears, under Mark Suciu’s tutelage, burnishes an upper-classman’s refinement to handrail brutality; Niels Bennett puts a fakie frontside blunt to regular on Philly’s Puerto Rico school up-block and argues further for a pro board at the reinvigorated Girl; Gustav does Gustav stuff — a strong 20 minutes.

Or was it? Perhaps in a nod to camera-dodging subcultural sasquatches such as Ryan Hickey and Tom Penny, if you weren’t there, all you have to go on are stories and substance-fogged innuendo. Days after its internet posting, ’Reverb’ evaporated, leaving behind only fond memories and sadly pixelated vid-not-founds. It is not the only Adidas video to have vanished; Mark Suciu’s 2015 voiceovered, butt-sweaty shoe mover ’Civil Liberty’ is gone, as is Dennis Busenitz’s very good ‘Euro Lines’ part, and others. Whereas some remain archived elsewhere, speculation abounds over music-licensing half-lives or other yet murkier doings.

Given skate videos’ gradual elevation to cultural documents — along with photographs, they are the true record and benchmark for careers and achievement in an inherently subjective and qualitative realm — the abrupt erasure of lines, phrases or entire paragraphs from what’s effectively skateboarding history raises all types of unsettling questions about control and ownership. Particularly as corporate footwear actors consolidate their position as the industry’s gravitational core, the issues run well beyond memory-holed proof of who did what where, or the need for agent-repped pros to begin requesting contract clauses to preserve months or years of work for posterity purposes, let alone resume material for future sponsorships or TB-hashtagged IG postings.

If companies are bankrolling skating’s historical documents, are they also purchasing the responsibility for maintaining their piece in internet-age perpetuity, or do vids remain the entity’s property to digitally dustbin if they so please? Will the body of skate video history ultimately rest on how strictly Google, Facebook, InterActiveCorp and others decide to enforce royalty payments to musical publishers? In an age where hot shoes are ready and willing to pump out multiple video parts in any given year, are disposable video parts actually a type of flex?
Are sometime grating, mostly generic license-free songs a worthwhile price to pay for secure YouToob real estate? Will people even notice amid the growing ‘content crush’?

Does A Thrasher Part Risk Puncturing @Versace_Plug’s Distant And Detached Instagram Mystique?

February 8, 2020

The year was 2008. The global economy was beginning to circle the ‘toilet,’ Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were balling for position across primary-voting states, food riots shook several countries, and in Baton Rouge, singer-songwriter Webbie released ‘Savage Life 2,’ propelled into the musical mainstream by the feminist anthem ‘Independent.’ This manually spellchecking ‘club banger’ told the story of a street-savvy and successful career woman who, occasionally to the surprise of Webbie and featurees Lil Phat and Boosie, rejects their patriarchical advances to acquire and pop her own bottles, leave the club early for work when necessary, and exhibit few if any onion ring aromas.

Was Webbie, 12 years ago, actually writing the story of @versace_plug, sometimes knowed as Hyun Kummer? The answer is yes. One of the pivotal moments for the skateboard industry in the ’10s occurred when the snooze-flicking IGer denied then ghosted Torey Pudwill, after the latter had put forth a presumably unsolicited offer of Thank You flow:

Have you ever tried to reach out to any of these Instagram stars?
Torey Pudwill: Yeah, I hit up that kid Versace Plug*. He told me, “I don’t do sponsors.” That threw me off so I told him, “That ain’t what this is!” He never hit me back. I guess he’s on some new shit.

The implications were enormous: Here was a kid out of continental Europe turning down one Skater of the Year and another credible coulda-been to continue filming clips with his friends for ‘tha gram.’ Rather than submit to the skate-biz machinery of compulsory product-drop hashtaging, camera-specific filming missions and associated hobnobbing, @versace_plug has spent however much of the ensuing years he deems appropriate skating, perfecting the fine art of the trap-soundtracked park clip, tending a Nike hookup, and gathering flamey emojis from pro skaters and fashion industry admirers. By the all-important follower metric he is batting 400K, nearly halfway to his onetime would-be employers’ personal totals and multiples of the meandering Thank You enterprise, with next to none of the traditional ‘coverage.’ To Be Sure, gifted others have walked from the industry’s embrace — Travis Stenger, the sorely missed Ted DeGros — but @versace_plug seems never to have had much careerist aspirations to begin with, and crucially, hasn’t really appeared to seek much validation from the industry, which nevertheless continues to lavish upon him positive emojis and comments.

