Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Pappalardo’

Scenes From The Spring 2005 DNA Distribution Catalogue

April 15, 2018

Ty Evans Enlists Middle Eastern Royalty, Robot Helicopters for Movie About Skateboarders Being In a Gang Called the Bloods

August 19, 2015


Drones are in the news again, as fire chief gripe about miniature robotic helicopteros obstructing blaze battle plans, radio frequency weaponizers develop defense systems and the kite-eating tree occasionally graduates to more expensive and, one is forced to assume, tastier and electronified fare. While persnickety oldsters would pass laws and hang out ‘No Droning’ signs, the young and vibrant drone subculture simply wants to drone in peace, twirling their little propellers in disused parking lots and parks. Sound familiar?

Ty Evans, captain of TWS and Girl videos that were, finds himself astride the bucking international drone hoopla as he promotes his newest Film, ‘We Are Blood,’ a citrus soda-financed, high-tech frolic through megacities and undercharted backwaters aimed at pushing the production-value envelope and explaining what makes skaters tick. After a decade in the Crail camp, Ty Evans is unshackled from the rote part-part-part skate video format, trading in Girl’s unexpectedly long-lived ‘SHT SOUND’ for a Dolby hi-fi replacement and free to indulge in as many bro-hugs, high-fives and wildly undulating overhead-hoisted boards as his cameras’ memory chips can manage.

Cribbing the template from Brain Farm’s big snowboard movies such as ‘Art of Flight,’ Ty Evans points his lenses and drones and microphones at Paul Rodriguez, whose impeccable technicality, worldly vet status and passable script-reading capability provide a cipher for framing this road trip exploration of a bond between skaters worldwide. Paul Rodriguez sets it off appropriately enough in Los Angeles’ hallowed schoolyards, jumping to Dane Vaughn at J-Kwon and some euphoric and very welcome ditch-bombing by Omar Salazar before Ty Evans pulls back the lens to fit the rest of the US and well-traveled overseas jurisdictions like Spain, China and Brazil.

Paul Rodriguez dispenses with his own brand of razory execution — the k-grind front foot flip out is taken up a notch — before turning over a good portion of the RV miles to lesser-knowns like Jordan Maxham and infrequently-heralded journeymen like Moose, who rips most of the spots he’s recreationally vehicled to. Tiagos Lemos easily comes over as Ty Evans’ breakout star though, manufacturing at least one incredible clip per location-specific segment and his own mini-part when ‘Blood’ winds its way into Brazil’s particular deep-city grime. His ratio of monologue to tricks like the b/s 180 switch f/s crooked grind fakie flip out, switch b/s tailslide switch flip out, of the switch bigspin b/s tailslide is favorable.

Elsewhere Jamie Thomas boards Ty Evans’ RV to address some Deep South spots that include his old high school, inviting the viewer to marvel at his enduring grit and award style points for the right hand on the kink 50-50. At some juncture Brandon Biebel does a nollie b/s heelflip over a table that could repeat for 10 minutes, or perhaps through the end of the Film, with ultimate justification.

‘Blood’ reverts Ty Evans in some ways to Transworld mode, enabling him to pick and choose seasoned pros and comer-uppers motivated enough to revel in motorhome squalor for seven weeks, book extended stays overseas and spend lengthy stints at the spot biding time until the half-fozen camera rigs are properly aligned. It’s a testament to Ty Evans’ famed work ethic and the spry joints of his subjects that they cultivated a 90-minute Film from just over a year of Filming, versus spending years to construct an hourlong vid from a 30-deep roster of geographically diverse dudes that include a fair number of entrepreneurs.

(Probably Ty Evans and Girl should have broken up before ‘Pretty Sweet.’ Manning a Film that is his alone ups the stakes for Ty Evans the auteur personally but drags no weighty and beloved 20-year video legacy behind it, nor are there destination concerns for precious video-footage minutes turned in by aging favorites and the potential for substantial portions relegated to b-roll extras.)

