Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Footage Chasms, The Ultimate Answer, And An Alternate Quartersnacks Ballot

October 26, 2019

In Douglas Adams’ cautionary coming-of-space-age ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ series, men at one point design, construct and program a computer powerful enough to deliver the answer to ‘life, the universe and everything.’ The momentousness of the answer upon its final calculation, ’42,’ is undermined by its numerical and rather tingly nature. Their next technological plate of crow was to design, construct and program a computer powerful enough to supply the actual question, though it is unclear whether this strategem saved the ultimate answer-seekers from being torn to bits by an angry mob.

Thug-motivated New York City scene chroniclers Quartersnacks this month asked an only slightly less weighty question: If you were to bury five video parts and five full-lengths released between January 1, 2010 and today under your house for future generations to reference when they discover skateboarding, what would they be? Loaders of the website subsequently were directed to enter the five best video parts, in order, followed by the best five full-lengths, in order.

Mind the gap, gentle reader, as you are swallowed into a gaping chasm of IG footage comps, Thrashermagazine.com web entries and full-length contributions from a constellation of pros, ams and assorted bros that sputtering economic gravity pumps cannot stop from expanding. The Snack Man requests favorites, and so these shall be received. But tweaking the first iteration of the question — burying only a handful of vids for future generations to unearth — exhumes an entirely different answer.

Would such a time-capsule document contain the subjective faves of its stuffer, including subtle but essential variations on Love Park ledge, backside noseblunts, prohibitions against varial kickflips and kids under 16? Or might it objectively map the body of 2010s skating, with all its gasface-inducing ender-enders, its thirsty moneyraking, its aching tragedy, its wonderful stylistic entropy? Which five video parts* could guide some 2050s hardflipper through this expiring decade’s ups, downs and wooly sideways moves? Is it possible to capture a whole decade in a five-part ‘mixtape’ or is this the type of ill-considered subintellectual exercise best left to archaic blogging platforms and their sludge-dripping ilk? Let’s read on.

Tiago Lemos — ‘Press Play,’ 2016

Did any individual person over these past ten years expand and warp the known boundaries of skateboard possibilities more than loose fitted bio-Brazilian Tiago Lemos? The answer is maybe, but they all could be stacked and concrete poured over them and still Tiago Lemos could switch backside tailslide the lot. His godlike pop only is one part of the picture, and in this clip for DC he dishes forth various handrail barges and pants-wrinkling technicalities like the nollie inward heelflip backside lipslide.

Nyjah Huston — ‘Til Death,’ 2018

This long-in-the-making union of Nyjah Huston, Nike and Ty Evans aligned the sector’s highest-powered and most bankable entities to create a relentlessly hyped part that was at once gobsmacking, expensive looking and oftentimes difficult to watch. Nyjah Huston has come to embody a certain kind of moneyed excess, both on and off the board, and as global wallets open and the hoopla machine winds up ahead of the 2020 Olympics, ‘Til Death’ was an apt warm-up act.

Blobys — ‘I Like It Here Inside My Mind, Please Don’t Wake Me This Time,’ 2016

Polar’s rise to prominence in the early ’10s marked the power shift away from the distributor-conglomerates like Crailtap, DNA and Black Box, raised up on THPS-driven largesse in the years before the skate economy’s bottom fell out, and Pontus Alv’s pulsing, frenetic full-length debut for his Nordic board designer cemented the new vanguard. The Polar dudes scattered their shove-its, wallrides and no-complies across Europe, New York and the Pacific Northwest, but if you were to bottle the aged grayscale stone, fast-and-loose street schralps and Continental accents that wielded influence across much of the decade’s second half, you would pour out something like the Paul Grund, Roman Gonzeles and Kevin Rodrigues JV that closed this vid — bashing walls and curbs, early grabbing and disastering through swinging chains and neon glare past midnight in the Paris cuts.

Lacey Baker — ‘My World’, 2017

Fragmentation of skateboarding’s controlling constellations over the past decade, aided by Instagram, canny corporations and the proliferation of screenprint brands, helped throw doors open to any number of comers, importantly including a fresh and focused female generation. Lacey Baker is pushing forward the front lines, dealing in a rapid-snapping brand of tech at home atop SoCal pic-a-nic tables and East Coast monument blocks alike, here flicking impeccably over a bench, there unfurling a noseslide nose manual to flip out combo to the delight of some young Ghostbuster.

Alien Workshop — TWS ‘Cinematographer Project,’ 2012

Josh Kalis was off the team for like three years and it still got him emotional! It goes without saying that the skating, music, lineup and aesthetic here in this, last part in Transworld’s second ‘Cinematographer’ outing, held up as the decade ran its course. Alien Workshop stood at its eleventh hour apex with Dylan Rieder wrapping one of his impossibles over a picnic table, AVE tackling the Heath Kirchart hubba backside, Tyler Bledsoe threading a backside tailslide across a tight top step, some screwball Omar Salazar stuff — and then Gilbert Crockett and Jake Johnson rising to the pro ranks, that switch kickflip, the nollie backside wallride with all four wheels, the switch front blunt. It’s hard to imagine one video part touching ten years’ worth of heights, tragedies, power shifts and stylistic milemarkers, but this one set up an awful lot of them.

*Naming five feature-length videos that capture the era is relatively easy. They are, in no particular order, all of the Bronze videos.

