Posts Tagged ‘Tyler Bledsoe’

Footage Chasms, The Ultimate Answer, And An Alternate Quartersnacks Ballot

October 26, 2019

In Douglas Adams’ cautionary coming-of-space-age ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ series, men at one point design, construct and program a computer powerful enough to deliver the answer to ‘life, the universe and everything.’ The momentousness of the answer upon its final calculation, ’42,’ is undermined by its numerical and rather tingly nature. Their next technological plate of crow was to design, construct and program a computer powerful enough to supply the actual question, though it is unclear whether this strategem saved the ultimate answer-seekers from being torn to bits by an angry mob.

Thug-motivated New York City scene chroniclers Quartersnacks this month asked an only slightly less weighty question: If you were to bury five video parts and five full-lengths released between January 1, 2010 and today under your house for future generations to reference when they discover skateboarding, what would they be? Loaders of the website subsequently were directed to enter the five best video parts, in order, followed by the best five full-lengths, in order.

Mind the gap, gentle reader, as you are swallowed into a gaping chasm of IG footage comps, Thrashermagazine.com web entries and full-length contributions from a constellation of pros, ams and assorted bros that sputtering economic gravity pumps cannot stop from expanding. The Snack Man requests favorites, and so these shall be received. But tweaking the first iteration of the question — burying only a handful of vids for future generations to unearth — exhumes an entirely different answer.

Would such a time-capsule document contain the subjective faves of its stuffer, including subtle but essential variations on Love Park ledge, backside noseblunts, prohibitions against varial kickflips and kids under 16? Or might it objectively map the body of 2010s skating, with all its gasface-inducing ender-enders, its thirsty moneyraking, its aching tragedy, its wonderful stylistic entropy? Which five video parts* could guide some 2050s hardflipper through this expiring decade’s ups, downs and wooly sideways moves? Is it possible to capture a whole decade in a five-part ‘mixtape’ or is this the type of ill-considered subintellectual exercise best left to archaic blogging platforms and their sludge-dripping ilk? Let’s read on.

Tiago Lemos — ‘Press Play,’ 2016

Did any individual person over these past ten years expand and warp the known boundaries of skateboard possibilities more than loose fitted bio-Brazilian Tiago Lemos? The answer is maybe, but they all could be stacked and concrete poured over them and still Tiago Lemos could switch backside tailslide the lot. His godlike pop only is one part of the picture, and in this clip for DC he dishes forth various handrail barges and pants-wrinkling technicalities like the nollie inward heelflip backside lipslide.

Nyjah Huston — ‘Til Death,’ 2018

This long-in-the-making union of Nyjah Huston, Nike and Ty Evans aligned the sector’s highest-powered and most bankable entities to create a relentlessly hyped part that was at once gobsmacking, expensive looking and oftentimes difficult to watch. Nyjah Huston has come to embody a certain kind of moneyed excess, both on and off the board, and as global wallets open and the hoopla machine winds up ahead of the 2020 Olympics, ‘Til Death’ was an apt warm-up act.

Blobys — ‘I Like It Here Inside My Mind, Please Don’t Wake Me This Time,’ 2016

Polar’s rise to prominence in the early ’10s marked the power shift away from the distributor-conglomerates like Crailtap, DNA and Black Box, raised up on THPS-driven largesse in the years before the skate economy’s bottom fell out, and Pontus Alv’s pulsing, frenetic full-length debut for his Nordic board designer cemented the new vanguard. The Polar dudes scattered their shove-its, wallrides and no-complies across Europe, New York and the Pacific Northwest, but if you were to bottle the aged grayscale stone, fast-and-loose street schralps and Continental accents that wielded influence across much of the decade’s second half, you would pour out something like the Paul Grund, Roman Gonzeles and Kevin Rodrigues JV that closed this vid — bashing walls and curbs, early grabbing and disastering through swinging chains and neon glare past midnight in the Paris cuts.

Lacey Baker — ‘My World’, 2017

Fragmentation of skateboarding’s controlling constellations over the past decade, aided by Instagram, canny corporations and the proliferation of screenprint brands, helped throw doors open to any number of comers, importantly including a fresh and focused female generation. Lacey Baker is pushing forward the front lines, dealing in a rapid-snapping brand of tech at home atop SoCal pic-a-nic tables and East Coast monument blocks alike, here flicking impeccably over a bench, there unfurling a noseslide nose manual to flip out combo to the delight of some young Ghostbuster.

