Posts Tagged ‘Wade Speyer’

Death, Taxes And 10,000 Pounds Of Rolling Steel: Wade Speyer’s Dump Truck And The Quest For Immortality

January 31, 2021

In the smash Broadway politicopera ‘Hamilton,’ the closing number ponders man’s quest for immortality through government. After the gunshot death of major figure Alex Hamilton, lover of women and bayonettor of British, the refrainers mourn: “U lived, u died, bro we’ll tell ur story.” It is true, but only to a point: Andrew Jackson remains a day to day sight, but only until US currencies move fully digital. The system of government designed by aged brewmaster Benjamin Franklin has proven vulnerable to shirtless men in buffalo hats. Even Washington and Jefferson and Lincoln and Roosevelt, their visages carved 60 feet high in solid stone, exist only at the pleasure of phaser-equipped alien spaceships that one day may decide they have grown bored with the entire affair.

Approximately 70 years into its history, the skateboard realm mutters to itself the same lyrics as it flits about its day-to-day. Some things, like kickflips, the ‘Sick Boys’ video and the popsicle shape, persist through time. Others — the shoelace belt, Shorty’s boards, the lapper, Pat Corcoran, Justin Roy, Bridgebolts — rise and fade. And some prove truly immortal, such as Half Cabs, Brandon Turner’s switch hardflip, Fred Gall obviously, and as we shall come to understand, Wade Speyer’s dump truck.

Featured in 2001’s black denim document ‘Label Kills,’ and again in ‘Weekend at Wade’s’ alongside certain other heavy machineries, Wade Speyer’s dump truck has outlasted companies such as Bootleg, Seek and 3D; it has posed for the cover of Big Brother, which is also outlasted, and rolled like a timeless wave as decks and pants have widened and slimmed like the shifting of the tides. Footwear labels such as C1RCA, Ipath and Es have amassed great power only to fade again, but the dump truck persists. Photo/videographer John Bradford in North magazine rightly named it among the seminal moments captured in his photography career:

…I was lucky enough to be asked to help with what I think was one of the best things going on in skateboarding at that moment. It was so sick to be a fly on the wall as those guys put together some of those stories. Like listening to Natas [Kaupas] recount in his own words about his career. We went and filmed Wade Speyer drive his dump truck. We filmed an interview with Clyde Singleton where he refused to take off his Mexican wrestling mask.

Now, in this year of our lord 2021, it rises again, as Darren Navarrette in the February 2021 Thrasher pens another chapter of the legend:

I was always a bit starstruck by Wade. Before one contest, I decided to get a little liquid courage and dipped into a bar. The only other customer in the place was Wade. I was scared. What do I do? Do I pretend like I don’t see him? I decided to pull a stool up next to him. He looked over at me and said, “Darren, you wanna see a picture of my pride and joy?” He pulled out a photo of his brand new dump truck. I was like, What? A dump truck? The funny thing is, I had a picture of my pride and joy in my wallet, too, so I took it out and showed it to him. It was literally a photo of Pride dishwasher soap and Joy hand soap. Turned out neither of us were exactly rock stars.

Has Wade Speyer ever been documented doing the trick called the ‘dump truck’? Should Fred Gall, easily the most widely revered doer of the dump truck trick, buy a real one as he contemplates life paths beyond pro skating? When FA inevitably awards a ‘class photo’ board to the dump truck should it feature a pic of the truck fresh out the assembly line, some Tonka model, or heaps of unrefined iron ore bound for the blast furnace?

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.