Posts Tagged ‘chapman’

In Utero

February 11, 2009

“Mind Field” is a big meal. Beginning with the ams…

Grant Taylor is a hard one to pin down: all-terrainer of the new school, fresh-faced fifth-grader features with an affinity for graffiti(?), ramps and fits of grouchiness that could coax a cracked-tooth smile upon the craggiest faces of slash dogs. He lives in a bowl and reportedly spearheaded the construction of his own foundation spot, at the ripe age of however old he is (my guess, not very). Following the brief trick-list rundown in the Nike video and assorted cement park schralpage sprinkled throughout the Indy 30-year tour thing, “Mind Field” finds Grant Taylor sharpening his street teeth on some standard little-kid thrill chasing (big rails, big jumps) and other shit of a way different order: the half-cab backside smith*, the door bash and so on. Personally I would’ve liked to see more transition out of the kid, because I like that one thing he does with his arm when he lands, but it’s going to be interesting to watch where he takes things from here – I get the feeling he’s already foregone a probably assured career milking his ingrained Penny style on easy ledge/natural transition stuff. More to come, I guess.

Tyler Bledsoe I knew first as a midget in baggy pants who wore glasses and made periodic appearances in complimentary DNA calendars; we now know him as an upstart Oregonian with an affinity for headgear of multiple types, still-loose clothing and the ability to impress Rick Howard with frontside bluntslide variations across the USA. Hat wearin’ Tyler, as he is known to some**, practices soft-focus landings and Sean Malto dismounts and brings probably the greatest level of Lakai ledge flare to the Alien production; at times it’s like the honchos in Ohio opted to trade in their option on Torey Pudwill in favor of the next-gen edition with the kinks worked out. Bledsoe doesn’t have the off-kilter tech mindbender nature that Pudwill employs, but you’re less likely to fear for his pelvis when he’s bigspinning out of some tailslide six or seven feet off the ground. So maybe it was an insurance liability issue. Which would explain all the hats, to cover the glasses strap.

Jake Johnson we have waxed on, and waxed off, in this space previously… I’ll keep this brief: several viewings in, his section remains my favorite in “Mind Field” and I regularly sit up straighter on the couch when those kaleidoscopic twinkles fade in after Omar’s ovation. Johnson builds on the ambidextrous/low-tech approach taken in the Chapman video a year ago, with the limber flips and skyscraper rails, but he looks a lot more fluid now – on some kind of Nate Broussard puffy cloud even when he’s riding away from those colossal wallrides, or that hairball of a fakie heelflip.

*Also performed about eight or nine years ago by your boy, Bobby D
**some who read this blog post, anyway

4. Jake Johnson, “Short Ends”

December 27, 2008

This part from the lanky, fringe-haired toast of New York came out late last year but the powers that be at Chapman boards only got around to putting it out on DVD about halfway through this year, so I’m gonna go ahead and count it for this little list. I’ve nattered on about Jake Johnson’s East Coast superhero potential ad nauseum already, so I’ll spare you, except to say that lately what’s got me psyched on this part is the way he flips the skateboard – crisp and solid, not all ginger-footed like some of these kids out there today. You know what I’m talking about, right. In a PJ Ladd sort of move Jake Johnson logged nearly another part’s worth of footage in the post-credits, which Slap board maven “Gest” has uploaded for your perusal here. And, Quartersnacks still has copies of the actual DVD for those of you with six dollars to your name, as well as the “New Thirsty” video which you really should be watching in this holiday season.

Midsummer Video Roundup: Short Ends

August 27, 2008


Dy-no-mite!

With dark, earnest features reminiscent of a young John Cusack and a fringe the size of the Oahu pipeline, AWS wonder-kid Jake Johnson puts his limitations as a skateboarder right up front in the newish Chapman promo “Short Ends,” starting off his part by bumbling the landing on a nollie 360 flip backside 5-0 grind. I know, I know… no pole jam involved anywhere? I was thinking the same exact thing. But, he’s still new so maybe we’ll cut him a break.

