Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

2. Ishod Wair – ‘Wair N Tear’

December 30, 2013


Future pros who master the art of juggling corporate sponsorship video productions and VX-flavored bro-cam affairs, bankable via messageboard-approved Bitcoin dividends, will look back on early masters of the great balancing act such as newly anointed SOTY Ishod Wair, who initiated his 12-month pillage of US spots late last year in the legendary ‘Sabotage 3’ and wound it down with another NKE-underwritten one-two Thrashermagazine.com combination that proved effective in snaring the industry’s most-prestigious award for the second time in three years, after Grant Taylor similarly ran the servers in December 2011. Depending on how you count them Ishod Wair turned out four video parts this year, but this one for Fourstar earns the highest across-the-board score as far as the after-black hammer material he’s capable of, the lengthy lines and the much-beloved ‘Photosynthesis’ production, from the cameras to the Love ledges. Some of Ishod Wair’s tricks have this ethereal, floaty quality, like the full 360 out of the backside tailslide and the drift on the heelflip over the rail toward the beginning, but then he’ll set down something like that nollie backside kickflip around 2:29 that is solid enough to seal international peace accords. Ishod Wair in 2013 is a dude at the height of his powers but still putting in work — witness his fountain combat for the switch frontside bigspin here if you haven’t seen it.

Roll Out The Barrel

January 7, 2012

It is one week into 2012. See if you can pick the fake headline:

[ ] Andy Roy Attempts To Choke Out DMX Live Onstage

[ ] Jereme Rogers Arrested Following Nude, PCP-Fueled Hotel Rampage

[ ] Brian Wenning Quits Selfish Skateboards Via Jereme Rogers Diss Track

[ ] All of the above/gonna be a long year

Fred Gall Attempts To Wallride Heavy Machinery While Under The Influence Of Being Fred Gall

August 28, 2011

Serial New Jerseyan and IRS scofflaw Fred Gall long ago cemented his status as one of the most compelling magazine featurees with his legendary interview in Strength. There, he discussed courting police brutality at Ozzfest, fighting in Ohio, going to jail abroad and Lenny Kirk. Fred Gall has been an odds-on favorite to pile out at any given moment for more than a decade now and he continues to surprise us, so maybe it shouldn’t have caught me so off guard when flipping through the new Skateboard Mag there is an account of Fred Gall applying his classic dunderhead approach to what sounds like it would be one of the more jaw-dropping tricks all year and maybe of all time.

When we got to the “spot” the first evening, it became apparent that traffic was moving way too fast for him to … Oh my god! He just jumped on that bus. Well, with the first attempt out of the way and the bus going 30 or so, Fred, who was spun around in the gutter laughing and slightly spooked, looked up and said, “I think that’s too fast, ha ha!” He is a maniac. Everyone was thinking, “We’re going to watch Fred die here and now. Wonderful.” He dusted himself off, grabbed his board, and set up for the next one. You see you have to wait for the right bus with the smooth back end. Maybe one out of every five was the right kind and maybe one out of every twelve was the right speed (anywhere from ten to twenty miles an hour). Needless to say, for the next two nights we spent a lot of time at this spot.

The full-bleed photo on the opposite side is pretty ridiculous, not only for what Fred Gall’s aiming to do, but also that there is a dude A. about two decades deep into his career B. willing to work several nights straight trying this particular move C. at risk of significant bodily harm D. and arrest E. in a foreign country and F. laugh about it. After mulling it over a while I was reminded of the opening seconds of this part where Fred Gall had a brief cameo and pondered the tribute angle, but I’m guessing this was all weighted more toward for the fuck of it. Or fully paying off the federales.

Third Time’s The Charge

June 10, 2010

For a company that’s expanded/rejiggered its lineup as much as Habitat over the past few years, I’m not sure I get the rationale of a semi-backward-looking “greatest hits/b-sides” sort of video, as flagged in the new preview for the forthcoming “Origins.” Besides the new-blood parts there’s talk of this being a kinda reissued version of “Inhabitants” with some musical changes, I’m sure they’ve got other sound reasons, probably detailed someplace my eyes have yet to roam. And if the end result is a package along the lines of the Girl/Choc boxed set, replete with Danny Renaud and Rob Pluhowski footage, not exactly complaining or anything.

