Posts Tagged ‘oxford comma tho’

The Further Rise Of The Machines

December 18, 2020

If the Skater of Tha Year race is becoming all about December surprises, chalk one up for Hal. In a move this week that sent jitters down the spine of every red-blooded opposable thumbs-haver, a motorcycle made a late bid for the top honor in boardsportsdom, brrraaaapping its way through multiple famed ‘hammertime’ spots — and straight into an uncertain future for the planet in general.

The antics of the motorcycle, piloted by/likely possessor of one Justin Mulford, are captured in the Fox Racing-endorsed video part ominously titled ‘Dead Man Walking.’ In it, the motorcycle and Mulford (a sometime associate of David Loy, who is knowed to come under the influence of techno* music) jointly pursue rubbery, two-wheeled wallrides, nose manuals and euro-gap jumps across any number of SoCal locales familiar to many remaining loyal to humankind’s seven-plied achievements: picnic tables, drainage ditches, a mixed-action sport hit on Hollywood High, and an ender-ender at the famed Staples Center hubba.

It is plainly shocking to see a motorcycle rival the likes of Pedro Delfino and thoroughly deserved SOTY laureate Mason Silva for pure balls-outiness at scale, and to understand how quickly machines have assimilated innovations such as Tyrone Olson’s jump ramp-to-handrail. Still, the vid ought to come as little surprise to the ranks of the living, even considering 2020’s varied distractions. The truth is, machines have for years inched closer to supremacy not just in feats of mathematics, strategy and linguistics, but they increasingly have demonstrated a number of athletic and ‘extreme’ flexes that indicate an unalloyed lack of fear, and a certain zest for embarrassing humankind.

Just as the animatronic Chuck-E-Cheez band once intoned to pizza-soaked schoolchildren, everywhere there are signs: Rob Dyrdek’s creation of the Street League numerological trick scoring system, transforming tricks into machine-readable currencies; later, among Bob Burnquist’s organic coconut groves, the gyrating, thrusting antics of a helicopter gone ape all over the MegaRampTM — a scene-stealing performance that increasingly reads as a dire warning rather than the extreme entertainment spectacle as which it masqueraded, in those gentler times. FuckingAwesome, understood to be the largest company in terms of t-shirt revenue, followed a Henry Sanchez ‘Terminator’ tribute board endorsed by Anthony Van Engelen with this year’s T-1000 model under the Hockey imprint, for human three-day weekend Andrew Allen.

Eventually, when semi-autonomous completes enable even the least-coordinated barneys to film Brian Peacock combos using self-filming drones, will skaters of the current epoch be considered as backward and masochistic as we today look upon hack drivers and whalers? If this sort of motorcycling catches on widely, will cops scale tickets according to the offender’s horsepower? Is this all turnabout for conjuring the MegaRampTM from Evel Knievel phantoms? Ought we all gird for the day when self-aware monster trucks, filming video parts in a post-singularity wasteland, crush the remaining legacy skate spots to dust, mixing in the wind with the charred remains of humankind?

*short for technological, which itself is a reference to advanced technology

This Week in Skate Tech, In Which We Reference the Legendary Manticore and Also Bridgebolts

March 5, 2016

genetic-shoes-lasek

In neon-toned and bumbling eras past, technology’s reputation was to be bemusedly regarded and toyed with, or ultimately cast aside. Powell Nose Bones, Rip Grip, lappers and Bridgebolts vied for premium positioning within griptape-scarred glass cases, promising attractive profit margins and incremental on-board advantages. As these were briefly coveted, idly worshiped and soon cast aside, skaters remained in thrall to the Old Ways, gleaning yearly glimpses at the future handed down by Thrasher’s pagan oracle Mephisto, engaging in various griptape superstitions and praying to volcanoes.

What changed? Like most facets of modern skateboarding it can be traced to the 1990s, when cheap electronics baptized a new generation of videomakers, stuffed-tongue lucre-funded and Flash-laden websites for DC Shoe Co USA, and a Storm surge of yellow t-shirts ultimately birthed the Osiris G-bag (whose influence has vibrated across the decades). As a generation of ramped slo-mo induced motion sickness sufferers can attest, it soon became impossible to avoid wallowing in digitized video parts, lovingly retouched photos and ender-level tricks captured within cassette tape-sized telephones and beamed within seconds to tens of thousands of screens worldwide, enabling near-instantaneous commentary on pants size.

Now, a bold and bristly vanguard of new products stands intent upon elbowing its way to the front of the technological queue, competing against steadily rising sneaker prices and highly designed special fitting t-shirts in the perennial combat for skaters’ discretionary spending:

Nike SB Eric Koston Hyperfeel 3: Eric Koston’s latest attempt to match the runaway success of his early Es shoes* manifests itself as a genetic hybrid of shoe and sock, doing one better the interior-sock playacting of shoes past such as the old DC AVE, and suggesting mystical powers similar to those enjoyed by fantastical mash-ups such the liger, pegasus, manticore and chimera. Superlatives aplenty adorn this garish creation, including the timeworn ‘game-changing’ and ‘disruptive,’ always an ominous sign. Only time will tell whether the sock component passes the oft-brutal smell test represented by the wafty smell that comes from days-unchanged socks, and whether this crossbreed proves itself a reliable steed such as the mule or a doomed hybrid like the aquatic car.

The Curb Stone: As the 1993 expose ‘Jurassic Park’ demonstrated, the laws of unintended consequences ride high in the saddle when man plays god, occasionally requiring lofty insurance payouts. So it is with the Curb Stone, an upgraded rub brick purpose-made for simultaneously smoothing and slicking ledges with a high-grade composite material conceived to dominate various concretes and cements. Useful for sure, but potentially unlocking a Pandora’s Box with its power to reshape the world around us. Holding the authority and gusto to create ledges, hubbas and wallride-friendly surfaces anywhere within reach, will this Stone inevitably result in pristine mountain ranges and national monuments such as Mt Rushmore refashioned to fit our purposes and rack up valuable ‘Likes’ on sociable computer networks?

Chocolate’s ‘Carabiner Cup’: Water quality and availability is widely predicted to be the cause of future wars and strife, and such trembly fears have unleashed investment dollars that would head such global conflicts off at the proverbial pass while also handily clipping to one’s belt loop. Chocolate, that supplier of graphical socks and party cup sets, has introduced a Carabiner Cup capable of resolving world water availability threats through a unique and burgundy coloured technology that makes seawater drinkable with the help of a gentle flame. The years ahead will reveal whether Chocolate’s powerful scientists stay on a helpful path for people or become twisted and grotesque beneath the crushing weight of their own intellect, musing about atom bombing rival planets on late-nite TV.

*Such as that “other” Koston 3