Posts Tagged ‘PJ Ladd’

PJ Ladd, Bearing the Weight of History’s Expectations Amid a Multiyear Video-Part Drought, and Also Some Discussion of Mystical Bears and Their Rumored Powers

July 23, 2017

In Richard Adams’ ‘Shardik’ a primitive people discover a long-prophecized god-bear, departed many generations earlier. The plus-sized mammal is worshipped by some and denounced as a property-wrecking menace by others, ultimately sowing divisions and touching off armed conflict before going on to collect royalty payments and licensing fees for use of his likeness by various professional sports teams and honey vendors. It is a lesson for our times and enshrined in our country’s tightest document, the USS Constitution.

Raised among Boston’s bruins, PJ Ladd is among the skating tribe’s most prodigal sons, gifted immense talent which he may not necessarily have squandered in the post-‘Really Sorry’ years — but certainly has been hidden beneath a bushel, to trangress into the deadly sin of proverb-mixing. It is inaccurate to claim he’s had no parts since — there was Es shoes’ last full-length gasp, a noteworthy DC intro, scattered park footage and assorted detritus — but the Plan B vid no-show sounded an ominous tone, and Colin McKay’s subsequent ‘Black Swan’ invocation eroded hope for the autumn of this wonderful, horrible skate career.

Does US sports apparel manufacturer New Balance and its ‘Tricolor’ executive production team deserve credit and reciprocal shoe-purchasing decisions for coaxing forth the most complete PJ Ladd video section since the Iraq war’s onset? Credit may lie with trusted filming hands, team manager life-coaching hammers and related Vince Lombardisms, promises of forbidden treasure hoards or (most likely) some potent mixture of these. The question itself is moot, the proof lies within digital video footage files spread across three minutes like $240 worth of creamsome pudding.

There is a line here, when the jittering percussion fades to a soothing drone and any remaining eyebrows lifted by PJ Ladd’s marmalade scruff relax to Cro-Magnon levels — it kicks off with a switch 360 and meanders with enough spark in the flips and power in the push to briefly resurrect those Coliseum ghosts. And much is forgiven. PJ Ladd, who once changed skating’s trajectory via an out-of-nowhere skate shop video mainly on word of mouth, owes the world in 2017 probably not much, enjoys a secure legacy. But you can still hope for more, and even if it doesn’t hit with the same impact, one can wallow in a fistful of PJ Ladd lines and ledge moves from Boston’s famed Eggs spot and be satisfied.

Some cosmic block now lifted, will PJ Ladd’s recent bout of filming develop into a full-blown fever in which he, like the recently revived Aphex Twin, unloads a succession of new footage and unburdens various archives unto a gobsmacked and blissed-out public? Does the fact that PJ Ladd is filming more while the ‘Tricolor’ vid’s release is delayed heighten your hopes? Has PJ Ladd, by growing a Grizzly Adams beard, communed with mystical bears of old to attain still-greater powers such as tearing the doors off cars and swatting salmon from rushing river rapids? If you are a bear is eating a whale an ender-ender?

Recent Dispatch From the PJ Ladd Plane of Existence

July 16, 2015

PJ_Rodney

A few months on since Plan B teammate and fellow ‘Tru, B’ sideline-sitter Colin McKay casually compared Boston flatground alchemist PJ Ladd to Queen Amidala’s downward-spiraling leotard flexer in ‘Black Swan,’ third-dimension wallie champ Tom Karangelov offers a somewhat more cosmic update on the recluse technician in TWS’ current and fantastic am issue:

TWS: Any news on the PJ Ladd front?
TK: Oh, dude, I skate with PJ a bunch. He’s working on a part, I guess they want to do a part just with him. He’s super into vibes these days. He wants to grow his hair out because he was telling me that the longer your hair is they’re like antennas. They reach out for energy. So his hair’s pretty long. He’s kind of got this mysterious vibe going. Not a lot of people know what he’s up to, and I think that’s cool.

Thoughts On The Current State Of Skateboarding But More Specifically The Eternally Springing Hope Brought On By A Recent PJ Ladd Video Clip

June 16, 2013

Wu-wear

Although certain other Boston-area pro acts are as associated with rap music as with nollie 360s in recent times, PJ Ladd’s career may be the one to most closely track the fortunes of the Wu-Tang Clan. Both arrived out of left field, offered something very different than the going thing at the time of their respective debuts and garnered legendary stature amongst tweens fine-tuning kickflips off quarterpipe decks. Arguments could be made that neither one so far has surpassed the bar set for themselves straight out of the gate, though “Forever” and “Really Sorry” had their moments (Inspecta Deck’s human-fly escapade in the “Triumph” video, the fakie frontside heelflip backside 5-0 on one of those notorious window ledges).

The years since have seen certain Wu members and PJ Ladd trade in various overcast and colonial-constructed eastern seaboard streetcorners for sunnier but less-descript locales of southern California, while combating the dilutive effects of fame and fortune, and inevitably misplacing some intangibles in the process. There are rich message-board seams to mine as to why PJ Ladd has yet to properly follow up the “Wonderful, Horrible” paradigm-shifter, instead offering dribs and drabs of footage across a decadelong shuffle of shoe sponsors and road trips. This latest clip, from the X Games “Real Street” series, is more potent than recent skatepark fare when it comes to resurrecting ghosts of a kid whipping off flatground tricks in lines that most people hadn’t conceived of — here a fakie frontside 180 b/s 5-0 shove-it and a frontside 180 switch crooked grind frontside shove-it out that perhaps have been notched somewhere in the wilds of Youtube, but probably not so well, and another rendition of the floaty sort of revert out of a crooked grind that once helped PJ Ladd defy some parameters of physics on one of those window ledges some 10 years ago. Nice to see the fakie flip frontside noseslide 270 shove-it again.

Off Parole/As The Three-Striped Tentacle Turns

September 27, 2011

Around this particular corner of the internet a virtual candle remains lit for the skate career of Danny Renaud, filthy Floridian, and any signal that he is back aboard in whatever capacity is welcome. In recent decades Fred Gall has helped bring many great things into the world, including top-tier sponsorship deals for Steve Durante and the mid-90s catchphrase “skuhhh!,” and his Domestics clothes blog this month offers up a web clip that mostly features Paul DeOliveira but surprises with a Renaud cameo at the end that finds the dude not looking too much worse for some pretty serious wear. Any waft of this dude’s brand of swaggering grime is welcome, however fleeting.

Elsewhere in Florida, you could say fleeting to talk about PJ Ladd’s footage output these past eight or nine years, a minute or two here and there and a lot of it in pretty antiseptic park environments devoid of the kid-flipping-his-board-down-the-street soul that jazzed his Coliseum arrival. But there’s a gem now and then and if you look past the is-he-or-ain’t-he footwear choice in this Orlando demo clip that went up a couple weeks ago there are some. The kickflip noseslide shove-it rewound in my head for a day or two after first seeing this clip, partly because it’s the type of unassuming tech move that made his old footage so fun to watch, and maybe too because it’s a trick that tons of other people would make look like shit. Cool to see the bluntslide too.

Now That’s What Boil the Ocean Calls Skateboarding (’00s Edition): 10-1

November 17, 2009

10. “PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life,” 2002
PJ_Ladds_WHL

A stacked shop video that marked Jereme Rogers’ debut, Ryan Gallant’s elevation to journeyman status, a girl, and also happened to feature one dude who would realign street skateboarding for the still-new decade. Not sure what the ’00s analog to Guy Mariano’s part in “Mouse” would be (if there could indeed be one) but it might be possible to suggest PJ Ladd’s breakout section as this decade’s Mike Carroll/”Questionable.” The tricks – the last run – are so crazy and so well done, and the whole part is shot through with the type of energy that makes you want to push two more times and flip the board again, a feeling of actual fun being had in the process of blowing all those minds. It’s still hard to imagine how PJ Ladd could properly surpass this part, so in some respects it’s alright that he hasn’t really tried, because it still stands up fine by itself.

9. “Bag of Suck,” 2007

Tilt-moders put on their serious face for a more straightforward release with relatively few bells and whistles, if you don’t count a kinda all-star friends section, the most fantastic synchronized section next to “Hot Chocolate” and various Bones Brigade efforts, and some fairly awesome intros. Caswell Berry, completing the transition from ponytail to mental issues, makes a seven-year-old rap tune sound fresh, Big Joe Red pursues his continuing education in the BA school of outsized grace, and Jerry Hsu goes for broke with the type of understated slaying and style progression that transforms a careerist into a legend. Favorites from this part: the frontside 180 into the bank, the switch f/s shove-it over the rail, and that switch 360 flip he does on the Prince board.

8. “Yeah Right,” 2003

Full-lengths from Girl look to be a once-per-decade event nowadays, and given the inevitable team shuffles as well as the preordained hype/release euphoria/internet backlash/acceptance cycle that accompanies every video of this caliber these days, maybe that type of timeline is necessary. There’s some grousing to be done and fat that could be trimmed (Skatrix) but in spite of the still-evolving teens and the preoccupation with hammers and the Evans brand of overproduction this has all the well-loved hallmarks of a Girl vid, from the pink/invisible boards to Jeron Wilson’s switch 360 flip over the channel and Carroll’s last maneuver. The growing pains ensure that “Yeah Right” won’t compare favorably to the mid-90s golden age, but in the realm of skateboard companies, it’s something that the Crailtap empire is still around, much less making good videos, and Brandon Biebel footage ages like fine wine.

