Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Anderson’

Every Creeping Thing that Creepeth Upon the Earth

February 18, 2018

The tale of the St. Archer Brewery goes like this: laconic skate professionals, moneyed but with few spots to park it beyond real estate, sink fortuitous funds into a savvily marketed micro-brewing enterprise, eventually tempting brewery giant buyers thirsting after higher-margin products, and putting all involved onto that proverbial ‘easy street.’ It is a legend that has only grown as the fortunes of the legacy skate industry become more dire by the day; for board companies outside the umbrella of distributors starting with a D and rhyming with ‘Green Tux,’ it seems increasingly difficult to retain riders who’d just as soon jump ship for non-paying vanity projects. For non-multinational shoe companies, rumors swirl about the next to fold, restructure or seek a hot cash injection. And it continues.

Much as the decade-old threat of a Barcelona police crackdown thrust the skateboard industry into a worldwide search for marble ledges in a semitropical climate and mellow law enforcement atmosphere, the St. Archer golden ticket has inspired a number of aging kickflippers to try their hand at venture investing. Now comes Villager Goods, a skater-backed coconut beverage manufacturer, peddled as a more-nutritious and earthy alternative to the vast cauldrons of caffeine-spiked high fructose corn syrup that have funded so many vert careerists’ speed boat loans, often in zesty lemon-lime flavours.

It remains unclear whether fizzy drink conglomerates, facing the prospect that Coca-Cola could be taxed like tobacco, will one day make it rain upon Villager stakeholders such as Paul Rodriguez, Andrew Reynolds and AVE. But venturing into the prickly and volcanic dimension of consumer packaged food and beverages brings its own threats and perils, illuminated this week by skateboarding’s most enthusiastic heel, @Weckingball. The body-building Pupecki grinder linked Villager Goods to troubling reports that the world’s wealthiest coconut farms are powered by enslaved monkeys, forced to clamor up and down frondy palm trees without lunch breaks or paid time off. The explosive allegation was potentially poisonous to the meticulously curated and increasingly socially aware Instagram franchises of several name pros, and quickly drew a denial from Kenny Anderson.

Would the concept of moneky enslavement, proffered 25 years ago in a Xerox-quality B&W ad a month in between World’s ‘White Power’ sequences and its prescient condemnation of rogue sea creatures, have prompted tsk-tsking or earned a place in skate lore, destined to be scanned and reposted upon sociable networks several decades later? It is a hypothetical entertaining to ponder but impossible to answer. Yet as portions of the skateboard industry appear to circle the dreaded ‘drain,’ resource maximization may transform from a fusty slogan to a dire necessity. Skateboarding springs directly from human mastery of the environment; with sharp tools, man chops down living trees and slices away hard rock Canadian maple, transports it to plants using fossil fuels, and outfits the result with trucks and bolts forged from molten metals carved out of mountainsides. In a time when deck makers seem to have burned through the few dollars’ worth of cost savings secured by turning to lower-cost Chinese manufacturing, should conscripted animal labor be so quickly dismissed?

Consider: Might highly trained beavers, supervised and physically disciplined within the confines of planetary law, replace costly human loggers and support sagging profit margins in the deck business, at least until the 2020 Olympics saves the industry? Can cheap gene-engineering technologies produce bees capable of making Gulf Wax in addition to the stuff Burt converts into pricey balms? Why not lasso some whales to pull board- and T-shirt-laden ocean freighters back and forth across the Pacific for the price of some sturdy rope and plankton? Could the continued 1990s nostalgia wave create a new career path for retired circus elephants, flattening board concaves to 1996 Girl level?

Freeze the ocean

August 3, 2008

Like many a faceless internet blowhard, there is little I hate more than being wrong, and I would sooner plunge my face into a soggy pile of Frank Gerwer’s befouled trousers than admit it. Yet over the six months or so that I’ve yammered away in this space I’ve definitely been completely totally wrong about a few things, and my conscience won’t let me watch Trapasso’s part in the new TWS vid again until I’ve set things straight, although most of these are fairly obvious. Anyhow. Boil the Ocean regrets the following errors:

Adio: not actually out of business
I sort of jumped on board with the rumor-mongers on this one, mostly because it seemed so plausible to me. Like, why wouldn’t Adio go out of business? Yet as Duffs has taught us time and time again, it takes some fairly extraordinary fucking up to fall out of the skateboard shoe game. And although several of Adio’s higher-profile dudes jumped ship and they apparently closed a warehouse and fired a bunch of people, they do indeed keep on keepin’ on with the business of making ugly skate shoes for slow-witted Journeys customers. But, they still have a pretty solid team in place (Brezinski, Broussard, Montoya), and provided Kenny Anderson doesn’t fall under the spell of the Converse dollar they may well outlive Dekline.

As if to prove they’re not only still around, but have enough extra money to buy an HD camera, Adio put up this podcast a few weeks ago that features some pretty gnarly skating by Nick Dompierre and the rest.

411vm: Still existing in some form or another
More news that seemed a long time coming, except that as soon as I said something about it 411 changed their website into some portal to action sports-themed Friendster knockoff, with this announcement, which was later removed. (And the 411 website is now back to its normal self, such as it is.) As Europeskate notes both these skateboard media powerhouses belong to the illustrious Wasserman Media Group so this may be more of a reshuffling than 411’s card being pulled, but for now, the future of those free DVDs in cardboard sleeves remains in question, so maybe I wasn’t actually wrong, yet.

Es shoe designs not all that bad
Like most other thinking people I made fun of Es shoes’ more out-there designs when they unveiled their fall 2008 goods, but I don’t think I really gave them enough credit for doggedly sticking with their tradition of teched-out shoes in a time when the fashion pendulum has swung so far toward the minimal. Also, having gone through several pairs of the Square One, I ought to say that it’s probably one of the best skate shoes made right now, and in Es’s storied history. Which isn’t to say that Es doesn’t make some ridiculous, silly-looking damn shoes. But the percentage of wearable shoes put out by Es is probably about equal to the average skate shoe company, except that instead of numerous Dunk/Era/Half-Cab/Stan Smith rehashes, Es makes neon spaceship boots. Which is of course their God-given right as an American company owned by a French freestyler.

Burton/Gravis not the devil, probably
I realize I’ve gone pretty hard at Burton and Alien for everything that’s transpired over there recently, and I don’t really take any of it back, but I do think the above shoe from the upcoming Gravis “IVSkate” venture is cool.