Posts Tagged ‘switchstance’

Margin Walker

December 20, 2008


Lame title acknowledged, but I’m tired from Christmas shopping and was having a rough time thinking up some “Concrete Jungle”-themed pun, which probably would have been even worse

Marc Johnson gave us an entertaining Easter egg hunt last year when he mentioned in a couple interviews that his 13-minute “Fully Flared” section contained a handful of tricks that were direct homages to some of the skaters that exerted particular influence over him throughout the years. I’m pretty sure I’ve caught nods to Daewon, Gonz of course, Jason Dill and Ronnie Creager, though my concentration often is interrupted when I have to get up to use the bathroom, or turn on the couch so that I don’t develop bedsores.

I found myself doing something similar with this new “Concrete Jungle” promo from Organika, specifically the super impressive part from Walker Ryan, who strikes me as something of a skate spot buff. Besides switch backside bigspins and flaunting child labor laws for waxing purposes, Walker appears to enjoy mining skateboard history for well-loved locales: I spotted the Tom Penny/BA ledge (see above), the curvy red ledge from Tiltmode/Maple days gone by, the ledge made famous by Elissa Steamer’s nollie lipslide-to-faceplant, and the especially eyebrow-raising 5-0 to manual at New York City’s treacherous courthouse ledge-to-drop spot.

And I’m sure an old ’80s guy out there found some significance in one of those ditches he skates as well.

The other half of this tight one-two promo is rail-skinny spaghettiman Zach Lyons, contorting and twisting his way through an assortment of urban/creative moves that he still tends to make more interesting than your average polejam-to-manual-kickflip-outters. He does have an eye for some extremely bizarre tricks, like the final nosegrind-nose manual tilt-a-whirl, and the frontside nosegrind pop-in is serious precision shit, though he sometimes falls into the Brian Brown trap of requiring every trick to include a manual or wallride.

Besides Quim Cardona lofting one of the huger ollies in recent months, another entry in Rodrigo Peterson’s Big Book of Switch Nosegrinds, and Karl Watson’s extremely suspect bigspin kickflip, this video also includes two of the more pleasing-to-the-ear tricks I’ve heard in some time: Zach Lyons’ 180 nosegrind on the wooden fence and Walker Ryan’s nollie cab backside lipslide.

Tune in from now til the end of the year as I count down the top 10 video parts of the year and other assorted malarkey.

Working For the Weekend

November 28, 2008


Ain’t trickin if you got it

If I had a nickel for every skateboarder done wrong by the industry I could probably save deck merchants from the scourge of blank boards, bail out PacSun and have enough left over to take Dave Duncan and Fred Gall out for buffalo wings (not even on 5 cent night). However, on rare instances I get to wondering what’s lost when the industry effectively closes the door on some former hot shoe’s career, for what are usually pretty subjective reasons. The fickle tides of footwear choice and waistlines, etc.

I got thinking on this recently when two Wisco boys, Brian Emmers and Aaron Snyder, popped up in various media via The Skateboard Mag – Emmers with the pic above in the photo issue and Snyder with this “Mag Minute” video feature a couple weeks ago. While as far as I know neither one’s got any kind of major-league sponsors backing them right now (or anytime since the turn of the century if you don’t count S-One [which maybe I should]), both clearly remain ready and willing to skate up to and possibly beyond current standards. Which is cool from a soul-brah-pure-love-of-skateboarding perspective of course and interesting as far as their willingness to continue pushing their personal trick envelopes.

I’m still a fan of Brian Emmers’ part in Plan B’s “Revolution” and remember being blown away by the nollie cab backside lipslide shove-it out, which still isn’t a trick you see done much at all today. Aside from some style quibbles the part holds up pretty well, as does his contribution to the rag-tag group of misfits Evol video, which anticipates the rise of Brian Wenning minus the Yosiris ender. The question on my mind: in an age where camera-ready park pros wax poetic on their frontside feeble grinds, would Emmers’ “respect the skills” transgression still get him drummed out of the industry?

Likewise, when dudes up to and including a skater of the year can get away with fudging a sequence and Photoshopping is par for the course, you wonder whether Aaron Snyder’s fiasco with the Big Brother sequence would be such a big deal. Spilled milk aside, the dude hasn’t lost many steps with the TSM clip, arm-flappiness on the manual pads aside. His last two tricks are genuinely insane.