Posts Tagged ‘John Shanahan’

Boil The Ocean And ChatGPT Sit Down For Conversation

December 17, 2022

Boil The Ocean: So after all the dust has settled, here we are, Tyshawn Jones, two-time SOTY. What’s your take on Thrasher’s Skater of the Year award at this point?

ChatGPT: It’s difficult for me to offer a personal take on Thrasher’s Skater of the Year award as I am an artificial intelligence and do not have personal feelings or opinions. However, I can tell you that Thrasher’s Skater of the Year award is a prestigious honor in the skateboarding community. It is given annually to a skateboarder who has made significant contributions to the sport and culture of skateboarding over the past year. The award has been given annually since 1990, and past winners include some of the most iconic and influential skateboarders in the history of the sport. Tyshawn Jones is a talented and respected skateboarder who has undoubtedly had a significant impact on skateboarding in recent years, and it is not surprising that he has won the award on multiple occasions.

Looks like he picked up Rusty #2 last night. Write a brief Skater of the Year acceptance speech, but make sure and include the word hellride, since this is a Thrasher award.

Sure, here’s a brief Skater of the Year acceptance speech that includes the word “hellride”:

“Thank you Thrasher and everyone who voted for me as Skater of the Year. It’s an incredible honor to receive this award and be recognized for my contributions to skateboarding. This year has been a hellride, with its ups and downs, but I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and the support of the skate community. I want to thank my friends, family, and sponsors for their unwavering support and belief in me. I’m excited for what the future holds and will continue to push myself and the sport of skateboarding to new heights. Thank you again for this amazing award. I’ll see you on the streets.”

You forgot to thank Adidas and Supreme, and to shout out Hardies and his new board company, King. Want to try again? And keep it brief for all the people who are queuing up for the bar.

Sure, here’s a revised Skater of the Year acceptance speech that includes mentions of Adidas, Supreme, Hardies, and King:

“Thank you Thrasher and everyone who voted for me as Skater of the Year. It’s an incredible honor to receive this award and be recognized for my contributions to skateboarding. This year has been a hellride, and I’m grateful to have had the support of Adidas, Supreme, and all my sponsors along the way. I also want to give a shoutout to Hardies and new board company, King. Thank you to my friends, family, and the skate community for their support and belief in me. I’m excited for what the future holds and will continue to push myself and the sport of skateboarding to new heights. Thank you again for this amazing award. Cheers to a great night with everyone at the bar!”

Thanks, ChatGPT. So where’d you come up, and how did you get into skateboarding?

I am an artificial intelligence developed by OpenAI. I was not raised or brought up in any specific location and do not have personal experiences or a physical body. I do not have the ability to skateboard or participate in any physical activities. I am simply a program designed to answer questions and provide information to the best of my ability based on the data and knowledge that I have been trained on. My primary function is to assist users in generating human-like text based on the prompts and input I receive. I do not have personal interests or hobbies, but I am programmed to be able to provide information about a wide range of topics, including skateboarding. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

OK. Tristan Funkhouser’s frontside ollie over the long ledge at the China Banks had to be one of the gnarliest tricks to come out this year. What other tricks will go down there, before it’s gone?

The China Banks area in Vancouver, Canada is a popular skate spot known for its challenging terrain and unique features, including the long ledge that Tristan Funkhouser ollied over in a video that gained widespread attention in the skateboarding community. It is uncertain what other tricks will be performed at the China Banks in the future, as it is up to individual skateboarders to decide what tricks they want to attempt and how they want to approach the various features at the skate spot. Some skateboarders may be inspired by Funkhouser’s frontside ollie over the long ledge and attempt similar tricks, while others may choose to focus on different features or approaches. Ultimately, the China Banks will continue to be a popular destination for skateboarders looking to challenge themselves and push the boundaries of what is possible on a skateboard.

Whoah, hang on… What’s the best way to alert all the SF skaters to the apparent fact that Vancouver has heisted one of The City’s trademark spots?

It is not accurate to say that the China Banks area in Vancouver, Canada is a trademark spot belonging to San Francisco. Skate spots are not typically owned by any particular person or group and are generally open to anyone who wants to skate there. While certain skate spots may become popular and well-known within the skateboarding community, they are not typically considered to be the property of any one city or group of skaters.

If you are interested in alerting skateboarders in San Francisco to the existence of the China Banks skate spot in Vancouver, you could try posting about it on social media or sharing information about it with friends and fellow skateboarders in your local skateboarding community. You could also consider reaching out to skateboarding media outlets or websites to see if they would be interested in featuring information about the China Banks skate spot. Regardless of how you choose to share information about the skate spot, it is important to respect the local skateboarding community and any rules or guidelines that may be in place for using the area.

Geographical controversies aside, that’s a good philosophy. What about Andrew Reynolds’ move to New Balance — will they keep him frontside flipping longer than a steady diet of vulcanized Vans?

It is difficult to predict how Andrew Reynolds’ decision to skate for New Balance will affect his skateboarding career. Skateboarders often choose to skate for certain brands for a variety of reasons, including the quality and durability of the shoes and other products offered by the brand, the level of support and sponsorship provided by the brand, and personal preferences and style. While it is certainly possible that Reynolds’ move to New Balance could have some impact on his skateboarding, it is ultimately up to his own skill, dedication, and determination as a skateboarder to determine his success and longevity in the sport. Skateboarding is a physically demanding activity that can take a toll on a skateboarder’s body over time, and it is important for skateboarders to take care of themselves and make smart decisions about their training and equipment in order to maintain their physical abilities. Regardless of what brand of shoes Reynolds chooses to skate in, his own abilities and dedication to the sport will likely have a greater impact on his success and longevity as a skateboarder.

He was talking about the foam, though. New Balance has a bunch of foam in the sole.