Untethering himself from the skate vid format seems also to have resparked some of Ty Evans’ creativity that in the last few years seemed to have piled out, like in 2011’s leafy HD rehash of Rick Howard’s forest cruise in ‘Mouse.’ ‘Blood’ breaks from the schralping for an educational and droney cruise through a granite mine that sets up a slab’s brief journey from quarry to waxy ledge, there’s cool time-lapse footage of a wall scarred up by wallrides, a small-world-after-all moment in the unearthing of an ancient Spanish bowl, and frantic gamesmanship between the ‘Blood’ gang and an irate Chinese official wielding a garden hose. Staged puddle sprays aside, the RV segments bear honest whiffs of open-road adventuring and Paul Rodriguez’s ‘blank canvas’ remark about Dubai’s sumptuous plazas is on point, though Tim O’Connor’s quip on traversing the globe’s far corners to end up behind some K-Mart isn’t far off when Theotis Beasley, Sean Malto and others helicopter their way to a high-altitude landing pad where they session a basic bench.

‘Blood’s’ Cleveland-channeling theme of togetherness gets repetitive after 90 minutes, particularly when these annointed blood brothers are nailing ferocious tricks in pristine tropical spots with the blessing of local extreme power brokers, but some of ‘Blood’s’ best detours arise from dudes with only tenuous industry ties. Ty Evans of all people manages to put outer borough nomad Anthony Pappalardo in the most thoughtful and succinct context he’s had recently, same with DC’s Darren Harper. The Film’s message gets over in a surprise Skatopia visit and a well-spoken stop by a small-town DIY.

Whereas ‘Blood’ trades on the concept of a bond between skateboarders, the Film also raises the question of its elasticity. Many* believe in evangelizing skateboarding — Ty Evans in the ‘Blood’ Transworld issue says that “I’ve always been under the idea that I would love to share skateboarding with the world, and especially those that don’t skate. If a kid that doesn’t skate happens to see one of the films I’ve made, and that gets him hooked on skating, then I think that it’s working.”

Are the spirits of the kid kickflipping in front of his stoop in Oakland and the kid who swings through the YMCA park after swim team in the suburbs as closely kindred as those few dozen who may have traveled over an hour to glimpse underpaid pros skate a rickety hockey-rink demo in 1995? It is a question recently pondered by Ty Evans’ former Lakai coworker Kelly Bird, now a Nike employee:

“You can’t check a kid’s gear and automatically draw the conclusion that you’re the only two kids in school that know what Thrasher is anymore. You and the quarterback show up to school in the same outfit and neither one of you think it’s weird. He actually invites you to his party now instead of trying to flush your head down the toilet. You go to his party and have an awesome time. He lets you borrow his copy of Thrasher the next day, then Lil Wayne calls you to go skate.”

It makes little sense to attempt judging Ty Evans’ ‘We Are Blood’ on typical skate vid merits, but the effort to harness a heady concept, glossy production that stands at odds with the broader skate sphere’s persistent VX fetishization, and a lengthy runtime leaves the question as to who the Film is for. For those increasingly accustomed to digesting Guy Mariano’s latest facemelter in 14-second increments, an hour and a half seems a big ask. Volcom’s recent ‘True to This’ was partly perceived as looped fodder for retail outlets, though the number and capacity of whispered Mountain Dew speakeasies remains unclear.

Ty Evans previously has touted the high sales of ‘Fully Flared’ and ‘Pretty Sweet’ as signs of their resonance with Joe Kickflip; does ‘Blood’s’ loftier aim require a bigger yardstick? Will collapsing oil prices constrain Dubai’s ability to deploy economic incentives that could help the emirate compete against Spain and China for pro roadtrips and magazine articles detailing esoteric and wily local cuisines? Will this be the Ty Evans production that finally tops Richard Angelides’ Rhythm part in the slow-working minds of certain backward-thinking internet reactionaries?

