Posts Tagged ‘pain’

Enjoy The Pain

October 8, 2009

flitwick
Hard flip

Now I’m not saying really that I want every pro or amateur skateboard rider to be able to deliver a Scott Bourne-level thesis on the Meaning Of Shit when they’re interviewed, but as one of the eight people who reads the text in between the photos in magazines (in this case TWS, no less) I’m appreciative when kid bigspin says something that occasionally makes you think, or makes you feel like you’re thinking, or shows that they think about thinking at various and certain times. Even if I don’t agree with the direction of the thinking. You know? So it was with this Christoph “Willow” Wildgrube* feature in the Brock issue of Transworld, on the Cory Kennedy-related topic of landing tricks first try, family ties and the more general concept of work:

There’s a hardflip in Cologne that’s in the video that you made second try, would it feel better if you had to battle for it more?
Yeah, maybe. Sometimes you need to fight, otherwise skateboarding gets too boring and you forget how to enjoy the pain. Sometimes you really need to feel the pain in your body. You need pain to skate. It’s really nice once a month to get a trick in a couple of tries, it’s good for your brain and it’s good for your body and your soul, but sometimes you need to fight a little bit more. Sometimes there are days when I don’t think about anything and I just blast, but then I have days when I think too much and I have to think about my family to get motivated.

One time recently, my dad came with me to a spot to watch me skate because he had never actually seen me skate before. It was quite a windy day at the spot and he was watching for the wind, he was shouting “Hey Willow! This try there’s no wind!” and I would just jump down the stairs. It’s a kickflip that’s going to be in the Flip video. I think you might be able to see my parents in the background.

There’s also a pretty nutty laser flip sequence in this article, labeled a “laser heelflip.” On a related topic, the DC website’s recent feature on Greg Meyers labeled what I guess is a heelflip varial a “heel shuv” which was a little too 90s even for me.

*and seriously with a name as hot as Wildgrube why would you acquiesce to a Warwick Davis nickname?

Walking Blues

August 12, 2009

cardboardshoes
Couldn’t walk a mile off in my air forces (via Fuse Gallery)

Confronted with shoe walls awash in vulcanized soles and increasingly minimalist silhouettes I can’t help but wonder if we’re seeing the skate shoe business, known to some as the last and final bastion of early-00’s profitability for the industry, on the verge of commoditizing itself like what happened with hard-goods. Despite noble efforts from PJ Ladd and TK to goose footwear pricepoints – a bold move in the shadow of a global recession monster – the market seems to dictate that kids basically want $50 Vans, or close approximations thereof, heel bruises and short life spans be damned.

Of course sooner or later tastes will change and tongues will puff up once more, but you have to wonder if technological innovations like the space-age materials currently being pushed by Gravis dude above, or Sole Tech’s shoe lab, or DC’s continued efforts to promote its Super Suede material, are doomed to become the shoe version of carbon fiber decks and air-core wheels. Concaves and dimensions come and go but the skateboard deck hasn’t changed much in the last 18 years, even though the hammer era saw kids of all weight classes snapping boards faster than ever. Who’s to say that the current generation, who don’t remember the armoured tanks we used to push around in, don’t see shoes the same way now?

Now this isn’t my usual sepia-toned spiel about how we all need to go back to the good old days and skate only painted curbs so I don’t feel so horribly insecure. Paying nearly twice as much for shoes that were harder to skate in and only marginally more comfy is a bargain only a fool or a well-paid masochist like TV’s Steve-O would entertain. But I kind of wonder if the shoe companies aren’t painting themselves into a corner here, profit-wise. Meanwhile you’ve got deck conglomerates pushing and shoving to get into the footwear business, and with companies like DC white-labeling the Lynx to shops or whoever, what’s it even mean to be a skate shoe company anymore? It’s like they’re tiptoeing toward blank deck territory, which recently obliterated professional skateboarding forevermore.

But even though there’s so many skate shoe companies now all basically pushing the same product relatively cheaply, nobody really wants anything else right? So how is this different than boards? Most kids don’t give a shit if they snap a board in two weeks versus a month, cuz that’s how boards are. Or, kids don’t care enough to light a sales fire under those Almost disc-decks. The Arto shoe purportedly lasts six weeks longer than a comparable shoe*, but are kids that now buy six pairs of shoes per year going to flock to Gravis so they only have to buy shoes four times per year? People used to a regular turnover maybe don’t want their shoes to last longer, like how you want a fresh board every so often and aren’t trying to ride the same deck for 12 months.

Shit, I don’t run a shoe company, maybe the simple-shoe revolution of the 00’s is all part of their master plan to move more shoes faster. It just seems like it could wind up biting them in the ass, the way all the deck manufacturers are hustling to diversify into clothes and whatnot. Consider: with next to nothing in the way of construction advancement (slicks aside) deck prices have stayed roughly the same for almost 20 years, or at least seriously lagged the inflation rate. (Ye olde inflation calculator puts a $55 board in 1992 at $75 in 2008 dollars.) Skateboard economy, heal thyself…

*however they calculated that one

Theatre of Pain

August 10, 2009

BA_slam

Folded my ankle on a poorly planned bit of board flipping this weekend, so forgive my wanting to share the misery of this bone-crunching slam from Brian Anderson in the fourthcoming “Gang of Four-Star” promo. This vid looks like it’ll also feature a generous helping of Gonzo antics, Guy Mariano’s steadily expanding universe of ledge combo tricks, Tyler Bledsoe’s newly floppy hair, some T-Pain references and a bonus-section documentary by Spike Jonez that focuses on Sean Malto’s pearly whites. Holy shit, what about that fakie backside tailslide* that Max Schaaf did, holy shit. Nine out of ten doctors decree that Four-Star’s brand breezy tour video complements the RICE/Naproxen regimen well, as does Vince Del Valle’s Black Label part. And Leinenkugel’s. Viva la VCR…

*did we get it right this time?