Posts Tagged ‘Lennie Kirk’

Golden Arms

April 29, 2018

In Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s 1989 surrealist horrifier ‘Santa Sangre,’ a tormented mime’s apprentice watches his knife-thrower dad chop off his mother’s arms in a fit of pique —- leading the traumatized youngster to later turn over control of his own upper appendages to his disabled mother. Increasingly grisly results follow, in a cautionary tale reminding viewers that while arms oftentimes can serve wholesome and constructive purposes, like foraging for rare mushrooms or building a space telescope, they also can bring darkness, such as drawing closed some thick drapes or committing serial murders.

So it goes in the skateboard industry, where brawny lumberjacks once flexed on hard-rock Canadian maples to construct the first multi-ply decks, and later, vert-shirted 80s pros straightened elbows to extend triumphant inverts atop half-pipe decks for pleasure and profit. Despite arms’ usefulness when twisting off beer caps or tweaking melon grabs, the fickle nature of skateboarding has seen arms fall in and out of favour as the pasttime matured and mutated, trick trends and stylistic preferences rising and falling like some promiscuous tide.

Street plants gave way to pressure flips in the early 1990s, but by decades’ end arms again were resurgent, as Lennie Kirk and Quim Cardona built sturdy franchises around their wild upper-body gesticulations. And soon enough the backlash came, as aesthetic pendulums hurtled in the opposite direction and we wound up with Ronson Lambert. Hostilities toward wild armness persisted long enough into the aughts to sow doubts about an AWS slot for yung Torey Pudwill, and as the Baker generation built new legends around Antwuan Dixon’s seemingly sleepwalking upper body, many gave the trend up for dead.

Even in our current age where so many ugly chapters past are brushed off and marked up — the goofy boy, the D3 — perhaps an overt revival of the flung-arms style still would’ve never flown. But skids have been greased by a rapidly spreading trend of landing tricks with bodily sketch, often resulting in one leg being raised up and waggled overtop the still-rolling board, ostensibly for balance but more often to collect valuable likes and other less-spoken kudo forms. Under such air cover, a new and vibrant loud arm era may be dawning.

Magnus Bordewick is a John Shanahan for the quivering euro zone, mistrustful of clothes that do not swish as he elevates arm action to levels unseen in some time. In Numbers Edition 4, the latest video clip from the California skateboard company, Magnus Bordewick uncorks his explosive brand of flip tricks over and up any number of blocks and steps, waving his Nordic limbs with abandon much of the time. Whereas Torey Pudwill’s arm motions often hit the red while balancing on history’s most drawn-out backside smith grinds and backside tailslides, Magnus Bordewick’s flapping generally coincides with rocketing pop and crater-making impacts, like on the massive fakie flip on the bank, the fence-clearing kickflip, the massive bigspin flip up the long stairs. You wonder about some pressure cracks and blown-out airbags, if and when these inevitably find their way toward major-label shoe corporations’ skate offerings as a premium pricing tool.

If the awesomely combustible Magnus Bordewick represents the Flame Boy in this unfolding arms race, is JScott Handsdown his Wet Willy? Was Kyle Walker’s ‘windmill factory’ 50-50 ender for ‘Spinning Away’ the 2017 SOTY’s declaration of allegiance? Where do Brian Wenning and Antwuan Dixon’s strengthening comebacks factor in? Should the Dime Glory Challenge replace its ‘gangster challenge’ with a ‘one-footed roll-away high kick challenge’?

