Posts Tagged ‘Gilbert Crockett’

Heated Seats And Pants With No Pleats

October 17, 2015


“There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it,” grumbled the dark lord Sauron in a recent and grumbly voiceover advertising the new Star Wars movie. “The dark side, and the light.” The vibrant world of wookies and hard-partying ewoks again has fallen into strife and discord, lousy with massing storm troopers and crashed spaceships. It represents an extension of what is perhaps the nation’s best-known workplace drama, in which the rigors of toiling under the Emperor’s exacting standards caused Darth Vader to crack and fail to recoup the Empire’s lofty investment in the initial Death Star, then resign his position before construction on the second could complete.

Darth Vader, like so many other career professionals laboring under layers of blubbery bureaucracy, encountered distressors* that occasionally drove him to lash out at colleagues and competitors, employing telekinesis and a lazery sword in equal measure, often illegally. As hinted by the Star Warrior-baiting Santa Cruz decks of yesteryear, Darth Vader’s broiling frustrations may mirror those gripping the skateboard sphere in these, the autumn days of 2015.

Like an incredulous Death Star space welder handed a snorkel, a flathead screwdriver and an unconvincing clap on the shoulder, stakes and requirements for workaday professional bros seem to ratchet ever higher while the constraints of a turbulent global economy seem intent on culling the industry herd. Once high-flying board affairs like Alien Workshop, Zero and Girl are undergoing painful evolutions, while rumors swirl around the future of Dekline shoes and Adio has taken to advertising former team riders in its bid for continued relevance. Signature-model toting professionals increasingly are expected to bear the responsibility of marketing themselves via crowd-courting internet pages, and we live in a time when not only is it unshocking to see a marginally-known amateur break off tricks like Gabriel Summers’ shiveringly gnarly nosegrind, it also is de regueur do it nominally for free. Olympic endorsement contracts would beckon skateboarding’s sobriety-compatible 1%, while remaining ne’er do wells contemplate crowdfunding raisers to sop up medical bills.

Are stress levels within skating’s grand talent pool rising to a Vader level in which colleagues get choked out at sit-down meetings? You hear these things, but it is hard to know for sure. There are signs and siguls, including but not limited to growth in powerviolence-sprinkled parts and graphics, or soundtracks bearing murderer music. Vignettes tucked into ‘Sabotage 4’ and the ‘Our Life’ video, two of the grittier and grottier outputs of recent weeks, feature fights with cops and passersby, recalling a previous industry crunch that manifested itself in part via board-to-drill combat.

Veins of latent but palpable anger burble beneath the overcast surface and betwixt combusting switchstance tricks in Gilbert Crockett’s ‘Salt Life’ video part for the redubbed Quasi, an outfit forged from the wreckage and occasional raw feelings of a highflying corporate adventure gone kaput. Quasi’s initial video look transposes some of the hi-contrast and sharp cuts of their graphical concepts, anchored in a somewhat deeper trench of Gilbert Crockett’s technical skating, including a crunchy switch backside smith grind and one of the more eye-popping switch shove-its in recent memory, and peppered with enraged grunts and a viciously celebratory board beating.

Has the quantity of cathartic, building-slapping wallrides and wallies risen in lockstep with the industry’s general level of fiscal insecurity? Will snapchatted pro boxing matches emerge as a multipronged answer to slackened incomes and late night instagram sniping? May all of it be symptomatic of a divide-and-conquer conspiracy among deep-pocketed sportswear and drink manufacturers? Does the environment grow ever riper for a Bo Turner comeback?

