Posts Tagged ‘Berrics’

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The 10-Minute Cory Kennedy Video Part

March 7, 2010

How did Cory Kennedy get so good, is the question upon the minds of men and children who witnessed his arrival via the Berrics take on American Idolatry, and subsequent rise to power thanks to the internet’s 86,400-second news cycle and breathless vivisection of several bizarro hip tricks at faceless skateparks. I mean, he comes out of the dreary rainforests of the U.S. pacific northwest. He didn’t toil away his tweenage years on Termite or Twigs or whatever and there is little evidence tying him to a secret 80s-pro father, so Occam’s Razor dictates that he sold his eternal soul to Satan for skateboard power, much like devil-worshipping pals Lizard King Plumb and Brian Hansen.

At family-values centric Boil the we narrow our eyes and curl our lip at the fallen one, and there are other reasons of varying validity to maybe not like Cory Kennedy: the Girl camp has had a fairly hit-and-miss record when it comes to developing its parade of uber-ams (yea, Malto/Calloway/Biebel; nay, Rogers/Eldridge; P-Rod/O’Neill/Angel, iffy) and it’s always a little weird to see some kid appear out of thin air able to whip out every trick in the book, etc. As perhaps has been rambled about previously it almost cheapens shit in a way.

Yet after spending probably more than an hour across multiple viewings of CK2’s opening statement in the heavy-hitting “Beware of Sasquatch” vid we are believers. For one thing, this dude doesn’t really do bad tricks. Even moves suspect under the feet of others (bigspin heelflip) tend to work out for him, and whether it’s restraint or a breezy outlook on life in general, the tension is eased with plenty of little nollie heelflips and wallrides in between his THPS combos (or are we now to call them EA Skate combos). He’s got enough lank to pull off a touch of the Wenning slouch, grasps the value of a straight-ahead switch ollie and does not jump off when the terrain becomes rugged and pebbly.

The length, width and techiness of this big Cory Kennedy debut, alongside the fact that it comes in a bro-powered video as opposed to some Grauman’s Chinese Theatre premiere, invites comparisons to PJ Ladd… for sure some of these moves (switch frontside bigger spin heelflip) fit the mold, and a lot of these spots look like they could be found around the corner from his house, sidewalk gaps and random manual pads, similar to PJ Ladd’s beloved window-ledge. We probably won’t see many more of these overcast industrial parks once southern California gets its hooks into him, but here Cory Kennedy seems not too worked up over things like stair counts and the grins come off genuine and easy.

Also: admiring the way his board sticks to the bench b/s tailslides, the headbanging backside noseblunt on the steps, and the 50-50 at around the 2:30 mark, which ranks among the better-sounding tricks of this young year. Music is region-appropriate and the track runners observing the bench-to-bank session brought on a Memory Screen flashback. Unicron has this vid now for fairly cheap, by the by.

The Beak Is Back, Maybe

January 28, 2010

Can’t be stopped

As you can imagine, even in the freshly minted year of our Lord 2010, the Muska is never far from our minds around here. Whether it was his days pioneering the cargo pant as the Shorty’s team captain, the clear sunglasses-and-headscarf combo of Circa’s heyday or his resurrection as a white-denimed Hollywood nightcrawler, Chad Muska’s legacy looms large. So large in fact that I was gobsmacked no less than twice yesterday during my usual You-Toob clip perusal by the way Muska fulfilled the dream with one of his token moves, the backside noseslide.

I’ve been hard-pressed to keep up with the various “You/U/Eu” video contests and controversies that seem to be constantly churning over at the berrics, but was prompted to click this one because it had an odd name that I incorrectly thought belonged to a single person, and also because it came from Mexico, a land you may imagine to be overrun with bloodthirsty druglords toting AR-15s, but actually is home to some bros that do a lot of body varial tricks. The Muska moment arrives at 2:33 with a healthy noseslide through some sizable kinks and taken back to regular which is always a good look with this move.

Elsewhere on the planet, globetrotting Yankees fan Kenny Reed stretches his backside 5-0s to worldly proportions and revisits a few obscure spots en route to a (spoiler alert) truly massive noseslide down something like 50 steps. The sheer length is one thing but what makes this noseslide really classic is how low the ledge is and the never-say-die way that Reed skids it out to the bitter end. Kind of comical but it’s interesting to see a resurgence of these more basic tricks these days. People like Davids Gravette and Gonzales are promoting 5050s again when there’s a gnarly handrail involved, although for years it seemed like that trick had been discarded as too basic* to even consider. If noseslides creep back into the rotation, perhaps there will one day be no need to twist boardslides into feeble grinds.

