Posts Tagged ‘Chewy Cannon’

The Sun Rises on a New British Empire, Which Also Includes Francis Showerface As Well As Chewy Cannon Nosegrinds

November 6, 2017

When did the sun set on the first British skate empire? Views differ, but the rubbery, tearing sound of overreach could be heard in the intro to Blueprint’s generally great ‘Make Friends with the Colour Blue’, when the squad that built a movement on overcast skies, soot-stained streets and ‘Wandering Star’ opened with sun-sloshed Los Angeles art installations and the jaunty notes of ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul.’ Like tea-thirsty monarchs of old, the British Isles grew to become a realm too small for Blueprint, and waiting for the world took too long; Europeans and Americans were signed and it was off to the New World to compete with Southern Californian palm tree tenders on their own turf and terms. An effort noble in its aim, perhaps, but doomed.

An amusing exercise a month or so back, when Grey published the instant-classic Rich West shot of Mike Arnold’s phone booth hippy jump, was inventing metaphors to read into it. Like, might this board and body barreling through a derelict telephone compartment represent a magazine transcending the digital wave pounders painfully remaking the media sphere? Do the stomped-off nose and tail demonstrate the bloodthirsty courage of the forest mammal, caught in a trap, chewing off its own leg to escape, the sort of frantic bravery required to persist as an under-the-radar talent pushing U.K. skating through a global industry slump? Something to do with the fractious Brexit vote and Michael Gove’s perplexing applause technique?

It feels like another British wave is cresting. Around seven years back the initial Palace clips began to surface. Blueprint foundered five years ago. In 2015 the venerable Sidewalk mag wound down its print edition, later that year Free emerged. Blueprint fragment picker-uppers Isle’s ‘Vase’ debut vid at the end of that year polished Paul Shier and Nick Jensen’s already-secure legacies, but more notably launched Tom Knox and Chris Jones onto the global stage in one of that year’s most cohesive videos. The vibrant and jellyfish-scented ‘Atlantic Drift’ series since then has elevated them further and granted an international platform to dad-bodded Mike Arnold, who put his own dizzying spin onto the one-spot part at Bristol’s Lloyds Amphitheater.

Now comes ‘Palasonic’, a long-in-the-waiting ‘official’ full-length from those skate-cum-fashion standard bearers of the British Islands. It lands as much of Palace’s squadron seems at the height of their powers — Lucien Clarke is ripping Carroll spots, Danny Brady still is going in 15 years after ‘First Broadcast,’ Rory Milanes appears still well in his window, Chewy Cannon has had several years to hone and hopefully rebroaden his spastic wallie/360 repertoire, Shaun Powers has established his international artistic bona fides, Jamal Smith filmed 1995’s best 411 commercial. In recent months Palace rebuilt Radlands and got Lucas Puig.

Can Blondey McCoy’s much-reposted collision-turned-cartwheel off a purple hack be infused with some similarly labored metaphor for the Palace full-length finally dropping? Has the GX1000 crew’s recent focus on hill bombing left an opening for the Haight Street-originated hippy jump to be colonized by the British? Can human achievement in general surpass Chewy Cannon’s bank-to-ledge nosegrind or can we only hope to match it?

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Marble Floors, Gold Turlets and Chandeliers

January 8, 2015

Belatedly, another ten good ones from last year:


Nik Stain – ‘Bruns Skate Jawn’
The half-cab flips could’ve come straight out of an early Prime video, in a good way.

Aaron Herrington – ‘Static 4’
Skating to song, probably the best possible pace-setter for the two Static videos to come.

Brandon Westgate – ‘Zoo England’
He doesn’t slow down

Eli Reed – Japan part
Eli Reed goes Magenta in Tokyo with some scarfs and socks. See if you can find the ‘Street Cinema’ spot.

Matt Miller – DC shoe part
Rob Welsh’s onetime water boy released one of the gnarlier parts all year, and got a shoe for his trouble, potentially eliminating the descriptor ‘unheralded’ from his career. Switch 360 flip noseblunt, switch backside 360 noseblunt, etc.

Youness Amrani – ‘Almost a Part’
Some late-period 411VM vibes from this one, in a good way. Downhill manual revert and late 180 on the heelflip varial are bananas.

Chewy Cannon – ‘Transmission’
Dead or alive, there are few better to watch skate

Matt Bennett – ‘True Blue’
It’s cool to see how far this dude has been able to take his sack of mainly unconventional tricks – the pop out of the handrail fakie backside tailslide (to regular) is of note.

Carlos Iqui – ‘Iqui Does It’
Stevie William’s ‘Reason’ opener-attempter, but on a hubba.

Jamal Williams – ‘Static 5’
Among the best put-together video parts this year, and possibly for all of history

7. Rory Milanes – “City of Rats”

December 25, 2012

rory

In a tumultuous year for British skating, what with the mass exodus of the Blueprint roster and international monetary policymakers airing concerns around a potentially destabilizing bubble in Palace-branded asset prices, it fell to London stalwarts Slam City Skates to re-center the 2012 scene and Rory Milanes to deliver the closing argument. Rory Milanes did one of the best parts in 2010’s “This Time Tomorrow” and steps up here in decidedly U.K. fashion, kickflipping brick channels and wearing stripedy sweaters to properly downbeat music and overcast skies. Straight off the bat he spins a nollie twister across a street gap, skates some high ledges, has a beauty of a switch backside kickflip, full command of the frontside 180 fakie manual/5-0 and a danger poke over the final bump-to-bar. For me this section took a little while to sink in, given Rory Milanes’ tricks don’t hit with the bombast of a Chewy Cannon, but I think he comes in as a solid bridge to some of the best skating of the now-closed Blueprint chapter.