*versus happier eustressors trafficked among those hard-partying ewoks and jawas

Musings And Mutterings On These, The 2015 SOTY Sweepstakes

September 30, 2015


The frothsome tumult that has gripped the fertile field of would-be ’16 American prexy seizers o’er the summertime would seem to have spilled over into pro skatingdom, with no clear American Pharaoh pulling away from plodding SOTY glue-factory fodder nine months into the year and with celebratory keg orders and lofty venue security deposits presumably coming due in short order. Perhaps by design,’s steady gravitational pull toward video parts amid a continued dearth in Graumann’s Chinese Theater-ready releases has at once broadened the field and made any stab at front-runnerness almost by default a multi-part affair — with just a couple months to go and only a few bulge-bracket videos yet on deck, these hoary ranks are assessed:

AVE: Fucking Awesome pot-stirrer Jimi Britches in recent weeks has invoked a hashtag declaration of Van Engelen’s SOTY campaign, at one point nodding to the criminally overlooked onboard actions of Bay Area innovator Henry Sanchez, which may or may not bring good luck when you consider the brevity and general unluckiness of Henry Sanchez’s years-ago endorsement relationship with Lucky Skateboards. Still, Van Engelen did yeoman’s work closing out this year’s most anticipated full-length with a part that extended a remarkable 15-year body of footage that all holds up in spades, Thrasher’s web copywriters liberally splashed superlatives over AVE’s ‘Propeller’ raw footage, and it’s hard to argue against AVE embodying the Thrasher ethos in all of its growling, sweaty hurly-burly, all of which possibly makes the short-pantsed trophyman AVE’s to lose. Then there was that switch 50-50.

Cory Kennedy: ‘Our guy,’ as Thrasher’s eminently readable ‘Trash’ column described Girl’s permanent weekender Cory Kennedy, can safely be presumed to have been on a post-‘Pretty Sweet’ tear the past couple of years on the strength of his appearances in projects as high-brow as Crailtap’s ‘Wet Dream’ and close to the vest as the Thrasher-aimed ‘Cory Goes BellingHAM’ and ‘Rat Poison’. Trukfit aficionado Cory Kennedy is due for an ‘official’ ‘serious’ part in the pending Nike production due out around the SOTY-optimized timeframe of December, raising the promise of offcuts to bolster his cause via a second video part somewhere in there, and six years on from his internet-enabled crash onto the scene he has gathered sufficient gravitas and beercan profiling lifestyle shots so as to make him a convincing Skater of the Year for any and all salacious stakeholders.

Chris Joslin: Chris Joslin last year kicked down the skate industry’s door and shortly thereafter proceeded to activate his seemingly indefatigable ligaments to kick out all of the windows and most of the walls in his relentless quest to seize his moment, wrestle it to the ground and press his thumbs to its gasping throat. Each successive video part, and there have been at least three or four in the past 12 months, drips with an embarrassment of gap-crushing riches, culminating in this month’s three-minute run through dozens of Chinese stairs and related architecture and recorded in less than two weeks. A frightening thought is the domestic bullets that remain in Chris Joslin’s proverbial clip, like all those rumored (and some documented) trips down Wallenberg, raising the prospect of further ammunition for his SOTY bid.

Tiago Lemos: Hyperbole is cheap and easy to come by as the skate sphere has collapsed almost entirely into the internet and its assorted wyrmholes, but Ride Channel’s recent submission that Tiago Lemos is the best skater on Earth carried a softly lilting twinge of reality to it, to which can attest any verified viewer of Ty Evans’ soda-sponsored symphony to technology and extreme ties that bind, ‘We Are Blood,’ or previously his shared section with Carlos Iqui in ‘Gold Goons.’ The tireless mining of tricks from gaps and handrails pursued by Chris Joslin can be ported with minimal formatting to Tiago Lemos and ledges, though Brazil’s SOTY drought is on the verge of entering its third decade and Tiago Lemos has turned in relatively little Thrasher-specific output.

Rowan Zorilla: At a certain point in the early ’00s Forrest Kirby held a position that sort of was akin to being the industry’s little brother, beloved and rooted-for by hesh and fresh peers alike, a rarified spot that Rowan Zorilla seems to have man-bunned his way into over the last couple of years. Rowan Zorilla’s equity is such that he may have been the sole talent to turn down an approach from Dill and AVE’s Fucking Awesome, rather than the other way around, and Thrasher declared his SOTY contenderness following Vans’ ‘Propeller,’ probably the most comprehensive showcase so far of his off-kilter sneak attacks such as the switch kickflip noseslide, the corner-hopping kickflip into the ramp and his Thrasher-covering frontside wallride.