Alien Workshop — TWS ‘Cinematographer Project,’ 2012

Josh Kalis was off the team for like three years and it still got him emotional! It goes without saying that the skating, music, lineup and aesthetic here in this, last part in Transworld’s second ‘Cinematographer’ outing, held up as the decade ran its course. Alien Workshop stood at its eleventh hour apex with Dylan Rieder wrapping one of his impossibles over a picnic table, AVE tackling the Heath Kirchart hubba backside, Tyler Bledsoe threading a backside tailslide across a tight top step, some screwball Omar Salazar stuff — and then Gilbert Crockett and Jake Johnson rising to the pro ranks, that switch kickflip, the nollie backside wallride with all four wheels, the switch front blunt. It’s hard to imagine one video part touching ten years’ worth of heights, tragedies, power shifts and stylistic milemarkers, but this one set up an awful lot of them.

*Naming five feature-length videos that capture the era is relatively easy. They are, in no particular order, all of the Bronze videos.

Boxcar Sled Dogs In The Mood

July 22, 2018

With Oedipal vibes, Quasi’s inaugural full-length at long last arrived last week, spiced with temptation. As ever, messageboard banditos probed and hunted for stray links ahead of the official online release. Shortly after it finally hit, an electronic threat from former Throbbing Gristle frontperson Genesis P’Orridge of all people torpedoed the original Youtube link. This forced resourceful computer-rippers to seek out alternate hosting capacity via sites specializing in sophisticated adult entertainment of a different stripe, and left the rest of the world pondering what air cover their web caches and private-browser settings might provide in their pursuit of ‘Mother.’

For those ponderous unfortunates cursed to read between life’s lines and leave no Magic Eye poster unstared upon, it has been tougher still. DNA analysis obligates any video historian to place Quasi’s first full-length within the same creative lineage as ‘Photosynthesis’ and ‘Mosaic,’ citing teamrider and darkman resumes, Ohio geospatial data and the winking juiciness of the Pappalardo hamburger.* It is easy, upon the seventh or eighth watch of this excellently put-together video, to speculate idly as to any nods or winks involved with soundtracking an intro to ‘Band on the Run,’ hailing the heady freedom and risk of escape and liberation — this from the company that announced its emergence from the Alien Workshop/Pacific Vector meltdown with the declarative “no more corporate blues,” and wind up this vid with some oldster stating that he’s “looking just to get away.” The rorshach-test qualities of many Quasi graphics invite similar ponderings: Do all the race cars, motorcycles and fast-running dogs similarly speak to themes of speed and escape? What about the Dale Earnhardt tributes and those drippy sculptures? How much of this is designed mainly to befuddle deck consumers who may feel on sturdier ground with pizza-themed art or endless iterations of a stylized letter B?

Whatever cipher is to be found in Quasi’s graphics, on maple or judiciously sprinkled amongst the footage in ‘Mother,’ probably serves best as a vehicle or backdrop to the team and its skills – all of which ‘go,’ in the parlance of our times. What really merits those mysterious VHS tapes’ positioning alongside the earlier yellow, gray, orange and white cassette ancestors is the video’s careful crafting and exquisite tricks. Forestalling much of the talented flow squad gets ‘Mother’ under the critical 30-minute bar, even with timeless-feeling intro and credits sections. There’s a parallel universe somewhere with full Jake Johnson and Al Davis sections, sure, but their material here is presented in the most resourceful fashion possible, and the efforts of the other bros and ams — especially the ams – more than get the video over besides.

Justin Henry, latest of the Ohio torchbearers, delivers on years’ worth of early promise, gliding and jamming his way over spots on both coasts, fusing otherwise disparate moves into weirdly smooth alloys like the bigspin backside lipslide to firecracker out, or the wallie leap to noseblunt slide. The Grant’s Tomb backside noseblunt is there. Beltholder for greatest hair in the industry, Josh Wilson, blasts multisyllabic flip tricks over various bars and dangerously dings some other ones, along with an intense ollie out of a tall wallride. There is Tyler Bledsoe’s most recent addition to the backside tailslide canon, an almost painfully good Jake Johnson flowerpot backside kickflip, Al Davis thundering switchstance down a cascade of mountain peaks.

Gilbert Crockett, who seems yet to let up from a string of heavy parts following 2015’s ‘Propeller,’ constructs a throbbingly manual-heavy closer that includes an unhinged fakie flip switch manual to switch frontside shove-it out and the rather intense kickflip nosemanual over the guardrail and down the embankment, plus other crazy shit like a scary fence jump and a switch backside nosegrind at the JFK bank to ledge. But it is Dick Rizzo with the most pumping, vital section, cracking over bars and banging down on fire-engine red cellar doors with a weirdly fluid grace, or jumping catlike over the boulevard after half-spinning switch into some griping grayhairs’ beloved banister. There are lovely dips on the backside smith grind and switch backside 5-0, the sounds of the under-bridge wall blast deeply satisfy, and the backside nosegrind revert to GT rollercoaster makes good on the pain and leaf-diving required to reel it in.

Does Quasi have the bench-depth and belly fire to come back in six months’ time with another vid showcasing Drake Johnson, Justin Drysen, Dane Barker and all those Justin Henry tricks that didn’t make it into this one? Is Bobbito back to reclaim his spot after being displaced by Shadoe Haze? Will this year reunite the Dayton diaspora in video releases if Fat Bill completes the new Supreme/FuckingAwesome one and the now three-years revived AWS brings the Joe Castrucci-helmed release described by now deservedly-pro Frankie Spears?

*Note: Boil a Ocean Weblog briefly considered registering @PappalardoBurger on Instagram, and using this to make several humorous posts relating to various video parts in the voice of the burger itself, but ultimately chose instead to leave it to parties who could do more justice to such a concept, rather than linking back to a meandering and partially thought out internet screed

10. Tyler Bledsoe – ‘All Clear OK’

December 22, 2016

For one of the only companies among the new crop intent on harpooning the full-length video cetacean, Quasi is taking their sweet time, averaging so far one part a year, which is all to the good since it feels like they’re still figuring out their motion-picture aesthetic without veering too much onto Bill Strobeck or Mike Hill territory. Between the slow-mo trash bin bash and the crab-walking hoedown, Tyler Bledsoe’s ‘All Clear OK’ scrapes a little bit of both, but the opening automobile wipe to backside flip and the backside smith grind drop-down are promising indicators of any longer-playing project to come. Tyler Bledsoe, who’s gone dark a few times here and there in recent years, resurfaces to a throbby techno track in savage mode with a teeth-rattling street gap nollie 360, a deceptively hard entry into the Pupecki grind annals, and a round-the-world backside tailslide ender, and who else has them like that.

Tyler Bledsoe Is Majestic

December 4, 2013

Bigspinning Pacific Northwesterner Tyler Bledsoe is back on the scene after keeping sort of a lower profile in recent years, possibly seeking professional treatment for his previously documented infatuation with the color teal. The ledges in this remarkable Etnies clip exhibit a more verdant shade of green, suggesting some progress in his personal journey, and it’s comforting to realize that even having shed his spectacles his command of the backside bigspin remains uncannily intact on what has to be one of the tougher ledge tricks to lock into, much less spin anything out of it, much less in the middle of the ledge.

Board control’s one thing, but do Tyler Bledsoe’s recent feats suggest a genetic mutation that gives his feet greater mastery over gravity, similar to folks who from birth are unable to feel pain, or rapidly develop massive muscles? Could Tyler Bledsoe’s apparent gifts enable him to defy physics in other ways such as sprinting through waist-high water or executing hairpin turns on frozen lakes? Did ancient Mayans develop a two- or three-year calendar based around the frequency with which footwear companies try to launch camouflage shoes?

Bryan Herman’s Genes Yearn For Him To Join The Redneck Yacht Club, But At What Cost To His Immortal Soul?

April 13, 2013




In its most crude and base form, skateboarding is the business of fulfilling dreams. Warrior-poet Marc Johnson once opined in a Transworld vid that, one’s deck sturdily underfoot, “you can take something that was pure thought and make it reality.” Under the half-lidded stewardship of the Muska, Shorty’s called their inaugural video offering “Fulfill the Dream.” But what happens when such dreams go “to far”?

Jason Dill’s personal dream of dockside labor is a dream deferred. But even with yesteryear’s billowing pants and flapping tees put aside, and wife beaters snugly tucked, Dill and fellow world-weary coffee sipper Dylan Rieder seem blind to the apparent kidnapping of mutual teammate and Oregonian bigspin flipper Tyler Bledsoe, quietly displaced for Easter Egg hunting and footage gathering by Bryan Herman in last week’s TF clip celebrating Jesus Christ’s 2013th resurrection anniversary and the healing power of black denim.

Across the desert sand, Bryan Herman boils and sweats through the night. Once a stringy-haired Spanky understudy with a reliable frontside boardslide, he wandered through his late teenage years as an eyebrowless Bowie disciple before his persona gradually cleansed itself in a vat of Cash Money mixtapes and purple kush, revealing his true nature. Now piloting a pickup truck, hunkered down in a countryside home stocked with firearms, has has become possessed of the redneck lifestyle, incenting him to pursue beer sponsorships, study the switchstance techniques of lapsed Habitaters Brian Wenning and Steve Durante and now, worse. A damnable quest to achieve Lake Havasu spring break glory can only have fermented an obsession to claim this for-sale boat and all the fleshy amenities its seller promises, so much so that Bryan Herman has stooped to secretly impersonating Tyler Bledsoe in an apparent effort to double-dip in the tobacco pouch of pro sponsorship checks.

Tyler Bledsoe’s present status remains unknown but presumed bound and gagged somewhere on Bryan Herman’s arid and junker-strewn estate. Will Bryan Herman’s lust for boating be slaked, allowing Bledsoe his freedom to pursue happyness and kickflip out of super-long backside tailslides? Was Tunechi’s recent seizure fright a “wake-up call” for the industry? Is it possible to enter the redneck skater hall of fame without owning tracts of rural land or owning a dump truck?

Freeway To Heaven

August 4, 2010

When I think back on great skateboard moments of the past decade there are a couple obvious highlights, like the occasional dispatches from planet Andy Roy and Bob Burnquist doing the switchstance inverted indy grab loop, but few put a smile on my face as much as when the opening chords of Mannie Fresh’s “Real Big” tingled my ears at my local Lakai video premiere. It was a cultural and personal high-water mark that few moments have managed to touch or tingle in such a way since, that is, until Pete Eldridge today appeared on my screen pushing his monochrome board in the new TWS vid to the rock organ-infused tones of his brother from a different beard, Rick Ross the [onetime prison] Boss.

Delving again into the powerful nature of Pete Eldridge’s brand of East Coastism, almost like pointlessly dwelling on Rick Ross’ correctional officer past, is probably not necessary for the purposes of this space. So instead let us pay tribute to the lesser-loved nuggets of eras past that Eldridge makes look timeless, including but not limited to crew-neck sweatshirts, blue jeans and switch b/s tailslide shove-its. And it’s fair to say he’s earned the video clip incentives due from all those gratuitous triple-stripe shots for his switch f/s k-grind, as well as tangling wrong-handed with a rail in the rain while a certain former law enforcement official heaves away in the background about masturbating and his perspiring groin.

“Hallelujah” is said to be the 22nd video by Transworld, which is enough to make the likes of certain absentee blogmongers feel a coming rain in their weary ankle bones, but more surprising than the long-livedness of this franchise is how they’ve managed to mostly maintain the good portions of the formula (A-list and oughtta-be-A-list dudes, grab-bag of styles/approaches, production value, general effort and soundtrack budgets affording the likes of Bill Leonard Roberts II) while sooner or later ditching the tiresome (lengthy intros, too many montages, THE VOICEOVERS). Thought about making a labored comparison to a band like AC/DC that hit its stride after the first couple go-rounds and has since mostly held up its legacy by sticking to what they do best, or a reliably reliable TV series that went on for decades like maybe “Bonanza,” but not sure either one really works. Year in and year out TWS vids are at worst worth watching twice and at best one of the better efforts of the year, which this one could be unless “Stay Gold” is scored entirely to “Teflon Don.”

The TWS vids occasionally go some distance toward making dudes’ careers and this time I found myself growing bullish on the Decenzo bros, this being the second dose of Canada’s late-aughts answer to Jeremy and Jonas. Kind of digging the unvarnished brand of rail-chomping they pursue, helped by how they apparently look for new and harder tricks to take down the rails even if they don’t wind up looking that great (nollie barley grind was impressive for real though). Rollercoaster lipslide looked fun. Taylor Bingaman’s nollie b/s 5-0 down that great big round rail just looked scary.

Someone on the Slap board described backside slider to backside flipper and noted teal fan Tyler Bledsoe as Alien’s answer to Sean Malto, which is accurate enough in its way, and it’s nice to see him do some more lines here than in “Mind Field.” Thinking in particular the tail, smith grind, kickflip sequence, a thoughtful turn that reminded me of teammate Arto’s opening runs in “Sorry.” This section seems meant as Bledsoe’s pro bow (and he has a beaut of a debut graphic) but the “Hallelujah” choirmaster has to be the increasingly hairy Torey Pudwill… his “Dudesx3” part served as a notice of arrival and here he appears intent on pushing his freakish powers to the limit of video-gamedom with all those kickflips in the midst of ledge combos and generally lazer flipping whatever frightening jump is in front of him. The arms still flap now and then but the unhinged look has a way of making some of these moves a teeny bit more realistic, or at least justifiably hard, and on some of those __ kickflip __ things you have a hard time imagining anybody else doing them, which is saying something nowadays.

And On The Eighth Day, God Made This New TWS Vid

April 3, 2010

Ridley Scott once said the difference between a film and a movie is that “a movie, I think, is ephemeral, a film is more serious,” so it was maybe fitting that after opening an email the other day announcing a new “skate film” from Mssrs. Holland and Ray, the attached preview clip swaggers with the bluster and bombast of a God-fearing gladiator who maybe also rides loose trucks. Big ideas are not new territory for TWS vids of course, having introduced us to the concept of packing your skateboard on trips to Hawaii as opposed to your girlfriend, and being an original Coors. But since foregoing the long-stale voiceover intro format it seems as though the TWS productions have been on the hunt for gravitas, leading to last summer’s unabashed celebration of the alternative lifestyle enjoyed by goofy-footers.

TWS seems to be hinting that this “Hallelujah” video will be a swing for the fences affair with the handrail hitters of Decenzo and Bingaman, ledge pyrotechnics supplied by Tyler Bledsoe and the increasingly uninominal T-Puds, and thundering switch stuff via Pete Eldridge whose switch b/s noseblunt in the preview gets the tympanis booming. Maybe they should stick with this idea, it’s been a while since somebody took a stab at skating to classical music right? When they bust out the second angle of that face-melting Tyler Bledsoe backside tailslide kickflip there sort of needs to be a gong, I think.

On an unrelated but very related note, this

Northwest Green

February 1, 2010

I guess what I took away most from Tyler Bledsoe’s interview feature in the recent Skate Board Mag, where he is crowned with that less-established but perhaps harder-working magazine award of “YBAM,” is that he likes the color teal. More than that, he employs it tastefully. It is most pronounced in the above pic, detailing a bossy backside tailslide where he had to launch past the handrail, and could alternately be a case of Bledsoe looking to expand his internet fan base, where teal was recently voted the most favorite shade of blue, or perhaps a show of Pacific Northwestern solidarity toward the Seattle Mariners.

Funny story: years back I dialogued with a bro on the DNA payroll as to the then-recent additions of Tyler Bledsoe and Grant Taylor, both of whom at the time were stubby gap-flippers of a (seemingly) run-of-the-mill persuasion. Bummed on ad space that could’ve instead shed light on the doings of AVE, for instance, I expressed reservations but “trust in Hill and Carter” was the top-line response, and although it took a few years, damn if he wasn’t right in the end. The question remains though whether there was some flickering spark or if budding greatness can be rubbed-off upon, kind of a nature/nurture type of debate for the Slap boards.

Gangstarrs

October 12, 2009

bledsoe-howard

Two tricks, that may or may not be related by blood, which popped out at me watching the great Gang of Fourstar tour vid: rumored-to-be-pro-now Tyler Bledsoe’s fully functional ledge combo at 2:30, making the most of a multi-dimensional object in 3D European space. Later, skipper Rick Howard’s backside nosegrind at 11:02, or more specifically, the way he slips the front foot back just so after the pop-out… really I did watch this like ten times. It’s weird, every time one of these Crailtap-backed tour productions comes out (starting back with “Beware of the Flare”) it always hits me how this is probably the best showcase for Rick Howard’s skating these days, though I was a big fan of his section in the Lakai video. I don’t know. Bledsoe’s gap to backside lipslide might have been the best trick in the video. Well, think I’ll watch the foot-flutter again, hold on.

Theatre of Pain

August 10, 2009

BA_slam

Folded my ankle on a poorly planned bit of board flipping this weekend, so forgive my wanting to share the misery of this bone-crunching slam from Brian Anderson in the fourthcoming “Gang of Four-Star” promo. This vid looks like it’ll also feature a generous helping of Gonzo antics, Guy Mariano’s steadily expanding universe of ledge combo tricks, Tyler Bledsoe’s newly floppy hair, some T-Pain references and a bonus-section documentary by Spike Jonez that focuses on Sean Malto’s pearly whites. Holy shit, what about that fakie backside tailslide* that Max Schaaf did, holy shit. Nine out of ten doctors decree that Four-Star’s brand breezy tour video complements the RICE/Naproxen regimen well, as does Vince Del Valle’s Black Label part. And Leinenkugel’s. Viva la VCR…

*did we get it right this time?