Posts Tagged ‘Nick Trapasso’

Will the New Transworld Cover Slake Skating’s Quenchless Thirst for Pants Progression?

March 23, 2015

dontyouhatepants

Like a fire that, once lit, cannot help but to consume an entire bulldozer-built pile of disco records, or a shark that must ceaselessly advance through a sea of Pace Picante Style salsa or face its untimely Picante Style demise, skating since the beginning has been possessed of a need to progress. Alan Gelfand’s ollie wasn’t enough, it had to be did backwards; what’s the point doing a loop when you can turn it switch with a section chopped out of the top? Josh Kalis’ straight kickflip in a Love Park ‘Time Code’ line, immaculate as it is, looks quaint through the Mark Suciu lens.

Through it all the shoe has come to be regarded as the most immediate extension of the seven-ply-trucks-and-urethane configuration, but the past decade’s footwear fetishization mainly serves to obscure a decades-long struggle with pants. After clamoring out of pools and associated surf trunks the story of skating and pants has reflected that of mankind’s tortured grappling against his very own nature, occasionally overreaching, failing, burning piles of disco records, and starting anew. In the 1980s Limpies and Vision offered chaotic and unpredictable* print varieties for those zestful spirits unsatisfied by blue jeans or more-pedestrian sweatpants with skeletal rats ascending outseams; vert soon gave way to street these fell back while multicoloured and flapping denim advanced, several years passing before the East rejuvenated woodland camo and more adventurous spirits embraced snow and urban variations.

While the aughts saw style magnets such as Dylan Rieder and Nick Trapasso alternately fuck with pinestripes and pajama pants, this period of war and economic turmoil mainly reflected itself in darkened indigo denim and brown cords, the re-embrace of printed patterned pants not arriving until well into the 2010s when all-over print shirts primed a newly emboldened consumer base to throw wide the camo floodgates for increasingly esoteric prints. Thanks partly to relentless boosterism within DGK vids, the movement eventually demanding notice by the mass-market media: “It’s the one pattern that pretty much every guy is down with. What other pattern has a macho angle to it?”

Masculinities aside, the door now lies kicked down for pants makers — Thrasher offers a SAD sweatpant among several options, and now comes Fucking Awesome heavyweight Na’kel Smith on the cover of Transworld, gapping out in Tokyo within a pair of florid leggings that seem to also have crossed the Atlantic in recent months. In his numbers-taking, asses-kicking process over the last two years, Na’kel Smith seems to have taken it upon himself to push back the pants pendulum to a level of intricate and flowery detail not seen in probably about 25 years, no small undertaking when considering the intense internet flames stoked beneath noted 360 flip 50-50er** Garrett Hill, daring to step out in a still-notorious red-and-black combo.

Has Na’kel Smith doomed himself to a Sisyphusian task, destined to be squashed by a heavy and oblong fashion boulder that will waver under the weight of resurgent dad jeans, or is his pants choice more conservative than it may first appear when laid alongside a freely purchasable array of similarly floral hats, shirts, shoes, and obviously weed socks? Are authorities overlooking an emerging form of camo that now clothes newly militarized toughs hired to defend a booming US marijuana industry? Are scarfs next? As it thins has Transworld on the low had the best covers of the last year?

*particularly for Cali4nia Cheap Sk8 clientele
**And backer of 360 flip 50-50ers

How Many Months Do Yall Give Nick Trapasso’s Company With The Misspelled Name?

February 21, 2012

Probably it’s yet another sign that I’m getting older and higher strung and less cool with kids on the proverbial lawn that I look at the newly launched Life Extention Skateboard Group LLC and wonder not so much at its lifespan as much as the fact that it came together in the first place — when bros ten years older than I no doubt mumbled and grumbled the same thing about a decade back, around the unsteady unveiling of Baker. Say what you will about the various and sundry looks pursued by Jim Greco in the years since, but the Baker Bootleg boys bottled and guzzled the lightning of a very particular aesthetic that proved a lot longer-lived than even I would’ve thought, and I was a fan, although it seems like their vices/demons have plumbed greater depths than than this foglit new guard.