Gilbert Crockett: The Vans vid held two songs’ worth of Gilbert Crockett’s increasingly distilled brand of felid scrap and spring, and VC Corp staff saw fit to unload another part’s worth of footage onto Thrasher’s website for the mop-up round, placing Gilbert Crockett firmly within his loose-fitting and seldom changed khaki pants and, one assumes, well onto the High Speed radar. Gilbert Crockett bears the tattoos, grizzled countenance and staying power Thrasher’s power brokers may prize in a Skater of the Year, and the Quasi collective has intimated he may have more footage on the way ere 2015 is up.

Shane O’Neill: The simultaneously hyper-technical and technically flawless form of tricks rifled out by perennially backwards-capped Shane O’Neill probably could’ve put him in Thrasher’s awards orbit for several years now, but this year the maneuvers in his ‘Shane Goes’ video part seemed to bake in an extra push and occasionally some further degree of gnarliness, like heading down a triple set in the rain, switch, or the rarely seen switch frontside shove-it to boardslide, back to switch. Shane O’Neill’s year so far is further distinguished with one of the better tricks knocked out at Thrasher’s Clipper contest and a potential jump from Skate Mental to solo entrepreneurship, though the rumor mill has him in Paul Rodriguez’ Primitive camp.

The All-Seeing Eye

January 8, 2013

One imagines the invisible hand of Adam Smith guiding the DC-ringed hand of Rob Dyrdek in bringing together this Alien Workshop/Century Optics collaboration on a fisheye lens designed for iPhones, further diversifying that perennial acquisition target away from skateboard decks and its array of bath-time offerings such as soap and towels. As Alien’s spirit guide, lead vocalist, mariachi band liaison and general-purpose mascot on last year’s winning KOTR bid, Omar Salazar is a worthwhile one to endorse this product offering, but you wonder if it was an overflow of merchant-marine ink that maybe kept Gilbert Crockett out of the running, as a dude who already has had a hand in filming a whole video shot on cell phone cameras. Maybe Century Optics feared being on the receiving end of hand-made prototypes for telephoto lenses? Will the industry’s next video camera collaboration see Palace link up with JVC?

The GR-AXM18US also includes a combination of 11 built-in digital special effects and wipes/fades that allow you to give your videos a polished, professional look

Amuse Bouche Avant Votre Caricatures Samedi Matin Brrr Brrr

April 20, 2012

Newly pro’d Gilbert Crockett switch kickflips upstream (via David Galletly dot com). We recommend pairing with a springtime lager and the Jurassic Park score. I would’ve stopped at the flatbar in the back

AWS Giveaway Spotlights The Human Toll Of Mystery’s Old B&W Ad Campaign

December 13, 2011

Australian journeyman Dennis Durrant recently made blog-waves upon disclosing that he had jumped the Mystery ship for Skate Mental in part because the Kiss-inspired, baggier-pantsed Zero offshoot had ceased to pay him for a number of reasons. No bad blood, but the takeaway was something like “it’s tough all over, kid.”

As the market continues to mull just how many professionals and unpaid amateurs it can and will support this year, a sorrier story still plays out just beyond the edges of the car lots where luxury autos are sitting un-leased. Midwestern company Alien Workshop has affixed the stiff upper lip and gone ahead and announced a giveaway opportunity that reveals how tragedy has befallen new teamrider Gilbert Crockett. The one-size-only swag on offer is a drab spectrum of grays, blacks and whites, the only Crayolas that Crockett can pull out of the carton first try, his hollowed-out eyeballs the sad result of years spent toiling for Mystery under its famed black and white regime. Alien’s recent and radical attempt at “splicing his life” to correct his colorblindedness has failed even despite the rapid manual hops, channel kickflip and much-anticipated and much awesome footage of the bench/steps jump.

Mystery’s Color Theory may have come too late to save Crockett’s sense of sight and post-board career he confronts a difficult job market that will not allow him to pilot fighter planes, design interior home spaces or correctly assemble Christmas tree light strings, leaving few choices. For inspiration he may turn to the story of Moses Itkonen, whose eyes were similarly seared by DC’s 1990s black-white-and-helvetica campaign but reinvented himself as a Canadian clothing company magnate by hiring an intern to wield a red marker.

