Posts Tagged ‘the Skateboard Mag’

The Battle Hymn of Ren McCormack

April 3, 2015

Morris-and-Jerome

As a web blog Boil the ocean site faces unique challenges and may even be a dying breed similar to a breed of dying dinosaur. Semi-coherent and tiresome 4000-word posts have relinquished valuable readership to Mountain Dew listicles, clickable Tumbly sites and other increasingly micro platforms. Police Informer, Skateboarding Sucks, Carles and YouWillSoon all hung it up and now you got Andrew Sullivan warning that operating a blog could cause physical harm or even dinosaur-like death.

The video age did not shove skate photography into the proverbial tar pit in such a fashion but the internet age surely seems to be strangling the skate print-media sphere, perhaps within a vat of dangerous tar. In recent days beloved U.K. standbys Sidewalk and Kingpin decided to stop printing magazines and focus on computerized publishing, along with Germany’s Monster. This ominous gong rings out through the noble halls of Valhalla shortly after Slap and Skateboarder’s similar decisions to become online-only publishers portended a further initiative to stop publishing new content altogether, with Skateboarder’s website stocked with a Sept. 2013 issue and Slap distilled down to its message boards.

The speed at which generations turn over within skating suggests that, just as few current park ledge tailsliders recall a time when footwear logos did not default to a swoosh, within five years’ time the same may go for all but a small handful of physical magazines, specialty items turned to amid days-long power failures or the refuge of he or she who fatally cracks his strokable glass of choice. More noses warmed by gently shining screens and fewer physical paper pages in time could similarly cull both the number of photographers the industry is able to meaningfully support and the landing pads for their art, particularly if future trick-claiming scandals infect wheel and shoe buyers with a baseline distrust for anything beyond raw footage set to appropriately curated Atlanta rap songs.

As ever this Blogg site’s thoughts go to the children, or rather more specifically those children who eventually may find their trick quivers bizarrely stunted by a dearth of photographs. Whither the one foot ollie, that occasionally majestic and uniquely 1980s maneuvre that when correctly captured has the power to move a man such that he sloughs off decades’ worth of middling Hollywood toilings and industry false-starts and remembers only impressively shredded Airwalk high-tops of summers gone by. And yet the one-footer remains that peculiar and little understood enigma whose majesty almost entirely dissolves on film, with AO and Antwuan Dixon turning in some bizarre renditions lately and Grant Taylor’s comparatively more classic execution residing on transition rather than the streets.

Can the one-footer subsist in a severely constrained skate photo galaxy, a hellish nightscape where fevery competition from bigspin double flips and sugarcanes leave a scant few pages for the sometimes-AKA ollie north to continue in its most pleasurable form? The Skateboard Mag last month showcased a lovely one-footer by yung CJ Collins, a promising lamppost for all current comer-uppers, and Chris Cole featured a tailgrabbed version in this month’s — though an ominous tone also emanated from the current issue, as its cover required an image of a cell phone to incent potentially befuddled youngsters to peer inside.

In the future, will aging new-schoolers promote crowdfunding campaigns to secure remaining magazine page-space in a one-footer conservation effort? Did the ollie impossible’s resurgence already prove such repertoire rebounds are possible? Will the Vision Shoe Crew reunite for an acoustic tour of intimate East Coast venues? Shall time prove J Strickland right again?

Dukes of September

July 27, 2014

numbers

For those who dwelled and acted upon the era of the mighty dinosaur or throughout the Western European colonial push, the millennia pass and pile up with the unyielding weight of bargeloads freighted with rotting warhorses, their corpses bloated by rot and festooned with arrows of the legions that overran their slain riders. ‘Timeless’ often is unholstered as a descriptor for tricks or styles enduring across years, pants-fittings and upper padding materials; alternatively the adjective applies to semi-straddler Claude Van Damme’s century-hopping lawman and this Marky Numbers pic from the recent Omar Salazar TSM, in that the move featured and its boisterous presentation might’ve full-bled across some mid-1980s Thrasher or Transworld photo feature and anywhere in-betwixt.

Exhibit 1415190805031112051819 From The ‘Frontside Noseslides Are Among The Most Picturesques Of Slides’

October 12, 2013

20131012-124707.jpg

The ‘outdated’ Brian Clarke dons his 1995 uniform for this one from the Caples/Lopez TSM, which also features a backside noseblunt from Guy Mariano that appears unhampered by any lazer flips and a really cool story about John Motta spelunking for spots in sewers.