New Balance is known for using a variety of materials in the construction of their shoes, including foam in the soles. The type and amount of foam used in a skateboarding shoe can affect the level of cushioning and support provided to the foot, as well as the overall feel and performance of the shoe. Some skateboarders prefer shoes with a higher level of foam cushioning, as it can provide added comfort and protection for the feet during long skate sessions or when landing hard tricks. Other skateboarders may prefer a lower level of foam cushioning, as it can provide a more responsive and agile feel for certain tricks and skateboarding maneuvers. Ultimately, the choice of a skateboarding shoe with a particular level of foam cushioning will depend on the personal preferences and needs of the individual skateboarder.

Speaking of skaters over age 40 ripping in New Balance shoes, Henry Sanchez has been on IG posting crazier footage than some dudes who are still in the pro game full-time. He popped up switch 360 flipping the sand gaps the other day. At this point, what’s Henry Sanchez’s legacy going to be in skateboarding?

Henry Sanchez is a highly respected and influential skateboarder who has made significant contributions to the sport and culture of skateboarding over his career. He is known for his powerful and technical skateboarding style, and has achieved a level of success and recognition that has earned him a place in the pantheon of skateboarding greats.

Sanchez’s legacy in skateboarding will likely be remembered for his influence on the sport and his impact on the skateboarding community. He has inspired countless skateboarders with his skateboarding skills and style, and has helped to shape the direction of skateboarding in numerous ways. His contributions to skateboarding will likely be remembered and celebrated by skateboarders for years to come, and he will likely continue to be a major figure in the skateboarding community.

Speaking of Henry Sanchez contemporaries, Guy Mariano has been kind of quiet for a while. The assumption is that he’s working toward some project, but who knows. What do you think’s regarded as Guy Mariano’s best video part?

Guy Mariano is a highly respected and influential skateboarder who has had a long and successful career in the sport. Throughout his career, Mariano has appeared in numerous skateboarding video parts and has consistently produced high-quality skateboarding content. It is difficult to determine a single “best” video part as opinions on the subject can vary widely. However, Mariano’s part in the 1992 video “Mouse” by Girl Skateboards is widely considered to be a standout achievement and is often cited as one of the best video parts of all time. Mariano’s part in “Mouse” showcased his technical and creative skateboarding style and helped to solidify his reputation as one of the top skateboarders of his generation.

“Mouse” is the correct answer. Let’s switch to the future for a second. The GX1000 dudes keep pushing the envelope on hill bombs, setting teeth on edge and palms a-sweating, and you wonder how far they can take it. What’s the tallest, steepest, and longest paved road in the USA?

The tallest, steepest, and longest paved road in the United States is a matter of debate and may depend on how these terms are defined. In terms of steepness, there are many roads in the United States that have steep grades and are known for their challenging terrain. Some of the steepest roads in the United States include the Mount Evans Scenic Byway in Colorado, which has an average grade of 7% and a maximum grade of over 15%, and the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in New York, which has an average grade of 11% and a maximum grade of over 20%.

Watching those vids, it can be easy to forget that sometimes it’s not just the skater on camera bombing the hill, it’s the filmer also. Some years back this space carried a fictional account of down-and-out skateboard filmers who’d been displaced by drones, which maybe registered as a type of hyper-specific dystopian sci-fi at the time, but is starting to look fairly realistic. Will drones become the predominant means for filming skateboard videos by, say, 2030?

It is possible that drones could play a larger role in the filming of skateboarding videos in the future. Drones offer a unique and versatile platform for capturing aerial footage and can provide a different perspective on skateboarding than traditional ground-based cameras. However, it is unlikely that drones will completely replace traditional cameras and filmers in skateboarding videos, as there are many factors that can influence the filming of skateboarding footage.

Skateboarding is a dynamic and fast-moving sport, and capturing high-quality skateboarding footage requires a skilled and experienced filmer who can anticipate and follow the action. Drones can certainly be useful for capturing certain types of footage, but they may not be able to match the level of control and precision that a skilled filmer can provide. Additionally, drones are subject to various regulations and restrictions, which can impact their use in certain locations.

It is difficult to predict exactly how the use of drones in skateboarding videos will evolve over the next decade, but it is likely that they will continue to be used in conjunction with traditional cameras and filmers to capture skateboarding footage. Ultimately, the choice of how to film skateboarding footage will depend on the preferences and goals of the filmmakers and the needs of the project.

The concept of AI- or computer-assisted skateboarding is a good one. Years ago, Cliche’s American manual recruit Joey Brezinski spoke on how he sometimes used the ‘EA Skate’ video game to help conceptualize super-technical tricks. Given the many permutations possible — regular/switch, fakie/nollie, backside/frontside, kickflip/heelflip, etc — might artificial intelligence-enabled systems such as yourself help identify new skateboard tricks that haven’t previously been thought of?

As an artificial intelligence, I have access to a vast amount of information and data about skateboarding and can assist in the identification of new skateboard tricks. However, it is important to note that the development of new skateboard tricks involves more than just the identification of possible combinations of tricks and techniques. Skateboarders are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible on a skateboard and coming up with new tricks and combinations, and the process of developing new tricks often involves a great deal of creativity, experimentation, and physical skill.

Skateboarders often draw inspiration from a wide range of sources, including other skateboarders, skateboarding media, and their own experiences and creativity. While artificial intelligence systems such as myself can certainly assist in the identification of new skateboard tricks by providing information and suggestions, the process of developing and executing new tricks ultimately requires the creativity, skill, and dedication of individual skateboarders.

Could you offer up a trick that hasn’t yet been done, and that the fleshy, distracted human mind may not be able to conceive on its own?

As an artificial intelligence, I have access to a vast amount of information about skateboarding and can provide suggestions for new skateboard tricks that have not yet been done. However, it is important to note that the development of new skateboard tricks involves more than just identifying possible combinations of tricks and techniques. Skateboarders are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible on a skateboard and coming up with new tricks and combinations, and the process of developing new tricks often involves a great deal of creativity, experimentation, and physical skill.

