Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Busenitz’

Boil the Ocean SOTY Short List 2009

October 11, 2009

busenitz_thunder
Just throw it in the bag

This year seems like last year, kind of, as far as there not being any type of clear front-runner for the most hallowed of skateboard awards that is not distributed in buckets by the Maloof brothers. There’s no Daewon or Danny Way or Arto Saari no-brainer, and while there are several semi-brainers (useful for commentors such as myself), the politics and squishy qualifications and completely opaque voting process makes it all the more interesting and fun to pointlessly speculate. And so we jump in.

Leo Romero: I kind of feel like if that Skateboarder cover had been a Thrasher we wouldn’t even be bloviating on this, but the uphill path of the inscrutable Leonard is part of his appeal – jumping ship from Baker to Toy Machine years after several former bloodsuckers headed headed the owner way and left Ed & co. with their hands in their pockets, alongside a general negative attitude that many have compared to Emerican elder Heath Kirchart. Leo has a potentially ground-shifting video part in store with “Stay Gold,” and while it will not drop this year, Phelps and his buddies have been known to move pre-emptively, and who doesn’t like to look smart?

Heath Kirchart: The buzz is that the Thrasher camp may not have enough love for the brooding bro with the red-carpet disses and vending machine business, but I don’t know. It’s not like the dude goes around handing out cookie bouquets to the other mags, and to a certain degree you could imagine the Thrasher powers that be digging a devil-may-care mode of operation. It would sorta be a safer pick too, since Heath K brought a show-stopper video part in 09 and potentially another one next year. Cons, he hasn’t done much for Thrasher and he skated to Morrissey.

Sean Malto: The teen heartthrob who lives his own reality show, baffling security guards with nollie frontside feeble grinds and shredding the Pacific Northwest with Julien Stranger. Green but his Thrasher cover was among the year’s gnarliest and the non-stop skateboard mission seems to always have room for a stop or shoutout to his beloved Kansas City; a pro model shoe is not far off and he’s had enough footage drizzled out here and there to mold a passable follow-up to “And Now,” but Malto’s 09 slow burn has yet to fully flare, and I’m not sure the cover, rowdy as it is, would get him over.

Dennis Busenitz: The current Slap Board messiah would seem to have SOTY at long last sewn up, with an internet-smashing video part, talked-about contest runs, many good photos and a pro shoe to boot.* He’s a Nor-Cal gnarler who can schralp transition and/or spit out switch 360 flips, he’s with the right companies. If there’s a downside I guess it’s the lack of any super-handrail heroism or mega-ramp fireworks or some type of singularly groundbreaking trick, but then again, maybe that plays to his advantage. In ten years a Busenitz SOTY win would probably come to be seen along the same lines as Chris Senn, which is to say those who know would know, the rest would be wondering “why not P-Rod” and there’d be a certain amount of “you had to be there”

Lizard King Mike Plumb: Let’s put him on the list. The zaniest Wallenberger with a stupider tattoo/carving every month, and he’s a decent interview. Kind of a long shot maybe but one could argue he’s fairly representative of where skating is these days, which is to say, both trick- and movement-wise.

Anthony Van Engelen: The odds might be stacked against him but to my mind the case has never been stronger for an AVESOTY and the brow-furrowing AWS decks it would probably produce. He has a couple magazine covers, a blazing video part, a harrowing comeback story, a bunch of tattoos and he wears Vans. As one who birthed the current fascination with speed and successfully fused hesh grime with precision tech skating he’s for sure a contender from the career standpoint and probably a SOTY everybody could agree with on some level.

Torey Pudwill: Just throwing it out there, Jake Phelps knows who he is and he’s given it to fresh-faced pros before. But, the lack of follow-through on the Wallenberg nollie flip might cost him precious support in the Yay area.

Zered Basset: the King of Zoo York coulda won it the year he made the “Vicious Cycle” part as far as we’re concerned but he nearly hit that mark again in the “State of Mind” video (still thinking the MOP was totally brilliant) and he has been on the Thrasher radar for some time. The drawback might be that he’s been kind of below the radar compared to some of the charge-happy spotlight grabbers like teammate Brandon Westgate, but an elder statesman might be the one to usher the tradition into the next decade.

