Posts Tagged ‘switchstance’

Who Will Subsidize The 22nd Century’s Switch Hardflips?

July 29, 2018

Early in this new KOTR season, one of the key storylines already has emerged: Mike ‘Big Pink’ Sinclair, Tum Yeto darkman and pizza puff coinesseur, declares that after futilely exerting his commandership and wise strategems to their fullest in Toy Machine’s previous and unsuccessful outing, this time around he’s decided to “let the dudes run it,” determining which challenges to attempt when. It’s clear this runs against every fiber of his barrelchested being, and that his large, pink resolve will be tested with each twist of those great American byways pointing the way to the depths of the human soul that are some of, yet not the only, crannies probed by this, mankind’s greatest and most depraved scavenger hunt game show.

King of the Road’s glossified antithesis, the Olympic Game, lies just two years away, its own mark on various souls and bank accounts yet to be revealed. Unlike the basketball and blackjack dynasties and sweetened beverage manufacturers that bankrolled prior big-money contests, the tens of thousands being ponied up by sovereign states to retain and train four-wheeled talent are invested with precious metals in mind; the presidents, prime ministers and moneyed despots involved expect a return. If not this go-round, then subsequent clashes at the foot of the mount of the gods will certainly raise the question of whether ‘the dudes’ so beloved by Mike Sinclair can be entrusted to not only perform, but also plan out their runs and decide upon their own trick offerings.

Like so many of life’s conundrums, one inevitably is left pondering the fate of the switch hardflip. With a golden doubloon and certain immortality on the line, will the pride of nations be content to risk all on a late teen rolling up to the pyramid backward, popping off his or her less-inclined foot, and landing in the counterintuitive direction? Before very long, wealthy nations’ underpaid bot slaves will be scouring years’ worth of Exteme Games, Streets League, Tampa Pros and Ams, determining ratios and percentages to answer the question of how often switchstance tricks yield a plump purse and champagne shower, versus a groaning crowd, credit card, ER trip or some other negative outcome.

Solace isn’t to be found within the snowboarding realm, which continues to treasure ambidexterity — as a discipline it’s a mere few decades in. In the statistics-saturated multiverse of baseball, nearly two centuries old, the art of switch hitting is on the decline, representing just 13% of plate appearances this year, down from 20% in 1992. Further erosion is expected as a steadily elevating level of play and intensifying training regimes from Little League on up require the maximization of every innate advantage, rather than trying to cultivate new ones with a built-in disadvantage. In a pasttime where extra points are not awarded for difficulty, switch’s biggest onstacle in baseball simply is that it’s “too hard,” in the telling of Nationals hitting coach Kevin ‘Not Spanky’ Long.

Were a badly coveted KOTR win within the grasp of Mike Sinclair’s steering wheel-fatigued fingers, would he stick with his inclination to let the dudes run it, or might he forbid the Foundation boys from charging switch at a ‘Phelper’s Delight’-flavored gap or handrail in favor of any added certainty offered by a regs alternative? If contest overlords of the future continue to rate switch tricks at a premium, will more questionably footed Sammy Baptistas and Ali Boulalas become drawn into Olympic training regimens? Do BMXers or rollerbladers deal with similar conundrums? Will news headline-writing algorithms of the future destroy the switchstance discipline forevermore by lambasting Olympic losers for entrusting their countries’ hopes and dreams to the ‘wrong foot’?

2. Vincent Alvarez – “Hard Times But Good Times”

December 31, 2012

Lines are some dudes’ friends and a natural enemy to others, meaning that during the space between tricks you get to see the subject navigate the board, push, potentially tug at his trousers or swivel his shoes to get set up for the coming gap, ledge, rail or come what may. Vincent Alvarez is one of those dudes where a healthy chunk of the appeal is absent without the swerve of his trucks, like in the run here that starts with the switch bluntslide, or the switchstance slalom between the cars. Vincent Alvarez skates fast and loose and sometimes like he’s flailing to hang on, and some of these tricks here like the switch frontside bigspin wallride and the hasty follow after the nollie flip into the bank are presented with all their rough edges intact, backed by a meandering jazz tune. A lot of this footage reportedly is drawn from the years around when he got onto Chocolate and filming with buddies afterwards, and to me what elevates this part is how you can see that this is a dude running his own roster of tricks, zooming around some well-traveled labyrinth of alleyways and ditches, facing down traffic and big hills. It is one of the shortest eight-minute parts ever.

