Posts Tagged ‘Transworld’

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 3 – Ryan Gallant ‘First Love’

July 12, 2015


Decades in the future when municipalities join heated combats for economic scavengings, the low-bid winner for the shove-it hall of fame may dedicate TIF funds toward a bronzed likeness of Ryan Gallant, whose ‘Fulfill the Dream’ music-supervised video part from a too-often overlooked entry in the TWS cinema pantheon functions as a clinic on rotating the board into a stupefying range of blocks, rails, hubbas and other what-have-yous. Ryan Gallant has flip tricks like the 90s and the knowhow to execute in squeaky-clean terms shit like the pop-shove it frontside k-grind and the hardflip late 180, and enough youthful spring to shoot from way downtown and look like he bounces into the full cab almost by accident going down the hallway. It’s wild how in 2005, before TWS abandoned and then inevitably re-embraced the voiceover intro, Ryan Gallant spoke of appearing long-in-the-tooth for the boarding life — a decade later there’s still gas in the tank.

Has Handrail Skating Entered Middle Age?

April 17, 2015

muska_handrail_help_call

“Nobody pays taxes on Mars,” the old saying goes, and it rings as true today as it ever was. For the astronaut, moustachioed and physically capable of handling several Gs, space travel draws a fat, black dividing line between youth and that which comes after; no man, they say, is the same after penetrating celestial orbit. For the ancient dinosaurs, to enter middle age was a feat accomplished by only the clever and ruthless, and these became chieftans and enriched warlords.

Today little has changed. History barrels forward similar to a kettle of fine fish packed into a barrel and rolled downhill and, come this time next year, handrail skating will be 30 years removed from those nervy days when Mark Gonzales and Natas Kaupas took it in their heads to ollie air up onto safely secured hand-bannisters and chart a bold and zesty course toward best-trick contest purses, ponderous stair counts, bike-lock controversies and the occasional bloody discharge. There was a gawky, turn-of-the-decade adolescence, followed by a coming of age under the dauntless feet of Duffy, Kirchart, Thomas and Muska, and the bigger-longer-taller maturation spree pursued in the early aughts by the Flip-Zero-Baker contingent.

Wither the handrail in 2015? In the last year and a half Transworld has featured just a single handrail trick on its cover, as page counts dwindle and TWS embraces wallrides and assorted transition terrains. Over at Thrasher, which cover-wise years ago threw in its lot with the Wade Speyer side of the tech-vs-gnar continuum, handrail tricks as a percentage of covers each year seem to have plateaued.

handrails_graph1

Is handrail skating becoming engulfed in a midlife crisis, with nollie heelflip crooked grinds widely regarded as passe, 39 stair curvers suggesting some possible upper limit and El Toro gelded? Resurgent bowls, abrupt transitions and even the vert ramp seem to have splintered handrail skating into restless and nomadic tribes, including displaced wallriders, wall-rejecting against-the-grainers, deep-crouching over-the-toppers, body varialing rewinders and a Mariano-bred stripe of small-bar uber-tech.

Recent signals however suggest that a certain purity of the round slanted bar continues to draw admirers, even without a fire-engine red, glasspacked sports car or wallie on. Australian dervish Jack Fardell, in the process of extensively notching some unholy San Francisco skatespot bedpost, commanded Thrasher’s May cover with a rabid 50-50 grind down a kinked beast that had bucked known master John Cardiel more than a decade back. Further south Paul Hart, a Floridian partly responsible for shifting Cliche’s center of gravity increasingly west of the Atlantic, recorded a sit-and-stare worthy nollie backside noseblunt to fakie sequence that naturally occurred also near the end of an Arto-aspiring ‘Gypsy Life’ section.

Is a midlife crisis a healthy and productive exercise for handrail skating generally? When handrail skating begins wearing tight polo shirts with the collars flipped up, pumping weights and loudly quoting Rae Sremmurd lyrics, at what point should a friend intervene? Will people start painting gray handrails black and then denying it? Will photoshopping gray handrails black represent the greatest ethical quandary to confront Instagram accountholders in the years ahead? Could Thrasher re-run this Kasai cover next month without anyone being the wiser except probably Jason Dill?

Will the New Transworld Cover Slake Skating’s Quenchless Thirst for Pants Progression?

March 23, 2015

dontyouhatepants

Like a fire that, once lit, cannot help but to consume an entire bulldozer-built pile of disco records, or a shark that must ceaselessly advance through a sea of Pace Picante Style salsa or face its untimely Picante Style demise, skating since the beginning has been possessed of a need to progress. Alan Gelfand’s ollie wasn’t enough, it had to be did backwards; what’s the point doing a loop when you can turn it switch with a section chopped out of the top? Josh Kalis’ straight kickflip in a Love Park ‘Time Code’ line, immaculate as it is, looks quaint through the Mark Suciu lens.

Through it all the shoe has come to be regarded as the most immediate extension of the seven-ply-trucks-and-urethane configuration, but the past decade’s footwear fetishization mainly serves to obscure a decades-long struggle with pants. After clamoring out of pools and associated surf trunks the story of skating and pants has reflected that of mankind’s tortured grappling against his very own nature, occasionally overreaching, failing, burning piles of disco records, and starting anew. In the 1980s Limpies and Vision offered chaotic and unpredictable* print varieties for those zestful spirits unsatisfied by blue jeans or more-pedestrian sweatpants with skeletal rats ascending outseams; vert soon gave way to street these fell back while multicoloured and flapping denim advanced, several years passing before the East rejuvenated woodland camo and more adventurous spirits embraced snow and urban variations.

While the aughts saw style magnets such as Dylan Rieder and Nick Trapasso alternately fuck with pinestripes and pajama pants, this period of war and economic turmoil mainly reflected itself in darkened indigo denim and brown cords, the re-embrace of printed patterned pants not arriving until well into the 2010s when all-over print shirts primed a newly emboldened consumer base to throw wide the camo floodgates for increasingly esoteric prints. Thanks partly to relentless boosterism within DGK vids, the movement eventually demanding notice by the mass-market media: “It’s the one pattern that pretty much every guy is down with. What other pattern has a macho angle to it?”

Masculinities aside, the door now lies kicked down for pants makers — Thrasher offers a SAD sweatpant among several options, and now comes Fucking Awesome heavyweight Na’kel Smith on the cover of Transworld, gapping out in Tokyo within a pair of florid leggings that seem to also have crossed the Atlantic in recent months. In his numbers-taking, asses-kicking process over the last two years, Na’kel Smith seems to have taken it upon himself to push back the pants pendulum to a level of intricate and flowery detail not seen in probably about 25 years, no small undertaking when considering the intense internet flames stoked beneath noted 360 flip 50-50er** Garrett Hill, daring to step out in a still-notorious red-and-black combo.

Has Na’kel Smith doomed himself to a Sisyphusian task, destined to be squashed by a heavy and oblong fashion boulder that will waver under the weight of resurgent dad jeans, or is his pants choice more conservative than it may first appear when laid alongside a freely purchasable array of similarly floral hats, shirts, shoes, and obviously weed socks? Are authorities overlooking an emerging form of camo that now clothes newly militarized toughs hired to defend a booming US marijuana industry? Are scarfs next? As it thins has Transworld on the low had the best covers of the last year?

*particularly for Cali4nia Cheap Sk8 clientele
**And backer of 360 flip 50-50ers

TFW You Flip Through TWS and Out Pops a Rick Howard Photo

January 23, 2015

rickhowardpipe
…and the world’s troubles fade ever so briefly

Ryan Gallant’s Clipper Ledge Transworld Cover Is A Victory For Us All Dudes

September 25, 2014

gallant.cover

Will landing a magazine cover matter more when mass-marketed US publications dwindle to just one or two print editions? Will they matter less? Kickflip backside noseblunt sliding San Francisco’s Clipper ledge easily qualifies among the gnarlier tricks this year, the past few years, and as a somewhat out-of-nowhere late-career peak for Ryan Gallant, if only because he’s been plying this trade about 15 years now and is not in the ostensible final weeks of filming a supposed Plan B video supposedly.

Ryan Gallant, his sponsors and Transworld itself all have clear reasons to rejoice this month. Below we shall examine several other obvious and less-obvious beneficiaries of Ryan Gallant’s trick, which is one for the history books:

East coasters laid heads to pillows after seeing this magazine cover knowing that another page in a West Coast spot’s history was writ upon by a New Englander’s briny fist.

Aging professionals are reminded that, as Jamie Thomas demonstrated in last year’s “Cold War,” exercise and proper diet have gone a long way toward extending the pro lifespan from the early-20s retirement age of a quarter-century ago, and benchmarkable feats are well within grasp provided you posess mastery of backside noseblunts and other similarly forceful tricks such as backside 180 switch frontside crooked grinds, as Ryan Gallant has proven able.

Goofy footers now can sit back in a leisurely manner as the onus shifts to regular footed pros and certain other would-be players to attempt a switch version, or do it frontside.

Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, will benefit because Ryan Gallant’s trick will encourage people to reach for hidden strengths within themselves, a living tribute to Gary Gygax.

Windmill propellers may find to go for another spin or two, modeling their movements on Ryan Gallant’s board and generating clean and renewable energy for residential houses and however many wafflemakers they contain.

Street League contestants will watch for opportunities to climb in the rankings in the form of tiny, tiny teardrops gathering in Nyjah Huston’s eyes, as he imagines other famous hubbas that he may one day kickflip backside noseblunt.

Stevie Williams could be rubbing his hands together in glee at the prospect of collecting this clip for the pending Gold Goons production, said to feature the cast of the Nintendo game Goons and Goblins and several heavy ingots of gold ore.

Castiatic Tackle

July 12, 2014

TWSs

Big Punisher the rap singer famously weighed 700 pounds at the time of his untimely passing several centuries ago. This achievement, unequaled by rappers of his time or since then, made true the statement that this onetime government-named Christopher Rios had more heart than would-be rivals in the game because it later was revealed that his heart was three times the size of a normal human’s, a Grinch-like feat that alongside his body of work enshrined eternally Big Punisher’s non-player status.

Would Transworld Skateboarding have enjoyed similar canonization had the Tracker-birthed publication evaporated at the height of its Sears-catalogue engorgement? The future of the past unoccurred is but a shadow out of time and a colour out of space. However, a confluence of worldwide economic tightenings, growths within internet page browsing, and the collective lines of ethernet speed snorted by Youtube uploaders, hard/softgood manufacturers and Pro Spotlight-eligible pros themselves seems over the past decade to have exacted a fleshy toll upon the World’s Number One Skateboard Magazine*.

TWS has hovered slightly above the 100-page mark in recent months, roughly same for The Skateboard Mag. Days when colourful and pro-endorsed hair gels and the dairy industry trade group balled for position alongside Baker boards and decades-old urethane concerns seem to have faded, with some choosing instead to pursue unique clicks and views on Quartersnacks.com and the Slap message-boards, while a new vanguard of more-virtual board outfits slings merchandise straight off white-labeled web blog platforms. It is a departure from the heady days of 2003, when TWS’ 20th anniversary issue boasted four different covers enveloping 408 pages; ads for Seek, Artafact, Germ and Fuze; two separate spreads featuring Toan Nguyen and one with Anthony Pappalardo backside tailsliding a hubba.