Snuh

August 26, 2012

Not a lot to say here, other than that this was one of those photos where you’re flipping through the magazine (TSM, Jaws cover) and you stop and say “damn.”* Marc Johnson has nearly a Mumford eagle-is-landing thing going on with his arms here and I like his hat. White tee, blue jeans and a kickflip backside tail, these components could have equated to a photo 20 years ago.

*Another one from the same issue is Jon Dickson’s nollie backside flip

Diced Pineapples

August 14, 2012

Looking at the Skateboard Mag the other day, this little Donovan Piscopo interview, and got to fantasizing about tricks. As you do. Folks like Jake Johnson and Wes Kremer recently have been out there taking the wallride to strange new places — what if you were to take Donovan’s grind here, lose the bank underlying the ledge, and a dude just did a wallride into this trick*? Sort of like a pool coping scratcher maybe, but you’d think a body could put their mind to it and lock both 58’s atop the corner for a little bit anyway. Thinking it over a while I started to wonder if I’d actually seen somebody do a trick like this at some point, in a photo or video. Unfortunately due to severely limited capacity and general neglect, my brain is never going to have the cataloging capabilities of a Police Informer or a Chrome Ball or a Vert-Is-Dead. Instead I cast myself upon the mercy of yall. Can anybody recall somebody wallriding up into a ‘vert’ scratcher grind like this, without a bank to start from?

*with or without the grab

In Which We Feel Some Kind Of Way About Exclusive Breaking News As Reported By ESPN

July 30, 2012

As the inventor of Craig Kilborn and the Espy award, ESPN has made its bones in the world of mainstream sport, often heard bragging to other media outlets in the locker room about how much the network and its affiliated websites and publishing divisions can bench-press. In recent days ESPN.com, a web portal operated by ESPN, has flexed its own muscles in the arena of digital journalism, publishing an online exclusive breaking story that Nick Dompierre is in the hospital recovering from a coma induced by a drug overdose sources say.

Now, any discussion of this type of topic ought to be prefaced with a note to the effect that we at Boil the Ocean Rims & Chrome Pipes plc hope the best for Nick Dompierre and his family, and that we sat up a bit straighter on the sofa when we seen the 360 flip at the end of his section in “Roll Forever.” As to whether or not the world needs to know of such things as celebrity/public figure drug overdoses is a matter for TMZ’s legal squadron, and the ethics of running an unbylined article based on anonymous sources is a matter we shall assume was debated hotly by those furry mascots that run the ESPN network, or so I understand from seeing some of their television ads. One can only guess that with the glare of the Olympics generally blotting out all other sporting at the moment, ESPN’s attention will be trained on non-skating athletes that make choices to imbibe intoxicants in and around competitive events, such as that skier bro who bummed out portions of the country a few years ago due to his lackadaisical partying ways.

On our messageboards and emails though the Dompierre item on ESPN has ruffled some feathers, though you may wonder why — we slurp up legends of pro-level debauchery like so many melting chipwiches when they’re related via Big Brother scans, Epicly Later’d confessionals or the odd magazine interview, relishing these partly because dudes like to think this is the type of heady, irresponsible freedom that your major-league baseball bat swinger or Olympic shot-putter isn’t able to discuss as openly, much less talk about the other pros there, what the cops said when they showed up and how much it cost to bail Antwuan Dixon out the next day. So even in the big four magazines nowadays it’s no big whoop to discuss weed smoking, beer guzzling, ecstasy and assorted psychedelics, and though powders and various injectables remain dicey, for those dudes that come out the other side the cautionary tales and recovery scars have become generally accepted gravitas.

In some ways it’s a little rich to get all high and mighty about this ESPN.com blurb, what when the online bulletin board system derives much of its perpetual motion from a volatile fuel composed partly of pro shenanigans, which alongside rumors of tricks recorded provides a grittier base to the constant froth over who is or ain’t keeping it real. In other ways though it smarts to see mainstream media outlets providing the type of juicy celeb-culture natterings that we’re used to looking down our collective noses toward when they are circulated on Slap. This is a raw and reddened zone, at a time when multinationals are outmaneuvering home-grown concerns to capture shrinking market share in the shoe biz, for instance, with Es and DVS on the ropes as Nike adds roster members as rapidly as Godzilla hangs the heads of lesser monsters as trophies on the wall of the undersea cave where he lies in repose until another atom bomb awakens him.

