Posts Tagged ‘Tosh Townend’

The next next generation

July 1, 2008


Make it so

Much like gingerism and Sigfried and Roy’s white tigers, it would appear that professional-level skateboarding is a regressive gene. While there may very well be tons of pro skaters’ children ripping out there with or without the bastard tag, it’s taken until 2008 for the first second-generation pro to come along, who presumably is out there using his embiggened paychecks to work on a third generation as we speak. Which isn’t to say there haven’t been promising prospects. Lance Jr, who seemed on the virge of a triple-threat career as a skate-artist/actor/boarder, has apparently hung up the stick in favor of a guitar. Knox meanwhile is still out there grinding somewhere, having caught the bloodshot eye of Tosh Townend. He had a part in Tosh’s Sin Habits video last year that I never saw but heard was alright.

But as long as there are bars and demos pro skaters will procreate, and with that in mind we turn to a new generation of pro progeny. The Birdman not from New Orleans the other day uploaded this video of the Hawk empire’s firstborn heir skating with a decidedly 2008 style, so much so that if I hadn’t been stone sober I would have thought somebody mislabeled an Austyn Gillette video. (As things stand I remain uncertain.) No longer the helmet-headed munchkin kickflipping off launch ramps, Hudson Riley’s got a taste for flip-outs and ledge pirouettes, and wears the Fully Flared influence on his sleeve. Of course it’s intriguing to imagine what kind of shit he’d do on a ramp but when you’re doing Jesus’s tricks six months after the video came out vert is probably the furthest thing from your mind. Judging by the varied choice in footwear I’m guessing that sponsorship probably is as well, being the naturally gifted spawn of action sports’ moneyed elite. It’s plain that Riley Hawk could get on with somebody if he stays with it, but you have to wonder if he even cares. Maybe he’s got his mind on bigger (read: better-paying) options. With his surfer-boy look and paternal pedigree he’s probably MTV material.

On the other end of the spectrum is Anakin Senn, who gets to hone his flick all summer on the road slumming with the Emerica’s Angels. In the Epicly Laterd clip he seems to have a fairly free-flowing approach to skating, carving quarterpipes and gliding a nice frontside boardslide at the 4:18 mark (with a bonus slam from Dad immediately afterward). Being the offspring of a fairly reticent pro there’s probably no reality TV cameras in his future, but the green machine seems happy to keep him around and it would be cool to see where he takes things, having been raised by one of the great all-around skateboarders of the 90s. On the other hand, he may well end up doing his own thing and forgoing the whole skateboarding-as-career move, which may or may not be a bad thing, particularly if he suffers a disfiguring lava injury and is rebuilt as a shameless contest-winning machine bent on galactic domination. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before

Side note: perhaps the reconstituted Big Brother should get Earl Parker to interview Anakin Senn for a “Goddam Ams” feature.

The WASPafarian’s dilemma

June 3, 2008


“Jah bless, bros”

So the news came out yesterday that longtime Element posterchild Tosh Townend has been relieved of his duties as head dread in charge over at the shareholder-friendly skate company for suburban tweenage hippies. Much is already being made of the fact that Tosh was an early adopter of the Element “package”—consolidating clothing, shoe, board, wheel, and whatever other sponsorships under one roof that almost certainly would never fall in on you. Right? But like many environmentally themed construction projects, Tosh’s Elemental Odyssey suffered from a fatal design flaw, possibly related to the enduring presence of Mike V. Glass houses and stones, etc.

You could feel sorry for Tosh. I might, if he weren’t the biological heir to a surfing dynasty, pulling pro shoe money since he was 18, and seemingly not slowed by major surgeries. Me, I feel worse for Element. Because like many parents, the honchos of ElementBillabongCoIntlGroup seem to have got out of bed one day, looked at the bedraggled and odorous dreadlocked mess snoring on the couch, and decided enough was enough. Like any parent of a carefree hippie who’s left one too many roaches between the sofa cushions, Element had to take a deep breath, throw the front door open and tell the boy they’d raised to get the hell out and get a job.*

I expect that Tosh will spend the next few days blearily blinking his reddened eyes, smoking a sympathy bowl or two with his fellow rude boys, possibly cursing the name of Johnny Schillereff and pondering a return to Zion. But he’s long overdue for starting his own shit. He was a big force behind the Sin Habits crew/video, which gave way to something called the Weenabago Projekt, where—get this—a white guy with dreadlocks is gonna drive across the country in a retro bus with all his best bros. Crazy idea, right?

Anyway the point is young Tosh (still only 23, which kind of bugs me out) has his own crew, he’s been doing his own projects for a while, and he’s got a cozy relationship with the High Grade distribution camp. So if the hobbit’s leaf gets the better of him he can probably crash on Creation’s couch for a while. One love, Tosh.

*For what it’s worth, the financial markets seem to have taken this as moderately good news.