Posts Tagged ‘hubbas’

Red Bull GmbH Made The New Transworld Video So American Media Inc. Didn’t Have To

December 7, 2019

Here he is, teeth beared on the cover, Mark Wahlberg, née Marky of the Funky Bunch, sliding now into your brick-n-mortar mailbox with offers. Those biceps, and how to get them. He knows the names of 101 lust-worthy gifts and where they can be bought. LSD, and how it can cure depression. Strong and rich, yet Mark Wahlberg soon will disappear to make way for next month’s displacer, usurper of children’s dreams, as the Transworld subscription that once was runs its course beneath these dominant males’ steely, practiced gaze. So it goes.

Elsewhere, the TWS spirit remains carried forward, if under different corporate stewardship and alternate projects. While continues to redirect toward the remaining staff’s video efforts and daily aggregations, Austrian beverage conglomerate Red Bull GmbH this week effectively released the new Transworld video. Recognizing a gaping hole once filled on an annual basis with slickly produced full-lengths staffed by pro-level grab bags, Red Bull’s ‘You Good?’ release proffers a 2019-friendly runtime while rejecting most current video conventions to throw back toward Transworld’s ’00s video heyday: A trip hop-powered opening montage, copious amounts of slow-mo, ‘retro film effects,’ a title you may well find yourself hollering to your own bros.

With ‘You Good?,’ Red Bull’s dark men seem comfortable flexing in ways accessible to soda manufacturers but not many others in the enthusiastic yet money-poor realm that is skateboarding in 2019. Pristine spots are ripped across multiple hemispheres by power pros, at all times uniformed in Red Bull-logoed headwears, at times leisurely guzzling from the famed skinny cans — as you do. Husky Rick-flipper Jamie Foy hauls a 5-0 grind over the back and down a kinked rail, and gaps out to a ferocious frontside bluntslide, before tagging in Zion Wright for a long-spun cab over a Barcelona bannister and an immaculate frontside 180 to backside nosegrind down a different one — in this video, he is the lone Red Buller to (briefly) go hatless via a boosted McTwist. ‘Bust or Bail’ loud-armer Alex Midler exhibits his uncanny ability to take awful slams and go up against Jamie Foy for pointer grind distance, and his nailbiting ender builds on Silas Baxter Neal’s own TWS-closer from six years back.

Powered by caffeine and the courage of a cartoon ox with nothing left to lose, Red Bull wraps its carbonated hooves around a moment that would seem to favor the TWS video-making model of old. Adulting and wellness trends, the thrill of the SOTY chase and battery-powered massage pistols now make it possible and even obligatory for yung’n’hungry pros to record multiple video parts in the course of a calendar year. This has helped to fuel the full-length video resurgence as one-off parts quickly pile up and tumble down the timeline, while all the good one- or two-word names get used up. Look no further than the criminal burying of Chris Colbourn’s inexplicably severed ‘Peace’ part earlier this year, shoveled off into the ether last January, which one could imagine closing a Transworld-style vid in years past.

Should Red Bull go ahead and expand their print media empire beyond its Red Bulletin title by acquiring Transworld from American Media Inc.? By requiring teamriders to wear branded hats — an optional fashion accessory — in every clip, is Red Bull subliminally flexing on makers of shoes — which pretty much always must be worn unless you’re Jamie Thomas or Bob Burnquist? Could headwear-compulsory Red Bull sponsorships simultaneously preserve both the finances and vanity of prematurely balding pros?

Giant Hubbas Again Detect Geoff Rowley’s Scent As Multidecade Pursuit Heats Up

August 17, 2019

A long-sought trophy slipped through hunters’ fingers this week. Vans Shoe, among the relatively few companies to successfully thread the space between full-length and one-off part, provided via its strong ‘Take It Back’ video evidence that un-sorry scouser Geoff Rowley continues to get down, to the hilt, peppering his fairly earned post-40 ditch tricks with legitimately fearsome hubbas and jumps, the type of spots that for decades have stalked Geoff Rowley in hopes of finally bagging him and posing for a golden-hour tinted IG pic* before field-dressing him and packing out his meat and antlers.

