Posts Tagged ‘Tony Hawk’

Rave ’til Dawn

September 7, 2014

pitchblackthingy

Similar to David Carr and Dee Snider, Baker Boys man Andrew Reynolds’ unlikely journey over the past decade saw him emerge from the den of substance-saturated iniquity to ultimately assume the mantle of thoughtful elder statesman. In an intriguing interview with Jenkem the other day, Reynolds’ comments suggest some connection between tunnel-visioned fucked-upness and the fog of war that can descend when grappling with a trick or line, two pursuits that for some may serve as means to basically the same end:

Some skaters have told me that when they try really difficult and scary tricks they black out in between tries. Has that ever happened to you before?
Definitely, it’s something that I’ve talked to Jim Greco about. The blackout is what you’re searching for constantly from trying a trick. Even when I was really young I noticed it because I would skate a lot of contests and stuff in Florida and people afterwards would say like, “Oh that was cool they were playing Zeppelin,” or whatever and I would just be like, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” For me it was just silence the whole time I skated. With Tampa Pro and stuff, it’s just total focus and silence. If I’m able to tell what song was playing at a contest or demo afterward, that’s how I know I didn’t really want to be there.

Besides not hearing the music, is there actually any blackout throughout the run or trick?
I mean, you know what you’re doing… I think it’s the reason people pay money to learn how to meditate and do yoga to quiet their mind, you know? It’s like the most extreme form of that. I think that’s why when skaters don’t skate for a couple weeks are like, “Ahh, I gotta get out and do something!” because you’re so used to that feeling and escape your whole life. You need it.

Does Wes Kremer, a made man several times over at this point who seems never to particularly stress or struggle over what for others would present nigh-impossible feats, exist in a semi-permanent such zone? You wonder, observing his incredible ‘Crusty by Nature’ part and his generally footloose and fancy-free persona, whether some coitus-interruptus moment mid-trick left him in a sort of suspended haze, in a fashion such as the hypnotist heart attack that sent Peter Gibbons meandering toward middle management material in a matter of days. Neither the switch bigspin kickflip, the nollie flip backside into the burly bank, nor probably the best handrail darkslide captured to date on film particularly seems to faze Wes Kremer. The brief but hair-raising wobble out of the switch k-grind during the run through Tom Penny’s schoolhall basically sums it up.

Reynolds speaks of industry tutelage at the knee of one Tony Hawk, that demo god and video-game impresario, but it is worth pondering whether Wes Kremer developed his own focusing methods under a very different school. A self-professed Osiris disciple during “the Storm” heyday, Wes Kremer tells Thrasher of a potentially formative experience in which he beheld the rituals of another lord of So-Cal school hallways, Josh Kasper*:

Did you ever run the D3s?
Oh, absolutely. For sure. Marius moved into the same housing complex as Tony Magnusson, one
of the main dudes at Osiris. Once he moved over there and started kicking it with T-Mag and shit, getting shoes—after that we were hyped on Osiris. And it was pretty much an SD company, so we’d always see the dudes around. I remember seeing T-Bone, Smolik, Kasper. Holy shit, dude, I skated with Kasper one time back in the day. It was insane. We roll up to this triple set, right. I had no idea he was going on the session. I’m looking at it and all of a sudden I see this convertible BMW pull up. I’m like, “Who’s that?” And he pulls right up to the spot, right next to the stairs—bumpin’ this Eminem track. I wish I could say it was that 8 Mile song, but it was some other inspirational one. He gets his board out and he’s like, “Hey, hey, nice to meet you. I’m Josh.” And then out of nowhere—he didn’t even fuckin’ ollie the thing—he starts hucking front threes. He sticks it, dude. Literally sticks a frontside 270 and slams. And after the Eminem song ended, one of the songs from The Storm came on. Like, the craziest, most-techno song in the video. It’s just blasting out of the convertible while Kasper is getting served up, like, literally every try. Unfortunately, at the end of the day he didn’t get it. But I came back with an amazing Kasper encounter.

