Posts Tagged ‘unfrozen caveman Jake Phelps’

SOTYs Yet to Come, Seen Through the Truth-Telling Prism of Freshly Spilled Guts

October 1, 2017

In ancient Rome, soothsayers would seek prophecy, divine guidance and betting tips in the entrails of sacred animals, surveying plumpness of spleen and colouration of liver to help foresee military conquests and innovate the hot dog. Just as Jupiter, Mars and various other heavenly bros guided the blessed knives of bloody-fingered oracles, so does Boil Ocean Web Page probe the still-steamy innards of skating in 2017 to predict contenders, near-missers and hangers-on that define our reality today as the 2017 Skater of the Year campaign, still looking wide open, careens into this year’s final quarter:

Louie Lopez: Of all the Flip ‘Xtremely Sorry’-era tween pickups, it has been among the windingest roads for once-Lil Louie Lopez, who took his time choosing a path betwixt the contest-circuit hittingness of Luan Oliveira, David Gonzales’ Hot Topic handrailing and the towheaded glamour often associated with Curren Caples and Ben Nordberg. For yung LL, there is a middle way flavoured with GX1000 hills and wallies; it already would have been a noteworthy year for him, what with a pop-shove powered part for Spitfire, a Thrasher interview heavy on shitting-related questions and a slot on the Thrasher/Spitfire trip, but he also delivered among the year’s most memorable Instagram clips — possessing all the elements, a banging trick, legendary spot, beer, freaking out squares. And he’s probably got another video part in him by early December.

Tiago Lemos: Could it an unacceptable breach of protocol to award Skater of the Year to an individual increasingly suspected of being a Greek demigod of yore? Seeming to operate in near-perpetual bio-mode, Tiago Lemos still has yet to report confirmed kills of multiheaded and mythical beasties. He has, however, spent much of 2017 pushing switch mongo from one of the world’s most gargantuan switch backside tailslides to sliding a similarly sized one into a fakie manual to fakie flip out, alongside hucking humongous backside flips, surviving the fiery judgement of Fort Miley’s tall bar, and rebounding from his Dime Glory Challenge game of skate drubbing with another waist-high switch k-grind, apparently the minimum height at which this dude operates.

Shane O’Neill: Continuing his explorations of technical skating as abstract art, Shane O’Neill’s mind-numbing ‘Levels’ part in late summer posited skating as a video game in which the buttoned-up Ozzian advanced by defeating gradually more difficult ‘boss tricks,’ including a nollie backside flip late-shove-it down a solid assortment of stairs, a switch heelflip switch feeble grind on a fun-sized rail, and a fireball-heaving tribute to business partner Paul Rodriguez’s climactic Tampa-house-bringer-downer from ‘Street Dreams’. Whereas questions remain as to whether Shane O’Neill actually pushed up to his road-clearing switch kickflip opener/cover, he makes another compelling case for vanquishing the skate careerist’s Bowser, given a lesser-noticed VX part earlier in the year, services rendered in years past and likely gas in the tank for continued video achievement before the year is out.

Evan Smith: The stringy haired, starry-eyed savant seemed to have just missed Thrasher’s brass ring last year, his eye-popping kickflip wallrides ultimately falling to Kyle Walker’s kink deluge. But Evan Smith shambled on, going bananas off pillars and somehow deciding to disaster out of a switchstance manual in a 2017-opening Spitfire part. He’s since matched feats with Wes Kremer in the DC vid, shaved with puddle water, and delighted Jake Phelps with a relaxed attitude toward fearsome handrails on the Thrasher/Spitfire trip, while earning redemption points for voyaging beyond Starheadbody songs for his parts. You could choose worse.

