Posts Tagged ‘gatekeepers gone wild’

ShipRocked On The Final Frontier

May 31, 2020

At some point on Friday, May 22, the last of skateboarding’s wavering, already-crumbly stylistic barriers came collapsing down. They fell beneath two different colored Nikes, kickflip frontside crooked grinding a waist-high handrail, beneath a pile of flaming skulls, zippers and rap-rock intonations, topped with Day-Glo liberty-spikes. Tally if you will from clay tablets and la smoke-hazed memory banks the most-ridiculed dress, music and geometry of the 1990s onward, and yung Vincent Nava stitches them all together and sails them down a 20-stair handrail; it is a wonder he doesn’t push his neon flame-gripped board mongo, or skate Nash decks, or sport an eyebrow piercing.

Time was, stepping out in getups cobbled together from Manic Panic-stained pages torn from a Hot Topic lookbook, let alone filming in these, was to walk out in front of the battalion of tastemaking industry tanks. It was only a little over a decade ago that Zero’s Garrett Hill made the decision to 360 flip 50-50 a handrail in pants with two different coloured legs, earning widespread ridicule and fun-poking questions that continue into the modern era. There was a time in the late 1990s when Ed Templeton’s artistic exploits and choice to wear slim(mer) fitting Dickies helped earn him his own semi-serious ‘Ed Hater’s Club’ among Big Brother readers. Before that, Jason Dill’s teenage angst over an Iron Maiden tee he hadn’t the courage to wear in the World era became a lodestar for his own journey of self-discovery via sleeveless shirts and cowboy hats that he himself would, in turn, later deride. Cairo Foster and Ramiro ‘Furby’ Salcedo were clowned for glasses and gauges, respectively.

Flash forward a few years, and Supreme poster child Tyshawn Jones clips up in his own bicoloured pants legs en route to a SOTY nod. Camo crossbreeder Stephen Lawyer offers in-depth insights as to his technique, while John Shanahan exchanges multiple Benjamin Franklins for custom-made Rugrats cargo attire. Ascendant Alltimer Will Marshall has turned Legoman hats, short stature and Canadian heritage — obstacles to so many Darkstar riders of years past — into careermaking assets. Recently, there was a fight over who should get credit for designing the Osiris D3.

Where does this leave Vincent Nava? On paper his Pig Wheels part, replete with a 14-stair backside noseblunt in a coronavirus mask, a furious cab backside tailslide in a line and a backside overcrook on a Heath rail, is to be reckoned with; draped in cut-n-sew cartoon character tops, chunky rap-rock guitars, literal chest thumping, leopardskin print patchworkcargos that would make One-Off John think twice, and profligate hairspray clips, it amounts to a gauntlet thrown down before the industry. But from ostensible gatekeepers, there was no hesitation: Within days, Ted Schmitz conducted a lengthy and glowing interview for Thrasher, no doubt scooping Jenkem. The typically acerbic Slap boards offered mostly praise for the skating and marveled over the fits, ‘like a character someone who’s never skateboarded before would make on Skate 3.’ Admirers have run up his IG follower count above 18K, and his video part views via Pig’s feed have surpassed those of recent footage from industry-backed pros and ams.

What is owed a skater like Vincent Nava — a career? Respect? Wheelbite in the rain? If Slipknot and Limp Bizkit are not a ‘bridge too far,’ then indeed do any still exist? Did Bronze56k years ago somehow set in motion this Pig Wheels production, which also involves two people named ‘22K’ and ‘Kid Bronze’? Beyond Pig, is Tail Devil the next logical sponsor for Vincent Nava en route to an inevitable co-sign from Supreme, via the ragged, patched-pantsed path blazed by Aidan Mackey and Ben Kadow?