Until Friday, that is, when @versace_plug delivered a part for Thrasher. It is a fairly comprehensive distillation of his IG exploits — big stair sets, leaned landings, bigspin flips, costly shoes, Chief Keef with hyperactive hi-hat cymbals. There are some surprises, like the hardflip up the long stairs, the spastic-fast between-stack nollie flip, the nose manual down the hubba, the Bastien Salabanzi-channeling kickflip backside lipslide shove-it on the micro rail. It is a serviceable, even impressive answer to the long-running mystery of what @versace_plug might produce if he directed his considerable skills and laconic, moneyed style toward a video part. But by making such an effort and offering it up to the center of the skateboarding universe in 2020**, is he risking the posture of aloof indifference he has cultivated via rejecting the blazen path?

Is this whole topic neutralized and rendered moot if he winds up getting onto Primitive? How much of @versace_plug’s digital clout derives directly from his top 10-level choice of handle? Has @versace_plug made a convincing enough case to be added to the short list allowed to do varial flips? Or is this in fact a ‘trick question’ and no such list ought exist whatsoever?

*’To Mr. and Mrs. Plug, a son, Versace.’
**The one not called Instagram

Amid These Dark Weeks Of The Soul, TOPX Offers A Tropical Getaway — Or A One-Way Caribbean Doom Trip

February 2, 2020

In Lars Von Trier’s 2009 romcom ‘Antichrist,’ a pivotal scene finds star-crossed lover William Dafoe perceiving a wounded fox, played by Miles ‘Tails’ Prower,’ who snaps off a loose piece of his own skin before delivering the meme-capable warning: ‘chaos reigns.’ Hark: It’s 2020, stand up and take a look around. Barely a month into the new decade and we’ve stumbled into a global plague. The American political fabric frays, with dark murmurings of civil war. Nuclear apocalypse is deemed nearer than ever.

What balm then for the burdened soul, as winter tightens its frosty grip and tortured men bear their hopelessness in the night’s bleakest minutes? Don’t look to music, where captains of entertainment can only hand Grammys to gothic trap warbler Billie Eilish*, or the sporting world, mired in tragedy and scandal. In skating, lost friends and a universe threatening to fracture, as rumours a-swirl of a split in the FuckingAwesome/Supreme camp over unspecified disgruntlements** on the parts of Tyshawn Jones and Na’Kel Smith.

East coast future-horror merchants Terror of Planet X are not the first ones one might look to for soul soothement. The most-recent installment of their terminally strong-quality ‘Crop Circles’ series, revealed to Thrashermagazine.com users this week, opens with discordant strings, disembodied voices and cryptic shots of bridges and various logistics assets before dissolving into a crust survey to rival Fred Gall’s recent IG postings. Among TOPX’s midatlantic workingmen are fakie hardflip user Corey Huber, bridging a big gap to backside tailslide; Muni stairset kickflipper Adam Hribar cranks a bigspin out of a fronstide crooked grind, the always-quality Dylan Jeffers switch varial heelflips a can and Chris Mathis bumps not just to a bar but a kink after.

It is Joey Pyle’s part, bubbling up after a stress montage, that hits like an unseasonably mild midwinter’s day, sidling through the industrial grime with a sunny line through technicoloured banks and a steel drum band rattling out a Big Easy funk standard. It’s loosey-goosey enough to pop in multiple backside 50-50 shoves, there are some deeply pleasing 360 flips, and if you squint at one point you’d swear he nollie flips the old EMB big ‘seven.’ When it is over, you feel refreshed, and perhaps mentally prepared to flip the calendar to February.

