Posts Tagged ‘Palace’

Switch Frontside 180 Watch: Rowan Zorilla And The Case For The Fixer-Upper Trick

February 21, 2022

Little loved, often for cause, the switchstance frontside 180 nevertheless remains one of the more exacting barometers for skill, form and trick deployment available across nearly the entire spectrum of pros, ams and bros of any persuasion. Whereas it’s a daily affair to observe and commentate upon a particularly commanding 360 flip, and a rainbow of flavours and fillings of backside tailslides has long been available, a well executed, strategically positioned and pleasurable-to-observe switch frontside 180 remains a rarity indeed, even in this jiggling and footage-drenched age.

Apex specimens can be cracked high and spun late, or floated and slowly turned; like a melonchollie or certain other moves it is a trick that often must be grabbed by the face and ripped to pieces in a primal, commanding display. Those not hip to the teachings risk offering up lazy-scraping crop dusters that have come, sometimes rightly, to render the switch frontside 180 unto the realm of skatepark QP deck jumpers, and aging tween crooner Justin Bieber. Most these days opt to dispense with the whole thing and incorporate a switch heelflip, or kickflip, or make it into a bigspin, and can they be blamed? Even brawny editions such as yung TJ Rogers’ El Toro fling can come off like settling after better ‘basic’ tricks already have been chiseled into the stone tablets of the landmark gaps.

In a heady and histrionic time, there is a whiff of renaissance around the switch frontside 180, and rumours of things yet to pass. Quartersnacks recently observed in its year-end video part rodeo how Kyle Wilson’s booming version, which holds a firm position in his regular rotation, looks like he could take it over a house. His ‘Portions’ and ‘Beyond Tha 3rd Wave’ switch frontside 180s, paired with Kyle Wilson’s globally and correctly recognized ‘boss status,’ have in turn helped elevate the trick to a ‘cultural relevancy’ reminiscent of the late 1990s, when Tim O’Connor flexed a serrated, tweaked-out take in the Element World Tour video that solidified his status as the best to ever spin it.

The excitements continued this week with an abruptly uploaded Baker video, wherein after an inspiring and invigorating part from fortysomething Andrew Reynolds (who his own self once sailed a slow-mo-ish switch frontside 180 over a handrail whilst wearing a bucket hat in Birdhouse’s ‘The End’, released on the cusp of the Lewinsky affair), many astute switch frontside 180 watchers likely slumped back into the couch cushions, drowsy and sated by Kader Sylla’s textbook entry during the line that made up the bulk of his footage — the type that cemented this trick as a reliable line-linker in the mid-90s SoCal schoolyards wave.

This turned out tho to be a warm-up for Rowan Zorilla’s spin on the trick halfway through his blazing and ramshackle closer, flying one over a rail and into a bank that synthesized most of the premium versions available for this trick — high and lofty, a little bit of tweak and late rotation, over a handrail — to push up the switch frontside 180’s power rankings on the west side. The jazzy intonations and kink count make it an easy mirrorable of Danny Renaud’s CA sweep in ‘Mosaic’, and given Rowan Zorilla’s assortment of lesser-seen switchstance tricks and loose-fitting executions it is not surprising he’d have a good one, generating tingles as to what may come next in the still-building 2020s switch frontside 180 wave.

Did Rowan Zorilla opt not to bother to tighten his trucks on that rocky hubba ride or did his fuzzy, vaguely animalistic Supreme sweater bestow some poorly understood, primal powers? Do Supreme dudes really need to go that hard on the handrails? With Kader Sylla now of an age to lease luxury autos, does onetime Shep Dawg hot shoe Rowan Zorilla register as a Baker old head? What does that make Andrew Reynolds, here with footage that suggests no measurable decline since ‘Made 2’? Who is gonna be the next one on the switch frontside 180 Summer Jam screen?

5. Kyle Wilson – ‘Portions’

December 27, 2021


Despite the United Nations confirming the warmest Arctic temperature on record, 2021 was a big year for cold-weather garb, between Ronnie Sandoval’s protective workman’s coat, Brian Panebianco’s vintage Dub jacket and Wade Desarmeaux’s vest/toque layering tour-de-force in ‘Testing 4.’ And still none managed to surpass the bar set by Kyle Wilson early in the year, crashing down some darkened U.K. sidewalk in a fuzzy-hooded camo parka lined with safety orange, one of several key moves that this year cemented his stature elsewhere as an international asset. He moves like water and it’s glorious to watch him skate; Palace’s ‘3rd Wave’ brought the painfully obvious pro board nod but Austin Bristow’s still-heated ‘Portions’ from last spring had that switch backside tailslide up the bricks, the switch frontside blunt, and the superior soundtrack. There should be a ‘Raw Files’ featuring all of Kyle Wilson’s various conversations with passersby.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 8 – Nick Jensen and Kyle Wilson, ‘Nick and Kyle’