It seems like there should be some kinda transition dude in here so, I don’t know, Lance Mountain. Insane as Bob’s mega-ramping has been, our view is that he’s a little bit too TWS/Fuel TV these days for Thrasher’s taste. While on the topic it seems like Justin Brock has whatever “rookie of the year” awards wrapped, unless Grant Taylor gets em.

*get it

For The Record

June 28, 2009


In 1988, pro skateboarder Mike Vallely revolutionized the skateboarding sport

My pleas to let anticipation and tension build ahead of the inevitable BATB Round 2: Daewon Song’s Revenge having fallen on deaf ears, exhaustive coverage of the first quadrant is already under way so I suppose I ought to post my picks for posterity, seeing’s how I’m already 1-for-2 or however it’s termed in actual sporting phrasology. After hanging tough in one of those Es games of skate a few years back and that surprise caballerial kickflip last time around I thought Jamie Thomas had a little bit more in him, but as millions of kids 15 years younger than I already know, he did not. Perhaps chomping too many frontside k-grinds. BTO fared a bit better in the Cole v. Vallely matchup, but just barely, as the Colester’s good-natured agreement to bend the rules in favor of ’80s Skate Rags maneuvers produced probably one of the most fun to watch episodes thus far. Honestly I thought Mike V was pretty amiable about the whole thing and it would’ve been amazing to see one of these with Eric Koston or Mike Carroll. Let this stand as a warning, kids, a cautionary tale of what can happen to your switch heelflips if you choose to focus your energy on quasi-celebrity hockey blogging and acting in Kevin James vehicles.

bracket2

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…”.

The Spirit of Competition

May 29, 2009


“show you how to hustle”

When you watch this video of Dennis Busenitz at the Adidas Skateboard Clash contest in Berlin and you see:
-the quick set-up switch backside 50-50 (0:30)
-the hip ollie, frontside ollie on the vert wall (1:20)
-smith grind up the little rail/backside lipslide on the slant box/etc line (2:09)
-backside 50-50 up the hubba (3:00), and
-the surprise finishing move (3:30)

Do you:
A. Wonder who else might have possibly won this contest?
B. Already know it was aside-from-Stevie-Ray-Vaughn-tattoo-looks-and-skates-like-he-did-when-he-was-16 Bastien Salabanzi?
C. Ponder how Dennis Busenitz has banked street cred and power-speed skating to such an extent that he has become revered alongside skate message board dieties Bobby Puleo, Julien Stranger and Gino Iannucci?
D. Wonder what Jereme Rogers was doing at the time?

If you said “D” the answer is: Jereme went grocery shopping wit Spotey’s grandma (“I got so much for that I had to play reverse jenga an arrange the food”) and took marijuana with Niki Breez, an in-house producer for PMP productions and a forestry expert of some description.

Exalt the new god

July 11, 2008


The Real World

So while the rest of us were BBQing and firecrackering and generally getting our Fourth of July on, and DNA was counting their snowboard cash and not updating their goddam video sites, Deluxe debuted DLX-TV with a slew of clips, old and new. Which is good news for this noble country and the planet in general, seeing’s how there really is not enough footage of Peter Ramondetta lately, or Frank Gerwer ever. Highlights are the 3rd & Army session, the Civic Center ledge session and Jake Donnelly in general (his day in the life kinda drags though). Also the mighty Mark Appleyard’s Thunder commercial, which pleases my eye nearly as much as those one type of fireworks that explode, and then the tracers start going all wonky at crazy angles. Hopefully Bob can hurry up and land his next kickflip into the Amazon rainforest or whatever for the Flip video, so we can skip past it to that two-song part Appleyard supposedly has in the can already.

As a bonus, since I’m still flush with national pride, here’s a link to Ramondetta’s sadly underappreciated part in the ill-fated C1RCA vid. Here comes the cheap shot: It’s Time… to think of a better name for the next video, guys.