Riley Hawk: Just as Bucky Lasek found his own lane as a domestic manservant for Tony Hawk in ‘The End,’ Riley Hawk, once a pint-sized counter-pounder, has emerged from the family breakfast nook to carve his own cavern from the sheer rock face that is the skate industry, winding down the first Lakai full-length in a decade with a knack for kinks, a willingness to fingerflip out of nosegrinds and an ironclad grip on grinds of both the Barley and Bennett persuasions. Whether he has offered enough to Thrasher’s goatheaded gods or suffered suitably to become the first second-generation SOTY is a question strictly for the hooded priests who tend HSP’s sacrificial pyres, but you could sort of see it.

Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg: Polar’s diminutive and demonic secret weapon from ‘I Like It Here Inside My Mind…’ over the past year sprouted into an all-points threatener in the mold of Grant Taylor or Tony Trujillo, flowing and blasting through transitioned concrete on several non-contiguous continents in the service of rarified endorsees Spitfire, Thrasher and Nike en route to an on-the-money professional induction. The young Swede has put in the requisite miles for Thrasher — at one point supervising a fishhook-and-thread stitch job on the sadly departed P-Stone’s lacerated ass — and remains a footage machine, whipping out lipslides to smith grinds and towering kickflips in between pocketing contest purses. Of note, maybe: It has been sixteen years since the Thrasher nod went to a Euro.

Jamie Foy: Young but a handrail workhorse, Jamie Foy’s burly physique, Floridian mane and can-do mindset have enamoured him to the Thrasher bosses, who cheered his addition to Deathwish and Shake Junt Griptape Co USA before recruiting him to Thrasher’s kickoff ‘Am Scramble’ trip. Jamie Foy’s contempt for fear and double-barreled approach occasionally recall a Revolution Mother-era Mike Vallely, except with 360 flips, though it remains unclear whether this may work for or against him in the modern SOTY stakes.

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Lil Wayne’s Poseur Card Revoked on Podcast Testimonialism

January 14, 2017

lil-wayne-tweet

Most people enjoy being the dominant life form in whatever room, building or landscape they may occupy. Cactuses, sperm whales and the common housefly all stand meekishly in the shadow of humankind’s achievements, which include mastering fire, developing the multibillion dollar telecom industry, and the Garfield coffee mug franchise. Even the largest and most ornate beaver dams and termite mounds are a joke compared to man’s buildings which literally tower over other species, often dominating them in their own habitats.

In recent decades skateboarders similarly have differentiated themselves from other members of their species, displaying a capability to navigate backyard transitions and flip boards underfoot, at first in a stationary freestyle way, and later while maintaining respectable speeds. Possessed of a tribal instinct forged in the flamey fires of societal rejection, skateboarders identified themselves with lopsided haircuts, freeform denim and flat-soled suede sneakers, snarling at pretenders trying to cop the look without paying dues in parking-lot hours and spilled blood.

Does the poseur, which once jockeyed with jocks and security guards for archvillain status, conceptually survive in this brave year of the rooster, 2017? Fattened on mall money and transfixed by sly winks from extreme-intrigued ingenues, collective guards have fallen away. Advice on appropriating skate stylings have become common enough that Jake Phelp’s occasional grouchy grumping over Thrasher tee-sporting celebrities is seen as increasingly quaint.

Now comes Lil Wayne, née Dwayne Carter, Cash Money Records’ Danny Way, an industry-reared wonder boy possessed of once-in-a-generation talents, later estranged from early benefactors and in later years, outpaced by onetime proteges. In his post-platinum era wanderings, which also has included guitar solos and bowling, Lil Wayne picked up skateboarding, following earlier lines drawn by Pharrell ‘Skateboard P’ Williams and Lupe Fiasco. Eagerly written off after publicly declaring his dedication, Lil Wayne somehow stuck with it, living down ill-considered proclamations of prowess and conceiving the obligatory terrible clothes company. Along the way the ‘A Milli’ author earned love from actual skateboarders the old-fashioned way*:

Conor Champion: “He’s a little kid that just started skating in a grown millionaire’s body. Out of everything he could be doing with his free time, he’s choosing to be at the skatepark with us at three in the morning. You have to realize he could be doing literally anything in the world at that moment.”