June 29, 2020


Kyle Wilson’s ringing Palace clip the other day is gonna be a hard one to beat in this summer’s IG stakes, and sharpens the appetite for more — in the meantime there is his sizzling shared section with Nick Jensen that arose from Free Mag’s 2017 ‘Nik Stain Campaign’, wherein the Isle dad went harder than he had in a minute with a lovely switch 360 flip, a switch backside smith grind in a line, and one of those well-worn switch backside flips. Kyle Wilson spreads around his feather-floaty ollies and backside flips, lightly sets down a nollie frontside 180 in a claustrophobia corridor, and goes TJ up one of London’s most beloved manual spots. There’s not a lot of instances of rocket form looking good, and one of them is on his nollie heelflip over the bench here.

9. Heitor Da Silva – ‘Adidas Skateboarding Presents’

December 23, 2019

Olympic handlers this year plotted 2020 precious-metaling strategies, Mark Suciu translated ledge combos into matching syllables, and trophy-hunting hillbombers gritted their teeth and hung on; others gathered valuable items or built up experience points. Palace it kid Heitor Da Silva seemed to spend his year swerving in good jeans and savoring an achingly ’90s switch frontside flip. His skating’s an easy breeze on a hot afternoon, even hucking out of a backside tailslide, he never seems to be sweating stuff much, including a standalone intro vid for big-two sneaker supplier Adidas. It’s in the push before the bank-to-bank ollie and the consolation-prize kick-out wallride, the powerslide down the bank almost as good as the gap switch heelflip preceding it, daring even the most grimly stair-counting contest-run programmer not to grin.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 7 — Lucien Clarke, ‘Palasonic’

July 12, 2019

It’s an old saw, calling so-and-so’s skating ‘effortless,’ and increasingly inaccurate, given the curtain-pulling-backness that comes with obligatory ‘raw files’ follow-ups to each vid of significance, plus the coverage subgenres devoted to meltdowns and slams. So it’s probably wrong to perceive Lucien Clarke’s ‘Palasonic’ opus as some type of gentle breeze through London’s urban meadows, as far as the skating goes, but it’s not difficult to come away from the part feeling some stresses shed: There’s the gentle Toby Shuall strumming as Lucien Clarke pushes through bushes and chips away those loathsome caps at the benches what raised him, not terribly concerned about what company’s shoes he’s sporting, whether there’s a tick-tack here or there, repeated tricks, or a mid-push stance switch. The point is the pop onto the nollie frontside noseslide, the no hesitation on the three-stack ollies, the arm drop on the switch heelflip frontside noseslide, the glide through the switch noseblunt slide, seven and a half minutes of street skating the way it was meant to be done.

Horsemasters, Horse-punchers And The Intergalatic Pistol Whip

November 18, 2018

In the 2004 coming-of-age musical ‘Mean Girls,’ a quartet of junior high-schoolers skip town to search for a dead body, braving a vicious junkyard dog, a deadly freight train and menacing bullies in a journey of self-discovery and humanoid bonding. Along the way they bicker and fight, but when the pistol goes off in the final act, nobody snitches, and they all are one step closer to that exhausting and pressurized land: adulthood.

As another year darkens and draws to a close, who is the dog, the dead body, the pistolier? It sounds like a cool card-based RPG but really it is the story of the skateboard culture. Besides obviating magazines and videos as content gatekeeping mechanisms, Instagram’s rise as skateboarding’s universal center has enabled widespread broadcasting of hard feelings and beefs, with Dan Plunkett, Richie Jackson, Bobby Puleo, and Marc Johnson airing pro-level grievances, and that’s just in the last few weeks.

Palace, that UK-based maker of tailored track suits and premium triangles, for years has done double-duty as a moneyed backbiter and/or uncomfortable truths-sayer, depending on where you sit. In all-caps product descriptions and tour-article photo captions, Palace has tweaked and aired out would-be riders like Tiago Lemos and ‘that white guy on Numbers and Adidas who skates rails,’ as well as rival deck merchants such as Eric Koston and Guy Mariano’s Numbers New Edition.

This week it was Alien Workshop and Habitat, panned in a Blondey McCoy photo caption for being ‘fully dogshit now,’ a blow irksome enough to draw a profane emoticon rejoinder from bookish ledge savant and marquee Habitat pro Mark Suciu. Set aside, if you will for a moment, AWS’s historical role as an obvious graphical and thematic touchstone in Palace’s occult-scented earlier years, or the painful generational shift at hand over the last few years as the upstarts eat the old guard’s lunch. It feels here a wee bit like Palace is punching down, given Alien and Habitat’s years of struggles as a hot-potato asset tossed between corporate overlords and distributors, while Palace is out here opening glitzy outlet stores with fuzzy novelty letters, and playing the ponies with the wealthy horsemasters of Ralph Lauren.

