Posts Tagged ‘Bryan Herman’

Si Se Puede

June 21, 2015

wild_streets

“Because We Can” is the tagline for the Emerica-Lakai joint venture summer demo tour, ostensibly nodding to rootsy trappings of a bros-before-focused-branding jaunt that recalls Crailtap’s past roadtrip tie-ups with the Firm and Anti Hero, and perhaps also the idea that Stayed Flarees aren’t contractually bound to bulge bracket contest stops, or fettered by corporate interests broiling with jealousy and alleged to have previously boxed out events planned by rivals.

Might this thundersome tour, boasting the caliber of lineup to collectively bless parks and spots alike perhaps once per decade, also be called ‘Because We Should’? It makes certain business senses for skater owned/directed shoe companies to band together as Nike has rolled out heavy artillery on multiple fronts between SB and the revival of its Converse skate program, while K-Swiss hoovers up Supra and New Balance tries its hand at ‘Pretty Sweet’ intro cinematography and attempts to one-up Plan B in the video-supervision after-black hammer that is securing PJ Ladd footage.

Assuming any relevant private equity fund analysts are safely off parking the vans, there probably exist few more-direct methods to illuminate any ‘skater-owned’ halo than to situate various owners, founders and shot-callers atop a pic-a-nic table in a sweaty Milwaukee warehouse, or nose manualing across pads in Pittsburgh. Whereas an demo featuring Mike Parker or Herbert Hainer might draw its own standing-room gaggle of vexed shareowners, slack-jawed blog proprietours and other would-be looky-lous, any effect on unit volume likely would present as incremental and potentially surprise to the downside, after all due rep points awarded for trying.

Pressing flesh among the seven-ply’s huddled masses though remains a worthy public service in an incarnation similar to the interstate highway system and other feats of two-way public infrastructuring. Impressions seared into yung psyches run deep enough that Andrew Reynolds, who’s got to be as hardened as anybody after two decades grinding through the industry, still turns slightly giddy recollecting the time and place he first saw Mike Carroll skate, at a demo. Whereas some kickflipping kid out there this summer will in a couple decades relate seeing Andrew Reynolds and Mike Carroll staying flared as he or she speaks on the formative transpirings that set him or her on the jittery path toward running his or her own skate concern, there would seem also some current temperature-taking value for today’s company runners to be gleaned from a month or two rolling amongst chronically undercompensated shop managers and the broader goods-buying populace.

Instagram and Facebook are gently ballyhooed as grand equalizers that place access to each tween’s favorite professional a mere few keystrokes away, but any digital fuzzies warmed by the internet’s flat culture inevitably contend with personal-branding business machinations that would program bots to holler back at random followers, or transform subscriber figures into bargaining chits for contract maneuverings. From certain angles far up in the nosebleed seats the gulf between the industry’s top talents and the larger boardbuying populace seems in some ways wider — wristband warrior and NBDDer Chris Cole in a recent interview speaks angrily of pro-athlete pressures and his impatience with weekend warrior types who don’t get it:

Actually, I’m gonna go on a tirade right now: When the “core” dudes try to clown, and I’m sure you’ve fucking heard it – it’s a defense mechanism – they say stuff like, “It’s just skateboarding, man.” Implying that you’re taking it too seriously.

A. You’re telling me what skateboarding is? Get the fuck out of my face. And B., Street League is a contest with a lot of money on the line and this is actually what I do for a living. This is my job. I love the hell out of skating; I love it more than anyone. But it’s not “Just skating, maaaaan.”That’s throwing what I love and what I’ve dedicated my life to, into some hobby that you kind of fuck around with. They love to throw that one around.

Chris Cole, who knows his way around a demo as good as anybody, elsewhere rehashes yet again his awkward early years of professional development, as well as hearing firsthand critiques of his chosen outfits and conduct from prior detractors in the course of compiling talking head footage for some forthcoming documentary. It’s unclear whether any who bore ill will toward snowplow nosegrinds or flapping yellow t-shirts ever took a demo appearance as an opportunity to directly air concerns with a younger Chris Cole, or if a few weeks traversing American byways and mingling with shop employees and early-morning sessioners logging park time prior to diaper-changing duties or weekend overtime might sand edges off Chris Cole’s stance on the diverse and potentially spicy views on skating harboured by aging hobbyist/purists.

Whether deep and heady assessments of skating’s true nature can or should be chopped up between pros and average joes at local skatepark facilities or tour clip-worthy spots along the way remains a question for us all to chew over as we toddle toward our mysterious graves, but it is skating’s uniquely democratic nature that allows it even to be possible. You don’t see major league baseball teams materializing unannounced for pickup games at neighborhood sandlots; the recognized and registered sucker-free boss ballers of figure skating or tennis aren’t in the practice of swelling about local rinks and courts*, twirling axels and swatting balls alongside the fanning hoards, and potentially talking sponsor-jumps or fearsome performances.

In what other pursuit can you be hobby-horsing it upon a weekend and look up to see the world’s accepted best wandering in to join, or augment onlooker activities by also serving as a human safety net for sweaty professionals breaking themselves off at your local park? Should a board-and-shoe consuming Joe Kickflip’s views on skating, seriousness and Street Leagues carry the same weight as professional contract players with long years in these trenches? Are pitchers’ mound rushers and stands-charging small forwards similarly chided that it’s ‘just a game’? Does man remain ‘the most dangerous game’ or has this title been usurped by quadruped robots and armed drones?

*Courts of law don’t count

Bryan Herman’s Genes Yearn For Him To Join The Redneck Yacht Club, But At What Cost To His Immortal Soul?

April 13, 2013




In its most crude and base form, skateboarding is the business of fulfilling dreams. Warrior-poet Marc Johnson once opined in a Transworld vid that, one’s deck sturdily underfoot, “you can take something that was pure thought and make it reality.” Under the half-lidded stewardship of the Muska, Shorty’s called their inaugural video offering “Fulfill the Dream.” But what happens when such dreams go “to far”?

Jason Dill’s personal dream of dockside labor is a dream deferred. But even with yesteryear’s billowing pants and flapping tees put aside, and wife beaters snugly tucked, Dill and fellow world-weary coffee sipper Dylan Rieder seem blind to the apparent kidnapping of mutual teammate and Oregonian bigspin flipper Tyler Bledsoe, quietly displaced for Easter Egg hunting and footage gathering by Bryan Herman in last week’s TF clip celebrating Jesus Christ’s 2013th resurrection anniversary and the healing power of black denim.

Across the desert sand, Bryan Herman boils and sweats through the night. Once a stringy-haired Spanky understudy with a reliable frontside boardslide, he wandered through his late teenage years as an eyebrowless Bowie disciple before his persona gradually cleansed itself in a vat of Cash Money mixtapes and purple kush, revealing his true nature. Now piloting a pickup truck, hunkered down in a countryside home stocked with firearms, has has become possessed of the redneck lifestyle, incenting him to pursue beer sponsorships, study the switchstance techniques of lapsed Habitaters Brian Wenning and Steve Durante and now, worse. A damnable quest to achieve Lake Havasu spring break glory can only have fermented an obsession to claim this for-sale boat and all the fleshy amenities its seller promises, so much so that Bryan Herman has stooped to secretly impersonating Tyler Bledsoe in an apparent effort to double-dip in the tobacco pouch of pro sponsorship checks.

Tyler Bledsoe’s present status remains unknown but presumed bound and gagged somewhere on Bryan Herman’s arid and junker-strewn estate. Will Bryan Herman’s lust for boating be slaked, allowing Bledsoe his freedom to pursue happyness and kickflip out of super-long backside tailslides? Was Tunechi’s recent seizure fright a “wake-up call” for the industry? Is it possible to enter the redneck skater hall of fame without owning tracts of rural land or owning a dump truck?

The Year Of The Lion

January 3, 2011

Looking back on that “top ten” list I’m seeing now a lot of rap songs, not a lot of transition and almost everybody did some kind of crooked grind pop-over. So be it…

Some other really good ones:
Matt Bennett – “Brainwash”
-I’ve been a fan of his pretty well-established range of tricks so it was nice to see him stretch for this (switch f/s hurricane for instance)

Bryan Herman – “Stay Gold”
-predictable, but would’ve won this site’s heart if his part stopped after the schoolyard

Tyler Bledsoe – “Hallelujiah”
-eight, nine months on and the backside tail flip-out clip still isn’t old

Rory Milanes – “This Time Tomorrow”
-partly for the song

Chewy Cannon – “Make Friends With The Colour Blue”
-felt almost like it would be unfair to stick him toward the top half of this year’s list after last year and the Adidas part, but this dude is a machine. The switch backside smith grind

Greg Myers – “Skateboarding Is Forever”
-I see some of the critiques of this dude’s style but he’s got a lot of super hard tricks and I think is probably overlooked for how vicious some of his flip tricks are

Chad Timtim – “Trio”
-The most aggressive sidewalk-cruising part of this year with a guest appearance by one of the most urban tricks, the switch pop-shove it nosegrind revert. Honorable mention to Levi Brown’s very major b/s 180 over the two poles in this same vid.

