Posts Tagged ‘El Toro’

What Gemstones Remain Undiscovered as Content Miners Pick Clean the Caverns of Skating’s Past?

December 3, 2016


As the information age and its college dormmate, the digital revolution, fire up the bong and begin to shake their 1D20s and 1D12s, all becomes clear. In this smartphone-cradled realm, plated armour and halberds are enchanted with mystical powers via every new social media connection, and the currency of the kingdom is not gold pieces, but the minutes and hours that a web site is able to waste for people while they are at work or school. It is a fertile and lush land where ancient treasures lay hidden beneath piles of broken links and half-remembered Geocities pages.

What remains though when advancing into a mine long abandoned by content-hungry Dwarven lords? Torch aloft, our adventurers descend past craters and caverns where long-ago interviews with Fred Gall, Andy Roy and the Muska were extracted; deep pockets still are visible where the Steve Rocco doc and Disposable book once lay, chasms representing the riches of the John Cardiel and Ali Boulala Epicly Laterds, and Gio Reda’s Brian Anderson feature. There still are bits and pieces to be chiseled loose, drawing weekly bands of podcasters to run their fingers across well-worn walls and sift piles of cast-off ore cluttering forgotten crannies.

Do hidden gems still lurk? Yet-untold stories revealing and seminal to know? It is a question of value judged by the many-tentacled beholder’s cursed eyes. Deep, deep within these caverns and shafts, work still is done. In recent years the enchanter MuckMouth, guided by the chaotic-good sages of the Slap boards, set forth on a mission to track down and electronically quiz nearly every half-remembered pro or amateur who contributed footage to company vids or 411s over the past three decades, from Eric Sanderson to Jason King.

The roustabout bard Jenkem, who some believe on a mad quest to put down to parchment each minute that passed during Rocco’s reign in the castle World, this year brought forth from these blasted pits the endearing tale of the World Industries customer service rep, JD, heretofore remembered only in a few thousand novelty trading cards packaged with a magazine printed more than 20 years ago. And last week the leather-armored mercenary HavocTV unveiled a surprisingly engaging 29-minute documentary on Carlos Ruiz, known mainly for backside lipsliding El Toro 10 years ago, around the apex of the hammer era before trucks loosened up, ATVs reignited transition and wallies garnered fresh relevance.

Before the crackling hearth within the Foaming Stein tavern, grizzled warriors deep into their cups will mutter that these mines have been stripped to worthless hulks, that delving into these clean-scraped bowels wastes time and hit points better reserved for still-rising formations charted by Jason Dill, Lev Tanju, Pontus Alv or Alex Olson. But if you find your way to the darkened table in the back, there sits a hooded figure, sometimes spinning a yellowed Nicotine wheel, paying bounties for artifacts he insists still are hidden within this slate and limestone:

The car rental agent who handed over jeep keys to Josh Beagle and Ronnie Creager prior to the filming of ‘Barbarians at the Gate’: Little is known about this rental agent who literally provided the vehicle for what still stands as the most uninhibited tour video of all time, a document of nudity, crack cocaine and the St. Louis Arch that provided an early platform for Heath Kirchart and diminished several farmers’ yields across the U.S. grain belt. Key questions: How did he first get into renting automobiles to people? What were his early encounters with Josh Beagle like? How would he describe the jeep’s condition upon checking it back in? What is life like after renting cars to pro skaters?

The bus driver for Osiris’ ‘Aftermath’ tour: It is widely agreed that anything that ever happened in skateboarding, past or present, occurred on Osiris’ 2001 ‘Aftermath’ tour — and this person would have been behind the wheel the entire time. Who hooked him up with his first bus? Which weapons did he use to enforce the legendary ’number one rule of the bus’? Which Osiris pro would he have trusted to take the tiller in the hour of need? If the answer is not T-Bone, why not? Have any subsequent bus driving assignments held a candle to the auspiciously titled ‘Aftermath’ tour?

The investment bankers who managed Big Brother’s $600K sale to Larry Flynt Publications: Jenkem’s highly entertaining 2014 interview with World Industries’ former CFO tugged back the curtain on the financial fence-jumping and knob-cutting that went into World’s sale of Big Brother magazine to the Larry Flynt empire. What other Rocco deals were there? How ugly a mess were Big Brothers’ books? How were valuations calculated for the souls sent in by Big Brother readers responding to an offer for a free World t-shirt in the Andy Roy issue, and did these souls then transfer to the purchaser of World after the $29 million changed hands, or does Rocco retain these in some foot locker within his beachside residence?

You Won’t Have Heath Kirchart To Kick Around Anymore, Except Maybe On His Bicycling Blog

October 21, 2010

Hushed whispers and anxious talk these past weeks that California’s Heath Kirchart may have won skateboarding. Whether such a thing is possible, or even within the tremb-ly bounds of reality, matters little to them who speak of web-winged horrors in the night and terrible, elder gods whose names are better lost to fabled memory. We find ourselves confronting a post-‘Stay Gold’ gap that fits like an abyss and is that much more perplexing for its almost welcome appearance.

