Posts Tagged ‘Rip Grip’

The Power of the Deck-Buying Dollar, and the Promise of the $30 T-Shirt

July 16, 2017

The internet’s cultural side-loader washing machine swirls. What once was, is again, sometimes faded and sometimes pinked by rogue red garments. In the civilian world, tragedy plus time equals comedy; in skateboarding, fashion and hardware trends plus a period of years divided by the internet’s recyclatory properties (which are a constant), factoring the quotient by the strength of the counter-prevailing fads of the day, equals attractive brand-building opportunities that can help to finance electric cars with an auto-pilot option.

Santa Cruz, whose venerable skate dynasty doesn’t preclude opportunistic chintz-grabs, this month has revived its early 1990s technology breakthrough, the Everslick, presumably upgraded to avoid the sogginess that turned so many back toward conventional decks by the turn of the half-decade. As skaters nationwide discovered low-cost ledge lubricants to be had in the supermarket’s canning section, Alien Workshop, World and others abandoned slicks, relegating the technology to the same hardware-fad dustbin as Bridgebolts, Rip Grip, copers and Gullwing’s incredibly heavy plastic-coated hangers. But with deck shapes then already well on their way toward a homogenized popsicle shape, shelving the slick also marked a fateful step away from one of the few deck innovations that briefly commanded a premium price from penny-pinching skateboard consumers — and provided a fleeting glimpse into a future where peddling decks could be something other than a low-margin, efficiency-maximizing commodity business.

In this year of our lord 2017, the deck buyer’s dollar has never been more powerful. Through the 20/20-enabling hindsight view afforded via the internet’s continually expanding archives, skateboard purchasers can gloatingly look 25 years into the past to see mailorder clearinghouses hawking decks for $45 apiece. Adjusted for inflation, those same objects ought to change hands for about $76 at current rates, but U.S. shops, internet portals and even the lowly mall asks only around $55 as the industry has failed to provide a justification for lifting prices incrementally skyward over the years. The world has not stood idly by; wages, logistics and other costs grew while the skateboard business repeatedly cast their votes for Ulysses Grant as their preferred candidate for boards. This has lead deck makers and distributors to move manufacturing overseas to cut costs, whilst chipping away at shop margins, and diversifying into shoes and clothes to subsidize deck enterprises in the grand quest for profitability or its less attractive sibling, break-evenness.

It did not have to be this way. The wooden baseball bat —- derived from hardwood trees and among the sporting world’s closest kin to the seven-ply deck —- has not been subject to the same price-point stagnation. Despite occasional mutations in shape and diversification away from ash into maple and birch, the wooden bat has changed relatively little over the past 30 years, if not the past 130. A basic wood bat retailed for around $20-$35 in 1992; similar models today fetch $30 to $160, scaling upwards based upon pro endorsements, premium wood selections and high-tech processing techniques to command enlarged dollar piles from wood-shopping baseballers.

The same embrace of that unbottleable qualitative that produced Natas Kaupas’ hydrant spin, the Fucked Up Blind Kids, and Gou Miyagi is at play here: The visceral pleasure to be milked from sliding silkscreened Canadian hard-rock maple across concrete or stone cannot be replicated through aluminum or synthetic hybrids, probably to the detriment of performance enhancements that might put more balls into end zones or players on base in other, more regimented pastimes. And the same frugal Ludditism that has fueled the past decade’s revival in low-profile vulcanized shoewear translates to a collective “meh” towards innovations such as Almost’s “Impact” decks, corrugated bottom plies and unique wood mixes.

Should board makers dreaming of fatter profits look to the cotton T-shirt, where token shifts in construction and fit allow those with the strongest graphics and market position to nowadays ask $30 or more for an otherwise commoditized garment? Has the remarkably visionary Jason Dill already been applying this concept to boards? Was the riser pad the air bubble of hardware? Do Paul Schmitt and Rodney Mullen possess a secret storehouse of advanced board technologies long-shelved due to fears the seven-ply maple-worshipping would never accept them?

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Rip Grip

August 14, 2016

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Dear Readers: Remember the reader who was having an argument with his bro about the proper way to carry his board? He was certain the right way was with the trucks and wheels facing inward, toward his waist. His bro insisted the trucks and wheels should face away from the body. Boil the Ocean sided with his bro for reasons elaborated upon below. The letter nearly didn’t get printed because it seemed so inconsequential. Well, that couldn’t have been more mistaken.

In short order this blogging internet Web site page was bombarded with letters from the four corners — including Samoa, Guadalajara, Athens and Mexico City. You’d have had no idea so many people cared about the ‘right’ way to carry your board. Here’s a sampling of how passions were stirred:

Dear Boilie: Obviously, you come from a wealthy background. The chief reason for carrying your board ‘griptape out’ is to avoid shredding one’s t-shirt, belt, limited edition swishy jacket, and various other undergarments to pieces on the griptape. Maybe this isn’t an issue for ‘silver spooners’ such as yourself — especially in a day when all your favorite ‘small’ board brands float themselves on sales of $35 t-shirts — but the rest of us have to think a little harder. Maybe you should try the same in your next column!
Yours sincerely, Crown Connect

Dear Boilie: Nice try fam. The way to carry your skateboard is under your feet. Get killed.
-Grumps

Dear Boilie: u fucked up again lol no surprise smh but as usual it took you about 2000 words and a bunch of trips to Thesaurus.com i bet haha. hate if u want but actually i mall grab haha no shame in my Game. think about it trucks are designed to fit your hand and u never know when u might have to Swing on some body!!! u wont catch me slippin …. or reading ur stupid ass sight smdh
-Rudie

