Posts Tagged ‘Huf’

Josh Kalis Throws Himself Upon The Mercy Of The Camo Court

May 22, 2022

The great grit pendulum creaked further toward the Jersey industrial swamps this week, as Mark Suciu, he of the coffee cup and the dog-eared classic, was spotted on IG skating shirtless in a tropical ditch wearing camo pants. The digital video footage was notable, as even cynics no longer can cast such moves as so much Thrasher-pandering given Mark Suciu in 2022 is at last a SOTY laureate, suggesting something bigger is going on here. Do we head into this bold and burblesome summer of 2022, knowed to some as the dos-oh-deus-deus, with Mark Suciu a convert to the camo pants set? Only the mountains know, and some secrets they hold deep in their chilly, immobile embrace, like the legend of Shock G’s gold.

There can be little argument that this current epoch ranks as a kind of camouflage golden age. Freely available and often correctly spelled, the Rothco-or-white-labeled-equivalent camouflage cargo at once both a rank-and-file staple a la Dickies and Levis, and a reliably bankable premium product, regularly surfacing via collabo activities including but not limited to the likes of Huf, RealTree, MossyOak and Vans. Supreme has developed its own realistic camo prints, and Palace too.

The path of ‘the culture’ toward this place of diverse and varied camo patterns n’ prints has been a long and winding one since Matt Hensley podiumed the cargo short varietal in the late 1980s. Despite making appearances across the Brooklyn Banks, EMB, Love Park and Lockwood over the course of the 1990s, the camo pant frequently was sidelined at various points in favour of designer jeans, swishies, cords, and on certain feverish after-hours road trip stops, nothing at all. The road has also been potholed with wrongheaded choices, most notoriously Stephen Lawyer’s day-glo mash-ups that looked like something vomited up by a blotter-addled army surplus store.

All of these different things lead us to the unlikely scene of Josh Kalis, longtime endorser of DGK’s enlarged woodland print and one whose camo bonafides have been the subject of little question since at least ‘Time Code,’ preemptively asking his Instagram following this month to absolve him of what, in 2022, may nevertheless remain a camo faux pas to a decades-deep camo classicist. Donning a snow camo jacket, designed to help soldiers launch surprise attacks in frozen tundra environments, with traditional woodland printed pants, best suited to temperate deciduous forest combat or stylish hiking, Josh Kalis acknowledged the unconventional combo in the IG caption: “and yea.. I have woodland Camo pants and white urban Camo jacket on. Who cares.” The apparent transgression cannot outweigh the camouflage cred that Josh Kalis has banked since being among the few to successfully pull off snow camo shorts in the 1990s, though the textual shrug belies his (accurate) view that such a duo wouldn’t have flown back then.

Was Josh Kalis, seemingly throwing together whatever was around to turn wrenches on his beloved sports cars, in fact quietly testing the waters for a late-career bucking of long-held camo norms? Who’s gonna be the first to skate in ghillie pants? Has Stephen Lawyer, bored with pushing the dimensions and possibilities of camo combos, moved on to fashion prints and cartoon dinosaur scenes?

2. Carlisle Aikens – ‘Bunny Hop’

December 30, 2021


There’s maybe other people who can make tricks look as smooth and powerful as Carl Aikens, but not so many whose skating can communicate the freedom and infectious fun the way that this dude and his XXL jeans can, melon grabbing down big sets, surfing through the plazas, switch bigspin kickflipping a double set and snapping nollies straight over poles. In Chocolate’s ‘Bunny Hop’ he rolls in all the elements from his prodigious output the past few years via N. Rollings, Melodi and Huf, and then some, unflappable in his roomy pants and rippling flannels, at ease floating kickflips on the sidewalk or hucking nollie backside 180s from roof to roof. He’s got a solid look-back landing on stuff like the switch backside tailslide and switch frontside bluntslide, and seeing his name in the chunk font this month gives that rare assurance of everything being in its right place.