Ams Behaving Badly and The Struggle For Our Immortal Souls Dudes

January 9, 2016

lobstrosity

As the sleek and plush (if leased [and somehow less flavourful than the Honda Civics and cliff-bound Cadillacs of decades past]) Porsche that is skating’s motorvehicular avatar purrs into 2016, the dashbound is fruitlessly thumped again and again in a hapless bid to steady the jittery moral compass mounted somewhere south of the cracked rear view and fuzzy dice. Turmoil abounds. Tweenage inward heelflip lothario Baby Scumbag and self-styled switchstance deity Keelan Dadd stand accused of sexually exploiting a 12-year-old, drawing revulsion from all but their most loyal Instagram subscribers. Knox Godoy, that onetime Baker bidder for Billy Waldman status, assures Jenkem that a hybrid lifestyle of drug selling, professional chefing and knocking over the odd Wal-Greens is preferred over the comparatively stressful elements of pro-level boardsmanship. Elsewhere there is an uneasy peace to be made with contractually obligated energy-drink hoisting, ‘name’ pros openly endorsing Drake material and Thrasher ringing in this uncertain new year by dabbling in emoticons.

Polarization and its closely related national pasttime, the culture war, seem bound to lay hooks into the skating sphere as it embarks upon a bold age in which a pro can be sacked for too-loose poo talk, while Andy Roy, noted degenerate, holds forth as a wizened confidant and adviser. Mythmaking and condemnation continue their two-decade waltz* around a film meditation on trading HIV status and various assaults while Lenny Kirk admonishes snitches and trafficks in Biblical morality from behind bars:

“A lot of Americans don’t know these things. They’re too caught up with fake tits and butts, plastic surgery, gay sex, drugs, and how to get God out of America. Obsessed with themselves. The flesh. Perverted, influenced by bimbo hoes with twisted minds and famous because of pornos. America is heading to Hell yet they don’t think so. Some try to make it as if homosexuals are normal people but it’s a lie, a deception. You’re not born that way! Men move from viewing pornography to homosexuality, to rape, to incest and to pedophilia… from one glass of wine to abusive alcoholism and from smoking marijuana to crack cocaine.”

As skating’s graying corporate checkhandlers steer it toward an Olympic status and the balance sheet replenishing endorsement largesse to follow, skaters must determine whether they continue cheering bad guys. The general public already had split over Palace’s prodigal ‘old New York’er Shawn Powers’ art career, jacket game and skating generally, but the gulf widened this week upon digital unearthing of a clip in which Shawn Powers forcefully liberated several lobsters before sending several toward an untimely and preemptive broiling via wall.

Shawn Powers’ shock-and-awe campaign upon these semi-suspecting lobsters drew widespread shrugs and condemnation in turn within the skating sphere and without, amid calls for Palace to cease his sponsorship, police to jail him and aquatic beings across the region to rise up in moistened vengeance.

Skating of course already has had a long and fraught relationship with lobsters, mainly manifested through footwear color schemes. Lobsters, despite their cuddly appearance and gregarious ways, are among the most enigmatic and threatening invertebrates of the time. Long rumoured to possess the secrets of immortality, they will feast upon the flesh and carapaces of their own kind, spreading dangerous bacteria wherever they scuttle and threatening the toes and, indeed, the very souls of the unwary:

These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat…. Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales—that shall be an abomination to you. Leviticus 11:9, 12

Did Shawn Powers, possibly fresh off Chrome Ball Incident’s landmark Lennie Kirk post and a recent poll that voted God most likely to destroy humanity, simply seek to look out for immortal souls generally and avoid potential abominations by the best means possible? Would lobsters rather die briefly free on the pavement than live doomed behind glass? Dad-a-cham? Dum-a-chum? How does this clip not go in the next Bronze vid? What would Andy Roy do?

Oblivion Access

January 1, 2016

Some others

Gilbert Crockett – ‘Salt Life’
Hard-cut edit on the post-Workshop frontier from Gilbert Crockett’s perpetually spring-loaded feet

Jack Kirk – ‘Krew Killers’
Spyro gyro tailslide

Andrew Allen – ‘Boys of Summer’
Between this, ‘Propeller’ and the Vans offcuts, there is some type of unholy Skater of the Year bid

Kevin Bradley – ‘Chronicles 3’
Neck and neck with ‘Sickness’ in turn up terms, last 30 seconds particularly

Tyler Surrey – ‘Spanish VX’
Lines that go forever, and a case for nollie flip noseslides in 2016

