Posts Tagged ‘Given’

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Kris Markovich, ‘Fight Fire with Fire’

June 26, 2018

Similar to the Wu and the Simpsons, both early-90s contemporaries, Kris Markovich’s questionable late-career moves have had the unfortunate effect of clouding a massive legacy for kids who weren’t around to catch a convincing decade-long run, and requiring oldsters who do to talk like annoyed oldsters. Nevertheless, his catalogue stands, and the somewhat fairly maligned Prime captured Kris Markovich during his angsty and nomadic World period for what’s surely among the company’s better-aging contributions to ‘the culture’: for the period, one of the top inward heelflips on offer, into shit even; Markovich staples like the backside 180 nosegrind, some big jumps, the speed; and not too deep yet into the white tees/blue jeans/white shoes era to dispense with the noseslides to fakie and fakie ollies that could merit fresh Instagram burn today. The closing 360 flip’s audible catch is a triumph of Steve Albini-style open-room sound engineering.

A Familia Affair

July 23, 2009

mint_hubba
Pop life

BTO overlooked the Familia video* when it came out, a crime only partially excused by the fact that I was maybe occupied with Stevie Wiliams’ gripping saga about being stranded in some airport. But seeing’s how this is a video almost entirely dedicated to the bro-friendly concept of shared parts it fits in with what has rapidly become “bro week” in this space, a concept that will surely prove embarrassing to all involved at some point in the future. However, until we figure out what to make of Bam Margera’s recent TMZ appearances, we soldier on…

Familia, the descendant of Minneapolis mainstay Fobia helmed by Birdhouser Steve Nesser, eschews the meticulous music supervision and thematic concepts of the Benji Meyer era for a quick 15-minute overview of where some past and present Minnesota hitters are with their skating. It’s a low-key affair with a couple gutsy music choices (T-ihanna) that belie the obligatory glass cases/hardwood floors skateshop trappings, Uptown geographical controversies aside.

It seems like the current wave of ledge techery has caught up to the type of tricks Chad Benson has been doing for a while, things like the switch boardslide spin-around to front blunt and the switch k-grind fakie 360flip out. He shares time and space here with Nate Compher, who pops switchstance moves in ways that continue to raise “wha happen” questions around the Lakai/Chocolate situation, where one party or another looks to have dropped the ball over the past few years. Whatever the case he moves the schoolyard line battle forward with a nollie noseblunt-switch backside smith grind combination and later lands a switch b/s smith grind down Hubba Hideout, probably some kind of high water mark for the recent revival.

There’s frizzle fry grabs and a screwed up noseslide from the Zed while Dominic Randazzo musters a couple tricks in the tuxedo T, always a class act, and also a meaty lazer flip. A bit of a bro-tage features shop employees and reps alongside known bro Tony Hawk and TSM employees, and young Rada Espinoza lifts a massive frontside wallride at Jake Johnson’s favorite parking garage. The mighty Jamiel Nowparvar seems like he’s slowed down a little bit from his internet-conquering “Weekend Warriors” section but the switch kickflip b/s noseblunt is business of the most serious sort. Future video game star Steve Nesser does a bunch of ollies and 50-50s with some good nosegrinds both right and left-footed.

Emeric Pratt, the onetime Consolidator who recently cast his lot with Kris Markovitch’s Given boards, is paired with 5-0 happy Habitat flowee David Jaimes, which makes for the easiest type of shared part to watch because it’s pretty simple for mentally limited persons like myself to tell the two dudes apart. Jaimes does Davis Torgerson tech lines and Pratt still can’t keep his hands off his board, there’s a couple variations on the fakie flip stalefish/melon(?), also some kinda crazy bonk to rollercoaster ride. Crooked grind bonk? I rewound it a half-dozen times and still couldn’t figure it out. Check the vid here and let me know if it makes any sense to you.

*I don’t want to go back and check so let’s all just pretend I didn’t already title a previous posting “a family affair” kthxbye

Angel investors

May 31, 2008


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

So a few weeks ago word got out that Kris Markovich bounced from Crimson Skateboards, took the team and would launch something new. Now, we could make a lot of easy jokes about his sponsor tattoos, how he rode for Duffs like three times, or the Vegas over/under on how long Given will last, “given” Markovich’s track record as a businessman. (Markovich does seem to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.) But, in Markovich’s defense, his former partner in Crimson, Sam Uisprapassorn, is reportedly a non-skating schlub who used to do marketing for Stereo, so, you know, maybe this one wasn’t Markovich’s fault? I don’t know, I just hear these things.

Whatever the case, I gotta hand it to Markovich for getting back on the skate company horse time and time again, with extremely mixed results, because he’s such a deep veteran at this point. Unlike a lot of his peers who came up around the same time he never really disappeared and he’s pumped out so many video parts, including a few great ones. Plus he punked out Chad Fernandez.

However the first thing I thought of when I heard the Given news was, “who’s putting the money up this time?” I read somewhere that it was going to be entirely financed by Markovich himself, which I guess could be feasible. Are Red Bull and Hurley still paying him? Anyway, if by some chance this company goes south, I thought I’d put together a quick list of venture capitalists and financiers that Markovich could maybe hit up for his next venture.


Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway: Despite his net worth of $62 billion, which makes him the richest man in the world as of 2008, Buffett still lives in his modest Omaha home and pays himself an annual salary of $100,000. Made a bundle off a stake in Coca-Cola he took in the late ’80s, and he’s big into philanthropy, so a start-up skate company might be up his alley. On the other hand, he’s not a fan of high-risk investments.


Eddie Lampert: Multi-billionaire hedge fund manager who’s earned a reputation as something of a turnaround specialist, Lampert is a member of the secretive Skull and Bones society, items that figure heavily into Markovich’s past graphics. Lampert is also notable for his negotiating tactics–he once talked would-be kidnappers into letting him free, so maybe he could convince Markovich to stick around when they inevitably come to some disagreement. However, Lampert currently has his hands full with the Kmart/Sears merger.


Michael Milken: SoCal-born junk-bond impresario of the 1980s who did a couple years in prison for insider trading around the end of that heady decade. But he’s still got a couple billion in his pocket and his gift for packaging high-yield debt and selling it to investors could make him a prime candidate for getting behind a Markovich-headed skate company.


Jeffrey Lebowski: Multi-millionaire with a penchant for inner-city philanthropy and tasteful rugs. Known to have a weakness for vanity, linking himself to a skateboard company could be another way of expanding the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers and getting his name out there. Still, the venture would have to be profitable, as the money belongs to the foundation and not to Lebowski himself.


Mr. Slate: Head of the Slate Rock and Gravel Company, Slate is an entrepreneur far ahead of his time, and his foresight of getting into hard assets prior to the present run-up in commodities shows he has an eye for a good long-term investment. That said, if his interactions with Fred and Barney are any indication, he’s a little bit of a slave driver, which generally doesn’t work well when it comes to managing skateboarders.