#TBT on a Wednesday: Traffic in Japan

November 26th, 2014 | 12:57 pm | Time Capsule | No Comments

ricky

Re-discovered this gem after Eli’s all-Tokyo part came out yesterday. Why are all-Japan parts totally chill, while all-China parts are totally “boring?” Do people just pack way sicker fits when traveling to Tokyo? Is it because Ricky said Japan was cool?

Sidebar: Pretty sure the problem with skateboarding in China isn’t China. The third biggest country on earth isn’t somehow devoid of the cutty sort of stuff that you see in the Eli part, Quim’s Overcast Broadcasting part, or Silas’ Adidas thing. It’s just pretty tough to pay any attention to some cutty wallie spot when there are ten flawless plazas a block away. Send Polar, Traffic or probably any Theories-distributed brand to Shenzhen or Shanghai, and every commenter will be lauding the “new way to skate China!”-narrative for a straight month. All it took was the GX dudes to skate the Universitat benches the wrong way for everyone to say all those “blown out” Barcelonian spots look “fresh” again.

Leave China alone, guys. They have enough problems without you telling them their flawless public spaces look “boring” on the internet.

ANYWHO, Japan is having a moment this week, and this Traffic clip from 2010 — described as Ricky’s “last hurrah” in the final episode of his Epicly Later’d — is a fun watch. Happy Thanksgiving.

“I don’t try hard tricks anymore.” — Jack Sabback, 2012

P.S. Ricky hates surfers

QS in Print: ‘What is Dime?’

November 25th, 2014 | 10:42 am | Daily News | 1 Comment

dime in dank

Had the opportunity to interview Antoine Asselin and Phil Lavoie, two of the principal figureheads behind Dime, for Dank, everyone’s favorite grown and sexy Norwegian skateboard magazine. We discussed their origins, the invisibility of Canadian skateboarders, Peace Park, the mythology behind Eric Reidl, and more.

In the opinion of our award-winning international low impact skateboard media institution, Dime is the finest skateboard thinktank in operation today. There are a few great companies and crews out right now, but there is no other crew that incites envious feelings of “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?” to the extent that Dime does with their consistently brilliant output. (Check yesterday’s “Legend of Joe Valdez” video.) They make you laugh, say “holy shit,” and hyped to go skate all at the same time.

For a sample of the Dime crew’s ability to do all three of those things, we compiled a bunch of their Instagram videos into one ten-minute compilation a la Worldstar.

Dank No. 8 should be available in the States soon. Theories typically stocks copies, and Labor has sold them in the past. It’s pretty much the only magazine worth keeping back issues of going today. This edition also has a cool Bobby Worrest feature :)

Excerpt from the Dime interview below.

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Why did you guys stop using the logo with the girl throwing up the devil horns? What’s the story behind her?

Antoine Asselin: That girl fueled everything there is to know about Dime.

Phil Lavoie: There was a website called DoYouLookGood.com, which was like a Hot or Not sort of website. You put a picture up, and people rate it. Hugo Balek sent us a photo of this young girl throwing up devil horns, saying “Check out my new girlfriend” as a joke. We go “Ha ha Hugo, nice one,” and forgot all about it. A few years later, my homie is going through my computer and finds a photo of that chick way down in my downloads folder. He goes “Who’s this?” and we started getting so hyped on her.

68 Degrees

November 24th, 2014 | 12:25 pm | Daily News | 5 Comments

watermelons

The Watermelon Man. Photo via Merchants of Ill.

Johnny Wilson still trying to pretend like he uses his VX1000.

Also, some guy compiled a bunch of Cyrus Bennett’s footage from the more recent video blogs and put it over a more recent Migos song.

As far as “Summer Trip to New York” clips go, the skating in this is tops by non-pro team clip standards. These dudes somehow skate every spot in New York (e.g. when was the last time someone filmed a line at Breezy Ledges? Jeff Pang in 1997?) Obligatory Wu-Tang song included.

“The new Transworld video, Outliers, as seen through the prism of the Malcolm Gladwell book of the same name.” Frozen in Carbonite looks through some prisms.

Cario Foster on his Reason part and Danny Montoya on his incredibly ahead-of-its-time One Step Beyond part. “For the record, filming is hard.”

Lucas and J.B. in the Cliché U.K. tour clip.

Twenty seconds of “lost” Jake Johnson footage. 360 flip noseblunts, etc.

Jordan Trahan apparently kickflipped into the Washington Square Park fountain.

We can officially verify that the Plan B video exists, and that PJ Ladd does not have a part in it. The joke is dead. Except how is Hoboken going to get a premiere and New York isn’t? Was really looking forward to getting drunk in the theater for that one :(

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This is what your 2015 MTA fare hike is going to look like.