Now, as far as wiling away hours at the park as a barometer of love for skating, many 10-year-olds measure up. Investing more than half a decade and then shaking off a droughty croak to muse for an hour over truck heights, the tradeoffs of filming in parks, getting kicked out of parks, lighting up spots with Iphones and hanging out behind restaurants to skate a bank-to-wall at 4:00 in the morning — that’s a horse of a different color, unsaddled by celebrity dilettantes and fair-weather penny cruiser pilots outfitted by 401(k)-toting stylists loathe to shovel the manure of bailed kickflips and gashed faces. With a profane pithiness suited to the penman responsible for one of rap music’s greatest verses, Lil Wayne justified himself last month on Chris Roberts’ ‘Nine Club’ podcast:

Lil Wayne: “I hate to use the word perfect but I’m the perfect guy to explain it. I’ve experienced a lot of great fuckin feelings. I’ve seen checks with a lot of zeroes on them bitches, with my name. I’ve experienced a lot of wonderful… moments with women. I’m talking about fucking her while her movie’s on in the background. With your music on the radio. I’ve opened a lot of great doors, I’ve seen a bunch of smiles on a bunch of faces…. I swear I don’t know if there’s a feeling that comes close to landing on them four wheels.”

Will Baby try and put the kibosh on Lil Wayne releasing a video part while still under a CMB contract? Does employing a housekeeper for one’s private skatepark and also a co-located bowling alley qualify Lil Wayne as ‘upriver’ on Jason Dill’s famed skate-scale or does it require a different benchmark altogether, like maybe the Russian deeps of Lake Baikal? Was all of this foretold after Ty Evans placed Mannie Fresh music into ‘Fully Flared’ for Lucas Puig, JB Gillet and JJ Rousseau, a music supervision masterstroke that may also have absolved Ty Evans of any number of indie-rock missteps over the years?

*Not like that, you pervert

Ryan Sheckler’s Saturday Night Workout

December 1, 2014

sheckl

Earlier this fall, one of Dr. Dre’s many proteges/studio heavy-lifters divulged that the good doctor’s 13-years-in-the-making ‘Detox’ album isn’t coming out. After numerous blown release dates going back to 2005, around the time the US wound up its search for Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, this understandably sent out some shockwaves. The yeti-like album has been called rap’s ‘Chinese Democracy,’ but since that one only took about 14 years to make, the comparison pretty soon might seem kind of unfair. After all, it’s been 8 years since Game threatened to put out his own version, and it seems like he’s moved on. And we all know how hard that is for Game.

Lord knows, it’s tough to take rappers at their word anymore. Dr. Dre hyped ‘Detox’ on XXL’s cover back in 2010, but that was before he went and got a job at Apple, shortly after getting drunk and enjoying his alleged billionaire status upon the sale of his Beats headphone company.

But Dr. Dre’s not the only one. Lil Wayne and Juelz Santana haven’t delivered their long-promised ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ album, alternately blaming Weezy’s jail bid and a badly timed raid on Juelz’s studio. Which happens. And we don’t need to get into Rick Ross’ shifting stories on his past run-in with the law, as in, when he worked as an officer of the law in a Florida jailhouse.

This week, internet ruffians are up in arms again over Ryan Sheckler, that oft-shirtless reality TV heartthrob who’s been moonlighting in recent years as the resurrected Plan B’s answer to Jeremy Wray, or depending on your view of the world, Andy Mac. It all has to do with the new Plan B video ‘B Tru,’ which has been on its own Captain Ahab type of quest to a release date over the past nine-plus years. While Ryan Sheckler and the Plan B team can gather more footage in one trip to China than the entire Girl team can in years’ worth of visits, they maintain exacting standards.

