Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 5 – Dustin Dollin and Lewis Marnell ‘Chichagof’

June 20, 2017

Beyond your typical personal chemistry and blood oaths, one key to great skate duos of any era is a certain peanut butter-meets-chocolate stylistic matchup. It was true for Jason Dill and AVE, for Louie Barletta and Jerry Hsu, for Mike Carroll and Rick Howard, and it was true for Dustin Dollin as he introduced his preternaturally gifted ‘filmer’ in Volcom’s 2004 pronunciation challenge to tongue-tied shop employees worldwide. Dustin Dollin by this point had established himself as one of the highest-functioning soaks among the Baker squad, solidified via Transworld’s ‘Sight Unseen’ and ‘Baker2G’. By this point his rapid flick, penchant for hairy crooked grinds, and frontside heelflip were known across the hills and dales, but Dustin Dollin’s tricks had a little different flavor when sandwiched around those of relative newcomer Lewis Marnell, who was toward the beginning of his too-short run. The Dunks still were fresh and the hair had yet to dread but other pivotal pieces in the Lewis Marnell repertoire — the heelflip, 360 flips both ways, the switch varial heelflip — already were fully formed.

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As We Consider The Potential For International Interest-Rate Watchdogs To Turn Their Gaze Upon Street League Scoring, Here Are Several Charts

August 14, 2012

In recent days the undersea volcanic trench that is Rob Dyrdek’s business empire sent up another frothy cascade of bubbles that made ‘internet waves,’ as his Street League subsidiary jockeyed for position and unique eyeballs among an increasingly crowded and soda residue-sticky field of contest franchises. Rob Dyrdek, who skate lore says steered his investments away from P-Jays Undapendent just ahead of the great backpack rap bubble’s bursting in the early part of the last decade, is revered among newly pro’d auto-shoppers pondering the lease vs. own question for his business acumen and counter-intuitive moves, which oftentimes leave lesser investors in the dust and gazing up toward what appears to be an increasingly lofty ivory-tower perch.

Rob Dyrdek has proven that he cannot be bound by common rules and statutes of business 101, just as he cannot be constricted by typical contest guidelines, going on to design his own rules and then breaking those just the same. Rob Dyrdek has revamped various business lines altogether, for instance reviving the noble tradition of metallurgy and advanced alloying in the Serbian basin and more recently buying his pet small horse a pager. For his next move, Rob Dyrdek seems set upon reconfiguring the social stratum. A while ago we explored the concept of a top-1% designation for pros flexing to the tune of private skating facilities and other perks. Due to the power of Street League, pro skateboarders now clean the clocks of NFL union members in terms of earnings growth, perhaps delivering a cosmic blow against the jocks of the universe, right where it counts.

According to cited figures, social media friends of Street League man to man could take on the country of Australia in a brawl and stand a good chance of winning, depending on what time of day the fight started and whether Australia had just eaten a big meal beforehand. The popularity of the Street League has enabled each league cycle to hold sway over TV and internet streaming services for more than 315 hours, or roughly four months.

Yet has Rob Dyrdek’s appetite for risk led him to chance losing it all? A closer look at this section of the PDF reveals that the Street League’s method of calculating constestants’ scores vaguely resembles the British Bankers Association’s approach to formulating the London interbank offered rate, a worldwide benchmark for floating rate lending that has now come under fire as trading desks allegedly leaned on rate-setters to quote artificially high or low rates, part of a plan to skew the Libor’s fixing and reap rewards in the markets. Untold sums lean against these rates in the form of mortgages, auto loans and futures market bets, all of which have come into question following regulators’ allegations.

Could Rob Dyrdek be setting Street League up for a similar crisis of confidence, threatening the newly fattened purses of SLS’s exclusive boys? Should smelting be added as the long-rumored “fifth element” of Street League? Do you remember when Rob Dyrdek mastered the 20-stair rail in that old DC commercial and AVE turned in an uncredited cameo as a construction worker? Is AVE in the 99% or the 1%? Same question for Rob Dyrdek’s small horse but in terms of horse earnings?

Jan. 24th: New Bin Laden Tape Surfaces, Saints-Colts Matchup Set For Superbowl XLIV, Greg Lutzka Conquers Another Medium

January 25, 2010


Now imagine music going off in the background

I was inspired to make my first visit to the Armourdillo website earlier today after finding a half-soaked CCS catalogue in my letterbox, browsing it and smirking at this Corey Duffel quote:

“They are the ultimate flair company.”

