Posts Tagged ‘Odin’

Sus Among Us

April 3, 2022

Neil Gaiman’s 2001 romcom novellina ‘American Gods’ followed the doings of a ragtag band of faded deities, whose powers and even basic existence waxed but mostly waned as fewer and fewer people believed in and worshipped them, setting up an eventual WWF-style slugfest with newer, flashier ‘gods’ cribbed from an Alien Workshop t-shirt — television, the internet, online securities trading, et cetera. As a historical artifact of the early ’00s, the tome can be alternately regarded as a blueprint for the current day’s ‘clout culture’, a case study in hackneyed character naming, and a cautionary answer to that age-old question: If a tree falls in the woods and it has no followers, does it make a sound?

For those skilled, inspired and fortunate enough to have achieved a form of immortality via trick names, the tale is much the same. Tricks such as Mike McGill’s McTwist retain gravitas among 1980s documentary makers and the several vert contests that continue to be held each decade, while Mike Smith’s grind and Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfand’s breakthroughs remain in daily, trap music-soundtracked circulation. Alchemical creations such as the Barley and Bennett make occasional, respectable appearances, while others like Eric Dressen’s salad grind over time seem to consistently land outside the stylistic guardrails that separate the ‘Guiltys’ from the ‘Fulfill Tha Dreams,’ or the Guy Mariano of ‘Mouse’ from that of ‘Pretty Sweet.’ Some, like the k-grind, are genericised into ‘crooked grinds,’ leaving cultural residuals uncollected somewhere offstage, piling up like so much interest in an unattended offshore bank account, held in the name of some absentee hadropod.

It’s difficult to tell via IG whether Aaron Suski has grown more solid or powerful over the past couple of weeks, as his namesake backside tweaked, backside 5-0 grind has been plucked from somewhere in the vicinity of those trick-selection guardrails and freshly deployed by a number of young hot shoes: Deathwish’s Brian O’Dwyer dished one out at Muni last week in a vid for OJ Wheels with his Philly entourage; Colombian Creature fiend Jhancarlos Gonzalez scraped one down a serious handrail in Thrasher’s recent ‘Am Scramble’ vid. Sean Pablo, a longtime practitioner, kickflipped into one on IG on the cusp of springtime.

Is the Suski grind an underutilized gem or detritus better carted away as more profitable seams are mined? Plenty worse tricks, not limited to misadapted ramp moves such as the Losi grind and objectively bad ones like the Willy, have managed to not only periodically resurface but occasionally get elevated in big vids, or argue for erasing the concept of ‘illegal tricks’ altogether. Probably the strongest argument in favor of rescuing the Suski grind from the pioneered-and-put-away-again pile is its rarified alumni of backers over the years — Aaron Suski may have gotten his name hitched to it, but Kevin Taylor still owns the most iconic version, down the CA hubba in Transworld’s ‘Sight Unseen’; Antwuan Dixon and Pete Eldridge, those still-hallowed potentates of grace and power, also have used it to lasting effect.

If the Suski grind’s recent usage helps to refill some mystical power meter for Aaron Suski, should some of those supernormal protons also rightfully flow to Kevin Taylor, legendary in his own right as among the very few to never have ever taken a bad photo? How much of the Suski grind’s lack of relative staying power can be attributed to its possible labeling as ‘too easy’? If the backside ‘overcrook’ has been quietly acknowledged as the lone ledge trick in which the non-grinding back truck can acceptably be tweaked over top of the ledge*, should room be made for the Suski grind to live, given the longstanding acceptance of frontside and standard crooked grinds’ angling of the non-grinding truck away from the ledge?

*As applied to versions done on ledges

Hillside Strangler

October 14, 2012

The re-emergence of the transition/all-terrain discipline over the last 5-6 years has brought much good, including renewed reverence for certain ’80s pros, pants of the canvas persuasion and counteracting the counter-intuitive notion of striving to keeping one’s action sporting sneakers crisp. However, a potential rogue thread woven into this fine flannel has been the de-emphasizing of the street grab in favor of the bowl or vert variety. Here we wade into a minefield of hot words and controversy and people rightly will point to various stink-bug stylings and the horrendous notion of tuck-knees down gaps, and it’s folly to argue, though I would submit that the melon grab is the exception proving the rule in this case.

Years ago I misplaced the Thrasher containing the above Satva Leung photo but it stuck with me to the point that when I ran across it on some blog I hurriedly right-clicked away to reclaim this digital rendition, glad to no longer feel obligation to paw through old boxes of mouldering magazines after it. The shot came to mind during Brandon Westgate’s SF bombing run and more recently in Elissa Steamer’s memory-lane trip back to Ed Templeton’s island of misfit toys. Don’t recall ever seeing footage of this trick but the boost Satva Leung looks to get off the sidewalk bump points to a separate righteous melon grab employed in a PA ditch by another former Toy Machiner, Bam Margera, in “Jump Off A Building.” The case could be made that this was some type of golden age for this move given that “Thrill of It All” dropped around the same time featuring a good backside rendition by Jamie Thomas, who also on behalf of Emerica deployed the notorious “ninja” varietal. What other melon grabs deserve to live on for perpetuity in Valhalla, hall of the slain? Does anybody got a good switch melon?