Posts Tagged ‘Vov Vurnquist’

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

March 23, 2015

dontyouhatepants

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Bob Burnquist’s Helicopter – ‘Dreamland’

December 27, 2013


If the Gonz and Natas in the 1980s reconceptualized what was possible to with a skateboard on the streets, then sunglasses designer and organic organism grower Bob Burnquist did likewise for the Mega-RampTM in 2013 via his ‘Dreamland’ documentary about his back yard, blasting what is regarded by respected almanacers as ‘the most gnarly ollie to fakie evar’, a switch backside 360 up onto a deck that defies all chemical logic compounds found within the human brain, that one backside tailslide, and any number of other baffling ‘tricks’ that render the very word sorta frivolous in this context. Bob Burnquist’s daring and general other-levelness seemed actually to exclude him from the Skater of the Year race, which was otherwise focused on a more terrestrial collection of handrails and gaps and ledges, but unfortunately Bob Burnquist simultaneously was usurped by his own agile helicopter, ‘landing’ a 720 and a no-grab air as well as a railslide in feats never before known to be attempted by an expensive personal aircraft. While Bob Burnquist no doubt raised the bar within the MegaRampTM discipline, his helicopter conceived an entirely new use of the Mega structure, and therefore earns the coveted list placement on Boil the Ocean Web Page.

Rise Of The Machines

August 1, 2013

terminators

Several were astonished this week when Bob Burnquist’s helicopter burst onto the scene with a ‘high-octane’ MegaRampTM video part soundtracked to Creed. Performing a frontside boardslide on its heli-skis, a 720 over the gap and an ‘air’ on the MegaQuarterPipeTM, the chopper cruised the MegaStructureTM like a seasoned pro, albeit one prone to blowing the hats off any rival competitors unlucky enough to be caught on the deck without a chin-strap.

“The race for SOTY is suddenly wide open,” commented one of the few passersby whose mouth was not thrown slack in utter amazement. Nearby a dogeared Thrasher mag flapped ominously in the breeze.

The revelation of a ramp-ravaging helicopter was only beginning to sink in when troublesome questions began to emerge. Machines have yet to attain the needed sophistication to formulate long-winded, rambling and nonsensical blog posts. Yet in other ways their abilities seem boundless. Robots can drive cars, calculate gratuities and vacuum our rumpus rooms. Can it be long before an algorithm is designed that can achieve a perfect Nike Street League score*?

Truthfully skateboarding has not faced such a crisis of identity since Louie the Chimp bested pros and ams alike to capture the cover of Big Brother, only about a year after a Barcelonan dog gazumped Eric Koston out of last-part status in ‘Menikmati.’ While the dog inspired a score of Youtube imitators and some blame Louie’s brief celebrity for Ryan Sheckler’s ill-advised ‘chimp period’, the specter of skating’s takeover by unfeeling robotic overlords is considered by some to be a major league bummer.

Has this helicopter been machine-learning from Bob Burnquist, whose hands-free blizzard flipping, step-up tricks onto the MegaDeckTM and beauty of a backside tailslide are rumored to have pushed back the Plan B video another five years? Watching the two move in perfect sync when setting up for the midair MegaRailTM caveman and their above-coping doubles routine recalls the malicious internet rumors of Bob Burnquist’s alleged dabbling in cybernetics, surgically incorporating microscopic magnets into his feet to better grip his board on the MegaTM.

Is skating ready for a man-machine hybrid? Have Wade Speyer and his giant dump truck already blazed this particular trail in a more classically ’90s’ way? Are lucrative skate collabos with Daft Punk, Svedka vodka and Detroit’s crowd funded Robocop statue now inevitable?

*Note how an easy Nyjah Huston or Paul Rodriguez joke was avoided here.

Flight of the Passion Fruit

August 2, 2009

lizard_mega
And thus we complete the mainstream print media triumvariate

A suspect quesadilla prompted a longer-than-anticipated sit-down this afternoon, in which an errant copy of “Outside” magazine was flipped through, uncovering a pretty in-depth profile on hemp farmer and Mega Ramp LLC co-owner Bob Burnquist who is described at one point as “prone to stoner speechifying about ‘fluidic rhythms.'” (Aren’t we all.) It’s a pretty by-the-numbers rundown of the Bob’s life and times as an X-Games superhero, multiple family man and amateur pilot but at one point they’re cooling out at the rancho and things take a turn for the surreal* when a certain Utahn comes scritch-scritch-scratching at his rancho door:

While I’m at the rancho, Bob’s friend and fellow pro Pierre-Luc Gagnon, or PLG, pops by with some fresh meat: a street skater known as Lizard King (Mike Plumb to his relatives), who’s wiry and abundantly tattooed, with a rapsy smoker’s voice and the bug eyes of a man who gets amped for a living.

Bob greets them in the driveway and tells PLG to take Lizard out to the ramp “just to see what he’s getting into.”

Minutes later, Lizard King comes back looking as if he’s seen a ghost. He can’t stop pacing. “I’m not even over there looking at it and I’m having a heart attack,” he says.

Bob plays the confident older brother, goosing the Lizard up, onto and eventually down the mega-slope.

Lizard King snatches a bag of pads from PLG’s Mercedes and comes back. “I’ve never been more intimidated by anything in my entire life,” he says, then exhales deeply.

“I wanna get you psyched,” Bob says. “I’ll go out there with you.”

Bob shows Plumb how to bail the jump and then does it sans pads.

Lizard King practically collapses. Here he is, terrified, and Bob has casually dropped in as if this were a backyard pool, wearing nothing but jeans and a T-shirt.

“Fuck it, dude,” Lizard yells, rolling toward the edge. “Live life.”

His first attempt isn’t pretty, but he has gusto. There are many whoops and hollers and “Holy shits!” as he rockets down the roll-in, up the launch, and through the air, dropping his board and flying along like someone leaping off a bridge into a lake. He lands awkwardly but safely on his knee pads and slides to the base of the quarterpipe.

“I love you, Bob!” he howls as Bob and I walk back toward the house. “This is the funnest thing I’ve ever done in my life! Thank you for building this!”

About an hour later, Bob’s phone buzzes. It’s a text from PLG: Lizard nailed it. “He’s got the right mentality,” Bob says. “Or the wrong one, depending how you look at it.”

Elsewhere there’s something of an “Xtremely Sorry” preview, which Bob Burnquist is apparently obsessing over “because (video parts) maintain his credibility in the skate world, which might otherwise regard him as a stunt guy who cashes in at the X Games once a year and then retreats to his ranch to roll around in flaxseed.”

In one sequence, he launches across the 50-foot gap, lands on the manual pad, kickflips his board 180 degrees while going 50 miles per hour, then drops in toward the quarterpipe – all without breaking rhythm.

So, what… manual backside flip? Frontside flip? Or just a “180 flip” into the landing from the manual pad? Meanwhile Bob’s organic restaurant has closed its doors, FYI.

*At least, surreal for those of us for whom Lizard King and “Outside” magazine exist in separate, non-overlapping worlds