Posts Tagged ‘heelflips’

‘Appreciate Your Muskas’

May 22, 2021

“There’ll never be another Muska,” the old man said again, louder this time. 

His tone made it sound like some prewritten remembrance posted too early by some errant algorithm, it wasn’t, and the man understood this. He cleared his throat. “Not like he’s gone, I mean. You know?” 

The kids looked away. Neither really had looked at him in the first place, only half acknowledging his advance on the park’s chain-link perimeter, then hooking in his fingers, scanning back and forth and bobbing his head if some trick looked close. One stepped onto his board and began heelflipping.

He said a few times he used to skate and there was no reason not to believe him. Squinting you could imagine a chin under the salt-and-pepper beard, the gray wisps black under the lightly sweat-ringed hat, embroidered with a throwback baseball team logo. Probably there was a tattoo somewhere.

“He’s not gone, obviously.” The sun was low and the old man didn’t look at the two kids as he blinked. “He’s still out there obviously, and shit, he’s still got it. You saw this right?” He fumbled with a phone, pushing his fingers across it this way and that, murmuring about crooked grinds and parking lots and inspirational quotes, the ones that left him quietly embarrassed when he thought of them and they felt weighty and meaningful. 

One of the kids glanced at the screen the man held out, nodded and looked away again. The other heelflipped. 

“I’m talking more about appreciating. You know. When he was doing all that stuff, in his prime, ‘The Muska’ and Shorty’s, we all thought he was corny.” The phone jammed back between denim folds and the fingers hooked once more into the fence. “He was, for sure, in a way. You know, the rap album, his boombox all the time, and then he wore these scarves… you know, he would’ve been great with no gimmicks, is what I’m saying. I mean, look at the TSA video. T-shirt and jeans, pretty much. You know?”

There was a lengthy pause and the man decided to endure it some, swigging from his iced tea, a tall can. 

“We were all up on a high horse about it kind of, and basically missed out on appreciating him in his prime, his prime, is what I mean. You know?” He didn’t look at the kids. “Should’ve really embraced it like, this dude is going crazy right now. Kind of hard to explain. People took stuff super serious then, sort of.” 

The one kid nodded again, still looking away from the man. 

“It’s like, appreciate what’s in front of you. This dude, then, he was a legend in the making. With somebody like Reynolds, or Rowley, you know, that was easy, it was clear, there wasn’t all the rock star stuff, but man, you know? Muska was gnarly. We knew it, you know, we watched the videos and everything, I just mean, we didn’t really appreciate what he was doing, at the time. And in a way you kind of miss out. Or we did.”

Two long blares of a minivan horn, and his fingers released the chain link. It shook and the man straightened. 

“So you know, think about it. Who are your Muskas? KB? Nyjah? Anyway.” He reached for his phone but took his hand back out of his pocket and half turned away. “Make sure you see them, appreciate them. You know? That’s all I mean.” 

The horn blared again and the man was gone. The kids took out their phones, running their thumbs from bottom to top, over and over.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Lindsey Robertson, ‘Dying to Live’

June 25, 2018


A jaunty reggae tune for a one-man stress section introed at the time a singular figure — a glasses-wearing Florida kid enamored of heelflips, frontside noseslides and off-kilter tricks such as the (probably correctly) rarely spotted street stalefish. Lindsey Robertson’s part arrived at a time when a major board company still could uncork unknown talents in big videos, and Zero got somewhat questionable moves like the heelflip indy grab over with some help from the murky Jefferson Airplane single and a structure that sort of inverted the Zero template, opening with repeated slow-mo knockouts. Would that your summer is carefree enough to launch massive ollies, throw a shaka and then casually observe your own hand motions.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 3 – Jeron Wilson ‘Skate More’

July 8, 2015


‘Skate More’ was DVS shoes’ Terry Gilliam-infused answer to the blockbuster shoe video parade of the early aughts, and while Mikey Taylor and Jereme Rogers supplied handrailing hammers and Jason Dill pushed gritty gravitas in knee socks, it was Daewon Song’s circus of tech and the 1990s-aged swagger from Chico Brenes and Jeron Wilson that spiritually grounded the project. Jeron Wilson’s heelflips, nollied over a fire hydrant or straight-up over gaps, detonate like bombs and a range of other tricks get soundly handled (switch frontside 360 over the bench, switch 180 up onto the big block in Australia) en route to a plenty dazzling ender for the time (or this one). Song and Girl-heavies friend section seals the deal.

4. Neen Williams – “Chickenbonenowison”

December 27, 2011

The unscientific layman’s catchphrase known as the “law of averages” teaches us that random outliers become less frequent when spread out over a large enough sampling size. Projecting the 2007 estimate of 13 million U.S. skateboarders, then reported have grown at a 10% clip for each of the three previous years, to rise at a similar rate in an economic climate hostile to hockey equipment purchases puts us around a very rough 19 million today, a crowd that stands in constant danger of tipping into an echo chamber of stock kickflip flicks and natural-transition pivot fakies. For this reason handcrafted tricks like Neen Williams’ heelflips and backside tailslides and backside noseblunt slides (especially to fakie) stand out that much more from the din and Baker’s Deathwish imprint made the most of the dude’s focused mindset by using his awesome footage to anchor their Shake Junt video (Dustin Dollin made a pretty ripping return too). Extra bonus street points awarded for elevating the frontside pop-shove it to ender status, one of the bigger ones I can recall ever seeing. Neen Williams’ skating is well handled by the Baker Boys editing squad who get that really good tricks oftentimes look best without all that varnish and lacquer. Feel like the filming here in particular is on point, something I don’t notice all that much usually, or maybe it’s just how much this dude is killing it here and there.

Also noticing now that we’ve got three nollie varial flips in this list which certainly merits a really really long think piece all on its own.