Posts Tagged ‘Tyshawn Jones’

Boil The Ocean And ChatGPT Sit Down For Conversation

December 17, 2022

Boil The Ocean: So after all the dust has settled, here we are, Tyshawn Jones, two-time SOTY. What’s your take on Thrasher’s Skater of the Year award at this point?

ChatGPT: It’s difficult for me to offer a personal take on Thrasher’s Skater of the Year award as I am an artificial intelligence and do not have personal feelings or opinions. However, I can tell you that Thrasher’s Skater of the Year award is a prestigious honor in the skateboarding community. It is given annually to a skateboarder who has made significant contributions to the sport and culture of skateboarding over the past year. The award has been given annually since 1990, and past winners include some of the most iconic and influential skateboarders in the history of the sport. Tyshawn Jones is a talented and respected skateboarder who has undoubtedly had a significant impact on skateboarding in recent years, and it is not surprising that he has won the award on multiple occasions.

Looks like he picked up Rusty #2 last night. Write a brief Skater of the Year acceptance speech, but make sure and include the word hellride, since this is a Thrasher award.

Sure, here’s a brief Skater of the Year acceptance speech that includes the word “hellride”:

“Thank you Thrasher and everyone who voted for me as Skater of the Year. It’s an incredible honor to receive this award and be recognized for my contributions to skateboarding. This year has been a hellride, with its ups and downs, but I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and the support of the skate community. I want to thank my friends, family, and sponsors for their unwavering support and belief in me. I’m excited for what the future holds and will continue to push myself and the sport of skateboarding to new heights. Thank you again for this amazing award. I’ll see you on the streets.”

You forgot to thank Adidas and Supreme, and to shout out Hardies and his new board company, King. Want to try again? And keep it brief for all the people who are queuing up for the bar.

Sure, here’s a revised Skater of the Year acceptance speech that includes mentions of Adidas, Supreme, Hardies, and King:

“Thank you Thrasher and everyone who voted for me as Skater of the Year. It’s an incredible honor to receive this award and be recognized for my contributions to skateboarding. This year has been a hellride, and I’m grateful to have had the support of Adidas, Supreme, and all my sponsors along the way. I also want to give a shoutout to Hardies and new board company, King. Thank you to my friends, family, and the skate community for their support and belief in me. I’m excited for what the future holds and will continue to push myself and the sport of skateboarding to new heights. Thank you again for this amazing award. Cheers to a great night with everyone at the bar!”

Thanks, ChatGPT. So where’d you come up, and how did you get into skateboarding?

I am an artificial intelligence developed by OpenAI. I was not raised or brought up in any specific location and do not have personal experiences or a physical body. I do not have the ability to skateboard or participate in any physical activities. I am simply a program designed to answer questions and provide information to the best of my ability based on the data and knowledge that I have been trained on. My primary function is to assist users in generating human-like text based on the prompts and input I receive. I do not have personal interests or hobbies, but I am programmed to be able to provide information about a wide range of topics, including skateboarding. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

OK. Tristan Funkhouser’s frontside ollie over the long ledge at the China Banks had to be one of the gnarliest tricks to come out this year. What other tricks will go down there, before it’s gone?

The China Banks area in Vancouver, Canada is a popular skate spot known for its challenging terrain and unique features, including the long ledge that Tristan Funkhouser ollied over in a video that gained widespread attention in the skateboarding community. It is uncertain what other tricks will be performed at the China Banks in the future, as it is up to individual skateboarders to decide what tricks they want to attempt and how they want to approach the various features at the skate spot. Some skateboarders may be inspired by Funkhouser’s frontside ollie over the long ledge and attempt similar tricks, while others may choose to focus on different features or approaches. Ultimately, the China Banks will continue to be a popular destination for skateboarders looking to challenge themselves and push the boundaries of what is possible on a skateboard.

Whoah, hang on… What’s the best way to alert all the SF skaters to the apparent fact that Vancouver has heisted one of The City’s trademark spots?

It is not accurate to say that the China Banks area in Vancouver, Canada is a trademark spot belonging to San Francisco. Skate spots are not typically owned by any particular person or group and are generally open to anyone who wants to skate there. While certain skate spots may become popular and well-known within the skateboarding community, they are not typically considered to be the property of any one city or group of skaters.

If you are interested in alerting skateboarders in San Francisco to the existence of the China Banks skate spot in Vancouver, you could try posting about it on social media or sharing information about it with friends and fellow skateboarders in your local skateboarding community. You could also consider reaching out to skateboarding media outlets or websites to see if they would be interested in featuring information about the China Banks skate spot. Regardless of how you choose to share information about the skate spot, it is important to respect the local skateboarding community and any rules or guidelines that may be in place for using the area.

Geographical controversies aside, that’s a good philosophy. What about Andrew Reynolds’ move to New Balance — will they keep him frontside flipping longer than a steady diet of vulcanized Vans?

It is difficult to predict how Andrew Reynolds’ decision to skate for New Balance will affect his skateboarding career. Skateboarders often choose to skate for certain brands for a variety of reasons, including the quality and durability of the shoes and other products offered by the brand, the level of support and sponsorship provided by the brand, and personal preferences and style. While it is certainly possible that Reynolds’ move to New Balance could have some impact on his skateboarding, it is ultimately up to his own skill, dedication, and determination as a skateboarder to determine his success and longevity in the sport. Skateboarding is a physically demanding activity that can take a toll on a skateboarder’s body over time, and it is important for skateboarders to take care of themselves and make smart decisions about their training and equipment in order to maintain their physical abilities. Regardless of what brand of shoes Reynolds chooses to skate in, his own abilities and dedication to the sport will likely have a greater impact on his success and longevity as a skateboarder.

He was talking about the foam, though. New Balance has a bunch of foam in the sole.

New Balance is known for using a variety of materials in the construction of their shoes, including foam in the soles. The type and amount of foam used in a skateboarding shoe can affect the level of cushioning and support provided to the foot, as well as the overall feel and performance of the shoe. Some skateboarders prefer shoes with a higher level of foam cushioning, as it can provide added comfort and protection for the feet during long skate sessions or when landing hard tricks. Other skateboarders may prefer a lower level of foam cushioning, as it can provide a more responsive and agile feel for certain tricks and skateboarding maneuvers. Ultimately, the choice of a skateboarding shoe with a particular level of foam cushioning will depend on the personal preferences and needs of the individual skateboarder.