7. “Static II,” 2004

Josh Stewart struck aesthetic paydirt with the second helping of the ongoing “Static” series, searching for an alternative to perceived overwrought handrail epics, and helping birth the cellar-door subgenre while elevating Bob Puleo to internet diety. “Static 2” cemented Josh Stewart’s place among the bailgun wielders, offering well-deserved props for John Igei and Paul Shier, guest shots from the Habitat and Traffic squadrons, and the long-awaited answer to the question of what exactly Kenny Reed had been doing in between shopping for vintage camo pants and region-specific headwear. Josh Stewarts’ videos may not make him rich with gold, but he’s secured his status as a booster of the underground, which probably counts for something in Slap board rep points.

6. “Sorry,” 2002

Flip’s blaring, cussing’ teeth-gritting apology for whatever wasn’t real far removed from the “Baker2Gs” and the “Menikmatis” of the early part of the decade, as far as the skating, but editing-wise it came off way more immediate and unvarnished, a far better vehicle for the sort of skating brought to the table by the unwashed roustabout Ali Boulala, the slacker droop of Mark Appleyard’s drawers, the business side of Arto Saari’s flowing mane and the utterly without fear Geoff Rowley. Who’d have guessed that Bastien Salabanzi, primed for superstardom, would fade while Tom Penny’s shaky but expertly played return here would see him through the rest of the decade.

5. “Lost and Found,” 2005

Hands down the best video made east of the Atlantic in the last ten years and maybe ever, Blueprint’s “Lost and Found” saw the venerable U.K. company coming of age alongside its poster boy Nick Jensen in one of those rare 60-minute jobs that’s very possible to watch all the way through and not skip a part. The quality and sheer amount of footage is matched with sharp editing and generally good music (even, dare we say, the British rap music), and I can think of only a couple examples where dudes’ parts in this video were not the best shit they’ve put out so far (Danny Brady, Jensen, Neil Smith, Colin Kennedy, Chewy Cannon). What was on display in “Lost and Found” was beautiful spots and more than trick firepower a viewpoint and vision – things that few others really had going at the time, plus, Chewy Cannon’s nollie 360s.

4. “Fully Flared,” 2007

Although I dislike Band of Horses to the extent required by law, musical complaints toward the Lakai video now must be fairly viewed through the glorious kaleidoscope of Mannie Fresh, Jeezy and the best song Public Enemy made in about 15 years. Yes, the ledge combos are sometimes a bit much; no, this doesn’t a boring video make, and I think we can be glad that everybody else latched onto this idea instead of the tiresome pole jam-to-manual-to-wallie stuff being peddled in “Let’s Do This!” Here we have a resurgent Anthony Pappalardo, a world-conquering Lucas Puig, Mike Carroll’s best part in 9 years, Eric Koston at long last throwing the last-part weight from his shoulders, Brandon Biebel again, the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Fernandez and his fakie 360 flips, and the almost comic overkill of Marc Johnson’s 15-minute tour de force, all of which met our super lofty expectations. Also Guy Mariano came back and a bunch of shit blew up.

3. “Modus Operandi,” 2000

You maybe could say that the prototype for ’00s videos was first set with “Feedback,” which was in turn improved and expanded upon with “The Reason,” after which both were to be taken off the shelf and calmly stuffed into the toilet to make way for the “Modus” juggernaut. Nah, but this was one of those videos that, even though pretty self-indulgent some of the time, got a lot of people rethinking the way these little projects needed to be put together, and what they should try and “say.” Back before voiceovers earned the fast-forward button you had Marc Johnson reminiscing about misjudging a jock, and doing two separate ledge tricks on the same block in the same line; Chany Jeanguinin declaring his love for vert and ushering in the raw denim manual antics of Biebel; Mike Carroll, his neuroses and a shot at the perfect line; and Brian Anderson vouching for the power of visualizing your goals, wearing Axions and crushing hubbas to the tune of Muskabeatz. What a time to be alive..

2. “Sight Unseen,” 2001

The “Empire Strikes Back” of TWS vids, maybe, owing to the classic status and generally dark atmosphere clouding the Henry Sanchez, Dustin Dollin and particularly Heath Kirchart sections. First, though, there’s the blaring gnar of John Cardiel, the mile-long handrail and burly hubba moves ensuring a spot in the hearts of kids who don’t have the time to wade through Thrasher vids or access to “Fucktards.” Mostly inoffensive Tosh Townend plays this video’s Jordan Richter, bookended on one side by the unrepentant Henry Sanchez, Pupecki-grinding rails and at that point still better than so many other dudes, and the salivating assault of Dustin Dollin, lurching from kinked handrail to kickflip frontside blunt. Then lights out for Heath Kirchart’s symphony of destruction, the gap-to-blunt, and the best backside noseblunt committed to a rail at that point.

1. “Photosynthesis,” 2000

The platinum standard of modern (?) videos, in this random blog-site’s opinion. Variety and editing make this video a cohesive classic for the ages instead of some kinda “Time Code 2,” as long as you aren’t into vert skating and you can tolerate interludes concerned with hamburgers and javelin tossing. Van Engelen’s grease-fire ledge attack, Pappalardo’s clockwork precision, Fred Gall with one pants leg up, Danny Garcia demonstrating how to pop out of a backside tailslide, Wenning’s backside nosegrinds and switch heelflips, Josh Kalis doing “the” 360 flip and the walk down into Jason Dill’s bent world, back when he was doing all those 180s the hard way into ledge tricks and settling into New York. With most parts clocking in under 3 minutes and a runtime around 35:00 “Photosynthesis” rivals any video in the quantity/quality department and nearly all that have come since in terms of achievement in this medium – making something that’s cool to watch, gets you off the couch and has you thinking about watching it again when you get home with your socks still sweaty in your shoes.

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

Wait ‘Til The Midnight Hour

February 28, 2009


Tick

For some reason I find it hard to write anything that seems at all interesting about the epic game of skate going on at that undisclosed Los Angeles location, which is alright I guess, seeing’s how there’s a 59-page topic a-churning over at the Slap message boards, untold billions of postings on it at the Berric’s cheap China-produced Slap board equivalent, and oh yeah, a feature-length feature in the Wall Street Journal that’s rather on point with regard to the spirit of the thing, explaining the general gist to the Todd Palins and Mary Cheneys of the world, while making an end run around the old gray lady for the skateboard mass media crown (sorry, Bonnier Corp). There’s a video too, though it’s clear the narrator is biased toward the goofy footer…

Probably the best part, aside from any reference to Mike Mo as “Mr. Capaldi”:*

Talent is what sets the Berrics’ games apart. No one trick they try is awe-inspiring, but the contestants are the world’s best. They possess a humbling command of the basics, ripping through dozens of tricks and landing most in one try. It’s like going to the practice tee at the Masters and seeing Tiger Woods place golf balls wherever he pleases. (In skateboarding, as in golf, sometimes it’s more impressive watching a professional practice than compete.)

That’s pretty much it right? We rush (or shuffle bleary-eyed, stinking and off kilter, depending on your own personal mileage) to our computers twice per weekend to watch grown men flip skateboards about on a concrete block, shouting at themselves and one another and sometimes a siren blares. Yes, my dudes, these are the salad days. Before it’s over and the second round is inevitably scheduled, musings on some of the matches that have come before:

Koston v. Donovan Strain
Not even a laser flip could save a very nervous-looking Butters in this slop-filled and ultimately anticlimatic match-up. I almost felt bad for the kid, until I considered how annoyed I probably would’ve felt if Donovan ran the table on a trick cribbed from the credits of a 10-year-old TWS video. Then again, maybe it would’ve been awesome.

Chico v. Mike Mo Capaldi
I wouldn’t have thought that this heavily imbalanced round would be the one to see Mike Mo unsheath the nollie kickflip 360, but I’m assuming this is one of the tricks that he’ll ride to the final round and beyond, if Jehovah wills it. The catch on the switch 360 flip is also notable.

PJ Ladd vs. Andrew Reynolds
A blistering, toe-to-toe, knock-down-drag-out cliche/cliche/cliche battle in which a very staid Reynolds knew what he was up against, but refused to go gently. I think he knew what time it was when the switch backside kickflip was offered, but a valiant effort all the same, bruh.

Steve Berra vs. Marc Johnson
Probably my favorite one so far.

Erik Ellington v. Jimmy Cao
The awesome shockingness of Ellington’s backside bigger spin eased the pain of seeing my Jimmy Cao pick swirl down the drain like so many loose turds. Eh, so be it.

Mike Carroll v. Mike Mo
I think Carroll was genuinely bummed about losing this, although, he maybe saw it coming.