4. Justin Figueroa – “Bake and Destroy”

December 28, 2012

No morning-after phone call lamenting any fiscal “gifts” that a David Gonzalez SOTY administration would ensure for High-Speed Productions and no signs of bitterness that the golden statue skated out of his grasp, Justin Figueroa nevertheless brought heat and a prematurely grizzled countenance to some rather crazy tricks in this Thrasher-backed Baker offering, including but not limited to an elongated version of Jamie Thomas’ crooked-grind barge down multiple kinks 10 years ago. Prowling streets and sidewalks and seeming to be only half-thinking of the next move, Justin Figueroa gets over a lot thanks to his switch backside prowess, displayed down a triple set and the Wilshire rails during their final days, alongside his sometimes ill-advised commitment to scary tricks like the frontside feeble revert and the switchstance hill bomb following the frontside kickflip. Jousting with the big rails and gaps suits a guy like this, looking like some barbarian warrior launching himself onto the back of a charging wooly mammoth and not always expecting to stay on.

Lucas Puig Ledge Sequence Raises Concerns That The Ghost Of Chris Lambert’s Career May Be Trying To Possess His Soul Dudes

February 10, 2012

Several people noticed a change when Lucas Puig left Lakai Footwear Ltd. to go work for Adidas, fulfilling a longtime dream of endorsing certain of the same sportswear products as his French heroes of years past. For most people, the difference centered on his feet and the shoes he was wearing. But behind the scenes at industry functions some began to whisper that a stranger and potentially more troubling metamorphosis could be at work, namely that during this time of upheaval in Lucas Puig’s sponsorship situation that the specter of a defunct pro career, years in the grave, may be seeking to supplant the “Fully Flared” skater’s grasp on his own affairs and remake his career in the poltergeist’s own graven image.

This month’s Adidas ad spotlights what we must interpret as a silent battle for nothing less than Lucas Puig’s soul. Here we find him maxing out his “special” bar with a switch hardflip backside tailslide, back to switch even, a maneuver that requires intense concentration to successfully land for maximum bonus points. Deep in thought and staring down the ledge similar to the way a hungry wolf in the French hillsides might stare down a wayward baguette, Lucas Puig does not notice his hands beginning to move on their own, seeking some extra token to take the photo to some other, unspeakable level. Over one shoulder hovers the translucent shade of Chris Lambert, gleefully urging Lucas Puig’s hand toward a clear plastic water bottle, long since damned for cluttering European cities and being overpriced to begin with. Over the other shoulder floats SAD, fingertips at his temples and eyes closed, exerting all of his internal forces in order to sway Lucas Puig’s hand instead toward a white handtowel that represents purity of soul and also the Ramada Inn.

Luckily for Lucas Puig’s future prospects we can see that the white towelette was the victor. But this episode raises a more deeply troubling threat, that the skateboard industry in this time of harsh recession could be primed for haunting. Ghosts regularly preyed on pros in at the tail end of the 1980s and early 1990s when the industry lolled over and exposed its weak underbelly during the administration of George Bush Sr., and many privately fear that a worse haunting could be at hand soon. Besides the usual property damage and costs related to expungement, an abrupt rise in hauntings poses longer-term threats because it can be scary and equity investors find it difficult to secure insurance against ghosts. This weekend Boil the ocean urges all friends and defenders of the industry to attend church and not answer the door if it seems like a ghost is ringing the bell. Thank you

Straight Out The Dungeons Of Rap, Travis Erickson Submits An Entry For Most ‘Street’ Video Part Of The Year

September 23, 2011

Watch Wisco kid Travis Erickson mine the San Francisco bay to concoct one of the more “urban” skate parts to be seen this year: Hanging onto moving vehicles, getting yelled at by passersby, skating a curb, switch frontside flips and 360 flips off natural bumps, a switch k-grind to regular, skating in a goddam backpack, sidestepping traffic, water on the lens, skating a truck bumper and truck trailer on nonconsecutive occasions, and a wallie. If you had a street skating bingo card this dude could win the George Webb gift certificate even without the free space and cellar door square.