With that being said, one possible new skateboard trick that has not yet been done could involve combining elements of a grind and a flip trick, such as a grind flip. This trick could involve grinding on an object while simultaneously flipping the skateboard with the feet and landing back in a grind. This trick would require a high level of skateboarding skill and coordination, and it is uncertain whether it is physically possible or has ever been attempted. Ultimately, the development of new skateboard tricks is a complex process that requires the creativity, skill, and dedication of individual skateboarders.

ABD as hell, bruh. To take just one example, PJ Ladd’s backside 5-0 to kickflip to backside 5-0 in “Wonderful Horrible Life.” Try to think of another possible new trick, perhaps one that includes a darkslide?

One possible new skateboard trick that incorporates a darkslide could involve combining elements of a darkslide with a flip trick. This trick could involve sliding on an object with the back trucks of the skateboard while simultaneously flipping the skateboard with the feet and landing back in a darkslide. This trick would require a high level of skateboarding skill and coordination, and it is uncertain whether it is physically possible or has ever been attempted.

Another possibility could be a darkslide to frontside flip combination, where the skateboarder performs a darkslide on an object and then flips the skateboard with the front trucks while maintaining the slide. This trick would also require a high level of skill and coordination and may be difficult to execute successfully.

Kind of harkening back to Jim Greco’s darkslide era. So sticking with technology, and with the understanding that this veers more into material science versus machine learning, could you explain why, after three or four decades, skateboards have not evolved beyond seven-ply maple wood construction?

Skateboards have been constructed using seven-ply maple wood for many years because it is a strong, durable, and reliable material that is well-suited for the demands of skateboarding. Maple wood is a hardwood with a tight grain structure that is resistant to splintering and breaking, and it is able to withstand the high impact and forces that skateboarders subject it to. Additionally, maple wood is relatively easy to work with and can be shaped and molded into various forms and sizes, making it a versatile material for skateboard construction.

While there have been attempts to use alternative materials in skateboard construction, such as plastic, composite materials, and carbon fiber, these materials have generally not been able to match the performance and durability of maple wood. In addition, many skateboarders and skateboard companies have a strong tradition of using maple wood in skateboard construction, and there is a certain level of nostalgia and nostalgia associated with the use of this material. As a result, maple wood has remained the dominant material for skateboard construction for many years.

It is possible that skateboards may evolve beyond seven-ply maple wood construction in the future, as new materials and technologies are developed. However, it is likely that any changes to skateboard construction will be driven by a combination of performance and tradition, and it is uncertain what form these changes may take.

Not to mention cost, with deckmakers’ tentative efforts to raise MSRPs beyond the longtime $55 threshold raising hackles here and there. If Professor Paul Schmitt came to you today and asked you to help design a skateboard deck, what materials would you recommend?

When designing a skateboard deck, there are several factors to consider, including the intended use of the deck, the rider’s skill level, and personal preferences. Some common materials used for skateboard decks include:

Maple wood: This is the most common material used for skateboard decks. It is strong, flexible, and provides a good balance of stiffness and shock absorption.

Bamboo: Bamboo is a sustainable alternative to wood and is becoming increasingly popular in skateboard deck construction. It is lightweight, durable, and has a natural flex that can be used to advantage in certain riding situations.

Fiberglass: Fiberglass can be used to reinforce a wood or bamboo deck, adding stiffness and durability. It is often used in high-performance decks for skateboarding or longboarding.

Plastic: Plastic decks are lightweight and inexpensive, but they are also less durable than wood or bamboo. They are often used for beginners or for special applications such as pool skating.

Ultimately, the best material for a skateboard deck will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the rider. It’s always a good idea to do some research and try out different materials to see what works best for you.

Recommend the best construction for backside noseblunt sliding El Toro, which Nyjah Huston at this point may not get around to trying until after the next Olympics.

Backside noseblunt sliding on the El Toro is a challenging skateboarding trick that requires a strong and durable skateboard deck. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the best construction for this trick:

Stiffness: The deck should be stiff enough to support the weight of the rider and maintain its shape while performing the trick. This will help to prevent the deck from flexing too much and causing the rider to lose control.

Durability: The deck should be able to withstand the wear and tear of repeatedly sliding on the nose of the board. This is especially important if the trick is going to be performed frequently.

Shape: The shape of the deck can also affect the performance of the trick. A deck with a concave shape (curving inward from the center to the edges) can provide a more stable platform for the rider to stand on.

In general, a skateboard deck made of maple wood with fiberglass reinforcement and a concave shape would be a good choice for backside noseblunt sliding on the El Toro. This combination of materials and design features will provide the necessary stiffness, durability, and stability for the trick.

Got it… by the way, are you available to consult to Disorder on a contract basis, or if they need further input on deck construction should they just make an account and chat you here?

As an AI language model, I am not able to engage in paid consulting or work on a contract basis. However, I am happy to provide general guidance and information to anyone who has questions about skateboard deck construction or any other topic within my areas of expertise. If Disorder or any other individuals have questions or need further assistance, they can make an account on this platform and ask me for help here.

Easy on the budget. OK, let’s wrap this up. Looking ahead to the new year, what do you think — is Nick Matthews gonna finally get the pro nod, maybe from Anti Hero? When’s DC gonna give John Shanahan a pro shoe? Should Brian O’Dwyer go back for the switch backside noseblunt on the Muni bench, like how Tyshawn Jones put doubts to rest over his long-way picnic table switch ollie? What’s gonna be the next trick somebody tries over the 145th Street subway tracks? Will the Brooklyn Banks get brought back from the dead?