Help Me Figure This Out

September 29, 2010

Not usually one to play dentist in the maw of the notorious gift-horse, I was inclined to cheer the recent news that ledge-munching Chewy Cannon was bound for employment under what’s perhaps the best company going right now, Palace, even if it did involve leaving behind a long tenure under the illustrious Blueprint banner. What I continue to wrestle with though is his apparent on-again-off-again pro status, and how exactly this is meted out over there — exhibit the first, this July Transworld article on man-ams:

CHEWY CANNON AND NEIL SMITH
Neil and Chewy can tag team a spot on this list simply for the fact that both went pro for Blueprint only to then honorably accept demotions back to am status. Following the company’s near brush with death on the heels of the world’s economic collapse back in ’08, and compounded by the brand’s transition from a homegrown U.K. company into a full-fledged international player, Blueprint had little choice if it wanted to survive.

Which makes enough sense, considering that even Goldman Sachs appeared to be on the ropes that terrible fall. But then you have US newcomer Marty Murawski getting the professional bump-up earlier this year, while Neil Smith and Chewy Cannon were/still are boardless…?

2. Chewy Cannon – “Diagonal”

December 29, 2009

Hat flipped backward and polo shirt fluttering in the wind, Blueprint’s Chewy Cannon skidded, slid and scootched to a new level this year via a combo of breakneck speed, spastic technicalness and a ’90s eye for trick selection. This dude is one of the chosen few who can make both cranium-endangering crashes and frontside boardslides on ledges look good, and Adidas’ “Diagonal” found him weaving in and out of pedestrians, pets and pests while doing an impressive job of making it look as though he’s got no particular plan in terms of what’s to come next. Half the time, like on the hubba b/s tailslide, it’s like he’s barely hanging on, other times his feet seem glued to the griptape as though it were that magical Paradox griptape that is aligned with your inner chi, and perhaps this is indeed the horrible secret behind Chewy Cannon’s success.

From The Window, To The Wall

June 8, 2009


The bong in this reggae song

One wonders if this new age of up-rail tricks and high-speed hops are the beginnings of skateboarding’s next arms race and the inevitable pendulum-swing away from ledge-combo tech skating, or if it’s just a placeholder before we see pro-bros shift their focus back to fulltime handrail/gap chomping. I’m looking to the early 90s pressure flip heyday as a benchmark here by the way. Parking lot pavement chewed up hot-dog shaped sticks for hours upon hours in kids’ pursuit of the most flippin’est flatground moves possible, which in turn helped clear the way for Jeremy Wray and Kris Markovich and Ricky Oyola and his Metallica CD to re-assert a different idea of what we skateboard riders should be concerned with, namely power and speed, which the Busenitzes and Romeros and Olsons and Salazars bring to bear nowadays – replace K-mart parking lots with wax-dripping ledges, sheared-off boards with worn down wheels, etc etc.

If you haven’t seen the Adidas Europe video, called “Diagonal” for reasons that escape me right now, you are probably already familiar with the shocking and true story of how Dennis Busenitz hurdled one of those Sants benches (as well as the stairs). If you watched the whole thing you know that Barcelona has its own version of Rob G, Mark Gonzales does some cool tricks, Tim O’Connor still skates gaps, Petr Horvat and Jeremy Reinhard may eventually rival Dylan Rieder for high school girls’ locker-door space, and there’s another good Sean Malto part. The real question though is what got into Chewy Cannon, who skates pretty much like he did before, only thrice as fast and at times seeming like he’s pulling tricks out of a hat that’s in the process of flying off his head as he charges the next hubba or manual block or, at times, old lady.* Anyway what’s cool about this part is not just that the dude is blazing fast and, in the Busenitz tradition, maintains good form and hangs onto tricks for dear life (backside tailslide that one rail hubba) but that he seems like he’s got some new tricks in the mix, which isn’t easy or anything. And, God damn it all, he looks like he’s having fun, even whilst dining on an ashtray or “bin” or however the Europeans term those things. My current working theory: perhaps he’s simply high on life, just like the Baker dudes in their new tour video.

*Is there something with Euro dudes and getting in old people’s face? I mean damn. Referring here to Jani Latiala’s last trick in the Blind video and all those tricks the Lordz guys popped over the poor old dude sitting in the little chair at the end of the block in “They Don’t Give A Fuck…”.

Tick Tick Boom

November 10, 2008


Have a few words

To most of you, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk will be familiar as the hometown of Dr. Thomas Girdlestone (1758-1822), known as one of the first advocates of using arsenic salts to treat Psoriasis and Lepra in the early 19th century. I on the other hand tend to associate Yarmouth with the amazing Chewy Cannon, a regular-footer of extraordinary technical prowess who put together what is in my opinion one of the really timeless parts of this decade in Blueprint’s “Lost & Found” a few years back.

Footage of Chewy Cannon has been sort of hard to come by since then, but the other day I came up on this recent mini-section in a Yarmouth video called “Rolling Like Kings,” a part for which we can maybe thank Adidas (whose site I nabbed the above CC pic from), if he was looking to dump some of his swoosh footage ahead of “Make Friends With the Colour Blue” (which can’t come soon enough). The dude has lost nary a step – still lightning-quick with the switch k-grinds and nollie cabs, and the way he sits back on the fakie nosegrinds/manuals is super impressive. Also sweet are the tossed-off switch backside bigspin on flat and all the powersqueaks in the South Bank line. Bananas, with impeccable execution: