Posts Tagged ‘Trap or Die’

The Rise of Hazzard County

May 3, 2020

The world is unfair. If you are physiologically tall, like Tyshawn Jones, it’s easier to do high jumps up things like the EMB six, even switch. If you are low and short, you possess an inborn advantage when navigating spots like the double duck-under bump to gap that Chris Jones skates in ‘365 Days,’ or not hitting your head in low-ceilinged parking ramps. If you possess super powers, you can bust through walls or save individuals from burning buildings or wallride heavy machinery.

Not every advantage is rooted in squishy biology. Generations reared under California’s staring sun and snow-free temperate temps can guzzle cheap imported beer and train for the Olympic Contest all year round, rich with spots and pools and parks all over the place. Denizens of crumbly urbanaties like New York and Philadelphia enjoy doing their tricks against the appealing architectural densities that power some of the world’s most important t-shirt brands. In America’s Pacific Northwest, fever-dreaming hellriders scooped and shaped ever-gnarlier concrete bowls, waves and swirly whirls into breeding barns to populate the ATV era.

But what if some massive, invisible force grasped this intricate and arousing ecosystem of genetic haves, geographical have-nots and assorted others, then shook it vigorously, erasing the standing order similar to a galactic Etch-A-Sketch? Under the microscopic, economy-smashing fists of C0V1D-I9 it is happening. Even as coastal dwellers in California, Washington, New York and Florida remain locked down to various extents, the Great South, Texas’ tidal grasslands and the Dakota fracking grounds are ripe for the proverbial ripping. While socially distant pros and bros sheltering in industry meccas await Amazon deliveries of Iphone tripods and annoy downstairs neighbors with IG flatground challenges, their Red state counterparts increasingly are free to hoover sand from freshly emancipated skateparks, reacquaint themselves with ‘Night Prowler’ fisheye proximities and clip up. In the fast-moving, fickle and fad-devouring world of skateboarding, kids may soon recall coastal dominance of ‘the culture’ only via moss-gathering YouTube embeddings and lore passed down in recreationally scented whispers of oldsters staking out the skatepark parking lot curb.

What would it look like if the industry’s center of gravity shifted below the Mason-Dixon line? Glimpses can be glimpsed via past exploits of past southern-state heavies including Opry-minded handrail cannonballer Ben Gilley, genteel Real retiree James Hardy, hot rod-loving and glam rocking swamp rat Sal Barbier, once and future hessian kingpin Jamie Thomas, Texan ditch coinesseur Michael Sieben. The image in sharpest recent relief comes from Atlanta’s Justin Brock, who dusted off his blue jeans, goatee and guitar rawk last week for a burner of a part for Stratosphere. His fakie master status remains intact in his current team management role, riding a long fakie 5-0 off a loading dock ledge and Rick flipping a sizable crust stretch, and the frontside bigspin is strong as ever, whipping one up a Chicago curb and then fakie down a heaping helping of stairs. He’s got a confident hand-point on the table-top backside lipslide at one point, and the nollie flip wallride enter is Jake Johnson-level force and mysticism.

Is the vision of a southern-led and -fried skate sphere, as laid out by Justin Brock, George Thorogood, Young Jeezy and Skid Row really such a bad thing? Will easing lockdowns draw filming trips to Midwestern and Southern states, delivering an economic boost to their budget motel chains, liquor stores and strip clubs? Would a longterm skate-industry tilt toward Southern and Midwestern states leave the industry dangerously vulnerable to hurricanes, tornados, dry county regulations and Boss Hogg?