Steve Durante/Fred Gall – Seasons/Orchard web clip
-NJ’s bash brothers in what would be my vote for the best shared part

Wes Kremer – “Skateboarding Is Forever”
-As mind-melting as the Torey Pudwill part, but with more wall-rides

Brandon Westgate – “Stay Gold”
-I still have difficulty getting into his styles* but it’s hard to deny all the San Francisco hill-blazing

Feel like Leo Romero returned the SOTY race to where it ought to be, that is, a genuinely hardworking dude that most folks can get behind as elevating the trick and/or gnarliness bar while being fairly representative of skating current and/or enduring themes — in Leo’s case you get a sometimes subtlely dazzling angle on handrail skating, a satisfactory anti-social demeanor and often a cowboy hat or a moustache, which you know, Chris Cole won it twice these past few years, and I don’t remember him getting behind cowboy hats like that. These are the weighty issues I feel are at stake when Thrasher/Phelps appear to be edging dangerously toward giving the one award that matters to some pampered television personality, and in the process totally fucking up my fragile worldview.

Wouldn’t even pretend that I’ve seen enough photos to pick out a “best of the year” or anything, but this Yaje Popson SSBSTS had all the elements.

Special mention to all rocket scientist video surgeons at Krooked who managed to not only make the first 3D skate dvd, but to execute it with a minimum of heavy-handed editing and sanctimoniousness that probably would’ve sapped the silly fun out of such a project with a lot of slow-mo if it had fallen to somebody like Ty Evans. On a related note, this blog (also predictably) fell into the camp viewing the annual TWS video project contest as a terrific hose-job for the Etnies effort, so here’s a link to that if you missed it.

*it’s a personal problem, I realize

Pat Burke’s Arrested Development

December 7, 2009


40 break

Let’s use Chris Cole’s SOTY as a stepping off-point for some chatter around the new Black Box Dist. videos, how aobut? OK then.

File Pat Burke alongside David Gravette, Bryan Herman and other gleeful rabble-rouser types who seem to want nothing more of this earthly life than to cut class, smoke ditch weed and kickflip shit. The scuzzy Virginian’s section in the Slave production “Radio Television”, maybe/probably the best one in a good video, has that slightly intoxicated spark of youth that for a lot of us made this whole thing exciting for reasons aside from jumping gaps and sliding blocks, in the days before you could skate the prefab park for your gym class credit. (For this blog’s next trick, it will stand with its virtual hand held up in front of a virtual bulldozer bearing down on the virtual habitat of some cute and furry mammal like maybe a certain species of marmot.)

Meanwhile the kids like young Pat Burke probably would not care, similar to how he may or may not have cared about potential internet nitpicking over a sorta-janky switch kickflip he does before the fakie heelflip to switch crooked grind in this section, or any potential consequences involved with nollie backside flipping into a big scary bank. There’s the opening mudbath and also a noseblunt/lipslide surprise sort of thing in here that suggest a Spicoli/Trapasso/Lebowski type of rolling with punches going on with his skating*, and it seems as if he likes his one red striped polo shirt about as much as switch frontside heelflips, and both probably suit him.

At the risk of getting a lil too Larry Clark here–there’s a kind of rotten majesty that this section has in spades, a who-cares spark that dims when dudes get older and battle their demons and gotta skate for their mortgages and car notes and whatnot, even if they’re lucky enough to be packing a backside heelflip informed by a few summers at Lockwood or something. Well, except maybe Duane Peters. Then again it’s probably an indication you’re getting old yourself when you watch this kid Pat Burke slide a little whooping noseblunt on a quarterpipe and envy the whole scenario for the trick itself, but also that school’s-out-for-the-weekend feeling that gets fleeting pretty quick. Hold onto it, young Burke, and make sure you thank the gods of onion rings and canned beer for giving you your switch heelflips and all the sweet animal feasting stock footage for the video.

*and the clip with the biker maybe indicates he expects the rest of the world to roll along with him