Speaking of skaters over age 40 ripping in New Balance shoes, Henry Sanchez has been on IG posting crazier footage than some dudes who are still in the pro game full-time. He popped up switch 360 flipping the sand gaps the other day. At this point, what’s Henry Sanchez’s legacy going to be in skateboarding?

Henry Sanchez is a highly respected and influential skateboarder who has made significant contributions to the sport and culture of skateboarding over his career. He is known for his powerful and technical skateboarding style, and has achieved a level of success and recognition that has earned him a place in the pantheon of skateboarding greats.

Sanchez’s legacy in skateboarding will likely be remembered for his influence on the sport and his impact on the skateboarding community. He has inspired countless skateboarders with his skateboarding skills and style, and has helped to shape the direction of skateboarding in numerous ways. His contributions to skateboarding will likely be remembered and celebrated by skateboarders for years to come, and he will likely continue to be a major figure in the skateboarding community.

Speaking of Henry Sanchez contemporaries, Guy Mariano has been kind of quiet for a while. The assumption is that he’s working toward some project, but who knows. What do you think’s regarded as Guy Mariano’s best video part?

Guy Mariano is a highly respected and influential skateboarder who has had a long and successful career in the sport. Throughout his career, Mariano has appeared in numerous skateboarding video parts and has consistently produced high-quality skateboarding content. It is difficult to determine a single “best” video part as opinions on the subject can vary widely. However, Mariano’s part in the 1992 video “Mouse” by Girl Skateboards is widely considered to be a standout achievement and is often cited as one of the best video parts of all time. Mariano’s part in “Mouse” showcased his technical and creative skateboarding style and helped to solidify his reputation as one of the top skateboarders of his generation.

“Mouse” is the correct answer. Let’s switch to the future for a second. The GX1000 dudes keep pushing the envelope on hill bombs, setting teeth on edge and palms a-sweating, and you wonder how far they can take it. What’s the tallest, steepest, and longest paved road in the USA?

The tallest, steepest, and longest paved road in the United States is a matter of debate and may depend on how these terms are defined. In terms of steepness, there are many roads in the United States that have steep grades and are known for their challenging terrain. Some of the steepest roads in the United States include the Mount Evans Scenic Byway in Colorado, which has an average grade of 7% and a maximum grade of over 15%, and the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in New York, which has an average grade of 11% and a maximum grade of over 20%.

Watching those vids, it can be easy to forget that sometimes it’s not just the skater on camera bombing the hill, it’s the filmer also. Some years back this space carried a fictional account of down-and-out skateboard filmers who’d been displaced by drones, which maybe registered as a type of hyper-specific dystopian sci-fi at the time, but is starting to look fairly realistic. Will drones become the predominant means for filming skateboard videos by, say, 2030?

It is possible that drones could play a larger role in the filming of skateboarding videos in the future. Drones offer a unique and versatile platform for capturing aerial footage and can provide a different perspective on skateboarding than traditional ground-based cameras. However, it is unlikely that drones will completely replace traditional cameras and filmers in skateboarding videos, as there are many factors that can influence the filming of skateboarding footage.

Skateboarding is a dynamic and fast-moving sport, and capturing high-quality skateboarding footage requires a skilled and experienced filmer who can anticipate and follow the action. Drones can certainly be useful for capturing certain types of footage, but they may not be able to match the level of control and precision that a skilled filmer can provide. Additionally, drones are subject to various regulations and restrictions, which can impact their use in certain locations.

It is difficult to predict exactly how the use of drones in skateboarding videos will evolve over the next decade, but it is likely that they will continue to be used in conjunction with traditional cameras and filmers to capture skateboarding footage. Ultimately, the choice of how to film skateboarding footage will depend on the preferences and goals of the filmmakers and the needs of the project.

The concept of AI- or computer-assisted skateboarding is a good one. Years ago, Cliche’s American manual recruit Joey Brezinski spoke on how he sometimes used the ‘EA Skate’ video game to help conceptualize super-technical tricks. Given the many permutations possible — regular/switch, fakie/nollie, backside/frontside, kickflip/heelflip, etc — might artificial intelligence-enabled systems such as yourself help identify new skateboard tricks that haven’t previously been thought of?

As an artificial intelligence, I have access to a vast amount of information and data about skateboarding and can assist in the identification of new skateboard tricks. However, it is important to note that the development of new skateboard tricks involves more than just the identification of possible combinations of tricks and techniques. Skateboarders are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible on a skateboard and coming up with new tricks and combinations, and the process of developing new tricks often involves a great deal of creativity, experimentation, and physical skill.

Skateboarders often draw inspiration from a wide range of sources, including other skateboarders, skateboarding media, and their own experiences and creativity. While artificial intelligence systems such as myself can certainly assist in the identification of new skateboard tricks by providing information and suggestions, the process of developing and executing new tricks ultimately requires the creativity, skill, and dedication of individual skateboarders.

Could you offer up a trick that hasn’t yet been done, and that the fleshy, distracted human mind may not be able to conceive on its own?

As an artificial intelligence, I have access to a vast amount of information about skateboarding and can provide suggestions for new skateboard tricks that have not yet been done. However, it is important to note that the development of new skateboard tricks involves more than just identifying possible combinations of tricks and techniques. Skateboarders are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible on a skateboard and coming up with new tricks and combinations, and the process of developing new tricks often involves a great deal of creativity, experimentation, and physical skill.

With that being said, one possible new skateboard trick that has not yet been done could involve combining elements of a grind and a flip trick, such as a grind flip. This trick could involve grinding on an object while simultaneously flipping the skateboard with the feet and landing back in a grind. This trick would require a high level of skateboarding skill and coordination, and it is uncertain whether it is physically possible or has ever been attempted. Ultimately, the development of new skateboard tricks is a complex process that requires the creativity, skill, and dedication of individual skateboarders.

ABD as hell, bruh. To take just one example, PJ Ladd’s backside 5-0 to kickflip to backside 5-0 in “Wonderful Horrible Life.” Try to think of another possible new trick, perhaps one that includes a darkslide?

One possible new skateboard trick that incorporates a darkslide could involve combining elements of a darkslide with a flip trick. This trick could involve sliding on an object with the back trucks of the skateboard while simultaneously flipping the skateboard with the feet and landing back in a darkslide. This trick would require a high level of skateboarding skill and coordination, and it is uncertain whether it is physically possible or has ever been attempted.

