Posts Tagged ‘Brian Wenning’

Scenes From The Spring 2005 DNA Distribution Catalogue

April 15, 2018

Summer of Good Vibes

August 21, 2017

The heady daytimes of midsummer were made for growing green things, construction projects and loving refurbishments, laying supplies and fortifications for the long winter nights ahead. What with its rolling papers and noon wakeups, skateboarding leans toward the lazily fiddling, devil-may-care grasshopper in the tale of old, or perhaps a chaotic Fraggle. But the bold ant, in its levelheaded industriousness and generous way, can provide an alternate insect avatar, and skating must never overlook the rebuildatory tendencies of the lowly Doozer. Half-submerged in a midsummer night’s dream of positive vibes, Bowl The Ocean site examines three visions of a world that is not yet the future, but could be.

Clint and Reef, Ollie Men: Since time’s beginning, skateboarders of all stripes have celebrated that singular and uniting thrill, the big jump. Even so, one of the biggest ollies of recent years has sown division. After dueling ollies down the Wilshire 15 and over the yellow poles (implanted for pure gnarlieness enhancement) appeared last year on the Instagram pages of Birdhouse bad boy Clint Walker and FA-affiliated ATLien Reef Johnson, Jenkem magazine probed the backstory — whereas Clint Walker had tamed the massive gap and sat on the photo in hopes of bagging Thrasher’s cover, comer-upper Shareef Grady unknowingly did the same ollie and, over Clint Walker’s career-minded protestations, they both wound up pushing their tricks to the socializing internet masses to get what shine they could. The scenario was a debacle made possible by a unique fender-bender involving old and new media, and though few hard feelings were aired publicly, nobody seemed satisfied with the outcome, which also had the effect of clouding a legitimately heavy trick.

This year, Jason Hernandez is videotaping Clint Walker and the rest of Tony Hawk’s brood for what’s being billed as ‘The End’ for a new generation. Clint Walker, who has nollie heelflipped atop bone-crushing canyons and conquered fear itself, will have an assuredly crazy part. But what about that one ollie, now loaded with so much baggage? An old caveman saying from the planet’s spryer years holds that ‘the crazy thing about baggage is that it’s lighter when a friend helps carry the load,’ and the statement never was truer than when applied to the Birdhouse video in progress. Imagine a break in the middle of Clint Walker’s section where he rolls up to the Wilshire 15 and Poles, then it cuts to him jumping it, but the camera keeps rolling and then Yung Reef comes right behind him and jumps it too, riding out into a torrent of bro hugs and high fives. The vibes would runneth over.

Lakai Collabo Matchup: Even upon opening a new chapter with a winning full-length built around mostly new faces, storied shoe group Lakai faces turbulence, over the past month reportedly having to send back and reprint all physical DVD copies on some music rights shit and Fort Miley burler Jon Sciano leaving, apparently to skate for Vans. Amid Lakai’s various high-profile team defections over the last few years, Blackpooler Danny Brady has held tight, getting a shoe design recently for his efforts.

Lakai’s collaborative shoe projects have run an extremely varied gamut of partners, from culture warrior Lena Dunham to certain Wild Things to further investments in pastel paneling via several sneakers colored by Illegal Civilization person Nico Hiraga. But the Danny Brady link provides a lane for Mike Carroll and Rick Howard to potentially something together with Palace, which has made deluxely curated bathrobes and swishy shirts with any number of mega sports gear manufacturers such as Adidas and Umbro and Reebok. Palace’s teaming with Bronze helped elevate the New York bolt factory to a sought-after street fashion sensation. A similar project could further invigorate Lakai and keep Danny Brady shod on his current productive path.

Brian Wenning For Hire: For those fumbling toward some nightlight amid dark hours of the soul this summer, Brian Wenning’s recent podcast unburdenings have left DNA Distribution devotees of a certain vintage aglow. By all accounts, Brian Wenning reached the bottom of his own self-fulfilling prophecy and a humble halfway-house rebuild seemingly has done wonders for his self-regard, career reassessment and, importantly, his switch backside nosegrinds. Slimmed down and again in DCs, Brian Wenning is starting to look like he never went anywhere, venturing back onto the road and appearing to deeply enjoy himself.

His could be a feel-good summertime story, especially as Habitat prepares to reissue one of his OG graphics in what looks like a tribute to clamoring back onto life’s board. But Al Davis, another former Habitater asked and answered what must be the ultimate question in the matter: ‘PUT HIM BACK ON!!!!’

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 2 #2 – Brandon Biebel and Brian Wenning ‘Subtleties’

June 26, 2014

This video part showcases the freewheeling lackadaisically achievable solely through sporting xtra-large t-shirts and pants long of flapping denim leg. It’s a little bit of a challenge to buy into Transworld’s positioning of Biebel and Wenning as a summer buddy-pro duo, given that they skate none of the same spots here and indeed do not even seem to be on screen together, but there is enough common technical ground beneath those frayed cuffs to argue favorably for this part somewhere in the lower levels of the high temple of shared video parts, somewhere beneath your Hsu/Barletta, Carroll/Howard, Kirchart/Klein and Way/McKay. The Pier 7 blocks generally are some of the best backdrops for Brandon Biebel’s manualing prowess and he is known to have puffed out his big t-shirt at least eight dozen times over the course of recording these tricks. At this point in time Wenning still hovered near the height of his powers, his last line here worthy of bringing up in any conversation about the best lines within the Transworld video catalogue and notable too for featuring among the last colors of the original Lynx, which beyond all expectation or reason has since proven impossible for DC to revive without screwing up some major detail.

