Posts Tagged ‘bushings’

Transgenerational Memory Versus the ‘Christmas Complete’

March 25, 2018

At some point along these stretched-out years, a new term clamored onto the deck of our shared cultural lexicon, waited for a lull, put its wheels to the coping and dropped in. ‘The Christmas Complete,’ in the telling of pod-cast hosters and seven-ply salesmen, is springtime purity in product form: That proverbial clean slate, unmarred by bails and makes, all its pop intact — it gets no fresher… all opportunity, and promise. Galvanized identity and anticipation, maybe still in a cardboard CCS or Active box, maybe with a bow on top.

It is a lie. Visions of deftly felt kickflips wither as that sparkling grip holds too eagerly to flat-bottomed soles; the factory-clean grip lines soon sheered jagged after shooting out and careening against curbs. Even the visceral beauty cultivated in perfectly parallel slide marks bordering both trucks can’t hold when inevitably some ledge sits just a little bit too high, or low, clawing the nose and tail with wincing diagonals; worse still, flecked with red or yellow paint. The galactic potential strung through virgin metal, urethane and maple sputters away.

Now this is your board, and everything glorious and depressing that entails. The younger of us can, if they’re cursed to hoard, point to any progression they’re allowed — the hoary and asymmetrical scraping and flaking of a tail tethered to curb drop-ins in time can stand upright and walk with clean(er) horizontal smears, and excessive razortailing can be expected to ease. But with age comes a grim consistency — spread across garage concrete, any decade-deep practitioner will confront grim familiarity on the underbellies of successive deck generations, and the uniform crooked-grind bites into a battered brotherhood of front trucks.

Whether hammered together for an uncomfortable bench or stacked for a cobweb factory in some lesser-traveled basement cul-de-sac, these used-up components, in a sense, still function. The setup leaned against a nearby bedroom wall, the active duty front-liner, is spry, young — the deck just two weeks old. It is middle aged, the wheels and bearings set up six months ago for a road trip and grudgingly protected within a car’s trunk while rain poured down for 36 hours straight. It is elderly, the trucks four years old with enough millimeters of forged ore between the axle and any coping not to sweat replacing, yet. It is ageless, the Phillips-endorsed indentations of its eight one-inch bolts somehow flecked with rust.

But its memory runs back further. When this mounting hardware shook loose from its plastic film all those years ago, they slotted together a month-old deck and two-year-old trucks. The first bearings encircling those trucks were rattling, corroded things, buzzing their last after a short winter, wet spring and hot summer, spinning wheels already a year coned and yellowed. The first board that those wheels moved was short for its duty, broken in only five sessions, and the squeaking trucks on their last legs, bent from frustrated focusing and occasionally fruitful stair-hucking, in those younger days. This universe of components, tagging one another in and out, can trace each push all the way back to the beginning — and further still into another time, if it began cobbled together from another’s castoffs.

The ‘Christmas Complete’ swings a sterilized, eugenics-scented sledgehammer through this grizzled lineage. It is the suit, shirt and tie sold as a rigorously color-coordinated ensemble; it is the prefab condominium block, the garish floral sofa encased in crinkly plastic. Any institutional memory embedded in the cracked deck, pavement-bitten wheels and muddied grip is cleaved away and ended — a new one starts from scratch, another would-be dynasty, unless it’s replaced in another twelve months. It is an act of mercy by enthusiastic Ol’ Yeller shooters, an exercise in the grim fulfillment of web-cart filling and promo code copying-and-pasting, an effort of forced forgetting worthy of those who would pour gravel and dirt into a too-cracked bowl to lay slabs for wood-composite boxes and bolted-down flatcars. It always can be the last one.

A Bold New Era Of Robotics And Certain Processed Plastics May Affect Our Future Debates Over JP Jadeed Footage Dudes

March 9, 2013

johnny5

Across the epoch of time, asteroids have associated themselves with the evolutionary process. A rogue meteor struck down the age of the dinosaurs, which ruled the planet and amassed wealth for several years. Later, space rocks struck the Earth’s moon, producing a pockmarked appearance that has come to be accepted as the common image of the moon. In recent weeks three other asteroids harried our planet, with not a little excitement and millions of rubles’ worth of property damage. As our planetary hair was ruffled, quietly the skateboard industry found itself shedding some of yesteryear’s trappings and business motifs. Coincidence? Possibly, but in this daring age we bear in mind the timeworn slogan, “in space there are no coincidences.” It is important to note that the earth travels in space.

Growths in new technology are forcing a painful and sometimes messy transition upon the business. Unicron.net, which had touted itself as the ultimate skateboard DVD source, now lists 22 videos in a search for ‘all products’. Time was, if you hankered after an esoteric or hard-to-find foreign-produced video, and your shop could not accommodate, Mikendo was a source. ‘Pretty Sweet’s’ rise to the top of the Itunes charts, sign o’ the times though it may be, has not obliterated the digital video disc, as the Quartersnacks dudes officiated. However, BigCartel and Etsy have enabled video authors to rub out the middleman and distribute physical movies directly to those who would continue to fill DVD trays, and Youtube bootlegs serve others.

Whilst magazines still argue for a role as gatekeepers of, and longer-lasting billboards for, top-drawer photos and interviews, the daily grind of content cycling a-churn on the internet washingmachine alongside general economic malaise has built pressure upon paper-pushers everywhere, and already twice-resurrected Skateboarder mag in particular. The “GrindMedia” title last month divulged that it would zestily evolve away from the traditional send-you-a-mag-each month format, instead selling some issues in stores and focusing on their website. Now also going “digital only” is onetime California Cheap Skates, CCS, planning to shutter brick-n-mortar locations in favor of glossy mailers and powerful email listservs. A further impairment charge to corporate parent Foot Locker is anticipated in relation to the closures, according to media accounts.

Technology really seems here to stay. But what products and services are the next to become supplanted?

Helmets and pads: Safety gear has long resided at the bottom of the priority-buying list for tween consumers transfixed by graphical decks, D3 sneakers and (lately) weed-leaf socks, while simultaneously battling against the perception that pads and whatnot are the exclusive domain of “wimps” and the related offshoot segment “wussies.” Now, the padless deep-pool and vert work of Ben Hatchell, Grant Taylor, Elijah Berle and Jaws may for the coming generation obviate pads and helmets altogether, because, when everybody’s good enough to do every trick, there is no point in falling and getting hurt.

Bushings: Deep wobblers including Daewon Song and Matt Rodriguez have established the widely thought about fact that bushings are at best an impediment to fully turning trucks, to be microwaved, squished and generally derided. If Daewon can switch nose manual a curvy block with his kingpin nut barely hanging on, why bog down a board with additional plastic weight? This development will raise new questions around whether kingpin nuts are necessary whatsoever.

Skateshop employees: CCS’s bold move to revert to its mail-order roots, framed by Amazon.com’s development of ‘pickup lockers,’ poses sticky queries for would-be skateshop careerists. May we be encountering a robot-commanded future in which the vast selection offered by the CCSs of the world shall be deployed to secure locations for pickup, or even the immediate, automated dispensal of everyday staples such as decks and shoelaces and weed-leaf socks? Would such technology relegate former skate shop workers to offering grip-jobs around back for loose change? Would dispensers become clogged with lengthy lines of pre-tweens counting out sticky pennies to purchase the 2035 analog of a Flameboy sticker? Will all future discussions of JP Jadeed video sections henceforth be relegated to the internet under the new regime? Has this already come to pass?