Skate video makers long have knowed of the twinkling and transportative powers of tropical motifs, with increasingly obligatory Puerto Rico wintertime trips, and steel-drum music supervision, employing it to strong effect in ‘Static 4’ and ‘Dece Vid’. Like any psychoactive item, however, all this carries risk of overindulgence. The docu-drama series ‘Yacht Rock’ in a late episode depicted the twisted and cultish Parrot-heads, led by a blowgun-toting, cheezeberg-focused Jimmy Buffett, employing kidnapping schemes and tropical-scented depressants whilst robotically bobbing heads to the ‘Magaritaville’ crooner’s ocean-beezy guitar strums.

Could Joey Pyle’s excellent and psyche-soothing ‘Crop Circles II’ part be prescribed by doctors to patients suffering from seasonal affective disorder, as part of a holistic treatment programme also including Banana Boat-scented candles and frequent daiquiri injections? Do tropical indulgences threaten to act as a ‘gateway drug’ toward a perilous life of violent hedonisms and ‘latitude adjustment’ garb? Why aren’t more people making use of the backside 5-0 shove-it, long a reliable East Coast weapon? Did Costa Rica retiree Daniel Haney pioneer the tropical beach bum lifestyle in skating with his bucket hat and wise real estate investments?

*the new Cam though
**but probably money

Davos Man And The Risk-To-Reward Ratio Of The Frontside 180

January 20, 2020

He is knowed as the Oracle of Thousand Oaks. From an ergonomically conscious, low-emissions chair, Mikey Taylor gazes from full-bleed windows upon an empire to hold — sands and wave, manicured desert fauna, native wood, electricalized vehicles, a rain garden. It is a world of opportunity, progression, mindful hustle and passion, with no single-use plastics, preserving natural spaces and personal wealths for future generations. On the weekends, good wine, and good friends.

The game is real estate development. The stakes: Working capital, and maybe, your life. First in are the sharp-nosed swift simmers that take the choicest, juiciest morsels and move along when the throbbing, silvery schools press in. For these must settle for smaller, faster, needier bites, budging and shoving and taking what they can. Always hurried, for you know what comes next: The massive, ironclad submersibles, their snaky sucking hoses pulling in everything not fast enough to flee, their bowels a-churn with knives and rotors chopping all into low-cost slurry for the industrial meat farms that pulsate privately above.

This is the world, and its strife. Mikey Taylor unscrews his hydroflask and regards the waves. As Commune Capital’s president and managing principle, his fiduciary duty is to be the early swimmer, not a slurry-bound slowpoke. There are buildings to be gut rehabbed, multi-unit leasables to be securitized, tracts to be acquired at auction for a song. And yet, it is all the same sea. What if there were another?

Bronze 56K became the first company to drop a skate video in the ’20s, earning several experience points and perhaps a cash award. (As a privately held company Bronze 56K is not obligated to publicize its financial performance.) ‘Hardware For The Masses’ revealed itself to be another timeless entry in Bronze 56K’s discography, now arguably among the most consistent of any company currently in operation. Bronze 56K always has been a spendthrift entity, repurposing defunct software logos, beer commercials and Wolfenstein 3D editions to conjure among the most powerful branded shirt conglomerates east of St. Louis.

Can tricks too be exhumed, gently brushed and refurbished in a retrofied way to again command a market premium? Bronze’s cultural dumpster divers work these seams too. Consider the humble frontside 180. The board goes up, it turns, you turn, and ride away clean. For decades far too basic for lines, and after thorough early-00s hucking by the likes of Andrew Reynolds, Dustin Dollin, Kerry Getz and Jamie Thomas, it summarily was cast aside as a stair or gap rattler in favor of variations involving flips, shove-its and/or switch-stance. For years the frontside 180 rotted as though entombed beneath an aromatic, regenerative compost heap. Then arrived muckraking New Jerusalemer Dick Rizzo, coiled and unshaven. In Quasi’s seminal ‘Mother’ Dick Rizzo boosts back-to-back frontside 180s down the Bronx’s Jerome Ave banks, turns a switch one over a gold rail under security pressure and goes regular off a miniscule bump to standard-sized bar; in Bust Crew’s deep-tissue tingling ‘Nightmare Van’ last year, he jumps another frontside 180 into a kinked bank ride-out. Italian Bronzester Jacopo Carozzi likes them, and in ‘Hardware for the Masses’ Adrian Vega turns one over the Pulaski wall in a line, while GangCorp youngster Dougie pops one off a bump to stair, and on IG frontside 180s over a studily built wooden bench.