It is not within my capabilities to predict the future or know the plans of specific skateboard companies or individuals. Skateboarding is an ever-evolving sport, and it is always exciting to see what new tricks and innovations will emerge in the coming year. It is possible that Nick Matthews may receive a pro nod from Anti Hero or another skateboard company, but this is ultimately up to the company’s decision-making process and the talent and dedication of the skateboarder. Similarly, it is possible that John Shanahan may be given a pro shoe by DC or another company, but this is also dependent on many factors.

As for the specific tricks and locations mentioned in your question, it is difficult to say what the future holds. Skateboarders will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible on a skateboard and try new tricks in various locations. The Brooklyn Banks, or any other skate spot, could potentially be brought back or renovated, but this would depend on the efforts and support of the skateboarding community and any relevant authorities or organizations.

Thanks for taking the time, ChatGPT.

You’re welcome! I’m happy to help. If you have any other questions about skateboarding or any other topic, don’t hesitate to ask.

Over 15 Years Hence, Are The Notorious Red-And-Black Legged Pants At Risk Of Becoming Passé?

October 23, 2022

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” These are the now-famous lyrics of Batman’s 1989 hit single ‘Batdance,’ and eerily prescient ones at that — from topping the charts amidst the George Bush Sr presidency, Batman his own self would soon succumb to those ill-fated familiars that dragged down many of his ’80s pop contemporaries — drink, drugging and crushing self-doubt, costing him collaborators, his major-label deal and nearly his life, until mounting a comeback on the mixtape circuit several years later. 

It is a horrific parable knowed all to well to Batpersons. But what about the rest of us? There can be many applications of Batman’s particular flavour of bumper sticker-ready, vigilantistic sloganeering, but the one that demands immediate action relates, like so many things, to pants. It has been scientifically established that fit, material and the incorporation of extra pockets follows a fairly rigorous 8-12 year time cycle, with denims, chinos and corduroys rising and like the oceanic tides. Other, more exotic approaches, such as the Muska-bunch or the graphical sweatpant, surface more sporadically, and then there are the periodic transgressions, when things are deemed to have gotten ‘out of hand’ and appear to require course-correcting or some kind of cultural gut-check. 

So it was back in the mid-00s, when yung Garrett Hill donned a pair of customized jeans with one red leg and one black prior to 360 flip 50-50 grinding a round handrail for an Osiris Shoe Co ad and subsequent Zero promo. The trick rated among the era’s gnarliest and rarest filmed, at least for those not named Forrest Edwards, but it was the pants selection that would go on to live in infamy. As Garrett Hill himself related to Thrasher’s Michael Burnett in 2014:

The immediate reaction was obviously, “What the fuck?” Some people were hilariously offended. It was so funny to read the comments. Some people reacted like I had legitimately offended their mother!

It was true. Though skateboarding’s broader acceptance of its proximity to the fashion sphere would be several more years and several shiploads of digital clout still in the coming, pants for years had ranked just behind shoes as objects of both performance demands and stylistic scrutiny, particularly among the pack-hunting skateboard consumer. The knives were out for Garrett Hill’s red and black pants, and their like would not be seen again for well over a decade. 

Does a point arrive when a long-derided misstep can be reconsidered as a work of ahead-of-the-curve daring, or even overlooked genius? It was Tyshawn Jones, 2018 Skater of the Year and recently of the FuckingAwesome imprint, who in Supreme’s ‘Blessed’ initiated a reconsideration of Garrett Hill’s pants decision, wearing some eerily similar black/red legged track pants in which to nollie backside kickflip the Blubba; thereafter, Vincent Nava plumbed similar depths before departing sadly way too soon.

This year pants with two different coloured legs have threatened to push into the mainstream, with cut-and-sew pop shove-iter John Shanahan’s Pangea Jeans label offering multiple styles for $150 each; whereas asymmetrical pants have yet to rise to the ubiquity required for CCS and Active to market their own pricepoint versions, here and there, kids like Juan Pablo Velez are chipping away at the symmetrical pants standard. 

In the Thrasher interview, Garrett Hill suggested that he foresaw all of this:
Any chance of bringing these pants onto the Zero soft goods roster?
You know what? When do bands do big reunion tours? After ten years? I’m going to wait until the 10th anniversary and then bring them back. Take them on a reunion tour! Black and yellow? Might be fuckin’ orange and green? I don’t know. I’m gonna blow some minds with these pants!

Where there once was seen a stylistic tar pit, do pants with two different coloured legs now represent a potential goldmine, or is this all only a case of the sun occasionally shining on the dog’s proverbial rear? Are these type of unorthodox pants not much of a leap after various dudes for several years have experimented with bifurcated shirts and two different coloured shoes? Having challenged nearly every fashion convention available, are the 10C41 dudes now turning their attentions toward aggressive scootering?

Covid Beards, Flame Beanies, Cargo Sneakers And Other Detritus From This Pandemic Year

January 1, 2021

Ten further
-Josh Wilson, ’Hardware For The Masses’ — lighting up Michigan City, pre-Covid beard
-Jahmir Brown, ’DC’ — near-knockout blow for the famed Pyramid ledges
-Nik Stain, ‘John’s Vid’ — dude needs a pro model flame beanie
-Patrick Zentgraf, ‘Kiosq’ — no matter the country, strong switch backside tailslides and track pants will eventually draw Primitive’s attention
-Jake Anderson, ’Cheap Perfume’ — to go with the helicopter heelflip frontside 360, there’s a great clip of a lady holding a tropical fruit and gasping in disbelief
-Javier Sarmiento, ’Jarana’ — the don of the Basque country can still do switch smith grinds, frontside and backside, in lines
-Chris Colburn, ’Heatwave’ — if Element’s weird arms’-length management of this dude and his backside 180 to switch frontside feeble grinds on handrails leads to yacht rock music vids like this, maybe it’s all fine
-John Shanahan, ’Cargo Sneaker’ — noseblunt to fakie on a handrail is rare, but pop shove-it to noseblunt on a ledge may be rarer
-Amelien Foures, ‘Introducing’ — Orlando Blooming tech on tree stumps
-Griffin Gass, ’Nervous Circus’ — flips-out that may be unrivaled right now

The Bold And The Beautiful

November 20, 2020

Those who have had the fortune and blessings required to hit a grand slam in a major-league baseball game know that it’s a unique feeling, difficult to replicate with vibration-equipped VR gear or the powers of one’s wildest imagination. Bedreaded San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. met and introduced himself to that feeling one bubbly and Covid-free August night last summer, whamming a certified whammer in the eighth inning against some hapless Texas Rangers.