The thinking was, post up a pic of Duffel wearing some of his more ostentatious gear and a tough-guy frown, paste the quote underneath, have another chuckle at that we live in an age where one can say the phrase “ultimate flair company” in an un-ironic fashion, and go to sleep secure in the knowledge that we will start the week with some breezy and half-amusing content. BUT, after visiting the website of Armourdillo – an Australian leathers concern of some description that seems focused squarely on belts and wallets – I was completely blown away by the fact that “the” Greg Lutzka has pointed the prow of his personal brand toward the iPhone app shores with his first videogame. Let’s allow him to explain his unique vision in terms of his own choosing.

dizm is launching a new Skateboarding iPhone app where you can compete against Greg Lutzka in a game of S.K.A.T.E. as music goes off in the background. S.K.A.T.E. features a variety of tricks, ranging from ollies to more technical moves such as frontside bigspins and nollie heelflips.

“dizm S.K.A.T.E. is a fun app that is technical enough to appeal to skaters, but easy enough so non-skaters can enjoy it too,” commented Lutzka. The dizm S.K.A.T.E. (Skateboarding iPhone app) is available for $0.99 from the App Store and can be found by searching for dizm SKATE in the App Store or by clicking here.

Even in the midst of the Great Recession, at 99 cents, somebody has to have the extra banana-skins to have downloaded and battled the i-Lutzka for SKATE supremacy. So a full and let’s face it, glowing review would be appreciated. The only possible knock against this game would be that it’s probably more accurately described as an entry in the fantasy genre because in real life, one cannot hope to compete with the Lutzka.

McDoubles

September 7, 2009

birdhouse_mctwsts
Royale with cheese

For those of us who started skating in the 1980s there’s shit being done now that of course seems unfathomable in retrospect, for instance, switch 360 flipping double-sets, 360 flip noseblunts, nose tattoos and so on. Then there’s a whole other world of tricks that are the type of thing that theoretically were within the realm of possibility, but so out of hand as to be restricted to idle speculation during recess or in the wee hours of a sleepover after the third watch of “Public Domain,” and it is into this category that this sequence from the new TSM falls: Tony Hawk blasting a quarter century’s worth of contest-honed McTwisting over Aaron “No” Homoki’s parlour trick somewhere in Australia. It’s very possible this same pairing went down in some X-Fest or another, and I missed it because I never think to watch that sorta thing, but I really did set down the magazine and ponder this one for a minute when I saw it.

The Nieratko-penned article on this trip is a generally good one by the way – brief and BB-tinged, it’s telling of the way things are reshaping at the ‘house that Hawk built. For one, there’s an amusing and unapologetic Shawn White diss, and much is made of the fact that the Birdman was in the van* as opposed to sipping Chardonnay on his Lear jet or whatever on their city-to-city jaunts. Plus, the dude skated street with the bros (who included his son of course) and threw down his personal plastic when more juice was required to keep the distillates flowing. Who can say whether the B-House corporate account remains solvent. Perhaps Willy Santos, who also has a Birdhouse ad this month. No shit, Willy Santos. Either way, as far as the article goes, we can assume that none of this, including Nieratko’s invitation, happened by accident, but it’s nice to see nevertheless because Birdhouse continues to be home to some genuinely dirty/dedicated dudes and there’s some effort being put in over there to have a say in the way things are right now. It’s a long way for them to go of course, but I’m curious to see how far Tony Hawk is willing to push to get his shit back on track.

*they rented a van

We’ll Make It Better, the Second Time Around

August 20, 2009

f_nickintroanim
Where were you on this one, Eli Reed

Unless Gator, Ryan Sheckler, JR Blastoff, Chad Fernandez, Kurtis Colamonico, Adam McNatt, Shaun White, Tyrone Olson, Josh Kasper, Greg Lutzka, Andy Mac and Mike Vallely all climbed into an ocean liner that plowed over some baby whales then smashed into an iceberg, caught fire and was devoured by the horrible kraken, then Nick Merlino is not the most hated dude in skateboarding. Although it is kind of a clever marketing campaign for Foundation, the company that blinked first and this week signed up New Jersey’s favorite switch spinnin’ Baker reject. Foundation and Nick Merlino: Making skateboarding annoying again? Make it work, people…

It’s an interesting tack for Foundation though. Comeback stories are nothing new over the past few years, but really it’s only if you’re an old dude that people liked in the first place*. Flaring out at the beginning of your career is way tougher to rebound from, even in a world as steeped in nostalgia as the skate-sphere. This is the hard road faced by young Justin Case and also those millions of American Idol contestants who will one day show those nasty judges once and for all that they are true superstars. Like, are people still checking for Billy Waldman?