Tom Asta – ‘1947’
Nollie heelflip backside noseblunt on a handrail

Jerry Hsu – ‘Boys of Summer’
The heartwarming results possible – feeble grind, smith grind – when beloved pros oblige requests to ‘just see you skate’

Nick Boserio – ‘No Cash Value’
2015’s reigning lord of hairball, where you wouldn’t be surprised if he loosened his trucks before the penultimate escalator plunge

Dylan Sourbeer – ‘Sabotage4 Promo’
Love park ledgelord with Wenning slump status

Tony Trujillo – ‘Propeller’
His best one since the Transworld vid

Donovan Piscopo – ‘Hockey promo’
The planter backside tailslide line

Josh Kalis – ‘Sabotage4’
*shrug*

Yaje Popson – ‘SK8RATS’
Back in living color, but for good?

Mark Suciu – ‘Civil Liberty’ sans voiceovers
Also including Dennis Busenitz at Pulaski, and ending with one of the most Mark Suciu tricks doable there

Hats off to Chrome Ball Incident for its exhaustive (yet apparently truncated) interview-by-mail with jailed switchstance barbarian, stunt cycler and street preacher Lennie Kirk, which nearly met 2015’s quotables quota on its own and expands upon all the old stories, nearly all of which seem to be true and then some:

“Many times with Jesus’ guidance, Him, I and my girl, Ez, took the bike to 177mph at night on the 101 freeway. All out throttle to the max. Alone, I topped the bike out at 184mph, wide open for more than 10 miles. Just me and God. It’s a surreal spiritual experience. God’s glory in it all. Other drivers seeing a bike fly by them at 184mph in the night! It’s deeply personal, eternal and unique. A oneness with God, my girl and my bike… flowing and free, not worried about cops.”

nike-sb-the-sb-chronicles-vol-3

The print media struggle in 2015 means taking risks to stand out. Transworld, its revival already well underway, rolled further dice by essentially re-running The Skateboard Mag’s most-recent cover on page 56-57 of its Jan. 2016 issue.

Also flexing on print media this year was Quartersnacks, one of the few (if only) internet web pages with not only the balls to make a book but the well of stories, hoarded text messagement, pic of folks skating castoff TVs and depth of collective character to pull it off in spades – buy it here.

Midwinter Video Roundup: Quartersnacks “Mind Field” Re-Edit

March 29, 2009


Straight up now

I was going to do one of these video-focused postings about the Untitled video where I gave all the skaters names of characters in the midcentury Bible story epic “Ben Hur,” except it started to seem like a lot of work real quick because I haven’t seen “Ben Hur” (not sober anyhow) in a good long while. So whatever. Then I thought about how I should have done one on the Lakai “Final Flare” box set, but it’s been like three months since the goddamn thing came out and you can probably imagine where I’d go with it anyway: the no-sound-all-slow HD feature is basically 20 minutes of footage stretched over a 45-minute snowboard video canvas, the unused footage is bonkers, a bunch of Alex Olson’s best tricks somehow weren’t used (barrier tailslide, nollie b/s 180 over the bar), that fantastic Australia/B.O.B. tour clip is in there, the documentary veers a bit too far into the “Hot Chocolate” lane for comfort and leaves you wondering whether Carroll considered handing Ty Evans his walking papers once the whole thing was over with. One of the issues I have with his approach to making skate videos is the way the drama/emotion often gets turned up to 11… his sensibilities still seem like a weird match for the minds behind the goldfish chase and “Paco,” even all these years since “Beware of the Flare.”

You get the feeling that the Quartersnacks dudes maybe had a similar reaction to “Mind Field,” but instead of snarking around about it on the internet (or in addition to) they took it upon themselves to tear the original to pieces and put it back together in new shapes of their own choosing – a Google image search-inflected reframing of the Greg Hunt masterpiece, compressed to under 30 minutes and strained through a filter of Drumma Boy and “Fresh Prince” that sifts out all the Dinosaur Jr, most of the artsiness and half the dudes’ parts (they kept Arto?). Favored sections are expanded by way of b-roll footage and, as the situation warrants, QS seagull/cigarette equivalents in the form of ’80s tap-dance routines, cameos from the likes of Tom Jones and Lennie Kirk, and an update to the Carter-Dill tapes. Obvious highlights are Jeezy/Johnson and Kalis’s Trick Daddy epic, along with the musical tributes to Dylan Rieder’s fair features. This AVE part is perhaps better than the original and the shocking return of a dearly departed Workshopper at the very end throws everything about the original video (if not the entire universe) into question.

