The kindest gift that Paul Rodriguez ever bestowed upon the industry was making switch 360 flips down double sets look not-really-trying casual. Upping the ante in one’s mid-teens to not only top-drawer difficulty but seeming no-sweat execution put a fresh floor under tricks that pushed boundaries and set the stage for a weird and wondrous era in which random YouTube kids compete with professionals for unique page views and thumbs-up identifiers. It also enabled dudes who aren’t up to switch backside noseblunting handrails to differentiate on metrics such as speed, aesthetics, geography, or wearing suspenders. French cobblestone ticklers Magenta have based their whole deal on agility and architecture without fussing a great deal over filling up their tech/gnar power meters, pumping out a stream of sliding- and pushing-packed vids that have refreshed and divided the populace in ways similar to the Stereo videos of yore, except with more Wu-Tang Clan.
Making a New York vid probably has been on these dudes’ list as long as the Los Angeles schoolyards were for the Palace guys, and watching their new ‘Panic in Gotham’ clip you get a sense of the zest with which they screeched their wheels across these hallowed streets, even if most of the marquee spots were disregarded in favor of jumping whatever benches and bars they ran across. New York long has been associated with chutzpah and some balls are helpful if you aim to insert clips of flatground shove-its or a repeat of one of those one-footed slider moves, but this raises interesting questions around the role of these caffeinated French purists, and tricks like Leo Valls’ tail-skid to slappy noseslide. Are the Magenta bros in their tightly fished, powerslide-mining fashion pushing as much innovation as the likes of Corey Kennedy or Torey Pudwill working over a DIY parking block ledge? Would their efforts be classified as ‘lateral’ progression, devolution or some as-yet unknown direction? Is there room for Magenta as a hardgood manufacturer to differentiate on products amenable to their styles of scooching and spinning, like ceramic wheels or tailguards? Could Magenta and Nissan collab on an environmentally friendly grappling hook that enables urban skaters to hook a ride on a low-emission vehicle?