Posts Tagged ‘DC Shoe Co USA’

6. John Gardner – ‘Street Sweeper’

December 26, 2018


A sitar-spiced, yoga-flavoured ollie-grabber may well be an incongruous look for DC Shoe Co USA amid its current Y2K nostalgia flex, but bear ye in mind: DC’s arguable glory days fused AVE’s sweaty hesh-ledging with Stevie Williams’ graphical denims and Colin McKay in late-career parrothead mode. Meanwhile Ipath may be another year or two from its next private equity-backed relaunch, and John Gardner seems to sport the requisite level of yellow. Accompanying the steadily sprawling DC team to various heavily trafficked East Coast spots didn’t seem to diminish John Gardner’s cockeyed and off-center approach, as he found lesser-trod lines through Pulaski and a couple of New York’s regular summer tourist destinations. And his thirst for risk remains in place, as per the round-the-corner coping ride and a rare flip trick into a glass bank, or skating an air conditioner.

3. Tiago Lemos – ‘The DC Promo’

December 29, 2017


Sometimes it’s tough to root for a superhero, but damn if Tiago Lemos doesn’t continually force the rest of us, from pros to parking lot shove-iting weekend warrior bros, to redream what’s possible with some urethane, metal and pressed wood. He was quiet for a few months there but between flying a head-high nollie backside heelflip off a Philadelphia hip and passing Fort Miley’s high bar test in ‘The DC Promo,’ and a clinic on ledges that require a stepstool for civilians to mount in his Independent part after that, Tiago Lemos probably performed more of the craziest tricks released this year than anybody else, not seeming to stress it much in the process. The DC ‘Promo’ reset has him jumping on rails and mashing through pedestrians to defy SF Pier skatestoppers in shocking new ways, to a sunny Sunday-afternoon type of number that a decade ago might’ve soundtracked a Transworld part. People talk about Tiago Lemos’ jean shorts and switch mongo in the sense of ’90s revivalism but his skating increasingly seems like it’s from a whole other planet, and the foot-off switch backside tailslide at the Mission three-up three-down shows he’s on-trend anyways with all these ridiculous foot-off landings.

The DC Blog Post or, Finding Yourself and Redefining Success After Your Parent Seeks Protection from Creditors

September 16, 2017

Like a healthily scuffed Lynx arcing across a sunny SoCal sky following an AVE post-bail heaving, the erstwhile DC Shoe Co USA is in transition. Gone are Street Leaguers Nyjah Huston, Mikey Taylor, Felipe Ortiz and Chris Cole, on whose backs DC once sought to build a contest-circuit machine to rival the likes of Nike and Adidas. The flag logo that once represented the action-sporting nation DC once aimed to forge — a more perfect union of skateboarders, BMX bicylclists, motorcross motorcyclers, surf-riders and assorted well-wishers. It’s a smaller tent now, refocused on that seven-pointed star and the normal/extra-boldface/bold typeface pattern that crowded an older generation’s heads with highly motivational and semi-coherent calls to action.

It’s been a long time for DC in skateboarding’s lonely wilderness of what is not so cool, a foggy landscape of mall stores, mail-order warehouses and board shorts with flames on the side. Few find their way to the other side. Like Es shoes, DC remained in thrall to the tech shoe’s hoary bulk as Nike found its simpler, streamlined toehold in the Dunk and set about directing the conversation in the post-9/11 years. DC gained its own corporate firepower following its roll-up by surf log manufacturer Quiksilver, and outfitting Rob Dyrdek and other lords of MTV reality provided cushion enough for DC to maintain its industry position through the vulc-sole wars of attrition, if not necessarily retaining space on shop walls. A succession of designers proceeded to bastardize the Lynx into steadily less-recognizable forms, Euro SuperTour jerseys mouldered away somewhere, and Danny Way and Colin McKay didn’t show for the Plan B vid. But, DC shoes still was there.

For skateboarders of a certain age it’s odd to think of DC, which did so much to shift skate shoes from relatively simplistic Vans and Jims toward sportier stylings and techish accoutrements in the late 1990s, as a legacy act. But here we are: The seeds of DC’s attempted return to its late 90s/early 00s vitality were sown by the retro-minded Pennsylvanians behind the Sabotage vids and #skateshoewars, copping online vintage Lynxes, Kalises and various others as they simultaneously reclaimed Love Park from the authorities. Unlike Alien Workshop, DC recognized a new generation preparing to don swishy pants and opened its East Coast flow spigots, and now spot-searching Droors-endorser John Shanahan helps DC find a path after long years of wandering.