Anyway, a total tour de force, I think they still have it up for download here. Nobody go suing anybody now…

Women of DC

September 12, 2008


Ladies’ night

I always knew that DC made women’s shoes, in the same vague way I know of the feminine reproductive system. It’s there, I guess, and it functions somehow, but I couldn’t provide details or draw up any kind of helpful map. That is, until I stumbled upon a veritable sex-education course in the form of shoe discounter 6PM.com, where I found myself unable to look away from the gooshy details. Here’s what I learned from my time in the wild:


The Highland brings Half-Cab knockoff stylings to a slipper readymade for mall crawling or a domesticated afternoon at Williams-Sonoma… provided you can get those crazy DC boys to slow down for even a second. Remember ladies: Ken Block isn’t just the cofounder and chief brand officer, he’s also on the team.


A somewhat more functional number, the Svelte is suitable for running up and down sand dunes, chasing after the likes of bike boys Adam Jones and Ben Townley (favorite movie: “Wedding Crashers”).


The Melrose will look good in DC–District of Columbia, not Droors Clothing–on Jan. 20, 2009, if Obama blows it. Think of the pride you’d feel in God and country, standing there arm-in-arm with Danny Way as newly sworn-in President McCain announces he’ll press for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.


The Venice Lace, for ladies who are submissive and subdued, but still extreme. Comfort and style for a fire-and-brimstone Sunday morning with the Rev. Lennie Kirk, provided he ever gets outta the joint. Hold your head, Lennie.

Preaching about certain things

April 14, 2008

So I guess Fred Gall started a blog to promote Domestics and whatever weirdness he has going on in New Jersey. So far it’s mainly a load of photos and the odd video. That’s all well and good, but I was sort of hoping he’d include some of his amazing stories, a few of which were detailed in a pretty classic Strength magazine interview (I think it was Strength). To wit:

In San Francisco once, me and my friend Louis went down to the laundromat to do our laundry. We were staying with Mike Daher. And Lennie Kirk, he’s christian right. So we go to the laundromat and we’re skating out front and Lennie comes up on his bike and we were like “Hey what’s up, Lennie, how you doing?” And he started preaching to us about certain things. And a black ghetto-ish kid comes rolling up. And me and Lou are just chilling and Lennie just starts staring him down, like just looking at him all hard. And the kid goes “What the fuck you looking at whiteboy?” And he got in Lennie’s face and Lennie goes “Go home and get your gun” and started saying all this stupid shit to him for no reason. And the kid was like “I’ll be back”. And we were like “What? Why’d you do that? What’s wrong with you?” Thought he was supposed to be, all pleasant, or whatever. So the kid comes back a little while later, we’re up the street, he comes back with a pipe, a big ass pipe. Me and Louis are skating and Lennie is on the sidewalk, on his bike, and the kid comes charging up with his pipe and starts swinging. Hits Lennie in the arm one time real bad and he’s about to start kneeing him. Me and Lou ran over and started swinging our boards at him a bit. And then Lennie jetted and we were trying to fight the kid, but he had a big ass pipe and was quicker or whatever. So he swung at us, he caught Lou in the back. We were like “Fuck this, let’s just jet on him.” So we jetted on him and the kid, we couldn’t shake him for blocks. He kept following us and we thought it was cool and then he comes flying up on the bike and we lost him by bombing some crazy hill. He couldn’t catch us. We went back to Mike’s house and Lennie’s arm was like fractured and shit, pretty fucked up.

Is it too much to hope for a Lennie Kirk blog? The answer is probably yes, unfortunately…