*disregarding Anthony Pappalardo, in which case that seems like the whole point

For The Record

June 28, 2009

In 1988, pro skateboarder Mike Vallely revolutionized the skateboarding sport

My pleas to let anticipation and tension build ahead of the inevitable BATB Round 2: Daewon Song’s Revenge having fallen on deaf ears, exhaustive coverage of the first quadrant is already under way so I suppose I ought to post my picks for posterity, seeing’s how I’m already 1-for-2 or however it’s termed in actual sporting phrasology. After hanging tough in one of those Es games of skate a few years back and that surprise caballerial kickflip last time around I thought Jamie Thomas had a little bit more in him, but as millions of kids 15 years younger than I already know, he did not. Perhaps chomping too many frontside k-grinds. BTO fared a bit better in the Cole v. Vallely matchup, but just barely, as the Colester’s good-natured agreement to bend the rules in favor of ’80s Skate Rags maneuvers produced probably one of the most fun to watch episodes thus far. Honestly I thought Mike V was pretty amiable about the whole thing and it would’ve been amazing to see one of these with Eric Koston or Mike Carroll. Let this stand as a warning, kids, a cautionary tale of what can happen to your switch heelflips if you choose to focus your energy on quasi-celebrity hockey blogging and acting in Kevin James vehicles.


Did $10,000 Cheapen the Battle at the Berrics?

March 8, 2009

Rolex watches and colorful swatches

So first off, let us one and all congratulate Mitchell Maurice Capaldi on a tough-earned but convincing win last Monday (?) in the Battle at the Berrics, and also for fulfilling the hopes and dreams of myself and no doubt thousands of others who chose him as the ultimate flatground power what seems like years ago. Alas, it’s over now, the absence of those three-minute slices of nail-bitin’ board-flippin’ thrillage making our hangovers that much bittersweeter, our Sunday mornings that much foggier. Life goes on, even as some of us wonder why, and to what end. BATB round two? Hopefully they wait at least six months and don’t let the thing get played out before throwing in some bizarro twists: ’80s board round, manual round, blindfold round, mega-ramp round, blindfold megaramp round, etc.

Whether you were feverishly pressing the refresh button at the stroke of 12:00 a.m. PST, tsk-tsking the jockification inherent in filling out a winner’s bracket or rolling your eyes at the entire spectacle, it probably is safe to say that the Berrics Battle currently is for sure the biggest and most important contest in skateboarding. I mean, Jake Brown had to fall off a fucking skyscraper for the X-Games to draw any attention from the non-Fuel TV-watching population recently; I’m assuming either Ryan Sheckler or Greg Lutzka won the Dew Tour last year, and probably nobody cares either way. The Maloof thing was notable for its course, Leo’s trick and, in retrospect, the namesake bros’ Scrooge McDuck-type frivolity and general money-throwin’, but that’s about it.

On the other hand, roughly the entire skateboarding planet now knows who Benny Fairfax is, and he didn’t even win the thing. While I understand his board was in the works at Stereo before his unlikely rise to flip-trick hierarchy and amazing comeback against the fearsome PJ Ladd, I could imagine the British buckaroo joining the professional ranks off his showing in the BATB alone. Kind of like what Tampa Am used to do for a kid, before all those Brazilian tweens took over.

Which is partly why, along with the general minimalism of the whole affair (bare bones tricks, warehouse floor, no announcer, handful of randoms as spectators) I sort of agreed when a buddy of mine expressed mild distaste for the last-minute addition of the $10,000 purse. While I don’t know that it would have had any affect on who participated, how hard they tried, etc. it sort of threw something off – sort of the opposite effect prize money has with regard to an X-Game, where at least dudes are getting paid big bucks for wading through the pool of energy drink banners and slang-slinging Fraggle Rock announcers.*

No doubt Mitchell Maurice deserved more than fleeting internet fame for winning the battle, and lord knows we could all use ten thousand dollars right now. Perhaps he is upside down on his mortgage, which I understand to mean that fluctuating financial markets have flipped his house upon its roof and he needs expensive contractors to put it right side up again. Yet Tupac teaches us that money is the root of all evil, and for a contest that defied so many of the usual constructs that make most skateboard competitions boring, lame and irrelevant, it would have been cool if the end result could’ve been refreshing in the same way.

*Berra’s dig at EXPN et al was appreciated, though

In Which Mike Carroll Fucks Up My Berrics Bracket And I Learn A Valuable Lesson About Teamwork

January 17, 2009

But seriously fuck Mike Carroll

Not too long ago I was socializing, as is my wont, with some similarly older skateboarding types: real dyed-in-the-wool dudes with car payments who tsk-tsk kids these days, didn’t bother to see the Fallen video, remember the significance of Honda Civics and deep down still believe in the power of switch crooked grinds in Southern Californian schoolyards. Rudy Johnson’s name came up.

So when somebody asked about the outcome of the Berrics game of skate that particular day I expected half the dudes to roll their eyes and the other half to ask what the fuck a Berrics was, but to my pleasant surprise somebody whipped out a laptop, everybody huddled up and we watched in raucous disbelief as a masked Joey Brezinski let himself be casually outfoxed by Mike Carroll, who I was positive would flub out of contention either intentionally or, you know, cuz he’s getting old. How wrong I was, eh?