This article is also interesting in that Nick Dompierre’s “big” sponsor, a soda company, is presented as one authority on how he’s doing next to his mom, raising the prospect that big-money sponsors may have to answer in a public forum for transgressions and pitfalls confronted by the dudes they put on. If ESPN.com is enriched with flash-ad revenue from hits generated by this story, you could imagine a scenario where more such items follow suit, perhaps gathering momentum as the energy drink and footwear and sunglass purveyors nibble at their collective fingernails in the event a marketable talent is discovered in a compromising position (perhaps via grainy video shot in the privacy of Godzilla’s undersea lair), and resulting in some such talented bro ultimately getting the boot due to public pressure. If bros sign up for the soda company paycheque, are they signing up for a higher level of personal scrutiny? Is the real problem here somebody else airing our dirty laundry for us? Would the internet be catching feelings if TWS reported this on their website, or if it appeared in a hearsay-friendlier venue such as the beloved “Trash” column in Thrasher? Is Godzilla really “that bad of a dude?”

To Have And Have Not

March 18, 2012

The mildest U.S. winter in decades has helped reduce reliance on private indoor facilities rented for the purposes to safeguarding 360 flips from rust and cobwebs in recent months, and probably also helped to nurture the “Occupy” movement such that occupiers across the country were able to blow out half a candle in recent days, situated atop a free-range cake and served family-style at a sanctioned local park/streetcorner. But deeper strife may yet lay ahead.

Zered Bassett, raised in the shadow of a failed Dukakis presidential bid and a onetime beneficiary of Mitt Romney’s health programme, suggests in the Appleyard TSM that skateboarding may be watching the rise of its own so-called 1%, and an inevitable widening of the income and performance gap between two increasingly disparate camps:

The Skateboard Mag: To go back to Street League, why don’t you compete in that contest?
Zered Bassett: Why are we talking about Street League? I’m not a contest skater, man.
TSM: I think you’re capable of doing really well in contests.
ZB: I don’t have a skatepark that I can skate and learn tricks at to take to a contest and feel confident enough to skate the contest well. If I had a skatepark that I could skate with my homies every day and learn shit, not in the public eye, I’d feel way more confident.

It’s a well-worn chestnut that for every Mark Appleyard, switch backside flipping in finely tuned leathers and pushing a Jaguar, there are a half-dozen Rob Welshes manning liquor-store tills and Wade Speyers filling large dump trucks full of debris and then dumping them at a dirty dump. Even Heath Kirchart, receiver of several signature shoe payment deals, was reduced to delivering pizzas and servicing snack machines upon his self-directed retirement. Things are tough all over out there and keep in mind this isn’t some fly-by-night youtube hot-shoe we’re discussing here, this is Zered Bassett, who’s either awash in Red Bull energy beverage endorsement fees or a consistently poor chooser of hatwear.

Yet Zered Bassett goes wanting when it comes to private parkdom, ensuring he will never develop the machinelike consistency that makes Nyjah Huston, Chaz Ortiz and Ryan Sheckler such riveting competitors to watch amass those hard-to-follow Street League points, and bring home the big moneybags (or at least get the chance to fall victim to high-profile jewelry heists). While Paul Rodriguez parlays his Fuel TV heroics into lucrative sponsorship arrangements with Target Corp., that in turn provides branded obstacles with which to expand his personal training ground, Zered Bassett moves to Brooklyn and farms his beard.

While Nyjah Huston blows tens of thousands of American dollars on hot cars, Ricky Oyola spends his winter driving a truck in Philadelphia. And as Rob Dyrdek lays peacefully asleep on his yacht off the shores of Key West, the bullet-riddled body of Danny Renaud, stone dead, is borne ashore by friends and well-wishers in the still of night after a lifetime of hard choices and short chances finally caught up with him on that one last run back from Cuba.

Fred Gall Attempts To Wallride Heavy Machinery While Under The Influence Of Being Fred Gall

August 28, 2011

Serial New Jerseyan and IRS scofflaw Fred Gall long ago cemented his status as one of the most compelling magazine featurees with his legendary interview in Strength. There, he discussed courting police brutality at Ozzfest, fighting in Ohio, going to jail abroad and Lenny Kirk. Fred Gall has been an odds-on favorite to pile out at any given moment for more than a decade now and he continues to surprise us, so maybe it shouldn’t have caught me so off guard when flipping through the new Skateboard Mag there is an account of Fred Gall applying his classic dunderhead approach to what sounds like it would be one of the more jaw-dropping tricks all year and maybe of all time.