QS Holiday Gift Guide: This pixel print of skate shoes from the nineties is chill and this Hans Moleman x Muska Silhouette deck is amazing. “My name is Hans. Drinking has ruined my life. I’m 31 years old!”

Spot Updates: 1) It happened months ago, but finally just got around to updating the spot page…the ledge-to-flatbar in Battery had its runway knobbed. Some Japanese guy with quick feet will still get a trick on it by next summer. 2) The grate at Union Square that people propped up to skate over the pillar is gone. It’s a gap now. 3) The Blue Banks in Albany are being turned into an official skatepark. Even if it ends up being some pre-fab crap, at least you get to skate the banks worry-free now. Funnest spot north of Tompkins :)

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: 6′ 3 Reggie Jackson v.s. 7′ 2 Brook Lopez.

Quote of the Week: “The first thing I thought when I started watching that catcalling video was, ‘Oh no, I hope I’m not in this.'” — T-Bird

No idea what the point of this will be, but yeah, it’s there for now.

Red is the Coldest Color: The Plight of the Redheaded Skateboarder

November 21st, 2014 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 31 Comments

red is the coldest

Hair has been having quite a moment in skateboarding. Mid-line hair flips are now acceptable skate video etiquette, and even encouraged in some circles. Skaters show up to their barbers with magazine cut-outs of their favorite handsome pros. Some people have entirely supplanted the act of skateboarding with doing their hair. And when spring hits, at least one-third of your friends are getting their heads bleached.

Yup, we’re just comfortable being open about how our hair looks…but aren’t we avoiding the elephant in the room? Skateboarding remains a blonde and brown-haired activity. Redheads are shunned by our superficial skateboard society.

A 2010 viral video revealed that “gingers have souls.” It turns out that they have tricks, too. However, the closed-minded skateboard industry treats even the most talented redheads with with a degree of disinterest otherwise reserved for flow riders wearing Flex-Fits and skating handrails in former Soviet Bloc countries without adequate mail systems. It is time that we acknowledge how redheaded skateboarders are unforgivably underrated. The ignorance must end.

All Hail Jean-Baptiste

November 18th, 2014 | 11:24 am | Time Capsule | 3 Comments

jb french fred

Photo by French Fred via Live

Something that wasn’t shined on enough in yesterday’s post was that the Kingpin “Greatest Plazas” list also included a new “Best Of Hotel De Ville” edit from J.B. Gillet. Anyone who grew up burning holes through the Rodney v.s. Daewon videos has probably spent the past fifteen years dreaming of skating that endless two-level ledge plaza with a hip in the middle. Research reveals that it is far too run down today to resemble what it did in the nineties (more on that later), but it still has to rank as one of the coolest-looking spots ever to grow famous through skate videos.

J.B. was the original cool French skater before Lucas Puig became a fashion-foward adult. Always thought of him as a French Kalis — great hip-hop white guy style, chill switch mongo push, amazing flip tricks, all the right ledge tricks, and an ability to be associated with one particular plaza throughout the duration of his career (yeah, Kalis might be associated with two at this point.)

Any remnant of associating a sizable portion of one guy’s footage with a single spot is in Europe. Even then, a lot of the “A-list” guys just seem like they travel around a lot e.g. there’s no real “Lucas spot” to the extent that there is a “J.B. spot.” For us Americans, the “single spot part” in 2014 is a rarity and pretty much impossible unless you’re Bobby Worrest turning in the year’s best. (Sorta interesting to know if Europeans who have never visited the States / don’t routinely get chased by cops for skating a ledge *got* how wild the “Hometown Turf Killer” part was.)

“I spent about, uh, 15 million hours here.”

The above was from 2011. French Fred, via Live in 2013: “So, HDV, as the young generation calls it now, is a sad state… To a point where it just gets worst every over week. For the locals that are used to it, it’s usable, but for people visiting Lyon, it’s a great disillusion. They freak out, and find it just unskatable. From the beginning, you had those lateral grooves that are part of the design, and that already was never easy to adapt to, but add hundreds of cracks all over, and it’s a mine field! Then again, Mark Suciu came, observed, then skated, and according to Flo Mirtain, did the craziest line ever done there, so everything is still possible! For the latest Go Skateboarding Day, Jérémie Daclin put some metal angles on the ledges that were in Beirut mode, totally unusable, and that gave a little boost to the spot.”

Mark Suciu seems like a horrible barometer by which to judge the average person’s ability to skate the spot. It’s probably best to scratch skating H.D.V. off the bucket list. The Lyon scene still seems like it’s going well though, no matter how dilapidated the “dream spot” may have gotten.

Previously: The Quietly Incredible Year For Euro Skaters Over 30