I’m not sure what they got together for the trade show, but they did approve a canned quote for a press release last month:
“The Life Extention Skateboard Group looks forward to working together with Blitz, to create an essential skateboard brand. Extend it,” said Trapasso.

As a card-carrying fan of the recently rejailed Lennie Kirk and respecter of risk-taking, I am compelled to acknowledge sheer balls, and the life-extenters look to be packing church bells — spearheaded by one of the industry’s spaciest cadets, sporting a misspelled name*, co-signed by malcontent recluse J Strickland, formed in the middle of an economic slow patch that’s steadily separating the old and infirm from the pack. Not that I’d begrudge the existence of a Tom Cruise-inspired company backed by some of the finer fuckups to fumble a tattoo gun in recent years, with the laid-back gumption to make good on the vow to deal decks out of their garage. If anything more of these kinds of shots oughtta be taken, even if the target’s invisible through a cloud of smoke and barrier of beer cans, to balance out the Business Plans For Dummies 2nd Edition strategizing and and paint-by-number logo decks pumped out each season. And what if they do blow it? Those early Big Brothers command classic status, and it was all those dudes could do to get issues out every couple months back then.

*I don’t believe that shit that they did it on purpose

If Grant Taylor Or Brandon Westgate Win Skater Of The Year, Will Leo Romero Evolve To Become Skateboarding’s Albert Gore?

November 10, 2010

If I learned anything watching the mildly psychedelic new Toy Machine production, it is that Leo Romero plays fast and loose with the laws that govern speed physics and US tax code, to such a degree that he must be branded a rebel. It is proven true by his moustache and cowboy hats. His taste for going fast and an eye for scale re: obstacle selection have turned him into one of the era’s most recognizable and bloggable pros, solidifying market share.

Yet the Leo era still harbours a gap not easily crossed by the four urethane wheels of a man. Can he capture the heart of skating’s loudest (and more or less historically accurate) Nor-cal critics, alongside the symbolic trophy and free beer a SOTY title promises? Will he reign in glory forevermore alongside Tony Hawk, Danny Way and Danny Way, or trod into his bank-skating autumn years an overlooked icon such as the Muska, pressedganged into conquering the LA record-playing business or New York spray paint art in lieu of the Phelper’s undying embrace.

Much like the Muska of yesteryear, Leo Romero currently is “in the groove” and securing trick-footage the likes of which will not be easily replicated. And they are dangerous tricks. You wish for a second angle on the final crooked grind of “Brainwash” to better judge how the rail kinks just so, but are left wondering. He forgoes the certainty of a motorcycle tow-in and instead just pushes as hard/many times as possible, maybe making the jump or maybe not. He throws himself onto deeply committed frontside feeble grinds that might wrap a lesser ‘boarder’s hardgoods around the metal pole. There is an ease of movement even when trying the otherwise nonsensical, like the up-rail tricks in the Emerica vid, that surfaces also in the mildly technical items he throws out now and then (nollie b/s heelflip off the curb and hydrant switch heelflip, “Brainwash,” b/s nosegrind nollie bigspin heelflip out, “Stay Gold” (even tho the sequence contained that one hilarious spread-eagle frame)).

Like Al Gore, Leo Romero has toiled in ditches to get where he is, flopping over handrails and spilling onto the sidewalk part of the job, but with the biggest popularity contest of the season now before him all chips are on the table. Speculation arises whether a shocking 2010 SOTY loss could drive him into a wilderness period, farming a beard and rethinking the whole reason God made him Senator of Tennessee, known to some as the “Volunteer” state. Perhaps he would try his hand at carpentry, or become a welterweight prize-fighter seeking redemption among a colorful cast of ne’er-do-wells, or feed the poor or create a book filled with detailed drawings of anatomy.