*Particularly those whose livelihoods are tied to selling skateboard goods

Sort Of Like Klein & Kirchart’s Bittersweet Signage Symphony, Except With Some Vehicles

June 2, 2013


When not stacking characters for his highly anticipated next interview, Anthony Pappalardo has taken some time out to skate. For those not inclined to root through a 20-page Slap messageboard topic and various instagram postings here’s what seems to be the recent gist:












As a reminder:




A Brief Interruption To Our Annual Year-End Programming Because Anthony Pappalardo Gave This Rather Frank Interview On 48 Blocks Today

December 28, 2012


It was a curious thing to observe the responses when, a couple weeks ago, you had in New Balance the umpteenth major-league footwear company announcing its late entry into the SB club. Time was, a couple pros would cobble together some investment group and foist upon the beleaguered consumership some new truck company or shoe company and be met with a round of harrumphs and annoyed sighs, whereas lately an entry one by one of the multinational shoe companies tends to get a subset of the culture atwitter over the prospect of being catered to with theoretically better technology and construction backing another vulcanized, low-top sneaker bearing a logo recognizable to principals, moms, the captain of the football team, etc.

Curiouser has been the justification offered up for backing new corporate competitors, usually centered on allegedly poor quality of the shoes manufactured under skater-owned outfits. When it comes to the extremely basic designs that have generally forced some equilibrium across the shoe landscape and the fixation on suede, canvas or leather as the material, quality seems like a red herring, but that may be just me. What seemed gnarly was a certain willingness (in some cases eagerness) to reject the “grassroots” players that, whatever their warts, are our own creations in favor of these larger and more powerful entities that until 10 years ago were not much thought of, except for some disdain when it came to various hamfisted efforts to push their products. At this point we part ways from veering into another circular referendum on Nike versus the Don’t Do It movement.

Now we have a telling from Anthony Pappalardo, to 48 Blocks, on how he was allegedly fucked over by Converse, which wooed him away from Lakai despite his apparent misgivings, made him a pro-model shoe and then abruptly shifted into some bare-knuckled contract fight that seems to have severely dented Pappalardo’s already fragile-sounding self-esteem. Some of the story as Pappalardo tells it is confusing — already barely making ends meet, the breakdown in talks with Converse saw him homeless within months and later selling scrap metal to survive, kind of like some 60-to-zero shift from “pro-skater-with-shoe-deal” status with no in-between option like seeking a different sponsor, moving in with friends or family, or getting a day job. Pappalardo describes a sort of catch-22 in which Converse is not supporting him, forcing him to hustle to survive, which makes him unable to skate, so Converse (and later Chocolate) doesn’t support him. It isn’t clear what happened to any royalties from his shoe model, which seem to have sold briskly, or why he stayed committed to this apparently abusive sponsorship arrangement, when several years earlier he quit Alien Workshop with no safety net whatsoever.

It seems like there’s several pieces missing from this whole story, and while resisting the game of diagnosing Anthony Pappalardo’s potential issues via an interview apparently pecked out on a mobile phone, you wonder about the other side of all this — during the time period in question Pappalardo was not exerting a Lil B-like flooding of the market with coverage and his career arc wouldn’t yet seem to afford him the coasting abilities of someone like a Fred Gall. But at a time when shoe companies like Es and Gravis have rolled out of the frame, not hearing out a dude like Pappalardo, even given these past few years of traipsing down a path toward his trick minimalism and urban recluse profile, against a giant corporate entity feels off in some way.

Let’s Discuss The Most Controversial Sequence On The Internet

February 12, 2010

Haters in time

An uproar burst forth upon the seas of gentlemanly internet discourse this week when a SkateboardMag blog revealed a photo sequence of Anthony Pappalardo, known professional, plying his trade with a couple of ollies. “Foul” cried some, claiming that not only could they ollie themselves, but that neither ollie was particularly big or dangerous. Both of these statements are true, but uncovering the deeper, more long-winded truth requires a trip through time.

It was once the year 2000. Flying cars were commonplace, personal credit was freely available and Anthony Pappalardo was executing nollie heelflip frontside noseslides while making “urban” pants choices. But today the clock has rolled back, erasing years of sales growth and trick progression. Ollies are back. Cruising on a 70s-inspired skateboard is the choice of dreaded granolas and professional shoe endorsers alike and the biggest show on television wallows in the hair-grease and flop-sweat of philandering 1960s ad executives.