As the World Economic Forum convenes this week to ponder the monetary conundrums of our time, could Mikey Taylor’s financial technicians, uninspired by rental returns and flexy property valuations, direct their intellectual horsepower and florid body heat toward overlooked tricks such as the frontside 180 that exhibit solid returns and honest thrills even if they may not feature in a Primitive vid? Does the frontside 180’s market valuation increase, and the potential return on investment decrease, with each such clip collected in a Bronze 56K vid? Does former SOTY Kyle Walker’s frontside 180 in ‘Be Free’ stand as an early indicator that the trick is ripe for a ’20s resurgence?

After Tyshawn Jones And Tom Snape, Who Will Pen The Switch Inward Heelflip’s Next Chapter In 2020?

January 1, 2020

Ten more
Dom Henry, ‘Cottonopolis’ — an artist working mainly in the medium of switch nosegrinds and fakie frontside noseslides
Tiago Lemos, ‘Encore’ — nollie over the back, as the fella says, hits different
Tyler Bledsoe, ‘Huf 003’ — backside tailslide drop down to backside noseblunt, what is the world coming to
Brian Peacock, ‘Fellas’ — like a swishies-dripped Gustav Tonnesen, frontside flip switch manual to switch frontside flip back
Kauwe Cossa, ‘Chrystie Chapter 1’ — sterling command of the switch backside heelflip
Nick Matthews, ‘Pavement’ — young in the city with Pupecki grind fakie flips out on lock
Yaje Popson, ‘Untitled 004’ — a top 10 Muni line contender
Wilton Souza, ‘Your World Don’t Stop’ — beating on the Brazilian blocks
Miles Silvas, ‘PLA x Thrasher’ — a mirror line with shock value
Nick Michel, ‘Lotties Must Be Stopped’ — the year’s most fearless frontside half-cab

1. Matt Militano — ‘Vanish’

December 31, 2019

Whether or not the 5Boro hookup proves as lucrative and titillating as Habitat flow or the pizza delivery game remains to be seen, but the late-arriving development if nothing else suggests that intergalactic powers are beginning to exercise their might more responsibly with regard to the fate of lanky and laconic Matt Militano, whose tricks seem only to sharpen as potential sponsors dither, seasons change and the expanding universe challenges mathematicians to keep up. Zach Sayles’ excellent ‘Vanish’ vid teed up the final ’10s summertime with Matt Militano banging on cellar doors, fully wrapping impossibles and bending physics in such a way as to wallie out of a nose manual, in time with ‘Twin Peaks’ bass plucking. All his tricks are gems here — he shove-its the hard way off a smith grind in the middle of a round bar, takes a backside 180 nosegrind back to regular on Philadelphia’s big red blocks, he grinds the middle of a metal fence — and his song has a bassoon.

2. Korahn Gayle – ‘Cover Version’

December 30, 2019

Dan Magee and Kevin Parrott’s Blips full-length ‘Cover Version’ this year came as a passion project ostensibly in tribute to seminal clips and tricks from decades past, but read like a clinic in how to film, construct and sequence a top-shelf full length with skating to match, all the requisite London bustle and grit in sharp relief. Quiet handstyler Korahn Gayle’s part is the best in it, gifted with screwface-inducing one-off ledge tricks such as the fakie backside tailslide flip out and the nollie heelflip backside noseblunt up the angled South Bank block, switch kickflip backside tailsliding Blueprint’s favourite gap to ledge, shocking and stoking the sidewalk elderly. It’s the type of video part that needs only one song to cover all the bases, the blocks and the big stuff, the mean backside drift on the London Bridge stack fakie heelflip to the switch wallride to frontside crooked grind a crack in the wall.