A chronic thrill dependent, Geoff Rowley in the year 2019 seems yet unable or unwilling to fully embrace a likely lucrative career sharpening knives or guiding rifle-equipped C-suiters and other big game fanatics — one of the few off-ramps from the pro ranks that holds a generous runway toward one’s autumn years and does not involve the words ‘brand’ or ‘manager.’ At least, not while he still has the chance to flirt with and occasionally bed that unpredictable mistress, streetstyle skateboarding, and her oft-wielded riding crop, gross bodily harm.

For certains that found perfect pitch in 1999’s ‘Feedback’ combo of Geoff Rowley with a young Arto Saari and some old Fugazi, the volatile mixture remains intoxicating. Geoff Rowley’s slowed down some, but familiar tingles arise watching him boardslide a bridge railing, screech a noseslide down a hefty hubba ledge, stomp on a lofted kickflip disaster in the deep end, or take the requisite push away into traffic after floating a pop-shove it over the wall and into the street.

Whereas in the past Geoff Rowley’s footage evenly matched a measure of skill and fearlessness against ever-gnarlier terrain, the equation now contains a psychological question around what position he occupies in the greater food chain. For much of his career Geoff Rowley played a scumstached Bugs Bunny to the bumbling Elmer Fudds of the Hollywood High 16, the Staples Center hubba, that one Lyon hubba. The question now is whether these spots, having again picked up Geoff Rowley’s scent after 2015’s ‘Propeller,’ have lulled Geoff Rowley into believing that he remains an apex predator, rather than potentially being separated from the pack, taken down, stuffed and placed on display wherever it is that the world’s most fearsome spots gather in their smoking jackets to sip scotch and stroke their meticulously trimmed whiskers.

Are skater-hunting spots purposefully going after older targets as kids like Kevin Bradley regularly make them look silly? Did Vans fund the bronze Rowley statue as a decoy to aid in his escapes? What happened to the sign from the ender wall-bash in the cover photo? When his day comes, will tears cloud Geoff Rowley’s vision as he knowingly pushes up to his final, fatal hubba or gap, similar to Mickey Rourke’s glory-doomed ‘The Wrassler’?

*Such pics often are submitted in return for ‘likes’ which can be exchanged for goods and services in an open forum.

Trading Places

August 22, 2012

What’s your occupation?
Independent contractor.

OK. Meaning…
Spot locator. Hired gun. Hunter-gatherer.

Some people aren’t familiar with your trade, is all.
My trade is a result of supply and demand.

Well, alright, how long have you been at this?
Full-time, I guess, four years? But really I started about ten years ago.

Explain how you got into this line of work then.
Like the other guys, basically filming. As often as not you’re expected to come with places to go if you get kicked out of the spot you’re at, or you trek out to the boonies and find out the spot’s not skatable for whatever reason, people are there, the cops. You can go someplace nearby, still be productive, wind up getting paid.

But you don’t film nowadays.
I do, a little bit. Here and there. But yeah, I spend more time on the road now. In the field.

Like in your car?
Yeah. For a vehicle you need, number one, gas mileage, and preferably something inconspicuous. It’s a lot of slow creeping around industrial parks, construction sites, all that. I keep maps and a phone with a dead battery and a couple handwritten addresses for when I need to answer questions.

You tote a camera too, and a laptop. There’s a story to explain those?
I’m a film student. Just spaced out and lost. I got a college student ID off a kid a while back, I haven’t had to whip it out yet though.

When did you figure out this could be a full-time job?
First off, I’m glad you call it a job, because it is work, a lot of work sometimes. It clicked for me when I was at the bar one night, showing two pros a photo I’d taken of a really long, mellow hubba ledge. It was in Van Nuys, it’s gone now, it was skated a lot though. These dudes were on the same team actually, board team. Basically they wanted me to take them to the spot the next day, I was down, I’d film or whatever. But then one of the dudes, the younger one as it happens, he went to take a piss and the dude who stayed whipped out $200 and asked if I’d take him and ditch the other guy. I took it, but then felt bad and when I was leaving to pick the older dude up the next day I actually called the other guy just to give him the heads up we were going, but he was still passed out from the night before anyway so it was a wash. Basically the older pro got his trick and sort of said he’d pay up if I clued him in on good spots I found after that, and it was on.

