Posts Tagged ‘Rodrigo TX’

Can Ishod Wair Break the Sub-Eight Inch Taboo?

March 31, 2017

Does the measure of a man lie within a money vault loaded to the brim with jewels and gold pieces? Is it truly shown in the longing eyes of the women he has loved, the children he has sired and their aggregate earning power, properly adjusted for inflation? Or is his name made by kingdoms conquered and owned, enemies slain or driven into abject poverty, and the filthy unwashed hoards who supplicate themselves in feeble tribute?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these and can front several thousand dollars you may be eligible to participate in the Menace Skateboards seed funding venture quest available on Instagram for a limited time only to certified investment angels and their gilded harp polishers. Yet for the past decade and more, skateboarders large and small have toiled beneath a different judgement measure, one that has stoked insecurities and sweaty-palmed apprehension among even the most outwardly confident hill-bombers, board flippers and handrail handlers. Seemingly freed of past eras’ smallmindedness that shackled hive-minded bros to goofy-boy kits in the early 1990s or carcass hucking in the early 2000s, a supposed ‘anything goes’ renaissance over the past decade has freed pros and bros alike to pursue moves from retroactivated no-complies to multisyllabic ledge combos and horse pools, wearing fits that run from short shorts to graphical sweatpant products to Tuscan leather. Just as long as you did it on a board that was at least eight inches wide.

In what has emerged as the final hardgood taboo, skating seven-anythings since roughly 2004 first became the domain of those lingering devotees to the San Diego school of tongue-puffery who felt PJ Ladd’s wonderful and horrible vibes but never fully boarded Eastern Exposure’s subterranean railroad. The Baker/Zero axis carried a machismo and masochism that soon elbowed once-stalwart 7.75s into a minority position on shop walls, and the advent of Anti-Hero as the guiding force into the aughts made such sizes an endangered species; by the time Justin Figuoera gloated how alighting upon his 8.5-plus ironing board felt like landing in your living room, anything below the 8″ mark had become a subject of open derision, similar to a wizard staff built from craft microbrews or the dreaded mall grab. The age of the big, swinging deck had been cemented.

Now, as ‘resistance’ groups ferment around the US in response to Trump administration political policy priorities, a skinny board pride movement is taking shape. Within the Nine Club’s fishbowl confessional, professionals unburden themselves and others. Chris Roberts describes being most comfortable skating a 7.75, while fakie 360-flipping waterboy Kelly Hart cops to a somewhat safer 7.9. Miles Silvas puts some respect on the 7.62’s name, relaying that his role model Rodrigo TX on the low skates that one while marketing a more masses-friendly size to shops. And Deluxe plans to further test the limits via a 7.56 Ishod Wair model that seems like it would fit his hometown Sabotage posse as reliably as the original-construction Lynx that Josh Kalis has hinted may come back.

Will the pinner board’s revival lead to academic research conclusively proving the long-held hypothesis that as decks narrow, pant sizes expand? Will a shift in truck sales toward smaller sizes and the reduced level of metals used to make them help truck manufacturers weather a period of slow economic expansion? Could a 7.5″ pride movement court backlash among more moderate 8-8.25″ clientele widely assumed to make up the majority in skateparks, backyard ramps and street spots? Was all this set in motion years ago by John Lucero, keeper of the extra-wide, shaped board flame for all those long years? What will return first, the 7.4″ or the bearing-cover wheel?

That’s a Three!

December 14, 2016

guyko

“I’m a gamesman, you know?” said Eric Koston, introducing his and Guy Mariano’s new skateboard company last week via a Thrasher website interview. “I just love to game.” Webster’s dictionary defines gamesman as one who practices gamesmanship, that is, ‘the art or practice of winning games by questionable expedients without actually violating the rules.’ Has 2016 been the year of the gamesman? It’s a question more safely handled by mystical baked goods and psychic rodents, but like all great ponderables, it can be annoyingly answered with another question. What ‘rules’ govern the skate biz? Don’t shit where you eat? No snitching? Render unto Dyrdek what is Dyrdek’s?

To many, the skate industry is a wily mink, lovely to behold and yet lucrative to trap, skin and sew into a coat for attending carpeted movie premieres and smoke-smuggered steakhouses. Between the expanding galaxy of digital media platforms, a professional roster that expands at the bottom via freshly anointed hot shoes and at the top via veterans dusted off for a few more go-rounds, and a general force of entropy at work among skate companies, Guy Mariano and Eric Koston may believe there to be more than one way to skin this proverbial mink mentioned in the proverb at the beginning of this paragraph. To wit, it’s not even that much of a thing what the company is called:

Guy: Just Numbers.
Eric: Edition. You’ll see as the brand rolls out, but it is Numbers Edition.

