Posts Tagged ‘EMB’

Are You People Paying Attention To The Things Jackson Curtin Is Doing Right Now?

November 2, 2019

This photo should be enough. Great skater, super hard trick, exactly the right angle, tweaked to the maximum, pants right. Time was, you’d painstakingly tear out a page like this one in the Milton Martinez Thrasher and tape it onto the wall. That still happens, but the time for wall-staring slowly is passing into shadow. Soon enough, our walls will stare at themselves.

The photo’s primal waves lead to another, more fundamental question, which is whether the swipe-happy, dead-eyed and flesh-consuming populace is giving Jack Curtin his proper due. In a world that criminally overlooked Ryan Gallant’s late-period surge, only now seems to be appreciating the treasure that is Javier Sarmiento, and failed to elevate Steve Durante to household name status, it is not an idle question.

A seminal technician with international flair and an allergy to basic-ass T-shirts, Jackson Curtin approaches the 2020s a seasoned veteran, but from ‘Pack a Lunch’ onward he seems never to have blown up relative to the skill and stylistic levels implied. Last year, he switch kickflip wallrode and switch backside noseblunted a chunky hubba for the ever-inscrutable Skate Mental label. This year he slid through New York for the Gridlock series, ripped Pier 7 and the SF Library amid the broader SF reinvigoration GX1000 set off in the hills and Supreme carried to EMB, and last week he slapped up trickblockers and put a noseblunt onto the Carroll/Chico block-to-block list for his most recent New Balance shoe design, centered on the increasingly on-burn black and clear colour scheme.

Is everybody properly savouring the current Jackson Curtin moment? Can the collective powers of Jack Curtin, Tyler Surrey, Tom Knox and recent DC Shoe Co USA defector Tiago Lemos unite to somehow make it cool to wear grandpa shoes with with a big letter N on the side? What are the odds Jack Curtin could get back to Pulaski for a joint part with Bobby Worrest? Should Paul Rodriguez, dealing with Primitive’s steadily expanding roster, spend some of his Naruto duckets on the apparently still existing Deca and put on Jack Curtain, JB Gillet, Daewon Song and fuck it, Carlos Iqui?

Shorty’s Cooper Draper Pryce

March 29, 2012

Necessity is the mother of invention, goes the old saying. You can put lipstick on a pig, but you can’t stop him from eating the whole tube, goes another. Deceased Macho Man Randy Savage repeatedly shouted “oh yeah.” All of these phrases are different ways of expressing the idea that ever since the days when cavemen urinated on cave walls, mankind has yearned and urinated to express himself and develop a personal branding motif.

So it is with mounting hardware, that little-loved backwater of hardgoods commerce usually relegated to some lowly corner of the scratched-up glass merchandise case, forgotten between professionally colored trucks and expensive Black Label stickers autographed by Jub. Or is it? A detailed analysis of history reveals that hardware purveyours rank among the creamiest in skateboarding’s would-be crop of self-styled marketing necromancers.

The original baron of bolts must be known as Shorty’s Tony Buyalos, who swept aside faddish concerns such as “Bridgebolts” to zero in on an increasingly truthful fact of the world in the early 1990s, which was that mounting hardwares generally were too long and got sort of wavy from street skating*. At the height of its power, the Shorty’s empire commanded consumer loyalty not only to its nuts and bolts but to an array of multicolored bushings, bearings and even riser pads, a shocking twist of fate since the declining popularity of riser pads was what first helped to develop a thirst for Shorty’s bolts that were shorter. An unrelated line of snowboards came to be sold, Rosa became the industry’s diva of the 1990s** and the Muska was signed as an employee, skateboarding but also innovating new objects like the “short stacks.”

Today the hardware kingpin with the wealthiest fame must be Nick Tershay who built a profitable clothes company by starting with some difficult to use but heavily endorsed mounting hardwares bearing the Diamond brand. I never did see many people ever use Diamond hardware, but a knack for color schemes and a knowing of the right people bolstered Diamond’s standing to the point where one of its premium t-shirts may fetch near $100 in an open auction format. The company separately has Mike Carroll signature hardware currently on offer.

The expansive market share and well-loved logos nurtured in our time by hardware companies raises queries as to why bolt-makers have been able to capture valuable soft dollars while companies competing to sell “sexier” products such as footwear and boards have struggled to stay afloat in recent years. Seven-ply maple decks and minimalist suede shoes have steadily marched toward commoditization but selling nuts and bolts, basically a commodity to begin with, has birthed lucrative empires that have helped clothe rappers and introduced the world to the multifaceted talents of Peter Smolik. Are hardware sellers forced to hustle harder than the next outfit because they are starting with a humdrum product? Does a major corporate superpower like Nike or K-Mart or BNSF Railways possess the credibility to jump into the hardware fray? Could Torey Pudwill launch the next great mounting hardware dynasty? Is mounting hardware a right or a privilege?

*Not good wavy like “Coke Wave 2,” bad wavy like going to prison for 75 years
**Runner-up, Ricca Gentry?