In The Spirit Of _____, We Bring You ______

April 11, 2011


In keeping with the cosmic balance, Maldonado pops up in this Kerry Getz-themed clip today, click toward 01:05 for the relevant backside tailslide variant.

Thug Motivation

February 28, 2010

Let’s get it

The latest in a grand tradition of blurring the line between pro and regular old bro, the imperatively titled “Yougottagetthat!” may be best represented by its “Bob & Bobby” section, which finds a slimmer-than-usual-looking Worrest switch backside noseblunting alongside the husky section shopper yet very agile switch b/s kickflipper Bob Reynolds, while Bun-B describes various ways of hiding drugs in your car before you sell them off. It’s not a terrifically serious video (though there will probably be some hurt feelings in the Blackbox camp as the credits roll and Jamie Thomas is mysteriously left off certain thank-you lists), but the stacking of some good shop-vid level tricks alongside the work of paid professionals such as Dan Murphy and Mike Peterson suggests a good-faith effort to document the vital and vigorous North Carolinian scene, fueled as it is by canned beer and Cam’ron. You can tell they’re easygoing because so many Nike shoes and Consolidated boards are peacefully coexisting.

Opening act and heir to the Colt Cannon throne of alliterating proto-names Conor Champion straddles this line, positioned as he is for breakout hot-shoe status thanks to a can-do attitude and close working relationship with frontside crooked grinds, both regulars and switch. This dude gets off some crazy moves, including a buried switch feeble grind on a handrail, makes DC shoes look good and has this one line that ends with a b/s smith grind down a modest rail and is sorta reminiscent of a mid-90s LA playground romp. The SPOT website suggests that he’s currently trying his luck with the flow vortex that is the Crailtap camp, so hopefully he’s put a moratorium on attaining recognized status over there before moving on to other pastures, since it would be a shame to see this dude’s tricks slip too far into obscurity.

Mike Peterson and Kyle Berard, two blue-collar bowl types who I don’t follow too closely, both have nice sections and Berard (think it’s Berard) gets hairy on the coping with a switch hurricane grind that is kind of a “wow” move, since it follows right after a regular one. Young Alien Gilbert Crockett does his thing with the swooping launches and cat-footed landings, noseblunting this tall ledge and catching a lofty frontside shove-it. Brett Abramsky, co-director with Reynolds, casts a big 360 flip into a smoothly paved hill at what looks like a scarily fun speed, and kind of resembles Cliche’s Javier Mendizabal.

Past-and-perhaps-present NC transplant Dan Murphy anchors, advertising up front his switch to the magic F and unloading a lot of his Mystery deck footage in the process. Solid is the word that most often comes to mind with regards to this dude’s footage but he’ll occasionally throw in an eyebrow-raiser like the long switch frontside blunt in this section, or the textbook-edition nollie backside flip down some blocks that serve to remind he may not be the knuckle-dragging gap jumper his college keg-party background suggests to some of us. Although it was nice to see that mega-rail jump pop up here as well as in that internet clip a few months back. One thing about Dan Murphy is that he seems to work hard for his tricks and it’s nice to see a dude on the Nike payroll willing to suit up in gloves, a hat and hooded sweatshirt for the purposes of rounding out a section in his friends’ vid.

The Skateboard Mag put up a remix edition of this part the other day but it doesn’t quite measure up to the original, which boasts one of three good songs off the Clipse album — you can and should consider buying this DVD off the fellows who made it as it features talented dudes taking themselves none too seriously and two (count em) songs with Cam’ron.

King of the Wild Frontier

March 9, 2009

Crank that Richmond

It’s probably not gonna be video part of the year or whatever, but the Black Box website a couple weeks ago put up this ripping part from BTO favorite Gilbert Crockett that features some stunning backside kickflips, a rollerblade cameo, sick line at what I think is probably Pulaski, and a ledge with this really sweet Mario Bros-themed paint job. The part comes out of a local Richmond VA video called Tomboman, named for a dead homie; you can watch all the parts here in a presumably legitimate fashion, and check Travis Pittman’s section for the sweet cephalopod-themed soundtrack. Note, I got all the way through this post without a stupid Clipse reference.