But Fernando Tatis’ power move was met not with lusty cheers and pumping fists, at least not entirely. The circumstances of his grand slam — the Padres already far ahead late in the game, the struggling Rangers pitcher having already thrown three balls — placed Fernando Tatis at odds with the mystic and unwritten arcana of the baseball codes, in this case, it being considered bad form to run up the score against a floundering opponent. His meaningless four runs, much like a misassembled Denny’s breakfast platter, became the subject of heated debate for weeks among players, managers and the vast digital peanut gallery.

Mason Silva, prodigious gap/rail/ditch/all of the above destroyer, struck again last weekend, casually uploading to ThrasherMagazine.Com another 4-plus minutes of tremendously heavy footage, at the tail end of a SOTY campaign that carries all the inevitability of a blurred stair set looming on the edge of a vignetted fisheye lens. The past few years’ kinked-rail sweepstakes has produced a new breed of steely-eyed and deadly confident Rustyholders, but Mason Silva lifts the bar as far as relentlessness — he has put out four video parts this year, all of them blistering, full of impossible-seeming stuff, and you’d take long odds putting down any money that he won’t be back at the table before mid-December.

The SOTY video deluge has a way of dominating any other ‘conversation’ at this point in the season, for better or worse. Tom Knox’s beautifully constructed, brick-strewn London symphony for Jacob Harris’ sterling ‘Atlantic Drift’ franchise got a couple good days of high-profile burn before Mason Silva resurfaced, and that’s it. The statement-of-purpose punk howl from the Glue collective got a deserved center stage — but just for a bit. As of this typing, John Shanahan’s Chicago-shaded DC Shoes vid has the big top window, but Mason Silva’s boardslide-to-boardslide thumbnail’s still up there, quietly dominating.

Skateboarding has long nursed conflicted feelings toward effort. It takes some, of course, to steady one’s self for the drop in, to crack the first ollie, to labor hours in pursuit of the trick. Reared safely beyond shouting distance of coaches, referees and gamekeepers, giving too little effort has often been easily excused, even celebrated — witness the decade-long legacy riding of first-generation Girl and Chocolate pros, or Geoff Rowley’s tune-in/drop-out monologue for Tom Penny’s recycled-footage ‘Menikmati’ part. Too much effort, though — even in the modern era of agents, round-the-clock content production and overall ‘professionalization,’ there can be pitfalls.

For proof, consider the world of Mega-transition skating, which more than other disciplines has revolved around competition, at least financially. In his 9 Club appearance, helicoptero wrangler and veteran Flip man Bob Burnquist related a story about skating a MegaRampTM rail competition with Danny Way, among others. Bob Burnquist, noted switchstance practitioner, said he began dropping in switch, and soon was approached by Danny Way, who was doing the same.

BB: He said, you know I’m trying the switch 50-50. …He was like, when we grew up, talking about him and Colin, when one of them touches a trick… and I get that. And I wasn’t planning on doing the switch 50-50, I was planning on doing a switch nosegrind, because I knew he was doing that. This is strategy, competition mode — if I play ping-pong with you I’m not gonna want to lose. I can still be your friend, and be totally fine. But in that moment it seemed like this front came, and I respected it, but it kind of bummed me out a little bit. 

…I kind of pulled back. When I skated the contest, I didn’t really go for stuff. I just was kind of holding back, and that kind of hurt me a little bit, because I don’t like doing that.

Bob Burnquist went on to explain how the experience motivated him to film all types of crazy MegaRailTM tricks for Flip’s 2009 vid ‘Xtremely Sorry.’ But a couple years before that, Bob Burnquist had seen the backlash that can come from not holding back. At the 2007 X-Games*, Jake Brown blasted a 360 ollie over the contest’s 70-foot gap before taking a 540 23 feet above the MegaQuarterPipeTM deck. Later, he spun a 720 over the gap right before popping too far off the quarterpipe and plunging 45 feet to the flat. After Jake Brown was helped get up and incredibly walked off the ramp, and things settled down some, Bob Burnquist dropped in, sailed a switch backside 180 over the gap, then launched a 16-foot-high 540, winning the contest. Jake Brown got second, and Dave Carnie rendered his verdict:

DC: after that slam, I think the gentlemanly thing to do would have been to have just ended the contest right there and given it to Jake. He was in first place. He had won. But no, Bob had to go and take his extra run and try and win it. As I’ve said, he didn’t win it, but the fact that he wanted to beat a fellow skater who had just taken one of the hardest slams ever isn’t really congruent with the spirit of skateboarding. Or even the spirit of sport, for that matter. When did “winning at all cost” creep into skateboarding?

In the marathon that the SOTY race has become, Mason Silva doesn’t seem like he’s trying to take anything from anybody, laid low by injury or not. He is in his proverbial window; can he be expected to let up? How is it possible that he hit the top rail three times in that one ditch clip from the Spitfire part? Does Primitive’s ‘Fourth Quarter’ closer Miles Silvas have more ammunition after his own Spitfire and Primitive minutes over the past month? Is the fact that Tom Knox is helping raise three small children at home through the pandemic being accurately factored into his SOTY bid? Since Mason Silva seemingly is healthy, fearless and ahead in the count, could he maybe please ollie again the stair-to-bank gap from his Thrasher cover, to get a better video angle?