Against this backdrop arrives the winkingly named ‘The DC Promo’, feeling more vital than any DC video project in years. DC seems focused on capturing the world-conquering prowess that drove its inaugural full-length, a quest made easier by the fact that after the LA schoolyard groundwork laid by the Girl and Plan B camps, DC convincingly placed longhaired sweathogs like AVE and Ryan Smith alongside ledge grimers such as Brian Wenning and Stevie Williams, also with some vert ramps and Mega RampsTM. ‘The DC Promo’ is not so different, proffering perpetually adolescent Tristan Funkhauser as an olive branch toward the flood-panted deities of wallies and body varials — his incredible wallie frontside 360 is well-served by Chris Ray’s incorporation of the after-black hammer. Carlos Iqui and the too-long overlooked Tommy Fynn spin some wild handrail tricks, noted clotheshorse John Shanahan cracks an immense fakie shove-it over a bar and be still our hearts, for about 30 seconds, Colin McKay and Danny Way get busy on ramp coping. Wes Kremer and Evan Smith, who made a convincing enough odd couple in Thrasher’s recent interview issue, turn in a fairly blistering tag-teamer with Evan Smith inventing a new approach to an aged Philly spot and Wes Kremer further proving out 2014’s SOTY nod with a mindbender of a last trick. But the moment really is Tiago Lemos’, a time when switch backside tailsliding the Mission District 3-up-3-down can be goofed as a warm-up clip, irksome physics get brushed aside by waist-high kickflip smith grinds (both ways), and Marcus McBride’s block hops get Xeroxed for one of the more memorable lines down the SF pier in a while. This dude is operating on a whole different wavelength right now, and it’s a privilege to watch it unfold.

How much of DC’s turn away from prime time action sporting and podium-climbing pros, and refocus on skater-run events, pumping out videos and re-outfitting team riders in glossy jerseys, was forced by Quiksilver’s bankruptcy and resulting belt-tightening? Does the existence of new Danny Way and Colin McKay footage render the question moot? Yall saw these right? How much of the recently departed riders’ salaries have been redirected toward Tiago Lemos’ bank account as a preemptive hedge against the inevitable swoop by Nike or Adidas? How frantically are DC’s marketing overlords looking for ways to get him booked on a Thrasher trip before this year’s SOTY race winds down?

4. Tiago Lemos – De La Calle/Da Rua

December 28, 2015

A frightening shadow passed over the skating sphere in late August when the Tiago Lemos ‘We Are Blood’ remix part, an important public service to vertebrates, for a time vanished from Facebook and immediately assumed a new and mercifully brief existence as internet lore, telling of a unique realm where a switch backside tailslide kickflip out down a rail and a massively tall switch bigspin backside tailslide can be viewed without skipping past any number of joyously shaken boards and the frolicking RV that transports them in four-stacks HD. Not that it would have mattered though. In some surely quantifiable sense Tiago Lemos has done and filmed the most hardest craziest tricks all year and another video part spilling over with jaw-slackening feats invariably was due within months, and so it was that DC unleashed this section that included at last the planter-top switch frontside crooked grind, various crazy-big switch backside smith and noseblunt varietals, and continued his endearing devotion to the switch mongo push, baggy denim and DC shoes that have kept Tiago Lemos in good standing among aging “LA County” fans. The most-impressive Tiago Lemos related move of the year may have been BLVD hanging onto him.

Cory Kennedy, Celebrating A Shoe, Opens A Texaco-Shaped Back Door For Lil Wayne-Designed Textiles

September 12, 2015

gas-station

New York Fashion Week has come, bearing each customary ounce and parcel of loathing and dread. Behold, the grim reaper marks its approach this year by grimly and financially reaping DC Shoe corporate parent Quiksilver Inc. which earlier in the week sought bankruptcy shelter from creditors after U.S. consumers bemusedly abandoned its boardshorts and sweaters in larger and larger numbers. Nearly $1 billion in debt, shares plunging to 1 cent and eclipsed by nimbler retail gladiators such as H&M, prognosticators projected a pessimistic path for the erstwhile Quik.

“There’s just fewer kids out there that think the surf market is cool,” said analyst Mitch Kummetz of B. Riley & Co. “The heyday of the late ’90s and the early 2000s is a distant memory.”

It is a bleak vision of things to come not just for the DC Shoe Co USA, which remains a much-going skate concern despite Quiksilver axing its skate team 2.5 year ago, but other longsuffering company mavens aspiring toward pudgy soft-goods margins may also find themselfs slapped awake from any lingering all-over print dreams by the harsh reality that not even spacewolf penny completes and branded tote bags could bar Quiksilver’s door against the corporate poltergeists of high fixed costs and irate shareholders.

Yet when titans of commerce stumble, their sharp elbows and 900 pound weightiness can rip holes in the space-time continuum through which copious amounts of shadenfreude may briefly gush, and also roomy enough for upstart entrepreneurs to assert their product visions boldly upon this greasy stage of trade. Lil Wayne, a widely known personal brand from Hollygrove, New Orleans, has pursued skate fandom and purchased Thrasher merchandise long enough to have absorbed the industry’s notorious inclination toward boom-and-bust cycles, a gruesome fiscal paradigm likely all too applicable to the now-blighted business of selling musical CDs and official ringtone files. Having long since moved on from endorsing Girbauds and Hot Boy Wear brand underpants, it only was a natural Darwinian process for Lil Wayne to apply his design prowess to clothes aerodynamically equipped for skateboarding, yet for several seasonal retail cycles Trukfit has seemed to revolve within the same treacherous surfweary space through which the planets Quiksilver, Rusty and Hurley hurtle, unable to penetrate the unlucrative but theoretically critical hardcore skating demographic*.

Adopting the sort of per-diem spendthriftiness of top-tier talents such as known electronics-hoarder Billy Marks may have contributed to the sinking of the good ship Quiksilver US Balance Sheet, but could this same genomic quality prove Trukfit’s salvation? The unfettered, devil-may-care approach to gas-station checkout counters that elevated neon-sided Wayfarer wannabes, mystic wolf t-shirts and exotic straw hats to positions of pride on skateshop shelves could prove Trukfit’s diesel-scented lifering in this time of harsh economy.

Lil Wayne’s presumptive life-ring thrower in this fantasy is none other than industry pool-boy Cory Kennedy, he of the blade shades, leafy sombrero, mid-career abrupt-transition fixation and post-‘Pretty Sweet’ lost weekend. A long-overdue sneaker nod from skate biz cornerstone Nike Inc. last week revealed that Cory Kennedy’s ever-present and malleable hunger for novelty wears has expanded to include Trukfit gear of a rainbowy persuasion, amid leys, grass skirts and certain other Hawaiian accoutrements. In scenes that recall ‘Fulfill the Dream’s’ beloved Wallows sequence except with the brightness inexplicably dialed down, the occasionally Trukfitted Cory Kennedy and his friends crunch through various of Hawaii’s grittier pockets en route to a volcanic peak-to-peak kickflip wallride and a presumptive SOTY-baiting year-end footage dump via ‘Chronicles 3′ and TBA web clips still to come.

Will a midstream transition to gas-station swag status absolve Trukfit from any sins of marketing meetings past and clear a new and lucrative path to skateboarders’ closet-floor piles? Are the stakes for Lil Wayne that much higher following his recent split with Baby and uncertain ‘Carter’ album cycle future? Was the dark Nike clip supposed to imply the viewer is wearing sunglasses the whole time? Is 2015 the year Cory Kennedy’s sponsor cabinet advisers will convince him to ‘apply himself’? Will any resulting SOTY check and bonus sponsor payments trigger a truckstop retailing boom large enough to offset revenue slides triggered by the crude-oil price collapse?

*Identified as persons who own and ride skateboards

Did the Plan B Video Really Come Out?

December 17, 2014

lawnmowerman

What happened at the end of November 2014? It is a question that may vex intelligent physicists and lyrical masterminds for years to come. The easy answer is, Plan B released their re-debut video movie “B Tru” after a heady 9 years of anticipatory anxiousness. Like many video releases, it raises questions about the basic nature of reality and human perception. Did it really come out? This is a more difficult question*.

Befitting the Snapchat age, much of the substance, happenstance and Stance socks-related materials surrounding the video are not what they appear, leading the viewer by his or her trembling and possibly tatted hand into an advanced unit of smoke and mirrors that requires at least a leveled Staff of Clarifying to navigate. And even then your Staff may be heisted from your Bag of Holding by any number of untrustworthy NPCs. As OPEC crashed global crude oil markets and millions of turkeys fell under American knives, what had long been billed as the triumphal reconnoitering of the Plan B destiny revealed itself as something else: none of the original reboot lineup had sections, including currently serving vets PJ Ladd, Colin McKay and Danny Way. Opening the video was the spracking Chris Joslin, a gap-fixated bazooka dealer little understood just six months ago and who would seem to singlehandedly obviate many of Plan B’s earlier-acquired hot shoes. The young bro, it would seem, was built for 360 flipping off buildings and publicly endorsing Plan B skateboards; the messageboards have him married at 18 and blowing off post-premiere champagne rooms to skate a park. Let the bidding commence.