10. Caleb McNeely – ‘CALEB’

December 22, 2021


The Huf vids have the past few years tended to be among the most consistent as far as output and craftsmanship and consistency, and marinating some type of local vibe into their rider-focused clips, such as this slightly melancholy, Rust Belt-tinged one of Caleb McNeely, a blue jeans and dirty t-shirt type gifted with a flickering backside kickflip and a love of big jumps to 5-0 grinds. There’s plenty Richmond spots in this which always look good, peppered with stuff like that frontside noseslide on the top rope of the reclaimed Confederate monument and the stately pair of brick pillar ollies at the end. DC’s welfare banks get hit up again, and Caleb McNeely adds another block-to-block gap to backside lipslide to the Huf archives after Nick Matthews’ beauty last year and more recent tribute in Thrasher.

2. Nick Matthews – ‘HUF Welcomes Nick Matthews To The Team’

December 30, 2020


Imagine having committed to longterm body memory the exact combination of torso contortion, forefoot balance, ankle flick and split-second timing such that you now possess Pupecki grind kickflips out on command, the way Chicagoland’s Nick Matthews seems to have done. No longer the most feared flow dude in circulation, Huf became the first big operation to take the increasingly obvious step of elevating Nick Matthews to its formal team and presumably mailing out the first of what ought to be years and years of cheques. These and other payments are required to formally recognize the sheer difficulty of the things he repeatedly has done over the past couple years and continued to do here — ranging from a gargantuan street gap, the incredible block-to-block backside lipslide, to a fakie blunt to fakie and switch heelflip frontside blunt, in a line — Steve Durante level. Nick Matthews’ laser-eyed gaze is a smart match for any of the companies supplying him with equipment, but especially Huf, which consistently has delivered some of the best-constructed* videos in recent memory.

*if lazily titled

After Tyshawn Jones And Tom Snape, Who Will Pen The Switch Inward Heelflip’s Next Chapter In 2020?

January 1, 2020

Ten more
Dom Henry, ‘Cottonopolis’ — an artist working mainly in the medium of switch nosegrinds and fakie frontside noseslides
Tiago Lemos, ‘Encore’ — nollie over the back, as the fella says, hits different
Tyler Bledsoe, ‘Huf 003’ — backside tailslide drop down to backside noseblunt, what is the world coming to
Brian Peacock, ‘Fellas’ — like a swishies-dripped Gustav Tonnesen, frontside flip switch manual to switch frontside flip back
Kauwe Cossa, ‘Chrystie Chapter 1’ — sterling command of the switch backside heelflip
Nick Matthews, ‘Pavement’ — young in the city with Pupecki grind fakie flips out on lock
Yaje Popson, ‘Untitled 004’ — a top 10 Muni line contender
Wilton Souza, ‘Your World Don’t Stop’ — beating on the Brazilian blocks
Miles Silvas, ‘PLA x Thrasher’ — a mirror line with shock value
Nick Michel, ‘Lotties Must Be Stopped’ — the year’s most fearless frontside half-cab

2. Dick Rizzo — ‘Mother’

December 30, 2018

Add to the list, under skipping over the top step and triple-tapping walls — self-consciously counting eye blinks, after Dick Rizzo’s hard-wrestled and finally successful backside nosegrind backside 180 into the Grant’s Tomb chute, captured in minute detail for Quasi’s compulsively rewatchable full-length debut last summer. The thumping, dusty East Coast that Dick Rizzo rips top to bottom and day to night in ‘Mother’ threatens with drill-bit flatbars, blood red cellar door clangers and irate, self-appointed Arguses of the Mason-Dixon region who foolishly try and hate on Dick Rizzo and his switch 180s. Whether or not he compulsively blinks twice before his other tricks, like the look-out-below nollie wallride, or while switch powersliding between his back-to-back handrail 180s, remains a matter between Dick Rizzo and his priest. However, some type of uncommon grace infuses this dude straight through his tiptoe ride-aways, like on the ollie out to 5-0 or the bluntslide cab out in ‘Mother’s intro. All dieties are hereby urged to direct healing properties toward Dick Rizzo’s ankle following Bam Margera’s recent blow-out, and deliver unto him an overdue professional board for 2019.

10. Tyler Bledsoe – ‘All Clear OK’

December 22, 2016

For one of the only companies among the new crop intent on harpooning the full-length video cetacean, Quasi is taking their sweet time, averaging so far one part a year, which is all to the good since it feels like they’re still figuring out their motion-picture aesthetic without veering too much onto Bill Strobeck or Mike Hill territory. Between the slow-mo trash bin bash and the crab-walking hoedown, Tyler Bledsoe’s ‘All Clear OK’ scrapes a little bit of both, but the opening automobile wipe to backside flip and the backside smith grind drop-down are promising indicators of any longer-playing project to come. Tyler Bledsoe, who’s gone dark a few times here and there in recent years, resurfaces to a throbby techno track in savage mode with a teeth-rattling street gap nollie 360, a deceptively hard entry into the Pupecki grind annals, and a round-the-world backside tailslide ender, and who else has them like that.