Ishod Wair, Roaming Wide Open Spaces Of Brick And Leaf

October 8, 2012

Next to Luy-Pa Sin, JB Gillett, Bastien Salabanzi and Henning Braaten, the hot shoes of Lordz Wheels’ 2004 production “They Don’t Give A Fuck About Us” shared billing with this pretty dizzying array of amazing spots that a lot of us in the US had yet to see at the time, when the domestic pro wave had at that point fully crashed into Barcelona and France but had yet to wash over the rest of the continent. Situated amongst the rickety handrails and cluttered run-ups that you’d come to associate with old-world skating was a whole smorgasbord of expansive, new-looking plazas drenched with marble and strewn about with all manner of ledges and steps and banks and wedges. At various times it was almost like it didn’t matter which dude was pushing through or what he was up to exactly, you could sit back and let your imagination go.

Into the annals of spot pr0n now comes Ishod Wair, human American, pictured above tooling through this carnival of brick that reportedly can be found in Hamburg, Germany. Some time back we linked up an old Tom Penny section that amounted to a couple one-off tricks in a skatepark and then one long, meandering line down a street on a sunny afternoon, with some commentary stapled onto it to the effect that such a line summed up certain shit about the appeal of this beloved action sport. The spot in the Ishod Wair clip gets to some of those ideas in the same way as the great ‘plazas’ of yesteryear, like the Santa Monica Courthouse, EMB, Pier 7, Love Park, Sants station and so on — these big blank canvasses where a dude, possibly feeling his oats, could pull trick after trick until his batteries give out like Mike Carroll in “Goldfish” or he runs out of space like Josh Kalis. No need to X off rail or gap tricks from a finite list and enough room on the benches over to the side for cultural spillover, this is where Josh Kalis’ “organic” tricks can be sewn. Extra bonus points awarded to Ishod Wair here for inserting a flatground kickflip into the mix here, no sweat.

2. Chewy Cannon – “Diagonal”

December 29, 2009

Hat flipped backward and polo shirt fluttering in the wind, Blueprint’s Chewy Cannon skidded, slid and scootched to a new level this year via a combo of breakneck speed, spastic technicalness and a ’90s eye for trick selection. This dude is one of the chosen few who can make both cranium-endangering crashes and frontside boardslides on ledges look good, and Adidas’ “Diagonal” found him weaving in and out of pedestrians, pets and pests while doing an impressive job of making it look as though he’s got no particular plan in terms of what’s to come next. Half the time, like on the hubba b/s tailslide, it’s like he’s barely hanging on, other times his feet seem glued to the griptape as though it were that magical Paradox griptape that is aligned with your inner chi, and perhaps this is indeed the horrible secret behind Chewy Cannon’s success.

6. Dennis Busenitz – “Diagonal”

December 25, 2009

Even without the Thrasher crown, whadda year for Dennis Busenitz – hitting three stripes’ worth of pro shoe paydirt, contest runs that won the Dew Tour of internet buzz, and a sizzler of a video part that ensured career elevation beyond a message board reign inherited from the likes of Bob Puleo and Gino Iannucci. The secret Busenitz sauce seems to lie in a frothy mixture of speed, unholy control and a supreme confidence that whatever those magic feet do next will work out for the best, and he pours it lavishly across this section the Adidas Europe vid, which he maybe got into by virtue of sharing a motherland with the Herzogenaurach-based outfit. Beyond the big-bounce ender the highlights I guess are the neck-high kickflip on the Ft. Miley hip, the no-push switch smith grind, that lengthy b/s nosegrind and his 180 switch k-grind that seems to stick right to the ledge. Not sure if this is the peak of what Dennis Busenitz can bring in terms of video-section heat but even if not it’s a pretty awesome placeholder ahead of the Real video.

Gangstarrs

October 12, 2009

bledsoe-howard

Two tricks, that may or may not be related by blood, which popped out at me watching the great Gang of Fourstar tour vid: rumored-to-be-pro-now Tyler Bledsoe’s fully functional ledge combo at 2:30, making the most of a multi-dimensional object in 3D European space. Later, skipper Rick Howard’s backside nosegrind at 11:02, or more specifically, the way he slips the front foot back just so after the pop-out… really I did watch this like ten times. It’s weird, every time one of these Crailtap-backed tour productions comes out (starting back with “Beware of the Flare”) it always hits me how this is probably the best showcase for Rick Howard’s skating these days, though I was a big fan of his section in the Lakai video. I don’t know. Bledsoe’s gap to backside lipslide might have been the best trick in the video. Well, think I’ll watch the foot-flutter again, hold on.

As You Lie Awake, Shadowy Europeans Are Devising Strange and Bizarre New Flip Tricks

September 8, 2009

scanners_head

A couple recent forehead-scratchers to cross the BTO desk, both of which are crying out for Mystery’s Jimmy Carlin to formulate hilarious names: Londoner Daryl Dominguez’s danger dance over the pyramid (1:08) at the UKSA National Skateboarding Championships, and then this inward-flipping mindbender at the scene of the Macba gap’s half-dug grave. The other side of the Atlantic is pushing the envelope, but until names are claimed, YouTube wag “davidfloodthesex” takes it there in the comments re: the second one:

It’s called a FUCKING FRITZL FLIP.The trick entails locking your daughter in a dungeon,having many children with her and burning one of them in a furnace

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…”.