Posts Tagged ‘New School’

Andrew Allen Is the Best Pool Skater Working Right Now

January 18, 2010


Thought you thought

Looking at the pic above, in the Alkaline Trio-themed new Thrasher, kind of blows me away. First of all, because it’s a big hill, with steel poles menacing anyone who might try and roll down it. Second of all, you may notice that Andrew Allen is not just rolling but jumping into it. Third of all it’s even crazier because he’s doing this jump backward-footed (switchstance in the new-school parlance) and fourth of all it’s yet crazier still since he is a pool skater on Anti-Hero who wears Dickies and knee socks.

It’s obvious that the boy is in way over his head. He basically says as much in the Thrasher–

It was super windy and I’d been bailing it, so I decided, “I don’t care. I’m riding away on the next one.” I really had no control of my board. I was bouncing off the wall. I just got fed up. I hit the kink at the end of it and I don’t really know what happened — just closed my eyes. I woke up on the ground with a couple of scrapes. Cheated death a little bit, but not really.”

With hair as tall as an embattled late-night TV host, Andrew Allen is a living, breathing, sponsored testament to the fact that proper grooming, great lift and a can-do attitude can earn one exceptions from many of the limitations this earthly life foists upon us. He has been infected with a love for the new style of street skating, with nary a backyard pool to be found in his section of the excellent new Thrasher/Cons video (a welcome throwback to the mid-00’s glut of free promo DVDs). Like a post-darkness Anthony Van Engelen or a pre-web 2.0 Salman Agah, the pool skater Allen brings a weightful tangibility to his ledge and gap shit that makes his tricks come off looking a bit more significant, as opposed to your usual stick-limbed tween in stretch corduroys and one of those puffy-topped ski hats with semi-ironic knit stitching upon the side. He doesn’t crush tricks like Pete Eldridge does but everything looks like there’s a little more meat to it (see: switch b/s tailslide kickflip, switch backside lipslide, noseblunt pop-out).

Somehow going back to the above photo, this trick taken on its own kind of encapsulates the whole vibe of “PTT” — Thrasher-approved tech/gnar chemistry heated to the verge of bubbling over, which of course it inevitably does. Also plaid and a beanie.

Mike Vallely Films the First ‘Battle Commander’ Part I Watch More Than Once

July 26, 2009

mike_v_berrics
File under: skateboard tricks

When the untamed New Jerseyan, slam poet and personal brand that is Mike Vallely parked his black novelty sportscar outside the Berrics’ hallowed walls, we should have known something was up. Inviting the streetplanting hockey blogger to a technical flip-trick contest for which he was ill-suited was silly enough, and while Vallely kept a lid on his famously flaring temper throughout what looked like a pretty lighthearted affair, it stands to reason that he/his people wanted a little sugar to go with the tough flatground medicine that Chris Cole was dishing out. And so it swung onto the interwebs this weekend, the Mike Vallely “Battle Commander” section, crushing preconceived notions of skateboarding and reality itself. Sort of exactly like the iconic monster truck scene from “Road House.”

These little parts have been used by marquee pros to tease “legit” video parts and test-drive new tricks, but for me at least they’re generally snoozers, seeings’ how it is a part filmed entirely in one skatepark (dramatic light notwithstanding). For Vallely though this is kind of the ultimate environment. It’s a park for one, and the dude has filmed entire documentaries and TV miniseries in parks. Their legal nature provides him plenty of tries for the type of big jumps that get the kids on their feet, and the Berrics’ malleable format gives Vallely’s inner elephant plenty of room to swing its tattooed trunk and plant its broad feet here and there, as the whims of Vallely dictate. At one point they even show him drilling down a board that I thought was going to facilitate an even more huger boneless, but in a typical Mike V twist, he uses it for a drop-in (!) and leaves me confounded once more.

There are all types of amazing tricks in this part though, set off with that somersault/cartwheel into the Chris Cole-approved streetplant transfer thing. Vallely shits upon naysayers, breaking out his legendary no-handed 360 flip along with a couple other flip tricks that incorporate grabs and/or walking up a hubba ledge. Proving that he pays more attention to “new school” skating than he likes to let on, he throws in an up-the-stairs move, along with an up-rail trick with a launch-ramp assist, an obvious reference to “Storm”-era T-bone. Also he wears a vest.

Mike Vallely has been many things to many people. For instance he was once a vegetarian, a lifestyle he left behind in order to chew scenery in the Paul Blart movie.* He’s been called more politician than skateboarder, but what I think Mike V is, is a showman. And he figured out a while ago that he tends to perform best in controlled environments, with the possible exception of Warp Tours, where it seems like just about anything goes. Revolution Mutha music included, this really was the most entertaining Berrics segment I’ve watched in a long time. A few tricks over that hot rod and two solid minutes of purposeful pushing and it would’ve been easily the best part Mike V has filmed in the last 20 years I bet.

*oh, we went there