*A part that should get some kind of recognition solely for using what sounds like four different songs in less than three minutes

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 2 #4 – Willy Santos ‘The End’

June 28, 2014

Hair-salon proprietor Willy Santos in his hot-shoe am days was regarded as the prototypical new-school tech kid, and his opening part in Birdhouse’s $1 million 16/35MM extravaganza ‘The End’ kept him in good standing as it pertained to the miniature picnic table set, cracking nollie pop-shove its and switch heelflips over that small can with some finesse, plus the rarely seen half-cab noseblunt back to fakie. Looking again at some of the tricks here though like the switch boardslide pop out, which may obligate the ‘could stand up today’ trope, as well as the kinked lipslides and boardslides, conjures flashes of clips to come from card-carrying gnar dogs such as Vincent Alvarez, Geoff Rowley and Dustin Dollin. The gently sun-faded footage here can be weirdly relaxing, probably because like the rest of ‘The End’ it’s backed by those clumsily dubbed-in sound effects that lull in a fashion similar to elevator music or a distant helicopter.

Extreme Athletes Represented By Sports Agents Continue To Be Entranced By Target Corp.

December 16, 2011

In many ways, skateboarding is about self-discovery and knocking down personal barriers to personal accomplishment. In other ways, especially to those of us whose flesh has begun to sag in unfortunate ways, it is about reclaiming lost youth. Other times it is really about sticking it to the Man and wearing flamboyant pants.

In the big-tent spirit that has enabled major retailer brands to access economies of scale and pass along righteous savings to you, several well known pros ask the question, why cannot it be all of these things, with a legit consumer experience delivered by trusted partners at Target Corp? Target is like the Real World cast member who wore ringer tees and a nose ring in comparison to Wal-Mart that fondly remembered some high school football wins and was old enough to frown on the younger stores’ binge drinking ways.

Shaun White is the latest extreme professional to back Target’s product range and appeal to some different demographics. Here is how he described a branded revelation that came upon him when he sought to equip his second house, as told to the New York Times Home N Garden section:

You go into Target and you realize that there’s that whole other half of the store. I had no idea! Man, it’s not just video games? Spatula set? Yes! I got crock pots, I had panini makers and all these things. I was losing my mind. It’s easy to get sucked in.

Just on a related note, Target today announced that “Target Introduces Huge Savings on Thousands of Items”

Last year, Paul Rodriguez Jr revealed his lifelong admiration for the Minneapolis-based retailer in remarks given exclusively in a press release that sealed his endorsement deal.

“I grew up right across the street from a Target and have many memories of skating over to the store as a kid,” Paul said in the official Target release. “I’ve always loved their brand and am excited about the relationship and potential of what we can do together.”

It seems like Target Corp attracts extreme sporting athletes like a powerful retailing magnet, but despite P-Rod’s switch bigspin heelflip capabilities Shaun White has way more bankable celebrity shine and thus was offered the opportunity to partner exclusively with Target to design lamps and bedspreads that ensure the Tiffany Dunk colorway continues to be variously soiled for years to come. According to the Sports Business Journal:

White is the most recognizable action sports athlete in the U.S. His Davie-Brown Index score (72.41) outranks fellow action stars Tony Hawk, Ryan Sheckler and Bam Margera. His awareness level, a 73.94, is comparable to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

Remember, these are numbers that elevate you to bedding money, several lofty levels above signature sneaker paydays but on a different branch of the money tree than reality show loot. It is worth noting that Shaun White’s push into the bedding market puts him into direct competition with his former boss at Birdhouse, Tony Hawk, who already has laid claim to his own corner of the sector. Will a Steve Rocco/George Powell generational battle play out for the sheeting business? Is the market large enough to satisfy the competitive drive of two action sport stars? Will Pierre-Luc Gagnon be the next skater to endorse K-Mart? Is Fashion Bug the “heelies” of specialty retailing?

But He Never Had A Drinking Problem!

October 9, 2010

Handled a shoe deal, drug problem and semi-graceful growth from handrail am to finesse pro and still looks like he’s 15, Dylan Rieder’s VBS quadrilogy paints him as a still-young man now on a mission — personally thought his “MF” part held up well enough as a sophomore come-down from the blockbusting done in the Transworld vid, but suppose this really only goes to show how far off my perceptions are from the front-line realities of action-sportoids such as Mark Oblow and others who have front row seats to eyeball melting impossibles*. The Gravis mini-movie didn’t strike me so much as anybody pinnacling but more like this kid gathering his strength, re-setting the bar for what may come next with a lot of moves that seemed sort of founded on the Heath Kirchart-sized gap in the AWS ranks (tall bar b/s tailslide, rooftop ollie, head-high hip frontside flip). The focus on power/altitude over technical-ness seems like a conscious choice that makes sense in terms of retrenching for the next five years of Dylan-dom, but when it comes to tying it all together what would’ve sweeted up the pot would’ve been a couple reminders that this is the kid who switch bigspin flipped that blue stairway after blazing through the bowls in “Time To Shine.”