North To Japan, Through Time’s Gelatinous And Quivering Halls

October 4, 2020

Where are the sacred scrolls and ancient tablets kept in a land ruled by subjectivity and the qualitative achievement? A place where stats and standings that provide the written record and ground historical narratives for other physical pursuits instead are relegated to an easily ignored, if well-appointed, backwater? Despite the press release-conversant, gift shop-ready Skateboarding Hall O Fame proclaimers, the permanent record here lives in the photograph, the png, the Hi-8 tape, the video file, and more than any of these, the volatile, flighty and always correct views of the kids. It is a realm made squishy and malleable by time’s passage, where Frankie Smith’s kickflip backside noseblunt once again is an ABD for future pyramid-ledge comers after Adidas re-upped its ‘Reverb’ offering from last winter, music rights appropriately massaged back into place. Hazy memories of decades-old video soundtracks resurface, dreamlike. Keith Hufnagel, gone much too soon, leaving a sterling track record on the industry side of the ledger — started from a storefront, put on generations of quality and often otherwise overlooked skaters, stayed respected with nary a bad word from ex-riders — which ought to be lionized on par with his catapult ollies.

Retro futurist John Shanahan, who knows his history, is in the news again, capturing the November Thrasher cover with a pole jam reversal of the up-rail frenzy from some years back. It is an underdog contender for sure versus Dane Burman’s more cover-ready but ultimately contents-bound Staples Center 50-50 two-step. The strongest flick of John Shanahan’s latest crop however comes in his interview, blasting a Japan air out of an embanked crimson sculpture somewhere within the churning womb of the United States.

Like other lasting works of poetry, various readings can be made from John Shanahan’s Japan air — an even further throwing back to theoretically simpler, or at least more insular, jump-ramp days; a reluctant flyout lover’s lament for cheap and accessible intercontinental travel in these pandemic times. More plainly it can be regarded as 2020’s strongest entry into the mystic annals of celebrated Japan airs of our times — approaching Mike Carroll’s timeless ‘Beauty N The Beast’ Thrasher cover, which remains regarded not only as one of the best magazine covers ever, but also alongside the Caves of Altamira and various Pen & Pixel Graphics Inc. works as the greatest images ever committed by humankind to physical matter. John Shanahan’s proves a worthwhile companion to Tony Cox’s own 2004 TWS cover, Justin Strubing’s lesser-seen version on the same spot, Daniel Kim’s switchstance stabs, the don Tony Hawk, and so on.

However unlikely it may have seemed in the yellow-hatted ‘Mean Streets’ days, with the prospect of a DC shoe part to come by mid-November, must the relentlessly productive John Shanahan be considered a capable and credible SOTY contender? Could such a choice demand a revisitation of BA’s timeless P&P cover? Will the worldwide celebrations of John Shanahan’s Japan air — along with the melon and, in certain slide situations, the crail, continuing as the few acceptable grabs on street — lead to a rereading of history and an ill-considered revival in tuck-knees and stalefishes down gaps by persons with beards and tight t-shirts?

Oh So We’re Good Now With Fakie Frontside Shove-Its Fam?

July 28, 2019

The ancient Egyptians, knowed as a people sprung from the intergalactic union of slender dog-headed humanoids and architecturally inclined space aliens, based their centuries-long dynasty upon advanced mathematics and in particular, the power of three. Just as star-guided numerologies dictated the design of pyramidal tombs and, later, the sport trike, so too can these be drawn upon to identify and analyze a prickly and little-foreseen situation confronting ‘the culture’ in 2019: the unlikely normalization of the fakie frontside shove-it.

Lo, the pathway to this current state of affairs was laid equally by the ascendance of Polar, where an early vid nodded to and propelled the shove-it, and the broad rejection of ’00s kickflip culture, characterized by thirsty ams balling for position by adding toe-centric flip tricks into or out of various other activities, or clamoring for ever-larger parking lot gaps. The frontside shove-it, notoriously difficult to photograph, in recent years has offered both a reprieve from the switch frontside bigspin, largely discarded as a gap-chomping tool, and the backside bigspin, thoroughly rinsed as a line-ender as the current decade limps to its unknown conclusion.

Where does this leave hot shoes hungry to differentiate their video part/montage slice/IG post from the footage glut’s deafening roar? There are few untouched trick deposits of years past left to be mined, and those still remaining can be treacherous — enter verbose career risk-taker Jason Dill, whose Vita-shod stairstepping became an instant rewind in the VCR age and has rightly become the stuff of legend. The current generation, though, holds up this rare gem and turns it topwise, gazing beyond the set-top dismount and fixating instead on the mostly forgotten trick preceding it, a fat fakie frontside pop shove-it over a barrier.

Beyond the frontside pop shove-it, the nollie pop shove-it for years has been a standby for popping over fences and blocks, the regular pop shove-it has enjoyed a resurgence recently as a kickflip alternative over bumps-to-cans and -bars, and switch versions continue to have their place in lines and down gaps. Whereas the nollie frontside pop shove-it might remain too near a relative to the unfairly maligned nollie backside bigspin, the fakie frontside pop shove-it, not much better aesthetically, is finding unlikely traction. Austyn Gillette, still fleet of foot despite life’s heavy wear, threw one over a bench and down a drop in his ‘Radiant Cure’ part last year. John Shanahan, cut-and-sew curator of the late-90s movement who also has assisted in the debatable reclamation of mustard-coloured tees, pulled from Dill’s ‘Photosynthesis’ archives for his Thoro ender. And last week, Skyscraper City Quasi flowee Nick Matthews hopped perhaps the best-looking recent example at Flushing’s recently hot gap, pristinely popped and whip-quick spun.

Is the fakie frontside pop shove-it’s rise an offshoot of the ‘dad trick’ movement, the tip of a ‘Brutalist’-minded stylistic school centered on ugly tricks including but not limited to varial flips and wallride nollie outs, or something far more weird and outlandish? Which would score higher in a Street League impact section, a fakie frontside pop shove-it or its more successful cousin, the fakie heelflip? Who’s gone one over the big wall at Pulaski?

Juicy J Is The Josh Kalis Of Rap Music

February 17, 2019

Jenkem, the Web 2.0 endeavour currently bidding to outlive its by-decades forebear TWS, recently saw fit to challenge social media’s persnickety algorithm-twiddlers with a Ride Channel-worthy list feature matching up pro skaters with celebrity rap singers, an exercise in debate-stirring that stirred obligatory debate in comments sections and other corners of our web-0-sphere. As a throne-sitting timekiller it functioned reliably, ranging from the defensible (Stephen Lawyer/Lil Pump) to the deeply incongruous (Dylan Rieder/Tupac), while overlooking obvious parallels such as Terry Kennedy/Terry Kennedy and, most criminally, Josh Kalis/Juicy J.

For several decades now Josh Kalis and Juicy J have lived out curiously concurrent career and life paths, a few of which this here blog technology will explore with immediate effect. Both are widely admired veterans of their respective crafts, wisely sticking to their lanes and rising above fickle and frothy trend-tides to maintain clout and even elevate their statures in what would otherwise be considered their professional autumn years. Both will forever be associated with mark-making as part of iconic crews, formed in their respective home bases: Josh Kalis burning Philadelphia onto the map with Stevie Williams, Anthony Pappalardo, Brian Wenning, Kevin Taylor and others among the Love Park squad; Juicy J in Memphis with DJ Paul, Project Pat, Lord Infamous, Crunchy Black and Hypnotize Minds. It’s possible that Juicy J recorded his famous song ‘Slob’ around the same time Josh Kalis 360 flipped the can for ‘Photosynthesis.’

The sometimes-knowing cartoonishness of Three 6 Mafia’s peak era, similar to the Love Park era-height swishies and bulk boots, remains respected for its honesty and has come to be celebrated, convincingly aped and at times even transcended by a generation that at best twinkled in their parents’ pupils when the original shit was going down. Josh Kalis and Juicy J, after staying loyal to their original outfits probably longer than they needed to, both wound up signing with their proteges. Sensing a niche for a codeine-guzzling, pill-swallowing elder statesman figure, Juicy J looked upon a young guard of doom-draped devil-worshippers not as competitors or pretenders to be squashed, but as fresh energy for collaboration, legacy-burnishment and money getting:

“Them guys are like family members, man. I was on Twitter and everybody was hitting me [like], “Yo, yo yo, you gotta check out these guys, man. $uicideBoy$, their music sound like y’all. It sound like old Three 6 Mafia.”

Josh Kalis too has embraced his uncle status among the Love Park-resuscitating Sabotage crew, risking Pennsylvania’s tax-dispute statute of limitations to contribute a part to volume 4, and helping put them and newly pro-decked John Shanahan on with DGK:

A lot of these guys, Shanahan specifically, are at the forefront of creating a new look with the old stuff. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s his own interpretation of how he makes the mid-to-late 90’s-style look for him and that puts him in a lane of his own. He’s not copying me; he’s doing what John Shanahan likes. It’s taking some of the stuff we did or looked liked to the next level—-the John Shanahan level. His skating is like a better, more-modern twist of ’90s skate. Obviously he’s got way more pop than I’ve ever had.

Josh Kalis has only a handful of tricks in DGK’s new ‘Thoro’ vid, but his and Stevie Williams’ fingerprints are all over it as Dylan Sourbeer, John Shanahan, Kevin Bilyeu, Justin Adeniran and others stomp through Muni and assorted other Philly spots in an HD ‘Sabotage Lite’ masterminded by Brian Panebianco. The steadily sprawling DGK team here is distilled into an East Coast subdivision that occasionally veers into Washington and Chicago’s similar-looking inner-city plazas but never stays too long from those wax-smeared white benches and jumbo-sized board game pieces. Dylan Sourbeer goes end-to-end on an unbelievable backside nosegrind; Kevin Bilyeu deals out a meticulously flicked over-bin nollie flip that’s a QSTOP10 shoe-in; Justin Adeniran bangs a slow-twirling nollie hardflip into a bank and John Shanahan shove-its into various k-grinds and finally the pro ranks, for what seems like his third video part in six months or so.

Does Josh Kalis’ recent reunion with Michigander photog Mike Blabac presage a long-deferred and much-needed resumption of Juicy J’s musical partnership with DJ Paul? What does it say that Josh Kalis has got a brand-new pro model shoe out and not, say, Eric Koston? Will the kids right now in diapers and sock-shoes, who will inevitably one day revive John Shanahan and Brian Panebianco’s own retro stylings, be able to 3D print new Lynxes and Boxers or will they be forced to face off with laser swords at midnight in some Love Park replica to claim the handful of remaining deadstock pairs?

Psychic Fluids, Astral Forces And Further Fruits From 2018’s Video Cornucopia

January 1, 2019

wkndatbams

Nate Pezzillo’Untitled 003’
A monster going up and over Muni’s cylinders — and squeezes a shove-it Suski from Love Park’s shriveling husk

Marcello Campanello’Mode’
Fakie boss in the Borroughs, with the cab kickflip backside tailslide

Austyn Gillette’Radiant Cure’
Switch shove-it rewinds with extra savoir faire

Charlie Cassidy’NY Archive’
Glass slicer boardslide and that backside noseblunt — skates like a Philly dude

Corey Glick’Souvenir’
Helping put Foundation into the conversation again with gusto, a fakie flip switch backside smith grind and a will not to clip on that last, scary jump

Shintaro Hongo’Pick Up’
The thought of rural Japanese spots is a trip — ferocious backside flip and bluntslides

Jake Johnson’Purple’
A glimpse of the master in his Penny period

Kyle Wilson’YS Video’
The float on the switch heelflip

Brian Delatorre’Purple’
GX OG, at home nollieing backside over a tremendous bar, or reclining in a backside smith grind

John Shanahan’Street Sweeper’
This year bringing back the fakie pop shove and tic-tacs, and with a pro deck in the works, revealing at last what lies beneath the Flexfits

9. John Shanahan – ‘Mean Streets’

December 23, 2017


Half the fun in John Shanahan’s increasingly sick video parts is analyzing, placing and appreciating the attention to detail in his sometimes fairly ludicrous outfits, which show an hands-onness maybe not seen since Ali Boulala, Jim Greco and Dustin Dollin were trolling thrift stores for vintage leathers. John Shanahan’s curatorial efforts extend to his tricks and spots too, constructing something greater than the sum of several very good parts over the last couple years. He’s polished his 360 flip over the can, of course, and his backside nosegrind pop-outs and switch k-grinds, but in his VX part for LurkNYC he puts himself out there a little but more with a straight-up hubba noseslide, goes big out of a bank and shows some deference to post-2000 trend gyrations when he hippy jumps away from an otherwise textbook noseblunt.

John Shanahan, Chopped and Sewed on the Final Frontier

May 28, 2017

Some weeks back a video Youtube link circulated advertising an attempted backside 360 down the famed El Toro stair set, the sort of heart-testing maneuver around which you’d either anticipate a fire-legged professional like Chris Joslin’s name attached, or else some risk-friendly unknown ready to offer up his effort to the world as some type of return on a foolhardy willingness to get uniquely pitched and presumably walk away. It was surprisingly convincing try — they say the last quarter spin is the moneymaker when hurling one’s self down twenty steps or more — and it rolls above a disclaimer revealing that the bros involved “might not go back for this” and various other pink-panted jumps and things.

But is it so easy? Many of skating’s seemingly most harebrained ideas have proven shockingly hard to let go. Duane Peters’ tangles with the fibreglass loop captivated a world-conquering Tony Hawk in his video game-designing prime, and assorted others after its bullring subduing. Jamie Thomas’ “leap of faith” drew Richard King to test his luck before the Point Loma school board took matters into their own hands and constructed a solid platinum elevator in one of this young century’s most stunning acts of baller-blockingism. In test fittings for the MegaRampTM crown, Bob Burnquist discovered that he, like propellerheaded originator Danny Way, could no longer resist the uniquely arousing allure of skating helicopters. Aaron Homoki’s taming of Lyon’s most notorious 25 stairs, 13 years after Ali Boulala charted its glide path en route to part-ending slams, became fodder for a Thrasher mini-doc.

Steeped in early ‘ESTs’, Flexfitted hats and the colour yellow, John Shanahan seems more concerned with resuscitating a specific vibe and era than etching his multisyllabic rhyming surname into history’s annals via big-spot trophy hunting. Bubbling under the DGK umbrella for a minute, John Shanahan this week officially arrives on the DC Shoes payroll via a cracking intro clip that pointedly trots out the bold/less bold/standard font DCSHOECOUSA logo of old along with eastern seaboard spots rinsed and fresh. Between the DC one and a separate LurkNYC VX footage dump, John Shanahan flexes backside nosegrind pop-outs, a slicing 360 flip out of the Kalis school, some tricks outta the modern school’s playbook (driveway wallride, ride-on tailslide kickflip), some flamboyantly retro Droors gear and hubba noseslides. Toeing some blurry line between ‘Photosynthesis’ and ‘The Storm,’ he wields a serious switch k-grind and a judicious use of camouflage, which is rare to see these days.

Like Philly neighbors Kevin Bilyeu and Brian Panebianco, it’s easy and erroneous to pigeonhole John Shanahan’s shared enthusiasm for the numbers 07 and 43 and all their sportsweary accoutrements as retroactivism rooted in personal branding. Just as the Sabotage dudes unearthed, resurfaced and restored an entire scene that had been municipally buried and professionally abandoned, John Shanahan seems to harbour deeper ambitions. Sharpening cut and sew skills, where else, on Instagram, John Shanahan demonstrates enough technical proficiency and stylistic nerve to construct cargo and swishy pants that command triple-digit price tags and earn “levels” hash tags when positioned alongside skaters’ current affection for graphical sweatpants and other sub-waistline achievements. But as he tests his growing powers, is John Shanahan consciously or not flying too close to that blazing sun of skate pants fashiondom, the two-toned pant?

It is a stylistic Leap of Faith that has shadowed previous practitioner Garrett Hill throughout his sponsored career, and one not lightly rolled up to. A year after Garrett Hill’s pants debuted in video footage, Tim O’Connor gleefully went in. Eight years on, the pants’ impression lingered enough that former teammates would bring them up as a cautionary tale of judgment, hubris and star-crossed romance:

Tom Karangelov: But when there’s someone that’s so original and out there, he gets so much shit. It’s crazy. Like with Garrett [Hill], half red half black pants. People are still talking to him about that. But dude, was it really that big of a deal? They are just fucking pants. Aren’t you encouraged to be creative when you skateboard? The dude who tries to go out of the box gets like, so much shit for it.

Jenkem: Have you ever considered wearing “crazy pants” like that?
Ah, no.

Has an Adidas-supported revolution in swishy pants and increasingly garish sweats provided enough air cover for John Shanahan to push pants envelope in ever-more colourful envelopes? Which trick ranks higher in terms of ’90s/east-coastness, the backside 5-0 backside 180 out or the fakie backside nosegrind shove-it? Yall caught that one switch backside heelflip over and down the blocks right? How is the resurrected Alien Workshop not sponsoring at least one of these ‘Photosynthesis’ acolytes? You been keeping an eye on Brian Wenning’s Instagram right?