Boil the Ocean posts about the Fallen video some more

October 4, 2008

Whistle while you twurk

So maybe restraint is an odd concept to associate with a video that’s mainly concerned with handrail firepower and gap flights, but I was kind of impressed with the non-spectacle aspect of the Fallen flick that, uh, “debuted” online last week amidst a flurry of anguished messageboard pleas and back-door Rapidshare dealings. This is especially impressive considering it’s helmed by Jamie Thomas, who’s certainly brought elements of the theatrical to past productions, and what with your HD cameras, international dateline-hopping footage quests and the famous Blackbox work ethic, cynical potato-bugs like myself can maybe be forgiven for expecting, basically, “Fully Flared” with bigger jumps and smaller pants and Maiden.

The waistlines are narrow to be sure, but I gotta give Thomas & co. much credit for following the age-old Texasism “shut up and skate”: no voiceovers, no gratuitous intro sequences, no padding whatsoever really. Not even that much slow-mo.

In other respects (music, filming, editing) it’s basically a Zero video, not a bad thing at all, which is to say if I’m going to watch some high stakes carcass-tossing I’d rather see the real McCoy than the legions of longhaired frontside boardsliders that arose in the Baker2G handrail heyday.

The current “creativity” trend does rear its head from time to time, like with Tommy Sandoval, who has the first section and appears to be going through a WASPafarian thing. In an otherwise by-the-numbers Zero gap/rail assault he throws in a few torso-twister feeble/smith combos that are pretty sick, and the pop out of the obligatory pivot fakie is a show-stopper. Tony Cervantes oversees most of the transition stuff in the video, he’s not the flashiest skater ever, but like Kenny Hoyle he’s got something that doesn’t lend itself to drawn-out blog commentary, some kind of X factor. But they’re lucky to have this dude. He’s gonna be interesting to watch evolve.

People are correct in saying one of the best parts is Brian Hansen, piloting his skateboard at unsafe speeds through harrowing terrain and landing tricks way smoother than necessary for a dude who otherwise engages in wholesale slobbery (thank-you list includes Cheez-Its). And I suppose I’ll go ahead and take another lap of dick-riding for Gilbert Crockett, he of the ninja flip tricks and precision reverts and monochrome wardrobe. Perfect second part for a video like this.

James Hardy, on Real now and a kid I’ve heard a lot about in certain sectors, didn’t wow me much aside from a Gonzish frontside 180 backside nosegrind and a fakie 5-0 on a burly rail. Likewise the 2/3 Harmony-1/3 Bennett part, the proportion of which I wished was reversed. Harmony had a longish backside nosegrind in there I guess.

In terms of evolution and growing up and all that game of Life shit I was interested to see what Jamie Thomas came with, being a decade beyond his best video part, but not the type to milk it either. His age sort of shows through the first half, getting semi-tech on ledges and skating fast with some red meat thrown to his Slap pals (mailbox nosebash, pole lipslide), but he turns up the heat when the song gets going and by the time he bangs out that steep frontside nosegrind pop-out over the sidewalk it’s like “Thrill of It All” again even if he didn’t score the ride-away.

And if it wasn’t for Chris Cole Billy Marks would easily have the craziest section in this video, doing one of the tallest jumps I’ve seen in some time straight out the gate and bumping his flip-to-grind act up a few notches. Here and there he falls into the Jon Allie trap of kickflipping into every trick he can think of, which gets sort of repetitive, but he makes an effort to keep it interesting like with the smith grinds kickflip out both ways on that rolly ledge thing. And I don’t know if it’s from watching so many low-impact street transition tricks these last few years, but the sheer size of some of his shit rattled me a few times. Currently Marks’ meter is edging away from tech-deck and toward SOTY, if you ask me.

Boil the Ocean posts about the Fallen video

October 2, 2008

Do you guys think it’s fucked up how, after years on Mystery’s strict black-and-white photo/video regimen, Gilbert Crockett has gone colorblind?


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