In recent weeks, Palace made several ripples for having an ad in TWS at all — which when you think about it is an uneasy look, re: one of the better-selling (and better-conceived) board companies of the day sort of deigning to show up at the party. Elsewhere, magazine ads taken out by Supreme and Fucking Awesome similarly have been seen as a novelty. While the remaining big three mags experiment with placing print content online in various forms, recent jumps from print to digital for Skateboarder and Slap ominously withered on the vine.

Worse, print publications increasingly appear locked in a slow-burning battle against a posse of nimbler websites able to post clickbaitable content willy-nilly without regard for print deadlines, touring schedules and the lassoing of press-ready adverts. In a broadening competition for the thumb-scrolling consumer of skate-related text blocs, this corner of the pasture has earned some coups: Jamie Thomas last month confirmed to Jenkem Mag recent rumors that Zero and Fallen would move to Dwindle, about a week after the site put up a thoughtful interview with recently-out photog Sam Maguire and a few months after they got Paul Rodriguez to run down the model for his board company. EXPN.com some months back interviewed Ty Evans on his post-Crailtap plans and earlier this month got Chris Cole on the record about quitting Zero (though without bothering to call him on press-release linguistic exercises or his statements to the contrary a few months ago).

Transworld the other day did land Habitat treehugger-in-chief Joe Castrucci on the company’s future with a heartwarming video to boot, though Jenkem the same day posted an interview with rider-wrangler Brennan Conroy that featured a shade more industry laundry aired.

The websites do not offer products for sale to coax revenue from lucrative zones such as airport bookstores and the remaining Barnes & Nobles. But they seemingly hold an advantage in being able to regularly crank out buzz/worthy list items. They’re also able to occasionally capitalize on the print mags’ own content, such as Nyjah Huston’s comments regarding girls and skating, which subsequently were walked back. They can freely post up more-lengthy items that don’t readily lend themselves to photo-powered features, like Muckmouth’s endlessly entertaining and entertainingly endless ‘Back in the Spotlight’ series and Jenkem’s Big Brother-worthy interview with ‘Tyler’ the skated-in sock enthusiast, or the more meditative feature on Tony DaSilva’s post-Foundation pursuits.

TWS and TSM and Thrasher could move similarly and sometimes do; witness Transworld’s own recent scoop, catching up with a fresh-out messageboard darling Jereme Rogers. You’d imagine though that they’re more constrained with the machinations of producing an actual physical product every four weeks, the expenses that go alongside supporting staff photographers, designers, writers and ad-sales officials. It has rightly been said that print magazines’ role these days includes some gatekeeping, and that a photo or interview in a magazine means more and lingers longer in the collective consciousness, and they have maintained as the de-facto locales for hosting and posting serious ‘internet’ video parts. But one worries how long this persists when the every-four-years generational shift skews more and more toward informing itself via mobile phones and whatever vaporous, cloud-infused technology may lurk just over these brave and binary horizons, for instance a floating monocle that allows the wearer to surf a web and look at his or her phone through the other/opposite eye.

Thrasher remains relatively fat and seems kind of insulated to all of this, having harnessed its SOTY award as a magnet for exclusive campaigner video parts, shifting KOTR toward a WWW serial and generally tethering its fortunes to the same winds of extreme whimsy that have lifted the boats and market shares of Anti-Hero, Independent, Spitfire and Vans over the past half-decade. For better or worse, how many TWS or TSM logo shirts do you see on dudes outside the page that bears the subscriber postcards?

What does the ‘culture’ if it can still so be called lose without mags of record, available to impressionable groms as they wander their junior-high libraries and kill time while their moms peruse supermarkets? As the multinational footwear vacuums of Nike, Adidas and Converse briskly hoover up teamriders, should we similarly consider the vision of a future centered upon one or two print mags and a host of bootstrap-pulling, internet-based contenders? How have the dwindling number of skate magazine pages affected the photographer ranks, and will an honest living be makeable should the pendulum of publication shift squarely to the internet? How much do the board/shoe/etc companies themselves, nudging their teamriders toward cultivating flighty Instagram followings, bear responsibility for shifting eyeballs away from the printed page?

*Billed more recently as ‘Skateboarding’s Finest’

7. Tom Remillard – ‘Perpetual Motion’

December 24, 2013

This technically wasn’t a one-spot video section in the sense of Chet Childress’ ‘God Save the Label’ or Haslam and Daewon’s ‘Cheese & Crackers,’ but Tom Remillard wrung enough mileage out of the curvacious Washington Street that the whole section could’ve been there and still been good. Give Tom Remillard points for his stabs at some rails but in a time when everybody skates everything it’s cool to see a dude make his style of skating work for him as much a possible, like on the wallride ollie-out or the vertical b/s powerslide wall-wiper thing. All the over-vert slashing and ditch pillaging here skews closer to the Thrasher brand but Transworld’s production values arguably do a better job maximizing this type of skating, up to and including the slo-mos.

Flexin

May 2, 2013

wanted

It has been widely theorized that Mother Earth, known around some parts as GAIA or “Big Bloo,” periodically unleashes natural disasters to right global wrongs and remind her solar passengers who’s boss. Hurricanes, earthquakes and several Ja Rule albums have been attributed to nature correcting itself in a natural fashion. There is an unconfirmed science rumor that the comet which ended the dinosaurs’ reign was actually minding its own business when the earth, weary from hauling heavy lizard flesh around the sun for eons on end, intentionally floated out into the troublesome space-rock’s path.

Flash forward several years to when Girl and Chocolate released their high-def opus, “Pretty Sweet,” ostensibly like ODB for the children staffing the team. If Guy Mariano’s comeback section half a decade earlier in the Lakai video proved he still had it, closing out a production otherwise given over to hot shoes who hadn’t yet picked up a board by the time Guy Mariano was sprinkling LA confetti upon jubilant skid row dealers sounded a clarion call to old dudes everywhere, in the same way that Eric Koston’s part in “The Chocolate Tour” a decade earlier inspired the true life story of “Murderball.”

Even as winter’s unrelenting icy grip has punished would-be green shoots attempting to poke their buds aboveground this spring, so too have industry oldsters answered this call over the past month, refusing to yield to the current crop of handrailers and manualites. Transworld’s generally short-in-the-tooth production “Perpetual Motion” gave the curtains to the non-threatening hammers and gently shampooed hair-stylings of Julian Davidson, but at that point the trick of the video (50-50 handrail gap, also in the running for overall filmed achievement of the year) had already been performed by Silas Baxter-Neal, who in that lineup of uppers and comers counted as its vet, when you factor in his old-soulness and general SOTY gravitas.

Weeks later the security camera-laced Deathwish production launched with the breakout section recorded by probably the oldest or second-oldest dude on the squad, Jim Greco, he for whom 1,000 cattle have been slain to date in the ongoing search for a jacket that encapsulates just how feckless he is feeling at any given moment. Greco darkslides, across benches and from 360 flips and down handrails and switchstance, but amongst all that razzle-dazzle he appears to have cleaned out five years’ accumulated DV tapes worth of backside 360 lipslides down big handrails and certain big jumps. Jim Greco’s own post-sobriety turn in “Baker 3” always seemed to me kind of scattered after his angry energy in “Misled Youth” and that “Baker2G” part that birthed a whole subgenre, but this one came off like he really, really wanted to go for it, kaleidoscopic outfits be damned.

Now as socialists around the world unite to march for solidarity and universal health-care coverage and tax deductible bail payments for regular- and goofy-footed independent contractors alike, Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen take their turn to shock the industry, except this time by quitting their jobs rather than doing them. Yet the abrupt flying of a couple decades-deep dudes from their long-time coop — where millionaire boss Rob Dyrdek had effectively given them lordship over the springier chickens — already is seen by message-board plutocrats and industry pundits as a game-changing moment and perhaps the greatest identity crisis facing Alien Workshop since Lennie Kirk seriously devoted himself to armed robbery.