Roll Out The Barrel

January 7, 2012

It is one week into 2012. See if you can pick the fake headline:

[ ] Andy Roy Attempts To Choke Out DMX Live Onstage

[ ] Jereme Rogers Arrested Following Nude, PCP-Fueled Hotel Rampage

[ ] Brian Wenning Quits Selfish Skateboards Via Jereme Rogers Diss Track

[ ] All of the above/gonna be a long year

Higher Than Man, No Free Beats — White Powder Beats Vol. 4: Gangz Gunz N Gold Grillz Edition

March 8, 2011

Checking in again, briefly, to lob up one of my all-time favorite ads from when Brian Wenning’s ascendancy to East Coast legendhood was happening in the pages of magazines as opposed to Youtube entertainments and DC was continuing to experiment with color-schemes for what was at the time their fastest-selling model to date. Found this by happenstance tonight, searching for some unrelated magazine cover (no luck there btw). Kind of like thrusting your hand deep into the duffel bag of life and pulling out a long forgotten t-shirt that still fits, but is maybe musty and discolored. If I remember right, this appeared in a TWS that featured a 20-questions sort of feature with Wenning where he switch backside smith grinded a little handrail also. Think there was maybe a Rick McCrank article. I remember all this because naturally it is not among the seven or eight or ten boxes of skate magazines littering the basement/garage. Also love the light in this photo. To link this somehow to what’s currently happening we can draw a vague line to Tom Asta’s going-pro video that’s slated to go live on the Black Box website in about 23 minutes and chances are will include some form of switch heelflip at this same locale.

Backmasking

January 22, 2010


Back it up then stop

There are those dudes like Brian Wenning and Daniel Castillo and Nate Jones who find a seam to mine and stick with it for much of their careers, and when you’ve got a nice switch heelflip/switch backside heelflip/hair that can help you pay your mortgage or whatever, more power to you. But for those of us whose major fulfillment re: progression comes from landing personal NDB’s, by a function of stair-fearing ankles or general sucking, it’s heartening to see established pro-bros who keep reaching for the new-trick rainbow year in and year out.

Case in point: Emmanuel Guzman’s rather genuine excitement at filming a flatground switch 360 flip in the Transworld video, a maneuver he apparently had figured out not long before. This particular memory was jogged via Guzman’s section in “Prevent This Tragedy” when he twirls a switch tre over a cement hump, only to follow it with what I’m assuming is another recent addition to the repertoire, a switch backside 360.

Now, there was a time and place when backside noseblunting a handrail won you fever points with the masses, covers of magazines, curtains in videos; this time was the year 2000 and the place was a little zone that so-cal brahs like to call “so-cal, brah.” The handrail BSNBS was among the last milemarker tricks, in that it became over the subsequent years kind of a benchmark as far as what dudes could do it and how big they could take it.

It seems like a lot of the past decade was given over to stringing tricks together and rediscovering ramp roots, but if there were to be ’10 version of the barometer type trick, we at Boil the ocean internet peanut gallery LLC would gently submit the switch backside 360 as a worthwhile candidate. Suitably exclusive to the super-good, it’s also one that could conceivably be done ugly enough to let you sort out the legit envelope-pushers from the skatepark stair pretenders. Guzman doesn’t sail his down a Merlino-sized gap but it’s got an interesting delay to it. And yeah we are aware that Russ Milligan has already done and gone and did it with a kickflip (who else–Chris Cole? PJ Ladd?)

Guzman’s got that wicked spider-style and the switch 360 actually ranks pretty low on the gnarlitude scale when it comes to his part in this video, with higher positions held by the frontside ollie into the giant pool, the windbreaker hill jam and a personal favorite, the backside tailslide (to regulars) on the wood rail, which anyone will tell you earns extra points always.

Brian Wenning Is The Best Skater Alive

May 2, 2009


Rich off cocaine

Dovetailing nicely with the Plan B focus this week comes the inevitable news that Brian Wenning has been let go from the Danny/Colin hardgoods dream team, shortly after being handed his walking papers from Droors Clothing Shoe Co USA. Given Wenning’s lack of footage these last few years, mostly underwhelming photo output and recent Youtube antics, it maybe isn’t super surprising that these eventualities have inspired a flood of “don’t let the door hit ya on the way out” commentary across the skate-related interwebs, but it’s disappointing, because what people are overlooking is the fact that career collapse or no, Wenning will come to be seen as a hugely influential figure in 00’s skating, and if he is flaring out, it’s in proper 1990s party-spiral fashion.

Personally I think Wenning’s on some Henry Sanchez trip; the “over-it”-ness he aired toward DC in his recent Skateboarder* interview and, er, fireside chat video are only a prologue to what surely will be a blaze of sour grapes toward the likes of Ryan Sheckler and Jereme Rogers. More people used to name names, now everybody’s got business interests, but Brian Wenning is from New Jersey and seems to prefer drinking with his low-life buddies and skating a shitty pre-fab park that his little brother gave up on years ago.

Whether or not Wenning achieves or even attempts a comeback I think is totally beside the point in a post-Fully Flared/Sorry age, where legends are unearthed, outfitted in fresh sponsorship deals and New Eras, and set about writing sequels and prequels to stories that were basically holy scripture. I saw that Timberland video, Wenning’s still got it I think, but what’s the upside for him? A part in a soon-forgotten Axion promo? A spot on Element**? (I think he’d need to have a real rock-bottom Oprah awakening before Fred Gall could make a convincing case to put him back on Habitat.)

Probably the smart move for Wenning would be to drop off the map more or less completely, make random solo appearances in New Jersey, maybe grow his hair real long and not really skate. (The Timberland thing was possibly premature in this way.) If Bill Strobek is kind he could delay dropping his video for another year, at which point skateboarding will have forgotten the Brian Wenning of the two-inch scratcher slides at those alphabet ledges and people will trip out anew on the Photosynthesis era – while PJ Ladd’s video part had a bigger impact on actual tricks I think Wenning’s Photo part remains one of the most influential sections style-wise over the last ten years, and I shudder to think where, say, Ronson Lambert would be without it today. The Henry Sanchez comparison again – Brian Wenning was doing the hottest tricks at the coolest spots, looking like nobody else at the time.

So we’ll see. Maybe in a couple years he can mount a comeback part, get a board offer from say Zoo, figure out a way to get kicked off within three weeks and quickly slide back into obscurity. You almost hope he does – in a lot of ways it would be preferable to seeing him dried out and born again in time to chase pole-jam variations and waxy ledge combos. Or Scientology.

*Keep your head up, Source Interlink employees
**Baker probably a more realistic prospect, but with the economy in the toilet who really knows anything about anything

Anthony Pappalardo, This Is Your Life

January 8, 2009


You went away but now you’re back

In the interest of full disclosure, I tended to roll my eyes when people told me how they teared up the first time they watched Guy Mariano’s part in the Lakai video, with the emo music 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 Document magazine has indeed gone gently into that good night. What I’m trying to say here is that I’m a tough guy. A tough cookie. A hardcase.

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. Fuck. Shut up.

Super Ugly

November 6, 2008


“Had to buy your chain back the last time you got robbed”

I confess to getting more excited than I probably should have by the graphic intro for the new Plan B “Superfuture” promo, not because I was anticipating some Simian Mobile Disco soundtrack and Fully Flared production values (though that might have been interesting, if not actually good), but because I thought there might be more than the usual VX2000/fisheye, two recycled songs (one from another Plan B video!) and another song that might as well be. But the DC braintrust behind Plan B’s initial demise and subsequent resurrection unfortunately don’t possess the vision of a Manzoori or a Hill, as you may have noticed from their choice of skaters to their graphics.

But Danny Way continues to confound persons like myself who’d just as soon write him off as a bodybuilding hound for X-Games medals and Guinness world records, doing shit like kickflipping into the goddam giant quarterpipe, 360 flipping the giant jump and 360-flip crooked grinding the giant coping. Colin McKay you could write off way easier and while he’s certainly milking it, I tend to give him a pass because it’s obvious he loves skateboarding to death, is constantly plagued with injuries and generally seems like a sweet dude. So you know. It’s all gravity.

Plan B’s Boston trinity is similarly conundrumous. The bearded car wreck-in-motion that is Jereme Rogers poses the question of whether those gifted with preternatural skateboarding skills are driven by the demands of the trade to shocker tattoos, preachy Christianity and please-stick-me-up jewelry, or if he’s just drawn that way. On the other end of the spectrum you have PJ Ladd, who seems content to dribble out atom-smashing displays of tech mastery (i.e. that Le Dome line with the bigspin kickflips) and lazy, casual displays of tech mastery (i.e. this shit).

And then there’s Ryan Gallant who can do bigspin backside noseblunts and doesn’t really make a big deal out of it.

Wenning and Duffy continue to stick out like sore thumbs, but pretty pleasant sore thumbs, like maybe if you slammed your hand in a safe en route to pulling a successful bank heist. And it’s nice to see Paul Rodriguez stretching his legs a little with the switch tailslide kickflip out to switch, and his last trick, which I’m sure is probably even harder than it looks. Maybe it’s all the moustache.

Aside from D-Way’s mega-heroics the other highlight of this video is Scott Decenzo’s big Plan B debut, and while he’s kind of hard to watch style-wise at times, you can almost see him getting better as the footage goes along and he’s got that youthful exuberance that drives one to do nollie flips close to walls, damned be the consequences. The young Canadian knows his way around ledge tricks but I’m guessing the unassuming rail moves that got him onboard – switch frontside hurricane (not even slow-mo’ed) and nollie backside 180 nosegrind are the sorts of tricks that make you wonder how some kids get pro boards for doing frontside 180s off kickers set up in front of big drops.