It’s maybe wrong to say Heath Kirchart went out “on top” as he didn’t really wear the hungry contender hat — Rob Welsh once notoriously described himself as your favorite skater’s favorite skater, and probably that isn’t really the right hat to put on Kirchart either, but maybe something closer to your favorite skater’s most feared specter. His shadow was a long one, stretched by negative vibes, bushes-hiding and the occasional bout of physical violence, and it will grow with time. And perhaps the completion of certain American biking challenges.

So maybe better to say he left* on his own terms, though the Kirchart of the Thrasher interview might try and argue the point — saying more like forced out by tougher competition or something. But compared to a slow, five-year slide through fourth- and fifth-tier shoe sponsors and elastic cable accessory endorsements, it could have been much less dignified. And it was without a blaze of sour grapes, or grabbing for some Hollywood brass ring, as interesting as that concept may have been.

Possible knocks on Heath Kirchart: A Career On Four Wheels? With counter-knocks
-Skated for Birdhouse during the height of the cartoon graphic/Tony Hawk deification era
—Was in “The End,” among the best 90s videos; damaged property and lit fires with future “Hater’s Ball” honoree Jeremy Klein; ate shit skating a bus stop

-For much of his tenure, a “handrail skater”
—Unless I’m wrong, was the first dude to backside noseblunt such a handrail; christened El Toro; that lipslide shove-it from the Foundation vid

-Turned in a half-dozen tricks for his last video “part”
—Jumped the mega-ramp/set a higher bar for “street dudes” taking the plunge; told everybody they could stop paying him afterward


*Barring a comeback, which would inevitably bring comparisons to Jereme Rogers

Midsummer Video Roundup: What the Fuck is a Bachinsky

August 13, 2008

At least he wasn’t demoted to “Dave Bach”

Image can be a sticky zone for pro skaters, who do well to tread lightly lest they stand accused of orchestrating trend-conscious makeovers, get labeled a lifestyle pro, or run the risk of generally faking the funk. Dave Bachinsky is hardly a blank slate, seeing as he busted onto the scene two or three years ago as the kid who kickflipped El Toro, and has devoted much of his subsequent coverage to living down that dubious honor.

Nevertheless the new City video (following a campaign that set a new hype cycle standard for a purported promo), from the title on down, devotes itself to establishing the finer points of the Bachinsky persona–namely cigarettes, massive flip tricks, burgers, and the unique love between a young man and a supremely soiled camouflage hat. Seriously every time I watch this video I try to think of some camcorder-era skate video that featured a dude rocking the same damn hat through his entire part, and I came up with nothing… anybody? There’s gotta be at least one guy.

Anyway, with a good eight or nine months of ads and various verbal butcherings of the noble Bachinsky name, the kickflippinest kickflipper’s moment is here, and after his teammates and various Norcal commentators mine chuckles from the nuances of Big Bachinsky’s personal foibles, he skates. And it’s good. Tons of flawless flip maneuvers piloted down gaps, assorted ledge techquery, noseblunts and switch backside tailslides on beefy hubbas, that greasy hat. He carries the PJ Ladd influence in his 360 flips and his beat-to-shit Adidas.

No huge surprises, except when he occasionally gets Daewon with it and throws something like a hardflip nose-stall pop-over to fakie on this natural spine thing. I mean, more than enough street pros have pulled limp blunt fakies on Jersey barriers, but Bachinsky has some wild, bizarre moves in mind. Much more than the El Toro kickflipper indeed, and as long as he doesn’t blow his knee on one of these lofty frontside flips, he could be a dude who pushes things in the future.

Elsewise, Jimmy Cao kicks it off with a two-song part featuring the “guess it’s not messed up if he’s cool with it” Carl Douglas song selection. He’s so light-footed the way he catches his flip tricks and alights on his board, it seems like he’s not skating that fast, but he probably is. Jeremy Reeves smashes gaps and rails with slow-motion style. The fakie 360 shove-it was a mind-boggler; Trapasso’s running it too now and Tony Montgomery takes it nollie over a table in his part, so maybe this is trick of the year 09 or something.

City made a good move nabbing Eduardo Craig, coming along with a real smooth, loose-limbed way of landing tricks that’s super pleasing to the eye, like his big fakie kickflip for instance. Russ Milligan stays destroying in the lowest-key way possible for a guy who can land the type of shit he can do, and while I don’t think it’s quite as amazing as his “Crime in the City” section he’s not slowing up.

The forward-thinking honchos at City once again are encouraging the wholesale bootlegging and Youtubing of this video, which of course makes certain that most everyone will hear about and/or watch it. Lumbering dinosaurs with pea-sized brains such as myself still will want a DVD copy to put on while we fall asleep on the couch, but as skateboarding companies stumble glassy-eyed into the digital age it’ll be interesting to see if web-friendly videos maintain the longevity of those that follow the old DVD route. And with City as an early adopter, I also sort of wonder if they’ll stick around long enough to see everyone else eventually follow their lead. Hopefully.