Two of Jake Phelps’ other musings for the title have been mentioned but a more plausible GWB-figure could maybe be found in team-mate Nick Trapasso, a renowned mumbler and word-mangler that has glided to a lofty position atop the skate heap with seeming ease and not a lot of stressing. Not breaking a sweat really this year, but Trapasso did rate the closer section in Thrasher’s still-fantastic “Prevent This Tragedy” and has impressed with what appears like an endless Santa-Claus sack of tricks (in “Brainwash” there’s a switch inward heelflip outta nowhere, and a nice nollie noseslide which has become one of those you suddenly don’t see often enough). A smoker/joker/mid-night toker who would be my pick for this year’s dark horse, if that counts for anything after the Chris Cole twopeat caught me completely off guard.

Spliff Star

January 19, 2010


Nick Trapasso, moments before enraging a stuffed-shirt dean of students with his relaxed attitude toward life

Back around the time when Jake Brown offered up his body to raise skateboarding’s profile on sports highlight/grievous injury clip shows, Brazilian melonfarmer Bob Burnquist took a certain amount of heat for appearing to anguish over the organ-lacerating slam, pace, and then proceed to wrest victory from the jaws of the Aussie-eating Megaramp. Some submitted that the classy thing would’ve been to cede the contest to Brown and his history-making 720, but Bob B eventually responded by saying that laying down, even for a badly injured bro, would’ve bummed Jake Brown out and violated the sacred spirit of the X Games themselfs, which would be a bummer of cataclysmic proportions, no doubt.

Only an MRI machine can know for sure what was going on in Jake Brown’s mind at the time, and given the prodigious amounts of the devil’s lettuce that Nick Trapasso is understood to blow, similar guessing at his motivations re: skating would be also a risky bet. But watching the Converse/Thrasher video it’s interesting to see some restraint in terms of what moves he does or doesn’t do at any given time, and in some ways it’s as refreshing as a cracked window to a hotboxed car.

Trapasso’s brand is one of festive floral leisurewear and tossed-off tricks, but the dude’s no slouch skill-wise, switch nose-grinding handrails and hucking that ginormous bigspin flip at the beginning. Not to mention, nollie nosegrinding a different handrail bearing an unfriendly kink. There’s plenty of people who will tell you the Spicoli thing is a put-on, and maybe it is, but there’s some type of genuine relaxation to a dude who in 2010 will incorporate a flatground kickflip into a line*, or a similarly simple halfcab to set up a stair jump, or a halfhearted blunt fakie attempt thrown in after the behatted coping nosegrind. There’s a kind of who-cares confidence there too, the sort of thing sometimes appears lost among trick trends and the rise of personal brands. Also the backside heelflip he does at 2:44 is extremely wonky and sweet-looking.

*nods to Marc Johnson’s “Modus” flatground ollie

Video Games Killed The Video Star… Or Something…

January 26, 2009

Every now and again, I’m visited with the pleasant and usually unexpected revelation that there are people in this world that A. have more time on their hands than I do, B. have less pressing matters on which to spend said time, and C. are possibly bigger dorks than I, in a general sense. I know, heaven for-fend. So it is with the cottage industry of recreating skate video parts via EA Skate, known to some as the best skateboard video game since Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. And, it’s not even classic video parts, I mean, of course there’s Guy Mariano’s “Mouse” section and a whopper of a three-part version of Marc Johnson’s “Fully Flared” closer, but beyond these you’ll find such head-scratching esoterica as Furby’s Berrics clip, Jake Brown’s X-games mega-slam (sans helmet), and a remake of YouTube manual sensation Aaron Kyros’s part.

(On a side note, I would be inclined to say that Aaron Kyros could have been the Soulja Boy Tell’Em of YouTube skate videos, if he would have thought up a name for his manual twirling dance, and made it into a ringtone.)

So as Electronic Arts releases the meticulously titled “Skate 2,” let’s look over a few parts recreated with the original “Skate.”

