Posts Tagged ‘China’

Couch Quarterbacking

December 9, 2012

raven_bash

raven_ollie

Awash in “Pretty Sweet” rewatches here, stopping to wonder at Raven Tershy’s backside tailslide shove-it, the apparent re-embrace of Lego-man caps and the number of slams to tricks in this part putting it near Gino/”Hot Chocolate” levels. Also mulling whether or not the last two tricks landed in the proper sequence — ollie in is far gnarlier to me, what about to you all?

Walking On Broken Glass

June 24, 2009


Alternate corny post title: “Smash Hit”

Keeping Nike honest means awarding plaudits when they make the right moves, and firing out the fast, noisy, technicolor explosion that is “Debacle” amidst a summer of sweaty and bloated full-lengths qualifies as a win even if they hadn’t put it up in varying degrees of HD glory for free and speedy download. The powers that SB show they can learn too, deep-sixing the skits that mired “NBTT” (for the most part) and amazingly not playing out the car-skating thing… you’d kind of expect the predictable slow-mo one-trick intros centered on the autos.

Skating-wise Habitat’s transfer-happy Daryl Angel brings his brand of inoffensive modern skateboarding to spots in San Jose, Europe and, er, China, and wages his ongoing battle against the bland through two songs, but the little dude manages to turn up the heat around the time the half-cab feeble grind; the up-down Far East rail combo is a head-nodder, if a little predictable for someone to do at that spot, and he flexes gnar chops on the gap to pole jam and an AVE line reconstruction. Other shit like that f/s halfcab nosegrind and the kinked b/s smith point at potential but this dude’s footage needs an editor more than anything else. David Clark’s kind of a mixed bag; the sort of mellow, vibe-friendly tricks in which he traffics don’t stack up well next to the fireworks of a Nugget or Brock in most instances, but he’s not even getting over on style points here that much, though the hubba wallie is a heater. He might be on the Austin Stephens road.

Jolting between China, SoCal and points unknown, Shane Oneill and Theotis Beasley go blow-for-blow in one of the more effect tag-team/cameo combos recently, and for whatever reason the Nugget’s footage here went over better than his part for the novelty t-shirt purveyor Skate Mental… it could be the song, which probably is my favorite in a skate vid so far this year, or the Beasley backside double-flip, or maybe just the filming which is really on point throughout this whole production and helps the between-skating clips go down a lot easier.

Grant Taylor seems to be refocusing on which grabs look the coolest these days, moving away from his sophisticated take on 50-50 grinds in the Alien video, though he packs a cool block gap backside lipslide into his bud-green drug rug. A few months back I was kind of bummed that his “Mind Field” section didn’t have more transition skating but he roars through the bowls here, blasting this crazy transfer out of the whoop-de-whoops and puddle jumping with the bros before rekindling the dashed dreams of one Frankie Hill. The power beanie gets a lot of play with Justin Brock, who rumbles through spots like a rainbow-colored rockslide with a different array of tricks – bigspin grabs above the coping and a pretty impressive run through the pipes. Somebody more pool-inclined than I will have to determine whether a willy grind on backyard transition is legit, but if the sea-green stocking hat didn’t convince you Justin Brock’s going for it, that move oughtta help.

Really I think the hero of this vid has to be Jason Hernandez, who mixes Zero-style editing slices with some of the more interesting lifestyle clips (like David Clark in the window) to move “Debacle” along at precisely the right pace, clocking in under the critical 20-minute mark if you don’t count the credits. It’s a testament to restraint and judicious cutting, especially considering how a lot of filmers still seem held in thrall by the picture quality that HD camcorders afford. Now begins a new debate: is HD video destroying video grabs’ low-fi kitsch?

Mo’ Mega Blues

December 15, 2008


Stakes is high

Danny Way loves spectacle. He sails over ancient structures and leaps from giant guitars, going so far as to revive the somewhat hilarious rocket air, all for our amusement and the pursuit of world records. Sometimes these things come at a price, including but not limited to fractured ankles, broken backs and 40-foot free falls. But on the other side of that Great Wall lies fame, lucrative energy drink endorsement deals and oodles of prize money.

No fear, though. Fame, sponsorship and wads of dough can still be had if the crash itself is enough of a spectacle, as giggly Australian Jake Brown proved on Larry King and elsewhere during his post-Mega fall recovery tour . And even if sponsors aren’t cutting photo incentive checks every time their logo flashes across the screen on some pro’s shirt as he careens toward the deck, Danny Way’s not tripping — as he notes in the Wall Street Journal last week, each replay of Jake Brown’s tooth-rattling slam is all for the greater good:

I think it’s great that they exploit the slams. That’s the biggest part of people understanding the seriousness of what we do. It’s unfortunate the person that slams has to go through that experience and deal with the repercussions of it. But Jake [Brown], for example, he did so much for the Mega event. They emphasized the slam, but that also brought so much of a focus to our event. It just gives everyone that much more opportunity and makes it that much more exciting. God forbid someone should get hurt, but sometimes it’s good to have things put in perspective. If we’re going to create an event for the public, the goal is to have people on the edge of their seats biting their nails not knowing what’s going to happen next.

God forbid it happens, but it’s possible for somebody to get really, really hurt. It’s the same thing with motocross. Freestyle moto, guys doing double flips and front flips and stuff, that stuff’s deadly, too. That’s why people come to watch it.

Interesting point, and it goes back to what’s kept vert skating on life support for the last ten years – your average Gravity Games-watching Sarah Palin voter gets a lot more out of seeing Lincoln Uyeda blast 10-foot airs, as opposed to P-Rod cracking a nollie heelflip backside tailslide across a step-up ledge or whatever. With the mega-ramp Danny Way has upped the ante a few hundred feet in terms of hangtime, and personal peril.

The WSJ also asks Way whether he believes the mega-ramp is viable as a new skateboarding discipline (to chance an oxymoron), and he dodges, sort of, noting the growing number of pros taking the mega plunge. But if anything the rise of the mega-ramp widens the gap between your average kid kickflipping in the driveway and what seems destined to become skating’s version of underwater lion-taming, or something.

Let us pause for a moment and pour one out for all the departed tamers who were mauled and then drowned.

Anyway, for years vert skating has been moving toward a weird sort of commercial backwater, seeming to exist almost solely on ESPN, while half the vert pros suit up in body armor to slay the mega dragon and the other half shuffle off to work on their beer guts with the backyard bowl contingent. The way things are going now, vert’s TV career seems destined to be eclipsed by the spectacle of the mega monster, just months after receiving a stay of execution when the X-Games stood ready to bump it from the lineup.

So: the number of vert pros dwindling, cities building concrete parks as opposed to vert ramps, less on-screen time… will kids even know what a vert ramp is in another five years? Before I tread too far onto Vert Is Dead’s turf I’ll do that thing where I stand in a darkened room with a lighter and my eyes cast upward, fumbling with my mouse to click on the Tampa Am vert finals from earlier this year. Kids are always up for unwinnable causes right? I mean when Danny Way is 360-flip k-grinding a 20-foot vert wall and Bob Burnquist is jumping into the Grand Canyon, will anyone be left to give a shit when somebody lands, say, a varial 900?