That’s quibbling though and Dylan Rieder, with this Gravis video, has for the moment outstripped the trappings of his little shit days, his heart-throb cheekbones and personal dark period to win over even the tut-tuttin’est messageboarders, now roundly seen as having recorded one of the better video parts to be seen this year. More interesting is what he aims to do with his hard-won political capital — Barack Obama blew his on health care reform, Jamie Thomas resurrected the street grab, Peter Smolik cleared the table and built for himself an empire of waxed ledge combos. Dylan Rieder is a style guy though, both on-deck and off, and his tastes sometimes run toward the retro which maybe explains his apparent decision to use his platform as a starting point for reclaiming the once-rebellious “McSqueeb” hairstyle, used by young men in the late 80s/early 90s to help invent the Madonna and save mankind from robot-wrought apocalypse. This ‘blog site’ may settle for more switch bigspin flips and another angle of that impossible over the contest barrier.

*BTW, the one over the New York bench ought to jockey with Satva Leung’s maybe-maybe not flip in “Welcome To Hell” for all-time sleight of foot mirages

Tony Hawk and His Robot Skateboard Are Eroding Our Family Values

November 18, 2009


You got metal fever boy

Famous Birdman Tony Hawk is in the news again. He has helped to invent a a robot skateboard that you may manipulate with your feet and body, simulating certain acts. It’s for a video game but as with all things robotic the device opens a moral Pandora’s box that taps into man’s darkest urges and wants. Because he is backing it as a product Tony Hawk describes the device in fairly sterile terms, like so:

“This is a whole new direction. I don’t even like to compare because this is a full-body experience that you are controlling through standing on a board, and we made the gameplay completely different.”

At Boil the Ocean, defender of Human values, we cast a jaundiced eye upon robot pleasure machines of all shapes, even if it is in the comely form of promoting boardsport. The truth is that these devices wreck homes. Read if you will from this account of how one such so-called “exercise board” poisoned an American couple against each other.

Mrs. Levy lay prone on the motorized exercising board, its several sections prodding her ample body gently, nudging and kneading her soft, white flesh like a loving baker. Winding her arms under the table, she held it tightly.

“Oh,” she moaned softly and happily, nibbling on the section beneath her face.

“Turn that thing off,” her husband’s voice said somewhere behind her.

“What?” Mrs. Levy raised her head and looked dreamily around. “What are you doing here? I thought you were staying in town for the races.”

“I changed my mind, if it’s okay with you.”

“Sure, it’s okay with me. Do whatever you want. Don’t let me tell you what to do. Have yourself a ball. See if I care.”

“Pardon me. I’m sorry I tore you away from the board.”

“Let’s leave the board out of this, if you don’t mind.”

“Oh, I’m sorry I insulted it.”

“Just leave my board out of it. That’s all I said. I’m trying to be nice. I don’t start the arguments around here.”

“Turn the damn thing on again and shut up. I’m going to take a shower.”

Tony Hawk has sold literally hundreds of video games to the youth, and now he has teamed with robots to corrupt values in a way that could also dent the skateboard industry. If people favor robot board simulations there will be no market for real skateboards, and the culture will collapse in on itself similar to what happened with kayaking down mountainsides. It’s only a warning but this could become real for everyone.

The Breakfast Club

October 26, 2009

Iowa_Polka
Also, this

Here at non-communist BTO we are strident believers in the power and authority of free markets. Tony Hawk for instance popularized the McSqueeb hair-cut and named a trick after Madonna, in between raising awareness of international arms trafficking via the movie “Gleaming the Cube” – therefore he gained power and many dollars. The question upon our minds this week is what recognition from a newly created Skateboarding Hall of Fame could possibly offer the Birdman that he does not already have, aside from a hazy notion of name recognition among future skateboarders with the inclination to read press releases, but we all know this to be untrue because Tony Hawk is in it for the money, the money and the cars, cars and the clothes, as clearly stated on his upcoming solo album.