Dear Boilie: Numerous studies have demonstrated that carrying your board griptape side in throws off the Earth’s rotation and incrementally slows its spin. A more slowly spinning Earth relaxes its gravitational pull on the Moon, letting it slip further and further away. Eventually we’ll lose our Moon, fucking up the tides and crippling natural surf spots. Just another example of your grotesque and bizarre anti-surfing agenda. Thanks a lot asshole.
-Haole Hater

Dear Boilie: I’m actually with you on this one, but for a completely different reason. Since the wheels and bottom of my board sometimes become wet from the oceans of blood that I push through every day, I prefer to carry my board graphics-side out. May the darkness guide you.
-Dan Watson

Dear Boilie: You are right about the way to carry a skateboard and for a very good reason. The skateboard, when cradled in the fingers, pivots around the line of support between the knuckles and the opposite edge of the board; the weight of the trucks and wheels, attached to the *bottom* of the skateboard under traditional configurations, creates imbalance. When carrying the skateboard with the griptape side facing away from the carrier, that imbalance forces the skateboard to “lean” against the carrier’s torso, which can be a source of annoyance, discomfort and any number of dirty streaks across otherwise crisp white Ts. To compensate and hold it straight, the carrier will have to exert more force with his or her fingers and hand. When carried griptape side in, however, the board’s “lean” goes against the interior of the carrier’s forearm, which moves in tandem with the skateboard, leading to less uncomfortable motion and rubbing for both parties. When properly balanced, this method also minimizes any griptape rub against the carrier’s torso and leaves the carrier’s arm freer to move, making it easier to climb stairs, shift grip or run from police.
Your Friendly Physics Prof

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

March 5, 2016

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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

Has Ryan Reyes Found A New Place To Hide Cheese On A Pizza?

May 16, 2012

Straight out the dungeons of skate/lifestyle photography curated over at the Thrasher blogs comes this curiosity offered by Ryan Reyes, which looks like some kind of boardslide-bonk of the transfer persuasion. They call it a “railie.” Continuing this week’s celebration of Creature’s many mutations, have yall ever seen this move before, or know what it’s supposed to be otherwise called? Carving out new trick territory five decades puts dudes on HM Stanley/Dr Livingstone levels, but maybe I missed this one the first time around. Here’s a second take, to fakie. Sweet

Tiltmode’s “Bonus Round”: A False Ballad of Hateful Courage

August 24, 2009

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In “Bonus Round,” the faster you run, the faster fate seems to find you.

There is a kind of base truth at the center of “Bonus Round,” a red-eyed tale of warring factions, deceit and wholesale sexual potency, but the viewer has to work for it. Spanning eight continents and untold centuries, the story opens with Nestor Judkins (“Nestor Juarez”), a wet-behind-the-ears anteater dawdling on his first day of anteater school. Waylaid by a hangjaquer with a horizon’s worth of quiet storms in his eyes (Jerry Hsu, “Tim’s Boat”), Judkins is thrust into the center of an interstate intrigue that sees him matching wits against Tommy Lasorda, the famed weight analyst with a new idea that involves anteaters. The dice roll. Hsu is valiant here as Lasorda’s confidant and sometimes lover (spoiler alert) but makes plenty of room for Nestor’s nollie frontside flips – he lets it all hang out in a way that shows he really spent a lot of time with anteaters getting ready for the role.

Meanwhile, back in the 1650s, Louie Barletta (“Oglethorpe”) prepares for a surprise. It is the morning of his 21st birthday, and while doing his normal morning race to the top of Volcano Mountain (“Volcano Mtn”) he uncovers details of a hidden plot against the Egyptian Pharaohs Bank. Barletta gets mileage from his bowl cut and whimsical ways as he pals around Europe with an increasingly volatile band of political perverts (Jon Ngyuen, Jon Choi in TVOTR grandma spectacles, Screaming Lord Halba) who have the kinds of problems regular people dream about. Tiltmode affiliate Julian Quevado logs some nice switch ledge time alongside the sometimes-bearded Jesse Erickson, whose footage is dearly missed from the “Black Cat” days. Barletta soon finds himself in a pickle but is delivered by a bumbling sheepherd (Tam T. Taylor, “A Jason Adams Xmas Joint”) with a secret so awesome it cannot be kept.

At various points the ensemble cast stretches to include Cairo Foster and Paul Sharpe, Siamese twins who run an advertising agency in the big city and moonlight as private detectives; Foster’s appearance here in many ways rivals his shit in “Fully Flared” and the gifted Sharpe continues to sport a moustache in a lot of tender situations. Enjoi newcomer Zack Wallins will turn heads this award season as an abusive pimp, but his acting here as a mute clergyman who claims to have ghostwritten the Ten Anteater Commandments will turn heads in movie theaters – toward the screen.

Ultimately though the storyline wends its way toward two men – Jose Rojo and Led Zeppelin’s Caswell Twilly, here in his acting debut – who hold the keys to an eternal anteater mystery, along with a blue Maserati that everyone just calls Bo. They play off one another jarringly well in the final scenes, with Rojo’s established big-and-tall grace countering Twilly’s greasy-haired spaz power, and the occasional pearls of wisdom dispensed by Bo (college roommates with Snoopy FYI) keep you guessing who the real killer may be. Until it is revealed to be Steve Cab (also a spoiler). Likely to be the movie of the season and eventually earn a position in our hearts and video shelves alongside “Rum Tum Tugger’s Jealous Bounty” and “Forrest Gump,” add “Bonus Round” to your must-watch list and beware the wiles of wealthy anteaters, known as the largest oceangoing mammal.

Rated R for love handles, intense animal adventure scenes and adult situations. Jesse Erickson is nude for the entire film.