Christopher Colombus, in an apocryphal story that dates back even further, once strutted into a state dinner when a hater (of some description) stopped him, perchance to hate. The gist of it was that CC was not that hot of an explorer, and that the West Indies would’ve been inevitably found by anybody who pointed their boat far west enough, et cetera. Colombus famously ice-grilled the guy and then told them that he bet anybody he could make an egg stand on its end. After others tried and failed, Colombus squished in one end of the egg and stood it up, declaring “now that you’ve seen me do it, it would be easy for anyone.”

So too with Pappalardo? Oh, to be a fly on the wall of a Brooklyn woodshop. Someone on the Slap board said something to the effect that after watching the bonus footage on the “Prevent This Tragedy” DVD they were pissed at the apparent lack of effort APO seems to be putting forth (somewhere in there, he makes a couple half-hearted ollies onto a slanted plank on a hill, and bails an ollie).

You could make the argument though that there’s plenty of pro-types who’ve made their bones and sailed into their sunset years on a raft of coping slashes, frontside rocks and more recently switch 360 flips. Pappalardo may be pushing it as he retains a youthful look despite a hospital-patient pallor, and a pro model shoe to boot, but I think he could still turn it on if he wanted to (citing the nollie 360 flip recently spun on Epicly Laterd). Would it come off as gratuitous if the pursuit of ollies over nollie heelflip frontside noseslides were a conscious choice? Or simply elevate the level of his hustle?


September 11, 2009

Pic via O’dell

Earlier this decade:
OK, Anthony – let’s start off with the basics: age, where you’re from, how long you’ve been skating…
I’m 17, from Long Island, N.Y. and been skating for six years.

What made you decide you wanted to ride a skateboard?
I just always saw skateboarders around where I lived, you know. A kid gave me a board and it just grew on me. I had fun.

At what point did you get more serious with it?
After seeing some videos. I saw certain people I liked because of their style and just the tricks. You know, I always liked East Coast footage, it always appealed to me, made me want to skate .

What was your favorite video at that time?
Plan B. Virtual Reality.

Whose part were you stoked on in that? Carroll?
Yeah, Carroll definitely and Danny Way.

So now that you’re on the same team as Danny, does it seem weird? To look up to him all that time and now you’re his teammate?
Oh yeah. It’s crazy. Same with all the Workshop guys, you know? Dill, Kalis, They’re amazing.

What kind of stuff were you into before skateboarding?
I wasn’t into sports at all. Basketball a little, but not really into sports.

Yeah, I think it’s the same way with most skateboarders. I used to breakdance before I started skating…so, were you the skater in your city that everyone looked up to?
Not really. I just skated with my friends, not at skateparks or anything. I just stayed in that little group, you know, go to the city. I skated with Rodney Torres and other skaters that were good. That’s how I learned.

What’s your motivation to keep progressing? Just keeping up?
Pretty much skating with pros now is motivating. If a new video comes out, I’ll watch that and get psyched to skate. A good video will always do it. You get psyched after seeing somebody do an innovative trick. You see that trick and want to push it a little farther. Also, filming for the new Alien video is motivating. Trying to get innovative.

Speaking of the Workshop, what made you decide to send in that first sponsor-me video? Did you send one out to other companies or what?
No, it was the only company I sent a video to. I don’t know…I don’t really like a lot of the companies in skateboarding, but I liked the image of the Workshop. Plus Dill and Anthony (AVE) had just gotten on. And I was always riding Workshop boards. But see, I didn’t really send it in. I broke my arm and was out for a while, so I put some footage together. My friend tried to talk me into sending it in, but I didn’t see the point. so he actually edited it and sent it in to you guys. We had a bet. I bet him a board that I wouldn’t hear anything and he thought I would. So I waited for a while and then Dyrdek actually called my house.

Yeah, I remember watching your video and we were all stoked. You were just this little guy with a big cast on your arm skating that one metal ledge. You could see a lot of potential from that one spot you were skating.
It was cool, getting a box of stuff….even those first two boards, it was great.

Who else inspires you to skate? I know you look up to Kalis and Stevie.
Yeah, Kalis, Stevie and Guy Mariano is a big inspiration. Mike Carroll definitely.