But the skateboard hall of fame is the latest brainchild of the International Association of Skateboard Companies, that conglomeration of businessmen and unemployed werewolfs who devised the international “Go Skateboarding Day” and helps get kids in Arkansas arrested. As to their rationale, we’ll let IASC executive director John Bernards tell the tale:

“Taking the opportunity to acknowledge and honor the individuals who have so greatly influenced and shaped the industry allows us to look forward to the future of skateboarding without ever forgetting our roots and everything it took to get where we are today – each and every shenanigan, triumph and challenge.”

So choke on it, On Video magazine. No, but from a purely internet entertainment value perspective there are a number of funnier ways they could have approached this, for instance, judging on the criteria of “most jailed” or “most times caught on fire” or most money in the bank by the time NSS/Power/Air Speed stopped cutting checks. But instead there is only this vague notion of “influencing and shaping,” which plainly sounds like a bra ad, while spanning some unspecified time frame, similar to a series of bra catalogues. Ought not Steve Cab be in there somewhere between the Tonys Alva and Hawk? If we’re going to hook up Bruce Logan, why not the legions of additional talented freestylers and slalomers who nobly gave their dignity and lives so we could enjoy this family restaurant? Er, Rodney Mullen? What about all those guys who invented skateboarding by nailing rollerskate wheels to two-by-fours, who I keep meeting slumped atop stools in various bars? What are they, chopped liver?

As a largely uninformed third party, it is incumbent upon this blog to predict that these type of annoying and largely pointless questions will dog the SHOF (or SHOE if you like) as long as it persists, which is of course part of the whole idea. Kind of like when VH1 counts down the top 400 celebrity somethings, killing valuable airtime but also sewing the seeds of discourse across office water-coolers and internet chat-venues the world over. Is BTO blindly and blunderingly playing into the IASC’s hand just with this misguided post? Perhaps, which is why I will slyly continue to refer to it as SHOE.

Back to the cultural significance. I submit to you, is the average peanut-leaguer more aware of Mickey Mantle because of multiple references on syndicated Seinfeld re-runs, or because he’s enshrined in some privately operated shrine in Cooperstown NY, home of shrines? Is there more to this SHOE beyond self-aggrandizement and some type of vague promotion of the “sport”? Is skate-boarding history, such as it is, the sort of thing that’s learned in museums and on CNN.com’s offbeat sports page, or on the streets? (I.E., not learned at all.)

Trophies and contest purses aside there is (was?) an aspect of all this shit that’s more about shooting spitballs at the homecoming kings and star quarterbacks than hoarding achievements and gala dinners. I’m sure the SHOE will raise all manner of money for new skateparks and promotions etc, and all involved are sweet bros with only the bro-est of intentions, but ought not the arbitrator of influence and, er, “shaping” be whether or not kid kickflip at the park recognizes a name, or knows how a certain trick came about? The limitations of physics aside, wasn’t one of the main attractions the lack of vicious rules and by-laws, along with the trappings and ceremony of the institutionalized sports? Can we expect to see a SHOE spot among the career aims of Ryan Sheckler, Greg Lutzka and Chaz Ortiz? And is Bo Turner lurking out back with violent designs on the winners’ lunch money?

McDoubles

September 7, 2009

birdhouse_mctwsts
Royale with cheese

For those of us who started skating in the 1980s there’s shit being done now that of course seems unfathomable in retrospect, for instance, switch 360 flipping double-sets, 360 flip noseblunts, nose tattoos and so on. Then there’s a whole other world of tricks that are the type of thing that theoretically were within the realm of possibility, but so out of hand as to be restricted to idle speculation during recess or in the wee hours of a sleepover after the third watch of “Public Domain,” and it is into this category that this sequence from the new TSM falls: Tony Hawk blasting a quarter century’s worth of contest-honed McTwisting over Aaron “No” Homoki’s parlour trick somewhere in Australia. It’s very possible this same pairing went down in some X-Fest or another, and I missed it because I never think to watch that sorta thing, but I really did set down the magazine and ponder this one for a minute when I saw it.

The Nieratko-penned article on this trip is a generally good one by the way – brief and BB-tinged, it’s telling of the way things are reshaping at the ‘house that Hawk built. For one, there’s an amusing and unapologetic Shawn White diss, and much is made of the fact that the Birdman was in the van* as opposed to sipping Chardonnay on his Lear jet or whatever on their city-to-city jaunts. Plus, the dude skated street with the bros (who included his son of course) and threw down his personal plastic when more juice was required to keep the distillates flowing. Who can say whether the B-House corporate account remains solvent. Perhaps Willy Santos, who also has a Birdhouse ad this month. No shit, Willy Santos. Either way, as far as the article goes, we can assume that none of this, including Nieratko’s invitation, happened by accident, but it’s nice to see nevertheless because Birdhouse continues to be home to some genuinely dirty/dedicated dudes and there’s some effort being put in over there to have a say in the way things are right now. It’s a long way for them to go of course, but I’m curious to see how far Tony Hawk is willing to push to get his shit back on track.

*they rented a van

Why Birdhouse Desperately Needs Nyjah Huston

December 8, 2008


Not to put too fine a point on it

In news that may be a ghost of bummers yet to come for Element’s current patchouli-scented incarnation, Mike V’s favorite Billabong subsidiary announced this weekend that 14-year-old Jah aficionado Nyjah Huston has either died, or else no longer shares the widely held “Element For Life” view, for reasons of his own. Those reasons could very well be tied to the American dollar; despite current weakness in Australian’s version of the greenback (a good thing), Element’s pater familias continues to grapple with the same bear that’s biting into Pacific Sunwear sales and claiming warehouse jobs.

All of this, or none of this, may have to do with Nyjah being out of his element (heh) and entertaining offers. And ignoring the very possibly totally for sure logic that he will end up at Plan B, due to existing Syndrome ties through Silver and FKD as well as Danny and Colin’s ongoing crusade to lock up superhero talent, checkbook be damned… I would like to make the unsolicited argument as to why Tony Hawk seriously needs to step in and put Nyjah Huston on Birdhouse.

1. Tony Hawk understands the child star
Hated on for much of the 80s, Tony Hawk possibly understands what Ryan Sheckler is dealing with right now, beloved by the secular world and despised by people who, you know, actually skateboard. Nyjah Huston, being five years younger and about 50 times more talented than Ryan Sheckler, is a kid Hawk could (heh heh) take under his wing and (fuck it) teach to soar in both the real skateboard world and whatever market exists outside of it when the recessionary dust settles.

2. The Shaun White experiment has failed
Half the kids who skateboard don’t know who the Flying Tomato is, the other half think he’s a retard, nobody considers him a for real pro skateboarder and the leopard-print tights aren’t helping anybody. Birdhouse long ago cast its lot with the cartoon graphic-fixated tween demographic, and with Tony Hawk in the announcer booth instead of the winner’s podium at the X-Games or Gravity Games or whatever, the company needs fresh star power to move those re-screened Brian Sumner decks.

3. Revenge
Self-explanatory. Scooping up Element’s treasured prodigy would slake the Birdman’s thirst for vengeance after Element appropriated his own protege, race car driver and projectile pooper Bucky Lasek.

4. Birdhouse has the money
Or maybe they don’t, but while pro paychecks get delayed at your favorite deck purveyor, Tony Hawk likely continues to sleep upon a sizable pile of cash with any number of beautiful women. Since bringing Birdhouse under the illustrious Tony Hawk Inc. power umbrella, the proprietor has stated that “increased oversight and involvement” in the team will be his highest priority. This would give him the opportunity to put his money where his mouth is bills where his bill is.*

5. Birdhouse needs a power move
Putting Nyjah Huston on would remind people that A. Birdhouse exists, B. they give a shit and C. that they want a seat at the table as far as high-profile team maneuverings (no disrespect to Nesser, Ploesser, Willy Santos et al). It would also suggest that the company has some sort of longterm plan for the future aside from Riley Hawk and selling repro’d Hawk graphics, which, if you read Sean Eaton’s interview in TSM recently, doesn’t seem especially certain.