The Numbers debut video similarly pursues a deconstruction of the skate video as we knows it today. Mainly from a bystander’s point of view, it takes in everything from bails to chitchats about freeway driving conditions to Miles Silvas’ impeccable fits and switch kickflips, generally from a detached distance. Timeworn trappings such as lighting rigs, generators and fisheye lenses make no appearances, leaving our Sun and streetlights to provide a sometimes dim view on the happenings as drone-y, piano-y music softly builds a sense of dread, despite indications that Guy Mariano’s ‘Tactical Manual’ ledge fixation may be cooling. You may begin to wonder: What is about to happen to these folks? Will Consolidated’s nightmarish OD clown suddenly accost the teamriders? Will a plane crash in the background, or will a monstrous creature from beyond lumber into the frame and a ‘Cloverfield’-stye found footage escapade ensue?

With a new clip for the de rigueur Numbers/Nike collabo sneaker set, has the long Antonio Durao footage drought finally come to an end? What do all those double-digit numbers at the bottom of the Numbers ad refer to anyways? Is ambient techno the natural next step after Palace and Bronze had skaters worldwide turning up to house music? Could Rick Howard and Mike Carroll conjure the ghost of World past and recruit Greg Carroll to head up a new skateboard company called ‘Letters’ with graphics designed to poke fun at the Numbers slash/box logo, gradient color graphic themes and the personalities of each teamrider?

The Incomparable Rodrigo TX

June 26, 2016

Big_J_X_Lil_Flip_Texas_Tea_Party-front-medium

The annals of skate history are littered with x-rays, unpaid medical bills, jail sentences and as-yet undiagnosed cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy that would argue against the timeworn slogan that skateboarding is a youthful fountain worthy of Juan Ponce de Leon’s most brutal fantasies. And then, there are those who seem to truly defy age’s gravitational yankings, such as Daewon Song, Louie Barletta and, in the dirtier, ghettoier and kidlike column, Rodrigo Teixeira.

Renowned under his AP Stylebook-friendly acronymical abbreviator, Rodrigo TX is that unlikely child prodigy whose career has achieved not just a second act but a third and now perhaps fourth, as his immaculately curated flippery augurs for the pinnacle, or one of them, in Adidas’ overstuffed tongue of a full-length ‘Away Days.’ Some of these dudes in a few years’ time will rightly be regarded as swishy pant bandwagoners and then there are others, such as TX and Great Yarmouth whirlwind Chewy Cannon, who look born into them, and rarer still is the type of finesse that allows TX to crib ‘Menikmati’-era moves like the nollie flip noseslide and make them look not just crazy good but a welcome alternative to a tenement city’s worth of wallies.

While former roommate Mark Appleyard opted to take years off before repositioning himself in skating’s orbit like he never floated away, Rodrigo TX seems to have redoubled efforts year to year, cranking out video parts while honing his tricks to finely shaped points, such that his fakie flip for Adidas not long ago merited hushed discussion among the alltime greats. Draped in monochromatic stripeyness Rodrigo TX’s ‘Away Days’ clips like the fakie frontside boardslide, the frontside tailslide kickflip out and the one where he does Mikey Taylor’s DVS ender switch bedazzle the watcher in a video chockablock with hyper-clean ledge skating, and then comes with rubbernecker-friendly fare like the nollie inward heelflip backside 180 to make sure everybody’s paying attention. TX’s Muni frontside heelflip rivals Lucas Puig’s for best in the vid and that last backside flip needs to go into a time capsule.

Does Rodrigo TX’s Adidas sponsorship, similar to Bobby Worrest’s Nike deal, rank as one of those rare cases that makes perfect sense for all involved given dues paid, legacy ‘skate’ industry bridges apparently left standing and peak on-board performance capacity still somehow yet ahead? Is it possible to say that somebody else did that backside kickflip or is such a statement impossibly untrue? Are Carlos Iqui and Tiago Lemos together the new Rodrigo TX or is Rodrigo TX the new Rodrigo TX (and also the Rodrigo TX of the Flip years)? What if somebody told you there was a video with Rodrigo TX, Silas Baxter Neal, Nyjah Huston, Bobby Worrest, Rick McCrank and PJ Ladd?

Sleeping Through the Afternoon

October 24, 2009

Rip-Van-Winkle
Tick-tock

Ayy, don’t think of it as a lull in posting, but instead rather a meta-type comment on laziness and sloth, or more specifically the type of calculated and semi-responsible laziness apparently practiced by Mark Appleyard over the last half-decade as we continue to parse the new Flip video. Appleyard’s part was good and all – indeed pretty great at points, yah – but kind of like when you first learned about Dr. Dre’s history with Eazy E and Jerry Heller, the thing took on a whole new depth after I checked out Appleyard’s Thrasher interview (Geoff Rowley cover).

I heard a rumor that you finished your part years ago.
Yes I did. The bulk of it I fininshed in 2004, right after the SOTY, when I was really on fire.

You’re like the kid that finishes his homework before class is even over.
Yeah, get ‘er done. Finish it on up.

So this hasn’t been a big push for you these last few months.
Not really. I don’t really work well under pressure. I try, but as far as going out and kickflip boardsliding down El Toro, that’s not really my style. I don’t really want to risk anything or get hurt ’cause I like to skate a lot. I want to be able to skate on a daily basis and not to anything that’s too stressful.

What trick are you most pleased with in the video?
Maybe the tre flip noseslide I did down Wilshire — five years ago.

Reading between the lines (on the page and in the vid) you can roughly guess that Appleyard has spent the past five years more or less perpetually smoked out, becoming a devout follower of Jah and occasionally buying expensive Rolex timepieces or filming a trick. There’s no jarring fresh-to-hesh stuff going on but you could kind of place some of the footage by the bagginess of any given pair of pants. Beyond an acknowledged addiction to the nollie backside bigspin he remains super good, a solid case for the frontside noseslide to fakie and other tricks that others sometimes would do better to leave alone, like the switch 180 manual/5-0 (the one down the Standford hubba ledge was pretty bonkers). Notable also: the nollie bigspin b/s tailslide and the kickflip b/s tailslide shove-it on the just-liberated Hubba Hideout, and taken on its own, slipping the nollie backside noseblunt in the first third of the part hints at a far more interesting video that could’ve been, at least editing-wise.

There’s less nuance to former Appleyard roomie Rodrigo TX’s section, but of course way more tech-trick fireworks, with a lot of stuff that looks like it could’ve been shoehorned into his “Menikmati” section (5-0 180 out on the hubba, or anytime he wears shorts). The tall backside tail’s awesome, along with the picnic table Pupecki and the Mariano bench trick, and that one line sort of made me wish more dudes skated in camo pants still. Most of those Barcelona bench moves are totally out of hand and in terms of raw unbridled skills TX probably still ranks alongside your Chris Coles, Marc Johnsons and Eric Kostons, but I’m not sure if the dude has a real classic video part in him.

Es loses their damn mind

June 4, 2008


The Osiris of this shit

I feel sort of bad ragging on Es, because it seems like they’re really trying. They figured out pretty quick that they weren’t going to be able to hang on to their Menikmati-era all stars, finally scrapped the ill-fated “YeS” project, put together a fairly interesting team and got busy moving on. Last year’s Especial promo wasn’t bad at all and they’re staying busy on their website, but I can’t help but wonder if they’re fighting a losing battle, because it’s becoming so plainly clear that they’ve lost their way when it comes to, you know, the actual shoes.

Now, in an age where one could start a skate shoe company and bank off rehashing the dunk, Chuck Taylors, half cabs, eras, and on and on, I do give Es a lot of credit for trying something new, over and over again, often with simply bizarre results. From what I can tell, with their new fall lineup, they’re betting big on the technological shoes of the late 90s/early 00s coming back into fashion. Will they be right? You be the judge…


The amazingly ill-conceived Scheme remix makes it back for another season! The total cluelessness of this design is endearing to me, especially as they insist right on the sight that it’s not a throwback. Embrace it, Es!


It seems to me Es has been trying to push this design in various forms for a while now. I can’t be bothered to go back and check of course. Do the euros even go in for the teched-out shoes anymore?


Currency symbols really aren’t anywhere near the worst all-over print, but it’s still pretty stupid. Keep your head up, Accel.


This “TXL” may or may not be a Rodrigo creation. If it were, I’d guess the language barrier might explain some things. I picture TX tilted far back in an office chair, eyes far off and muttering “it’s crazy like,” while a pair of designers scribble furiously and dart frightened, confused looks at one another.


Having milked their thesaurus dry, the Es team muscles in on C1RCA territory with the mysteriously named “FV-1.” Although I guess it could have been designed by Fausto’s ghost? Actually don’t mind the colors on this one but packing in not-one-but-TWO airbags at the height of the vulcan era is a bold move indeed.


Like the half-formed afterbirth of a Vans janitor’s trunk sale. Moving on…


This one, wow. The color combo is almost ridiculous enough to work, almost, but these knockoffs of dearly departed pro models never really work out.


Here we have an example of taking a great idea that hasn’t been blown out yet (black soles on lighter shoes) and screwing it up with the all-over-print panel in the back. I guess your pants might cover it up, but still. My gut tells me that it shouldn’t be this difficult, but what do I know.


This one really isn’t that bad, aside from the laces. Classic Es design and it looks like they threw in one of those SLB/AVE inner-sock things, which deserves to be revived every few years. Some colors other than white/black and gray/black would help, but this is good mostly.