How much does a good spot go for now? Say a 12-stair rail, round.
The market decides.

Come on. Give people an idea.
No way. And give all these young bucks a way to undercut me? Anyway it all fluctuates.

Who’s your main clientele?
Pros. Older pros. The young kids, the ams, they don’t need my services as much, and they don’t got that much money anyway. It’s a whole equation that makes this business, kind of a food chain. At the top of the food chain, say, you got pros who have been in the game for ten or maybe fifteen years, and they have the shoe money, the energy drink, big sponsors, or a TV or contest deal. And a lot of times they’re running companies themselves. Obviously they don’t have the time to go out cruising for spots themselves, but that’s just part of it. About ten years back when “Pretty Sweet” and the Vans vid and Flip’s video came out, there was this generation of pros who, their skills were sort of starting to fade, their names were still big and people still wanted to see them and sponsors had a lot of money behind them… but if you’re going to film a backside smith grind on a bank-to-ledge you can’t do it on one where some random kid got a backside smith grind backside flip out a week before for his internet part. You need fresh spots, you do your more basic tricks on a new spot and people aren’t focused all on what other tricks have been done there. So as a spot it has more value.

And the guys who need those spots the most are the ones that have money to spend.
Right, yeah. For the kids coming up, ripping and trying to make their bones or whatever, it’s kind of beside the point. It almost works the other way for them, like for a long time you’ve seen kids who headed to these name-brand spots like El Toro or Hubba Hideout or Med Choice or Baldy or Rincon. For them it’s like you want to be measured against what’s been done before, to sort of prove yourself.

Can you sell a spot more than once?
You can. Some places, you make the call, it’s open season–for such and such figure I’ll tell you where the spot is. But what you’re getting at, keeping a spot quiet but getting good mileage out of it, that takes more work. And obviously the spot has to be worth it. But there’s ways.

You blindfold people?
Nah. I’ve thought about it. As far as I go, it’s just everybody turns off their phones and I hold on to them, you build in a few detours into your route, but like I said that’s pretty rare instances. If dudes wind up remembering their way to some spot because they’re familiar with the area it’s not likely to stay secret that long anyway, you know?

But you do sell exclusive rights sometimes.
I don’t know how “exclusive” any of these places are, they’re all publicly accessible. Mostly. But if someone’s willing to pay a premium for me to text them GPS coordinates and then erase them from my list, we can talk about it. I’ve done that. There’s no guarantees though. There’s more dudes out there trying to do this nowadays.

Do you do stuff like lock handrails, or sabotage spots to keep them under wraps?
I don’t, but I get why some people do. It’s their livelihood, I guess. It seems a little bit over the top to me. And well-equipped filmers will figure out a way to deal with it anyway.

What do you look for when you’re doing research? In the field?
Just the usual stuff, how long, tall, far, I take photos and video sometimes to give the sense of what a clip or a line would look like, depending what it is. Materials, in case stuff needs to be fixed. Sometimes you go back at night to see what it would look like lit up, or if there’s security around during the day. And if you’re smart you crop out any kind of shit in the background that would tip people off to where it is, so you can shop the photos around. Some people like more gritty looking spots, some people don’t care, so you figure out what this dude or that dude likes and you can cater to that.

How long do you think you’ll do this? Like is this a career to you?
Good question. I don’t know. It’s better than filming, for sure. Money up front and all-cash transactions. I guess it depends what you like, sometimes you feel like a big rig driver, or a courier, long days on the road. You wind up being a behind-the-scenes operator, see some billboard or TV commercial and it’s a trick at a spot that you hooked up. That’s cool the first few times, then it’s mainly the money.