Anyway, peoples’ boxer shorts, or boxer briefs, or whatever you call it for those like Justin Figueroa who probably can’t be expected to indulge in any underwear whatsoever, are all in a bunch because all that Ryan Sheckler footage didn’t include one clip in particular, a successful backside kickflip down the El Toro stairs. You may remember it as home to the monster handrail that Carlos Ruiz backside lipslid(ed?) in Bill Weiss’ directorial debut for Blind. You might say that people had their hopes set unrealistically high, since those are some pretty big stairs and all. Then again, Ryan Sheckler told Thrasher boss Jake Phelps that he did it about five years ago.

Jake Phelps: This is what I heard, that you backside flipped el toro. Yes or no?
Ryan Sheckler: Yes.
JP: You did. How come we don’t see it? How come no flashes of the Plan B video, no nothing?
RS: I’ve been hurt, man.
JP: So what, they don’t want to keep it going? Stoke me out?
RS: Yeah, we’re keeping it going.
JP: Three flip?
RS: No.
JP: Hardflip?
RS: El Toro? Nah.
JP: Just backside flip? Say it.
RS: Just backside flip.

Flash forward several years — in an interview with Thrasher prior to the Plan B video premiere, Ryan Sheckler says that as the video deadline loomed, he had consulted doctors on the health implications of jumping down the famed 20-stair and still hoped to land the buzzworthy trick, which he apparently didn’t land in the prior years:

Thrasher: You know, I got to go with you when you tried El Toro a couple of years ago, and it was super amazing even though you got smoked. Are you trying to go back before this deadline?

Ryan Sheckler: If I’m gonna speak honestly, yeah, that’s the goal. I’m going so diehard on getting my ankle 100 percent. That’s why we brought in these doctors to make sure everything’s put in place so that if it does come down to the time to go, I’m ready to do it. So I’m just taking it day by day and really, really focusing on getting things strong and being able to take that impact. So that’s the goal. We’ll see, dude. I’m trying.

T: I know last time we were there, you tried the backside flip, it looked perfect and then you hit your nose on the last stair. Does that go through your head at all when you think about going back?

RS: Nah, dude, not really. I just need an extra push, thinking about it now. I watched that slam last night and it’s frustrating to watch it, but I don’t know. That was just a random day. I wasn’t warmed up. I was just amped, running off pure adrenaline and pure emotion that day and that’s how it’s gonna have to be this time around. I’m psyched, man. We’ll see what happens, dude.

Last week the Plan B video premiered at the Ricardo Montalban theater, named for the actor who achieved fame over seven decades that included being loudly shouted at by Captain Kirk of the starship Enterprise. After the premiere version of the video apparently did not include Ryan Sheckler landing the much-ballyhooed El Toro backside 180 kickflip, some of that residual intergalatic Hollywood anger appears to have spilled over into internet realms, where Ryan Sheckler has taken e-lashings for appearing to have lied about making the trick.

sk8intreesquidzero24 If you didn’t land that backside flip ur dead to me@shecks

keetnn Do they make plan b grip that sais liar?

mijo_gavino I thought the video was called True?

torysbonergarage Dude why

Meanwhile, Ryan Sheckler is absent from a laundry list of SOTY contenders published by Thrasher the other day, though some amateurs with no big video parts out this year made it.

Ryan Sheckler’s fans over the past week proffered various excuses: Perhaps he did land the trick and the footage was withheld from the premiere version so as to drive mp4 sales higher when word spread that the for-sale version includes an El Toro conquest. Or that an as-yet unnamed Plan B video, to arrive next year and feature Colin McKay, Danny Way and PJ Ladd, who at some point inexplicably vanished from the final ‘B Tru’ cut, also will include the elusive backside flip. Others, resigned to the idea that Ryan Sheckler did not and will not land the trick he seems to have said he did, credit him for claiming it for self-motivation purposes and offer points for trying it at all, and question whether it is even humanly possible.

If Ryan Sheckler turns out to have lied about landing what many would consider an ‘ender ender’-worthy blockbuster, what then? In the past, it would seem the industry shunned dudes for less. Witness former Plan B revolutionary Brian Emmers, shadowed by the urban legend of a self-aggrandizing letter he apparently never even wrote. Has Ryan Sheckler logged too many caffeine-drink advertisements and emotional reality television hours to be so easily heaved overboard? Or will the internet’s 24-minute news cycle rapidly bury critics’ threads and replies, effectively glossing over the whole episode like so many filmers and light poles photoshopped out of the way? Skateboarding differs from major-league alternatives partly because bars are raised and legends are written not inside stadiums and on some game clock but in K-Mart parking lots on the weekend, or in some ditch in the middle of the night. If proof does not reveal itself in the HD video pudding, what happens next?

Too Many Cooks

November 19, 2014

slayersal

Roots-rocking revivalist Yasiin Bey famously claimed in space that the knack to flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss. So shall it be for SOTY, and the yearlong subliminal toilings or lack thereof that may or may not place a 24th precious metaled and pantsed man atop some lucky pro’s professionally burbling toilet tank. Whereas recent bald-faced attempts to remake personal brands in the Thrasher mode, just happening to drop video projects near year’s end whilst wearing around S-A-D tees, generally have fallen flat, low-key schralping one’s fanny off in front of the proper HD lenses may yet prove to be the reliable path. Consider:

Cory Kennedy: A cheeseburger in paradise on a seven-day weekend, Cory Kennedy this year has spent much of his permanent vacation garbing himself in gift-shop merchandise on Thrasher-affiliated tours. His love affair with crust continues and ‘what-me-worry’ Oakley blading approach to life has taken him into the deep end sans pads, another plus in the Thrasher galaxy. Certain stony adventures truly put him on the road alongside various Bru-Rayers, Fourstars and the current SOTY clique, but has he been hittin hard enough between all the good times to shut the door on would-be campaigners?

Bobby Worrest: In recent years Bobby Worrest’s inclusion on such a list may have served merely as Facebook Timeline-ready clickbait for aging e-commercers reminiscing on early Brick Harbor clips, but consider: Ten years into his career, the DC-area’s kid beard has sidestepped career distractions as varied and alluring as shoe-sponsor travails and a potential second life as a right-wing pundit, only to switch backside noseblunt a handrail in one of his three video parts this year, each certified urban grade with no artificial flavors and seasonings. A hard-earned corporate sponsor paycheck may be a consolation prize if Thrasher fails to be won over by days of Pulaski clip-logging.

Wes Kremer: Similar to now-teammate Jake Brown giggling his way around the loop at Tampa that one year, Wes Kremer wobblingly cruised through to late-summer bomb the galaxy via an unassuming video that contained a wallie late-shove it over a chunky hubba, a slappy b/s 5-0 down some other hubba and one of the larger switch backside bigspin flips on offer recently. (It also copped a TWS cover for the curtain call, which you could look like as a plus or a minus in Thrasherland.) Then this week he did it again, running yet another slappy variation down the Clipper ledge, hucking massive shifty kickflips and resurrecting hallowed Peter Smolik career touchstones. Wes Kremer approaches Jake Johnson level wallrides, keeps his bushings slack and meanwhile seems like he’d be doing much the same shit whether they were handing awards out for it or not, so the Phelps brain-trust could easily do worse.

Torey Pudwill: With the mane of a virile walrus and a love interest that could’ve come off the arm of a freshly IPO’d internet mogul, Torey Pudwill hardly requires Thrasher’s most-exclusive title to achieve fulfillment, but there he was last summer, bringing back the so-called suski grind, pushing his ever-longer backside tailslides and exhibiting that generally ludicrous pop en route to what’s billed as a blockbuster entry in the Plan B video, which for real really is seriously coming out. Torey Pudwill gifted unto High Speed Productions two Thrasher covers this year, but does his wiggly armed comet orbit close enough to the magazine’s star to get him over?