When we got to the “spot” the first evening, it became apparent that traffic was moving way too fast for him to … Oh my god! He just jumped on that bus. Well, with the first attempt out of the way and the bus going 30 or so, Fred, who was spun around in the gutter laughing and slightly spooked, looked up and said, “I think that’s too fast, ha ha!” He is a maniac. Everyone was thinking, “We’re going to watch Fred die here and now. Wonderful.” He dusted himself off, grabbed his board, and set up for the next one. You see you have to wait for the right bus with the smooth back end. Maybe one out of every five was the right kind and maybe one out of every twelve was the right speed (anywhere from ten to twenty miles an hour). Needless to say, for the next two nights we spent a lot of time at this spot.

The full-bleed photo on the opposite side is pretty ridiculous, not only for what Fred Gall’s aiming to do, but also that there is a dude A. about two decades deep into his career B. willing to work several nights straight trying this particular move C. at risk of significant bodily harm D. and arrest E. in a foreign country and F. laugh about it. After mulling it over a while I was reminded of the opening seconds of this part where Fred Gall had a brief cameo and pondered the tribute angle, but I’m guessing this was all weighted more toward for the fuck of it. Or fully paying off the federales.

Throwback Magazine Wallpaper TSM Page Number Super Quiz Opportunity

May 27, 2011

When I got my first apartment after moving out of my parents’ I went full-on junior high with wall-to-wall magazine page paneling that pulled heavily from the old TWS photo issues with lots of full-bleeds, “Sightings” and now-vintage DCSHOECOUSA ads. Jim Greco’s switch kickflip down the old Med Choice gap in the Nirvana shirt was featured, and I think a Neal Mims roof gap 360 flip. This is one of several reasons I could not run a scans blog, alongside a fuzzboxed memory bank when it comes to who had ads in what issue and generally being shitty at scanning I think. But on top of the Cory Kennedy sequence from the Transworld below there were at least four pages I’d tear out of the new Skateboard Mag if I was doing up a new wall, starting with this Ryan Lay 5-0 — the perilously close-to-the-wall switch b/s lipslide a few pages later is another one* and so is Anthony Schultz’s bump-to-fence blaster on page 112. Anybody care to guess what the fourth one is?

*They’d have to be on different sides of the room though because I’m not about to put two photos of the same dude right next to one another, bad form etc

Let’s Discuss The Most Controversial Sequence On The Internet

February 12, 2010


Haters in time

An uproar burst forth upon the seas of gentlemanly internet discourse this week when a SkateboardMag blog revealed a photo sequence of Anthony Pappalardo, known professional, plying his trade with a couple of ollies. “Foul” cried thousands, claiming that not only could they ollie themselves, but that neither ollie was particularly big or dangerous. Both of these statements are true, but uncovering the deeper, more long-winded truth requires a trip through time.

It was once the year 2000. Flying cars were commonplace, personal credit was freely available and Anthony Pappalardo was executing nollie heelflip frontside noseslides while making “urban” pants choices. But today the clock has rolled back, erasing years of economic growth and trick progression. Ollies are back. Cruising on a 70s-inspired skateboard is the choice of dreaded granolas and professional shoe endorsers alike and the most popular show on television wallows in the hair-grease and flop-sweat of philandering 1960s ad executives.

Christopher Colombus, in an apocryphal story that dates back even further, once strutted into a state dinner when a hater (of some description) stopped him, perchance to hate. The gist of it was that CC was not that hot of an explorer, and that the West Indies would’ve been inevitably found by anybody who pointed their boat far west enough, et cetera. Colombus famously ice-grilled the guy and then told them that he bet anybody he could make an egg stand on its end. After others tried and failed, Colombus squished in one end of the egg and stood it up, declaring “now that you’ve seen me do it, it would be easy for anyone.”

So too with Pappalardo? Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that Brooklyn woodshop. Someone on the Slap board said something to the effect that after watching the bonus footage on the “Prevent This Tragedy” DVD they were pissed at the blatant lack of effort APO seems to be putting forth, and after about 10 minutes of fast-forwarding, I saw the point (don’t ask me the time stamp, but he makes a couple half-hearted ollies onto a slanted plank on a hill, and bails an ollie).

You could make the argument though that there’s plenty of pro-types who’ve made their bones and sailed into their sunset years on a raft of coping slashes, frontside rocks and more recently switch 360 flips. Pappalardo may be pushing it as he retains a youthful look despite his hospital-patient pallor, and a pro model shoe may be kind of gratuitous, but I think he could still turn it on if he wanted to (citing the nollie 360 flip recently spun on Epicly Laterd). Does the fact that it’s a conscious decision make it more gratuitous? Or simply boost the level of his hustle?