Did you ever get to see Guy’s part in the first Blind video?
Yeah, I love it. I bought it off this kid so I got my own copy, it’s sick.

So, let’s talk West Coast for a while. Have you been out there much to skate?
I went to S.F. about 3 years ago and skated a little, but my first time really skating hard was to L.A. about a month ago.

How was that? First big trip out there, all those spots you’ve seen in magazines your whole life..
Well, you have to drive everywhere out there. I like where you can skate from spot to spot and just keep skating. I liked it out there though, you know, the spots and everything. But it seemed like we would just drive, skate, get kicked out – that happened over and over. The weather is good, though. Out here, it’s frustrating.

Oh yeah, winter in the East will take it’s toll. But it seems like East Coast skaters develop a discipline from dealing with the snow and cold.
Definitely, it seems that way with Philly and New York.

OK, so what about those spots out there in the west?
It’s nice to finally get to skate some of them…you can never tell though from a video or magazine what it’s like..sometimes it looks steeper than it actually is…sometimes more mellow..but Hubba, Hubba is huge.

Yeah, the super lens has blown out some obstacles to where you can’t tell how big they really are.
But when you’re there, yeah, you’ve seen those spots in magazines and it’s like you already know what you want to try on them.

I heard you’re moving to Philly pretty soon, what is it about Philly that makes it a mecca for the east coast?
This is my last year in school and I’m definitely moving there this summer because I have a lot of friends there and for skating Love. But I’ll definitely be going back and forth from Philly to home a lot. I love New York. I’ll have a place to stay in Philly, but I’ll keep going back and forth to skate.

Had any problems with undercovers at Love?
Yeah, they’re crazy, they just come out of nowhere and try to grab you. There are park rangers there sometimes everyday just sitting there waiting to catch someone. I heard they do it every now and then to scare the skaters away, but I don’t think it’ll work. Personally, I don’t think they’ll ever stop skating at Love. It’s been around so long.

Do you ever go out and skate by yourself?
All the time. I grew up skating by myself. I’ll always do it. There’s this school by my house, I go there and skate all the time. I’ll even take a trip to the city to skate by myself sometimes. I like waking up early and just going out.

What’s your favorite thing to skate overall?
I’m pretty much a ledge skater. Ledges and some gaps. They’re fun. Manuals.

After seeing your footage, I don’t think I’d classify you as a “ledge skater.” Some people fit that category, but you seem more well-rounded than that, like you’ve got a lot of big, tech stuff.
Yeah, I guess. But if I’m skating with Pat (Corcoran), he’ll get me psyched to jump on a handrail. And if everyone else is skating a gap, I’ll skate a gap. That’s why I like Dill and Carroll so much. Just well rounded. And Anthony (AVE), you see him skating everything…and he’s got so much power.

What does your family think of your skateboarding?
At first, they didn’t really understand it, you know? Until I started getting something out of it. They wanted me to go on to school and stuff, but now they’re pretty open to it all.

Do they get stoked when they see you in an ad or a magazine?
Oh yeah, they support me, definitely all the way.

You’ve come a long way really fast, as far as coverage, name recognition and that kind of thing. Does it feel weird?
Sometimes it’s a little stressful. It’s not that much different. Still skate with the same old friends. Go to the city, get photos, not that much different. I travel a bit more now.

What do you think about your future in skateboarding? Seems wide open for you?
Well, I’m psyched on my sponsors. I just want to keep doing tricks. I love to see skaters do innovative stuff and that’s what I want to do. I’m real lucky right now… I will just have to focus on skating in three months and that’s the way I want it.

You relate to any one pro over the others?
Mostly like Wenning and Pat Corcoran. Pat, he’s closer to my age.

Do you guys (Brian and Pat) push each other when you’re filming?
Yeah, I guess. We’d just go out and one would get a trick, then the other would get a trick. We’d all meet early and the morning and just learn tricks.

Did you and Brian grow up skating together? How’d you guys meet?
It’s funny, that story. The first time I met him, I was trying to kickflip the nine at the Brooklyn Bridge and here he comes out of nowhere, trying to kickflip them right behind me. So he tries a few more times and then rolls up to me and says, “I just want you to know that it doesn’t usually take me this long to land this.” (laughter) Castrucci loves that story. Anyway, we just started meeting up and skating all the time. Wenning is definitely a character. He’s got this old man’s head and the body of a 14-year-old kid.

