Posts Tagged ‘Bam Bam Bigelow’

ShipRocked On The Final Frontier

May 31, 2020

At some point on Friday, May 22, the last of skateboarding’s wavering, already-crumbly stylistic barriers came collapsing down. They fell beneath two different colored Nikes, kickflip frontside crooked grinding a waist-high handrail, beneath a pile of flaming skulls, zippers and rap-rock intonations, topped with Day-Glo liberty-spikes. Tally if you will from clay tablets and la smoke-hazed memory banks the most-ridiculed dress, music and geometry of the 1990s onward, and yung Vincent Nava stitches them all together and sails them down a 20-stair handrail; it is a wonder he doesn’t push his neon flame-gripped board mongo, or skate Nash decks, or sport an eyebrow piercing.

Time was, stepping out in getups cobbled together from Manic Panic-stained pages torn from a Hot Topic lookbook, let alone filming in these, was to walk out in front of the battalion of tastemaking industry tanks. It was only a little over a decade ago that Zero’s Garrett Hill made the decision to 360 flip 50-50 a handrail in pants with two different coloured legs, earning widespread ridicule and fun-poking questions that continue into the modern era. There was a time in the late 1990s when Ed Templeton’s artistic exploits and choice to wear slim(mer) fitting Dickies helped earn him his own semi-serious ‘Ed Hater’s Club’ among Big Brother readers. Before that, Jason Dill’s teenage angst over an Iron Maiden tee he hadn’t the courage to wear in the World era became a lodestar for his own journey of self-discovery via sleeveless shirts and cowboy hats that he himself would, in turn, later deride. Cairo Foster and Ramiro ‘Furby’ Salcedo were clowned for glasses and gauges, respectively.

Flash forward a few years, and Supreme poster child Tyshawn Jones clips up in his own bicoloured pants legs en route to a SOTY nod. Camo crossbreeder Stephen Lawyer offers in-depth insights as to his technique, while John Shanahan exchanges multiple Benjamin Franklins for custom-made Rugrats cargo attire. Ascendant Alltimer Will Marshall has turned Legoman hats, short stature and Canadian heritage — obstacles to so many Darkstar riders of years past — into careermaking assets. Recently, there was a fight over who should get credit for designing the Osiris D3.

Where does this leave Vincent Nava? On paper his Pig Wheels part, replete with a 14-stair backside noseblunt in a coronavirus mask, a furious cab backside tailslide in a line and a backside overcrook on a Heath rail, is to be reckoned with; draped in cut-n-sew cartoon character tops, chunky rap-rock guitars, literal chest thumping, leopardskin print patchworkcargos that would make One-Off John think twice, and profligate hairspray clips, it amounts to a gauntlet thrown down before the industry. But from ostensible gatekeepers, there was no hesitation: Within days, Ted Schmitz conducted a lengthy and glowing interview for Thrasher, no doubt scooping Jenkem. The typically acerbic Slap boards offered mostly praise for the skating and marveled over the fits, ‘like a character someone who’s never skateboarded before would make on Skate 3.’ Admirers have run up his IG follower count above 18K, and his video part views via Pig’s feed have surpassed those of recent footage from industry-backed pros and ams.

What is owed a skater like Vincent Nava — a career? Respect? Wheelbite in the rain? If Slipknot and Limp Bizkit are not a ‘bridge too far,’ then indeed do any still exist? Did Bronze56k years ago somehow set in motion this Pig Wheels production, which also involves two people named ‘22K’ and ‘Kid Bronze’? Beyond Pig, is Tail Devil the next logical sponsor for Vincent Nava en route to an inevitable co-sign from Supreme, via the ragged, patched-pantsed path blazed by Aidan Mackey and Ben Kadow?

Another Tantalizing Push Taken Towards a Pugilistic Payday

February 27, 2017

The struggling skateboard industry this weekend mounted a fresh effort to coax digitally transferred dollaradoos from skateboarders’ apparently refilling attention-span glands (based on the roaring success of the recent renaissance in hour-plus podcasts), united with the no-fi production values associated with various ‘raw files’/‘b-sides victory-lap double dipping that invite the still-hungry skateboarding content glutton inside the gruesome and glorious video part-making process.

Carefully tearing loose a page from Thrasher’s steadily thickening online-content playbook, Street League-backed telephone application developer ETN, an assumed acronym for Extreme TV Network, where TV is short for television, this weekend broadcast Aaron ‘Jaws’ Hamoki and Tommy Sandoval stepping to the UC Davis gap for the thrillment of multiple subscribing app-downloaders around the world. The format recalled Thrasher’s ‘Bust or Bail’ series that pledged cash dollars for bar-lifting tricks at famed spots, although in this instance a financial pledge was made by app downloaders to pay either $8 a month or $80 a year to tune into similarly star-powered spot assaults yet to come, as well as a range of other ETN offerings including a skateboard game show.

At a time when no less prolific a professional than 18-parter Marc Johnson pleads for folks to maybe dial down the daily firehose of skate videos, citing fatigue, it requires balls of the UC Davis gap carcass-tossing sort to not just launch a new online and mobile TV channel, but to charge spendable money for it, given the ever-thicker churn of video parts, Instagram clips, days-in-the-lifes and certain other what have yous, plus the Slap boards. While ETN’s fruitsome spread of shows suggests no more free live-streaming of venerable contests such as Tampa Pro, the idea of televising heavy-hitter sessions like Jaws’ and Tommy Sandoval’s campus romp presents its own basket of yowling logistical dilemmas. If you’re a pro with the control and cojones, a combination knowed by industry men as ‘controjones,’ do you film it for your video-part ender, hoping for some Thrasher website push before the part finds whatever second life it may on You-Tube, or do you chance trying it on ETN before a potentially smaller audience that may or may not be the only ones to ever see it, depending upon how the footage is controlled? If you are ETN, do you recruit the Kyle Walkers of this world, who landed his SOTY Thrasher cover in about 45 minutes as per Michael Burnett’s reporting, and risk leaving sadistic penny-pinchers distraught that they didn’t get their money’s worth? Do you veer toward a wider stable of shakier-legged amateurs with less to lose but who may loose more fireworks? Is there some creamy middle of name-brand dudes who are good but not ‘too good’ to achieve maximum subscribership and critical re-ups? (For kids aroused by ETN’s promise that you can try it for free and “bail anytime,” cancelling the deal allegedly presents its own challenges.)

All this though is only precursor to ETN’s true potential and inevitable destiny. Skateboarding’s inherent penchant for drama, betrayal, vengeance, despair and triumph, along with its devotion to convoluted and soapy storylines, long has drawn comparisons to professional wrestling, where the pay-per-view model yielded enough thumping paydays and created enough American jobs to recently land wrestling tycooness Linda McMahon atop the U.S. Small Business Administration, providing the capacity to use the Boston Crab on nettlesome, job-restricting regulations. After Mike Carroll aired out Marc Johnson on Jenkem.com last fall, former teammate Chris Roberts and camera-pointing journeyman Roger Bagley were the first get Marc Johnson on record with his own version of events, a coup. Now, there may well be a market for a video app that shows you Marc Johnson, Joey Brezinski and maybe some of the Primitive dudes going manual-for-manual at the Santa Monica Courthouse. But if it got out that Mike Carroll and Rick Howard maybe were going to show up? Or if Tas Pappas and Tony Hawk were one weekend heading to the same ramp? In such cases the question may be not how much one could charge, but how many yachts one can reasonably enjoy.

Is this ETN’s launch suggestive of the suggestion that the skateboard media sphere is not yet so heavily saturated as the board-making biz? How does the concept of promoting an hour-plus of roll-ups and attempts square with Street League’s ambition to draw in the more-casual sports watcher, for whom the typical skate contest run format was deemed overlong/boring? How difficult is the sale proposition for any skate video material whatsoever when you have Foundation giving away jaw-slackening footage from Corey Glick and Cole Wilson, for nothing? While on the topic, is Cole Wilson out of his damn mind? Could there possibly be any better venue than this emergent ETN for a prolonged, mysterious comeback mounted by a shadowy gap-jumper who eventually unmasks himself after jumping some giant gap to reveal his identity as Josh Kasper, whose fondness for pro wrestling is well-documented?