Posts Tagged ‘thneeds’

Sustainability Of The Fittest

May 9, 2021

In their 2001 feature movie debut ‘Choices The Movie,’ the Oscar-winning Hypnotize Minds camp unspool the tale of Pancho, a young parolee back on the streets after a prison bid, struggling to hold to the straight and narrow as fast money and old friends dangle temptations around every Memphis street corner. Lauded for Project Pat’s turn as a dark-hearted crime lord who seems to have a second, perhaps surgically implanted heart of gold, as well as its exquisitely detailed underwater sequences, ‘Choices’ was a commercial and critical smash that laid Triple Six’s winding and occasionally profane path to American Film Academy immortality. It also imparted a lesson as old as time, but as hard to learn as the names of the forgotten inverts: ignore your true nature at your own peril.

Just in time for optitudinal Earth Day hashtag circulation, Dwindle Distrobution last month blessed hardgood purchasors with decks made from a sustainably produced adhesive, designed to ease board production’s environmental footprint into something approaching a Vans Era, versus its more traditional Chet IV silhouette. Dwindle’s proprietary ‘Super Sap resin’ is derived from lumberyard byproducts of some description, with 21 boards’ worth enough to offset 10 cross-country highway miles driven in Steve Rocco’s jeep.

It is at once a political masterstroke, placing Dwindle in prime position for any rollersport-eligible federal subsidies to flow from the White House’s 10-year greenhouse gas push. It also is a marketing chess maneuver, stealing a march on rival Habitat, which has redirected its R&D dollars away from bamboo plies and toward licensing deals with television production houses and federal agencies.

Time will render its judgment on the commercial wisdom of pitching eco-friendly innovations to a consumer base that has heartily rejected any technological tiptoes away from the seven-ply maple stick, or the fiscal soundness of Dwindle’s guarantee against the sustainable sap’s ‘breakage.’ Of course, Dwindle and all others involved may be courting a deeper doom. Whereas the board biz has made environmental strides — its fragmentation and subsequent profitability collapse has meant swapping road-trip jet fuel for unleaded, and trading in continent-hopping filming expeditions for one-spot vids like Challers’ enjoyable Van Nuys City Hall meditation — the inconvenient truth may be that skateboarding and the natural world fundamentally stand at odds.

None other than Rocco, who issued a Kinkos-quality call to arms in favor of killing all marine mammals, saw the ugly truth of the thing, urging the skateboard industry to embrace its core identity as the planet’s foe and dominator, while promoting in videos the wanton focusing of decks that served to line the World coffers. This soot-darkened vision portrays skateboarding’s true nature as a Onceler-style devourer of forests, resting atop processed petroleum, turning upon Isengard-ready furnaces and forges that melt the planet’s iron veins into shapes of our own wanton choosing.

Are the 85 servings of water saved with each syrupy gallon of Dwindle’s Super Sap resin offset by the additional acres of farmland and metric tons of irrigation water needed to raise the cotton required to meet consumer demand for denim-hungry ‘Big Boy Pants,’ possibly the ‘Thneed’ of the 2020s? Will more nameplate pros follow Stevie Williams’ lead and ditch print photos and mags in favor of the tree-friendly NFT? As governmental carbon sequestration policies transform hardwood forests into emissions sinks, will the industry at last be forced to migrate toward Lib Tech’s fiberglass-ply decks?

Mike Vallely’s One-Minute X-Games Part in the Blue Helmet Is Not the Video Part Your Summer Asked For but the One It Deserves

June 27, 2015

In his tactical 1970s business fable ‘The Lorax,’ Dr. Seuss venerated capitalism’s transformative power via a versatile garment dubbed the ‘thneed,’ a rangy soft thing wearable as a sock, a hat or an overlarge large glove, but also capable of covering bicycle seats, draping windowspaces and carpeting floors. Despite the efforts of various stash-pocket crafting footwear concerns and Foundation’s legendary cinch-shirt, the skateboarding industry has yet to hit upon its thneed. However, when pondering the thneed’s potential further function as grandiose metaphor, New Jersey strongman Mike Vallely has it ‘sewn up’ when it comes to the pro boarding career as a multipronged stepping stool or crowbar toward further pathways and trades, some better explored than others.

Lo, and consider: Mike Vallely alternately over the past 30 years has functioned as the hot-shoe am; deck-shape innovator; Steve Rocco cohort and nemesis in turns; launcher of at least six different board companies; slam poet; pro wrestler; pro hockey player; three-time rider for George Powell; vegan advocate; maniacal tourer; ‘Beef’-style DVD star and vicarious defender of skate honour; Black Flag manager; Black Flag singer; titular performer in Mike V and the Rats; founding father of Revolution Mother; supporting actor to Paul Blart; podcaster; and more recently, streetstyle helmet-endorser.

No longer shall Mike Vallely bear ‘contest-contending pro’ upon his CV, however, declaring the other day that his entry into this year’s X-Games ‘Real Street’ video contest “is definitely the last competition of any kind that I participate in.” Destiny may or may not have other plans in store for the windy and sometimes foggy path it so far has set for Mike Vallely, but for the time being it is hugely fortunate for the planetary public that such a competitive swan song doubles as the most singularly ‘summertime’ video part yet concocted this year – reflecting Mike Vallely’s many and sundry and sometimes peculiar skate-biz travels this section sticks out like a sore vestigial tail from those of his rivals, the oldest of whom runs 13 years his junior and none of whom wear a helmet or have used their physical fists to free the Muska from overbearing security agents.

Bursting with solar wattage, our-street-could-be-your-spot accessibility and curatorially mismatched sneakers, the ‘Real Street’ video makes a big nod back to Mike Vallely’s seismic ’Public Domain’ section using the type of era-specific construction that similarly made Etnies’ World park ‘Skate and Create’ entry one of the best things to come out of that TWS project. It’s been a minute since Mike Vallely put out a more straight-up video part that didn’t also include voiceovers and touring toil footage, which is too bad – trimmed of gravity and seriousness all the street plants and gonzo schrapling make some handrailing and wallie-concerned video parts recorded by comer-uppers half his age look grim and calculated by comparison.

Would a ‘Real Street’ contest win cement Street Plant Skateboards as the last stop on Mike Vallely’s deck-manufacturer endorsement dancecard and help produce a longer part like this? Why has Airwalk been left out of the hazy corporate seance that has attempted to revive nearly all other defunct or culturally comatose skate companies? Has Baby learned anything from his breakup with Lil Wayne that will make him handle things differently with Thugger? Will Mike Vallely be proven right on helmets and thus force future historians to re-evaluate Ryan Sheckler’s tweenage street footage?