Yeah, I think O’Connor teases him about that a lot, they say he’s aging fast…they say his head is aging. But I met him, he’s a funny guy. So do you like to film or is it frustrating?
Yeah, I like it. Filming pushes me a little. Sometimes I don’t feel like filming, but you have to some times. I like filming with Bill (Strobeck) and R.B.

How do you feel about contests? Do you think it’s important for a skater to do good in contests?
I don’t like them at all. The practices are fun, just seeing people and that kind of thing, but there’s something about a bunch of people watching me skate that I don’t like. I get freaked out sometimes at a local spot when there are a bunch of people watching. That’s why I like to go out early in the morning to skate. Early is the key.

Yeah, sometimes even at a local spot, if other people aren’t skating it just turns into a big demo…automatic pressure. Kerry (Getz) is one of those guys that can skate street really well and still skate a park like crazy, with tons of people watching.
Kerry Getz is definitely amazing. He is so consistent it’s incredible. That guy is really on point in skateboarding. I’m psyched on that guy’s footage.

Where else do you want to travel in the next year? Any place in particular?
Maybe go back out west, I’d like to go to Miami and skate, too. That place looks sick. San Francisco.

In all of your footage, you look like you’re having fun when you’re trying a trick, always have a smile on your face when you ride away. You ever blow your temper?
I usually try not to get that mad. I know if I get mad, It’ll take me that much further from the trick. Overall, I’m kind of mellow. I never break my board.

You probably see plenty of that going on though, right?
Yeah, I see crazy tempers sometimes. Breaking brand new boards and stuff. I can’t do that, you know. I still can’t bring myself to break a board. I always rode crap boards and now I can give mine away to other kids when I put on a new one. I just don’t see the point in breaking them when there are kids that are riding crappy boards that would appreciate them.

Yeah, I like Dill’s method. I’m sure he breaks the occasional board, but he also gives obstacles the old karate chop. I saw him karate kick this handrail one time.
Oh yeah, you saw that footage? I like Dill’s skating a lot. He’s one of the few skaters right now doing innovative stuff on a skateboard.

Yeah, Dill looks at things a little differently. He can come up with a trick that most people would never even consider. OK, Anthony Van Engelen is referred to as AVE because his name is so long. Is it OK if we refer to you as APO in ads and stuff?
APO? Yeah, yeah. I know – I got a long name.

OK, that’s it. Anybody you want to thank at this point?
Yeah, my family, friends, photographers – R.B., Reda, Bill…all you guys at the Workshop..and Kelly Bird at Lakai.

The All-Ighty Ollar

April 7, 2009

“No, I want roast beef, you clod”

Though I have mixed feelings about Converse jumping into the SB/IVSK8/SR-71 Blackbird business, I do got to hand it to them re: their entertaining fold-in ads, a criminally under-used format outside the realms of Alfred E. Neuman and Shorty’s better years. The real genius is that this approach lets you reimagine these seasoned pros as skating any way you want them to. Say for instance that you like Anthony Pappalardo, but pine for the days when his repertoire spanned regions beyond 50-50s, boardslides and shove-its. And say that you despise the way gravity and, indeed, a paltry three dimensions bind our everyday life. Voila! If MC Escher were regular footed and also mentally deranged he might have come up with something perhaps far better than this. Did I mention, I like the Converse ads. That includes those ones with all the animals, as I consider myself an ally to all natural creatures, especially the tortoise. Boil the ocean wishes these stalwart nomads peace among the Dutch tulips.