Antwuan Dixon – “Baker 3”

This entry, if not 100% faithful in size and scope trick-wise, is sort of innovative in that it cribs the soundtrack from the video itself in recreating young Antwuan’s Baker debut. The medium drives home the notion that we are looking back on a more innocent time for all of us, with nice use of the Suburbs picnic tables and a suitable stand-in for the Carlsbad gap.
Rating: Three-up

Nick Trapasso – “Suffer the Joy”

This one gets points for dredging the Suburbs for a passable schoolyard setting for Trapasso’s well-loved bigspin blunt line, but couldn’t fit in the wallie – bummer, brah. The minds who put this clip together give into the all-too-strong desire to boost the stair count on some of the hairier rail/gap stuff, but EA Skate’s “loose style” does a decent Trapasso impersonation and they replicated the wonky landing on the kickflip backside 360 pretty good.
Rating: Three-up

Alex Chalmers – “Sorry”

Probably one of the most impressive EA Skate knock-off parts considering how hard it is to do transition shit in this game. With the Faction pop-punk and general contempt shown for gravity, the Canadian fly-out wizard’s little-loved Flip video makes for a convincing update to those old Tony Hawk clips they used to toss you when you completed the game with such-and-such pro. The only thing holding this back from a perfect five rating are the hilariously awkward telephone voice interlude and the fact that the wits behind this couldn’t figure out a way to recreate Renee Renee’s late back foot flip thing. For shame.
Rating: Four-up

Guy Mariano – “Mouse”

It kind of looks like him, if you squint your eyes, and hit yourself over the head with a whiskey bottle for a few hours. Back to the Suburb playgrounds for the bump-to-picnic-table, which is okay minus the lengthy hangtime, and while I can’t think of any particular spot offhand I have to imagine he could have found a better bank-to-ledge to stand in for the Lockwood bench. Plus the awkward rotations on some of the techy ledge stuff. (There are several recreations of Guy Mariano’s “Fully Flared” opus, but if I’m going to bear seven minutes of Band of Horses music and not actually watch Guy Mariano skate, well, I need to get something out of it besides a lengthy blog posting.)
Rating: Two-up

Ronnie Creager – “What If”

Under the video details it says “I needs me a life.” He got the slow-mo kickflip backside tailslide 360 out, when the song stops, so that’s something. User “BriDenSkates” has several other such parts to his name, as well as a couple super cute kitten videos, which as we all know are the lifeblood of YouTube. For this reason I bestow upon this clip a full five-up rating, and encourage BriDenSkates to get to work on “Trilogy” and “20 Shot Sequence.”

3. Nick Trapasso, “And Now”

December 28, 2008

I’m not sure if Arizona Nick Spicoli fully delivered on the promise of his amazing “Suffer the Joy” part with last summer’s entry to the TWS canon, but even if time decides not, he’ll have a nice long career to work on it. Provided the word “work” enters into dude’s vocabulary. Either way he remains the reigning king of “what, me worry” wooze, twirling switch 360s and b/s tailslide shove-iting handrails as the mood strikes him, yucking it up in between with passersby in whichever hemisphere he’s currently drifting through. Holland and Ray could easily have gone overboard with the tie-dyes, weed and Lennon, but they seem to have realized that watching Trapasso flick and giggle his way through a four minute part doesn’t require much embellishment. Sort of like how you don’t necessarily need an HD TV to enjoy a bag of hot Cheetos, a Seinfeld rerun and a fully loaded bowl of Wheaties.

If the link above stops working there is also this Mag Minute clip that includes one bad mammajamma of a hardflip.

Midsummer Video Roundup: And Now

August 21, 2008


“Fuckin, I don’t know”

Okay, can I just tell you my favorite thing about this new Transworld video, even more so than Kenny Hoyle’s opening kickflip, or Richie Jackson’s paisley pirate outfits, or Nick Trapasso: no fucking voiceovers. This closely approximates my personal reaction, except on a couch. I was wearing basically the same amount of body armor.

Pretty much every time a TWS video has come out in the last few years I’m inclined to think “hmm, this is the best TWS video in years” which may or may not actually be the case after a few weeks of viewing. But this time, guys… this time for sure (no Bullwinkle) I think “And Now” really is the best TWS vids in quite some time. There’s been some hoopla in the magazine about how this is like the new “In Bloom,” which I can see, sort of. But that begs the question: who’s gonna plump up and fizzle out Alex Gall style? My money’s on Sean Malto personally. Mostly because he seems like such a volatile, angry drunk.

