Posts Tagged ‘Lucas Puig’

Frenchman’s Defection To German Shoe Company From Californian One Spotlights A Deepening Fissure In The Industry Dudes

September 11, 2011

“…Along the way, amazing things have simply continued to happen–like a Francophile Forrest Gump, seemingly stumbling obliviously from one victory to the next…”

Did you leave on good terms?
We talked a lot about it. For them it was hard. I understand their point of view. It’s the skate brands that make all this happen. They have the real sense for it. They are the ones that go find riders and build them up. Without Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, or Guy, I would still be out in the French countryside. They push people like me up and then the big companies can come in and help themselves. I see their side of it. That’s why it was so hard to make that decision.

Trying to figure out which plot point in “Forrest Gump” would correspond with Lucas Puig’s fraught parting with Lakai to don triple-striped track suits. (Spoiler alert) Maybe when him and Lieutenant Dan ride out the hurricane and Lt. Dan loudly curses God? Or the point where Forrest decides to stop running cross-country with his new pack of followers? Sleeping with his elementary school heartthrob and then she abruptly bounces?

Like Gump’s rise to become a shrimping magnate, Lucas Puig’s shift to Adidas was in the works long before Es went into suspended animation, but this month’s splashy teamrider interviews in the new TWS, Adidas-backed web part and the magazine’s concurrent gushing over a lavish Nike shoe-release party in Spain comes off sorta tone deaf, coming a shortly after the towel was thrown in by the dudes who touched off the current generation’s Game of Skate obsession.

I guess if the years go on and footwear heavies like Lakai, Sole Tech, etc are forced into a farm-league role by virtue of their slimmer wallets, interview responses like Chris Cole’s recent DC talk or the one above (or maybe the “why’d you move” question itself) will vanish and look kinda quaint in the rear-view mirror, but currently Puig’s comment makes me feel for the Crail camp. They bring up the hot young’ns, occasionally turn them into stars good for a pro model or two before they wave goodbye and head for money-greener pastures. And if you don’t cheer them on the way out you risk looking a hater in the “do u” era.

From a P&L perspective it seems like a kick in the pants too–like you can have Cory Kennedy sell your wood and urethane, but when it comes to moving high-margin kicks and clothes, a dude like that may ascend outta your price bracket. So does your enterprise turn into a staging ground for the more well-heeled shoemakers, or does a Lakai satisfy themselves with a role as tastemakers and scouts scooping talent on the upswing? Do these companies need to figure out tie-ups to ensure some type of compensation/protection for bringing dudes up? Long-running contracts? Does skateboarding need break-up fees?

There’s a rumor going around that Sean Malto is being wooed away to DC to the tune of $5 million over a period of five years, a princely sum that raises the interesting question as to where DC ranks along the shoe co spending spectrum, what with their recent team overhaul-splurge. You could also ponder the potential for the multinational Nikes and Adidases to raise up new faces–in their now-decade of SBness has Nike gotten behind many lesser-known ams? I’m thinking Shane O’Neill, Grant Taylor? Lewis Marnell? With Adidas one would be Lem Villemin, who it’s nice to see get on with Cliche at last.

As far as that part goes it’s usual killer Lucas Puig stuff–he has got a real good handle right now on manual tricks, especially the one at three-up-three-down and the crazy squeaker. The BA/SF run was a nice point-scorer and the backside nosegrind revert up that brick ledge is heavy duty.

Midwinter Video Roundup: Cle

February 25, 2009


An evening with Cliche

There is a clip in this new Cliche video “Cle,” where bespectacled company honcho Jeremie Daclin ambles into a cafe, sets aside his novelty cruising skateboard and orders a beer, all of which seems so terribly European to me. Like the way he snuggles up to the counter, oddly shakes hands with the sideburned bartender and bustles off to toast the lounge act in the next room. None of this has much to do with the skating or anything else really, aside from the overall mellow cabaret vibe and clean/no frills editing job, which is kind of a nice change of pace after three solid weeks of Mind Fielding.

JB Gillet catches the sensation too in a lengthy opening street ramble punctuated by a smith grind, all of which is overseen by Jesus and Daniel’s Lakai All-Star Shoe Band, strumming out the softly Spanish soundtrack to some switch noseblunt sliding and lazy-foot fakie bigspin flips. Still skatin’ those French benches, JB exchanges a lot of the ledge-combo fireworks for more classical Pier 7 fare (switch 180 nosegrind pop-out) before the handoff to Lucas Puig, who seconds Kalis’ nomination for the fakie 360 flip/switch 360 flip as the go-to two-trick line* for stair spots in early 2009. Amidst a bunch of hard tricks Puig resuscitates that ledge-to-bank spot from the Flip video with a particularly hot move, but as the part went on the more I began to think his style/execution probably peaked back in “Bon Apetit,” which I guess I kind of started seeing in the Lakai video. Something to do with his knees maybe. There is however a switch frontside heelflip over a road gap here that’s super good.

The badass Basque Javier Mendizabal looks the same as he ever did though, which is, a rare treat to watch on transition stuff or springing out of wallies or whatever it may be. There really is not enough footage of this dude, ever, and the street shit in this video is some of the best he’s done (see: switch backside noseblunts). Elsewhere Ricardo Fonseca has severed his ties with the ponytail and I’m wondering if it’s too late for Cale Nuske to avoid being one of the great coulda-been stories in skating at this point, despite being back on his flip-to-rail bullshit in a serious manner, hardflipping and nollie heelflipping into backside lipslides and whatnot. And human jack-in-the-box Joey Brezinski has another part full of gleefully flippant Joey Brezinski tricks, melding switch kickflips, manuals, backwards baseball caps and Barack ears. My personal favorite is the frontside noseslide 270 heelflip out, which would have been the most Joey Brezinski trick of all if it incorporated a nose manual down the bank.