Does Palace really just need a better foil? One wonders whether their bullet-pointed, Londonite verse might eventually take aim at Supreme, Palace’s closest competitor in cobranded clothing collections and vulturist resale premiums. As many of their multi-decaded contemporaries like Alien, Girl and Zoo York are in retreat, Supreme is ascendant, in the midst of a trans-continental premiere tour for Bill Strobeck’s ‘Blessed’ movie and meanwhile promoting collaborative products with North Face, radio-controlled car makers and da X Files, to name a few. Given Palace’s predilection for poking fun, it’s tough to imagine them not giggling over the Superb ‘Blueberry’ parody a few years back, or group chats evaluating the various outfits on display in the new vid, even as their respective retail bosses jockey for position and consumer favour in the same discretionary spending-heavy locales.

Could a well-timed and high-profile company-to-company beef bolster the promotional cycle for whichever company next comes with a full-length vid? Would such a rivalry, fanned to the overheated levels required for modern internet discourse, result in a Disco Demolition Night-style clothing immolation, ranking among mankind’s costliest bonfires ever? Do Palace and Supreme’s mutual love for Lucien Clarke and (one naturally assumes) Jamal Smith neutralize any possible negative vibes?

The Sun Rises on a New British Empire, Which Also Includes Francis Showerface As Well As Chewy Cannon Nosegrinds

November 6, 2017

When did the sun set on the first British skate empire? Views differ, but the rubbery, tearing sound of overreach could be heard in the intro to Blueprint’s generally great ‘Make Friends with the Colour Blue’, when the squad that built a movement on overcast skies, soot-stained streets and ‘Wandering Star’ opened with sun-sloshed Los Angeles art installations and the jaunty notes of ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul.’ Like tea-thirsty monarchs of old, the British Isles grew to become a realm too small for Blueprint, and waiting for the world took too long; Europeans and Americans were signed and it was off to the New World to compete with Southern Californian palm tree tenders on their own turf and terms. An effort noble in its aim, perhaps, but doomed.

An amusing exercise a month or so back, when Grey published the instant-classic Rich West shot of Mike Arnold’s phone booth hippy jump, was inventing metaphors to read into it. Like, might this board and body barreling through a derelict telephone compartment represent a magazine transcending the digital wave pounders painfully remaking the media sphere? Do the stomped-off nose and tail demonstrate the bloodthirsty courage of the forest mammal, caught in a trap, chewing off its own leg to escape, the sort of frantic bravery required to persist as an under-the-radar talent pushing U.K. skating through a global industry slump? Something to do with the fractious Brexit vote and Michael Gove’s perplexing applause technique?

It feels like another British wave is cresting. Around seven years back the initial Palace clips began to surface. Blueprint foundered five years ago. In 2015 the venerable Sidewalk mag wound down its print edition, later that year Free emerged. Blueprint fragment picker-uppers Isle’s ‘Vase’ debut vid at the end of that year polished Paul Shier and Nick Jensen’s already-secure legacies, but more notably launched Tom Knox and Chris Jones onto the global stage in one of that year’s most cohesive videos. The vibrant and jellyfish-scented ‘Atlantic Drift’ series since then has elevated them further and granted an international platform to dad-bodded Mike Arnold, who put his own dizzying spin onto the one-spot part at Bristol’s Lloyds Amphitheater.

Now comes ‘Palasonic’, a long-in-the-waiting ‘official’ full-length from those skate-cum-fashion standard bearers of the British Islands. It lands as much of Palace’s squadron seems at the height of their powers — Lucien Clarke is ripping Carroll spots, Danny Brady still is going in 15 years after ‘First Broadcast,’ Rory Milanes appears still well in his window, Chewy Cannon has had several years to hone and hopefully rebroaden his spastic wallie/360 repertoire, Shaun Powers has established his international artistic bona fides, Jamal Smith filmed 1995’s best 411 commercial. In recent months Palace rebuilt Radlands and got Lucas Puig.

Can Blondey McCoy’s much-reposted collision-turned-cartwheel off a purple hack be infused with some similarly labored metaphor for the Palace full-length finally dropping? Has the GX1000 crew’s recent focus on hill bombing left an opening for the Haight Street-originated hippy jump to be colonized by the British? Can human achievement in general surpass Chewy Cannon’s bank-to-ledge nosegrind or can we only hope to match it?

Summer of Good Vibes

August 21, 2017

The heady daytimes of midsummer were made for growing green things, construction projects and loving refurbishments, laying supplies and fortifications for the long winter nights ahead. What with its rolling papers and noon wakeups, skateboarding leans toward the lazily fiddling, devil-may-care grasshopper in the tale of old, or perhaps a chaotic Fraggle. But the bold ant, in its levelheaded industriousness and generous way, can provide an alternate insect avatar, and skating must never overlook the rebuildatory tendencies of the lowly Doozer. Half-submerged in a midsummer night’s dream of positive vibes, Bowl The Ocean site examines three visions of a world that is not yet the future, but could be.