Spanning Two Hemispheres, Justin Figueroa And Joe Gavin Share A ‘Plate Of Shrimp’ Moment

May 9, 2011

I was still tripping out on this Justin Figueroa switch backside 50-50, on a round handrail that’s I think in Australia, when a pal put me onto this equally nutty switch b/s 5-0 from Joe Gavin on the front of this new Sidewalk issue. You may recall this blog-space’s affection for switch backside trick covers most recently arising during last year’s TWS appearance by P-Rod, so this is a good month.

5. Jackson Curtin – “Give Me My Money Chico”

December 27, 2010

Don’t know any particular reasons why Jack Curtin isn’t regarded as one of the heaviest dudes out there these last few years, or maybe I’m just not moving in the right circles, but his appearance in the LRG video this year validates the thesis and about half the part is total carnage in the most Smash-TV sense possible — switch backside 5-0 the Clipper ledge, switch backside nosegrind (and pop-out) into the Courthouse ledge drop, switch ollie SBN’s Bay Area wall, switch frontside blunt at the Pyramid ledge, and all those tricks on the Chinese block (the last one would come in around the top of any year-end list I’d do on specific tricks). Still among skating’s best-dressed and the onliest dude still wearing Muska pants in 2010, really pulling for more from Jackson Curtin in the coming DGK production.

Loaded For Bear

April 26, 2010

Whereas a lot of the “name” gaps particularly on the west coast have become sites for caged-bird shoots in recent years, decked out with roll-ins and banner ads and a cast of thousands, the crankypants running the city of brotherly love have kept JFK Plaza off-limits, to the point of throwing DC’s briefcase full of c-notes out the window a few years back. The jam-format contest trappings don’t make a Carlsbad or a Wallenberg or that one handrail Moose 360’ed any less gnarly of course, and the danger of friendly fire in a shooting gallery environment adds a kind of delirious unpredictability to the proceedings, but there’s a certain type of man-versus-beast purity to Tom Asta’s recent switch trip down the famed Love Park fountain as he kicks his heels into the Mystery reboot. I mean there’s still cops and bloodthirsty rogues and autograph seekers and Brian Wenning legacy defenders* still running around this spot right? Regardless, awesome “form” on this and it’s made more forbidding by the way it looks like he’s got some backside drift going on, although maybe that’s just me.

*not like I’m not

Boy From The Block

April 19, 2010

As Vincent Alvarez’s facial hair deepens, so too do his gangster-ish ways upon the board. Alongside some impressive bank-to-barring in this recent Lakai amateur video are three of the bossier switch tricks of this month or so offered up by VA, including but not limited to: the bank-to-ledge switch backside tail, the rail switch lipslide and the switch thunder-gap bomb over the rail, each one a crusher. This dude is getting more exciting/powerful and has left behind the grosser ledge combos from his earlier days – worth revisiting is last month’s Lakai ad that has a crazy lipslide and invites the viewer to consider a world in which Federico Vitetta takes the cinematic reigns at the Crailtap camp.

4. Eli Reed – “Zoo York State of Mind”

December 27, 2009

Eli Reed switch kickflipped into New York’s courthouse bank in a display of sexual prowess that earned him his choice of mates and long-delayed professional status from the Zoo board of directors late this year. Fate sometimes seems to align against this dude, what with whoever was in charge over there sandbagging his part with BTO’s ode to the union movement, and the faintly snarky way people keep bringing up that amazing Celtics outfit he used to rock. Not to be that guy, but the ollie up the curb at the beginning of the part is sort of beautiful, and you can’t hold down someone who’s intent on nollie nosemanualing into a crazy bank and then switch ollieing into a second bank that also is crazy. One of the great things about this part and Eli Reed in general is that he’s all over the place in more ways than one (switch bigspin flip nose manual, hardflip manual on that banked ledge), and here’s hoping he has some shit in that new Converse/Thrasher vid which I have not yet seen so we’re counting it for next year’s tiresome list-making, FYI.