When Your Friends Are Watching

January 12, 2009

Through all this bullshit

I got to thinking the other day, while pondering yet again how awesome it would be if Anthony Pappalardo and Brian Wenning got the band back together and rented a place in Philadelphia and teamed up to liberate Love Park under the tutelage of an older, wiser Matt Reason (like a sitcom)…

Despite Pappalardo’s Midwestern grandpa dress code I think he may still be too young to qualify as a true curmudgeon type, but probably can safely be called a sourpuss. So seeing the footage from “Photosynthesis” where he gets all giggly after nollie 180ing the Brooklyn Banks rail warmed the cockle-burrs of my heart and later got me thinking on earnest, honest smiles after landing tricks. Sometimes frowned upon, especially in these troubled times of trophy-tossing Austin Seaholms and back-flip fly-outting Ryan Shecklers, we may need an occasional reminder that it’s okay to show some emotion after negotiating a particularly hairy move. Or else you risk looking like a scary-eyed serial killer. (See Caswell Berry, backside lipslide, “Man Down”; Heath Kirchart, all videos)

So, a handful of good, decent, god-fearing smiles over the years:*

Mike Maldonado, “Welcome to Hell”
East Coast powerhouse exhibits a stubbly underbite after dismounting a tall backside 5050, affirming to the viewer that the spot probably is as fun as it looks and sapping a little doom-n-gloom from the Misfits song to come.

Cairo Foster, “The Reason”
Following a blistering line through Pier 7, Cairo’s skull-like features soften as he catches his breath and looks forward to a heavy helping of Ty Evans slow-mo for what will remain his best part to date nearly ten years on, in one of the best TWS vids. So, what’s not to smile about.

Ben Stewart, “Seasons 4”
Kickflip-to-smith-grinding Hubba Hideout admits young Ben Stewart into a fairly select membership of skateboarders to have stepped to the crack cocaine-themed ledge, and his innocent schoolboy smirk is well earned, if not crack cocaine-themed itself.

Devine Calloway, “Let’s Do This”
Pearly whites, can-do attitude and a seemingly constant grin, but for the purposes of this posting we’ll highlight the post-nollie varial flip period in the 2007 Transworld video, the name of which could double as a subtitle for the next installment of “Thug Motivation.”

Jovontae Turner, Mike Carroll’s part in “Questionable”
The haircut gets him over I think. I’d smile if I was running around with that look, early 1990s or no. A proper ear-to-ear variation here.

*Ray Barbee and Karl Watson are disregarded because, too easy.

Anthony Pappalardo, This Is Your Life

January 8, 2009

You went away but now you’re back

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t get it when people spoke of how they teared up the first time they watched Guy Mariano’s part in the Lakai video, with the emotional musics and slow-mo door opening and all. Also, while I’m for sure a fan, I did not get particularly misty-eyed watching the later, more inspirational chapters of the John Cardiel “Epicly Later’d.” And even though I’m desperately going to miss it (and the Big Push which I meant to commentate on last year but got too lazy), my cheeks stayed dry as I accepted that the venerable Document magazine has indeed gone gently into that good night.

But goddammit all, if this Pappalardo “E L’d” turns into a mumbly bro-huggin’ reunion between APO and Brian Wenning, well, I don’t know.

Anthony P’s Greatest Hits

September 11, 2008


Aside from a blockbusting line from Guru Khalsa, the simple pleasures of a Kenny Anderson backside 180 on flat, and assorted rippage from the likes of Vincent Alvarez, Silas Baxter-Neal and Dan Drehobl, what jumped out at me most about the new Elwood promo was Anthony Pappalardo’s continued devolution in terms of trick selection: three clips, five tricks, all ollies. Disregarding the more technical stuff in his Fully Flared section, up to and including what was probably the scorchingest backside tailslide I’ve seen in many a moon, let’s go ahead and wantonly extrapolate from this new APO footage what future direction his skating might take.

Comparisons to a Puleo-esque career arc have been made for some time now but I see another influence at work: none other than New Jersey’s warrior poet, Mike V. Morose loners both, raised in flannel and East Coast winters, disgruntled with the skate industry–might we see a part’s worth of eyes-to-the-ground pacing, purposeful pushing through urban climes and silhouetted rolling in the upcoming Chocolate feature? This is just one vision of Pappalardo’s future. I can think of more, involving slam poetry, backyard wrestling and bearded punk-metal, or a wild and shirtless combination of such elements. If he starts farming his hair, bulking up and whaling on security guards, you all owe me $10.