Clint and Reef, Ollie Men: Since time’s beginning, skateboarders of all stripes have celebrated that singular and uniting thrill, the big jump. Even so, one of the biggest ollies of recent years has sown division. After dueling ollies down the Wilshire 15 and over the yellow poles (implanted for pure gnarlieness enhancement) appeared last year on the Instagram pages of Birdhouse bad boy Clint Walker and FA-affiliated ATLien Reef Johnson, Jenkem magazine probed the backstory — whereas Clint Walker had tamed the massive gap and sat on the photo in hopes of bagging Thrasher’s cover, comer-upper Shareef Grady unknowingly did the same ollie and, over Clint Walker’s career-minded protestations, they both wound up pushing their tricks to the socializing internet masses to get what shine they could. The scenario was a debacle made possible by a unique fender-bender involving old and new media, and though few hard feelings were aired publicly, nobody seemed satisfied with the outcome, which also had the effect of clouding a legitimately heavy trick.

This year, Jason Hernandez is videotaping Clint Walker and the rest of Tony Hawk’s brood for what’s being billed as ‘The End’ for a new generation. Clint Walker, who has nollie heelflipped atop bone-crushing canyons and conquered fear itself, will have an assuredly crazy part. But what about that one ollie, now loaded with so much baggage? An old caveman saying from the planet’s spryer years holds that ‘the crazy thing about baggage is that it’s lighter when a friend helps carry the load,’ and the statement never was truer than when applied to the Birdhouse video in progress. Imagine a break in the middle of Clint Walker’s section where he rolls up to the Wilshire 15 and Poles, then it cuts to him jumping it, but the camera keeps rolling and then Yung Reef comes right behind him and jumps it too, riding out into a torrent of bro hugs and high fives. The vibes would runneth over.

Lakai Collabo Matchup: Even upon opening a new chapter with a winning full-length built around mostly new faces, storied shoe group Lakai faces turbulence, over the past month reportedly having to send back and reprint all physical DVD copies on some music rights shit and Fort Miley burler Jon Sciano leaving, apparently to skate for Vans. Amid Lakai’s various high-profile team defections over the last few years, Blackpooler Danny Brady has held tight, getting a shoe design recently for his efforts.

Lakai’s collaborative shoe projects have run an extremely varied gamut of partners, from culture warrior Lena Dunham to certain Wild Things to further investments in pastel paneling via several sneakers colored by Illegal Civilization person Nico Hiraga. But the Danny Brady link provides a lane for Mike Carroll and Rick Howard to potentially something together with Palace, which has made deluxely curated bathrobes and swishy shirts with any number of mega sports gear manufacturers such as Adidas and Umbro and Reebok. Palace’s teaming with Bronze helped elevate the New York bolt factory to a sought-after street fashion sensation. A similar project could further invigorate Lakai and keep Danny Brady shod on his current productive path.

Brian Wenning For Hire: For those fumbling toward some nightlight amid dark hours of the soul this summer, Brian Wenning’s recent podcast unburdenings have left DNA Distribution devotees of a certain vintage aglow. By all accounts, Brian Wenning reached the bottom of his own self-fulfilling prophecy and a humble halfway-house rebuild seemingly has done wonders for his self-regard, career reassessment and, importantly, his switch backside nosegrinds. Slimmed down and again in DCs, Brian Wenning is starting to look like he never went anywhere, venturing back onto the road and appearing to deeply enjoy himself.

His could be a feel-good summertime story, especially as Habitat prepares to reissue one of his OG graphics in what looks like a tribute to clamoring back onto life’s board. But Al Davis, another former Habitater asked and answered what must be the ultimate question in the matter: ‘PUT HIM BACK ON!!!!’

4. Jamal Smith – ‘V Nice’

December 28, 2016

Palace’s ‘V Nice,’ documenting some Los Angelean residence by the famed swishy short manufacturer, arrived like a heady midsummer night fever dream, one where Lucien Clark had a part in Trilogy and Danny Brady seized control of an anti-aging serum that also contained plans for as-yet unfathomed bank-to-bench moves at Lockwood. Whether or not Jamal Smith’s powers to go viral have obscured over the years his excellent skating is a debate for podcasts yet to come, though only after flavored soda waters have been sipped empty and the clock has passed the 45-minute mark. Currently, it seems clear that Jamal Smith is among the most inventive minds working in the frontside shove-it medium; in ‘V Nice’ he is hitting PJ Ladd levels over the Santa Monica sand gaps and pushing one of the grimier switch 360 flips on the market. And his grinds sound good.