But if tracing a narrative is what Castrucci & co are concerned with on this project, what better way to tap into the reality-age’s obsession with rise-fall-redemption stories than to reclaim Brian Wenning from the wood paneled basement discard pile from which he broadcast those infamous youtube dispatches? He’s already signaled that his NJ door stands wide open to getting the “Photo” band back together, and whereas relaxed-fit denim doesn’t hold the sway it once did in the Coexist camp, the steady am additions and pro bump-ups suggests the Burton backers aren’t tripping about headcount that much. (And didn’t they let Guru Khalsa have some rap music for his going-pro clip)

We’ve pulled for Wenning before in this space and probably will do so again, really, there’s few touching that switch b/s tailslide bigspin even nowadays. Back to the next-gen Habitat issue, the bros are to be thumbs-upped for hanging onto the Getz/Gall/O’Connor trifecta all these years, and as much as the idea elsewhere has come off kind of like a back pasture for also-rans, maybe Habitat can take a crack at a sort of “Legends” squad, since they’re still doing the Intl team thing to my knowledge. Although at the rate I’m making up new companies for them they may as well have kept Seek going. I don’t know, I’m just trying to finance a few more switch heelflips out here.

Brian Wenning Is The Best Skater Alive

May 2, 2009


Rich off cocaine

Dovetailing nicely with the Plan B focus this week comes the inevitable news that Brian Wenning has been let go from the Danny/Colin hardgoods dream team, shortly after being handed his walking papers from Droors Clothing Shoe Co USA. Given Wenning’s lack of footage these last few years, mostly underwhelming photo output and recent Youtube antics, it maybe isn’t super surprising that these eventualities have inspired a flood of “don’t let the door hit ya on the way out” commentary across the skate-related interwebs, but it’s disappointing, because what people are overlooking is the fact that career collapse or no, Wenning will come to be seen as a hugely influential figure in 00’s skating, and if he is flaring out, it’s in proper 1990s party-spiral fashion.

Personally I think Wenning’s on some Henry Sanchez trip; the “over-it”-ness he aired toward DC in his recent Skateboarder* interview and, er, fireside chat video are only a prologue to what surely will be a blaze of sour grapes toward the likes of Ryan Sheckler and Jereme Rogers. More people used to name names, now everybody’s got business interests, but Brian Wenning is from New Jersey and seems to prefer drinking with his low-life buddies and skating a shitty pre-fab park that his little brother gave up on years ago.

Whether or not Wenning achieves or even attempts a comeback I think is totally beside the point in a post-Fully Flared/Sorry age, where legends are unearthed, outfitted in fresh sponsorship deals and New Eras, and set about writing sequels and prequels to stories that were basically holy scripture. I saw that Timberland video, Wenning’s still got it I think, but what’s the upside for him? A part in a soon-forgotten Axion promo? A spot on Element**? (I think he’d need to have a real rock-bottom Oprah awakening before Fred Gall could make a convincing case to put him back on Habitat.)

Probably the smart move for Wenning would be to drop off the map more or less completely, make random solo appearances in New Jersey, maybe grow his hair real long and not really skate. (The Timberland thing was possibly premature in this way.) If Bill Strobek is kind he could delay dropping his video for another year, at which point skateboarding will have forgotten the Brian Wenning of the two-inch scratcher slides at those alphabet ledges and people will trip out anew on the Photosynthesis era – while PJ Ladd’s video part had a bigger impact on actual tricks I think Wenning’s Photo part remains one of the most influential sections style-wise over the last ten years, and I shudder to think where, say, Ronson Lambert would be without it today. The Henry Sanchez comparison again – Brian Wenning was doing the hottest tricks at the coolest spots, looking like nobody else at the time.

So we’ll see. Maybe in a couple years he can mount a comeback part, get a board offer from say Zoo, figure out a way to get kicked off within three weeks and quickly slide back into obscurity. You almost hope he does – in a lot of ways it would be preferable to seeing him dried out and born again in time to chase pole-jam variations and waxy ledge combos. Or Scientology.

*Keep your head up, Source Interlink employees
**Baker probably a more realistic prospect, but with the economy in the toilet who really knows anything about anything

5. Steve Durante, “Last of the Mohicans”

December 26, 2008

Even though they don’t really make money anymore the blockbuster skate video model continues to hold, at least until somebody thinks up a better idea, and with every major pro skateboarder (or at least the 100 or so with signature model shoes) stockpiling footage for a coming-soon-in-2010 release you don’t often see the quick little parts that were popular in the 1990s, which was due to weed smoking, the shitty slow-mo available at the time, general laziness, Barcelona having yet to be discovered, and the quick-cut lifestyle shot still a few TWS videos away. So you got stuff like Jason Dill’s “Trilogy” section, Sheffey’s part in “Mouse,” or RB Umali’s “Peep This” which you could say was a whole video based on this idea.

Steve Durante, who made probably my favorite video part last year between the Habitat video and Static 3, kept the ball rolling this year with a brief entry in Joe Perrin’s “Last of the Mohicans”… I don’t know if this is throwaway stuff from some upcoming Adidas production or just his daily grind but it’s as good as any of the other shit he’s done in the last couple of years: all the sick two-hitter lines, the flat-ground kickflip at 1:19, and even though he milks it in every part, the switch backside tailslide heelflip out, except this time on a thigh-high ledge. On a semi-related note, Kyle Nicholson needs to come up in 2009.