Posts Tagged ‘second acts’

Dispatch From Tod Swank’s Island Of Misfit Toys

November 9, 2011

The realm of the seven-ply maple stick these days is definitely not too real to resist the redemption formula, if ever it was — there’s a “Behind the Music” ring to certain of the “Later’d” series and the heavy 90s nostalgia trip ensures at least one more visit to the trough if you’re any kind of a name, let alone a Mariano or a Muska or a Penny (who I think may actually have attempted to mount his second career revival in the Play-Dough powered “Xtremely Sorry”). Earlier this year TWS tried to sell 16-year-old Nyjah Huston as a comeback story, for crying out loud.

It’s all good if substance and fame took you out for a while but what if your vice was youth, or alleged asshole leanings, or both? Outfits like Cliche and Almost and Santa Cruz have garnered deck sales by scooping up other teams’ supposed dead wood but few have done it like Foundation. In the volatile van ride-making trio of Corey Duffel, Sierra Fellers and Nick Merlino Foundation may have cornered the market in relatively high-profile (if early career) flame-outs from other teams, and these dudes load up the back half of last week’s new video offering from the magic F — distilled for the internet age into a “Brainwash” sort of minimal presentation complete with a keystroke-saving acronym title.

It’s weird to think of Corey Duffel as any kind of elder statesman, of anything, but for Foundation it seems like he now counts. The aging mall-punk employs his boardslides, 50-50s and big jumps with the help of some extra flannel and facial hair, and Sierra Fellers seems kind of on auto pilot a lot of the time, manufacturing flips-heavy ledge lines in a shortened part. He does put out one of the more retarded tricks of the whole video, a kickflip backside lipslide shove-it on one of those California grade-school rails previously leased out by Mikey Taylor.

But this vid is Nick Merlino’s big moment to justify himself and his large-seeming beanies of varying colour, and he goes hatchet-man, opening up a firehose of stacked footage and exercising some degree of restraint since I saw only one of his famed switch backside 360s included. Drama rears up at various points, like when the camera pulls back on the big switch ollie and when the friends race down the hill to shout him out after the kickflip closer, but for this peanut gallery member’s nonexistent price of admission Merlino’s best stuff came in lesser-seen handrail tricks like the nollie backside tailslide, kickflip backside noseblunt and its cousin the kickflip frontside noseslide, which flashed me back to Justin Roy’s brief tenure on the F.

The best parts in “What The Fuck!” though wind up coming from the dudes with probably the least to prove, namely kink chomper Dakota Servold, extra push-taker Ryan Spencer and tall drink of water Taylor Smith who is for sure going some places with those slick backside tailslides and his undercover mall spot. Ryan Spencer’s got a whole menu of tricks over the backs of rails and a pretty muscular bluntslide through a kinked hubba, plus a genuine internet-going-nuts taildrop move. Handsomest trick of the movie earned by Marquis Preston for the tailslide 360.