Koston vs. PJ Ladd
For sure, the best battle yet, and one of the few where I felt like a retard when it was over and I found myself hunched all over the computer with my fists balled up, sweaty, the cat bewildered as to what the fuck I was on about. I picked PJ of course, but when Eric Koston broke out all those goddam pressure flips and shit, well, I just about had to go and have a glass of warm milk and take a walk around the block. Was it a cheap shot to take him out on the hardflip? Maybe…

This weekend:
If I can just suck my own dick for a minute here, I’ve had Mike Mo vs. PJ Ladd for the final match since the start, so yeah. I think Mike Mo’s gonna win. $10,000 on the line (?) and he’s got the spark.

*So is “Mo” a nickname or what?

Super Ugly

November 6, 2008


“Had to buy your chain back the last time you got robbed”

I confess to getting more excited than I probably should have by the graphic intro for the new Plan B “Superfuture” promo, not because I was anticipating some Simian Mobile Disco soundtrack and Fully Flared production values (though that might have been interesting, if not actually good), but because I thought there might be more than the usual VX2000/fisheye, two recycled songs (one from another Plan B video!) and another song that might as well be. But the DC braintrust behind Plan B’s initial demise and subsequent resurrection unfortunately don’t possess the vision of a Manzoori or a Hill, as you may have noticed from their choice of skaters to their graphics.

But Danny Way continues to confound persons like myself who’d just as soon write him off as a bodybuilding hound for X-Games medals and Guinness world records, doing shit like kickflipping into the goddam giant quarterpipe, 360 flipping the giant jump and 360-flip crooked grinding the giant coping. Colin McKay you could write off way easier and while he’s certainly milking it, I tend to give him a pass because it’s obvious he loves skateboarding to death, is constantly plagued with injuries and generally seems like a sweet dude. So you know. It’s all gravity.

Plan B’s Boston trinity is similarly conundrumous. The bearded car wreck-in-motion that is Jereme Rogers poses the question of whether those gifted with preternatural skateboarding skills are driven by the demands of the trade to shocker tattoos, preachy Christianity and please-stick-me-up jewelry, or if he’s just drawn that way. On the other end of the spectrum you have PJ Ladd, who seems content to dribble out atom-smashing displays of tech mastery (i.e. that Le Dome line with the bigspin kickflips) and lazy, casual displays of tech mastery (i.e. this shit).

And then there’s Ryan Gallant who can do bigspin backside noseblunts and doesn’t really make a big deal out of it.

Wenning and Duffy continue to stick out like sore thumbs, but pretty pleasant sore thumbs, like maybe if you slammed your hand in a safe en route to pulling a successful bank heist. And it’s nice to see Paul Rodriguez stretching his legs a little with the switch tailslide kickflip out to switch, and his last trick, which I’m sure is probably even harder than it looks. Maybe it’s all the moustache.

Aside from D-Way’s mega-heroics the other highlight of this video is Scott Decenzo’s big Plan B debut, and while he’s kind of hard to watch style-wise at times, you can almost see him getting better as the footage goes along and he’s got that youthful exuberance that drives one to do nollie flips close to walls, damned be the consequences. The young Canadian knows his way around ledge tricks but I’m guessing the unassuming rail moves that got him onboard – switch frontside hurricane (not even slow-mo’ed) and nollie backside 180 nosegrind are the sorts of tricks that make you wonder how some kids get pro boards for doing frontside 180s off kickers set up in front of big drops.

Mr. Roper’s Neighborhood

July 9, 2008


Blood on the asphalt

In the past I’ve kind of been turned off by Billy Roper’s effusive exuberance when it comes to his skateboarding prowess, but I won’t pretend that his “Mag Minute” video from the Skateboard Mag isn’t ridiculous or anything. The way things stand, my capacity for self deception hit the limit for the summer when I tried to convince myself the new Indiana Jones didn’t sort of suck. While it was easier to dismiss Billy Roper when he was backside tailsliding rails that Carroll backside lipslided a dozen years earlier (in a line), he definitely doesn’t suck and a lot of his tricks in this clip are serious bananas. To wit, the frontside tailslide bigger spin out.

Shit like that makes me wonder why PJ Ladd hasn’t thought up that trick and done it already, and Billy Roper definitely seems to take cues from PJ’s Boston heyday, especially with his tendency to do things the hard way: see the nollie crooked grind shove-it (frontside), backside bluntslide 360 shove-it (also frontside), f/s 5-0 b/s 180 out in the middle of the ledge, and the f/s nosegrind 180 off the wall. Yowch. Roper recently left the illustrious stables of Sugar Skateboards for some presumably greener pasture yet to be named, but in the meantime he’s wearing $30 T-shirts courtesty of the Hundreds and maybe he’ll show up on the Berrics in the next couple weeks.