Dylan Rieder: Our black leather pant-clad dark horse candidate, Dylan Rieder’s muscular pop and eye for Soviet-era public art as background flair got him onto the front of Thrasher earlier this year, sporting sunglasses to boot. For all those years of brutality when Heath Kirchart prowled under the radar, could Dylan Rieder’s zeitgeist-capturing turn in Bill Strobeck’s “Cherry” and Berlin residency — including that pop out of the noseblunt — in support of his latest pro-model wing tip be too much for the Thrasher camp to resist? No other name on this list brought nudity to the table the way Dylan Rieder has this year; levels yall.

Separately, if Danny Way repeated off the strength of his Mega-RampingTM “DC Video” part last decade, should Tony Hawk merit a mention for recording two parts this year with time left over to tame the Nessie-like hoverboard? Where does Mark Suciu’s MJ-sized “Search the Horizon” opus fall for Thrasher’s fiscal-year purposes? How many Wasserman Clients this year will garner a coveted nomination?

Slap throws in the paper towel

August 8, 2008


In Dolby Digital

On the off chance you pulled up the Slap magazine homepage today instead of linking straight to the messageboard, you may have seen confirmation of that which has been rumored for a while now: Slap’s going to an all-digital format. The obvious read on this is that Slap wasn’t pulling in the ad dollars necessary to keep a full-on print operation afloat, which unfortunately is all too likely in the current climate. Skateboarder subscribers would do well to think long and hard before the re-up, in this uninformed wag’s opinion.

While Slap’s the first to dive in, other skateboard publications are busy testing these waters–see also the allegedly all-digital consolation round for Big Brother, for instance. And those who went out and bought “And Now” guiltily hoping for another year of free TWS inside (yeah, me) found instead a generous offer for a free “digital subscription,” promising such intriguing features as “store trick tips” and “access from any computer!” It’s all Web 2.0 over there.

Shit. Even Thrasher has a website now, and Jake Phelps is a widely known caveman who was born in a cave and currently lives in a cave that was gut-rehabbed a few years ago in a rapidly gentrifying portion of SF. So this internet thing may have legs after all.

The downside for Slap of course is that you generally have to sell several web ads to make the money of one print ad, despite the fact that, you know, you can tell exactly how many people see the web ad and link it directly to the advertiser’s online emporium. However, advertisers like having their shit in a tangible form, which can be taped on junior highschoolers’ bedroom walls and passed around at trade shows. Another possible downside is Slap’s e-track record. If you add up the number of times Slap’s messageboard has crashed in the past eight years, divide it by the cast of webmasters, square that figure by their average tenure and round down for these people’s demonstrated proficiency… let’s just say Mark Whitely’s squad has its work cut out for it on the web front.

But if there’s any magazine to restructure itself around an online community, it would have to be Slap, who for reasons that still elude me managed to attract enough comprehensible posters that some level of intelligent discourse was fostered, and despite the best efforts of dearly departed anger-mongers such as Wheelbite.net, it’s managed to continue. All due shoutouts to Vov Vurnquist and the pontoon boat.

Slap’s recent efforts to incorporate the messageboard into the print publication have seemed sort of labored–too many inside jokes for outsiders, too little context for those who already know what’s up–and giving posters mini-profiles was the sort of purely bizarre idea that you have to respect in the way that you respect, say, for instance, Snuffleupagus. But I think they were doing the right thing by trying. God knows other websites would kill for the profile and weight the Slap messageboard carries, and Whitely & Co would be idiots if they didn’t try and harness it in some form or another.

So here’s hoping they Google it up and find a way to get ridiculously rich while making everything free and open to all comers. It’ll be a shame not to see Slap at the shop anymore–it’s still pretty much the only magazine consistently taking chances and making an effort to push the envelope in terms of accepted content, and Whitely’s spot in skateboard’s history books is certainly secure at this point. Fingers crossed that this transition is, to labor a metaphor, the first keystrokes of a new story, rather than the final touches on a brick-and-mortar gravestone.