6. Dick Rizzo – ‘Trust’

December 26, 2015

Buoyed by a surname associated with intensely described roofing and auto repair, Dick Rizzo cemented a calendar year of powerful persuasion despite entanglements with the aged Elvis of postage stamp controversies past and ersatz poetry by Quentin Miller. In between uniquely musical bike-rack clankers and bidding for Huf wallride titlist the Bronze ‘Trust’ chapter offered viewers a long sip of Dick Rizzo’s broiling and magma-like psyche as he hopped skatestoppers at speed, switch grinded bars and united bizarrely positioned ground nubs via kickflip.

Will the New Transworld Cover Slake Skating’s Quenchless Thirst for Pants Progression?

March 23, 2015

dontyouhatepants

Like a fire that, once lit, cannot help but to consume an entire bulldozer-built pile of disco records, or a shark that must ceaselessly advance through a sea of Pace Picante Style salsa or face its untimely Picante Style demise, skating since the beginning has been possessed of a need to progress. Alan Gelfand’s ollie wasn’t enough, it had to be did backwards; what’s the point doing a loop when you can turn it switch with a section chopped out of the top? Josh Kalis’ straight kickflip in a Love Park ‘Time Code’ line, immaculate as it is, looks quaint through the Mark Suciu lens.

Through it all the shoe has come to be regarded as the most immediate extension of the seven-ply-trucks-and-urethane configuration, but the past decade’s footwear fetishization mainly serves to obscure a decades-long struggle with pants. After clamoring out of pools and associated surf trunks the story of skating and pants has reflected that of mankind’s tortured grappling against his very own nature, occasionally overreaching, failing, burning piles of disco records, and starting anew. In the 1980s Limpies and Vision offered chaotic and unpredictable* print varieties for those zestful spirits unsatisfied by blue jeans or more-pedestrian sweatpants with skeletal rats ascending outseams; vert soon gave way to street these fell back while multicoloured and flapping denim advanced, several years passing before the East rejuvenated woodland camo and more adventurous spirits embraced snow and urban variations.

While the aughts saw style magnets such as Dylan Rieder and Nick Trapasso alternately fuck with pinestripes and pajama pants, this period of war and economic turmoil mainly reflected itself in darkened indigo denim and brown cords, the re-embrace of printed patterned pants not arriving until well into the 2010s when all-over print shirts primed a newly emboldened consumer base to throw wide the camo floodgates for increasingly esoteric prints. Thanks partly to relentless boosterism within DGK vids, the movement eventually demanding notice by the mass-market media: “It’s the one pattern that pretty much every guy is down with. What other pattern has a macho angle to it?”

Masculinities aside, the door now lies kicked down for pants makers — Thrasher offers a SAD sweatpant among several options, and now comes Fucking Awesome heavyweight Na’kel Smith on the cover of Transworld, gapping out in Tokyo within a pair of florid leggings that seem to also have crossed the Atlantic in recent months. In his numbers-taking, asses-kicking process over the last two years, Na’kel Smith seems to have taken it upon himself to push back the pants pendulum to a level of intricate and flowery detail not seen in probably about 25 years, no small undertaking when considering the intense internet flames stoked beneath noted 360 flip 50-50er** Garrett Hill, daring to step out in a still-notorious red-and-black combo.

Has Na’kel Smith doomed himself to a Sisyphusian task, destined to be squashed by a heavy and oblong fashion boulder that will waver under the weight of resurgent dad jeans, or is his pants choice more conservative than it may first appear when laid alongside a freely purchasable array of similarly floral hats, shirts, shoes, and obviously weed socks? Are authorities overlooking an emerging form of camo that now clothes newly militarized toughs hired to defend a booming US marijuana industry? Are scarfs next? As it thins has Transworld on the low had the best covers of the last year?

*particularly for Cali4nia Cheap Sk8 clientele
**And backer of 360 flip 50-50ers