Of course Nick Merlino’s issues were more political in nature. For those of you not caught up on your messageboard drama, a few years back his gap/rail prowess earned him flow positioning for Baker and Krew companies along with a ticket to Australia, where depending on whom you ask, he flagrantly one-upped Bryan Herman, got in a fistfight with Braydon Szafranski, infested the country with bullfrogs and got along quite nicely with Antwuan Dixon, thank you. Whatever the case he returned to the U.S. in despair, promptly injured himself, dealt some cards in Atlantic City and honed his self-deprecation skills.

Ponder, if you will – was his crime being a too-talented young idiot? And how else does one learn not to be?
What the Fuck is your problem?
A.D.D. is my biggest problem. I just can’t wait to land my shit, I’m too goddamn impatient and I want to get it over with.

Anyway. Adding Merlino, whose time away found him switch heelflipping big shit and not winning many more friends, puts Foundation in this interesting spot where they’re giving dudes second chances and letting them sort of correct earlier missteps. Whether or not Corey “NAACP” Duffel is a changed man is a judgment that this blog will hand off to the big messageboard in the sky, but after Foundation got behind him, people/the industry haven’t exactly ignored him. Also consider Mike Ruscyzk and Matt Allen: Tod Swank has been down to stick with dudes other companies definitely would’ve bounced long before they stepped off the world’s biggest skateboard.

Between Baker and Bummer High, Foundation’s ranks have grown kind of thin lately, but the pro refuse pile may still hold some gems if they want to keep going down this road. It’s been a while since the F had a tech dude, and Brian Wenning is still a free agent, right? Bastien Salabanzi could probably be extracted from his Jart deal, or what about Anthony Mosely, is he still doing those one-man demo camps? Perhaps Danny Gonzales could un-retire one more time… for the bros.

*Here again we reference the McGill pic

Christ Air

November 20, 2008


The only way to fly

Australians love to party, and who can blame them? Their scenic island nation is surrounded by lovely beaches and reefs, crocodiles and concrete skateparks are abundant, and the land was immortalized by 80s hit machine Men At Work (later covered by Sheckler favorites MGMT).

But, as Rupert Murdoch has made clear, there’s always one guy who’s gotta take things too far. Behold the sobering tale of a homebound Aussie and his ignoble choice of coke mule:

A 33-YEAR-old Victorian man faces up to 25 years in jail after cocaine was found hidden inside two skateboards at Sydney Airport.

The man was stopped by Customs officers yesterday after arriving on a flight from Auckland, Customs and Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a joint statement.

Get it? Joint statement? Anyway.

Customs officers became suspicious that drugs were hidden inside two skateboard decks and an X-ray revealed an image consistent with a possible drug concealment.

Now when I read this I immediately thought to myself, how exactly might one go about hiding a bunch of blow in a board? And it came to me. The Element Push/Helium constructions! Obviously this Down Under Rick Ross had read his TWS Buyer’s Guide.*

If you think about it, this sort of makes sense. We’re nearly a decade on from one of Muska’s more nefarious contributions to the skateboard style canon – the weed stash pocket – and as the stair sets get bigger and the rails longer and the mega-ramps span more and more famous landmarks, it’s natural for someone to come along and up the stakes. Hence the coke smuggling board from Element. Shit, check out the Helium construction logo. No business like snow business.

Curiosity got the better of me and I pulled up this handy cocaine street value calculator, because that’s the beauty of the internet right there, and if the estimate is correct, this dude fit like $75 grand worth of blow in each board. “$75 grand per board… I don’t care how many Dew Tours you win… you got to win forever to make that kinda loot.”

No doubt. You have to wonder how deep this goes. Is Tosh Townend’s new deal over at Pocket Pistol skates a new distribution venue, or a pit stop on the way to a Colombian necktie? Does Element operate an extensive and shadowy Latin American “flow team?” Does this all somehow explain Mike Vallely’s seemingly constant aggression? Are the, ahem, Helium deck exports keeping Element afloat through this difficult economic period? Too many questions, and too many bad puns. I’m quitting while I’m ahead…

*It’s worth revisiting Cairo’s comments on deck technology: “I’m totally not backing anything with a missing ply inside. I’m not going to name names.” Possible endorsement of the stop snitching campaign?