Transworld videos at this point are basically an institution, like Madonna for instance, and if you took the 20 or so videos they’ve put out over the last 15 years (TWS that is) you’d have a fairly accurate roadmap of trick trends, skateboard fashion, and evolving film/edit techniques that generally represent the best in skate videos at any particular point. A lot of the credit goes to Ty Evans, who presided over the TWS golden age of “Feedback”/”The Reason”/”Modus Operandi,” but the revolving cast of filmer/editors that has passed through those hallowed AOL/Time Warner doors since has taken up his blueprint and soldiered on, with mostly positive results. Filming innovations and high production value aside though, there’s Ty tropes that maintained long past their expiration date, like the intolerable voiceovers (some sounded like they were reading off a fucking teleprompter) and the vaguely hilarious inanity of the titles.

So it’s cool that “And Now,” humorously inane title aside, tones down the starry-eyed “wow, skating, man” aspect and keeps things moving. No overblown intro montage (not too overblown anyhow), no goddamn voiceovers, no skits unless you count Richie Jackson’s whole part. Reckless dumbass David Gravette comes out blasting with his charbroiled rail moves and winds things up with a trick that’s sure to get some novices sacked before the snow flies. Matt Miller I was really looking forward to and he came through with a solid part of fairly straightforward skating, fakie flip body varial noseblunt aside. (That’s what it was right? I had to rewind many times.) But generally he had a minimum of the polejam/wallie/manual combos that TWS videos have showcased heavily the last couple years.

That of course is handled with psychedelic aplomb by Richie Jackson, dark hippie avenger from Oz, who twirls and skids and somehow powerslides down stairs. Some of the tricks are pretty inspired and I was relieved to see him work in some more standard-issue shit, like the b/s 5-0 revert and the switch 360 flip, because sometimes I get the sinking feeling that these guys known for doing nutty/dork/novelty tricks all day long may not be able to actually skate any other way.

Kenny Hoyle is just great. The angle on that switch bigspin heelflip he does over the hump is so good. A prime example of a skater who on paper might not sound that sound exciting but the way he lands tricks does it all. I love watching this kid skate. Nick Trapasso is sort of the same (see the way he rides away from the double-set switch frontside heelflip) but freakishly talented enough to inspire head-scratching and rewinding. There’s some stuff I’m not into at all, like the nollie tuck-knee, but it’s hard to complain much. It’s like he can do anything. Both the song choice and the electric blue socks are kind of untouchable.

Then there’s Sean Malto, who seems to be the living, hardflipping nightmare of every skatepark old guy who narrows his eyes and mutters “damn kids” as some 9th-grader glides down the rail. Switch kickflip frontside k-grinds, cab feebles, et cetera. It goes on for some time. I can imagine people complaining that the marquee tricks have already been in ads, but for me, the full gnarliness of those tricks didn’t quite translate through the 2-D photo format, although that could just be my brain problem at work again. Malto, though: So much command and confidence, and he’s so young. At least he looks young. Trainwreck used to look young too. If my calculations above are correct Malto will soon be sleeved up and bloated from alcohol misuse, so as long as the legions of skatepark old guys can keep their guts in check til then, the last laugh may yet be theirs for the laughing.

In summary, best TWS video in years. I think. No voiceovers!

Front back

July 2, 2008

Wenning off DC? Kalis running the DC team? Carl Shipman back on Stereo? Al Davis on something else? Who knows. Let’s talk about frontside pop shove-its, underrated and probably under-utilized, and hopefully remaining that way. The day 13-year-olds are hucking big f/s pop-shoves down 15-stair sets, well, that would suck for all kinds of reasons. Here’s three takes from three masters, one old and two new:


Nick Trapasso, from the new Thrasher photo annual


Jeremy Reeves, same issue


Pappalardo, from an old Skateboarder. I wonder if this footage will show up in the Final Flare. Kind of doubt it…