Heady days that followed included a mysterious message from Danny Way pushing off his own, years-in-the-making video part and Hawaiian infrastructure reveal as much as another year to conform with scheduling of an unknown DC project. Colin McKay gave a rambling interview in which he seemed to promise Ryan Sheckler would again attempt to make good on his hot-check El Toro backside kickflip, possibly with Chris Joslin in tow for an entirely separate 20-stair flip trick to record. The video interview abruptly vanished shortly thereafter.

Simultaneously rumors began to swirl around Trevor McClung’s part-opening burn of an unnamed pizza delivery driver, who borrows a board to skate a dumpster with the Plan B bros and lands his trick, only to try it again and slam, earning laughter and derision from Trevor McClung, a superior skater. “Don’t quit your day job,” Trevor McClung counseled, in a blistering takedown said to have earned a potential late-arriving invitation to the 2014 Hater’s Ball, and particularly searing as the day job in question already is less than glamorous.

The latest warping of our current reality** arrived last weekend, when Plan B video-closer Torey Pudwill did not win Skater of the Year. It would be a relatively short astral projection to reach several alternate realities where he did earn the shiny trophy, or others similar to it except with added useful tentacles in place of arms or other hallmarks of shadow earths that we cannot fathom. (One also can endorse multiple versions of this “Tru Earth” in which Sk8Mafia’s Wes Kremer, who won, also again earned the award but with minor variations, such as a $50 billion cash purse or a science experiment gone awry in a nearby laboratory that by sheer chance afflicted Peter Smolik with radioactive powers that expanded his mass by 300 times, to a scale such that he wreaks havoc upon downtown San Diego before receding back into the ocean to sleep beneath the waves near a warm lava vent.)

The purpose and responsibility of semi-readable blog web pages is to parse only the reality that is readily glimpsable, and truly Torey Pudwill’s video-closing part is difficult to comprehend on these grounds. His backside-approaching ledge and handrail tricks are increasingly otherworldly, from his five-times-kinked backside lipslide to the mile-long backside noseblunt pop-out to his fearsomely hiked backside smith grinds, shoulder high or up a railing. Whereas previously-claimed tricks failed to materialize elsewhere Torey Pudwill hoists aboard the fleshy, shark-bitten carcass of his own white whale, a backside lipslide kickflip to backside noseblunt, one of several such moves that in some other dimension might set Cory Kennedy to perspiring beneath his white linen and Panama straw hat ensemble. The backside noseblunt hubba transfer and blizzardy bigger-spin flip are others.

There is a natural but perhaps fading aversion in skateboarding, in years past a haven for slackers and outcasts either self-styled or actual, to the capital-S sports concept of playing to win, and through this prism Wes Kremer’s seeming obliviousness to the world in general is at the least endearing and at most worth celebrating alongside his own uncanny skills and envelope pushing, up the side of the Clipper ledge or wherever. But maybe coming through and delivering the sort of conversation-changing footage that this Plan B movie for years promised, while longer-serving colleagues opted not to, and burnishing the company’s now 20-year video legacy is a different type of accolade for Torey Pudwill, sort of like the ones referred to by Quartersnacks deity and Project Pat’s bosom Canadian chum Aubrey Taylor in his song ‘Trophies, B.’

*Don’t forget how that one Plan B video was called ‘Virtual Reality, B’
**Dictionary.com describes reality as ‘property or real estate.’

Some Kind of Monster

November 30, 2013

torben-ulrich

Nyjah Huston is in the news again, this time seeking to reel in among the biggest and slipperiest, if not necessarily the most lucrative, fish of the skate-award realm: Thrasher’s often-legendary Skater of the Year award, which if nothing else remains a monument to the grand intangibles in a world increasingly dominated by quantitative benchmarks such as Street-League scoring points, unique page-views and ‘likes.’ Before running out the remainder of the year swilling macrobrews and lighting cars on fire before giggling and bearded photographers, Nyjah Huston in his just-released ‘Fade to Black’ part cranks the Old Metallica, dons several colors of Thrasher branded t-shirt apparels and deploys any number of massive backside lipslides, kinked 50-50s and blizzard flips onto handrails in his bid for the SOTY prize.

Like many Nyjah Huston video parts before it, this year’s comes packaged as an ‘event’ chock full of feats that go several stairs further than others have dared, and inevitably has ignited frothy debates over the ‘jock’ nature of Nyjah Huston’s skating. A gently probing analysis of the topic reveals a more fundamental question, however: Are skateboarders, who draw their identities from an athletic activity, by definition ‘jocks’?

When weighing such weighty questions, it’s helpful to begin with the basics. Webster’s dictionary defines ‘jock’ as an ‘athlete, especially: a school or college athlete,’ derived from the noun ‘jock strap.’ The stretchy but supportive apparatus that embraces sportsmen worldwide today originally was invented around 4,500 B.C. by Tunisian animal husbandrists, casting about for methods to speed spice-laden camels across North Africa’s arid plains.

Modern-day skateboarding has had little use for what we now understand to be the commoditized jock strap, eschewing more-formalized undergarment support in favor of short-shorts in the early days of taming backyard transitions, to the no-safety-net stance of the early 1990s’ goofy-boy scene. But as contest purses grew more lucrative, skateboarders began to gravitate toward more form-fitting garments previously regarded as the exclusive realm of Ed Templeton and Mario Rubalcaba. The advent of stretch denim largely obviated the need for classical support regimes and some skateboarders now even have adopted tighty-whities, a mindset unthinkable just a decade ago.

Gleaming trophies and contest hauls go only so far in rationalizing such an attitudinal shift, however, and so to better understand the gravitational forces and wearable whims at play, Boil the Ocean sought out H. Stoss ‘Boss’ Perot, professor of chemical and metallurgical anthropology at the highly regarded East Wangle University. Boil the Ocean Web Site was particularly intent on engaging Professor Perot’s viewpoints given his long-running research into the fibrous content of modern-day jockstraps and designer sweatpants, a marketplace now cornered by just three multinational gargantuates — ancient trade-houses of vast means.

“There’s far more afoot than people understand,” Prof. Perot claimed while on the phone from his research facility where he looks at elastic bands. “And far more at stake. I believe this shift reflects a systemic risk that has gone unaddressed, if not willfully ignored, for far too long.”

We departed immediately for Prof. Perot’s facilities, as per coded instructions faxed over so as to elude what the academic referred to cryptically as ‘overeager aficionados’ of his singular research. Yet upon arrival we discovered the once-immaculate lab, typically festooned with stretchy materials of all types, ransacked and smoldering with no sign of the professor. A breathy croak emanating from beneath a pile of debris in one corner offered sign that the destruction was not total, and we rushed to dismantle the wreckage.

A toothy, bearded maw presented itself; that of an orangutan, a specimen out of the northeastern hills that was known to me as Mike. “They’ve got him,” Mike rasped, before lapsing into a pitiable swoon of the sort only a highly intelligent primate can truly manage.

Our mission revealed to us, we sped directly to the local ammunition dump before taking a back-room table at a friendly ale-house to plan. Pots of coffee, roasted meat and strong drink emboldened us to our cause, which became increasingly clear to be a suicide mission. The orangutan kept silent counsel at the table’s far end, slowly twirling a Bowie knife amongst his spidery fingers as his cigar burned to a stump. “So it must be,” the creature muttered, to no one in particular. “The hard way, as it ever was.”

Bizzell Hutchinson, that tavern’s deeply whiskered proprietor, had time only to throw wide the door and bark “we’ve got company” before the mortar fire began. Rockets screeched down, peeling back the roof and walls in great fiery curtains as we scrambled across the floorboards and broken mugs. Half a chair careened by and through the haze Mike, machine-gun braced against his shoulder and clattering, still gnawing his cigar and faintly, grinning. The elastics cartel had located us.

TO BE CONCLUDED…

9. Conor Champion – “YOUGOTTAGETTHAT”

December 23, 2010

Regular sufferers of this blog-site will know that there are a number of cheap ways to win favor around here, and using Petey Pablo’s 2001 anthem “Raise Up” definitely is one. Conor Champion scores extra super major points for having a sweet alliterative name and demonstrating full commitment to smith and feeble grinds. I could go on about hopping out of switch b/s tails or the proper spin on the 360 flips or various other aspects of the fantastic skating in this part, but maybe would just mention that the line at night that starts with the fakie flip up the curb, with the briefest flash of a classical navy/white DC sticker, did more to revive long-faded feelings for that company than much else these past few years (with the possible exception of Josh Kalis’ recent 360 flip ad).