Will Jason Dill get on Palace? Is skating inherently a young man’s game, except for vert and the giant mega-ramp, where it’s a middle-schooler’s and middle-ager’s game that may reward you with an SUV? Is Mark Suciu actually a 40-year-old bro who had been quietly filming in various towns under assumed names over the past 15 years, and is the steady release of footage a sign that he may have died sometime early last year, leaving the executors of his estate to periodically drizzle out tapes to sponsors in a Tupac-like series of posthumous releases that will subsidize the multiple wives he secretly and illegally maintained in small towns across the U.S.?

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?”

Shouts To Werner Heisenberg, Dejuan Rice, The (Extinct) Protoceratops And Everybody Who BBQ’d This Weekend

July 22, 2012

Quantum theory teaches us that the act of observing a process can affect the result. A recent interview with Josh Kalis reminded readers that in the 1990s Scott Conklin was not to be trifled with. Now, another reconnoitering looms, as we determine what to make of a sober-minded treatise on our cultural forebears from the New Yorker of all places.

The early to mid-nineties are mostly recalled by skaters as a time of funny tricks and super-baggy pants, of random mockery by the public. Gone were the days when everybody knew about Powell, when Cab won high-air contests and pretty girls mewled around Hosoi. Many skaters now did hard, often ugly-looking moves; ridiculously, transition skating was even derided, for a time making it impossible for such pros to make a living. And yet, at the same time, the innovation begun in the eighties marched on. Gradually, people could land flip tricks (where the board flips in different ways under your feet while you remain in the air) cleaner, faster, and more consistently. And in a stroke, the full realization of the concept of switch-stance—doing tricks going the other way, like someone deliberately pitching with their non-preferred arm—effectively doubled what could be done. To top it all off, the best ramp skaters learned what nobody would have dreamed of, which was to make the new, ultra-precise street tricks compatible with twelve-foot-tall half-pipes. These skaters were indeed obscure and comically dressed. But most skaters in 1992, viewing Plan B’s “Questionable Video”—in which Pat Duffy faced terrifying handrails with a matador’s nerve and in the rain, and Mike Carroll reminded us that San Francisco’s Embarcadero Plaza was a brilliant laboratory, a sort of Silicon Valley of skating—understood that they were witnessing something extraordinary. There was no telling what each new video would prove possible.

True, true. Web places like this one, constructed around the practice of picking nits, could give it a shot here but it’s not easy sledding in that regard since the bro James Guida has a grip* on history, isn’t much contesting a generous number of consensus-backed pro picks, and obviously shares a soft spot for the 1990s and in particular the outsidery attitude fermented in that rich, bubbly stew of small wheels, big pants and occasional rave music. This is where the whole pursuit veers into paradox territory though. Looka here:

The popular notion of skaters tends to be as adolescent (often true, speaking purely demographically), male (ditto), unruly and anti-social (there are shades to that). So, yes, there’s some fact there. “Skateboarding is not a crime,” a famous sticker from the eighties, was so popular in part because skaters knew and liked that it was a crime. Skaters do grind and mark things and take chances in people’s empty pools; the constant dodge and chase of security guards has always been an occupational hazard. (A regular feature in skateboard videos, much like skits in rap records, is clips of encounters with authority or otherwise humorous pedestrians.) But skaters are a far more diverse and accepting bunch than most people tend to recognize. It makes sense: their obsession has tricks, not rules, and nobody’s there to tell you which ones to do. Style is valued above all, and both tricks and terrain expand with people’s imaginings. With reason, some like to say that skating is an art.

Guida rightly credits the anti-social aspects of skating as a defining trait. But what’s it say re: general positioning in the societal food chain if you’re getting a well-reasoned thumbs-up from the New Yorker?

*Rip Grip? Lawl