Anyway the point is if Berra and Koston possess the power to command a bunch of aging ledge-monkeys to feverishly anticipate every Saturday and Sunday morning like a new episode of TMNT was coming on, they definitely have caught lightning in a bottle with this Berrics Battle thing. And since we’re well into the second round at this point, I figured we’d look back on how my picks performed. (I had to print out a bracket and fill it in manually because either the link or my brain wasn’t working that day… go figure)

Joey Brezinski v. Chad Tim Tim
While I like Chad Tim Tim and all, my imagination had the young(er) buck Brezinski sparked and ready to pull out enough bizarro moves even without manuals to win. I also fully expected the double heelflip to rear its head, and was not disappointed.

Jeron Wilson v. Mike Carroll
Honestly I thought that once we got through the frontside bigspin variations and heelflip variations, Carroll’s bag of tricks was way deeper even if he might not be into the whole idea that much. So, right.

Arto Saari v. Chico Brenes
This one totally flummoxed me, as I believed that even an injury-plagued SOTY would be able to triumph over Chico’s fairly limited trick range, but ultimately Arto fell to a combination of 12-year-old tricks and his own sweat-saturated shirt. Bummer brah.

Mike Mo Capaldi v. Furby
Here I picked the Mike Mo with no hesitation. I firmly believe he will make his way to the final matchup.

Chris Roberts v. Steve Berra
Definitely more a fan of Chris Roberts, but I figured I’d give Berra at least one sympathy vote at his own park. He has to go up against Marc Johnson next so…

Marc Johnson v. Johnny Layton
With this one, I kind of thought it might be a blowout, but had I known Koston & co. were going to run a train on poor MJ I may have changed my vote and would have been totally, horribly incorrect. A shocker for sure.

Billy Marks v. Danny Supa
Danny Supa doesn’t strike me as a real hard-charging competitor and Billy Marks skates parks all the time right? So, you know. Marks’ little crow caw was entertaining.

Brandon Biebel v. Nick McLouth
I dislike Nick McLouth’s skating so I’m glad Biebel won.

Clint Peterson v. Paul Shier
Try as I may, I can’t recall Clint Peterson doing any but the more basic flatground tricks, whereas Paul Shier twirls around on ledges and manual pads all day, so that’s where I laid my bet.

Mikey Taylor v. Benny Fairfax
Since the DVS video came out I’ve come to view Mikey Taylor as sort of mentally unstable and I thought he might somehow crack under the pressure. Whereas mellow Briton Fairfax would generally keep his head down and land tricks. Taylor held it together, so far as I could tell, but still came up short…

Danny Montoya v. Erik Ellington
Ellington never seemed to be any great shakes at a wide variety of flip tricks, given the play given to his flatground switch heelflip in the recent Baker vid, but having seen Montoya deal with consistency issues in person I deemed it a toss-up and went with Ellington – who ultimately triumphed in his Speed Racer swimcap, much to my glee.

Jimmy Cao v. Bryan Herman
This one like several other matchups I thought could be determined by the hung-overed-ness of one party, in this case Herman, who indeed eventually succumbed to the flip-flippin’ wiles of Cao.

Daniel Castillo v. Andrew Reynolds
I think Reynolds was throwing him a bone with the switch 360.

PJ Ladd v. Tyler Bledsoe
Probably more than any of the other matches this one had me biting at fingernails and whatnot, because I expected Bledsoe to maybe put up a little bit of a fight, but just in the general process of PJ Ladd wiping the floor with him. Which wasn’t at all what happened and now I’m quite concerned because I had PJ going pretty far. So I don’t know what to do now. Suicide, possibly.

Eric Koston v. Rob Dyrdek
For another dude with his own park I figured Dyrdek would’ve done a wee bit better, even though he was up against the boss of all bosses. Though of course he had a sense of humor about it. Back to the piles of money and beautiful women for him.

Donovan Strain v. Sean Malto.
I was one of those people who had never heard of Donovan Strain before this whole mess. And so I picked Malto. Had I known laser flips and double hardflips and all that were going to enter into it, I probably still would have picked Sean Malto, but maybe wouldn’t have felt as cheated. Hence I remain bitter and dismayed and I’m seriously concerned about Koston’s chances in the coming round.

Be our guest

September 29, 2008

Get your worries off your chest

As sweet as the footage is, I’m pretty sure the Enjoi Berrics clip doesn’t quite capture the total idiotic euphoria that seems to have run rampant through this session like some sort of flamboyant ox. Is Louie Barletta the Gallagher of skateboarding? Is Gallagher the Jose Rojo of Nigerian email schemes? Does Jesse Erickson have a unique real estate apprenticeship opportunity available for a limited time?

Sometimes I wonder: Enjoi reality show, yea or nay? Maybe if it was produced by those Takeshi’s Castle guys… or perhaps Longmont Potion Castle

Addendum: my other favorite trick. Because it’s impossible to choose only one.