What soul-eroding wreckage hath the tucked-in shirt craze of 2011 wrought? Plenty of yesteryear’s rascally character tropes increasingly are unapplicable in a brave land where oil-enriched royal dynasties shut down portions of their kingdoms to enable drone-powered filming romps and barely a month can pass without some Manhattan periodical fawning over skaters’ fashion sensibilities, amid assorted rumors of cats and dogs living together and stenchful glimpses of a new dinosaur age.
For alerts and rumours indicating the far reach of skateboarding’s current enamourment with grown manning look no further than Thrasher, that digital content barony built on crushed tall cans, DIY concrete projects and ill-considered body art, which presented this summer’s landmark ‘Stay Flared’ tour firstly as a lesson in proper diet and taking care of one’s self. Its poster child is Brandon Biebel, he of Redline binges and the pack-a-day Ja Rule voice:
Stay Flared saw an equally intense Biebel, though followers of his social media will know that this one is deadly serious about skateboarding, driven by healthy living and more pumped up than ever before. Most telling was his water consumption, specifically his ritual of “kicking a gallon” i.e. drinking at least a gallon of water every day.
“You want to join this club? You ready to kick a gallon?” he asked, incredulously.
The gallon club already involved several of the Stay Flared crew and Andrew Reynolds explained that back in LA they often send each other photos of crushed jugs throughout the day.
“These guys are drinking a gallon of water before 2 pm,” he said. “It’s pretty competitive. It’s, like, ‘Shit, I better start skating so I can finish my gallon!”
Reynolds’ involvement in the burgeoning and bubbly 2015 water affair is perhaps no great surprise given his years of sobriety recently augmented by ice-baths, fair-trade bananas, some sciatic foam roller and a substance known as ‘arnica gel’ (full list available in the Stay Flared Thrasher). But in an age where Fred Gall embraces domestic bliss and Andy Roy can hold down a $1000/month apartment in the most expensive city in America, it is fair to ponder a potential shift at hand.
With message-board vitriol poured steamily over do-nothing pros unable to film semi-regular Instagram clips that, in years past, would have been rewarded with Polo gear or studded belts for their devotion to various piling-out programmes, it is easy to attribute a more-responsible pro populace to the vagaries and ravages of age, mainly the fearsome potential of a day-job sentence lurking behind any final photo incentive cheque. Yet 90s babies also have proven themselves increasingly upstanding, between Austyn Gillette’s Habitat-endorsed high school ender, Mark Suciu’s BA pursuits and the Sabotage dudes methodically smoothing the Love Park ground and disposing of trash in the bargain, moves that recall the late-1990s citizenry of ledge-repainter Jeremy Wray.
Such are the lofty heights tested by this new wave of behavioral responsibility that Ride Channel of late has taken to truth-testing Slap Board rumors and garnering responses from the likes of Crailtap tour muncher Sam Smyth regarding alleged lynchpin teamrider permutations. Whether the Girl camp felt compelled to address potentially material and market-moving news in light of its recent investment injection remains needlessly speculated upon in the darknet.
Are more such fits of dependibility, sensible living and all-out rational action to come as various pros and industry andministrators test the fat tail of mortgage-debt exposure, and corporate structures absorb further xtreme properties? Do the recent spate of upstart board concerns require more self-starter fluid wrung from the industry’s collective pores, or instead offer a greased-up window that creakily enables hedonistic backsliding motions? Is Andy Roy next in line to host an HGTV show that harnesses his prison background for the purpose of frugally decorating tiny houses? Would the industry have found itself on a much different path had Rocco never repaid that one loan shark?