This is Jake Johnson’s big debut part, sort of, in that he is now a somebody in this wild and woolly skateboard industry. And though he never gets around to landing the… ah… n/360f/bs/5-0, he brings the bazooka for several minutes of pure, uncut Colombian destruction at notable New York skate spots. Such as, that one ledge by the water. Or that yellow bar over the driveway bump. Or that one other ledge by all the buildings.

It’s an amazing part, not just because it’s one insane feat after another (fire hydrant varial heelflip, thread-the-needle k-grind transfer, the frontside flip into the hubba, etc etc) but because he’s one of those preternaturally gifted kids with supreme confidence as far as timing and putting down tricks, the kind of kid you have to assume will be reincarnated as a legless lizard or a disabled wombat in the next life since he’s obviously cashed in all his good karma for his current life. He skates sort of like Janoski but without the soft-shoe landings and a different menu of maneuvers. The switch flip backside tailslide on the Philly rail is in there.

The rest of the video’s pretty good too, like the Traffic promo it’s nice and short. Three parts and a montage. Brendan Leddy, who you may remember as Sam Weir in “Freaks and Geeks,” bags a beaut of a backside smith grind across a long ledge, and notables such has Luis Tolentino, Billy Rohan and a backside grabbin’ Vinny Ponte appear in the montage, ahead of some really sick shit from some little shit by the name of Mike Marks. Luke Malaney, who has the other part, bangs a big switch pop shove-it over a block and into a bank, along with a pop shove-it nosegrind down a handrail which was particularly awesome.

What’s the deal with Chapman though? Their website has transformed into an ad for the new video but it used to detail their woodshop operation, supplying decks to Zoo and so on. Now, anyone who remembers the heyday of Xenu-fearing circus trick ringmaster Danny Gonzales remembers that Chapman once was a branded hardgoods outfit with its own team, graphics, etc–check TWS if you don’t believe me. (Up-and-coming ams like Scott Pazelt and Anthony Furlong!) So what’s the deal with these guys now–is this an all-woodshop team? Does Chapman also make blanks? And if they do… are they driving themselves out of business by doing so?!

If only I had the answers. This video is really good though, and I’m not just saying that out of my slavish devotion to Jake Johnson. Order it from Quartersnacks along with their new video, which is probably way better than that gimmicky Nas album that came out last month.

The rise of Jake Johnson

February 22, 2008

What was the last band that got real big off Myspace, with only a few songs? Was it The Black Kids? Jake Johnson is like the current Black Kids of skateboarding. With (as far as I know) only a handful of photos, some clips on Quartersnacks and a video part in a video that barely anybody has seen, he landed himself on the Alien am squad while being annointed the current skate wunderkind and Next Big Thing etc.

And who’s to say he’s not, really. He’s got control out the wazoo and has mastered various methods of flippery, he’s got a good long-legged lanky style on the board, skates for legit companies and is out of New York (originally by way of State College PA). There’s rumors floating around about tricks he supposedly tried (switch b/s noseblunt that round silver rail in Texas, where Mariano did the noseslide/crooked grind) and then there’s the shit he’s actually done, like the switch kickflip b/s tail on that little 5-stair rail in Philly. And, he didn’t look like a fool doing it, compared with whatever hometown hero dork probably pulled it on a similar-looking park rail or something.

Jake Johnson’s supposedly got a part in this new Chapman video (as in the board company that used to sponsor Billy Rohan and Danny Gonzales, now apparently just a woodshop), but it’s not out yet, despite premiering alongside Static 3 a few months ago. Way to keep it skate, Chapman. So while we wait for that one, here’s some Quartersnacks clips where he’s featured. Long download times but worth it.

http://www.quartersnacks.com/qs/video/long-clips/life-isseptember-2007/
http://www.quartersnacks.com/qs/video/long-clips/november-mix/