Another possibility could be a darkslide to frontside flip combination, where the skateboarder performs a darkslide on an object and then flips the skateboard with the front trucks while maintaining the slide. This trick would also require a high level of skill and coordination and may be difficult to execute successfully.

Kind of harkening back to Jim Greco’s darkslide era. So sticking with technology, and with the understanding that this veers more into material science versus machine learning, could you explain why, after three or four decades, skateboards have not evolved beyond seven-ply maple wood construction?

Skateboards have been constructed using seven-ply maple wood for many years because it is a strong, durable, and reliable material that is well-suited for the demands of skateboarding. Maple wood is a hardwood with a tight grain structure that is resistant to splintering and breaking, and it is able to withstand the high impact and forces that skateboarders subject it to. Additionally, maple wood is relatively easy to work with and can be shaped and molded into various forms and sizes, making it a versatile material for skateboard construction.

While there have been attempts to use alternative materials in skateboard construction, such as plastic, composite materials, and carbon fiber, these materials have generally not been able to match the performance and durability of maple wood. In addition, many skateboarders and skateboard companies have a strong tradition of using maple wood in skateboard construction, and there is a certain level of nostalgia and nostalgia associated with the use of this material. As a result, maple wood has remained the dominant material for skateboard construction for many years.

It is possible that skateboards may evolve beyond seven-ply maple wood construction in the future, as new materials and technologies are developed. However, it is likely that any changes to skateboard construction will be driven by a combination of performance and tradition, and it is uncertain what form these changes may take.

Not to mention cost, with deckmakers’ tentative efforts to raise MSRPs beyond the longtime $55 threshold raising hackles here and there. If Professor Paul Schmitt came to you today and asked you to help design a skateboard deck, what materials would you recommend?

When designing a skateboard deck, there are several factors to consider, including the intended use of the deck, the rider’s skill level, and personal preferences. Some common materials used for skateboard decks include:

Maple wood: This is the most common material used for skateboard decks. It is strong, flexible, and provides a good balance of stiffness and shock absorption.

Bamboo: Bamboo is a sustainable alternative to wood and is becoming increasingly popular in skateboard deck construction. It is lightweight, durable, and has a natural flex that can be used to advantage in certain riding situations.

Fiberglass: Fiberglass can be used to reinforce a wood or bamboo deck, adding stiffness and durability. It is often used in high-performance decks for skateboarding or longboarding.

Plastic: Plastic decks are lightweight and inexpensive, but they are also less durable than wood or bamboo. They are often used for beginners or for special applications such as pool skating.

Ultimately, the best material for a skateboard deck will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the rider. It’s always a good idea to do some research and try out different materials to see what works best for you.

Recommend the best construction for backside noseblunt sliding El Toro, which Nyjah Huston at this point may not get around to trying until after the next Olympics.

Backside noseblunt sliding on the El Toro is a challenging skateboarding trick that requires a strong and durable skateboard deck. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the best construction for this trick:

Stiffness: The deck should be stiff enough to support the weight of the rider and maintain its shape while performing the trick. This will help to prevent the deck from flexing too much and causing the rider to lose control.

Durability: The deck should be able to withstand the wear and tear of repeatedly sliding on the nose of the board. This is especially important if the trick is going to be performed frequently.

Shape: The shape of the deck can also affect the performance of the trick. A deck with a concave shape (curving inward from the center to the edges) can provide a more stable platform for the rider to stand on.

In general, a skateboard deck made of maple wood with fiberglass reinforcement and a concave shape would be a good choice for backside noseblunt sliding on the El Toro. This combination of materials and design features will provide the necessary stiffness, durability, and stability for the trick.

Got it… by the way, are you available to consult to Disorder on a contract basis, or if they need further input on deck construction should they just make an account and chat you here?

As an AI language model, I am not able to engage in paid consulting or work on a contract basis. However, I am happy to provide general guidance and information to anyone who has questions about skateboard deck construction or any other topic within my areas of expertise. If Disorder or any other individuals have questions or need further assistance, they can make an account on this platform and ask me for help here.

Easy on the budget. OK, let’s wrap this up. Looking ahead to the new year, what do you think — is Nick Matthews gonna finally get the pro nod, maybe from Anti Hero? When’s DC gonna give John Shanahan a pro shoe? Should Brian O’Dwyer go back for the switch backside noseblunt on the Muni bench, like how Tyshawn Jones put doubts to rest over his long-way picnic table switch ollie? What’s gonna be the next trick somebody tries over the 145th Street subway tracks? Will the Brooklyn Banks get brought back from the dead?

It is not within my capabilities to predict the future or know the plans of specific skateboard companies or individuals. Skateboarding is an ever-evolving sport, and it is always exciting to see what new tricks and innovations will emerge in the coming year. It is possible that Nick Matthews may receive a pro nod from Anti Hero or another skateboard company, but this is ultimately up to the company’s decision-making process and the talent and dedication of the skateboarder. Similarly, it is possible that John Shanahan may be given a pro shoe by DC or another company, but this is also dependent on many factors.

As for the specific tricks and locations mentioned in your question, it is difficult to say what the future holds. Skateboarders will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible on a skateboard and try new tricks in various locations. The Brooklyn Banks, or any other skate spot, could potentially be brought back or renovated, but this would depend on the efforts and support of the skateboarding community and any relevant authorities or organizations.

Thanks for taking the time, ChatGPT.

You’re welcome! I’m happy to help. If you have any other questions about skateboarding or any other topic, don’t hesitate to ask.

Banger Fatigue And The Yearlong Week

December 4, 2022

‘Apocalypse fatigue’ is a vocabulatory buzzphrase leaned upon to capture a sense of dissociation, listlessness, and spiritual shell-shockedness, used early on in the context of eroding public focus on climate change, more recently applied to the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitics, threats from malicious asteroids, and so on. A sense of international malaise, weaving somewhere between wonder and a concussion, can similarly be applied to the climax of skateboarding’s 2022 awards season, in which around a half hour of bar-raising video footage has been published to digital internet players over the course of a handful of days — stretching the limits of what seems possible and sometimes leaving the viewer to do little else but laugh at the absurdity of a nollie backside heelflip backside lipslide down a 12-stair handrail as a set-up trick, or popping a frontside noseblunt up the NY pyramid ledges. 

Between Nyjah Huston’s 12 minutes of handrail and hubba obliteration — including three tricks at Clipper in the same session involving switch or nollie heelflips in — and Tyshawn Jones rifling off a succession of back-to-back flip tricks over garbage bins higher than some pros could even ollie, not to mention the kickflip over the subway tracks, the skateboard media consumer can be allowed a bloated feeling of overwhelm. In between all this, Tristan Funkhouser smoked SF again and Louie Lopez still looms. Somewheres, kids are staring at their boards, feeling mildly bludgeoned and wondering if something is drawing to an end, and you feel for the Thrasher brain trust having to sort through it all and make a ruling

In past epochs, progression has come and gone in great waves, oriented as much around sub-disciplines as anything else. Christian Hosoi, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, Danny Way, Colin McKay and various other 1980s superheroes pushed the vert medium to a certain threshold before the bottom dropped out of the industry and street skating rose up, hurtling toward a flurry of flip-trick technicalities that crested and fell back even more quickly. Zero, Baker, Flip and others later hoisted the handrail era, which eventually was supplanted by the time of ledge dancing brought on by ‘Fully Flared.’ The outfits changed, and most of the names on the title cards, but they all eventually ran out of steam. 

As the focus shifted over the past decade from the professional class collectively questing after biggest/longest/hardest and toward a more fragmented universe in which specialized practitioners mine their chosen seams, progression in this IG/personal brand era revolves heavily around the individual. Now it is Sean Green and Jeff Carlyle driving forward the hill bomb, your Jamie Foys and Nyjah Hustons on handrails, Mark Suciu and Shane O’Neill and so on for technicalness, and so forth. There are not many persons doing things at the level to which Tyshawn Jones has elevated monstrous pop, or Nyjah Huston’s brain-numbing array of handrail stunts. But individuals get tired. Their bodies break, and sometimes they want to chill. 

Turning the calendar toward a fresh year means the revolving door can admit whomsoever wants to get super gnarly for the next annual cycle, and there can be no doubt that there are garrulous contenders now planning their 2023 campaigns. But after the events of the past week — Nyjah Huston taking the k-grind on the Dylan Rieder rail all the way down through the kink, whatever you call the fakie version of a nollie backside over-crook; Tyshawn Jones 360 flipping gaps that previously had only been ollied, hardflipping a 10-foot-tall bump to bar — it is hard to imagine another go-round, even kind of exhausting. 

Despite the eat-what-you-kill, increasingly productivity-oriented biz of pro skating, would anybody hold it against Nyjah Huston or Tyshawn Jones or Tristan Funkhouser or Louie Lopez or the rest of the fourth-quarter strivers if they kind of relaxed next year? By not lacing T-Funk with a shoe deal, is Vans missing out on making it a four-way SOTY contest with Nike, Adidas and Converse? With Nyjah Huston’s street filming obligations assuming to have been fulfilled for the time being, does his training and narrative-building for the 2024 Summer Games begin in earnest? Is it a coincidence that two of the current epoch’s most intensely skilled skaters also rank among its loudest dressers? After this past week does everybody maybe need a nap?

Wrath, Reality And The Raw Deal: Runners ‘N Riders For Thrasher Skater Of Tha Year 2022

October 30, 2022

In these topsy turvy times of celebrity curses and automated internet warfare, when superheroes serve mainly as anchors for movie franchises or heavy-class ocean freighters, what truly matters? If you answered ‘nothing’ you have achieved a level of nihilism that may qualify you for hawking used autos or maintaining any number of illicit substance problems. If you answered Thrasher Magazine’s ‘Skater of tha Year’ award, you may possess sufficiently heightened awareness to accurately recognize the lesser import of golden medallions, money cups and corn syrup-and-caffeine-drenched riches of various description. Who has a line on it this year? Who is bound for eternal glory, and who for the flamey fires of darkest Hades, or maybe both? Let us read along and find out.

Louie Lopez: A perennial contender over much of the past decade and in the discussion once again, the ‘Rusty’ trophy may be starting to resemble Lucy’s football to the Lou stans of the world. His bona fides at this point are not debatable and he’s this year made vids for FuckingAwesome and Spitfire, held down a Volcom tour clip, produced one of those less-common covers that commands repeated close examination and came up with possibly the most-reposted trick out of CPH Pro. He’s just had another interview-length feature in the mag with a bunch of photos that suggest more footage to come, and he’s still got a month or so to film, so odds are he could produce two if he was looking to turn up the volume.

Tristan Funkhouser: Baker’s can’t-drive-55 grease fire had so far probably the most classically ‘Thrasher’ video part this year in last spring’s Baker production, mixing his typical hairball shit like the drop down to nose manual on the Union Square block and the ferocious rip all the way through the China Banks with other pulls from his increasingly deep bag, like that switch heelflip down the SF triple set. He was all over last summer’s GX video too, most crazily the nosegrind down the Mason Street rail into the hill, and maybe will have some more before the year is out. That jaw-dropper cover shot of the frontside ollie across the long China Banks bench, a trick that was landmark enough to cap off a documentary, and with the checkerboard slips and Jagermeister shirt, seems a credible deal-sealer that would be tough to argue against.

Tyshawn Jones: After flying the FuckingAwesome coop earlier this summer, Tyshawn Jones now is fully in album mode, in the past month putting out an all-time cover for the magazine and unloading the first of at least a couple promised batches of footage in a ‘Hardies Hardware’ video that seemed comprised mainly of clips that would rank as enders for a good deal of other dudes. His bar for the tricks and spots he chooses and judicious dispensing of footage and photos makes his stuff hit harder when it lands, and it’s a strong case when he’s firing on all cylinders like this. But there’s way too many credible candidates year in and year out to hand the award to the same dude twice; the Thrasher brain trust should let Tyshawn’s current run, like Ishod’s and Kyle Walker’s in various years past, function as further justification for the years they won, and show that the title is just as much a bet on longevity beyond one or two big years or vids.

Fred Gall: In years past a half-joking response to this question that after a 25-year run now seems fairly credible, Uncle Fred has evolved from a beloved ODB-style wildman into one of the culture’s more unlikely elder statesmen, maybe even more deeply beloved. This year he did a heavy video part that stands up with some of his best stuff going back to the Sub-Zero days, has been DIYing spots all around New Jersey, presided over a more-official relaunch of his longtime homies’ board company, is helping people kick drugs, and stood for a rare portrait cover for Thrasher wearing a stained shirt and war-weary stare. It’s probably not him this year, but imagine if it were.

TJ Rogers: The leading contender for biggest pants on a Canadian — itself a heavily contested title from year to year — TJ Rogers also has represented one of the more upbeat storylines in another tumultuous year, battling cancer and appearing in recent months to have gained the upper hand. He has pumped out video parts while doing so, with some heavy stuff like a really scary nollie backside 180 over the fence at Hollywood High and an earmuff headphone save after a big backside lipslide; whereas 20 years ago riding for Blind and Es could put a pro like Ronnie Creager comfortably atop the sponsorship food chain, these days it gives TJ Rogers kind of an underdog sheen.

Jeff Carlyle: His shaved head/beard combo helping to pick him out in the various GX1000 productions, Jeff Carlyle could be argued to have gotten the gnarliest in ‘Right Here for Pablo’ a few months ago, hitting up a burly rail while the authorities close in, going back to back with Jake Johnson on a bump to bar to ledge, backside lipsliding to plunging down Mason Street, and certain other notables. All that being said, while Greyson Fletcher and Nick Boserio have done a lot to bring the flowing wizard whiskers to the fore in recent years, history shows that nobody has won Skater of the Year whilst sporting a big, full beard.

Over 15 Years Hence, Are The Notorious Red-And-Black Legged Pants At Risk Of Becoming Passé?

October 23, 2022

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” These are the now-famous lyrics of Batman’s 1989 hit single ‘Batdance,’ and eerily prescient ones at that — from topping the charts amidst the George Bush Sr presidency, Batman his own self would soon succumb to those ill-fated familiars that dragged down many of his ’80s pop contemporaries — drink, drugging and crushing self-doubt, costing him collaborators, his major-label deal and nearly his life, until mounting a comeback on the mixtape circuit several years later. 

It is a horrific parable knowed all to well to Batpersons. But what about the rest of us? There can be many applications of Batman’s particular flavour of bumper sticker-ready, vigilantistic sloganeering, but the one that demands immediate action relates, like so many things, to pants. It has been scientifically established that fit, material and the incorporation of extra pockets follows a fairly rigorous 8-12 year time cycle, with denims, chinos and corduroys rising and like the oceanic tides. Other, more exotic approaches, such as the Muska-bunch or the graphical sweatpant, surface more sporadically, and then there are the periodic transgressions, when things are deemed to have gotten ‘out of hand’ and appear to require course-correcting or some kind of cultural gut-check. 

So it was back in the mid-00s, when yung Garrett Hill donned a pair of customized jeans with one red leg and one black prior to 360 flip 50-50 grinding a round handrail for an Osiris Shoe Co ad and subsequent Zero promo. The trick rated among the era’s gnarliest and rarest filmed, at least for those not named Forrest Edwards, but it was the pants selection that would go on to live in infamy. As Garrett Hill himself related to Thrasher’s Michael Burnett in 2014:

The immediate reaction was obviously, “What the fuck?” Some people were hilariously offended. It was so funny to read the comments. Some people reacted like I had legitimately offended their mother!

It was true. Though skateboarding’s broader acceptance of its proximity to the fashion sphere would be several more years and several shiploads of digital clout still in the coming, pants for years had ranked just behind shoes as objects of both performance demands and stylistic scrutiny, particularly among the pack-hunting skateboard consumer. The knives were out for Garrett Hill’s red and black pants, and their like would not be seen again for well over a decade. 

Does a point arrive when a long-derided misstep can be reconsidered as a work of ahead-of-the-curve daring, or even overlooked genius? It was Tyshawn Jones, 2018 Skater of the Year and recently of the FuckingAwesome imprint, who in Supreme’s ‘Blessed’ initiated a reconsideration of Garrett Hill’s pants decision, wearing some eerily similar black/red legged track pants in which to nollie backside kickflip the Blubba; thereafter, Vincent Nava plumbed similar depths before departing sadly way too soon.

This year pants with two different coloured legs have threatened to push into the mainstream, with cut-and-sew pop shove-iter John Shanahan’s Pangea Jeans label offering multiple styles for $150 each; whereas asymmetrical pants have yet to rise to the ubiquity required for CCS and Active to market their own pricepoint versions, here and there, kids like Juan Pablo Velez are chipping away at the symmetrical pants standard. 

In the Thrasher interview, Garrett Hill suggested that he foresaw all of this:
Any chance of bringing these pants onto the Zero soft goods roster?
You know what? When do bands do big reunion tours? After ten years? I’m going to wait until the 10th anniversary and then bring them back. Take them on a reunion tour! Black and yellow? Might be fuckin’ orange and green? I don’t know. I’m gonna blow some minds with these pants!

Where there once was seen a stylistic tar pit, do pants with two different coloured legs now represent a potential goldmine, or is this all only a case of the sun occasionally shining on the dog’s proverbial rear? Are these type of unorthodox pants not much of a leap after various dudes for several years have experimented with bifurcated shirts and two different coloured shoes? Having challenged nearly every fashion convention available, are the 10C41 dudes now turning their attentions toward aggressive scootering?

As Above, So Below — Tyshawn Jones And The Power Of The ‘Event Trick’

October 9, 2022

In an increasingly fractitious USA, the dark turn brought by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had the somewhat bittersweet side effect of being that rare event that found Americans of nearly all political stripes and persuasions in agreement — a rarer and rarer occurrence in a land wherein the populace seems intent on sorting itself into ever-more specific subgroups of their own choosing. Timelines are tweaked to reflect favoured realities, the hit radio single or must-see TV event now relics of simpler and perhaps more naive times, replaced by self-targeted streaming series and machine-learned DJ programs that fine tune algorithms to dial up personalization, and tune out the rest of the world. The local sports franchise may briefly unite a riven city, and culture-capturing beguilers including ‘Olde Towne Road’ may still prove themselfs occasionally impossible to avoid, but these more and more seem exceptions to a deepening rule of fragmentation that shows little sign of reversing.

The seven-ply hard rock maple contingent has long satisified itself with the idea that it blazes trails and sets agendas for fashion conglomerates, artistes and less-evolved species such as scooter handlers; sometimes this proves true, like when Gilbert Crockett’s fixation on Depression-era paper bag pants eventually trickles into the fashion pages of the Wall-Street Journal, and sometimes less so, like paying women pros in line with what men make. The same entropic forces have been at work for years, though, with the street-vert dichotomy splintering into subdisciplines and microgenres that now range from SoCal handrail persisters to Love Park ledge religionists, beverage manufacturer-bankrolled mega ramp athletes, hyper-urban night skating in Japan, and Bobby Puleo carrying his torch for Texas’ 1980s backyard ramp scene. On the contest circuit, there are efforts to harness the political polarization that the much of the US seems to have adopted as its national pasttime.

This week within the span of a few minutes Thrasher, Tyshawn Jones and Atiba Jefferson digitally threw down a photo of the reigning king of New York kickflipping over the tracks at the 145th street subway station, fresh off the presses as the cover of the magazine’s December issue. IG stories proliferated and forceful emojis deployed as people raced to estimate the distance and speculate on the gnar factor of blind bumps or the science of electricity transference; a snippet of an apparent video “will” that Tyshawn Jones recorded before squaring up to the platform gap and an Atiba Jefferson selfie at track level upped the how’d-they-do-it drama that would easily make a mini-doc, like Thrasher did with Jaws’ Lyon 25 jump.

The danger factor, instantly interpretable trick and beautifully simple composition of the photo — plus the footage not yet out — added up to a seldom-encountered ‘event trick’ and immediately catapulted it into the ranks of all-time classic Thrasher covers, Jeremy Wray’s water tower ollie the most direct translation for the still-flummoxed masses. Over the near-eternity represented by a 24-hour period or so on IG, the trick consumed the entire skateboard sphere, bowl barneys and manual pad savants united in shock, praise, thrill and wonder. For Tyshawn Jones, it’s the best yet among a four-year run of four Thrasher covers, which at 23 years old places him alongside Andrew Reynolds, Lance Mountain, Marc Johnson and Jamie Thomas in terms of the number of times he’s been on the magazine’s front.

Since Tyshawn Jones and Atiba Jefferson were sporting masks on the way to the spot, how long has this trick been in the can, and was the Supreme IG video clip, featuring Tyshawn Jones in a different outfit throwing down his board in a subway station, indicative of another trick like a backside kickflip or switch ollie? How seriously do you think were any discussions around timing attempts to include in the photo subway train lights down the tunnel? By how much does this photo up the risk of harm or even death for less-able contenders looking for a shot at glory, like Jamie Thomas’ Leap of Faith? Will the perhaps-near discovery of alien life bring together the earth’s people in a new way, or only drive them deeper into alien-appeasing and alien-opposing camps? For the Thrasher mini-doc, did Thrasher bring along Mike from the Bronx like Jaws did with Ali for the Lyon 25 melon grab?

Of Denim, Dynasties and Destiny

May 1, 2022

Like the krill-scented belch of some deep-dwelling leviathan, a discordant breeze this week did blow. It was the ‘wind of change’: Tyshawn Jones announced on the Internet that he would depart the FuckingAwesome team, for a destination yet untold. Na-Kel Smith would be joining him, and for the first time since ‘Cherry’ it felt as though the expletiveamania juggernaut Jason Dill had built via junior high class photos around this generation’s ‘LA Boys’ was beginning to sputter — sort of like if in ‘Tha Last Dance’ Jordan and Rodman had quit the Bulls after a few championships to start their own expansion team that will also sell ‘pre curve’ trucker hats and airbrushed towels.

Jason Dill long has said FA was ‘for the kids.’ But strictly speaking is was not by them; perhaps it was inevitable that the tweens Dill and Anthony Van Engelen plucked and provided the platform to achieve big-fish status at one point would strike out on their own, but it leaves to burble the question of what might have kept them within the FA fold?

The answer plainly is jeans. It is a knowed truism that in 2022, year of the grub, if you cannot command a $35 pricepoint for a cotton t-shirt, you have no business being a skateboard company. And yet, with the price of a cup of gas thundering higher and supply-chain snarls and snurls reducing the product-slinging pro to a beggar for mismatched trucks, forward-thinking companies have staked their future on a more lucrative and precarious sphere — designer jeans, that fibrous endeavour that immortalized Antoine Boy’s horn and made Marithé and François Girbaud into 13th Ward icons.

Forced into the wilderness for years first by cords, then by Dickies, Carharts and assorted chinos, jeans now are the stuff of kingdom-making and eternal glory. Polar, once a Nordic upstart consumed with frontside shove its and male nudity, is now a de facto jeans company, made into an international dynamo by its zeitgeist-anticipating Big Boy line, which has been projected to occupy significant capacity levels on Maersk Line ocean freighters. Supreme remade the much sought-after Blind jeans of peak World years, putting the company’s current zombiefied incarnation, when they brought out their own version, in the unique position of aping an homage. Primitive is not so far off, marketing Tiago jeans endorsed by a noted Big Boy client. On the other hand, the strength of the Palace Jeans franchise doubtless played a role in forging its partnership with Stevie Williams manual accessory maker Evisu and more recently the Calvin Klein alliance, one of the more powerful collabos of recent vintage*. Bronze, Quasi, Theories of Atlantis and others all offer customized jeans with branded trademarks.

And what of FA? It is impossible to deny that as a company, in utter reality, they sell jeans. And yet the relatively few models proffered upon the open market of their digital storefront are outnumbered by neon-coloured corduroys, polar fleece sweats with stylized eyeballs on them and surf shorts adorned with graphical representations of babies fistfighting in the nude. To be sure, FuckingAwesome is a power in board sales, but with a fortune to be made hawking jeans to the parched and crypto-rich masses of our day, can FA truly be said to be a jean dynasty worthy of wanton worship and a $150 MSRP?

If FA had committed earlier and more fully to dominating the jeans game, would its pants-related earnings have made Tyshawn Jones and Na-Kel Smith think thrice before leaving a company drenched in denim riches? Or to adopt a ‘Kriss Kross’ position, is it rather that FA ought to instead lean even further into developing and selling graphical boardshorts? Is it time for the forward-thinking pants mogul to make a countercyclical bet on brown cords and boot-cut pants ahead of an inevitable ‘04 nostalgia wave?

*Are those Shaun Powers jeans u are wearing?

1. Tyshawn Jones — ‘Blessed’

December 31, 2018

Bill Strobeck earlier this decade helped to save skate video by rejecting the prevailing model of yearslong filming campaigns, budget bloat and too-long productions prone to crumplling beneath impossibly hyped expectations. Instead he went straight to YouTube, dug up archival clips and let the VX roll liberally on lurkers for three-minute snapshots that got more burn than some clothing and shoe money-backed full lengths. A few years down the line and steering his own big video, Bill Strobeck’s ‘Blessed’ got caught up in a lot of the same excesses, from ponderous slow-mo to a near-90 minute runtime that its creator requests be consumed in full. He’s still among the best since Baker at fusing the traditional video part with the recent ‘raw files’ fixation, panning around a few seconds before and after to let atmospherics elevate the trick — an approach that in ‘Blessed’ functioned best for Tyshawn Jones, situating him taking his lumps in the gutters while ascending to the tip-toppiest of pro skating’s tiers, with perfect, incredible hard tricks at the gnarliest New York spots in pricey, limited-edition pants. Like a gold brick smashing an abandoned storefront window, Tyshawn Jones’s skating feels imperial and commanding, brazen and loud — he’s cracking tricks thigh-high in traffic, hopping handrails with a backpack on, skipping pushes between tables in California, looking for ways to make the fearsome NY courthouse drop harder to skate. There is the street gap fakie flip, the switch backside lipslide over top of the Columbus Park rail, the silky nollie backside flip over the black hubba in Garrett Hill pants, the shifty incorporation. But the switch backside heelflip interlude encapsulates the dude’s late-2018 moment, chopping a lock, tangling with security and stacking multiple times on the way to an immaculate catch and euphoric push-away, packing into the van for the escape, everybody screaming their heads off.

A New Gilded Age For Skate Videos

December 2, 2018

There is more hugging in the new Supreme vid than you might think. A heartfelt Tyshawn Jones embrace features in promotional posters tucked into Thrasher and plastered across New York City in the run-up to the billion-dollar streetwear barony’s new full-length, emphasis on the full. Bloby pickup Kevin Rodrigues collects three after one clip, Sean Pablo rolls straight into a businesslike squeeze after successfully stepping to a backside lipslide on the Jake Johnson rail, and Sage Elsesser appears to willingly accept the outstretched arms of Andy Roy. Dudes sitting and watching tricks hug. ‘Blessed,’ which surpasses President Trump’s most-recent State of the Union address in length, freely ladles out the love: These young men bound by the red box-logo are older, better and seemingly tighter than ever, drawn close by their good fortune, high-value boxes, and a tinge of tragedy. Each heavy clip, many slathered in slow-mo, culminates in relief in the trick conquered, exaltation in the accomplishment, and joy in bro-dom. Bill Strobeck’s title, obligatory quotation marks included, says it all.*

This universe is a far cry from headbutts dealt to uppity sneakerheads, but going strictly off the skating, ‘Blessed’ justifies its celebratory vibes. Ben Kadow, he of the thousand-yard stare and latent disgruntlement, hurls himself onto rails and electrical boxes out the gate, but even he eventually succumbs to a satisfied grin by the time he chews through a couple boards on a jagged crescent-shaped lipslide. Rowan Zorilla, who still looks odd decked out in Supreme gear, delivers off-kilter jaw-slackeners including a China Banks nollie flip, another wallie noseblunt for the 2018 tally, and a how-the-fuck nose manual wallride. Sage Elsesser steps to Pulaski’s dishes from another, lower level; Kevin Bradley presses pause on his piling-out campaign to throw a beautiful over-bin heelflip and huck at the Brooklyn Banks. Splindly Blue Steel-worker Sean Pablo flicks a rather mean backside flip to fakie 5-0 at the bank-to-hubba spot while a new generation of tween onlookers man the fence, and elsewhere gets unexpectedly gnarly, backside lipsliding the Jake Johnson rail and taking a picture-perfect line down a three stack under security duress. For goodness’ sake, Na’kel Smith makes slamming look fun.

It is Tyshawn Jones, however, whose curtain-dropper asserts a measure of severity and awe, turning in what must be the heaviest east coast video part since Jake Johnson tore down walls in ‘Mindfield.’ It’s just a handful of clips here that wouldn’t stand as enders for other, lesser pros, and some whose like hasn’t much been seen before — the switch backside 360 over the can, say, or the enormously lofted fakie float over the bar. Bill Strobeck’s lingering and oft-zoomy lens soaks in the pain, struggle and eventual euphoria permeating the last few tricks, and it’s hard to turn ‘Blessed’ off without the feeling that Tyshawn Jones has changed the conversation at some level. (And then there’s the nollie flip.)

The onetime Fat Bill evolved out of the primordial VX-toting ooze to become one of the relatively few videomaking iconoclasts out there, with a fairly set group of muses, a much-derided/much-copied style, and legit classics to his resume. Surely ‘Blessed’ applies to its editor/director as much as any of his leading dudes, and he is savoring their shared moment — but at 84 minutes, he overextends himself, and there are points where ‘Blessed’ drags despite its adherence to a more classical part-part-part structure. Despite all its montages and occasional interludes, ‘Cherry’ kept things moving for a fairly brisk 40 minutes. Here, you’re watching screwed footage of Ben Kadow on a light-up wheeled cruiser for 40 seconds, or waiting as la smoke curls for the duration of Jason Dill’s ‘Trilogy’ part. There’s a lengthy EMB session capturing the crew’s chemistry, but it gets you wondering whether Bill Strobeck’s real aim is to memorialize and immortalize two years of these Supreme kids collectively ‘in the window,’ traveling the world, wearing expensive clothing pieces, and living their best lifes before the vagaries of adulthood encroach — versus constructing a more functional, digestable skate video. His filming, reliably aped here and there by Johnny Wilson, in some cases only obscures any perspective of the trick or spot at hand. There are Madinna and Motley Crue singles, incongruously.

Wave aside for a moment though what ‘Blessed’ is, or is not, and instead slow-mo pan across what it says — at a time when Instagram, Youtube and other FAANG-funded suspects are meant to have brutalized attention spans and left the full-length skate video for dead, we arrive at the end of 2018 with a bushelful of projects, some ranking among the decade’s most vital. Quasi, Polar, Bronze, GX1000, Element, Foundation, Primitive, Alltimers, Cons, Vans, Girl and Transworld all put out meaty and worthwhile video releases this year; even Etnies saw fit to offer its first in 23 years. The bloat of ‘Blessed’ itself can be celebrated, in that its frenetically collabing, billion-dollar benefactors believe in not just the concept of an hour-plus vid but will support the dude with the vision. Years after ‘Pretty Sweet,’ ‘Stay Gold,’ ‘Fully Flared’ and other big-ticket productions were declared in sotto vice to variously be ‘tha last video ever,’ a bumper crop of great videos, worth revisiting as a whole or in parts — the opening Portland tear in ‘We Blew It,’ Jake Johnson’s uphill roof flip for Converse, Buggy Talls’ switch 180 manual impossible out on the big block in ‘Its Time,’ Jeff Carlyle’s vein-pumping arms-down descents in ‘Roll Up,’ etc — suggest a new gilded age of skate videos at hand.

With internet users reportedly cutting back on Facebook pokes and youngsters formulating fewer Tweets, is it too early to declare the World Wide Web ‘totally over’ and with it, mouldering and half-sensical blogging outlets? Would there have been more hugging in the GX video if dudes weren’t moving so fast? Does Sean Pablo’s extended middle finger segment suggest he’s embraced Richard D. James as his next stylistic touchstone? Will Bill Strobeck’s use of ‘Birthday Boy’ boost Ween sufficiently in the skate video music supervision power rankings such that kids next year will soundtrack IG clips to ‘Touch My Tooter’ and ‘Poop Ship Destroyer’?

*Also, weed

The Great American SOTY Chase of 2018

November 10, 2018

First it was a blue wave, then a red wall, smashing out a purple rain (or golden shower) over a green revolution and sporadic outbreaks of orange justice. This year, the campaign for Thrasher’s Skater of the Year appears colourful and relatively wide open amid tentpole video releases, a revitalized underground contest circuit, and Viceland continuing to provide a televised venue for which ascendant bros can make sacrifices unto the skate-goat, to the extreme. Who in the skateboarding business has the power and position to contend for Thrasher’s ultimate prize?

Corey Glick: Moustachioed Midwesterner Corey Glick’s punch-through in 2018’s back half may provide some balm to that sore question — whether it’s possible these days to capture the Rusty trophy without the backing of deep-pocketed footwear marketers, corn-syrup/caffeine mixologists and other moneyed interests. The current Foundation squad seems as painfully working class as they come, which seemed no impediment to Corey Glick’s KOTR heroics on the Super Co’s behalf, or maybe, it helped. The TV turn and last year’s ‘Am Scramble’ attendance places him in the conversation, and his scorching section in Foundation’s ‘Souvenir’ promo is a persuasive argument, wherein Corey Glick took the lead among an unlikely crop of wallie-to-noseblunt slide clips this year, and sailed an unbelievable, barely-on-his-soles ollie to wrap the vid and secure the professional bag. The backside noseblunt shove-it heavily contends for trick of the year.

Zion Wright: There is a whiff of inevitability around the yung bro, possibly wafting by association from Floridian colleague and 2017 FLOTY to SOTY Jamie Foy, who Zion Wright seems to match in handrail fearlessness and maybe surpasses in terms of transition 540s. The newly incorporated Vice component may have shrunk the number of years dudes need to suffer and burn on the national scene to qualify for a SOTY nod, though by the time of its airing Zion Wright had already half-cab backside smith grinded Hollywood High’s long pole, along with that 50-50 to backside tailslide in Philly and the no-hander QP backside 360. Last month he captured December’s cover and odds seem better than even that he releases some other type of part before the year’s out.

Austyn Gillette: His tricks settling into a nicely grizzled groove as the days of gangly switch feeble grind shove-its fade, modern man Austyn Gillette maybe is a long shot for this magazine award, stacked clip-for-clip versus various uber-achieving peers. Within the realm of the qualitative, where tricks are the products of hand-labour and all moustaches neatly trimmed, Austyn Gillette’s ringing ‘Radiant Cure’ part crunched hubbas and rewound shove-its, flexing one of the industry’s most reliable switch 360 flips. He poured his heart out to Thrasher in one of the year’s more penetrating interviews, later tucked in for the nigh-unpronounceable EPØKHE clip and put on a late-summer clinic at LES. His weightiest contribution may have been to inspire one of the decade’s most impassioned trick-nomenclature debates.

Evan Smith: The Thrasher clan has celebrated Evan Smith’s spastic precision for years, and between his MVP KOTR acronym-hoarding and the follow-up interview feature in his cover-photo issue, the High Speed powers that be seem to have fully embraced his wide-eyed, chronically curious personal brand. Finally receiving a Skater of the Year honour would be a long time coming for Evan Smith, who’s been a credible candidate for the last several years, offering both blockbuster-level tricks and a tall measure of sweat-lodge creativity, which tends to put some distance between the visionaries and dudes who can just do every trick. In 2016 he brought mirror-image, gap-incorporating kickflip wallrides; this year it’s a frontside kickflip water-whip and street 540s. He is the heaviest favorite.

Mason Silva: A no-frills ripper who put in ‘King of the Road’ miles on this year’s winning Element assemblage, Mason Silva’s also dispersed video parts for ‘Peace’ and the leather-and-wetsuits handstitcher set at Former. You can tell Mason Silva is a workhorse by the way he takes frontside bigspin tricks over rails and gaps the hard way, or the early pop commitments required to travel fakie over bump-to-bars and handrails. He arguably could come with still more footage before the year’s out, but then again on the other hand, his crewcut and love for the frontside 360 seem reminiscent of Jeremy Wray, a perennial Skater of the Year runner-up.

Tyshawn Jones: This generation’s undisputed king of New York romps through the city with the Gonz and promises a landmark part in Bill Strobeck’s soon-to-debut ‘Blessed’ opus for Supreme, and given that most of the yung restauratuer’s moves this year have been made in and around NY, odds favor a Jake Johnson ‘Mindfield’ tilt at the gnarliest and hardest-to-tackle spots on offer across the five borroughs. One of those — a train station ollie that Quartersnacks placed a bounty on months back — just landed the first Thrasher cover of the New Year, and earned the AVE endorsement.

This Holiday Season, Give Thanks for Tyshawn Jones

November 26, 2016

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