The thing that bogs this mostly breezy video down isn’t the ams, although newcomer Flo Mirtan brings some of the most inconsequential tricks this side of “Forecast” (backside smith grind off the drop = good though); Charles Collette has improved on the “Kids in E-France-ica” thing and does real gnarly jumps into banks set to passion drumming, also, crazy gap to backside lipslides. What bugs me is all the interminable tour video footage that pads probably like 15 minutes onto this flick, allowing me to once again climb aboard my “too long” high-horse. But why Cliche insists on watering down their videos this way (see also “Bon Apetit”) is totally beyond me, maybe it’s their style. (Or French Fred’s, or “Junior’s”.) I can see a park section, you know. But they’ll throw in all kinds of street footage in there too – JJ Rousseau could have had a full section in BA with all the stuff from Japan. It’s fine that the Clicheiers are unbound to the standard skate video format, and the Wheel of Fortune was fun and whimsical, but by the third song…

Anyway, these transgressions are mostly washed away by the bonecrushingness of Australian headbanger Andrew Brophy and his strength ollies. Watching this part I found myself mentally warp-whistled away to Super Mario 3, World 4, where everything’s larger and one’s sense of scale is contorted. He does big shit on big shit, which sort of negates the size of the ledge or gap or green pipe, or whatever he happens to be skating – the forever blunt at three-up-three-down is a case in point. At the end of his part he gets his serious P-wing on with a serious ollie-after-ollie series that apparently got him over to pro status, but remember, when faced with the hammer-throwing Bowser you must, as all Australians know, go under.

*If you can call two tricks a line. Which I guess you probably can

Midsummer Video Roundup: Deja Vu

August 24, 2008


Make it reign

I’m kind of 50-50 on the videographer-as-skate celebrity thing that really got going around the “Chomp on This” era. I mean I’m all for mission-specific wheels and 20-stair switch firecrackers, but filmer shoe colors and grown men throwing junior high-grade tantrums at security guards gets a little “ehh…”

Howevers, I do think it’s cool and a long time coming that skate filmer/editor types be recognized as legitimate auteurs of a sort, which Cliche is doing with their new Deja Vu project, having a bunch of well-known dudes edit together old footage of the French company’s team. (I really like Cliche’s skaters and their art, but between packaging “Freedom Fries” as part of a box set and now getting a whole new video out of recycled footage, Daclin & co. definitely know how to milk the skate video.)

So, part-by-part:

RB Umali/JB Gillette: amis in initials, Umali provides a serviceable East Coast take on a JB career retrospecticus, including a heavy helping of tricks from JB’s sadly overlooked late-period 411 profile. Gothamist he is, Umali subs in some New York rap for the tongue-twister French linguistics we know and love from JB Gillette video parts. Nice sampler plate from a dude who came up with a mid-90s World pedigree and now matches his XL sweatpants with the mantle of a Euro legend.

Greg Hunt/Ricardo Fonseca: Hunt cobbles together a solid part’s worth of Fonseca footage, and I appreciate the all-around burliness and the fact that he has love for nollie hardflips in the 1990s tradition. But I always got the impression that Fonseca’s skills translated better in person than on video, kinked hubba k-grinds notwithstanding.

Roger Bagely/Joey Brezinski: I’m not sure what Boston/Adio alum Bagely has against young Jojo but between the Nelly Furtado and the fast-motion I found this part hard to watch. It seriously seemed like half the tricks were sped up, and not just like a few seconds of pushing in a line. I dig this sort of thing when done tastefully but this part really puzzled me.

Scuba Steve/Cale Nuske: It was nice to see Cale Nuske’s Bon Appetit part again, it’s been a while.

Mike Manzoori/Javier Mendizabal: Mike Manzoori is for my money (generally not more than $8 American) one of the best working skate videographers out, with his pal Jon Miner, and Mendizabal can be counted on for some of the best shit in any video he graces, so this part is definitely one of the best remixes here. It’s cool to see a younger Mendizabal gliding backside noseblunts on street along with his current assortment of alley-oop lip tricks.

Ewan Bowman/Charles Collette: Kids in E-France-ica. The radio wave music mix is interesting I guess.

Dan Wolfe/Jeremie Daclin: Dan Wolfe does his best to punch up a few minutes’ worth of Jeremie Daclin footage, who in recent years looks like he belongs more behind an actuary’s desk than on a handrail. The part gets more interesting toward the end when it gets back to Daclin’s old days charging beefy hubbas, though the clip of him carving the tanker thing still trips me out.

Dan Magee/Andrew Brophy: Brophy Getts Off with his inhuman pop and pavement-cracking landings, massive 360 flips and Prince guitar squeals. Probably the best section, song-wise if nothing else. Where was the humongous switch heelflip at Southbank though?

Ty Evans/Lucas Puig: I’m interpreting this part as a big slow-motion high-def middle finger to Ty detractors globally, which I guess would include me at times. Entirely in slow-mo, techno-tinged piano twinking as the only sound, it really works in an arty way for a while. But even with a kid as gifted as Lucas Puig, eight full minutes of slow-mo one-off tricks gets boring. The rumor is that Ty sent over the section all in HD or something and the Cliche guys couldn’t properly rip the footage, and ended up having to film the thing off a TV, and while I have no idea if that’s true or not the grainy video does add to the whole effect. But if artsyness was the goal, they missed out on a prime opportunity for a Gonzesque touch by filming the TV footage with a Canon Elph or something.

The video’s up now on the Cliche website along with Puig’s new ad, which is ridiculous as usual. JJ Rousseau and Jan Kliewer were much missed.