TSM: You look at Birdhouse as a big mistake?
SE: I personally do, yeah.

Was it disheartening to see Tom Green and Shaun White go pro before you?
Dude, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Now, bear in mind that this whole posting carries the major disclaimer of relying upon my own questionable judgment and intelligence, as I prepare to fully fail Nate Sherwood’s “skate IQ” test. Stay tuned as I report back the assuredly depressing results.

*That was awesome

Future Shock

December 2, 2008


File under tea leaves, goat entrails, etc.

Because I sometimes feel this blog doesn’t do nearly as much navel-gazing as the medium seems to require, I’ll be indulging in end-of-year list tedium with regard to video parts and tricks and haircuts and so on. But before we get into all that mess I thought it would be interesting to look back on the 2008 prognostications of another internet commentator, whose anonymous laundry list of skate predictions for this year turned out to be interestingly accurate.

Among others the noble Canucks of Temple Skate Supply put up the list here but I’ll re-post bit by bit, starting with one prediction that finally came true yesterday after more than a year of whisperings:

Blitz breaks up… Flip to NHS… Baker gives up ownership of its name and starts under a new Distribution(deathwish).
And as the world now knows, Flip has indeed packed up its cartoons and kiddie ams and set up shop under Bob Denike’s Norcal empire. The rest is uncertain, but now that Tony Hawk has flown the coop with Birdhouse after buying out Per Welinder and Reynolds & co. have set up Baker Boyz distribution, that leaves the house of Blitz with the Baker name (for the time being)… erm, Hook-Ups, Sk8 Mafia and the venerable Fury trucks. No doubt 2009 will see Mr. Welinder with plenty of time to indulge his “passion for incubating core brands.”

As for the rest of the 2008 predictions:

Rowley and Arto move to a new Burton backed shoe company.
Half right, at least so far, though this was telegraphed well in advance along with the next item…

Burton Buys Workshop and habitat
…which is a dead horse beaten to dust in this space. It did happen.

Appleyard follows his friends and leaves Globe
Or maybe Flip, but as of right now his name remains on both websites, an all-important barometer of team integrity.

TK Rides for ES (the true sign of the end)
I too heard this rather hilarious bit of info, but unfortunately rational thought intervened (to whatever extent it can where Terry Kennedy is involved) and he went to Supra. Ah, for what could have been…

Sheckler Wins the X Games and Finally takes his place as the new reynolds
A quick check of the distressingly lengthy Wikipedia entry on Sheckler’s contest performance reveals that he did indeed win the X-games, though whether he represents the new anything at all remains in high dispute, at least in this space.

Photo incentive photo shopping scandals
What scandal? Things are tough out there, brah. Get those logos in where they fit in. There’s always room for one more.

Big Brother Comes back but only on the internet
True, but discussed years ahead of the Jackass World debut.

Krew gives up traditional skateboard marketing for hollywood glam
This one I’m not sure on, if only because I’m not sure if Krew actively engaged in traditional skateboard marketing to begin with. I guess they had that photo of Penny doing the switch noseblunt, if I remember right. But didn’t they run an ad with Greco doing an actual skate trick recently? That’s like a two-fer right there.

Alphanumeric comes back
They did, though a clothing company returning as a purveyor of high-end (high priced) T-shirts is kind of like a magazine returning as a website…

Circa sells out but hides it by starting a combat division. (pay attention to the left hand while being distracted by the right)
Also true! But most likely it was already in the works for a while when the list was written. I have no idea how well these shoes are selling, but you have to hand it to Circa for having the sheer balls to, in the tradition of Antoine Bugle Boy, see an overcrowded marketplace and say “me too.”

Burton brings birdhouse under its corporate wing
Is there room for B-House to play a sort of un-ironic Skate Mental to DNA’s Girl and Chocolate? I’d be inclined to say no, but it would play into some nice Hawk/White synergies, which I’m assured are all the rage among smart skate conglomerates these days.

Purple Pants become hip
Incorrect, but only because purple pants have always been hip.

Steroids become the norm…
Mike V unavailable for comment, so this remains undetermined. Ryan Sheckler is nowhere near the norm, of anything.

Get a clu

July 22, 2008

This commercial would have resonated a lot more with me personally if it had been Danny Way instead of Jonathan Nafarrete: